Don Bosco’s Bicentenary Celebration

27-28.09.2014¬†- Inauguration of Don Bosco’s Bicentenary Celebration in Bauleni

Many young people came to inaugurate Don Bosco’s bicentenary celebration at our Bauleni Parish. They were enthusiastic and ready for the Saturday events. They were in a jovial mood, chanting, singing and shouting. The beginning of the day was with a walk from St. Dominic’s Bosco 2Major Seminary, led by a band to Bauleni.

On their arrival at Bauleni, they were welcomed by Fr Rupen Diravya and by Fr Andrew Reut as the guest of the day. At the opening of the program, there was a prayer service, largely involving the young people. It was held outside the church of St Mathias in a well-prepared place. Presenting their Bosco 3offering to God, the young people offered different items, symbolizing their faith and shared charity. One of them was a prayer for unity in God’s love and peace in the world. A dove was also offered with a prayer for the gifts of the Holy Spirit and some books with a pray for knowledge. The dove was released by Fr Andrew Reut and it also symbolized the official opening of the bicentenary and Don Bosco’s flag. A group photo was taken for the cheerful faces of “Don Bosco among us.” After the service young people enjoyed different sport activities and some refreshments were served.

The young people had a delightful day and the feeling was as if Don Bosco was really present among them, continuing his mission as father and teacher as he reminds to us all: ‘Remember, young people are the “Masters” of our heart.’

Bosco 1On Sunday, the following day, the novitiate community went to Bauleni to participate in the bicentenary Mass there. The ZMB Provincial, Fr George Chalissery was the main celebrant and Fr Silvio Roggia gave a homily. Some Salesian priests also concelebrated the Mass, including the rector of the ZMB Novitiate Community.

(Written by the novices and Fr Chris Rychcik)
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Novices’ Social Evening

Novices’ Social Evening on 27.09.2014

Life is meant to be enjoyed in the Lord, Christ Jesus. Such was the case with the novices who had their entertaining day with the community in the evening of Saturday, the 27th of September.

Social Ev. 1In their ‘Social Evening,’ the Ici-Bemba speaking novices presented different traditional dances and songs from their cultural background. The two novices, one from Chingola and another from Chelenge in Luapula, presented their knowledge of tradition and talents. It was fantastic seeing them dancing with their shaking waists, wrapped with “icitenge.” All the others also tried to imitate them shaking their bodies Social Ev. 2and laughing at the efforts they were making. Even the Director of the Novices, Fr. Christopher Rychcik, was not left behind.

After the songs and dances, they had some indoor games in which some liked to play: Scrabble, table tennis, while others Rummikub with the Director of the Novices. This was accompanied by nice songs played on the backgroundSocial Ev. 3 from a CD player.

This was a nice beginning of the weekend. They looked at the way they benefited from their interaction, sharing ideas through chatting and games? playing. We can quote the psalmist who said, “How good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together as one” (Psalm 133).

(Written by the novices and Fr. Christopher Rychcik)
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The Conferences

The Conferences with Br Walter THYRNIANG and with Fr Silvio ROGGIA

Br WalterIn the early hours of the 23rd of September, the novices had a conference with Br. Walter SDB from Mansa Community on the beauty of Salesian life. The Brother shared his journey of vocation with the novices and he gave them some musical classes where the novices learnt some Salesian songs. Viva Don Bosco!!!

In the evening of the same Tuesday, the novices had also a conference with Fr Silvio Roggia, the Vice-Provincial from Ghana, who preached the annual retreat to the SDBs. Fr Silvio has been a Director of Novices in Ghana for 13 years. He underlined the main topic:¬† “What to focus on in the Novitiate.”

In the region Africa, there are over 100 novices in the present day. If we continue with this number in the next 10 years to come, we are going to have over 1000 Salesians. Anywhere, the number does not matter most, but what matters most is the quality of the Salesians - the sanctity of the Salesian life now and in the future.

