Saturday, January 30, 2016

BIS #4669 SALESIAN COOPERATORS VISIT WALVANDA

by Irene Shah

 

WALVANDA, JAN 30, 2015: Thirteen Salesian Cooperators visited the Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) in Walvanda on January 16; in a bid to learn more about the work of the BSVS and to meet locals from the area.

 

On their arrival,  the Cooperators took a tour of the campus and visited other interesting sites like the Jayvilas palace - ruled by a tribal king - and also Sunset Point. On their return, they visited Gardwadi village.There they interacted with the tribal school children. They played, danced and sang with the students. 

 

Early next morning, Father Anaclete D'mello, director of BSVS celebrated Holy Mass. Later, he addressed the group about the work of the BSVS in the two blocks of Palghar district – namely Jawhar and Mokhada. 

 

Father D'mello has been living in Walvanda since 2010. At present, BSVS works in 40 villages to teach people about their rights and the government schemes which they are unaware off. BSVS, to date, has promoted about 300 women groups called Self Help Groups (SHGs).

 

BSVS also provides career guidance for school children and youth in various fields like agriculture, defence and police. They help promote youth movements – like Gram Vikas Mandal - for steering village development programmes. BSVS runs a technical school too, to provide skill training in electrical application, welding, automobile two- wheeler and three- wheeler, computers and driving. 
 

The organisation also helps promote poultry farming and looks to the construction of check dams, bore wells to assist in water conservation methods for crop cultivation. 

 

The following day, the group visited Kalmvira village where 80 families live in thatched houses.  The children recited poems and sang songs. A Cooperator, Effie Gomes spoke to the youth about the importance of cleanliness, respect and the help they should give their parents. The Cooperators gave students books, pencils, erasers, rulers and soaps.

The Cooperators also visited Shiroshi village. When it was time to return home to Mumbai, they left  inspired and enthusiastic to collect some funds and send it to BSVS for the upliftment of the tribal people.

BIS #4668 SALESIAN TO DRAFT RULES FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE ACT 2015

by Karen Laurie 

 

DELHI, JAN 30, 2015: Father Koshy Thomas – true to the principles of Don Bosco – has championed the cause of the 'Young at risk' for over 25 years. His work has won him national awards and several other notable accolades thereafter. Now, over two decades on, Father Thomas has been appointed – by the Government of India – as part of a 13-member committee set up to draft the rules under which the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 will function.

 

The new Juvenile Justice Act was passed by the Parliament on December 31, 2015 and came into force on January 15, 2016. The Act allows children aged 16 to 18 in conflict with the law, to be tried as adults in case of heinous offences. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (DWCD) of the Government of India informed Father Thomas of his appointment by email on January 28.

 

The committee will be headed by Asha Menon, Principal Judge of the Family Court in Dwarka in New Delhi. The members include Gurkirat Kirpal Singh – the Director of the Department of Social Security, Prem Uday Kharka from DWDC, Surinder Singh Mann, the Chairperson of the Congress Working Committee, Dr Jitendra Singh Nagpal, a mental health expert, Bhuwan Ribhu, an Advocate in the Supreme Court and several other notable members.  

 

The committee will prepare Model Rules as per Section 110 (1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015. It will have 45 days, from the date of the constitution of the Committee, to submit the rules to the Centre.

 

"Don Bosco institutions are well known for working with the 'Young at risk'," Father Thomas, who is the Secretary of the Don Bosco National forum for the Young at Risk, said. "Our national level activities are well known to the ministry. The survey on street children, that our research centre - in Mumbai – undertook, is well known."

 

"I've been in this sector for a long time and was the Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee for two terms and then in the State of Andhra Pradesh, I was in the selection committee, so probably they looked at the background of the people."

 

The role of drafting the rules is in reality a State Governments responsibility, but before State's decide, it is the Central government that drafts Model rules. Based on this draft, State's draft their own rules, with slight changes and amendments. But States largely follow the Model rules drafted by the Centre.

 

"A rough draft has already been drawn up by the ministry, as that gives us the skeleton to work on. I have shared this with other like-minded NGO's, so that they can do some homework and I expect that they will pass on what they have generated, which will be helpful when I present whatever needs to be contributed. I have the minds of so many people behind me," Father Thomas said.

 

"Every article of the act needs a rule to implement. Based on that, there are areas we will need to discuss and bring in more clarity. Opinions from the ground have tremendous value, rather than only bureaucrats drafting it. The ground reality is more close to those who are working on the ground. I'm trying to be the voice for the NGOs."
 

The need to reform the Juvenile Justice Act of 2010 came to the national limelight after the 2012 Delhi gang rape, when a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was beaten, gang raped and tortured in a private bus in which she was travelling. One of her attackers was a juvenile, who was convicted of rape and murder and given a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment. His release from prison late last year raised a national outrage.

