BIS #6891 The Salesian Family Visits the Gujarat Missions

By Ms Marie Rodrigues for BISMumbai

The Salesian Family members and their delegates from the Province of Bombay visited the Salesian institutions in Gujarat, on 4 and 5 February 2023. Beginning with the Don Bosco Parish and Snehalaya in Vadodara, they travelled to various Don Bosco presences in Kawant, Chhotaudepur, Narukot, Kapadvanj and Dakor. 

The Salesians in these institutions welcomed them and briefed them about the various educational and social development projects carried out in each of the centres. They explained the outreach programs conducted to address social issues and serve the poor youth.  

Fr Elson Barreto said: “A Don Bosco institution trains and educates poor students to excel in leadership, and work towards the common good. We have outreach activities to enhance their livelihoods and empower them through the rights based approach, in order to resolve socio-economic inequalities around our villages.”

Children from the various institutions felicitated the Salesian Family members,  performed cultural dances, and also spent time interacting with them. During the visit, people narrated stories of hope, challenges and opportunities, and their experiences in partnering with the mission of Don Bosco.    

Fr Diego Nunes, Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family, organized the program with the help of Fr Anthony Goyal and the team of the Salesian Cooperators of Vadodara.   

Mr Ketan Gala, Executive Committee Member of the World Confederation of Past Pupils said: “I enjoyed the outreach – it was a good learning experience. I am privileged to be part of the big Salesian Family.” Ms Sudha Pillia, Provincial Coordinator for Salesian Cooperators said: “I loved the program and enjoyed the hospitality and the affection showered on me. I learnt to be more compassionate, build bridges of peace and love, and share Gospel values.” Ms Angel Baptista from Vadodara said: “The  Salesian outreach program was an eye-opener to the basic and educational needs of brethren in remote areas.”

The animating presence of Fr Vivian D’Souza and Fr Dominic Lisboa uplifted the group spiritually through prayer, reflection and discernment. The members contributed generously to the institutions they visited.