Wednesday, September 28, 2016

BIS #4944 QUIZ WHIZ KIDS

by Susan D'costa

KUWAIT, SEP 28, 2016: Exuberating, motivating, enlightening and engaging would be the appropriate description for the Bible Quiz - that attracted over a thousand catechism children in the North Arabian Vicariate - organised by the parishioners of Saint Therese Church in September.

The children spent part of their summer break studying the Miracles of Jesus, as narrated in the four Gospels, which was the mandated portion by the organisers. 

In the elimination round, on September 2, the 1000-odd youth competed in a written contest. Twenty eight toppers were then selected and grouped into four teams, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each team had seven participants.

In the mega quiz on September 24, four teams competed with each other, displaying a great knowledge of Holy Scripture. The quiz had seven different rounds, namely, Ice breaker, Identify Miracles, Knock and you shall receive, Miracle quotes, Audio-visuals, Miracle reflections and Rapid fire. 

Team Luke took home top laurels in the mega quiz, and were awarded the championship and rolling trophy. Anjali Maria from the Winning Team said, "This quiz has made me realise how Jesus has worked miracles in my life too."

Teams Mark, Matthew and John came second, third and fourth respectively. "I was happy and privileged to be a part of the bible quiz; together, with the kids assigned to me, I felt a special closeness to God," Vincent Rego, the coordinator of Team Matthew, said.

"The Word of God is our ultimate guide to Heaven and our children have realised this at such an early stage. We thank the parish for seeking ways to help our children to use their vacation to acquaint themselves with the Gospels," Mavis D'silva, a parent of one of the participants, said.

Father Francisco Pereira, Father Johnson Nedumpurath and Father Lionel Braganza were present for the mega quiz. Father Nedumpurath reminded the participants at the onset to count their blessings, "Our life is a miracle, every moment is a miracle. We don't count our miracles, the whole world is a miracle for which we thank and honour God like his Son Jesus thanked and honoured his Father."

Father Pereira added that we should focus on honouring God through our actions. "It is not enough to know the miracles," he said. "We should learn to honour God and give thanks with all our lives. Learn from Jesus to pray to and honour God."

Father Braganza addressed the participants in the end and encouraged them to grow in the knowledge and love of God. "A competition is not about winning trophies, but loving Jesus and knowing him. People may know a lot about God but very few love God. You participants have shown that you know God and love Him," he said.

BIS #4943 RELEASE OF OASIS OF WORKS OF MERCY

by BIS Correspondent

 

NASHIK, SEP 28, 2016: Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Salesian Regional Superior for South Asia, released Oasis of the Works of Mercy - written by Father Elias Dias - in the presence of Salesians and parishioners of Don Bosco Parish, Nashik on September 25.

 

Oasis of the Works of Mercy, seeks to promote Pope Francis' call to celebrate the great Jubilee of Mercy. In the book, the author elaborates how it is possible for each of us to be authentic disciples of Jesus, revealing his merciful and compassionate love in and through our lives. 

 

Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes, the Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay, writes in the foreword to the book that Father Dias offers the readers deep spiritual insights into the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and these insights are capable of stimulating and galvanising the readers to become missionaries of mercy. 

 

The author explains his choice of the title - Oasis of the Works of Mercy; "Just as an oasis is a fertile patch of land in the desert which offers travellers a place of rest, I hope this book will help readers find a moment of peace and happiness in the midst of daily troubles and difficulties," Father Dias said. 

 

Father Elias Dias is a well known author and expert in Salesian Studies. He has published many titles, the most prominent among them are Petals and Pebbles, Divine Stories for Families and Don Bosco: A Symphony of Grace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

BIS #4942 EXEMPLARY WORK RECOGNITION AWARD


by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, SEP 27, 2016: Ranjana Gangurde, a senior social worker from the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) Matunga in Mumbai; has been awarded the "Exemplary Work Recognition Award" by Samaj Samatha Sangh (SSS) on September 26, in a ceremony at their office in Mumbai.

 

Kishore Gajabhiye - Retired IAS Officer and the President of SSS - who presided over the 89th anniversary function of its organisation's existence handed over the award to Gangurde. 

