Monday, March 02, 2009

Provincial day '09

Canlubang February 28, 2008—"Tayo para sa Lahat" roughly translated as "We are for everyone" was the theme chosen in celebration of the Provincial Day of the Philippine North Province. It captured the importance of the contributions of every confrere in responding to the call to return to Don Bosco. The three communities of Don Bosco Canlubang—the Prenovitiate, postnovitiate and college—played host to this event.

It was a festive celebration marking the 150th founding year of the congregation.

The event started with a Holy Mass at the Diocesan Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. Fr. Remo Bati, one of the first Filipino Salesians presided over the Mass. Fr. Eli Cruz, the provincial, delivered the homily and spoke about the importance of fatherhood in our times when it is seemed to be sidestepped due to various circumstances. He then led everyone to realize that we are called to imbibe the brand of love God Father has for each of us.

Several jubilarians also renewed their professions during the rite.

Right after the Mass, everybody went in procession to the cemetery, just at the back of the shrine, to offer a wreathe in honor of our departed confreres (most whom are pioneers including Fr. Charles Braga). It was a simple but a meaningful gesture of gratitude which highlights the fact that our departed confreres, too, are part of the celebration!

More than 200 participants--bringing together priests, lay brothers, clerics, prenovices and aspirants. Some conferes from the FIS and other missionaries who were in the country also joined the event.

Photos of yesteryears were projected shortly before the program started, which caught the fancy of the senior ones. The photos did not need any caption since those who were present had their running commentary on the events--and especially on the confreres in the photos.

The program provided that familial brand of wholesome entertainment characteristic of Salesians: cheerful, creative and personal.

The South District, which includes Don Bosco Seminary, featured a combined effort of the aspirants, prenovices, and Salesians in rendering “Gold Tested in Fire,” the theme song of Don Bosco Canlubang’s recent foundation day celebration. The aspirants and young confreres whipped up an exciting choreography on the side.

Fr. Luis Iriarte, a Spanish missionary, who celebrates his 50th year as a Salesian Priest was among those given honor. Several confreres celebrating their jubilee of profession and ordination also received due recognition.

The afternoon was devoted to community-bonding activities which counted among them the “Amazing Race” held in the 13 hectare campus where each team was composed of Salesians and aspirants. Afterwards other perennial games like football, basketball and badminton where also played. The traditional Bocce was enjoyed by some confreres.

It was a homecoming to most Salesians (maybe to all the Filipino SDB’s) in which their memorable years of their formative experiences were spent in Canlubang. It was also an inspiring event for the young Salesians and aspirants seeing zealous and happy Salesians in their midst.