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Don Bosco Shrine at Gojapara, Goalpara District of Assam

Tribute to a legend! Fr. Mario

My dear Confreres, The disciples were commissioned to be witnesses to Jesus and continue his redemptive work in time and space. They were faithful to their mission and the truth of their work was evidenced in the miracles that were performed by them. By our religious profession we too are called to the same mission of Jesus, to continue his work of mediating redemption to our brothers and sisters, especially to the needy young. It is in the context of fulfilling our mission that the words of the evangelist “the Lord worked with them and proved that their preaching was true by the miracles that were performed,” become relevant for us. Working in difficult circumstances with their depressing ambient, we could become skeptics, or even cynics, regarding the truth of the “Lord working with us”. Confronted with the myriad of problems from all sides, we could very rightly cry out in despair: “Where is the Lord?” Such an attitude would only witness to our lack of faith and trust in the fidelity of the Lord to his promise “I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28: 20) This pessimistic mindset in us would also reveal an ignorance in our awareness of the miracles that are being wrought around us on a daily basis. Let us consider the facts… “My Father's glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples.” (Jn.15:8) Due to a misplaced and false sense of humility, we are often unwilling to acknowledge the truth of the words of Jesus as we go about the task of fulfilling the mission he entrusted to us. Each of us bears much fruit and this is the sign of our discipleship, our being effective in our ministries… our bearing much fruit. A realization of this fact is the best way of being grateful to the Lord who is working with us and in us. A false humility that underplays the miracles worked through us and by us, a humility that tries to deny the wonders happening around us because of our faithfulness to the mission of Jesus, would be a disservice that we do to the Word of God. “Humility is truth” is an old maxim we need to recall, and we need to acknowledge the truth about ourselves, that miracles are worked by us provided we are steadfast and true to our fundamental mission of being witnesses to Jesus. I invite our communities to count our blessings and enumerate the many daily miracles that are performed by us as a community that is trying to be faithful in our life of discipleship. May our mother Mary, and Don Bosco our founder, accompany us along our journey of faith.

A humble missionary‌. A great legend Fr. Mario turns 98 The confreres of the province of Guwahati, and representatives from Silchar and Dimapur provinces gathered around Fr. Porcu Mario to celebrate his 98th birthday on 21st May at Don Bosco Provincial house, Guwahati. Fr. Mario was born on May 21, 1918 at Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia, Italy. Born to a family of ten siblings, eight boys and two girls, he was the second in the family. As a young boy, he would occasionally spend some time in the afternoon helping his father, who was a 'builder' by carrying just one brick at a time in his gentle hands. In the evening, he used to go to the Salesian Oratory, read the Bible and also participate in a lot of other activities. It was in the Oratory that, as a fifteen year old boy, he felt a burning desire to dedicate the rest of his life as a missionary. Young Mario had steadily mastered a lot of trades between the ages of 15 and 20 years, like carpentry, plumbing, electrical works, soldering, black smithy, etc. After completing his formal high schooling, he enrolled himself at the Missionary College, Gaeta, near Rome. In June 1939, a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War, he finished his college studies at the age of 21 Finally, towards the end of November 1939, he got the visa to travel to India. He reached India on December

8, 1939, and Calcutta was his first halt. From Calcutta, his superiors sent him to Salesian College, Sonada in Darjeeling, to study philosophy. In June, 1941, 23 year old Porcu Mario was taken to a concentration camp by the British government, as he was an Italian national. He spent a total of five years in two separate concentration camps – two years in Ajmer and another three years in Dehradun. He was released from the Dehradun concentration camp in 1945, when the war hostilities finally ended. His superiors then wanted him to come to Assam, but as Assam was still a war ravaged zone; consequently, he was sent to Madras for further studies. After two years, he came back from Madras and landed in Assam, where by now the war hostilities were over and the military was long gone. He was sent to the Don Bosco Technical School, Shillong, to teach and assist the boys and train them in the workshops in mechanics and other such trades. It was here that he finished his theological studies and was ordained a Salesian priest in January 1951. He continued his ministry at the technical school. During his long tenure there till 1965, he served in various capacities as administrator, Rector, and provincial Economer of the then undivided Province, which later on was bifurcated from Calcutta in 1959. In June-July 1965, he came down to Guwahati and continued his ministry as the first Economer of the

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Newsline Correspondent


new Guwahati Province till 1971. He was the founder Rector and Principal of Don Bosco Technical School, Maligaon, for about a decade, since its inception in 1968. He was the Rector at Don Bosco, Dibrugarh and at Don Bosco, Phutsholing, Bhutan. He founded and consolidated the parish and school at Sonaighuli, and later on a similar centre at Boko, Kamrup Dist. of Assam. During this period, he also served as acting Provincial of Guwahati Province in three separate stints. Fr. Porcu Mario, who turned 98 on May 21, is still active as a Salesian. He types on his vintage Olivetti typewriter, answers local, STD & ISD calls on his landline telephone, receives and answers letters, postcards, greeting cards, Christmas cards, etc., and even has an official email

Italian missionary marks Golden Jubilee of Indian citizenship (An extract from the website INDIA MATTERS on the occasion of the 98th birthday of Fr. Mario) An Italian missionary, who has spent 74 years in India, on 21st May marked his 98th birthday along with the golden jubilee of becoming a naturalized Indian citizen. Fr Mario Porcu became an Indian citizen at a time when the Indian government was expelling foreign missionaries from the northeastern state of Assam, recalled Fr. VM Thomas, president of the Conference of Religious India and head of the Guwahati Salesian province. Salesian Father Mario, as he is popularly called, was then the Rector of Don Bosco School in Shillong, a prestigious institution in northeastern India. Fr. Mario continues to be a much sought after 'spiritual father' whose office and room on the ground floor of provincial house, Guwahati, is always open for visitors. Bend over his old Olivetti typewriter, Fr, Mario is a popular confessor much before Pope Francis announced the Holy Year of Mercy starting on December 8.


