Saturday, 30 January 2010

Parish Feast, 2010

Tomorrow is the feast of our parish, the Solemnity of Don Bosco. Though the feast falls on a Sunday, it being a Sunday of Ordinary Time, we are allowed to celebrate the patronal feast of our parish as a Solemnity.

The program tomorrow will consist mainly in the Festive Eucharist at 1830 hours. The main celebrant is Fr Elson Barretto, SDB, Provincial Economer.

The morning mass remains at 0700 hours.

After the evening Eucharist, the Salesians will be hosting a dinner, on the occasion of the feast of Don Bosco, as well as the 150 years of the founding of the Salesians, for special invitees, including the parish councillors (DB and DSC), Cooperators, benefactors, and some staff members from the 3 institutions.

A very happy feast to all our parishioners.

Don Bosco Academy 2010

The 'Academy' in honour of Don Bosco has just concluded. It was organized by Divyadaan, and there were six or seven items:

The Divyadaan Band
A 'puppet' show by STI
A skit by SHTC
A dance by Irwin
Isha's musical debut
A musical trio by Fr Nelson, Bosco Monsorate and Suryakant
A longish skit by Divyadaan.

Most of the audience consisted of religious. Parishioners were not very many, and the theme of the 150 years of the founding of the Salesians did not seem to feature much. The youth, who had promised to contribute an item, were quite conspicuous by their absence. Someone suggested that the parishioners were few because (1) it was a Saturday, (2) the mass had been anticipated without much announcements. Announcements need to be done at least 3 weeks in advance. Next time!

World Youth Day in Nashik

World Youth Day will be celebrated on 16 February 2010. Sagar from St Ann's is calling for a meeting of youth leaders to plan something at the Nashik City level. Presidents and animators, please note that there will be a meeting at 1830 hours, 2 Feb 2010, at Don Bosco Council Hall.

We need to decide on a date and venue. The program will most likely be a half-day recollection, with a talk, time for prayer and confessions, and mass.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Animation for Don Bosco's Feast

Yesterday a small group of youth met to plan for the animation of the Don Bosco Feast Mass: Ross, Suraj, and Nikhil; Jackson dropped in for a brief moment. Sera was kind enough to join in.

The theme of the mass will be "I will give you a shepherd." This is from the first reading from Ezekiel, and also goes with the gospel. The second reading rings the note of joy which is characteristic of Don Bosco's educative system and spirituality. The hymns have been chosen accordingly, with the themes of shepherd, youth, and joy.

Entrance: 23
Kyrie: 470: Mass of Don Bosco
Gloria: 470
Responsorial: to be chosen.
Alleluia: the verse to be recited, the Alleluia sung.
Offertory: 139
Sanctus: 470
Agnus: 470
Communion: 151 or 178
P.Communion: 374: Jesus, I Believe What you say to me
Recessional: 357: Long Ago in 1815

I request all the youth to be present for the practices which will take place immediately after the evening novena masses, from this evening onwards. It would be great if they could make it also for the mass itself.

I have requested Divyadaan to give us 10 brothers to back up our singing, and also our numbers... Frs Savio and Val have very kindly agreed.

First Reading: Suraj
Second Reading: Rochelle
Prayer of the faithful: Nikhil (who will also prepare it).

The main celebrant is Fr Elson Barretto, Provincial Economer.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


Fr Matthew Coutinho, who is down from Shillong for the winter break, will be paying us a visit, probably 27 January 2010. Welcome Fr Matthew!

Earlier in the week we had the visit of Fr M.A. (Matapillil) Isaac, SDB, from Tripura state in the Salesian province of Gauhati.Fr Isaac used to be our principal and prefect of studies in Don Bosco Lonavla - where 'we' refers to 'seniors' like Fr Diego, Fr Nelson, and myself. He was a wonderfully strict man, a very good teacher, especially of mathematics, very just, and much loved. He opted to go to the Assam missions, and so left the Bombay Province in the early 1970s. In Gauhati province, he was never sent to the 'real' missions, but served as a formator, Rector of the aspirantate, Novice Master and Vice Provincial. He is now 73 years old or so, but still active, and now in the 'real' missions.

