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Mumbai Province Celebrates Provincial Community Day

By Frs. Glenford Lowe and Cleophas Braganza sdb
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Mumbai, Dec. 12. The Mumbai Salesian province keeps its Province Community day on December 03, feast of St. Francis Xavier - Patron of the Missions and Apostle of India. Salesians from around the province - clerics, brothers and priests; both young and young-at-heart - gathered together around 5:30 pm for this celebration at Don Bosco, Borivli.
The Eucharist was presided by the Provincial, Fr. Michael Fernandes, with the Provincial Councillors at the altar. The philosophical contingent from Divyadaan animated the mass with meaningful liturgical interventions and hymns.

Fr. Savio Silveira, in the homily, spoke about St. Francis Xavier's and St. John Bosco's zeal for souls and total self-giving for the mission. He invited all salesians to emulate them in becoming Mystics, Prophets and Servants of the young.

After communion, a video on late Fr. Ronnie Menezes was screened as a fitting tribute to a salesian who had touched many and brought them closer to the Lord.

After mass, amid joyful and noisy exchange of greetings and news, the confreres moved to the hall. The master of ceremonies, Fr. Matthew Coutinho welcomed all the salesians, right from the Benjamins to the Methuselahs. Fr. William Falcao - the host, raised a toast to the Provincial and the province, enumerating the many qualities of Fr. Michael and thanking him for his meticulous work and solicitous care of every confrere and community.

After the cutting of the cake by the provincial and his council, Fr. Michael in replying to the toast, thanked his council and all the confreres of the province, because of whose silent work and contributions the province was progressing in serving the youth in many ways.

Next the confreres were left scratching their heads with a creative Salesian quiz conceptualised by Fr. Glenn Lowe. They had to guess the names of salesians from exquisite descriptions like ''I'm found in every skeleton and present in every crowd'', ''I'm never defeated, because of the perfume in me'' and ''I come after Kay, but I\'m not her daughter!''

As snacks were served, Fr. Santarita and the community of Bosco Boys' Home got the hall moving to the beats of local folk songs, oldie goldies and filmy numbers. The joyous mood of the evening caught on as junior and senior confreres took turns at playing the instruments, singing and making spirits high...

To cap it all, the host community of DB Borivili distributed beautiful souvenirs to each confrere present, and to each salesian community.

Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, the vice-provincial proposed the vote of thanks, thanking especially the host community of Don Bosco Borivli, for having made the evening a memorable and enjoyable one.

Finally, the patriarch of the province - Fr. Salvador D'Souza said grace before dinner was served. This year's provincial community celebration truly enabled all present to come together to celebrate their belonging to the province and their sharing in the salesian charism.


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