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The Salesian Bulletin ADVT




- a family magazine

Editor David Maria Selvam sdb News Editor [Salesian & Church News] A.J. Frank sdb Vikesh Joseph sdb



Designers A. Paul Victor Cover: Sathish Paul sdb Circulation: S. Saranya / M. Santhosh Office Assistant: I. Vijay Editorial Board Godfrey D’Souza- Chairman, BOSCOM Dominic Veliath sdb / Joe Mannath sdb Agilan sdb / Joaquim Fernandes sdb Raj Mariasusai sdb / Stanislaus Swaminathan sdb



Advisory Board Maria Arokiam Kanaga - President, SPCSA K.M. Jose - President, Salesian Publishing Society Xavier Packiam - Financial Advisor Nirmol Gomes / Nestor Guria Vattathara Thomas / Thathi Reddy Joyce Mathew / Jose Mathew / Felix Fernandes George Maliekal / Antony Joseph Joseph Almeida Editorial Office The Salesian Bulletin, Bosco Illam 2nd Floor 26/17 Ranganathan Avenue, Sylvan Lodge Colony, Kellys, Chennai - 600 010 Phone : 044 - 26451991 Kindly Send your Subscriptions & Donations M.O/D.D/Cheque in favour of Don Bosco - The Salesian Bulletin A/c No : 0138053000021812 IFSC : SIBL0000138 Branch : 0138 Kellys Branch, Chennai Office : Editor : thesalesianbulletin Follow & Like us on Facebook @dbbulletin




The Publisher or the Editor is not held responsible for the views expressed by writers in this magazine. They do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Salesian Bulletin. All disputes are under the jurisdiction of Chennai Courts only. OCTOBER 2017

Published by M. Arockia Raj on behalf of Salesian Publishing Society, Bosco illam 2nd Fl oor, No. 26/17 Ranganathan Avenue Sylvan Lodge Colony, Kellys, Chennai - 600010. and Printed by Fr. Harris SDB at Salesian Institute of Graphic Arts No.49, Taylor's Road, Chennai - 600010 / Editor: M. Arockia Raj


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Editorial Me - part of the problem or the solution? Unending and unabated were the fights between them, though they had been married for nearly a decade. The man wanted a permanent solution and he thought of taking his wife to a psychiatrist. When he proposed it, as expected there was another explosion but situation was brought under control by him, as he managed to convince her with sweet words and comforting assurances. Though it annoyed the wife much, she agreed merely to avoid a further battle. They fixed an appointment and the doctor spent some time with the couple individually. Sessions done, he gave both of them some private counsel and a few tablets. The next few days, the husband found himself more and more sleepy, and the wife going about her normal chores. It was then he realised, the doctor had treated him, not his wife! After all it was he who needed that counselling and the therapy! Funny, but we see this phenomenon true and prevalent in most walks of life, almost in every possible scenario. Everyone thinks that the other is at fault and that they need to change and may be they need some external help like advice or counseling or guidance. Preachers, teachers, parents and leaders mainly suffer this syndrome as they are prone to feel that everyone other than them is in need of help and very urgently so. The reasons could be quite many. One, maybe, we lack sufficient knowledge about ourselves. We are either blissfully unaware of the limitations we have picked up along the way in our life or too occupied with our postives to realise our faults. Two, could be, we lack sufficient knowledge of the other. People are not the same for a long time, everyone changes, grows and evolves. At times we do not perceive changes not because they are not there, but we are too boxed in to open up to them. Three, could be that we lack sufficient knowledge about events and happenings around us. Can a few pages from the Wikipedia and a page from the facebook or a forward from a twitter account suffice for a comprehensive understanding of an issue nevertheless we all have an opinion, a judgment, a verdict to pass. Anitha - is not just a girl who died recently; it is a whole issue which is already running the risk of being erased from the public memory. How many really tried their best to go down to the intricate details of the issue before they voiced their opinions? Some were emotional outcries, some others were bland moralising, still others insensitive interpretation, while some despicable others blatant politicisation. But where did the real truth lie in all these? Who would be able to say that, but those who really took time, effort, interest to compassionately analyse the entire scenario. Did all who spoke have these within them? Finding fault is easy, pointing fingers is simple, understanding the depth of anything is the real need. Understanding myself, with everything that I know of me and might not be aware of, is the right starting point to approach the task of understanding others and issues around me. How would I be able to find the solution if I am deeply part of the problem? Important hence it is, to ascertain that I help myself grow, in order that I may understand everyone and everything around me, before blaming anyone or anything.

David Maria Selvam SDB The Salesian Bulletin




Congratulations dear editor, for your hard work and efficiency in bringing out excellent bulletins every month. Fr. Jeffrey Gladstone SDB Chennai

I am glad that the standard of the Salesian Bulletin is maintained and keeps improving issue after issue. I shall ask my students and the teaching faculty to subscribe to the magazine. Sr. Josephine Anto FMA Auxilium College, Vellore

As the world is becoming more and more concerned towards ecology, the Salesian Bulletin has given a timely article on Ecological concerns through Fr. Ricopar. Through his writing, he is calling towards a collaboration with mother nature and enhancing the humanity. He is giving us a paradigm shift in our perspective from ‘Human as the centre of creation to Human as only part of this entire creation’ A word of appreciation to the writer and the Salesian Bulletin. Rohan D’Sa Panjim

Cinema page by Chris Valentino is informative, inspiring and educative. The writer has in-depth knowledge on mediarelated issues, and he will soon create his segment of readers by his unique writing skills. Thanks for having created a huge expectation. Celine Dias Mumbai


The cover story on ‘Wanted people with moral authority’ was inspiring. I loved the story about ‘Phaemon’s dog,’ and it helped me to see how we at time compromise with values and do justify it. We need people with moral authority than people who claim for positions and posts. The real authority comes from personal discipline. Thank you Fr. Anchukandam.

James Banerjee Calcutta

The article on ‘Good fences make good families’ was inspiriting. It deals with the practical issues. ‘No’ is a complete sentence, I think many of us should take it seriously, and we can mould ourselves and our children if we follow the guidelines. Elizabeth Murmu Jharkhand

The 10 Q with the editor Richard Kevin was inspiring. He has given a lot of insights especially to the youth who are looking for a career in film industry. His frank sharing will surely help many people who are looking for a breakthrough in life. Ritchie Vincent Kilpauk

The Editorial ‘Needed: Advocates, not Judges’ was indeed a bold piece of writing which I guess came straight from the heart of the Editor. Keep inspiring us with good editorials. Samson Cochin


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HAVING DEEP ROOTS, BEING FLEXIBLE AND BEING RICH IN WHAT IS ESSENTIAL I shall never forget the wise life lesson which the fir trees of the beautiful forest of Vallombrosa gave me RECTOR MAJOR


y cordial greetings, dear readers, and all the members of our dear Salesian Family. I wish to offer you in this issue of the Salesian Bulletin a reflection that I made from a very concrete experience I had - a lesson from nature.

In the month of July, I had the opportunity to spend a serene and peaceful week when on my spiritual retreat together with the other members of the General Council. The place in which we were staying near Florence was the Vallombrosian Monastery in – Vallombrosa! It is a very simple and austere place where one can find the beauty of nature 1000 meters (approximately 3200 feet) above sea level. It is a place that invites prayer as it is very cool for it is surrounded by thousands and thousands of fir trees – many of which are more than 20 meters high (about 65 feet). It is one of the most important forested areas of Italy for it provides much oxygen back to the atmosphere. It was here that I learned the following lesson in biology, and which left its mark on me.

I noticed that those pine trees were very tall and stood very straight, but their foliage was very sparse, with few branches and few needles. It is almost as if to say that they have only what is essential to be able to live and to grow through the proper functioning of their leaves and cells. I asked an expert about these particulars and he told me that those pine trees have three most special characteristics. They have very deep roots, a very flexible trunk, and a very small canopy (branches and leaves). The reason for all of this made me marvel all the more. The Salesian Bulletin


The roots of these fir trees must be very deep to enable the trees to find moisture and water, most especially in the summer when the soil is arid due to searing temperatures, even in the mountains.

The tall trunks, many up to 25 meters (approximately 82 feet) tall as he told me, mandate that they be very flexible so that they can sway when at the mercy of bad, windy weather. Without this flexibility - made even more critical due to their great height - they would easily break if they were stiffer or more rigid. Finally, having a very skimpy canopy, one could say, is an evolutionary trait acquired to protect the tree during heavy snowfalls for if they were full, with many branches and leaves, they would break under the weight of the snow and put the entire tree in danger. I remained awestruck. Explained in this way, the reason for their structure was obvious. My thoughts turned immediately to us. I said to myself: what an incredible metaphor; what a life lesson from nature for us humans!

