Madonna for March 05 by gjjur4356


									                    Time and Tide...and no man!
                      s I write this piece to you while the Tsunami
               A        Tragedy is still fresh in my mind it could most
                  certainly become stale news by the time it reaches you
                  two months hence. I’m sorry for that, but that’s ‘timing’
                  for me. There was no timing for the Tsunami. Who ex-
pected it? Who was prepared for it? Some purported to have even
forecast it. Yet the old adage: ‘Time and ‘tide’ waits for no man!’ was
what came to my mind when I thought about being unprepared for
the disaster of such biblical proportions.
   The scars, physical, emotional, economic and even geographical will
take a long time to heal. But perhaps the greatest fear of all is that
we the ‘unaffected’ will forget these victims of the tragedy even as
quickly as the updates on the disaster will recede from the front pages
of our newspapers and newscasts to some miniscule corner. The
journalistic community would not want to be accused of being heart-
less and insensitive, do they? At least not on paper! Time does some
strange things to us. As it elapses, memories shorten, fade and are
gradually erased. We will never know what hit us unless it hits us.
When the Tsunami hit the Sub-Continent the entire country was mobi-
lized and relief was sent rushing followed by ‘grieved-looking’
ministers to express their solidarity. Even as quickly as they went so
quickly did they return and more time elapsed. - I think the real
heroes of the disaster are those silent workers, survivors and relatives
who are still going from one abandoned home to another to console
and lending a helping hand to those who might want only want just a
shoulder to cry on. They operate under no banner and have no news
coverage but they do have something we don't have: the satisfaction
of having lent a hand to alleviate in some way the suffering of some
stricken member or members of the human family.
   Tides come in various forms and we know not when. But time keeps
on ticking relentlessly. Would that we reach the end of this season of
Lent not with the drama of The Passion of the Christ, as it hit the silver
screens last year, with artificial colour for blood and make believe
thorns that moved so many and filled the coffers of filmmakers in the
bargain. This year Christ did really die in Sumatra, in Sri Lanka, in
Tamil Nadu and in half a dozen other countries. There will be no
Oscar Awards for those real life victims of the Tsunami. Their ‘Award’
is life itself. Now there is only time to pick up the pieces and carry on
with their lives. May we never forget that when one member of the
body suffers we all suffer. There is no right time and wrong time for
grieve but before this mystery of suffering the tide of human concern
was met by the crest of human generosity. May it go on in wave upon
wave in order to restore life. May the risen Lord show us his wounds
as we once more hear his voice: ‘Do not be afraid it is I.’ I wish you
dear reader a happy Easter after a wholesome, healing and fervent
season of Lent.                                       Fr. Ian Doulton sdb

March 2005                         3            Don Bosco's Madonna
                                                      THE EUCHARIST
                         Fr. Erasto Fernandes SSS.

U     ndoubtedly, even today for
      most Christians the essential
and most sacred action of the Euch-
arist is the ‘consecration’. Over the
years we have come to accept and
now even take it for granted that
it is while these solemn and impor-
tant words are pronounced that our
gifts of bread and wine are trans-
formed into the Body and Blood
of Christ. That is why many priests
take great care to pronounce these
words correctly, distinctly and
prayerfully, even if the rest of the        What possibly needs a fuller
EP is raced through. We also believe     explanation is that post-Vatican
that the ‘double’ consecration is nee-   Eucharistic theology does not focus
ded to ensure that the body and          on a ‘particular moment’ in which
blood of Christ are separately made      the transformation is supposed to
present, thus indicating also their      occur. The entire EP, and not any
separation in the death of Christ.       specific portion of it, is seen as the
Anyone familiar with post-Vatican        prayer that transforms. This app-
theology of the Eucharist can see        roach has been prevalent in the
immediately ‘how things have             Eastern liturgies from almost the
changed’ in this important area.         very beginning. Several practical
Post-Vatican Terminology                 implications follow from this. Since
   We have alluded to these chan-        the prayer from start to finish is
ges earlier, but to refresh our me-      seen as one integral whole, the en-
mories, we mention them here             tire prayer should be prayed in the
briefly. We speak today more in          same tone of voice. No special
terms of ‘sanctifying the gifts’ rath-   emphasis should be given to the
er than of consecration when we          parts printed in dark, bold letters
pray for an in-filling of the Spirit.    in the missal. Also, the Institution
Further, the fact of a ‘double’ act-     Narrative should be seen as the
ion simply emphasizes the impor-         ‘story’ of what Jesus did at the Last
tance of the action; it refers to the    Supper, recounted lovingly and
Semitic way of emphasizing an            gratefully so that we can not only
action through repetition. Called        make it present here and now, but
today ‘the Institution Narrative’ this   also enter into its dynamic as we
section must be proclaimed in the        seek to fulfill Christ’s command to
same tone of voice used for the rest     ‘do this as a memorial of me.’ As
of the EP without making it stand        a narrative, it should be addressed
out as something special or              to the Father and in the presence
different from the other sections of     of the assembly equally, to elicit
the EP.                                  their wholehearted response of

March 2005                           4             Don Bosco's Madonna
faith and love. In no way are the         The movement from gazing on the
words of the Institution Narrative        sacred Host during the Eucharist to
to be addressed to the elements           gazing on it outside of the celebra-
of bread and cup. Each of the             tion through ‘exposition’ in a mons-
various sections in the EP should         trance is but a natural outcome and
get the same amount of emphasis,          a foregone conclusion.
meaning that we do not pray any              However, we readily realize that
particular part with greater rever-       such a ‘celebration’ of Eucharist
ence, deliberation and so on. This        could do nothing for the lives of the
was usually done for the Institution      people and that the Eucharist was
Narrative, while the rest was just        approached only as a means of ob-
raced through.                            taining favours and blessings. The
Static Presence or Dynamic                original intention of Jesus in giving
Action?                                   us his presence in the form of bread
    It is customary for priests to dir-   broken and Cup shared was totally
ectly or indirectly invite the faithful
to extend their adoration of the
sacred species at the time of the
Institution Narrative. In fact, there
was a period in the history of the
Eucharist when the Christian
faithful came to Eucharist only to
gaze on the sacred Host. They bel-
ieved that a mere loving and faith-
filled gaze would bring them untold
gifts, even miracles. And so they
came to Church but remained out-
side while the Eucharist continued.
A warning bell was rung to bring
them in for the ‘consecration.’
Their ‘active participation’ consist-
ed only in spending a few precious
minutes gazing on the sacred Host,
after which they would hastily            lost. Today, of course, we stress the
leave. The Celebrant, of course,          fact that Jesus is dynamically present
had his back to the people and so,        during the Eucharist – He is there
in order that they might gaze on          for us, in order to transform us into
the sacred Host, he had to raise it       himself and to send us out on miss-
high after the words of consecra-         ion. Hence, in the context of a rene-
tion had been pronounced. This            wed Eucharistic Spirituality, a promi-
was the origin of the ‘elevation’ of      nent raising of the sacred Host with
the sacred host and Cup at this jun-      a prolonged ‘adoration’ or the utter-
cture. At times, depending on the         ing of ejaculations like “My Lord and
devotion of the Celebrant, they           my God” are totally out of place at
would gaze on the sacred Host for         the Institution Narrative. Again, given
as long as ten minutes. Once this         the fact that the Celebrant now faces
was over, they left the Church and        the congregation, would the ‘eleva-
rushed to the next parish to catch        tion’ be necessary? The proper place
the next Consecration-elevation.          for this adoration is prayer before