Preparations for Don Bosco's feast

The youth are supposed to animate the 5th Sunday evening Eucharist through the year, and this year Don Bosco's Feast falls on the 5th Sunday of January, and so ...

There will be a youth meeting at 1730 hours today, 26 January 2010, to plan the animation for the Feast Day mass.

There will also be the usual Academy in Honour of Don Bosco on 30 January 2010. The Academy is being organized by Divyadaan, and the youth are invited to give an item, and to make sure that the name of the item is given to Fr Valerian Pereira as soon as possible.


It was Nikhil John's 20th birthday and Odette De Souza's 21st birthday yesterday, 25 January 2010. A very happy birthday to both of you, Nikhil and Odette. Prayers, good wishes and blessings for a happy and God-filled life.

Monday, 25 January 2010

DBWAY.IN, a new web site on education

ROME, JANUARY 25, 2010: Educating for a happy life in DON BOSCO’S WAY ( is a web resource to acquaint non-Christian parents and educators with Don Bosco’s system of education.

It was inaugurated at the Salesian Headquarters by the Regional of South Asia, Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga in the presence of an august assembly of superiors, secretaries, communication experts, historians and representatives of different religious congregations from South Asia that belong to the Salesian family on January 23, 2010.

The creation of the website emerged from the needs of Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla, Mumbai, that was eager to include nearly 70% of its teaching staff who did not profess the Christian faith in the knowledge and practice of Don Bosco’s educational method.

Don Bosco’s pedagogy that originated in the Catholic ambient of nineteen century Italy is closely linked to concepts and language that express his Catholic belief. Today with Salesians working in 130 countries, there is the urgent need to reach beyond the confines of a strictly Catholic Salesian conceptualisation. Salesians work in countries where the presence of Catholic Christianity is minimal and where implanting the Salesian charism and educational method necessarily involves the collaboration of people from other religious backgrounds.

This website is therefore timely, and will make Don Bosco’s education more accessible. With a cosmopolitan, multi-religious perspective it presents in text, diagrams, illustrations and audiovisuals the wealth of Salesian pedagogy. It also provides a variety of resources that facilitate a deeper understanding for the interested.

The project is an initiative of Peter Gonsalves, PhD, a Salesian educator, who currently teaches in the Faculty of the Sciences of Social Communication at the Salesian University, Rome.

(Courtesy BIS #1731)

The youth of our parish

Fr Nelson announced that Bosco Samachar will be out for Don Bosco's feast. Soon after, Rita approached me for an article for our youth. I am not writing for our youth, but about our youth.

My impression about the youth of our parish is that they are youthful as well as quite orthodox.

They are quite orthodox, but that does not mean that they do not need a great deal of catechesis. They love Our Lady, for example, but one of them was shocked to realize that Our Lady is not worshipped, and that she is not God. Another was quite disturbed when one of the priests seemed to present different ideas about pre-marital sex and marriage outside the faith, and found a quote from the New Testament to the effect, Do not be mismatched with unbelievers; but perhaps needs to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church at some depth.

But orthodoxy of this kind does not prevent our youth from being youthful! They are up to all kinds of (mostly innnocent) mischief. Punctuality for meetings, order, hard work, reliability, efficiency - these are virtues yet to be discovered. (I have begun thinking that we have to train our brothers to tolerate lack of punctuality: I find my long years of formation to punctuality quite a disadvantage when I have to patiently wait for our youth to turn up for meetings, for practices, for work.)

It is not quite true to say that our youth do not come for mass; they do come for mass, most of them, though some tend to come just a little late, and then again, they might be found busy doing up the old man and walking quite late into the New Year's Mass. Then again, not many parishioners might know that several of them go quite often and quite willingly to take part in the charismatic retreats organized by a certain Auntie Maxie at Bhagur; there they listen to the talks, pray, go for counselling, and even for confessions.

