BIS #7047 Mini-Vatican Trip Organised at DB Makarpura

By Fr Bosco Carvalho for BISMumbai

The Vocation Team at Don Bosco Parish, Makarpura, organised a ‘Mini-Vatican Trip’ for the children of the parish on 7 September 2023. 55 children and 8 vocation team members were present for this trip.

The city of Vadodara houses a variety of religious institutes, thus the name ‘Mini-Vatican’ for the event. The Vocation Team thought it apt to take the Parish children on an exposure visit to let them see, visit, meet, and learn about the different charisms in these institutes.

The kids were given a travel kit at the beginning of the day at Don Bosco Parish. This included their ‘passport’ for the trip, the travel route and song sheets. The trip began with a visit to Carmel Ashram, a cloistered Carmelite convent; followed by Missionaries of Charity convent; Jeevan Darshan, a Jesuit Senior Home and Pastoral Centre; Convent of Jesus and Mary; Rosary Cathedral, a Diocesan Parish; and the Auxilium sisters. 

At each house, the respective Superior warmly welcomed the kids, introduced their community, and gave a talk on the charism of the congregation. The children asked a series of questions and answers trying to understand the vocation of a priest and sister. The Team conducted fun activities like a religious fancy dress, making an intention jar, having a singing session, and playing a variety of creative paper games - all based on religious charisms. The communities presented each kid with a souvenir related to their congregation - medals, keychains, bookmarkers, rosaries and brochures. This would serve as a remembrance of the visit as well as the charism of the congregation. The Mini-Vatican Trip ended at Don Bosco Parish with rosary and the novena mass.

The Vocation Team did a commendable job by letting kids learn about the different charisms in the Church. Ms Aishwarya Joseph expressed her surprise at seeing the cloistered convent sisters recreate in such a casual manner. "I was so surprised and yet pleased to see sisters so jolly at heart." Another participant, Savio Mondal said, "I always thought that all priests are same. Today I realized better the difference between a secular priest and a religious priest." Mrs Hiral Gamit and Mrs Priya Dabhi, the co-ordinators of the trip stated that "... it was enjoyable and enriching to organize this trip for the kids. It is definite that through such exposure visits, the children will offer themselves to building the kingdom of God."

The Mini-Vatican Trip was an effort to place religious life as a joyful option in today's world. It is the prayer of the Vocation Team that kids open their hearts to listen to the voice of God.