by BIS correspondent
MATUNGA-MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 23, 2013: The Salesian province of Bombay honoured seven Salesian jubilarians at a solemn concelebrated Eucharistic celebration at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga, on Saturday 9th November, 2013 and later felicitated them in the presence of numerous Salesians, along with their family and friends, at the Don Bosco Matunga school undercroft.
Fr. Salvador D'Souza - the senior-most member of the province, and former provincial Economer - who celebrated the diamond jubilee of his profession and golden jubilee of his sacerdotal ordination presided over the Eucharist. Fr. Glenford Lowe – the silver jubilarian of ordination, who spent twenty years of his Salesian life in the African missions, and is current director of the Archdiocesan Value Education Centre, and Don Bosco Youth Services - broke the word of God and explained how the ordinary lives of the jubilarians were transformed by their joyous response to God's call. Of the five silver jubilarians of profession, Fr. Rosario Vaz ministered most of his priestly life in Africa; Br. Antonyar Manickam served largely in the province missions of Gujarat, and Fr. Francisco Pereira ministers in the Northern Arabian Vicariate. Fr. Robert Pen has for many years been Dean and professor at Divyadaan, Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nasik; and Fr. Reginal Gracias ministered most of his life in Salesian parishes.
After the Eucharistic celebration, the jubilarians were welcomed to the felicitation program with a brief entrance march. Fr. Vivian D'Souza raised an eloquent toast to the jubilarians; and Fr. Godfrey D'Souza – the provincial – thanked the jubilarians for their contributions. Fr. Cleophas Braganza – the master of ceremonies – introduced each jubilarians to the gathering with a brief power point presentation; and the provincial presented an individually scripted citation to each jubilarian acknowledging the contribution they have made to the province and congregation over the years.
A special issue of the province newsletter SDB West that featured the life journey of each jubilarian was a fitting tribute to these ordinary people who have made an extraordinary contribution to the lives of numerous persons accompanied by Jesus – the good shepherd – under the banner of St. John Bosco.