But of course when I write like this, I am the prisoner of a picture. When I look closely, I find I am describing five or at the most ten of our youth - the ones who usually grab attention, the ones who are centre stage most of the time. There are several others who might not fit the 'mischievous' description. But these also have the common need of a good catechesis.

Then there are some who come for occasions and events, and there are others who just do not come to the youth group or even to the events. This is something that happens in all parishes, and ours is no exception. I guess we will have to find time to visit them in their homes or wherever. Bishop Valerian D'Souza used to say that if some youth do not / are not able to come to the church, then the church must go to them. In our parish we do not have too many young people working as domestic help, but this would be a category of youth that we must seriously look at.

But the great need, as I have been trying to say, is catechesis. Vital, important, interesting catechesis for youth. We have been doing a moment of lectio divina, reading of the Scriptures, at the start of every youth meeting, and that is already good. But we do need to get into an organic catechesis. So this is another thing that Salesians and religious and seminarians need to prepare themselves well for!

Don Bosco sector get together

The Don Bosco sector get together took place after the evening mass (which had been anticipated to 1800 hours) on Saturday, 23 January 2010. About 100 parishioners attended, plus 40 Maria Vihar boarding girls, without whom the crowd would have been very small. Mabel De Souza and Russell Isaac organized the games, while Wilson, Norbert and others saw to the food and snacks.

Salesian works around the province

I have an idea to put up information about some of the 'different' Salesian works around the province. Probably our parishioners do not know much about these - partly because we Salesians do not even bother to share information. But there is such a lot of exciting and interesting work going on, that I would like to share something about it. I hope it will be of interest to you.

You will ask me: what about the other religious congregations? - By all means! If someone is willing to send me information and photos, why not. I will begin with the Salesians, simply because I have ready access to information, and besides, I have a wonderful collection of what I think are marvellous photos!

But in the meantime: did you know that the palas is blooming in the Sahayadris? A bit early, but there it is! I was not able to get recent photos, but those of you who are interested can go to Divyadaan: the palas is blooming there for the first time since the trees were planted! But how do you identity the palas? Simple: palasachi paane teen! A tree with peculiar three leaved arrangements, and saffron flowers, mostly bunched at the top of the tree. Which is why this is sometimes called Flame of the Forest.

Which reminds me: many of our parishioners have not ever stepped into Divyadaan. Perhaps they could, and should...

And maybe we can make arrangements for them to be members of the Divyadaan library too...

Salesian work at Karjat

Yesterday I took the Manmad-Pune Express and went to Karjat to attend the inauguration and blessing of the new building for the work for young people at risk that the Salesians have been doing for some years now in a village called Moti Vengaon.

What impressed me most were the boys. They are never too many at a time, but they undergo a 2 month course where they learn English, life skills such as yoga, self-awareness, meditation, cooking, keeping accounts, marketing, gardening, eco-friendly methods, and so on. If they get through these 2 months, they are admitted to a 4 month multi-skilled trade course. These boys - who you see in the pictures above - stunned all of us when they put up a presentation in English about their 6 month long course. Amazing work by Frs Xavier Devadas, Barnabe D'Souza, Damien Sladen, and their team of lay animators.

The boys we are speaking of all are 'from the streets.' Many of them have undergone detoxification (getting rid of their drug and other addictions) at the Salesian centre Maria Ashiana at Lonavla. In the 6 months they spend at Karjat, they are prepared to 'get back' to life and set out on their own.

Besides this work, the Salesians are also involved in an interesting way in the surrounding tribal villages. Upon written invitation from the sarpanch, they offer supplementary classes to children. They also offer training to the villagers in eco-friendly methods of cooking and agriculture. The tribal people are being helped to make full use of the environment without damaging it. Fr Xavier has introduced methods for making charcoal from little twigs, leaves, waste paper, board, anything at all; so there is no need for trees to be cut down. He has shown how vegetables can be grown in the poorest of soils with waste from the kitchen and very little water.

