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The atmosphere was that of excitement and great joy as the FMA, novices, aspirants, Salesian Cooperators, young people, members of the educating community, friends and well wishers gathered at the Mary Our Help Training Centre – Bellefonte to welcome Don Bosco. As in his rounds in Piedmont, he was accompanied by a throng of young people and the parishioners of Pynthorumkhrah in procession with lighted candles, songs and prayers from the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul.
With the dongmusa in hand and its tongues of flames lighting up the entire complex of Bellefonte, Don Bosco was given a glittering welcome into the first FMA house of the Shillong Province that enjoyed the privilege of hosting him for the night. As the casket descended from the vehicle, a happy group of FMA took charge of leading their Father and Founder to the hall where he was welcomed with music and melodious songs of the novices and the aspirants. Sr. Maristella Ryngkhlem, the animator of the community addressed words of love and filial devotion recalling the spirit that reigned among the communities of Nizza and Mornese as they received Don Bosco during his visits.
The assembly then proceeded to a moment of prayer during which the lamps of love, gratitude, obedience and fidelity were lit by the different representatives of the members of the Salesian Family. As a pledge of their loyalty to their Founder, the Salesian Cooperators renewed their promises gathering themselves around the casket. The manifestation of love and devotion to Don Bosco continued well into the night as the faithful lined themselves to pay him their homage and pray to him for their various needs and intentions. As the community of FMA, novices and aspirants continued the night vigil in the fatherly presence of Don Bosco, the recurring prayer that could be heard was “Bless us all, dear Father”.