GUJARAT, APRIL 4, 2011: A three day mission camp to some Salesian houses of Gujarat was organized by Don Bosco Youth Services from March 28 to April 1, 2011. In all there were twenty six participants from Mumbai and two from Gujarat. The youngsters gathered at Matunga on March 28 at 4:00pm, after an orientation by Fr. Brian regards the Mission Camp the youngsters introduced themselves to each other. Any mission has certain goals to accomplish, therefore, through an exercise conducted by Fr. Glenford, the youth made commitments that they would follow during the Mission camp ahead. They traveled by the Gujarat mail at 10:00pm. They reached Nadidad the following morning at 5:00am. As they entered Kapadvanj they were enchanted by the peacocks that were in the fields. The boys were warmly welcomed by the community of Kapadvanj. After breakfast the youth were given an introduction to the activities of Don Bosco Kapadvanj by Fr. Ivan D’souza. After playful ice breakers, the boys went for mass. The holy Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Glenford. In his homily he invited the youth to be directed by this meaning question: “What is the ‘loving thing’ to do rather than what is the ‘right thing’ to do?”
After a sumptuous meal the young missionaries went to a village in Kapadvanj known as Motipura. The villagers welcomed the youth with hot tea and the village tour began. The group was amazed at seeing the village huts, the farms of cotton and castor oil, and mulching of cows and buffaloes. After a very tasty ethnic food prepared by the villagers, the youth attended a village meeting. They also presented skits on values of unity, and education, ending with a popular Bollywood song. Sleeping in the open and under the starry skies was a welcome experience. They all rose early morning with the village hustle and bustle. The boys then thanked the villagers and left for Kapadvanj. Just before leaving the boys had a chance to make bricks. Getting back to Kapadvanj the youth had an opportunity to interact with the aspirants. During the interaction the aspirants spoke about their dream to discern God’s call in their lives to be priests and lay brothers. The holy Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Ivan. During the homily he spoke on how one can be a good missionary.
After games the boys had one of their best moments in Kapadvanj when they saw the play by the aspirants entitled, “It’s Cool to be Holy.” The play was directed by Bro. Royston Colaso. The play was based on the young lives of St. Dominic Savio, St. Maria Goretti, St. John Berchmans, Bl. Zefferino Namuncara, and Bl. Laura Vicuna. The aspirants received a standing ovation as it was a challenging task to put up such a great show with only ten young, dynamic and talented aspirants. The day ended with watching the India – Pakistan match. The boys were very grateful to the house of Kapadvanj and the community members.
The last day began with the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Brain, in the homily he spoke about being generous and reaching out to others in need. Don Bosco Dakor, was their next destination. Arriving at Don Bosco Dakor, they were warmly welcomed by Fr. Alex, the Rector.
After some refreshments they were introduced to the house of Dakor by a visit to the school, the boarding and the PTC College. After lunch there was a value session by Fr. Glenn. A quick visit to two villages, Madipura and Ness with Fr Alex followed. They got a chance to meet the villagers and also see the village chapels. Fr. Alex told the group that one challenge the Salesians face in Dakor is to strengthen and sustain the faith of the Catholics there. After returning to Dakor house the boys played a football match against the Salesians, in which the Salesians won the match.
After supper Fr. Alex met the boys and spoke to them about the plans for building of the Dakor Parish Church. Fr. Brian in his homily during the mass invited the youth to be more generous with their lives.
The youngsters had a wonderful experience in the villages. They were able to understand the enormous work done by the Salesians there. A special word of thanks to Fr. Mayank for organizing the camp for us in Gujarat.