April - 2017 | Volume - 59 | Issue - 04 | â‚¹ 15
EASTER : A REALITY BEYOND HISTORY AND MYSTERY
The Salesian Bulletin
CONTENTS APRIL 2017
- a family magazine
Editor A. Raj Mariasusai sdb News Editor [Salesian & Church News] A.J. Frank sdb
David Mariaselvam sdb Designers
A. Paul Victor S. Veera
30 Years on Priest Still Believes in Cinema By C.M. Paul
Circulation: Gnana Amala Infenta J. Office Assistant: I. Vinoth Kumar Editorial Board Godfrey Dâ€™Souza- Chairman, BOSCOM Joe Andrew sdb / Joe Mannath sdb Agilan sdb / Joaquim Fernandes 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
10 The window of the Small Rooms
By Abraham Kadaplackal SDB
24 Sanctity Is About Living Life As A Miracle By Joe Andrew SDB
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 - Salesian Bulletin A/c No : 0138053000021812 IFSC : SIBL0000138 Branch : 0138 Kellys Branch, Chennai
12 A Creative Misfit
By Maria Arokiam Kanaga SDB
Office : firstname.lastname@example.org Editor : email@example.com
Easter : A reality beyond History and Mystery
thesalesianbulletin Fallow & 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 juridiction of Chennai Courts only. APRIL 2017
By Tamizharasi Kanickaraj FMA
14 Church News
Published by M. Arockia Raj on behalf of Salesian Publishing Society, Bosco illam 2nd Floor, 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 Editorial We have been discussing a series of factors that distract us from living a spiritual life in today’s context. One aspect that we rarely confront is the anonymous note. Anonymous letters have been tools of spreading malicious rumours, calling names and character assassination. They seem to be more prevalent among religious and priests than lay people. Priests, Religious and particularly leaders among them receive anonymous notes mysteriously appearing in their inboxes or postboxes. I am sure that all of us have gone through this experience of receiving, reading and sharing them. I always wondered whether one should read anonymous letters at all. Anonymous letters originate from people who are spiritually disturbed. Psychologists are of the opinion that these writers are “mostly mild or pronounced paranoiacs suffering from a condition that is not easy to detect.” It is in fact, a state of mind that has a distorted concept of reality. It is impossible to treat unless they emerge out of their anonymity. It is both inhuman and irreligious. Larry Osborne, a resource person for passionate leadership, spiritual formation and discipleship, in his book Sticky Teams reasons out why one shouldn’t read anonymous notes. Reflecting in his line of thinking, here are arguments why we should ignore anonymous notes. Who writes a letter does matter: Who has written the anonymous note? Is he/she at a leadership position or just entered the order? How is he/she involved in the issue? Is he/she a Christian,a Religious or a hostile outsider? The writer does matter. In an anonymous note, we don’t know the person. We need to dialogue difficult issues:We deal with complex issues. They need dialogue. If someone brings up an issue for discussion, we need to give genuine, helpful feedback. The follow-up questions are necessary. Knowing why the particular thing happened the way it happened involves discussion and dialogue. A plaintiff should explain himself/herself. It is also the duty of everyone, particularly the leaders to discuss, dialogue and meaningfully engage everyone. No one has the power to intimidate and manipulate: Anonymous comments writers think that they wield power to intimidate and manipulate others. Don’t fall prey. It lures us to adverse reactions. Don’t give such importance that the one who has written is larger than the group. Remember! It is just a single opinion. We should never allow anonymous notes to dictate terms and speak into decisions. There is one underlying warning that leaders or anyone about whom the anonymous note is written. He or She should be approachable and open-minded. It is there that one can make a difference. If you want people to give you direct feedback, then consider them a gift. Just because someone has a different opinion, he/she doesn’t become ‘difficult’ or branded as ‘always opposed to things’. It is equally important not to suspect. It is very harmful and immoderate. Hence, the best is to stop reading anonymous letters. Even if you read,as curiosity never stops, never pass it on! If you do so, the onus is on you, to work on your negative thoughts. The act of anonymity should only be with the right motive. The Emmaus experience where Jesus remained anonymous is only to make His disciples recognize Him as Christ. The walk to Emmaus is interpreted as an experience of God’s grace and acts of anonymous service. Let Easter Joy kindle our hearts and minds to remain anonymous only to illustrate our spiritual experience and not our paranoia Happy Easter!
Anonymously YOURS, The Salesian Bulletin
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
“Just for you the SALESIAN BULLETIN” Lending a few lines For you…In this times… Awakened in your mighty thoughts You look pretty beautiful among lots A word by word, a line by line You are unique, you are fine. A thousands of thoughts tossed anew Whilst, I swim deep in you Swim, swam and swam My heart fills with peace and calm The readers, the fans are already exalting you Between the lines old and new You are colourful, youthful and gorgeous At a look, you easily attract nor so less A thousand words of affinity I find Never may you depart from your favourite’s mind Scintillate like the diamonds and stars You cross borders without any bars You are complete Yes, you are complete Social, spiritual, cultural and educational From the ends of national and international Connected via a plenty; social media Pics, comments and photopedia Editorials, messages, feedbacks and story That’s why I proclaim; you are complete, completely Interviews, Humours, news and poem Fill the issues with a great norm Kudos and applause to you dear May you be always near Touch itself is so soft Decorated beautifully as a loft Many more to boast about you But yet I end with this few
I am really well-pleased with this beautiful magazine. I am proud to be a regular reader. If possible can you also add a ‘Quiz Page’ to be more attached to the magazine?
The Salesian Bulletin is so good and I pass my Bulletins to parishners. I was working in the parish office before, where I used to pass the magazines to other parishners. Now I am retired and too old to do that. Now I pass on the magazine to SFO (Secular Francian Order) and those parishners who meet me. Ms. Ubaldina Fernandes Santa Cruz, Mumbai
The Salesian Bulletin is very interesting with lot of news from all over the world. I enjoy reading it. Wish you and your team’s mission God’s blessings always. P.S: The Editor has a very nice artistic writing. Zinda Ferns Secuderabad
Schooling, Startups and Salesian Education System is indeed a unique thinking. The columnist is right in saying that these modern innovative ideas fit in to the Pedagogy of Don Bosco. The article is an honour and challenge to the Salesians of Don Bosco. Victor Immanuel Baroda
The Salesian Bulletin has reached a status to replace many other Indian Christian family magazines in the living rooms. The high quality content is perfectly matched with good design. Ronnie Ferreira Margoa, Goa
The cover design is excellent. Bro. John Avinash SDB Dindigul
Sumithra YM Bangalore
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WHY WE HAVE LIFE IN ABUNDANCE
because our dream is that they might be true dispensers of life to My thought goes to the Salesian presences around the world so many young people, and a life in abundance, an authentic, true life which gives them dignity and helps them also experience the great gift that God is in their lives.
he celebration of Easter is very near, dear Salesian Family and friends, readers of the Salesian Bulletin.
We know very well what celebrating Easter means. In fact, we are so familiar with it that every year we need to deepen ever more our understanding of the great wealth that this reality holds.
Inevitably, my thought goes to the Salesian presences around the world because our dream is that they might be true dispensers of life to so many young people, and a life in abundance, an authentic, true life which gives them dignity and helps them also experience the great gift that God is in their lives. My thoughts fly from east to west.
Jesus, the Lord, the Risen One, returns to LIFE, with capital letters, the Other Life. In this way, God the Father manifests to the world that neither death nor all that causes it has the final word—not violence, not egoism, not wars—and not other deaths like the exhaustion and the agony of people who suffer in their human relationships because they are exploited, cast out, subjugated, or excluded. No—these do not have the final word because God wants us human beings to have life and have it in abundance. From the easternmost point to the farthest west, following the path the sun takes as it makes its way over the earth The Salesian Bulletin
They start in the place in the Salesian world that is the first to see the light each day: the Samoan island of Savaii, where I got to know beautiful young people and a community that accompanies them in their daily life. Then, too, my thoughts go to the westernmost presences of the Salesian world: on the west coast of the United States.
Almost as when Don Bosco dreamt of the expansion of his Congregation, it makes me happy to know that in so many places the simple houses of our Salesian world are houses which offer life to boys and girls. It is so in Samoa, the Solomon Islands, or Papua New Guinea, with a wonderful preparation for the world of work that prepares them for life. It is also so in Calcutta, or in Delhi, or Chennai—and many other places—with homes in which boys and girls have left behind their life on the streets and are opening up to true life for they have found a house that is a home. So it is in the Salesian house in Istanbul or wounded Aleppo: the street kids come together and find life in hundreds of houses of our Salesian Family in Africa: street children in Addis Ababa and girls rescued from sexual abuse in Sierra Leone, as well as “os meninhos da rua” (the street kids) in Mozambique and Angola. Immigrant young people welcomed into the homes of the Salesian Family in Catania, Naples, and so many other Salesian presences in Europe are also looking for life.
