Tuesday, December 29, 2015

BIS #4643 MUMBAI PROVINCE GETS TWO NEW PRIESTS

by Father Jacob Palaparambil

 

MADHYA PRADESH, DEC 28, 2015: Fathers Ashwin Mal and Pannasingh Bhuriya of the Salesian province of Mumbai were ordained priests in a grand ceremony at St. Arnold School Ground in Megnagar, Madhya Pradesh on December 27.

Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal,  Bishop Devprasad Ganawa and Bishop Basil Bhuriya presided over the ordination ceremony, attended by 80 religious and 2000 laity. 
Father Jose Vasuliya of the Society of the Divine Word, was also ordained a priest in the same ceremony. 

Bishop Ganawa in his homily said, " Whomever the word of God touches, they never remain the same; they respond to God's call. Our forefathers Abraham, Issac, Jacob and Moses are examples. The three new priests have also responded to God's call and the Lord has transformed them into completely new persons. " 

 

While encouraging the three newly ordained priests in their priestly vocation, he extolled their parents for their great sacrifice. Bishop Ganawa said, "We always offer our best to God and these parents have offered their best to God, in giving their sons to the service of the Church."

 

Bishop Thottumarickal then thanked the parents and formators of the newly ordained priests. A cultural programme and a fellowship meal, followed the Ordination ceremony. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

BIS #4642 DON BOSCO DECENNIAL YEAR FOOTBALL TOURNEY

by BIS Correspondent

 

NAVI MUMBAI, DEC 28, 2015: Sanpada-based Ryan International School and Avalon Heights won top honours in the Don Bosco Decennial Year Cup football tournament, organised by Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul from December 19 to 21.

 

15 schools from Navi Mumbai participated in the tournament, which was held for students in the under-12, under-14 and under-16 category. The hosts performed exceptionally well and reached the finals under all the three categories, but they were beaten in the final by Ryan International School in the under-12 and under-16 categories and by Avalon Heights in the under-14 category.

 

Father Mechanro was the Chief Guest for the event, while Father Bonnie Borges, Father Anthony Fonseca – the principal - and the supervisors of Don Bosco in Nerul were the Guests of Honor.

 

The Sports Festival concluded with the prize distribution ceremony held at the school ground after the final match at 6pm. It was a success as it not only brought out the best of the participants but also reaffirmed the values infused in the students of Don Bosco schools.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

BIS #4641 DON BOSCO BORIVLI CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS

by Clarissa Leitao

 

MUMBAI, DEC 23, 2015: Christmas is a time of caring and sharing and spreading the message of love, joy and peace. This spirit was truly reflected in the Christmas Panorama celebrations held at the Don Bosco educational complex, Borivli on December 21 and 22.

 

Students from the primary section to junior college joined forces to add to the festive spirit through a range of team-building activities. They also collected items such as soaps, stationary and notebooks to donate to the lesser fortunate brethren. During the advent season, students were given time in their daily schedule to prepare a star, crib, Christmas tree and a poster conveying the Christmas message. Their creations were displayed on December 21.

 

Their efforts ensured that the entire campus - from classrooms to the corridors - was beautifully decorated with stars, trees, mistletoe, streamers and many more items that are symbolic of Christmas. Competitions such as carol singing, dancing to Christmas songs and a headgear competition were also held for the students. The students enacted a play entitled, 'No room in the inn', which helped all understand the true meaning of Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BIS #4640 ST. ANNE'S CHURCH, AHMEDNAGAR GIVES GENEROUSLY

by Father Johnson Kshirsagar

 

AHMEDNAGAR, DEC 22, 2015: As the giving season of Christmas ushers in, St. Anne's Church, Ahmednagar ensured the poor families of the parish have a very merry Christmas.  On December 20, the parish's Saint Vincent De Paul group organised a Christmas programme for its needy parishioners.   

 

Hampers containing grocery items like oil, ghee, rice, rava, maida, dal, sugar were distributed to 40 families; so they could prepare their festive sweets and ring in a cheery Christmas at home. They were also given blankets to help them face the bitter winter cold.

 

The parishioners generously contributed towards the expenses, amounting to over twenty thousand rupees in cash, besides the gifts in kind. The cost of each hamper was five hundred rupees. As the popular saying goes, 'Christmas is not so much about opening presents, as opening our hearts.'

BIS #4639 DON BOSCO MATUNGA'S GRAND CHRISTMAS PANORAMA

by Ashwini Gupte

 

MUMBAI, DEC 22, 2015: Students of Don Bosco High School, Matunga enacted skits, sang carols, competed in dances and undertook a plethora of team-building exercises as part of their annual Christmas Panorama on December 18 and 19.

