Thursday, May 25, 2017


by Father Rolvin D'Mello


MUMBAI, MAY 25, 2017: Two hundred and fifty youth attended a workshop on Skill Development and Career Guidance that was organised by the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) and Zone 4 of Mumbai Police at Vidhyalankar College in Antop Hill on May 23.


Youth, aged between 15 and 22, from Antop hill and Wadala slum pockets of Mumbai participated in the event. Arun Naik, a professional career counsellor, advised youth on the process of choosing a career. He further explained the various opportunities and advantages of the different career options.


Surekha Pednekar, coordinator of DBDS, spoke about the courses conducted by DBDS across the city of Mumbai. The students were informed about the Bosco Plus Career Cell and the Don Bosco Recruitment Centre which gives them hope for their future. 


N Ambika - deputy commissioner of police from zone 4 - the chief guest in her address touched upon her own life experiences and expressed her wish to see many more individuals succeeding in life, despite facing various hurdles.


by Libby Sequeira


KUWAIT, MAY 25, 2017: Team Saint Luke mastered the Holy Scriptures, by bagging top honours in the inaugural edition of the Mega Bible Quiz organised by the Catechism Ministry at Don Bosco School in Salmiya on May 19.


Forty-four children qualified for the final round and they were divided into four colour-coordinated groups - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John for the final. Contestants – ranging from standard one to eleven - spent months preparing for the quiz, under the tutorship of two catechist per team.


Libby Sequeira, the host, and Quizmasters Peter Rodrigues and Mark Roberts kept the contestants thinking with gripping commentaries and host of Bible-related trivia. 

Father Blany Pinto, parish priest, Father Franco Pereira, catechetical director, Father Johnson Nedumpurath, assistant parish priest and Father Derrick Misquitta, director of IEAS School were present to encourage the contestants.


"The Bible Quiz experience was a unique and beautiful one.  It helped me not only gain knowledge through the help of my catechist, but also in understanding the power of learning and sharing the scriptures with a group like a family," Adela Marylou Morais, from the winning team, said.


Jennifer Serrao, from team Saint Mark - who were the first runner-up- said, "It was a very nice experience; I learned many things like teamwork, leadership and above all having a deeper understanding of the Bible." Saint Matthew and Saint John claimed third and fourth place respectively.  While the winners took home the winning cups, all received certificates and medals confirming that they were all winners. 


Myra D'souza, a core member of the catechism ministry said, "I came to cheer my team Saint Mark but like everyone else present cheered all the teams. My team won second place but everyone went home a winner."

Rodrigues added, "At first I doubted whether I will be able to do it, but later I believed that Jesus is with me to make this Mega Bible Quiz a success."


Vincent Rego, a catechist who helped prepare the children for the final day said, "I felt blessed and privileged to be with our children who were like angels and through them, I could come closer to God."

Saturday, May 20, 2017


by Royal D'Souza


MUMBAI, MAY 19, 2017: The Teach India programme run by the CSR division of Times of India with British Council as the content and knowledge partner offered the 'English for Employability' course, which is a 120-hour programme, for underprivileged and the school dropout youth at Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL), Kurla.


DBCL has been partnered with Teach India since July 2014 in conducting Spoken English programmes for the underprivileged. The seventh batch of 22 students, who initially registered for the programme, were given a written test and were interviewed by Bala, a reservist and trainer of Teach India on  March 15. 


Sessions, which ran from Monday to Saturday, began on March 21 and ended May 12. Edward Fernandes and Moksha, volunteers of Teach India, conducted the classes for the students. Sixteen students completed the course successfully. This was a special batch as of the sixteen students, five were Self Help Group (SHG) women members who had received skill and entrepreneurship training at DBCL and had started small businesses in their locality. 


Seven students were Community Organisers (CO's) who are working as part-time workers in the MCGM poverty eradication department under Community Development Officers (CDO's) at ward level in Mumbai. Four were college going youth who wanted to develop their english language skills. 


The module designed by Teach India focused on spoken and written english communication skills required in everyday situations, in customer services like retail and sales, travel and tourism and financial services. It also focused on grammatical accuracy, fluency, pronunciation and confidence. The 45-day long course enabled the participants to introduce themselves appropriately, greet others politely in person and over the phone, as well as to make and respond to polite requests in professional contexts.


The batch had many of the candidates above the age of 30. Some of them had left their education ten to twelve years back. The teachers conducted sessions using practical exercises so that all the participants could have equal opportunities to learn the language. At the valedictory function on May 12, fifteen students received their certificates. 


"At this age getting the opportunity to come back to a well-known college, sitting in class and learning english was a dream for me. This class has given me confidence to express myself clearly. The teachers and all my colleagues supported me in completing this course. Overall it will help me improve my personality," Sangeeta Hire, CO said.


A SHG member, Manisha Katke added, "I have completed my graduation and now I am running my business in Ghatkopar. My daughter always speaks to me in english and I was not able to answer her in english. Now after joining this course I talk to my daughter in english everyday. I thank my teachers and this Don Bosco institute for giving me an opportunity to learn english."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


by Ashwin Fernandes


KARJAT, MAY 17, 2017: When Pope Francis was leading the centenary celebrations of Our Lady of Fatima- Portugal on May 13, the members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) Matunga Unit, went on a pilgrimage to Asia's first Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima at Karjat.


