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July 2017 | Volume - 59 | Issue - 06 | ₹ 15



The Salesian Bulletin ADVT


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- a family magazine Cheif Editor David Maria Selvam sdb Editor A. Raj Mariasusai sdb News Editor [Salesian & Church News] A.J. Frank sdb Designers A. Paul Victor S. Veera Cover: Murali Krishnan





M.S. Naveen Kumar / Nallayan Pancras sdb Proof Readers Dominic Veliath sdb / Arul Nicholas sdb Circulation: Gnana Amala Infenta J. Office Assistant: I. Vijay Editorial Board Godfrey D’Souza- Chairman, BOSCOM Dominic Veliath sdb / Joe Mannath sdb Agilan sdb / Joaquim Fernandes sdb Advisory Board Maria Arokiam Kanaga - President, SPCSA K.M. Jose - President, Salesian Publishing Society Xavier Packiam - Financial Advisor Nirmol Gomes / Nestor Guria Vattathara Thomas / Thathi Reddy Joyce Mathew / Jose Mathew / Felix Fernandes George Maliekal / Antony Joseph Joseph Almeida Editorial Office The Salesian Bulletin, Bosco Illam 2nd Floor 26/17 Ranganathan Avenue, Sylvan Lodge Colony, Kellys, Chennai - 600 010 Phone : 044 - 26451991 Kindly Send your Subscriptions & Donations M.O/D.D/Cheque in favour of Don Bosco - The Salesian Bulletin A/c No : 0138053000021812 IFSC : SIBL0000138 Branch : 0138 Kellys Branch, Chennai Office : Editor :


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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 jurisdiction of Chennai Courts only. JULY 2017

Published by M. Arockia Raj on behalf of Salesian Publishing Society, Bosco illam 2nd Fl oor, No. 26/17 Ranganathan Ave nue 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


The Salesian Bulletin

Editorial Editorial

Appointments and Disappointments Every academic year brings with it a new set of appointments for various offices and portfolios. It is almost an annual feature in religious congregations and dioceses. It does create much excitement and concerns that even the general public take great interest in these religious endeavours. People are running around trying to get admissions for their children in the institutions of their choice and wait for the selection list to be out in the respective websites. However Every appointment while it brings a lot of excitement, it does also bring with it a lot of disappointments for many. How Appointments are normally done • • •

Someone is given a responsibility which he or she feels they are capable of realizing Someone who does not deserve it is given a responsibility Someone who deserves it is given a responsibility for which he or she feels inadequate or unworthy Why Disappointments? • • •

Someone is not given a responsibility which he or she thinks he or she is capable of fulfilling Someone is given a responsibility which some people think he or she did not deserve Someone thinks that he or she did not get what they wanted due to somebody else’s intervention

Like it or not, appointments do happen on a regular basis and it is a sign that life moves on and changes are inevitable. I can surely work on my disappointments. It is my choice to move ahead from this state of mind to an optimistic mindset and allow God to operate in that space. I may not have got what I expected, what I dreamt of or what I had been longing for but God knows what is best for us. Let us believe every appointment is made by Him. If this is not taken care of, disappointments can cause problem which will eventually pull down any institution or a firm. Some say nowadays the presence of human elements, prevent the Spirit from acting in the discernment process. I for one strongly believe, God always counts on His messengers to communicate His message forward. If messengers who do the role of Angel Gabriel in announcing God’s message, happen to manipulate, it is a serious concern pertaining only to the messengers. It should not affect the people who receive the message. After all God knows to draw straight with crooked lines. Thanks to Fr. Raj Mariasusai my Mentor and Predecessor My appointment shifted me from Visual Media to Print Media, which initially appeared to be a backward movement, but I quickly realized that a camera means nothing without the pen (proper script). It was in some sense a homecoming, as I was writing a regular column on media from 2012- 2013, and continued to contribute again from the time, Fr. Raj took up his office as the editor of the Salesian Bulletin. It was heartening to note that many were quite positive about my appointment as the Salesian Bulletin Editor however I am sure it also brought disappointments to some readers as we would miss Fr. Raj Mariasusai as the editor. I consider it as a complement my predecessor rightly deserves. I thank him whole heartedly as he gracefully allowed me to grow. He worked hard to reach this standard and I do sincerely acknowledge that he is an accomplished journalist. He is shouldering an important office as the Rector of a seminary which demands constant discipline and discernment. Fortunately he is gifted with required gifts of nature and grace. Let us support him in his ministry of forming the young Salesian which requires diligence, integrity and wisdom. David Maria Selvam SDB The Salesian Bulletin


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Congrats on your great humour page. Life without humour would be like a birthday party without cake or flowers. Particularly enjoyed the one on the boss (May issue) man boss in the office but woman, the boss at home. And Mr. Bean happy about his outstanding payments at bank like film stars competing for volume in income tax unpaid dues. Our politicians may be granted a monthly humour or cartoon allowance to trim their outsized egos. Matthew Adukanil SDB Sagayathottam, Tamil Nadu.

"Like Jonah, we can learn to face this darkness, we can learn to pray in the belly of the Whale". I find this article very inspirational and encouraging for me as a religious in formation. Facing challenges both in good and bad moments, and not merely running away but most importantly entrusting my will and desires in God. Benedict Odhiambo Omondi SJ Kenya

We will always remember Fr. Raj and his contribution to the growth of the Salesian Bulletin. May the Lord guide the new editor Fr. David to continue this important ministry with the same spirit Jubin Haryana

I take this opportunity for the excellent work Fr. Raj accomplished in less than three years. Indeed the Salesian Bulletin has moved forward in great strides. Fr. Bechmans SDB Chennai

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Fr. Maria once gain comes out with his out of box thinking. Indeed his writings serve as the model for the current generation to be creative, relevant and deep in spirituality. Antony Robert Calcutta

Happy to have read about Fr. Peter Gonsalvez. Very simple and creative Priest I have ever seen. He truly deserves this recognition. Thomas George Rome

For a couple of hours I travelled in an armchair with the Salesian Bulletin May 2017 , issue. Indeed, the Salesian Bulletin is God- Gifted to subscribers/ readers. The wealth of articles – all ‘Beneath the Mantle of Mary”, the array and variety of thoughts percolating through the subjects so wonderfully focused- has renewed in me a fresh wave of energy and zeal. On behalf of all who receive this AweInspiring Magazine, I wish to thank Fr. Raj Mariasusai SDB for the amazing “talent” and enterprise” he has infused in the Salesian Bulletin. We wish and pray that the presence of Don Bosco will given him great impetus and vision in his new assignments. We welcome Fr. David Maria Selvam SDB as Editor and assure him our support by prayer and renewing promptly our subscriptions. Ms. Yvonne Mascarenhas Chennai


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JESUS STOPPED AT KAKUMA I saw Salesians who, in the midst of immense suffering, keep open a house of hope, consolation, living in communion, and education


ear friends, today I wish to share with you the impact that a profound human experience I recently lived had on me. I am referring to the visit that I, along with other Salesians, was able to make to the UN refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, a few weeks ago. You can easily understand that any visit to a refugee camp would always have a profound impact. Added to this was a very particular and important motivation: I did not go there only to be near to the refugees from South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo, among others, but also to be able to greet and embrace my five brother Salesians (from Tanzania and Kenya). These five confreres belong to this beautiful community and live with these 150,000 persons – among whom there are many boys, girls, teens, and young adults.

The community has been living in the midst of the refugee camp for many years. This is unusual, yet this is how it is. Further, not only is it allowed but it is hoped for by the UN Commission responsible for the site because the Salesian work is an important element as it generates living in communion, sociability, education, and formation. I encountered a Valdocco of the 21st Century This is why it is this way:

When arriving in the city of Kakuma, which is very close to the border with South Sudan, which is suffering the entanglement of very strong internal tribal conflicts, one finds oneself in the middle of The Salesian Bulletin


the town of Turkana, a city of 340,000 inhabitants who live in this region of northeast Kenya – an arid and extremely hot one. After passing over a bone-dry river, one reaches the UN refugee camp where these 150,000 people live. People of the most diverse races, tribes, customs, and religious professions all live together. In the midst of this diversity, our brother Salesians of Don Bosco continue to be for many of them what Don Bosco was for his boys at Valdocco. There, in that place, I encountered a Valdocco of the 21st century and one with completely African features. More than 250 young people go to the technical school every day. There, some teachers and the Salesians themselves teach them a trade: masonry, electrical systems, electronics, working with wood and other materials, and management and secretarial skills. These are all simple trades that allow these young people to have some skills “under their belt” so they can live a dignified life when they leave the refugee camp once conditions of peace and of survival have been established in the places where they wish to go. Every day, food is provided for these young people and for many others. It is supplied by the UN, which is guaranteeing these services. We ate with them: generous helpings of rice spiced with great joy and wide smiles. They taught me about their little handiwork and what they were learning. The great majority of these young girls and boys are more young adults than teenagers. JULY 2017

