Sunday, April 25, 2010

BIS #1825 RELEASE OF THE PARISH MANUAL AT VIRAR

Loreen Fernandes
VIRAR, APRIL 23, 2010: The parishioners of the Resurrection Church, Virar celebrated their Parish feast on Sunday, April 18, 2010. The main celebrant at the Eucharist was Fr.Edwin Colaco, with Fr.Blany Pinto assisting him. Post Communion, Fr. Blany Pinto released a manual, entitled “Affective Parish Ministry Manual”. This manual has been compiled by Fr. Edwin Colaco. It is the fruit of his years of experience as a priest in various parishes. It consists of a variety of formats and procedures required to establish and set in momentum, various parish associations.

An absolute must for every Parish priest and every priest in a parish. The initial response to the manual has been very encouraging. The manual is very hand and could be used as an effective tool for the smooth functioning of parishes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

BIS #1824 PLANNING MEETING FOR SKILLS PROJECT

Manish Parmar
MATUNGA, APRIL 21, 2010: A meeting was held at Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga on April 19, 2010 to finalize details of the Skill Development Programme that is being promoted by DB Tech India. This project, which aims at training and placing in employment 50,000 youth across India in the next two years, is being funded by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD). The objective of the project is to enable rural youth, living below the poverty line, to secure a job and thus improve the economic conditions of their family.

The meeting began with Fr Michael Fernandes, Provincial, addressing the participants who had come from the three states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. He complimented DB Tech India for taking up this project and for the efforts they had put in to ensure its successful implementation. He called on the Salesians of the province to make a wholehearted commitment to this project, since through this project we would be serving the truly poor and marginalized youth. He reminded the participants that the province had both, the facilities and the expertise to take this project forward; all we now need is the determination to make the project work.

Fr Joseph Aikarchalil, National Director for DB Tech India, then gave the participants a detailed overview of the project. He explained the different stages of the project – mobilization, training and placement – the methodology of implementation, and the monitoring and reporting systems. He not only clarified the doubts raised by the participants, but he also assured them that the DB Tech national office would be available throughout the implementation of the project to assist the centres with any difficulty they faced. Before the meeting concluded, the participants met in state-wise groups to work out practical details concerning the project.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BIS #1823 MAHINDRA NBA CHALLENGE

ANDHERI, APRIL 20, 2010: Saturday, April 17, 2010 was another Red letter day in the history of the annals of St. Dominic Savio as a huge
Basketball event was organized entitled Mahindra NBA Challenge. Budding basket ball players were invited to two venues, St. Dominic Savio, Andheri and Mastan YMCA, Nagpada to show and demonstrate their talents in Basketball.

About 500+ youngsters from all the corners of Mumbai registered online for this event. On the dais were some very well known NBA legends such as T. Green and Teresa; Mr. Harish Sharma, the General Secretary of the Basketball Federation of India (BFI); Mr. M. Venkatesh and Fr. Crispino D'Souza.

The training sessions went on till about 6.30 pm. The group would be divided into eight teams and they would play each other. The best four from Dominic Savio's would play the best four from Mastan Nagpada. What the coaches did tell the players was that they were looking out for players who had a team sense and not individuals who scored. It was team work tat counted and not just individual talent.
It was indeed a wonderful sight to see so many youngsters on the basketball court from 2.30 pm to about 7.30 pm. These games will be played every Saturday until June 6, 2010. Some of the players who will be selected will perhaps be taken on for bigger things. We wish all these youngsters the best!

BIS #1822 SALESIAN FAMILY PICNIC ANDHERI UNIT


ANDHERI, APRIL 20, 2010: The Salesian Family members (35 Cooperators and 12 Past Pupils) went to Don Bosco Asha Kiran - Karjat, a project for street youngsters, for a picnic. It was the first time that both the Cooperators and the Past Pupils went together to Asha Kiran. A full bus assured there was a lot of excitement in the air. This year the Delegate made a special effort to increase the number of cooperators and get in some younger blood. The senior members were delighted to see new faces and welcomed them for the picnic.
At Asha Kiran the picnickers got ready for mass to make sure the Lord took the most important place in their lives. After a good breakfast Fr. Xavier sat with the group and gave them an idea of all that was happening at Asha Kiran. He spoke of the intake of the boys and youngsters who were admitted into Asha Kiran and said that those with any qualification or having passed their X standard or those who were able to pay fees were automatically disqualified. He also spoke about eco-friendly methods and how we need to preserve and save mother earth. The tour as expressed by many was very informative and relaxing.