March 2005                            5             Don Bosco's Madonna
the Sacrament outside of the               ted. Many today perhaps, need to
Eucharistic celebration.                   be reminded that Jesus does not
   Further, the power and challen-         ‘come down on our altars’ at the In-
ge of the Eucharist lies not just in       stitution Narrative, but is present to
gazing on the sacred Host, but in          us in different forms throughout the
‘eating/drinking’ or better, becom-        Eucharistic celebration. Neverthe-
ing one with Jesus in his redemp-          less, a renewed Eucharistic Spiritual-
tive mission. It invites us to ‘put on     ity today challenges us to go back to
the mind of Christ’ and empty or           the original intention of Jesus in giv-
break ourselves for the benefit of         ing us the Eucharist – not just that
others. We recall how the question         we may enjoy his continuing presen-
of eating his flesh and drinking his       ce and adore him, but that we may
blood became the point of reject-          be transformed by him and actively
ion of Jesus by his Jewish followers       continue his redemptive mission in
who accused him of cannibalism,            our surroundings. Once we can gen-
in the context of John’s Christian         uinely do that, then we will find that
community. But, what Jesus asks of         we can ‘see’ Jesus everywhere and
his followers is that they become          in every person we deal with. The
assimilated into himself, become one       Risen Lord dwelling within us will
with him to the extent of being ready      ‘open our eyes’ to the reality of his
to sacrifice their very lives for the      dynamic presence all around us. ‘In
benefit of others. This can be very        him we live and move and have our
demanding, as it requires us to be-        being.’Our lives would be drawn into
come bread for the hungry, eyes to         a marvelous unity and the effect of
the blind, feet to the lame and so         Christ’s transformation of us during
on. It strips us of the conceit and self   the Eucharist would carry through
-centredness that, so often, charac-       into the rest of the day.
terize our lives. In Jewish culture, to       Everything we do or say would
share a meal with someone is to en-        bears the stamp of his ‘paschal
ter into a deep personal relationship      event.’ Through our Christ-like effor-
with that person/family. Using this        ts, we would truly see the whole of
meaningful background, Jesus goes          creation being transformed into what
further, in that he offers himself not     God originally meant it to be – a
just as a co-sharer of the meal (which     reflection of his own love and care
he also is), but more than that, he        for his creatures. Eucharist would
becomes the very food we share.            then become not just something cel-
This points to a far deeper union          ebrated only in a ritual, but a way of
and oneness.                               life, a way of relating to all people
Conclusions                                around us, a new style of living in
   In our day, there are very few par-     this world as being already God’s lo-
ticipants in the Eucharist who do not      ving and loved children. Whether
share in the bread and the Cup.            this transformed society and world
Some ‘receive communion’ even              will be only a dream of the future or
more than once a day! The practice         a presently evolving reality – is the
of ‘gazing on the sacred Host’ still       challenge before us who celebrate
continues but it is rarely exaggera-       Eucharist.

          “Happy the one who hears the Word and keeps it…”

March 2005                             6             Don Bosco's Madonna
                      VOCATION PROMOTION,
                      WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT
   Our Catholic Tradition teaches us      an important place in this discern-
that every person has a definite voca-    ment. The good Lord who has a
tion in life, every person is called to   place for you in his loving plan will
something, and every person has a         definitely help you discover it, if
place and a purpose for being there.      you can humbly ask. “Ask and you
God creates beautiful and precious        will receive, seek and you will find,
people with a mission in life. If this    knock and the door will be opened
is true, then we can safely say that      to you” it is written somewhere...
each of us has a definite place in        I also ask youngsters to speak to
life; things don’t happen by chance       someone who can help and guide
- but there is a divine purpose in        them and whom they trust.
everything that happens.                     In this setting I also speak to
   ‘Vocation Promotion’ is a holistic     youngsters about a spiritual
approach wherein we help the              calling, namely to the Priesthood,
youngster discern his/her right           Brotherhood, Sisterhood. If the
place in life. It is a common phen-       Lord has this in His plan for you,
omenon among youngsters today             then maybe you will not really be
to keep jumping jobs. One day you         happy elsewhere. If the youngster
find them in the hotel industry and       is interested in discerning this
the next day in the call centre and       calling I offer him my help and
the day after tomorrow in. The com-       support. It is also true that of the
mon excuse is, “I’m bored there,”         many youngsters who dis-cern only
“too demanding and too much work”         a few may be called to this way of
or better still “I don’t fit in here.”    life. There is no brain washing and
There is something which is amiss         no pressure from any quarter
here. And the sad thing is History        whatsoever. It is the young-ster’s
keeps repeating itself.                   free choice with the support and
   At the other end of the spectrum       cooperation of his family. If you
we also find some youngsters who          think Jesus is calling you to work
are doing well in life, but somehow       in his vineyard as his disciple, it is
as they go ahead they find some-          worth giving it a deeper and more
thing missing. Youngsters who live        serious thought!!!
life at a depth level discover this          When what I plan for myself ma-
phenomenon more easily. Maybe,            tches with the plan the good Lord
they are not in the vocation they         has for me, then we will be truly
were called to be in the first place.     happy in life. If the Lord calls you
For example maybe you are called          to it, then no matter how diffi-cult
to be an engineer and you land up         it gets, he will see you through it!
being a dentist, you are called to        If the Lord has put the desire in
be a teacher and you land up being        any one of your hearts to be a
in the cruise line or in the call         Priest, Brother or Sister, have the
centres.                                  humility to say Yes! God bless you!
   In my ministry of Vocation             Fr. Brian Moras sdb
Promotion, I interact with youngs-        Vocation Promoter
ters in schools, parishes and some-       If you feel the call to be...
times youth settings. As I speak to       A Don Bosco Priest or Brother,
them about finding their right place      we could help: Mail me at
in life, I ask youngsters to give God    

March 2005                            7            Don Bosco's Madonna
                           Alexander Bettero

  "Life is our greatest possession
  and love is its greatest affirma-
  tion" says Buscaglia. His
  simple message delivered in a
  dynamic style made him a
  popular guest on television
  talk shows, as well as on the
  lecture circuit. At one time five
  of his books were on the New
  York best sellers list simulta-

M      any years ago when Leo Bus-
       caglia was in Hong Kong, he
met a Chinese refugee called Wong
who lived with his family in condi-
tions of extreme poverty. In order to find work Wong would have to speak
English better, and so Buscaglia paid his fees for a language course.
Some years later, Wong wrote to Buscaglia saying that he had found
work and was now in a position to repay what he had considered a debt.
Buscaglia however, encouraged him to find another needy but determin-
ed person as Wong himself had been, and to give him the money in
Wong’s and Leo’s name with the hope that in that way, they could con-
tinue to do good to another person who might, in turn pass on the good
deed. This is a simple and charming anecdote which can help us under-
stand who Leo Buscaglia was and what ‘giving’ meant to him.
(Alexander Battero continues his ledge of it (as we would any skill
interview with Leo Buscaglia)            we desire to master), then love will
Today, is it more difficult to love or be no problem. Love is simple. It
to be loved?                             is we humans who are complex.
   Basically, human nature has not We seem to be forever seeking
changed over the centuries. Our ways of making it more difficult to
human needs have pretty much re- love.
mained the same. So, it seems nei- From your books, one understands
ther more nor less difficult today that you are a very ‘happy’ indivi-
to love and be loved. If we decide dual, not only in name (in Italian,
to dedicate ourselves to the under- Felice, Prof. Buscaglia’s second
standing of the dynamics of love name, means ‘happy’), and that you
and to continually pursue know- are always full of love for others. Is

