Sunday, August 31, 2008

BIS # 1091 DB BORIVLI MARCHES FOR PEACE

Harry Menezes

BORIVLI, AUGUST 31, 2008: The students of the secondary section of Don Bosco High School, Borivli, held a Peace March on Auguat 29, to protest against the persecution of the Christian Community in Orissa. The Bishops’ Conference of India and the Archdiocese of Mumbai had instructed all Catholic Schools in Mumbai to be closed on August 29, 2008 as a mark of protest against the atrocities being carried out in the state of Orissa. The management, teachers and students of Don Bosco High School, Borivli, decided to go one step further and organized a peace march with the theme “We protest violence of any form”. The march was held all through the neighbourhood of the school. With the cooperation of the Mumbai Police, the march was orderly and peaceful and by 9.00 am, the students with their teachers and some parents, completed the march and gathered in the School Auditorium, for a short prayer meeting. Fr. Allwyn Misquita conducted the prayer session after the march and in his inspiring talk to the students he stressed the need for religious tolerance. He pointed out that ‘Humanity’ is the best religion. Always think and talk positively, he said, and you will find solutions to all your problems. The programme ended at 10.00 am and all involved returned home feeling satisfied that they had lived up to the dictum: “Don’t ask for change, be the change!”

Saturday, August 30, 2008

BIS # 1090 SKILLS TRAINING CENTRE INAUGURATED AT CHHOTA UDEPUR

Ranald Lopes sdb
CHHOTA UDEPUR, AUGUST 30, 2008: Saturday is market day at Chhota. But make no mistake, the jeeploads of people that travelled from their villages to the quaint tribal town of Chhota this Saturday, August 30, were not on their way to the market. To use an old cliché, today all roads literally led to Don Bosco. The campus wore a distinct look of festivity with streamers dancing in the wind as the village band merrily trumpeted its music. The occasion being celebrated was the inauguration of the new Skills Training Centre. The festivities began the previous evening as the local tribal priests or magic men began their chanting at sunset, calling on the gods, the ancestors and the benevolent spirits to bless this new venture. With much fervour and zest they kept up their rituals through the night, ceasing only at sunrise. At 10.30 am the official inaugural ceremony got underway. The Chief Guest was Ms. Roswitha Maus, Projects Manager of Jugend Dritte Welt, Germany. Present for the occasion were Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, Fr. Anaclete D’Mello, Provincial Economer, several Salesians from the Gujarat Region, Staff and Students of Don Bosco Chhota, and a multitude of villagers. The programme began with a Prayer Dance and this was followed by a Gujarati Garba. The guests were then welcomed with garlands and bouquets. Next, Fr. Elson Barretto addressed the gathering and thanked the many persons who were instrumental in furthering this project. The blessing of the Skills Training Centre was then done by Fr. Michael Fernandes. Speaking during the blessing ceremony, he too expressed his thanks to all who had supported this project and prayed that many may benefit from it. Ms Roswitha Maus then unveiled the inaugural plaque and cut the ribbon to open the centre. This new institute will offer a variety of skills training courses including tailoring, bakery and confectionery, two wheeler servicing, carpentry and welding. It has been funded by the German Ministry for Development Cooperation in collaboration with Jugend Dritte Welt, Germany

Thursday, August 28, 2008

BIS # 1089 POPE APPEALS FOR PEACE IN ORISSA

VATICAN CITY,

AUGUST 28, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI has condemned the violence in Orissa and appealed for communal amity as attacks on Christians continues, killing at least 10 people. On Wednesday, August 27, during his weekly catechesis the Pope said he "learned with deep sadness" the violence against Christians that began on Monday. “I firmly condemn all attacks against human life, the sacredness of which demands the respect of all, I express my spiritual closeness and solidarity to the brothers and sisters in the faith so hardly tried,” the Pope said. He also prayed “the Lord to accompany and support them in this time of suffering and give them the strength to continue in the service of love in favour of all." Radical Hindu groups began violence against Christians on Sunday after a Hindu religious leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, and five of his associates were killed on August 23 in the state's Kandhamal district. The Pope called the murder of the Hindu leader "deplorable” and condemned the violence that has erupted in the wake of the killing. "Some persons have been killed and others injured. Worship centres, church property and private houses have also been destroyed" the Pope said. The Pontiff called on “religious leaders and civil authorities to work together to restore among the members of the various communities the peaceful coexistence and harmony which have always been the distinguishing mark of the Indian society." (Courtesy: ICNS)

BIS # 1089 POPE APPEALS FOR PEACE IN ORISSA

VATICAN CITY,

AUGUST 28, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI has condemned the violence in Orissa and appealed for communal amity as attacks on Christians continues, killing at least 10 people. On Wednesday, August 27, during his weekly catechesis the Pope said he "learned with deep sadness" the violence against Christians that began on Monday. “I firmly condemn all attacks against human life, the sacredness of which demands the respect of all, I express my spiritual closeness and solidarity to the brothers and sisters in the faith so hardly tried,” the Pope said. He also prayed “the Lord to accompany and support them in this time of suffering and give them the strength to continue in the service of love in favour of all." Radical Hindu groups began violence against Christians on Sunday after a Hindu religious leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, and five of his associates were killed on August 23 in the state's Kandhamal district. The Pope called the murder of the Hindu leader "deplorable” and condemned the violence that has erupted in the wake of the killing. "Some persons have been killed and others injured. Worship centres, church property and private houses have also been destroyed" the Pope said. The Pontiff called on “religious leaders and civil authorities to work together to restore among the members of the various communities the peaceful coexistence and harmony which have always been the distinguishing mark of the Indian society." (Courtesy: ICNS)