It would be a great idea for parishioners to visit Don Bosco Karjat and see for themselves the work that is going on. And, besides, Karjat is wonderful: it has retained the pristine charm of the Sahayadris, despite the rapidly increasing number of bungalows and resorts.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Trip to Karjat

I am thinking seriously of making a trip to Karjat on Sunday, 24 January 2010. The Salesians have a work for Young People in Difficulty - street boys, but also others - at a village called Mote Vengaon near Karjat, and on Sunday they will be inaugurating a new building for this purpose. It would be wonderful if some youth and parishioners were to come along too... Good occasion to see one of the more creative works for youth in our province, and also to see Swami Fr Xavier Devadas in action....

World Youth Day in Nashik

Agnelo Sagar, Youth Group President of St Ann's, just pointed out to me that 16 February is World Youth Day, and why don't we have something on a Nashik city level.

I said that the Diocesan Youth Rally or Fest was being held 6-7 February 2010 at Ahmednagar. He had not heard about it, but said he would get in touch with Fr Suresh Sathe, the Youth Group in charge at St Ann's. Still, Sagar said, it might be a good idea to think of something at the Nashik city level too. I mentioned the Lenten Recollection that we have been toying with. He said two years ago, they had a Taize Prayer led by Archbishop Felix Machado. We need to give this a thought.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Questions on the gospel of Luke

The other day the Mary Help of Christians community of Zone A met for lectio divina, and reflected on the gospel of the coming Sunday, Lk 1:1-4, 4:14-21. The group had some questions, which I will try to address.

1. "Was not the Holy Spirit with Jesus all the time?"

- The gospel has Jesus saying: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. It does not say that the Spirit descended on Jesus. But the gospels do say in other parts - chiefly the Baptism of Jesus - that the Spirit descended on Jesus. So the question stands. What can we say? Perhaps only this: that God is everywhere; yet he manifests himself in a special way at certain times and certain places. Perhaps we can see the Baptism of Jesus as a special moment of this manifestation. In fact, the Baptism is in some ways part of the feast of the Epiphany, the feast of the Manifestation of Jesus. Jesus is manifested as the Christ, the Anointed One, the One anointed with the Spirit. He is manifested as the Son, the beloved Son of the Father.

2. "The people of Nazareth did not believe Jesus as the Messiah."

From the gospel, it would seem that they did not; or at least, that the majority of them did not. There is nothing surprising about this. Jesus grew up in their midst. His identity as more than just a good boy or young man becomes evident only slowly. One of the moments of this revelation is the passage we have been reflecting on. He enters the synagogue of his home town, reads a significant passage from Isaiah, and declares that it has been fulfilled.

All the gospels, in every passage, aim at revealing the true and full identity of Jesus. And all of us, even though we believe, are still slowly coming to realize who he really is.

3. "Why did Jesus have to refer to what the prophets had written? Why did he not just say and do all he wanted according to his Father?"

- I suppose it was the Father's will to have a long preparation for the arrival of Jesus in the Old Testament, through the history of Israel, and especially through the
prophets. So naturally when Jesus came, he presented himself as a fulfilment of the prophecies. In fact, it is mostly Matthew who presents Jesus in this way, precisely because he was writing for a largely Jewish community. Luke is writing to Gentiles, to non-Jews, and so he quotes the Old Testament and prophets more rarely. The passage we have been studying is one of the exceptions. But it has a power that enables it to speak even to non-Jews like us: Behold today this scripture has been fulfilled in your presence.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Salesian Family Day, Kurla

Mrs Lily Nirmal, Ms Cecilia Sable, and Mr Kiran attended the Salesian Family Day at St Joseph's / Don Bosco Kurla yesterday, 17 January 2010. There were about 250 participants from different branches of the Salesian Family - SDBs, FMAs, SMI sisters, Salesian Cooperators, Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDBs), Association of the Devotees of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), and Past Pupils.

