Tuesday, December 12, 2017

BIS #5276 NEARLY 400 STUDENTS OBTAIN SKILL CERTIFICATE

BFather Rolvin D'Mello

 

MUMBAI, DEC 12, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS), Mumbai organised the graduation day ceremony of the vocational skill classes in which nearly 400 students obtained their certificates. Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of province of Mumbai, was the chief guest and he presented the certificates to the students. 

 

The programme began with a short prayer service at the Bianchi hall in the Don Bosco International School building. Surekha Pednekar, coordinator –DBDS, welcomed the gathering. She shared information on various vocational courses like spoken english, basic computer, tally, beauty culture (hair and skin), mehendi and tailoring, which were conducted from June - November 2017.

 

In his address, Father Silveira expressed his joy on seeing so many students empowered through these skills. He also congratulated the DBDS team for their good work. The programme ended with a short entertainment and cultural show put up by the students. It also included a display of the skills learnt during the training period. 

 

"I am grateful to Don Bosco for teaching me computers and especially the accounting package of tally – absolutely free of cost. This will definitely help me in building my bright future," Komal Manjule, student of the computer course, said.

Monday, December 11, 2017

BIS #5275 FATHER TOM UZHUNNALIL RECEIVES THE MOTHER TERESA MEMORIAL AWARD

by Father Joaquim Fernandes 

 

MUMBAI, DEC 11, 2017: Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Salesian from the Province of Bangalore abducted in Aden in March 2016 and released in September 2017 has been awarded the Mother Teresa Memorial Award 2017 for Social Justice by the Harmony Foundation on the December 10, in Mumbai.

 

This year's theme is ''Compassion across borders - a compassionate response to the refugee crisis.'' Father  Uzhunnalil has shown dedication and commitment to a place of great danger. Abraham Mathai, president of the Harmony Foundation, a Mumbai based organisation that commemorates the Saint of Calcutta with the award since 2007,  felicitated Father Uzhunnalil and presented him with a citation and the memento for his bravery and resilience in the face of adversity. 

 

Father Uzhunnalil worked in Yemen together with the Missionaries of Charity - the Congregation founded by Mother Teresa - and was abducted on March 4, 2016, while inside one of their centers, where four religious sisters died in the attack. His fellow priest Father M K George who worked with him in Yemen was present during the award ceremony. 

 

He was chosen ''for the inspiring example of compassionate humanity, and for having continued to work for the elders of the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen, despite having had the opportunity to leave the country. "We praise Father Tom's dedication and commitment for work in a location of great danger, where his colleagues were murdered in cold blood,'' said the foundation in a written statement. 

 

The Harmony Foundation, founded in 2005 to promote and spread ideas of peace, dialogue and community support without distinction of religion, caste, gender or ethnicity, has in the past awarded the prize to individuals and organisations committed to human rights, such as the Dalai Lama, Doctors Without Borders, and the very young Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. This year the awards were given to Shigeru Ban, UNHCR, IsroAID, Bayat Foundation, Caritas International, Mercy Corps and Hellenic Resource Team along with a few more eminent personalities. 

 

Meanwhile, Father Uzhunnalil is still engaged in official activities in India, and in Kerala, his state of origin. In each of his scheduled events so far, the Salesian continues to surprise all for his clear and peaceful Christian testimony, and for his declared willingness to carry out God's plan for his life in the future.  He thanked the Harmony Foundation for having felicitated him. ''Thanks for all your constant prayers. There is goodness in everyone, it is only through love and forgiveness we witness peace and we need to forgive our enemies. I believe in a Living God who has called me to be a witness to Him.'' Father Uzhunnalil, said. 

 

''I met Mother Teresa in the year 1983 and I am inspired by her love for God, her humility and simplicity and very friendly approach to people. Not all of us can do great things but we can do great things with love,'' Father Uzhunnalil said, as he quoted Mother Theresa.

BIS #5274 SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR DON BOSCO YERWADA

by Mehtab Shinde

 

PUNE, DEC 11, 2017: Don Bosco Junior College, Yerwada switched to clean energy generation using solar electrification and a 31 Kilowatt solar plant, to power fans, air conditioners, lights, water pumps and computers at the institution on December 5.

 

The solar plant designed, delivered and installed by ONP Solar, is based on GridTie technology, which doesn't use batteries. The plant has a capacity to light up 31 homes with one KW. The plant consists of 96 unit high standard Tier-1 international brand solar photovoltaic panels coupled with a 25KW GridTie Solar inverter.


Father Francis Fernandes, the administrator, said, "We used the best of technology from ONP Solar. Our aim was to use the best quality products, for a simple reason that we need to secure value for money in a short-term by reducing our electricity bills and also contributing positively towards the environment in the long-term."

