Thursday, May 28, 2015

BIS #4442 FOUR NEW SALESIAN COOPERATORS IN KUWAIT

by Susan D'Costa 

NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, 28 MAY 2015: The feast of Mary Help of Christians is a very significant day in the calendar of the Salesian Family. At Mass on Saturday, 23 May, four aspirants Nancy 20150523_194133.JPGD'Sa, Braulio Rodrigues, Elvis D'Mello and Loyola Pereira made their promise to be life-long Salesian Cooperators, after a period of two years of formation. "It is the greatest moment of my life. I am so happy because I will be able to serve the young and the abandoned children," said Elvis D'mello.

The Salesian Cooperators are a group of lay men and women who dedicate themselves to the welfare of the youth, and who live guided by Don Bosco's Salesian Spirit. The first group of Salesian Cooperators in Kuwait made their vows on 31 January, 2006, under the guidance of Fr. Tony D'souza. With each passing year, new aspirants are keen to join this inspiring and enthusiastic group. Today, there are forty-six Salesian Cooperators in the Kuwait chapter and four aspirants, with Fr. Blany Pinto, the Rector of the Salesians, as their Spiritual Director.

On 23 May, the four aspirants gathered in the church for a short talk on Don Bosco and to spend time in prayer. This was followed by the Eucharist, during which Fr. Blany shed light on the identity of the Salesian Cooperators. He made all aware that the way to heaven for a Salesian is by leading youngsters to heaven. During the promise ceremony, the aspirants were invited to the altar to sign the promise with Fr. Franco Pereira. Fr. Blany then blessed them with holy water and handed them a medal of our lady, exhorting them to have deep devotion to Our Lady, just like Don Bosco.

The new Salesian Cooperators were joyful and enthusiastic. Loyola Pereira said, "I will remember this day all my life. It is a great honour for me to be a  Salesian Cooperator." Braulio Rodrigues confessed, "I prayed a lot to Don Bosco today, so that I may be allowed to come early from work and take my promise. Don Bosco interceded for me and I was able to take part in the recollection and Holy Mass". "I am very happy to be part of the Salesian Family and work with the young,"  said Nancy D'sa

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BIS #4441 JUNIOR ENGLISH CAMP AT DON BOSCO DAKOR 2015

by Br. Aegidius Pereira

DAKOR-GUJARAT, MAY 27, 2015"Knowledge is light." Keeping this in mind, an English Camp for children was organized by the Salesians at Don Bosco, Dakor during these summer holidays. 34 children attended the English camp from 27th April to 20th May 2015. The group included children from different parts of  Gujarat like Baroda, Kawant, Anand and from Dakor itself.
As learning English was their biggest priority, every moment of the day was spent in learning English whether it was in class, at personal study, during games or at prayer. The children were kept busy reading and conversing in English, learning grammar, vocabulary and typing. They were given points for their participation and performance in class and other activities. They were also shown inspirational videos and presentations in English so that they could familiarise themselves with the language as well as pick up good values. Besides, there were exciting activities like the Dakor football league, T20 cricket tournament, conquering the fort, animated games, campfire, action songs, Garba dance and a picnic to nearby Galteshwar.The children responded very well and learnt much during the camp. This was evident on the last day when they put up a fabulous program to thank the fathers and brothers for all the dedication, concern and time spent with them. The success of the camp was due to the concerted efforts of Fr. Isaac and his team consisting of Br. Tony, Deacon Ashwin, Br. Aegidius and Graina - a young volunteer from Mumbai. It was a wonderful experience working together and helping the young grow and be better citizens of our nation.

Friday, May 22, 2015

BIS #4440 VOCATIONS CAMPS AT LONAVALA 2015

by BIS Correspondent 

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, MAY 17, 2015: The cradle of vocations to the Mumbai province, Don Bosco -Lonavala, hosted two vocation camps beginning from May 2-12, 2015. Sixty Five IMG_20150502_185424.jpgenthusiastic young boys participated in these camps. The house of Lonavla, with its beauty and inspiring history, gave way to a wonderful experience to the campers.

The theme for the first day was 'Discover Yourself and Talents'. After getting to know each other, the campers were divided into teams. The Vice Provincial, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, introduced all the animators and volunteers, and explained the meaning, and purpose of the camp. Thereafter, the boys made their commitments for the camp. The evening session by Fr. Fernandes, helped each one discover their talents and make the best use of them, by offering them to the Lord.