I truly felt that that house was a veritable school that prepares for life. They get a simple education, but that does not make it any less valuable; indeed, it is quite the opposite, for they learn each day about living communion in diversity, living in peace, combining forces, valuing differences, respecting everyone’s opinion, and respecting the various expressions of culture and religion. I took the opportunity to greet the lady in charge of this UN operation as regards the Salesian work. She came to join us and share our plate of rice. I was very happy to hear from her own lips that they very much value the presence of our brother Salesians and the collaboration (partnership) being carried out between the UN and the Salesian Congregation in this part of the world. To go beyond the dry river bed

I also thanked her because the UN permits us to work there in the midst of those young people, for it is not just a work of social assistance or of survival. It may begin that way, when they arrive in a helpless state, but soon it is transformed into preparation for one’s future life, whether that time is close at hand or more distant.

to them. He is in total harmony with them and has guaranteed his collaboration at all times – both with us and with another community of Religious with whom we have been sharing the mission in the midst of Turkana for years. Their dream is to have another Salesian community, but not in the refugee camp; but, in the area of Turkana – beyond the dry river bed – and, as much as is possible, to expand the technical school, in both size and level, so that it can also serve the youths living there.

The community also runs a parish for the Catholics in the camp, as well as another nine chapels (you can imagine how vast the territory must be to accommodate such a huge population). When you see the care given to faith for those who seek it or who cultivate their faith in the Lord Jesus, you truly feel that Easter has taken place even in the refugee camp. Indeed, Jesus rose for all, especially for the last, the poorest, the displaced, and those whom the world ignores.

I returned home. The others remained. Still, I came with a heart filled with the joy of having touched with my own hands how, in the midst of poverty, there is so much The joyful atmosphere of the house and the humanity and so great a presence of the surroundings made me very happy. The young God of Love. people truly feel that they are at home during all the long hours they spend there. And we are not alone in this, even if the Salesians in this community are the only non-refugees living in the camp. It gave us great joy to hear how close the young bishop is

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I wish you every possible good but, above all, that you never lose your sensitivity for the young, the women, and the men such as these who have welcomed us as friends and brothers and sisters.


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Don Bosco and the apostolate


on Bosco was known for his ideas which were amazingly ahead of his times. When we read the letter which he wrote to the Salesians on 19th March 1885, on the feast of St. Joseph on the topic of the Apostolate of the Press, we cannot but be impressed by the ideas he had expressed therein and how apt they are to our own times when the print media plays such a vital role in our lives. Already in the Salesian The Salesian Bulletin


Constitutions framed by Don Bosco himself, he laid down:�The Salesians shall apply themselves to spreading good books among the people, employing all the means that Christian charity inspires. They shall endeavour both by the spoken and written word to raise a barrier against irreligion and heresy, which strive in so many ways to work their way among the uneducated and the ignorant. Towards this end should also be directed occasional JULY 2017

the people.”(Art 43)To recall some of his thoughts expressed in the letter mentioned above may be a great incentive to us to pay greater attention to the apostolate of print media. Theological Rationale

He first of all assures his sons that he will not neglect from time to time to suggest to them such means as will help make their ministry ever more fruitful. He then proceeds to spell out some theological reflections to stress the importance of the print media. He does not hesitate to describe this work as divine, because God Himself made use of it for the regeneration of humankind. The books that God inspired were the means through which the true teachings were brought to the world. He then points out how these books were made available in every town and village, so that they could be read to people every Sabbath in religious assemblies. Later, translations of the books in other tongues found their way also into the libraries of the gentiles. Then he says, “Therefore it is incumbent on us to imitate our heavenly Father. The spreading of good books among the people is one of the means whereby the Savior’s reign can be effectively established and maintained in so many souls. This is all the more necessary today, when irreligion and immorality make use of the press as a weapon to plunder the flock of Jesus Christ, and to drag down to perdition the unwary. We must, therefore, counter-strike with like weapons.” The Power of the Book

of the press sermons preached to the people, triduums and novenas, and the spreading of good books (Salesian Constitutions - 1875) The Salesian Constitutions of 1984, speaking on the topic of social media says, “Our founder had an instinctive grasp of the value of this means of mass education, which creates culture and spreads patterns of life; he showed great originality in the apostolic undertakings which he initiated to defend and sustain the faith of JULY 2017

He then tries to emphasize the power of the book. He says “Though books lack the force of the living word, they have the advantage in certain situations. A good book can find its way into homes where the priest (or a religious person) is not welcome. Even a bad person may not be averse to accepting a book as a present or as a souvenir. A good book enters a home without blushing. If rebuffed, it is not discouraged. If taken and read, it teaches the truth calmly. If set aside, it does not complain, but patiently waits for the time when conscience may rekindle the desire to know the truth. It may perhaps be left to collect dust on a table or on a library shelf, and given no attention for a long time. But then comes the hour of solitude, of sadness, of 9

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sorrow of boredom, of need for relaxation, or of anxiety about the future. Then this faithful friend shakes off is dust, opens its pages, and, as was the case with St. Augustine, Blessed Columbinus and St. Ignatius, it may bring about a conversion. A good book is gentle with those who are hampered by human respect and addresses them without arousing suspicion in any one. It is on familiar terms with good people, and is always ready to make meaningful conversation. and go along with them at any time anywhere.”

He further remarks that one need not be upset if the person to whom the book was given fails to read the book, for once the book is brought into a family it may be read by a son or a daughter, by a friend or a neighbour. In a small town that book may touch the lives of one hundred people. Only God knows how much good a book can do in a city, in a public library, in a workers’ association, or in a hospital where the friendly gift of a book is much appreciated. He says that the fear that someone may refuse the gift of a good book should not deter us. He quotes the example of a Salesian in Marseilles who was wont to visit the docks regularly and take along a supply of good books to give away to stevedores, repairmen and sailors. Such gifts were invariably gladly and thankfully accepted; and sometimes those men would immediately page through the book and then peruse it with curiosity. Need for Commitment to this Apostolate

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Don Bosco, then spells out the obligation of Salesians to be committed to the apostolate of the press. He feels that this was one of the most important apostolates entrusted to him by Divine Providence. The very fact that he was persecuted for his work in this field, he considers, was a proof that both the errors that he countered regarded the books he published as a formidable foe and that the work had the blessing of God. He says,” While some books surely went unread, some may have upwards of one hundred readers. Thus the number of people reached by the books published by the Salesian press greatly surpassed the number of copies distributed.” Thus he was not worried about the failure some of his books met with, but looked at the positive side of his efforts. JULY 2017

Recruitment of young people for this Apostolate He wanted the publications also to concentrate on catering to the needs of the young people through biographies and even entertaining literature. He wanted to recruit young people in this apostolate of spreading good books. He says, “At the beginning of each academic year our students, especially those newly enrolled are eager to join the student book guilds established in our schools. Make sure, however, that they join these guilds of their own free will and not by force. Try to persuade them to do so by reasoning with them and showing them how much good they personally can derive from these books and how much good they can do to others by sending them out, as they are published, to their homes, to father , mother, brother or benefactor. Our boys, however, should take care that the sending of these books does not take on the slightest appearance of preachment or lecture to JULY 2017

the family. Let this action appear for what it should really be, a loving gift or souvenir. Finally, when our students go home on holidays, let them continue the good work and try to extend their outreach by giving good books to friends and relatives. Rest assured, my dear children, that these efforts would draw down on you and on your youngsters the Lord’s choicest blessings.” He concludes his letter exhorting the Salesians to appreciate a simple style in publishing the books, quoting the example of St. Augustine who, renowned as he was as a master of letters and as an orator , once appointed bishop, preferred common language and inelegance of style to risking not being understood by his people! May Don Bosco’s enthusiasm and insight regarding the effectiveness of print media rouse us up to become apostles of the press. 11

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Indian cloistered nun receives her doctorate in aerospace engineering

Indian nun detained on false conversion charge The railway police in Satna town, Madhya Pradesh have charged Sister Beena Joseph, a member of the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa congregation, with abduction a day after she was released from a 12-hour detention June 15.The nun was on her way to the Madhya Pradesh state capital of Bhopal from the eastern state of Jharkhand along with four tribal girls. She was accused of taking them for conversion, following allegations by a Hindu activist that she had abducted 25 girls for conversion.Church leaders said the case is an attempt to harass the Catholic community in a state that is ruled by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party.

Sister Benedicta a cloistered nun in India came out of her convent for an extraordinary reason: to attend a graduation ceremony for her doctorate in Aerospace Engineering. The 32-yearold nun lives in a cloistered convent Carmelite Monastery in Pune, India. She had always felt a call to the consecrated life, but made the decision to become a nun after attending a spiritual retreat in Pune. She finished her doctorate studies before telling her family that she wanted to enter a cloistered convent.

