BIS #7020 Honouring Mary across INB

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary is a day not only dear to the Catholics in India, but, in a special way, also very dear to the Salesian institutions in the region. All across the Salesian Province of Bombay, the Marian Month concludes on 15 August with a crescendo after a month of devotion and activities to honour Mother Mary

At the community of Divyadaan, Nashik, Marian Month was filled with activities through which the student brothers got the chance to get to know our blessed Mother better and to reflect on their own devotion to her. The sermonettes that were delivered every night by the brothers themselves helped the community to know the various aspects of our Mother and refresh and rekindle our love for her. The build-up of all these events was towards ‘Marian Night’, which had a little of everything in the true Salesian manner. The evening had multiple games and fun activities for the various teams, which also helped the community grow stronger in their bonds of unity. 

Salesian Training Institute, Nashik, however, organised the Marian Nite on 9 August. It was an event filled with fun activities, aimed at expounding on the theme ‘Mary: The Cause of Our Joy’. The programme was designed to bring together the SDB and FMA novices for an evening of amity, interaction, and spiritual enrichment. Throughout the evening, the novices participated in a series of games that fostered teamwork, creativity, and a deeper understanding of Mary's virtues. These activities were not only engaging but also helped the novices reflect on Mary's role as a model for Christian discipleship.

The Marian month celebration, at Our Lady of Dolours Church, Wadala, was crowned with the  ‘Marian Quiz’ on 13 August 2023. The theme of the quiz surrounded the life and virtues of Mother Mary. In preparation for the quiz day, the children were given materials to study well ahead of time, and the catechists of each class prepared their children for the same during the catechism classes. Fr Velasli Bandya and Fr Nicholas Arul, the Assistant Parish Priest, were present and graced the inaugural session of the Marian Quiz 2023.

The Oratory had a five-a-side football tournament 'Freedom Cup 2023' organised on 15 August to appreciate the boys who were regularly coming and to encourage more boys to come and join the Oratory.

To serenade the Blessed Virgin Mary, Don Bosco Academy, Nerul, hosted the Marian Choir Competition on the evening of 14 August 2023. The event saw a congregation of faithful voices coming together to honour Mother Mary. It also provided an opportunity for parishes to showcase their choral talents and share a moment of spiritual togetherness. Six parishes from the Navi Mumbai region participated in the competition, each contributing their unique interpretations of Marian hymns. 

However, Don Bosco Aspirantate, Lonavla, inaugurated their Marian Month celebrations on 15 August.  Fr Blany Pinto, the Rector, officially inaugurated the month with a focus on Marian devotion. The students of the Don Bosco English Academy, along with the Grade 12 aspirants, will organise the activities of the month.