Thursday, October 29, 2009

BIS #1602 CELEBRATING SILVER AND GOLD


MATUNGA, OCTOBER 29, 2009: It was an evening adorned in silver and gold as seven Salesians from the Mumbai Province celebrated their jubilees on 28th October: Fr. Mathew Thalanany, Golden Jubilee of Ordination; Fr. Colbert da Silva, Fr. Edwin D’Souza and Fr. Ronald Menezes, Silver Jubilee of Ordination; and Fr. Bernard Fernandes, Fr. Derrick Misquitta and Fr. Roger Jones, Silver Jubilee of Religious Profession.

The evening began with a solemn Eucharistic celebration at 6.00 p.m. in the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna at Matunga, presided over by Fr. Mathew Thalanany. Salesians from different parts of the province, the family and relatives of the jubilarians, and a large number of friends and well wishers joined the jubilarians in thanking God for the many blessings they had received during their golden or silver years. A visibly emotional Fr. Thalanany recalled at the start of the Eucharist how he had personally experienced God’s guidance and support during his long years of priestly ministry. He also reminisced, with much nostalgia, the pastoral services he had rendered, both, in the Shrine at Matunga and in the neighbouring slum areas. Fr. Ronald Menezes, delivering the homily, quoted the words of St. Peter to Jesus at the time of the transfiguration: ‘It is good to be here’. He said that this phrase well echoed the feelings of all the jubilarians—it certainly felt very good to be priests and religious.


After the Eucharist, a felicitation dinner was held in the school hall. Fr. Edison Fernandes, the compere for the evening, had everyone in splits with his quick wit and humour. A highlight of the dinner was the toast raised by Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial. Speaking at length about each of the jubilarians, he focused on their personal qualities, the ministry they had been involved in and their contribution to the province. The toast was followed by the cutting of the cake and the presentation of the mementos to the jubilarians. Finally, Fr. Bernard Fernandes, speaking on behalf of the jubilarians, proposed the vote of thanks.

Monday, October 26, 2009

BIS #1601 DBPPA - KUWAIT ALL SET TO WELCOME RECTOR MAJOR


Tony Fernandes

KUWAIT, OCTOBER 26, 2009: Rev. Fr. Pascual Chavez, the Superior General of the international Don Bosco Society will make a brief stopover visit on 2nd November 2, 2009, to Indian English Academy School, the first school in Kuwait managed by the Society.

The Past Pupils of Don Bosco Association – Kuwait which has a wide membership of former students from Don Bosco schools and colleges all over the world have planned to give him a rousing welcome and a fitting reception in IEAS premises.

As Rector Major, Fr. Pascual Chavez has triggered within the Salesian Congregation, a renewed commitment to the "Preventive System" of education, with the slogan "returning to Don Bosco". Fr. Chavez continues his ministry of proactive leadership and indefatigable zeal, personally reaching out to the young across the boundaries of countries, cultures and creeds, with his message of hope by offering a vision of true love, untainted happiness and pure peace through holistic education in Don Bosco centers of learning.

The Don Bosco Past Pupils Association (DBPPA – Kuwait) has been actively associated with IEAS and organizes programmes in the field of sports, music and culture which promote healthy youth development especially of needy students and coordinates the various training and coaching programmes in the IEAS premises.

BIS #1600 SHG MOVEMENT LAUNCHED AT NERUL


Monty Rodrigues sdb

Navi Mumbai, October 26, 2009: Don Bosco launched the Self Help Group movement at Nerul in Navi Mumbai with a training programme on October 23-24, 2009. The training was conducted by Ms. Surekha Pednekar and Mr. Melvin Pangya from the Don Bosco Development Office, Matunga. The first day of the programme was dedicated to helping the participants gain an in-depth understanding of the present socio-economic and political situation, and the impact it has on weaker and marginalized sections of society. On the second day, issues pertaining explicitly to Self Help Groups were taken up. This included sessions on the objectives of the SHG movement, methodology for forming of groups and strategies for the successful running of the groups.

A total of 23 participants attended the training programme. The sessions were extremely lively and the talks were interspersed with games, songs and other practical exercises. At the close of the programme the participants resolved that they would immediately go about forming SHGs in Karave village. A training workshop will be held for these newly formed groups on November 25, 2009 at Don Bosco, Nerul.

BIS #1599 SALESIAN ELECTED PRESIDENT OF SIGNIS PACIFIC REGION


CHIANG MAI, OCTOBER 26, 2009: The Signis World Congress held its Assembly of Delegates meeting on 22nd and 23rd, October, 2009. Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb has been elected President of SIGNIS Pacific.


Fr. Ambrose arrived in the Solomon Islands in 1999, as Director of Catholic Communications Solomons. He has been involved in the production of programmes for SIBC, the National network and articles for the Solomon Star. He is responsible for raising the standard of Voice Katolika, the quarterly newspaper for the Catholic Church of Solomon Islands.

Over the years he has organized and conducted several Media Education programmes in different dioceses in the Solomon Islands and Papa New Guinea. He believes that “these courses have given students and people the ability to become critical viewers and consumers of the media. It has also encouraged them to network in media for a value-based society.”

The members of Signis Pacific are scattered in 20 countries, some of them being, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Guam, etc. The distances separating these islands make communication a challenge. SIGNIS Pacific strives to network to bring the culturally diverse populations together through the use of media.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

BIS #1598 EDUCATIONAL TOUR TO GOA



Lynette Sequeira

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 24, 2009: The First Term exams drew to a close on October 9, 2009 and that very evening, a group of 75 students from Class X, accompanied by 10 members of the staff from Don Bosco High School, Borivli made their way to the land of the sun and sand, Goa, on an Educational Tour. Coming immediately after their exams, this trip proved to be a real stress-buster for the boys. Considering that the months ahead will be packed with a lot of studying, this trip gave the boys an opportunity to relax and divert their minds a little, so that they could come back recharged to face the year ahead.
The journey by train was thoroughly enjoyable and the students had a fantastic time right through the trip. The tour gave the boys a chance to visit some historical world heritage sites. Playing football on the beach helped them release a lot of the pent up energy. The cruise along the Mandovi River presented an opportunity for the boys to view some traditional Goan and Portuguese dances and also allowed them to shake a leg while on board.


This tour also enabled the teachers to get to know the boys a little more and the interaction between the students also added to the fun quotient of the trip. The songs, the mimicry, the games of antakshari and dumb charades played on the platform at Thivim station while waiting patiently for the arrival of the train, were all moments which helped the students and the teachers bond with one another. The fact that the train was delayed both during the arrival and departure, didn't manage to put a damper on the enthusiasm of the boys.

The staff and students are grateful to the Principal, Fr. George Carlos for accompanying them on the tour and the Tour Operators, Ashish Holidays, for looking after everything that needed to be taken care of right through the trip.

Friday, October 23, 2009

BIS #1597 LEARNING TO BE LECTORS



Lavina Menezes

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 23, 2009: The schools in Virar closed only by Wednesday, October 14, 2009. The school children had only 15 days of Diwali holidays. Fr. Edwin Colaco took the initiative of organizing winter club for the children. The youth of the parish came forward to train the children to read the Word of God.

This year, the club is laying stress on acquiring the skill of learning to read the word of God during the Eucharist. All the children have been divided into 3 groups. 4 teachers have been assigned to each group to follow up with the students.

