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18 Cover Story

Editor www.dbbulletinindia.com Glorious Steve sdb Sub editor R. Kirubagaran sdb Associate editor Stafford Mantel Editorial Team A. Raj sdb Joe Andrew sdb Prof. Victor Louis Joe Mannath sdb Francis Karackatt sdb George Plathottam sdb

Cover Story- 1

Christians under siege

Advisory Council K. Maria Arokiam sdb Stanislaus Swamikannu sdb K.J. Louis sdb

Deccan churches attacked Hindu extremism in madhya pradesh

Financial Advisor Philominathan Sagayaraj sdb Design and Layout M. Remo Reegan Raj Dharani Roy Chowdary

Cover Story- 2

“Modithva must spread”

Interview with L.Ganesan, Tamilnadu state unit president of BJP

Editorial Office Don Bosco Bulletin, The Citadel, 45, Landons Road, Chennai 600 010. Tamilnadu. Phone: (044) 26612138. Fax: (044) 26411310.

Cover Story- 3

‘We need a government that can be fair to all’ Interview with Fr. Adolf Washington

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Life Subscription Air Mail : US $ 600 Sea Mail : US $ 350 Printed and Published by Y.F. Balasamy Yettukury on behalf of salesian Publishing Society 45, Landons Road, Chennai 600 010 and printed at SIGA Press, 49,Taylors Road, Chennai - 600 010. Editor : Glorious Steve

5 And then...they come for the 16 The five methods of taking notes-3 christians...

Spirituality

Salesian

4 The educative project 6 Life in the lap of the mother 14 Interview with Bro. Meril earth: a spiritual outlook 28 Salesian news

Bible

11 Joshua: first jewish conqueror

Values

8 Miracles in vain 32 Stories for radiant living 10 Smoking now burns your 30 Church news pocket

Current Affairs Well-Being

Regulars

12 Live a purpose driven life

26 Humour

Media Matter

34 Children’s page

27 Game of death Don bosco october 2008




RECTOR

A

MAJOR

t forty years of age, Don Bosco became aware that God was calling him to a mission among the young, and that at the Oratory he would fulfil his life’s purpose. In this way the Oratory entered into the plan of salvation as a response to a divine call, not as a work founded on one person’s good will. But he had to overcome many obstacles: the difficulty of gathering the boys together, lack of economic resources and of a suitable place, the need for a new pastoral strategy and a previously untried training programme as a response to the immigration that saw the population of Turin increase in ten years by 17%. He didn’t consider economic development an evil in itself; he didn’t see the education of the masses

the expression of the planning mentality that needs to guide the implementation of the mission in the various different works, directing the process to incarnate the mission in a specific context, the precise identification of the particular sort of the person one wants to form. At the centre is the individual young person, seen from all points of view (his physical nature, his intelligence, emotions, will) and his relationships (with himself, with others and with God). The SEPP addresses its attention primarily to young people who are the poorest and in difficulty. Before being a document it is a communal mental process of involvement, clarification and identification, aimed at generating practical synergy based on objective

EDUCATING WITH THE HEART OF DON BOSCO

The Educative Project

“The Salesian educative Project is the element of the inculturation of the charism.” “[It] directs and guides an educative process in which multiple interventions and resources interact in the service of the gradual and integral development of the young person.” – a source of apprehension in the more conservative circles – as an evil to be eradicated, but as a resource to be made good use of in the formation of the young. Recognising that “organised” church structures were not coping in the face of social inequalities and cultural changes, he tried new ways, he opened up new avenues on behalf of the young people uprooted from their natural environment and he sought new and more courageous educational horizons, bringing to life ideas and works. So he drew up the “Regulations for the Oratory” to put into practice his own educational method: it is the foundation stone of the “Salesian Educational Pastoral Project,” the SEPP. THE PRACTICAL WAY The SEPP is the practical way for our own day of carrying out the Salesian mission, 

educational criteria and shared courses of action, in this way avoiding a dissipation of energies. The SEPP is the “identity card” of every Salesian work. Society is becoming ever more complex and global; a planetary culture is emerging on a huge scale and pluralistic in character, in which the means of social communication rapidly spread values, languages, criteria, models and styles of life that are often contradictory and ambiguous. Frequently young people find themselves on their own as they look for meaning in life; fearful in the face of an uncertain future, incapable of making clear and long-term decisions. The family, the school and the Church seem to lose the privileged role they used to have as determining factors. In this situation the SEPP should appear as having something worth-while to offer, Don bosco october 2008

as it accepts young people where they are, encourages in them a process that leads to full human maturity and enables them to take a leading role in living their own lives. THE OBJECTIVE OF SEPP Young peoples’ expectations vary. Many are a long way from the faith almost without being aware of it. For others religion has a low priority and they practise only occasionally. In all of them however, it is possible to perceive a need for truth, freedom, human development, and the desire even if only implicit for a deeper knowledge of the mystery of God. Therefore from the point of view of an education that evangelises and an evangelisation that educates, the aim of the SEPP is that every young person should come to a synthesis of faith and culture in his own life: arrive at a mature faith that constitutes a person’s core values and his view of the world, one that is open to all the challenges posed by cultural, committed to putting into practice his own options and values; that stimulates and further encourages the processes of human development according to the gospel model. Indeed the SEPP is the expression for these times of Don Bosco’s Educational System, the practical way for our own day through which Don Bosco wants to show his passion for the salvation of youth and realise his dream of making every young person “an upright citizen and a good Christian”.

Pascual Chavez Villanueva sdb


E d i tor i a l

And then...they came for the christians...

W

hile the whole nation was just trying to recover from the economic crisis, a fresh political storm has set in in the name of religion. It looks as if the words ‘religion’, ‘God,’ ‘Swami,’ and ‘priest,’ can easily set fire to the whole nation more than any other fire accidents. While the former sets fire and rifts people apart the latter only destroys the property and not so much the people with flesh and blood; people with heart and soul and conscience. The great nation that claimed that it was tolerant for centuries towards any religion, kings and empires, proves now that such tolerance and goodness are over with the bygone ages. This seems to be a new era. Intolerance is the order of the day. Anything can kindle fire to appease the political thirst of the parties particularly the BJP, RSS and VHP that use religion for political gain. The recent attacks on Christians and churches come as a retaliation for the killing of swami Lakshmanananda and outside Orissa and practically in many parts of India as a retaliation for conversions to Christianity. No BJP leader has as yet condemned or even regretted the attacks on churches. In an article, ‘It’s time to act, Mr Advani,’ written by Raghu Krishnan that appeared in THE ECONOMIC TIMES on 21 September, 2008 commented like this: “Those of us Hindus who studied in convent schools and continue to be Hindus will know how irrational the argument is that the recent attacks on churches in Orissa

and Karnataka was a response to an attempt at forcibly converting members of the majority community. Even if the Bajrang Dal activists claim they were upset by what they perceived as forcible conversion, the logical response should have been to bring this to the notice of the state governments.” He continues, “If its governments in Karnataka and MP cannot even prevent attacks on churches while investigating complaints of forcible conversion, then how can the party keep claiming that a BJP-led national government will protect the entire country from serial blasts by diabolical terrorists!” And if there are recent reports that some Christian missionary somewhere is involved in an attempt at forcible conversion, it should not take too long for an experienced national leader like Mr Advani to have things sorted out through administrative measures, especially in BJPruled states. Just nine years and two months ago, when the BJP-led NDA ruled the nation, its leaders inspired young soldiers of all faiths to fight and die for the country while evicting armed cross-border intruders from the frozen heights of Kargil. Surely, some 110 months later, it should not be too difficult for a national leader like Mr Advani to ensure that the unity and integrity of the country is not harmed by unruly activists who think that vandalising a church or any other place of religious worship in a BJP-ruled state is what 21st century India is all about! While the BJP, RSS and VHP groups have lost the control of their senses, there is still another question that deeply arises: What Don bosco october 2008

is quietly happening to the Christian community that is known for its unity? Not many years ago Muslims were attacked. Mosques were demolished and Christians kept quiet about it. They thought that Christians will never be attacked. We wake up to see the Christian Community under attack in many parts of India. This immediately reminded me of the poem “First they came…” which is attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group: “In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.” Times have ripened for attacks on Christians. We have been studying about the various attacks in history on Communists, Muslims, and Jews. This time they came for the Christians… Unfortunately, to their astonishment, they found them divided. Our divisions based on language, caste, creed and greed are killing the Christians more than any external force. The pity is that we are not united when they came for the Christians.

Glorious Steve sdb Editor 


Spirituality

Planet Earth Contest Prize Winning Article - 8

Life in the lap of the mother earth:

A spiritual outlook M

other Earth, in its primitive state, is one of the most magnificent creations of God. It is no more so. She cries out, “Save me! I nurtured you, fed you, and sustained you. But I am now disfigured, devastated and desecrated. I have become ugly and barren. Save me! Yes, concern for Mother Earth is the crying need of the hour. We are aware of the acute ecological crisis challenging the environmentalists of the 21st century. We have brought our planet of million years to the brink of a precipice. An urgency to preserve and nurture her has been felt at every level, political, cultural, religious etc.

on operation. The famines, monsoon failures, vicious climatic changes and natural catastrophes plague human life. The treatment of an ailment depends on proper diagnosis. The present ecological crisis is the result of decades of reckless exploitation of nature and its resources. The malaise is difficult to explain or to identify in order to apply the appropriate remedy. It will necessitate painstaking analysis and planning.

All have to confess ‘mea culpa’. Pope John Paul II wrote “The most profound and moral implications underlying in the ecological crisis is the lack of respect for life”. The distortion of objectives and baneful use of modern science and technology are the major causes of the crisis. Crass consumerism and indecent individualism are at the root of the environmental decay. For government officials nature is an object which can be manipulated for human needs. Our leaders wax rhetoric for a clean environment in the suicidal. While it is a question of convenience for the developed nations, it is one of survival for the developing countries.

The ecological imbalance is man made. “The earth is raped”, remarks harshly an Eco-feminist, Rosemary Redford. Natural resources are siphoned off to destructive and nefarious activities such as arms race, stockpiling of nuclear weapons. The dumping of waste in the open, emissions from factories, fuming trucks, all these pollute the atmosphere. Deforestation is another attempt to rape the earth. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides poison the soil and contaminate Water.

What shall we do?

The violence against nature always has its repercussions on humanity itself. Now the Mother Earth reacts. Newton’s first law, ‘Every action has its own and equal reaction’ is 

“The earth is raped”, remarks harshly an Eco-feminist, Rosemary Redford.

