Sunday, 29 November 2009

Youth meeting, Sunday, 22 Nov 2009

Approximately 10 to 12 Youth + Co-ordinators turned up. Fr Ivo was away, and Bro Johnson was writing an examination. The meeting had been planned in advance.

The Readers were confirmed.
We had singing practice. Fr Vinod taught us new hymns. There would be another practice on 29th Nov.
All youth were requested to come for evening mass instead of morning mass
The youth have agreed to go for Carol Singing from 14th December onwards.
Youth have decided to put up two items for the academy
There will be one solo item
2nd item will be a group song. Youth interested for this are Craig, Sharol, Philbert, Keith, Yannick, Ansilon, Nikhil, Ross and Rochelle.
Jackson said others can join him for a 7 day retreat at Pota
This is tentative, details have to be fixed
The youth were interested in having a recollection before Christmas when asked if they would like a recollection as recommended by Fr. Ivo C.
They would be happy to have a Priest from the neighbouring Parishes for Confessions
Youth are interested in making the “Star” and “Old Man”
Youth do not want to do the crib as it becomes difficult to do all 4 ie a} Carol Singing b} Star c} Old Man & d} Crib. Hence Youth do not want to do the crib. Yet its confirmed that they will do the Star and the Old Man.
The Meeting ended with Prayers.

(Minutes by Shrivastwa Sushma)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Salesian cooperators in Nashik

We are trying to revive the Association of Salesian Cooperators in Nashik. This Association was founded by Don Bosco himself. Originally Don Bosco wanted to have full fledged lay members of the Salesian Congregation who would live in their own homes. When Rome did not permit this, he founded the Association of Salesian Cooperators.

The Salesian Cooperators inherit Don Bosco's charism with its special love for youth, but by way of their mission they help in different capacities in their own parishes, etc.

We used to have this Association in our parish years ago, and we still have with us some of the professed members.

However, we need to invite new members. So, dear friends, think about this.

I must add that being a Salesian Cooperator is a vocation, and so the Association is not just one more association. One has to discern whether or not God is calling him or her to this vocation.

Bishop Lourdes Daniel Apostolic Administrator

Archbishop Felix Machado announced this afternoon that Bishop Lourdes Daniel of Amravati had been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Nashik Diocese w.e.f. today, 28 November 2009.

Archbishop Felix will be installed in Vasai on Sunday, 19 December 2009, during the 0930 Eucharist at Papdy Cathedral.

Bro Johnson's grandfather passes away

Mr Kasna Bhuriya, grandfather of Bro Johnson Pannasingh Bhuriya (Don Bosco Nashik), passed away last night (27 November 2009) after a brief illness, at Jhabua, M.P.
He was about 80 years old.

Please keep Mr Bhuriya in your prayers, as well as Bro Johnson and his family.

The funeral rites will be celebrated later today. Bro Johnson is leaving for home, but will reach only late tonight.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Mini-Olympics at Don Bosco School

The mini-Olympics were held on our school grounds this afternoon. Wonderfully organized, for which we must congratulate Fr Diego and his dedicated team of teaching and non-teaching staff.

Above all, I think the outreach and the friendship and collaboration among the participating schools was something very amazing and precious. I myself went to Horizon Academy of the Nashik District Vidya Prasarak Mandal, and to Silver Oak; the atmosphere and the welcome was wonderful.

The drill and march past prizes were lifted by Vidya Prabodhini, while the overall championship was taken once again by Don Bosco.

I am no sports person, but I must say it was really delightful to watch our young athletes. There is good stuff out here in Nashik; with training and logistical support (diet, for example, is a big question for many of our young athletes coming from not so well-to-do families), we could go a long long way.

A warm word of thanks also to the officials who came over from Mumbai, to guests from Savedi and elsewhere, to the parents, teachers, non-teaching staff and especially the peons, the past pupils, and to Fr Elson Barretto, who is surely the tallest Salesian in our province: I found everyone just looking up to him, including the scouts in the welcome committee who had been instructed to look straight ahead at no one in particular....

And congratulations, dear Fr Diego. You have done wonderfully well.

This is what heaven is meant to be like: a gathering of all sorts of people in a fellowship and a family united under God.

Philip Fernandes update

I visited Mr Philip Fernandes at Sai Baba Heart Hospital, next to Kalidas Natyamandir, yesterday. He is well on the way to recovery after a successful surgery in which he underwent two bypasses. He should be discharged by Sunday or so. I assured him of our prayers. Do continue praying for Philip and his family.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

SCC prayer meetings

All three SCC zones had prayer meetings yesterday. The D'Souza colony area of Zone A met at the Shrivastava's, the College Road area of Zone B at the Koshy's, and I am not sure where Zone C met (they meet all together rather than in areas).

