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Don Bosco Bicentenary Youth Expo Gets started in Silchar Province

By Fr. George Maliekal, Provincial
Scenes of the INS Youth Expo Shillong Inauguration
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Shillong, Apr. 24. 'We love Don Bosco!' 'Long live Don Bosco!'- the vibrant voices of nearly 2000 young delegates from various parts of the province gathered at St. Anthony's School grounds rendered an enthusiastic start of four-day long grand finale of the Bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco's Birth  in  the province of Silchar.
The grand finale of DB Youth Expo got started on 23 April evening, by the opening declaration by Fr. George Maliekal, Salesian Provincial of Silchar. Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil of Jowai graced the occasion by his presence. Fr. Paul Olphindro Lyngkot, Vice Provincial and Chief organizer of the event welcomed all, especially the hundreds of delegates who arrived from Tripura, Mizoram, Assam and Meghalaya for a deep God experience and a show of their love for Don Bosco.

The inaugural function was marked by the melodious band of Savio Juniorate, the heaven raising prayer dance by Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC) novices, the filial homage rendered by the Choral Evangelists (Mawlai) with the Bi-centenary anthem,  and the enahanting choir by Salesian Novices of Sunnyside Novitiate. The  novices of the Visistation Sisters of Don Bosco (VSDB) also enacted and brought alive the first Dream of Don Bosco, while the musical department of St. Anthony's College rendered the atmosphere vibrant with their Khasi song. The students of Rapsbun Nursing School exhorted the youth to strive for peace through an attractive choreography, and the Novices of the Salesian Sisters brought alive the divine in human through a soulful dance.

Fr. Maliekal paid rich homage to Don Bosco under the title 'Father and Teacher of the Young'. He called on the youngsters to make Don Bosco smile from heaven seeing them happy and living their lives meaningfully. He exhorted the youngsters to accept Don Bosco as their own 'loving, caring Father and Teacher'. ''The boy of Becchi, Johny Bosco, who became fatherless at the age of two, came to be known as 'Father and Teacher of the Young'. He is your Father - loving you and caring for you'', Fr.  Maliekal told the young delegates. He continued: ''Don Bosco wants you to be happy in your life. He wants you to make your lives meaningful. Learn and accept these days' values that will make your lives happy and meaningful''.

This is only the beginning of 4-day long celebration. The celebration will be marked by competitions, animation, and cultural events, and will have the climax on Sunday 26 April, with a solemn Eucharistic celebration and Cultural program. More than 15,000 participants are expected to gather on Sunday for the grand finale on Sunday.
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