Thursday, December 31, 2009

BIS #1703 TILAK KAVIVARYA AWARD FOR KRISTAPURANA


Sushma Shrivastwa
NASHIK, DECEMBER 31, 2009:
On December 25, 2009 the Kristapurana and its translation cum critical edition received the famous Tilak Kavivarya Puraskar which is annually given to one person. And this year it was given to Fr. Nelson Falcao sdb for his rigorous and painstaking research on the Kristapurana. The Award giving ceremony was combined with Prayer for World Peace on the Birthday of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. In the presence of people and dignitaries from all religions, in the Jesuit Church of Holy Cross, Nashik, the Prayer for Peace and the Tilak Award Ceremony took place.

Among the dignitaries were present Pujya Shree Narayan Guruji, an industrialist cum spiritual Guru from Baroda, Dr. Mrs. Vedashree Thigale, Shree Govind Shreenivas, Mr. J.P. Jadhav, Secretary of Bharatiya Ekatmata, Shree Beniwal, Fr. Tony George, S.J., the Parish Priest of Holy Cross Church, Nashik, Fr. Ivo Coelho sdb, Fr. Conrad Mascarenhas, S.J., Conrad Mascarenhas, S.J., Fr. John Misquitta, S.J. and others. Pujya Shree Narayan Guruji shared his experience and Darshan of Christ. He praised the work done by Fr. Nelson Falcao and explained how the Kristapurana is connected with Hindu Tradition. Dr. Mrs. Vedashree Thigale presented a very positive review of the work of Fr. Nelson and affirmed that it is a great contribution to the Marathi, Indian and world Literature.

This whole ceremony was called not just a Puraskar Ceremony but a Krutajnata Sohala which means Feast of Solemnity of Gratefulness. That is how Vanadhipati Vinayakdada Patil wanted to call it. It is gratefulness to the Kristapurana and to Fr. Nelson Falcao who has made it available to the common people.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

BIS #1698 DBCL – KURLA GIVES, SUPPORTS, LIVES LIFE

Chris Valentino sdb
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 29, 2009: Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Kurla, celebrated the Annual Campus Staff Christmas Party with a difference. The enthusiasm and joy of the Campus Staff was very palpable as they gathered together to celebrate the theme “Live Life, Give Life and Support Life.” A prayer service cum presentation with specific focus on Human and Child Rights prepared by Fr. Christopher was followed by a very appreciatively relevant Christmas Message ‘Staying Connected’ by Fr. Bosco Pereira, Campus Minister of yore. The message “stay connected because we care, love and share our joys and sorrows with all” found many eager takers.

The highlight of this celebration was the unexpected initiative of the staff of the Don Bosco Maritime Academy who launched a collection drive to make a difference to some of the victims of the 26/11 terrorist attack. They identified 4 victims from among the numerous casualties of that day who were still in dire need of assistance, presenting these with a monetary contribution which would help them tide over their ill fate, to some measure. This was a very noble and touching expression of caring, sharing and giving! Some games and snacks followed and everyone departed home with the hope that the Christmas Season and the New Year would usher in Peace, Safety and Security to all in the world.

The 4 victims of 26/11 who were helped are:

1. Mr. Jagan Bokade: sustained several bullet injuries and was seriously wounded which has damaged the lower half of his body. Was in Bombay Hospital till October 2009, and having undergone several surgeries till date is currently awaiting funds for further surgeries. Being the main family bread earner he is now bed-ridden with a plaster. He has a wife and a six year old son.

2. Mr. Bharat Shyam Navadia: A young door to door salesman of sarees lost his wife Poonam to bullet injuries. Bharat too got a bullet on the right hand and has undergone several operations, still awaiting further treatment. He has 2 kids – 2 and 3 years old. Being incapacitated, Bharat is struggling to take care of his children and is presently unemployed.

3. Mr. Lalji Pande: This 54 years old citizen has to care for his aged father, mother, wife and 2 children. He sustained bullet injuries in his right hand rendering it disabled. Initially received help from the Government and was operated upon. He lost his livelihood due to injury and is now struggling with a 52% disability. He now moves from pillar to post trying to receive the announced relief and rehabilitation package.

4. Mr. Ashok Sannap: 52 year old Ashok was at Nariman house when he was hit by bullets resulting in permanent damage and weakness to his liver. He was treated at JJ Hospital and the bullet was removed. Presently he is unable to take up any job and is finding it difficult to meet his monthly medical expenses amounting to Rs. 2000 per month. He is the sole earning member of his family with a wife and 3 daughters. He is yet to receive the assured compensation form the Home Ministry, Govt. of India.

BIS #1702 SENIORS - DANCING WITH SANTA CLAUS


Ruzwelt Bardeskar

VIRAR, DECEMBER 29, 2009: The senior citizens of Resurrection parish, Virar had a rollicking Christmas this year. The parish gathered all the seniors on Sunday, December 27, 2009 with the aim of providing them with an entertaining evening.


The programme began with the Eucharist at 5.00 pm. After the Eucharist, the seniors assembled in the hall for an entertainment programme. The programme began with words of welcome by the parish priest. It was followed by the march past in which all the seniors took part. A housie and a few spot prizes were organized. Later, the children sang Christmas carols and the elders too joined in. The dance was the best part of the day. Nearly all the seniors took to the floor dancing to their hearts content. The programme ended with a sumptuous meal.
There was a glow and a sense of satisfaction on the faces of the elders as they left the hall, thanking the priests for providing a wonderful evening during the Christmas week.

BIS #1701 ONE MAN, ONE DREAM...DISTANT LANDS


Rohini Patrao
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 29, 2009: The annual sports festival of the Pri-primary, Primary and the secondary section of St. Josephs High School, Wadala was held in December 2009 at the school grounds. The Theme - ONE MAN - ONE DREAM - DISTANT LANDS was selected as the Salesians completed 150 years of their presence around the world.

The programme started with the inaugural ceremony, March past and the unfurling of the School Sports Flag. All the classes put forth creative and colourful displays based on the Salesian logo and their work in the different parts of the world in the form of floats. The students displayed their spirit of sportsmanship by participating in different athletic events and games. The highlight of the sports festival was a Football match between the students and the staff .The student team emerged victorious in the tie breaker.

The Closing Ceremony was a combination of grace, rhythm, tempo and energy that was displayed in the form of Mass-drill, Yoga, Gymnastics and Lezim.

The Prizes for the various events and the Championship Awards were presented to the outstanding sportsmen of St. Joseph's. Master Reuben Kalpund and Master Naresh Bohara were the Midgets Champion and Sub- Juniors Champion respectively. Master Tej Bohara was the U/12 Junior champion; Master Rishab Dongerkery was the U/14 intermediate champion while Master Ramdas Allbin was a run away winner in the A/16 Senior Championship. To quote "Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.”

Also to add Ajay Pardeshi of STD VIII was selected to represent the Mumbai City in the National selection demonstrating his artistic and sublime skills in gymnastics on the 19th and 20th December 19- 20, 2009 at Pune Balewadi. The school is indeed proud of this Gymnastic Gem.

BIS #1700 CHRISTMAS BLAST AT ST. JOSEPH'S


Rohini Patrao

MUMBAI, DECEMBER 29, 2009: On Christmas Eve, the most awaited time of the year, the students of Std. X got an opportunity to make this Christmas a memorable one for the underprivileged children. The collection of toys and storybooks from our 'little Santa’s' of the primary section - who gave without expectation - was distributed to the underprivileged children. This festive feeling of joy, hope and sharing was well portrayed by the young and creative Josephites at the Christmas Panorama which was held at St. Joseph's Auditorium. “Joy in the air” being the theme for this festive season, the programme began with a Christmas play and a tableau depicting the true meaning of Christmas in our lives which was followed with various creative competitions. The celebrations culminated with a melodious sing -song session of Christmas carols by the staff and a festive lunch thereafter.

