Monday, November 20, 2017

BIS #5259 RECTOR MAJOR MEETS THE SALESIAN FAMILY

by Salesian Family

 

MUMBAI, NOV 20, 2017: The representatives of the Salesian family namely the Cooperators, Past Pupils of Don Bosco, FMA Sisters and ADMA members met the 10th successor of Don Bosco, Father Angel Fernandez Artime, the Rector Major, who was in Mumbai on November 12.

 

As the Rector Major entered the refectory with Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Superior of South Asia and Father Horacio Lopez, Rector Major's Secretary, he was greeted with the popular hymn 'Raise Your Voices'. Then the Provincial Delegate, Father Diego Nunes thanked the Provincial, Father Godfrey D'Souza for giving the group an opportunity to meet and interact with the Rector Major.

 

"We are indeed privileged to meet so great a personality – the Father of the Salesian Family. We have the council members of Cooperators, Past Pupils, ADMA, FMA and SMI sisters. Both co-operators and past pupils are agents of social change by taking up activities and projects for the needy of the society and especially the youth. ADMA is more of a spiritual group getting involved in the parish activities. Thanks Father Angel for your support and the importance given to the Salesian Family. We continue praying for you. Long live Don Bosco," Father Nunes, said.

 

The Rector Major then addressed the gathering, saying, "The support of the Salesian Family is precious to me. Today, I was supposed to be in another province but requested them to permit me to spend a day with you. I am happy to meet you as a family. We find the Salesian Family wherever we go. Thanks for being a part of this family. Probably this is the biggest religious family with 31 branches," he said.

 

"This is both a reason to rejoice and a responsibility to shoulder. We need people who can bear witness to their beliefs and values. You lay people are doing an excellent job of reaching out to so many families where we cannot reach. We have to share with others all the good things that we learn by being a part of the Salesian Family. We priests feel that we are never alone with you around. I invite you to be a lively and dynamic family."

BIS #5258 KNOWLEDGE SHARING WITH AFRICAN DELEGATES



by AMARR PRABHU

MUMBAI, NOV 20, 2017: St Joseph's Industrial Training Institute (SJITI) and Don Bosco Tech joined forces with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and World Bank to organise a five day 'Knowledge Sharing Workshop' for an African delegation from six African countries namely Rwanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Ghana at the Don Bosco Kurla campus.

The central theme of the workshop was capacity building and knowledge exchange support from India for Africa. The African countries that participated in the PASET Forum requested support and knowledge exchange with India in the area of skill development (SD) and vocational education.

The workshop included a discussion with Indian counterparts at the national level and field visits to two states, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The key objective of the knowledge exchange mission was to identify the challenges of addressing the skill development needs of the informal sector across both nations, discussing strategies for enhancing labour force productivity through institutional reforms at the national and state levels both in India and Africa.

The aim was to also study innovative models of employer led skilling strategies for enhancing industry competitiveness, study the role of the federal and state governments and key institutional reforms for successful delivery of skill training and to discuss longer formal training systems under TVET and its delivery models.

St Joseph's ITI was chosen as one of the few credible institutions in India for study and interaction. On November 2, SJITI hosted a large delegation of around 18 people which include 10 from Africa, four from World Bank, two from NSDC and two from Maharashtra State Skill Mission.
 
The foreign delegation is currently visiting India to study and learn how the country is dealing with the skill gap issue and what models, methods, tools and techniques are effectively used to address the issue.

The delegation was welcomed to Don Bosco Centre for Learning by Father Colbert da Silva, the Director, and Amarr G Prabhu, the Principal of St Joseph's ITI. They were then escorted to the institute with the traditional Lezim. They then visited the various workshops and interacted with the staff and students to understand the methodology adopted in the acquisition of a vocational skill.

The delegation also went for a brief orientation of the campus and had a question answer session with the management. They were impressed with St. Joseph ITI's focus on quality-oriented skill training, which is unmatched in the country today.  

BIS #5257 ALL FOR KIDS

by Mehtab Shinde

 

PUNE, NOV 20, 2017: Students from kindergarten to class twelve of  Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Yerwada were treated to fun and games, dance and drama, and life skills were imparted to them through a  special Children's Day programme on November 14 at the school campus.

 

The day was divided in two parts- formal and cultural. The former commenced with a prayer service that focused on the well-being of the kids all over the world and that they are not deprived of basic necessities including education. 

 

In his welcome speech, Rector Father Michael Bansode expressed his joy on seeing Don Bosco's dream coming true, to provide the best to the poor and the marginalised. 

 

"Don Bosco High school and Junior College, Pune is one of the best educational institutions that genuinely serve the poor and the marginalised," Deputy Mayor of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Dr Sidharth Dhende, one of the dignitaries present, said. 

 

Safe Kids Foundation (SKF) organised part of the celebrations which included class-wise interactive sessions with the children from classes three to ten. Students were educated on fire safety measures and how to handle burns. There were 60 volunteers who animated the programme with fun activities. As a precursor to the event, SKF organised a two- day session on November 8 and 9, in which they distributed booklets on fire safety.  