If we can learn how to live according to these three characteristics (i.e., with deep roots and a great interiority which permit us to find the “freshwater” of serenity, of calm, and of peace, even in difficult days and moments or even those of plain dislike, we will not collapse.

If we are able to be flexible in what matters and versatile when it concerns what is at stake is important; when we can replace intransigence with dialogue, listening, patience, and closeness born of love, we will not easily break. OCTOBER 2017

If we truly seek only what is essential, that is to say, what is authentic, what is absolutely necessary, and what fills us the most, many other things will become totally relative and we will feel fuller and richer and filled in every sense of the words. It seems to me that this lesson taken from nature, comes at a very opportune moment during this year in which we are inviting families to be families that are schools of life and of love. And it is also valid for personal relationships, for the bonds within the home, for school and education, and for the accompaniment of children.

Indeed, it is most fitting for our love relationships


and friendships, as well as being apropos for our work relationships. In short – it is right whenever who we are, how we are, and how we develop and mature are in play. I believe that I will not easily forget this lesson whenever I contemplate a forest, especially one of tall and straight fir trees.

At the same time that I greet you all with cordiality, I invite you to marvel a bit, if you wish, at this beautiful lesson from nature itself. What a beautiful footprint the Creator has left on it. May you be happy!


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nton Majo, aged 21, seeking admission for a post-graduate course in a prestigious institution, works hard to clear the entrance test and the interview. He has no time to spend with his friends, who seek him out on weekends. His focus is on the future. But, he has to take care of his widowed mother who is on a medical treatment and to help her younger sister with her tuition for the poor children of the locality. He prays daily that God would show him a path of light. With no means available and no aid coming through, he is desperate! He cries out loud: “Help me, please!” Is there anyone who can listen to his voice? There are numerous voices of young in India, like Anton, who are helplessly screaming out for help and support to realise their dreams in life. Why are their voices being ignored? Why are they being stifled? Why not understand what they are not saying as well? What do the young The Salesian Bulletin


people of the world need? Young people all over the world are facing a crisis of identity, seeking a proper environment for growth, wanting to build trustworthy relationships and looking for credible guides for their future. With much of digitalization of human life on earth, the reality is forced to be ‘virtual.’ The young people are such true natives of virtual realities that they are coerced to believe in virtues and values only if they too are virtual. Are the true marks of youthful lives such as spontaneity, creativity, enthusiasm, adventurous risks, faith, hope and joy can ever be manifested?

In 2016 at Krakow (Poland) there was a dialogue between Pope Francis and the young participants of World Youth Day watched live by all. “Can we change things?” the Pope asked repeatedly. The youthful hearts of the universe responded, “yes,” arising from their inner selves. Pope Francis listened to them and trusted them. The consequence of that keen listening OCTOBER 2017

to those voices of the youthful hearts was the announcement by the Pope on 13th January 2017, of the forthcoming 15th Ordinary Synod of Bishops 2018 on the theme: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” The Synod of Bishops was established by Pope Paul VI in 1965 at the close of the Second Vatican Council. Synod is a consultative body to the Pope, manifesting collegiality and continuity of the spirit of the last council, on a particular topic pertaining to the entire Church. After Vatican Council II, there have been 14 Synods, both Ordinary and Extraordinary, so far. The forthcoming Synod of Bishops in 2018 is the 15th Synod concerning Youth in the Church and how the Church can lead them to find, accept and announce the Good News with joy. The preparatory document (Lineamenta) of this Synod was released by Pope Francis on 13th January 2017 in Rome, along


with a personal letter to the youth and a questionnaire attached at the end.

This Preparatory Document  suggests a reflection in three steps, 1) beginning with summarily outlining some of the social and cultural dynamics of the world in which young people grow and make their decisions and proposing that these be read in the light of faith. The document then 2) retraces the fundamental steps of the process of discernment, which the Church feels is the basic means she can offer young people so they can discover, in the light of faith, their vocation. Finally, the document 3) treats key points in a pastoral vocational programme for youth. The document, therefore, is not exhaustive but serves as a kind of guide to encourage further discussion, whose fruits will be available only at the conclusion of the Synod. Just as the two previous apostolic 9

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exhortations of the Pope (Evangelii Gaudium & Amoris Laetitia), the forthcoming Synod will also discuss how one can lead young people to find this fullness of joy and life, and share it with others.

In preparation for this Synod, the Holy Father wants the Church to listen to young people’s voices, their sensitivities, and their faith; even their doubts and their criticism. He tells them, “make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls.” By listening to young people, the Church and the leaders and elders would be able to hear the Lord speaking through them in today’s world. As in the days of Samuel (cf. 1 Sam 3:1-21) and Jeremiah (cf. Jer 1:4-10), led by the Spirit young people know how to discern the signs of our times. The range of youth is indicated precisely in the document as that of between 16 and 29. The new way of denoting the young people of this generation by the Pope is as “New Generations.” Moreover, he attempts to demarcate the world of youth in this third millennium by three new terms, namely, ‘the globalized homogeneous generation,’ ‘the second generation’ and ‘the digital generation.’ The young people themselves

POPE FRANCIS want to hear from


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want to be involved in everything and long for an identity in their lives. In this endeavor, they need to make life-choices. For this, the Holy Father wants the young people to “take a risk. Whoever does not risk does not walk.” It is better to make mistakes in risks and choices. Otherwise, he points out to them that “You will make more mistakes if you remain still.”

The central aspect of this preparatory document highlights the role of discernment in the choice of vocation by young people. By a life of faith, the young are led to see as Jesus sees. The purpose of vocational discernment is to find out how to transform the difficult choices, in the light of faith, into steps towards the fullness of joy to which everyone is called. Discernment is a process of making fundamental life choices; a clarity for vision and decision. To assist in mapping out a suitable itinerary for youth, three terms from Evangelii Gaudium #51 are used by the Pope carefully and with a good clarification. They are: “to recognize” (what happens in our inner world of emotions), “to interpret” (what is recognized in our feelings with the help of the Spirit) and “to choose” (as the exercise of authentic human freedom & personal responsibility).

The best attitude and approach as pastors of the young is to keep in mind the necessary pastoral approach: Accompaniment. In personal accompaniment of the young people, one needs to have the personal experience of interpreting the movements of the heart to recognize the action of the Spirit. This is to accompany the young as personally as Jesus did. It can be by a loving look in the call of the disciples (Jn. 1, 35-51),


with an authoritative word by his teachings at Capernaum (Lk. 4, 32), an ability to “become the neighbor” in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10, 25-37), a choice to “walk beside” with the disciples on the way to Emmaus (Lk. 24, 13-35), and an authentic witness, fearlessly going against preconceived ideas by the washing of the feet (Jn. 13, 1-20). In this pastoral style of the accompaniment of the young, three words are taken from the Gospel, the way Jesus encountered the people: “going out,” “seeing” and “calling” them to be his true witnesses. After that with a heart of a good shepherd, the Pope Francis in the final chapter indicates the pastors who are responsible for Youth. They are: 1) all young people themselves to one another, 2) responsible communities (such as Parishes, Religious Communities and Associations) and 3) the credible adults (such as Parents, Clergy & Religious and Teachers). The most possible and viable loci for Youth Ministry are World Youth Day (WYD), Parishes, Youth Centres, Oratories, Schools, Colleges, Associations, Pilgrimages, Popular Piety, Seminaries, Religious Communities and Digital World (the new Areopagus). The pastoral actions with the youth should use the following possible languages of the youth such as Bible, Liturgy, Art, Catechesis, Media, Sports and Music. The tools of these dynamic languages for discernment are: Education, Prayer, Silence and Contemplation.

In Conclusion, first of all, the core of the preparatory document and the Synod is the aspirations of the young people in the world and in particular, in the Church. The Catholic Church is making an all-out effort to listen to the voices of the young people, with ears and heart. The needs of the young all over the world are diverse and need to be addressed within in the context of the faith and culture. For this, the young people should be helped


to participate in answering the questions personally either online or in written form.

