Saturday, February 28, 2015

BIS # 4383 PRE– PRIMARY ANNUAL DAY AT NERUL

by Mrinalini

NERUL-NAVI MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 28, 2015: Annual Day of Don Bosco School, Nerul, is the biggest and the grandest event where talents are recognized and students are awarded for their performances in Academics and Co-curricular activities held throughout the year. A theme based musical programme is organized on stage every year. 


Dominic Savio Kindergarten, the Pre – Primary section of Don Bosco School, Nerul celebrated its Annual Day on February 20, 2015 in the evening at 6:00 p.m., on the school ground. The event was organized by the teachers of the pre-primary section under the guidance of Fr. Principal. The Chief Guest for the event was Mrs. Maxima Serrao, Principal, St. Jude Nursery, Panvel and Guest of honour was Mrs. Rekha Vinod Mhatre, Corporator of Karave.

A total of 361 students participated in the stage performances, presenting dances based on the theme "GOD'S CREATION", depicting the seven days of creation. It was an occasion for the students and teachers to showcase their talent, creativity, and enthusiasm through their dance performances and developed stage confidence.

The theme aimed at proposing the message-"Value God's creation and take good care of it." Students, parents and teachers worked together as a team and in coordination.  This event is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zest every year.

It was an evening filled with beautiful performances; Parents were spellbound by the rhythmic performance of their little ones.  The top - class direction, vibrant music with excellent set design and lighting added beauty to the most awaited event of the year. The dancers gave meaning to every word with their art. Parents, teachers and dignitaries enjoyed the journey of God's creation. 

BIS # 4383 VALUE EDUCATION ASSEMBLY AT DB, NERUL

by Jennifer

NERUL-NAVI MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 27, 2015: The Value Education Programme on "Active and Animated Presence in Don Bosco's Teaching Method" was presented by the students of class I B on February 24, 2015 at Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul. The students were trained by their class teacher, Ms. Sujata Ruddewadi under the guidance of the supervisors. The Value Education Programme began with the School Prayer followed by School Anthem.


An introduction based on how Teachers of Don Bosco follow the method of teaching in students' lives then followed. Thereafter, a few students performed a dance on the song "Little Village Juggler". The Assembly programme ended with a voteof thanks followed by the noon talk by Fr. Bonnie and instructions given by the Principal. Students were appreciated for their performance. Overall the programme was a great success.

BIS # 4382 SOCIAL BUSINESS SUMMIT 2015 AT KURLA

by Mr. Conrad Saldanha

KURLA-MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 27, 2015: At the Social Business Summit – 2015 held at Don Bosco Centre for Learning Campus, Kurla (W), on February 21, the Chief Guest Mr. P.S. Malik, Head - Corporate Sustainability, L&T stated that corporations need to pay more heed to the triple bottom line approach where the Social and Environment aspects are gaining in importance.


He mentioned the necessity of adopting the acronym PACE where P stands for Passion, Passion in the job one does, A for action, always be action oriented, C for Change, being continuously adaptable to change, and E for Empowerment where the individual feels empowered. 


In the panel discussion on "CSR – Successes, Learnings and Possibilities", Ms. Seema Tiwari, Head CSR, Godrej & Boyce, Mr. Sajan Thomas, Sr. General Manager, HR, Magic Bus Foundation, and Ms. Prabha Desai, Director, Sanmitra Trust as members highlighted the issues of collaboration between Corporates and NGOs/SBOs, acknowledging that their competencies are different and that transparency, accountability and professionalism are needed.

In the other panel discussion on "Measuring Sustainability", Mr. Bharat Mani, Consultant Dow Chemicals and Hon. Regional Director, CaSI, CSR and Sustainability Institute, Ms. Simmi Sareen, Risk Head, Grameen Capital, and Mr. Puneet Awasthi VP, IMRB, shared insights into how complex it is to arrive at a composite index even though that is what is needed. One needs to look at every point along the value chain and see how it reflects an ecological and long term sustainability perspective. 

Mr. S.S.Kini, Chief Architect, Sulabh International shared with the gathering the commendable work which is being done by Sulabh International in the area of sanitation and cleanliness. The students of Don Bosco Institute of Management and Research presented their experiences during their exposure to NGOs/SBOs as well as appropriate project proposal ideas.

In the Inter collegiate Competition on the theme 'Create the Mumbai you Want", Sydenham College won the first prize, St. Xavier's Institute of Management and Research, the second prize and MET, the third prize.

BIS # 4381 ANNUAL DAY 2014-15 AT NERUL

by Jennifer

NERUL-NAVI MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 26, 2015: The Annual Day for the Primary/Secondary Section 2014-15 was held with a lot of fanfare in Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul at 6:00 p.m. on the school grounds. The programme was graced by the humble presence of our honourable Chief Guest, Dr. Pradnya Sarwade, Special Inspector of Police and Chief Vigilant Officer (CIDCO). 


The Guests of Honour for the programme were Fr. Thalanany Mathew, Fr. Salvador D'Souza, and Fr. Elias. The objective of this event was to recognize the achievements of our outstanding students. It also aimed at providing a platform to the students to display their talents in the form of drama, dance and music.


The Annual Day celebrations began with a cordial welcome speech by our Manager Rev. Fr. Bonnie Borges. Our principal, Rev. Fr. Anthony Fonseca took the privilege of introducing our Chief Guest and Guests of Honour to the audience. This was followed by the felicitation of the dignitaries with bouquets of flowers and mementoes as a token of our love and appreciation.  


The outstanding students of the primary and secondary section were awarded certificates in General Proficiency by our esteemed dignitaries.  The toppers of the board examination were also awarded certificates to acknowledge their achievements. The Annual Report presented by Tr. Lisa and Brijlal Sir took the audience on a visual journey summarizing most events, activities and happenings of the academic year 2014-15. 