 

At the function, SSS felicitated a few selected activists who have contributed significantly towards the upliftment of the people residing in the slums.

 

Since 2001, DBDS has been actively working in the Reay Road, Dockyard Road and Mazgaon areas of Mumbai. DBDS has worked on issues of Women Empowerment, Right to Education and Food, Water and Sanitation and number of other issues, that Gangurde has been actively been a part of. 

 

 "I feel so over-joyed on receiving this award. I thank Don Bosco for this opportunity. I am grateful to Father Rolvin, our Executive Director for his support too," said Gangurde, at the felicitation ceremony. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

BIS #4941 DON BOSCO NERUL ARE HANDBALL CHAMPS

by BIS Correspondent

 

NAVI MUMBAI, SEP 26, 2016: The boy's Under–19 handball team from Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul trumped Ryan International School, Sanpada, 8-3 in the final of the Navi Mumbai inter-school handball tournament organised by the District Sports Office (DSO) on September 24 and 25.

 

The team making their maiden appearance in a handball tournament of this nature played impressively in the final. Their title win helped them qualify for the Mumbai zone tournaments slated for the first week of October. 

 

Nikhil Mali from standard eleven was declared the Player of the Tournament. He said, "It was the best game we've played so far. We look forward to the Mumbai zone tournament". 

 

Father Donald Fernandez, the Principal, was present and watched his team lift top honours in the final which took place at Ryan International School, Nerul.

BIS #4940 YEAR OF MERCY ­ PROVIDING A HEALING TOUCH

by Thomas Kuruvilla

 

KUWAIT, SEP 26, 2016: The Malayalam commission of the parish of Saint Therese of the child Jesus (SPMC) in Kuwait, organised a Medical Camp under the guidance of Father Johnson Nedumpurath on September 23 at Don Bosco School.

 

The camp was organised to commemorate the Year of Mercy and also to honour Saint Teresa of Calcutta. The SPMC conducted a Medical camp for underprivileged women who have Gynaecology –related problems. These women do not have access to medical facilities in Kuwait and cannot afford the exorbitant fees at private hospitals.

 

Six specialised senior doctors from private and government hospitals voluntarily offered their services for the camp. Flyers were distributed, inviting all deserving ladies irrespective of their nationality, religion and language to attend the Camp.  It was also publicised through announcements at all the Holy masses.


Many parishioners offered their help by means of time, cash donations, hospital supplies, equipment, stationery, food and medicines. More than 30 nurses voluntarily offered their services for the camp. Don Bosco School management provided their campus facilities, free of charge.  

 

A total number of 266 patients attended the camp and expressed their gratitude to the organisers for providing this merciful service. Doctors also expressed their happiness in rendering their service for this noble cause.  

 

An appreciation letter and a gift was given to all the doctors on behalf of the parish.  All the participants and volunteers were provided with snacks and lunch.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

BIS #4939 TUBERCULOSIS AWARENESS FOR STREET BOYS

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, SEP 24, 2016: Around 64 street boys from Shelter Don Bosco, Wadala, participated in the monthly Mela, themed to raise awareness for Tuberculosis (TB) for street boys, to get them back on their feet as responsible citizens.   

 

The Mela began with a small prayer service and Father Gregory Almeida – Rector of the Shelter - spoke about the ill effects of TB. 

 

Chief Guest, Dilip Laxman Khetade, District TB Officer from Transit Camp Sion West, was then invited to further enlighten the children and all present. 


After a brief talk, a video clip was shown to all present. Following the presentation, the children were divided into groups in order to have their hair, nails cut, medical care given and clean clothes distributed. 

 

Mathew George from Bosco Boys Home, was specially invited to teach the children, to make cards, which they enjoyed. The three best cards were given prizes. 

 

Before breaking for lunch, Pooja Bavkar and Vanita Chavan – nurses from Guru Tej Bahadur Hospital (GTBH) Sewree - and Praful Kamble, Counselor Medicos Sin Fronteras, GTBH Sewree did individual and group counselling to explain how TB can be avoided.