BIS #1699 LET THE LIGHT OF CHRISTMAS SHINE



Sarita Rego
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 29, 2009: On December 23, 2009, Don Bosco High School, Borivli celebrated Christmas with great gusto and recreated the magic of Christmas once again and brought alive the spirit of Christmas once again.

The Celebrations began by lighting the lamp by Fr. Ronald Menezes, Rector; Fr. George Carlos, Principal; Sir Jadhav, Senior Teacher and Mst. Roystan D’costa the School Captain. Carols rocked the air and had students of class 5 -10 swaying to the beats of music and the Electronic band. Various skits and plays brought alive the message that Christmas is more than just Happy celebrations. It is also about Sharing and Caring for those who need our love in this busy and dreary world. It is important to remember the values that Christmas brings us and see Jesus in each one of us.


Santa Claus brought cheer and gifts as he danced to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock. May this Christmas light every heart and May the Light of the Christ Child break through the darkness of our lives, and help us be a ray of His Light to illumine the world, spreading Christmas peace, joy and love.

BIS #1697 SALESIAN EDUCATOR WINS LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

George Plathottam sdb
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 28, 2009:
Fr. Johny Parankimalil sdb, former Principal of the St. Anthony’s Higher Secondary School, Shillong, and Ex-President of All India National Association of Catholic Schools, has bagged the prestigious Life Time Best Teacher Award for his outstanding contribution to education. The Award consisting of a trophy and ten lakh rupees was conferred on him by Union Education Minister Kapil Sibal, at Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi, on December 23, 2009.

The Award instituted by Varkey Gems Foundation, a Dubai-based education group, aims at promoting quality in educational service. Fr. John, member of the Salesians of Don Bosco, has rendered distinguished and dedicated service to education in Northeast India, spanning more than two decades. He has also authored several popular books and has been involved in teacher training. He has recently completed his doctoral studies in education. .Fr. John has been appointed head of the Don Bosco Teacher Education College in Tura, Meghalaya.

The awardees were nominated through internet polling by students and then selected by a jury consisting of eminent educationists. The event was orgnised in partnership with CNN-IBN, the Delhi-based national television news channel. Sr. Mercy Thomas msmhc, Director of the Ferrando Special School, Shillong, was awarded in the category of outstanding contribution to special education.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

BIS #1696 CHOIR FESTIVAL 2009

MUMBAI, DECEMBER 26, 2009: The Sunday School children of the parishes of the North Bombay Deanery came together for the “Choir Festival”, held at Don Bosco, Matunga, on Sunday, December 20, 2009, from 08.30 pm to 12.30 pm.

The day with the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Wilfred D’Souza, sdb, wherein he pointed out the real meaning of Christmas - “Christmas is giving more than receiving”.

The festival had a good turn out of 250 children along with their Catechists. Each parish came with their own ideas and expressed the Christmas message through Carols, Skits, Dance & Musicals. It was clear from watching the children perform with their costumes and other accompanying stage material that much thought, preparation and practice had gone into what the audience enjoyed watching on the stage.

During the break the children filled up their tummies with delicious snacks. Hats off to all the teachers who took the initiative in preparing the children for this event and for heralding the birth of our Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ.

BIS #1695 ON YOUR MARKS..SET..GO



Sarita Rego
BORIVLI, DECEMBER 26, 2009: This year’s sports day at Don Bosco, Borivli was in an ‘alag andaaz’. It was organized on December 16, 2009. The sports day was held early this year so that the STD. X students could also participate in it.

As usual the March past practices were in full form but they started just one week before the sports day. Sir Mark was already running helter-skelter with objectives like marking the ground, getting the boys ready for the various events, getting students ready for the Heats and working with the teachers as they got ready for the Heats and the Grand Finale.

This year Javelin throw and High Jump were introduced and the event began early in the morning for the first time in all these years. The Chief guests for the occasion were Ace footballer Mr. Jacinto D’Silva who represented India, Mr. and Mrs. Albert D’Souza,-parents of Aldridge D’Souza 2nd ranker in the boards for the year 2008-09 and Mr. and Mrs. Joshi- parents of the1st ranker in the boards for the year 2008-09.


As the clock struck 7:30am the 4 house captains accompanied the chief guests to their seats. There was then the precise marching put forth by the 4 houses, group of scouts, group of athletes and the group of band boys. The torch was lit by Joannes Pereira of Std. IX. The school flag was hoisted Calvin Pereira-The Sports Secretary of Secondary Section who then took the sportsman oath after which Master Neil Menezes-Sports Secretary of the Primary Section recited the Sportsman Prayer.

After all these activities, the tiny tots of the primary section performed a beautiful Lollipop Drill. The events began in full swing. Most of the events were completed during the heats. Main events to which all were eagerly waiting were the relays and the Tug-Of-War. In the end Father George Carlos proposed the vote of thanks. None of the boys expected a holiday the next day but thanks to Fr. Rector and Fr. Principal and the students who cheered all along, the students finally got their cherished one day break.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BIS #1694 VIRAR CHRISTMAS BASH


VIRAR, DECEMBER 23, 2009: The Christmas Bash - an evening of fun, music, games and more, was organized by the cultural committee of the Resurrection parish, Virar on Sunday, December 20, 2009, after the 6.00 pm mass.

It was a delight to watch the school going girls compere the programme with much élan and enthusiasm. The parish priest personally welcomed one and all for the get-together. A beautiful skit depicting the Bethlehem story was enacted by the confirmation students. The dance floor was crowded with young people grooving to the beats of the latest Bollywood chartbusters. The latter part of the evening witnessed melodious waltz, jive and salsa numbers being played.


The highlight of the evening was the much-awaited arrival of the jolly Santa Claus. In addition to a variety of spot prizes, an individual takeaway gift was presented to each individual. Delicious food items were available across the counter.

Fr. Edwin Colaco along with the cultural cell spared no efforts in providing us a truly fun-filled evening. Thanks to all the sponsors for your generosity. God bless you.

BIS #1693 CHRISTMAS TREAT

Bento D’Souza sdb
AHMEDNAGAR, DECEMBER 23, 2009: “Go into the highways and byways and invite all…” The Parish Priest, Anton D’Souza took these words to heart and invited the neighbours who live around the St Anne’s Church Compound, Ahmednagar to celebrate Christmas on December 22, 2009. Vivek, a Hostel boy compered the program. Arjun, led the dance team of three to the sounds of Jai Ho. Fr. Anton gave a Christmas message stating that our neighbors are our most valued friends at Christmas, while Officials come and go. Hence this season we have decided to show how special our neighbors who stay around our compound wall are to us. About 75 neighbors, inclusive of the 12 hostelites, participated in the get-together and left joyful after a simple snack and tea served on the occasion. Christmas Carols were sung by Catechist Pradeep and Choir Mistress Ida and team. The presence of the hostel boys made the function a new precedent to remember and a fresh tradition to preserve.

BIS #1692 BANKAR BAALAK AAYA MASIHA.


