Claudina Pinto
THANE, NOVEMBER 29, 2010: The members of the Salesian family went for an outreach program to Bosco Samaj Vikas Sanstha at Jawahar, Thane district on Sunday November 28, 2010. Bosco Samaj Vikas Sanstha is a social development organization working across the Thane district of Maharashtra with tribal and rural communities. Seventy members of the Salesian family, Salesian fathers, Sisters, Cooperators, Past Pupils, ADMA and VDB from different centre of Mumbai left the city by two buses. One from Matunga and the other from Andheri and Borivili at 7.30am. After a long journey of four hours they reached the destination and were welcomed by Fr. Anaclete D’Mello and other staff members with a broad smile.

Fr. Elias Dias, Fr. Wilfred D’Souza and Fr. Lloyd Rodrigues celebrated Holy Eucharist. In his homily Fr. Elias Dias spoke about advent and how to prepare for the coming of Christ. He said; 1. By giving in- whatever differences we had in the past. 2. By giving up- our sins and our weaknesses. 3. By giving out- by sharing ourselves and our goods with others we will have a wonderful Christmas.

After the mass Mr. Melvin and Fr. Anaclete explained to the members their social works in the villages and how the programs are oriented towards the education and empowering poor people to become the agents of social change for the transformation of society.

After lunch the members played a short housie game and were then divided into groups who visited different villages. When they came back they had snacks. Sr. Phyllis Fernandes thanked Fr. Anaclete on his hospitality and all the arrangements. The members of the Family contributed their mite for the development of this tribal project. The Past pupil of Andheri unit adopted one village. All admired the challenging work done by the Salesians in this neglected belt of Adivasis in Maharashtra.


Geeta Menezes

BORIVLI, NOVEMBER 23, 2010: During Mission Sunday in October 2010, Fr Isaac of Don Bosco Kapadvanj Mission, Gujarat showcased an interesting presentation of the works done by the Salesian priests and brothers at that mission. Fr Isaac concluded his presentation with an invitation to the congregation to come and witness their work. The Salesian Cooperators, Borivali Unit, took up this invitation and decided to visit Kapadvanj. On November 15, 2010 at 8.30 pm, thirteen Salesian Cooperators accompanied by their delegate, Fr Ronnie Menezes boarded the Lokshakti Express, to see firsthand the works done by our Salesian priests and brothers at the missions.

We met the eleven aspirants residing at the house, the three coordinators of the Self Help Groups (SHGs) and the other activities at the house of Kapadvanj.

After a brief talk by Mr. Shailesh, Fr Isaac took the Cooperators around two villages to witness the rural life and the work being done by the SHGs. We first visited Dholivav Village. There are two SHGs operating in this village and they are presently engaged in building a kachha road under NREGA Scheme. We next visited Motipura village, where there are five SHGs comprising of seventy five members. These villagers are engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry and plants nursery. The villagers greeted us warmly and said a beautiful prayer in their dialect. The Cooperators interacted with the villagers and bonded with them by dancing the garba.

On the second day our first stop was at the Church of Khambholaj where there is a statue of ‘Our Lady of the Forsaken (Anathoni Mata)’ which has come all the way from Spain. The next stop was at ‘Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour’ (Nityasahayani Mata) in Jitodia. The priest there gave us a brief talk about the church, which is built along the lines of the Shrine of Mount Mary, Bandra. We then moved on to see the Shrine of Divine Mercy at Salon.

We were also fortunate to meet the FMA sisters at Pansora and at Pushpanjali. After a sumptuous dinner with the Salesians at Dakor we began our return journey home.

We are very grateful to Fr Isaac for giving us an insight into their mission and allowing us to share this beautiful experience with the Salesian Family. It was indeed a very memorable trip for all the Cooperators and will be etched in our minds as a beautiful memory.


Claudina Pinto
MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 22, 2010: Seven co-operators of Mumbai Province made a visit to the jungles of Jambughoda [Don Bosco Narukot] from November 17 to November 19, 2010. Fr Stanny Ferreira, Rector of Don Bosco Narukot welcomed us. The purpose of the trip was to animate the co-operators group and see the wonderful work our Salesians are doing there. On the first day we met ten co-operators of Narukot unit and had a long session with them explaining to them in a nut shell the Project of Apostolic Life and the method of conducting the meetings. The next day we met the co-operators again where we shared our experiences discussing in depth of Don Bosco's vision of his great mission of uplifting the youth in all strata of life and the mission statement drawn at the Third South Asia Regional Congress 'RETURN TO DON BOSCO RETURN TO THE YOUNG'.

