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January - 2017 | Volume - 59 | Issue - 01 | ₹ 15

Quality Pastoral Leadership



The Salesian Bulletin





Number and News

100,000 estimated 450,000 At least

Speak Up

Social Media: Facebook Source: The Bible Series On the Wall: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son Posted on: 16 December 2016 As on: 20 December 2016 Likes: 74,686 Shares: 4,538 Comments: 1,139 Chosen Comment: That is the best gift mankind could ever have; to live forever without pain and worry. Thank you YAHWEH for sending your only SON, JESUS CHRIST, to redeem us from eternal death. Our GOD is forever merciful.

trees in Chennai city have been uprooted by cyclone Vardah. According

“Why did the Prime Minister go after 6% black money, and not 94%, which is in real estate and in offshore accounts? The truth of demonitisation is that it has destroyed the informal sector and the future of crores of youth”. (Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Party Vice-President in a rally in Jaunpur.

to estimates, around


Photo of the Month

21 From Water To Wine By Matthew Adukanil SDB



32 6 11


Radio Salesian: Voice of the Hills By C. M. Paul SDB



More About Don Bosco By Abraham Kadaplackal SDB

Giving at the Heart of Sanctity By Joe Andrew SDB 21 JANUARY 2017

of the

Harjeet Singh, a truck driver’s son led the Indian Junior Hockey Team to Historic World Cup Win in its such final in 14 years. India overwhelmed Belgium 2-1 to lift the 2016 Hockey Junior World Cup. The 20-year-oldmidfielder is from Kurali in Punjab.

Quality Pastoral Leadership By Joe Thannickal SDB

10 Q with Fr. Antony Joseph SDB By David Mariaselvam SDB


tree cover in Chennai has vanished in the wake of the cyclone.



of the

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The Salesian Bulletin

- a family magazine

Editor A. Raj Mariasusai sdb News Editor [Salesian & Church News] A.J. Frank sdb Correspondent David Mariaselvam sdb Chief Designer A. Paul Victor Media Coordinator S. Veera Circulation: Gnana Amala Infenta J. Office Assistant: I. Vinoth Kumar Editorial Board Joe Andrew sdb / Joe Mannath sdb Agilan sdb / Joaquim Fernandes sdb Advisory Board Maria Arokiam Kanaga - President SPCSA Jayapalan Raphael - President Salesian Publishing Society / Xavier Packiam - Financial Advisor / Godfrey D'Souza Nirmol Gomes / Nestor Guria Vattathara Thomas / Thathi Reddy Joyce Mathew / Jose Mathew / Felix Fernandes George Maliekal / Albert Johnson 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 - Salesian Bulletin A/c No : 0138053000021812 IFSC : SIBL0000138 Branch : 0138 Kellys Branch, Chennai Office : Editor : 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. The Salesian Bulletin


Editorial Editorial Brokenness is Blessedness in Pastoral Leadership

In our cover story, we shall be reading the competencies that should be built up to carry out the pastoral responsibilities. They are mostly positive images of a pastor. But a question about brokenness could surprise many. It is said, “Pastors don’t get into trouble because they forget that they’re pastors. They get into trouble because they forget that they’re people.” Pastors need to remove the invisible superman in them. The superman syndrome is the starting point of many troubles today. Pastors are no superiors in any field. Even in administering sacraments, we tend to become merely administrators than passing on the grace of God. As pastors, it is important to admit our brokenness. It is tough. We need a high level of genuine humility for this spiritual transformation. Paul in his letter to Philippians 3:12-14 beautifully wrote about himself, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Paul is one of the biblical figures of modern day pastors who publically acknowledged his brokenness in the pastoral leadership. By doing this, he makes us realize ‘the blessedness of brokenness’ in the pastors. In Mathew 5:3 Jesus affirms us that broken man is truly a blessed man. We as human beings experience brokenness in our lives, for we are fallen people living in a fallen world. This is where a pastor needs to realize that they are ‘people first’. It is this feeling that would trigger us to respond to brokenness and determine the experience of God’s blessings. Brokenness is the gateway to repentance and changes our stubborn behaviour. This is precisely Paul as a pastor exhibited in his letter to the Church at Corinth. It is brokenness resulting in grace. Jesus himself very clearly explained to us that only our brokenness is capable of making us fruit bearing. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24) One of the theologians who captured the essence of Jesus’ words is Søren Kierkegaard. “God creates everything out of nothing – and everything God is to use He first reduces to nothing.” The pastors should constantly remind themselves that wholeness in us is only through Christ. Jesus came to give us life abundantly, but this abundant life does not shield us from brokenness. This abundance helps us through dark days of our lives. Don’t look at brokenness as weakness. Talking about brokenness Richard Foster, one of the spiritual voices lists “crucifixion of the will” as one significant benefit of brokenness and “freedom from the everlasting burden of always having to get our own way.” It is only ending the self-conceited rule of oneself to produce true humility. There is a great value in the brokenness of the pastor. The inner peace that results in getting into the shoes of the people will greatly benefit the people we pastorally care. Wish you a very Happy New Year and a jubilant Feast of Don Bosco.

A. Raj Mariasusai SDB 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



While accepting the accusations and admiring the factual evidences penned by Rev.Sr.D.J.Margaret on her “Working Women”(Page 27. Dec 2016 issue), it has to be admitted that no law or religious principle come across women to hinder their growth or development in the family, society and national levels. But they themselves feel they are not competent to stand against or parallel to men, besides housewife heroines or occupational housewives, as finds in ‘The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan Simone de Beauvoir in ‘the Second Sex” quotes the opinion of Aristotle, “Woman is woman because of a deficiency that she must live closed up at home and obey man.” So complete emancipation of women is possible if they induct their self-confidence and courageous commitment with good hope and self-trust without murmuring here and there meaninglessly. B.P.Pereira Madurai All the articles in December issue were outstanding, particularly the articles of Joe Boenzi on ‘Maria Domenica Mazzarello’ and Maria Arokiam Kanaga on ‘No News is Good News’.

Thank you for your good work as the editor of the Salesian Bulletin. Congratulations.I read your Editorial in the Salesian bulletine, December 2016, Vol.58, Issue 11. It is nice. I would like to put forward the following as my humble opinion. I found like this: "He realized that 'God loves our sins' when they are mixed with repentance more than He loves our virtues when they are mixed with pride." Perhaps I do understand what you mean to say. May be it could be said differently.. God loves us in spite of our sins when we go to him with repentance. I feel that God could never love sins... what ever we mix them with. Another thing I found is "Righteousness ruins forgiveness." May be what we call the 'self-righteousness' which is a misguided thing that ruins forgiveness. Righteousness is not a negative thing and it cannot ruin forgiveness. Fr. Selvanathan Benjamin SDB Chennai I am 86 Years Old. I cannot walk or see well. I read the short articles in the Salesian Bulletin and I like them very much, especially the quotes.. Pray for us that we may enjoy the peace of Christ always.

Fr. Xavier Pakkiam SDB Chennai

Mrs. Clotilda D’Mello Bardez, Goa

Fr. Cedric Bout (98) became the oldest Salesian ever in the 110 years Salesian history of India. Wishes came pouring in. We wish to thank everyone. Congratulations Dear Fr. Bout! You are an inspiration and an exemplary Man of God. Still vividly recall the evenings you walked down through Valliamal Street in Kilpauk, with your pockets full of toffees, whistles, small toys for the poor kids.... you were Santa Claus all through the year! They used to call you Christmas Thatta:) (Christmas Grandpa) Fr. Lazer Arasu, Bombo, Uganda We are privileged to have such a gift of God in the person of Fr. Bout. May each one of us celebrate the gift of life to us. God is good. Fr. Patrick Alphonse SDB In Charge Jharkhand Missions JANUARY 2017


The Salesian Bulletin



Quality Pastoral Leadership


n the following paragraphs, I have tried to highlight a few thoughts about Pastoral Leadership in our world, in our time, and in our local contexts. Scripture is the main inspiration, but we shall also match our thoughts against slices of experiences we are exposed to. What is Leadership?

Leadership is about having a vision, and about the ability to enlist others on to that vision.

Leadership is an action-oriented, interpersonal influencing process. In essence, leadership involves vision and initiative. More comprehensively, we as pastoral leaders see strong visions of ministry, communicate our dreams clearly, gain consensus and commitment to common objectives, take the initiative by setting the pace in ministry actions and multiply our influence by transforming followers into new leaders. Pastoral leaders differ from church managers. Church managers conserve and concentrate on doing things right; pastoral leaders create the focus on doing the right things. Quality of our leadership service

A few days ago, while reading the account of sending out the seventy-two disciples on their first apostolic journey (Mt. 10, 7-15), I looked for the shortest of the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples. The shortest one was this: “You received without charge, Give without charge” (Mt. 10, 8) In general, this sentence first asks us to engage in Giving, and then to focus on the Quality of our giving. Giving is important but also the “how” of it is equally important; namely the attitudes, the mental The Salesian Bulletin


and spiritual relationship contexts in which the act of giving is exercised.

Jesus wants us to give “without charge” which means that it has to be (i) generous (ii) whole hearted (iii) with love. This means that as we focus on the positive qualities of giving, we should also avoid their opposites, namely, a giving that is too calculating or grudging or with hate in our hearts. These latter negatives would impoverish the quality of our action of giving. Is it possible for us to fall into poor quality giving? Sure we can. Let us take just one situation: Tuition discounts for students in our schools.