The programme began with a magnificent welcome dance followed by the main presentation of the day. The theme of the Annual Day for this year was 'Don Bosco and the Youngsters Today'. This theme was taken up to pay tribute to our patron saint Don Bosco and to commemorate the bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth. Beautiful performances, top class direction, pulsating music, brilliant lighting and marvellous set design brought to life Don Bosco's  work's and  his calling to guide the youngsters with reason, religion and loving kindness.


 Overall, the Annual Day celebration made the whole campus reverberate with joy and mirth. The Annual Day celebration seemed to be a wonderful medium to express our gratitude to the Lord for giving us our great saint Don Bosco. It also served to be an ideal platform for the students to bring forth their creative talents with abundant confidence. 


The celebrations came to an end with the appreciation of the staff behind the scenes that brought the event to its successful end under the supportive leadership of our Principal Rev. Fr. Principal Anthony Fonseca. A formal vote of thanks was proposed by our principal appreciating the effort of all those who were involved in making this Annual Day successful.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

BIS # 4380 FINAL PARENT YOUTH INTERACTION AT BHINGAR

by Bento D'Souza

BHINGAR-AHMEDNAGAR, FEBRUARY 26, 2015: On Sunday, February 22,  2015 Dr. Eknath S. Patole, Ph. D, spoke to the parishioners of St. John Baptist Church, Bhingar on 'The duty and privilege of belonging to the family and the church' from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. 


He presented a PowerPoint presentation screening the feelings that the national church has on the current situations in India. Having attended the recent (Conference of Catholic Bishops of India)CCBI meeting, at Bengaluru,  he gave us an over view of what it meant to belong to the local church as an involved participating Catholic,  quoting from encyclicals and documents of the recent Popes, the Bible and the social teachings of the Church. 


After a short break, a group discussion followed and the groups actively responded to show that they understand what their role in the church should be. Some of them even asked the speaker their own queries and doubts. Mrs. Shobha Patole introduced the speaker and compered the programme. Mr Solomon Gaikwad gave a vote of thanks. The Parish Priest, Fr. Nelson Falcao, thanked all those involved in planning, executing, inviting people and those who attended the event. A short felicitation programme followed.   The people were attentive to the the speakers talk.

BIS # 4379 DIACONATE ORDINATION AT PUNE

by Cl. Evangelo D'Souza, sdb

YERWADA-PUNE, FEBRUARY 26, 2015: The Salesian Provinces of Mumbai and Panjim were proud to witness the diaconate ordination of nine young Salesians at the Sacred Heart Parish Yerwada, Pune on February 22, 2015. Rev. Bishop Thomas Dabre, Bishop of the Pune Diocese, ordained Cleric's Richard, Roshan, Ashwin, Leon, Dinesh, Austin, Crescens, Kiran and Jason as deacons. The theme chosen for the ordination was, "Witnessing Christ through love and service." 


"A deacon is called to serve. He is a servant. He is a minister of the word. He assists the priest in the Eucharistic sacrifice. He is called to be a celibate, a prayerful person and obedient. His service is different from mere social work. Rather he commits himself fully for the love of Christ in the service of his people." This was clearly reflected in the inspiring homily given by Bishop Thomas Dabre.


Rev. Fr. Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of the Mumbai Province, Rev. Fr. Paul D'Souza, Vice-Provincial of the Panjim Province accompanied by Salesian and Diocesan priests were also present for the ordination. Deacon Kiran Nazareth, of the Panjim province thanked the priests, religious and the laity for accompanying them with their support and prayers. The deacons were felicitated and congratulated at DBYC, Pune. Fr. Nelson Carvalho, congratulated the deacons and invited them to serve the Lord and his people zealously. 


Fr. Godfrey D'Souza and Fr. Vinod Mascarenhas prepared the brothers for their diaconate ordination. The family members, relatives and friends of the deacons graced this occasion with their presence and joined in a fellowship meal with the community. 

BIS # 4378 SCOUT DAY AT DON BOSCO, LONAVLA

by Br. Bryce Fernandes

LONAVLA-PUNE, FEBRUARY 26, 2015: The Scout Day was held in Don Bosco Lonavla on Friday, February 25, 2015. The theme for the Scout day was, "Go Light the World".  The Scout Day began with the welcoming of the Chief Guest Rev. Fr Godfrey D'Souza (Provincial of Mumbai Province) and with a short prayer service. 


The prayer service was followed by hoisting of the flag, the flag song and the prayer song of the Scouts. After which some information of the origin of Scouting/Guiding movement was narrated and various other life events of Lord Baden Powell were told to the students. 


The Scouts explained the camp procedures and the rules, the first aid and the first aid procedures, the different types of lashings, knots, gadgets, signs and symbols, the policemen signals and the vehicle signals, the woodcraft signs etc. The scout motto, the promise, the handshake and the Scout Law was read and explained to the audience by the Scouts.


 The scouts and the Scout Master was also appreciated by the Chief Guest for winning the First Place in Boscoree in Sub Camp no.7.The scout day ended with a short message of Lord Baden Powell. Fr. George Carlos, the Principal, delivered the vote of thanks and the students had party games organized by Fr. George Carlos and Br. Bryce Fernandes. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BIS # 4377 POKARDI CHAPEL INAUGURATION AND PARISH CONFIRMATION DAY

by Fr. Cedrick Sankul

AHMEDNAGAR-MAHARASHTRA, FEBRUARY 24, 2015: On February 14, 2015 the new chapel at Pokardi dedicated to our Lady of Velankani was inaugurated at 5:00 p.m. The youth of the village performed a lezim dance as the people proceeded to the entrance of the new chapel. The Grace Choir of our parish led by Mr. Leo and Peter Pandit conducted a praise and worship session that received active participation of the parishioners.  


At 8:45 p.m., the inaugural ceremony began with Fr. William Falcao opening the plaque. A prayer service was then conducted by Fr. William himself. He was accompanied to the altar by Frs. Manuel Murzello, Francis Fernandes and Fr. Anthony Goyal along with Salesian, Sacred Heart (Carmelites) and diocesan sisters of the parish.  