 

In a city like Pune, where power tariffs are high, a project of this nature would be very cost effective. It would also reduce carbon footprints. "The city's power situation can be transformed if we begin using electricity generated through solar plants. Most important here at Don Bosco, we will be saving 40 tonnes of carbon emission, year on year," Father Michael Bansode, the Rector, said.


Father Bosco D'Mello, the Principal, added, "The students of our institution will get to see a live solar plant on any given day and learn the benefits of going green and clean. The whole idea of installing solar cells was to teach the concept of sustainable development to our students, which would in turn reduce the forms of pollution in the environment. Children have tender minds, if we teach them good, they will do good to society and it all starts from the place they receive their education."

 

The college has also applied for net-metering facility, this will help to export excess power generated during weekends and holidays, to a MSEB Grid. Through this process our clean energy generation will add great value and avoid wastage of clean energy.

 

The initiative is aimed at making the institute adopt environment-friendly systems and to reduce the use of power from the grid. Electricity generation is the institutions way of reducing global warming and achieving a 'zero energy' status in the next couple of months.

BIS #5273 IN HIS TIME

by Neil Fernandes

 

NASHIK, DEC 11, 2017: "In His time, He makes all things beautiful, in His time," was the main message of Father Tom Uzhunnalil when he visited Divyadaan, Nashik, on December 9. 

 

Father Uzhunnalil arrived at Divyadaan at 1:15pm, along with Father M K George from the Bangalore province of the Salesians of Don Bosco and Father Savio Silveira, vice provincial of the province of Mumbai, after a meeting with Bishop Lourdes Daniel of the Nasik diocese. 

 

At 2 pm, the Divyadaan brothers along with the Capuchins, the Salesian novices, Salesian sisters (FMA), FMA novices, priests from the neighbouring communities, parishioners, ADMA and a few other religious assembled for a felicitation programme and an interactive session with Father Uzhunnalil. 

 

The FYBPh brothers set the tone of the programme with a chorale, 'Christ Be Our Light.' Thereafter Father Robert Pen of the community, formally welcomed the guests. In his introductory talk, Father Pen compared Father Uzhunnalil to a martyr and called him "a martyr who has roared back to life." Father Pen, then, went on to felicitate the guests.

 

Father Uzhunnalil addressed the gathering, beginning with his testimony. Father thanked all those who prayed for his release, especially the people of other faiths. He then narrated the history of the mission at Yemen, and how the sisters survived solely on Divine Providence. He also recalled the events of the fateful day March 4, 2016; when after Eucharistic Adoration he heard gunshots, was taken prisoner and witnessed the death of the Missionary of Charity sisters. 

 

Father Uzhunnalil mentioned being transported to a safe house in the trunk of a car. He joked that it was quite comfortable. He further explained the daily routine of his life for the next 18 months in captivity, which included prayer, food and a lot of sleep. There were also times when he was made to act in videos that were doctored by the terrorists. "Nothing will happen without the knowledge of your Heavenly Father," these words from the Gospel gave him strength and he was never afraid of being killed. 

 

Father Uzhunnalil said his captors never ill-treated him, but took care of all his needs. He then spoke of how, on September 10, he received the news of his release and finally on September 12, he was transported to Oman and then to Rome. He ended by saying that God has a plan for us, which will be revealed in His time. His final message was, "Share the love of God in whichever way he calls you."

 

After this, Father George shared his experience in Yemen, where he was a parish priest. The Al-Qaeda had attacked his Church and killed the care-taker. They contacted Father George during the execution of the care-taker, Ali. Father George was terrified and knew that they would come for him. He was in shock, shivering and unable to speak, until he prayed to God, "Let Your will be done" and all the shivering ceased. He escaped from the parish but was always in fear until he reached the capital of Yemen. A few days later, he received news that his parish was taken over by the terrorists, but luckily the sisters working there were transported elsewhere. He, too, emphasised on surrendering oneself to God's will.

 

Thereafter, there was an interactive session, wherein the audience put forth a few questions to Father Uzhunnalil on the nature of his state while in captivity. Father Uzhunnalil responded with serenity to all the questions. When asked what God's plan was for him now, he simply replied, "To testify that our God is a living God." He also said the only thing that one can do, to help all those taken captive by terrorists, is pray. It helped him and he believes that it will help others, too. 

 

The two great missionaries testified about their faith in God's Providence and kindled a missionary fire in everyone's hearts especially all the youngsters in formation.

BIS#5272 SALESIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT IN NORTH-WEST INDIA CONNECTS, CELEBRATES, COMMITS

by BIS Correspondent

 

DAKOR, DEC 11, 2017: The Salesian Youth Movement [SYM] SYMBIOS GuRaM 2017 was officially inaugurated by Father Godfrey D'Souza – Salesian Provincial Mumbai on December 09, 2017 at Dakor Don Bosco. Amidst a vast gathering comprising of 445 youth participants, volunteers, Salesians, SMI and FMA nuns, Father D'Souza declared the gathering open by launching the SYMBIOS Logo-Rosary Balloon that took flight on a pleasantly sunny weekend morning. 

