MISSION SUNDAY

HAPPY MISSION SUNDAY!  World Mission Sunday2  WorldMissionSunday - Copy  We are  grateful to all our valiant Missionaries who dared to come to India and bring us the Salesian Charism. Their sacrifice and hard toil have reaped a great harvest in our our FMA Provinces.  May God reward them.
We remember to prayer for all Missionaries carrying on God’s work in our country and around the world. May our life and words reflect God’s love and care for all humanity. Special prayers for our FMAs and SDBs working for God’s kingdom, doing good to the young and working for the development of the poor as they communicate the great love of the Triune God.

DON BOSCO COMMUNICATIONS SOUTH ASIA (DBCSA) “Seminar and Assembly”

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The Don Bosco Communications South Asia (DBCSA) Seminar and  General Assembly was held by the SDB Mumbai Province at Don Bosco Provincial House Matunga from 15-18 October, 2013 with the theme: ‘SOCIAL MEDIA AND SALESIAN YOUTH MINISTRY’. 50 SDB delegates representing 11 Salesian provinces, 4 FMAs, Jesuit(1) and diocesan(1) took part in this event. ???????????????????????????????

The FMAs who participated were Sr. Phyllis Fernandes, Sr. Shanti Fernandes, Sr. Hilda Braganza from our Province and Sr. Ann Andrews (INC).

The special dignitaries include Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez sdb, General Councilor for Social Communications, Br. Ephrem Santos sdb, Secretary – General Councilor for Social Communications, Fr. Thomas Ellicherail sdb SPCSA, Provincial in-charge of Social Communications and Fr. Godfrey D’Souza sdb, Provincial of the Mumbai Province.

1379519_10151898445388844_299083469_nThe inaugural Holy Eucharist was presided over by His Lordship Dominic Savio Fernandes, Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai. At the Inaugural Ceremony, Fr. Anthony Earathra, SPCSA Communications Delegate welcomed all the participants. Fr. Michael Fernandes sdb, former provincial of Mumbai, welcomed the delegates to the city of Mumbai.

The hymn ‘This little guiding light of mine’ was sung and a lamp was lit by his??????????????????????????????? Lordship Bp. Dominic Savio Fernandes, Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez, Br. Ephrem Santos, Fr. Thomas Ellicherail, and Fr. G???????????????????????????????odfrey D’Souza Provincial Mumbai.

Following the prayer moment, bouquets were handed to the distinguished guests, and Fr. Filiberto presented a memento to Bp. Dominic Savio Fernandes, Fr. Godfrey D’souza, and Fr. Michael Fernandes the ex-provincial of the province of Mumbai.

This was followed by brief addresses given by Frs. Michael Fernandes, Filiberto Gonzales, and Thomas Ellicherail respectively. Fr. Michael humorously briefed on the specialty of Mumbai City, and through the incident in the life of Mother Theresa where a sick woman experienced her heart lit up on her encounter with Mother, drove home the message that today more than media technology, we need to emphasize the content of media and this content is best communicated by our very persons.

DSC_0018Fr. Filiberto communicated the warm greetings and prayers from the Rector Major, and thanked Fr. Godfrey D’souza the Provincial, Fr. Joaquim Fernandes and Fr. Anthony Earathara the convenors of this assembly, and welcomed the distinguished speakers who would share their insights right through the seminar. He expressed the prayer that we profit from this gathering hopeful that it may help us in the service of Youth.

Fr. Thomas Ellicherail brought to the participants the greetings of Fr. Maria Arockiam Kanaga President of Social Communication SPCSA and Fr. Noel Madichetty Secretary of SC SPCSA. He expressed his eagerness to participate in this programme with the purpose of seeing how we could arrest our tendencies of being fragmented in our own areas, and strengthen our networking and pooling of resources across provinces at the SPCSA level.

