18 Local News

posted Apr 25, 2018, 8:24 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 25, 2018, 8:25 AM ]

'I respect you' campaign

"On the evening of April 2018, over 800 people participated in the 'I RESPECT YOU' Campaign and Rally to condemn rape, held at St John the Baptist Quadrangle, Thane. The event was organised by the Justice and Peace Commission and other NGOs, on the initiative of Bp Allwyn D'Silva, who is in charge of the Archdiocese of Bombay's Social Apostolate.

In a show of solidarity with the victims of the Unnao and Kathua rapes and their families, a minute's silence was held at the start of the Rally, after which Bp Allwyn D'Silva and Bp Dominic Savio Fernandes led the gathering in prayer. Advocate Monica Mhatre then gave an overview of the two cases, and also spoke about the provisions of the POCSO Act. Other speakers included Dr Jejurkar, Mr Dolphy D'Souza, Advocate Trimbak Kochewad and Mr Zoyeb—all of whom raised their voices against the growing culture of intolerance and violence against women. The theme of the event was 'She's Broken, He's Ok' which brought out the plight of abused females, in contrast to the male perpetrators. The protest demanded speedy justice and compensation for the victims, and immediate arrest of the culprits; the petition sheets were signed by all the participants. Attendees took a pledge to respect human dignity, be vigilant citizens and take responsibility for children's safety at the conclusion of the event.

St Thomas Cathedral set to complete 300 years

A popular song from the film 'Don' (1978) that describes the sights and sounds of Mumbai jests how 'Bambai nagariya' has a 'Churchgate', but the church itself is missing. A little research proves that the shrine does indeed exist. St Thomas Cathedral in Fort, which gives Churchgate its name, is the oldest British building in the city.

This is Point Zero, where the pin falls in 'Bombay'—from where distance in the city was measured in milestones.

Inaugurated on Christmas Day 1718, St Thomas is set to celebrate its 300th anniversary on December 25 this year. This is the main Anglican house of worship in the city where the bishop conducts Christmas service. St Thomas Cathedral Tower once served as a lighthouse for sailors at sea. Inside the Cathedral are memorials to scores of young soldiers who died in the First World War.

As the countdown begins to the big day, several events are lined up to herald the tri-centenary.

Parish Priest Rev. Avinash Rangayya and Dr Kamal Jadhav, (a member of the Celebration Committee) led 25 visitors, including several Parsi heritage enthusiasts, on a tour of the church. Jadhav said, "We climbed a ladder right up to the belfry which is three to four storeys high. All the participants were overwhelmed by the breathtaking view from the top."

Over the decades, the beautiful church has been restored by various conservation experts—interestingly, all women. Brinda Somaya undertook the initial phase of waterproofing the roof, among other tasks, along with Sandhya Sawant, who has since passed away. Somaya's new book includes a chapter on this monument, which she has admired since her student days. Swati Chandgadkar, who restored the magnificent stained glass, is a regular visitor at midnight Christmas service. Sheetal Gandhi has worked on the monument piecemeal since a decade, and is now cleaning and beautifying it for the anniversary.

Gandhi said, "It is heartwarming how the caretakers of St Thomas have always been particular about maintenance and beautification, although funds are scarce and sporadic. We are whitewashing the tower and fixing external lights, so that visitors can enjoy the beauty of the stained glass even after sunset, and restoring the flying buttresses at the back. Some old marble and stone plaques are being repaired or replaced."

St Thomas Cathedral remains an oasis of calm in the commercial district of South Mumbai. Scores of office-goers from Fort and Churchgate come to sit silently and contemplate.



About 200 Executive Committee members of the Bombay Archdiocesan Senior Citizens Association (BASCA) got together on April 15 at Antonio D'Silva Hall for their Annual AGM. The Holy Eucharist saw the elders sing and participate with gusto. The main celebrant, Rev. Fr Aniceto Pereira, exhorted them in his homily to become like 'grilled fish'. He appealed to the mobile younger seniors to be ready to be 'grilled' in reaching out to the Senior Citizens who are home-bound and sick in parishes and in Aged Homes. Clara D'Souza, BASCA Consultant, explained how Senior Citizens and others can reach out as CAREGIVERS to home-bound Seniors. Dr Ms V. Sharma and Ms Neeta awed their audience with how much care, sacrifice, love and knowledge is required to be 'grilled' to serve the helpless home-bound Seniors! The AGM began with President, Maxima Serrao, asking the Secretary, Doris D'Souza, to read the Minutes and activities for 2017-2018. The Treasurer, Mr Earnest Harrison, gave a detailed account of a healthy balance sheet. Mrs Noreen Vincent conducted some enjoyable singing games, while the compere Samuel kept the Seniors cheerful on a hot summer morning. The Vote of Thanks was given elaborately by Mr Alwyn Rodrigues, and the Grace before meals with Blessings by Fr Cleophas Braganza.

Salvador Memorial Award 2018

The 4th Fr Salvador Rodrigues Memorial Lecture & Award was organised by the Bombay Catholic Sabha on April 22, 2018. The event was held at St Xavier Technical Institute Auditorium, Mahim.

The function began with the BCS Anthem. The President, Ms Rita D’Sa, welcomed the audience and explained the origin of the Award. She shared how Fr Salvador had guided the BCS over 17 years as its Ecclesiastical Adviser.

Fr Felix D’Souza, the current Ecclesiastical Adviser, asked the BCS members to stand for justice and to be the voice of the community, following Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

Mr Royston Braganza – CEO of Grameen Capital India – spoke at length on the economic situation, explaining the trends for the future. He used various examples to drive home the point of the BCS seizing the opportunity to build future sustainability.

The Award was presented to Ms Agatha Sushila Dias for her work in setting up ‘Amcha Ghar’ at Uttan. The NGO works with girls of all ages, helping them find their feet in the world. ‘Amcha Ghar’ has completed 22 years of service in three major areas – Empowerment of Girl Child, Education and Livelihood Project. The Livelihood project helps school dropouts over the age of 18 years in Virar, Dahanu, Nalasopara, Vasai and Naigaon, providing them livelihood training and job placements.

A Vote of Thanks by the Secretary General, Mr Bento Lobo, was followed by the singing of the National Anthem.


Don Bosco Summer Camps 2018
Camp V: May 2-12 Vocation Camp at Lonavla for Std. VIII - XII and above Std. XII (Boys only)
Contact Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS), Matunga Tel: 75060 42114/ 6529 1129 / 99205 88382 Email: dbysmatunga@gmail.com

St Stanislaus Villa - Family Holiday Camps at the Jesuit Villa at Lonavla. Register at the Reception counter, St Peter Church, Bandra. Tel: 2642 3098. Details in The Examiner (Mar 24 - pg 28), or WhatsApp ‘CAMP FORM’ to 92232 62524 or contact Fr Gerard C. Rodricks sj.

Atma Darshan
1. Couples and Family Therapy : May 08 - 12
2. Guided Retreat : May 12 - 18
For Registration & inquiry, contact Atma Darshan, Gyan Ashram Campus, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400 093. Tel : (0091) (022) 2836 3120/ 2824 2419 Mobile : (+91) 97696 94422.

Prafulta invites all teenagers (12-16 years) to participate in 'The Fully Alive Experience' - a fun-filled workshop on personal development on May 2-3, 2018.
Venue: Prafulta Psychological Services, c/o Dominic Savio School, Opp Tolani College, off Mahakali Caves Road. Andheri East. To register, call: 2830 2323, 2820 0248, 98204 84546.