India – Rector Major in Chennai Province, "the land of the Salesians"
(ANS – Chennai) – In recent days, the Animation Visit of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, to the India-Chennai Province (INM) has continued amid a number of significant meetings and large gatherings fully in the spirit of family.
The visit’s first official act was the Eucharistic celebration together with the members of the Provincial Council, the Salesians of the Provincial House and the Councilor for the South Asia region, Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga. On this occasion, the Successor of Don Bosco said today’s Salesians must concern themselves with being humble and “lovable”, so as to be able to give a beautiful testimony to religious life. He also reminded everyone that young people seek indeed the Salesians who know how to share the journey with them.
Subsequently, the provincial house, named Citadel, was filled with the colors and energy of the young people, who animated a rich program of cultural exhibitions. For his part, the Rector Major delivered several fundamental messages: “It is enough that you are young that I love you!”; “I believe in you and in your goodness” and “dream big and you will build a beautiful future.”
Saturday 7 September opened with a visit to the missionary aspirantate of Perambur, which currently hosts 20 students, animated by 8 Salesians. After learning about the history of the center, Fr Á.F. Artime recalled that music is never just an accessory in Salesian life, and animated his audience by performing several songs himself.
Later in the morning, he visited the General House of the Sisters of Mary Auxiliatrix (SMA), 27th group of the Salesian Family, a Congregation dedicated to serving the neediest young women, and who, with only 43 years of life, can already count 33 communities and 134 professed. In a frank dialogue with the religious, in the presence of Mother General, Mother Josephine Selvi, and her Council, the Superior General of the Salesians insisted on maintaining and transmitting the credibility and beauty of religious life, and acknowledged the spirit of Don Bosco in their service.
Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning were also dedicated to the Salesian Family. At the Provincial House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in Kodambakkam, the Rector Major met with hundreds of members of the various groups, emphasizing that communion in the Salesian Family and the care of a specific identity are the priorities to be cultivated.
Later, at the “Gandhi Nagar” center in Vellore, 140 km from Chennai – a territory where the Salesian charism has borne much fruit in terms of vocations – the Successor of Don Bosco reiterated that all the members of the Salesian Family were born to serve young people, and in order to transmit the values of Don Bosco, besides direct teaching, daily testimony is fundamental. Present were several Salesian bishops or past pupils. The bishop of Vellore, Salesian Msgr. Periyanayagam Soundararaju thanked the Rector Major for the many vocations offered by the Salesians to the local Church, exclaiming: “This is really the land of the Salesians!”