 

"The Act in 2015 was hugely criticized. We also opposed lowering the age (of juvenile imprisonment) after the Nirbhaya case. Even in Parliament, although they passed it because the Government has a majority, there was opposition. In the Rajya Sabha, it was opposed, as the opposition parties were given documentary evidence and proof as to why this should not be done and they stood by it. This year, it finally got the majority, because the Congress supported them," Father Thomas said.

"The biggest challenge will be to make the States responsible for reform rather than punishment. Statistics too show that punishment has never been a deterrent."

 

Now, that the 2015 version of the Act has the President's consent, the committee will meet to chalk out the rules. "When the committee sits together they will have opinions and, I guess, there will be a majority to decide, like the normal passing of any deliberation," Father Thomas said.

 

Deep thought and deliberation is the need of the hour; and Father Thomas is clear that he and the other members will - like Don Bosco - keep the best interests of the child in mind when drafting the Model rules.

 

"Don Bosco's principles helped me. I think it is the best way to introduce change. The principles of Don Bosco, towards the youngsters, will certainly reflect in the drafting of the rules, from my side, as that would be top-most in my mind, in Juvenile Justice we look at the best interests of the child, and that's exactly what Don Bosco wanted," he said.

Friday, January 29, 2016

BIS #4667 YOUTH FEST AIMED SHOWING MERCY

by Ajay Shelke

 

JAITALA, JAN 29, 2015: The youth of Our lady of Fatima church in Jaitala organised a youth fest entitled 'Be merciful as your heavenly father is merciful' at St Joseph Vidhyalaya on January 26, Republic Day, to spread awareness about the needs of the poorer sections of society.

 

The fest, organised under the guidance of Father Allwyn Misqutta in the Dominic Savio hall, was held from 10am to 4.30pm and drew scores of youth from neighbouring parishes in the area. The organisers, through the event, attempted to prompt the youth into becoming prudent like Don Bosco and working for the betterment of the society.


The youth enthusiastically participated in the sessions, praise and worship, sharing, adoration and the Solemn Eucharist celebrated by Father Jerome Pinto, the Vicar general of the Archdiocese of Nagpur. Father Manuel Murzello, rector and parish priest, was instrumental in organising the fest.
 

Four days before the fest took place, there was another reason to celebrate, as the eight newly ordained priests- from the Salesian province of Mumbai- visited the parish. They were felicitated in the school and met students from standard ten, with whom they shared their vocation story. 

 

They also celebrated the Holy Eucharist, where Father Richard Burkhao was the main celebrant, while Father Roshan Gonsalves, in his homily, reflected on Don Bosco's struggle in life and how his mother, Mama Margret was kind and gentle to him, even when he made mistakes.

BIS #4666 CATECHETICAL DAY IN SACRED HEART YERWADA

by BIS Correspondent

 

PUNE, JAN 29, 2015: The parishioners of Sacred Heart church in Yerwada celebrated Catechetical Day on January 24 by participating in activities in line with the theme, 'Sports for Peace'. 

The theme was aimed at competing in sport with a different attitude, as the attitude of teamwork, togetherness and caring for others would help bring about peace through sports. The event began after the morning Holy Eucharist.

Youngsters gathered on the school assembly ground, where the youth of the parish performed an action song 'Run dor unity'. The youth acted out the actions on the stage and the others followed in their footsteps.

 

Balloons were released to mark the inauguration of the day. Twelve separate teams were then registered under nature-themed names like volcano, tsunami and earthquake. The youth then moved to the hall to play games like Channel of peace, an obstacle race and hula hoops. Each game helped promote values like teamwork.

 

There was 'Time out' between games and each leader of the team, led his team into a time of reflection – to discuss what they learned from the game. They discussed whether they put the concept into practice and how they felt about playing in a team.

 

A prize distribution ceremony followed and the teams that completed the games in the shortest possible time won top honours. A special prize for the team that understood and lived the concept of peace was awarded.

BIS #4665 EMPOWERING WOMEN FOR THE FUTURE

 by Mahesh Kumar

 

MUMBAI, JAN 29, 2015: Two hundred and sixty eight women, from a series of slums in Mumbai, who undertook skill-based training in basic computing, spoken English, tailoring, garment making, beauty care, hair dressing and mehendi application - to help them earn their livelihood – attended a graduation ceremony at the Salesian Provincial House in Matunga on January 25.

 

The Don Bosco Development Office succeeded in its efforts to empower the women, who hailed from Cotton Green, Reay road, Dockyard road, Sewri, Antop Hill, Wadala, Dharavi, Kurla, Ghatkopar, Nerul and Seawood.  
 

