Monday, May 30, 2016


by Father Joaquim Fernandes


MUMBAI, MAY 30, 2016: Five Salesians made their perpetual profession on May 24 - Feast of Mary Help of Christians - at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga, Mumbai. Clerics Jerome Aruldas, Xavier Bandya, Bosco Carvalho, Mavron Fernandes and Clarence Martis committed themselves forever through their religious profession. 


Father Godfrey D`Souza, Provincial of the Mumbai province was the main celebrant and received the perpetual vows of the clerics.   


Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial and nearly 60 Salesian priests joined at the Holy Mass celebration. The family members of the clerics were also present. 

Father D'Souza in his homily asked the perpetually professed clerics to thank God for the gift of vocation given to them.  He thanked the parents of the clerics for offering their sons to God and to the congregation. 


The candidates came forward individually and pronounced their vows to commit themselves totally to the Lord. Father D'Souza and the concelebrants welcomed the brothers with their fraternal embrace, for their dedication to the Church and to the congregation as perpetually professed members. 

The ceremony came to its conclusion with a short felicitation programme followed by a fellowship dinner. 


by BIS Correspondent

LONAVLA, MAY 30, 2016: The hard work of the students and staff of Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Lonavla has borne sweet fruit, with the college attaining 100% results in all three streams – arts, science and commerce.

In the science stream, of the 72 students who appeared, Butala Akash Avinash topped with 85.8%. The commerce stream had 23 distinctions from the 63 students who appeared. Gadiya Mahima Bharatkumar secured the top position with 88.15%. 

Twenty students appeared from the arts stream and Ostwal Gautmi Kishor topped with 82.46%. Kudos to the management, staff and students! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016


by Brother Telston Lobo 


LONAVLA, MAY 19, 2016: Over 50 campers participated in the Vocation Camp 2016 held at Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Lonavla from May 2-8, to help youth and seniors alike discern their call from God. 

One group of campers travelled to the venue by train and another by bus. They were then ushered to the Chapel, where they were given basic instructions on the discipline expected at the premises. 


The theme for the first day was "Vocation as a discovery of talents." The Holy Eucharist celebrated by Father Valerian Pereira was based on the parable of the talents. A movie on the life of Don Bosco culminated all activities of the day.


The theme for day two was "Vocation as responding to God's call." Each morning, during the camp, classes were held on topics that ranged from languages and maths to Christian doctrine. 


At noon on day two, the campers participated in a drawing competition. The main activity of the day was a poster quiz, based both on the Holy Bible and on Don Bosco.   


The theme for the third day was "Vocation as service." Here, the participants got a practical experience of being good Samaritans by helping at the Kune mission, as well as cleaning in and around the house. The evening was fun-filled with creative games.


The theme for day four was centred around Biblical vocation stories. A trek to the mountain top of Tungarli was organised for the participants, in imitation of the journeys in many Biblical vocation stories. To heighten the excitement, a treasure hunt was also part of the trek.


The theme for day five was "Salesian vocation and mission." Pre-novices shared vocation stories. The sharing continued on the following day - day six - that was themed on "Living my Vocation." 


The camp had many other interesting facets like the testimony shared by Father Xavier Devdas, the camp fire, night specials like "30 secs to fame" and "Minute to Win" entertaining sessions. With the variety the campers had on offer, they were left with a wholesome and enriching experience.


BBrother Telston Lobo


UTTAN, MAY 18, 2016: Two Leadership camps were organised by Don Bosco Youth Services, Mumbai for juniors and seniors from April 19 - 22 and 26 - 29 respectively at Boscowadi, Uttan.

The camp began with the assembling of the campers, where teams were formed and the campers introduced themselves to get to know each other better. The Fathers, brothers and volunteers were of great help throughout the camp.


Of the many fun-filled activities was the zumba dance, creativity sessions called 'Spare time activity,' trekking to the lighthouse, showcasing their talents through the '30 seconds to fame' programme, a campfire with skits, songs, night games and dance. The campers also spent time, pouring over books in preparation for a quiz.