BIS # 1088 DB BARODA FELICITATES FR. MARIA AROKIAM





Anthony Fonseca sdb

BARODA, AUGUST 27, 2008: Don Bosco, Baroda was highly honoured by the first visit of the new Regional Councillor for South Asia Fr. Maria Arokiam, on Tuesday, August 26. He was welcomed and felicitated during the school assembly. True to the Gujarati culture, a traditional Dandia Raas was performed by our students of the Higher Secondary Section. During the programme, the X and XII standard students who secured the highest percentage in the Board Exams 2008 were presented trophies and certificates by the Regional. Speaking to the students, Fr. Maria Arokiam said that his visit to the school was not meant to present himself as someone great, but rather to tell the children and the staff that they are great and important, and that Don Bosco cares for them. He further went on to point out that in the Don Bosco culture the Salesians, staff and students come together not as an institution but as a family. He concluded by saying that he was very impressed by the programme and thanked the students for the same.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

BIS # 1087 JERSEYS, GOALS, AND A LOT MORE

Pritesh Prabhune
VIRAR, AUGUST 27, 2008: It was nothing short of an Olympic frenzy at Virar on Saturday, August 23, as the young sports enthusiasts from the ‘Resurrection Youth Movement’ received their new jerseys! Fr. Blany Pinto blessed the youngsters and encouraged them “to play tough and play fair”. Sporting the new jerseys, two teams – RYM ‘A’ and RYM ‘B’ – proceeded to participate in the ‘Don Bosco Cup’ at Don Bosco Parish, Naigaon. The first match was between RYM ‘B’ and Steams, Bhayandar. Although it was an exciting game, which saw the RYM team make some excellent moves, it ended on a goalless note. The penalties that followed also ended up tied at 1-1 and so the outcome of the game was then decided by tossing a coin. It was not our lucky day and Streams won the match by the mere toss of a coin! Promising that they would avenge this unfair defeat, the RYM ‘A’ team played their first match against Infant Jesus Parish, Vasai, with utmost class and confidence. From the first minute of the game itself, the boys put immense pressure on the opposing team. After a breathtaking match, RYM emerged victorious, defeating the Vasai team 2-1. Unfortunately, the following morning RYM ‘A’ lost their next match, even though they played with full gusto. Well, winning or loosing apart, the important outcome of the tournament is that a strong sense of belonging and unity has emerged among the Resurrection youth. Now that was certainly a goal worth scoring!

BIS # 1086 ROCK ON… MARIA ASHIANA

Chris Valentino sdb
LONAVLA, AUGUST 27, 2008: Shouts of encouragement, an ambient of camaraderie and the blaring of loud music was reason enough to know that the boys and staff at Maria Ashiana De-Addiction and Therapeutic Centre, Lonavla were up to something out of the extraordinary, more than the normal. With great enthusiasm and pumped up energy, the festival of Janmashtami or Dahi Handi was celebrated on August 24. The rang-birangi mahaul had everyone out in the open with the sure-footed youngsters vying to reach the handi. Undaunted by the many deterrents, the boys lived it up with cheerful glee. Later in the evening, the boys and staff participated in a similar function organized by the Manshakti Foundation, Lonavla. Various other NGOs also took part in the festivities besides Maria Ashiana. The evening consisted of informative sessions that dealt with topics such as Peace, Unity and Progress of Humankind with reference to the life of Krishna. Mr Chandrakant Sansare of Manshakti Foundation and Ms Amruta, a freelance Social Worker addressed the boys and girls. The children were treated to an entertainment session comprising games, eats and of course the breaking of the Dahi Handi. The following day, August 25, Mr Chandrakant Sansare a resource volunteer with Manshakti, accompanied by Mr. Mahesh Dalvi and Mr. Balu Kawde visited Maria Ashiana and interacted with the staff and the boys. Addressing the boys in Marathi, Mr. Sansare spoke about personality development and the need to educate oneself with special focus on improvement of mental concentration. Making use of different materials to attract the attention of the boys, he also conducted a therapeutic session, commonly referred to as Light Therapy. The boys listened with rapt attention and asked questions clarifying their doubts. Chocolates and sweets distributed to the boys at the end of the session, reaffirmed that all’s well that ends well! Many of the boys, as also the staff, were very impressed with the informative session. Some of the boys remarked: “Bada achha laga… agar hum nischay ke saath kadam uthaayein toh zindagi mein bahut kuch kar saktein hain;” “Thank you… aise programme se humein bahut madat milta hai.” Sunshine or incessant rains, Maria Ashiana continues to rock on…!!

BIS # 1085 PRINCIPALS’ MEET: IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF OUR SERVICES

Tony Pinto sdb
MUMBAI, AUGUST 27, 2008: The Annual Principals’ Meeting of the Schools of the Mumbai Province was held at Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla on August 22, 2008. Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, presided over the Eucharist and spoke of the need of a human touch in the way we relate to people. Fr. Mario Vaz, Rector of DBIT, welcomed the group and highlighted the need for our students to be more focused about what they want to do in life. Taking off from the theme of the homily at Mass, Dr. Keith D’Souza conducted the first session on applying some ways of the corporate sector towards customer-care in our educational institutions by providing an efficient and personalized service. While a corporate is purely profit motivated and may not share our noble concerns, we could further improve and upgrade the quality of our service by studying their approaches towards the customer in creating a bonding towards the persons we work for. Possessing a common sense of mission and preserving an institutional culture and spirit primarily contribute to the quality of our service. In the next session, the Provincial and Vice Provincial presented the priorities of the Province with respect to Schools. The Principals also had time to discuss various concerns. In the final session the Principals, along with their office assistants, were introduced to a variety of possibilities to improve our services through Automation of Institute Management Processes using Open Source Technologies such as: Moodle LMS - an Online Learning Management System that facilitates and accelerates the Teaching Learning Process, Feed Back System – an Online Student Feedback of Teaching faculty, Language Learning System - an Online Language Teaching-Learning and Colmation System - on Campus Automation. Thanks to Fr. Mario Vaz and Fr. Adolph Furtado and the Salesian community of Kurla, the Principals spent a stimulating day filled with fresh ideas and approaches.