Chris Valentino sdb
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 23, 2009: Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Kurla organised the annual Bal Mela for about 500 children from the neighbouring Naupada Municipal School this morning. The theme for the event was “Bankar Balak Aaya Masiha, Aao Manayein Unke Sang Hamari Khushiyaan” with a specific focus on Child Rights. The entire programme reflected the importance of enjoying childhood responsibly and learning to fight for one’s legitimate rights.

The students coming from very poor backgrounds and comprising mainly of other faiths, were presented a relevant skit with a Christmas message. The carolers with Santa-caps added gaiety to the stage programme. The exuberant dancers shook the stage with their electrifying performance. The students were then given a chance to participate in the various fete games organised by the students of the Campus. Fishing the bottle, finding the coin, killing the rat, feeding Santa, aiming for the bull’s eye and many other fun games kept the children going. The earth-shattering sound provided by ‘Richie Sounds’ added the much-required decibels, with everyone present grooving to the thumping beats.


Snacks and prizes sponsored by the many benefactors, students and staff of the Campus sent out the central message of the Christmas revelry. The programme was wonderfully executed, primarily by the students of SJITI, with support and collaboration from DBIHMCT. The students rose to this occasion thus radiating joy, cheer, goodwill. Mr. Royal D’Souza coordinated the event with ample guidance and support from Mr. Xavier Fernandes, Principal of SJITI; Mr. Lavy D’Costa, Co-ordinator of DBIHMCT and Fr. Richard D’Silva sdb.

It was a morning filled with joy, excitement, festivity and cheer, with the Staff, students and volunteers ushering in Christmas and ringing in a ray of hope for the future.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BIS #1691 SILVER YEARS OF DREAMS UNDREAMT

Glenford Lowe sdb


MUMBAI, DECEMBER 22, 2009: Fr. Edwin D’Souza sdb, Rector of the Provincial House and of the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Matunga celebrated his Silver Jubilee of Ordination in the presence of his Salesians, family and friends on December 20, 2009 during a Eucharistic celebration in the same Shrine that he prayed regularly as a nine year old boarder of Don Bosco, Matunga.

Surrounded by a host of Salesian Priests, brothers and sisters and members of his close family and wide circle of friends, the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Matunga lit up with the beautiful singing under the baton of Fr. Ian Doulton and his choir. The decorations added color and a setting worthy for a Silver Jubilee.


In his homily, Fr. Edwin highlighted the reason for his own magnificat. The Silver Jubilee was not so much a celebration of a ‘Dream fulfilled’ but rather the celebration of the fulfillment of ‘Dreams Undreamt’. God’s expectations of us are far beyond the one’s we have for ourselves. Recalling the way dreams moved in his life from Jesuit beginnings to Salesian traditions, from a nine year-old boarder at Don Bosco, Matunga to being an eleven year old aspirant at Lonavala, the path to dreams undreamt began to unfold. Silver was just a milestone, Gold the promise ahead.

Celebrations followed with a ‘Toast’ that came straight from the heart of Fr. Ian. Fun-filled games, Christmas caroling and a sumptuous meal followed. In the year of the Priest, Fr. Edwin had every reason to sing his own magnificat, ‘The Lord has done great things for me’.

BIS #1690 KRISTI SAMAJ SANGH PURASKAR FOR KRISTAPURANA

Prakash Nathan


NASHIK, DECEMBER 22, 2009: On December 13, 2009 the “Nashik Catholic Christian Samaj Sangha” gathered together at Gymkhana Hall in great numbers for their Annual Day Function during which about eight awards were conferred for educational and social activities. Among these Fr. Nelson Falcao, sdb was given the “Nashik Catholic Christian Samaj Sangha PURASKAR” for his literary work of Marathi translation and critical edition of the Kristapurana. Fr. Nelson’s work was highly praised for its quality, literary style and rigorous research. The Chief Guest for the function was Mr. Bhalachandra Gosavi, the Bhivandi-Nijampur Mahapalika Upayukta who affirmed that the Kristapurana with its Marathi translation has reached the people at large and that for about 200 years it will remain accessible to the common folk. A special invitee was Mr. Gilbert Mendonca, the Amdar of Mira-Bhayandar. In his speech, Mr. Gilbert underscored the fact that Kristapurana and its translation has been a great contribution not only to the Marathi Literature but to the global literary world. The Solemn Annual Function ended with a prayer song followed by a Sneha-Bhojan.

BIS #1689 CHRISTMAS TREE PARTY

Kailash Parekh


MUMBAI, DECEMBER 22, 2009: The much awaited Christmas tree party this year for children was held on December 20, 2009 4.00 pm onwards in the Don Bosco primary School hall.

The Don Bosco Past Pupil Association committee members did their best to arrange this Christmas party children up to nine years. Parents were invited along with the children. 10 desolated girls from “Anmol” at Auxilum School, Wadala had also been invited. The children thoroughly enjoyed the games that were organized. They participated whole heartedly to compete for spot prizes. An hour long magic show got them engrossed and excited.

When Santa Claus made his entry, all the children were delirious with joy. There was frolic, laughter and gaiety throughout. Santa Claus presented the children with chocolates and gifts and also danced with the crowd, which the children loved very much.

Santa Claus was the most photographed person as many children waited in queue to get their gifts. Christmas carols were played throughout the party. The children enjoyed themselves completely and wished to come next year again.

Monday, December 21, 2009

BIS #1688 DBIHMCT + TAJ LANDS END = A YUMMY CHRISTMAS

Lavy D’Costa & Chris Valentino sdb


MUMBAI, DECEMBER 21, 2009: Christmas was ushered in early by the students and staff of Don Bosco Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology (DBIHMCT), Kurla. Our FY Hospitality students hosted a celebration for underprivileged children from urban slums who came under the banner of Sanskar, a NGO functioning in Sion - Kurla; and former street children now studying with the NIOS under the protective mantle of Shelter Don Bosco, Wadala.

DBIHMCT teamed up with Taj Lands End, a five star hotel located at Bandra to provide the young guests a feel of how a Chef bakes a Plum Cake and Ginger Cookies. Students of DBIHMCT not to be left behind ensured that the party would have gifts galore as well as a handy remembrance through an utility item to take back home, through a voluntary contribution from among themselves


DBIHMCT has over the past few months been in the forefront of organizing Culinary Workshops for Women Self Help Groups (SHGs). Some of them have honed their skills by turning into entrepreneurs - others have learnt the art of cooking food which they only perceived could be prepared and consumed in hotels. Many women having attended the preliminary General Culinary Workshop, have opted to learn Chinese preparations and are now eagerly awaiting to pick up skills and thrills of making sweets and desserts.

‘To Serve With Love’ is the punch line of DBIHMCT. These are the values that St. John Bosco imbibed in the youth he encountered and nurtured. 150 years on, this tradition continues, albeit through newer initiatives and innovations.

BIS #1687 NAGAR UNITES FOR 150th ANNIVERSARY

Bento D’souza sdb

AHMEDNAGAR, DECEMBER 21, 2009: About 64 school children holding lighted diyas in their hands led the entrance procession to begin the Eucharist commemorating 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Salesian congregation on December 18, 2009. Another

276 parishioners from the institutions & parishes around converged in St Anne’s Church to celebrate this auspicious event.