On the other hand quality leadership and service should give to our beneficiaries a sense that we are sharing in a common purpose with them. Quality leadership and quality giving require generosity and unconditional love on our part for it to be fruitful. (i) Quality service only if we are ‘rich’

Only a wealthy person can be poor with generosity, wholeheartedness and love, – not rich in material things, but rich in the matters of the heart. The richness of heart enhances us holistically. It includes psychological health and spiritual resources, very specially gratitude and a self-confidence that springs from being rooted in something higher than ourselves. So even a person who is economically poor can be rich in heart; and an individual who is materially rich can be miserably poor of heart, as well. Discernment of vocations to Quality pastoral ministry then, should focus more on the way the JANUARY 2017

youngster and his family has dealt with their conditions, and not the conditions per se. Have they been able to find peaceableness with what they had? Has their religious living helped them to handle in a healthy way their own deficiencies or plentifulness so far? Does their experiencing of life in the home thus far suggest that the candidate will be able to handle the privations that will come to him as a religious? Do he and his family show some capacity to create a healthy distance from their conditions, or are they hanging on to their backgrounds as crutches?

In fact, the formation of a Quality pastoral minister should be first about helping the candidate to move from a miserly heart to a generous heart. This comes about from the deep touch with God which makes all of us rich in His eyes. When we are able to fathom the richness in our own hearts, then we are well on our way to proper formation. To put it another way, formation processes should focus on the movement of the heart from a pleasure focus on life, which can infect anyone regardless of their backgrounds, to a spirit focus. Genuine Pastoral Leadership as Jesus seems to suggest, becomes then the result of a spiritual journey. (ii) Quality Pastoral Leaders are visionaries

Leaders everywhere and most often see the vision of a new future, different from what others see. Pastoral Leaders are no different. They are able to look at the same existing situation that others are seeing, but also understand its underlying potentials and propose new ways of handling it. Hence the one who merely speaks the same language as the others around him, or who cannot get out of the priorities others have set in place, or the one who sees no way to solve problems other than what others have to offer, cannot propose himself as a leader in a situation. Quite often, today’s media is up in our face with value judgements, and propagandist postures. So anyone who subscribes to these views uncritically cannot be effective pastoral ministers. People around a leader need to see freshness in being there, and then only can they enlist themselves on to his or her project. George Bernard Shaw put it quite correctly: ‘You see things; and you say, ‘Why’? But I dream of things that never were; and say, ‘Why not?’ JANUARY 2017

(iii) Quality Pastoral Leader Articulates the vision for others

The vision that a leader has must be articulated for the sake of others. Some have better competencies for this. They are imaginative enough to be able to use the right metaphor to express the core concerns. Jesus’ parables are excellent examples of this. People did not have to be highly educated to grasp the messages when Jesus spoke. Surprisingly, our own Mother Teresa also exhibited a remarkable ability to articulate her vision. Among many examples, we may cite the following conversation between her and the Archbishop of Kolkata. “Archbishop Henry of Kolkata says, “I had known her when I was a seminarian. She often came to the seminary to ask the seminarians to help her in some emergency or other. We were impressed by her total dedication and her promptness in facing up to problems. Later, I met her at Bhubaneswar 300 miles south of Calcutta, where she had opened a house for lepers at the request of the government. But it was when I became pastor at Kharagpur on the outskirts of Calcutta that I could really see what the presence of Mother Teresa in Calcutta meant for the poor. I put all the problems of the poor in her hands. One day she said to me, as a kind of rebuke: ‘You always talk about problems. Can’t we find another word to describe difficulties?””What word, Mother?””For example, the word gift.” she replied.

What is being done here is to use a different word (gift) for the same reality (problems). This change in nomenclature brings about a transformation in the way the reality is viewed and felt. This is a technique which today’s cognitive sciences would call ‘reframing’. In a reframe, the facts regarding the problem remain unchanged, but the way they are perceived and processed is altered. In the conversation above, the problems continue to remain problematic; but when looked at from the lens of giftedness, its meaning, as well as the emotional import is rendered different, which presents new possibilities in the way one handles the problem. Doubtless, many of us will find it hard to imagine that without ever formally studying the technique, Mother Teresa was able to apply the method from intuition. It is possible, and 7

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even probable, that her outlook on life prompted by the gospel values of trust in God, and gratitude for small mercies from Him, inspired her to come up spontaneously with the metaphor that reframed the approach to problematic situations. The ability to articulate our vision in a language that is immediately graspable by the hearer is an essential competence for a quality pastoral leader. Spending time and resources for such training in our formation curricula should be recommended. (iii) Quality Pastoral Leaders are Bifocal

They focus both on results and relationships. Mt. 10: 9 tells us of a relationship that is productive. Take with you nothing of what people on a journey would consider essential. ‘According to Jesus, all that you need should come to you from the community you serve. If it doesn’t come, then learn to serve with less; and if you can’t, then withdraw’ could be one way to understand Jesus’ instruction. Additionally, Jesus does not seem to want our needs to be looked after by our people because pressures are applied to them, or because of fear of some sort. He wants our ‘wages’ to come to us because of our relationship with our people because relationships are what remain when everything else is given up. When we have a relationship of love, they will feel internally impelled to help us to live

like them and with them. Jesus does not at all seem to contemplate a situation in which the evangelizer looks outside this relationship for maintenance. In other words, a good pastoral leader focuses less on his or her own needs, and more on the task goals as well as on the relationship with the people he or she serves.

But this approach is going to bring inconveniences and privations occasionally. This is where the Jesus enterprise takes a leap from economics to spirituality. Jesus is more concerned with the spirit of the evangelizer that makes this transition possible, and that too without undue stress for anyone. Jesus’ enterprise is, in the final analysis, a spiritual enterprise, and one who cannot serve from the level of the spirit should not claim to be doing Jesus’ work. (iv) Quality Pastoral Leaders transform followers into leaders

Jesus says, “Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave.” (Mt. 10, 11) Take the trouble to discover the strengths of your followers so that you can identify those among them who are stronger. Once you find them, stay with them, supporting their worthiness in front of the whole village or town. In other words, recognize and witness to the leadership potential your followers seem to have; and, support and promote their development.

In today’s Church context two groups of people stand out for their leadership needing to be recognized and promoted: Laity and Women.

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We all know how much we depend on the laity in our works, but one doubts whether this dependence is recognized in tangible ways by the Church as a whole. This situation has to be examined and deliberated upon. To begin with, we have to recognize the characteristic way we think about and deal with our laity. For example, Do we feel comfortable with the laity that surrounds us? What is the first response that comes to us when we see them? Excitement at new possibilities? Or fear at potential troubles? If Jesus had started with fear, there would have been no Church today, to be sure. JANUARY 2017

The second group of people that need to be recognized is women. Without a shadow of a doubt, all over the world, the Catholic Church survives on the inputs provided by women, whether religious or lay. And yet one can see varying levels of dissatisfaction on the part of women about the way they are treated. Are we as a Church listening to them? One common complaint I have received from priests about laity and women is that there are very few among them who are prepared for leadership. There must be some truth in it if so many are complaining. But then we have to ask, “Who can remedy this situation?� Sometimes we speak as though it is the laity’s fault that they are not prepared.

There is also another fallacy that needs to be recognized. We make frantic efforts to find good vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and so many of us become distraught because we find so few. But the surprising thing is that we are so miserly when it comes to supporting families. Where can good vocations come from if not families? How can they come from good families, when the Church is sparing in her support of families. How can families develop when we invest so poorly in the development of the laity and women? (v) Quality Leadership invites people to see the bigger issues involved

Quality Pastoral Leadership does not rest only on carrying out some tasks, and creating the right relationships. It also needs to focus on the bigger issues involved in the task carried out, bigger in terms of extension, breadth and depth to which the task may lead. For example, a quality leader will not only run a school to serve the students in it but also focus on how the school is serving the wider community. A Parish Priest will not only serve the needs of his immediate flock but also the JANUARY 2017

relationship issues that the flock are continually facing with others in their contexts.

Likewise, Quality leaders will also focus on the meaning and significance of what we do. They will ask themselves, what is this task meant to achieve for the wider community, the underprivileged, the overall inter-religious dialogue situation, etc.? (vi) Quality Pastoral Leaders help followers to realize their true value

Encounters between a quality leader and a follower will bring to both of them, but especially the follower, a sense of their own value in front of God. They will go away from the interaction, having added just one more shade to their understanding of who they are. Respect and concern for the needs of the other not only satisfies the other but more importantly, it gives us the satisfaction of living ourselves valuable.

For example, quality leaders will respect due process in their dealings. My own experience of being appointed to the On-going Formation Committee of the US diocese where I served is memorable here. The Bishop asked me through the Vicar General whether or not I would be willing. When I replied in the affirmative, the Bishop sent me an appointment letter, with a brief job description and stating clearly for how long. Finally, I responded positively in writing. This note of mine was filed at the Chancery. After three years when the period of appointment was through, the Bishop sent me a letter of thanks. A simple appointment, done properly, following due process!