 

Later in the day, the children were shown a film. A follow-up of the previous Mela on Vocational Training was done by Gracy John, who prepared and explained to the boys the importance of the Vocational Training course at Karjat.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

BIS #4938 ENCOURAGING ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

by Cl Chris Ferreira

CHHOTAUDEPUR, SEP 22, 2016: Around 61 women from 18 villages of the Chhotaudepur and Kawant taluka met at the Lok Seva Kendra Hall, Don Bosco Chhotaudepur for a one-day orientation on Animal Husbandry and Dairy Production on September 17.


Brother Ramesh Durairaj, the Director of Lok Seva Kendra and Brother Chris conducted the programme. They invited Doctor Devang Rawal and Doctor Vijay Rathod, both veterinarians from the Baroda Dairy Sub Station at Bodeli.

The doctors shared their knowledge about the upkeep of cattle. They explained the new scheme of the Gujarat Government in this sector which allows families possessing a BPL card to start animal husbandry with grants on cattle purchase, cattle fodder and cattle medicines. They also addressed questions posed by the villagers. 

BIS #4937 BREAKING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER

by Father Kiran Salve
 
WALVANDA, SEP 22, 2016: 'Learn English' is the new mantra of Walvanda-based Don Bosco, as the management of the institution first started English classes at a local Jilha Parishad School and have now begun evening English study classes at the Don Bosco premises on September 15.

Father Anaclete D'Mello and Father Rixson Nigrel were instrumental in instituting the initiative for the upliftment of the needy and the marginalized youngsters of Jawhar and Mokhada Talukas.

They first began with just a handful of students but numbers have grown to almost 90. By teaching at the Jilha Parishad School, the community hopes to make the school an 'Ideal School '. 

The main aim of this venture is to reach out to the school going children and to teach them basic English skills. The initiative is also aimed at making Don Bosco and his works known through the initiative.

In order to take this venture to another level and to make it more efficient and fruitful, the community has decided to give four youth volunteers from Padas, a crash course in English. These four youth will help in taking English classes.  

BIS #4936 DON BOSCO CHHOTAUDEPUR RULE TARGETBALL

by Cl Chris Ferreira 

CHHOTAUDEPUR, SEP 22, 2016: Youth from Don Bosco Chhotaudepur shone at the Gujarat Target Ball championship, with the girl's under-17 team winning top honours and the boy's under-19 team finishing second at the state tournament held in Chhotaudepur on September 15.        

Target ball, a sport played predominantly in India, was first played in 2012. The objective of the sport is to throw a targetball into a target ring. The Chhotaudepur girls' team beat Ahemdabad City, 4-2, in the final to clinch the title. The boy's U-19 boys lost to Ahemdabad City, 3-1, in their final.

The tournament commenced with eight boy's teams and seven girl's teams. "The final was the best, as the new entrants (Chhotaudepur) took us by surprise with their dribbling and energetic performance," Sneh Shah, a Gold Medalist in the 2015 National Target Ball Tournament, said.

The chief guests for the programme, Jasu Patel, the Head of District Office, Chhotaudepur and Mukesh Patel, the BJP representative for the District of Chhotaudepur witnessed the competition.

Chhotaudepur's impressive performance ensured that five players from the team were selected for the National Target Ball Tournament to be held in Telengana in October.

BIS #4935 ONE FAMILY, ONE MISSION


by Father Chittiserry Joseph 

NEW DELHI, SEP 22, 2016: A three-day long animation on the Salesian Family (SF) for the provincial delegates of Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong and Dimapur – that aimed to promote and grow the Salesian family - was held from September 16 to 18 at Don Bosco House, SPCI, Dwarka, New Delhi.
 
The resource persons were Father Eusebio Munoz, the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Father Giuseppe Casti, the World Delegate for Salesian Co-operators and Father Juan Luis Playa who is the World Delegate for VDB and CDB.

In the course of programme, the delegates stressed that the SF must network as one family, one force and must become recognised in the country as experts on youth affairs. They added that the SF should promote training of youth for public leadership and service and those in public service must take advantage of their position to promote Salesian values. 

