Message Our call to the Identity Mode of Don Bosco Dear Confreres, Our founder worked and witnessed to God's love for the young in his day, as was demanded by the exigencies of his times. In the trade schools that he started, the students were taught the skills that were relevant for the day. So he trained carpenters and printers, blacksmiths and tailors, using technology that was available then and for technology in industry that was prevalent then. At the same time, it would be a mistake to discount the fact that our founder had an eye for the future. In his day he wanted the best for his boys, cost being no criterion trusting in Divine Providence whose human agent he recognised himself to be. This was the mystic in him, enabling him to trust totally in a Providence that would feed the birds of the air and clothe the lilies of the ﬁeld. The mystic in him found his provident God in constant silent prayer, in relation with God, in union with God. The prophet in him came out in activity, in devising ways and means to improve the condition of the poor youngsters who entered his life. The prophet in him mobilized resources, both human and material; the prophetic spirit led him to band together some of the youngsters around him into the Society of St. Francis de Sales, to continue his mission of witnessing to the light that would dispel the darkness from the lives of needy youth. This is very clearly expressed again in article 1 of our Constitutions: "To ensure the continuation of this mission, the Spirit inspired him to initiate various apostolic projects, ﬁrst among them our Society." Two hundred years down the passage of time, we the present day SDBs are called on to the same mission as our founder. Unfortunately we today seem to ﬂounder in the imitation mode of our founder, rather than ﬂourish in his identity mode. Because we try to imitate today Don Bosco and his activities of his day, we ﬁnd ourselves often irrelevant, ineffective and not in sync with the times we live in; we are two hundred years distant from our founder; the demands of our times are very different from those of his times two hundred years
ago. To be effective today we need to change from the imitation mode and switch to the identity mode of our founder. This calls for being true mystics, prophets and servants in our times, as was Don Bosco in his times, a theme made familiar by our recent General Chapter. We need to be social entrepreneurs of our day, inventive and innovative in methods, approach and attitudes in dealing with the socio-economic problems that confront the target group of our apostolate. This would be 'to be Don Bosco' today to the needy youth of our area. We have to move away from the stagnation that has plagued us, to more dynamic methods of apostolate that would see change and innovation. It is true there is always the risk of failure in being innovative and creative in our approach and methods. What may appear to be a failure on the surface could very well be the foundation for true and effective success in our apostolate, provided we are daring enough to launch out into the unknown, to throw the net of our apostolate to the 'right side' (cf. Jn. 21:6), trusting in the help of the One who strengthens us in our total weakness and failure. All our planned programmes and projects for the bicentenary celebrations of the birth of our founder would be futile and ineffective, "no more than a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal" (I Cor. 13: 1), if we do not focus our attention on being true mystics, prophets and servants, as was our founder. Fundamental to this are prayer and inner stillness, the silence within us that enables us to hear the voice of the Lord in the gentle breeze, rather than in the ﬁre and storm that rage around us in diverse forms (cf. I Kings 19: 11-12). In being true mystics, prophets and servants we witness to the radical approach of the Gospel.
Fr. V M Thomas SDB Provincial
Opening message for...
CELEBRATING THE BICENTENARY OF DON BOSCO’S BIRTH Ángel Fernández Artime, SDB Rector Major Hundred and ninety nine years ago, on a day like today, a child came into the world, John Melchior Bosco, in these very hills, the son of humble peasant folk. Today, as we begin the Bicentenary of this historical event, we thank God profoundly for what he did through his intervention in history, in the real history of these hills that make up Becchi. In one of the articles of the Salesian Constitutions, it says that “With a feeling of humble gratitude, we believe that the Society of St. Francis de Sales came into being not merely as a human venture but by the initiative of God… Through the motherly intervention of Mary, the Holy Spirit raised up St. John Bosco to contribute to the salvation of youth. The Spirit formed within him the heart of a father and teacher, capable of total self-giving... The Church has acknowledged God’s hand in this, especially by approving our Constitutions and proclaiming our Founder a saint.”
The bicentenary of St. John Bosco's birth is a jubilee year, a 'year of grace' which we would like to experience within the Salesian Family as deep gratitude to the Lord, humbly but with great joy, since it is the Lord who has blessed this beautiful spiritual and apostolic movement founded by Don Bosco under the guidance of the Help of Christians. It is a jubilee year for the more than thirty groups who make up this great family, and for many others who, inspired by Don Bosco, his charism, his mission and spirituality, are hoping to gain recognition as members of this family.
The Salesian charism is the gift which God, through Don Bosco, has given to the Church and to the world. It was formed over time, from Mama Margaret's knees to friendship with good teachers of life, and especially through everyday life in the company of young people. Today we ﬁnd ourselves as the Salesian Family of Don Bosco, a Salesian religious family, along with many civic and Church authorities, friends of Don Bosco, and young people, amidst these very same hills where he was born, declaring the beginning of celebrations for the Bicentenary of his birth. After three years of preparation and one of celebration, the point of arrival will be next August 16, 2015, when it will be 200 years since he came into the Church and into the world for the good of young people.
It is a jubilee year for the entire Salesian Movement which in one way or another makes reference to Don Bosco in their initiatives, activities, proposals, and who share his spirituality and efforts for the good of the young, especially those who are most in need. For all of us throughout the Salesian world, this bicentenary aims at being not just a time of simple celebration but a valuable opportunity offered us to look back with gratitude, to look at the present with conﬁdence, and to dream of the future of the Salesian Family's evangelizing and educational mission with the energy and novelty of the Gospel. It is an opportunity for courage and a prophetic outlook, allowing ourselves to be led by the Spirit who will always lead us to the newness of God. We believe this bicentenary will be an opportunity for a true pastoral and spiritual renewal in our Family, an occasion for bringing the charism to life and making Don Bosco relevant, as he has always been for the young. We believe that it will be an opportunity for living the mission entrusted to us with renewed vigour and conviction on behalf of children, teenagers, older youth around the world, especially those most in need, the poorest and most fragile. The bicentenary will be a time when, as a Salesian Family, we will continue following Don Bosco's example as we go out to the physical and human peripheries of society and of the young. As then with Don Bosco, the bicentenary year and the road we embark on need to be a time for contributing what in all humility lies at the core of our charism: our determination to interpret the social situations, especially those involving the young, which
affect us today; our commitment through clear choices on behalf of young people who are marginalized or at risk of being such; our faith and complete conﬁdence in them, in each young person, in his or her possibilities and capabilities; our certain belief that they are of good heart, whatever their story, and have the opportunity to become masters of and play a key role in their own destiny; our remaining by their side, if they will accept us, to help them develop their talents to the full, and develop fully their vocation as Christians and as human beings. And ﬁnally, this bicentenary should also evoke the memory of so many men and women who have heroically given their lives for this ideal, in some of the most difﬁcult and extreme conditions in the world. This is a triumph, an inestimable treasure which only God can give proper value to. With this belief, we feel more encouraged not only to admire Don Bosco, not only to perceive the relevance of his gigantic stature, but to feel strongly and absolutely committed to imitating the man who left these hills to go to outlying Valdocco, and the rural periphery of Mornese to involve others with him, anyone and anything that would be in favour of the young and their happiness in this world and in eternity. From this hill at Becchi we now declare the year of Celebration of the Bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth open. May he bless us from heaven and may he help us obtain the grace to make our commitment and our dream a reality. HAPPY BICENTENARY TO ALL
John Bosco’s Bicentenary Birth Year Inaugurated
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
- Fr. Bivan Mukhim
The bicentenary birth year of Saint John Bosco (18152015) at the Province level was officially inaugurated on 23 August 2014 amidst a glittering function held at the auditorium of Don Bosco School, Panbazar. On the occasion, Pradyut Bordoloi, Minister of Education, Power and industries, Government of Assam, graced the occasion as the president of the function, while Jitesh Khosla, IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, was the chief guest. The other guests of honour were Prof. Dhruba Jyoti Saikia, Vice Chancellor, Cotton College State University, Fr. VM Thomas, Salesian Provincial, Guwahati Province, Bolin Bordoloi, a 1962 alumnus of Don Bosco School, Guwahati, as well as Director, AIDC, Fr. Johnson
Bicentenary Inauguration in Communities - NEWSLINE correspondents
All the communities of the province organized special gatherings of the students and the staff on the morning of 16th August to pledge to imbibe and live the teachings of Don Bosco as they hoisted the jubilee flag. A special prayer service was also organized in all the Salesian centres in the evening. Parackal, Executive Director, DBI, Kharghuli, Sr. Philomena Mathew, Mother General, MSMHC, Sr. Elizabeth George, Provincial, FMA, and host school's Principal Fr. Sebastian Kuricheal. The programme started with a colourful prayer dance performed by the students of St. Mary’s School, Guwahati, followed by the hoisting of the bicentenary flag, the lighting of the ceremonial lamp as well as paying floral tributes to Don Bosco by the dignitaries present on the dais. Fr. VM Thomas welcomed the distinguished guests and reiterated the phenomenal success of the Don Bosco system of education in producing a society of individuals who are an asset to the overall social fabric. A fascinating short film produced by Assam Don Bosco University, Azara, depicting the yeoman's service rendered by Salesians globally was screened, and this was followed by the speeches of Sr. Philomena Mathew and Sr. Elizabeth George. A beautiful dance drama performed by the students of Little Flower School, Hatigaon, was the next item. This was followed by the speech of Jitesh Khosla who said: “The Don Bosco system of education has a universal humanist message and has brought hope and enlightenment to a large number of people.” The programme ended with a formal vote-of-thanks by Fr. Johnson Parackal and a hymn to Don Bosco, as everyone stood up in reverence to the great saint of the young.
