PUNE, AUGUST 9, 2011: Don Bosco is the patron of Youth, hence, it was but natural to see hundreds of youngsters making their way to Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada to join in the celebrations organized in honour of the pilgrim Relic visit to Pune on August 8, 2011. In keeping with Salesian tradition, a ‘Youth Mass’ was celebrated by Rt. Rev. Alwyn Barretto, Bishop of Sindhdhurg, who is also in-charge of Youth Ministry for the entire Western Region, at 5.30 p.m. A huge number of youngsters from the different parishes in the city were present for the Mass, participating with great devotion and zest. The singing in English and Marathi gave the celebration a special solemnity.
At the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration, the Bishop extended a hearty welcome to all the youth. “I am delighted to be here,” he said, “and to celebrate this Mass for the youth; it is our youth who are our future”. Delivering the homily, Fr. Edison Fernandes, Director of the Salesian Catechetical Centre, exhorted the youth to open their hands and hearts to the love of God. “Jesus chose to open his hands and reach out and touch people, healing them physically and spiritually, illuminating their lives by giving sight to the blind, reassuring those who were afraid, liberating the deaf and dumb.” We live in a desensitized and materialistic world, Fr. Fernandes observed, a world that assesses our worth only by what we possess. “Open your mind to receive what God wants to give you, rather than striving after happiness that is fleeting” Fr. Fernandes advised the youth.
The Eucharist was followed by a Candle Light Rosary. From midnight, the Prayer Vigil commenced, which concluded at 7.00 a.m. this morning. We now look forward to another day of prayer and celebration.