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Salesians of Panjim Province welcome the 10th Successor of Don Bosco in Goa
By Father Joaquim Lobo
Konkan, Mar. 28. Rector Major Father Angel Fernandes Artime arrived to the Salesian province of Panjim at 10.20 pm on 27 March 2019. He was welcomed by the Provincial Father Felix Fernandes, Vice Provincial Father Avil Rodrigues, Salesians and the Salesian Family members at Dabolim airport, Goa. The 10th Successor of Don Bosco is visiting the province of Panjim for the first time. He will return to Rome on April 1, 2019.
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Father Fernandez is coming to meet his Salesians, the Salesian Family, the youth, the parents of the Salesians, the benefactors and the beneficiaries of the Salesian works. Father Avin Carvalho, the chief organizer of the visit of the Rector Major says that he is happy to have the successor of Don Bosco in the province. He wishes that 'his spirit rubs on to each one of us'. Father Felix Fernandes, Provincial of the Province of Panjim is also of the same opinion when he said that, he is 'extremely happy that the representative of Don Bosco has visited the province.' 'It is a moment of grace and the revival of the Salesian Charism in our province', he said.

Father Fernandez will put in many hours of his stay for serious reflection and evaluation of the various activities of Don Bosco in the province. 'For us it is a moment of celebration around the Successor of Don Bosco. He has called each of us to be holy', said Father Avin. Father Ralin de Souza will be Rector Major's official translator.

Father Angel Fernandes Artime is the 10th Successor of Don Bosco. He was elected for this office in the 27th General Council of the Salesians in Rome in 2014. Father Fernandez, a Spaniard, was provincial of Leon in Spain (2000-2006), Provincial of South Argentina (2009-2014), and provincial of Seville in Spain in 2014 before he was elected as the General Superior (Rector Major) of the Salesian Congregation in that same year. He is the head of all the Salesian institutes of the Salesians of Don Bosco worldwide. Don Bosco is present today in 132 countries having 15000 institutions.

Salesians came to India in 1906 and started their first institution at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The first institution in Goa was opened at Panjim in 1946. Fr Vincent Scuderi and Fr Joseph Carreno were the pioneers of the place. They first started the Oratory of Don Bosco where the youth would play and pray. Soon the Carpentry was added. Then the primary school, the tailoring classes, the English medium school with 36 students and the four classes of the Portuguese school were the humble beginnings of the work of Don Bosco in Goa. With their printing press, the Salesians published the monthly magazine, 'Oratorio Salesiano' and the 'Aitarachem Vachop', a weekly in Konkani. Father McGlinchey aired a religious program named 'Hora Catolica' on All India Radio.

Today the Salesians have 10 houses in Goa, 3 in Sindhudurg and 6 in Karnataka. Educating youth towards a better future and proclaiming the values of Jesus to all, have been their most important goals. Salesians have 9 schools, 3 Higher Secondaries, 3 National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), a Night School, a Vocational Training institute, a Technical School and a Public Library. Recently they have also entered into the Higher Education with Don Bosco College in Panjim, College of Engineering at Fatorda and a College of Agriculture at Sulcorna.
Salesians look after the street boys, the youth at risk at Paliem-Ucassaim, have boardings for children and a Hostel for men. They are also engaged in social work. They empower women through Self Help Groups and various developmental works through Konkan Development Office at Odxel.

The Salesian Family in the province of Panjim includes four groups started by Don Bosco himself: the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), Salesian Sisters (FMA), Salesian Cooperators and the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA). Don Bosco Past Pupils, Catechist Sisters of Mary Immaculate Help of Christians (SMI), The Disciples (Don Bosco Secular Institute) were the later addition to the family present in the province of Panjim of the total 30 members. The Province of Panjim covers the Konkan region from Ratnagiri to Mangalore, that includes four district of Maharashtra, whole of Goa and eight districts of Karnataka.

On March 30, Father Fernandez will concelebrate the Holy Eucharist with the Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao, Bishop of Sindhudurg Alwyn Barreto and the Salesians of the province on Saturday evening at 6 pm in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.  
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