Monday, February 29, 2016


by Karen Laurie


MUMBAI, FEB 29, 2016: The Don Bosco Institute of Management and Research (DBIMR) unveiled plans to set up a 'NGO clinic' to provide NGOs with short-term consultancy, to help conduct workshops and to act as a platform for networking among the relevant NGOs in Mumbai.


The clinic, slated to start on April 22, will be the endeavour of DBIMR to ultimately be a centre to empower NGOs in all the relevant areas. It will be based at the Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL) campus in Kurla. The faculty of DBIMR will run the clinic and Dr S P Das will be the head. Assistance of other experts will be sought on need basis.


48 NGO representatives, who attended a special seminar entitled 'Empowering NGOs for the Future' by DBIMR on February 15, welcomed news of the new initiative. DBMIR conceptualised the idea to empower NGOs, given that the Government of India, in 2013, enacted a law whereby qualifying companies must spend at least 2% of their net average profits of the last three years on initiatives in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).


In this context, corporates are regularly in search of credible implementing agencies like NGOs to commit their funds for CSR projects. Therefore, it allows the NGOs to become adept and skilful in meeting the expectations of the government and corporates.


"DBCL has emphasised outreach activity since its inception and therefore has a strong networking with NGOs wherein students are actively involved by means of Social Internship and other social developmental activities. Being a management institute, we need to engage with the NGOs in empowering them with professional skills," Das said.


In society today, traditional business paradigms are being challenged. Therefore, corporates with a triple bottom line, who look to the welfare of 'People, the Planet and Profits' will be preferred by society as places of investment. As this trend grows further, these companies will look for professional implementing agencies.


"The first workshop which is planned on April 22 will be free of charge. Based on the response at the workshop - with respect to what range of fees the NGOs would be willing to bear for the range of consulting services - the fees for the consultancy will be decided," Das said.


The three panel discussions held at the seminar recently, underlined the need for NGOs to manage their finances well and to put in place quality management systems.  Discussions, at the seminar, focused on finance management of NGOs, CSR funding opportunities and quality management systems and procedures of NGOs.


Nikhil Pant – the Chief Programme Executive, National Foundation for CSR, IICA (Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs) affiliated to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs – was the Chief Guest for the seminar. He provided his insights during the panel discussions.


The need for businesses to be inclusive was stressed upon and corporates were encouraged to take into account economic, social and environmental impact of their businesses. The need for corporates, NGOs, government and civil society to take responsibility for the development of the nation was also highlighted.


In course of the discussions, it emerged that a majority of NGOs, while doing commendable work, needed to realise that the rules of the game had changed, and their documentation needed to be in line with basic mandatory requirements.


It was highlighted that a trust deficit existed between the corporates and NGOs and for that to be addressed, NGOs needed to demonstrate consistent capability and transparency so that their funds are utilised appropriately.


It was also stated that education institutions were expected to play an important role in facilitating the collaboration between government, NGOs and corporates. Students could be involved in research, documentation, case studies and projects.  


New, lesser-established NGOs – still grappling with questions about CSR funding opportunities, quality management and financial planning – can, with DBIMR's 'NGO clinic', get the required assistance to write their success story in their field of interest.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


by Karen Laurie 


MUMBAI, FEB 26, 2016: The major commissions of the Salesians in India like Don Bosco Action India –the national network for social development; Don Bosco Tech – that focuses on skilling India, Forum of Young at Risk, Higher Education Institutes and others met at the Provincial House in Mumbai on February 26, for their fifth annual meeting. 


Those present at the event were the Regional Councillor for South Asia, Father Mariam Arokiam Kanaga, four provincials- Father Godfrey D'Souza from Mumbai, Father  Thomas Vattathara from Guwahati, Father Jose Matthew Koorappallil from Delhi, Father Albert Johnson from Tiruchy- and delegates of the 13 major networks.


The day began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Father D'Souza. Later, he welcomed all the participants to the province of Mumbai and threw light on the works they undertake. 

Based on a common format, each commission then made presentations addressing their strengths, challenges, expectations and possible contributions to other departments towards achieving the common goal of coming together under one umbrella of brand 'Don Bosco India.' 