BJP allies in Christian-majority NE oppose cattle trade rules

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) allies in three Christian-majority states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya have opposed the central government’s new cattle trade and slaughter rules.Over 5,000 BJP workers from Garo Hills region, which has 24 of Meghalaya assembly’s 60 seats, have resigned from the party over the issue and many more leaders have threatened to walk out of then BJP if the new rules are not rolled back.

Sri Lankan Catholics show ‘solidarity’ for flood victims Sri Lankan bishops have called on the Catholic community to continue to support hundreds of thousands affected by the destruction left in the wake of Cyclone Mora. Some 658,500 people have been displaced by floods and landslides in 15 districts and 68,734 persons are living temporarily in 355 camps, following the May 30 cyclone. Father Mahendra Gunathilake, Caritas national director, said they are continuing extensive relief operations and have distributed 60 truck-loads of essential commodities.The floods were the worst since a cyclone hit the island nation in May 2003, killing 260 people. The Salesian Bulletin


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Pope picks secretary for Dicastery on Integral Human Development On 16th June the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ pick of Human Rights expert Fr. Bruno-Marie Duffé for secretary of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, making him the final piece of the leadership puzzle for the new department. The new mega-dicastery is headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, who since March 2013 had served as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Fr. Duffé was a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He was born on Aug. 21, 1951 in Lyon, France, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Lyon in 1981.

Monks of Norcia announce special edition beer to help them rebuild Last year, in August and again in October, strong earthquakes rocked the town of Norcia, Italy, killing hundreds of people and destroying the 14th century Basilica of St. Benedict, where the monks of Norcia dwelt.Miraculously, their brewery, where they produce Birra Nursia, was mostly left intact. Now, the monks have announced a special project that will help them rebuild: Leffe, a Belgian brewery, has agreed to partner with the monks for a special edition brew, the proceeds of which will go directly to the monks’ new monastery.

Lithuania’s first Soviet-era martyr beatified

One of Poland’s new priests is the prime minister’s son Father Tymoteusz Szydlo, 25, the son of the Polish prime minister has been ordained a Catholic priest, and he celebrated his first Mass recently at the church in the southern Polish town of Przecieszyn, where he was baptized as a child. The priest is a member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, which celebrates a Latin-language Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Poland is known for its strong Catholic identity, and is currently considering legislation that would completely ban abortion. JULY 2017

Archbishop Teofilius Matulionis who continually defied communist rule and spent much of his ministry in prison was beatified in the Cathedral Square in Vilnius, the Lituanian capital on June 25 by Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Archbishop Matulionis was declared a martyr by Pope Francis Dec. 16, clearing the way for his beatification. He was known for his heroism and determination in faith in the midst of the harsh atheism of the Soviet regimes which ruled the countries in which he served. 13

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South Asia’s first Salesian television


on Bosco Television (DBTV) Panaji broadcasting 24x7 last three years is South Asia’s first and only Salesian television channel. Owned and operated by Salesians of Don Bosco Panjim province, DBTV competes with 12 other cable television channels in Goa state situated on India’s western coast. Amongst DBTV’s several programs, the daily Holy EUCHARIST live telecast from the college chapel has a surprisingly vast audience.

Don Bosco College Panaji launched its educational T V channel christened `DBTV` on Thursday, 5th December 2013 and became the first to do so in entire Asia, as they stake their claim.

fresh content every day,” says channel head Mr Deniz. DBTV popular shows include titles like ‘Black Box , ‘Crossroads’, and ‘Campus Notes.

Black Box consists of interviews taken regularly, of the Who is Who of Goa and Goans outside the state. This program is broadcast every Tuesday and Thursday at prime time i.e. 22.00 hrs and repeats on the following day. This program is hosted by Mr. Jovito Lopes a very popular figure in Goa who

Then Salesian Provincial of Panjim Province Fr Ian Figueiredo launched the educational television channel without much fanfare in the presence of Don Bosco College (DBC) Manager Fr. Wilfred Fernandes and DBC Principal Dr. Mrs. Marie Raj.

Speaking on the occasion, Fr. Figueiredo said, “The channel is an extension of Don Bosco`s [educational] principles.” ``If in the past Don Bosco used the communication tools of speaking and writing, as well as theatre to get across to his students, today we have the privilege of the TV channel as a source of communication,`` Fr. Figueiredo pointed out.

normally hosts programs of local, national and international interest.

The channel’s core team comprises Channel and Creative Head Mr. Shamiro Joeffry Deniz, Technical Head Ms Bryna Correia and Public Relations Assistant Ms. Afiza Viegas.

Campus Notes is a weekly episode broadcast every Saturday with repeats thereafter. The contents of this program is about all the happenings taking place in the campus including Oratory and also all the activities conducted by students outside the campus.

DB Television channel available on Panjim Cable TV network launched its broadcast with a documentary on the life of Don Bosco followed by a program on astronomy and science by the mass media students.

“Like other local channels in Goa, DBTV’s programs mostly consist of repeats with approximately one and a half to three hours of The Salesian Bulletin


Crossroads is another popular program based on career guidance, where professionals from all lucrative fields give their know-how. It is watched keenly both by students and parents alike and is hosted by DBC’s senior faculty members.

“To everyone’s surprise this channel is run by just two professionals from the field with the JULY 2017

help and participation of mass media department students. Other than most of its content being educative in nature, the students receive on the job experience of working in an actual television studio and Program Control Room,” Fr Fernandes explains. Channel Head Deniz adds, “We believe everything is education when taught. So the type of programs we broadcast are cooking show, teaching dancing, teaching various music instruments other than some lectures.”

Mr Deniz further explains saying, “There are two satisfying thoughts that always cross my mind other than being of service to the people of this state (Goa). The first is that because of the hands on experience of the mass media students in the studio, practically every student gets picked up by

Mr Deniz does not hesitate to appeal to the Salesian Family members “to join hands and seriously propagate DBTV in whatever manner they can, it would be great.”

Deniz lists the advantages of running a television channel saying, “It would be great if other regional channels of Salesians mushroom. This will give us an opportunity to exchange a lot of content. As it is a common feature of any television channel – they are always hungry for more fresh content. I for sure can help in creating a channel as this is the third local channel I have setup.”

“Well, it took the local government over a year after communications to recognize and include us in whatever manner when they distribute advertisement along with others,” laments Deniz. Commenting on the performance of the channel prominent lawyer and ex MLA from South Goa Mr Radharao Gracias says, “It is surprising that people are watching DBTV even though it calls itself an educational channel.”

local channels. While the second is that this is the only Don Bosco channel in the region.”

Fr Fernandes is quick to add, “Of course we have a program titled ‘Vocation’ where we hold discussions with novices of various religious congregations and newly ordianed priests sharing their life experiences on the path to joining religious life or priesthood.” The channel also broadcasts animated Bible features.

“Finance is a big constraint for us,” says Mr Deniz stating, “Every program we produce involves zero costing. Marketing also faces flak many a times as we belong to the minority community.” JULY 2017

“It is a good thing and we must tell all our diocese society to watch this channel,” said Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa when he visited DBTV studio.

Currently there are two government run educational channels—Gyan Darshan and Vyas. Some private players, such as Noida-based Amity University started a 24-hour educational channel in early 2008. Subhash Chandra’s Zee Telefilms Ltd launched an educational channel called Zed in 1998 but pulled the plug on it after two years in 2000. “We were perhaps a decade early in the educational space,” said senior vice-president at Zee Telefilms Ashish Kaul commentating on the misadventure. Meanwhile, Greycells18 Media of Network 18 Channel’s Topper TV catering to students of classes I to XII remains India’s first 24x7 educational channel. 15

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FR. SYLVANUS SNGI AN EXCEPTIONAL HEALER PRIEST Introduction For the Khasi people, Fr. Sylvanus Sngi Lyngdoh is a household name. For the Salesians of India and for the Church in North-east India, his name is synonymous with “a missionary par excellence.” Fr. Sngi as people fondly called him, was born on 3rd January 1921 in an insignificant village in Thaïang region of Ri Bhoi District in the parish of Mawbri. He came from a very simple family and had a very ordinary beginning. It was only when he came to the boarding school in Shillong that he began to display an extraordinary intelligence. Since his boyhood days, his only desire was to become a missionary priest like Fr. Vendrame, the Salesian missionary who came to evangelize his village. He was struck by the figure of Fr. Vendrame and by his missionary zeal and concern for the poor and sick people. In fact, he told his mother that he wanted to become like Fr. Vendrame. During his long years of life as a priest, he brought thousands into the faith. Besides this he engaged himself in socio-cultural enterprises as well as in writing. He was a multi-faceted personality who has rendered a yeoman service to the Church and to the Khasi people in general. As many would say, he was truly an institution by himself. Fr. Sngi’s Healing Ministry

