Saturday, December 27, 2008


Snowy D’Cunha JYOTI, DECEMBER 27, 2008: The Jyoti parish is in the midst of a week long celebration of Christmas programmes. On December 26, a programme was held for the children of the parish and the surrounding villages. Thanks to the efforts of our social worker Mr. Dayanand Patil, a large number of children of all faiths came together for this celebration. It was wonderful to see the children go beyond the ‘religious barrier’ and participate whole heartedly in the singing, dancing and fancy dress competition. The lively games which were conducted kept all entertained and on their feet. Even the power cut during the event did not manage to dampen the spirit of the day. It was a fun filled day, packed with plenty of Christmas cheer. Our sincere thanks to Fr. Blany Pinto, Fr. Bento D'Souza and the Development Office, Mumbai for their support in organizing this programme.


Elson Barretto sdb CHHOTA UDEPUR, DECEMBER 27, 2008: Over the past three decades he has become synonymous with Don Bosco in Chhota Udepur. A tall, distinguished looking gentleman, with a calm look and a gentle smile on his face… notebook in hand, he has traversed many a village in Rathwaland. The villagers have always held him in high respect, reverently referring to him as ‘Sir’. On Christmas day, Don Bosco Chhota bade farewell to ‘Gindu Sir’, who has served this institution ever since its inception. At a simple yet solemn function, the Salesians, staff, students, past pupils and villagers expressed their gratitude to Gindu Rathwa who has played many different roles during his long tenure at Don Bosco – he has been boarding master, catechist, development worker, VEP teacher, animator and skills trainer. But he will probably be best remembered for having taught many a child the 3 R’s. When he began teaching children in the villages, in some of those places there was not a single literate person – today those same villages can boast of graduates and post-graduates! During the felicitation programme, Vechta Rathwa who is presently a lecturer in a B.Ed. College, recounted how Gindu was instrumental in laying a firm foundation in his life. In an emotional speech, he said: “Today if I am educated, if I am a lecturer, if I can stand tall in society, it is thanks to Gindu Sir”. Several others, including the Rector, staff members and villagers expressed words of thanks and appreciation to this simple, unassuming man who has touched the lives of many. We gratefully salute him for his long years of commitment and dedicated service. As Gindu goes into retirement, another chapter closes at Chhota – a chapter that can aptly be titled, ‘To Sir, With Love’.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Rev. Fr. Pascual Chávez sdb ROME, DECEMBER 25, 2008: Dear Friends, “I give you news of great joy, Christ the Saviour is born today”. This is the beautiful message that the Christmas liturgy brings us. There is no room for sadness when life is
born. Today, more than ever, the world tormented by so many crises and so much suffering, needs to hear some ‘good news’, to listen to the Gospel. While I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I pray that we may make God’s dream our own – that we may all strive together to make the whole world more human, working first of all for the good of the young and the poor; promoting peace, freedom and the dignity of every single person in the world.


Rohini Patrao WADALA, DECEMBER 24, 2008: The beautiful Christmas season of joy, love, hope, and peace is spreading its warmth all around. This festive feeling was well portrayed by the young and creative Josephites during the Christmas Panorama which was held at St. Joseph’s School ground on Monday, December 22. The theme for this joyful celebration was: “Those who work for God leave a Legacy of Love”. The Panorama began at 4.30 pm with a Christmas Tableau depicting the birth of Christ. The programme then continued with various competitions. The Panorama was clubbed with the celebration of Management Day with felicitations in the form of poems, skits, songs and dances. The curtain couldn’t be drawn on the Christmas Panorama without the much awaited event of the year - “The Josephite King”. While many vied for the title, the Josephite King for the year 2008-09 was awarded to Master Vinam Nair. This student portrayed a unique combination of confidence, a dynamic personality and the skills to tackle questions put forth by the judges.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Nirmala Salve NASHIK, DECEMBER 24, 2008: The Advent theme, “prepare ye the way of the Lord – make your paths straight” was concretely lived and realised in the life of seven couples from St. Dominic Savio Church, Satpur, Nashik, whose marriages were rectified on December 20, 2008. Their Advent, ‘the waiting’ of these couples was very long and painful, but the Lord has blessed them and their families abundantly through the conferring of five sacraments. In reality, the process of marriage rectifications was initiated even much before the Salesians took charge of Don Bosco Parish along with Satpur. But for whatever reasons the process was not completed. It was in June 2008 that Fr. Nelson Falcao restarted the whole process. He began with a general meeting of all those who wanted their marriage rectifications to be done. About fifteen couples enrolled their names. The first step was to come regularly for Sunday mass. After mass Fr. Nelson would personally take catechesis for them. After six months of thorough catechesis and regular attendance only seven out of the fifteen couples were chosen and were given the required sacraments. The process also included getting all the necessary documents and certificates, namely, birth certificates, baptism certificates, school leaving certificates and others. The couples had to attend a marriage preparation course and fill up the pre-nuptial enquiry forms. On December 20, the whole process of marriage rectifications was completed and the registers were signed. On Christmas night the parishioners will felicitate them and welcome them into the parish community. The parishioners at Satpur are grateful to Fr. Nelson for being a good shepherd and for bringing back the lost sheep.


