The Salesian Cooperators are the 3rd branch of the Salesian Family. Our patron saint is St John Boscoor Don Bosco as he is popularly known. In 1859, Don Bosco established the Salesian Society of St Francis de Sales (or Salesian congregation of Priests and Brothers). In 1872, along with Mary Mazarello, Don Bosco founded the Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters). In 1876, Don Bosco founded the Association of Salesian Cooperators, the lay branch of the Salesian Family. Don Bosco had several dreams of working with the young and he converted these dreams into reality. He and his fellow Salesians, spread his work to other parts of the world, leaving a rich legacy behind. The various branches of the Salesian Family strive to work together to perpetuate his mission on earth.
The Borivli unit of the Salesian Cooperators came into being on 13th October, 1978, with a band of few men and women, under the keen initiative of Rev Fr John Samala, SDB, the then Principal of Don Bosco High School. The present strength of the Salesian Cooperators of Borivali Unit is:–35 promised and 3 aspirants. Rev. Fr William Falcao is our delegate. Following elections, a new Council has taken over from June 2015. MrsLeena Dias is the new Co-ordinator. Lucy Aranha (Secretary), Fatima Gomes (Treasurer), Leera Dias, Henriqueta Albuquerque and Jenny D’Mello are the other Council members. The Cooperators meet on thethird Saturday of every month at 5.45 pm in the Audio Visual hall.
“The mission of the Salesian Cooperators is to serve the young, especially the poor youth, to help in their educational and spiritual growth. This is in turn will help build their knowledge, self-confidence, faith, moral values, to become upstanding citizens of society.”
Summary of the activities :
Project Of Teaching English To Boys Of Bosco Boys Home
Working towards their mission, the Salesian Cooperators have since a few years been undertaking a project of teaching English to the boys of Bosco Boys Home in the morning four days a week, Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 9 am. On Friday mornings, from 8 am to 9 am, Catechism is taught to the Catholic boys and Value Education to the non-Christian boys. Cooperators also take the assistance of other parishioners in this venture.
Vacation Bible Joy
The Salesian Cooperators conduct the 8 days Vacation Bible Joy Programme during the Diwali vacation every year, for Sunday school students from Std I to Std IX. The programme revolves around a particular theme. The children learn various biblical stories and are engaged in fun activities like colouring pictures, joining the dots, finding ways through the maze, crossword puzzles, jumbled words, action songs, etc. There is also a concept of memory verse wherein each day the students are taught a verse which they have to learn by heart.
On the occasion of Parents’ Day in July, the Cooperators organize some programme. Last year on the special occasion, on 27thJuly, 2014, 18 Cooperators visited Karuna Hospital, Borivali and met the patients. We had a pleasant chat with each of them, assuring them of our prayers for quick healing and recovery. We handed each patient a rose, which made them cheerful and happy.
Animating Salesian Feasts
The Cooperators animate the various Salesian feast masses during the year:
- The birth anniversary of Don Bosco, which falls on 16th August
- Feast of St Dominic Savio on 6th May
- Feast of Mary Help of Christians on 24th May
Salesian Family Activities
Members of our unit attend the Salesian Family Day which is held every year in January. On the Salesian Family Day, the members of various branches of the SalesianFamily, get together for a Mass or prayer service, after which the Strenna declared by the Rector Major, is shown in a powerpoint presentation, followed by a fellowship meal.
Attending Retreats And Recollection
The Cooperators regularly attend Retreats and Recollectionsin a bid to enhance spiritual growth. There is a Walking Pilgrimage-cum-Recollection (provincial level) every September. The Recollection is held in Bandra in the morning. After lunch, the cooperators walk in a prayerful march to Mount Mary. We also have a Recollection at the local unit level, during the Lenten season.
The Salesian Cooperators are also closely involved in parish activities. We animate the last Friday adoration every alternate month. We also operate a religious book stall selling religious books, articles, CDs etc. Many of our cooperators are also involved in various other associations of the Parish like Parish Council, Prayer Group, Eucharistic Ministers, Liturgical Cell, Lectors, RCIA, SCC’s, Cluster Groups, etc, thus contributing to building a vibrant parish community.