A pioneer missionary in the Khasi and Garo Hills, as well as in the Assam plains and neighboring Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, Fr. Mario was a frontier missionary in several parts of northeast India. Fr. Mario recalls, “It was indeed a sad time for the region when all foreign missionaries were turned out of the then Assam when their residential permits were allowed to lapse without renewal on expiry.�


Fr. Mario recalls that many schools, dispensaries, hospitals, agricultural, industrial and other social projects had to close down or remain hopelessly understaffed until missionaries from southern India volunteered to replace the expelled missionaries. Scores of missionaries expelled from Assam went to the neighboring states of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh as well as south India.

The Parishioners of Boko Singing Kirtans on the Birthday of Fr. Mario

Don Bosco Shrine at Gojapara Fr. K. O. Augustine

Though the Parish of Gojapara was opened in March 1997, the construction of a formal Parish Church was undertaken three years back and just completed in May 2015, for the indigenous Rabha Catholic population of Gojapara village and 4200 Garo Catholics of the Parish spread out in the 39 villages of the Parish.

In a fully packed church, Arch. John Moolachira said that he was happy to declare the newly constructed Church a shrine dedicated to Don Bosco in significance with the Bicentenary year of his birth and he asked people to visit the shrine often to pray. “You have the most beautiful Church in the Archdiocese of Guwahati. I wish that you spend time in prayer with your family and receive graces from God,” the Archbishop said. Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial, said that it is a dream come true after 18 years for the parishioners of Gojapara. “Since the starting of the mission in 1997, the Parish has been wanting to build a Church, today the dream has been fulfilled,” Fr. Thomas said. He also said that there were many people who supported the construction of the shrine. He expressed his deepest sentiments of thanks to all who helped in the building.

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On 31st May 2015, the newly constructed Church, dedicated to Don Bosco at Gojapara, Goalpara District of Assam was blessed by Arch. John Moolachira of Guwahati. The Archbishop declared the Church a Shrine of Don Bosco. Fr. VM Thomas, the Provincial, inaugurated the Church and the auditorium. Fr. Januarius Sangma, the Vice Provincial read the Decree declaring the Don Bosco Church a shrine, in the presence of some 50 priests, religious nuns, thousands of parishioners and young people of the Parish.


Civil Authorities laud Salesian educational intervention Fr. Damian Basumatary At the blessing and inauguration of the new primary school building of Don Bosco School, Kokrajhar, Assam, on 9 May 2015, the civil authorities were highly appreciative of the Don Bosco system of education and their commitment to the welfare of the people. The new building, built as part of the Bicentenary commemoration of the birth of St. John Bosco, was inaugurated by the Deputy Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD) and the minister in-charge of Tourism and Education, Mr. Kampa Borgoyary. Addressing the students and the gathering of dignitaries, parents, parishioners and educators, Mr. Kampa Borgoyary stressed on the great endeavour of the Salesians who toil hard to bring about a change in the education scenario of the BTAD area of Assam. “Few people understand the language of God and Fr. VM Thomas and the Salesians are those who understood it and transmitted this through education,” he said. Mr. Borgoyary also said that education in BTAD is most neglected, but the Don Bosco Schools in the area have given the best to the people. He encouraged the students to appreciate the efforts of the Salesians in helping to provide them with the best education.


The Salesian Provincial, Fr. VM Thomas, dedicated the newly blessed primary school to the people of Kokrajhar. He said that the dream of every Salesian is to give the best to the people and especially the


young. “The future of the society depends not partially but entirely on education and education is the tool that can transform the society in one generation,” Fr. Thomas said. He also stated that education should be flexible, creative, dynamic and free from external interference. “People look for creativity and dynamism in education. I wish that Don Bosco School, Kokrajhar, continues to strive towards excellence and creates an environment for creative teaching,” he said. He exhorted the teachers and the students to dream big and achieve great things. “Let us follow the example of Don Bosco who dreamt dreams, and let us have big dreams for BTAD.” The school Principal, Fr. Damian Basumatary, in his official welcome, said that the best will be given to the education of the students of Kokrajhar. “We do not compromise on quality. We want to give the best to the children.” He thanked the superiors and the parents in particular for the help and support extended to realize the dream of having a separate block for the primary section.

Annual Youth Convention held at Rongjeng

Asst. Parish Priest, and the Parish council members. More than two hundred youth of the parish participated in the three days programme.