 

The school wore a festive look, over the two-day period and resembled the 21st century version of Don Bosco's oratory. The fest was entitled 'Simple joys bring laughter in big measures' and students worked tirelessly in groups to prepare for the various activities.

 

Christmas is a season of giving and sharing with the less fortunate, and the students worked hard to be of service to others, by raising funds for the Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, Waluj, Aurangabad, which is one of the most underdeveloped areas in Maharashtra. It ranks among the 100 poorest districts in India. 30% of the population is living below the poverty line and its literacy rate of 65% percent is the lowest in the state.

 

The team-building exercises included making stars, Christmas trees, cribs and also singing carols. A Christmas skit helped give the message of love. Rector Father Wilfred D'souza explained the real meaning of Christmas in his message.  

 

Vibrant and lively dance contests- a 'Pantomime', 'Festive dance', 'All the right moves' and 'Dancercize', were hotly contested. 'Bosco Goes Live' was the platform for all budding musicians to flaunt their talent. The cherry on the cake, the highly anticipated 'Bosco King' competition was followed by the arrival of the most beloved of all young children, Santa Claus himself!

BIS #4638 DON BOSCO, CHINCHWAD FEATURES AT INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE EXPO 2015


by Brother Sheldon Dias 

 

PUNE, DEC 22, 2015: The Institute of Don Bosco, Chinchwad was amongst a host of companies that were invited to attend the 5th Edition of Industrial Maintenance Expo 2015 which took place at the Auto Cluster Exhibition Centre, Pune from December 18 to 20.

 

The Confederation of Indian Industry organised the Expo, which was aimed at exhibiting platforms for industrial maintenance, tools and techniques to reduce the cost and to improve profitability. It focused on latest maintenance tools, techniques, solutions and services to increase the performance of the company.
 

Ashok Stambh, from the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, inaugurated the Expo and visited the Don Bosco Chinchwad stall at the event. Several dignitaries from the Indian government and representative companies from all over the country were present at the Expo, which provided both companies and businessmen with a platform to interact with each other.
 

Don Bosco Chinchwad was specially invited to exhibit their international standard training system in welding (in collaboration with LORCH). Lorch-Don Bosco Welding Technology School of Excellence was inaugurated in March 2014. Lorch is providing financial and technical assistance to the Welding Technology School of Excellence.

 

The company has always been keen on developing the society in a holistic manner. Hence, along with the Don Bosco Technical Institute, the company has undertaken the mission to develop a world class academy on welding technology in India.

 

The staff and students of the Don Bosco Institute were privileged to experience the high tech new machinery present in India.  Companies like Wuerth, Transair, Diffusion, Evvac, Starckeindia, Bharat Petroleum, Parker-Legris India Ltd, Gulf Oil Lubrication Ltd were present at the Expo.

BIS #4637 FATHER ROSHAN GONSALVES AND FATHER RICHARD BURKHAO ORDAINED PRIESTS

by Father Rolvin D'mello 

 

VASAI, DEC 22, 2015: The Salesian province of Mumbai continues to welcome new priests into its fold, with two more ordinations of Father Roshan Gonsalves and Father Richard Burkhao, in a solemn Eucharistic celebration at the Our Lady of Light Church in the Vasai diocese. 
 

Son of the soil, Bishop Thomas Dabre- who presided over the ceremony- extolled the people of Vasai, for gifting their generations with faith. "Vasai is blessed with Christianity. Our ancestors were simple peasants and fisherfolk, yet the greatest thing they did for us was accepting the faith and passing it down the generations. That is why Vasai is blessed with so many bishops, religious and a very faithful laity."

 

Bishop Dabre exhorted the people to encourage their children to become priests, while expressing his gratitude towards the parents of the newly ordained priests for their great sacrifice- of gifting the Church with their sons. 

 

Over 50 priests, along with the family, friends and well-wishers of Father Gonsalves and Father Burkhao, joined together to pray for their holiness. It was a solemn ceremony that left many of those present moved to tears. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

BIS #4636 ORDINATION OF FATHERS LEON RODRIGUES AND CRESCENS LEMOS


by Karen Laurie

 

MUMBAI, DEC 19, 2015: The newly restored Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna in Mumbai served as a perfect backdrop, as the Church and the Mumbai Province of the Salesian Society of Don Bosco came together to celebrate the priestly ordination of Father Leon Rodrigues and Father Crescens Lemos, on December 19.

 

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the main celebrant, captured the significance of the occasion by calling it 'the most transformative day' in not just the lives of Father Rodrigues and Father Lemos, but also in the society at large. "You will lead to the transformation of the world," Cardinal Gracias said, adding, "The Priesthood of 2015 is the most challenging task of society, as you have the opportunity to transform the world."
 

