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.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
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
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
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
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.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.