Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BIS #1571 HINDI WEEK CELEBRATIONS

Sarita Rego
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 30, 2009:
The spectacular Hindi week at Don Bosco High School, Borivli was organized from September 14 to 18, 2009. The objective behind organizing the special extra-curricular activity was to create a sense of importance of Hindi- the National Language. Mahatma Gandhi very well said, “The nation is dumb without a national language”.
Certainly, nowadays the language has undergone a change which at time makes the language improper to use. Language plays a very vital part in communication. Everyday morning talks were given which helped students to imbibe good values and increase their vocabulary. On September 14, a special ‘Essay Writing Competition’ was organized for the students of Higher Secondary by the Ideal Foundation. Dramatics Competition which was organized in the Hindi Language- a first time event in the school was a fantabulous affair and was thoroughly enjoyed by the esteemed judges, audience students, parents and all those who were witness to this event.
The Blue (Gandhi) House bagged the First place for their play, “Meetha Zehar” which depicted how Parents give slow poison to their child when they do not correct him for his mistakes and wrongdoings while the Green (Nehru) House bagged the Second place for their play, “Kursi Tantr”. The Yellow (Tagore) House secured the Third place for their play, “Rakshak Bana Adhikaron Ka Bakshak”
The school felt that proper importance should be given to our National language and its use should be stressed at all times. Students got a golden opportunity to showcase their talents. The efforts of the Hindi teacher, Mrs. Shubhangi and Ms. Renu bore fruit and the event was a great success along with the cooperation of the Principal, Fr. George Carlos and the House Teachers.

BIS #1570 OUR SENIORS - OLD IS GOLD

Lorraine Fernandes
VIRAR, SEPTEMBER 30, 2009:
The Senior Citizens cell of our Parish was officially launched at the evening Eucharist on Monday, September 28, 2009. The theme running through the liturgy was “Thanksgiving” and the altar backdrop carried these words - Thank You Lord for the Gift of Life, which summarized the sentiments of the elders.
In a touching homily, Fr. Edwin Colaco, the founder of the cell, shared about how his terminally ill mother never failed to express her care and concern for him till the very end. The get-together that followed witnessed dance performances by the children and the youth, games, spot prizes, a lively sing-song session and a spontaneous dance by the elders.
Months of meticulous planning were put in to ensure the success of the maiden event organized by the senior citizens cell. The overwhelming response of more than 100 seniors and the sheer enthusiasm shown by them have laid a firm foundation for the cell members to work even more diligently in the future.
Big thanks to Fr. Edwin Colaco, the one who had the vision of caring for the elders and materialized this vision in forming a cell and organizing this event. The elders were promised of more events to come in the near future. That they went home with a big smile on their lips and gratitude in their heart is truly a priceless achievement.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BIS #1569 PADAYATRA TO HAREGAON

Flovi D’Souza sdb
AHMEDNAGAR, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009:
Around 300 lay people, men and women, young and old, from the Don Bosco parish Ahmednagar participated in a 55 kms walking pilgrimage to Haregaon, aka MatMauli Shrine of Nagar. The Padayatra is organized by the Don Bosco parish every year culminating with the feast of Our Blessed Mother at the Haregaon shrine on September 12. The Padayatra began on September 7, 2009; at 7.00 p.m. Fr. Viswas along with the catechist Mr. Sachin Avsare accompanied the pilgrims. The journey though difficult, was prayerful. The pilgrims sang and prayed all along. The pilgrims were warmly welcomed, hosted and fed by the different parishes along the way. The pilgrims expressed a deep faith experience at the culmination of the journey. The Padayatra reached Haregaon on September 12, at 8.00 a.m.; the pilgrims then participated in the solemn festive mass at 2.00 p.m. celebrated by his Lordship Rt. Rev. Felix Machado the Bishop of Nashik.

BIS #1568 INTER- RELIGIOUS GATHERING

Bento D’souza sdb
AHMEDNAGAR, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009
: 136 men sat in the auditorium and 36 women perched on the balcony of the Sahakar Sabhagruha, Ahmednagar on September 25, 2009 to celebrate the end of Roza (fasting) and the celebration of Id Milan. The panel that sat on the dais consisted of the Chief Speaker Maulana Mohammed Sami (J.I.H Secretary, Maharastra) from Jalgaon, who gave a down to earth and practical speech on the theme: The Significance of Fasting according to the Koran. The entire theme of the meeting was the meaning of fasting according to various religious traditions. The other eminent speakers were Shree Sanjay Ganpat Bhingardive, Shree Ganesh Kankariya, Pastor Vasant Dabke, Ajay Maharaj Bharaskar, Architect Shaikh, L. D Kharade, Fr. Bento D’Souza and Family Physician Dr. Shankarprasad Afra.

All the discourses were revelatory and interesting but the image that struck deep roots in the psyche of the listeners was the account of the day of ten babies were born in this hospital and the doctor asked the parents to find out the difference between one and the other. They had no caste, no creed, no religion and no status but all of them were children of India. Fr. Bento spoke on the sense of balance that should exist in relations to fasting and feasting. Both of which are essential components of human and Christian life.

The organizers of the Inter- religious panel were Jamaat Islami Hind. Peace and harmony marked the entire proceeding of varied speeches and reflections on religious fasting. Every one ended by wishing each other As-Salām `Alaykum (Peace be upon you) and Id Mubarak. It was a treasured moment of enlightenment of how those empowered by religion can build a brotherhood and sisterhood built on universal values for God.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

BIS #1567 CHAK DE CHHOTA!!!

Ranald Lopes sdb
CHHOTA, SEPTEMBER 26, 2009: Chhota is back with a bang! This time the U-15 boys won beyond all expectations, they defeated 5 teams till the finals. The U-15 hockey team, after a series of setbacks in the last couple of months, did the school proud. They now go to represent the state in Krukshetra, Haryana for the state finals. The school is grateful to the hockey coach Mr. Shailesh Darji for all his painstaking efforts night and day to be with the boys. Chak de Chhota! Viva la Chhota!

Friday, September 25, 2009

BIS #1566 BOSCO PLUS HEADING TOWARDS SAKSHAM

Natasha Almeida
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 25, 2009:
The batch of July ’09 of the Bosco Plus skills training programme concluded at Don Bosco Matunga with 24 youth successfully completing their training in basic life skills, spoken English, computer skills and retail management. From those who had lost their jobs recently to students who had dropped out during their school or undergraduate studies, these young people from the slums of Mumbai were eager to learn the skills that would enable them to secure decent employment.

