20 Local News

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:22 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 9:23 PM ]

Animation Programme for Young Salesians

Young priests from the Province of Bombay and Province of Panjim gathered at the Don Bosco Provincial House in Matunga, for a two-day animation programme on November 20, where they were urged to heed their call to be prophets in society.

Fr Varghese Alengaden, Founder of the Universal Solidarity Movement of Value Education for Peace (USM), Indore, the resource person for the programme, stressed that being prophets comes with an additional caveat—that of suffering.

"It's unfortunate that today, people prefer worshipping the Cross, instead of carrying it," Fr Alengaden said. In order to fulfil their vision of bearing 'lasting fruit' through their ministry, he coaxed the priests to become mentors, instead of mere teachers of young people. Just as Jesus told His followers that new wine had to be stored in new wine-skins, Fr Alengaden told the priests that the new challenges of priests today had to be resolved with new strategies in carrying out their mission.

Fr Alengaden continued his sharing on 'new wine-skin' strategies vis-à-vis the challenges he faced in his ministry over the years. He also conducted a session on 'The Miracle of Possibility Thinking' in which he challenged the young priests to ask themselves: "Why Not?" and have the belief to do what has not been done before, to be fruitful in their ministry. In the afternoon, he shared some practical tips for spiritual growth based on his own experience and reflection during his many years as a priest.

While the young priests were impressed and educated by the content of the talks of Fr Alengaden, they were even more captivated by his personality. Throughout his interaction with the priests, he radiated courage, conviction and integrity that left a lasting imprint on the priests. In his vote of thanks, Fr Jacob Palaparambil expressed this influence by saying, "Fr Alengaden has not told us things about Jesus, but told us how to be Jesus."

The young Salesians enjoyed one another's company and shared many light moments, given that it was a reunion with their companions from both provinces. All in all, the two days that the young priests spent with one another and Fr Alengaden were days of insightful thoughts, eye-opening knowledge and an opportunity to grow in love of Christ and neighbour.

Christians, Parsis discuss Metro threat to structures

The controversy over the proposed underground metro rail tunnels at Jagannath Sunkersett Marg in Girgaum brought together Christians and Parsis for the first time to discuss the project at a joint meeting on Nov. 26.

Fr Anthony Fernandes of the ancient St Teresa's Church in Girgaum said it was a "human rights issue" more than a religious one, as lives of many residents of old buildings are at risk. "Tenants of these buildings are totally helpless. We have to be the voice of the voiceless," he told the gathering. Fr Anthony said the project must be a "win-win" situation for all "but not at the cost of human lives." He added, "There must be alternatives which should be feasible."

Alignment maps of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) show the tunnel running underneath the church, which dates back to the late 18th century.

Parsis too are protesting as the tunnel will run underneath the 187-year-old Wadia Atash Behram (fire temple) and skirt Anjuman Atash Behram (built in 1897) at the Princess Street junction in south Mumbai.

Thousands of residents living in old and dilapidated buildings along Sunkersett Marg are worried that tunnelling and excavation work could severely damage their buildings. An RTI query revealed that 85 buildings are in "severe" to "very severe" condition. Structural engineer Jamshed Sukhadwala, who addressed the gathering, alleged that MMRC was not entirely forthcoming on putting technical details in the public domain. Even building survey reports of each building are not being shared with residents, he said, stating that MMRC does not have a contingency plan in case of a disaster.

"An underground corridor is a highly technical project. The geological structure of Mumbai is very different from Delhi and Bangalore,'' he said. Sukhadwala said he had urged Metro officials to strengthen old Girgaum buildings before commencing tunnel work. "They (MMRC) have not gained the people's confidence," he said.

SCC Rally at St Joseph, Goregaon (E)

The SCC Rally held at St Joseph Parish, Goregaon East on November 12 was called Kutumb Utsav—a family celebration. The event was planned by the Parish Event Team (PET) and the SCC Rally Organising Team. The teams were well guided by the Parish Priest, Fr Jude Rodrigues. Social media networks were used to coordinate the entire event. All zones had to give a raw video of their performances a week before the final day, so that it could be scrutinised for any objectionable content.

The Chief Guest for the evening was Bishop Barthol Barretto, and the Guests of Honour were priests who had served previously in the parish. Joining them were Sr Manisha and Deacon Saby.