March 2005                          8             Don Bosco's Madonna
there nothing that disgusts you ab-      things made my life rich. I never
out this world-injustice, violence,      for a heartbeat knew that I was
ignorance? Is there no one whom,         poor. Perhaps I did not have the
rather than hugging, you would           material things that are equated
prefer to give a punch on the            with wealth, but I became aware
nose?                                    early that others, who appeared
   Yes, I am a very happy man. I         to have everything, were often
have attempted over the years to         poor in the love that I was rich in.
make love the centre of my exist-           Why does society tend to alienate
ence so that every act I perform         so-called ‘losers’, rather than
emanates from a loving core. But,        helping them to recover their
I am not simplistic. I am well aware     dignity?
that injustice, violence, ignorance,        There is an old adage that states,
and despair exist... but I am de-        “Everyone loves a winner!” This is
termined not to allow myself to be       because winners require nothing of
overwhelmed by these things. I do        us. A ‘loser’, on the other hand, will
everything I can to better any exist-    require that we do something if we
ing negative conditions “my books,       must exist alongside them. Too often
my classroom teaching, my lectu-         we are too self involved, too preocc-
res, my television appearances, my       upied, too lazy to do anything but
lifestyle), being determined to love     avoid them, often with disdain. To
in spite of it all. To respond to oth-   love the unlovable is the real virtue.”
ers with the same anger and host-           Sometimes, people who have
ility they are showing us is to rein-    had bad experiences in their senti-
force their destructive behaviours.      mental life tend to close up, and
But to meet their hostility with love    to exclude” any further type of sen-
is to break the vicious cycle.           timental attachment. In these ca-
It is easy to be happy when material     ses, what one does in order to find
matters such as having a job and a       the courage to ‘take the plunge’
home are not a problem. It is much       and try again?
more difficult to be happy when the         There is really no choice. We ei-
circumstances of life have deprived      ther live life with all its anxieties,
one of one’s livelihood. Do you          uncertainties and pain, or we die
agree?                                   in a more living death far greater
   Yes, circumstances of life can        in magnitude.
make happiness difficult. But hap-          When we give up on life, we put
piness is a state of mind. It is nei-    ourselves at the mercy of over-
ther dependent upon ‘things’ nor         whelming forces which render us
‘other people’. It is true that we       helpless and compound an already
are about as happy as we choose          impossible situation. When we take
to be. When I was growing up my          life by the horns, we can find the
family was extremely poor and            necessary strength in determination
constantly struggling with the most      and hope to redirect our lives. The
basic needs for life. But my mother      pain that comes from nothingness is
never forgot how to laugh and was        always far more devastating than
forever optimistic. My father was        the pain which is the natural result
constantly striving to make life         of being human. At least, in the latter
better for us all and was always full    case, we are alive, and where there
of hope. Growing up with these           is life, there is always hope.

March 2005                           9             Don Bosco's Madonna
                      SECRET CONFESSIONS
    By Father Richard Riccioli OFM Conv (from The'Messenger of St. Anthony')
      The Season of Lent is a traditional time for the celebration of the
                       Sacrament of Reconciliation or,
                        as it is often called, Confession
   t’s no secret that most people find
I                                           chairs, a coffee table and lamp.
   going to Confession a rather bum- The feeling is that of a living room
bling experience. It’s not that peo-        or a counselling office. This is a
ple don’t appreciate the value of problem. The environment speaks
the sacrament, but many do find it of the understanding we have of
uncomfortable. Perhaps a greater the experience.
understanding might help to make               The Sacrament of Reconciliation
the process more appealing.                 is neither counselling nor therapy.
   The sacrament is celebrated eith-        It is an act of worship where we
er individually or in common in a experience the mystery of God’s
variety of forms. For the most part grace. Knowing this helps us come
it always involves an individual con- to the sacrament with realistic
fession of sins. Only in very rare expectations. The sacrament is
occasions can there be a communal not the time for an involved dis-
confession of sins with general ab- cussion of one’s problems. It is the
solution, and so today we will con- time for celebration and thanks-
centrate on the individual celebra- giving, praise and worship of God
tion of the sacrament.                      The space we use should be a cha-
   I have a fondness for design and pel. It should be comfortable but
architecture, so my first thought also simple and noble with elem-
goes to the environment in which ents that speak of the sacred.
we celebrate the sacrament. Most               Any confessional chapel must
of us had our first experience in provide for the possibility of
the confessional ‘box’ where, be- celebrating the sacrament anony-
hind a screen, we confessed our mously or face-to-face. As a penit-
sins to a priest. With the growing ent I can appreciate that we some-
popularity of ‘face-to-face’ confess- times prefer to remain behind the
ion the move has been towards screen. However, as a priest I can
confessional ‘rooms’. I must confess        say that I find myself to be more
(no pun intended) my dislike for            effective as a minister of the sac-
most of these confessional rooms. rament when I can sit with the pen-
My dislike is less about aesthetics itent next to me and we can com-
and more about theology. The ty- municate more personally.
pical confessional room is a car-              Now that we have a sense of
peted box with a couple of office where to celebrate reconciliation

March 2005                           10              Don Bosco's Madonna
we can begin. First of all, while          grocery list. This would be imposs-
there is a ritual for the sacrament,       ible. However, after examining our
people should not be fearful of not        conscience, it is best to focus on
knowing what to say or how to say          some key sins that have troubled us
it. The priest will be more than           since our last confession, and on
happy to help you through the              basic sinful attitudes or patterns. This
process. That in fact is the first part    is followed by an Act of Contrition.
of the sacrament where the priest          This means making some kind of a
welcomes penitents and helps them          statement of our regret for our sins.
to feel comfortable. The penitents         It could be a simple as “Lord Jesus,
share with the priest some basic           have mercy on me, a sinner.”
information about their state in life         The priest then gives us a pen-
(married, single, children etc.) and       ance to remedy the effects of our
the time of their last confession.         sins. It could be a prayer to say or
This just helps the priest put things      a task to do. The penitent must
in perspective. Then the ritual con-       agree to the penance, but it must
tinues with a reading from Scrip-          be done for the sacrament to have
ture. This is meant to remind us of        its full effect. Finally, the priest says
God’s great mercy and love for us.         those famous words of absolution’
   What follows is the confession of       calling on the authority given to the
sins. The point here is not to try and     Church to forgive. With these words
remember every single sin like a long      the penitent is sent forth in Peace.

March 2005                            11               Don Bosco's Madonna

Joni Eareckson & Ken Tada
find that God's plan for their lives goes beyond a wheelchair
                       and a disability
                           by Susan Graham Mathis

J  oni Eareckson Tada knows what Christ to people affected by disability
   it feels like to want to give up. and to meet the physical, emotional
Permanently paralyzed from the and spiritual needs of this group of
neck down from a diving accident people in practical ways.” Joni and
at the age of 17, despair led Joni Ken know that caring accountability
to agonize, “Why Lord?” Three de- and affirmation from other believers
cades ago she couldn’t have possi- is what can make all the difference
bly dreamed how God was planning in the midst of hard times. Daily
to answer that prayer.                  stresses, strains and pressures can
   Yet after rehabilitation, she found leave the physically challenged or
purpose in her physical disabilities, anyone for that matter-exhausted.
especially after her autobiographi-        “Providing support, encourage-
cal book and subsequent movie Joni ment, consolation and comfort is
jumpstarted a lifelong ministry. Be- not only a major aspect of our mini-
cause of her
Joni and her
Ken, believe
that hard-
ships should
cause us to
view our trou-
bles in light of
God’s plan.
   As founder
and president
of Joni and
Friends (JAF)
Joni’s vision is
to “extend
the love and
message of
March 2005                         12             Don Bosco's Madonna
stry but a major ministry of the                 JAP:
body of Christ,” Joni says. “It’s pro-              Annual Family Retreats serve
viding the way out of the miry pit               those with disabled family mem-
of depression, despair and self-                 bers. The stress and strain of a dis-
pity. You realize that there is al-              ability is often exceedingly high, so
ways somebody worse off than you,                these retreats offer refreshment
and from that understanding you                  and fun as well as meet their spirit-
find the strength to be victorious               ual, emotional, physical and social
and carry on in even the toughest                needs.
situations.”                                        Wheels for the World meets the
   Joni loves hymns, and singing                 physical and spiritual needs of the
hymns provides the background to                 disabled by providing wheelchairs,
all she does-difficult or easy. “Even            sharing the love of Jesus Christ,
though I’m confined to this chair,”              connecting the disabled with chur-
Joni says, “my heart can always                  ches and training churches in disa-
sing - always leap for joy.”                     bility ministry. In 2002 this ministry
                                                 distributed more than 14,000
Strength through                                 wheelchairs in more than 50
relationships                                    countries.
   Joni and Ken also find strength                  Area Ministry Teams reach the
from their marriage. “Some of the                disabled on the community level.
limitations brought on by my dis-                The teams provide churches with
ability force us to confess sin, ask             programme materials, training and
for forgiveness, repent and humble               curriculum. They also help church-
ourselves before each other daily,”              es implement the Special Delivery
Joni says. “But why should I think               programme, which utilizes groups
this desperation is just for disabled            and individuals to prepare and de-
people? Everyone should work                     liver packages of spiritually uplift-
hard to keep their relationships                 ing materials to people in long-term
fresh.                                           care or rehabilitation facilities.
   “Ken and I are convinced that                    In the future, Joni and Ken would
we desperately need the life,                    like to start an international centre
freshness, grace and power of God                for JAP. They believe Joni’s acci-
as individuals and as a couple-                  dent 35 years ago was not just a
every or else we’re going to fall                terrible tragedy that rendered her
apart.” Her wheelchair continually               a quadriplegic, but it was also a
reminds them of that desperation.                divine appointment.
   “As a couple, we can’t just storm
off and go our own separate ways.                  “This ministry needs to last bey-
We have to work things out,” Ken                 ond her lifetime,” Ken says. “It is,
says. “If I’m putting Joni to bed,               in fact, turning into a movement
it’s a little difficult to be angry while        that will last after Joni’s gone, after
I put cold cream on her face.”                   I’m gone.”