DOTMA: Don Bosco community, Dotma, inaugurated the bicentenary celebrations of the birth of St. John Bosco on 15th August 2014. The programme began with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Rt. Rev. Thomas Pulloppillil, Bishop of Bongaigaon. Present for the inaugural function of the bicentenary birth of Don Bosco were the pre-novices, the school students and teachers and the catholic faithful who had come together to also celebrate the feast of the assumption of Mary and the Independence Day of the country. MENDAL: Don Bosco Parish, Mendal, held the opening of the 200 birth centenary of Don Bosco on 16th August 2014. The Holy Mass at 6:30 am was attended by the boarders and parishioners. Fr. Albert Thyrniang, the Rector and Headmaster officially inaugurated the bicentenary year with the hoisting of the jubilee flag at an unofficial gathering after the Holy Mass. SNEHALAYA: On 16th August 2014, Don Bosco Snehalaya, Street Children's Home, shared in the joy and delight of the whole Salesian Congregation by inaugurating the year-long celebration of the bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth. Around 60 boys joined together at the inaugural programme held at Direnpara, Guwahati. The jubilee flag was hoisted by Fr. Lukose Cheruvalel, the Rector and Director of Snehalaya. Fr. Solomon Dennis, the Associate Director
of Snehalaya, hoisted the jubilee flag at Snehalaya Shelter Home, Paltan Bazar Centre. BOSCO MOUNT: The pre-novices of Bosco Mount, Rongkhon after the Holy Mass on 16 August gathered at the Don Bosco Hall for the floral tribute to Don Bosco and the hoisting of the jubilee flag. Fr. John Chellanthara, the Rector, hoisted the flag while the prenovices sang hymns to Don Bosco. RAMFALBIL: On 16th August, Don Bosco School, Ramfalbil, solemnly inaugurated the bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Don Bosco. The school assembly began with the prayer service to Don Bosco and the jubilee flag was hoisted by Bro. Nirmal Ekka, the Principal. The students sang hymns to Don Bosco and paid floral tribute to the Father of the Young. A short cultural programme was also held in honour of Don Bosco. RONGJENG: On 16th August 2014, the students of Don Bosco, Rongjeng, held a special assembly to honour Don Bosco. The prayer service which was conducted on the occasion showcased the heart of Don Bosco who worked tirelessly for the young people. Fr. Charles Sangma, the Rector, animated the prayer service. Bro. Sunil Kerketta, the Asst. Headmaster, delivered a talk on Don Bosco.
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
DBI: Don Bosco Institute witnessed a colourful inauguration of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco with a grace-filled prayer service and the hoisting of the jubilee flag organized on 16th August 2014. The students, accompanied by the staff members and the support staff, were made to realize the grandeur of the saint. The jubilee flag that will adorn each Salesian community throughout the bicentennial year was jointly unfurled by the Salesian priests and Sisters of the DBI community. Representatives from the staff members and the students paid floral tribute to the father and friend of the young. The participants sang
hymns to Don Bosco. The bi-centenary inauguration at the institute concluded with a hymn â€œWe Thank you, O Lord, for Don Bosco.â€? SOJONG & SATGAON: The official opening of the year-long bicentenary celebration of the birth of Don Bosco in Sojong and Satgaon was held on 16th August. Fr. Joseph Teron, the Rector, hoisted the jubilee flag at Sojong, while Fr. Jonas Kerketta hoisted it at Satgaon. The jubilee opening functions were attended by a big number of parishioners and students at both the centres. KOKRAJHAR: The birth bicentenary of Don Bosco was inaugurated by the staff and students of Don Bosco School, Kokrajhar, on 16th August during the assembly hour. The jubilee flag was hoisted by Fr. Sebastian Edathumparampil, the Parish Priest of Kokrajhar. Present for the flag hoisting were also the friends of Don Bosco. Besides Fr. Sebastian, those who spoke on the occasion were Fr. Raphael Cherukareth, the Asst. Parish Priest and Bro. Benedict Sangma, the Asst. Headmaster. DBC, MANZA: The staff and students of Don Bosco Junior College, Manza, gathered together at the college campus on 18th August to pay their respects and to honour the educator friend of the young, St. John Bosco. Fr. Cyriac Vattickathadam, the Director and In-charge of the Junior College, hoisted the bicentenary jubilee flag. In his brief message Fr. Cyriac highlighted the significance of the event by drawing the attention of everyone to the worldwide nature of the celebrations and the great influence Don Bosco and his followers have made and continue to make in the society in various fields, especially education, youth work and social service sectors. DIMAKUCHI: Don Bosco Community, Dimakuchi, launched the Don Bosco bicentenary year on 18th August 2014 at 9.00 am with the assembly for the students and the staff of the school. Fr. Barnabas Mardi, the Rector and Parish Priest, hoisted the bi-centenary
flag. In his message, he stressed on the commitment of Don Bosco to educating the young people, especially the most marginalized and those neglected by the society.
he reminded everyone of the great works of Don Bosco, who dedicated his entire life to serve the poor youth of his time. He said that even today the work of Don Bosco is being continued through his sons, the Salesians.
BOKO: On the occasion of the inauguration of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, a peace rally was organized at Don Bosco, Boko, on 19th August 2014. Twenty two neighbouring schools came together for the rally. The rally was flagged off by Mr. Thankeshwar Rabha, the Chief of the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council. The bicentenary jubilee flag was hoisted by Fr. Vincent Xalxo, the rector, in the presence of Fr. Saju Kariyil, the headmaster and the community members.
BARPETA ROAD: St. Joseph's Mission, Barpeta Road, held the opening of the bicentenary of the birth of St. John Bosco on 18th August. Rev. Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial, hoisted the bi-centenary flag, and joined the students in taking the pledge and in dedicating themselves to live the message and spirit of Don Bosco. Fr. Provincial challenged the young people present at the flag hoisting programme to believe in the power of imagination which can make seemingly impossible things possible.
