BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3510
DON BOSCO VOCATION CAMPS 2013 AT DB LONAVALA
By: CL. AVIL CORREA SDB
MATUNGA-MUMBAI, May 14, 2013: Enthusiastic young Vocation probable had a foretaste of the cradle of Salesian vocations at Don Bosco Lonavala. 'The Seniors' Vocation Camp for Aspirants witnessed forty five youngsters from May 2-6, while 'the Juniors' camp for Apostolic boys registered forty two youngsters from May 8-11, 2012. The peaceful climate itself was the most pleasant welcome that Lonavala could offer to the campers.
'Discover Yourself' was the theme for the first day. The campers were divided into teams which were named after great Salesian Legends: Frs. Casarotti, Jimmu (Cajetan Lobo), Maschio and Br. PM Thomas. These names were given, not just to keep their memories alive, but in order to serve as an inspiration to the young seekers. The exciting ice-breakers facilitated the campers to know each other better. They were invited to make commitments after having explained to them the purpose of the camp.In the evening, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Province, guided them to discover themselves and their God given talents. Each camper was invited to write his talents and their purpose on a paper leaf that was later attached to a barren tree. Fr. Fernandes emphasized on the uniqueness of every person. The evening games allowed the campers to break free within the contours of the rules of Basketball and Football.
The theme of the second day was 'Discover Don Bosco'. The day began with an interactive Lectio Divina conducted by Fr. Cletus D'Souza, Rector of Don Bosco – Lonavala, on miracle of the 'Five Loaves and Two Fish.' Fr. D'Souza invited the campers to make an offering to the Lord of the qualities that they had for the sake of others. A short movie on the life of Don Bosco was then screened to enable all to know who Don Bosco really was. Thereafter, a panel discussion followed on various Salesian works that were held in the province. Fr. Xavier Devdas, Br. Savio D'Mello, Cl. Johnson Kshirsagar and Cl. Avil Correa shared their vocation stories and the various stages of formation. These talks were indeed inspiring.In the afternoon, the campers learnt to make badges with the help of string art and they also made pouches out of waste cloth. The singing class helped the campers to participate actively in the daily Eucharist, Praise and Worship and the Taize prayer service. The evening thunder and lightning tournaments kept the campers on their toes. The day ended with the 'Thirty Seconds to Fame' wherein the campers showcased their giftedness.
The third day began with an animated meditation by Fr. Osborn Futardo, Vocation Promoter, wherein the campers acted out various scenes depicting the Good Samaritan in a modern day context. The theme of the day was 'Discovering God within others'. Fr. Glenford Lowe provided an orientation to the campers on the call of the various prophets and the stages of discerning and responding to the call. The Aspirants got an opportunity to go for an outreach to Thakurli village inhabited by the Adivasis of Lonavala. The campers presented skits on social awareness, while the children were entertained with some lively action songs. As a social contribution, the campers cleaned up the village entrance that was littered with non-biodegradable material. An enriching reflection was drawn from the outreach. The day culminated with a rich Taize prayer.
The juniors went home on the fourth day while the seniors had some more enriching sessions. The teachers from the three streams of the Junior College spoke to the aspirants about the subjects and the curriculum of the Junior College. Fr. Lorenzo D'Souza, Principal of Don Bosco Lonavala, explained the annual activities and academics of the Junior College. The last day witnessed the celebration of the feast of St. Dominic Savio. The campers wrote a letter of petition to St. Dominic Savio during the meditation; the same were offered symbolically during the solemn Holy Eucharist. They were exhorted to imbibe the cheerful sanctity of Dominic Savio. A grand 'Savio Nite' organized by the clerics and Pre Novices was a moment to remember. Throughout the course of the two camps, the youngsters were exposed to rich Salesian traditions, practices and customs.
These camps would not have been possible without the meticulous planning of the camp chief Fr. Ajoy Fernandes and his Vocation Team. The young Salesian Clerics and the Pre Novices were of great help in executing the various activities of the camp. The animating team remains indebted to the community of Don Bosco, Lonavala.
May the Lord of the harvest, continue to call many more youngsters to work in His vineyard.