Monday, 31 August 2009

Fr Ashley's mum unwell again

Fr Ashley's mum, who has been quite unwell since she suffered a paralytic stroke some months ago, has taken bad once again and has had to be hospitalized. Fr Ashley has gone down to Mumbai to see her.

Mass animation by youth

The youth group of our parish animated the Sunday Evening Mass yesterday. Several of them had come for mass already in the morning, but were good enough to turn up for the preparation and singing practice at 10.00 a.m. and then again for the mass in the evening.

Jackson, Aaron and Sharol stayed on in the morning and well into the afternoon to redecorate the statue of Our Lady near the altar.

Brandyn accompanied the singing, while Sushma chose the hymns and was in general the moving force behind the singing.

The youth sang "I Love Him" (from Sister Act II) after communion. They had sung this at the Marian Academy.

Most of the boys come for the Sunday morning mass, so there is some discussion whether the youth should request a morning mass animation instead of an evening one...

Letter of invitation to the Table Tennis Tournament

To the Youth of the Nashik City Parishes
Information: Parish Priests and Youth in Charges

Dear Friends,

We would like to invite you to a Table Tennis Tournament organized by the Don Bosco Parish Youth, Nashik. The details are as follows:

Date: Sunday, 6 September 2009
Time: 0930 hours
Venue: Don Bosco Parish
Entry fee:
Singles: Rs 30 per head
Doubles: Rs 50 per pair.
Eligibility: only youth (under 25) from the Nashik City Catholic parishes.

For entries, contact Jackson Fernandes, cell: 90967.43363, 99305.85005.

Prizes will be decided according to the number of participants.

If you want to ensure quality equipment, please bring your own bats.

You will also have to make your own arrangements for meals.

Looking forward to your participation,

Jackson Fernandes
Aaron D’Souza
Fr Ivo Coelho, SDB
On behalf of Don Bosco Youth

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sick and ailing again

Augusta's brother Manuel fell down today and fractured his leg very badly. Prayers for him.

Mrs Tupe and Mr Prakash Roham also fractured their hands some weeks ago, I am told.

One of the relatives of Mrs Gaikwad of Chandsi Village met with an accident: your prayers are requested.

Sick parishioners

I went to visit Jonathan yesterday and found him much better. His face has healed very well, he walks about the house, and even came for mass last Sunday. He seemed cheerful and bright, and has begun looking at his books again.

Sr Flora seems okay. She was quite shaken up after the accident, but does not remember anything.

Sr Christina is in high spirits, her normal self. It is good to see her recovery. Sr Renata's hand is in a sling: the collar bone will take time to heal.

Fr Solomon Rapol, Novice Master, STI, has not been keeping well this last week, and went to Mumbai to see his doctor. Several of the novices were also down with flu, as were also many brothers from Divyadaan.

No particular news of Sr Dominica: I suppose she is on the way to recovery.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Table Tennis Tournament

Our youth group intends to organize a Table Tennis Tournament on Sunday, 6 September 2009 - but as of now, there seems to be no sign of movement in that direction! At any rate, those of you young people who are interested, keep yourselves ready, get your TT bats, practise a bit, etc.

Sr Flora

Sr Flora, superior of Kilbil Convent, seems to have had what looks like a minor accident last evening. She is reported to be better now.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Updates on sick parishioners

Sr Christina is back in the Kilbil convent, much better and on the road to recovery.

Sr Renata, UMI, who had suffered a fracture and had been also hospitalized in Mumbai, is also back in the Tanmaya convent.

Sr Dominica seems to be recovering. She is still in the FHIC Provincialate, Bandra.

No further news of Mr Baburao Roham.

Jonathan D'Souza, according to his brother Aaron, is now able to walk around the house.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Mr Baburao Roham hospitalized

Mr Baburao Francis Roham, father of Prakash Roham, of the Dominic Savio Sector, Satpur, was hospitalized last night with irregular breathing and other complications. He is much better now, and will be sent to the regular ward from the ICCU. He should be discharged within a day or two.

Mr Roham is at Shreeji Hospital, Canada Corner.

