Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The spectrawide Salesian community

Listening and getting a vibe of the various experiences of confreres from around the world, and most importantly having lived in a typical European Salesian community, I'm getting a feel of the spectra-wide diversity of the word 'Salesian community'.

Back in India, Salesian community meant all the confreres living and working together in a particular place.  Those 'attached communities' would always be taunted for being 'away'!  Someone working 'outside' the community, meaning in an activity wherein not the whole community is involved, is always frowned upon.

The situation of Great Britain and that of North America is more or less similar.  Salesians working individually in different parts of the city/town, sometimes in structures that are not of the Salesians at all.  Even if the institution they work in is a Salesian, the Salesians themselves have no real say in its administration!  Then there is the whole gamut of other possible 'communities' in Argentina, Germany, Ecuador where there is no Salesian at all.  Neither is it 'attached' to any Salesian community.  The Provincial is directly in-charge!!

What brings us to take cognizance of this situation is the work we are presently at: revision of the Rector's manual.  As it is there are numerous troubles with the concept of the rector of the 'traditional' (all in one place) communities.  Add to that the emerging scenario of Salesians working individually, in different places, sometimes in places not even owned by Salesians.

How does one draw up a manual for the Rector in such diverse contexts?  If it is too generic, it does not serve the purpose.  It cannot be specific because the contexts and situations are not homogeneous. 

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