Merlyn Gomes VIRAR, DECEMBER 24, 2008: The Cultural Cell of Resurrection Parish organized a ‘Christmas Bash’ on December 20, in the church hall, after the 6.00 pm mass. There was an overwhelming response from the parishioners who attended the programme in large numbers. The evening began with a Christmas Message from our Parish Priest, Fr Blany Pinto. The programme then got underway with a variety of fun games for the children and also the adults. It was great to see the wonderful time everyone was having, with plenty of Christmas cheer all around! To add to the excitement, ‘spot prizes’ were announced at regular intervals. Besides this, the youth enthralled the audience with their carol singing and lively dances. The climax of the evening was the arrival of Santa. Jingling around, he had everyone singing and dancing with him. The kids just loved Santa who showered them with plenty of sweets. As the evening proceed, Balaji Caterers served the parishioners some delicious Chinese food. The DJ kept the mood upbeat with lots of Christmassy music. The Christmas tree, crib, decorations, light snow, jingling of bells and festive spirit created the perfect atmosphere for the celebration! Thanks to Fr. Edwin Colaco, the main coordinator of the evening, and to all those to lent a hand it making it such an amazing event. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Anthony Fonseca sdb BARODA, DECEMBER 22, 2008: The Playway Section of Don Bosco High School, Baroda organized its Christmas celebration on Saturday, December 20, from 8.45 am to 11.00 am. The highlight of the programme was a Musical Tableau enacted by the little children. The entire Christmas celebration is being held on a low key this year in view of the tragic events our country has faced in the recent past, especially the terrorist attacks in Mumbai and the communal tension in Bihar. The theme for the programme was, ‘Peace to the World’. Santa Claus in his message to the kids and the parents spoke about the great need of spreading peace in our country. The celebration concluded with Santa wising all a merry and peaceful Christmas!


Cleophas Braganza sdb MUMBAI, DECEMBER 22, 2008: With Christmas almost here, we are now in the wonderful ‘season of gifts’. Over the weekend, the Mumbai Province was blessed with a very special gift of three new priests. On Saturday, December 20 evening, Deacons Clifford Morais and Christopher George were ordained at the Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, Matunga, Mumbai by Bishop Bosco Penha. During his homily, the Bishop reminded the faithful to be grateful to God for the gift of priests who are dedicated to the service of the people of God. Despite their limitations and weaknesses, they continue to be instruments of God's mercy, love and care. He invited the newly ordained and other priests present to give themselves wholly to Jesus who alone can sustain and fructify the priestly ministry. The following morning, Sunday, December 21, Deacon Ajit Munis was ordained at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Uttan Pali, by Bishop Thomas Dabre. Bishop Dabre, making a play on words, said that while Fr. Bona (latin for good) was the parish priest, and the church was still being renovated, the Lord had generously given a "boni" (inaugural sale) to the parish. He reminded those present of the total self-giving and sacrifice required of an ordained minister of the Church. Despite the prevailing climate of vilification and violence against the Church and her leaders in India, Ajit had been generous enough to say "yes" to the call of the Lord. On both the days a large number of people, including Salesians, family members, relatives, friends and well wishers were present for the ordination. The Province now awaits the ordination of Deacon Mayank Parmar, who will be ordained on December 27, in Anand, Gujarat at the hands of Bishop Thomas Macwan.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Osborn Furtado sdb PUNE, DECEMBER 20, 2008: Christmas is that special time of the year for giving and sharing. With this in mind, Don Bosco Youth Centre in collaboration with the AUM Foundation organized a wonderful Christmas Tree programme for the children from the slums in the vicinity. These children frequent the English classes conducted by DBYC. About 80 kids were present for this celebration, all smartly dressed in their best clothes. The programme began with a prayer, followed by a ‘Christmas Message’ given by Fr. Wilfred D’Souza. The party then got going and the children had a grand time. With games, music and fun flowing abundantly, the Christmas cheer was clearly visible. “This is the best Christmas programme I have ever attended”, remarked 12 year old Sujata. All the children received gifts, while those children who were regular for the classes were also given special prizes. Ms. Aaban Aderrianwala, Director of AUM Foundation, along with the DBYC Brothers and Youth Volunteers planned and conducted the entire programme. Congrats to them for spreading the good tidings of Christmas to these little kids. With such a great beginning, it definitely is going to be a merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Lawrence D’Souza sdb JAITALA, DECEMBER 20, 2008: St. Joseph Vidyalaya, Jaitala, held its Sports Day on December 17, 2008. The function commenced at 1.00 pm with the arrival of the Chief Guest, Mr. Raut, District Education Officer, Nagpur. After the Chief Guest had taken his place on the dais, there was the March Past which was immediately followed by the welcome song. Next, there was a series of excellent displays – the tiny-tots performed a well coordinated drill, the boys put up an amazing pyramid show, and the girls enthralled the audience with their fascinating lezium performance. The Principal Fr. James Nigrel then read out the Annual Report, in which he highlighted the various achievement of the school during the past academic year. He expressed his great appreciation towards the Staff for their dedication and commitment. The Chief Guest then addressed the gathering. He encouraged the staff and students to keep striving for excellence, both, in academics as well as in sport. With the inaugural formalities over, the field and track events got underway. As the athletes vied with one another to win medals, their housemates cheered them enthusiastically from the sidelines. The climax of the afternoon was the ‘musical chairs’ held for the parents. The Sports Day came to a close with the distribution of prizes to the winners.