 

SYMBIOS signifies Salesian Youth Movement and Life [Bios], through which the Salesians of Don Bosco promote an integral Salesian Youth Spirituality among the young. This en masse gathering in its formulaic etymology means a 'Home of Life and Love', proposing to the young to live meaningful lives, through Connect [Home], Commit [Love], and Celebrate [Life]. The young from 15 institutions in the Gujarat-Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh region were animated on the four themes of Family-Relationships, Environment, Education-Culture and Social Action. 


During the two-day event, among the varied activities, are included creative expressions like collage-making, rangoli, best out of waste, folk dances, cultural ensembles, interfaith prayer moment, alongwith serious issue-based inputs by animators/facilitators. Father D'Souza in his inimitable style during the opening speech invited the youngsters to "become responsible stakeholders and co-creators in the creation of a humane society as connected, committed and celebrating global citizens." 

Shailesh Christie, reputed motivational speaker cum mentor-trainer invited the young to go beyond the superficial connectivity of the social media that has hooked all of us, to "take on self-responsibility through concrete commitments /resolutions, enhancing the quality of life in family and societal life, contributing to positive, insightful thinking envisioning a loving and caring world." 

 

Swaying to the electrifying beats of local folk music, the young people added zing to the day's proceeding with a cultural garba, adding zestful spark and glitter dispelling the darkness of the dry wintry night, warming up to one another and ushering in a new era of dynamic synergy. 

The SYMBIOS GuRaM is the first such instance of a vast gathering of young people from across the institutions animated by the Salesian Family in the north-western part of India. A moment of camaraderie that enlivens, informs, educates, connects and celebrates the young, this mega youth event is an occasion to commit to a better me and a better we.

Friday, December 8, 2017

BIS #5271 SALESIAN PROVINCIAL COMMUNITY DAY CELEBRATED IN MUMBAI


by Father Joaquim Fernandes

 

MUMBAI, DEC 8, 2017: Nearly 100 Salesians, alongside provincial councillors and animators of communities, participated in the Provincial Community Day of the Salesian Province of Mumbai at the Don Bosco Provincial House on December 4. 

 

Provincial Father Godfrey D'Souza, flanked by Vice Provincial Father Savio Silveira, Provincial Economer Father Manuel Murzello and the provincial councillors presided over the solemn Eucharist at 6.30 pm at the Crypt of the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna. 

 

Provincial Father D'Souza gave a brief introduction during the Eucharistic celebration. "It is up to us Salesians to work with one another, with our limitations and our expectations, in creating unity, in understanding what we share in common, in upholding the Gospel values and defining the boundaries to share in the mission of what God calls us to be," Father D'Souza, said.

 

Father Kenneth Pereira, Councillor for Formation, reflected on community life in his homily. "We belong to the local, provincial and world community of the Salesians and these have its own challenges and opportunities. We need to be praying and committed Salesians. Our coming together is because God has called each one of us and hence in a world which is wounded, divided and scattered, we need to give hope and live the life of Christ," Father Pereira, said.

 

Unseasonal rainfall, due to the Cyclone Ockhi, prompted a change in the venue for the community meal that was arranged. The weather didn't dampen the spirits of all gathered. Father Crispino D'Souza, Rector of Don Bosco High School, Matunga - the host community instrumental in organising the Province Community Day celebrations - thanked the Provincial and the councillors for their leadership in guiding the Salesian Province of Mumbai. The Provincial then thanked the Salesians for their collaboration in working together, to expand the mission of Don Bosco amongst youngsters.   

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

BIS #5270 YOUNGSTERS PLEDGE TO SERVE AT THE ALTAR

by Ruth Clara Veigas and Christopher Rosario

 

KUWAIT, DEC 6, 2017: Fifty boys from St Therese of Child Jesus Church in Kuwait took their pledge as altar servers, while one hundred and twenty-three existing altar servers renewed their promise to serve the Lord at his altar on December 4.

 

Each year after receiving the First Holy Communion, the parish announces registration for new altar servers. This year a total number of 58 boys registered to join the altar servers' ministry. All the boys were trained for eleven consecutive Saturdays by Pascal Fernandes, James Sequeira (Latin rite) and Joshi George, Sandhya James, Tom Jose and Marykutty Stalin (Syro-Malabar rite) with the support of a few senior altar servers.