Room for one more

Parish Priest: How come I don't see you in church on Sundays?
Lady: I refuse to come. There are too many hypocrites there inside.
Parish Priest: Don't worry, Madam, there's always room for one more!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Painting of Sanctuary, Don Bosco Church

You might not have noticed it, but the sanctuary of Don Bosco Church has been freshly painted, and the woodwork has been varnished! The colours have remained the same, except for a deep blue shade around the tabernacle, which looks quite nice. Congrats to Fr Nelson. Rather than going in for a one-time painting of the whole building, which would be rather expensive, he has decided to do it in parts.

Parish notices, Sunday, 23 August 2009

Don Bosco sector

Today is the 21st Week of the Ordinary Time of the Year. The feast days in the coming week are as follows: 24th St. Bartholomew, apostle, 27th St. Monica, 28th St. Augustine and 29th the beheading of St. John the Baptist.

Let us pray earnestly for rains and offer personal sacrifices so that the good Lord in his mercy may grant us sufficient water for drinking and irrigation.

On 22nd August Saturday was the Vocation Sharing Day conducted for the youth of our parish. Thanks to the organizing team, to Fr. Ivo, Bro. Johnson and the religious of various institutions.

BCCs: The Marian Month in our parish is from 15th August to 15th Sept. On 16th August after the evening mass, the four statues of our Lady were blessed and handed over to the zonal and area leaders. Now the statues are moving in the various zones. The general intention of the Marian Month is for adequate rainfall. During each rosary let us offer one decade for this intention. Let us try to go to one another’s house, interact and pray the rosary devoutly. Let us try to make it a BCC or SCC experience.

The Sunday Animation of the various masses should be prepared in advance and done well. We are in need of musicians for accompaniment for the Sunday evening masses. Mr. Bosco Monsorate and Mr. Gordon Noronha are ready to train people in learning the key-board and the guitar. Those interested, kindly, contact the parish priest.

We are in the process of binding the hymn books and putting new and stronger plastic covers. At the end of the mass kindly, put all the hymn books in front of the main altar. Please make sure that the children do not play with the hymn books.

On 15th August our Bishop confirmed 61 youth and a few adults at St. Dominic Savio Church, Satpur. Now we look forward to confirmations at Don Bosco Church. The parents are requested to make sure that the youth who have not received confirmation attend regular catechesis on Sundays from 5.00 to 6.15 pm and then the mass at 6.30 pm.

Bible Diaries with daily readings of the whole year are available at the parish office at the rate of Rs. 50/-.

Forthcoming events are as follows: 8th Sept. nativity of the BVM; 15th Sept. conclusion of the Marian Month; 18th oct. Mission Sunday and the Mission Fete along with Garage Sale.

Thank you for your generosity: last Sunday’s collection amounted to Rs. 4,222/- and the church support for the month of July was Rs. 7650/- (zone A=2000; zone B=3850; zone C=1800).

Dominic Savio sector, Satpur

Novena in honour of our Lady of Velankanni will begin with a flag-hoisting on 29th Sept.

Let us pray earnestly for rains and offer personal sacrifices so that the good Lord in his mercy may grant us sufficient water and good crops.

The catechesis for First Holy Communions, post-confirmation and Marriage Rectifications carry on as usual.

Thank you for your contribution towards last Sunday’s collection which amounted to Rs. 204/-.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Inter-Parish Events for 2009-10

We took the occasion of the Inter-Parish youth meeting at Divyadaan today to get together and plan for the coming year. The following events have been planned:

6 September, Sunday: Interparish Table Tennis Tournament, organized by the Don Bosco Youth.

22 September, Tuesday, 1700 hrs: Input on how to conduct and run Parish youth groups, by Frs Blany Pinto, Edwin Colaco and Gregory D'Cunha, for coordinating teams of the Nashik parishes.

8 November: Interparish Football Tournament. Organisers: Don Bosco Youth.

28 December: Interparish Youth Get together, 1800-2200 hours. Organizers: St Ann's Youth. Venue: Most probably Divyadaan.

