The Salesian Bulletin
CONTENTS AUGUST 2018
- a family magazine Editor David Maria Selvam sdb News Editors
Joseph Kamalesh sdb Sanjana Muralidharan Designer A. Paul Victor Circulation A. Saranya
Office Assistant I. Vijay / M. Santhosh Editorial Board Godfrey D’Souza- Chairman, BOSCOM Dominic Veliath sdb / Joe Mannath sdb Agilan sdb / Joaquim Fernandes sdb Raj Mariasusai sdb / Stanislaus Swaminathan sdb Advisory Board Maria Arokiam Kanaga - President, SPCSA K.M. Jose - President, Salesian Publishing Society Xavier Packiam - Financial Advisor Nirmol Gomes / Nestor Guria Vattathara Thomas / Thathi Reddy Joyce Mathew / Jose Mathew / Felix Fernandes George Maliekal / Antony Joseph Joseph Almeida Marketing Manager R. John Bosco Editorial Office The Salesian Bulletin, Bosco Illam 2nd Floor 26/17 Ranganathan Avenue, Sylvan Lodge Colony, Kellys, Chennai - 600 010 Phone : 044 - 26451991
6 FULL LIVES By Rector Major
24 Rise Women in India! Claim Your Legitimate Freedom! By D.J. Margaret, FMA
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
Being Assumed With Our Blessed Mother By David Maria Selvam SDB
Citizen journalists learn fake news, peace journalism By C. M. Paul, SDB
Office : email@example.com Editor : firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Yearning that is Written into our Being By Ivo Coelho SDB
Youth – Faith – Growth By Antony Christy SDB
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. AUGUST 2018
Published by David Maria Selvam on behalf of Salesian Publishing Society, Bosco Illam 2nd Fl oor, No. 26/17 Ranganathan Avenue Sylvan Lodge Colony, Kellys, Chennai - 600010. and Printed by David Maria Selvam at Salesian Institute of Graphic Arts No.49, Taylor's Road, Chennai - 600010 / Editor: David Maria Selvam
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Guest Editorial Christianity-Light, Salt and Yeast Christian (‘convent’) schools, colleges and universities in India are highly appreciated for their superior standards of discipline and education. People of every faith who dreams big for the future of their children will have on the top of their list the admission in a Christian school. The environment created in the campus to bring out the best in their students is perfectly coordinated by the management with utmost care and precision. Students of Christian educational institutions have excelled in numerous fields. Look at a student who completes his education and builds up a multi-crore company of his own. His passion for learning, creativity, organizing, managing, collaborating, solving, is propelled by a dream to achieve name, fame and huge gains. His Christian education is the strength of his foundation. Besides providing the best education to the world, Christians cultivate superior values of Love, Joy, Peace, Faith and Harmony. The strategies so far employed to germinate these values haven’t shown much results. Probably the protagonists of the best education who train the minds of those who build multi-crore companies have themselves not shown that same zeal when it comes to passing on the values of the treasure they have – Jesus - to others. One can only do so much, but by meticulous planning and collaborating with others - like teachers in the school - the production will increase hundred fold. ‘Lay Collaboration’ has been one of the major themes of the Church from Vatican II. Yet, the progress in this field is at a snail’s pace. A Christian without light, salt and yeast is no more a Christian. A ‘Christian leader’ without these is only a ‘leader’. Inviting the ‘lay people’ to collaborate with the ‘leaders of faith’ will enrich the saltiness and the yeastiness of both. The Christian tribals of Kandhamal region in Odisha have suffered grave persecutions from the hands of the dominant few,have completed 10 years today, are yet to receive justice from unjust atrocities inflicted on them. Like the sufferings of Mary, they offer their sorrows for a better India! Happy feast of Assumption of Our Lady into heaven!
Joaquim Lobo, SDB The Salesian Bulletin
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Congratulations Sr. Annette Thottakara, for her short and strong reflections. The article titled ‘Immediate Action must follow His call was rather new and inspiring. Bahep R Tynsong Guwahati.
The Cover Story was worth reading. It highlighed a lot of the present reality in religious life and in the life of consecrated people in general. I congratulate the author for her clarity and boldness Fr. Kamal Chennai
“Walk by faith ; Not by sight” - We place a lot of expectations in our life and we expect God to fulfil them. We fail to understand that he is God ; not a Genie to keep fulfilling our expectations. This article clearly makes us understand the fact that true peace comes from knowing that God is in control and he has the best plans for us. Thanks to the editor for giving us belief and hope. Rose Mary Bangalore
Hearty Congratulations to BOSCOM (Don Bosco Communications) on its silver jubilee! It is nice to see that the Salesian members have rightly utilized the social communication tool to push forward the vision of Don Bosco and have contributed well to the society! It was nice to see some of the faces who were instrumental in founding Media Institutions like Tej Prasarini, DBICA, NITIKA etc. Hoping to see the younger generation with same vision and zeal Joyce Fort Kochi
I am a college student and I loved the article “ A Small act of Kindness”. I have underwent a similar situation in life. One day i was travelling in a local bus. when I was just about to get a ticket, I realised that I had left my purse at home.I was completely embarrassed by the situation. Just then, an old lady who had seen me searching desperately for my purse, came forward voluntarily to buy me a ticket. This article reminded me of the incident and I wish to thank her for her act of kindness.
Nivetha Joseph Chennai
The cover story “Salvation has come to our houses” was wonderfully written. Sr.Jacqueline Mary has brought out the various issues faced in the congregations now-a-days and has also given us the solutions through which we can be excellent in our lifestyle and be relevant through our mission. The way in which she had quoted the words of Pope Francis from his Apostolic Exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate” highlights the beauty of living a holy life. Sr. Surekha, Mumbai
With the great threat of the sterlite protests being silenced by the State, it is commendable that the author Ricopar Royan has come forward to highlight the causes and effects of the industrial pollution caused by the “Sterlite and the like” and the need to stop the corporates from polluting the environment for their profits. Maria Fernandez Pune.
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I believe that this is what we have most at heart, dear readers – to feel that we are living a life that is full. It seems that this is a very human aspiration. It is with this thought that I must tell you that I have come to know in my life many persons who live and have lived full lives. I propose to follow this path myself.
will begin by recounting two life events that seem to be significant on account of the age of the persons involved and, therefore, deserving of attention.
Following the precious feast of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco (Turin), I began my travels this May with a visit to the Salesian presences in Croatia. The solid faith of those Croatian Christian communities and of those young people hit me directly in my heart. The hundreds of young people whom I met – who are the youths of today, so modern, so up-to-date, so much in the digital world, just like all the young people around the world who have access to that world – still are solid in living their Christian faith. This made a great impact on me, so I took advantage of this message to tell you about that now before diving into the focus of this writing. We arrived at one of our Salesian presences at 10:00 p.m. On entering the patio of the Salesian house, we heard the music of typical Croatian folk dances and saw a group of about 150 little children, teenagers, young adults, and some parents awaiting us there and, of course, the Salesian community. Great was my astonishment and emotion at seeing among them one of our Salesian confreres (I will omit his name lest he feel embarrassed at knowing he was mentioned by name) who, at 92 years of age, dressed in his old cassock – it seemed to be from Don Bosco’s times – and with a smile and a most peaceful face was dancing with the young while waiting to welcome us. The Salesian Bulletin
On the following day, at distinct moments of the different celebrations, this nonagenarian confrere of ours was acclaimed by the young, who clapped for and called out to him, and he smiled and gave in to the many things that the young said and did. I thought to myself: Here is a Salesian who has had and still has a full life. He did not have an easy life (including having survived hunger and the struggles of World War II – which I came to know when he told me), but it was still a life filled with meaning and with happiness in what was essential. “Next year in Paradise”
A few days earlier, during the celebrations at Valdocco, there was another Salesian there with us – this one was 94 years old. To celebrate the feast of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco is always a great gift to him. Even though he always jokes that “next year” he will celebrate in Paradise, still this year, we had the gift of celebrating together this wonderful day. Again, I was astonished to see how, at 94 years of age, he still offered himself at various time to accompany some people from Argentina – Salesians and laity – to acquaint them with some of the more meaningful sites of Turin, such as the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation (La Consolata). They returned tired out – he, especially – and yet, for several days he shared his joy at being in Don Bosco’s house with those people and helped them understand all that that means. I kept asking myself: Whence comes this strength, this motivation? Who knows how AUGUST 2018
many of you are already giving me the response to that question. I will add one last testimony that I think has an impact on the entire world. Pope Francis will celebrate his 82nd birthday in December, Deo volente. He touches everyone’s conscience because of his choice to live a simple life, one filled with the Gospel. In the field of morality, everyone recognizes him as the most influential man in our world at the present time. His messages are replete with simplicity and the search for authenticity as he invites anyone who wishes to allow himself or herself to be touched by Jesus’ power. Here is where the source of the fullness of these lives and the lives of many others can be found. When love is your strength
We are speaking of lives which seek to live in service, in self-giving, and in love. This is true of millions and millions of moms, dads, granddads, and grandmoms who feel fulfilled in living this life of self-giving. When love fills one’s life, all difficulties and efforts, all sacAUGUST 2018
rifices and tiredness – whether dancing with the young in the middle of the night or even going on tiring outings in the city instead of going to rest – don’t matter, don’t mean anything. There is a story which I once read that touched me deeply. It speaks of much that has to do with love and with annoyance at having to make sacrifices. Once upon a time a “very Western” tourist arrived in an African village dressed in his safari outfit and carrying his cameras; he caught sight of a little girl about ten years old carrying her two-year-old little brother on her shoulders. The boy was a bit tall and chunky in comparison with his sister’s little body. So the tourist said to the girl: “Little one, are you bothered by carrying such a weight on your shoulders?” The little girl, with a great and simple sincerity and a heart full of love, answered: “NO, sir, he is not heavy; he is my brother.” This is the key to a full life – whatever one may be ours: living our life for love and with love. Let us hope that ours will be such. My most cordial greetings to all. 7
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DAVID MARIA SELVAM SDB
BEING ASSUMED WITH OUR BLESSED MOTHER H
appy coincidence that we celebrate the Assumption of Mary, Our Blessed Mother and the Independence of our beloved Motherland India, the same day. Both the recurrence have a common underlying motif: liberation. Looking at the four officially defined Marian dogmas in the Church beginning with that of the Mother of God (431 ), that of Perpetual Virginity (553 ), that of the Immaculate Conception (1854) and the Assumption (1950), we hardly can see any Mariological heresies that have led to the definition of these dogmas. But there have been Christological disputes in which
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Mary appears as a figure who sanctioned Orthodox pronouncements. The first two dogmas, for instance, emerged during the period of the Christological heresies, while the latter two were defined in no context of heresies. Setting off to discuss in detail the significance of the great feast of the Assumption, it is fitting that we begin with a reflection on Mary’s role in our country. Christians being less than 3% of the total population in India, a mere minority, and the Catholics being barely half of it, we often encounter situations where Catholics are derided by the other Christian denominations for their Marian devotion (of course not by the other religions!). Mary has played and continues to play a key role in making Christianity acceptable in our country. In most of our Marian shrines, the people of other faiths are on par with, if not outnumber, the Catholics in honouring and venerating our Blessed mother. It would not be an exaggeration to say that in India, people associate the Catholic Church with Mary. In Tamil Nadu, for example, a Catholic Church is identified as ‘Madha Kovil’ (The Church of the Mother).