Fr. Marak John Mathias

The theme of the youth convention “To Lead, to Shine and to Serve” gave a much needed impetus to the youth of the parish. The sessions were on the four themes: Youth and Prayer, Role of Youth in Society, Career Guidance and Personality Development.

At the inaugural function the Chief Guest spoke on the role and importance of the youth in the society and how the youth of today are being led astray. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Fr. Charles Sangma, Rector and Parish Priest, Fr. Louis Bhengra, Headmaster, Sr. Irish Momin, Superior of Holy Family Convent, Fr. Marak John Mathias Mrong,

1st Convention of Diphu Diocese Garo Catholic Women held at Satgaon Fr. Sangma Jimmy The Mary Help of Christians parish of Satgaon saw a lively gathering of Garo Catholic Women of the Diocese of Diphu from 21–24 May, 2015. This was the first Convention of the Garo Catholic Women at the diocesan level. A large number of women from Satgaon parish and a good number of delegates from all the parishes under Diphu Diocese where Garo community is present were represented. The convention was inaugurated on 21st evening by Fr. Crospar K. Sangma of Guwahati Diocese who was the chief guest for the opening ceremony. The theme

The Youth Convention concluded with the oath taking of the newly joined ICYM members and the renewal of the old members. “This year the Annual Youth Convention was very special and very enriching experience for all. We will carry the joy, happiness with renewed mind to start afresh and contribute something to the society,” one of the participants said.

of the convention was “To spread the love of God” and the four-day animation was centered on this theme. The resource persons talked on various topics and encouraged the women to be role models and leaders in their families, in the society and in the Church. The main aim of this convention was to plan and set up a diocese level Women's Association among the Garos. The initial interest and push was given by His Lordship, Bishop Paul Mattekatt of Diphu. It was he who encouraged it and put forward the idea. He was helped in this process by Fr Ignatius Sangma and Fr Jimmy Sangma who mobilized the women from the different parishes along with the help of the leaders of the Marian Sodality of Satgaon. 2015 March

The Annual Youth Convention of Holy Family Parish Rongjeng was held on 24-26 April 2015. The Convention was inaugurated by Shri. Raksrang N. Sangma, Police Officer in-charge of Rongjeng Police Station, by hoisting the ICYM flag.


The sessions on different topics were interspersed with various competitions and group activities like quiz, singing, Bible skit, dance competitions, football match, etc. Thus, the women not only learnt about faith and religious but also got to showcase their hidden talents and untapped potentials.

Paul Mattekatt of Diphu. A colourful cultural programme followed soon after the Mass.

On Saturday, 23rd May, in the evening the women took out a colourful Marian procession carrying lighted candles and flags, praying the Rosary devoutly and singing hymns in honour of the Mother of God. It was indeed apt, as the parish of Satgaon is dedicated to the patronage of Mary Help of Christians. The high point of the last day, i.e., 24th May, was the Holy Eucharist presided over by Bishop

DBCREATE inaugurated at Don Bosco, Maligaon Fr. Benny Alex The Addl. Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister of Assam, Shri MGVK Bhanu IAS, inaugurated DBCREATE (Don Bosco Center for Renewable Energy, Advanced Technologies & Entrepreneurship), an Industry-Institute partnership initiative undertaken by Don Bosco Technical School, Maligaon, on 26th May 2015.


Other dignitaries present included Fr. VM Thomas, Provincial, Fr. KJ Thomas, Economer & Director of Bosco Reach Out, Guwahati, Fr. Benny Alex, Director, DB Maligaon, Mr. Ashesh Pater, CEO, Vertex


Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Dhawal Shah, CEO NESSA, Mr. Anil Dave, Director, Anil Pumps, Mr. Gujanlal Goswami, Consulting Partner Vertex Solar, Mr. Lanu Ignatius, Technology Evangelist & Mr. Rituraj Hazarika, Director (NE Operations) Vertex. Various industry partners from different parts of country and abroad in the field of renewable energy & advanced technologies are joining hands in this premier venture in North East India. The initial industry partners include VERTEX, NESSA, OLUMPUS Powers, ANIL Pumps, and VERDATEC. The MAIT (Manufacturers' Association of Information Technologies) is the mentor Partner for the initiative.

Fr. Benny Alex, Director of Don Bosco, Maligaon says, “Maligaon centre, the first of this kind in North East India, will act as a platform for integrated research & development, incubation, manufacturing, training & support, mainly in the field of renewable energy technologies.” He further added, “Besides helping you from the North East region to be entrepreneurs, the center will act as a motivation and model for large industries to come and set up their plants in the state.” It is hoped that this centre will be able to produce over 5000 renewable energy skilled entrepreneurs in the next 5 years. Mr. MGVK Bhanu, in his inaugural speech, stressed that it is through a lot of interest and sincerity that one can bring about change and innovation in any field.” He exhorted the 600 youth who were present on the occasion to “get out” of all types of laziness and “get on” to hard work to achieve success in life.

In a confident note, Technology Evangelist Mr. I. Lanu said “As the country dreams of becoming a renewable energy superpower, it will tap the renewable energy resources of the North Eastern states as models of innovation, implementation and commitment to achieving the goal”. The geographical and geological challenges in the North Eastern states make the super or large power supply grids practically and economically unviable. It is under such conditions that distributed energy or onsite energy generation and consumption models would be both economically and practically viable. To achieve such ambitious projects the presence of quality skilled manpower is very important. Seeing to such demands, DBCREATE will impart skill training in the renewable energy technologies to the youth of the North Eastern region of India.