Among those present at the altar for the solemn Ordination ceremony was Father Godfrey D'Souza, Salesian Provincial, Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial and over 30 priests from the Mumbai province.  Family, friends and well wishers of Father Rodrigues and Father Lemos filled the pews - of the shrine - in their numbers to add to the celebratory mood. 

 

At the end of the ceremony, Father Rodrigues thanked God and those present for making the day possible. "Thank you dear God for choosing us and never letting us go,  you held us by the hand. It is because of you, dear Lord, we are," he said. 

 

Father D'Souza thanked the families of the newly ordained priests for their role in formation. "Thank you very much for gifting your son to the Church and our congregation. God has never been outdone his generosity," he said.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

BIS #4635 DECENNIAL YEAR SPORTS MEET

by Debjani Bhattacharya

NAVI MUMBAI, DEC 17, 2015:  Students from Nerul-based Don Bosco Senior Secondary School put their sporting prowess to test as they competed in the decennial year Annual Athletic Meet, entitled "Health is 

Wealth" at the school ground on December 12.

 

Among the traditional track and field events, the youth took part in kick boxing, aerobics,  yoga, zumba, gymnastics and mallakambh. Father Vivian D'souza, parish priest of Our Lady of Dolours Church in Wadala, was the Chief Guest of the event, while Suresh Swami – assistant commissioner, Maharashtra police -  was the Guest of Honour.

 

After an introduction by the supervisor of the secondary section - Pankaj Rai - Swami lit the sports torch for the traditional torch run, which the reigning school sports champions undertook. The athletic meet was then declared open by Father D'souza.

 

Students marched to the melodious tunes of the energetic school band, scouts, guides and road safety patrol cadets. The school sports captain, Shreyas Joshi, then administered the oath to the house captains and participants. This was followed by short prayer.    
 

The young athletes then trained their focus on competing for top honours. They displayed a perfect example of effort, discipline and team spirit. Father D'Souza's motivational message helped to further inspire the students. The Chief Guest and Father Anthony Fonseca, the principal presented the winners with medals and certificates. Blue House bagged the overall championship trophy. The event concluded successfully with the vote of thanks, proposed by the principal. 

BIS #4634 FRENCH INDUSTRIAL GIANT AND ST JOSEPH'S ITI JOIN FORCES

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 16, 2015: Kurla-based St Joseph's Industrial Training Institute (ITI) joined forces with French industrial giant Schneider Foundation to launch the 'Schneider Advanced Electrical Laboratory' on December 2, to train 150 students annually, in the use of industrial automated systems.

 

The joint venture will help St Joseph's Institute set up a high-end technical industrial laboratory and to start an Industrial Installation and Maintenance Course, to provide students with hands-on training in power transmission, grid systems and switch gears.  

 

Schneider Foundation India, in collaboration with the 'French Ministry of Education' has sought to foster a culture of advanced industrial electrical practices among the learning fraternity. In pursuance of this goal, the foundation has taken up the task of developing Industry Institute linkages, the one with St. Joseph's Institute, being the first.

 

Father Colbert da Silva, rector of Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Dr Sandrine Maximilien, an Attaché for Science and Technology French Consulate, Eric Dupont, director of IEEM India French Ministry of Education, Father A M Jose, executive director D B Tech India were present at the inauguration ceremony.

 

Father da Silva began the ceremony with a prayer. Then Ravi Trivedi, a trainer spoke about the set-up of this state-of-the-art laboratory and the equipment it houses. He explained that the institute would provide thorough knowledge of industry-level safety and security procedures and practices.

 

Father da Silva expressed his gratitude to Schneider Foundation, Eric Dupont and Father A M Jose for giving St Joseph's ITI the exclusive opportunity to set up this high tech industrial laboratory. 


St Joseph's ITI has been at the forefront of Technical training in Kurla. The Institute constantly upgrades its training services to keep abreast with changing technological advances. Dr Maximilien recognised the contribution of the Don Bosco institution for skill development in India. The Schneider management further offered a solar training module in the Schneider Electric lab. Amarr Prabhu, the principal of St Joseph's ITI, offered a vote of thanks.

BIS #4633 MEETING THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW

by Agnorra Aranjo

 

MUMBAI, DEC 16, 2015: Father Robert Simon, South Asia Delegate of the Youth Ministry and Father Godfrey D'Souza, Salesian Provincial of Mumbai met 70 Salesian youth from Baroda, Nashik, Pune, Lonavla and Salesian regions to emphasise on the importance of youth leadership at Don Bosco Provincial House on December 13.

 

Father Glenford Lowe first welcomed the participants and explained the purpose of the meet. Father Simon then addressed the gathering about the Salesian Youth Movement. Father D'Souza, on his part, emphasised on the need for youth to take active leadership and responsibility in the Church.