What shall we vote for convenience or survival? We are aware of the ecological vandalism that has been perpetrated; and know well that Don bosco october 2008


Spirituality we dare not put the technological genie back into the bottle. Please be convinced that there is no wholeness of human life without an ecological well being. Our planning should be for both economic development and ecological balance. Environment and development are closely linked. They are at the service of life. Modern Science and technology must be harnessed to achieve ‘Development without Destruction’.

spirit and purpose. Hence let us not squander the resources of the earth with impunity. Hinduism is replete with texts and rituals that celebrate the ‘Bhumi’, the atmosphere Bhuvah and sky Akasha. God and goddesses are also associated with the earth Privithi, the eater Ap, the fire Agni, and the wind Vayu. In 1990, Pope John Paul II said on the ‘World Peace Day’, “Peace with God the creator and Peace with all of creation”. This is the most telling papal statement ever on ecology to respect the divinity in each creature without desecrating it. The emergence of new culture will necessarily be dominated by the symbol ‘Woman’. Woman and earth are interrelated. The fate of the one is bound with the other, and has been perennially respected. Both enhance the spirituality of humans. St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of ecologists

The emergence of new culture will necessarily be dominated by the symbol ‘Woman’. Woman and earth are interrelated. This calls forth for ‘Human-EarthCentered- Spirituality’. It is to live in harmony with nature. It is rooted in an awareness of the divinity in all life, the interconnectedness and interdependence of all the things. It can create a holistic vision of cosmos to save the earth. This is what HumanEarth Spirituality means,

Respecting the Divinity of Life

Nothing on earth is worthless. Everything is endowed with God’s

sings, “Blessed are you, Lord, for our Sister Earth which sustains us and governs us…” Therefore let us have a deep respect for the sources of our life, human mother and earth mother.

Inter-connectedness of All Life

Ash Wednesday liturgy reminds us ‘out of earth we are born and unto earth we shall return’. Buddhism, the ‘Religion of Ecology’ exhorts as, “The entire cosmos is cooperative”. The sun, the moon, and the stars live and assist each other. The same is true for humans and animals, trees Don bosco october 2008

and minerals. When we realize that the world is a cosmos, we can build a noble environment. Our lives must attest this truth. Our spirituality itself is earth bound. Not to recognize the spirituality of the nature would mean lack of spirituality within. Human and the earth complement each other. The state of the world is connected in a way to our own state of mind. If the world is ill, it will be reflected in our psyche. To live peacefully we have to love nature. The interconnectedness between humans and earth implies mutual respect for each other. Philosopher David Abraham writes. “Our humanity can be completed only through a sensuous and fulfilling relationship with the nature.

Interdependence of Life

Maximum products for the comfort a few lead us to self-destruction. The attitude of interdependence heals us. Nature teaches us the lesson, “Live and let live”. Jesus says, “Love others as you love yourselves”. One cannot be a spiritual person, who does not love the cosmos. Ecology demands justice. Can we deplete the non-renewable resources and deprive the future generations of these? Definitely not. It is not enough that we conduct rallies and shout on World Environment Day “Pro-Human and Pro-Earth”. Every individual on earth ought to be challenged to do what he/she can do to halt the denudation of nature. Cosmetic changes are not enough. Real change will happen when every institution educational, health, media, military, industry, and religions begin to take ‘Human-Earth Centered Spirituality’ seriously. Let us reset our life on the lap of Mother Earth. We will recreate certainly the master piece of God, the Earth. Arputhasamy. I 


V A LU E S

W

hen Jesus multiplied bread and fish near the lake of Galilee, close to Capernaum, the people could not believe their eyes. They had a good meal and collected the left over in twelve baskets. Several in the crowd, a couple of apostles too among them, wanted to catch hold of him that day itself and declare him their King! That would solve all their food problems, they thought! Realizing the danger, Jesus ordered the apostles to get into the boat and packed them off to the other side of the lake. He escaped to the mountains to pray to his Father, to overcome his own possible temptations of becoming an earthly king! This was a temptation that

Philip was embarrassed. In the meanwhile Simon, the Zealot joined him and recommended: “Lord, are you joking? We thought that you would do something.” Jesus heaved a sigh and thought for a moment with closed eyes. “All right. Make the people sit in groups,” he said. “Has anyone got some bread or fish? Bring them to me.” There was embarrassment again. “Not even that boy has brought anything this time,” replied Simon. Jesus controlled himself and asked for baskets. As he raised his eyes to heaven to invoke his Father, some baskets were

FROM THE GOSPELS AT A TANGENT - 23

Miracles in Vain

“Nothing at all?” Jesus asked in surprise. For he was really surprised. A week later Jesus was near Bethsaida, on the north eastern side of the lake across the place where the Jordan joins the lake. But the crowds traced him. He received them well, cured their sick and told them several parables about the Kingdom. The evening came and the people were still milling around him. They showed no signs of going home. The crowd was waiting in expectation. Jesus did not need any prompting this time. He decided to work the miracle all by himself, that too, uncharacteristically in a rather dramatic manner. The people sat on the beach sand in small groups and the apostles stood around Jesus in attention. This time no bread was brought and not even baskets

The evil one had promised to return with his temptations. Here he is again:… In the form of greed. he had already once successfully staved off in the desert. Satan had tempted him to turn stones into bread! The evil one had promised to return with his temptations. Here he was again, in the crowd! The next weekend too there was a big crowd around him. They were attracted by the possibility of getting food! This time the apostles began to have pity on them! Philip said to Jesus: “Jesus, look. These people have been following you around for the whole day. Now it is evening and this place is deserted. Where will they go?” “Well, are you going to do something for them?” Jesus asked with a smile. 

filled with fresh bread and some other baskets with fish. Immediately the apostles and some other volunteers got into action and passed the baskets around. All had their fill. “Collect what is left over,” said Jesus. After going around a little Judas said: “Sorry Lord, nothing is left over this time.” Don bosco october 2008

were collected. Jesus flipped his fingers and forty baskets appeared in front of him. He pointed his finger at them and they were all filled with fresh and sweet smelling loaves. He flipped his finger again. About 20 baskets appeared close to the water. Jesus looked at the water and waved a sign as if to welcome something. Immediately hundreds of big fish began to swim to the shore and by


V A LU E S themselves jumped into those baskets. His onlookers were dumbfounded! A third time he flipped his fingers and small bundles of firewood gathered in several places and caught fire. They were the ovens for cooking the fish. Jesus ordered: “Take this and distribute it among the people. Let them eat to their satisfaction.” Saying this, Jesus left them, walking a few feet away and began to pray alone to the Father. His silent meditation was interrupted by some noise in the crowd. Looking up, he saw that there was some confusion. A section of the crowd was on its feet shouting while some were eating and some others leaving the place with some bundles.

My father’s daily miracles are in vain, he multiples the grain you sow and the fish in the sea. And yet there is starvation. entire baskets; and some were obviously over-eating. Naturally the food was not enough for all!

Simon and James, the son of Alphaeus were coming over to Jesus. “What is the problem? Have you collected the left overs?” asked Jesus. “Left overs?” quipped James. “Lord, we are running short.” “Running short?” Jesus almost shouted. “What you produced is not enough,” said Simon. “Look there, some people on their feet. They did not get anything. Could you please…errr..” “Yes…?” “…Multiply some more bread?”

“Gather the crowd together again,” Jesus ordered. No one had the courage to say anything to him. They moved close to him and sat down, including those who did not get enough food. Obviously they were the poorest of the lot! He let his eyes wander over the crowd, observing the well-fed and the famished, the fittest and the weakest, the grabbing and the deprived! Finally his eyes also halted on his apostles, who were in-charge of the just distribution!

Jesus looked straight into their eyes. They looked down on the ground. He got up and walked towards the crowd. First he saw the Bartholomew and Judas Iscariot standing there protecting seven baskets of bread and three of fish.

“The first time you did your part and I did mine. All of you ate well, and there were twelve baskets left over. The second time I did it all, and nothing was left over. Yet I know that I produced more than enough. Then you came searching for me all the way to this unusual place. This time I worked this miracle in a dramatic manner, against my own wish. And now, food is not enough.”

“What is this for?” Jesus demanded. Iscariot hesitated and said: “We have put these aside for you and for ourselves… I am… the administrator of our group and I thought of reserving something for ourselves.” “So much? I see that you are wise and prudent leaders of my Church,” remarked Jesus with obvious irony in his voice. Moving further he saw that were leaving with bundles of food, collected for a few days to come; some had grabbed

“I have something to tell you all,” Jesus began.

Not even a leaf moved. “How would it be enough?” Jesus asked and paused. Several in the crowd lowered they eyes. The message was going home slowly, at least for those who had ears to hear. “Look at these poor people, hungry and without food. Is it my fault? Had I Don bosco october 2008

produced forty more baskets it would still not be enough! I can produce for your need, not for your greed. My Father too will not do it!” Jesus continued: “What I have done for you three times, my Father does all over the world. He multiplies bread daily! Raise your eyes and look at the fields. You drop a grain of wheat on the ground and the earth produces a hundred. Is that not a miracle? Which of you with all your wisdom and skill can do that? Look at the sea. The fishes multiply in millions. All that is my Father’s work. Then why is food running short? Why are there poor people among you? Look at the animals in the forest. The rabbits eat the grass the wolfs eat the rabbit and the lions eat the wolves. But they never run short of food! Why? Because they satisfy their need, not gather out of greed.” “ You know what I am talking about. But it pains me to tell you that you will not learn the lesson. It will always be a pain in the heart of my Father, that there will be poor, marginalized, deprived and exploited people among you. Are they not his children, and your brothers and sisters? My Father’s daily miracles are in vain, as what I have done today has been. I shall not multiply bread for you again. If you have not learnt so far, you will not learn even if I do it several times. Let him who have ears listen, and let him who has a heart understand!” The crowd got up to go home. Jesus sat down, closed his eyes and remained silent. When most of them had left, he opened his eyes to see a few people still seated there and sharing their bread and fish. Water filled his eyes. They were tears of joy. He was overjoyed to see that while most people had stomachs, some people also had a heart! How he wished he could multiply these! But he knew that not even he, the Son of Almighty God, could do it with a flip of his fingers!

K. Maria Arokiam sdb

mariaarokiam.kanaga@gmail.com 


CURRENT AFFAIRS

Smoking now burns your pocket A ll is not well for smokers in our country. First it was ban on smoking in public places and now fines will be levied for smoking. If someone is caught smoking, then a fine of Rs 200 would be imposed on that person in accordance with the National Tobacco Act. Even smoking in private buildings anywhere in the country will become a punishable offence. “The rate of smoking in foreign countries have come down drastically but it’s on the rise here in our country. Our country has 60 million people who is below the age group of 30 and our youngsters are vulnerable. Unless drastic measures are not

taken it will have disastrous consequences later even affecting our economy “ says health minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss. In an exclusive interview for our magazine he said that he has implemented it despite heavy opposition from many quarters inside the ministry and from outside.

From October 2nd it will be fine for smoking in public places and from December 1st, there will be pictorial warnings on all tobacco products highlighting the ill effects of tobacco. For first time offenders it will be Rs 200 and for the subsequent offence it will be Rs 1000. If an employee is found smoking the employer must shell Rs 5000 from his pocket. Every private building should make it a point to highlight that smoking is prohibited inside the premises so as to avoid paying fines. “Pubs, discos, bars, hotels, restaurants, railway stations, schools, colleges and all offices are under the purview of these new rules,” Ramadoss said that with the new rules coming into force, all hotels with at least 30 rooms and restaurants with a sitting capacity of 30 will be barred from allowing their guests to smoke.

