Cebu, Philippines, 25 May 2023 -- May 24, 2023, marked a momentous occasion for Don Bon FIS. With hearts full of gratitude and reverence, the Salesians and members of the Salesian Family, friends, and guests gathered together to honor and commemorate the Feast Day of Mary Help of Christians, the primary patroness of the Salesian Society.
The highlight of the celebration was the Holy Mass, at which Fr. Fidel Ma. D. Orendain, SDB, Don Bosco FIS Provincial Superior presided, along with several other FIS Salesian priests. In his homily, Fr. Provincial reflected on the profound role of Mary as a compassionate intercessor, loving guide, and powerful protector in the lives of the faithful. Moreover, Fr. Orendain spoke of the importance of imbibing the virtues exemplified by Mary such as: attentively listening to others, the power of selflessness, and the virtue of perseverance.
The solemnity of the occasion was further enhanced by the notable milestone celebrated by Fr. Genaro Gegantoni, SDB. This year marked his 60th anniversary of Salesian Religious Life and the 50th anniversary of his Priestly Ordination. Furthermore, Fr. Felicisimo Rotor, SDB, Fr. Richie Santos, SDB, and Fr. Dave Buenaventura, SDB were also given tribute in celebration of their 55th year of Salesian Religious Life. To celebrate the gift of vocation, Fr. Rotor, Fr. Santos, and Fr. Buenaventura will go around the FIS province for Salesian Vocation Promotion. Indeed, their dedicated service and unwavering commitment to the mission of Don Bosco have been an inspiration to many.
The Holy Mass was a weaving of liturgical splendor, heartfelt prayers, and uplifting hymns that echoed through the walls of Lourdes Parish Shrine. The celebration continued after the Mass with a simple fellowship dinner, where the Salesian Family shared in the joy of the occasion.
Throughout the day, various activities were organized by the different Salesian settings in the province to foster a sense of togetherness in honor of Mary, the Help of Christians.
The Feast Day Celebration left an indelible mark in every Salesian and Salesian Family members, reminding them of the unwavering presence of Mary Help of Christians in their lives.
May the spirit of joy, gratitude, and devotion that permeated the Feast Day Celebration continue to guide and inspire the Salesian Family on their journey of faith, love, and service to others.