Each delegate also shared their thoughts on the restructuring of the Salesian Province Conference of South Asia (SPCSA) and the benefits of a common data base and website for all the Don Bosco networks. 


Father Kanaga then offered his observations that problems based on networking between commissions persists. Problems of personalities, overlapping of areas, lack of proper personnel that make ambitions unrealistic. 


He said, " We need to reflect on the attributes we are missing. The aim is to achieve the best we can for the congregation, the nation and the young, with our given resources."


Father Kanaga's words were endorsed by Father Vattathara, who is part of a five member core team looking at restructuring Don Bosco India. "We need to move strategically higher, into bigger fields while we continue to work at the grassroot level," he said. Work akin to the Jesuit Refugee Service and conservation of ecology were cited as some of the meta-areas that the Salesians were lacking in.  


The discussion was then thrown open to the participants who agreed upon the need for effective collaboration. They deliberated on the structural problems, in a bid to overcome them, while preserving the Spirit of the congregation, which works for a common good-the welfare of society!

Friday, February 26, 2016


by Diona D'souza


KUWAIT, FEB 25, 2016: The vibrant youth group of Saint Therese Parish was in for a grand surprise on February 20. Over 50 youth gathered in the hall where Father Glenford Lowe, the rector of Don Bosco Provincial House, Mumbai and the priest incharge of the youth ministry, joined their meeting.

During the meeting, Father Lowe shared his life experiences deeply rooted in and driven by faith. He explained the characteristics of a Salesian youth group and the features which differentiate it from youth groups in other parishes. 


His question, 'What brings us here?' made the youth think about their attraction to the fortnightly meetings. They listened and had a stimulating discussion expressing their frank opinions, fears and challenges. "I was inspired by the message of Father Glen, 'Live your life not just by doing the right thing but by loving," said Lianne Crasto. 

Father Lowe also spoke about the values of being joyful, caring for one's self, being in union with the Church, being involved in spiritual and social activities and doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. "The Christ-centred approach and his journey with the youth was very inspiring," said Johann Menezes.


"Listening to Father Lowe and his ideas on how we can be a better youth group was very insightful and will help us be more effective," said Madonna David. "Father ended his talk with a great example about giving, leaving us with a new vision – God gives us a mission bigger than ourselves!" 


The youth expressed their gratitude to Father Lowe for enlightening them on the distinctive features of a Salesian youth group. Each member, inspired by the ideals of Don Bosco, is enthused and has pledged to serve Christ and the Church.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


by BIS Correspondent


NAVI MUMBAI, FEB 25, 2016: Students, parents and well wishers of Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul attended a Funfair and the Cultural Programme that marked the closing ceremony of the year long Decennial Anniversary celebrations on February 20.


The school  was abuzz with activity till 9 pm as hundreds thronged the school grounds to enjoy the event. Father Bonnie Borges, the manager, started the funfair celebrations at 4 pm. The cultural programme then commenced at 6.30 pm with the introduction and felicitation of the dignitaries.


Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of Mumbai Province,  was present to greet Prabhat Ranjan, Commissioner of Police, who was the Chief Guest for the event. Father Anaclete D'Mello, director and administrator of Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha, was the Guest of Honour.


After the prize distribution ceremony, the Decennial Year events and achievements of the past ten years were showcased through a video presentation. One of the highlights of the glittering ceremony was the release of the first issue of the Decennial Souvenir by the dignitaries.


The Chief Guest congratulated all the award winners and in his speech emphasised on the importance of not letting failure define one's life. Father Silveira, in his address, congratulated the manager,  Father Borges and principal, Father Anthony Fonseca, the staff and students of the school on completing the tenth year of its journey towards excellence. He also explained how the education that students receive in Don Bosco helps them to stand apart from the rest.


A carnival-type atmosphere gripped the venue during the second part of the event, as students and their parents played exciting games at the games stalls and also savoured the snacks at the food stalls. A splendid cultural show followed and dances of various countries were presented. The closing ceremony of the Decennial Year celebrations will go down as another milestone in the history of the institution. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


by Dwayne Gonsalves, Kenn D'souza and Shannon Dias


MUMBAI, FEB 24, 2016: A scout camp was organised on February 20, by the scout masters Mark Pereira and Nelson Rais in Don Bosco High School, Borivli for the students of standards eight and nine, to prepare for The Thinking Day. 


