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They walked 55 kilometeres to meet Don Bosco

By Cl. Nazarius Kharkongor SDB
The inmates of Savio Juniorate during the walking pilgrimage to Don Bosco Shrine Sohra
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Shillong, Apr. 17. Did anyone ever walk 55 kms to meet Don Bosco when he was alive? We are not sure. But 80 young boys and five Salesians sure did it, two hundred years after his birth.
The Community of Savio Juniorate in Shillong, India, came up with this innovative and brave idea of honouring Don Bosco and literally walked the talk on 11 April, this year.  Whoever said night was for sleeping, had not heard of the Savios! The pilgrimage walk to the famed Shrine of Don Bosco at Cherrapunjee (Sohra) commenced from Savio Juniorate, Shillong at the unearthly hour of 1.50 am!  

At 1.10 pm, that is nearly 12 hours later, the never-say-die young pilgrims, weary-limbed but eager for more, were welcomed by Fr. Roy Anthony, the parish priest.

If you thought the 12 hour walk would sap all their enthusiasm, well, think again.  On reaching Sohra the group gathered in the Shrine for the Holy Eucharist. The Solemn Eucharist was presided over by the Rector, Fr. Jeevan Lakra along with Fr. Giles Thyrniang and Fr. John Kalapura.

After the solemn celebration of the Mass the group met together for a well deserved lunch at the grotto located outside the Shrine.

They also visited the famous Arwah Caves of Sohra before beginning the return trip. Brief halts at Laitryngew while proceeding to Sohra and at Majrong while returning helped the Savios get refreshed and keep going.

The pilgrimage was an initiative taken by the aspirantate community of Savio Juniorate to honour Don Bosco the Father and Friend of youth on the bicentenary of his birth. The members of the community, especially the young Savios, readily took up this challenge with open hearts. Bro. Colombi, aged 73 years, showed heroic courage and determination to reach the destination.

The Savios made this pilgrimage a prayer to Don Bosco offering their many intentions - among them, the intentions of the Rector Major, the Congregation, the Province of Silchar, their own family members and the community.
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