Friday, May 31, 2013


BIS Mumbai                                  





By: Cl. Kiran


KAPADWANJ-GUJARAT, MAY 31, 013: A summer camp was organized in Kapadwanj, by V.S. Gandhi charitable trust in collaboration with Don Bosco and Kapadwanj Kelavni Mandal from April 21to May 26,  2013.


The chief organizers of the camp were Dr. Harish Kundaliya and Fr. Mayank Parmar together with a representative of Kapadvanj Kedavani mandal. There were eight staff from V.S. Gandhi charitable trust and two clerics namely Cl. Kiran and Cl. Sachin of the Don Bosco's and three Vocation Centre boys namely Chirag, Nelson and Vishal who helped out in the camp. There were around one hundred and ten children who participated in this summer camp.


The entire summer camp was completely conducted in Salesian manner which was held in Sharda Sunkul; one of the branches of V.S. Gandhi. The summer club was inaugurated on April 21, 2013 in the presence of many dignitaries. Fr. Alex was also present as the face of Don Bosco. Early in the morning during these thirty five days, children were given various coaching by efficient instructors in dance, music, karate, drawing, table tennis, badminton and self-defence for the girls.


After 10.30 am, children would assemble in "Sharda Sunkul" where various activities and games were conducted. Every day first fifteen minutes of the camp spoken English was taught using power point slide which was new venture this year for the summer camp. This idea was very much appreciated by the children as well as the parents.


These classes were conducted in such a way that it gave children an opportunity to overcome fear of speaking English and enabled them to speak few English words in public. The rest of the activities of the camp were also very much appreciated by the children as well as the parents. Some of the highlights of the camp were cooking competition, tracking to Don Bosco's farm house. The summer camp was concluded with a very solemn program in Kelavani Mandal hall. Many parents and well-wishers were present for this program.


After the program parents as well as the children expressed their gratitude towards the people who made this summer club a success. Many expressed that they would like to come for the next year's summer club. Some parents expressed that the spoken English time can be extended and children can be given more inputs on English speaking in public .


This year one of the things which were very subtly tried out under the guidance of Fr. Mayank was bringing the lower caste children together with the higher caste in the summer club. In some way we were successful to bring at least few children together and to help them to mingle with the others. We hope to achieve total integration in our forthcoming activities.






Thursday, May 30, 2013


BIS Mumbai                                  





By: Bro. Johnson Kshirsagar sdb


MATUNGA-MUMBAI, MAY 30, 2013: Lord I Offer My life to You... ...the days, months and the years that we have walked together joyfully on the Salesian Path to Sanctity finally reached one of its destinations 'the Perpetual Profession'. Six clerics Shaun D' Lima,  Ajay D' Monte, Johnson Kshirsagar, Vishal Lopes, Mylin Noronha and Ajay Shekel made their Perpetual Profession on Friday May 24 , 2013 at a Solemn Eucharistic Celebration in the Crypt of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga.


The Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Michel Fernandes, Provincial of the Mumbai Province. Members of the Provincial Council and a number of Salesian Priests concelebrated at the mass. In his homily, Fr. William Falcao, Rector of Don Bosco High School – Borivili, drew the attention to three important points: Fr. Pascual Chavez, the Rector Major, in his recent letter AGC 416 on 'Vocation and Formation: Gift and Task' stressed the fact that his main concern was not the falling numbers in Vocations but the fragility and formation of the young clerics. He drew attention to Pope Francis and his emphasis that the Church was not just a Social NGO, but one that is focused on the 'Call to Holiness'.  Finally, he invited the parents and members of the families of the newly perpetually professed Salesians, to accompany their sons at all time to help them be faithful in responding to God's loving invitation.


In the presence of two witnesses: Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial and Fr. Elson Baretto, Economer of the Province, they solemnly and publicly professed before Fr. Michael Fernandes, the Provincial. The perpetually professed Salesians received a lighted candle as a sign to be the light of the world. In the presence of their parents, relatives, benefactors, friends they also received a 'Salesian Cross'. They were warmly welcomed into the Salesian congregations, by Fr. Provincial and the two witnesses.


Bro. Mylin Noronha, on behalf of the newly perpetually professed, thanked everyone for their prayers, wishes and support. A special mention was made of all the Salesian Formators who journeyed with them all through their initial stages of formation. The youthful choir of Our Lady of Dolours Parish, Wadala West added a solemn touch with their well-prepared singing.


The Eucharist was followed by a felicitation of the six clerics in the Don Bosco Primary School Hall, Matunga. Fr. Provincial, in his concluding address, thanked the parents especially for the gift of their sons to the Salesian Congregation.


May Don Bosco continue to inspire many more youngsters to respond to God's loving Call.








