Thursday, July 31, 2008

BIS # 1042 ORIENTATION WORKSHOP FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

Bento D’Souza sdb
VIRAR, JULY 31, 2008: On July 25, fifty three students of Stds. VIII and IX from St. Aloysius English High School, Papdy, attended a 90 minutes workshop on Study Methods, Character Building and Career Guidance. A survey questionnaire on how students study was filled in and tabulated. Scientific tools and techniques for employing the least amount of time to master study content were provided. Questions were answered and doubts and preconceptions about how to study, speed read and memorize cleared with the help of formulas like PAR, SQR4M and RUMLOR. A game was conducted for character building and the need to become literate about one’s future career instilled. The session was conducted by Nikhil from Jyoti. Simultaneously, 18 teachers from the same school were given an orientation course. The resource person, Fr. Bastian Thomas began the workshop with an action song. An article by Fr. Kenneth Pereira on Education was then read and discussed. Next, a celebration on “Time” was conducted by Fr. Bento D’Souza. As a result of this programme, the same sessions for students and teachers have been requested by the Carmel Sisters Institutions in Alibaug in the second week of September. The Principal, Sr. Cecilia was deeply appreciative of the training given, especially since the St. Aloysius English Medium School, Papdy will be sending its first batch of students for the tenth standard examinations next year.

BIS # 1041 DISEMINATION OF GC 26 DOCUMENTS AT NASHIK

Mylin Noronha sdb

NASHIK, JULY 31, 2008: The ‘Dissemination of GC 26’ was held at Divyadaan on July 29. Present for the occasion were the Salesians from Divyadaan, Salesian Training Institute and Don Bosco Bhavan. While Fr. Ivo Coelho presented the Chapter deliberations, Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, gave his observations and comments. It was indeed a creative presentation of pictures and text slides through which Fr. Ivo presented the Five Themes of the Chapter: Starting Afresh from Don Bosco, Evangelization, Vocations, Evangelical Poverty and New Frontiers. The identity of a Salesian and the renewal of our youth ministry which should be founded on our passion for God and the young formed the first part. Being evangelizers through our living witness and our proclamation of the Kingdom contributed to the second part. Concerning vocations, it was observed that a lot needs to be done regarding the accompaniment of those in formation. Poverty was seen in three dimensions, namely, the ascetical aspect, the solidarity aspect and the educative aspect. Fr. Ivo also pointed out that GC 26 calls on the Salesians to read, write and reflect. This presentation of the Chapter documents definitely helped enthuse us towards a greater Salesian commitment.

BIS # 1040 BALPRAFULTA BEGINS TRAINING PROGRAMME ON CHILD RIGHTS

Amruta Lovekar
ANDHERI, JULY 31, 2008: With the new academic year well underway, Balprafulta, a Don Bosco Child Rights Organization, has re-launched its Community Initiatives Programme. This is a community based programme to create awareness and a platform for action, for empowering children and community groups towards child-centered community developmental processes. This programme works in and around slum communities and schools in Mumbai’s K-east ward which includes Parle (East), Andheri (East) and Jogeshwari (East). Through this programme, sessions on child rights are being conducted for children from Std. V to IX in the schools of K-east ward. Sessions will be held in a total of 13 schools, some of which are National Urdu School, Shree Samarth Vidya Mandir, Dyan Ganga School, Guru Nanak School, Swami Vivekananda Hindi School, Balvikas Vidya Mandir, Shramik Vidya Mandir and Young Indian School. These sessions are conducted for children in their own classes without disturbing the school schedule in any way. The programme, which has started in July, will carry on through the whole year. In the schools, the session begins with the trainer asking the students ‘who is a child’. Most of the children give very diverse answers saying that child is someone who is 3,4,10 or 15 years of age. The trainer then clarifies that according to the UN Convention on Child Rights and the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act, 2000 ‘a child is someone from 0-18 years of age. He then talks to them about the history of child rights which goes back to the time before the First World War. The major ‘charters’ that contain these rights are then presented. The trainer also explains the relation between needs, rights and responsibilities. The sessions are participative and the children are encouraged to share their views and their perspectives. These sessions are an important means, not just to reach out to children, but also a platform to treat them as individuals and to make them aware of their rights

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BIS # 1039 PAST PUPILS SURGE FORWARD AT CHHOTA

Ranald Lopes sdb
CHHOTA UDEPUR, JULY 29, 2008: The recently revived Past Pupils’ Movement in Gujarat has indeed been making rapid progress. The second meeting of the past pupils was held at Chhota Udepur on Sunday, July 27. The turnout was commendable with 43 former students being present for the meeting. Based on the suggestion made at the previous meeting, a room cum office has been set aside in the institution exclusively for the alumni. Some of the practical details discussed at this meeting included issuing identity cards to all members, opening a bank account for the Unit and joining the confederation of past pupils. More important, however, was the discussion on concrete ways in which the alumni can be of assistance to the younger generation, especially the disadvantaged youth in the villages who lack, both, opportunities and guidance. These issues need to be further pondered upon and a definite action plan will have to be chalked out. A noteworthy feature of the meeting was the presence of many young past pupils who brought much enthusiasm with them.

BIS # 1038 CHILDREN CHARM PARENTS

Maria Goretti Fonseca
WADALA, JULY 28, 2008: It was an all out effort on the part of the children of the parish of Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala as they regaled their parents on July 27, 2008 with an evening of songs, skits, poetry recitation and dance as an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving, amply demonstrating the theme: ‘Parents – God’s gift to us’. The variety entertainment was replete with excitement and joy as it brought on stage in full strength children from the Sunday School from classes I through XI, who had under the able guidance of their teachers spent endless hours over the last fortnight training to put up their best performance, a divergence from their normal religious teaching. The programme began with the traditional aarti and the lighting of candles by a representative set of parents who also received cards and flowers from their children. Derrick and Wilma on behalf of all parents extended a warm welcome and led us in prayer. The little ones as well as the older children then showed their prowess in keeping step with the rhythm of dance music while the Confirmation class put across their message to parents of the need for interaction with their children through a thought provoking skit. The VII and VIII classes composed a touching poem about the love of parents, which they recited in chorus Mr Anand Castellino called for volunteers to help in conducting a programme for orphans on August 15, Independence Day. Parents were then led into the grand march by the very charming headmistress of St Joseph High School, Miss Nicole Britto. This was followed by some dancing and a round of housie. Spot prizes too were given out innovatively throughout the evening’s programme for the lucky couple wearing coloured coordinated clothes, for the lady with the longest pair of earrings and the most number of bangles besides to one wearing many-hued clothes. Since all good things come to an end the evening ended with goodies and snacks for all!

BIS # 1037 PARENTS’ DAY CELEBRATIONS AT VIRAR

Loreen Fernandes
VIRAR, JULY 28, 2008: The feast of Saints Joaquim and Anne on July 26, better known as Parents’ Day, was joyfully celebrated in our parish. The evening began with a Children’s Mass, wherein the celebrant made the children aware of the important role parents play in molding them into good Christians and consequently the attitude of gratitude they need to have towards their parents and grand parents. This was followed by the Saturday evening Eucharistic celebration, during which the celebrant reminded us parents that we have to bring up our children with patience and understanding, having Mary and Joseph as our role models. Roses were given by the children to their parents as a token of affection and gratitude. This was followed by a cultural programme, the first of its kind in our parish on the occasion of parents’ day. The programme commenced with a group song, followed by a skit which emphasized the theme of selfless giving. There were two dances put up by our children, choreographed by our talented youngsters, which received a thunderous applause. The parable of the “Good Samaritan” was melodiously rendered through an entertaining musical item. The evening concluded with our parish priest Fr. Blany Pinto thanking all those who worked to make the evening a special one for us parents.