The following is the December program for Zone A:

Tuesday, 1 Dec:
2000 hours, St Jude Community, at Eden Gardens (Russell Isaac's place)
Thursday, 10 Dec:
1900 hours: at Hugh Mascarenhas' place
1930 hours: D'Souza colony area, at Eddy and Blessy Lewis' place
Friday, 11 Dec:
1900 hours: Akaswani area, at Sunil Nirmal's place
1930 hours: Chittaranjan area, at Bosco and Verna Quadros' place.

Please bring along your bibles - one each, if possible. (Children, ask for bibles as Christmas presents! And insist on either the RSV or the Jerusalem Bible. Fr Nelson has a few RSV bibles for sale.)

And no snacks please!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Installation of Archbishop Felix Machado

Abp. Felix Machado will be installed most probably in the morning of 19 December 2009 at Vasai.

We have no hard news as yet, but I have heard that the installation will take place in Papdy Church, which, I learned, is the Cathedral church of the diocese of Vasai.

The ordinations of the two Salesians, Briston Britto and Royal D'Abreo, will take place as scheduled at 1800 hours, 19 December 2009, at Giriz Church.

Altar servers rally, Ahmednagar

Just back from St Ann's Ahmednagar where the Diocesan Altar Servers Rally was held yesterday, 22 November 2009, Feast of Christ the King. About 250 altar servers attended from all over the diocese, including the Nashik parishes of St Patrick's, Devlali, St Ann's, Jail Road, and I think also Holy Cross. Unfortunately our own parish was not in attendance. It seems that the letter of invitation did not reach. Pity, because I think we missed a great opportunity for strengthening the commitment and faith of the altar servers, and helping them to raise the question of vocation.

St Ann's Ahmednagar wore a festive look. The chief organizer, Fr Anton D'Souza, SDB, was helped by his parish team consisting of Fr Bento D'Souza, Fr Prakash Rumao (MSW student from Vasai diocese), Deacon Briston Britto and Bro Rixson Nigrel (theology student from Poona), but also by a group of 40 Salesian Cooperators. The Salesian Cooperators were everywhere, from the planning and organizing to the making of the lovely poha for breakfast and serving the biryani for lunch. Fr Michael Bansode, Deac. Briston and Bro Rixson gave inputs: how to serve at the altar, and so on. There were also lighter moments, such as games, but also planning for strengthening the servers groups, and this planning was done parish-wise, with the animators who were in attendance.

The Rally was declared open by Fr Ravi Tribhuvan, Vicar General of our diocese, and Mr Karat, the Deputy Collector. The children were given hydrogen balloons and of course there was all sorts of confusion, but it was a colourful and a fun sight to see the balloons going up (I tried not to think of the pollution!) and also the kabutars.

In my homily at the Eucharist I recalled the scenes of the boy Jesus in the Temple and the adult Jesus with his mother and brothers outside: the discovery and the affirmation that his real Father is God. That is a discovery that each young person has to make: God is my real Father, God is my first Father, and he has first rights over me. Not an easy discovery - but it is a momentous and faith-filled discovery. From here all vocation stems.

And everyone has a vocation: every young person is called to take his or her place in the church. Some as priests and religious, others as lay leaders, animators, catechists, or whatever charisms the Spirit inspires for the good of the Church and of the world.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

SCC Log, Zone A

Someone told me that it would be good to maintain a log of the SCC, so here is an attempt for Zone A. As soon as Zones B and C supply me the data, I will put up a blog post for them too.
The 'attendance' is sheerly from memory, so if there are factual inaccuracies, please don't hesitate to bring them to my notice.
And thank you, dear leaders and members, for the enthusiasm!

Zonal leader: Blessy Lewis
Area leaders:
Mary Help of Christians community (D’Souza Colony): Henry Menezes
Dominic Savio Community (Uday Nagar): Robin Susainathan
Infant Jesus Community (Akaswani): Sujata Castelino
St Anthony Community (Chittaranjan Society): Letitia John
St Jude Community (beyond Anandvalli): Mabel De Souza / Russell Isaac (Eden Gardens)
Priest in charge: Ivo Coelho, SDB

July 2009

Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 1930 hrs: area leaders meeting, DB.

