BIS #6146 MumbaiSalesians' remember patriarch Fr Aurelius Maschio

by BISMumbai Correspondent

On 09 September 1996, a little before noonday, MumbaiSalesians' patriarch Father Aurelius Maschio passed away silently and serenely. The 24th anniversary of his death on 09 September 2020, was celebrated with fond remembrance at an animated Holy Eucharist and with a brief prayer-moment at his tomb at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians Matunga, where he was interred as per his desire, on Thursday 12 September 1996.

Affectionately known as the man who embodied 'Love without Frontiers' [a biographical sketch of Father Maschio by Father Antonio Alessi], Father Maschio was the far-sighted pioneer and visionary man of God who conceptualised and erected the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna and its sprawling complex at Matunga-Mumbai. He was instrumental in setting-up and founding several orphanages, shelters and homes for the underprivileged. He was also the founding -editor of the monthly Don Bosco's Madonna through which he promulgated the devotion to Mary Help of Christians, to Don Bosco and to St. Dominic Savio among the Catholic families in India and abroad.

MumbaiSalesians' Provincial Father Savio Silveira had in his earlier circular, asked that the Salesians of Don Bosco working across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan,"emulate this great son of Don Bosco, in whose footsteps our province confidently walks today." "While Fr Maschio was a farsighted visionary and a bold builder, he was equally deeply rooted in Salesian culture and values. In all his expansion endeavours of Salesian works, he kept his focus on poor and needy youngsters, and never compromised on Salesian principles. In that, I believe, lies his true greatness – a man who could think far, and think Salesian!" (Cf. Provincial Circular, Province of St. Francis Xavier INB, SS/C-6/2020/02 p. 4-5).

Preparing for the Golden Jubilee in 2022, a time for the renewal of MumbaiSalesians, the Salesian Family and the Salesian Ministry, Father Maschio is remembered with affection, as one of the primary towering pioneers who helped initiate a bright new chapter in the history of the Salesian mission in Western India.