The program consisted of the Eucharist, at which Fr Michael Fernandes, SDB Provincial, presided; a video presenting the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2010, "Sir, we want to see Jesus", some dance and song items, and dinner.

The Strenna, being quite explicitly Christian, was perhaps somewhat difficult for the past pupils, many of whom are not Christian. However, it was a powerful presentation of the need that youth have for Jesus, and the invitation to all of us to evangelize them, present them Jesus.

The day was organized by the Kurla Unit of Cooperators and Past Pupils, under the guidance of Fr Elias Diaz, SDB Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family.

For many, it was a good opportunity also to see the Kurla Don Bosco Campus, with its ITI, Engineering College, and Catering and Hotel Management College. Fr Adolph Furtado, the Rector, said that soon a Business Management College would also be set up. He explained the admission requirements for each of the branches. Being a minority institution, 50% of the seats are reserved for Christians, who, of course, have to do the CET and compete among themselves for seats.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Premarital sex

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994):

2391 Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liasons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship betwen a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.

Mixed marriages and disparity of cult

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), nn 1633-1637:

1633 In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) requires even greater circumspection.

1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage, when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities, and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ. But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome. The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home. Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties. Differences about faith and about the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise.

1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church, a mixed marriage needs for Iiceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority. (CIC, can. 1124) In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage. (CIC, can. 1086) This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage and the obligations assumed by the Catholic party concerning the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church. (CIC, can. 1125)

1636 Through ecumenical dialogue Christian communities in many regions have been able to put into effect a common pastoral practice for mixed marriages. Its task is to help such couples live out their particular situation in the light of faith, overcome the tensions between the couple's obligations to each other and towards their ecclesial communities, and encourage the flowering of what is common to them in faith and respect for what separates them.

1637 In marriages with disparity of cult the Catholic spouse has a particular task: "For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband." (1 Cor 7:14) It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this “consecration" should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith. (Cf 1 Cor 7:16) Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer can prepare the non-believing spouse to accept the grace or conversion.


1. The CCC does not exclude mixed marriages.
2. However, it does not regard them as a matter of indifference. The difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated, and disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties. The difficulties include education of children and the temptation to religious indifference, and a slow drifting away from the faith.
3. The important thing in mixed marriages is the faith of the Catholic spouse, and here the CCC quotes 1 Cor 7:14. So the question is: is your faith strong? and is it strong enough to exert a positive influence on your partner?

Interparish Youth Session on Relationships

The Interparish Youth Session on Relationships was held at Satyagiri, the retreat and animation centre of the Dominicans, at Igatpuri, on Sunday, 10 January 2010. About 13 youth from our parish participated, along with Bro Johnson Bhuriya and me. There was a group of over 50 youth in all, from St Patrick's, St Ann's and Sacred Heart Igatpuri.

The young people of Igatpuri together with the Divyadaan brothers did a commendable job of organizing the day, which all found very pleasant and good fun. The weather was glorious, the journey good, and the company stimulating.

The Igatpuri youth, led by Biju, conducted a 45 min. Praise and Worship. This was followed by an hour of games and ice-breakers. After that Fr Edison gave a talk on Relationships; he was extremely lively and had a wonderful way of holding the attention of everyone. Some of the things he said were extremely provocative, and even disturbing to some of the youth; our youth group is going to have a discussion on these issues, and we intend studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is perhaps one of the best summaries of Catholic teaching on just about anything, including the important issue of relationships, sexuality, marriage and family.

After lunch, Sr Sylvie gave a short session. During both the morning panel discussion and the afternoon session, some of the priests made themselves available for confessions, and it was heartening to see several of the youth taking advantage of the opportunity.

We returned to Nashik by the convenient - and cheap at only Rs 9! - shuttle that left at 1810 hrs.