 

SKF deploys cutting-edge, experiential and fun educational tools to spread fire safety awareness among kids under 14 and aspires to make Pune a model 'safe kids at home' city in India.  It also aims at making kids a pivot for bringing citizens and civic agencies together to drive a strong safety culture. "It is wonderful to see so many happy faces at a glance, have safe Diwali every year and safe cooking everyday," Torine Creppy, President, SKF, said.


In his address, Sunil Gilbile, Divisional Fire Officer, Fire Department, PMC petitioned the Deputy Mayor to install more fire-stations in the city. 


The second part of the programme was the cultural celebration. Municipal schools in Pune were invited to participate in the SKF Talent Hunt competition. This was followed by the annual Children's Day ritual of the school- where teachers of all four sections entertain the students. 

 

Bollywood dance performances by the pre-primary staff, fairy tale recreation by the primary teachers, a funny value-based play titled 'Sholay in Yerwada' by the college lecturers and a mock-rock cum dance by the secondary section enthralled the kids. The next surprise was the Kid's Carnival with over 15 stalls of games and snacks.

 

Dr Cinthia Pinto, Programme Director SKF, Jamshed Karkaria, Head Facilities and Administration and Honeywell Automation India, along with the school staff organised the Children's Day programme.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

BIS #5256 EXPOSURE VISIT AT BOSCO BOYS HOME

by Father Solomon Rapol 

 

MUMBAI, NOV 15, 2017: Five hundred  youngsters from U S Ostwal English Academy (Primary section), Mira Road visited Bosco Boys Home, Borivli along with their class teachers on November 10, for an orientation on the life of the inmates at the Home.

 

The students arrived in the morning and assembled in the boys' refectory. Father Solomon Rapol, the Rector welcomed them. "Don Bosco wished that all children should become honest citizens and prayerful beings, " he said, adding, "All of us must strive for excellence and put in our best effort to achieve success." 

 

Thereafter, Father Rapol led the group in a moment of prayer. He also introduced them to Young at Risk (YaR). YaR is a Don Bosco National Forum set up in the 1970s to address pressing issues surrounding youth in India. YaR embraces children and young people whose safety, growth and development are put at risk through indifference and neglect on the part of parents as well as society. 


A YaR Day programme, themed on 'Caring for the Earth-Our common home' has been scheduled for November 19. It will be a gathering of youth from streets and difficult situations. Father Rapol asked the visitors to be kind to at least one poor person on that day.


The visiting students of class three and four put up a dance for the boys of the Home. The students brought some colour pencils, art papers and stationery for the inmates. Their gesture of love was deeply appreciated and the boys thanked the students and teachers for their generosity. 

 

Sanchari De, teacher from the visiting school thanked the institute for welcoming them warmly. The visitors then toured the institute and departed with fond memories.

Monday, November 13, 2017

BIS #5255 SALESIANS EXPLORING NEW HORIZONS AND GROWING

by Karen Laurie

MUMBAI, NOV 13, 2017: Rector Major Father Angel Fernandez Artime, the 10th successor of Don Bosco, met his Salesian fraternity of the Mumbai province – comprising of over 100 priests – on November 12, and reminded them that they are part of a "great congregation", which is forging ahead and "opening new horizons" in countries like Malaysia and Gambia.  

The Rector Major was in the city for a day-long visit to preside over jubilee celebrations of three institutions in the city, Diamond Jubilee of the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, the Platinum Jubilee of Don Bosco High School and the Centenary of St. Joseph's High School. He also visited Don Bosco Shelter, where he met with several youth – who form the crux of the charism of the Salesians of Don Bosco world-over.

He set aside an hour to also meet with the Salesians just before presiding over the Festive Jubilee Eucharist. During his meeting with his confreres he highlighted a road-map for taking the congregation forward and also summed up the over-all affairs of the congregation with relation to the possibility of deploying young Don Bosco's to places where there's little hope for the hopeless, like Siberia and Mongolia.    

"The congregation is moving … because permanently there are things developing. We open new houses, we open more than what we close. The congregation has opened up new horizons in some countries. We are going to start a community in Malaysia, in Gambia, that is a small country in West Africa," he said.

"Around the Feast of Don Bosco, we are going to start a presence in a big refugee camp in Uganda, where there are 40,000 refugees and among all these 40,000, half are minors. I can tell you that having gone around the world, I've never returned back to Rome with the sensation that things aren't going well."

"If you look at India, for example it's a marvel, look at Asia East, it's the same. Look at Europe, I can say the same thing about that. The technical schools that we have for poor in Europe are wonderful institutions."

The Salesians are at times the only hope for youth in war-torn famine-ridden countries like Sierra Leone, Peru and Colombia. "We found many girls and boys around 15 years of age who are caught up in the drug war of FAARC in Colombia. A year ago their job was to be in the Army to kill other people, when we found them we could see hope and life in them," he said.

"We went to Ghana and found two small girls of eight years, those girls were left to die somewhere else. They had all been trafficked to take away their vital organs. Two adolescents, I remember were looking at us from far. They had suffered so much, after knowing how fraternal and loving we are, they are permanently with us, because they needed a father."

