by Bro. Aliester D'Souza
ALIRAJPUR-MADYA PRADESH, FEBRUARY 7, 2015: The many that form part of the DB Alirajpur institute experienced a surge of renewed affinity with the founder on the occasion of his feast on January 31. A novel, measured and gradual process of rekindling the fervor for the Friend of Youth and the rich-hued campus left a lasting impression on the crowd about the significance of Don Bosco in society.
The celebration of the feast of Don Bosco in Alirajpur was three-fold: the celebration in the parish, in the school and the celebration of the Parents' Day for the parents of the boarders of the School of Excellence. The parish, which is under the patronage of St John Bosco, was effectively geared for the feast by the parish priest.
The novena in the saint's honour was conducted thematically with devotion, each day animated with growing piety and every member of the community getting an opportunity to preach. It was heartening to see the verve with which the parishioners, the Salesians and the boarders prepared for the feast which was to be celebrated on February 1, along with Parents' Day.
The students of the school were prepared in true Salesian style to be enthralled by Don Bosco. Each class was shown a documentary on the life of this cheerful saint of youth. During the last three days before school and during the recess, the students were captivated by an amazing display of videos, snaps and songs. This fascination for St John Bosco reached its crescendo on January 31, with a well-organized programme staged by the SOE boys and girls.
On February 1, the feast of Don Bosco cum Parents' Day was celebrated in the parish. Fr P. A. Thomas, the Secretary of the Bishop, was the main celebrant and the Chief Guest for the event. The well-animated Eucharist accompanied by passionate singing solemnized the feast. A cultural programme which included the felicitation of students who had excelled in the previous year then followed. This programme featured a 20 minute play on the struggles of Don Bosco. It was the combined effort of the parishioners and the community that saw to the success of the programme. After the programme, lunch was served for all.
"What makes a difference this year is the entire bicentennial mood that eclipses the entire Salesian congregation. Every community thinks bigger and better ways of celebrating the man who made a great difference to society for more than 150 years. That's why Don Bosco was alive in Alirajpur. Or shall we say it was Alirajpur alive in Don Bosco?"