Due to processes in the things we do help everyone to feel respected and valued. One should 9

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not overlook due process except at great peril to the feelings of cohesion, collaboration and commitment that we all want to see in a group. (vii) Quality Pastoral leadership will elicit the creative genius in the follower

Our founders were creative leaders. ‘Creative’ meant that they thought out solutions to existing problems, solutions that were unique and which have not occurred to others during their time, though they were all exposed to the same problematic situations unfolding before them. Being faithful to Don Bosco means, not merely carrying on faithfully what he did, but also coming up with initiatives that might not have occurred to him, but which holds promise for addressing today’s problems, in Don Bosco’s way. While talking to the Salesian Psychological Association (SPA) in May last in Bangalore, I made the following observations. “We (SPA) need to model how we in India can become contributors to the Salesian Cause rather than merely its consumers, worshippers or dispensers. We should move ahead from being faithful practitioners of our charism to articulating it with enhanced nuances that arise from living it out in new contexts, even leading us to theorize about it courageously.”

We in India, I think, have so far succeeded commendably well to receive and internalize the message brought to us by our missionary forefathers. Though all along we have had a wonderful opportunity to allow the Charism to interact with the Indian culture that it encountered here, maybe we have not explored this interaction seriously or systematically. This may also be one of the reasons why we Indians are still not able to take up leadership at certain levels. After all genuine leaders are those who provide a vision, in its newness, in its freshness. Simply put, suffice it to say, that Quality Pastoral ministers in India should be serving their people in ways that are a little different from the way it is done in other parts of the world. The Salesian Bulletin


(viii) Quality Pastoral Leader listens to his or her own inner voice. After concluding the year of mercy, we the quality pastoral ministers should think of how we can represent a God of mercy for our people. I would like to share my thoughts on the parable of the Good Samaritan, which provides much inspiration to the mercy conversation. Quite often it seems to me that we picture the characters in the parable somewhat simplistically, in as much as we have a tendency to exalt the Samaritan’s behavior as good and desirable, and the others’ behavior as bad and undesirable. But there is nothing to suggest that the architect of the story wanted such a clear-cut characterization. He does not say anything about whether the others in the parable had compassion or not. So here for a change, let us assume that they all did have compassion in their heart. The question still remains, “What then happened to these good people that the Samaritan behaved in one way, while all others behaved very differently?” One way to understand the difference would be to say, that for all of them their compassionate momentum started with an inner voice in their own hearts. After all, who would not feel pity for a wounded man lying helpless on the ground? Perhaps the differences occurred because of what they did with this voice. The Samaritan followed his inner voice to its logical conclusion, whereas the others suppressed this voice of compassion succumbing to other values and pressures. This ability to listen to one’s own voice is a skill, and that is essential to a pastoral leader. The voice comes from elsewhere, and as believers, we know it is from our spiritual core. So then, Quality ministry can be built on quality listening, particularly to our own inner voice. Such listening to oneself is the cradle for creativity and effectiveness in what we do. The challenge before us is to listen to our inner voices, as God Himself would listen to them.

We have made an effort to describe some of the characteristics of Good and quality Pastoral Leadership Ministry. To conclude, let us affirm that it is somewhat established that leadership today is, and should be a service. It starts with service, and grows with service. May the Lord of the people teach us how to serve His people, effectively and with a benefit for those we serve and for ourselves.


10 Q


(Fr. David Mariaselvam interviews Fr. Antony Joseph SDB the Provincial-Elect of the Salesian Province of Tiruchy. Fr. Antony Joseph shall be installed as the fourth Provincial of the Province on 4th February 2017) How do you feel with the important the trust and good will of the confreres and therefore I responsibility given to you by the congregation? should not find it tough. How am I going to manage is the immediate Any specific strategies for the young Salesians question that I have within? At the same time, the trust in initial formation? in God and my confreres make me feel comfortable.

What are the strengths of your province? I feel that the province is already on the right track from the time of its inception trying to reach out the periphery. All the three former Provincials have contributed in a big way. All that I have to do is to continue in the path of my predecessors and build on them.

What would be your area of focus?

There is a saying in Tamil, Nil, Gavani, Purapadu which means, stop, observe and proceed. I think we need to stop a little bit, solve little problems which we encounter and then continue. I would give more focus for the unity of the confreres and financial stability along with the mission of the province.

We need to keep them rooted in traditions of the congregation as the dangers of getting distracted is more due to media and technology. We need to listen to them and understand them. I also would focus on qualifying them. Another area of concern of the province would be to send young missionaries to other countries.

What are your favourite games and hobbies? I used to play Kabbadi but later started playing other games as well. I was more interested in doing things like plumbing, electrical works, repairing, basically binding broken things. Now I spend lots of time with nature and passionately pursue farming.

Do you see the need for the provinces of Chennai and Tiruchy to work together?

You are popularly known as ANNA (Elder With the same cultural identity, I certainly believe Brother). What is the story behind your name? that we need to travel together in many ways. Our When I was in the Aspirantate, we used to go for the annual picnic to Yellagiri Hills on foot. The smaller boys would find it difficult to climb the hills and at times would faint on the way. I was quite strong, and I used to carry them on my shoulders. These small ones fondly started calling me ‘Anna’. My friends began to tease me calling Anna. Eventually, it became my second name. Even today I feel happy when they call me Anna because I deal with people with the affection of an elder brother.

What are your strengths? I am good at building relationships with people, a quality that I inherited from my father. I am also good at management of finance, and maybe that’s why I was appointed as the Province Economer when I was just 36, and I held the responsibility for nine years. My Master’s degree in Mathematics helped in carrying out my duties.

In general members of your province seem to be quite pleased with your appointment, how do you look at it? I know that the expectation is quite high and I have JANUARY 2017

formation is together and it should also lead us to other areas of collaboration. Together we need to create a great impact in youth ministry in Tamilnadu.

Who are the Salesians who have inspired you? Many Salesians have inspired me, like Fr. Jaganathan, K.C. Antony and Fr. K.C. Philip. Two people who guided me and inspired me to join the congregation are Fr. Christy and Fr. Lourdusamy. I would like to mention particularly about Bishop Joseph Antony. He received me in the Aspirantate with lots of love and affection. When I struggled with English and wanted to quit, he kept encouraging me. He used to say humorously that I had his name on the reverse and so he was confident that I would be a good Salesian. 11

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ear Friends, readers of the Salesian Bulletin and my dear Salesian Family, I write this first greeting of the New Year to you with Don Bosco in mind, given his feast day is in January, and after having met with the Salesian Provincial of the Middle East. He, Fr. Munir El Raì, a Syrian born in Aleppo, spoke with me with tears in his eyes – not only for the sufferings of his home city and his people but also for the incredibly precious moments he is living in the midst of the bullets, bombs, and destruction.

He said to me: “Don Bosco is more alive than ever in Syria, in Aleppo. In the midst of the wreckage and debris, the Salesian house keeps its doors open every day to welcome hundreds of boys, girls, teens, and young adults because we want life to continue though surrounded by so much death. And I can tell you that it is incredible how instead of diminishing, the number of young The Salesian Bulletin


people coming, grows and continues to increase. It moves me to see more than 1,500 boys, girls, and youths – double the number of former times – who want to come to Don Bosco’s house to meet with the others, to live, to pray, and to play.” He added: “I must tell you that it also moves me that my brother Salesians wish to remain among our people. They are able to leave if they want, because they can, but not one wishes to go, risking the same fate as our people’s.”

I listened to him, unable to speak a word, myself deeply moved. Certainly Don Bosco is more alive than ever. Indubitably, he is so in Paradise, in that Other Life that is life in God, but also here, among us because there are hundreds and hundreds of Salesian Priests, Brothers, Sisters, laity, and youths who continue to live his dream and his educative and evangelizing mission, and his one-on-one encounter with each child and each youth.


In the many “Valdoccos” of the world What is said of Aleppo can be said of many other places. One of the things which Don Bosco used to remind his Salesians with great insistence – and, most especially, the missionaries who went to America – was this: “Care especially for the sick, the children, the elderly, and the poor.” This explains the little “Salesian Miracle” in Aleppo – that a house exists where everyone and each one can find a home. They won’t find much to eat because there’s a scarcity everywhere, but they continue singing to life and betting strongly on life in a situation of death. This reality fills me with joy and, from this day forward, my lips will profess their homage and thanksgiving to Don Bosco who without any pretensions was great because he was able to reach to the depths of a person’s heart with just a look, a glance, a silence, or a word. And this is what continues to happen today in the many

“Valdoccos” of the world. Thus I cannot resist sharing with you a very simple incident that speaks of the good sentiments and greatness of Don Bosco’s heart. It is only a little anecdote, but it says it all. Many years after Don Bosco’s death, a Salesian, Don Alessandro Luchelli, who had lived at the Oratory in Valdocco (Turin) for a number of years with Don Bosco, recounted the story that in 1884 discipline at Valdocco had become very strict, contrary to Salesian tradition – so much so that Don Bosco himself was pained to see certain things happening. He expressed his concerns in our well-known “Letter of 1884 from Rome.” Alessandro continues: “One day, Don Bosco encountered me as I was standing beside a line of boys under my care while they were waiting for their turn to go to the study hall. I kept strict discipline with a stern expression on my face, demanding that they maintain a perfect, single-file line. At that moment, Don Bosco passed by, placed his hand on my shoulder, and said to me: “But leave them be.” Don Bosco didn’t like lines. He tolerated them only when the number of boys had increased greatly and it seemed to be necessary.” Now I share with you this other testimony which speaks of this heart of a father who safeguards the simplest things of the home, the family, and the young people of a Salesian house. Just as in Aleppo, so it is in Sierra Leone, in Ghana, in “Don Bosco City” in Colombia, in Ethiopia, and among the refugee children sheltered in the Salesian houses in Germany – as it is in hundreds and hundreds of others which could be named.

