Monday, April 24, 2017


by Ravi D'Silva


KUWAIT, APR 24, 2017: The Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his recent tweet reminds us not to forget the elderly and the sick. To this end, the Extraordinary Ministers for Holy Communion Distribution (EMCD) of the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus organised an outreach programme for the sick and homebound - aged 70 years and above - on April 20 at holy Mass. 


Although, on a regular basis the EMCD visit the homes of the sick and homebound parishioners to give them Holy Communion, the outreach was organised so that such parishioners could get out of their homes and meet in the church.

Janet D'Cruz, daughter of a homebound parishioner said, "Thank you EMCD for organising this outreach and I was happy that my mum could come for holy Mass after a long time." Nine parishioners were in attendance with their families. EMCD made transport arrangements too. Before holy Mass, Father Blany Pinto, parish priest said, "The sick, homebound and the elderly are never forgotten by us and are always in our prayers." 


"It was a very touching moment for me when I recollected bringing my mother every Friday morning for Mass previously; after many years the Lord made it possible with the help of the Eucharistic ministers that mummy could partake in the Eucharistic celebration," Annie, the daughter of the elderly Rofina Fernandes said.


Father Francisco Pereira, spiritual director of EMCD was the main celebrant and in his homily said, "The sick, homebound and the elderly have a story to tell of how they have lived a devoted sacramental life and that should be a lesson for us to imitate and draw on the wisdom and discernment of the elderly."   


As a token of love from the EMCD, a statute of Mother Mary, was blessed and gifted to the attendees with the message, 'Silver and gold we have none, but we give you our love, prayers and good wishes in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

The fellowship that followed was a moving experience for the attendees. Teresa, wife of Everest Fernandes said, "Thank you EMCD for taking this initiative to show care and love to all such people who need nothing other than being accepted by society as they are up to some extent considered as a burden. Everest was happy to be there to attend Mass and had a great experience when all came forward to greet him."                       


The outreach was organised by Eucharistic Ministers: John Fernandes, Aju Simon, Davidson Daniel, Joseph P Joseph and Ravi D'Silva.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


by Father C M Paul

ROME, APR 20, 2017: Pope Francis has appointed 13 new consulters, including an Indian, for the Vatican`s Secretariat for Social Communications. Father Peter Gonsalves of Mumbai Salesian Province is currently the dean of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences (FSC) at Universita Pontificia Salesiana (UPS) Rome. The consulters were appointed on April 12. 

The Salesian Rector Major appointed Father Gonsalves the FSC dean on September 24, 2015. He is the first non-European to hold that post in FSC, which was established in 1988. 

Father Gonsalves pioneered media education in India since 1984. He is a communication research analyst of Mahatma Gandhi`s sartorial/nonverbal communication. 

Author of three books on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Father Gonsalves' first book on Gandhiji (Sage 2008) - Clothing for Liberation: A Communication Analysis of Gandhi`s Swadeshi Revolution - is the first analysis of Gandhi`s dressing style in terms of communication theory and an exploration of the subliminal messages that were subtly communicated to a large audience. 

His second book Khadi: Gandhi`s Mega Symbol of Subversion (Sage 2012) again on Gandhi investigates the power of a symbol to qualitatively transform society, studying Mahatma Gandhi`s use of clothing as a metaphor for unity, empowerment and liberation from imperial subjugation. 

Father Gonsalves` third book Gandhi and the Popes, (Peter Lang 2015) investigates how Mahatma Gandhi - whether in his lifetime or posthumously - was respected, appreciated and - in one case - imitated by the Popes from Pius XI to Francis. In the process, he 'explores and assesses the popular claim that Gandhi was influenced by Christ, and the not so popular conjecture that Pope Francis was influenced by Gandhi.' 

