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Don Bosco's relic arrives in Chennai Province
By Fr. Paul Raj Amal SDB
Chennai, Oct. 28. Chennai, 28 Oct 2011: The Pilgrim casket of Don Bosco made a triumphal entry into Chennai Province, with a solemn welcome at The Citadel, at 4.30 p.m. on 28 Oct 2011.
The vehicle carrying the relic arrives at The Citadel
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The Inaugural function of the pilgrimage of the relic of Don Bosco in Chennai Province set off magnificently with Fr. Jeyapalan SDB, Our Provincial, Sr. Magnificat, the FMA Provincial and Sr. Jeyarani, the SMA Provincial, together with the Rectors and leaders of the Province and the Salesian family receiving the relic at 4.30 pm at the Rinaldi Juniorate gate. Ben Venuto Don Bosco!

The Father has come! He was escorted from Rinaldi Juniorate to the Citadel entrance with band, flag march and flower-girls throwing petals, together with the priests, sisters, youngsters and members of the Salesian family accompanying. 'Long Live Don Bosco' was the echo in the air.... With the band playing hymns of Don Bosco and people waving flags with enthusiasm.

The students of SIGA welcomed the hero of the young with the fitting warrior dance. The girls of Our Lady's, Kingsford welcomed our father with a graceful welcome dance - 'We praise you Lord with Joy'.... for Don Bosco among us. It was followed by a Don Bosco hymn sung by Fr. Deva Joe SDB.

''The 21 days of our father with us is a season of grace. Don Bosco has come to see us and the works of his sons among the young and to rejuvenate us'' noted Fr. Jeyapalan, our provincial in his welcome address. It was followed by Fr. John Peter Sathiaraj presenting words of tribute to our father on behalf of the Salesians. Fr. K. Amal SJ, the Rector of the Loyola College, and Mr. Jeyaseelan paid their tributes on behalf of the Religious and Salesian family respectively.

This glorious occasion was coloured by releasing of three books: Ninaivalaigal (Memoirs of the oratory in tamil) written by Fr. Siluvai Muthu SDB, Subaltern Consciousness: Perspecitves on the Dalit youth, by Fr. Adaikalarasa SDB, and Education of the Young in Today's India by Fr. Pudumai SDB, Fr. Sahayadas SDB, Fr. Sagayaraj SDB and Fr. Vallabaraj SDB. With Immense gratitude and joy, the whole Salesian family made a promise to Don Bosco to carry out his apostolic mission in the Church for the poor youth. Finally, the whole gathering joined in joyous melody: All hail to you Don Bosco, sung in Tamil.

This was followed by a Eucharist with our father in the SIGA Hall celebrated by Fr. Provincial, while the laity had a prayer service and private veneration of the relic of Don Bosco. It is indeed a season of grace and joy. Let us take our father, Don Bosco and his carism to young.

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