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Krishnagar City Paralysed amidst 'Don Bosco ki Jai'

By Fr. Dennis Murmu, SDB
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Kolkata, Jul. 13. Don Bosco reached Krishanagar, in Central Bengal, after a three hour ride from Berhampore, on 10th July, 2011. Escorted by police vehicles and a grand motorcade by his own past pupils, he was led to Krishnagar Cathedral, the focal point of the diocese, where his veteran, earlier missionaries toiled. Later in the evening, Don Bosco was led to the Youth Centre and the Mother House of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate.
The Salesians, Clergy and Religious along with the faithful, gladly welcomed Don Bosco, as he descended from his carriage by the side of Cristo Mandir.  Rt. Rev. Joseph Gomes, the bishop of Krishnagar diocese, Fr. Thomas Ellicherail, the provincial of INC, Fr. KT Thomas, the rector of Don Bosco Youth Centre and Fr. Robin Mondol, the parish priest led Don Bosco into the cathedral,  accompanied by a colorful Santal dance troupe. Hundreds of students waving flags, shouting ''Don Bosco ki Jai'' lined up all along the way, to have a glimpse of him, the man who gives meaning to their lives.

Three Masses were offered throughout the day. The Eucharist at 8.00 AM was presided over by Fr. Bertie Fernandes, the VG of the Diocese while Bp. Joseph presided over the Mass at 3.00 PM, concelebrated by Fr. Provincial and many Diocesan and Salesian Priests.

During the public homage rendered in front of the Cathedral, with a large crowd of people spilling over the premises numbering 15,000 according to the police estimate, respects were paid by great citizens eminent among them Sri. Oboni Joardar MLA, Krishnagar. Soul stirring dances were performed by the students of the nearby institutions.

Many people along the road bowed in respect as Don Bosco the man who changed the face of Krishnagar, was accompanied through the town. The Police, who were all the time concerned about the international nature of the programme, gave full assistance all through.

Don Bosco reached the residence of his boys, the Youth Centre at 6.00 PM, accompanied by people from all walks of life.  He was ushered into the hall which was specially decorated for the occasion, amidst joyful songs.  After an hour of prayer and homage, Don Bosco was accompanied to the Mother House of the SMIs, where a whole night, vigil took place.  Holy Eucharist was celebrated on the following day at 4.00 AM, after which Don Bosco left for Ranaghat, after blessing his children.

It was truly moving to see the multi-colored presence of the religious, along with the numerous diocesan priests and people, shouting, praying, singing and emulating Don Bosco whose presence in the Youth Centre had been since 1934.

The success of the function was due to the long term preparation, especially in the form of a novena conducted in the Cathedral with the assistance of Fr. Robin Mondol and the community at the parish. There had been minute planning by all the confreres at the Youth Centre, along with the Diocesan Clergy and the Religious, under the leadership of Fr. KT Thomas.

On 10th July, 2011 the sun set on Krishnagar City on a joyful note, where hundreds of youngsters are being educated in the numerous institutions run by various congregations, notable among them, the Sisters of Charity whose presence in the town has been a hundred years.

It was a multi-religious merging of love and respect for Don Bosco who has been the inspiration of many past pupils belonging to all faiths. They came forward whole heartedly and took active part in the day's events.

The Cathedral bells pealed in joy as Don Bosco once a diocesan priest, mingled with the diocesan clergy who are very appreciative of the services rendered by the Salesian Family in Krishnagar Diocese.
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