Father Gonsalves began his career in media as media education trainer in 1984 and a community worker for rural development at the Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, Ahmednagar. He founded in Pune in 1992 Tej-Prasarini, a multimedia production center to raise awareness of the urgency of life-based education in vernacular Marathi language of Maharashtra state. Later in 1994, Tej-Prasarini was shifted to Matunga, Mumbai, where has become a flourishing media house of Salesians in South Asia. 

He promoted a series of teacher-training manuals called 'Quality Life Education,' the first of which was his own work: Exercises in Media Education (1994). Using this, he conducted around 40 all-India courses on media education for schoolteachers, social workers and youth facilitators form diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. 

Father Gonsalves also coordinated its first five-language web portal of the Salesians at its headquarters in Rome. He was also president of INTERSIG, the international wing of SIGNIS, a world association of communicators for a culture of peace. 

A musician, lyricist and composer of modern hymns 'The Peter Gonsalves Collection: Lyrical food for the soul' is a collection of 70 modern hymns by Father Peter Gonsalves released in 2012. 

Born in Mumbai, India in 1958, Father Gonsalves became a Salesian in 1977 and was ordained priest on December 19, 1987. 

He holds the titles of Master of Philosophy and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pune and a Bachelor of Theology from Kristu Jyoti College in Bangalore. 

He received his doctorate in Social Communication at the Salesian Pontifical University in 2007. In the previous years, he had also obtained a diploma in Counseling from Xavier`s Institute, Mumbai, and a diploma in Media Education from British Film Institute - Open University, London. 

He started teaching in 1981 in India, where he founded the Don Bosco Creativity Workshops in Mumbai. He was the National Coordinator for social communications from 1993 to 1999. 

He was in Italy from 2002 to 2006 as a coordinator of the web portal of the Salesians of Don Bosco at the Generalate. He was President of Intersig (SIGNIS - International Group) from 2005 to 2009. He began teaching at the UPS in 2008, was co-opted as a lecturer that same year and promoted to extraordinary professor in 2013. 

"I feel a sense of being inadequate for the task; yet a readiness to share what I have learned (and I`m still learning) about being a globally compassionate Church in our complex and confusing digital age," Father Gonsalves said. 

The other consulters are : Father Ivan Maffeis, under-secretary for the Italian Episcopal Conference; Father Jose Maria La Porte, dean of the Faculty of Institutional Social Communication of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; Dominican Father Eric Salobir, Promoter General for social communications for the Order of Preachers; Jesuit Father James Martin, editor of America magazine; Jesuit Father Jacquineau Azetsop, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Pontifical Gregorian University; Dr Paolo Peverini, lecturer in Semiotics at the LUISS 'Guido Carli'; Dr Fernando Gimenez Barriocanal, president and delegator advisor of Radio Popolar Cadena COPE; Dr Ann Carter, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications; Graham Ellis, deputy director of BBC Radio; Dr Michael P Warsaw, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of EWTN Global Catholic Network; Dr Dino Cataldo Dell`Accio, Chief ICT Auditor at the United Nations; and Dr Michael Paul Unland, executive director of the Catholic Media Council (CAMECO).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


BBrother Rudolf D'Souza


LONAVLA, APR 18, 2017: Twenty-four youth and two religious participated in the annual Youth Pasch organised by Don Bosco Youth Services, Mumbai at Don Bosco Lonavla from April 12 to 16.

Father Cleophas Braganza, Father McEnroe Lopes, Father Ajoy Fernandes, Father Valerian Pereira and Father Leon Cruz were the animators, assisted by Brother Rudolf D'Souza, Brother Jansen Vaz, Charmaine Moraes and Pearl D'Souza.  


The Pasch began on Wednesday evening with a commitment session where the participants shared their expectations for the programme and also decided upon an individual commitment. They later watched the film Gallows Road which portrays a story of family love, solidarity and forgiveness in times of extreme hate and desire for vengeance.

The morning of Maundy Thursday began with the participants washing each others' feet to relive Jesus' humble act before his betrayal and passion. Many were moved by this gesture and were better able to understand Jesus' message of service that characterises the washing of feet. 