DSC_0008The Keynote address was delivered by Mr. Conrad Saldanha, Principal Advisor to Don Bosco Centre for Learning,  Kurla, Mumbai, he spoke on the theme: ‘Social Media and Salesian Youth Ministry’. Mr. Saldanha highlighted the cultural shifts undergone by the media of Social Communications, and the key trends in Social Media with its positive and negative impacts on the young. He challenged all to use Social Media to Promote the Gospel and as Pope Francis says, “give the Church a digital presence”

1186737_10151898524238844_1229216916_nMr. Yogesh Sahu – General Manager, NE Mobile elaborated on ‘Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities in Digital Publishing’. He explained how one can publish their books virally, and informed the assembly on the Publishing Platforms available in the digital world, Digital Rights Management, and how Social Media helps in promoting Book Content through engines like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Linkedin and the like.

1383320_10151898657373844_1193577001_nMr. Nishad Ramachandran, Vice President, Hansa Cequity spoke passionately on the theme ‘Viral Marketing and Advertising: Strategies for Social Networks for Youth’. He elaborated how Social Media has created a socially connecting world which is driving change and creating new opportunities. Through enthralling videos he explained the positive effects of Facebook, What’s App, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and other social networking engines that have not only kept people connected, but have brought about social change, helped in creating, learning, discovering ideas, loaning, and making a creative and positive impact on humanity.

Sr. Phyllis Fernandes, FMA, Ex-President of Signis Western Region gave a ???????????????????????????????presentation on ‘Educating through Media ’. She explained how education has evolved and how the Edu-communication initiative in her province helped generate Media Education Texts for classes 1 – 12. Edu-Communication helps to think differently, looking through new glasses. It is creating an Educational Space where communication takes place among individuals, groups, and communities. She explained that media education should touch the integrality of the human person.

1384064_10151898807393844_1224989435_nFr. George Plathottam, sdb, Secretary CBCI, and Director NISCORT, presented ‘New Initiatives in Social Communication by the Church in India’. He spoke of the CBCI project handed to BOSCOM for preparing Course Materials for Seminary Formation in India on Communication for Pastoral Leadership, and expressed his concern that Salesians aren’t capitalizing on the use of these Salesian Productions. He mentioned that some Organizations like: Indian Christian Artists’ Forum; Christian Publishers Network; Media Faculties Network; Media Research Group; National Forum for Tribal and Folk Media; and Catholic Broadcasters Network have been started through CBCI Office of Social Communications. The CBCI Website, as also a Website Policy has been developed. We as Salesians need to collaborate with other Social Communication Bodies in our Country like SIGNIS, and ICPA (Indian Catholic Press Association). An important initiative in the pipe-line is to join forces through an ecumenical body called Indian Christian Media Association (ICMA) with the aim of policy intervention with Government. We need to be relevant and connect with the world today.

1380653_10151898981433844_300719348_nFr. Ralin De Souza sdb, Director BOSKON Communications- Goa, presented a relevant talk on ‘Social Media Secrets in Catholic Youth Ministry – 21st Century Catholicism’.   Beginning with quotes from the Rector Major where we are called to take cognizance of the Crisis of Credibility, Fr. Ralin expressed concern over the fact that in the Digital world, while on the one hand we are able to reach out to millions, on the other we are losing on the personal human touch. He challenged the assembly with questions like: How do we redeem the Human touch in communicating the faith? How many youth have really come to know Christ because of me as a Salesian? How many have been touched by me and have changed their lives? He said, the secret of human communication lies within us. Our challenge is to get the person of Christ to as many youngsters as possible and help them find meaning in life. To achieve this we need to have a Presence on Social Media, it must be a Catholic Presence with faith oriented interactions. We must promote Catholic Media Initiatives with the youth, explore new frontiers, and foster youth collaborations.

DSC_0117The interactive session with Youth on Social Media at Don Bosco Centrte for Learning, Kurla, made us realize that youth by virtue of the new platforms of interaction and communication find themselves in constant connect with the world, without which they find difficult to survive. As media practitioners and youth ministers we realize that our presence in this digital world is so very important.  In the face-to-face interaction with the young we were challenged to plunge and accompany them in their virtual world as ‘Shepherds’.