The first hour is spent on learning to read the word of God with clarity. The latter part of the morning is spent on learning the keyboard, guitar, dance and computers. Each child is allowed to choose any one of the above and develop themselves. The priests are insisting that every student must learn with the sole purpose of serving the church and thereby enriching the church. A week has passed since the club began and positive results can already be seen.

BIS #1596 ANNUAL RETREAT OF SALESIAN COOPERATORS


Claudina Pinto

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 23, 2009: The annual retreat of the Salesian cooperators of Don Bosco Mumbai was held at Vinalaya, Andheri on October 19-20, 2009.

Fr. Isaac Arackaparambil sdb, Director of Amrut Dhara, Gujarat animated the retreat. The retreat began with a welcome address by Fr. Elias Dias, Salesian family delegate of Mumbai province. He welcomed all the cooperators and Fr. Isaac. He especially thanked Fr. Isaac for his availability in spite of the sad demise of his dad last week.


The theme of the retreat was ‘The Discipleship of Our Lady’. The catholic laity faces a lot of flack from other Christian denominations for the importance they give to Our Lady in their prayers and devotion. With a view of affirming their affection for our Blessed Mother and to put to rest their apprehension created by the assaults posed by anti Marian protagonists, Fr. Isaac chose this topic. He based his talks on the book “Quiet Places with Mary” by Rev. Isaias Powers. The purpose was to help the cooperator to develop their relationship with Mary as a model and a partner in their prayer life. The themes portrayed Mary involved in similar situations that cause contemporary Christians pain and stress. Mary’s imaged responses help today’s adult to discover peaceful solutions to heal those in pain and provide practical approaches and ease their stress. Applying the insights of Fr. Powers, Fr. Isaac engaged the retreat- ants in linking their experiences with those of the mother of God in simple, yet practical ways by providing Gospel words and settings to our daily problems, frustrations and hopes. It is consoling to realize quietly that Mary faced the same round of questions. It is strengthening when our questions turn into quiet moments of prayer in the presence of Jesus.


The retreat concluded with the Vote of thanks proposed by Claudina Pinto, Provincial Coordinator. She thanked the preacher for his excellent and practical insights that he shared with the group. She also thanked Fr. Elias for organizing the retreat. It was a very rich experience for the cooperators to know so much more about our Blessed Mother.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BIS #1595 SPEECH BY CARDINAL OSWALD GRACIAS ON THE LAST DAY OF PRABHU YESU MAHOTSAV



MUMBAI, OCTOBER 22, 2009: Your Excellency Archbishop Lopes Quintana, Your Eminence Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, my brother Archbishops and Bishops, dear Reverend Fathers and Sisters, my dear Seminarians, my dear brothers and sisters in Jesus.


In my welcome address on the opening day, I had welcomed you to the "intense city" and I promised you would have days of intense activity. I am sure you now understand what I meant. We have spent four days of real:

-Intense praying: celebrating the Eucharist in different rites: for many it may have been the first experience of participating in a Mass of a different rite: we had the morning and evening prayers together - it was a truly spiritual experience.

-We spent four days of intense listening to inputs:
-From a scholarly Bishop Thomas Dabre with a very comprehensive Keynote address
-From an insightful Fr. Sebastian Kizhakeyil MST who asked us repeatedly "what would Jesus do?"
-From the thought provoking Fr. Jose Mariadas OIC
-From the action oriented Bishop Singaroyan
-We spent four days of intense sharing: What does Jesus mean to me? What can I do for Jesus?
-Four days of intense discussion: What can our region do?, What can my diocese do for evangelization?
-Four days of intense inspiration: as we watched the really illuminating and moving accounts in the cultural programmes of the growth of the Church in different parts of our country.
-Four days of intense interaction - in the break at our tea and lunch, dinner about what is happening in our parishes and our dioceses.

Did we not feel inspired as we heard the story of Constance Livens liberating the tribes in Ranchi.

-Not felt thrilled at the account of how Church personnel and institutions faced difficulties and always overcame them.
-Not felt pained and shocked at the intense inhuman atrocities the Christians had to face in Kandamahal.
-Not felt encouraged by the stories of Fr. Thomas in Kerala and Tamilnadu – and those who walked in his footsteps: St. Francis Xavier, Fr. Joseph Vaz and Mother Teresa.
-Not felt strengthened by all the sharings of how Jesus was with them in all their difficulties and how with Jesus everything is possible.
-And did we not feel a fire burning within us to go out and to do likewise: to give everything for Jesus.

And so we go back now strengthened, transformed, edified with a deeper commitment - with an urge to go out and make a difference for Jesus.

We have not attended just another seminar, training course or Conference. For all of us – for me – it was a deeply spiritual experience – it was almost like a retreat – spending four days in the presence of the Lord – and hearing the story of Jesus’ presence in the Church in India.

How we wish that we could carry the light of Jesus more to the far corners of our country. He is the light of the world. He is the answer to all our problems. How we wish that we could give the good news to all – that God loves all men and women; that He sent His son Jesus to save the world; that the Gospel of Jesus preaches only love and service.

And as I say this, I think it is my duty to clarify: The Church is not here in a numbers game. Political parties seek numbers for power. The Church is not a political party - She does not seek power and prestige. She does not seek an increase in numbers just for greater influence. She seeks only to serve, she seeks only to bring light, the light that enlightens the world and all men and women. We seek to become more and more like Jesus Christ, living according to His teachings, so that our lives become the message and that we become messengers – bearing good news.

We are aware that there is a fear of "conversions." We have not addressed it directly in Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav. But I wish to speak about it. There are some state governments who want to pass anti-conversion laws. They say that the purpose of it is to stop forced conversions. Our answer to them is that there is no need of your anti-conversion laws. The Catholic Church does not believe in forced conversions. The Vatican Council documents clearly speak against them. A force conversion is meaningless, because conversion is a transformation of heart – a turning to God, for us Christians, a turning to Jesus Christ. And it would interest all to know that the Church has a long period of catechumenate to test the sincerity of any one desiring Baptism.

And so to all my fellow Indian brothers, sisters of other religions I would say – do not feel threatened: we seek only to serve, we seek only to do what Jesus told us, to live our lives according to His Beatitudes and to go out and love all and to serve all and make the world a better place. And we tell you that we serve because we were told to do so by Jesus who was sent by God to bring love, peace and harmony into the world.

As we totally reject forced conversions, we also insist that someone who sincerely wants to follow Jesus Christ as His disciple, has the right to do so. This is a human right, a right enshrined in our Constitution, a human right recognized by countries across the globe. No civil authority has the right to enter into the sanctuary of ones conscience, much less to decide what ones conscience should say. No government can enter my soul and lock my conscience saying: you can no longer change your religion!!

Orissa, Kandhamahal has been a bad dream. The victims have forgiven those who inflicted harm on them. Christ teaches us to forgive. But to Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, representing all the Bishops of Orissa and the people of Orissa, we say we are with you. The Church of India is with you. We are truly inspired by the stories of heroic martyrdom in your Church. To the government of Orissa and elsewhere we say: do not forget your constitutional duty to protect all minorities – Christians, Muslims and where Hindus are a minority as well. That is your duty and that is why you have been elected.

