Thursday, March 28, 2019

BIS #5777 RECTOR MAJOR BIDS ADIEU TO MUMBAI PROVINCE

by Father Ranson D’Souza  
MUMBAI, MARCH 27, 2019: In its Golden Jubilee year, March 27, 2019 will go down in the annals of the Saint Dominic Savio Institute Andheri, as a golden moment of grace, given that the 10th successor of Don Bosco, Rector Major Father Ángel Fernández Artime, spent his last day in the Mumbai province celebrating and sharing in the joy of their 50 years of journeying with the young.


Father Artime was welcomed by the Salesian confreres and family with flowers and an aarti as he entered the house of St Dominic Savio Andheri. Father Brian Moras, Rector of the Institute briefed Father Artime about the various sectors of the Institute after which Father Artime sat down with the Salesian confreres to talk over a cup of coffee.

Father Artime was then lead to Prafulta Centre for Psychological wellness, where he was welcomed by Father Godfrey D’Sa, Director of Prafulta and the staff. Father Artime was informed about the works of Prafulta through a Powerpoint presentation after which he addressed and interacted with those present. “There are very few centres who reach out to people especially the poor as this. What gave me great joy was to learn that a good number of people are coming here to receive such services,” he said when referring to the popularity of Prafulta.

Prafulta offers psychiatry, counselling, clinical testing, remedial education, occupational therapy, vocational guidance, training, workshops, and outreach programmes. It also employs over 30 professionals to ensure the best quality services are available.


 “I am very encouraged that the Rector Major understands the importance and the need for psychological help in today's world and especially for today's youth. After my meeting with him today, I feel impelled to expand and reach out to many more in need of psychological help. His visit has been a great boost to me. God bless him and his enthusiasm,” Father Godfrey D’sa, Founder of Prafulta said.

 Father Artime was then escorted by the scouts who were flanked by students holding colourful flags. He was welcome in the school by Valerie Mascarenes, Principal of St. Dominic Savio High School and the leadership team after which the Golden Jubilee programme began with the Dominic Savio Band playing ‘Can’t help falling in love with you’.

 The students of the evening study classes at St Dominic Savio led the audience into prayer through their graceful prayer dance. Father Moras then officially welcomed and introduced the Rector Major, Father Artime after which he was felicitated by members of different groups. 

 Thereafter a short movie was screened on the journey of the Institute in the past fifty years, which included the inaugural celebrations of the Golden Jubilee year of St Dominic Savio, Andheri.

The entertainment then began with the boarders of St Dominic Savio Boys’ Home singing a Spanish coral piece ‘Moliendo Café’, followed by a golden jubilee song ‘This Golden Moment’ by the teachers of St D ominic Savio High School, after which the Salesian confreres sang in voices the song ‘We are Salesians’ and the Spanish song ‘Ay Mi Manico’.

Father Artime then spoke to the audience and sang two melodious Spanish songs. “It really felt for me a golden moment together with you,” he said, adding, “Together we can do something wonderful.”  He then unveiled and blessed the Golden Jubilee plaque which would always remind the Institution of his visit in its Golden Jubilee year. The programme ended with the students singing and dancing the Golden Jubilee jingle ‘Savion Cheer on’.

Father Artime was then joined by the Salesian Family for a fellowship meal, after which he met the boarders of St Dominic Savio Boys’ Home in the chapel and spoke to them. “I am happy to be with you because I remember Don Bosco who lived with the young. This place and the Salesians will always leave a remembrance in your heart,” Father Artime told the boys. Thereafter he left for Matunga, imprinting his memory in the hearts of all those whom he met. 



