16 Local News

posted Sep 19, 2018, 8:49 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Sep 19, 2018, 8:53 AM ]

Elderly flock to Mt Mary

The Special Mass for the sick and the aged at Mount Mary Basilica, Bandra, at 11.30 am on Monday Sept. 10, 2018 saw a record attendance of over 2000 people from over 60 parishes from all over the Archdiocese. Extra chairs were arranged, but because of space constraints, many were seen standing.

Bishop Agnelo Gracias was the main celebrant, assisted by Fr Aniceto Pereira and several other priests, many of whom were Senior Citizens. Bishop Agnelo welcomed everyone warmly, and expressed his happiness to see such a large gathering of the aged and the sick, including priests who were very active in their prime. In his homily, he brought home the point that we all have a lot to thank God for, particularly the gift of life, and the gift of doctors, nurses and caregivers who help us take care of our lives. He also exhorted the sick and aged to make a promise to God to cherish the gift of life.

Fr Aniceto Pereira, Spiritual Director of BASCA, had words of gratitude for all who were involved in the organisation of this special Eucharist. He encouraged Senior Citizens to explore the possibility of forming parish-based senior citizens' associations so that the needs of the sick and the aged can be better handled across the Archdiocese.

It was nice to see a happy smile on everyone's face at the conclusion of the Eucharist. Everyone in the shamiana received a snack packet, through the generosity of donors.

Prafulta's 20-year Milestone

Prafulta Psychological Services, a Don Bosco Project initiated by the Salesians of Don Bosco in the Mumbai province, celebrated its 20th anniversary at its Andheri headquarters on September 8.

The organisation Prafulta (which implies exuberance, abundance and wholeness) began in 1998, with an aim to help clients understand, accept and deal effectively with the influences of their environment, take personal responsibility for their lives, create a meaningful future for themselves, and thus live life abundantly.

Prafulta has lived up to its mission of providing quality psychological and psychiatric services to help individuals, groups and families move towards optimal, independent functioning and improve their quality of life.

Twenty-three staff from the organisation attended the anniversary celebration in the seminar hall of Prafulta, which was decorated with balloons and ribbons. A symbolic cake was cut before the celebrations began. The young members of Prafulta were the emerging DJs and party hosts. There was games, laughter, dancing, selfies and a message by Fr Godfrey D'Sa, Founder Director of Prafulta Psychological Services, expressing gratitude to the Prafulta staff, both past and present.

"Thousands of people had been reached by the organisation in many ways, and the ones who were trained by Prafulta further reached out to many others. So it is difficult to quantify our reach, but at the same time, Prafulta has to now aim at the expansion of its activities, so that people become aware of the work it does and the importance of mental health," said Fr D'Sa.

Prafulta offers career guidance, integrated education occupational therapy, integrated education special needs, corporate training, counselling and psychotherapy, psychiatry, clinical assessment, and well-being awareness initiatives.


Father of young accident victim fixes Mumbai potholes

Dadarao Bilhore lives in Mumbai. In 2015, he lost his 16-year-old son in a road accident caused by a pothole in Mumbai. Since then, he has taken on the task of fixing potholes as a form of mourning and atonement.

Bilhore, 48, sells fruits and vegetables. In his free time, he picks up a shovel, sand and gravel, and goes out to fill potholes, earning him the nickname of 'Dada potholes' (pothole dad).

He says he has repaired almost 600 potholes, but has a long way to go. Navin Lade, a Mumbai resident, says he has recorded more than 27,000 potholes in Maharashtra's metropolis, a figure local government officials reject.

Whatever the case, the quality of Mumbai's roads leaves a lot to be desired, with a campaign underway to have Mumbai featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as the pothole capital of the world. Residents complain that the government is indifferent to the situation, and blame the authorities for the poor maintenance. Some activists claim that the repair work is so shoddy that roads must be repaved every year. Road conditions get worse especially during the monsoon season. Government figures show that there were 3,597 road deaths across the country in 2017, an average of ten fatalities per day.

One of those who died was Prakash, Bilhore's son, a promising student who, at the time of the accident, was travelling on a motorcycle with his cousin. Prakash, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered fatal brain damage. His cousin, who was wearing one, walked away with minor injuries.

