Saturday, April 25, 2015

BIS # 4429 Bible Quiz

by Mr. Ian Lemos

AHMEDNAGAR-MAHARASHTRA, 19TH APRIL, 2015: Fr. Rolvin D'Mello along with the Vincent De Paul Group of St. Anne's church Ahmednagar, organized a Bible quiz for the Catechism Students of the parish. Attractive prizes worth over Rs. 24,000/- generously sponsored by people were up for grabs.
The quiz began immediately after the second mass with a short prayer service. Fr. Thomas congratulated Fr. Rolvin and the SVP Group for such a mega venture. He also told the students in his message to learn and imbibe the values of the Holy Bible. The students were segregated according to their age and standards into three categories. The quiz was based on the Bible and also a special round on the life and works of Don Bosco.
Later the students were divided into groups for role plays and other group activities. The whole competition was based on a point system and the prizes were given according to points earned by each student in the individual and group rounds. The first prize was a nice sport bicycle and other attractive prizes followed. Each student who took part in the quiz took back a prize.
The program ended with a small jam session followed by the prize distribution. Thanks to the efforts of the organizing team the children went back enriched and filled with knowledge from the Holy Bible.

Friday, April 24, 2015


by Dr. Susan Mathew

 NEW DELHI, APRIL 24, 2015:   The Don Bosco Research Centre organised a two day training programme for teachers on identification and prevention of substance abuse among school children on 15th & 16th April 2015. The programme was a collaborative venture with the NGO 'Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM)'. The participants were representatives from various schools providing  education to children who had dropped out of school and were associated with the programme called `Back to school'. About 40 teachers attended the programme.
Pre- workshop forms were distributed to teachers to assess their understanding about substance abuse. On the first day, Dr. Yatan Pal Singh, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, conducted a session on drugs, types of drugs, symptoms, effects and the role of teachers in the identification and prevention of substance abuse. He urged the teachers to make  children aware of the ill-effects of substance abuse and help them say 'no' to drugs.
Dr. Mridula Seth, Director of `Padhai Ka Maza'  project of SPYM and a specialist in skill training, highlighted some of the important qualities like compassion and empathy. He stressed on the fact that teachers needed to possess these qualities in order to help students deal with emotions and identify stress factors that could lead to substance abuse. He also advised the teachers to refrain from labeling children for their bad behaviour, but instead to look beyond what met the eyes to boost their self- confidence.
The second day of the programme saw an activity filled session conducted by Ms. Kalyani, a consultant with SPYM on substance abuse and skill trai
ning. One of the activities (named maza-saza) was to identify  cause and consequences. Here the teachers had to pen down one cause and one consequence on a flip card and paste them on a board. At the end of the activity, the board was filled with causes and consequences of substance abuse. Mrs. Kalyani mentioned that it was important to focus on the consequences of substance abuse rather than the cause. She also engaged the participants in case study analysis of problem identification and solving. The model included five key factors such as P - Problem identification, O -Options, W -working through options, E- environmental factors and R- Resolution /solution. A game `passing the parcel' was interesting as well as educative, where the teachers had to imagine they were children and had to respond to the questions given to them. The message of the day was -`Say no, change talk, leave the place' were some of the strategies one has to adopt when caught in a situation relating to substances.
During the concluding session was a recap of the two days by Dr. Rajesh Kumar, the Executive Director of SPYM. Each participant had to illustrate what they had learnt about identification and prevention aspects from the training sessions. Mr. Jung Bahadur Sing, Director of Sarva Siksha Abhayan, Delhi urged the teachers to practice the lessons they had learnt, to prevent substance abuse among  the young ones under their care. Post- training evaluation forms were filled up by the teachers. The programme ended with a vote of thanks and distribution of certificates to the teachers.

Friday, April 17, 2015


by BIS Correspondent

PUNE-DHANKAWADI, APRIL 17, 2015:  The Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi organized the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Main 2015) on 4th April 2015.  Candidates opting for degree courses for Engineering, Architecture and Planning were required to undertake this test.
Fr. Anthony Fonseca, Principal of Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul was invited to be an Observer for this exam. The Observer has to make sure that all rules with regard to the conduct of this examination are observed by the School.
He was allotted Bharati Vidyapeeth English Medium High School and Senior Secondary School, Dhankawadi, Pune.  A total of 496 students appeared for this exam from this centre alone. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015


