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16th Salesian Provincial of Kolkata Installed


By IC Jacob, SDB
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Kolkata, May. 31. Fr. Nirmol Vincent Gomes was installed as the 16th Provincial of St. John Bosco Province, Kolkata by Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga South Asian Regional Councillor, at Don Bosco School Park Circus at 10.30 AM on May 31, 2014.  In a simple ceremony attended by His Grace Thomas D'Souza Archbishop of Kolkata, His Grace Lucas Sirkar Archbishop Emeritus of Kolkata, numerous other dignitaries, Salesians, Salesian Family Members and other religious, Fr. Nirmol took the oath of office. Fr. Thomas Ellicherail the outgoing provincial was given a moving farewell as he laid down his office as provincial.
Fr. Thomas Pampadiyil, the outgoing Vice Provincial welcomed everyone to the function. The ceremonies began at 10.30 AM with the Holy Eucharist presided by Fr. Maria Arokiam.  Fr. Thomas Ellicherail, Fr. Nirmol Gomes, Fr. Nestor Guria Provincial of Dimapur, Fr. VM Thomas Provincial of Guwahati, Fr. George Maliekal Provincial of Silchar, Fr. Glen Lowe and Fr.Pathiaraj representatives from Mumbai and Chennai Provinces respectively, Fr. Jayaraj Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Dominic Gomes Vicar General Kolkata Archdiocese and over hundred Salesians from near and far concelebrated.

Fr. Maria Arokiam introduced the celebration talking about the significance of the provincial installation on the Feast of the Visitation. Fr. Shaji Puykunnel preached the homily in which he made reflections on the disposition and attitudes that one should have as evangelizers, educators, pastors and leaders. The homily was followed by the oath taking ceremony by the provincial-elect. The choir consisted of the seminarians from Bandel and Azimganj.

After the Eucharistic celebration there was a felicitation programme during which Fr. Joseph Pathickal Rector of Don Bosco, Park Circus welcomed everyone to the programme.  The dignitaries were presented bouquets and garlands by the various branches of the Salesian family.  Cl. Arvind Xalxo compeered the programme introducing the performers from Don Bosco Ashalayam, Don Bosco Bandel Seminary, DBSERI Mirpara and Don Bosco Park Circus, as they staged their respective performances.  These were intertwined with congratulatory and thanksgiving talks by Fr. Maria Arokiam, Fr. Shaji Puykunnel and Fr. Thomas Ellicherail.

Fr. Maria Arokiam conferred the thanks and welcome wishes of Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime Rector Major to Fr. Thomas and Fr. Nirmol respectively. Later on he spoke about the significance of the Feast of the Visitation in the light of the installation ceremony in the format of a seven point programme and a thought about Mother Province Kolkata. Finally he gave his good wishes to the outgoing and incoming provincials.

Fr. Shaji highlighted the various achievements in the province in these past six years particularly the seven new Salesian presences, the five new communities, the development and progress of the Vocation Training DBTECH Programmes in the 23 new centres.  He dwelt at length on the spiritual strength and energy that Fr. Thomas infused into the confreres as a leader. On behalf of everyone he congratulated and thanked Fr. Thomas for his memorable ministry in Kolkata Province.

Fr. Thomas Ellicherail profusely thanked everyone, particularly Fr. Jose Pampadiyil the outgoing Vice Provincial, Fr. Joseph Manianchira the outgoing Economer and all the other provincial councillors. Fr. Thomas spoke about the good example given by the confreres, the hard work they put in, the spiritual attitudes they have and the generous obedience they practised. He highlighted the personal qualities, the academic qualifications, great Salesian experience of Fr. Nirmol Gomes and the advantages of being a leader born within the province.

Before dispersing for lunch, Fr. Nirmol Gomes thanked everyone, particularly Archbishops Thomas D'souza and Lucas Sirkar, Fr. Maria Arokiam and the other dignitaries who graced the occasion.  He complemented Fr. Thomas Ellicherail for his dedicated leadership along with Fr. Thomas Pampadiyil, Fr. Joseph Manianchira and the councillors. He thanked all who were involved in organizing the function. Fr. Nirmol thanked God for his Salesian vocation and the gift of the new ministry which he was accepting in deep faith.  He said that he asked for the blessings of Fr. Pascual Chavez the then Rector Major while receving the obedience over the phone. He sought for blessings from everyone present and said that he had prayed for all while in Rome.  He concluded saying that he wishes and requests prayers from all that he may have the heart of Don Bosco to be a Father, Brother and Friend to everyone.
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