13 Novices make their First Profession Fr. Zachary Varickasseril The Province of Guwahati was blessed with 13 new SDBs on 24 May, 2015, with the First Professions at Don Bosco Novitiate, Sunnyside (8) and Siliguri (5). The province is indebted to the Novice Masters, Fr. L.B. Anthony, & Fr. N.J. Johny and all the staff who have been accompanying the novices in their vocation journey and preparing them for Salesian life. We rejoice and thank God with them. We appreciate them for the generosity with which they have responded to God's call. The newly professed Salesians will pursue their study of Philosophy & B.A in the Philosophates of Aluva, Dimapur, Karunapuram, Nasik, Sonada, & Yercaud.

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Five Brothers dedicate themselves totally to the Lord Br. John Paul Tirkey

Responding to the call of God, five clerics of the Guwahati province, namely, Robert Basumatary, Bablu Ekka, Chailus Momin, Cornelius Myrthong and John Paul Tirkey made their perpetual profession on 24th May 2015 at Don Bosco Institute, Kharguli (DBI). Rev. Fr. VM Thomas, the Provincial, presided over the Holy Eucharist. Nearly 30 Salesians joined him for the Holy Mass. The family members of the clerics were also present on this joyous occasion. The perpetual profession took place in the presence of hundreds of young people present there along with the brothers, sisters, friends and well-wishers.


The vibrant music and hymns sung by the students of DBI added life to the liturgical celebration. Fr. Provincial started his homily by quoting the responsorial hymn, “Listen, let your heart keep seeking, listen...� and said that the five brothers who


listened to the call of God are here today to commit themselves totally in response to that call. Fr. Thomas also challenged the youth present to listen to the voice of the Spirit and to respond to the call of Jesus. As the brothers prostrated themselves to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Fr. Bivan Mukhim led the Litany to the Saints. Meanwhile the priests and the faithful joined in fervent prayer invoking the Holy Spirit to come upon the brothers. Thereafter the candidates came forward individually accompanied by their parents and pronounced the vows to commit themselves totally to the Lord. Fr. Provincial and the concelebrants welcomed the brothers with a fraternal embrace as a sign of their dedication to the Lord and the Church in the congregation as perpetually professed members. The assembly broke into a loud applause, congratulating the brothers for their courageous step.

Newsline Correspondent Fr. Kuthur Vellattukara Chacko, a frontline missionary who had worked in many missions of the province, was laid to rest in the Catholic Cemetery at Uzanbazar, Guwahati, on 7th April 2015. He passed away at 7.15 pm on Easter Sunday 5th April. “Fr. Chacko was a linguist, with a good knowledge of Assamese, Hindi and Boro. He was enthusiastic, dynamic and friendly. He loved the Church and its liturgy. In fact, he always organised well the liturgical celebrations, forming and training personally the altar boys; he used to personally train them for proclaiming well the Word of God during liturgical celebrations,” were the words of Fr. VM Thomas, the Provincial in his condolence message at the funeral Mass celebrated by Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati and concelebrated by more than hundred priests. Fr. Provincial then went on to say that 'in his passing away on Easter Sunday, we believe that he has risen with Christ to a new life, the eternal life that the Lord has promised to his faithful servants.'

The Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati, in his sermon, expressed deepest words of condolence to the Provincial and the confreres at the death of Fr. Chacko. He said that the diocese of Guwahati was indebted to Fr. Chacko for taking care of the seminarians when he was the Rector of the St. Jerome Minor Seminary at Sonaighuli. He also mentioned that Fr. Chacko was a priest “who gave the first priority to God. He always fixed his eye on Jesus,” the Archbishop said. Fr. George Maliekal, the Provincial of the Salesian Province of Silchar in his message said that 'in Fr. Chacko the congregation has won a great triumph.” He appreciated the way in which Fr. Chacko was able to embrace all people of all walks of life. He described him as a generous and simple person and his simplicity and generosity won him many friends. “His magnanimity to endure pain and suffering in carrying the cross of his blindness made him embrace the sufferings of Christ in his own sufferings.” Fr. CT Varghese who represented the provincial of Dimapur found in Fr. Chacko a person with good qualities of heart and mind. “Fr. Chacko was a man for the people. He has an image of a Good Shepherd, a true Shepherd who knows his people whether in Bengtol, Barpeta or Tangla missions.” Fr. Varghese said. He portrayed him as a person who was loved by all. Even though he suffered much because of his partial blindness, yet he left everything to God.

