by Cleric Jittin Mathew for BISMumbai

Unconquerable with the passing vicissitudes of time, continuing to exemplarily endure the years, seasons and many other moments with constant flame of love, Father Aloysius Furtado, fondly called 'Alu', celebrated 06 decades of fidelity and perseverance.

On 24 May, 60 long years ago, a teenager professed for the 1st time to remain obedient, poor and chaste 'for the greater glory of God' as a Salesian of Don Bosco, after completing the mandatory year-long novitiate training at Yercaud, in Salem District of Tamil Nadu, under the blessing and protection of Mary Help of Christians and St. John Bosco. Reminiscing the good old days, Father Furtado shares, “We need to be witnesses to the commitment and fidelity of God’s love for the young. Thank you, dear and loving God, for this life of love I have been given for the past 25, 50, and 60 years living as a Salesian of Don Bosco. Today I count the blessings which the Lord has showered on me - my Salesian vocation, Salesian communities, family, and friends; and all the dear people whom I have walked with throughout my ministry. May God continue to provide me with good health so I can be of service in bringing God’s message to his people, to lead me in holiness, and to be a sign and bearer of God’s love to the marginalized youth. I am very grateful to God and each day as I go on living, I feel more indebted to his love, his blessings, his graces, and care for me.” When asked to share something to the young Salesians in initial formation, Father Furtado says, "it has been a jolly good time, despite the struggles. Yes, a lot many sacrifices will be needed, as I have experienced as a young Salesian. Those were days when we were a young province and tremendous amount of hardwork has gone into building up the Province of Bombay. However, I promise the young Salesians, that God will surely bless you if you continue to work for the greater glory of God."

Known to be a person who lives simply, cares deeply, loves generously, and speaks kindly to and about others, prays steadily, and is open and willing to do God’s will, Father Furtado is especially renowned for his service among the young through his gifted music and choir ministry. He is recognised for his years of selfless sacrifice and joyful service, contributing to the Salesian Congregation and the Church, especially in his tenures as Parish Priest.

Congratulating the Diamond Father Alu, Father Corlis Gonsalves-Rector Bosco Boys' Home [BBH] said, "Alu's commitment, dedication, and answering God’s call to serve the young the Don Bosco way reminds us that jubilees are milestones on the journey of life and jubilarians serve as reminders of God’s fidelity all through. He has tried to spread the fragrance of God’s love, compassion, mercy, joy, and healing to people in the various places and communities he has ministered to. Every person has a vocation, a call from God, a call to holiness. The challenge is to identify your call, which is very personal to each one. Father Alu exemplifies this with his life and commitment."

Father Furtado renewed his Religious Vows on 24 May 2020, saying, "Praise the Lord for all His wonders to me!” for it is an accomplishment to celebrate 60 years of living the evangelical vows, which entails quite an adventurous journey as a son of Don Bosco.