Saturday, May 20, 2017

BIS #5110 ENGLISH FOR EMPLOYABILITY

by Royal D'Souza

 

MUMBAI, MAY 19, 2017: The Teach India programme run by the CSR division of Times of India with British Council as the content and knowledge partner offered the 'English for Employability' course, which is a 120-hour programme, for underprivileged and the school dropout youth at Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL), Kurla.

 

DBCL has been partnered with Teach India since July 2014 in conducting Spoken English programmes for the underprivileged. The seventh batch of 22 students, who initially registered for the programme, were given a written test and were interviewed by Bala, a reservist and trainer of Teach India on  March 15. 

 

Sessions, which ran from Monday to Saturday, began on March 21 and ended May 12. Edward Fernandes and Moksha, volunteers of Teach India, conducted the classes for the students. Sixteen students completed the course successfully. This was a special batch as of the sixteen students, five were Self Help Group (SHG) women members who had received skill and entrepreneurship training at DBCL and had started small businesses in their locality. 

 

Seven students were Community Organisers (CO's) who are working as part-time workers in the MCGM poverty eradication department under Community Development Officers (CDO's) at ward level in Mumbai. Four were college going youth who wanted to develop their english language skills. 

 

The module designed by Teach India focused on spoken and written english communication skills required in everyday situations, in customer services like retail and sales, travel and tourism and financial services. It also focused on grammatical accuracy, fluency, pronunciation and confidence. The 45-day long course enabled the participants to introduce themselves appropriately, greet others politely in person and over the phone, as well as to make and respond to polite requests in professional contexts.

 

The batch had many of the candidates above the age of 30. Some of them had left their education ten to twelve years back. The teachers conducted sessions using practical exercises so that all the participants could have equal opportunities to learn the language. At the valedictory function on May 12, fifteen students received their certificates. 

 

"At this age getting the opportunity to come back to a well-known college, sitting in class and learning english was a dream for me. This class has given me confidence to express myself clearly. The teachers and all my colleagues supported me in completing this course. Overall it will help me improve my personality," Sangeeta Hire, CO said.

 

A SHG member, Manisha Katke added, "I have completed my graduation and now I am running my business in Ghatkopar. My daughter always speaks to me in english and I was not able to answer her in english. Now after joining this course I talk to my daughter in english everyday. I thank my teachers and this Don Bosco institute for giving me an opportunity to learn english."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

BIS #5109 ADMA JOINS CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS AT FATIMA SHRINE KARJAT

by Ashwin Fernandes

 

KARJAT, MAY 17, 2017: When Pope Francis was leading the centenary celebrations of Our Lady of Fatima- Portugal on May 13, the members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) Matunga Unit, went on a pilgrimage to Asia's first Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima at Karjat.

 

The group reached for the unfurling of the flag of our Lady of Fatima. The scene of the apparition was creatively set up at the new altar extension. There were around 3,000 other pilgrims, Catholics and of other religious confessions, at the Shrine, to witness this important historic landmark.

 

Cardinal Oswald Gracias consecrated and blessed the new altar of the church, sprinkling holy water and chrism oil. He also renewed the act of consecration of the Archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

 

"Let us live the message of Fatima. Pray for peace and make sacrifices emphasising the power of prayer. At Fatima the Blessed Virgin spoke of World War. Wars continue today, with different forms and dangers, turmoil, upheaval and violence all over the world. Wars are also in our personal lives, in the struggle between good and evil," Cardinal Gracias said. "It is important to pray, pray for peace in our homes, in family relationships and in the world."

 

Thereafter Cardinal Gracias blessed the pilgrims with the relics of the two little shepherds Francisco and Jacinta who had just been canonised in Fatima, by the Holy Father, around the same time. The parishioners and well wishers had organised a fellowship meal, where all pilgrims lunched together. In the afternoon, Eucharistic adoration and family consecration followed.  

 

"The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima at Karjat  was built in the year 1935, and houses the statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought from Portugal in the year 1920, years before the approval - of the Fatima apparitions - in 1930 by the Holy See," Father Callistus Fernandes, Rector of the sanctuary said. He added, "The distinguishing characteristic of a shrine is that it is a place of pilgrimage." A proposal to give the Shrine a more official status, naming it the 'Archdiocesan Shrine of Fatima' has been presented to the Archbishop.

 

The ADMA members returned with their hearts content of having the opportunity to spend this historic day in prayers and devotion to our Blessed Mother, which is one of the primary objectives of this Marian Association.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

BIS #5108 A NEW BEST FRIEND, IN JESUS

by Curie Cola├žo

 

KUWAIT, MAY 16, 2017: On May 12, over hundred children – dressed in white - arrived with their parents at the Church of St. Therese, Salmiya- Kuwait to receive the sacrament of First Holy Communion. 