Michael Fernandes sdb ROME, DECEMBER 20, 2008: The course for the new provincials began on December 7 evening with the solemn vespers of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. We are 11 provincials attending the course and two of us are from India – Fr. Thomas Ellicherail and me. On the very first day, the Vicar General told us that it is not a ‘course’, strictly speaking, but an experience of living and interacting with the General Council. And that is what it has been all these days. We pray with the General Council, are animated by them, interact with them and share meals with them in their refectory. Each day one of us provincials is assigned to animate the liturgy while one of the Council members presides over the mass and breaks the Word for us. Every evening different provincials are given time to make a presentation on their provinces. We are also given an opportunity to have a personal meeting with the General Council members in the evenings. During the day each council member who is in charge of a Department is given time to share with us how his Department functions. They normally get their team with them and each member shares what sector he is handling in the Department. They also share their six year plan and what is expected of the provincials by way of animation. For two days they called in experts from the managerial field to give us some inputs on management of resources. This is also due to the fact that the General Council is in session and so they get some time to have their meetings. During this session the Council has already appointed two new provincials – New Delhi and Bangalore – and three more are awaited, two for the US and one for Japan.
The 'Goodnights' are given by the Regional Superiors who have just returned from their first visit to the regions. Naturally, they present some statistics about how many provinces they are in-charge of, the various types of works, the number of confreres, the novices, average age of the confreres and the departures. It is encouraging to note that the South Asian Region is the most promising. The Regionals also presented their six year plans for the regions with its priorities. On the 13th Saturday we had a day of recollection preached by the Rector Major. He spoke to us on the theme of ‘Person and Life’, focusing on the importance of spiritual life in the province. In the afternoon we got a chance to visit the chapel of Redemptioris Mater at the Vatican. It is a really beautiful chapel done in mosaic by a Jesuit who got it ready for the jubilee year 2000 and gifted it to Pope John Paul II in the 22nd year of his pontificate. It depicts the whole story of salvation on its walls and ceiling. The big event today is the birthday of the Rector Major. I will certainly convey to him the wishes of the entire Mumbai Province.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Mylin Noronha sdb NASHIK, DECEMBER 19, 2008: On December 17, the Salesian community of Nashik, the school staff and students, past pupils, parishioners and well wishers left no stone unturned in organizing a grand celebration to express their love and gratitude to Fr. Diego Nunes who on that day marked the Silver Jubilee of this priestly ordination. The day began with the community joining him in prayer, as he thanked God for his 25 years of wonderful priestly service. Later in the morning there was a felicitation programme organized by the school staff, students and past pupils. The highpoint of the day was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the evening which was well animated. The lively singing by the Brothers from Divyadaan, a beautiful prayer dance by the children from Satpur and a post communion hymn sung in voices by the Divyadaan Brothers added solemnity to the liturgy. While breaking the word of God, Fr. Robert Pen shed light on the qualities required to be a ‘good fisherman’ and how all these qualities are concretely seen in the person of Fr. Diego. After the mass, there was a formal felicitation programme which included dances, songs and skits. Fr. Matthew Coutinho, through his very creative ‘Power Point Address’, took the audience on a short tour of Fr. Diego’s priestly life, focusing on the his many qualities of heart and mind. The programme concluded with Fr. Diego thanking all for making his sacerdotal jubilee a memorable one. He expressed his special thanks to his family and friends who had made it a point to come all the way from Uttan and Pune to join him in the celebrations.


Lyra Pinto MUMBAI, DECEMBER 19, 2008: The fourth batch of the Bosco PLUS skills training programme concluded at Don Bosco Matunga on December 15, 2008, with 30 youth successfully completing the course. From those who had completed their 11th standard to students who had dropped out during their undergraduate studies, these young people from the slums of Mumbai were eager to learn the skills that will enable them to secure decent employment. Over a period of six weeks from November 1 to December 15, the students acquired basic computer skills and learned to communicate confidently in English. Through a life skills curriculum that included sessions on time and conflict management, group work and problem solving, they began to understand how to cope with the demands of a work environment. Finally, through classroom training as well as mock interviews, they prepared themselves to face interviews with confidence. At present, most of these students have already been placed in jobs as telemarketers and retail salespersons. A valedictory function to formally mark the end of the course was held on December 18. Fr. Edwin D’Souza, who presented the students with their certificates, encouraged them to make the most of what they have learned and to build their careers one step at a time. In return, the students expressed their enthusiasm at beginning their new jobs and their determination to sharpen their skills at every opportunity.


Royal D'Souza KURLA, DECEMBER 18, 2008: It was yet another proud moment for the Don Bosco Institute of Technology (DBIT) as a group of 14 women from the bastis within the Kurla and Ghatkopar area successfully completed the Basic Computer Learning course conducted by this institute. All the women are members of different Self Help Groups under the government’s SJSRY scheme. This course began on November 5, and concluded with a valedictory function on December 17. This was the fourth batch of women to undergo computer training since the launching of this project by DBIT. A total of 72 women have now acquired computer skills over the past five months through this outreach programme. The Chief Guest for the valedictory function was Fr. Savio Silveira, from the Province Development Office. Also present for the occasion were Ms. Shubha Benurwar, Community Development Officer, Poverty Eradication Cell, BMC, and Dr. Joag, Principal of DBIT. Addressing the gathering, Dr. Joag congratulated the women for their achievement. He said that it was indeed courageous of them to enrol for this course. He assured the women that the computer skills they had acquired would definitely be of use to them as they move on in life. Speaking next, Ms. Shubha Benurwar thanked DBIT for initiating this project. Citing her own example, Ms. Benurwar said that she had joined a computer course after her daughter had embarrassed her by referring to her as “computer illiterate” in front of some guests. She further told the women that they could now use their computer knowledge to maintain their SHG records. Fr. Savio complimented DBIT for coming up with this innovative project. He said that it was refreshing to see a different type of skills training for the women rather than the regular stereotype programmes normally held for the SHG members. He too congratulated the women for successfully completing the course. After the speeches, certificates were distributed to all the participants. Tokens of appreciation were also given to the COPA students from the St. Joseph’s Technical Training Institute who had assisted in this training course. The function came to a close with Mr. Royal D'Souza, DBIT Outreach Programme Officer, proposing the vote of thanks.