Before Father Artime left the sprawling Don Bosco Matunga campus, a farewell ceremony was held at the entrance of the Don Bosco Provincial House at 6 pm. Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial  thanked him immensely for visiting and animating the Salesian Province of Mumbai. Children from Shelter Don Bosco performed a dance before the Salesians sang ‘May the Good Lord bless and keep you’. The Rector Major’s visit may have ended, but there’s no doubt that having the successor of Don Bosco in their midst has inspired, energised and encouraged the Salesians to do what they do best, work for the empowerment of youth and for  the betterment of society in general.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

BIS #5776 RECTOR MAJOR URGES NOVICES TO ‘SHUN’ INDIVIDUALISM AND PROMOTE FRATERNITY


by BIS Correspondent
MUMBAI, MAR 25, 2019: Father Angel Fernandez Artime, the 10th successor of Don Bosco, while meeting 10 novices from the Nashik-based Salesian Training Institute at the Don Bosco Provincial House in Matunga on March 25, urged them to 'shun' individualism and promote fraternity.

A meeting with novices, the Salesian Family, a Salesian parish, and school were all on Father Artime’s agenda on day three of his pastoral visit to the Province of Saint Francis Xavier.

While addressing the novices, who were present with their novice master, Father Kenneth Pereira, the Rector Major urged them to always remember three important points. “First, our primary identity is that of persons consecrated by God. It is He who has called and consecrated us to Himself,” he said.

“Second, you are here in order to become Salesians and not just priests. If you have joined simply with the desire of becoming priests, it would be better to find a bishop who will accept you into his diocese.”

“Third, the most powerful witness that we can offer the world in the witness of our fraternity....the ‘family spirit’ in which we live together. This is more glaring and evident than the witness of our vows which are largely personal and private. Therefore shun all the individualism and promote fraternity.”

The Rector Major then steered the novices away from being overly ambitious, saying, “Your overriding desire should be to serve the young, especially the poorest and the neediest of them.”

Alfred Menezes, a novice who met the Rector Major reflected on his meeting, saying, “The meeting with Father Angel was refreshing. We were pleasantly surprised by his open and welcoming attitude. We could feel his love and concern and we all felt immediately at home with him. He gave us an insightful talk through which we learnt much about Salesian life.”

Shaun Fernandes, a novice from the Province of Panjim, added, “Meeting the Rector Major is an unforgettable experience. What touched me was Father Angel’s humility, love, joy, and most of all his warm and loving hug. Just like Don Bosco, he assured us that he would always be there for us.”

The Rector Major then met the office bearers of the various units of the Salesian Family at the Provincial House. The Delegate of the Salesian Family, Father Diego Nunes welcomed the Rector Major and the dignitaries.  He read a report outlining the various activities of the Salesian Family in the province.

The report mentioned the province has 160 Cooperators; 15 past pupil units mainly consisting of people of other faith committed to the vision of Don Bosco; ADMA, a group dedicated to the devotion of Mother Mary with 60 members. "I am indeed happy to meet our Rector Major with our Salesian Family members, meeting the Rector Major is indeed a moment of grace " said Fr Nunes.

The Rector Major in his address to the Salesian Family spoke about how Don Bosco formed various associations of ADMA and Cooperators. The formation of past pupils emerged on its own and he said that it was incorporated on June 24 by Don Rinaldi.

“We are all mediators of peace and we should spread the spirituality so that others can see our witness,” Father Artime said.



He then visited St. Joseph High School, a Salesian school in Wadala. After meeting the school staff, management and students, he attended a cultural programme. He then celebrated the Holy Eucharist on the occasion of the Feast of Annunciation at the Salesian parish of Our Lady of Dolours in Wadala. Father Vivian D'Souza, the Parish Priest, gave a brief history of the parish and thanked the Rector Major for gracing the parish with his presence.

In his homily, Father Artime encouraged the parishioners, like Mother Mary, to say ‘yes’ to God. “The feast we are celebrating today (Feast of Annunciation) is beautiful. God himself is asking permission from Mother Mary,” he said, adding, “So the message that God seems to be giving is today is this: if we say yes to what God wants in our life, He will never go wrong...we will never go wrong.”

“Every Christian man, woman or child has to ask God this question: what do you want of me? Whenever we say yes to Jesus in faith, we cannot go wrong. I pray that God may bless you.”


