BIS #7139 Celebrating Don Bosco across INB

By Br Aliester D’Souza for BISMumbai

The Feast of Saint John Bosco all over the Salesian world, especially in the Province of Bombay, on 31 January 2024, was a celebration of the great founder saint who turned his dreams into a reality with God’s assistance. 

In preparation for the feast, the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Matunga, prepared an online novena based on the theme ‘Live Your Dreams’ narrating a dream of Don Bosco every day.

Don Bosco High School, Matunga, celebrated the feast with Holy Mass at the Shrine with great enthusiasm and reverence. During the homily, Fr Ajoy Fernandes shared the significance of dreaming big and the dedication required to achieve those dreams. He underscored that relentless pursuit is the key to true success in life. After the Eucharist, the teachers expressed profound gratitude to the priests for their leadership and guidance.

At Don Bosco Edu-Complex, Yerwada, the Catholic students attended the feast day Eucharist while the students of other faiths participated in a prayer service. The cultural programme included felicitations for the management team, melodious singing by the college choir, a skit by the secondary section, and foot-tapping dance performances by primary and pre-primary students. In his message, Fr Crispino D'Souza, the Rector, described Don Bosco as a dreamer who faced life bravely, lovingly, patiently, and with faith. He clearly explained the significance of dreams in Don Bosco's life and encouraged the youth to pursue their dreams.

The Vasai Unit of the Don Bosco Past Pupils commemorated the feast of Don Bosco with great joy at the ancestral home of Mr Michael Rosario in Rajodi, Virar. The event witnessed the gathering of approximately sixty past pupils. The festivities commenced at 6:30 p.m. with a solemn Eucharist, presided over by Fr William Falcao, the Delegate of the Vasai Unit. Assisting him at the altar were concelebrants, Fr Neelam Lopes SJ - an alumnus, and Fr Valentine Pawkar - the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Velankani Church, Rajodi. After Mass, the celebration continued with lively party games and a dinner sponsored by the past pupils. It was heartwarming that many past pupils spontaneously stepped forward and shared their fond memories connected to the time spent at Don Bosco’s, recounting stories about the Salesians who not only taught them but also nurtured them into becoming great personalities.

The youth of Dominic Savio Church, Wadala, led by their delegate, Fr Bastin Thomas, orchestrated the ‘Bosco Fiesta’ on 27 January. The slogan for the event was ‘Know Don Bosco, Love Don Bosco!’  Prior to the event, Fr Kenneth Pereira, the Parish Priest, had circulated a set of questions on the life of Don Bosco and the Salesian Congregation. The event not only elicited a spirit of fun and healthy competition but also contributed to the meaningful celebration of the novena to Don Bosco, bringing the parish community together to know, honour and commemorate the life and achievements of Don Bosco.