by BISMumbai Correspondent

At the closing of Session 03 of the Vatican Council II on 21 November 1964, Pope St. Paul VI, proclaimed Mary be honoured with the title Mother of the Church, “For the glory of the Virgin and our consolation, we proclaim Mary the Most Holy Mother of the Church, that is, the Mother of the whole People of God, both the faithful and the pastors.” In 2018, almost 54 years later, Pope Francis proclaimed that the Monday after Pentecost Sunday every year, and this year, today [01 June 2020] - be observed as the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Church.

The descent of the Holy Spirit, the birth of the Church and the proclamation of the Good News is all about new beginnings. Yet, the story is incomplete without Mary! The 'yes' of Mary followed by a string of 'yeses' all through her life, starting with the Incarnation and right through the Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost establishes Mary as the mother of the Church for if it were not for her cooperation, her nurturing, and her exemplary accompaniment of her Son and the disciples, the Church of service, fellowship and faith would perhaps not exist!

St. Ambrose of Milan was the 1st to use this title. The titel in Latin is Mater Ecclesiae. The official title for this feast day is Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. Pope St. John XXIII used the title in his allocation at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. pope Pope St. John Paul II had a mosaic installed, called Our Lady Mother of the Church. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI retired to a monastery named after her, after stepping down as Pope. In 1980, this title was added to the Litany of Loreto.

Mumbai Salesians' Father Peter Gonsalves' released a tribute of 21 hymns [including translation and adaptation of Italian hymnsfrom the hymnals 'Nella Casa del Padre' (1997) and 'Cantinfesta' (2004) with the permission of 'Elledici', Turin-Italy] to the Mother of Jesus Christ, the world's 1st Christ-bearer. This not-for-profit musical-educational initiative, Marian Collection of 21 recorded hymns along with lyrics and music, is produced by Father Edwin D'souza Director Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna Matunga-Mumbai; executed by Father Joaquim Fernandes - former DirectorTej-Prasarini Don Bosco Communications, and former National Delegate BOSCOM South Asia; with Music Score compiled by Jay Franco, Toronto. ( )

Few MumbaiSalesians also feature as composers - Father Desmond Paes (nos. 15, 17); and Father Ronnie Menezes (n. 3) of happy memory; and Father Peter Gonsalves (nos. 1, 5, 10, 14, 19, 20, 21) The sound design, choir, recording, mixing, and mastering was managed at TejKiran Studios at Matunga-Mumbai, by Amon Daniels [Audio Engineer, Music Arranger, Guitarist/Bassist,Recording Artist and Music Programmer].

The choir of St. John Bosco Church, Borivali alongwith soloists Ella Castellino Atai (Mary!), Sandhya D’Mello (Come O Lord! & Mamma Mary), Priya D'Silva (Thank you Mother Mary), Bosco Rodrigues and ‘Faith & Harmony Inc’ (A Prayer for India), Bryan Rodrigues and Shalini Fernandes (Who is my Mother?), and Rhea Rachel Fernandes (We Bring You Flowers) make this modest attestation to the joy of believing in a God who renews and redeems the world through the generous cooperation of ordinary, insignificant people ready to make His dream a reality in their daily lives - just like Mary. This worthwhile tribute to listen to & sing along on this festivity of Mary Mother of the Church and venture through Unlock 1.0 going way beyond the COVID-19 , accessible on YouTube [].