Secondly, the process of discernment is making fundamental choices for life in the world. It is a ‘vocational discernment’ and not a moral or spiritual discernment. The young people have to be led to gradually to decide for themselves rather than fixing for them the choice of walk of life. For this, the young people must be led to discuss among themselves and be guided by experts and sincere believers in the Lord to realize the opportunities available and the means to make proper choices for their good lives. Thirdly, the pastoral ministry of accompaniment is based on Jesus’ model. This is walking with the young in love. This involves meaningful ‘presence’ as recommended by Don Bosco himself. A presence that is caring, nurturing, affirmative, lively, creative and joyful. In the mind of Don Bosco, presence has to be ‘preventive’ and that of ‘assistance.’ “Try to make yourself loved rather than feared,” Don Bosco used to say to his Salesians. The presence of the pastors and leaders should be on the basis of reason and the young people must be able to see and experience its reasonableness. For this, the parents, the elders, the leaders should be prepared with pastoral orientation programme and animation. With these preparations and participation in the forthcoming Synod of 2018, both by the pastors and the young people, the Church will be rejuvenated as a Youth-Full Church of young and youthful hearts! 11

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Farmers resist Indian state’s move to take over their lands

Nuns march through Seoul against Human Trafficking Talitha Kum is an international network of Religious women fighting against human trafficking. Religious women in Korea are campaigning against human trafficking and marched through central Seoul to raise awareness about the issue among the public. The committee is focusing on eight forms of human trafficking including migrants being used as forced labor, forced international marriage, foreign prostitutes working in clubs or massage parlors, illegal organ extraction and the trafficking of North Korean women in China, As part of that, some 50 nuns of the committee marched through downtown Seoul distributing leaflets showing the seriousness human trafficking situation in Korea. They also held pickets with messages such as ‘No human trafficking,’ ‘People cannot be sold’ and ‘Human trafficking is modern slavery.’ Currently, some 600 Religious and lay people in 70 countries have joined the network.

Government seals off Catholic mission in central India

Government officials in a remote area of central Indian Madhya Pradesh state have impounded the property of a Catholic mission and forced its priest out of the premises, allegedly under pressure from right-wing Hindu activists.The 20-year-old mission in Mohanpur village of Guna district was “sealed” over a land title dispute and Father Siljo Kidangan forced out on Sept. 12, local Bishop Anthony Chirayath told The mission aims to help poor villagers by coordinating several welfare projects.Church leaders complain that some fanatical groups see scaring tribal people away from Christianity as a way of furthering their agenda to enshrine Hindu dominance. The Salesian Bulletin


Unrest continues in India’s eastern Jharkhand state over a law that farmers say would help government acquire their lands without consent. The state government denied permission for a Sept. 16 protest in the state capital Ranchi, which organizers say would have attracted hundreds of thousands of people.However, farmers are vowing to continue protests at district and village levels.

Infant deaths in India expose state failure The deaths of hundreds of babies and infants in Indian hospitals — linked in large part to contagious diseases such as encephalitis and a lack of medical oxygen — shows the health system is failing the poor. In one hospital alone, Baba Raghav Das in Utter Pradesh, 110 infants are reported to have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome in the first eight days of September. Since July, more than 600, most of them infants, died in government hospitals in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Media reports indicate that many of the deaths were attributable to a shortage of medical oxygen, ventilators and incubators. In some cases, supplies of oxygen cylinders and other essential items had been cut off due to unpaid bills, said Mathew Perumpil, secretary of the office of health of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. OCTOBER 2017



Spotlight on first American-born martyr in Church’s history ahead of his beatification Father Stanley Rother, the first American-born martyr in the history of the Church is being beatified in Oklahoma City on September 23rd. The U.S. priest was gunned down in Guatamala in 1981 shortly after taking the heroic decision to return to his mission parish in the Central American nation despite knowing his name was on a death list there. Speaking about this holy man, Bishop Conley said that “To trust God can be risky and even dangerous at times,”. “It requires courage. To be courageous requires that we know the Lord. To know him requires that we pray. Not all of us are called to martyrdom, as Father Stanley Rother was. But each one of us is called to trust the Lord, and to know him, love him, and serve him bravely.”

Pope Francis sends money for Mexico earthquake relief.

Mexico: Pope Francis has given money to the earthquake relief effort in Mexico to help survivors and victims’ families in the worst hit areas of the country. The Vatican said on Thursday that an initial contribution of 150.000 dollars would be sent through the Dicastery for Integral Human Development. The money will be divided between emergency relief efforts in the dioceses worst hit by the earthquake. The 7.1 quake on Tuesday caused at least 250 deaths and widespread damage in the capital and surrounding areas. The donation, which is intended to show the pope’s solidarity and spiritual closeness to those affected by the disaster, is a small part of the financial support being sent to Mexico through many bishops conferences and Caritas organisations.


Film starring Pope Francis to get first showing at Vatican The Pope stars as himself in Beyond the Sun, a film about children searching for God. Pope Francis will make his screen debut on Wednesday at the first official showing of a film in which the Pontiff plays himself. All proceeds from the movie will go to charities helping disadvantaged children in Argentina, the Pope’s country of birth.The film gets its first official showing at the Vatican on Wednesday night, before its official release at Christmas.

Nuclear arms give a false sense of security: Archbishop Gallagher Statement at the UN

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and Head of Delegation to the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, gave a statement during the Tenth Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.In his intervention, Archbishop Gallagher said that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a cornerstone of the necessary juridical structures to control the threat of nuclear weapons and lead to their abolition. The Holy See ratified the CTBT as an expression of its conviction of the importance of a nuclear test ban and nuclear nonproliferation and as a critical complement to broad nuclear disarmament efforts. 13

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BRCK: The Internet Superman

The ultimate solution for free internet


orn in Africa, this internet technology is the nemesis of all developing world Internet connections when more and more of our work and web life are being hosted on the cloud. This Kenyan start up company provides what we need most - steady streams of uplink and downlink which most of our ISPs (Internet Service Providers) keep failing us on a regular basis. Brining Internet connectivity to the next 5 billion people is a noble idea, (which many organisations are working on, ex. Google’s ProjectLink Uganda, Loon (drone+balloon), Facebook,  Microsoft is experimenting with the TV White Spaces spectrum, even South African based). But keeping those who are online The Salesian Bulletin


consistently connected without interruption is as much a noble mission. With a single button to turn it on and off, the BRCK tagline says :“If it works in Africa, it will work anywhere.” If we have to personify BRCK, it can probably be considered Superman, who can make that happen. BRCK is a hardware and cloud services technology platform that delivers rugged and reliable connectivity solutions in the most demanding environments. For some people BRCK is a router, for others it is modem, for some, just a smart battery. But it is all of that, designed to handle the heat and dust of the developing world. Weighing about 500 grams, the device is 132 mm by 72 mm by 45 mm, similar to the size of a Mac Mini. OCTOBER 2017

“As the next 4.5 billion people (65% of the world) start coming online, the need for rugged, reliable, and simple connectivity becomes critical in places with poor infrastructure and limited resources,” exclaims the BRCK team. The features of BRCK is travel friendly and syncs with any country SIM card. At a time it supports up to 20 wireless connections and has up to 16 gigabytes of storage space so it can work as a back-up server or it can be synced to Dropbox and other connected devices and cloud applications. Network switching: BRCK comes with built in fail-over in order to switch between wired and wireless internet service providers as per the need. This is how it works: take your 3G enabled phone network connectivity. In some areas the phone picks up the 3G signal, and in places where 3G is not available, it picks the 2G network. The device switches networktypes intelligently, and you don’t have to do a thing. The BRCK also does the same network switching but at a higher level. When one connection goes out, it seamlessly switches between broadband, ethernet cable, Wifi, CDMA and 3G or 4G mobile phone networks. You don’t have to do anything special, just continue your work uninterrupted, as the little smart back box hop between the strongest and best network around you.

can be charged via a car battery or plugged to a solar charger. You can even charge other things off it, like cellphones and tablets. It is designed to withstand power fluctuation and brownouts. GPIO slot is made to act as a hub for ‘Internet of Things’ sensors. BRCK comes with programmable GPIO expansion to help you access the Internet of Things. With the port you can connect your BRCK to almost any sensor or computer device. BRCK Cloud is a platform that you can access from anywhere to check how network connections and electricity are performing on your BRCK. The cloud also contains information about every mobile phone networks in each country. You can also manage alerts and applications remotely from your PC or phone, as well as gather data reported from GPIO attached sensors.

Just like they did with location-based crowdsouricng software in 2007, this team is pioneering the consumer web hardware in Africa. In 2013, BRCK spun out as an independent company though the IP is held by Ushahidi. They’ve structured it in a way that if BRCK does well, so does Ushahidi. Power Backup: As our online life become Some of the readers might recall that the Ushahidi heavily dependent on services that are hosted on crisis-tracker-map was used in India during that the cloud, access to seamless connection is a must fateful day in Mumbai (26/11). The map has been have. But reliable internet is directly related to deployed during blizzards in Washington DC, hurhaving reliable power source. Consistent power ricanes in the US, earthquakes in Japan and Haibecomes a distant dream in some places as power ti. Usahidi team understands developing world goes out without notice. That is why BRCK come like it’s nobody’s business and they say “BRCK is with about 8 hours of power back up.  It is a device our answer to a fundamental problem that arises that is created to work in areas where there during these situations and during the daily life of might be network connectivity, but no power.  much of the world: the need for reliable connecThe icing on the Power Backup cake is, BRCK tions in unpredictable environments.”



