BIS #6224 Garden of Light & Va Lucis at Don Bosco Lonavla

by Cleric Jansen Vaz with Father Blany Pinto for BISMumbai

On 25 November, a day when the Salesians of Don Bosco celebrate the memory of Mama Margaret, and pray for the deceased parents of the Salesians, was the day of solemn blessing and inauguration of the 'garden of light' containing the Via Lucis and the names of the deceased Salesians who laboured in Lonavla.

The brainchild of MumbaiSalesians' vocation animator Father Velasli Bandya and Brother Aliester D'souza, the entire area, including the tombs of Father Cajetan Lobo, Father Mauro Casarotti and Brother P.M. Thomas, was beautified with the clearing of shrubs and relaying of a garden and plants.

MumbaiSalesians' Provincial Father Savio Silveira blessed the garden and quoted nonagenarian Father Mathew Thalanany who had remarked, "today is the feast of the grandmother of our congregation." He further added, "it is so appropriate since, Mama Margaret being the mother of our father Don Bosco, is naturally our grandmother."

The process of clearing, cleaning, relaying and beautifying of the space fo rthe 'garden of light' started in September 2020 with the dedicated effort of the confreres, 04 aspirants, 03 English Academy students and the support staff of Don Bosco Lonavla.

Via Lucis or the Way of Light, modeled on the 'way of the cross' was first developed in the 1990s by Father Sabino Palumbieri, a Salesian professor of anthropology at the UPS in Rome, to emphasize the positive, hopeful aspect of the Christian faith. The 'garden of light' with a commemorative marble stone, is a reminder of the Salesians who have gone on to enjoy in the garden of the Lord, interceding that the great dream of Don Bosco may come alive.

Brother Jerome Mendonca said "it is good that we still remember our roots while we are reaping the fruits." Father James Nigrel said, “this garden provides an opportunity to relive the past.” Father Ivan deSouza remarked, “this concept of the garden of light connecting with the confreres already in light - the light of Christ - is very inspiring.”