In addition, the adolescents and young adults who have left behind guerilla warfare in Colombia and now live in Ciudad Don Bosco (Don Bosco City) in Medellin find life. So do the thousands of displaced people on the US Mexican border in Tijuana, where our brothers and sisters share life with them in a very simple way.
The celebration of the Passover of the Lord inspires all of this, and much more, in me. There can be no celebration without God, without His Mystery, without the strength of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus—lest it be an “empty spiritualist” celebration in which life and the suffering of the children of God seem not to matter. They matter to Jesus; day by day, He intends to accompany the life of His people, especially the poor and the most fragile. My friends, let us not be ignorant of these simple but very important things lest they escape our attention. May the Easter celebrations fill us with joy, hope, and profound faith, and may we set our sights permanently on offering life—abundant life; life that is worthy, that is authentically human—to those whose lives are wounded and in shambles on account of those things which are not right in our world. I invite you, with the power of the Resurrection, never to allow yourselves to get used to seeing others who truly do not have a good life. Blessed Easter!
The Salesian Bulletin
Lucknow CLASS 12 STUDENT WINS THE GOLDEN BEAVER FOR HIS DOCUMENTARIES It was the rising crime rate that led 17-yearold Aditya to make a documentary and now he has won the Golden Beaver Award for it.
The Class 12 student of Manipal Public School, Lucknow, won cash prize worth Rs 50,000 for his documentary Brain’s Fault at the 7th National Science Film Festival held in Kolkata between February 14 and 18. This is the second time in a row that he has won in the category of films made by school students. Last year, he won for his documentary, Ants: A Tiny Creature.
brain” plays a part in criminal behavior. The documentary, which runs for 7 minutes 47 seconds, tries to explain the reason behind psychopathic behaviour.
On his Vimeo page, where he has shared a link to the documentary, he says, “Since ages, people have been judged by their deeds. Some deeds that are good and some bad. This film talks about those bad deeds.”
The documentary aims to explore how the “physical and biological condition of the
Aditya has made us proud by winning this coveted award. He does amazing work each time and is very talented, enthusiastic and dedicated about his work. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours,” his principal Anupama Shukla said.
I Am Not Afraid
Teens Fight Child Marriage
Gurmehar Kaur, a 20-year-old student of the Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi, joined a social media campaign against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) after violent clashes at Delhi University’s Ramjas College last week.
As part of the ‘Fightback DU’ campaign, Gurmehar Kaur’s online post saying, “I am not afraid of ABVP,” received many messages of support, but she was also trolled with threatening messages. Gurmehar, whose father died fighting militants in Jammu and Kashmir in 1999, finally withdrew from the campaign, and left Delhi. Students and teachers of Delhi University took out a march on Tuesday to protest against violence on the Ramjas college campus. Several ABVP students were detained after clashes broke out during the march. Students in Mumbai too took out rallies in support of Gurmehar.
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Driven by their urge to stop child trafficking and early child marriage in their villages, youngsters in Bengal have taken up a fight against traffickers. They have their own network of sources and keep close coordination with local panchayat members and even members of child protection committees. While one group has been successful in getting a marriage called off when it sensed something amiss, another in Mouli village led by 18-yearold Tanuja Khatun threatened action against a man after it was revealed that he was trying to lure a girl for a job in the national capital. Saluting their spirit, the state government awarded the girls on January 24 – which is observed as the National Girl Child’s Day. She has helped save as many as 32 girls from trafficking, enabled reunification of more than 15 trafficked girl children with their families and prevented seven child marriages, said Save the Children, one of the NGOs working closely with the West Bengal government and others in preventing trafficking.
LENTEN POEM MANJU PEREIRA
A PLACE I HAVE There’s a place I have that never fails To help me when assailed I be A place where there’s sure refuge Especially when the storms overtake, And buffeted I am by betrayal, hurt and strife. It takes some courage to get myself to go till there ‘Cause I need the strength to die to self, I needs must have a humble heart, Be willing my spirit to subdue, All according to His holy Will. The place is called quite simply The Cross It’s where my Jesus went before Though God He never did His majesty claim It was a total ‘Here I am, Lord” Because He cared, and loved,till He died. It’s where He carried all our misery and pain The cruelty, the shame, our anguish, our despair; We cannot begin to grasp now or ever That He, pure and sinless, could take on Himself The world’s heavy burden of guilt and sin. As we stumble through life’s Calvary If ever we wonder how to find our feet Then here’s the place for you and me. Once there, with heart contrite and open Be assured you have reached the goal . At the foot of the Cross alone do we find True solace, true meaning for all our ills Healing for wounds, strength for the journey A love that surpasses our deepest longings The Cross is the Way, our Answer and new Life. For beyond it all there shines a Light We call it the Resurrection of Jesus Christ In which do we also have a share: Because we heeded His call to accept the Cross... Lo and behold, it will be no cross, but a heavenly Crown! APRIL 2017
The Salesian Bulletin
ABRAHAM KADAPLACKAL SDB
The window of the Small Rooms
Design by Ceasar
am the window of a very special place, which thousands of people visit every year with great emotion. I am one of the windows of the small rooms of Don Bosco at Valdocco. It is precisely here behind me, that the first young men, full of dreams, met together and soon called themselves “ Salesians”. Here I heard Dominic Savio telling Don Bosco that he wanted to become a saint. Here I saw the cleric Rua prostrate before Don Bosco and promising to give his life, to live as the first salesian. At time Don Bosco would stop on the balcony in front of me late in the evening to contemplate the star filled sky. Forgetful of his tiredness, would speak to the clerics, who had accompanied him, about the immensity of creation and the divine wisdom and omnipotence.
Where the main altar of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians now stands, there was the famous mulberry tree. Don Bosco climbed on it several times to save so many boys from The Salesian Bulletin
fatal falls. Among them there was Reviglio, who had fainted there and later became the first priest among his pupils. The best time was in the evening. The students were coming back from the schools of Don Picco and Bonzanino and the artisans from the workshops. They would line up in front of the kitchen with the plate in hand, waiting for Don Bosco. With his apron around him and ladle in hand, he would come and give them soup. A little ahead, immediately after the old way of the Gardener, weather permitting Don Bosco would squat on the ground, surrounded by a group of boys, eager to listen to him.
Here underneath, there was the little kitchen garden of Mamma Margaret and around that poor fence, processions were held with the statue of St. Aloysius Gosaga or the Consolata. Often marquis Gustavo and count Camillo of Cavour, were also seen near the statue, with the candle in hand. When the portico that you see was built, Don Bosco would give his most longed for goodnights from the shaky altar step to his enraptured sons. How many times Don Bosco flung open my edges to drop down notes of timely advice and warnings on some particular boy. All of them fell on the right target. It is not rain that is running down on my window panes. Even the windows weep. What you see here, precisely around me, is the bed from which Don Bosco took his flight to heaven at the sound of the Hail Mary, whispering that he was waiting for everyone in paradise. Perhaps also for his poor window. (Original Published in ‘Bollettino Salesiano’ Italy, January 2017, translated by Fr. Abraham Kadaplackal SDB)
SWAMI VIKRANT SDB
DEATH AND RESURRECTION Mr. Patrick Madrid was conducting a parochial apologetics seminar noticed an elderly man shuffle towards the audience microphone, during the question and answer session. Shy and softspoken, the man personified meekness. Clearing his throat, he was obviously nervous in speaking in front of an audience of 500 people. All faces were focused on him as he paused to gather his thoughts and bolster up his courage. Then with a surprising vigour and clarity that caught the audience by surprise, he declared: “I used to hate the Catholic Church”. These words hung in the air for several seconds. Then he continued: “I used to hate the Church I was born into and raised in. For many years, after I had abandoned the faith as a young man, I harboured an extreme bitterness and wrath towards the Church and towards all Catholics.” “You see”, he sighed heavily, “I had a verbal run-in with a Catholic priest many years ago and it was over something silly and inconsequential but my ego was badly mauled and wounded and I blamed him for it and left. And before long, I blamed the Catholic Church for everything. Something inside me snapped that day and I could not think of the Church without a huge rage welling up inside me”. Knowing that there must have been many things and difficult life experiences that had occurred and accumulated in this poor man’s life experiences, before he had reached this breaking point when he argued with that priest, Patrick, like a loving father asked him, “And do you still hate the Church?” At this, the man bowed his head to the audience and began to cry. “No”, he said after a few moments. “No, I don’t hate the Catholic Church any more nor do I hate Catholics any more. I have changed; Rather, God has changed me. “What happened,” Patrick asked him. “Well”, replied the man after wiping his tears on his shirt sleeve. “I
used to lambaste the Catholic Church for all evils in society until recently.” Then, David narrated the story of his conversion through a casual meeting with a fellow layman while both were waiting at a garage where their cars were being repaired. To kill time, David and his friend engaged in small talk when the friend casually told David that he was a Catholic. This spark ignited the dynamite in David’s anti-Catholic arsenal and he let out a volley of abusive, vituperative slangs against the Church, all the while the friend listening silently and calmly, without reacting or retaliating. When David ran out of ammunition, the friend reacted with a gentle, disarming smile. Then he put his hand on David’s shoulder and told him in a gentle tone: “Well, I’m not sure what to say about all those things that made you mad at the Catholic Church, but I can tell you that you can always come home. The door to the Catholic Church is always open for you: she is a compassionate mother.” With the healing touch of a casual friend, Jesus revived the dead spirit of David. Hearing the amazing story of authentic repentance and public confession, Patrick exclaimed: “It is David’s death and resurrection; let us all sing Alleluia and celebrate it with a banquet.” But the crown of the celebration was the sudden appearance of the pastor, like a meteor of light, with David’s wife and son, exclaiming: “This son of mine was dead but is alive again” (Lk 15, 32). 11
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MARIA AROKIAM KANAGA SDB
as you never heard before...
