Issues Vol. 168‎ > ‎

Vol. 168 No. 44 - November 04 - November 10, 2017

04 Official - Appointments (XII)

posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:48 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 6, 2017, 10:49 PM ]


01 Cover

posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:14 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 9:52 AM ]


03 Index

posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:13 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 2:14 AM ]


05 Engagements

posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:12 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 2:12 AM ]


07 Editorial - The Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna

posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 9:53 AM ]

The Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna is a 'must-see' stop for any one, especially for a Marian devotee who comes to Mumbai. It recently turned 60, but it still looks as fresh as if it were consecrated only the other day.

The journey from conception to construction is a hymn of gratitude to Our Blessed Mother from her grateful children who heeded the earnest plea of that great visionary, Fr Aurelius Maschio. With generous donations gradually trickling in, it took barely two years for this magnificent Marian monument to be completed.

On August 5, 1957, Auxiliary Bishop Longinus Pereira blessed the Shrine and declared it open for public veneration. Seven years later, on November 28, 1964, the Shrine was formally consecrated by Archbishop Hubert D'Rosario, SDB, along with seven other bishops who assisted him in consecrating the side altars and the altars in the crypt; and barely a week later, on December 4, 1964, no less a personage than his Holiness, Pope Paul VI, visited the Shrine and blessed the statue of Mary Help of Christians, which to this day is venerated, especially during the Novena and the solemn feast of Mary Help of Christians on May 24.

The main dome over the sanctuary and the two smaller bell-towers (with electric chimes) over the entrance are typical of Roman church architecture. The façade is marked by an arched doorway, above which is a huge mosaic of the Madonna—the inspiration of all Don Bosco's work. The entire shrine has an exterior of Malad granite, golden-brown in colour with its eye-catching 12 foot-high gilt statue of Mary, Help of Christians standing majestically atop the main dome.

Over the years, people from all corners of the globe have made their way here, either to fulfil a promise or to make a request, or simply to sit in gratitude, just resting in the soothing and serene environment of her Shrine. None of this would make any sense unless the raison d'etre is known.

All those who have any association with the Shrine know that these hallowed portals exude much devotion, faith and love. Besides the personal Devotion that draws people here, the vast and lively correspondence even in this digital age continues to meet the need of simple Catholics seeking enlightenment and consolation, encouragement and inspiration. The Shrine's many services and tracts continue to be disseminated, enlivening the faith of Mary's devotees.

Nothing draws these Marian devotees as much as their Faith in the intercessory power of Mary, the Madonna of Don Bosco. The Novenas conducted at the shrine and the services celebrated are a tribute to the faith of the many who know that it is through Mary that they will most certainly reach her Son Jesus. Christians have returned to the Church, thanks to the Sacrament of Reconciliation that is made available to penitents coming from near and far to avail themselves of God's mercy freely offered.

Those who are able to come to the Shrine or those who don't find it possible, still find ways and means to bring to our notice that they wish to express their Love and gratitude for favours received, and most of all for the palpable presence of Mary in their lives.

Several devotees have passed on their devotion to their children and their grandchildren, and it is a delight to see entire families making their way to the feet of Our Lady to rededicate themselves to her and to reaffirm their filial devotion to the Queen and Mother of their homes.

The greatest treasure of the Shrine is the faith of the countless devotees and penitents who have streamed through its portals over these past sixty years. Young and old, rich and poor, Christians and others... have kept coming back to this beautiful masterpiece of Marian art and devotion to seek solace and serenity.

Fr Ian Doulton, Editor of Don Bosco's Madonna Magazine, Matunga, Mumbai

08 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations - Pope Francis

posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:06 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 2:06 AM ]

Led by the Spirit for Mission 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the last few years, we have considered two aspects of the Christian vocation: the summons to "go out from ourselves" to hear the Lord's voice, and the importance of the ecclesial community as the privileged place where God's call is born, nourished and expressed.