Dr Anbumani Ramadoss Union Health Minister

The government is empowering school principals, post masters, railway station masters and NGOs to book people if they are caught smoking and anybody who is a gazetted officer can take action against the offenders. Concerned state government will appoint and designate people to carry out this work if needed. Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, a general physician by profession points out that when smoking in a closed environment it not only affects the smoker but also non smokers who are present in that place. When an research was carried out, they found out that a non smoker spending just one hour in a pub had a considerable amount of tar and nicotine deposits in his lungs. We can never allow this kind of menace to destroy our society, that’s why we have to come up with such stringent measures. “If you want to smoke, go out to a street never inside a building be it government or private“ says Ramadoss. Jaya, who starts the day with a cigarette said that he is for this law but accepts that he is unable to get out of this habit which started young. Gobinath, says it is all about self discipline. You don’t need a law or an order to tell you what’s right. You are a social animal and it’s your duty to carry out what’s expected from you. Dr. Gurumurthy, says a single cigarette has 4,000 toxic chemicals and when exposed it to for a long time it can shorten life span in addition to other health complications. Smoking thrills initially but it kills finally both you and me.

S. Rajvee

www.rajvee.com, rajvee@rajvee.com 10

Don bosco october 2008


BIBLE

J

oshua, the son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim, was an Israelite leader who succeeded Moses. He was born in Egypt during the Israelite enslavement and about the time when Moses fled to Midian. Joshua shared in all the events of the Exodus and accompanied Moses to perform his important public and spiritual functions. He was one of the twelve spies dispatched to explore the land of Canaan; it was then Moses changed his name from Hoshea to Joshua. He was the first general of the Hebrew nation and as military commander he led the battle against Amalekites. His name signifies, “Yahweh is deliverance or salvation”. In bringing the Israelites

the Ten Commandments. As one of the twelve representatives, only Joshua and Caleb returned with an encouraging positive report to proceed; the other ten incurred divine wrath and punishment, for dissuading the people to enter the Promised Land. Under God’s direction at the age of eighty-two, Moses invested Joshua in a public and solemn manner as his successor. The first step under Joshua’s leadership in conquest of Canaan was sending two spies. In Jericho the spies were helped by Rahab. On their return, they reported the prospects of an easy victory and conquest through Jordan. As the Israelites came to the Jordan River, the waters parted

Personality for Imitation -10

Joshua: First Jewish Conqueror

and piled up into a wall, as they did for Moses at the Red Sea. The people camped in Gilgal on the west of Jordan.

into Canaan, in his wars and battles, in the distribution of the land among the tribes, from the miraculous crossing of Jordan and incredible crumbling of the walls of the fortified city of Jericho, his life and work was an embodiment of his name and an extraordinary personality. Joshua was first mentioned in the Bible as the dedicated minister of Moses. He accompanied him to Mt.Sinai to receive

The first major battle was in Jericho, a city surrounded by a thick wall on all sides. At God’s command the Israelites encircled the city with the Holy Ark for a week whereupon the walls crashed and fell. Then they completely destroyed every living thing and the city, except of Rahab and her family. Although God forbade them to take any of the spoils, Achan disobeyed and hid some garments and silver in his tent. This aroused God’s anger, due to which they were defeated and 36 of them were killed, until the crime was discovered and the culprit was stoned to death. Next through clever tactics, Joshua defeated and destroyed Ai by fire and captured Bethel. The Israelites faced a Southern alliance of the Amorite kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon and Joshua defeated them by causing the Sun to stand still at Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon. Again he faced the gigantic army of northern Canaanite king, Jabin of Hazor, whom he defeated at the waters of Merom. Thus in seven years of continuous wars, six Don bosco october 2008

nations and 31 kings were conquered. Next Joshua partitioned the land among the 12 tribes of Israel as dictated by Yahweh. The tabernacle was moved from Gilgal to Shiloh, the new spiritual centre of Israel for many years. In a closing assembly of the Israelites at Shechem, Joshua delivered his parting admonition, as Moses did before his death, reviewing their own wonderful history, and of the promises and claims of God, and exhorting them to study Torah and obey its precepts. As a memorial of the renewed covenant between God and His people, he set up a great stone under an oak in the sacred precinct of Yahweh. After a leadership of twenty-eight years, at the age of one hundred and ten, Joshua departed this life. His followers laid the knives he used in circumcising the Israelites into his grave, and over it erected a testimonial pillar of the great wonder of the sun standing still and was interred in his home town in Timnath-Serah on Mt. Ephraim. Joshua was one of the greatest leaders of his time. He followed in the footsteps of his captain Moses. Joshua demonstrated himself to be a man of faith, vision, courage, loyalty, obedience, prayer and dedication to God and his holy Word. He remained a loyal leader and a mighty warrior as he constantly lived to fulfill the perfect will of God. He was a man of purpose, direction and decision. He set goals before him and never wavered in meeting them. He continually leaned on the mighty arm of God and overcame every obstacle with His power. His experiences taught him, that believers are not alone in their struggles of this world. And so, in his final address to the Israelites he reminded them of their wonderful history, of the many miracles, and of the precious promises of God. He exhorted them to love the Lord, serve Him only, and remain separated from the world and idols.

Victor Antonyraj sdb victoraraj@yahoo.com

11


W E LL - B E I N G

I

n Phoenix, Arizona a young mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukaemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow and fulfill all his dreams but now that was no longer possible. And seeing her son’s innocent smile, she decided to fight till the end and if possible to make all his innocent dreams come true. She wiped away her tears and took her son’s hand and asked, “Billy, did you ever think or dream about what you wanted to be once you grew up? “Mommy,” he replied, “I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.” She smiled back and said, “Let’s see if we can make your wish come true.” Later that day she went to her local fire department where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as a Phoenix. She explained her son’s final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year old son a ride around the block on a fire engine. Fireman Bob thought for a while and said, “Look, we can do better than that. If you’ll have your son ready at seven o’clock, Wednesday morning, we’ll make him an honorary Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us and go out on all the fire calls! And if you’ll give us his sizes (shirt, pants, shoes), we’ll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat, with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.” Her sad face brightened up. She was now certain that she could make her little son’s dream come true. Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out 12

on all three calls. He rode in different fire engines, the Paramedics van, and even the fire chief’s car. He was also videotaped for the local news program. This little boy lived three months longer because of this dream come true and with the love and attention that was lavished upon him. One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse called the family members to the hospital. Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition. The chief replied, “We can do better than

he said. Billy smiled and said, “I know, my mommy told me that and she said that angels will be holding my hand.” He closed his eyes one last time. A little boy’s innocent dream had come true. (This story is an internet forward and also to be found in ‘Chicken Soup for the soul’) One can look into trains, buses, colleges, schools, market places or in Churches, temples or even seminaries and observe a number of people who are living ordinary lives of quiet desperation with no big dreams pushing them, with no

Live a purpose driven life that. We’ll be there in five minutes. Will you please do me a favour? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system, that it is not a fire in the building but it’s just the fire department coming to see one of its finest members one more time? And will you open the window to his room?” About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy’s third floor open window and 16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy’s room. With his mother’s permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him. With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, “Chief, am I really a fireman now?” “Billy, you are, and the Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,” Don bosco october 2008

We all have dreams but once we grow older we seem to get lost in the maze of life definite purpose driving them. And often they are good people. Often the bad ones are driven by a negative purpose, for example, terrorists. They work with a purpose and a good plan. But ‘good’ people seem to just live or partly live. They are not conscious of their ‘big’ dream or their purpose or the singular message God has sent them to deliver on this earth. When we are small we have dreams but as we grow older we seem to get lost in


W E LL - B E I N G abandoned and neglected people of society and she responds to this call. This was her particular mission, dream or purpose. Don Bosco was nine years old when he had a dream of reaching out to children and youth. He kept dreaming and working on this purpose, against all odds. He was focused and said a definite ‘no’ to other invitations. And today his

Life is all about choices. Live a purpose filled life ... make your life a meaningful existence on this earth.

the maze of life. As I often write, life is all about choices. There is one more choice we can make. We can live a purpose-filled life or a life that is not purpose driven. We can dream great dreams and find the ways to fulfil these dreams or just partly live. Little Billy (in the story above) had a dream but his mother’s love and the fire chief’s compassion made this dream come true. If they had not believed in his dream, if they had scorned his dream, he would have died without having fulfilled his dream. Rick Warren (the author of bestseller ‘Purpose Driven Life’) writes: “People ask me, ‘what is the purpose of life?’ And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.” This we could call the ultimate purpose of our existence and we should be constantly challenged by this purpose, this goal of life. But

we could also think in terms of our meaningful existence on earth. What is my personal contribution to this earth or to our society? We could have dreams for our family and for society at large. If I am a married person I could question myself often and see what is the legacy I want to leave for my family? How will my family members remember me? What will be my contribution to my family? It is important to be conscious of this purpose. The second level of this purpose is our contribution to society. Some have contributed much. Think of world class scientists, inventors, people who discovered various medicines, great artists, world class musicians, engineers, educators, thinkers, philosophers, saints etc. Mother Teresa was a member of a religious congregation and she was struck by the poverty she saw around her. God calls her to leave that congregation and to begin a new mission for the most Don bosco october 2008

followers are reaching out to thousands of youth all over the world. What is my special message, what is my purpose? We have to pray, reflect and discover our personal purpose for being alive. The more we dream and reflect the shadows will give way to light. We will discover a path, a personal path, a rich legacy. All of us may not be called to achieve great dreams or purposes that newspapers and encyclopaedias will record. We may be just called to achieve more humble tasks. But the important factor is to have a purpose. There are people who have planted as many trees as possible, there are those who have organized soup kitchens for the poor or have given water to the thirsty on their streets, or taught others to save rain water. What will your purpose be, what will your verse be? Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lives a great street-sweeper who did his job well’.” Stephen Covey would say: “Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs”.

Joe Andrew sdb

joeandrewsdb@hotmail.com 13


SALESIAN

“BROTHERS CONGRESS will be a source of encouragement” Elaborate preparations are on as the 6th Congress of Salesian Brothers of South Asia 2008 is fast approaching. The Salesian Brothers are looking forward to a meaningful time together apart from a time of planning and a time of real soul searching. The Congress that is to be held in the provincial house in Chennai which looks almost like the headquarters of the Salesian Brothers. As Convener of the Congress Bro.Meril is doubly active with his visits, planning meetings and the preparations of the whole programme. In this interview he shares his sentiments of real joy and satisfaction regarding the preparations for the Congress to Glorious Steve sdb.

1. What did you feel when you heard the news that you will be heading the forthcoming Salesian Brothers Congress as its Convener? It came as a bolt from the blue. I least expected such a responsibility. As I have always accepted challenges happily and, of course in a spirit religious obedience and humble resignation to the will of god manifested through my superiors, I said ‘Yes.’ But when I thought of the volume of work before me I felt helpless; then it occurred to me that the assignment before me was one of collective responsibility and nor of one man’s show. Now I am at it.