A Creative Misfit I
f a person like Jesus of Nazareth came among us in any of our cultures, what would we have likely done with him? A near certain answer is that we would have rejected him, and possibly killed him at the earliest! The reason is, because he was a creative misfit in his society. ‘Creative’, because his vision of God, man and the world were original, unlike anyone else’s in his time. He was ‘misfit’, precisely because he was so creative, so novel, like a bolt from the blue that his people were completely unprepared to receive him! He claimed to be someone which according to all established and cherished canons of belief in his religion could not be accepted by any orthodox believer. And the leaders of the Jewish religion, apart from their personal sinfulness and defects, could not be easily blamed for what they did. A conversation in the Sanhedrin could have gone as follows: Caiaphas: We have reports from the North. It seems that a peasant from a non-descript village called Nazareth is mobilizing crowds to establish a Kingdom. Annas: It seems he claims to be the Messiah!
The others had a good laugh.
Caiaphas: Joseph, you are so incredulous and fall for anyone. Have you ever heard of a Messiah coming from Galilee?
Witness 1: He is a peasant and a self-styled preacher. As far as I know this self-styled preacher is an illiterate carpenter. But he quotes the Scriptures and gives them new interpretations. “You have heard it said…, but I say to you…” Some nerve he does have! Witness 2: He is irreligious. He routinely disobeys the Sabbath regulations, claiming to be above the Law. He even calls himself “Son of Man”, quoting Daniel.
Witness 3: He is a freak, mixes with women in public, even women of ill repute. The scum of our society is his close circle of friends. He eats with publicans and prostitutes. Witness 4: He is ill mannered. eats with unwashed hands, and worse, touches even lepers.
Mathan: These messiahs are cropping up all the time like mushrooms. Ibrahim: But this one seems unusual. He works signs, cures people and chases devils. I thought the one problem was over with the death of John the Baptiser, son of our friend Zachariah. Joseph: Well, we should not condemn anyone before looking into the matter attentively. The Salesian Bulletin
Witness 5: I wouldn’t take him seriously. He is a drunkard and a glutton. There are no signs that he is a big prophet.
Mathan: He says things obviously stupid. It seems being poor and suffering are signs of God’s blessings! Witness 1: He is quizzical. If he wants to be the Messiah, how could he ask his followers to be meek, not to resist the evil doers, and ask them to love even our worse enemies, the Romans, for example?
Witness 2: According to him women are equal to men in every aspect. There is a group of women travelling with him all the time, along with the men. And his so-called disciples are uncouth fishermen. Witness 4: He makes unearthly statements. It seems he once claimed to give his own body and blood as food for the people. This put off many of his followers.
Witness 1: He suffers from megalomania, I would say. He claims to be God’s own son, but does not say it openly. According to me this is the most serious offence. It is nothing but blasphemy. Nicodemus: I would not condemn him so easily. I have heard him speak once, and I did in fact have a word with him in private. He seems to be a highly discerning person, in touch with God. What seems to appear foolish to us at first sight, could have higher meanings. Annas: (laughing), Oh Nicodemus, you and your friend Joseph are so impressionable. Study the Scriptures. Can the Messiah come from Galilee?
Caiaphas, the High Priest, raised a hand for silence: Friends, I am worried. He is not just a misfit, but dangerous. He entered the City in a rally with his followers who were shouting ‘Hosannas’ saying that he was King, the Son of David. And it seems this comical king was riding a donkey, ha… ha… ha…. But the worst I fear is that he could upset our temple set up. He was trying to disrupt the market in the temple precincts by chasing out a few sellers, and upsetting some tables. Witness 4: He has also become increasingly offensive. He calls the Scribes and the priests as hypocrites, pretenders and white-washed sepulchres. He tries to excite the crowds against the Sanhedrin. According to him all of us are APRIL 2017
irreligious. The only religious man is he!
Annas: He is in the City these days of the great Pasch. If he creates some hustle and bustle in the town, it would be a problem. Caiaphas raised his hand again for silence: If he creates trouble, Pilate will take it as an excuse to dethrone us and take over all the administration of the temple. That would be disastrous for our nation and our faith. He is a challenge to our laws and our systems, and above all to our wealth. It seems he condemns all rich people, and naturally the poor ones around him are excited by it. All said and done, he is a danger. He must be eliminated. It is better that one man dies rather than endanger our entire nation.
Joseph of Arimathea: Wait a minute, friends. We must not rush into this. He is a misfit in our society and in our religion. But I see a streak of creative beauty in him. He questions our laws, true. But he also claims to obey the law more deeply by adhering to the true meaning of the law, as our own prophets. He is a creative misfit, and I see that he is a deeply spiritual man, in touch with the Spirit of God. There were murmurs in the assembly. People obviously were annoyed with Joseph.
Nicodemus took up the line: He is a sincere man. He means well. He could as well be standing for the best of what our Scriptures and our Religion have to offer us. He does not just condemn our religion. He seems only to be purifying it, and bringing out the best in it.
Caiaphas raised his hand for the third time: My friends Joseph and Nicodemus are welcome to keep their opinions. But I am the high priest and I am responsible for our nation and for our temple. I will never allow them to be endangered by selfopinionated charlatans. He must be eliminated, the faster the better. I am aware that he is popular and works various signs. But we can catch him on one trump card. I shall challenge his claim to be God’s Son. If his illusions are as high as that, we have a sure tool in our hands to get him crucified by Pilate. So, it became a conflict between the Establishment and Prophecy. That age-old conflict continues to this day in the world, and even in the Church. 13
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Sri Lankans seek justice for murdered Tamil priest
Deadly shooting sparks Indian pilgrim boycott in Sri Lanka Over 5,000 pilgrims from India shunned the annual feast of St. Anthony on an Sri Lankan island following the shooting and killing of an Indian fisherman. The 22-year-old fisherman was killed and another injured allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy on March 6 for fishing in Sri Lankan waters. The Sri Lankan navy has denied responsibility and told media they would release a report on the incident by the end of March.
Religions in Myanmar unite for harmony
Sri Lankan human rights activists have called on the government to renew investigations into the killing of a Catholic priest and activist by the military in 1985. Father Mary Bastian, an ethnic Tamil, was shot and killed at Our Lady of St. Anne’s Church in Vankalai during the earlier stages of the three decades long civil war.
Record number of Catholics elected in Goa elections
The Indian coastal state of Goa has elected the highest number of Catholic lawmakers since state polls were first held in 1963. When poll results were declared March 11, out of 40 elected representatives, 17 are Catholics, giving them a 43 percent representation in a state where Christians form only 22 percent of the population. Almost all Christians in Goa are Catholics. Out of the 13 BJP members elected, seven are Catholics and, for the first time, they outnumber Hindu legislators in a party.