They were taken to the altar with a prayer dance. In his homily, Fr. William stressed the importance of a church and what it meant to be the Church of Christ especially in a non-Christian setting. "It is not the building that makes the church but it is coming together in faith as Christians that makes the church." he commented. 


After the homily, he blessed the newly built altar with holy oil and the chapel and the people with holy water. Fr. Manuel, the Rector and Parish priest was thanked for the efforts taken in building the chapel.   Food was then served to all those present which was sponsored by villagers themselves.

On February 15, 2015 sixty two youngsters and four adults received the sacrament of confirmation. Bishop Lourdes Daniel, the Bishop of Nashik was the main Celebrant for the celebration.   The Eucharist began at 9:00 a.m. with a prayer dance. In his homily, the bishop spoke about being good Catholics and to profess their faith through words, deeds and actions. He touched upon the tenets of our Catholic faith and how a confirmed boy and a girl should live his or her Christian life. 


During the confirmation ceremony, Fr. Manuel Murzello, the parish priest presented the candidates to the Bishop.  After the Eucharistic celebration the all the candidates gathered alongside the Bishop for a photograph.  Thereafter they cut a cake in honour of the Bishop's birthday. The bishop presented each candidate with certificates.  At the end they were given snacks, a rosary and a medal.

BIS # 4376 PROVINCIAL’S VISIT BRINGS GRACE TO DON BOSCO, LONAVLA

by Cl. Clarence Martis

LONAVLA-PUNE, FEBRUARY 24, 2015: Fr. Godfrey D'Souza, the Provincial of the Salesian Mumbai province and Fr. Elson Barretto, the Economer arrived at Don Bosco, Lonavla for the official Provincial visitation on February 18, 2015. They were welcomed by the community through a song and the welcoming words of Fr. Solomon Rapol, the Rector. At 7.30 p.m., the Provincial gave the opening conference to the community. He spoke on the need to be 'men of God' rather than administrators and managers of institutions. In the good night talk, he spoke of the significance of Ash Wednesday.


The next day, February 19, 2015, began with the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. D'Souza. In his homily, he spoke of the daily choices that one has to make; the choice between good and bad, right and wrong. At 10.00 a.m., he met the House Council which was followed by a visit to Maria Ashiana. Post lunch, he met the confreres of the community individually.


 In the evening, he met the Salesian Sisters over tea. At 5.15 p.m., the Salesian Co-operators were privileged to have a word with him. At 7.15 p.m., he gave a talk to the XII standard Aspirants. The community put up a small family circle for the Provincial. In the good night talk, the Provincial thanked the boys for the wonderful programme that they had put.


The final day of the visitation, February 20, 2015, began with the Eucharist at 6.30 a.m. After breakfast, the Provincial graced the 'Scout Day' and was the Chief Guest for the same. Later, he addressed the school staff. He spoke to them of the need to be educators who are role models. The visit culminated with a concluding conference to the confreres at 11.30 a.m. The visitation was a time for grace and renewal for the community.

BIS # 4375 GRADUATION DAY AT DBCC – AHMEDNAGAR

by Mr. Ian Lemos

AHMEDNAGAR-MAHARASHTRA, FEBRUARY 24, 2015: On February 20, 2015 the campus of Don Bosco Community College was throbbing with joy and excitement as 156 students graduated from the 8th batch of the project 'Skills for livelihood & Sustenance'. Rev. Fr. Elson Barretto was the Chief Guest for the programme.


The 8th batch was launched in mid October and after three and a half months the students successfully completed their training in various departments like: computers, electrical, tailoring, beautician, spoken English and typing. Among these, 109 students have appeared for government exams in their respective departments and have done exceedingly well. The highlight of this batch were the 8 blind students from the typing department, all of whom did exceedingly well and one of them getting a job in the collector's office.


The Graduation day function began at 11.00 a.m. with the lighting of the lamp and the students thanking God for His blessings. Fr. Thomas D'Costa (Rector) welcomed the gathering and also spoke about Don Bosco's worldwide mission. Fr. Elson – the Chief Guest expressed his joy on witnessing so many youngsters benefiting from the services offered at Don Bosco Community College. He also exhorted them to use the skills they learned at DBCC for the betterment of society and the world at large.


The distribution of certificates and prizes was followed by the speech of Fr. Rolvin D'Mello (Director); in which he encouraged the students to be the salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16). The function ended with snacks and refreshments being served to those present.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

BIS # 4374 BOARDERS PICNIC TO MULA DAM

by Fr. Cedrick Sankul

SAVEDI-AHMEDNAGAR, FEBRUARY 21, 2015: On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 35 boarders of Don Bosco, Savedi along with the Fathers and brother went out on an annual picnic organized by the management to Mula Dam. The boarders left for the dam at 9:30 a.m. by bus. The Mula Dam is about 34 kilometres from Ahmednagar. The dam provides water to whole of Ahmednagar district.  


On their arrival at the dam, the boarders were taken around the place to see the structure and working of Mula dam. Thereafter, the boarders spent their time playing and dancing. One of the workers, also our parishioner helped us to get permission to swim in the corner of the dam. The boarders were then served lunch which included biryani and fish caught from the dam the swim. After playing some games, the group left for the boarding at 3:30 p.m. The boarders enjoyed the picnic thoroughly.

BIS # 4373 WORKSHOP ON SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN

by Dr. Susan Mathew

CHANDIVALI-MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 21, 2015: The UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), a National Crime Agency Command and the British Council jointly organized a three day training  in `Safeguarding Children'  from February 16-18, 2015  at the Nahar  International  School, Chandivali, Mumbai. The programme had a participation of about 75 representatives working directly with the children like the counsellors, social workers, teachers, therapists, NGO personnel, CWC members and other educational professionals. Eustace Fernandes of Shelter Don Bosco, Vatsala Prasad of Don Bosco Balprafulta and Susan Mathew of Don Bosco Research Centre attended the training.