DBC, TURA: Bicentenary inauguration at Don Bosco College, Tura, was held on 12th September. The function was held at 10:00 am with the hoisting of the jubilee flag by the district sports and youth affairs officer at the college campus. 2000 college students joined together to celebrate the opening of the year-long celebrations commemorating 200 year of Don Bosco's birth. On this day, the college also inaugurated a week of college activities. MALIGAON: Don Bosco Technical School, Maligaon, colourfully organised the inauguration of the bicentenary birth of Don Bosco on 16th August calling together all the students undergoing skill development in different trades. The jubilee flag was unfurled by Fr. Benny Alex, the Rector of the community. In his speech
DAMRA: The Salesian community and staff and students of Don Bosco, Damra, inaugurated Don Bosco's bicentenary celebration on 16th August 2014. Fr. Milon Narzary, the rector, presided over the flag hoisting ceremony and paid floral tributes to the bust of St. John Bosco, joined by the staff and the students. He exhorted everyone present to imitate St. John Bosco in his zeal and love for young people. Mr. Haris Rabha, Education Secretary of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council, was the chief guest at the cultural programme. UMSWAI: The Salesian mission of Umswai, joined the rest of the Salesian world for the inauguration of the bicentenary celebration of the birth of St. John Bosco (16th August). Together with Fr. Quirinus Syiemlieh, the Rector and Principal and the Salesian sisters, the staff and the students pledged themselves to fulfill the dreams of Don Bosco through their commitment to their duties.
KUMARIKATTA: 16th of August was a day of great joy for the boarders and the parishioners of St. Joseph's Church, Kumarikatta, as the whole family gathered together to inaugurate the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco. The Holy Mass at 6:30 am was celebrated by Fr. Bhaskar Raj Chintamalla, the Rector and Parish Priest. The jubilee flag was unfurled by Fr. Bhaskar.
BENGTOL: Don Bosco, Bengtol, witnessed a colourful inauguration of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco with a well animated Holy Mass organized by the students at 7:30 am on 16th August 2014. The Holy Mass was followed by the cultural programme attended by the students, the teachers and the parents. The jubilee flag was hoisted by Fr. Siby Vattaparayil, the Rector and Headmaster of Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School, Bengtol.
DOOMNI: Don Bosco Community, Doomni, solemnly launched the bicentenary celebration of the birth of St. John Bosco on Friday, 15th August 2014. The day began with the Holy Eucharist presided over by Fr. Ethelbert Minj, the Rector of the community, in the morning. A big number of parishioners, young people and students came together to honour the educator friend of the young. The bicentenary jubilee flag was hoisted at 9:00 am.
A Tribute to Don Bosco Guwahati Province inaugurates DB Church, Sashipur Thirty Salesians set out in the early morning of 16th August on a pilgrimage to Sashipur, on the international border with Bhutan, to take part in the blessing and dedication of the Don Bosco Church. It was an important event in the history of the province as it joined the rest of the world in the celebration of the opening of the bi-centenary of the birth of Don Bosco. Most Rev. John Moolachira, the Archbishop of Guwahati, was the main celebrant during the dedication service. In his speech he appreciated the enormous and dedicated service the Salesians render to the society, the Church and the young people. “This Don Bosco Church we inaugurate serves as a witness to the dedicated service of the Salesians to the people of the North East and is a real living tribute to the great Saint John Bosco,” Bishop John said. Fr VM Thomas, the provincial, reminded those present at the dedication of the Church about the untiring work of Don Bosco in saving souls. He said that the starting of the bi-centenary birth of Don Bosco is a moment to pledge and reaffirm our commitment to young people. He welcomed the august gathering and paid floral tribute to Don Bosco. There were also representatives from different religions to pay floral tribute to the educator saint of the young.
Social Technical Institute, Tezpur, inaugurated
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
- Fr Cletus Sebastian
The Don Bosco Socio-Technical Institute at Tezpur was blessed and inaugurated on the evening of 16th August by Bishop Michael Akasius Toppo, the bishop of Tezpur. Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati and Bp. Robert Kerketta, the Bishop Emeritus of Tezpur, were present during the blessing and inauguration of the institute. The imposing gathering was welcomed by Fr. VM Thomas. He said that the inauguration of the Don Bosco Social Institute is a monument to the great saint who dedicated his entire life to the service of the young to “make them good Christians and upright citizens.” Those who spoke on the occasion were Bp. Robert
DBSTI conducts Programme for Tea Garden Youth - Bro. Edward Kujur
The Don Bosco Socio-Technical Institute (DBSTI) at Tezpur organized a three-day 'Youth Development Programme' for the young school drop outs of the Gogra Tea Estate in the Sonitpur district of Assam. The programme was held from the 11th to 13th October 2014. Sixty young people attended the programme. The participants were empowered to be “leaders of change in the society.” Through motivation and career guidance they were shown the way to their future. The three-day youth development programme provided a wide range of services, opportunities and support to young people as well as their families. The programme helps in building up the strengths of the young people through skill development, leadership training, mentoring and transitioning through different life and problem stages. “The programme is done on a holistic level utilizing the social inclusion of most of the youth with a specific
focus on the tea tribe youth,” said Bro. Edward Kujur, the youth programme coordinator. One of the participants, while voicing his opinion after the programme, said that a youth development programme of this sort will help them to open up to the rich varieties of opportunities that are available for them. It is the time when the youth need to acquire the attitudes, competencies, values, and social skills that will carry them forward to a successful life. It is also the time when young people need to avoid choices and behaviors that will limit their future potential. “This programme is indeed an opportunity for us young people to take responsibility for our well-being and is helping to steer us in the right direction,” the participant said. The Youth Development Programme is spearheaded by Bro. Eddy Edward Kujur sdb, and a team of collaborators.
Computer lab set up to train rural youth - Fr. C.M. Paul
“We have used n-computing system for the computer lab. It not only brings down networking costs but also gives computer access to a larger number of people,” explained Fr Mattam who personally purchased the computers and set up the network.
The director of DBSTI, Fr Cletus, explained, “This computer lab will help us to offer training and reach out to more young people with the motto: Skilling Youth, Transforming Lives.” He added, “This computer lab will help us run short term programmes in Office Management, Tally, Excel and other softwares, for the needy and marginalized youth to shape their destiny.” The day also witnessed the launch of the first batch of one-day School Principals' Effectiveness Programme, for a group of 35 Principals and senior teachers of the MSMHC Sisters of Tezpur province.
Kerketta SDB, Bp. Michael Akasius Toppo and Archbishop John Moolachira. The function was also graced by Mr. Santius Kujur, Honourable Member of the parliament and a past pupil of Don Bosco. Mr. Santius Kujur reaffirmed the strong commitment and dedication of Don Bosco to the young people and narrated how today the Salesian Fathers and Sisters continue the work of Don Bosco. “Skilling young people, the motto of Don Bosco Socio Technical Institute, is also the call of the Prime Minister of the country. In the world of today we need to give the skills to young people so that they are able to stand on their own feet. I wish the institute and the team of Salesians all the best as they help the poor youth,” Mr. Santius said.
The Don Bosco Socio-Technical Institute (DBSTI) at Tezpur launched its first computer lab in less than two months after its inauguration on 16th August with a simple inaugural ceremony. Some 20 computers have been set up with the assistance of the director of on-line education at Assam Don Bosco University`s DBU global, Fr Xavier Mattam, on 3rd October 2014.
