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Provincial Councillors

Signore, noi ti ringraziamo per il dono di Don Busolin

Fr. VM Thomas SDB Provincial, Guwhati

My dear Confreres, I am happy to wish each one of you a fruitful season of Advent and Christmas. I hope and pray that you are all in good health of mind and body, though busy with the routine and creative activities associated with our mission. May God bless you abundantly for your tireless work in furthering the Kingdom of God throughout our province. In the Advent season ahead of us, it is necessary for each of us to do serious introspection about the mission that is entrusted to each one of us personally. We need to be convinced that the divine mission entrusted by the Father to His Son, the Word Incarnate, involved human cooperation at all levels and stages… Mary, the young illiterate girl of Nazareth played a crucial role through her total surrender “let it be done to me according to your word”; the various prophets fulfilled their role to foretell this great message; the apostles were empowered to proclaim to the nations the good news of salvation; and down through the centuries this message has been proclaimed by the martyrs, saints and missionaries, their proclamation taking on diverse forms as dictated by the demands of their own times and societies. The Salesian society is nothing other than the form which the proclamation of the redemptive message took through the person of Don Bosco, who was called to be the sign and bearer of God's love to the needy young of society; articles 1 and 2 of our Constitutions articulate this reality about our congregation. Just as Don Bosco was entrusted by the Lord with the special mission to the needy young of his day, we too as his sons in the Salesian society are called to carry on this special charism of his to the young of today. In choosing us to follow in the footsteps of Don Bosco, the Lord has entrusted a special mission to each of us, to be the medium and the message of the Word Incarnate, the Gospel that people see personally, the Good News that they read seeing our lives, to be Christ to the people especially the needy young of today. Our responsibility to be faithful to this mission and to carry it out effectively is very grave. We cannot ignore the mission entrusted to us, take it lightly, or God forbid, be unfaithful to it. Each of us will be called to render an account of the way we carried out our mission. I extend my cordial greetings to each of you for a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year 2016; may your Christmas celebrations be holy and joyous at the same time. I pray that each of you enter into the New Year 2016 with renewed enthusiasm and vigour to carry out the mission entrusted to each of us. May God's blessings in abundance be showered on all of you in the New Year ahead of us.

Guwahati Province felicitates Jubilarians - NEWSLINE Correspondent

he Province of Guwahati celebrated Provincial Community Day and felicitated the Jubilarians at Don Bosco College, Tura - Meghalaya on October 31, 2015. More than 70 confreres, including the Provincial Councillors and most of the animators of communities, were present on the occasion. The celebration began with a formal get together and the blessing of the dream statues at the college campus. During the interaction, a short animation on the chapter document GC 27 and DB Bicentenary was presented by Fr. George Plathottam. In his animation he asked the members to be mystics and saints. “We are called to be like Don Bosco, and fix our focus on Jesus Christ. We should be contemplative in action,” he said. He also said that the provincial community day is a day of fidelity, thanksgiving and praise. “We celebrate today God's faithfulness and fidelity to each of us,” Fr. George continued. He exhorted the Salesians who were present to draw inspiration from Don Bosco and bear witness to the young people in the region through their service. Fr. Busolin Battista, the 94 year old Jubilarian, spoke to the Salesians and asked everyone to remain committed to the Salesian way of life and work. Rich tributes were paid to the dream statue of Don Bosco that was set up by the side of the college campus. Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial, blessed the

statues and congratulated the community members for turning the wasteland to a beautiful place by setting up the dream statues. The Platinum Jubilarian Fr. Busolin and the Silver Jubilarian Fr. Joseph Teron jointly cut the ribbon on the occasion. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Busolin Battista and concelebrated by the provincial councilors and other Salesians. Fr. Busolin recalled the great work God has done in his life. He expressed gratitude to God for the guidance and help. Fr. Joseph Teron, the Silver Jubilarian, recalled in his sermon that jubilee is a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving to God. “Religious life is the fulfillment of the commitment that God has chosen us. It is the fidelity of God that keeps us going,” he said. He recalled the contributions of the elderly Salesians who has left behind footprints on the sands of time and their examples that kept him going inspite of all odds. “We need to walk side by side with Christ and with each member of the community to fulfill the mission entrusted to us,” he exhorted. The informal gathering around the Jubilarians and Fr Provincial and the council, led by the community members of Don Bosco College, Tura was accompanied by a prayer song and a congratulation song. Words of appreciation and thanks were expressed towards Fr. Provincial and the Provincial

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Council through a beautiful PowerPoint presentation highlighting the success of each. It was indeed a homely, informal, meaningful and unique celebration of the Provincial Community Day. Fr. VM Thomas concluded the felicitation programme with words of appreciation and brotherly reminders to all. He exhorted everyone “to hold on together to make our dream come true.” He asked the Salesians to “take forward the right legacy that is given by veteran confreres who have toil hard in these

missions land and bring about change in the lives of the young people.” Fr. Provincial appreciated the hard work of the confreres and said that “our province is a structure of communion” where each member is appreciated and loved. He encouraged everyone to have a greater sense of solidarity and accept, recognize, love and promote each other. “Religious life is our journey to God together. Pray and accept each other,” he said.