Training for family ministry was another issue discussed to help families to live well, handle relationships and problems. It was also stressed that the SF charter must be known, shared, deepened, practised and that the charter should be included in the formation programme of Salesians and others in the group. The importance of promoting all the groups of the Salesian family, in the province, was underlined, highlighting that the groups should be enlightened on the social teachings of the church (PAL 8).

Several structural changes were also suggested. They included, appointing a full-timer as delegate of the SF in the provinces, who could also be a Provincial Councillor. The formation of a provincial team for animation of the SF was discussed. The SF team is to meet with the provincial council for planning, implementation and evaluation of its programme of animation and formation. 

The members present for the seminar were Father Noel Maddhichetty, Salesian Family Delegate for South Asia; from INN: Father Joseph Kezhakkekara, Provincial Delegate for ADMA and VDB, Father Reji Tom, Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family; from INC: Father John Berger, National Co-ordinator for VDB, Father Bikash Mondol, Provincial Delegate for the Alumni; from INS: Father Philip Barjo, Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family and from IND: Father Joseph Chittissery, Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family.

The meeting began after the Inauguration of the new boardroom of the SPCI. During his words of introduction, Father Munoz said that earlier the SF was under the Vicar of the Rector Major, after GC 27 that highlighted its importance for the congregation and in the church, it is entrusted to the Rector Major, and he has appointed Father Munoz as his Delegate. At the beginning of the meeting he presented the objective and expected result of the meeting.

Father Maddhichetty then gave a report of the SF in India through two video presentations about how the mission of Don Bosco has been initiated and how it has been of carried out in India. He presented a survey conducted in the provinces about the Salesian family and its present status. He also presented the SF Mission statement of South Asia and the priorities identified in the Conference of major superiors of the Salesian Family.

On the Second day, Father Casti enlightened the group on the Salesian Cooperators and on the role of the delegate. Father Playa updated the members on VDBs and CDBs. Father Noel presented the six-year plan of the World Federation of the Don Bosco Alumni which were prepared under the leadership Micheal Hort, the new international head of the Alumni. Father Eusebio presented Association of Devotees of the Mary Help of Christians to the delegate.

On the third day, the Province Delegates presented a report about the Salesian Family in their respective provinces. The rest of the day was spent to identify issues to take forward in the coming years for the promotion and growth of the Salesian family.

The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks by Father John Berger. The delegates from Rome were thanked for their animation. Father Maddhichetty, the Regional Delegate, was thanked for the organisation of the meeting. 

BIS #4934 BOOK REVIEW: DON BOSCO IN MANGALORE BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF THE SALESIANS


by Janina Gomes

MUMBAI, SEP 22, 2016: 'Don Bosco in Mangalore before the arrival of the Salesians' is a book by Sister Philomena D'Souza, an FMA of the Mumbai Province, who is no stranger to Catholic circles, with a Masters in Psychology from the Pontifical Faculty of Sciences of Education Rome and the significant contribution she has made to the youth ministry and women's empowerment in India, is really like a classic describing the great religious and cultural history of Catholics in Mangalore and the many vocations it spawned off, both religious fathers and sisters all over India.

Don Bosco who was requested by Pope Pius IX to consider sending missionaries to Mangalore and who had a lasting impact in Mangalore even though this dream of sending a Salesian team there did not materialise during his lifetime, had already cast his religious shadow there long before the fathers and sisters really set up base.

The book records the early history of Mangaloreans, their migration from Goa and the persecution they suffered for being loyal to their faith and for holding on fast to their language and culture – Konkani and Konkani culture.

The book is based on first hand research of the parishes, clubs and schools in places like Shirva, Kayyar,Kelmbet, Udupi, Puttur, Agrar – youth education, sports, recreation, based on Salesian spirituality. She even covers the history of the Konkani Natak Sabha and how it enriched Konkani culture.

Mangalore has flowered in the Catholic Church's history in India, also giving many of its sons and daughters, many from illustrious families, to the Salesian fold.

Don Bosco clubs have in the region provided spiritual and educational care to the young, sports facilities and opportunities for growth of talent in whatever they have undertaken. That is why so many parishes and schools consider Don Bosco as their patron saint. Publications have mushroomed in the Salesian fold, schools are known for their excellence. 
 
