First VDB Aspirants for the Mumbai Province

In a simple yet touching ceremony of Prayer and reflection, two youngsters were initiated to the VDB movement by Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial on May 30, 2009. Also present for the ceremony was Fr Wilfred D’souza. It was truly a historic day for the VDB Presence in Mumbai. Through a power point presentation Fr. Michael explained their identity, secularity, consecration and Saleisianity. There are so many ways of being “Salesian”, myriad ways of being inspired by the example of Don Bosco. We see how two people are looking for an alternative way of following a “vocation”. The words used can be confusing.

A “Volunteer of Don Bosco” (VDB) is a permanent commitment not to be confused with the many young people who generously work as Salesian volunteers before they begin their careers in life. The Volunteers of Don Bosco is a Secular Institute for women. It was founded in Turin in 1917 by the young women who attended the Salesian Sisters Oratory at Valdocco. Today, there are approximately 1,500 women who are members of the Volunteers of Don Bosco. In India we have only 9 VDB’s. They live the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but, unlike members of a religious institute, live out their consecration in the world. They do not live in a community and do not wear any indentifying clothing or insignia. They live out their Salesian vocation within the context of daily life and undertake professional activities according to their interests, abilities and training. It is their vocation and mission to bring the message of Jesus to whatever work or life context they encounter. They work in offices, factories, schools, hospitals and many other work places.