The women underwent a 45-day long course to hone in on their skills in order to help them make a living in society. More than 300 women attended the certification ceremony for the newly graduated students. After the distribution of certificates, there was a fashion and make-up show held to allow the women from the department of beauty care and mehendi, display their talent.

 

Father Rolvin D'Mello, the executive director of Don Bosco Development Society, welcomed the gathering after the prayer service. Nishant Sinha, CSR-Manager, Mahanagar Gas Ltd, was the Chief Guest at the ceremony. Father Edwin D'Souza and Father Bonnie Borges inspired the students by exhorting them to use their skills to earn their livelihood.

 

Imparting skills, forms a part of the women-empowerment activities conducted by the Development office. The office took a cue to conduct the training from Skill India, which is a Government of India Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship initiative.

 

"In the beginning we were hesitating," said one student, adding, "Since some are housewives it was difficult to give time, because of housework, cooking and small children."

 

Other students added that the course gave them a sense of self-worth and that it would help them now earn their livelihood to support their families with the extra income. The women were touched by the phenomenal spirit of Don Bosco's system and the friendly method of education.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

BIS #4664 CELEBRATING A DECADE

by BIS Correspondent

 

NAVI MUMBAI, JAN 27, 2015: An inter-school basketball tournament was conducted at Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul on January 23 to commemorate the Decennial Year of the school. 


Schools from in and around Navi Mumbai participated in the event that was conducted for both boys and girls in the under- 11, under- 13 and under- 16 age groups. Father Bonnie Borges, the manager was the Chief Guest and he inaugurated the tournament.

 

The event was closely contested and the participants were cheered on by an enthusiastic group of spectators. Acharya School, won in the boys under 11 category while Pillai School, Rasayani was the runner up.

 

Visanji Academy from Andheri won top honours in the girls under 11 category, while St. Anthony Girls School, Chembur was the runner up. Father Agnel's from Vashi emerged victorious in the boys under-13 age group, as they edged out Balbharti from Kharghar in the final.

 

Father Agnel's won top honours in the girl's under 13 category and the boy's under 16 category as well. Mary Immaculate School from Borivli bagged top honours in the girl's under 16 category. The winners were felicitated by Father Anthony Fonseca, principal of the host school.

BIS #5663 SERVING THE LORD - ALTAR SERVERS INDUCTION

by Ruth Miranda

 

KUWAIT, JAN 27, 2015: St. Therese of the Child Jesus parish in the North Arabian Vicariate, inducted altar servers in a ceremony on January 21. A total of 113 altar servers were present, of which 38 young boys took their pledge for the first time. 

 

The boys dressed in their crisp red and white robes were seated in the front pews, followed by their parents and a team of coordinators. The parish priest, Father Blany Pinto was the main celebrant for the Holy Eucharist. The main focus of the liturgy was 'Vocation.'

 

During his homily, Father Pinto cited the example of little Samuel, who was guided to listen to God by the priest in the temple. He adviced parents to recognise the call of God for their children and to guide them in choosing their religious vocation. He added that the void they would feel in their homes, should their sons choose the religious life, would be replaced by 'Jesus Christ' himself.

 

After the homily, the 38 new altar servers took their pledge, while the 75 seniors renewed their promise. "I was feeling very happy to renew my commitment to the Lord," said senior Gavin Viegas; while newly inducted Jothan Suresh Peter said, "I am looking forward to serving Jesus diligently and with dedication."
 

Later, six altar servers- three seniors and three juniors - were awarded for accumulating the highest number of points. Points are awarded to altar servers for participating at Holy Mass, for serving at the Holy Eucharist and for attending the monthly meetings.  Additionally, six other altar servers were awarded for their long and dedicated service.

This was followed by an appreciation of the outgoing coordinator, Oswald Aranha and the introduction of the new core team – Christopher Rosario, Ruth Miranda and Clara Aranha. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

BIS #5662 SALESIAN YOUTH FEST 2016

BSteffi D'Mello

 

VIRAR, JAN 27, 2015: Youth Fest 2016 was held at Jyoti Mata Church, Jyoti, Virar on January 24. The theme for this year's fest was, 'Blessed are the Merciful.' 80 youth from different Salesian parishes - in and across Mumbai- came together to celebrate this annual youth event. 

 

The programme started with the theme song on Mercy. It was followed by an introduction by Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai, who spoke about the significance of Mercy in today's world and encouraged youth to spread this message of Mercy through simple gestures.

 

Father Cleophas Braganza took a session on the meaning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and Pope Francis' message. He also explained the logo of Year of Mercy. This was followed by a group discussion where the youth came up with new ideas on how to implement Mercy in their daily lives. Two newly ordained priests, Father Leon Rodrigues and Father Ashwin Mal were the main celebrants for the Holy Eucharist. 