And so we go back home, we go back more encouraged and enthused. On Mission Sunday, during the festival of Diwali, we light our lamps from the person of Jesus. We go back to our diocese, our religious congregation, to our seminaries to light also the lamps of the lives of others. Last evening from one big lamp – the light of Jesus little candles were lit all over the Shamiana: what a beautiful sight it was. In a short while we will all make a commitment, Bishops, Priests, Religious, Laity – that we will fulfill our baptismal commitment – to let our light shine and to carry the light to others. May the Indian Mission Congress, Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav, be truly a moment of abundant grace for each one of us - for our diocese, our religious congregation, our seminaries and our country. May Mary the Star of Evangelization always be our protecting mother and guide.

BIS #1594 SERVING GOD IN MY NEIGHBOUR


Natasha Almeida

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 22, 2009: Don Bosco ground, Matunga beamed with zest and vigour as around 250 children mainly Altar Servers from the Salesian Parishes of Mumbai and Dakor gathered for the Salesian Altar Servers’ Rally on October 20, 2009 at Don Bosco School grounds, Matunga. The theme ‘Serving God in my Neighbour’ ran throughout the day and even the scorching heat did not deter the high energy levels of the children.

The rally began with the inaugural ceremony at 9.00a.m with all the parishes taking part in the solemn March Past with their respective mascots. The Chief Guest for the same was Fr. Edwin D’souza, rector of the Shrine and the honour of the salutation was taken by Fr. Edwin. The symbolic lighting of the lamp was done by Fr. Edwin D’souza, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial; Fr. Boniface D’souza, Fr. Brian Moras and Fr. Henry D’souza. Fr. Edwin in his welcome address told the children that they were the actual chief guests at the rally. “The one who serves, serves generously and freely, make this the slogan of your life”, he added. Resurrection Parish, Virar bagged the first place for the march past.

Br. Savio D’mello, the jolly compere of the day started off the right way by saying, “For Don Bosco, Holiness was expressed in Cheerfulness.” He went on to say that serving cheerfully was the hallmark of a Salesian Altar Server. With this the children charged at the day head on.

With this followed the taking of the oath led by Anandini from Resurrection Parish, Virar whilst the Wadala group led the catchy Anthem specially prepared for the day with actions. Formation of groups and ice breakers paved the way for a fun filled and enthusiastic day.


The children were exposed to a session by Fr. Christopher and Fr. Richard. The main focus of the session was Change. It kicked off with a power point presentation based on the song ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson, which gave the children food for thought. The session led them to take up an Action Project which they will execute parish wise. Most of the action projects suggested were based on outreach like visiting orphanages, old age homes etc.

The main celebrant of the Eucharist at 11.45 a. m was Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial. In his homily he mentioned that the cross which is an important symbol in Christianity has two dimensions. The vertical dimension symbolizes our love for God while the horizontal direction brings out the aspect of love for our neighbour and fellow beings. “As altar servers we need to be Christ to others”, he added. The highlight of the Eucharist was the commitment pledge that was taken by the representatives of the parishes which evolved during the session earlier in the day.


After a sumptuous meal the children were geared up for Rink Football and Box Cricket. The spirit of sportsmanship was visibly seen among these young altar servers as Resurrection Parish, Virar won Box Cricket and Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala won Rink Football.

The day for the altar servers had not ended yet. The Quiz based on three categories namely: Bible, Marian and Don Bosco got the children to put on their thinking caps. The children confidently answered the questions thrown to them by the quizmaster. Our Lady of Jyoti, Virar emerged victorious for the quiz.

The rally ended on a joyous and energetic note as Fr. Brian Moras proposed the Vote of Thanks. Our Lady of Resurrection parish, Virar walked away with the trophy as overall winners of the day while Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala followed close in as second position winners. However, the real winners of the day were the Salesians, the volunteers and the animators without whose efforts the day would not have been made possible.

The rally came to a close with sounds of whistles, claps and visible innocent hands resounding with high fives…

BIS #1593 FUNDAY ON A SUNDAY FOR CAUSE-MISSION FÊTE 2009

Arlene Mathiah


MUMBAI, OCTOBER 22, 2009: Come October and Parishioners of St.John Bosco Parish, Borivli await the Annual Mission Fête. With lots of pre- preparation meetings held, a core committee formed that consists of a member from the PPC, the youth group, etc that pool in their thoughts, ideas and opinions to make the feth fun filled and enjoyable for the parishioners.

Mission fête has been a time, when the prior Sunday announcement reads apart from the regular announcements a day to be spent at the church premises, having fun, playing games and a break for the housewives from the usual Sunday cooking and enjoying the afternoon lunch with the near and dear fellow parishioners by patronizing the stalls that serve a variety of items on the chart.

The Mission of the parish fête was organized on the October 18, 2009 at the church quadrangle. The fête like always started after the first Sunday morning mass at 8.00am with tea, breakfast, a lot of games and activities. A day of exchanging pleasantries, meeting people from other zones, and realizing that the little contribution that is made at the feth is all for a cause. It’s the little generosity that helps go a long way and support the works in the Mission areas.

This day helps get parishioners get-together to help serve the best to their other fellow folks. Like zones of the parishes contribute in the Hospitality and cooking a variety of mouth watering food items. Apart from the communities, the Youth group of the parish contributed to the gaming zone helping each one to have fun and enjoy.

From children to youth and adults to the elderly, Mission fête saw a mixed variety of crowd gather, cheer, and enjoy sharing a feeling of belonginess to the parish and make the most of this day.

St. John Bosco parish looks into the feedback received and works to add on something to make the fête a little different from the yester years. Thus the special events of the fête 2009 included a band performance by the youngsters of the parish who played some good refreshing and foot tapping songs adding some more taste to the fête.

Mission Sunday was a well organized and time spent in a beautiful way. Thanks to the core committee of the feth that spent their valuable time coming up with the best. The feth was a parish family affair and thus each and every zone played their roles to the mark and made sure the others had a great time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BIS #1592 WE NEED TO BE GENUINE TO SERVE THE MARGINALISED: CARDINAL GRACIAS


MUMBAI, OCTOBER 20, 2009: Archbishop of Mumbai, Cardinal Oswald Gracias reminded the people that only genuine love would lead us to a dialogue with religions, cultures and the poor.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav at the St. Pius College, Goregaon where he celebrated the Eucharist on Sunday, Cardinal Gracias said the Mahotsav, whose theme was ‘Let Your Light Shine’, was not just another seminar, training course or conference.

“It was a deeply spiritual experience for all of us. It was almost like a retreat, spending four days in the presence of the Lord and hearing the story of Jesus’ presence in the Church in India,” he told the 1500 delegates that included the Pope’s representative to India Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, Archbishop of Ranchi Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, more than 100 bishops, hundreds of priests and nuns, and lay leaders from the 160 dioceses of India.

“And so, we go back, now strengthened, transformed, edified with a deeper commitment – with an urge to go out and make a difference for Jesus,” he added. “How we wish that we could carry the light of Jesus more to the far corners of our country. How we wish that we could give the good news to all – that God loves all men and women; that He sent His son Jesus to save the world; that the Gospel of Jesus preaches only love and service.”

Cardinal Gracias said it was his duty to clarify that the Church is not here in a numbers game.

“Political parties seek numbers for power. The Church is not a political party. She does not seek power and prestige. She does not seek an increase in numbers just for greater influence. She seeks only to serve, she seeks only to bring light, the light that enlightens the world and all men and women. We seek to become more and more like Jesus Christ, living according to His teachings, so that our lives become the message and that we become messengers – bearing good news,” he explained.

