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A DAY OF TOGETHERNESS & THANKSGIVING


By Fr. Michael Raj sdb
Chennai, Jan. 17. The Refuge campus in Broadway was colourful and in an ambience of celebration as Salesians entered the house on the morning of 15th January 2011.  The Salesians of the province of Chennai gathered to celebrate their Provincial Community Day, to express their togetherness and their gratitude to the Provincial.
Extending a warm and solemn welcome to Rev. Fr. Stanislaus Swamikannu, the Provincial with a garland and crown, the confreres vested for the Eucharistic Celebration.  The Dominic Savio chapel was packed as the solemn Eucharistic celebration began at 9.30 am presided over by Fr. Stan.  Rev. Fr. Joe Andrew, the Vice Provincial preached the homily placing three challenges for the Salesians to grow in communion.  The singing by the DILYM team (Don Bosco Inner Light Youth Ministry) added flavour to the well planned liturgy.

Energised with a hot cup of soup, the confreres assembled in the Chettiyar Hall for felicitations and lighter moments of togetherness.  The programme commenced with a dance by the Oratory boys of Broadway followed by a song in common.  Fr. Kirubagaran felicitated the Silver Jubiarians of First Profession and Fr. Gregory Devarajan did it for the Silver Jubilarians of Ordination.  The jubilarians were honoured by Fr. Provincial with a ponnadai and a gift by the Provincial Councillors Fr. Arulanandam Periyanayagam and Fr. Francis Bosco.  Following a few party games, Fr. Provincial honoured the new priests with a ponnadai.  On behalf of the Province, Fr. Sundararaj Francis, felicitated and thanked Fr. Stanislaus Swamikannu, for his 6 years of hard work and dedication in leading the Province.  Fr. Provincial addressed the gathering, beginning with a profound note of gratitude to God, Blessed Mother and St. John Bosco.  He then dedicated his words of gratitude to every confrere in the Province and mentioned in particular the leaders, commission heads, department heads and the Provincial Council members for their sincere collaboration, hard work and leadership. Concluding his speech on an emotional note, he solemnly announced the new Provincial designate of the Province, Rev. Fr. Jayapalan Raphael SDB and felicitated him with a shawl.  Finally, Fr. Joe Andrew, the Vice Provincial expressed his gratitude to the Provincial on very personal terms and concluded with a note of thanks to the community of Broadway and the others who were responsible for making the day memorable.  All the confreres personally thanked Fr. Stanislaus Swamikannu and congratulated the new Provincial Fr. Jayapalan Raphael and relished the sumptuous lunch at 2.30 pm.  Thanks to the community of Broadway and the confreres who turned out in big numbers, the day was a joyful moment of togetherness and thanksgiving.
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