called neo-atheists! If Mary can appear in Fatima and Lourdes she can also appear in our neighbourhood, and the possibility remains. While it is true that our faith cannot depend solely on miracles, let us not forget that miracles are part and parcel of our faith experience. Mary had a singular privilege and was specially chosen by God. Any privilege entails responsibility. Mary lives up to her call, fulfilling her responsibilities with diligence and love. She goes through the agonizing experience of her puzzling pregnancy, gives birth to her son in a barn, wraps the child and flees to Egypt, keeps pondering at the ever baffling mysteries of God, is puzzled by her son’s words and activities, stays close to her son when everybody else deserted him, sees her son killed as a criminal. The shame which she had to carry from the time of the Annunciation, finds its culmination
Strange that some Catholics tend to dismiss belief and piety towards Mary as a remnant of religious ignorance or superstition. This is due to the impact of an increasingly secularised culture. This paves way to the danger of the increasing number of neo-atheists who hold that only people of less intelligence and lesser culture continue to believe in supernatural realities. It does not mean that one should start raving about every other report of an alleged apparition or miracle of Mary, without making a proper enquiry into it. At the same time, if we obstinately and blindly deny the possible supernatural events experienced claiming to trust solely on our own reason and intelligence, we can fall into the trap of this soAUGUST 2018
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at the crucifixion, when her son was raised on the cross as a common criminal. Can we really call it a privilege, I wonder! But she remained faithful to her call right till the end. Mary remained intimately united with Jesus wholly and entirely, in body and soul, at the core of her being and beyond the boundaries of death, which becomes the reason for her Assumption.
Mary’s fidelity to God also extended itself to her fellow human beings, for people who are genuinely united with God will naturally extend their solidarity with their fellow human beings. Mary was there as a subtle impulse behind the first miracle of Christ, even before his appoint-
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ed time. In a lighter vein we could say, that she had such an influence, that God was willing to reschedule the appointed time. When she said, ‘Son they have no wine,’ it was the concern she showed for the affected family at the brink of a horrible experience of shame and ridicule. She did not want others to suffer shame which she herself suffered several times. Today she would keep telling Jesus,‘Son they have no food, no shelter, no security, no medicine, no drinking water, no employment, no rights and no freedom or no dignity.’ This is how a person extends himself/herself to the society if he/she is really rooted in God, through Christ.
As a recognition of her great role in the salvific plan, God gave her this great privilege. The fact that she was assumed into heaven does not exclude the possibility that she died, but as Karl Rahner theologically puts it, ‘It is possible to speak of a special privilege in so far as the temporal interval between death and bodily glorification in Mary’s case must clearly be thought of being shorter than in the case of the saints.’ Like Jesus she also reached heaven with body and soul but we are incapable of forming an idea of the new and conditions of resurrected body’. We read how disciples saw Jesus with His same body but glorified. Rahner continues to say that she is the first to enjoy the fruit of the promise of the Resurrection of the Body.
tached to life and to dignity of human body at that time was negligible that this dogma renews the hope of the suffering humanity.
Her Assumption was a recognition of Mary’s deep relationship with God and her solidarity with the poor and marginalized. If we would content ourselves on this day with a solemn liturgy and a sumptuous meal to follow, with no room for any solidarity with the suffering humanity, the twin feasts will have no meaning absolutely. We would sadly end up being mere spectators of our Mother’s Assumption, never to partake in that great privilege which God would endow all of us, if we were faithful to our call from God, and if we lived in solidarity with the poor and the marginalized.
“Her Assumption was a recognition of Mary’s deep relationship with God and her solidarity with the poor and marginalized.”
The social context in which this dogma was proclaimed by Pius XII in Munificentissimus Deus was the period that immediately followed World War II, which had occasioned an unprecedented destruction of human life! The value that was atAUGUST 2018
Being Assumed was a singular privilege endowed upon Mary, but the same awaits us if we lived up to the challenge left behind by her: perfect unity with the will of God and passionate solidarity with the suffering people of God. 11
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Remembering Kandhamal As much as we would like to forget it
he first ever large-scale violence against Christians of Kandhamal in northeast state of India, Odisha is an incident which perhaps most of the Indian Christians would like to leave behind and forge ahead as peace-loving community as always been known. Sadly, we have no choice but to observe prayerful Kandhamal Remembrance Week from 25thAugust to 2nd September to mark the 10th year anniversary of Kandhamal riots.
attacking Christians, their homes and churches. More than 100 people were killed and over 50,000 displaced from their homes and villages, driven into the forests and relief camps for fear of their lives. Over 8,000 homes were looted and burnt. Over 300 churches demolished. About 12000 children education disrupted and displaced. 40 women were sexually assaulted.
It is an aftermath of the murder of Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati allegedly by Maoists on August 24, 2008, that witnessed the mobs brutally
And as we travelled from village to village and relief camp to relief camp the incidents of violence grew more and more horrific - people
As we continue to pray for a peaceful India and cordial co-existence among all Indians with our different culture, belief and habits, let me recall what happened 10 years ago so that it does not occur again.
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As a young lawyer, at that time, I found myself being called upon to provide much needed solace to the helpless victims and their families. So, with the assistance of several organizations, the Odisha Legal Aid Centre was established. Though the resources were limited, the dedicated group of lawyers and activists made up for it.
butchered by mobs and homes set ablaze with people still inside, a pregnant mother running for her life in the forest, delivering a premature baby girl in the forest and cutting the umbilical cord with a stone.
The violence of such magnitude and intensity left us, the small group of lawyers and activists grapple with the question of how to respond to such aggression and hate. Because the immediate and urgent response was the need for relief and rehabilitation, taking legal action was not something that came naturally. But as couple of months passed by, our team along with other agencies started on ground work of filing cases, compensation for the victims and assisting the prosecution. We did manage to file over 200 cases before various district courts, the High Court and even before the Supreme Court of India. The team achieved a key victory by securing the first life imprisonment for members of the mob who had killed Pastor Akbar Digal. At the same time, let me accept the fact that in spite of our best efforts, our ability to get justice for the victims was much limited.