10 January: Interparish Youth Session. Organizers: Igatpuri Youth. Venue: Igatpuri.

17 January: Interparish Basketball Tournament. Organizers: Holy Cross Youth.

We will also have to plan a Lenten Recollection, most probably sometime in March.

Inter-Parish Youth Meeting, Divyadaan

The youth of 3 Nashik parishes met at Divyadaan today, to study and discuss the topic of "Youth and Media." The input persons were Fr Edison Fernandes, SDB (from STI), and Fr Robert Pen, SDB (from Divyadaan), both of whom are doctors in psychology and communication respectively, and professors at Divyadaan.

About 80 young people turned up for the meeting, which was organized by the youth and animators of Holy Cross Parish, Nashik.

Fr Edison spoke in the morning session about media, youth and developmental issues. Fr Kenneth, SJ, celebrated the Eucharist at 1200. Fr Robert showed some video clips and powerpoint presentations to make his point about the power of the media over people, and especially youth. The brothers of Divyadaan, together with the youth and coordinators of Holy Cross parish, were the moving forces behind the event.

It was great to see the enthusiasm of the young people. About 40 youth turned up from Holy Cross, about 17 from Don Bosco, and about 25 joined in from St Ann's towards midday. Fr Suresh Sathe, assistant PP of St Ann's, also graced the occasion.

Vocation Sharing Day

Yesterday, at around 1730 hours, we began the sharing of vocation stories. We had to wait a bit for the youth to turn up. Saturday evenings are not the best time for any youth programs, we are learning, because so many of them are busy with tuitions. At any rate, at first there were more religious than youth, but then slowly the youth began to trickle in, backed up especially by 3 young hostelites from Maria Vihar.

Sr Mariette, UMI shared her vocation story first - how she, the youngest of 3 sisters, had to fight for her vocation and join the convent against the wishes of her dad. She was followed by Bro Royston Colaco, SDB, from STI, who is a Salesian Brother. His story was quite dramatic - how he was a rough and tough fellow, with his own gang, and their adventures, and how, finally, he discovered a vocation and joined the Salesians. Some of the youth felt absolutely at home with this story, especially when Royston said that God does not always call only those who are 'good' or those who are Altar Servers. He said he had never been an Altar Server.

Royston was followed by Srs Anita and Sushma, both Salesian Sisters. Anita spoke in Marathi and everyone was following very keenly. She explained what it means to join a religious congregation from a khedegaon, how she had to take the permission of all her large joint family, and so on. Sr Sushma's story was interesting. She lived in Bandra and discovered a Salesian vocation quite by chance - or by God's design. It seems an elderly Salesian sister was searching for a cake shop, and asked a boy. The boy, quite distracted, told her there was a Catholic family on the 2nd floor. She went up, thinking they were making cakes, and found Sushma alone in the house. From there the story of the vocation took off.

Fr Wyman said his story was quite ordinary and at the same time quite mysterious. Fr Oscar Misquitta beckoned him over communion in Don Bosco's Shrine, Matunga, to meet him after mass. The priest told him to join Lonavla, with its swimming pool, horse riding and snowfalls. After that, the young Wyman did his best to escape Fr Oscar. His mother even would stand KV at the door of the church, give the all clear, and then Wyman would make a dash for the bus stop. But God has his own ways, and got somehow to Wyman, much to the initial distress of his dear mother. But Father was cool, and told him to follow his heart.

Sushma Srivastava asked the religious about their difficulties: do they face any? How do they handle them? Sr Sushma said there were difficulties in adjusting to people from different cultures, and then also people fall in love, and so on. Fr Vinod spoke about something else, which I can't quite remember now. I myself mentioned the financial difficulties that many families go through when someone joins the seminary - like I myself realized only much later that my going to the seminary had put quite a burden on my younger brother and sister, who, at the time, were still studying, with dad retiring from work and all that.

I ended the evening with a small comment. The point of the sharing was not so much to do 'vocation propaganda' for priests and nuns and brothers, but to get each young person asking herself or himself: What is God calling me to do with my life? We are convinced that God has called each one to do something wonderful with his or her life. It is time to ask that question, with some seriousness. And perhaps there will be some who find that he is calling them to religious life or to the priesthood. But all will have some call or other. Living life authentically means taking the time to ask that question, taking the time to listen, and having the courage to say Yes!