 

Weeks of practice and a year of training in catechism classes ensured that the children were more than equipped for the experience of welcoming Jesus personally into their lives. 

 

Holy Mass was celebrated by Father Lionel Braganza and concelebrated by Father Francisco Pereira, Father Blany Pinto, Father Derrick Misquitta, Father Johnson Nedumpuram, Father Clifford and Deacon Sylvester D'Souza. The children's choir animated the music.


Father Braganza began by delighting the children as he reminisced about his First Holy Communion day. The homily was delivered by Father Pereira who invited Father Braganza and Father Pinto to sing his favourite hymn, 'He's got the whole world, in his hands' to the children, thereby making his message clear to them. 


The children smiled as they sang and prayed, waiting expectantly to finally receive their new best friend. Along with the children, even the parents and other catechists appreciated the efforts of the organisers.

"Everything from the rehearsals, the hall decoration, the assembly of the communicants, the seating arrangements for parents and relatives was perfect with clockwork precision," Susan Pereira, a parent said. 


After the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the children received their First Holy Communion certificate. Souvenirs – the holy Bible, Rosary and a Scapular - were also given  along with snacks. A parent of a communicant said, "We are truly a blessed flock, to have the benefit of the best pastoral care under the Salesians and a dedicated and capable catechism ministry."

Monday, May 15, 2017

BIS #5107 VOCATION CAMP AT DON BOSCO LONAVLA

by Joel Varghese 

 

LONAVLA, MAY 15, 2017: A vocation camp was held at Don Bosco, Lonavla from May 2-8 and six students from Don Bosco, Nerul were part of the camp. The boys were accompanied by the Father Bonnie Borges, the manager.

There were  fellow campers from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Ahmednagar, Mumbai and Vasai, with the Nerul boys. Ice breakers and games were conducted so the boys could get to know each other. They were divided into groups namely Bessuco, Bosco, Garelli, Magone and Savio.

Each day began with holy Mass and reflection on the Gospel. The brothers and priests told their vocation stories to the campers; as well as about the various vocations in the Bible, explaining 'God's call' to them.

There were team games too, which taught the importance of co-operation and team spirit. Following camping tradition, a camp fire was arranged on the last day. The scores were declared with Bessuco winning the first place. The best camper award, most promising camper award and awards to deserving campers were also given. 


The highlight of the camp was the outreach programme, where the boys went to a village and presented skits on topics such as health, environment, education and addictions. Throughout the camp there was lot of time for games and recreation. The campers were always kept on their toes and there was never a dull moment. 

 

A standard ten student from Don Bosco Nerul said, "The brothers and fathers were so hospitable that we felt we were part of one big family. I will never forget the extremely thrilling and spine-tingling Savio Night. The trek and treasure hunt we had on a hill is another unforgettable experience. And how can I forget the mouth watering bhel which Father Mc Enroe prepared. On behalf of all the campers, I want to thank all the brothers and priests who put in so much effort to give us such a memorable experience!"

BIS #5106 RELIGIOUS, LAITY SHOULD JOIN FORCES FOR CHANGE'

by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, MAY 15, 2017: One and a half million is a sizeable number, but up against twelve hundred million that number pales in comparison. Father Chrys Saldanha at the launch of his new book, 'Challenges in Salesian Life Today', in Mumbai on May 14, talked about such numbers to stress on the importance of one and a half million religious world-over using the potential of twelve hundred million Catholics to foster peace and love in a world riddled with strife.  

In the 336-page discourse, his second publication, Father Saldanha addressed the challenges that Salesians face world-over. Issues like clericalism, excessive institutionalization, the Salesian Brother, revival of Oratories and anger were addressed in-depth. 

Nirmala Rego - former brand director of Xavier Institute of Management & Research (XIMR) MBA programme - was the chief guest at the book launch, alongside Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of Mumbai and Father Savio Silveira, vice provincial and a host of Salesians and lay people.  

"We priests and religious are only one percent of the whole Catholic Church. Lay people are 99 per cent. If only some of them could be launched as missionaries in the world, what a difference it would make to the mission of the church," Father Saldanha reflected.

"Pope Francis," he added, "keep's insisting that in the Church one of our problems is clericalism, it means that we play down the identity and mission of lay people. What is played up is the priestly role and not the lay role, so I thought that I'd write about this as I do feel it's a problem, as we have to wake up to the identity and mission of the lay people in the world."

Father Saldanha began writing the book in January 2016, on the insistence of Father D'Souza. His first book 'Exploring Salesian Life Today', published in 2015 works in tandem with this second volume to explore aspects of Salesian life and to highlight the challenges.

"In the book that has just been launched we have a spectrum of reflections," Father Silveira said. "Father Chrys doesn't only focus on the problem but explores a variety of solutions to these challenges."