“We are aware that there is a fear of ‘conversions’. We have not addressed it directly at Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav. But there are some state governments who want to pass anti-conversion laws. They say that the purpose of it is to stop forced conversions. Our answer to them is that there is no need of your anti-conversion laws. The Catholic Church does not believe in forced conversions. The Vatican Council documents clearly speak against them. A forced conversion is meaningless, because conversion is a transformation of heart – a turning to God, for us Christians, a turning to Jesus Christ. And it would interest all to know that the Church has a long period of catechumenate to test the sincerity of any one desiring Baptism,” he emphasised.

Cardinal Gracias said the Church totally rejects forced conversions and it also insists that someone who sincerely wants to follow Jesus Christ as His disciple has the right to do so.

“This is a human right, a right enshrined in our Constitution, a human right recognized by countries across the globe. No civil authority has the right to enter into the sanctuary of one’s conscience, much less to decide what ones conscience should say. No government can enter my soul and lock my conscience saying, ‘you can no longer change your religion’,” he suggested.

Cardinal Gracias said Kandhamal in Orissa has been a bad dream. “The victims have forgiven those who inflicted harm on them. Christ teaches us to forgive. But to Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, representing all the Bishops of Orissa and the people of Orissa, we say we are with you. The Church of India is with you. We are truly inspired by the stories of heroic martyrdom in your Church. To the government of Orissa and elsewhere we say: do not forget your constitutional duty to protect all minorities – Christians, Muslims and where Hindus are a minority as well. That is your duty and that is why you have been elected.”

“And so, to all my fellow Indian brothers and sisters of other religions I would say – do not feel threatened. We seek only to serve, we seek only to do what Jesus told us, to live our lives according to His Beatitudes and to go out and love and serve all and make the world a better place. And we tell you that we serve because we were told to do so by Jesus who was sent by God to bring love, peace and harmony into the world,” he said.

In conclusion, Cardinal Gracias said the mission of the Church and its people was to go back to their diocese, religious congregations and seminaries to light the lamps of the lives of others.

The last day of the Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav also saw the release of The Kristapurana of Thomas Stephens, S.J, a critical edition of the original, with translation into modern Marathi, by Fr. Dr. Nelson Falocao, sdb, by Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias. The Kristapurana was written by Jesuit missionary Thomas Stephens, one f the first Englishmen to have set foot in India. He mastered the local languages ok Konkani and Marathi and immersed himself in the Hindu Vaishnavite tradition to come out with his 11,000 verse Purana, which has been acknowledged as a genuine masterpiece of Marathi poetry. Dr. Falcao translates Stephens Sanskritized ancient Marathi into contemporary Marathi. This is the very first critical edition of the Kristapurana and also the very first translation.

The Marathi translation has just been published and the English translation should be out within a few months. This is a book that will be appreciated and treasured not only by scholars but by a wide section of the general public.

Monday, October 19, 2009

BIS #1591 AND WE ALL STOOD UP


William Falcao sdb
MUMBAI, OCTOBER 19, 2009: On October 16, 2009 at Don Bosco Shelter, Wadala at 1pm sharp all the staff, the boys and even guests gathered in the hall down stairs ,stood and took an oath to do their little mite to put an end to the global phenomenon of poverty. The programme consisted of a talk in the beginning by Fr. Roger, a PowerPoint presentation by Gayatri, the coordinator, which made us aware of the various aspects and causes of poverty in India and how in our own little way we can help eradicate it. Then all stood up and led by Kundan, a staff member took an oath to stand and join the campaign against poverty.

BIS #1589 THE MISSION IMPERATIVE: BISHOP ALENCHERRY

Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav

14th to 18th October, 2009
St. Pius College, Goregaon, Mumbai

THE MISSION IMPERATIVE: BISHOP ALENCHERRY

The mission imperative ‘You are the light of the World’ is made explicit again in the words of Jesus, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven”. This was emphasized by Bishop George Alencherry at the Eucharist celebrated by Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil in the Syro-Malabar rite during the Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav at the St. Pius College, Goregaon in Mumbai on Friday.

“The evangelist Mathew gives three images to explain the missionary role of those who follow Jesus. They are, to be the salt, light and a city built on a hill. As salt they have to sanctify, purify and preserve the world in its relationship to God. As light they have to illuminate the world. Like a city built on a hill the Church as a whole must be seen as a community that lives out visibly the relationships proclaimed in the beatitudes,” explained Bishop Alencherry, while speaking on the theme of the day – You Are The Light of the World.

In the New Testament, Jesus has made his followers the light of the world. It is in him, in the strength of his word and love, that we have to enlighten the world, through direct and indirect preaching, through catechesis and education services, through art, architecture, literature, through the media, through health and pro-life services, through development works, through ministries to the poor, the marginalized, and the prisoners, the bishop stressed.

He said, light makes us see things as they are. When the light of God is in us, when the light of God manifested in Jesus is in us, we see everything in the light of God, according to the values of the Gospel and give witness to them. This is our mission, our work of evangelization. The disciples of Christ as individuals or as the Church do not impose anything on others, needless to say that they do not force others to get them converted to Christian faith.
The true Christian, he said, preaches and professes what he believes namely the truth of the Gospel that has already converted him to God’s love. It is the same truth of the Gospel, to which the Christian bears witness by word and love that penetrates the hearts of people and causes the change or conversion of their vision of life. This is God’s work, not of man, and no one can hold it back. The Spirit blows where it wills, Bishop Alencherry said to the gathering of 1500 delegates from all over India, on the third day of the Indian Mission Congress.

“The more we are seized by Christ and anointed by His Spirit, the more we will be impelled to give witness to his word and love, to be committed to his mission, to be bearers of his light to others. The less we are so, the less will be our commitment to his mission. From this lack of depth in faith in Christ and love of his church comes also the lack of zeal for the mission of Christ, nay even doubts about it and questions against its relevance,” he said.

In conclusion, Bishop Alencherry said, “The true disciple of Christ radiates his light by his witness of prayer too. He is a man of God who attracts men to God. Let us pray that the traditional prayer of our great country tamasoma jyothir gamaya may get its fulfilling complementarily in the light of Christ.”

BIS #1589 BOSCO RAAS GARBA 2009


Kailash Parekh

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 16, 2009: The Don Bosco Past Pupil Association - Matunga Unit (DBPPA -MU) organized a grand and splendid ‘Bosco Raas Garba 2009’ on Sunday, September 27, 2009.

The event was in celebration of the Navratri festival ending with Dusshera. Sunday being the penultimate day of this festival, there was a huge turnout of revelers (nearly 4000) to make the event a magnificent one. The participants were dressed in traditional finery and the theme was to enjoy in a smoke free, alcohol free and drug free atmosphere.

This was the second year in succession that the DBPPA-MU committee organized an event like this. Destitute children from ‘Anmol’ at Auxilum School, Wadala were invited to participate in this joyous occasion. Members from all communities viz. Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and others joined this celebration with equal vigor and enthusiasm bringing forward the cause of unity for peace, love and harmony in the world.



