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Silver Jubilee Celebrations for Fr. Franco in Kuwait

By Amira Peter
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Mumbai, May. 30. The parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church, North Arabian Vicariate, had three beautiful events to celebrate on 24 May 2013: the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, the silver jubilee of Religious Profession of Fr. Franco and the Induction of seven parishioners as Salesian Cooperators.
Fr. Franco's Silver Jubilee festivities began with a meaningful Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by all the priests of the Parish. The church was artistically decorated and packed with parishioners, family and friends who have been touched by Fr. Franco over the years, both in Kuwait and in India.

In his homily, Fr. Franco shared his beautiful journey since he said 'Yes' to God, which he described as his Revelation, his Revolution and his Resolution. He reached out to parents advising them to foster an atmosphere at home that encourages priestly and religious life, while appealing to the youth to be discerning of the voice of God. He praised those who have recently taken the first step in their priestly journey. He beautifully knit together the three events of the day highlighting the common thread  - that of saying, ''Yes'' to God.

The Eucharistic Celebration was followed by a Cultural Program organized by various groups in the Parish, perfectly compiled and coordinated by Rosario Fernandes and Ms. Arlette D'souza. Parishioners, family and friends of Fr. Franco from across Kuwait turned out in large numbers to felicitate Fr. Franco. The function was also graced by His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič, the Apostolic Nuncio, and priests and religious from across the country.

Fr. Blany expressed on behalf of every one, deep appreciation for the person of Fr. Franco and thanked him for all the service he selflessly and efficiently renders to the school, parish and the Vicariate.

An audio-visual presentation on the life of Fr. Franco, a tribute compiled by his family and friends, made Fr. Franco  emotional as he relived old memories with nostalgia and listened to and read tributes from his parents, family, friends, former parishioners, oratory friends, Catechists and his confreres. Bishop Camillo Ballin, the Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia also had sent in his greetings.

After cutting of the cake, all the various Ministries of the Parish presented him with artistically decorated greeting cards and spiritual bouquets. Towards the end Fr. Franco was surprised yet again, by a traditional dance performance to a Goan medley - music from his hometown.

It was a memorable evening indeed...both for Fr. Franco and the parishioners. The love and appreciation for Fr. Franco was palpable during the entire celebration! It was a grand gesture of gratitude to the Lord for the beautiful gift of Fr. Franco and his vocation. ''God bless him; grant him good health and the graces to continue his apostolate in the vicariate.''



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