5 Ever Green Quotes of Don Bosco

Some of the best known quotes of St John Bosco, the father and friend of youth

  1. My children, jump, run and play and make all the noise you want but avoid sin like the plague and you will surely gain heaven. – Vol. 4.p.204
  2. An oratory without music is like a body without a soul. – Vol. 5.p.222
  3. Relax, have fun, sin laugh, go hiking do anything you like, as long as you do not sin. – Vol. 8.p.196
  4. You are my dear little rascals. I would rather have you than all the comforts of the rich. -Vol. 6.p.2
  5. (Don Bosco to his boys) I feel much more at home with you. This is really where I belong. -Vol. 4.p.455
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Desire

During a session for the youth at Don Bosco Mampetta I asked them to write down some of the desires that they have fulfilled in their lives. I was surprised by some of the answers. Some of them said

I had a desire to find the financial needs of my family for a day, and I achieved it.

Another said, I had the desire to help my father for farming, and I achieved it.

I felt very proud for the way they looked at life and they organized their time and energy for the fulfillment of the same.

As days going I realize more and more that there is a greater ethics that exist among the youth, but it is often so called mentors failed to realize it.

Book Review:  കാറ്റിനോടൊപ്പം

മിച്ചൽ, മാർഗരറ്റ്. കാറ്റിനോടൊപ്പം. ഡി സി ബുക്സ്. ISBN. 978- 81-264-5 116-6

Book’s Summary: അമേരിക്കൻ ആഭ്യന്തര യുദ്ധത്തിന്റെ  പശ്ചാത്തലത്തിൽ എഴുതപ്പെട്ട സൃഷ്ടി. ഇതൊരു ചരിത്ര നേ വലല്ല, മറിച്ച് സ്കാർലറ്റ്    ഒ ഹാര എന്ന പെൺകുട്ടിയുടെ വൈകാരിക ജീവിത കഥയാണ്.

My Views: Margaret Mitchell in the famous book ‘Gone with the Wind’ explores the struggles that Scarlett had to go through to keep her family alive during the American Civil War. The higher value of life is stresses all through the story. The author has succeeded in keeping the value of life rather than anything in situations such as war internal struggles in the country. Books communicates to the readers about life and  its daily struggles.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7) (31st World Youth Day Message)

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Dear Young People,
We have come to the last stretch of our pilgrimage to Krakow, the place where we will celebrate the 31st World Youth Day next year in the month of July. We are being guided on this long and challenging path by Jesus’ words taken from the Sermon on the Mount. We began this journey in 2014 by meditating together on the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3). The theme for 2015 was: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). During the year ahead, let us allow ourselves to be inspired by the words: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7).
Continue reading ““Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7) (31st World Youth Day Message)”

Empowering the Future

Don Bosco Boys home, Kollam under the able leadership of Fr Thomas started an year long monthly leadership training for youth of the locality. It is an initiative of the community for the bicentenary birth of Don Bosco. A selected group of youth will be organised and animated for an year in leadership and life skills so that they can in turn becomes leading voice among their own companions.

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The firs session was organised on 19th August 2015 by Fr Thomas himself. The class focused on motivation, it was more of group discussion and enabling the young to come out of themselves. The programme was well attended and highly appreciated by the participants.

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We as sons of Don Bosco look forward to the future with hope, having the most powerful means in hand for the transformation of the society, more effectively by transforming the young through the young.

Salesians Bring Positive Changes in the Lives of Youth in India

In the end-of-year award ceremony to honour and congratulate people who have dedicated their time and energy for a higher and more inclusive growth in the country, a Salesian organization won the award in the Non-Profit Rural Livelihood category.

