Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BIS # 1128 FOOTBALL FIESTA IN NASHIK

Renvick Pereira sdb NASHIK, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008: The grounds of Divyadaan and Salesian Training Institute (STI), Nashik, were throbbing with football fever as the young players displayed their talents. This much awaited annual event organized by the three Salesian communities in Nashik drew many poor and underprivileged youngsters from the nearby slums. The 200 youngsters present cherished every moment of this 'Dawn to Dusk' event. This year there were 11 teams that battled it out in the tournament which was a veritable showcase to energy, determination and skill. There was a great amount of support and encouragement from the sidelines too which gave the young lads even more energy to do their best. It was sheer joy to watch their coordination, tact and teamwork. Background music and live entertaining commentary added to the splendor of the event. The finals were played between Godavari I and Ganeshnagar. Ganeshnagar had the upper edge throughout the game and finally clinched the title with a score of 2-0. There were special prizes given for the Top Scorer which went to Sunil of Kasturbanagar; Best Defender to Umesh Malik of Ganeshnagar; Best Goalkeeper Nitin Eknath of Godavari. The Chief Guest was Mrs. Neha Meghrajani, In-charge of Fravashi Academy Pre-Primary Section. She was thrilled at the performance of the boys and exhorted them to keep up the enthusiasm they had shown and never give up even in the face of failure. Much credit goes to the three communities for the meticulous planning and successful implementation of this event. The boys left the grounds with memories to be treasured and the feeling of ‘Hum kissi se kam nahii’.

BIS # 1127 SUKET CELEBRATES PARISH FEAST

Paul Antao sdb SUKET, SEPTEMBER 30, 2008: The Parish of St. Michael, Mikhelpura, Salawad (Suket) celebrated the parish feast on Sunday, September 28, 2008. The novena was an occasion for the people to come forward and share their personal experiences of the goodness and the mercies of God (in keeping with the spirit of Yesu Milan Satsang, a move in the diocese to get people to acknowledge, learn and share the experience of the Risen Lord) besides reciting the rosary and the prayers to the archangel Michael. The faithful were all ears and found the experience an enriching one and an occasion to introspect and thank God for the wonders he has worked and continues to work in their lives. The last two days of the novena were days of recollection and an opportunity to experience the loving mercy of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation through the generosity of Fr. Lester Fernandes and Fr. Dominic Martis. The Vicar General of Ajmer Diocese, Fr. Aubert Carvalho was the principal celebrant for the Solemn Holy Eucharist on the feast day, which was very well attended by those from Mikhelpura village as well as the mass centres in Jhalawar, Satelkheri and Ramganjmandi. Fr. Aubert, in his homily, reminded the faithful of the mercies and the wonders of God and encouraged the people to look beyond mundane difficulties and problems and trust whole-heartedly in the loving presence of God in their lives. At 11.00 am the parishioners gathered for a thrilling game of ‘housie’. This was followed by ‘bhojan’ for all the parishioners organized meticulously by the Youth Group of the Parish under the guidance of Fr. Cedric Sankul and Mr. Sagar Bundla, a Parish Councillor. The evening was reserved for some fun and entertainment provided by the various groups in the parish who lit up the stage and regaled the large audience with their ability to dance, sing, dramatise, recite, etc. Through the novena and on the feast day many did admit that they sensed the special protection of St. Michael. We pray that this experience continue in the hearts and families of every parishioner.

Monday, September 29, 2008

BIS # 1126 TEENS MEET AT VIRAR

Nitesh Bhalerao VIRAR, SEPTEMBER 29, 2008: On September 21, the Teens Group of Resurrection Parish, Virar had their monthly meeting. There were about 25 youngsters present for this meet which began at 1.30 pm and was held in the parish hall. The primary aim of the meet was to get the teens together and to make them aware of those basic values which are critically important in our lives. The meet started with a short prayer followed by an action song and the teen anthem. The teens were divided into three groups and each group selected its own leader. Three ‘value games’ were then conducted, each game helped to highlight a certain set of values. The first game taught the teens the importance of team work, coordination, time management and the role of a leader. The second game made the youngsters aware how competitive the world has become, and how this has led to the growth of self-centeredness and selfishness. The third game focused on recognizing one’s potential, setting goals for oneself and achieving these goals. After these games, each group was asked to prepare a skit highlighting one value. The groups came up with some excellent skits that presented different moral values in a very creative fashion. The meet came to a close with Fr. Blany Pinto and Fr. Edwin Colaco presenting a trophy to the ‘Teen of the Month’.

BIS # 1125 SOCIAL SERVICE EXCURSION TO JAWAHAR & MOKHADA

Crescens Lemos sdb MATUNGA, SEPTEMBER 29, 2008: The students of Std. IX from Don Bosco, Matunga, enthusiastically embarked on their Social Service Excursion to the talukas of Jawahar and Mokhada. The entire class had been divided into two groups comprising three divisions each – the first group had its excursion on Thursday September 18, while the second group went the following Thursday, September 25. Each group, which was made up of approximately 160 students, was accompanied by six teachers. This Social Service Excursion had been planned and organized by the School Management team. The busses carrying the excited students left the school premises at 7:30 am, and after a three hours journey they arrived at ‘Jungle Camp’, the Don Bosco centre at Valvanda in Jawahar. Here, they received a briefing on the work being carried out in these two talukas by Don Bosco. These talukas are predominantly inhabited by backward tribal people and Don Bosco is actively involved in promoting educational and other developmental projects here. In fact, part of the funds collected by the Matunga students during the ‘Christmas Care-N-Share Panorama’ are being utilized for some of the projects in these villages. Each division then took off for a different village. While on September 18, the students went to three villages in the Jawahar taluka, namely, Valvanda, Sakhre and Dabosar, on September 25, they went to villages in the Mokhada taluka – Hirve, Gonde and Koch. The purpose was to meet the students in the village schools and also to see a bit of the village life. In each of the villages, the schools warmly welcomed their visitors and put up a short programme for them. The Boscoites reciprocated by staging a few items themselves. The students then interacted with each other. The Boscoittes, perhaps for the first time, got an interesting, first hand knowledge of life on ‘the other side of the bridge’. When queried about what they thought about this excursion, one student quipped, “It was nice, we had fun while we learnt a lot.”