Religious leaders in Myanmar held an interfaith peace conference on March 18, against a backdrop of religious violence and sectarian strife. The “Meeting Church creates online system to help India’s migrants of interfaith brothers The Indian bishops’ labor office has created an online system to and sisters who coexist register migrant workers, promote safe migration and help them in forever in Myanmar” emergencies. Cardinal Baselios was held in Mandalay. Cleemis, president of the Catholic About 1,000 participants Bishops’ Conference of India from different religions, launched the web-based migrant government officials, data management system in New union ministers, political Delhi on March 15. He said it parties, civil society would pave the way to protect groups and ethnic groups migrants who leave rural areas participated in the for cities in search of jobs. conference. The Salesian Bulletin
Fr. Stanley Rother, first US-born martyr, to be beatified in September Father Stanley Rother, the Oklahoma-born martyr who served as a priest in Guatemala, will be beatified in Oklahoma City on Sept. 23, 2017. In December 2016, Pope Francis officially acknowledged Fr. Rother’s martyrdom, making him the first recognized martyr to have been born in the United States.
The Church is the ‘only functioning institution’ in South Sudan Amid war and famine in South Sudan, the Catholic Church is still serving the most vulnerable even as the government has collapsed.
What Pope Francis did when guards tried to stop these Chinese pilgrims Pope Francis greeted and blessed a group of pilgrims from China who broke protocol and approached him during the Wednesday general audience on 15th March. The group of faithful, some of whom approached the Holy Father on their knees, held Chinese flags and amid sobs, asked for him to bless a statue of Our Lady of Fatima they had carried into Saint Peter’s Square. Diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican were broken in 1951, two years after the communists came to power and expelled foreign clerics.
Philippine bishop warns against Society of St. Pius X
Archbishop John Du of Palo, central Philippines has warned against the activities of members of the Society of St. Pius X, also known as the SSPX, in Palo Archdiocese. APRIL 2017
The Church is the “only functioning institution in civil society,” Neil Corkery, president of the Sudan Relief Fund, told in an interview, and “is really the only thing that’s left trying to help people” who live “in the remotest parts of the country.”
Online Christian programs get deleted in China
Christian users of a podcast website and mobile app in China fear the deletion of their online religious programs is part of a movement to suppress “foreign religions.”
Across the country, Christians have reported the removal of religious programs from Ximalaya FM since Feb. 27 and many are concerned it is related to the State Administration for Religious Affairs plan for 2017 to strengthen the management of online religious output.
The SSPX, an international fraternity of priests founded by the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1968, is known for rejecting ecclesial reforms institutionalized by the Second Vatican Council. Priests of his society celebrate Mass only in Latin, as before the council. 15
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SR. D.J. MARGARET FMA
IS THERE ANYTHING SINGLE ABOUT SINGLE MOTHERS? “Single mother has to have four arms, four legs, four eyes, two hearts, and double the love. There is nothing single about a single mom.” Mandy Hale
ingle motherhood, whether by a personal choice or the result of an unpleasant situation, always has its own challenges (Cf. Mk 10:25). Being a single mother is twice the work, twice the stress and twice the tears but also twice the joy, twice the love and twice the pride. Single mothers are probably strong people, not only because they raise children on their own, but also because they have to find a way to single-handedly provide for the family and uncompromisingly fight against the oppressive socio-economic and religio-cultural ethos. Among the many, three major factors seem to be primarily responsible for the presence of single mothers. The first is the growing socioeconomic independence and freedom of women. A second factor in the growth of single motherhood is the decline in men’s earning power relative to women’s. The third factor is the shift in social norms and values that reduced the stigma associated with divorce and non-marital childbearing. For instance, the revolution in sexual mores permitted young men and women to have intimate relationships and live together outside the bonds of legal marriage.
Being a single mother is never easy. Several factors directly and indirectly are related to the ways in which single mothers parent their children. These include maternal depression; material resources such as employment, education, and self esteem; beliefs about parenting... Single mother’s role of being both father and mother simultaneously demands the fulfillment of multiple responsibilities: provider, disciplinarian, comforter, counselor, teacher, guide, model, friend and so forth. The Salesian Bulletin
Single-mother families typically stumble upon socio-economic, occupational, and family-related difficulties. They experience life uncertainty, food insecurity, job apprehension, health problems, and emotional challenges. The stressful life of single mothers creates additional difficulties by negatively impacting family life and processes. A single mother has to face continuous newer challenges every day and every moment. They are often vulnerable to unsolicited advances, ranging from mild flirtations, to subtle hints to sexual harassment and abuses.
However, it is important to realize that being a single mother does not mean that she needs to be alone. Single mothers need community resources, parental and family support, financial aid, social security etc. so that the needs and interests of her and her children are met. Strategies for helping the single mothers’ families, therefore, must include those aimed at preventing family breakup and sustaining family resources as well as those aimed at compensating children for the loss of parental time and income. Strong steps should be taken to protect single mothers and children from abusive social context. The cost of raising children should be considered as a shared responsibility both by the family and the society. Organized groups in the communities and workplace could serve as an anchor for single mothers to cope with the multifaceted stresses of solo parenthood. Above all, the society has to believe and accept that there is nothing single about single mothers. It is the collective responsibility of every society to ensure the single mothers safety, security, and surety of life and love. APRIL 2017
DAVID MARIASELVAM SDB
Ms Maria Koch is interviewed for this month’s 10 Q. Fr. David Mariaselvam on his visit to Germany interviews Maria who had volunteered in the projects of marginalized children in Chennai with Salesians of Don Bosco. 1. Are you involved in any social work in Munich?
to understand the children than making them understand us.
I am taking care of the children who are separated from their families.
6. How did you get interested in this work?
2. Can you tell us something about the children and their background? The government for the welfare of the children separates them from parents who are abusive and violent and bring them into these homes. 3. What is the Children’s Village? These children live in houses that are situated in a particular place, and we call it Children’s Village. 4. What is the future of these children? These children live in homes, and they get educated in the schools nearby. They live in a very good family atmosphere. Once they reach the age of 18, they move away to make their living, as it is a normal thing here. 5. What do you do with the problematic children? The concept of punishment is not here. If someone behaves differently, the educators and caretakers discuss the problem and find out the cause of their misbehaviour. We try APRIL 2017
I was already a student of social work, and my stay in India, Chennai gave me clarity in the mission. 7. How did you reach India for volunteering? I was sent by an organization called FIDESCO, and I came as a volunteer. It was tough in the beginning to adapt to the Indian culture. 8. How many years did you a volunteer at Vyasarpadi in Chennai? I was there for two years, getting involved in various works and my brief stay in Pope John’s garden has also shaped my social thinking. 9. What did India teach you? The hospitality is something very outstanding. There is also something unique about India is its colours, the presence of colours, that we do not see it in Germany. 10. What do you think we as Indians can learn from Germany? Punctuality and importance of organizing one’s everyday work are the two important values that we Germans value. 17
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MEDIA MATTERS C. M. PAUL
30 Years on Priest Still Believes in Cinema
Salesian priest in Kerala believes in the power of cinema as a popular medium to reach out to the masses and ventured into mainstream film production, and 30 years on he says, “I was interested in this field right from my childhood. It attracts everyone. I found it the best medium to sell our values.”
“The movies have been watched by thousands of people in theatres, special shows in schools and institutions and on television,” says the priest fully convinced that the movies he produced have achieved its desired effect. Each of his four movies has been dubbed into five to seven languages.
“It was the high point of my ministry with movies,” he says “When I came to know that this ministry has reached so many people in India and abroad.”
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Fr Prince Puthanangady of Kerala-Karnataka province has been associated with production of four major films during the past 30 years. His latest (fourth) feature film MICKEY (2016) on the life of Mickey Magone (+1859), a young local gangster whom Don Bosco, the educator transformed into a role model for teenagers by means of his educational method of reason, religion and loving kindness. “It is a true story based in 19th century Italy,” says Fr Prince explaining how Don Bosco on one of his customary train journeys came across Mickey at a railway station and saw in him rich potentialities which could be realized through understanding and encouragement. Shot at Ooty in Tamil Nadu and Wayanad in Kerala, the film MICKEY depicts Mickey Magone’s story in the Indian context.
Speaking on the concept and genesis of MICKEY film Fr Prince says, “The idea of the film Mickey was in [my] mind long ago. It fitted aptly as a Don Bosco’s birth bicentenary project to be undertaken by the province of Bangalore.” Salesian Fr. Joffie Puthuva did the starting research and base script. The Social Communication team then entrusted its official script and direction to Mr. Jino Joseph - a past pupil of Don Bosco College, Kannur and the team approved it at various stages of its production.
His second feature film entitled BOSCO forms the second part of JOHNNY story show casing John Bosco’s ministry among the young people. This film too is available in five languages namely Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and English. Kerala’s Kairali Tv. has taken the right to telecast the film for 15 years.