 

The youth who had participated in the International Bosco Bicentenary celebrations at Turin, in August 2015 and the National Youth Expo at Delhi, in September 2015, then shared their experiences with the others.

Father Simon stressed on the importance of such youth meetings and said that it enables interaction between like-minded people, and helps to develop skills, assume leadership and responsibility. He added that the youth need to participate, mature and grow to eventually become leaders and animators of other youth.

 

Father Lowe concluded the meeting and invited the youngsters to take the Salesian Youth Movement into their parishes, colleges and other places, so that many other youth may become a part of the movement, which is a legacy of Don Bosco himself.

BIS #4632 JACOB PALAPARAMBIL ORDAINED IN AURANGABAD

by Father Joaquim Fernandes

 

AURANGABAD, DEC 14, 2015: Father Jacob Palaparambil from The Salesian Province of Mumbai was ordained to the Priesthood on December 12, at St Francis De Sales Cathedral Church grounds in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.  

 

Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara from the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Nagpur ordained Father Palaparambil in the presence Dr Ambrose Rebello, Bishop of Aurangabad Diocese, Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of the Mumbai province and around 90 priests in a solemn Ordination ceremony.  Nearly 1,200 people were present to thank the Lord for this great gift of serving the Lord through the Don Bosco way. 

 

Archbishop Viruthakulangara during his homily said, "The Church is the Body of Christ, the people of God and the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. In Baptism, the whole Church is summoned to witness God's love and to work for the coming of His kingdom.  Priests are ordained to lead God's people in the offering of praise and the proclamation of the Holy Gospel. They are to set the example of the Good Shepherd, always before them as the pattern of their calling. They are to sustain the community of the faithful by the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments, that we all may grow into the fullness of Christ and be a living sacrifice acceptable to God." He thanked the parents of Father Palaparambil for offeringg their son to serve the Lord with faithfulness and joy.

 

The apostolic school children from Don Bosco Lonavla sang melodious tunes during the Holy Eucharistic celebration. At the end of the ceremony Father Jacob said, "It has been 15 years since I left home and never has there been a moment of regret for having answered God's call.  I will always rejoice in the Lord and serve Him in the footsteps of Don Bosco."

 

At the end of the Ordination ceremony, the parishioners felicitated Father Palaparambil. The children from the Little Flower School presented spectacular performances through dance and music. All the dignitaries present were felicitated with flowers.

 

Father Palaparambil will return to Don Bosco's Apostolic School at Lonavla and serve the youngsters in the Apostolic School and teach at the Don Bosco High School and Junior College in Lonavla.

BIS #4631 UNDERLINING THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 14, 2015: What are human rights? Why do we have them and why are they so important? These were some of the questions that 40 youth answered at the third Human Rights Forum that was held at Don Bosco High School, Matunga on December 6.   

 

"Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always" was the theme of the forum and the aim was to discuss and understand the importance of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in mobilising and empowering young people to participate in communities and at the grass-root level.

 

The forum started with a prayer service, where petitions were related to an MDG.  Samson Carvalho gave a brief introduction to the programme, after which Susanne Rodrigues presented the United Nations Secretary General, Ban-Ki-Moon's opening message on human rights.  After the introduction to the programme, eight groups of youth gave a presentation on a particular MDG. The groups gave a brief explanation about why the MDGs were introduced and to what extent they have been achieved. They highlighted the areas where they are yet to be implemented.  This enabled the participants to gain a lot of knowledge and access to resources about these goals.

 

Vivek D'Souza, the programme coordinator, then explained the 17 SDGs adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2015. A group discussion followed and every group was given one SDG to focus upon. Groups had to underline the resources which would help achieve the SDG at the community level.  They also discussed the process of achieving these goals through individual efforts.  The groups then presented their conclusions to all the participants.

 

Towards the end of the forum, Marina D'Costa, a human rights activist and youth leader, facilitated the commitment session. Every individual, present at the forum, vowed to uphold human rights, which would lead to the betterment of society.  

 

A stand-out feature of the forum was the fact, that it was led by young individuals from different backgrounds, communities and walks of life.  It was a successful, informative and interesting discussion.  The participants went away convinced that they can't live in isolation, and that it was necessary to stand up for the human rights of others in our society, in our nation and the world.

BIS #4630 NURTURING NATURE AND CARING CREATION

by Brother Servin Joseph 

 

NASHIK, DEC 12, 2015: Divyadaan-Salesian Institute of Philosophy organised its annual Bachelor of Philosophy symposium on 'Nurturing Nature and Caring Creation' as a response to Laudato Si'- the encyclical of Pope Francis- on December 9. 