Monday, March 25, 2019

BIS #5775 RECTOR MAJOR IN PUNE: WITH THE YOUNG, FOR THE YOUNG


by BIS Correspondent

PUNE, MARCH 24, 2019: Rector Major Father Angel Fernandez Artime, the 10thSuccessor of Don Bosco, the head of all institutes of the Salesians of Don Bosco worldwide in over 130 countries and 15,000 institutes received a rousing welcome to Sacred Heart Parish and Don Bosco High School and Junior College in Yerwada on March 24, while on his visit to meet the Salesian Family. He arrived in Pune earlier in the day and spent his morning with the young Salesians in-formation at Koregaon Park.

Father Artime got a glimpse of the local culture as he rode to the parish on a chariot. Amidst the thunderous sound of dhols (drums), he was treated at the gate with a local welcome drink, adorned in traditional attire, led in procession by Lezim dancers, who performed a rural Maharashtrian dance.

High tea followed. The Rector Major took time to personally greet representatives of the various Salesian groups, obliging them with photographs, and gracing them with his blessings.

“The Rector Major’s visit to Pune is an extraordinary event. As a person, he is very much down to earth, easy to approach and talk. All this will have a very strong positive impact on the school and community in the city,” Cyril Asirvadam, a Sacred Heart parishioner said.

The Rector Major was then led in procession with a prayer dance by the Don Bosco Junior College students to celebrate the Holy Eucharist for over 1500 faithful who had gathered.

In his homily, Father Artime expounded on the Gospel of the Samaritan woman, speaking of her life-transforming incident, when Jesus looked on her with dignity, despite her iniquities. “Let's find Jesus as the Samaritan woman found Him. It will give us a lot of hope,” he said, adding, “Pope Francis believes in the prayers of one for another. I invite you to pray for others. Pray for all those we carry in our hearts and pray for those who deserve our compassion.”

Father Artime kept his promise to the Holy Father Pope Francis – while at a private audience with him - of speaking of the Pope’s Madonna wherever he went. He urged the faithful to constantly seek recourse to the Blessed Mother, whose prayers never fail.
 
A cultural programme followed, beginning with the Bosco Band performance and prayer dance by Don Bosco High School, Yerwada. Auxilium Convent Lonavla presented a Maharashtrian cultural dance. The youth of Sacred Heart Parish Yerwada showcased with a cultural dance depicting ‘Incredible India’.

“The presence of the Rector Major is not less than the presence of Don Bosco among us for me. I feel very lucky to meet him,” Manjusha Thorat, teacher of Don Bosco High School said.

The  Rector Major was then felicitated by the different units of the Salesian family: priests and brothers, sisters, Co-operators, past pupil, school staff, youth groups, Salesian boarding, and parish council units. Also present were Father Godfrey D’souza, Mumbai Salesian Provincial, Father Malcolm Sequeira, Vicar General of the Diocese of Pune, Father Horacio Lopez, Secretary to the Rector Major, Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of Mumbai province and Father Manuel Murzello, Provincial Economer.


The Rector Major released a book, ‘Salesian Contribution to the Ahmednagar Mission’, a theological, historical, and pastoral study authored by Rector and Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Parish, Father Michael Bansode.

A  cultural dance ‘Jagran Gondhal’ by Don Bosco Savedi, a Vote of Thanks by Father James Tuscano, provincial councillor, and the singing of the Salesian anthem closed the day’s proceedings. 

The Rector Major ended his Pune sojourn with the traditional Salesian ‘Good Night’, a practice started by Don Bosco, who would give his oratory boys a good night thought before they went to bed. “ First, we have gathered here together as Christians and friends of the great charism of Don Bosco. Your presence here speaks a great deal. I want to thank each one of you for everything.”