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Remembering Fr. Vellattukara Chacko


Fr. Joy Vellattukara, the first cousin of Fr. Chacko, spoke on behalf of the family members and thanked the people who helped him in his last days. He conveyed the greetings of everyone in his family and said that the Vellattukara family had a special love for him. Fr. Philip Barjo, the Rector of Don Bosco Technical School, Shillong, spoke on behalf of his companions, expressing grief and surprise at his sudden demise. He fondly remembered his old days when they were together in the aspirantate of Savio Juniorate, the novitiate at Sunnyside, the Philosophate of Sonada and the theology days at Sacred Heart Th. College, Shillong. Fr. Barjo described him as a true friend, loving and affectionate. “Fr. Chacko was very approachable, affectionate and I always counted on him for every help,” he said. Others who spoke were Fr. Varghese, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Guwahati, on behalf of the clergy of the diocese and Fr. Sebastian Edathumparampil, the Rector of Don Bosco Tangla, the community where Fr. Chacko had spent the last days of his life. Fr. Kuthur Vellattukara Chacko SDB was born on 28th June 1956 at Enamakkal, Trichur, Kerala. He made his first profession at Sunnyside, Shillong, on 24th May 1976, and was ordained priest on 27th December 1984. After his ordination, his first assignment was as the Asst. Parish Priest of Bengtol, a responsibility that he carried out for the next seven years, shouldering the challenging responsibility of managing the parish from 1989 to 1992 in the

Grand Marian Procession at Guwahati


Fr. T. O. Jose


To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Bicentenary Celebrations of the Birth of Don Bosco a solemn Marian Procession was held on Sunday 24th May 2015 at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral Parish, Guwahati. The procession started at 8.30 a.m. from St. Mary's convent, and passed by Ambari, District Library, RBI and finally concluded at the Don Bosco Auditorium.

absence of Fr. Zubizaretta. He was then appointed as the Asst. Headmaster of Don Bosco School, Guwahati, from August 1992 to January 1994. He was transferred to Boko as the person in charge of the Aspirants from January1994 to February1996. We see him then at Barpeta Road for about a year as Asst. Parish Priest. In March 1997, he was transferred to Tangla as Rector and parish priest, a task that he carried out till January 2001. It was the turn of Barpeta to have Fr. Chacko once again, but this time as its Rector and parish priest from January 2001 to May 2003. At the end of May 2003, he was appointed for a three year term as the Rector of the Diocesan Seminary – St. Jerome's Seminary, at Sonaighuli. On completion of this responsibility, he was appointed as the director of Bosco Niketan, Tezpur, from April 2006 to May 2009. High diabetes forced his early retirement from active ministry, and so he was transferred to Don Bosco, Maligaon, as confessor from May to August 2009. However, a regular house like Maligaon could not contain the pastoral enthusiasm of Fr. Chacko who was by now practically blind. He then requested to be transferred to Tangla parish which he had come to love so well. In fact, he was officially appointed as the confessor & Liturgical Animator of Tangla parish and community towards the end of August 2009. He also looked after the management of the kitchen and dining room of the Salesians. He served and helped out in the parish till the Lord called him to Himself on Easter Sunday.

The Holy Mass was presided over by Most Rev. John Moolachira, the Archbishop of Guwahati. In his homily he stressed on the devotion to the Mother of God and asked everyone present at the Holy Mass to surrender to Mary through filial devotion to her. “It was such a joyful event and a beautiful way to remind all of us to honor Our Lady and seek her protection for our family and community,” the Archbishop said. Fr. V.M Thomas, the Provincial. led the procession. While welcoming the faithful to the celebration he implored the blessing of Mary Help of Christians upon all. He spoke of the great devotion of Don

Bosco towards the Madonna and cited examples of favours received through the intervention of Mary Help of Christians. “In Mary we see the perfect masterpiece of the Holy Spirit - a very beautiful and perfect divine blend. I am privileged and honoured to lead the Procession of Mary Help of Christians,” Fr Thomas said. During the Holy Mass, the newly appointed Parish Priest of St. Joseph's Co-Cathedral Parish, Fr. Francis Cheeramban, bowed before the altar and took the oath of office.

Don Bosco students celebrate Rongali Bihu Utsav Fr. Beck Xavier

“It's enough that you are young to love you” Don Bosco

Prior to this, a ten-day Bihu workshop was held in the school premises every afternoon from April 27 to May 6, 2015. On May 7, a competition on traditional costumes of Northeast India and sharing of mouth watering traditional Bihu

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The 10th annual Don Bosco Rongali Bihu 2015, was celebrated with a colourful day-long programme on May 9, 2015 at the Guwahati Don Bosco school`s premises.


delicacies was held. The entire Bihu festivities culminated in the grand Bihu mela which was inaugurated on the morning of May 9 by the chief guest Sarodi Saikia, Director, Adult Education, Government of Assam, in presence of the school Rector and Principal Fr. Sebastian Mathew. The day-long Bihu mela included a Bihu Nritya competition, exhibition of traditional Assamese paraphernalia, exhibition of a typical village house/scene during Bihu, stalls on ethnic food as well as handloom clothes, homemade delicacies, handicrafts, handwork, etc., followed by a colourful cultural programme by eminent artistes and singers who enthralled the audience.

Communication Management Meeting held at DBI Fr. Mukhim Bivan The Management Council of Don Bosco Communications (BOSCOM), South Asia, consisting of 14 delegates from the different provinces of India, met at Guwahati, on 25-26 April to discuss the role of the commission in the South Asia Region and to plan upcoming events. The meeting was hosted by Don Bosco Institute (DBI) Guwahati at its breathtaking campus overlooking the majestic Brahmaputra.


Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional Councillor of South Asia, who was present at the meeting spoke


The chief Guest congratulated the management, the teachers and students for keeping up their culture as the main priority. “In Don Bosco School there is a perfect blend of studies and culture. I congratulate the school for this initiative and wish that such programme be encouraged among the students so that they become aware of the rich culture,” Mr. Saikia said. Various schools from Guwahati took part in the competitions organised as part of the Rongali Bihu Utsav.

to the members and said that the Salesians need to give a new dimension to the communication ministry in South Asia Region. “We need to create a writer`s forum to make the Salesians in India heard,” he said. “We need to keep in mind the changing scenario in the communication sector and come out with alternate and innovative means of ministry. While making the local ministry more effective, common ventures with specific thrust areas each year are also important. Being the bicentenary year of Don Bosco`s birth, it is a great opportunity for the commission to think out of the box and come out with new plans and projects that address the problems and challenges faced by the new generation,” Fr. Kanaga said. The Provincial of the Salesian province of Guwahati, Fr. V.M. Thomas, while addressing the members, said that social communication is an area of ministry with tremendous potential in the present and for the future. “While playing a supporting role to all other sectors such as formation, education etc., the social communication team must think in terms of reaching out more effectively to more and more young people through its own initiatives,” Fr. V.M. Thomas added. Fr. Noel Maddichetty, SPCSA secretary, was also present during the meeting and made concrete

suggestions for the well organization of the social communication commission. At the outset of the meeting Fr. Joaquim Fernandez of the province of Mumbai and secretary of BOSCOM, took charge of the Office of the Regional Delegate for Don Bosco Communications South Asia, having been appointed to that post by the SPCSA, as Fr. Antony Earathara had completed a term of three years. Fr. A. Raj, the editor of Salesian Bulletin, from the Province of Tiruchi, was then elected as the new Secretary of BOSCOM South Asia. The meeting concluded in the evening of the 26 April with the members experiencing the different cultures of the North East during a cultural evening organized by the students of Don Bosco Institute (DBI) to welcome the members of the Management Council to the institute and to North East.

Bicentenary Special: Rickshaw Run 2015 in Guwahati

A team comprising of four Americans, five Germans and one French citizen, is on a mission to spread the message of peace and harmony among the different ethnic groups of North East India and create awareness about the land, people, culture and beauty of the region, as well as to build bridges across

communities. The method by which they have planned to achieve their objective is by mobilizing the youth to challenge themselves and take up adventure activities. Through their “Rickshaw Run� they also raise awareness regarding challenges faced by deprived children and mobilize resources for their

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Fr. Ignatius Gari


education. Their involvement with the Salesians of the North East India has turned the event also into a part of the bicentenary celebrations of Don Bosco`s birth. With nothing more than motorized rickshaws the team is set to drive more than 2700 kilometres (1677 miles) through India in an epic journey. Their adventure mission got kick-started on 6 April at Jaisalmer, in the North Indian state of Rajasthan, where a 10 member Catan Team set out on their trek across the beautiful and historic northern India. Travelling in four motorized rickshaws, the team had planned to drive for two weeks through Jaipur, Agra, Kanpur, Varanasi, Patna, Siliguri and Guwahati en route to its destination in Shillong. The team entered Assam on 15 April and halted at Gossaigaon and proceeded to Kokrajhar. On 16th April they visited some Don Bosco centres and

Fr. Januarius S. Sangma appointed New Vice-Provincial Newsline Correspondent Fr. Januarius S. Sangma, the Rector and Principal of Don Bosco School, Tura, has been appointed as the Vice Provincial of the Province by the Rector Major Fr. Angel F. Artime. He replaces Fr. Thomas Lakra who served as the Vice Provincial during the last three years.


Fr. Januarius made his first profession on 24th May 1987 at the Salesian novitiate at Sunnyside, and his final profession at Tura. He was ordained a priest in 1997. His first appointment as a priest was to Don Bosco School, Kokrajhar as the Asst. Parish Priest and Vice Principal of the school. He was also the Vice


interacted with the students who were being supported by ChildAid Network, Germany. On 17th April the team visited Damra, Boko, and Maligaon, and stayed at Don Bosco Institute, Kharghuli, where there was a reception held for them. On 18th April the team was felicitated at Don Bosco School, Panbazar, and left for the “Scotland of the East”, Shillong. As they trekked to Shillong, they were accompanied by thousands of young people on cycles and motorcycles. The Catan Rickshaw Run 2015 supports two great causes: “Childaid Network” and “Cool Earth!” Childaid Network is doing valuable work in the northeastern part of India, supporting projects for displaced children and street children, as well as setting up schools for children in need. The plan of the team was to visit the North Eastern region and showcase some of the less-traveled areas of India.

Principal of St. Anthony`s School, Shillong, from 2000 to 2005. In 2005, he was appointed as Rector of Don Bosco, Tura. In 2008, he was sent to Don Bosco College, Tura as the Vice Principal. From 2008 till date, he was the Rector and the Principal of Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Tura. Fr. VM Thomas, the provincial superior, while officially conveying this news to the confreres, expressed his happiness at the appointment of Fr. Januarius. He also expressed his thanks to Fr. Thomas Lakra, the out-going vice provincial, saying, “I would like to thank Rev. Fr. Thomas Lakra for all the support extended to me and for his dedicated and friendly service in the capacity as vice provincial for the past 3 years”. Fr. Januarius Sangma took the oath of office on 28th May in the presence of the Salesians who were gathered at DBI.