The ready participation from all the communities gave quite a fascinating and colorful dimension to the event. Different communities had different variations of Garba and the heady mix of jubilation and enthusiasm was all-pervasive. “We are happy that our motto ‘Know, love, help one another and keep united - St. John Bosco’ was rightly lived”, said Dilip Bhatt the President of the Association. The crowd was in fervor of the event and played Garba amidst surprise celebrity guests and noted personalities. Prizes were distributed for the best in various categories including the best traditionally dressed emphasizing the point that enjoyment need not be associated with western outfits.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

BIS #1588 MARIAN BCCs

Bosco Monsarate
NASHIK, OCTOBER 15, 2009:
The Marian devotion at Don Bosco Parish, Nashik was interspersed with BCCs and recitation of the Rosary and other prayers in honour of Our Lady. The Marian Month began on August 15 and ended on September 20, 2009.

The Parish Priest, Fr. Nelson Falcao, had a bright idea of starting the Marian Month together and ending it together. Four statues which were supposed to move through the families of the various zones and areas of the Parish were blessed and handed over to the zonal and area leaders on the Sunday following August 15. Each zone had prepared a list of the visits of the statues of Our Lady to the families zone-wise and area-wise. Family members began gathering zone-wise and area-wise in the houses whose turn it was to have the Marian Devotion. In general the attendance was very good. The Marian Month organized in this way created opportunities not only for Marian Devotion and prayers but also for the BCCs which implied area-wise and zone-wise meeting of family members, interaction, reflection and discussion on areas of interest.

Thanks to Frs. Ivo and Diego who helped out. The conclusion of the Marian Month took place on September 20 with the recitation of the Holy Rosary at the grotto of Our Lady, procession to the Church with the statues of Our Lady and the Holy Eucharist. What is interesting is that even after the Marian Month was concluded, the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary carried on both in the Church and in the families. On September 28 a Konkani Mass was celebrated for all the faithful followed by Dinner for all. This Konkani Mass and the Dinner together brought all the people together and reminded them of the words of Don Bosco: “Have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and you will see what miracles are”.

BIS #1587 JOSEPH'S U14 BASKETBALL TEAM CITY CHAMPIONS YET AGAIN

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 15, 2009: St. Joseph's, Wadala retained their place in the Mumbai City Basketball tournament organised by the District Sports Office when they overwhelmed Shishuvan, Matunga 28-18 in the finals at Naigoan Police Ground, Dadar. The U-14 Basketball team of St. Joseph's High School, Wadala won the Mumbai City Championship. Twenty teams across Mumbai participated in this championship. The stars of St. Joseph's were Master Ajay Savla who scored 10 points, Master Vardhman Shah and Master Monil Bheda.

Coaches Noor Mohammed and Somnath were instrumental in their team's good show. The coaches gave full credit to the team for their win, saying the players were highly motivated throughout the tournament and came out with flying colours.

BIS #1586 JOURNEYING WITH MARY TO BUILD ONE FAMILY

Bosco Carvalho sdb
NASHIK, OCTOBER 15, 2009:
The Marian month is special occasion for the Salesians to focus on the motherly intervention of Mary in our lives and the community of Divyadaan celebrated its Marian month from September 8 to October 7, 2009.

The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary initiated the community of Divyadaan into the Marian month. The theme chosen was “Journeying with Mary to Build One Family.” The confreres focused on journeying along the path already trodden by Mary in order to build genuine brotherly relationships with each other and an intimacy with Jesus Christ.
During the inaugural Eucharist, Fr. Savio D’Souza the Rector highlighted Mary’s relationship with Jesus and invited the confreres to build up a relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, work and cordial dealings with each other. The Marian month was a blend of different prayer moments and activities. The confreres vied with each other in expressing their love for Mary by participating in competitions, pilgrimages, delivering sermonettes, preparing creative notice boards and so on. The community also celebrated with Mary the joy of meeting her son at the Eucharist, adorations, animated prayer services and multi-lingual rosary services. The Marian Evening on September 24, was a sublime expression of thanking God for the gift of Mary as a Mother and Model to the community. The confreres as one family, prayed to Mary, deepened their understanding of Mary in the scriptures through puzzles, creative games, the Marian Quiz and supped together as a sign of fellowship. The words of the Marian anthem “We Journey with Mary to Build One Family” were a constant reminder of Mary’s presence in the day to day living.
The success of the Marian Month was a combined effort of the staff and the activity group leaders. Hard work, unyielding planning and sharing of responsibilities led to the fruition of the various activities. The confreres joined their hands together in creating a prayerful ambience so that Mary’s presence could be felt in their lives. The community reached its goal of building brotherly bonds with each other, thanks to our Blessed Mother.
The Marian Month concluded on The Feast of the Holy Rosary. Each confrere made a resolution as a consequence and culmination of the Marian Month. The close of this activity and prayer filled month led to the beginning of an intimate relationship with Mary, Jesus and one another.

BIS #1585 LONAVLA BOYS VISIT ST. JOHN’S BHINGAR

Ivan Rodrigues sdb
LONAVLA, OCTOBER 15, 2009:
17 young boys from Lonavla along with Fr. Thomas D’ Costa and Bro. Kiran Salve visited St. John’s Church, Bhingar on the morning of October 11, 2009. The boys were put up at Ahmednagar for a three – day “Mission Exposure” programme conducted by Don Bosco Lonavla to enhance vocations to the Salesian congregation.

Fr. Michael Bansode the local coordinator for vocations shared his ‘vocation story’ and enlightened the boys about the various stages that he underwent to reach his goal and the different works that he does in the parish.

The boys had an opportunity to visit Agadgoan and Tokewadi where Fr. Thomas briefed them about the mission works that had been carried out by the earlier missionaries and how the Salesians have taken keen interest in the formation of their faith. The boys were able to see the watershed works that is undertaken in that area. Before returning the boys enjoyed themselves at the Salabad Khan tomb which is popularly known as Chand Bibi Mahal and the Tank museum.

BIS #1584 BIRTHDAY AND DIWALI WISHES

Sarita Rego
MUMBAI, OCTOBER 15, 2009:
The Secondary, Primary and Pre-Primary Section at Don Bosco, Borivli celebrated the birthday of Fr. Ronald Menezes fondly called Fr. Ronnie. Fr. Ronnie was welcomed in the School Hall amidst great cheer by the students, staff, past pupils and parents. Owing to the closure of school for Diwali holidays post First term Exams, Fr. Ronnies birthday which falls on October 15(also Dhanteras-Diwali) was celebrated on October 9, 2009.
The Hall was decorated with Rangolis, flowers and traditional diyas bringing to us the message of diwali. Students were also made aware of the need to celebrate environment friendly Diwali and to use noise free methods to express their joy. A powerful presentation on the different days of Diwali, their significance and to have an accident free Diwali by using less crackers was highlighted.
The school captain, Mst Roystan D’costa in a well worded address, highlighted how Fr. Ronnie was special to each and every student, staff and parents here at Don Bosco. His inspiring morning talks, his efforts to take time out to talk to each and every student of Std. X ,helping them to deal with academic and developmental stress and reaching out to staff and parents with warmth and kindness ,welcoming them every morning at the school gates has made him all the more SPECIAL.
The staff then wished him a very happy birthday in the Refectory and presented him with saplings and a handmade card with lovely hearts and messages reminding him that this birthday will be the beginning of new dreams and hopes…and lots of good health all year round.

BIS #1583 HISTORIC CONGRESS - PRABHU YESU MAHOTSAV IN MUMBAI FROM OCT. 14

Church aims to create awareness of Mission needs and spread the Good News
Fr. Joaquim Fernandes sdb


MUMBAI, OCTOBER 15, 2009: PRABHU YESU MAHOTSAV will be held from October 14 to 18, 2009 at St. Pius Seminary, Goregaon. This historic meeting, the first Mission Congress of its kind is expected to have 1,500 participants from all over the country, including 120 Bishops.