Service through trials                           Divine plans
  Beyond relationships, Joni and                   “Difficulties, disappointments,
Ken have taken their sorrows and                 afflictions, suffering - we’d love to
turned them into service. Together               erase these words from our dictio-
they direct the several areas of                 nary,” Joni says. “But God has a

March 2005                                  13               Don Bosco's Madonna
plan.                                     ow Him,” Joni says, “to the hillside
  It’s no mistake that you got that       where He turns a couple of fish
bad medical report last week, that        and a few loaves of bread into a
the economic downturn is affecting        lunch for thousands. We’ll attend
your retirement fund that your            a wedding where He turns water
children are not turning out the          into wine. We’ll follow Him to the
way you’d hoped they would or that        beach, hug our knees, sit on the
your grandchild was born with a           sand and adore His words. But no-
dis-ability. These are the very           body wants to know the fellowship
things that can draw families closer      of sharing in His sufferings. Yet that
to Jesus Christ.”                         is where the power, the intimacy,
                                          the sweetness of knowing Him is.
   Philippians 3:10 says that follow-     That’s where change happens.
ers of Christ are to know Christ and
the power of His resurrection and            “We shouldn’t view life’s strugg-
the fellowship of sharing in His suff-    les as daunting obstacles to our
erings, becoming like Him in His          happiness. They can be the very
death. Christians eagerly want to         keys to our lasting happiness, true
know Christ, His power and His re-        contentment and godly joy.” For
surrection, but the rest of the verse     more information visit their Web
is the hardest to grasp. “We’ll foll-     site at

March 2005                           14              Don Bosco's Madonna
Pre emptive Action                                  Courtesy: Fr. Justin McCarthy
"You look all-in today, Bill.
What's the trouble?"
"Well, I didn't get home until
after daylight, and I was just
undressing when my wife woke
up and said: "Aren't you get-
ting up pretty early, Bill?'
In order to save an argument I
put on my clothes and came
down to the office.
Discreet Disclosure
  "I'm not wealthy and I don't
have a yacht and a convertible
like     Jerome       Green,"
apologized the suitor. "But
darling, I love you"
  "And I love you, too," replied
the girl. "But tell me more
about Jerome.                            "Some big Republican, I guess."

                                   Form IV

   Statement of ownership and other particulars about the newspaper:
                            Don Bosco's Madonna
1. Place of Publication: St. Paul's Press, 58/23rd Rd., TPS III, Bandra,
                            Mumbai 400 050
2. Periodicity of Publication: 1&2 of every month
3. Printer's name and nationality: For Bombay Salesian Society
                              Fr. Edwin D'Souza sdb (Trustee)
                              Don Bosco, Shrine Office, Matunga,
                              Mumbai 400 019
4. Publisher's name:                  - do -
5. Editor's name:             Fr. Ian Doulton sdb
6. Name & address of individuals the magazine is owned by
   and Bombay Salesian Society who own the paper and partners
    Registered Trust and shareholders holding more than 1% of total

                 The Magazine is a non-profit publication

I, Fr. Ian Doulton sdb, hereby declare that the particulars given above are
true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Dated: March 1, 2005                                    Fr. Ian Doulton sdb.

March 2005                          15              Don Bosco's Madonna
G    od’s power will rest upon you.” (Lk 1,35) That was how the
     Archangel Gabriel addressed Mary, a young girl from a village
called Nazareth.
  Did Mary understand those strange words? How could God do this?
How could one like him take bodily form? It was frightening even as it
was incomprehensible.
  Frankly, the sentence preceeding this statement was still more
mysterious. “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of God
will rest upon you.” Suddenly, Mary began her association with the
Holy Spirit. How would his presence be revealed to her? She was a
simple village Jewess, a daughter of Israel. She was familiar with the
symbolic language of the Old Testament that often expressed itself in
abstract imagery and exaggerated expressions. Whatever it was,
there was need of an explanation or how could she understand this
‘unearthly’ encounter? This was going to be God’s action in the history
of the humankind.
  Every observant Jew was a fervent believer in the promises of the
Old Testament and truly believed that the Holy Spirit was the Spirit of
Yahweh. That was the same Spirit that was prophesised by Isaiah
(11,1-6; 61,13) and that would rest on the Messiah.
  That Spirit came down on some individuals in the Old Testament
and “made him strong.” (Jdg. 6,34) After this the Spirit “took hold of
them” (Jdg. 14,19) and “God’s
Spirit was with him.” (Gn 41,38)
This presence of the Spirit was
either permanent or temporary
according to the mission that
needed to be accomplished. The
expression the angel used was
similar to other Biblical antecedents.
They were prepared to understand
that “the power will rest upon you.”
  The shadow that would envelop
Mary could be compared to the
cloud that symbolized the mysterious
presence of God who followed the
Chosen People in the desert and
then “whenever they went into the
Tent or to the altar, just as the Lord
had commanded Moses set up the
enclosure round the Tent and the
altar and hung the curtain at the
entrance of the enclosure.” (Ex

March 2005                       16            Don Bosco's Madonna
   The Glory and the cloud were nothing else but the same God. “It
(the Tent) was suddenly filled with a cloud shining with dazzling light of
the Lord’s presence so they could not go back in to perform their
duties.” God talked to Moses in the Tent. The cloud would reappear
in the story of the solemn dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem (1
King 8,10-13). It appeared again on Mount Tabor during the
Transfiguration of Jesus.
   Terms like “filled with the Spirit” and “caught up in the cloud” used
in the Old Testament were used to communicate the idea of the
proximity of God’s mysterious, awesome but certain and assuring
   The Spirit (pneuma) and power (dynamis) express concepts of
immense strength. Those who were caught up in the Spirit were
superhuman. This Spirit had nothing to do with the physical order but
the power of the Spirit enveloped the physical created reality. The
Spirit and the cloud were two expressions of the same reality of God
who permeates creation with his presence sustaining, protecting and
loving it immensely. These terms acknowledge the presence of God
who accompanies humankind down the paths of time.
   At the Annunciation these terms indicated a reality that would upset
human history forever. God would no longer make himself present in
signs that needed to be identified. He would make himself present.
He would become a human being. He, the invisible one would now
become visible. He who was pure spirit would manifest himself in
human form. He who was immortal would come to us and die.
   Mary understood that the “glory of Yahweh that filled the taberna-
cle” now was coming to reside in her. This proclamation of a mysteri-
ous feast was the Dedication of a Temple that he (God) had complet-
ed in her as a living temple. The glory of God that enveloped the
whole ark of the Covenant, that prevented Moses from entering
would now enter Mary and she would be consecrated as ‘forever’ a
virgin. She was destined to be the mother of all the living and forever
mother of Christ.
   The Divine Presence that Mary meditated on since she was a child
and which she revered was only in the “Holy of Holies” at the Temple
in Jerusalem. The High Priest entered this place just once a year, on
the day of atonement. Now, the Archangel Gabriel announced to her
that she herself would be that temple, that ‘holy of holies.’
   Through the words of the angel, Mary not only learned about her
maternity but also the special divine character of her Son.
   She knew that she was to be the Mother of God. She was aware
that her Son Jesus would not just be her son but the saviour of all
humanity for all time. This was a mystery that she would take time to
   As the Spirit overshadowed her she would gradually receive the
grace that she needed to develop the qualities of the Mother of God.
All this was subject to her consenting to be the Mother of God. All
generations would call her ‘Blessed.’ She was blessed because she
believed and having believed, she accepted.(Fidelio)