A very warm thank you to all those who took the trouble to share their vocation stories. Thank you, dear sisters and brothers and fathers! We appreciate very much the trouble you have taken, and you have warmed our hearts. It was good.

By the time we finished, we were about 25 or 28 of us, because the youth kept trickling in all through the evening, which is something to be appreciated, because many of them came in straight after tuitions.

Sr Dominica out of hospital

Sr Dominica has been discharged and brought home to the FHIC Provincial House at Bandra. She is still not completely well, but is recovering. She probably had a case of severe pneumonia.

The Nirmala Convent sisters thank everyone for their prayers.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Sr Dominica critical

Yesterday I heard that Sr Dominica was responding to treatment and was somewhat better.

A minute ago I received the news that her conditioned has worsened. The respiratory system has collapsed, and her condition is life-threatening.

Please pray.

Helpful hints about swine flu

1) Swine flu, that is H1N1 flu is not new, first detected in 1987
2) Infective stage of flu is 5 days, 1 day before and 4 days after onset of symptoms
3) The best way to prevent it spreading is asking patient having symptoms of flu like fever cough and running nose to take rest at home for 4 days so he does not transmit it.
4) Masks are of limited value if any, in this disease, it can spread through droplets on your skin, through contact etc, and I have seen that the masks are worn as fashion statement, while walking on road today morning I saw people wearing masks coming out for a morning walk with their dogs!, many wearing masks around their necks, and so on, in fact these masks will act as the vehicles to carry the virus, instead, avoiding crowded places or cinema halls or malls where airconditioners are on, is advisable, because you get recirculated air, where the virus density multiplies
5) Death after H1N1 flu is not common, in fact infections like measles is taking toll of thousands more every year, and we are oblivious of the facts. Swine flu is being blown out of proportion by media trying to create hysteria among lay people.
6) Fever accompanied by respiratory distress, should be immediately notified which is likely to be a complication of H1N1 flu
7)The mortality is less than 0.01 percent of those affected, that means may be 1 in 10,000 affected is likely to suffer the life loss.
8) If you remember, 2 years ago SARS was blown out of proportion, what happened? Humans develop immunity to the virus, the same is going to happen, we develop immunity in due course of time, the virus is in the air, you can not stop it, our body is already developing the immunity so nothing to panic.
9) We need to take care of children and elderly who have less immunity and do not let them go to crowded places that is all .


I am amazed to hear that people are selling masks of RS 20 each which are available to less than Rupee 1 in the market.
See who is getting benefitted?

Please spread the scientific info, do not join the band wagon and stick to science, that should be the order of the day.


Dr. Rajan Bhonsle, M.D.
Heart To Heart Counselling Centre
10 Jerbai Baug, Ambedkar Road,
Near Gloria Church, Byculla (East),
Mumbai 400027
Tel : 23778624 / 23755866 / 22184528
Mobile: 9821093902

Mrs Clotilda Mascarenhas, RIP

Mrs Clotilda Mascarenhas passed away at around 1930 hours yesterday, Monday, 17 August 2009.

Her daughter is awaited. The funeral timings will be fixed as soon as we know when she arrives.

Rest in peace, Clotilda!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Youth meeting, Sunday, 16 August 2009

The informal Sunday youth meeting has just concluded. About 11 young people turned up - Delia, Annette, Tina, Allen, Quincy, Ansilon, Craig, Philbert, Yannick, Jackson, Rochelle... I might have missed out someone.

We evaluated the Marian Academy. The compere (Annette), the stage manager (Sushma), and the backstage crew (largely Philbert and Jackson) were appreciated for the way they did their work. All the youth who helped out with the stage work, getting items, coming for practices, etc. were thanked. Bro. Johnson was thanked specially for the backdrop and for his patience. Delia was thanked for her patience, for all those hours of waiting for practices and the guys not turning up. The youth item went very well, thanks to Brandyn's music, Dean's drumming, and everyone's singing. Unfortunately there was only half a crowd by the time the youth item came up (which was last).