However, what has made Fr. Sngi so endearing to the Khasi people and others as well, was his ministry of healing which he carried out with such dedication and efficacy especially during the last ten years of his life. Sacred Heart College was like a hospital in those days. Long lines of people coming from interior places of Khasi-Jaiñtia Hills as well as from the city, would wait in front of his room. Visitors would often mistake this for a hospital or a dispensary. b) Spiritual healing – Fr. Sngi was a much sought after confessor. Through the sacrament

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of reconciliation, he was able to bring spiritual healing to thousands of people. He was a saintly confessor who had insights into people’s life and was able to offer them the most appropriate spiritual guidance and advice. His prayer for people tormented by illnesses of various kinds, had miraculous effect on them. Persons with spiritual problems come to him and after his prayer and spiritual counselling, would go back totally healed and at ease.

b) Psychological Healing – Fr. Sngi, even though he never studied formal Psychology, yet he had a natural gift of psychological insight into a person’s life. He could discern effectively the psychological problems of mentally sick people who came to him. He himself would often say that many of the possession cases were actually psycho-somatic problems. In such cases he knew how to counsel the persons and ultimately the sick persons would be healed. There are two para-liturgical rituals which he used to perform in order to heal people from the so called psycho-somatic problems. One of them is called Ka Pyneh-rngiew (reinforcing one’s personal psyche). Among the Khasis it

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is believed that when a person meets with an unfortunate incident like an accident, failure, fear or spell etc, it is said that a person’s rngiew (psyche) becomes weakened and consequently, such a person or persons would invariably suffer similar misfortune in the future. For this reason, there is a need to reinforce a person/ persons’ rngiew. The second ritual is called Ka Mait-tyrut (ridding of bad omen). The Khasis believe that when a person dies an unnatural death (accident or murder), ka tyrut (an evil omen) affects the whole family. So in order to get rid of this a ritual is performed over the entire family. Fr. Sngi has also adapted this ritual into the Christian liturgy. He performed this on many families and the positive result was that those families experienced the return of peace and a sense of security once again. All these cases, as Fr. Sngi himself would subscribe, are actually psychosomatic cases which require a psychological treatment and Fr. Sngi would do it so effectively that patients would return home totally healed.

their wounds. Miraculously, both persons are still alive today and they are functioning normally.

Things used in his Healing Ministry

There are three things which Fr. Sngi used in his healing ministry. These are holy water, holy oil and laying of hands apart from prayer and blessing. Holy water was generously used to sprinkle on sick people. In fact, jokingly it used to be said that there was always flood in Fr. Sngi’s room. In his opinion, splashing of water on a person acts as a shock therapy and strangely enough it did work that way. He would also distribute the blessed water to the sick persons and request them to drink it as a sort of holy medicine. Besides holy water, Fr. Sngi used blessed oil. He would often anoint sick persons with the blessed oil in keeping with the Church’s teaching and many would get healed. Laying of hands on a person’s head was always done by him accompanied by a meaningful prayer often in the Khasi traditional manner.

Fr. Sngi was born on 3 January 1921 in the present day Bhoi district of Meghalaya. He professed as a Salesian on 6 January 1948 and was ordained priest on 1 July 1958 in Turin, Italy. After specialised studies in Sacred Scripture, he taught the subject at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong and Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore ever since 1961.

c) Physical Healing – Not just spiritual or psychological healings would take place in Fr. Sngi’s room, but often physical healing as well. There were two cases of electrocution, one of Ristar Kharpran of Mawlngad in 1994 and another of Charles Lyngdoh Rynghang of Mawlynrei in 2014 where the persons concerned had suffered almost a 70% to 80% burnt. Fr. Sngi was called to pray over them. In his own words he said “the flesh was dripping down from their bodies.” In both cases he prayed over them and poured holy water over

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Fr. Sngi was a healer priest par excellence and during his life time he has touched the lives of so many sick and suffering people. Even today people from rural areas still nurture a desire to visit his tomb and pray to him. He was a saintly priest on whom God had endowed the gift of healing and comforting people. His death was indeed a great loss for the Khasi people for whom he had become a father, mentor and pastor. 17

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as you never heard before...

Mary, Help of Christ!


ary was a worried mother. Jesus was about 30 but did not show any sign of settling down in life. He was a dashing young man in town, hardworking, smart and very much loved by his peers and admired by the girls. But he kept postponing his marriage. Mary was wondering what was going on in his mind. What his future was going to be? “Jesus, remember your cousin John?” Mary asked him abruptly one day, over supper.

“Of course, ma,” he said chewing on a piece of lamb. “Strange fellow. It seems he suddenly disappeared from home, somewhere into the desert. What news, mom? Is he getting married by chance?”

“You are always keen on the marriages of others,” she said with a wry smile. “What about your own? I see several fine girls casting furtive glances at you on the road.”

“Imma… please. You are at it again. I told you not to bother me.” “Men of your age in the village already have several children. When do I get to see my grandchildren?”

She knew he did not relish this topic. So, she said: “What is really going on in your mind, son? Tell your mother. I have a right to know.” “I don’t know! There is some fire, a nagging disquiet, or let me say, some dream going on in my head. May be God is calling me to something. But to what? What can an uneducated carpenter from Nazareth do? I understand you, my darling mom. I have nothing against marriage. But my heart is not inclined to it. I wish I could tell you clearly what it is that I want in life.” “Go to meet your cousin,” Mary changed the topic. “I heard that he is kicking up a storm down there near Jordan. I was there, in Ain Karim, assisting at his birth. He almost killed old Elizabeth. What a miracle that was. Today people call him a prophet. Go to see what he is doing. Stay a few days with him, if you wish. You need a change of place, to relax your mind. He too will be happy to see you. Give him my greetings.” “You seem keen on pushing me out of the house,” laughed Jesus. “How will you manage without me?” “Oh, You know I am tough. Go, relax and come back.”

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Mary was, of course, keenly aware that the circumstances of his own birth were stranger than John’s. Her contemplative heart thought that this meeting could wake him up to his own identity. Who knows what God had in store for his

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Son, wondered Mary!She knew that Jesus was not born for any ordinary life. The angel had told her as much! She felt it her duty to push Jesus into the path of his destiny, whatever that was. Jesus too heard about his cousin’s activities near Jericho and was planning to go to meet him. He was happy when it came from the mother. Two months had passed. Mary was beginning to worry. One day Jesus arrived back home. Not alone, though. He came with two friends. “Who are these handsome young men?” Mary asked as she welcomed them into her hut.

“Don’t know, Mom. On my way home, I suddenly saw these two guys following me. They wanted to see where I lived. I told them to come see this palace!” He laughed. They were with John, and it seems he told them to go after me, just to get rid of them,” he joked. “Shalom Imma,” they greeted her hesitantly.

“Welcome sons,” she said. “But you have come unannounced. Be satisfied with a meagre supper I can improvise. Hope you will adjust for the night in this little house.” “No problem, mother,” they replied.

“Pull out everything you have, Mom,” said Jesus. I am hungry as a wolf. It is a long time since I had something decent to eat!” “You look starved as if you got lost in a desert for a month, Jesus,” she said.

“Well, you are not far from the truth.” How does she manage to guess many things, he wondered. Sit down and relax. Let me bake a cake or two. But don’t worry. Tomorrow we are going to have a grand meal. I have been invited to a wedding in Cana. You must come.” “You go and enjoy yourself, Imma. I am tired.”

“Nothing doing. They are keen on you. The groom is one of your old friends.” “I was not even here. How did you promise?”

“I just said I will bring you along, if you came back. Well, now you are here. So we are going,” she said firmly. “Just look at your companions. They look eager for a good feed.” They laughed in agreement. JULY 2017

“I notice, of late you seem keen on driving me out of the house on some excuse or the other,” he said. And he understood that a mother would do that! Jesus was enjoying himself at the wedding in Cana, as he always did on such occasions. He was in a great company, and the centre of merriment. The groom was happy that he came.

Suddenly, in the midst of fun and frolic, Mary approached Jesus. “Jesus, look. The groom, your friend, is upset.” “Why?”

“The wine supply got over.”

His friends stopped dancing. But Jesus was still in a cheerful mood. He teased her: “My dear Lady, why should you or I worry about it? We are guests here.” Be she was serious. So, Jesus stopped dancing, and said, “Well, what can I do about it, mamma?”

“That is up to you. How do I know?” she said firmly. “Oh, come on, am I a miracle worker or a rich man? Don’t put me into trouble. My time has not yet come.”

Now everyone was staring at him. What did he say? “My time has not yet come?”Jesus himself was wondering why he said such a strange thing! It was as if words came from his mouth without knowing! Was he perhaps a little drunk, he suspected.