Father Saldanha stressed that the concept of a Salesian Brother has been somehow sidelined today. "We don't see the secular field as an apostolate. Apostolate is always about what the priest does, what about people that live in the world of work? What about teachers, lawyers, doctors and engineers? We don't consider that as apostolate and that is a mistake," Father Saldanha said.

"All are called to be evangelizers and apostles. Some in the Church, and that's the priest, but all are called to be evangelizers in society and the secular world. A catholic teacher who teaches in a school, who lives the Christian faith, not preaches, but lives the faith, is an apostle in the school. A catholic doctor who works in a hospital, but without words, stands for certain values for example against contraception or abortion is an apostle in the field of medicine."

"If we play down the secular world as a field of apostolate, then there is no room for the Salesian Brother, because the Salesian Brother's vocation is connected with the secular world, the field of technology, social communication. I dealt with these two topics about the laity and also about the Salesian Brother as well."

The 27th General Chapter urged all Salesians to be mystics in the spirit. The word mystic is associated with Saint Catherine of Sienna, Teresa of Avila, Padre Pio. Father Saldanha dedicated a chapter to explain the meaning of a mystic and how Salesians can become mystics in the spirit.  

In a chapter dedicated to the 'Salesian Priest', Father Saldanha stressed that pastoral work isn't restricted to parishes, but also beyond its confines.  "Sometimes priests think that they cannot do any pastoral work in a school, as pastoral work is done in a parish. What do you mean by pastoral work? Does it only mean the sacraments? Then there's a danger of reducing the priesthood to a cultic priesthood, just to the sacraments, but the priesthood is much more than that. The priest performs baptisms and marriages, but he is also a priest on the playground with the boys. You need to rethink what do you mean by a Salesian priest," he said.

Rego, who found a lot to take away from the book said, "I will read and meditate on the book and try to live it." As the Tej-Prasarini production hits the stands, Father Chrys looks to pen a new publication for all religious in the future.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

BIS #5105 CHALLENGES IN SALESIAN LIFE TODAY

Father Chrys Saldanha sdb talks to Karen Laurie from Bosco Information Service (BIS) on the launch of his new book, 'Challenges in Salesian Life Today'

 

MUMBAI, MAY 14, 2017

BIS: Are you trying to build connections between your last book, 'Exploring Salesian Life Today', and your new book?

 

Father Saldanha: The first book was originally a set of nine conferences I prepared for a renewal course in Bangalore about three years ago. I added three more conferences, and the twelve articles came to be published in a volume entitled, "Exploring Salesian Life Today". On my return from Rome in January 2016, Father Godfrey D'Souza, the Provincial of Mumbai, asked me to write a second volume. I accepted, and here it is now with the title, 'Challenges in Salesian Life Today'. Yes, there is a continuity between the two volumes in so far as the two books are concerned with aspects of our Salesian life that need clarification and greater depth in the way we live them. The challenges we face are a call to renewal.

 

BIS: Your book draws a lot of inspiration from Church documents. Can you tell us more? 

 

Father Saldanha: I know that some people have an aversion to Church documents. And yet, I find a lot of meaning in them. They are prepared by some of the best minds in the Church, and are the fruit of a lot of lived experience around the world. In a few pages, you receive a lot more knowledge and understanding of problems and solutions than you would get by reading a number of books. 

 

BIS: There are fewer Salesian Brothers today than before and this has been worrying Salesians for almost 30-40 years. You have tried to address this problem in your book.

 

Father Saldanha: Yes, this topic comes up in two chapters, viz in the one on the Salesian brother and in the other on lay people, but the underlying problem is the same: we have a very clerical mentality. We hardly see the secular world as a place of apostolate. To be a doctor/nurse in a hospital or a teacher in a school is a wonderful apostolate, but so few Christians see and live it as such. Now, the Salesian brother's apostolate is connected with the secular world, the world of work, like, for instance, a professional school or the communications media. But if, as I said, the world of work is not seen and appreciated by all the members of the Church as a worthwhile and necessary apostolate, then there is a depreciation of the vocation of the Salesian brother. Pope Francis repeatedly decries the problem of clericalism in the Church. It is hurting the Church badly. Just think of the words we commonly use - vocation, evangelization, becoming spiritual, being holy – and you will notice that we spontaneously tend to relate all of them to the priest and what he does within the Church confines. But, aren't all of them very much related also to the secular world in which all our lay people live? Isn't the world of work a place where our Christians live out their lay vocation, grow in holiness and carry out their important mission of evangelizing the world? 

 

BIS: Do you consider authority as a challenge to Salesians?