August 2009

Tuesday, 11 August 2009, 1730 hrs: visit to Mabel’s area and Chandsi. Blessy, Rocky, Mabel and I.
Friday, 14 August 2009, 1730: visits to Mabel’s area continued
Monday, 17 August 2009: visit to Eden Gardens area. Blessy, Rocky, and I.
Tuesday, 18 August 2009: visits

September 2009

Tuesday, 1 September 2009, 1730 hrs: visits to Henry’s area?
Friday, 18 September 2009, 1730: visits

October 2009

Tuesday, 6 October 2009, 1800 hrs: area leaders meeting, DB.
Thursday, 8 October 2009, 1730 hrs: Blessy, Rocky and I visited the houses of Robin’s area.
Monday, 26 October 2009, 1930 hrs: Mabel’s house. Thelma; Rudy and Helen; Mabel, Norbert and Philbert; Augusta. Eden Gardens wants to join. The group decided to meet twice a month.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009, 1730 hrs: Blessy, Letitia and I visited the families of Letitia’s area.

November 2009

Friday, 13 November 2009, 1900 hrs: Sujata’s house. Text: Jn 18, 33-37, gospel of coming Sunday. Present: Sujata, her husband, Audrea, Shelton her nephew; Lily, Carol and Cheryl; Mrs D’Costa; Mr Dickson.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009, 1930 hrs: Beverly Homan’s house. Since she was late, Mabel and I took the chance to drop in and say a brief hello to Geoffrey Athaide and family. They were very happy. Text: Jn 18, 33-37, gospel of coming Sunday. Present: Beverly, Rudy and Helen Lima, Mabel, Norbert and Philbert.
Thursday, 18 November 2009, 1900 hrs: Robin’s house. Text: Jn 18, 33-37, gospel of coming Sunday. Present: Rocky and Rose; Hugh Mascarenhas; Robin, Mrs Robin, and Pravin; Juliana.
Friday, 19 November 2009, 1900 hrs: Letitia’s house. Text: Mt 4, 22-27, call of the first four disciples. Prsent: Vyrna, her mother and father, and her 2 daughters; Lucy and Dick; Aaron and Priscilla; Deritta; Letitia, Andrew, her 2 kids, and her aunt.
Monday, 23 December 2098, 1930 hrs: Shrivastava’s house.

December 2009

Tuesday, 1 December 2009, 1930: Eden Gardens (Mabel’s area, St Jude Community)
Thursday, 10 December 2009, 1900: Hugh’ house (Robin’s area).
Friday, 11 December 2009, 1930: Vyrna’s house (Letitia’s area).

Friday, 20 November 2009

Fr Ian Figueiredo here on a visit

Fr Ian Figueiredo, SDB, who was novice master and Rector of STI for 9 years, is here in Nashik for a brief visit. He is putting up at Divyadaan.

Fr Ian is currently Vice provincial of the Konkan province of the Salesians. He resides at the provincial house at Odxel, Goa. He is here chiefly to meet the seminarians of the Konkan province.

Diocesan Altar Servers Rally, Ahmednagar

The Diocesan Altar Servers Rally will take place at St Ann's Church, Collector Kacheri, Ahmednagar, on Sunday, 22 November 2009.

The chief organizer is Fr Anton D'Souza, SDB, parish priest of St Ann's.

I hear that some altar servers from St Ann's Nashik and perhaps Holy Cross are going....

I am going myself, since I have been invited to celebrate the Eucharist and give the homily.

Youth meeting, Sunday, 22 November 2009

Both Bro Johnson Bhuriya and I will not be able to attend the youth group meeting on Sunday, 22 November 2009. However, the meeting will take place at the scheduled time. It will be conducted, as is normal, by Jackson Fernandes and Aaron D'Souza, President and Treasurer. Ross Lewis and Sushma Shrivastava will be there as animators. Fr Vinod will conduct the scripture reading and prayer at the beginning, and also take singing practice for the Sunday evening mass on 29 November which the youth will animate.

The agenda:
1. Items for the Marian Academy, 8 December
2. Carol singing
3. Crib, star, etc.
4. Youth Rally organized by the Salesians, at Don Bosco Borivli, 10 January 2009
5. Confessions in preparation for Christmas
6. Animation of the mass on Sunday evening, 29 November
7. Etc.

Philip Fernandes operated

Mr Philip Fernandes (Eden Gardens) underwent heart surgery yesterday, 19 November 2009. Two bypasses were performed. The patient is in the ICU, and no visitors will be allowed the next 4 days.

Please keep Philip and his family in your prayers.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Mass animation by the youth group

Fr Vinod conducted the weekly meeting of the liturgy committee at 1800 hours yesterday, 16 November. The planning was for Sunday, 29 November 2009, and the group in charge of the animation was the youth. Unfortunately only Nikhil, Sushma, Jackson and Brandon turned up, though all had promised to come.