But Mary began to smile, intently gazing into his eyes. She had to push him in some way or other, and help him to come out of himself. She considered what to do next. May be, the story was being directed from the top!She brushed aside his hesitation.“That is the lamest excuse I ever heard!” she teased. Jesus was nervous. Looking at some servants standing near she said with finality: “Just do whatever he tells you.” With that she turned and walked away purposefully. She knew that she had given a push to the journey of his destiny. Behind every successful man there is a woman, they say. Jesus had no wife. But his mother was there! 19

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Human Enhancement


uman enhancement is generally understood as any activity by which we improve our bodies, minds, or abilities in order to increase our welfare. But, is it a “novel” phenomenon? Have we not been enhancing ourselves from the beginning of human history? The answer would be both YES and/or NO. It is a YES inasmuch as we have been improving or augmenting our capacities and abilities in different creative ways with a view to making our lives easier, comfortable, convenient, beneficial, advantageous, practical and time-saving. The answer is a NO inasmuch as we have not enhanced ourselves through the so-called “modern” and “ethically-controversial” ways and means that we follow now. The ability of human beings to adapt to the environment has been relentlessly creative and prolific. For instance, starting from the taming of fire – which extended to the invention of tools, building shelters and making clothes – we have learnt the art of managing the challenges arising from various contingent and brutal forces in order to survive in this world. In course of time, however, our desire to change and adapt moved from outside to inside. This exposes our yearning to become better than we are, better than human, to become homo superior.

We moved from augmenting our mental capacities through education and thinking to biologically and/or pharmacologically [using medical means] modifying ourselves. Instead of strengthening our bodies with a nutritious and healthy diet, we have opted for chemical drugs and injections. These enhancement technologies seem to promise great benefits to our human life however, in the bargain, we seem to forget the The Salesian Bulletin


fact that the medical technology was not initially developed with the purpose of making improved, “perfect” or even posthuman beings. Rather, it has been produced for the sake of [prevention, cure and care] preventing and curing diseases, challenging disabilities and alleviating suffering. Can we say that we are discontented with our limited or finite nature? Perhaps human beings think that if they overcome these limitations by freeing themselves from unhappy encumbrances of the various dimensions of their being, they can become “perfect.” This enterprise warrants them an entry into a new phase of human evolution with the aid of medical technology. When medical technology is used for therapeutic purposes, the aim is to reach the normal level of health. Human enhancement technologies make use of the same medical means to go ‘beyond therapy,’ paving the way for the odyssey of “perfection.” Some of the most prominent human enhancements are listed below.

(1) Cognitive Enhancement refers to the extension of the important capacities of the mind or improvement of our information-processing systems. Some of the conventional cognitive enhancements refer to education, training, language, mastery of psychological techniques, drinking coffee or energy drinks, meditation, exercise, sleep, and external informationprocessing devices. The unconventional/ controversial cognitive enhancements indicate deliberately created nootropic drugs, gene therapy or neural implants, and direct brain-computer interfaces. (2) Mood Enhancement can be defined as the treatment of a lack of good mood in which a person’s JULY 2017

enjoyment of life and ability to function socially is disrupted. Mood-enhancing drugs are also taken to make one happy. For instance, we have been using alcohol and opiates as mood-altering agents for centuries. The drugs used for mood enhancements are known as ‘antidepressants,’ ‘mood-alteringagents,’ ‘mood-elevators,’ and ‘mood-brighteners.’ (3) Physical Enhancement refers to any development that improves a physical function of a human body, without (net) deleterious side effects. There are multiple ways of augmenting performance, such as better equipment, better training, and better native powers. Similarly, physical enhancements can also be surgical, genetic, and pharmacological. For example, performance enhancing drugs or doping are used to make persons become better athletes. Physical enhancements also include cosmetic surgery, tattooing, scarification and other body modifications. (4) Moral Enhancement makes people either more moral/morally better people or helps us have morally better motives. Moral enhancements not only benefit the individuals who engage in them, but also others. The conventional moral enhancements refer to moral training, education, wider reading, socialisation, parental and peer group guidance, social and personal example and reflection on what is right (ethics). The nonconventional methods try to achieve the same end through biomedical interventions. (5) Life Span Extension. It is believed that with scientific development, we might be able to radically slow, or even stop the ageing process. The ‘evolutionary theory of ageing’ considers ageing as neither natural nor inevitable. Consequently, the issue of ageing falls within the domain of medicine, and as such, medical interventions can be made JULY 2017

in order to prevent, cure, and/or eliminate the process of ageing.

(6) Designer Children is a term that refers to a number of different reproductive technologies that open diverse possibilities to parents to have control over the traits of their prospective children. This enterprise helps make one’s children smarter, healthier, and happier disposition, besides helping to assess embryos for various disorders or diseases, choosing the sex of the babies, genetic tests and alterations both for therapeutic and cosmetic reasons, and the selection of the specific genetic make-up of children by positive selection. This new book, The Ethics of Human Enhancement, critically investigates the ethical concerns and challenges arising from this modern biotechnological development. To achieve this, the author employs analytical, critical, and evaluative methods. From the mainstream debate on human enhancement, the author has chosen three prominent approaches for the investigation, namely, the Welfarist Approach of Julian Savulescu, the Development Approach of Allen Buchanan and the Human Nature Approach or Giftedness Approach of Michael J. Sandel. While these approaches in themselves function as tools for the investigation, the analysis of these approaches helps us also to ethically appraise human enhancement. In addition, they facilitate the reader in identifying the arguments that we endorse, examining critically those reasonings that we disagree with, and thus bringing about new suggestions and arguments both for complementing these approaches and for a better, more reasonable and practical assessment of The Ethics of Human Enhancement. 21

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UNBEARABLE AND INIQUITOUS BURDENS OF ALCOHOLICS’ WIVES Alcoholism is measured by an augmented indulgence of and physical dependence on alcohol, affecting an individual’s ability to control alcohol consumption carefully and safely. Alcoholism takes a devastating toll not only on one’s physical health, emotional well-being, personal and social relationships, and professional life, but also on the wellbeing of all the family members, specially the spouses. The problem of alcoholism looks as a single unitary area of concern. However, this single problem is so colossal, that it somehow percolates each and every aspect of the wife of an alcoholic person, starting from interpersonal to social and to further intrapersonal realms of their life. Living with an alcoholic husband is a stressful existence for a wife and living with a recovered or recovering – intermittent alcoholic is no less traumatic. It is easier in the beginning for women to be supportive of their alcoholic husbands and show compassion with love and understanding. As the disease progresses, they grow impatient and set limits to patience and forgiveness, tolerance and acceptance, etc, just desperately wanting their husbands to stop drinking. These women feel disgusted or even embittered toward the partner, have feelings of resentment and anger. They experience depression and disappointment, helplessness and unhappiness, emptiness and an unsatisfying or unfulfilled relationship. Eventually accusations, arguments, fights exacerbate, communications terminate, relationships break, trust and confidence collapse, intimacy disappears, and the family bond is destroyed. Unfortunately, this fact opens the door for infidelity in the marriage by one spouse or both, tending to turn to someone else for comfort and love. The hurt felt from this marital betrayal of trust often times leads to aggressive behaviours and violence.

Children growing up in an alcoholic home develop emotional problems, such as anxiety and behavioural outbursts and have a four times higher rate of developing an addiction to alcohol. They The Salesian Bulletin


are forced to grow up and bear the stress and other consequences of the environment. The adolescents living with alcoholic parents are susceptible to the harmful effects of psychologically disturbed familial environments. They are more likely to develop externalizing problems such as conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, delinquency, and attention deficit disorder, and are at an elevated risk for internalizing behaviors such as depression and anxiety.

The individuals who are sincere in availing help from rehab and counselling can come out of this addiction. This caring journey is not easy and requires much understanding to start the healing process and mend the hurt that has been caused. However, if the alcoholic refuses to receive any help then the wives should be forced to make some very tough decisions in order to do what’s best for the family. They can start a family protest “Stop drinking and save life”; join social agitation of the closure of “Tasmac shops”; and educate children and youth on the ill effects of alcoholism. When wives take a stand and set limits with the alcoholic husbands, they are targeting the addiction, not their loved one. In addition, the most important thing these wives can do in this situation is pray and lean heavily on the Lord, remembering that “His arm is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:1), and that “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much” (James 5:16).  JULY 2017


In Assam, Bodo Women Are Cycling Their Way to Freedom Bodo women in Chirang, a remote district in lower Assam, are breaking taboos, overcoming obstacles and handling their own finances

An ‘include women’ campaign was held just before the election in April 2016 where at least 3,000 women from Chirang district took part. The women asked for a variety of demands at the event. They asked political parties for tickets for women, ration shops exclusively for women, quality mental health services, an end to violence against them and inclusion in decisionmaking and governance processes. Accompanied by their children, with many of the young ones tied to their backs, it was a day out

How the Use of Tobacco Affects the Environment

Tobacco cultivation and the curing process contributes towards deforestation, soil depletion, loss of soil nutrients and pollution due to the heavy use of agrochemicals. According to WHO, tobacco kills seven million people each year. Its cultivation, processing, production and disposal also harms the ecology immensely. Tobacco smoke emissions spew thousands of tonnes of human carcinogens, toxic substances and greenhouse gases into the environment. Cigarette butts and other tobacco waste make up the largest number of individual pieces of litter in the world Tobacco manufacturing produces chemical wastes including nicotine. The tobacco industry is a heavy polluter and is enlisted under the ‘red category’ (industries identified by environment ministry as heavily polluting).