by Dominique George Kamau

SAVEDI-AHMEDNAGAR, APRIL 16, 2015: "Are you a missionary or a mission-land?" This short but thought-provoking question was put to the participants at the outset of Mission Camp 2015. We were 15 young campers, including three priests: Frs. Glenn, McEnroe and Cleo, who went on a mission to Ahmednagar from 9 to 12 April. We were welcomed by Br. Ramesh sdb, the director of Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra (BGVK), a Salesian rural development centre that has been instrumental in transforming the situation and lives of many villagers in the districts of Ahmednagar and Beed.
Pope Francis has been challenging the Church to move to the peripheries. Going from Mumbai to Ahmednagar, we faced the challenge of leaving our comfortable homes and experiencing life on the margins. We were inspired by the work done at BGVK, which reaches out to villages where there is scarce rain, vegetation and cultivation. Through the works promoted, notably the watershed development project, its staff patiently educate the people to be part of the solution, take charge of their destiny and thus change the course of their history and leave behind a sustainable environment for their children and hope for the future.
Being a missionary means loving the people in the mission and sharing their life. The campers had a glimpse of that when they spent a night with the people in the village. These people are not well off financially, but they are indeed generous and welcoming. The tenacity, joy and generosity of the people are indeed a witness that God is alive.
We visited two remarkable villages in the area. Ralegan Siddhi is home to Kisan Baburao "Anna" Hazare, who as Sarpanch faced a situation of acute poverty, deprivation, a fragile ecosystem, neglect and hopelessness. By propagating a ban on alcohol, implementing a grain bank, the watershed development programme, education for both boys and girls, removal of untouchability and strengthening the scope of the Gram Sabha, he brought peace, hope and prosperity to his village.  Hivre Bazar too was changed when Popatrao Pawar was elected as the village Sarpanch. Holder of a Master's Degree in Commerce and a former competitive sportsperson, he motivated the villagers to put their differences aside to proactively reorganize themselves, undertaking various projects like watershed water conservation, afforestation, putting an end to socially harmful habits and the adoption of an Ideal Village Scheme. We were awestruck by the tremendous transformation that these personalities brought about by harnessing the power of collaboration and good will.
Visiting historic monuments like the Chand Bibi Mahal, Ellora Caves and Daulatabad Fort took me and my fellow campers back into the glorious past. Climbing up the stairs of Chand Bibi Mahal near Ahmednagar and watching the city from a height was exhilarating.  At the Ellora caves, walking along the corridors of the temples and the halls hewn out of rock more than 1300 years ago made me wonder how the Buddhist monks might have lived their lives back then. As we climbed the ramparts of Daulatabad fort, I kept imagining how the Maharaja might have lived so many years ago in the same place where I now was. He must have seen the beautiful world before him, his kingdom below, in the valley and maybe during some exciting days, he would have commanded his armies to drive his enemies away from his fortress.  At the Cavalry Tank Museum in the Ahmednagar Cantonment, we saw an amazing collection of military tanks on display. The sight of the tanks and the pictures of the soldiers who fought in them filled one with a sombre mood and respectful memories. I mused on the fact that while India today enjoys the peace that these men fought and gave their life for, the best possible homage to them would be to have all Indians working actively to maintain and promote the hard-fought freedom.
Great men and women are not born. They are made by the choices they make, the perseverance by which they live those choices and the hearts they touch as their world view is transformed by the love and presence of God. This thought came to me as we visited Pumpkin House, a home for children in difficult circumstances. Stella Manuel and her family who opened their hearts and house to more than 100 children in need made us realise that even today there are saints in the world. She has allowed God to embrace those lovely children with her arms and to enlighten their days with her smile.
Chicago's Cardinal Francis George once told the donors in his diocese that the poor need them to pull them out of poverty and they need the poor to save them from hell. Jesus still suffers in the young who are poor and abandoned, in families that suffer and in people who have been neglected by society. Becoming a missionary is touching Jesus in the least of His brothers and sisters and a sure way of entering God's kingdom. Thanks BGVK. Thanks Ahmednagar. Let's go mission!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

BIS # 4425 Preparing to Receive the Holy Spirit

by Lucia Almeida

North Arabian Vicariate, 15 April 2015:   On Saturday, the 11th of April, a special half-day retreat was organized for the 120 children preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The retreat was jointly conducted by Fr. Franco Pereira sdb, the Catechetical Director of the North Arabian Vicariate, and Francis Sam, who assists Fr. Franco Pereira in his catechetical ministry. 
After an opening prayer and a warm welcome from the Parish Priest Fr. Blany Pinto sdb, Fr. Franco began the retreat with a session on Prayer. He introduced the topic of prayer by explaining the importance of spiritual formation so as to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us. He then addressed the question "How to pray?" The children learned that prayer should not be selfish and only focused on "asking", but rather comprise of three basic elements – PRAISE, PETITION and finally THANKSGIVING.
He went on to explain the meaning of FAITH – Our faith is our God and what we profess i.e. Trinity. Faith is a combination of Scriptures + Tradition + Magisterium.  He then spoke about the importance of the 3 R's of faith – Revelation (what I see), Revolution (wanting to do something after seeing) and Resolution (action taken to do something).
In conclusion, Fr. Franco introduced the children to a beautiful way of reading the scriptures, i.e. the seven steps of gospel sharing. 
After a break, Sam Francis led the children into an interactive group game.
The children went on to learn the importance of a fruitful relationship with Jesus. With all they had learned that morning, the group went on to discuss richly the traits of a good catholic.
The retreat concluded with the celebration of the Holy Mass by Fr. Franco Pereira, followed by a vote of thanks by Hilda Alphonso.

