Wednesday 28 December 2016

Not called "to make an impact"


Last night Mildred and Ian Lobo were here at Zosvaddo with their kids. The conversation veered around to the questionnaire / survey being conducted by the Salesians in India (as part of the preparation for the Team Visit in 2017). They said they answered Yes to some questions and No to many others. The Yes was most about the kind of services, educational, technical, professional, that Salesians offer well, in their own experience, mostly in the city of Mumbai. The No was, I think, to whether the Salesians are able to guide young people and accompany them in the faith, in their human growth, and so on. To "whether you are doing what you are really supposed to do," is what I remember this young couple saying.

I could not help remember my being interviewed by Conrad Saldanha. When, at the end of the interview, I asked him what he thought of the Salesians in India, his reply was careful and indirect, but very significant: you are not called to compete with the great industrial houses or the great educational institutions; you are not called to "make an impact." For me, the central question is discernment: what is God calling you to do?

I learned that Conrad used to be a Jesuit, and that he left - after a good discernment - in the early years of his religious life, before ordination.  

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