by Cl. Romero D'Souza SDB
NASHIK- MAHARASHTRA, DECEMBER 10, 2013: The feast of St Francis Xavier, the patron of the Mumbai Province, was celebrated with great enthusiasm by the Nashik Salesian communities (Salesian Training Institute, Divyadaan and Don Bosco Parish) under the theme "Called to be missionaries and called to be a Community in mission".
During the Eucharistic celebration Fr. Tony D'Souza, the main celebrant, began the homily by appreciating the Provincial Rev. Fr Godfrey D'Souza and his council for the responsibility they shoulder and the dedication and commitment they show towards the Salesian mission of the province. He further stressed the importance of the shift from the celebration of the Provincial's Day to Province Day to foster genuine oneness of heart and mind among the confreres of the province. He emphasized that we need to be men of loyalty and at the service of the Province. He opined that in order to learn to live as a happy and committed salesian one needs to be a community person totally sharing and partaking in the life of the community.
In the latter half of his homily Fr. Tony reflected on the missionary spirit of St Francis Xavier. He urged everyone to be attentive to the missionary stirrings in our Salesian Vocation by paying attention to the following criteria for discernment: right intention, free decision, necessary dispositions of patience, understanding, humility, charity, witnessing to the Gospel, communion and obedience in the common apostolate, spirit of faith and rootedness in Christ, capacities for community life and self-emptying in order to live as authentic religious.
The spiritual celebrations were followed by the `lightening tournament` which was well animated and enjoyed by everyone. After the fun-filled games, the Family Spirit came to the fore as the communities enjoyed a sumptuous meal together. Following the agape, the communities enjoyed the screening of the feature film G. I. Joe Retaliation (2013). The day culminated by thanking God for Don Bosco and the Salesians of the Province of Mumbai.