“Second, our Salesian charism is very simple: we have a familiarity which we have lived today. One of the things we need to affirm is the human rapport we have with each other. In this way, we will communicate Jesus and His Gospel. Always have recourse to the Blessed Mother, our Madonna. Grow in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
 
“Third, I was awestruck with our youngsters, with the way they sang and danced. Congratulations! I am very proud of you! May the good Lord live in us,” the Rector Major said.  

BIS #5774 RECTOR MAJOR INSPIRES YOUNG SALESIANS IN PUNE

 
by Cleric Ian Pinto

PUNE, MARCH 24, 2019: “This is a once in a lifetime experience,” said one of the young Salesians upon hearing of the visit of the Salesian Rector Major to the Province of Mumbai. There was intense excitement exuding from the campus of Koregaon Park, Pune as it prepared itself to welcome the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, Don Angel Fernandez Artime.

For a good number of young Salesians this was the first time they had seen and personally encountered the Rector Major. Father Artime was welcomed by the young brothers on March 24 in Pune, who showered him with flower petals and serenaded him with a band piece.

The Rector Major upon reaching Pune – on day two of his trip in India - eagerly met each of the young Salesians personally, getting to know their name and place of origin. He posed for numerous photographs with the various communities of Salesians as well as with individuals. The Rector Major also posed for pictures with the support staff, collaborators of the Don Bosco Social Work Centre, and a few houses of the neighbouring region.

Don Artime addressed all the Salesians who had gathered and shared with them his personal reflections about the state of the Congregation in the world as well as in the Mumbai province. He warned the confreres to beware of the major temptations of clericalism and thirst for power. He expressed his desire that the Congregation always remain faithful to the charism of Don Bosco and to the Constitutions.

After speaking for the better part of the morning, he invited questions from the audience. Father Godfrey D’Souza, Provincial of the Mumbai province, asked him to say a few words about the Gerini case which he did briefly.

Another question raised was with regards to poverty and how we ought to understand poverty today. Father Artime made it clear that one of the most fundamental forms of poverty is the lack of human dignity that exists in many societies. He pointed out that our educational interventions must address this pressing issue before moving on to helping young people equip themselves for a better future.

A final question that arose was with regards to the missionary dimension. The Rector Major made it very clear that the missions are a fundamental dimension of the Salesian vocation. He encouraged the young Salesians to seriously consider the call to the missions and to opt generously should they feel called.

Father D’Souza thanked the Rector Major on behalf of all who had gathered and assured him of prayers and continued support. He also mentioned that one of the young Salesians present, Cleric Felix Almeida, has applied for the missions. Cleric Almeida is currently completing his Master's degree in Philosophy at Nashik. Thereafter, he will go to Rome to be a part of the 150th Missionary expedition.

The Rector Major expressed his pleasure at having this opportunity to meet and speak to the Salesian confreres and spend quality time with them. One of the brothers said that he was impressed with the way the Rector Major went about, his informal style of dealing with the confreres as well as the hard-hitting message he shared.

BIS #5773 ANOTHER GLORIOUS YEAR FOR ST JOSEPH ITI


By BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, MAR 24, 2019: St. Joseph ITI (SJITI) commemorated its 54th Annual Day on March 17, 2019, with immense fervour. The SJITI apprentice used the opportunity to showcase their skills by way of project exhibition and a cultural event.

The event commenced at 4 pm with an exhibit of the projects conceptualised and fabricated by the 38 trainees. Through these projects, the trainees demonstrated their levels of innovation and craftsmanship. The projec
ts included a robotic arm, MPFI fuel system, camping stove etc.

Amarr Prabhu, Principal SJITI read out the Annual Report 2017-18 which comprised the events and achievements of the Institute. The Corporate Social Responsibility team of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited presented a cheque sponsoring equipment for six labs and one automation lab amounting to approximately 98 lakhs.

Aditya Birla sponsored 22 lakhs to develop six smart classrooms and a video conferencing facility. MGL sponsored 11.5 lakhs for deserving impoverished trainees of the Institute.