March 2005                         17             Don Bosco's Madonna

                              TO RESIST:
                                    (Part I)

     he Bible has many moving sto-
T    ries. Perhaps one of the most
dramatic story is the one in which
                                         sorely tested.
                                           The Maccabees organized them-
                                         selves into a frenzied and zealous
an entire family takes centre stage.     resistance. This resistance would
It is the story of the Maccabees.        win them their freedom but at the
The story is so enthralling that in      cost of tremendous pain and the
its entirety it encompasses two          shedding of much Hebrew blood.
whole books by the same name.            This generic presentation is put
(1 & 2 Maccabees) Their life, their      together for the sake of a simple
times and the trials they underwent      fervent reader. It begins in the
are documented therein. For the          seventh chapter of the second book
sake of brevity this story took place    of the Maccabees. The chapter des-
around 150 BC. The Hebrew peo-           cribes in very cruel detail the mar-
ple knew great difficulty during the     tyrdom of seven young brothers
time of Alexander the Great. The         who were sustained by the faith of
political implications pale before       their heroic mother. The number
the consequences of the introduc-        seven has a symbolic significance
tion of ‘Hellenism.’ This culture        too. It almost forces us to believe
would sweep entire count-
ries that came under the
sway of Alexander. All
those he subdued we for-
ced to accept Hellenic
ways that according to the
Jews were unclean and
   For the Hebrews this was
a devastating experience.
The very identity of the
Chosen People was at
stake. They were forced to
abandon the faith of their
fathers. The faith that had
withstood their slavery in
Egypt, their forty-year so-
journ in the desert and the
wars against the various
tribes in the Negev desert,
that faith was now being
March 2005                          18             Don Bosco's Madonna
that the passage means that far
more young men and women
risked their lives than succumbed
to this acculturation to Hellenism.
The massacre did in no way anni-
hilate the Chosen people.
   The reader might reflect on
what moved them to such stead-
fastness. How strong were their fid-     them.
elity to the Law of God and their           They hoped and trusted that did
adherence to their identity as the       not mean that they escaped tor-
Chosen People? That was already          ture. It did not mean that neither
clear from verse 2 (2 Mac 7,2).          the king nor God prevented their
They declared that they were ready       martyrdom either. The second boy
to die rather than infringe the laws     too did not succumb to the threats.
handed down to them by their             He was offered food that was ritu-
fathers. This chapter begins with        ally unclean. He answered in his
the vivid description of the death       own language that he would not
of the eldest brother. He must have      comply. Speaking in a foreign
been very courageous because this        language was an insult to the king
was what he said: “What do you           in itself. His reasons were made
hope to gain by doing this? We           in verse 9 of the 7th chapter of the
would rather die than abandon the        second book. “You butcher! You
traditions of our ancestors.” The        may kill us but the King of the Uni-
Lord observed and surely remem-          verse will raise us from the dead
bered all their suffering. Notice the    and give us eternal life, because
words of Moses in his hymn of than-      we have obeyed his laws.”
ksgiving after crossing the Red Sea:
“Is this the way you should treat the      It is not our purpose here to en-
Lord, you foolish, senseless people?     ter either into neither a theological
(v. 6) In reading the entire hymn in     discussion nor a hermeneutical ex-
the book of Deuteronomy Chapter          egesis. What I would like to under-
32,1-43 one is assured that we           score is the courage to withstand
have a God who cares for us. That        that torture that was ingrained in
was the conviction of the seven          the hearts of those boys and their
young lads.                              ability to trust even in the face of
                                         the cruel torture of the unjust king.
  The fact that the seven brothers       There was a strength that was born
took heart from that hymn shows          of the conviction that God would
that no amount of violence or            always honour his promise.
threat could intimidate them. It only
strengthened their resolve to              In this day and age of broken
protest. The protest not abide by        promises it difficult to find con-
the law of the king was not some         vinced youngsters. They have been
adolescent tantrum. It was a revolt      let down by adults so often along
against a regime that refused to         the way, that is one reason why
accept the Law of God. It was their      we see our youth often on the
faith in God and their immense           edge of the abyss of meaning-
trust in his mercy that sustained        lessness.(Louis Vari)

March 2005                          19              Don Bosco's Madonna
                             SERIAL STORY (3)

The story so far:                         Michael Kennedy.’
It is the night before the wedding of       Lilian watched him leave and
Trevor Cullen s eldest daughter;          then went into the kitchen to make
Amanda, yet it is his youngest child,     herself a cup of tea which she carri-
Susanna who is uppermost in his           ed upstairs to her room.
anxiety. Her relationship with her          She sat on the edge of the bed
father’s estate manager; Michael          drinking it, brooding momentarily
Kennedy, is, for reasons known only       about the behaviour of her hus-
to Trevor; something that cannot be       band and her son. Leaving down
allowed to continue.                      her cup, she crossed the landing
                                          and peeped into Amanda’s bed-
   A stillness fell on the room after     room. Her daughter was fast as-
Dan had slammed the door. Lilian          leep. She slipped into the room to
started to weep quietly. ‘I can’t bel-
ieve you are all behaving so badly
tonight of all nights,’ she sobbed.
‘I have done everything to make
this wedding perfect – not just for
Amanda, but for you too, Trevor.’
   ‘Everything will be fine, Lilian’,
   Trevor said, patting her reassur-
ingly. ‘I’ve to go out for a while.
You just go to bed and get a good
   ‘Where are you going at this time
of night?’
   ‘I’m going out to get Susanna,’
Trevor replied. ‘She cannot wan-
der around the countryside with