The theme has been selected, and the hymns chosen. Fr Vinod has promised to come and teach new hymns on Sunday, 22 November 2009, at 1030 hours. All are requested to be there on time. I will be away in Ahmednagar for the Altar Servers Rally, and will be back only in the evening. Bro Johnson has exams on Sunday and will not be able to attend the meeting. However, the President will conduct the meeting with the help of the animators (Ross and Sushma).

Jackson, Aaron, Ross and Sushma: please note that we will be meeting at 1800 hours, Thursday, 19 November 2009, to plan for the Sunday meeting. We have to plan for our item for the Marian Academy (8 December); Carol Singing; and a possible Advent recollection with confessions in preparation for Christmas.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Eyes to see

I have been reading a lovely book by a Presbyterian pastor in the US, called Under the Unpredictable Plant.

Wonderful lessons from him on respecting people, which I thought might be useful to share with the whole parish.

In his typically suburban American parish, Peterson reports that he lost respect for his people: they had such puny ideas about themselves; in a fast-food culture they came to him for fast-religion help. And then, he says, his reading of the famous Russian novelist Dostoevsky helped him. Dostoevsky had an almost identical society, but he refused to take people for what they seemed on the surface; he plunged beneath the surface to discover in their depths fire and passion and God.

Peterson's danger is our danger too: when we look around us, when we look at our parish or our community or even our priests, we often see only smallness and flatness and we get discouraged. But look a little longer: under what seem only ashes there are the burning embers. God is doing his work, and people are responding to him, in their own little or big ways. Running families. Being faithful to marital commitments, often despite the pain. Loving and reaching out in their own little ways which, in th end, are not so little. Retaining a measure of gentleness and kindness and thoughtfulness and faith despite the knocks and the pressures of life.

Of course there are the problems. Who does not have them. But there is also God, and there is also the beauty of the embers bursting every now and then into flame. We only need eyes to see. We need, all of us, the gospel of today: Lord, that I may see!

"The stories [of people] go unnoticed not because they are kept secret but becaue the people around are blind to God. So many eyes, glazed by television [and ears and hearts glazed by gossip and idle talk], don't see the God stories being enacted right before them...."

To have eyes to see, and ears to hear. To put on the mind of Christ.

Youth Group notes

On Saturday, about 9 members of our youth group participated in a day-long recollection organized by a layperson at Bhagur. There were some speakers from outside Nashik; a debate on the pros and cons of pre-marital sex; prayer; and religious music by a music group. There were 35 persons in all, some coming all the way from Manmad. Three brothers from Divyadaan also participated - probably because their youth from St Patrick's were participating.

Last month the same layperson had done 'counselling' for our youth, and encouraged them all to go for confession; almost all of them reportedly went for confession to the Shrine.

As per the decision of the Parish Council, the youth volunteers for the Mission Fete were offered lunch at the Parish House yesterday, Sunday, 15 November 2009. About 13 youth turned up.

A reminder: all the members of the Youth Group are to be present this evening at 1800 hours, for the meeting of the Liturgical Committee, to plan for the Sunday evening mass animation, 29 November 2009.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Release of Fr Nelson's Khristapurana

Fr Nelson Falcao’s new edition and Marathi translation of Thomas Stephens’ Khristapurana was released at a well-attended function at Parshuram Natyagruha, Nashik, 14 November 2009 in the presence of eminent persons from the field of Marathi literature and learning. Mr Vinayakdada Patil, President of the Yashwantrao Chavan Pratisthan and the Marathi Sahitya Parishad, Nashik, presided at the function. Bishop Thomas Bhalerao, SJ, former bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nashik; Fr Francis D’Britto of Vasai; Dr A.H. Salunkhe, well-known ‘rationalist’ thinker and lecturer, and Dr Dilip Dhondge, Principal of Satana College and specialist in the ‘Sant literature’ of Maharashtra, were the speakers.

The sutradhar (compere) was Ms Ketkar, who works at Akashvani, and who has been doing this the last 17 years; she is, besides, a parent of our school (the mother of Yash, she told me).

The function, scheduled to begin at 1700 hours, began actually towards 1800; it seems they were waiting for an important guest, the editor of Sakala, who has been of great help to Nelson, especially with the Marathi text.

