Tuesday, December 11, 2018


by Brother Joyston Machado

Pune, Dec 10, 2018: Over 200 Catholic youth, aspirants, sisters, and brothers from in and around Pune, Chichwad, Lonavla, and Karjat gathered in Sacred Heart Parish, Pune for Symbios 2018 on December 9.

Symbios is a Salesian Youth Movement which connects youth from the north, south, east, and west. The event was planned and came to fruition in coordination with ICYM, Pune diocese youth movement.

The day was planned with a range of activities and a platform for interaction for the youth. On arrival, the youth were welcomed by a group of brothers who helped them with registration and a fulfilling breakfast.

The event began at 9:15 am with a flash mob dance led by the brothers of Theology along with the youth, encouraging all to mix around and mingle. The Rector of Sacred Parish, Father Michael Bansode welcomed the youth after which a prayer service highlighting the presence of God was led by the youth.

Father Stanley Fernandes, the Director of ICYM Pune, Father Michael Bansode, Father Ajay D’monte, Father Richard D’Silva, Father Jesu Robinson, and Father Johnson Kshirsagar lit the lamp and invoked God’s blessing. Elaborating on each aspect of the theme for Symbios, special persons and resource personnel were invited for the youth.

To start their session, a team of family members titled SHY group belonging to the Sacred Heart Parish shared their views on Youth and Family. The wisdom of real family life through group discussion with members of the group brought a lot of richness to this session.

One of the aspirants from Lonavla, Venus James remarked about the session on family saying, “I learnt that family is very important, without family what would be my life. I learnt that the most important thing is to give my parents a big hug and tell them how much I love them.”

A brief break and moments of interaction followed the session, after which the youth reassembled to listen and learn about the second aspect of the theme on Media and the Young. Father Lester with the help of a few youngsters from the two parishes of the dioceses conducted the session through a lively debate. The youth presented their issues on the boon and the bane of the media after which the general audience was asked to question, and choose for themselves whether they wish to stand on the side of media or against it.

Sister Manisha Parmar from the Assumption sisters, said, “The session was very helpful and enriching. It has enlightened many of us nuns who really are unaware of the media. The debate was thought-provoking and it helped me to be responsible with great freedom.”

The brothers from the Theologate organised lively and enthusiastic games by dividing the youth into 20 teams, electing a captain and enabling them through the help of fixtures and rotation to have a taste of 10 creative and exciting games.

The group was then led into the hall for the third aspect of the theme on Youth and the Church. Father Allwyn Misquitta in his multi-lingual style began his session by leading the youngsters into prayer, praise, and worship. The need of the young person and the call of the Church to be awakened leaders in the Church was his main subject.

Amalu Alex, a youth representative from Carmel parish said, “The session on the Church was very truthful and relevant, it spoke a lot about our life and our relationship with the Church. I was also privileged to attend Father Allwyn’s earlier inner healing services and this personal encounter with him, in reality, was great, but attending this was really amazing and spiritual.”

The peacefulness and deep thoughts about the reality of life and Church was immediately followed with a thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration. Father Savio Silveria, the Chief Guest celebrated Holy Mass and invited the youth to become the prophets of the 21st century. 

Following Holy Mass, Father Kshirsagar expressed the vote of thanks with a deep sense of gratitude to each and every individual who led the planning and who worked together in the execution of Symbios 2018. 

Sherin Raj, the President of the youth at Sacred Heart parish, expressed her experience of the day saying, “Through the three features of the theme on Church, Family and Media I came to know that how we as youth have an important role to play in all these three aspects of our life; there were fun and games too which made the whole day enjoyable, spiritual and an overall good experience.” 


by BIS Correspondent

VADODARA, DEC 10, 2018: Sixty-seven children – joined the staff and management of Don Bosco Snehalaya, to welcome Shalini Agrawal, the Collector, who visited the institution for an inspection of the premises on December 5.