BIS # 1036 INAUGURATION OF SUNDAY SCHOOL AT SAVEDI

Richard Burkhao sdb
SAVEDI, JULY 28, 2008: Sunday, July 27, was a day of great joy for all the Catechism teachers and students of Don Bosco Savedi, Ahmednagar, as it had the official inauguration of the Sunday School for the year 2008-09. The celebration began with the solemn Eucharist in the school hall. During the homily, the main celebrant, Fr. William Falcao stressed the importance of Faith formation. After the homily there was an ‘Oath Ceremony’ for the Sunday School teachers and students. The celebration concluded with distribution of sweets to all the Sunday School students after the Eucharist and was followed by a tea party for the teachers. The total number of students attending Sunday School is 110: 35 preparing for Confirmation, 40 for first Holy Communion and 35 in the Post Communion group. As a preparation for the same, on July 20, there was a one day course on Catechism animated by Fr. Milton Gonsalves of the Vasai Diocese for the Sunday School teachers of the three Salesian parishes of Ahmednagar, namely, St. Anne's, St. John, Bhingar and Don Bosco, Savedi. The course was well appreciated by all those who attended it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

BIS # 1035 PARENTING THE ‘RIGHT WAY’

Matthew Coutinho sdb
NASHIK, JULY 27, 2008: To celebrate Parent’s Day, the Don Bosco Parish Nashik decided to do more than read poems and give flowers. From some parents came the idea of enriching parenting skills. Hence, on July 26, at 5:30 pm a session was held on “Parenting the Right Way” and it was animated by Fr. Diego Nunes, Principal of Don Bosco School Nashik. Speaking from his experience in dealing with parents and children as an educator, counsellor and psychologist, Fr. Diego began by outlining the social factors that underpin the problems in parent-child relationships. He named the conflicting value systems of adults and children; the impact of the media; marital fragility; sexual and verbal abuse and violence; the move from the joint to the nuclear family; and, changing gender roles, among the factors responsible for the problems. The session then took a more practical turn as some of the psychological data on parenting was presented. Among the key factors are a loving and caring heart backed by good communication skills, listening, encouragement and praise. Different parenting styles were described with their relative merits and demerits. The perfect parent may never exist but a nurturing involved presence can help one reach pretty close. After the input there was time for interaction which brought out some very interesting queries from the parents present. The 90 minutes spent in the session passed in the twinkling of an eye and it was time to break up. A poem entitled “If I had my child to raise again…” remained etched in the minds of the parents. Some of the key lines read:
If I had my child to raise over again…
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger paint more and point fingers less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I would care to know less and know to care more
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I would be firm less often and affirm much more.
I'd model less about the love of power, And more about the power of love.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

BIS # 1034 JYOTI EMPOWERMENT CENTRE INAUGURATED

Gregory D’Cunha sdb
JYOTI, JULY 27, 2008: The dull and dreary weather did not deter the women of Jyoti and it’s surrounding areas from taking a step forward towards self-reliance by participating in the inauguration of the ‘Jyoti Empowerment Centre’ (Jyoti Sakshamikaran Kendra) on July 25, which has become a reality thanks to the Development Office and the Parish of Our Lady of Light. The chief guest for the occasion was Mr. Kulkarni from the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI). Also present were Mr. Lourdes Baptista, Mr. Sharma, Ms. Sandhya, Mr. Melvin Pangya and Mr. Dayanand Patil, besides the Salesians Fr. Blany Pinto, Fr. Gregory D’Cunha and Fr. Bento D’Souza. After Mr. Kulkarni inaugurated and declared the Centre open, there was a short programme in the Centre itself for which over 50 women were present. The dignitaries present addressed the women and spoke of the different avenues of empowerment, focusing especially on skills development and employment. CMAI will play an important role in taking this Centre forward. During the past months 20 women have already been trained in tailoring through the aegis of CMAI and the second batch will now begin three months of similar training. Once the women are sufficiently skilled, a full fledged production centre will be set up here supported by CMAI. The women have shown keen interest in this project and look forward to being gainfully employed in this tailoring centre

BIS # 1033 JAITALA FELICITATES SILVER JUBILARIANS

Lawrence D’Souza sdb

JAITALA, JULY 26, 2008: A grand felicitation programme was organized for the three Silver Jubilarians - Fr. Francis Kharjia, Fr. Diego Nunes and Fr. Elson Barretto. These three stalwarts of our province who complete 25 years of priestly life this year, made a spiritual retreat at Bishop’s House Amravati, under the guidance of Bishop Lourdes Daniel, and then arrived at Jaitala on July 18, where they were accorded a hearty welcome. It was indeed a homecoming for them – Fr. Kharjia was the pioneer of this institution and spent seven glorious years here from 1989 to 1996 as Parish Priest, Principal and Superior of the Community; Fr. Diego too rendered his service to this institution for a year; Fr. Elson visited and supported this place when he was Provincial Councillor. And so being back was a moment of great joy, both, for them and for the people. On Saturday, July 19, the school staff and students organized the felicitation programme. The students gave of their best, putting their dramatic and creative talents to full use, as they performed on the stage. The following day, Sunday, July 20, it was the turn of the parish to host the celebrations. The parish church overflowed with happy faces as all the parishioners made it a point to be present for this momentous occasion. The two-hour long Eucharistic celebration was solemnized through well animated prayers and lively singing. We lift up our hearts and voices, thanking God for the gift of these three priests, and for the privilege of having had them in our midst as they celebrate their silver year!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

BIS # 1032 SALESIAN FAMILY DELEGATES MEET

Vivian D’Souza sdb

MATUNGA, JULY 25, 2008: The Delegates of the Salesian Family from the various houses of the province met at the Provincial House on July 24, 2008. At the meeting, Fr. Elias Diaz, the Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family, presented the document on “The Common Mission Statement of the Salesian Family” through a Power Point Presentation. The presentation was lucid, thought provoking and well appreciated by those present. After the presentation, Fr. Diaz asked for feedback on the document. Some of the members felt that this document was primarily meant for the Catholic element of the Salesian Family and did not specifically address persons of other faiths who are also part of the Salesian Family. We felt that we could add an appendix to the document wherein we could spell out the same mission from a multi religious and multi cultural background, that would make it specifically Indian and contextual. It was also pointed out that the document stresses that the animator should necessarily be a Salesian Priest. We felt that a Salesian Brother could also be given the opportunity to animate the Salesian Family in our institutions. Fr. Diaz then asked the group how we could better animate the Salesian Family in our institutions. It was suggested that we have Regional meetings of the Salesian Family, to foster unity and a fruitful sharing of activities and ideas for better coordination and animation. There was also a suggestion that each house bring out a Directory of the Pupils who have passed out of their Institutions with the relevant details. This could be useful for the Institution and for the Centre as well. The Provincial Commission for the Salesian Family met in the afternoon, to discuss the suggestions given in the morning session and to plan out Animation Programmes for the Salesian Family, to be carried out during the year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

BIS # 1031 ST. JOSEPH’S KURLA CONDUCTS MES PROGRAMME

Amar Patikond
KURLA, JULY 24, 2008: The Modular Employability Skills (MES) programme initiated by the Government is aimed at providing Vocational Training to school leavers, existing workers, ITI graduates and others, so as to improve their employability, while optimally utilizing the infrastructure available in Government or Private Institutions and the Industry. Existing skills of the persons can also be tested and certified under this scheme. MES benefits different target groups like those seeking certification of their skill acquired informally, those workers and ITI graduates seeking skill up-gradation, those who have dropped out of school and are unemployed or those who have earlier worked as child labourers. For the first time St. Joseph’s ITI took the initiative to train and assess MES candidates. 116 students underwent this training and appeared for the assessment in the following trades: Basic Automobile Servicing, Two Wheeler Repairs, Electrical House Wiring, Information and Communication Technology Computer Fundamentals, MS Office and Internet, Basic Refrigeration and Air-conditioning, Production and Manufacturing Turning, Fabrication Arc welding. The assessment was carried out by a panel of 5 officials from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with City and Guilds, Pune. The day long assessment programme which began at 10.00 am, ended only at 8.00 pm and was possible because of the committed and sustained efforts of the entire Staff and Management of St. Joseph’s, Kurla. Incidentally, St. Joseph’s is the first institute in Maharashtra to collaborate with the Government in carrying out the training and assessment programme for MES candidates

BIS # 1030 “CHOTHA UDAAN 2008” AT SHELTER DON BOSCO

Meryl Misquitta
MUMBAI, JULY 23, 2008: On July 19 and 20, the children and staff of Shelter Don Bosco Mumbai organized a preliminary event as a run up to “Udaan 2008” (A Don Bosco Enterprise) at the National Level for the YAR, scheduled to be conducted at Don Bosco, Matunga on October 24 and 25 for street and marginalized boys; and for girls at Auxilium, Anmol. Wadala on Ocotber 26 this year. This national event will now take the place of the Annual Diwlai Mela of Shelter. The theme for this July mela was ‘Shram aur Parishram.’ As part of the pre-mela preparation the staff invited 10 other NGOs in Mumbai to participate in the event. Staff and children from different NGOs were able to benefit from the presentations made by persons from different sectors. The children were oriented to jobs in the retail and hospitality sector. Practical demonstrations on screen printing and welding were well received by the children who attended the mela. Starting on the 19th evening a variety of employment options and entrepreneur workshops were showcased. With people from different industries sharing personal experiences in the field, the rapport between the boys and the guests was established. Many of those who came in for the day said that they would like to continue their association with the organizations in order to ensure a better future for the boys. The use of motivational videos created a receptive atmosphere for the sessions on jobs in various sectors that were to follow. Children from both the outreach centre and the residential home actively participated in the event. While some prepared eatables for sale and tested out their entrepreneurial ability, others performed a skit to demonstrate how important it was to have a congruence between education, interest and ability. This would lead to successful job choice and help sustain them in the job market. Shelter staff also took on the process of preparing the curriculum vitae for groups of boys. In addition to the focus on careers the children availed of the other regular features of the Mela which include food, entertainment, medical assistance, haircuts, bath, washing clothes, etc. As in every mela, the doctors from Sion Hospital provided medical assistance to about 300 boys. Sarha TV network covered the mela extensively that day.. The aim of these Monthly Melas is to motivate the street children to give up their life on the streets and get into a settled life with a stable job.

