|News From Regional Desk|
| Project Europe – a 6 year balance sheet!
In 10 years, 37 Indians had offered themselves for Project Europe. Eight of these have returned, one has died (Fr.Benjamin Puthota) and 5 temporary offerers too have returned back. Therefore, 23 missionaries are still serving in Western Europe.
The Provinces of Hyderabad (6), Tiruchy (6) and Chennai (7) have been the major contributors followed by Bombay (4), Guwhati (3), Panjim (3) and Bangalore (2). Nation-wise, there are 2 in Belgium, 5 in Hungary, 3 in Austria, 3 in Great Britain, 2 in Ireland, 1 in France, 7 in Italy and 1 in Siberia. There could be some margin of error in these numbers due to lack of information.
Besides those of our Salesian Provinces there has also been substantial contribution of other members of the Salesian Family to Project Europe. Currently there are quite many Indian FMAs working in different countries in Europe. The Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC) have 9 presences in Italy; the Sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI) have 5 presences in Italy and Germany; the Sisters of Maria Auxiliatrix (SMA) have 2 presences in Italy; and the DB Secular Institute of the Disciples (founded by Fr. Joe D’Souza) has about 7 presences in Italy.
Last year as on 31st December 2012, India had 2442 confreres and 131 novices adding upto 2573. This represents an increase of 51 from the previous year. Undoubtedly, India is the fastest growing country in the Salesian World. It is true that we send missionaries to other continents as well and within our own region (Delhi province, Sri Lanka). Nevertheless, our contribution to Project Europe has been minimal: average of just about 2 per province in the last 10 years! Keeping in mind how much European missionaries have contributed to growth of Salesians in India, we could think a little more of helping the congregation in this old continent. Admittedly, it is not easy for Indians to work in Europe. But it is worth trying!
Maria Arokiam Kanaga
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