Fr SilvioDon Bosco worked tirelessly for the young people, someone might ask himself where did he get the strength to do that. There is a secret indeed to this, and the secret is to be found only in his motto: Da Mihi Animas Cetera Tolle. This was the secret of his love, the source of the ardour of his charity: love for souls, especially for the young. Don Bosco loved the young people because he loved Jesus Christ, and because he looked at them with the mind, heart, and love of the Redeemer (cf. from the words of Pius XI). Because of this love, Don Bosco became a shepherd of the young, and to this we can cite the book of Ezek 34: 11, 23: “I myself, I sought my sheep, I will seek them out, and I will put over them a shepherd who will look after them and feed them.” In 1846, Don Bosco showed this great love of a shepherd to his boys and they loved him too in return. After a recovery from a serious illness with the prayers of his boys, Don Bosco dedicated himself completely to them and fulfilled his words. He promised to do everything only for them. On top of this, Don Bosco added: “for you I study, for you I work, for you I live, for you I am even ready to lose my life.”

Like St Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 that: “be imitators of me as I am of Christ.” So also today, our Father and Founder St John Bosco is saying to us, “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” This should be the main focus in the novitiate to have a close relationship with Christ Jesus whose charity of the heart attracted Don Bosco to love Him and to love the young people. Another focus in the novitiate is to capture the Salesian identity, the DNA of what it means to be a Salesian of Don Bosco today in the environment and culture the SDB finds himself.

(Written by the novices and Fr. Chris Rychcik)
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The Provincial Day on 22.09.2014

Prov. Com 1The Provincial Day

Monday, the 22nd of September was a day of remembrance and gratitude to God for the Salesian work in the Vice-Province of Mary Help of Christians as it was the Provincial day during which three Salesians celebrated their Silver Jubilee, the 25 years of Religious Profession. They were: Br. Sylvester Makumba, Fr. Alexander Kim Prov. Com 2Shik, and Fr. Mariusz Skowron.

The celebrations started in the evening of the day after 20 of the Salesians finished their annual retreat in Kasisi and had a communal Mass together with the Salesian Co-operators and Novices, who were also invited. During the Mass, the silvery men renewed their vows in front of the representatives of the thirteen communities Prov. Com 3present for the occasion, which was presided over by the Provincial, Fr. G. Chalissery.

After the Mass, there was a dinner and a barbecue with the M.C. none other than Fr. Eustace Siame. Some entertainment was made by the novices who brought a new mixture of skills from different countries of the South-African Region. The practical Prov. Com 4trainees also gave some performances as they were led by Cl. Joseph Tuan Anh Nguyen from Vietnam.

At the end, there was a ruffle draw of which Rundu community won and went away with a healthy sum of money. The Lilongwe community was also rewarded with some liturgical items for its generous contribution in the Solidarity Fund. Then, the Provincial gave his closing address and a final prayer Prov. Com 5finishing the assembly. The novitiate community returned to Makeni.

(Written by the novices and Fr. Chris R.)
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Retreat of the Director of the Novices

Retreat of the Director of the Novices

Some may say: “when a parent is away the children will jump up,” however it was not like that with the novices. Fr. Chris Rychcik, the Director of the Novices and Rector in one person, was away from the community as he attended the annual retreat for the ZMB Vice-Province confreres, which began on the 16 of September (Sunday) in Kasisi.

There novices were under the guidance of Br Sylvester Makumba and parcially by Fr. Louis Malama. The timetable had to change slightly, i.e. there were no classes, but the time allocated for studies was profitably used as they were reading the Bible, spiritual books and practicing skills, e.g. playing on the guitar or keyboard. However, daily prayers (Breviary, Mass and Meditation) were precisely followed as they were presided by Fr. Malama.

(Written by the novices and Fr. Chris R.)

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The Classes

Following the Timetable and the Classes

On Monday 8.09.2014, the feast of the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the novices officially started all the classes, especially on the Constitutions and Regulations with a lot of enthusiasm and happiness. The Director of the Novices Fr. Christopher addressed them that they should cherish the friendship with the Lord Jesus and remain in union with each other, by helping one another to grow in God’s love and knowledge.

Cty 2The novices also started their apostolate on 6th of September (Saturday) in various places like our Bauleni Parish and City of Hope, and on Sunday in Salvation House at Makeni. It was a very interesting experience for all of them as for the first time they were introduced to the people they are to work with. They all hope that they will have the same enthusiasm and self-gift to help others in their search for God and meaning of life.

Their prayer is that they shall joyfully fulfill all their apostolic assignments as they feel responsible and guided by Mother Mary, the Help of Christians.

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