Wednesday, February 21, 2018

BIS #5313 COADJUTOR SALESIANS REFLECT ON FIDELITY


by Brother Royston Colaco

KAPADVANJ, FEB 21, 2018: The Coadjutor Salesians or Lay Brothers of the Salesian Mumbai province came together for a two day on-going formation animation workshop entitled 'Salesian; Be a Faithful Witness' at the Don Bosco Campus Kapadvanj on February 17 and 18.

At a time when the Salesian congregation as a whole is grappling with the dynamics of vocational fragility and the rate of attrition the world over, and more especially when trying to come to grips with the dwindling numerical paucity of those wishing to embrace and commit themselves to a life-long bond of Religious witnessing either as priests or coadjutors, a workshop of this nature was timely, relevant and essential. Organised under the auspices of the INB Lay Brothers Association, headed by Brother Royston Colaco, the workshop focused on the call, the response and the faithful living out of one's vocation as a Salesian religious following Christ the Don Bosco way.

The resource facilitator Father Chris Valentino animated the compact group of Coadjutor Salesians through the two days with short inputs, open discussions, facilitating critical reflection on various concerns, enabling a sincere self-assessment and rethinking the Salesian fidelity to Don Bosco as expounded through the history of the Salesian congregation. Going down memory lane, the Coadjutor Salesians embarked on a reflective journey starting from the mind of Don Bosco as carried forward by Don Rua, upheld by Don Paul Albera and as expounded with great clarity by Don Rinaldi. The Coadjutor Salesians refocused on the directive of the Salesian Congregational General Chapter 22, #9 that invited a relook at the "vocational identity of the lay Salesian, its essential significance for the life and mission of the Salesian congregation in the light of present-day thinking in the Church."

"The innovative revolutionary concept of Don Bosco as evolved over the years, integrating itself into the complex societal service as envisioned by the Salesians of Don Bosco over the years is as relevant to the educative-pastoral style as per the needs of our times," Father Valentino, said. Drawing from Don Bosco's talk to the tradesmen and artisans at Valdocco as reported in the Biographical Memoirs XII, XIV, XVI, XVIII and from the express desire of the Special General Chapter 149, the Coadjutor Salesians reflected on their specific call within today's context.

The Brothers also discussed at length Point 10 of the General Chapter 27 which explicitly mentions the "low appreciation of the meaning of our consecrated life which is seen in a weak concern for the Salesian Brother vocation [... and the] excessive clericalism so often manifested in our community and pastoral relationships," in conjunction with Point 69/7 that invites the following of the guideline from General Chapter 26, followed by "continuing reflection both on the consecrated life aspect and the specific nature of the Brothers with regard to fraternal life and the mission."

As a preparation in the build-up for the upcoming South Asia Brothers' Congress scheduled from December 30, 2018 – January 03, 2019 at Bengaluru, the Brothers of the Salesian Mumbai province proposed a few resolutions for themselves both within the province and within the context of South Asia. As per the observations, a few suggestions emerged with regard to overhauling the time-table framework of the Congress, the production and dissemination of animation notes to all the Salesian communities, a social media/digital presence to enable greater reflection and highlight the contributive aspect of the Coadjutor Salesian over the years and if possible a prayer for the fruitfulness for the Brothers Congress.

At the end of the two-day workshop, the Coadjutors expressed their sincere appreciation to the host community at Kapadvanj and their indebtedness to the facilitator for a genuine self-appraisement and focussed furthering of the complementary Salesian presence as a powerful witness of fidelity and service. Reflecting on the workshop, Brother Titus said, "This was a wonderful moment for us to come together and focus on the concerns as expressed by the congregation and as felt by us as we work in various capacities." Brother Ramesh said, "We are always discussing on various issues, it has been happening for years; perhaps now it is time to upgrade ourselves reflecting on the way forward in these competitive times through animation and determined efforts to be relevant to the modern youth." Brother Anthony Manickam said, "We are a group of people who have always focussed on work. It is time to be also catechists, faith-formators and spiritual guides who are model witnesses to daily spirituality and thus bring our boys and girls to the faith."

These two days of reflection and sharing has boosted the brothers to rise up, support, encourage, enable and accompany each other in the endeavour to be faithful witnesses of the Salesian Coadjutor Vocation.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

BIS #5312 SALESIAN FAMILY OUTREACH PROGRAMME

by Jacinta D'Souza

DAHANU, FEB 20, 2018: Fifty three members of the Salesian family, from the Mumbai province, including Cooperators, Past Pupils and ADMA members participated in an outreach programme to Dahanu on February 17.


