Monday, June 30, 2008
WADALA, JUNE 29, 2008: A long cherished dream of the Our Lady of Dolours Parish, Wadala, turned into a reality this morning with the launching of the ‘Dolours Centre for Empowerment’ (DCE). The DCE office was inaugurated by Fr. Anaclete D’Mello at 9.00 am in the presence of Parish Priest Fr. Aloysius Furtado, Assistant Parish Priest Fr. Tony Pinto, Parish Councilors and a large number of parishioners. Before cutting the ribbon and declaring the DCE open, Fr. Anaclete reminded the gathering that taking this Centre forward was the task of the laity. The DCE will be the Parish Centre for Community Organization (CCO), a feature adopted by many parishes in the Mumbai Archdiocese. It is the responsibility of the CCO to pan and implement social development programmes in the parish. Prior to the inauguration, a thanksgiving Eucharist was celebrated at 8.00 am in the parish church. The principal celebrant was Fr. Savio Silveira and he was joined by Fr. Tony Pinto. During the homily, Fr. Savio called on the parishioners to make a personal commitment towards the cause of social development in the parish area and in the city of Mumbai. Quoting the words of St. Paul – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race” – he said that each one should feel the personal responsibility of being involved in social issues, irrespective of whether others join in or not. At the end of the Eucharistic celebration a short felicitation programme was held in the church to thank those who had been instrumental in launching the social work initiatives in the parish. Mr. Melvin Pangya and Ms. Surekha Pednekar, staff members of Don Bosco Development Society, were thanked for the role they had played in getting the first Self Help Groups organized in the parish during these past few months. Eleven women from the Self Help Groups who had recently participated in the Entrepreneurship Development Programme were awarded certificates. These women have also received training in Soap, Phenyle and Candle making and after Mass they proudly displayed their products for all to see. The empowerment of the poor and disadvantaged in our parish has clearly begun!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Lawrence D’Souza sdb
JAITALA, JUNE 26, 2008: St. Joseph Vidyalaya, Jaitala, Nagpur, commenced its new academic year 2008-09, this morning, June 26. But why so late, you will ask? Well, it is true that kids in other parts of the country got back to school several days ago, but for us here in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, today was the official reopening day. And so the students came streaming in, happy to be back in school. A late beginning no doubt, but as the old adage puts it: better late than never! The new year at Jaitala also witnessed a new Principal, Fr. James Nigrel, taking up the reins of the school. Fr. James Nigrel inaugurated the new scholastic year by garlanding the statute of St. Joseph in the presence of the Salesians, Staff and Students. Everyone then assembled in the School Hall and spent a few moments in prayer, invoking God to bless them as they recommenced their educational journey. After this, there was a short programme to welcome the new principal. Students then went to their respective classes to receive the Hand Book of the year. At 10.30 am the Staff assembled together for a meeting, which was addressed by the Manager, Fr. Lawrence D’Souza. During the meeting the news arrived that the school had secured 100 percent pass results in the SSC examinations. For a backward area like Jaitala this is an excellent performance. Our children are blossoming slowly, maybe a little late – but the joy of beholding their success makes us feel it’s never too late!
Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga said, "We regret that we have to write once again in 2008 to remind donor governments of the promises that remain unfulfilled”. "There is now a real danger that the Millennium Development Goals will be remembered as empty words. This can only fuel the cynicism with which so many people in developing countries already regard rich countries' expressions of concern." The cardinal noted that the term set for achieving the goals is already half over. It is clear, he added, "that too many countries will fail to achieve the goals. In some cases, at present rates of progress, they may have to wait more than a hundred years before the goals are reached."