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mong Salesians in India, we often hear the passionate cry that we must work for “real” youth. I have always been intrigued by this, and so I ask myself: What do we mean when we talk about “real” youth? I guess the obvious meaning is that that we must work not for kids but for older young people. Hopefully this kind of term does not translate operatively and unconsciously into “college-going, city-based youth” – with a subtle exclusion of “street kids,” young people in the villages, and so on. But that is neither here nor there, and I thought, what could be better than going back to our fundamental documents, the Constitutions and the Frame of Reference of Salesian Youth Ministry.

Interestingly, I found that “boys” (and “girls”) are not, first of all, excluded. The Regulations explicitly state that our educative and pastoral service is directed “primarily to boys and young The Salesian Bulletin


men” (R 3). They define the Oratory “as an educational environment… open to all boys and young men,” (R 11) and the Youth Centre as an environment “intended for older boys with their different requirements.” (R 12)

The Constitutions, however, tend to favour the expression “young people” rather than “boys.” Thus C 26, entitled “The young to whom we are sent,” begins by stating that the Lord made it clear to Don Bosco that he was to direct his mission “first and foremost to the young, especially to those who are poorer.” Our mission to these young people is so important precisely because “young people are at an age when they must make basic life-choices which affect the future of society and of the Church.” So “young” here is clearly understood as the age when young people are faced with life-choices. This is supported and strengthened by the next two articles. C 27 talks about our special concern OCTOBER 2017

for “young people from poor areas who are looking for work, and young workers in general.” C 28 talks about “young people called to serve the Church” – young people who are discerning their vocation within the Church, whether “lay, consecrated or priestly.”

The Frame of Reference makes some precious clarifications. It begins by stating that “youth” is not to be taken in a psychological or sociological sense – for us, it is not merely a particular stage through which one passes. Like any other stage, youth cannot be understood apart from the stages that precede and follow it. While keeping this in mind, the educator-pastor need to focus on what is unique to the stage of youth, on the particular growth task that must be experienced and processed in order to pass on to the next stage without missing something important. And this growth task is precisely that of finding one’s place in life, one’s vocation. “Youth and the stage of adolescence that precedes it are the most precious part of humanity because they are the stage in life when people discover themselves, and recognise the emergence of freedom as a task.” (FoR 40)

simply through living on-campus contact with them, as some daring young Salesians are already doing in some parts of the world. I think this is a move in the direction of non-institutional ministries. The person of the Salesian remains the most important educational and pastoral resource even in our institutions, but becomes even more important in non-institutional ministries – and implicit here the need for even greater attention to the formation of the Salesian and of our collaborators, where formation is understood as an ongoing and lifelong affair underpinned by the personal responsibility of each one. Someone recently asked me: is not the congregation regressing by giving so much attention to “internal” issues such as identity? And my only answer is a resounding No. I am convinced that mission is a question not of expansion but of revelation. We are called to be signs and bearers of God’s love to the young and to those to whom we are sent, and so our witness as persons and as communities cannot be downplayed.

“Youth and the stage of adolescence that precedes it are the most precious part of humanity because they are the stage in life when people discover themselves, and recognise the emergence of freedom as a task.” (FoR 40)

The point is clear: while boys are not excluded, our mission cannot by any means stop with them. Vocational guidance is the crowning point of our youth ministry (C 37), and this means that we have to find ways of accompanying young people precisely at the age when they are making their basic life-choices. This does not necessarily translate into opening more and more colleges and university level institutions, however. As the Frame of Reference points out, there are many other ways of working for university level youth, such as through hostels (“university residences” – see no. 2.3.3), but also


The forthcoming synod on “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment” is for us a reminder that our mission involves accompanying young people in their life-choices. Such accompaniment calls for preparation: we need to be “believers who are authoritative, people with a clear human identity, a solid sense of belonging to the Church, a visible spiritual character, a strong passion for education and a great capacity for discernment.” We need to be accompaniers who are accompanied, spiritual directors who have our own experience of being guided. “In accompanying another person, the study of the teachings on discernment is not enough; one needs the hard, personal experience of interpreting the movements of the heart to recognize the action of the Spirit, whose voice can speak to the uniqueness of each individual.” 17

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Conference on ‘’Lay Minisitries in North East India’’ held at DBI, Guwahati

Father Tom’s release: Thanksgiving Mass The Bangalore Archdiocese, the Salesians of Bangalore Province and the Catholic Religious of India Bangalore Unit came together at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral at 5 pm on Thursday to thank the Lord for the release of Fr. Tom Uzhunalil SDB, abducted in Yemen 18 months ago.The Holy Eucharist was presided over by Dr. Bernard Moras, the Archbishop of Bangalore with most of the other Bishops of the different dioceses of Karnataka and hundreds of priests concelebrating. Over five thousand devotees including sisters and seminarians participated in the Holy Eucharist and the ensuing thanksgiving adoration. The Archbishop in the homily recalled that Father Tom had worked for some time each in different dioceses in Karnataka such as Bhadavathi, Chikmangalore and Bangalore Archdiocese. He appreciated all those who were instrumental in the release efforts of Father Tom, both religious and ecclesiastical.

Standstill Utopias - Making Religion Work for the Marginalized Hyderabad: On Aug. 30th 2017, Dr.Jose Maliekal’s doctoral thesis, Standstill Utopia - Dalits Encountering Christianity , now a book published by Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (ISPCK) was released in the presence of community leaders, academics, government officials, church ministers and activists at Ekalavya Training Centre, People’s Action For Rural Awakening, Ravulapalem. The Salesian Bulletin


Guwahati: On September 10th 2017,the North Eastern Regional Pastoral Conference, a gathering of the Catholic Church leadership was inaugurated by His Excellency Giambattista Di Quattro, Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal at Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati, on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra. The conference is attended by a total of 200 leaders from across various rank and file of the Catholic Church in North East. The theme of the conference is, ‘’Lay Ministries In North East India’’.

Engineer’s day Celebration The Engineering Community across India celebrates Engineers Day on September 15 every year as a tribute to the greatest Indian Engineer Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, popularly known as Sir MV. Sir M. Visvesvaraya is known for successfully designing and constructing several river dams, bridges and revolutionizing the irrigation system in India by implementing irrigation and drinking water system. On this special day the Civil Engineering Department of Don Bosco College of Engineering, Fatorda celebrated Engineer’s Day by inviting Joaquim Primo Souza, a retired Chief Engineer - PWD who was the Chief Guest for the function. He spoke about how technology has changed over time and how engineers have to keep up to this fast moving technology. He also shared his experiences gained over time while handling various complex projects in and around Goa. On this day 14 distinction holder students of Civil Engineering were felicitated by the Chief Guest.

Winners of the various competitions held on CESA Installation day, were given prizes. AutoCAD Certificates were also distributed to students who had successfully completed the course. OCTOBER 2017



RMG - Beatification of Titus Zeman: Rector Major’s Letter

South Korea – Vocations journey also in military service (ANS - Uijongbu) - Due to the historical and social situation of South Korea, Salesian candidates are supposed to complete their compulsory military service before their novitiate. In the past, there was a 36-month-long military service duty; now, fortunately, they are only called to serve 21 months. Salesian candidates are enrolled for the military service only after two years as aspirants. At present, there are 10 aspirants in military service, with one on standby. Last week, September 12-15, the Military Diocese of Korea in the Uijong Bu ‘One Heart Training Center’ organized a nationwide retreat for all Catholic seminary students carrying out their military service. The Salesian aspirants finally had a chance to meet their friends and experience, once again, a typical Salesian family environment.

Puerto Rico - Hurricane Maria damages thousands of homes and the Salesians prepare to help

(ANS - San Juan) - Hurricane Maria has caused heavy damage and at least 14 deaths in Puerto Rico. Dr Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of the country’s capital, San Juan, which has about 390,000 inhabitants, explained that at the moment “it is very difficult to calculate the damage and the number of houses destroyed.” The Mayor of Fajardo City, Dr Aníbal Meléndez, said, “I have never seen my city so devastated.” After striking Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria has decreased in intensity and is now headed towards the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. Both in Puerto Rico and in the Dominican Republic, the Salesians have a number of educational works, parishes, oratories and youth centers, and they are preparing to organize relief aid for people left homeless, without water, without food.


