BIS #7168 Lenten Pilgrimage to Ahmednagar

By Mr Ajinkya Parkhe and Mrs Pearl Fernandes for BISMumbai

The Sacred Heart Parish Youth of Yerwada, Pune, set out on a soulful Lenten pilgrimage to Don Bosco, Savedi, Ahmednagar, led by their animator, Fr Alex Carvalho, on 16 March 2024.

The pilgrimage began with a warm welcome from Fr James Tuscano, who led the youth in a half-day recollection centred on ‘Lent and Youth for the Church’.  Fr Tuscano emphasised the importance of youth in the church and their unending love for Jesus, as well as the importance of character, attitude, and personality as reflections of God's creation.

This was followed by moments of silent reflection and confessions led by Fr Anthony Patole. Fr Carvalho then led the adoration and eucharist, which illuminated the purpose of lent and the importance of grace in one’s life. The youth participated in the eucharist and then walked the Way of the Cross, which passed through three parishes and eleven chapels. This symbolic journey represented a journey of faith and devotion. 

On the following day, the youth attended the Eucharist, which was presided over by Fr Richard Burkhao and centred on the gospel speaking of the sacrifice of oneself to produce an abundant harvest. The youth then visited historical sites and got involved with the mission of Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra (BGVK), Kedgaon. The community of BGVK led by Fr George D’Abreo shared with them the development work that Don Bosco was involved in the region of Ahmednagar and central Maharashtra.

The Lenten Pilgrimage resulted in a deeper understanding of the youth's important role in the church and a stronger connection to Jesus' sacrificial love. This insightful journey truly inspired the Sacred Heart Parish youth, and they expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Fr Carvalho for his guidance and leadership, as well as for the meaningful experiences that deepened their faith and strengthened their commitment to spreading Christ's love to others. 

Simon Khemali, one of the participants, shared, “It was the best experience of my life. Surprisingly, we were among the few blessed to see all the 14 chapels, as not even the local parishioners have visited all these chapels. Their hospitality was overwhelming, with warm welcomes and attention to our comfort throughout our stay.”