by Cl. Richard Burkhao, sdb
NERUL-MUMBAI, DECEMBER 11, 2013: The Salesians of the Mumbai Province celebrated their province day with youthful vigour and family spirit on 3 December 2013—the feast of their patron St Francis Xavier—at Don Bosco, Nerul.
The celebration began at 6.00 p.m. with the Eucharist, at which the Provincial, Fr Godfrey D' Souza, presided. In his introduction, the Provincial read out highlights of a mail, which a senior Salesian sent him the previous night, and stressed that the best way to live the Salesian life is to love the past and the future without criticizing either.
Fr Ashley Miranda, the provincial delegate for formation, preached the homily. He thanked the provincial, the provincial councillors, the rectors and those in-charge of communities, and all the confreres for their generous contribution towards making this province what it is. He exhorted the confreres to believe in one another in the way God believes in us; and urged them to be "Prophets of Hope" in a world where people, especially the young, are discouraged and have lost meaning in life.
The students of theology of Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Park, Pune meaningfully animated the liturgy and lead the community in singing.
After the Eucharist, the confreres moved to the quadrangle. After the compère, Fr Cleophas Braganza, welcomed the Salesians to the celebration, the provincial and his council cut a cake. Fr Solomon Rapol raised the toast. He said ''we ought to be grateful for all the people we encounter, and highlighted the qualities of the provincial and the provincial councillors.'' The release of Fr Elias Diaz' new book 'Divine Stories for the Families' followed.
Frs Aloysius Furtado, Crispino D'Souza, George Carlos and Matthew Coutinho kept the flame of family spirit alive with folk songs, golden oldies and some filmy numbers; some junior and senior confreres kept alive the youthful vigour of the evening by playing instruments and singing. The community of Don Bosco Nerul, then, presented each confrere with a beautiful souvenir.
Fr Ajoy Fernandes, the vice provincial, proposed the vote of thanks. He made special mention of the host community of Don Bosco Nerul for organizing the event and for making the evening an enjoyable and memorable one.