BIS #7103 Celebrating Diamond, Gold and Silver

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

The Salesian Province of Bombay (INB) celebrated the jubilees of religious profession and priestly ordination of 11 Salesians on 11 November 2023, at the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Matunga, in the presence of Salesians, family members, well-wishers and friends.

The Jubilee Eucharist began at 6:30 p.m. and was presided by Fr Joaquim D’Souza who recounted how he had felt the Lord lead and guide him in his Salesian journey. The well-animated Eucharist was a fitting thanksgiving to the jubilarians’ many years of faithful dedication to the service of the young. 

The eldest jubilarian, Fr Joaquim D’Souza, celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of his Religious Profession. He has been a natural leader, serving not just the Province (INB) as Vice Provincial and Provincial but also the congregation as the Regional Councillor for South Asia. With a passion for Philosophy and being a Thomistic scholar himself, Fr D’Souza has dedicated many years to studying and teaching philosophy.

Fr Elson Barretto and Fr Diego Nunes celebrate the Golden Jubilee of their Religious Profession. Fr Barretto has worked with the poorest and marginalised in Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan. Also, he has served as the Economer of INB for nine years. Fr Nunes has been an educator and pastor and now animates the Salesian Family in INB.

Fr Bosco D’Mello, Fr Francis Fernandes, Fr Robert Pen, and Fr Rosario Vaz celebrate the Silver Jubilee of their Priestly Ordination. They have contributed immensely to education, formation, and social work in the Province. Moreover, they have been effective ministers of the sacraments in the parishes of INB.

Fr Ajit Munis, Fr Bastin Thomas, Fr Charles Anthony, and Fr Roy Noronha are the youngest jubilarians celebrating the Silver Jubilee of their Religious Profession. They shoulder major responsibilities in INB and have been dedicated to the work entrusted to them. They are loved by the young for their simplicity, humility, and willingness to work with them.

During the felicitation programme, after the Mass, the Provincial of INB, Fr Savio Silveira remarked: “On a day like this we do not celebrate numbers - 60, 50, or 25. Rather, we celebrate persons, we celebrate years of service to the Lord, we celebrate memories created by them, and we celebrate the lives they have touched.”