The programme began with a key note address by Ms. Sharon Memis, Director West India, British Council. In her address she emphasised that UK considered it as a huge responsibility to safeguard children from all forms of abuses and it was important that both UK and India shared their professional experiences on violence against children and joined hands for a common cause to protect the rights of the children. 


Two official representatives from Delhi crime agency were also present at the occasion and they felt that the staggering online child sexual abuse cases was posing severe threat to children as cyber crime had no boundaries. Mr. Pravinkumar Patil, DCP, Crime Branch made a brief presentation on `Reporting Cases of Child Sexual Exploitation' in India. "As per the latest figures available, 65% of child sexual offenders were neighbours while 32% offences happened at homes." said Mr. Patil. He also summarised the POCSO Act, 2012 and urged the audience to seek legal assistance and the existing services like Helpline, Alert Citizen Group, Police stations and CWC to bring sex offenders to the book. "Many sex offenders went scot-free due to lack of reporting and it was important that the reporting mechanisms were strengthened", he added.  


`Sexual Violence against Children in India' was discussed by Ms. Vidya Reddy of NGO Tulir, based in Chennai. Quoting the National Crime Record Bureau, she mentioned that 42% of India's population was constituted by children who were at a high risk of sexual violence. There was a large gap between `figures recorded' and those were `actually being reported' and also a high correlation between watching child sexual images and committing child sexual offences. Session on `Online Child Sex Offenders' and `Transnational Child Sex Offenders' were intensely dealt by  Nicci Hawkins, Mark Barnet and Eva Bari of the CEOP.


 Each session unfolded the gravity of `sexualisation of children encouraging paedophilic sexual desires in them. "One of the most dangerous techniques used by the online sex offenders was `grooming', a process of manipulation by which the offender gains the trust of the child through chatting,  flattery, intimacy building, sexual gaming, bribing, gifting, and sexting (sending sex images and selfies). Grooming gradually advances to the level of `silencing' and  `desensitisation' of the child and the child would be eventually isolated to yield to the offenders' sexual demands at a private space in the real world.  Once the child had fallen prey to the offender's grooming, what followed was the real victimisation of the child through threat, blackmailing with pornographic images and videos."


He continued, "The impact on the child could be so severe and traumatising that the child start feeling betrayed, stigmatised and indulge in self-blame resulting in depression, withdrawal, substance addiction, nightmares and suicides. Due to the availability, accessibility and affordability of high tech internet services and web applications (You tube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, Twitter etc..) the cyber crimes on child sexual abuse have been rapidly shooting up. In the last 2 years, 424 children as young as 8 years had become victims of online black mailing in UK.  Since India is the 2nd largest internet user, there is a greater risk for online child sexual abuse. The most vulnerable children were those who are lonely, neglected, emotionally abused, addicted to net, having low self-esteem and depressed. Some of the protective mechanisms were (a) discuss the concept of `stranger danger' with children (b) children not to disclose personal information (c) children Inform trusted people about the problem in the beginning."


According to the CEOP team, one of the greatest challenges of counsellors/teachers or other stakeholders in dealing with victims of child sexual abuse was children's reluctance to `disclosure'. Disclosure happened only when the child felt the interviewer could be trusted and that could take a long time. Disclosure could be partial, indirect or accidental. Some of the reasons for non-disclosure were lack of understanding of grooming, fear of offender, impact on family and above all children fear that they won't be believed. 


In order to ensure an early disclosure, it was important that the interviewer displayed patience, ability to listen without interruption and confidentiality.  Long term consideration of disclosure included therapeutic needs and ongoing support. Along with the theoretical inputs, the programme saw short videos, documentaries, being played out as part of each session that not only caught the eyeball attention of the participants but also conveyed a strong message of the rising vulnerability and danger lurking in the world of internet for children.


The concluding sessions were devoted to the presentations of NGOs such as the Childline and  Prerana who have been in the frontline for the protection of children from sexual offences. Mr. Nishit Kumar of Childline briefed the audience about the service of Childline and creation of the POCSO Act (after the episode on child sexual abuse featured in Satyamevajayate which gave the impetus and the support from Government and NCPCR). Documentary film by Childline `Komal', India's first film on child sexual abuse had gained world- wide popularity and has been shown in all possible languages to send out the message on child sexual abuse.


He also pointed out that due to the influx of mobile phones and disappearing PCOs in cities, street children were unable to get across to Childline, which he felt was a major concern. Ms. Uma Subramanian of Prerana explained to the group the initiative `Arambh' which included numerous infographics and downloads on CSA and also about Prerana's objective to remain connected to various other NGOs in this pursuit. Marc Barnet of CEOP talked about the service of CEOP's education programme called `Think You Know' involved in spreading awareness about the online sexual abuse and professional help to safeguard online assaults.


During the valedictory session, the principal of the Nahar International School, Ms. Vandana Arora reminded the participants about `knowledge transfer' which they gained through training to at least 20 people whom they associate closely in their professional field. With well worked out course content, extremely engaging sessions by the resource persons, case studies, group work and role plays, the training programme evoked active participation and stimulating discussions and the participants felt the training was highly enriching, informative and useful in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

BIS # 4372 “GROWING IN HIS GRACE”

by Cl. Jerome Aruldass Edison

DAKOR-GUJARAT, FEBRUARY 19, 2015: Twenty five years of growth in the bosom of the divine was celebrated by Don Bosco, Dakor on February 17, 2015. This grand day was graced by Archbishop Thomas Macvan of Ahmedabad Diocese, Gujarat, Fr. Isaac Arackaparambil, the Manager of Don Bosco, Dakor, Sr. Ann. Rose the Superior of St. Anns, Dakor and Sr. Rita the Superior of Pushpanjali, Dakor, Fr. Ivan De Souza director of Don Bosco, Kapadvanj. The programme was solemnized by Fr. Michael Fernandes the former Provincial of Mumbai Province and a wise canonist as the Chief Guest. He was a pioneer along with Fr. Ivan the Salesian Dakor house during the year 1989. 

