Saturday, May 27, 2017


by Father Rolvin D'Mello


PUNE, MAY 27, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised a free health camp in Pune on May 24, under the Women Empowerment Project supported by Manos Unidas, Spain for the people of Tadiwala road slum in the city. 


Over 150 patients all from the slums were examined by a team of doctors and para-medic staff from Aundh hospital. Doctor Suraj Gaikwad - physician, Doctor Deshpande - paediatrician, Doctor Sneha Ansari- ophthalmologist, Doctor Nilofer - gynaecologist, Doctor Munde - medical officer along with a number of staff examined the patients at the camp. 


Rita Jadhav, staff - DBDS said, "Along with holding a free health camp we are also trying to change the health care seeking behaviour of women through education." 

"No major illnesses were found but there are cases of anemia, cough, cold, worms in children, joints pain, low blood pressure," Doctor Munde said.


Free medicines were distributed and people with serious illness were referred to Aundh Hospital. Ranjana Pandit, DBDS co-ordinator of the project said, "This was our first health camp in this slum and we got a good response and co-operation from the people."


by Oswald Aranha


KUWAIT, MAY 27, 2017: A concelebrated festive mass of Mary help of Christians was celebrated at St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Kuwait by Salesian priests. Father Derek Misquitta, the newly appointed rector of the Salesian community, was the main celebrant for the holy Mass. The feast of Mary Help of Christians is very important all over the world since the Salesians take their vows on this day. 


"Keep your devotion strong towards Mary and you will experience miracles in your life," was the central message conveyed by Father Misquitta as he quoted Don Bosco. In his homily, Father Blany Pinto, the parish priest explained how Mary Help of Christians feast came to be celebrated on 24 May. 

He made all aware of the importance of Marian devotion in the life of Don Bosco and invited all to pray and grow in their devotion to Mary. Immediately, after the homily one of the aspirants Silvia Gracias, took her promise as a Salesian Cooperator. This was followed by the renewal of the promises by the existing Salesian Cooperators. The Holy Mass concluded with a special blessing of Mary help of Christians. 


During the fellowship that followed, Gracias said, "As I took my promise I was ecstatic. I felt proud to be called to this vocation as a full-fledged member of the Salesian family. I asked God for the charism that I need to carry on the mission for the youth entrusted to me. I prayed that I may burn with the same zeal which Don Bosco had and I desired Mother Mary to be my guiding star." 

"I am greatly inspired by Silvia's contribution as a Salesian Cooperator. I look forward to following her footsteps as she is my role model. After all, it is she who introduced me to the Salesian Cooperators," Rositta Lawrence, an aspirant said. 


Sheetal Fernandes, the secretary of the Salesian Cooperators, who renewed her promise said, "When Father Derek Misquitta mentioned that he still keeps the image of Mary, though faded and broken it is; and Father Blany Pinto invited us to keep Mary close to our heart, I resolved to keep her always close to me no matter what I face in life."


by BIS Correspondent


 NASHIK, MAY 27, 2017: The old adage, 'A brother or a sister consecrated to God is the greatest gift to a family', came true on May 24, as the families of eight Salesian sisters and five Salesian clerics joyfully witnessed their daughters and sons taking their first vows in the Salesian family of Don Bosco at Don Bosco Parish in Nashik.


Sisters Minal Bhosale FMA, Lavita Braganza FMA, Veronica Fernandes FMA, Shilpa Gonsalves FMA, Smita Gonsalves FMA, Priti Kemu FMA, Sanjina Moteghar FMA, Breenel Sambrea FMA and Clerics Brian Crasta SDB, Neil Fernandes SDB, Ambrose Monteiro SDB, Steve Rodrigues SDB and Bless Rumao SDB took their vows at a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai.

The novices of the Salesian Sisters too professed in the presence of their Provincial Superior, Sister Rita Dora Thomas, to live a life that's poor, chaste and obedient to the will of the Society. Zeal and love for Jesus- who had attracted their hearts, was visible in the enthusiasm and the animation of the liturgy by the newly professed. 

Father D'Souza in his homily said, "Blessed are these 'daring young souls' who are witnesses to the truth that commitment to God is still vibrant." He further remarked about this sacrifice made that God is never outdone in his generosity.


Following holy Mass, there was a string of melodies and symphonies that filled the air as all celebrated in a felicitation ceremony at STI, the novitiate for the Salesians. It left everyone who witnessed the event with a thought, 'How committed am I to making meaning of my life?'

Thursday, May 25, 2017


by Father Rolvin D'Mello


MUMBAI, MAY 25, 2017: Two hundred and fifty youth attended a workshop on Skill Development and Career Guidance that was organised by the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) and Zone 4 of Mumbai Police at Vidhyalankar College in Antop Hill on May 23.


