VIRAR-MUMBAI, AUGUST 21, 2013: This is the story of a seed, the seed which was sown during the year 2007 at Resurrection Church, Virar known as the Salesian Co-operators.
This seed was constantly watered and manured by the Unit Delegates - Fr. Blany Pinto & Fr. Lawrence D'Souza, Provincial Delegate Fr. Elias Dias and Fr. Wilfred D'Souza along with the Provincial Co-ordinator Ms. Claudina Pinto.
The initial immature stages of growth for this seed were difficult and fear filled, but then the spirit of Don Bosco, along with his favourite interceder Mother Mary, obtained special graces from Jesus, helped the Salesian priests to build a strong fence of Love and Faith around the seed.
The seed was carefully nurtured to adapt to various weather changes, while the growth remained constant. Finally there was a moment of great joy to see the seed turn into a beautiful plant. This plant propped out 10 little buds in the form of Salesian Aspirants and finally on the 18th of August, 2013 the first 3 flowers bloomed, making their promise to spread the fragrance of Christ as Salesian Co-operators.
Fr. Wilfred was the main celebrant of the solemn mass, along with concelebrants Fr. Lawrence D'Souza, Fr. Reggie Gracias, Fr. Blany Pinto and Fr. Prashant Saldanha. During the introduction, Fr. Lawrence D'Souza highlighted the essence of Salesian Co-operators. Fr. Blany Pinto, the Unit delegate briefed the role of Salesian Co-operators and the charism of Don Bosco in his homily. After the homily Mrs. Marie Rodrigues, Mrs. Genevieve Monterio and Mr. Dian D'souza made their promise in the presence of Mrs. Sharon the newly elected Provincial Co-ordinator, and became the first three, promised Salesian Co-operators of Virar Unit. After signing their commitment they were given candles, signifying the light they should be for the people in the Don Bosco way.
After the mass this joy was extended with a short get-together at the Resurrection Church hall, where the Salesian family members along with the delegates and Provincial Council team were present. Fr. Wilfred D'Souza expressed the joy on behalf of Fr. Elias Dias, who had sent a token of love to the three promised members.
The story of the seed is incomplete without acknowledging thanks to our gracious God, who chose the former Parish Priests, Fr. Dominic Lisboa, Fr. Orville Coutinho, Fr. Franco Pereira and Fr. Blany Pinto to plough the soil so that this seed could be sown. A special thanks to the Salesian congregation without whom the seed would have been lost. The seed is now awaiting its new form - to witness growth into a blossoming tree, to spread the fragrance of love and nourish with faith, in the Don Bosco way.