Now, on this 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, I would like to reflect on the missionary dimension of our Christian calling. Those who are drawn by God's voice and are determined to follow Jesus soon discover within themselves an irrepressible desire to bring the Good News to their brothers and sisters through proclamation and the service of charity. All Christians are called to be missionaries of the Gospel! As disciples, we do not receive the gift of God's love for our personal consolation, nor are we called to promote ourselves, or a business concern. We are simply men and women touched and transformed by the joy of God's love, who cannot keep this experience just to ourselves. For "the Gospel joy which enlivens the community of disciples is a missionary joy" (Evangelii Gaudium, 21).

Commitment to mission is not something added on to the Christian life as a kind of decoration, but is instead an essential element of faith itself. A relationship with the Lord entails being sent out into the world as prophets of His Word and witnesses of His love.

Even if at times we are conscious of our weaknesses and tempted to discouragement, we need to turn with God with confidence. We must overcome a sense of our own inadequacy and not yield to pessimism, which merely turns us into passive spectators of a dreary and monotonous life. There is no room for fear! God Himself comes to cleanse our "unclean lips" and equip us for the mission: "Your guilt has departed, and your sin is blotted out. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send and who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I, send me.'" (Is 6:6-8)

In the depths of their heart, all missionary disciples hear this divine voice bidding them to "go about", as Jesus did, "doing good and healing all." (cf. Acts 10:38) I have mentioned that, by virtue of baptism, every Christian is a "Christopher"—a bearer of Christ to his brothers and sisters (cf. Catechesis, January 30, 2016). This is particularly the case with those called to a life of special consecration and with priests, who have generously responded, "Here I am, Lord, send me!" With renewed missionary enthusiasm, priests are called to go forth from the sacred precincts of the Temple, and to let God's tender love overflow for the sake of humanity (cf. Homily at the Chrism Mass, March 24, 2016). The Church needs such priests: serenely confident because they have discovered the true treasure, anxious to go out and joyfully to make it known to all. (cf. Mt 13:44)

Certainly, many questions arise when we speak of the Christian mission. What does it mean to be a missionary of the Gospel? Who gives us the strength and courage to preach? What is the evangelical basis and inspiration of mission? We can respond to these questions by meditating on three scenes from the Gospels: the inauguration of Jesus' mission in the synagogue at Nazareth (cf. Lk 4:16-30); the journey that, after His resurrection, He makes in the company of the disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35) and finally, the parable of the sower and the seed. (cf. Mt 4:26-27)

Jesus is anointed by the Spirit and sent.

To be a missionary disciple means to share actively in the mission of Christ. Jesus Himself described that mission in the synagogue of Nazareth in these words: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour." (Lk 4:18-19) This is also our mission: to be anointed by the Spirit, and to go out to our brothers and sisters in order to proclaim the Word and to be for them a means of salvation.

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10 Don Bosco lives on... Don Bosco Matunga celebrates 75 years - Fr Bernard Fernandes sdb

posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 2:03 AM ]

Don Bosco High School, Matunga completes its 75th year this scholastic year—and it's with pride and nostalgia that we reminisce the magic and the events unfolding thereafter that fashioned a dream school for youngsters in Mumbai. The school is not only the first Don Bosco institution in the city of Mumbai, but it is also the cradle of the Mumbai Salesian Province. At this significant milestone in the history of the Salesian Mumbai Province, it is inevitable that we turn the clock back to reinvent the fragrance of the 75 long—and at times, forgotten—years.

On May 16, 1928, four Salesians - Fr Joseph Hauber, Fr Austin Dehlert, Br William Haughley and Br Michael Devalle took over the management of the educational institution of the Immaculate Conception from Fr JS Freitas SJ. The school was housed in a rented building called 'Tardeo Castle'.

When the new school commenced on June 6, 1928, there was a complete change of staff and servants. There were 189 day-scholars and four lady teachers. Roch Thomas was the official headmaster from July 1, 1928. Two years later, in June 1930, the institution changed its name to 'Don Bosco High School.' In 1932, Fr Adolf Tornquist succeeded Fr Hauber, staying in office until his departure for Argentina in May 1936. The school then remained without a superior for nine months.