BIS # 1124 VIRAR ALTAR SERVERS HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Sophia Chettiar VIRAR, SEPTEMBER 27, 2008: Resurrection Parish, Virar, recently organized an Altar Servers Programme to further enthuse and animate the little kids of our parish who do us the valuable service of serving at Mass. The day began with Cheryl and Avril registering the children for the programme by distributing ribbons to them and thus making them feel special. Then, Alex and Melissa led the opening prayer with the theme song. This was followed by an Action Song which swung all the kids into an exuberant mood. A training session was then conducted by Melvin, Roger, Jessica and Ria to teach the children the correct method of serving at Mass. The kids paid rapt attention, keen to learn all that was being taught, so that they do not make a mistake when they are at the altar. After this, Alex, Sophie, Cheryl and Avril gave a demonstration on how to read during Mass. Their clear and expressive style of reading amazed the kids.After these sessions, it was once again fun time. The parish youth had some fabulous games lined up for the children, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The games were interspersed by a series of hilarious action songs led by Roger. The mouth watering snacks served at the end gave the perfect finishing touch to this splendid day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

BIS # 1123 TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR SHG LEADERS

Ranald Lopes sdb CHHOTA UDEPUR, SEPTEMBER 26, 2008: The special focus being put on the Self Help Groups sector in the Province this year has helped rekindle enthusiasm in the SHG movement here at Chhota Udepur. Our staff returned with a host of new ideas from the training programme held at Jawahar last month. To ensure that the enthusiasm and ideas filter down to the SHGs, a training programme was held on September 23, for the Group leaders. A total of 81 members, including 17 women, attended the training. In the first place, the concept of a SHG and the important role it plays in the village was explained. Next, the responsibilities of the SHG leaders and also the qualities of a good leader were discussed. Practical issues such as how to maintain records, accounting systems, etc. were also treated. Matters concerning Panchayati Raj and how the SHGs should play a lead role in ensuring that this system of local self governance functions well, were discussed in detail. An interesting highlight of the programme was a skit that brought to the fore the question: Are the villages ready to be transformed through women’s leadership? The participants found the entire day extremely enlightening. They realized that the SHG movement has much to offer their villages beyond just schemes for saving and loaning. The next training programme for the leaders has been scheduled for the first week of January. In the meantime they have a clear cut agenda before them – motivating their group members to take up the responsibility of spearheading the developmental processes in their villages.

BIS # 1122 IT’S BEEN HAPPENING AT MATUNGA…!

Crescens Lemos sdb MATUNGA, SEPTEMBER 25, 2008: Workshop on House Keeping: On September 19, the House Keeping Department of ITC Grand Central conducted a workshop for the boarders of Don Bosco Matunga, as part of their social outreach. During the workshop they focused on the need for hygiene and cleanliness in and around the places we live, like the dormitory, refectory study hall, etc. The programme also consisted of some games and entertainment which was a way of interacting and relaxing, both, for the boarders and the house-keeping staff. Lt. Col. K.C. Menon, who heads one of the departments of ITC Grand Central, is a great friend and benefactor of the boarding, and he was very glad to have this opportunity to spend time with the boarders. He provided the boarders with some snack s and cold drinks as a token of his love for them. Professor Vijay Singh of Science Olympiads fame visits his Alma Mater: The National Olympiad programme in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy and Junior Science is a joint venture of ‘Homi Baba Centre for Science Education’, ‘Tata Institute of Fundamental Research’, and the ‘Indian Association for Physics Teachers’. The programme aims in promoting excellence in science among pre-university students and selects a team of students to represent India at the International Olympiads. On September 20, Professor Vijay Singh National Coordinator for the Science Olympiads addressed the students of Stds 7, 8 and 9 of Don Bosco Matunga. Speaking to the students he said that in the international Science Olympiads, India ranks third in the world. He was also proud to mention that he has cherished memories of his Alma Mater, Don Bosco Matunga, from where he passed out in 1967. He said that Don Bosco has always been excelling in the field of sports; however, this is not the case in the Olympiads. By offering his expertise to the boys, he encouraged them to explore this arena of mathematics and science and to keep the name of the school high as it has always been. Don Bosco Strikes Again: Once again the Under-16 football team of Don Bosco Matunga emerged winners of the Ahmed Sailor knock-out tournament, defeating St. Anne’s, Malad, in a tie breaker 5-4. The Bosco team played very well with Harold Fernandes (boarder) and the skipper Curtis Nazareth putting up an exceptional performance. However St. Anne’s put forth a strong defense which made it difficult for the Bosco team to strike a goal.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BIS # 1121 KIDS REACHING OUT IN LOVE

Alex Loknathan VIRAR, SEPTEMBER 24, 2008: On Saturday, September 13, two bus loads of students from St. Aloysius High School, Nalasopara, accompanied by their Head Mistress Mrs. Sheela and a few staff members visited Resurrection Parish, Virar. The purpose of their visit was to give the students an opportunity to reach out to the poor in our parish. They had prepared very enthusiastically for this event by collecting food grains, biscuits and clothes, which they brought along with them. The youth of our parish warmly welcomed them on their arrival. The students were first taken to the Church where they spent some time in prayer. This was followed by a programme organized by the parish youth group. There were lots of action songs and value games to brighten up their minds. They were then divided into three groups and asked to prepare an advertisement on a public awareness theme which they did with much creativity. Next, there was an interesting session on the qualities of a leader and the need to aim high in life. It was definitely a wonderful day, filled with learning and fun. Thanks to Mrs. Sheela the principal, management, staff and students of St. Aloysius School for their generous contribution. Our economically disadvantaged parishioners have certainly benefited from their thoughtfulness and generosity.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BIS # 1120 BOSCO MANIA AT DB BORIVLI

Ranald Lopes sdb BORIVLI, SEPTEMBER 23, 2008: Claps and yells filled the air as the first ever ‘Bosco Mania’ was celebrated by the students of Don Bosco, Borivli. The performances began with our Junior and Senior students presenting a Fusion Dance followed by Music Melody. The highlight of the day was a spectacular event ‘60 Seconds to Fame’ where students displayed their unique abilities. We saw a participant drinking water without touching the bottle, a participant burping continuously for a minute and one participant who balanced many rulers on his nose. The Air Crash Event had students donning famous characters and convincing the jury as to why they should get the only parachute left in case of an air crash. Movie Making was introduced for the first time in our school and each House created short documentary films with a social message like Terrorism, Education for All, Literacy, etc. Bosco Mania also had the students displaying their cooking skills in the “Little Chef” programme. There were Flower arrangement competition, Face Painting, Greeting Card, Elocution and Essay writing competitions being conducted simultaneously. The entire programme was a smooth affair thanks to the meticulous planning and vision of our Principal, Fr. Bosco D’Mello. The programme was judged by Mr. Mohit Pathak, Ms Nidhi Uttam, Mr. Nitin Upadhyay all eminent personalities from the Media field. We look forward to this event next year again.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

BIS # 1119 A NEW ROAD MAP FOR THE SHG MOVEMENT

Ranald Lopes sdb CHHOTA UDEPUR, SEPTEMBER 21, 2008: A path breaking meeting was held at Chhota Udepur on Friday, September 19, to set objectives and plan the future course of action for the Self Help Group movement in which we are involved. Present for the meeting were Salesians from six of our Don Bosco centres in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The meeting was called for and facilitated by the Development Office, Mumbai. The meeting began with an evaluation of the present state of the SHG programme in the various centres. It was observed that the SHG movement is well founded in our centres and a variety of activities are being carried out through these groups. However, most of these activities revolve around monetary issues – savings, loans, income generation programmes. It was felt that we now need to move on to a different level of activities, namely, building up the capacity of the groups to manage development issues pertaining to their villages. A detailed discussion was then held on what should be our road map for the future. After a very animated and thought provoking debate, we finally arrived at three objectives: 1. SHGs to ensure that the stipulated number of Gram Sabhas are held and that the people actively participate in the same 2. SHGs to ensure that the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is effective in their villages 3. SHGs to ensure that the National Rural Employment Scheme is implemented in their villages. A detailed action plan which will involve people’s participation is now being worked out to actualize these objectives. As a first step, all the centres will identify by the end of September the villages in which they will pilot this programme. Capacity building of the staff to implement these objectives is the next step which is being planned.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

BIS # 1118 CHHOTA GETS A SPANISH TOUCH!

