by Amira Peter
KUWAIT, FEBRUARY 7, 2014: It was a lovely, crisp winter day and there was a festivity in the air in the Indian hamlet of Kuwait. It was 31st of January and the feast of Don Bosco! A special mass was held in the evening concelebrated by all the Salesians priests, with Fr. Valerian Pereira as the main celebrant.
The mass was solemn… the church was beautifully decorated and the choir brought the celebration to life with their lively hymns and music. The church was overflowing with devout parishioners and the fragrance of incense filled the air. Fr. Valerian began his homily by narrating the story of the award-winning novel and movie “Les Miserables”. By weaving the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption with the life of Don Bosco, Fr. Valerian beautifully explained the mission of Don Bosco – loving kindness, youthful optimism and evangelical zeal.
At this festive mass the Family Cell of the Parish also launched two landmark projects: ‘Jesus Connects’ – a matrimonial database that will offer Catholic singles an opportunity to meet Catholic life partners and ‘Positive Pathways’ – a Christian-based professional therapy service to assist parishioners effectively manage life’s challenges. Eight professional counsellors have volunteered to offer their service to parishioners who need therapeutic help.
Fr. Blany Pinto, Parish Priest briefly introduced the two projects to the parish while commending the Family Ministry for their efforts.
Jude Andrade, coordinator of Jesus Connects then came forward to the altar with a file symbolising the Jesus Connects Program. Fr. Valerian blessed him and officially launched the program.
Next, Sonu George coordinator and Lead Counsellor of Positive Pathways, joined by the other Counsellors came forward to take the Counsellors Pledge before the altar. Fr. Lionel Braganza sdb, Spiritual Director for Positive Pathways blessed them and officially launched this program.
After singing the final hymn to Don Bosco – Raise your voices and sing the praises - the spiritual celebration was concluded. The parishioners left inspired by the life of Don Bosco.