Father Pereira conducted a session on Love and Relationships using appropriate images based on Pope Francis' encyclical Amoris Laetitia. The Exodus experience helped the youth reflect on the difficult circumstances in their own lives and how they experienced God's saving help like the people of Israel. The afternoon saw the participants busy preparing for the evening liturgy which included, besides the washing of the feet, the Jewish Seder Meal for Passover.


On Good Friday, for the morning meditation the participants were taken around the campus while reflecting on the parable of the Prodigal Son. Through sincere sharing the participants expressed their own moments of living like the prodigal son and yet experiencing the immense love of the father on returning to Him. 

The input session on Brokenness and Forgiveness in families by Father Fernandes invited the participants to reflect on situations where mercy and forgiveness were seen or practiced. The Labyrinth Prayer Garden helped them reflect on their own life and let go of burdens to find peace. 


All this enabled the participants to prepare scenes for a personalised Way of the Cross later that evening as part of the Good Friday liturgy. After making their confessions, the participants nailed chits of paper - containing their faults and sinful habits - on the very cross they carried for the Way of the Cross.


On Holy Saturday morning, the participants removed the chits from the cross and burned them, symbolically signifying the forgiveness of their sins. The input session on Death and New Life by Father Braganza made the youth reflect on family situations and choices for life, hope and newness. 

After this, the participants were made to face the reality of death through a creative session conducted by Father Lopes. The participants spent the evening preparing the Easter Vigil liturgy. After the holy Eucharist, the group continued the celebration over a cup of hot cocoa and Easter eggs. 


They also had an appreciation session where they wrote a thankful recognition for each other on a paper T – shirt which doubled as a souvenir for the Youth Pasch 2017. The youth returned to their homes to live and share the Paschal experience among their friends and families.


by Wilfred Vaz


KUWAIT, APR 18, 2017Canon law permits that where the needs of the Church require and the ordinary ministers are not available, lay people can be appointed as extra-ordinary ministers to distribute Holy Communion, in accordance with the provisions of the law.

To assist in the distribution of Holy Eucharist to the faithful of the parish, the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Kuwait inducted nine parishioners as the Extraordinary Ministers for Holy Communion Distribution (EMCD), at Holy Mass on Maundy Thursday, April 13. 

The candidates were selected based on pre-determined criteria and were required to attend an orientation course comprising nine talks spread over three months. The course covered topics like meaning and power of the Holy Eucharist, holy Mass, Sacramentum Caritatis, I Believe, holy Rosary, Dry Mass and personal traits, roles and responsibilities.  


John D'Souza, one of the candidates said, "The orientation was very enlightening and has deeply enhanced my spiritual knowledge." Father Blany Pinto- parish priest, Father Francisco Pereira- spiritual director of EMCD, Wilfred Vaz - EMCD coordinator and Lester D'Mello- EMCD deputy coordinator, were involved in conducting the orientation course.  


The induction Holy Mass was concelebrated by Father Pinto and Father Pereira. During the homily, Father Pereira reminded the congregation, especially the candidates, of their calling, saying, "We must imitate our Lord Jesus with humility by washing one another's feet and showing that we are truly his disciples by loving one another." Vaz then presented the nine candidates to Father Pinto for induction as EMCD. Father Pinto administered the oath and adorned each candidate with the Eucharistic minister's vestment and also presented them with a copy of the book, 'The Imitation of Christ'. 

Rubin Ferrao, an EMCD said, "I am blessed to be inducted as a Eucharistic minister and the induction ceremony has changed my life with the desire to imitate Jesus. My family was very glad and happy to see me being inducted as a Eucharistic minister".