BIS # 1084 REGIONAL COUNCILLOR MARIA AROKIAM ADDRESSES MUMBAI SALESIANS

Crescens Lemos sdb
MUMBAI, AUGUT 26, 2008: An air of expectation filled the hall at Provincial House, Matunga, as Fr. Maria Arokiam, Regional Councillor for South Asia, took his place on the dais at 7.00 pm on Monday, August 25, to address the Salesians of the Mumbai Province. Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, extended a warm welcome to Fr. Maria Arokiam who is on his first visit to the province as Regional. Fr. Sal D’Souza, the senior most member of the province, presented a bouquet of flowers to the visiting Councillor. Fr. Maria Arokiam began by speaking about his election to the post of Regional Councillor. Describing himself as an “unlikely candidate” for this exalted position, he said that since he had now been entrusted this job, he intended to do it to the best of his ability. He then went on to present some news on major events happening in the congregation. Referring to the South Asian Region, he expressed his happiness at the growth and quality of services being rendered by the Salesians. Next, the Regional made a brief comment on the Strenna for 2009. He reminded the gathering that in 2009 we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation. On this occasion, the Rector Major through the Strenna, has chosen to focus on the Salesian Family. Fr. Maria Arokiam was of the opinion that in India we need to find relevant ways of involving the entire Salesian Family in our work for disadvantaged youngsters. The Regional then proceeded to present the Six Year Plan of the Congregation, with special focus on priorities for South Asia. On the theme of “Return to Don Bosco” he said that DBRC Bangalore would be introducing a new three months course on Don Bosco and Salesian Spirituality. He added that online courses on this topic would also soon become available. On “Evangelization and Vocations” he highlighted the need for inter-religious dialogue and for furthering the Volunteer Movement for young people. Speaking about “New Frontiers” he stressed the need to enter into “public space”. He called on the Salesians to give greater visibility to their works and not to shy away from entering into fora that would enable them play a role in public policy making. Fr. Maria Arokiam concluded his talk by highlighting certain core competencies of the Mumbai Province which he felt should be put at the service of Salesian India and the Congregation. He singled out the expertise of the province in the Strategic Planning and Development sector and the Communications sector. He also felt that the province had significant experience in the fields of Youth at Risk, Vocational Training and Psychological Services. He was of the opinion that these core competencies should be systematized by creating Institutes of Higher Learning and Research in these particular fields. The evening came to a close with the Provincial thanking Fr. Maria Arokiam for his visit to the province.

BIS # 1083 FR. MARIA AROKIAM VISITS MAZZARELLO YOUTH WELFARE CENTRE

Teresa Plathara fma
MUMBAI, AUGUST 26, 2008: It was a rare privilege and indeed a great honour for us, at Mazzarello Youth Welfare Centre, Wadala, on Sunday August 24, 2008, to have in our midst Fr. Maria Arokiam, Salesian Regional Councillor for South Asia, on his maiden visit to the Mumbai Province. He was accompanied by Fr. Michael Fernandes, Salesian Provincial of the Mumbai Province. At the threshold of our home, the children of Anmol welcomed him with the traditional arathi, a melodious song and a garland of flowers. They then offered him gifts made with their own hands, which were much appreciated by him. Meeting the Sisters of the two communities on the campus, Fr. Maria Arokiam shared with us some news and experiences of the Salesian General Chapter 26 and of the recent meeting of the SDB-FMA General Councils at Castel Gandolfo in Italy. Fr. Maria Arokiam was highly appreciative of the various activities carried out by the Sisters in both Communities and in the two Salesian parishes. He stated that while a lot of good is done by the Salesians and Salesian Sisters all over India, we need to give greater visibility and publicity to these works and thereby enter “public space” so as to impact policy decisions especially at government level. Before leaving, Fr. Maria Arokiam and Fr. Micahel Fernandes visited our elderly Sisters and blessed Sr. Maude, Sr. Frances and Sr. Nina individually. “Thank you Fr. Maria Arokiam!” we say in one accord: “May you truly be a blessing wherever you go!”

