BIS #7136 Salesian Family Day at Wadala

By Ms Sudha Pillai for BISMumbai

The Annual Salesian Family Day was celebrated at St Joseph's School, Wadala, on 21  January 2024 for which the various groups of the Salesian Family were present. It was therefore an august gathering of more than 250 people from all over Maharashtra and Gujarat convened to meet each other, exchange their ideas and share their work conducted over the past year.  

The Salesian Provincial of Bombay - Fr Savio Silveira, was the Chief Guest. He was accompanied by other notable dignitaries: the Vice Provincial - Fr Ashley Miranda, the Economer - Fr Gregory  Almeida, Salesian Family Delegate - Fr Diego Nunes, FMA Delegate - Sr Catherine Fernandes, and the Past Pupil Delegate - Fr Donald Fernandez. Fr Nunes, in turn, welcomed the Provincial, and highlighted his many eco-friendly initiatives. In his address, commenting on the Strenna, he said, "The members of the Salesian Family should be the agents of change in society, especially transforming the youth to become lambs from wolves." 

The floor prayed and kept a minute of silence for the two prominent members, Mr Ashwin Fernandes and Mr Jerome D'Souza, who left suddenly for their heavenly abode just a few days before. The Lay Association of Co-operators annual report was presented by Ms Sudha Pillai in which she underlined the need to incorporate young people into the work of Salesians. Similarly, annual reports from the other groups were also read to give the gathering an overview of the works of the Salesian Family.

The Chief Guest, Fr Silveira, touched upon all the efforts made by the various delegates in his address and appreciated their commitment and zeal. He motivated the Salesian Family members by stating  that at any point in time there is some one or some group continuing the mission of Don Bosco. He ended his address by saying, “May this year be a blessing not only for us but also for thousands of poor and marginalised youth."

The Rector Major’s Strenna  ‘The dream that makes you dream. A heart that transforms wolves into lambs’ was presented by Fr Brian Moras. He insisted on transforming ourselves first and being mentors for the ‘wolves’. The wolves of today have new connotations of verbal abuse, psychological violence and cyberbullying. The solution is the preventive system of Don Bosco based on reason, religion and loving kindness. 

Fr Leon Cruz Ratinam, the Province Delegate for Youth Ministry, encapsulated the responsibility of the use of freedom and how to develop a sense of caring for others with total faith in the providence of God. He emphasised the importance of daily commitment. 

After a vote of thanks by Ms Pillai, the audience was entertained with games conducted by the Past Pupils Association. The programme ended with a Eucharistic celebration by the Provincial, which was concelebrated by 13 priests.