Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 23 May 2020 -- It is this time of the year that every Salesian Community joins in as a family to have devotion to Mother Mary and commemorate her under the title ‘Help of Christians' on the 24th of May. Due to the unfortunate situation of the world’s pandemic COVID-19 there have been limitations to the tradition of celebrating the Feast of Mary Help of Christians with large crowds and processions.
Nevertheless, Don Bosco Technical School (DBTS) Gabutu found creative ways of celebrating this feast so dear to its Educative Pastoral Community. The pastoral team of the school and the Mariam club organized three important events:
1. Creative construction of Mariam Grottos, by students assisted by their class patrons. The grottos were placed around the school campus, which made the school experience a real festive, colorful and holy environment.
2. Painting of banners displaying Mama Mary in inculturated features and colors.
3. Year level Masses, in order to observe proper physical distancing:
- On Tuesday, 19th of May the ITC 2 students had their Mass, presided over by Fr. Angelo Fazzini SDB,
- On Wednesday ITC 1 students, presided over by Fr. Pedro Sachitula SDB.
- On Thursday Grade 9 and 11 students had their Mass, presided over by Fr. Angelo Fazzini.
- On Friday the Grade 10 and the 12 students, presided over by Fr. Fr Roger SDB.
- Also on Friday, after the dismissal of students, around 1:30pm DBTS teaching and non-teaching Staff had their solemn Mass. Fr. Dominic Kachira SDB presided over the Mass and Fr. Pedro concelebrated.
Before the Mass, students offered flowers to Mama Mary. During the homilies the priests underlined the importance of having a Mother such as Mary Help of Christians. “We are not alone, we have a mother.” Just as she was given to St. John Bosco at the dream at 9 years of age as a teacher and guide, she is there to be our teacher and guide. Mary is our Help and will always come to our aid. Fr. Roger Miranda, SDB, stated in his homily, Mary is sensitive to our needs and will intercede for us if we ask her. We were reminded of Don Bosco’s strong trust in Mary: “have devotion to Mother Mary and you shall see what miracles are.”
At the end of each Eucharistic celebration students and staff enjoyed a festive lunch.
Indeed, though much cannot be done to really express the love and devotion as usual to Mother Mary, the students and staff somehow managed to participate and have their special moment of prayer and thanksgiving to Mother Mary.