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Mirik Valley: Don Bosco Visits a Tourist Spot in Darjeeling District
By Fr. George Vadakkekunnel, SDB
Kolkata, Jul. 3. While touring Darjeeling District in West Bengal, despite pouring rain and possible landslides, Don Bosco stopped at Don Bosco School in Mirik Valley where he was given a warm welcome by around 600 students and their teachers, who offered him flowers and khadda.  Groups of faithful from distant villages flocked to have a glimpse of Don Bosco and seek his blessings.
Don Bosco reached Don Bosco, Mirik at 11.00 AM on 1st July, 2011 as the sun peeped out of the monsoon clouds. The students accompanied him to the spacious auditorium amidst cheers and welcome songs. There was a note of solemnity in the air as hymns were sung, prayers were recited, flags were waved, flowers were offered and khaddas were laid at the feet of Don Bosco.

The homage to Don Bosco offered by the school children from classes I to X, with photo sessions around him was beautifully arranged by Fr. VC Jose, the principal. Fr Thomas Ellicherail, the provincial gave a brief message to the students and the staff.  Later, Salesian documentaries were screened.

During the homage session by the parishioners, Fr. Mathew Pulingathil, the rector said, ''It is a rare privilege to have Don Bosco with us in Mirik. We have been blessed, as we have made many sacrifices to come over and meet him.''  Fr. Patrick Lepcha compeered the programme and crowned it with a pastoral touch amidst prayers, hymns and litanies.

At 3.30 PM the solemn Eucharistic celebration was presided over by Fr. Provincial and concelebrated by the members of the Salesian Community at Mirik. The lively singing by the choir was a true tribute to Don Bosco the musician. After the Credo the Salesians renewed the vows in the presence of all the faithful.

Later, Salesian documentaries were screened, notable among them, ''The Dream Comes True'' a documentary on Salesian Mission in Kolkata province produced by Nitika Communications.

At the conclusion, after giving a brief message on Don Bosco's presence in the world, Fr. Provincial imparted the blessing of Don Bosco, just prior to the distribution of the souvenirs. Then, as the night creatures began their chorus, the boarders, the staff and the catechists gathered around Don Bosco for a vigil service.
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