Sessions were also conducted on the essentials of leadership- what leadership is all about – by Father Cleophas Braganza and Father Glenford Lowe. A session on Christian leadership - the Christian dimension of leadership - was aimed at helping the campers develop effective leadership skills. 


Time was also allotted for silence and reflection, to make the experience more meaningful. The Labyrinth Garden experience, helped the campers get in touch with their past and relate better with their present.


All- in- all the campers enjoyed and gained from the leadership camp experience. The organisers are confident, the campers are better equipped than before to be expert leaders of teams, communities, departments etc in the future.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


by Diona Dsouza


KUWAIT, MAY 17, 2016 : "Stay fit, stay healthy!" read the tag-line of Sports Mania 2016 which was conducted on the May 13 at Don Bosco's School in Kuwait by the Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY), to foster 'community bonding' for the parishioners of the St. Therese church.  


A total of 160 parishioners registered and were segregated into eight teams keeping an equal male to female ratio while also aiming at an age distribution from 16-61.


The event began with an opening ceremony heralded by Father Lionel Braganza who rallied all the teams with an inspiring speech and prayer. As the event progressed, there was healthy competition between the teams, with all vying for the maximum points on the scoreboard.


Father  Braganza, then stepped into the arena to organise the final game of the day, 'The Obstacle Race,' which was an apt end to a fun-filled, adrenaline driven afternoon.

Shayne Nair, the organiser said, "Together Everyone Achieves More -  was the basis on which the event was conducted. Unity and team spirit are important aspects in our lives and help us grow higher in our journey through life."


"Another event in the pages of our lives worth cherishing came to an end with a smile on everyone's face," said Donovan Ferrao.


The first place was bagged by the Blue Team who were followed closely by the White team in second place and the Green team in third place. There was an overwhelming response to this first of its kind sports event organised by SPY.


Stephanie Pereira, a participant said, "Just loved everything about this event!" Another participant, Varun D'Souza added, "Really awesome event! I can't wait for one more year rather would be happy if we could have it again, next month itself."


Sports Mania 2016 was driven to success by Father Braganza's efforts, the perseverance of the organisers: SPY and the generosity of the Salesian Co-operators. 

Friday, May 13, 2016


by Dakshayani Madangopal


KOCHI, MAY 13, 2016: The Don Bosco Research Centre (DBRC) organised a training programme for the staff of the Centre for Socio-Economic and Environmental Studies (CSES), Kochi from May 4 – 6, in connection with their ongoing research project, ' Vulnerable Children: A Study of Children of Migrant Construction Workers in Six Indian Cities.'


Dakshayani Madangopal, CEO, DBRC and Hemalatha Anil Kumar, consultant, DBRC conducted training sessions that were designed to discuss and understand the tools of data collection for the survey of households and children of migrant construction workers; to teach a scientific approach of sampling for the household survey; to give necessary inputs to conduct focus group discussion (FGD) with key informants associated with migrant construction workers; to provide hands- on training for recording anthropometric measurements - height and weight - of children and infants of migrant construction workers and to provide field training through a pilot survey at a construction site.


Over the three days of training, the programme witnessed hectic discussions and activities among the six trainees. On day one, after a preliminary introduction to the project by Madangopal, Dr. Ajith Kumar, Director, CSES, stressed upon the magnitude and unique nature of the migration problem in Kochi. 


This was followed by an introduction of the participants and then a discussion on the household interview schedule with Kumar and Madangopal. This concluded with queries and mock practice sessions for the participants. 


The post lunch session  explored the interview schedule for children below nine years, for which the child's mother would be the respondent. This session too was accompanied by queries and mock interviews. 


Day two witnessed discussions centred around the interview schedule for children in the age group of 10-17 years, followed by practice interviews. Later, there was a demonstration by the trainers of the anthropometric measuring instruments - infantometer, stadiometer and weighing scales - their use and precautions to be taken. 

