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Guwahati Province marks the start of DB's Bicentenary with Blessings


By Bhivan
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Guwahati, Aug. 17. Thirty Salesians on 16 August started in the morning for a pilgrimage to Sashipur on the international border with Bhutan. The purpose was the blessing and dedication of the Don Bosco Church. It was an important event in the history of the province as it joined the rest of the world in the celebration of the opening of the bi-centenary year of Don Bosco's birth. The day marked also the opening of the yearlong celebrations in all the Salesian communities of the province. The SDB Guwahati province was joined by other members of the Salesian family to dedicate and pledge the church 'to exemplify the principles that were learned from Don Bosco and to commit oneself to uphold, respect and follow the standards set by the father and friend of the young.'
Most Rev. John Moolachira, the Archbishop of Guwahati was the main celebrant during the dedication service. In his speech he appreciated the enormous and dedicated service the Salesians render to the society, the church and the young people. ''This Don Bosco Church we inaugurate served as a witness to the dedicated service of the Salesians to the people of the North East and is a real living tribute to the great Saint John Bosco,'' Bishop John said.

Fr VM Thomas, the provincial reminded those present at the dedication of the Church of the untiring works of Don Bosco at saving souls. He said that the starting of the bi-centenary of the birth of Don Bosco is a moment to pledge and reaffirm our commitment to young people. He welcomed the august gathering and paid floral tribute to Don Bosco. There were also representatives from different religions to pay floral tribute to the educator saint of the young.

A second blessing was the Don Bosco Socio Technical Institute at Tezpur which was blessed and inaugurated in the evening of the same day, 16th August, by Bishop Michael Akasius Toppo, bishop of Tezpur. Bishop John Moolachira of Guwahati diocese and Bp. Robert Kerketta, the Bishop Emeritus of Tezpur were also present during the blessing and inauguration of the Technical Institute.

Fr. VM Thomas, provincial, welcomed the large gathering assebled for the function. He said that the inauguration of the Don Bosco Social Institute is an acknowledgment to the great Saint who dedicated his entire life to the service of the young to ''make them good Christian and upright citizens.'' Those who spoke on the occasion were Bp. Robert Kerketta SDB, Bp. Michael Akasius Toppo and Archbishop John Moolachira. The day was also graced by the presence of Mr. Santius Kujur, honourable member of the parliament and a past pupil of Don Bosco.

Mr. Santius Kujur, reaffirmed the strong commitment and dedication of Don Bosco to the young people and how today the Salesians Fathers and Sisters continue the works of Don Bosco. ''Skilling young people, the motto of Don Bosco Socio Technical Institute, Tezpur is also the call of the Prime Minister of the country. In the world of today we need to give the skills to young people so that they are able to stand in their own feet. I wish the institute and the team of Salesians the best as they help poor youth,'' Mr. Santius said.

In all the communities of the province, special gathering with the students and staff was held in the morning to pledge and dedicate to imbibe the teachings of Don Bosco and the hoisting of the jubilee flag. A special prayer service was also organised in all the Presences in the evening hour.
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