 

The boys were taught to serve during holy Mass and were also familiarised with the sacred books, vestments and the vessels used. Ninety per cent attendance and a written examination were mandatory for the training, after which the boys were qualified for induction. All the boys performed exceptionally well at the written test, with Joshua D'Souza scoring full 50 marks. Based on the attendance and marks, 50 boys from the Latin and Syro-Malabar rites, were selected to join the altar servers' ministry.

 

The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Father Lionel Braganza and attended by the parents and parishioners of St. Therese of Child Jesus Church. At the introduction, Father Braganza expressed his joy to see the large number of altar servers dressed in their robes present for the induction ceremony.

During the homily, Father Braganza thanked the parents for choosing to send their sons for serving at the altar. He also shared his experience as an altar server and his mother's desire to have all her sons become priests. Father Braganza advised the boys that should they have a desire to join the priestly vocation, not to delay; rather take a quick decision and contact a priest for further guidance.

 

After the homily, 50 new boys took their pledge while the 123 existing altar servers renewed their promise. Before the final blessing, certificates to the new boys and trophies and certificates to the six best altar servers for the year 2016-2017 were distributed. As a gesture of appreciation, 'Helping Hand Certificates' and gifts were also distributed to the senior boys for helping the ministry on various occasions during the year 2016 – 2017. 


After Holy Mass, it was time to celebrate! All the boys assembled in the church courtyard and were felicitated by the cutting of cake.  All parents and parishioners once again joined to witness the occasion and congratulate the boys. Altar Server Dave Jesus Rodrigues, who was newly inducted said, "I am glad to be an altar server because by serving the priest at the altar, I will stay close to Jesus. I will not forget my pledge and commitment as an altar server." 

 

All the boys and their parents appreciated the efforts of the ministry in organising and making the children feel special. "I have my two sons inducted today and will serve as altar servers. I am very happy with the training sessions conducted by the coordinators. It was a very well planned and organised event," Jayan C Andrews, a parent of a newly inducted altar server, said.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

BIS #5269 MAKING CATECHISM FUN AND EFFECTIVE

by BIS Correspondent

 

KUWAIT, DEC 5, 2017: Over a hundred catechists from the parishes of St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church in Salmiya and St. Daniel Comboni, Abassiya attended the General Catechists Course held on November 25, December 1 and 2 in Kuwait. 

 

Father Franco Pereira, Catechetical Director for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, invited Dr Father Gilbert Choondal to conduct the course. Father Choondal holds a PhD in Catechetics and Youth Ministry from the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome. He is a professor at Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, India and is presently the President of the Indian Catechetical Association.

 

During the orientation session on the first day of the course, Father Choondal spoke about the vocation of a catechist. He said that mere knowledge of the faith is not enough, adding that the catechetics must believe what they teach and teach what they believe.

 

He said that classes conducted just verbally without the use of any visual aids could be boring and ineffective in the long run, adding, children learn better when they do and learn. Father encouraged those present to use lively creative methods, media, projects, visuals, songs, art, magic, games and riddles.

 

Gracy Rodrigues, a catechist, speaking on her impressions said, "Father Gilbert brought home to me the fact that catechesis is a mission and I as a catechist, am especially chosen by God to facilitate the knowledge of faith to His children."

 

On the second day, Father Choondal spoke about sacred icons, their origin, their meaning and how to use them in catechesis. He touched upon the methods of communicating the faith in catechesis. He emphasised the use of media, the role of audio and visual aids, group activities, creative writing, drawing, memorisation, liturgical activities, missionary activities and many more.

 

"All the sessions were very educative, magical and fun. The most impressive part was using a simple tool like craft to catechise the children. Being a teacher of class two, I'm sure the little kids in my class will love these show and learn ideas and will help them take the right message home," Janice D'Souza, another catechist, said.

 

Using Pope Francis' Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, for the concluding session on the family, Father Choondal shared 10 ways in which catechists can become pastoral animators in family ministries. He encouraged them to faithfully practice the 10 tips for catholic families drawn from Amoris Laetitia, so that families can be strengthened and grow in love for God and each other.

 

Father Choondal ended by saying that the most important dimension in catechesis is not the method but the catechist!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

BIS #5268 DON BOSCO INDIA FORGES GREEN ALLIANCE

by Father Noel Maddhichetty  

DIMAPUR, DEC 2, 2017: Salesian delegates meeting for the 2017 Annual Provincial Development Official (PDO) Meet in AIDA, Dimapur on November 30 and  December 1 agreed to push for four flagship programmes at the national level that focus on climate change, child rights, aiding stakeholders to make sustainable livelihoods and women empowerment programmes.

The flagship projects would be designed into standard patterns of interventions by the PDO network to replicate them among the pan India Don Bosco partners in the future. The delegates reached a consensus to focus on the Don Bosco Green Alliance, a campaign to combat climate change.