Ranald Lopes sdb CHHOTA UDEPUR, SEPTEMBER 19, 2008: There has been quite a Spanish invasion here at Chhota, but definitely a welcome one! This past month we have had three Spanish volunteers – Tamara Roman, Ana Belen Zapata and Paloma Vicente – lending a hand in the activities of the house. While Tamara had spent a month here also last year, for Ana Belen and Paloma it was their first experience, both, in Chhota and in India. All three of them are working youth from Madrid who used their summer break to come down here and do a bit of volunteer service. During their stay with us they got involved in a variety of activities. Tamara, being an excellent footballer, spent much of her time coaching our boys in football. On the other hand, Ana Belen and Paloma took up the responsibility of conducting English classes for the boys. And then, to add a little colour to our lives, they also painted the entire boarding block! Besides their work in the house, they regularly visited the villages, trying to understand the people and the different projects being carried out to better their lives. They were deeply touched by the lives of the Rathwas and expressed their eagerness to do whatever they can to help them. They are now getting ready to return to Madrid, but with the promise that they will be back in Chhota next year. Adios amigos y muchos gracias!

BIS # 1117 CHAK DE CHHOTA!

Ranald Lopes sdb CHHOTA UDEPUR, SEPTEMBER 18, 2008: To call them brilliant would be an understatement! When it comes to hockey, the Chhota girls are absolutely amazing. Their skill and speed, coupled with style and stamina, have placed them in a class of their own. No wonder then, this year too they made it to the top, emerging state champions in the Under-17 Nehru Cup tournament. The fight to the finals was no easy affair. Representing Baroda Rural, they had to face some of the toughest teams in Gujarat, including the Baroda, Ahmedabad and Rajkot city teams. But they took on their rivals with grit and grace, winning match after match. The many months of hard work they had put in stood them in good stead as they danced their way across the pitch, skillfully hammering in the goals, leaving their rival dazed and the audience delighted! In their final encounter they had to face the Baroda City girls. This match, which was fiercely fought, saw some stunning performances and marvelous moves by many a player, and ultimately climaxed in a tie. Going into a penalty shootout, the Chhota team won 4-3, after some outstanding saves by our goalkeeper! Cheers to the Chhota girls and to their coach Sailesh Dharji for doing us proud again! They are now all set to represent Gujarat in the Nehru Cup tournament in Delhi. As they take off for the national championship we wish them all the best. Chak De Chhota!

BIS # 1116 SCOOP FROM PINGULI

Christovan Cardozo PINGULI, SEPTEMBER 18, 2008: September has been a busy month for us at Pinguli. We were all busy preparing notice-boards, entertainment items, backdrops and arranging places for various celebrations. Two major occasions - Teachers’ Day and the Jesus-and-Mary Evening - are already over, but there are other big occasions yet to come. Teachers’ Day Celebration: Our celebration was delayed by five days on account of the Ganesh festival. Yet, there was plenty of eagerness and enthusiasm on the part of the students. The programme began with a short prayer service. Then there were two skits presented by the PNC and ITI students, a puppet show, speeches and the presentation of gifts to the Salesians and ITI teachers… all on the initiative of the students. The items were a fine testimonial of the esteem, love and gratitude of all the students towards their teachers. The teachers too sprang up a surprise when Fr. Kenneth (violin) and Bro. Jason (keyboard) played for us two Hindi songs with an apt message for the occasion. In his vote of thanks, Mr. Rixon (one of the ITI staff) remarked with obvious satisfaction, that this was the first time in Pinguli that the ITI and PNC students had worked in tandem for such a family-style celebration of Teachers’ Day. We too cherish the memory of this occasion in our hearts and minds. Jesus-and-Mary Evening. The organizers (under the leadership of Bro. Jason) must have spent sleepless nights preparing for this event. It was truly a memorable occasion. We (the boarders and pre-novices of Pinguli) were joined for the occasion by a group of 24 lively youngsters from Panjim belonging to the Friends of Dominic Savio. They trooped into Pinguli on Saturday, September 13, at 4:45 pm, accompanied by Fr. Edwin Baracho, and stayed with us overnight. The programme began at 5:30 pm sharp with a procession from the house entrance to the hall, followed by a short prayer service. Then came a volley of ‘holy’ games that we played in six teams. These games challenged us to put on our thinking caps as well as our sprinting shoes. There were also items to harness our creativity: put-your-own-tune and create-your-own-ad. At 8:30 pm we were treated to a solemn supper… a good occasion for us to interact with our guests in a more relaxed mood. Then followed a game of Scriptural Housie, and finally prize distribution… in which every team received something to munch (with the biggest share for the winners, of course). All in all, this was a lovely occasion that has left sweet memories in our minds. It was a nice opportunity to make new friends and exchange ideas with them. Our guests from Panjim also carried away sweet memories of their overnight outing to Pinguli.

BIS # 1115 GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH ‘LIFE SKILLS’

Sunita D’Cunha JYOTI, SEPTEMBER 17, 2008: An orientation programme on Life Skills was organized for a group of teachers from Jyoti on Sunday, September 14, by Fr. Gregory D’Cunha, Priest-In-Charge. Mr. Melvin Pangya from the Don Bosco Development Office was the resource person for the workshop. He began by explaining the concept of Life Skills and the necessity of developing these skills so as to live happy and productive lives. He made the concept very clear by giving a variety of examples from daily life. He then conducted a session on Confidence Building. Using some innovative and interactive exercises he helped us to overcome our inhibitions and come forward to speak about ourselves. Although some of us have been in the teaching profession for many years, we realized how difficult it is for us face a group and talk about personal matters or things of importance to us. This session definitely helped us to grow a little more self confident. In the second session, we gained some knowledge on personality types. This too was a very useful session, especially to understand our own personalities. Through this workshop we came to realize how a good training in Life Skills would help us solve numerous problems which block us from living our lives hundred per cent. The participants therefore requested Fr. Gregory to hold this programme on a regular basis. The participants also thanked Mr. Melvin Pangya for the excellent way in which he conducted the workshop.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BIS # 1114 SENIOR CITIZENS’ PILGRIMAGE TO THE MOUNT