The Thinking day was held in order to commemorate the birthday of the founder of scouting, Lord Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden Powell. The camp on day one, began with the flag break which included the scout flag song and the scout prayer song. 


Thereafter, the standard nine boys began pitching their tents to set up the camp. In less than two hours, six tents including the master's tent was set up on the school ground. 


Simultaneously, the standard eight boys collected rocks, leaves and other natural articles to decorate their tents. The class nine boys then began their pioneering activities which included the tying of miniature or massive gadgets. 


Sixteen boys from standard nine were chosen to set up the massive gadgets. They were assigned the task to build a bridge and a watch tower. The rest of the boys were involved in making miniature day- to- day gadgets. 


Meanwhile the class eight boys were setting up woodcraft gadgets. After around three hours of hard work put into the assignment, the scouts almost completed their gadgets and then proceeded for lunch. 


Post lunch, the standard eight boys went for a lecture on first aid, knots, compass and estimation. The scouts of class nine worked rigorously to complete their games and gadgets. Upon its completion, the students gathered around the flag and were invested. They then prepared the ground for The Thinking Day. 


On day two, the entire school celebrated Thinking Day. It was inaugurated by B R Shah, recipient of the Silver Elephant award - the highest award in scouting. Students from classes five to nine celebrated the Thinking Day. 


The students played games set up by the scout boys, some went for the colouring competition while other played housie based on the history of scouting. Then the students of class nine, displayed their pioneering projects to Shah. It was an informative event for the all the students about the scout movement.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, FEB 23, 2016: On February 20, the Western Region Conference of Religious India (CRI) organised a seminar on "Compliance and Governance in an Accountability-Driven Environment" at Don Bosco International School, Matunga. The participants were 30 religious in-charge of administration and finances in their respective congregations. 


Guilherme Vaz, the resource person and consultor for the Bombay Archdiocese and other Church organisations, informed the participants that Pope Francis is concerned that religious institutions could "run the risk of losing their true identity" by engaging in modern economic activity. 


He explained the sophisticated and integrated finance control system which is already in place in India through technology, software and mechanisms for action, and which are aimed at voluntary compliance and financial accountability. 


This accountability environment is well in keeping with Pope Francis' insistence on better governance, transparency and accountability. Religious congregations need to seriously take into account the changing environment and its implications, in order to put in place stable, transparent and responsible mechanisms of accountability and governance.


The participants were encouraged to be aware of the sweeping changes occurring in financial control, and to promote transparency, accountability and compliance with existing norms. This attitude can enable the religious to walk according to the values of the Gospel and will provide coherence and credibility to their mission and life.


BBIS correspondent


ASANGAON, FEB 23, 2016: Fourteen youngsters from around Mumbai went for a social outreach trip to Mukta Jeevan Ashram, Vehloli near Asangaon on February 21. The programme, coordinated by Don Bosco Youth Services, was an opportunity for them to interact with persons who were less privileged or suffering from various ailments.


On arrival at the Ashram, run by the Society of the Helpers of Mary, Sister Barbara welcomed the youth and spoke to them about how the ashram was founded, its mission and the inmates who live there. 


The youth then visited the home for HIV-affected minors, where they sang, danced and played games with the children. The next stop was at the home for persons affected by leprosy, where they were amazed to see them playing instruments and singing enthusiastically. They spoke to the inmates to learn about their life, their family background and how they adjusted to living with disabilities.


Before lunch, the youth visited one of the two homes for senior citizens at the ashram. During their interaction with the inmates, they realised how much they missed their family members, and their home. They were eager to speak about their lives and share interesting incidents and anecdotes. It was a moving experience for the youth to see the healthy inmates, looking after those who were bed-ridden or disabled.

After lunch, the youth were invited to the Novitiate of the sisters, where they had a discussion with 25 young candidates who were participating in a two-year preparatory course before they become sisters. 