The eight Millennium Development Goals are: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV-AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership of development.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
LONAVLA, JUNE 25, 2008: Maria Ashiana Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Centre (a project of Shelter Don Bosco) celebrated the Closing Ceremony of the Education Month on June 23. At a well organized programme, which commenced with a Prayer-Song, the boys displayed their various skills and talents through dance, song, skits and poetry recitals. The theme chosen for the occasion was aptly titled “Kadam Kadam Badayenge, Naya Bhavishya Banayenge.” In keeping with the theme, the boys performed Amiri-Garibi, an introspective skit focusing on the need to be educated, while the song Ek Pal Ka Jeena, Ek Pal Hai Jaana had the boys grooving Hrithik ishtyle! A creative recital of a few nursery rhymes and an inspiring thought “Luck is not in our hand, but work is in our hand… Our work can bring us good luck” added life to the programme. A few boys also shared their experience at the Centre. The Chief Guest for the evening was Justice Shri Ashok Agarwal, former Judge at Mumbai High Court and Retired Chief Justice of the Chennai High Court. He is presently the Chairman of the Pravesh Niyantran Samiti which regulates the admission to Private Medical Colleges and Higher Technical Institutions. He is also actively involved in working for the Scheduled Tribes and Castes dealing with displaced settlements. Speaking on the occasion he said: “I am very happy to see the many talents that you boys have. I am also very impressed with your creativity and your motivation to do well in life. May you enjoy success and don’t forget the many people who have helped you in this institution to develop your skills.” Justice Agarwal also distributed the Individual and Group prizes. The highlights of the Education Month included among the usual daily routine, activities such as General Knowledge Quizzes; Sessions about various academic subjects; Learning through Posters and Charts with a token examination too thrown in to motivate the enthusiastic boys. The major achievement during this month was the teaching and learning of the basics of the English Language. Other subjects covered were Mathematics, Science and Hindi. This entire month was co-ordinated by Komal Kamble and Anthony Rajkumar with generous help from Vijaya, Francis, Nirmala, Kavita, Dama and Hirabai. Mr Matthewkutty, the programme co-ordinator at Maria Ashiana, was happiness personified at the successful completion of the Education Month, and expressed his desire to organize many more motivational programmes in the coming months. Indeed the staff and the boys at Maria Ashiana are on the right track echoing in unison “Kadam Kadam Badayenge, Naya Bhavishya Banayenge……”
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
NASHIK, JUNE 24, 2008: The Don Bosco Development Office organized a two day orientation programme on June 21 and 22 for the Divyadaan Brothers who are to continue the ‘Schools of Excellence’ project in the region of Jawhar and Mokhada. The orientation programme was also organized to prepare the Brothers for the upcoming Seminar on Human Rights in Nashik, which is an initiative by the province in response to the Rector Major’s Strenna to make people aware of their rights. Mr. Lourdes Baptista, Mr. Melvin Pangya and Fr. Savio Silveira were the resource persons for the different sessions.
In the first Session in the afternoon, Mr. Melvin presented a brief background of the people of these areas along with some statistics. Next, Mr. Lourdes briefed the brothers about the other NGOs already working in the region and explained the role of the Don Bosco Institution among these various NGOs.
In the evening the Novices of STI joined the community of Divyadaan for a presentation on the social outreach ministry in the province. In his presentation, Fr. Savio situated the social work being carried out in the province within the context of Human Rights which this year’s Strenna calls us to promote. He made the brothers aware of the fact that every human being has the right to a decent living and we have got a role to play in ensuring this. He also acquainted the young Salesians with the new trends in the Development sphere, such as Corporate Social Responsibility and Skills Development Initiatives.
On Sunday morning, Mrs. Jayshree Patil, the principal of Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Vidhyalaya, Satpur was invited to give the brothers an input session on the format of the new SSC Lower Level English Paper. She not only helped the brothers realize how the new format facilitated fewer failures, but also helped them with their methodology in teaching. She was deeply moved and full of awe when she learnt of the sacrifices of the brothers involved in this apostolate and promised her whole-hearted co-operation in the project. The brothers too gained a lot in terms of knowledge and attitude while teaching.
The orientation ended with a last session after lunch to discuss the practical matters about the apostolate. The brothers are now all set to restart their teaching work in the villages of Jawhar and Mokhada from Sunday, June 29.
NAIGAON, JUNE 24, 2008: Rejuvenated after a month of holidays, the SSC students got back to school on June 1, all excited and eager to shoulder a year of hard work in their studies. The staff too seemed enthusiastic about returning to school and to face the challenges that every new year offers. A Seminar was conducted for them on June 7. Fr. Cletus D'Souza, in his own inimitable style brought home the message: "A Right Vision, for a Fruitful Mission."