(ANS - Rome) - On the occasion of the imminent beatification of Venerable Fr Titus Zeman, SDB, taking place on September 30 in Bratislava (Slovakia), the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has sent a letter to Salesians across the globe and to members of the Salesian Family. In it, Fr Á.F. Artime emphasizes that it is significant that the martyrdom of Fr Zeman is acknowledged as fruit of the sanctity of the Salesian family, in the light of the Bicentenary of Don Bosco’s birth, 2015, and following the beatification of the Blessed Stephen Sandor, the Hungarian Salesian Coadjutor, in 2013.

Spain - “Ven y veras”: Mary Help of Christians Salesian Province looks to vocation as service

(ANS - Seville) - The motto “Ven y veras” (Come and See) will be the guiding theme of the pro-vocations campaign presented by the Province of Spain-Mary Help of Christians. Over the next 12 months, lay vocation, vocation to marriage and family, vocation to ministerial service, or consecrated life will all be presented. The project’s main aim is to promote vocational animation among the young of the Salesian centers, accompanying them to the discovery of God’s call in their lives as a way of serving others, both in society and in the Church. The “Ven y verás” project began on 31 May, 2017, and will end in 2018, and shall be proposed to the young of every Salesian centre. The campaign is represented by concentric circles that represent life as a vocation, life as a service and life as a gift to God in consecrated life. Young people are therefore invited to question themselves on the example of the first disciples, and in their personal answer or response to God, find their happiness. 19

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Water: not an ‘add to cart’ commodity, but an inherent entitlement Don’t water it down, it’s a human right: It upsets us to hear about the death of 70 children at Gorakhpur hospital due to administrative negligence. Now, how should we take the Health Ministry Report that states 13 children die every hour due to diarrheal diseases for using dirty water? Are these children ‘lesser humans’ destined to die? Only 18 percent of the rural population have access to treated water, in comparison to 41 percent of rural folks have access to mobile phones. It costs the Indian Government Rs. 61,600 crores to supply water to 90% rural households as against Rs. 1,10,000 for the bullet train between Ahmedabad to Mumbai. Not that we are against ‘bullet train’ sort of developments, we are ‘India’ and we have our essentials to mend. Who designed this accessibility and who prioritized this spending? It is a system’s inability to provide safe water to its poorest citizens. It is a social exclusion and a denial of the fundamental

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right, despite United Nations declaration that human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity and prerequisite for the realization of other human rights. The trend to market water and define it as a commodity is an antithesis to this basic human right.The capitalist societies constantly promote ‘sale and purchase of safe water.’ We get trapped. Water is basic for the survival of all life. It should be free.

On Spending Water: at what cost and whose cost? Always remember when we buy water, it implies that it is over-pumped and supplied to fulfill our demand, meaning we are depriving a village or a tribe or a taluk or a district of their right to water. It is estimated that it takes three litres to produce bottled water. India stands among the top 10 bottled water consumers in the world. The bottling plants are concentrated in South India numbering above 1200, of which half are in Tamil Nadu, the state which had 81% shortage of water in its reservoirs in 2016-17. The water footprint (total volume of freshwater used to produce) of a soft drink cost 55 litres of water. When a product is value-added, wrapped, bottled, canned, it means it has consumed gallons of fresh water. We will survive not more than three days if we don’t reach a glass of water. It is 15 days for camel and longest for kangaroo rat, 3-5 years. OCTOBER 2017

Water is central to maintaining life in the planet. It is so essential and so it is free.

Every spending, every purchase has something to do with water, directly or indirectly affects the poorest of the poor.

Care for Water

Greater responsibility rests on us humans, as Pope Francis speaks, “We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (Gen: 2:7), our bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.�We need to get re-rooted to our original purpose of existence and co-existence. Consciousness need to grow on spending water and spending on water Let us stand firm against every idea, policy, scheme, business, corporate initiative, religious practice that undermine the sustainable use of OCTOBER 2017

water. Stand with genuine voices that fight to protect water, especially indigenous people and their movements. Let us pressurize our panchayats, municipalities, corporations, to efficiently work on the management and preservation of water bodies and ensure a transparent and non-discriminative distribution of water.

Let us water-audit our own houses, apartments, housing colonies, institutions, business complexes. Stop every leakage and every exploitative use of fresh water.

Let us personally re-check every behavior in relation to water. Determine never to throw even a glass of water. In fact, to take it back from the ground, we need to borewell 1000 feet sometimes. Design lifestyle in favour of water and for the people who need them most. 21

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as you never heard before...



God’s Curriculum Vitae!


he Sermon on the Mount is not a sermon. It is the revelation of the inner nature of God himself. God never preaches, or if you wish, he preaches what he IS. He reveals himself! From what he preaches we know what he practices. Every statement in the discourse on the mountain reveals to us an attribute of God – a kind of bio-data or curriculum vitae! And so, we can know a hell of a lot of things about God from the three chapters of Mathew, 5-7. Let us give some examples. It will

be a great surprise. This curriculum vitae may not resemble that of the God of Aristotle and Plato and all the philosophers of the world, both theist and atheist.

The Sermon

The Revelation

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Blessed are the meek

Blessed are those who mourn Blessed are the merciful Blessed are the pure of heart The Salesian Bulletin


It is the curriculum vitae of Jesus too. We know nothing of God. But we know Jesus. What we know of Jesus is what we know of God, nothing more or nothing less. That is why we take the preaching of Jesus seriously to access the riches of the depths of God.

God is simplest of persons, totally uncomplicated in spirit and intentions

God, believe it or not, is meek and humble, precisely because all earth and universe is his. Humility and meekness are virtues of the strong, not of weaklings. They are sure of themselves and hence do not need to be ostensive or showy

Mourning is the quality of those who are steadfast in adversity. God endures everything and does not change his feelings, just because of opposition or trouble. God is mercy personified; Mercy is another name for God. Jesus was mercy personified. God is the purest person, in every sense, with no mixture of any kind. In him there is integrity and no adulteration. In Jesus Christ it was Yes, not yes and no!


Blessed are the peacemakers

Blessed are the persecuted

You are blessed when you are insulted and derided You are salt and light

Let your light shine

Do not insult your brother Love your enemies

Do not commit adultery

Do not resist the evil one


God is peace, and he is an eternal peace maker; Shalom is his permanent gift. Jesus promised peace, not what this world calls peace, but real peace that comes from the fullness of God’s blessings!

God is the most persecuted of all – one look at the world’s history and the present times proves it. Jesus said this to Paul! This does not mean that we would succeed in destroying him, of course. Who is more insulted than God in this world? Any Tom, Dick and Harry takes it upon himself to insult God today! But he is above that. If the dog barks at the moon, it does not affect the moon!

Clearly God is the essence of everything that gives meaning to the world. Without him nothing makes sense. Jesus is the full affirmation of the dignity of everything that is human and created!

God’s light is the clearest for anyone with eyes to see. He is seen everywhere and in everything. God is the most visible being in all universe. In the same way, the teaching of Jesus are the most selfevident truths, for those who care to see it. God insults no one, even the most offensive one. God does not have to love his enemies, because he has no enemies. Others may consider God their enemy, but God does not consider anyone his enemy. It is not worthy of him. There are no equals who can seriously oppose him!

There is love so pure as God’s. He does not seek his own pleasure; He IS pure joy. He does not have to seek it. This is very special of God. Does he resist you when you deny him, or sin against him? He lets you do that! God does not resist the evil persons; he only appeals to their goodness. The evil persons are not punished by God, but they punish themselves. 23

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Be perfect

Do not make a show of your virtue

Pardon those who offend you Do not accumulate treasures on this earth Do not worry about yourself No one can serve two masters Do not judge Ask, you will receive From the fruits, you shall judge the tree Not words, but deeds matter Build your house on the rock

Yes, just like the Father is perfect. But his perfection is of his mercy, which makes his sun rise on the good and the bad, on the righteous and the evil doers, without discrimination

God never boasts and seeks self-glory. He does not need it. He is the most discrete benefactor. Most people do not even know that he is giving them all they have. God does not even seem to get offended. He is only sorry that we, his children, are hurting ourselves and each other.

Of course, all our treasures are trash in comparison with God has in store for us. The mighty universe is but a small gift from him to us!

God does not worry. He is in control. And he is the source of all our security. If God cares for the birds and the flowers, what about us? God is single minded in his devotion to his people. He has no other goal. His interests are not divided between two goals!