A valedictory function to formally mark the end of the course was held on September 24, 2009 at the A.V Hall at the Provincial House, Matunga. This certificate distribution ceremony was held on behalf of Bosco Plus and Tata Trent Ltd., who collaborated with the former in conducting examinations and interviews with the students. The event was graced by the Guest of Honour Mr. Nirmal Naik, Senior HR Manager, Tata Trent Ltd. Besides the team from the Mumbai Development Office, in attendance for the event were Fr. Savio Silveira, Mr. Robin Thomas, Program Co-ordinator, Tata Trent Ltd. and Mr. Niranje Amte, Examiner of Retail Management at the Garware Institute. The event commenced with the opening address by Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Development Office which was followed by a welcome song by students of the current batch.

Fr. Savio Silveira in his address mentioned the only objective of Bosco Plus was to train the students for a period of two months and help them secure a job. Mr. Niranje Amte, in his address spoke about ‘Reviving and Revising’. Drawing from his long experience and citing a simple example of the Hare and Tortoise story he mentioned that even slow learners are helpful in winning the race. It’s Co-operation and not competition that wins at the end of the day. Mr. Robin Thomas whilst addressing the students said that the facilitators will only provide the resources for the battle but the ultimate battle on the field has to be fought by the students themselves.

Mr. Nirmal Naik, the chief guest who presented the students with their certificates, encouraged them to make the most of what they have learned and to build their careers one step at a time. After giving them a brief idea about the retail sector he encouraged the students to sort out their queries.

The vote of thanks was delivered by Sagar, a student of the July batch who secured an over all first position. He expressed his gratitude towards the course facilitators and thanked them whole heartedly for their support. The students in turn expressed their determination to sharpen their skills at every opportunity. Kudos to the Bosco Plus team who are surely headed towards Saksham!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

BIS #1565 HOW TO ANIMATE YOUTH GROUPS

Ivo Coelho sdb
NASHIK, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009:
The 'How to Animate a Parish Youth Group' session was finally held on 22 September 2009 at Nashik. Frs, Greg D'Cunha, Edwin Colaco and Blany Pinto came up from Virar-Jyoti and kept a large group busy for over 3 hours. The group consisted of youth and youth animators from the three parishes of Nasik, the STI novices, the FMA novices, the M.Ph and the Third Year students of Divyadaan. Besides Frs Nelson, Diego and Ivo from Don Bosco and a Jesuit priest from Holy Cross were also present. There were 50 participants in all.
The team began with an AV prayer and went on to talk about how to begin a youth group in a parish. Then there were suggestions about vision, registration (interesting set of details besides name, address, phone number and email id), how to plan the meetings (the agenda prepared by the coordinating committee and posted on the notice board in advance; minutes), the structure of the youth group (priest coordinator, lay and religious animators, president, vice president, secretary, joint secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer; the various groups - social, spiritual, entertainment, media). There was even a list of suggested activities and charts for planning activities (what, who, when, for whom, etc).
The whole session was spiced up with action songs and games by Fr. Edwin Colaco - which the animators insisted were important to keep the group lively and relaxed. One of the lovely things about this session was the ability of the animators to break into Marathi and Hindi (some impressively fluent and others 'apunka'), seeing that there were some youth from the Marathi-speaking group too.
The focus was on the three parishes that turned up: they were busy creating action songs, games, drawing up agendas, planning activities, and so on. Not that the religious were left out. At any rate, a new term has been coined: 'religious youth' and 'non-religious youth. The youngsters furiously took notes, and from their body language one can expect good things!

BIS #1564 S.C.C. TRAINING PROGRAMME

Dona Prabhune
VIRAR, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009:
The Jyoti Animation Centre, Virar organized a SCC training programme for S.C.C. Community Coordinators & Animators on September 21, 2009, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm for the English Speaking Parishes of the Vasai Diocese. Organizing the programme for the 60 people from 5 parishes was a joint effort of the Salesians (Frs. Gregory D’cunha, Blany Pinto and Edwin Colaco) and the SCC diocesan director Fr. Dennis Kokya.

Fr. Gregory began with an opening prayer. Dona Prabhune explained the 5-stages of Maturing Church in a very interactive manner asking participants to come forward to summarize each stage separately. Lina D’Cunha and Dona Prabhune jointly conducted the 7-Step Gospel Sharing. Fr. Dennis taught a new action song after the Gospel Sharing session. Fr. Edwin bounced in, to liven up the atmosphere with some more action songs. He gave time for each parish to come up with one action song each and perform it, so the participants got to take home 5-new action songs.

Dona Prabhune spoke on Leadership Skills she emphasized that a good leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. A session on “Talents” was conducted by Dona. Fr. Blany explained a few formats that would help the SCC Coordinators to increase their efficiency in their communities. The last 15 minutes were left open for answering questions on difficulties faced by various animators in their communities. The questions were very intriguing but there was a solution for every problem.

Fr. Edwin, in charge of SCCs at Resurrection Parish thanked Fr. Dennis Kokya - the Director of SCCs for the Diocese – for his support and making this training programme possible. He also thanked all those behind the scenes for their efforts.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BIS #1563 TRAINING PROGRAMME AT VIRAR

Dona Prabhune
VIRAR, SEPTEMBER 22, 2009
: Resurrection Parish, Virar conducted its fourth Training Programme for SCC Community Leaders and Animators at its first Steering Committee Meeting on September 20, 2009, from 9.15am to 11am in the Parish Hall. The Theme of the programme was “Leadership”

Fr. Blany Pinto, in his introduction – appreciated, complimented and congratulated the Community Coordinators and Animators for contributing their time and energy. Participation has increased a great deal and as of today all the communities are very vibrant. Fr. Blany also recommended that each cluster leader (Animator) keeps a note book which is like a census of his/her own cluster that has a record of the break-up figures like – number of kids, teenagers, youth, adults, senior citizens.