The novices shared their reasons for joining, their desire to work for God and for the needy, and also how they learn many things both in class and during their practical experiences with the ashram inmates. They also spoke of how they gained strength and clarity of purpose through prayer and meditation.


Before leaving the ashram, the youth thanked the sisters for their hospitality and the unforgettable experience with the inmates. They realised that there was much truth in the words of Mother Anna Huberta, Foundress of the Helpers of Mary, who said, "When you are sad, see where you can make others happy."

Monday, February 22, 2016


by Susan D'costa 


KUWAIT, FEB 22, 2016: A two-day seminar was arranged for the Salesian Cooperators of Kuwait on February 16 and 17, led by Father Glenford Lowe, Rector of Don Bosco House, Mumbai and a Provincial Council Member.  The main focus of the seminar was on the completeness and meaningfulness of the vocation of a Salesian Cooperator and their role with the youth.


"To be a Salesian Cooperator is the individual and specific call of God, for a lay person, but the choice is ours," said Father Lowe. He went on to say, " Don Bosco was a dreamer, and we as Salesian Cooperators have to make his dream come true."


 He then shed light on the 4 pillars of every Don Bosco institute namely, a home that nurtures (Body), a school that educates (Wisdom), a church that evangelizes (Soul) and a playground with spirituality (Heart). 


Salesian Cooperators need to be attached to the Don Bosco mission with a key focus on the youth. To be a 'Salesian Cooperator' implies being youth-friendly and interested in the world of the young. 


Through interactive activities, Father Lowe helped the Cooperators present, understand their own strengths, goals and ambitions and how to apply that process of learning with the youth.


"In a simple way Father Lowe revived our goals and mission as a Salesian Cooperator and brought back the zeal of how much more needs to be done for the youth in the parish," said Melissa Fernandes. 


Francis Sam added, "The talk by Father Lowe spelt very clearly and simply the spirit and heart of the Salesians. It has made us more committed to Don Bosco and his mission."


by Karen Laurie 


MUMBAI, FEB 22, 2016: Father Leon Cruz is the only Salesian priest in India to be appointed as a Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis in this Jubilee year of Mercy. 

On Ash Wednesday, Missionaries of Mercy have been sent forth by the Holy See through the world, at a Eucharistic Celebration at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome; 'to be a living sign of the Father's welcome to all those in search of His forgiveness,' and perform other charitable acts of Mercy. 


In a personal encounter with Pope Francis, Father Cruz kissed the Pope's hand reverently and held on to his every word as he spoke about, " the maternal nature of the Church and the need of it in the confessional." He also gave the Missionaries of Mercy present, practical tips on being more understanding. He spoke about, "The Blanket of Mercy with which the confessor covers the shame."


Various events were organised for the Missionaries who had congregated in Rome for this appointment. They had to chose among three Churches for their adoration and confession. Father Cruz chose the Church of Saint John the Baptist, where he saw the relic of the foot of Saint Mary Magdalen - the first foot which stepped in the cave to see the resurrected Christ. 


Later, the Missionaries of Mercy went walking in a procession carrying the cross into Saint Peter's Basilica through the Holy Door. After veneration of the relics of Saint Padre Pio and Saint Leopold- saints known their miracles and for sitting for hours hearing confessions- they moved towards the Apostolic Palace, where they were greeted by the Bishop of Rome. Later they were treated to dinner at the Paul VI Audience Hall.


The Missionaries will serve in their own diocese but may be invited by other Bishops to give missions or carry out specific initiatives organised for the Jubilee, with a particular attention given to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Holy Father has granted these Missionaries, "the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See," the Pope wrote in Misericordiae Vultus (The Face of Mercy), the document officially proclaiming the Holy Year.


Under Church law, some grave sins carry penalties — automatic excommunication, interdict or suspension — that can be lifted, either by the bishop in some cases or by the Pope himself.


Normally, when such rare sins are confessed, for its absolution, the confessor needs to seek permission from the Holy See to lift the penalty. Pope Francis has commissioned the Missionaries the faculties to absolve four particularly grave sins: desecrating the Holy Eucharist, physically harming the Roman Pontiff, a priest absolving a partner in a sexual sin (in confession) or a priest directly breaking the sacramental seal of confession. 