Sister Philomena D'Souza is a member of the ACSSA, an International Association of the Promoters of Salesian History. This book is not a first. Sister's book – Mary, Behold the Woman was recognised by the Pontifical Marian Academy and was awarded by Pope St. John Paul II in 2002.

Sister Philomena's book emphasises the importance of team work and derives 3 important lessons: that youth pastoral work is always a community endeavour; that younger members who are directly in touch with the young perceive the need better but if the work has to have a far reaching lasting impact, it should be supported and guided by senior members and that no technique or skill can substitute the primary calling to be images of Don Bosco in the implementation of their mission.

Don Bosco centres and clubs integrate many dimensions, the spiritual through the study of scriptures, youth retreats, library and reading room facilities; the social through outreach programmes and networking with social agencies and honouring significant achievers of society.

The book 'Don Bosco in Mangalore' has meticulously researched the early influence of the Saint in the region and part of this research was presented in Turin in October 2015 and published for an international audience. This research significantly has been undertaken during the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco.

As the fruit of Don Bosco's charism, the book traces the first early vocations to the order from Mangalore. Many of these men and women played an important role in the growth of the Salesian family in India. Not only in the South, Mumbai and the North East, the Salesians have spread like wildfire and continue to attract good vocations to this day in what is fast becoming a vocation starved country. 

Janina Gomes is a writer for the Speaking Tree column of the Times of India.

The book has been Published by Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications, Mumbai, India. (Pages 145, Price Rs. 250/-)

BIS #4933 DON BOSCO ORATORY 'GEARS UP'

by Clarence Pires

KUWAIT, SEP 22, 2016: Don Bosco Oratory, Kuwait released its new sports gear for its Football and Hockey players for the 2016 - 17 season, at IEAS old basement on September 16. 

The football and hockey team jersey is blue and yellow. Philip, Chris and Sherwin have designed the Kit, that has been tailored and printed by Franco designers in Mumbai.  The White and Blue jerseys are for the Committee members.

At the onset, Father Franco Pereira, the President of Don Bosco Oratory (DBO), welcomed the new members and stressed the importance of punctuality and respect. He added that building personal relationships is important for nurturing team spirit among members.  

Father Pereira also told the players that they should be proud to play for DBO as it is not a small insignificant club but a brand internationally acclaimed in 137 countries. 

Don Bosco Oratory is involved not only in soccer, hockey and basketball, but also in various events organised for school children and the community in Kuwait. 

DBO contributes towards sports scholarships in schools in Kuwait and other charities as well, including the Late Father Francis Kharjia Education Scholarship to the most deserving student. Several events are organised and sponsored by DBO both in Kuwait and outside, for the Indian and international communities. 

Father Pereira invited the members to enjoy being a part of DBO; to play, encourage and support each other; to always be happy for happiness is contagious. "We need to learn from the birds," said Father Pereira, "for when they fly, they leave behind things that are trivial and do not matter and move ahead with their hearts." 

Father Pereira thanked the DBO committee for the good work done and looked forward to seeing more support and helping hands when needed. He then blessed the hockey and the soccer players and the new sports gear which was distributed to all the players present.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

BIS #4932 TOWARDS A CLEANER WORLD

by Cl Sheldon Dias

CHINCHWAD, SEP 20, 2016: Forty employees of Accenture Private Limited from Hinjewadi and Magarpatta City, bearing brooms and dustbins launched a day-long cleanliness and awareness campaign at Don Bosco Chinchwad on September 17, to contribute to a greener and cleaner world.

The group worked together to collect plastic, glass pieces, uprooting unwanted grass, swept pools of water and chopped logs of wood. 

Senior Systems Analyst of Accenture, Sudhakar Reddy, addressed the boys from Chinchwad and stressed on the need to keep the environment clean.

"Dirt or filth steps out from man, it's not a natural phenomena found in nature. We create it firstly in our mind, which is reflected in our actions. We are not thought to dirty our environment but we see others doing it and follow their example. We need to be the change we want to see in the world," Reddy said.