 
Teachers together with the children worked hard to keep up the standards of the Salesian school. The highlights of the programme were the independent cultural dances and a mini mime musical on Magician called Don Bosco. The musical emphasized on the transformation in the life of youngsters through Don Bosco. 


On this auspicious day, several past pupils from the year 1989 to 2015 came together once again and flavoured the experience of love imparted as earlier.  It became a day of expressing the real development of students in the school throughout these years.  Many past pupils confessed that Don Bosco, Dakor's education was more than just the curriculum i.e. life. The addresses beautifully envisaged the flourishing of Don Bosco, Dakor in its own charm. 


The winners and outstanding students in academics, sports, catechism and various other competitions were awarded. Moments of initiatives and victory were felt in the hearts of every pupil while the school report was being presented. Fr. Michael Fernandes thanked all the Salesians for their pastoral love passed on to the students by way of being Principal, Rectors, and Brothers which has borne fruit. Mr. Naresh Macvan gave the vote of thanks.


He thanked God, Don Bosco and especially Fr. Ignas Macvan, the Principal of Don Bosco School, Dakor and every individual who made the day special for the Jubilee. He also thanked the neighbouring communities for their support and students and the community for the hard work done. All the dignitaries, Salesians, teachers, students, benefactors and well wishers shared a warm meal at the culmination. They departed to their houses thanking God for the gift of Don Bosco, Dakor whispering the wish "Growing in His Grace"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BIS # 4371 PARENT-YOUTH INTERACTION AT BHINGAR

by Fr. Bento D'souza

BHINGAR-AHMEDNAGAR, FEBRUARY 18, 2015: Professor P. C. Bedarkar, Ph.D. of Ahmednagar College was the resource person for the Parent Youth interaction that took place in St John's Parish, Bhingar on Sunday, February 15, 2015 from 9.00 a.m.-12 noon as part of a concerted effort to make the two generations one amicable team in working for the common good of the home-as- church.
 
After a presentation on the theme: Freedom and responsibility, a two way interaction mechanism was initiated and the audience wrote their questions on sheets of paper and they were tactfully and concisely answered to by the speaker.  All questions were answered and the people felt that their issues were dealt with adequately. 


Another session of the same kind would be held in the coming week themed: 'My Relationship of the Home-church and with churchy-church.' Mr Joe Patole was the compere and Mr. Solomon Gaikwad delivered the vote of thanks.

BIS # 4370 ADIEUS DEAR FRIENDS


by Cl. Ryan

JHABUA-MADHYA PRADESH, FEBRUARY 18, 2015: On Monday, February 12, we as the community of Don Bosco Jyoti Bhavan, Jhabua bid farewell to the boys of standard X and XII residing in our hostel.  We are indeed glad and grateful to God as the first batch of standard XII passes out of Jyoti Bhavan this year after a closure of four years. The students were joyful and expressed their sadness as they were to leave the hostel. 


 In the evening, a football match was organized between the students of standards X and XII and with the best football players of the rest of the hostel including the staff. The boys of the X and XII defeated the hostel with the score of 2-0 in 45 minutes. The main highlight of the day was the Eucharistic celebration celebrated by Rev. Fr. Pratap. He spoke of the time spent in this house, remembering all the good as well as not so good experiences, and the times when we learnt some good things for life. 


The boys of standard IX, put up a hilarious skit followed by a farewell song by the students of standard XI A special dance was put up by the juniors of our hostel to show their love towards their senior. A PowerPoint presentation prepared by Bro. Ryan was shown that included the contribution that each member of the Don Bosco Jyoti Bhavan parivar. 


At the end of the programme, Fr. Royal gave a farewell talk to the boys wishing them good luck for their future. They were also assured that they were always welcomed to their alma mater, a place where they grew and build dreams for their future. "The doors of our parivar will be always open to welcome them in." The boys then gifted the house a new DVD player. We as a community wish them God's blessings and a successful future ahead.

Monday, February 16, 2015

BIS # 4368 JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS AT DB, ALIRAJPUR

by Fr. Osborn Furtado

ALIRAJPUR-MADHYA PRADESH, FEBRUARY 16, 2015: In this bicentennial year, the Don Bosco Community at Dakor celebrated its Silver Jubilee. Twenty-five long and grace-filled years have borne abundant fruit in the mission. The football tournament organized on February 8, was a part of the jubilee celebrations.

To participate in this event, a team from Don Bosco Academy travelled 230kms. Not only did the boys gain experience and a chance to win the hearts of the spectators but much more. Having played their first game with Baroda B and routing them 9-0, they were adjudged finalists on the credit of the massive goal-difference earned. They won the tournament by defeating DB Snehalaya 1-0.

The community at Alirajpur is proud that their boys are champions. At Don Bosco Academy, Alirajpur's, alongside academic brilliance, a lot of values are instilled in the boarders. They are taught conduct, goodwill, respect and obedience. They are forged to be hardworking and multi-faceted. The team that travelled to Dakor did not consist of all the best footballers of the DBA, rather, boys who scaled the benchmarks set by the DBA.
 
It is not the cup that makes the boys champions for it may soon be forgotten, lost or tarnished, but the values and discipline (restraint and self-control) etched on character. Alirajpur is proud to have produced such young men. 

BIS # 4367 DBC, KURLA ORGANIZES SEMINAR FOR THE MEDIA FACULTY


by Gaston D'Costa

KURLA-MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 16, 2015: When you first hear the word "Mass Media", you immediately relate it to – glamour and a great work culture where you get to extend your college lifestyle at work. "As a professional from outside the media industry but with a strong interest in the field," said Gaston D'costa "I recently attended a very interesting event called DOMM LIFE and thought I would share my thoughts on the same."
 