Provincial Community Day 2015 – A Reflection choice. We make so many choices every day, every - Fr. George Plathottam


he Provincial Community Day is a time to reflect together on our common identity as Salesians - Sons of Don Bosco (I) The GC 27 has given us a theme: Witnesses to the radical approach of the Gospel- Work and Temperance. We will be studying and reflecting on the GC 27 document as we are preparing for the Provincial Chapter with a keen desire to follow its guidelines to shape our lives as individuals and communities, and as a Province. (ii) The second event is the just concluded bicentenary of Don Bosco, an event which has stirred in us a lot of enthusiasm for our Salesian vocation, and mission to reach out to the young who are most in need.


We are convinced that the Lord has called us. That does not diminish the fact that we have made a


moment. Some choices are very important, some are not so. The decision to be a Salesian, a priest, the decision to lead a radically committed life- these are very important decisions we make. Some other decisions are made on the spur of the moment- what clothes to wear, which pair of shoes to put own- that is, if we have more than one. What is worth reflecting is the fact that our important decisions have consequences not only for ourselves, but also for those whom we serve. That is what our GC 27 reminds us: the radical witness. Any witness is a public statement, a proclamation. I am indebted to the talk of our former Rector Major, Fr. Pascal Chavez, at the opening of the GC 27 for some of the thoughts I intend to share with you. Reflecting on the theme of the Chapter, Fr. Chavez uses the biblical imagery of building, foundation, etc. The word 'founder' which we use to refer to Don Bosco, also implies building or laying a foundation. “Our community and our life, says Fr. Chavez, cannot be built on any other foundation than Christ.” The radical approach to the Gospel for Don Bosco and for us Salesians imply living out our charismatic identity more deeply. The word 'radical' is connected with 'root', planting and putting down roots. Radical also alludes to what is hidden, planted in the ground, implying stability and vitality. Thus, witnessing has an external dimension in as much as it implies a public or external manifestation, and an interior and hidden dimension- that which is not seen, hidden and buried. We know well that Don Bosco's deep interior life was the source that powered his external activity. For us Salesians today the call is to strive to be

mystics and saints, even as we are immersed in action - Contemplatives in Action. The best models for this in our own times are Blessed Mother Teresa, St. John Paul II., and now Pope Francis. The bi-centenary of Don Bosco has also helped us to become more conscious of our corporate identity as a religious congregation committed to the education and evangelization of youth. We are very much in focus as a Congregation with presences in 132 countries, an important force in the Church and in society. We have a Salesian representing the Congregation in the UN in New York. I was told that there was much discussion on the kind of identity that we were to assume, and it was decided that we would be there as a religious group more than simply as an NGO working with the youth. That identity, I was told, has in no way diminished the quality or efficacy of our presence in the United Nations.

As persons called to embody and inculturate the charism of Don Bosco, Fr. Chavez as Rector Major has frequently urged the Salesians to be holy, to be saints reminding us that it is the best gift we can ever offer to the young. Don Bosco's own life and mission in the Oratory, and the brief history of Salesian congregation in various parts of the world show how this call to holiness has been taken seriously. It is enough to have a glimpse of the galaxy of Salesian saints and those on the way to canonization to bear this out. This certainly is the challenge before us too as we celebrate the Provincial Community Day and the jubilee of four of our confreres. We thank God for them, their life of fidelity, their example and generous yes to the Lord who called them.

Un Omaggio al Don Busolin, un missionario instancabile tra i Garo di Nordest India - NEWSLINE Correspondent One of Garo Hill's best-loved priests will celebrate his 95th birthday on 16th January 2016. Known for his bright smile and infectious missionary spirit, Fr. Busolin Battista, SDB is a symbol of what one priest's unflagging commitment to evangelization can achieve. ev. Fr. Battista Busolin, SDB was born on 16th January, 1922, in Padua, Italy. When he first set foot in Assam in 1950 he was asked by his superiors to go to the Garo Hills of Meghalaya for six months and after that to Shillong to learn English with the Irish Christian Brothers. Fr. Busolin remained on with “his beloved people” and would often say jokingly “even now the six months are not over.” He has devoted more than six decades of his life to endless and untiring service of the Garo people of the region. Fr. Busolin exudes happiness

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and enjoys good health even at the age of 94 and the many people who come to meet him daily are inspired by his positive mindset and relentless service, and generosity. He has a well organized propaganda for the Missions, organizing well his family members, friends and benefactors to assist him in his mission works. He corresponds with them without fail and keeps them updated about his works and missions. He shows gratitude expressing his THANK YOU to them for the help that they render. Without fail, he sends greetings and assurance of prayers to them during Christmas, New Year and Easter. He not only prays for them but also encourages those who received this help to pray for the benefactors.


The Masses that he organizes for the departed souls and benefactors are truly admirable. He cultivates a strong devotion to Mary Help of Christians –encourages, especially Salesians schools to have a holiday on 24th May as a mark of our acknowledgement that she is the foundress of our the Salesian congregation. He has toured many parts of Garo Hills on foot to evangelize and catechize. He would visit a village even if it had only one Catholic family to pay attention to their spiritual needs and keep them alive in faith, convinced that from a small beginning a big enterprise would sprout and grow.