The Supreme Court in 2016 in Archbishop Cheenath’s judgment awarding enhanced compensation to the victims that “the affidavit filed on behalf of the State disclosed that out of 827 registered cases, 512 cases resulted in filing of charge-sheets while in 315 cases final reports were submitted. In other words, in 315 cases either no offence was found to have been made out or the offenders could not be detected. Such large proportion is quite disturbing. The State could do well in looking into all these 315 cases and see that the offenders are brought to book. AUGUST 2018
Similarly, out of 362 trials which stand completed only 78 have resulted in conviction, which again is a matter of concern. The concerned authorities must see to it that the matters are taken up wherever acquittals were not justified on facts.” The Supreme Court, recognizing the lapse, ordered additional compensation to each victim. However, in spite of these directions being given in 2016, the compensation was not released to the victims until a series of petitions was filed by ADF India allied attorney and Director of the Odisha Legal Aid Center, Mr. Pratap Chhinchani. In March 2018, the state of Odisha finally released an amount of Rs. 13 crores to the district authorities of Kandhamal to disburse to the victims . Finally, ten years after the violence, the victims of Odisha received the compensation due to them. And at this tenth-year commemoration, there are many pertinent lessons to learn, given the frequency and intensity of sectarian violence we experience here in India. Over the last few years, we have witnessed a sharp increase in the communal and targeted violence.
According to data presented before the Parliament by the Ministry of Home Affairs, communal incidents increased 28 percent over the last three years and 822 “incidents” were recorded in 2017, which led to as many as 111 people being killed and 2,384 others were injured. In violence against the Christian minority community, faith based human right organizations recorded over 800 incidents in the past four years. Out of 29 states in India, at least 16 states regularly witness attacks on Christians. Chhattisgarh topped the list, followed by Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, 13
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Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Punjab, Telangana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal are the other states which were susceptible to violence against Christians.
The states of Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh accounted for over 50% of the incidents recorded. The violence of incidents includes gharwapsi; refusal to grant permission to establish and run places of worship; false accusation of forceful and fraudulent religious conversions: physical and verbal assault on Church pastors and members; damage and desecration of places of worship and arson; disruption of prayer services and restrictions on religious gatherings. In the light of this ongoing violence, the observation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Archbishop Cheenath’s case are relevant. The Court had in its judgment reiterated that, “…..the minorities are as much children of the soil as the majority and the approach has been to ensure that nothing should be done, as might deprive the minorities of a sense of belonging, of a feeling of security, of a consciousness of equality and of the awareness that the conservation of their religion, culture, language and script as also the protection of their educational institutions is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution.… It can, indeed, be said to be an index of the level of civilization and catholicity of a nation as to how far their minorities feel secure and are not subject to any discrimination or suppression.”
The State has the obligation to act swiftly to stop acts of violence committed in the name of religion, against individuals, groups and places of worship. Overcoming a culture of impunity, wherever it exists, must be a priority and those who commit or are complicit in acts of violence must be brought to justice.
There is an urgent need to take steps to strengthen human rights monitoring mechanisms, including the National Commission for Minorities and the National Human Rights Commission. The Salesian Bulletin
Implementation of a process of educating and training the rights of religious minorities to police and judicial officials have become essential.
As Christian community, we need to work more closely with other civil society groups to better understand legal processes and basic human rights frameworks. This will enable Christians to be more resilient to violent religious persecution as they understand how to navigate the human rights framework. As victims and witness are fearful, vulnerable and alone, the church should stand alongside these victims to follow through of these cases by setting up and supporting legal assistance to the victims. The church must also, where appropriate, initiate legal action against agencies or individuals who incite violence against religious minorities, by filing complaints with the police. But, law alone cannot answer the problem of the violence. To address the root of the problem, it is imperative the church and civil society confront the lies that are repeated over and over again against the community with truth. Christians must be encouraged to read Indian history, understand the tactics of radical nationalist groups and use social media to create and share articles, blogs, videos about India’s diversity and composite culture.
Meanwhile, in January 2015, United Christian Forum launched a UCF Toll-Free Helpline number ☎: 1-800-208-4545. One may contact this number in case of any attack on Church, prayer meeting or a convention. Group of Christian lawyers and influential people connected to ADF, CLA, EFI and UCF will come forward for immediate help. Churches must also continue to work to create opportunities for the body of Christ to work on common events with the public at large on issues that concern the larger common good. Far too often, divisive politics drives Christians into silos. We must resist that temptation and rather embrace our larger and common identities to forge new relationships with our fellow citizens. AUGUST 2018
ANNETTE THOTTAKARA FDCC
Mother India Needs
s Mother India celebrates 71 years of freedom from colonial masters, we reflect on what more we need to be really free and enjoy the liberty, equality and fraternity promised by the constitution. To liberate us from our ego-centric and narrow vision of life, we need specialists in many fields such as: • Anthropologists to convince us that Malayalees & Maharashtrians, Kannadigas & Kashmiris, Biharis & Gujarathis belong to one Father God and one Mother India. • Archaeologists to dig up and discover Indianness in every Indian. • Doctors to inject compassion and love in those who are indifferent to the sufferings of others. • Ophthalmologist to improve the vision of those who see everything and everybody in a bad light.
• ENTs to help those who live in ivory towers, to listen to the cry of the poor. • Dermatologists to prove that the colour of AUGUST 2018
the skin has nothing to do with the character of persons.
• Cardiologists to teach how to enlarge our hearts to embrace one and all.
• Artists to draw genuine smiles on sour and sulky faces. •
Language teachers to teach us the meaning of sathyameva Jayathe, ahimsa, panchasheel
• Maths teachers to teach us to count the progress of Post-1947 India and to count on one another. • Gardeners to cultivate good thoughts, words and deeds.
• Plumbers to clear our narrow, blocked, ghetto mind sets.
• Electricians to connect those Indians who are disconnected and electrify them at the thought of being one with Bharat Matha. • Construction workers to build bridges between Mother India and world nations.
Jai Bharat Matha ! Independence Day 2018 15
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IVO COELHO SDB
The Yearning that is Written into our Being Recently I was given a text that is almost mystical:
I kept gazelles at Juby. Everyone did. We enclosed them within a trellis fence, in the open air because they need the running water of the wind, and because nothing is as fragile as a gazelle. Captured young, they survive nevertheless, and they take food from your hand. You can stroke them, and they push their damp muzzle into your palm, and you think they are tame. You think you have sheltered them from that unknown sorrow that silently snuffs out their flame, bringing the softest of deaths to gazelles … But the day comes when you find them pushing the fence with their horns, looking towards the desert, drawn by a magnet. Escape from you is not their conscious thought. They come to drink the milk you bring them, and press their muzzle even more affectionately into your palm … But as soon as you let them go, you find that after the brief semblance of a contented gallop they are pressed against the fence once more. And unless you intervene again they stay there, not struggling against the barrier but simply pressing their horns against it with lowered heads, and they would stay there until they died. Is it the mating season, or just the need to gallop until they have no breath left? They do not know. Their eyes were not even open when you took them captive. They know nothing of the freedom amid the sands, or the scent of the male. But you have greater intelligence, and you know what they are seeking: the
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vast open space that will fulfil them. They want to become gazelles and dance their dance. They want to experience the straight sprint at eighty miles an hour, punctuated by abrupt leaps as if flames were springing at them from the sand. Jackals have little importance if truth for gazelles is to taste fear, if it is fear alone that makes them surpass themselves, driving them to the most spectacular acrobatics! What does the lion matter if truth for gazelles is to be ripped open by a claw in the sunlight? You watch them, and you think: look at them, gripped by that yearning. Yearning, a desire for something unnameable … The object of desire exists but there are no words to express it. And we – what do we long for?
The text is from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Wind, Sand and Stars, which is a kind of autobiography of this great adventurer, well known to people of my generation as the author of The Little Prince. It came to us from our recent retreat, when the preacher was commenting on the episode of the Samaritan woman. (Jn 4,742)
Racing and leaping through the desert, risking the claws of the lion, regardless of fear, regardless of death: this is written into being of gazelles. Saint-Exupéry calls it nostalgie, but in English, nostalgia somehow looks to the past. Lonergan in his scientific mood would have called it finality, though he has a much better expression in his more poetic moments: the passionateness of being. But perhaps in the end Saint-Exupéry is not wrong. Finality is in a sense AUGUST 2018
nostalgia because it is the drive to become what we are in the depths of our being. It is the urge that the gazelle feels in every cell of its being to dash gloriously through the desert, regardless of fear, regardless of death. It is the truth of the gazelle. “And we – what do we long for?” There is a yearning written into life, and the object is often unknown, unnameable, unexpressed. There is a yearning written into my life. Do I know what I am yearning for? Do I know what I long for? What is it that is written into my being?
