INAUGURAL PRAYER SERVICE (04.11.2013)
Hymn: This is My Commandment ...
11 November 1875 is a great milestone in the Salesian congregation. The first band of missionary Salesians were bid farewell in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, Turin. The small step taken before 133 years towards one country in sowing the seed of faith made the same seed to be rooted in 135 countries. This great day in the congregation is commemorated as the Salesian Mission Day. “The radical witness of leaving one’s own country and culture for the sake of the gospel and the young is our best image of Don Bosco today.” Blessed by the Father with the grace to give especially to the young, we the Sons of Don Bosco in India are the first beneficiaries of the Salesian Mission who are entrusted with the ‘seeds of reviving’ the missionary spirit in every confrere, every member of the Salesian Family. May this missionary week in our community fill us with the zeal that our early missionaries possessed.
Praising the Lord:
Response: We praise You, Lord, for Your glory.
1. Almighty God, we praise You for You are our creator.
2. All powerful God, we praise You for Your enduring love.
3. Abba Father, we bless You for Your faithfulness throughout ages.
4. Merciful Lord, we praise You for Your everlasting word.
5. Gracious Lord, we bless You for Your prophets and missionaries.
Reading from the Biographical Memoris Vol.XI, 358 -360. (1st Missionary Expedition)
Sending missionaries to the various parts of the world was an uppermost thought of Don Bosco in founding the congregation. He himself wanted to become a missionary. The missionary love of our father, Don Bosco this year prompts us to open our hearts to the care of migrants in our societies, our vicinities, our institutions etc. And in ‘sharing’ Christ’s love with migrants, the Salesian mission day invites us to proclaim to the rest of our brethren the theme, ‘We are the Others’. Don Bosco was a migrant; at the Moglia Farm, he was a farmhand. As a tailor and an attendant at the bar, he was a migrant at study. Away from home, in the city of Turin, he was a migratory among his little lost migrants themselves. In the same way Our Blessed Lord was also a migrant who left his Heavenly abode and came into the world as one among us. Thus the Salesian Mission Day, 2014 with its special focus on the migrants and the Salesian Mission in Europe is an open invitation for all of us to identify ourselves with the others of little hope.
Hymn: I give my hands…
Response: Make us Your Instruments O Lord.
‡ We pray to God our father, author of every plan of holiness, that He may point us the path to holiness He has chosen for us.
‡ Grant the Missionaries courage and forbearance in the moments of difficulties and turmoil that they may gain strength when they are weak through Your guiding hand in their mission land serving Your people.
‡ We beseech you for the migrant youth around the globe and the missionaries who are involved in the apostolate for the migrants.
‡ As we are geared up towards the bicentenary birth of Don Bosco we pray for our congregation that the charism of Our father and founder, St. John Bosco may be carried to the ends of the earth by the salesian missionaries.
‡ Through this missionary week we pray that the zeal for the mission may make us effective in our apostolate and our in everyday life.
O God, the source of everything that is good, by giving the ardent missionaries You direct us in the path to salvation through your servants especially through the missionaries. Enlighten the missionaries to sow the faith once again with the same enthusiasm in the hearts of all Christians. May we too find this special vocation in our apostolate. We make this prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ Amen.
Missionary Anthem to Conclude: Be My Witnesses.