DB Tech

Continue reading “Salesians Bring Positive Changes in the Lives of Youth in India”

Boys Made All the Difference in My Life

It was wonderful to spend two days in Hyderabad, for the Practical Trainees meet. The First day was animated by Mr. Leo Fernandez on the topic ‘Being a Religious Today: Changes, Challenges and Choices’ (I shall speak about the content of this session in some of my forth coming posts). The second day was animated by Fr. Provincial and the Vice-provincial. Continue reading “Boys Made All the Difference in My Life”

TUGBOATS: A Bicentenary Initiative

As part of bicentenary of Don Bosco’s birth, we (Group of Salesians from India) came up with this good idea of bringing forth a sort of short publication (online/pdf format) for private circulation.  So the first issue is out.  Anyone willing to have a glance can shoot off an email to me (manunsdb@yahoo.com).  The title of the publication is TUGBOATS.

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It is an effort to think and read more about Don Bosco, for I feel when something is written it helps the ones who are writing and the those who are reading.

Thanks, to the people who willingly accept my invitation to be part of this initiative. May this hit the target

Download Here: Tugboats A Bicentenary Issue – August 2014

Book Review: A New Paradigm for Youth Ministry Today

Arokiaswami Alphonse. A New Paradigm for Youth Ministry Today. Bangalore: SFS, 2011. Xvi+200pp. Price 195.00 ISBN: 978-81-85376-81-3.

Source: Library

             Arockiaswami Alphonse, MSFS holds a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology and specialization in Youth Ministry and Catechetics. He is known for his retreats and seminars for youth and the seminarians. The work under review is ‘A New Paradigm for Youth Ministry Today’. It is an attempt to draw out some of the unique qualities, attitudes and approaches of St. Francis De sales, as presented in his life and work, and to set them as a model for youth ministry in the Church today.

            The book is divided into 4 chapters. Chapter one studies the youth situation, it analyses the connection of the youth with religion, mass media, authority, values and politics. The hedonistic tendencies are noted among the teenagers and young people of every major city. The mass media and politics have such an influence that “the kids are big business today and big business needs youngsters to be vulnerable for their fashions and addictions”. Education has become a product in the commercial market. The call is to realize the internal self worth to experience the true human dignity. It is very true that no one can ignore the fact that the religions have a role in the life of people. The youth in a special way look for ideals and models in the Church and in the leaders of the Church, which at time not finding upto their expectation, develops in them a negative attitude. So, the tendencies are more in them to move towards hero worship and lose their worth in themselves.

            Chapter two is a short study of the life of St. Francis De Sales. It analyses his life sketch to show the impact of loving kindness and patience that he practised in his life. His spirituality of love expresses to us that “he was in love, he was born in love, he was made to love and lived for human love”. He was a model for optimism   (a very important quality to work with youth) which flows form the Christian humanism (the original sin has weakened the human race but the grace of Christ restores it). He celebrated the human person as the marvel of the redeemed nature and strongly believed in the goodness of human being. The genuine relationship that he made with the other and his ability to guide the young through spiritual guidance, his growing intimacy with God, his unforgettable personal presence and his gentle, humble , friendly, encouraging, and inspiring presence made him an authentic human, a model for all spiritual guides for the ages to come.

            Chapter three flashes light into the terms youth and ministry. Since 1985 after the declaration of international youth year there was a deeper understanding of the importance of youth. Church has also placed it as one of her important missions; late Pope John Paul II was very outgoing in his dealing with youth. The book understands the term ministry from the Biblical, post-apostolic and from the Second Vatican point of view. The scope of the youth ministry is broadened by the understanding of the Youth Ministry as “With Youth, By Youth, To youth and For youth”. The goal of youth ministry is to enhance the life of the young and to form them to be responsible participants in life, mission and work of the faith community. Church achieves this goal through various components such as word of God, Prayer and Worship, Community Life, Guidance and Healing, etc. Basic humanness, sound theological knowledge and the social political awareness are must for the effective functioning of the youth ministers.

            Chapter four can be recognized as the core of the book. It presents St. Francis De Sales as the model for youth ministry par excellence. The chapter discusses and puts together the concepts recognised in the first and in the second chapters. The qualities of St. Francis De Sales are considered as remedies for today’s youth problems. The optimism of St. Francis De Sales helps to have a positive outlook on Youth. The Gentleness of St. Francis De Sales helps to the sensitive task of empowering the young. Acquiring the friendly nature of St. Francis De Sales helps Youth Ministers to walk with the young with a pastoral heart. St. Francis De Sales as spiritual director could be a very good model for the Youth ministers today. The author knowing the need of a model for youth presents St. Francis De Sales to all the youth as a model worthy imitation.