The Rector Major also addressed a range of administrative issues that have been dealt with in recent times. "Meeting the confreres personally is sufficient reason enough for me to be travelling around the world. It is beautiful to see the numbers of the Salesian family, lay collaborators, meeting young people and poor is very beautiful."

In the course of the meeting, a band from the Don Bosco Youth Centre performed a piece "Tijuana Taxi", followed by which Father Orville Coutinho, Golden Jubilarian of Profession-  presented the Rector Major with a shawl, while a novice garlanded him.

The Rector Major also released a special coffee-table book entitled "100 Years and Counting – St. Joseph's Wadala", printed to mark the centenary of the Salesian institution only a kilometer away from the sprawling Don Bosco campus in Matunga. Father Godfrey D'Sa, the Principal of St. Joseph's addressed the gathering. A band of brothers from Divyadaan in Nashik then performed "Scipio".

The Rector Major also urged the confreres to take care of each other and to build a spirit of brotherhood. "It's important to care for each other, because sometimes without distributing warmth, we lose confreres in the congregation. In our community, we must grow more and more in our fraternity, because the congregation must continue to grow."

BIS #5254 DARE TO DREAM LIKE DON BOSCO

by Karen Laurie 

 

MUMBAI, NOV 13, 2017: 'Dare to Dream' and they did! The students of Don Bosco High School, Matunga - numbering over 2000 - with their army of teachers put up a dream show for the Rector Major of the Salesians, Father Angel Fernandez Artime, the 10th successor of Don Bosco, when he joined them for the celebration of the school's 75th Platinum Jubilee celebrations; so much so that he said, " It's for the first time in my Salesian life, that I am seeing an entire school coming on stage. Never before have I seen 2400 students on stage at one time. Congratulations! Congratulations!"

 

Youth armed with drums, guitars, tambourines and saxophones, played in complete harmony, welcoming the Rector Major and other dignitaries comprising of Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Superior of South Asia, Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of Mumbai, Father Horacio Lopez, Rector Major's Secretary, Father Crispino D'Souza, school Rector and Father Roy Noronha, school Vice Principal.

The Don Bosco High School campus gave the Rector Major a glimpse of the city of Mumbai, on his maiden trip, as it brimmed with people and seemed starved for space. Every one busied about - excited parents looked for seats with the best view, enthusiastic children took instructions before their big act and vigilant teachers added their final touches. On November 12, at 7:30pm, this was the place to be. 


After felicitating the dignitaries, a coffee-table magazine commemorating the Institution's Platinum Jubilee was released. Then the curtains opened to the big show, 'Dare to dream', a musical about one of the most successful child superstars in history, The Jackson 5 and one of them Michael Jackson who went to become the King of Pop. Their father spotted their talent early on and honed their skill to turn them into America's singing sensation. 

 

The tiny tots from kindergarten with their prayer song, 'Footsteps walking with me', thanked God for always being by their side. The staff and students together rose to the occasion and welcomed Father Artime with a Spanish song. 


The musical then belted out tracks like 'My girl', 'ABC' and 'Rockin Robin' that had classes one, two and five grooving and moving. Classes three and four, performed to the foot-tapping beats of 'Sugar pie honey bunch' and 'Kansas city'. 

 

Not to be left behind, standards six, seven and eight, jumped and danced to 'Twist and shout', 'Dancing in the street' and 'I want you back'. And the big act was left for the big boys of classes nine and ten, who set the stage on fire with 'Blame it on the boogie' and 'Billie Jean'.


"It is a tradition that 10th standard don't get a chance to participate in annual day. This is the first and only batch that has got to participate. We had a great bonding between us and the teachers. We never thought that such a great personality like the Rector Major would come to see us and the compliments we received were really good," Herschel Menezes, student of class ten, who was part of the musical, said.


The whole school shimmered and shined to give out one message loud and clear: Every child should live his dream. With the Jubilee anthem and waving of Jubilee flags the curtain fell on the musical, but the show was not over yet. 

 

All present were treated to a fine surprise, including the Rector Major, when the school Principal Father Bernard Fernandes, handed him a guitar and Father Artime, willingly obliged the gathering with three Spanish songs. 

 

The crowd was ecstatic as the Rector Major exuded good humour and bonhomie. The living Don Bosco exemplified the Salesian Preventive System of Education by accompanying the young with loving kindness. 


"I was pleased to see the teachers among the boys all the time. Being Salesian educators is having the capacity to stay with the young," Father Artime said, adding, " Thank you parents for the confidence you have in our capacity and way of educating your children. We promise you our concern are your sons."  


Dominic Savio Menezes, father of Herschel, said, "My son was one of the main cast and this was a different annual day. We had Don Bosco with us. I don't have words to express the feeling. Don Bosco School is not just about academics but children are also taught to dare to dream."

Father Fernandes, on behalf of the gathering, addressed the Rector Major, "We thank you for leaving behind fond memories of love and the spirit of Don Bosco. Bless us all as you leave this place with your gentle blow of peace," he said.