Category Archives: Salesian

Miraculous ecape for Salesian Fr CT Xavier of Kathihar mission

CT Xavier sumoKATHIHAR — Salesian Fr. CT Xavier, the Parish Priest of Katihar (Bihar) writes about the accident he met with the Jeep on 30th January morning and the miraculous escape he had: On Friday, even though not my day, I volunteered to go to MC Sisters, as I had to do the bandaging of my leg. As I came out, I found the gates were not opened fully. The vehicle was almost touching the gates. Then I got a warning, I must go slowly. I was slower than other days, and the road was with less traffic.

Before I reached the ‘accident prone’ area, where we go very slowly, Sumo took a right turn and went other side of the road. I tried to turn the steering and it was not working. I just prayed that the Jubilee should not be affected with what is going to happen. I did not think of breaking as I was trying to turn the steering. Within a second, the vehicle banked on a tree and stopped. Actually it hit on a Phone line stone and due to loose mud near by, slushy with rain water of previous day, the vehicle turned towards the tree and a drain tank. I must have been thrown to the door side with the first hit, thus saving my thighs and hip. By the time, Sumo hit the tree, the steering had stuck the seat.

???????????????????????????????I got up and put my hand out calling the vehicles passing by. No one stopped. I had lost my voice because of the cold and cough.. After some time some people were on their routine walk, and I waved my hands, putting out my head. The ladies called two men and they came and pulled me out of the vehicle. As my head was full of glass pieces, they removed some of
them. The ladies continuously praised God, saying ‘your God has saved you’.

Since I had taken the mobile, I rang up to the MC sisters’ driver. Then I rang up to my driver and then to MC sisters. MC sisters’ driver came immediately and told me to escape from the site before the police comes.

???????????????????????????????Then all the sisters and other working girls rushed and took me to the convent by Auto.

I had a little scratch on the left leg and terrible pain on the left hip. They called our family doctor and he found everything normal. He wrote for an x-ray of the hip to find out if the bones were broken or not. The x-ray report showed that no bones have been broken.

I get a little pain when I get up after sitting for some time or when I bent down. Today I am getting a little pain on the upper right hand, due to the hit on the door.

All those who saw the Sumo, thanked God for saving my life. I found a lot of support and concern from everyone that have helped me to continue work without much rest. Anyway the jubilee celebrations went on well. More about the Jubilee in my next letter.
St. Michael and Don Bosco saved me.

???????????????????????????????The Provincial Secretary Fr Mathew George adds: Fr P.J. Abraham and myself had gone to see the accident site, 31st January 2015. The Sumo which was heading towards the drain tank in the pit down, hit the telephone stone, turned round and hit the tree in the front right side and the back right side hit the drain tank. You can see that the accident prone turn is far ahead where there is a Hanuman temple, where the Hindu devotees pray and cross the bridge.
The celebrations on 31st January in the parish (bicentenary, 75 years of the Church in Katihar and 25 years of Salesian Presence) with some 4000 people.


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BoscoNet Gets Awarded for Supporting Needy Children

Director of BoscoNet Fr. M.C. George

Director of BoscoNet Fr. M.C. George

NEW DELHI, (C.M. Paul)The director of BoscoNet <b>Fr M.C, George Menamparampil</b> has been nominated for the prestigious IMAAN INDIA SAMMAN award to be given on 17 August 2013 at Air Force Auditorium, SubrotoPark, Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi.

The Convener of Imaan India Samman Mr. Bhuvnesh (Gaurav) Ahuja in the letter sent to Fr George states the reason for the award saying “Our Nomination committee has shortlisted your name for this honor to recognize and appreciate your continuous contributions and endeavor for the growth of our dearest motherland, INDIA by your commitment towards the upliftment of those in need and HOMELINK Software specially made with the purpose to help Missing Children & their families.”

In his award acceptance letter Fr. George writes, “I feel humbled by this great gesture of yours to honour my organisation (BoscoNet, and Don Bosco) and me for our efforts to of some service to the people of our nation, particularly the young and the children, and among the these, in a special way, the weak and vulnerable. I take this as an opportunity to highlight further, before the Government, NGOs and the general public, the plight of the more disadvantaged among us.”

The Imaan India awards in 11 categories were established in 2012 by by Aavishkar Media Group, a prominent name in Indian Broadcasting, Media & CATV Industry since 1993 with the aim of recognising and celebrating the challenging work of those people who are catalyst in social reforms and striving to bring a significant change in community and society.

The categories include people who have effected social change through, Women Empowerment, Good Governance, Green Environment, Livelihood, Healthcare, Empowerment, Education, Vocational Service, Social Cause Advocacy, Peace & Harmony Promotion, and Life Time Achievement.