Another employee, Chandarhar added, "Today, is a special day for me. Today, I celebrate my sixth anniversary of joining the company. Today, is also my son's birthday and what better gift could I give my son that giving him a cleaner world to inherit."

Tony Louis, a student from the Refrigeration and Air Condition department of Don Bosco, said the initiative helped inspire the youth at the institution. "By your example today we not only learnt to keep our country clean but moreover we learnt not to be scared or shy to do the same. We learnt that I ought to keep my country clean," he said.

The boys later had a quiz competition on the new Swachh Bharat Movement. They enjoyed the day and learnt that cleanliness is not a chore which we should be done forcefully but a good habit for healthy living.

BIS #4931 MULTICULTURAL DIVYADAAN

by BIS Correspondent

NASHIK, SEP 20, 2016: Nashik-based, Divyadaan, organised its annual seminar on Multicultural Competence to understand the different perspectives of cultures on September 16 and 17.


Father Edison Fernandes from Koregaon Park, Pune was the resource person for the seminar, which was also aimed at making people aware of their own world view which invariably helps to define our own cultures.

Divyadaan is the community where people from different cultures mingle together. As part of the preparation for the seminar, brothers from various cultures prepared a noticeboard to present their own distinct culture.

Through this, Maharashtrian culture, Konkan culture that included the Goa and Mangalore region, Bhil culture from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan, North East culture, South Indian culture from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra and Telangana, were depicted.

Bishop Lourdes Daniel of Nashik was the Chief Guest. Father Robert Pen, Rector of Divyadaan, addressed the gathering and presented a reflection on multicultural competence. Father Banzelao Teixeira, Principal of Divyadaan, then introduced the speaker – Father Fernandes to the gathering.

Father Fernandes started his talk with a personal experience of his cultural upbringing. He shared his views on multicultural competence and stressed on the relevance of the issue. He then asked the audience to share their experiences on multicultural incompetence. 

Father Tony D'Souza, Father Robert Pen and Cl Mukesh Garasiya shared their experiences of other cultures which was completely different from their own.

In the post-lunch exercise session, the audience was divided into ten groups. Through an activity participants grew in the understanding of their own culture. 

Father Fernandes then addressed the thinking pattern of different cultures. He also highlighted the differences between modern thinking, postmodern thinking and the individualistic and collectivistic characteristics of different cultures. Father Fernandes handed out a questionnaire to find out what type of culture members of the audience belonged to. 

On September 17, Father Fernandes talked about the individual and collective cultures vis-à-vis the Salesian preventive system. He finally discussed the questionnaire.

Friday, September 16, 2016

BIS #4930 GOSPEL ROCK 2016

by Melita Dina Silva-Ribeiro

 

KUWAIT, SEP 16, 2016: The Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY) of Saint Therese of Child Jesus Church, Kuwait organised 'Gospel Rock' on September 12, for music lovers in Kuwait. The event was held at Don Bosco and the parishioners from the other three parishes in Kuwait - Holy Family Cathedral, Our Lady of Arabia and Saint Daniel Comboni - were also invited. 

 

There were 26 performances comprising of Choirs, Bands and Solo Performances singing in different languages - English, Hindi, Malayalam, Tagalog and Polish. 

 

The hymns were accompanied by talented musicians on different musical instruments. There was an acapella performance too. 

 

The participants included children and adults of various ages. Vivian Sequeira, a member of the Angel choir - that participated at the Gospel rock - said, "It was fun and inspiring to see others, including children doing something we all love together." 

 

The event also saw a unique staging by a few pilgrims who attended the World Youth Day (WYD) 2016 in Poland. They tried to create the ambience of the WYD and were seen waving flags of different countries as they sang two WYD theme songs – Abba Ojcze (1991) and Blogoslawieni Milosierni (2016) in English and Polish.  

 

Maddona David, an organiser of the event said, "The SPY has always outdid themselves and I am so glad to be part of such a team vibrantly working for God's Glory."  

   

Finally , each participant received a 'Certificate of Participation' as a token of appreciation for the time and effort they had put in. 

