Friday, September 29, 2017

BIS #5226 SALESIAN IDENTITY FOR SOCIAL AND YAR COLLABORATORS

by Annie Cardoz

 

MUMBAI, SEP 29, 2017: A one-day meeting in Hindi to help lay coordinators of the Social and Youth at Risk (YaR) ministry understand the Salesian spirit and the style of functioning with youth, in-line with the vision of Don Bosco, the Salesian founding Saint, was held at the Provincial House, Matunga on September 27. Nearly 50 delegates from various parts of the Mumbai province including  Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh attended the meeting. 

 

Father Isaac Arackaparambil, the resource person, explained the 'holistic perspective of the ministry of Saint John Bosco'. In addition, he also described the Salesian pedagogy, Salesian spirituality, education and culture, education to faith, vocational guidance and social experience. He amalgamated spirituality with usual works to teach the practicality of application of the values of Saint John Bosco in daily duties.


The next resource person was Father McEnroe Lopes who focused on 'Saint John Bosco and his companions'. He explained the importance of lay persons in the Salesian ministry by emphasising on the first people who helped Don Bosco like his mother, Mr Pinardi among others. Through thought provoking questions he then encapsulated the essence of the audience's own vision for their work and made them ponder on the probable obstacles they might face and how to overcome it.

 

The third resource person was Father Mayank Parmar from Gujarat. The topic of discussion was 'Lay coordinators responsibility to carry on the works of Saint John Bosco'. He initiated the session with puzzles, pointing out to participants that they often forget there are simple ways of carrying out activities but rather get stuck in complexity. The question, "Do you feel responsible to do your bit?" resonated throughout his talk. He spoke about numerous ways in which YaR centres could collaborate with development centres to further bring about success in their work and help a wider spectrum of the community. 


The last speaker of the day was Father Christopher George who spoke about 'Relooking at Saint Don Bosco'. He made the audience brainstorm on how they could merge the values of Don Bosco with their own life and work parallelly. The participants shared many heartwarming stories of how the great Salesian Saint and lay people working together in various Salesian institutions changed their life, which further enabled them to dedicate their own life to the young at risk. Father Gregory D'Almeida and Father Rolvin D'Mello collaborated to organise the event.

BIS #5225 SLUM KIDS READY FOR DIWALI

by BIS Correspondent

 

PUNE, SEP 29, 2017: The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised diya painting, akashkandil or lantern making, Diwali greeting card making and drawing activities for children on September 22 at Chinchwad in Pune to prepare them for the Diwali festival.

 

More than 100 slum children studying daily in the support classes conducted by DBDS participated in the activity. The event was held under the aegis of 'Women Empowerment Project' supported by AXA Business Services Pvt Ltd. 

 

The main objective was for children to learn and enjoy creative craft activities. Vaishali Palande and Manoj Kumar were the resource persons. 

The children were very excited. Akash Gaikwad, a student of the daily support class, said, "It's for the first time that we had such a lovely experience in life; we have celebrated so many Diwali festivals but never had such a nice preparation for the same."


"It was a wonderful moment for all of us to witness. The children from the slums – whom we cater to daily through the support classes are benefited a lot," Lalita Choudary, DBDS – coordinator said.  Snacks were distributed to all the children at the end at the end of the event.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

BIS #5224 ST. JOSEPH'S WADALA WINS DIOCESAN BIBLE QUIZ

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, SEP 28, 2017: A Bible Quiz and Bible Fashion show was conducted by the Archdiocese of Bombay for school students on September 14 at Our Lady's home in the city. Over 50 schools participated in the event that was graced by the presence of Bishop John Rodrigues, in-charge of the Biblical Ministry in the diocese.

 

The day began by invoking the presence of the Lord, after which Walter D'Souza- promoter, Biblical committee welcomed all present. Bishop Rodrigues with his words of encouragement prepped up the children and also lauded the efforts of the organisers, and the innovative ways of bringing the holy Bible alive to the present generation. 

 

An intense elimination round for the Bible Quiz was conducted, testing the knowledge of the 51 schools, of which six schools were shortlisted for the final round. The well-planned quiz had various rounds like true/false, MCQ, AV and a rapid fire round. The teams were not left alone but could rely on help through life-line options such as flip, audience poll etc. 

 

The Biblical Fashion show gave a peak into the talents of the children showcasing various Biblical characters through a two-minute presentation each. The painstaking effort in the detailing of each character was evident. 

 

The winners of the Bible Quiz and Biblical Fashion show were given trophies, medals and gifts. The Bible Quiz was won by St. Joseph's High School- Wadala followed by Carmel of St. Joseph- Malad, with Divine Child School- Andheri securing the third place. The Biblical Fashion show was won by Canossa Primary School- Mahim, followed  by St. Stanislaus School- Bandra and Sacred Heart-Vashi, who won the third prize.