Saturday, 16 January 2010
1030 hrs: Farewell Eucharist and Lunch for Abp. Felix Machado, St Ann's Cathedral, Nashik Road

1400 hrs: Symposium on 'Hannah Arendt: Contemporary Political Philosopher' at Divyadaan.

1700 hrs: Wedding of Denzil Pinto and Sheethal Smitha D'Souza, St John the Baptist Church, Jambli Naka, Thane West 400 601.

Sunday, 17 January 2010
1030 hrs: Session on Addictions by Fr Edison Fernandes, for the youth.

1630 hrs: Session on Family by Fr Robert Pen. All are welcome!

1700 hrs, Don Bosco Kurla: Salesian Family Day. A VDB aspirant and a Salesian Cooperator aspirant, and two past pupils are scheduled to attend; I also hope to be there... Mass at 1700 hrs, followed by a get-together and dinner.

New Priests' Day

Frs Briston Britto and Royal D'Abreo celebrated the Eucharist in the Parish yesterday at 1900 hours. The church seemed full enough; though the bulk of the congregation was made up of SDBs and FMAs, there was a fair sprinkling of other parishioners.

Before the Eucharist, at 1815, the two newly ordained priests gave a sort of 'press conference' to those who turned up, once again mostly young SDBs. They refused to commit themselves on the question, which vows is the most difficult, but were very clear that prayer is important, and also having someone to talk to - a Rector, a Spiritual Director, a guide.

Fr Briston spent two years in the Don Bosco community, while both he and Fr Royal passed through STI and Divyadaan.

This morning the two young priests, together with Fr Brian Moras who is accompanying them, will be meeting the Catholic students of Don Bosco school.

We look forward to all young people in our parish raising the question, What does God want me to do? And, like the young Samuel, we hope they will all have the courage to say: Speak Lord, your servant is listening.

But the question of vocation is a challenge to everyone, especially to parents.

'Vocation' means God's call, and God can call to a wide variety of vocations in the Church. Some will be zonal leaders, others area leaders, still others will be involved in the parish and in society in different ways. Some will have the special call to be religious or priests.

The question is: are our families letting God into their lives in their every decision?

Especially if we value the gift of the priesthood, dear parishioners, we need to allow God to challenge us and our convictions. Are we, as parents, ready to let go of our children for God's specific service if that is their call? Are we encouraging them in the life of faith and the values of the gospel?

It strikes me very much that Jesus was an only child. And Mary and Joseph let him go. He had to be about his Father's business.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Sr Sushma's brother-in-law passes away

Sr Sushma, FMA, just got the news of the sad demise of her brother-in-law, a young man of 40. He leaves behind his wife and two little children. Let's pray for him, and most especially for the bereaved family.

Friday, 8 January 2010


Beverly Homan gets married to Sanjay De Sylva tomorrow, Saturday, 9 January 2010, at 1630 hours, at Holy Cross Church.

Another parishioner, Mr Pawar from Satpur, gets married also tomorrow, at Dominic Savio Church, Satpur; the bride is from Vasai.

Our warmest congratulations to both these young couples, and God's blessings on them as they begin life together.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Thomas Ohol, RIP

Mr Thomas Ohol of the Satpur sector of our parish died this morning. He was only 25. He leaves behind his parents, and a younger brother. The funeral was held at around 1530 hours the same day. Let us pray for this young man and for his family, especially his bereaved mother.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Photos from the Football and Throwball Tournament

This is rather late, but people have been pestering me for the photos, so here they are, photos from the Football and Throwball Tournament, October 2009. Our girls team won the Throwball tournament, so congratulations to them!

Golden rules for finding your life partner

"Golden rules for finding your life partner" by Dov Heller, M.A., was contributed by one of the readers of this blog. The text is written for a North American audience, but read on!

When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no one wants to make a mistake. Yet, with a divorce rate of close to 50%, it appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding Mr./Miss. Right!