 

The Salmiya Parish Youth is animated by Father Lionel Braganza and youth animator, Gaspar Baptista. The core group meets every Tuesday with Father Braganza and Baptista, while the entire youth group meets every alternate week.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

BIS #4929 APPRECIATING ALTAR SERVERS

by Ruth Veigas

 

KUWAIT, SEP 15, 2016: Eighty nine Altar servers from Saint Therese of Child Jesus parish in Kuwait attended a special event to recognise their contribution and commitment to serving Christ and their parish on September 9.

 

Invitations for the felicitation ceremony were strictly based on a novel points system developed to reward youth for their assistance. This year 89 servers, out of 146, got an invite for the fun-filled event organised by the Salesian Cooperators.

 

Through the system, senior boys earn a minimum of 200 points and juniors 100 points for their contribution in serving or by participating at Holy Mass and by attending the monthly meetings. Points are also awarded for their voluntary service and their participation in church events.

Father Lionel Braganza led the youth in an opening prayer. He also kept the boys mesmerised by sharing his vocation story and his decision to serve in the Lord's vineyard. He further kept the youth animated with a series of action songs.

The parish priest, Father Blany Pinto in his address to the altar servers, congratulated them on their achievement and appreciated their service to God. The compere - Lloyd D'Souza - conducted several group games in which the boys actively participated. A number of spot prizes were awarded to the altar servers as they danced to lively music.

 

Finally, prizes were distributed and two special awards were presented to two Junior Servers and two Senior Servers for their exemplary service to the parish and the community. The top 20 boys received certificates and medals; the remaining boys received certificates as a token of appreciation.

 

"I want to thank God for choosing me to be closest to the altar. All of us who serve at the altar are blessed and feel special," Lionel Athan Miranda, a junior Altar server, said.

 

Another altar server Jothan Suresh Peter, echoed a similar sentiment, "I am happy for what I received. I want to thank God and all the coordinators for supporting me to achieve this award. I will serve more masses and dedicate myself more to God".

 

While a senior, Keegan Sanctis added, "I have served as an altar server for six years. It is a memorable experience and I will always cherish being recognised by the elders and priests for rendering our services to the parish and to the Lord Almighty."

BIS #4928 TRAINING FOR BUDDING CATECHISTS

by Curie Colaco

 

KUWAIT, SEP 14, 2016: A basic catechesis programme was organised to introduce 40 new members, who recently joined the catechetical ministry, throughout all parishes across Kuwait from September 10 to 12.


Father Franco Pereira, the Catechetical Director of the Vicariate of Northern Arabia at Don Bosco, conducted the programme, which helped educate the new members on the teachings of the Catholic Church. He emphasised on the importance of Catechesis in enriching the life of every Christian.

 

On the first day, the class was prompted to view Jesus as a Catechetical educator, to understand the purpose of Catechism and to emulate the teachings into their lesson plans.

 

Rommel D'souza, from Our Lady of Arabia parish, who attended the programme, said, "The first day taught us a lot about what it means to be a Catechist. It was a very inviting and enriching experience. I am inspired to grow stronger in my faith and bring the children I teach closer to Jesus as well."

 

The next day, the focus was concentrated on "The Holy Bible" and how reading "The Word of God" should be revered during Catechesis. 

 

Mercy Joseph, a catechist from the Holy Family Cathedral, said, "The sessions were deep and thought provoking. It challenged me to ponder and apply the Biblical truths that we have known for ages, to our Catechesis - in a way that is both practical and relatable. "


On the final day, Father Pereira, familiarised the catechised to "The Catechism of the Catholic Church" and "YOUCAT"  among various other books that can be used as auxiliaries to deepen one's understanding on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church that follows in His footsteps.

 

A catechist, who wished to remain anonymous, said, "There is so much to learn and so much more to share with others. Our lives are a journey to be happy together with Christ. To be able to enrich others lives, to increase their faith in Christ is truly a blessing. "

 

Father Pereira provided the Catechists with group activities and lessons to make a lasting impression. The organisers, Hilda Alphonso and Francis Sam, made sure that all the requirements were met so that the course was conducted efficiently.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

BIS #4927 MINISTRY FOR GIRLS IN KUWAIT

By Susan D'costa

 

KUWAIT, SEP 13, 2016: Saint Therese of the Child Jesus parish in Kuwait began a new chapter on September 1, as it ushered in 123 girls aged seven to fourteen, to form a new ministry reserved exclusively for girls.