The theme of the second day was 'Discover Don Bosco'. The day began with the Eucharist on the theme 'Five Loaves and Two Fish.' Fr. Solomon, the Rector, in his homily, focused on theme of generosity of the little boy in the gospel. In order to know and understand Don Bosco, a short movie was screened and discussed.  Thereafter, a panel discussion was held to introduce the campers to the various Salesian works that were in the province. Fr. Xavier Devdas and Br. Ramesh Durairaj were also present for the same. In the afternoon, the seniors prepared ecological projects with the use of charts and skits while the juniors learnt to make key chains. The singing classes helped the campers, to participate well, in the daily Eucharist, Praise and Worship and the Taize prayer service. The evening was filled with fun as the campers participated DSC02851.JPGin lightening tournaments.

As regards the spiritual aspect there was daily Eucharist. The most liked spiritual activity was the labyrinth prayer garden experience. It offered the youngsters a time of grace with sacred silence, of going deep into self and to make an outward journey to accept life and live it fully. 

The third day focused on theme of the Good Samaritan in a modern day context, with an animated meditation, by Fr. McEnroe lopes. Fr. Glenford Lowe led the campers on the 'Call of the various prophets. In the afternoon, the campers went to Kune mission to have an experience of the work being done by the Salesian sisters.

The teachers from the three streams of the Junior College were called to speak to the aspirants about the subjects and the curriculum of the Junior College. Fr. Solomon Rapol Rector of Don Bosco Lonavala spoke about the annual activities and academics of the Junior College. The camp culminated with the feast of St. Dominic Savio celebrated with a meaningful Eucharist. The main celebrant for the solemn mass on the eve of the feast of Dominic Savio was Fr. Provincial Fr. Godfrey D'Souza, concelebrants Fr. Savio Silvera, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Fr. Glen Lowe, Fr. McEnroe, Fr. Gregory   D'cuna, and Fr. Solomon Rapol.  It was   followed by the 'Savio Nite' which aimed at getting to know and imitate the teenage saint Dominic Savio with a prayer, fun and entertainment.

It was a memorable and learning experience both for the campers as well as the organizers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BIS #4439 VOCATION CAMP AT DON BOSCO KAPADVANJ

by Cl. Felix Almeida sdb 

KAPADVANJ-GUJARAT, MAY 13, 2015: 31 youngsters from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh gathered together at Kapadvanj, Gujarat for the vocation camp. The community of Don Bosco Kapadvanj guided the process of animation and discernment for the participants. From the 6th to the 12th of May the days were filled with moments of prayer and reflection along with a lot of fun and frolic.

Right from the beginning the participants were encouraged to enjoy themselves and have a personal experience of Salesian life. This was brought about through a meticulously planned scheme for each day. Fr.Mayank, the vocation promoter of the Gujarat region, welcomed and encouraged them to make their own experience. During the camp, Salesians from all over Gujarat came over to Kapadvanj to present the many areas of Salesian work.

There were different types of activities, games and input sessions animated by many visiting Salesians. The participants were introduced to the life of Don Bosco and Don Bosco's preventive system, the problems and challenges faced by young people, youth ministry and the Salesian approach to the young. They reflected on living life with a purpose and the meaning of call and vocation, the different types of Salesian vocations – lay brothers, priests, sisters, cooperators and others who form the Salesian family. They leant about the different types of apostolates that the Salesians engage in – education, parish work, youth ministry, social work, missionary activities, etc. Besides this, they visited Don Bosco Snehalaya, Baroda where they could see first-hand how Salesians cared for children and young persons in difficult situations.

The vocation camp turned out to be a wonderful time for the participants thanks to the efforts of  Fr. Mayank and the community of Don Bosco Kapadvanj, along with other Salesians who generously pitched in. The participants went back glad to have experienced the Salesian way of life and were left with much to reflect upon.

BIS #4438 Village Catechism Camp held at DB Savedi

by BIS Correspondent 

SAVEDI-AHMEDNAGAR, MAY 19, 2015: The Community of Don Bosco, Savedi organized residential Catechism camp for village children ( age 9 to P1000606.JPG15 years old) in preparation for their 'First Holy Communion' and 'Confirmation'. The Savedi Parish serves around 16 sub-centers within the vicinity of 20 to 25 Kms. Children from these villages are not able to receive as frequent instructions in Catechism as in the Parish Church. Therefore, the camp was organized to give intense Catechism courses to strengthen the roots of the faith they have received.