He continues to live among the Garos, bringing life, light and happiness to thousands of Garos and giving everyone a shining example of selfless service and sacrifice. He has constructed many Churches and village chapels particularly in Rongjeng. In many places, he renovated the parish Churches to make them accommodate more faithful during the Church services. He insisted that not only the living temple of the Lord, that is, human life and heart be a fitting dwelling for the Lord but also that the Churches and the chapels be kept worthy of adoration and reverence. Fr. Busolin has also set up numerous schools and dispensaries in Rongjeng, Garobadha, Bagmara and in other several villages bringing hope into the lives of millions of people, having educated over 20,000

students, many of whom are now holding responsible positions in society. He constructed many sub-centres with schools and hostels through which he intended to sponsor and promote good health, quality education and religious formation among the young. He financially supported the construction of Don Bosco College, Don Bosco College of Teacher Education, Don Bosco Hostel for Boys, Don Bosco College Staff Quarters etc., at Tura which has significantly contributed to the progress and development of thousands of youth and society. He had a special concern and affection for the people afflicted by leprosy. Along with another valiant missionary, Sr. Guadalupe MCJ, nicknamed as “an angel in white”, he was responsible for the total eradication of this disease from the colony. Besides, he had a share in the construction of a decent dwelling place for them, bought medicines, sponsored hundreds of children from the colony to study and particularly took great care of their spiritual needs. His sense of humour is proverbial. Balancing his talks between seriousness and humour, he was able to keep the audience happy to listen to him through his spontaneous jokes, mimicry and proverbial cock-crow and chirping of birds. His life of prayer is truly edifying. He faithfully prays the breviary in its totality, the Rosary with devotion and spends a lot of time infront of the Blessed Sacrament. He celebrates the Holy Eucharist with much preparation and with great devotion. He prepares his sermons well in advance. The Government of Meghalaya conferred on him a SPECIAL AWARD FOR LIFETIME SERVICE on 26th January, 2015 during the Republic Day celebration in Tura through Dr. Mukul M. Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya. “Don Bosco College, Tura, Don Bosco B.Ed College, Don Bosco College Higher Secondary Section, the College Hostels are all monuments to his vision and commitment to the development of Garo Hills,” says the citation highlighting some of the veteran missionary's achievements. Some of the Books that Fr. Battista Busolin himself wrote or got translated by Mr. E O Mathew and others are: 1. Garos – My Beloved People 2. Katolik Beberaaniko Talatani (The Catholic Answer Section) 3. Catechism Book I, II and III. Baptised till date about 20500 people (adults and infants)

Tura Bishop releases Biography of Fr. Busolin - Fr. Pius Varghese

Fr. Busolin in his speech recalled the first day he landed in the Garo Hills and how he had to go to bed hungry as he did not know to communicate the language of the people. He thanked the author for the initiative to keep alive his mission and work through the book.


he biography of Italian missionary Fr. Battista Busolin SDB “A Platinum Tribute to Rev Fr. Battista Busolin SDB” written by Fr. Pius Varghese was released on 6th December 2015 by the Bishop of Tura, Rev. Andrew Marak during the Annual Eucharistic Procession of Tura Diocese. The Bishop recalled his encounter with the Italian missionary and said that he was inspired by his life. “My vocation to priesthood started from my encounter with Fr. Busolin,” the Bishop said. He also said that the hardwork and commitment of Fr. Busolin to his mission is to be followed.

National Conference on Education


he Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University Dr. Mridul Hazarika, inaugurated the 7th National Conference on Education organized by Don Bosco Institute on October 15 on the theme “Impact of Social Media on Education.”

Dr. Hazarika added that in the age of media people have become individualistic and no more concerned about people in the society. One has to get out of the

individualistic attitude and embrace everyone. “We should create comfort zones not for self but for others,” he said. The Salesian Provincial of Guwahati, Rev Fr. VM Thomas, in his talk said that the world is changing very fast and that young people are changing along with it. Today's media-world posed challenges to educationists to keep track with the changing scenario of the world of media. He asked the participants to take an active part to learn new things and to use them in empowering the students in the classrooms. “Teachers who are unwilling to use technology must be changed,” he strongly said at his speech. He

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During the inauguration, the Vice Chancellor said that we need to learn from the young people because they are so connected to social media and know much more than the educationists themselves. The Vice Chancellor stressed on the need of social media today. He said that social media has penetrated the lives of the people and has reached out to the people with such speed. “Today we live in the world of technology and it has reduced distance and space. Everyone is logged into the internet and the media,” he said. The Vice Chancellor added that human values should not be neglected while allowing the media to take the upper hand in the lives of the individual.


congratulated the Don Bosco Institute for talking the initiative to organize the conference and advised everyone to use the media in classroom teaching. Rev Fr. Johnson Parackal, the Director, welcomed and felicitated the chief guest and the participants. He

wished that the participants would build a better educative community through the tech revolution that has happened in schools. The students performed a prayer dance, a theme presentation and a mime befitting the occasion.

Malivita Church blessed by Bp. Thomas of Bongaigaon - Fr. Lukas Marak


ishop Thomas Pullopollil of Bongaigaon blessed the Our Lady of Fatima Church, Malivita on Sunday, 6th December 2015. The Church was inaugurated by Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial in the presence of priests, nuns and Christian faithful.

