AHMEDNAGAR, JUNE 28, 2011: A long procession honoring St. John the Baptist, crept along the main road leading the people for the installation of the new statue of John the Baptist in front of the church. The statue was blessed by Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial of Mumbai Province. After this ceremony, the Eucharistic celebration began. The parishioners of the three parishes: St. John’s, Bhingar, St. Anne’s, Collector’s Office, and Don Bosco Savedi athered together to participate in this occasion. Fr. William Falcao gave us in his eulogy a panoramic view of “God writing straight with crooked lines”, journey in the expansion of the work of Don Bosco leading to this Twenty Fifth Anniversary, a milestone to thank the Lord for his faithful presence in our planting Salesian roots in Ahmednagar. The offertory procession was rich, and symbolic of the dedication of our lives to work in the Lord’s service.
After the final prayer and hymn, a ‘Satkar ‘was held to honor the contributions of Fr. Michael Fernandes, the Provincial, Fr. Ajoy, the Vice Provincial, Fr. William Falcao, First Pioneer and Founder of the Mission and Bro. Alex Gonsalves, Founder of Bosco Grameen Vikas Kendra, Khedgaon, the social development wing, to make this mission grow into a flourishing one what it is today. A shawl and a tribute was paid to the Jesuit Provinces of Pune and Nasik to Fr. Jerome Gonsalves SJ for handing over this pocket of their territory to the Salesians and partnering with us in evangelization and human development, for the last twenty four years. Jesuit Stalwarts who allowed us to enter this area like Bishop Thomas Bhalerao and others was fondly remembered. Fr. Ramesh Tribhuvan, SJ, Social Centre, Ahmednagar, and Fr. James Thorat, SJ, Shrirampur were present for the occasion.
Awards were given to three students Surekha Mantode, Sangeeta Jawale and Pintu Patole, for completing their Masters Degree. Gifts were presented to two youngsters, Stephen Joseph for being a role model for the Altar Servers and Reuben Swamy for his success in the Std X examinations.
A cultural program was held wherein groups from Sacred Heart, DB Savedi and Pumpkin house participated in the dance. The agape meal shared by more than eight hundred people brought the festival to a close. Many of Salesians from Nasik, and other places were present and expressed their sincere appreciation for the work done. May silver turn to Gold in the next twenty five years for Project: Ahmednagar Mission.