 

In the afternoon, the youth groups from different parishes presented their annual report and upcoming events. There were also presentations of skits on various ways of being Merciful. Father Royal D'Abreo and the parishioners of Jyoti Mata Church gave the youth a practical demonstration in practising mercy through their hospitality, care and generosity.  It was a wonderful platform for the youth from across the city to come together and celebrate God's mercy. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

BIS #4661 THANK YOU MUM AND DAD

by Father Crescens Lemos

 

MUMBAI, JAN 26, 2015: The Mama Margaret Association – comprising of parents of the  Salesians in Mumbai – met at Our Lady of Dolours Church in Wadala on January 4 to spend time with their son's and to celebrate the gift of vocation.

 

Forty-two parents were a part of the event which was entitled, "With Jesus let us adventure in the Spirit together." The day began at 10 am with a fellowship.  Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai then addressed the parents present. He spoke about their role in the vocation of their sons and exhorted them to accompany their sons in this adventure with their prayers and advice . 

 

He thanked the parents present for all that they have done for their sons; especially in supporting them in times of difficulties. Father D'Souza stressed on the fact that parents play an important role in fostering vocations and promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life. 


Father Savio Silveira, the delegate of the association, thanked the parents for their presence and more importantly for offering their sons to the congregation. He assured them that their sons are praying for them, especially for their good health and peace.

The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Father Chrys Saldanha, who was part of the Formation Department of the Salesian congregation in Rome. He helped the parents reflect on their role in the lives of their sons. Father Saldanha used the example of Mama Margaret, who had helped Don Bosco in his mission; and Saint Monica - the mother of Saint Augustine - who prayed for her son.  He concluded by saying that parents nurture their son's vocation and guide them to becoming saints.

 

After Holy Mass, the brothers of Don Bosco, Matunga had some light moments with the parents through their innovative games. As a sign of appreciation, Father D'Souza presented each parent with a token of love. The parents were happy to be part of the event. "The programme was very well organised, such programmes help us parents to get to know other parents," said Ronald D'Souza, the father of Brother Rohan D'Souza. 

BIS #5660 AKANSHA FOUNDATION WINS FRIENDSHIP CUP

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, JAN 26, 2015: Akansha Foundation narrowly edged out Leher Foundation, 1-0 to clinch the Friendship Cup, an inter-NGO football tournament that took place at the Don Bosco Astro Turf pitch in Matunga on January 24.

 

Twelve city-based NGOs took part in the tournament which was organised by Shelter Don Bosco. The teams were divided into four pools and the matches were played according to a league format. Shelter Don Bosco boys were among the 12 teams that took part.  

 

The tournament began with a prayer service in honour of Saint John Bosco. After the service, the players took a sportsman's oath. Nishant Sinha, the CSR manager of MGL, was the Chief Guest for the inauguration. He officially declared the tournament open.

 

The semifinals took place at 3pm between Shelter Don Bosco and Akansha Foundation. The match was settled via a sudden death in favour of the latter. Akansha Foundation met Leher Foundation in the finals. The former emerged victorious in the end.
 

Father Bernard Fernandes, Principal of Don Bosco High School in Matunga, was the Chief Guest for the closing ceremony. Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Province and Father Byron also watched the finals and attended the closing ceremony. 

 

Leher Foundation's goal-keeper was given the best goal-keeper award. A player from Akansha foundation was awarded the best player trophy. A boy from Shelter Don Bosco was awarded the highest goal-scorer trophy. Father Gregory Almeida, rector of Don Bosco Shelter proposed the vote of thanks and the event ended at 5pm.

BIS #4659 SOUTHERN ZONAL CONFERENCE OF COOPERATORS

by Father Vivian D'Souza

MUMBAI, JAN 25, 2015: The Southern Region of the Salesian Cooperators had their annual conference at the Don Bosco Provincial House in Matunga, Mumbai from January 24 to 25. Thirty- two members from the Southern region of Bangalore, Chennai, Trichi, Hyderabad, Goa and Mumbai attended the conference. Nine members from the Northern region were also present, since there were elections to be held for the National Advisory Council of the Salesian Cooperators. Members from Sri Lanka could not attend.

The meeting commenced with the lighting of the lamp. The guests were warmly welcomed by Dolly Afonso and the delegate, Father Vivian D'Souza.  Floral tributes were offered to Father Godfrey D'Souza, the Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai and to the National delegates of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), the Coordinator for the World Council of the Cooperators and the office bearers of the South and North regions. The newly appointed National delegate, Sister Teresa Pawa FMA also addressed the gathering during the conference.


