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Called and Still Responding the Don Bosco Way


By Fr. Mathew Coutinho SDB
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Mumbai, Jan. 9. The Salesian province of Mumbai gathered around its jubilarians (silver and golden) on 8 January 2013 to celebrate their fidelity and dedication to the Salesian calling received many years ago. The celebration had as its theme: Called and (are) Still Responding the Don Bosco Way.
The Eucharistic celebration was led by Fr. Wilfred D'souza (50 years of profession) with Bishop Bosco Penha and Fr. Michael Fernandes (Provincial) concelebrating. The homily was preached by Fr. Ajoy Fernandes (Silver Jubilee of ordination).

In his homily, Fr. Ajoy noted how Jesus called the apostles with their unique gifts and talents which they made use of in ministry to others. The jubilarians, likewise have used their gifts to minister in different fields: writing, composing, teaching, theologizing, philosophizing, counselling, leading communities, catechetical ministry, technical training etc.

The jubilarians have grown through time with guidance. They are grateful to all who accompanied and supported them along their vocational journey. He ended with an invitation for young boys to respond generously to the Lord's call. Among the main concelebrants were Fr. Monty Rodrigues (25 years of ordination) and Fr. Ivan Rodrigues (25 years of profession).

The other jubilarians present at the Eucharist were Br. Melwyn Carvalho and Br. Damodar Wankhede, both celebrating 25 years of First profession. Frs. Ivo Coelho and Peter Gonsalves (Silver Jubilee of ordination) and Br. Edward D'souza (Silver Jubilee of profession) were unable to be present. Many other Salesians concelebrated at the Eucharist which was attended by many family members of the jubilarians.

Soon after the Eucharist the jubilarians, their relatives and the Salesians present made their way to the Don Bosco School Undercroft for the felicitations and dinner. After the solemn entrance march, the toast was raised by Fr. Elson Barretto and then the life of each jubilarian was summed up beautifully in a multi-media presentation prepared by Fr. Vinod Mascarenhas.

The gathering was not only given their CVs but also fed with interesting insights into what makes each of them tick. The wonders they have done in the field flow from them being deeply rooted in God and generous in serving their fellow-beings as counsellors and pastors, educators and youth workers.

Fr. Provincial personally read out a citation and felicitated each of these stalwarts who have been pillars in the province. Br. Melwyn proposed the vote of thanks and Br. Damodar led the grace before the festive meal. The celebration was marked with joy and deep gratitude to God for sending committed labourers into his vineyard. Ad multos annos!
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