This is what needs to be said to us also today, together with Fr. Munir of Aleppo, that Don Bosco is alive – very alive in those Salesian houses around the world where the Salesian spirit thrives and, also, in how much life his sons and daughters – Religious and laity – give everywhere, trying in the simplicity of their lives “to be Don Bosco today”!



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Death sentences for men who killed Pakistani Christian couple

Indian church looks to new saint in murdered nun The grave of Sister Rani, a Francis Clarist nun who was murdered in Indore 21 years ago has been exhumed as part of a process that may eventually lead to her canonization. Sr. Rani who was then 41 years old was stabbed 50 times by Samunder Singh, a hired assassin of the money lenders and landlords. Her work among poor landless people had upset some landlords who did not like her helping locals become more self-reliant. Samunder Singh was convicted and sent to jail for 12 years, where he repented and was accepted by Sr. Rani’s family as their own family member. The nun was declared a Servant of God in 2005.

Marian Basilica opened in Jharkhand

Nearly 10,000 Catholics joined Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi on Dec. 8 to open a centuryold Marian church as the Basilica of Divine Motherhood of Our Lady, in Ulhat on the outskirts of Ranchi city, the capital of Jharkhand state.

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has sentenced to death five men convicted of torturing and burning alive a Christian couple at a brick kiln in 2014. Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shama, a mother of three who was pregnant, were beaten and burned to death in a furnace following rumors that two brick kiln workers had burned pages of the Quran in Kot Radha Kishan, a town in Punjab’s Kasur district. Although the Catholic Church is against the death sentence, activists are happy that justice is seen to have been done.

Indian bishop asks Catholics to produce more children

Bishop Mathew Anikkuzhikkattil of Idukki, an Oriental Syro-Malabar bishop in Kerala has urged Catholics to stop using birth control and have more children as studies show that the Christian population is declining in the southern Indian state. In response, many parishes have come up with incentives to encourage people to procreate such as free education and free medical care for children starting from the fifth child onwards. Some parishes are even offering financial assistance to large families.

Pune’s oldest church celebrates 225 years

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The oldest church in Pune, the Immaculate Conception Church also known as the “City Church” is celebrating 225 years of its existence. The church, often known as the mother church of the Deccan, was constructed in the early 1790s by Portuguese. The year-long festivities began on Dec 8, 2016. JANUARY 2017



Vatican issues new guidelines for priestly formation The Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy has issued an updated instrument for the formation of priests. The document, entitled Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis or ‘The Gift of Priestly Vocation’, was promulgated on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, 8 Dec. The last Ratio was published in 1970 and updated in 1985.

Attack on Cairo’s Coptic Orthodox Appointment of new Archbishop Cathedral kills 25 At least 25 persons of Krakow, Poland

were killed on 11th December Sunday, when a bomb exploded at a chapel attached to St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, and dozens more were injured. Christians in Egypt have long faced attacks from Islamist extremists, particularly since Egypt’s military ousted president Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, in 2013.

Archbishop Marek Jedraszweski has been named the new shepherd of Poland’s Krakow Archdiocese by Pope Francis, following the retirement of Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. The appointment was announced by the Vatican on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

New Vietnamese Catholic dictionary will help prevent confusion

The Catholic Church has published a dictionary of Catholic terms in Vietnamese in order to help people understand the Christian faith, evangelize and avoid misunderstanding. This first ever dictionary of this kind, contains 2,000 terms and took nine years Leader of Opus Dei to complete. This dictionary was dies at 84 released by Archbishop Paul Bui Bishop Van Doc of Ho Chi Minh City on J a v i e r December 9. Echevarría Rodríguez, the Prelate of Opus Dei, died on 12th December, at the age of 84 in Rome, several days after being hospitalized with pneumonia. JANUARY 2017

Pope Francis meets U.S. Secretary of State at the Vatican On December 2, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Pope Francis. During his visit, Kerry also met with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Secretary for Relations with the States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher. The meeting centered largely on the challenges of migration. 15

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as you never heard before...



Jesus in Inter-Religious Dialogue (Jn 4: 1-42)


ychar was a small dusty village at the foot of Mount Gherizim right in the middle of Samaria. About half a mile away there was a well, not mentioned in the book of Genesis, but was traditionally believed to be dub by Jacob the patriarch. Jesus reached this historic spot in the middle of a hot day and sat at this well. He recalled the sad history of Israel. Now they are a divided people, into Jews and Samaritans! The Samaritans were Israelites who after the first exile of Israel into Assyria in the year 721 got mixed up with the foreigners both in blood and beliefs. This created a chasm between them. They bagan to hate and demean each other and the rivalry was at its peak around the time of Jesus. They had become almost two rival religions. The Jews claimed that Jerusalem was the only divinely ordained centre of all worship. The Samaritans set up a rival temple on Mount Gherizim and created their own rituals and beliefs. They were now racial and religious enemies. When Lea, our iconic Samaritan woman, reached the well a different type of Hunger took hold of Jesus! He saw in her a great opportunity to make disciples among the Samaritans. So he struck up a conversation with her naturally by just asking for water to drink. She was suspicious and non committal in her answers. So Jesus provoked her with a personal question about her husband. She carelessly answered him: “I have no husband!”

“I understand,” said Jesus. “You have had so many men, and so how can you call the present fellow your husband? I appreciate your honesty.” He teased her trying to break down her defenses.

Lea still wanted to deflect his attention from her personal life, and steered the topic to religion to put him off. She probably wanted to create a confrontation. On religious beliefs Jews and Samaritans were at loggerheads. The Salesian Bulletin


“Oh, you talk like a prophet. I want to ask you a question. You Jews insist that yours is the true religion and that all have to come only to Jerusalem to be saved. Why should we? We have our own beliefs, that also come down from the patriarchs. In fact our fathers have taught us that God should be worshipped on this mountain, not in Jerusalem. Which one is right?”

Jesus said, in a unguarded moment of Jewish pride: “You worship what you do not know. We worship what we know. Because you see, salvation comes from the Jews.” Lea attacked him straight away: “There you are, your prejudice and your superiority complex. Why only Jerusalem? Are you greater than our Father Jacob who worshipped on this mountain, lived here and dug this well? We are also Abraham’s children. Why should we obey and follow only the Jewish beliefs?” Lea was combative.

Jesus realized that had made a wrong move. Insisting on the superiority of the Jewish religion over the Samaritan one was not going to take him anywhere! He paused for a moment, looked into Lea’s eyes and said: “All right. I agree that it is not important to fight over places and rituals. We must go deeper than that where our differences will disappear!” Lea was cautious: “What do you mean by that?”

Jesus: “Listen lady, the hour has come; it is time to change. I believe that we should workship God neither on Gherizim, nor on Sion. True worshippers should worship the Father in the Spirit and in the Truth!” (This was a solemn moment, when Jesus was in fact revealing the Holy Trinity – Father, Spirit and Truth – himself!) This was above the head of Lea. “Spirit and Truth? High sounding words!” she retorted.

Jesus: “God is Spirit, is he not? He is not limited by any space or time, this city or that mountain. JANUARY 2017

Passing beyond the externals we must go to the root of our religions, where externals lose their importance and we see the truth about God. Deep down there is more unity than division.”

“Here is your harvest. You say that the harvest is four months away. No, raise your eyes and see. It is already ripe and ready.”

Jesus: “The truth is that God is Love. He is the Father of all, and hence all are his Children. Love is the foundation of all creation. And in that Love we are all brothers and sisters.”

This was unexpected for the elders of the town. “Wait, Lea told us that you are some sort of prophet. So we just came to have a look,” said one of the men in the crowd.

Lea: “I am sorry sir, I do not understand. What is the truth you are talking about?”

Lea: “Come on. Do you mean that Samaritans and Jews are just one?” Jesus: “Of course I do. There will be no more Jew or Samaritan, no gentile or slave, no man or woman. All will be one in that Truth and in that Love, children of the same Father.” “Did I hear you right? Did you say no man or woman? Can women be equal to men?” “You heard right, lady!”


Lea could not believe her ears. She said, “Wait here. I will come back soon.” She ran into the village. Jesus waited for his disciples to return.

Seeing his disciples return with some food in hand, he said: “Come, and do not worry about food. I have food that you do not know about. And I am going to give you a harvest that you have not worked for. Let us go for it.” He said this and started walking towards the village. The disciples were not pleased. “He is going into this wretched Samaritan village,” grumbled someone in the group. Jesus did not bother. As they walked they saw the Sycharians walking towards them in a large group, with Lea leading them! JANUARY 2017

Jesus met the crowd and said: “Brothers and Sisters, I want to stay with you for a day or two. Would you also tolerate these ruffians, my friends?”

“Prophet? Well if you wish to call me so,” laughed Jesus. “Right now I am hungry as a wolf. What I first need is food. Take me to your home!” There was some hesitation among the people. “What? You are a Jewish Rabbi, and we are practically gentiles for you.” “What Jew, what gentile? We are all one. Come on, let us go.”

