Friday, October 31, 2014

BIS # 4207 PRACTICAL TRAINEES COURSE HELD AT NARUKOT

by Cl. Clarence Martis


NARUKOT-GUJARAT, OCTOBER 31, 2014: The twenty Practical Trainees of the Mumbai Province met at Don Bosco Narukot, Gujarat for a three-day course. They arrived on the evening of October 26, 2014. The confreres of the community welcomed the brothers and Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, the Vice-Provincial and wished them a happy stay. On October 27, 2014, the day began with the Holy Eucharist at 7.00 a.m. Fr. Ajoy invited the brothers to share their moments of healing and joy during the Eucharist. After the Eucharist, Fr. Brian Boothello welcomed all and acquainted the brothers with the sessions that they were to undergo over the three days.
 
The first session began at 9.00 a.m. Mr Bharat and Mr. Govind gave an input session on plumbing. The brothers got an opportunity to try their hand at some plumbing works. At 2.00 p.m. Mr Arvind took a session on Electricity. He helped the brothers with the basics of electricity and how to prepare a switch box. After tea at 4.30 p.m. the brothers enjoyed a game of football. Fr. Ajoy Fernandes had a session with the brothers at 6.40 p.m. He gave some news of the province and then he spoke on GC27 in a nutshell. The brothers then shared the various activities that were being conducted in their respective communities for the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco. After supper, the brothers had an enjoyable game of volleyball.


On October 28, 2014, after the Eucharist, Fr. Pravin Mackwana along with Mr. Pappu and Mr. Ashwin briefed the brothers about the various development works that were being carried out in the villages of Narukot. At 9.00 a.m. the brothers continued with the session on Electricity. At 11.15 a.m. Mr. Sanjay and Mr. Deepak conducted a session on Computer Hardware. The session continued in the afternoon too.


 At 4.15 p.m. the brothers along with Fr. Brian Boothello, left for Don Bosco Chhota udepur as they were invited for tea and thereafter, to Don Bosco Kawant where they were invited for dinner. On the final day, October 29, 2014, Fr. Brian Boothello took a session on Sound. The session went on until lunch time. Post lunch, the brothers packed their bags. They thanked the community for their hospitality and left for Baroda at 3.45 p.m.

BIS # 4205 ‘CROSSROADS’ – SEMINAR FOR YOUTH AT KUWAIT

by Susan D'costa

NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, OCTOBER 31, 2014: Expat children living in Kuwait who have completed Grade 12 need to move overseas for further studies as no international schools are permitted beyond that level. Their teenagers thus reach a critical "crossroad" in their lives, needing to make some tough career choices. As they set out into this new-found independence at such a tender age, they are faced with many more "crossroads" both in their careers and in their daily lives. 


Keeping this in mind, the Salesian Cooperators conduct an annual programme called "Crossroads" to provide these youngsters with skills for coping with all the decision-making that lies ahead of them. This year it was held on October 25, 2014. 'Crossroads 2014' was well attended by around sixty five youth from grades 9 to 12 and covered four basic aspects: Making right decisions in life and spirituality, Types of personalities and careers we choose, Choosing the right job and Studying in a relaxed atmosphere.


Dr. Joshy Kuriakose, a counselor at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Kuwait conducted the first session of the seminar which was focused on decision-making. Through dialogue, Dr. Joshy highlighted the psychological aspects of pressure from parents. He went on to illustrate to the youth, the benefits of keeping their goal in mind and forging ahead despite distractions and temporary setbacks. All along, he encouraged them to never lose sight of God, keeping prayer in their heart at all times.

This was followed by a lively and engaging presentation "Love what you do and Do what you love" by Mr. Christopher Pereira, a Salesian Cooperator and HR Manager of a reputed company in Kuwait. Together with his own testimony and those of leading personalities like Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, Christopher demonstrated that everyone was unique, "we are all different and it's absolutely fine." He further explained the different personality types and discussed best jobs for every personality type. "I liked the topic on personality because you know who you are and what category you belong to" remarked Eulisa Fernandes in her feedback form.

Next, Mr. Bradley Eiffe, HR Director of a Company in Kuwait, helped students become aware of the variety of career choices available in the world and assisted them in discovering the most suitable options for them individually. Despite the somber topic the youth were regaled with storytelling, laughter and camaraderie. Dr. Joshy then, once again took over and this time addressed the youth on the benefits of good study habits. Studies should not be interrupted with other distractions as he shared, "if one dedicates an hour for studying, then that hour should be dedicated only for studying". He led them into a brief meditation to illustrate the benefits of this technique. Joshua Shaju in his feedback form mentioned "I liked Dr. Joshy's talk as it made me more confident".

Throughout the day, their cooperator, Ursula and compere for the event kept the youth from getting lethargic through innovative games which kept them on their feet and active. Fr. Blany Pinto closed the event with a final prayer and Susan D'costa gave the vote of thanks, being specially grateful to all the Cooperator volunteers who worked tirelessly in organizing the event.

BIS # 4206 CELEBRATING DIWALI AT DIVYADAAN

by Christopher Nadar


NASHIK-MAHARASHTRA, OCTOBER 31, 2014: On the auspicious day of Diwali the community of Divyadaan, Salesian Institute of Philosophy, celebrated the Eucharist rejoicing in Jesus Christ, the light of the world. The chapel was lit with different kinds of candles and lights which created an atmosphere of festivity.  The Eucharist was celebrated by Rev Fr. Robert Pen, the rector of the community and concelebrated by the other priest of the community.

In the homily, Fr Rector highlighted the similarities between the Diwali celebrations of the Hindus and the Catholic celebration of the occasion as Christ the light of the world. Beginning with the role of light and the origin of the celebration of Diwali, he went on to explain the theological significance of the festival. "The first recorded act of God in the creation of the heaven and earth was to say, "Let there be light". Light is also a metaphor for God's own character. In Ps:-36:9 we read, "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all". Light also symbolizes Word of God and Jesus is presented as the true light in the New Testament. We are also asked to be lights in the world when Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)"

He pointed out that the Biblical account locates the source of the darkness of the world in the souls of each and every one of us. He said, "Yet, the Biblical message is one of hope: we could re-make society in the light of Christ." He exhorted everyone to be lights as a celebration of the victory of Jesus, the light of the world, over the evil in the world. The celebration concluded with a festive dinner after the Eucharist.