 

The participants were from the Institute of Divyadaan, novices of different congregations in Nashik and some religious and lay people. The symposium began with a short prayer service followed by the introduction of the speakers. 

 

The first speaker Brother Servin Joseph spoke about technology and its effect on the lives of people. He focused mainly on e-paper. Brother Melroy Mascarenhas then dwelt on anthropocentrism, where he spoke about the domination of human beings on all creatures. 


Brother Markus Kujur dealt with the issue of integral ecology. He explained how we can approach ecology in today's context in the light of the Laudato Si'. Finally, Brother Aubrey Rebeiro highlighted the topic, 'human beings  hand- in- hand with nature.'

 

After the presentations, the forum was opened to the audience for discussion. Several questions were raised by the participants, and the speakers took time out to answer all queries. The audience was then divided into six groups and given some practical questions to discuss, after which each group presented their responses. 

 

At the end, all the participants pledged to nurture nature and care for all creation.  Each participant was given a tulsi plant, as token for this initiative to care for mother earth. The programme was organised by the second year students of philosophy, under the leadership of Father Wyman Gonsalves,  Father Robert Pen, rector of the institute and Father Felix Fernandes, the principal.

Friday, December 11, 2015

BIS #4629 YOUNG PRIESTS REFLECT ON ROLE OF SALESIANS

by Father Leon Cruz

 

MUMBAI, DEC 11, 2015: Young priests from the Mumbai province attended a two-day long programme on December 9 and 10, animated by Father Savio Silveira, the Vice-Provincial, Father Godfrey D'Sa and Dn Ivan Fenandes at the Provincial House in Matunga, to help them reflect on the role of Salesians in the 21st century.

 

Dn Ivan and Father D'Sa first analysed the challenges young priests face regularly. They also focused on the demanding role of Salesians in society today, especially in dealing with those in the adult-youth category i.e people above the age of 18.

 

The sessions highlighted various relevant topics like the present day crisis, role of a Salesian, creating a vision, making a difference, dealing with addictions like pornography, value of family and relationships. The sessions were interactive and focussed on the practical aspects.

 

At the end of the programme, each young priest came forward with concrete ideas and proposals for the community and province. To ensure its implementation, Father Silveira proposed another meeting after four months to review the fruitfulness of the proposed ideas and suggestions.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

BIS #4628 ICONIC DOME OF DON BOSCO SHRINE RESTORED

by Karen Laurie

 

MUMBAI, DEC 10, 2015: When the faithful enter the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna this Christmas, they will witness their shrine - seemingly robed to welcome Jesus in the manger. Gone are the cracks in the dome that resembled a dangerous mosaic, gone is the scaffolding that signified a work-in-progress.

 

Renovation to restore the shrine's distinctive dome, 80-feet above the main altar, to its past glory ended a week-into Advent. It's the first-ever renovation since it was built in 1957, by Father Aurelius Maschio; similar to the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin- built by Don Bosco himself.

 

Patkil and Dadarkar, two Indian architects, designed the iconic structure in the form of a traditional Latin cross. The main dome - over the sanctuary - and the two-minor domes - over the entrance - are typical of Roman church architecture of the time.

 

Fifty-eight years of braving the elements, however, took its toll on the main dome. Huge cracks developed and it soon became apparent - to Father Edwin D'Souza, Rector of the Shrine – that repair was needed, urgently.

 

"I was sitting at a funeral and when I looked up I saw the ribs of the dome cracked. I called for the architect who said,'if you can see the crack from 80-feet below, imagine the damage up there'. There was no way to reach the dome, except by erecting a three-storey high scaffolding to inspect it," Father D'Souza said. 

 

Ever-escalating costs, a tight event schedule, mother nature and unusual physics were among a host of challenges the shrine management and architects were up against. "The cost of infrastructure required to reach the dome was more than cost of the actual work carried out," Father D'souza said. 

 

Given the delicate Italian marble interiors, conventional scaffolding was not an option. Special stand-alone 'cuplock' scaffolding was used, to ensure that the beams did not need support from the sidewall. To ensure it stood securely to a height of 80-feet, a plywood platform had to be constructed- for support- at a height of 60 feet. It also served as a base for workers, helped store raw material and barred debris from damaging the floor beneath.


Scaffolding and plywood boxing was used to seal and protect the main altar and its statues. To ensure services were not disrupted throughout the tenure of the repairs- from August to December- the scaffolding on the altar was cordoned off by special gypsum boards, to block out the dust and noise. They not just saved the church from looking like a construction site, but also kept the crowd at bay, as a safety measure. 

 

Gypsum boards were also used to prevent any damage to the Marian stain-glass paintings, created by the famous Italian painter Peter Flavio of Turin, over the main altar. Holes were drilled in the boards to stop hot air from being trapped between the board and the stain glass, and resulting in an explosion by the pent-up pressure.