This is possible when we focus on the richness of ourselves and DSC_0120be rooted  in CHRIST, deepened in the Silent moments of prayer and reflection on the Word of God, like Mary our guide. Though we are from diverse states, cultures, habits and attitudes, we are ONE body with a common mission. This inspires us to pool our resources in synergy and embark on a journey into the digital world accompanying the young. We share the anxieties and hopes of the young and being prophets in their midst, like DON BOSCO, a catalyst in the use of media, we build relationships, appreciate and acquire their skills, making them conscious of social issues, helping them to participate and connect them to the real world.

The Social Communications Reports of the SDB Provinces and the FMA INDIA were enriching and thought provoking. Sr. Hilda Braganza, FMA INDIA National Coordinator 960035_10151900599108844_1657428940_nfor Social Communications, shared the initiatives in the FMA Social Communications field carried on among the Sisters. She presented a consolidated report of six FMA provinces. Among the many appreciable elements it is nice to see that the FMAs have created Media Education Syllabus for both Formal and Non-formal sectors. Sr. Hilda was handed a memento by Fr. Filiberto Gonzales in appreciation for the initiatives carried out by FMA INDIA in Social Communications.

DSC_0005Fr. Filiberto in his concluding message said, “Bring your life to your people. Bring the Gospel of hope to people, through Social Communication. Don’t worry about media but worry about giving your life for them. That’s the best communication. Never forget our virgin mother.” He then blessed the assembly.

 

Highlights of the Meet:

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Inauguration of the New theatre at Don Bosco Kurla

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Launching of the Don Bosco Communications South Asia You tube Site by Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez

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Encounter with the Cardinal and the Bishops of Archdiocese of Mumbai

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Mumbai Dharsan

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A visit to the Pagoda

 

 

 

 

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5th FMA Provincial Chapter Kolkata Province (INC)

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“After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone.” Matthew 14:23. Jesus always spent long hours in prayer in the solitude before every important event.  Two days of Retreat guided by Rev. Fr. Joe Mannath SDB was a wise preamble to the Provincial Chapter. He shared his expertise on topics like, What ‘Chapter’ can and cannot do, Counseling and Spiritual Direction, Tips for religious Superiors, Celibate Chastity a different way of loving, How do I see Jesus? , The digital prayer moments on Psalms and Scripture readings created conducive atmosphere for reflection and contemplation.

5th October 2013 was a great day in the annals of the Province of Mary Help of Christians Kolkata, with the commencement of the   5th Provincial Chapter. In his homily, during the inaugural Eucharistic celebration, Most Rev. Thomas D’Souza , Archbishop of Kolkata  spoke on  ‘How we could become true evangelizers, accomplishing God’s works.’ He then wished the participants of the Chapter God’s blessings and a fruitful experience.

Forty six chapter members entered the chapter hall in procession carrying lighted candles and enthroned the Bible. It was followed by the reading g of the messages from the major superiors of the Congregation and several ecclesiastical authorities and Salesian Family representative.

They journeyed the rest of the days studying, reflecting and being challenged by the theme ‘Being with the young today a home that evangelizes’. The president Sr. Maria Pettayil, officially declared the 5th Provincial Chapter of the Kolkata province opened. She then presented a detailed report on the province for the past five years.   Sr. Teresa Karakkal, the Provincial bursar gave the financial report of 2008 – 2013   in a very systematic and accurate way.

The Morning and evening prayers were animated by the commissions on the various aspects of the chapter theme: A home that is built on Rock –Christ; with Mary a home that evangelizes; A community that allows itself to be evangelized; Evangelizing communities.

Eucharist was celebrated each day by Fr. Thomas Subas  Gomes SDB, Fr. Albert Sahayaraj, Fr. Sajeev Painunkal SJ and Fr. Mourlin Fernando SJ. The members appreciated their inspiring homilies based on the day’s theme.

On 8th October 2013, Fr. Patrick Walsh SJ enlightened the assembly on the discernment process.  Sr. Elizabeth Valliyil was the elected delegate and Sr. Annie Thevarkunnel as substitute towards 23rd General Chapter.