The feeling that floated through the entire proceedings was a feeling of gratitude for the many faceted presence & contribution of the Salesians to Nagar city and its surroundings. Fr. Anton led the community into prayer during the Adoration Service and the Eucharist. The choir of St. Anne’s sang powerfully.The offering of gifts was planned and executed by Fr. Ivan and St. John’s parish. The homily was substituted by an impressive presentation on Moviemaker designed by Fr. Flovi and the Savedi Salesians to showcase the dynamic movement of the Salesians in the globe, in India and in Ahmednagar. It also presented the growth and development of the Salesian Mission of Ahmednagar as a pilot of the Salesians of the Mumbai province. During the offertory the Salesians renewed their vows. “Congratulations” sang at the end of the Eucharist brought the entire proceedings to a fitting climax. BGVK provided the cake and tea to all gathered. All the religious and parishioners felt that celebration was fitting tribute to the work of the pioneering and hardworking Salesians of Ahmednagar.

BIS #1686 SPORTS DAY AT DON BOSCO, NERUL


NERUL, DECEMBER 21, 2009: Don Bosco School, Nerul celebrated their 4th Annual Sports Day on December 12, 2009. The Pre-Primary section conducted their sports day in the morning and the Primary section in the afternoon session.


The chief guest for the Pre-Primary Sports Day was Retd. Major Anthony John. The children performed a variety of drills which included drills on Save the Environment; Health is wealth and Lotus Formation. This was followed by various competitive events for children as well as the parents and teachers. The Principal Fr. Anthony Fonseca then gave the vote of thanks.

The chief guest for the Primary sports day was Mr. Sonawane, Asst. Inspector of Police, NRI Police Station. Drills were performed by children. Mr. Vilas Jagdale, DYSP, Anti Corruption Bureau was our Honourable chief guest for the Prize Distribution ceremony.

BIS #1685 JORDAN CALL: ADVENT RECOLLECTION FOR YOUTH AT MUMBAI

Glenford Lowe sdb

MUMBAI, DECEMBER 21, 2009: Responding to the Call of the Baptist, Don Bosco Youth Services, Mumbai organized a recollection on Sunday, December 20, 2009 for the young people of the neighboring parishes in preparation for Christmas. Eighty youngsters participated in the half-day JORDAN CALL that included Praise and Worship, Input sessions, Adoration, Carol Singing, Confessions and a Solemn High Mass.

Praise and Worship led by Mr. Ronnie Gomes and his choir created the right ambient for a recollection. Fr. Glenford Lowe then invited the young people to reflect on the Theme “We want to see Jesus”. He stressed on five points: Take time to create a ‘Sacred space within’ as opposed to ‘there was no room for him’, be vigilant to be ‘guided by a Star’ in the darkness on one’s life, Discover the real ‘Child Jesus and Mary’, Gift oneself with the Christmas Mysteries of ‘Joy, Peace and Love’ and finally be prepared to change course by ‘Going the Other Way’ to be responsible and active Christians.

Fr. Brian Moras prepared the young people to encounter the God of Love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The availability of many priests and the ambience created by the adoration that followed gave the young people an opportunity to make straight the path.

At the Eucharistic Celebration, Fr. Elson took the youth through the pages of the Bible where young people desired to see Jesus and how they were not embarrassed to be seen and signaled out by Jesus too.

Jordan Call is an annual recollection for the Youth during the Advent Season. At the end of the day the youth felt that this was their best preparation for Christmas.

BIS #1684 DB TECH BOARD HOLDS MEET


Anand Raj
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 21, 2009: The DB Tech Board of the Mumbai Province held a meeting on Sunday, December 20, 2009 at the Provincial House, Matunga. The meeting was chaired by Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial and attended by those in-charge of the various Technical Training Centres in the province. Addressing the members at the start of the meeting, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes said: “Our commitment to extend a technical education to the marginalized is well on the way. We now need to consolidate our efforts to carry this movement forward.” Focusing on the MES programme which is being promoted in the province he stated that: “Carrying the MES programme forward will give us the satisfaction of making a contribution to the lives of needy youth to help them stand on their feet. It will also help us to arrive at a high degree of proficiency in terms of the professional training we impart; and help us in our efforts to attain self-sufficiency”. He complimented the Development Office for fulfilling its commitment to obtain the VTP registration for our training centres. St. Joseph’s, Kurla; Bosco Boys, Borivli; Don Bosco, Chinchwad; and Don Bosco Community College, Ahmednagar have already received the official registration from the government, while the process is on for Don Bosco, Narukot. The centres at Alirajpur and Karjat will be taken up for registration once they reach the eligibility criteria in terms of infrastructure and required number of students.

Some of the major issues taken up for discussion during the meeting were: setting up hostels and technical training infrastructure; developing pedagogically arranged modules on the basis of the MES syllabus; sharing best practices among the centres; imparting soft skills such as Communicative English and Life Skills; networking with other organizations and institutions to enrol students for the courses we offer; scaling up the number of students in our institutes and fixing definite targets for the future in terms of student numbers; promoting the MES programme among other religious institutes and NGOs in order to extend training and employment to the greatest number of needy youth.

The meeting concluded on an enthusiastic note with Fr. Ajoy Fernandes once again stressing the need to move ahead collaboratively in order to attain these goals which the members had set for themselves. He also thanked all the members for being present for the meeting and for contributing many innovative ideas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

BIS #1683 PROVINCIAL'S ANNUAL VISIT TO ST. JOSEPH'S

Rohini Patrao

MUMBAI, DECEMBER 19, 2009: There was a sense of joy and excitement in the air at St. Joseph’s High School, Wadala to welcome the Provincial, Fr. Michael Fernandes. The students of St. Joseph's Wadala were eager to meet this special visitor and looked forward to spend time with him. The students of the Primary and the Secondary Section assembled on the school playground for the morning assembly. The backdrop on the dais emphasized the vision of Don Bosco. ONE MAN-ONE DREAM-DISTANT LANDS emphasized how one man could make a difference in the world through sheer devotion and dedication.

Fr. Provincial was escorted to the dais by the Rector, Fr. Aloysius Furtado and the Principal, Fr. Bernard Fernandes. After the welcome song, Fr. Bernard introduced Fr. Provincial to the staff and students. He praised him for the qualities of the heart he possessed which helps him to communicate well with people.

Thereafter Fr. Provincial addressed the gathering and thanked the Management, staff and students for the warm welcome. He congratulated the school for securing cent percent result in the SSC results and the school setting a benchmark in sports and co curricular activities. Through a short story Fr Provincial advised all the students to bury the words-I CAN'T and replace them with words like I'LL TRY, I CAN and IT IS POSSIBLE.

In the interaction that followed between Fr. Provincial and the staff Fr. Provincial stressed on the Habits of a good teacher which help foster the special talents of the children. The teachers will surely benefit through these habits there by strengthening the relationship between the teacher and the student.

Friday, December 18, 2009

BIS #1682 YOUTH FEST AT JHABUA


Bro. Joseph Mavi
JHABUA, DECEMBER 18, 2009:
The youth fest in Jhabua diocese was celebrated on December 13, 2009. The theme for the day was Live the Word and Liberate the World. With the fest taking place at Bishop’s House, Meghnagar it saw around 300 enthusiastic youth from the diocese gather for the event whole heartedly. The Salesians created the history by putting up the great show.

Bishop Dev Prasad Ganava who was present for the first half of the fest spoke on the ‘Mission of the Youth’. He congratulated Fr. Matthew Katara for his marvelous effort of bringing the youth together. He also spoke highly of the Salesians in the diocese and praised them for their meticulous efforts.

Fr. Stanny Ferreira Rector of Don Boco, Narukot motivated the youth as he spoke on career guidance. The youth gladly listened to the advice Fr. Stanny gave as they are rarely exposed much to these sorts of sessions. It was a very fruitful and inspiring talk as many youths met Fr. Stanny personally to consult with him.