DOMM's (Department of Mass Media at Don Bosco College, Kurla) recent event 'LIFE' decided to evaluate this glamorized industry of media and find out what the reality is and what are the industry expectations from this new generation of Media students. As any student or young professional will know, media is not just about the two specialisations offered by Mumbai University i.e. Advertising and Journalism. There are a whole range of industries, careers and job roles that open up to students of media. Ten industries and professionals were selected to present at this event. 


The opening seminar on 'Advertising' was a really good one where common myths about advertising were busted - whether it was the long hours and the low money or whether it was about how to "tell a beautiful lie". The speaker, Mr. Omkar Sane, was insightful and forthright in the realities and expectations of the industry. 


Other noteworthy sessions were on social media, writing, public relations, events, marketing and broadcasting. "The creative industries included photography, scripting and direction and music and while I originally wondered if these held any relevance to "media", I realised photography is used to "execute" the vision on the brand; scripting and direction is important to communicate what you want for your brand and audio/music livens your brand and makes long term associations for it." said Gaston.


The organisers for the event, Study Networks, really managed to capture the essence "no lectures, no homework, no exams, just the hard truth…" in this session. "Speaking to them," said Gaston "I realised that they cover a range of professions and conduct similar seminars across schools and colleges and I look forward to their next one." DOMM LIFE will be digitally broadcasting these sessions from Monday, 16 Feb 2015 and I do encourage you to log on www.dommlife.in and benefit from it as I did.

BIS # 4366 A JOURNEY OF SELF DISCOVERY - CATECHISTS’ RETREAT 2015

by  Myra D'souza

NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, FEBRUARY 16, 2015: A little over a hundred catechists from the Parish of St. Therese, Salmiya attended the annual catechists' retreat conducted on February 7, 2015. It commenced at 8 a.m. with breakfast and concluded with the Holy Eucharist at 4.30 p.m. The retreat titled 'River Mee' began with a video clip which follows the meanderings of a river from its source until its final destination the ocean. At the end of the retreat some of our catechists commented on each of the sessions in the following words.


"After our time of quiet reflection on each of the 15 stages," Sylvia Gracias commented saying, "normally life is so hectic, there is no time to understand what is going on in our lives. It was wonderful to see how God is always present." Maryann Soares agreed saying, "It was an emotional experience for me as well." Linda Fernandes said, "Meditating on all that has happened in my life I can see clearly how God's presence is guiding me all the way."


The second session was a time of group sharing and Evelyn D'Souza said, "The group sharing was a lovely experience. In fact, it served as a continuation of the self reflection helping us realize that all of us face the same river paths (irrespective of how many years we have served as catechists). We are humans and we all need God.  The personal sharing helped us support and encourage one another which ended in a time of praying for one another. "


Commenting on the third segment 'At Sea with God' and likening it to Jesus' parables, Charlene Fernandes said, "Fr. Franco drew remarkable parallels between a voyage on the high seas and our life's journey to God. We were urged to reflect so as to determine our well-being in different aspects of life - our physical quotient, emotional quotient as well as our relationship with others. Father stressed the importance of having a well-formed, clear conscience, a positive attitude to life and the ability to focus as all these influence our decisions especially during trying times. Father concluded his reflection urging us to make the necessary adjustments and move ahead in life, mindful of our final destination – a share in the glory of God in here on earth and in heaven."


Sam Francis, the catechetical coordinator for the Vicariate delivered the final talk before the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. This is what Ryan D'Souza had to say, "Mr. Sam Francis took us on a spiritual journey back in time to the days of Abraham through to Joseph and showed us how the lessons that Joseph learned through his trials and triumphs are still applicable in today's world. It was truly a spiritual rejuvenation and an educational encounter. I look forward to attending such spiritual talks in the future."

After our marathon spiritual voyage we all were brought safely to harbor by our able captain Fr. Franco and co-captain Sam Francis. Our wonderfully enriching day was brought to a fitting close with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

BIS # 4365 ANNUAL SCOUT GUIDE CAMP AT NERUL


by Jennifer

NERUL-NAVI MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 14, 2015: The Annual Scout Guide Camp was held on February 7, 2015 on the Don Bosco Senior Secondary School grounds, Nerul from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The camp was organized under the guidance of the Principal, Rev. Fr. Anthony Fonseca. 


A total number of 34 students from Class X participated in the camp. It helped the students to develop self-discipline and the skills of working co-operatively with each other. A series of events such as flag break, tent pitching, pioneering project, making gadgets and cooking competition were organized which helped students acquire the basic skills required for hiking and camping.


Teacher's Shailesh, Dnyaneshwar, Pankaj, Jyotsna and Nibedita helped in organizing the various activities. The camp ended with a huge campfire where students spent time enacting skits and singing songs. The scout camp proved to be a wonderful adventure activity and also helped the students gain significant camping experience.

BIS # 4364 DB, LONAVLA CELEBRATES THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES


by Cl. Clarence Martis

LONAVLA-PUNE, FEBRUARY 14, 2015: The Community of Don Bosco, Lonavla celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes with devotion and fervour on February 11, 2015. The festive day began with the solemn Eucharist at the grotto at 6.30 a.m. Fr. Lester Fernandes, the main celebrant, spoke about our Lady of Lourdes and the message that all the apparitions of Mary highlighted, namely, Prayer, Repentance and Love for the Church. 


After dinner the community gathered again at the grotto to pray the rosary. Various intentions were put forth; a few among them were for the sick, for women who are abused, for the Christians who are persecuted for the faith and so on. After the rosary, the community viewed a 30-minute movie on the life of St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes. The community truly spent the day of Our Blessed Mother in prayer and thanksgiving.