BIS # 4204 ONE DAY RETREAT HELD AT KUWAIT

by Diana Vaz

NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, October 31, 2014: On October 25, 2014, the Parish Council organized a one-day retreat for all the members of the different Ministries of the St. Therese Church, Kuwait. The Retreat was conducted by Rev. Fr. Franco Pereira, SDB – Catechetical Director for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia.

The retreat was well attended by over fifty parishioners and commenced with prayer, followed by the movie "Amish Grace". The movie was heart rendering and focused on some important facts of life – the commandment given by Jesus is to Love one another and that love comes from forgiving. "Wow! Forgiveness is not an option for us…it is a blessing and the only way to achieve peace" remarked Stephen Machado, Eucharistic Minister and Lector at St. Therese.

Upon the conclusion of the movie, all present then formed small groups to share views on the four key elements of the film: Amish Culture and Values, Tragedy: My choice – Reaction or Response?, Spirituality of Forgiveness and Grief, Justice and God's Providence. There were also questions for group discussion which brought out the dark areas of ones lives into the marvelous mercy and light of God. A short session using a small palm-sized rock as a prop made them aware of their attachment and dependence on material things. Through this exercise they learned the importance and benefits of "letting go". They felt prepared to receive God's grace and mercy through the sacrament of confession.

This year being the 'Year of the Church', it was appropriate that Fr. Franco briefed the participants on the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church – Lumen Gentium. The Retreat came to a close with the Eucharistic celebration by Fr. Franco. The God's Love Community Prayer Group surprised Fr. Franco with a cake since it was his birthday and sang the birthday song followed by the blessing song. Fr. Franco was overwhelmed and thanked all members for this kind gesture. All members left with smiles and were given a slice of cake.

Leela Mathias, a Lector, member of the Family Cell and member of the Hospital Visitation Ministry wrote in to say, "God put me to the test later that same day. I struggled with detachment but thanks to the exercise on the stone I could work my way through the process".

Monday, October 27, 2014

BIS # 4203 EXHIBITION BONANZA AT NERUL

by Ms. Anita Augustine

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 27, 2014: Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul organised an Exhibition on Saturday October 18, 2014 in the ground floor school Assembly hall. It was organised by the Secondary teachers under the guidance of their supervisors. Around 122 students from the classes VI to X participated in it. The total number of exhibits was twenty-two. Rev. Fr. Bonnie Borges (Manager), Rev. Fr. Anthony Fonseca (Principal) and the Supervisors inaugurated the exhibition at 9:00 am with the traditional lighting of the lamp.  


Fr. Anthony appreciated the efforts of the teachers and students in making the exhibition a grand success. He congratulated the participants, especially Tr. Lisa's project where all the participants had a good amount of knowledge of their project. Students had innovative projects on concepts such as Literature, Mathematical, Hydro Power, Types of Diabetes, Yoga, Superstition etc. Parents and students from the school visited the exhibition. 


Such exhibitions are encouraged as students get an opportunity to present their ideas. New ideas grow in the minds of children. If they cannot present or express them it is of no use. So exhibitions are opportunities where ideas will begin to bloom for the development of the world.

BIS # 4202 ASPIRANTS VISIT THEIR ALMA MATER- JHABUA

by Cl. Ryan Lobo

JHABUA-MADHYA PRADESH, OCTOBER 27, 2014: On the th of October 25, 2014 eleven aspirants arrived with joy and enthusiasm at Don Bosco Jyoti Bhavan, Jhabua. They arrived there at 10:00 p.m. The day was well planned and organized by Fr. Pratap Damor. A small prayer service was organized by the aspirants in the chapel. This was followed by a snack break. Fr. Pratap then took a small session for the aspirants during which he spoke, on the importance of vocation and a few guidelines as to how one should move forward in religious life.

The focal point of the talk was the centrality of Christ and the fidelity and conviction one should have. He then gave them few instructions, that they would need to follow as aspirants. Later, Cl. Ryan shared a few incidents about his vocation and told them to be happy in whatever they did, be convinced about following Christ and remember to focus on prayer and study. The aspirants then had a delicious meal. Post lunch, a friendly football match was organized with the aspirants of the Diocesan seminary. The match was interesting with both the teams giving their best and playing hard. It ended in a draw.

After a little break the aspirants then asked for a basketball match among themselves (XI v/s XII Std). Here the XII Std proved that they were tough contenders. The match ended with a score of 34-22. Tiredas they were they were then served some snacks and hot tea. The aspirants then left for their homes and indeed, they were really thankful to God to help them relive their younger days back in Don Bosco Jyoti Bhavan hostel.

BIS # 4201 DIWALI CELEBRATION PROGRAMME AT NERUL

by Hardik Dave

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 27, 2014: The Diwali programme was celebrated on October18, 2014 in the Ground Floor School Assembly hall of Don Bosco, Nerul. It was organised by the Secondary teachers - Ms. Neeru, Ms. Archana and Mr. Hardik under the guidance of the Supervisors. Around 180 students from the Classes VI to X participated in it. The celebrations commenced with the various competitions organised for the students.


Card making competition, Lantern making and Rangoli competition was organized, where students participated very enthusiastically. Every class was asked to prepare a lantern which was put on display on the ground floor followed by Rangoli making and Card making. Sweets were given to students. The objective behind celebrating Diwali was to inculcate the value of sharing, to enjoy the festivities and also to ensure that the students have a safe Diwali. Children were excited and thoroughly enjoyed the overall celebration. The school campus was abuzz with excitement and joy.  It was a fun-filled day for the students and teachers.

BIS # 4200 GROUP PROCESSES ORGANIZED AT DIVYADAAN

by BIS Correspondent

NASHIK-MAHARASHTRA, OCTOBER 27, 2014: Group processes were organized from October 20-24, 2014 for the brothers of the Bachelors of Philosophy at Divyadaan Institute of Philosophy, Nashik. The groups were divided according to their respective batches.

The first year brothers were animated by Fr. Ian Doulton sdb and Fr.Vinod Mascarenhas sdb which consisted of self reflection, learning to live in a group, forming of attitudes towards God, others and self. It also involved moments of group sharing which enabled building bonds among brothers. The Second year brothers were animated by Fr. Edison Fernandes, sdb and Sr. Ruby Theresa, CTC who  they helped the brothers to be aware of their personality types. The third year brothers were animated by Sr. Florence of Fatima Sisters who assisted the brothers to delve deep into their personalities and understand themselves with the help of Group Therapy process.