ADBU Student selected for Moscow Science Congress Fr. C M Paul Fourth semester Civil Engineering student of Assam Don Bosco University, Mr. Manas Pratim Das, has been selected as a member of the Indian delegation for the 114th Asian Science Congress 2015 to be held in Moscow, Russia, from second week of October 2015. In a letter issued by Human Resource Development, Government of India Minister Smriti Irani says, “the name of Mr. Das has been referred by the Ministry of HRD to the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India for the membership in the Indian delegation.”

Mr, Das was present at a meeting yesterday (4th May) chaired by the Union Secretaries of the three aforesaid departments along with H.E. Mr. Alexander M. Kadakin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India, at the Central Room of the Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara, Guwahati. An alumnus of Don Bosco School, Panbazar Guwahati, Mr. Das is one of 5 students selected from IITs & IIMs in northeast India to attend the science congress.

Snehalaya students shine in HSLC Exams

It was moment of joy and contentment for Snehalaya, the street children home, when 10 inmates passed the HSLC exams 2015. Seven passed in the first division and three in the second division. “The efforts of all, particularly of the children, have been amply awarded. Our children make us proud. Kudos to all.”; said Fr. Lukose Cheruvalel, the Founder Director of Snehalaya who, along with Fr.

Thomas John, Administrator, and staff members felicitated the candidates with phulom gamocha and a red rose in appreciation of their achievement. The excited and successful students of Snehalaya immediately presented themselves before the Child Welfare Committee of Kamrup Metro. The members of CWC congratulated them and with their inspiring words encouraged the youngsters to go ahead and do well in life. Later, the candidates also had an opportunity to interact with media in Guwahati Press Club, and received wide coverage both in the electronic and print media particularly in the vernacular languages. Snehalaya was established on January 1, 2001, and it grew into a permanent arrangement in the city of Guwahati for helping the poor and abandoned children in need of care and protection. 2015 March

Cl. Manish Kumar


BRO conducts Capacity Building Programme Fr. A. Jayaprakash village, Rongkhang Development Block on 26th April 2015 and at Bhaksong village, Amri Development Block on 27th April 2015 in which a total of 77 WSHG leaders attended the programme.

Bosco Reach Out conducted two capacity building programmes on Woman Self Help Group Project, funded by NABARD, Assam RO, at two development blocks of Karbi Anglong District of Assam. The programmes were held at Baithalangso

The programme covered various important topics on the importance of WSHG, thrift and regular savings, good habits of group inter loaning and its repayment, record management and maintaining updated documents. Utmost care was taken to make sure that the leaders of the WSHGs were empowered to manage their groups well. There was a demonstration on keeping the records of their saving and loan. They had a practice session on documenting their records. During the open session the participants made their queries. The various issues of the participants were discussed and addressed.

ACME.erp Training in Bosco Reach Out (BRO) Fifty six Salesians and local accountants attended the two day ACME.erp (Enterprise Resource Programme) training held at Bosco Reach Out (BRO), Guwahati, on 7-8 May, 2015. The training which began at 9.00 am on 7th May, 2015 was inaugurated by Fr. VM Thomas, the Provincial. The training programme was coordinated by Fr. Jayaprakash, the Asst. Director of BRO, Guwahati.

Don Bosco College of Teacher Education, Tura, has done it again! Mr. Alex Kerketta, Lecturer DBCTE


Don Bosco College of Teacher Education, Tura, tucked in a corner of North East India, is an institute with a relevant Motto “In Search of Excellence”. Since its inception in 2005, the Institute has given its best to train not only excellent Educators but to mould them to be good citizens of integrity.


The Institute, year after year, is surging ahead not only bringing laurels in terms of result but touching lives who cherish their memories while basking in the unique and beautiful infrastructure, bedecked in a lovely surrounding with lush green trees, and at the back supported by the mighty Tura Peak. Above all, there is the healthy teacher-students rapport and the sincere hard labour that results in a heart throbbing outcome at the end of the session.

“2015 has been phenomenal pertaining to the recently declared B.Ed result. Out of the 102 students who appeared for the final B.Ed examinations from DBCTE, 86 secured the first division and 14 the second division with a record 61 distinctions,” Fr. P D Johnny, the Principal, said. The College has bagged the top five positions in the North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. It is amazing to note that twenty one students of the college secured an aggregate 70% and above. The management congratulates all achievers and teachers of DBCTE for their splendid performance. Fr. PD Johnny, while congratulating the successful students, praised them for their hard work and commitment to their studies. “It is indeed happy news for Don Bosco College, Tura, and the entire college management. Their success is an encouragement for others to perform better,” he said.