As an outward sign of this inward grace, Father Cruz has been been given a stole along with a kit by the Vatican. He says of his appointment, "By God's Grace and Mercy, I would be happy to reach out to as many people as possible as a Missionary of Mercy."


Father Cruz has already spoken to Cardinal Oswald Gracias about his availability for the Archdiocese of Mumbai. Further, he has planned a series of activities for the catholic students of Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Kurla where he is based. These include pilgrimages, confessions, a youth retreat and the mercy band. 


He will be also helping Don Bosco Youth Services with retreats like the forthcoming 'Youth Pasch'. The Holy Cross Parish, Kurla has asked the newly appointed Missionary of Mercy to conduct the 'Passo Service' in marathi for two Sundays. Father Cruz has additionally launched the 'Face of Mercy' group and page on Facebook which is reaching out to many. 


Priests were invited by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization- the office organising events for the Holy Year of Mercy-  to offer themselves for this service of preaching and confessions, mandated by Pope Francis. It had to be backed by a letter of recommendation from their Religious Superior testifying to their suitability for the mission.


The Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai, Father Godfrey D'Souza endorsed the nomination of Father Cruz; which was then ratified by Cardinal Gracias. Over 1000 priests from around the world have been appointed by Pope Francis to this office.

Friday, February 19, 2016


by BIS Correspondent


THANE, FEB 19, 2016: The staff of Don Bosco Balprafulta and Shelter Don Bosco went to Bosco Samaj Vikas Sanstha, Walwanda for a two- day training workshop on February 15 and 16.

The resource person, Sebastian Francis gave an insight on report writing, leadership, team building, on being focus-driven and on achieving goals. 


There was a discussion on sustainability plans, where teams also shared their challenges on field and how back- up plans are important. Francis also highlighted Policy Advocacy, its different levels and how they work. 


On Day two, each project team member presented goals and objectives, as well as a brief sharing of their work. Francis motivated the team by showing video clippings on the 'Life of Nick', how despite his physical difficulties, he happily accepted it. He concluded that all we need is passion to work. 


The outcome of the training sessions proved to be practical and useful, with the team looking forward to apply it not only to their work but also for personal growth. Day two, ended with the Vote of Thanks given by the Director of Don Bosco Balprafulta, Father Gregory Almeida. Father Anaclete and Sebastian Francis finally shared their experience of the two-day training session.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


by Sheldon Dias


PUNE, FEB 17, 2016: Senior IPS officer, Suman Rawat visited Don Bosco Vyawasaik Prashikshan Kendra on February 2, as the institution readies itself to ink the definitive Memorandum of Understanding agreement with MPTA Education Ltd, to provide educational avenues and technical training to youth from rural areas of Maharashtra.


Rawat is the CEO of the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission in the Government of India. MPTA Education is an institution of modern education with futuristic ideas established in the year 2005 in the city of Pune.


The institution has been the first of its kind to focus on employability with a combination of academic and skills enhancement of each student. MPTA also has various training programmes designed for corporate employees to upgrade their skill-set so that they can climb up the corporate ladder. 


The institution follows stringent quality norms to offer its students innovative education in the fields of networking, software development, industrial automation and CAD CAM. Don Bosco Chinchwad is happy to have MPTA as a partner.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


by Lynette Sequeira


MUMBAI, FEB 26, 2016: Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Borivli showcased the talents of a majority of students from the primary, secondary, junior college and NIOS sections during their annual Thanksgiving Day celebrations on January 29 and 30.


The wonderfully coordinated performances included the grand Guard of Honour, which was followed by a medley of Prayer Dances, a welcome song and an action song that was sung by children of the primary section.


Father Ajoy Fernandes, Director of Prafulta and the Don Bosco Research Centre at Matunga and Rajendra Ahire, Assistant Director of Education, Mumbai, were the Chief Guests, on each of the two days respectively. The Chief-Guests and the Fathers in the Management, together with the headmistress, the supervisor, the co-ordinators, the representatives of the PTA and the Don Bosco Alumni were all felicitated and welcomed during the felicitation ceremony.