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for women, both young and old. Girls, mothers, mother-in-laws, sister-in-laws and friends, were all together, enjoying themselves.

In Egypt, Muslims and Christians Share Ramadan Meals Despite Islamist Violence

Cairo: In a display of communal solidarity defying the sectarian violence of Islamist militants, Egyptian Christians in Cairo organise daily meals for Muslim neighbours who must fast from dawn to dusk during their holy month of Ramadan.

Several Christian families in Riyad’s area pitch in daily to provide the food and drink in what he calls an effort to unite people of different faiths during a holy time of year. Copts make up about 10% of Egypt’s 92 million people. “We all live in the same square, we’re all brothers and friends, I’ve raised this man’s son (alongside my own son) and he’s Muslim,” Riyad said, pointing to a neighbour. 23

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t Mirabello I will try to be Don Bosco.” Famous words of the young Don Rua on his way to taking up the post of Rector – the first Rector of the Salesian congregation – in the first house of the young congregation outside Valdocco.

This was also the “theme line” of our recently concluded meeting for the revision of the “Rector’s Manual” requested by GC27 – but it aroused rather strong reactions. “Is it really possible to be another person,” asked one of the participants, “even if he is our beloved Father and Founder? The Salesian Bulletin


And even if it were possible, is this a good spiritual and anthropological ideal? We are not called to be anyone else. We are called to be ourselves. The revised Manual must be different!” A good provocation, I thought. Though by no means a new one. I think I heard that from Tony De Mello and also from Joe Mannath. But my mind went back to a beautiful passage from the Jesuit spiritual guide and retreat director, Francesco Rossi de Gasperis, who can by no means be considered part of the liberal fringe of theology.

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When we make progress in our relationship to Jesus, says Rossi de Gasperis, he becomes the principle not only of our behaviour but of our being. I am conditioned by him – but not in the sense that I am afraid to be myself. It is, rather, the kind of loving conditioning that conquers me freely, the conditioning on the part of a person who loves me and who I love in return, who longs for me and who I long for, who wants to belong to me and who I want to belong to Scripture, we recall, says that the soul of Jonathan was “knit” to the soul of David to the point of loving him as he loved himself (1 Sam 18,1). This is most true of our relationship with the Lord: when we truly love him as he loves us, our soul is knit to his. This is a being-in-love that is analogous to the most intense and passionate human love, but that nevertheless transcends in intensity and permanence every such love. No other person, in fact, has the right to possess me like this.

attached to him. In truth, loving attachment to the person of Jesus, Messiah and Lord… rather than any abstract ‘Christian’ ideology, lived in the different historical circumstances of their following of Jesus, was the secret of the persons and of the common fraternal destiny of Peter and John, Paul and James. The person of Jesus (more than his ‘doctrine’) was the ‘rule’ of Anthony the Copt and Pachomius, Basil and Benedict, Augustine and Jerome, Cyril and Methodius and Bernard, Dominic and Francis, Brigitte and Catherine of Siena, Ignatius and Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, Teresa of Lisieux and Edith Stein….”

Seduction, falling in love, irrevocable belonging: all analogies that we cannot help using, but in the end the bond between the Lord and us transcends every analogy. His person becomes our consciousness, the ‘I’ that is deeper than our deepest selves.

Don Bosco is missing from this list, but there is no doubt that he is an eminent part of the Body of Christ that is the Church, raised up by the Spirit “to contribute to the salvation of youth.” (C 1) Passionate follower of Jesus that he was, Don Bosco still remains very much himself, a Piedmontese contadino of the nineteenth century. Great educator that he is, he sets us free – free to follow Jesus in our times as he followed him in his. The Preventive System is above all a pedagogy of freedom: it is meant to give rise to free and creative human beings who are sources of blessing to many.

“Jesus is the inner inspiration of all that is born of him in his Churches, not because he teaches us to do the things he did, but because starting from him and because of attachment to him, each one becomes truly himself, and the Church flowers like a garden of irreducible personal identities: Simon Peter the fisherman turned pastor, and John, the beloved disciple; Paul, the Pharisee rejected by the Jews for being not devoted enough to the Torah and far too open to the Gentiles, and James, the head of the Church of the circumcision, killed by the Jews for being a relative of Jesus and far too

Here in Rome we are hard at work a new edition of the Rector’s Manual, one that we hope will be faithful and yet fresh, taking advantage of all the inspirations that God has sent us since the last edition of 1986: several General Chapters, including GC24 on the sharing of our mission with the laity, and very recently also, from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, a new document called Per vino nuovo otri nuovi – (New vessels for new wine), on the challenges that consecrated life is still faced with at this moment after Vatican II, including the challenge to find a new, more evangelical, way of exercising authority.

At this point Rossi de Gasperis brings in, unexpectedly, another element: “This does not mean, however, that we ought to try and copy all that he said and did, or that we should try to repeat his words and his actions. Just the opposite: following him as his disciple, I finally feel free to be myself. This liberation is produced by his presence, it is inspired by his person.”

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So “at Mirabello I will try to be Don Bosco” – passionately committed to Christ and free to be myself, gift and blessing to scores of young people and those to whom I am sent. Free to be who I am called to be, from all eternity: a free child of God, adventure of the Spirit wind that blows where it will.


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SOFT TERRORISM Thousands are killed in violent shootouts At holiday resorts, schools, sacred precincts But million more lives are snuffed out in slow Creeping, crawling, unseen, stealthy ways. These soft terrorists neither explode bombs Nor spray bullets on scattering victims They just glut and choke your lungs With dense emission smoke and fumes. They don’t set your clothes on fire Or burn and your face with acid scar They insidiously achieve the same With contaminated, and expired drugs. Not for them to starve you to death Or plead lack of quality goods They merrily sell you hormone injected broilers And high pesticide residue fruits and vegetables. Health takes a back seat even in schools Selling junk food and soft killer sugary drinks Obesity has a field day sans physical exercise Which video and on line games suppress. . Neither parents nor teaches ever dare scold Pampered, spoiled, media addicted kids If they do, there is no outburst or protest Just a guilt implicating suicide and heart burst. This soft terrorist parachutes seven other devils On a more deadly, more widespread second coming Cancer, dengue, rat fever, swine flu, chickungunya To kill and murder courtesy no assault rifles or bombs. The Salesian Bulletin


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10 Q


Fr. Abraham Kavalakatt SDB Commercial Director of Tipografia Salesiana - Vatican Press 1. How is your experience in Vatican Press? It is a wonderful experience to be in Vatican. I met the Holy Father several times, we are working for him and the Universal Church. 2. Where did you study your printing technology? I am proud to say that I studied at SIGA Polytechnic College. As a student collaborated in bringing out the various text books of SIGA together with Bro. Giuliano Santi and Bro. John Kespret and other teachers. I was instrumental in bringing out the book Printers Pocketpal. 3. What are the important magazines and newspapers that you print here? The most important newspaper is the L’Osservatore Romano, which is the Vatican official daily newspaper. It brings to the world the up-to-date news from the Holy See in the Italian language, now it is also online before being printed. The monthly magazine, “Donne Chiesa Mondo” is quite popular. The Libreria Editrice Vaticana print their publications here. 4. How is your contact with the Holy See? I have direct contact with all sections of Vatican. I had met the different Cardinal prefects of all Dicasteries and Congregations of Vatican. We have a good relationship with all of them and we collaborate well with the Holy See. 5. How many years are you in Italy? I am in Italy for the past 21 years. Six months at Vallecrosia, six years at Florence, six years as Rector JULY 2017

and Youth director at Prato, one year in ScandicciFlorence. Then I was made Rector and Director of our Spirituality centre at Loreto, where I was appointed as Bishop’s Vicar for Religious. Now for the past two years here in Vatican as the Commercial Director. 6. What is the secret of your success here? God’s Grace! I trust in the Divine Providence and the loving hand of God. I tried to do my best wherever my superiors had sent me. I had no difficulty to take up challenging jobs. I had full collaboration from the Italian confreres and Italian people. 8. How do you find the work culture here? It is well organized and time is precious and to be utilized well. There is time schedule for everything and I try my best to be more than punctual in everything. 9. What are the challenges involved in the Communication ministry? Communication is changing very fast. Today printed matter is been reduced to 50% by the introduction of online ministry so we see the need to strengthen this aspect and we are at it. 10. Can you share something about your family? My family is from Kerala, a little place called Ezhacherry, between Palai and Ramapuram. I have my dad and brothers and sisters in Kerala. I lost my mother and a brother 4 years ago. I have three of my sisters, religious nuns working in the missions. A very devout family and we are four brothers and four sisters.