Denis Fernandes BORIVLI, SEPTEMBER 16, 2008: Eighty senior citizens of St John Bosco Parish gathered on the school grounds at 7.30 am on September 15, 2008 and were welcomed by Fr. Allwyn Misquitta, our Assistant Parish Priest. At 8.15 am, after Fr. Allwyn said a prayer invoking our Blessed Mother’s guidance and protection, the group left by the school busses for Mount Mary. Reciting the rosary and singing hymns all along the way we reached the Basilica at 10.00 am, well in time for the special mass for the sick and disabled which was to start at 11.00 am. Bishop Bosco Penha was the principal celebrant for the Eucharist and he was joined by Fr. Allwyn and four other priests from the clergy home. In his homily, Bishop Bosco Penha stressed on the power God has given each one of us, the power to heal, not only ourselves but also others with our prayers. He also urged the thousands of aged and disabled people who were present, to pray for the various problems faced by our country, especially in Orissa. It was an enriching experience to visit Our Lady at the Basilica. Our hearts were filled with her blessings and peace as we returned back to our parish in Borivli.

BIS # 1113 NATIVITY OF MARY CELEBRATED AT VIRAR

Edwin Colaco sdb VIRAR, SEPTEMBER 16, 2008: The novena in preparation for the feast of Our Lady’s Nativity commenced on Saturday, August 30, in our parish. Each day, children of the various Catechism classes led the entrance procession with lit lamps (diyas) in their hands, which were then arranged at the feet of Our Lady. Flower petals were showered on her by the congregation. The various titles bestowed by the Church on Our Lady, as recited in the Litany, were put up on the background of Our Lady’s Statue. As part of the spiritual preparations to commemorate St. Paul’s 2000 birth anniversary, our Parish Priest Fr. Blany Pinto explained in detail, the theology contained in St. Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians and Corinthians. Each day, thanks to the lucid explanations given by him, we grew in knowledge about the Pauline teachings and doctrines on fundamental issues like divorce, spiritual preparation before the Eucharist, eating food offered to idols etc. Each day of the Solemn Novena was a spiritually refreshing experience for us, especially for our children. The deep devotion of Parishioners to Our Lady was so overwhelmingly evident in the whole – hearted manner in which all participated. Food grains were also offered by parishioners each day of the novena, which were distributed to the economically needy families. The feast of the Nativity was solemnly celebrated with the Catechism teachers carrying the lit lamps and children sprinkling petals as Our Lady’s statue, resplendently clad, was led in procession through the Church. Snacks which were generously sponsored by parishioners were served after the Eucharist.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

BIS # 1112 DB BARODA CELEBRATES LITERARY FEST

Anthony Fonseca SDB BARODA, SEPTEMBER 14, 2008: A week long Literary Fest was held at Don Bosco, Baroda, from September 9 to 13, 2008. This is an annual feature in the school and an event that all the students look forward to with great enthusiasm. A variety of competitions were held during the Fest and every student in the school had the opportunity to participate in the preliminary rounds. All the teachers too played an active role in this programme; the teachers in-charge of the different houses were responsible for the training of the students, while the other teachers looked after the organization of the various competitions. After the preliminary rounds at the class level were completed, the finals were held, with the finalists performing before the entire school. The Fest helped bring forth the literary talents of our students and thereby launch yet another generation of writers, poets and orators!

BIS # 1111 BR PRADEEP DIAS LEAVES FOR HUNGARY

Leon Ratinam sdb ANDHERI, SEPTEMBER 13, 2008: Dominic Savio Boys’ Home witnessed a very significant event on the evening of September 12 – the sendoff given to Br. Pradeep Dias who is on his way to serve in the distant country of Hungary. Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, was the principal celebrant at the Eucharist and he was joined by members of the Provincial Council and some 20 other Salesian priests from various parts of the province. Present also were Br. Pradeep’s parents, family and relatives. Introducing the occasion, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Rector, said that a century ago Salesian missionaries from Europe had come to India to work in this country. Now, said Fr. Ajoy, is pay back time, the time for India to send Salesians to work in Europe. Delivering the homily, Fr. Provincial reminded the congregation that Vatican II has declared that every Christian is called to be a missionary – a person who spreads goodness all around. He focused his attention on the family and pointed out that it is within this ‘domestic church’ that we learn our first lessons on sharing ‘good news’. The goodness shown by the parents to the children motivates the children to go out and be good towards others. In conclusion to the homily, the Provincial called Br. Pradeep forward and asked him to share the reasons for the choice he had made. Responding to this, Br. Pradep said that the Italian Salesians who had laboured in our province had always been an inspiration to him and this had motivated him to offer himself to work in a foreign country. He added that initially his family was unhappy with this decision, but later they had supported him wholeheartedly. During the felicitation programme that followed, the boys of Dominic Savio while bidding farewell to Br. Pradeep, also expressed their gratitude to him. “Sometimes you need a dare devil in God’s Kingdom and Br. Pradeep is definitely one”, said a young boarder giving the farewell speech. They thanked him for the two years that he had spent in their midst. “You were always the centre of fun and good cheer, and we will miss you a lot”, they said. Speaking on behalf of the family his sister said that it was a moment of mixed feelings for them. “We feel a great sense of pride and joy that Pradeep is taking this step, but we also feel sad that he is leaving us and going to a distant country”, she said. She wished him good luck and God’s blessings and assured him that at home they would remember him constantly and accompany him with their prayers. “Goodbye and hope to see you again soon”, she concluded. Br. Pradeep left in the early hours of this morning for Rome from where he will proceed to Hungary. Cheers to you Pradeep, you have done us proud!

BIS # 1110 ANGREJI SIKHE AUR AAGE BADHE!

Judy Winslow ALIRAJPUR, SEPTEMBER 13, 2008: The District Collector of Alirajpur has asked Don Bosco Academy (DBA) to come forward and help the district in the field of education. As the first Collector of the new District of Alirajpur, Mr. Chandra Shekhar Borkar brings a fresh outlook and zeal to help the people he serves. He has asked several NGOs working in the district to assist him. He is especially interested in education and has traveled the district visiting each government school. He found that education in these schools is not up to the expected standards and has formed a committee including other government officials, i.e., hostel wardens, education officers and the DBA Principal to implement his new programmes. He has entrusted six government hostels to the DBA teachers and students – the goal being to teach basic English in 12 two-hour sessions to these hostel students. This challenge has been taken up by some of the DBA teachers and Std XI students. They are contributing their time every Saturday and so far have completed 3 sessions. Although this is a huge goal, the DBA teachers and students are happy with the progress and they feel they are heading in the right direction. We are truly proud of the giving nature of our school staff and students who continually reach out to help others in the community. Besides this programme, DBA is also reaching out to serve other neighbours through basic English lessons given to help Hindi speaking teachers in our area. Several of these teachers came to the Principal requesting classes which are now being held 5 nights a week. They are apt students, learn quickly and are as happy with their progress as DBA is in helping them. The youth in our rural areas have clearly understood the value of learning English and especially of having the skills to communicate in this language. The slogan going around is Angreji Sikhe Aur Aage Badhe!