The Coordinator and the committee members were so enthused with Charism and motivation of Don Bosco that they wanted to show us the work they carry on in different villages. The first visit was to Gandhra village in the mountains of Jambughoda. There we saw the water shed project carried on by the Salesian Fathers and the green fields. It was like another Scotland. Then we proceeded to Garumal and Chalwad villages where we visited the houses of the villagers and students/boarders studying in Don Bosco School.
On the second day we went to Duma village where Fr Stanny celebrated the Mass for the villagers. About twenty people with their children attended the service. After the service some of the co-operators played with the children and distributed sweets to them. Our Provincial Coordinator Mrs Claudina Pinto explained to the people the work the Salesian Co-operators do. Some of the village people showed their willingness to work for Don Bosco's mission by becoming Co-operators. On the way back we visited another village Masabar, where the Salesians conduct a Village Education Project class for children of villages who are poor. Approximately thirty such centres are being run with the help of the Cooperators. The children were so happy that they sang Gujarati songs for us. We taught them English Nursery rhymes which they picked up so beautifully and sang without any help.
At 11am we visited the Maharaja and Maharani's Palace and had a historical background of it. Father Stanny told us that Don Bosco’s Technical Institution teaches Hotel Management and Hospitality so that many tribal youth could be trained and get better living in Narukot where family could live together and thus instilling family values. In the evening we visited Zallaria and Kesarpura villages where one community centre is opened to conduct different activities like teaching cathecism, Mahila mandal, youth centre, and adult education. Here the co-operators distributed sweets and clothes to the children and adults. We also enjoyed the adivasi food.
On the third day morning after the Eucharist we visited the farm and the families of the co-operators, in the evening on our way back home we visited Snehalya Shelter Don Bosco. Here we interacted with the boys. They were very happy to meet us and talk to us. They had so much to say and we had so much to hear but the time was not enough. We are very much inspired by the work of our Salesian family members in Narukot. We could not imagine how people live there in poverty and misery but the love and spontaneous hospitality has shaken us. The cooperators thanked the Mumbai cooperators for visiting them and encouraged them to be the long hands and feet of Don Bosco.


MATUNGA, OCTOBER 12, 2010: Saturday October 9 was chosen as a suitable day to go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima at Karjat. The Marian Devotees left our Shrine at Matunga in a bus at 7.00 am and headed straight for the other Marian Shrine. We were greeted warmly by the Priest in Charge, Fr. Callistus Fernandes. Unexpectedly, we were joined by another group and were able to celebrate a Mass together in the little Church well decorated for the feast on October 13. ADMA members were content to have the opportunity to pray the novena prayer and spend time in personal prayer.
We then headed for Don Bosco’s. It was a first time visit that brought great ‘oohs and aahs’ to everyone’s lips. It seemed unbelievable what the Salesians are capable of.
Fr. Xavier was a most wonderful host spending the rest of the morning with us. His informative inputs left everyone so impressed and he certainly made many new friends as he had an eager, enquiring audience. A good lunch, a little siesta and a round of party games made up the rest of the afternoon, before we got ready for the journey back home. It was a memorable day that also served to offer members a chance to get to know each other better, this being their first outing together.


Claudina Pinto
The Salesian cooperators took a couple of days off from their family life and spent two days in the calm of the Don Bosco non formal technical setup at Chinchwad. The group of fifty four enthusiastic members of the Salesian family came in on the evening of October 1, 2010. Fr. Vivan D’souza was the animator. At the outset of the retreat Fr. Corlis and his community welcomed the members.  Mrs. Claudina Pinto gave a warm welcome to the cooperators, thanked Fr. Vivan for accepting to preach the retreat and Fr. Corlis and his community for making it possible to conduct the retreat at Chinchwadi.  Fr. Vivan D’souza then took over to initiate the group into recollection through an introductory talk and the power point presentation. The next day was spent on self–emptying process and on the sacrament of reconciliation.
The last day was dedicated to Christ experience this culminated into a beautiful and unique experience of surrender. Fr. Elias Dias celebrated the concluding Holy Eucharist. In his homily he said that Don Bosco was a guide for many people who wanted to climb the mountain of holiness. Don Bosco offered a few means to achieve his holiness:
·         Word of god
·         Spiritual reading on the lives of saints
·         Reception of the sacrament of reconciliation and communion
·         Popular devotions
·         Practice of virtues and get involved in the active charity.
Do all these simple things for the greater glory of God.  Mrs. Philomena Mendes gave the vote of thanks. She thanked Fr. Dias for organizing the retreat, Fr. Vivan for his animation and for Fr. Corlis and his community for their kindness, generosity and hospitality.