Catholic Youth Meet at Tezpur - Bro. Edward Kujur
The newly inaugurated Don Bosco Socio–Technical Institute, in collaboration with the youth commission of Tezpur diocese, reached out to the catholic youth population in Tezpur town through its maiden venture on Sunday, 31st August, 2014. As many as 110 youth gathered at DBSTI for the programme. The focus of the programme was to bring them together and to build them on faith along with other essentials like leadership, motivation and goal setting etc. The most delightful session of the day was the youth forum led by Fr. Cletus, the DBSTI Director, wherein the youth had a chance to voice their opinion on the 'delinquent behavior' (negligence of practicing their faith due to bad influence, laziness, etc.) of youth in matters pertaining to their faith. In the session, the youth shared their problems and the difficulties of
putting their faith into practice. The Bishop, present for the session, was amazed at the kind of eloquence and sincerity with which the youngsters shared about their problems and difficulties in frequenting the holy sacraments. Bishop Akasius Toppo presided over the Holy Eucharist for the youth at 11:30 am. The youth shared the Gospel reflections of the day and the Bishop concluded the reflections during the homily. 'Youth need to be proactive in spreading the faith and constantly bear witness to the love of Jesus...' Bishop Akasius exhorted. In the afternoon, the youth were led into a discussion on leadership, and on setting up a group for future programmes and for socials. The Catholic Youth Meet concluded with a lively DJ programme and refreshments.
Guwahati Salesians meet the Media to kick off Bicentennial Celebrations
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
- Fr. Solomon Dennis
As part of the preparations for the bicentennial of the birth of Don Bosco, the Salesian Province of Guwahati held a press conference on 14th August 2014 for various media houses at the Guwahati Press Club at Ambari. Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial, was the key speaker during the press conference. He was joined by Fr. Johnson Parackal, the jubilee organizing secretary, Fr. Sebastian Kuricheal, Joint Secretary and treasurer, Fr. Thomas Kunnappallil, the economer of the province and Fr. Lukose Cheruvalel, the Director of Snehalaya, the street children's home. A good number of journalists were present for the press conference.
Fr. VM Thomas briefed the media persons about the year-long celebrations. He spoke of Don Bosco`s work among the young and how today the Salesians continue to fulfill the dream of Don Bosco. “The Salesian Fathers, along with the Salesian family members, are joining hands to make the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco a wonderful experience for the young people in our schools and communities,” Fr. Thomas said. He highlighted two important events to be held on 16th August, the opening day of the bicentenary celebrations.
Inauguration of Don Bosco Junior College Diphu - Fr. Jimmy Sangma
The Chief Guest was full of praise and appreciation for the great work done by Christian missionaries in the field of education. “I have seen various schools of the Christian missionaries and I see that there is so much of commitment and dedication that is put into the well running of the educational institutes. The commitment of the Christian missionaries is a clear evidence of the love that they have for the society. Karbi Anglong is one of the biggest districts of Assam, but it still lacks
“There is the blessing of the Don Bosco chapel at Sashipur in the morning and in the evening the inauguration of the Don Bosco socio-technical centre at Tezpur,” he added. Fr Thomas invited the media people and media houses to join hands and collaborate to make the jubilee celebrations of the birth of Don Bosco a grand success. Fr. Lukose Cheruvalel, the Director of Snehalaya, reiterated the importance of the celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Don Bosco. He spoke of the colossal works that the sons of Don Bosco are doing in the city of Guwahati and in the North East as a whole.
educational facilities. There is only the Diphu Govt. College. The starting of the Don Bosco college will bring about the educational improvement in the district of Diphu”, Mr. Dominic said. Bishop Paul Mattekatt, the bishop of Diphu, spoke of the dream he had of establishing a college for the people of Karbi Anglong and appreciated the Salesians for coming forward to accept his invitation. He recalled the moment when he decided to call the Salesians to begin a college in Diphu diocese. Fr. V. M. Thomas, the provincial, spoke of the power of education in transforming generations of young people. He viewed education not by the harvest reaped, but by the seeds planted for future generations. He promised the immediate construction of the college buildings so that the college can function at the permanent campus from the next Academic session itself. Fr. Cyriac Vettikathadam, the Director of the newly inaugurated college, welcomed the guests to the inaugural function. He thanked the bishop in a special way for putting his trust and confidence in the Salesians.
Fr. Johnson Parackal, the organizing secretary, briefed the media about the year-long celebrations that have been planned. Competitions at local, regional and provincial levels would be held to bring out the best from the young people. “The jubilee celebration will be concluded on 16th August 2015 with a mega youth fest and a musical extravaganza featuring international and local bands,” he added. He also mentioned about other programmes which included a mobile exhibition on Don Bosco and an inter-city film festival.
In a glittering ceremony attended by a host of distinguished persons, educationists, college and school students and parents, the Don Bosco Junior College, Diphu, in the Karbi Anglong District of Assam, was inaugurated on 22nd August. The Chief Guest, Shri Dominic Uphing Maslai, the Executive Member i/c Higher Education in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, unveiled the inaugural plaque which was blessed by Dr. Paul Mattekatt, the Bishop of Diphu. Fr. V. M. Thomas, the Salesian Provincial of Guwahati, dedicated the Junior College to the people of Karbi Anglong. A variety of perfectly rendered songs and dances by the Junior College as well as by students from the catholic schools of Diphu, Sojong, Amkachi and Manja enlivened the inaugural function.
Trailblazer: Don Bosco Teachers' Convention The first ever Don Bosco Teachers' Convention organized by Don Bosco School Excellence Mission (DBSEM) concluded at Don Bosco School, Panbazar, Guwahati, on the afternoon of 18th October 2014. More than 800 teachers, including principals, vice principals and headmistresses of around 30 Don Bosco schools of Lower Assam and Garo Hills took part in the day-long convention that included a host of interactive activities like lively sessions with power point presentations by renowned Salesian educationalists, cultural songs and dances, fun and games, etc. The convention was formally declared open in the morning with the hoisting of the convention flag by 96year old nonagenarian Italian Salesian Fr. Porcu Mario at the school basketball courts. The programme then shifted to the school auditorium where a galaxy of distinguished personalities like MGVK Bhanu, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Home and Political Department, Prof. Dhruba Jyoti Saikia, Vice Chancellor, Cotton College State University, Fr. VM Thomas, Salesian Provincial, Guwahati Province, Fr. Johnson Parackal, Director, DBSEM, Fr. Joseph Thelekkatt, Programme Coordinator, DBSEM and Fr. Sebastian Kuricheal, Principal, Don Bosco School, Guwahati. The lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the dignitaries was soon followed by a floral tribute to Saint
John Bosco, the great 19th century father and friend of the youth. Fr. VM Thomas welcomed all the participants and hoped that they would take back happy memories from this convention. Shri Bhanu, in his speech, recalled his association with the Don Bosco Society vis-à-vis Christian missionaries and lauded their untiring and selfless dedication. Prof. Saikia too spoke of the Salesian method of education where individuals go on to contribute to the society. The convention then proceeded with the power point sessions by Fr. VM Thomas who spoke on “The change of paradigm in education”, Fr. PD Johnny, Principal, Don Bosco College, Tura, who spoke on “Don Bosco's method of education” and Fr. CT Lukose, founder Director, Snehalaya, who spoke on “Child rights issues and Salesian schools.” This was then followed by some live music and dance where some of the hosts as well as participating school teachers sang a few melodious numbers to regale the crowd, followed by some fun and games like breaking the pot by participating school principals, tug of war among various school teachers, etc. This was followed by a cultural show by the participating schools showcasing the various ethnic cultures of the Northeast. The convention finally came
Foundation laid for new skill development centre - Fr. Nicodim Aind
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial, laid the foundation for the construction of a new skill development institute at St. Joseph's Mission, Barpeta Road, on 18th August. This institute has the purpose of providing job-oriented training programmes to the unemployed youth of the region. In his speech, he called on those gathered together for the occasion to extend all possible support in order to make the dreams of young people of the region come true. The centre will be constructed with support from the ChildAid Network, Germany.
Fr. Provincial recalled to mind the dream and the vision that Don Bosco had when he started the oratory at Valdocco. “Don Bosco was born poor, lived poor and he lived for the poor; and today we continue that dream of Don Bosco. We cannot forget that we stand on the shoulders of giants who have given themselves selflessly for the welfare of the young,” Fr. VM Thomas said. He invited everyone to work together to fulfill the mission of Don Bosco particularly during this year when we celebrate the bi-centenary of his birth.
