By Aliester D’souza for BISMumbai

The community of Don Bosco Lonavla was all decked up with pomp and festivity for the feast of their Father and Founder St John Bosco on 31 January. Animated by the aspirants of Std XI with the theme 'Don Bosco - The Revolutionary Dreamer', the eventualities of this solemn day were certainly far from ordinary.

The day began with solemn morning prayers animated by Avil Correa. After breakfast the boys had a boisterous time at the playground with a series of cricket and football matches. Just before lunch, the community gathered for the blessing of the basketball court which was refurbished during the last few weeks. Present for the inauguration, apart from the community, were three representatives from the past pupils, Anil Noronha, Cajetan D'Souza and Gilroy Miranda, members of the domestic staff and the construction workers. Father Rector, thanked all of them profusely making a special mention of the benefactors - most of whom were past pupils of DB Lonavla. After the blessing, the three past pupils inaugurated the court by cutting the ribbon. When asked to express his feelings, Noronha said that the batch of '79 were eager to donate to the makeover of the court. In his own words, '...our purse strings and hearts simply opened' when an appeal was made by Father Crispino D'Souza. 'It was a God-sent nurse the very same concrete court that we 1980', he adds.

At 6:00 pm, as a fitting thanksgiving to the Revolutionary Dreamer, the community gathered around the Eucharistic Table. Also present were the Salesian sisters and their communities, the teaching staff and their families, past pupils, Salesian Cooperators and their families and the domestic staff. In an inspiring homily, the main celebrant Father Glenford Lowe sdb, spoke of the traits of 'Bosconians' that the aspirants could take home with them from their stay at DB Lonavla. Whether Salesians or not, DB Lonavla will always be a home for them for this is where they have learnt and grown the values of the Salesian system. Cajetan D’souza remarked, “It was a reminder of the cherished old days I spent in DB Lonavla. It was liturgically and spiritually uplifting. I wished more of our classmates were present for the festive Mass.” After the Holy Mass, a festive meal was shared with all those present. The day ended just as well as it began - with thankful hearts.

Sure it was a fitting tribute to the Saint of the Young, St John Bosco. Amidst all the flashes of art, music and celebration there was also a lesson to be garnered in generosity, simplicity and a childlike homecoming.