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Kerala Celebrates Bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth
By BIS Bangalore
Bangalore, May. 13. The youth of Kerala celebrated the Bicentenary of Don Bosco's Birth with a Youth Convention simultaneously held at five venues from 8-10 May 2015.  The event concluded with a Walk with Don Bosco on Marine Drive, Kochi.
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About 140 young people of Salesian parishes in Kerala assembled at Don Bosco, Angamaly, while about 100 youth from Don Bosco Youth Centres in Kerala gathered at Don Bosco, Aluva.  

More than 250 youngsters from Don Bosco Skill and Technical Training Centres had a hectic schedule of action and animation at Don Bosco, Vaduthala while about 80 children from the three Young at Risk Centres of Trivandrum, Kollam and Palluruthy had their convention at Don Bosco, Palluruthy.

More than 200 school students from the eight Don Bosco schools in Kerala celebrated the event at Don Bosco School, Mannuthy.  

At these venues the Provincial Commissions coordinating each specific Salesian Youth Ministry offered inputs on Don Bosco and Salesian themes as well as on topics related to the particular setting.  Don Bosco quiz, camp fire, cultural performances, prayer experiences, etc. were part of the programmes in each place.

The Convention bearing the theme of Don Bosco With the Young and For the Young had its conclusion at Don Bosco, Vaduthala, on 10 May.  

More than 800 participants from all the Don Bosco settings arrived in the morning.  After breakfast, Fr. (Dr.) K.C. Francis SDB reflected with the youth on certain most apt insights from the life and vision of Don Bosco.

The Holy Eucharist that followed was presided over Msgr. Jose Padiyaramparambil, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Verapoly.  Rev. Fr. Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, Salesian Provincial of Bangalore, preached the homily.  An inter-religious prayer session was simultaneously held for those belonging to other religions.

Rev. Fr. Provincial presided over the public function that began at noon.  Several other dignitaries including Ernakulam MLA Mr Hibi Eden, District Collector Mr MG Rajamanickam IAS, Vicar General Msgr. Jose Padiyaramparambil, and Corporation Councillors Adv. Leslie Stephen and Mr. Manikandaraj, addressed the gathering.

Cultural items performed by representatives of different youth pastoral settings and a moving piano performance from Don Bosco Cultural Centre, Vennala, kept the assembly spellbound.

After lunch, the participants had a Walk with Don Bosco on Marine Drive, Kochi.  It was an initiative of the Don Bosco Alumni (Kochi Unit).  The youth walked the length of the Marine Drive carrying balloons and shouting slogans in praise of Don Bosco.  

The music band of Don Bosco, Palluruthy, played melodious Don Bosco hymns.  At the conclusion, cine artists Ms. Anjana Menon and Mr. Baiju greeted the youth.  The participants pledged themselves to build the nation.  Singing a hymn to Don Bosco, the assembly released the balloons in their hands, giving wings to their dream of a prosperous nation and meaningful lives.

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