The Chapter came to a close with a thanksgiving ceremony. In her final message, Sr. Maria Pettayil encouraged the members to dare to be different and to live the FMA identity with courage and commitment. She thanked each and everyone for their generous contribution of sharing valuable ideas, thought provoking reflections and practical suggestions to make the Chapter a success.

11th October – International Day of the Girl Child

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International Day of the Girl Child : It is an initiative to bring awareness to the Global world to help, support and provide more opportunities for girls. It also increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence and child marriage.

images32International Day of the Girl Child was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada in the United Nations General Assembly. Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister for the Status of Women, sponsored the resolution; a delegation of women and girls made presentations in support of the initiative at the 55th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass a resolution adopting October 11, 2012 as the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child.images

Girls Are Precious! God has blessed our world with these beautiful gifts. How can anyone dare to undermine the preciousness of little Girls?  Let’s make this world a place where girls are loved and cherished. May each Girl Child be secure and protected from all harm and enjoy their rights to the full.why-girls-matter-celebrating-the-internationa-L-YvxwBR

Our heart beats for this special day dedicated to the Girl Child. It is within our reach to help them… perhaps we are challenged to be more creative… to go out of our comfort zone in order to reach the most disadvantaged Girl Children.

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SAD DEMISE OF SR. LUCY SAVARIMUTHU FMA (INM)

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Sr Lucy Savarimuthu blogBRIEF LIFE PROFILE

Province:   St. Thomas the apostle   –   INM Chennai, INDIA

On 10th October, 2013, the Author of Life called to Himself our dear

 SR. LUCY SAVARIMUTHU

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Born at Veppampattu, Vellore, India on 9th October 1945

Professed at Katpadi, Tamil Nadu, India on 6th August 1972.

Belonging to the Community of S. Maria D. Mazzarello (Sacred Heart Home), Katpadi

of the Province of St. Thomas the Apostle – Chennai (INM)

Fondly called ‘Chinna Pappa’ by all at home, Sr. Lucy was born to Mr. Antony Savarimuthu and Mrs. Savariappan Savariammal as the 7th child in the family of nine children with three elder sisters and three elder brothers and two younger sisters, on 9th Oct. 1945 at Veppampattu of Kanniambadi parish, in Vellore, of the then North Arcot District.

 The little baby was baptized on 18th Nov. 1945 at Adukkamparai Kattupadi and received First Holy Communion in the same place on 24th May 1958. Chinna Pappa grew up in an atmosphere of strong Christian faith and inherited from her parents sound values like simplicity, hard work, dedication to duty, love for the poor, generous availability and capacity for relationships – traits which Sr. Lucy carried along with her all through her life. At the age of ten, she lost her mother and was brought up in the company of her sisters and brothers by her hard working father who was the only bread winner of the family and acquired many beautiful attitudes of life, like endurance, courage, mutual sharing and a host of other such virtues. With her father as the vigilant head master of the village school, little Lucy excelled in her studies and after completing the primary education in the village, continued her high school in the Little Flower Girl’s High School at Ranipet, run by the sisters of St. Charles Borromeo.

 Her first contact with the Salesian Sisters was in Auxilium College, Katpadi where she joined as the pre university student and there after continued with her B.A Degree in Tamil Literature. The seed of vocation which seemed to have been sown in her while she was seven years old, sprouted now that she was a teenager and was tended with care by the Salesian environment in Auxilium College. To the friend who tried to discourage her from becoming a religious, saying that if her mother were to be alive she would not have allowed her to join the convent, she answered, “I prefer to have my mother dead than to be alive now to give me a negative answer”.