Just after the tour, the Cooperators sat for a meeting for the elections of new Council Members. The following members were elected: Mrs. Benny Lobo as a Council member; Mrs. Audrey D'Costa as Assistant Coordinator; Mr. Joauquim Fernandes as Council Member; Mr. Joseph Serrao as the new Coordinator of the Cooperators; Mrs. Ida Rocha as a Council member & Mrs. Crispina Rebello as the Treasurer of the unit.
After lunch there were a couple of games that kept everyone on their toes. With the games and fun time it was time for tea and to make our good byes. After a set of thank yous and tokens of appreciation, it was certainly a day that the Salesian Family Members of the Andheri Unit will not easily forget.

Monday, April 19, 2010

BIS #1821 SENIORS HAVE A ROLLICKING TIME - VIRAR

Loreen Fernandes
VIRAR, APRIL 19, 2010: The picnic for the senior citizens of Resurrection parish, Virar was held on April 17, 2010 at the Sea Lord Resort, Arnala. That the excitement and enthusiasm levels were high at the very onset of the picnic was very evident from the lively singing that began with the bus journey to the venue.
Fr. Edwin Colaco, celebrated the Eucharist during which he shared how the loneliness experienced by the elders prompted him to introduce the Senior citizens’ cell where ever he went. After breakfast, a variety of games kept the elders enthralled though the morning. A dip in the swimming pool increased the appetite. A glass of home-made wine was served along with a sumptuous meal. Afternoon was spent in relaxing beneath the shade of the palm trees, lazing around in the hammocks and being entertained with hilarious jokes.
As the events of the day unfolded, one could not but help notice the gay abandon with which the elders enjoyed freshly made ‘golas’ and love apples plucked straight from the trees.
Each one of them was overwhelmed with the care and concern displayed by the parish team and the core-group members of the senior citizens cell.

BIS #1820 SURF AND SAND, BOSCOWADI CALLING!


Michael Gaikwad sdb & Brian Moras sdb
UTTAN, APRIL 19, 2010:
The two ‘Surf and Sand Camps’ at Boscowadi, Uttan organized by the Don Bosco Youth Services Matunga, were a big hit with the youngsters this summer. The camp for the seniors was from 7- 10 April in which 29 youngsters participated and the second camp was for the junior group (youngsters of Std. VIII – X) from 13- 16 April in which 68 youngsters participated.

On arrival at the Camp Site, the youngsters were welcomed by the camp chief Fr. Brian Moras. This was followed by ice breakers and snacks. An eventful session of tent pitching and repitching for those teams which got it wrong followed.
The evenings were full of tournaments and fun filled relay games. A refreshing swim in the beautiful waters of the Uttan beach, all in bright orange life jackets and thrilling water games ushered in the twilight. The first evenings Eucharist was a celebration in which we invoked God to bless our camp. At the Eucharist the camp site was blessed by Fr. Glenford Lowe. The day ended with a mini camp fire.
Music ushered in the second day. This was followed by a session on creative worship conducted by the Frs. Glen and Brian. Breakfast was followed by Inspection and a session on inward journey. Post lunch the youngsters trekked to the light house. Climbing to the very top of the light house was an exhilarating experience. The breathtaking beauty of Uttan from such a great height was memorable. The afternoons on each day were occupied by spare time activity of keychain making, marble painting and statue making.
On the second evening the campers made a night pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady, paying their respects also to the Cross on the mountain.
Teambuilding and team work was enhanced by a creative competition of moving through the cobweb made of rope stretched across trees. The third day we focused on God’s call in our lives and our response to it. The Brs. Jesu and Michael shared their vocation stories with the youngsters encouraging them to be generous and daring in answering God’s call in their lives. Post lunch the youngsters were briefed and given time to prepare for the grand camp fire.

Daily reporting’s, inspections and action songs kept the youngsters energetic and enthusiastic throughout the camp. The grand camp fire was an extravagant affair of fun and competitions such as fashion shows, fancy dress, parade, skits based on values and Kim’s observation game.

The final day began with the Eucharist followed by the competitive camp quiz in which Don Bosco featured prominently. Dismantling tents was another eventful ceremony, followed by a community service of cleaning the campsite.
The youngsters benefitted from the camp, growing in leadership qualities, learning to live independently and courageously and discovering their potential.