The third feature film venture of Fr Prince is entitled LAURA – based on the life of Auxilium youth icon from Chile Laura Vicuna (1891-1904) who was a hostel girl with Salesian Sisters and intervened in extraordinary way to the point of sacrificing her own life Fr Prince Puthanangady SDB to save her mother.
Film production career of 59 year old Fr Prince dates back to the first feature film JOHNNY he was associated with in 1993. It is an award winning children’s film in Malayalam depicting the early life struggles of Johnny Bosco to pursue his desire to go to school.
Besides Malayalam, the language of the southern state of Kerala, JOHNNY has been dubbed into eight languages namely Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, English, and subtitled in Italian and Indonesian languages. It was telecasted in Door Darshan Trivandrum, Surya Tv, Jeevan Tv and Shalom Tv. The film JOHNNY received Kerala State Award for the best Children’s Film of 1993 and Film APRIL 2017
Critics Award. It was also selected to be screened at Teheran International Film Festival.
Pope John Paul II declared Laura Vicuna blessed in 1988.
The telefilm LAURA is also dubbed into 5 languages (Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi).
For a parting message Fr Prince tells his favorite quote, “the need to pursue a cause in spite of hardships… you need [to latch] on the star which shines brightest when it is dark around .” 19
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IVO COELHO SDB
FAITH, DIALOGUE AND SANCTITY: THE EXAMPLE OF THOMAS STEPHENS
he universal church celebrates the feast of the Japanese martyrs Paolo Miki and his companions on 6 February. Not very well known is the fact that the 26 martyrs included an Indian – Gonsalo Garcia, born in Vasai near Mumbai around 1557 to a Portuguese father and an Indian mother. Gonsalo Garcia could be considered the first Indian saint, and he is followed by José Vaz, Kuriakose Elias Chavara, Alphonsa, Mariam Thresia, Eufrasia, Devasahayam Pillai, Augustine Thevarparampil, Agnelo de Souza; among missionaries by Francis Xavier, John de Britto; and among Salesians by Ferrando, Marengo, Vendrame, Convertini….
arriving in Goa in 1579. The wonderful thing about Stephens was his ability to master the local languages. He has the distinction of being the first European to write a grammar of an Indian language (Arte da lingoa Canarim – where ‘Canarim’ means Konkani), the first to compose a catechism in Konkani, and the first to write a Christian poem in Marathi (the Khristapurana). The Purana was also the first literary work in an Indian language to be printed in Roman characters, and its preface is acknowledged as one of the first specimens of Marathi prose. Finally, it was Stephens who, two centuries before his compatriot William Jones, brought to the notice of Europe the similarity between some Indian languages and Greek and Latin.
One name that does not appear in this list is that of Thomas Stephens, Jesuit missionary in Goa, The first century of extraordinary poet and writer Portuguese dominion in Goa Title page of Dovtrina Christam in Marathi and Konkani. Born saw a great flourishing of the by Fr. Thomas Stephens, first in England in 1549, Stephens local language, Konkani. The published work in Konkani fled the persecution of Catholics first Provincial Council of Goa and reached Rome, where he entered the Society in 1567 recommended that Konkani be used for of Jesus in 1575. Inspired by the fiery letters of purposes of evangelization and catechesis, and Francis Xavier, he opted for the missions of India, encouraged even books to be published in the The Salesian Bulletin
language of the people. Thomas Stephens is the first in the line of great writers in Marathi and in Konkani, but not the only one. It is wonderful to see that the Franciscan Gaspar de S. Miguel was one of his great admirers, as evidenced by the In laudem autoris prefacing the Khristapurana. The young Robert De Nobili passed through Goa on his way to South India, and it is likely that he met Stephens. There are, in fact, striking coincidences in terminology between the works of these two great men, such as jnanasnana (bath of enlightenment) for baptism. The Khristapurana was born of a pastoral need: the new converts from Hinduism were forbidden to read the great texts of their former religion, but they had nothing comparable in their new faith. They therefore appealed to Thomas Stephens; the result was the Khristapurana, which is a retelling of the biblical story using the ovi metre and running into some 11,000 verses. Stephens himself tells us in his prose introduction that he deliberately wrote in Marathi mixed with Konkani so as to make his work accessible to his flock. Copies of the work found their way also to Christians outside Goa, especially along the Kanara coast. It is said that secret reading of the Khristapurana kept the faith alive during the 16 year captivity of the Kanara Christians in Srirangapatnam under Tipu Sultan.
Stephens died in 1619 at the age of 70 at the College of Rachol, where he was Rector. He had spent a total of 39 years in Goa, with a one year stint in Vasai. Known popularly as Padre Estevão, he served as Rector of the Rachol College, minister of the professed house at Old Goa, and assistant to the Visitor. He also served as parish priest at Rachol, Mormugao, Margao, Benaulim, Loutolim and Navelim. “He was said to have had an outstanding missionary talent and apostolic zeal. He had a robust constitution, enjoyed good health, and was energetic, vivacious, and optimistic by nature. One of the Jesuit documents lists him as ‘of very good wisdom, good judgement and prudence... and of a very good talent for conversions’.” Through his work Stephens comes across not only as a lover of Konkani and Marathi, but also as a human being of extraordinary sensibility APRIL 2017
Cover Page of the Book ‘Khristapurana’
and sensitivity. His delicacy and his capacity for understanding, negotiation and dialogue is also borne out by the fact that, after the disastrous incident at Cuncolim, when the villagers refused to surrender the bodies of the Jesuits they had killed, it was Thomas Stephens who was chosen to negotiate with them, something that he did successfully, managing to obtain the remains of the ‘martyrs of Cuncolim.’ In our troubled times we need more men like Thomas Stephens: men who were able to combine deep faith and sanctity with profound respect for people and for their cultures. I do not know any other way of being Christian. I do not know either whether Stephens will ever be promoted to the altars. But whether that happens or not, this much we can say: he was a great human being and a wonderful follower of Christ, and his life inspires. 21
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Over 1,400 women participating in the Women’s Day- Mumbai
Team Visit to South Asian Region On 28 February the Team Visit to the South Asia region started in Chennai, India. It was the first of the series of seven visits to take place in the coming months in the seven Salesian Regions. The title of the Team Visit was “Re-visioning and re-signification of Salesian Mission in South Asia”. The meeting was led by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, along with his Vicar, Fr Francesco Cereda, Fr Ivo Coelho, Councillor General for Formation, Fr Fabio Attard, Councillor General for Youth Ministry, Fr Filiberto González, Councillor General for Social Communication, Fr Guillermo Basañes, Councillor General for the Missions and Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Councillor for the South Asia Region. Provincials of the different South Asian Provinces, members of their provincial councils, those in charge of offices and positions in the regional context attended the meeting. The visit ended on Saturday, 4 March
Bengaluru organizes candle-light procession for abducted priest
More than 1400 women from various slums of Mumbai and beneficiaries of the projects of the “Don Bosco Development Society” (DBDS) celebrated International Women’s Day by participating in a programme organized by DBDS at the Salesian campus in Matunga on 5th March. 493 needy women were visited in a medical camp set up in collaboration with the Livalati hospital and received a month’s supply of medication.
The cinema: a powerful tool for the Salesian mission in South Asia Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, presented the awards to the winners of the National Festival of Short Films: “Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India” ( DBYFFI). The award ceremony took place on Saturday 4 March. The short film “Saavat” by Swapnil Rajashekar, was awarded the prize for the Best Film among the 24 participants selected for the competition.
Fr Cyriac Pulinthanathumalayil receives award for work with young people
“Where is Fr Tom? India wants to know,” read several placards at a gathering of more than 1,000 priests, nuns and lay Catholics in Bengaluru, who marked on March 4 the first anniversary of the abduction of an Indian priest in Yemen. The meet was organized to pray for Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnali’s release from captivity. The Bengaluru gathering marked their solidarity with the priest with a Mass led by Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bengaluru and a candle-light procession. The Salesian Bulletin
Father Cyriac Pulinthanathumalayil, SDB, founder and director of the Don Bosco Youth Centre in Itanagar, received from the Federal Minister of the Interior, Hon. Rajnath Singh, recognition for the excellence of his work with young people. The Don Bosco Youth Centre helps hundreds of young people to find work in the country. APRIL 2017
Opening of Museum to mark 130 years since the arrival of the As part of the Salesians in Chile
Don Bosco Solidarity Race in Seville On 12 March hundreds of people participated in the “Don Bosco Solidarity Race” in Seville, Spain. It was organized by the Holy Trinity Education Centre and the AMPA association. The proceeds will go to the Don Bosco Solidarity Fund to improve the opportunities for children and young people in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
celebrations for the 130 years of Salesian presence in Chile, Fr Alberto Lorenzelli, Superior of Chile, together with the Rector of Saint Joseph’s College, Fr Carlo Lira, inaugurated the “San Juan Bosco” Museum. The collection on display includes many historical photographs of Salesian work, as well as liturgical vestments and ornaments.
