Tuesday, March 21, 2017

BIS #5080 OUR LADY OF FATIMA: CENTENARY YEAR CELEBRATIONS

by Wilfred Vaz

 

KUWAIT, MAR 21, 2017: "Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world," said Pope Pius IX. The parishioners of St. Therese of the child Jesus set to pray the rosary as a response to the invitation of the Bishop of the North Arabian Vicariate, Camillo Ballin. 

 

In the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (AVONA), the year 2017 has been dedicated the Mother Mary, being the centenary of her apparition at Fatima. 


Bishop Ballin suggested that the Holy Rosary be recited together by all the families residing in a building, at each respective home, with the statue or picture of Our Lady of Fatima. Lionel Pereira, a parish council member said, "In the past, consecration of nations and parishes to Mary, brought special graces on them. I am certain that the consecration of our vicariate to Our Lady will bring us closer to her in devotion and bring peace and stability to the region of Gulf." 

 

To inaugurate the event of Our Lady of Fatima visiting every home in the parish of the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, a recitation of the Luminous mysteries of the Holy Rosary was organised by the Small Christian Communities (SCC) group on March 18. 

 

The parish council members and also the coordinators of the groups who do not have representation in the parish council participated in the Rosary along with the entire parish.  The parish priest gave a brief introduction to the congregation about the programme. Father Francisco Pereira conceptualised and animated the recitation of the Rosary.  


The prayer and intentions for each respective mystery were said by Elizabeth D'Souza. The first part of the Our Father and the Hail Mary were recited in five different languages, while the latter part of the Our Father and the Holy Mary were recited in english by the congregation. The different languages represented were Filipino, Malayalam, Konkani, Singhala and Tamil. Annette Pereira, the secretary of the parish pastoral council said, "When we gathered and prayed the rosary, each leading in their own language and all responding in English, I felt privileged, blessed and anointed to be part of the prayerful gathering."


As the recitation of each mystery began, a designated parish council member placed a lighted candle at the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, symbolising the dedication of the parish and the respective groups to Mother Mary. 

 

At the conclusion of the recitation of the five Luminous mysteries, framed pictures of Our Lady of Fatima were given by Father Blany Pinto and Father Ben Barrameda to Anand Sequeira, coordinator – SCC group, to the parish council members and to the other representatives. It was a gesture to commence the recitation of the Holy Rosary in the members' respective groups and buildings.

 

Christopher Rosario, a council member said, "My wife and I attended the rosary. Both of us felt serene, peaceful and reassured of the presence of Mother Mary amongst us." The event concluded with all the parish council members and representatives, along with the priests, going in procession from the church to the courtyard.

Friday, March 17, 2017

BIS #5079 CELEBRATING WOMEN'S DAY IN NAGPUR

by BIS Correspondent

 

NAGPUR, MAR 17, 2017: Fifty five women from five zones of Our Lady of Fatima Church, Nagpur participated in a special Women's Day celebration, marking the importance of women, on March 12.     

 

The chief guests for the gathering were Praful Gudhade - Nagpur  Municipal Corporation (NMC) corporator, Asha Bankar -  NMC corporator and K O Orion, a social worker. 

 

Rector, Father Manuel Murzello welcomed the dignitaries before they lit a customary lamp and recited a prayer. The dignitaries stressed on the importance of women and the girl-child in society. 

 

Father Richard D'Silva, the administrator of the institute, then organised some games to keep those present entertained. The event ended with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

BIS #5078 INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY CELEBRATION

by BIS Correspondent

 

BARODA, MAR 15, 2017: Over 450 women hailing from various slums in Baroda came together to celebrate International Women's Day at Roshni Don Bosco, Baroda on March 8.

 

The participants belonged to 40 Self Help Groups (SHGs) actively working in Baroda. Father Rolvin D'Mello, executive director-Don Bosco Development Society, was the chief guest for the programme, the guests of honour were Patankar, collaborator - Roshni and Shashi Singh, chief manager- Allahabad Bank.