All the brothers were appreciative of the various sessions organized during the group processes. Commending on it some brothers said that it had enabled them to develop a stronger bond with other members of the community.

BIS # 4199 INAUGURATION OF YOUTH CAMP 2014

by  Rohan D'souza sdb

KAPADVANJ-GUJARAT, OCTOBER 27, 2014: Don Bosco, Kapadvanj inaugurated the youth camp organized for eighty-six youngsters, who came from the various parts of the Deanery of Umreth in Ahemdabad on October 24, 2014. The inauguration took place as a part of the Eucharistic celebration in Don Bosco Kapadvanj. Present for the Eucharistic celebration were the Rector of the institute, Fr. Ivan DeSouza, the Diocesan Youth Coordinator, Fr. Mayank Parmar  SDB and the Parish Priest of the nearby Karamsad Parish, Fr. Sandeep Parmar.


The four day youth camp, kick started with the Eucharistic celebration in Gujarati and the symbolic lighting of the lamp. Different Youth representatives from the various regions were called upon for the lighting of the lamp. The theme of the Youth Camp, 'Youth and Family Life' was highlighted in the homily and in the backdrop. All the talks and activities would be centred towards it.


"We are happy to have a Youth Camp that has us in mind" asserted Swapnil Pateli, a youngster from the diocese of Umreth, "we look forward towards fun-filled four days in Kapadvanj." "This is our contribution towards the catechesis of youth in the diocese" said Br Jerome Edison, a Salesian, "this forms a part of the vocation promotion in the region." The Camp also formed a part of the Bi- centenary project of the Gujrat region.

BIS # 4198 REMINISCING MEMORIES 8.0

by Bro Aliester D'souza SDB

ALIRAJPUR-JHABUA, OCTOBER 27, 2014: Diwali in all its colour, art and sound is festivity at its best. People celebrate newness with great vim and verve. It is indeed a happy time all over our country and Alirajpur is no exception. The Annual Past-Pupil Reunion is something that makes Diwali even more special at Don Bosco, Alirajpur. 


Alirajpur is just a small town with little or no opportunities for higher education. The students, after having completed their studies in Don Bosco Academy move to cities like Indore, Baroda, Pune or Mumbai in the pursuit of better career prospects. Meeting and catching up with each other is made possible virtually by the outburst of technology but meeting up in real time – face to face – is only possible on an occasion like Diwali when all come home to their families. Where could there be a better place for school mates to spend time than their alma mater!


Don Bosco Academy hosted its eighth Annual Past-Pupil Reunion on October 22, 2014. The entire planning and arrangement was done by the President and the core-committee of the Bosco United – the past-pupil wing of DBA. The teachers of the school – both past and present – were invited. It was a well animated programme. Throughout the entire programme that began at 5 in the evening and lasted five hours, the gathering of 128, were on their feet with the energy they once had years ago when they were students. The programme began with a prayer service and words of welcome given by Fr Ajit Munis, the Vice-Principal. 


Later, a small memorial service in honour of four of the students who passed away during these years was animated. Thereafter, games and dance session was also organized. The students also had some time to share their school-day experiences. Time whizzed by leaving everyone clueless as to how the evening melted into night. Supper was yet another golden moment when between the bites and scoops, students shared their memories. At 10:00 pm, after a final dance the students bade farewell to each other and wished each other luck, success and the blessings of God and promised to meet again same time the next year for a 9.0


The Reunion 8.0 was an opportunity for all the teachers and educators at DBA, to see the fruit of their toil as the students shared their academic successes and their job-placements in major cities all over the country. The educators at DBA were happy to see that the good soil at DBA Alirajpur was indeed bearing a harvest thirty, sixty and hundred fold.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

BIS # 4197 BREAST CANCER AWARENESS PROGRAMME AT KUWAIT

by Joyce Pereira

NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, OCTOBER 25, 2014: October is the month of breast cancer awareness internationally and the parish of St Therese in Kuwait, decided to participate in the awareness programme. The speaker for the evening was Ms. Shebina Amlani, who is the Centre Coordinator at the Al Sidra Association at Al Sabha Cancer Hospital in Kuwait. Al Sidra Center offers open and free access to all people in Kuwait who have, or are related to someone who has, cancer. Access to their services can begin at any stage of the disease and the public can visit the center through a doctor's referral or just drop-in.

Shebina Amlani began by explaining the campaign's slogan, "Our campaign "Be Aware, Show You Care" aims to deliver two important messages to the public. First, be aware and proactive in taking care of your own breast health, and second, be the ambassador of this campaign and educate people around you". It was well attended by over hundred parishioners, comprising mostly of women of different ages. It was very encouraging indeed to see men in the audience too.


Awareness and early detection are keys to survival as Shebina shared some statistics. "According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer survival rates reach over 90% if detected at stages I or II" she highlighted. The session concluded with a testimony from a young cancer survivor Ms. Batool. She has just finished a year of chemo therapy and shared her year's journey with the audience, encouraging them to self-examine and spread the word.  She highlighted that cancer was not something to be ashamed of, but rather an opportunity to help increase awareness and spread God's love.

BIS # 4196 MONTHLY MELA AT WADALA

by Br. Sandeep

WADALA-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 25, 2014: Shelter Don Bosco conducted its Monthly Mela for outreach boys on October 20, 2014 for the outreach boys residing in Mumbai. There were hundred and ten boys who participated in the Mela. The Mela began with a registration of the names of the boys at 8:00 am followed by breakfast and tea. The idea of having snap registration was also initiated this time. After the boys had finished their breakfast, there was a short prayer assembly.

During the assembly the theme of the Mela which was "a new outlook at e waste "was introduced by the Rector, Fr. Gregory D'Almeida. He briefed them about various types of waste and explained in short about the e waste. There were various activities like hair-cut, cutting of the nails, medical checkup, bath, distribution of clothes and counseling that were carried out for the outreach boys.


There was a session on a new outlook at e waste at 11:00 am by Mr. Kaustabh Bhagat who is working with Development office at Matunga. The session was very informative and brought an awareness of utility and damage e waste can cause. This was a new concept for all the boys. Thereafter, some fete games. The boys had great fun playing the games. After which, the lunch was distributed for the boys at 12:30 noon which they relished a lot. 