BIS # 4363 CELEBRATING CONSECRATED LIFE AT WADALA

by Sr. Phyllis Fernandes FMA

WADALA-MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 14, 2015:   The World Day for Consecrated Life was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997; a day of prayer for those who have devoted their lives to God through a consecrated life. The feast of the Presentation of the Lord was celebrated on February 2, also known as Candlemas Day. Christ, who is the light of the world invites all consecrated persons to reflect His light to all peoples.


This XIX World Day for Consecrated Life was even more special as Pope Francis declared the whole year as "The Year of the Consecrated Life" with the theme: "Wake up the World." The Parish Priest, Fr. Vivian D'Souza together with his parish team of Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala hosted a very meaningful celebration. It started with all the religious of our parish: Priests and Sisters, gathering around the   Eucharistic Lord in adoration and moments of personal encounter, at 5.00 p.m.


A PowerPoint presentation by Sr. Philomena D'Souza on the Document "REJOICE", - Pope Francis' letter to the Religious then followed. She adeptly touched on salient features for reflection. Fr. Vivian dwelt on the "Expectations for the year of Consecrated Life" that Pope Francis traced out in his letter on the occasion of this year of "Consecrated Life."


Moments of silent adoration and reflection then followed and concluded with reflective hymns, prayers and benediction. At 7.00 p.m., we had the solemn Eucharistic celebration during which the Priests of the parish and the Sisters joined in and renewed their consecration after Communion.


 It was also the day of "handing over the Creed" to the candidates for First Communion and Confirmation. They participated in the ceremony along with their parents. The homily was centred on the feast and commitment. The atmosphere was one of gratitude to God for His merciful love. The Religious Fathers and Sisters then celebrated with a hearty family meal and get together. "We returned home truly inspired to continue to give our all to Jesus gratefully and generously."

BIS # 4362 ADIEU DEAR FRIENDS

by Sarika More


LONAVALA-PUNE, JANUARY 14, 2015: Don Bosco High School and Junior College bid farewell to the students of standards X and XII. A farewell party for students of standards X and XII was organized at Don Bosco High School, Lonavla by students of standards IX and XI along with their class teachers on Saturday, February 7, 2015. Various entertaining programmes were put up by the students.


The students passing out shared their memorable moments spent at Don Bosco through speeches. Fr. George Carlos (Principal) addressed the students and wished them good luck for their future. The students enjoyed the party and also felt sad as they were parting from the institution. The Management, teaching and non-teaching staff also wished them good luck.

Friday, February 13, 2015

BIS # 4360 GUIDANCE SESSION CONDUCTED AT BHINGAR


by Bento D'Souza

AHMEDNAGAR-MAHARASHTRA, FEBRUARY 13, 2015: Dr. Suresh Pathare, Director of Center for Studies in Rural Development, College of social work,  Ahmednagar, conducted a session on "how to be an architect of one's own future"  for parents and youth of the Bhingar, St. John's Parish, between 9.00 am and 12 noon on February 8, 2015.


 Both parents and youth showed interest in learning more about themselves and preparing themselves for their future. Like in the session of the previous Sunday a open-to-air atmosphere was created in the audience being able to interact with the Speaker's input and contents by means of writing down their queries and  doubts, and receiving relevant answers for the same. Mr. Joe and Shobha Patole compered the event and the people participated in good numbers full heartedly. Breakfast was served in between the session.  

BIS # 4361 CELEBRATING THE FEAST OF DON BOSCO AT SAVEDI


by Fr. Cedrick Sankul

SAVEDI-AHMEDNAGAR, FEBRUARY 13, 2015: The parishioners of Savedi began their preparations for the feast of Don Bosco, with the nine day novena service that witnessed the presence of around 100 faithful. The speakers for the novenas focused their talks on the life of Don Bosco. The liturgy during the novena service was animated by the different zones of the parish. 


On January 31, 2015 the teachers of the Marathi School and Junior college along with the Principal and school management gathered in the school campus at 8:15 a.m. to celebrate its patron's feast. The programme began with the lighting of the lamp and garlanding the statue of Don Bosco, followed by small prayer service.


Later, teacher Pushpa Sagalgile spoke on 'the life of Don Bosco and its importance in the school and our life.' Fr. Manuel, the rector and the manager of the institute, in his message exhorted everyone to imitate Don Bosco's zeal and dedication in the service of the youth. A quiz competition was then organized for the students to enhance their knowledge of and love for Don Bosco. 


Prizes and certificates were given by Cl. Alex Carvalho to the various students who excelled in the football game organized at the district level. At the end of the programme, all the students were given snacks in honour of Don Bosco. In the afternoon, all the teachers, along with the workers of the institute shared a festive meal for their dedicated service. At 4:30 p.m., a procession was organized by a band, with the statue of Don Bosco leading the way in a vehicle, and the main Celebrant for the feast Fr. William Falcao moving along with the faithful.


The solemn mass started at about 5:30 p.m. with 30 priests including Jesuits and diocesans along with sisters and about 1000 parishioners participating in it. The theme for the mass was the theme given by the Rector Major for this year, "Like Don Bosco, For the Young, With the Young". "To handle today's youth", said Fr. William, "we need a new Don Bosco." 


He went on to tell how Don Bosco was open to his times and dared to take every risk to ensure that his boys had a better future, for which he thought them various skills.  "Don Bosco communicated to the young people his profound love for the Lord and his unlimited trust in the Divine Providence," he added.


After the holy Eucharist, a short cultural programme that included skits and dances on the life of Don Bosco was organized. After felicitating Fr. William with a shawl and a garland, an audio CD was released on Don Bosco titled-"Pranam Don Bosco" by the Salesian Community of Savedi which was composed by one of the parishioners; Mr. Peter Pandit. A sumptuous meal was served to all those present. 