BIS Mumbai                                  





By: Stanley D'souza


NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, MAY 30, 2013: Twenty fourth of May is a very significant day in the calendar of the Salesians for two important reasons – it is the feast of Mary Help of Christians and on this day most Salesians make their profession.


In our parish at St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church, on this day, seven aspirants Ursula Lobo, Jane Pereira, Seena Varghese, Melissa Furtado, Dean Landers, Effie David, and Edward D'souza made their promise as Salesian Cooperators after two years of formation.


The Salesian Cooperators are a group of lay men and women who dedicate themselves to the welfare of the youth, and who live guided by Don Bosco's Salesian Spirit. The Cooperators in our Parish organize various activities including children's adoration every First Saturday of the month; "Crossroads" an enrichment program for teenagers, covering topics like peer pressure, career guidance and Faith; "Bridging the Gap" an enrichment program for parents, covering topics like parenting, discipline, communication, career; Altar Boys Appreciation Programs and Vocation Tours and Camps. The Cooperators also assist in various church activities as required.


The first group of Salesian Cooperators in Kuwait made their vows on January 31, 2006. With each passing year, new aspirants are keen to join this inspiring and enthusiastic group. Today there are fifty Salesian Cooperators in the Kuwait Chapter and seventeen aspirants with the Rector of the Salesians as their Spiritual Director.


During the promise ceremony, Fr. Blany Pinto received their promise. The cooperators were then invited to the altar to sign the promise. After that, Fr. Franco Pereira, the main celebrant at the Eucharistic Celebration gave each of them a lit candle saying "Receive the Light of Christ and be a Light for all you meet on your Promised Path of Life." With these in hand, the candidates made a solemn promise to commit themselves to the Association of the Salesian Cooperators.


Fr. Franco then blessed them with holy water and handed them a medal of our lady, exhorting them to have a deep devotion to our Lady just like Don Bosco.


"This day will always be remembered and cherished in my life…where the church was full and we were blessed by six priests" said Seena Varghese, "I cannot express in words, the happiness and joy I have experienced by my commitment through this promise."








BIS Mumbai                                  





By: Fr. Joaquim Fernandes sdb


MATUNGA-MUMBAI, MAY 24, 2013: The book "Petals and Pebbles - In Human Parables by Fr. Elias Dias on the trifles for life was launched on May 24, 2013 the feast of Mary Help of Christians at Don Bosco Matunga in Mumbai.


The Rector of the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna Fr. Edwin D'Souza released the book Petals and Pebbles in Human Parables during the Feast day Mass at Don Bosco's Madonna's Shrine and congratulated Fr. Dias for the splendid compilations which would benefit educators and impart values for everyone.


"This book was edited in Rome by Fr. Christopher Valentino and proof-read in Mumbai while William Fernandes did the cover design in Mumbai, the book designing and page layout was done in New Jersey, USA by Rochelle Rodricks," said Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, director of Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Publications, giving insights into the book's production. Fr. Fernandes said the whole co-ordination and corrections were done using the new media applications Skype and the Gmail facility through video integration.


Fr. Dias commented on why he wrote this book and enumerated that "Moral values have eternal significance and are highlighted here with the help of popular anecdotes and amusing parables". Every story and parable has a moral behind it and carries loaded lessons for life to help deal with human foibles and weaknesses to which they point, he added.


Priced at Rupees two hundred, the book contains a series of "ruminations on moral values for moments of weaknesses in our daily lives, said author and veteran educator Salesian Fr. Elias Dias.


The sixty three parables contained in the three hundred sixty pages book is a veritable goldmine of resource material for everyone who is engaged in education and in imparting moral and religious values, he said.


The book is available at:
Don Bosco Communications,
Matunga, Mumbai 400019.
Tel.: 022 – 24150680/65007840








BIS Mumbai                                  





By: Amira Peter


NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, MAY 30, 2013: It was a glorious day indeed! As the 24 of May 2013 dawned, our Parish had three beautiful occasions to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, the silver jubilee of the first profession of Fr. Franco and the ceremony of seven parishioners who took promise to be part of the Salesian family as Cooperators.


Fr. Franco's Silver Jubilee festivities began with a meaningful Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by all the priests of our Parish with Fr. Franco as the main celebrant. The church was artistically decorated and packed with parishioners, family and friends who have been touched by Fr. Franco over the years both here in Kuwait and in India. There was a spirit of joy and happiness in the air as Fr. Franco led us in prayer.


In his homily, Fr. Franco shared his beautiful journey since he said Yes to God his Revelation, his Revolution and his Resolution. He reached out to parents advising them to foster an atmosphere at home that encourages priestly and religious life while appealing to the youth to be discerning of the voice of God. He praised those who have recently taken the first step in their priestly journey. He beautifully knit together the three events of the day highlighting the common thread saying, "Yes" to God. Mother Mary said, "Yes" to God as did he, when he joined the priesthood. The soon to be inducted Salesian Cooperators were also confirming their "Yes" to God by taking their vows.