The Salesian sisters of Auxilium, Dahanu welcomed the gathering, before the holy Eucharist was celebrated by Father Diego Nunes, the delegate. He enlightened the gathering on the day's Gospel regarding Levi, the tax collector, who encountered Jesus and experienced a change of heart. The encounter was so profound that he became a follower of Jesus and left everything. 

Following holy Mass the gathering beat the heat by heading for the beach. Following lunch, Father Nunes addressed the gathering about several points discussed at the south zonal conference at Nuzvid. He stressed the need to be present at the meetings both at council and local levels. He added that the members should also actively participate not only in the activities but also spiritual formation. He congratulated the new Cooperators of Ahmednagar and a silver jubilarian present.

In the evening, the gathering visited the Warli tribe of Merpada. Sister Mangal spoke in detail of the courses like nursing which are being organised by the sisters in Auxilium. Father Nunes spoke about the various courses which included mechanic, electrical, carpentry for boys held at Chinchwad, Chakan and Kurla. The next day the gathering heard holy Mass at Our Lady of Dolours.

In his homily, the celebrant spoke of the temptations of Jesus, saying that Jesus was as human as we are. After breakfast a group of about 110 children visited the convent and interacted with the gathering from Mumbai. Sister Catherine, the FMA delegate, then spoke about the minutes held at Nuzvid and decisions made by the national delegate regarding active participation at meetings and responsibilities of office bearers.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

BIS #5311 MOTHER MARY UNITES THE PARISH

by Wilfred Vaz

KUWAIT, FEB 16, 2018: Given that 2017 marked the centenary year for the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal, Bishop Camillo Ballin, Apostolic Vicar for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (AVONA) had dedicated the year 2017-18 to our Blessed Mother. The Marian year ended with a con-celebrated festive liturgy on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, at the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Salmiya, Kuwait.

Our Lady had urged the little shepherds in Fatima in 1917 to, "Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and the end of the war." Following her cue, the community in the North Arabian Vicariate spent the year celebrating Our Mother with the recitation of the Rosary before the weekday Masses, putting up informative text and pictures on a monthly basis on the life of Mother Mary and the taking Our Lady's image to almost all the homes in the Parish.

The Festive Mass began with the parish council members arriving in procession from the courtyard to the church with the statue of Mother Mary carried by Wilfred Vaz, parish council coordinator.

During the homily, which was based on the Gospel reading, the Celebrant, Father Francisco Pereira urged the laity to rid themselves of the spiritual leprosy that decays us from within thereby taking us away from God. "Mother Mary draws us closer to God," he said.

The Readings were done in different ethnic languages, and also the hymns were sung in different languages.

The highlight of the liturgical celebration was when the members of the Small Christian Communities came out from the pews and pasted one area each, of the parish's eight geographical areas, at the feet of Mother Mary. This act re-affirmed the consecration of the parish to the Blessed Mother.

"The Marian Year was a time of deep grace, filled with the presence of Mother Mary in my family and home," Lucy Almeida, a parishioner, said.

A choir member, Therese D'Souza, added, "The sight of the statute of Mother Mary being brought in procession in the church filled me with deep solace that Mother Mary is here to dwell permanently in our church, hearts and homes."

"Participating in the multi-lingual Eucharistic celebration was an overwhelming expression of mutual love, forgiveness and grace," Hudson Fernandes, of the Small Christian Communities, reflected. "The closing Mass in multi-languages made it evident that our parish is one big family; we should do this more often thereby fostering unity and family spirit," Stany Sanctis, a minister, added.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

BIS #5310 ANNUAL DAY THEMED ON SAVING ENVIRONMENT

by Father Rolvin D'Mello

VADODARA, FEB 10, 2018: Over 500 students participated in the 14th Annual Day of Don Bosco Roshni in Vadodara on the theme, 'Save trees, save life' on February 4.

The programme, held under the aegis of 'Children Education Project' was supported by Manos Unidas, Spain. The event began at 5.45 pm when children from slums assembled at Don Bosco School, Baroda. Michelle Ganeshani, the Principal - Podar International School, was the Guest of Honour. The other guests were Father Anthony Pinto, Rector and Principal of Don Bosco School – Baroda and a number of other dignitaries and well-wishers. 