BoscoNet with the motto “Anyone in trouble is a friend” does not own or run any institutions of its own, nor offer any direct services. It supports those who are already doing this or intend to start doing it seeking funds, expertise and other resources that will enable the children and young people from the weakest sections of society to access these services. It also lobby the government and people in positions of authority to formulate and/or adapt laws, policies, standard operating procedures, that will favour the young people who are in need. BoscoNet also supports people’s movements for justice, equality and human rights.

Born in Kerala, Fr George dedicated his life to the service of the disadvantaged peoples of North East India. He spent 22 years in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.

He pioneered non-formal youth development programmes all over North East India and Bhutan, conducting week-long camps for students, according to the needs of their age, giving them life-skills that gave them a powerful edge in competing with the mainstream youth of India.

He founded and still runs BOSCONET which concentrates on raising funds from generous hearted Indians to support marginalised communities served by his mother organisation, the Salesians of Don Bosco.

This organisation runs over 300 schools, 42 colleges and 123 institutes of vocational and technical education, most of them in backward, rural districts of India. They serve street children and child labourers in 92 towns. They also guide thousands of Self-Help Groups of women, care for lepers and their children, do watershed management and programmes for agricultural development and environmental protection, and rural development in every form.

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Master Builder Br. Isaac dies at 86

Br. Issac Puthumana SDB

Br. Issac Puthumana SDB

NEW DELHI, (C.M. Paul) – Salesian Brother Isaac Puthumana of Don Bosco Alaknanda died, Wednesday 13th March at 5.15 am in Holy Family Hospital New Delhi. He was 86 years old. His funeral is scheduled for Friday afternoon, 15 March.

Br Isaac was commonly remembered as a master builder because of some 30 buildings he put up in the Salesian provinces of Kolkata and New Delhi. Many of them he personally supervised, others he planned and directed by frequent visits and guidance as province Administrator.

“No one can gauge the enormous finance he has thus saved for the Congregation,” says former Salesian provincial of both Kolkata and New Delhi Fr Joseph Kizhekkekara.

Fr Kizhkekkara recalls, “huge sums of money have passed through his hands, but he always maintained a simple and austere way of life.”

Apart from being a builder, Br. Isaac has also been a great administrator. He served 15 years as Province Administrator, 9 years in Kolkata and 6 in Delhi and has also been administrator of several communities in the Provinces of Guwahati, Calcutta and Delhi.

But, those who know Br. Isaac closely marvel more at the “Wonderful Salesian” he has built up within.

He would demand quality work from his workers, but he always remained close to them as a caring person, even going to the point of building homes for the poorest among them.

Busy as he was throughout the day with the worries of administration and building works, he would take time off to be before the Eucharistic Lord in the quiet of the evening.

Br. Isaac was born in a family of 8 siblings, 4 of them became religious offering their lives and services to God. He left home at the age of 22 to join the Salesian novitiate in Shillong and professed on May 8th, 1952.


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Salesian pre-novices start annual spiritual exercises

Pre-novices arriving at Don Bosco Kalyani

KALYANI, (C.M. Paul) — Ten pre-novices of Kolkata province (2012-2013 batch) arrived at Don Bosco Kalyani, Saturday afternoon (10 Nov) from Savio Bhavan Azimganj accompanied by their Rector Fr Samuel Mondol.

They started their annual retreat in the evening with former vocation promoter and currently in-charge of neighborhood spiritual ministry at Nitika Tengra, Fr Thomas Pathiamoola (PV) as chief animator..

The five-day annual spiritual exercise is scheduled to end by 16 November.

The pre-novices hope to leave for novitiate at Siliguri in May 2013.

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Nine Indians among 45 member Salesian missionary batch 2012

9 Indians of 45 member SDB mission batch 2012 with Rector Major and Mission Councilor.

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – Among 45 new Salesian missionaries undergoing preparations for the 143rd batch of missionaries to be commissioned on 30th September 2012 are nine missionaries from India. The Indian delegation includes 5 priests, 2 brothers and 2 scholastics from seven of the 12 provinces of South Asia region. There are no missionaries from the following five provinces: Calcutta, Mumbai, New Delhi, Panjim and Colombo.

Leading missionary contributor this year is the Vietnam province which has 18 missionaries (1 priest, 2 Brothers and 15 scholastics). This is in spite of the decreasing membership trend shown in the statistics (In 2011 they were 300 while in 2010, they were 309). The runner up position goes to Slovak province with 3 missionaries.

“The majority of the Salesians discover their missionary vocation ad gentes by meeting another Salesian missionary,” notes Mission Councilor Fr Vaclav Kelment.