Bro. Anthony Dias sdb
DAKOR, SEPT EMBER 21, 2010: The past pupils meeting took place on September 19, 2010. The meeting began with the prayer moments led by bro. Anthony. Around twenty youth had gathered for the meeting and it was nice to see some of the older students present there for the meeting.

In the second half of the meeting Mr. Hasmukh one of the resource person was called upon to give the talk to the youth. The resource person spoke on the topic of dealing with different situation in life and especially when it is easy to live life for oneself but difficult to live for another. He also spoke to them on the topic that it is important that we help each other in the different situations in life. Then the youth went for lunch after the session and came back for the second session which was taken by Fr. Mayank Parmar sdb on how to become the member of the past pupil unit and he invited the youngsters that nothing is impossible in life. He also spoke to them about the joining of the past pupils association. In the evening the past pupils were provided tea and snacks they enjoyed the day. They had a little jam session in the hall. The students were interested in having a basketball match with the boarders and they played a good game recalling the days when they used to play in their boarding days.the meeting ended on a good note and they went away saying good bye to come back for the good memories that they had cherished for their lives.


Claudina Pinto
BANDRA, SEPTEMBER 6, 2010: The annual Recollection cum Pilgrimage to Mt. Mary’s was held at Auxilium Convent, Pali Hill Bandra on September 5, 2010. There were seventy- four members who took part in the program.

Fr. Elias Dias welcomed the members of the Salesian family for the Recollection cum Pilgrimage. He thanked Sr. Theresa Joseph and her community for making all the necessary arrangements for the program. He also thanked Fr. Ivan Rodriques for accepting to celebrate the mass and preach the homily for the group.

Mrs. Claudina Pinto informed the members about forth coming Spiritual Retreat at Chinchwal Pune at the end of this month.

In the first session Sr. Phyllis Fernandez the National delegate of the Salesian family for FMA exposed with PowerPoint presentation the life and holiness of Don Michael Rua.

This was followed by a group discussion and sharing of ideas. In the second session she dealt with the lives of our Patrons: Don Bosco, Mary Mazarello and St. Francis de Sales.

Fr. Ivan Rodriques celebrated the Holy Eucharist. In his homily he spoke on blessed Mother Theresa. Her vocation and the crosses. All Christians are called to carry their own crosses. As members of the Salesian family we have our own crosses to carry. He encouraged the members to live as real Disciples of Christ. After lunch the members went in procession to Mt. Mary. On their way they recited the holy rosary and sang hymns. At the basilica a short prayer service was conducted prepared by the Pali Hill unit of the co-operators.

Mrs. Philomena Mendes thanked the sisters of Pali Hill Convent, Fr. Ivan Rodriques, Fr. Elias Dias and all the co-operators for making this program a success.


Ketan Gala
MATUNGA, AUGUST 23, 2010: The Salesian animation program for the members of the Salesian family was held on August 22, 2010 at Don Bosco Provincial house Mumbai. The animators were Rev Fr. Joaqim D’Souza Provincial of UPS and Fr. Elias Dias the Provincial delegate of the Salesian family Mumbai Province.

The theme of the animation was the historical aspect of the life of Don Bosco. There were seventy members from different branches of the Salesian family present for the program.
At the Eucharist Fr. Joaqim D’Souza was the main celebrant. In his homily he said that god wants us to be saints but he will not do it without our co-operation. We all are the members of the Salesian family and we want to be saved by following the spirituality of Don Bosco. Once Don Bosco said to his students that all are called to be saved. It is easy to be saved. God rewards to those who achieve his holiness. How can we achieve this holiness? Don Bosco gave us a short way to holiness. Be cheerful, do your duties well and engage in the apostolate. We will be able to do this only when we have apostolic charity in our hearts.

The topic of animation was dealt by Fr. Elias Dias. In the first part he explained the reason why we should study Don Bosco. He then spoke on the ancestry, childhood days; schooldays, seminary days, and the ordination of Don Bosco. In the second part he explained his life at the Convitto Eccelesiastico, Wandering Oratory and his settlement at the Penardi shed. In the third part he spoke about the development of the Oratory, founding and the spread of the congregation, his missionary zeal, his death and beatification and canonization.
The members of the Salesian family were very pleased to know and learn the whole life of don Bosco. Mrs. Claudina Pinto the Provincial coordinator of the Salesian co-operators proposed the vote of thanks.


