BIS #7006 Vianney Sunday Celebrations

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

The feast of St John Marie Vianney, patron of priests engaged in the pastoral ministry falls on 4 August. Most of the parishes and institutions in the province celebrated Vianney Sunday on 6 August 2023.

St Anne’s Parish, Ahmednagar, celebrated Vianney Sunday and the oath taking ceremony of Parish Pastoral Council members on 6 August 2023. Through these two events the people of the parish expressed their love towards their priests as well as showed their commitment to the church. During the Holy Eucharist presided over by Fr Briston Britto, he spoke of priesthood as a wonderful vocation. Even the children performed the skit to highlight the importance of the priest. Soon after the homily 16 men and women came forward to commit themselves to the church.                 

The parishioners of St Dominic Savio, Wadala East, showed their gratitude towards the priests of the parish through the celebrations that took place throughout the day with various activities and ceremonies.  During the children's Mass, the Sunday School presented spiritual bouquets to the priests.  Continuing a well-established tradition, after the parish council meeting, the parish council members hosted a get-together that culminated in a festive lunch. The council had also welcomed Fr Mateus Didonet PIME, who has been there to help in their pastoral ministry in the recent past. The Tamil community chose to honor the priests at the end of their Sunday evening Mass. They invited all the priests to the altar and sang a hymn while reciting a prayer with their right hands stretched towards the priests in a gesture of blessing. 

At St John Bosco’s Church, Borivli, Fr Solomon Rapol, through his insightful homily, inspired by the humble life and profound simplicity of St John Marie Vianney, highlighted the importance of priesthood in society. During a programme consisting of dance, song and games organised by the parish council, the priests of the community were presented with a scroll expressing the thoughts of the parishioners.

At Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala, the masses of the day were animated by the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) members, the catechism students and the Salesian co-operators respectively. The priests were individually felicitated with the words of appreciation and a handcrafted card symbolising the gratitude of the parishioners. As a token of their appreciation, a small gift was also presented to them, recognizing their tireless dedication to the community.

Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS), Matunga, expressed their gratitude to the priests that serve within the Don Bosco Campus. An integral part of the celebration was the sharing of insights from the priests about their ministry and life experiences. This segment provided a deeper understanding of their journey and allowed the attendees to glean valuable lessons from their wisdom. During this sharing, many of the youth reminisced their childhood days, growing up under their guidance in different parishes all across the Province of Bombay.