BIS #6792 Novices Experiencing DB Lonavla

By Nv. Seymour Aphonso for BISMumbai

The novices of Salesian Training Institute-Novitiate, Nashik, accompanied by their formators, embraced the opportunity to visit Don Bosco Lonavla for a one week experience of Salesian assistance from 6 to 12 September 2022.

Having arrived on 6 September, the novices were warmly welcomed by the community at Don Bosco, Lonavla. Fr Joyston Machado addressed them, briefing them on the three purposes of their stay at Lonavla: to have a spiritual renewal, to have an experience of Salesian assistance, to help out in the ‘Come and See’ Camp.

The novices took turns assisting the boys throughout the day. Apart from this major responsibility, they were given various inputs by the Salesians at Lonavla. Fr Chrys Saldanha took sessions on the different types of vocations in the Church, and on the two forms of the Salesian vocation - Priest and Brother. Fr Machado spoke to them about Salesian assistance. Fr Velasli Bandya, the Province Vocation Animator, also met the novices to plan the responsibilities for the ‘Come and See’ Camp. In the evening, the novices joined the community for the monthly recollection that was preached by Fr George.

On 10 September, the ‘Come and See’ Camp began at Don Bosco, Lonavla. The 62 campers came from different parts of the province (Wadala, Nashik, Andheri, Vasai, Uttan, Lonavla). The novices joined with the Class 12 Aspirants and the Salesians in assisting and animating the campers during sessions, meals, recreations, games, and prayers. The camp ended with tea in the evening of 11 September. At the end of both the two days of the camp, all animators gathered for the evaluation of the program. The camp was successful, and there were many learning experiences both for the aspirants and the novices.

Later Fr Machado gathered the novices for the evaluation of their one week experience at Don Bosco Lonavla. He asked them to reflect on their prayer life, their animating presence among the boarders and campers, and their learnings from the programme.

On 12 September, the novices went for a morning walk to Tungarli lake. It was a refreshing moment of serenity after a week of hard work. Later, that afternoon, they headed back to their community at Nashik with memories worth cherishing of an amazing experience at Don Bosco, Lonavla.