Malivita and said that they are a 'vibrant Catholic community.” The Parish Priest Fr. Francis Basumatary expressed words of gratitude and thanked the people who helped in the building of the Church.

Guest of Honour, Mr. Chandan Brahma MLA hoisted the flag and unveiled the plaque marking the inauguration of a new place of worship. In his message he said that as a representative of the people he is ready to cooperate with the missionaries for developing the new centre. In his homily Bishop Thomas commented, that as the Church is kept clean so too the human soul and body has to be kept clean. “We know that today is a historic moment as we bless and dedicate this new Church, it is a moment when we will remember that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Let this Church bring blessings to all who enter and pray here,” he said. Fr. VM Thomas praised the Catholic community of

Kumarikatta Women Group make Pilgrimage to Kolkatta - Fr. Bhaskar Raj




he women's group of Kumarikatta Parish made their pilgrimage to the historic Marian Shrine of Bandel from 4 to 8 October 2015. The pilgrimage also marked the celebration of the Bicentenary of the Birth of St. John Bosco. Sixty women from the Legion of Mary travelled by train to the Shrine of our Blessed Lady.

Fr. Bhaskar Raj Chentamalla, Rector and Parish Priest who accompanied the pilgrims, offered the Holy Mass at the altar of the Blessed Virgin. The pilgrims climbed 114 steps to the balcony to light the candles and pray at the feet of the miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The pilgrims also visited the

tomb of the 'Saint of the Gutters' and prayed there. The pilgrims took part in the Holy Mass at the tomb of Blessed Mother Teresa. “It was a spiritual reawakening for the pilgrims as many of them are from the villages and are travelling for the first time to Kolkata,” Fr. Bhaskar said.

The Annual Eucharistic Procession of Kumarikatta Parish


he annual Eucharistic procession of Kumarikatta Parish was held on Sunday 15th November 2015. The Eucharistic procession along the Bhutan International Road saw Catholic faithful of the parish chanting prayers and singing hymns as they venerated the Holy Eucharist placed on a mobile altar.

said that the Eucharistic procession affords an opportunity for the faithful to manifest their faith and love for the Eucharist which is the true body and blood of Jesus Christ. He urged the faithful to live their Christian life through exemplary lives and to shun hatred which is inimical to the Christian faith and teaching.

Earlier, the day started with the solemn Holy Mass presided over by Fr. Thomas Lakra. In his homily, he

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The procession concluded with a solemn benediction service presided over by Fr. Thomas Lakra, Rector of the Missionary Aspirantate, Sirajuli and former Vice Provincial of Guwahati Province. “This year's Eucharistic procession was somewhat special for the Catholic faithful of the parish who, like in other parts of the Catholic world are also observing The Year of the Family, with year-long special prayers and devotions for helping the faithful renew and strengthen their Christian family life,” Fr. Bhaskar, the Parish Priest, said.


National Skill Conference held at DBI - Fr. Bivan Mukhim



he two-day National Skill Conference organized by Functional Vocational Training and Research Society, Bangalore, in collaboration with Don Bosco Institute, Kharghuli, was inaugurated by Shri Rajiv Bora IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, on 28th October.


In his inaugural address he spoke of the lack of trained and skilled youth in the country. “We see in the country a high number of unskilled young people and this leads to the vicious circle of unemployment and other related problems like militancy, etc,” Mr. Bora said. He also said that inspite of opportunities by the central and state government to impart skill programmes, the country and the state is lagging far in providing skill education to youth. He exhorted the partners in skill programmes to identify the much needed skills in the country and impart them to the unskilled youths. “You need to forecast the skills that the country need and promote those skills that will help the young population to stand on their own feet,” he said. Dr. Jayanta Madhav, the former Economic and Financial Advisor to the Chief Minister of Assam, was the Guest of Honour. He spoke of the alarming percentage of school dropouts in the state of Assam and suggested ways to provide skill training to youth of the state. “Ten years ago in Assam there were only

0.4% young people who were skill oriented. Today there is great need to impart skill education to the unemployed youth of Assam,” Dr. Jayanta said. He encouraged all participants to impart skill training to improve the skill development programme in the country. Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial of Don Bosco in Assam, and the board member of FVTRS released the case studies' document at the inaugural function. He welcomed the participants to North East and said that it was a dream come true that a national skill conference is held in the region. He shared the same vision of the government to skill five hundred million people by 2022. “With high dropouts of 40% between Class I and Class X there is a strong need to focus on skill development in the country and in particular in the region,” he said. Fr. VM Thomas voiced his concern that skill development programme in the country has not really taken place. He also said that, “We need to accelerate our skills and speed to achieve the required target in skilling the nation.” Mr. PM Philip, Executive Director FVTRS, Bangalore, welcomed the dignitaries and the participants to the National Skill Conference. Fr. Johnson Parackal, Executive Director DBI, proposed the vote of thanks.

CONGRATULATIONS! Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial was awarded the “Youth and Education Award 2015” by Christ International School, Umiam Meghalaya for the invaluable contribution made towards youth and education. The award was presented by Mr. V. Shanmuganathan, Governor of Meghalaya on 5th December 2015. The Award was recognition for his passion and commitment to teaching, inspiring and nurturing the youth and the students.