The main gripe was about involving non-parish children in items: their parents choose to walk out as soon as their item is over. This time, since their item was towards the end, the compere and stage manager were continually harrassed with requests for anticipation.... So that's a good lesson. And there are plenty of items anyway. The enthusiasm of the parish was appreciated. The Divyadaan item was liked very much, except that it took the better part of half an hour, and no one wants to sit two and a half hours for a program...

Information was given about the Youth Program, Media and Youth, being organized by the Holy Cross Youth on Sunday, 23 August, at Divyadaan, from 0930 to 1600 hours. Several of those present said they would attend. Since there is mass included in the program, it will be convenient.

The Vocation Sharing Day on 22 August: several youth will find it difficult to attend, because of tuitions, work, etc (Rochelle is already working, for example). Hopefully there will be at least 15 people. Each one volunteered to call and invite and remind 2 or 3 others.

The input session on how to conduct a Youth Group by Fr Blany and Fr Edwin: the youth said it was difficult for them to make it on a weekday evening, so that might have to be called off.

The idea of having an inter-parish Table Tennis Tournament, and then a similar Football and Throwball Tournament, was floated.

Some planning and distribution of work was done for the Sunday evening mass, 30 August, which the youth have to animate. Tina and Chelston will do the readings. Philbert and Craig will look after the offertory procession (bread and wine; and if the youth wish to, some offerings for the poor; no commentary). Yannick will write a small introduction with Bro Johnson's help. Jackson will contact Brandyn for the accompaniment, and Sushma will choose the hymns. There will be a singing practice perhaps after the coming Sunday's youth program, at around 1600 hours, but certainly on Sunday, 30 August, in the morning, during the Youth Meeting.

As Delia is leaving Nashik for Bangalore on Saturday, 22 August, she was asked to say the concluding prayer, while all of us prayed for her. All the best, Delia!

Sr Dominica not well

Sr Dominica, superior of Nirmala Convent, went down to Mumbai a few days ago. She had already been unwell here in Nashik, but things got worse in Mumbai. Yesterday she had to be hospitalized, but the sisters found it extremely difficult to get her admitted. After trying 5 hospitals, finally one in Goregaon admitted her. She is being tested there. Sr Stella said her condition is very bad. Let's keep her in our prayers.

It's good to make a note that in Nashik, the Civil Hospital is perhaps the only place equipped to handle cases of H1N1.

Youth events coming up

Please note the following youth events:

Time: 1700 hours, Saturday, 22 August 2009
Venue: Don Bosco Parish Hall
Program: Sharing of personal vocation stories by 4 religious, followed by free questions and discussion.

We are expecting an SDB, an FMA, a UMI sister and an FHIC sister to share.
The FMA will be either Sr Anelfreda or Sr Rita. The UMI is Sr Flora. I am not yet sure about the FHIC, since Sr Dominica, the superior, has been hospitalized in Mumbai. The SDB - still deciding.

Time: 0930 to 1600, Sunday, 23 August 2009
Venue: Divyadaan
Resource person: Fr Jacob Srampickal, SJ
Contribution: Rs 30 per head.
Organizers: Holy Cross Parish Youth
0930 registration
1000 ice breakers
1030 Session Media and the Young
1145 Break
1200 Eucharist
1300 Lunch
1400 Games, discussion, action songs
1545 Tea
1600 Departure

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Confirmations at Satpur

More than 60 parishioners, young and not-so-young, were confirmed this morning at a long ceremony by Abp. Felix Machado. The Abp. gave a long but stirring homily to an attentive and participative congregation. He questioned the candidates during the homily, and was more than satisfied with their responses, and congratulated the parish priest, Fr Nelson, and all those who had prepared them for the sacrament. It was good to see the youngsters answering without hesitation about the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, and so on.