Fr. Markus Lakra, in-charge of the centre, welcomed the gathering. “We inaugurate today the bi-centenary of the birth of Don Bosco, a person who lived for the sake of the poor people, and the laying of the foundation of the new skill development institute reminds us of the dream he had to help the poor and to make them rich,” he added. The celebrations culminated in the installation of Fr. Markus Lakra as the new Rector of the centre. Mr. Robert Ewers of ChildAid Network, Germany, was also present at the foundation laying ceremony.
to an end with the lowering of the convention flag and the formal declaration of the closing of the convention by Fr. VM Thomas. The convention was being
organized primarily to motivate and enthuse the teachers to embrace change and to equip themselves to meet the educational challenges of the 21st century
Outreach project sets self-help dreams alight - Fr. A Jayaprakash
"Becoming self-dependent was my main concern. After being trained at the BRO organized programme, I can now make agarbattis to earn a living. I am looking forward to receiving financial assistance from banks," said Supol, one of the youngsters who attended the month-long programme, from 5th August to 3rd September 2014. Like Supol, 63 participants from Baksa, Udalguri, Darrang and Kamrup (Metro) districts, who attended the programme, are equally enthusiastic about launching their own ventures. The Executive Director of BRO, Fr. Thomas Kunnapillil, said that mitigating the state's unemployment problem by providing opportunities for self-employment would help the struggling youngsters.
"People can make good money and improve their standard of living through such low-investment micro enterprises. Continuous increase in population and rising levels of unemployment, especially among youth, has created socio-economic problems in our society. Capacity and skill are the two of the most important aspects which should be considered while establishing micro enterprises," Fr. Thomas added. He said that banks and concerned government agencies should promote such micro enterprises among the rural populace. According to some of the participants, the programme not only motivated them to start their micro enterprises, but it also has fuelled their entrepreneurial dreams. Fr. A Jayaprakash, associate director of BRO, expressed his happiness over the successful completion of the programme and urged the participants to utilize their new-found knowledge and skill to increase their income. "There is ample scope for becoming selfdependent if our youngsters engage in such productive pursuits," he said.
Life will never be the same for 37 year old Supol Baskey from Baksa, the western Assam district which generally makes news for all the wrong reasons. Supol, who now kills time by playing football till dusk, is soon going to be too busy to do any such thing. Having learnt how to make candles and incense sticks at a programme by Bosco Reach Out (BRO), Supol is planning to start his own incense stick business.
RIP Fr. Joseph Topno The mortal remains of F r. J o s e p h To p n o (1919-2014) was laid to rest on 29th August i n t h e Te z p u r Cathedral Cemetery. The funeral Mass was attended by a large number of priests, religious and lay people. The Mass was celebrated by Bp. Akasius Toppo, the bishop of Tezpur. Present at the Holy Mass was Bp. Robert Kerketta SDB, the bishop emeritus of Tezpur whom Fr. Joseph had served as a secretary for many years. Fr. Joseph Topno was born on 24th May 1919 to Neehimia Raphael and Marsa Kongadi at Bokajan, in the diocese of Tezpur. He did his novitiate at Sonada from December 1938 to 1939, making his first religious profession on 22nd December 1939. Sonada was once again the community that witnessed his perpetual profession on 10th June 1945. He did his theological studies at Sacred Heart College, Shillong, where he also received the ministries of lector and acolyte in July 1947 and January 1948 respectively. He was ordained a deacon in October 1950 at the Catholic Cathedral, Krishnagar, and was ordained a priest at the same Cathedral on 7th December of the same year.
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
As a newly ordained priest, his first assignment was at Don Bosco, Tezpur, from 1951 to 55, and then at Don Bosco, Guwahati, from 1955 to 56. He was then transferred to Don Bosco, Liluah, a renowned training ground for the young Salesians of that time.
He spent the next twenty four years of his priestly life, from 1956 to 1980, in West Bengal. After a brief stint at Don Bosco School, Liluah, Our Lady's house, Bandel and the parish of Maliapota, for practically a year each, he spent 9 years at Don Bosco school, Krishnagar. The next two years saw him serving the Church and the people as the Asst. Parish Priest of the Cathedral Parish at Krishnagar. As if 9 years in a particular place were not long enough, he lived and served 11 years in one of the oldest parishes of West Bengal, namely, Azimganj, as a true pastor of souls, especially among the Santalis and Adivasis of that region. The year 1981 saw the Topno
Brothers – Fr. Joseph and his brother Fr. John – return to their home province, the Province of Guwahati. Tezpur begot him, Tezpur called him back, and now Tezpur bade him farewell. He was born in the diocese of Tezpur. It was at Don Bosco, Tezpur that Fr. Joseph began his priestly ministry in 1951. On his return from West Bengal to the Guwahati province, he found himself once again at Tezpur; this time, at the Bishop's house. He spent the next 28 years of his life at the Bishop's house, Tezpur, assisting Bishop Robert, and being a real companion to Bishop Robert. His presence at the Bishop's house enabled him to carry out his priestly ministry, especially by being a popular confessor to the clergy, religious and the faithful. In 2009, Fr. Joseph was transferred to the Pastoral Centre, Tezpur, where he spent his old age in simplicity and serenity. He was practically confined to bed for the past two years and was taken to Catholic Hospital at Borgaon on 25th June 2014 where he had a fall from his bed, in which he sustained head injuries. He never recovered full consciousness thereafter. Immediately after the hospitalization, he showed signs of improvement; however, two weeks later, he experienced difficulty in breathing, and hence was put on oxygen. Sunday, 24th August, he was administered the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. Fr. Joseph breathed his last on the 27th of this month, at 11.10 pm.
“He was always and everywhere a priest. He personally lived the advice given by St. Paul to Timothy, to exhort, advise, correct and bring back everyone to the Lord.” - Fr. V M Thomas, Provincial
GOODBYE, Fr. Santosh Minj
Fr. Santosh was born on 25th March 1959 at Galasubabasti, Sikari Bungalow, Tangla Parish, of Leos Minj and Louisa Tirkey. He made his first profession on 24th May 1979, and was ordained priest on 12th February 1989 at Tangla, at the conclusion of his theological studies at Sacred Heart College, Shillong. Soon after the ordination, he did a prestigious diploma course in Social Work in Canada. He was an intelligent, capable, talented, committed and passionate Salesian. He served as the assistant parish priest at Kumarikata, and as rector and Parish priest at Tangla, Maligaon and Barpeta Road. In between these, he spent nearly 4 years at Savio Juniorate, Shillong, as Counsellor and Administrator, and 5 years as Asst. Headmaster of Don Bosco School, Guwahati. Music was a means of the Salesian apostolate that he used for spreading joy and cheer, and to bring the young together. A happy combination of music and sports, at both of which he excelled, enabled him to be near to the young, whether the aspirants, the students or the youth of the parish or the city youth of Don Bosco School, Guwahati where he staged very successfully several operas. He took the priestly ministry seriously, involving himself personally both in the proclamation of the gospel and in the socio-economic development of the people. In fact, he was a man who was concerned about people, especially the poor; he had a heart for the poor, and was so impatient to do good and eager to bring about change that he lost temper now and again in his eagerness to be effective and on the side of the people. Fr. Santosh was buried in the Christian Cemetery, Uzanbazar, Guwahati.
