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Twin Jubilee Celebrations at St Michael's Boys' Home, Guntur


By BIS correspondent
Top: Bishop Gali Bali inaugurates the Jubilee; Bottom: Entrance for the Jubilee Eucharist
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Kolkata, May. 31. .   Guntur:    On 24th May Guntur witnessed the twin jubilee celebrations of St. Michael's Boys'Home, celebrating its Golden Jubilee, and the parish of Mary Help of Christians, celebrating its silver jubilee of foundation.
St Michael's Boys' Home celebrated the twin Jubilee celebrations with much zeal and enthusiasm with about 5000 people on 24th May 2014. The celebrations started with a procession carrying the statue of Mary Help of Christians from the Church through all the wards of the Parish. Grottos of Divine Mercy and Don Bosco at the main entrance were also blessed and inaugurated by Most Rev. Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur, Rev. Fr Raminedi Balaraju sdb, the Salesian Provincial of Hyderabad and Rev. Fr Chinnabathuni Louis Babu, Rector and Parish Priest of St Michael's Boys' Home, Guntur.

The Jubilee Holy Eucharist was presided over by Bishop Gali Bali. As many as 80 priests concelebrated at the Holy Eucharist. The bishop set the tone for the jubilee thanking God for the Salesian presence for the past 50 years in the diocese, with the sole task of empowering youth and creating opportunities for a more meaningful life both at the institution and the parish level.

In his homily Bishop Gali Bali applauded the three pioneers, Rev. Fr. Puthota Benjamain, Rev. Fr Panamapara Abraham, and Rev. Bro Gabriel Fernandez who were deputed from Madras to begin the Salesian presence in Guntur. He said that over the fifty years of its existence St Michael's has been catering to all age groups of people, through its plethora of services. Today the institution has grown to be a full-fledged Industrial Training Complex offering technical training to nearly 300 boys and girls a year. There are services like, a modernized printing press with the latest imported machinery, a social empowerment centre reaching out to thousands of economically poor families through self-help groups and job-placement facilities, a Parish seeking the spiritual welfare of 300 families, a vibrant past-pupils unit and an outreach centre for rehabilitating children on the street.

''On the spiritual front, the Parish, under the patronage of Mary Help of Christians, celebrating 25 silver years of pastoral ministry in the diocese of Guntur, is distinguished for its vibrant liturgical services and charismatic flavour. Active participation and involvement of the laity too is one of the key features of this parish'', the Bishop added.

There followed a cultural programme at which along with Bishop Gali Bali there was present also Prof. Viyanna Rao, Vice Chancellor of Nagarjuna University who delivered a message for the occasion. The 1000 hands dance by Don Bosco Navajeevan, Vijayawada, was a special attraction.

The Felicitation ceremony was organized by the parish council with the help of Fr Goupuu Peter. Fr Louis, the Rector and Parish Priest concluded the cultural programme with words of gratitude to all the persons who made this jubilee event a memorable one.  About 5000 people shared the agape meal of the jubilee celebrations at the conclusion of the celebrations.  

Today the St Michael's Boys' Home Society, celebrating 50 years of Salesian presence in Andhra Pradesh, and 25 years of Parish ministry, continues to make real the dream of their founder Don Bosco: to make of young people honest and noble citizens and thereby ensuring for them a brighter and meaningful future.
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