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Rector Major amidst the FMA of Shillong Province

The provincial house Auxilium Shillong of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province was tremendously blessed with the second visit of the 10th successor of Don Bosco on the 29 October 2022 at 3:40pm. Rector Major was in Shillong for the centenary celebration of the arrival of the first eleven Salesian pioneers to Northeast India. The Sisters from various communities of the Province, the School Band, hostellers, pre-aspirants and the co-workers of Auxilium Convent Nongthymmai gathered in the campus to welcome the Rector Major Fr. Àngel Fernàndez Artime SDB. Along with him, Fr. Biju Michael Pulianmackal, Regional Superior for South Asia, Fr. Paul Olphindro Lyngkot the Provincial of Shillong Province, and the other Provincials and dignitaries were warmly welcomed.

The welcome ceremony commenced from the school campus led by the School band, where they played to the tune of “We thank you O Lord for Don Bosco”. The pre-aspirants through a Khasi dance then ushered the Rector Major into the residence. On reaching the portico of the house, a Khasi medley called “Phawar” was chanted by Sisters of Nongthymmai community. The revered Guest was then taken to the Chapel for a prayer a blessing song “I am so blessed was sung by the Pre-aspirants”. In his short message to them, Fr. Angel invited them to daily ask the Lord in prayer: What is your plan for me? He encouraged them to always carry Jesus in their heart.

Meanwhile, all the Sisters gathered in the hall for a meeting with the Rector Major. In the hall, Sr. Elizabeth George gave and official welcome and thanked him for his timely encouragement, and in particular for the gift of the yearly Strenna. At the outset of the talk, Rector Major invited the Sisters to thank God with humility for the many vocations received and encouraged that they must have a broad vision and big heart for the mission. The Rector Major was not hesitant even in expressing his fears if his confreres and sisters look for a life of comfort and security. An important exhortation for vocation campaign the Rector Major said is a happy and cheerful life. Recalling the words of Pope Francis, “Do you have the ardor of the sheep?” The head of the Salesian Family as speaking to his own children immediately explained that getting the smell of the sheep means that the Sisters need to feel the sufferings of the poor, of the single parent, of the young people. Lastly and most important he recommended the Sisters that Fraternity should be lived in the community adding that it is the greatest evangelical witness which needs to be live earnestly. A blessing of Mary Help of Christians was imparted upon the Sisters and novices present and the entire Province.

After the session of Rector Major, the Rector Major conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sr. Linda Horne presented by FMA India since she was not able to receive it at the centenary celebrations of FMA India at Auxilium College Katpadi (INM).

The Sisters deemed the visit as a moment of grace having Don Bosco amidst them in the person of Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, the tenth successor of Don Bosco. The first visit of Fr. Àngel Fernàndez to the community was on 30 October 2019.

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