Post lunch, a dance session was organized. After the dance, it was a matinee time for the boys. The boys watched a new Hindi film named Haider. During the movie, the boys were taught to prepare lantern for Diwali by Grace, one of the staff members of Shelter Don Bosco. The boys were then given tea and snacks and were bid farewell. The boys left the premises of Shelter Don Bosco with a better perspective towards life and e waste. During the course of the day, there were many boys who were counseled and were given a correct orientation about life.

BIS # 4195 DIVYADAAN PARTICIPATES IN THE 39TH ACPI MEETING

by Jerry Varakukalayil, sdb

NASHIK-DIVYADAAN, OCTOBER 25, 2014: The Mph (Master of Philosophy) students of Divyadaan together with Fr. Felix Fernandes and Fr. Ashley Miranda   attended the 39th Annual Research Seminar of Association of Christian Philosophers of India (ACPI).  It dwelt on the theme "The Symbolic World: Construction and Deconstruction." It was held at St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary, Carmelgiri, Aluva, between October 15 and 18, 2014.  Professors of Philosophy from various seminaries and colleges of India, as well as post graduate students of philosophy, participated in the event.  In all, there were more than a hundred participants. Among other dignitaries was Dr. K.S. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Kerala who delivered the inaugural address.

 
Reflection on the theme brought to light the fact that symbols form an integral part of each one's life as human beings. Symbols extend beyond mere discursive reasoning since they speak of a surplus of meaning. As symbols have a way of confering meaning and identity, the papers presented emphasized on the need to be sensitive and alive to the symbolic element in our lives.  This will ensure that all people live meaning-filled and purpose-driven lives. Many important insights were touched upon during the seminar. Becoming aware of the narratives lived out by the marginalised peoples of the world was one such point. Being conscious of the role of the symbol in media was yet another point that they dwelt on. For sure, symbols have a way of shaping one's understanding of life and society.


Fr. Ashley Miranda presented a paper, "The Power of Narrative and Myth in Creating Moral and Religious Value," and Fr. Felix Fernandes spoke on the topic, "The Symbolic Nature of Indigenous Wisdom." After the concluding session on October18, the organizing committee arranged a boat trip at Ernakulam, in which most of the participants took part. The participants from Divyadaan took the opportunity to pay a visit to the tomb of St Alphonsa as well as other places of special significance in and around Kochi before returning home on October 21.

Friday, October 24, 2014

BIS # 4194 PREPARING CATECHISTS TO SERVE IN THE LORD'S VINEYARD

by Rathna Kishore

NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, OCTOBER 22, 2014: The parish of St Therese organized an Orientation workshop for the new Catechism teachers to welcome them into the Lord's vineyard. The workshop was conducted by Christopher Pereira on two Fridays, October 10 and 17, 2014. It focused on the general aspects of teaching and then more specifically on the fundamentals of teaching Catechism.

Keeping in mind that many of them were new to the experience of "formal teaching", Christopher spent the first day introducing them to the basics of teaching, by sharing tips on keeping children engaged and excited. "The success of a good teacher," he said," was to engage all the children in a positive manner by facilitating group discussions, asking lots of questions, competitions, reward and recognition etc." "I was really nervous as I had never taught children. But on the first day, we learned some amazing ideas for working with children" said Rositta Lawrence.
 
Thereafter, Christopher beautifully unfolded the six-fold role of a Catechist – promoting knowledge of the faith, liturgical education, moral formation, teaching to pray, education for community life and missionary initiation.Finally, he demonstrated how the creative knitting together of a human experience with the Word of God and its application to daily life could effectively communicate the day's lesson to the children. He also introduced them to various online and offline resources, that they could use in preparation for their classes.

The second day of the workshop was all about role-play and group presentations. "I enjoyed the second day because we had a chance to put into practice what we had learned on the first day. Through small-group presentations, feedback and review we felt encouraged to take on our new roles" said Sharita Misquith. The workshop concluded with a thanksgiving prayer, setting out with a song in their hearts and a burning desire to reach out to the children the Lord has entrusted to their care.

BIS # 4193 VALUE EDUCATION ASSEMBLY PROGRAMME AT NERUL

by Hardik Dave

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 22, 2014: The value education assembly programme on the theme 'Don Bosco Meeting Michael Magone: Handling a Difficult Child and Conquering His Heart' was presented by Class IX A on October 17, 2014 at Don Bosco, Nerul.  Thirty-two students out of thirty-four, participated in the programme.
 
The students were trained by their Class teacher, Hardik Dave, under the guidance of their Principal and Supervisor. The students sang a song 'Here is a Man' to honour Don Bosco. Another Group of students presented a skit that depicted how Don Bosco met Michael Magone and transformed his personality.  Don Bosco's love and affection helped Michael Magone to tread through the sad road of evil. 


The students also presented a mime act on a PowerPoint presentation on the song, 'You Have Made a Difference' dedicated to Don Bosco who made a difference into the lives of all children he met. The Class Teacher, Hardik Dave proposed the Vote of Thanks and expressed his gratitude to the parents and his colleagues for their support. Students learnt to work as a team.It gave the students an opportunity to show case their explicable talents and potential.

BIS # 4192 DB, NERUL (PRIMARY) CELEBRATES DIWALI

by Poonam Jain

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 22, 2014: The Primary section of Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul celebrated Diwali on October 18, 2014 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The teachers organized various programmes, to bring out the true essence of Diwali as the festival of lights. 


The celebration began with a lot of fanfare. The students assembled in their respective classes to exchange delectable homemade sweets and snacks. While the students still continued to have their fill of mouthwatering sweets, a few selected students were sent to the badminton court to make the rangoli. Later, all the students along with class teachers decorated the entire campus with bright and colourful diyas. The students dressed up beautifully and participated enthusiastically in all the programmes that were organized.


The school management also celebrated Diwali in a traditional way by treating the students to delicious laddoos. Overall, the programme was a grand success as all the events made the campus of Don Bosco reverberate with joy, mirth and merriment.  Thus the celebration gave a bright start to the students' Diwali vacation.

BIS # 4191 DIWALI CELEBRATION AT DOMINIC SAVIO KINDERGARTEN

by  Tr. Nikita

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 22, 2014: Dominic Savio Kindergarten, Nerul celebrated Diwali, which is also known as Deepavali. This festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. This year too, the Dominic Savio Kindergarten celebrated the festival of Diwali with great energy, active participation and pomp.
 