People did not move. There was an awkward silence. Then a young man started clapping hands, and slowly, like a gathering rain, the claps multiplied and all the people errupted into a shout of joy.

That evening, there was a sumptuous banquet in honour of this prophet from Galilee. He spoke to them about Truth, Spirit and Love. He did not care about Jerusalem or Gherizim, Jew or Samaritan, Sabbath or Rituals, men or women. An elder told Lea, “We all came to see this man only out of curiosity, because he had told you about the men in your life. But now we believe in him not because of you. Not even because he called us brothers and sisters. It is because he came to live with us, and to eat with us. It looks as if he is Emmanuel – the presence of God with us. He is one of us now!” 17

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iving is at the heart of sanctity because God is love and God is the eternal lover and giver. Jesus came to reveal this God who is love. They say that love is all about ‘giving’. We have written about two dimensions of giving – ‘thanksgiving and forgiving’. Jesus also spoke about and lived ‘unconditional giving.’ Unconditional giving means to give without any expectations, without any conditions, from the heart, ‘Giving’ becomes the inner nature of the person who truly loves. Giving has become the hallmark of saints. Today Mother Theresa is remembered with love because, following the footsteps of Jesus she opened the eyes of the world to this aspect of giving – ‘to give to those who cannot return the favour.’ Jesus was very clear about this in his teachings. Here is an incident that took place in Indore. Two friends stopped at a highway dhaba. They placed their order and stretched themselves out on the cane chairs. A motley group of people occupied other tables. As they glanced around desultorily, a ragged man sauntered in and sat down. He poured himself a glass of water from the steel jug. He drank two whole glasses, but ordered no food, nor did the dhaba boys ask him. When their tea and samosas arrived, he looked at the food, filled his glass again and drank it. Two friends saw no greed or envy in his eyes, but it was an easy guess, that the guy was hungry and had no money.

The dhaba boy told them, “Oh! That madman comes in every day. If he has money, he eats something; otherwise he just drinks a few glasses of water and leaves… My boss has told us that since water has been given to us by the Lord, we must never stop anyone drinking it at our dhaba.’ This logic really touched their hearts and they asked the boy to serve the man a plate of samosas. When he did so, the man looked at him. The boy pointed to the friends. The man looked at them The Salesian Bulletin


but made no acknowledgement. As he picked up the first samosa, a little girl in rags walked up and just stood there. He gave her the samosa, which she wolfed down. He picked up the second one and handed that to her, too. She grabbed it and ran away. She was hungrier than he was. He pushed away his empty plate, filled up his glass again, drank the water and walked away from the dhaba without a backward glance. He never looked it as a great heroic deed. It came naturally to him. He just gave to someone who needed that food at that time and she will never ever be able to pay him back in any way. Was it selfless love? This is what intellectuals talk about and madmen practice. In a certain way if we were to take the message of Jesus very seriously we would be considered mad people by the world. For example, let us take the unconditional love of the Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son or the love of the good Samaritan for the man left to be dead by robbers… It is next to impossible to live such love in our normal daily life and that is why we say that ‘love is at the heart of sanctity’. Only a holy person can give or love


unconditionally like the way Jesus lived and wants us to live.

Jesus said: “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Mt. 5: 46). And he continues “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do … But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…” (Mt. 6: 2-3). And Jesus adds, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5: 48). In other words Jesus asks us to imitate the perfect love of the Father, unconditional love. And in the Gospel of Luke it will be: “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful.” (Lk. 6: 36). This was the motto of the Year of Mercy. Another important saying of Jesus is “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Lk. 6: 38) Once Jesus had been invited to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal and Jesus was amused by the way the guests were rushing to occupy the best seats. In the end he tells his host: “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Lk. 14: 12-14). In other words the real righteous people (or just and perfect people) are the ones who give without expecting anything in return (not even a little ‘thank you’).


There is a story that is making its rounds in Facebook and other social media these days. Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church where he was to be introduced as the head pastor during that morning service. He walked around his soon

to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food – no one in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit at the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him. As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and about welcoming the new pastor. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek!” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with all eyes on him. He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment and then he quoted from the Gospel of St. Matthew, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ ‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ After this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame. He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?” He then concluded the service until next week. The ultimate test to enter the Kingdom of God is ‘Unconditional Giving’! 19

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“It is not that there is a dearth for policies benefitting domestic workers, but the issue is how to get it implemented” – Veena Singh


omestic work means ‘being employed to perform household tasks in others’ homes for financial recompense.’ It is the biggest female occupation in the world. Millions of girls and women who work as domestic workers are among the poorest and most exploited group of workers. The household chores or tasks that these women undertake are the care of children and the elderly, cooking, gardening, cleaning, grocery shopping, running errands and taking care of household pets…

caste, class and simply because of what they do for a living. Abuses range from unpaid to underpaid wages to forced labour, physical violence, starvation and even death. Women struggle daily for survival. Women suffer from high incidences of chronic diseases, malnutrition and other poverty related ailments. They are totally dependent on their employers even for their basic needs such as food, living conditions, medical needs and freedom to leave the homes they work in, which makes their situation akin to modern day slavery.

Female domestic workers struggle for visibility and recognition. The incredibly busy female domestic workers’ work is grossly underappreciated, both in the households where they work and in their own communities. They are not recognized, respected and protected, although they are very much part of a productive local and world economy. It is disheartening to find that the entire field of domestic work gets allotted for the domestic workers according to the social constructs, also providing a rare opportunity to make a shift within their work spaces. The women domestic workers are kept beyond the reach of social security benefits, thus making them more marginalized.

Domestic work has enabled many women to enter the labour market and benefit from economic autonomy. However, this has not translated into gender equality. Fixing just, minimum wages, providing weekly days off and paid annual leaves, protecting from physical and sexual abuse and ensuring social security, are key issues that need to be addressed by the government nationally, and internationally. Policymakers, legislative bodies and people need to recognize the existence of an employment relationship in domestic work. Female domestic servants need to be entitled to the rights and dignity that employment brings with it. National and international legislation which recognizes domestic work as real work, and not simply as an extension of unpaid household and care work, is an urgent task for one of the world’s biggest economies.

In spite of the benefits this work brings to individual households, female domestic workers are often not recognized as workers by society. They are subjected to discrimination on grounds of religion, caste and ethnicity. There is no comprehensive, uniformly applicable, national and international legislation that guarantees just terms of employment: safety, working conditions, wages, social protection…There is a rigid and hierarchical structural relation, the employer considers himself/herself as ‘master/ mistress’ and treats the employee as a ‘slave’.

Hundreds of thousands of the women working as domestic servants endure untold suffering because of their perceived subordination due to The Salesian Bulletin


Gender, along with caste, acts as an important player in describing the working conditions, variation in the wages and quality of services provided by the employer. These women work in isolation from other workers because the place of work is a private household, therefore enforcing labour laws remains a significant bottleneck. The privacy norms do not augur well with the idea of labour inspectors entering private households and ensuring regulations. Due to this complexity, women are not capable of individual and collective bargaining.




FROM WATER TO WINE We are the plain water Taken to Jesus master In brimming tall jars And turned into choice wine. At his divine hands Run-of –the –mill humanity Turns into amazing personality. In purification water jugs Carried to the baptismal font Borne back with rejoicing To cheer the wedding guests From bland ,odourless, colourless drink Turned into aromatic, sparkling red wine To the delight of the messianic crowd. Scripture and Christian life Witness to this great transformation; A disowning, timorous Simon Becoming the firm rock of Peter A fire brand Christian baiter Saul For Christ ready to give up his all. This the best wine served last That none have known before Is Christ’s very self. His person and his precepts Excel all known prophets and laws As choice wine the plain outglows. JANUARY 2017


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Praveen Raj Antony SDB of Chennai Province- Ordained Deacon in Austria

Five Salesian Symbios 2016: Connect, schools from Celebrate and Commit Mumbai – with

50 participants each – took part in SYMBIOS, a youth event held for the first time in the Mumbai Province at the Don Bosco campus in Matunga, on December 7th and 8th. Students from Don Bosco Borivli, St. Joseph’s Wadala, Don Bosco Nerul, Dominic Savio Andheri and Don Bosco Naigaon participated in the youth event. The theme for SYMBIOS 2016 was “connect, celebrate and commit”.

Chennai celebrates International Disability Day with a Short Film Festival The Province of Chennai celebrated the International Disability Day, 3rd December, with a grand Short Film Festival dedicated to people with disabilities. The festival named “Thiran” (ability) 2016 saw 163 entries of which 25 “best films” were shortlisted by the jury for screening and 15 were selected for awards under various categories. Over 1000 participants, including 700 persons with disabilities, took part in the event held at Don Bosco Auditorium at Egmore. Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, General Councillor for South Asia region, in his inaugural address congratulated the organizers and participants in the event. The Salesian Bulletin


On the feast of Mary Immaculate, Salesian confrere Praveen Raj Antony who is originally from the Province of Chennai and at present a missionary in Austria was ordained a deacon in the church of Don Bosco in Vienna. The ceremony was presided over by Archbishop emeritus Alois Kothgasser SDB, and was concelebrated by Fr. Petrus Obermüller, Provincial of Austria.

State of Gujarat Honours Don Bosco

The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani and the Deputy Chief Minister, Nitin Patel, felicitated Don Bosco school, Chhotaudepur for their contribution in the field of sports in the state of Gujarat, on December 9.

