BIS #6978 INB Salesian Cooperators Meet at DBPH Mumbai

By Mrs Sudha Pillai for BISMumbai

The Annual Congress of the Salesian Cooperators of the Salesian Province of Bombay was held on 16 July 2023 at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga. The event was attended by 85 participants from 19 units of the Salesian Cooperators, supported by the Salesian and FMA Delegates.

The Congress began with a warm welcome by Mrs Sudha Pillai, the Coordinator of the Association of Salesian Cooperators of the Province of Bombay. Fr. Diego Nunes, the Provincial Delegate for Salesian Cooperators, introduced and welcomed the Chief Guest, Fr Joaquim Fernandes from Don Bosco, Naigoan. The event started with the lighting of lamps by the dignitaries, and Fr Fernandes officially declared the Salesian Cooperators Congress open.

The theme for the Congress was ‘Being Authentic Communicators’. Fr Fernandes addressed the participants, emphasising the importance of effective communication in the modern digital world. Topics discussed included the Salesian Social Communication System and its mission for the youth, combating fake news and disinformation, dropout rates in Indian schools, social networking with minors, and the digital divide in education, and other areas. He encouraged the Salesian Cooperators to be authentic communicators, guiding the young with Gospel values and providing necessary support.

During the interactive session, Fr Fernandes highlighted the AIDMA model, which focuses on Attention, Interest, Desire, Memory, and Action in communication. He urged the Salesian Cooperators to accompany the youth spiritually, psychologically, and socially, serving as role models to lead them towards salvation.

Sr Catherine Fernandes, the FMA Provincial  Delegate, explained the norms and criteria for becoming a Salesian Cooperator and taking a permanent promise. She emphasised that being a Cooperator is a vocation and a call from God, open to anyone above the age of 18. Following the 24 steps of formation was crucial, and taking the promise was a public expression of commitment to the Salesian Cooperator life.

Fr Savio Silveira, the Provincial, celebrated the Eucharist. In his homily, he stressed the importance of helping the youth establish a connection with God.

The Congress included reports from various units, highlighting their contributions to the association's renewal and the vocation of Salesian Cooperators. Fr Nunes presented the annual activity calendar, urging units to focus on pastoral activities and take up the ‘Don Bosco AVSAR’ project for the poor in each unit.

The event received positive feedback from attendees, who appreciated the insights on communication in the digital age and the emphasis on serving the poor. Delegates from different locations were felicitated, and with that, the Congress concluded.