BIS # 1029 YOUTHFUL PLEDGE AT JYOTI MATA CHURCH

Gregory D'Cunha sdb
JYOTI, JULY 23, 2008: Jyoti Mata Parish, Jyoti, witnessed a memorable occasion on July 20, 2008, when 32 youngsters took their place in front of the assembled faithful during the Eucharistic celebration and solemnly pledged that they will remain dedicated and committed towards their Family, Parish and Church. They also pledged to do all they can to spearhead the development of the parish community and to be helpful in all the parish activities. Fr. Gregory D'Cunha and Fr. Sanjay Lopes blessed and prayed over them and asked the congregation to do the same by being supportive towards them, especially in their spiritual growth. The Youth Choir enhanced the solemnity of the liturgy with their melodious singing, praising and thanking God for the wonders He has worked in their lives.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BIS # 1028 EVENTS, AND MORE EVENTS, AT RESURRECTION PARISH!

Pritesh Prabhune

VIRAR, JULY 22, 2008: It was a pleasure for of us at Resurrection Parish, Virar, to have Fr. Ivo Coelho, our former Provincial, in our midst once again on Sunday, July 20. His warm and cheerful disposition, combined with his approachability, always makes him a welcome visitor! This visit was special because it gave the parishioners the opportunity to thank Fr. Ivo for the help and support which he extended to the parish when he was Provincial. Addressing the parishioners in his homily during the Mass, Fr. Ivo pointed out that we should feel strong and secure in the loving care of our Heavenly Father. We often wish the world was free of the many negative elements we see all around us, but we need to be patient, knowing that God will take care of it in his own time. At the end of the Mass, Ms. Helen Fernandes, speaking on behalf of the parishioners, thanked Fr. Ivo for his unstinted support to the parish, in good times and especially in difficult times. Fr. Ivo then inaugurated the new volleyball court in the parish campus. Speaking to the youth, he expressed his hope that they excel in sports and that they enjoy being in the parish campus. Thanks to Fr. Edwin Colaco and the youth coordinators who worked hard to get this court ready. On the same day, the parish had its first training programme for the Zonal Coordinators, Community Coordinators and Animators of the Small Christian Communities. Mrs. Donna Prabhune, one of our own parishioners, was the resource person for the occasion. The parish has 8 communities in 33 clusters and it was very heartening to see that there was 98 percent attendance, including 5 prospective animators, for this training programme. Surely and steadily, the vibrancy and momentum is picking up, thanks to the sincere efforts and staunch support of the Parish Team – Fr. Blanny Pinto and Fr. Edwin Colaco.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

BIS # 1027 - MEMORABLE DON MAURO!

Tony D’Souza sdb
MUMBAI, JULY 21, 2008: It has been said that in life we meet many great people, but the really great person is one who makes others feel great. That’s precisely how I remember Don Mauro – a great optimist who saw greatness in every youngster! On the occasion of the first death anniversary of Fr. Casarotti, I wish to contribute a few “memorettes” of his life which spell out his genuine greatness. Don Mauro was a great “Vocation Caretaker”. He not only recruited, but diligently nurtured our tender vocation during our aspirantate in Tirupattur way back in the Fifties, when the transition from “jam and bread” to “uppama and iddlis” was a big challenge to the “Bombaywallas”. Though very busy as the Rector of Don Bosco, Matunga, Fr. Casa kept in touch with us, aspirants, through letters and his personal visits all the way from Mumbai and always with packets of “halwa and pedas”. During the summer holidays, when we were back home in Mumbai, he organized weekly outings and picnics just to keep in touch with us and perhaps, also to safeguard our vocations. His keen interest in our welfare did encourage many of us to stay with Don Bosco. I was 13 when I first stood in his office and recall his kindness to my parents which I think was the most convincing reason why they agreed to let me go down south. Fr. Casa believed that Vocation work has much to do with winning over the parents first. He himself maintained cordial relations with our families. Don Mauro’s fatherly rapport with young clerics even through his later years is what I am sure many young Salesians experienced and will always remember. As our Rector during our Novitiate and Philosophy studies in Yercaud, he built up in us very strong convictions, one of which still drives me on: Either a good Salesian or no Salesian at all. During examinations, to deflate the tension and anxiety, he had another phrase: Better a live donkey than a dead horse. His heart was bigger than his head and full of empathy for those in crises of all kinds. As always, he was our “Vocation Caretaker”. The Aspirantate of Don Bosco, Lonavla where he has chosen to rest, may rightly be considered a memorial of Fr. Casa’s great love for his own Salesian Vocation which he promoted by fostering vocations in the Mumbai province. I dare to predict now on, a surge in vocations from Lonavla, thanks to our “underground” vocation caretaker. Many pleasant and nostalgic ‘memorettes” of the “amorevolezza” of Don Mauro still flood my mind on this first death anniversary. He remains an unforgettable memory and an inspiring model to emulate. I do hope our Mumbai province will enter Don Mauro into the annals of our history not merely in gratitude but in the hope that his testimony of fidelity to Don Bosco will ignite afresh in each of us, love and fidelity to our precious Salesian Vocation expressed in a revived effort to be like him, “Vocation Caretakers” that live on, beyond the grave.

BIS # 1026 - PAST PUPILS HOLD COUNCIL ELECTIONS

Dolly Alphonso

MATUNGA, JULY 20, 2008: The Don Bosco Past Pupils Provincial Federation meeting was held at the Provincial House, Matunga on Sunday, July 20, 2008, and was attended by 27 members. The key purpose of this meeting was to elect the Past Pupils Provincial Council. The day began with the ‘Prayer of the Past Pupils’ after which Fr. Elias Diaz, Provincial Delegate for Salesian Family, welcomed all those present. The Vice Provincial Fr. Godfrey D’Souza then addressed the gathering. Speaking on the theme of leadership, he said that a leader is one who has integrity, is credible and humane, follows principles, puts the organization’s interest before own interest and looks for collaborations rather then competition. This was followed by the reading of the Annual Report for the year 2007-2008 and the Statement of Accounts. The Provincial Council Elections were then held. The Election Commission comprised Fr. Elias Daiz, Mr. Arun Gorpade and Ms. Dolly Alphonso. Mr. Ketan Gala was elected as the President, Mr. Dilip Bhat as Vice President, Mr. Mayur D’Silva as Vice President Gex, Mr. Kailash Parekh as Secretary and Mr. Joseph Gomes as Treasurer. Those elected as Committee Members were: Mr. Amar, Mr. Wenceslaus Pinto, Mr. Anand Gurav and Mr. Shirish Vora. Fr. Diaz congratulated the newly elected members and asked them to be united, share each other’s burdens and appreciate the good work done by others. He also thanked the outgoing committee for their services rendered. The meeting concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Ketan Gala.

BIS # 1025 - WORLD YOUTH DAY COMES TO A CLOSE

SYDNEY, JULY 20, 2008:
Pope Benedict XVI urged hundreds of thousands of young Catholics this morning to beat back a "spiritual desert" spreading through the modern world as he closed the World Youth Day in Australia. The Pope celebrated an open-air mass in Sydney that drew some 250,000 people, mostly youngsters, in the climax of a week of prayer and pop concerts. The Pope flew by helicopter over many thousands of pilgrims, many of whom had camped out in cold weather at Sydney's Randwick Racecourse in preparation for Sunday's events. In the closing mass of the WYD, the Pope said the worshippers' youthful energy helped reinvigorate the church and urged them to become "messengers of love" to counter a world that was increasingly spiritually barren. "The world needs this renewal," he said. "In so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading, an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair." Pope Benedict XVI, who has repeatedly railed against consumerism and greed through the week, said that God was asking young people to be "prophets for a new age" in which "hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deadens our souls and poisons our relationships". Bidding "arrivederci" to the massive crowd at Royal Randwick Racecourse, the Pope announced that the next World Youth Day would be held in Madrid in 2011. "Until then, let us continue to pray for one another and let us joyfully bear witness to Christ before the world," he told pilgrims, many of whom had travelled from around the world to be in Sydney for the WYD. (Varied News Sources)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

BIS # 1024 DB BARODA: PLANTING TREES TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING

Anthony Fonseca sdb

BARODA, JULY 19, 2008: Till a few years back words such as ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ had a distant ring to them. One may even have been tempted to relegate them to the category of myths and fairy tales. At best, they served as exotic gibberish for sloganeers and other rabble rousing activists. And even if by some far shot it did turn out that there was some truth in these words that few of us understood and even fewer cared about – their effects would be felt by generations yet to come, so we believed. But no, those days of pretending that we cannot see the writing on the wall have quickly vaporized. Climate change is already making its presence felt here and now. Take this year’s monsoon season for example, and nothing more needs to be said! And so Don Bosco School, Baroda, has decided to play an active role in the environmental arena. As a first step, a Tree Plantation Day was organized on July 18 in the school campus. The Provincial Fr. Michael Fernandes himself planted the first tree on this occasion. The teachers and students then planted trees in the campus and in the surrounding areas. Not only did this activity have the effect of adding to the ‘green cover’ in the neighbourhood, but it also awakened the students to the fact that each one of them needs to contribute their mite towards preserving and enhancing the environment. We hope that a host of such activities will help reverse climate change and renew the life of our planet!