 

The boys of St. Joseph's High School who put in a lot of effort under the direction of Father Nelson Falcao and Cleo Farro, were delighted to secure the first place. It has not only helped to increase their love and knowledge of the Gospels, but has also created an interest among the group to learn more about the Word of God.

BIS #5223 APPRECIATING THE ALTAR SERVERS

by Libby Sequeira

 

 

KUWAIT, SEP 28, 2017: With a generous attitude of gratitude, the Salesian co-operators of Kuwait organised an 'Appreciation Evening' for nearly 100 altar servers of the St. Therese of Child Jesus Parish in Kuwait on the September 22.

 

Invitation to Appreciation Day is based on a points system, whereby points are awarded to altar servers for participating/serving at the holy Mass, attending monthly meetings and taking part in the weekly oratory programme organised in the parish. The senior and junior boys have to earn a minimum of 200 and 100 points respectively in a year, to qualify for an invitation. This year 89 altar servers out of 146 received the prestigious invitation. 

 

The altar servers were commended for their dedicated service to the parish and were awarded certificates, medals and plaques. The Best Altar Boy award went to Ruzario Richard Sequeira who said, "I am very happy to receive the Best Altar Boy award but this was only possible because of the support of all the priests, my co-ordinators and my family members.  I also ask for God's grace to help me to continue to serve Him wherever I may be." 

 

Leon Fernandes, another altar boy said, "I felt overwhelmed on receiving the medal and certificate. It was a sign of their appreciation for me. I thank them for organising the event for us. I want to continue to serve God."

 

The children enjoyed the games organised for them and worked hard to gain points for their respective teams. This was followed by a dance session to the music played by DJ Marcus Fernandes. Salesian priests – Fathers Derrick Misquitta, Lionel Braganza, Blany Pinto, Francisco Pereira and Edison Fernandes graced the occasion with their presence. The co-ordinators of the altar servers were also felicitated for their dedication and commitment to training the boys. 


Oswald Aranha, a co-ordinator said, "Being with the youngsters was an enjoyable and a refreshing experience." He was happy to receive a memento in appreciation of his service to the altar servers ministry and thanked the Salesian Co-operators, Kuwait.

 

The event ended with a vote of thanks and a final blessing by the Parish Priest, Father Blany Pinto- the Spiritual Director of the altar boys.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

BIS #5222 DISASTER REDUCTION WORKSHOP FOR YOUTH

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, SEP 26, 2017: Fifty five youth from Dharavi, Asia's largest slum, participated in a day-long workshop that aimed at sensitisising them about the dangers that exist in slums due a high population density, garbage and presence of domestic small scale industries on September 16.


The Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised workshop which was conducted by Sachin Khedekar, Director- Chetana Foundation. Khedekar first spoke about a range of issues like types of disaster, man-made vs natural disasters, emergency services, rescue and relief.

 

He then moved to techniques and methods like 'bandage method', which should be used to treat injuries from disasters. He told the youth about triangular bandages, simple bandages, cuff and collar bandage, head bandages, jaw bandage and palm bandages. 

Vivek Jaiswar, a class 10 participant said," The session was very good, full of informal and practical demonstrations on immediate action to be taken to manage disasters." 


"Slums are overpopulated, congested places prone to flooding. People need to be trained on relief and rescue measures for effective management of disasters. This youth group from slums is a perfect target group for such a training," Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director, DBDS said. 

BIS #5221 TEJ PRASARINI SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, SEP 26, 2017: Tej-Prasarini – Don Bosco Communications – the publishing arm of the Salesian Province of Mumbai celebrated its Silver Jubilee with grandeur and enthusiasm with an event that included a series of dances, songs and a touch of Biblical magic at St. Andrew's Auditorium in Bandra on September 22.


The presence of Cardinal Oswald Gracias – as the Chief Guest – reflected the importance of the event, as the Cardinal, alongside Bishop Dominic Savio and Father Savio Silveira – the Guests of Honour – lauded the team of Tej-Prasarini – under the able guidance of Father Joaquim Fernandes, the Director - for their contribution to the field of communication, not just at a Salesian level but in the Diocese of Bombay too.

 

Tej took root in 1992 - under guidance of Father Peter Gonsalves – as an audio-cassette production centre, producing five recordings with Christian songs and drama to meet the spiritual needs of the poor people of Maharashtra.  As they say 'the rest is history'.

 

The audience, on Friday included bishops, religious and well-wishers, who took their seats in the auditorium at 7pm for an extravaganza that lasted over two hours. Youth from the Mazzarello Youth Centre, Wadala set the tone for the evening with a welcome prayer dance entitled 'Gata Rahe Mera Dil'. The boarders from St. Dominic Savio High School, Andheri then inspired the audience with a song entitled 'Let your light shine'.


