Articles For Meeting

South Asia Youth Ministry Delegates and Network Heads Meeting: New Delhi Province

  • 20 June 2024

Report of the YMD and All Network Heads Meeting: New Delhi

The first meeting of all the youth ministry delegates and Network Heads meeting was conducted at the Salesian Provincial House of New Delhi, dedicated to the Good Shepherd from 10 to 12 June 2024. It was organized by Don Bosco Youth Animation, South Asia (DBYA-SA). Theme of the meeting was ‘Strategizing and Collaborating for the youth Ministry’. Fr. Don Bosco Lourdusamy, the Provincial of Chennai Province officially attended the meeting as the new Provincial Incharge of DBYA-SA. Fr. Francesco Pereira from Mumbai province was present for the meeting as the new coordinator of the Education to Faith Dimension. Fr. Paul Olphindro Lyngkot and Fr. Sivy Koroth who were the former incharge of the DBYA and Education of Faith Dimension were thanked for their commitment and selfless service to the team. There were 21 participants for this meeting.

The Meeting began with the solemn Holy Eucharist presided over by Fr. Vijay Soy, the Vice-Provincial of New Delhi. The inaugural programme commenced at 8.45 am with a prayer service guided by Fr. Shilanand Kerketta, the Youth Ministry Delegate of Delhi Province. Fr. Varghese Palatty, the Rector of the Provincial House cordially welcomed the participants to New Delhi province and for the meeting. The energetic young people of Salesian Youth Movement of Don Bosco Yuva Kendara Nazafgar welcomed all the delegates with their melodious songs.

Fr. Maria Charles sdb who is presently the Secretary of Education and Culture Department of CBCI and former Director of DBYA-SA, delivered his keynote address highlighting the importance of systematic and planning mentality while perusing the youth ministry taking into account the present youth scenario and following the direction given in the Frame of Reference of Salesian Youth Ministry. He notified to the participants about keeping abreast with the current developing youth scenario in order to be effective in making interventions in their lives. He also emphasized on the theme of collaborating with the Church’s youth ministry instead of having competition with it as it is perceived at times.

Fr. John Parankimalil, the Secretary of SPCSA presented about the youth situation analysis of North East India taking into account his own forty-four-year long experience in working with the school and college students. He highlighted on the various issues faced by the young minds. They become victims of drug addiction, sexual abuse, negative impact of social media, lack of motivation and depression. Hence, the Salesians are called to make effective interventions in their lives. This forum is a launching pad for making the difference in collaborating with all stakeholders especially in South Asia region.

Fr. Patrick Lepcha, DBYA Director focused on the importance of mission entrusted to us in the book known as “Frame of Reference”. We are called to be faithful in implementing the mission of this valuable book which is the grammar of Salesian Youth Ministry. The Salesian youth ministry is therefore a systematic activity of the educative and pastoral community which is motivated by a charismatic mission. It seeks to enable young people to grow in maturity, in a religious vocation, and to communion with Jesus Christ in the Church. Christ is seen as the one who gives the fullness of life and is the basis of this fullness. It helps young people, by means of educational activities (All Networks) to become ‘upright citizens and good Christians’. Hence, we have a great and effective role to play for the young people of South Asia Region as Youth Ministry Delegates and Network Heads together.

There were presentations by various Dimension Coordinators and Network Heads to the assembly. Every presentation was followed by the open discussion and question hour. The method was effective for all to express and hold a matured discussion. Fr. Don Bosco Lourdusamy during his intervention argued that all youth ministry delegates should in the Provincial Council Team because youth ministry is the heart of the Salesian legacy and charism. He becomes an inevitable part of the council in order to strengthen and carry forward the mission of the province and congregation. He also emphasized on the faithful working on Salesian Educative Pastoral Plan/Project together with the Educative Pastoral Plan of the Educative Pastoral Community and Council. This will surely safe guard and bring longevity to our congregation. He made a clarion call to all the participants about doing the youth ministry with hearts filled with love.

The process continued on the second day also with presentations from the Network Heads and panel discussions on the situations of various sectors of the Salesian Mission in the South Asia. Later in the evening, the assembly had a discussion on the concerns and dreams on how to strategize and collaborate for the youth ministry. The assembly has come out with a way forward:

  • Have improved connectivity and sharing of information between Youth Ministry Delegates, Dimension Coordinators and Network Heads. All the proposals made during the meetings are to be shared. YMD can take them up the in the respective councils and dimension and commission meetings.
  • The need for dedicated people in the dimensions and sectors.
  • The issues that are articulated in the statutes should be implemented. The Guidelines given in the Frame of Reference to be respected.
  • Collate together the resources of all dimensions, sectors and networks and share with respective departments for the purpose of animation.
  • All Youth Ministry Delegates could be a member of the Provincial Council and should be included in all the meetings of dimensions and allied sectors.
  • Coming for meetings have given better understanding of Youth Ministry

On the final day, Fr. Biju Michael, the Regional Councillor for South Asia address the assembly via a prerecorded video message emphasizing on the carrying forward the Salesian Mission through SEPP and EPP and EPC as indicated in the Frame of Reference. He also illustrated on the role and responsibilities of the Youth Delegate in the province especially focusing on the animation of the communities. He has made an urgent appeal to DBYA team to make serious reflections on the current youth scenario and come out with a standard research book on the youth situation. This has been endorsed and accepted by all the participants.

The participants engaged in fruitful discussions on the SYMFEST 2024 which will be held in October in Chennai Province. The assembly has made suggestions the themes for the SYMFEST and the modalities of the youth gathering. This gathering is a time to strengthen and empower Salesian Youth Movement in South Asia region. After the discussion, each youth ministry delegate of various provinces presented their best practices in order to share and inspire each other. It was wonderful to witness the various unique ministries being done for the needy young people of South Asia.

The meeting was brought to conclusion with words of gratitude by Fr. Patrick Lepcha, thanking all the participants for their active presence and effective interactions during the three-day meet at New Delhi. DBYA-SA is indebted to the province of New Delhi for their hospitality and total being a total sponsorship of the meeting. Later in the noon of 12th June, the participants were taken for a historic tour of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s palace), India Gate and Raj Ghat, the resting place of Mahatma Gandhi.

Fr. Patrick Lepcha
DBYA-SA Director