A Joint Meeting of the Salesian Formation and Youth Pastoral Departments of South Asia was held at Don Bosco Provincial House, New Delhi, September 15- 18, 2009. Rev Fr Francesco Cereda, the General Councilor for Formation, and Rev Fr Fabio Attard, General Councilor for Youth Ministry, animated the sessions, attended by 32 others, including Rev Fr Michael Fernandes (SPCSA Representative), Fr Chrys Saldanha and Fr Dominic Sequeira (from the two departments in Rome), the Formation and Youth Delegates or their Substitutes of all the eleven provinces of South Asia, along with the Regional Delegates for Formation and Youth Pastoral, and secretaries of some of the principal sectors of Salesian youth ministry in India. The presence of all the Vice-Provincials of the Region turned out to be a unique occurrence.
The main topic of discussion was Apostolic Vocations. Joint sessions, alternatively animated by the two departments, were held the first two days. Need for necessary but effective collaboration between vocation promotion and youth ministry was earnestly explored in these sessions in common. The two councilors not only exhibited an amazing degree of understanding of the ground realities in the region, but also offered very valid insights from their vast experience of a world-wide congregation. The two commissions met separately the last two days. DBYA Board benefited greatly from the animation by the team from the Generalate. Issues pertaining to the region were also given enough attention in the deliberations and clarifications. Fr Thomas Koonan, SDB