RECTOR MAJOR BIDS ADIEU TO MUMBAI PROVINCE
by Father Ranson D’Souza
MUMBAI, MARCH 27, 2019: In its Golden Jubilee year, March 27, 2019 will go down in the annals of the Saint Dominic Savio Institute Andheri, as a golden moment of grace, given that the 10th successor of Don Bosco, Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime, spent his last day in the Mumbai province celebrating and sharing in the joy of their 50 years of journeying with the young.
Father Artime was welcomed by the Salesian confreres and family with flowers and an aarti as he entered the house of St Dominic Savio Andheri. Father Brian Moras, Rector of the Institute briefed Father Artime about the various sectors of the Institute after which Father Artime sat down with the Salesian confreres to talk over a cup of coffee.
Father Artime was then lead to Prafulta Centre for Psychological wellness, where he was welcomed by Father Godfrey D’Sa, Director of Prafulta and the staff. Father Artime was informed about the works of Prafulta through a Powerpoint presentation after which he addressed and interacted with those present. “There are very few centres who reach out to people especially the poor as this. What gave me great joy was to learn that a good number of people are coming here to receive such services,” he said when referring to the popularity of Prafulta.
Prafulta offers psychiatry, counselling, clinical testing, remedial education, occupational therapy, vocational guidance, training, workshops, and outreach programmes. It also employs over 30 professionals to ensure the best quality services are available.
“I am very encouraged that the Rector Major understands the importance and the need for psychological help in today's world and especially for today's youth. After my meeting with him today, I feel impelled to expand and reach out to many more in need of psychological help. His visit has been a great boost to me. God bless him and his enthusiasm,” Father Godfrey D’sa, Founder of Prafulta said.
Father Artime was then escorted by the scouts who were flanked by students holding colourful flags. He was welcome in the school by Valerie Mascarenes, Principal of St. Dominic Savio High School and the leadership team after which the Golden Jubilee programme began with the Dominic Savio Band playing ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’.
The students of the evening study classes at St Dominic Savio led the audience into prayer through their graceful prayer dance. Father Moras then officially welcomed and introduced the Rector Major, Father Artime after which he was felicitated by members of different groups.
Thereafter a short movie was screened on the journey of the Institute in the past fifty years, which included the inaugural celebrations of the Golden Jubilee year of St Dominic Savio, Andheri.
The entertainment then began with the boarders of St Dominic Savio Boys’ Home singing a Spanish coral piece ‘Moliendo Café’, followed by a golden jubilee song ‘This Golden Moment’ by the teachers of St D ominic Savio High School, after which the Salesian confreres sang in voices the song ‘We are Salesians’ and the Spanish song ‘Ay Mi Manico’.
Father Artime then spoke to the audience and sang two melodious Spanish songs. “It really felt for me a golden moment together with you,” he said, adding, “Together we can do something wonderful.” He then unveiled and blessed the Golden Jubilee plaque which would always remind the Institution of his visit in its Golden Jubilee year. The programme ended with the students singing and dancing the Golden Jubilee jingle ‘Savion Cheer on’.
Father Artime was then joined by the Salesian Family for a fellowship meal, after which he met the boarders of St Dominic Savio Boys’ Home in the chapel and spoke to them. “I am happy to be with you because I remember Don Bosco who lived with the young. This place and the Salesians will always leave a remembrance in your heart,” Father Artime told the boys. Thereafter he left for Matunga, imprinting his memory in the hearts of all those whom he met.
Before Father Artime left the sprawling Don Bosco Matunga campus, a farewell ceremony was held at the entrance of the Don Bosco Provincial House at 6 pm. Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial thanked him immensely for visiting and animating the Salesian Province of Mumbai. Children from Shelter Don Bosco performed a dance before the Salesians sang ‘May the Good Lord bless and keep you’. The Rector Major’s visit may have ended, but there’s no doubt that having the successor of Don Bosco in their midst has inspired, energised and encouraged the Salesians to do what they do best, work for the empowerment of youth and for the betterment of society in general.