BIS # 1023 FR BARNABE D’SOUZA REPRESENTS SOUTH ASIA AT “BEYOND 2008”

Mathew Kutty

MUMBAI, JULY 18, 2008: The recently held Vienna NGOs Committee Forum employed an intense preparatory process engaging civil society by holding 13 consultations in which 500 National NGOs and 65 International NGOs from 116 countries participated. This process helped bring NGO contribution to the ongoing formulation of the World Drug Policy. The outcome of "Beyond 2008" has been a Declaration and three Resolutions adopted by consensus by all the participants of the Vienna Forum held from July 7 to 9, 2008. These will be presented to the Intergovernmental Expert Working Group on Drug Demand Reduction when it meets in September 2008 to prepare for the High Level Segment of the 52nd session of CND. The Declaration and Resolutions have been formally submitted to the Chair of the 52nd session of CND, the President of INCB and the Executive Director of UNODC. The Forum has achieved a remarkable result, drawing on the rich diversity of philosophy and experience available within the NGO community to produce a shared set of recommendations. This is, however, only the start. Each NGO has committed to take forward at local, national and international levels these resolutions and through "Beyond 2008" to give voice to individuals, families and communities impacted by drug use and drug policies for the purpose of promoting the development and implementation of more effective policies, programs and practices. Rev. Dr. Barnabe D’Souza sdb from Shelter Don Bosco, Mumbai, India played a key role in the Forum representing the South Asia Region. He along with Dr. Khazi Alam of the Dhaka Ashiana Mission, Bangladesh, made a joint presentation on the recommendations of the South Asian Region consultation and posited some very tangible future goals to the Beyond 2008 Forum. It was interesting to see the commonalities that all the regions of the world had in their presentations. These were followed by very engaging discussions to formulate the Declaration and Resolutions that were presented to the CND, INCB and Executive Director of the UNODC

Thursday, July 17, 2008

BIS # 1022 RM MEETS SALESIAN YOUTH AT WYD

ANS News
SYDNEY, JULY 17, 2008: Yesterday, July 16, the Rector Major Fr Pascual Chávez met the young people from the Salesian Youth Movement who are present for the World Youth Day, in the sports hall of the Don Bosco School at Engadine, Sydney. Among those present were groups from Salesian backgrounds from all parts of the world especially the Pacific; something that gives this gathering something different and special about the new Catholic Church and perhaps about the future. After catechesis led by three Bishops - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin from Ireland, Bishop Daniel Flores from the United States and Bishop Patrick Dum from New Zealand mass began in the late morning. Notable was the singing and dancing at the end of the celebration: sounds and gestures offered by a group from New Zealand that communicated the emotion of the prayer. The celebration then moved out into the courtyard where around a large barbecue, the young people had lunch and also got to know each other and exchange experiences with people from different countries. There were over a thousand present, with in addition a hundred or so adults making them welcome. In the afternoon there was free time and entertainment provided by music groups. Talking to the youngsters Fr Chávez emphasized that the Church is constantly being entrusted to the new generations called to take up their own responsibilities. “No one else can take your place,” the Rector Major said, “Don’t think that the Church is the Bishops, the Priests, the Sisters. First of all the Church is Christ, and we are called to do something for Him.” “Many young people think that this world cannot get any better but with the same heartfelt attitude of Pope Benedict XVI it is necessary to launch an appeal that everyone should do something for their own people as Blessed Zephyrinus Namuncurá did” the Rector Major added.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

BIS # 1021 DON BOSCO PRE PRIMARY SCHOOL INAUGURATED AT JEUR

Solomon Salve

AHMEDNAGAR, JULY 16, 2008: The Salesian work in Ahmednagar crossed another milestone on July 12, 2008 with the inauguration of the Don Bosco English Medium Pre Primary School at Jeur. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Mr. Bajirao Gavare Patil, Ex Chairman of the Zilla Parishad Construction Committee, Ahmednagar, and he was accompanied by Advocate J.D. Kusmude. They were welcomed in the typical Ahmednagar style with a shawl and a coconut. The inaugural ceremony began with the cutting of the ribbon followed by a colorful cultural programme by the pre primary students from Jeur and Savedi. Fr. William Falcao thanked the parents who were present for the function, for admitting their children in this new school and thereby supporting the venture. The function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Francis Patole.

BIS # 1021 DON BOSCO PRE PRIMARY SCHOOL INAUGURATED AT JEUR

Solomon Salve

AHMEDNAGAR, JULY 16, 2008: The Salesian work in Ahmednagar crossed another milestone on July 12, 2008 with the inauguration of the Don Bosco English Medium Pre Primary School at Jeur. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Mr. Bajirao Gavare Patil, Ex Chairman of the Zilla Parishad Construction Committee, Ahmednagar, and he was accompanied by Advocate J.D. Kusmude. They were welcomed in the typical Ahmednagar style with a shawl and a coconut. The inaugural ceremony began with the cutting of the ribbon followed by a colorful cultural programme by the pre primary students from Jeur and Savedi. Fr. William Falcao thanked the parents who were present for the function, for admitting their children in this new school and thereby supporting the venture. The function concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Mr. Francis Patole.

BIS # 1020 EMPOWERMENT THROUGH COMPUTER LITERACY

Janet D’Souza

WADALA, JULY 16, 2008: July 14, 2008, marked an important date in the social outreach programme of Dolours Centre for Empowerment (DCE), Wadala, when 20 marginalized youth - both girls and boys from the neighbourhood bastis, knowing little or no English and most never having touched a computer before - got started on a Basic Computer Course. The classes will be held for two hours every evening, five days a week, for the next three months, in the St. Joseph’s High School Computer Lab. Two computer teachers, Ms. Heena Khan and Ms. Dilnawaz Mehta, have volunteered their services for this project. Speaking to the group during the inaugural session, Mr. Sam Francis of the DCE Core Team said that India is known the world over for its computer prowess but unfortunately a huge percentage of our population continues to be computer illiterate. While young people adept with computer skills are assured of good careers, those on the wrong side of the digital divide have to struggle to find employment since computer literacy has become a clinching factor in the job market today. The computer course initiative of the DCE aims at addressing this problem. Mr. Sam assured the students that by the end of three months they would be endowed both, with sufficient computer knowledge as well as the required self confidence to manage a computer related job. The recently established DCE is already making its presence felt in the neighbourhood through its out-reach programmes. This course that aims at helping poor and disadvantaged youth become computer savvy is definitely another right step towards empowering the marginalized people in the neighbourhood.

BIS # 1019 WORLD YOUTH DAY BEGINS

SYDNEY, JULY 16, 2008:
For five days it will stand as the biggest religious festival Australia has ever seen: 4000 priests, 418 bishops, 26 cardinals and more than 150,000 pilgrims celebrating mass together on the Sydney harbour foreshore as the World Youth Day got unerway! Catholics from around the world yesterday transformed a long-dormant section of Sydney's docks into a sea of waving national flags, cheering, singing and crying young pilgrims. They gathered to hear the leader of the Catholic Church in Australia, Cardinal George Pell, celebrate mass as the sun set on a magnificent winter's day. Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia, welcomed the pilgrims in several languages, and with a broad Australian "G'day". "Too often in the history of the world, when young people travel in great number to other parts of the world, they do so in the cause of war, but you here today are here as pilgrims of peace," the Prime Minister said. "Some say there is no place for faith in the 21st century, I say they are wrong. Some say that faith is the enemy of reason, I say also they are wrong" he added. Cardinal Pell welcomed the pilgrims to Sydney, speaking in French, German, Spanish, Italian and English before his homily. He said young Catholics should struggle against their "fat, relentless egos" and commit themselves to their faith. "Following Christ is not cost free, not always easy, because it requires struggling against what St Paul called 'the flesh' - old, fat relentless egos, old-fashioned selfishness," he said. The mass combined the old and the new - a new musical setting, the Our Father said in Latin, a choir of 300 and an orchestra of 80 young people. Rachel Karuana, 20, from Kenya, described the mass as one of the most emotional experiences of her life. She said the pilgrimage to Australia took her four days, four plane trips and many more bus rides. But being here among other young Catholics had made the journey worthwhile. "This is so big, I don't have words," she said. "Faith is something you need to make work and this is what I'm doing being here." (Courtesy ‘The Australian’)