Monday, April 13, 2015


by Fr. Brian Moras, sdb

SINDHUDURG – MAHARASHTRA, 13 April, 2015:  The Diocese of Sindhudurg is celebrating ten years of its inception. As part of its decennial year long celebrations, was the Sports Tournament played across the Diocese.  The tournament consisted of three games, Penalty Shoot, Box-Cricket competition for Men and Throw Ball Competition for Women. The grand finale of the 'Decennial Sports Tournament' was held at Don Bosco Oros on the  12th of April, 2015
The Diocese was divided into four Zones, namely the North Deanery, South Deanery, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri Deanery.  The first round of the Tournament was played within the respective deaneries following which two winners of each deanery in their respective game competed at the Grand Finale.  The winners of the games in the grand finale were as follows: Box Cricket- Our Lady of Rosary Church, Malvan, Throw-Ball and Penalty Shoot- Immaculate Conception Church, Vengurla. 
The tournament enhanced the sports culture in the diocese as it also brought together the different parishes in healthy sporty competition.  Fr. Joaquim Patrick the dean of the North Deanery was the Chief Guest .  He was appreciative of the spirit of camaraderie and the fact that the Fathers and Sisters worked together in referring the different games. Fr. Brian Moras, sdb, the coordinator of the Decennial Sports Tournament in turn thanked all those who helped out, especially the Community of Don Bosco Oros for their generosity and immense help in conducting the tournament.

BIS #4423 ‘Come and See’

by Br. Evangelo D'Souza, sdb

KAPADVANJ-GUJARAT , APRIL 13, 2015: The community of Kapadvanj organized a two day camp for boys of Katlal and Ahmedabad from the 6th to the 8th of April, 2015. The camp commenced by invoking God's blessing through a prayer song. Br. Anthony Patole helped the boys feel at home and get acquainted with one another.
Br. Evangelo helped the boys develop their personality by inviting each of them to come forward and present themselves and their team through a skit. The documentary, 'Prerna' based on the life of a physically challenged girl, was an inspiration to the boys. It showed how the girl who could not even lift her own body was able to draw, paint, take coaching classes and compose poems. She is an inspiration to all.
On 7th April, Br. Justus invited each participant to give their opinion on the documentary. Sunil, a boy from Ahmedabad commented, 'Though she had her own limitations, she was able to help people and make an impact on their life.' Br. Justus also invited each one to discern their own vocation - a vocation that will help them to find inner joy.
Br. Evangelo made the boys aware that they should give a thought about a career in their life. He asked each one to think seriously about their future. The boys then had a refreshing outing in the cool and clean waters of Galteshwar, a river 40 kms from Kapadvanj. In the evening the boys prepared skits on
the life of Jesus.
The camp ended with the celebration of the Eucharist. During the offertory the boys offered all the good things they had learnt during the camp. In the homily, Fr. Mayank invited each boy to be agents of good news.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


 by Sarika More
LONAVALA-MAHARASHTRA, APRIL 9, 2015: "Some people walk into our lives and leave behind footprints on our hearts and minds".
 On the 8th of April, 2015, the Management, staff and students joined to bid farewell to Fr. George Carlos the principal of Don Bosco, Lonavala, and Br. Clarence Martin.
They organized a party along with the PTA members, representatives and teaching and non-teaching staff of the institution.
 The programme began with a prayer service followed by an addressal to the Principal and a short entertainment programme.
The students then presented the two beloved teachers with bouquets, cards and gifts, the PTA members also expressed their gratitude to the Principal through a parting gift.
 In his address, Fr. George thanked everyone for their cooperation and expressed how he enjoyed his stay  at Lonavala. Bro. Clarence also expressed his gratitude to all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