Dona Prabhune spoke on Leadership Skills. She explained the expectations and responsibilities of “Leadership”. She explained how a Leader has to be good-natured, polite, approachable, courteous, respectful and confident. It is necessary to be assertive without being aggressive. A leader has to have a keen eye to identify talent and encourage participation so the process goes on and the next generation gets ready for leadership because we can’t go on forever… we have to hand over. The essence of leadership is “A good leader… knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

Rev. Fr. Edwin asked the Community Coordinators to sit with their respective Cluster Leaders (Animators). He asked them to write one weakness, strength, and one solution to any problem the community may be facing. Then there was a brief buzzing after which some Animators of each community was asked to come and speak on what was discussed. After this the community leaders also had to sum up the performance and share the feedback with all other communities so everyone knows what is happening at the Parish level in every community. This was very uplifting. This was a subtle way of breaking people’s nervousness, making people face a small crowd and talk, providing opportunity to enhance personal leadership skills. The quarterly reports were collected and the meeting ended with a game by Fr. Edwin.

Monday, September 21, 2009

BIS #1562 ORATORY FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT

Velasli Bandya sdb
NASHIK, SEPTEMBER 21, 2009:
On September 20, 2009, the Divyadaan and Salesian Training Institute grounds played host to a “junior inter-oratory football tournament” that saw 14 teams participating in it. The fathers and brothers of Divyadaan, Salesian Training Institute, and Don Bosco Bhavan organized this annual football tournament for their oratory youngsters of the various slums of Nashik. The purpose of organizing this event was mainly to help the youngsters discover and develop their hidden potentialities. Every year, the boys eagerly look forward to this event and they spare no efforts to see that their team wins the trophy.
This year around 200 young boys participated in this dawn to dusk tournament. It began with a prayer service which invoked the presence of God. Divyadaan band players gave a warm and hearty welcome to all the Oratory children with the tune of “March Majestic”. Fr. Wyman Gonsalves, the in-charge of the oratories gave a thrilling welcome speech calling the boys for an active participation and enthusing them to give their best. The first game kicked off at 9:00 a.m. after which there was the atmosphere of thri
ll and excitement that kept everyone’s spirits high. It led the youngsters from the oratories to exhibit a marvelous display of their football skills.
The final match was played between the teams from Kamgarnagar and Ganeshnagar. After a tough fight between both the teams, the cup was lifted up by Kamgarnagar. Fr. Aloysius Hemron, the chief guest for this tournament, appreciated the efforts put in by the organizers and congratulated the boys for their excellent performance.
On the whole it was a memorable day for the boys as well as the organizers. While the boys had an enjoyable game, the brothers had a wonderful learning experience of organizing a league tournament and giving themselves wholly to the youngsters. It further helped them to strengthen the bonding among themselves.

BIS #1561 REJUVENATING OUR SALESIAN CHARISM

Leon Cruz Ratinam sdb
NASHIK, SEPTEMBER 21, 2009:
The community of Divyadaan, Nashik was privileged to host the ‘On-Going Formation Programme’ for the Salesian Brothers of the Provinces of Mumbai and Konkan from September 15-19, 2009.
The course enabled the Salesian Brothers to get an insight into ‘The Prophets of the Old testament’, ‘The Gospel of St. Matthew’ and ‘Salesian Spirituality’. The Salesian Brothers were aided in their reflection efficient and vibrant speakers in the persons of Fr. Valerian Pereira, Fr. Godfrey D’souza and Fr. Ivo Coelho. The sessions were well prepared and planned. The explanations were simple and thought–provoking. The Power-Point Presentations added flavor to the sessions.
Fr. Valerian in his dealing with the fiery ‘Prophets’ of the Old Testament noted how each prophet acting as Yahweh’s Messenger called Israel to repentance as well as offered them hope of a peaceful era under a Messiah who would lead His people as a Shepherd.
Fr. Godfrey’s presentation on the ‘Gospel of St. Matthew’ was lucid and he gave a detailed explanation inspite of the limited time for the topic.
Fr. Ivo focused on the role of the ‘Salesian Brother’ and his ‘Vocation’ in the Congregation. He stressed on the prayer life of Don Bosco and invited the Salesian Brothers to strengthen their prayer life taking the example our Father and Founder.
The Salesian Brothers interacted with the community of Divyadaan and STI by making time to share their vocation stories, concerns and projects through Conferences and Good-nights besides being present for moments of Community Prayer. These shared moments enriched all to understand the ‘Salesian Brother Vocation’
At the end of it all, the Salesian Brothers felt enriched and renewed. Let us pray that they may continue living fully in their lives the Charism of our Founder. Let us also make every effort to promote the vocation of the Salesian Brother in our Provinces.

BIS #1560 GRAM SABHA PREPARATIONS IN GUJARAT

Lyra Pinto
KAWANT, SEPTEMBER 21, 2009:
The staff of five centres in the Gujarat region—Kawant, Chhota Udepur, Alirajpur, Narukot and Kapadvanj—gathered in Kawant for a training session conducted by the Unnati Organisation for Development Education, in preparation for the upcoming October Gram Sabhas in Gujarat.

The 31 staff members who attended the programme took full advantage of the opportunity to clarify their doubts regarding the procedures of Gram Sabhas and the planning of works under the NREGA. Their field experience in dealing with these topics over the last one year threw up many interesting questions, and also enabled them to explore possible solutions to the problems dogging the smooth functioning of the NREGA and Panchayat Raj Institutions in their villages.

The resource persons, Mr. Roshan and Mr. Jasmin, also described Unnati’s experiences and strategies for strengthening the people through Gram Sabhas. By means of a detailed explanation followed by an analytical exercise, they went on to train the participants in facilitating social audits of the NREGA through Gram Sabhas. The programme ended with a question and answer session during which the participants were able to clarify some of the finer points involved in the NREGA planning process.

The staff who took part in the session came away with clearer knowledge and increased confidence in their ability to empower NREGA workers in their villages through Gram Sabhas.

