BIS #6135 Fr Bernard Fernandes - Educating with the Heart of Don Bosco

Every 1st Thursday of each month is dedicated to Vocations and celebrated as Vocation Thursday by MumbaiSalesians. BISMumbai will carry a Vocation Article every 1st Thursday, as part of the 'vocation animation'. Father Bernard Fernandes [Principal Don Bosco Matunga] narrates his vocation experience.

1. Where and how do you find fulfilment in your Salesian vocation today?

Right from the start I was inclined towards Don Bosco’s mission in Salesian schools, and I always wished to be a teacher – Maths teacher for that. Right enough it is in education and in the teaching of Mathematics that I have found much fulfilment. Along the way, I was attracted to music, and I used my talent at guitar, baritone, trumpet and the organ to train youngsters and also got them to integrate study and discipline too. The many musicals at Lonavla, St. Joseph’s Wadala and now at Don Bosco Matunga are other useful equipment in my armoury that helps me to be effective in my educative ministry. Sports also was my love, and the skills that I acquired at many different games as an aspirant and Salesian proved extremely beneficial during my presence with youngsters.

2. The role of prayer in living your Salesian vocation today.

This for me is a difficult question because though prayer should be my first priority, I find it difficult to enjoy the quiet moments in prayer that are so very necessary. May be this is because of the active ministry and the role of a Principal that takes away my energy and time. Don Bosco told us to make work our prayer, and it is important that we lift our mind to God in prayer in our busy moments. A silent ‘Hello’ to Jesus and Mary, every time I pass by our chapel or the Shrine are some ways I entrust my work and worries to the Lord. Meditation, the Eucharist and the Rosary are important moments of the day for me.

3. What would be your advice to someone who wants to become a Salesian?

Be true to yourself. Do not worry as to what will happen to your family or your career. God is a Provident Father and He will take care of these our worries and concerns. Equip yourself with good learning and skills. They will come in use some time or the other. Above all, trust our Blessed Mother, Mary Help of Christians. She will surely show you what miracles are!