BIS #1681 SYMPOSIUM ON THE ENCYCLICAL: 'CARITAS IN VERITATE'


Edward Kujur sdb

NASHIK, DECEMBER 17, 2009: On December 12, 2009, the Second year students of the Salesian Institute of Philosophy - Divyadaan, as part of their annual academic activity organized a symposium on the latest encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI CARITAS IN VERITATE (Charity in truth).The symposium was co-coordinated by Cl. Evangelo D’Souza, under the guidance of Fr. Valerian, Fr. Rector sdb, Fr. Robert, Fr. Wyman and Fr. Aloysius. The three speakers of the day were Cl. Joshua Alphonso, Cl. Larsen Iyengar and Cl. Ashok Lingampalli.

The entire encyclical was sketched out in gist by Cl. Bosco Carvalho, who also enfolded the role of the church, whose prime concern is not only God, Religion and Salvation of souls but in all her being and acting- when she proclaims, educates, when she celebrates, when she performs works of charity- is engaged in promoting the integral development of each and every individual. The church is not just involved; but develops and pressed forward to achieving the well-being of all humans.

Cl. Joshua Alphonso introduced the encyclical letter of the Supreme Pontiff on the Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth. He led a brief historical survey of how the church has been active in times of trials in order to uphold the dignity of human beings and empowering them through the different encyclicals down the ages. This aided the audiences to understand the perspective of the encyclical.







Cl. Larsen Iyengar presented the understanding of Rights and Duties in Caritas in Veritate. He said that the church calls each one of us to live our human vocation to love more radically and in solidarity with others by sharing our resources. The Rights are to be considered here as objective and not merely subjective. Further, he goes on to show how people are in dependent on one another in fulfilling their rights and duties which in turn brings about growth in the individual and growth in the society as whole.

Cl. Ashok Lingampalli, emphasized on the role of the church through this encyclical in challenging governments, industries, NGO’s and institutions to a reform in their works on Justice towards one another; justice that is rooted in God’s love, which enables us to continue seeking and working for the welfare of our neighbor. He also dealt upon some practical implications, as to how an individual and communities have a special role to play to bring about a change. Educators have a greater responsibility in building one’s lives and that of others on the values of the church.

The symposium proceeded further with a panel discussion and questionnaires, during which there was a certain clarifications of the terms, concepts, aspects and focus of the encyclical. There was lively participation from the part of the audiences from the various neighboring religious institutes.The symposium ended on a melodious note with the theme song composed by Cl. Nobin Narzary.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

BIS #1680 FAMILY DAY AGAPE



Ranald Lopes sdb


CHHOTAUDEPUR, DECEMBER 16, 2009: On December 13, 2009, about 180 parishioners of Muktidayani Mata parish gathered for a day of fun and togetherness. The day began with the preparations at midnight to prepare for the agape meal. Many of the women folk of the parish came together in preparing a meal of many dishes. The day began with the parish mass at 7.30am with the theme of Family: the Heart of Love. After breakfast the parishioners gathered together for a little prayer service by lighting the family candle in front of the Holy Family. It was a sight to see all the young and old of the parish took part in party games and competed for the little prizes with much gusto and enthusiasm. At 12 noon began the agape meal wherein all had made their contributions in cash and in kind to participate in the fellowship. The people of the parish were thoroughly grateful to the parish council for taking an active part to bring the day to a success and fellowship.

Monday, December 14, 2009

BIS #1679 WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN CHHOTA

Ranald Lopes sdb




Ranald Lopes sdb
CHHOTAUDEPUR, DECEMBER 14, 2009: On December 10, 2009, 25 girls from the village received a Government certificate for a 45 day long course on tailoring and embroidery. The regional head of NABARD Mr. Gupte was present to hand over the certificates to the empowered girls. The girls were all eager to receive this training which has now given them a new source of livelihood. They would also be allowed special loans from the bank to bring a new sewing machine. The girls took a lot of pains to attend this course daily for 5 hours. They are now happy to begin a new enterprising business in their own villages.

BIS #1678 "PEACE IN, PIECES OUT" - MUMBAI CATHOLIC YOUTH FESTIVAL



Glenford Lowe sdb
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 14, 2009: United in Faith, Energized by Youthfulness and Inspired by Peace, over 5000 youth from the Archdiocese of Mumbai converged at the Don Bosco Grounds, Matunga to celebrate “PEACE IN, PIECES OUT” on Sunday, December 13, 2009. What seemed to be a distant yet daring dream a few months ago became a reality beyond measure. No adjectives could adequately describe the energy, the passion, the talent and the sacrifice of the Young people to make the day a success. More than just a show of strength, the youth came together for a purpose - to become Messengers of Christ’s Peace in the city of Mumbai.Fr. Edwin D’Souza sdb, Rector and Shrine Director welcomed the youth to the festival.

The Mumbai Youth Festival brought together over 15 Youth Organizations, 120 parishes, 11 deaneries and over 300 committee members under the banner of the Archdiocesan Youth Commission headed by Fr. Anthony Fernandes and very ably supported by Fr. Walter D Souza. Bishop Bosco Penha, Chairman of the Archdiocesan Youth Commission declared open the Youth Festival and invited the AYC to adopt the Neighborhood Youth Groups (NYG) as the new paradigm for Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese. Words of appreciation and floral tributes were given to various dignitaries and former Archdiocesan Youth directors.

A lively Theme song ‘Peace Now’ by the Focolare group set the ball rolling for an evening of fun, song, dance, drama, testimonies and Gospel Music. Attractive prizes like a laptop, a blackberry and i-pods were donated. Every deanery took part in innovative and creative ways by spreading the message of peace. Banners were placed on buses and the same were enacted on stage too. The whole evening was anchored by the youthful and energetic Keisha Lobo. Well choreographed dances by Melodina and group, Mask Fantastics and Lenny and Group kept the audiences spell bound. A Marathi Dance song and a play “The Mystery of the Christmas Bells’ added to the variety of the show. The Youth were challenged to live lives of inner peace through moving testimonies by Mr. Viren Rasquinha, former Olympian and hockey captain and COO of Olympic Gold Quest and Ms. Rohini Salian, Special Public Prosecutor. A live band ‘By Grace’ led by the charismatic Lenny and Group brought the youth to the feet of Jesus through their prayerful yet lively Gospel Music.

Don Bosco Youth Services played a major role in seeing to the smooth running of the entire event. Proceeds from the Mumbai Youth Festival will go in Aid of Cancer patients. The whole event was spell bounding and one thing is for sure…. No one can stop the Catholic Mumbai Youth Festival now. It is here to stay!!!

BIS #1677 CHRISTMAS IS IN THE AIR




AHMEDNAGAR, DECEMBER 14, 2009: On December 12, 2009, the winds of Christmas blew gently into a small town named Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, India. A once in a lifetime event, the show was hosted by the children of Pumpkin House at the premises of St. Anne’s church. In the dim lights of the evening, the brightest moment for the people began with a prayer by the Parish priest Fr. Anton D’souza. The winds of Christmas were blowing gently and in no time, it turned into a mighty whirlwind as the children of Pumpkin House took over. From Christmas Carols to dancing on the tunes of traditional carols, the children seemed to take the crowd for a merry ride. “Sounds of the nations”, a gospel band jammed up onstage with the children caroling and dancing. As the evening saw its end, the people were left with tears in their eyes and deep warmth in their hearts. The joy of Christmas was born at Ahmednagar and it has started to spread all over. The event ended with the people wishing each other and the kids, spreading the joy of Christmas. As rightly said by one of the viewers, “The evening was a feast to the eyes”. An evening, when the Family of Pumpkin House gave the community a reason to smile, a reason to share and a reason to love. Indeed, Christmas is in the air.



