by Cl. Felix Almeida sdb
MATUNGA-MUMBAI, MAY 13, 2014: The cradle of vocations to the Mumbai province, Don Bosco -Lonavla, hosted two vocation camps beginning from May 2-12, 2014. Seventy enthusiastic young boys participated in these camps. The house of Lonavla, with its beauty and inspiring history, gave way to a wonderful experience to the campers.
The theme for the first day was 'Discover Yourself and Talents'. After getting to know each other, the campers were divided into teams. The Vice Provincial, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, introduced all the animators and volunteers, and explained the meaning, and purpose of the camp. Thereafter, the boys made their commitments for the camp. In the evening, all the campers refreshed themselves through outdoor games. The evening session by Fr. Fernandes, helped each one discover their talents and make the best use of them, by offering them to the Lord.
The theme of the second day was 'Discover Don Bosco'. The day began with the Eucharist on the theme 'Five Loaves and Two Fish.' Fr. Solomon, the Rector, in his homily, focused on theme of generosity of the little boy in the gospel. In order to know and understand Don Bosco, a short movie was screened and discussed. Thereafter, a panel discussion was held to introduce the campers to the various Salesian works that were in the province. Fr. Xavier Devdas and Br. Ramesh Durairaj were also present for the same. In the afternoon, the seniors prepared ecological projects with the use of charts and skits while the juniors learnt to make key chains. The singing classes helped the campers, to participate well, in the daily Eucharist, Praise and Worship and the Taize prayer service. The evening was filled with fun as the campers participated in lightening tournaments.
The third day focused on theme of the Good Samaritan in a modern day context,with an animated meditation, by Fr. Osborn Furtado. Fr. Glenford Lowe led the campers on the 'Call of the various prophets' that ended in a novel 'Way of Biblical Callings'. In the afternoon, the campers went to Kune mission to have an experience of the work being done by the Salesian sisters. The campers presented skits on hygiene and education. The boys also helped out in cleaning the village school by expressing their desire to help and share in their living.
The juniors went home on the fourth day whereas the seniors continued with the experience. The teachers from the three streams of the Junior College were called to speak to the aspirants about the subjects and the curriculum of the Junior College. Fr. Lorenzo D'Souza, Principal of Don Bosco Lonavla, spoke about the annual activities and academics of the Junior College. The camp culminated with the feast of St. Dominic Savio celebrated with a meaningful Eucharist followed by the 'Savio Nite' which aimed at getting to know and imitate the model of sanctity with a prayer, fun and entertainment.
The camp turned out to be a success under the able guidance of Fr. Ajoy Fernandes. It was a memorable and learning experience both for the campers as well as the organizers. Thanks to the Community of Don Bosco Lonavala, DBYS Team and the young Pre Novices who spared no efforts to make the camp a meaningful journey of discernment. May the good Lord continue to send many more laborers to work in his vineyard.