Rossano Sala, SDB, special secretary to the forthcoming Synod on Youth, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, speaks of the spiritual nostalgia of young people. The Working Document for the Synod speaks of a “return to the sacred.” (63) There seems to be a longing in us that secularization has not been able to quench. AUGUST 2018
But how many distractions along the way! We long for love – and where are we to find it? Not for nothing does the Working Document speak also of the challenge of “the body, affectivity and sexuality.” (52-53) Could it be that our search for love, our “intuition of loss,” is not merely a challenge and a distraction, but a station on the way, a symbol, a sign, a sacrament? “All desire wills eternity – deep, deep eternity,” Nietzsche sang. There is an eternity and an infinity that is inbuilt into all desire. St Augustine found that out in a very personal way, and in the end he was able to say: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” He had understood the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman: “If only you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, Give me a drink, you would have asked, and he would have given you living water.” (Jn 4,10) 17
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THOMAS ANCUKANDAM SDB
Towards a Gospel-based Salesian Spirituality much the scribes and the pharisees – the professional “practitioners of Religion” as the Samaritan, who went to the aid of an unfortunate and anonymous man who was in need of immediate and caring physical presence and support. He also took note of the fact that many outside “chosen-fold of the Jews” lived by a more aunthentic faith. His praise for the faith of the Roman centurion and the syro-phoenician woman is a case in point. He in fact declared it is not everyone who called Him “Lord, Lord” who would enter the Kingdom of Heaven but rather those who did the will of His father in heaven! There was indeed no insistence in his teachings on long and loud prayers but on the contrary He showed Himself to be positively against such practices and said that God would not lend His ear to ostentatious, long-winded and many-worded prayers.
hristian spirituality as understood from the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth is one which manifests itself in the way a person reacts to a concrete human situation. In effect, Jesus who had come on earth not to do His own will but the will of Him who sent Him, both through His words and actions identified the will of God with the total well-being of all people.Thus the Gospels present Him as someone who went about doing good – healing the sick, consoling the grieving, encouraging the fallen, forgiving the sinner and bringin hope to all by proclaiming the Good News of libertation to all. He asked His disciples to imitate not so The Salesian Bulletin
The Beatitudes as well as the Last Judgement too are in line with what has been said above. Only the right interior dispositions and loving actions consistent with that disposition can furnish one with the final entry ticket to heaven. “For I was hungry and you gave me to eat…for I tell you, as long as you did it to the least of these my brothers you did it to me. Now enter into the Home of your Father!” In fact,,as St. John of the Cross would insist “In the evening of our lives we shall be judged on love alone”.
Salesians are called to be signs and bearers of God’s love to all especially the young who are the more in need. This calls for a spirituality suited to this special mission. Since Don Bosco himself has not left behind any treatise on the subject, only an involved study of him, a serious AUGUST 2018
reflection on his person and the initiatives he took on behalf of the young will help one to understand and imbibe this spirituality.
From Don Bosco’s life itself it is evident that it is not in long periods of time spent in prayer and spiritual practices that true spirituality consisted in. In fact the “cry of the young” listening to which was his special calling from the age of nine,would not permit him the luxury of long hours at prayer or to engage in energy-sapping disciplinary practices. In fact the normally expected “visible spirituality” was so conspicuously absent in Don Bosco that the Devil’sAdvocate at the process of the beatification and canonisationof this verypopular saint made bold to ask “But when did Don Bosco pray?” This in turn resulted in that spontaneous retort from Pope Pius XI: “But when did Don Bosco not pray?” The Pope had understood well enough that the essence of Don Bosco’s holiness was his being always in union with God,-living as seeing Him who is invisible -that he was obsessed with seeking and realizing God’swill which for him was nothing other than the totalwell-being of the young in his care. This was evident in the words of Don Bosco himself: ”For you I study, for you I work, for you I live, for you I am ready even to give my life.” The dreams which were to prove so much a part of his life and mission were but expressions of his passionate and obsessive desire to seek and do God’s will.In fact his was as intense a spirituality as any and resulted in an inner energywhich made the love of God and neighbour an inseparable gospel-inspired unity.
formation of the poor and abandoned youth into good Christians and honest citizens through the constant presence of competentSalesians in their midst. The fact that Don Bosco did everything out of supernatural motives and sought strength from above is evident from his three devotions – to the Eucharist, to Mary and to the Vicar of Christ. He drew strength for his multifarious apostolic initiatives from his firm belief in a loving and provident God, who he believed was in firm control something which filled him with joy and optimism. St.Dominic Savio, rightly considered the best fruit of this system, would in fact sum up this spirituality: “Here holiness consists in being cheerful”. In such an ambience of faith-inspired convictions for Don Bosco and his sons their life and activities indeed became a prayer!.
Understandably enough the Salesians spread through 134 countries each with its own history, culture and level of development need to adapt this spirituality to their own diverse contexts responding adequately to the concrete human situations they are challenged to address.The given situation in the developed world with its fast falling population where the Church and with it the Congregation itself are struggling to survive,is different from the situation in the developing countries,especially of Asia and Africa,where the young form a very sizeable and significant part of the population. This challenges the Salesians to respond adequately to their cries in theirowncontextsasdid Don Bosco in hisown. Thiscalls fora passionate search for God’swilland a search for whatever will make for their total well-being, admaiorem Dei gloriam. And as St. Irenaeus would say God’s glory is a human being fully alive…And making the young fully alive in every way is indeed the goal of the preventive system spirituality of the Salesians.
”For you I study, for you I work, for you I live, for you I am ready even to give my life.”
The preventive system, which he devised for the all-round formation of the young was based on the triad of reason,religion and loving kindness and evolved with time as the characteristic spirituality of the Saleians. It had as its scope the AUGUST 2018
The Salesian Bulletin
RICOPAR ROYAN SDB
Stripping the Stripes from the Planet. The Tiger Story. Tiger Fire is Burning Out The tiger is the greatest of all the great cats, the most powerful, adored and feared throughout history. Few other animals inspire such awe and devotion, no other animal has inspired such worldwide concern and efforts for its conservation. Yet remains endangered, three (Javan, Caspian and Bali) of its sub-species are extinct, and two (Malayan and Sumatran) are listed as critically endangered. Tigers have been wiped out from 93 per cent of their former habitat which once stretched from Turkey to Russia. Tigers once roamed in 23 countries, but now survive in only a dozen. Breeding population exists only in eight countries. Tigers recently vanished from Cambodia. In line are China, Laos and Vietnam.
In the early 1900s, there were around 100,000 tigers throughout the world. Today, an estimated total of around 3,000 exist in the wild. In those 100 years or so we’ve lost around 97 per cent of wild tigers. India remains tiger’s best hope. At the turn of the twentieth century, it is believed India had around 40,000 tigers. The number was gradually declining. Post Independence, tiger shikar (hunting) was a major sport, attracting hunters who brought much needed foreign exchange. The Government of India Tourist Office even advertised, “The sportsman’s greatest trophy. Thrill to the excitement of tiger shikar found in the lush jungle of India…” Fortunately, in 1970, then prime minister Indira Gandhi, banned tiger shooting silencing the powerful shikar lobby with these words: “We do need foreign exchange, but not at the cost of the life and liberty of some of the most beautiful inhabitants of this continent.” Around 1,800 tigers were left The Salesian Bulletin
in India at that time. In 2015, the Environment Minister announced that we have 2,226 tigers in the country. Tiger and it’s Environment
The tiger is the largest member of the felid family. Tigers mainly eat Ambar deer, wild pigs, water buffalo and antelope. Tigers occupy a variety of habitats from tropical forest, evergreen forests, woodlands and mangrove swamps to grasslands, savannah and rocky country. They are mostly nocturnal (more active at night) and are ambush predators that rely on the camouflage their stripes provide. Tigers use their body weight to knock prey to the ground and kills with a bite on the neck. They are also very good swimmers and have been known to kill prey while swimming. Tigers don’t like to hang out with other tigers very much, except for mother tigers and their cubs. They are territorial and solitary animals with each individual having its own area, which it demarcates by scent marking. Depending on their habitat and how much food is available, some tigers have areas they roam and protect called ranges, which span many miles. They have a special adaptation to their retinas, which allows more light to reflect back into their eyes, making it easier for them to see in the dark. They also have extremely good hearing and are even able to pick up infrasound, which makes it easier for them to hear and communicate over long distances in the forest, because infrasound can pass through trees and other objects. They also have large teeth and long, retractable claws, both of which help them to hunt. AUGUST 2018
A tiger’s stripes are its most distinguishing characteristic. No two patterns are the same, and a tiger’s unique stripes can identify it, much like a human’s fingerprint. The color of the stripes can vary based on the species of tiger, but they tend to be a brownish-black color. It’s not just a tiger’s fur that’s patterned this way; the tiger’s skin is also striped. Two Most Prime Concerns
The foremost threat is the illegal hunting or poaching. We have substantial amount of forest left in tribal belts, but they are ‘empty forest.’ The tigers in them has mostly been killed off and sold. The local hunters organized by mafias that are involved in massive international illegal trade in wildlife.