The Congress will be inaugurated on October 14 evening by the Papal Representative, Most Rev. Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to India.

The idea of having such Congresses was first suggested by the late Pope John Paul II who asked every continent to have such a meeting. Thus in October 2006, an Asian Mission Congress was held in Chang Mai, Thailand. 50 delegates attended the Congress from India. On that occasion the delegates from India decided to have an Indian Mission Congress as a follow up.

Preparations for this meeting have been going on for over a year, with a Local Organizing Committee under the Chairmanship of Bishop Agnelo Gracias. The National Organizing Committee, with Fr. Vijay Shantiraj as its Secretary, has been giving the overall policy and direction for the Congress.

The purpose of the Congress is to joyfully share our faith in Jesus Christ, to express the joy of believing in Him, to exchange our experiences, and to inspire others to continue to work in the spirit of the Gospel. It is hoped that as a result of this Congress, the participants and the whole Church in India will have a deeper awareness of what it means to be a Christian, a greater consciousness of our calling, and a more sincere commitment to live as Christians.

“Some 18 million Catholics and tens of thousands of priests as well as men and women religious live across the country,” the cardinal said. “The congress is meant to encourage them to enlighten the population with the radiance of the values and teachings of the Gospel, one that spreads through service, the development of greater personal awareness, and nation-building,” he added.

“One of the most significant fields in which Indian Christians are present is education,” cardinal Gracias said. The Indian Church is in fact the greatest provider of education after the Indian government. Catholic schools, universities and institutes provide “an all-round education to students, not only Catholic, so that they can make an effective contribute to society and the country.”

The Key-message of the Gospel of Jesus is Love and Service; love of neighbour as of oneself and this love is to be shown in service. Inspired by this teaching of Jesus, we were privileged to have a MOTHER TERESA, and have tens of thousands of religious sisters and thousands of priests working all over the country.

Besides taking care of the spiritual needs of our own people, a big area of operation of the Church is in the field of education. The Catholic Church, through its priests, brothers and sisters, runs a huge network of schools all over the country. After the Government of India, the Catholic Church is the largest provider of education in the country. The purpose of our educational insitutions is to give an all-round formation to the students, so that students coming out would make an effective contribution to society and to the country.

Another big area of work is in the field of Health. The Church has a large network of Health Care Institutions all over the country. Many of these are situated in the unserved rural areas. We also have 5 Medical Colleges which produce doctors to serve our people in the field of health. There are also many Nurses Training Institutes.

During the Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav - the Indian Mission Congress - there will be an exchange of experiences in these fields and in many other areas of work. The Theme of the Congress is “LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE”. The light of God which is in us should shine brightly by our lives of love and service. The Congress will be inaugurated on October 14th evening by the Papal Representative, Most Rev. Pedro Lopez Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to India.

Besides the talks and the exchange of experiences, each Region of our country will present cultural items, displaying their experiences of the faith. While the participation in the Congress will be restricted to delegates, the closing Ceremony on Sunday, October 18, 2009 will be open to all. There will be a Solemn con-celebrated Eucharist with over 100 Bishops participating.

For more information kindly log on to http://www.indianmissioncongress.com/

Thursday, October 8, 2009

BIS #1582 KARJAT - MISSION TRIP

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 8, 2009: An attempt to reach out to the less privileged by the Salesian Co-operators of Wadala took off with the Eucharistic celebration at 6.00 a.m. at the Parish Church on Saturday, September 26, 2009 after which Fr. Xavier’s vehicle was loaded with bags and baggage’s (mostly things to be sent to Shelter, Karjat and to the sister’s convent at Khundus, Karjat).

The vehicles headed straight for Karjat, the first halt being at the Saturday bazaar and Roseline’s- a Co-operators farm house. Next stop was the FMA sister’s convent (Shanti Niwas), some kilometers away from the farm house. A warm welcome from the sisters was much appreciated by the Co-operators.

The sisters were handed over some edible stuff, clothes and cash which were taken for them. After prayers at the chapel the Co-operators reluctantly bid goodbye to the sisters. Late in the evening, back at the farmhouse a good prayer session, with Praise and Worship and the Rosary was held.

The next day saw the Co-operators visit Shelter Don Bosco, Karjat where they were greeted by Fr. Xavier, Fr. Damien, Francis and the boys. After exchanging greetings and introductions, Fr. Xavier celebrated the Eucharist.

After lunch, the boys at Shelter were handed over all the bags and baggage’s which were taken for them. They were all very happy and grateful. The boys then spoke about themselves, the background from which they came and how Shelter Don Bosco is benefiting them. And yes, all of these boys are very positive about their future, they want to improve their conditions and move on ahead in life.

Fr. Xavier then showed the Co-operators the eco-friendly manner in which he and the boys at Shelter manage themselves, mainly the solar cooking gadgets, techniques of preparing charcoal from waste, water harvesting, bio-gas. As such nothing here is wasted, almost everything here is re-used. The boys live in groups of 4-5 boys and each group is like a family. And every family have to manage all their routine tasks like cooking their breakfast, lunch and dinner, washing, etc. all before they begin their training at the workshop.

Fr. Xavier also made known to them plans of a new building which should be ready by December, this year. This building will house a few study rooms for the boys on the ground floor and also two dormitories’, one for gents and the other for ladies which will be self-contained. The Workshop at Shelter, where the boys get trained for various skills like welding, fabrication, electrician’s trade, etc were also shown to the Co-operators.

This attempt to reach out has surely made a difference to the Salesian Co-operators of Wadala. If you feel the inner voice in you telling you to extend your support and time, please feel invited to answer the call to fulfill the mission of Don Bosco and come and see for yourselves, every 3rd Saturday of the month at 6.30 p.m. in the SVP room at Our Lady of Dolours Church, Wadala.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

BIS #1581 IMMITATE THE LITTLE FLOWER IN YOUR HOMES

Ivan Rodrigues sdb
AHMEDNAGAR, OCTOBER 7, 2009:
“St. Therese of the Child Jesus or the Little Flower as she was affectionately called always did the Will of God in her life. Better known for her simplicity and utter humility, she is a model to be imitated in all our homes.” This was the message Fr. Vishwas Pereira sdb, the principal celebrant shared with the people of Tokewadi on the feast of the St. Therese, the patroness of the mission and of the village. He also drew other examples from the saint’s life and asked the faithful to bring up their children in a spiritual environment.

The liturgy was well animated and lively. As the Eucharist commenced there was heavy rain, but that did not dampen the spirit of the villagers. Rain on the feast day considered auspicious and blessings from God even as the region experienced deficient rains this year.

Tokewadi is situated on the outskirts of the Agadgoan village - a hilly terrain, about 25 km away from Ahmednagar, is looked after by St. John’s Church parish community. Some families moved out of Agadgon and made their habitation near their fields. The Salesians helped few families to build their homes. The people were given religious instructions and prepared well for the reception of the sacraments. The chapel was built in 1998 under the direction of Frs. Lloyd Rodrigues and Manuel Murzello, and inaugurated by Fr. Stephen Rodrigues the then vice – provincial of the Mumbai province.