Wilfred D’Souza sdb
MATUNGA, AUGUST 20, 2010: ADMA – The Association of Mary Help of Christians celebrated the Commitment made by twenty of its first Members on Saturday August 14, 2010. The occasion was even more special due to the presence of Fr. Klement Vaclav. They received their commitment at the 8.15 Mass. As they stood before God’s altar answered the questions put to them about their understanding of their enrollment and then recited the formula of the Commitment. Each of them received a Badge of Mary Help of Christians and Membership Card from Turin and the book of Regulations printed in the National Centre of the Salesian Family.

The Association started at the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Matunga on September 8, 2009 and has been regularly holding their formation meetings on the first Saturday of every month under the direction of Fr. Wilfred D’Souza. On the May 24, 2010 the local unit was officially aggregated to the Primary Association at the Basilica in Turin and a Diploma to this effect has been received.


Past Pupil Correspondent
ANDHERI, AUGUST 19, 2010: The AGM for the year 2010-2011 was held on August 15, 2010 at 11.00 am in the Conference Room, Dominic Savio School (Andheri East). It started with a pre-session of Registrations and snacks arranged by the Past Pupil Committee.
The AGM commenced with Edgar inviting Mr. Remeth Fernandes to lead the Past Pupil’s prayer. As we were also celebrating our Independence Day all joined in singing the National Anthem. Mr. Edgar then welcomed Father Edwin Colaco to forward the proceedings.

Our Delegate, Fr. Edwin Colaco then started the proceedings with a beautiful thought on the importance of having a Vision. He then welcomed all the members (approx. forty attendees) attending the Annual General Meeting. He welcomed and thanked our Chief Guests Fr. Godfrey D Souza, the rector, Fr. Godfrey D’Sa, Fr. Glenn Lowe, Mr. Sharma and Mrs. Iyer. He also thanked all the former board members who were present for the AGM. He also welcomed the reigning board members and wished them good luck for the coming years. Father then elaborated on the AGM Agenda.

Rector Fr. Godfrey in his short talk stressed on the spirit and greatness of our country India, Few encouraging words were also given by Fr. Glen and Mrs. Iyer on the eve of Independence Day. This was followed by the reading of the annual Reports and accounts.
The Past pupils then had an open discussion to plan for the year ahead. They focussed on social, spiritual and service needs. It was followed by a brainstoming session on how to collect funds to fulfil the vision of the past pupils. The past pupils no doubt are looking forward to the future activities with optimism and hope.


Dolly Alphonso
MATUNGA, JULY 13, 2010: The Annual General Meeting of the Provincial Federation of Don Bosco Past Pupils, Mumbai was held at Provincial House, Matunga on July 11, 2010 at 6 pm. Forty Seven members from different parts of Mumbai and Nashik were present. The meeting began with a Past Pupil’s prayer led by Mr. Wency Pinto. Rev. Fr. Dias, the provincial delegate of the Salesian Family welcomed the gathering. He then introduced Fr. Glenford Lowe, the chief guest of the evening. Mr. Ketan Gala read the annual report for the year 2009-2010. The statement of accounts was read by Mr. Wency Pinto. Each unit of the Federation then read out their yearly reports that were much appreciated by all.

Fr. Glenford Lowe, in his address to the gathering, invited the Past Pupils’ Federation to open itself to the present day scenario and offer significant Salesian style responses to the youth of today. Through a small activity and discussion he drew home the point that we must be ready to accept and enlarge our capacities to work together as a Federation.

Mr. Ketan Gala, the President of the Federation of the Mumbai Province thanked the gathering.


Fr. Elias Dias sdb
MUMBAI, JULY 8, 2010: The Salesian Family of Don Bosco, Mumbai Province (SALFAM) presented a Konkani drama “Kednam- Uttolo” – Prince Jacob’s production on Tuesday July 6, 2010 at Yeshwant hall Matunga West, Mumbai. The show began at 8.15pm. Rev. Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial of the Mumbai Province and many other members of the Salesian family were present.
The purpose of this project was to gather all the members of the Salesian family of the Mumbai province and work towards a common goal. Secondly, it was also our intention, to collect funds with the help of the members of the Salesian family that would be utilized for the activities and the formation of the members of the Salesian family. The drama depicted the present political, social and economical scenario of Goa and invited the Goans to get up and act.
We sincerely thank Rev. Fr. Michael the Salesian Provincial of the Mumbai Province for his support towards this event. I sincerely thank all the advertisers and donors for their generous contribution. I also take this opportunity to thank all the collaborators who worked so hard in order to make this event a success. My sincere thanks to Mr. Prince Jacob and his troupe for their lively performance. And finally, I thank all the lovely people for being present for this wonderful event.


Claudina Pinto
MATUNGA, JULY 6, 2010: The Annual General Body meeting of the co-operators Bombay province was held on July 4, 2010 at A.V hall Provincial House Matunga.