Monday, August 25, 2008

BIS # 1082 RELAUNCHING THE SELF HELP GROUP MOVEMENT

Lyra Pinto
MUMBAI, AUGUST 25, 2008: The Mumbai Province has chosen the Self Help Groups sector as one of its focus areas for the present year. In keeping with this, 34 participants from 15 centres in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, gathered at Jungle Camp, Walwanda, for a five-day Training Workshop on SHGs, from August 18 to 22, conducted by the Development Office, Mumbai. The sessions, which followed the MYRADA pattern, were delivered by our staff members, Melvin Pangya and Dayanand Patil. The first step of the training was for the participants — right from those with years of experience to those who had joined work only a few days ago — to ‘unlearn’ many of their beliefs about Self Help Groups. Though a series of lively (and often heated!) discussions and activities, they began to see SHGs as tools for sanghatan and manthan rather than mere economic crutches. They also put their newly learned skills and techniques to the test by meeting SHGs in the nearby villages of Walwanda and Sadak Pada, and conducting sessions on the concept of SHGs and social analysis with these groups. Besides acquiring new information, the training programme also saw several participants discovering their own abilities, as they began to take the lead in group tasks and presentations. For those who were completely new to the field, the programme gave them their first chance to interact with women’s groups as well as with other staff members. On the other hand, some of our more experienced staff recognised the need to update and share their knowledge. A pleasant surprise was the discovery of some promising future trainers, as our staff members from Walwanda and Mokhada insisted on conducting some activities and did very well at them! In addition to thinking, learning and working, the participants also struck up friendships with those from other centres and states, and unanimously stated that they would like to attend more such programmes in future. Most important, the entire group began to understand that Self Help Groups are not an end in themselves but one of the first steps in organising people to demand their rights and secure their own development.

BIS # 1081 YOUTH PROGRAMME AT UTTAN

Gregory D’Cunha sdb
JYOTI, AUGUST 25, 2008: On August 19, Mazzarello Centre, Uttan was host to 37 young boys and girls who have completed their SSC and HSC recently. Sr. Monica, the Superior, and the other Sisters in the community, had decorated the hall beautifully, giving it a distinct Marian touch. The evening commenced with a short prayer service. After that, Fr. Richard D’Silva, the main animator for the programme, took over. He led the young people through a meaningful Marian experience, using a variety of games and other activities. Fr. Gregory D’Cunha and Sr. Neelima addressed the group and shared their insights on Mary. While Fr. Gregory D’Cunha delved on the theme of how Mary helps us in our life, Sr. Neelima focused on the qualities of Mary that we should strive to imitate in our life. The programme concluded with a short film on the theme of ‘Vocation’ – how God uses different means to call people to work in his vineyard.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

BIS # 1080 ANOTHER EDITION OF CHHOTA UDAAN AT SHELTER

Meryl Misquita
MUMBAI, AUGUST 24, 2008: Shelter Don Bosco conducted the Sixth Career Mela – Chhota Udaan – on August 19-20, bringing yet another fresh set of innovative ideas to vulnerable children on the issue of careers. Some of the novel career possibilities presented at the Mela this time were: Para Professional Social Work, Adventure Tourism and Hospitality Management. This information helped the youngsters from Shelter understand the great variety of career opportunities presently available. The presentations were also highly appreciated by the representative of other NGOs who attended the Mela. Besides sharing information on these careers, the resource persons also gave the participants some useful tips on how to write a good CV and how to make a positive impression at the interview. On August 20 practical demonstrations were held on Garland, Sandwich, and Bhel Puri making. It was also explained to the participants how they could set up a small business with minimum financial investment. Further, they were helped to understand how these small entrepreneurial ventures yield good profits. The Counselors who were present at the Mela took sessions on motivation, interest and ability, and goal setting. They helped the children reflect on themselves, their situation and the positive changes that they can bring about in their own lives. They led the children to an understanding of how a positive outlook in life is necessary to build up a successful career.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

BIS # 1079 SMS A PRAYER

Venita Gomes
BORIVLI, AUGUST 23, 2008: In our society today the mobile phone is something glued to the hands of youth and often even to their ears! The ‘Praise Adonai Youth Cell’ of St. John Bosco Parish, Borivli, observed this new trend among the youngsters and realized the great potential of this gadget for the evangelizing ministry. The SMS is a rapid as well as a cost-effective means of sending a message, so we decided to put it to good use for the greater glory of God. This is an excellent channel for sending out the message of the Gospel in a short and crisp way, much to the liking of youth, on a daily basis, and right into their palms! These messages can also be easily forwarded to friends, thus reaching a huge audience in a short time. We hope that these messages will touch the lives of the youth who receive them and lead them to live a more committed Christian life. The SMS can also be used for involving people in intercessory prayer. By sending an SMS we can easily and swiftly invite people to pray for those suffering due to sickness, unemployment or because of some other problem. We have discovered that this is an effective way of creating an intercessory prayer network. We hope that many more people, especially youngsters, will use this simple system of building up prayer groups.

BIS # 1078 "HOW PRIVILEGED WE ARE!"

Chris Valentino sdb

LONAVLA, AUGUST 23, 2008: It was definitely a significant moment when the Scouts of Don Bosco High School paid a visit to Maria Ashiana De-Addiction and Therapeutic Centre, Lonavla on August 20. They had a short informal orientation session organized by the Staff at Maria Ashiana, comprising Mr Francis, Mr Daniel, Ms Komal and Ms Kavita. The Scouts were visibly moved to learn about their underprivileged brothers and the many problems they have to rough out on the streets. They asked questions and clarified their doubts too. There was also time given for one-to-one interaction. Many of the Scouts had brought along with them some eatables and toiletries for the boys at Maria Ashiana. The interactive session concluded with a group photograph. Cl Rickson Fernandes, the Scoutmaster, who planned this exposure visit, says: “It is good that these boys who come from well-to-do families learn about the stark realities of society. If not now, then they will never realize that such boys also exist.” Some of the Scouts were shocked, while others were left speechless. Some of them said: “This is an eye-opener for me,” “These boys are my age, yet they have faced so many problems and difficulties, now I will go and thank my parents,” “Thanks for making me aware of the situation and experiences of these boys, now I will not tease them or shout at them when I come across them at Railway Stations or in trains.” While the weather gods continue to play hide ’n seek up above, the sun is surely smiling down on Maria Ashiana, with every passing day bringing cheer and happiness…!! Really God, Tussi Great Ho….!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

BIS # 1077 MUMBAI SALESIAN BROTHERS MEET

Savio D’Mello sdb
MATUNGA, AUGUST 22, 2008:
The Salesian Brothers of the Mumbai Province met on August 21, at Provincial House in preparation for the forthcoming Sixth Salesian Brothers’ Congress of South Asia. The day began with Holy Mass at 9.00 am, the principal celebrant being Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, with Fr. Godfrey D’Souza, Vice Provincial, concelebrating. In his homily Fr. Provincial delved on the gospel of the day and drew a parallel between the invitation to the wedding and the invitation to the Brothers’ Congress. The time between the invitation and the feast is one of anxious waiting, excitement and preparation. It is an invitation of grace and the Lord calls whomever he wants, but we have to get ready with our wedding garments!

