by BISMumbai Correspondent

"Dear friends, benefactors and clients of the Shrine, I am glad to announce to you that the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna is going digital,in the light of the pandemic and as we look to living the 'new normal' spiritually," said Shrine Rector Father Edwin D'Souza, inviting the devotees of Don Bosco's Madonna across the globe to participate in the Sunday Eucharist from within the comfort of their homes, with family and loved ones.

On Sunday 19 July, the 1st 'live Mass' was broadcast on the Mumbai Salesians' YoutTube Channel, with Mumbai Salesian Provincial Father Savio Silveira inviting the faithful saying, "my dear friends, welcome to this Sunday Eucharist, this inaugural Eucahrist, as this Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna goes into the digital space." He further congratulated Father D'Souza and his team for taking this very significant and necessary step of coming closer to the devotees of the Madonna. Notching up over 5, 500 views, thai inaugural Sunday Eucahrist is just the 1st of many more spiritual services to be broadcast live.

Speaking to BISMumbai, Father D'Souza says, "this is just the beginning. There are many more spiritual services on the anvil. Slowly, but steadily, the Shrine will gather devotees of the Madonna in the digital space, just as it has been doing all these many years in the physical space. People have been giving me feedback and messaging me from across the world, especially our benefactors and well-wishers with congratulatory notes." Letting in on the future plans to unfold, Father D'Souza says, " yes, Sunday Masses definitely. There are also plans afoot to live-stream from the main Shrine." Prodded on to divulge some more details, he adds, "the Perpetual Novena to Mary Help of Christians on Saturdays is something that all our devotees would very much like. Also, there is a plan to celebrate Masses in the vernacular in the near future."

In October 1844, alluding to the dream he had at a very uncertain time of the transfer of the oratory to Valdocco in Turin, Don Bosco had reportedly said, "...I saw a beautiful and high Church. An orchestra, an instrumental and vocal music invited me to sing mass. Inside that church was a white band, in which it was written in large letters: HIC DOMUS MEA, INDE GLORIA MEA.“ Don Bosco later went on to build a majestic Basilica of Mary Help of Christians at the very spot marked out in the dream. Likewise, it is the fervent hope, prayer and dream of Father D'Souza, that just as the Shrine at Matunga as envisioned by Father Aurelius Maschio of revered memory, has been a beacon of hope for those in despair, the Shrine in the digital space will transcend physical barriers and accommodate a greater number of faithful in the virtual space. HIC DOMUS MEA, INDE GLORIA MEA [this is my house, from here my glory shall go forth].