Child Rights Promotion and Protection was also highlighted as a pressing issue that needed intervention. Agricultural Skill Training for sustainable livelihood, including Organic farming, was the third programme that was stressed upon and finally women empowerment programmes were also singled out as essential. 

The delegates were warmly welcomed on November 30 with a traditional Naga dance performed by the students in the AIDA centre. Father Nestor Guria, Provincial of Dimapur gave a keynote address, quoting the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus himself was concerned about the poor and needy. Don Bosco followed His spirit in shaping and moulding children and youth as good human beings and responsible citizens. 

Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Councillor for South Asia, sent a message to urge the directors of the PDO, to bring about a paradigm shift in their educational institutions. He asserted the need to take up eco-based education and create love in our students for nature.

"In the secular world, development in general refers to industrial development and building up of real estate, in the bargain, aggravating the divide between the rich and the poor and ruining the natural ambient around them," Father Kanaga, said.

"For us, called to be prophets, mystics and servants, it should have quite a different meaning. It has to be in keeping with the Gospel vision of society and along the lines of Laudato Sì, caring for our common home of Pope Francis. Development has to respect God, man and nature."

"Even our well run educational institutions, unwittingly have been producing largely good servants of this capitalistic, market oriented, money centred system. We have not taught them to go back to nature, to the Garden of Eden, which is actually the paradise for which God created us, where there is harmony between God, man and nature.  So, we need to make a paradigm shift now. In all our educational institutions, we need to take up eco-based education, and create love in our students for nature."

Father Noel Maddichetty, Director of BoscoNet, exhorted the participants to synergies the forces in the network to campaign and intervene as one force of Don Bosco India, with strategies, which will stimulate the social transformation of youth and marginalised people.

Babloo, founder of Human Rights Alert, Manipur took the first session on the ground situation in the North East regarding human rights and related issues pertaining to the shrinking of democratic space in our times.

Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai and pioneer of Greenline Movement, presented care and concerns regarding environmental issues and how to preserve and protect the environment. His presentation prompted a discussion which converged into a consensus to forge the Don Bosco Green Alliance and educate young people to combat climate change and create a safer climate for them in the future. 

Thomas Fernandez, Deputy Manager for Sriram Finance shared with the audience about various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunities. PDO Directors presented the special projects and shared their best practices in the provinces. 

Father Xavier Packiam, the coordinator of the provincial economers' network presented some of the administrative and accounting procedures to update the administration standards of the provincial development offices.

Friday, December 1, 2017

BIS #5267 BRINGING IN THE CHRISTMAS CHEER

by Ramona Crasto

 

KUWAIT, DEC 1, 2017: As part of the Christmas festivities, the Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY) from St. Therese Parish in Salmiya, Kuwait organised their annual picnic for Domestic Helpers' on November 24.

 

Nineteen youth members and volunteers arranged a fun-filled day for around 110 maids and drivers at a chalet in Kabd. After welcoming the guests, the day began with holy Mass celebrated by Father Lionel Braganza, spiritual director of SPY. This was followed by a day filled with games, food, music and gift bags for the domestic helpers. Father Blany Pinto, parish priest of St. Therese graced the occasion with his presence and joined in the fun and celebrations.

 

Domestic helper's day is SPY's way of giving back to the community at large. It is an opportunity to recognise and appreciate the domestic helpers who work tirelessly long working hours and often thanklessly for meagre salaries," Donovan Ferrao, member of the SPY core, said.

 

"Christmas is the season of giving and it is our great pleasure to be able to make this day special for these hard working people who are far away from their families for Christmas. The smile on their faces at the end of day fills us with the spirit of Christmas and also teaches us that even the smallest show of love can make a big difference in someone's life."

 

Elvira D'Souza, who has been working for 15 years in Kuwait as a maid, said, "SPY has been organising this annual event for many years now and we all look forward to attend it just like any other celebration. It was amazing to see so many youngsters cater to our needs for a change and I would like to thank SPY for organising this day of joy and fun for us in a very systematic way. God bless the youth and organisers who made this day feel like a break from our daily routine."

Thursday, November 30, 2017

BIS #5266 PUSHING THE LIMITS OF SPORTING EXCELLENCE

by Ashish Rajkumar Sanglikar and Swati Patil 

PUNE, NOV 30, 2017: Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Pune witnessed adrenalin pumping sporting action as the institution celebrated its 40th annual Sports Festival, on November 25 at the school grounds.

Students participated in a wide array of disciplines, which included events like long jump, shot put, discus throw, athletics, relay race and tug of war. Each house in-charge ensured that a majority of students participated in the competition. 

Apart from track and field, students from standard five to eight displayed their karate skills which helps in shaping body, mind and soul. The students were coached by Sunil Vanve and Jyoti Kshirsagar. Students from standard 11 displayed various shapes and symbols of sportsmanship through pyramids. Their teachers, Sabina, Blossom, Amit, Johan Anthony and Prathamesh Botre coached them for the same.
 