Jagruti Patil, the coordinator of Roshni, welcomed the participants and introduced the guests. In her address, Ganeshani highlighted the leverage that Don Bosco can give to children. Special gifts were given to 25 children, who attended 'support classes' without missing a single day. 

There were many cultural events like plays, dances, songs in the course of the event. Vasana slum children even danced to the tune of Hindi film songs. "It was such a thrilling experience for me to attend this annual day. I really enjoyed myself," Karan Baria, a standard seven student, said. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

BIS #5309 DON BOSCO SHINING

by BIS Correspondent 

MUMBAI, FEB 6, 2018: Youth from Wadala-based Shelter Don Bosco participated in a throw ball and football competition on January 31 to mark the Feast of Saint Don Bosco.
 
Celebrations began early, as four teams of the house, namely, Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar and Kalam vied for top honours on the sports field. Following the competition, the boys attended Holy Mass in Hindi along with the staff at 5pm.

In his homily, Father Pratap Damor told the boys about Don Bosco and his faith in Divine Providence through which he could fulfil his dreams and do things which seemed impossible for people during his time.  

After Holy Eucharist, it was time for 'Bosco Nite', which consisted of paper puzzles and a quiz on Don Bosco. A song competition followed, with teams composing songs for Don Bosco. The teams enjoyed the games and competed hard to win at Bosco Nite and gain maximum points. Father Roshan Gonsalves finally declared 'Team Gandhi' with 226 points as the winner of Bosco Nite.

Father Gregory Almeida, the Rector, said to the boys, "It was the super blue blood moon night and the moon is going to shine extra bright. This occurs once in 150 years. But Don Bosco shines brightly on us every day through his Salesian family and their works."

BIS #5308 PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE 13th BOSCOREE

by Brother Bosco Carvalho 

MUMBAI, FEB 6, 2018: As preparation for the upcoming 13th Boscoree event, slated to begin on December 30, 2018, the Bombay Province Boscoree committee, under the leadership of the Vice Provincial, Father Savio Silveira, organised a meeting for the fathers, brothers and sisters on January 3, at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga, to take stock of the preparation for the mega event.

Salesian institutions in India have historically celebrated the Boscoree once every four years since 1974. This edition of the Boscoree is being hosted by the Salesian Mumbai Province, and will take place at Nashik from December 30, 2018 to January 3, 2019.

Various committee members, including confreres and sisters who would assume the role of sub-camp chiefs and assistant sub-camp chiefs, were present for the meeting, which began with the recitation of the prayer for the Boscoree and viewing of a video song entitled 'Who I'm meant to be'.

Father Silveira welcomed the gathering and thanked them for their presence. He highlighted that the purpose of the meeting was to get an overview of the forthcoming Boscoree, finalising on certain aspects related to the same and to ensure that preparations would be done well in advance.

He stressed that this Salesian event ought to have a celebratory and festive atmosphere. Recalling the two previous Boscorees hosted by the Bombay province, Father Silveira urged special care with respect to catering and cordiality towards the scouts and guides. He said that the meeting would be divided into three segments – discussion on the programme, catering and the venue.

Father Glenford Lowe, Rector of Don Bosco Provincial House and Boscoree programme committee member, began by stating that, "Boscoree is no laughing matter" and that preparations ought to be done well in advance. Besides introducing the Boscoree core team, he went through the schedule of Boscoree from the first day till the end. He enlisted all the major responsibilities along with those who would shoulder the various tasks. Certain issues that needed attention were discussed, clarified and a consensus was taken.

Father Gregory Almeida, the Rector of Don Bosco Shelter, Wadala and Boscoree catering committee member, then presented a tentative menu for the entire camp. Suggestions with respect to placement of the kitchen, counters and menu were made. Father Anthony Fonseca, Principal of Don Bosco School, Nashik and Boscoree venue committee member, presented the entire layout of the camp site. He also added a list of the budget, responsibilities to be undertaken and requirements to be seen to. Confreres and sisters made suggestions for better functioning of the camp.

Father Silveira then informed the gathering about the way forward as an outcome of the meeting. He said, "All the sub-camp chiefs and assistant sub-camp chiefs would necessarily have to attend an Advanced Scouting Course either in March or April to get fully equipped and ready in the true scouting spirit. The next meeting would be in September." Finally, he thanked the three speakers for their presentation as well as all the stake holders present for their useful suggestions.