If you ask most couples who are engaged why they're getting married, they'll say: "We're in love"; I believe this is the ..1 mistake people make when they date. Choosing a life partner should never be based on love. Though this may sound "not politically correct", there's a profound truth here.

Love is not the basis for getting married. Rather, love is the result of a good marriage. When the other ingredients are right, then the love will come. Let me say it again: "You can't build a lifetime relationship on love alone"; You need a lot more!!!

Here are five questions you must ask yourself if you're serious about finding and keeping a life partner.

QUESTION ..1: Do we share a common life purpose?

Why is this so important? Let me put it this way: If you're married for 20 or 30 years, that's a long time to live with someone. What do you plan to do with each other all that time? Travel, eat and jog together? You need to share something deeper and more meaningful. You need a common life purpose.

Two things can happen in a marriage:
(1) You can grow together, or
(2) You can grow apart.

50% of the people out there are growing apart. To make a marriage work, you need to know what you want out of life!

Bottom line; marry someone who wants the same thing.

QUESTION ..2: Do I feel safe expressing my feelings and thoughts with this person?

This question goes to the core of the quality of your relationship. Feeling safe means you can communicate openly with this person. The basis of having good communication is trust - i.e. trust that I won't get "punished"; or hurt for expressing my honest thoughts and feelings. A colleague of mine defines an abusive person as someone with whom you feel afraid to express your thoughts and feelings. Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sure you feel emotionally safe with the person you plan to marry.

QUESTION ..3: Is he/she a mensch?

A mensch is someone who is a refined and sensitive person. How can you test? Here are some suggestions. Do they work on personal growth on a regular basis? Are they serious about improving themselves? A teacher of mine defines a good person as "someone who is always striving to be good and do the right ";. So ask about your significant other: What do
they do with their time? Is this person materialistic? Usually a materialistic person is not someone whose top priority is character refinement.

There are essentially two types of people in the world:
(1) People who are dedicated to personal growth and
(2) people who are dedicated to seeking comfort.
Someone whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of doing the right thing. You need to know
that before walking down the aisle.

QUESTION ..4: How does he/she treat other people?

The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is the ability to give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another person pleasure.

Ask: Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are they wrapped up in themselves and self- absorbed?

To measure this, think about the following: How do they treat people whom they do not have to be nice to, such as waiters, bus boys, taxi drivers, etc.. How do they treat their parents and siblings? Do they have gratitude and appreciation?

If they don't have gratitude for the people who have given them everything; can you do nearly as much for them? You can be sure that someone, who treats others poorly, will eventually treat you poorly as well.

QUESTION ..5: Is there anything I'm hoping to change about this person after we're married?

Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention of trying to "improve"; them after they're married. As a colleague of mine puts it: "You can probably expect someone to change after marriage for the worse" If you cannot fully accept this person the way they are now, then you are not ready to marry them.

In conclusion, dating doesn't have to be difficult and treacherous. The key is to try leading a little more with your head and less with your heart. It pays to be as objective as possible when you are dating; to be sure to ask questions that will help you get to the key issues. Falling in love is a great feeling, but when you wake up with a ring on your finger, you don't want to find yourself trouble because you didn't do your homework.

Another perspective. ..

There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance.. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going anywhere relationships. Observe the relationships around you.

Pay attention...
Which ones lift and which ones lean?

Which ones encourage and which ones discourage?

Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill?

When you leave certain people do you feel better or feel worse?

Which ones always have drama or don't really understand, know, or appreciate you?

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you...the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

An African proverb states, "Before you get married, keep both eyes open, and after you marry, close one eye"; Before you get involved and make a commitment to someone, don't let lust, desperation, immaturity, ignorance, pressure from others or a low self-esteem make you blind to warning signs. Keep your eyes open, and don't fool yourself that you can change someone or that what you see as faults aren't really that important.

Do you bring out the best in each other?

Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete, compare and control?

What do you bring to the relationship?

Do you bring past relationships, past hurt, past mistrust, past pain?

You can't take someone to the altar to alter them. You can't make someone love you or make someone stay.