The next feather in the cap was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JK files, who will administer guest lectures, train the trainers, provide curriculum support, and supply tools on very subsidised rates. Another MOU was inked with Seth Bhojraj Charitable Trust who proposed to donate machinery worth 20 lakhs.

The Annual Day also recognised the achievements of the pupils and staff. Shekhar Karkera won second place at the Toyota Instructors Skill Competition in the Auto Body Repair category. Saifali Khan won the bronze medal at the India Skills competition in 2018 in the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning category.

The trainees and guests were then addressed by Sunil Aima, CEO Savita Oil Technologies Ltd, who drew their attention to giving back to society by educating oneself and devising opportunities for the next generation. He appreciated the endevours of the apprentice and instructors for developing coherent projects.

The trainees were applauded for their triumph in academics with mementos and certificates. The pupils made it an indelible evening with their shadow act for the first time in SJITI which was followed by the vote of thanks by Shekhar Karkera.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

BIS #5772 RECTOR MAJOR USES SAMARIA TO INSPIRE MUMBAI


by BIS Correspondent

MUMBAI, MAR 23, 2019: Mumbai and Samaria have little in common. One, a small region that formed ancient Israel, and the other over 4000 kilometers away is a bustling metropolis in Western India drawing millions of people in search of a better life. Rector Major Angel Fernandez Artime, the 10th successor of Don Bosco, during his Holy Mass at the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Mumbai on March 23, drew inspiration from the life-changing experience of a Samaritan woman who met Jesus at a well.    

Hundreds of laity, including the Salesian family, youth from Salesian institutions, confreres, and the faithful assembled to listen to Father Artime’s message, the crux of which focused on Jesus’ loving mercy and refusal to condemn the woman despite perceived infirmities.

Father Artime asked the congregation, ‘Would you give Jesus water?’ To which the youth present, answered, ‘Yes.’  In his response, he added, “We all finally need to meet Jesus and once we meet Jesus we have a transformation.”

He then urged the faithful to be witnesses to the Gospel values, “Do not fear because Christ is always going to be with you,” he said, adding, “Like the women at the well, many a time our lives are not the best, we may not live our lives properly but when we meet Christ we all change.”

Father Artime also underlined the importance of Mother Mary in the Church, saying that she is “always partnering” with the faithful throughout their lives to help carry the burden. A special youth choir added a melodious touch to the service, which ended with a felicitation ceremony, a Spanish dance, singing of the Salesian youth movement anthem, and the release of Father Elias Dias’ book entitled 'To Don Bosco with Love: History, Pedagogy, Spirituality'.

Addressing youth at the Don Bosco School quadrangle, the Rector Major said, “Imagine if there wasn’t a Salesian family in the world, imagine if there weren’t 100,000 youngsters in the Salesian family. Imagine for a minute if this was to disappear. It would be a great tragedy for all the youngsters of the world and it would be a great emptiness in our Church. I am not saying this as a matter of pride, but so that we can be more conscious that we should give our very best for our youngsters.”    

The Provincial of the Mumbai province, Father Godfrey D’Souza, and Vice-Provincial Father Savio Silveira were present at the Mumbai International airport to welcome the Rector Major at 1 am on March 23. First on Father Artime’s agenda was a meeting with Father D'Souza and his team of provincial councillors from 9:30 am to 1 pm, getting feedback on various issues pertaining to the province of Saint Francis Xavier.

The Rector Major made it clear at the onset that the purpose of the meeting was not to conduct an external audit but a fraternal sharing with the provincial council and an exchange of ideas. He gave the team pointers on how to be transparent in all financial matters and dealings.

He then met Sister Ritha Dora Thomas, the Provincial of the Salesian Sisters of the Province of Mumbai, and over 50 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) at 4 pm at Auxillium Convent, Wadala. “Live your consecrated lives, your Salesian charism. You need to be a witness in life as that’s what the youth look at. Work for the poor and abandoned,” he said.