            The book has a flow of thought and has a detailed table of contents. It also contains a very elaborate bibliography on youth ministry. The author has done a remarkable job in presenting St. Francis De Sales as a model for youth ministry. I think this work is a need of the time. I recommend this book to all youth ministers for forming themselves after the heart of St. Francis De Sales and for all youth to find a beautiful model in St. Francis De Sales to face the challenges of the time.

Don Bosco College Mampetta

News about the new developments in Don Bosco College

This one of the growing colleges of North Kerala, run by the Salesian Fathers, where you are assured of a quality education.

The New courses:

B.Com (40 seats), BBA (30 seats), BCA (24 seats) and BA English (24 seats) during the current academic year.

Why we need to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

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February 14th a memorable day for all the young people who are in love, they find it an apt occasion to express their love and concern to their lovers. To exchange cards and flowers, to be together for some time and so on. What is the real meaning of this celebration? Is it still relevant today?

Story of St. Valentine

The story of Valentine’s Day takes us back to the year 270 A.D. and the reign of Claudius II. Claudius II, emperor of Rome, had formerly been a general under Emperor Valerian. When Claudius II succeeded Valerian, he continued to exercise his instinct for war. While in conflict with the Gauls, Claudius II came to the realization that married men are inferior at warfare, due to their personal attachments. Moreover, married men had a tendency to even avoid joining the army. To remedy this situation, Claudius II outlawed marriage.

St. Valentine

Valentine, or Valentinus as he was known, then bishop of Italy outraged at the decree of this warmongering emperor. He refused to follow it. He conducted the marriages in secret risking even his life. Thus Valentine became a haven for young couples hoping to enter the Sacrament of Marriage. He married them in private, until eventually he was captured and imprisoned.

Valentine’s devotion to God and love continued while he was in jail. Despite the overwhelming odds, Valentine took it upon himself to convert the Emperor, in hopes of reversing this unjust decree. But to no avail. Instead, the Emperor became further enraged by became friends with the daughter of his jailer. She was a blind girl who showed Valentine kindness in his captivity. Through his faith and through prayer, Valentine cured the girl of her affliction – an act of love even for the daughter of his captor.

Nonetheless, Valentine was executed on February 14, 270. Before he died, he wrote a letter of gratitude and hope to the jailer’s daughter. He signed it, “From your Valentine.” This sentiment, of course, carries on today and is echoed every year on the anniversary of this saint’s death.

Although there is no perfect history on when St. Valentine’s Day celebrations began, we know that by the Middle Ages, St. Valentine’s traditions were underway.

St. Valentine a True Lover

St. Valentine in imitation of his Lord and Master stood for the value of Love to the last breath of his life. He considered marriage as an expression love with responsibility. Celebrating St. Valentine’s Day is a tribute to St. Valentine, later titled Patron Saint of Lovers. His devotion to God and his commitment to supporting love and marriage set a wonderful example for us. The very celebration of Valentine’s Day whether through cards or flowers or acting as the saint acted in giving love, respecting the others. We are appreciating what god has given us.

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St. Valentine taught us about the importance of love and the Sacrament of Marriage.

He believed in these things so deeply that he gave his life for the same. Although, we live in times where marriage and love are not forbidden to us still the Saint raises questions about the value that we give to them today. Often love becomes only a physical attraction for self-gratification, the individuality of the other person is not respected. We tend to treat the other as an object of pleasure.

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St. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the preciousness what we have been given to us, the gift of physical attraction, the gift of love, gift of marriage.

Here one commits oneself to the other, a move from the self-centredness to the other centeredness.

The other becomes a value and the reason for my existence, once can go to the extent to say I live for the Other and because of the Other.

When we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day we are appreciating what God has given us.