BIS # 1018 YOUTH MOVEMENT GETS OFF TO A FLYING START AT VIRAR

Dona Prabhune

VIRAR, JULY 15, 2008: Don Bosco's Resurrection Parish, Virar East, held its first Youth Meeting on Sunday July 13, 2008 and it was attended by 68 youngsters. Fr. Blany Pinto, Parish Priest, addressed the youth, after which Fr. Edwin Colaco, Assistant Parish Priest, who is in charge of the youth took over the meeting which was full of energy, effervescence and exuberance. The youth were buzzing with excitement as they enjoyed the games and action songs to their heart's content! Discussing their role in the parish, the youth were told that "they are not the future of the parish, but the present" and that their ‘presence’ was indeed a ‘present’ to the parish. Further, it was pointed out that the holistic development of the youth was a key priority of the parish and that they would receive all the necessary support to grow in the different areas of their life. It was also decided that the parish hall would be used as the Youth Centre and the youth meetings will be held on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Sunday of every month. The Youth Centre will be open daily and the youngsters can avail of the library and games facilities there. The Resurrection Youth Movement holds much promise for every youngster of this parish and they are now looking forward to participating in a variety of youth events in the diocese. Thanks to the Parish Team for their great support!

BIS # 1017 YOUTH WORKSHOP ORGANIZED BY JYOTI

Bento D’Souza sdb

JYOTI, JULY 15, 2008: The newly established ‘Jyoti Youth Outreach Training Institute’ (JYOTI) organized a training programme for 45 youth from the Gonzalo Garcia Parish on July 13. This programme, which was held from 10.30 am to 1.30 pm, was conducted in Marathi and had as its theme ‘Personality and Leadership’. The chief animator for the morning was Ms. Malaika D’Mello. The event began with a prayer led by Ms. Judy Pereira, a facilitator from the Jyoti Parish. Ms. Olina Burboz then read a passage from the Book of Wisdom, entitled ‘Advice to Young People’. This was followed by the first session wherein the participants were helped to discover their personality through a variety of activities and exercises. In the second session the theme of leadership was developed, again through several interesting activities. The climax of this session was the building of a ‘leadership house’ – the foundation, walls and roof being innovatively designed by the participants. The programme concluded with an evaluation during which the youth were asked for their feedback on the entire workshop. JYOTI is using the principle of ‘peer to peer influence’ in its youth ministry, rather than the traditional ‘elders to youth model’.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

BIS # 1016 WYD: “THE EXPOSURE WILL BROADEN OUR MINDS”

SYDNEY, JULY 14, 2008: Rakesh Singh, a young tribal from Krishnachandrapur, a village in Orissa’s Mayurbhanj District, is leading India's 510 member delegation to the World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, that begins tomorrow July 15. The following is an interview given by Rakesh to Union of Catholic Asian News before he left for the WYD.
What is the significance of this World Youth Day for you? I attended the earlier World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in 2005. Only 250 people from India attended that event. This time, 510 Indians, some 400 of them young people, are attending. The event is very important for the whole Indian Church. We want to gain experience to conduct similar programs in our country. Who knows, India may hold the World Youth Day after 20 years? We will then have some people who have attended the international event.

How will the World Youth Day help the Indian youth? It will expose our youth, most of them village based, to the big world. They will mingle with youth from other countries. One of the days in our program in Australia is assigned for social work, when people will be working in the streets, planting trees, cleaning a garden or a cemetery. They may also go to institutions like old age homes, and spend time with local people. This will broaden their mind. I hope they will understand the dignity of labor, which most developed nations respect. In India, we look down on menial jobs. Sharing of expectations by our participants has convinced us that the exposure is the kind of program they really need.

How many delegates are from villages? We have about 60 percent from villages. The intentions are different. Rich people want to go overseas on holiday, but only a few are ready to go on a pilgrimage. Young villagers if given opportunities will prove themselves.

Has your own background played any role in this focus on rural areas? I was born and bought up in a small village in Orissa. The school was 16 kilometers away. My mother, a teacher who studied in Kolkata, knew Blessed Mother Teresa (of Kolkata). So my mother wanted me to take up social work. It's because of God's grace that I got these opportunities. But there are lots of people who do not have the platform and opportunities. There are lots of facilities and opportunities in cities, which I never knew when I was in my village. So if such facilities are made available to village people, they will also grow. There is a big gap of opportunities between village and city people

Monday, July 14, 2008

BIS # 1015 OFFERING HOPE TO UNEMPLOYED YOUTH

Ranald Lopes sdb
CHHOTA UDEPUR, JULY 13, 2008: ‘Skills Development’ is the new buzz word in present day India. With job opportunities growing, many companies are facing an acute shortage of skilled workers. Keeping this scenario in mind, at the recently held Rectors’ Meeting in was proposed to focus on skills development as a priority area, especially for poor and disadvantaged youth, so as to enhance their employability and thereby guarantee them a better future. We at Chhota Udepur decided to move into this important avenue immediately since there are literally thousands of unemployed youngsters in the villages here. Many of these young people are either school dropouts, or they have finished their schooling and are now unable to find any employment – we thought that helping them find suitable employment would be an excellent way of exercising our youth ministry. Hence, as a first step, we contacted Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T), which has a Training Centre at Ahmedabad, and is constantly recruiting youngsters who they train and place in their company. Yesterday, July 12, we had the first ‘recruitment drive’ for which 98 village youth were present. Mr. Parikh from L&T Ahmedabad spoke to the group and explained to them the induction process. Those who wish to join the company will have to undergo a 3 months training at Ahmedabad, after which they will be absorbed into the company. As can be well imagined, those present were eager to enrol for this training. It was decided that 30 will join the training on July 15, and the others will begin on August 1. Further, Mr. Parikh offered to induct 100 youth from Chhota every month into the L&T training and placement programme. This has generated much excitement here and we have decided to earnestly pursue this great opportunity!

Friday, July 11, 2008

BIS # 1014 PRACTICAL TRAINEES’ COURSE HELD AT PROVINCIAL HOUSE

Joel D’Souza sdb

MATUNGA, JULY 11, 2008: A two day Practical Trainees course was held on July 9 and 10, 2008 at Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga and was attended by 20 Practical Trainees from the different houses of the province. The first day began with the Solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr Provincial. The Eucharist was made special with the presence of our missionaries from Africa, Fr Tony and Fr Wilfred. In his homily, Fr Provincial reminded the young confreres of the need to be like the disciples of Jesus, who are sent to the different communities to be witnesses of Christ to the boys. During the inaugural session which was conducted by Fr Provincial the Brothers shared their experiences in their respective communities. Speaking to the group, Fr Provincial stressed on the importance of having a Personal Plan and of the need to confide with our Spiritual Directors. Thereafter we continued with our sharing in the next session which was conducted by Fr Godfrey D’Souza, Vice Provincial. Providing a missionary slant for the two day course was the presence of Cl Claudius Misquitta, our missionary from Hungary. His inputs about the land of Hungary and his own experience kept the Brothers hooked to his words during the afternoon session. He emphasized on need to have an active loving presence among the boys, to communicate with our Rectors and to be united with God especially through personal prayer. The next day the young confreres were divided in two groups. The brothers doing their first year of PT went to Don Bosco, Kurla for a day of intense talks. Fr Mario Vaz, Fr. Peter Gonsalves, Fr Adolf Furtado, Fr Bosco Pereira and Ms Revathy Sundararajan gave the Brothers means to be more efficient and effective as Practical Trainees. The others who remained behind at Provincial House had a lively discussion on the Provincial Chapter documents under the guidance of Fr Godfrey D’souza. These two days have been for the Brothers an opportunity to introspect and to come out enthused and energized to give of themselves to their boys. Perhaps we may not be able to make a big difference in our communities but certainly these sessions have made some difference in our own lives

BIS # 1013 INVESTITURE CEREMONY AT ST. JOSEPH’S WADALA

Pavita Fernandes

WADALA, JULY 11, 2008: St. Joseph’s High School, Wadala celebrated the feast of St. Dominic Savio, the patron of youth, on July 4. On this auspicious day the Investiture Ceremony took place, wherein the leaders of the school were invested with their duties and responsibilities. The Rector and Manager of the school, Fr. Aloysius Furtado, was the distinguished Chief Guest for this occasion. While the School and Class Leaders were invested by various dignitaries, the House Captains and the Vice Captains were invested by members of the staff.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

BIS # 1012 E.F.T. WORKSHOP AT VIRAR

Loreen Fernandes

VIRAR, JULY 10, 2008: On Sunday, July 6, Ms Jasmine Bharathan and her team gave us a presentation on Emotional Freedom Therapy (E.F.T.). Each of us is born free - free to experience life in its fullness and richness. But somewhere along the way, we encounter obstacles in the form of fear, anxieties and negative emotions, which may be internal or external, that stifle our emotional development, leading to a variety of physical ailments. Based on the ancient principles of acupuncture, E.F.T is a simple tapping procedure that gently realigns the body’s energy systems. It aims at tapping the energy points in our body, so as to balance the energy which has been disrupted due to our negative experiences. Ms Jasmine Bharathan successfully demonstrated the efficacy of E.F.T on participants who had varying levels of pain. Unlike other energy healing methods, E.F.T incorporates an emotional element to the healing process. Testimonies were given by volunteers present as well as on videos. The participants left feeling more positive and optimistic. The procedure being simple, practical and without any side effects can easily be practiced by anyone.