Don Bosco Snehalaya works for the marginalised children in Vadodara district. It was set up in 2001 for the holistic development and rehabilitation of children in need of care and protection. The institution provides basic and n
ecessary facilities and services besides shelter, food, and clothing to the young at risk.

Agrawal was impressed with the facilities she witnessed during her visit. She wrote, in the guest book, “I visited the institute today and received a very warm welcome by the loving children and staff. I was happy to see the cleanliness, the kitchen was very clean. The kids were studying. They have made beautiful pieces of art and craft. Football and basketball are the favourite sports of the children. The staff is dedicated and committed. Wishing the children and staff the very best in their future and life. May God bless you all.”

Thursday, December 6, 2018


by brother Sanjay Ninama

KARJAT, DEC 5, 2018: Karjat-based Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha, a technical training institute for underprivileged youth in skills of fabrication, turning, fitting, welding, and air-conditioning repairs, added two new feathers to its conveyer belt of achievements, namely a two-wheeler mechanic course and a gas pipe technician class, to help empower youth.

Father Godfrey D’Souza, the Provincial of Mumbai province, Neera Asthana, the deputy general manager corporate communication and corporate social responsibility of Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL Company), Vinod Negi and Arvin from MGL team were present at the inauguration ceremony.

The students of Don Bosco technical institute organised a small programme for the guests. It began a welcome song followed by a dance. The Provincial then blessed the new gas pipe technician class, and Asthana cut the ribbon.

The two-wheeler trade was blessed by Father Manual Murzello, the Economer of the Mumbai province and the ribbon was cut by the Rector Father Anthony Santarita.

The Provincial then expressed his gratitude to the MGL Company for their financial support. “We have begun to celebrate Christmas here by sharing and helping each other,” Father D’Souza said.

Asthana then addressed the students saying that the aim is for youth to learn well and bear fruits in their life. “You have all the facilities provided here, make the best use of it,” Asthana said. After which, the principal expressed his words of gratitude to the Provincial and the MGL team for coming and making this event a successful one.  


by Father Joaquim Fernandes

MUMBAI, NOV 5, 2018: Nearly 100 Salesian confreres along with the provincial councillors and most of the animators of communities, from the Salesian Province of Mumbai celebrated Provincial Community Day at Saint Dominic Savio, Andheri, Mumbai on December 3.

Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai, flanked by the provincial councillors, presided over the solemn Eucharist at 6.00 pm at the Chapel of Saint Dominic Savio.

Father Provincial gave a brief introduction during the Eucharistic celebration. He enumerated the four stages of Spiritual Growth by Morgan Scott Peck, a famous American psychiatrist. Stage one, he said, was a Separation from God - chaos. This is the classic ‘sinner’ stage where the individual is separate from God and therefore in spiritual darkness and moral chaos.

Stage two, he added, is Institutional / Fundamental - after reconciliation with God, the new believer will join a church/ministry/sect. Stage three is the Individual-Seeker stage, wherein healthy believers will grow as individuals and develop an identity separate from the group. They’ll start to question doctrines that don’t really gel with the Scriptures or make sense. They’ll seek truth - reality - beyond the limitations of their sect and elders, that is, if they sense they’re in error in one area or another.

Finally, in stage four, he said, believers, develop a living relationship with God, rather than just knowing about Him. This is the goal of Christianity and explains why the Gospel of Christ is called the 'message of reconciliation'. He thanked God for the Graces which have been showered on the Salesian Province of Mumbai and thanked all the leaders of the community for sharing the mission of Christ and Don Bosco.

Father Gregory Almeida, provincial councillor, then shared his reflection during the homily on the life of Staint Francis Xavier and how he consolidated Christian faith in India. “What was the secret of his success?” he asked, adding that when Xavier arrived in Goa, India, on May 6, 1542, he came to be admired for his ability to live and work side by side with the poor, seeking more converts.