Friday, September 12, 2008

BIS # 1109 AHMEDNAGAR PROTESTS ATTACKS ON ORISSA CHRISTIANS

Franklin Coutinho AHMEDNAGAR, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008: The atrocities against Christians in Orissa have shocked all persons of good will. The merciless killings and destruction of Christian churches and institutions are totally unacceptable and cannot be justified in our democratic country. To protest against these attacks, the Christians of Ahmednagar organized a District level Peace Rally on Monday, September 1, 2008.
The Peace Rally began at 10.00 am in the St. Anne’s Church compound. Rt. Rev. Kamble, CNI Bishop of Nashik said the opening prayer. Fr. William Falcao sdb and Fr. Anton D’Souza sdb, the Rally Coordinators, addressed the gathering and condemned the attacks on the innocent Christians in Orissa. Then, Prof. Franklin Coutinho briefed the participants about the route to be taken, etc.
Participating in the Peace Rally were several Bishops, Priests, Nuns, Pastors and over 4000 citizens of Ahmednagar District. The Rally began at St. Anne’s Church and passed through the Collectors Office, Nagar–Pune highway, main city, M.G. Road and the wholesale market. There was a halt in front of the Collector’s Office and speeches were delivered by Fr. William Falcao, Fr Sojwal, Adv. John Kusmode, Fr. Anton D’Souza, Mr. Johnson Shakespeare and Mr. Bhalerao. A delegation also met the District Collector and submitted a memorandum to him. The Rally concluded with a thanksgiving prayer by Pastor Padale.

BIS # 1108 SATTE PE SATTA!

Chris Valentino sdb LONAVLA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008: The Don Bosco Past Pupils Unit of Lonavla organized an invitational “Dawn-to-Dusk Seven-a-Side” Football Tournament on September 11, 2008. Eight professional teams, from in and around Lonavla competed in this event kicking-off at 9 am and ending at 5.30 pm. Earlier in the day, Fr Thomas D’Costa Rector of Don Bosco Lonavla inaugurated the event. Speaking on the occasion he quoted Don Bosco “Run, jump, shout, laugh, play…but do not sin.” He also stressed the importance of friendship stating: “let us live as friends, let us come as friends and leave from here as friends.” As the heavens opened up, with loud thundering and heavy showers pouring down incessantly, the gladiatorial exhibition on the grounds was well worth the watch. Solid performances comprising rock-like defence, superb run-downs along the flank, no-nonsense tough tackling slides, last-ditch efforts, chest-downs, curling shots, fantastic passes and brilliant finishes with exuberant lunges were all on display as the day progressed. Well-planned moves, coaches at hand, nerves and formations were the hot topics of the event. Some of the teams displayed sheer magical skill with the ball being bandied about with abandon glee. Egged on by vociferous spectators most of whom were school and college students, Don Bosco Lonavla clinched the finals with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over local stars Gunners as Agnello Daniel and Clifford Saldanha slammed in the decisive goals! Karan Barretto emerged as the highest scorer of the tournament. Fr Flovi D’Souza coordinated the entire event with great aplomb combining meticulous planning with precise execution. Responding to queries he said: “the main purpose of this tournament was to provide exposure to our own boys and the way the tournament has progressed, I am happy with the outcome where much-better teams and popular favourites have been outclassed by our boys.” The ‘past’ and present pupils of Don Bosco Lonavla continue to reign supreme at this hilly paradise, which is otherwise bereft of such healthy recreational activities.

BIS # 1107 RECTOR MAJOR EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH CHRISTIANS IN ORISSA

ANS News ROME, SEPTEMBER 12, 2008: The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Pascual Chávez Villanueva, and the members of his Council, express their solidarity with those who have suffered and continue to suffer on account of the religious intolerance that has broken out against the Christian community in some parts of the Indian State of Orissa. Associating himself with the initiatives that are being promoted in every part of the world, Fr Chavez with the Salesians expresses his disapproval of the violence committed, and hopes that in all those concerned, common sense and above all mutual respect will prevail. Freedom of thought, of religion and of expression are some of the fundamental human rights; universal rights, inviolable and inalienable. As he already noted in his commentary on the 2008 Strenna, Fr Pascual Chávez re-asserts the commitment of the Sons of Don Bosco to education “to human rights which is the best way to put into practice in different circumstances our commitment to prevention, to all-round human development, to the building of a world that is more equitable, more just, more healthy.” The IX successor of Don Bosco recalls that respect for and the safeguarding of human rights is the best way to foster a meeting and a dialogue between the different cultures and religions in the world.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

BIS # 1106 DIVYADAAN HOSTS SEMINAR ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Sathish Thiyagarajan sdb
NASHIK, SEPTEMBER 11, 2008: Adhering to the call of the Rector Major in Strenna 2008, to the Salesian World “…. promoting human rights” the province of Mumbai organized a two days informative, analytical and action-oriented seminar on ‘Human Rights in the Indian Context’ for the Salesians of Mumbai province on September 9 and 10, at Divyadaan. The participants also included all the students and novices of the campus, the Salesian Sisters around the campus and Diocesan Youth Directors from the Madhya Pradesh region. Fr. Savio Silveira, at the outset, welcomed the participants and speakers. He put us all in the context by explaining the ‘why’ of this seminar. He called these two days a journey into the world of human rights in response to the call of the Rector Major Fr. Pascual Chavez to be a ‘defender’, ‘promoter’ and ‘activist’ of human rights in his Strenna 2008 and in his Newsletter Acts 400. In the opening lecture, Mr. Mathews Phillip, Executive Director of South India Cell for Human Rights, Bangalore, defined human rights as “the basic rights which everyone inherits the moment one is conceived in the mother’s womb”. He presented ‘the right to life and livelihood with dignity’ as the fullest expression of human rights. Ms. Alpa Vora, UNICEF Consultant for Child Rights and Child Labour, in her lecture on ‘Child Rights’ presented the sorry state of children in India despite the directive principles in the Indian Constitutions that ensure the protection and a healthy growth of every child of India especially the disadvantaged. She convinced us with critical statistics on the increasing crimes against children, both, by government, because of its negligence and by others because of their self interests. She ended this session inviting us to join hands with the government to build a protective environment for children. In the third lecture Mr. Martin Macwan, Director of Navsarjan Trust, Gujarat, shed light on the concept of ‘Dalit Rights’, historically presenting its whereabouts and its situation today. Despite the struggles for the freedom and the rights of Dalits that have commenced from the pre-independence era in India, there is a big lacuna in their development because of the systematic political, economical, cultural, and social oppression by the upper castes. The way out is to wage a war against the mindset of Dalits about themselves and of other castes about Dalits. The weapon is ‘education’ and ‘economic development’. An education that is not caste biased but promotes equality and justice. ‘Tribal Rights’ was the subject of the fourth lecture. Fr. James sj, a Social Policy Activist, clarified the identity of tribals in India. Tribals are 8.2% of the total population, the biggest and the most neglected group of minorities in India. He suggested the solution is to unite, educate and motivate the tribals to agitate for their rights. He further introduced us to the ‘Right to Food’ campaign taken up by our supreme court. In the first lecture of the second day, Fr. Thomas Pallithanam sdb, Director of PARA, presented the development of PARA (People’s Action for Rural Awakening) the social action initiative of Don Bosco Ravulapalem, Province of Hyderabad – a unit that empowers the Dalits to fight for their rights. He concluded his talk, inviting us to fearlessly defend and promote the rights of the poor by confronting the aggressors. In the second lecture Fr. Godfrey D’Sa, presented his initiative Balprafulta a Don Bosco Project promoting Child Rights and Development. After presenting its significant role in the eradication of child labour and its contribution in the growth of the child, he noted that its success is because of its network with other NGOs and Government. He called on the participants to go beyond just caring for the children in our shelters and schools, rather, we need to make the government accountable for the growth and development of every child. “A seminar is sterile if it does not have practical implications for our lives” said Fr. Micheal Fernandes, Provincial, in the opening Eucharist of this seminar. Accordingly in the panel discussion, the final session of the seminar, the panelists in response to the clarifications of participants put forward scores of suggestions. The immediate and most practical was to include ‘human rights’ as a subject in all the educational institutions of Mumbai Province and to make every house a centre for promotion of human rights

