Saturday, August 6, 2011

BIS #2493 EMOTIONAL WELCOME TO DON BOSCO IN NASHIK

Bosco Carvalho sdb
NASHIK, AUGUST 6, 2011:
The vehicle bearing the casket with the Relic of Don Bosco inched its way through the huge crowd of devotees at Nashik, on August 6, 2011, at 8.00 a.m., as people cheered enthusiastically, welcoming the Relic into their city.

Students, teachers, religious, cooperators, well-wishers and a large number of ardent devotes lined up on either side of the boulevard to greet the Relic of Don Bosco. The Novice Master Fr. Solomon Rapol led the solemn procession to the Don Bosco Parish and he was followed by the Salesian priests, brothers and novices. Joining the procession were the Don Bosco School captains, who held high the school flag and marched elegantly to honor Don Bosco. Flower girls from the community of Maria Vihar covered the road with fragrant flowers as they gracefully walked in front of the vehicle bearing the casket. With melodious hymns playing in the background, the Parish Priest Fr. Nelson Falcao announced over the loudspeakers the much awaited arrival of Don Bosco’s Relic to Nashik. The staff and students of Don Bosco School greeted the Relic in the school premises in an Indian style with aarti and floral tributes.

Fr. Diego Nunes garlanded the casket and invited the Salesian priests to escort the Relic to the place of veneration. The hall where the casket was placed was brimming over with devotees. Fr. Ivo Coelho initiated the celebration of the pilgrim visit of Don Bosco to Nashik through a meaningful inaugural prayer service, praising the goodness of God made visible through the visit of Don Bosco. The casket was incensed, after which Fr. Coelho said a prayer of blessing. After this, time was allotted to the devotees to venerate the Relic of Don Bosco.

Later, Fr. Valerian Pereira animated a one-hour prayer service for the Salesians from 8.45 to 9.45 a.m. He called on the assembly to reflect on the person of Don Bosco, who preached the Good News in season and out of season, who blended holiness with cheerfulness and who worked tirelessly for poor youth. Fr. Savio D’Souza, Fr. Joaquim D’Souza, Fr. Thomas Chalissery and Fr. Tony D’Souza were invited to light a lamp each, symbolic of the challenge of every Salesian educator to promote justice, to develop a relationship of prayer with Jesus, to cherish the gift of life and to become communicators of God’s love to all. The gathering raised prayers of thanksgiving and petitions to the Lord, through the intercession of Don Bosco. The Salesians then proceeded to venerate the Relic and to enjoy these grace filled moments with Don Bosco.

“This will always remain one of the most memorable days of my life”, a young Salesian was heard remarking. Indeed, it is momentous occasion… and the day is not yet done. We are now awaiting the solemn Eucharistic celebration at 6.30 p.m. this evening. It is like living a dream, and we are cherishing every moment of it!

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