Alex Loknathan VIRAR, DECEMBER 18, 2008: The Resurrection Youth Movement conducted an all night prayer vigil for the parishioners of Resurrection Parish, Virar and the adjoining parishes in Vasai, on December 13. The vigil began at 9.30 pm and concluded next morning at 5.30 am. The theme selected was the “Word of God in Our Lives, In Our Communities, And in Our Parishes.” The night vigil commenced with the screening of videos portraying the renowned Gospel singer Don Moen, which set the mood for the rest of the vigil. Fr. Blany Pinto, our Parish Priest thereafter broke the Word of God for us and exhorted us to give due importance to the scriptures in our daily lives. A graceful prayer-dance was performed by the youth to the melodious rhythm of a bhajan. The spiritual vibrancy of the vigil was maintained all through the night with lively action songs being performed by members of the RYM. Skits depicting the importance of the Word of God in our lives were enacted and were well received by the faithful. The ‘Vigil Lights in Praise’ group from Mumbai, with their scintillating foot-tapping music, further enhanced the spiritually ecstatic mood of the crowd. A multi-media presentation entitled “Act of love“helped us focus our collective attention on a better relationship with Jesus, the Word made flesh. An hour-long reflection consisting of quotations from Jesus, along with appropriately selected hymns, provided the perfect background for a meaningful open forum on the relevance of the Word of God in our lives. Heart-rending testimonies inspired us to come closer to Jesus, who gave himself to us in the Eucharist at 5.00 am. Sincere thanks are in order to the RYM for the weeks of hard work and dedication they put in to provide us with the perfect ambience for such a grace-filled night that we will always cherish.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Bento D’Souza sdb JYOTI, DECEMBER 18, 2008: The CRI Vasai Unit organized Advent Recollections for the three zones of Papdy, Nirmal and Nandakal. The Recollection for the Nirmal zone was held on December 9, from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, and was facilitated by Sr. Neelima fma. This Recollection, which was hosted at the Holy Cross Convent, Nanbhat, was attended by 22 religious. On December 14, Fr. Bento D’Souza animated the ‘Advent Participatory Recollection’ at St. Theresa’s Convent, Agassi, for the Nandakal zone. Several persons were involved in the preparation for this occasion – Sr. Valeria, Superior of the Queen of Apostles Convent saw to the hosting of the event, the Jyoti Animation Centre attended to the organizational aspects, and Fr. Blany Pinto personally ensured that the information about the Recollection reached every corner of the Deanery from Nandakal to Rajodi. A total of 30 religious took part in this Recollection which commenced at 4.00 pm and concluded at 7.00 pm. In the first part of the programme different persons shared their thoughts. The speakers included Sr. Anandi, Fr. Jegaraj, Sr. Deepti and Sr. Resi. This was followed by a well prepared Community Rite of Recollection animated by the St. Theresa’s Hospital community. The climax of the entire experience was a group activity based on Jurgen Moltman’s Theology of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. The group paintings that emerged from this activity will be exhibited at the annual CRI meeting. These pictures give a good indication of how religious view reality. The Papdy zone also had its Recollection on December 14. It was held at St. Augustine’s School, Barampur. Religious from Naigaon, Sandor, Giriz, Gokhiware, Manickpur and Ambadi Road attended this programme.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Rohini Patrao WADALA, DECEMBER 17, 2008: The St. Joseph's Under-16 handball team stormed into the Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) Handball finals with an all-win record, and beat Don Bosco Matunga 11-6, in an exciting game played on the MSSA ground at Azad Maidan, on Monday, December 15, 2008. During the high powered forty minute game Aman Haria scored 5 goals, followed by Vinam Nair who scored 3 goals. Besides them, Sibin Samuel scored 2 goals and the last goal was scored by Nikhil Kataria. Thus, the St. Joseph's Wadala team won a triumphant victory over Don Bosco Matunga! The Lifebuoy Trophy was proudly received by the captain Vinam Nair.


Diego Nunes sdb NASHIK, DECEMBER 17, 2008: The 'Don Bosco Inter School Mini Olympics 2008', held at Nashik, was indeed a spectacular event that won widespread acclaim. This mega sports event was flagged off at Horizon Academy by Advocate Nitin Thakre, Kumudini Bangera, Fr. Matthew Coutinho and Fr. Diego Nunes. It commenced with a ‘torch relay’ that passed through every participating school, before finally reaching Don Bosco. The Olympics were declared open by the Chief Guest Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial. In his address to the gathering, he emphasized the value of sports and games in one’s life. This was followed by an impressive march-past parade and an array of magnificent floats by the different participating schools. The theme song Udaan sung melodiously by the Salesian Brothers received a thunderous applause from the audience. The much awaited athletic events then took off. Among the girls, an athlete from Silver Oak, Mansi Kothawade, bagged the maximum prizes. Don Bosco was awarded ‘The Best March Past’ award and also declared the winner of the Inter School Olympics. Silver Oak won ‘The Best Float’ award while many sportspersons from Horizon Academy, St. Francis, Sacred Heart and Kilbil School won prizes for their exceptional performance in various track events. A breathtaking Closing Ceremony marked the grand finale to this memorable event.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Judy Pereira JYOTI, DECEMBER 16, 2008: There have recently been situations in and around the Vasai region of sorrow and pain for a few families. Some have lost their only child, whereas others experience pain and rejection within the family. In such a 'hopeless situation', the Sodality of Mother Theresa at Jyoti organized a workshop on December 13, for women and men who find it difficult to cope with their painful situations. The speakers, Mr. and Mrs. Rajan and Sylvia D’Silva of Remedy Parish had lost their only son Russell D’Silva aged 18 years in 2006. They could not accept this loss and questioned God and his ways. But ultimately they found hope and encouragement when they prayed the Scriptures daily. Today they have become beacons of hope, encouraging parents and families not to forget their creator and sustainer. Their moving testimony about their trying moments made a strong impact on who were present for the workshop. Fr. Gregory D’Cunha proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of the sodality and appreciated the way they have become messengers of hope to the hopeless.