There were several 'animation programmes' planned for the course of the event. Father Noel Madichetty, the National SDB delegate, spoke about the National Congress in Kolkata last September, which was based on the theme, "One Family one Mission". He recalled the mission statement that was the fruit of this Congress. Father Wilfred D'Souza, the Rector of Don Bosco High School, Matunga then dealt in great detail on the 'Year of Mercy' given by Pope Francis in the Bull of Indication officially proclaiming the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.  Father Emmanuel, the delegate of the Cooperators of Bangalore, explained the Strenna for the year 2016.

Among the other issues discussed during the meet was the way forward for the Cooperators movement in the provinces and at the national level, in the areas of financial management. Suggestions for observing the Year of Mercy and the formation programmes to be conducted for Formators of the Cooperators in the province, were also discussed in detail. TK Devasia then spoke on the need and areas of Formation at the Provincial and local levels of the Salesian Cooperators and offered a couple of training programmes for the same.

The Salesian Family then gathered for a moment of prayer through a well animated Adoration service.  On day two, the World Councillor, DS Anthuvan spoke of inspiring experiences of Don Bosco's Charism and Salesianity in the organisation. Reports from the various regions were then presented and the financial statements of accounts were discussed. 

The three lines of action deliberated during the meeting were: first, to network through the website and the use of Social Communication. Second, to plan activities for family enrichment for the Year of Mercy and third, formation programme for the members of the Salesian Cooperators on gender equality through training of trainers programme.

BIS #4658 PHILOSOPHIZING THE HUMAN BODY

by Felix Joseph 

 

NASHIK, JAN 25, 2014: The Master of Philosophy (MPh) students of Divyadaan, Nashik organised the annual philosophical symposium entitled 'Philosophizing the Human Body: An Evolutionary Understanding' on January 16 to help answer important questions on humanity.

 

The symposium began at 2.00 p.m. with a short prayer service and was followed by the introduction of the topic and speakers by Cl Nithiyan Gnanasekar. The first speaker, Brother Jose Alunkal elucidated the understanding of the human person in the ancient and medieval world; and highlighted the views of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. He spoke about the dualism of body and soul.

 

The next speaker, Cl Ravi Kotte spoke about the concept of human body according to Rene Descartes and Spinoza, representing the thought of the modern period. He presented the dualistic understanding of the human person in Rene Descartes and the monistic understanding of Spinoza. 


Then Cl Felix Joseph, highlighted the day-to-day problems and challenges that affect the human body in the light of the contemporary perspective. He explained the various malpractices and manipulations done to human beings through science, technology and the media. His presentation centred around three violations done to human beings, namely- Objectification, Commodification and Reification.

 

After the presentations, the forum was open to the audience for questions. Clarifications were sought on important issues such as body-soul union, mind, spirit and life.

 The organisers- the MPh - students were assisted by Father Felix Fernandes, as well as the other staff members. The participants consisted of the staff and students of Divyadaan, other Religious from the vicinity, as well as the SDB and FMA novices.

Monday, January 25, 2016

BIS #5657 DON BOSCO MATUNGA ALUMNI MEET

BBIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, JAN 23, 2015: The past pupil of Don Bosco High School, Matunga Unit celebrated their annual 'Alumni R U Day'- on January 16 - where together with their families, they bonded with old batch-mates, faculty and the Salesians that nurtured them in their growing years. 

 

Over 450 ex-students from the batches of 1958, 1960, 1962, 1972, 1975, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1993, 1995, 2013 were present for the occasion; to rekindle good old school memories. The event began with a welcome address by the rector of Don Bosco High School, Father Wilfred D'souza. President of Don Bosco Alumni, Matunga unit, Jayesh Chandan also joined in. 


This was followed by a performance by bhangra dancers. All present then grooved to the beats of a DJ. The event ended with a  bonhomie over an evening meal, reminiscing about all the pranks, punishments and many other unforgettable episodes.

 

The event was painstakingly organised through the efforts of the members of the Don Bosco Alumni, Matunga unit under the leadership of Chandan. The funds were raised through generous contributions by donors and sponsors. The proceeds will go towards the Don Bosco Society, the school boarding, Shelter Don Bosco, Anmol and other projects under the care of the Salesians.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

BIS #4656 KABHI KHUSHI KABHI GHAM

by Father Godfrey D'sa

 

MUMBAI, JAN 23, 2015: Over 1000 students and parents in total from across 50 Mumbai-based schools attended a special series of seminars, in January 2016, organised by Prafulta Psychological Services to help people live life to the fullest.  

 

The Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham – a 'Festival of Feelings'- was organised for the second straight year and was held at three Don Bosco institutes across Mumbai. 320 students from standards five  to seven from 14 different schools attended the first event, on January 10, at Dominic Savio High School in Andheri. The students first sat in groups to draw, paint and write the feelings they experience.