March 2005                           20              Don Bosco's Madonna
turn off the bedside light.              drove along the lake shore to the
  She is going to look absolutely        village and among the usual Friday
stunning, she thought as she paused      night crowd of cars parked outside
to admire the wedding dress hang-        ‘Bridies’ he spotted Michael’s car.
ing on the front of the wardrobe.        He parked outside the church and
Returning to her own room, she           walked back to the pub, although
decided to try on her mother-of-         ‘Bridie’s’ was like no other pub he
the bride outfit. She gazed at her       had ever known before he had
reflection with satisfaction, admir-     moved to the lake.
ing the way the elegant blue silk           He opened the door to the crow-
dress and coat emphasized the            ded narrow hallway full of noisy
colour of her eyes and the dramatic      young people and elbowed his way
hat framed her face.                     into the smoky front room where
  No one around here will have           Bridie presided over the bar. He
seen the like of this wedding before,    pushed his way through the throng
she thought happily, as she pre-         to see if Michael and Susanna
pared for bed.                           were sitting at any of the small tab-
  As Trevor drove from the house,        les, but there was no sign of them.
his mind was in a turmoil. He had           Flustered, he battled his way
invested more than a great deal of       back into the hall and into the back
money in this wedding. The fact          room, which was furnished with
that the Taoiseach had agreed to         battered couches and old wooden
come to the reception already held       chairs. Through a gap in the
out great promise and the time and       crowd, he saw his daughter sitting
effort that he and Lilian had spent      at the far end of the room, deep
compiling the guest list could not       in conversation with Michael.
fail to payoff. Everyone, including         ‘Susanna,’ he called as he
the Taoiseach, would have to be          approached the table.
impressed. Nothing, but nothing,            ‘Dad!’ she said, looking up in
could be allowed to spoil the day.       surprise. ‘Whatever are you doing
  He headed toward the lake to           here?’
the quay where he suspected                 ‘You are coming home with me,
Michael would have brought Sus-          right now,’ he replied. ‘And as for
anna. But there were no cars
parked in the clearing. He got out
of the jeep and walked slowly out
along the jetty and stood with his
hands in his pockets looking out
   She had a at the small island
across the lake big sad 'why?'
and the hills beyond. her face
   stamped all over
  The risen moon cast an eerie light
on the reed-fringed water and
there was no sound save the water
gently lapping against the several
boats moored along the jetty.
Despite his agitation, he could not
be oblivious to the beauty of the
place. But there were things he had
to do, so he couldn’t linger. He

March 2005                          21              Don Bosco's Madonna
you, Michael Kennedy, how dare           smile as he continued towards the
you bring my daughter here. It’s         door.
time you learnt your place.’               ‘How could you make such a
   ‘There’s no call to shout at me       scene?’ Susanna demanded when
like that, Mr Cullen’, said Michael      they finally got outside.
rising to his feet, his face flushed.      ‘I have made it quite clear that
‘I was just about to drive Susanna       you are not to go out with Michael
home anyway.’                            Kennedy and that is the end of it.’
   ‘Well, you’re not,’ Trevor res-         They headed towards the church
ponded less loudly, conscious that       in silence and Susanna ran ahead
people around were taking an             and got into the jeep. As he follow-
interest. ‘You and 1 will talk after     ed, Trevor sensed rather than saw
the wedding.’                            Dan standing in the shadow of the
   ‘Come along, Susanna,’ he said,       church gate.
                                           ‘I need to talk to you Dad, but
                                         not here.’ He opened the gates into
                                         the churchyard and Trevor follow-
                                         ed. Dan stopped abruptly and
                                         turned to his father angrily.
                                           ‘Why did you never tell us you
                                         were married before?’ he deman-
                                           Trevor felt the blood drain from
                                         his face.
                                           ‘It was a long time ago. I was very
                                         young and she died,’ he eventually
                                         answered, almost in a whisper.
                                           ‘Does Mum know?’
                                           ‘Of course’.
                                           ‘Does she know about the baby,
taking her by the arm and steering       too?’
her across the room.                       ‘The baby?’
   ‘Well, well, Mr Cullen, I’m             ‘Don’t pretend to me Dad. I
surprised to see you all here to-        read the note. Why did you never
night,’ Seán Moran greeted them          tell us that we had a brother?’
as they reached the hallway. ‘I                              To be continued
would have thought you would have
all be having a quiet night before
the big day. No problems, I hope!’
   ‘None whatsoever,’ Trevor
   ‘I saw Dan here earlier,’ Seán
continued. ‘He wasn’t in great
form. Are you sure everything is
   ‘Everything’s just fine, thanks
Seán. And we’re all delighted with
the marquee. You and the lads did
a great job.’ Trevor managed to

March 2005                          22              Don Bosco's Madonna
 Don Bosco: The Times, The Man,
            The Facts
       hen using the term ‘relaxation’
W     we intend it to be something
that ‘amuses’ or some diversion from
one’s employment or work. Relax-
ation has the quality of distracting
one from his/her worries and there-
fore is able to give the person what
may be termed ‘a good time.’
   If you asked Don Bosco when he
‘relaxed’ what would he say? Did
he rest in the afternoon? We simply
draw a blank.
   ‘To do until’ that would be the liter-
al etymology of the word – ‘relax-
atio’ in Latin. The term ‘relaxation’
is not found in the vocabulary of the
early Salesians. It is interchanged with
terms like ‘fun,’ ‘games,’ ‘recreation,’    enjoyed getting the horse to
and these refer not so much to per-         gallop through the meadows.
sonal relaxation but rather the chance         At Chieri, he spent time with
to allow his young charges to relax.        his classmates of the public school
                                            and later on at the seminary.
  Nevertheless from the time he was         They spent their free time playing
a young student, Johnny Bosco enjoy-        cards and even indulging in an
ed moments of ‘relaxation.’ There           Italian form of Tarot. When he
were times when he would en-joy him-        found these card games disturb-
self with his companions as they rom-       ing his concentration and even his
ped through the meadows and fields.         sleep he gave it up altogether.
  At Sussambrino, John befriended
a dog, a kind of ‘hound’ and trained          There was not going to be any
him to jump and catch morsels of            more relaxation of this kind in
bread he threw up into the air. The         future.
animal was trained to jump, sit and
follow simple instructions. He even         The priests’ shows
learnt to jump through hoops. He               At Morialdo the solemn feast
could be compared to a circus dog.          of the Maternity of the Blessed
  A little later Johnny Bosco came          Virgin Mary was taking place and
under the tutelage of Fr Dassano a          that was the feast of the parish
priest of Castelnuovo. The priest en-       church. There was a fair in the
trusted him to care for his horse in        village and John paid a visit as
the stable attached to the presby-          he was in the vicinity. He saw a
tery. John learnt horseriding. John         young cleric, Joseph Cafasso stan-
trained himself to stand on the horse       ding by the church door. John
and balance himself on its back. He         introduced himself to the cleric

March 2005                             23             Don Bosco's Madonna
and asked him if he were inter-ested          news, the boys swarmed all over the
in walking around the fair to which           Oratory on those three days in
the young cleric ans-wered, “My               lively, wholesome merriment. A gift
dear friend, the only shows for               and a hearty lunch given them by
priests are the functions that take           Don Bosco made most of them
place in church.” (MO 42 Memoirs              forget that Turin was wildly
of the Oratory) John never forgot             celebrating the end of the carnival.
those words and later he would use            On Tuesday after-noon (the day
this statement as part of a                   before Ash Wednes-day) Don
resolution he made at his clerical            Bosco and Father Borel gave them
vestition. (cf MO 87-88).                     a catechetical instruction in the form
                                              of a dialogue, which they greatly
  John never tired of playing little          enjoyed.
jokes, games and having a little fun
in order to attract youngsters to his            The boys played games until
apostolate. It can be said that even          dark. On the last day of the carni-
as he began his priestly ministry his         val, the piñata game carried the
relaxation centered solely on his             day. Several pots, some filled with
boys and how he could keep them               fruit, candy and similar goodies,
happy at all times.                           and others with turnips, potatoes
                                              or just plain water would be hung
   Joy, freedom, even noise seemed            one at a time from a rope. Then
to be a safety valve that diffused            a boy, blindfolded and swinging a
much tension and cleared many                 long stick, would try to hit it while
dark thoughts from the minds of his           the others swarmed around him.
young friends. Very indirectly, he            (cf BM 3,123).
explored the recesses of their little            When he got older and when
lives of work and study, of prayer            appointments prevented him he
and virtue too.                               would play with his boys. An eye-
                                              witness Mr Charles Castagno had
  His creativity urged him to com-            this to say, “He was always the
pose and conduct new forms of rec-            first to start a game, the very life
reation that were healthy and rec-            of the recreation. Watchful and
reational at the same time. In this,          alert, he seemed to be in every
Don Bosco showed himself truly a              corner of the playground, in the
priest-educator.                              midst of every group, taking part
                                              in everything. He played nine-
  In the year 1847, Don Bosco beg-            pins, bocce and other games to
an reminding his young charges that           his boys’ great delight. Often, he
on the following Sunday, Monday and           would mark a finish line and chall-
Tuesday, the last days of the carnival        enge all the boys to a race with,
season, the Oratory would offer spe-          of course, a prize for the victor.
cial games and amusements which               After they were all lined up, Don
they would find highly enjoyable. His         Bosco would hitch up his cassock
aim was to keep them away from the            to his knees. “Ready?” he would
wild revelry of the city with its potential   cry. “Get set! Go!” And the race
moral harm and from companions                was on, as a swarm of boys raised
who saw no wrong in any kind of               a cloud of dust and trailed Don
merrymaking. Overjoyed at the                 Bosco. He always won.