BIS # 1105 A ‘LIFT’ FOR THE UNDERPRIVILEGED

Kurla Correspondent
KURLA, SEPTEMBER 11, 2008: St. Joseph’s ITI Kurla, together with Lerch Bates Pvt. Ltd. India, (a joint venture company of Lerch Bates Inc., U.S.A) inaugurated a short term course for Elevator Field Assistants at Kurla. The objective of this course as explained by Mr. Amar, the Principal is to impart training especially to underprivileged young men as Elevator Field Assistants. There are over forty thousand lifts in Mumbai city alone as of date and there is a huge demand for lift mechanics. There are practically no training courses offered in this sector. The training for this initial course extends over a period of six months and equips the trainee to function as a semi skilled helper on maintenance/installations. They can earn acceptable wages for a start and have good future prospects. The first month is spent at the institute and this is followed by five months training in the field. After appraisal of those completing the course, opportunities for further training would be offered. Trainees need to be within 18-21 years of age, should have passed Std VIII in any medium, should understand Mumbai Hindi and have the ability to read and use international numerics in basic operations (+, -, x). The candidate should also be medically fit to work as elevator helper. Mr. Ramesh Chhabria in the presence of the Rector – Fr. Mario Vaz and Dr. S. Krishnamoorthy emphasized to the students that it was a great opportunity for getting skilled and for subsequent employment. One elevator company has already offered to absorb all the trainees who have successfully completed the course. Nine candidates from Shelter Don Bosco, Wadala and four individuals from the neighboring bastis have enrolled. Mr. Chhabria hoped that every month 15 new candidates would begin their training. At Don Bosco Campus Kurla the Elevator Field Assistant programme will be an on going one, and is yet another door opened for the underprivileged to be skilled and employable.

BIS # 1104 PILGRIMAGE TO MOUNT MARY

Rose De Mello

MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 10, 2008: On September 7, 2008, 76 Salesian Cooperators from the Mumbai Province met at Auxilium Convent, Pali Hill, Bandra, to begin the day with God and the pilgrimage to Mount Mary’s Basilica. The day began with an hour of contemplative adoration to the Blessed Sacrament, praying especially for the persecuted Christians in Orissa. The adoration was followed by a well prepared talk by Sr. Teresa Joseph, FMA. This being the Pauline Year, the talk was based on the famous saying of St. Paul: “For me to live is Christ”. The Cooperators were invited to live this message in their daily lives. At 11.30, Fr. Elias Diaz, the delegate of the Salesian family of Mumbai Province celebrated the Holy Eucharist. In his homily, he dwelt on Don Bosco’s devotion to Mary Help of Christians. After lunch, all the Cooperators, young and old, walked to Mount Mary’s Basilica. On their way, they sang hymns, prayed the Rosary and recited the office of Divine Mercy. After reaching the top, a prayer service was held. The day came to a close with the vote of thanks proposed by Philomena Mendes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

BIS # 1103 BORIVLI CELEBRATES NATIVITY OF OUR LADY

Harry Menezes
BORIVLI, SEPTEMBER 10, 2008: The Nativity of Our Lady was celebrated at St John Bosco Church, Borivli this year in a unique manner. The preparation for the celebrations started on August 30, the first day of the nine day novena, and culminated with a solemn concelebrated Eucharist on September 8, at 7.30 pm. Being the year of St Paul, a special theme on this saint was selected for each of the novena days. Besides this, each of the nine days was animated by an association of the parish and special offerings were made by the parishioners, which were distributed to the poor and needy. The feast day Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Ronald Menezes, Fr. Bosco D’Mello and Fr. Alwyn Misquitta. Over a thousand parishioners were present at this Eucharistic celebration to express their devotion and render their thanks to our Blessed Mother.

BIS # 1102 A PORTRAIT OF GRATITUDE ON TEACHERS’ DAY

Joseph’s News Team
SEPTEMBER 9, 2008: Teachers’ Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm at St. Joseph’s, Wadala as an expression of the students’ love and affection towards their dear teachers. The venue for this celebration was the school auditorium. The programme began with a prayer service which emphasized the values of honesty and integrity shown by the teachers throughout the years. This was followed by a fun filled entertainment programme consisting of pulsating, amusing, foot tapping and rib tickling items by the students. The tiny tots of the school used their angelic voices and recitation skills to make their teachers feel special. The highlight of the celebration was a humorous skit which conveyed the message that teachers are a tremendous force for bringing about social change. The morning came to a close with a festive lunch.

Monday, September 8, 2008

BIS # 1101 GROW HEALTHY, GROW SMART Anthony Fonseca sdb

BARODA,

SEPTEMBER 8, 2008: The specialty of the Don Bosco System of Education is that it goes well beyond mere academics and caters to the total development of the student. An important aspect of this holistic development is the physical health of the child, which very often is linked to personal hygiene and other habits of the individual. With this in mind, sessions on caring for one’s health were held for the students of the primary section of Don Bosco, Baroda. While the session for the students of Std. III and IV was conducted by Dr. Hitesh Patel on September 4, the session on September 6 for the students of Std. V to VII was conducted by Dr. Sangeeta Patel. The doctors spoke on a variety of issues that support good health, including hygiene, a balanced diet, exercise and outdoor games. They also stressed the need to care for our surroundings and the environment, since the environment in which we live plays an important role in enhancing the quality of our life. The sessions were highly interactive with the students asking several questions and clarifying the doubts they had. The students were very happy with the sessions and realized that growing up healthy would help them do well in every sphere of life.