This was followed by the Prize Distribution during which the academic stars received due credit for their hard-work. The Annual Report summed up all the milestones achieved by the students and the institution during the academic year.


Saint John Bosco was a dreamer, who believed that every young lad has the potential to achieve greatness. During the second half of the programme, the institution celebrated this spirit of every person who has a dream, through the story of another young boy named Joseph, who had the potential to turn his dreams into a reality, through Andrew Lloyd Webber's world famous musical, 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.'


Under the able guidance of Father Donald Fernandez, the principal and directed, choreographed, trained and executed by the teachers of the school, the students put up a spectacular performance on both days. 


The event ended by giving giving thanks to God for His manifold blessings and imploring Him to continue watching over the school always. 

Monday, February 15, 2016


by BIS Correspondent


PUNE, FEB 15, 2016: On the successful completion of the three- month Vocational Education and Training (VET) programme, the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Pune - in collaboration with Don Bosco Private Industrial Technical Training Institute, Chinchwad - organised a short Felicitation programme on February 12.


Several dignitaries from the central government and representatives from companies of the candidates were present at the ceremony. The aim of the Indo-German Vocational Education and Training (VETnet) initiative is to provide both countries with a win-win situation in workforce employment. 

German companies in India can meet their need for qualified workers and establish themselves effectively in a highly competitive market like India; while Indian workforce profits from the expert know- how of German vocational education and training. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and supported by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). 


The event began with a welcome note by Marcus Parkhe, from the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, who summarised the work done by the staff and students in the past three months. Judith Ever and Hartmut Stichel, from the same organisation, were also present. Stichel spoke of his experience working at Don Bosco. The staff and students in turn bid him a farewell as he goes back to Germany. The institution also gifted him a golden long-handled shoe horn. 


Rajesh Agrawal, Joint Secretary & CVO Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, highlighted the role played by IGCC, Don Bosco and German Government in promotion of vocational education and training among Indian students. 

The representatives of the companies were happy with the performance of their employees. "Our goal is to educate qualified talent for our production plant in Ranjangaon. That is why we have gotten involved with the project VETnet by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, IGCC and are happy with what we see," Heinrich Brüllau, Chief Operating Officer of Schmersal India Pvt Ltd, said.  


To highlight the achievements of the training programme, a discussion was held between Heinrich Brüllau, Chief Operating Officer of Schmersal India Pvt Ltd, Ever, Stichel, Parkhe, VK Shukla - the Joint Director of Training from Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship and Agrawal.


Several issues were raised during the discussion. Among those were, the fact that apprentices would emerge as role models for the future generations and the possibility of the Government of India providing accreditation to the VETnet project. 

It was also highlighted that authorities would ensure acceptability and continuity of the programme and that the ITI negative marking system would be cancelled.


Finally, the requirement of an increased investment by the German government, to make it a successful venture, was discussed. It was also stressed that support was required from the Government of India for such future endeavours.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


by Chris Valentino



LONAVLA, FEB 13, 2016: The final day of Provincial Chapter 2016 of the Mumbai Salesian province, witnessed the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by the Provincial, Father Godfrey D'Souza on February 13 in Lonavla.  


" Fasting is not an end in itself, it is an inner compunction of the heart that invites us to be other - centred and be clear about our identity as men of God, who go about doing good," said Father D'Souza.


Beginning with the roll call and the passing of the previous day's summary minutes, the Chapter moderator, Father Ajoy Fernandes set the tenor for the day.  


Procedures and voting rights were explained, following which the capitulars set about their task in right earnest. The six commissions each presented their final documents, which were put to vote.  

All the documents with the incorporated suggestions and modifications were successfully voted for. Three new Policies - the Policy for Lay Persons in Leadership Roles, the Vocation Policy and the Parish Policy with their modifications incorporated in the final document, were also successfully voted for.

Father Ajoy Fernandes proposed the Vote of Thanks and invited Father Joaquim D'Souza to present each capitular with a special 'Year of Mercy' memento.


The Provincial, Father Godfrey D'Souza thanked the Chapter moderator Father Ajoy Fernandes, his councillors and the confreres of Don Bosco Lonavla before declaring Provincial Chapter 2016 officially closed.