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Four Tips against Stress


n a very cordial conversation, Pope Francis reveals the secret of his serenity and his peaceful smile, in spite of his grave responsibility and the daily problems, opposition and disagreements. These are tips that he himself follows to be in peace always. 1. A little of Italian Relativism

What is the source of my serenity? No, I do not take sleeping tablets. The Italians give a good advice. We need a sound non-bothering attitude to live in peace. I have no difficulty in saying that my present life is completely new for me. I must admit that in Buenos Aires, I was more tense. I was more worried and anxious. I was not, in short, what I am now. I had a special experience of peace, from the time I was elected. And I still enjoy that peace and live in serenity. I am not able to explain it. They say that opinion polls in London, for the Conclave, placed me in 40th or 46th place. In fact, I did not expect it at all. I had also left out the homily, I had prepared for Maundy Thursday. The newspapers considered me a kingmaker but not a Pope. When I was elected, I said, ‘Lord, let us go ahead’. I felt great peace and it has not left me still.’ And if there are criticisms? It is good to be criticized, the Pope says, I am always happy with that. Life certainly includes misunderstandings and tensions. And when there are criticisms that are constructive, I welcome them and also reply to those concerned. 2. Turn to St. Joseph

In the General Councils, much was said about the problems of the Vatican, of reforms. All wanted that. There was corruption in the Vatican. I am, however, in peace. If there is a problem, I write a note and keep it under a small statue of St. Joseph, which I have in my room. It is the statue of St. Joseph, that is sleeping. And he is now sleeping on the mattress of notes. For this reason, I sleep The Salesian Bulletin


well. It is a grace of God. I always sleep six hours. I pray, but follow my own method. I like the breviary very much and I never leave it out. I celebrate Mass every day. The Rosary… whenever I pray, I take the Bible and my peace increases. I do not know if this is the secret. My peace is a gift of the Lord and he never takes it away. I believe each one must find the vocation, which the Lord has chosen for him. 3. Mortification in the right measure

Even mortification can be worldly. Instead, it must be prophetic. When I entered the Jesuit novitiate, they gave me the hair-shirt. The hairshirt is good, but we must be careful: it should not help me to show how strong and capable I am. True mortification must make me more free. I believe that fast must also be something related to life. How do we fast? Only by not eating? The Little Flower had another way. She would never say what she liked. She would never complain and eat whatever was given. There is a daily small asceticism, there is a constant mortification. I am reminded of a phrase of St. Ignatius, which helps me to be more happy and more free. He used to say that mortification in all things possible, to follow the Lord. If something helps you, do that, also the hair-shirt. But only if it helps you to be more free, not if it helps you to show to yourself that you are strong. 4 Not to be attracted to money

I do not deny that there are a lot of problems at the third level, connected with administration. Problems begin when the pockets are touched. I think of the alienation of goods. We must be very delicate with goods. Poverty is the spinal-marrow of the Church. It is not important whether we are watched or not watched. The consequences are always fatal. Perhaps there is no time for a well prepared answer, I leave it to your good judgment. JULY 2017

Let me tell you that the Lord wants very much that the religious be poor. When they are not poor, the Lord sends an administrator who grossly impoverishes the institute. Once it happened that a religious Sister economer fainted and her fellow sister said to those who were helping her: “Hold a cheque right under her nose and she will revive.”

There was a break half-way through the meeting. A special hall was prepared for the Pope, but he said, “Why do you want me to be all alone?” Thus, during the break, the Pope happily mingled with those present and took a cup of coffee and some snacks, greeting one and all. “Life is full of JULY 2017

surprises. We must understand the surprises of life, to understand the surprise of God.” Before leaving the hall, he greeted all with these words: “Go ahead with courage and without the fear of making mistakes. The one who never makes a mistake, never does anything. We must go ahead. Surely, we will make mistakes at times, but the mercy of God is always with us.” (Original Published in ‘Bollettino Salesiano’ Italy, April 2017, translated by Fr. Abraham Kadaplackal SDB)


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YOUTH ICON FROM THE BIBLE This is a character so insignificant that we do not even know her name - insignificant for the world, as she was just a little girl; insignificant to the historians because she was just a maid servant of the wife of a Commander in Egypt, brought into Egypt as a slave when the Egyptians raided the Israelites for booty; but to the Lord she was no insignificant girl. Though a slave and a prisoner of war, she was faithful to her master and her mistress! She wished their well being and already there she proves a great child of God. We find this story happening in the Second book of Kings (Chapter 5), when Naman was infected with leprosy and many of his efforts to get cured failed. The slave-girl suggests to her mistress that the master takes a trip to Samaria and shows himself to Prophet Elisha. Things unfold rapidly and Elisha cures Naman, inspiring Naman to recognise the One True God, the God of Israel. He returns to Egypt as a believer of Yahweh. Look at that little girl, a simple maid servant, a mere slave - what a difference she made in the life of the man! That is the lesson she holds out to us: to make a difference in people’s lives, because we are children of God. She was able to make that difference because of a series of reasons: firstly, she knew her God; secondly, she believed her God could work wonders; thirdly, she loved her Master and Mistress though she was just a slave; fourthly, she had the courage of proposing to them to go in search of the true Lord; and finally, inspite of her insignificance she made a huge difference, bringing the household to the Lord. Bringing people to the Lord - that is a call given to every child of God - it will happen only when we know God and believe firmly!


Dear young friends, - Do you know God; it is not merely knowing about God... do you really know your God? - How prepared, daring and intent are you in bringing people to God?

THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH I. The Sacraments of Initiation (Questions 193 -223). Section Two of Part II is a detailed description of the Seven Sacraments of the Church. The first chapter of this section deals with three sacraments that are called the Sacraments of Initiation. Baptism is the beginning of a lasting relationship with God, which at the same time unites the person in a relationship with brothers and sisters in the Church. The overwhelming reason the Church holds on to infant baptism vis-a-vis the other denominations, is her firm conviction that Baptism is a gratuitous gift from God, that the parents wish for the child, a grace that gives the child an indelible identity and a responsibility to grow in the same. Confirmation as a Sacrament, in fact, completes the Sacrament of Baptism. Apart from becoming a full-fledged, responsible member in the Church, by the act of the Holy Spirit, the person is asked to personally and consciously affirm once again the promises assumed at Baptism, making a covenant with the God who had chosen him or her The Salesian Bulletin



from time immemorial. The Sacrament of Eucharist, makes one worthy of partaking in the body and blood of Christ. Eucharist is the heart of the Christian community, which makes the Church truly Church. Holy Sacrifice, Holy Mass, Sacrifice, Liturgy, Sacred Mysteries, Communion - these are among the familiar names given to this sacrament, reminding us of the richness it possess within. The Eucharistic Celebration has two major parts - the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, flanked by a preparatory initial moment and a thanksgiving concluding moment. The Eucharist is a memorial (of what Jesus did with his disciples), a mystery (of participation in that one, single, unrepeatable sacrifice of Calvary every time) and a meal (sharing in one bread and one cup) that gives us the foretaste of the eternal life that Jesus has promised us. - The Sacraments of Initiation: How aware and conscientious are you about your ongoing relationship with God? JULY 2017


KNOW YOUR CHURCH: Is the Church under attack these days? The anti-religious or anti-God forces in the world are grouping against the Church, specially the Church! The religious fundamentalists, be it the ISIS at the international level or the RSS at the local level in India, or the other hidden religious fundamentalists are all up against the Christians and the Church, the people of God; they want them off. There are threats that the Holy Father continuously receives, there are churches ransacked and communities attacked. Why is this happening? Is the Church under attack these days? Church, the real People of God, have always been under attack. As Jesus said, if they did this to me, they will do it to you! What we need to understand is the fact that our Church, the People of God, is not merely you and me we are a three tier community! First is the Glorious Church or the Sanctified Church or the Triumphant Church - these are those who have gone before us, who have fought a good fight, who have run the race and received the wreathe. They are an interceding Church. The other tier is the Penitent Church or the Suffering Church or the Expectant Church. They are those who have gone before us, but

are suffering due to the sins that they have committed on earth. They have repented but not prepared themselves enough to enter the beatific union with the Lord, still in the purgatory purifying themselves - they are a dependent Church, awaiting the mercy of God. The third is the Church that we are - the Militant Church, the people of God who struggle against sin, the satan, the rulers of this world, the powers of darkness and the evil that prowls. The union among these three tiers of the People of God, is what we profess as the Communion of Saints. We are on a journey, a journey with its ups and downs; the Church has been on this journey right from its inception. So never lose heart - be in the fight. Be strong, stand firm, and hold on to your faith!