"Prakash's sudden death left a huge void in our lives," Bilhore said. "I [. . .] don't want anyone else to lose a loved one like we have." Hence, "As long as I am alive and can walk, I will get rid of these potholes."

In India, road construction has picked up momentum in recent years, thanks to the infrastructural programmes of the current government.

The April figures from the Highway Ministry show that in the past four years, the kilometres covered by motorways have doubled, with an average of 27 km of roads built every day, from 4,410 km in 2014-2015 to 9,800 km in 2017-2018.


Remedy Church, Poisar: an initiative to build Effective Leaders

A leader is someone who dares to dedicate and commit himself/herself for the welfare of others. Should he/she be driven by selfish goals, expecting returns?

On September 16, 2018, a session was organised for the PPC members, SCC coordinators, Members of Cells and Associations on 'Empowerment for a vibrant parish' at St Pius X College, Goregaon.

Sr Manisha Gonsalves, rscj conducted a session on 'Nourished by the Word of God' which is one of the important pillars of service in the communities. This pillar could be strengthened by sharing the Word through the 'Seven step method'. A demo of the same enabled all 90 participants to conduct the same in their respective groups.

Mr Richard Lasrado, along with Sr Manisha, spoke on the significance of 'Pastoral Visits in the SCCs'. Skits and group discussions helped to understand the effective methods of pastoral visits. These visits should always be made in the name of Jesus. They emphasised on some 'do'sand don'ts' during pastoral visits, and the importance of personal communication over digital communication.

Post lunch, Mr Adrian Rosario conducted two sessions on 'Leadership skills and Effective Communication.' Ample opportunities were given for expressing opinions and group discussions. Interesting stories and a witty sense of humour kept the crowd active, alert, interactive and enthusiastic throughout the session. Through short films, he led us to discover leadership qualities in self, and introspect areas of self-improvement for better leadership in the future.

He emphasised that the Church of today, through surveys, has realised the need to be sensitive to the presence, problems and requirements of its members. The urgent need to initiate development in order to create personal relations with each other has become its sole priority. The day's programme concluded with a thought-provoking message: 'A lot can get done, if one doesn't bother who gets the credit.'


Weekend Residential Retreat: The Shrine of the Infant Jesus, Nashik invites you to a weekend residential retreat: Sept. 29 – 30 (Sat-Sun). Theme: 'Jesus, my life and light'. Preacher – Fr Errol Fernandes SJ, Vice Principal, St Xavier's College, Mumbai. Call Wason to confirm: 73503 74138.

Atma Darshan
1. Stress Management: Sept. 28 - 30
2. Empowerment Retreat for Widows: Oct. 5 - 7
For Registration & inquiry, contact: Gyan Ashram Campus, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400 093.
Tel : (0091) (022) 2836 3120/ 2824 2419. Mobile : (+91) 97696 94422.

Jesus Encounter Healing Retreat: from Friday, Oct. 12 (7:30 am) to Sunday, Oct. 14 (5 pm) at Vinayalaya, Andheri (E), behind Holy Family Church, Chakala. Conducted by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Mumbai . OPEN TO ALL. Registrations at the CCR Office, Dadar (W) - 2430 3626/2421 0881/99309 40705. Register early.

World Elders' Day
World Elders' Day is celebrated on October 1. This year, the Bombay Archdiocesan Senior Citizens' Association (BASCA) will commemorate this date with a Eucharistic celebration by Bishop Barthol Barretto at 9:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Salvation Church, S.K. Bole Road, Dadar (W) on Tuesday October 2(Bank Holiday). This will be followed by inputs, fellowship and lunch in the Salvation Seva Kendra Hall. Letters of invitation have been sent to all parishes. For any further assistance, contact your BASCA deanery representative or the President Ms Maxima Serrao 98211 33061.

Lonavla Camps
Welcome this Diwali Vacation to the 'St Stanislaus Villa Family Holiday Camp' at the Jesuit 'Villa in the Woods' at Lonavla. This November, there will be two camps of four days duration.
Camp 1: Thu. Nov 08 to Sun. Nov. 11
Camp 2: Thu. Nov. 15 to Sun. Nov. 18
There is a bus available for those interested. Register at the Parish Office, St Peter Church, Hill Rd, Bandra. Tel: 2645 9474; 2642 3098; WhatsApp 'CAMP FORM' to Fr Gerard C. Rodricks sj 92232 62524.