 

Architect Bharat Dalal- who has restored domes for other structures in the city- said, "For this assignment, I had to put all my school physics to use, rather than what I learnt in the school of architecture. The Shrine is one of the finest pieces of craftsmanship and one of the best-maintained churches. We had to carry on the work while preserving this rich heritage."

 

The true extent of the damage became apparent only when workers scaled to the summit. "It was a miracle that the dome didn't collapse. Given the size, height, gravity, the damage would have been terrible. Don Bosco wanted someone to look at it," Dalal said. 

 

Due to corrosion with age and climate, gaps between the stone, allowed water to percolate and damage not just the dome, but the structure around it too. The false ceiling above the main altar camouflaged the great distress the roof was in.  Dalal added, "Remedial measures were undertaken, which included chemical treatment to all the Reinforced Cement and Concrete (RCC) members done in a very surgical manner." To counter the problem of rainwater leakage, roofing has now been built at the end of the dome, where rainwater would normally collect, to flow straight out of the main terrace. 

 

The repairs cost over one crore rupees. "We made appeals and are very grateful that people were so generous; but we are no-where close to our target," said Father D'souza. Is it now the biggest cause for concern? "No," smiles Father D'souza, "It is our Blessed Mother's shrine. Like She protected it, She will also provide the money for it."

Around 5000 devotees visit the shrine on Sundays alone. Yvonne Nazareth, who has been regular for four decades says, "Don Bosco's shrine has kept all the old traditions alive, big wooden confessional boxes, communion rails, beautiful mosaics and stain glass paintings,artistically carved statues and holy water fonts, the domes, the arched doorways. I thought because of the repairs, we will miss the shrine's big and customary Christmas crib this year. But I'm glad that is not the case."

 

Three months after the first plans were chalked out, the iconic twelve-foot high, gold-plated statue of the Madonna, synonymous with the Matunga skyline, now stands more securely that ever before, on a Shrine that so many faithful call their own- the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna.

BIS #4627 SALESIAN COOPERATORS HAVE A NEW PROVINCIAL COUNCIL

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 10, 2015: The Salesian Cooperators of the Mumbai Province met for their Congress at the Cooperator's room in the Provincial House in Matunga on December 5. The Congress, as mandated by the Statutes (PAL), is a meeting of the elected members of the local units to elect the Provincial Council. There were representatives from seven units of the Mumbai Province,  Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) provincial delegates present at the Congress.

 

There were six nominations for the four elected posts of the council. However, two nominees were not present at this Congress and hence the four nominees present were considered elected. The four Councillors then met and elected the members for the different posts in the council. Jacinta D'Souza from Wadala(W) was elected as a Coordinator, Christopher Gomes from the Kurla unit was elected as a Secretary,  Anthony Estebeiro from Matunga was elected a Treasurer and Freida D'Souza from the Bandra unit was elected for Formation. 

 
The outgoing members, Sharon D'Souza Pretto, Doly Afonso and Richard Tauro, were thanked for the services they rendered. Father Francisco Pereira, based in Kuwait, then addressed the Congress and briefed the members about the Salesian work in Kuwait. He also spoke about the Salesian Cooperator's unit. The meeting ended with a prayer and a blessing.

BIS #4626 DON BOSCO, NERUL SHINES AT NATIONAL SPORTS MEET

by BIS Correspondent

 

NAVI MUMBAI, DEC 9, 2015: Two students from Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul did their school proud by winning medals in different disciplines at national level sports meets held over the month of November.  

 

Shivam Bhosle from standard five won the gold medal in the Poomase Sub-Junior National level Taekwondo Championship 2015-16, organised by the Maharashtra Taekwondo Association on November 4 and 7 held in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh.

 

Schaleen Fernandes, from standard four, claimed the bronze medal in ring-race skating at the CBSE inter-school National sports & games competition organised by Tapti Valley International School, Surat on November 4 and 5.

Their achievements stand testament to the fact that hard work pays rich dividends.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BIS #4625 PREPARING FOR CHRISTMAS THROUGH A NIGHT VIGIL

by Rickolenn Zico Fernandes & Aaron D'souza

 

KUWAIT, DEC 8, 2015: With Christmas around the corner, the youth group of St Therese parish in Kuwait also called SPY, conducted an Advent night adoration for the parish youth, guided by Father Lionel Braganza. 

 

After a brief welcome, the participants were divided into groups. Each group selected their name, a theme-action song and then actively participated in bible-based activities such as treasure hunt, jigsaw puzzles and riddles. 

 

Praise and Worship was followed by a 'live rosary' and an inspirational enactment of each mystery. "All the activities co-related to what happened 2000 years ago, with our lives today. They illustrated how the humble birth of Jesus could transform our lives," said Ryan one of the main organisers.