Sampling being an integral part of the survey, Kumar conducted a session on sampling, beginning from mapping of construction localities, sites, household listing, sampling frame, choice of sample size etc. 


Day three included a field visit wherein the trainees got a chance to practice their interview skills on five families from Bihar. They also get hands-on experience on the use of anthropometric measures.  

Kumar briefed the participants about the procedure for conducting focus group discussions with key informants, ethical issues and standard operating procedures to be followed during the field survey.


For the participants, it was a firsthand experience in attending a training programme in the area of migration. They were handed over the anthropometric instruments which they would be using in their respective cities with a promise to make this study a success.  


The training programme and the discussions therein emphasised the complex nature of the migrant population problem in Kochi and the variations that exist among different states.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


by Eklakh Shaik


MUMBAI, MAY 12, 2016: The Don Bosco Alumni Association Matunga, held the GEX Box Cricket Tournament for eight teams in the quadrangle of their Alma Mater on May 8. GEX stands for "Giovani Ex-Allievi" which means young ex-students.

Several weeks of planning went into organising the tournament. The teams were made up of alumni from different parts of the city and each player came in with passion and the Bosco spirit. Shouts of "Bosco Bosco..." filled the air.

The players played as school batch-mates from the years: '83,'87,'93, '95, '99, '99B, 2012. An invitation was also sent out to a team of ex-students from St. Joseph's Wadala. The boys of the neighbouring Shelter Home were invited for an exhibition match too.


It became a memorable occasion for most of the participants, as they recalled the old days in school, met up with old friends and became Bosco boys once again! The matches were played very seriously with three top qualified Umpires officiating. There was not a dull moment as everyone expressed their pleasure in getting back to school.


The batch of 2012 walked away with the Title and cash prize of Rs 10,000; the batch of 1983 and Shelter carried away the Runners-up trophy with a cash prize of Rs 5000 and St. Joseph's won the Third place trophy. There were individual trophies given out for the Best Batsman, Best Bowler, Best Fielder and Man of the Match.


A round of applause and gratitude was accorded to Father Wilfred, the delegate, Jayesh Chandan, the president and his committee, who were the organisers. The group was also thankful to Sanjay Vakharia of Spykar for T-shirts, wrist bands and offering cash assistance and DJ Swayne for sponsoring the sound and one other sponsor of the '99 batch.


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, MAY 12, 2016: In the last decade, crimes against women have been on a sharp incline. In a bid to help women defend themselves, Don Bosco Development Society organised a first-of-its-kind training programme on self-defence for 78 women from a nearby slum at the Provincial House building in Matunga on May 10.


Parshuram Gaonkar, an experienced officer from the Civil Defence Department (Mumbai Division) was the main resource person for the programme. He gave those present practical tips on self defence. 


Amongst a host of self-defence methods discussed was the 'Rescue method', 'Fire Man method' and the 'Swat method'. Gaonkar also gave participants information on the use of first–aid, disaster management, artificial respiration, types of bombs and their hazardous effects.


The women from slums around Matunga, Wadala and Sion needed the training, as they are frequently harassed by men in their neighbourhood. The programme provided them with the skills necessary to defend themselves where they encountered danger. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


by Alex Rego


KUWAIT, MAY 10, 2016: "Tears of a mother cannot save her child, but your blood can." This is what inspired the Ushers Ministry of St. Therese Parish of Kuwait to organise a blood donation drive on May 5. 


Parishioners from all walks of life and of different age groups came forward to donate their blood. Of the 300 parishioners that reported, donations could be accepted only from 110 parishioners. Some of the reasons for decline included recent travel, low hemoglobin and other health-related issues.

The Jabriyah Blood Bank team came with an experienced medical staff and eight beds. Parishioners and ushers encouraged one another with smiles and refreshments. Blood donor, Francis Jayaraj said, "Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give another. The decision to donate your blood can save a life." 