 

Father Saldanha: Most religious are persons in authority in one way or another. Sadly, however, there is little or no preparation for authority. They hardly see authority (in the Church context) as a service of helping people to grow - in faith, in love, in unity, in fidelity to Christ and to one's vocation, in holiness. They hardly realise what a precious service they are rendering through the exercise of authority. That's how I have developed this topic. 

 

BIS: Your book speaks of the importance of the revival of Don Bosco's oratory. 

 

Father Saldanha: I believe there are two ways of looking at our work. In the first way, we run an institution, like a school. Young people come to school every morning, we educate them, and they return to their homes in the evening. Another way of looking at our work is to tell ourselves that we are sent to incarnate the charism of Don Bosco in a particular locality. And so, the starting-point for our work is the young people of the area. Where are the young people? Who are they? What do they need? Many need education, and so we offer them a school. But, there are also college-going youth who would appreciate the possibility of a youth forum where they can learn more about things that interest them like love, faith, marriage, etc. And there are street-children who need a place to stay at night: can we do something about that? And there is the problem of drugs or of pornography in the area that is affecting our youth: can we involve lay people or civil society in combating the menace? And there are young people hanging out on street corners on weekends, bored with life and now knowing how to spend their free time; can some opportunities be offered them after class-hours and on weekends (if not every evening) for sports, games, and a variety of other activities that interest them?  Seen this way, our school becomes a radiating centre in the locality, reaching out to all the young people of the neighbourhood, and through them, to their families. In this way we get everyone in the locality to work with us for young people. 

 

BIS: Is institutionalization a challenge for the Salesians?

 

Father Saldanha: Yes, I think we are too institution-centred. We tend to focus on organisation – the time-table, roles and responsibilities, rules, order and discipline – and the good results are there for everyone to see. All these things are necessary and good in themselves, but we have to keep on reminding ourselves that we are not sent to run institutions but to serve young people. Of course, we do need order and discipline, but persons come first. Do we meet our young people in the playground? Do we talk with them in the school and become friends with them? Do we involve ourselves with them outside of class-hours? Are we available to them?

In my book I narrate an experience I had in Bangalore many years ago. I was asked for be on a panel of three persons – a priest and two lay persons – and the topic was 'Salesians and Lay People': it was meant to be a preparation for GC24. At one moment, one of the panellists, a lady, spoke up and said: "Dear fathers, I am not referring to you Salesians but to priests in general. Go to any parish residence and will you find a notice on the wall which says: Visiting hours: nine to five. That's all very well, but people cannot come to see the parish clergy during those hours because they are at work. And if they come at six or seven in the evening, they get a shout and a remark, 'Can't you read what the notice says?' Fathers, you need to be available to people."

During the interval some of us were sitting with her at table, having a cup of coffee, when one of the Salesians addressed the good lady and said: "Mrs….., it's all very well for you to say these things. But, don't forget that priests are human beings too; they work the whole day from morning till evening, and they too are entitled to some time for themselves and for some rest." Quick as a flash, the lady replied: "Father, my husband is a doctor, and if at one o'clock in the night he receives a telephone call to say that someone is sick, he will get out of bed and go and attend to that person." And she added, "See, Father, there are some professions which require you to be always available to people." One of them is the doctor, another is the priest! 

 

BIS: You have dedicated a whole chapter to 'Anger' in your book: was it by popular demand? 

 

Father Saldanha: Anger is a human problem that we all have to deal with. When we are in positions of authority, we tend to lose our temper when something goes wrong and to shout at people, and in this way, we alienate people from us. There are ways of dealing with anger by which we need not break our relationships. That is a skill we need to learn. Actually speaking, this topic was suggested to me by a Salesian after I had written the first book.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

BIS #5104 ADVOCACY WORKSHOP FOR STRENGTHENING FOOD SECURITY AND HEALTH

by Mahesh Kumar

 

MUMBAI, MAY 10, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) Matunga in collaboration with Anna Haq Parishad (AHP) and SNEHA organised a workshop on May 6, for social activists and volunteers working in the field of food security and health issues in Mumbai. 

 

Father Rolvin D'Mello, executive director- DBDS said, "This is an ongoing initiative of DBDS to strengthen civil society's participation, to strengthen rights and entitlements of people at the bottom of socio-economic pyramid." 


Affsaran Kaur, project director - SNEHA and Akshay Kamble, programme coordinator- SNEHA were the resource persons for the workshop. They introduced the participants to the concept of Mahila Arogya Samiti (MAS) and its functioning in the slum communities.  

 

A MAS should consist of ten women members and each woman will cover ten families. So effectively a MAS will cover 100 families, taking care of issues such as health, sanitation, domestic violence and education. 

 

As MAS is a government recognised unit it will automatically co-ordinate and link to other government schemes as well. The workshop also focussed on the process of forming MAS, role of U-PHC, NRHM etc. 