 

A counsellor then helped them to first choose a difficult emotion like anger, fear or sadness. After feeling that emotion, they expressed it on paper. Along with one difficult emotion, they also got in touch with the feeling of 'joy' and again expressed it on paper. Students then attended a workshop on 'handling difficult emotions'. While the children were busy enjoying and learning about emotions, their parents had an hour's interaction with psychologists on 'Effective Parenting.'

 

514 students and their parents from nearly 20 schools attended the second event that was held at Don Bosco International School, in Matunga, on January 16. 200 students and parents from 15 schools participated in the final event that was held at Don Bosco School, Borivli on January 17.


The organisers, Prafulta Psychological Services, have been offering a variety of psychological services for the past 17 years and believe that by helping children understand how to handle their feelings, they would better cope with many real-life situations, especially in the tough times they live in today. 

 

Anger and jealousy often leads to violence and not knowing how to cope with sadness makes children become reclusive. The series of events helped children deal with tough feelings and difficult situations. The programme gave parents a platform to voice their confusion and receive assistance from trained psychologists on how to handle issues related to children, especially problems related to the over-stimulation of the media and the competitive environment.

BIS #4655 VOCATION DAY AT DON BOSCO YERWADA

by BIS Correspondent

 

 

YERWADA, JAN 22, 2015: Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada celebrated Vocation Day on January 17. The eight newly ordained priests of the Mumbai Province – Fathers Leon Rodrigues, Crescens Lemos, Jacob Palaparambil, Johnson Pannasingh Bhuriya, Ashwin Mal, Roshan Gonsalves, Richard Burkhao and Dinesh Vasava visited the parish to share their vocation story. 

 

The eight priests celebrated the evening 6 pm Holy Eucharist with the parishioners. In his homily, Father Rodrigues said that Saint John's motive is 'belief.' He wanted his audience to grow, completely trusting in Jesus. The purpose of the miracle at Cana is that we grow in our Faith in Jesus.

 

Father Rodrigues emphasised that Jesus performed this first sign at his Mother, Mary's request . Our Blessed Mother still intercedes for the Church today. 'Do whatever HE tells you', with this Mary encourages us to grow in our daily Christian discipleship.

 

Father Rodrigues added, "The Lord will change the ordinary water of our lives into the sparkling wine of God's merciful love. Let's drink from this stream of merciful love in this Year of Mercy." Holy Mass was followed by a short felicitation programme.

 

On 18 January, the recently ordained priests celebrated the Holy Eucharist for the students of Don Bosco School and Junior College, Yerwada. Father Vasava preached on the first reading of the day. God rejected Saul because he disobeyed the voice of the Lord, stressing on the virtue of obedience in our lives.

 

Then each priest shared his vocation story, thereby sowing the seeds of a probable vocation among the young students. The communities at the two Don Bosco institutions were grateful to the Lord, for the precious gift of eight ministers to labor in HIS Vineyard.

Friday, January 22, 2016

BIS #4654 NEW PARISH COUNCIL INDUCTED IN KUWAIT

by BIS Correspondent

 

KUWAIT, JAN 22, 2015: The new members of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of St. Therese of Child Jesus parish in Kuwait were inducted during a festive Mass celebrated by Father Camillo Ballin, the Bishop of the Northern Arabian Vicariate, on January 15.

 

The induction took place during the Holy Mass of the patroness of the vicariate – Our Lady of Arabia. In his homily, the Bishop highlighted the missionary character of Our Lady, who carried Jesus in her womb to the house of Elizabeth. He exhorted every person to be a true missionary at heart, modelled on Our Lady.

 

The induction ceremony followed the homily and the parish priest called out the names of new members and the groups they headed. The members, in turn, came forward to stand before the Altar of God. The new PPC Members then took their oath of Office and professed their allegiance to Jesus Christ and to the teachings of the Church. After the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, Bishop Ballin addressed the outgoing and new members.

 

On January 18, the outgoing and the freshly inducted members gathered for a camaraderie. The evening began with a solemn prayer during which each PPC member lit a candle that symbolised that they are called to be the light of the world as leaders in the parish. The parish priest then thanked all outgoing members for their three years of unstinting and dedicated service from 2013 - 2015. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

BIS #4653 EDUCATIONAL TRIP TO AHMEDNAGAR

by Karan Badri

 

AHMEDNAGAR, JAN 21, 2015: The students of class XI of Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul visited several Don Bosco Institutions like Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra (BGVK) on an educational trip to Ahmednagar from January 14-17. 

 

Ahmednagar has seen an outburst of development owing to the support of Salesian organisations- like BGVK- that have successfully installed watershed management in several villages, helping them increase their water bank as well as the livelihood of farmers. 