Earlier in the year, a number of parents had approached the Parish Priest, Father Blany Pinto, with a request to allow their daughters to join the altar server's ministry. 

 

This was not feasible, since the parish had around 128 boys registered as altar servers and 30 more desiring to join. The proposal was taken up in the Parish Council. 

 

After weeks of discussions, the council members narrowed down on five proposals – exclusive girls Choirs for the Konkani, Hindi, Malayalam (Latin, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara) and English language masses, Daily Recitation of the Rosary before Holy Mass, Decorating the church on festive occasions, Ushering during the children's Mass and other special Eucharistic celebrations and finally assisting the elders in organising the Oratory on Saturdays for the children. 

 

One of the parish council members, Elizabeth D'Souza, who is also the coordinator of the group to lead the Rosary was exuberant. She said, "I was really happy and proud that, together with my group, we brought the girls close to Mother Mary by training them to recite the rosary from the church podium."

 

The newly formed ministry for the young girls was formally instituted at Holy Mass celebrated by Father Franco Pereira. In his homily, he told the girls to be dedicated in whatever they do and above all to pray. 


Father Pereira cited Jesus' miracle of the catch of 153 fish - Gospel of John 21:11 - and on a more humorous note he said that they were a total of 123 girls, which meant that there was still room for 30 more to make the total of 153. 

 

Ninoshka Viegas, who has joined the Decor group, said, "My talent is God's gift to me, what I do with it is my gift back to God. It is my privilege to be chosen as part of the décor ministry."

 

 "It is a great feeling. I feel happy knowing that I can do something small for the Lord in my own simple way," said Tara Matthew after completing her first duty as Usher, the following day during the children's Holy Mass.

Monday, September 12, 2016

BIS #4926 SAVE TODAY, REAP TOMORROW

by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, SEP 12, 2016: Over 25 youth and staff participated in a workshop entitled "Golden Rules to Create Wealth", aimed at working youth who are learning computers and spoken English, at Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) in Mumbai, on September 10.

DBDS organised the workshop which covered issues like, thumb rules on saving and investment, RBI and Banking, Ponzi Schemes, time value of money, interest rates, compounding, discounting, investing in small saving schemes to meet financial goals, life insurance, risk cover, health insurance and investment in insurance products.  

Mahesh Kumar, a Senior Programme Manager at DBDS, made the workshop interactive and informed the youth about how inflation eats away the purchasing power of money and how inflation can be beaten to create wealth in long term.  

A small and regular amount invested in a right instrument will create wealth for the investor. The workshop ended on a positive note where the participants invited the trainer to hold such sessions for their communities too. 

Father Rolvin D'Mello, the Executive Director of DBDS, in his opening address encouraged the students to get into the habit of saving money. He also challenged the students to dream big and to achieve their dreams.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

BIS #4925 CULTIVATING QUALITY DRUM STICK

By Father Rixson Nigrel

 

WALVANDA, SEP 10, 2016: Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) organised a full-day orientation programme on September 8 for the neighbourhood farmers, on how to cultivate a good quality crop of Drum Stick.


Two agriculturalists, Rahul Aher and Jitendra Jhole had earlier visited Nandgaon, Nashik to see the cultivation of the crop. At Nandgaon, they learnt the know-hows of how to cultivate a good drum stick crop.

 

On returning, their aim was to convince the farmers of Walvanda, the advantages of having this crop. They gave inputs about drum sticks especially the Four parameters involved in its cultivation: Process of cultivation, Fertiliser and Pesticides to be used, Budgeting and Marketing.  

 

Initially, the farmers were apprehensive about starting Drum Stick cultivation in their fields.  The experts patiently answered their queries and encouraged them. 

 

The farmers have now decided to visit Nadgaon on September 12, to see first-hand the cultivation of drum sticks. Father Anaclete D'Mello, Director of BSVS organised the workshop.