2. How do you feel as the Brothers Congress is fast approaching? I feel very much at ease. I have been an early bird and I know that things are moving in the right direction. The Members of the South Asian Commission for Brothers are of immense help to me and the local team that our Province has given me takes care of things at the local level. The feel is one of confidence and achievement.

3. Are you satisfied with the preparations?

Bro. Meril sdb

Very much! We have four preparatory meetings held in different provinces, the last being in Sri Lanka; and several rounds of meeting at the local level. In all these meetings the participants have felt and have expressed that we were moving united as one family for reaping a plentiful harvest. Our final preparatory meeting is scheduled to be held in Chennai in November and we have invited our provincial and the Provincial Council to join in our discussions.

Congress is to be an occasion for the Salesian Brothers to meet to review their own unique Salesian Call in the context of the modern society. 14

Don bosco october 2008


SALESIAN

4. Are all the provinces cooperating to make this a successful event so as to revitalize the Brothers Vocations? Let us feel proud of our Salesian solidarity born of our unique family spirit. There is much cooperation from every member Province. The Brothers Congress is the celebration of the Salesian Family. Of course Chennai, the host Province, and Tiruchy our brother Province are playing a major and a prominent role; and, of course, this is to be expected. I am very happy that the Salesian Provinces of South Asia have joined hands for the success of this mega event.

5. What would be the expected results of this much talked about Brothers Congress? First of all the Congress is to be an occasion for the Salesian Brothers to meet to review their own unique Salesian Call in the context of the modern society, and to understand their own role in the great Salesian

Family. We believe that the Congress will be a source of encouragement for the Salesian Brothers to pursue their own unique call to be Salesian Brother and to find happiness and joy; fulfillment and contentment; achievement and accomplishment. We also hope that there will be an appreciable rise in the number of Brothers in the Congregation.

6. What kind of administrative changes do you visualize as a result of this Brothers Congress? I feel that the Congregations has come to recognize the role of the Salesian Brother in the Salesian Family and a variety of administrative assignments and responsibilities as animators have been placed on their shoulders. If the Salesian Brother continues to be in the mainstream of the society there will be much joy and happiness in his vocation as Brother.

7. What is the response from the Generalate and the Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia? The response from our Rector Major and the Generalate has been very encouraging. Our Rector Major has been very prompt with his replies to my letters. I must say that he has been one of the first to sent his message for the Congress. He has also delegated the Economer General for the Congress. We are very happy that a Salesian Brother has been chosen as the Economer General of the Congregation. The Regional of South Asia, Rev. Fr. Maria Arokiam, has also been of immense help and support.

Photo: Glorious steve

8. As you were preparing for the Congress, what achievement of yours comes to your mind. I have loved my call to be a Salesian Brother. Of course, my parents could not and did not understand this way of life; so do many others. But I am very happy that my sphere of influence over the youth to whom I am sent has not been diminished in any way because I am a Brother I have changed the lives of the young whom I have served with joy and zeal. This would continue to my last breath. Don bosco october 2008

15


S T UD E N T S

PLU S

10. The Five Methods of Taking Notes -3 T

here are many reasons for taking class/lecture notes. First of all you must know that making yourself take notes forces you to listen carefully and test your understanding of the material. Secondly, when you are reviewing, notes provide a gauge to what is important in the text. Thirdly, personal notes are usually easier to remember than the text. Lastly, the writing down of important points helps you to remember then even before you have studied the material formally. Earlier you have seen the three types of taking class notes. Here I would like to bring before the last two ways of taking class notes.

The Charting Method

This is another way of taking class notes. If the lecture format is distinct (such as chronological), you may set

Its an easy review for both, memorisation of facts and study of comparisons and relationships. 16

up your paper by drawing columns and labelling appropriate headings in a table. This method is very simple. Determine the categories to be covered in the lecture. Set up your paper in advance by columns headed by these categories. As you listen to the lecture, record information (words, phrases, main ideas, etc.) into the appropriate category. The advantage of this method is that it helps you track conversation and dialogues where you would normally be confused and lose out on relevant content. It reduces amount of writing necessary. And it provides easy review mechanism for both memorization of facts and study of comparisons and relationships. It has Don bosco october 2008

few disadvantages except learning how to use the system and locating the appropriate categories. You must be able to understand what’s happening in the lecture.

When to Use

This method will be useful during the test that will focus on both facts and relationships; when the content is heavy and presented fast; when you want to reduce the amount of time you spend editing and reviewing at test time; and when you want to get an overview of the whole course on one big paper sequence.

Example:


S T UD E N T S

The Sentence Method

This is the last method of taking notes. How does this method work? Write every new thought, fact or topic on a separate line, numbering as you progress. The advantage of this method is that it is slightly more organized than the paragraph. It will help you get more or all of the information that you’ve wanted and thinking to tract content is still limited. The disadvantages are that it can’t determine major/minor points from the numbered sequence. It will be difficult to edit without having to rewrite by clustering points which are related and it will be difficult to review unless editing cleans up relationship. It is useful when the lecture is somewhat organized, but heavy with content which comes fast. You can hear the different points, but you don’t know how they fit together. The instructor tends to present in point fashion, but not in grouping such as “three related points.”

Examples:

A revolution is any occurrence that affects other aspects of life, such as economic life, social life, and so forth. Therefore revolutions cause change. (See page 29 to 30 in your text about this.)

Sample Notes:

Revolution - occurrence that affects other aspects of life: e.g., econ., socl., etc. C.f. text, pp. 29-30

Saving Time on Taking Notes

Here are some hints regarding taking notes on classroom lectures that can save time for almost any student. Some students say that they plan to rewrite or type their notes later. To do so is to use a double amount of time; once to take the original notes and a second to rewrite them. The

Notes taken down in shorthand needs to be transcribed. Lecture on tape has to be listened to in its entirety.

PLU S

advice is simple: DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME! Second, there are some students who attempt to take notes in shorthand. Though shorthand is a valuable tool for a secretary, it is almost worthless for a student doing academic work. Here’s why. Notes in shorthand cannot be studied in that form. They must first be transcribed. The act of transcribing notes takes an inordinate amount of time and energy but does not significantly contribute to their mastery. It is far better to have taken the notes originally in regular writing and then spend the time after that in direct study and recitation of the notes. Third, do not record the lesson on a cassette tape or any other tape. The lecture on tape precludes flexibility. This statement can be better understood when seen in the light of a person who has taken his/her notes in regular writing. Immediately after taking the notes this person can study them in five minutes before the next class as s/he walks toward the next building, as s/he drinks his/her coffee, or whatever. Furthermore, this student, in looking over his/her notes, may decide that the notes contain only four worthwhile ideas which s/he can highlight, relegating the rest of the lecture to obscurity. Whereas the lecture on tape has to be listened to in its entirety including the worthwhile points as well as the “garbage,” handwritten notes may be studied selectively. A student who takes the easy way out - recording the lecture on tape as he or she sits back doing nothing - will box him or herself into inflexibility.

Merlyn Ross

merlyns@rediffmail.com Dear students, write to merlyns@rediffmail.com about the problems and anxieties you face in your studies. They will be addressed in the forthcoming issues. Don bosco october 2008

17


COVER

STORY

Christians Under Siege Spreading violence in the name of religion for political gain

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he peaceful and serene Kandhamal district of Orissa with all its tribal population seems to be having a permanent scar not of victory and valour but of betrayal and jealousy; not of a quest for money and wealth, but of failure to remove intolerance and filth from within. The green surroundings and thickly spread foliage seemed to be permanently coloured with a dark and gloomy ashes of the burnt houses and people in stark contrast to what they meant two months ago. You see deserted villages as a result of one of the worst communal violence Orissa has seen, which claimed at least 30 lives. Today Christians are under siege not only in Orissa, but, in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and in some parts of Tamilnadu too.

Orissa attacks

Reports said that the carnage began at midnight on August 23-24, hours 18

alive. Many churches and prayer houses were burnt down in Kandhamal district. Rajni Majhi, a 19-yearold Hindu girl who studied in a local college but worked in the orphanage as an auxiliary nurse, was burnt alive and a priest was beaten up badly, reported the Frontline. Serious trouble started when the Naveen Patnaik government succumbed to VHP pressure and allowed followers of Lakshmanananda to take out the funeral procession from the swami’s ashram through hundreds of villages.

after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati as shot dead at around 8 p.m. at his ashram at Jalespata. Over the next two weeks, thousands of houses were looted and burnt down by the attackers who targeted members of the Christian community. At least 16 were dead in Kandhamal. Informed sources said, houses belonging to Christians were set on fire and pastors and members of the community were attacked and burnt Don bosco october 2008

Hundreds of people had gathered to pay their last respects to Lakshmanananda. When the procession passed through the localities the mob started attacking Christians, who were perceived to be Congress supporters; many Hindu families were also attacked because they were Congress supporters. The attackers included activists of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and other Sangh Parivar organisations, and workers of the BJP and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), parties that are partners in the government headed by Naveen Patnaik.


COVER Three priests who were attacked in Kandhamal district in August are undergoing medical treatment in Mumbai. Fr. Bernard Digal, Fr. Edward Sequeira and Fr. Thomas Chellan, all in their mid-50s, are members of the Society of the Divine Word religious congregation. There were attacks on Christians who belonged to the Scheduled Castes and on people who claimed tribal status on the grounds that they spoke the Kui language of the Kondh tribal people.

Silent spectators

Barring the arrest of some protesters, throughout the State the police largely remained mute spectators to the harassment of people who ventured out of their houses during the bandh. This shows that they were acting on the instructions of their political bosses. As the additional police force was engaged in protecting government establishments and facilitating the funeral procession, protesters continued with their aggression by felling trees and blocking roads that led to the interior pockets of the district. In many places, media sources said, even neighbours turned enemies and burnt alive members of Christian families. People from neighbouring villages also joined in, looting and torching the houses of Christians, who fled into the surrounding forests and hills. Many of the victims hid in the jungles for up to seven days and came out only when the police reached there and assured them safety. Soon the relief camps were set up. But they were not enough to hold the homeless and the government set up more camps. At the overcrowded camps people were enquiring about the whereabouts of their near and dear who were missing even 10 days after the violence erupted. Several political parties and organisations demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the swami’s killing and the subsequent violence. But Patnaik

STORY

Maoist hand? There is confusion about who killed Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati. Among the questions being asked were: Were the killers Maoists or a group of Maoists who supported a section of Christians who wanted to eliminate the swami because he was working to bring Christian converts back into the Hindu fold? Were militant Christians, who were allegedly behind several attacks on the swami in the past few years, behind this attack too? The modus operandi of the assailants, the use of sophisticated weapons and the brutal manner of the slayings point to the involvement of Maoists. Initially the police said they suspected the Maoists and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the swami had been killed by a group of extremists. But after Sangh Parivar organisations claimed that militant Christians were responsible for the crime, the police became tight-lipped. Though a few persons were arrested, the police would only say that the investigation was in progress. In fact, soon after the killing, a report in a newspaper said a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) called up the newspaper to claim that the organisation was behind the killing. Later, a few media houses received letters saying that the CPI(Maoist) was not involved in the incident and that some of its cadre might have committed the crime by playing into others’ hands. However, a few days later, media reports said the central committee of the CPI (Maoist) issued a statement in New Delhi claiming responsibility for the murder. Whatever the truth, a Maoist hand in the killing has not been ruled out because the swami was expanding his base in Malkangiri district where the left-wing extremists have a strong presence. The swami visited Malkangiri a few months ago to attend a function of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. As regards the probe into the killing, sources in the ruling alliance said the government was not willing to hand it over to the CBI as it apprehended that the agency may be influenced by the Central government. Whoever may be the culprits, many in the ruling alliance in the State would not want them to be arrested before the next Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Identification and arrest of the killers will deny the Sangh Parivar the chance of making it an issue in the polls in the tribal-dominated districts where the swami had a strong following. Courtesy : The Frontline

Don bosco october 2008

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STORY

Deccan Churches Attacked A Crusade against Christians in Karnataka

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verything began on September 8. A Christian prayer hall was vandalized in Bada village of Davangere district. Three other churches were targeted in the district before this incident.

commissioner of Davangere, K. Amar Narayan, gave instructions to check how many churches were authorized. He made it clear that the survey would be only for churches and Christian prayer halls.