BIS # 1100 SEPTEMBER 8: GIRL CHILD DAY

Rochelle Rodricks
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 8, 2008: On September 8th the Church celebrates the birth of a Girl Child - Mary, Mother of Jesus. On this day, the Church in India invites everyone to celebrate the “Girl Child Day”. The purpose of this celebration is to focus attention on the declining sex ratio and the increase in violence against the girl child. The 2001 Census of India shows a dismal sex ratio of 927 girls per 1000 boys. It is estimated that prenatal sex selection and infanticide have resulted in approximately half a million missing girls per year since the past two decades. Female foeticide is one of the extreme manifestations of violence against women. Female foetuses are selectively aborted after prenatal sex determination, thus avoiding the birth of girls. The birth of a girl child is often taken as a curse as she is perceived to be an economic and social liability. Pope John Paul II in his 'Letter to Women' wrote, “The Church desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the ‘mystery of woman’ and for every woman for that which constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity, for the ‘great works of God’ which throughout history have been accomplished in and through her that the greatest event in human history - the incarnation of God himself - was accomplished.” (CBCI News)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

BIS # 1099 MARATHI ALBUM ‘VANDAN TUZIYA CHARANI’ PRODUCED BY TEJ

Rochelle Rodricks

MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 4, 2008: Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications, has produced a new music compact disc in Marathi in honour of our Blessed Virgin Mary entitled Vandan Tuziya Charani. The church of Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada, Pune was packed for the 7.15 am Mass on August 31, 2008. “Kumari Maria” is one of the most lilting songs in this album. The girls of Epiphany English High School who were well-trained, joyfully danced to the music of this song before the mass could commence. With this song and dance, a proper mood was set for the participation in the Eucharist. So excited was the Parish Priest, Fr. Francis Kharjia that one could see the joy on his face as he released the album during the mass. After the mass, the parishioners made a beeline for a copy of the album. The album was specially priced at Rs. 75 to suit the budget of the local parishioners. The dedicated singers of the album are just simple people but they have done a tremendous job in pouring out their hearts with their resonant voices to honour our Blessed Virgin Mary. The inspiring lyrics of this album were penned by Mr. Anil Wakde and the music was arranged by Mr. Amon Daniels. The Assistant Producer, Mr. Shashi Kumar Jadhav contributed with his talents to give this album a professional touch. The entire project was successfully coordinated by Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, Director of Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications.

BIS # 1098 “MASTER YOUR MIND” WORKSHOP ORGANIZED BY TEJ

Rochelle Rodricks
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 4, 2008: Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications, Matunga organized a eight-day workshop for children at Don Bosco High School, Matunga and Don Bosco High School, Borivali and a four day workshop for adults at Don Bosco, Matunga from August 18 to 26, 2008. Mr. D. P. Mahesha, Director of Masterminds International, Bangalore, conducted this workshop for the third time in association with Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications. Among the Salesian priests, Fr. Boni D’Souza, Fr. Cletus D’Souza and Fr. Kiran Hunt participated in this workshop. During this workshop the participants were introduced to multiple intelligence, ambidexterity, concentration, memory techniques, speed reading, mind maps, neurobics and a number of techniques to help the brain perform to its optimum best. Another important aspect during this workshop was to learn total relaxation techniques where the body is completely relaxed but the mind is fully alert. Mr. D. P. Mahesha is a pioneer in the field of Creative Memory and Mind Management. By virtue of trained memory, he gained entry into the Limca Book of Records and was the proud recipient of the “Memory Wizard Award” in the Memory Asiad Competition held in 2001. He has conducted these workshops for a number of companies, in different parts of India.

BIS # 1097 INAUGURATION OF NEW GROTTO AT SATPUR

Neville D’Souza sdb
NASHIK, SEPTEMBER 3, 2008: A strong Marian devotion is a well known characteristic of every Salesian parish and this holds true also of our parish here in Nashik. This Marian fervour has now been given a visible appearance - a grotto dedicated to our Blessed Mother. The new grotto was blessed and inaugurated near the Dominic Savio Chapel in Satpur, Nashik. The parishioners had spent over a year collecting funds for this project and collaborating actively in its construction all with a view to enabling people to come together and venerate our Blessed Mother. The solemn Eucharistic celebration for the inauguration was presided over by Fr. Ivo Coelho and concelebrated by Fr. Nelson Falcao, Fr. Robert Pen and Fr. Matthew Coutinho. Many parishioners were present for this well animated Eucharist at which Fr. Ivo spoke about the significance of Mary’s role in our lives. Soon after the mass the recitation of the rosary began. The statue of our Lady was blessed and then taken in procession to the grotto. The entire area was well decorated for the occasion and the devotional attitude of one and all made it a very moving moment. After the blessing it was time to honor the meritorious students of the parish who had excelled in the exams conducted during the last academic year. Certificates, medals and small gifts were given as a token of recognition. Then it was time for the last important moment of the day, the agape, which was enjoyed by all. The successful execution of the entire programme was the result of elaborate preparation on the part of the Parish Council, the Mahila Mandal, Brothers, Sisters and Fr. Nelson Falcao, the priest in-charge of Satpur.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

BIS # 1096 DOCTOR – DOCTOR AT MARIA ASHIANA

Chris Valentino sdb
LONAVLA, SEPTEMBER 2, 2008: Maria Ashiana De-Addiction and Therapeutic Centre, hosted a Free Medical Health Camp at its premises on August 30. Doctors and Student-residents from Dr. D. Y. Patil Homeopathic Medical College, Pimpri examined the boys and girls, numbering about seventy five, starting at 9 am and ending at 2 pm Three local NGOs, Snehasadan, Manshakti and Bal Anand Gram also participated in this event along with their wards. Shweta Nagpurkar, corporate psychologist and trainer who is associated with Maria Ashiana initiated this venture along with Dr. Dharmendra Sharma, Principal of the Homeopathic College. The staff and boys at Maria Ashiana made every effort to make this event a memorable possibility. The doctors provided free medication and treated the children with great compassion and responsibility. The Doctors were highly impressed with the entire organizational effort and congratulated the Staff and boys at Maria Ashiana. Speaking on behalf of her colleagues, Dr. Sofia Sheikh remarked: “Thanks for inviting us for such a camp. It is our first experience with such children. Normally we don’t interact with the boys and girls found at railway stations or bus-depots, but after this experience we have realized that such medical check-ups are very much needed for these poor children.” Dr. Manish Arya, Dr Deepali Ingle and Dr Indrajeet Shah of the teaching faculty who accompanied the team of doctors too appreciated the type of work being done at Maria Ashiana. Dr Arya said: “Hopefully, you will invite us in future too. Thanks for this wonderful experience. We are touched by the hospitality and the preparations. Moreover the boys are very affectionate.” The boys and girls too liked the doctor uncles and didis, who listened to them and gave medicines free. Some of them said: “Acchae doctor log hain… bade pyaar se hamara ilaaj kiya.” The doctors were visibly moved after this interaction and volunteered to come back more often on a personal visit. Mens sana incorporae sana…. Maria Ashiana has managed to pass on this message to the other local NGOs as well, by organizing Doctor-Doctor!

