Dr. Fabio Attard

Key Note Speakers

Dr. Fabio Attard is the General Councillor for Youth Ministry, Salesians of Don Bosco International Headquarters, Rome. He was born on 23rd March 1959 at Gozo and professed as a Salesian on the 8th of September 1980 in Dublin where he made his novitiate. He received the diaconate on the 11th of July 1986 and priesthood on the 4th of July the following year, in Rome. He holds the responsibility since 2008 – till date.

Rector in Sliema, Malta, of “St Alphonsus” first, and then of “St Patrick”, he received his doctorate in Moral Theology at the “Alphonsianum” in Rome.

He was the Rector of the Institute of Pastoral Formation, which he founded in 2005 in the Archdiocese of Malta; he participated in the 26th General Chapter as delegate of the Province of Ireland-Malta and was elected Councillor for Youth Ministry. He was the Stalwart and the brain behind the new Youth Ministry Frame of Reference. He is a thinker and strongly believes in Reflections before action.

Dr. Maria Arokiam is the Regional Councillor for South Asia in the General counsel of the Society of the St. Francis De Sales. He was born on 4 October 1956 at Varadarajanpet, Trichy, India. He entered the novitiate of Yercaud, made his first profession on 24 May 1976 and his perpetual profession in Madras on the same date in 1982. He was ordained priest in Rome in 1986. He holds the responsibility from 2008 – till date. He has a Doctorate in Philosophy at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.

His research was, trying to translate his faith in the categories of Indian philosophy and religion, following the example of Swami Vivekananda who tried to express his Indian and Hindu culture in the Western philosophical, cultural and religious categories. ”In this cross pollination of philosophical and religious categories, we can also work for religious amity, mutual understanding and harmony”, he affirmed as the purpose of his study and publication.
”Man without Frontiers” is a critical study of the philosophical anthropology of Swami Vivekananda. Through this well researched and meticulously written book of 532 pages he has attempted to offer a critical study of the entire philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, with the aim of fostering Hindu-Christian friendship and dialogue.

Born in Mumbai (India) in 1954, obtained his Doctorate in Theology (Sacrae Theologiae Doctor), with Specialization in Youth Ministry and Catechetics, at Salesian Pontifical University, Rome (1993), where currently he is Full Professor of Practical Theology. His areas of interest and research are: inculturation, interculturality, interreligious dialogue, human rights, religious education, youth ministry, migration, etc.

Noteworthy among his publications are: Ecclesial praxis of inculturation. Toward an empirical-theological theory of inculturizing praxis (LAS, Roma 1997); Faith and culture in Catholic schools. An educational-pastoral research on inculturation in the Tamil/Indian cultural context, (Deepagam, Chennai 1999). The recent volume Religion and Conflict. Religious beliefs and conflict attribution among Christian, Muslim and Hindu students in Tamil Nadu, India (Brill, Leiden 2014) is in collaboration with professors Chris Hermans and Carl Sterkens of the Radboud University Nijmegen. Besides editing together with other scholars seven volumes in the area of practical theology and youth ministry, he has published over sixty articles in specialized journals and edited books.

Having directed or participated in international empirical research projects such as Religious experience of youth in Italy (1994-1996), Religion and Conflict (2003-2014), Religion and Human Rights (2005-2013), Teaching Religion in a multicultural European Society (2006-2009), and Believing and communicating (2009-2016), he is presently engaged together with colleagues in the research projects: Religion and Human Rights 2.0 (2012-2019) and Pedagogy, Spirituality and Leadership in Salesian schools in India (2016-2018).