BIS #1559 HAT-TRICK FOR DON BOSCO MATUNGA

Crescens Lemos sdb
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 21, 2009:
Don Bosco’s Matunga made it a treble of inter school titles this season by adding the Ahmed Sailor Cup to their Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) triumph and the Subroto Mukherjee cup win. By thrashing St. Anne’s school 4-1 in the finals of the MSSA Premier League at Azad Maidan on September 18, 2009, Don Bosco also kept their unbeaten record this season alive.
This is the third trophy, which the under 16 team had bagged in the last 4 months. The team is on a winning spree, conquering MSSA premier League, Subroto Mukherjee trophy and Ahmed Sailor’s Champions trophy. The Principal, Fr. Bosco, Vice Principal Fr. Roy, coaches Leslie and Pillai were all proud to watch the boys jumping for joy and receiving the trophy. They came; they played and definitely conquered and are now unstoppable!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

BIS #1558 TRAINING PROGRAMME AT WALWANDA

Manisha Kande
WALVANDA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2009:
Bosco Yuva Sanghtana organized a three days residential training programme on NREGA and role of Panchayati Raj Institutions for the village animators at Walvanda centre, Taluka- Jawhar from September 11- 13, 2009. The purpose of the training was to strengthen the animator’s capacity and elucidate their role at the village level. 43 animators from Jawhar and Mokhada block attended and participated in the training. The resource persons were Mr. Saby Francis and Mr. Arun Hivale from Organization SPREAD.
The emphasis was laid on the Perspective Building of the animators, on social development, the situation of the tribal community by using different methods like Venn diagrams and games.
Dr. Anil Patil, professor at the Jawhar K.V. College, addressed the animators on the Adivasi lifestyle with live examples and strongly clarified their role at the village level. It was an inspirational and motivational session for the animators. The resource person engaged the participants in the ‘SHRAMDAN’work for one hour as their self activity. During the break the animators played a game on unity which helped them to understand their capacity and their imaginative ideas. In the evening a play on social issues was organized by Sir Kanat with assistance from the Vakadpada group. The play focused on spreading awareness at the village level by effective use of media. A movie on NREGA named ‘Jau tithe khau’ was also screened. The movie very well portrayed the corruption behind the scheme.
The last day of the training started with the folk Adivasi action song ‘Aamhi Adivasi por’ by a participant. The resource person gave inputs on MREGS and NREGA. Mr. Melvin Pangya explained the main provision under this Act and the work proposed in the Gramsabha by villagers. The training enhanced the knowledge of the animators to think in a positive way and work effectively in the villages.
The training ended with the action plan of work by every animator for six months on awareness building at village level and creating a network for activities of the Gram Sabhas. One animator from each centre shared their experiences about the training.

Friday, September 18, 2009

BIS #1557 VALUE EDUCATION SEMINAR

Natasha Almeida
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009
: September 15- 16, 2009, marked a major event for the Archdiocesan Value Education Centre (AVEC), headed by Fr. Glenford Lowe, as 88 teachers from 51 ABE schools of Mumbai attended the Value Education Seminar 2009, held at Don Bosco Youth Services, Matunga.
Preparations for the seminar began during the early weeks of August. The first day saw a total number of 41 teachers from Central Suburbs, Borivli, Andheri and Bandra deaneries. Whilst 47 teachers form North Mumbai, South Mumbai and Kurla deaneries attended the seminar on the second day. By way of the seminar AVEC aimed to motivate schools through the teachers to become more ‘Educational Living Environments’ of which values must be seen to lie not only at the heart of the educational content, the “what” of education, but also at the heart of the educational process, the “how”, the way in which education is conducted.
Over two days the value education teachers enjoyed sessions by Fr. Ian Doultan and Fr. Glenford Lowe. Both the days saw Fr. Boniface D’souza deliver the welcome address. Fr. Ian in his session dealt with the Approach, Focus, Method and Goal of Moral Science, Community Living and Value Education. He mentioned the importance of ‘drawing out values’ from the child and not teaching them but ‘educating’ them. Throughout his session Fr. Ian stressed that the value is not important but the person is and that the goal of value education is the ‘Education to Becoming’. In the second half of his session he underlined the role of a Value Educator. He went to explain how value education goes on constantly: the four walls of the classroom are not the limit.
Fr. Glen explained to all present the aims and goals of AVEC. He made the teachers aware of the long term plans that AVEC has in store for the schools and how the teachers can help in making Value Education as the guiding ethos of education.
After a sumptuous meal, a movie named ‘God Lives in the Himalayas’ was screened. The film, opened recently at the Cannes film Festival and selected in various international film festivals, delved deep into the minds of four children who live in the Himalayan Mountains. The four of them have questions for God, questions that have remained unanswered since the evolution of man. The film focuses on the epic journey of these children who defy all odds to get their questions answered. The second day of the seminar was graced by the presence of the director-writer-producer of the movie Mr. Sanjay Srinivas.
At the end of both the days, the teachers had an open forum discussion about taking the sessions ahead to the schools and their principals. The motivated teachers promised not to look at value education as just another subject in the curriculum but to synergize their efforts and resources to lead the children on ‘the valued path’.

BIS #1556 TRIBUTES OF GRATITUDE AT ST.JOSEPH'S

MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009:September 15, 2009, marked an important and distinct event in St. Joseph’s High School as the school celebrated its Management Day. This auspicious occasion was ushered in at the school hall with a prayer for the schools Management Team.

The staff along with the students felicitated the Management in the form of floral tributes. Master Stallon Sebastian, the head boy eloquently read out the address especially penned to convey deep love and gratitude to the Management. The primary section expressed their sentiments through their efforts in staging the mini-musical "In the Bottom of the Garden". This colourful, artistically presented item was a display of the dedication of the staff and parents and their wholehearted co-operation in our efforts to give the young an all-round education.

To add to this festive spirit the Secondary Section expressed their feelings in the form of poems, skits, songs and dances which made the day more special and unforgettable.
Thereafter, the Management team along with the staff gathered for a sumptuous lunch in the school hall. Father Rector expressed his heartfelt gratitude and thanked the students, teachers and parents who went out of their way to make this day a memorable one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

BIS #1555 LEADING TOWARDS A BETTER FUTURE

MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 17, 2009: The NCC cadets of standard VII-IX of St.Joseph’s High School, Wadala, attended the annual Training camp organised by Maharashtra Naval Unit- NCC Mumbai “B” from September 2- 11, 2009 at Military Station in Wadala.Two schools along with St. Joseph’s participated in the camp i.e. NES school from Vasai, and B.K High School from Bordi.

During these ten days of rigours training the NCC cadets gave a meritious performance. Dharmin Shah of Std. VIII was awarded best Cadet Award, and he received the prize for the best essay. Francis Cabrini and Anthony Raju both of Std. IX stood first and second respectively in the cross country race. Keval Dedhia of Std. VIII secured the 3rd place in firing and Yash Naik received the award for the best participant in the cultural programme. St. Joseph’s also won the first place in Lezim,

During the ten days of the camp the cadets were well trained in various fields like marching, firing by .22 guns and first aid. Cadets were taken to visit the INS-VIKRANT at the Naval Dockyard. The camp truly enhanced the overall personality of the young cadets instilling team-work, leadership and further boosting their self-confidence.

