Wednesday, January 31, 2018


by Karen Laurie

Father Anthony Patole (36)

"Many say you are the first priest from the parish and your mother was a Hindu. My mother is a born Hindu. My father's and her's was a love marriage and after that she was baptised," Father Anthony Patole, said.

The first vocation in his Salesian parish Sacred Heart in Yerwada, Father Anthony is a living testimony of God's wonders. "My parents used to always force us to go for Mass, but they could not go themselves; as my mum was a nurse and was working three shifts and my dad was a policeman and was working two shifts. The day, I told them my decision to join in 2007, they had tears in their eyes. I see it as a miracle because from that day, till today, they are daily Mass goers."

When Father Anthony was in class three an announcement was made in church, 'All who want to become priests, please approach the parish priest'. Father Anthony went home and told his parents, "I want to become a priest! Should I meet the parish priest?" 

His parents laughed it off. Father Anthony didn't forget the announcement. In class seven he approached his parish priest asking if he could join the Don Bosco boarding in Lonavla, which is also an aspirantate for those wanting to become priests. He was told, 'This life is not for you,' as he was very mischievous and was even expelled from school for a day.

"I got addicted to tobacco, gutka, smoking and drinks, in school itself," Father Patole said, adding, "But by the second year of college I felt, I needed to change my life. And the turning point came when I got into a conflict at a party. I decided not to touch liquor again. God helped me to never look back. My new parish priest also came to my rescue and kept urging me to join the priesthood. I would give him the excuses of all my vices and say I would be a misfit; he encouraged me saying, 'Worse people have become priests, so you can join'." 

Soon for Lent, Father Patole gave up smoking. He became more involved in parish activities, even leading important events. He now seemed to have built an impeccable resume as a candidate for priestly vocation. "The difficulty of my initial journey, made me strong. It was God's grace and perseverance that saw me through," Father Patole said.

Father Velasli Bandya (31)

Father Velasli Bandya comes from a family where being religious (priest or nun) is the family's primary occupation, fishing comes a close second! He is the youngest of nine siblings. His elder brother is a priest and two sisters are nuns. Many in the extended family too religious. When he told his parents he wanted to become a priest, they were generous, yet again, in giving their child to God.   

"After class 12 exams, my sister and I both expressed our desire to join religious life. In all my excitement, I did not see the emotions of my parents. Later, an aunt told me, 'the day before you joined, your mummy broke down, saying, my elder two children (daughter and son) have gone, the youngest girl is gone and now he is the last one. After him, there is no one in the family as a male in the house. All other children are married and have families of their own. I don't want to stop him also.' ''

"My aunty replied, 'you have nine children and I also have nine children. I am sending my children to become religious and none of them are going. You without telling them, they are willing to go.' Then my mother took a little courage. Later, when I found out about this, I would always tell my mum, 'Why didn't you tell me? I wouldn't have joined.' She said, 'No, no you must carry on. God will take care of me.' "

"I have seen Divine providence working in my family. Don Bosco said that when a child leaves the family for God, Jesus and Mother Mary take the place of the child in the family. Four of us have left. In the years of my formation lots of doubts came, to go back and take care of my parents. But their faith and the fact that they never obstructed me, kept me going."

While still in formation, Father Velasli's father died. Little before that he called him and said, 'Son, you have taken the good path. I have no oppositions. But I only wish one thing - if you put your hands to the plough, never turn back. Make sure you carry on. Once you set your mind on God, you belong to God.' 

On his death bed, his father handed over his savings to his eldest brother, instructing him to ensure Father Velasli had a grand Ordination. And it was indeed! With over 150 religious in attendance and lay people outnumbering them, God remained faithful!

Father Renold Lemos (30)

Father Renold Lemos had a fairytale entry into the Salesian congregation. "When I told my parents I wanted to become a priest, my parents were happy. I had become quite naughty, so in a way they wanted to get rid of me and they had the consolation that there were two other sons to look after them," Father Renold, said.

Born to farmers, Father Renold had grown up with sound religious instruction. "We did not have a TV in our family. So we would go to our neighbours house to watch TV. When we wouldn't come home for the family rosary, my dad would chase us with a broom."

