BIS #6574 Golden and Oak celebrations at Don Bosco Matunga

by Jansi Dharamraj & Father Bernard Fernandes for BISMumbai

"Whatever you do, think of the Glory of God as your main goal," said St. John Bosco.

On 31 January 2022, the Salesian educators and the non-teaching staff of Don Bosco High School and Don Bosco International School Matunga, gathered at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians for the festive Eucharist, to celebrate St John Bosco, the father and the founder of the Salesian congregation.

We had a reason to rejoice for two significant milestone celebrations on this day. The Salesian Mumbai Province celebrates its Golden Jubilee on 31 January 2022. On the same day Don Bosco High School, Matunga completes 80 years. A mention of these events featured in the latest issue of the Examiner (29 Jan–4 Feb) specially dedicated to Salesian works. The editorial runs the story of DBHS Matunga on its Oak anniversary.

MumbaiSalesians Provincial-Father Savio Silveria was the main celebrant along with eight other concelebrants from the two Salesian communities (DBMatunga and Don Bosco Provincial House) on the campus.

Don Bosco High School Principal-Father Bernard Fernandes extended a warm welcome to the gathering. At the introduction to the mass, DBPH Rector-Father Vinod Mascarenhas highlighted the twin celebrations (50 years of the Mumbai Province and 80 years of DBHS Matunga) He reiterated Father Silveira’s message on the two aspects to every jubilee: Memory and Prophecy. We have remembered. DBHS Matunga has spent the last eighty days remembering each of the eighty years through short, well-documented, and brilliantly composed videos. The Salesians of the Province of Bombay have remembered our pioneers and builders by reading the biographies of those who have gone before us and by praying for them. As for prophecy, the pandemic and the lockdown have given us an opportunity to be prophets. We have creatively and effectively responded to this crisis moment in our history and have reached out to the young and the marginalized… in our educational institutions, our homes for those at risk, our parishes, our social ministry services and works.

The homily by Father Silveira focused on the great and glorious works accomplished by the Salesian Province of Bombay and the completion of 80 years of Don Bosco High School, Matunga that wouldn’t have been possible without the mighty hand of God and the tireless efforts and sacrifices of Father Aurelius Maschio and other Salesians.

It was refreshing to assemble once more at mass after close to two years of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The Eucharist was livelier and vibrant with their presence.

After the eucharist, the staff assembled in the school conference hall for the screening of a specially prepared ‘FINALE’ video to mark the conclusion of the daily screening of the 80 episodes of the school on the school YouTube channel. Before the screening of the finale of 80 Years celebration of Don Bosco High School, Matunga to the staff members, the principal, Father Fernandes, gave an introduction to the same and appreciated the efforts of the staff members in making the 80 episodes. He specially thanked the two members of the computer department, Nelson D’Souza and Sherone George, for their tireless efforts.

The finale video was then screened amid shouts of joy and cheer that filled the venue. Father Silveria in his message mentioned that the hallmark of a Boscoite are the values as read in the school motto, ‘IN VIRTUE LIES OUR STRENGTH’. Rector-Father Crispino D’Souza highlighted the three words that was spoken to Don Bosco at the age of nine ‘Be Humble, Be Steadfast, Be Strong’.

Watching the screening of this video, glowing tributes were paid to the school management and staff. Wrote Father Aloysius Furtado, “Congrats! Very unique, creative and sure warmed my heart for what was my home. God bless your efforts! Nicole Britto, former HM of St. Joseph’s Wadala, remarked, “Absolutely marvellous! Thoroughly enjoyed the Finale - content and production!” Former teacher of DB Matunga, Blance D’Souza quipped, “It was mesmerizing and nostalgic. A herculean task to put all these past years together. Kudos to the super awesome team.”

It is a proud moment for the Don Bosco Family as the echoes ‘Bosco, Bosco, Bosco.. .Don Bosco’ keep reverberating around the campus!