Corridor of Mercy: if you want the ashes, blow the horn.
Ash Wednesday was celebrated in the popular street Paseo Chapultepec of the city of Guadalajara, Mexico. In an initiative called “Corridor of Mercy”, a group of young people, families and priests offered people who were passing by on the street the opportunity to receive the ashes, and confession.
First Africa-Madagascar Congress of the FMA Past Pupils The First Africa-Madagascar Congress of the Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians took place on 9 March. The meeting was focused on the theme “Past pupils of the FMA in the family, the Church and Society”, with participants coming from West Africa, Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia and various parts of D. R. Congo.
12,000 youngsters take part in the Youth Festival of Triveneto SYM “Youth Festival”, an event of the Triveneto Salesian Youth Movement, was held on 5 March at the Pala Arrex of Jesolo, Italy It involved 12,000 participants, 400 leaders, the performances of more than 200 young artistes led by a dozen professional artistes, 40 technicians and about 50 stands. 23
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JOE ANDREW SDB
IS ABOUT LIVING LIFE AS A MIRACLE
e spoke about sanctity as giving (thanksgiving, forgiving, giving and self-giving) and it is also about living. God created everything and found it very good. He created man and gave him a mandate: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…” And God saw all that He had made and found it very good (Gen. 1: 28). Life is God’s most precious
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gift to each one of us and how we live our life is our gift to God. At the heart of God’s promise is life and that is why we were created in the image of God. Jesus had a great dream for his followers. His promise was: “I have come to give life and life in all its abundance.” (Jn. 10:10). He wanted his followers to be salt of the earth and light of the world and this light was not to be kept under a
bushel but on a lampstand so that it can give light to others and glory to God. Jesus wanted us to live like God himself. He challenged us: “Be prefect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48) and “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.” (Lk. 6:36). Sanctity is all about living a good and meaningful life.
In Luke chapter 19 we read “ ‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed: “You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’ “ (Luke 19:17). Jesus told a story about a king who was going to leave and then return later, so he instructed his servants to invest a sum of money he had entrusted to them while he was away. These servants fit into one of three categories: the super faithful, the less faithful, and the unfaithful. The super faithful, the less faithful, and the unfaithful all received the equivalent of 100 days of wages for a labourer. We are not told how the super faithful servant was able to make ten times as much as the others, but he seemed to have no limitations whatsoever. He just went for it, and he multiplied ten times what his manager had given him. The less faithful servant went for it as well, but he was able to achieve only half of what the super faithful servant achieved. Yet he is still to be commended. However, the unfaithful servant not only was unproductive, but also had the audacity to blame his master for his shortcomings. This parable is about living. God gives us the gift of life, faith and love and we cannot keep these gifts buried and blame the Father. It is not about success or about the amount we produce but about making use of the gifts God has given us for his greater glory. God told us at creation “I give you this world; look after it and care for it and make it a better place.”
meaningful, passionate and value-driven. Stephen Covey puts it this way: “Everyone chooses one of two roads in life – one is the broad, well-travelled road to mediocrity, the other road to greatness and meaning.” And Albert Einstein said, “There are two ways to live, one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” In the words of John Mason: “There are really only two ways of living your life - living dead or living alive.” In the book of Deuteronomy God says through Moses: “I have set before you, life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, chose life that you and your descendants may live, loving Yahweh.” (Deut. 30,19). God himself has stated that this choice is ours. Spirituality is also about living an extraordinary life. Our saints have proved this. All our saints like St. John Bosco, St. Francis De Sales, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ignatius Loyola, Mother Theresa, Saint Pope John Paul II and a host of other saints have lived extraordinary and passionate lives. When we speak of sanctity and life we do not speak about success but about greatness. There are many successful people but they may not have achieved sanctity through greatness. Mother Theresa would say that not all of us can do great things but all of us can small things with love and that is greatness.
When we speak of sanctity and life we do not speak about success but about greatness.
There are two ways of living our life. We could just survive, just exist and as Elliot would say ‘live and partly live’. Or we could choose to live an extraordinary life, one that is purpose-driven, APRIL 2017
The fact is that some Christians are setting the world on fire while others are still looking for a match. If you don’t have a purpose in life, then you will throw it away. So what is your purpose? What are you focused on? What are you doing with your life? You do not have to be rich or famous to live a full and extraordinary life. I read these beautiful lines somewhere: “It is one thing to be living, it is another to be alive. Living is breathing, subsisting, surviving; but being alive is expecting, rejoicing, savoring and celebrating life. Living alive is living with a lusty thirst and passion for life. It is living with a purpose, a mission if you may, a conscious desire to experience and drink of life’s goodness 25
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and pleasures. Living alive is making every minute count. It is living in the precious now. Living alive is knowing that we do not have forever. It is being aware of the fact that we all are on the carousel of time and that we must do everything in our power to fully enjoy and get the best from the ride. Living alive is giving something of ourselves, sharing something of our essence, leaving something which will be remembered long after we are gone. There are really only two ways of living your life living dead or living alive.
V. J. Smith narrates about the day he met Marty at Wal-Mart in his book ‘The Richest Man in town’: I don’t remember the exact date I met Marty for the first time. The line I was standing in wasn’t moving as quickly as I wanted, and I glanced toward the cashier. There stood an affable-looking man in his seventies. Slightly stooped and average build, he wore glasses and a nice smile. I thought, well, he’s an old guy and it probably takes him a little longer to get the chores done. For the next few minutes I watched him. He greeted every customer before he began scanning the items they were purchasing. Sure, his words were the usual, “How’s it going?” But he did something different— he actually listened to people. Then he would respond to what they had said and engage them in a brief conversation. I thought it was odd, but I guess I had grown accustomed to people asking me how I was doing simply out of robotic conversational habit. After awhile, you don’t give any thought to the question and just mumble something back. I could say, “I just found out I have six months to live,” and someone would reply, “Have a great day!” This old cashier had my attention. He seemed genuine about wanting to know how people were feeling. Meanwhile, the high-tech cash register rang up their purchases and he announced what they owed. Customers handed money to him, he punched the appropriate keys, the cash drawer popped open, and he counted out their change. Then magic happened. He placed the change in The Salesian Bulletin
his left hand, walked around the counter to the customer, and extended his right hand in an act of friendship. As their hands met, the old cashier looked the customers in the eyes. “I sure want to thank you for shopping here today,” he told them. “You have a great day. Bye-bye.” The looks on the faces of the customers were priceless. There were smiles and some sheepish grins. All had been touched by his simple gesture—and in a place they never expected. Some customers would walk away, pause for a moment, and look back at the old cashier, now busy with the next customer. It was obvious they couldn’t quite comprehend what had just happened. They would gather their things and walk out the door, smiling. Now it was my turn. As expected, he asked me how I was doing. I told him I was having a good day. “That’s good,” he said. “I’m having a good day, too.” I glanced down at the name tag on his red vest, the kind experienced Wal-Mart cashiers wore. It read, “Marty.” I said, “It looks like you enjoy your job, Marty.” He replied, “I love my job.”
Marty told me how much I owed and I handed him some money. The next thing I knew he was standing beside me, offering his right hand and holding my change in his left hand. His kind eyes locked onto mine. Smiling, and with a firm handshake, he said, “I sure want to thank you for shopping here today. Have a great day. Bye-bye.” At that moment I wanted to take him home and feed him cookies. I left the store, walked through the parking lot and got into my car. On the drive home, I couldn’t shake what had just happened. I had been in that store a hundred times and had never walked away feeling like that. Who was that guy? Marty Martinson is a man who can teach all of us about what’s really important in life, and how in giving a little, you get a lot. As Marty said, “When you are nice to people you get it all back and then some.” So life and happiness or sanctity is not about money or success or doing great things but it is about living a good life. “Learning how to live is much more important than learning how to make a living.” (Warren Buffett)
Number and News
India slipped down from
among the 188 countries ranked in terms of human development, says the
Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Tuesday.India’s human development index (HDI) value of 0.624 puts it alongside countries such as Congo, Namibia and Pakistan. It is ranked
SAARC countries, behind Sri Lanka
the Maldives (105), both of which figure in the “high human development” category.
Photo of the Month Genabhai Dargabhai Patel, better known as ‘Anar Dada’ is a disabled farmer from Sarkari Golia village of Banaskantha District in Gujarat. The Padma Shri awardee of 2016 singlehandedly transformed drought hit border district into the largest producer of pomegranate in the country.