The second one is the reckless development in the form of new highways, mines, dams and even eco-tourism have emerged as major indirect threats to wildlife, especially tigers. There are powerful lobbies pushing these projects. So much so that during his tenure as environment minister, Jairam Ramesh remarked that the obsession with a double digit GDP was a bigger threat to the tiger than the poacher. AUGUST 2018
Save Tiger, Save the Ecosystem The tiger is not just a charismatic species. It is a unique animal which plays a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem. It is a top predator and is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild ungulates in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed. Therefore the presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well being of the eco system. The extinction of this top predator is an indication that its ecosystem is not sufficiently protected. If the tigers go extinct, the entire system would collapse. It leaves behind a scar, which affects the entire ecosystem. When we protect tiger, we protect hundreds of square miles and thus save other species living in its habitat. Humans are rational beings. We understand the stark truth and we need to modify our behavior. Let me conclude with the expression of George B. Schaller, “Future generations would be truly saddened that this century had so little foresight, so little compassion, such lack of generosity of spirit for the future that it would eliminate one of the most dramatic and beautiful animals that this world has ever seen.” 21
The Salesian Bulletin
BOSCOM South Asia Meeting-Mumbai
Bosco Communications (BOSCOM), the Salesian Social Communication department of South Asia completes its 25 years of dedicated service to the young in the region of South Asia. To plan out the details for the year, its Governing Body met at Don Bosco Provincial House Matunga on July 27-28, 2018. The governing body consists of the Provincial designate appointed by the Salesian Provincial Council of South Asia (SPCSA), Regional delegate, Secretary for the BOSCOM, Provincial delegates of ten provinces and a vice province, Editor of the Salesian Bulletin and the Web administrator. The objective of BOSCOM is to promote, coordinate, collaborate, plan, study and research in the sectors of Animation, formation, information, business enterprise, cultural and artistic patrimony. The Regional Councillor for South Asia Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga sent his message complementing the many good things
Philippines – New water project provides clean, fresh water to 2,000 residents
Poor youth and their families attending the Mary Help of Christians parish, located in Dacudao, Mindanao island, Philippines, have access to clean, safe water thanks to funding provided by Salesian Missions’ “Clean Water Initiative.” The Salesian parish continues to care for more than 1,400 Catholic families who live in the surrounding five local villages. They attend services in the 24 chapels dispersed in the area. The Salesian Bulletin
that BOSCOM has done in these last 25 years. Mr Conrad Saldanha, Principal Advisor for Don Bosco Centre for Learning at Kurla was the resource person who made the body reflect on the Salesian Leadership, Youth and Communications in South Asia. Don Bosco Youth Short Film Festival of India (DBYFFI) is the flagship project of BOSCOM. The third edition of it last year was hosted in 112 venues of India on January 18-19. This year Father David Maria Selvam is elected as the director of the festival. With the support of the General Councilor for the Social Communications Father Filiberto Gonzales, Regional Superior Father Maria ArokiamKanaga, Provincial In-charge Father Godfrey D’Souza, Regional Delegate Father Joaquim Fernandes, and the other members of BOSCOM, it is set to celebrate the 25 years of its existence with the launch of Don Bosco Channel in India continuing its witness to the truth and spreading the joy of the Gospel.
Don Bosco Academy at Tura Inaugurated
Father Bivan R Mukhim, Principal, Don Bosco College welcomed the dignitaries and guests to the Don Bosco College, Tura campus. Father George Plathottam, Rector, Don Bosco College, Tura and the chief architect of the Academy invited the students to make use of the golden opportunity to better their prospects by availing of the high profile training with latest technology, right at their very doorstep. He thanked the Provincial, Father Januarius Sangma for the support and encouragement of his Council without which the Academy would continue to be a distant dream. Shri A.K. Tigidi, IAS (retd), the first Garo to join the prestigious civil services recounted the hardships he had to face to make his dream come true. Switching from English to Garo so as to bond with the student community, he appealed to them to grab the services provided by Don Bosco Academy to be part of the elite civil services. AUGUST 2018
Sherbrooke’s Summer Cycling Now In 33Rd Season Bosco Bicycle, Le Salésien of Sherbrooke’s annual summer activity, is in its 33rd season. This year there are five one-week expeditions: three for the younger students, two for the older. These involve about 120 students, besides the staff who accompany them.
Quebec: Montreal Authorities Pay Tribute To Don Bosco The cycling event is meant to be an activity for both human (through friendship, responsibility, leadership, etc.) and Christian growth.Headed by Fr. Alain Leonard and a past pupil, the animators of Bosco Bicycle are students who graduated in June for the younger cyclists, and teachers for the older groups.
Dbcr Students And Staff Spend A Week of Service, Prayer, and Play in Puerto Rico From June 21 to 28, fourteen students and three faculty of Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park were able to visit the Salesian works in Cantera, Puerto Rico, for a service trip. The students scraped paint, sealed roofs, cleared out damaged homes, collected trash, painted, and scrubbed walls. They were also able to provide a new kitchen sink, counter, and cabinets, several new washing machines, and beds, bedding, and towels for the families.
Many of the families were caring for family members with disabilities, which made the physical work of clearing out the damaged spaces difficult, but the students had the strength and energy to remove damaged appliances and furniture. The students commented on the overwhelming scope of the work that still needed to be done and reflected on how the families were discouraged by just how much they had lost in the hurricane.
The city of Montreal decided to rename the most important park near us as Parc Don Bosco and to plant a “Don Bosco” tree to honor him. The mayor of our borough and the provincial and federal members of Parliament were all present for the event. The mayor presented a beautiful tribute to Don Bosco, priest and educator. All levels of government were most grateful and very proud of all the good carried out by the DBYLC. Summer campers, animators, parents, and friends of our youth center enjoyed a lively family day of activities. “We are more appreciated than we expected” was a thought shared by many.
SDBS and FMAS Together: With the Pope, in the Church, at the Service of The Young The joint meeting of the general councils of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians at the FMA Generalate on July 11 is summed up so: Men and women consecrated to God, who share the charism and the mission for young people from all continents, especially the poorest and neediest and work fraternally and in a spirit of fidelity to the Church and the Pope. 23
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SR. D.J. MARGARET FMA
Rise Women in India! Claim Your Legitimate Freedom! “To be a free woman is to shrug off the dubious cloak of “protection” that patriarchy offers, which is its unique selling point for many women.” - Anonymous
ike men, women have been created free (Gen 1: 27) and desire to live without unnecessary the intrusion of others. The desire and the demand of women for freedom is a natural and legitimate one. Freedom of women is not only a human right but is also an existential and an integral imperative responsibility of the society. The freedom of our country from the British rule has not guaranteed freedom, respect, dignity, and equality to women in India. They are not empowered sufficiently as they are unable to live safely and freely in an Independent country. For instance, when Indian laws and regulations fail to protect women from sexual harassment in public and private places, women’s empowerment is impaired and societal responsibility is dented. Women in India have not yet become aware of their own strength. They are struggling to claim their legitimate space in an independent India. Many women live in chains where patriarchy is deep-rooted, and they find themselves in a precarious predicament whether to rebel or to reconcile with the situation. Peace with patriarchy The Salesian Bulletin
has been enforced on women through fear, violence, oppression and injustice. In this context, women need to realize that to be free women is to shrug off the dubious cloak of “protection” that patriarchy offer, which is its unique selling point for many women. Often these women have been deceived and have been coached through fear into fear. However, there are some daring women, in small-town India, who have shown remarkable resolve in standing up to patriarchy, whether it is in the form of smashing liquor bottles or beating up wife-beaters, demanding justice from the assaulters and dragging them to the cops. Women face an existential threat in free India wherein freedom for women means loss of security, safety, identity, equality, and justice. Women need to rise up from the oppressive tradition, culture, family and male domination that deprive them of their legitimate freedom at all level. On August 15th 2018, we will be celebrating the 71st day of independence to our Mother land India. We often refer India as our Mother country. Mother here refers to women of India. India being an Independent country, we need to raise a question whether women are really Independent or enjoy true freedom. The presence and contributions of some of the Indian women today in various sectors of the society might appear that Indian women are enjoying freedom. It might seem that they enjoy their August 15th every day in their life. But the majority of Indian women are still in the pre-Independence oppressive British era, not within the rule of British, but within the chains of Indian tradition, culture, family, male domination etc. It is good to recall here the words of Mahat-
ma Gandhi on the true meaning of freedom or independence of our country, “When our women walk alone during midnight, we have won our Independence! Till then, we have to live under the shame of our bad brothers’ culture.” For women Independence or freedom means gender equality, safety and security, equity and justice at all level. Freedom for women is not to do all that men can do…But to do even those things that men cannot do. Freedom is not only to express what women think is right but also to express right thinking. Freedom is not only to protest against suppression but also to carry oneself with courage amidst challenges. Freedom is not only denial and defiance but also accepting roles and adapting to situations. Freedom is not only independence but also inter-dependence. Freedom does not only mean conquer but also means surrender to love & righteousness. The real freedom does not come from outside, it comes from within. If the woman has the courage and determination to face any situation, nothing can stop her.