March 2005                               24              Don Bosco's Madonna
  The last of these contests took                dertaken as a gesture of devotion
place in 1868, when Don Bosco,                   and gratitude to visit Archbishop
in spite of his swollen legs, still ran          Fransoni who was being held in the
so swiftly that he left eight hundred            castle of Fenestrelle.
boys behind him, including the top                   On his first trip to Rome in 1858
racers. (They) were there and                    he had the great joy of visiting the
could hardly believe their eyes. (cf             holy places in the Eternal City. The
BM 3. 85)                                        history, the art, the faith, the great
  The typical family feast when the              glories of Christendom enshrined in
whole Oratory came together and                  the great Basilicas and the
were one united family was on                    Catacombs deeply moved his reli-
June 24 for one purpose, the feast               gious and ‘Roman’ soul. That was
day of Don Bosco. After a fervent                truly a journey of great spiritual
and beautiful church service, an                 benefit a genuine relaxation.
excellent lunch followed by a                        We could never forget Don
cultural programme there was                     Bosco’s triumphal return to his
much joy and laughter.                           young friends of Valdocco in 1872
                                                 after convalescing after a month of
Did He Personally Relax?                         serious illness in isolation at
   Glancing over the life of Don                 Varazze. What a feast, what joy em-
Bosco however, we find that he did               anated from those young faces and
not miss occasions for a little spiritual        certainly what a relief. Don Bosco
respite. These however were indir-               was very special to each of them
ectly moments of relaxation. Even                personally.
though there were financial crunch-                  Another occasion to relax would
es, physical and mental anxieties,               be his repeated return to his home
other serious problems, he grasped               hamlet of Becchi with his boys on
these moments fervently.                         their famous Autumn walks.
   One such moment came at the                       After the vintage in December
end August of 1850 when he took                  1887, Don Bosco was among his
a trip to Val Chisone. When asked                most intimate followers under the
some years later why he made that                grapevine trellises that decorated
trip he answered that he was                     the verandah near his rooms at
thinking of writing the History of               Valdocco. (cf. May 2004, pg 24-
Italy and for that reason he wished              25). He delayed plucking those
to see for himself those mountains,              grapes waiting for his pupil Mons.
where in 1747 the Piedmontese                    John Cagliero who had hurried
fought the heroic battle of Assietta             back from South America on hea-
to prevent the invasion of States                ring that Don Bosco was seriously
of Savoy.                                        ill. This was indeed his last moments
   Don Bosco encountered many                    of relaxation. He sat there feebly
difficulties and had to undertake                and through the last rays of the sun-
many journeys. He made these                     set of his life he recalled the won-
journeys into moments of relaxa-                 derful times he had spent with his
tion. Even if his biographer was                 boys. He plucked the grapes and
convinced that the purpose of the                remembered the earth and the
trip had some other purpose, Don                 awareness that his dream at the
Bosco turned it into a relaxing                  age of nine, had all come true.
journey. One such journey was un-                           Natale Cerrato T/A by I.D.

March 2005                                  25               Don Bosco's Madonna
10 Women And the Nobel                    650 men and 31 women were rec-
Prize for Peace                           ipients. Among the women were
     It doesn’t matter that you are       Mary Skolodowska and Madame
           man or woman,                  Curie who won it twice.
               Young or old,                Ten women won the prize for
      labourer, farmer, merchant,         peace and three together with
           soldier or student;            women. They are:
    if you ask them what is most          1905 Baroness Bertha van Suttner
                important                 (Austria) Secretary to Alfred Nobel
         for the humanity, they           1931 Janes Addams (USA), with
      answered earlier, now and           Nicholas Murray Butler
                 always:                  1932 Emilies Green Balch (USA),
                   Peace!                 with John Mott
               (U Thien Min)              1976 Maircad Corrigan and Betty
Alfred Nobel was a Swedish scien-         Williams (Great Britain)
tist, born in 1896 discovered dyna-       1979 Mother Teresa (India)
mite in 1875 and in 1888 prepa-           1982 Alva Mirdal (Sweden) with
red a missile... Those discoveries        Alfonso Garcia Robles
contributed to make future wars           1991 Aung San Suu Kyí (Burma)
bloodier and more deadly...               1992 Rigoberta Menchú
   In his will he asked to be pardoned                           (Guatemala)
for his invention that
only served to exacer-
bate wars. With this
frame of mind he ins-
tituted five awards that
would be destined to
compensate and benefit

  In 1901 the award
was instituted to hon-
our men and women
who made important
discoveries in the field
of physics, chemistry,         Oslo - Dr. Wangari Maathai flanked by
medicine and physiolo-             Oprah Winfrey & Tom Cruise
                                      at the Award ceremony
gy, authors of literary
works that most inspir-ed noble 2003 Shirin Ebadi Jr. (Iran)
ideals and to someone who most 2004 Wangari Maathai (Kenya)
contributed to strengthen the bonds
of unity between peoples for               Asma Jahangir, eminent Paki-
peace.                                  stani lawyer and advisor to the
                                        U.N. for the human rights said:
  Recently the centenary of this “When you put women in the
institution was celebrated. So far foreground to negotiate for peace,

March 2005                           26             Don Bosco's Madonna
peace will be guaranteed.” I                the part of the parents. Children
believe that really makes sense.            with two pieces of wood can ima-
                     Mario Scudu            gine anything but most creative
                                            pa-rents usually run out of ideas
Seven Golden Rules to Bring                 before that.
Up Children                                 4.Already from the ages of three
  “I am a child, from the moment            to five years start the youngsters
that life starts at eighty... “ Giovanni    on little tasks around the house. It
Bollea, the Italian innovator of the        is useful to teach them how to pick
                                            up small objects off the floor or to
                                            put on their buttons or zippers.
                                            5.Sport. First of all find out what
                                            the youngster likes to play. It is
                                            better that s/he joins a peer
                                            group. What is important is that
                                            they play rather than turn out to
                                            be champions. Two or three hours
                                            a week at games is excellent. A
                                            little competition is usually useful.
                                            6.An appreciation of art ought to
                                            be encouraged. Aesthetics incul-
                                            cated at this age already leads to
                                            refinement. Theatre, music, visual
                                            arts create the urge to excel.
                                            Money spent on culture/aesthetics
                                            is money well spent.
                                            7.The last suggestion: I have one
                                            theory that takes in all. I call it a
                                            three fourth’s woman. Women
child Neuropsychiatry - class of            who work most of the time and
1913. Eleven years is the right age         think of the children only at the
to understand what being ‘under             end of a workday make a very cost-
pressure’ means.                            ly mistake. They give little time to
                                            the children and to the home.
These are some of his suggestions:          Would it not be better to be there
1.Give him/her (the child) less.            a half-hour earlier at least? When
Doubtless they have too much                the children return from school
already. Consumerism erases any             they ought find their mother wait-
craving for creativity and opens the        ing, available and concerned. Besi-
door to boredom.                            des this babies do have other parti-
2.What is measured is intensity not         cular needs.
the amount of time spent with child-          Giovanni Bollea, Neuro psychiatrist
ren. The first twenty minutes after
coming home from work are very
important. Take the time to quiz                      8th March
the kids. It is not important that you
ask about lessons or results.                  World Women's Day
3.The most educational games are
those that require imagination on

March 2005                             27              Don Bosco's Madonna
   16 STEPS
 (Operation Wardrobe)
 Text by: Jimmy Rizzi
 Drawings by: Giovanni Gherardi
 Translation & adaptation: I.D.