In the next session, the Anna Haq Parishad activists explained about the progress made in review of Food Security Act in relation to Public Distribution System (PDS), informed participants on the new Government Resolution (GR), GR for creation of State Food Commission, GRs for increasing food supply quota, formation of Vigilance Committee at ration shop level etc. 

 

At the end of the workshop the future line of action was discussed and all the activists resolved to unite and fight for these issues. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

BIS #5103 SHELTER SCOUT CAMP AT LONAVLA

by BIS Correspondent

 

LONAVLA, MAY 8, 2017: As part of a summer programme, Shelter Don Bosco boys attended a five- day scout camp at Maria Ashiana, Lonavla from April 25- 30. Over 30 boys between the age group 12 to 17 years were selected for the camp. It was organised by Clerics Kiran Ruptakke, Ankit Devda and Anil Ninama with the staff of Shelter, to explain to the boys the importance of scouts and guides. 

 

Most of the sessions were practical and value based. The boys learnt whistle codes, signs, knots, first aid and flag break. Brother Felix Almeida and his scouts from Don Bosco School, Lonavla assisted the boys with a few sessions. 

All the activities were carried out in teams. Trekking to Macro Tower mountain, the highest point of Lonavla was the climax of the camp, where the boys as good scouts voluntarily cleared the area of waste bottles, plastic and paper. 

 

The scout camp ended with a campfire and the boys addressed pressing issues concerning the environment like saving water and reducing pollution. Father Jesu Robinson citing the life of scout founder Baden Powell, said, " Once a scout always a scout, who should integrate into his own life all that he has learnt to help fellow human beings."

 

It was an enriching scouting experience for the Shelter boys.The staff and boys of Maria Ashiana went out of their way to  make the camp a success.

BIS #5102 UNDERPRIVILEGED BENEFIT FROM DON BOSCO

by Father Rolvin D'Mello

 

MUMBAI, MAY 8, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) Chinchwad organised a free health camp on May 5, under the Women Empowerment project supported by AXA Business Services. Nearly 200 underprivileged women and children were examined by a team of doctors and para-medic staff from Aundh hospital.

 

The health camp was held in Vidya Nagar slum in Chinchwad. All the beneficiaries were from poor and needy families who cannot afford private health care services. 


Doctor Suraj Gaikwad - physician, Doctor Deshpande – paediatrician, Doctor Mane and Doctor A L Doshi - ophthalmologists along with 12 nurses, one medical social worker and five lab technicians examined the patients at the camp. 


Vibhawari Kamble, social worker – DBDS said, " Our effort is to improve the health indicators and environment in the slum communities under this project." 

 

"No major illnesses were found but there are cases of anemia, cough, cold, migraine, worms in children, joint's pain, etc. Free medicines were distributed and people with serious illness were referred to Aundh hospital for further treatment.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

BIS #5101 KIDS GET A NEW PARK

by Samuel John

 

VADODARA, MAY 3, 2017: Father Anthony Pinto, Rector and Principal of Don Bosco School, Vadodara inaugurated a play park for students on April 29. 


In the presence of the Salesian community, teaching and non-teaching staff, students of the play way section, parents and labourers, the park was blessed and the ribbon cut by a retiring teacher, Marguerite Naidu, who has served the institution for over 23 years.

 

The campus lost a large part of its open playground, wherein the kids lost their former play park. The new park was completed under the  administration of Father Dominic Martis.


"Don Bosco's love for children is visible here and so we did not the count cost to give the best to our children," Father Pinto said, spelling out the Salesian priority of creating an ideal learning environment for kids. 

 

The play park added smiles on the faces of the kids who enjoyed their 'first-ride' at the park.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

BIS #5100 AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

by Georgina D'souza

 

KUWAIT, MAY 1, 2017: A thanksgiving holy Mass and fellowship programme was organised on April 27 at the parish of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus in Kuwait, for the class 10 and 12 students who recently appeared for their board examinations. The event was organised by the Salesian Cooperators for over 50 students.

 

The evening commenced with the celebration of the holy Eucharist by Father Franco Pereira, who cited the example of the ten lepers that Jesus cured and yet it was only one grateful from among them, who came back to thank Jesus. The example helped the youth understand the importance of thanking the Lord in every circumstance. He invited all the students to express their gratitude to God for all their blessings and gifts.

 

The students then moved to the courtyard for a fellowship programme. Parish Priest, Father Blany Pinto directed their attention to the challenges of peer pressure and the importance of making the right choices. He encouraged them to enroll in parish youth groups and stay connected to the Church and parish activities wherever they go to pursue further studies.

 

Tara Ann Mathew said, "It was a beautiful experience where I was able to relax, have fun, meet lovely people and be thankful as I thoroughly enjoyed myself. God bless our parish and all the efforts of so many hardworking people that was clearly visible, this evening".  