Sister Thomas reflecting on Father Artime visit said, “The Rector Major’s visit in person to the FMA Mumbai province is an unforgettable and inspiring experience for us. His message to us to live our Salesian consecrated life with joy and holiness will be a precious gift we can give our young people today.”

Father Artime also made some time in the day, to interact with youngsters of the Don Bosco Provincial House Oratory. Greeting them with high five’s, the Rector Major’s presence was an endearing reminder of Don Bosco among us, as children ran, jumped and played.

Pune will be the centre of attention on March 24,  as Father Artime makes his visit to the city. Following a welcome ceremony at Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Road at 10 am, he will meet Salesians from various institutions from 11 am to 1 pm. He will then proceed to Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada, at 4 pm before celebrating the Holy Eucharist on the parish grounds at 5:30 pm. A felicitation programme and dinner with the Salesian Family will follow.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

BIS #5771 LENTEN RETREAT FOR ALTAR SERVERS

by Oswald Aranha
 
KUWAIT, MAR 19, 2019: “As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus' thirst...'Repent and believe',” Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta said. Keeping these words in mind, St. Therese of the Child Jesus parish, Salmiya organised a Spiritual Lenten Retreat for the altar servers from class five to twelve on March 16, 2019, from 8 am to 1 pm themed, ‘Come Back to Me’.  

Nearly 150 altar servers from the Latin and Syro Malabar rite were present for the retreat. In his introductory message, Father Blany Pinto, the parish priest emphasised that Lent is a time to return back to God if we have gone away from Him especially through our sinful habits.

The main highlight of the programme was the ‘Stations of the Cross’, enacted by the altar servers, their animators, and supported by the core team. It was gracefully executed creating a spiritual ambiance on the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Father Roswin Pires ofm cap, the assistant parish priest of Our Lady of Arabia parish, Ahmadi gave a talk on the three pillars of Lent. He explained to the altar servers how to fight evil and avoid temptation. He also involved them in one of the acts and showed them clippings on how starving children struggle for a meal even eat food thrown in the trash. The boys listened attentively.

A short break was provided for interaction, after which the altar servers participated in various activities. They had to prepare a Lenten calendar; wherein they were told to write what they would like to do during the 40-day period.

Craftwork was then provided on the topic Three Pillars: Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving. Class five and six were given paper plates, spoons etc, and were asked what they would sacrifice and abstain from eating. Class seven and eight were told to write prayer requests on the Cross-shaped pictures provided. Class nine and above had to prepare a charity box for almsgiving.

The boys enjoyed the activity sessions and said they would like to have such activities more often in the future. “It was a very good idea to have activity and it went well. I look forward to the next one,” Theodore Nathan, an altar server said. The retreat was animated by Pascal Fernandes and his team.

Soon after the activity, there was an Adoration service conducted by one of the animators Ruth Miranda, followed by Holy Mass. Later, the top three altar servers who had accumulated maximum points by serving and participating at Holy Mass for the month of February were felicitated with trophies and gifts.

The retreat ended around 1:15 pm and all the altar servers carried in their hearts the message given by the parish priest ‘How to repent and forgive others’ reminding all of the words of Jesus, "That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35).

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

BIS #5770 SALESIAN PROVINCE OF MUMBAI AWAITS VISIT OF RECTOR MAJOR


by BIS Correspondent 

MUMBAI, MAR 18, 2019: “Our Lady accompanies us in all the circumstances of our lives,” said Father Angel Fernandez Artime, the Rector Major of the Salesians and the tenth successor of Don Bosco, while in Mumbai on  November 14, 2017. He was on a day-long visit to preside over the jubilee celebrations of three Salesian institutions in the city of Mumbai: the Diamond Jubilee of the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, the Platinum Jubilee of Don Bosco High School Matunga, and the Centenary of St Joseph’s High School Wadala.

Come March 23, 2019, Father Artime will be in Mumbai again for an official visit to the 'Province of St Francis Xavier'. In Salesian tradition, the Rector Major officially visits all provinces across the globe once during his term of office to meet and interact with confreres, members of the Salesian Family, the young, and lay collaborators.

