Members of General council Meet in New Rochelle to Review Salesian Presence at U.N.

01 Aug 2019

by Fr. Tim Zak, SDB | Jakeline Magalhães

(New Rochelle, N.Y. – July 30) – On July 28, some members of the Salesian general council met at the provincial house in New Rochelle to review the Salesian presence at the United Nations. The meeting was coordinated by Fr. Fabio Attard, general councilor for youth ministry. Also present were Bro. Jean Paul Muller, treasurer general, Fr. Guillermo Basañes, general councilor for missions, Fr. George Menamparampil from the Missions Department in Rome, Fr. Thomas Pallithanam, the Salesian representative to the U.N. in New York, Fr. Timothy Zak, Provincial of the U.S. East-Canada Province (SUE), Fr. Mark Hyde and Jaime Correa from Salesian Missions in New Rochelle, Fr. Augustine Baek, newly appointed director for Salesian Missions, and Fr. William Ferruzzi, director of the Salesian community in New Rochelle.

In January 2007, Salesian Missions, Inc., New Rochelle, was approved for consultative status at the U.N. by that body’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Since that time, the Salesians have been able to participate as a non-government organization in discussions and activities in the international forum of the U.N., working to influence policy and advocating for the rights of children and youths.

The agenda for the meeting on July 28 included a report on the processes followed this past year at the Salesian presence at the U.N., a review of protocols and other documents related to this presence, and a consideration of processes and structures to sustain the presence. One of the highlights of this past year was the Salesian participation in “side events” during the High Level Political Forum (see Salesian News, July 25).

Looking ahead to the new pastoral year, the committee (general councilors et al.) recommended improving the communication about the good work being done by Fr. Thomas Pallithanam at the U.N., strengthening the understanding of the importance of advocacy throughout the Congregation, and creating greater synergy between the presence at the U.N., Salesian Missions, the SUE province, and other partners.

The meeting concluded with a festive dinner, with SDB confreres from nearby communities and the Salesian Lay Missioners welcoming the general councilors to the SUE province. (A new batch of SLMs began their orientation on Friday, July 26.)