"It was a moment to cherish. The feeling of being loved and more importantly, it gave us all an opportunity to give thanks to the Almighty for bringing us together for all the good done," Vanaida Castelino said. 

 

At the fellowship the youth and the organisers interacted, played games, danced and shared a meal. It was a memorable evening aimed at encouraging the youth to develop an attitude of gratitude. 

BIS #5099 HEALTH CAMP AT GOVANDI

by Prashant Bhosale 

 

MUMBAI, MAY 1, 2017: A health checkup camp was organised at Bainganwadi, Govandi by Don Bosco Balprafulta Saksham Centre on April 20. 

Doctor Ravi Magare and Doctor Nargis Nandagavli checked over 100 children during the camp. The staff of Don Bosco Balprafulta conducted a drawing activity based on health issues. A session on tuberculosis awareness was also held for the benefit of parents and children.

 

The purpose of the camp was to create awareness about health and hygiene among the students living in Govandi, as it is the biggest dumping ground of Mumbai city. 

 

During the summer holidays, many children visit the dumping yard to collect scraps and make money. The awareness is aimed at helping the kids take precautionary health measures.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

BIS #5098 FROM DON BOSCO ALUMNI FOR DON BOSCO SHELTER

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, APR 27, 2017: Don Bosco Alumni Matunga Unit with SRM- Spiritualtouch, Matunga organised a charitable fun fair for underprivileged children at Shelter Don Bosco on April 23. 

 

Almost 10 games stalls were put up by the grade six Spiritualtouch children for the entertainment of 50 boys and 30 girls.

 

Spiritualtouch kids gifted stationery to the Shelter children for the games they won during the fair. Funds raised for the fair were spent for providing refreshments and organising games stalls.

 

Mothers and their children have been preparing for the event for one month. They voluntarily offered their services and brought smiles on the faces of the street children.

Monday, April 24, 2017

BIS #5097 OUTREACH FOR HOMEBOUND AND ELDERLY PARISHIONERS

by Ravi D'Silva

 

KUWAIT, APR 24, 2017: The Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his recent tweet reminds us not to forget the elderly and the sick. To this end, the Extraordinary Ministers for Holy Communion Distribution (EMCD) of the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus organised an outreach programme for the sick and homebound - aged 70 years and above - on April 20 at holy Mass. 

 

Although, on a regular basis the EMCD visit the homes of the sick and homebound parishioners to give them Holy Communion, the outreach was organised so that such parishioners could get out of their homes and meet in the church.


Janet D'Cruz, daughter of a homebound parishioner said, "Thank you EMCD for organising this outreach and I was happy that my mum could come for holy Mass after a long time." Nine parishioners were in attendance with their families. EMCD made transport arrangements too. Before holy Mass, Father Blany Pinto, parish priest said, "The sick, homebound and the elderly are never forgotten by us and are always in our prayers." 

 

"It was a very touching moment for me when I recollected bringing my mother every Friday morning for Mass previously; after many years the Lord made it possible with the help of the Eucharistic ministers that mummy could partake in the Eucharistic celebration," Annie, the daughter of the elderly Rofina Fernandes said.

 

Father Francisco Pereira, spiritual director of EMCD was the main celebrant and in his homily said, "The sick, homebound and the elderly have a story to tell of how they have lived a devoted sacramental life and that should be a lesson for us to imitate and draw on the wisdom and discernment of the elderly."   

 

As a token of love from the EMCD, a statute of Mother Mary, was blessed and gifted to the attendees with the message, 'Silver and gold we have none, but we give you our love, prayers and good wishes in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." 


The fellowship that followed was a moving experience for the attendees. Teresa, wife of Everest Fernandes said, "Thank you EMCD for taking this initiative to show care and love to all such people who need nothing other than being accepted by society as they are up to some extent considered as a burden. Everest was happy to be there to attend Mass and had a great experience when all came forward to greet him."                       

 

The outreach was organised by Eucharistic Ministers: John Fernandes, Aju Simon, Davidson Daniel, Joseph P Joseph and Ravi D'Silva.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

BIS #5096 INDIAN AMONG 13 CONSULTERS TO VATICAN COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARIAT, ROME

by Father C M Paul

ROME, APR 20, 2017: Pope Francis has appointed 13 new consulters, including an Indian, for the Vatican`s Secretariat for Social Communications. Father Peter Gonsalves of Mumbai Salesian Province is currently the dean of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences (FSC) at Universita Pontificia Salesiana (UPS) Rome. The consulters were appointed on April 12. 

The Salesian Rector Major appointed Father Gonsalves the FSC dean on September 24, 2015. He is the first non-European to hold that post in FSC, which was established in 1988. 