BIS #1554 HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 17, 2009: On Saturday September 12, 2009, the U-14 Handball team of St. Josephs High School, Wadala, once again won the Mumbai city Handball finals organized by the District Sports Office defeating Don Bosco (Matunga) 6-4 at Naigoan Police Ground, Dadar. Eight schools participated from the "F North ward".


During the forty five minute game, Don Bosco’s were leading in the first half by 2-0. The game changed its course when the Josephites took over the game from there. The centre forward player Master Akshit Jain scored 2 goals, Master Monil Bheda also the centre forward doubled the lead scoring 2 goals. Josephites cruised to victory through the 2 goals scored by the right inner Master Mihir Chouhan. The goal keeper Master Ishprit Bajwa stunned the crowds with his magnificent saves.

The U-14 Handball team regained its title of "The Bombay city Champions for 2009-2010". The team also secured second place at the divisional Finals held on September 14, 2009 at Naigoan Police ground Dadar .Six zones from Mumbai division participated in this tournament. Master Akshit Jain and Master Ishprit Bajwa were selected for the National Trials.

BIS #1553 JAILTALA HAPPENINGS

BIS correspondent
NAGPUR, SEPTEMBER 17, 2009:
‘Hindi Day’ was celebrated at St. Joseph Vidyalaya, Jaitala on September 14, 2009, with great enthusiasm. The program began with a prayer in Hindi. The manager of school then delivered the welcome address which kick started the day. Through out the day the Hindi language flowed through dramas and patriotic songs. The school houses performed dramas in Hindi on various themes.
Ms. Regani the school teacher along with Fr. James Nigrel emphasised the importance of Hindi in our cultural educational life. IN the end the Vote of Thanks was delivered by Mrs. Preeti. The children shared their views about the day. They realised that India is rooted wit a strong culture and Hindi- our national language provides a medium for varied cultures of the country to come together.
An English elocution competition was also conducted at St. Joseph Vidyalaya recently. Students of fifth standard performed in front of a 348 student audience with no sign of fear or stage fright. Their practice and confidence was appreciated by all.
In the end the judges Mrs. Telang and Regani provided useful tips to all the participants. The principal, Fr. James also emphasized over correct pronunciation, expressions and usage of words. Thanks to Fr. Dominic, the manager who made the competition a success along with all the teaching and non teaching staff.

BIS #1552 THE HOLY CROSS - A SIGN OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH


Ivan Rodrigues sdb
AHMEDNAGAR, SEPTEMBER 17, 2009:
The people of Mathani celebrated their annual feast of the Holy Cross with simple lifestyle and much devotion. The principal celebrant of the feast Fr. Michael Bansode highlighted the importance of the Cross giving them a historical touch. He sighted examples of Sant Tukaram and Narayan Waman Tilak to draw home the message of the Cross as the sign of deeper Christian faith. The catechist R. Jagtap animated the liturgy and prepared the people to be more generous towards the church. After a short felicitation the community shared the common meal.

There are six families in the village; of which some have migrated to the urban areas in search of employment, others work in their own field, and the remaining are engaged in some labour in and around the village.

Christianity as religion came to them when they faced endless struggle in their lives but they still have to understand it as a Way of Life. The Salesians at St. John’s Parish have been trying to make this “way of life” very meaningful to them. The catechist visits the village once a week and twice a month the Eucharist is celebrated for the people.

The village chapel is dedicated to the Holy Cross which was blessed in 2004. The annual feast helps them to realise their responsibility to towards their church. They are made aware of the contribution to build up the community.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BIS #1551 TRIBAL CHILDREN CELEBRATE TEACHERS DAY

MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 16, 2009: On September 5, 2009 Teachers day was celebrated by Bosco Yuva Sanghtana at Bal Sanskar Kendra an educational support programme for tribal children of Jawhar and Mokhada Taluka of Thane District. The purpose of the celebration was for the children to express gratitude towards their teachers for their hard work in the whole academic year.
The day started off with the children welcoming the teachers, the Sarpanch and staff members of Don Bosco with a memento. During the day Bosco Yuva Sanghatana organized essay writing and drawing competitions. The children participated actively in all the competitions. The children were excited as they got to showcase their talents before their teachers. The Sarpanch, Gramsevak, Gramshikshan Samiti members and the villagers distributed the prizes to the winners.
The support and contribution from Don Bosco High School, Borivli towards the tribal children by providing them with note books, pencils and other educational stationeries as prizes for the children. A teacher expressed his gratitude towards organization and the Village Panchayat members for involvement in the programme. The children and teachers were both grateful to the Bosco Yuva Sanghatana for organizing this special teacher’s day programme.

BIS #1550 HUM BHI KISI SE KAM NAHI

MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 16, 2009: On the evening of September 12, 2009 the ground floor hall of the Shelter don Bosco reverberated with loud victory cries as the senior football team brought in the trophy, medals and prizes won by them in the football tournament conducted by the Concern India Foundation for all the NGO boys at Priyadarshini Park, Malabar Hill. Twelve teams took part in this tournament. Ajay Tiv was awarded as the best player of the tournament. He scored 7 goals, the highest score in the entire tournament.

Fr. William Falcao, Director of Shelter Don Bosco congratulated the boys during their assembly. Certificates and gifts were awarded to the winners from Concern India Foundation. All the shelter boys were thrilled and their joy knew no bounds whilst they cheered for the performance of the winning team.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BIS #1549 VELANKANNI AT SATPUR

Smita Salve
SATPUR, SEPTEMBER 15, 2009:
The parishioners of St. Dominic Savio Church, Satpur held nine days of novena prayers in honour of Our Lady of Velankanni with the approval of the parish priest Fr. Nelson Falcao.

The novena was inaugurated with a flag-hoisting ceremony at the grotto of Our Lady. Fr. Wyman, Fr. Ashley and Fr. Nelson jointly hoisted the flag and invoked blessings upon the people and in particular prayed for rains. To the surprise of all, the novena was attended by an average of over hundred people daily. The people were grateful for two reasons: they could attend the novena in honour of Our Lady’s Birthday and they could save money as it costs a minimum of Rupees 50/- to go for the novena at Devlali Camp Church.