The programme was organized for Preparatory, Pre-preparatory, Playgroup and Pre-Nursery classes on Friday, October 17, 2014. The Students had a lot of fun-filled activities lined up. Diya decoration and exchange of sweets was done in the classroom by students. A competition of lantern making was organized, where one parent from every class was asked to prepare a lantern, which was put on display on the ground floor followed by Rangoli making. The celebration culminated with children dressed up in traditional attire dancing and enjoying together in the assembly hall.

The objective behind celebrating Diwali is to inculcate value of sharing, a feel of festivity and also to have a safe Diwali. The children enjoyed the celebration. Dance was organized by Pre-primary teachers with great enthusiasm. The Teachers felt it was a very innovative way of celebrating the event. The school campus was abuzz with excitement and joy.  It was a fun-filled day for the students and teachers.

BIS # 4190 ASPIRANTS UNDERGO A 4-DAY MISSION CAMP AT AHMEDNAGAR

LONAVLA-PUNE, OCTOBER 22 2014: The Aspirants of Don Bosco Lonavala had a four day mission camp from October 17 to 21, 2014 at B.G.V.K (Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra), Ahmednagar. The camp was organized by Fr. Solomon Rapol and Br. Ramesh Durairaj. 


On the first day, the aspirants were sent to all the non- catholic villages and were asked to have a first-hand experience of the missions in Ahmednagar. The aspirants conducted various games, action songs, competitions and also helped the village students in their English vocabulary and grammar. On the second day, all the aspirants were sent to the catholic villages. In these villages the aspirants conducted catechism classes, taught prayers said at during mass and conducted rosary and bhajan services. 


On the third day, they went around and saw the various works that the Salesian fathers and sisters were doing in Ahmednagar. The aspirants were thrilled, inspired and also felt motivated at the end of the camp and took this experience in their heart as they are soon going to apply for pre-novitiate. It was indeed an eye-opening camp for the aspirants who are journeying towards the Salesian mission and vision.

BIS # 4189 NECDBS 2014 HELD AT MATUNGA

by Mrs. Valerie Mascaranhes

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 22, 2014: The NECDBS(National Education Conference of Don Bosco schools) 2014 as centered upon the imbibing of creative visions of many to nurture new ideas and solutions, has been visualized as an essentiality. Rising from this core value is the need for brainstorming, discussion and dialogue among the Salesian Principals all over India on the key themes that have been expressed as pivotal.  This creates a need for facilitators who serve as catalytic agents to the process.

In view of this, a group of twenty-five able teachers went through a "Facilitator's training programme" conducted by the Adhyayan team on October 16, 2014 at Don Bosco Provincial house, Matunga. The training extended over a period of four hours and covered the following areas: Firstly, The use and role of social media (Twitter, Hash tags) and secondly, the role of the facilitator and building the requisite skills (channelizing, clarifying, reiterating, summarizing, documenting etc.). The session generated a lot of eager excitement and a growing confidence among the group to take on their humbling and crucial role at the NECDBS 2014.

Monday, October 20, 2014

BIS # 4188 FR RICHARD D’SOUZA PASSES AWAY

by BIS Correspondent

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 20, 2014: Fr. Richard D'Souza passed away peacefully on October 17, 2014, at Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga, Mumbai. He was surrounded by all the confreres of the Provincial House Community in his final moments, before he breathed his last and returned to his Heavenly Father.

Fr. Richard was born on January 29, 1929. He was the third child in a family of ten, with seven brothers and three sisters. Two of his brothers are priests, and one sister is a nun. Fr. Richard attributed his vocation to the religious ambient of his family, and to the lively faith and sacrifice of his dear parents.

Fr. Richard was at first a seminarian with the Diocese of Mangalore where his uncle – Victor Fernandes – was the Bishop. When he expressed his desired to join a Religious Congregation, his spiritual director – a Jesuit priest – suggested that he join the Salesian Congregation which looked after poor boys. He developed a greater knowledge of the Salesians by reading several issues of the Don Bosco's Madonna. Pursuing his desire to be a religious priest, he then contacted Fr. Joseph Careno, the then Salesian Provincial of Madras, and was admitted to Tirupattur a year later, after obtaining the consent of his Bishop.


Fr. Richard made his first profession at Kotagiri, in 1950, where he also completed his philosophical studies. On July 1, 1960, Fr. Richard was ordained a Priest at Yercaud by Bishop Selvanathan after having completed his ecclesiastical studies at the Sacred Heart College, Mawlai, Shillong. A few days later, he offered his first Thanksgiving Eucharist in Mangalore, with, "In Generosity Is Love" as his motto. After his ordination, he ministered in various Salesian schools and pastoral settings. His last two assignments were as Assistant Parish Priest at Our Lady of Dolours' Parish, Wadala, Mumbai from 1991 to 2001 and finally at Don Bosco Matunga from 2002 till he passed away. At Matunga, he regularly assisted in the Confessional Ministry in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians.

Fr. Richard led a simple life with no demands and was very 'Salesian' at heart. He loved to be in the midst of the boys and was often seen walking around the school campus even in his old age. He had a very cheerful demeanour and brightened up every conversation with his witty statements. Fr. Richard was also known for his great faith in Our Blessed Mother and to anyone who came to him with their anxieties, he would repeat the recommendation of Don Bosco, "Have devotion to Mary Help of Christians".

During the last few months that Fr. Richard spent at the Provincial House, his health began to wane. His advanced age began to tell on his general well-being. His inability to eat anything substantial caused him to lose weight and suffer severe weakness. When his end was obvious, the entire Provincial House Community gathered around him in prayer to strengthen him in his last moments. Fr. Richard returned to his Creator on October 17, 2014 at 8.45p.m.

Fr. Richard will always continue to be loved and treasured by the confreres of the Mumbai Province as an exemplary Salesian, who lived his religious life with great fidelity. We pray that God may now grant His faithful priest eternal happiness.

Friday, October 17, 2014

BIS # 4187 ASSEMBLY PROGRAMME ON ‘ WATER ANMALS’

by Teacher Mahek Khan

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 17, 2014: The Value education programme is simply a matter of developing appropriate behavior and habits involving inculcation of certain virtues and habits. In Dominic Savio Kindergarten the value education programme is presented through a stage programme where children present a value through a skit, song and dance.


An Assembly programme was presented by the students of Preparatory A, on Monday, October 13, 2014. This programme was organized by Tr. Mahek Khan for Pre-Primary students of Dominic Savio Kindergarten, Nerul in the Assembly Hall. The main objective of the programme was to inculcate in the students the value of avoiding water pollution and to learn the importance of marine life and water animals.