 

On reaching Ahmednagar, the day for the students began with an introductory talk by two social workers who have contributed immensely to the BGVK programmes. They stressed that without farmers, urban life would be severely affected, as we depend on them for our daily bread. 

 

The students visited several villages during their trip. In Dongargarh village, the residents shared how BGVK has helped not only improve the water facilities but also educational facilities. The students even played a friendly football match with a team from a Don Bosco institution there. 

 

The youngsters learnt a lot about the life of farmers. They visited a farmer who was a part of the BGVK training program, following which he is now using modern techniques of irrigation and energy conservation. In his three acres of land he grows oranges, pomegranates, tomatoes and many more crops. He now uses gobar gas as fuel instead of the traditional chula

 

The students also did some sight-seeing while in Ahmednagar. They visited the 'Tank Museum' which displays tanks from almost every era- World War I, World War II, Indo-Pak War and others. They also went to Chand Biwi ka mahal – the palace that houses the tombs of Chand Biwi and her husband. 

 

It was a knowledgable experience coupled with lots of fun for the students of Don Bosco, Nerul.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

BIS #4652 PARENT'S DAY AT JYOTI MATA CHURCH

by Bother Tony

 

VIRAR, JAN 20, 2015: The Salesian parents residing at Thane and Palghar district celebrated Parents Day on January 17 at Jyoti Mata Church, Agashi Virar. 


The day  began with the Holy Eucharist being celebrated by Father Vishwas Pereira and concelebrated by Fathers Rolvin D'mello, George and Royal D'abreao. Father George - in his homily - thanked the parents  for always being there for their children and encouraged them to continue persevering in the mission entrusted to their care.

 

After the Holy Eucharistic celebrations, there was a cultural programme prepared by the Sunday school children and youth of the parish. This was followed by a fellowship meal, prepared by the women of the parish. The parents were deeply touched by this gesture. They were all praises for the priests, who did a sharing about their mission and work with the parents. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

BIS #4651 SALESIAN TRAINING INSTITUTE COMMUNITY OCTAVE

by Franklin D'souza 

 

NASHIK, JAN 18, 2015: The Nashik-based Salesian Training Institute (STI) inaugurated a week-long community octave on January 9, during which the community participated in an Adoration service, watched movies and played football.

 

The octave was inaugurated on January 9 with a movie being screened on the theme togetherness and family life. A day later, the community had an adoration on the theme of community, which was animated by Father Kenneth Pereira, the Rector. On the third day, an outing was organised for the community. The group went to Phalke Smarak to celebrate its togetherness and joy.

 

On January 12, the communities of STI and Divyadaan had a friendly football match. It was a game well-played by both the teams, which ultimately went in favour of STI via penalties. On 14 January, the community came together to take up a common work project. They took up the task of cutting the grass on the football ground, which they did with dedication and joy.

 

The community octave ended with the celebration of community day on January 16. The day was filled with animation of the morning prayers and meditation, notice board and altar decoration. The high point of the day was the Holy Eucharistic celebration at 7.00 p.m. followed by a get-together and a fellowship meal. 

 

The community celebrated its togetherness and thanked God for all the blessings He showered on them, through the instrumentality of its community members. The community day energised everyone in the community to give their best for the rest of the year.

BIS #4650 PREPARING FOR PERPETUAL PROFESSION

By Mavron Fernandes

 

MUMBAI, JAN 18, 2016: Six young Salesians - due for their perpetual profession in May 2016 - met at the Don Bosco Provincial House in Matunga for 'English Proficiency' assessment on January 14, to help assess their command over the language, in view of their future ministry as priests.

 

Father Godfrey D'souza, the Provincial, and Father Savio Silveira, the Vice Provincial, celebrated Holy Mass at 7am , at the crypt of the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna. In his homily, Father D'souza stressed that Jesus should be the centre of the lives of the young Salesians and that they need to develop their lives by trying to grasp the qualities of Jesus.

 

At 9.30 am, the brothers gathered in the AV Hall for the 'English Proficiency Test'. The Test began with a written paper aimed at assessing grammatical and comprehension skills. The next segment of the examination was listening based. The final two segments of the test were an assessment of reading and conversational skills. The entire examination, which was very comprehensive, ended at 12.30 pm.

 

Post- lunch, Father Chrys Saldanha held a session on  formation and the need to prepare well before the young Salesians took their final vows. He mostly dealt with the need to nurture their own vocation and to take care of it daily throughout their lives. He added that we are our own teachers and formators.