The animation of the eleven days, i.e., the flag-hoisting day, the nine days of the novena and the feast day, was allotted to the various zones and areas of the Satpur Church. The people beautifully decorated the statue of Our Lady with sarees and flowers, and also meaningfully animated the daily rosary and the mass. The parish councillors, the Mahila Mandals, the youth groups, the zonal and area leaders cooperated well with all the faithful and celebrated the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Monday, September 14, 2009

BIS #1548 THE ETHICS AND POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Bosco Carvalho sdb and Rudolf D’Souza sdb
NASHIK, SEPTEMBER 14, 2009:
The Salesians of Divyadaan led the confreres and the neighboring communities of Nashik to a wider awareness of the varying climatic conditions: its causes and aftermaths, through a highly informative and educative seminar on “THE ETHICS AND POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE” on September11- 12, 2009. The objective of the Seminar was to understand, reflect and respond to the ever increasing problem of Climate Change. The resource persons from the seminar were Mr. Walter Mendoza and Mr. Dominic D’Souza from the Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change, Vishakhapatnam. There were nearly 100 participants comprising of the Salesian Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, teachers of neighbouring schools and also people from the neighbouring institutions. His Lordship Archbishop Felix Machado, the Bishop of the Nashik diocese was also present for the seminar.
The seminar began with a short prayer service which included the lighting of the lamp by the various dignitaries and a Bhajan to the Holy Spirit. After informing the participants of the methodology of the seminar and the time table for the rest of the seminar, Mr. Dominic D’Souza let Mr. Walter Mendoza enjoy the dais for the first day.
Mr. Walter Mendoza began the first session with a presentation of Former American Vice-President Al Gore’s award winning documentary on climate change named ‘The Inconvenient Truth’. The 90 minute documentary put the whole assembly into the proper perspective to understand the critical state we have reached in damaging our climate. It was a lucid and palatable presentation on the politics of climate change. With scientific proofs in hand, Mr. Walter elaborated that the main source of climate change is the extractive character of development and the historical emissions during the era of industrial revolution i.e. from 1850’s up to 1990. The present model of development has been generating a tremendous amount of green house gases viz. carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, etc. and other fugitive emissions. Transportation, electricity, industrial emissions, land use change, agriculture, animal husbandry and human wastes were found to be the major sources of the increasing amount of carbon and its harmful compounds. The earth can no longer take in this superfluous carbon production and therefore gives way. Adverse effects on food, water, health of humans as well as livestock and marine animals were a result of Climate Change. As a result, natural calamities were observed more often than usual.
Mr. Walter concluded his presentation by making clear the lines of action for human kind - ‘Development is living in the present without compromising the ability of future generations. The earth is for all. We humans are intelligent and capable of doing away with this alarming issue on Climate Change. Saving our mother Earth is our shared responsibility. The climate crisis can be best addressed by combined efforts between the developed and developing nations’.
The second day unfolded another aspect of climate change viz. the ethics behind it. The seminar began with a song to the Holy Spirit and a recap of the topics dealt with the previous day. Mr. Dominic D’Souza then took over and informed the participants that the issue of climate change, from any perspective, is an issue of global justice. His first presentation was ‘The Impact of Climate Change in India and Global Justice’. Through the presentation he focused on the people centered approach to Climate Change which should be the ideal approach to climate change. He stressed on the need to understand the needs of the vulnerable people in every type of ecological system: forest, coastal, mountainous, arid, and urban. The solutions must also come from these people, since this economically vulnerable majority are the most affected by Climate Change; majority, because nearly half of the world, i.e. 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day. In India alone, 60% of the people live on or below the poverty line and 70%of the total population depend on climate sensitive sectors and natural resources for their subsistence and livelihood.
The next presentation included schematic diagrams and statistics showing how technology used in the industrial processes to serve the demands of the lifestyles of the rich and elite, cause depletion of the recourses, increasing poverty and green house gas emissions and thus, accelerating the whole process of global climate change. The statistics also brought to light that India’s energy consumption is also increasing rapidly i.e. a 208% rise between the years 1980 and 2001. India is now the fifth largest among the GHG emitting countries. This in some way explained the increase in the natural disasters and catastrophes causing physical displacement of the most vulnerable and increasing Pandemics like swine flu.
Mr. Dominic then showed a couple of video clips. The first focused on the problem of human displacement because of the construction of the Polavaran Dam in Andhra Pradesh where an estimated 2000,000 people, mostly tribal, could be displaced. The second shed light on a clean energy project in another village of the same state. Mr. Dominic then discussed about the mitigation and adaptation of Climate Change measures and stressed on the role of faith based groups and civil society, in solidarity with the victims of Climate Change. Faith based groups connected to the church could not only undertake micro projects to reduce energy usage in cities but also promote insurance opportunities for the poor. Faith based groups could highlight ethics and justice issues and lead actions based on ethical considerations.
Several questions regarding the ethics and the implication of measures were put forth before the audience and the audience organized themselves into groups to discuss and answer each question. The groups came up with interesting and convincing answers which were appreciated by both the speakers.
After the lunch break, the audience was presented with an Energy Audit Plan which gave practical ways to reduce green house gas emissions locally. In the concluding panel discussion several measures were suggested both by the panel and the audience for individuals and institutions. Some individual measures suggested were creating awareness among young people in schools and oratories, using cotton instead of polyester (which is fossil based product) and faithfully practicing the energy audit directives. Some of the suggested institutional measures were water harvesting, boycotting products of MNCs and buying only local, garbage
segregation, and starting a pro-eco movement in Nashik under the leadership of the church.
The seminar not only projected the urgency of the problem of climate change but also gave the participants an opportunity to personalize the global issue and come up with tangible means to deal with it. The speakers also obliged to provide their expertise in the future for any initiatives that would be undertaken by the participants.

Friday, September 11, 2009

BIS #1547 NAVJEEVAN CHILDREN'S DAY OUT

Joy Nedumparambil sdb
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 11, 2009:
On August 29, 2009 the parish team of Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala organized an interaction program with the inmates of Navjeevan Centre, Grant Road who are the children of the exploited women of the city. The children arrived in the parish at 9am.