The ushers team expressed their gratitude to the parish priest, Father Blany Pinto for giving them the opportunity to conduct the drive and to some generous sponsors for providing refreshments. 


Usher Mark Rodrigues said, "This campaign was organised to show how we can be a part in helping to save lives, as blood has no religion." Indeed, it takes all types to keep the heartbeat going!


by Jeswin Mastan


VIRAR, MAY 10, 2016: Nine zonal teams participated in a cricket tournament organised for the parishoners of Jyoti Mata Church, Virar west on May 7 and 8.

The tournament began with a short prayer on the ground at 8 pm. Preliminary matches were played the same evening and the semi-finals and finals were held on the following day, May 8. 


Star Kharodi and Velankani Shejol contested the finals, with the latter emerging victorious in the finals. 


The Chief Guest for the event was Brother Tony D'Souza. The community of Jyoti used the opportunity to bid farewell to Brother D'Souza. 


Father Royal D'Abreo, in his message thanked Brother D'Souza for all his support, hard work and service rendered to the parish. 


Brother D'Souza thanked everyone and spoke about the three capsules of Pope Francis's message: We should learn to say 'Please', 'Thank you' and 'Sorry.'


by Karen Laurie


MUMBAI, MAY 10, 2016: With the Games of the XXXI Olympiad - the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics - less than 100 days away, sport is the flavour of the season. Staying true to the motto of the Olympic Games 'Citius - Altius – Fortius', youth at Don Bosco institutions are participating in different summer camps, striving to be ever 'Faster', reach ever 'Higher' and become ever 'Stronger' in their pursuit for sporting and academic excellence.  


Don Bosco Recreation Centre at Don Bosco High School, Matunga in Mumbai organised two camps running from April 12 to 29 and from May 2 to 18. Despite the searing summer temperatures, youth from across the city have come forward, in their numbers, to compete in a host of sports ranging from football, athletics, advanced and basic gymnastics, cricket, roller skating, lawn tennis, basketball, fencing, judo, abacus and table tennis. Those more inclined to fine arts, have enrolled for courses in vedic maths, calligraphy, music, dance, art, speech and drama.


Shruti Raut, whose sons have enrolled in the basketball camp says, " They love the camp. I was requesting them to please stay home this summer. I get tired to drop and pick them up in this heat but they enjoy the camp."

Don Bosco institutions across the Mumbai province have been 'trendsetters' in providing youth with world class sporting and educational facilities and infrastructure to help them hone in on their skills. 


Barrington Serrao, Sports Co-ordinator at Don Bosco High School, Matunga says, " Parents appreciate that there is no place like Don Bosco. We have the grounds and the facilities. Our fees are also very less compared to others. The parents also say they benefit, while their kids are playing at the camp, they go for walks on the school grounds. Its a win-win situation for all." 

Amin Khan (14) has enrolled in the skating, basketball and personality development and public speaking camp at the Matunga campus. Though he attends weekly skating sessions throughout the academic year, practising daily at the vacation camp gives his an extra edge. " I am gearing up for a world record challenge in May and at the camp I have been practicing intensely," says Khan. 


The Salesian-run institutions at Andheri and  Matunga in Mumbai, Nerul in Navi Mumbai and Yerwada in Pune are among the first to install astroturf facilities to train youth in hockey and football. The facilities are also available for the public for seven-a-side competitions.


Little Salesian parishioners of Sacred Heart Church, Yerwada used the astroturf to show off their basketball ball skills at the parish summer club. Football matches, language enhancing sessions, treasure hunt, dance competitions are among the events organised to help make the vacations lots of fun. In keeping with the pedagogy of Don Bosco, values are woven into this fun learning experience. 


Bother Joyston Machado, organising the summer club says, " Our theme for the summer club is 4G- Gather, Grasp, Glow and Grow. We stress on the virtues of Dominic Savio, as his feast on May 6, is during the summer club. We tell the children holiness consists in being cheerful; doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way, like doing the simple tasks assigned to them very well; to participate and give their best. We have just completed a trust building exercise, where we blindfolded the participants and asked them to walk on a brick line, only by following the guidance of their team mates."


