BIS #6884 Celebrating DB across INB

By Fr Augustine Pereira, Mr Ajinkya Parkhe and Ms Swati Patil for BISMumbai

The feast of St John Bosco, Father and Founder of the Salesian Congregation, was celebrated with solemnity, pomp and gusto all across the Province. In most of the institutions, the entire month of January is spiced with activities that honour Don Bosco, which reach a crescendo on 31 January, the Feast Day.

During the month of January, the youth of Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada, visited the various Salesian institutions in the Pune region - Lonavla, Chinchwad and Chakan. Here they were animated with various sessions focusing on getting to know Don Bosco better. It was a wonderful experience of appreciating the works of the Salesians while also becoming aware of the rich apostolate of Don Bosco among the young in the region.

On the feast day, the catholic students of the school and college participated in a solemn festive eucharist, while a prayer service was organised for the students of other faiths. After these moments of prayer, the celebration continued on the school grounds with a number of cultural programmes. Fr Michael Fernandes, in his address to the students, urged them to follow the example of St John Bosco in doing what is right for others. He reminded them of the famous maxim ‘God sees you’.

On the evening of 31 January, the community of Don Bosco, Chakan, organised a festive Eucharist for the parishioners and youth of Our Lady of Fatima Church, Chakan. This was the first time such an event has been held and it was much appreciated. During the Eucharist at 6:30 p.m. Fr Xavier Bandya, the principal celebrant, enlightened the assembly with snippets from the Strenna of the Rector Major. He encouraged the people to be the ‘yeast’ in society thereby lending a helping hand towards the mission of Don Bosco. 

After the Mass, Fr Bandya presented a canvas portrait of Late Mr Anthony Rasquinha to his daughter who was present for the occasion. Mr Rasquinha was the benefactor who gifted the property to the Salesians of the Province of Bombay. It was a wonderful evening, especially for the youth of the technical school who got an opportunity to interact with the parishioners and share their joy.