The theme for the evening was the Ten Commandments, and each of the ten zones had the opportunity to perform on one of the commandments for four minutes. The event was judged by a panel of priests and seminarians. The Rally had cent per cent attendance. The sumptuous snacks and dinner were served by the catechists. The youth worked tirelessly around the clock, starting two days prior to the event. Budding young photographers captured candid shots and video-taped the event.

In addition to the first three winners, all other zones were awarded consolation prizes. The winners' presentation centred on the sixth commandment: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." They illustrated the same showing three real life scenarios: 1) Sex before marriage 2) Watching pornography and 3) Extra-marital affairs. The way to overcome these temptations was to pray together as a family. 

Seminar on careers in Public Service

The third BCS Seminar on Career opportunities in Civil Services was conducted by the Bombay Catholic Sabha (BCS) at St Anthony's School Hall, Vakola on Sunday, November 19. The seminar was the third of its kind, and was attended by over 325 youngsters along with some parents; the BCS had earlier conducted this seminar in Borivli and Mulund. The seminar began at 10:30 am with a short prayer by Adrian Rosario, BCS Executive Committee Member. Lawrence Fernandes, the BCS Vice President and Convenor of the Civil Services Project, welcomed the participants. He emphasised that the need of the hour is that the Christian community makes its presence felt in the political and government arena. He said that the Sabha would guide and support the interested students with necessary inputs to have many of them in the corridors of power in a few years from now. The Chief Guest, Mr S Jayakumar, Additional Commissioner of Police, Central Region, Mumbai congratulated the students for their keen interest in taking up a career in Civil Services. He shared his experiences and guided the youth on how to prepare for the Civil Services Entrance Exam. He said that to be successful, it is important to have disciplined hard work. He emphasised that it was necessary to take the values of Christ into the secular areas of administration and governance. Mr Merwin Alexander, Joint Secretary, Dept of Atomic Energy, shared his experiences in various government departments that he has worked in, and impressed upon the students that choosing a career in the public services is a wise choice, because it is the only career in which job security is assured, the take-home pay is attractive, the respect one gets is self-fulfilling, and the post-retirement benefits are also substantial. Mr Brendon Brako, retired Asst Commissioner of Police, shared his experiences in serving the Police. Having got to know the 'Why' for these careers, it was the turn of Mr Ryan Pinto to tell the students about the 'How' of these careers. He gave a thorough run-through of the exams conducted and the syllabus. He encouraged daily reading of the newspapers and the need to improve general knowledge, besides brushing up on the subjects they had already learnt in school and college. An interesting interactive session followed, in which students asked many questions and clarified their doubts.

A follow-up session is being planned shortly for those who are interested in pursuing these careers. The Vote of Thanks was proposed by Dr Hermie Drago, the Central Suburbs Deanery Councillor, and the entire programme was ably compered by Mr Anthony Dias, the Jt Secretary of BCS.

World Day of Poor celebrated at Holy Family, Chakala

Kingdom Kids, a Holy Family Unit for education and nutrition for the children who live under the flyovers of Andheri, were invited on Nov. 19 2017, along with their families to a sumptuous meal in the Parish Hall.

About 200 people were treated to a hot and happy family meal prepared by the SVP unit of the Holy Family Church. Following the generous monetary response of the parishioners to the call given by Pope Francis, the SVP members decided that they would cook and serve the meal themselves, thus adding Love to Action.

The banquet parables of our Lord in the Gospels were truly put into action, not only by those who came to the banquet, but also by those who served at the Lord's table.

Forthcoming Events

Atma Darshan
Guided Retreat - December 26 - January 1 (for Priests & Religious)
For Registration, contact: Atma Darshan, Gyan Ashram Campus, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400 093. India. Tel: (0091) (022) 2836 3120/ 2824 2419, Mobile : (+91) 97696 94422.

Jesus Encounter Healing Retreat: from Friday December 8 (7:30 am) to Sunday December 10 (5 pm) at Vinayalaya, Andheri (E), behind Holy Family Church, Chakala. Conducted by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Mumbai. OPEN TO ALL. Registrations at the CCR Office, Dadar (W) - 2430 3626/2421 0881/99309 40705. Register early.