God’s judgement is the same as his mercy. His love is the criterion of his judgement. And love does not judge. It only helps, corrects and elevates. We always get the best, even when we ask for the wrong things. Even if we ask for snakes he gives us only bread! God’s works, and the works of Jesus, are the clearest proofs of what they are! God hardly speaks. He works all the time

God’s love is the unfailing and steadfast rock on which everything in the universe is built. There is no destruction in his house!

So, we see that he IS, and practices what he preaches! The sermon on the mount, let us repeat, is no sermon, but revelation of the true inner nature of God, as revealed in Jesus Christ, his Son! The Salesian Bulletin





“Trafficking In Women and Children”: The Fastest Growing Criminal Enterprise in the World “Trafficking in women and children” is a convoluted process, involving complex connections between victims, individual and group traffickers, international criminal networks, state and local criminal centres. Trafficking in women and children has become increasingly attractive to criminal networks. It is one of the swiftest rising well-structured criminal enterprises in the world that has become a primary source of revenue for organized crime cycles. At global level after drugs and weapons, trafficking has become the third biggest criminal business. Trafficking is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons has publicized that women and girls together account for 70% of identified global trafficking victims. This discrepancy between women and men victims of trafficking is due in large part to the fact that over 53% of discovered trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation, while 40% are trafficked for forced labour and 7% for other purposes such as organ trafficking. According to the UNODC, of the persons trafficked for sexual exploitation, 97% are women and girls, while over one-third of persons trafficked for labour are women. Trafficking – whether within a country or across national borders – violates fundamental human


rights, including the rights to life, equality, dignity, bodily integrity, health, security, and freedom from violence and torture. The trafficked persons suffer from serious physical and mental health problems. Trafficked victims also contract life-threatening diseases, such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis. They succumb to psychological distress and depression, social alienation, and familial abandonment.

Trafficking as organized crime in women persists, in part, because of many national and state governments neither control nor prevent the problem. Government officials’ inaction and lack of attention to the matter make it not only possible for trafficking to exist, but their corrupt practices also perpetrate in the trafficking process. A comprehensive strategy for combating trafficking must always consider the safety of the victims. Fighting this highly organized crime of trafficking of women and children requires honest investigation, monitoring and prosecution procedures as well as constant cooperation with prosecutors in other countries. The trafficking criminal cycle cannot be broken without attention to the rights and needs of those who have been trafficked. Proper protection and support should be offered to all trafficked persons without discrimination. The victims should not only be ensured that they are treated with dignity and respect as such, by providing safe houses, counselling, health care, access to legal assistance in criminal proceedings, and protection from harm by traffickers but break the trafficking criminal cycle and eliminate the destructive enterprise from the society. 25

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Birds of a feather PLOT together Consider the last time you felt aggrieved by someone in the family. What did you do? Did you run to your mother, a friend, or to your child or a coworker you trust? If so, what was the result of this conversation? Did they talk against the person who wronged you? Perhaps, and you felt there was someone to lean on. What looks like an ordinary scene of misunderstanding in the family can be explored deeplyto lay bare the underlying tangles. We know the proverb, ‘Birds of a feather flock together’and they do so with a purpose. The birds tend to fly and hang out together in flocks because there is safety in numbers. Flocking together helps birds to stay safe from predators.

Peter was a lousy kid. Carla regularly had a tough time with Peter’s laziness. That evening, as Matt returned from office and was at the doorhe heard Carla screaming at her son. “You don’t give excuses anymore. Listen to me. Clean up your room or else you are not going for football on Saturday” threatened Carla while Peter, engrossed in the mobile phone, hardly listened to his mother. Matt instinctively jumped to rescue Peter: “Come on dear, Give the boy a break. He’s been school all day.” Peter and Matt quickly exchanged glances. “Oh! There you are hardly coming inside and supporting him. I don’t know what’s going on here. He is getting spoiled because of you. He doesn’t obey me anymore. And this is what I get for all I am doing for him.” Carla was upset with Matt the entire evening and later that night she poured her heart to her teenaged daughter Beryl,about how she is treated by Matt. The Salesian Bulletin


In a family too, it is natural for two members to have an affinity for each other and joined by mutual interests like the birds of a feather. This alliance or partnership influences the structure and functioning of the family as a unit. The alliance between mother and daughter is a most natural one as in the case of Carla and Beryl, her teenaged daughter. On the other hand, there is also an alliance of Dad and son which isthreatening for Carla.This Dad – son partnership is a coalition against the mother. Cross-generational coalitions develop when one or both parents try to enlist the support of the child against the other parent. Even Carla has done the same unknowingly by conscripting her daughter against her husband. This is how the birds of a feather plot together, mostly unintentionally. To a trained eye, a short interaction witnessed between the family members would paradethe interplay of positive alliances and negative coalitions. The alliance and coalition combinations can vary from family to family.For example daughters who align themselves with Dad may get a good go-between for themselves, but the conspiratorial closeness they exhibit with Dad may make the Mom resentful and jealous.A coalition between a parent and one child may pit one sibling against another. A mother and daughter coalition can OCTOBER 2017

present a confrontationaland protective front against the Dad.

An alliance in a family, be it hidden or obvious, is in itself natural and harmless. But they take an ugly turn into threatening coalition when there is a stressor. In a moment of stress due to an issue in the family, the victim seeks refuge and comfort in the third person. It is a good way of letting off steam either by way of support or justification thatthe person was wronged. But on the other hand, the victim creates a coalition with the person unintentionally and this places two people against one, forming an unhealthy triangle. This may seembeneficialtemporarily but actually freezes the conflict and worsens it when the coalition is perceived by the third person.

As hard as it is to believe, some people triangulate unintentionally in the family and do not see clearly what they are doing to those around them due to lack of insight into human behaviour and its effect on others. Even if a person did not intend to create a coalition or feel any negative feelings against the wrongdoer, nevertheless triangulation is harmful to relationships. If this third person in the triangle is a child or adolescent member of the family, he or she is pressured, overtaxed, or manipulated as a result of being brought into the conflict. Many of the child and adolescentbehavioural issues have a correlation to anxiety created by being part of triangulation process. OCTOBER 2017

However, forming a triangle for a healthy purpose cannot be ruled out completely. Bringing a third person, necessarily someone from outside or close to the family boundary, into a twoperson relationship conflict can sometimes prove beneficial for the couple, who may need help to mediate disagreements, gain a fresh perspective, and get support in times of difficulty.

To avoid unintentional Plotting: 1. Have a clear understanding of hidden and visible alliances in your family. 2. Beware of the stressful moments in the family. This is when the alliance is interpreted as a threatening partnership, a coalition. 3. Try to treat all your children equally.

4. Never enlist your children against your spouse. Spousal issues are to be sorted between the spouses only. 5. Spousal issues could be mediated by the third party from outside the family. Make sure this triangle relationship is held for a short term and used only to resolve conflict. 27

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Father Tom Uzhunnalil SDB answers a few questions (ANS – Rome) the morning for the five sisters, I had breakfast. Then I spent some more time in the chapel for personal prayer. Around 8.40 am, I just came out of the sister’s house. I heard a gunshot almost immediately, and one of the attackers held my hand and I declared I am an Indian. He made me sit in a chair, near the security room, near the main gate of the campus of the institution.

How have you spent these 18 months in captivity and how did your captors treat you? It was a long waiting and I did not know what to do except to pray. My hand and legs were tied and my movements were limited for a few days only. I have spent my time praying as much as possible, for as many intentions possible. I used to sleep, pray, think of my technical classes and prepare some lessons and go to sleep each night. Each day used to go like that and I had no communication at all from the outside world, nor did I know where I was put up also. My captors did not ill-treat me or torture me. They gave me food all the three times and they asked me one time details about me, my family, the places visited, the people I know etc. I was their captive and the whole day I used be sitting on the ground on a sponge-like material with my hands and legs tied, and when I am tired, I used to sleep a bit or lay down, and my days went like that.

How did you feel when you came to know about the death of the sisters and the others in the attack in Aden? It was on 4th of March 2016, Friday, after the Eucharistic Adoration and Eucharistic blessing in The Salesian Bulletin


The sisters were already at their place of work with the old people. The main man of the attackers went to the place of work, and brought out two sisters first, and went back again and brought another two sisters near to the main gate. He went and looked out for the fifth sister but could not trace her in the campus. Then he returned to the place near the main gate, where the sisters were held. Then he took two sisters first, moved them to some distance out of my sight and shot them, then he came back and took the other two in my vicinity and shot them. All these took place within the campus. I only prayed to God to forgive the sisters and the persecutors and have mercy on them. I did not cry, nor did I have any fear of death. Then he took me and put me in the boot of the car, which they parked near the campus, and closed the door of the boot of the car. He entered the sister’s chapel, brought the tabernacle with the blessed sacrament in it and threw it in the boot of the car, where I was closed and kept in. They drove away the car with me in it.