Fr. Sebastian Ishorary was awarded the “Alberione Award 2015” for his Bodo translation of the Bible at the f u n c t i o n o rg a n i z e d b y N o r t h E a s t S o c i a l Communications (NESCOM) and Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) held at Monfort School, Guwahati on Sunday, 6th December 2015. Most Rev. Salvadore Lobo, Bishop of Baruipur (W.B.) Chairman, CBCI-OSC presented the award to Fr. Sebastian.

Dotma Parish gets a new Church - Br. Nirmal Ekka


The Holy Mass was attended by several priests, religious and lay people. Bishop Thomas Pullopillil spoke on the importance of a Church building and

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oriadanga Catholic Church was blessed and inaugurated by Rev. Bishop Thomas Pullopillil, Bishop of Bongaigaon, on 8th November, 2015. The Church, dedicated to Mother Teresa, was built under the supervision of Fr. Edward D' Souza SDB with sponsorship from friends from the United States.


the need to maintain the house of prayer. “The Church is a place of worship and it is the responsibility of every member to maintain the Church and the surroundings clean,” he said. He also said that different religions have places of worship and the Church is different from all other places of worship. “The Church is a place where we encounter God in two special ways; through the Word of God and the Sacraments,” the Bishop said.

Fr. Edward D' Souza expressed sentiments of gratitude to the benefactors who contributed to the building of the Church and asked the faithful of Loriadanga to frequent the place of worship. Many faithful from different villages under Dotma Parish attended the Church blessing. Local MLA, Pramila Rani Brahma, was also present at the blessing and the inauguration of the new Chapel.

‘Be My Witnesses’ : Faith Fest - Fr. Paul Rabha




s part of the faith formation of youth, “Faith Fest 2015” was organized at DBI from 21 to 24 October, 2015 for Catholic students of Classes 7 to 10. The theme for the 3rd Faith Fest was “Be My Witnesses: to be the Salt and Light of the Earth.” The theme was intended to create an awareness among the Catholic youth to be more active as good Christians and citizens in parishes, schools, colleges, and families, etc. 415 participants hailing from 22 centres of the Salesian Province of Guwahati actively took part in the different sessions and Gospel based competitions. Group Songs, Dances, Skits and Bible Quiz were some of the events that were organized. Moments of Meditations, Gospel reflections, Sacrament of reconciliation and “Taize Prayer” experience have increased their faith. The three day

youth fest was coordinated by Fr. Paul Rabha and the community of Don Bosco Institute, Guwahati.

Dr. Stephen Mavely addresses Vatican Education Congress - Fr. C M Paul


r. Stephen Mavely, the Vice Chancellor of the Assam Don Bosco University, presented a paper “Educating Today and Tomorrow: Renewing a Passion” at the Vatican organized World Congress on Education Today (Universities' session) on November 19. The paper was presented at the evening session held for Catholic Universities at Centro Mariapoli, Castel Gandolfo outside Rome. The congress started in Rome on November 18 and concluded on November 21, 2015. Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Thomas Chathamparampil CMI of Christ University Bangalore presented a paper on the same topic for the parallel session held for Catholic Schools during the Congress. According to the Secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, Archbishop A. Vincenzo Zani, the goal of the Congress is “to reenergize the Church`s commitment to education.” With this Congress, the Congregation for Catholic Education is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Declaration Gravissimum Educationis (Declaration on Christian Education 1965) and the 25th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae (Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Higher Education). As part of these celebrations, the Congregation aims to re-energize the Church's commitment to education

means of this World Congress. “These documents really set the Church's expectations of Catholic education,” says Dr. Stephen Mavely who is also a Board Member of the International Salesian Universities. Explaining the timeliness of the congress Dr. Mavely states, “I think that Catholic educational institutions may often lose sight of the ultimate mission of the educative community students, teachers and family members -journeying together.” There are over 2,14,000 Catholic Schools with some 59 to 60 million students, 1,365 Catholic Colleges and Universities and another 500 plus Pontifical Institutes of Higher Learning across the globe

Child Friendly Teachers' Grassroots Experience - Bro. Paul Makri bout 80 staff members of Child Friendly Guwahati visited Kokrajhar on 5th and 6th October 2015 on a two day exposure trip to a very remote Salesian mission. They visited Don Bosco Damra, Auxilium Convent and Don Bosco School, Kokrajhar and Don Bosco School, Amguri.

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Fr. V. M Thomas who inspired the teachers spoke to all on hard work and sincerity in working for the children. Citing examples of the dedication of the Salesian Sisters during the visit to Auxilium School, Kokrajhar Fr. Thomas mentioned that it is from them that they can learn about dedication towards the children who come from very poor families and give the best to make them someone in the society. He remarked on the talents of the children. “The children are full of talents and it is up to all of you to turn their talents into assets,” he said. He thanked the German friends who were present at the programme for the help extended to the most unfortunate students of the society. The following day the teachers were welcomed by the students of Don Bosco School, Kokrajhar, and interacted with them. The teachers were for a bigger

surprise at the grand reception given by the staff and students of Don Bosco School, Amguri, who welcomed them with dances, songs and speeches. Fr. V.M Thomas, addressing the CFG teachers and the students, mentioned about the schools' approach towards being child friendly. He thanked the school's efforts at molding the lives of the students and expressed gratitude to the selfless sacrifice and dedication of the staff and the management. Dr. Martin Casper, President ChildAid Network, Mr. Richard Rice, Founder and President of Rise Beams Foundation, Fr. Johnson Parackal, Director of Don Bosco Institute, Fr. Thadeus Kujur, Rector Snehalaya and Director of Child Friendly Guwahati, were present at the welcome and felicitation programme.