Father Gonsalves pioneered media education in India since 1984. He is a communication research analyst of Mahatma Gandhi`s sartorial/nonverbal communication. 

Author of three books on Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Father Gonsalves' first book on Gandhiji (Sage 2008) - Clothing for Liberation: A Communication Analysis of Gandhi`s Swadeshi Revolution - is the first analysis of Gandhi`s dressing style in terms of communication theory and an exploration of the subliminal messages that were subtly communicated to a large audience. 

His second book Khadi: Gandhi`s Mega Symbol of Subversion (Sage 2012) again on Gandhi investigates the power of a symbol to qualitatively transform society, studying Mahatma Gandhi`s use of clothing as a metaphor for unity, empowerment and liberation from imperial subjugation. 

Father Gonsalves` third book Gandhi and the Popes, (Peter Lang 2015) investigates how Mahatma Gandhi - whether in his lifetime or posthumously - was respected, appreciated and - in one case - imitated by the Popes from Pius XI to Francis. In the process, he 'explores and assesses the popular claim that Gandhi was influenced by Christ, and the not so popular conjecture that Pope Francis was influenced by Gandhi.' 

Father Gonsalves began his career in media as media education trainer in 1984 and a community worker for rural development at the Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, Ahmednagar. He founded in Pune in 1992 Tej-Prasarini, a multimedia production center to raise awareness of the urgency of life-based education in vernacular Marathi language of Maharashtra state. Later in 1994, Tej-Prasarini was shifted to Matunga, Mumbai, where has become a flourishing media house of Salesians in South Asia. 

He promoted a series of teacher-training manuals called 'Quality Life Education,' the first of which was his own work: Exercises in Media Education (1994). Using this, he conducted around 40 all-India courses on media education for schoolteachers, social workers and youth facilitators form diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. 

Father Gonsalves also coordinated its first five-language web portal of the Salesians at its headquarters in Rome. He was also president of INTERSIG, the international wing of SIGNIS, a world association of communicators for a culture of peace. 

A musician, lyricist and composer of modern hymns 'The Peter Gonsalves Collection: Lyrical food for the soul' is a collection of 70 modern hymns by Father Peter Gonsalves released in 2012. 

Born in Mumbai, India in 1958, Father Gonsalves became a Salesian in 1977 and was ordained priest on December 19, 1987. 

He holds the titles of Master of Philosophy and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pune and a Bachelor of Theology from Kristu Jyoti College in Bangalore. 

He received his doctorate in Social Communication at the Salesian Pontifical University in 2007. In the previous years, he had also obtained a diploma in Counseling from Xavier`s Institute, Mumbai, and a diploma in Media Education from British Film Institute - Open University, London. 

He started teaching in 1981 in India, where he founded the Don Bosco Creativity Workshops in Mumbai. He was the National Coordinator for social communications from 1993 to 1999. 

He was in Italy from 2002 to 2006 as a coordinator of the web portal of the Salesians of Don Bosco at the Generalate. He was President of Intersig (SIGNIS - International Group) from 2005 to 2009. He began teaching at the UPS in 2008, was co-opted as a lecturer that same year and promoted to extraordinary professor in 2013. 

"I feel a sense of being inadequate for the task; yet a readiness to share what I have learned (and I`m still learning) about being a globally compassionate Church in our complex and confusing digital age," Father Gonsalves said. 

The other consulters are : Father Ivan Maffeis, under-secretary for the Italian Episcopal Conference; Father Jose Maria La Porte, dean of the Faculty of Institutional Social Communication of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; Dominican Father Eric Salobir, Promoter General for social communications for the Order of Preachers; Jesuit Father James Martin, editor of America magazine; Jesuit Father Jacquineau Azetsop, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Pontifical Gregorian University; Dr Paolo Peverini, lecturer in Semiotics at the LUISS 'Guido Carli'; Dr Fernando Gimenez Barriocanal, president and delegator advisor of Radio Popolar Cadena COPE; Dr Ann Carter, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications; Graham Ellis, deputy director of BBC Radio; Dr Michael P Warsaw, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of EWTN Global Catholic Network; Dr Dino Cataldo Dell`Accio, Chief ICT Auditor at the United Nations; and Dr Michael Paul Unland, executive director of the Catholic Media Council (CAMECO).

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

BIS #5095 YOUTH PASCH: LOVING, LIVING AND CELEBRATING THE FAITH

BBrother Rudolf D'Souza

 

LONAVLA, APR 18, 2017: Twenty-four youth and two religious participated in the annual Youth Pasch organised by Don Bosco Youth Services, Mumbai at Don Bosco Lonavla from April 12 to 16.

