BIS #6579 Dominic Savio Andheri celebrates Don Bosco

by Glacxy Ferrao, Valerie Mascarenhas & Fr Brian Moras for BISMumbai

“It is not enough to love the young; they must know that they are loved.”—Don Bosco

The annual feast of our beloved St. John Bosco, patron and founder, was celebrated with much love, reverence and devotion, at St. Dominic Savio High School on 31 January 2022 by the Salesians, together with students, past pupils, young people, families and faithful. Following weeks of strategic preparation, an enriching and meaningful programme -- both virtually and physically -- was put up by the Savion family celebrating the life and gift of St. John Bosco to the community. The day which holds much significance in every Salesian institution, began with an Eucharistic celebration with Fr Donald Fernandes, former principal of the school, as the main celebrant and the Salesian community and larger Salesian family, neighbourhood Religious communities and school staff in attendance.

A beautiful portrayal of the life of Don Bosco, his diligent and persevering work with the young and his Salesian mission was streamed live for the online celebration with the students. The teachers too had an edifying session with the students wherein they expressed the traits of Don Bosco that impressed them the most with a promise to imbibe them in their daily lives. An informative quiz and a question-answer session kept the students on their toes and fulfilled the objective of imparting knowledge and stimulating interest and curiosity in them on the life of the beloved saint. A short skit on how Don Bosco touched the hardened hearts of the young, orphans, street-children and destitute with kindness and love was enacted by the students and drove home the all-important message of reaching out to others specially in these times of the pandemic.

Rector, Father Brian Moras in his address invited the students to reflect on Don Bosco and to love and imitate him – “a man who was at ease with the Pope, with the ministers of the state and even with the poor boys in the street”. He implored them to be like Don Bosco – humble, zealous and prayerful and to live life meaningfully. He entreated the youth to face difficult situations in life head-on, posing a befitting example on, ‘the Don Bosco way of life.’ Father also mentioned about the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Mumbai Province which is an important milestone for the Salesian community and how it is important to thank God for the abundant blessings in the past 50 years and to prophesy for the future.

To commemorate Don Bosco’s love for music, a singing competition was organised for the students on the day, to exhibit their hidden talents in soulful melodies. The school staff was familiarised with the life of Don Bosco through a short movie on his saintly life, the Salesian mission and his work with the young. A beautiful song thanking God for the gift of Don Bosco to the Salesian community was played to express gratitude to the Almighty. The hymn, “We thank you O Lord for the gift of Don Bosco, in him we see the wonders of your love,” lingered on the lips of everyone present and a silent prayer “St Don Bosco, pray for us” was lifted up to the heavens from the deep recesses of their heart by all the devotees.