The theme was apt as per the syllabus and very well presented. The teachers felt the programme was well executed with creative ideas and it was an innovative programme. The children enjoyed the programme. The Fathers, teachers and parents appreciated the programme.

BIS # 4186 BISHOP THOMAS MACVAN LAYS THE FOUNDATION STONE AT DAKOR

by Cl. Jerome Aruldass Edison

DAKOR-GUJARAT, OCTOBER 17, 2014: On October12, 2014 Rt. Rev. Bishop Thomas Macvan of the Ahmedabad Diocese visited the Religious Societies at Dakor. His presence was seen as a precious moment of blessing. Bishop Thomas stayed with the societies until October 13. Many projects were inaugurated in the presence of the bishop. 


The day began with Holy Mass at 6:00 p.m that was celebrated by Bishop Thomas Macvan, as the main celebrant. At the very outset of the mass, he congratulated Frs. Isaac Arackaparambil the Rector of Don Bosco, Dakor, Alexander Fernandes, the chief of Amrut Dhara, Kapadvanj, who struggled tirelessly to get the dream of building a temple of God at Dakor and Fr. Ivan De Souza one of the major pioneers of Dakor who is now the Rector of Don Bosco, Kapadvanj. Fr. Bishop cordially invited everyone, to pray in a special manner for the cause of the Church building at Dakor. 


Fr. Bishop preached the homily on 'laying Jesus as the foundation stone of our life.' He said,"Jesus becomes the cornerstone of our life for all purposes of growth, joy and love and without Jesus as the prime source of our life we just crumble into mere ashes that lack basis. Therefore the cornerstone is the authentic rhythm to live life." Bishop Thomas mentioned that, "The house that is built on the foundation of Rock and of the Sand which remains firm and dwindles respectively with the material used built to the house. The true Christian house is built on establishment of the word of God i.e. Jesus Christ the author of life Himself. The powerful word of God can work marvels if only we place complete trust and openness to His will who builds our house as a place fit for God." 


Bishop Thomas persuaded the laity to recognize that they themselves were the living Temples of God, where God resides. He questioned the congregation saying, "Are we making ourselves a fit temple for him?" The Eucharistic celebration was followed by a procession to the construction block where the laying of the foundation ceremony took place. The foundation stone for the erection of the new Church was brought in procession. It was accompanied with songs till they reached the final place. Bishop with the assistance of all the priests executed the ceremony. In the presence of the faithful the Bishop blessed the foundation stone and exclaimed, "This will be a moment of new lease of life, a new sacredness that all the Christian families are entitled to be the living temples of God who are the members of God's body."


After the laying of foundation stone all present put the mud on the foundation which would be the cornerstone of the Christ the King Church, Dakor. Finally, Bishop Thomas Macvan urged the laity to actively pray for Christ the King Parish Church at Dakor. He offered his blessings to all the priests who were vigorously involved in the dream building of this Church.  Subsequently, he paid his annual  visit to the religious communities of Don Bosco, Dakor, Pushpanjali and to the Society of St. Ann.

BIS # 4185 DON BOSCO MEETS BARTHOLOMEW GARELLI

by Teacher Anita Wagh

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 17, 2014: A Value Education programme on "Don Bosco Meets Bartholomew Garelli -having positive approach" was presented by the students of class II C on October 13, 2014 at Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul.


The students were trained by their class teacher Ms. Anita under the guidance of the supervisor Miss Adarsh. The Value Education Programme began with the School Prayer followed by School Anthem.
The skit was based on Don Bosco turning the negative mind set of Bartholomew Garelli to a positive approach. Don Bosco always maintained that in every boy, even in the worst, there was predisposition of goodness and it was possible to use this as a lever for improvement.


The students performed a dance on the song "Celebration". After which, a video was played on 'positive approach.' The noon talk was given by the Rector, Fr. Wilfred D'souza, who appreciated the students of class II C. The assembly programme ended with a vote of thanks by Tr. Anita followed by the instructions given by their Principal. Overall, the programme was a great success giving students hints on positive approach.

BIS # 4184 ANNUAL EXHIBITION AT DB, NERUL

by Debjani Bhattacharya

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 17, 2014: The Annual Exhibition of Primary Section of Don Bosco Senior Secondary School –Nerul was held on Saturday, October 11, 2014. The students displayed wide range of models on all the subjects covered in their curriculum. Neatly displayed exhibits were lined across the length and breadth of the hall. The models were a feast not only for the eyes but also for the mind.

At 9:00 a.m Father Principal – Fr. Anthony Fonseca along with Father Manager- Fr. Bonnie Borges inaugurated the exhibition by cutting the ribbon and lighting the lamp. Students along with their Guide teacher waited patiently for the judges to turn up at their tables. Students were confidence personified as they described and answered questions put forth by the judges. The exhibits were then presented to parents, visitors and school students who came in large number to encourage the participants and to garner knowledge. The exhibition did not disappoint anyone, as there were loads to choose from, in every subject.

At 1:00 p.m, Father Principal declared the Exhibition to be closed. He congratulated the teachers and students for their dedication and hard work. He laid emphasis that the projects were judged on the research conducted, knowledge assimilated, team work and effort in presenting and answering the questions posed by the judges. Project Trignobridge found a special mention in his speech as the Project to reckon with.

As the curtains drew to the Annual Exhibition 2014-15, the students, teachers and parents helped in dismantling the models made, using eco-friendly materials. "Looking forward to 2015-16 Exhibition where new talent, new exhibits, new innovative displays will be seen." exclaimed one of the teachers.

BIS # 4183 DBYS SKYPE MEET WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST FROM MALAYSIA

by Marina D'costa

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 17, 2014: On October 14, 2014 DBYS Animators Fr. Glenford and Fr. Cleophas, along with Ms. Marina the Social Political Co-ordinator of DBYS and Ms. Divya, Resource Person and member of DBYS had a skype meet with the Catholic Human Rights Activist from Malaysia belonging to the SALT ((School of Acting Justly, Loving Tenderly and Treading Humbly with God) Movement to understand the Human Rights Issue in Malaysia and also to learn the methodology to train youngsters for social justice work. 