The felicitation ceremony took place on the feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother and a vibrant crowd - consisting of professional and budding athletes - gathered at the Gujarat Sports Complex in Godhra city for the ceremony. Brother Ramesh Durairaj and the Principal Ishwar Dabhi, received the Certificate of Honour and a scholarship of 1.5 lakh rupees from the Chief Minister, Rupani. Key players from Don Bosco`s hockey team proudly represented Don Bosco at the nationals.

Don Bosco Technical Institute Park Circus, Kolkata turns Golden

Don Bosco Technical Institute Park Circus celebrated its Golden Jubilee of service to the young people of the City of Joy, Kolkata, on 3 December 2016. Father Joseph Pauria, the Vice Provincial along with 14 Salesians who served the institute as rectors or superintendents were at the thanksgiving Holy Eucharist.




50th Anniversary of the Venerability of Fr. Andrea Beltrami SDB On December 15th, 1966, Pope Paul VI promulgated the decree of venerability of Fr. Andrea Beltrami SDB. The anniversary was particularly remembered both in his hometown, Omegna, and in the Salesian house of TurinValsalice, where he spent great part of his Salesian life and where he died in 1897. On Saturday, December 10th, over 100 Salesians of the Italy Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta Circumscription, with the Provincial Fr. Enrico Stasi, shared a day of retreat dedicated to recall the testimony of Venerable Fr. Beltrami.

Blessing of a New Parish Church Dedicated to Don Bosco in Zambia On December 4th, a new church dedicated to Don Bosco was blessed in the Salesian presence of Njolwe, which belongs to the Vice-Province of Zambia-Malawi-Zimbabwe-Namibia (ZMB). The celebration was presided over by Fr. Oliver Makunta, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Lusaka, and was concelebrated by Fr. Diravya Rupen, SDB, parish priest of the church and by Fr. Vincent Tembo, SDB, member of the Council of the Vice-Province.

Salesian Confrère Edmilson Tadeu Canavarros SDB is ordained a Bishop Salesian Confrère Edmilson Tadeu Canavarros dos Santos has been ordained a bishop during the Eucharist celebrated on December 12th, in the house “Polisportivo Don Bosco”. The titular Archbishop of Manaus, Msgr. Sergio Castriani, was the main consecrating Bishop. Fr. Edmilson Tadeu Canavarros, SDB, who was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of Manaus, is the first Bishop coming from the Brazilian State of South Mato Grosso.

Salesian Confrère Dies in a Car Crash in Egypt

Fr. Fathi Milad Abdou, an Egyptian Salesian confrère, aged 44, was caught in a car crash on November 30th, in Minia, Egypt. and died because of the severe injuries which he suffered. On December 1st, the funeral service was celebrated in Minia. JANUARY 2017

Don Bosco University of El Salvador wins the “Brand Positive 2016”prize The Business Foundation for Social Action (FUNDEMAS), has awarded the “Brand Positive 2016” to Don Bosco University for its social commitment through the “Science Camp for Girls”. The initiative promotes women’s participation in Science and Technology courses, Engineering and Mathematics and links universities and businesses. To date 143 women from various cities have benefited from this programme. 23

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ather Pestarino visited his parishioners often, and thanked God for all the wonderful things he witnessed at Maria’s Sewing Room. On one visit in the late summer of 1864 he told them: “Our village will be welcoming some special visitors, and I hope that you young women can help me to make them feel at home.” “Of course, Father,” Maria Domenica answered. “We will be happy to help. Who are the guests, Father?”

“Don Bosco from Turin will be hiking across the countryside with a group of his poorest orphan The Salesian Bulletin


boys. They will be here for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.”

Maria Domenica and Petronilla rallied all the other volunteers and girls to prepare for the arrival of Don Bosco’s orphans. So did the entire village. On the evening of the visit, boys from the village climbed trees along the roadside so that they could see the group advancing, and when they saw the hikers, they blew horns to alert the town. Don Bosco’s orphans responded by playing their trumpets, and beating out a marching rhythm on their drums. In fact, Fr Pestarino had mentioned that Don Bosco’s boys were organized in a JANUARY 2017

marching band, everyone forgot, so their advance was an exciting surprise.

Don Bosco’s troop of orphans filed into the village square, all the while playing rousing anthems on their band instruments. The people applauded enthusiastically as they took positions in the square – boys and men in the front, close to the band, and girls and women in the back, according to the customary dictates of modesty. After three more popular musical numbers, an older boy from the band greeted the people and announced a hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He invited everyone to sing the words to the band’s accompaniment. At the end of the hymn, there was no applause. All were hushed and Fr Pestarino stepped forward, leading the villagers and visitors in praying one “Our Father”, three “Hail Maries”, and one “Glory be”. Then Don Bosco stepped up on a little platform prepared for him, and began to speak.

As Don Bosco spoke, Maria Domenica strained to hear him across the village square, but he was far away and she felt that she was missing the message when his voice dropped. So, she stepped forward, weaving her way past all the women and girls, past the men, and finally moved to the very front of the throng. She stood among Don Bosco’s orphan boys right in front of him as he spoke, and took in every word. She loved him message about faith, prayer, hard work, family life, community, caring for the young and the poor, the love of God and Neighbor, and devotion. His words were brief but hit so many essential points, and what he said made so much sense to Maria Domenica. He had a way of putting into words what she had long felt in her heart but could not articulate. Don Bosco concluded by saying “God bless all of you, and have a wonderful evening!” Then Fr Pestarino announced refreshments for all. Maria Domenica rushed to the back of the village square where she and her companions had set up the tables for refreshments. With Petronilla and the other young women, she served everyone who stepped forward for the delicious snack. But Petronilla seemed to be blushing. “What’s the matter, my friend?” Maria Domenica whispered to her?


“What’s the matter? You are the matter! What possessed you to go up to the front of the square and stand with all those boys? Women don’t mix with men. It is not done! How embarrassing!”

Maria Domenica only laughed. “Oh, Petronilla, don’t be silly. Don Bosco has such a precious message and it will help our girls. I had to hear his words. Besides, Don Bosco did not mind my coming to the front of the crowd.” “How can you say he did not mind?” Petronilla responded in an agitated whisper as she continued to serve the refreshments. “Don Bosco is a priest! He must have been scandalized by seeing a girl standing among the boys!”

Maria Domenica laughed again, and put down the sweet rolls that she was serving. She pulled Petronilla back from the table and looked deeply in her eyes. “No, my friend. He did not mind. Don Bosco is a saint, and I could feel it. He does so much for the poor and the young, and now I know how he can accomplish it. He is a saint. And remember? He has written to us and encouraged us in this holy work of education.”

Petronilla stood still and listened. Maria Domenica smiled her wise smile, then hugged her friend. “Don Bosco is a saint, and he will teach us to become saints so that we can better serve our young people who are so needy and poor. This a day of blessings for our village and for us, Petronilla. A saint is here and we are blessed.”

That youthful invitation, which Maria Domenica had made to Petronilla to learn sewing so as to better evangelize and educate poor girls had been the beginning of a deep friendship that would form the basis of an incredibly fruitful enterprise for the advancement of God’s Reign. After meeting Don Bosco in the autumn of 1864, the two young women deepened their commitment to the young and to God. Eight years later they and their companions became the first Salesian Sisters at the invitation of Don Bosco and Fr Pestarino. Maria Domenica was unanimously chosen as their leader. She continued in this role until her death, nine years after that on 14 May 1881, at the age of 44. Pope Pius XII added her name to the list of saints on 24 June 1951; her feast day is celebrated every year on 13 May. (END) 25

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ears ago we used to organize, quite regularly, seminars on the Preventive System for teachers of our neighbouring schools in Nashik – till we got a bit tired of simply repeating “Reason, Religion and Loving Kindness” again and again. The problem was that we were relying on the few English language books available on the topic. With the new studies now available as well as new translations, but also with the increased number of Salesians with access to Italian, we could probably do a far better job. And then interpretation becomes enriched not only when the textual base is enlarged but also when the interpreters themselves grow and mature. But recently I experienced a “textual base enlargement” of a different kind, when our confrere Mauro Maria Morfino, Bishop of Alghero and biblical scholar, pointed out the scriptural roots of key Salesian terms. Bishop Morfino was preaching to the two general councils of the FMA and the SDB in a wonderful Salesian house in the Dolomite hills, and had been asked to focus on the theme of mercy. He chose to comment rather abundantly on Paul’s Hymn to Love (1 Cor 13), and – thankfully in hindsight – he did not spare us a bit of exegesis. What he made us realize is that, when contemporary translations are reconnected to the Greek original of Paul, and when this Greek is traced back to the Septuagint from which it derives, the results are startling.

Thus, for example, “Love is patient, is kind” is one English rendering of the Greek “he agape makrothymei, cresteuetai.” The key word here is makrothymei, and it comes from Ex 34,6: “a merciful God and gracious God, slow to anger (makrothymos) and abundant in loving kindness The Salesian Bulletin


and truth.” Paul tells his Corinthians not to be too taken up with the special gifts such as speaking in tongues and healing: he will show them a better way, a higher way, a gift that is given to all, one that is at the very core of our existence in Christ: love. A love that he describes with all the attributes of God, simply because it is the gift of God: “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Rom 5,5) But what really caught my attention was the occurrence of that odd phrase that we Salesians are all too familiar with, but that is really very little used in current English: “loving kindness.” The merciful and gracious God, the God who is slow to anger (= patient!), is also described as “abounding in loving kindness.” I found that extremely interesting, and a little search on the internet soon revealed something wonderful: that loving kindness and amorevolezza are standard translations of the Hebrew hesed and the Greek eleos.