The 13 catholic families are economically backward and rely very much on the good monsoon for their crops. Realizing the importance of education the parents send their children to school; and some have even completed their higher secondary education. Two boys had expressed their desire to join priesthood but the poor family situation has forced them to give priorities to work in the fields. Till today there is no electricity in their locality. There are huge windmills around the village that produces electricity but not for the villagers. The people hope that the situation will improve and they will see better days ahead.

During the last visitation, the Provincial Fr. Michael Fernandes blessed the people with his visit encouraging them to grow in their faith. The parish community is grateful to Cl. Ashwin Macwan from Don Bosco Youth Centre, Pune, has given a helping hand in catechizing the children during the last two years. Of late Dn. Briston Britto followed up the group. The Salesian priests celebrate the Eucharist in the village every fortnight while the catechist visits them every week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BIS #1580 R & D WORKSHOP

Cheryl Karzai
MUMBAI, OCTOBER 6, 2009:
The Shelter Don Bosco R&D team once again organized an animated workshop on October 5, 2009 on; “Outreach Strategies for working with Marginalized Populations”. 16 NGOs of Mumbai with 34 participants took part in this interactive workshop.
The workshop was conducted in Marathi to suit the comfort of the grass root workers coming from various backgrounds of working with marginalized populations of the streets, abused persons, pavement dwellers, construction workers and other types of marginalized communities, children and women.
Fr. Barnabe D’Souza opened the workshop with a prayer and welcomed the participants. He introduced Dr. Sunita Shanbahg the main resource person of the evening, who was not just a medical doctor, but one who has had 30 yrs of experience in the field with communities and working on extensively on a mother and child programme for the Government of Maharashtra.
Dr. Shanbagh got the participants to share their practical situations/experiences in the field and drew out the principle strategies and skills required in doing outreach and reaching out to these populations. Skills and principles such as Observations, Body language, Rapport, Understanding of the situation/s, being non-politically affiliated, being convinced of the organizations’ values, and meeting the right stake holders and persons in the community were some of the important tenets that Dr. Shanbagh pointed out.
These workshops have been a good platform to spread the Salesian system of education in social work; this has been well done through the Manuals published by the R&D ( Matunga). Volume 4 in the series of ‘Handbook for Children in Difficult Situations’ on ‘Outreach Strategies’ was well explained by co-author Ms. Rupal Vador. Ms. Vador gleamed through the Manual and showed how it could be used as an easy tool, with researched exercises and field examples to guide them in their own outreach work. Dr. Shanbahg reiterated that this manual should be the‘Bible’ of every outreach worker. The participants asked for it to be translated in Marathi as it seemed to be a very useful tool for all outreach social workers from across all marginalized groups.
One of the benefits of these workshops has been that the R&D has been able to put forward the Salesian method of working with the marginalized children to many more NGOs, who have been appreciative and coming to absorb more nuances of the Preventive system.
The workshop has been another opportunity to promote the ‘FINO’ photo identity savings identity card. The UDAAN 2009 Mela invitation was once again put forward to the participants. The latest Manual on, ‘Eliciting People Participation in Community Development’ was portrayed to the participants.

Monday, October 5, 2009

BIS #1579 COUNSELING WORKSHOP

Elieen Buthello
LONAVLA, OCTOBER 5, 2009:
Maria Ashiana conducted a Workshop on “Social Workers as Counselors” on October 3, 2009 for NGOs based in Lonavla and Pune.

The workshop was initiated by Fr. Barnabe D’Souza. The Manual “Social Workers as Counselors” was efficiently explained by Fr. Barnabe. He also took the opportunity to explain the work of the Salesians with vulnerable children in India, at Shelter Don Bosco and in Lonavla. The sessions were conducted by Prof. Tarana Pitawala of SNDT University and Director of Sinara Education and Career Counseling Institute.

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

Fr. Barnabe invited the participants and their organizations to the Udaan 2009 mela in Mumbai. He 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 another workshop on ‘Outreach Strategies’ on October 5, 2009 at Matunga, R&D, Mumbai and on October 29, 2009 in Maria Ashiana, Lonavla for the NGOs of Pune district.

BIS #1578 GUARDIAN ANGEL'S DAY IN DIVYADAAN

Mylin Noronha sdb
NASHIK, OCTOBER 5, 2009:
The community of Divyadaan made sure its guardian angel - Br. Leon Cruz Ratinam, really had a splendid Guardian Angel’s Day on October 2, 2009.

He was welcomed home from the first session of the Provincial Chapter with a decorated room, notice board and loads of prayers and greetings from his beloved community. However, the real celebration began with the Holy Eucharist in the evening, which was presided over by Fr. Valerian Pereira. In his homily, Fr. Valerian shed light on the origins of how Don Bosco came to conceive the idea of an animating presence among the boys which would go on to be a characteristic of his preventive system. He compared the Salesian assistant to the ‘eye’ of the community, under whose watchful observance one is rest assured of the well being and good functioning of the community. His homily concluded with the prayer that every Salesian may find joy in being present among those entrusted to his care and thus, be strengthened in his vocation.

Apart from an extremely well animated and meaningful celebration of the Eucharist, the brothers also ensured that the entertainment was not left out. After supper, a family circle was organized in the honour of the assistant. The family circle began with the Vice Rector Fr. Robert Pen, recalling past memories of Br. Leon when he was just a simple yet, helpful young Parishner of Don Bosco Parish, Nashik. On behalf of the community, Fr. Robert thanked him for not only sharing his expertise, especially in the field of computer technology, but more importantly for being a silent, yet efficient worker in the community. The brothers expressed their gratitude and love for Br. Leon in song, enactment and words. In the address, Br. Leon’s qualities of being a good teacher, assistant, formator and Salesian were compared to the guardian angels’ qualities of enlightening, guarding, ruling and guiding. The family circle ended with the ‘good night’ by Br. Leon who with a help of a simple allegory, exhorted all to overcome unnecessary fears and trust in the Lord, who will help us surmount all obstacles.

Indeed, the community of Divyadaan has been blest with a guardian angel in the form of Br. Leon. His good example and hard work will enable many of the brothers to follow in his footsteps and be true guardian angels to those entrusted to their care.

BIS #1577 MARATHI TRANSLATION OF KRISTAPURANA RELEASED

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 5, 2009: Amidst all the action at the First Session of the Provincial Chapter at the Provincial House in Mumbai on October 1, 2009, Fr. Nelson Falcao’s Marathi translation of the Biblical epic: Khristapurana was officially released.
The Khristapurana was originally written by Thomas Stephens, a Jesuit missionary who set foot in Goa in 1579. He mastered the local languages and (Konkani and Marathi) and immersed himself in the Hindu Vaishnavite tradition to come out with his 11,000 verse purana, which has been acknowledged as a genuine masterpiece of Marathi poetry.
The Khristapurana is one of the great examples of inculturation as Stephens has expressed the Christian story in Vaishnavite terms. Fr. Nelson translates Stephen’s Sanskritized ancient Marathi into contemporary Marathi. This is the very first critical edition of the Khristapurana, and also the first ever translation.
The Khristapurana is one of the gems of Marathi literature. This is a book that will be appreciated and treasured not only by scholars but by a wide section of the general public.

BIS #1576 AMAZING ACHIEVERS

Rohini Patrao
MUMBAI, OCTOBER 5, 2009:
At the Interschool Maths Concept exam conducted by Brihan Mumbai Ganit Adhyapak Mandal- Ganit Sambodh held on July 26, 2009 three students from St. Josephs High School, Wadala 90% and above.