The speakers were Erlinda Joseph and Amanda Leonie, fighting the Kaiduan Dam and Bakun Dam respectively in Sabha province of Malaysia. SALT was started by Fr. Jojo Fung, SJ as a training programme for youth in Human Rights which eventually has lead to a human rights movement. The discussion began with introduction of the participants and by introducing SALT movement and the SYM (Salesian Youth Movement).


Erlinda shared her university experience and the challenges she faced when joining the SALT work for Human Rights. Belonging to the Orang Asli indigenous community, she has worked towards the rights of her people, also motivating her village members to join her in the social justice work. Likewise, Amanda belonging to the Dusan indigenous community shared her experience about the same. She shared her struggle to fight the Bakun dam along with other Human Rights activist.


The other ideas covered in the conversation were challenges from home and the church, challenges in attracting youth for Human Rights programme, application of theology (the church's teaching) in social justice work, importance of leadership and ideas on movement building. The discussion was fruitful in understanding the challenges of Human Rights, inspiring the DBYS team to work towards social issues in India.


The meet also helped in working out a methodology to involve youth in social political sphere for awareness and action oriented activities. Towards the end of the meeting both the groups decided to be in solidarity with each other and share resources to work towards building awareness on Human Rights.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

BIS # 4182 ANNUAL SPORTS DAY OF PRE-NURSERY AND PLAY GROUP AT NERUL

by Tr. Kirtida

NERUL-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 16, 2014: Keeping with the tradition of providing healthy and joyous education, mixed with a heap of physical activities, the 9th Annual Sports Day for Pre-nursery and Playgroup was organized, with great enthusiasm and joy at Dominic Savio Kindergarten, Nerul on October 11, 2014 at 4.30pm.

The event commenced with the arrival of the chief guest, Mrs. Neha Acchpal accompanied with Fr. Manager, Fr. Principal and the supervisor Miss Mrinalini, followed by the singing of the school anthem. The theme of the event was "FARM SAGA". Classes Pre-nursery A and B performed the march past (animal walk), on the song "let's take a walk around" dressed as farm animals. Thereafter, the Play group A and B performed a drill themed on fruits. They were dressed as different fruits.


Classes Playgroup C and D performed a drill themed on vegetables. They performed dressed as vegetables. Various races were organized based on the theme of the event such as farm animals, fruits and vegetables. The event concluded with prize distribution to the winners of various classes by the chief guest and Fr. Principal. The chief guest was very impressed with the theme based drills and appreciated the very systematic conduct of sports day. She was very happy to see such small children performing with ease.


Loads of appreciation was showered on teachers for their systematic and organized way of working, by chief guests, Fr. Principal and the parents alike and wished them luck for their future endeavors. Parents enjoyed the event along with the children. They were happy to see their children running and winning the medals and trophy.

BIS # 4181 DB, NASHIK CATECHISM STUDENTS CELEBRATE MARIAN DAY 2014

by Br. Sebastian Kamsuan

NASHIK-MAHARASHTRA, OCTOBER 16, 2014: The Catechism students of Don Bosco Nashik celebrated the Marian Day after a month-long preparation, on the theme: "Mary My Mother," on October 12, at 5:00 p.m in the Parish Animation Hall. There were forty two participants from three groups namely, Velankanni, Lourdes, and Fatima. Fr. Bastin, the Parish Priest of Don Bosco Nashik, graced the occasion and declared the Marian Day open. In his speech, he congratulated all the catechism children for taking active part in all the Marian Programmes of the month. Besides, he also exhorted all the students to cultivate a great love and devotion to Mother Mary.


Keeping the aim of the Marian Month in mind: "To know, to honour and to develop Friendship with Mary," a Marian Quiz was organized on the last day. The three groups put up their own Marian Exhibition, wherein, they adorned the statues of Mary with rosaries, flowers, cards, paintings, poems and banners. This gesture of love and honour to our Lady added much colour to the Marian Day. A month-long preparation of the Marian Day consisted of the following programmes: Rosary service, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Marian movie, Quiz, Puzzles and Games.


The first position of the Marian Month competitions was secured by Lourdes, while Fatima and Velankanni secured second and third positions respectively. "At the end of the Marian month, we have not only come closer to Mary but also to one another and have learned to work as a team." commented one of the students. The programme ended at 6:15 pm. with a hymn to Our Lady and a sumptuous tea – party.

BIS # 4180 TRAINING FOR PARISH COUNCIL AT SHRIRAMPUR

by Bento D'souza

SHRIRAMPUR-AHMEDNAGAR, OCTOBER 16, 2014: On October 12, 2014 Fr Prakash Bhalerao, SJ of the Divyavani, Shrirampur spent the entire morning in training the members of the Parish Council , ADMA and co-operators groups in the duties, roles and responsibilities of the Consultative body, the duly constituted Parish council. Inputs and discussion, sharing and feedback marked the three hours spent in understanding the parish council and it role in the parish community.


The Parish council, now known as the parish pastoral council, as in the new model was articulated and them expressed. Questions were asked and doubts were addressed by the trainer Fr Prakash in an informal and friendly manner. The participants wished that the seminar be conducted over a day's duration. All left convinced of the shepherdly role they play in ministering to God's people by being elected to this high and noble calling as parish council members.

Monday, October 13, 2014

BIS # 4179 A BEE BUSY OCTOBER IN ALIRAJPUR

by Fr. Osborn Furtado

ALIRAJPUR-MADHYA PRADESH, OCTOBER 13, 2014: One can truly find a blend of the four aspects of a Salesian Presence: the family, the school, the church and the playground in Don Bosco, Alirajpur. The institute has never failed to do so in the past and more especially during the last ten days as it organized a series of activities varied in its nature but alike in spirit – of course the Salesian Spirit. Only a description of these days could shed better light and prompt clearer understanding of the manner in which, the Salesians in Alirajpur carry the torch passed on by their founder Don Bosco.


Don Bosco Academy organized the Annual Spelling Bee Contest, to begin with the formation of the mind and the intellect. The students had been preparing for this competition for almost a month. It was only after a series of eliminative rounds that the organisers selected forty eight students, who would compete in the finals, which was held on September 29. It had been a tough competition and the institute was proud as two of their boarders won the contest in their respective categories.


