BIS #6805 Extraordinary Visitation at Snehalaya

By Fr Bosco Carvalho for BISMumbai

Fr Biju Michael, the General Councillor for South Asia, visited Don Bosco Snehalaya, Vadodara, from 28 to 30 September 2022. The Rector, Fr Baptist Monteiro, welcomed and felicitated Fr Biju with a Gujarati Pheta as the 'Sneha Brass Band' played 'Ode to Joy'.

Fr Biju Michael presided over the Eucharist on the Feast of the Holy Archangels. In his homily reflection, he urged everyone to imitate the archangels in their activity: to give primacy to God, to be messengers of the Good News and to be instruments of healing to others. In his opening conference to the confreres, he recalled the motto of Don Bosco - Give me souls, take away the rest. He highlighted the intervention of God in the lives of people and the example of Paul and Silas working in difficult times. Quoting from the Constitutions of the Society of St Francis de Sales, he presented the importance of consecrated life, community life and mission. Fr Biju then met with each confrere individually for a fraternal chat. He also met with the staff of Snehalaya listening to their stories and experience. He made a trip to the Open Shelter at Nizampura to visit the children there, to Chaturai Nagar, a slum area in GIDC area, and to the After Care Home at Vishwamitri.

In the evening, the staff and students put up a felicitation program for the extraordinary visitor. Fr Biju Michael commended the staff and students for the beautiful program and thanked the entire team for the hard work put in at their different sectors of the apostolate. He asked the gathering to lay more focus on 'what is inside' rather than on externals.

Fr Biju Michael presided over the Eucharist on 30 September 2022. Placing St Jerome as model, he pointed out the necessity of reading and understanding the Scriptures in order to know God's will. In his concluding conference, he presented his observations of the community. He ended the conference reiterating the motto of Don Bosco remarking that a Salesian saves the souls of others and his own through a loving observance of prayer life, mission for others and living in community.