And then came D-day! The students, as they joyfully trooped in eager to meet their teachers and companions, were delighted to see their spic and span classes, all decorated by their teachers, ready to welcome them back. It is rightly said: "All that begins well, ends well" - we at Don Bosco Naigaon, hope to keep up the enthusiasm and work dedicatedly with team spirit towards the wholesome and integrated growth of our students.
Monday, June 23, 2008
VIRAR, JUNE 23, 2008: A Career Orientation programme was organized for the youth of our two parishes, Resurrection Parish, Virar East and Jyoti Mata Parish, Jyoti, on Friday, June 20. This programme, which was meant for the X and XII standard students, was also attended by youngsters from the neighbouring parishes. The sessions were conducted by Ms. Smita Naroji from the Disha Foundation. The first session, which was held at Jyoti, began at 2.00 pm and was attended by 35 students. Fr. Gregory D’Cunha welcomed Ms. Smita Naroji and the participants, and also thanked Mr. Melvin Pangya and Mr. Dayanand Patil from the Development Office who had helped in the arrangement of the programme. Ms. Naroji then gave a very informative and inspiring presentation on various possible career options. After the talk, the floor was opened to the participants for questions. The youngsters had a huge number of questions to ask which showed their keen interest in the topic. The second session of the day was held at Virar East. 25 students were present for this session. Here too the input given by the resource person was well appreciated by the participants. All those present affirmed that they had benefited much from this programme.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Matthew Coutinho sdb
MATUNGA, JUNE 19, 2008: The annual meeting of the Rectors and Leaders of Communities of the Mumbai Province began with a Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the Provincial Fr. Michael Fernandes at 9.00 am on June 18, 2008. Fr. Michael, in his homily, presented a stirring reminder of the role of the superior. As animator of the community, he is called to serve his brothers and to care for their needs. Among his primary responsibilities is to extend to them praise and recognition, in a spirit of self-donation and availability. Building strong communities will also ensure that the mission is accomplished faithful to the charism of Don Bosco in a spirit of faith. Elude The first session of the morning, presided over by Fr. Michael was preceded by a short clip on the meaning of Leadership. After welcoming the newly-appointed rectors, Fr. Michael dedicated the session to highlighting some of the more practical aspects of the role of the leader of the community in the light of the Province Directory that was updated at PC 2006. He exhorted a greater attention to the spiritual life of the community and care for practical trainees and those in initial formation. The final session of the morning consisted in an interesting input on the “Rights Based Approach” that has taken on greater significance in the light of the Strenna of the Rector Major for the current year. The resource person was Mr. Josanthony Joseph who dealt with the topic using his expertise in theology and advocacy. He indicated the evolving understanding that the Church has about its mission of practicing the commandment of love, noting a similar evolution in the way social workers see their task in society. With very apt examples from the present day scenario in the field of human rights and social work he proceeded to explain the need to move from a ‘charity-welfare’ ‘needs-based’ approach to a ‘liberation-transformation’ ‘rights-based’ approach. The post-lunch session was dedicated to examining the calendar for the year 2008-2009, with Fr. Godfrey D’Souza, Vice Provincial, indicating significant events that need to be marked in our calendars. Also discussed was the holiday apostolate of brothers in formation. Suggestions were made to introduce them to varied settings in the province ensuring they have a wide experience of the different apostolates. A brief presentation followed of some of the software programs being developed in Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla, using free and open source software. The final session of the day was dedicated to an update on the various activities which form part of the Social Outreach of the province managed by Don Bosco Development Society. Fr. Savio Silveira lucidly presented the main activities being carried out and presented the priorities that could form part of each communities planning for the year ahead. Much is already being done and with networking and support we can truly reach out to those who are needy and marginalized in the spirit of article 33 of our constitutions.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