In 1937, Fr Aurelius Maschio was appointed Rector. Gifted with rare foresight, dynamism and a drive to convert his dreams into reality, Fr Maschio made an assessment of the existing situation, laid out his plans and launched out on a massive fund-raising campaign. Since many difficulties were being presented by the landlord at Tardeo, he looked for land elsewhere. He found a spacious plot at insignificant Matunga in flourishing Bombay—a landscape of marsh, water-filled pits and slime—which he proposed to buy. In the meantime, Fr Berutti and Fr Candela of the Superior Chapter, during their brief stop in Bombay on their way back to Turin from the East, visited the proposed Matunga plot, and gave their approval of its purchase.

With notice to quit Tardeo Castle by October 1, 1940, the entire school was shifted to a place called 'Hilltop' on Carmichael Road at Cumballa Hill in September 1940. Meanwhile, all attention was on the new place bought at Matunga. And so, on March 19, 1941, the foundation stone of the new building at Matunga was blessed and laid by Archbishop Thomas Roberts, SJ. By October 31, 1941, 'Hilltop' was vacated, and the school moved into the partially completed building at Matunga. On January 31, 1942, the premises were completed and solemnly inaugurated. Today, this portion forms the Secondary section of the school. The foundation stone of the Primary building was blessed on the feast day of Don Bosco - January 31, 1951. 

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11 From Small Steps to Giant Leaps - Fr Godfrey D’Sa, sdb

posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:00 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 2:00 AM ]

Part I - Humble Beginnings of St Joseph High School, Wadala 

It was 1917. Wadala then was a cluster of villages in the midst of marshy fields and salt pans. It was in such surroundings that Fr Domingo DeSa ventured to sow a seed. With one teacher and two others, he started two elementary classes for the few boys and girls he had gathered together in a dingy little room close to the then chapel of Our Lady of Dolours. It was the best Fr DeSa could do for his people. He could not visualise that the seed sown with so much love would, in God’s own time, grow into a huge tree which would nurture the hearts and minds of generations of youth.

It had been an uphill task from the beginning, and Fr DeSa’s successors looked after the tender sapling with devotion and care with few resources at their disposal. He was ably succeeded by Fr Jose Pereira (1918-20), Fr Gerrmaine D’Annunceao (1920-22), Fr Amarel D’Andrade (1922-23), Fr J.E. Fernandes (1923-24), Fr Felix Almeida (1924-1930) and Fr Peter P. D’Mello (1934-35). There was pretty little they could do to improve the extremely unsatisfactory conditions.

A break came in 1937; Fr Augusto Fernandes, who was appointed both Parish Priest and Principal at St Joseph’s School, crossed a great hurdle, when he was able to procure for the school, the recognition from the Bombay Improvement Trust (later the Bombay Municipal Corporation) as an aided English-medium primary school. The strength of the small school then was 175 students.

The School celebrated its Silver Jubilee in 1942, but with not much to show by way of a well-established and neatly housed Institution. However, in 1943, the enterprising Fr Augusto moved in this matter and secured a piece of land with a shed. This was on lease from the Municipality, and was in the vicinity of the church compound. With some alterations and improvements, the shed was converted into classrooms, and Class V was added to the existing classes, and the number of students had risen to 368 and comprised both boys and girls. Two years later, the school was recognised as a Municipal-Aided Middle School.

The Salesian Sisters step in

On January 28, 1946, at the invitation of Rev. Fr Balaguer SJ, the Vicar General of Bombay, the newly appointed Salesian Sisters’ Provincial Mother Teresa Merlo and Sr Luigina Appiano arrived in Bombay to finalise the formalities for the proposed foundation for the Sisters at Wadala, and to get to know the school that was to be temporarily entrusted to them.

On June 1, 1946, Sr Eugenia Versino (Principal), took charge of the school. The students, much older for their classes, were mostly from poor Catholic and other families from the surrounding villages. The Sisters set about establishing a system and routine in the school. The Salesian Sisters, having acquired a plot of land for their future school, would give up the administration of St Joseph’s at the end of the scholastic year in 1948.

Salesians of Don Bosco take charge

The year 1947-48 was a turning point in the history of the school. In that year of India’s Independence, the Management of the school was taken over by the Salesians of Don Bosco. On April 12, 1948, the Salesian Provincial, Msgr Jose Carreño along with Fr Edward Rego,visited the school brimming with pupils, and realised the need for the expansion of the building.