Father Fernandes, the brain behind the functioning of 'Tej' since he took the reins in 2006, addressed the gathering. He stressed on the importance of media in society today, reflecting upon how Saint Don Bosco himself set the tone of spreading the light through the written word, through his various publications.  

 

"It's never too late to refurbish old dreams, to dust them off and dare to dream again," Father Fernandes said, while looking to the future of 'Tej' as it's affectionately called. "All it requires is a new vision and renewed enthusiasm to bring the original version to fulfilment. 

 

In a specially published jubilee souvenir, Father Fernandes summed up his success mantra for Tej in the future. 'Nothing is more valuable than our integrity, for in doing so we might lose out on the immediate situation by refusing to compromise, but the long-term benefits of being known for honesty far outweigh the losses," he wrote.

 

Following his address, Father Fernandes ushered the Cardinal and the other guests to the dais for a felicitation ceremony that recognised 'team Tej' for their contribution to the organisation's continued success. Father Silveira, the Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Province, first lauded Tej and Father Fernandes for their efforts in spreading the light through a host of communication mediums.  


Cardinal Gracias echoed a similar sentiment in his address, thanking Father Fernandes and his team for their contribution to not just Salesians but the Diocese over the years. "It's an importance milestone that offers an opportunity to look back on the distance travelled and to look forward to the journey that lies ahead," Cardinal Gracias, said, adding, "I am confident that they will face the challenges of the future with courage, confidence, commitment and competence. I pray for them and invoke God's blessings on all associated with Tej-Prasarini."  

 

The special souvenir entitled, 'Celebrating the Legacy of Radiating Light' was then released by the Cardinal, before the staff of Tej were felicitated. D P Mahesha, the founder of Mastermind International in association with Tej, then distributed certificates to those who had successfully completed the course. 


Throughout the evening special mention was made to Late Nicholas Peris, the marketing Manager of Tej for the last 25 years, who passed away in July 2017. He was part of the core planning team for the jubilee celebrations and was present in the initial planning meeting for the same. His daughter, Cecilia Vaz, a professional pianist, with varied experience around the world, took the stage to honour her late father with a piano recital. 

 

A medley of Tej-Prasarini music productions- since its inception- in Marathi and English was conducted by Amon Daniels. Father Ivan Madtha then left the audience spell bound with his Bible-themed magic show. He used a mix of music, humour and colourful props to grip the audience with a series of magic tricks that reflected on Biblical messages. Father Madtha, a survivor of a train accident in 2012, when he lost his left arm and injured his leg, inspired the audience with his life testimony.  

 

The Faith and Harmony choir conducted by Bosco Rodrigues brought the curtain down on the event, with a series of hymns, which included 'God Still Loves the World', penned by Father Peter Gonsalves, the Founder of Tej.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

BIS #5220 GLORIOUS 75

by Perpetual Nazareth

 

MUMBAI, SEP 19, 2017: Don Bosco High School, Matunga has this year already lifted to honours for their sporting conquests, particularly on the football field – but 'Glorious 75', their school band proved that the institution excels in more than just sport.    


At 'Band-it Festival 2017', an inter-school  band competition organised by Furtado School of Music on September 15, Don Bosco's school band comprising of vocalist, Ethan Mathew, Benson Nazareth and Varghese Chiramel on the saxophone, Jermin Jose, the bass guitarist, Chezian Vaiz and Jash Kasare on the trumpet, and Nigel Fernandes the drummer – made the top ten from over 50 schools that qualified following a gruelling elimination round.

 

'Glorious 75' emerged as the "Audience Favourite", while lead singer Mathew won "Best Vocalist" award.  The 'Band-it Festival' is the biggest inter-school competition in the city of Mumbai with more than 500 schools being invited to audition. Don Bosco's young musicians called themselves 'Glorious 75' in view of the Platinum Jubilee of the school. As a reward for being one of the finalist bands, the players were entitled to a 90 minutes mentoring session on September 11 with Chintu Bhosale, the grandson of Asha Bhosale, who is also a musician and music educator in Mumbai.  

 

"I felt like a professional player playing in big shows," Benson Nazareth, the saxophonist, said. Lolita Mendonca, a parent added, "Our school band stood out as being the only brass band. They belted out some foot tapping numbers."

 

Hadyn Dias, an active volunteer who helps out with study and music class for the boarders at Dominic Savio High School, Andheri paid a glorious tribute to the school band. "The boys synchronised very well together and performed songs that were not conventionally popular. However they still managed to keep the audience thoroughly engaged and entertained throughout their performance." 

 

Father Bernard Fernandes, principal of Don Bosco High School, summed up the experience by saying, "I was happy that our students got an exposure on the big stage before a knowledgeable and appreciative audience. The band master Sir Saby has a way with the children and the brilliant performance was there for all to see."