After Holy Mass all EMCD's, the newly inducted and the existing ones, enjoyed a time of fellowship. A family member of the newly inducted EMCD, Norberto Colaco said, "We are truly blessed to be a part of the Salmiya Parish, with so many families coming together in Christ, for Christ. We feel all the more blessed that Norberto is now with the EMCD and pray for all good things for him and his fellow Eucharistic ministers."


by Amarr Prabhu


MUMBAI, APR 18, 2017: The 52nd annual function of St Joseph's Industrial Training Institute (SJITI) held on April 2 at the campus, displayed the student's craftsmanship and depth of technical knowledge.  


The Chief Guest, K Nandakumar, CEO of Chemtrlos Ltd, along with Rector Father Colbert Da Silva, inaugurated the exhibition of the projects. The students of each of the ten trades offered at the institute, worked hard to come up with innovative ideas to demonstrate the working models of their exhibits, which they confidently  communicated to the large number of visitors. 

Parents and students from other institutes, prospective trainees, employers scouting for talented technicians - were all present and the euphoria was a great motivator for the students. Preparing for this event itself was a learning process that demanded new ideas, solutions to problems encountered, procuring the right materials, working within a budget and a tight time frame, learning new skills, documentation and strong communication ability. 


The young trainees assisted by their instructors, received praise for the innovative projects on display, especially for being aligned to innovation and automation - the keystones of the industry today. Some noteworthy projects were Teslar Coils, Follow me Robot, Line following Robot, working model of HVAC, working model of Split AC, Air and Electric Horn system, Pneumatic breaking system, Alcohol Breath Analyzer.

The students did not only mean business, they also entertained with their cultural programme. Dances, music, comedy, UV acts were showcased by the boys. It began with the traditional Lezim and the lighting of the lamp. Father Da Silva welcomed the gathering of special invitees, parents and students. He spoke about the inception of St. Joseph's ITI and the proliferation of other institutions at the Don Bosco Center for learning (DBCL) campus. He thanked the parents for their support and cooperation during the year for helping the institute in fulfilling its objective of Educating the young to Life and Livelihood. 

In the annual report, Principal of SJITI, Amarr Prabhu highlighted the achievements of the previous academic year. The chief guest felicitated two instructors who had won awards at all India level competitions. Meritorious students were awarded medals and certificates by the guests-of-honour from various partner organisations. A total of forty students were awarded merit scholarships during the last academic year.


Nandakumar in his address to the gathering complimented the rector, the principal and his team of instructors for their passion in skilling the students. He even offered to partner with SJITI in any way that his organisation could contribute. In his parting message to the students he said, "Hard work, integrity, honesty along with innovation should always be the bedrock to build a successful future."

Saturday, April 15, 2017


by Mahesh Kumar


MUMBAI, APR 15, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised a five- day cancer awareness and detection camp for women residing in the slums of Mumbai. Part one of the camp was held from April10-12; and part two will be held on April 20- 21, both at the Don Bosco provincial  house in Matunga. The camp is in association with the Indian Cancer Society.


Speaking at the inaugural function Father Rolvin D'Mello, executive director- DBDS highlighted the commitment of DBDS towards 'health for all' and the importance of healthy women in a family. 

Over 150 women from the most poor families in the slums were screened for ENT, indirect laparoscopy and comprehensive gynaecological examination with Pap smear by a specialised team of doctors and paramedical staff. All the tests and services were provided free of cost.


The two staff of DBDS- Basanti Solanki and Ranjana Gangurde did the ground work for the camp with the help of Surekha Pednekar, coordinator – DBDS. Sharing her experience Gangurde said, "Cancer is mostly affecting poor people who have no information on this issue. Our effort is to create awareness and develop positive mind-set among women in slums."

Pednekar assured the women that the detailed report will be made available to them in the next 10 days and those affected will be referred to a hospital for further treatment.

Kanchan Khandare who underwent the cancer examination test said, "I had heard so many cases of cancer in my locality that I was deeply scared. Thanks to Don Bosco that they organised this camp. I acquired knowledge and underwent free cancer check-ups."