JUNE 17, 2008: On Monday June 16, the students of Don Bosco Marathi and English Medium Schools assembled together for the inauguration of the new academic year. The National Anthem and the Prayer Song were sung to initiate the proceedings of the day. Fr William Falcao, Manager of the Savedi Educational Complex, welcomed and introduced the new Principal, Fr Francis Fernandes and the other new members of the Salesian team Fr. Manuel Murzello, Fr. Cyril D’Souza and Bro Richard Burkhao. Fr Bento D’Souza was also wished farewell and thanked for the five years he spent in this campus. Next, the new entrants into the school, the tiny tots from the Marathi medium pre-primary were welcomed with a rose. Then, the other new students of the school were called up to the dais and given a hearty welcome applause. Fr William Falcao concluded the inaugural programme by exhorting all the students to value the importance of education which is the foundation of their future.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Kenneth Pereira sdb
PINGULI, JUNE 16, 2008: There was an air of excitement in Pinguli on Tuesday June 10, 2008. The reason: the expected arrival of 23 pre-novices from the Konkan and Mumbai provinces. Well, eventually only 21 of them turned up. They began trickling in from 6.00 am and by the time the last one arrived it was 9.00 pm. Our pre-novices this year constitute a motley lot, hailing from Gujarat in the north to Karnataka in the south. This is the fifteenth batch of pre-novices coming to Pinguli. Eleven of them are from the Konkan province, while ten are from the Mumbai province. Fr. Loddy Pires, the Konkan provincial, officially initiated them to the PNC during the solemn Eucharist that evening, at which each of them was given a small crucifix. And now the ball falls into the court of the local Salesians: Fr. Tomas Fernandes (Rector), Fr. Kenneth Pereira (Prefect of Studies), Fr. Kimrold D'Mello (Administrator) and Cl. Jason Pinto (Assistant). Fr. Kimrold and Bro. Jason, fresh from their theological and philosophical studies respectively, are new faces in this community. They've come bubbling with energy and enthusiasm. We can look forward to a great year with them around!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
NASHIK, JUNE 14, 2008: On June 11, the community jubilated at the inauguration of the new academic year 2008. His Grace, Rt. Rev. Archbishop Felix Machado celebrated the Eucharistic, invoking the gift of the Holy Spirit on the assembled congregation. In his homily, the Archbishop dwelt on ‘The Holy Cross of Christ as the Wisdom of God’ which by its redeeming action transforms us radically. In the inaugural lecture, the Archbishop stated that as ‘Consecrated Religious in a developing India’, we must consider the growth of a bright and beautiful India our sacred duty. He further called the gathering to be rooted in faith and yet be thinkers in a fast-growing society. He invited the congregation to take ‘Faith’ as the keystone in their Philosophical endeavour. Yet he did not exempt the role of ‘Reason’ from research. Drawing from his profound knowledge of the Bhagāvat Gītā, the Archbishop declared that one cannot remain ‘actionless’ and must hence do the things that he/she is meant to do. Thus he implored the gathering to act, i.e. to do one’s duty in the spirit of true motivation. He expressed that one’s goal in life must be the achievement of innocence crowned with wisdom and for this one must endure the struggles, pains and tribulations that come one’s way. In the second part of his lecture the Archbishop emphasized that the Church is both local as well as Universal at the same time. We must come out of our squeamish ghetto mentality and burst forth into the manifold activities of the Church. The previous day, June 10, the Community of Divyadaan implored the blessings of the Lord on Fr. Savio D’Souza as he was officially installed as the Rector of the Philosophate, Divyadaan by the Provincial of the Mumbai Province, Fr. Michael Fernandes. The Salesian Confreres around the campus gathered in one accord and asked the Lord to send on him the Light of the Holy Spirit so that he may render incarnate amongst the community the presence and fatherliness of Don Bosco and thus guide the young confreres in seeking and fulfilling His Holy Will. While presiding at the Eucharistic, the Provincial stressed the fact that the Superior is a gift of God; he represents Jesus Christ and is the centre of the community. He is responsible for the religious life, the apostolic mission and administrative goods of the community in front of God and the local ecclesiastical authorities. The Superior animates the community and tries to bring out the best in his confreres and this responsibility he shares with his Local House Council.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
SAVEDI, JUNE 11, 2008: Eighteen teams participated in the Don Bosco Cricket League organized by the Don Bosco Youth Group of Rosary Mata Church, Jeur from June 1 to 8, 2008. The tournament began with a prayer led by Fr Bento D’Souza and the blessing of the newly prepared cricket pitch. The cricket extravaganza ended with the finals on June 8, between Ya Maulana and Imampur teams. The prizes were distributed by the Parish Priest Fr William Falcao. The first prize of Rs. 2001 which was won by the Ya Maulana Team was donated by Fr William Falcao; the second prize of Rs. 1001, given to Imampur Team was donated jointly by Harbal traders and Don Bosco Youth Group, Jeur; while the third prize of Rs. 701 which went to Chapewadi Team, was donated by Kadam Marketing. Over a hundred youth from the surrounding villages were spectators at this cricketing event.