Social Media:Twitter Source: Pope Francis @Pontifex On the Wall: I invite you not to build walls but bridges, to conquer evil with good, offence with forgiveness, to live in peace with everyone. Posted On: 18 March 2017 As On: 22 March 2017 Likes: 102,167 Retweets: 45,074 Replies: 2.2K Chosen Comment: Vatican City may have walls, but the front door is always open. (Christian Salafia @csalafia) APRIL 2017
Speak Up “If there is anyone with the mandate to heal the wounds of people of Jammu and Kashmir, take the state out of the morass, start dialogue with Pakistan and make the atmosphere conducive, it is only NarendraModiji and no one else.” (Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti) 27
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YOUTH – FAITH – GROWTH
YOUTH ICON FROM THE BIBLE Samuel is a prominent figure in the Old Testament Samuel is, the Lord Calls. The Lord challenges the story as many a new thing began with him. Can we young to listen to the Lord and follow the Lord’s ways. name him the first prophet among Israel, strict to that While it is so hard that youngsters even listen to the definition, for till then there were only priests. He was Lord, how can they follow the Lord’s ways? Vocations the one through whom God gave Israel their first king, to Priestly or Religious life has reduced drastically these Saul and the one that followed, David. And how does days, the call is to the young - to listen. Thirdly, the that remarkable prophetic journey Lord Directs. We see that the begin: as a young lad! Samuel was Lord directed the entire life of a son of promise - Elkanah and Samuel right from when he was Hannah had promised to offer a small boy. The point was that him back to the Lord if the Lord he was pliable. He was not swayed deigned to grant them a son after all by the trends of the world or the the delay. It happened so. Growing whims of the day, he remained in the temple Samuel had a special focused on the Lord and the experience as a boy: he heard the Lord used him for mighty things Lord call him in the night. Young amidst the people of Israel. The as he was, he thought it was Eli, his Lord speaks, the Lord calls and master who was calling him. But the Lord directs provided we are soon instructed by Eli, he makes ready to listen, ready to respond that renowned response: Speak and ready to follow. Lord, your servant is listening. Ever My dear young friend... since, Samuel becomes a special messenger of the Lord, carrying • do you believe that God out everything at the Lord’s behest. speaks to you in simple things What is the message that Samuel that happen in life? gives us: Firstly, the Lord Speaks. ICON 6 : SAMUEL • can you grow in your Many youngsters ask a sarcastic question, ‘why doesn’t the Lord speak nowadays?’ Let capacity to listen, to respond and to follow God’s us ask, why don’t we ever listen? Second message from ways?
YOU CAT SAINTS, SINNERS AND ELTERNAL LIFE: The Catholic-specific Faith experience (Questions 145-165) This is the very final section of part one: WHAT WE BELIEVE. There are three faith experiences discussed here - the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of sins and the Life everlasting. With Mary and the rest of the saints we have our forerunners in God’s presence who could plead our cause. Though Mary is very special among the saints, as the mother of the Lord, she is but a creature like us, who has lived her life to a perfection that sets her apart from the rest. Our deceased brothers and sisters either intercede for us or stand in need of our spiritual assistance, depending on the process of purification they have undergone post life. The Church has been conferred the power to forgive The Salesian Bulletin
sins and the Church does it through Baptism and the sacrament of Reconciliation. Eternal life is entering into God’s never ending presence. In God’s love for us, God unites us thus to Godself and grants our mortal beings immortality, that we call redemption. God does not only redeem our soul, God redeems through Christ our entire being - body and soul. At death our body decays and our soul leaves to encounter its source and destiny, God, from whom the soul receives its existence. The soul awaits the last day when it will reunite with the body that will be raised as the risen body. Heaven, hell and purgatory are not places but state or conditions of existence of the soul - in total communion with the Lord or total separation from the Lord or a process of purification respectively. • How do you relate yourself with the Saints in Heaven and fellow beings here with you? APRIL 2017
ANTONY CHRISTY SDB
KNOW YOUR CHURCH: Is Church a society? Church - is it a society? Or does the Church find itself in a society? Church is the people of God, as we know. A group of people living together with commonalities can be called easily a society. But can Church fit into that definition? It cannot. Church is much larger than a society and Church finds itself in a society and Church itself cannot be limited to the understanding of a society. First of all, it is not a human institution; Church is initiated by God. Secondly, the Church has the role to be a prophet to the Society. The Church has varied responsibilities towards the society in which it finds itself - for its holistic human development, for the building up of a just social order, for the upholding
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING (Questions 84-111) - The principle of Dignity of the human person, the principle of the Common Good, the principle of Subsidiarity and the principle of Solidarity are the four major principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The reasons these principles are applicable are that they are reasonable, they stem from Catholic faith and are surest ways of following the commandment of love that the Lord has given us. They are interrelated and are found together in a social reality, if it has to be ideal. While we have spoken of already the dignity a human person enjoys intrinsically, the other three can be understood in simple terms thus: common good is social and community dimension of the moral good, that is the good of all human beings beginning from the fundamental rights of a person to those of the community as a whole; subsidiarity ensures that an agent at a higher level will offer to do or assume APRIL 2017
of rights of the weak, to stand for the values that are vulnerable and so on. Thirdly, when the Church begins to look at itself as a society, the human elements tend to dominate that outlook. The very ills that are found in the society find their place within the Church and the people of God degenerate into an ordinary people, losing the image that the Church is expected to have the image of the Sacrament of Salvation - that is a sign of Godâ€™s salvation here on earth. The Church has in itself a strong nature of a sacrament, signifying externally the grace of the Lord that is to be experienced internally by every human person on earth. Church should thus challenge the society towards its ideal existence - where common good and solidarity prospers.
the responsibility to do something, only if and when the group at a lower level is not able to do what it has been assigned to do (for example what a family cannot do, the state offers to do only at necessary moments); solidarity establishes that no person has the right to live for himself or herself alone. Arising from these four principles, we can find three fundamental values for a fine social living: truth, freedom and justice. Freedom is the capacity to choose the good (and not whatever one wants); Truth is affirming what is, with honesty and truthfulness; Justice is the constant will to give the due to God and to oneâ€™s neighbour. The origin of all these values is God, for God is love and if love ruled the world there would be no need for laws. â€˘ How strong do you find yourself in these principles of Social living? 29
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EASTER : A REALITY BEYOND
HISTORY AND MYSTERY
e are in the month of April. The key event of this month is the celebration of Easter. EASTER, the resurrection of Jesus, is the central tenet of Christian theology and part of the Nicene Creed: “On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures”. It is very vital to our Christian faith. Hence we ask ourselves, “How can we make our Easter celebration meaningful?”. We are called not only to reflect, meditate and contemplate on this great event but to live its spirituality in our life. Easter is a history to be narrated, mystery to be contemplated and a reality to be lived in our day today life. The Salesian Bulletin
History to be narrated: The resurrection of Jesus is, first of all, a historical event, for us who believe. Atheists and cynics might question if it really took place. They can question if something like this can take place, if it is scientifically possible. But for us Christians it is an event that took place nearly 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, during the reign of Roman Pontiff Pontius Pilate. Jesus of Nazareth suffered and died on the Cross and his body was placed lifeless in the tomb but all these were soon followed by the joyous morning of His resurrection. He walked away from the tomb to a new life of glory. Flavius Josephus, a Jew and Roman historian who worked under the patronage of the Flavians, APRIL 2017
SR.TAMIZHARASI KANICKARAJ FMA
wrote the Antiquities of the Jews which contains a passage known as the Testimonium Flavianum. This passage mentions John the Baptist and Jesus as two holy men among the Jews. It also mentions the death and resurrection of Jesus: “When Pilate, upon the accusation of the first men amongst us, condemned [Jesus] to be crucified, those who had formerly loved him did not cease [to follow him], for he appeared to them on the third day, living again, as the divine prophets foretold, along with a myriad of other marvelous things concerning him.”