The Annual camp of the Don Bosco Scout and Guide of our School was held on September 29-30. This camp focused on training the Scouts and Guides to take active part in the forthcoming Boscoree at Tanjore. Sixty scouts and guides along with their Scout Masters under the direction and the able guidance of Fr. Glen Fernandes pitched their tents in full earnest. The games that followed enabled the scouts and guides to interact and get familiar with scout movement. They felt privileged to have in their midst, Mr. Sandhya Pande one of their senior most teacher's to be the Chief Guest for the evening camp fire. The March Past, Prayer Service, Exhibition and 'The Anthem Presentation' on the theme - 'Heal the World' were the highlights of the event. All in all the camp was a great learning experience and forty Scouts and Guides are enthused about going to Tanjore for Boscoree 2014.  

To foster the spiritual development and to provoke a sense of introspection, the Annual Spiritual Retreat was organised from October 3- 5, for the boarders. An allowance was made even for the Catholic day-scholars who wanted to avail of this facility. The two days were spent in a well-animated self-examination and analysis guided by Fr's Charlin Chandran and Jerome John.


A sense of fellowship, fraternity and family spirit was evident when the staff and the boarders celebrated their Community Day immediately after the retreat on October 6. The entire day was a plenteous package, meticulously planned and executed. It was a day of gratitude for the bountiful blessings the Almighty had showered on the community of Alirajpur.


Don Bosco Academy organised a Garba Competition on September 29 and 30 with the aim of promoting and celebrating culture and festivity. This event has been on the annual programme of the school for seven years and is one of the most colourful, dynamic and awaited event of the year. It gathers the entire school to participate in the festive dance regardless of religious differences. The boarders bagged two prizes for their gracious dance moves in the Garba competition. 


The Salesian tradition of celebrating the feast of the Guardian Angels was celebrated with a phenomenal blend of art, music and prayer. Don Bosco Academy also organized various inter-house tournaments as they along with the entire Salesian Family commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco. "Surely there would be a smile on his face as he watches from high above his sons making his dream a reality." says a member of the institute.

BIS # 4178 DB, NERUL MAKES HEADLINE

by Jennifer

NERUL- NAVI MUMBAI, OCTOBER 13, 2014: An article lauding the efforts of Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul in working towards a cleaner and greener environment was published in the 'dna newspaper.' The article  titled"Don Bosco Kids collect tetra pack for cleaner and greener environment" appeared in the issue dated  September 24, 2014. It highlighted the continuous efforts of the school to inculcate students with the right attitude towards disposal  of waste.


A special mention was made of the tetra pack collection drive and the newly initiated drive for the collection of e- waste. It focussed not only on e-waste drive, but also had a far nobler cause namely,  'The conservation of the endangered Indian Vulture'. The article is a recognition of the concerted efforts of the school management, teachers and students of the school towards doing their bit to undo the harm done to Mother Earth.


The enthusiastic students collected more than 112 kgs of e-waste and crossed the bench mark of 4500 tetrapacks. "It only goes to show that 'Don Bosco,Nerul' surely is the only School in Navi Mumbai, that walks the talk when it comes to issues related to the environment." commented a teacher of Don Bosco, Nerul

BIS # 4177 AHMEDNAGAR SALESIAN COOPERATORS MEET

by  Ian Lemos

AHMEDNAGAR-MAHARASHTRA, OCTOBER 13, 2014: Commemorating the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, the Salesian cooperators of the Ahmednagar region met, to reflect deeply on the life of Don Bosco. Forty nine Salesian cooperators and ADMA members were present for this meet from all the units of the region. It was organized and hosted by St. Anne's house.


The programme began at 6.00 p.m with an adoration that was animated by the Salesian cooperators unit of St. Anne's Church. Fr. Thomas D'costa (Rector) then welcomed the entire gathering. He also shared a few insights on the ministry of Don Bosco with the marginalized and needy youth. He concluded by inviting the assembly, to learn more about the life of Don Bosco and to imitate him in their daily lives. This meet was also an initiative, to get the Salesian cooperators and ADMA members of different units acquainted with each other and to bring them closer to each other; so that they could network and work in harmony with each other.


Fr. Rolvin, animated the next session of ice-breakers along with, some refreshing and fun games through which all the participants interacted with one another. The participants not only enjoyed themselves thoroughly, but also came to know each other more closely. The meet ended with a planning session for the various activities to be held during the course of this bicentenary year. The participants went back after sharing a   sumptuous meal.

BIS # 4176 SAFC ANNUAL MEETING 2014

by Fr. Kenneth Pereira SDB

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 13, 2014: This year, the South Asia Formation Commission held its annual meeting at the Provincial House in Matunga (Mumbai) from October 6-9, 2014. The spadework for the meeting was done by Fr. Loddy Pires, regional coordinator for formation. There were all together nineteen participants in the meeting, including the formation delegate from each of the twelve provinces in the South Asia region.


What made the meeting so special, was the presence of general councilors and world-level animators such as Frs. Ivo Coelho, Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Alfred Maravilla and Chrys Saldanha. Fr. Godfrey D'souza, provincial of the host province of Mumbai and the provincial in charge of the formation sector in the region also attended the meeting. Some special invitees such as Fr. Joseph Jeyaraj (psychologist) and Bro. Vincent Castilino (in charge of the Salesian Brothers in initial formation) were also present for the meeting.


More than a day of the meeting was dedicated to a study of the report on the state of formation in the South Asia Region. Each level of formation was studied carefully and various issues were discussed, notable among them being the all-round maturity of young Salesians, typical problems of formees, the preparedness of the staff in formation houses (beyond academic qualification), the role of psychological help in the formation process, the formation scrutiny (PASIF), ongoing formation and the question of confidentiality.


A major chunk of the four-day meeting was dedicated to the study of the yet-to-be-released document from the Centre: Criteria and Norms for Salesian Personal Accompaniment. The input from Frs. Ivo Coelho, Chrys Saldanha and Loddy Pires was very incisive. Each chapter was presented separately and each time, there followed a discussion from which a number of insights emerged. They were also blessed with the presence of, Fr. Alfred Maravilla from the Mission department. He gave them all, a very lucid presentation of the recently released document from the Centre: Missionary Formation of the Salesians of Don Bosco. This generated a lively discussion on the missionary spirit of the Salesians in South Asia.


All in all, it was a very enlightening meeting. "I, for one, attending such a meeting for the first time, was 'wowed' by the breadth and the depth of the issues that came up for discussion." said Fr. Kenneth Pereira. The credit for the success of the meeting goes to Fr. Loddy Pires (organizer), the animation by such highly competent resource persons, as well as the enthusiastic participation of all those present… not forgetting the five-star hospitality accorded to all by the confreres and staff of Provincial House, Matunga!