Women are seeking the freedom they deserve and earned. It’s time we realize how women’s freedom can’t be limited or bounded by the society’s perceptions. Women seek freedom from the society and labels, from restrictions and judgments, from stereotypes and the perceptions of females as the weaker sex. They seek the freedom to be free. Free from everything and everyone in real terms. Only then, every single day single women, young girls, mothers and women from all walks of life will not be assaulted, molested, and violated. The streets, public transport, public spaces in particular will not become the territory of the hunters. The ones already been hunted down will not
weep in silence or in disdain, but will fight their way to life with dignity and respect. There will not be an unspoken war on the streets, young school and college going girls will not use books to shield themselves, to avoid the mere glance of the roving gaze. India will not become a great country until every girl child, in every corner feels safe and can walk fearlessly, even at night. India will not become an emerging power if it doesn’t take care of women’s dignity and equality, respect and security. As responsible citizens of an independent country we need to advocate freedom for women because it will elevate them politically, socially, financially and morally. All the men and women with goodwill need to come forward to restore women’s status. When all men respect women, when women is not seen as a weaker sex and not exploited, when women are not seen as objects but treated with dignity they experience real freedom. Real freedom of Indian women should not be a dream but should become real in coming days.
Let all women come out of their patriarchal prison and experience freedom. Let them put their hurdles back and give birth to a better world of freedom for the betterment of the society. Let all women in Independent India claim for an equal voice in making the laws that govern them, and an equal chance in developing the gifts with which a just God has endowed them. Let the Indian flag with its three colors: Green, white and saffron symbolize for women’s development, safety and equality. Let chakras be the weapon to protect the women of India at all level. Let all women of India rise boldly, claim their legitimate space and obtain complete freedom.
The Salesian Bulletin
MEDIA MATTERS C. M. PAUL
Citizen journalists learn fake news, peace journalism
group of citizen journalists from 42 Salesian centres in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh had a two day media workshop on ”fake news and journalism for peace.” Organised by Bosco Information Service (BIS) of Mumbai Salesian province it was held at Provincial House Matunga from 18 to 19 July 2018. Dr. Peter Gonsalves, former dean of Social Communications Faculty at Salesian University Rome and founder of Tejprasarini inaugurated the workshop while Fr C.M. Paul, Vice-principal of Salesian College Sonada, Darjeeling and Director of Radio Salesian 90.8 FM gave the key note address. In his presentation Fr Paul insisted, ’’We need to be heralds of the good news with specific focus on communicating authentic news while combatting fake news, as explicitly desired by Pope Francis in his latest World Communications day message.’’ The workshop marking 25 years of BOSCOM (Salesian Communications body) South Asia had 60 per cent theory and 40 per cent practical sessions in news gathering, news reporting, and news photography helped by a panel of professionals from the industry.
Some of the resource persons included veteran journalist and former Times of India assistant editor, Mr Ashley D’Mello; All India Radio’s RJ, Bosco Rodrigues; Mr Philip Varghese, City Editor of Afternoon tabloid; Digital Photography by Brian Martins, CEO of Photomartins; Fr Christopher George, Admin of Don Bosco College, KurThe Salesian Bulletin
la and BIS Copy Editor, Mrs Karen Laurie from Canada.
“I am now aware of fake news and what I have to do as a first time BIS reporter,” says Computer Education teacher, Mr Harshad Parmar of Don Bosco School Dakor, Gujarat.
Senior most participant at the workshop, 18 years Headmistress of Don Bosco Primary School Matunga, Mrs Winnifred Fernandes of Wadala attributes her reason for joining the workshop saying, “I was fascinated by the topic of the workshop poster my husband was designing and I signed up.” Don Bosco College, Kurla, Bachelor of Mass Media third year student, Mr Carlton Borges from Kalyan enjoyed “the interactive sessions as well as practical sessions which taught interview techniques and basics of digital photography.”
‘’I just loved the entire programme,’’ Br. Joyston Machado said, adding, ‘’This was a tremendous learning experience.’’ Mr. Rajubhai Parmar from Dakhor says, ‘’I hope that when I get back, I will be able to practice what I learnt here and contribute to the local Gujarati press.’’ Fr. Alex D’Mello from Sindhudurg adds, ‘’I am fortunate to have had this experience. Thank you Don Bosco.’’
Presenting the Salesian Social Communication System, Regional Director of BOSCOM South Asia, Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, introduced the multi-faceted programme and invited the participants to “Be aware that we are creators, AUGUST 2018
contributors and consumers in the ever evolving ‘digital continent’ which is the ‘virtual playground’.”
He added, “What we write and post is out there for the entire world to see, since the Don Bosco Society is a mammoth network active in 133 countries.”
Into its third year, annual Don Bosco Media Workshop, “trains Salesian priests and brothers, as well as young people, teachers and lay collaborators in citizen journalism,” says Fr. Fernandes, director of Tejprasarini communication centre, Matunga.
“The idea [of the workshop] is to study Pope’s world communication day message and synergise all stakeholders of the Salesian mission in citizen journalism, and get them report the voices from the grassroots so that Social Communication department of the province can act as agents of change and synergy,” says Fr. Fernandes who brought together 78 participants including 7 third year students of Bachelor in AUGUST 2018
Mass Media and 3 faculty members from Don Bosco College Kurla, Mumbai.
Fr. Fernandes adds, “Bombay Salesian province is the only province among 12 provinces in South Asia which has a full fledged BIS office for almost 10 years and also with a full time paid copy editor since 4 years.” He is quick to highlight the achievements of one of the participants of the first batch Methab Shinde of Don Bosco School, Yerwada, Pune, who is a regular BIS reporter.
The participants also visited the BIS office as well as Tejprasarini studios before spending two hours in Don Bosco High School computer lab to file their stories. 27
The Salesian Bulletin
ONE-MINUTE READ Denying Women Entry to the Sabarimala Temple Amounts to Untouchability The Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kerala, prohibits women of menstruating age (between ten and 50 years of age) from entering it – “Women who are not by custom and usage allowed to enter a place of public worship shall not be entitled to enter or offer worship in any place of public worship.” The Young Lawyers’ Association filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging this rule. After a long hiatus, a three-judge bench of the court referred the matter to a constitutional bench, which commenced hearings on the case on July 17, 2018. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court observed that the right of a woman to pray was equal to that of a man, but the hearings were inconclusive. Under the constitution, women have a right to equality before law and the right against discrimination based on sex. To use the ideology of purity and pollution is a violation of the constitutional right against untouchability, i.e Article 17.
Tamil Nadu Government Muzzling Media to Silence Dissent
The Tamil Nadu government has been systematically clamping down on media channels that cover anti-government protests. From January 2017 to June 2018, at least 11 news channels – including a national network – were taken off the air from the state-owned Arasu cable network on occasions when they broadcast anti-government protests. The network is said to control about 60% of the cable distribution in the state. Channels were blacked out when they broadcast live visuals of police violence on antiSterlite protesters in Thoothukudi on May 22. Many have been asked to ‘go slow’ on protests against the government’s Chennai-Salem green corridor project. Towards the end of June, three journalists – two from Malayalam newspaper Mathrubhumi and one from Theekathir – were arrested for covering protests against the corridor and were released due to public outrage. A criminal case was filed against a prominent Tamil channel Puthiya Thalaimurai in June for comments made by film director Ameer .
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Data of Hundreds of Thousands of NEET Candidates Leaked Online, Put up for Sale The phone numbers, email IDs and addresses of hundreds of thousands of applicants who took the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) in 2018 are available online for Rs 2 lakh. The websites that offer this personal data for a price are part of both a broader trend of how data brokers operate on the grey margins of India’s digital advertising industry and a more specific and pressing issue of how data leaks by official sources help in the invasion of privacy.
The source of this data isn’t clear, although there are several possible ones: the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which is the body in charge of the examination, various universities and colleges or even the vast network of prep schools that teach students and candidates how to crack the NEET.
A. A. J. J. FRANK FRANK
Teacher: What shape is the earth? Jerry: I don’t know. Teacher: Well! What kind of earrings does your sister wear? Jerry: Square ones. Teacher: No, I mean the ones she wears on Sunday. Jerry: Round Teacher: Then, What shape is the earth? Jerry: Square on weekdays and round on Sundays.
End of the World
Husband to his newly wedded wife: I could go to the end of the world for you
Teacher: “Can anyone give me an example of Coincidence?” Little Sussie: “Sir, my mother and father got married on the same day same time.”
Wife: Thanks,but promise me you will stay there for the rest of your life
Moon and Stars Little Johnny gets Zero in a test. Father: What this? Little Johnny: Dad, the teacher didn’t have any more stars to give me, so she gave me the moon.
Madly in Love
Boy: From the day I met you, I am not able to eat, drink or smoke. Girl: How sweet, so you are madly in love with me..! Question: What’s the main reason for divorce..?
Boy: Shut Up! I meant to say that you emptied my pocket.
