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South Asia Salesian Brothers Meet in Guwahati
By C.M. Paul
Guwahati, Dec. 27.  The Salesian Brothers of South Asia region will hold four day congress in Guwahati from 30th December to 3rd January. Guwahati province is hosting the meet first time at its premier Don Bosco Management Institute at Kharguli, on the banks of mighty Brahmaputra river. Some 160 participants will study Congress theme ''Be Holy'' as preparation for Don Bosco's birth bi-centenary in 2015.
Core Group of the Salesian Brothers Congress 2013
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''The objective of the congress is to re-read Salesian history and get a true picture of oneself from the prism of the whole context of the Salesian Mission,'' says the Congress Chairman and Convener Br Angelus Tete, Manager at Don Bosco Technical School Maligaon, Guwahati.

Special to 7th Congress is a delegation of four invitees from Africa-Madagascar region, says Asian Congress Secretary Br Edwin Arokiadoss, Director of Street Children Work in Trichy.

The delegates from Africa include: Bro Samuel Olu Job (Ghana), Bro. John Njuguna (Uganda), Br. Mulugete Woledemeskel (Ethiopia) and Vice-Provincial of Ghana Fr Silvio Roggia.

The results of a survey on Salesian Brother conducted among various groups of the Salesian Family (Priests, Brothers, other religious, youth, lay people and parents) will be studied and discussed at the meet. The survey gages the ground reality of Don Bosco's ''genial creation - the Salesian Brother'' who is to work side by side with priests to further the mission for the poor and abandoned youth.

The congress, held every four years since first meeting held at the historical Marian shrine on the banks of Hooghly river at Bandel in 1982, will bring together some 120 Salesian Brothers working in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

According to 2012 statistics there are 2,541 Salesians in the region of which 164 are lay brothers, 826 clerics and 1,551 priests.

Other invitees to the meet include 12 Salesian provincial superiors of South Asia region as well as 18 Rectors of major formation houses of the provinces like the Salesian novitiates, renewal centres, philosophates and theologates.

Besides scholarly presentations on the theme by brothers and priests, there will be discussions on practical implications of the talks, well prepared liturgies presided over by three Salesian bishops, good night talks by Salesian provincials as well as the animating presence of the Salesian Regional Councilor Dr (Fr.) Maria Arokiam Kanaga.

The Salesian candidates for priests and brothers undergo same religious formation till regency after which clerics pursue theology studies for priesthood and lay brothers go for specialized technical and professional education.

A regional training centre for Salesian Brothers started in May 1977 under Fr Thomas Polackal at Nitika in Kolkata, was moved to Kalyani and is currently at Warrangal in Andhra Pradesh.

Br James Mampilly (87 years) of Kolkata province, currently engaged in ''Prayer Ministry'' at the Salesian Novitiate at Siliguri could be the oldest Salesian Brother in India still in ''active'' ministry.

The 6th Congress was held at Chennai'in 2009 with 118 Salesians from 11 provinces among whom were 95 Brothers.
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