â€œHe was very friendly, goal oriented, enduring and resilient. Wherever he ministered, he was fully involved and totally committed in the responsibilities entrusted to him.â€? - Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial
First Yamaha Technical School in the North East region at DB Tech, Maligaon - Fr. Benny Alex
Yamaha inaugurated its first Yamaha Technical School in the North East region at Don Bosco Technical School, Maligaon, on 26th September 2014. As part of its CSR initiative, Yamaha will impart technical training to the underprivileged youth for a secure future and assist them in final job placements at its dealerships in the city. The Don Bosco-Yamaha Technical School aims at creating a `Centre of Excellence` where the youth will receive 2-wheeler technical training that will enable them to become expert 2-wheeler technicians. Thereafter, they could be employed gainfully at Yamaha dealerships and become productive members of the society. Technical experts from Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt. Ltd. are conducting the YTS program on behalf of India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd. The YTS center was formally inaugurated by Mr. Masaki Asano, MD, Yamaha Motor India Sales Pvt. Ltd. along with Fr. VM. Thomas, the Salesian Provincial. With a short prayer and the cutting of the ribbon the centre was inaugurated and blessed by Don Bosco group represented by Fr. VM Thomas and Fr. Benny Alex, Director of Don Bosco, Maligaon, and Yamaha group officials from the headquarters. The event was concluded with an enjoyable cultural programme put up by the students of technical school.
Fr. Santosh Minj (55 yrs) breathed his last on 15th September at 1:25 pm at St. John's Hospital, Guwahati. He had been battling with cancer of the lungs for the last one and a half years before he surrendered to the sickness. He was the Rector of the Barpeta Road community when he fell ill and was diagnosed with cancer.
ING Principals meet to improve Schools - Fr. Louis Bhengra
Twenty nine Principals of the Don Bosco Schools of Guwahati Province gathered together on the 1st and 2nd of October 2014 at Don Bosco Institute (DBI), Kharghuli to deliberate upon the guiding principles to be given to all the Don Bosco Schools spread across the province. The principals came together under the banner of Don Bosco School Excellence Mission (DBSEM). The two-day meeting was convened to evaluate the performance of all the schools and to help achieve excellence and to chalk out strategies to offer quality education at affordable cost. The meeting was inaugurated by Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial. In his keynote address, he asked the principals to “make the school a home and a place of learning for the students and not a place where they feel suffocated and frightened.” He also asked them to give their best in moulding the lives of the students in the school. The principals also discussed ways to improve DBSEM and to propose plans for the coming four years. Fr. Johnson Parackal, the Director of DBSEM and the Executive Director of DBI, shared his vision
about DBSEM and its mission. Fr Joseph Thelekkatt animated the discussion with lively video and statistical presentations to stress on the importance of improving the schools in the province. One of the important agendas of the discussion was the implementation of 21st century skills in the classroom. “Classroom skilling today includes problem solving, group discussion, projects, cooperative learning, networking, application, etc. These should be incorporated into all the classrooms of the Don Bosco Schools of the province by 2016,” Fr. Thelekkatt, the programme co-ordinator, said. The vision of DBSEM is to improve the education level of all the children entrusted to the care of the SDBs regardless of their socio-economic status and geopolitical location. Its mission is to assist in strengthening comprehensively the educative community of all the schools in the province of Guwahati by ensuring a quality teaching and learning environment, by nurturing talent and by providing an integral formation of the young.
DBIM felicitates meritorious students
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
- Dn. Ignatius Gari
The Don Bosco Institute of Management, Kharghuli, felicitated its meritorious students in a solemn gathering at the institute's amphitheatre on 12th Sept. The DC of Kamrup Metro, Dr. M. Angamuthu IAS, was the chief guest at the occasion. Also present for the DBIM excellence award 2014 was Mr. Darryl F. War, MD of the Meghalaya Co-op. Apex Bank, Shillong, Fr. VM Thomas, the Salesian provincial of Guwahati, Mr. Pradeep Kumar Jain, Asst. Prof., Department of Management, Guwahati University, Fr. Johnson Parackal, the Rector and Executive Director, DBI, the teaching staff of DBIM and DBI and the students.
Fr. VM Thomas encouraged the management students to make a difference with their lives in whatever they did. "You may have a tough life, a busy life; but when you are able to organize yourself, everything is possible", he said. He challenged the students by stressing that if they wanted to leave footsteps on the sand of times, they needed to do something through their lives. "Your life is your message and so what you are speaks louder than what you say; therefore, speak with your life… with your action," Fr. Thomas added. Dr. M. Angamuthu, the Chief Guest at the award function, asked the students to do something for the betterment of the society and the community. He
expressed conﬁdence that DBIM would be able to work together with the municipal authority so to be able to bring the best to the management skills of the students. Mr. Darryl F. War, the MD of Meghalaya Co-op, Apex Bank, Shillong, reminded the students that 'hard work is important for success." He said that there is no substitute to hard work. He shared the experience he had of the students who approached the bank for internship. "The students of DBIM are hard working and they took great interest in learning." He also said that he was happy to be associated with the Don Bosco Institute of Management and he looked forward to campus recruitment during the coming years.
College Week Organized at Don Bosco College, Tura A week long 'College Week' was organised at Don Bosco College, Tura from 12th - 19th September. This was also an occasion for Don Bosco College Community to ofﬁcially inaugurate the bicentenary celebration of the birth of Don Bosco. Fr. Januarius Sangma, the Regional Superior for Garo Hills Region was the Chief Guest for the inaugural function. Mr. Nickson Joseph, Assistant General Manager SBI, was the guest of honour. Considering the huge number of students the events were separately organised for the Plus Two students and Degree students. Unlike previous years, this year for the ﬁrst time students themselves took charge of various events as conveners and teachers were made in-charge to supervise. There was enthusiastic response both from the teachers and the students. 'After many years we are witnessing such positive response and participation from students,' said one of the teachers. Inspite of the rain on certain days, the spirit of the college week was not daunted. The Salesians too were actively involved in organising various events. Taking a step further Vice Principals Fr. Pius Verghese and Fr. Jogesh Sangma too joined in the marathon race and successfully completed the race.
- Fr. Pradeep Ekka
Cash award for the academic events was introduced and sponsored by the State Bank, Chandmari Branch. Mr. Jasper P. Marak, the District Sports Ofﬁce, Tura was the Chief Guest at the concluding ceremony and prize distribution. As a ﬁtting conclusion to the college week, a basketball match was organised between the winners of the College Week Basketball team and the teaching and non-teaching staff. The staff team defeated the students.
BOSCONIANS FOREVER: Don Bosco Alumni Meet In Haﬂong The ﬁrst alumni meet of Don Bosco School, Haﬂong, was held on 11th and 12th October, 2014. Twenty eight batches of past pupils participated in the programme. The meet began with a peace rally which was ﬂagged off by Fr. Thomas Lakra, SDB, Vice-Provincial, Guwahati Province. The students and teachers of the school participated in the rally. Fr. Emmanuel Marngar SDB, Principal, Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Haﬂong, gave the welcome address.. Fr. Thomas Lakra
and Fr. Joseph Palamthattel also spoke on the occasion exhorting the past pupils to spread the beneﬁts of education to the remotest places of the Dima Hasao District of Assam. A souvenir to commemorate the occasion was also released. Eminent Bosconians of Don Bosco School, Haﬂong, like Mr. Subimal Bhattacharjee, International Cyber Security Expert, Mr. Debojeet Thaosen, CEM of N.C. Hills Autonomous Council, Mr. Jadav Pegu, ACS,
- Roshan Gosai and Bankim Phonglo
Circle Ofﬁcer, Bajali, Mr. Lamhao Doungel, APS and Dr. Kaushik Kachari shared their experiences and resolved to undertake activities for the betterment of the society under the alumni banner.
decades. The event was totally planned, organized and ﬁnanced by the ever eager Bosconians who always want more! It was a great tribute to the greatest champion of the young - Don Bosco - who is 200 years young!
"Bosconians Forever" was the slogan on the t-shirts worn proudly by everyone and it showed the unity and the total attachment of everyone to the magical name of Don Bosco. It was fun as friends met each other after
Various cultural programmes and games were organized for the alumni during the meet, which concluded with a grand musical nite on the evening of 12th October.