Students from the primary and secondary section then performed a zumba dance, while students from standard nine and ten displayed the traditional lezim. Finally, standard 12 students did an aerobics display.

Guru Gharath, a gold medallist in triathlon in national and South Asian Games in 2015, 2016, Asian Championship and also a triathlon gold in 2017, was the Chief Guest, while Dreeraj Sawant, a gold medalist in triathlon in South Asian Games in 2016, a silver medalist in triathlon in senior national games in 2016 and a bronze medallist in trithlon in national games in 2015, alongside Manish Anand, the Vice President of Maharashtra Hockey Federation were the Guests of Honour.

The competition began with a guard of honour, which was followed by the march past. The school band then played the National Anthem. Gharath hoisted the sports flag. Lavina Lobo and Hrushi Pacharne from the secondary section, Kayadu Lohar and Johan Anthony from the  junior college, Ashish Patare, a teacher representative  and Cyril Ashirwadam, PTA representative carried and ignited the sports flame as a symbol of sportsmanship.


Alisha Khemali, the college captain, administered the sports person's oath. Catherine Moses, college sports secretary led the sports person's prayer. Father Bosco D'Mello, the Principal, then introduced the Chief Guest and the other dignitaries. Sawant addressed the gathering and urged parents to give their children more opportunities in sports and to be open to sports activities.  He also said that sports makes an individual more disciplined and talented which is not possible through academic's alone.

The red house from the secondary section and the blue house from the junior college were declared as the champions of the year. "As a house in- charge it's indeed a proud moment for me to be declared as winners but the credit goes to all the students who have won the medals and made the house proud," Vanita Roham, a teacher from junior college, said.
 
Jyoti Kshirsagar, another teacher, added, "We, the teachers have been preparing the students in the months that have gone by and today it seems that our hard work has really paid."

Dikshyant Bandari, a young athlete from standard 12, said, "I was preparing very hard for this event and I feel proud that I have bagged 3 gold and 1 silver, it's the biggest day in my life till date."

The primary section held their sports meet on November 24, with Devendra Singh, a gold medalist at Asian Yoga Championship 2015, a silver medalist in national yoga championship 2016, in attendance as the Chief Guest.  

The primary students performed mass drills by using various sports equipment as their props. Tiny tots from standard one and two performed aerobics, whereas standard three and four performed lezim to the famous Nashik dhol music.  
 
The students then competed in a host of events, such as the flat race, potato race, book balancing, sack race, garlanding the partner and relay. Parents too won prizes by participating in events like musical chairs and tug of war.

"I am very delighted to see my son securing a gold medal in the relay race. This has surely boosted up his confidence and will encourage him to participate in more events in the coming year," Pillay, a parent, said.

Mohit Thakur, a student, added, " My parents will be very happy to know that I have won 2 gold medals and 1 bronze medal in the 50 metre race , 100 metre flat race and relay race respectively. They will surely be proud of me."

Monday, November 27, 2017

BIS #5265 HONOURING SPORTS AND CULTURAL TALENTS

by Lisa Dominic 

 

NAVI MUMBAI, NOV 27, 2017: It was a spectacular display of talents, camaraderie and sportsmanship as Don Bosco Senior Secondary School, Nerul celebrated its 12th Annual Sports and Cultural Festival in line with the theme 'The Circle of Life' which encompassed 'the self', 'the family', 'the school', 'the society' and 'the environment' on November 23 and 24.

 

The theme helped the students to understand that they are connected in the great 'Circle of Life' that should be respected as it connects them together. The Chief Guest, Father Glenford Lowe, and the Guests of Honour, Father Bonnie Borges, the principal, Father Donald Fernandez, Dorothy Fernandez, the physical education teachers of neighbouring schools and PTA members were present at the inaugural ceremony.

 

Father Borges welcomed the gathering, following which the flag was hoisted and the torch relay began. A march past followed and each squad held a banner which encompassed an environmental aspect of the Circle of Life. The mass drill, aerobics, yoga and medley of folk dances showcased by the students of standard one to eight provided a blend of sports and culture.

 

Father Lowe, in his inspiring address, appreciated the efforts of the students. "The future sportsmen and sportswomen are here on this playground today. The gold medals you win here will lead you all to win at the Olympics," he said. Thereafter the students dispersed to various venues to participate in different events that were organised for them. All students from standard one to twelve participated in either sporting disciplines or cultural activities. Around 2700 certificates and 900 sets of medals were distributed to the winners.

 

On the second day, events such as tug of war and relay were conducted. Teaching and non-teaching staff members, parents and past pupils joined in the celebrations by participating in the special events organised for them. The closing ceremony which marked the end of the annual sports and cultural meet included the lowering of the school flag and distribution of certificates and medals.