BIS #5219 OOPS!

by Susan D'Costa

 

KUWAIT, SEP 19, 2017: Oops! (Openness, Obligation, Praise, Support) a two-day seminar on bonding parent-teenager relationships was recently organised by the Salesian Cooperators of Kuwait. The seminar included simple exercises and a splash of humour as Father Edison Fernandes, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology focused on parents-teen relationship.

 

Parents received guidance on developing their teens in family decision making, family activities, reliability, respect, consideration and healthy living. Through interactive sessions, Father Fernandes highlighted the importance of choices and consequences, assertiveness and the need to communicate in a language their teens understood. "Mentor your teens into successful adulthood," was Father Fernandes' guiding principle for the parents.

 

Teens were encouraged to trust, love and understand their parents and their problems. Those who attended the seminar lauded Father Fernandes for his efforts in helping them to better understand each other. "Oops was an interesting, useful, innovative session by a well-informed priest with a great sense of humour. We need more programmes like this to guide our teenagers," Nandita Sequeira said.

 

Another parent, Desmond D'Souza added, "It was informative, an eye opener for us as a family, to understand our basic core personalities and deal with our day to day issues." While Justin Mascarenhas, a teenager said, "The workshop was very informative. I got to learn more about myself."

BIS #5218 TEJ PRASARINI ‘SPREADS THE LIGHT’

by BIS Correspondent

 

MUMBAI, SEP 19, 2017: French poet, Victor Hugo once said, "No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come." His words rang true in 1992, when Father Peter Gonsalves dreamed the dream and sowed the seed of Tej Prasarni, an English translation of 'spread the light', a media house which today - 25-year's on – under the leadership of Father Joaqium Fernandes has mushroomed into a state-of-the-art media entity which provides the good news via a host of publications, productions, a news agency and life-skill workshops.

 

As India awakened to a new dawn in 1991, with the liberalisation of the economy, Father Gonsalves and his superiors laid the groundwork for 'Tej' as it's fondly referred to today. It was his dealing with the locals in the drought-stricken Ahmednagar in Maharashtra that inspired Father Gonsalves to start Tej.

 

"I was working actually at the missions, where the villagers practice their faith through devotional songs or bhajans.  We recorded these bhajans in the form of audio-cassettes. The idea was to create an audio cassette ministry where these cassettes would be sold to them at a very cheap rate, affordable for them, I'm talking of something like 10 rupees per tape. We world bear the main cost. And that was how it started. And we started in Pune with a small little studio that was set up there in 1992," Father Gonsalves said. 


The success of the initiative prompted more audio productions. Tej collaborated with the late pioneering Marathi lyricist and radio evangelist from Pune - Jayantkumar Tribhuvan to produce high quality Marathi productions. Tej then moved base to Mumbai in 1993 and that further boosted music recordings in English and Hindi.

 

In 1995, Tej was approved as the official multimedia production centre of the Salesian Province of Mumbai. It expanded to producing books and audiovisual material in English, Marathi and Hindi. Its productions were based on a variety of themes, such as catechetics, youth development, media education and peace initiatives. It catered to the needs of different audiences like parents, youth-leaders and teachers of various educational institutions. 

 

In 1997, Tej began focusing on training youth to expand their skills in creative arts and media education. Tej's initiative of skilling youth creatively, continues to this day, with new additions like a brain-training programme. In 1998, the Tej Prasarini book store was set up, which still provides the faithful with publications, audio-video productions and manuals for life skills. In the same year, Tejonline.com, the web portal for Tej Prasarini went live.


The demand for youth-related audio-video material led to the setting up of a recording studio, Tej-Kiran (Ray of Light) in 2000. The number of audio productions grew. Most of them dealt with educational programmes. A video recording suite was also set up. 


Father Gonsalves was Director of Tej till 2001. He obtained a doctoral degree in the Faculty of the Sciences of Communication at the Salesian University, Rome in 2007, where he has been Dean since September 2015.  In early 2017, Pope Francis appointed Father Gonsalves to be a Consultant to the Vatican Secretariat for Communications.


Father Darryl D'Souza, an expert in developing and implementing communication strategies for corporate, non-profit and education sectors, then took charge of Tej. In 2001, with the support of MISSIO, Tej-Prasarini Don Bosco Communications, initiated a Communication Campaign for Peace with a clear focus on youth and training of trainers. In the same year, the first audio- cassette and CD with Peace songs was released.

 

In 2001, Tej also collaborated with UNICEF for the promotion of 'AIDS awareness' among school children. Several other documentaries on social issues like 'Streets Alive', 'In Dialogue with the Rathwas', 'Youth for Life' and 'Salesians at the Service of the Young' were also produced. In 2003, the first 'Don Bosco Film Festival on Peace' was held. Thirteen short films on peace were made by students and the best film was aired on Doordarshan, the national television network.


