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Relics in Panjim: The Setting

By Ralin De Souza
Relic Stage as depicted by the Youth.
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Panjim, Aug. 23. The visit of the relic in Don Bosco Panjim, the oldest salesian presence was truly a youth venture.
The visit of the relic in Don Bosco Panjim, the oldest salesian presence was truly a youth venture. Fr Josef Carreno and Fr Vincent Scuderi, the pioneers began this presence with a humble 'Oratorio'. Today the Salesian presence has multiplied into diverse activities: School, Higher Secondary, College, Hostel, Shrine, Aspirantate, Counselling Centre, extension centre for children in need of Care and protection, Communications centre, and Oratory! Placing the relics in the Oratory as its exists today, was very symbolic, as Don Bosco's presence in the heart of Salesian activity - 'Oratorio'.
The whole setting in the Oratory where the relic was placed was designed and executed by a group of youngsters under the guidance of the Oratory. These were a handful of talented youngsters from the Fine Arts College, Goa College of Architecture and the Oratory volunteers!
The relic stage was a simple impressive design with a 6 ft portrait of Don Bosco to the extreme left suspended a foot away from the skyblue facade. About 2 ft away were five silhouette cut-outs of youngsters jumping in exuberance. On the blue facade was the tri-colour spray spanning the whole 40 ft stage. The lightening added to the mood of prayer with a sodium focus on the face, which was not too bright, and blue and green cold lights brightening the background. In the fore ground where the relic was placed, was lit bright with mercury floodlights. From a distance you could not move your attention from the brightly lit casket.
The altar stage place perpendicular in the hall, was a master 3-D painting of the group of youngsters. To commemorate the 200 years of Don Bosco's Birth, the maternal house of Don Bosco, as in Becchi was reproduced in a wooden structure, neatly painted with the inscription 'Questa é la mia casa' (this is my house). The background scenery, situated this typically Italian home in Goa! The lush paddy fields, with the well and bullock cart in the fore ground, and a typical Goan hut, to the right hand thatched with coconut leaves. Ofcourse, the coconut trees on either side completed the setting. The concept of placing Don Bosco's place of Birth in a Goan setting was to depict the influence of Don Bosco's birth to the state of Goa.
The ambient around was mildly set with long banners of Don Bosco's face hung from the 50 ft high ceiling. The adjacent Basketball auditorium housed the exhibition of the life of Don Bosco on foam boards. The pilgrims really appreciated the wonderful setting, that did not contain a single word in any of its presentations but spoke volumes in its depiction! Kudos to all the youth who have worked tirelessly for over a month painting each millimetre of the 44 x 12 feet Altar stage, and the 40 x 11 feet relic stage! It was a job well done.
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