            Altogether 44 children participated in this 10 days camp (3rd- 12th May 2015). They were instructed in various topics viz. Sacraments, 10 Commandments, Tenets of Faith, Bible Study, History of the Christianity, Lives of Saints, Liturgy and Singing by lay and religious teachers. Along with these there were other extra curricular activities in the evenings to keep Children cheerful and happy. All of them responded well with their interactive participation during classes and activities. Individual as well as team point system was followed and it was amazing to see the enthusiasm in learning prayers.

             The camp was concluded with the Holy Eucharist presided by the Rector, Rev. Fr. Manuel Murzello SDB, who encourage children during the homily to share and pass on all that they have learnt during the camp to which they zealously agreed.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

BIS #4437 VOLUNTEERING AT DON BOSCO DAKOR, GUJARAT

by BIS Correspondent 

DAKOR-GUJARAT, MAY 16, 2015: On 2nd April, 2015, Susanne and Jamian, two college-going youngsters from Mumbai set out for a remote place in Gujarat called Dakor, as IMG_20150506_221443.jpgVolunteers for a month. At Don Bosco Dakor, they joined the Salesian community of Fr. Isaac, Br. Tony, Fr. Ignas and Br. Ashwin who welcomed them warmly. Together they organised a month-long summer camp for some youth and children from Dakor, Chhota Udepur and Kawant, teaching them to read, write and converse in English,  conducting games, competitions and cultural activities.

At the summer camp, the volunteers got to know more about the culture, lifestyle, customs and what goes on in the daily lives of the children and the people there. Games, competitions and outings were fun and helped them bond with the children. They learnt to dance the traditional Garba and Timli dances of Gujarat, sing a few songs and speak a few words in Gujarati.

Everyday was a adventure with unexpected new experiences like finding a honeycomb and licking fresh honey off it, seeing a mid-summer hail storm, shooting stars and a cell-phone tower with peacocks at each level.  It was also the first time they would spend Holy Week away IMG_20150417_170141.jpgfrom home. This time they celebrated Easter not with new dresses, suits or Easter eggs, but with a bunch of new friends they made there, dancing to Garba music at full volume till 3 am! But more than anything else, they enjoyed the quiet serenity of the small towns and villages.

Visiting the villages for Easter house blessings in the company of the Salesians, the sisters of St. Ann of Luzern and the Salesian sisters gave the volunteers a realistic idea of the way people lived in remote villages in Gujarat. Many of these villagers had lost their crops due to the recent hailstorm and were finding it difficult to make ends meet. This made them reflect on the way the farmers and their crops were dependant on the vagaries of nature. They were also touched by the simple life led by the sisters known as "Behenjis" who lived in the villages.

Jamian and Susanne felt that besides giving their time and energy as volunteers, they were able to learn a lot from the children and the people they met. They observed that the villagers didn't own many devices and gadgets, but were happy with the little they had and were capable of sharing. They realised that a simple unsophisticated life, far removed from the busy atmosphere of the city, was initially difficult to adapt to, but it brought a sense of fulfilment and peace. It was difficult to depart on the 2nd of May, leaving behind the Salesians, the sisters and the children who felt like family. Volunteering was an experience that enriched them in ways difficult to express.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

BIS #4436 DON BOSCO SUMMER FIESTA 2015

by BIS Correspondent

ALIRAJPUR-MADHYA PRADESH, MAY 13, 2015: Closing Ceremony of the 'Summer Fiesta 2015' was held on 11th May 2015 at the Don Bosco Academy, Alirajpur. With activities throughout the day the summer fiesta boasted of coaching around 120 students in five major activities – football, skating, dance, music and art.  Summer Camps in cities are commonplace events but in Alirajpur, it was something novel, nice and new. Students enjoyed spending their vacations developing their talents and learning something different.
Summer would have been a time of stagnancy but the 'Summer Fiesta 2015' promoted springs of learning and growth. Being one of the activities  of the Bicentenary Year, the camp flaunts the bicentenary spirit.  Stalls providing merchandise of the year were well patronized. Don Bosco Academy has never in spirit been a 'June-to-April' school. Summer is when the school looks deserted. But with the students back, the school put on its happy look. And moreover it remained even in vacations as it should be – a center of learning and development of the personality.

