By Miss Rica Lavilla, Gr. 12 Albera Matron/English Teacher
Joachim Gahekave Jnr, Alfred Muraga and Anthony Leka
Grade 12 Students of Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu
Gabutu, Port Moresby, PNG, 6 March 2023 -- On 2 March, 2023, Don Bosco Technical School Gabutu celebrated its Holy Spirit Mass with the theme “Being Yeast Today”. The mass was held in the school’s Kurungku Hall attended by more than a thousand students, the Salesians, and Salesian educators - both the teaching and non-teaching staff. It is a tradition that the Holy Spirit mass is celebrated at the beginning of every school year not only to open the academic year for both staff and students but also to prepare them, mentally, emotionally and especially spiritually for the whole year.
Amidst the blistering cold on a rainy Thursday morning stood the hall of DBTS lit with bright lights giving radiance and enabling people who were in attendance to be united. The white robes worn by the celebrants and the altar servers plus the colourful decor that adorned the interiors of the hall made the somehow gloomy weather light up for everyone.
The Holy Spirit Mass held at DBTS gives every student an opportunity to be motivated by the Gospel as well as be guided by the Strenna of the Rector Major. The Strenna that Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime, SDB put out for this year, “As the Yeast in Today’s Human Family,” challenges us students and Salesian Educators to be agents of transformation just like yeast does in flour.
The celebration began with the entrance singsing led by the students who reside at Bosco Haus. They chose to be in East New Britain traditional attire and used one of the singsings also from the aforementioned province.
The main celebrant for this opening mass was the Rector of the school, Fr. Pedro Sachitula, SDB alongside the Spiritual Moderator, Fr. Ambrose Pereira, SDB, as the co-celebrant. Fr. Angelo Fazzini, SDB, administered the Sacrament of Reconciliation while Bro. Philip, SDB assisted in the giving of communion.
Fr. Pedro, SDB, during his homily stressed the season of Lent. He shared about the season of Lent being a time for rebirth, when one can try to begin anew, a time when we exercise kindness towards others, to put aside the bad things and distractions in our lives and focus on God. Fr. Ambrose, SDB before the mass talked about prayer and its power and how only through God can the impossible be made possible. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can utter prayers where we ask for the right things and our communion with God strengthened.
The songs sung during mass were spiritually awakening with the boys singing in different tones creating blissful harmony. The music provided by the Music Club of the school together with the singing voices of the boys echoed through the gym creating an atmosphere of reflection and resolve for those present. The mass was sponsored by the Gr.12 students and the offertory was specially organized by the Pastoral Team of the school with the help of class patrons and matrons, where each level brought certain items to place as an offertory. The Bosco Haus boys’ singsing group brought the offertory to the altar with a procession.
The mass ended with the final blessing given by the presiding priests, Fr. Pedro, SDB and Fr. Ambrose, SDB who were then with the cross and altar servers, led by the traditional singsing group of Bosco Haus boys.
In the four years that I have been in this school, The Holy Spirit Mass is for me one of the most important mass of the year. It is not only a good way to start an academic year but also a great way to create the correct and conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning. We each need the presence of the Holy Spirit with us, guiding us through our journey in this life. The school in a way is the Church and as Pope Francis said in his address to the Diocese of Rome in 2021, “The Spirit is always the great ‘protagonist’ of the Church’s life.” – Joachim, 12 Rinaldi
The experience of invoking the help of the Holy Spirit in the beginning of every school year gives us a sense of gratitude to God as well as the motivation to keep on striving and reaching the potential and peak of our gift and have the courage to answer the challenge to become the yeast among our peers, our family members, and our own community. – Alfred Muraga, 12 Albera
To become yeast there must be a true change of character and under the influence of a positive force shall they lead individuals to the path of righteousness. Change doesn’t necessarily have to be factored in by a collective community but can be enforced by a single person who is equipped with Christian values and the ability to lead positively. “For being leaven in the dough of the bread of humanity”, isn’t just a message, it is an invitation to those who are willing to be agents of change. – Anthony Leka, 12 Rinaldi