BIS #1819 WOMENS DAY WITH A DIFFERENCE AT DON BOSCO KAWANT

KAWANT, APRIL 19, 2010: Kawant was once upon a time known for its cultural heritage and beauty, but as time passes, one can see the changes that are taking place in their life style and culture. The sight at Holi (Gher) was an eye opener. People from all walks of life would come on Gher day, to see the beautiful adivasi cultural dances in the town. But this year, the sight was disappointing. Only two or three groups were seen in the town giving their best shots. The community of Don Bosco, Kawant decided to revive the adivasi culture by inviting the different dancing groups of Kawant taluka on April 14, 2010, a day marked for Dr. Ambedkar Jayanti and Women’s day.

The day began with the fete games organized by the scouts of Don Bosco followed by the cultural dances from four different groups of Umti, Nakhal, Raisingpura and Vazepur. Each group was given Twenty minutes to perform on the stage and the winner was the group from Raisingpura. Rathwa women’s group from Kawant performed a skit on the role and importance of Gram Sabha in the villages. Many women realised that the key to the development in the village is through attendance and raising ones voice in the Gram Sabha. The chief guest Mrs. Kiran Lohani spoke on how to revive the adivasi culture, women being the best to bring this change. Fr. Byron, too spoke on the importance of Adivasi culture. He said that one should not feel shy or feel small in acknowledging ones culture. Adivasi culture is rich and well recognized all over the world. All cultures are equal in the eyes of God. A turn out of Three hundred and Ninety Two people was seen for the day. Special prizes were given to all the groups by the chief guest.

BIS #1818 BRIGHT FUTURE FOR 20 AHMEDNAGARITES

Bento D’Souza & Ajay Bhosale
AHMEDNAGAR, APRIL 17, 2010: ‘Primary Education for all’ is a birthright and ‘Higher Education for all’ is a privilege, may sound pompous in print. ‘Who is responsible for the education of the poor in India today?’ Is the question everyone is asking today.

The primary source of funding lies with the Government. As the task is gigantic, the secondary sources of funding are shared by non-governmental organizations. Sahara Foundation is just one of them. It is a registered organization that has worked from the library of Don Bosco Community College in St Anne’s Parish, this past year. Sahara Foundation in partnership with Don Bosco’s, Ahmednagar dispensed Rs. 40 lakhs educational loans & Rs. 20 lakhs business development loans ranging from Rs. 2 lakhs to 3.40 lakhs each to 20 students in need, to pursue the qualification of their dreams.

While Sahara foundation is the front office, Maulana Azad Alpasankhyank (Minority) Fund is the back office for this operation that pays the entire cheque of the academic fees to the college institution at one stroke.

Subhashsheth Gundechya, President of Nagar Press Conference, Rajanitai Shetty, Social Activist, Ajay Bhosle, President of Sahara Foundation and David Sangale Liason Officer of Minority Commission/Founder of Sahara Foundation, Fr. Anton D’souza of St. Anne’s Church were awarded the gift cheque worth Rs. 60 lakhs by the Maulana Azad Alpasankhyank Mahamandal at Government Guest House (Inspection Bunglow), Ahmednagar. Ajay Bhosle and David Sangale these are the acting functionaries of the Sahara Foundation who have achieved such a feat in the span of four years by providing the timely and much needed economic support for around 25% -30% of cases. The Minority Fund, the brain child of Sonia Gandhi and executed by Janet D’Souza who is the only director on minority commission, (Mantralaya, Mumbai) Minorities Financial Development Corporation demonstrates our commitment for supporting youth in their search for a better tomorrow. Youth who aspire to be educated but lack economic means to the fulfillment of their dream need not fear any more. A study loan is close at hand.

April 13, 2010 turned out to be a lucky day for 20 proud participants who have understood the meaning of the word: Lucky, implying 99% preparation and 1% opportunity.