Father Cleophas Braganza, Father McEnroe Lopes, Father Ajoy Fernandes, Father Valerian Pereira and Father Leon Cruz were the animators, assisted by Brother Rudolf D'Souza, Brother Jansen Vaz, Charmaine Moraes and Pearl D'Souza.  

 

The Pasch began on Wednesday evening with a commitment session where the participants shared their expectations for the programme and also decided upon an individual commitment. They later watched the film Gallows Road which portrays a story of family love, solidarity and forgiveness in times of extreme hate and desire for vengeance.


The morning of Maundy Thursday began with the participants washing each others' feet to relive Jesus' humble act before his betrayal and passion. Many were moved by this gesture and were better able to understand Jesus' message of service that characterises the washing of feet. 


Father Pereira conducted a session on Love and Relationships using appropriate images based on Pope Francis' encyclical Amoris Laetitia. The Exodus experience helped the youth reflect on the difficult circumstances in their own lives and how they experienced God's saving help like the people of Israel. The afternoon saw the participants busy preparing for the evening liturgy which included, besides the washing of the feet, the Jewish Seder Meal for Passover.

 

On Good Friday, for the morning meditation the participants were taken around the campus while reflecting on the parable of the Prodigal Son. Through sincere sharing the participants expressed their own moments of living like the prodigal son and yet experiencing the immense love of the father on returning to Him. 


The input session on Brokenness and Forgiveness in families by Father Fernandes invited the participants to reflect on situations where mercy and forgiveness were seen or practiced. The Labyrinth Prayer Garden helped them reflect on their own life and let go of burdens to find peace. 

 

All this enabled the participants to prepare scenes for a personalised Way of the Cross later that evening as part of the Good Friday liturgy. After making their confessions, the participants nailed chits of paper - containing their faults and sinful habits - on the very cross they carried for the Way of the Cross.

 

On Holy Saturday morning, the participants removed the chits from the cross and burned them, symbolically signifying the forgiveness of their sins. The input session on Death and New Life by Father Braganza made the youth reflect on family situations and choices for life, hope and newness. 


After this, the participants were made to face the reality of death through a creative session conducted by Father Lopes. The participants spent the evening preparing the Easter Vigil liturgy. After the holy Eucharist, the group continued the celebration over a cup of hot cocoa and Easter eggs. 

 

They also had an appreciation session where they wrote a thankful recognition for each other on a paper T – shirt which doubled as a souvenir for the Youth Pasch 2017. The youth returned to their homes to live and share the Paschal experience among their friends and families.

BIS #5094 INDUCTION OF EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS FOR HOLY COMMUNION DISTRIBUTION

by Wilfred Vaz

 

KUWAIT, APR 18, 2017Canon law permits that where the needs of the Church require and the ordinary ministers are not available, lay people can be appointed as extra-ordinary ministers to distribute Holy Communion, in accordance with the provisions of the law.

To assist in the distribution of Holy Eucharist to the faithful of the parish, the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Kuwait inducted nine parishioners as the Extraordinary Ministers for Holy Communion Distribution (EMCD), at Holy Mass on Maundy Thursday, April 13. 


The candidates were selected based on pre-determined criteria and were required to attend an orientation course comprising nine talks spread over three months. The course covered topics like meaning and power of the Holy Eucharist, holy Mass, Sacramentum Caritatis, I Believe, holy Rosary, Dry Mass and personal traits, roles and responsibilities.  

 

John D'Souza, one of the candidates said, "The orientation was very enlightening and has deeply enhanced my spiritual knowledge." Father Blany Pinto- parish priest, Father Francisco Pereira- spiritual director of EMCD, Wilfred Vaz - EMCD coordinator and Lester D'Mello- EMCD deputy coordinator, were involved in conducting the orientation course.  

 

The induction Holy Mass was concelebrated by Father Pinto and Father Pereira. During the homily, Father Pereira reminded the congregation, especially the candidates, of their calling, saying, "We must imitate our Lord Jesus with humility by washing one another's feet and showing that we are truly his disciples by loving one another." Vaz then presented the nine candidates to Father Pinto for induction as EMCD. Father Pinto administered the oath and adorned each candidate with the Eucharistic minister's vestment and also presented them with a copy of the book, 'The Imitation of Christ'. 


Rubin Ferrao, an EMCD said, "I am blessed to be inducted as a Eucharistic minister and the induction ceremony has changed my life with the desire to imitate Jesus. My family was very glad and happy to see me being inducted as a Eucharistic minister".

 

After Holy Mass all EMCD's, the newly inducted and the existing ones, enjoyed a time of fellowship. A family member of the newly inducted EMCD, Norberto Colaco said, "We are truly blessed to be a part of the Salmiya Parish, with so many families coming together in Christ, for Christ. We feel all the more blessed that Norberto is now with the EMCD and pray for all good things for him and his fellow Eucharistic ministers."