The first session of the morning was conducted by Fr. Provincial. He began by thanking the Brothers for their hard work and commitment in the apostolate. He said we should not get discouraged due to the small numbers, but rather should draw inspiration from Jesus, who with just 12 disciples changed the world. One of the suggestions he offered was to take up ministries that will help the Brother Vocation get publicity and visibility in the parishes and schools. He also said that the Brothers need to update themselves by attending refresher courses which will help them to live their vocation joyfully.

In the next session, Fr. Godfrey D’Souza gave us a set of questions to reflect upon to help us to prepare ourselves for the forthcoming Congress. He pointed out that this is a time to deepen our understanding of our own identity. In the post lunch session, after a detailed discussion, the following four themes were chosen for further reflection and study as a preparation for the Congress: the consecrated life, the lay missionary element, the new world and new frontiers, the charism of our founder. It was decided to hold the next meeting at Baroda on November 2, to formulate our suggestions on these four themes so as to present them at the Brothers’ Congress.

BIS # 1076 JHABUA: LINKING YOUTH TO EMPLOYMENT

Charlin Chandran sdb
JHABUA, AUGUST 22, 2008:
With Skills Development and Employment Linkage programmes gaining momentum all over the Salesian Mumbai Province, Jhabua too decided to enter into this arena. As a first step, we decided to partner the ‘LNT Programme’ that is being actively taken forward by many of our Gujarat centres. Accordingly, an orientation meeting was organized here at Jhabua to brief the youngsters from the villages about this employment related opportunity. Mr. Virjesh K Parekh, Assistant Manager of Larsen and Tuubro Limited, Ahmedabad, addressed the 160 youth who had congregated for this session. Mr. Parekh explained to them that they would be given three months of training and then be absorbed into the company. The orientation session generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm among the youngsters present, and 60 of them signed up to be on the first batch to begin the training. We are now looking forward to regularly inducting our unemployed village youth into this programme. This opportunity has become available to our youth thanks to Fr. Mathew Katara who is coordinating this programme for Jhabua and Fr. Elson Barretto who is coordinating it at the Gujarat regional level.

BIS # 1075 PATRIOTISM APLENTY AT ST JOSEPH’S HIGH SCHOOL

Joseph’s News Team
WADALA, AUGUST 21, 2008: The 61st Independence Day of our country was celebrated by the students of St Joseph's High School with full gusto. The celebrations in the Primary Section were held on August 14, in the school auditorium. Fr. Anthony Pinto the Principal, Mrs. Marie Almedia Head of Primary Section and Ms. Nicole Britto Vice Principal, were the Guests of Honour. After the students assembled, Fr. Tony hoisted the National Tricolour. The National Anthem was sung with great patriotic feeling by one and all. The students staged a cultural programme consisting of a presentation on the national symbols of our country, a brief talk about great leaders of India, corruption and its significance, the meaning of the colours in our National Flag and the event culminated with a beautiful dance performed to a patriotic song. The Secondary Section too marked Independence Day with a fitting celebration. The honoured guest's for the function were Master Sanchit Telang, the first rank holder of the school at the 2008 SSC examinations, along with his proud parents Mr. Nitin and Mrs. Namita Telang. Mr. Nitin Telang did the honours of hoisting the Tricolour. The programme that followed started with a Marathi speech glorifying the beauty of our motherland. A short skit was presented emphasising the values that Mahatma Gandhi cherished. To add to the zest of the celebration, a patriotic song was sung to the soothing, rhythmic beat of the tabla. Master Sanchit expressed his sincere gratitude by thanking all the teachers for being a wonderful source of inspiration to help uncover his hidden potential and achieve his goal. Finally, Fr. Tony appreciated the efforts of each person who made this function a memorable one.

BIS # 1074 CHHOTA NEWS ROUNDUP

Elson Barretto sdb
CHHOTA UDEPUR, AUGUST 21, 2008: The past weekend saw a slew of activities taking place at Chhota. On August 14, the Earth literally screamed to be saved! Fr. Ranald Lopes and his talented troupe put up a musical entitled “Pukare Dharti, Bachao Mane” (The Earth Cries Out: Save Me). Through songs, dances, skits, dialogues, slide shows, visuals and what-have-you of the “electronic blitz”, they made us feel small, vulnerable, responsible, great and challenged. They should do that often! Bishop Godfrey de Rosario of Baroda honoured us by being the Chief Guest. On August 15, at 9.00 am, the School took part in the district level flag hoisting ceremony on the Parade Ground where the students belted out the national anthem in their melodious voices. At 10.00 am the students stood ramrod on our school grounds and saluted as the Chief Guest unfurled the Tricolour….. Bharat Mata Ki Jai! Then at 11.30 am Bishop Godfrey, as President, led the faithful to a meaningful Eucharistic celebration of the Parish feast of “Muktidaini Mata” (Mother of Freedom) - Into that haven of freedom, let me too awake! And as a tangible sign of freedom, after the celebrations, the gates were opened and the boys literally ran home, to enjoy the long weekend with their dear ones. August 16 saw the Salesians ‘jeeping’ down to Baroda in twos and fours to talk shop …and listen to Fr Xavier Manjooran sj explain the salient points of the Forest Act 2008 and also touch upon NREGS and RTI. In between, we grouped together to discuss the agenda at hand under the “bearded” guidance of Fr. Stanny Fereira. Many points were carried over to the next meeting, so that ”Bigger Shots” could attend and fathom what transpires in the head and heart of a “rustic Salesian”.
On August 17 the boys trooped back in and once again the corridors and grounds resounded to their raucous shouts and screams. It is unusually “quiet” when they are not around. The month promises to be exciting as always. Watch this space....!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

