Diploma Course for Lay Salesian Collaborators begins at Pune
The participants of the first Lay Salesian Collaborators Course with the animating team

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Diploma Course for Lay Salesian Collaborators begins at Pune

17 July 2023
- Br. Aliester D'souza (INB)

A Diploma Course for Lay Salesian Collaborators commenced on July 15 at the Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Park, Pune. The team headed by Father Ian Doulton with Sr Teresa Joseph, Father Vivian D’Souza and Father Valerian Pereira put the programme together and was assisted by the students of Theology. The current module concludes on July 23. 

The Diploma course, the first ever course of its kind, is offered to those holding leadership positions in the institutions of the Province of Bombay. Sixteen members from six Salesian institutions are participating in the programme.

The inaugural session began with Father Savio Silveira, Provincial of Bombay, unveiling the picture of Mamma Margaret, the first Lay Salesian collaborator. Don Bosco had many teachers, and he admired and cherished them immensely, but none did he revere more than his dear mother – Margaret Occhiena, affectionately known as Mamma Margaret. She played a seminal role in the lives of Don Bosco and his boys.

Father Doulton welcomed everyone and emphasised the obvious: Mamma Margaret was the first Lay Salesian! In his address to the participants, Father Silveira touched on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of the Diploma Course for Lay Salesian collaborators. He emphasised, “Our Mission is that we are called to be signs and bearers of God’s love for the young.” He added, “This programme will not be just for this province. We intend to make it available to the Lay Salesian collaborators in Salesian India.” 

The inaugural programme concluded with a special prayer prepared for the occasion, which was prayed by all the participants, bringing it to an apt conclusion.

The methodology adopted for the course includes theoretical and practical sessions showcasing the Salesian Educational System, the Preventive System, the Rector Major’s Strenna for 2023, and an appropriate exposé on understanding teenagers who are the primary ‘field of work’. A virtual guided pilgrimage to Becchi, Castelnuovo, and surroundings would be followed by drawing up lines of action for today and the challenges and strategies to live the Preventive System in their Salesian institutions, their homes and their lives. 

The programme is expected to be a leaven in Salesian India and South East Asia, to enthuse many lay members who work “shoulder to shoulder” with the Salesians to celebrate their Salesian Vocation in a new and more effective manner in all their settings.


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