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by Victor Xavier
The Salesian Mission Day 2023, organized by the Salesian Province of Chennai, took place at the Don Bosco Aspirantate community in Tirupattur. This two-day celebration spanned from Saturday, 25th November, to Sunday, 26th November.
The event attracted a total of 212 participants, comprising 112 Salesian candidates in formation, 70 pupils and students from Don Bosco institutions, and Salesians, including experienced missionaries who had served in various parts of the world.
The celebration aimed to achieve two primary objectives: first, to imbue Salesian candidates in initial formation with the missionary spirit of Don Bosco (Da mihi animas), and second, to inspire Don Bosco pupils and students in Salesian institutions with a passion for Christ.
The Holy Eucharist on the first day, presided over by the INM Vice Provincial and Formation delegate, Fr. John Alexander, included prayers for the deceased parents of Salesians and reflections on the significant aspects of Mama Margaret, the mother of Don Bosco.
During the Holy Eucharist on the second day, Fr. John Vigilius, a seasoned Salesian missionary with experience in Africa and the Andamans, delivered a homily on “Missionary Courage.” His emphasis on Christ as the good shepherd encouraged all attendees to model their lives after Him, particularly focusing on cultivating courage in missionary work. Fr. Vigilius drew from personal experiences in Africa and the Andamans to drive home the message.
A significant feature of the second day was a panel discussion involving four veteran Salesian missionaries: Fr. Lionel, Fr. Jeffrey (INT), Fr. Hubert Pinto, and Brother Francis Chinnappan. Moderated by Fr. John Alexander, the discussion delved into various aspects of Salesian missions. Engaging Q & A sessions allowed participants to gain insights into the challenges and triumphs of missionary work, providing a deeper understanding of the mission in Africa and the Andamans. Fr. Praveen Antony and the Missionary group organized the event meticulously.