BIS # 4359 WORKSHOP ON CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

by  Veena Sharma

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 13, 2015: A one day workshop on Child Sexual Abuse and the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act was organized by Don Bosco Research Centre on February 9, 2015 at the Don Bosco Youth Services Building, Matunga. About 50 participants including counselors from Dominic Savio School, various NGOs, and staff of Don Bosco Balprafulta, Shelter Don Bosco and Don Bosco Research Centre attended the programme. 


Before the programme started, a few short films on various aspects of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) were screened. The programme started with a prayer followed by a welcome address by the Director Fr. Gregory D' Almeida who highlighted the gravity of the situation and the need to address this issue of child sexual abuse. He then introduced the speakers for the day, Ms. Vidya Apte and Ms. Sangeeta Punekar, founder members of the FACSE (Forum against child sexual exploitation).

Ms. Apte highlighted the fact that POCSO (2012) happened after 20 years of CRC (Convention on Rights of the Child) being ratified by India (1992). She mentioned that at FACSE, Protection was regarded as the first Right of the child, as Survival, Development and Participation was possible only if protection was in place. She went on to explain the definition and types of child sexual abuse and how a study in 2007 by the Department of Women and Child Development [DWCD] had revealed that about 53% children had been subjected to some or the other form of abuse, much of which was committed by persons known to the child. 


Ms. Apte also familiarized the audience with the 'touch' and   'non touch' sexual abuse, settings in which it may take place, warning signs as well as the immediate and long term effects of child sexual abuse. She stressed that "prevention lay in the hands of ALL the significant adults in the child's life." 


The second session by Ms Sangeeta focused upon the salient features of the POCSO Act of 2012. Terming it as a 'progressive' instrument, she said that it had brought clarity with regard to age - it was gender neutral and was applicable to any individual below 18 years of age. For the first time 'touch and Non-touch forms' of Child Sexual Abuse were included and defined. Reporting was mandatory and abettors were equally liable for punishment. 


Courts have become child friendly and the approach is child sensitive. Special POCSO Courts were required to be established in each district. For the first time, preventive measures and safe practices were included in POCSO as well as a multi-disciplinary approach. Ms Sangeeta concluded by saying that even though the POCSO is progressive and comprehensive, there still remains loop holes. She also informed the audience about the Manodhairya scheme wherein, on lodging of an FIR, the state is liable to pay compensation up to 3 lakhs to the victim's family for rehabilitation of the victim.  


The post lunch session by Ms Chinar Banvalkar of Arpan mentioned the do's and don'ts in handling cases of child sexual abuse and the rules and protocol to be followed. This was then followed by a group activity wherein the audience was divided into 7 groups and each given a case study of child sexual abuse to be discussed in the group and then presented by group leaders.


 The varied case studies and the discussions summarized all that had been discussed since morning with special comments from Mrs Sangeeta and Ms Apte on each case. Mrs Hemalatha delivered the Vote of thanks followed by a special Vote of  thanks by Director Fr Gregory Almeida himself. 

BIS # 4358 DON BOSCO FEAST DAY CELEBRATED AT NERUL

by Bency Jubi Samuel

NERUL-NAVI MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 13, 2015: Don Bosco School, Nerul began their preparations for the feast of Don Bosco with the practice of morning talks for the nine days of the novena. The talks were based on the life of Don Bosco, Salesian Missions and their work in the different parts of the world. 


On January 31, 2015 the celebrations began at 7:30 a.m. and had an array of events proficiently conceived and meticulously executed by a bunch of teachers and students from the Secondary and Pre Primary sections. Under the able guidance of our Principal, Fr. Anthony and aptly supported by teachers and supervisor Vivena, the entire event was helmed by teachers – Bency Jubi Samuel and Aparna Jha.


A Bharatnatyam Dance comprising of six talented Bharatnatyam students kick started the event. This was followed by a Song – 'Live the Dream' which was sung live along with dance and enacted in the form of a skit. A skit based on the Educative methods of Don Bosco titled 'Love Conquers' was then presented. The pre-primary students under the guidance of Teacher Kirti and Teacher Monica danced on the Song 'The Village Juggler' which left the audience clapping merrily.


In the end, Fr. Bonnie spoke on the importance of Mother Mary in the Life of Don Bosco. The programme ended at 8:45 a.m. and sweets were distributed among the students.
Teachers as well as students thoroughly enjoyed the programme and also learnt that it is through Love that we could conquer everything. It was truly a day when the whole Salesian Family of Don Bosco School, Nerul, came together in love and togetherness.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BIS # 4357 CELEBRATING CONSECRATED LIFE AT SAVEDI

by Fr. Cedrick Sankul

SAVEDI-AHMEDNAGAR, FEBRUARY 10, 2015: Our well beloved Pope Francis has announced November 30, 2014 to February 2016 as the years of Consecrated life and therefore the parishioners of St. John Bosco Church, Savedi decided to honour and felicitate the priests, brothers and sisters of the parish for their dedicated and selfless service. 


On February 2, 2015 the Salesian co-operators with the help of Sr. Mangal Kolge FMA, organized this day.  In the evening at 5:30 p.m. the faithful gathered near the grotto of Our Lady where candles were lighted and blessed since it was the feast of Presentation of the Lord and Fr. Manuel the main celebrant of the Eucharist explained the meaning of this feast and the world day of consecrated life.


Frs. Francis Francis, Anthony Goyal, Cedrick Sankul, Cl. Alex Carvalho and all Salesian sisters were welcomed in the church with a traditional 'aarti.'  In his sermon Fr. Manuel explained the logo of the year of consecrated life. He invited the people to pray for all the consecrated all over the world, to pray daily for vocations to religious life, to wake the world and be a light for the world through our good deeds and actions and not only mere preaching.  


After the homily, the Salesian fathers, brothers and sisters renewed their vows ones again in the presence of the faithful. The religious were felicitated with a coconut and a shawl each after the mass. In the end, Fr. Manuel thanked all the parishioners and the Salesian Co-operators for animating this special day. Snacks was then served to all present.