The Abp. preached about Our Lady and her Assumption, but also equally passionately about Independence Day. The gist of his preaching was that we Christians are not in any way second-class citizens: we are assal citizens and assal Christians at the same time. (Don Bosco's honest citizens and good Christians - or, as Vigano' used to say, good citizens because good Christians). Shri Uttamrao Kamble, leader of the Oppositiion in the Nashik Municipality, also graced the occasion, and warmly encouraged Christians to participate in citizenship, politics and government. He said there were so many government schemes available, which we Christians do not make use of. He said he was ever ready to help, but so few approached him. The Abp. reciprocated by warmly appreciating Shri Kamble for his involvement in politics and government, and held him up as an example to the congregation.

The young choir sang the Holy Holy so well that a little boy in the front row spontaneously burst into a very filmi dance till his young neighbours stopped him.

It was most moving to know that the Mahila Mandal had given a whole week of shramdaan, cleaning up the church compound as well as the church itself. Cleaning up the church compound meant using sickles to cut the grass and weeds. No mean job when you think about it.

The most beautiful thing about the whole morning was the palpable enthusiasm among the people. The ceremony was interminable for those who had watches, but when one goes to Satpur the best thing is to keep your watch at home. I did not hear anyone complaining about the length except yours truly!

Underlying all this, of course, quiet tragedies go on. I met a family I know. 5 daughters, none working, the father is ill, the family survives somehow on the meagre earnings of the mother. The other evening there was the other family we visited: 4 children, none working as yet, 1 in college, 3 in our Don Bosco English medium school, the father sickly but attempting to hold a job all the same. I have never heard this family complaining. They come regularly for Mass. Life goes on somehow. We have to do something about this kind of situation. We need a Vincent de Paul Society in our parish, and we need to tangibly reach out to the very real poverty that our brothers and sisters are suffering. Not all the poor come to our doorsteps.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Vocation Sharing Day, 22 August

The Vocation Sharing Day is scheduled for 1700 hours, Saturday, 22 August 2009, Parish Council Hall, Don Bosco Nashik.

Many youth have tuitions even on Saturday evenings, so we were wondering whether to reschedule the Day for Sunday. But then I have heard that on Sunday, 23 August, the Holy Cross Parish youth are organizing an all-parish gathering of youth at Divyadaan.

At any rate, we would be happy if as many young people as possible turned up for the Vocation Sharing Day.

We are expecting to have four people sharing their vocation stories: Sr Flora from Kilbil; a Salesian priest from Divyadaan; a Salesian sister from either SHTC or Maria Vihar; and a sister from Nirmala Convent.

So come with your questions ready for them!

Please note that the Youth Meeting will take place as usual on Sunday, 16 August, at 1030 hours. The agenda is evaluation of the Academy, and planning for the Vocation Sharing Day.

Confirmations in Satpur tomorrow

About 50 of our parishioners - not all of them young - will be receiving the sacrament of Confirmation at the hands of Archbishop Felix Machado at the 1030 eucharist at Dominic Savio Church, Satpur, tomorrow, 15 August 2009.

Let's pray for them as they are confirmed in the faith.

The Don Bosco sector parish mass will be at 0630 hours tomorrow. There will also be the Sunday evening mass, but anticipated to 1700 hours, to give people the possibility of attending the Divyadaan play (1830 hours).

Sr Sylvia Fernandes, FMA, passes away in Mumbai

Sr Sylvia Fernandes, FMA, passed away yesterday after a long fight with cancer. She was just 34 years old or so.

She bore her suffering with great forbearance and even cheerfulness. I guess that's a great example for all of us: it's not how long you live, but how you live, that's really important. Someone might live for 80 years, but be a pain both to him/herself and to others. Someone else might have such a brief life, and yet have lived it in happiness and in spreading joy....

Sr Sylvia did her novitiate at SHTC and so was a member of our parish was two years. Sr Sushma, who is at present on the staff of SHTC, was her novitiate companion.

The funeral is this afternoon at Mumbai. Sisters from the two FMA communities have gone down.

RIP, Sr Sylvia.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Welcome Fr Joaquim

Fr Joaquim D'Souza, former Rector Divyadaan, Provincial of Mumbai, and Regional of South Asia, and currently Provincial Superior of the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, is at Divyadaan these days for an MPh course. He will be here for about a week, I think. So welcome, Fr Joaquim, and have a nice stay with us.