 

Based on the presentation of Father Glenford Lowe, Father Braganza explained the real meaning of Christmas, 'Christ centered, Holy, Repent & respond, Invite, Sacred Silence, Touch to transform, Miracles of metaphors, Anchor of Acceptance and Sailorship.' He ended with the beautiful message that Christmas is always 'a road under construction'.

 

A Holy hour of adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament was followed by the Sacrament of Confession, that gave the laity an opportunity to adore, reflect, repent and make resolutions. Father Braganza, Father Blany Pinto, Father Joy Marangattikala, Father Xavier Dsouza, director of the youth in Kuwait, then con-celebrated Holy mass.

 

At the end of the special vigil, Allwyn D'souza and Theresa D'souza, a couple from the Salmiya Parish testified how the daily rosary, daily personal prayer and true devotion to the Divine Mercy had saved them from harm and death when their apartment caught fire. Their testimony reminded all that the Lord is merciful and loves all who keep His Word.

 

"What an amazing fellowship! It got us involved in various activities which not only increased our knowledge but tested our faith too," Judilia, who was present at the event, said.

 

Father Braganza ended the event by saying, "Your daily life is nothing but an expression of your spiritual condition. Prepare for the coming of Christ through penance and reconciliation while spreading the Word of God. By refocusing from a materialistic life to one dedicated to God through service and prayer,  we can all make it to the gates of heaven."

BIS #4624 BOSCO SPORTS FEST 2015 A GRAND SUCCESS

by Ashwini Gupte

 

MUMBAI, DEC 8, 2015: Don Bosco High School, Matunga – true to its reputation of being a leader in city sports – lived up to its top billing, as scores of students from the secondary section participated in the Bosco Sports Fest 2015 on December 5.

 

The Fest, which was held over two days, saw students vie for top honours in basketball, football, cricket, rink football, hand tennis, kabaddi, volleyball, chess, carom, table tennis, fun games, cycling, tug-of-war, shot put, discus throw, march past, relays and numerous races.

 

The backdrop for the event red, 'Playing Fields + The Dons = Untold Joy'; and the joy and exuberance of competing in various disciplines was apparent on the faces of all competitors. On day one, the entire secondary section of the school participated in events of their choice, and day two featured track events. The secondary school quadrangle was abuzz with activity, as students either participated in events or cheered for their respective house mates. Red House emerged as eventual winners.

 

Edgar Mascarenhas Sr, hockey player of international repute was the chief guest of the fest. He urged the students to avail of the opportunities offered by the one school in Mumbai with the best sports infrastructure and the biggest grounds to boast of. 

BIS #4623 FOOTBALL FEVER GRIPS KOREGAON PARK

by Cl Joseph Rodrigues

 

PUNE, DEC 7, 2015: Don Bosco School, Yerawada drubbed K P Warriors, 2-0 in the annual Under-14 football tournament for underprivileged youth, organised by the Don Bosco Youth Centre (DBYC) at Koregaon Park, Pune on December 6.

 

Twenty-two teams participated in the two-day long tournament which was held in a knock-out format. At the onset on December 5, Father Nelson Carvalho, Director of the Youth centre, welcomed the players and football enthusiasts. In his inaugural address, he shed light on the personage of Don Bosco, and encouraged participants to practice the virtues that the great saint had imparted to his boys.


The finals between Don Bosco School and Warriors was a keenly-contested event, however the former emerged victorious to claim the title 'Bosco Champs'. Venkatesh Abhange, from team Don Bosco was the top scorer of the tournament.  Sai Kiran, from Bhimraj Boys was named the best defender, while Praful Govli from Star F C was the best goalkeeper. The emerging-player-of-the-tournament award went to Rohan Roman and the most promising player was Fouzan Navid Shaikh.

 

"This is the third year I'm coming to Don Bosco Youth Centre for this tournament," said Sahil Shaikh - of team Al-wadud – adding, "I simply love the feeling and action here.  "Pravin Shetty from team Joseph Juniors remarked, "I always look forward to playing football here since the level of organisation is extremely good and there are fewer fights as compared to other places."

 

The community of DBYC expressed gratitude towards its supporters and benefactors for making the tournament a success. The Youth Centre has been instrumental in helping young boys realise their true potential and forging them into champions of tomorrow.

BIS #4622 NEW BOSCO DETOXIFICATION CENTER OPENS

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 7, 2015: Don Bosco Balprafulta in collaboration with Shelter Don Bosco opened Bosco Detoxification Center on November 26 at Antop Hill, to help youth combat the menace of substance abuse.