Environmentally Entertaining - Fr. Pradeep Ekka he auditorium at the Don Bosco School, Panbazar, Guwahati, was host to a beautiful montage of cultural performances as part of the school's doppelganger Annual Day celebrations on the slightly chilly evenings of November 27-28, 2015. This year, the school chose 'environment and nature' as the central theme upon which all the cultural performances were based – be it the songs, dances, skit, mime, etc.




The dignitaries who graced the occasion were chief guest Mukesh Agrawal, IPS, Guwahati city police commissioner, guest of honour Fr. VM Thomas, Salesian Provincial, Guwahati Province of Salesians, Dr. Dhruba Jyoti Saikia, Vice Chancellor, Cotton College State University, Phanindra Jidung, Director, Higher Education, Government of Assam, Fr. Sebastian Mathew, school Principal and others Mukesh Agarwal in his speech lauded the efforts of the school management, teachers and students in putting up this enthralling show and said that “there was no limit to achieving success and that the sky was

the limit.” Guest of honour Fr. VM Thomas in his speech spoke on the importance of afforestation and that the entire show was like a curtain raiser to the United Nations' Climate Change Conference, Paris, November 30 - December 11. These students had ceaselessly rehearsed their items under the watchful guidance of a group of teachers for the last fortnight or so, and that was palpably evident from the thunderous applause that each scene received from the packed audience, who for two hours, (on the two consecutive evenings) were literally glued to their seats.

DBI Newsletter “INTERFACE” awarded - Fr. Ignatius Gari recognizing the hard work of the institute to share news and views through the newsletter. The Chief Guest spoke of reporting the truth in the journals and newsletter. “While reporting, always present the true picture and this is the policy that all should follow,” Dr. Amarjyoti said.


nterface”, the newsletter published by Don Bosco Institute, Kharghuli, was awarded the runner up in the category “Newsletter” by the SBI North East PR Conclave organized by Public Relations Society of India, Guwahati Chapter, on November 7, 2015 at NEDFI House, Dispur, Guwahati. Dr. Amarjyoti Choudhury, Pro Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University, was the Chief Guest and presented the mementos and the certificates to the recipients. Fr. Bivan R. Mukhim, Assistant Director Don Bosco Institute, collected the award. He thanked the Public Relations Society of India (PRSI) for

Fr. Johnson Parackal, the Executive Director of DBI, said that it was a great honour that “Interface” has been awarded by the PRSI. “DBI has a tradition of maintaining the bench-mark in excellence. This award is a recognition of that,” he said. 2015 December

Mr. Nurul Laskar, founder of Cabsford, the first PR agency of North East India, said that the awards were presented after a panel of experts from the media world judged all the in-house newsletters and journals from all the states of the North East. “The newsletters and journals were chosen from the seven states of the North East and then judged by experts and the award was presented,” he said.


Requiem Aeternam Dona eis Domine et Requiescant in Pace

Remembering the dead - Fr. Zachary Varickasseril


uman life is a strange blend of the eternal and the temporal. It has two journeys- from dust to dust and from eternity to eternity. The month of November is dedicated to the departed souls. Each of our departed confreres presents a particular facet of Salesian life and sanctity. They lived for God and for His people. Their faith, vision, hard work and sacrifices are to be remembered and cherished. Their example calls for imitation. Commemorating the dead, a special Mass was offered at the Uzanbazar cemetery on 5th November to pray for the departed confreres. The Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial, and the confreres of Guwahati region. It is truly a holy and wholesome thought to pray for our departed confreres, so that they may be freed from their sins, and enter hereafter into the company of the blessed who enjoy the beatific vision of the Almighty God for ever.


“Colours of Life”


Let us keep alive the memory of all our departed Salesians by remembering and praying for them, especially for those who died this year – Fr. Kuthur Vellattukara Chacko, Fr. Anthony Thekkel and Fr. Rajendra Ekka.

- Sr. Jestin Jose, SAS

School Principal Sr. Jestin Jose, SAS, presented the annual report and highlighted the achievements of the students.


The cultural programme with “Colours of Life” as the theme saw some riveting performances by the students.

he First Annual Day celebrations of Don Bosco School, Bhooteachang, brought out the essence of cultural diversity and the rich heritage of the region. The programme was held on 14th November 2015. Mr. Santius Kujur, Honourable Member of the Parliament who was the Chief Guest, spoke of the need to inculcate the strong sense of learning among the students. Fr. VM Thomas, the Guest of honour, expressed happiness at the way the programme was organized and shared his vision for the institution.