 Lucy joined the Aspirantate on 31st January in the year 1969 at Broadway, Chennai, received the Postulant’s medal on 24th October of the same year and entered the Novitiate on 5th August, 1970 in Bangalore. She made her first profession on 6th August 1972 in Katpadi. After the Juniorate in Sacred Home, Katpadi she served as teacher in St. Mary’s, Vellore, for one year after which she was sent to do her B.Ed. She came back to St. Mary’s, Vellore, in June 1975 and continued teaching in the School. She made her final profession on 5th August in the year 1978 and continued till May 1980 during which time she completed her M.A. Degree by correspondence. In the year 1980 –’81 she joined in Mary Immaculate Higher Secondary School, Thirupattur and in June 1981 was transferred to Auxilum Higher Secondary School, Katpadi where she continued her teaching services, and from  1986  to 1992 she served as the Head Mistress of the School. From 1992 she was at the helm of the Higher Secondary School at Thirupattur as the Head Mistress till 1999. Sr. Lucy continued her apostolate among the young as Head Mistress in Arni from 2000 to 2002 and again in Mary immaculate Girl’s higher Secondary School from 2002 to 2004.

 From 2004 to 2006 Sr. Lucy rendered her services as the Hostel Warden at Kingsford and Tanjore. From 2006 to 2009 she was the Principal of St. Mary’s Primary School, Vellore. From 2009 to 2011 she gave her services as the community animator in Jawadhi hills and Madras Port Trust Quarters at New Washermenpet. In the year 2011 – ’12 she was in charge of the Secretarial Course in Broadway and efficiently found a suitable placement for all the students.From June 2012 to May 2013 she was the Economer of Mazzarello Home at Tirupattur.

 At the end of the month of May, Sr. Lucy had a fall which confined her to bed with a fracture which could not be repaired with a surgery because of the already existing cardiac problems. To facilitate her visits to the Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, she was transferred to Sacred Heart Home, Katpadi from where regular treatment was given to the fractured leg as well as the other complications that had already set in.

 Sr. Lucy bore the excruciating pain caused by the fracture and other ailments with extraordinary patience and serene acceptance trying her best to cooperate with the medical interventions. At a time when things seemed to be improving and all were hoping for further progress in her health expecting her to return to a more or less normal life, all of a sudden on Wednesday, 2nd October 2013 her condition grew worse with a heart attack and was hospitalized immediately. Conscious all the time of what was happening to her she was bearing her suffering with great patience and serenity preparing herself to face the inevitable reality of death that would knock at her door at any time. She was sure of the impending death and kept constantly requesting to allow her to go home and not to make all those expensive treatments.

 Notwithstanding all the possible medical interventions that were offered, her condition grew worse day by day and finally at 9.45 a.m. on Thursday the 10th of October, 2013 Sr. Lucy breathed her last to enter and stay forever in that land of no more pain and suffering. Sr. Lucy Savarimuthu had exactly completed 68 years of life on earth the previous day i.e the 9th October, 2013.

 Sr. Lucy was very human in her approach and would deal with everyone with great sympathy and compassion. She would leave no stone unturned when it was a question of helping the poor – be it in their studies or financial assistance or other matters. Her personal attention to the last and the least to come up in studies is remarkable. Sr. Lucy had a magnanimous love for the orphans and would explore all possible ways of reaching out to them with her motherly heart providing for their needs.

Her great efforts to bring the gypsy children to the School in order to give them a formal education and persevere in these efforts till the end and thus raise the standard of their life are highly commendable. Sr. Lucy knew how to approach anyone – be it big officials or ordinary people – to get things done in favor of the poor and the less privileged and exploit every situation and use every influence to promote the lot of the unfortunate and those in the fringes of the Society.

 As the Headmistress, Sr. Lucy had the tact to deal with the government officials and authorities to obtain all the needed permissions, recognitions and approvals in matters relating to the administration of the schools, orphanages and would skillfully get all the available benefits for the poor children. She would take a personal interest in every teacher and speedily work out to obtain all that is due to them at the earliest.

 Sr. Lucy had a big heart that could accommodate everyone and any one in need and would reach out to all alike be – it the rich or the poor, the learned and the wise or the illiterate and the ignorant. She would bring people together and it is very unlikely that she caused any divisions anywhere at any time.  She is known for her simplicity and child like openness and anyone coming into contact with her would at once recognize her guileless innocence. She would be ever ready to make any sacrifice when it was matter of doing her duty and doing good to others specially those in need. She would never hurt nay one and never nurtured ill feelings against any one. Anyone who knows Sr. Lucy would admit that she knows not what partiality means.

