Thursday, 10 November 2016

Salesian Mission in India, 100 years from now

Back in India, most of our mission centres or modes of apostolate are exclusive.  I mean, run by us Salesians and Salesians alone.  At the most there are members of the Salesian Family collaborating with the Salesians, but otherwise it is a single congregation show piece.  Whether it be schools, parishes, technical institutions, formation houses or navajeevans (street-children homes), most of them are run by Salesians alone.  There is hardly any venture where there are other religious or priests involved as equal partners  (perhaps a kind of exception are the girls' homes in Vijayawada and Hyderabad).

Understanding the present mission-mode of the Great Britain province, it becomes clear that there is hardly any apostolate that is exclusively Salesian. Parishes, perhaps could be an exception to this 'rule'.  For the rest, Salesians are one among the many involved in a particular apostolate.  I'm not sure if there is any apostolate carried out by Salesians exclusively.  What were schools once run exclusively by Salesians are today run by a board of trustees. Salesians are present on the board (not always though), and as chaplains.  There are no technical institutes. Youth centres, I doubt. One of the reasons that led to the 'inclusive' forms of apostolate has been the paucity of personnel, the decline in vocations - but not the only reason.

I wonder if this would be the same with India a few years down the line, when number of vocations decrease there - which eventually it will.  Would we too follow this apostolate module of the GBR province or for that matter of the European scenario?  Would we be ready for that shift?  I guess, pre-planned voluntary shift would serve better than circumstantially forced abrupt changes!

Easier said than done!

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