Parish Day and Eucharistic Procession of Damra Parish - Bro. Benedict Sangma


he Parish Day of Catholic Church, Damra, was celebrated on 27th September with a lot of festivities. The celebration began with the Holy Mass at 10:00am by Fr. Johnson Parackal, Executive Director Don Bosco Institute, Kharghuli, and concelebrated by Fr. Milon Narzary, the Parish Priest, and a host of priests. Fr. Johnson Parackal, in the homily, highlighted the importance of belonging to the parish as one family and said that the celebration of the parish day should help one to come nearer to the parish community. The following Sunday 4th October the faithful of the Parish took part in the Annual Eucharistic procession singing hymns and praying along as they walked together in witness to their faith. Arch Bishop John Moolachira of Guwahati was the main celebrant.

Don Bosco Statue Blessed - Fr. Mackley Gomes n commemoration of the 200 birth centenary of the educator friend of the young, St. John Bosco, a statue was installed in the premises of the Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Rongkhon, on 26th November 2015.

The Statue of Don Bosco was installed in the august presence of parents & students with a speech by the Principal Fr. Pius Tharakunnel. Fr. Pius spoke on the significance of the event and narrated the great contributions of Don Bosco. The statue was unveiled and blessed by Fr. Januarius Sangma, the Vice Provincial. Rich floral tributes were paid by the parents, teachers and students.

2015 December



Pilgrims flock to the Shrine of Don Bosco

Mount, Rongkon, led by Rev Fr. CA John the Rector, combined pilgrimage with a picnic in October and had a football match with the Don Bosco Gojapara team.

- Fr. K.O. Augustine

The month of October saw a steady stream of village Catholics who had 3 hours of adoration and Holy Mass every day. Lots of favors have been received by the Catholic community of the Parish due to this adoration at the Shrine.




he Parish Church of Gojapara, declared and blessed as a Don Bosco Shrine by Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati, and inaugurated by Rev. Fr V.M. Thomas, Salesian Provincial, on 31st May has had a steady stream of pilgrims ever since.The shrine stands out as a fitting, loving and magnificent tribute to Don Bosco in the Birth Bicentennial of our Father and Founder. The pilgrimage season was started off by the Garobada Women Cooperators and Women Sodality led by the FMAs in July. The aspirants from Bosco

In the month of October pilgrims from the Parish of Mendal, led by Fr. Amit Lakra SDB, and a big group of pilgrims from Garobadha, led by Rev. Fr. Dennis Sangma SDB, prayed at the Shrine. Pilgrims from Rajabala Parish of Tura diocese also turned up in big numbers on 24th October to offer Holy Mass and pray there.

Becchi to Guwahati: A Tribute to Don Bosco - Fr. Pradeep Ekka


“As this year (2015) marks the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, we join the entire Salesian Society to celebrate this occasion and to pay rich tributes to St. John Bosco, whose legacy continues to live on, building dreams and shaping the lives of millions of our youth. This coffee table book is a humble acknowledgement and recognition of the mighty transformation that this great saint has brought to the state of Assam and to the entire Northeast region through his system of education,� Fr. Johnson said.

Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial, who was present at the book release, thanked Fr. Johnson for the initiative taken to bring out the coffee table book and said that the volume Becchi to Guwahati is in remembrance of the visionary saint- the brightest educator who instinctively adapted his educational method to suit the psychology of the growing adolescents. Other dignitaries present at the programme were Mr. Phanindra Jidung, Director, Higher Education, Government of Assam, Fr. Sebastian Mathew, the school Principal, a host of other Salesians and nuns, parents, guardians and school students.

2015 December

coffee table book titled Becchi to Guwahati: A Bicentenary Tribute to Don Bosco, Guwahati Province, edited by Fr. Johnson Parackal, was released by Dr. Dhruba Jyoti Saikia, Vice Chancellor, Cotton College State University, during the Annual Day celebration of Don Bosco School, Panbazar, 27th November 2015. The coffee table book was released to commemorate the recently held Bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco.


Science and Craft Exhibition - Fr. Shaju Kariyil


he Science and Crafts exhibition of Don Bosco School, Boko, was held on 16th and 17th October 2015. The exhibition was organised with a view to encourage and inculcate a scientific temper and creativity amongst students. Mr. Kamal Jyoti Gogoi, Secretary to SEBA, was the Chief Guest at the inaugural function, while Mr.

Banu Boro, Inspector of Schools, Kamrup Rural, was the Guest of Honour. In his address, Mr. Kamal Gogoi spoke about the importance of Science. He spoke of how children of today could become responsible citizens of tomorrow by improving their knowledge of science. He interacted with the students and answered some very important and interesting questions that were put to him by them. On the second day, District Commissioner of Kamrup Rural, Mr. Vinod Seshan, was the Chief Guest. Other guests and dignitaries present were Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial, Fr. Vincent Xalxo, Rector and a host of other guests. The science and craft exhibition was a joint venture of Kindergarten to Class X students, teachers and the parents.