Sick and ailing

Fr Nelson has just gone to Nirmala Home to give the Anointing to Clotilda. Let's pray for her.

Two days ago Sr Renata, UMI, had to be rushed to Holy Family Hospital, Bandra. She fell down (in the house, I believe) and suffered a fracture. In the meantime, Sr Cristina seems to be recovering.

Quincy Monsorate met with a bike accident more than a week ago and damaged his knee ligaments; he is recovering at home, but was spotted both at the morning mass and at the Marian Academy in the evening.

Prakash Roham from Satpur also met with an accident and had to be hospitalized.

John Borde, our sacristan, is back at his job, though he limps a little.

Jonathan is still recovering.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Marian Academy: Mary and the Way

The Marian Academy began exactly at 1930 hours last evening, and ended at around 2140 hours - a solid 2 hours and 10 minutes.

There were 16 items in all! Some of you might be interested in the list:
1. “Gentle Woman”: Band Piece: Divyadaan (4 m.).
2. Prayer Dance: Maria Vihar (4 m.)
3. Welcome speech and felicitation: Fr Nelson Falcao, Parish Priest
4. “The Assumption of Our Lady”: Skit: Nirmala Home (8 m.)
5. “How Can This Be?” Skit: STI (10 m.)
6. Medley: Zone A (7 m.)
7. “A Celebration of Life at Divyadaan”: audio-visuals and dance presentation: Divyadaan (23 m.)
8. “O Ma Mariam”: Song: Satpur Youth
9. “Immaculate Heart of Mary”: Song: Zone B (Sean and Sanjay) (3 m.)
10. “My Queen works miracles”: Incidents from the life of Bl. Maria Romero, FMA: SHTC (9 m.)
11. Instrumental music: Bosco Monsorate and Fr Nelson (8 m.)
12. “Mother Dearest Mother Fairest”: Hymn: Zone C (4 m.)
13. “Maria Shat Shat Namah.” Song and dance: Nirmala Convent
14. “The Lamp of the Madonna”: skit: Catechism children
15. “I Love Him”: Song by Don Bosco Youth (5 m.)
16. Thanks: Fr Ivo Coelho

Our youth did a marvellous job, assisted by Bro Johnson Bhuriya and Ms Sushma Srivastava. Annette Thomas was the compere for the occasion, Jackson and Philbert managed the stage curtain beautifully, and all pitched in to put up the backdrop, clean the stage, and manage the backstage - besides practising for their item, the very lively "I Love Him," from Sister Act II.

Being Vianney Sunday, Fr Nelson also took the occasion to offer flowers to all the priests who help in our parish, as well as to some of our long standing lay leaders: Mr Robin Susainathan, Mr Rocky D'Silva, and Mr Agnelo D'Souza.

The Divyadaan brothers put up 4 dances - Goan mando, Gujarati garba, a North-Eastern Garo dance, and a Tamil war dance and the pot dance. Though the item was very long - 23 full minutes if I am not mistaken! - the people enjoyed the dances immensely. We were given a glimpse of the multi-cultural community that is Divyadaan.

The senior citizens of Nirmala Home also put up a creative skit, enacting the scene of the Assumption of Our Lady as described in the visions of Maria Valtorta. The energy and enthusiasm of our seniors is amazing!

It was wonderful to see also all the Zones of the parish putting up well-prepared and rehearsed items. Zone A made a splash of blue! And then there was the Satpur youth group on stage after a long absence.

The STI novices staged an imaginative 'vocation story' item modelled on the call of Our Lady, full of grace, with the father of the boy asking 'how can this be?' I wonder who wrote the skit. Very creative.

The SHTC novices staged two scenes from the life of Bl. Maria Romero, FMA, great devotee of Our Lady.

