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Interview with Fr. SAMSON ANTONY SDB, Animatore of ADMA group of Surrey, BC - Canada

First of all, Tell us briefly about yourself.

Where do you come from?

I come from a Salesian parish in India called ‘Our Lady of Lourdes’ (founded about 90 years ago) in Madras/Chennai. Brought up in this Salesian parish, I got to know the Salesians early in my childhood. It is a multicultural and multilingual parish. When I was studying at Don Bosco School, the catechist asked who would like to join the congregation and I said ‘yes’. There, I learned to love Our Mother and care for the poor and abandoned youth.

Something about your history, experience of life and faith?

After my priestly ordination and a short time in India, I went to Tanzania as a missionary and was appointed a philosophy teacher in the Post-novitiate in Moshi. After two years, I returned to India. Then I went to teach philosophy in Sri Lanka. After that, I was back in India, teaching in diocesan seminaries and in many post-novitiates in the 11 Salesian provinces in India.

Later, I was asked to help out at the catacombs of San Callisto in Rome for two years. After that, I went to Scotland to study psychology and then for some courses in UPS in Rome while I was serving at the catacombs.

After that, I went to Palermo, a city full of immigrants, where I was asked to help them out for five years. During that period, I had the chance to do my doctorate in psychology in UNIPA. After 11 and a half years in Italy, I was given the opportunity to come to Canada to Surrey in 2017 and now I am serving this Salesian province.

And now let’s turn to the ADMA...

How has the Association (ADMA) developed in your province/region?

In Chennai, in a Salesian parish, the pastor was enthusiastic about ADMA. That’s where I got in touch with the Association. Later, many parishes in my mother province started ADMA.

In Canada, however, ADMA was little known. In the parish where I am now, there was a small group of Alumni of Don Bosco. Their wives wanted to join in the prayers and activities and thus they formed a ADMA group though there was no official recognition. When I came here, I made them understand what ADMA really was.

In 2021, we received the letter of erection of the ADMA group, and in 2022, we made a lot of preparation. Though many people signed up, expressing their interest in the ADMA, during the training sessions only 22 people came for the programme and got the guidance from the ADMA Primary and a few Salesian animators from US. I was particular that the first aspirants have a solid training. Eventually, on the 24th May, 2022, 17 took the promise, all young adults among whom a few were married (there are also some couples). There are now 27 people going through the training to become ADMA members. They are all adults. We would like to involve more young people.

The province of our group is British Columbia.

How do you experience your relationship with other groups in the Salesian Family?

Our Salesian Parish has many groups belonging to the Salesian Family: Cooperators, Alumni, ADMA. The FMA are there across the street. We have a big youth center, 2 schools (elementary and primary) and a regional high school.

When we have a meeting, everyone comes. There is a big gathering of the Salesian Family (as you can see on our website On our website, you can also get up-to-date information about ADMA and other groups in the parish.

All Salesian celebrations are organized and held together.

Thinking about the future, what ideas and plans do you have to preserve faith among people and to promote love for Eucharistic Jesus and for Mary?

We have many activities in our parish to promote faith: we visit families, the hospital, the homes for the elderly etc. During these visits, we always bring the Blessed Sacrament to people. We have an evangelization called ‘Gospel Roads’ and many activities for youth groups. It’s a vibrant parish!

There is a 24-hour Adoration chapel in our church. Parishioners are given a ‘code’ with which they can enter the church at any time, even at night.

There are also many volunteers who help with their time and money.

And for the youth?

There are many youth groups, particularly ‘Gospel Roads’. The teachers at the school too are very young who can relate to the students in a familiar way. We also have a youth choir. There are many altar boys. The children too are included and they are happy to be participants.


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