The inauguration began with a short prayer service, which was followed by the official inauguration of the house. Father Diego Nunes from St. Dominic Savio Church declared the house open and blessed it with holy water. The boys of Shelter Don Bosco were also present for the inauguration.

 

The center will give youth who are struggling to break the substance-habit, a chance to life anew. Along with treatment, the boys will also be able to learn some skills and get basic education. At present there are five boys who have begun the treatment.

BIS #4621 YAR DAY CELEBRATED AT SHELTER DON BOSCO

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 7, 2015: "A family is not an important thing, it's everything," Michael J Fox, a youth Hollywood icon recently said. The importance of family was highlighted at Shelter Don Bosco as it celebrated Young At Risk (YaR) day on November 26.

 

The theme for the event was 'My Right to Family'. Parents of the boys from the Shelter were invited to join the celebration, which focused on how a family makes a deep impact on the life of a child. After the prayer service, Father Gregory D'Almeida, rector of Shelter Don Bosco welcomed the parents and introduced the theme to the gathering. A staff member then made a presentation on how family life is important and how it can shape the life of a child.    

 

The program ended at 11am, after which the parents of the Shelter-boys had a meeting with the management and staff of the institution. It was indeed a good opportunity for the boys to get to know their family and it also highlighted the importance of family in their lives.

BIS #4620 AIDS AWARENESS AT SHELTER DON BOSCO

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 7, 2015: A United Nations report recently claimed that India has the third-highest number of people living with HIV in the world, with 2.1 million people living with the disease. On December 1, World AIDS Day was celebrated and students and staff of Shelter Don Bosco marked the day with an educational session to raise awareness about the disease.  

 

Dr Sunita Shanbaug, a very close collaborator with Shelter Don Bosco addressed those present about the disease. She spoke about how this virus starts and what precautions should be taken to be safe. The session began shortly after 9.15am and ended at 10am.

 

Dr Shanbaug also spoke about how the disease affects human health and the social life of a person. The session was very interactive and the boys of Shelter learnt a lot from the informative session. Towards the end of the programme, Father Gregory D'Almeida, rector of the Shelter felicitated Dr Shanbaug for sharing her valuable knowledge on HIV AIDS and bringing awareness on the same.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

BIS #4619 THANKSGIVING DAY FOR THE SALESIAN PROVINCE OF MUMBAI

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 5, 2015: The Salesian Province of Mumbai celebrated its Province Community day on December 3, which is the feast day of St. Francis Xavier – Patron of the Missions and Apostle of India. 120 Salesians from around the province – clerics, brothers and priests; both young and young-at-heart, gathered together for Holy Mass celebration at Don Bosco's Crypt, Matunga.  


The Eucharist was presided over by the Provincial, Father Godfrey D'Souza, with the Provincial Councillors at the altar. Father Crispino D'Souza, in the homily, mentioned that he completed 33 years working at different places in the Salesian Province of Mumbai.  He emphasised that each Salesian needs to observe the Constitutions and the Regulations of the Salesian Society- to love Christ and to follow our Saint and Founder Don Bosco. 

 

He enumerated his reflection on community life through the reading of the book 'Exploring Salesian Life Today' by Chrys Saldanha. "We need to be grateful for the gift of faith, love, for the committed Salesians working all across the province,  for the sick confreres in our province- we need to have a compassionate heart of Christ for them,  for the difficult confreres in our communities- not as problems but as opportunities,  for the ability to laugh and empathise with each other, the ability to forgive each other and finally the ability to work with each other  in communities, so that our community is mission itself," Father D'Souza said.    

 

After Holy Mass, amid joyful and noisy exchange of greetings, the confreres moved to the Provincial house grounds. The master of ceremonies, Father McEnroe Lopes welcomed all the Salesians.  Father Glen Lowe, raised a toast to the Provincial and the province Council, enumerating the many qualities of Father Godfrey and thanking him for his meticulous work and solicitous care of every confrere and community, despite his ill-health. 

 

After Father Godfrey and his council cut the cake, he replied to the toast, thanking his Councillors and all the confreres of the province for their silent work and contributions that helped the province progress in serving the youth in many ways. 

 

The community of Divyadaan with the clerics performed local folk songs and the DJ had everyone's feet tapping.  It was a memorable day for the Province of Mumbai to express gratitude to God and it was a great occasion to thank the Provincial and his Councillors and all the Rectors for animating the communities along with the confreres of the province.     

 

Father Savio Silveira, the Vice-Provincial proposed the vote of thanks, where he appreciated the host community of Don Bosco Provincial House, for having made the evening a memorable one. This year's provincial-community celebration truly enabled all present to come together to celebrate their belonging to the province and their sharing in the Salesian charism. 

 

Viva Don Bosco, long live the Salesian Province of Mumbai!