ALIRAJPUR, SEPTEMBER 9, 2011: The community of Don Bosco Alirajpur prepared itself for the birthday of our Blessed Mother with a Marian Month that began on August 16, 2011. The boys of std X took up the responsibility of animating the various programs of the month under the guidance of their assistant.
The eight boys of std X left no stone unturned in planning and executing the various Marian programs to help the students learn more about our Blessed Mother and imitate her virtues in their daily life. Animated rosaries, prayer services, sermonettes, a serenade, various competitions and testimonies were some of the important programs on the Marian month time table. However, the high point of the Marian month was the Marian nite that was organized by the std X boys for all the boys and girls of the School of Excellence, the technical boys and the sister-candidates of the SSpS congregation. The kids had a wonderful time learning and working together while competing with each other to solve puzzles and help their team gain points.
However, the success of this Marian Month did not lie in the successful execution of the various Marian Programs, but in the difference it made in the lives of the many students of the boarding. The students showed great fervour in practicing their personal nosegays and made it a point to spend some extra time in prayer before the statue of our Blessed Mother. The influence of the Marian Month on the students is evident from the responses of two of the students whose interviews are given below. One is a non-catholic X standard student who was part of the organizing group, while the other is a new boy in the boarding from the sixth standard who was a Hindi medium student before being accepted into the School of Excellence.
May Our Blessed Mother continue to touch the lives of these children through the Salesians who work for the empowerment of these poor tribal’s in rural Madhya Pradesh.
Prakash Kirad (X standard)
- When did you first hear about Mother Mary?
I heard about Mother Mary only after joining this boarding. However, I really learnt much more about her only when I reached the eight standard because by then my English was good enough for me to actively participate in various Marian programs.
- Have you ever experienced Mother Mary working in your life?
Yes. I have experienced the hand of Mother Mary work in my life in a very special way, in one of my dreams during the entrance camp to enter this boarding. During the camp many of the boys would make fun of me and on one occasion some boys told the brother in-charge that I along with a few others had left the campus without any permission. I did not know how to defend myself and was so frightened that I would be sent back home that I didn’t even participate in the outing that was organized that day. Before going to sleep, the boys would personally pray three ‘Hail Marys' at the grotto. Since I didn’t know the prayer I simply touched the feet of Mother Mary and ran to sleep. That night a woman appeared to me in a dream and told me that I need not be afraid as she had planned for me to be in the boarding. She even showed me a glimpse of my companions who were to be selected along with me.
- What is the role played by Mother Mary in your life today?
My parents were against me joining this boarding as the management was done by members of a religion different from mine. But I believe that god is one. He has guided me to this boarding and so I work as hard as possible to meet the requirements expected of me. I believe the role Mother Mary is playing in all my endeavours is that of continually blessing me and giving me the grace to continue working hard. One of the clear ways in which Mother Mary acts in my life is through my Rector. Whenever I tend to go on the wrong path he corrects me. His concern and understanding of my personal pains and sufferings brings a lot of joy and happiness into my life.
- Which is your favourite devotion to Mother Mary?
My favourite devotion to Mother Mary is the practice of praying three ‘Hail Marys’ and picking up nosegays (during the Marian month). The nosegays I received were always applicable in my daily dealings with others like ‘praying for one’s enemies’ when one particular boy was irritating me a lot during the days of the Marian month.
- What has been your experience organizing this Marian month?
My aim has been to bring others closer to God through Mother Mary. Every program organized was to help the boys imitate the virtues of Mother Mary. I have made a special effort to stay in the company of some mischievous boys in an effort to get them to improve. I have also gained the confidence to speak in public and face audiences.
Avinash Meda (VI standard)
- What have you learnt from this Marian month?
I have learnt to pray and sing well during this Marian month. I have also learnt to help others.
- Which programme of the Marian month did you like the most?
The programme I enjoyed the most was the Marian nite because I got a chance to play many games and learn new things about Mother Mary.
- Do you really believe Mother Mary has brought you to this boarding? Why?
Yes I really believe that Mother Mary has brought me to this boarding to study well and become a good person. My grandfather died on the day I had to appear for my entrance exams (to enter this boarding). I was very disturbed but my mother told me to say one ‘Our Father’ and one ‘Hail Mary’ before writing my exams. I thought I would not pass the exam.
- How will you put into practice what you have learnt from this Marian month?
I will pray and sing well and be good in the church.