BIS #1817 ENGLISH CASTLE COMMENCES AT JYOTI

Bliss Michael Burboz



VIRAR, APRIL 15 2010: Thirty three young boys from Vasai-Uttan region came together to better their skills in English. Coordinating the whole camp single handedly along with a few good volunteers Br. Rolvin D’Mello with his meticulous planning and effective execution of duties, saw that the participants in the English Castle enjoy the learning experience to the maximum and carry along with them a taste of Salesian style of education. The group of boys being from mixed cultures will surely add some spice in sharing, displaying and performing what’s best in them. The inauguration ceremony was held at 09.00 am on April 12, 2010 in the hall. Fr. Gregory D’Cunha the Parish Priest welcomed the participants, gave an inspiring talk on ‘talents’ and wished them a comfortable stay with the Salesians. Lay volunteers, youth and the help of Ms. Regina D’Costa and Mrs. Lorraine will help the youngsters to achieve another milestone in their life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

BIS #1816 JYOTI AND VIRAR YOUTH ON DOORDARSHAN

Joylina Burboz
VIRAR, APRIL 6, 2010: When Fr. Edwin Colaco mentioned to us that we have a golden opportunity to feature on Doordarshan our excitement knew no bounds. We got down to work immediately. Alex Lokanthan, the president of the Resurrection Youth, penned the entire script and the practices began in right earnest.
Through the script we wanted to convey how Jesus triumphed over sin and death through his resurrection. To make our presentation very attractive, we interspersed the way of the Cross with songs and a dance.

The programme was telecast on Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3, 2010. It has been a defining moment in our lives. Never in our lives did we ever imagine that we would get a chance to feature on Doordarshan. This has brought our youth closer to each other, helped us to shed our diffidence and made us grow in our love for the church and the Salesians.

This whole project, which has been a joint venture of the Resurrection and the Jyoti youth, has been made possible only because of Fr. Edwin Colaco. His initiative, guidance and constant follow-up have evinced the best in us. These memories and the help offered by Fr. Edwin and Fr. Gregory will be indelibly imprinted in our minds.

Monday, April 5, 2010

BIS #1815 RISEN IN CHRIST: YOUTH PASCH 2010- AN EASTER EXPERIENCE


Natasha Almeida
LONAVLA, APRIL 5, 2010: Don Bosco, Lonavla has got a charm of its own because of its nature's gift and the Apostolic aspirantate Boarding for the future Salesians of the Mumbai Province. It was at this place that the Youth Pasch 2010 was experienced by twenty three working youth of Mumbai. The Youth Pasch is a beautiful experience of the Holy Week to understand and celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. The Pasch began with the train journey to Lonavla on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. It was conducted by Fr. Brian Moras and Fr. Glenford Lowe assisted by Br. Jesu, Br. Michael, Br. Charles and Ms. Bibiana. It was a time of soul searching, grace and learning spiced with fun and action.

After a round of introductions and ice breakers the previous night, Maundy Thursday, the first day of the Pasch focused on the signing of the Pasch Commitment in the morning. On the same day the participants took on an Exodus journey. It was a fascinating personal soul searching program based on the second book of the Old Testament each of the passages were taken giving a contemporary reflection, considering life as journey making one aware of one’s enslavement leading to liberty and freedom. post lunch preparations for the evening service followed group wise. The icing on the cake was the Seder meal and washing of each others feet in the evening. The whole day brought out the values of Humility and Servanthood in each of the participants. “We saw ourselves in a different light today”, mentioned one of the participants.
On the second day of the Youth Pasch the focus was on the Passion and death of Jesus. With the Labyrinth experience in the morning the participants had the opportunity to let go of the past, accept the present and surrender their future to the Lord. The inward and outward journeys of the Labyrinth allowed the participants to spend time with and challenge themselves. It was a prayer that allowed one to experience the mystery of God in a tangible way. The labyrinth is more about the journey than the destination, about being rather than doing. It reminded one that no time or effort in life is ever wasted, for each step takes us toward the center and moves us closer to God and self. The Good Friday service in the evening was integrated with the Way of the Cross and was well animated and personalized by the Paschers

Holy Saturday focused on the ‘empty tomb’. Through the sessions during the day the Paschers realized that they have to die to their old selves and rise again to become a whole new person in Christ. Preparations for the Easter vigil followed post lunch. The Vigil was solemnly celebrated with melodious singing and a well animated liturgy. A set of well prepared games kept the youngsters busy through the night.

The three days brought out enough talent and potential of every participant. The whole experience was not only spiritual but also youthful. It made the participants stop and think. YP 2010 was indeed a unique Easter experience. To top it all the sharing sessions and the friends made along the way made the Pasch a memorable encounter with Jesus. The celebration indeed has begun with the Risen Lord! Hallelujah!