"My parents worked very hard. My mother would get up early and go to the market to sell vegetables. My father would get us ready for holy Mass and school. My mother with all the baskets, would come directly for Mass and meet us there. Then we would go to school and daddy to work. All my 10 years in school, I was a daily Mass goer and an altar server," Father Renold, said. 

Father Renold's parents lived by example. So when he faced storms in his vocation, he knew the tide who pass. "My practical training (internship) was tough, yet a very enjoyable learning experience. We are placed with youth, whom we Salesians serve. We have to be with them 24x7, as a companion. There are times when it can be very draining and you want to leave everything. But then there are also good moments, when the kids do something wonderful for you and suddenly it is all worth it. Of course, there are the Sacraments and spiritual direction that strengthens you along the way."

God's grace sustained him, when his father passed away, while yet in formation. "I was in Madhya Pradesh looking after boarders, when my dad succumbed to a snake bite."

The family was in shock. "It didn't shake up my vocation," Father Renold, said. Such is the love in the family for the Sacraments and reverence for religious life that Father Renold's brother postponed his marriage by two years, so his brother could bless his wedding, after his Ordination. Father Renold's first Mass was the Wedding Mass of his brother.

Father Evangelo D'Souza (29)
Wadala, Mumbai

When Father Evangelo D'Souza was seven, he knew he wanted to become a priest. He was a menace at home though. His three siblings and cousins, who lived with him in a joint family, were often victims of his pranks. The domestic helpers at home didn't last long, thanks again, to his antics. He would not share his desire to join the priesthood with anyone though, for fear of being ridiculed. After all, he was a self-professed 'nuisance' in the family. 

Father Evangelo was a good student. In his class 10 board exams, he secured 87.7%. While all thought he would become an engineer or doctor, he shook the ground of their feet, saying, "I want to become a priest!" 

Coming from a pious family, there was no opposition, but bewilderment; that the mischievous youth they knew, now wanted to trek the road to sanctity and take them along. Father Evangelo joined the Don Bosco Lonavla boarding, where he completed standard 11 and 12. Here, he was exposed to the Salesian way of live. 

Learning music, playing sports, growing in learning and living in a community, propelled Father Evangelo to pursue his pre-novitiate, novitiate, philosophy, practical training and theology - thereby completing 14 years of formation to become a priest of Don Bosco. "During our formation for priesthood, we get a well-rounded training," Father Evangelo, said.

The journey however, was fraught with problems. He contracted Herpes that almost claimed his life. With help from his Salesian fraternity, he bounced back. Serious illnesses, death and struggles in the family, disturbed him enough to desire to return home, but his loving parents, assured him that the situation was not so grave and that in his prayers - help was at hand!

"I have found so much joy in my vocation. As a Salesian brother, when I visited families going through crisis in their married life, I was able to listen to their problems and at this young age could help them. I was able to save two- three marriages as a brother. I was able to help youngsters and elderly from committing suicide. I'm still guiding them. God has been working tremendously. "

Father Ranson D'Souza (30)
Mulund, Mumbai

Father Ranson D'Souza was in the third standard when he accompanied his parents for a retreat. There he had a God-experience. "When I was praying, I felt the Lord holding my hand. I was called by my name, and since then I have had the desire to become a priest. I told my parents and they have been open to the idea ever since," Father Ranson, said.

In the 10th standard, a Salesian priest visited Father Ranson's catechism class for vocation promotion. All were given a questionnaire to fill. One questions was, 'What do you want to become?' "Among the many choices, I had ticked priest as one of the options. After some time the father followed-up with phone calls and even a visit to my house. That really touched me and that's why I am a Salesian today."

Father Ranson joined Don Bosco Lonavla for junior college. While in school, he wasn't involved in music or games. Soon he started playing football, hockey, volleyball, carrom, chess, table tennis and badminton. He learnt to play musical instruments like the keyboard, guitar and clarinet. 

He enjoyed the many picnics he went on. He was even part of the seminary band. During his practical training, he learnt Marathi and Gujarati. He also did his Bachelor's in Education (B.Ed) alongside his priestly studies. 

While still in formation, Father Ranson lost his brother. The family was devastated, yet his parents encouraged him - now their only son - to continue his vocation. He strived towards his goal with great determination.

Father Ranson said, "Priesthood is not an ordinary journey. Like when we are in the confessional, people share with priests what they do not share with anyone. Without priests there are no Sacraments, without Sacraments, there is no Catholic Church. We are ordinary people on an extraordinary journey! "  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


by Father Bento D'Souza

Around 250 parishioners from Our Lady of Fatima in Karjat marked the Feast of Don Bosco by organising a cultural programme which followed a special Eucharistic celebration on January 28.

Celebrations were tailored around the theme, "We celebrate Don Bosco accompanying the young in the context of youth and family." Bishop Percival Fernandes, the Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Mumbai, was the chief celebrant of the holy Eucharist. 

The girls of Good Shepherd Convent, Karjat performed an introductory prayer dance. Father Callistus Fernandes, the parish priest welcomed the Bishop at the beginning of the holy Eucharist. Bishop Fernandes, in his homily, extolled the qualities of Don Bosco, which was his pioneering service in accompanying the young that is continued by the Salesians today around the world.

A youthful choir of Our Lady of Dolours parish, Wadala, sang and animated the celebration with their melodious voices. Father Monty Rodrigues thanked the gathering and told them the reason for celebrating the feast of the founder and universal friend of youth, Saint John Bosco.

Father Bento D'Souza then introduced Bishop Fernandes to the audience during the cultural programme. The programme depicted scenes from the dramatic story of Don Bosco's life. It was enacted by the apprentices and trainees of the Don Bosco Youth Centre, Mothe Vengaon, Karjat.

The feast day celebration was attended by the religious Ursuline, Good Shepherd and Holy Cross sisters, Khopoli and also senior citizens from Dadar's Salvation parish. Brother Alex Carvalho led the coordination of the event, while Father Jesu Robinson ensured all logistical arrangements were made for the event.

Saturday, January 27, 2018


by Father Solomon Rapol

A session on scouting was conducted by Father Leon Rodrigues for nearly 40 boys at Bosco Boys Home in Borivli, on January 25. Group activities were conducted to illustrate the characteristics developed through scouting. The participants were also given an explanation of scouting and how it influences a scout's life.

Boys were divided in groups. The first activity involved each of the four groups keeping a balloon in the air and preventing it from touching the floor. This was to be done using only heads or by blowing air towards the balloon.

For the second activity, each group was given an envelope with several puzzle pieces in different shapes. Each group was required to put the puzzle pieces together correctly.

In the third activity, each group captain was given a sheet of paper which had geometrical figures on it. Members of each group had to listen carefully to their captain's instructions and accordingly draw the shapes on another sheet of paper. The challenge here arose because all groups were being given instructions simultaneously, and members had to pay close attention to only their captain's description.

Father Rodrigues explained what scouting was with several examples. "It involves learning in a natural, open-air environment through practical training and personal experiences. Learning occurs through fun, games and activities. Scouting is taught and practiced in over 200 countries around the world. It is voluntary, non political and educational in nature. 'Be Prepared' is the motto of every trained Scout." 

"Scouting prepares and educates the scout for challenges and prevents them from being taken by surprise. It can be considered as preparation for, as well as, a way of life," Father Rodrigues, said. 

The boys enjoyed the activities and actively participated in them. They co-operated with each other to achieve the goals of each task. Team spirit and competitiveness between groups was also present. They listened attentively to the information they were receiving.

Father Rodrigues ended the session by motivating the boys to prepare themselves for the upcoming Boscoree 2018. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


by Amarr Prabhu

Salesian fathers, brothers, sisters, cooperators, past pupils and all others who are recognised as members of the Salesian Family, in the Province of Mumbai, came together on January 21 to celebrate Salesian Family Day at the Mondini Hall of the Don Bosco Centre for Learning in Kurla.

One hundred and fifty four members, which included 93 Salesian cooperators, 35 past pupils and 11 members from ADMA, attended the celebration. Among those present was also the National President of the past pupils, Ketan Gala, National Vice President of the past pupils, Glenville Brass, who came from Bangalore, and also the ex-national delegate of the Salesian Family, Father Noel Madichetty, who came from Delhi.
The event began at 9.30 am with the celebration of the holy Eucharist, presided over by Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of Mumbai. He delivered the homily in which he encouraged all present to be filled with the Spirit of Saint Don Bosco, who in his own time was an outstanding personality. Following the Eucharistic celebration, the main programme, which included speeches, musical items and even a skit, was held. 

The Chief Guest Father Silveira delivered his key note address and urged the Salesian family to go beyond their school, parishes and community and to reach larger sections of society.  The highlight of the items was the presentation of the Rector Major,  Father Angel Fernandez Artime's message to the entire Family by Father Joe Braganza. 

Among the speeches was the plea by Father Madichetty who invited the participants to engage generously in the funding of the activities of the Salesian Family. Games and lunch provided an opportunity for fellowship between the Salesian Family members. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018


by Cleric Ian Pinto

Eighty-five students from Divyadaan, the Salesian Institute of Philosophy in Nashik, attended a symposium at the institute on the topic 'Right to Privacy', which was organised by the first year Master of Philosophy students on January 13. 

The audience comprised of religious brothers and sisters from the nearby houses and convents. 'Right to Privacy' is slowly garnering interest at various levels across the country especially after the Supreme Court's verdict on Aadhaar. Father Christopher George sdb, delivered a concise and comprehensive background to privacy during the keynote address. He touched on the historical origins of privacy and traced its roots back over 200 years. 

From among the students, three speakers presented papers expounding and developing the concept of privacy. The first speaker, Cleric Ian Pinto sdb, established the foundation by clarifying the philosophical basis of privacy and briefly outlined its historical development in India. The second speaker, Cleric Felix Almeida sdb, enlightened the audience on the Supreme Court's verdict, while the third speaker, Cleric Prasanna Kumar sdb, brought out the positive and possible negative effects of the verdict.

"The symposium enlightened and educated me about so many issues that I did not know about," Molly Miranda, an audience member, said. Professor Kulkarni, added, "The topic chosen was pertinent and the issues presented and discussed are bound to have effects sooner or later on life in general." The symposium was a success and fulfilled its purpose of enlightening and challenging the audience to respond conscientiously to reality.  

Friday, January 19, 2018


by Father Bento D'Souza

KARJAT, JAN 19, 2018: Five newly ordained priests, Fathers Evangelo D'Souza, Ranson D'Souza, Anthony Patole, Renold Lemos and Velasli Bandya visited DBYS in Karjat to meet students at the institution on January 17.

The visit began with an interaction with 70 students at the various skill workshop classrooms, namely welding, electricians, Mahanagar gas-pipeline technologists and refrigeration and air-condition (RAC) apprentices.  
Father Monty Rodrigues, Director of the institute, welcomed the five priests and urged them to feel at home at the institute. A cultural programme was enacted to showcase the creation of man and woman as in book of Genesis in the holy Bible and the spiral of sin. Then the promise of the birth of the Messiah climaxed with the call of Jesus to the fishermen-disciples on the sea of Galilee, to be fishers of men. It was a drama dramatically done!

The event ended with the new priests blessing the youth by the laying of hands. Father Bento D'Souza sang the song, 'The call for more priests' on the tune of 'Once upon a time there was a tavern'. Father Renold Lemos then exhorted the youth in the audience to make use of the opportunities while they prepare themselves for the responsibilities of adulthood. The new priests then concelebrated Holy Mass with the community. Father Lemos was the officiating celebrant and shared his reflection on the readings of the day.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018


by Karen Laurie 

"The small thought in your mind could be the next big thing in the world. Challenge yourselves, the next big film will be made by me. The next big idea that will change the world, will be by me,” Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai, said to youngsters, as he inaugurated the the Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India (DBYFFI) at Khalsa College in Mumbai. “Through this festival we provide a platform for your ideas. Constantly look within yourselves, find new ideas and pass the it to the world,” Father Silveira, added.

(L-R) Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, sdb, Regional Delegate, Boscom South Asia, Mr. Sundeep Malani,  Actor, Director, Malani Talkies, Dr. Allan D'Souza, Vice-Principal, Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Matunga, Chief Guest, Fr. Savio  Silveira, Vice-Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai.

DBYFFI aimed at promoting positive images of peace, hope and compassion among the young, will be screened at more than100 venues across 20 states in India on January 18-19. The annual festival will showcase 34 short films that have been meticulously selected by a panel of experts from among 900 submissions. The films focus on eco awareness, respect for parents and teachers, alcoholism, social media addiction, teenage problems, peer group pressure, social responsibility, sense of God, ethics of relationships, friendship, hard work, creativity and oppression amongst others.
“These short films help imbibe values that are not available through formal education. So we are very open to it.” Dr Allan D’Souza, Vice-Principal of Khalsa College, said. As the movies were played, the audience comprising over 500 students at the college auditorium were exposed to silent, animated, Indian and international films. 

Post each film, the festival organisers in collaboration with the college staff,  engaged the students in thought-provoking discussions. After the screening of ‘Never give up’, where a paraplegic is seen over-coming his disability through sheer grit and hard-work, the students were prodded, “When you ride your bikes rashly, do you think of the consequences of your action?”, “Make responsible choices, remember your family and your loved ones,” and “If something inadvertent were to happen, never give up. Hope in God, and you will rise.”

Masura Shaikh, a first year commerce student, was part of the audience. “This is a great way to inspire us and develop our mindset. From ‘Never give up’ I learnt, unless you take a step and move forward, you will never know what you can achieve.” 

For the young audience, this may not be have been their multiplex cinema experience but one under the supervision of their professors, in the formal setting of their college. Nonetheless, the students were seen laughing, clapping and even teary-eyed, as they identified with different scenes in the films. “It is a fun movie experience for us in college, coupled with learning,” Suman Kasurde, a first year accounting and finance student, said.  

“We have selected films to appeal to youth pan-India, whether rural, urban or tribal. The films should arouse the same emotions, among all audiences, irrespective of geography, language and culture. Not just the youth, the festival is also aimed at those directly influencing youth like parents and educators.” Sabrina Alathi from the DBYFFI jury, said. 

Titles like ‘Class of Rowdies’, which focuses on the plight of a young teacher who meets a class of rowdy students or ‘The Right Decision' a film that stresses on the values of education and hard work, will feature prominently among titles like, ‘Thank You Teacher’, ‘Teenage Love’, ‘Study Hard’, ‘A Cup of Positivity’’ and ‘Happiness’. The films are from countries like the US, Australia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Singapore, South Africa, France, Germany, Malaysia, UAE and India

Boscom South Asia -the joint communication division of all the states of Don Bosco institutions in India - is organising the film festival, which is now in its third edition. “ We are targeting 8- 10 lakh viewers this year. Next year, we plan to take the festival globally, across 132 countries, where Don Bosco institutions work," Father Joaquim Fernandes, Regional Delegate of Boscom South Asia, said.

In Mumbai alone, the festival will being held at 20 venues. At the Don Bosco Matunga campus, the screening for marginalised youth, saw street boys from Don Bosco Shelter, evening and night study boys of Don Bosco High school and youth from the slums of Dharavi that the Don Bosco Development office works with, as part of the audience. The film-appreciation sessions were in Hindi, to maximise participation. Not pop-corn and fizzy drinks, but the youth were  treated to a sumptuous meal, post the marathon movie session. 
Innovative means have been adopted by organisers to garner maximum eyeballs. Away from the city, a travelling cinema is on the road in Jawhar in Maharashtra where the Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra is taking the festival to villages. A car armed with a  projector, is entertaining and educating villagers. In each cultural territory the movie will be discussed in their own language.

In Sindhudurg, on the borders of Maharashtra, local theatre artistes have come forward to promote the festival as a medium for positive change. Their presence has helped engage the audience in healthy dialogue. 

In the hilly terrain of the North-East of India, where couriering the films has posed a challenge to the organisers in the past, an organiser flew down with the films to one state, from where delegates of seven states collected it. The youth festival will now be held in the tribal belts and educational institutions across the region. 

Most Don Bosco run institutions like schools, colleges, oratories, parishes, coupled with government-run and secular educational institutions, are hosting the festival. Community centres, youth groups, villages and tribal regions are also benefiting from the positively- themed films. 

“Shorts films have an enormous potential. It is obviously, one of the easiest, modern, attractive, entertaining, cost-effective means through which we can communicate powerfully to the young people of India. Don Bosco is spearheading this unique annual feature pan India, as a guardian affirming the rights and duties of the young people towards the nation and the society,” Father Harris Pakkam, Patron of DBYFFI, said.

Monday, January 15, 2018


by Father Leon Rodrigues

MUMBAI, JAN 15, 2018: The Salesian province of Bombay gathered around its confreres, on January 13, as three priests celebrated 50 years of Religious Profession, three priests celebrated twenty-five years of Ordination and nine priests marked 25 years of Religious Profession.

Father Lawrence D'Souza, Father Nelson Carvalho and Father Orville Coutinho marked 50 year of Religious Profession. Father Crispino D'Souza, Father Tony Pinto and Father Cyril D'Souza celebrated 25 years since their Ordination. Father Anthony Fonseca, Father Anton D'Souza, Father Dominic Martis, Father Joaquim Fernandes, Father Vishwas Pereira, Father Lester Fernandes, Father Pravin Makwana, Father Sanjay Lopes and Father Valeria Pereira celebrated twenty-five years of Religious Profession.

The evening began with a solemn Eucharistic celebration at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga presided by Father Carvalho. In his homily, Father D'Souza helped the confreres understand the 'why' of the celebration. He stated that the celebration was more than just a festive 'gala' where one just focussed on the exteriors. He said that all were called to remember the day, adding that all confreres are one family and belong to one another.

Father D'Souza reflected on the Gospel of the Wedding Feast of Cana, and reminded the jubilarians that they were called to have a tender devotion to our Blessed Mother and that they were also called to take time to 'make known Her Son' through the varied apostolates in the province. He helped the jubilarians to realise that they are nothing without the Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. He added, that the real celebration of the day was to rejoice at experiencing the love of God, the Father.

During the agape meal that followed the holy Eucharist, the jubilarians were felicitated with citations. Father Godfrey D'Souza, the Provincial, in his speech, made it known to the jubilarians that they are much loved and appreciated. He thanked them for being faith labourers in God's vineyard. He reminded them that it has always been the Lord who has nurtured, protected, guided and led them in their Salesian vocation. He asked them to continue rendering their wonderful service to the province. On behalf of the jubilarians, Father Lester Fernandes thanked the gathering for their love and appreciation. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018


By Brother Nelson Mudaliar

PUNE, JAN 11, 2018: Ten teams participated in the Bosco champs football tournament for the poor children organised by brothers of Don Bosco Youth Centre (DBYC), Pune on January 7.  Preparation for the tournament began in the month of November, with the distribution of forms and initial verification. Ten teams enrolled for the competition, beginning with the league stages on January 6 and 7.
The tournament began with a prayer service, garlanding of the statue of Don Bosco and lighting the lamp. Father Briston Britto, the vice rector of DBYC, highlighted the benefits of playing football, which included taking care of one’s physique and also learning to play in a team. The lamp was lit by Father Richard D’Silva and the captains of the various teams. The rules were then clearly explained and the tournament began with a kick off by Father Britto. 

The teams played with a competitive spirit and great enthusiasm. Many were new to the experience of playing on the football ground and they enjoyed it to the full. The spirit of support and encouragement could be seen on the faces and voices of all those who witnessed the matches. The final match was played between CV Boys and Bosco Juniors A. The former bagged the cup and the latter came as runners up. Dr Sohil Daswani was the chief guest for the tournament. He is a well-known dentist in Pune, a consultant at Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital. He had represented his school in handball at Pune district level. In his address to the boys, he urged the youth to enjoy games and to focus on studies as they grow.
At the end of the tournament, the best goalkeeper, best captain, rising star, most disciplined team, and the all rounder were given prizes. 

After the vote of thanks to the many sponsors from Pune and Mumbai, the winners, the runners up and the team that stood in the third place were felicitated. The boys and their supporting members left the campus with a joyous heart promising to come to DBYC regularly.


By Amarr Prabhu

MUMBAI, JAN 11, 2018: The Mumbai Provincial Federation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco in collaboration with the Kurla unit of Past Pupils organised a cancer awareness camp, conducted by the doctors of the Preventive Oncology department of Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, for staff and students of  St. Joseph’s ITI – Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Kurla on January 5.

The programme began with a welcome talk by Father Cyril de Souza, the Unit Delegate of the Kurla Past Pupils, during which he not only appreciated the generous services offered by the Preventive Oncology Department of Tata Memorial Hospital, but also encouraged the students to respond willingly to their offer.

The main items of the function began with an awareness talk by Doctor D Fernandes on the harmful effects of the use of tobacco in any of its various forms. Then, some specific facts about the consumption of tobacco, as also the warning signs of oral cancer were communicated to the participants.

The session was attended by around 400 students of St. Joseph’s ITI. Thereafter, a cancer screening camp was held by the doctors during which time over 350 students were screened for signs of cancer or pre-cancer.

A brief counseling session was held for those who were in the habit of smoking and of consuming tobacco. A follow up will be done by the Preventive Oncology department for some of the students. Since the camp was successful and very helpful to the students, St. Joseph’s ITI intends to organise the cancer awareness talk and the screening camp on an ongoing basis.

Monday, January 1, 2018


by Father Leon Rodrigues


UTTAN, JAN 1, 2017: Our Lady of the Sea Church, Uttan witnessed the priestly ordination of three young men, Salesian Father Velasli Bandya, Capuchin Father Baritan Nigrel and Jesuit Father Lloyd Sambrea on December 30.


Bishop Emeritus Edwin Colaco ordained them in the presence of over 100 priests, religious, brothers and sisters. The Bishop Emeritus, in his homily, said that he was presented with a very unique proposition as he had to ordain three candidates from different congregations.


Bishop Colaco said that our Lord Jesus Christ was a great teacher who would take a simple object from nature and use it to explain the workings of the kingdom of God. He put forth his point drawing upon an example of three daughters-in-laws who were newly married into a household.


Three of them had to fetch water in the morning for the day, he said, adding, how they fetched water was not important, as long as they completed the task. 


The Bishop added that it was the same with the varied congregations in the Church. Each congregation is called to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord to the ends of the earth in their own unique way, he said, and therefore it was his pleasure to ordain these three young men from three different congregations.


The Bishop then spoke to the Ordinandi asking them to strengthen the five pillars that would help them in their priesthood. He told them to pray, adding that chastity could be moulded through prayer. He also called them to obedience and to uphold the Sacrament of the Church especially the sacred Body of Christ and finally he asked them to lead a life of sacrifice for the kingdom of God. 


The melodious music added to the solemnity of the occasion as three young men were elevated to the altar of the Lord. The Sons of Our Lady of the Sea, Uttan are now Fishers of Men!


by Father Leon Rodrigues


VASAI, JAN 1, 2017: Saint Gonsalo Garcia Parish in Gaas, Vasai witnessed the Priestly Ordination of four young men who dedicated their lives to God on December 29, 2017.


The Salesian Father Renold Lemos and three other Capuchins Father Alfred Rodrigues, Father Glen Fernandes and Father Ashley D'monte were ordained in front of a packed assembly of 2500 parishioners by Retired Archbishop Felix Machado. The Ordination ceremony, animated by Father Allwyn Tuscano, started at 5pm with the singing led by Father Ramesh D'Souza.


Archbishop Machado in his homily preached on the Gospel of the day and stressed upon the importance of one's vocation. He called all the hundred priests con-celebrating at the occasion and the numerous religious gathered to remember the 'why' of their vocation.


Archbishop Machado reminded the Ordinandi that firstly they were professed religious and consecrated men of God and that they were called to fulfil the mission that God had entrusted to them just as the Blessed Mother did inspite of the various trials and tribulations that came her way. Numerous problems would come their way, the Archbishop stated, but he invited the Ordinandi to be steadfast in their vocation and calling.


The newly ordained priests were felicitated after the Holy Eucharist. The entire assembly was served refreshments after which the guests were escorted to a meal. The village of Gaas received their miracle: as their sons were elevated to the altar of the Lord to become another Christ, Alter Christus.