Teacher: Can you define Ohm’s law? Student: Miss, I don’t know the full answer but I know the last part of it. Teacher: Ok tell that Student: This is called Ohm’s law. Teacher: ???
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YOUTH ICON FROM THE CHURCH YOUTH – FAITH – GROWTH
YOUTH ICON FROM THE CHURCH
Kateri Tekakwitha, more familiarly addressed as Catherine Tegakwitha, was born in the year 1656, in a native tribe called the Mohawks who lived in the area of the present New York in the USA, to the west of Albany. Her father, Kenneronkwa was the chief of his tribe and her mother was Tagaskouita. She had a brother four years younger to her. Unfortunately, when she was about four, her parents and her brother died of an epidemic of small-pox that affected the tribe. The orphaned Tekakwitha was adopted by her father’s younger brother, the chief of one of clans, the Turtle Clan. Those who survived the epidemic decided to move to another region and providentially that region was very close to a Jesuit mission area. Despite fearsome warnings from her uncle, Tekakwitha came in contact with the Jesuits and began to grow a liking towards the person of Jesus. When she reached the age of 17, the adoptive parents began to propose marriage to her but she insistently resisted it, much to their disapproval. When she was 18 she came in touch with Fr. Jaques de Lamberville and confessed her
faith in Christ but she did not receive baptism then, which happened a year later on April 18, 1676 when she received the name Kateri, the Mohawk form of Catherine, inspired by St. Catherine of
ICON 7: Kateri, the Lily of the Mohawks (24) Sienna. She had to escape from Caughnawaga because her own tribes-people were growing more and more hostile to her conversion and her life in Christ. She reached a Jesuit mission at Kahnawake in
HOW WE ARE TO HAVE LIFE IN CHRIST is Part III of the YouCat and the Second Section within it presents us a way par excellence to ‘have our life in Christ’: the Ten Commandments. As an introduction, the teaching (Questions 348-351) states right at the beginning of the discussion that being a Christian is not merely following some rules and living upto some regulations, but a relationship with Jesus. However, the Ten Commandments serve as a guideline which leads us to Jesus’ way of life. It is not a random list of ten different exhortations but an integral way of life proposed in ten interconnected principles of life, so related to each other that breaking of any of them would result in breaking the entire whole! Some complain that the Decalogue (the ten words), that is given by the Lord to the People of God should be outdated by now. They give two reasons. One, because it is ages old: yes, it comes from the Old Testament times. Though we do not find them exactly as given to us by the Church, we can see that they are taken from two texts that complement each other, namely, The Salesian Bulletin
1679 and there she consecrated herself definitively to Christ, accepting Him as her Divine Spouse and became the first ‘Consecrated Virgin among the Mohawks’! Though she was not part of any formal Religious Institution she lived a sisterhood of holiness with her mentor Anastasia and a great spiritual friend Marie-Therese. In 1680 towards the Holy Week she took seriously ill and everyone around her sensed her end...they admired her for her life of prayer, intense union with God and her total dedication to Christ. On the Wednesday during the Holy Week, on April 17, 1680 she united herself with her divine Spouse for eternity. Already by 1684, throngs of pilgrims began to visit her place of burial and the odour of sanctity was irresistible. On June 22, 1980 Pope John Paul II beatified her and on October 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonised her. Dear Young Friends, - do you think you can live a life of purity, as an offering to the Lord who loves you? - how convinced and ready are you to accept hardships for the sake of your faith?
Exodus 30: 2-17 and Deuteronomy 5: 6-21. That makes it old but how does that make it outdated? The second reason given is that the times are changing today. However, even in these changing times, the ten commandments still remain valid as they propose a lifestyle for human persons, which will be valid as long as humanity exists! It is a summary of the fundamental obligation that human beings have towards God, their creator. The section has two chapters dedicated to understanding the ten commandments, and we shall discuss them in the following two pieces of this series. But before that a couple of questions to reflect: - do you feel that the ten commandments could be outdated today?
- though it could be a trivia, let us face it: do you know the ten commandments by-heart? how much do they matter to you at moments of decision making? AUGUST 2018
KNOW YOUR CHURCH KNOW YOUR CHURCH
ANTONY CHRISTY SDB
#6. Do you know about Ecumenical Councils?
Having finished with the Councils of Antiquity, we now begin a series of councils which can be called, the Councils of the Middle Ages. The first of this and ninth in the series of councils, we have the First Lateran Council, the very first Council after the Eastern Schism and the first to be held in Rome, as we can obviously understand, at the Lateran Basilica. It was convoked by Pope Calistus II in the year 1123, specifically to ratify the so-called Concordat of Worms between the Emperor Henry V and Pope Calistus II, that it is the sole prerogative of the Pope to appoint the Bishops of the Church and in Germany alone, the Emperor shall have the privilege of approving the appointment. Apart from this, the Council ruled
that all the priests of the Latin Rite are obliged to be celibates. Within 16 years, that is in 1139, the next Council had to be convoked due to a huge crisis in the Church. In 1130 Pope Innocent II was elected as the Pope by a set of Cardinals and a rival group of Cardinals elected another, the Antipope Anacletus II. When Anacletus died in 1138, Victor IV succeeded him as the Antipope. Innocent II convoked the Second Lateran Council in April 1139, to declare all the teachings of the Antipope Ancletus II, null and void. The council also seriously discussed the celibacy of the priests and monks of the entire Catholic Church. In another forty years, that is in 1179, there was a need for another Council and Pope
PERSONAL AND SOCIETAL COMMITMENT - Love in Action (Questions 305-328). This is the last section of the book, a section which summarises the entire reflection that has gone on so far. Hence, we shall take this section little by little and find the message that the entire book leaves us. Once again let us look at the title and the subtitle of the teaching: DOCAT: What to do? The ultimate question that we are challenged to raise within ourselves and among ourselves is this - What to do? This sections comes to it finally after all the reflections about the fundamental concepts that Church teaches us about human society and the role of a Christian in the society. The first three questions (ie., 305-307) look at this query from the first level: What should a Christian do, as an individual? First of all, he or she should realise that being a Christian can never be a private affair. When Jesus said, ‘you are the light of the world’, he made it clear that you cannot live that life of a light in private, ‘under the bushel’. Whether we are priests or deacons
Alexander III convoked the Third Lateran Council, to end the damages done by the Antipopes! The Council decreed that a two third majority of votes of the Cardinals is necessary to elect a lawful Pope. This decree remained valid until Pope John Paul II, who relaxed it a bit. But Benedict XVI reinstated this decree in 2007 and it continues till date. The Fourth Lateran Council is considered one of the most impacting councils in history! This was convoked in 1215 by Pope Innocent III and saw the proclamation of the famous dictum of “Ex Cathedra”: outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation! This council, which was attended by more than 500 prelates, among them included St. Dominic, firmly defined the principle of Transubstantiation, that is the conviction that bread and wine become truly body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. It also established the precept that Christians should receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist at least once a year, during the Paschal Season.
or catechists or teachers or whoever, by the very fact that we are baptised Christians, each of us is called to be an ambassador, a messenger, a witness to the Gospel, that is Jesus Christ. Secondly, this witness consists in our commitment to the society and being a Christian and committing ourselves to the good of the society are both interrelated. Jesus had a great sense of justice. He was filled with love for children, the poor and the sick - that is, the least, the last and the lost. He stood for liberty and dignity. This is the social project of the Church too! While the social commitment of a Christian is fundamentally putting oneself at the service of the other and at the service of the common good, an individual Christian does this effectively by first respecting his or her conscience, keeping it alive and vibrant and forming it constantly, because it is the God-given capacity to make out the difference between good and bad at any given moment! - How obliged do you feel towards common good? Your Conscience - do you sense it strong within you; what do you do to form it? 31
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The Indonesian nun treating cancer sufferers
Philippine city holds on to faith despite disasters Residents of a small city in the central Philippines have been holding on to their faith to survive year after year of disasters hitting their community. Lalaine Marcos, a mother of five in the city of Ormoc, said people have learned to put their trust in God and their leaders. Lalaine, who publishes a local newspaper, has documented the rebirth of her community every time tragedy comes a-visiting. Last month, the people of Ormoc busied themselves with activities to pay homage and give thanks to Saints Peter and Paul, the city’s patron saints. During this year’s feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29, Monsignor Ramon Aguilos of Palo Archdiocese acknowledged the city’s religious and political leaders “for their spiritual leadership and inspiration.””Hats off to both the church and civic leaders for mounting such festivities,” the priest said, even lauding the city’s mayor, movie actor Richard Gomez, for his “efforts at making Ormoc sizzle with life.”
Back in 1983, a doctor diagnosed Maria Mediatrix nun Antonia Batseran as having advanced breast cancer. “The doctor said that I had little chance to live,” she told. But Sister Batseran, 70, later had surgery eight times over consecutive years and in the last operation her left breast was totally removed. One night, her brother, Akle Ivakdalam, had a dream in which he was called upon to take parasitic plants from a kapok tree and an orange tree in front of their house to make medicine.
