Monday, July 1, 2019

BIS #5802 LEADING INTO THE FUTURE: SPIRITUALITY, DISCERNMENT, AND LEADERSHIP AMONG HEADS OF SCHOOLS


by Father Joaquim Fernandes 

MUMBAI, JULY 1, 2019: Eighty-five school Principals from Maharastra attended a conference on educational leadership organised by the All India Don Bosco Education Society (AIDBES) in association with the Salesian Province of Mumbai at the Don Bosco International School, Matunga, Mumbai on June 25. 

An online survey conducted by AIDBES recently revealed that the Transformative Leadership pattern is high among the school leaders of Don Bosco schools in India. The result pointed out that school leaders have a high level of discernment and also a sense of collaborative leadership.
 
‘Leading into the Future: Spirituality, Discernment, and Leadership among Heads of Schools in India’ was the theme of the Mumbai conference, where two eminent speakers, Dr. Chris AM Hermans, from Radbound University Nijmegen, and Professor Dr. Francis Vincent Anthony sdb, Salesian University Rome, delivered the keynote addresses.

Dr. Hermans focused on the topic ‘Good Education, Transformational Leadership and the Gift of Discernment’, while Professor Anthony focused on ‘Spiritual Antecedents of Discernment and Transformational Leadership’.
Father Godfrey D'Souza sdb, Salesian Provincial of the Province of Mumbai welcomed the gathering of the Principals and speakers of the day and wished them all a fruitful discussion towards leading and transforming the lives of the children under their care.

Dr. Hermans addressed the gathering first and stressed on the importance of the need for transformational leadership in the education sector. Research among school leaders in Salesian schools recently brought to light that in order to grow in transformational leadership, school leaders needed to grow in decision making on the basis of the gift of discernment.

Professor Anthony, in his address, said that the research among school leaders in Salesians institutions prove that higher performance of transformational leadership is influenced by the following antecedents: the gift of discernment, and spiritual traits, spiritual capital, and spiritual experience, besides some antecedents, referring to personal and contextual features. 

Father Lorenzo D'Souza sdb, ex-Principal, Don Bosco School and Junior College, Dakor, Gujarat gave the response to the talk by Dr. Hermans and Pooja Kadam, assistant teacher, Head of Science Faculty and Head of Academic Council, Don Bosco High School, Borivli West, Mumbai gave the response to the talk delivered by Professor Anthony.
“This conference though it sounded very theoretical in nature made me look within myself with a sense of wonder for the type of leadership and experience and genuine need for charismatic and transformational leadership I am called for,” Father James Tuscano, Principal, Co-ordinator, Don Bosco Vidyalaya, Savedi, Ahmednagar, said.

Preema Noronha, Principal, St. Xavier's Boys' Academy, Mumbai added, “The eminent resource persons Dr. Chris Hermans and Prof. Dr. Francis Vincent Anthony enabled me to know and understand how something so profound i.e. discernment can be made a way of everyday living in order to be a transformational leader in the present times in life, at work and in every situation I find myself in.”

“Generative dialogue will help us to understand our stakeholders in a better way,” Sister Margaret Sequeira, Principal, Canossa High School, Andheri, concluded.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

BIS #5801 VOCATION CAMP: DISCERNING GOD’S CALL


by BIS Correspondent
 
KUWAIT, JUNE 29, 2019: A Salesian vocation camp began in Salmiya, Kuwait on June 23. This is the third consecutive year the vocation camp is being organised in Kuwait. There are 27 boys from class seven to twelve participating. The purpose of the camp is to help youngsters discern the call of God in their lives.
 
During the camp, the boys will be offered a holistic development programme. Various sessions will be held on different topics like careers, apostolic vocations, personality development, making the right choices in life, etc. These sessions will be conducted through workshops, group discussions, and presentations. The boys will have an opportunity to listen to the vocation stories of the resident Salesians in Salmiya, Kuwait.
 
Through various games and competitions, the participants will be helped to discover their talents and skills. “I am looking forward to a great time in the camp and a good way of growing in my vocation,” Leon Fernandes, a participant from class 10 said. Elvis D’mello and Phillip Fernandes, Salesian Cooperators, did the groundwork for the camp. Nigel Menezes, a youngster and a volunteer assisting Father Lopez, said, “I am feeling very happy that I have been called to assist Father Lopez and I am blessed to be part of the camp.”
 
Kuwait is a fertile ground for vocations. The organisers are hopeful that the vocation camp becomes a platform for youngsters to discover God’s call in their lives. They further desire that it helps the youth become more committed to the Church and serve the Lord.

BIS #5800 THE SALESIAN ART OF LISTENING


by Arpita Macwan
 
GUJARAT, JUNE 29, 2019: An educational seminar for the staff of the English and Gujarati medium Salesian schools at Dakor were organised by Father Bastin Thomas, the Rector and manger of the Dakor Salesian Society.

All the teachers of English medium and Gujarati medium schools gathered in the school hall. Father Dsouza Lorenzo, the Principal of Gujarati medium school welcomed the teachers to the annual conference given by the Rector.

