BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3519
CELEBRATING TWENTY FIVE YEARS OF FIDELITY TO GOD AS A SALESIAN
By: Amira Peter
NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, MAY 30, 2013: It was a glorious day indeed! As the 24 of May 2013 dawned, our Parish had three beautiful occasions to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, the silver jubilee of the first profession of Fr. Franco and the ceremony of seven parishioners who took promise to be part of the Salesian family as Cooperators.
Fr. Franco's Silver Jubilee festivities began with a meaningful Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by all the priests of our Parish with Fr. Franco as the main celebrant. The church was artistically decorated and packed with parishioners, family and friends who have been touched by Fr. Franco over the years both here in Kuwait and in India. There was a spirit of joy and happiness in the air as Fr. Franco led us in prayer.
In his homily, Fr. Franco shared his beautiful journey since he said Yes to God his Revelation, his Revolution and his Resolution. He reached out to parents advising them to foster an atmosphere at home that encourages priestly and religious life while appealing to the youth to be discerning of the voice of God. He praised those who have recently taken the first step in their priestly journey. He beautifully knit together the three events of the day highlighting the common thread saying, "Yes" to God. Mother Mary said, "Yes" to God as did he, when he joined the priesthood. The soon to be inducted Salesian Cooperators were also confirming their "Yes" to God by taking their vows.
The Eucharistic Celebration was followed by a Cultural Program organized by various groups in the Parish, perfectly compiled and coordinated by Rosario Fernandes and Ms. Arlette D'souza. It was amazing to see the parishioners, family and friends of Fr. Franco from across Kuwait turn out in large numbers once again to felicitate Fr. Franco. The function was also graced by the Apostolic Nuncio His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič, priests and religious from across the country.
The evening began with a recital and dance by the Children's choir, followed by a delightful dance performance by the children of the Salesian Cooperators. Fr. Blany then came on stage and expressed his deep appreciation to the person of Fr. Franco and thanked him for all the service he selflessly and efficiently renders to the school, parish and the vicariate.
Next was an audio-visual presentation on the life of Fr. Franco a tribute compiled by his family and friends. An emotional Fr. Franco smiled as he relived the old memories with nostalgia and listened to and read tributes from his parents, family, friends, former parishioners, oratory friends, Catechists and his confreres.
Even Bishop Camillo Ballin, the Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia had sent in his greetings. In the background played Fr. Franco's favorite song "You've got a friend" he has indeed been a true and loving friend to all those around, both young and old.
After cutting of the cake, all the various Ministries of the Parish presented him with artistically decorated (most were hand-made) greeting cards and spiritual bouquets. And then, Fr. Franco was surprised yet again, by a traditional dance performance to a Goan medley – music from his hometown.
It was a memorable evening indeed…the love and appreciation for Fr. Franco was palpable! We are all so thankful to the Lord for the beautiful gift of Fr. Franco to us. God bless him; grant him good health and the graces to continue his apostolate in our vicariate.
Ps 26:7 - "That I may proclaim with a voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all your wondrous works."