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Relic of Don Bosco In Don Bosco Lonavala

By Crescens Lemos, sdb
Mumbai, Aug. 11. The expectant crowd on the Mumbai-Pune highway raised their voices in jubilation as the IVECO carrying the Relic of our Father and Founder Don Bosco approached Lonavala at 9.30 a.m. on August 10, 2011.
The Relic received a warm welcome with the traditional aarti by the college students of Don Bosco. The Relic was escorted by a motorcade with students on cycles, past pupils on motorbikes followed by the students of the Auxilium Convent and then the leaders and students of Don Bosco Lonavla.  The students of Gurukul School led the procession in typical Maharashtrian cultural style with lezims and drums.  Bosco, Bosco, Bosco... these were the words that echoed through the entire town of Lonavla as the Relic was escorted to the Salesian institution at Lonavla.    

As the Relic reached the gates of the school, the Bosco band solemnly welcomed it with the hymn, 'Raise your Voices'. The casket was then lowered down and the students of Auxilium Convent welcomed it with a dance.  The Relic of Don Bosco was then taken in procession to the hall and placed there for veneration.  The school and college students gathered around their Father and Founder Don Bosco for an All-Faith Prayer Service conducted by Fr. Allwyn Misquitta.  The students enjoyed their moments with Don Bosco through the prayer service.  Students from other neighbouring schools also came to pay their respects to the Relic.  Past pupils, parishioners, well-wishers and a host other people came to venerate the Relic and pray to this great saint.

During the day, the apostolic boys and aspirants took turns in spending time with the Relic, praying before it in groups. Later in the evening, the Past Pupils Association spent some time with Don Bosco, followed by the Salesian Cooperators.  Fr. Dominic Lisboa, with a group of parishioners, travelled all the way from Nagpur to Lonavla to venerate the Relic.  The students from Karjat, along with Fr. Xavier Devadas, also came up to Lonavla to spend time praying before Don Bosco.  

The Eucharistic celebration in the evening was the climax of the entire day's programme. The Rector, Fr. Cletus D'Souza, was the principal celebrant.  He invited the entire Salesian Family to continue living the dream of Don Bosco more zestfully and enthusiastically.  After the Holy Eucharist, the people wished Don Bosco goodbye.  The Relic left Lonavla at 8.30 p.m. The visit of the Relic to Lonavla has been a special moment of grace for us as this institution celebrates the Golden Jubilee of its existence.
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