BIS #6842 INB & INP Leadership Animation Forum

By Mr Cletus D’Souza for BISMumbai

The youth leaders of the Salesian Provinces of Bombay and Panjim participated in the Leadership Animation Forum at Don Bosco Animation Center, Benaulim, from 27-29 November 2022. More than 25 leaders participated in this two-day leadership programme hosted by the Salesian Province of Panjim.

Fr Jason Coelho, Youth Director of the Panjim Province, welcomed them and began the first day with a tour of the various attractions of Goa like the Basicila of Bom Jesus, Church of St Francis of Assisi, and Miramar beach among others.

Fr Coelho began the orientation with a prayer service. Mr Noah Rodrigues, Youth Delegate for the South Asia Region, gifted each youth a souvenir that portrayed the suffering face of Jesus. He then asked the youth leaders what image of Christ they found in that souvenir. After listening to the responses of the leaders, he encouraged each person to portray the face of Christ to those they are entrusted with.

Fr Austin Fernandes conducted a session on ways of exploring spirituality through sports and using it as a medium to draw people closer to Christ. He concluded his session by quoting Pope Francis' statement: “We need saints who passionately love the Eucharist and who are not ashamed to drink a soda or eat pizza on weekends with friends.” Fr Banzelao Teixeira, Vice Provincial of the Panjim Province, then lead the youth into understanding the Salesian Spirituality and the Preventive System of Don Bosco. Through various case studies and interactions, he conveyed the core values that every youth leader can rely on in making their youth group more spiritually active and alive. He also gifted each youth a Jerusalem cross.

Fr Coelho also moderated a session where the leaders shared about the various initiates undertaken in their provinces. The youth shared their challenges and experiences and thus kindled a spirit of collaboration and learning amongst themselves. Fr Edison Fernandes took a session on Identifying Leadership Qualities and Styles assisted the youth in learning more about themselves and imbibing leadership qualities using the tenets of psychology. He also provided them with resources they could use in their own youth groups.

The concluding session was led by a lay animator, Mr Gilbert Mendes, who guided the youth about the core values of Salesian Youth Spirituality. Through a combination of theory and interaction, examples and games, he focused on the importance of spirituality being the core value of every Salesian Youth Movement group. He also illustrated ways in which these leaders could share it with the youth in their lives and in their province.

This was indeed a wonderful experience of meeting new friends, forming deep bonds within the Salesian Youth Movement and learning in depth about the Salesian style of leadership.