RM with the Salesian Family in Don Bosco, Katpadi (INM)

Don Bosco, Gandhi Nagar is a magnificent institution in Vellore. The institution had its self- ffacing beginning in the year 1890. It is noteworthy to state that several stalwarts in the Salesian Society have emerged from this great institution: Emeritus Bishop Rt. Rev. A.M. Chinnappa Malyappan SDB, Rt. Rev. Dr. Neethinathan DD, Bishop of Chingleput and Rt. Rev. Dr. Soundararaju Perianayagam SDB DD, Bishop of Vellore are also past pupils of Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School, Katpadi, which has given nearly three hundred priests to the Catholic Church!

    This prestigious institution is still faithfully serving the people of Vellore and the neighbouring villages. At present the Don Bosco Mission in Gandhi Nagar runs two higher secondary schools in two mediums of communication respectively and caters to the orphaned, semi-orphaned and deserving destitute people. The heartbeat of the Mission is alive with 205 boarders who are given personal attention by nine Salesians. The Mission of Don Bosco has also extended to the neighbouring village specifically T. K. Puram, which was pioneered by Bro. Lucas Gomes SDB from 1993 and is still under his patronage. This specific mission alone has revitalized the life of young people by educating them through the generous heart of well-wishers. There are 256-degree holders from this Mission and it is still in the process of qualifying many more young men and women. St. Joseph’s Technical Institution develops the young in the technical field. The Auxilium College, run by the Salesian Sisters meets the demand for higher education of girls since 1954! With this historical and glorious background, at this juncture, the momentous first-ever visit of a Rector Major today, 8 th September 2019, will definitely bring the blessings of Don Bosco himself, to enrich and rejuvenate the energy of the Salesians and the Salesian Family members of this region. With a warm embrace the Salesian community of Don Bosco headed
    by Fr. Francis Sundararaj SDB, the hosting community, welcomed the Rector Major with a band instrumental played by our students. The Rector Major was also given an affable welcome and elicitation by the Bishop of the Vellore Diocese, Rev. Dr. Soundararaju Perianayagam SDB DD and while honouring the Rector Major, the Bishop thanked and praised the Salesians for their contribution to the Vellore Diocese, echoing loudly “This is indeed the land of the Salesians!”.

    The Salesian Family of Katpadi comprises of Past Pupils, VDBs, FMAs, Salesian Co- operators, Youth Groups and numerous other well-wishers. The program was planned by Rev. Fr. Lourdusamy Susai SDB, the Rector of St. Joseph’s community. This event commenced by honouring our Blessed Mother Mary on her birthday today through a prayerful welcome dance. Fr. Francis Sundararaj SDB then welcomed the gathering and presented the Mission of the community in gist. Fr. Horacio Lopez SDB, the Rector Major’s Secretary was felicitated by Fr. Raj Michael SDB, the Rector of Polur community. The Bishop was honoured by Fr. Arockiadoss SDB and the Regional Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga SDB, by Bro. Mariadoss SDB.

    The Rector Major addressed the gathering and Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga SDB the Regional translated his message in Tamil. The Rector Major thanked the Bishop and Rev. Sr. Lazar Maria Nirmala the FMA Provincial of Chennai for their presence. He asked all of us to grow in the Salesian Family. He requested us to imbibe the missionary spirit which the early missionaries had possessed to a great extent. He said that all the members of the Salesian Family are born to serve the young people. He insisted that the young learn the values that we teach them consciously and unconsciously through our witnessing life. He insisted on the unity of the Salesian Family of Don Bosco forbearing one another with the love of Don Bosco. Fr. Arul Maria Raj SDB expressed his sentiments of gratitude on behalf of the Salesians and at the end of the day the boarders sang a hymn to Don Bosco in Spanish. As our hearts and souls were enlightened by the message of the Rector Major, he implored on us Divine graces through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist which also witnessed twenty Salesian Co-operators making their Renewals, promising to be bearers of the Salesian Spirit while expressing their disposition to be a member of the Salesian Family.

    The Citadel

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    Dominic Matthews

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