The drafting committee comprising of Fathers Ajoy, Vinod and Valerian will work on the final edit of the Chapter Document - Reshaping our Consecration and Mission.

Friday, February 12, 2016


by Chris Valentino


LONAVLA, FEB 12, 2016: The Feast of our Lay of Lourdes gathered all the Capitulars around the Holy Eucharistic table on day four of the Provincial Chapter 2016, of the Mumbai Salesian province in Lonavla.  


Father Cyril DeSouza the main celebrant, exhorted the members to lead the exhortation of Moses, "Choose life so that you and your descendants may live," and that of Christ, " If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up the cross and follow me,"  within the context of the important Chapter decision to be taken.  


The roll call and the summary minutes were followed by Commission Four  and Commission Five presenting their revised draft in the morning session.  Various clarifications were sought and a serious discussion ensued.  


Post Lunch, Commission Six- Youth Ministry and Social Communications, presented its revised draft which was also debated and discussed. The evening session was a lengthy three-hour affair with an engaging discussion on the Mumbai Province policies to be promulgated. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016


by Myra Dsouza


KUWAIT, FEB 11, 2016: Over a hundred catechists attended an inspiring retreat conducted by Father Franco Pereira, the Catechetical Director for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, on February 6.


The yearly catechists retreat is one of the highlights of the catechetical year. This year, as in previous years, Father Pereira, assisted by Francis Sam, once again prepared a spiritual banquet for those present. 


Each retreatant was given a cup with an image of the face of Jesus. The cup was engraved with the theme of the retreat, 'The cup of my life' as well as a verse from Scripture taken from 1 John 4:16, 'God is love, and those who love abide in God and God abides in them'.


Priests from the parish were available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and many retreatants made their confession. The retreat concluded with the celebration of Holy Mass.


Father Pereira invited those present to put all their intentions and desires into their cups and to place them on the tables in front of the altar, so they could be offered to God who would receive them and fill our cups with His blessings. 


Before the final blessing, each took back their cups, which were blessed by God. The cups would remind them to constantly examine their lives and to empty themselves of all the clutter, in order to be filled with the love of Christ.


"It was a great experience. What touched me and those in my group most was the line, 'May God be enough for you'. I came here with an empty cup. I return home with my cup full of Jesus," Gregory Pereira, a retreatant, said.


"This retreat has helped me to let go of the inhibitions which restrict me from experiencing the true compassion of God. It has also helped me realise that in turn, I too can find ways to be more compassionate to others," Mark Roberts, another retreatant, said.


"The retreat helped me see how something as normal and trivial as a cup, can have so much meaning.  Like a cup, although I may be chipped in places, stained and filled with things not of God's Kingdom, a retreat like this teaches me to empty myself, so I can be filled with the life that Jesus wants to give me," Sasha D'Souza said.


Evelyn D'Souza echoed a similar sentient, "The retreat had a deep and profound effect on me. The reflections on God's infinite Mercy were an eye opener and the group sharing helped to build each other up. We realised that each of us is uniquely designed by the Potter to hold inside the cup of our life, the very life of His Son," she said.


by Chris Valentino


LONAVLA, FEB 10, 2016: The third day of the Provincial Chapter 2016 of the Salesian province of Mumbai, began with the Ash Wednesday Holy Eucharistic celebration ushering in the season of Lent on February 10.


Father Elson Barretto, the principal celebrant, invited the capitulars to 'rend their hearts and not their garments' by becoming mystics, prophets and servants through re-looking at praying, fasting and alms giving. 


The roll call followed by the reading and the passing of the summary minutes of day two, set the tone for the days proceeding.  


Three policies for the Salesian province of Mumbai were presented on the third day. Father Savio Silveira, Father Ivan De Souza and Father Solomon Rapol respectively presented the policy for including lay people in leadership roles, the policy for parishes and the vocation policy.


The redrafted documents of Commission One - Reshaping Our Consecrated and Community Life, Commission Two - Reshaping our Formation and Mission and Commission Three - Reshaping Education Ministry were presented. Then comments and suggestions elicited with indicative straw votes were gathered.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


by Kaitan Lobo and Father Brian Moras


PINGULI, FEB 10, 2016: The 'Year of Consecrated life' ended in the diocese of Sindhudurg, with many Religious attending the closing ceremony at Bosco Udyogshala, Pinguli on February 6. 