Even more interesting is the fact that article 15 of the Salesian Constitutions, entitled precisely “Salesian loving kindness,” begins thus: “Sent to young people by a God who is ‘all charity’, the Salesian is open and cordial, ready to make the first approach and to welcome others with unfailing kindliness, respect and patience.” And the phrase ‘all charity’ comes from a little booklet written by Don Bosco on the mercy of God: Esercizio di divozione alla misericordia di Dio! So we have this wonderful cluster of words, loving kindness – patience – mercy, and they come originally from descriptions of God himself, the God who is ‘all charity.’ Tt is good to remember that Don Bosco


was more than familiar with St Paul’s Hymn to Love, which is echoed in all sorts of ways in the remarkable second reading in the breviary on his feast day: “My dear sons, how often in my long experience I had to be convinced of this great truth. It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him. Yes, indeed, it is more fitting to be persistent in punishing our own impatience and pride than to correct the boys. We must be firm but kind, and be patient with them. I give you as a model the charity of Paul which he showed to his new converts.” How happy Don Bosco would have been to know that he was describing the makrothymia of God himself, and that he was inviting his Salesians to be “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness and faithfulness.” As for chresteuetai, it is usually translated as “kind,” but, according to Morfino, it is better rendered as “inductive,” because true love takes off not from my needs but from the reality of the other, the truth of the other. Paul Ricoeur and Emmanuel Levinas point out that there is a most JANUARY 2017

surprising connection in the Bible between myself and the other. The Targum on Lev 19 reads “Love your neighbour who is yourself” instead of the usual “as yourself.” The other is myself, without him I cannot be myself. I grow in the process of constant interaction with the other. The Hebrew for the face is, interestingly, a plural word: panim. I am, in fact, panim, a face of faces – the faces of my parents, but also of the hundreds of other persons in interaction with whom I have grown and without whom I would not have been what I am today. The We precedes the I, and the I comes to birth only within the We, in a complex process of mutual self-mediation. I am reminded once again of the jade stone that the apprentice was asked to hold day after day, till the master put an ordinary stone into his hand, and the boy knew at once that it was not jade. The jade stone of the Preventive System that we have held in our hands so long is revealing and unravelling its meaning to us, and the Father keeps forming in us the heart of his Son, that we might be like him merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness and truth. 27

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Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob but he was who seemed to have been cursed, becomes a blessing special for an obvious reason: that he was the first and to everyone around him. Though he had so much to the log awaited son of Rachel, the most beloved spouse hold against his brothers, he never did that because he of Jacob. Not just the new technicolour long sleeves was capable of looking at everything that happened that Jacob prepared for Joseph but a general preferential from God’s perspective (gen 45:8). The greatest of treatment that Joseph received from his father, angered all his feats was that he stood his ground amidst all his older siblings. The anger grew into hatred in the trials; he never gave up. He never gave up on God and hearts of the brothers with Joseph sharing his dreams, God never gave him up! There were hardships, there placing himself over and above the were temptations, there were things rest of them. Poor Joseph, he was not that appeared glamorous, there were concocting them, they were being given apparently promising offers and there him. Apart from looking at it as a cause were moments of glory and vengeance of the rift, look at the grace that God that could have taken him astray - Joseph gave Joseph and the way Joseph was remained the same all through. His highly mindful of it - how conscious and faithfulness to the Lord never changed. responsible are you regarding the gifts He knew his roots and stuck to them; that God has given you? For Joseph, he identified his ground and held on to the dreams were to be his distinguishing it. The Lord made him shine because mark and his USP. But for the brothers he remained steadfast during moments that was their breaking point, they of utter darkness. Joseph comes across decided to get rid of Joseph, unaware as a great model for three important that God was using their wickedness as Christian dispositions: i) never lose trust part of God’s design. Sold to Egyptian in the Lord; ii) forgive and accept each ICON 3 : JOSEPH merchants, Joseph undergoes a series other’s limitation and iii) look out for of hardships - a servant, a slave and then an accused, God’s will even in the worst of your life situations. he rises like a phoenix, because God was with him. You, my dear youngster... Amidst all his downslide, he remained steadfast to the Lord and believed firmly that God will one day deliver • have you ever believed that the hardships and trials him. The Lord was with Joseph (Gen 39:2), and Joseph that come your way may have a deeper significance? did not only see his deliverance, he became the source • can you remain strong in your trust in God in spite of deliverance to the whole kingdom of Egypt and to of the difficulties that may possible come your way? his own household and their kith and kin. The one


GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE TRINITY: God the Father (Questions 30-70) Still in the section of I BELEIVE, we are introduced to the highest of all truths, the Trinitarian God that we believe in. We believe in ONE God because that is what God has revealed to us through the Word. God wishes to be known as someone who can be called upon and related to and so revealed God’s name in history as YHWH (Yahweh). Out of reverence for God the people of Israel never pronounced (even now) that word. They substituted it with another word Adonai (Lord). The New Testament attributes Jesus with that title as we see in Rom 10:9. It is the Holy Spirit who makes us understand, experience and relate to God. The Father, Son The Salesian Bulletin


and the Holy Spirit are not three gods but one single Being that is threefold and yet remains one. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, the Creator of the universe who created you and me. The creation account in the Bible is a theological statement that God created this world, it is neither a scientific model nor a researched answer. The theological statement made there is, that this world is not a product of chance, it is created and willed into existence, everything with a purpose and a design. A Christian can very well see the reasonableness of the theory of evolution from the perspective of the Creator, but he or she has to beware of “evolutionism” which upholds chance and denies God. • Are you in some way awed by God the Creator in your daily life? JANUARY 2017


KNOW YOUR CHURCH: How many Churches are there? One might simply say, innumerable! Looks so, with the number of denominations and independent churches that claim their allegiance to Christ and his kingdom. That is not what we mean here. There is but One, Holy, Apostolic Church, founded on the Rock, by the Head who is Christ. However, Church being a communion of persons and communion of communities of faith, this Church cannot be uniform in spite of its universality. The Church teaches us that the communion we share among ourselves as believers has to extend itself to those who have gone before us, as they continue to live in the Lord just as we do. Owing to the difference in the state of existence, we can think

of three different levels of existence of this Church - i) the militant church that we are - fighting the everyday battle to remain faithful to the Lord and the Lord’s calling; ii) the jubilant church that the saints and angels form - enjoying the bliss of heaven, the known, the less known and the unknown persons justified in the mercy of God; iii) the penitent church that is in transition those who have gone before us, but still stand in need of God’s mercy to receive the crown prepared for them. The Jubilant Church prays and intercedes for us. We pray for the Penitent Church as they are in no position to pray for themselves. We, the Militant Church, are invited when there is time still to make ourselves worthy of the home prepared for us by the Lord at the dusk of this present life here on earth.

DO CAT TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG (Questions 22-46) - The Social Doctrines of the Church: Are they necessary? Is not the Church a mere spiritual entity ? Why does it need a social teaching? These questions are results of a misunderstanding of a few foundational truths: Church has to be understood as a sacrament of salvation and salvation has to be understood as a holistic well being of the entire human community. Hence, a piecemeal approach to human wellbeing cannot suffice in the truest of the Christian sense. To set forth the requirements of just social action as they appear in the Gospel and to denounce social, economic, or political actions and structures in the name of justice, whenever they contradict the Gospel message, are the two major purposes of the Church’s Social doctrines. It is not just a person, or a small set of persons who determine what the social teachings of the Church should be - all the members of the Church according to their tasks and charisms are obliged to contribute to its making. JANUARY 2017

Church is interested not only in the individual but in the collective human community; the Church is interested not only in the spiritual dimension of a person’s life but in the total welfare of a person. Solidarity and Total Human Development are two key concepts of the Social Doctrine of the Church. The Social Doctrine of the Church began to make its mark from Pope Leo XIII who wrote his encyclical, Rerum Novarum in 1891asserting the rights of the weak, the dignity of the poor and the right and necessity of the labour unions. The latest of this kind is the encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si, challenging the world to celebrate ecology! • When do you remember last that as a Christian community you opposed any injustice? 29

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ECO-FRIENDLY WEDDING Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations & They Are Terrific! A Bangalore-based start-up called A2 Naturals is revamping wedding traditions by promoting eco-friendly wedding invitations. The invites contain a 7.5 cm high ‘Seedball Ganesha’ idol, which is embedded with plant seeds!

Money Saved for Daughter’s Wedding used in Building 90 Homes for the Poor

This healthcare and lifestyle brand, which promotes organic farming and Ayurveda, is excited about its new concept. A2 Naturals came up with the concept of the Seedball Ganesha this year on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. With thousands of Ganesha idols being immersed into water bodies across the country, the festival was a major cause of water pollution. To counter this problem, the company introduced GoMaye Ganesha: Ganesha idols made from 100% natural ingredients like cow dung, which release micro-organisms once they dissolve, and cleanse water bodies.