Rev Fr. Brian Moras the national delegate of the vocation, Sr. Phyllis Fernandes the national delegate of the Salesian family, Rev. Fr. Elias Dias the provincial delegate of the Salesian family Mumbai. A group of Salesian co-operators from Kuwait and fifty-six Salesian co-operators were present for the meeting. The celebration began with a con-celebrated mass. In his homily Fr. Brian said “Jesus called his disciples for the kingdom of god and gave them values opposite to the world. This kingdom consists of justice, peace and love. And we are all called to spread his kingdom on earth.

After the holy mass Fr. Elias Dias welcomed the gathering. Mrs. Philomena Mendes read out the minutes of the previous AGM. Mrs. Jacinta D’Souza read the annual report as Mr. Christopher Gomes read out the statement of accounts.

Mrs. Claudina Pinto upraised the co-operators about the activities to be held during the coming year. Fr. Elias Dias spoke on the fund raising project of the Salesian family on July 6, 2010 he praised the few co-operators for their work and enthusiasm.

Since the general election of co-operators of Don Bosco of the Mumbai province was due. The assembly decided to re- appoint the same committee. All agreed and the election was held according to the norms of the constitution of the co-operators.

Mrs. Claudina Pinto- Provincial Coordinator, Mrs. Philomena Mendes- Secretary, Mr. Christopher Gomes- Treasurer, Mrs. Jacinta D’Ssouza- Counselor and Mrs. Priscilla D’Souza- Counselor. The new counsel was congratulated and the meeting ended with the vote of thanks by Mrs. Freda D’Souza.


ANDHERI, APRIL 20, 2010: The Salesian Family members (35 Cooperators and 12 Past Pupils) went to Don Bosco Asha Kiran - Karjat, a project for street youngsters, for a picnic. It was the first time that both the Cooperators and the Past Pupils went together to Asha Kiran. A full bus assured there was a lot of excitement in the air. This year the Delegate made a special effort to increase the number of cooperators and get in some younger blood. The senior members were delighted to see new faces and welcomed them for the picnic.

At Asha Kiran the picnickers got ready for mass to make sure the Lord took the most important place in their lives. After a good breakfast Fr. Xavier sat with the group and gave them an idea of all that was happening at Asha Kiran. He spoke of the intake of the boys and youngsters who were admitted into Asha Kiran and said that those with any qualification or having passed their X standard or those who were able to pay fees were automatically disqualified. He also spoke about eco-friendly methods and how we need to preserve and save mother earth. The tour as expressed by many was very informative and relaxing.

Just after the tour, the Cooperators sat for a meeting for the elections of new Council Members. The following members were elected: Mrs. Benny Lobo as a Council member; Mrs. Audrey D'Costa as Assistant Coordinator; Mr. Joauquim Fernandes as Council Member; Mr. Joseph Serrao as the new Coordinator of the Cooperators; Mrs. Ida Rocha as a Council member & Mrs. Crispina Rebello as the Treasurer of the unit.

After lunch there were a couple of games that kept everyone on their toes. With the games and fun time it was time for tea and to make our good byes. After a set of thank yous and tokens of appreciation, it was certainly a day that the Salesian Family Members of the Andheri Unit will not easily forget.


Nerul Correspondent
NERUL, MARCH 15, 2010: The Salesian Cooperators of the Don Bosco Nerul Unit gathered together on the morning of March 14, 2010 for their half day with God. The Program began with an adoration service, where the group prayed for their needs, and the needs of the house and the province. A reflection on the 'Temptations of Jesus' was offered by Fr. Vivian D'Souza, the animator. The group then spent time reflecting on this gospel passage as it gave them a lot of food for thought for their personal lives. This hour concluded with a benediction service. After Tea break a power point presentation on "God speaks to us" made them rekindle the element of faith and trust in God's Word. This was followed by a beautifully animated "Way of the Cross" on power point, which took up the next hour. The final hour was devoted to personal reflection and to the celebration of the Eucharist at which Fr. Vivian initiated a lively shared reflection on the parable of the Prodigal Son (the day's gospel) and linked it up with the reflection of the 'Temptations of Jesus'. He challenged us to make a shift from a 'reckless faith' (the second temptation of Jesus & the younger son in the gospel), to a life of deep and lasting faith. This was exemplified in the parable, with the Prodigal Son's realization that his real place was not in the 'pig sty of the world' but in his Father's house, and hence the 'coming back' to the Father. He also emphasized the fact that our problems, anxieties and hurts come from our attitude of "rejection", as was manifested by the elder son. This area in our life needs a change. The Recollection concluded with a nicely prepared lunch. We thus left Don Bosco’s' nourished spiritually and materially