 

He stressed on the need to understand the signs of the time like Don Bosco and then build one's life to respond to the needs of the young, today. In all, Father Saldanha made them realise that formation is an ongoing process. The day ended with each of the six brothers individually meeting Father Silveira, who communicated the results of the 'English Proficiency Test' to them personally and also helped them better prepare for their perpetual profession. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

BIS #4649 DON BOSCO DECENNIAL YEAR CELEBRATIONS

by BIS Correspondent

 

NAVI MUMBAI, JAN 14, 2015: As part of the decennial year celebrations, Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul conducted an Inter- School Quiz Competition on the school premises on January 12. The five participating schools were Podar International, Ryan International, Delhi Public School, Tilak Public School and Don Bosco Senior Secondary School.

 

The school teams battled it out in the four rounds of quizzing. There was the General Question and Answer round, Visual Picture round, Rapid Fire round and a round of Mathematical and Logic Puzzles. Podar International School emerged the winners, Delhi Public School came a close second and the hosts, Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul bagged the third place.

The winners were awarded trophies and all participants returned home with certificates. 
Teachers Preeti Borade, Sheetal Shah and Nazneen Wadkar organised the quiz under the guidance of the co-ordinating supervisor Vivena Rodrigues. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

BIS #4647 HELPING TACKLE SUBSTANCE ABUSE

by Dakshayani Madangopal

 

PUNE, JAN 12, 2015: Fifty teachers from eleven Pune-based schools participated in a teacher training programmes entitled "Substance abuse - identification and prevention among school children" at Don Bosco School, Pune on January 9.

  

Dr Sunitha Shanbhag and Swapnil Pange were the two resource persons who addressed the gathering. The seminar was organised by the Don Bosco Research Centre, Mumbai. The morning session commenced with a brief welcome by Father Bosco D' Mello, Principal of Don Bosco School, Pune and Father Ajoy Fernandes, Director, Don Bosco Research Centre.

 

Pre-workshop assessment forms were distributed and collected prior to the commencement of the first session by Dr Shanbhag. She touched upon the meaning of addiction, reasons for starting, how drugs affect the brain, factors influencing overall risk, different drugs, impact on health, treatment methods, behavioural and psychological warning signs of drug abuse. Peppered with humour and real life experiences, the session elicited high levels of audience participation.

 

The post- lunch session by Pange highlighted the warning signs of substance abuse that the teachers needed to look out for and the role of teachers in terms of immediate action and referrals. This activity based session highlighted the role of protective factors such as self-acceptance, supportive family, saying no to drugs, caring relationship, obeying laws and avoidance of delinquent peers. 
 

 

Pange emphasised on the importance of talking to parents, follow up treatment, family counselling, the role of school principals and counsellors in early intervention and prevention, collaboration with the local police, parents and treatment agencies and helping parents to develop effective parenting skills to deal with the issue. He also stressed upon the role of life-skill training and assertiveness training that would enable children to say "No" to drugs. Before the workshop ended, post-workshop evaluation forms were filled up by the teachers and certificates of participation were distributed.

Monday, January 11, 2016

BIS #4647 CARING FOR VULNERABLE YOUTH

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, DEC 11, 2015: Don Bosco Balprafulta in collaboration with Railway Children – an international children's charity - organised a day-long workshop entitled 'After Care for 18+' for non-government organisations (NGO), government organisations (GO) and youth at risk (YaR) centres of Mumbai region at the Don Bosco provincial house in Matunga on January 8.

 

The objective of the workshop was to create a platform to share information and knowledge on 'After Care' and to prepare an action plan that could be beneficial to youth who move out of the institution.

 

Dr Asha Mukundan, Tata Institue of Social Sciences faculty member, Nitin Maske, DWCW member of Mumbai region, Father Xavier Devadas from Don Bosco Karjat, Tyagarajan, Director of Vinamay Trust and others from Prerna and Prayas organisations were the resource persons for the workshop.

 
Dr Mukundan spoke on the need to reflect, share, revisit and review available programmes in order to strengthen the strategic functioning across different NGO's and GO's. Maske then spoke on the different government schemes and programmes related to after-care.
 

Father Devadas and Tyaagarajan shared their holistic and successful models of after-care programmes in order to empower the marginalised youth. Father Vinod Mascarenhas, provincial secretary, summed up what was discussed in the course of the talks and helped formulate a way forward for after-care programmes.
 

The outcome of this workshop proved to be practical and useful. The suggestions put forth were aimed at reviving the CCVC group, conducting similar workshops on after care on a regular basis and the need to prepare a directory of information related to aftercare programmes.
 

The other suggestions included the need to prepare modules for life-coping skills and to ensure its implementation in children's homes before they turn 18. The need to prepare youth for their careers, marriage and job counselling was also highlighted. Father Gregory Almeida, Director of Don Bosco Balprafulta presented the vote of thanks.