Bosco Information Service (BIS), which is Don Bosco Mumbai Province's social communication wing, was inaugurated in October 2003. BIS still circulates news about the Mumbai Province via its website: http://bismumbai.blogspot.in/.


Father D'Souza was succeeded by Father Joaquim Fernandes, who was also the Vice Principal of Don Bosco, Matunga in 2006. In the same year, under the leadership of Father Fernandes, 'Pray Sing', a hymn production, was conceptualised. The audio-production brought together nearly 300 singers from seventeen parishes across Mumbai.


Tej spearheaded the media co-ordination of major events like the visit of the Rector Major Father Pascual Chavez, in 2007.  In 2008, a workshop training 18 bishops in pastoral communication skills, new trends in media, internet, email, computer applications, powerpoint and video conferencing was held. Media and communication strategies for the first-ever Indian Mission Congress in 2009 and the visit of Don Bosco's relic to Mumbai in 2011, was managed by Tej. A book and media fair in 2012, commemorating its 20th anniversary was also organised. 

 

Tej collaborated with other bodies like the Catholic Bishop's Conference of India (CBCI) Commission for Social Communications in 2011 to produce three volumes of 'Communication for Pastoral Leadership'. The books were inaugurated by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, now President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

 

Father Fernandes took the initiative of book publishing to another level with publications like 'Jesus, the Prince of Peace', Exploring Salesian Life today', 'Don Bosco in Mangalore – before the arrival of the Salesians', 'Preventing substance abuse among school children', among others. 


"Today we are into audio-video productions, book publications, social media, creative and media training programmes, and we also do the media management for major events. It has been busy but fruitful," says Father Fernandes who busies himself for Tej Prasarini's Silver Jubilee celebrations on September 22 in Mumbai, where Cardinal Oswald Gracias will be the Chief Guest. 

 

Tej Prasarini has been spreading the light far and wide for 25 years, and it wants to continue lighting the world for many more years to come with the good news!

Monday, September 18, 2017

BIS #5217 LOVE FOR HINDI LANGUAGE

by Perpetual Nazareth

 

MUMBAI, SEP 16, 2017: To rekindle love for Hindi, the official language of India, the Hindi faculty of Don Bosco High School, Matunga, celebrated 'Hindi Diwas' by organising an inter-school Hindi street play competition- Nukkad Natak, on September 15. It was held at the school campus and was part of institution's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

 

The Hindi faculty headed by Daksha Tandel organised the event in a bid to educate and sensitise students on various socio legal issues like women harassment, corruption, electoral rights etc.


Schools in the vicinity and from the Don Bosco group participated in the competition. S.I.W.S High School - Wadala, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School- Sion, Shree Sanatan Dharam High school- Antop Hill, Gauri Dutt Mittal Vidyalaya- Sion, Don Bosco Senior Secondary School-Nerul, Auxilium Convent High School- Wadala, Don Bosco High School-Matunga, Don Bosco High School- Borivli, Shree Vallabh Ashram School- Sion, Don Bosco High School-Pune were among the participants. 

 

The presentation, costumes, accompaniment and enthusiasm of the students stood testimony to the painstaking preparation of the participants. "I was overwhelmed by the participating schools and the high quality of their performance. The themes on corruption and women's issues were brilliantly portrayed through their scripts and acts, " Father Bernard Fernandes, principal of Don Bosco High school-Matunga, said. 


The audience sat spellbound as they took in each word of the play that was sometimes laced with humour, songs, satire or parody but ultimately drove home the point. Each act offered a valuable lesson and motivated the audience to reflect of societal problems. 

 

The judges Dr Ramlal Pandey, Anjula Rai and Neelam Mishra were appreciative of the school's effort at encouraging the students to strengthen their Hindi language and help build a national fervour in the young. 

 

Don Bosco High School, Matunga bagged top honours for their play on the evils of dowry system. Another Salesian school- Don Bosco High School, Yerwada came a close second for their depiction of women empowerment. Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Sion took home the third prize for their theme on corruption.

BIS #5216 ECO-EXPOSURE FOR BMM STUDENTS

by Father Bento D'Souza

 

KARJAT, SEP 16, 2017: The staff and students of the Bachelor's in Mass Media (BMM) department of Don Bosco college, Kurla, set out for some eco-adventure at Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha in Karjat, from September 14-16. 

 

Father Joseph Braganza, Executive Director of the BMM department, arrived at noon with over 50 students at the lush green campus at Karjat. Father Jesu Robinson, administrator of DBYS, welcomed the group with refreshments. The students were then shown their places for stay, work and meetings; after which they were ready to begin their eco journey. 

Brother Alex Carvalho, the regent on practical training at DBYS,  briefed the visitors on how to make the most of the mountains. Royal D'Souza, co-ordinator of the camp, then led the group into a series of ice- breakers and warm-up games to set up the dynamics of the three day live-in experience. 