BIS # 1011 IT’S ‘EDUCATION TO LOVE’ ALL THE WAY AT DBYS!

Cletus D’Souza sdb
MATUNGA, JULY 10, 2008: Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS) is conducting six one-day workshops on ‘Education to Love’ during the month of July for the final year students of St. Andrews College, Mumbai. The first workshop was held yesterday, July 9, at the DBYS Audio-Visual Hall. The same will be offered to the final year post-graduate students of Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai. These workshops form part of the Value Education outreach programme of DBYS. They provide an insight on the beautiful theme of ‘Relationships and Love’. Each batch that attends the programme comprises about 100 students. In all, over 700 youngsters from varying religious backgrounds will be attending these workshops. ‘Education to Love’ creates an increasing awareness of one’s self and aims to empower youth to make a definite choice, based on personal convictions with respect to their relationships in life. The different topics covered during the sessions are ‘Self Esteem and A Healthy Self-Image’ by Fr. Cletus D’Souza, ‘Spirituality of Sexuality-Issues on Dating and Pre-marital Sex’ by Sr. Philomena D’Souza and ‘Abortion’ by Fr. Steve Rodrigues. ‘When a healthy self’ meets another self, the relationship blossoms into love. The programme explores the ‘Journey of Love’ from self to the sexual act and its consequences. The workshops are conducted with visual clippings, handouts, power-point presentations and interactive discussions. The participants find the programme “a real eye-opener”, “amazing”, “revealing” – to quote their own words. Through these programmes DBYS endeavours to help young people grow into responsible adults.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

BIS # 1010 AYE, AYE CAPTAIN!

Crescens Lemos sdb
MATUNGA, JULY 9, 2008: ‘They can, those who think they can’. Those who think they could, have now been chosen and given the opportunity to prove their worth! On July 6, the Don Bosco Matunga Boarding witnessed the installation ceremony of the new office bearers for this year. The captains marched in solemnly with their respective flags and this was followed by the lighting of the lamp. Glevin Soares the Boarding Captain and Noel Carvalho the Boarding Vice Captain were invested with symbols of authority; then raising their right hand they took the oath to be faithful and obedient to the institution. The team captains were called on to take the oath and were invested with the respective team sashes. Fr. Jude D’Mello, Rector, then declared the ‘House System’ for the year 2008–09 open. Congratulating the Captains, Fr. Jude quoted Thomas Watson saying: “Nothing so proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself’. He encouraged the boarders to become captains not only of the boarding but also in the school. The investiture ceremony concluded with a hymn to Dominic Savio, the model for all youth, followed by a photo session.

BIS # 1009 LEADERSHIP IS ACTION NOT POSITION

Sheila Kumar

NASHIK, JULY 9, 2008: “Leadership is Action not Position” was the theme for the installation of the new office bearers in Don Bosco School Nashik. The installation ceremony was held on July 7, 2008 as the school celebrated the feast of Dominic Savio – the little giant of sanctity. The chief guest for the function was Fr. Savio D’Souza – the recently appointed Rector of Divyadaan, Nashik. The guests were led into the hall with a ‘colour party’. The ceremony began with the lighting of the lamp and the garlanding of the portrait of Dominic Savio. The prayer service that followed was an earnest appeal for God’s blessings on the new leaders. The chanting of shlokas from the Rig Veda which speak about the role and responsibility of leaders brought home to all the respect due to leaders and the cooperation that will help them do their task well. It was then time for the solemn installation ceremony. The outgoing leaders accompanied the newly elected leaders to the stage and the flags and other insignia of office were handed over. Fr. Savio led the leaders in pledging their commitment to the task of guiding their fellow students and assisting in the smooth running of all school activities. The school captain, vice-captain, house captains and vice-captains of both the primary and secondary were then duly invested. Finally it was the turn of the class monitors to pledge their readiness to serve and lead. Addressing the students, Fr. Savio took his cue from the life of Dominic Savio, a young enthusiastic boy who did ordinary things in an extraordinary manner. He also summed up the role of a leader as one who acts with conviction and serves others. The program concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Fr. Diego Nunes the principal, and the awarding of the prize for the best house of the last academic year 2007-2008…and the winner was… the Savio House, after all it was their patron’s feast.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

BIS # 1008 DOMINIC SAVIO CELEBRATIONS AT ANDHERI

Leon Cruz sdb

ANDHERI, JULY 8, 2008: The community of St. Dominic Savio, Andheri was ablaze with festivity as they celebrated the feast of their patron. On July 7, the Provincial Fr. Michael Fernandes, presided over the Eucharistic Celebration in the school. After the solemn Mass the students organized a felicitation programme. Fr. Michael called on the students to achieve lofty goals in life without any selfish motives or unhealthy competition. On the feast day, July 6, the boarders had a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the morning, followed by lightening tournaments. In the afternoon there was a gathering of the Salesian Cooperators, Priests, Religious and Past Pupils. Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Rector, welcomed all the guests, after which there was a short programmed organized in honour of St. Dominic Savio. The feast was a home coming for many of the past pupils of St. Dominic Savio Boys Home. Scores of them gathered in the campus to cherish their happy memories. A match was organized between the past pupils and boarders, and also between the staff and boarders. To crown the celebrations there was a Salesian get-together at dinner. The presence of renowned Salesians like Fr. Joaquim D’Souza, Fr. Tony D’Souza, Fr. Peter Gonsalves and Fr. Joe Mannath added to the solemnity of the occasion. The feast of St. Dominic Savio was not a one-day celebration but the culmination of nine days of novena, during which various activities were organized for the boys. They had the Dominic Savio quiz, drawing competition, sermonettes, Savio Nite etc. The boys and community of St. Dominic Savio are grateful to this little giant who continues to be a fascinating source of inspiration, reminding us to live our lives to the full.

BIS # 1007 PAST PUPILS’ UNIT GETS GOING AT BARODA

Ranald Lopes sdb

BARODA, JULY 8, 2008: The feast of St. Dominic Savio, July 6, was marked by a special event at Don Bosco Baroda – a meeting of the Past Pupils from the Rathwa region of Gujarat. A total of 22 past pupils from Chhota Udepur and Kawant, who are now living in Baroda, were present for this meeting. This coming together was a consequence of the Past Pupils’ Convention held at Chhota Udepur on May 31. It had been decided at that convention to form three Past Pupils’ Units for the students who had studied in the Don Bosco institutions in the tribal belt; the Baroda Unit being on of the three. The reason for creating this Unit is because there are several past pupils from Chhota, Kawant and Narukot who have migrated to the city of Baroda and they had expressed their desire to come together and work for the betterment of society in the Salesian spirit. Being the first meting, some practical details were sorted out such as the need to create a membership card, the schedule of meetings, etc. It was decided to hold the next meeting on August 8. All those present took up the commitment to bring 4 past pupils each for the next meeting. Given the high level of energy and enthusiasm at this first meeting, we are optimistic that this Unit will see some great days ahead!

BIS # 2009: A YEAR OF GRACE FOR THE SALESIAN CONGREGATION

ANS News
ROME, JULY 8, 2008: With a letter addressed to all the Salesians in the world, the Rector Major Fr Pascual Chávez officially announced the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the Salesian Congregation in 2009. Recalled on several occasions, especially during the 26th General Chapter and mentioned as the event behind the choice of the Strenna for 2009, the anniversary reminds us of the meeting held on December 18, 1859 in Don Bosco’s room at the Oratory of St Francis in Valdocco, Turin, where those invited – according to the minutes of Fr Alasonatti - decided “to band themselves into a Society or Congregation, while aiming at the sanctification of each member, by mutual assistance would strive to promote God’s glory and the salvation of souls, especially those in greater need of instruction and formation.” 2009, described by Fr Chávez as “A year of Grace,” ought to help Salesians to remember their origins and the purpose for which they have been called. During this same year, the relics of Don Bosco, enclosed in a special casket will begin a pilgrimage around the 8 Regions of the Congregation, in this way launching the process of preparation for the celebration of the second centenary of the birth of Don Bosco in 2015. Opening on 31 January, the feast of Don Bosco, the Year of Grace will be marked by several special dates and events: the feast of Mary Help of Christians, moved to 25 May because the Ascension falls on the 24th, the 24 June, Don Bosco’s nameday, 16 August, his birthday. Particular emphasis will be given to 8 December when the Salesians throughout the world will be invited to renew their religious Profession. In order to provide material for a process of reflection and further study in this “year of grace” the Rector Major has set up a working party coordinated by Fr Francesco Cereda, Councillor for Formation.