BIS #1676 BRAHMAN AND PERSON: ESSAYS BY RICHARD DE SMET


Ivo Coelho sdb


NASHIK, DECEMBER 14, 2009: Brahman and Person: Essays by Richard De Smet, ed. Ivo Coelho, is just out of the press (Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi). The book is a collection of Fr. De Smet's essays on the topic of divine and human personality, till now scattered over a number of often rather obscure journals in India and abroad. De Smet shows how the nirguna Brahman, or the Brahman without qualities, which most Indologists and Hindus tend to translate as impersonal, is really personal - provided 'personal' is understood in the classical sense that was hammered out in the Christian effort to speak about the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation. The book comes with a substantial introduction by the editor, as well as a bibliography of the works of De Smet running into more than 700 items.

Richard De Smet (1916-1997) was a Jesuit Indologist who taught at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune. He was a well-known figure in Indological circles in India and abroad, especially for his Sankara studies, and someone who actually engaged in dialogue with people of different faiths and persuasions over the 50 years of his sojourn in India.

For the first time, De Smet's essays on Brahman and person are available within the covers of a single book. His demonstration of the personality of the Absolute Brahman is one of the advances in Indological scholarship and interreligious dialogue in the last century.

The book is priced at a somewhat steep Rs. 695, but a limited number of copies are available with the editor at a substantially reduced rate.

BIS #1675 AN EVENING WITH OUR LADY IN NASHIK

Vinod Mascarenhas sdb

NASHIK, DECEMBER 14, 2009: It was an evening with Our Lady at Don Bosco Nashik! The Don Bosco Parish celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 2009. The evening began with the Eucharist at 6.30 p.m. in which the Parish Priest, Fr. Nelson Falcao sdb, presided. In his homily, based on Cardinal Ratzinger’s (Pope Benedict XVI) book Daughter Zion, Fr. Nelson recalled that Mary is identified with daughter Zion, the Church. The quality “immaculate” is first applied to the Church, who recognizes her own sinfulness but also recognizes the immaculateness of her first disciple. He reminded us that what God wrought in Mary, he will work in us – with our cooperation.

After the Eucharist, the community of Salesian Training Institute coordinated a short and crisp Academy to honour Mary, “the Spotless Maid.” Fr. Solomon Rapol, the Rector and Novice Master of Salesian Training Institute, in his Message, urged those present not to wait to get to heaven but to create a heaven on earth by being a little kind, by doing a little good, by little acts of love... in imitation of Mary. What followed was a medley of items – a band piece, dances, songs and a trumpet duet, from a motley group – the parishioners and parish youth, the SDB and FMA novices, the Maria Vihar boarders, the community of Divyadaan.


The highlight of the evening, however, was not the programme itself, but the spirit of togetherness and the spirit of initiative that the Academy brought about. We express our gratitude to all who contributed to make it an enriching and enjoyable evening with Our Lady.

Earlier, the Parish Community prepared for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception with a Triduum. The three Salesian communities – Divyadaan, Salesian Training Institute and Don Bosco Parish – took turns to animate the Eucharist on the three days. The “praying together” manifested itself in the “staying together” for the Academy. We hope for more such ventures of togetherness!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BIS #1674 COME, O LORD, TO MY HEART TODAY


Loreen Fernandes

VIRAR, DECEMBER 8, 2009: December 6, 2009 will be a memorable day in the lives of 20 children who received the sacrament of Holy Communion at the 8.30 a.m. Eucharist.


The church was most tastefully decorated with pastel hues of seasonal flavors. The words “Jesus the bread of Life” were prominently displayed on a beautiful backdrop.

The Eucharist was celebrated by our Fr. Blany Pinto and in his homily he accentuated the role of the parents besides the church and the catechism teachers in laying the foundation for the spiritual growth of a child. Through 3 anecdotes, he drove home the message that Jesus is the Bread of Life that will sustain us in our daily lives. He laid the accent on daily family rosary and bible reading which forms the hearts and minds of children.

The solemnity of the entire liturgy was further enhanced by the melodious singing of our children’s choir. The highlight of the day was a riveting rendition of a Hindi action song by the First Holy Communicants at the post communion. Fr. Blany expressed his gratitude to all the catechism teachers, but in a special way to the First Holy Communion teachers who prepared the children for the sacrament.

BIS #1673 KUDOS TO OUR OUTSTANDING CHAMPIONS

Rohini Patrao
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 8, 2009: It is rightly said "Success begins with an individual's will- Its all in the mind. Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man; sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can.” This passion for success has spurred many a students’ form St. Josephs School, Vadala in Conquering New Frontiers

Master Yash Pardesi from Std. III secured gold medal in Floor exercises as well as Volting Horse (Gymnastics) organized By MSSA.
Master Ashraf Ali Makandar from Std.X has been selected to represent the state in the U-17 Football Team and would be heading to Dhule for training after which he would be representing Maharashtra at the national level.

Master Harkirat Singh Kalsi of Std X represented Mumbai Division on December 3, 2009 and stood fifth. Thirty participants from all over Maharashtra took part in this event. Master Harkirat Singh stood first in the race organized by Mumbai city 15 participants from all over Mumbai participated in this event on November 29, 2009; he completed the race in 1 minute 30 seconds covering a distance of 1 km. On the same day he participated at the zonal level standing third among 30 participants from Thane, Raigad, Mumbai city and Mumbai suburbs. He covered a distance of 4 kms in a commendable 6 minutes.

BIS #1672 WORKSHOP ON COMMUNITY RADIO

MUMBAI, DECEMBER 8, 2009: A two-day workshop on Community Radio (CR) was organised from November 26- 27, 2009 at the Kamla Raheja Institute of Architecture and Environmental study in Juhu, Mumbai.

During the workshop titled 'Community Radio - Tuning into Diversity', participants had the opportunity to hear first-hand experience of speakers, including practitioners who are already running CR stations as well as experts on the regulatory, technical and other aspects of running a station.

Some of the speakers included Aditeshwar Seth of Gram Vaani, IIT Delhi, Amol Goje of Vasundhara Vahini Community Radio, Baramati (Maharashtra), Anuja Shukla from Radio Bundelkhand Development Alternatives at Orchha (UP), Bharati Ahire of Radio Ujjas of Kutch Mahila Vikas Sanghatan, Bhuj (Gujarat), Ram Bhat of Maraa, Bangalore, Sajan Veniyoor of Community Radio Forum, an India-wide network and Richard Rego, Radio Sarang, Mangalore.

The workshop had been organised by Comet Media Foundation in partnership with the Media Information and Communication Centre of India, Frederich Ebert Stiftung and Centre for the Advancement of Philanthropy. Fr. Bento D’souza with the Principal of MSW college Mr. Suresh Pathare from Ahmednagar and Servant Ignatius from St. Pauls Jeevan Darshan Sanstha, Uttan together with 60 others attended and found it informative. Union Park Residents Association Khar Bandra will organize another workshop from December 11-13, 2009 in partnership with Nomad India and Radioactive. For details contact Mr. Navina Chandra at 26465264 or Surekha at 9821864894 or email upra.jagomumbai@gmail.com.

Monday, December 7, 2009

BIS #1671 PRIZES GALORE!!!