 

The programme began with the lighting of the lamp and was followed by cultural programmes on the theme 'unity in diversity'. Women then presented the traditional dances of various states dressed in colourful attire, dancing to folk tunes.

 

Addressing the gathering, Father D'Mello stressed the need to build equality among sons and daughters in the family. "The perception of society must change towards the girl child," he said. 

 

This was followed by a short documentary on 'oppression of women' highlighting how women were denied their rights for centuries. The programme ended with a Gujarati dance. 

BIS #5077 TIME TO PLAN

by  Supriya Joshi

MUMBAI, MAR 15, 2017: Planning is a stepping stone to effective decision making. An effective plan in turn leads to well thought out decisions that in turn leads to realising one's goals. Keeping this in mind, Don Bosco Balprafulta organised a seminar on planning entitled 'Session Plan: Why and How' for the staff of Young at Risk (YaR) houses on March 11.

Supriya Joshi, the coordinator of Don Bosco Balprafulta, Matunga, was the resource person for the event. She began with a simple team-building exercise that focused on leadership and followership. The activity was aimed at helping people rethink about the day-to-day activities in the organisation.

She stressed on the difference between a 'need' and a 'want' and emphasised on finding a need before a plan is executed for a major event or session. The importance of session planning, the factors that play a role in planning a session was also discussed.

There was also a fun activity included in the discussion that helped understand the difficulty in writing a set of instructions in a session plan and a worksheet on its outcome. Those gathered were then asked to draw up their own session plans, which would be reviewed as a follow-up activity.

BIS #5076 ADMA ON THEIR ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE

by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, MAR 15, 2017: The members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) went on their Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Velankanni at Irla, Mumbai on March 4.

It was a prayerful experience that began with Holy Mass celebrated by Father Wilfred D'Souza, the spiritual director. He presented to the pilgrims the Lenten message of Pope Francis. After a short break for breakfast, a period of personal prayer followed.

The steady stream of pilgrims visiting the Shrine all morning, with devotion and faith, offering their homage in silence to Mother Mary provided the perfect ambience for recollection. Later the group listened to a short talk given by the President, John Mathias. Post lunch, the group prayed the Rosary and other Marian prayers.  

The members conducted their monthly meeting, as they do every first Saturday of the month and left with a resolve to spend the holy season of Lent in a truly spiritual manner. 

BIS #5075 FIRST YAR COORDINATORS MEETING OF MUMBAI PROVINCE

by Annie Cardoz and Janifer Fernandes

MUMBAI, MAR 15, 2017: The Young at Risk (YaR) coordinators meeting was held on March 10 from 10.30 to 12.30 pm, with almost 10 YaR coordinators from different parts of the Mumbai province in attendance at Tej Prasarini hall, Matunga with the theme, 'We connect, We share'.

Father Gregory D'Almeida, the YaR commission coordinator of Mumbai province, welcomed the coordinators and introduced the YaR Balprafulta program officer, Janifer Fernandes.  He stated why YaR was initiated in the province and the need for better collaboration and coordination among the different YaR centres. 

All the coordinators shared their project works, activities, concerns and experiences in their respective centres. It gave an insight into the different YaR connected works conducted at their centres. Father Stephen Rodrigues, the ex-vice provincial of the Mumbai region shared light on the issues of the young at risk.

Fernandes then demonstrated the YaR works of Don Bosco National YaR Forum, Delhi and the services offered by the YaR office at Matunga and the future plans of the centre. She also gave a brief description of the works accomplished in the five months since its commencement in October 2016.

Annie Cardoz, project officer of Umeed project, prison ministry, conducted an interactive session on the use of social media for YaR to strengthen the connection between the coordinators and to reach out to a wider audience. 

Furthermore, Father D'Almeida also introduced the upcoming national level events, seminars, meetings, workshops and gave details of the national plan for the year 2017. It was also decided that a meeting should be held once in three months with the Mumbai YaR coordinators to discuss the YaR works in their corresponding centres and create plan of action. It was agreed that a Whatsapp group and Facebook group would boost inter- coordinator networking.