Bicentenary Cycle Rally




00 students on cycles carrying Don Bosco flags rode through the town of Boko on 16th October 2015 as conclusion of the Bicentenary birth of Don Bosco. The cycle rally was flagged off by Fr. Vincent Xalxo, Rector, Don Bosco Boko. He said “through this rally let everyone understand the message of Don Bosco who loved and dedicated his life for the young.�

Yamaha Training School Graduation Ceremony at Don Bosco Technical School, Maligaon – Fr. Benny Alex


amaha Motor India Sales Pvt Ltd in collaboration with Don Bosco Technical School, Maligoan marked the graduation of the first batch of twenty three students who had undergone training under Yamaha Academy on 8th October 2015. Mr. Pulak Goswami, Managing Director of Green Valley Travels Pvt Ltd. and a dealer of Yamaha was the Chief Guest. 'At present, there is huge skills gap in the two wheeler industry. On the other hand, a large number of unskilled youth are being pushed towards unemployment creating hindrance to the nation's development. This partnership is meant to address this very concern by providing a platform to the economically weaker and unemployed youth to obtain a job oriented technical training in two-wheeler repair and servicing that meets industry standards,� Mr. Goswami said. The Director of the Technical Institute Fr. Benny Alex urged the youth of the region to make the best use of this golden opportunity provided by the joint venture initiative of Don Bosco and YTA to become professional technicians.

Newly designed Province Website


fter more than 2 months of development, the Salesian Province of Guwahati has unveiled a newly designed website for its readers. The new website presents you with a more compact view of the programmes of the province. The new design will also give you more visual clues about the happenings in the province. Do log in to

2015 December

Guwahati NewsLine on Facebook


Thank you, Lord, for our Deacons “As I kiss the Altar of Sacrifice at each Mass that I assist, I thank you, Lord, for the call to serve your Church as a deacon. You moved my heart and I saw you and you held out to me a new way of receiving your love and healing, a mysterious way of being saved by way of self-forgetfulness and self- emptying. Stay with me, Lord, and see me through to the end of this journey. Never let me be parted from You. Thank you, from the depths of my heart; thank you for sharing your servant-heart with me. Amen” Dn. MinjKerobin Priestly ordination on 5th January 2016, at Holy Family Catholic Church, Rajawal - Orissa Motto: "Fear not, for I am with you" (Is. 41:10) Dn. Pumah Joachim Priestly ordination on 10th January 2016, at St. Paul Parish, Amkachi - Assam Motto: "To live a life of love and service" (2Jn. 6) Dn. Paul Lian Mung Joseph Priestly ordination on 20th January 2016, at Holy Cross Church, Champhai - Mizoram. Motto: "...By the mercy of God" (2Cor. 4:1)

Dn. Threneius N. Sangma Priestly ordination on 30th January 2016 at St. Peter's Parish, Purakasia - Meghalaya Motto: "My Grace is sufficient for you" (2Cor.12:9)


Vocation Camps for Class VI & VII





10-13 Dec 2015

Bosco Mount Rongkhon, Tura

Vocation Camp

17-20 Dec 2015

Barpeta Road, Assam

Vocation Camp

28-31 Dec 2015

Don Bosco Centre Sirajuli

Vocation Camp

Date to be confirmed

Don Bosco Sojong/Satgaon, Karbi Anglong

Vocation Camp

Date to be confirmed

Don Bosco, Umswai, Karbi Anglong

Vocation Camp

Editorial Merciful Like the Father Pope Francis has declared an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy with the motto “Merciful Like the Father.” Pope Francis' invitation to embark on a Year of Mercy is a challenge to how we can be more effective witnesses to God's loving mercy - in our homes, parishes, schools and the wider community. The Pope's invitation to a Year of Mercy provides us with an opportunity to reflect on God's mercy and how we are witnesses of His compassion to those in our lives and communities. Sometimes, when we think of the word mercy, we picture someone throwing themselves on their knees before a cruel villain, pleading to be spared some punishment. This is not our understanding of God's mercy. We do not ask for God's mercy because we are afraid of incurring his wrath as punishment for our shortcomings. Rather, when we call on God to have mercy, we are calling on God in the only way we know him—as one who responds with compassion to those in need. When we show mercy to others, we are responding as God responds, with compassion. If mercy is that virtue of the heart which suffers with and feels the suffering and the anguish of another and try to lift them out of it, then we can say that Don Bosco received the gift of mercy. He would never again be able to forget what he had seen, no longer just in his dream, but in all its terrible reality: adolescents behind bars in jail! This experience of compassion, “suffering with,” symbolically gave him his mission in its fullness: he would never want to do anything other than freeing youth from jail – both real prisons and those of solitude, ignorance, delinquency, and hopelessness. His entire work was born from this experience Each one of us is invited like Don Bosco to put our hearts in our quest and work for the salvation of the young. Whatever our roles be, each one of us has a privileged role and task for the spread of the God's mercy among the young. Have I realized my role? My role in my family, my job or profession, my community and parish? Have I worked hard and whole-heartedly to do my task and role? Wishing you all God's experience during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a Merry Christmas and a Bright and Prosperous New Year 2016.

2015 December

Fr. Bivan Rodriques Mukhim, SDB


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Bright and Prosperous New Year 2016.

Chief Editor : Fr. Bivan R. Mukhim n Associate Editor : Fr. Zacharias Varickasseril n DTP : DBI, Guwahati Email: /

2015 Newsline December issue  

Salesian of Guwahati Province, India

2015 Newsline December issue  

Salesian of Guwahati Province, India