BIS #7182 Training Program to Revive the Ahmednagar Missions

By Fr Richard Burkhao for BISMumbai

To rejuvenate and enhance the missions in Ahmednagar, the Salesian Mission Department of the Province of Bombay organised a comprehensive training program for all parish council members and karbharis from the three Salesian parishes in Ahmednagar on 2 and 3 May 2024. Approximately 110 participants from both the city and surrounding villages attended the program.

The first resource person, Fr Bhausaheb Sansare, emphasised the significance of understanding and joyfully celebrating sacraments within the Church. He highlighted that the common mission of Jesus unites all priests and laity within the Church. During the afternoon session, Fr Manuel Murzello, led an engaging and interactive discussion, providing practical tips and guidelines on how to lead a meaningful Christian life. Participants engaged in group discussions, openly sharing their expectations of priests and religious. The day concluded with the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Bishop Barthol Baretto, Bishop of the Diocese of Nashik.

Fr Michael Bansode, the Province Delegate for Missionary Animation, played a key role in organising and leading the event. His timely interventions not only guided the participants but also challenged them to approach the present situation with honesty and hope. Each of the three parish priests had the opportunity to present a detailed overview of their respective parishes, including membership statistics, activities, challenges, and proposed strategies for renewal. The presentations not only highlighted the current status of each parish but also outlined the obstacles faced and suggested paths forward for revitalising both individual parishes and the broader mission in Ahmednagar.

Fr Ashley Miranda, the Vice Provincial of the Province of Bombay, conducted the concluding session. After engaging in meaningful and thought-provoking discussions throughout the event, Fr Miranda presented a way forward. He emphasised that the purpose of the evaluation was not to assign blame, but rather to assess our current standing. Through a questionnaire, he encouraged all participants and priests to suggest ways to improve the mission's situation. After the seminar, all participants received certificates signed by Bishop Baretto. 

One of the key outcomes of the programme would be to compile all the points discussed during the two-day seminar into a booklet that will be distributed among the faithful. The seminar was well-received by all attendees, as it provided a platform for open discussions and offered practical tips for living a more effective and meaningful Christian life.