Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Placidus Fernandes sdb NASHIK, JANUARY 22, 2009: On January 17, the entire Salesian community of Nashik gathered around Fr. Ashley Miranda, to celebrate with him the 25 Years he has been a Salesian. Also present for the occasion were his mother and several family members. At the start of the Eucharistic celebration, the Novice Master, Fr. Solomon Rapol, extolled the many gifts of heart and mind which Fr. Ashley possesses. He added that it was indeed a blessing to have Fr. Ashley in the novitiate community. During the homily, the jubilarian praised the Lord for His goodness and His faithfulness. He reiterated St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians when he said “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” He humbly acknowledged that it was the Lord who gave him the strength to live a life of love and to “walk by faith and not by sight” these twenty five years. He highlighted the fact that the Lord in his kindness has kept him going through these years, years of extreme joy as a son of Don Bosco. He praised the Lord for his goodness towards him and explained to the gathering that the Lord is at everyone’s side in the ‘ups and downs’ of life. He stated “We are always on a path, yet none of us merits or can boast of God’s revelation. The only thing we can say is that God is Good, He is kind, He calls us, consecrates us and gives us a vocation.” Fr. Ashley concluded his homily by sharing with the assembly three points which have deeply touched his life: that God loves us with a personal, providential Love; that all of us are called to be saints and this can be accomplished by doing the ordinary things in an extraordinary manner by living life 200 percent cheerfully; that God has a plan for everyone and has called each one of us to be His instruments of Love. The evening climaxed with a festive dinner in honour of the jubilarian.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
ANS News ROME, JANUARY 7, 2009: The International Congress on The Preventive System and Human Rights, came to a close yesterday, January 6, 2009. Responding to the thirty propositions drawn up by the working groups during the Congress, the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Pascual Chávez, gave his concluding address. Don Bosco’s IX successor referring to the fact that the Congress had taken place during Christmas time, focused on the mystery of the Incarnation, and also to the beginning of the year celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation, said that although the present day and current conditions differ from those of Don Bosco, “The Salesian mission and its purpose, those to whom it is addressed and to whom we are being sent, and the criteria for our activities which Don Bosco has left us as a precious heritage are no different.”.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” Fr Chávez said in concluding his address, “this Congress did not set out to be the closing event for the Strenna for 2008, but intended to provide a decisive impulse for sustaining the development of a path of research, formation and action which we now have to take forward in our provincial and local circumstances. This is consistent with the 26th General Chapter which has entrusted its putting into practice to us, especially in reference to the core ideas of the urgency of evangelization, evangelical poverty and new frontiers. This is the path for the Congregation to follow.”
This was followed by a short closing ceremony of thanksgiving during which those taking part received as a souvenir a kite which had been the symbol of the Congress. The Rector Major then thanked Fr Ferdinando Colombo who after twenty years has retired from the position as Vice-President of VIS. The Rector Major gave Fr Colombo a wooden statue of Don Bosco and the gold medal of the Past Pupils. As Vice President of VIS and with responsibility for Salesian missionary promotion in Italy, taking the place of Fr Colombo will be Fr Franco Fontana. Leaving the Hall all the participants also received a medal of Don Bosco. The final act of the Congress was the Eucharistic celebration at which the Rector Major presided.
ANS News ROME, JANUARY 6, 2008: “Jeffrey and the Human Rights Bag” was the video which introduced the day on Sunday January 4, at the International Congress “The Preventive System and Human Rights”, in progress at the Salesianum in Rome. The video was accompanied by a commentary by Fr Juan Linares, the Salesian Director of “Muchachos y Muchachas con Don Bosco” in the Dominican Republic. Before the work in the Hall began there was a short greeting and message of encouragement from Giovanni Maria Flick, President of the Italian Constitutional Court and a Salesian Past Pupil. In speaking to the assembly, he invited them – while working for the safeguarding of Human Rights – to be on their guard against the danger of mere intellectualising or theorising – necessary though these were in the work of scholars and exponents of law. In addition the President of the Constitutional Court pointed out that as a foundation was the recognition of the equal dignity of each person: “Dignity is linked to equality. We are all equal, while being all different, and having every right to our diversity and to our identity. I think of Don Bosco’s method as the example and the model in order to avoid any forced assimilation in which all are compelled to be the same, which is the marginalisation of those who are different.” The first talk in the morning was given by Prof. Vernor Muñoz Villalobos, Special Representative of the United Nations on the Right to Education. Drawing on his own personal and professional experience Prof. Muñoz pointed out the relationship between human, social and cultural development and the ability to acquire knowledge and to learn. As he sees it, Human Rights is not a matter for dry discussion, but an area in which learning and living constitute a single process which can be considered education. Therefore education needs to be promoted as a fundamental right in order to form active, inclusive, responsible and autonomous citizens. The morning’s work in the Hall was concluded with the talk on Human Rights in the light of the Preventive System given by Fr Pascual Chávez, Rector Major of the Salesians. Fr Chávez once again referred to the current educational emergency highlighted by Pope Benedict XVI, and then dealt with the characteristics of Don Bosco’s Preventive System. Among the characteristic features of the original educative insight of Don Bosco, the Rector Major mentioned the central role and the active involvement of the young people, the preventive culture, the experience of community, the integral educative project, which starts from a Christian understanding of the individual and of life and one which has a social projection. “Faced with this educational emergency, we Salesians,” – Fr Chávez added, “we are the bearers of a pedagogical charism that is more relevant and necessary than ever: the Preventive System of Don Bosco. This is our treasure, the contribution we are called to make to the young people and to present day society, our prophetic role. Now I should like to draw your attention to the need to renew the Preventive System of Don Bosco in close connection with the promotion and the defence of Human Rights, in particular the rights of the young, as an approach to education that a capable of creating a culture and of establishing society in a state of education.” While the morning’s work was coming to an end, in St Peter’s Square, after his Sunday message and the prayer of the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI referred to the Congress, encouraging those taking part wherever they might be working to promote and safeguard human rights, words which those at the Congress heard and saw on the screen in the Assembly Hall. Commenting on the Pope’s message for the Italian TV programme “In his image” then being broadcast live by RAI 1 from the Salesianum, the Rector Major was one a several people at the Congress who were interviewed. Group work continued in the afternoon and then in the Assembly Hall there was an interesting session in which the two morning’s speakers replied to questions from the Assembly. In the evening after Mass at which Fr Francesco Cereda, Councillor for Formation, presided, those attending the Congress were the guests of Piero Marrazzo, President of the Lazio Region at a reception in the Palazzo Rospigliosi.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Following Fr Attard’s talk, there was the report “Human Rights as an effective way of fulfilling the Salesian educative mission” given by Fr Vito Orlando, Professor of Social Pedagogy, Vice Rector and Director of the Institute of Pedagogical Methodology at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. In his talk he presented the results of a survey carried out among the Salesians who were attending the 26th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, held between February and April 2008, on the current situation regarding marginalization and street children.