Success Story 28-year-old Mukul Boro is an incredible “ rags to riches real-life success story that will encourage everyone to pursue their dreams or cherished ideas. Trained in Don Bosco Institute under BASE programme in F&B service from June to September 2010, Mukul Boro's journey of getting an offer to work in Kuwait was one such encouraging story. He hails from a poor family of three siblings in Udalguri, Assam and had undergone many hardships in life, including working as a waiter, before making his dream come true. Setting an example for everyone, Mukul started learning things in the kitchen department despite working in the service department at Hotel Lepondi in Chennai where he worked after his training in F&B service. Quickly grasping different techniques to prepare different cuisine. Mukul attended interview for Chocolate Cake Maker a leading outlet in the industry for the position of Chef and got selected in Kuwait with a salary of Rs. 65,000 per month. He is today a happy man and wished to join the industry as soon as possible.

Barpeta felicitates meritorious students Fr. Nicodim Aind Twenty two students of St. Joseph's School, Barpeta who came out with flying colours during the recent board exams were felicitated on 13th June in the presence of the management, staff, students and parents. Fr. Markus Lakra, the Rector felicitated the students with the Assamese pholan gomacha and a bota. He congratulated them and asked the students to share their success mantra with others. The school management wished the meritorious students best of luck as they go for higher studies. Cash award was also presented to one of the students who got distinction in the examination. The school principal Fr. Nicodim Aind and Fr. Justin Narzary were also present at the occasion.

Fr. V M Thomas re-elected National CRI President Fr. VM Thomas has been re-elected as the national president of the Conference of Religious India (CRI) for a second term of three years. The election took place on 3rd May at Bangalore. About 550 Superiors General and provincials of various congregations were in the body that re-elected him.

The delegates of the CRI are deliberating on innovations to give consecrated life greater effectiveness during the year which the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has declared as the year dedicated to consecrated life. The CRI has a total of 334 congregations and 822 major superiors representing more than 125,000 Catholic religious brothers, priests and nuns in India. The confreres of Guwahati province congratulated Fr. VM Thomas on being re-elected the CRI National President for a second term.

2015 March

Newsline Correspondent



July 1-7 July 8-14 July 15-21


Bicentenary Retreat for Salesians


All Salesians

Results 2015 of Don Bosco Schools of the Province



2015 March





Education of the Heart…… Don Bosco in his writings on “The Preventive System in the Education of the Young,” wrote: “The practice of this system is wholly based on the words of St. Paul who says “Love is patient and kind…love bears all things…hopes all things, endures all things”. In other words the pillar of the Salesian pedagogy and the key to Don Bosco's system of education is divine love in all its dimensions. The article 11 of our Constitutions says it succinctly: “The Salesian spirit finds its model and source in the very heart of Christ, the apostle of the Father.” Therefore the love the Salesian feels for the youngsters goes far beyond the human in its origin, motivation and manifestation Since for Don Bosco “the heart” of education is the education of “the heart” – the heart of the educator and the heart of the educand needs to be in constant dialogue and transformation. To engage in such a dynamic and meaningful dialogue the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is for the Salesian a fruitful and efficacious way to mould and fashion his own heart for the ministry to the young. Devoting himself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Salesian and his pupils love one another not merely for human considerations, but for the love of Christ himself. Imbued deeply with the gentleness and meekness of the Heart of Jesus the Salesian readies himself for the ministry and becomes the “apostle” of the Father as Jesus himself was. “The education of the heart” primarily implies the importance of a holistic approach. We have seen that heart encompasses feeling, knowing, loving, and is our access point to one another. It is also the fountainhead of all our humanness regardless of our economic, racial or religious status. The education of the heart promotes the well-being of the community by nurturing discerning minds and spirited individuals who will foster and nurture newer intellectual and aesthetic vehicles to carry forward our human legacy to ever greater heights. Fr. Bivan Rodriques Mukhim, SDB

Fr. Alex Katakayam SDB has been awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) by North Eastern Hill University for his thesis entitled “Revisiting Partition Literature: A Selective Study of Khushwant Singh, Chaman Nahal and Bhisham Sahni” under the guidance & supervision of Dr. J. Prodhani of NEHU, Shillong, Meghalaya.

Rev. Fr. Joseph Almeida, the former provincial of the province on being elected the provincial of the Province of Sri Lanka.

The Rector Major has approved the nomination of the following confreres to their respective office of service for the triennium 2015-2018. 1. Vice-Provincial: Rev. Fr. Sangma Januarius SDB 2. Provincial Councillors: Fr. Lakra Thomas (1st Term) Fr. Cheruvalel Lukose (2nd Term) Fr. Teron Joseph (2nd Term) Fr. Parackal Johnson (2nd Term)

2015 March

Fr. Basumatary Damian (2nd Term)




B Equip with new tools & skills B Explore new approaches B Expand your ideas B Embank on the digital world and Experience the power of the social media

Last date for registration


August 31, 2015

DON BOSCO INSTITUTE Joypur, Kharghuli, Guwahati - 781004, Assam, India Tel: 0361-2608454 / 55, Mobile : +91 9085354331 E-mail:,

If not delivered return to

Don Bosco Provincial House Panbazar, Guwahati - 781001, Assam, India Tel: 0361 - 2510458 n Chief Editor : Fr. Bivan R. Mukhim n Associate Editor : Fr. Zacharias Varickasseril Email: /

Newsline June Issue 2015  

Salesians of Don Bosco Guwahati

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