Sarita Rego
BORIVLI, DECEMBER 7, 2009: Don Bosco, Borivli had a smashing week with prizes raining from all fields and the hard work and efforts put in by our students and the dedicated batch of teachers bore fruit. Fr. Geroge Carlos, the principal constantly guides and motivates us to excel and inspire our students to put in their best efforts.

The following are the prize winners:

1. R-Ward Science Exhibition (Education department) – 1st Prize

(Mst. Tejas Sawant, Mst. Darshit Khajanchi, Mst. Abhishek Patkar, Mst.Miloy Ajmera alongwith their Guide teachers Ms. Pooja Kadam, Sir Nelson and Science Teachers)


Theme: Bio-diesel from Jatropha seeds.

2. R-Ward Science Quiz (Education department) - 1st Prize

(Mst. Abhijit Singh, Mst Glenn Fernandes along with Guide teachers Ms. Sarita Rego & Ms. Pooja Kadam)

Band - 1st Prize

School Band Team under the guidance of Sir Vinod bagged the Poinsur Gymkhana Trophy in November this year.



Football Team – Won the Poinsur Gymkhana Trophy held at Kandivali west on November 29, 2009. (U-16 team)

Mst. Aldrin Kanchan won the Outstanding Player of the tournament.

Mst. Brendan D’mello won the Best Defender (U-16) of the tournament.

Mst. Calvin Pereira won the Fastest Goal Scorer.

Football Team - Won the Runners up Poinsur Gymkhana Trophy held at Kandivli west on November 29, 2009. (U-14 team)

Mst. Anuraag Munian won the Best Defender (U-14) and Mst. Gaurav Nagarkatti won the Best Forward in the tournament.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

BIS #1670 SUCCESS TRIUMPHS

Rohini Patrao
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 5, 2009: In keeping with the Mumbai schools laudable commitment in developing skills and conducting cultural events, the education department of Mumbai came up with "Mumbai Vibhagiya Sahashaleya Upakram Samiti 2008-09"- A Platform for interaction and cultural integration among the various schools in Mumbai. As a part of this cultural fest different activities were planned for the students including elocution, drawing competition and Lezim.

Following students have made St. Joseph's Wadala proud:

Master Shahzad Faroodi of class VI won the third prize in the elocution competition for the Junior Group held at King George School.

Master Jugal Shahadadpuri of class IX won the third prize in elocution competition in the Senior Group held at King George School.

Master Aunsh Arekar won the first prize in the drawing competition held at Sitaram Kesari School.

Another feather was added when Master Shah Dharmin of Class VIII and Master Ansh Shah of Class VII displayed their talent with colours and meritious prizes at the drawing workshop organised by the JJ Institute of arts to commemorate the completion of 75 years. 21 schools all over Mumbai participated in this event.

BIS #1669 NORTH BOMBAY [EAST] DEANERY RECOLLECTION


Wilfred D’Souza sdb
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 5, 2009
: The Second North Bombay [East] Deanery Recollection for the Sunday School Catechists and the Regular School Catholic Teachers was held at Don Bosco, Matunga, on Sunday, November 29, 2009. This activity is one of the components of the multifaceted ministry of Don Bosco Youth Services, for the Archdiocese.


There was a good turn out of 75 Teachers from 7 parishes and 8 schools. Fr. Anthony Fernandes, Director of DYC, Bandra, conducted a lively and enlightening session on “Guilt and Contrition”. Fr. Wilfred made himself available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Teachers took advantage of the opportunity.

A meaningful Prayer Service brought the evening to a close which was followed by a good dinner.

Friday, December 4, 2009

BIS #1668 NEW SPROUT SPRINGS FORTH

Bento D’souza sdb

AHMEDNAGAR, DECEMBER 4, 2009: 48 new members start St. Vincent De Paul Society in St Anne’s Ahmednagar. Mr. Moses from Pune visited the St Anne’s parish on November 29, 2009 and inducted 48 new members to begin a St Vincent De Paul’s Unit. An introduction to the processes, procedure and spirituality was given and the members decided to join the vast International Movement for St Vincent De Paul. Mr. Ramesh Bhosle was elected the president and promised to make the new unit grow, and flourish in the Parish. A new sprout of the church is planted, in time it will grow, empowering the laity to belong more deeply to the local Church the way Vincent De Paul did.

BIS #1667 DBDS - ALIVE ALERT ACTIVE!!!


Natasha Almeida

MUMBAI, DECEMBER 4, 2009: The month of November saw Don Bosco Development Society organize two important events in the city of Mumbai. The first one being a ‘ Cleanliness Campaign’ at Prakash Nagar, Mahim and the other an ‘Issue based Meeting’ at Kane Nagar, Antop Hill.

Ten students from Tilak Maharashtra University in collaboration with DBDS organized a Cleanliness Campaign at Prakash Nagar, Mahim where DBDS has its centre for community classes. Before the idea of the Cleanliness Campaign evolved the students of the community class participated in a drawing competition based on cleanliness organized by the students from Tilak Maharashtra University and DBDS. The women who attend community classes also showed interest by participating in a group discussion based on Garbage Management.


The competitions and discussions led to a Cleanliness Campaign on November 18, 2009. Mr. Dalvi Beat officer from Mahim police station helped in the awareness of the campaign. The Guest of Honour for the occasion was Mr. Subhash Patil, Senior Officer of the Garbage Management Department at the BMC. People who participated in the campaign were those who primarily reside at the Mahim Police Quarters and the slums of Prakash Nagar. On the occasion Mr. Patil spoke on Solid Waste Management and a short informative film was screened on the same issue. “Disposing garbage in the right way is the duty of a responsible citizen”, he said. Ms. Surekha Pednekar from DBDS explained that if we need to keep our society disease free we need to stress on cleanliness not only inside our homes but also on the outside. The children from the community classes put up a short play depicting the importance of disposing dry garbage and wet garbage in the right way.

On November 24, 2009, an issue based meeting organized by DBDS in collaboration with the ‘Ration Kriti Samiti’ was held at the Kane Nagar, Antop Hill. Gharib Niwas Khana, Kane Nagar, an undeclared slum of Mumbai holds 200 houses and a population of 1200 people. The main agenda of the meeting was to secure Ration Cards for the slum dwellers of Kane Nagar. Approximately 50 people attended the meeting. Mr. Sandeep Suman from Ration Kriti Samiti briefed the attendees on the right to food. Considering that everyone has a fundamental right to be free from hunger DBDS in collaboration with personnel from

Ration Kriti Samiti will help them secure basic food through Ration Cards. The meeting also focused on ways and means to curb corruption at the local shopkeeper to consumer level. Ms. Surekha Pednekar from DBDS who was present for the meeting said, “The right to food is a human right and is a binding obligation well-established under international law, recognized in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. These slum dwellers also have the right to adequate food.”

The follow up meeting on this issue will be held on December 6, 2009, where forms to secure Ration Cards for the dwellers of Gharib Niwas Khana will be filled in.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

BIS #1666 DON BOSCO ACTION INDIA HOLDS ANNUAL MEET



Jose Sequeira sdb
PANJIM, DECEMBER 3, 2009: Don Bosco Action India, the Network of the Development Offices, held its thirteenth National Meet on November 28-29, 2009 at Raia, Goa. The meeting was attended by those in-charge of the various Development Offices and the Provincial Economers from the 10 Salesian Provinces of India. Also present for the meeting were representatives from Dmos Comide, Belgium and Jugend Eine Welt, Austria.

The Konkan Provincial Fr. Loddy Pires in his inaugural address welcomed the delegates and encouraged them to carry on with greater zeal the work of reaching out to the marginalized, like Don Bosco.

