BIS #6774 Fr Gildasio Visits INB
By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai
The General Councillor for Social Communication, Fr Gildasio Mendes Dos Santos SDB, visited the Province of Bombay (INB) from 22-25 August 2022. The purpose of this fraternal visit was to give him the opportunity to meet with, interact with, and encourage the Social Communication Sector of the Province.
Fr Mendes had arrived on the evening of 22 August, and was warmly received at the airport by Fr Savio Silveira - the Provincial, Fr Ashley Miranda - the Vice-provincial, and Br Aliester D’Souza - the Province Delegate for Social Communication. On his arrival at the Provincial House, he was welcomed by the community.
On the following morning, Fr Mendes celebrated the Holy Eucharist with the Provincial House community. In his homily, he acknowledged the rich patrimony of the province, and the Salesians who have worked tirelessly to communicate the love of God in the varied cultures of the region.
At 9:30 a.m., he visited Don Bosco Centre of Learning (DBCL), Kurla. The community, led by the Rector, Fr Anthony Pinto, took him on a guided tour of the campus. He then interacted with some of the BAMMC and BMS students. Speaking to the students, Fr Mendes clarified that communication is about relationships and culture, and technology is only a means of connecting with each other and building interpersonal relationships. A lively discussion ensued during which he shared his vast and diverse experiences in the field of communication. Before lunch, Fr Mendes blessed and inaugurated a new cafeteria in the campus. He then proceeded to the faculty of Hospitality Studies where the staff and students treated him to an exquisite Portuguese cuisine.
In the evening, Fr Mendes visited the students of Theology at Don Bosco Youth Centre, Pune. On his arrival, he was welcomed in the traditional Maharashtrian way: with flowers, tilak, and a shawl and turban. He was introduced to the team at the Diocesan Catechetical Centre (DCC) by Fr Osborn Furtado, the Director of the DCC. This service provided by the Salesians to the Diocese of Poona in building the faith of children, youth and lay people was commended by Fr Mendes. He remarked that communication is, ultimately, conveying the Word of God and the values of the Gospel. He then interacted with the students of Theology, sharing with them a few thoughts regarding the study of theology, the necessity of continuous and serious study, the
importance of good communication and of becoming artists. Later, the community of DBYC gathered around him celebrating his presence with music and words of appreciation.
After celebrating the Holy Eucharist at DBYC on 24 August, Fr Mendes proceeded to Don Bosco, Lonavla. Here, he was impressed with the youthfulness of the staff and the culture of communication that filled the place. Fr Joyston Machado presented the vision, mission and the activities of the community. After a short interaction with some of the aspirants, Fr Mendes moved on to Mumbai.
Back in Mumbai, Fr Mendes met the members of the Social Communication Commission of the Province. He encouraged the members to continue the animation of the sector in the good spirit, and appreciated the diversity of the members of the commission. He also gave the commission a few guidelines through which they could serve the province better in this field.
On 25 August, Fr Mendes celebrated the Eucharist in the crypt of the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna. In his homily, he stressed the importance of building trust which is the foundation of good relationships. At 9:00 a.m., he met the Local Social Communication delegates at the Provincial House. He spoke of the need to be connected to culture, to network among the communities of the province, and to exhibit one's talents and skills to communicate the Good News.
Fr Mendes left for Chennai in the afternoon, but not without leaving a deep impression in the hearts of those who met him during his stay. He came across as an amiable, energetic and a down to earth person. His thoughtful insights will certainly help to shape the communications sector of the Province of Bombay.