In the spirit of the wedding season, Manoj Munot, a businessman from Maharashtra, decided to give the ultimate gift of all — he gifted 90 homes to underprivileged families. These homes were built using the money that Munot had originally LIQUORLESS WEDDING planned on spending on his daughter Shreya’s “No Liquor, No Celebratory Firing at My Wedding wedding. Instead, both of them decided to forgo Ceremony”: UP Soldier’s Firm Stand to Ensure Safety A soldier from Baghpat village banned at my wedding function. Those a lavish celebration and in Uttar Pradesh has taken a firm who are keen on indulging in these used the savings to help stand against liquor and guns at his two things need not attend.” those who needed it the upcoming wedding ceremony. CRPF most. Even though Kashyap’s friends jawan Subhash Kashyap who got are protesting, he and his The cottages that have married on December 8 family members are firm been built in Aurangabad, took this decision in the on the decision. They have cost approximately Rs wake of a recent incident taken this step to ensure 1.5 crore. His daughter of celebratory firing safety of guests. There have said she found happiness resulting in the death of a been several incidents in seeing the joy in the CRPF jawan at a wedding. of injury and even death eyes of those who will He has made a special due to celebratory firing now benefit from this mention about his at wedding functions in generous gesture. decision on his wedding UP. Recently, the Haryana Currently, 40 families invitation informing guests that liquor government also banned people from have moved into the and celebratory firing will be banned carrying arms to wedding functions cottages and more are at the ceremony. The invitation card after the death of an orchestra dancer expected to move in soon. says, “Liquor and celebratory firing in a firing incident in Bhatinda. The Salesian Bulletin




Overenthusiastic Salesman

Status Change

A man’s wife died. She was about to buried in few minutes in the cemetery. The man’s friend who came to console him asked, “Do you need something?” The widower: “Please, bring my laptop.” Friend: “Why do you want the laptop in the cemetery?” The Widower: I have to change my status to single on Facebook

A new Vacuum Cleaner Salesman knocked at the door… A lady opened it. Before she could speak… The salesman rushed into the living room and emptied a bag of cow dung on the carpet. Salesman: Madam, if I couldn’t clean this up in the next 3 minutes with my new powerful vacuum cleaner, I will eat all this..! Lady: Would you like to have Ketchup or Chilli Sauce with that? Salesman: Why Madam? Lady: Because there’s no Electricity in the house. Salesman: !!!

Impossible Tense

English Teacher: “One day our country will be corruption free.” Which tense is it? Tinku: Future Impossible Tense

Right Reason

Teacher: Why are you late? Tony: Mom and dad were fighting Teacher: So what makes you late if they were fighting? Student: One shoe of mine was in mom’s hand and the other in Dad’s



The Salesian Bulletin


Radio Salesian: Voice of the hills

A team of six Radio Jockeys host some 25 shows, seven days a week and daily 12 hours


ducationists and top leaders attended the launch of West Bengal’s first college radio on December 8 at Salesian College at Sonada near Darjeeling.

“It is indeed a proud moment for me and for the entire North Bengal University (NBU) family as we launch the first college community radio,” said Prof. Nupur Das, who represented the university at the colorful function. Das, Under Graduate Secretary of the university, joined Bishop Stephen Lepcha of Darjeeling, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Darjeeling Aavik Chatterjee and several other community representatives to launch Radio Salesian 90.8 FM

Folk artists

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– Voice of the Hills.

It is also the first Community / Campus Radio in West Bengal and entire northeast India to be run by a college.

Chatterjee encouraged the college fraternity and its radio station “to spread social messages and bring education and hope to the masses.” The web version of Radio Salesian was launched earlier on October 28 by Prof. Amar Rai, Member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from Darjeeling. A team of six Radio Jockeys host some 25 shows, seven days a week and daily 12 hours under RJ


Radio kids

Samir Chhetri of Radio Misty fame along with other local RJs Soroj Tamang, Savitri Thapa, and Rohit Rai. Also faculty members Sumina Chettri (HoD Sociology) and Bryan Kerr (HoD Computer Science) are hosting shows. While some shows are daily, others are weekly and bi-weekly. Three more RJ interns Sagar Rai, Regina Rai and Smriti Rai have joined the station for a two month’s intense training.

The vast array of programs in Nepali include Prabhat Vandana (Morning Devotion), Naulo Bihani (New Dawn), Samishran (Fusion); Shasakta Naari (Empowered Woman); Samarpan (Song Dedication); Srijana Ka Lahar Haru (Literature Review); Krishi Utthan (Agriculture Show); Shrastha Ra Srijana (Legendary Artistes); Hamro Bhaka Hamro Sanskriti (Folk Music); Sangeethanajali (Songs); Farkera Herda (Memory Lane); Bal Manjari (Kids Show); Charcha Paricharcha (Social Issues); Yuwa Awaaj (Youth Voice); Kathai Kathaa (Story Time); Prathibha Manj (Talent Show); Jan Gunaso (Grievances), Old is Gold, and Unplugged. The only English language show is called Stories Behind Music and is featured on Sunday.

“Our Community Radio broadcast is set to serve geographic and ethnic communities of the region with content that is popular, relevant and often overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters,” says Principal Father George Thadathil who was relentlessly behind the community radio project since June 2012.

RJ Team

programs in 20 youth centers every Sunday in tea estates and villages spread out between Kurseong and Ghoom townships. The web radio may be accessed on computer or mobile phone by visiting “Radio Salesian” on college website

Radio Salesian – Voice of the Hills - a notfor-profit venture of Kolkata Salesians was made possible by a generous grant from UGC (University Grants Commission) after Salesian College obtained the status of “College with the Potential for Excellence” after its second NAAC accreditation. The regular transmission of Radio Salesian 90.8 FM channel may be received live in parts of Darjeeling and Siliguri, as well as Kurseong, Mirik, Sonada, Pashupati (Nepal), Sukiapokhri, Balasun Valley and several other places.

Radio Salesian has the distinction of having non-commercial partnership opportunities for BBC World Service English audio programmes in seven major genres of programmes which include ‘Science’, ‘Health’, ‘Business’, ‘Arts & Culture’, ‘Sport’, ‘Human interest’ and ‘History’. Salesian province of Kolkata has nominated Radio Salesian for Pascual Chavez Award 2016 for Innovative Ministry. Salesian College Sonada

He added, “Our students and faculty members are also committed to bring academic knowledge to the masses.” For almost past 50 years some 70 students of the college established in 1938 conduct outreach JANUARY 2017


The Salesian Bulletin



More About Don Bosco

The Billiards Table Chieri, 1835 John Bosco, student and at the same time waiter in the Caffe’ Pianta ( Coffee House) of Chieri, becomes friendly with Jona a young Jew of wide culture and a brilliant Billiards player. Jona one day asked John to teach him the fundamentals of the Christian faith and in spite of stiff opposition from his family, received baptism. (Memoirs of the Oratory, the first decade No 10).


was the most expensive Billiards Board in the whole Caffè Pianta of the city of Chieri, The people of Chieri came to the place to have a cup of coffee, chat, play Billiards in the “French style”, as was the fashion of the time. My green carpet was like an oasis in the desert of their daily gripping worries. My life improved markedly, when a young waiter by name John Bosco began to take care of me. He washed and cleaned my green carpet. He would polish my ivory Billiards balls and was very polite with all the clients. He was serving coffee, brandy and buns of almond. He was working and studying. His smile betrayed great cheerfulness. When there were no clients, John was trying to learn to play Billiards under the vigilant supervision of Jona, who was a frequent visitor to the Caffè Pianta. Jona was such a brilliant player of Billiards, that no one could defeat him. John Bosco and Jona spoke about things very differently from the other clients. They spoke about music, poetry, the stories they read from the books given by the book -seller Elia. Suddenly everything changed one day. They were no more speaking loud and I began to hear same very strange words, never heard before. Their clear stories also become less The Salesian Bulletin


clear. I still remember those strange, very strange words: tora, menorah,hanukka, ion kippur.

I was scared and began to think that the two boys were members of a secret sect. I thought of the terrible of rituals of such people and my first fears became a real nightmare. I imagined very strange things could happen. After a few weeks, analyzing the voice, I succeeded in solving the mystery. The family of Jona was Jewish. He was eager to embrace the catholic faith. Hence, during the games, John was teaching him catechism. I was the only witness of these simple lessons on the principles of faith. Those mysterious words were nothing but classical terms of the faith of Jona: Law of God, the seven candlesticks, the feast of Light, the day of pardon. Jona received baptism on a great feast day. Thanks to these two young men, I was much more than a Billiards board. My green carpet was the good soil in which the seeds of friendship, culture and faith grew. (Original Published in ‘Bollettino Salesiano’, October 2016, translated by Fr. Abraham Kadaplackal SDB, Photo : ‘Bollettino Salesiano’ Italy)




GOOD SAMARITAN A man was walking from Jerusalem to Jericho. It was through the mountains. Thieves attacked him and stole his money. His face and body were full of blood. He was struggling with pain. One priest passed that way. He saw the man but did not care for him. Later a rich man came. He also did not stop to care for him. Finally, a poor Samaritan saw him. He ran to help him. He took him on his donkey and admitted him in the hospital. He paid his medical expenses. Jesus told this story as an example of true love.

“Love others as you love yourself.�

Have you walked in the mountainous path?



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