If you develop self-esteem, spiritual discernment, and "a life"; you won't find yourself making someone else responsible for your happiness or responsible for your pain. Seeking status, sex, and security are the wrong reasons to be in a relationship.








7. DAILY EXCHANGES (meal, shared activity, hug, call, touch, notes, etc.)




If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as resentment withdrawal, abuse, neglect, and dishonesty; and pain will replace.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Sunday School Christmas Tree

The Sunday School children, including the Confirmation students, had a small Christmas Tree program this afternoon, from 1500 to 1800 hours.

Miss Nashik Sharol James

Sharol James of our parish youth group was voted MISS NASHIK at the Inteparish Youth Get-together held on 30 January 2009 at Divyadaan.

Congratulations Sharol!

The Get-together, organized by the St Ann's Parish Youth, got off to a start only by 1930 or so, and ended by 2230. About 100 youth attended.

St Patrick's Youth also organized a dance on 1 January 2010. Several of our youth attended.

Youth meeting, Sunday, 3 Jan 2010

Only 3 members turned up for the youth group meeting on Sunday, 3 January 2010: Sharol James, Sushma Shrivastava, and Tina Thomas.

Points discussed:

1. Igatpuri Youth Session, 10 January 2010. Members present will contact others and get their commitment. The train fare comes to about Rs 100 going and coming, and the fee for the session is Rs 50.

2. Training for Youth Animators, 23-24 January 2010 at Matunga. As of now, no one seems to be interested in going.

3. Suggestions for future sessions: tithes; smoking and drinking. Fr Edison has agreed to give us an input on "Addictions" Sunday, 17 January 2010.

January 2010: forthcoming events

10 January 2010: Interparish Youth Session, Igatpuri.

14 January 2010, 1900 hrs: New Priests Day. Frs Briston Britto and Royal D'Abreo will be celebrating the Eucharist for us. All parishioners, but especially the children and youth, are invited to be present.

17 January 2010, 1030 hrs: Fr Edison will give an input to the Youth Group on the topic of "Addictions" - Smoking, Drinking, etc. All youth are warmly invited to be present for this meeting.

17 January 2010, 1630 hrs: Fr Robert Pen will give an input to parents on "Family" to those interested. This is an initiative of Zone A, but all are welcome. Parents are welcome to bring along their teenage and older children...

23 January 2010, Parish Get-together. Mass will be anticipated to 1800 hrs. The Get-together will follow. Adults Rs 75, children below 12 Rs 50. The gathering is expected to end latest by 2130 hrs. Tickets are available with Mrs Blessy Lewis.

30 January 2010, Don Bosco Academy.

31 January 2010: Feast of Don Bosco. Celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation.

Confirmations fixed for 7 Feb

The Confirmations for the DB sector have been fixed for Sunday, 7 February 2010. Bishop Lourdes Daniel, Apostolic Administrator of our diocese, will be administering the sacrament.

Interparish Youth Session, Igatpuri

An Interparish Youth Session will be held at Igatpuri on Sunday, 10 January 2010.

The topic is Relationships.

The speakers are Fr Edison Fernandes (PhD Clinical Psychology), Fr Robert Pen (PhD Communications), and Sr Sylvie.


0900: Registration
0915: Ice breakers
0945: Praise and Worship
1015: Tea
1030: Talk by Fr Edison: Relationship
1200: Eucharist
1300: Lunch
1345: Skit by Igatpuri Youth
1415: Session by Fr Robert Pen and Sr Sylvie
1530: Games
1630: Tea / Departure

DB Youth please note: we will be leaving by the PANCHAVATI EXPRESS and returning either by Train 1323 IGATPURI MANMAD SHUTTLE, (dep. 1810) or 1026 PUNE MANMAD EXPRESS (1840 dep. from Igatpuri). Those who want their tickets booked can contact Fr Ivo.

Fr Ivo and Bro Johnson will be accompanying the youth to Igatpuri.