by Philip Fernandes
NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, MAY 26, 2014: The Salesian Co-operators of the Kuwait Unit were all excited as ten parishioners took their Promise as Salesian Co-operators on May 24, 2014, on the Feast of Mary Help of Christians, at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in the North Arabian Vicariate. 'The Association of Salesian Co-operators' is a movement of the laity of the Salesians of the Don Bosco family. It is also one of the three main branches of the Salesian Family founded by Don Bosco in 1876. The mission of a Co-operator is to share the ideals of the Salesian Preventive System in the education of young people, especially those who are poor.
At the Eucharistic celebration, Fr. Lionel Braganza, the Vice Rector of the community was the main celebrant along with Fr. Francis Kharjia, Fr. Franco Pereira and Fr. Blany Pinto who were the concelebrants. In his homily, Fr. Lionel enlightened the congregation on the devotion to Mary Help of Christians and exhorted all to be devout towards our Holy Mother. The ten Co-operators who took their Promise to be full-fledged Salesian Co-operators are: Ms. Erlinda Pinuela, Mrs. Evelyn D'souza, Mrs. Greta Salvacao Quadros, Mrs. Jacinta D'souza, Mrs. Lakshmi Pereira, Mr. Marcus Fernandes, Mr. Pascoal Fernandes, Mrs. Roselyn Das, Mrs. Sheetal Pereira Fernandes and Mr. Terrence Rodrigues.
During the ceremony, Fr. Pinto accepted the Promise in the name of the Association. The ten new candidates were then invited to the altar to sign the Promise. Fr. Braganza, the main celebrant gave each one of them a lit candle saying "Receive the Light of Christ and be a Light for all you meet on your Promised Path of Life." With these in hand, the candidates made a solemn promise to commit themselves to the Association of the Salesian Co-operators. Two of the parishioners will be scheduled to take their Promise in Matunga, India on August 16, 2014. Currently, there are seven aspirants in formation under the guidance of the Rector of the Salesians, Fr. Pinto who is also their Spiritual Director.
Immediately after the celebration of the Eucharist, a small fellowship was organized in Fr. Pinto's office with all Co-operators congratulating the new members. An exhilarated Marcus Fernandes commented, "By taking the promise, I felt I'm on the top and experienced a caring and loving welcome into the family (Salesian family)". Jacinta D'souza added "I am so grateful to God for calling me to be a Salesian Co-operator and I am thankful to Leena Lobo who introduced me to the Salesian family".