Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, General Councillor of the SDBs for the area of South Asia, paid his first official visit to Nashik yesterday. Apart from meeting the confreres and staff of the three Salesian houses, he also presided at the evening parish Eucharist at 1900 hrs, and gave a homily. He was welcomed to the parish by the Parish Priest. The congregation was the usual set of daily mass parishioners, with the addition of the Salesians from the campus - though with the First Year Philosophers away for a scout camp, and the Third Year Philosophers out on their summer ministries, the Divyadaan strength was greatly reduced.
Fr Maria Arokiam hails from the Chennai province in South India. He spent 2 years in our province when he did his Master's degree in philosophy at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune. He belongs to the novitiate batch of Fr Falcao. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, having done a dissertation on the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda. Subsequently, he taught at Salesian College, Yercaud, was Vice Provincial of the Chennai Province, Rector of the Interdiocesan Seminary at Poonamallee, and Rector of Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur. He was elected General Councillor in charge of South Asia at the last General Chapter of the Salesians in 2008, thus taking the place of the previous incumbent, Fr Joaquim D'Souza, who is certainly familiar to all of us, having worked here in Nashik as Rector of Divyadaan, and visited us several times as General Councillor.