Monday, July 7, 2008

BIS # 1005 SHELTER PARTICIPATES IN ANTI DRUG ADDICTION PROGRAMME


Denis Mangeshkar sdb

WADALA, JULY 7, 2008: An ‘Anti Drug Addiction Programme’ was organized by the Wadala Police on June 24, at Wadala East. A large number of students and several NGOs participated in the programme. Fifteen boys from Shelter Don Bosco performed a short but highly inspiring Street Play, highlighting the harmful effects of addiction. Over 600 people gathered around to watch this skit. The powerful message conveyed through this street play was greatly appreciated by the audience. A Social Worker present there was so impressed by the performance that she invited them to re-enact the play for a group of persons addicted to drugs. The Police who organized this event were also full of praise for the excellent performance put up by the Shelter boys.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

BIS # 1004 PRAFULTA: ANOTHER DREAM REALIZED!

Godfrey D’Sa sdb

MUMBAI, JULY 6, 2008: On July 4, 2008, Prafulta Psychological Services in its Tenth Anniversary Year, crossed yet another milestone! The Don Bosco Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology was flagged off at the Youth Services Audio-visual Hall, Matunga. Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of Provincial House and the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, in his inaugural talk emphasized the need for good and able counselors in this fast-paced, chaotic world. He suggested that we do not neglect the ‘divine element’ in the counseling process because “without God all our learning and effort comes to naught”. Prafulta Psychological Services in the last three years has been conducting a program of 100 hours in “Basic Skills in Counseling” for the teachers of the Mumbai Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) Schools. Over 300 teachers from 85 ABE Schools have been trained thus far, and this program continues with 2 batches of 38 teachers each being trained in the current academic year. Most of the teachers trained expressed that the course made a “big difference” in their own personal lives and in the way they related with their families and school children. Spurred on with this success Prafulta constantly dreamt of conducting an advanced programme in counselling. Finally, the “Don Bosco Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology”, a course of 260 hours which includes over 60 hours of supervision, has become a reality. Ms. Shalu Mehrotra, Counsellor at Prafulta Psychological Services, is the program designer and coordinator of this course. The First Batch of 20 students of psychology come from different walks of life with one common element – a determination to make a difference in the lives of people they will work with. Besides learning the basic and advanced skills in counseling, these students will do a lot of ‘Self Work. They will be introduced to various therapies like TA, Somatic, Art, Group and Marital Therapies. They will learn to deal with special issues like academic underachievement, anti social behavior, learning disabilities and sexuality. Above all, this Course will stress hands-on experience of working with clients and being supervised during the learning process. The objective is to enable participants to work as effective counselors in various settings like mental health centers, schools, colleges, hospitals, corporates or in private practice. To promote emotional growth and development has always been the objective of Prafulta Psychological Services. The Don Bosco Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology enables this in a meaningful way.

BIS # 1003 WHAT DOMINIC SAVIO MIGHT HAVE LOOKED LIKE...!

Ivo Coelho sdb
NASHIK, JULY 6, 2008: Our Salesian houses in the province of Mumbai will be celebrating the feast of Dominic Savio these days. I think this is a good occasion to recount an interesting fact. Recently, when I spent a month at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, I was fortunate to have met Don Ubaldo Gianetto sdb, now a retired professor of catechetics and getting on in years, as you can see in the photo. It might be interesting to know that, as a boy in the Institute of St John the Evangelist at Turin, Gianetto had been selected to be the 'model' following which a 'new' portrait of Dominic Savio was reconstructed, on the instructions of Don Caviglia. Don Gianetto himself was kind enough to supply me some information on the matter.
Don Caviglia, it seems, was rather upset about the image of Dominic Savio being propagated by the postulator of the cause, a certain Don Trione, an image that, according to him, was a historical falsification. He decided to do something concrete about it. Calling a young painter who had been a pupil of his, Mario Caffaro-Rore, he entrusted him with the task of creating a new and definitive image of Savio. This new image was to be done on the basis of the incision of Tomatis which Don Bosco had inserted into his biography of the boy as well as the eyewitness testimonies gathered for the process of canonization. But that was not all. Don Caviglia himself chose a boy who, according to him, had the right character and aspect, so far as could be gathered from the incision of Tomatis; this was Ubaldo Gianetto. Caffaro-Rore himself clarifies that the portrait he executed was not a question of a reproduction of Gianetto; rather, Gianetto served as a model from which to reconstruct an image as faithful as possible to the incision of Tomatis.
Caffaro-Rore's first attempt was, in a sense, sabotaged on orders 'from above'; he was asked to make Dominic look older, and was told that he should look like a modest Oratory boy rather than as a waiter…. In the end, however, it would seem that Don Caviglia's 'iron will and dogged persistence' paid off, and the first portrait became the standard model for most subsequent images of the little saint; a warmly appreciative letter from Don Pietro Ricaldone, Rector Major, to Caviglia bears witness to this fact. The painter himself recalls with emotion that he subsequently received countless orders, many of them from outside Salesian circles, for new portraits of Savio. So that is the little story of Dominic Savio and Ubaldo Gianetto. I guess those who die young remain young forever, in God's eternity. But I kept wondering, in that month at the UPS, whether Savio would have looked like crusty old Don Gianetto if he had been granted more years…

Thursday, July 3, 2008

BIS # 1002 JAWHAR MOKHADA – THE IMPACT IS ALREADY SHOWING!

Justus Mendes sdb
NASHIK, JULY 3, 2008: There is a ring of jubilation in the air here at Divyadaan – and for a very good reason too! Exactly a year ago we young Salesians from Divyadaan got involved in the ‘Schools of Excellence’ programme at Jawhar and Mokhada. This programme involves providing study support in English, Maths and Science to the tenth standard students in 15 village schools in these two talukas. While the Brothers conduct English classes on Sundays, local teachers have been appointed to conduct Maths and Science classes on weekdays. During this past year it did call for a lot of sacrifice to travel sixty kilometres every Sunday and then walk to the villages, sometimes for well over an hour. Teaching these villages children was no easy affair too. It was difficult and quite discouraging at times, yet we never lost hope. Our efforts have certainly paid off and the recently declared SSC results clearly bear witness to it! There has been a remarkable improvement in the results of almost all the schools that formed part of this programme. For example, in 2007 only 24 percent of the students in the Hirve village school had passed, this year 70 percent have been successful. Similarly, the pass percentage in the Jhap school has jumped from 46 to 92, in Aase it has gone up from 60 to 80, in Chas it has moved from 51 percent to 78 percent. Likewise, Dabosa has recorded an improvement, going from 70 percent in 2007 to 80 percent this year, Sakur from 62 to 81 and Walvanda from 50 to 66. But the icing on the cake is Nehale which has soared from 60 percent last year to 100 percent this year! While we compliment these students we also happily raise a toast to ourselves! And yes, we are not resting on our laurels. The new academic year has begun and we are back in the field. Last Sunday, June 29, we retraced our steps to these remote villages and began our first session with the new tenth standard students. It’s tough, but it’s also fun and we are just loving it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

BIS # 1001 BALPRAFULTA RESCUES 110 CHILDREN FROM MOTHER DAIRY

Amruta Lovekar

ANDHERI, JULY 2, 2008: On June 21, 2008 Balprafulta received a call from an NGO that works in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts. The social worker from that NGO reported that many children and youth have been trafficked from Chandrapur and brought to Mumbai to work in a branded juice manufacturing company. This work is seasonal in nature and children were brought for a period of three to four months. Their parents knew that these children were brought to Mumbai but were unaware of the exploitative situation in which their children were working. Some of the children contacted their parents and told them about their working conditions. Hearing this, some parents came to Mumbai to take their children back home. The parents and Balprafulta social workers then visited the ‘Mother Dairy’ premises at the National Development Dairy Board. They witnessed the inhuman conditions in which the children were made to stay and work. They talked with the main supervisor who was absolutely against releasing the children and handing them back their money. With some amount of pressure put on him, the supervisor released some children and also gave them their salaries. Seeing

this, other children also expressed their wish to stop working in that place. In all, 110 children from different parts of Maharashtra put in their demand to leave the place. There are also some children from Bihar who are still working there. When the management came to know about what was taking place on their premises, they spoke to Balprafulta Social Workers and tried to talk them out by convincing them that the children were staying in good conditions. The social workers brought to their notice the real conditions in which children were staying by actually taking the management to those places the children were staying and working. On seeing the actual conditions, the management had no option but to release 110 children with their salaries. These children were very eager to go back to their homes, as they wanted to get back to their studies. On Sunday, June 29, 110 children were accompanied to the station by Balprafulta Social Workers and helped to board the Vidharbha Express and Sevagram Express bound to their homes. Balprafulta is now in the process of making the Labour Department the responsible party for filing an FIR against Mother Dairy. They have been receiving calls from children saying that they have reached home safely. Balprafulta is actively working towards making K-east ward in Mumbai, which includes Andheri, Parle and Jogeshwari, a Child Labour free ward and is networking with Government systems and voluntary organizations to make this a reality.

