by BIS correspondent
MATUNGA-MUMBAI, DECEMBER 2, 2013: The annual meeting of Mamma Margaret Association (MMA) which brings together parents of Salesians - who live in and around Mumbai - was held on 17 November 2013 at Matunga.
A homely Eucharistic celebration celebrated in the crypt of the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga at 11 am set the day rolling. The main celebrant was Fr. Godfrey D'Souza, our Provincial and concelebrating with him were Fr. Ajoy Fernandes (Vice-Provincial), Fr. Glenn Lowe (Director of Don Bosco Youth Services) and Fr. Matthew Coutinho (Coordinator of MMA). There were around sixty parents who attended the program. The liturgy and singing was animated by Cls. Mylin Noronha, Leon Rodrigues and Kiran Salve.
Fr. Provincial expressed the gratitude of the congregation and the Church to the parents for the generous offering of their sons to serve in the Kingdom. He presented the example of Mamma Margaret who constantly supported her son Don Bosco in his mission, exhorting them to continue praying for and supporting their sons on their vocational journey. Along with Fr. Ajoy, he shared the lasting impact that his late parents had on his life and vocation. This sharing truly touched the hearts of the parents present giving them consolation and courage to continue accompanying their sons.
After the Eucharist the group moved to the Boy's Dining hall at Don Bosco Matunga. The steps entering the hall were the suitable venue for a photo session. A program to celebrate the day began soon after. Fr. Matthew Coutinho welcomed the parents and a short clipping on the dream and vision of Don Bosco prepared by DBYS was screened. Fr. Wilfred D'Souza – the founder of the MMA – and former delegate of the Salesian Family briefly outlined the spirit and structure of the Salesian Family encouraging the parents to join the Association of the Salesian Cooperators if they felt called to do so. Fr. Glenn briefly presented some of the up-coming programs of DBYS that the parents could attend and also recommend to young people they know.
Since many of the parents were meeting for the first time there was a time of sharing with the parents introducing themselves and telling the group where their SDB son was presently placed. Snacks were served and it was time for fun. The young dynamic brothers Leon, Mylin, Kiran and later Justus joined in to conduct some actions songs and games ending with the Housie for the parents. It was a wonderful sight to see parents – young and not-so-young – scrambling around and having fun.
Fr. Ajoy said the grace and it was time to chat and enjoy a delicious meal served by the Self Help Group of Our Lady of Dolours Church, Wadala. Fr. Matthew raised the vote of thanks to one and all. And as each departed home there was deep joy at coming together and at feeling the support of each other. The parents – people who have made the precious gift of their sons to serve the Lord – also felt committed to keep united with the Salesians in the mission of Don Bosco for youth.