After lunch, Father Braganza animated the camp. Place the person in the spot and other games, aimed at inculcating values, were played. The day concluded with a cultural talent programme. 


On the second day, after a walk to the mountains, a sports adventure company was invited to organise fitness drills along the mountainside. A walk on stilts, Australian walk, ankles apart, marbles and pipe, treasure hunt and climbing a tree through a vertical ladder, instilled in the students a 'never give up' attitude. The day ended with a cook-off between students, with judges ascertaining the best dish. 


The third day began with the celebration of the holy Eucharist. A session on yoga asanas was conducted by Pooja Gupta, a BMM staffer. Father Monty Rodrigues, Director of DBYS, gave the students a tour of the Karjat campus, before their departure.

 

"Days spent here were amazing. You gave us an experience that each of us can never forget. Thank you for these days, we learnt, we played and we loved. Hope to see you all back soon. We are grateful forever. Thank you, " Karen Johnson, a BMM student said. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

BIS #5215 THE ORATORY: LASTING CRITERION FOR DISCERNMENT AND RENEWAL

by Father Glenford Lowe

 

MUMBAI, SEP 16, 2017: What made the Salesians in Mumbai take the initiative to launch an Oratory? Did they lose this rich tradition of Don Bosco somewhere down the line? They needed a reminder, which came through the words of the Salesian Rector Major, Father Ángel Fernández Artime, in his concluding statement during the Team Visit of South Asia at Chennai on April 4. 

 

"Priority of choice for the poorest and young people from rural and slum areas is a guarantee for the strength of our charism in South Asia. We should always ensure our loving and effective presence among the young people. Planning their transformation into great persons, is a duty that beckons us," Rector Major's statement read. 
 

The community of Don Bosco Provincial House Matunga, Mumbai, could not resist this invitation. In their weekly community Giorno, they revisited this call to reach out to the young people, especially from the neighbourhood slums. The community unanimously agreed to start a 'daily oratory' - treasuring that C.40 stated - 'The Valdocco experience is still the lasting criterion for discernment and renewal in all our works'. 

 

With support from Father Rolvin D'Mello, executive director of Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) and his staff, the ground work was far reaching. Father McEnroe Lopes, director of Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS) along with Father Leon Rodrigues and the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) Matunga, took the initiative to form the oratory. 

 

Father Glenford Lowe, Rector of Provincial House together with Father Anthony Goyal and supported by the community, offered its space for the daily oratory. The official launch of the Don Bosco Oratory took place on September 14 at 4:30 pm in the Provincial House AV hall. More than 100 youth from the neighbouring slums attended the event. 


Father Manuel Murzello, Provincial Economer was the guest of honour. Through his words of welcome and relooking at Don Bosco, Father Murzello officially declared the Don Bosco Oratory open. A prayer service by Father Goyal set the spiritual tone to the entire proceedings. Father Lopes, then presented the concept of Don Bosco's Oratory and promised the youth that the Salesians would journey with them in their call to be God-fearing persons and responsible citizens. One could sense an atmosphere of new hope and a safe haven to grow. The youth could now perceive their dreams closer to reality.

 

The participants also took time to share their needs and concerns. "We are grateful to the Provincial House who are ready to offer their space as a platform for us to develop our sporting and musical talents,"said a young enthusiast. "Now, I can be assured of a quiet place to study and prepare for my college exams," another participant said.  


Evening coaching classes in spoken English, math and science, and opportunities for computers and self-defence were also assured. The daily oratory will run from Monday to Saturday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and be open to youth from all faiths. The youngsters, mostly above the age of 16, were invited to register themselves for the daily oratory. 

 

Arrangements to get sponsors and coaches are underway. The Salesians are confident that many generous Samaritans would come forward to join this noble venture, through their resources and time. The SYM members have pledged their support to walk with the oratory youth, as volunteers. The Salesians pray that the 'Valdocco experience' launched at Mumbai Provincial house may spread to many other communities too.

Friday, September 15, 2017

BIS #5214 PAYING WITH KINDNESS

by Hudson Fernandes

 

KUWAIT, SEP 15, 2017: Money is but one avenue for generosity. Kindness is an even more valuable currency. The parishioners of St. Therese of the child Jesus in Kuwait, responded with kindness to a call to lend a generous hand to the economically marginalised parishioners and the inmates of the Filipino and Sri Lankan embassy on September 9 and 10.

 

The Small Christian Community (SCC) under the guidance of Father Johnson Nedumpurath completed its Second Annual Collection Drive during the novena to Our Lady of Nativity from August 30 to September 7. The SCC offered the parishioners a unique opportunity to extend Mother Mary's kindness to the poor. The parishioners were requested to contribute non-perishable food items and toiletries at all the Nativity novena masses for the poor in the parish, labour camps and the shelters of the Filipino and Sri Lankan Embassies.