Fr. A. M. Joseph, Coordinator of the Network, then spoke on the ‘Growth and Functioning of Development Offices’. He outlined the growth of the DOs over the last 13 years, which has also led to the establishment of another network, namely, DBTech India. He ended his presentation by stating that the DOs need to work more closely with one another so as to make a greater impact on the national scene.

Next, two resource persons, Mr. Harsh Jaitli the CEO of VANI and Ms. Minu Thommen of DB Tech India addressed the gathering. Mr. Harsh Jaitli spoke on ‘Network and Networking’; the need to network, the concept and meaning of networking, its relevance and purpose, linkage building, types of networks, the key principles of networking and the issues and challenges of networks. Ms. Minu Thommen took up the theme of ‘Livelihood Skills and Opportunities for Networking’. She presented case studies on LABS (Dr. Reddy’s Foundation) and DBTI. This was followed by a presentation by Comide on Networking.

The delegates then spent time discussing what should be the focal development programme to be taken up by the Network for the next three years. After a long a lively discussion the following objective was defined: To empower Self Help Groups to access government and other programmes towards enhancing their livelihoods.

In the final session elections for the National Executive Committee were held. Fr. Savio Silveira, Mumbai was elected as the National Coordinator, while the other members elected to the Executive Committee were Fr. Jose Mathew (New Delhi), Fr. Johnson Parackal (Guwahati), Fr. Vincent Thamburaj (Trichy) and Fr. Sudhakar Bellamkonda (Hyderabad). The next annual meet will take place in November 2010 in Kerala.

BIS #1664 DON BOSCO VISITS US


Loreen Fernandes
VIRAR, DECEMBER 3, 2009: Parishioners of the Resurrection parish, Virar were privileged to welcome Fr. Michael Fernandes, the Provincial of the Mumbai Salesian Province on Sunday, November 29, 2009.

Fr. Michael first met the members for the parish Council and was given a brief update on the various parish associations and their functioning. Fr. Michael then celebrated the Eucharist at 6.00 pm, which was concelebrated by Fr. Blany Pinto and Fr. Edwin Colaco. In his homily, Fr. Michael emphasized the message of the gospel - to be watchful and pray, for advent a period of spiritual preparation for the second coming of our Lord. We need to be vigilant and reach out in service to the needy. Family – prayer will provide us the much needed sustenance in our efforts.

A parishioner in his address to the provincial highlighted the many virtues of Fr. Michael, an unassuming and down-to-earth person. Fr. Michael expressed his gratitude to the people, for the love and support they extend to the parish team. He appreciated the dedication of the parish team to the apostolate which has resulted in the vibrancy of the parish.

Dear Fr. Michael, we pray, that as each new day unfolds, you may find yourself renewed physically and spiritually to faithfully perform your apostolic tasks. God bless you.

BIS #1665 ORATORY CRICKET TOURNAMENT AT DIVYADAAN AND STI

Rudolf D’Souza sdb
NASHIK, DECEMBER 3, 2009: The three institutes- Divyadaan Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Salesian Training Institute and Don Bosco Bhavan organized the Annual Oratory Cricket tournament on the grounds of Divyadaan and STI for all the youngsters who frequent the oratories. On the occasion of 150 years of the foundation of the Salesian Society, the brothers, both of Divyadaan and STI tried to make it a special one and worked hard to make sure the youngsters received only the best. The oratory tournament attracted 15 teams comprising of youngsters from different backgrounds all eager to display their skills and foster sportsmanship.

The tournament ended with a pulsating final where the team of Sahwasnagar I, beat the team of Kasturbanagar in an eight over competition. The chief guest, Mr. Vivek Bapat, an experienced professor in architecture congratulated the hard work of the organizers and the spirit of the players. The winning team, a first time finalist, took away the trophy and vowed to keep it for the years to come. All went home with satisfaction and gratitude to the Salesians who made their day a memorable one.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

BIS #1663 HOMELINK/MISSING CHILD SEARCH NETWORK - CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMME



Natasha Almeida
MUMBAI, DECEMBER 1, 2009: The Young at Risk (YaR) Forum, India along with the Mumbai Province Hub based at Shelter Don Bosco, Wadala organized a capacity building programme on Homelink and Missing Child Search Network today at the Provincial House, Mumbai. This day long programme aimed at training the 26 participants on the use and advantages of both the networks.

In attendance for the programme were Provincial Fr. Michael Fernandes; Mrs. Minaxi Jaiswal, Chairperson of the Maharashtra State Commission for Child Rights; Fr. Joe Prabu, National Director of Homelink Network, Fr. Placido Fonsceca, founder of Snehasadan, Fr. William Falcao, Rector of Shelter Don Bosco and directors and Co-ordinatorsof 12 networking organizations (Salesian and non Salesian) from Mumbai province.


The programme began with the lighting of the lamp and a prayer dance. Mrs. Jaiswal, the guest of honour for the occasion, in her inaugural address stressed about fulfilling children’s rights through networking. Fr. Joe Prabu briefed the participants on Child Management Information Systems and Services (CMISS) and how this software can restore back to children their rights of survival, protection, development and participation. Towards the end of his introductory address he threw a challenge to the participants to create possibilities for children. Fr. Placido in his address said, “Technology should be balanced with the human touch. Both psychological and emotional support should also be addressed by Homelink.” The Provincial made the participants aware that since its initiation in 1998 Homelink today has grown to have 70 networking partners with 8 regional offices across India.

Before the participants moved to the computer lab, Fr. Joe presented them with a birds eye view of Homelink and CMISS. The first session at the computer lab taken by the resource persons Mr. Austin Francis and Mr. Vinod Kumar from the Homelink Technical team focused on the installation and customization of the software. Post lunch the session dealt with Child Flow and Child Tracking system. In the last session of the day the resource persons primarily focused on the services offered by the networking organization viz., physical, mental and psychological to children.

The mission of this network is to develop an Information Management System and a Network which contribute to speed, process, systems, knowledge and to ensure care, protection and development of every child through the networking of NGOs & Govt. Bodies.

Today child development is one of the important areas which need attention and care. Many children are reported to be missing but at the same time there is no effective strategy designed so far at the National Level. To identify the missing children a concerted multi-pronged effort is required. Hence, Home Link / Missing Child Search Network were conceived to answer such call. Adding technology in child development is a challenge in the present day and the structure that is created through the Homelink software and its network is an effort in this level.

BIS #1662 SPIRITUAL REFRESHMENT


Louella Braganza
VIRAR, DECEMBER 1, 2009: The youth of the Resurrection Parish helped by the Vigil Lights and Praise Group conducted the Advent Night Vigil on 28 November 200909. It began at 10.00 pm and ended with the Eucharist at 5.00am.

The theme of the vigil "IT IS YOU I LIVE FOR" saw the youth dance and sing before the Lord. A skit enacted by the youth invited the participants to have an attitude of gratitude to all the people who are part of their lives and those who come and enrich their lives.

The youth group guided by Fr. Edwin Colaco and supported by the four lay youth coordinators had put in tremendous time and talent. Daily practices under the able supervision of the coordinators ensured that the whole service went on smoothly.


The Vigil Light and Praise Group assisted our parish youth in creating a prayerful ambience with their songs, leading from praise to repentance to worship, adoration and commitment. The Hindi song "YESU TERA NAAM SABSE UNCHA HAI" with its lilting melody created such an excitement that it was asked to be rendered again and again and again. All went away spiritually nourished and satisfied.