BIS #6119 Marian Month with Amazon Gift Coupons at Dominic Savio Andheri

Cleric Nevelle Coutinho & Father Ranson D'Souza for BISMumbai

The extraordinary situation of the COVID-19 has severely impacted and changed the way of living of so many people. The St. Dominic Savio Boys' Home commenced the 'online' boarding even as the lockdown continued, on WhatsApp groups, Google Classrooms and Google Meet platforms. Even spiritual activities like the mass, novenas, rosary, etc., were organised online. The traditional 'Marian Month' too was organized online by the practical trainees, Clerics Nevelle Coutinho and Vinay Ganava, along with past pupil and collaborator Hadyn Dias.

The inauguration of the Marian month took place on July 19 2020 with a short prayer service after which Rector, Father Brian Moras, declared the Marian month open and assured everyone the protection of Mother Mary during the disastrous time of the pandemic. The boarders were divided into teams and their leaders were installed ceremoniously. The programme for the entire month was then dispatched, after which they met in their groups to organize their respective teams under the guidance of the organizers.

The boarders came together twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays to participate in the Marian singing competition, drawing competition, poem competition, digital poster competition and a quiz competition, for which prizes were in the form of Amazon Gift Coupons. Most of the boarders participated enthusiastically in all the competitions. The culmination was the Marian Get-Together on 14 August, wherein the boarders participated in online games. One of the boarders remarked, “though we are not in the boarding physically, I still feel we are all together.”

A solemn online Eucharistic celebration on 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption was celebrated by ViceRector and Administrator, Father Shekar Mariadas, with the Savion family wishing each other in the comments space during the live mass. Those who could not make it in the morning for the live mass were also sent the link. On 16 August, the 205th birth anniversary of Don Bosco, saw the announcement of the Marian Month competition winners. Father Moras gave the final message, after which the boarders met in their teams with the organizers for an evaluation of the Marian Month. One of the boarders during the evaluation remarked, “This is the first time I have experienced a Marian Month so different and it was wonderful to be part of this celebration." Indeed the Marian Month 2020 was a unique experience for everyone and who knows it may very well be the only such experience-an experience of a lifetime!