Monday, August 15, 2011

BIS #2519 AT HOME WITH DON BOSCO'S RELIC - MATUNGA

Fr. Glenford Lowe sdb
MATUNGA, AUGUST 15, 2011:
Today, we celebrate a ‘Triple Feast’- Mary’s Assumption, India’s Independence and Don Bosco’s legacy in the presence of his sacred Relic. True freedom cannot be bought with just the price of blood. Don Bosco, under the guidance of Mary and propelled by pastoral charity, brought to youngsters the true freedom they so desired. “His educational system, practiced in over two thousand five hundred institutions worldwide, is centered on his firm belief that every child is a masterpiece of God’s wisdom,” Bishop Percival Fernandes affirmed in his homily.
 
With crowds flocking to venerate the sacred relic, I took some time to talk to a few pilgrims on the way. Swapnil Rane, a thirteen-year-old, was walking past the exhibition. He looked sad, alone and confused. I asked him what he thought of the whole experience. “I am not a student at Don Bosco. My English is also very poor. Most of my building friends study at Don Bosco’s Matunga. I came here out of curiosity. I don’t really understand what is happening here… but I know this is a sacred event. I have come to look, to touch and to pray to Don Bosco for my family and my future,” a tearful Rane expressed himself.
The tight security around has added to the serene atmosphere. I approached Constable Sushil Ranade (name changed) to find out his impressions so far. “I have been a constable for over twenty years. I have witnessed many religious celebrations, but I must confess, this is the best one I have seen. Personally, I have been touched. I have asked my family and friends to visit the relic of Don Bosco. There is something magnetic about this saint. We have a lot to learn from these happy and joyful Christians. They are really peace loving. I am fortunate to be here,” a relaxed Ranade said.
 
Jonathan D’Souza, a young past pupil and volunteer said, “A great saint in our midst who brings us closer to God. This is an awesome event where our father and friend of youth is among us. It’s a great opportunity for me to be here and volunteer, to be so close to St. John Bosco. It’s a once in a life time experience, and I won’t let it pass by so easily.”
  
A Young Volunteer, Cletus D’Souza poetically writes,
“Don Bosco teaches us Love, Don Bosco helps us in our youthful lives. Don Bosco has now come to us, to lead us back to the Most High. The relic has touched each one’s life in their own simple way; a heart full of gratitude is what we take back today.”
 
At a well animated mass, with the youthful choir of Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala in attendance, Bishop Agnelo Gracias invited the faithful to recall Don Bosco’s vision about the two pillars that guided the church amidst turbulent times; devotion to the Eucharist and devotion to Our Lady.
  
While thousands of pilgrims continue to pour in from all parts of Mumbai, Don Bosco’s charism continues to spread. The Salesian Youth Movement will definitely take everyone by storm. Don Bosco stood by us, it’s now time for us youth to stand by him!!!

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