Yeddyurappa, while maintaining that the focus would be on preserving communal harmony, said, “The rule of law will prevail. Nobody has the right to indulge in forcible conversions, and inducement to pave the way for conversions is banned.”

Speaking to ‘The Week,’ on why no action was being taken against temples that encroached on public places, BJP state spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said, “If you don’t expect temples to come up in a Hindu country, where else do you expect they will?”

But, his words clearly stated that the victims of the attacks were at fault, not the perpetrators. The Deputy

So it was not surprising that when 14 churches were attacked in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Chickmagalur

Hindu Extremism in Madhya Pradesh

A

Hindu Extremist group named Dharm Raksha Sena alleged to have set fire the Cathedral Church of the Catholic Diocese of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. This incident took place on 18th September 2008. This is following the burning of Church in Ratlam district and Indore districts have just happened in two weeks time. The police have falsely implicated Christians in both cases. St. Aloysius College Principal Fr. Dr. Davis George said , “ the members of the Dharm Raksha Sena lead by Yogesh Agrwal threatened the Parish Priest Fr. Rocky that he will burn the Church. Fr. Rocky registered an FIR Mr. Marko Antony , the Joint Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Isai Mahasang says,”The police also know the culprits but are trying to save the culprits.” “ The miscreants burnt the alter, sanctuary , Holy Bible , Holy Cross, the statue of st. Peter and Paul and many other precious holy articles in the Church. We are ready to go to 20

any extend to protect our faith”, said Mr. Manish Charles, the State Youth President of the Madhya Pradesh Isai Mahasangh. Hearing the news thousands of angry people gathered in the Church demanding immediate arrest of the Culprits. The Christian community is planning to meet the Chief Minister asking for strict action on Mr. Yogesh Agarwal and security all over the state. On 31st August 2008 the same extremists group came to this same Church to burn the effigy of the Holy Father. They returned as they were stopped by the youth and police. Police and the district administration is tight lipped on the entire issue. Archbishop Dr. Leo Cornelio has condemned the incident and asked for the immediate arrest of the culprits. It is one of the most unfortunate times for us , we need to stand united.” Fr. Anand Muttungal Spokesperson Catholic Council of Bishops , M.P

Don bosco october 2008

said the Special Investigation Team set up to probe the killing of the swami and four others was capable of bringing the guilty to book.

BJP pressure

On the other hand, the BJP put pressure on the government to arrest those involved in the murder of Lakshmanananda. While all organisations of the Sangh Parivar insisted that conversion was the main reason for the communal tension in Kandhamal, the BJP urged the Chief Minister to implement strictly the laws pertaining to conversion and the ban on cow slaughter. On the political front, a joint initiative by all political parties could restore peace and communal harmony in the district. But that is unlikely to happen as elections to both the Lok Sabha and the State Assembly are scheduled for next year.

Justice delayed

The record of the BJD-BJP government shows that it has never


COVER districts on September 14, state Bajrang Dal convener Mahendra Kumar proudly declared that the organisation was behind it. In the Adoration Monastery on Falnir Road in Mangalore, a mob damaged the crucifix and the tabernacle. In the afternoon, Mahendra Kumar told the Mangalore media that the Bajrang Dal had carried out the attacks. “We will continue to do this against all churches indulging in conversion,” he said. The sizeable Christian community in Dakshina kannada protested against the attacks and clashed with the police, who resorted to lathicharge and teargassing. While prayer halls in Davangere were attacked on grounds that they were “illegal structures”, in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Chickmagalur,

churches were targeted for allegedly converting people. Though the Bajrang Dal claimed they were targeting the New Life Group, even Catholic churches were attacked. ‘The Week’ and ‘Tehelka’ reported that there had been 55 attacks on churches in different parts of Karnataka since the BJP came to power in the state. “This is payback time for the BJP. Which has built its success on 40 years of hard work by the RSS,”Tehelka reported. “While the various Christian groups were targeted, the primary anger of the BJP, RSS and VHP is on the newly emerging church groups which are booming and which try to lure the people with money if they joined their churches. While Catholic and other prominent churches remain silent about such incidents, the BJP is alarmed

STORY

about the growing menace,” said some informed sources from Bangalore. Yeddyurappa alleged the attacks were an opposition conspiracy “to besmirch the government’s image”. The Congress and the JD(S) said the attacks were part of the BJP’s “hidden agenda”. Congress leader Veerappa Moily called it “state-sponsored communal terrorism”, and alleged that the culprits were being allowed to go scot free. More than 170 people were arrested. But on why Mahendra Kumar was not arrested, the chief minister’s reply was that “the police have also arrested Bajrang Dal activists”. Yeddyurappa ruled out a judicial probe, and ordered an inquiry into the sources of funds for the New Life Fellowship Trust (NLFT).

acquired a new dimension because of the interplay of social, political and cultural factors say media persons. Brushing aside all their differences the BJD workers joined BJP activists to enforce the State-wide bandh called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and other Sangh Parivar outfits. As of now Patnaik, his critics say, is going the Modi way with his eyes set on the elections.

been serious in its approach to ensure peace in Kandhamal. In fact, the district witnessed communal violence for more than a week in December last year following an attack on Lakshmanananda Saraswati. At least four persons were killed and hundreds of houses of Christians were burnt

down. While the judicial inquiry into the violence is still on the next judicial inquiry into the killing of Lakshmanananda and the communal violence is followed. By the time the reports of the two commissions see the light of day, Kandhamal’s communal clashes may well have Don bosco october 2008

“ Looking into the whole communal attacks on Christian community in the country and naming whole Muslims as terrorists , I tend to believe that it is a vicious technique of Sangh Parivar and its Gujrath mascot to install a desperate man in the waiting list to be the Prime minister of India , because he might cross to his eighties if does not become PM this time.” Said , Fr. Anand Muttungal, the PRO and the Spokesperson for M.P Bishops Council and coordinator of Madhya Pradesh Isai Mahasangh. Glorious Steve 21


COVER

STORY

“Modithva must spread�

Interview with L. Ganesan, the Tamilnadu state unit president of the BJP.

Following Orissa there is a widespread violence against Christians in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. The secularism of India is under question again and again. With religious freedom on one hand and the threats against conversion on the other, the Christian community is at crossroads as it is targeted for some sporadic conversions in some parts of the country. While there are political questions behind every heinous attack, even more serious issues irritate the BJP, RSS and VHP groups. L. Ganesan, the Tamilnadu state unit president of the BJP, opens his heart for the first time about the background of the anti-christian violence and issues that lead to constant friction and violence between Hindu and Christian religious groups in this Interview to the editor, Glorious Steve.

What is the background against which this continuous violence against Christians is set? Swami Lakshmanananda, an 82 year venerable man had been working for the upliftment of the tribals and dalits in that region for many years. The Christian missionaries were trying to convert the hindus. But, there was no support from the hindu harijans. Similarly, many harijans who became Christians were constantly rubbing shoulders with the tribals. This constant friction was created by the Christian missionaries and particularly the priests. Swami Lakshmanananda opposed this. So the Christians missionaries were angry with him. Prior to the killing of Swami Lakshmananandna there were four attempts on his life. Every time the missionaries were behind the attempt.

Is in’t it true that there were news reports saying the Maoists were behind the murder and that they had accepted that they were responsible for the act? That is a wrong presupposition. Generally, governments, government servants, and the police used to be the target of the Maoists. How can a swamiji who was serving the people become the enemy of the Maoist? So, Maoists have no part in the murder. In fact, a news was passed by the district collector to all the Christian run schools to safeguard themselves some hours before the incident took place. How can this happen? This is a planned murder. And Christian missionaries are behind the murder. 22

What about Karnataka? It is BJP that is in power in Karnataka... The reason is politics. It is planned to bring down the image of the ruling BJP. be hind these attacks there is Congress party. The police dogs have gone straight to the house of a member of the Congress party. This is to fool the Christian community to get their votes. Christians are being treated as fools. Generally Hinduism practices tolerance. At the same time, many people miscalculate our tolerant behaviour. How long can we tolerate this? People say that in Orissa and Karnataka there is BJP rule that is why Christians are attacked. But in Kerala only the Communists are ruling. How is that Christians are attacked there? In fact, Communism propagates atheistic principles and is just opposite to Christianity which believes in God. Even there Christians are attacked for political reasons. Christians must make an effort to understand who is good and who is evil.

There are many denominations within Christianity? How is that most of the Catholics and catholic institutions are targeted when such attacks take place? The one who indulges in violence will not differentiate between who is a Lutheran, CSI or a Catholic. All of them appear to be the same. During an emotional outburst he will not be looking for the differences. There is so much of anger against Christians because they have become like the multinational companies. They set target and work. How can you work for conversion with targets. It is to do

Don bosco october 2008


COVER with conscience. How can this be right? I am not blaming all the Christian institutions. I am referring to the many new churches and organisations emerging in the name of Christians. Such organisations are to be banned and this business in the name of religion has to be stopped.

Observing the recent violence all these, it looks as if the BJP run states seem to follow the style of Modi in Gujarath, thinking that taking a violent path will fetch them success politically. Is it true? It is a wrong perception about Modi. Modi never indulged in such politics. People are happy about the rule of Modi. It is true that he controls every religion with an iron hand. He is very strict everyone. Many women happily say that they are able to walk even at night without any fear. You must understand fully what modi has done there. Media propagate a word called ‘Modithva.’ I say, modithva is not bad. We are proud about that and Modithva must spread.

