BIS #6790 Come, See and Stay

By Cl. Ethan Fortes for BISMumbai

The community of Don Bosco, Lonavla, organised a two-day ‘Come and See’ Camp for the boys aspiring to join the boarding on 10 September 2022. Around 60 boys from Salesian institutions all over the province participated in the camp. The seven Salesian novices helped in animating the camp.

The boys arrived along with their regional vocation team animators in the morning where they were welcomed by Fr Velasli Bandya, the Province Vocation Animator. Fr Joyston Machado introduced the team of animators to the boys while also touring them around the house, while explaining the focus of the aspirantate. A group of aspirants also spoke of the daily schedule, how they have grown during their stay at the boarding, and the various aspects of development focused on while in the aspirantate.

Post-lunch, the Salesian Brothers of the Province interacted with the campers. They shared their vocation story with the campers and the aspirants, stressing on how they received the call of being a coadjutor brother and the beauty of this specific vocation. They also shared the mission they carry out in their present apostolates while also touching on a few experiences from their own life. During the interactive session, some of the aspirants and campers asked about how they discerned their call to religious life. In answering these questions, the brothers also touched on the need to seek happiness in one’s life in the task that God calls one to, and the way one can better serve humanity.

Fr Bandya, in the Eucharist later that evening, oriented the boys into the idea behind the ‘Come and See’ Camp. He also added that the two-day Camp was a time to see how life in the aspirantate is, just as Jesus called the two disciples to come and see what he did and where he lived. After supper, the aspirants showcased the talents and skills that they picked up in the aspirantate. A few of the aspirants showcased their talent in music, in particular their skill in playing band instruments. Some others enthralled the campers with their tricks and skills on the skateboard.

The following morning, Fr Wyman Gonsalves presided over the Eucharist, wherein he elaborated on the scriptural aspect of the theme of the camp 'Come and See'. Taking hints from the Gospels, he said that the Camp should encourage them to join the aspirantate. Later in the day, a few Salesians also shared their experience at Don Bosco, Lonavla, as students, and how it helped them understand and discern God’s call in their life.

The camp gave a fair picture of life in the aspirantate to those who had visited Don Bosco, Lonavla, for the first time. They were appreciative of the lovely interaction they had with the residing aspirants.