The Eucharistic Celebration was followed by a Cultural Program organized by various groups in the Parish, perfectly compiled and coordinated by Rosario Fernandes and Ms. Arlette D'souza. It was amazing to see the parishioners, family and friends of Fr. Franco from across Kuwait turn out in large numbers once again to felicitate Fr. Franco. The function was also graced by the Apostolic Nuncio His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič, priests and religious from across the country.


The evening began with a recital and dance by the Children's choir, followed by a delightful dance performance by the children of the Salesian Cooperators. Fr. Blany then came on stage and expressed his deep appreciation to the person of Fr. Franco and thanked him for all the service he selflessly and efficiently renders to the school, parish and the vicariate.


Next was an audio-visual presentation on the life of Fr. Franco a tribute compiled by his family and friends. An emotional Fr. Franco smiled as he relived the old memories with nostalgia and listened to and read tributes from his parents, family, friends, former parishioners, oratory friends, Catechists and his confreres.


Even Bishop Camillo Ballin, the Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia had sent in his greetings. In the background played Fr. Franco's favorite song "You've got a friend" he has indeed been a true and loving friend to all those around, both young and old.


After cutting of the cake, all the various Ministries of the Parish presented him with artistically decorated (most were hand-made) greeting cards and spiritual bouquets. And then, Fr. Franco was surprised yet again, by a traditional dance performance to a Goan medley – music from his hometown.


It was a memorable evening indeed…the love and appreciation for Fr. Franco was palpable! We are all so thankful to the Lord for the beautiful gift of Fr. Franco to us. God bless him; grant him good health and the graces to continue his apostolate in our vicariate.


Ps 26:7 - "That I may proclaim with a voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all your wondrous works."







Monday, May 27, 2013


BIS Mumbai                                  





By: Dn. Shekar Mariadas sdb


BORIVLI-MUMBAI, MAY 27, 2013:  As the saying goes, all good things come to an end… so too, the Bosco Summer Club 2013 at St. John Bosco Parish Borivli comes to an end with its grand concluding ceremony on May 26, 2013. The concluding program began at 7.00pm with lighting of four candles which symbolized the four groups of the summer club 2013.


At the very outset of the program Fr. Aloysius our parish priest addressed the gathering and thanked the volunteers and deacon Shekar for organizing this summer club. He said the aim of this summer club is to get the children and the youth of the parish to get more familiar with one another and to get involved in the church activities along with fun.


We continued with few cultural program performed by the children and volunteers. The cultural program consisted of two group dances, two pair dances, one solo performance and one action song in Hindi. The culmination of the Summer Club was the musical piece put up by Fr. Anthony Fr. Aloysius and Fr. Carlos along with two youth.


During the ceremony we also awarded those children who participated in various contest, prizes for all four teams and even the juniors were awarded with certificate and prizes.


We had prepared a power point program for the parents and the gathering which gave them a glance of the summer club. The children enjoyed themselves making new friends and interacting with one another.


Indeed it was an enjoyable summer and wonderful opportunity working with youth of the parish as my volunteers. The message we gave through this summer club was "Having a Vision is not enough. It must be combined with determination, faith, hope and passion". And also "It is not enough just to be the stars but we must Shine Brighter Today with Christian values." 






Friday, May 24, 2013


BIS Mumbai                                  





By: Clement Mathera Sdb


TANAKHALA-GUJARAT, MAY 22, 2013: A summer club packed with English classes along with Basic Computer Course and loads of fun was organized at Don Bosco Tanakhala. There were one hundred and ten children of which majority were Adivasis who registered for the Club. About seventy-eighty of them were regular.


The children learnt English through serious classes taken in the morning and through the many enjoyable activities undertaken in the afternoons. We had thirty boarders both boys and girls staying with us. The day scholars came at 9:00 am in the morning and leave at 5pm. Special attention was given to both spoken and written English.


Fr. Rosario took extra effort to plan the whole Summer Club. He managed the show almost singlehandedly, looking after the food, timetable and lodging. Many people came to lend a helping hand. Volunteers - Aunty Grace, Priya, Mishel and Graina. Brothers Clement Mathera and Nelson Mudliar also came to help.


High spirited games were organized for the children. Dances and action songs enthused the children to take part actively. We had a grand program on the last day. Parents and friends were invited for the program. The children presented their talents through: Speeches in English, Action songs, dances and a skit presenting the situations showing the various problems and difficulties the people face in the villages-the manner in which the panchayat or the Gram Sabha is held when people present their problems before the leader or the Mukhiya.