 

Father Borges and Father Fernandez lauded the efforts of the students and the teachers. "I am so proud and delighted to win five medals in the sports events," Elria Dias, an Individual Championship winner, said. "Since I am not a sportsperson, the cultural activities that were conducted gave me an opportunity to prove my talents," Aaryan Hebbalkar, a winner of the Individual Championship Award for Cultural Activities, added. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

BIS #5264 DON BOSCO YUVA SANSTHA REPORT CARD 2017

by Father Bento D'Souza

 

KARJAT, NOV 25, 2017: A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step. Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha (DBYS) Karjat provided a platform for hundreds of young electricians, welders, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics and gas pipeline mechanics to hone in on their skills in 2017.   

 

Seventy students took the skilled electricians course at the institution. The first such course began on January 15 till April 14. Two more batches participated in the two-month long course through the year. Following completion, a majority of the young electricians landed jobs, earning up to Rupees 12000.  

 

Twenty-seven students took the welders course at the institution, which began on February 6 and ran till May 5. Two more batches were conducted in 2017, each running for three months. The young graduates from the course landed jobs, earning them up to Rupees 9000.

 

Fifty eight students took the Refrigeration and Air conditioning (RAC) course, the first of which began on January 26 and ran till May 26. Two more batches took the course in 2017, with young graduates earning as much as Rupees 10000 following course completion.

 

Thirty-four youth enrolled in the gas pipeline technicians course, which began on January 9 and ran till February 18. Two more batches participated in the month-long course, following which the youth found jobs and are earning up to Rupees 9000.

 

The final batch of 2017, for all skill sets, began on November 1. The batch has 24 electricians, 12 welders and 25 RAC being trained and skilled.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

BIS #5263 SKILL TRAINING IN TRIBAL ASHRAM SHALA

by Father Bento D'Souza

 

NERAL, NOV 23, 2017: Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha, Karjat, launched a technical skill development training programme in three trades, namely tailoring, refrigeration, air conditioning (RAC) and electrical trade in the Tribal Ashram shala, Mangaon, Neral on November 16.

 

Fifty students, including girls from the ninth standard, participated in each of the skill development workshops for skill empowerment. Out of the group, 15 students took the course on electrical trades, 17 students participated in RAC training, while 18 students were groomed in tailoring.   

 

The classes that stretched for two hours each, began on November 16. The technical courses are slated to end on the January 31, 2018, on the feast of Don Bosco. 

 

Ganesh Bhopi and Sandeep Gaikwad gave an introductory lecture and orientation session for the students of the technical courses. Kavita More trained the youth in stitching and tailoring. Classes for these skill sets were held for two hours each on Thursday and Friday, while four hours on Saturday and Sunday. Extra classes are held, if required.

 

The Director, Dada Gaikwad, said, "If any student fails in their SCC examination, these technical skills will help students procure an economic livelihood and job security, thus not hampering their career prospects and capacity to survive. They will also have survival skills in hand when they leave the Tribal Ashram school."

BIS #5262 ANIMATION PROGRAMME FOR YOUNG PRIESTS

by Father Mylin Noronha

 

MUMBAI, NOV 22, 2017: Young priests from the Province of Bombay and Province of Panjim gathered at the Don Bosco Provincial House in Matunga, for a two-day animation programme on November 20, where they were urged to heed their call to be prophets in society.

 

Father Varghese Alengaden, Founder of the Universal Solidarity Movement of Value Education for Peace (USM), Indore, the resource person for the programme stressed that being prophets comes with an additional caveat, that of suffering.

 

"It's unfortunate that today, people prefer worshiping the cross, instead of carrying it," Father Alengaden, said. In order to fulfil their vision of bearing 'lasting fruit' through their ministry, he coaxed the priests to become mentors instead of mere teachers of young people. Just as Jesus told his followers that new wine had to be stored in new wine-skins, Father Alengaden told the priests that the new challenges of priests today had to be resolved with new strategies in carrying out their mission.

 

Father Alengaden continued his sharing on 'new wine-skin' strategies vis-à-vis the challenges he faced in his ministry over the years. He also conducted a session on 'The Miracle of Possibility Thinking' in which he challenged the young priests to ask themselves "Why Not?" and have the belief to do what has not been done before, to be fruitful in their ministry. In the afternoon, he shared some practical tips for spiritual growth based on his own experience and reflection during his many years as a priest. 

 

While the young priests were impressed and educated by the content of the talks of Father Alengaden, they were even more captivated by his personality. Throughout his interaction with the priests, he radiated courage, conviction and integrity that left a lasting imprint on the priests. In his vote of thanks, Father Jacob Palaparambil expressed this influence by saying, "Father Alengaden has not told us things about Jesus, but told us how to be Jesus."