The children were excited to see the ground and the big hall as they are confined to the rooms of two municipal schools in Kamathipura. They went around the place, played on the ground and came back to the hall for the program. As they came to the hall they were divided into four groups of four each with a staff or volunteer and were given play things like ice cream sticks, drawings, and colour papers. This posed as a great means to develop their creativity and express their emotions. Children also got opportunity to sing and dance to famous tunes. The volunteers organized a game of musical chair for them which was very well participated though they were tiny tots. The last part of the program was the jam session and at the end of it they were ready to have a sumptuous meal and ice cream. The children had to leave by 2pm as there was fear traffic block due to the emersion of Ganesh idols.

The DCE and some parishioners contributed financially to organize the program. Each child was given a gift. There were many parishioners who came to help the children and be with them. These children miss their fathers and grand parents very much. And to some extent the parishioners with their loving presence had filled the vacuum that the children experienced. It was a great sight to witness the volunteers and children bond well.

BIS #1546 MARIAN CHALLENGE 2009

Joy Nedumparambil sdb
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 11, 2009:
Marian Challenge 2009, the annual event organized by the Cultural Cell of Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala was held on Sunday, August 29, 2009 from 3.30 pm to 6pm in the school hall. Eight teams, each with about 10 students of the Sunday school, participated in it. A few parents and well-wishers came to witness the event.

The Sunday school teachers took charge of animating the teams, ensuring that all participated. The teams were named after various titles of Mary. The programme began with the March Past followed by the game "Marian Replica" in which each team had to dress a participant as Mary using coloured sheets of crepe paper given to them. Fr. Lloyd Rodrigues was the Chief Guest for the evening.

The Marian Challenge 2009 was made up of 16 rounds of quizzes, puzzles, a Rapid Fire Round, Marian Tunes and other creative activities. The children played the games with great enthusiasm and a fine spirit of competition. Half way through the event, the children were served a snack of noodles and a soft drink. The Marian Challenge was open to Sunday School children of Std. IV and above. The children had earlier been given Marian Quiz sheets from which to prepare for the Challenge.

Team Our Lady of Fatima won the first place in the Marian Challenge 2009, Team Our Lady of Assumption stood second and Team Regina Coeli stood third. Every child went away with a gift for their efforts thanks to the generosity of various benefactors including Fr. Edwin D'Souza, Director of the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga. Marian Challenge 2009 was a grand success.

BIS #1545 NAGAR HAPPENINGS

Bento D’Souza sdb
AHMEDNAGAR, SEPTEMBER 11, 2009:
Thou shall not kill – say the Decalogue, So that in society teachers do not murder the creativity of the curious, aspiring, wondering day dreaming students. Teacher’s Day comes to remind us annually that Creativity is the key to holistic growth and development of the young, Teachers day was initiated on September 7, 2009. In a small yet cute cultural program the students of the Don Bosco Community College, Ahmednagar performed a variety of items to express their gratitude for the time, talent and tenacity invested in their education. Fr. Bento gave the keynote address about the nitty gritty in the life of a teacher’s daily routine. He stressed that the fulfillment felt is of the same proportion as Miss Universe Award or an Olympic Gold Medal. Fr. Anton said that the College would respond to the needs of each and every student, cost what may. All in all, Teacher’s day was a special day in the lives of all present.

On September 8, 2009, during a festive evening Eucharist in honour of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after a homily by the Parish priest & a PowerPoint on I’m every woman, the commissioning of the new parish council members was held. The new 24 parish council members took the oath to serve the parish and signed it. Then the 22 children who would be receiving first Holy Communion this year took a promise to prepare themselves faithfully for this mega event in their lives. Lastly, the 30 Basic Christian Community members, the mahila mandal leaders, the finance committee and the religious experience animators took a commitment to perform their duties conscientiously and in a spirit of dedication to the parish. The choir which sang was conducted by Vianney and the Pumpkin house. After the service, snacks were served.

BIS #1544 VELANKANNI MATA FEAST CELEBRATIONS

John Menachery Ph.D
JAITALA, SEPTEMBER 11, 2009:
The feast of ‘Velankanni Mata’, Our Lady of Health, was celebrated with religious fervour by Our Lady of Fatima Church, Jaitala, in Nagpur recently. As a precursor of the feast, the sacred flag of Our Lady of Velankanni was hoisted by the parish priest Rev Fr. Dominic Lisboa sdb, and the parishioners commenced a Novena in honour of Our Lady of Velankanni on August 30, 2009. Thereafter, different groups of parishioners animated the mass and novena for nine consecutive days. The religious festivities climaxed on September 8, 2009, on the day of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary, with a solemn procession in honour of Our Lady of Velankanni in Jaitala village which took place in a devout manner.
Besides the parishioners, many other Christian and non-Christian devotees of Our Lady of Velankanni too had assembled in the church on the day of the feast. The Holy mass was concelebrated by the parish priest Fr. Dominic Lisboa sdb and Fr. James Nigrel sdb. During the holy mass, the church choir rendered melodious hymns especially in honour of the Blessed Mary. The celebrations concluded with the lowering of the sacred flag of Our Lady of Velankanni amidst chanting of prayers and the outcry of “Velankanni Mata ki Jai”. The devotees then shared their joy together over dinner agape which was prepared and served by members of the Mahila Mandal of the parish.

BIS #1543 TRAINING PROGRAMME ON GRAM SABHA

KAPADVANJ, SEPTEMBER 10, 2009: On September 5, 2009, Don Bosco, Kapadvanj organized a training program on the Gram Sabha. From the selected eight villages to be the model in the Kapadvanj Taluka, there were 82 men and women present. The training aimed to empower people and prepare them for the forth coming Gram Sabha.


Beginning with the welcome at 11a.m with a power point presentation on Gram Sabha, social worker Nikunj Parmar explained the participants the basic details of the Gram Sabha. Most of the participants had never attended a Gram Sabha and admitted of not knowing its functions.


The women present for the training program honestly said that they thought women were not allowed to attend any Sabha. During the power point presentation many of them raised questions about a Samiti.

After the presentation a movie on Gram Sabhas was screened. Post lunch Fr. Mayank Parmar spoke about various ways to take village problems to the higher authorities’ during the Sabha and the importance of NREGA in Gram Sabha.

The most interesting part of the training was the mock Gram Sabha. During this session Fr. Isaac posed as the Talati, Fr. Mayank as Sarpanch and the staff members as Gram Panchayat members. The social worker conducted the Sabha. The participants learnt how a Sabha was held and what responsibilities do different Samitis carry.