Aspects of Christianity you like and aspects you dislike... I like the unity that is evidently seen among Christians. Yours is an organised religion. You feel for each other. Otherwise how is it possible for you to close down schools condemning the attacks in Orissa? The second aspect I like is their service mindedness. This is nurtured in every Christian. Even women and nuns go with courage to serve the people even at night. I shed tears reading the news about a girl who wanted to serve Jesus as a nun but was denied the opportunity

who eventually went on to commit suicide. I dislike the sprouting of new organisations without proper motive. We condemn churches that attract people with money from abroad.

Do you differentiate between Islam fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism? There is no point in that. But, Christians are behind the separatist movements of the north eastern states. We condemn that. Conversions are going in a grand scale in the north east.

In the last 20 years Christian population has

STORY

There is so much of anger against Christians because they have become like the multinational companies. They set target and work. How can you work for conversion with targets. It is to do with conscience.

not even crossed 2%. How can you say there is a lot of conversion? The problem is they begin to demand separate status after becoming a majority. Even if they have not grown in number ideologically they are united and fight against the rest. What is important for us is nationalism. The nation is more important for us than anything else. We cannot tolerate regionalism or separatism.

Ph

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Ra

jv

ee

L. Ganesan

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‘We need a government that can be fair to all’ Now the Church is actively engaged in empowering and educating people. So, naturally the Church becomes the target, tells Fr. Adolf Washington, the Public Relations Officer, President of Indian Catholic Press Association and the Managing Director & Editor- in- Chief of South Asian Religious News, in an Interview to Fr.Glorious Steve. 1. Do you think that the Church is the real target of the BJP agenda or is there something else for which Christians and the churches are targeted?

begin to claim and assert their Constitutional Rights. Now the Church is actively engaged in empowering and education people. So, naturally the Church becomes the target.

That’s a good question. The real target is against any organisation, movement or persons that engage in the education and empowerment of the poor and the marginalized. Because with education and empowerment of the marginalized, people who were voiceless begin to speak-up against unjust socio economic structures, be it against bonded labour, casteism or any oppressive

2. Do you think that all the Christian groups are united in fighting the BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal? If yes, what kind of coordinated actions have come about? If no, what causes the uneasiness among various churches to unite?

structure. With education and empowerment people also

The presence of several denominations does not imply the Church is disunited. Unity does not imply uniformity of doctrine and form of worship. Unity to me implies ‘a feeling of oneness and solidarity despite difference. In a way, we are having common suffering and so we seem to be looking in the same direction and are looking at the same enemies who are perpetrating violence against the Church.

3. What are the strategic moves made by the Karnataka Church so far? Are you satisfied with the strategies proposed so far? The Church in Karnataka has exerted sufficient pressure on the State, the Centre, on the Judiciary and on the Police Machinery in making them curb the spread

Fr. Adolf Washington 24

Don bosco october 2008

In a way, we are having common suffering and so we seem to be looking in the same direction and are looking at the same enemies who are perpetrating violence against the Church.


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of violence. NGOs, people of other faiths have also joined hands in solidarity with the Church.

4. How well do the opposition parties particularly the Congress and JD cooperate in fighting against BJP? I think we should not be too concerned about looking for political parties as Godfathers of the Christian community. What we need is a government that can be fair to all communities and not antagonise or spread hate campaigns against anybody.

The Church has exerted sufficient pressure on the Judiciary. In Orissa, Archbishop Cheenath took the state to the Supreme court. In Karnataka we made a representation to Justice Nayak on the National Human Rights Commission.

5. What kind of clashes happened in Dakshina Kannada and what are their effects? How well are they poised since there are sizeable number in the Christian community there? We must not use the word Clashes. When we say clashes, we are talking about two or more groups confronting each other. There were not clashes in Dakshina Kannada, there was force by one group exerted upon a peaceful, praying community. The attacks ranged from ransacking prayer halls and Churches and convents, desecration of sacred vessels, destruction of furniture, burning of bibles and holy pictures, destruction of statues and even desecration of the Holy Eucharist. The ‘sizeable’ number of Christians you speak of are not there to serve as an armed force to fightthey are simple Christians who go about their day to day worship.

6. Have you made legal moves sufficiently so as to strengthen the case of Christian communities? Yes, I had mentioned that the Church has exerted sufficient pressure on the Judiciary. In Orissa, Archbishop Cheenath took the state to the Supreme court. In Karnataka we made a representation to Justice Nayak on the National Human Rights Commission. I was part of the delegation that met Justice Nayak.

7. Are there strong Christian youth movements within the Karnataka Church to plan for a future course of action? Every new problem gives us opportunities to look for new possibilities. The Church is planning strategic responses and a plan of action. We will gradually know it.

8. What are the significant roles played by the religious congregations during this crisis? Everybody is working. Let us not single out Religious Congregations. We are together in this struggle.

9. How are the media in Karnataka responding to these heinous attacks? There is bias in the Media. But that is unavoidable because some of them have their own policies and ideological slants. However, by and large, The Media in Karnataka, or I must say, the Global Media responded and reported issues pretty fairly.

10. What is the response from Rome and other churches? The Vatican is informed and aware of the happenings. The Vatican expresses its concern and so do other global Christian organisations.

11. Yeddyurappa held discussions with Archbishop of Bangalore and invoked Anti-Goonda Act on all those involved in attacks on places of Christian worship. How do you look at this act of Yeddyurappa? The anti-goonda act is pretty complicated. You can arrest someone under the act, but the process that leads to a conviction in a court of law is extremely long and tough. You have to go into the past records of the accused and establish a length of evidences to convict the person.

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h u mo u r

Humour

At the public pool

Picking a punishment

The lifeguard told the mother to make her young son stop urinating in the pool. “Everyone knows,” the mother lectured him, “that from time to time, young children will urinate in a pool.” “Oh really?” said the lifeguard, “but not from the diving board!!!?”

Geography Class Teacher: What is the axis of the earth? Student: The axis of the earth is an imaginary line which passes from one pole to the other, and on which the earth revolves.

Teacher: Very good. Now, could you hang clothes on that line?

A man dies and is sent to Hell. Satan meets him and shows him the doors to three rooms and says he must choose one of the rooms to spend eternity in. So Satan opens first door and in the room there are people standing in cow manure up to their necks. The guy says “No, please show me the next room”.

the

Satan shows him the next room and this has people with cow manure up to their noses. And so he says no again. Finally, Satan shows him the third and final room. This time there are people in there with cow manure up to their knees drinking cups of tea and eating cakes. So the man says, “I’ll choose this room”. Satan says O.K. The man is very happy for choosing this room when suddenly Satan pops his head around, and says “O.K. teabreak is over. Back on your heads!”

Student: Yes, Sir. Teacher: Indeed, and what sort of clothes? Student: Imaginary clothes, Sir

Basketball coach The psychology instructor had just finished a lecture on mental health and was giving an oral test.

Three very tough mice Three rats are sitting at the bar bragging about their bravery and toughness. The first says, “I’m so tough, once I ate a whole bagful of rat poison!” The second says, “Well I’m so tough, once I was caught in a rat trap and I bit it apart!” Then the third rat gets up and says, “Ok friends, I’m off home to beat up the cat.”

Speaking specifically about manic depression, she asked, “How would you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs then sits in a chair weeping uncontrollably the next?” A young man in the rear raised his hand and answered, “A basketball coach?”

Are caterpillars good to eat? Johnny : Daddy, are caterpillars good to eat? Father : Have I not told you never to mention such things during meals! Mother : Why did you say that, John? Why did you ask the question? Johnny : It’s because I saw one on daddy’s sandwich, but now it’s gone

Joseph

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Don bosco october 2008


me d i a

T

he incidents that we read about video games are not merely news. They are bound to occur in our homes anytime. As a form of multimedia, the video games are synthesis of 3D art, computer graphic effects, artificial intelligence, sound effects, dramatic performances, music, story telling and importantly they are interactive. There are claims that harnessing people’s fascination with video games could accelerate alertness of mind, quick thinking, solving of problems. They are seen as contributors that could help the minds particularly young minds. Some even see it as ‘good’ winning over ‘evil’

and emphasis that video games impart values. L. Prakash thinks that the world is full of ecological and environmental problems, problems of famines and drought which are solvable in video games. He claims that this in turn contributes for better living in the long run. The interactivity factor has created more controversy than merely accepting all the positive claims. Media analysts and psychologists agree that it is this interactivity that enables the player to emergent behaviour, be part of graphic violence, exposed to sexual themes, advertising in games, consumption of drugs, breaking of rules, etc., Though all these negative elements are found in

Game of death Though all these negative elements are found in other forms of entertainment and media, final nail is struck on video games.

other forms of entertainment and media, final nail is struck on video games. The accusation also leads to lack of ‘video games censorship’. Internet has furthered interactive games and creates opportunity to form a community of players all over the world. The players meet in a playing field through the internet. Often there it turns out to be their battle field. Though this is cited to develop communal feeling among the players the opponents claim that it exposes young people to the world of danger and self destruction. As the debate continues one factor is clear today. A recent study conducted uncovered that video game industry’s ever-tightening chain around our nation’s children and youth. It was found that an alarming 21% of respondents in the survey who had purchased a copy of the popular role-model game ‘Grand Theft Auto IV’ were between the ages of seven and sixteen. This game is a crime glorification simulation game. In this game the gamer gains points for beating Don bosco october 2008

matter

up innocent police officers to death with decapitated bodies. The game itself was rated ‘M’ for ‘Mature’. But the most distressing and alarming fact of the survey is not that 61% of youngsters had been tricked to purchase the games themselves but that 39% are aided by someone else to do so and in this 80% of the cases are parents themselves. Dr. Alfred Larmist describes this as a dangerous conduit. Others and particularly parents getting involved is the last thing we need. He laments that the parents are to be on our side. Among other popular games of super hero, penumbra series there is also final fantasy series. In the later, the character of Tifa is barely clothed and sporting some serious health hazards is a shameless move to sex-up the series. It is nothing less than pornographic. On the violence of video games Dr. Grasman’s study explores a term AVIDS (Aquired Violence Immuno Deficiency Syndrome). This also like AIDS (Aquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome). AVIDS too does not kill people immediately. It neutralizes the antibiotics of violence resistance.Hence violence enters one’s mind easily and dominates one’s behaviour. Though arguments could be produced from both the sides, the industry is absolutely irresponsible and market oriented. We don’t have any mechanism in place to control and contribute positively through video games to the growth of children and young people. Dr. Larmist cautions that if nothing is done the video gamers will reduce our society to naught. I think that caution should be taken seriously before video games turns out be games of death in reality.