Nerul Correspondent

NERUL, MARCH 8, 2010: The Salesian Cooperators of the Don Bosco, Nerul unit is just a couple of months old and has fifteen members at present. Ten members of this group undertook a trip to the Vaduz Bal Ashram at Panvel, on February 28, 2010. This Ashram, belonging to the MSFS Fathers, and run by the Sisters, houses 25 underprivileged girls, who attend the St. Joseph’s School, nearby. The Cooperators had collected/bought several items of clothing, toiletries, food etc. and handed them over to the Sisters. More than this, they played with the children and even organized a very interesting and competitive ‘Antakshari’ which pitted the children against the Cooperators. This not only made the evening very lively but also created a bonding, wherein the children asked the group to come again for a whole day.

The Salesian Cooperators were happy at this experience and some expressed a desire to bring their families over or take a couple of children to their homes for a day or two. A Lenten Recollection to be held on March 14, 2010 is one of the programmes in the pipeline for Don Bosco, Nerul.


Kailash Parekh

MUMBAI, MARCH 4, 2010: Don Bosco Alumni organized a family get-together on the evening of February 27, 2010 at the Don Bosco High School, Matunga quadrangle for the past pupils and their family members. Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial; Fr. Elias Dias the Provincial Delegate and Fr. Jude D’Mello, Rector were present for the occasion. The school teachers who completed twenty five years in service graced the event.

A musical evening added colour to the get together where every body listened to Hindi songs and a variety of mouth watering south Indian delicacies added to the flavor of the evening. Amidst the action Fr. Michael inaugurated the Don Bosco Alumni Souvenir 2010, which consisted of messages from the Provincial, Delegates and the Principal, and the activities of the Matunga unit from 2008-09. The list of advertisers and sponsors who contribute and help every year also featured in the Souvenir.

The Past Pupils’ turn out was much more than last year. They gathered to the reputation of Boscoites doing things in a grand manner with fun, frolic and gaiety but most of all in a peaceful way.

Thanks to the President Mr. Jayesh Chandan, Mr. Roger D’Mello, Vice President, Mr. Jeeghar Karani, VP-GEX and the hard working office bearers’ team of the Past Pupils’ Association, who worked to make this event a great success.


Elias Dias sdb
The Southern Zonal Conference of Salesian Cooperators was held on February 14, 2010 at Don Bosco provincial house, Matunga. The members of the southern provinces of India; Fr. K. J. Louis, national delegate of the Salesian Cooperators and Mr. K. V. Francis, councilor and the cooperator participated in it.

The programme began with the Holy Eucharist in the crypt by Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial and other concelebrants. At the beginning, Fr. Elias Dias, provincial delegate of Mumbai province, welcomed the gathering and introduced Fr. Michael to the assembly. It was followed by self introduction by other members of the conference. In his homily Fr. Michael said that God wants us to be happy. After explaining the false notion of happiness he mentioned that the way of the Beatitudes is the true way to happiness. Happiness does not consist of what we have but what we are.

The official meeting of the conference was held in the A. V. hall of the Provincial House. Mrs. Frieda D’Souza welcomed the guests and presented a rose to all as a token of friendship. Sr. Phyllis Fernandes, national delegate of FMA conducted the prayer service.

The minutes of the last meeting were read and passed. During the morning session using PPT Fr. K. J. Louis gave an insight on the Preventive System of Don Bosco. He believed that when young people are surrounded by healthy and empowering environment and wise educators they would naturally grow and blossom, hence the first pre requisite for implementing Don Bosco’s educational system is the homely environment be it in the school, home or any where else. The environment could be characterized by reason, religion and kindness. Therefore the chief concern of the educator would be to create and maintain the right environment.

In the Preventive System the educators approach would be of accompaniment rather than supervision. The tern accompaniment implies that the educators are also on a journey along with the young. They are part of the system. The accompaniment becomes possible only in the climate of friendship, trust and genuine affection. In brief Be there, Be aware and Care. ‘Being there’ implies being present to the young and with the young and it is the key to a wholesome healthy and happy environment.’ Be aware’ implies having deep understanding of the young and their world. ‘Caring’ implies having heart of a father. It is not enough to love them but they must know that they are loved. In Don Bosco’s system whatever be the responsibility of the educator being there, being aware and giving care takes precedent at all times.

In the second talk Fr. K. J. Louis highlighted the characteristics of Christian leadership using the word charisma as an acrostic i.e. concern, health, action, result, influence, sensibility, motivation and affirmation.

