by Cls. Avil Correa and Nathaneal George
MATUNGA-MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 6, 2014: The Salesians of the Mumbai province gathered together to celebrate the jubilees of Frs. Byron D'Silva, Cyril deSouza and Vincent Rasquinha who completed their Golden Jubilee of Profession and Frs. Francis Fernandes and Paul Antao who celebrated their Silver Jubilee on November 1, 2014.
The celebration commenced at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna; with the Holy Eucharist in thanksgiving to the almighty for the graces showered on the jubilarians. Fr. Byron D'Silva presided over the Eucharist, for which Salesians, relatives and friends were gathered in huge numbers during the solemn celebrations. Fr. Cyril de Souza, broke the word for the faithful.
Commenting on the feast of 'All Saints' he mentioned that, "more than our own efforts it is necessary to make ourselves available to the Lord, in order to become saints; and therefore become leaven in the society." While sharing his personal journey towards priesthood he elucidated on the various tangible signs that he experienced as God called him to be a Salesian.
The Eucharist was followed by a felicitation at the Don Bosco high school undercroft. The theme of the evening: 'Kingdom builders ... the Salesian way, lifelong service across frontiers; aptly expressed the service that the jubilarians rendered to the congregation. The compere for the evening Fr. Valerian Pereira, showcased the achievements of the jubilarians through a well prepared powerpoint presentation, after which each of them was presented a citation by Fr. Godfrey D'souza, the provincial of the Mumbai province.
The presentations amongst various things showed the curriculum vitae of the confreres highlighting their zeal and preference for the young and marginalized. Each was singled out as being a pioneer in their field and bespoke of their missionary spirit and pastoral work. True to the theme of the evening these were kingdom builders who laid their time and talents for the benefit of the faithful in the fields of evangelisation, catechesis and education. The province is indebted to these stalwarts for their contribution to the Salesian work. At its conclusion, Fr. Francis Fernandes on behalf of the jubilarians expressed his gratitude to the gathering for their love and support in each of their lives. The ceremony culminated in a sumptuous dinner.