 

This year there was a significant increase in the contribution of comestible and non-comestible items, including cash donations from extremely generous contributors, which is a strong reflection of the support of parishioners. Nearly 1500 pieces of non-comestible items along over 2000 kgs of comestible items were collected over a two week period. 


The gift hampers were distributed on September 9 and 10 to over 200 families. Volunteers from the Salmiya youth group, altar servers and SSC members assisted in sorting out the collections, preparing accurate inventories and packing itemized hampers for distribution.

BIS #5213 HINDI DAY CELEBRATIONS

by Father Cedrick Sankul 

 

AHMEDNAGAR, SEP 15, 2017: Hindi Day - dedicated to all Indians- was celebrated in Don Bosco English Medium School, Savedi, Ahmednagar on September 14. In 1949, this day was marked by the Constituent Assembly to commemorate the approval of Hindi in the Devnagari script as the official language, all over the country.

 

Students were encouraged to speak in Hindi for the day. The event began with the school assembly conducted in the national language by the students of class nine. Various programmes were planned to instil a love for the language. Poems, songs, dances, quizzes, proverbs- their meaning and usage, skits, nursery rhymes were all presented in Hindi, with the aim of educating students about history, culture and importance of the language.  

 

Students were also informed about scholars and noted people in history who worked towards making Hindi as the national language. Skits promoting social messages like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, anti-corruption and importance of studies were enacted in Hindi.


Manisha Badekar and Avita Gaikwad were the teachers in-charge of the Hindi Day celebrations. The event culminated with a safety demonstration that was given by the fire brigade department of Ahmednagar to all four sections of the institution namely, Marathi college, Prathamik, Vidhalaya and English medium. 

 

The firemen explained the main reasons that cause a fire and how to prevent these accidents especially at home, in schools, malls and public places.  They demonstrated the use of different fire extinguishers and also provided the helpline number 102.  

Hindi lessons coupled with fire safety instruction made it a practical and fun learning experience for the students!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

BIS #5212 ECO-EXPOSURE VISIT

by Father Bento D'Souza

 

KARJAT, SEP 14, 2017: Fifty-five, first year Bachelor in Management(BMS) students and four staff members from Don Bosco Center of Learning, Kurla undertook a three day live–in eco-exposure visit, from September 9 to 11, to the Mothe Vengaon mountains, near Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha, Karjat, in a bid to promote the spirit of adventure, growth of the self, development of personality and character building.  


Brother Alex Carvalho gave the introductory session, summing up what lay ahead over the visit. The participants were then led into group-building exercises and warm up ice-breaker sessions by Royal D'Souza, camp co-ordinator.

 

Father Mario Vaz conducted an interactive session on 'Broken Squares' and concluded his sessions by celebrating the Holy Eucharist for the Catholic participants in the evening. Games, free time and an evening session topped by a cultural talent programme brought the first day to an end.

 

The second day began with a trek to collect firewood, which would later be used to cook food in groups. The youth then participated in a range of games like 'human chess' and 'drop the person in the circle'. The team from Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha also facilitated six adventure games, which included 'A-walk', 'Austrailian walk', 'Ankles apart', 'Pipe and marble' and 'Magic tiles', which made the youth build a team spirit.

 

On the third day, Father McEnroe Lopes of Don Bosco Youth Services, Matunga, conducted a training session and spoke on personality and character building for success. After lunch, enthused and empowered by their eco-experience, the participants left Karjat with a taste of the mountains.

Monday, September 11, 2017

BIS #5211 HONOURING TEACHERS

by Mehtab Shinde

 

PUNE, SEP 11, 2017: Students from the secondary section of Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Pune, under the guidance of the Principal Father Bosco D'Mello organised Teacher's Day celebrations that stretched for two days at the institution on September 5 and 6. 

 

The long fun-filled extravaganza included a series of games like ping-pong, box-cricket and lingorcha. Teachers took group selfies in the allotted places.  

 

The second day began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Parish Priest and Rector, Father Michael Bansode who appreciated the efforts and sacrifices made by the teachers. Class celebrations which included power point presentations, personalised greeting cards, self-composed songs, poems and the latest Bollywood dances, followed.

 

After the class celebrations, the teachers were greeted with a thunderous applause as they entered the school hall for a common event. Action songs by kindergarten students, choral renditions, a heart-touching depiction of teachers' involvement in school, a skit bringing out the importance of a teacher and some energetic dance performances enthralled the teachers. 

 

Retired teacher, Vijayalaxmi Narayanan, said, "I miss the school so much, I eagerly look forward to this occasion. I meet my colleagues and recall old times. It's a wonderful initiative by Father Bosco." Nayana Gamare, another teacher, added, "I feel I am back in school, these tasks look so simple but need a lot of energy.  It's fun to be a kid again."