The secret of his success, Father Almeida, said, was the regular spiritual exercises, his priority to the vow of Obedience and Poverty, his love for children, apostolic zeal, and above all his love for God. Though he passed away at a relatively young age, Xavier had accomplished much in his life. He interspersed the reflections with the Provincial Chapter documents and requested everyone to introspect into their lives and find how God calls us to be faithful to our mission.

He narrated the example of the football-playing Salesian priest Father Marciano “Rocky” Evangelista, who started Tuloy Foundation Inc., a home and training center for street children in Metro Manila in 1993.  He started the Tuloy center in the Philippines, with 10 lay volunteers in 1993. It helps ‘poor and abandoned children to regain self-worth and dignity, giving them a chance for a better life, acquire Christian values and habits for a decent, humane and Christian life, and develop the skills and training for self-reliance and integration into society’. This whole work runs on Divine providence and entirely by lay collaborators.

An informal gathering around Father Provincial led by a group of confreres, began at 8.00 pm. Words of appreciation and thanks were expressed towards Father Provincial and the provincial council by Father Brian Moras, Rector of  Saint Dominic Savio Andheri, the host community which was instrumental in organising the Province Community Day celebrations. It was a happy occasion since they begin celebrating the Golden Jubilee of their institution. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018


by Rosy Stephen

LONAVLA, DEC 4, 2018: A day before the Russian Soyuz spacecraft launched its latest mission to the International Space Station, students of Don Bosco Lonavla participated in a seminar on the theme of Space science, which involved satellite development, construction and launch on December 1 and 2.

The guests – Suresh Naik, the mission mentor, and Ex-Group Director ISRO, Present Chairman International Space Society, and Leena, the project head, were welcomed during the inauguration ceremony. Ruth Dethe, the Principal and Father Velasli Bandya, the Vice Principal felicitated the guests.

Naik then gave a presentation showcasing his role in the construction of satellites. He has worked with many satellites launched by ISRO, namely Aryabhatta, Chandrayaan, and Mangalyaan. He also discussed the different parts of rockets and launching of satellites, different types of satellites, and various challenges faced by scientists during the launch.

He focused on the life of an astronaut in space and the various difficulties faced by them. The workshop began soon after the inauguration, with 13 students participating. The youth got a hands-on experience. They were guided by Rajat Sharma, B. Tech, throughout the session.

On December 2 at 4:00 pm, the satellites that were constructed were launched with the help of a drone. Many students, enthusiastic parents, and teachers witnessed the incredible event. The programme concluded with a prize distribution ceremony. The students were honoured with medals and certificates. 


by Ramona Crasto

KUWAIT, DEC 4, 2018: Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY) Kuwait organised the annual Domestic Helpers Day for 100 deserving
domestic helpers on November 30.

Youth members of SPYorganised a fun-filled picnic for the maids and drivers at a chalet in Kabd. Joyalukkas Jewelry were the main sponsors for the event. This has been the seventh consecutive year of this initiative. The event began with Holy Mass being celebrated by SPY's youthful Spiritual Director Father Lionel Braganza, after which breakfast was served.

During the day, SPY members organised many games and activities after segregating everyone into groups. This was followed by a lively jam session after which lunch was served. The afternoon continued with more games and a vibrant fashion show. The event ended with prizes distributed to the winning team who played all the games with great enthusiasm. In the spirit of Christmas, hampers were gifted to all maids and drivers.

One of the guests Juliana D'Souza thanked SPY and said, "We are extremely grateful for this wonderful day and wish Father Lionel and SPY God's abundant blessings."

“Our main goal is to spread joy and happiness amongst these hard-working individuals who work 24x7 with almost no appreciation. It was a day well spent with the domestic workers who don’t see their own family very often. I am very thankful to all those who helped make this event a success and would urge more youth to be a part or contribute towards such causes,” Kiran Clement, a member of the youth group, said.