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13 Blessed Rani Maria: Martyr for Justice - Fr George Chathanatt, ssp

posted Nov 2, 2017, 1:58 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 1:58 AM ]

The Catholic Church will beatify, (the first step towards formally declaring someone a saint by the Church), Sr Rani Maria, a member of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on Saturday, November 4, 2017.

Sr Rani Maria (born Mariam Vattalil) was born at Pulluvazhy, Ernakulam district, Kerala, on January 29, 1954, as the second child of Mr Paily and Eliswa. They had seven children. Marykunju (little Mary), as she was affectionately called, was brought up in a deeply Christian atmosphere. No wonder that the intense religious atmosphere of her family imbibed in her, at a very young age itself, the thought of becoming a nun and to give herself totally to God.

Her mother says: "Marykunju was different from my other children; she was an exceptionally obedient child," and her brother Stephen adds, "She was a girl of few words and had no interest in adorning herself with ornaments of gold or silver. She would never hurt anyone." Even as a school-going girl, she found time to help her father in the field and her mother in her domestic duties. But she felt her true goal in life was to serve God as a religious nun.

So, after her studies, on July 3, 1971, she joined the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC). She started her novitiate on May 1, 1973. With the appointment of Msgr Gratian Mundadan as the Bishop of Bijnor (UP), Mariam's desire to work in the Missions was strengthened, and she made up her mind to work outside Kerala among the poor and oppressed. On May 1, 1974, she made her First Religious Profession, taking the new name 'Rani Maria'. She made her final commitment on May 22, 1980.

Rani Maria had already requested her superiors to be allowed to go to the Missions, and so her superiors told her that her request was granted, and Rani Maria gladly responded: "I am very happy to work among the poor and the oppressed, for they are God's children, our brothers and sisters. I feel sad only very few opt to work in this field."

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15 Youth Page

posted Nov 2, 2017, 1:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 1:54 AM ]

Bishop John Rodrigues meets the youth of St Peter's parish, Bandra

October 28 (Saturday) evening, Bishop John Rodrigues took time to personally meet with the youth of St Peter's Parish. He explained to the youth that he had been appointed Bishop in-charge of the pastoral ministry of the Bandra Deanery. St Peter's being the parish he grew up in, Bishop John was happy to visit it. He showed his interest in the activities that the youth participated in, and encouraged them to actively participate in more activities at the Deanery and Diocesan levels. Remembering his childhood, Bishop John requested the youth to keep the Church at the centre of their lives, and to participate at least in some activities. In his day, the Church was the focus for almost all their activities, but now with changing times, the Church had moved to the background. He asked the youth to revive this spirit and keep the Church at the centre, while also focusing on important aspects like their education and career. Faith, youth and vocational discernment are the topics set for discussion at the October 2018 Synod of Bishops. Bishop John reiterated Pope Francis' new and dynamic vision of the Church which looks at the youth as an integral part of this growing Church.

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Report of the Diocesan Youth Day, Vasai

On Saturday, September 30, 2017, the members of the Yuvadarshan committee conducted YOUTH DAY on a diocesan level at Thomas Baptista Junior College Hall, Papdy. Almost 654 youth from the entire diocese had registered for this event. The day was initiated with an inaugural Eucharist with Fr Robert D'Souza as the main celebrant, in the presence of the other priests and youth at the Cathedral.

After the Eucharist, the youth were taken into the college hall, where they were served snacks and cold drinks. They were then divided and made to sit in their groups accordingly. The members of Yuvadarshan Committee then performed an action song which spread enthusiasm in the entire hall. This was followed by a graceful prayer dance which was performed by the young girls of Arnold Lalit Kala Academy, SVD group. Then Fr Allwin, the Director of Yuvadarshan, welcomed the youth with his dynamic and youthful spirit.

The theme for the day was "Rooted and built up in Christ". The lighting of the lamp was done by Fr Allwin, Fr Joel, Fr K.T Emmanuel, Sr Santana and Mr Leon Pereira. The shepherd of the Vasai diocese, Archbishop Felix Machado, graced the event with his presence. Fr Joel D'Cunha addressed the youth about the theme and appreciated the presence of the youth.

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