Assam Governor tells graduates, “learn from mistakes and to move on...” - Fr. C.M. Paul
The Governor of Assam and Visitor to Assam Don Bosco University, Shri Janaki Ballav Patnaik, presided over the 3rd annual convocation of the university along with the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, and a galaxy of dignitaries from civil, church and academic institutions on 12th September. Four hundred students were conferred with the bachelors' and masters' degrees. Addressing the gathering of some 1,000 people, the Governor encouraged the students to "take one step at a time and if you commit a mistake, just learn from it and move on." He also told the graduates: "Believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. Nothing is impossible if you have the conviction in your dream to fulﬁll your goals and overcome the obstacles that may come your way." The ADBU Chancellor and the Salesian Provincial of Guwahati, Fr V.M. Thomas, appealed to the graduates saying, "use your status and inﬂuence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice... then it will
not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands of people whom you have helped change their realities." The Chancellor reminded the graduates about the words of Don Bosco whose birth bi-centenary will be celebrated in 2015 (16th August): "We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already; we have the power to imagine and do better." Presenting a report of the academic year, Vice Chancellor, Dr. Stephen Mavely, announced the new Master's degree courses that were introduced in the new academic year, namely, in Mass Communication, Physics, and Electrical & Electronics Engineering. Going beyond the traditional university certiﬁcation, ADBU this year introduced an additional one-page certiﬁcate giving a detailed and comprehensive picture of the candidate`s performance - curricular, cocurricular and extra-curricular - during his/her stay at the University.
Salesian Family ponders on “Learning from Don Bosco”
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
- Fr. Zacharias Varickasseril
As part of the bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco's birth, a seminar on 'Learning from Don Bosco' was organised for the members of the Salesian family, Guwahati and Karbi Anglong regions on 8 November at St. Mary`s School, Guwahati. It was an attempt to understand more deeply the charism and works of St. John Bosco and the Salesian Movement. Over a hundred priests, brothers, sisters, cooperators, past pupils and lay collaborators of the Salesian Family attended the seminar. The seminar was inaugurated by the Apostolic Administrator of Jowai Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil SDB. In his inaugural address he spoke of Don Bosco as a saint who responded to the present and future needs of young people. "For Don Bosco everything that he learned was to be of service to others, particularly to help young people." the
RMSA - A success story In collaboration with Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhijan Assam (RMSA), Don Bosco Institute, Kharghuli, had undertaken the state level residential training for Principals/Headmasters of government/ provincialized schools, across all the districts of Assam on leadership skills and school management. RMSA was conducted at DBI from 23rd June 2013 to 20th June 2014. A total of 1362 principals/headmasters, in 12 batches, participated in the ďŹ ve-day residential programmes in which they were enriched through different value added modules. RMSA is a very integrated programme introduced by the government of India in order to improve the quality of the educational institutions. During their stay the participants were given opportunities to understand and discover their own abilities and their creative side. They were
motivated to overcome their fear of experimenting with new ideas. After the success of RMSA Assam, DBI went on to conduct RMSA Meghalaya for all the districts of Meghalaya from 23rd June to 1st August' 2014. The total number of participants came to 358, divided into four batches. The participants found the ďŹ ve day programme to be very effective and it indeed inspired them. The primary aims and objectives of the RMSA programme was to train the principals/headmasters/ headmistress and to motivate them to identify their leadership skills and building school management aptitudes with thrust on enhancing their team-building and effective communication skills.
archbishop said. He said that the Sons and Daughters of Don Bosco today can change the society through education. "Through education we can make alive the words of Don Bosco 'for you I study...'. So, like Don Bosco we involve ourselves in the world of the young people and thus bring about transformation in their lives."
in that aspect as well. He spoke extensively on Don Bosco in his inimitable style and brought to live the spirit and charism of the educator Saint of the young through his lively talk.
Sr. Alphonsa Kurisinkal FMA, the Seminar coordinator, expressed her gratitude to the members of the Salesian Family for being present at the seminar and wished that the charism of Don Bosco be spread in all the Salesian centres and communities. The seminar was hosted by Sr. Grace, the superior of St. Mary`s Convent Guwahati.
Fr. Jose Varickaserril, professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Theological College, Mawlai, shared his knowledge on Don Bosco in the sessions chaired by him and said that every Son and Daughter of Don Bosco needs to engross himself/herself in acquiring knowledge just like Don Bosco. ``Don Bosco created great interest in reading among the young people of his oratory," Fr. Varickaserril pointed out. He quoted Don Bosco`s words, "while there are still books to read, I say read." He added that Don Bosco himself was a voracious reader and so we have to imitate him
"A seminar of this sort will help us the Sons and Daughters of Don Bosco to learn more about our Father. It is also an opportunity to come together as members of a Family appreciating the oneness and uniqueness of our apostolate for the young," said Fr. Sebastian Kuricheal SDB, the Principal of Don Bosco School, Guwahati after the seminar.
ANNUAL CONCERT 2014 AT BOSCO MOUNT, TURA - Bro. Kishore Mushahary The community of Bosco Mount, Rongkhon-Tura staged “Whispers of Love”, - a three-act drama, from 23 - 26 October 2014 which was a glimpse into the life of St. John Bosco, the father and friend of the young whose birth bicentenary we are all gearing up to celebrate. Under the guidance of Rev. Fr. C.A. John, the Rector, Fr. Robert Faustin, the director and writer of the drama and other staff members, the aspirants successfully staged the play. Indeed it was the result of a concerted effort of the whole community. The drama was staged for four days. It was a grand success and a tangible witness on the life of Don Bosco to the youth of Tura in particular. People from all walks of life responded to the show. Different institutions in and around Tura came in big numbers to witness the programme. The concert indeed was very educational in nature. It threw light on the life and mission of St. John Bosco, whose programme of life “Da mihi animas cetera tolle” captivated the minds of the audience and brought them to appreciate Don Bosco and his work.
The play reverberated on the central theme of whispering the love of Don Bosco to the young and to the people in general. The play was a fusion of all emotions; one could smile at one moment, weep at another, laugh at another, be serious for a moment and be frolicking at another instance. This made it very interesting and lively. The programme was spiced up with other items such as the band piece, the choir piece, dances, songs, instrumental piece, etc., which made it very lively and enjoyable. The occasion was no doubt a blessing for the aspirants. Many of the aspirants have just joint with very little knowledge of English and so it was a wonderful experience for them to see themselves performing on the stage. Many aspirants expressed their delight at having learnt many things during the course of the concert. It was indeed a whisper of love from Don Bosco in the ear of each member of the community. VIVA DON BOSCO!!!
ANNUAL ORATORY DAY 2014 AT BOSCO MOUNT NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
- Bro. Vivek Lakra
On Sundays the Class XII aspirants of Bosco Mount carry out the work of evangelization and catechizing the children in and around Rongkhon parish. The aspirants teach catechism, moral science, hygiene and other important matters for the children of the villages. Besides these, on certain Sundays special programmes, such as Bible skit competition, singing competition, Bible Quiz, Dance competition etc., are organized. The Annual Oratory day at Bosco Mount, Tura was held on 12th October 2014 with the theme “Live and Grow in
God's Love” to give these children an occasion to come together and spend time together in fun and excitement. The day started with the welcoming of the chief guest Fr. Hubert Marak, the Parish Priest of Holy Cross Parish, Rongkhon with the traditional Wangala dance. This was followed by the flag hoisting, singing of the theme song and the opening of the oratory day by the chief guest. The opening session was followed by the thanksgiving Eucharist. During the homily the main
Shepherds of the Young! cyber highways, chat-rooms and cafés of the World Wide Web. Imbued with Don Bosco's spiritual and apostolic programme of "Da mihi animas" and his positive regard for the young; the Salesians would need to equip themselves with competencies and skills that will empower them to enter the world of the young and accompany them in newer ways but with the self same passionate love and zeal that Don Bosco had in his heart. With that kind of "ﬁre in their belly" the Salesians will be resourceful enough to dream up innovative ways and attractive programmes to shepherd the young of the 21st century with Don Bosco towards the next centenary! Fr. Bivan R. Mukhim
The situations in which the young ﬁnd themselves today are very different and far removed from the challenges that the young faced in Don Bosco's time but are nevertheless more pernicious, widespread and disastrous in our days. Life for many young people of our times involves painful tug-of-wars between conﬂicting values, hazardous life choices, bewildering dilemmas, befuddled messages, insoluble questions, uncontrollable emotions and blind drives arising out of over exposure to unbridled consumerism, unabashed relativism, ambivalent sexual mores, dissolution of the family bonds and crass egoistic individualism. Differing situations and problems might call for radically new and innovative approaches to attract the young and lead them to greener pastures. It might mean that our "oratories" are no longer restricted to crowded streets and slums of our cities but are also found on the
"When... stubbornness takes hold of one's mind, how can sanctity ever flourish? Where humble obedience reigns, grace will triumph."