BIS # 1073 VOLTAS ENTERS INTO PARTNERSHIP WITH BOSCO BOYS

Joy Marangattikala sdb
BORIVLI, AUGUST 20, 2008: A new chapter began at Bosco Boys’ Training Institute with the inauguration of the ‘Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing Department’, on Tuesday, August 19, 2008. This latest addition to the training institute is being supported by the Voltas Company. The Chief Guest for the inaugural function was Mr. Anil Gole, Voltas Vice President HR and Head of Corporate Sustainability. Also present were several other dignitaries from Voltas, including Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Senior General Manager for Manufacturing and Business Excellence, and Ms. Margaret D'Souza, Manager HR. Speaking during the function Mr. Gole said: “Commitment to developing a strong, self-reliant community has long been part of the Tata business process, which we at Voltas embrace. We regard it as fundamental to Corporate Sustainability, which we are committed to promoting. True to that Tata tradition, participation in social development is a whole-hearted preoccupation at Voltas, one that enriches the corporation itself.” Referring to new venture being inaugurated at Bosco Boys, he said: “We at Voltas are extremely pleased and proud to have yet another channel through which we can be of some benefit to those in society who need it the most. We hope to have a long and fruitful partnership with Don Bosco.” Delivering the vote of thanks, Fr. Steve Rodrigues, Rector, expressed his gratitude to Voltas and in particular to Mr. Gole for the assistance they were providing towards the training of the underprivileged youngsters at Bosco Boys. He pointed out that all the students at Bosco Boys were school drop-outs and came from economically backward families. The training they received at this institute would help them secure decent jobs and thereby build a good future for themselves. Fr. Steve also thanked all the guests who were present, as well as the organizers of the function. He concluded by expressing his hope that the partnership between Don Bosco and Voltas would be a source of blessing to many poor and disadvantaged youngsters.

BIS # 1072 GOD ON OUR MINDS... HAPPINESS IN OUR HEARTS

Chris Valentino sdb

LONAVLA, AUGUST 20, 2008: People generally get the impression that spirituality, God – realization and reflective capability are the exclusive preserve of the priests, nuns and others who have been immensely blessed by Divine Providence. Here, at Maria Ashiana, De-Addiction and Therapeutic Community, a branch of Shelter Don Bosco, the Staff and boys are all out to prove otherwise. With this determined resolve, the 'Monthly Recollection' was held on Monday, August 18. The preacher for the day was Sr. Sushma, of Auxilium Convent Lonavla. Speaking to boys who were ‘all ears’, Sr. Sushma dwelt on the key topics of Happiness, Joy and Contentment. She drove home the message that “happiness is for each of us to discover. We are called to live happily, make others happy with our words and deeds, while finding satisfaction and contentment in all our situations.” Sr. Sushma also highlighted in her talk the importance of Faith and Trust. Drawing on her experiences in Gujarat and other apostolic activity, she posed questions and riddles for the boys to reflect upon. The gracious blessings bestowed on each person by Divine Providence and the manner in which different people have responded was a real eye-opener for the boys and the staff. Quoting examples from the lives of Mother Mary, Don Bosco, Bl. Theresa of Kolkatta, while requesting the boys to think about the various benefactors and well-wishers of Maria Ashiana, Sr. Sushma succeeded in stirring up deep reflection and inspiring thoughts. Each boy also made a list of things that made him happy and how he would make this a possibility in his daily living. The activities that preceded this Recollection, namely, the Marian Month, the Independence Day Celebrations and the Mission National Flag had been days of hectic and frenzied routine. This Monthly Recollection was therefore a welcome break from the normal schedule as much as it helped the boys to go deeper into themselves and recollect the purpose for which they are here and think ahead for their future.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BIS # 1071 - VANDE MATARAM !

Loreen Fernandes
VIRAR, AUGUST 19, 2008:

Independence Day celebrations commenced at the Resurrection Parish, Virar East, with the flag being hoisted by Fr. Edwin Colaco at 7.45 am. This was followed by the 8:00 am Eucharist, during which Fr. Edwin stressed that freedom goes hand-in-hand with qualities of peace, love and joy. The evening Eucharist was celebrated by our parish priest, Fr Blany Pinto. In his sermon he pointed out that the word Freedom’ is often loosely used to refer to a choice between two alternatives, however, true freedom implies the ability to do good effortlessly, the mind being free of all biases. The parishioners then got together in the parish hall to enjoy a wonderful evening organized by the parish cultural committee. After a warm-up game, the parish youth put up a spectacular dance choreographed to the song ‘Vande Mataram’, wherein the theme of national unity was depicted, the tri- colour being proudly waved in the centre. The National Anthem was then sung, followed by the Parish Youth Group Anthem, aptly entitled “We can achieve”.