The Orientation Course for New Missionaries – from September 5 to 30, 2012 helps prepare new missionaries “with adequate tools to enter into a new culture, become part of a new people and develop the personal attitudes of openness, respect and trust so that their missionary presence may be effective, humble and discreet,” says course coordinator Filipino Fr. Alfred Maravilla, SDB.

The course held in Rome-Pisana and at the Salesian holy places around Turin consists of anthropological-cultural, missiological and Salesian elements.

At the missionary commissioning ceremony in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians – at Valdocco on September 30th the Rector Major will hand over the traditional “missionary crucifix” to each candidate.

From the time of Don Bosco since the first missionary dispatch in 1875 about 11,000 Salesians were sent from the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco, Turin.

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12 Salesian Family Councils launch joint plan for northeast India

The Salesian Family joint meet at Siloam, 3 Sept.

GUWAHATI, (C.M. Paul) — Coming on the heels of the SPCSA (Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia) meet being held in Goa (5-8 September), the first ever Salesian Family Joint Provincial Councils met for about 5 hours from 2 pm on 3 September at Siloam Conference Centre on the shore of Barapani Lake on Guwahati-Shillong road. Some 80 members of 12 Salesian Family Councils (Salesians of Don Bosco -3, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians -2, Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians – 5, Sisters of Mary Immaculate -1 and the Visitation Sisters of Don Bosco -1) took part.

Members of the joint council meet at Siloam

“It is unique and for the first time in the 90 year history of Salesian presence in northeast India that the decision makers of Salesian Family working in northeast India sat together to plan joint ministry for the people of the region,” said convener of the meet, Salesian provincial of Guwahati Fr V.M. Thomas.

The meet started with an emotional and prayerful moment when 5 representatives of the Salesian Family brought together five burning candles to make a big flame – a symbolic action giving the clear message “we are like a mighty flame when we let our light shine together,” it seemed to say.

After a round of presentations and expectations of the various groups, the Joint Councils proposed religious education, higher education and skills training for development as priority areas for joint ministry.

In the sector of higher education, the members unanimously agreed to back the first ever Catholic University (Assam Don Bosco University estd. 2008) by providing qualified personnel, running hostels for men and women, sending students to Don Bosco University, and providing specialized services like Campus Ministry, Counselling, Youth Services, and Mentoring of students.

In the skills training for development sector, they agreed to provide skills for getting employment, formation of Self Help Groups, network for development and social work, and use their infrastructure facilities for evening classes and adult education.

Taking note of the upcoming Year of Faith (11 Oct, 2012-24 Nov 2013) the joint council stressed Catechesis and Faith Formation. They envisage teams of priests and Sisters engaging in faith formation and training of personnel for catechesis, as well as collaborate in parish activities.

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Filed under Assam Don Bosco University, Don Bosco, Higher Education, northeast India, Northeast India students, Salesian, Salesian family, Salesian Sisters

Salesian Student Starts Charity

Mark Schoenstein of Salesian High

NEW ROCHELLE, NY– A senior student who nearly got killed by a mystery illness has started a charity group called “With Open Arms”at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York.

Two years ago, doctors told 13 year old Mark Schoenstein that he would probably never walk again.

“It’s hard to believe the high-spirited sophomore fidgeting as he talks excitedly is the same boy who not so long ago wore a lopsided smile and was confined to a wheelchair,” says his teacher Jessica Cullen, who encouraged him to start his charity.

“I thought I was in a bad situation, but then you see someone battling cancer or someone with a burn … ” he said. “I figured if I could do anything, if I could just be somewhat of a reason for a smile or a happy thought … it really helped me grow up a little.”

Mark was on winter break in Vermont in 2009 when he suddenly became ill with a fever.

The episode was a full-fledged viral attack on his body, leading doctors to believe he had the beginning stages of multiple sclerosis, which affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain to communicate with nerve cells in the spinal cord.

Mark, who lives with his parents and two siblings, hosting a fund-raiser walk-a-thon, 22 May, for the kids at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, Westchester, where he spent three months as a patient and another two months in rehabilitation.

Doctors didn’t know where the “freak” illness came from or how long it might take for Mark to recover, said his physical therapist.

All they knew was that Mark was determined not to stay in a wheelchair. He recovered in about six months.

He started at Salesian High New Rochelle last year – a school his parents can barely afford.

Lat year, 23 May, some 20 students from Salesian High School joined Mark who spearheaded the fundraising efforts for his school. They raised nearly $1,500 for Blythedale Hospital.

This year, with a five kilometer walk-a-thon Mark and friends hope to raise double of last year.

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