BIS # 1095 LAMPRELL PROGRAMME LAUNCHED AT KARJAT

Xavier Devadas sdb
KARJAT, SEPTEMBER 2, 2008: Shelter Don Bosco Karjat began an entirely new chapter in its history on Sunday, August 31, with the launching of the Lamprell Work2LivE programme. The first batch of sixteen boys, all living earlier on the streets, enrolled for this training programme and pledged that they would now make a fresh beginning in their lives. The Chief Guest for this simple yet solemn inaugural function that began at 4.00 pm was Mr. Ed Lancaster, Lamprell Head of H.R. He was accompanied by Mr. Jim Henderson, Senior Training Manager; Mr. Garry Scott, Senior Safety Manager; and Mr. Tom Sellars, Lamprell Manager in India. Also present for the occasion were Ms. Roswitha Maus, Projects Manager of Jugend Dritte Welt, Germany; Fr. Anaclete D’Mello, Provincial Economer; and Fr. Adolph Furtado of DBIT Kurla. As a symbol of their enrollment into this programme, the boys were presented with overalls, safety boots and helmets. A few moments later, dressed in the Lamprell uniforms, they received their ID Cards and then took a solemn pledge: “I will take responsibility for my life by setting a goal for myself and strive hard towards reaching it. I will uphold the high standards of Lamprell by maintaining safety first, quality in work and personal discipline.” Mr. Tom Sellars who received the pledge, responded to them saying: “Gentlemen, Lamprell is proud to be associated with you.” He then declared the “Lamprell Work2LivE Programme at Karjat open.” The boys then put up a short programme comprising two ‘Advertisements’ and a skit depicting how a boy living on the streets decides to give up that type of life and joins the Lamprell programme. Finally, the chief guest Mr. Ed Lancaster, who is on his first visit to India, addressed the gathering. He expressed his great satisfaction at the Lamprell Don Bosco tie-up and opined that this joint venture would enable a large number of disadvantaged youngsters build up good futures for themselves. The programme came to a close with Fr. Xavier Devadas proposing the vote of thanks.

BIS # 1094 DBYC WELCOMES ALUMNUS MARIA AROKIAM

Ashwin Macwan sdb

PUNE, SEPTEMBER 1, 2008: Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Park was blessed with the visit of the new Regional Councillor for South Asia, Fr. Maria Arokiam on Saturday, August 30. DBYC is proud to recall that Fr. Maria Arokiam was once a member of this Salesian community!
The confreres greeted Fr. Maria Arokiam with a welcome song, after which, Fr. Godfrey D’Souza, Vice Provincial, in his inimitable and humorous style, extended a warm welcome to him on behalf of the community. Br P. M. Thomas and Cl. Santaramand Lopes then presented bouquets to the visiting Councillor.
Addressing the community, Fr. Maria Arokiam recalled old memories of his days at DBYC Pune and also the good relationship he has enjoyed with the Mumbai Province all through these years. He then spoke about the Six Year Plan of the congregation, focusing especially on the South Asian Region. He also highlighted the three fold thrust of GC26. Before he closed the session, he answered a few questions raised by those present.
Speaking again during the ‘Good Night’ talk, he shared his reflections on the parable of the labourers hired at the different moments of the day. He pointed out that work itself is its own reward. Those who have been working longer and harder in the Lord's vineyard should be grateful for having been given the opportunity to do so, instead of comparing themselves with others. He concluded by saying that the same reward is promised to all, but the Lord has given a few the privilege of working more.

Monday, September 1, 2008

BIS # 1093 A JOURNEY TOWARDS WHOLENESS

Ivo Coelho sdb

NASHIK, SEPTEMBER 1, 2008: I am just back from a very useful retreat at Atmadarshan, Patna, the Jesuit centre for spirituality and renewal. The retreat was an unusual one, entitled 'Journey Towards Wholeness', and made use both of Erikson's eight stages of development and the Awareness Meditation Relaxation therapy developed by Joe Kunnumpuram, SJ, at Atmadarshan. The peculiarity of AMR is that it is a non-verbal therapy: there is no need of deep and extensive sharing as is the case in Group Therapy and most individual counselling therapies. This will ring a bell for those who have done Vipassana, and in fact, AMR has roots in Vipassana meditation. It also makes use of a variety of other therapies and tools such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy. In combination with the traditional retreat model and Erikson's eight stages, AMR makes for a fine retreat, with opportunities to go over unfinished growth tasks in infancy, toddlerhood, pre-school age, school age, young adulthood, etc. Journey Towards Wholeness, especially when led by Abe Puthumana, SJ, would also make a wonderful basic program for our formation personnel. It could then be followed up by a training course in AMR itself. The four month long Atmadarshan program (January to May) would complete the training. But the offerings of Atmadarshan are for all, not only for formation personnel. A great opportunity for growth, and for all-round (spiritual!) well-being!

BIS # 1092 SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS AT CHINCHWAD

Jeffery Fernandes sdb
CHINCHWAD, SEPTEMBER 1, 2008: Don Bosco Vocational Training Campus, Chinchwad, literally experienced ‘showers of blessings’ this Sunday morning as three new sections were blessed and inaugurated in the presence of several dignitaries, Salesians, well wishers, and the students and staff of the institution. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Ms. Roswitha Maus, Projects Manager of Jugend Dritte Welt, Germany. The inaugural programme began at 11.30 am with Fr. Corlis Gonsalves, Director, welcoming the guest and expressing his thanks to God for all His blessings. “God has kept blessing us” he said, “and with His blessings we keep marching ahead in the service of poor and disadvantaged youngsters”. The solemn blessing ceremony then got underway. The Multi Skills Training Block was blessed by Fr. Maria Arokiam, Regional Councillor for South Asia, the Admin Block by Bishop Valerian D’Souza of Pune, and the Two Wheeler Training Block by Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial. After each of the blessings, the respective section was inaugurated and declared open by Ms. Roswitha Maus. Present for the occasion was a high profile team from Lamprell, Dubai, comprising Mr. Ed Lancaster, Head of H.R; Mr. Jim Henderson, Senior Training Manager; Mr. Garry Scott’ Senior Safety Manager; and Mr. Tom Sellars, Lamprell Manager in India. Also present was Mr. Louis Pereira, Senior Vice President of Mahindra & Mahindra. Both companies, Lamprell and Mahindra, are closely associated with the training programmes offered here. After the blessings and inauguration, there was a felicitation programme to thank all the sponsors and supporters of this training institute. Special thanks went to the German Ministry for Development Cooperation, who, in collaboration with Jugend Dritte Welt, have funded these three new sections.