BIS # 1070 - MISSION NATIONAL FLAG!

Chris Valentino sdb
LONAVLA, AUGUST 19, 2008: Maria Ashiana De-Addiction and Therapeutic Centre, a branch of Shelter Don Bosco co-ordinated and organized “Mission National Flag” in order to pick up the Indian Flags discarded by the public immediately following the Independence Day. Three local NGOs, Manshakti, Antar Barathi Balgram and Bal Anand Gram participated in this noble mission, along with the boys and staff of Maria Ashiana. On the morn of August 16, 2008, armed with banners and shouting slogans, the boys from Maria Ashiana proceeded in a rally towards the Police Station, where the other rallyists joined them. The town of Lonavla witnessed a huge congregation of marginalized children gather at the town-square, just in front of the Police Station. Akshay from Manshakti delivered an eloquent speech on the significance and importance of the National Flag. Recalling the memory of the martyrs and the patriots who made it possible for us to achieve Independence from Colonial rule, Akshay evoked strong patriotic emotion. He stressed the need to respect and honour the National Flag, rather than treat it as another consumer-product to be used, abused and disposed! Mr. Francis of Maria Ashiana co-ordinated the entire programme. The boys went around significant places such as the Railway Station, Bus Depot and the Marketplace picking up, collecting the discarded and trampled upon National Flags. “Raise the Dropped”, “Pick up the Neglected”, “Lift up the Fallen Flags”, “Bharatmata ki Jai” were the slogans that rent the air. Despite the incessant rains, the zest and zeal of the boys in this peculiar mission was commendable. The ‘Mission National Flag’ was brought to conclusion with a short prayer for Mother India. Several passers-by stopped on their way and paid attention to these boys of the street taking to the street for a social cause concerning the Nation. The event has also been covered with great interest by the local press, with good support from the ‘police uncles.’ Way to go…. Maria Ashiana…!!

BIS # 1069 DESH PEHLA AT MARIA ASHIANA

Chris Valentino sdb

LONAVLA, AUGUST 19, 2008: Maria Ashiana De-addiction and Therapeutic Community, a branch of Shelter Don Bosco celebrated the 61st Independence Day with great zeal and fervour. The theme “Desh Pehla” reverberated right through the day. Beginning with the Flag Hoisting Ceremony at 8:00 am, the programme of the morning was a genuine expression of heartfelt patriotic sentiment. The boys presented a short speech and the song Suno Gaurse Duniyawaalon, Buri nazar na hum pey dalo, Sabse aagey hai hum Hindustani….” The Chief Guest for the Flag Hoisting Ceremony was Mr. A. D. Phadtare, P.S.I, Lonavla Police Station. Speaking during the occasion he said: “You boys have performed with great gusto and enthusiasm, showing us what it means to love our country. We policemen will take this inspiration from you as we go about our duties today and the other days, trying to emulate your example.” Mr. Phadtare was accompanied by four other constables. Later during the day a ‘Patriotic Gathering’ was organized by Maria Ashiana, during which the other local NGOs - Bal Anand Gram, an NGO that works with orphans and Antar Bharati Balgram, an NGO that works for boys and girls deprived of their basic necessities – participated with their wards. Altogether about 48 children including the boys of Maria Ashiana enacted skits, delivered well-prepared patriotic speeches and sang songs honouring Mother India. The entire programme was based on the reality of the street and underprivileged children of the country. They also voiced their desire to get educated, while expressing their aspirations and aims in life. The Chief Guest for this event was Prof. J. O. Bachhav, (HOD – Accounts) of the Lonavla College of Commerce. Lauding the performance of the children he said: “I am impressed with the way you have performed here today. I am very happy that I could witness this event. I will try my best to invite you to perform in the college.” The children and the staff were very pleased with this first-of-a-kind initiative. August 15, 2008 was thus an enjoyable day filled with patriotism and rousing emotions. Added to this, it was time at sundown to conclude the month-long Marian Month which focused especially on the role of a mother in the life of a child. The theme for the month was “Maa mamta se banti hai, janam denae se nahi.” The various activities and competitions were brought to a close with a prayerful celebration, wherein Sr. Vinita and Sr. Jeanne from Kune Mission addressed the boys and Staff.