I was experiencing a great distress. I prayed to God to be merciful to the sisters and the others who were killed and to forgive the killers. I prayed to the Lord to give the grace and strength to accept his will and remain ever faithful to God, till I am faithful to the mission, he has for me in this life, here on earth. How much did your life of prayer and Salesian Charism help you in this experience as a captive?

The major part of my time be it day or night whenever I was awake was dedicated to prayer. I used to start the day with the angelus, followed by one Our father and Hail mary for each of the sisters OCTOBER 2017

IN GOD’S TIME who died, then go on to pray for my province, congregation, parish, family remembering as many as possible and praying for them. I used to also pray for my captors and ask the Lord to forgive them and pray for their conversion. I had no host or wine, nor any missal or lectionary, but I used to celebrate a spiritual mass everyday. I used to offer it to the Lord, and for the readings each day I used to take some incident of the old testament or the new testament, and for the gospel some miracle, or parable or some episode in the life of Jesus and meditate. I used to also pray for all the deceased salesians, family members, parishioners and all people I knew. I used to keep on praying for as many intentions I could pray for. I also prayed that if it was the Lord’s will that I should be freed, I prayed for my deliverance also. I used to pray the rosary often. Sometimes, I could not pray also, because they used to talk in Arabic and I could not concentrate on anything, in my mind. How were the videos of your appeal for liberation made?

It was well planned by them. They used to tell me in advance that they were making a video to appeal to get some money, I had no other go than to obey them. They used also to shoot as if they were hitting me, and make some noise, but they never harmed me. They were hoping that these clippings would fetch them the ransom quickly. How do you feel after you have been released?

The Lord has done a great miracle for me and given me another life. If he has saved me, it means he has still some plan for me and he wants me to live for Him and be a witness. I want to thank God the Almighty, the Church authorities both in India and Vatican, the Salesian Congregation, the family and to each and every single person who has been praying for my release. Definitely it is because of the prayers, that my life was spared. How do you feel after meeting the Holy Father?

It was a big grace bestowed on me because of my captivity. I wept profusely before him sharing with him my experience. He was so sympathetic, OCTOBER 2017

compassionate and concerned and he kissed my hand twice. I cannot expect anything more than this, I have been given a new life and I requested the Holy Father to thank all the people for the prayers offered for me all over the world. What are your next plans? Are you going to return to India immediately?

Right now, I feel physically weak, but with the medicines and food, I am also beginning to feel better. I need to do a couple of medical tests and I hope I will be able to recover soon. When I was in Aden, I used to weigh 82 kgs and after my release when I checked my weight, I was 55 kgs and now with the food and medicines that I am taking the last two days, I am improving. I am sure I will feel better because God’s grace and the prayers of the people are helping me.

I have no plans except to do God’s will, and that will be expressed to me through the Superiors of the Salesian Congregation. I would love to get back to India and thank all the people and meet all my people, but I shall wait till the doctors certify that I am fit to travel. It may take some more time, and I am ready to wait for some more time. 29

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ICON 11: MARY OF NAZARETH Mary is one person who seems to be very familiar to us; we always see her as a woman of faith and mother of God. But do we perceive her as a girl? By the time we meet her in the Gospels she is already chosen to be the Mother of God and that is why we hardly know her as a girl. Inspired by some apocryphal accounts, especially that of the Gospel of St. James, we come to understand a few extraordinary characters of this girl chosen to be the Mother - that young girl is of course an icon to the young even today. Mary was a late born, only daughter of an elderly couple, Joachim and Anne. According to the vow that they had made,

THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH III. The Sacraments of Communion and Mission (Questions 260-271). Section Two of Part II is a detailed description of the Seven Sacraments of the Church, the third chapter of which deals with the two sacraments, Matrimony and Holy Orders - the Sacraments of Communion and Mission. Having seen the part on Holy Orders, we are left with that of Matrimony. The Holy Matrimony is a sign of God’s overflowing love for humanity. It is in this love that God forms a bond between a man and a woman, a bond that binds until death. Matrimony is not a event that happens by default in everyone’s life. Not everyone marries. Apart from those who choose not to, for the sake of the Reign of God, there are those who are impeded from getting married due to many reasons like, prior bond, lack of understanding of the sacrament and its properties, disparity of cult and so on. It is a deliberate choice made by men and women by (a.) free consent, (b.) positive disposition The Salesian Bulletin


Mary was presented in the Temple when she was 3 and she grew in the very presence of the Lord until 12. When she was twelve, the priests decided to handover her care to one of the devout widowers and among the list was Joseph who was miraculously identified by a dove that flew out of his staff. Though this is not the official teaching of the Church, rather we gather it from an account that has been in circulation from the second century onwards. The point to be noted is that Mary was just fourteen years and a few months when the Word of God came to her and when she bacame the Mother of God she should have been hardly sixteen. A young girl who took up the challenge, knowing the hard consequences that could follow, merely by an apparition that could be contested by anyone, endangering her name and her very life, even to the extent that Joseph himself was unable to understand... it is here she becomes a great model to the young of today, who look for happiness, pleasure, thrill and excitement as absolutes in life. Mary took the Word and the will of God to be the absolutes in her life, when she was just a young girl. Dear young friends,

- Will you be ready to risk your life for God’s will? How do you intend to dedicate your entire being -body, soul and mind- for the greater glory of God?


towards a life-long, exclusive union and (c.) openness to the gift of children. This is why anything that goes against monogamy, indissolubility of marriage or prolife, is against the Church. This Sacrament is celebrated by the man and the woman, mutually conferring the sacrament, witnessed by an Ordained Minister of the Church, in the presence of the faith community. Sacramental Marriage is neither a contract nor a mutual arrangement but a covenant and that explains two most important traits of it: Unity and Indissolubility. The Church is very careful in preparing and promoting its members towards this sacrament because this sacrament creates family - the image of God’s love in human communion and the miniature of the Church. -- Matrimony: Do you understand the sacrality and seriousness of this sacrament? How prepared are you?



KNOW YOUR CHURCH Are you aware of the Four Major Papal Basilicas of the Catholic Church? Having seen about the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in the previous issue, let us get to know ST. PETER’S BASILICA: Though this is neither the most antique of the Basilicas nor the Cathedral of the Pope, St. Peter’s Basilica at Vatican has a very special image attached to itself - as the sign of unity of the Catholic World. There are three important elements that we can remember about this Basilica: First, the Tomb of St. Peter on which it is built. There are historical evidences in the Chronicles of Roman Empire that Constantine ordered the Basilica to be build on the site of the Tomb of St. Peter in the year 324 AD and it was consecrated in the year 329. Second, the Basilica we see today is not the same as the one referred to above, it was built from 1505


(when Pope Julius II ordered it) to 1612 (when it was completed). But it was built on the same site where the old Basilica existed, extending the area longer and wider. Thirdly, in 1940 an archeological excavation has provided ample proofs for the burial ground of Peter right above which stood the altar of the 4th century Basilica and exactly above which stands the present Basilica’s Papal Altar. The Grand structure which can host 20,000 people at a time, stands as a monumental link to the centuries of faith and apostolic tradition of the Catholic Church.

ONE WORLD - ONE HUMANITY (Questions 229-240) -This section discusses issues of the International Community, the foundational values being Solidarity and Mutual Independence. Globalisation is no more an issue to be chosen for or against, it has come to stay but it has brought with it problems like insensitive development, deprivation of fundamental human rights and hidden agendas of dependence and exploitation. Should the Church be concerned about these socio economic issues? There is no question about it, because the Church has ‘the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel... respond to the perennial questions ...about this present life and the life to come and about the relationship of the one to the other’ (Gaudium et Spes, 4).Unity of humankind, acceptance of differences, interconnectedness of


relations and dependencies are the key issues that the Church as a community of faith and hope, should promote. Globalisation should not end up as the power in the hands of the mighty, but should ensure equal and proportionate distribution of the resources in the world. The Church, with its preferential option for the poor, should stand by them and remind every person of one’s rights and duties. Duties are of two types: negative duties refer to those which have to be avoided or prevented, for instance slavery or exploitation; positive duties refer to those which have to be done, for example reaching out to the needy, standing by the exploited and so on. - Have you given a serious thought to the phenomenon of Globalisation around you? How sensitive are you about the weaker and marginalised sections of your society? 31

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TOPSY TURVY BIBLICAL MATHS Biblical maths and economics often sound Like absurd, topsy-turvy arithmetic Often in it less is more, more is less And the weak are strong, and strong weak. The poor widow’s mite dropped in temple hundi Rated higher than rich offerings of the wealthy One who has plenty will receive even more, The pauper will lose even what little he has. Workers for just one hour in the vineyard Receive the same wages as whole day sloggers With a boy’s mere five loaves and two fish Jesus made five thousand eat with relish. With a simple sling and tiny round pebbles Little David felled mighty bloated Goliath Fair Judith playing a high risk game of charm Slew Holofernes, saving the Jews from mortal harm. The best wine ever served at Cana’s weddings Cost the bride groom only water supply charges. In Judas’s estimation his master’s net worth Amounted to no more than thirty silver pieces. As far as the sky is above the earth So are divine calculations from human God gives abundance to meet our every need But insatiable is the appetite of human greed.