The programme began with a prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to enlighten and inspire the minds of the Religious men and women. Father Brian Moras conducted the first session on  'Consecrated Life Demands A Life of Witness'.  


He spoke on how one can make his or her consecrated life much more meaningful for oneself and the community at large and be effective witnesses. The session was followed by group work, sharing and reporting. 


Bishop Allwyn Baretto of the Sindhudurg diocese, popularly known as the 'Smiling Bishop', graced the occasion with his presence. In his session, he urged the religious to be joyful in their commitment and consecration to God and to His faithful. 


Later during the Holy Eucharist, Father Clive Telles - in his homily - spoke about the three-point formula that the Holy Father, Pope Francis gave consecrated people to reflect upon while declaring the Year of Consecrated Life. The points included, looking at the past with gratitude, living the present with joy and looking to the future with hope.


After the solemn Eucharist, the Salesian Pre-Novices and the Capuchin Brothers put up a small fellowship programme. A specially designed wall clock was given as a memento to each of the Religious communities in the diocese, as a memory of the year of Consecrated Life.     


The participants left, praising their experience as being extremely fulfilling and meaningful.


by Neil Fernandes


NERUR, FEB 10, 2016: The parishioners of Christ the King Church, Nerur shared their time and love with the differently abled children of Jeevdan- a house dedicated to grooming young Autistic children, on February 7.


The house is run by priests and nuns belonging to the congregation of Missionaries of St Thomas and Missionary Sisters of St Joseph. The parishioners, along with Father Brian Moras, left for Nerur in the morning by bus. After a short drive, they reached Jeevdan. The nuns and children welcomed them on their arrival.


The joy on the children's faces taught the parishioners that no matter what problems they have in life, they should not be sad, but instead be happy for the good times the Lord has given them. 


A volunteer explained to the parishioners about the working of the house and the daily timetable. This was then illustrated through a video.


The special children then staged two dances for the parishioners. The pre-novices who visit Jeevdan, for their Sunday apostolate, were instrumental in teaching the children the dances. Later the parish youth and children staged two action songs. The children of Nerur, then gave the children of the home, gifts.


Post lunch, the parishioners were taken on a tour of the home, which also has a farm and a cow shed on the property. The visitors then held some games for the special children. The parish children, Father Moras and the special children enthralled themselves with a game of cricket and kabaddi too. 


Following the games, everyone moved to the hall for a short interaction session. The children answered all the questions posed by the parishioners. 


When it was time to leave, it was touching to see the special children holding on to the parishioners and hugging them. Many were moved to tears. It was a very fruitful experience for all the visitors.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


by Chris Valentino 

LONAVLA, FEB 9, 2016: The second day of the Provincial Chapter (PC) 2016, of the Salesian Province of Mumbai, began with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Father Ivan De Souza on February 9. 

In his homily, Father De Souza quoted the Salesian Constitutions saying, "The highest knowledge is to know Jesus Christ and that our greatest delight is to reveal to all the people the unfathomable riches of his mystery." He urged those present to look at Jesus through the eyes of Don Bosco.

The sessions began with the role call, reading and the passing of the summary minutes of day one by Father Vinod Mascarenhas. Commission Three - 'Reshaping Education Ministry', Commission Four - 'Reshaping Youth at Risk and Development Works Ministry', Commission Five - ' Reshaping Parish and Mission Ministry' and Commission Six - ' Reshaping Youth Ministry and Social Communications' presented their draft documents.

The capitulars, after listening to the commission presentations, suggested modifications to either the lines of action or the objectives of each draft.

In the evening, 'Keeping the Faith' - Festschrift for Father Joaquim D'Souza, was released to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of his religious life. Articles on Intellectual Faith, Purifying Faith and Communicative Faith, edited by Father Ivo Coelho was also released by the Provincial, Father Godfrey D'Souza.  

Later, the central coordinating commission of the PC 2016, met along with the moderator Father Ajoy Fernandes to rework their draft documents and prepare the final documents.