Mother Yvonne in Goa….

There was much enthusiasm and excitement in the air as we woke up to another day of a joyful encounter with our beloved Mother Yvonne Reungoat in Goa. Mother received an amazing traditional welcome at the Benaulim Auxilium High School gate as she was escorted to the beat of Goan dances. The Goan culture and heritage was beautifully displayed with the baker, the fishing community, the toddy tapper, the famous Goan Sausage Pav, and the potter happily greeting her.

We then had Sr. Agatha Dias, the Vice-Provincial officially welcoming Mother Yvonne the Goan way with Goan bread, tender coconut, and the famous Herald, while the animators of  Goa – Karnataka region offered her gifts. This was followed by a short video presentation of the work and mission of the Salesian Sisters of the Goa – Karnataka region.

Mother was then treated to a colourful cultural programme presented by the boarders and students of our houses. Mother had words of gratitude and encouragement for each student present. The programme was followed by the Holy Eucharist presided by his grace Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, the Parish Priest Fr Lucio Dias and the Chaplain Fr. Eremito Coutinho. The Archbishop expressed his thanks to the Superior General for the mission carried out by the Salesian Sisters in the Archdiocese. He made a special mention about our presence at Sindoni in Daman, where the sisters work enthusiastically with the tribals. In his homily he spoke about the Father’s immense love for us His children, and who gives us the best. The season of Lent invites us to return and experience this great love which in turn will help us to be merciful to others.  Mother had a short meeting with the Archbishop thanking him for his presence amidst us and offered him a small token of her appreciation.

Mother Yvonne then addressed the Salesian Family represented by co-operators, past pupils, the PTA, staff members and ADMA. She stressed on the fact that ‘We are family’, and together we must continue the mission of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello in reaching out to the young. She further added that our educative mission is both a gift and a responsibility that has to be utilised wisely. Though the members of the Salesian family are scattered all over the world, and belong to different languages, cultures and countries, we understand each other because we share the same Salesian Spirit. This spirit ought to help us make the world a better place. Each one present received a souvenir of this maiden visit of Mother to Goa. We then had a scrumptious meal, enjoying the Salesian spirit of joy and togetherness.

In the evening the sisters of the Benaulim community along with Mother Yvonne and the Provincial set out for a short pilgrimage to the Shrine of Bom Jesus at Old Goa to venerate the relics of St. Francis Xavier. Fr. Patricio Fernandes SJ, the Rector of Bom Jesus community explained to them the history and devotion related to the place. After this wonderful pilgrimage they returned back and Mother gave the ‘Goodnight’, where she conveyed her thanks to the community for the coordination and organisation and felt at ease in the community.  The community reciprocated their thanks for her gracious presence and assured Mother their prayerful support.