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Mobile Race Mary: Your new mobile is very cute. How much does it cost? Tom: Darling, I won in a “Race” Mary: How many people were in the race? Tom: Mobile shop owner, 1 inspector, 3 constables and I Prescription Mr. Bean: Doctor, the medicine you prescribed is not available at any medical store. Doctor: Oh sorry, I forgot to write the medicine, that was my signature.

Smile Please A boy regularly meets a girl in the bus and he smiles at her. (One day) Girl: Every time you smile at me, I feel like inviting you to my place. Boy: Really! Are you single? Girl: No, I am a Dentist!


Drinking Problem Ram: My wife suffers from a drinking problem Sham: Oh is she an alcoholic? Ram: No, I am, but she’s the one who suffers.

Wallet Walk A shocking note left by a wife while going out for shopping Dear Husband, your wallet was getting fat so I am taking it out for a walk

No License Judge: Why did you steal the car? Convict: I had to get to work. Judge: “Why didn’t you take the bus?” Convict: I don’t have a driver’s license for the bus


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Chatur Baniya or Naked Fakir – Maha Atma!!!


ctober 02, 147 years ago a maha atma came into this world, in India, who lived by “We will not strike a blow, but we will receive them.” His ideas, ideals, views, actions, precepts, practices, life and death are/have been the subject of many a discussion, symposium, workshop either praising him beyond the skies or blaming him for India’s present ills. However, as an Indian, one can never deny the existence of a man such as him. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the frail, skinny, dhoti-shawl clad semi-nude universal icon of non-violence, ahimsa, non-cooperation, satyagraha, swacchta, swasthya, swadesi, and suchita lives on in the hearts of millions of true seekers in a land increasingly aping unbridled fascist power shows!

This great soul has frequently been represented in different ways on the cinematic canvas. Characteristically addressed as ‘Bapu’ or ‘Mahatma’ the eminent showreel wizards have perceived and depicted Gandhi ideologically, socially and politically. These dream merchants have consistently interwoven the life and principles of this great soul to represent to the masses a legendary convention-defying incarnation who amazes, inspires and challenges. Of course, many docudramas do portray the man with actual archival footage; there is sufficient cause to believe that the actual availability of many of these shorts or documentaries is dubious. However, popular commercial films do exist, inspired by or just to pay homage, in many Indian The Salesian Bulletin


languages. Globally acclaimed was the Richard Attenborough 1982 magnum opus ‘Gandhi’, based on his memoirs. Monumental in its conception, multinational in its breadth, it opened to rave reviews, although it did intentionally leave out potential controversies and conflict-details. Yet, this commercial cinematic portrayal was hailed as a milestone, applauded and repeatedly viewed across continents, leaving a longlasting imprint on the movie-goer. But prior to this, efforts were indeed made beginning with just five years post-Gandhi’s assassination, in 1953 when Mahatma Gandhi: 20th Century Prophet, an American docu-feature was released. As per varying sources, this was the year that the thought of producing an Indian Gandhi feature was suggested. Even Pandit Nehru, one of Gandhi’s closest associates/ protégés had to ashamedly admit a decade after in the Rajya Sabha, that “The production of a film on the life of Gandhiji was too difficult a proposition for a Government department to take up. The Government was not fit to do this and they had not got competent people to it.” When Nehru was lamenting India’s competency [surprising], Mark Robson produced the 1963 herculean effort ‘Nine Hours to Rama’ based on Stanley Wolpert’s same-titled book; a fictional narrative depicting the inner, personal and familial turmoil of the man who had a love-hate violent interaction/altercation with the Muslims. Nathuram Godse, essayed by Horst Buchholz is portrayed as a romantic criminal vowing OCTOBER 2017

to seek vengeance against Gandhi, played by JS Casshyap, for his pro-Muslim excesses.

1968 witnessed The Gandhi National Memorial Fund joining hands with the Films Division of India to produce a 300-minute lengthy docufeature Mahatma: Life of Gandhi 1869-1948 as a tribute to commemorate the ‘great soul’s birth centenary. Archival footage, newsreel, accumulated compilation and the desire to present Gandhi as the incessant seeker of truth, ensured different duration-many linguistic edits. The Nargis Dutt Awardee for Best Feature Film on National Integration, Paresh Rawal and Annu Kapoor starrer ‘Sardar’ released in 1993, was a determined effort by Ketan Mehta to authentically showcase the documented close association and working relationship between Gandhi and Patel. Although, the central figure is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the film emphasised the potential division of India with multiple discussion scenes, the sincere concern that Sardar had for the safety of Gandhi.

Three years later, in 1996, one of India’s more eminent directors Shyam Benegal tried the exploratory turn based on Fatima Meer’s book ‘The Apprenticeship of a Mahatma’, showcasing the journey of the young barrister Gandhi in South Africa to becoming Mahatma in India. Starring Rajat Kapoor, The Making of the Mahatma and Gandhi Se Mahatma Tak in Hindi, is about the experiences of a young man for over two decades on foreign shores and his transformative progression in his own land. Benegal’s effort is one of those which goes the distance to portray the life of the ‘great soul’ in somewhat exactness.

Jinnah in 1998, Kamal Hassan’s Hey Ram nominated as India’s official entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category in 2000, and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in 2000 pay tribute to the Mahatma in their own ways. This is one singular film which challenges the notion that most ‘bapu’ lovers project of Gandhi as the champion, or even the messiah of the Harijans! It has interesting dialogues that a belligerent Ambedkar mouths: “A Saint! Gandhi is a seasoned politician, my dear, and whenever every else fails, he will resort to intrigue […] Mahatma’s ways are unfathomable to OCTOBER 2017

us, mere mortals, but Mahatma is not an immortal person […] many Mahatmas have come and many Mahatmas have gone, but untouchables have remained as untouchables always.”

Meri Kahani, a Doordarshan episodic madefor-television series tried to put the spotlight back on Gandhi for the millenials, while Veer Savarkar in 2001, The Legend of Bhagat Singh in 2002 and Subash Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero in 2005 also paid homage to the man, the freedom movement and the saint! A psychological take produced and portrayed by Anupam Kher as a mentally unstable dementia-suffering professor affected by a childhood trauma, under delusion that he killed Gandhi in Jhanu Barua’s Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara, also in 2005, also brings up the mahatma !However, the laugh – riot Lage Raho Munnabhai in 2006, a sequel to Munnabhai M.B.B.S focussed on the Gandhian epistemological principles for life and living, turning out to be a huge commercial success. Political persona, social reformer, prominent – nay, most eminent National Leader, man, saint; Gandhi was a multi-faceted person who has been perhaps very often misunderstood, misrepresented and increasingly relegated to being a mere statue to be garlanded on his Birth Anniversary, Death Anniversary with the formal close-the-liquor shops on October 02, even while continuing to stare and smile at us from the monetised, demonetised wads without seeking to understand his “my life is my message!” The cinematic endeavour to package this complex individual who rose above millions of his countrymen to sway the globe that has been at best, a lens-coloured filmatic rehash portrayal, needs to be deconstructed by re-looking at the man, the saint, the leader, the enduring albeit controversial mahatma. Many an actor who desired to get under the maha atma’s skin – Ben Kingsley, Mohan Gokhale, Naseeruddin Shah, Annu Kapoor, Sam Dastur, Surendra Rajan, Darshan Jariwala, Dilip Prabhavalkar – have swum with their staggering experiments in essaying the great soul’s ‘My Experiment with Truth.’ Yet, the legacy will continue, only if we as Indians own up the maha atma and Be the Change!!! 35

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Date of publication: 1st week of every month. Regd. No. TN/CCN//609/2017-2019 & WPP No. TN/PMG (CCR) WPP-339/2017-2019. Registrar of Newspaper for India NO. 1459/1957 Posted at Egmore R.M.S - Pathirikai Channel. 06. 10. 2017

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