ROME, JUNE 11, 2008: Sixteen members of the Don Bosco Network (DBN) met at the Sacro Cuore Salesian Centre in Rome, on June 9. They represented the seven NGOs, all European-based, who make up the DBN. The meeting’s purpose, other than being the Annual General Assembly of the body, focused in particular on structural and institutional change brought about by the need for DBN to respond to ‘youth at the heart of development’, the characteristic Salesian feature of the Network. The assembly also elected its new President, in the person of Françoise Léonard, of COMIDE, Belgium, who replaced the outgoing president Hans-Juergen Dorrich of Jugend Dritte Welt (JDW), Germany.
Present for the assembly was Fr Vaclav Klement, the newly elected Salesian General Councilor for the Missions. Though currently mainly European-based, DBN is aiming to become a worldwide network of Salesian NGOs. This entails structural reform as the body looks at expansion. The assembly took up a range of reflections on geographical and partnership expansion, strategic location of offices and reinforced contacts with the Salesian General Council, the desire and the ‘how’ of acting together under a common name. Lengthy consideration was also given to a set of principles and guidelines for international cooperation on a north-south axis to help deal with partnership requests from Don Bosco Partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania, and also Eastern Europe.
Note: The PSP process and the setting up of Development Offices across India was largely an initiative of Ms. Françoise Léonard and was funded by COMIDE. Several projects presently underway in the Mumbai Province are being supported by the DBN especially JDW, Germany.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Thousands of people participated in the requiem Mass and the funeral. “A funeral like no other” remarked one of the veterans who has seen the passing away of several missionaries. Salesian Provincial Fr. Joseph Almeida, during his funeral oration, described Fr. Herman as a missionary who gave his very best and endeared himself to all people during his long and dedicated years of priestly and religious life.
Friday, June 6, 2008
NASHIK, JUNE 6, 2008: June 1, saw the cheerful community of Divyadaan set out for a half-day picnic to Trimbakeshwar, which is one of the popular pilgrimage destinations on the outskirts of Nashik. There, on the picturesque hilltop, are situated some of the most famous temples of Nashik. We, enthusiastically yet cautiously, climbed the 550 steps to reach the summit. Once we reached the top, we spent our time visiting the many shrines there. It certainly was edifying to watch the numerous devotees offering their worship and prayers in these sacred sanctuaries.
Tired out by our excursion, we decided to take a short break and refresh ourselves with limbu pani. It was also a moment to look around and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. And yes, the monkeys noticing our tired faces, graciously entertained us with their antics! Rejuvenated, we took to the road again and happily headed back home. The picnic was a good opportunity for us to increase our knowledge and respect towards the Hindu culture.
Having spent most of his life in the formation field, Fr. Joaquim is well suited for this new responsibility. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy in 1965 and then proceeded to the Salesian University at Rome where he completed his Doctorate in Philosophy in 1970, following which he taught philosophy for two years at Yercaud. After his ordination in 1975 he returned to the teaching field as professor of philosophy, both, at Pune and Yercaud. From 1981 to 1984 he served as Rector at Pune, and then from 1984 to 1988 as Rector of Divyadaan, Nashik. In 1988 he was appointed Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Province and in 1994 he took over as Provincial. At GC24 in 1996 he was elected as Regional Councilor for Australasia. After the reorganization of Regions at GC25 in 2002, he was elected as Regional Councilor for South Asia. At the recently concluded GC26 he laid down office after successfully serving the region for 12 years. As he takes up this responsibility of Superior of the UPS, he brings to his new task, both, his international experience as well as his expertise in the formation field.
It is indeed a proud moment for the Mumbai Province as Fr. Joaquim takes up this prestigious service to the Congregation. We wish him good luck God’s blessings!