The program: satkar of the guests; words of welcome by me; sharing about Nelson’s life by his sister, Ms Mabel Pimenta; Nelson’s own speech about how he got round to doing the edition and translation; and then the speakers: Bishop Bhalerao, D’Britto, Dhondge, Salunkhe, and Patil. The Bishop read out the text he has contributed to the book; D’Britto was brilliant; Dhondge was quietly and warmly appreciative; Salunkhe spoke from the social angle, seeing the Khristapurana as a model of the type of understanding and bridge building that we need so badly today; Patil said that Falcao’s work was the ongoing and necessary process of the reinterpretation of texts: just as Stephens had communicated the Bible to his converts, so Falcao had made Stephens’ text intelligible to us today. The function came to an end by 2015 hours.

There was a good number of parishioners from Satpur, and several of the parish councillors from the Don Bosco sector; some brothers from Divyadaan, which was actually the host of the gathering; a few clergy from in and around Nashik; and a sizeable number of people from Nashik. Fr Nelson and Mr Francis Waghmare had gone around for a couple of weeks from house to house inviting people to the function. Wonderful occasion to meet people and enter into their lives. The Khristapurana continues to do its work.

A good write up has appeared on today's Gavkari, p. 10, highlighting especially the talk of Dr Salunkhe, who said that today we need not a conflict of cultures (sanskritik sangharsh) but a dialogue of cultures (sanskritik samvada).

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Platinum Jubilee celebrations at Kilbil

The Ursuline sisters have just finished the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of their presence in India. The celebrations began with a Eucharist, went on to a lovely and lively cultural program staged by the children of the Kilbil school, and ended with dinner for all.

The flower arrangements - gift of a past pupil - were stunning: rows of white chrysanthemums (shevanti) lining the road and filling the hall where the Eucharist was celebrated. And the program and the dances made one bless India for its amazing diversity, and the sisters, most especially the pioneers, for their dedication and service.

I was surprised to learn that the UMI congregation began in 1649 - over 360 years ago! And also that they have an Indian sister, Maria Celine Kannanaikal, who has been declared Venerable.

There are now 745 Indian sisters and 50 Italian sisters; 3 Indian provinces and 1 vice province, with a total of 75 houses; and already a second Indian Superior General, Sr Elvira, who just happens to be a companion of mine from the JDV philosophy days....

So once again, our warmest congratulations and prayers and wishes to all our sisters of Nirmala Home, Kilbil and Tanmaya.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Archbishop Felix Machado new bishop of Vasai

This evening we had a surprise. Abp. Felix called his consultors and the Parish Priests of the city of Nashik for an emergency meeting. It turned out that he has been appointed Bishop of Vasai. The news was released in Rome at 1630 hours IST, and simultaneously announced to us in Bishop's House. His Grace has composed a letter in English and Marathi announcing his appointment to the priests and religious of the diocese, and telling them to make the further announcement to the people at the Masses of the following Sunday.

A surprise development. Abp. Felix has been Bishop of Nashik for exactly 1 year 8 months. It was not expected that he would be moved so soon, but it has happened, and this came as somewhat of a surprise also to the Abp. himself.

Our warmest congratulations to Abp. Felix, and our prayers as he prepares to take over the reins of Vasai Diocese, which has been vacant now for almost 8 months.

Release of the Khristapurana translation

Fr Nelson Falcao's edition and translation of Thomas Stephens' Khristapurana will be released at a function at Parshuram Natyagriha, near Nehru Garden, at 1700 hours, 14 November 2009.

You are all cordially welcome. Do come and show your support to our parish priest.

Official Visit of Salesian Provincial

Fr Michael Fernandes, Salesian Provincial, will officially visit Don Bosco Parish on 6 and 7 December 2009.

He will celebrate the Sunday masses at both Don Bosco Church and Dominic Savio Church.

He will meet the Parish Council of the DS sector after the 0830 mass, Sunday, 6 December, and that of the DB sector at 1730 hours, the same evening.

Platinum Jubilee of the Ursuline Sisters

The Ursuline Sisters of Nirmala Home, Kilbil St Joseph's, and Tanmaya will be celebrating the Platinum Jubilee of their Indian mission on 12 November 2009. The celebrations will consist of a Eucharist at 1800 hours, followed by a Light-and-Sound program and Dinner.

Our warmest congratulations to our UMI sisters on this occasion!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The sick

Mr David Borde, father of our sacristan Mr John Borde, is not keeping well. He has blood clots in the veins of his legs, and needs our prayers.

In the meantime, I have heard that Mr Babykutty's health has not improved much. He is still suffering from partial paralysis, and also needs our prayers.

Rose D'Silva is also not yet fully recovered.

Please keep all these good people in your prayers.