 

The young Salesians enjoyed each other's company and shared many light moments, given that it was a reunion with their companions from both provinces. All in all, the two days that the young priests spent with each other and Father Alengaden were days of insightful thoughts, eye-opening knowledge and an opportunity to grow in love of Christ and neighbour.

BIS #5261 CHILDREN’S DAY WITH A DIFFERENCE

by BIS Correspondent

 

KAWANT, NOV 22, 2017: The senior secondary students of Don Bosco High School, Kawant celebrated Children's Day on November 14, with a unique social exposure-cum-outreach programme. Students visited the Kawant Police Station and the Madhya Pradesh Gujarat Veej Company Limited (MGVCL) where they were enlightened with valuable information by the respective representatives.

 

The police inspector of Kawant Police Station, addressed the gathering about the nature of crime, especially crime committed by school-going children. Passing on the importance of registering police complaints, he provided a career orientation on joining the police force.

 

An exhibition of the various firearms, like 410 Musket rifle, Army Rifle, 9MN Carbide Machine Gun, Gas Gun, and ammunition with the usage of various types of rifles and guns followed. Thereafter, students were taken for a tour of the police station. The main highlight was the interaction the students had with the prison inmates. A question and answer session with the police personnel was an eye-opener as well.

 

At the MGVCL, the students discovered the workings of the '69KV SubCentre Kawant'. The Electricity Board Officer told them about how electricity is generated, distributed and saved. Guiding the students through the different locations within the campus, he demonstrated the usage of various instruments. A question-answer interaction helped students gather first-hand information about the functioning of the Electricity Board.

 

This Children's Day was unique as the students celebrated it with an info-knowledge programme rather than the usual school programme. Keen to be informed and eager to gain more knowledge, the students departed after the enriching and informative exposure-cum-outreach programme.

 

Father Ajit Munis, Principal of Don Bosco High School Kawant, said, "Hopefully this initiative will be of benefit to the students in the long run. Instead of coming to school, and being part of the routine song and dance programme on Children's Day, I thought of this novel way to celebrate this wonderful day with some learning activity. Both at the Police Station and at the Electricity Board, valuable life-lessons were imparted and the students are happy about it." 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

BIS #5260 YAR DAY 2017

by Brother Mukesh Garasiya

 

MUMBAI, NOV 21, 2017: Bosco Boys Home (BBH) based in Borivli, marked Youth at Risk (YaR) Day on November 19 by organising a gathering entitled 'Caring for the Earth- Our Common Home' at Don Bosco School hall in Borivli, to make youth from the streets of the city feel loved and to instill in them love for mother earth.

 

Nineteen game stalls, alongside a stall for mehendi and nail art, technical displays, gift stalls and a theme stall, focusing on the theme of the day, made the youth feel special. At the registration desk, the youth were given coupons for games and meals. 

 

Thereafter, the boys were served breakfast and were directed to the hall for the inauguration ceremony. The compere for the event, Rolin Furtado, welcomed the gathering and invited all to take part in the prayer service. Eustace Fernandes, social staff at BBH, then read a short introduction followed by the lighting of the lamp.   

 

The compere then invited Nandkishore More, assistant commissioner of police, Dhanjay Lingade, inspector, MHB police station, Zara Ujwala, principal of Sheth Gopalji Seth Hemraj High School, Doctor Merlyn Mendis, Karuna Hospital, Borivli, Father Flovi D'souza, principal of Don Bosco High School, Borivli, Father Gregory Almeida, YaR coordinator of Mumbai province and Father Lloyd Rodrigues, administrator of BBH, to light the lamp. 

 

Thereafter, Brother Mukesh Garasiya read a Bible passage and Father Solomon Rapol, Rector of BBH, spoke to the children and asked them, "To help someone or make someone smile."    

                 

The boys from BBH presented a prayer dance on the song-'Who am I?' by Casting Crowns. Youth headed to the game stalls and participated in drawing and poster making competitions. Two clowns and mascots were present for the event who entertained the children throughout the programme. The Bosco Boys presented a flash mob dance on a fusion of old and new tunes.  

 

A cultural programme followed in the school hall, with youth participating in group dance, choral singing and solo singing competitions. Youth from Shivaji Nagar, one of the BBH outreach centres, then presented a skit on the theme – 'Water, Hygiene and Health'. 

 

The boys of Bosco Boys Home presented a musical drama to show how children in difficult situations were helped by Don Bosco institutes. The display was choreographed by Mayuri Raj, coordinator of Bosco Boys Home. The winners of the various competitions were announced and Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of Mumbai Province, Pooja Dixit, a television celebrity, and Kishan Agarwal, a poet, distributed the prizes.