by Hilda Alphonso
NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, JANUARY 6, 2015: On January 31, 2015 the Salesian family in the North Arabian Vicariate began the festivities on the feast day of Don Bosco with a recollection for the Salesian Cooperators followed by a concelebrated festive Eucharistic Celebration. The opening session of the Recollection was led by Fr. Franco Pereira, elucidating the various influences on the life of Don Bosco, his vision, mission and passion. He encouraged the Salesians to be incarnate of Don Bosco to be Holy Perfect.
This was followed by Fr. Joy Marangattikala's session on the Missions of Don Bosco worldwide. He shared interesting stories about the challenges and achievements of Don Bosco's missionaries as they explored new areas and communities. Fr. Blany Pinto then shed light on Salesian Spirituality – a path for our children to follow and attain sainthood. He reiterated that Don Bosco's way was centred around love and gentleness. He encouraged us to bring our children closer to God through participation in parish activities.
Finally, Fr. Lionel spoke about Don Bosco's fascination for the church and the priest. He went on to explain how the different Popes influenced Don Bosco, playing an important role in the setup of the Salesian congregation and Don Bosco's mission. Melissa Masceranhas, a Salesian Cooperator had this to say about the recollection: "Despite the ups and downs in my own prayerful journey, I felt reassured that everything happens in the Lord's own time through the Madonna's intercession. In the end I felt rejuvenated."
After an inspirational recollection, the Salesian Cooperators were joined by the congregation for a concelebrated Holy Eucharist. Fr. Francis Kharjia, the main celebrant, in his homily, shed light on various facets of the personality of Don Bosco.
It was a glorious celebration indeed as echoed through Past Pupil Stanley D'Souza's words "This day will always be remembered and cherished in my life…where the church was full and we were blessed by seven priests concelebrating the Holy Eucharist. I am grateful to God and my Salesian family." "Enriched we went home cheerfully with a slice of cake in our hands and the fire of Don Bosco in our hearts, determined to make the Don Bosco way our own way of life and our parish a happening place for our youth in the future!" commented one of the faithful.