We ended the program with the timli dance. Many people appreciated the effort put in for the summer club. People are expecting more activities of this sort in future.







BIS Mumbai                                  





By: Hilda Alphonso


NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, MAY 23, 2013: "Come Holy Spirit, Come" was the chant of one hundred thirty four candidates on May 17, 2013 at the St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church, North Arabian Vicariate who were sealed with the "gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit". The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajic, witnessed by the Parish Community.


In preparation for this auspicious day, a few programs were organized for these children and their parents under the guidance of the Parish Priest. Two special orientation sessions (in addition to regular catechism classes) were conducted for these children and their parents titled "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" and "How to live a Christian life."


As well, these children also participated in a half-day retreat conducted by Fr. Franco Pereira. "As we journeyed through the spiritual garden of the Retreat, we came to realize that we are now responsible for our faith and for making critical decisions in our lives" said one student.


And finally, Confessions were also arranged for all the children and their parents as they prepared themselves to receive the sacrament of confirmation.


On the day of their Confirmation, all the children were uniformly dressed and waited in great anticipation to receive the Holy Spirit. They were soon anointed with Chrism and with the laying of hands followed by the words "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit", they welcomed the Holy Spirit into their lives.


"Now that I have received the Holy Spirit, I feel more firmly bound to Jesus" said one excited child after the Confirmation ceremony. His father was quick to add, "It also means that you must now spread and defend your faith by both word and action." This conversation so aptly summed up the significance of this wonderful sacrament to all those around.


Special thanks go out to all the Catechists for their tireless efforts in preparing our children for this Sacrament. As well, we wish to thank all those who helped with the various arrangements to ensure the Ceremony proceeded efficiently and prayerfully.






Tuesday, May 21, 2013


BIS Mumbai                                  


By: Amira Peter

NORTHERN ARABIAN VICARIATE MAY 21, 2013: On Thursday May 16, 2013 the Cherubs Team of the Family Ministry of the North Arabian Vicariate organized its monthly program for couples married in 1989, 1990 and 1991. It was attended by thirty five couples and about fifty children.

The Program began with Mass at 6.30 pm celebrated by Fr. Blany Pinto. The liturgy was well prepared keeping the marriage theme in mind. The liturgical singing was animated by the melodious voices of the school children, ably led by Faust and Reema Nash. Through his homily, Fr. Blany explained that our family must be modeled on the Holy Trinity, since we are made in the image of God, who is Trinity. The homily was followed by renewal of marriage vows and a special blessing from Fr. Blany. Mass was followed by a brief presentation by Cherub Leela Mathias on the various Parish activities to increase awareness and offer couples an opportunity to participate more actively in the parish community.

Over light snacks, an enrichment session by Dr. Milania Jacob on "Coping with the Empty Nest" followed. ;Many of the couples in the audience have children who have left the nest (or due to leave) for further studies overseas. Dr. Milania shared her own joys and sorrows of this experience, encouraging couples to use this new phase of life to focus on themselves personally and on their marriage, all the things they have had to put ON HOLD all these years as children became their priority. She also shared some tips on maintaining strong and effective bonds with children overseas without turning into "helicopter parents" who keep hovering over their children, desperately trying to remote-control them. Being a trained and experienced physiotherapist, she finally taught the couples a few stretching and relaxation exercises.

This enriching session was followed by a lively fellowship of innovative games, spot prizes and plenty of dancing. The lively music provided by Cherub Shaun Rebello kept the couples on their feet while MC Russell did a stellar job of keeping them all engaged and excited.

All this while, in a separate area, a special program was underway for the children to enable the couples to spend undisturbed, quality time together. For the youth, psychologist Pearl Barboza highlighted the significance and measures for developing a positive "Self-esteem" through an interactive audio visual presentation. This was followed by a self-assessment questionnaire and a group discussion. For the younger ones there was an animated movie and arts & crafts. Later they all came together for Bible Bingo and group jigsaw puzzling.

Towards the end of the program the children reluctantly joined their parent's party as they were having a blast themselves! A lively, family game of "ribbons of love" had parents and children scrambling all over to find ribbons and tie them together for the winning, longest ribbon.

Vote of thanks delivered by two participants expressed strong appreciation for the Cherubs and the Parish for organizing such an enjoyable and >memorable evening. "I am so thrilled we decided to attend!" said Stella. "My husband and I very reluctantly came for mass and were expecting to play some housie and head home. But we were so surprised and thrilled by the entire program. We enjoyed every minute of the evening and felt like we were reliving our wedding day."

Nourished and enriched, the happy families returned back to their homes. Several couples also volunteered to be active members in the parish by registering for the various parish activities.   Feedback forms completed by the couples will help the Cherubs continuously improve the program over time.

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Jeremiah 29: 11