Youth, aged between 15 and 22, from Antop hill and Wadala slum pockets of Mumbai participated in the event. Arun Naik, a professional career counsellor, advised youth on the process of choosing a career. He further explained the various opportunities and advantages of the different career options.


Surekha Pednekar, coordinator of DBDS, spoke about the courses conducted by DBDS across the city of Mumbai. The students were informed about the Bosco Plus Career Cell and the Don Bosco Recruitment Centre which gives them hope for their future. 


N Ambika - deputy commissioner of police from zone 4 - the chief guest in her address touched upon her own life experiences and expressed her wish to see many more individuals succeeding in life, despite facing various hurdles.


by Libby Sequeira


KUWAIT, MAY 25, 2017: Team Saint Luke mastered the Holy Scriptures, by bagging top honours in the inaugural edition of the Mega Bible Quiz organised by the Catechism Ministry at Don Bosco School in Salmiya on May 19.


Forty-four children qualified for the final round and they were divided into four colour-coordinated groups - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John for the final. Contestants – ranging from standard one to eleven - spent months preparing for the quiz, under the tutorship of two catechist per team.


Libby Sequeira, the host, and Quizmasters Peter Rodrigues and Mark Roberts kept the contestants thinking with gripping commentaries and host of Bible-related trivia. 

Father Blany Pinto, parish priest, Father Franco Pereira, catechetical director, Father Johnson Nedumpurath, assistant parish priest and Father Derrick Misquitta, director of IEAS School were present to encourage the contestants.


"The Bible Quiz experience was a unique and beautiful one.  It helped me not only gain knowledge through the help of my catechist, but also in understanding the power of learning and sharing the scriptures with a group like a family," Adela Marylou Morais, from the winning team, said.


Jennifer Serrao, from team Saint Mark - who were the first runner-up- said, "It was a very nice experience; I learned many things like teamwork, leadership and above all having a deeper understanding of the Bible." Saint Matthew and Saint John claimed third and fourth place respectively.  While the winners took home the winning cups, all received certificates and medals confirming that they were all winners. 


Myra D'souza, a core member of the catechism ministry said, "I came to cheer my team Saint Mark but like everyone else present cheered all the teams. My team won second place but everyone went home a winner."

Rodrigues added, "At first I doubted whether I will be able to do it, but later I believed that Jesus is with me to make this Mega Bible Quiz a success."


Vincent Rego, a catechist who helped prepare the children for the final day said, "I felt blessed and privileged to be with our children who were like angels and through them, I could come closer to God."

Saturday, May 20, 2017


by Royal D'Souza


MUMBAI, MAY 19, 2017: The Teach India programme run by the CSR division of Times of India with British Council as the content and knowledge partner offered the 'English for Employability' course, which is a 120-hour programme, for underprivileged and the school dropout youth at Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL), Kurla.


DBCL has been partnered with Teach India since July 2014 in conducting Spoken English programmes for the underprivileged. The seventh batch of 22 students, who initially registered for the programme, were given a written test and were interviewed by Bala, a reservist and trainer of Teach India on  March 15. 


Sessions, which ran from Monday to Saturday, began on March 21 and ended May 12. Edward Fernandes and Moksha, volunteers of Teach India, conducted the classes for the students. Sixteen students completed the course successfully. This was a special batch as of the sixteen students, five were Self Help Group (SHG) women members who had received skill and entrepreneurship training at DBCL and had started small businesses in their locality. 


Seven students were Community Organisers (CO's) who are working as part-time workers in the MCGM poverty eradication department under Community Development Officers (CDO's) at ward level in Mumbai. Four were college going youth who wanted to develop their english language skills. 


The module designed by Teach India focused on spoken and written english communication skills required in everyday situations, in customer services like retail and sales, travel and tourism and financial services. It also focused on grammatical accuracy, fluency, pronunciation and confidence. The 45-day long course enabled the participants to introduce themselves appropriately, greet others politely in person and over the phone, as well as to make and respond to polite requests in professional contexts.


The batch had many of the candidates above the age of 30. Some of them had left their education ten to twelve years back. The teachers conducted sessions using practical exercises so that all the participants could have equal opportunities to learn the language. At the valedictory function on May 12, fifteen students received their certificates. 


"At this age getting the opportunity to come back to a well-known college, sitting in class and learning english was a dream for me. This class has given me confidence to express myself clearly. The teachers and all my colleagues supported me in completing this course. Overall it will help me improve my personality," Sangeeta Hire, CO said.


A SHG member, Manisha Katke added, "I have completed my graduation and now I am running my business in Ghatkopar. My daughter always speaks to me in english and I was not able to answer her in english. Now after joining this course I talk to my daughter in english everyday. I thank my teachers and this Don Bosco institute for giving me an opportunity to learn english."