BIS # 4421 YOUTH PASCH 2015

by Jacob Pullanthara

DAHANU-MAHARASHTRA, 8, APRIL 2015: What better way to begin The Easter Experience than attending the Youth Pasch organized by the Salesians of Don Bosco? Youth Pasch 2015, kicked off on the 1st of April with 21 youth from Mumbai and Pune along with Salesian brothers and priests at Auxilium Youth Animation Center, Dahanu. It started off with ice breakers which helped the youth to get acquainted with each other and their team members. The first session for the evening was the commitment conducted by Fr. Glenn Lowe where the youth were challenged with two questions:
                1.What do they expect from the camp?
                2.What are the changes they want to make in their daily lives?
The theme for Maundy Thursday was "Love as I have loved" which started with meditation conducted by Fr. Cleophas Braganza where the youth were asked to ponder on the act of the Washing of the Feet. They were also asked to wash the feet of their group members, which was a very humbling and different experience.
Through the course of the day there were sessions on Love and Relationships conducted by Fr. Edison Fernandes which elaborated on the various types of love and relationships. There was also an Exodus Experience which took the group through the complete experience of the Israelites fleeing from Egypt. The day ended with the Celebration of the Lords Supper, Maundy Thursday Service and Taize prayer at the Altar of Repose.
Good Friday started with meditation, conducted by Fr. Glenn based on the Theme "Forgive as I have forgiven". It was an experience of the parable of the prodigal son like never before. The day went on with a session by Fr. Edison on Suffering and Forgiveness, followed by the Labyrinth Experience - a journey to the centre of oneself. The labyrinth experience is based on inner healing, forgiving oneself and forgiving people around you while being in communion w
ith God. The evening ended with the Celebration of the Lord's Passion and enactment of the Stations of the Cross by the youth in relation to the problems they face in their daily lives. The day concluded with the sacrament of reconciliation and nailing sins to the cross, representing Jesus who sacrificed himself for our sins and a snippet from the movie Jesus of Nazareth.
Holy Saturday began with meditation at the feet of the Cross a very powerful experience where towards the end the youth were asked to pluck out their sins from the cross and burn them signifying that their sins have been forgiven by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. The theme for the day was "Live as I have lived". A session on Forgiveness: Source of New Life was conducted by Fr. Cleophas followed by the Empty Tomb Experience conducted by Fr. Glenn, helped the youth introspect. The evening sessions by Fr. Cleophas on Gazing on the Face of Christ, where the youth were asked to share their experiences relating to the pictures of Jesus which they chose from among a pool of pictures. The sessions concluded with Fr. Glenn asking the youth to ponder whether they have fulfilled their commitment made on the first day of the Pasch.
The Easter celebrations started with the Easter Vigil Service where the Paschal Candle was lit, Holy Water and Renewal of our Baptismal Vows. The Vigil was followed by the Via Lucis (The Way of Light).
The Youth Pasch was a holistic journey through the Paschal Mystery. The youth were enriched through the three days and it was a perfect journey along with Jesus through his Death and Resurrection. 

Monday, April 6, 2015


by  Prakash Waghle

WALVANDA-MAHARASHTRA, April 6, 2015: Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) inaugurated the construction of a check dam project in  Walvanda village. This project was implemented through collaboration of the village people and BSVS. The villagers identified the site and brought it to the notice of the organization. Br. Alex Gonsalves studied the possibilities of constructing a check dam in the site proposed by the BSVS team. Systematic community mobilization process was initiated to arrive at the consensus of the villagers for the implementation of the project by BSVS team. Fr. Anaclete guided and motivated the team to achieve the objectives.

Inauguration of the construction of the check dam was held on April 1, 2015. The Walvanda village Sarpanch, Mrs. Gulab Vijal conducted the puja. Fr. Anaclete inaugurated the construction. Village Police Patill Mr. Dandekar organized the function and the villagers from Sadakpada were present on the site. Eight Uniliver management trainees undergoing one month rural experience in Walvanda were also present at the site.


by Mr. Prakash Wagh

WALVANDA-MAHARASHTRA, April 6, 2015:  Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) organized one week rural experience programme for the first year theology students of Mumbai Province. It was organized as per the request of Vice Provincial Fr. Ajoy Fernandes Sdb. Five brothers attended the residential workshop from March 24 to 31, 2015 at Walvanda.

During the one week workshop, Mr. Prakash Wagh and  Mr. Melvin Pangya introduced the brothers to the BSVS approach for community development in this area. BSVS follows a rights based approach for community development in Jawhar and Mokhada blocks of Palghar district. Brothers were provided inputs on Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), Participatory Strategic Planning (PSP) and life skill modules. PRA was conducted in Kogda village by the participants and, PSP in Nandkal and Giriz Parishes and Raitala village.

Bro. Alex Gonsalves,  the Assistant Director of BSVS, spoke to the brothers about the integrated watershed approach for community development. Fr. Anaclete D'mello, the Director of BSVS, guided the brothers into a spiritual experience, through creating an atmosphere for meditation, spiritual discourses and dialogue during prayer moments. Fr. D'mello also interacted with the brothers after each module and kindled in them a curiosity to learn and clarify doubts about the topics. Brothers thought of the workshop as a unique experience regarding mission work and also got an idea of how to interact with the people from rural areas.