 Sr. Lucy held her superiors in high regard and was known for her prompt obedience to all those who were placed in authority which she considered as coming from God. In all her dealings with others she was always upright and straight forward and would always clarify directly with the persons concerned in times of conflicting situations.

 Humility was a characteristic trait of Sr. Lucy and she would invariably be the first one to ask pardon and offer forgiveness and humbly accept the corrections and suggestions wherever and whoever they came from and apply them to improve herself and grow in virtue.

 Her endurance during the time of suffering and trials was remarkable. Gratitude is another quality with which Sr. Lucy was very much known and appreciated. She was loved by all – the family members, her superiors, the sisters, the children, the teachers and their families, the poor and the orphans, the benefactors and all well wishers of all the institutions wherever she lived.

 Dear Sr. Lucy, now that you are in heaven in the embrace of the Father where is no more pain and suffering please intercede for us and for all our needs especially for the success of the forth coming Provincial Chapter and General Chapter. Pray for all our candidates in formation and get many holy vocations for the Institute, for FMA India and for our Province.

 Sr. Magnificat Soosai                                                                                                     Provincial – INM

 

35th Annual Meet of the Salesian Cooperators held at Sohra (INS)

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inaugural function on October 5, 2013

The 35th Annual Meet of the Salesian Cooperators of Shillong Province was held on October 5 and 6, 2013 at Don Bosco Shrine Sohra (Cherrapunjee) with its theme: “Have the courage of your faith and convictions”. The inaugural function began with a short prayer moment invoking God’s presence and blessings. Fr. Gervasis Kozhuppathadam SDB, Parish Priest, the host of the gathering welcomed everyone present and hoisted the Association’s Flag. Different representatives were called upon for the lighting of the lamp, sign and symbol of God’s guiding light. More than 200 Salesian Co-operators took part in the meet.

The first session of the day was on “Pedagogy of Don Bosco” by Fr. Patrick Nongrang SDB, Principal St. John Bosco Higher Secondary School, Sohra. Fr. Festus Emmanuel Shadap SDB, Provincial Delegate of Silchar Province animated the second session on “The Strenna of the Rector – Like Don Bosco, the Educator we offer the young the Gospel of joy through the pedagogy of Kindness”. This was followed by a group discussion based on the input session. Ample time was given for each unit to present their activities and future plans to the enrichment of each other.

The highlights of the second day were the secretarial and financial reports of the association by Mrs. Mildred Iawphniaw and Mrs. Bernadette Mawkhlieng respectively. Solemn Holy Eucharist marked the climax of the event during which 8 aspirants took their promise: 2 from Garobadha and 4 from Sohra centres. Fr. Festus Shadap SDB was the main celebrant together with Fr.  Telesphor Nonglang SDB, Parish Priest Mount Calvary Parish, Rambrai and Fr. Kenny Pakma SDB, Principal Sacred Heart Boys’ Higher Secondary School Mawlai, Shillong.

The last session after the lunch break was yet another exciting one, the election of the Provincial Delegate and the Provincial Council Members. But to the great surprise and joy of all present was the announcement made by Sr. Christina Kharkongor FMA, Provincial Delegate that they could all be re-elected if the assembly wanted. It was in view of the entire office bearers to be renewed at National level by 2016 after the Bicentenary of Don Bosco’s birth. The old members were unanimously re-elected for the next 3 years. In gratitude to their willingness and readiness to serve the Association, Sr. Christina expressed through a meaningful gesture of handing over the flags of all the centres to Mr. Antony Laloo and assured them of each one’s support.

“Take Don Bosco with you to your homes…” was the message at the conclusion of the memorable days at Sohra as the 6 regions were presented a frame of the Relic of Don Bosco. It was to mark the Bicentenary of his birth. This relic will journey from one home to the other of each Salesian Cooperator and will be honoured by organizing a prayer service in his/her respective home. The event was blessed with torrential showers bringing along abundance of God’s graces upon everyone.

Kudos to Sohra Centre for the success of the 35th Annual Meet of the Salesian Cooperators!