Ketan Gala MUMBAI, DECEMBER 15, 2008: The 9th Asia-Australia Congress of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco was held at Fontana Leisure Park, Clark Field, Pampanga, Philippines from December 3 to 7, 2008. Fr. Jeronimo Monteiro, the World Delegate of the Past Pupils, Fr. Eli Cruz, Provincial of the Philippines North Province, Mr. Francesco Muceo, World Confederal President and over 180 delegates from different countries of Asia and Australia graced the occasion. A large delegation from India participated in this international event; the biggest contingent was from the Province of Mumbai headed by Fr. Elias Diaz the Provincial Delegate. The Congress began with the opening ceremony and welcome speeches by various dignitaries. In his keynote address titled “The Salesian Family Spirit – Our call to Holiness”, Fr. Francis Gustillo stressed on the identity, mission and formation of the Past Pupils. In the evening, the Salesian Community of Don Bosco Academy of Pampanga entertained the delegates with traditional Filipino music, dance and food. During the Congress, the Governor of Pampanga Mr. Ed Panlilio spoke on how to bring about social transformation. Mr. Antonio Bernardo, former Commissioner of Customs, urged the Past Pupils to fight against the ills of the times. Mr. Raul Sarceda narrated his experiences of working in the field of the family ministry. Philippines Central Bank Governorm Armando Tetangcom explained the current economical situation in the world and its impact on business. Fr. Martin Macasaet gave an idea of the youth situation and the response the alumni should give to combat it. The delegates were given the opportunity to interact with each other during workshops and question hour. They took time off from their busy schedule to visit the numerous historic places in Pampanga. The trip was a treat for everyone as they experienced the rich cultural and historical significance of each site they visited The Congress drew up a common statement which says: “Each member of the Salesian Family by the virtue of their association with Don Bosco recognizes and accepts the call to Holiness. Each alumnus responds to this call by giving primacy to God in their personal, family and professional life and by choosing and leading a life of honesty and integrity in the spirit of Don Bosco. This impels them to be role models in their families, a leaven in society and a living Don Bosco among the young and marginalized.” The farewell dinner was hosted at Lakeshore Club House. The alumni sang and danced and bid goodbye to one another… “till we meet again in Korea”.


Lyra Pinto MUMBAI, DECEMBER 13, 2008: Don Bosco Development Society inaugurated its new Community Centre at Prakash Nagar, Mahim, with a colourful programme in which community members participated enthusiastically. The day began with women from the Self Help Groups welcoming the Chief Guest—the Child Development Programme Officer of the area, Ms. Chanda Jadhav. This was followed by the lighting of the lamp by various members of the community, the chief guest and the DBDS staff, representing the people, the State and the NGO workers who are partners in this initiative. After the centre was inaugurated by Ms. Jadhav, the members of the neighbourhood committee shared their experiences of struggling to develop their basti and their expectations of the organization. Ms. Jadhav too, noted how much change the residents had succeeded in bringing about in a short span of time. Through an interactive question-answer session with the community members, she explained the importance of treating women and girls as equals in the house and community. She also mentioned the various State schemes for women and children, and encouraged the staff to work with government bodies for the development of the area. After this, Fr. Anaclete D’Mello, the Director of DBDS, released the t-shirts that had been specially designed for the children attending study classes at the centre. The neighbourhood committee then organized lunch for all the participants. The events for the afternoon began with a drawing competition in which about 80 children participated, with several adults trying their hand at art as well! The programme continued with a haldi kumkum ceremony for the women and games for all those present. Finally, after the prizes were distributed, the participants dispersed, convinced that their new community centre is another step forward in their efforts to improve their neighbourhod.


Samir Macwan BARODA, DECEMBER 13, 2008: The 4th Inter School Science Exhibition was organized by Don Bosco High School, Baroda, on Thursday, December 11, 2008. The exhibition was inaugurated at 8.00 am by Fr. Nelson Carvalho, Rector of the institution. 54 students from 10 school participated in this event. A variety of models related to environment, waste water management, alternative energy sources, pollution control etc were displayed. The exhibition provided a good opportunity to the students, both, to showcase their scientific knowledge and also to gain new insights into different issues of contemporary interest. Don Bosco High School won the first prize and they were followed by New Era Senior Secondary School. As a run-up to the inter school event, an Inter House Science Exhibition was earlier held on Saturday, December 6, 2008. 118 students from Classes V to XII participated in the exhibition. All the school students had the opportunity to go around the exhibition and take a look at the models on display. The interest of the students was clearly visible from the many questions they asked the exhibitors. The exhibition concluded with the announcement of the winners. Akshar Mistry and Gamadia Snell of Std. IX were awarded the first prize for their Water Purification project.


Evangelo D’Souza sdb NASHIK, DECEMBER 13, 2008: On December 7, the parishioners and the members of various religious communities gathered at Don Bosco Parish, Nasik to venerate Our Lady on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. The community of Divyadaan hosted this solemn occasion. The superiors of the different communities lit the lamp acknowledging God’s presence and thanked Our Lady for the marvels she has worked in each one’s life. Fr. Savio D’Souza, the Rector of Divyadaan, welcomed the ‘devotees of Our Lady’, inviting each one to be grateful to her for her guiding presence in their lives. The Divyadaan Band set the tone for the Academy by filling the place with its harmonious music. To express their love to their ‘loving Mother’ the Nirmala home enacted a story conveying Mary’s love for her beloved children. The novices of SHTC expressed their devotion to Our Lady through dance while the choral pieces by the Salesian novices and brothers expressed their sentiments of love and gratitude. Fr. Matthew Coutinho, the parish priest, finally thanked all for their presence and especially those who had come forward to express their love to our Mother.


Samir Macwan BARODA, DECEMBER 11, 2008: Don Bosco High School, Baroda celebrated its ‘30th Annual Athletics Meet’ on Saturday, November 29, 2008. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Mr. Ganpatsinh Solanki, the Director of Baroda Dairy and a member of the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Gandhinagar. The Meet began at 1.00 pm on the school grounds with a ‘Motorbike Parade’ followed by the March Past. The rest of the afternoon then witnessed a series of thrilling sports events. As the young sportsmen and women vied with one another on the filed, the audience enthusiastically encouraged then, clapping and cheering loudly. This exciting Athletics Meet finally came to a close with the prize distribution ceremony. Congrats to the staff and the students for this grand display of sporting talent here at Don Bosco, Baroda.