The gospels narrate that Mary Magdalene and a few other faithful women went early to the tomb that Sunday morning, bringing spices and ointments to complete the anointing begun when the Lord’s body was hastily laid in the sepulchre before the approaching Sabbath. They were greeted by an open sepulchre, the covering stone having been rolled away and by the two angels who asked, “Why seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen”. As they did not find the body of Jesus in the tomb they hurried to report to the apostles saying, “they have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him”. Peter and John ran to the place and verified that the tomb was indeed empty before believing that he was risen again. Then Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, to 10 of the Apostles and to others several times at different time and different places. Summarizing the traditional analysis, the Catholic Church states in its Catechism: “Although the resurrection was an historical event that could be verified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the encounter of the apostles with the risen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith, as something that transcends and surpasses history”. Mystery to be contemplated: The resurrection of Jesus at the same time is a mystery that must be approached with faith. It must be contemplated as part of the mystery of salvation and redemption. The unrelenting faith of the disciples makes everyone be convinced of the truth of the resurrection. How could those disciples who were once so afraid that they deserted their master during his passion and death, now courageously proclaim the good news APRIL 2017
that Jesus is risen, even risking their very life? In particular, Peter’s first sermon which dealt with Christ’s resurrection stirred people to receive Him as their living savior. Luke records the thrilling results: “that day those who accepted his message were baptized; some three thousand were added to their number” (Acts 2:41). The conversion of St.Paul, the great apostle whom the Risen Christ conquered for himself, and whose life stands as an example of total transformation, is a great mystery. He asserts, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).
We believe that by rising from the dead, Jesus proved His authority and power to break the bonds of sin and death and to assure forgiveness and eternal life to all who accept His gift of salvation. The Resurrection reveals Christ’s power over death. St. Paul says, “Christ rose from the dead and will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him” (Romans 6:9). The Resurrection secured our victory over death as well and “lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:6).
The testimony of millions of people who are transformed through the centuries, around the world, witness to the mysterious power of resurrection of Jesus. The destitute and despairing have found hope in Jesus. So many martyrs have given their life courageously for the sake of their faith in the Risen Lord. Thousands of religious and lay Christians like Fr Tom Uzhunnalil SDB, are abducted and persecuted for the sake of their belief ever willing to risk their life. Even today thousands of missionaries are witnessing to Jesus with joy through their dedicated life of sacrifices in various parts of the world. The risen Christ continues to live within believers today in all of His resurrected life and transforming power. These realities need to be understood with faith and to be contemplated as a mystery.
Reality to be lived: The contemplation on Christ’s resurrection leads one to concrete action: change in behavior, attitude and life style. Easter becomes the time when light meets darkness, significance in life meets meaninglessness, mercy meets misery, 31
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joy meets despair, audacity meets fear, and life meets death. The celebration of Easter will become meaningful when Christians live as ‘Easter people’. Here are some tips to live as Easter people:
Live in God’s presence: The disciples on the road to Emmaus recognized the presence of Jesus at the breaking of the bread. They and all the apostles felt that He was with them and hoped that he will continue to be with them always and will never abandon them. He has said, “I am with you always until the end of this world” (Mt 28:20). Our journey on earth is marked by the presence of the Risen Lord. He guides our steps all through our life’s journey. If we are aware of this reality then peace and joy of the Risen Lord will be ours forever. Celebrate life in all its fullness: Arun, a 15 year old boy, confided to his trustworthy teacher, “I hate the word ‘study’ because my parents force me to study all the time. If I don’t study when they tell me to, they beat me or say something that hurts me.” The teacher expressed his deep concern and understanding to Arun. Empathizing with him and appreciating him for his talents, the teacher gradually made him understand the importance of scoring good marks in exams and the need to concentrate in studies. He also called for his parents and counseled them to be very understanding towards their son. This act of the teacher facilitated Arun to come out in flying colours at the final examinations and celebrate his success in life. The resurrection of the Lord assures us that our earthly existence is worth living and we need to live it well with the hope that we have a new life beyond this mortal life that is so glorious, marvelous, eternal and blissful. We need to help others to live happily.
continuous torture of her drunkard husband. Sr. Ruby counseled her, made her understand the worth of her life. She gave the woman a job in the convent and admitted her children in a good school to educate them well. She even counseled the husband to be responsible. Then Maria understood the importance of finding meaning in life and found reason to continue living for the sake of her two lovely children, to educate them and bring them up well. She decided to start her life anew. We need to help persons to find meaning in life just as the resurrection of Jesus gives meaning to our lives. Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and the founder of logotherapy, says, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” Every person who accepts the risen Christ will find meaning in his/her life and help others to find the same.
Lead a hope-filled life: Jesus has risen to fill us with hope that if we believe in Him and lead a good life we shall also rise with Him and will enjoy new life. “If we have died with him we will also live with Him” (2 Tim2:11). No human person in this world can and should think that he/she is alone and is cut off from everlasting life which the risen Lord represents. We need to preserve in our hearts the hope of a new life in heaven in the company of our Triune God and all the saints.
Easter becomes the time when light meets darkness, significance in life meets meaninglessness, mercy meets misery, joy meets despair, audacity meets fear, and life meets death.
Help people to find meaning in life: Maria, a poor lady with two children, was desperate and at the verge of committing suicide because of the The Salesian Bulletin
Radiate joy in abundance: After the resurrection the Risen Lord appeared not to the mighty, powerful and righteous people but to the lowly women, simple apostles and frightened disciples and made them bearers and messengers of the good news. “Were not our hearts burning within us when he was talking to us on the road and explaining the scriptures?” (Lk24:32), exclaimed the disciples on the road to Emmaus. We need to rejoice and exult in the Lord for he raises the poor, humble, lowly and the weak. Easter surely is the time to sing ‘Alleluia’ and, along with Mary, APRIL 2017
proclaim, “My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour...” (Lk1:46-55).
out to at least few of the weak and vulnerable, sick and lonely, for we ourselves have received the mercy of God.
Be messengers of God’s mercy to everyone: Our Holy Father Pope Francis is ever on the move to do personally many daring works of mercy such as visiting the prisoners, washing their feet, meeting refugees and asking countries to give them refuge, meeting the sick, feeding the hungry etc., In his apostolic letter, Misericordia et Misera he wishes, “may our communities reach out to all who live in their midst, so that God’s caress may reach everyone through the witness of believers” (pg.37). Following his footsteps as the Easter people we are called to commit ourselves to do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, reaching
Easter will be relevant today if it has an impact on our present life and bring transformation in our everyday life. Whenever one feels God’s presence in life, wherever life is respected, promoted and celebrated, where peace, joy, hope and mercy are realized Jesus is risen again. We experience a new life in Christ! May the new life of Risen Christ be with us in all its fullness for He came that we may have life and have it abundantly. We place our trust in Him and rest secure that He cares for us and He is with us always, today, tomorrow and forever!
Place your trust in the Lord: Preethi, a XII standard student who had a great ideal of scoring high marks, fell ill just before the exams. She testifies that she placed all her trust in Jesus and prayed incessantly along with her family members and when the results of the exam came she could not believe her eyes, she had scored high marks. She praised and thanked the Lord for His goodness. Easter people know well that it is better to place their trust in the Lord rather than on persons or things of the world. “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man; it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes…” (Ps.118:8-9).
Announce peace to everyone: Peace is the first gift of the Risen Jesus to his friends. Whenever he appeared to his apostles he greeted them “Peace be with you”. At the last supper he said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives peace do I give it to you…” (Jn 14:27). As Easter people we need to wish peace to all whom we meet. We can never think or speak of violence or hatred, but of love, forgiveness and fraternity. We need to make the canticle of St. Francis of Assisi our own: “Lord, make me an instrument of peace, where there is hatred let me bring love, where there is injury pardon…”
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HUMOUR A. J. FRANK
Waiting for the Call
Teacher: Correct the sentence, “A bull and a cow is grazing in the field”
Master: Cintu, why are you holding the receiver of the phone to your ear? Did it ring? Cintu: No, I am expecting an urgent call from my brother.
Obedience When I greeted my boss in the morning, he told me to have a good day. Who am I to argue? So I thanked him and went back home.
Student: “A cow and a bull is grazing in the field” Teacher: How? Student: Ladies first.
Careful Driver Tim: My wife is a very careful driver. Jim: How do you know that? Tim: She always slows down when passing a red light!
Woman buys a new SIM card puts it in her phone and decides to surprise her husband who is seated on the couch in the living room. She goes to the kitchen, calls her husband with the new number: Hello Darling! The husband responds in a low tone: Let me call you back later Honey, my stupid wife is in the kitchen.
Losing Patience Patient: Doctor, you must help me. I'm under such a lot of stress, I keep losing my temper with people. Doctor: Tell me about your problem. Patient (angrily): I just did, didn't I, you stupid Doctor.
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MY FIRST BIBLE
JESUS’ ANGER! Are you surprised? Jesus went to a temple to pray. It was very crowded. People had changed the temple into a marketplace. They were selling goats, cows, pigeons, and rabbits. Jesus became very angry. He shouted at them for turning the worshipping place into a market. He let the goats and cows run away. He released the pigeons from the cage. They flew away happily. He chased the merchants. They got angry with Jesus. They even plotted to kill him. Is not Jesus’ anger reasonable? “God’s house is holy.” Have you ever helped cleaning the church?
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