On February 25th, 2019, here in the prenovitiate  “Saint Callisto Caravario”, Gatenga, we celebrated the feast day of the two Salesian protomartyrs,  together with the novices and a good number of confreres. The novices had come all the way from Butare, especially for this occasion. The feast started with the Eucharistic Celebration in the chapel of the prenovitiate, presided over by the  prenovice director Fr. Felix NYAGATARE . The other concelebrants included  Fr. Innocent, Fr. Benjamin, Fr. Jacques, Fr. Gregoire, Fr. Rémy and Fr. Frederic.

After the Holy Mass, we proceeded with a football match between prenovices and novices, It was a very exciting one for sure. Lots of counter-attacks, but also lots of misses. After all those ups and downs, after 10 minutes, in the second halftime, something funny happened: one of the novices touched the ball with his hand in their box, and it was a penalty marked well by prenovice Salvator, 1-0. That score lasted until around 15 minutes before the end of the match, when a novice marked the goal for their side, and the match ended with 1-1. 

After the match, we went on with the party, and it was very nice. On the menu we had the meal, drinks, presentations of some well prepared songs by the prenovices and novices, cake and the evening talk.

In the evening talk, Fr. Jacques thanked everyone : the confreres, the novices for the long distance they had had to travel, to show all of us just how important the feast was, and all the prenovices for the work they had done to make this nice feast a success. He came back briefly on the history of saint Luigi Versiglia, how he met Don Bosco. Luigi Versiglia was a student at Don Bosco's Oratory in Valdocco. Being a studious, disciplined and pleasant boy, he had the honour of reading a composition on Don Bosco's feast day.  "Come and see me," Don Bosco had said congratulating him, "I have something to say to you." However, due to shyness or because Don Bosco was not easy to reach, towards the end of his life, little Luigi had not gone to see him. He would spend the rest of his life wondering what it was that Don Bosco wanted to say to him... Was it perhaps the dream of the two chalices? (Actually according to a dream directly concerned with a future mission in China, Don Bosco had seen two large chalices raised up in the sky, one filled with sweat and the other with the blood of Salesians). 

Saint Luigi Versiglia is the patron saint of the novices, so, it was a great idea that saint Callisto Caravario should be the patron saint of the prenovices, as they are the novices’ younger brothers.

He ended his evening talk with the hymn “Salve Regina” sung by everyone and the blessing.

Materne Ngabo, prenovice.