The names of the students are as follows:
1. Modi Vatsal 92% VIII
2. Bheda Monil 90% VIII
3. Shah Dharmin 90%VIII
4. Meher Saurabh 90%. V

Modi Vatsal along with Meher Saurabh received a special award for scoring the highest in the school. Out of 49 students 4 scored 90% and above while 17 scored between 60% and 90%. These students have surely kept the school flag flying high.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

BIS #1575 FIRST SESSION OF PROVINCIAL CHAPTER IN MUMBAI

Bernard Britto sdb
MUMBAI, OCTOBER 3, 2009:
The FIRST SESSION OF PROVINCIAL CHAPTER 2010 was held on October 1, 2009 at the Provincial House Don Bosco, Matunga. Fr. Michael Fernandes the Provincial of the Mumbai Province officially inaugurated the Chapter during the 7a.m. Eucharist. It was symbolic and apt that on the Feast of St. Teresa of Child Jesus, patroness of Missionaries he invited all the members to renew their missionary zeal to return to Don Bosco, living a life that is simple yet attracting, and challenging youngsters to follow Jesus the Don Bosco Way.

There were around 62 members participating in the chapter. Fr. Provincial addressed the members and invited them to serious discernment and whole hearted participation. He made the participants aware of the seriousness of the meet; that they are representatives of the province who need to voice concerns collectively and translate into action all the deliberations discussed. Fr. Ashley Miranda- the moderator and Fr. Ajoy Fernandes – Vice Provincial and assistant moderator of the chapter began the chapter with the Senatio & Attendance, reading out the rules and regulations for the Chapter, and outlining the main tasks to be accomplished by the Chapter.

Midway through the chapter two books authored by Frs. (Drs.) Barnabe D’Souza and Nelson Falcao were released. Fr. Barnabe’s book - Eliciting People Participation in Community Development - a manual on lessons from experience provides tried and tested techniques to lead readers towards community participation and decision-making. Fr. Nelson’s Marathi translation of the biblical epic: Khristapurana was the next to be released. The Khristapurana is path-breaking as it presents the story of Christ adopting a Vaishnavite literary style in classical Marathi literature. After the release of the books, a brief evaluation of the Implementation of the Province Lines of Action of PC – 2007 was conducted.

After a quick lunch, the chapter members were assigned to commissions they had opted for, namely: Formation, Youth ministry, Salesian Family, Social communication, Salesian Missions, and Economic Policy. Each of the commissions then drew up their plans for implementing the task of the Chapter – drawing up a Province Structural Plan.

Amidst all the action Fr. Savio Silveira from the development office made the participants aware of the international ‘Stand Up Take Action’ campaign slated for October 16 to 18, directed towards eradicating poverty and accomplishing the millennium goals. Fr provincial brought the proceedings to a close by reminding the members of future province events and inviting them to the second session of the Chapter to be held in Lonavla from February 22- 27, 2010.

Friday, October 2, 2009

BIS #1574 GROUP BUILDING EVENT

AHMEDNAGAR, OCTOBER 2, 2009: A group of 15 Seminarians for St. Pius X seminary, Goregaon descended on St Anne’s Premises for their annual three day Group Building Exercise. They were accompanied by faculty Biblical Lecturer Fr. Andrew. Three hailed from Vasai diocese and the rest from Mumbai. All Fired up, they arrived by train on September 29. After breakfast, they filed into the conference hall to get a welcome. To begin, name tags with symbols of life were designed in pairs of two. Fr. Bento briefed them on new frontiers of ministry, Grass root Community Radio its contribution and impact. The session helped them to know more about Community Radio. Three key questions asked were: how is this concept going to impact the way people live in a fast moving world? Do you think people are still interested in a medium like radio? How can media lead people to building a united and love-bonded community and vice versa?

Next a projected prediction exercise was given into the group which was divided into four parts according to personal preferences of talent: eg impact of music, economics and finance, development of infrastructure taken e.g. School, and futuristic use of media, How the world would be five years down the line when these young men become priests was creatively visualized and found a positive exercise by all. In the feedback the group found the session smartly conducted. .

After this the group went to BGVK where a briefing and screening of film on the success story of Dongargaon was conducted by Bro Alex and Fr. Rosario. They found this session enlightening together with the visit to the Hatchery and Goattery. The Eucharist held at a village called Aranggaon opened the group’s eye to the happiness of the people when in prayer. The enthusiasm expressed in offering hospitality to them was contagious.

The second day was spent in a visit to Mullah Dam, a day spent on an excursion and food on the banks. In the evening a visit to the FMA and SDB set ups in Savedi followed. The day ended with a visit to the monument of Chand Bibi.

The third day began with a visit to Sacred Heart Convent and then a tour of famous Tank Museum, a must for all visitors to spend time in. Noon was spent indoors and the rest of the evening was spent satiated by the euphoria of their stay in Mission Nagar.

This is an annual feature when all the students across the seminary mingle together and hold an event that bonds all together into one focused commune. This is also an exposure to the activities of religious in the area and immersion in local culture for future evangelizers. Bro. Ronnie, the leader rated the experience as procuring 9/10 marks in ranking of the group’s perception of wholistic success of the event. All in all, the students enjoyed their stay and built up lasting friendship with the 22 hostel boys of the Campus. The Don Bosco Community College venue looks forward to two other groups who will follow making this a much sort after mission, an ideal experience of those around in the region who want to see a mission station with a spectrum & variety of works and activities.

BIS #1573 CREATING A NICHE

Rohini Patrao
MUMBAI, OCTOBER 2, 2009:
Some players turn the gameAdd Image instinct; they have what it is to be better than anyone on the pitch. After the remarkable performance of the U-17 football team of St. Joseph's that played in the Subroto Cup, two of its key players Master Zenon Aglem of STD IX-B and his team mate Master Joel Lobo of STD IX-A of the U-17 football team were selected to participate in the selection-cum-coaching Trials, for the selection of the Mumbai District under-17 football team at St. Xavier’s Ground, Parel, Mumbai.

Master Zenon was selected as the goal keeper and Master Joel would play the mid fielder the pillar of the team. As the boys believe in the adage "Train to your limit, Right up to the line, give everything, turn the game", the team will be participating in the Under-17 inter-District Football Championship of Maharashtra for the late Olympian Neville D'souza Trophy, which will be held at Akola, in the last week of October 2009.

These two jewels of St. Joseph's High School Wadala would also be going for trials of Mahindra and Air India teams in the U-15 Category.

BIS #1572 TEJ-PRASARINI ORGANIZES MASTER YOUR MIND WORKSHOP

Rochelle Rodricks
MUMBAI, OCTOBER 2, 2009:
A follow-up session of the Master your Mind Workshop was held on September 27, 2009 at Don Bosco, Matunga and Don Bosco, Borivli. This follow-up session was the continuation of the eight day workshop organized by Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications for students at Don Bosco, Borivli and for students and adults at Don Bosco, Matunga from August 8 to 17, 2009.

Among the Salesian priests, Fr. Lloyd Rodrigues participated in this workshop. During the 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. The follow-up session gives the participants an opportunity to clarify any doubts or queries they have regarding the use of the above techniques.

This workshop was conducted by Mr. D. P. Mahesha, Director of Masterminds International, Bangalore. Mr. 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.