by Cl. Ian Pinto, sdb
NASHIK-MAHARASHTRA, JULY 22, 2014: A feeling of great pride and intense joy surrounded the Salesians residing at Divyadaan, Nashik as they welcomed their very own, Fr Ivo Coelho, the newly elected Councilor for Formation. Fr Ivo had served the Mumbai province and the house of Divyadaan in various capacities. He made a two-day visit (21-23 July) to Nashik and met the confreres, besides the other religious.
Upon his arrival at Divyadaan, he was warmly welcomed by the confreres and congratulated with melodious sounds of the brass band. He met the brothers course-wise and had a sharing of thoughts and feelings regarding formation. He addressed the Divyadaan community in the goodnight talk during which he passed on the wishes of the Rector Major to the community and spoke on three points in keeping with the theme of the General Chapter 27: the importance of spiritual direction in one's growth to holiness, the need to build good and healthy relationships in community, striving for clarity of the Salesian identity. He made it clear that the Salesian charism belonged not only to the Salesians but to the church at large.
On the morning of July 22, Fr Ivo celebrated the Holy Eucharist for all the Salesians and neighbouring religious. In his homily, he drew out a few points from the life of St Mary Magdalene which were worthy of imitation. He drew their attention to the intense love that Mary had for Jesus, her Lord and Master. He also spoke of the courage she had to face the empty tomb with a strong heart. At the end of the Eucharist, Fr Ivo thanked everyone for coming together in love to celebrate with him and also requested prayers for his new ministry. Thereafter, the community of Divyadaan played gracious hosts to a fellowship breakfast. Later, Fr Ivo continued his meetings with the Salesians on campus. In the afternoon, the community of Divyadaan honored and felicitated him with an ebullient family circle in traditional Salesian style. Fr Ivo thanked the community for being hospitable and affable.
It was a wonderful moment for every Salesian on campus. What was really amazing was that everyone who knew Fr Ivo personally felt honored to have someone they were so familiar with in such a significant post. For Fr Ivo, it was a homecoming. After his many years in Nashik as a professor and formator, it was a veritable pleasure for him to return to Divyadaan, Nashik.