A. Raj sdb

rajsdb@gmail.com 27


sa l es i an

news

BRIEFLY 10.09.08, the CHILDLINE DAY CHILDLINE had dual celebrations, CHILDLINE DAY 10.09.08 and the 10th anniversary of CHENNAI CHILDLINE. Beach road was filled with college boys and girls joining the celebration with the CHILD FOUNDATION INDIA. It celebrated its CHILDLINE DAY on 10.09.08 and CHENNAI CHILDLINE its 10th anniversary. Ms. Manorama, Director of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) presided over the function. She, in her keynote address, insisted that college students and the public in general, should take it as their personal responsibility to understand the importance of CHILD RIGHTS and the availability of Free Phone line for child related cases (1098). It was then followed by a Human Chain to insist the same cause. (BIS)

NE PASTORAL CONFERENCE 2008 On 8th September, the annual Pastoral Conference of the bishops of NE India and of all the major superiors of religious congregations working in the region was inaugurated. The function started at 6.00 pm with the keynote address by the President of the NE Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil. Some lay catechists were also invited to this conference. This year’s theme for the Conference was “Challenges of Faith Formation in NE India Today”. There were about 176 participants who came from different parts of NE India. The event took place at the Cathedral Hall in Laitumkhrah Parish. (BIS) 28

Focus on the child, not on the act of the juvenile Zealous child right activists from across the country gathered at Don Bosco Rehabilitation Centre, Ramanthapur, Hyderabad for two days, September 20 and 21, 2008 for a national consultation on Juvenile Justice (JJ) in India. Organised by the Juvenile Justice National Network, which has its operational desk at Don Bosco Navajeevan, Vijayawada the two day consultation conclusively decided upon evolving into a more committed and involved knowledge and information sharing body. Eventually this body would also exercise its enormous potential in positively effecting national policies through lobbying in order to make the nation a child friendly place.

risk with the intention of consolidating an open and progressive platform to review the Juvenile Justice Act of the country and the emerging policies. The chief guest for the inaugural ceremony on September 20, 2008 was Justice Rohini, the Judge at the High Court, Andhra Pradesh. She began her inspiring keynote address saying, “Children are the most important national asset and the country’s future depends upon their proper development, both physical and mental.” She later clearly listed down eight suggestions for the group to discuss and reflect upon, most important among them: to focus on the The consultation brought child and not on the criminal together over a 110 government act of the juvenile. officials and NGOs working Adding variety and bring in the sector of the young at out the best was the

intention of having a good mixture of input sessions, group discussions, presentations, timely recapitulations and lively round of floor discussions. The group finally arrived at a consensus to commit itself to forming into a wider lobbying body which would make a conscious effort to share and receive information related to child rights interventions. Facilitating this would be the Juvenile Justice website www. jjindia.net The regional and interest area group discussions too led to the formulation of several specific action plans: powerpack to spread awareness about the JJ Act, better monitoring of Juvenile homes, training of Child Welfare Committee members, sharing of best practices, media sensitivity towards child issues and facilitate operational structures, all of this in the best interest of the child. (BIS)

Don Bosco Veedu - Nodal Agency for Missing Child Search Bangalore, Sep. 19. As per the order from Government of Kerala, the Don Bosco Veedu project for the ‘young at risk’ at Trivandrum now has been made the nodal agency for Missing Child Search and Child Protection Homelink Network. Trivandrum Don Bosco Veedu Society is the nodal agency for the Government project “Missing Child Search and Child Protection Home Link Network” in the state of Kerala as well as the implementing organisation in the district of Trivandrum. The Government has also allocated funds for the district implementation for this programme. The objectives of the Missing Children’s Network that is proposed is as follows: • Data Collection and tracing of missing children and restoring/rehabilitating them by using effective tools and strategies • To build up networking between Department of Social Welfare, Police Department, NGOs and likeminded personnel and to develop a holistic approach regarding the problem of Missing children and their repatriation • To create awareness among parents, sensitize the public on Missing Child Search (MCS) Don bosco october 2008

• To develop an effective and strong network system for MCS with stakeholders at all levels of operation • To improve the System of collecting the data of unaccompanied children and complaints on missing children in order to make an early repatriation • Cent percent reporting of the complaints on missing children This is surely yet another success model in being able to convince the government of taking steps towards implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act. At present the Don Bosco Projects have been appointed as nodal agencies both in the states of Karnataka and Kerala. (BIS)


sa l es i an

South-Asia Formation Commission Meet, Hyderabad Fresh with the ideas and inspirations of the General Chapter 26, the South-Asia Formation meet sought to remould the formation modules in order to rekindle the passion of the da mihi animas. In this sense, the GC 26 document along with the six-year plan of the Congregation served as a launching pad for discussion and reflection. It was agreed that each formation commission

news

BRIEFLY

A noteworthy point of the meet was the presence DIVYADAAN HOSTS SEMINAR of all the delegates of formation of the South-Asia ON HUMAN RIGHTS region. The presence of Fr Francesco Cereda, the The province of Mumbai Councillor for formation and Fr Maria Arokiam organised a two days Kanaga, the Regional Councillor of South Asia informative, analytical and completed the whole team. The presence of Fr Jose action-oriented seminar on Kuttianimattathil, the SPCSA delegate Provincial ‘Human Rights in the Indian too added depth to the emerging thoughts. The Context’ on September 9 four day meeting took a closer look at all the and 10, at Divyadaan. The stages of formation, especially the pre-novitiate participants also included stage. Networking among the various provincial all the students and novices commissions with a sharp interest in identifying of the campus, the Salesian areas of intersection which would facilitate the Sisters around the campus enrichment of the formation process was another and diocesan youth directors area explored. from the MP region. Given the openness of the members, there was a Fr. Savio Silveira, at the great amount of acceptance of the out of the box outset, welcomed the thinking with the sincere intention of rejuvenating participants and speakers. our own Salesian life. There was consensus to He called these two days a would draw up the profile of a Salesian from the address identity issues that are becoming more journey into the world of inspirations of the GC and the grounded reality and more vocal in the various parts of the country human rights in response to of each Province. This would be complemented and take on these challenging factors rather than the call of the Rector Major by the six year formation plan of each Province. hush up matters in the name of formation. All Fr. Pascual Chavez to be a In this context there was greater eagerness to along the meeting, the focus was on creating an ‘defender’, ‘promoter’ and relook at the contextualization process and ambience which would favour personalization of ‘activist’ of human rights in formation. (ANS) its benefits. his Strenna 2008 and in his

COURSE ON ACCOUNTS, FINANCE AND LAWS The Course on Accounts, Finance and Laws and Management began on 9 September, at Don Bosco Provincial House, Dimapur (IND), with a solemn inaugural ceremony in which Fr. Nestor Guria, Vice Provincial, lighted the lamp and gave the introducFr. Trevor D`Souza, a qualified tory talk. Fr. Joseph Pamapackal, Pro- Charter Accountant, has been vincial Economor of the involved in the line for almost Province of Dimapur and the thirty three years and has been Chief Organiser, welcomed giving training on accountancy for various religious groups for Fr. Trevor D’Souza, (OFM), almost ten years. In the course the Resource Person and the of the six days the participants 59 participants, who include will delve into the matters of Salesians, Diocesans, Sisters Society and Trust, Income Tax and lay people. There were 38 Act and Foreign Contribution Salesians from the Provinces Regulation Act. It will also proof Guwahati and Dimapur. vide information on topics like While explaining to the par- Accounts, Banking, Auditing, ticipants the dynamics of the Business letter writing, Role and programme, he exhorted them Function of Treasurer, Provision to take maximum advantage from Cannon Law and Financial of the opportunity. Calendar. (BIS)

The first Catholic Television Station established In the early afternoon of Monday 15 September, at the Salesian house in Sastin, an agreement of collaboration was signed between the Slovak Bishops’ Conference, the Salesians and “Lux Communication” for the management of TV LUX, the first Catholic Television Station in Slovakia. The signing of the agreement came at the end of discussions and a trial period lasting four months. The signatories were Fr Karol Manik, Provincial of the Salesians in Slovakia, Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, representing the Slovak Bishops’ Conference and Mr Tomáš Straka, from “LUX Communication”. (ANS)

Don bosco october 2008

Newsletter Acts 400. (BIS)

Dance Exhibition to Promote Local Culture A Cultural Dance Exhibition was held in the auditorium of Salesian College Sonada (SCS), Darjeeling on Sunday 7 September, 2008. This is an annual feature and was organised by the Youth Department Ministry of the College led by the Youth Animator Rev.Fr Francis Gomes sdb. This was attended by around 700 youngters from 24 youth centers. Rev Fr Tomy Augustine sdb, Rector of SCS along with the Chief Guest handed over the trophies and prizes. The Chief Guest Mr Prahlad Chettri, Principal Blue Bird School, Sonada hailed the efforts of the Brothers and the Youths and lauded Salesian College for the initiative taken to preserve and promote the Nepali culture and tradition in his message. (BIS) 29


c h u rc h

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BRIEFLY Pope Benedict to open Bible Synod at St. Paul’s basilica On 23rd morning the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI will convene the greatly anticipated Synod on the Bible by celebrating Mass at the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls on October 5. The Holy

Father will concelebrate the Eucharist with the Synod Fathers for the opening of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will have as its theme: “Verbum Domini in vita et missione Ecclesiae” (The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church). (CNA)

Indian Catholic leaders speak of conspiracy behind violence Church officials and others say there is a “clear conspiracy” behind the sudden upsurge in the atrocities committed against Christian targets in different parts of India. “We are really distressed to see that atrocities on Christians are being reported from different parts of the country on a daily basis,” Divine Word Father Babu Joseph, spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, told Catholic News Services. Though some of the attacks look sporadic, with incidents reported from different areas, he pointed out that “there is a clear conspiracy to terrorize the Christian community behind these attacks.” St. Peter and Paul Cathedral of the Jabalpur Diocese in central Madhya Pradesh state was set on fire Sept. 18 by Hindu fundamentalists. At a hermitage near Dehra Dun in northern Uttarakhand state, Father Francis Samuel of the Meerut Diocese was found murdered Sept. 22. The priest had been strangled to death and the tabernacle was desecrated at the hermitage where he lived. A Catholic woman visitor to the hermitage was found dead in the storeroom, her head smashed with a stone. The incidents were among dozens of atrocities since Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, leader of Hindu nationalist groups in Orissa, was shot dead by Maoist rebels Aug. 23.

Since mid-August, more than three dozen Christians have been killed; 4,200 Christian houses along with dozens of churches and Christian institutions have been looted and burned. Roving mobs of Hindu extremists forced Christians to convert to Hinduism, and more than half of the 100,000 Christians in Orissa’s Kandhamal district have become refugees in jungles or 14 relief camps run by the government.

