MATUNGA-MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 26, 2012 :
On Friday, the 23rd of November, 2012 Don Bosco Matunga saw its precincts full of children and youth, for two mega events: the Mela for Children at Risk organised by Shelter Don Bosco, and the Altar Servers’ Rally coordinated by Don Bosco Youth Services and sponsored by the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna.
At 8:00 am already, 250 altar servers from fourteen salesian parishes in Mumbai, Vasai, Pune and Baroda were eagerly hopping around Don Bosco primary school grounds. Around thirty youth volunteers together with a team of salesian priests, brothers, sisters and aspirants were on hand to help them with the registration, handing over of rally material and to serve them breakfast.
The theme for this rally was that of World Youth Day 2013 “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28,19). Fr. Cletus D’Souza, the rector of Don Bosco Aspirantate – Lonavla helped the children understand how they, small as they were, could help “make disciples of all peoples”. He made them realise that they should build up their own faith through knowledge of the Word of God, daily prayer and acts of service and kindness.
Next, the whole army of altar servers, volunteers and salesian animators trooped into the Shrine for a Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Godfrey D’Souza, the rector of Don Bosco Andheri. He too urged the altar servers to bear witness to Jesus and his Gospel through their lives in order to be effective bearers of the Good News to all. At the end of the Mass, the whole assembly crowded into the sanctuary for a group photo.
Lunch followed, and the children enjoyed it sitting on the primary school lawn together with their animators. Each parish had prepared a short presentation on the life of a saint (St. Peter, St. Francis Xavier, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. Theresa of Calcutta, Archbishop Romero, etc…) who carried the Gospel message to others in his/her own way. It was evident that the altar servers and their animators had put a lot of enthusiasm, time and energy into preparing these presentations.
Last on the program was a Bible Quiz for which the children had been eagerly waiting. The organisers prepared several rounds and various modes of questions in which the groups competed with one another. Our hearty congratulations to the group from Don Bosco Parish, Baroda that picked up the first prize.
Around 4:30 pm, the children had tea and returned home, tired but happy. Thanks are due to Fr. Edwin D’Souza – Rector of the Shrine, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes – Vice-provincial of the Mumbai province, Fr. Allwyn Misquitta who sponsored some mementos, and the entire team of Salesian Youth Animators from the parishes, together with the volunteers and the animating team of Don Bosco Youth Services.