Post lunch all the provinces read their reports about the implementation of the resolution of the Chennai Congress: Return to Don Bosco, return to the young.

A discussion was held on the Article 36 of the Project of Apostolic life. Mr. K. V. Francis read the minutes of the meeting held in Rome and informed that he had a very fruitful world council meeting. The meeting was mainly to discuss the organizational challenge and finalization of PAL document before the world congress 2012.

Mr. Wilfred Rebello proposed the vote of thanks and Ms.. Jacqueline from Chennai thanked the Mumbai province for hosting the meeting.


Glenford Lowe sdb

Seven of the vast 27 Salesian Family members met at Don Bosco Institute of Learning, Kurla on January 17, 2010, to celebrate their annual Salesian Family Day. Over 230 members representing the SDBs, FMAs, Cooperators, Past Pupils, SMIs, VDBs and ADMAs participated in the get-together.

Fr. Provincial presided at a Solemn Eucharist concelebrated by a number of priests representing the various units in the Province. At the homily, Fr. Provincial blended the Strenna for the year 2010 “We want to see Jesus” together with the gospel reading “They have no Wine”. In the finitude of our lives we seek the person of Jesus who gives us a new infilling. In the centenary of the death of Don Rua, this is our new calling - “to imitate him who was a faithful disciple, always dynamic, transforming water in wine”, he said.

The Salesian Family members were then introduced to the Strenna of the Rector Major. In true Salesian style, the evening had a lot in store: from Koli dances to Bollywood beats, songs from Becchi SDBs to Mornese FMAs. No one would have liked to be left out…. a family photo froze the memorable moment in time. The community of DB Kurla spared no efforts to provide us with the best.

Fr. Brian Moras took the opportunity to invite the Salesian Family to get involved in the up-coming Youth Ministry holiday and Vocation Camps. The harvest is still rich and the Salesian family was invited to ‘pray their part’ and propose to young people “Why NOT, a PRIEST?”

A sumptuous meal and fellowship brought the event to a close. Thanks to Fr. Elias Diaz, the delegate for the Salesian Family, for his untiring efforts to lead the SF to greater strength and commitment.


St. Paul tells us in the second reading: “There are different gifts but the same Spirit: there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good”. Paul then proceeds to list 9 examples of the wonderful variety of Gods gifts to the Corinthian community. At the end of the list he again stresses their common source- God- and their common purpose- the good of the community.

If we look at our Christian community we will notice that we have a variety of gifts from God- in occupational skills some of us are doctors, professors, scientists, lawyers, craftsmen or tradesmen, others are cooks or seamstresses; in artistic talents some of us are musicians or singers, others are writers or painters; in interpersonal qualities some of us are strong leaders or organizers, others are good listeners or available helpers; in spiritual gifts some of us have immense faith or indestructible hope, others have a capacity to pray or interpret scripture.

But with the gifts come an awesome responsibility- the gifts are given not only to enrich us personally, but also to serve the community. So there is no room for rivalry or jealousy because others have gifts we do not have. Our diversity is a call to unity and our talents are a call to ministry.

In the gospel we hear about the miracle of Cana. This is the transformation of water into the best wine. What was colorless and bland becomes colorful and sparkling, a source of joy and energy. The Jewish religion had become bland, self centered, focused on personal purity. Now it is renewed and brings joy to others. Jesus transformed the religion of his time and made it more humane- the Sabbath is for human beings and not human beings for the Sabbath.

In Jesus’ parable the kingdom is often compared to a wedding feast. When the Pharisees complained that Jesus’ disciples did not fast he answered them that the ‘bridegroom was with them.’ In contrast with John the Baptist, Jesus ‘comes eating and drinking.’ We are doing things as we always have done, relating with family, friends and fellow workers as before. When we hear that the people around us have ‘no wine’ we see no reason why they should turn to us. Like Jesus we say: ‘My hour has not yet come”. We are afraid to get involved; we like to remain in our comfort zone, untouched by the pain of others. So often we act as if this is not our concern. Mary’s words to Jesus at the wedding at Cana are echoing in many countries today. Men and women have no wine to share with their families. Since the wine that nature provided by the festivals has all gone, plundered by the modern economy, industrial estates, calamities, selfishness and misdirected projects. We should transform water into wine and become agents of social change.

Jesus performed the miracle; nevertheless he had the help of servants. They brought the stone jars to him. If they did not then there would have been no miracle of transformation. And so the message of the gospel is not only that Jesus can transform the loss, the boredom, the pain, the betrayal, that any of us feel, not only can he restore hope that we once knew and feel the love that has gone out of our lives; not only can Jesus do that but he asks us necessarily, to help with the miracle. Jesus can transform the wine but he needs the help of servants to do that.