On Sept. 14, the Hindu fundamentalist group Bajrang Dal attacked more than a dozen churches of different denominations in and around Mangalore. John Dayal, spokesman for and former The following week, 15 more churches in the state president of the All India Catholic Union, were desecrated, and reports of church desecrations told CNS that the pro-Hindu Bharatiya have come in from other states such as Kerala and Janata Party was the “brain behind” the Tamil Nadu. (CNS)

Evolutionary theory ‘not incompatible’ with Catholicism

Catholics must know Bible The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture has to live Christian lives said that evolutionary theory Catholics must know the is “not incompatible” with Bible and meditate on the the teachings of the Catholic Scriptures in order to live Church, insisting that the thefully Christian lives, Pope ory of biological change over Benedict XVI told the bishops of Uruguay. Bishops, time was never condemned by the Church. Archbishop priests and catechists must Gianfranco Ravasi made such help Catholics learn to remarks while presenting the read, understand and pray new interdisciplinary conferwith the Bible so that “they ence to mark the 150th annican live their Christian versary of Charles Darwin’s vocation in a way that is more conscientious, firm and Origin of the Species. The conference, which is a Vatisecure,” the pope said on can initiative to promote diaSept. 26. (CNS) 30

relentless attacks. Most of the attacks on Christians, he said, have been reported from BJP-ruled states such as Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh; the party is part of the ruling coalition in Orissa.

logue between scientists and theologians, is scheduled to take place in Rome in March 2009. The prelate remarked that adversarial interpretations of the interaction of religion and science should be avoided, saying: “We should stop thinking of history as a court of law that is continuously in session but rather concentrate on establishing franker and more efficient dialogue between two points of view that look at the same reality - that of man and his world”

Don bosco october 2008

While the Catholic Church has said Darwin’s theory of natural selection is the most probable cause of biological development, Catholic teaching has also emphasized God’s role in creation. According to ANSA news agency, last September Pope Benedict XVI issued a strong criticism of interpretations of evolutionary theory which hold that the universe is “the random result of evolution and therefore, at bottom, something unreasonable.” (CNA)


c h u rc h

Nun Says Police Beating Helped Her Appreciate Her Faith Sister Selma says the beating she endured at the hands of policemen has helped her appreciate the persecution her forefathers suffered for their Catholic faith. The Bethany nun and eight other members of her congregation were among some 40 women injured on Sept. 15 when policemen baton-charged Catholics at two separate gatherings in Mangalore, Karnataka state. The Catholic men and women were protecting their churches from attack by Hindu fanatics while protesting earlier attacks

on other churches southern Indian state.

in

this

During the past month, Hindu militants in Karnataka have vandalized churches and prayer halls, destroyed bibles, prayer books, crosses and crucifixes, and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament. Hindu radical groups accuse Christians of converting Hindus through force and allurement. Mangalore is the heart of a Catholic community that plays a major role in the Church in India, with nearly one-third of

the bishops in India’s 160 dioceses coming from the region. These Catholics are the descendants of people who withstood persecution under Tipu Sultan (17501799), a Muslim ruler. “Our Catholic community grew up amid persecutions, crises and captivity,” Sister Selma told UCA News on Sept. 17 as she tried to rise from her hospital bed. The nun, who is in her 50s, sustained back and leg injuries. (UCAN)

Vietnamese gang ransacks Catholic chapel as police stand by The simmering property disputes between the Catholic Church and the Vietnamese government were again aggravated on Sunday when a Hanoi official accused the Archbishop of Hanoi of inciting riots, making false allegations against the government, ridiculing the law, and disrespecting the nation. Meanwhile late Sunday night, a street gang made a second attack upon a chapel at Thai Ha Church with no interference from nearby police. In what

“The gang yelled out slogans threatening to kill priests, religious, faithful and even our archbishop,” the monastery’s superior clergyman wrote.

one priest called a “sort of terrorism” against the Catholic faithful, the gang ransacked the building, destroying statues and books while shouting threats against the lives of clergy and religious, Catholic faithful, and the Archbishop of Hanoi.

Father Matthew Vu continued, saying “everything happened clearly in front of a large number of officials, police, security personnel, anti-riot police, and mobile police – those who are in charge of keeping security and safety in the region. “But they did nothing to protect us,” he charged. (CNA)

Church Helps Bihar Flood Victims

Church people are bringing aid to homeless, hungry and sick victims of heavy flooding that has affected millions in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.

News on Sept. 4. It assigned Caritas to work in the three districts of Madhepura, Purnea and Saharsa.

“So our main focus would be these districts,” Thomas said, adding that Caritas has “some 500 volunteers” who are helping 270,000 people, most of them women and children, by reaching out to 54,000 families. He said Caritas plans to provide these people The government has set up dry food rations for a month. relief camps and entrusted The worst affected areas in the them to voluntary agencies, he northern part of the state are explained, speaking to UCA covered by Bettiah, Muzaffarpur Caritas India is providing food, medicine, temporary shelter material and essential household items for the affected people, said Xavier Thomas, who coordinates the Catholic social-service agency’s programs in Bihar.

and Purnea dioceses, which are Caritas India’s local partners in getting aid to the flood victims. Caritas is providing medical support, food, health and sanitation materials to the affected people, who are trying to survive in relief camps and villages, despite “losing almost everything.” (UCAN)

Don bosco october 2008

news

BRIEFLY CHINESE BISHOP MOVED TO HOUSE ARREST The Chinese bishop arrested on the last day of the Olympics has been returned to his residence, where he is being held under house arrest. The U.S.based Cardinal Kung foundation reported that Bishop Jia Zhiguo of the underground Church of Zhengding, Heibei, was returned to his home at Christ the King Cathedral on Thursday. The bishop was detained -- his 12th arrest since 2004 -- on Aug. 24. Now in his home, he continues under 24-hour surveillance and is isolated from the priests and faithful of the diocese, the Cardinal Kung foundation informed. It is not yet clear how the bishop was treated during his days held by the police. (Zenit.org)

MASS IS MEDICINE FOR UNFORGIVING SOULS, SAYS POPE For apologies that are hard to accept and people that are hard to forgive, the Mass is the key to opening our souls to reconciliation, says Benedict XVI. The Pope said this on 21st, when he celebrated a Mass and dedicated the altar at the Cathedral of Albano, near the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. “How can we present ourselves divided and far from each other at God’s altar,” the Holy Father Said. (Zenit.org) 31


va l u es

STORIES FOR RADIANT LIVING The Red And Blue Coat

O

nce there were two boys who were great friends, and they were determined to remain that way forever. When they grew up and got married, they built their houses facing one another. There was a small path that formed a border between their farms.

One day, a trickster from the village decided to play a trick on them. He dressed himself in a two-color coat that was divided down the middle. So, one side of the coat was red, and the other side was blue. The trickster wore this coat and walked along the narrow path between the houses of the two friends. They were each working opposite each other in their fields. The trickster made enough noise as he passed them to make sure that each of them would look up and see him passing. At the end of the day, one friend said to the other, “Wasn’t that a beautiful red coat that man was wearing today?” “No”, the other replied. “It was a blue coat.” “I saw the man clearly as he walked between us!” said the first, “His coat was red.” “You are wrong!” said the other man, “I saw it too, and it was blue.” “I know what I saw!” insisted the first man. “The coat was red!” “You don’t know anything,” the second man replied angrily. “It was blue!” They kept arguing about this over and over, insulted each other, and eventually, they began to beat each other and roll around on the ground. Just then, the trickster returned and faced the two men, who were punching and kicking each other and shouting, “Our friendship is OVER!” The trickster walked directly in front of them, and showed them his coat. He laughed at their silly fight. The two 32

friends saw that his coat was red on one side and blue on the other. The two friends stopped fighting and screamed at the trickster saying, “We have lived side by side like brothers all our lives, and it is all your fault that we are fighting. You have started a war between us.” “Don’t blame me for the battle,” replied the trickster. “I did not make you fight. Both of you are wrong, and both of you are right. Yes, what each one saw was true. You are fighting because you only looked at my coat from your own point of view.” -An African Story

One step at a time

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certain man had to go out to another town miles away. It was night and pitch dark, and all he had was a tiny little lantern which could, at most, light a couple of steps. Because the journey seemed so long, and the night dark, he was depressed and unsure - unsure of reaching his destination with only this tiny light. While he stood at his door utterly frustrated and helpless, an old man happened to appear and asked him why he was standing at his door with a lantern. The man replied that he really did not know what to do; though he was all set for the journey, it appeared so long, and the night so dark, that his small lantern could not really be of much use. The old Man explained to him that it was not necessary to have a light big enough to illuminate the whole way. ‘As you proceed’ he said, ‘the light will move with you, so that the next one or two steps will always be clear. All you need to do is to hold on to this light and start walking.

Don bosco october 2008


va l u es

THERE IS ALWAYS A BETTER WAY

THE BULLS TAIL

blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat.

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A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

young man wished to marry the farmer’s beautiful daughter. He went to the farmer to ask his permission. The farmer looked at him and said, “Son, go stand out in that field. I’m going to release three bulls, one at a time. If you can catch the tail of any one of the three bulls, you can marry my daughter.”

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The blind boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?” The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” What he had written was: “Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.” The first sign simply told people to help by putting some money in the hat. The second sign told people that they were able to enjoy the beauty of the day, but the boy could not enjoy it because he was blind. There is always a better way of saying things

The Smuggler

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clever smuggler came to the border with a donkey. The donkey’s back was heavily loaded with straw. The official at the border was suspicious and pulled apart the man’s bundles till there was straw all around, but not a valuable thing in the straw was found. “But I’m certain you’re smuggling something,” the official said, as the man crossed the border. Now each day for ten years the man came to the border with a donkey. Although the official searched and searched the straw bundles on the donkey’s back, he never could find anything valuable hidden in them. Many years later, after the official had retired, he happened to meet that same smuggler in a marketplace and said, “Please tell me, I beg you. Tell me, what were you smuggling?” “Donkeys,” said the man.

The young man stood in the pasture awaiting the first bull. The barn door opened and out ran the biggest, meanest-looking bull he had ever seen. He decided that one of the next bulls had to be a better choice than this one, so he ran over to the side and let the bull pass through the pasture . The barn door opened again. Unbelievable. He had never seen anything so big and fierce in his life. It stood pawing the ground, it eyed him. Whatever the next bull was like, it had to be a better choice than this one. He ran to the fence and let the bull pass through the pasture. The door opened a third time. A smile came across his face. This was the weakest bull he had ever seen. This one was his bull. As the bull came running by, he positioned himself just right and jumped at just the exact moment. He grabbed... but the bull had no tail! Life is full of opportunities. Some will be easy to take advantage of, some will be difficult. But once we let them pass (often in hopes of something better), those opportunities may never again be available. So always grab the first opportunity

A.J. Frank sdb ajfrankie@gmail.com Don bosco october 2008

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1

Counting Sheep Sheep, on the other hand, are kept in a circular pen. Draw three lines and put each sheep in a pen by itself. (Position of sheep being represented by a big dot.)

2 3 4

5

Where are the five one-eared rabbits and the five three-eared rabbits hiding?

Ups and Downs What simple English statement is represented by the following? Stand Take Mine Taking I U 2 MY These words can be arranged to form a sentence. If the sentence is true, write T. If the sentence is false, write F. a) BURN WOOD CAN’T DRY……….. b) ON FLOAT BOATS NEVER WATER………..

Nine birds are sitting on a tree, one is shot and killed, how many remain thereafter?

Answers for the September 2008 Brain Teasers 1. (a), (ii), : (b) (i) 2.

3. Longfellow Keats, Browning, Wordsworth, Shakespeare 4. August (because it has no ‘r’ in it) 5.

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Don bosco october 2008

don bosco oct 2008  

Media Matter Well-Being Students Plus 16 The five methods of taking notes-3 Regulars Current Affairs Values 27 Game of death Salesian 6 Life...