The group reached for the unfurling of the flag of our Lady of Fatima. The scene of the apparition was creatively set up at the new altar extension. There were around 3,000 other pilgrims, Catholics and of other religious confessions, at the Shrine, to witness this important historic landmark.


Cardinal Oswald Gracias consecrated and blessed the new altar of the church, sprinkling holy water and chrism oil. He also renewed the act of consecration of the Archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 


"Let us live the message of Fatima. Pray for peace and make sacrifices emphasising the power of prayer. At Fatima the Blessed Virgin spoke of World War. Wars continue today, with different forms and dangers, turmoil, upheaval and violence all over the world. Wars are also in our personal lives, in the struggle between good and evil," Cardinal Gracias said. "It is important to pray, pray for peace in our homes, in family relationships and in the world."


Thereafter Cardinal Gracias blessed the pilgrims with the relics of the two little shepherds Francisco and Jacinta who had just been canonised in Fatima, by the Holy Father, around the same time. The parishioners and well wishers had organised a fellowship meal, where all pilgrims lunched together. In the afternoon, Eucharistic adoration and family consecration followed.  


"The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima at Karjat  was built in the year 1935, and houses the statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought from Portugal in the year 1920, years before the approval - of the Fatima apparitions - in 1930 by the Holy See," Father Callistus Fernandes, Rector of the sanctuary said. He added, "The distinguishing characteristic of a shrine is that it is a place of pilgrimage." A proposal to give the Shrine a more official status, naming it the 'Archdiocesan Shrine of Fatima' has been presented to the Archbishop.


The ADMA members returned with their hearts content of having the opportunity to spend this historic day in prayers and devotion to our Blessed Mother, which is one of the primary objectives of this Marian Association.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


by Curie Cola├žo


KUWAIT, MAY 16, 2017: On May 12, over hundred children – dressed in white - arrived with their parents at the Church of St. Therese, Salmiya- Kuwait to receive the sacrament of First Holy Communion. 


Weeks of practice and a year of training in catechism classes ensured that the children were more than equipped for the experience of welcoming Jesus personally into their lives. 


Holy Mass was celebrated by Father Lionel Braganza and concelebrated by Father Francisco Pereira, Father Blany Pinto, Father Derrick Misquitta, Father Johnson Nedumpuram, Father Clifford and Deacon Sylvester D'Souza. The children's choir animated the music.

Father Braganza began by delighting the children as he reminisced about his First Holy Communion day. The homily was delivered by Father Pereira who invited Father Braganza and Father Pinto to sing his favourite hymn, 'He's got the whole world, in his hands' to the children, thereby making his message clear to them. 

The children smiled as they sang and prayed, waiting expectantly to finally receive their new best friend. Along with the children, even the parents and other catechists appreciated the efforts of the organisers.

"Everything from the rehearsals, the hall decoration, the assembly of the communicants, the seating arrangements for parents and relatives was perfect with clockwork precision," Susan Pereira, a parent said. 

After the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the children received their First Holy Communion certificate. Souvenirs – the holy Bible, Rosary and a Scapular - were also given  along with snacks. A parent of a communicant said, "We are truly a blessed flock, to have the benefit of the best pastoral care under the Salesians and a dedicated and capable catechism ministry."

Monday, May 15, 2017


by Joel Varghese 


LONAVLA, MAY 15, 2017: A vocation camp was held at Don Bosco, Lonavla from May 2-8 and six students from Don Bosco, Nerul were part of the camp. The boys were accompanied by the Father Bonnie Borges, the manager.

There were  fellow campers from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Ahmednagar, Mumbai and Vasai, with the Nerul boys. Ice breakers and games were conducted so the boys could get to know each other. They were divided into groups namely Bessuco, Bosco, Garelli, Magone and Savio.

Each day began with holy Mass and reflection on the Gospel. The brothers and priests told their vocation stories to the campers; as well as about the various vocations in the Bible, explaining 'God's call' to them.

There were team games too, which taught the importance of co-operation and team spirit. Following camping tradition, a camp fire was arranged on the last day. The scores were declared with Bessuco winning the first place. The best camper award, most promising camper award and awards to deserving campers were also given. 

The highlight of the camp was the outreach programme, where the boys went to a village and presented skits on topics such as health, environment, education and addictions. Throughout the camp there was lot of time for games and recreation. The campers were always kept on their toes and there was never a dull moment. 


A standard ten student from Don Bosco Nerul said, "The brothers and fathers were so hospitable that we felt we were part of one big family. I will never forget the extremely thrilling and spine-tingling Savio Night. The trek and treasure hunt we had on a hill is another unforgettable experience. And how can I forget the mouth watering bhel which Father Mc Enroe prepared. On behalf of all the campers, I want to thank all the brothers and priests who put in so much effort to give us such a memorable experience!"