The annual strenna is a real spiritual and pastoral programme. It helps us as disciples and apostles to build the church and transform the world. It helps us to look beyond ourselves and see who is running out of wine, who needs to see Jesus.

On the occasion of the centenary of the death of Fr. Michael Rua, most faithful to Don Bosco and to his charism, the RM invites all the members of the Salesian family to become ever more and more disciples in love with Jesus and his enthusiastic apostles and to commit themselves to the evangelization of the young. He tell us: let us speak to them about Christ, let us tell them about our meeting with him, let us tell his story, let us give them the programme of happiness which He offers us in the Beatitudes, let us tell them how beautiful life is once he has been encountered and how much joy there is in being clasped by Him and being drawn into the cause of the Kingdom of God.

“Sir, we want to see Jesus.” In imitation of Don Rua, as authentic disciples and zealous apostles, let us bring the Gospel to the young.

Some groups of the Salesian Family are in harmony with this task. By way of example the RM gives us two passages fro the General Chapters of the SDB and FMA.

The XXVI General Chapter of the Salesians shows its awareness of the urgent need to evangelize and of the centrality of proposing Jesus Christ: we perceive evangelization as the principal requirement of our mission, aware that the young have a right to have Jesus proclaimed to them as the source of life and promise of happiness now and in eternity. The XXII General Chapter of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians then, recognizes that it is the love of God which urges us on: The Upper Room where the apostles were together is not a place for them to stay but one from which to launch out… love leads to exodus and to a going out of oneself towards new frontiers to make a gift of oneself: love grows through love…”

It should be recognized that young people are interested in God. All research confirms this. A high percentage says that they feel the need for God and that they are convinced of his existence.

The RM shows us how Don Rua was a faithful disciple. He was the most faithful, therefore the most humble and at the same time the most valiant of the sons of Don Bosco. Paul the VI decided the new Blessed with words which identified his fundamental characteristic: fidelity. The successor of Don Bosco is a son, disciple, imitator…

Michael came to DB because he had no wine. He came because he wanted to see JC. It had all started long before with a strange gesture. Eight years of age and having lost his father, with a broad black band fixed to his jacket by his mother he had stretched out his hand for a medal form Don Bosco. But instead of a medal Don Bosco had given him his left hand while making a sign as though cutting it in half. And he said to him, “Take it, little Michael, take it.” And before those wide open eyes gazed on him transfixed, he said six words which were to be the secret of his life: “We two will always go halves.”

More than one Cardinal in Rome, at the death of Don Bosco, was convinced that the Salesian Congregation would quickly disintegrate; Don Rua was 50 years of age. It would be best to send a pontifical Commissioner to Turin to arrange the union of the Salesians with another Congregation of proven tradition. But Bishop Cagliero called together the Chapter with some of the older ones and a letter to the Holy Father was drawn up in which all the Superiors, and the older confreres declared that in total agreement they would accept Don Rua as Superior, and not only would they submit to him, but would receive him with great joy… on 11 February the Holy Father confirmed and declared Don Rua n office for 12 years according to the Constitutions.

Pope Leo XIII had met Don Rua and knew that under his direction the Salesian would continue their mission. And so it was. The Salesians and Salesian houses multiplied. Don Bosco had founded 64 houses; don Rua took the number to 341. At the death of don Bosco the Salesian were 700; with Don Rua, in 22 years as the Superior General, they became 4000. The Salesian missions, which Don Bosco, had tenaciously begun, and during his lifetime had spread to Pantagonia and Tiera del Fuego, Uruguay and Brazil; Don Rua multiplied the missionary outreach and Salesian missionaries arrived in Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, China, India, Egypt and Mozambique. He was also aware that peoples wanted to see JC. He was aware that the wine had run out in these places.

On order that fidelity to Don Bosco might not diminish, Don Rua travelled far and wide. His whole life was studded with journeys. He went to his Salesians wherever possible. Reading through even only rapidly the impressive number of Don Rua’s letters, or his circular letters, the volumes which describe his work as the Successor of Don Bosco for 22 years, one discovers in an impressive manner that what the Pope said is true: his fidelity to Don Bosco is not static but dynamic. He was really aware of the changing times and of the needs of the young, and fearlessly opened up Salesian work to new fields of pastoral ministry.

The strenna calls us to present Jesus to youngsters. God has given us gifts and talents and we must make use of them in order to make the community grow and develop. A life of witness is the most powerful medium of communication. Like Don Rua let us be faithful disciples, always dynamic, transforming water into wine.