Monday, August 18, 2008

BIS # 1068 A ‘GUST FULL OF DON BOSCO LONAVLA

Chris Valentino sdb

LONAVLA, AUGUST 18, 2008: The heavens have literally opened up these days in the hill-township of Lonavla. The steady downpour has resulted in severe swelling up of lakes, rivers and the many dams. The cascading waterfalls and the refreshing green of the valleys have boosted the tourism industry while keeping the law-enforcers on their toes. Houses have been devoured, people have been grounded and the many electronic gadgets that modern households proudly own have blown-up! There has been general disarray and mixed emotions all through the first half of this month. However, here at Don Bosco Lonavla, life has been one huge roller-coaster ride from activity to activity, from one to the next with little time for respite. Plenty of energy and time has been gainfully translated into spiritual and other activities. The Marian Month was one such well executed exercise in spiritual growth. With the theme of the month being Torch of Our Faith, the aspirants put every effort in making this a very meaningful month filled with sermonettes, poems, serenades, skits, quizzes, concerts, singing, drawing, picnic, movies, games, thanksgiving trees, nose-gays, rosary and bhajan services, concluding with the solemn Marian Nite. The boys and the confreres participated in these various activities with great devotion and exemplary responsibility. The Marian Nite was the crowning glory of this devotional exercise with the Catholic boys of the School and the Co-operator Salesians joining in the grandiose spiritual celebrations in honour of Our Lady Help of Christians. Close on the heels of this spiritual activity, followed a secular riotous celebration, namely the Annual Day of the Don Bosco High School and Junior College. Held on August 16, the theme for the occasion was “Indians: Hum Sab 1 Hain...” The Chief Guest for the event was Sr. Nora Baretto, Principal of Auxillium Convent High School. After the initial warm words of welcome by Fr Thomas D’Costa, Rector of Don Bosco Lonavla, the proceedings of the evening began with a big bang as the Bosco Band conducted by Fr Flovi D’Souza churned out some racy numbers from recent movie releases. This was continued by way of dazzlingly colourful and wonderfully choreographed dances which had the performers as well as the ‘packed-to-capacity-yet-overflowing’ audience grooving non-stop. The orchestra performance later in the evening keyed up the tempo one notch more, when they belted out two heart-warming and foot-stomping numbers – Maa from Taare Zameen Par and La Bamba. Various prizes were handed out to deserving students who had excelled in their academics and other co-curricular activities. The comperes for the evening were the leaders of the School and Junior College, who carried the show forward with great aplomb! Fr Bernard Fernandes, the Principal gave the final touches by proposing the Vote of Thanks, appreciating the effort and the execution of the entire programme. As the heavens continue to shower down their blessings, the boys and confreres at Don Bosco Lonavla continue unabated in their spiritual and human growth. With the Unit Tests scheduled later this week, for now its back to basics… serious study and prayer !

BIS # 1067 DBIHMCT INAUGURATED AT KURLA

Kurla Correspondent
KURLA, AUGUST 18, 2008: It was a grey Monday morning that 11th of August, with sheets of rain lashing Kurla. However come rain or high water, nothing seemed to dissuade the enthusiastic band of young students assembled at the Don Bosco Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (DBIHMCT) to inaugurate their institute and begin their professional training. In the pressure of Salesians, Mr. Andrew Alphonso the principal, other principals of the campus, staff members and a representation of students from other Institutes, the academic year was inaugurated with a prayer service invoking God’s blessings on this new venture. The Rector, Fr. Mario Vaz then blessed the premises and addressed the gathering. The Salesian community has been focusing on vocational and professional training with secure job placements at the end of training. The Hotel Management and Catering Institute is the fourth Institute on the Kurla campus. This full time 3 year degree programme earns a B.Sc in Hospitality Studies from Mumbai University. This new Institute will be a boon for many a youngster - graduate or not - who will be able to earn a livelihood in this fast growing service industry. The presence of eminent professionals and facilities on the campus provides a strong base for this fledgling institute to develop itself into an excellent one. Several Hotels and other allied service industries have evinced keen interest in the Hotel Management and Catering Technology training offered by Don Bosco’s Kurla and have promised support. The Salesians at Kurla with trust in God look ahead to creating further opportunities, offering livelihood skills and building lives, in a professional and caring way.

BIS # 1066 ONE INDIA, GREAT INDIA!

Harry Menezes
BORIVLI, AUGUST 17, 2008: The Bombay Catholic Sabha unit of St John Bosco Parish, Borivli, organized a cultural programme entitled ‘One India, Great India’ on Independence Day, August 15, 2008. Six schools in the vicinity of St John Bosco Parish accepted the invitation to participate in this event. More than 150 students from these six schools, which included Don Bosco High School, St. Annes High School, Suvidyalaya High School, Vijay Nagar High School, Our Lady of Velankani High School and Acharya Narendradev School presented a variety of skits, songs and dances highlighting the theme of Unity in Diversity.


The chief guest for the function was the Rector and Parish Priest of Don Bosco Borivli, Fr. Ronald Menezes. The programme commenced with Fr. Ronald Menezes lighting the Samay along with Mr. Dolphy D’Souza, President of the Bombay Catholic Sabha Central Unit and Advocate Raphael D’Souza, Chairperson of the St. John Bosco Parish BCS Unit. The skits and other items put up by the children filled the 500 strong audience with patriotic fervour. The theme of Unity in Diversity was well accepted by all present. Keep India united and make India great by coming forward to make your contribution irrespective of caste, creed and religion was the central message running through the songs and dances. In his final words of encouragement, Fr. Ronald Menezes commended the efforts put in by the BCS St John Bosco Parish Unit and the students and teachers of the schools that participated in the event. The programme concluded with the singing of the National Anthem.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

BIS # 1065 DIVYADAAN STAGES “FISHER OF MEN”

Renvick Pereira sdb
NASHIK, AUGUST 16, 2008: There could be no better way to celebrate the feast of the Assumption and Independence Day than by staging a Musical based on the life of a man who created history and on whom stands the Church, the mother of our faith! This was exactly what the Salesians of Divyadaan did at Nashik. The musical “Fisher of Men” based on the life of St. Peter was something that captivated the young and the old alike. This musical was composed and written by Cl. Charles Anthony and was directed jointly by Cl. Joel D’Souza and Fr. Valerian Pereira. There was an audience of around 500 for the two shows on August 14 and 15. The musical was a blend of exceptional acting, lively dancing and foot tapping music. There was much appreciation for the stage setting and the costumes which brought to life the time of occurrence of the incidents. There were strong messages that touched the hearts of all. The crucifixions of Jesus and Peter, the healing of the lame man, the calling of Peter, the Last Supper, Peter’s persecutions in Rome and the trial of Peter were some of the highlights. Much credit must be given to the Brothers, who despite their academic studies, put in a lot of hard work to make this a brilliant performance. The musical was indeed a wonderful showcase of talent and determination.