The catechism children's item was in crisis after the main actor, Linus, decided to opt out the day of the rehearsal. It seems one of the sisters trained Charles Kevin Anthony, but did not communicate that to anyone. I happened to meet Charles on the playground just before Sunday School, and he fought with me: Father, you have cancelled our item. I said, Charles, I don't even know you have an item. But the enthusiasm of the young boy just could not be ignored, and so the item was rescheduled. They did a good job, our children! Though I still can't remember what exactly the skit was about.

The theme of the Academy was Mary Knows the Way, Shows the Way. And the Way is, of course, Jesus.

Welcome Fr Aloysius!

We welcome Fr Aloysius Hemrom, SDB, to our Parish. Fr Aloysius belongs to the Gauhati Province of the Salesians, and holds a Master's degree in Philosophy from Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, as well as a Doctorate in Liturgy from Rome. He has been professor at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, and has very recently published his doctoral thesis about the liturgical practices of the Salvatorian Missionaries in the North East. (The Salvatorians were German missionaries; when they had to leave the country at the time of World War I, the Salesians were called in).

Fr Hemrom resides in Divyadaan and is in charge of liturgy there, besides being a regular professor for the brothers.

So welcome, Fr Alu! We look forward to seeing you in our parish, and benefiting from your liturgical expertise.

Parish notices, Sunday, 9 August 2009

Today is 19th Week of the Ordinary Time of the Year. Today we celebrate Vianney Sunday and today’s collection will be made for the Clergy Fund. The feast days in the coming week are as follows: 10th St. Lawrence, 11th St. Clare, 14th St. Maximilian Kolbe and 15th the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On 9th august Sunday after the evening Mass we will have the Marian Academy. All are welcomed.

BCCs: On 11th and 14th august between 5.30 to 7.30 pm, Fr. Ivo along with the zonal and area leaders will visit St. Jude Community of Zone A; on 12th Fr. Nelson along with the zonal and area leaders will have Lectio Divina, i.e., Divine Reading or Reflection on the Word of God, for Holy Family, Sacred Heart and Perpetual Succour communities of Mahatma Nagar.

The Sunday Animation of the various masses should be prepared in advance and done well. We are in need of musicians for accompaniment for the Sunday evening masses. Mr. Bosco and Mr. Gordon are ready to train people in learning the key-board and the guitar. Those interested, kindly, contact the parish priest.

We are in the process of binding the hymn books and putting new and stronger plastic covers. At the end of the mass kindly, put all the hymn books in front of the main altar.

The Brothers of Divya Daan will be staging a three-act comedy play – “Uncle’s Walking Stick” which will be staged on 14th (religious institutions) and 15th Aug. (DB parishioners) at 6.30 pm at the Divya Daan Auditorium. Entry passes will be available from next Sunday onwards. The morning mass on 15th aug. Saturday will be at 6.30 am and the evening mass at 5.00 pm.

Bible Diaries with daily readings of the whole year are available at the parish office at the rate of Rs. 50/-.

The forthcoming events are as follows: 15th Aug. to 15th Sept. the Marian Month; on 17th Aug. Monday, the three statues will start moving zone-wise; 15th aug. confirmations at St. Dominic Savio Church, Satpur by our Bishop; 22nd August Vocation Sharing Day for the youth of our parish.

Thank you for your generous contribution towards last Sunday’s collection which amounted to Rs. 2,902/-.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Happy feast of St John Mary Vianney

A very happy feast of St John Mary Vianney to our parish priest, Fr Nelson, to Fr Diego, our assistant, and to all the many priests who minister in our parish!

This morning some of us participated at the Day of Prayer for Priests organized by Archbishop Machado at Bishop's House, Nashik Road. The Archbishop gave a long exhortation about the priesthood, and an inspiring homily on the life of St John Mary Vianney, who has been declared Patron not only of diocesan Priests but of all priests.

It is amazing to learn that, in his 41 years of ministry, over 2 million people made the pilgrimage to the remote mountain village of Ars, to see the famous Cure' and to make their confessions to him - among them also bishops and cardinals.

As Pope Benedict says, we should not assume that our age is worse or more difficult than the age John Mary Vianney lived in. But he managed to reach the hearts of people, and so can we - following his example of prayer, humility, dedication and trust in the grace of God.