By C V Joseph
Bengaluru, Feb. 1, 2019: Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore has stressed the need for humans to rediscover the child in them to lead a joyful life.
“People have lost their ability to laugh and be joyful spontaneously because they have forgotten to be children. Life has become artificial for them,” said Archbishop Machado, the chief celebrant at the feast of Don Bosco at the Salesian Provincial House in Bengaluru on January 31.
The prelate called upon priests, nuns and lay faithful to follow the example of Don Bosco and cultivate in them tendency of a child.
“Don Bosco is a gift to the modern world. As a friend of the youth, he had striven to bring out the joy of childhood. One needs to love children like Jesus,” the prelate added.
He also explained that a child gets engrossed in its own world. “Children are simple, natural, open, transparent, honest and spontaneous. The elders should learn from them as more credibility is found in them,” he added.
The archbishop, who was earlier the bishop of Belgaum until a year ago, exhorted the gathering to take care of children against modern dangers like the founder of the Salesian congregation had done during his time.
He recalled an incident in Belgaum where the local police informed the prelate that a priest was lying unconscious outside their station. The priest had gone to rescue a boy who was taken in custody for suspected drug sale.
The police asked the priest to wait outside where he blacked out after a long wait. The priest later told the prelate that he waited outside for long hours because he suspected the boy would be tortured in the station.
“This is the sign of a good shepherd,” Archbishop Machado added.
Earlier, Salesians’ Bangalore provincial Father Mathew Thonikuzhiyil, in his welcome, presented a brief background of the congregation. According to him, the congregation with 14,672 members now work among 15 million youth in 133 countries.
“Don Bosco used to say, “Give me souls and take away the rest.’ This continues to be the vision of the Salesians,” added the priest who is popularly known as Father Joyce.
Archbishop Machado also released a CD containing, nine songs on Don Bosco and three on social themes. The CD made by Fr John Francis was given to Jesuit Father Joseph Benedict Mathias, rector of St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore.