Tuesday, February 19, 2019

BIS #5759 PROVINCIAL CHAPTER MUMBAI: DAY ONE


by Father Leon Rodrigues 

LONAVLA, FEB 18,
2019: Day one of the Provincial Chapter of the Mumbai province (PC 2019) began on February 18 at 9 am in the Cajetan Lobo AV hall at Don Bosco, Lonavla with a prayer song based on Micah 6:8 and the Chapter prayer.

The Secretary of PC 2019, Father Vinod Mascarenhas took the Roll Call. Father Christopher George read the message of Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Councillor of South Asia to the PC 2019 capitulars; he asked them to be harbingers of the future.

During the morning session, the Provincial Father Godfrey D’Souza read his report on the state of the province and thanked the members for their hard work, dedication, and collaboration during the triennium 2016-2019.

The Secretary Father Vinod Mascarenhas, helped the capitulars to get to know the workings of the provincial commissions and departments.

The Economer Father Manuel Murzello then presented the report on the financial state of the province. The capitulars met at the afternoon session to present their feedback and views on the two reports that were presented in the morning session.

The evening session saw Commission 1 present their document entitled ‘Priority of The Mission with The Youth’. What followed was a healthy deliberation on the document. In the evening, the capitulars met together at the feet of the Lord during Adoration to praise and thank him for the wonderful first day of the Chapter.

BIS #5758 A PARISH FAMILY


by Avril Baptista

MUMBAI, FEB 18, 2019: Dominic Savio Parish, Wadala East held a soiree of the ‘Annual Parish Family’ themed ‘Coming together as a Family’ on February 16 at the church hall.

The morning’s Eucharistic Mass was con-celebrated by Father Savio D’Souza, the parish priest, Father Francis Fernandes, an
d Father Cleophas Braganza.

Couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries between the months of August and January renewed their marriage vows, with the larger community as their witness. In keeping with the occasion, Father Fernandes gave an inspiring homily on the meaning of family and the role of each individual in it.

The celebration held later in the day, was the first time the event was held at such a large scale and it witnessed a sterling turnout. From young to old: grandparents, parents, youth, children were all represented in large numbers.

The youth put up a cultural dance, while the adults showed how to line-dance to an enthusiastic audience. Games, dancing, and snacks were organised to encourage fellowship among the parishioners.


Father Fernandes and the Family Cell, organised the day’s proceedings. “We had a gala time as never before,” Ramona Monteiro, a parishioner said. “We must make this an annual thing, truly enjoyable,” Ryan Fernandes, another parishioner said. It was a sentiment that resonated among most of the attendees.

BIS #5757 RE-STAGING OF ARMAAN SAB KA


by Brother Jittin Mathew 

MUMBAI, FEB 18, 2019: Bosco Boys Home (BBH) received a special invitation to re-stage their musical, ‘Armaan Sab Ka’ on February 16 at Malad in Mumbai, by Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (YUVA), a non-governmental organization (NGO) working with the marginalised, as part of their ComplexCity: Connecting Experiences programme, which is a celebration of the city in all its diversity, inviting every urban inhabitant to share their experiences of the city with one another.

YUVA witnessed BBH’S musical, ‘Armaan Sab Ka’, staged for their benefactors, volunteers, and well-wishers, as a sign of gratitude for their unstinting love and support on January 26 at Don Bosco School, Borivli.

The story centres on the life of an orphan, who grew up on the streets, encounters many helping hands in his life, and after landing in BBH, fulfills his dream (armaan) of attaining happiness and overcoming his inner struggles. The performance of the boys has moved so many to swing into action and offer their time, talent, and mite to help the lesser privileged but extremely-talents boys of the Home.

Also at YUVA’s ComplexCity programme were other NGO’s from the city of Mumbai, who presented different songs, dance, skits, and musicals. ComplexCity aims to further the dialogue on urban values, history, culture, and socio-economic realities; to create awareness about the current situation of Mumbai city and how to make it better. YUVA as a voluntary development organisation aims to empower the oppressed by concentrating on human rights.

“We aim to organise a series of cultural expressions across the ComplexCity festival, showcasing unique local traditions, music, dance performances, poetry recitations to expose people to existing narratives of the city, they may have not explored before. We thank Bosco Boys Home for being part of our event by putting up such a wonderful musical play and helping us to highlight the issues of children belonging to the category of the poor and abandoned,” Sachin Nachnekar, the event coordinator for YUVA said.

“I was very happy to do the play one more time. It means the people really liked it and hope they call us again. I was also impressed by the various items performed by other groups. I thank YUVA for giving this platform to display our talent,” Prince Chavda, a boy from BBH said.

Deacon Romero D’Souza, the Prefect of Studies who accompanied the boys to the event, thanked and congratulated YUVA for their good work towards society.    

BIS #5756 SAVE THE CHILDREN


by Brother Jittin Mathew and Eustace Fernandes

MUMBAI, FEB 18, 2019: An awareness programme sensitising the boys of Bosco Boys Home (BBH) on their rights and responsibilities was conducted by the Salaam Baalak Trust, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on February 15 from 9.30 am to 11.00 am, as part of the project ‘The Invisible- Save the Children’.

Father Corlis Gonsalves, the Director of BBH congratulated the NGO for their benevolent gesture towards this feeble sector of society and encouraged them to carry on this noble work passionately.

“Every child deserves the best chance for a bright future,” Ashwini Shejwal, the programme coordinator of the project for the Mumbai region said. Shejwal with 12 years of experience in the field of child protection, along with Budhaji Jadhav, a team member, and Seema Vanarse, MIS officer conducted the session.

The theme of the session was to make the poor and abandoned children aware of their importance in society and vice-versa. The session was interactive and child-friendly starting with icebreakers and an action song.

The highlight of the session was the two movies: ‘Komal’ which stressed on the topic of abuse and a ‘Childline video’ which brought to the forefront the evil of child labour. After this, the boys were asked to share their views on the videos and they expressed their views freely and clearly.

The session ended with a motivational Hindi song, 'Mera bhi tho aadhikaar hai’ reflecting on the theme that every child, even the ignored and invisible, have their rights and they should fight for it.

“Every child should get the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, and education because we see tomorrow in today’s child and the progress of the country depends on the well-being of the children,” Vishal Gautam, one of the boys of BBH said.

“Real freedom is using one’s rights with responsibilities. You children are our future. Be aware of your rights and become responsible and productive citizens,” Shejwal said as she concluded the session.

In the vote of thanks, Deacon Romero D’Souza, the Prefect of Studies of the boys, thanked the team of Salaam Baalak Trust for educating and making the boys aware of their rights and responsibilities and assured them of their prayers and support.

BIS #5755 SANGAM 2018-19


by Sheena Aery

VADODARA, FEB 18, 2019: Don Bosco High School (DBHS), Vadodara celebrated its annual Thanksgiving Day on February 15.

The scouts troop escorted the Chief Guest H Madhavan, General Manager, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC),  Vadodara, Guests of Honour Father John Samala, Golden jubilarian,  Mita Bhatt, retiring teacher, Father Anthony Pinto, Rector and Principal, Father Isaac Arackaparambil, parish priest, Father Dominic Martis, the administrator, and Father Sunil Pinto, a newly ordained priest.

An audience of around 1800, comprising parents, well-wishers, ex-teachers, school staff, alumni, students, and friends witnessed the programme. Father Martis welcomed the gathering and also paid a tribute to the martyrs of Pulwama with a two-minute silence.

The prayer and welcome dances set the right note for the programme. H Madhavan, an ex- Boscoite was appreciated for his esteemed presence as the chief guest and presented a plaque as a memento by Father Anthony Pinto. Madhavan in his address shared memories and experiences at Don Bosco School as a student, emphasising that a person is recognised by his roots.

Father Samala was felicitated for his 50 years of fidelity to the Lord as he celebrates the Golden Jubilee of his Sacerdotal Priestly Ordination. Teacher Mita Bhatt was congratulated on the occasion of her retirement, for the dedication with which she has served the school for 18 years.

The theme of the annual Thanksgiving was ‘Sangam’, an amalgamation of various cultures in India. The story unfolded with the significance of the culture of Bihu (Assam), Pahadi (northern India), Adivasi (tribal culture),  Koli (Maharashtra), and Garba (Gujarat). Dances depicted by students were enhanced by the visuals on the LED screen. The curtain call was the Sangam of various cultures unified with the song ‘Happy ending’.

Presenting the vote of thanks, Leena Varghese, the chief coordinator of the school thanked all present for their contribution in making the programme a grand success.

Monday, February 18, 2019

BIS #5754 BEGINNINGS OF PC 2019


by Father Leon Cruz

LONAVLA, FEB 18, 2019: The Provincial Chapter (PC) of Mumbai Province began in Lonavla on February 17. In preparation for PC 2019, all confreres gathered for a recollection talk given by Father Thumma Vijay Prathap Reddy who was recently the moderator of the Provincial Chapter of Hyderabad province and the elected delegate to the General Chapter (GC 28) in his province.

Father Reddy set the tone for PC 2019 as he spoke about creative fidelity and he addressed creative fidelity of God, creative fidelity of Don Bosco, and creative fidelity of Salesians. The recollection talk was followed by an Adoration service animated by Father Wyman Gonsalves, moderator of the Provincial Chapter.

During the Goodnight Talk, Father Godfrey D’Souza, the Provincial of Mumbai Province welcomed the confreres and speaking about Prophet Jeremiah. He expressed the need to be rooted in faith, to be men of God, and to do God’s work.

The Provincial Chapter of Mumbai Province will end on February 22 and the forthcoming days will be days of reflection, discernment, and discussions on the theme ‘What kind of Salesians for the youth of today?’

Sunday, February 17, 2019

BIS #5753 LIVE THE DREAM


by Brother Jittin Mathew 

MUMBAI, FEB 14, 2019: The words of Kailash Satyarthi, child rights activist and Noble Peace Prize recipient inspired students of VIBGYOR High School, Borivli to visit Bosco Boys Home (BBH) on February 13.

Satyarthi’s words, “Th
ere is no greater violence than to deny the dreams of children,” moved the students to make the outreach-cum-field trip to the Home in a bid to spend time with underprivileged youth at the premises.

The event was coordinated by Lipi Joshi -a staff - on behalf of the Principal Diana Isabel of VIBGYOR in collaboration with Bosco Boys Home for creating awareness and to enthuse, enlighten and empower the children with the message to dream big and to achieve it.

On reading the chapter on Kailash Satyarthi, the students of standard five along with their teachers Grenil Menezes, Joshi, and Niharika Singh made the visit to gain real-life experience of the work done by the society to protect innocent poor and abandoned children and help them fulfill their dreams.

The students came well prepared with a programme consisting of songs, dances, games, and snacks. The theme for the programme was, ‘Dream big and strive to achieve it’. The students sang the songs, ‘You’re an Overcomer’ and ‘Hum Hoge Kamiyab’ delighting and motivating all present to never give up in life.

A fusion dance ‘Taal se Taal’ was also performed. To top it all, the Boys of Bosco Boys Home also joined in with a freestyle-cum-hip hop fusion dance with eight songs infused. Two students from the school came forward to share the brief life of Satyarthi and his contribution to society.

Deacon Romero D’Souza, on behalf of the management, staff and the children, thanked the staff and students of VIBGYOR for their kind and loving gesture. He also briefed them about the Institute and the founder Don Bosco. He shared with them the famous dream of Don Bosco, which has become a living reality today and encouraged all to dream big and live the dream.

“A big thank you to the management, staff, and boys of Bosco Boys Home for sharing with us these wonderful, joyful and fruitful moments,” Joshi said. “It is the right of every child to dream big and to strive to fulfill his dream. So don’t give up to the struggles but overcome it with perseverance and hard work.”

One of the girls from the school added, “I would like to spend some more time here and would like to help in the activities conducted here because there is so much of liveliness and cheerfulness here.”

“It was a learning experience for me. I really liked the work done by Kailash Satyarthi. He along with Don Bosco worked for poor youngsters like us. I will also become like them when I grow up,” Rahul Khavdia, a boy from BBH said. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BIS #5752 MUSIC, MELODY AND A HEART FULL OF GRATITUDE

by Ashwini Gupte

MUMBAI, FEB 12, 2019: Don Bosco High School, Matunga celebrated their Annual Thanksgiving on February 8 and 9, in gratitude for the numerous achievements and accolades won by the Institution after the Platinum Jubilee year.

An enchanting musical, 'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers', its Hindi version being the famed 'Satte Pe Satta' was staged. The production told the tale of seven backwoodsmen, the Pontipee brothers. Uncouth and brash at the outset, they grow into ‘refined men with a refreshing outlook’ after the eldest brother Adam brings home his bride, Millie.

Members of the management including the Rector Father Crispino D'Souza, Principal Father Bernard Fernandes, Vice Principal and Administrator Father Roy Noronha, Coordinator C Rai, supervisors and head teachers were felicitated for their unwavering confidence and unstinting encouragement that has led the school to raise the bar each year. Meritorious and deserving students were also commended with awards and scholarships on day one of the celebrations.

On day two, retired staff, Supervisor for standards five and six, Barbara Fernandes and the in-charge of the IT department Nelson D'Souza were felicitated for their dedication and commitment to the cause of education.

The jubilarians, supervisor for standards seven and eight, Christina Mascarenhas and kindergarten teacher Blanche D'Souza were also felicitated for their silver years of service. Peons G Joseph and Ramesh Parmar were also commended for their successful innings in service at Matunga. There was a tribute to the late Rector Father Jude D'Mello.

The Chief Guest Paul Machado, Principal, Campion school, iterated the shared responsibility parents and teachers have in the all-round growth and development of the child. "School is your second home, it is often said but home is also your second school," Machado said.

On the occasion, the Guest of Honour Father Binu Jacob, Rector of Don Bosco Nepal, was presented a cheque of six lakh rupees as the school’s mite from the outreach Christmas Panorama proceeds.

The Principal Father Fernandes quoted Nobel Peace Prize Winner, former US Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore in praise of Pope Francis as being, "one of the strongest voices in the world calling for environmental protection."  

BIS #5751 GOSPEL QUIZ ENGAGES ADULTS


by Wilma Almeida

KUWAIT, FEB 12, 2019: The Parish of St.Therese of Child Jesus in Kuwait organised their annual Bible quiz for catechism children on February 11, 2019. In a bid to include adults, after a special request by them to the parish priest, an online quiz on the Gospels was created for them this year.


The quiz committee swung into action and with the help of the weekly Bible class students, a two-stage Bible quiz on the Gospels of Matthew and John were designed. Registered candidates had to first participate in an online quiz, spread over three months. Qualifiers then contested in a live quiz show to win.

The quiz was launched in the first week of October. There was an overwhelming response with 500 Bible enthusiasts registering from across all the parishes of Kuwait and even overseas. Each week, ten questions were posted online as participants accumulated their points.

The first 20 participants were then invited to the grand finale of the live quiz show on February 8 at Don Bosco School in Kuwait. Hudson Fernandes emceed the event, keeping everyone interested as four teams competed for the top spot. The organising committee had arranged a variety of creative rounds including multiple questions, buzzer, activity-based, audiovisual, and rapid fire.

Team Matthew, comprising Vijay D’souza, Lijo Joseph, Cleta D’souza, Alwyn D’souza, and Shawn George scored the maximum points and were declared winners.



“Sincere gratitude to the priests and entire Bible quiz committee for professionally organising such an event.  It has really helped us to read, understand, and meditate on the Word of God. Our knowledge of the Gospels has increased and it will help us to grow spiritually.  We wish to see more of these activities being conducted for the parishioners,” Vijay D’souza from the winning team said.

Team John, comprising of Chris Joseph, Regina Anthony, Veena Vas, Jeena Kuruvilla, Angela Dias were declared runners up. “I want to thank each priest as well as the coordinating committee for conducting the entire quiz right from the online stage. The questions were all well researched,” Chris Joseph, a participant said. The teams Mark and Luke were placed third and fourth respectively.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

BIS #5750 CELEBRATING DON BOSCO AT KARJAT


by BIS Correspondent

KARJAT, FEB 11, 2019: The Salesians of Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha (DBYS) celebrated the feast of Don Bosco at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Karjat on February 3.

The main celebrant for the Feast Mass was Father Anthony Santarita, Rector of DBYS. The concelebrants were Father Jesu Robinson, Father Allwin Misquitta, and Father Louis Karjar, the parish priest. Along with the Salesian community, present also were the staff and the students of DBYS, the nun-sisters from
three convents and parishioners - all totaling around 200.

Holy Mass began at 9 am and Father Santarita gave a brief introduction of the Salesian congregation worldwide. The homily during the Holy Mass was preached by Brother Melvin Carvalho. He spoke about the genial creation of Don Bosco – the Salesian Brother.


Brother Carvalho shared that the calling of a Salesian of Don Bosco is to be a Salesian first, then a Brother or a Priest. Most people were unaware of the vocation of a lay brother. It was their first experience listening to a homily by a Salesian brother.

The Parish Priest Father Karjar spoke of the warm relationship the parish shares with the Salesian community in Karjat. “The Salesians are part of our family, ” Father Karjar said, encouraging the parishioners to visit the Salesians in Mothe Venaon.

Father Karjar with the parishioners felicitated the Salesians, appreciating the good work they do. Following Holy Mass, Cleric Sanjay Ninama of the Salesian fraternity organised games for all parishioners – young and old. A prize distribution ceremony and fellowship meal concluded the festive celebrations.

BIS #5749 VALEDICTORY FUNCTION AT DON BOSCO KARJAT


by Brother Sanjay Ninama

KARJAT, FEB 11, 2019: Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha organised a valedictory function on February 7, for 25 students who have passed out of the gas pipe technicians course from the academic batch 2017-18 and are currently employed by Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

The programme started at 3 pm in the technical school. Guests of Honor Sabyasachi Das, General Manager; Neera Asthana – Phate, deputy general manager; Nishant  Sinha, manager; Vinod Nigi, assistant head; Namita, secretary represented the CSR team of MGL.

The students of Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha put up a cultural programme comprising a welcome song, dance, sharing of experience, and a thank you song. It was followed by the distribution of certificates.

At the end of the programme, a short interaction was facilitated between the MGL staff and the boys working with the contractors, to clarify any doubts and to charter their way forward in the company.

“You are not only learning the trade but also developing other skills such as dancing, singing, doing artwork etc,” Das said to the boys encouragingly. Father Anthony Santarita, Rector of Don Bosco Yuva Sanstha, expressed his gratitude to the MGL team for supporting the Institute.

BIS #5748 ENRICHING FAMILY LIFE


by Raju Parmar 

DAKOR, FEB 11, 2019: Eleven young couples from Christ the King parish in Dakor came together for a one-day seminar conducted by Father Appadurrai from the Ahmedabad Diocese to enrich family life on February 3.

The session began at 10.30 am with an inauguration ceremony where the Parish Priest Father Bastin Thomas welcomed the resource person and the participants.

Father Appadurai asked the participants to write down the problems they face in their family life. He then dealt with the problems. 

The second part consisted of the husbands writing the positive qualities about their wives and the wives too writing the positive qualities of their partners. They came in pairs and read out their qualities to each other loudly.

The final session consisted of the pairs standing, facing each other and looking into the eyes of the partner for twenty minutes. The exercise helped the couples get closer.

“We have been going through our own martial struggles but this session has made us realize that we have to keep working at our relationship and how to correct our ways,” Saroj Khristi, a participant said.

“Such sessions are needed to keep our families united. We all want to make our families, family no 1,” Rajesh Khristi, another participant said.

“Families in today’s time need such sessions to guide them to make the right choices for themselves,” Father Thomas said. The couples left happily with their marital bond strengthened, recommitted to the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

BIS #5747 THE GREATEST SHOWMAN


by Rosy Stephen

LONAVLA, FEB 7, 2019: The students and staff of Don Bosco High School, Lonavla joined forces to stage an adapted version of the movie ‘The Greatest Showman’ on their annual day on February 4 and 5.

Unlike any other plays which are typical Shakespearean or reminiscence of some historical figure, the play on the life of the person of P T Barnum had an inspiring storyline with the actors of the play doing their part in excellence.

Barnum was an American showman, politician, and businessman. He was also an author, publisher, and philanthropist. A majority of the students from the school and college participated in the play. It was thrilling to see them well-dressed and well-trained for their various dance, song, and act performances.

The play ran the themes of love, societal pressures, the creativity of thinking, accepting challenges, prioritising things in life and much more. The music brought alive the feelings and emotions connected to every scene in the play.

Rector Father Valerian Pereira, Brother Nathaneal George, and Rosy Stephen were instrumental in making the play a success. The community members Father Velasli Bandya, Brother Christopher Nadar, Father Royal D’Abreo, Father Johnson Kshirsagar, Father Xavier Devdass, Father Jeffrey Fernandes also contributed to its success. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

BIS #5746 GOLDEN THANKSGIVING DAY FOR ST DOMINIC SAVIO, ANDHERI


by Father Ranson D'Souza

MUMBAI, FEB 5, 2019: Yet another page has been scripted in the annals of St Dominic Savio, Andheri as history was made by the celebration of Annual Thanksgiving Day on February 2 and 3, 2019 in its 50th glorious year. With God’s grace the two days were celebrated under the joint auspices of the Salesian community, school staff, parents, students, alumni, cooperators, benefactors, well-wishers, and friends.

On February 2, the cele
brations began at 6 pm with the solemn entry of the Chief Guest Father Brian Moras, the Rector and Manager of the Institute of St Dominic Savio, Andheri followed by Valerie Mascarenes, Principal of St Dominic Savio High School, and the Salesian community.

On February 3, the celebrations began at 6 pm with the solemn entry of the Chief Guest Father Godfrey D’Souza, the Provincial of the Salesian province of Mumbai, the Silver Jubilarian Manuel Suren, a member of the non-teaching staff and the guests of honour - the former rectors and principals of the Institute -  Father Corlis Gonsalves, Father Ajoy Fernandes, Father Crispino D’Souza, Father Boniface D’Souza, Father Philip Falcao, and Father Donald Fernandez. 

Students from the primary section welcomed the gathering with their lively singing and dancing. The tiny tots of the pre-primary section got everyone to raise their hearts and minds to God with their prayer song and dance.

Father Moras and the management were felicitated on the first day whereas on the second day it was the management, the school leadership team, the chief guest, the silver jubilarian and the former rectors and principals who were felicitated.

Father Moras in his message quoted Don Bosco who said, “Everything fades away, but not out gratitude. We shall always pray that God will abundantly bless those who have been so good to us,” connecting it to the theme for the academic year, ‘Thank you God’ emphasising the hand of God throughout the wonderful 50-year journey of the institution of St Dominic Savio, Andheri.

Father Godfrey D’Souza in his message emphasised upon the pedagogical system of Don Bosco – ‘Reason, Religion and Loving Kindness’ - through which the educator fosters dialogue and participation in the classroom, a healthy sense of spirituality where the young can find meaning in the sacred and an atmosphere where young people feel that they are cared for and loved.

Prizes and scholarships were given on the first day to deserving students who excelled and shone in academics, sports, discipline, creativity, and all-round performance during the past year.

A heart-warming documentary on the history of the Institute highlighting the 50 years journey of growth since the time of its inception was screened with the help of Kirk Peter, the producer under the guidance of Father Moras, Mascarenes and Hayden Dias, an alumnus.

The musical ‘Blessed to be a Savion’ directed by Avit Dias was the cherry on the cake with an excellent showcasing of talents through drama, song, and dance. The musical presented an overview of the various activities that take place in the school thereby giving an opportunity to every student to become all-rounders. It emphasised on the words of Don Bosco who always said, “Remember that education is a matter of the heart.” Also screened during the musical were the experiences and messages of some of the former rectors, principals, teachers, and past pupils on the occasion of the Institute’s Golden Jubilee.

“The message went out loud and clear to all those present that St Dominic Savio, Andheri is the best place for the overall growth of our children,” a parent said. Indeed the two-day celebration will go down in history as the golden thanksgiving days and will live forever in the memories of the Savion family. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

BIS #5745 FIVE NEW ASPIRANTS BECOME SALESIAN COOPERATORS


by Christopher Pereira

KUWAIT, FEB 4, 2019: The Salesian Cooperators of Kuwait celebrated the solemnity of the feast of St. John Bosco on the January 31 at St. Therese of Child Jesus Church. The Holy Mass was concelebrated by Father Philip Parakatt, Father Derrick Misquitta, Rector, Father Blany Pinto, parish priest, and Father Francisco Pereira, catechetical director.

Twenty-nine Cooperators renewed their promise while five Aspirants were confirmed as Salesian Cooperators after they pledged themselves to the service of the Salesian cause. In his homily, Father Parakatt reminded all to nurture the spirit of a child to prepare themselves for the kingdom of God and to emulate Don Bosco’s love for children who need love due to poverty, lack of family, societal support or any other reason.

The Aspirants Libby Sequeira, Raymond Rego, Walter D’sa, Lynette D’sa, and Rositta Lawrence prepared themselves for over 18 months to learn, understand and experience the Salesian spirit. They attended various talks and discussions led by the Parish Priest Father Blany Pinto and facilitated by Francis Sam, the spiritual guide of the Cooperators.

The Aspirants were active participants in many activities conducted by the Cooperators like Crossroads – a career guidance programme for class 10 and 12 students, Bridging the Gap – a programme for children and their parents, Thanksgiving Mass for students of class 10 and 12, Children’s Oratory programmes, Altar Servers felicitation, Christmas and Easter Bazars for fund collection, Mama Margaret canteen for Catechism children as part of their journey.


“The Salesian Cooperators inspired me the most to work with youth and the young children. I felt this was my calling to work with them and bring them close to the Church. The Oratory programme is now a part of my mission to serve God through his children and lead by Don Bosco’s example,” Raymond Rego, one of the newly professed Cooperators said.

“It was a wonderful journey all through the 18 months where I was trained in Don Bosco’s ways, in his work and in his realistic and dynamic spirit. I thank God for this vocation which is a path closely tied to maturing in the faith, in a dialogue with God that will last for my entire life,” Libby Sequeira, another newly professed Cooperator said.


“Having taken the promise on the feast of St. Don Bosco, I feel truly blessed to be called to this vocation and am glad to be a part of the Salesian family. I pray that I will always be committed and faithful to my vocation and humbly fulfill my duty of bringing the young closer to Christ and teach them to love and follow Jesus always,” Rositta Lawrence, a newly professed Cooperator said.

“It is truly a blessing to be a part of the Salesian family. After the pledge, we feel all the more committed and thus shall dedicate ourselves for the service of the young, ” Walter and Lynette D’sa, added.

The Cooperators – both new and experienced - expressed their gratitude to Fathers Blany Pinto and Derrick Misquitta, as well as to Francis Sam, the spiritual guide for enriching them with a wealth of knowledge about Salesian values, motto, and mission. With a fellowship after Holy Mass, the new Cooperators received a warm welcome into the family of the Salesian Cooperators.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

BIS #5743 SALESIANS’ PARENTS PLEDGE TO LIVE HOLINESS


by Father Christopher George 

KAPADVANJ, JANUARY 29, 2019: ‘Salesian Parents’ Day’, a gathering of parents and family members of the native Salesians from Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh was celebrated at the Don Bosco Campus, Kapadvanj on January 27. The theme ‘Holiness for You Too’ was celebrated with 55 enthusiastic participants, not counting children and the Salesians.

A wonderful expression of Salesian Family spirit, this fellowship gathering provided a good chance for the Salesian confreres to express their gratitude to their parents. Father Mayank Parmar, Rector-Parish Priest of Don Bosco Kapadvanj welco
med the participants in the name of the Salesians and invited the mothers of the Salesians to light the lamp and commence the celebrations.

Father Ashwin Macwan compeering the programme asked the parents and family members to feel at home since they were amidst their sons who were trying to be faithful to the mission and vision of Don Bosco. Father Dinesh Vasava originally hailing from the south Gujarat tribal belt conducted a session of ice-breakers and action songs to enliven the proceedings.

The solemn Eucharistic celebration at noon was presided over by the newly ordained, Father Justus Mendis, Principal of Don Bosco English Medium School Dakor, while Father Parmar shared the homily reflection on the day’s Gospel drawing examples from daily lives.

Father Kansinh Mathew Katara, a native Bhil hailing from Rajasthan, currently serving as an administrator at Don Bosco Dakor gave a rousing speech in Hindi with a powerpoint presentation, focusing on the life and work of Don Bosco who invited his mother, Mamma Margaret and other parents to collaborate in his initiatives for the young.


Father Pravin Makwana, currently serving as an administrator at Don Bosco Kawant, speaking in Gujarati, emphasised the life of the parents of Don Bosco. He presented the noteworthy qualities of Mamma Margaret citing examples and anecdotes about her experience with the boys at the Oratory of Don Bosco.

The celebration comprised native Bhil and Gujarati Salesians and their family in traditional colourful attire, who were very pleased with the work done by the Salesians across the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan in Western Central India. The Salesian mission here comprising Self Help Groups, schools, oratory centres, boarding/hostel facilities, human rights interventions, catechetical production and dissemination, and youth development programmes are well appreciated by the families and relatives.

The celebration concluded with the Salesians and their parents pledging to live up to the Strenna 2019 of the Rector Major 'Holiness for You Too', in selfless loving of the other in their daily lives, witnessing to the Good News in the highly polarised religio-political times. K. C. Mal, the dad of Father Ashwin Mal, hailing from Jhabua District in Madhya Pradesh said, “Hope this celebration of the Don Bosco movement will help us as parents and you our sons to be able to influence more vocations for the Salesian Congregation.”

#holinessforyoutoo

BIS #5742 NATIONAL FIRE AND EVACUATION DAY AT DON BOSCO


by Prashant Gaikwad

PUNE, JAN 21, 2019: The National Fire and Evacuation Day was observed at Don Bosco, Yerwada with Don Bosco High school, Safe Kids Foundation-Honeywell India, and Fire Brigade-Pune Municipal Corporation jointly organising a ‘School-Building Model’ competition for all the schools across Pune.

Almost 25 schools participated. There was a rangoli competition on the theme 'fire safety' as well. As a part of their ‘Awareness through demonstration and training’ programme, Fire Brigade of PMC displayed a live demonstration of fire-fighting and fire-safety.

The demonstration showcased hands-on drills of how to extinguish fires of different types with different types of extinguishers. The fire-fighting van of the brigade demonstrated how they control fire in various scenarios using a number of fire-fighting tools and equipment.

The Divisional Fire Officer (PMC), Sunil Gilbile described to the students the background and importance of National Fire and Evacuation Day. “Even a child can save lives of many people in case of a fire. Therefore, you all must be very much alert and must act smartly to save your own and others’ lives. Use the skills that you will acquire during today’s demonstration in your day-to-day life,” Gilbile said.

Teachers, Wali, Suryakant, Pranali, Sayma and students Tanish Das, Aditya Sawant, Nidhi Agarwal, and Pragati Chavan from standard seven participated in mock drills.

“I felt very proud after the drill of extinguishing the fire,” Das said. Agarwal added, “I was scared to see the fire at first but the officer's support made me fulfill the task confidently. It’s a lifetime learning experience for me.”

“The demonstration and drills will be very useful for all the students and teachers. We got to know the simple and effective techniques to extinguish a fire as well as save lives in case of fire,” Wali, a teacher said.

The fire brigade officials were then felicitated by Principal Father Bosco D'Mello, who also advised the students to be vigilant in avoiding incidents of fire as well as fight bravely and tactfully by following all the safety measures.

BIS #5741 ARMAAN SAB KA: BOSCO BOY’S HOME MUSICAL

by Brother Jittin Mathew 

MUMBAI, JANUARY 29, 2019: In an effort to show gratitude for the generosity and sacrifice of their benefactors, the management, staff, and boys of Bosco Boys Home (BBH) organised a ‘Thanksgiving Day’ at Don Bosco School, Borivli on January 26.

The programme began with the Rector of Bosco Boys Home, Father Corlis Gonsalves welcoming the Chief guest Father Solomon Rapol, the Rector of Don Bosco School and Parish, Borivli and the well-wishers.

Father Gonsalves thanked them for their kindness shown towards the boys and invited them to enjoy the show presented by the boys. The boys welcomed everyone present with a freestyle cum hip-hop fusion dance with six songs infused.

The highlight of the day was the musical ‘Armaan Sab Ka’ (everyone’s dreams and desires) performed by the boys. It was a musical play based on the life of an orphan, who grew up on the streets, encountered many helping hands in his life and how after landing in BBH, fulfills his dream (armaan) of attaining happiness and freedom, thereby overcoming his inner struggles.

The play was directed by Nizamuddin Shah and his team from Jannat Media Production. The welcome dance was choreographed by Anup Kashyap and his team from Muskaan foundation. The play was written by Cleric Jittin Mathew.

“It was a wonderful experience for me. It was the first time that I did a musical. The story felt so real because everything I acted on stage, I do every day in Bosco Boys Home,” Om Pendekar, an actor in the musical said.

“Every child has a dream i.e. armaan in his life. He may or may not fulfill it. It is the responsibility of the society to help every child to fulfill his armaan and make his dream a living reality because “Armaan Sab Ka,” Shah, the director of the play said.

 “The musical was really inspiring. It deeply touched and underlined the undercurrents of what goes on in the life of street boys and how they could be helped. It was an educative, emotional comedy-drama with a very important social theme and a Christian message,” Vaneesa Lobo, a benefactor said.

“In fact, it was Deacon D’Souza, who conceptualized and proposed, encouraged and made this musical (his idea) a reality- Armaan Sa Ka!” Father Gonsalves, the Director of BBH, said, adding, “The purpose of organising this event was to thank the benefactors and sponsors who have supported us and also to extend our gratitude to the volunteers who come and render their services and selfless sacrifice.” 

The vote of thanks was given by Deacon Romero D’ Souza, the Perfect of Studies. He extended his gratitude to all who were present for the musical play and invited each of them to spend some quality time with the boys whenever they could.

BIS #5740 REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS


by Sheena Aery

VADODARA, JAN 29, 2019: The staff and students of Don Bosco High School (DBHS), Vadodara celebrated Republic Day on January 26 with a cultural programme comprising of speeches, a patriotic dance, and a flag-hoisting ceremony.

The Rector and Principal, Father Anthony Pinto and the Chief guest Doctor Parth Modi and his parents were escorted to the dais by the scout troop. Students from standard three to twelve, staff, parents, and ex-students were also present to celebrate the 69th Republic Day.

Doctor Modi is an alumnus of DBHS, Vadodara having passed out in 2008. He had secured 96% at HSC (Science) and stood first in the school. He then did his MBBS (2008-2014), Masters in General Surgery (M.S – 2014-2017) from B.J Medical College, Ahmedabad, and is presently a Senior Resident Doctor, Department of Neurosurgery Gobind Ballabh Pant Hospital, New  Delhi.

Doctor Modi had the honour of hoisting the national flag and awarding certificates for inter-house drama, science exhibition, and general proficiency at a prize distribution ceremony.

Addressing the students, Doctor Modi said, “15 years ago, one day, I saw a dream – to become a doctor, and held onto it so bad that the entire universe conspired to help me achieve it. I want to thank all my teacher’s and Alma Mater to help me become who I am today.” He urged the students to dream big and quoted J.F Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Doctor Modi was presented with a token of appreciation by Father Anthony Pinto, for securing the first rank at the All India National Entrance for super-specialty Neurosurgery and for consenting to be the chief guest for the 69th Republic day.

BIS #5739 TRAINING FOR MAHARASHTRA DEPARTMENT OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION

 
By BIS Correspondent 

MUMBAI, JAN 29, 2019: St. Joseph Industrial Training Institute [SJITI] successfully concluded a ‘Train the Trainer’ programme for 35 pre-vocational education instructors of the Maharashtra Technical School from January 2 to 25 at the Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL) campus at Kurla, Mumbai.

SJITI-DBCL was selected from among five other bidders on the basis of excellent past experience of skilling and quality of training by the Department of Technical Education of Maharashtra State, the official body responsible for implementing and monitoring the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) across Maharashtra.

The Pre-vocational Education Scheme is over five decades old and is implemented by all the government and private technical schools, where technical subjects are taught in standards nine and ten, in addition to academic subjects, to prepare candidates for the Maharashtra State Secondary Certificate examinations.

This twenty-one day ‘Train the Trainer’ hands-on intensive programme is focused on effective implementation of the NSQF curriculum, adoption of new pedagogy, hands-on skilling, planning precise instructions, industrial visit, project work, entrepreneurship, Industry 4.0, personality development, and the preventive system of Don Bosco.

Father Colbert da Silva, Rector DBCL Kurla, addressed the valedictorians saying, “I urge you dear instructors to treat the students as your own kids, even as you put into the practice whatever knowledge and skills you have acquired during this training.” He further added, “The association built during these 21 days will not end, as the doors of DBCL are always open and you are most welcome any time.”

Amarr Prabhu, Principal of SJITI, said, “I am grateful and overwhelmed for the confidence and trust exhibited by the Department of Technical Education by entrusting SJITI-DBCL Kurla the opportunity to conduct this Train the Trainer, and I do hope that this collaboration will bear much fruit.”

Officers from the regional office present at the valedictory ceremony were: A. D. Shinde - Assistant Director, Gaikwad - Inspector RO, V. Shanke - Officer DEVEO, and Manjrekar - Officer DEVEO.

Shinde thanked DBCL for the commitment with which the training was conducted, saying, “I sincerely thank SJITI-DBCL for contributing to the state mission of skilling Maharashtra.” Gaikwad said, “I am greatly indebted to SJITI for accepting to organise and conduct this training programme and ensuring a high standard of delivery.”

Expressing their gratitude, the programme participants in their evaluative feedback said, ‘we are grateful to SJITI-DBCl for the high-quality content-oriented training and it is our humble request that similar training is organised more often at DBCL Kurla’.

The core objectives of this technical skilling programme are: self-discovery by the pupil of his own ability and aptitude, making him more alert and active; knowledge of industry, its methods of production, and effect on everyday social and economic life; satisfaction through self-expression by certain work while manufacturing articles; application of good design and good workmanship in any manufactured product; the ability to use tools and material for production; knowledge in selection, purchase, use, and care of manufactured articles both for use in house and in occupational life; ability to make sketches and drawing for constructional purpose and to read technical illustration in books and journals; basic knowledge in the use of tools, machines, material, and process to carry on educational and professional work at the scientific or technological level.

BIS #5738 BAL MELAWA FOR VILLAGE CHILDREN

by Father Richard Burkhao

AURANGABAD, JANUARY 29, 2019: Over 300 children from 17 villages participated in Bal Melawa - a children’s gathering, to honour Saint Don Bosco at the community of Don Bosco, Waluj on January 27.

The villages are part of a village education programme being undertaken by the Salesians. Buses were organised to pick up and drop the children, who arrived in Waluj at 9 am. The programme began at 9:30 am with a short prayer service conducted by Father Pratap Damor, the in-charge of Don Bosco, Waluj.

Dr. Dnyaneshwar Patil Nill, the Sarpanj (Village head) of Naigaon, Bakwal Nagar, Jogeshwari, and Kamlapur, was the chief guest for the programme. While addressing the gathering, Dr. Nill congratulated and appreciated the Don Bosco institution for its wonderful initiative, not just for the programme but for its vision and mission for the rural areas.

Following breakfast, fun-filled fete games were organised by the youth group of St. Alphonsa Church, under the guidance of Father Richard Burkhao, the administrator of Don Bosco, Waluj. A varied and colourful cultural programme was then put up by the children from each village.

The event concluded at 5:30 pm, after which the children were dropped to their respective houses. Many children said that they had a wonderful time and wished it could be organised once again. “I have never seen such well-organised programme for the village children,” Dilip Loankar, the Principal of a school from Padampur village, present at the event, said.