Lane D’Silva JYOTI, DECMBER 11, 2008: The cold in the air on December 9, 2008 did not deter the 17 youngsters from Jyoti to reach their destination – Dominic Savio’s Andheri – with their leaders Fr. Gregory D’Cunha and Fr. Richard D’Silva. The host Salesian community of Andheri went all out to ensure that these youngsters felt totally at home in the ‘Bosco family’. Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Rector, welcomed the group and gave them an insight into the life and mission of St. John Bosco. The boys paid rapt attention to this informative and inspiring talk by Fr. Ajoy. After this, two short documentary films on the life of Dominic Savio were screened. Next, Bro Leon Cruz organized a football match between the Dominic Savio boarders and the visiting group. Fr. Blaise Fernandes then made sure that everyone was well refreshed with a generous serving of snacks. The climax of the day was Fr. Ajoy and the band performing for the visitors. It certainly was a memorable day filled with plenty of exciting events and experiences!


Ashwin Macwan sdb PUNE, DECEMBER 10, 2008: On December 7, the eve of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, an ‘Evening with Mary’ was organized for the youth by the Salesians of Don Bosco Youth Centre. About 60 youngsters from different parishes, such as Todiwala, Yerwada, City Church, Ghorpuri and Koregaon Park participated in this event. The evening began with Fr. Vincent Rasquinha, Rector, welcoming the youngsters to the programme. There were different games in which everyone participated enthusiastically. The programme ended with the prize distribution ceremony, after which Cl. Jason Coelho thanked the organizers and the participants for the beautiful Marian experience they had enjoyed. On December 8, the day Don Bosco began his work for young people, DBYC Pune under the leadership of Cl. Santa Raymand and our social worker Santosh, launched two clubs for the children of the neighbouring bastis. The inaugural programme began with the lighting of the lamp by Fr. Vincent Rasquinha and the Presidents of the clubs. Addressing the children, Fr. Vincent encouraged them to be active members of these clubs so as to draw maximum benefit for their overall development. The rules of the clubs were then explained to the children. Cl. Briston Britto led them into an action song and then spoke about the importance of study in their lives. Fr. Wilfred D’Souza, in his speech, applauded this new initiative. The programme came to a close with the President of one of the clubs proposing the vote of thanks.


Rev. Fr. Pascual Chávez – Acts 400 “Human rights are rights that apply to every person as a human being; they don’t depend on race, on religion, on language, on geographical origin, on age or sex. They are rights that are fundamental, universal, inviolable and indispensable. They are not carved in stone but are in continuous evolution. The civil and political rights that go back to the time of the French Revolution (1789), arise from the demand for a series of fundamental liberties from which large sections of the population had been excluded: the right to life, to physical respect, to freedom of thought, of expression, of association, of political participation. Economic, social and cultural rights were sanctioned by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948: the right to instruction, to work, to a home, to health, etc. Then there are the rights of people to self-determination, to peace, to development, to ecological stability, to control of national resources, to protection of the environment. Finally there are the rights linked to respect for man, in relation to the fields of genetic manipulation, of bioethics and the new communication technologies.
We have to realise that full respect for human rights is first of all our responsibility. Unfortunately violations of human rights are the order of the day and it is clear that the existing means for prevention are not sufficient to eliminate them. In this situation too we need to work for respect for human dignity. Human rights are a means for human development; education to human rights is instrumental in bringing about human development both personal and collective and therefore to achieving a world that is more equitable, more just and more healthy. Each one of us, whoever we may be, precisely because we are educators and are following the Christian anthropological view of life that inspired Don Bosco, must become a defender, a promoter and activist in the cause of human rights.” Human Rights Day this year takes on a special significance as it marks the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Jose Ani GUWAHATI, DECEMBER 8, 2008: December 6, 2008, will always remain a red letter day for the Salesian Province of Guwahati, and indeed for the whole of Salesian India, when the inauguration of the Don Bosco University was solemnized in a glittering function at Don Bosco School, Auditorium. The university was declared opened by Shri Tarun Gogoi, the Honourable Chief Minister of Assam. The function began with moments in prayer led by students of Don Bosco College of Engineering and Technology, followed by a presentation on the Coat of Arms of Don Bosco University, a prayer dance and the lighting of the lamp. In his Welcome Address, the Chancellor Designate Fr. Joe Almeida sdb, welcomed the dignitaries and guests to the function. The Vice Chancellor designate Fr. Stephen Mavely sdb gave a short account of the evolution of the dream of the university as it has unfolded. In her key note address, Prof K Sudha Rao, former Vice Chancellor, Karnataka State Open University, clarified the role of the University in the cultural context of Northeast India. Shri Tarun Gogoi exhorted all involved in the project to be filled with the spirit of Don Bosco and the mission of empowering youth with necessary skills and knowledge. The Archbishop of Guwahati, Rt. Rev. Thomas Menamparmbil sdb, released the DBU Brochure and presented it to the Chief Minister. Then followed a series of felicitations from the various dignitaries present for the occasion.
Don Bosco has a remarkable history of a century long commitment to excellence in education in India. The Salesians of Don Bosco run hundreds of Primary, Middle and High Schools all over the country. They have 27 colleges and over a hundred Technical Schools. They are recognized by the government as the single largest provider of technical education in India, second only to the government.