Father Thomas started the meeting with a prayer. He enlightened the teachers about the three vital pillars of the Don Bosco educational system. To make it more practical for them, he further divided all the teachers in these three groups: Reason, Religion and Loving Kindness.

The groups shared among them their views on each pillar of Don Bosco’s educational system. Sunil, a teacher of the Gujarati medium school, shared that the art of listening is at the core of Don Bosco’s educational system. Through it alone one can reason, nurture faith, and show loving kindness to students.

Sharma Jayesh, a teacher from the Gujarati medium school opined that there is no discrimination in caste, religion or gender, which is unlikely in the neighbourhood. Celebrating the various religious festivals fosters the value of secularism in the school.

Urval, a teacher from the English medium school mentioned specifically about the open and friendly spirit among the staff and the students. It was noticed that the students easily co-operate with teachers without having any fear.

Father Thomas explained that the service of the teachers is not just doing work but giving the students an experience of God’s love. Saroj Macwan, an English medium teacher said, “It’s when you listen you come close to a child, not when you hear.” The teachers unanimously decided that the art of listening is crucial to the nurturing of each child and in helping them grow and bloom in Don Bosco’s educational system.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

BIS #5799 WORLD YOGA DAY


by Ujwala Siddapur and Sheena Aery
 
MUMBAI PROVINCE, JUNE 22, 2019: International Yoga Day was celebrated in Salesian schools across the Mumbai province, with the students being told about the benefits of Yoga on June 21.
 
At Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Lonavla, a special assembly was organised to commemorate the occasion.  The programme began with a prayer followed by a speech by the resource person Father Xavier Devadas, who informed the students about the advantages of Yoga. Father Blany Pinto, the Rector of the institution, was present at the event.
 
Sunita Sonavane and Dinesh D’Souza, both teachers, who have been part of various Yoga events, took the initiative to conduct yoga demonstrations of various Asanas like Tadasana, Trikonasana, and Pranayama.
 
The fifth edition of International Yoga Day was celebrated at Don Bosco High School, Vadodara with sessions being organised for around 1500 students.
 
Bindiya Purohit, a parent and Diploma holder, was invited to conduct the Yoga session for the secondary section on the school grounds. Students from standard three to five attended a session conducted by Sunanda Bhatt, while students from standard one and two participated in the exercises in the audio-visual hall. The gym instructor, Vijay Rathod conducted their session.
 
The Principal, Father Anthony Pinto in his address to the students highlighted the importance of Yoga in promoting peace, harmony, and prosperity.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

BIS #5799 APPOINTMENT OF THE NEW INB PROVINCIAL

BIS #5798 NEW SALESIAN PUBLICATIONS UNVEILED


by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, JUNE 15, 2019: Father Ajoy Fernandes and Father Chrys Saldanha, both accomplished Salesian authors unveiled their latest publications at the Don Bosco Provincial House, Matunga on June 10, published by Tej Prasarini Don Bosco Communications.

The Provincial of the Mumbai province Father Godfrey D’Souza, was present to unveil the books, entitled ‘Understanding and Helping Children with Learning Disabilities’ by Father Fernandes and ‘Living Consecrated Life Fully’ by Father Saldanha.  

“Children with learning difficulties are said to have an invisible challenge,” Father Fernandes stressed in his book. “They can be misunderstood, labelled as being ‘laid- back’ and difficult, and may develop emotional problems.”

Father Fernandes' book acquaints the reader with the challenges children with learning difficulties face. It further suggests ways in which these youth can be helped. It explores the symptoms of learning-related difficulties and touches upon the interventions that might help youth facing such problems. The book is a valuable guide for parents and teachers to understand and help those with learning difficulties.  

Father Saldanha, in his book, presents a glimpse of what it means to live a Consecrated Life today. He touches upon the commitment to respond to ‘the call’ and the consequent living out of this call through the vows of Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience through community life. The objective of the book is to deepen and fructify the call to live Consecrated Life more fully.  

The unveiling ceremony began with Faith and Harmony, a Salesian choir adding a musical touch to the event with their rendition of ‘God still loves the world’ a hymn written by Father Peter Gonsalves sdb. Following the performance, Father Saldanha’s book was presented to the gathering. The author himself addressed the gathering before the book was unveiled and presented to the dignitaries.

Father Fernandes’ book was then launched by the Provincial, following which the author himself touched upon the salient aspects of his publication. The authors then took questions from the audience. 

The day marked a closing chapter of sorts for Tej-Prasarini, the publishing office of the Mumbai province, with Father Joaquim Fernandes, its Director for the last 14 years, passing the baton to his successor Father Chris Valentino, who takes over as Director, and Father Mylin Noronha, the new Assistant Director.

The Provincial then thanked Father Joaquim Fernandes for his service rendered to the institution and for being the Social Communication Delegate and enabling the communication sector to reach higher heights and to be witnesses to the Light. He also thanked him for the service rendered to BOSCOM, South Asia and for being the Delegate for the South Asian Region for the past six years. 
 
Please log on to tejonline.com or email the publishing house at tejprasarinidbc@gmail.com to order copies of the books.