celebrant stressed on the theme of the day. He narrated the story of Valdocco where hundreds of oratory boys lived together as one family. “Don Bosco by his loving kindness was able to draw those youngsters towards God. In the same way we too must experience his love and grow in holiness,” Fr. Marak said.
frankness of the oratory children. They could courageously talk and perform different items on the stage. They also read out the reports of the oratory and highlighted all the major events which the brothers had conducted during the course of the year.
After the chance games which the children enjoyed to the full a sumptuous meal was served for all. This was followed by the cultural programme where children of different oratories performed and presented their items. It was very encouraging to see the smartness and
- Don Bosco
The chief guest, stressing on the theme “Live and grow in God's Love”, encouraged the children that they must all grow in God's love. The purpose of the oratory is to evangelize and bring people towards God. At the end of the day Fr. Rector congratulated the boys for their hard work and dedicated service for the children in oratories.
As we enter into the year-long bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco's Birth, we need to remind ourselves that all these celebrations, however magniﬁcent they be in splendour and execution, they would just be a lot of "sound and fury" signifying next to nothing, unless they help to rekindle in each of us, the passionate love and zeal that Don Bosco had for the salvation of the young. Pointless celebrations that only provide sound bites to the media would dishonour the memory of him who lived for and loved passionately the young till his very dying breath. Don Bosco's passion and his multipronged projects for the young was God's answer to the evils of the industrial revolution and its attendant miseries and ruin heaped on the unsuspecting and ill-equipped young especially in the Industrial conglomerations that sprang up in and around Turin and its neighbourhood.
Jubilee Bells Ring! - NEWSLINE Correspondent Salesians from across the province came together at the Hubert D` Rosario Missionary Aspirantate at Sirajuli on Tuesday, 11th November to honour the confreres who were celebrating the anniversaries of their religious profession or priestly ordination.
- Fr. Justin Narzary
A Musical play “The Dreamer” was staged on 30th and 31st Oct 2014 by the aspirants of St. Joseph’s Barpeta Road. The play recreates the life episodes of the great educator, founder, father and a friend of youth St. John Bosco. The play was staged to commemorate the Bicentenary celebration of the Birth of Don Bosco and to felicitate Fr. Markus Lakra SDB, Rector of Barpeta Road on the Silver Jubilee of his Priestly Ordination. The atmosphere was “veramente in fiesta” with Holy Eucharist celebration participated by Salesian priests, religious and lay people. Fr Markus Lakra while addressing the audience with his lively wit and humor expressed his renewed desire to serve God by working for the young people especially the poor. The Musical play got lot of admiration from the audience as it was the first of its kind in the history of Barpeta Road and in the area.
NEWSLINE, GUWAHATI PROVINCE
Jan 24, 2015
: ALUMNI MEET (Salesian Family)
Jan 30, 2015
: Don Bosco Cultural Yatra
Jan 31, 2015
: FEAST OF ST. JOHN BOSCO
Feb 6, 2015
: Inter College and Inter School Quiz Competition on Don Bosco
Feb 20, 2015
: Don Bosco Talent Hunt
March 20-21, 2015 : Regional Level Musical Drama on Don Bosco
The Jubilee celebration was combined with the Provincial Community Day and the blessing of the new chapel for the missionary aspirants. Incidentally it was the anniversary of the first Salesian missionary expedition that set out for the Americas from Italy in 1875. Fr. Pazhekadavan Joseph celebrates 60 years of religious profession and 50 years of priestly ordination. Fr. Cheeramben Francis and Fr. Kuttikadan Paul celebrate 50 years of religious profession. Fr. Bhengra Michael, Fr. Lakra Marcus, Fr. Marak Hubert and Fr. Sangma Charles celebrate 25 years of their priesthood. Fr. Kattakayam Alex, Fr. Perunneparambil Jose, Fr. Thekkel Anthony and Fr. Xalxo Vincent celebrate 25 years of religious profession. The Jubilarians were led to the altar by the confreres, accompanied by Bp. Michael Akasius of Tezpur and Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial. The Solemn blessing of the new church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Eucharist which followed was presided over by Bishop Akasius. During the sermon, he reminded everyone of the sacredness of the house of God and the importance of the new church. “Let this church we bless today be the cradle of missionary works all over the world and let the Sacred Heart of Jesus guide our works,” the bishop said while declaring it as the “Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”. During the felicitation programme, Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial, commended the jubilarians` faithfulness in serving others and proclaiming the message of Christ by
Congratulations Dear Jubilarians the quality of their lives. Quoting St Paul, he encouraged the jubilarians “to never get tired of doing good”. He congratulated all the confreres for their dedicated service in the province. He exhorted the confreres to encourage one another to build up love and carry one another`s burden. “Create happy, united, praying communities, vibrant in the Salesian mission,” he said while acknowledging the confreres for the unity and commitment shown in the province. He also thanked Bishop Akasius for accepting to be present on this special occasion and for his constant encouragement and support. Fr. K.O. Augustine, on behalf of the province, congratulated the jubilarians recounting their fruitful years as Salesians. The Jubilarians in return thanked the Salesian Society and the confreres for the encouragement and support they have been receiving. Fr. Pazhedadavan Joseph, Fr. K.P. Paul, Fr. Marcus Lakra and Fr. Alex Kattakayam spoke on behalf of the jubilarians. Fr. Francis Feranandez expressed his gratitude to Fr. Provincial and his team for taking the
province ahead with his visionary leadership and able guidance. “The celebration of a jubilee is something like a turning back to the beginning. It is like an encounter with the Lord at the time, when he called for the first time. One can say: 'The Lord found me and called me by my name!' ” It was this that Fr. Charles Sangma, the silver jubilarian said during an interview with the Newsline team on 7 Nov 2014 about his jubilee. Fr. Xalxo Vincent who celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary of his religious profession said about this jubilee that it contains a mystery of the love of God for everyone and also for himself. “It was God who took the initiative. It was he who found me and finally called me. It was God who chose me to become a priest. Not because I was better or wiser than others, but only because he wanted it. The Lord called me because he had his plans for me. I thank you, Lord, for having given me your confidence,” he said. When Fr. Kuttikadan Paul was asked, how he felt at his fiftieth anniversary as a Salesian, he answered: “I feel carried and supported by confreres, who pray for me. Therefore it is a joy to thank God for my 50 years as a professed Salesian and 34 years as a priest together with the confreres. My vocation has been lived out for 58 years, ever since I entered the aspirantate. An answer is being given: 'Yes Lord, here I am, I come!' ” It was indeed a homely, informal, meaningful and unique celebration of the Jubilee of confreres and the Provincial Community Day. Fr. Damian Basumatary proposed the vote-of-thanks.
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Chief Editor : Fr. Bivan R. Mukhim n Associate Editor : Fr. Zacharias Varickasseril n DTP : DBI, Guwahati Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Guwahati Province Newsletter