St. Joseph’s News Team WADALA, DECEMBER 8, 2008: A day filled with activity that would bring out the best sporting effort in Josephites, had finally arrived! The inaugural ceremony of the Sports Festival on December 5, began by welcoming the Chief Guest Fr. Joy Nedumparambil, who was accompanied by members of the Management, Staff and representatives of the Parents body. The programme then got underway with the March Past. Next, the various sports in which we Indians have achieved international acclaim were displayed through creative and colourful Floats. Fr. Joy expressed his happiness at being present at the Josephite Sports Festival and he encouraged the students to participate with full enthusiasm. Football, Handball, Basketball, Box cricket, Chess, Carrom, Table Tennis and Tug-Of-War were some of the day’s events. The highlight of the afternoon’s events was a hockey exhibition match between the student’s team and the staff and volunteers team. The staff and volunteers emerged victorious. The Closing Ceremony saw a number of interesting items. A combination of grace, rhythm, tempo and energy was displayed in the form of Lezim, the fun-filled exercise that is typical of our state. This was followed by a Yoga display on techniques to tone the body, mind and the soul. Students of the Fitness and Dance Class displayed what they had learnt during the year.The festival ended with a presentation on the Bhils of Gujarat which was performed by a group of students at the Science Exhibition of the ‘F’ North ward. The Championship Awards were presented to the outstanding sportsmen of St. Joseph’s, The U/12 Junior championship went to Master Jaiswal Nishok, the U/14 intermediate championship went to Shaikh Mustaq Ahmed and the A/14 Senior championship went to Master Ashirwadan Allwyn. This brought to mind the verse “And when the great scorer writes against your name, he writes not whether you won or lost, but how you played the game.”

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Ivan Rodrigues sdb


AHMEDNAGAR, DECEMBER 6, 2008: Keeping the torch of faith burning as it was shared with them by the St. Francis Xavier, the people of Deulgaon Ghat of St. John's Parish, Bhingar, celebrated their annual feast. The solemn concelebrated Eucharist in honour of St. Francis Xavier was presided over by Fr. Manuel Murzello. Speaking on the life of this great saint, Fr. Manuel instructed the people to imitate his deep life of faith and to build on solid rock the edifice to spread God's Kingdom on this earth. After mass the people felicitated Fr. Manuel and thanked him for his presence among them. Fr. Manuel was instrumental in building the chapel and a grotto in this village in 1997. This was followed by a fraternal meal for the people.


Vianny Carvalho


AHMEDNAGAR, DECEMBER 6, 2008: It was November 23, 2008, about 8:00 am and St. Anne's Parish could see some of her many devout parishioners preparing for the feast of Christ the King. It was a beautiful Sunday morning, but something even more beautiful lay ahead. As time rolled on peacefully, it slowly began. A distant sound of innocent laughter could be heard. It was just the beginning. Time went by and the sound of laughter and joyful voices swept the entire campus. And with every passing moment it seemed to double. It was the Nashik Diocese Altar Servers Fest and around 225 kids had gathered here to celebrate a day of prayer, games and masti!


At around 9:00 am the kids assembled in the church to begin the day with Holy Mass. The Mass was presided over by Fr. Peter D'Souza, Procurator of the Nashik Diocese. The kids prayed, sang and participated fully in this well animated Mass. The paid rapt attention to the homily, during which Fr. Peter spoke about loving and caring for one another.


After the Mass, an exciting day awaited the kids, thanks to the planning and pains taken by Fr. Anton D'Souza, Parish Priest, Bro. Rickson, Bro. Ashwin and the youth of the parish. They conducted a quiz on the Scriptures, screened a film on Don Bosco and organized lightning tournaments. The day ended with the distribution of prizes. The kids unanimously declared that they had never experienced a more memorable and fun filled day!


Crescens Lemos sdb


MATUNGA, DECEMBER 4, 2008: With the shadow of the recent terror attacks on the city of Mumbai still looming large over us, it was but natural that the celebration of the feast of St. Francis Xavier, patron of the Mumbai Province, was on a subdued note this year. The solemn festive Eucharist was celebrated in the crypt of the Shrine at 6.30 pm.  The principal celebrant was Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, and he was joined at the altar by the entire Provincial Council.  Some 80 Salesians from different parts of the province were present for the Eucharist.  Introducing the occasion, Fr. Michael pointed out that St. Francis Xavier travelled through many countries for a definite purpose.  In life we are all travellers, but does our journey have a clear purpose, asked the provincial. 


Delivering the homily, Fr. Ashley Miranda, Provincial Councillor, reminded those present that the celebration of the 'Province Day' was an occasion to express our thanks to the leaders of the province.  Besides thanking the Provincial, who completes his first year in office, Fr. Ashley had a special word of gratitude for Fr. Godfrey D'Souza who has served as Vice Provincial for the past six years, and Fr. Anaclete D'Mello who has been Provincial Economer for nine years.  Fr. Ashley also went on to enumerate our many collaborators – staff members, domestic helpers and benefactors – the unsung heroes who actually carry forward our work.


Raising the toast during the dinner, Br. Savio D'Mello, Provincial Councillor, said that the province had many reasons to feel proud.  He singled out our works for the street children in the cities, the various rural development projects that we are engaged in and the high quality education imparted by our institutions to underprivileged children.  Replying to the toast, Fr. Michael Fernandes said that if the province is doing well it is due to the enthusiasm and generosity of the confreres.  "Energy levels are very high is our province", he said "and confreres are willing to take up multiple tasks".  He concluded by saying that we cannot afford to rest on our laurels, rather, "we need to constantly renew and reinvent ourselves and our services or else we will stagnate and become irrelevant".


During the dinner there was the release of two books, "Salesian Masses" and "Masses for India", compiled by Fr. Ian Doulton, Editor Don Bosco's Madonna, and published by the Shrine Publications.  There was also the release of the DVD prepared by Bro. Crescens Lemos on the jubilee celebrations held last month.  


Loreen Fernandes


VIRAR, DECEMBER 3, 2008: Sunday, November 30, 2008, will always remain a major landmark in the spiritual lives of the 17 children of Resurrection Parish, who received the sacrament of Holy Communion on that day. Resplendent in shades of white, the children along with their parents solemnly walked down the aisle of our Church which was tastefully decorated for the occasion. A graceful prayer-dance was performed to welcome the children and the celebrants.