The next morning, he collected the plants to dry them before boiling the stems and leaves. “I regularly drank the potion for three years and felt so much better than before,” Sister Batseran relates. The doctor was surprised by her recovery, she said. She had remembered a message from her brother’s dream that she should help heal others suffering from cancer. “I got the cosmic energy when I was suffering from breast cancer,” she said. This ‘God’s gift’ suddenly came up, and I use it now to help heal my patients.”
Missionaries of Charity express sorrow over scandal, openness to just inquiry The superior general of the Missionaries of Charity said Tuesday the congregation is “deeply saddened and grieved” by the alleged sale of several children by an employee of one of its homes for unwed mothers.
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Earlier this month two women affiliated with the Missionaries of Chari-
ty, one a religious sister and one an employee, were arrested over the alleged sale of a baby boy. “Even while we place our full trust in the judicial process that is underway, we wish to express regret and sorrow for what happened and desire to express in unequivocal terms our condemnation of individual actions which have nothing to do with the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity,” Sister Mary Prema Pierick said in a July 17 statement. AUGUST 2018
‘Weeping’ statue of Mary investigated by N.M. diocese A New Mexican diocese is investigating a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that some Catholics say has been “weeping” for more than a month. “Some of the witnesses claimed it smelled of roses, so something similar to the oil I bless and consecrate each year that we use for baptism, for confirmations and for ordination of the priests.”
So far, the investigation seems to support these reports. As part of the efforts to determine the origin and nature of the tears, samples were sent for chemical analysis. The results determined that the tears were made of a scented olive oil.The statue itself is also being examined. “We examined the interior of the hollow statue,” Bishop Cantú told reporters. “There’s nothing on the interior that’s not supposed to be there, except for cobwebs. In the meantime, the Hobbs church continues to see a steady stream of visitors. Even without formal recognition by church authorities, many are finding it a moving experience.
Center for women with crisis pregancies to open in Argentina
Priests who work in the slums of Buenos Aires announced Tuesday a “Home of the Motherly Embrace” to care for women in crisis pregnancies. The initiative, presented at Christ the Worker parish July 17, seeks to respond to the needs of women who live in the slums and also is a sign of the commitment of the Church to defending the lives of the unborn and their mothers.
Texas bishops join event to support migrants, highlight church teaching During a time when immigrants around the country have come under attack, the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, and representatives from other dioceses in Texas and nearby New Mexico are joining a variety of faith groups in a show of support and solidarity for migrants in their communities.
“Be a light in the times of darkness,” said El Paso Bishop Mark J. Seitz in a YouTube video posted July 18 announcing an interfaith procession in El Paso on July 20, which will be joined by faith leaders from the Presbyterian, Unitarian, Lutheran, Muslim, Baha’i and indigenous Tigua traditions. “You may have heard in the news about the pain, the violation of human rights and the suffering of our migrant brothers and sisters in our border communities,” said Bishop Seitz in the video. “I’m calling on all our parishes, parishioners and clergy to put their faith into action.”
Latin American bishops announce day of prayer for Nicaragua
The Council of Latin American Bishops has expressed solidarity with the people of Nicaragua and declared Sunday, July 22, a day of prayer for the country.The bishops of Nicaragua have also called for a day of fasting on July 20, and a month of prayer including adoration, the rosary, fasting, penance and the renewal of baptismal promises. 33
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as you never heard before...
MARIA AROKIAM KANAGA SDB
He who has seen… (Jn 19: 35) “When a Roman soldier pierced the heart of Jesus after his death, I was so upset that I would have gladly grabbed that lance and thrust it on that fellow’s neck,” said Salome, one of the women present at the foot of the cross. She was still breathing fury at that incident, a year after the resurrection.
“I felt as if that sword had pierced my own heart,” whispered Mother Mary. “I was forewarned of this during the circumcision of Jesus. Old Simeon appeared from nowhere to see the baby before he died in peace.” “The Romans were so mean. They would not leave even a dead man in peace,” complained Mrs. Clopas, another lady of that company on Golgotha.
“Oh no, ladies. It all happened according to God’s plan. I too was trembling with anger then. But in retrospect I am glad it happened,” said John, the adopted son of the Mother. All the ladies were surprised, looking askance at him!
They were standing on the exact spot where Jesus had died. This small intimate group, Mother Mary, Mrs. Clopas, Salome wife of Zebedee and her son John, were still in Jerusalem a year after the Lord’s death. Persecution against The Way had not yet intensified. They formed a group of prayer and reflection. They decided once again to make a journey to Calvary, the “place of skull” in honour of Jesus’ death, on the first anniversary. A kind of “way of the cross” devotion! They had started out from Gethsemane, went down the Kidron Valley, climbed up Sion on the south western side of the temple along the outer wall. They paused near the Antonia Fort, Pilate’s residence, walked through the “via crucis” and reached Golgotha! The empty tomb, where they would return two days later, was just about 20 meters away. “Why do you say that John?” came a male voice from behind. All turned to behold a smiling Joseph of Arimathea. The Salesian Bulletin
“Ah, here is the owner of the tomb,” said Salome jovially.
“Oh yes, the tomb. Whoever thought that my tomb would become the centre of the world and would ever remain empty. But right now I am keener on what John was saying,” said Joseph.
“Did you notice that blood and water started flowing from his side no sooner than the soldier had struck?” asked John. “True. But what of it? The body was still warm. Blood and other liquids can flow out, if a wound is made,” said Mrs. Clopas. She was some sort of a nurse. “It did not strike me as odd at that time,” continued John. “As we came up the hill, along the temple wall, I noticed something normal on the day of Preparation, that we usually take for granted. But today the sight struck me like lightening,” John said, his voice becoming soft and solemn, his eyes looking back towards the temple. “Don’t build the suspense,” quipped Joseph.
“Today is the day of Preparation for the Passover, just as the day of the Lord’s death, is it not?” “And so?” probed Salome.
“What is going on in the temple right now? Joseph, you are a priest; you tell us.”
“All of you know, the whole nation has turned up there. They are offering their paschal sacrifice. Priests must be standing in line, receiving and slaughtering thousands of lambs and calves. Holocaust, the atonement of the sins of the people!” “It is a bloody affair. The cry of the dying animals, the stench of burning carcasses and all. And barrels of blood, flowing down the Altar. It is an abhorrent sight even for me, a priest nominated to offer sacrifice. I wonder whether Yahweh was really enjoying all this!” “And where does all that blood go, Joseph?”
“There is a canal into which all the blood is directed. It mixes with a water, used for cleaning the entire area and flows out of the temple wall in a stream through a hole below the temple wall, and going down into the Kidron Stream in the valley.” Salome cut in: “Oh, I too remember now. That mixture of blood and water was flowing down the hill. We could see it clearly as we climbed Sion.”
Mrs. Clopas joined in: “This is, of course well known to all our people and to the pilgrims. What is special about it?”
“Don’t you see the parallel? Are you so thick in your mind? What was happening in the temple was the sacrifice of atonement. The victims are sacrificed as an act of atonement, in accordance with the Scriptures, in expiation for the sins of Israel. All this happens in the temple, the special residence of God in the world!” John was practically shouting in excitement, as if he had just made a tremendous discovery.
Mother Mary turned sharply and looked at John with wonder. She seemed to have understood what he was implying. But she let him speak.
“I am sure all of you remember that Jesus called himself the Temple! When he cleansed it, asking the traders not to make it a den of thieves, the Jews asked for a sign of his authority. Jesus said solemnly ‘Destroy this temple made by humans, and in three days I will raise up another not made with hands.’ The Jews, of course, took offence and laughed at him. But I now know clearly that he referred to his body as the Temple, the special place of Yahweh’s dwelling on this earth.”
Now the Mother spoke up: “Of course, he was the Temple not made with human hands!” She knew what she was saying! The others fell into silence, ready to drink in every word that John spoke. “Jesus was the Temple. This temple was being destroyed on this very day last year, at this very place. He was the sacrificial Victim and his blood was being poured out the altar for the atonement of the sins of this world. And this life-giving blood, together with purifying water flows out of the side of the temple. It comes right from the heart of this Temple through a hole made for that purpose. From the heart of Jesus, through a hole made by the spear of the soldier flowed out blood and water!”
John Paused for effect. Everyone had understood! There was nothing more to say, but just to stand in awe at this awe-inspiring mystery revealed by the Lord himself, even after his death, from his open heart! It is right there, on Calvary, the devotion to the heart of Jesus began in that little group of the disciples. John would later even interrupt his narration to make a very special remark about this direct eye-witness account, putting his entire apostolic authority on its veracity and meaning. He would leave strong hints about the sign, without explanation, just to call upon the faith of the believer: “Since it was the day of Preparation … one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness – his testimony is true, and he knows he tells the truth – that you also may believe. Jn 19: 31-35) 35
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