BIS # 100 PRAFULTA CELEBRATES TENTH ANNIVERSARY

Ajoy Fernandes sdb
ANDHERI, JULY 2, 2008: Prafulta Psychological Services in collaboration with The Bombay Psychiatric Society organized a seminar on “Psychological Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence” to celebrate its tenth year of existence at the P. D. Hinduja Auditorium on June 28 and 29, 2008. The audience comprised Psychiatrists, Medical Practitioners, School and College Principals, and Counselors. On their arrival, participants were presented with a brochure that highlighted the different services rendered by Prafulta. Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, was the Chief Guest for the occasion. Fr. Godfrey D’Sa, Director of Prafulta, led the audience into prayer with the help of a meditative Power Point presentation. The Chief Guest lit the lamp together with the founding members – Fr. Godfrey D’Sa, Dr. Kersi Chavda, Dr. Harish Shetty, and Ms. Mimansa Popat. Fr. Michael in his inaugural address spoke about the expansion of the Salesian works in India and the Province of Mumbai, its branches, and the efforts of Fr. Godfrey D’Sa in founding and developing the services offered by Prafulta and Balprafulta. Dr. Harish Shetty (Consultant Psychiatrist, Hiranandani Hospital and Prafulta) delivering the keynote address spoke about ‘Kids Today ­­– Issues, Interventions and Innovations. The first module, chaired by Dr. Henal Shah (Associate Prof. Psychiatry – Nair Hospital), focused on Academic Difficulties. Ms. Mimansa Popat (Special Education Consultant and Counselor, Ashray & Prafulta) explained the types of learning difficulty children present with, the effects of such difficulties on their esteem, emotions and behavior; and available interventions. Dr. Franzina Coutinho (Consultant Hinduja & Prafulta) focused on difficulties children have in integrating sensory data, and how Occupational Therapy can help remedy these difficulties. The second module, chaired by Dr. Sanjay Kumawat (President of the Bombay Psychiatric Society), focused on Depression and Anxiety. Dr. Ajoy Fernandes sdb presented data about depression among Indian teenagers; types of depression; its antecedents, and avenues for interventions. Dr. Rajesh Parikh (Neuropsychiatrist, Jaslok Hospital) discussed the possibilities and limits of medication and psychotherapy in treating depression in children and adolescents. The third module, chaired by Dr. Barnabe D’Souza sdb, dealt with Addictions. Dr. Rakesh Ghildiyal (Prof and Head of the Department of Psychiatry MGM Medical College) explained the concept of addiction and spoke about addiction to various substances. Ms. Ruby Pavri (Lecturer, St. Xavier’s College) spoke about the effect of new-age addictions like use of mobile, the internet and interactive video games. Mr. Suraag Lambrou in a special session on Somatic Experiencing discussed and explained how and why vital energies are locked into the body, and how they could be released through somatic therapy thus restoring balance to body, emotions and mind. The fourth module on Violence in Children was chaired by Ms. Jessie Vas (Principal, Jamnabai Narsee Memorial High School). Dr. Sharita Shah (Consultant Psychiatrist Saifee, Harkisondas, Hiranandani and Kothari Hospitals) spoke about bullying among children and adolescents, explaining the kinds of bullying; reasons why individuals indulge in bullying; and Interventions to reduce bullying. Dr. Kersi Chavda (Vice-President, Bombay Psychiatric Society; Consultant Psychiatrist Hinduja Hospital and Prafulta) explained the characteristics of persons with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Conduct Disorder; and interventions helping parents and educators for addressing these characteristics. The fifth module on Dysfunctional Families was chaired by Dr. Sujata Chavan (Marriage Counselor, Family Court). Dr. Jayita Deodhar (Secretary, Bombay Psychiatric Society; Contultant Tata Memorial Hospital) spoke about types of single parents; effects of different types of single parents on children; ways of coping among such children; and interventions to help such children. Dr. Fabian Almeida (Consultant Psychiatrist, Wellsprings Community Clinic & Prafulta) spoke about the characteristics of children in abusive families, their methods of coping and interventions to help them. The sixth module on Sexuality was chaired by Dr. Leena Bahrani (Consultant Psychiatrist and Past Life Therapist). Fr. Godfrey D’Sa explained the definition of Child Sexual Abuse, its prevalence rates in India, effects on children, and Need for Prevention of CSA. Dr. Rakesh Sinha (Consultant Gynecologist, BEAMS Hospital) proposed ways of educating adolescents to a healthy model of sexuality comprising passion, intimacy and commitment. Participants appreciated the seminar for its meticulous and careful organization, adherence to time schedules, selection of resource persons, content, as well as for creating awareness of relevant and pressing issues of distress among children and adolescents. Children in India are living dangerously and much needs to be done in the area of care and protection of children. Unless there is a concerted effort from parents, educators, pediatricians, psychiatrists, and counselors we will not see a change in the present trend. Prafulta, with its multi-dimensional services and its networking with various professionals working with children, is strategically poised to bring about this change. As a Don Bosco Organization, Prafulta is committed to make this happen.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

BIS # 999 SALESIAN PRIEST SHOT DEAD IN NEPAL

BIS India

NEPAL, July 1, 2008: Fr. Johnson Moyalan, a 60 year old Salesian Priest of the Province of Kolkata was murdered at Sirsia (Nepal) in the wee hours of this morning by a group of men, presumably dacoits. The tragedy struck the quiet Mission of the Salesians at Sirsia, about 15 kms from the Indo-Nepal border, at about 1.00 am. A group of 4 to 5 armed men intruded into the Mission premises and forced the watchman to take them to the Presbytery. Hearing the commotion, the newly arrived Assistant Parish Priest, Fr. Mathew Puthuppallil, came out of his room. Seeing the armed men he withdrew into his room and started calling for help on his mobile phone. The armed men meanwhile broke open the grill and locked Fr. Mathew in his room from the outside. They proceeded to Fr. Johnson Moyalan`s room. He too opened his door hearing the commotion and the men entered his room. What transpired in the room is anyone’s guess. The men left the place after about 15 minutes, throwing a couple of bombs. Once the attackers had run away, some residents from nearby came over and freed Fr. Mathew from his room. When they went to Fr. Moylan’s room they were shocked to see him lying lifeless on the floor in a pool of blood. He had received two gun shots - one on the chest and the other in the stomach. Fr. Mathew immediately informed his confreres in Kolkata about the tragedy, and the Police at Dharan, about 45 kms from Sirsia, were also contacted. The police were able to come only in the morning hours for investigation. The motive for the killing is yet to be ascertained.
Fr. Johnson Moylan was an enthusiastic and active Salesian engaged in the socio-pastoral works of Sirsia, under the Dharan Community in Nepal. He was born at Ollur, Kerala, in 1948, and became a Salesian in 1967. He was ordained a priest for the Province of Bangalore in 1977. For many years he ministered as an Assistant parish Priest in different parts of Andhra Pradesh. After the division of the Bangalore Province he became a member of Hyderabad Salesian Province. From 1986 to 1994 he served as Rector in different houses: Pezzonipet, Cudappa and Hyderabad. In 1996 he came to Nepal and began ministry in Dharan, and later in Sirsia from 2000.
The Sirsia mission was officially started in 2000. The Salesians have a Primary School there catering to the poor children of the locality. There is also a newly established Parish to take care of the many catholic families of the area. The people whom the Salesians serve are mostly Santhals and low caste Hindus, who are in dire need of education and over all development.
As an able Project Coordinator, Fr. Johnson had lots of development works being carried out in Sirsia and its neighbourhoods which have benefited thousands of poor folk of the locality. He was deeply engaged in further expansion of the social works when his life was snuffed out in a violent and untimely manner. The funeral will take place in Bandel basilica in a few days time once the body has been brought down to Kolkata from Nepal.