BIS #6766 STI Community Outing to Walvanda

By Nv. Mark Fernandes for BISMumbai

The community of STI Nashik embarked on their long awaited trip to Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS), Walvanda, on the morning of 16 August 2022. The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the way the Salesians work in the rural missionary set up with marginalised individuals and families.

At BSVS, the community was warmly welcomed by the Rector, Fr Anaclete D’Mello, who guided them around the campus. Then, they witnessed a meeting of the social workers and had a guided tour of the technical institute with Fr Monty Rodrigues. The novices were thrilled to see so many youngsters receiving technical skill training which would eventually lead them to gain employment.

The community then partook in the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Fr Robert Pen during which they prayed especially for Fr Wyman Gonsalves, the Novicemaster, as they celebrated Rector’s day. After the Eucharist, Fr D’Mello took a few enthusiastic novices to see one of the many check-dams that they have built for the conservation of water and also showed them the jasmine plantations. It is interesting to note that it was BSVS that gave the villagers the idea of cultivating jasmine. The novices were also impressed to learn about how much work is being done for the upliftment and empowerment of the villagers, especially women through self help groups, federations and various other initiatives.

Later that evening, Fr D’Mello was presented with a souvenir: a scrapbook of photos of all the Novitiate batches who have visited Walvanda for the past decade. The novices also sang a ‘thank you’ song for the BSVS community.

It was truly an enriching experience to see the hard but fruitful work of the Salesians at Walvanda.