KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – Kolkata media was briefed on Don Bosco Relic visit to Kolkata at a Press Conference held at the Calcutta Press Club, 12 July. Over 40 media persons and four TV channels including Government channel Doordarshan covered the event.
Mr Barry Antunis, teacher of DB Park Circus compered the event which opened with a 10 minute film on the relic tour. It was followed by a panel presentation on behalf of Salesians, Salesin Schools and Don Bosco Alumni of Kolkata province.
“The relic pilgrimage is a moment of grace for us his sons and daughters,” said Salesin Vice-provincial Fr Jose Pampadiyil addressing media personnel.
“His relic visit reminds us of the single minded and dedicated life Don Bosco lived and the sacred principles that guided his work. Hence, this pilgrim journey of the relic aims at creating spiritual awareness and renewal,” explained the vice-provincial.
Addressing the press, vice-provincial reinstated the commitment of the entire Don Bosco family to “accompany young people through their formative years, facing the problems of unemployment, drug culture, internet culture, and permissive culture of our contemporary times.”
“It is a privileged moment for us educators, to re-commit ourselves to Don Bosco’s time tested educational principles of reason, religion and loving kindness,” said principal of Don Bosco School Park Circus, Fr Siby Vadakel.
Don Bosco Alumni World Council Member Mr Rajesh Gupta added, “his relic comes to remind us of all what we were taught at school and, the values inculcated in us. Now in our turn we pledge to pass it on.”
On behalf of DB Alumni, Mr Gupta vouched, “I can boldly state that there are many Don Bosco’s today, in the person of his sons and daughters who continue his legacy with selfless service.”
He further asserted that DB Alumni is the largest worldwide alumni association which has a charter from its founder body. Celebrating 100 years of DB Alumni in India, former national Alumni president Mr Gupta said, ‘we are planning to claim it with Guinness Book of World Records.”
The Relic of St John Bosco arrives in Kolkata, the city of his dreams, 15 -19 July from Ashalayam (home for street children) Howrah. It marks 150 years of the founding of the Salesian Society and preparations for bi-centenary of his birth in 2015. The relic arrived in Kolkata province via Guwahati province at Jaigaon (Assam-Bengal-Bhutan border) on 29 June, 2011.
The Relic will stay four days in the city and have four stops – Auxilium Parish Gobra (15 – 16, 18 July), Christ the King Church (17 July morning) and Don Bosco School Park Circus (17 – 18 July morning), and Provincial House & Nitika, Tengra (18 July noon to 19 July).
A public function will be held at 3.00 pm on Sunday, 17 July at Don Bosco School Park Circus during which eminent citizens of Kolkata will pay homage to Don Bosco. The relic will be in Kolkata province (Bengal, Bihar & Sikkim) from 29 June till 19 July, 2011.
The sacred remains of the saint popularly known as Don Bosco (don means “father or priest” in Italian) founder of the Salesian Family (Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Cooperators & Alumni) started its 130 country pilgrimage from Valdocco (Turin, northwest Italy) on 31 January 2009. The relic arrived in Imphal on 29th April 2011, and will visit all ten Indian Salesian provinces till 30 November 2011.