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Fr.Maria Arokiam
Regional Councillor for South Asia

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The Disciples in Evangelization
01-Oct-12

Sunita and Anita are two “Disciples” – secular sisters belonging to the Don Bosco Secular Institute of “The Disciples”, founded by Fr. Joe D’Souza SDB. They have been in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh for the past 15 years, in a small rented house. They take Jesus literally and seriously. Jesus sent his disciples two by two to announce the Good News – that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand – to the villages and towns. His disciples were to stay with the people, eat what they get, own no property and not force their message on others. That is what these disciples have been doing, and with what success! The people of the area – all of whom are Hindus – love them and consider them part of their families. They are called upon to visit them, pray for them and bless them. The Salesians of the place are proud of them.
When I was recently on canonical visit to the Salesian Community of Kullu (near Manali) I met these sisters. Unassuming as they always are, I was surprised at the evangelical efficacy of their “presence” among the people of other religions – Hindus and Buddhists. Jesus was a genius. He knew that the Kingdom of God does not necessarily grow with grand institutions and flashy apostolates. It is important to recognize its humble presence among the people already. It grows like the little mustard seed. It transforms the dough like the little yeast, without noise, without show. We do not see it happening. But the seed and the yeast are powerful. They never go without their effect. Jesus knew that the Kingdom penetrates the world that way. God is present subtly but surely!

When I met these sisters and heard about their apostolate and the fruits they have produced in this tourist town, without much ado about it, I was moved. They own no institutions and they have no power and no possessions to safeguard. They have not been converting anyone either. Yet Jesus is made known and he is being invited into the families of the Hindus! I thought it was an experience that can make all of us think, as it has made me think. We are going to have a Synod of Bishops in Rome and a Year of Faith in the entire world for Evangelization, and New Evangelization. The old method, the method of Jesus, it seems to me, is still the most efficacious. The experience of these sisters, an experience that several of them are replicating in many parts of India and the world, proves it yet again. We are proud to have such humble evangelizers in the Salesian Family.

Maria Arokiam Kanaga
Regional
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