by BISMumbai Correspondent

MumbaiSalesians have much to rejoice and thank God for on this day, 05 June 2020. MumbaiSalesians' Provincial Father Savio Silveira, Father Adolph Furtado, Father Anthony Pinto [delegates at the GC 28 held at Valdocco-Turin], and Father Wyman Gonsalves [attending the Novice-Masters' Course at UPS Rome] have finally managed to return back to India after the 02-month COVID-19 lockdown-stranded, distress ordeal.

The returning capitulars covered a total of 3686 flight miles, travelling aboard Air-India Flight AI 0122 [VT-ANM B788] from Rome's Leonardo daVinci Fiumicino Airport-Terminal 03, at 20:45 [CEST] on 04 June, with a safe Indian tarmac touchdown at the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport [IGIA]-Terminal 03, Gate 13 at 07:09 [IST], almost 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Post-flight processes/protocols completed, the returning 04 are to be shut-in for a 07-day quarantine in Delhi.

On a day when people across the world observe World Environment Day [to enhance awareness, attention and action for equitable and sustainable development], and World Day against Speciesism [discrimination by treating members of one species as morally more important than members of other species, coined by Richard Ryder a British Psychologist in 1970 with the protest pamphlet 'Speciesism' against animal experimentation], it is significant that Father Silveira [also the Convenor of Don Bosco Green Alliance] and Father Gonsalves [author of Green Mind Over Grey Matter: Ecological Perspectives to Global Environmental Crises] should re-turn back, even as the whole of humanity is looking to re-think, re-focus, re-connect and re-new!

The returning 04 are expected to make the final home touch-down in Mumbai by Friday 12 June, and resume their life in communities eagerly awaiting their arrival.

Coincidentally, 12 June is the World Day Against Child Labour, and also of special significance to the Salesians of Don Bosco, as it was this day in 1954, that Dominic Savio was canonised by Pope Pius XII, making him then the youngest unmartyred saint in the Catholic Church. 12 June also marks the liturgical memorial of the Polish martyrs, Blessed Francis Kesy and his 04 companions, who were members of the Salesian Family, leaders in the Salesian youth center in Poznan, Poland, and were executed by the Nazi occupiers in 1942. Also, it happens to be the 3rd anniversary of the release of Father Gonsalves' monograph, released in 2017 at Divyadaan Nashik.

With the memorial of St. Barnabas the Apostle occurring on 11 June, followed by that of St. Anthony of Padua on 13 June, the MumbaiSalesians can truly sing a hymn of gratitude for their very own apostles [sent on a mission] and amidst the COVID-19, 'lost and found'. Yes, 12 June is just round the corner! Incidentally, 05 June is also the day when Don Bosco was ordained priest at the Church of the Immaculate Conception - Turin in 1841. The workings of God are miraculous, indeed!