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30 October 2019 marked the maiden visit of Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesian Congregation, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Shillong Province. The event was celebrated joyously and grandly where the campus was beautifully decked adding glamour and celebration to the occasion. At the struck of 9.35am the Rector Major made his majestic appearance along with the Salesians, escorted by the State Security Force. His arrival brought magic, love and cheer to the sea of young people, the Students of Auxilium Higher Secondary School who were lined up right from the entrance of the school till the Provincial house: some in their beautiful traditional dress and others in their school uniform. It was a rare sight to behold with cheerful faces shouting out loud and singing their welcome song. He was accompanied by Sr. Elizabeth George, the Provincial, Fr. Paul Ophindro Lyngkot, SDB Provincial of Shillong Province, Salesian priests, Sisters from near and far of our Province and two young students in their beautiful, colourful traditional Khasi dress. The Rector Major happily extended his love and greeting to the pupils.
At the entrance of the House, the Rector Major and Fr. Horacio Lopez his were felicitated warmly and joyfully with bouquets of flowers, traditional shawls (Jain Ryndia) and Khasi Necklaces (Paila). The other guests, Fr. Paul Ophindro Lyngkot, the Provincial, Fr. John Zosiama, Vice Provincial, Fr. James Thyrniang, Administrator, Fr. Daniel Cajee, Provincial Secretary and other councillors: Fr. Sunny Joseph, Br. Regy Joseph, Br. Alexius Condpan, were honoured with a muffler. The welcoming ceremony was officially, professionally and grandly hosted by Mrs. Amanda Jyrwa and Ms. Elena Kharkongor, assistant teachers of Auxilium Girls Nongthymmai.
Soon after the welcoming ceremony, the sisters and novices proceeded to the hall for a meeting with the Rector Major. The meeting was homely; a father in the midst of his children. The experience and feeling of joy was visible on the faces of every one. The Rector Major expressed his happiness to be in their midst and recalled the Mornesian way of life lived by the first sisters. In his message he exhorted the Sisters and the Novices to spend or live their life totally for others and live their mission with hope and confidence. He spoke on the three points: firstly to be men and women of profound faith, secondly to spend one’s everyday life desiring to serve and to give and thirdly to live in fraternity which he said is a big challenge for the religious. The Rector Major also encouraged the Sisters to overcome their personal diversity and learn to listen to the voice of the needy. He concluded his message by praying for God’s blessings upon the province and invited everyone to give themselves to the poor and to do good to the sea of young people in thier mission.
This was then followed by the Rector Major asking for a guitar on which he played and sang a beautiful Mexican song. Sr. Hilda Barragan, a veteran missionary from Mexico and Fr. Horacio Lopez were also invited to sing along. The beautiful song led to a rapturous cheer from the audience.
To document the visit of the Rector Major to the Immaculate heart of Mary Shillong Province, all the sisters present took a group photo with him and also with Sr. Elizabeth George, the provincial, and her Council. The sisters who asked for a photograph with him individually were also not disappointed, the Rector Major joyfully and willingly agreed to their request. Indeed, all felt the presence of Don Bosco in the person of the Rector Major!