The participants were cleared of their doubts and were immensely grateful to Don Bosco, Kapadvanj for organizing the training programme. The training ended with the vote of thanks delivered by social worker Nikunj Parmar.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BIS #1542 SHELTER R&D CONDUCTS COUNSELLING WORKSHOP

Daskshayani Madangopal
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 10, 2009:
The R&D department of Shelter Don Bosco, Matunga conducted an animated Workshop for Social Workers as Counsellors on the September 9, 2009, for 18 Mumbai based NGOs working with children, youth, slum communities, commercial sex workers, domestic workers and those working with children in municipal schools. 40 participants from these various backgrounds attended a very effective, animated and interactive workshop.

The workshop was initiated by Fr. Barnabe D’Souza. The sessions were conducted by Prof. Tarana Pitawala of SNDT University and Director of Sinara Education and Career Counselling Insitute and Ms. Rupal Vador co-author of a Manual “Social Workers as Counsellors” by the R&D, published by Tejprasarini.

Prof. Pitawala got the group involved in practical nuances of counselling in their situations in the field. There were several sessions in getting the participants taking roles of the ‘counselled and counsellor,’ counselling skills in listening, rapport building, assessing the problem and goal setting, understanding the situation and responding accordingly.

Ms. Vador went through the Manual ‘Social Workers as Counsellors’ with the participants on how to use the manual in their settings. Each participant was given a copy of the manual. This prompted the participants to request for the other manuals of the R&D centre.

Fr. Barnabe introduced the FINO Savings cum identity card to the participants and gave them an opportunity to discuss it with their Directors to take it further for implementation in their organizations.

The Workshop ended with an announcement of a follow up workshop on October 10, 2009, in Maria Ashiana, Lonavla for the NGOs of Pune district on the same topic and a soon to be released (October) manual on ‘Eliciting People’s participation in Community Development’ a research based manual on Shelter Don Bosco’s experience of working for urban and rural communities.

BIS #1541 'HAT-TRICK' AT SJITI

Chris Valentino sdb
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 9, 2009:
The Students and Staff at St. Joseph Industrial Training Institute at Don Bosco Centre For Learning, Kurla - Mumbai celebrated a hat-trick of sorts on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. The entire morning was devoted to celebrating three major events, namely, the Feast of the Nativity of Our Blessed Mother, the Formal Inauguration of the Academic Year and a belated Teachers Day.

It is very common to hear of ‘triple schezwan fried rice’ but very unusual to hear of a ‘triple celebration fired institute.’ This was precisely the scene at SJITI as the day began with a prayer service, followed by a well-animated and wonderfully choreographed cultural programme. Fr Richard D’Silva, Dean of SJITI in his welcome address introduced the events of the day, thanked and appreciated the Staff for their commitment and dedicated service and stressed the importance of Our Blessed Mother in the functioning of the Institute.

Mr. Xavier Fernandes, Principal of SJITI then invited the staff and students to a journey of responsible collaboration and pursuit of excellence. He said “let us work together, contribute to our own growth and the growth of the Institute, by walking together, supporting each other and carrying out our responsibilities in the best possible manner.”

The Instructors were honoured with words of appreciation and floral tokens, while the newly-elected Student Representatives accepted the Flag- Colours and chalked out their vision for the year ahead. Garlands and floral tributes were paid at the statue of Mother Mary. The Students and their Representatives then pledged to work together in peace and harmony. The celebrations came to a sumptuous close with mouth-watering snacks and the declaration of a half-day.

Hat-trick to hard-tricks of the trade seems to be the motto of SJITI during this academic year. Lagey Raho…!

BIS #1540 NATIVITY CELEBRATIONS AT VIRAR

Louella Braganza
VIRAR, SEPTEMBER 10, 2009:
The feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary celebrated on September 8, 2009, began with the nine days of novena from August 30. Fr. Blany instructed the Catechism teachers of each class to animate one day of the Novena along with the classes allotted to them. Wonderful, creative and thought provoking messages were brought out each day of the novena through the animation. Through these messages various aspects were brought out in order to enable the parishioners to learn from Mary's way of life.
The homilies of Fr. Edwin and Fr. Blany emphasized the many areas in the priestly vocation, this being the Year of the Priest. The enormous responsibility on the priest to take his congregation to heaven was brought out very vividly. The role of the mother in the life of Don Bosco and his ways were wonderfully pointed out. The anecdotes of 'The Little Cloud' and ' The Proud Fox' hit the message home.
There was interaction between the priest and the children which gave a special touch to every Eucharist. The use of the media by Fr. Edwin during the homily was very effective. The Eucharist on the final day ended with floral tributes, diya lit entrance procession and snacks for the children.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BIS #1539 INDIAN MISSION CONGRESS ANTHEM AND WEBSITE LAUNCHED

Rochelle Rodricks
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 9, 2009:
Cardinal Oswald Gracias, President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), said that the “Mission Congress is a celebration of the history of 2000 years of the Church in India” as well as “a call to renew our journey of faith.”

His Grace, Bishop Bosco Penha released the theme song of the Indian Mission Congress during the feast Mass at the Basilica of Mount Mary, Bandra on Tuesday, September 8, 2009.

The theme song ‘Let your light shine’ will be sung during the Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav that will be held at the St. Pius X College, Goregaon from October 14 to 18, 2009.

Later, Bishop Bosco inaugurated the website http://http://www.indianmissioncongress.com/. The website publishes news, pictures and loads of information related to the Indian Mission Congress.

Pope John Paul II conceived the mission congress as an opportunity to review our commitment to the mission at all levels. The general purpose is to deepen one’s faith, to acknowledge one’s right and duty towards the mission work and to create awareness of mission needs, providing opportunity to give public witness of Christian faith to experience the common bond of faith and Catholicity of the Church and to proclaim Christ to the world. The Indian Mission Congress brings together the three Episcopal bodies – Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara. The expected fruits of the Indian Mission Congress would bring a greater awareness on the part of every Catholic’s responsibility towards evangelization thereby providing an impetus to mission work in India and a fresh stimulus to our mission efforts.

Fr. Joaquim Fernandes sdb has been appointed as the Media Convener for the Indian Mission Congress.

For any queries regarding the Indian Mission Congress, please contact Fr. Vijay Shantiraj, Executive Secretary, Proclamation Commission, CCBI. email: imc2009@yahoo.com mobile nos.09449833223; and for any media related support and publicity information, please contact Fr. Joaquim Fernandes sdb, email: joaquimferns1@rediffmail.com or 022-65723226.