By Aliester D’souza & Blany Pinto for BIS Mumbai

The excitement and expectancy from the break of dawn on 09 February 2020, transformed into smiles, good cheer and joy without bounds, as the parents of the Don Bosco Lonavla apostolic boys and aspirants started pouring in to a warm and welcome.

The first part of the morning was 'open day', with the parents being handed the results of the second unit test, to get a proper picture of the academic progress of their sons. Elation for those who excelled, and disappointment for those who missed the pass mark, was an observer's treat.. Rector Father Blany Pinto, presided over the concelebrated Eucharist, inviting all to be the salt and light in the world. After the homily, 11 of the aspirants were walked down the aisle by their parents walked down the aisle in procession and submitted their applications for admittance to the pre-novitiate. Some of those whose parents could not be present were accompanied by the Salesians. The community prayed over them with a special blessing pronouncement, even as the meaningful liturgical animation and zestful singing aided prayerful participation.

Post-Eucharist, the parents proceeded to the refectory for a sumptuous lunch, as the 27-member Bosco Brass Band, regaled the parents with 'We Shall Overcome', 'O When the Saints' and ‘Aashiyan' from the Hindi film Barfi. Proud and delighted with the wonderful display under the baton of Cleric George Nathanael, the parents applauded and cheered their sons.

Thanks be to God, it was a day filled with His grace and blessings for the Salesian community of Don Bosco Lonavla.