BIS #5210 TEACHER'S DAY AT SHELTER DON BOSCO

by Brother Agnel James

 

MUMBAI, SEP 11, 2017: Shelter Don Bosco celebrated teacher's day on the September 6, with a short felicitation programme by inviting the teachers of the various schools where the children do their schooling. 

 

Suman Kallur, Sangeeta Jadhav and Vilas Khandare from Satabdi BMC School, Naveen Singh from Nadkarni park BMC school, Ruchi Thakur and Sujata Randive from Dayanand Balak Vidyalaya were the teachers present for the celebration as the guests of honour. The programme began at 10:30am. Vijay Jaiswal showed the boys videos depicting the importance of teachers. The programme consisted of two dances on the songs - 'Love you zindagi' and 'All is well'. 


One of the shelter boys Yuvaraj Pandey gave a speech in honour of all the teachers. The teachers enjoyed the dances and congratulated the boys for it. Khandare addressed the boys with his words of inspiration, saying, " Remember to pray for your mothers, who are your first teachers."


Khandare also explained to the boys the difficulties teachers face to teach students and help them study. He said, " Discipline is the key without which you will not learn anything". Father Roshan Gonsalves from Shelter Don Bosco proposed the vote of thanks and thanked all the teachers for their service to the boys. He also thanked the children who teach a lot of things indirectly to their teachers. 

 

The teachers were given a sapling each, as a token of appreciation to continue their work of nurturing lives. After the programme the teachers had snacks with the Shelter staff. The teachers then left Shelter Don Bosco with happy memories spent with their boys. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

BIS #5209 TEACHER'S DAY

by Andrea Gonsalves

 

MUMBAI, SEP 7, 2017: The old adage, 'Good teachers are the reason why ordinary students dream to do extraordinary things' holds true even today. In a bid to felicitate their teachers, students of St.Dominic Savio High School, Andheri, recited poems, made speeches and performed a dance to mark Teacher's Day on September 4.

 

Students from pre-primary, primary and secondary sections of the institution participated in a series of events during the day to make their teacher's feel special. "Tell me and I forget; Teach me and I remember; Involve me and I learn," a student from the secondary section, compering the assembly, said.  


Following the assembly, a welcome song was sung by the primary students, which was followed by a powerpoint presentation entitled 'A Tribute To Teachers', which had a clipping of Father Brian Moras, the Rector, sharing insights on the teaching profession. A dance entitled 'Who a good teacher is', performed by students from standard five to seven, was one of the show-stopper events.


A group of students set their teacher's feet tapping, as they melodious sang a series of songs. The next act by the dance and drama group was dedicated to women power in St. Dominic Savio High School. Teacher's then participated in a quiz.

 

September 5 every year has been dedicated to the teaching profession, to commemorate the birth anniversary of Doctor Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, to highlight the nobility of the teaching profession as well as pay honour to our teachers in society and the country.

BIS #5208 WE ARE FAMILY

by Cleric Nelson Mudaliar 

 

PUNE, AUG 31, 2017: The confreres of Don Bosco Youth Centre (DBYC), Koregaon Park celebrated their Community Day tridum with the theme FLAKES, the acronym which stands for the characteristics that give a picture of the community, namely F for Fidelity, L for Love, A for Accountability, K for Kindness, E for Evangelical counsels and S for Service, from August 24 to 27.

 

At the onset, on August 24, the First Year theologians animated the inaugural Holy Mass, which was celebrated by Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai. The first two days of the tridum fell in the midst of the Provincial Visitation. Father D'Souza highlighted the theme of Fidelity and the Evangelical Counsels in his homily.

 
The Second Year theologians helped the community on August 25 to reflect on the theme of Kindness and Service during the Holy Eucharist and meditation. Father D'Souza spoke about the Holy Father Pope Francis' message to the seminarians. Father Provincial also read out his Visitation report in the evening, commending the family spirit that prevails in the community. The whole community played football on the turf at Don Bosco, Yerwada that evening. The day ended with a prize distribution ceremony.

 

The third day was dedicated to reflecting on Love and Accountability. The Third Year brothers animated the Holy Eucharist and meditation. The brothers played box cricket in the morning, while in the evening, the brothers put up a family circle for the Rector.

 

The community day began with music, praising God for their families. The meditation was animated by the deacons, who helped the confreres think of togetherness and appreciate each other. The capos organised an adventure game, which took confreres across the city of Pune on cycles in a bid to accomplish various tasks.

 

In the evening, during the Eucharistic celebration, Father Richard D'Silva, the administrator spoke on the loving bond of the community. "A community is not a building or bricks coming together, but we as persons sharing life together," he said. Father D'Silva thanked all the confreres for their various contributions to the community.