OCCUPATION AND VOCATION HUMAN WORK (Questions 134-157) At the beginning of human work is God’s creation, Pope St. John Paul II would say. Work makes a person realise the creator’s image in oneself. Work, in a way is an obligation as God created human persons and commanded them to protect and cultivate the rest of the creation. It is also a joyful and grateful response to the gift of creation that God has given, by protecting it and enhancing it and not merely using it. Thirdly it is a participation in the ongoing work of God’s creation, as every human person is required to contribute to the positive development of the world. Jesus was a worker himself and he moved around in an all-workers ambient: fishermen, craftsmen and farmers. However today, there needs to be a crucial distinction made: Work is an important part of life, but it is not life. Work is absolutised at times; there are the so-called workaholics. Work is made a mere means to earn money, while money dictates how much of work has to be done and why. Neither work not its monetary proceeds can become


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ends in themselves. The classification of humanity as the working class (or the proletariat) and the moneyed class (or the bourgeouis) which has, for centuries now, came to stay, is totally against the vision that God had for the humanity. Church has been aware of this and outspoken about this, right from the encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891) of Pope Leo XIII. As against the class struggle that Marxism advocates and necessitates for an egalitarian society, the Church appeals to the humanity to arrive at a just balancing of interests among the various participants in economy and society. As against the Marxist demand of total abolition of private property, the Church defends the right to private property but insists on the principle that ‘property entails social obligations’. To work is a right of every human person, and right opportunities, safe conditions and just remunerations have to be ensured by all means! - What is your judgment of the situation of work and workers in today’s context? Do you think you are able to make your holistic contribution to the enhancement of the society and humanity? 31

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Hills College starts four new Honourslevel courses

An Indian University awards 7 medals to female students of “Salesian College” At the 47th Annual Assembly of the University of Northern Bengal (NBU), held on June 2, Siliguri, 161 medals were awarded to the best students graduating in 2016. Among the awards, in various subjects and with different grades, there were 7 female students of the “Salesian College.”

Don Bosco Media, Tiruchy launches Mobile app Salesian Prayers

The Salesian Province of Tiruchy recently launched a Mobile Application on Salesian Prayers. The Mobile Application was released by Father Antony Joseph SDB the Provincial of the Province of Tiruchy. Father Arockia Selvakumar SDB, the Assistant Director of DB Media, Trichy conceptualized and developed this mobile application along with his team from Don Bosco Media, Trichy.

Salesian College Sonada (SCS) Darjeeling, affiliated to North Bengal University in Siliguri, is set to start 4 new BA Honours-level courses for the 2017-18 academic year, starting 3rd July. The new courses introduced are BA Honours in Mass Communication, Philosophy, Geography, and B.Com Hons in Finance. Besides academic pursuits, SCS students reach out to some 20 tea gardens and conduct youth center programs every Sunday. Established in 1938, SCS has a larger and sprawling campus in Siliguri Plains with 12 departments in Arts, Commerce and Science schools.

Blessing of a New Salesian House in Myanmar

Recently, Mgr. Felix LianKhen Thang, bishop of Kalay diocese, presided at Mass and blessed the house of the Salesian presence of KalayMyo, belonging to the Myanmar Pre-province. The Don Bosco House in Kalay was started 6 years ago, and currently accompanies 80 young people, with 3 Salesians performing their works.

375 women and children receive school supplies and clothes in Pune

Holistic Youth Ministry at Don Bosco Institute – Guwahati A two-day animation programme was organised for the Youth Ministry Teams of both Shillong as well as Guwahati Provinces at Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati on 16-17 June 2017. The theme of the animation programme is ``Towards a Holistic Youth Ministry`` and it was animated by the Don Bosco Youth Animation (DBYA) South Asia. The Salesian Bulletin


On 5 June, the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) in Pune, Mumbai Province (INB), in collaboration with “AXA Business Service”, donated school supplies, books, toys and clothing to over 375 women and children from the slums. In addition, DBDS, in collaboration with the Spanish Catholic NGO “Manos Unidas”, carries out a development and emancipation project for the women of Pune. JULY 2017



XVI edition of “Orawa for the Children of Africa” - Poland On the 3rd and 4th June, at the initiative of the Salesian Voluntary Service “MłodziŚwiatu” in Krakow (PLS Province), and in cooperation with the Municipalities of Jabłonka and LipnicaWielka, the 16th edition of the event “Orawa for the Children of Africa” took place. The event, this year in favor of the children of Uganda, began in the Jabłonka Cultural Center, with a concert, the presentation of a film on street children in Uganda, and the prayer vigil on Pentecost.

Order of Merit to Bogotà’s Salesian Community - Colombia

On 13 June, the Mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa, conferred the “City of Bogotá Civil Order of Merit” to the Salesian community, and the 60 years of service of its Don Bosco Center, an educational institution which has contributed greatly to the education of young people in Bogota. The Mayor underlined the work of the Don Bosco Center, recognized as the city’s best technical institute, and those of other educational centers under Salesian leadership.

Stolen relic of Don Bosco recovered An urn containing a relic of St. John Bosco brain, which was stolen on June 3 from the Basilica of John Bosco in Asti, Turin was recovered on June 15. alleged perpetrator of the crime is a 42-year old man with a criminal record, residing in Pinerolo, Turin. He was arrested by the Asti police. The suspect allegedly planned to sell the reliquary, which he believed to be of solid gold.

Over a thousand participants in the children’s festival in Angola

On June 4, the “Maria Ausiliatrice” Salesian community of Kipata-N’dalatando organized the “Children’s Festival”, attended by over a thousand young people who participated in a variety of games.

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Summer plenary session of the General Council Chaired by the Rector Major, Don Ángel Fernández Artime, the Plenary Session of the General Council began on 5 June. On the agenda: appointment of 9 new provincials, reports of Extraordinary Visits, study and analysis of various issues pertaining to the Salesian Congregation, accompaniment of the new provincials participating in the training course, Spiritual Exercises, and the Joint Meeting with the General Council of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. The plenary session of the General Council ends 27 July. 33

The Salesian Bulletin


Dangerous Hobby

Pizza Puzzle

Uneducated Dad

An angry customer sent an sms to the nearby Pizza Shop owner Customer: You cheat, I ordered a Pizza and you have delivered it with no toppings on it or anything, it looks like plain bread Pizza shop owner (apologetically): We’re extremely sorry to hear about this! Customer (minutes later): Never mind, I opened the pizza upside down. Pizza shop owner: ***

Mr. Johnny who was a doctor puts his thumb impression on Little Johnny’s mark sheet. Little Johnny asked his father: Dad, you are a doctor why did your thumb impression instead of your signature on my progress card. Mr. Johnny replied: Idiot, after looking at your marks, the teacher should not think that I am educated.

On a very rainy day Employee (telephones): Sir, it is raining heavily the roads are flooded and therefore I cannot travel to the office. Boss: In your resume, you have mentioned your hobby as swimming so please come soon.

Paying for Mistake Husband and Wife had a Fight.

Wife called her Mom : He fought with me again, I am coming to you. Mom: No my dear, he must pay for his mistake, I am coming to stay with U!


Grades According To Indian Parents

: Average : Below average : Can’t have dinner : Don’t talk to me ever again : Find a new family

Media Power News on Pak TV: “Water and presence of whales and sharks found on Moon by Pakistani Satellite.” News on BBC: “Satellite launched by Pakistan found in Arabian Sea”.

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JULY 2017



GREATEST MIRACLE!!! Jesus’ friends visited the tomb of Jesus after three days. They could not believe what they saw. The angels had removed a very big stone that was used to cover the tomb of Jesus. One angel was even sitting on top of it. Both the angels looked very happy. They told the friends “Don’t cry. Jesus is risen”. One of Jesus’ friends believed after touching the wounds of Jesus with his fingers. The Risen Jesus ate fish with his friends in a sea shore. People started believing that Jesus is alive as he himself promised. Is it not the greatest miracle?

“I am the way, the truth and the life and I am with you always.”

Can you narrate something surprising that has happened to you?

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The Salesian Bulletin

Date of publication: 1st week of every month. Regd. No. TN/CCN//609/2017-2019 & WPP No. TN/PMG (CCR) WPP-339/2017-2019. Registrar of Newspaper for india NO. 1459/1957 Posted at Egmore R.M.S - Pathirikai Channel. 06. 07. 2017

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JULY 2017

Salesian bulletin - July  
Salesian bulletin - July