At the stroke of midnight, Father Artime will land at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. Later in the day, he will meet with Father Godfrey D'Souza, the Salesian Provincial of Mumbai, and his Councillors from 9:30 am to 1 pm. He will then meet Sister Ritha Dora Thomas, the Provincial of the Salesian Sisters of the Province of Mumbai, and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) at 4 pm at Auxillium Convent, Wadala.

At 6 pm, Rector Major will celebrate the Holy Eucharist with young people from Salesian institutions across the city, confreres, and members of the Salesian Family at the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna. A felicitation programme and dinner will follow.

Pune will be the centre of attention on 24th March  as Father Artime makes his visit to the city. Following a welcome ceremony at Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Road at 10 am, he will meet Salesians from various institutions from 11 am to 1 pm. He will then proceed to Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada, at 4 pm before celebrating the Holy Eucharist on the parish grounds at 5:30 pm. A felicitation programme and dinner with the Salesian Family will follow.

On day three, Father Artime will return to Mumbai. He will interact with the novices and share lunch with them between 12 noon and 2 pm. He will then meet and interact with the Salesian Family from 4 to 5 pm.

The spotlight will move to Baroda, Gujarat on March 26. The Rector Major will arrive in the city at 7:35 am and drive to Don Bosco Makarpura. He will meet the Salesians from the Gujarat zone between 11 am and 1 pm; have tea with the Salesian Family at 4 pm, and meet with youth from all Salesian institutions at 4:30 pm. He will celebrate the Holy Eucharist at 6:30 pm. There will be an hour-long felicitation programme followed by dinner.

On the final day, the Rector Major will return to Mumbai at 9:10 am. He will visit Dominic Savio High School Andheri. The Golden Jubilee programme of the institution will be from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. He will then have lunch with the school staff and the members of the Salesian Family of the institution. At 6 pm a farewell programme will be held at Don Bosco Matunga to end the Rector Major’s official visit to the province. He will leave at 6:30 pm for the airport to fly to Goa for his official visit to the Salesian Province of Panjim.

Today the Salesian Province of Mumbai has 34 houses with around 210 Salesian confreres working with the young. Father Artime will visit only three cities in the Mumbai Province, but his presence will give thousands of confreres, members of the Salesian Family, youth, and collaborators an opportunity to meet the man who carries the torch set alight by Saint Don Bosco himself. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

BIS #5769 VOLTAS AND DON BOSCO SKILLING THE YOUNG


by Brother Jittin Mathew 

MUMBAI, MARCH 13, 2019: VOLTAS (a joint collaboration of Swiss-based Volkart Brothers and Tata Sons Limited), one of the top ten Tata group companies in collaboration with Bosco Boys Home Technical Training Institute (BBHTI) in Borivli, jointly awarded graduation certificates to 40 students of the Refrigeration and Air-Condition (RAC) department of the Institute on March 11, belonging to the two batches of 2018 (January to June and July to December).

To ensure that only the highest level of education is imparted to its students, BBHTI collaborated with Voltas, India’s largest air conditioning and refrigeration company. In this joint venture BBHTI and Voltas, have collaborated to form a specifically designed course on RAC for the poor, needy, and school dropouts of the community, who are eager to learn the trade of repairing, installing, and maintaining refrigerators and air-conditioners.

The training was instituted by the Institute with the help of the VOLTAS team, over a six-month period. It included theory sessions taught by a qualified staff of the Institute, and practical sessions with hands-on training with equipment provided by Voltas, along with on job training.

The courses combined comprehensive technical information from Voltas, along with real-world diagnostic and troubleshooting skills developed through 33 years of field experience by the BBHTI instructor, Maxi Fernandes.

At the graduation ceremony, the Principal of BBHTI, Deacon Romero D’Souza, congratulated the students for their successful completion of the course and also encouraged them to map out a successful career for themselves by increasing their knowledge in the technical field by putting into action what they have learnt in the classrooms.