Monday, May 11, 2015

BIS #4435 111 CHILDREN RECEIVE CONFIRMATION IN KUWAIT PARISH

by Lucia Almeida

NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, 11 May, 2015: On Friday, May 8, one hundred and eleven children received the sacrament of confirmation at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church in Kuwait. The Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, Archbishop Peter Rajic together with Fr. Franco, Fr. Francis, Fr. Melvin and Fr. Blany celebrated the Eucharist.
During his homily, Archbishop Peter Rajic explained how Confirmation perfects baptismal grace. "It is the sacrament which gives us the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associates us more closely with her mission, and helps us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds," he said.
Fr. Blany Pinto, the parish priest,  presented the candidates to the Nuncio to be anointed and the children were led to the front by Evaristo and Sylvia, the sponsors.
At the end of the Eucharist, the Archbishop invoked the blessings of God upon the newly confirmed to give them courage to profess the true faith. Fr. Blany thanked everyone who helped prepare the candidates for Confirmation.
Joyce Almeida, a parent, said "it was a well-organised spiritual ceremony. I thank and commend all those who exerted efforts to make it possible".  Sancia Ferrao, one of those confirmed, remarked "I feel strengthened and confirmed in my spiritual life. I feel a stirring of the gifts of Holy Spirit within me." Premila Almeida, a Confirmation Teacher said, "I consider myself blessed to be a part of this momentous ceremony".

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

BIS #4434 FIRST HOLY COMMUNION AT KUWAIT PARISH

by Myra D'souza

NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, 6 May, 2015:  One hundred and thirty eight children from St. Therese parish, Kuwait received their First Holy Communion on Friday, 1st May. Fr. Franco Pereira, the Catechetical Director for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, together with Frs. Blany Pinto and Lionel Braganza celebrated the Eucharist.
As Fr. Franco began the Holy Mass, he reminded the children that they now have a new best friend in Jesus and he asked them to pray for their parents, godparents, priests, teachers and catechists. In his homily he reflected on the Gospel of the miracle of the five loaves and two fish, whose core message is "sharing". He exhorted them to share the little they have, because Jesus will multiply it. He made them aware that when we receive Jesus, we become like Jesus and we must give Jesus to others. He urged them to always think of what Jesus would do in any situation, and this would help them to become more like him.
Faustino Menezes and the children's choir helped everyone participate better in the liturgy. It was a special moment when each child came to receive Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time.  Their parents were edified and happy to witness this occasion. "I was very excited to receive Jesus. From now on He will be with me forever. I felt very special during the celebration of Holy Mass," commented Megan Carvalho.
The parish priest thanked everyone who had helped prepare the children.  A souvenir bag of a Bible, a rosary and a scapular was given to each child. "The whole ceremony was very well organized by the priests, catechists and volunteers. Every child received a copy of the Holy Bible which is wonderful," said  Richard Simon, an elated dad.

BIS #4433 REDISCOVER YOURSELF

by Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, sdb

MATUNGA-MUMBAI, 6 MAY, 2015: 25 students from all over Mumbai gradually transformed into well-groomed individuals under the expert guidance of RJ Bosco Rodrigues, a well known personality on FM Rainbow Mumbai. In order to create confident young adults, Tej-Prasarini - Don Bosco Communications, organized a Personality Development and Public Speaking Workshop from the 16th to the 30th of April, 2015 at Don Bosco Communications Centre, Matunga. Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, the Director of Tej-Prasarini gave the students a warm welcome and set the course in motion.
The main areas that RJ Bosco worked on were  presentation skills, etiquette, vocal exercises, voice culture, reading skills, enhancing one's personality, relating to an audience and helped them explore their hidden talents. Several fun exercises brought out their creative skills. Bosco explained how seemingly insignificant things can make a sizeable difference. A poem 'Mother's Love' was the effort of the creativity of the entire class. A debate between the boys and girls brought out sensitive topics like communication, materialism and the dowry system. He advised them that, as future citizens of the country, they had to fight for what was right and help the less fortunate. Through personal examples Bosco emphasized that dreams had the power to give purpose to life. "A family that eats together stays together", "He who hesitates is lost!" were some of his golden words of wisdom.
His constant encouragement, suggestions and individual attention brought about a vast improvement in each participant. An immense change was seen in Shelly Mehta, a shy girl who came out of her shell. Charvee Sheth took painstaking efforts to improve her vocabulary and pronunciations and bloomed into a confident individual. After the cupboard cleaning exercise, Raunaq Samar's astonished mother asked him whether he had come from another planet. At feedback time, the baby of the group, Aster Gonsalves giggled, "I really enjoyed the days when we had to come in our picnic and formal wear." Neha Dhembre said, "I liked the way the professor demonstrated table manners by actually making us eat at the table in the proper manner."
The parents were invited on the final day to witness their children's progress. Lalit Utmani, a parent said, "I am extremely grateful to everyone who was involved in this process. My daughter has improved even beyond my expectations." Fr.Steve Rodrigues, the chief guest remarked, "The performances were exhilarating! Personality builds the person and it is through our personality that we make our place in society." RJ Bosco's parting words were, "It takes great courage to speak to an audience. Kudos to these kids who have done an unbelievably great job."