The final talk of the day was given by Gianmarco Schiesaro, VIS online representative responsible for the donbosco-humanrights.org portal and the Training Centre for Human Development, entitled “A portal for the Preventive System and Human Rights”. Mr. Schiesaro gave the audience a “behind the scenes“ glimpse of the portal specifically created for the Congress and the place where those interested can find the texts of the talks and other relevant useful information.
The morning of the second day, January 3, was devoted to three talks in the Assembly Hall of the Salesianum. The first “Educational priorities in the ambiguities of globalization” by Fr Carlo Nanni; the second, “The most significant values of the Preventive System,” by Fr Jean-Marie Petitclerc; and the third “Educating to and for human Rights,” by Carola Carazzone.
Fr Nanni, Professor of the Philosophy of education and Dean of the Faculty of Education at the Salesian Pontifical University, gave a precise account of the way ideas regarding human rights have evolved up to the arrival of globalization and proposed a re-thinking – in line with the decisions taken at the 26th General Chapter of the Salesian – of the key issues of the Preventive System, for example, clarifying what the term “a preventive approach” means with regard to the invisible generation, to the virtual, to globalization and to under-development.
“The insight of Don Bosco, which remains relevant for today’s society consisted in being able to decipher the phenomena of violence he saw on the outskirts of Turin, as providing evidence of a lack of education.” This was one of the observations made by Fr Jean-Maria Petitclerc, head of the office of the Ministry for the smooth running of the city of Paris, in his talk. Fr Petitclerc also recalled how as in Don Bosco’s day, the young are characterized by three elements: a loss of trust with regard to adults, anxiety about the future and the difficulties they encounter in the process of their socialization. In the face of this situation the Director of the “Valdoccò” presented the Preventive System of Don Bosco as an approach of trust, of hope and of partnership.
The third talk by Carla Carazzone was divided into three main topics: What meaning do human rights have, why educate to and for human rights and how to educate to and for human rights? In this way the listeners were helped to appreciate the breadth of the meaning of the expression “human rights”, the reasons to support education to and for human rights and the process to be followed in promoting and safeguarding them through education.
Work groups were held in the afternoon, and the results of their efforts presented in the assembly later. At the end of the day there was time to relax with songs, dances and other forms of a sharing of cultures.
JYOTI, DECEMBER 3, 2008: The Jyoti parish had a memorable Christmas week this year. After the children’s programme on December 26, the second day of the Christmas festivities was dedicated to the youth of the locality. About 65 youngsters came together for this programme on December 27, which began with a short prayer service, followed by the lighting of the traditional oil lamp. Fr. Gregory D’Cunha welcomed all who were present and wished them an enjoyable evening. Mr. Melvin Pangya and Mr. Dayanand Patil from the Development Office, conducted a session for the youth on the theme, ‘In unity lies strength.’ The other highlights of the evening included some fun games and creative competitions. Present along with the parish youth were youngsters from Swadhyaya Parivar and some youth from the other faiths.
The next day, December 28, the elders of the parish came together for a Christmas celebration. The oldest in the group was 87 years. The evening commenced with a short prayer service by the youth of the parish. Next, Fr. Gregory conducted a lively session during which he asked those present to share the reason of their longevity. Most of them proudly responded by saying, “we’ve worked hard, eaten wholesome food and have led stress free lives.” The evening then got into the ‘entertainment mode’, with the old folk singing a medley of popular songs from the yester years. It certainly was a beautiful evening and the elders thanked the organizers of the event for making them “feel wanted”.
On December 29, it was the parents who had a special evening organized for them by the children and the youth. The programme began with the youngsters welcoming the parents and tying ribbons on their wrists. Fr. Gregory too welcomed all and also expressed his appreciation for the efforts put in by their own children. The ice-breaker game set the tone for the evening and soon all the couples were enthusiastically involved in the games and the other activities that followed. Fr. Blany Pinto, Mr. Valerian Soares and Mrs. Mary Soares assisted and guided the youth in organizing the evening.
Finally, on December 30, it was the turn of the women of the parish to have their Christmas get-together. The programme began at 7.00 pm with a short prayer service and words of welcome. Besides the games and the fun, there was also a session on candle making conducted Mrs. Jadhav. The women not only enjoyed the session, but they also felt that they had learnt something useful. As the evening proceeded, the Mother General of the Queen of the Apostles Congregation, Sr. Maria Goretti Quadros, dropped in to greet the women. The programme concluded with Mrs. Sangita Nunes proposing the vote of thanks.