“Remember the things that I have taught you. Be sincere in the job and respect your employer and the customer. Always see that safety precautions are taken care of before starting work. All the best for your future. Give your best and God will do the rest, ” Fernandes in his farewell to the students said.

"By imparting focused training, Voltas together with BBHTI creates professional technicians, who consistently provide the best. I am grateful to both, for the opportunity they gave me. I would like to share this advice with other students to concentrate and clear all doubts they have during class hours so that on the job they will be confident and excel," Bhavesh Koni, a student, said.

The students expressed their gratitude to the team of BBHTI and Voltas with a vote of thanks. In the concluding session, the best students of each batch were awarded a full kit of tools from Voltas.

Majority of the students are working in companies like Daikin, Eden air conditioning, Gunaji Enterprises, Hot and Cold AC, etc. Others are pursuing further studies or planning to open their own business.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

BIS #5768 DISCERNING FUTURE LEADERSHIP


By Father Joaquim Fernandes 

MUMBAI, FEB 4, 2019: Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional Councillor for South Asia visited the Salesian Province of Mumbai for the consultation process to find the pulse of the Salesians in a bid to choose a leader who will guide the Province for the next six years given that Father Godfrey D'Souza, Salesian Provincial of the Mumbai region will complete his term on October 7, 2019.

During his address in Mumbai, Father Kanaga presented a synopsis of the letter of the Rector Major, Father Angel Fernandez Artime to 70 Salesians present for the consultation process meeting. "It is a democratic process yet the selection of the candidate is done through nomination process," he said when referring to the process of nominating a new Provincial for the Mumbai Province.

“We take our consultation very seriously. We could do a consultation with each one of you filling a form and sending it across, but why do we take the trouble of travelling, talking to conferrers, and going through a process of discernment? It is because it is a serious exercise to which all confreres must contribute,” Father Kanaga stressed.

“What is the process of appointing a Provincial? First it is the consultation. The second is the consolidation of the report coming out from the consultation. The Regional has that duty of putting together the result and creating a dossier that informs the General Council members about the state of the Province, the quality that they expect from the new Provincial, their opinions on the new candidates, and a study of the character of the person they propose. This document has a lot of details.”

“Then there is a summary where you are being asked to state your views both positive and negative regarding the present status of the Province and three urgent needs that the new provincial should see to in the next six years and the qualities you expect from your leader. Then you are asked to propose three candidates because we are not in an election, voting for one issue and excluding the others.”

Father Kanaga requested the group of Salesians gathered to reflect, think, and pray before filling up the consultation forms and handing it over to him. The data will be then be analysed for the selection process and the narrowing down of the right candidate for the role of leadership will take place.

“Consultations for provincial councillors or provincials are not elections, they are consultations, that is why there could be more than one person who could be capable of fulfilling the office of a provincial in a good way. So, I recommend you don’t mention just one name and leave out the others.”   

“We classify voting according to various categories, one according to age groups, then suggestions from Rectors, who they see as a possible candidate.”

Father Kananga also presented an overview of the Salesian congregation and stated that at as per the 2018 statistics there are 14,055 Salesian confreres, around 128 are Salesian Bishops, 430 novices, with 173 leaving the organisation in the last year.

“The places where the numbers are going up is South Asia. Among the regions, the Mediterranean region has the highest number, around 2900 in all and our region (South Asia) is the second biggest, just around 50 less. So by the time we reach the General Chapter, this region will be the largest region in the world,” Father Kananga said.

“Among the countries which have Salesians, the largest country is India, which has 2700 Salesians in 11 provinces but our region has more because we have confreres in other countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Yemen, UAE etc. Twenty percent of the congregation is Indian. Salesian Sisters are a little less than us, they are a little less than 12000.”

Father Kananga will now follow the same process at Don Bosco Baroda, Nashik, and Pune to complete the consultation process with the rest of the Salesians from the province of Mumbai.