Monday, May 4, 2015

BIS # 4432 DON’T SAY GOODBYE SAY CIAO

by BIS Correspondent

KURLA-MUMBAI, MAY 5, 2015:  How do you say "Thank You" and "Goodbye" to someone who has been an Inspiring Leader, a Caring Mentor, a limitless Visionary and an Encouraging and Supportive Director and Rector?
The staff, students, alumni and friends of Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Kurla came together on 29th April 2015, to express their gratitude to Fr. Adolph Furtado as he leaves for his new assignment. It was an afternoon where Principals of the DBCL Institutions spoke eloquently of the bold initiatives, the impetus that implemented several policy decisions and the vast qualitative improvements that have made DBCL the favoured destination of both students and industry when Fr. Adolph was in office.
The staff and students were at their creative best expressing through song, dance, movie and standup comedy all they wanted to say about and to Fr. Adolph. "A piece of their heart" was presented to Fr. Adolph that would always remind him of the twelve years he spent at DBCL as Administrator and Rector. He will be missed very much.

BIS # 4431 THE SALESIAN FAMILY PRAY FOR THE DECEASED

by BIS correspondent

WADALA-MUMBAI, MAY 4, 2015:  There have been a series of deaths among the Salesian Cooperators and their loved ones these past months. Hence the Salesian Family of the Mumbai region, gathered in the crypt on Saturday 25th April 2015, to pray for the deceased Salesians, Salesian Sisters, Cooperators, Past Pupils and their loved ones.
The Mass was celebrated by the Provincial Delegate, Fr. Vivian D'Souza at 6.40pm and had an attendance of around 45 members including Salesian Sisters, Salesian Cooperators and Past Pupils.
The members felt it was a good gesture to remember the deceased and to pray for them as a Family.

Friday, May 1, 2015

BIS # 4430 TWO WHEELER TRAINING FELICITATION AND INAUGURATION OF ENGLISH CLUB

 by Cl. Arman sdb

GUJARAT, APRIL 30, 2015:  The development department of Narukot Education society, Gujarat, organized a two wheeler repair training program in for unemployed youngsters of the villages. The 17 days Crash course focused on 2 wheeler repair and maintenance. The participants were trained by Mr. Narendra. The Two wheeler repairing course was on for two and a half weeks on the grounds of Don Bosco Narukot and culminated by felicitating the 36 participants with certificates.              
The English camp at Don Bosco Narukot for the students of standard 5th to 10th was inaugurated on 25th April 2015. The students from different villages came for the registration on the 1st day. All the students gathered in the hall to register, a few general instructions were given. After registration the students were sent to their respective classes. Around 150 students registered for the camp.
The inauguration ceremony began at 11:30am. The chief guest was the ASI of the Jambugoda police station. The ASI spoke of the contribution of the don Bosco institute in the field of education and also congratulated the institute for taking up training of these rural youngsters. Fr. Ashwin Macwan sdb thanked Mr. Pappu, Mr. Ashwin and the instructor for their effort and struggle in organizing the skill training programme for the poor and marginalized youngsters. He also motivated youngsters to give their time and talents to the society. The day ended well and all the students went happily home eagerly waiting for the next day.