Liberia, Feb 4, 2014: These were great days of celebrations and rejoicing for the Salesians of Don Bosco and the members of St. Joseph’s Parish, Monrovia, Liberia as they celebrated the feast of Don Bosco which was preceded by a novena from the 22nd to the 30th of January 2014 and the Feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus on 2nd of February.
The Don Bosco Technical High School, anticipated the celebrations for the feast of Don Bosco on the 27th of January 2014. There was a special Mass for the school children which was celebrated by Rev Fr John Paul M.S.P. (Member of the Missionary Society of St. Paul), the Associate Pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Monrovia. The school choir made the celebrations lively and meaningful by their excellent singing. The homily preached by Rev Fr. John Paul kept the students in rapt attention when he mentioned that a young boy John Bosco at the age of 9 was open to the call of God to dedicate his whole life with generosity and profound love for the young and for souls. The way he presented the life of Don Bosco from his childhood to his later years as a Priest and Founder of the Salesians and the Daughter of Mary help of Christians, made the students to listen and reflect.
After the Mass, the school children marched a 3 kms procession from the Church to the School on the main streets in honour of the Saint accompanied by Don Bosco Brass Band and celebrated the Feast in a special way in the school premises with games, entertainment which was followed by sumptuous lunch.
The 31st of January, the feast day of Don Bosco was set aside for the Religious, the Priests, the members of the Salesian Family and well wishers. In the Mass celebrated in the morning Rev. Fr. Sony Pottenplackel, the Rector and also the Principal of Don Bosco Technical School, presented Don Bosco’s love for the youth, the poor and abandoned and his great zeal for souls. Hunter of souls. Hunter to save youth from the evils of society and to lead them to holiness. The evening’s programmes began with prayer service and a short Video Presentation of the life of Don Bosco and concluded with a dinner.
The 2nd of February 2014 was another significant moment for the Salesians , the members of St. Joseph’s Parish and the Youth. The Chief celebrant was the new Papal Nuncio to Monrovia, Liberia, His Excellency Miroslaw Adamscysk and it was his first official visit to St. Joseph’s Parish. Besides the feast of the Presentation of Child Jesus, it was a special day for the Youth to honour St. John Bosco, the Father of all Youth.
His Excellency was welcomed by the Don Bosco Brass Band, with a colourful cultural dance & the candle light procession of the children, the lectors, the altar servers and the Nuncio, with the co-celebrants Rev. Fr. Gabriel Viola, the Secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio , the Youth Director Rev. Fr. Daniel Libby SDB and Rev Fr. Lionel Xavier SDB, the Parish Priest and Vice Rector.
In his homily the Apostolic Nuncio highlighted Jesus the Light who had come into this world to scatter the darkness of ignorance, injustice, arrogance, impurity, greed and dishonesty to light of enlightenment, justice, humility, purity of life, generosity and honesty. He called the parents to be examples to their children and emphasized that this is very much necessary today so that this will keep the children in the light and not in the darkness of sin. He also presented Don Bosco as a model for all youth and said that the life of Don Bosco is a clear proof of how a young boy could achieve so much, by his openness to God.
The Nuncio who had earlier served in the Apostolic Nunciatures of Madagascar, India, Hungary, Belgium, South Africa, and Venezuela was felicitated by the Youths. The youths of the parish later organized a food sale for the parishioners.