The much awaited Conference of the Asia-Pacific English Speaking World (CAP-ESW) Circumscriptions on Pauline Mission Among People of Different Faiths and Cultures had an exciting and colourful start today at the Alberione Hall, Mumbai, India. The atmosphere was ecstatic and the air was thick with enthusiasm and hope as participants from six countries (USA, Australia, Philippines, Japan, S. Korea and India) along with members of local community in Mumbai, and many invitees from the Pauline Family joined the inaugural function on 14th February 2017 at 9 am.
The program began with a beautiful dance by the Novices of the Daughters of St Paul, after which, the Major Superiors of the participating Circumscriptions lit the traditional Indian lamp and inaugurated the conference. Fr Michael Raj, the Provincial Superior of India-Nigeria-Great Britain-Ireland Province, in his welcome address highlighted the importance of fine-tuning our mission according to the signs of the times and especially in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-faith situation, so as to make ourselves relevant to the people of our country. He further reminded the participants that “the scope of our seminar precisely is to initiate, sustain, strengthen and promote organization and collaboration especially in our apostolate among circumscriptions and among Congregations and Institutes of the Pauline Family”.
All participating Circumscription representatives were then personally welcomed by members of the local community of Mumbai and the Provincialte, presenting each a shawl, keeping up with the culture and tradition of India. Fr Celso Godilano, the General Councillor and the President of the Seminar, read the message of the Superior General who warmly greeted all the participants and wished them a fruitfulseminar. He reminded the participants that “a seminar of this nature and with such relevant theme together with such a wide participation from all the circumscriptions of the CAP-ESW Region is a beautiful opportunity for you to reflect together, to listen to one another and to look forward to identify and formulate new initiatives oriented to people of other faiths and cultures in a spirit mutual collaboration and support among your various circumscriptions”.
The short yet meaningful opening ceremony, meticulously planned and executed by the members of the host country,was concluded with a vote of thanks by Fr Jose Paul Chittinappilly, the Superior of the local community, Mumbai.