The words "He lives in Me", prominently displayed on a beautiful backdrop, reflected the spiritual sentiments of the children. Our parish priest, Fr. Blany Pinto was the main celebrant, and he was joined at the altar by Fr. Peter Saldahna from the Mangalore Diocese. Fr. Blany, in the homily, explained how Jesus gives of Himself completely to us, in the form of bread and wine. He exalted parents to live an exemplary Christian life for their children to emulate.


Symbolic offerings accompanied by a petition, were presented at the altar. Weeks of spiritual preparation and regular practices over the last week, ensured an orderly, meaningful and well organized Eucharistic celebration. Our prayers and sincere wishes for each of the children that they may grow up spiritually in the image and likeness of Jesus.


Papireddy Gade sdb


NASHIK, DECEMBER 3, 2008: The quaint town of Igatpuri played host to a Youth Programme that included personal development sessions, group building, spiritual development and games. There were around 40 youth who participated in this gathering. The programme was organized by the Salesians of Divyadaan in collaboration with the Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Parish, Igatpuri. The day began at 9:00 am with interactive ice-breakers, songs and self-introduction. This was followed by a session conducted by Fr. Robert Pen on Coping with Emotions. During this session, Fr. Robert dwelt upon the different emotions that we experience in everyday life and emphasized the importance of expressing our emotions in an appropriate manner that would lead to better relationships and growth. After the session, there was a well animated Eucharistic celebration. Here the youth offered their various intentions to the Lord in a very symbolic procession. The main celebrant was Fr. Matthew. After Lunch, there was a value education session conducted by the Divyadaan Brothers. The participants enjoyed the value auction, which saw different values being auctioned.  This was followed by a set of lively games on the open grounds. The day ended with the prize distribution ceremony, vote of thanks and a hot cup of tea.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Greg Almeida sdb


KAWANT, DECEMBER 2, 2008: After the successful launch of the two National Child Labour Programme (NCLP) centres at Kanalwa Village, the Baroda District NCLP Coordinator Ms. Janaki invited Don Bosco to initiate a third centre in the Kawnat taluka. After some swift and intense preparatory work, the new centre was inaugurated at Rordha Village on December 1, 2008. The inaugural ceremony was held at 11.00 am and Fr. Elson Barretto, Rector of Chhota Udepur, was the Chief Guest. Addressing the gathering he stressed the importance of education in the villages and the role of the parents in ensuring that all children are enrolled in school. He also called on the Sarpanch and other local leaders to promote education in the village.


A total of 65 currently 'out of school' children have been enrolled at this centre.  These children, who could technically be termed as 'child labourers', will receive special coaching, after which they will enter mainstream education. The aim of the NCLP is to wean away children from situations of exploitative labour and enrol them into the regular schooling system.


Present for the function were the village Sarpanch, Assistant Sarpanch, local leaders, Salesians from the other institutions in the region, and a large number of villagers. During the programme, the teachers were introduced to the children by Br. Ramesh Durairaj.  The programme came to a close with Fr. Greg Almeida, Rector of Kawant, thanking the people for their cooperation in getting this project started.


Clifford Lasrado sdb

PUNE, DECEMBER 1, 2008: The Salesians of Koregaon Park organized a two days Box Cricket fiesta, 'Don Bosco Cup – 2008', for the youngsters from the slums of Pune on November 29-30, 2008 at the Don Bosco Youth Center grounds. The tournament received an over-whelming response with a number of teams wanting to participate, but it had to be restricted to 21 teams only. Over the years the Salesians have organized several similar tournaments for underprivileged youngsters. Many of these youngsters have now started playing professional cricket and have been incorporated into a number of district clubs


During the inauguration ceremony, Bro Briston Britto, through his inspiring words about Don Bosco, encouraged the boys to participate whole-heartedly in the tournament. The boys put in their best and were cheered by an enthusiastic audience.


The finals were played between KMTA and DJ Brandy who batted first and posted a competitive total of 56 runs in 7 overs, despite a poor start.  The batsmen of KMTA were able to reach the target because of their fine batting performance. They put up a good show thanks to the wonderful performance of Anil Kamble who scored a whooping 35 runs in 20 balls.


The Chief Guest for the tournament, Mr.Rajendra Babu, Nagar Sevak of Koregaon Park, Pune Municipality gave away the prizes to the winning teams and to the outstanding players. Rajat Kamble of DJ Brandy was declared the best batsman of the tournament, Chandrasekhar from KMTA was adjudged the best fielder and Anil Kamble was chosen as best bowler. The Chief Guest urged the boys to develop a mentality of giving and not just receiving. He also encouraged boys to attend the evening classes that are regularly held at the premises of Don Bosco youth Center. He was all praise for all the wonderful work that DBYC does for the youngsters.


George Matthew sdb
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 1, 2008: The National Commission of the Don Bosco Tech India Network held its annual meeting at Don Bosco Provincial House, New Delhi on November 29-30. The National Core Team of the Network and Province Technical Commission Heads from all the ten Salesian Provinces of India participated in this two day meet. Fr. A M Jose, National Convenor, welcomed the participants to the meeting and then went on to speak about the highlights and progress the Network has made in this past year.  He was appreciative of the role played by the 123 partner institutions of DB Tech India and emphasized that this Network is now recognized as one of the biggest providers of Skills Training in the country.


Most of the first day was spent in evaluating and discussing the status of the national project that has been taken up by DB Tech India. This project focuses on facility upgradation, curricula standardization and capacity enhancement of training personnel. Each province presented a report on the progress of this project within their respective provinces. Other allied issues were also discussed. The second issue taken up was the planning of the proposed National Convention to be held at Delhi in early March. The day concluded with the members doing an assessment of the impact the Network has had on individual partner institutions.

On the morning of the second day, the entire Technical Commission of the Delhi Province joined the meeting. The Commission presented a detailed report on the working of all the Skills Training Centres in the Delhi Province.  In the afternoon, the finalization of the statutes of the Network was taken up for discussion.  The statutes will now be presented to the SPCSA for approval.