Under the careful tutelage of experienced Salesians and professional coaches the aspiring Usain Bolt's, Steven Curry's, Roger Federer's and Dominic Savio's of the city, participating in the summer clubs this year have made the most of all the facilities on offer.

Our lady of Fatima church, Jaitala in Nagpur inaugurated its Don Bosco Summer club in April with around 100 youth. They recently held a cultural event to create awareness of the various cultures of India. Children dressed in different cultural outfits and spoke in the language of the culture they represented. The aim was to inculcate respect for all cultures among the children. 


Be it the tiny tots learning to throw the ball into the basket or the adolescents showing off their talents in arts, Don Bosco institutions have it all. And, what better time to put your skills to test or to sharpen your acumen, than over the summer holiday. Like Cliff Richard's rendition goes,


Everybody has a summer holiday ...

Doing things they always wanted to ...

So we're going on a summer holiday ... 

To make our dreams come true... 

For me and you!


by Jeswin Mastan


VIRAR, MAY 9, 2016: "Dreams are to be remembered, realities are to be lived and destiny to be reached." It was a blessing to the community and the parishioners of Jyoti Mata Church, Virar West, to celebrate nine years of Grace on May 6.


The programme commemorating the milestone commenced with a solemn Mass celebrated by Father Royal D'Abreo at 6 pm in Jyoti Mata Church. Deacon Vishal Lopes, in his homily, spoke about a 'church' which was not merely a building or a structure, but – as he said – it is "you and I." It is "we"- who come together and build the church and community.


The Community of Jyoti organised an orchestra - Rhythm Vasaikar - on the occasion. The parishioners enjoyed music and fellowship on the Jyoti ground at 9 pm. Around 350 people were present for event, which also included the singing of cultural songs, dances and spot prizes. The celebration was a moment of Grace, togetherness and a feeling of belonging to this family of Jyoti Mata Church. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, MAY 3, 2016: "I feel more confident after doing this course and this is why I joined," says Suzanna Saldanha, an aspiring doctor, who has just completed the Personality Development and Public Speaking course conducted by Tej-Prasarini- Don Bosco Communications.


The course is conducted by Bosco Rodrigues, a radio jockey with FM Rainbow. It grooms youth, by teaching them effective reading, presentation skills, the right manners and etiquette, voice culture, it enhances their vocabulary and diction, thus boosting their confidence for the road ahead. 


"This is the second time, I am doing this course. Ofcourse, I missed a lot of sessions the first time, so I am repeating it and find it very interesting, with many new activities," says Dwayne Barretto, a student of St. Andrew's College.


The sessions are tailor-made for the class of 15 youth. After gauging their personalities for the first few days, Rodrigues helps the participants learn practically through fun sessions like telephonic conversations, a sit-down meal to demonstrate table manners and also letter writing, to help them put their point across.


In cases where Rodrigues feels his students need parental support in this growth process, the parents and students were individually counselled.


"I advice parents and students to put their phones aside and talk to each other at the dinner table; better still, to leave their phones behind and go out and spend the full day together, just to strengthen relationships and I have see miraculous changes," says Rodrigues.


During the 10-day course, students address their peers each day, through sessions like newspaper reading, knowing and introducing your friend, talking about themselves, which in turn prepares them for the grand finale, where they have to do the same in front of their parents.


The results were for all to see on the faces of the brimming parents. "My son has been waiting for five years to do this course. Bosco sir told him, join in your eight standard vacations and so he did. He is very happy with the different things he learnt about personality traits," said Asha Mishra, mother of one of the participants.


"The aim of the course is to train students to be effective speakers and individuals with enduring personalities. So, I teach them the right mannerisms like bathroom etiquette, how to walk, sit and many other tips for daily living. It gives me great inner joy to see someone who was very shy on the first day, feel so confident and speak so well on the last day," Rodrigues signs off.