   Do you know what can happen to a caravan in a
   desert? It can be attacked by RAIDERS
   and marauders.

   You can be stripped of
   all your possessions.
   All of a sudden
   when you think
   everything is peaceful
   and still there is an
   the thieves will set a trap
   and they loot everything.
   This is exactly what can
   happen to you:

     In the end the raiders have become
               richer and they
           have made you poorer...
March 2005                        28   Don Bosco's Madonna
 They are ready:
 -    To attack you
 -    To take you by surprise
 -    To rob you

 When a house is occupied by...
  From the Gospel of Luke (11, 24 - 26)
  Jesus said: "When an evil spirit goes out of a person, it
  travels over dry country looking for a place for rest. If it
  can't find one, it says to itself, 'I will go back to my house.'
  So it goes back and finds the house clean and tidy. Then it
  goes out and brings seven other spirits even worse than
  itself, and they come and live there. So when it is all over,
  that person is in a worse state than he was at the begin-
 Your house may be inviting enough to attract either virtues or

 It all depends on who you want to entertain. If your house is
 already occupied by virtue, then vice is not welcome. There is
 no place for both virtue and vice to exist together. But if there
 are no virtues at home at all, alas vices can come in to visit...
 then beware! If your house is empty, unadorned, swept, ...
 vices will descend on it and occupy it even more comfortably,
 making themselves very much at home.
 BEWARE: If instead they find that the house is already
 humming with life and activity. Then vices take the next
 turning and are off and away.
 If on your journey you strive to become virtuous, vices
 automatically keep far away. Therefore it is absolutely
 necessary to be already occupied...with virtue!

  Read well to the story on the next page...:

March 2005                      29            Don Bosco's Madonna
The Monk and The Rug

 A      young monk went to his father abbot and said:
        “Holy Father, my mind it is constantly plagued by
 bad thoughts. I cannot manage to get rid of them.” The old
 abbot thought for a moment and then replied: “I think
 there is an effective remedy, my son. You would have to
 weave a door rug with the
 newest design you can think
 of!” The monk, amused by
 the strange suggestion set
 himself to the task of making
 this new rug. That was one of
 the ways in which the abbey
 earned its keep. Day after
 serene day passed.

 The young monk was hard at
 work. No one saw what he was doing. At the end of a
 month the young monk brought out a beautiful rug from his
 workshop. It was made by his young skilled hands.

   He went to Father Abbot's study and dutifully gave it to
 him. Father Abbot smiled approvingly and the young monk
 left. As soon as he came out of Father Abbot’s study, happy
 that he had given his best rug yet to the Abbot, the bad
 thoughts returned to plague him once more.

   The young monk came running back to Father Abbot and
 bowed low. When he rose he complained that his bad
 thoughts had returned. Father Abbot smiled a knowing

March 2005                  30           Don Bosco's Madonna
smile and said: “Brother, try and make another rug, this time,
with another new design.” The young monk obeyed and went
back to his workshop and worked hard on another rug. The
rug he made this time was even more beautiful. It had brighter
colours and even a more intricate design.

  Hardly had he finished tying up the last loose ends when his
bad thoughts returned. He took his rug to Father Abbot
crestfallen and told him that the plague of bad thoughts that
had returned. Father Abbot gave him the task of making new
rugs many times over. Soon every door in the monastery had a
new door rug before it. These were made by the young monk
who was plagued by bad thoughts.

  After many months had elapsed one day, the young monk
felt the devil curse all of a sudden. The devil shouted in
discouragement: “There’s nothing more I can do with this
young monk. His mind is constantly filled with ideas to make
new door mats!”

“There is really nothing we can do to our young monk. His
mind is fully preoccupied with the making of new rugs!” That
was the last frustrated exclamation of the devil.
   It is possible that the devil may say the same thing about you:
“There’s nothing I can do to tempt this young friend of
mine…s/he’s obsessed with doing something good all the
     Idleness is exactly like an empty house, undecorated – exactly
like a mind that is not occupied with anything. That’s why ‘idleness’
is called “the father of vice,” That is the best place for all the other
vices to flourish. Idleness gives free rein to all the other vices to grow
and increase abundantly… so be careful of being found ‘doing nothing
in particular…’ (does that sound familiar?)
                                                          To be continued

March 2005                         31            Don Bosco's Madonna
                             LOVING CHILDREN TO
                            THEIR LOVING MOTHER
 My belated but millions thanks to you dear heavenly Mother for
 having saved me on two separate occasions. Do continue to pro-
 tect me always.                            Winnie D'Souza, Bombay
 Many trhanks dear Jesus and Mother Mary for blessing my daugther
 with success in her Std X examinations.             Indira S. Bombay
 Thank you dearest Mother for all the favours received. F. Fernandes.
 I am grateful to Our Blessed Mother for granting my husband a job.
                                        Mrs. Flora D'Souza, Bombay
 Our heartfelt gratitude to Our Blessed Mother for ensuring my son a
 safe and miraculous recovery and return home after a trip abroad.
                                                     K. John, Bombay
 Sincere gratitude dear Mother Mary for helping us get a house.
                                                          Neeta Sunny
 A very big thank you dear Mary Help of Christians for the success
 of a major cancer operation.       Sabrina Chadichal, Bombay
 Our humble, sincere and heartfelt thanks dear Mary Help of Chris-
 tians for the graces, blessings and favours received.
                             Anthony & Philomena Goveya, Bombay
 Thank you dear Mary Help of Christians for all the favours received.
                                         Melwin Fernandes, Bombay
 Thank you dearest Mother for the gift of my Catholic Faith which I
 received on Easter Sunday 1995.                 Ayesa Ahmed Juma
 Thank you dear Mother Mary Help of Christians for curing my ASD.
                                                Lynda Cordeiro, Goa
 I am grateful to Mary Help of Christians and Dominic Savio for cur-
 ing my son of his allergies and for helping him get an admission into
 a school of our choice.                         Dioga Almeida, Goa
 Thank you Mary Help of Christians for the favours received.
                                       Boniface Fernandes, Bombay
 Thanks Mary Help of Christians for helping me obtain a good job.
                                                  V.J. John, Bombay
 My immense gratitude dearest Mother for saving my husband from
 what could have been a fatal accident due to a rash taxi driver.
                       Mrs. Elaine & John Vianney D'Souza, Muscat
 My sincere gratitude dear Mother Mary for answering my prayers.
                                                   Dr. Shah, Bombay
 Thank you, Mary Help of Christians for all you have done for us. Do
 continue to protect us.                        M. Almeida, Bombay
 We are grateful that you protected my nephew as he sat next to the
 door of the car that opened of its own accord while we were on the
 road.                                                 Mrs. Philomena
 Our apologies to all those who promised publications of favours received and
 whose letters did not appear yet in Don Bosco's Madonna in one of the sections.
 We are delighted that you wrote but unfortunately there isn't enough space
 available for the very many letters and thanksgiving notes. I am certain that Our
 Lady and Don Bosco understand and I think that they would agree that your
 promise of publication is fulfilled by the very fact that you reported your favour to
 us. (The Editor)

March 2005                              32                Don Bosco's Madonna
                  The devotion of the THREE HAIL MARYS is
                  a very simple yet most efficacious devotion.
                  Everyday, recite Three Hail Marys, adding the
                  invocation: "O Mary, My Mother, keep me from
                  mortal sin." Many people recite the Three Hail
                  Marys as part of their morning and night
                  prayers. To practise this devotion in time of
                  danger, stress, special need or temptation, is a
                  sure means to obtain Our Lady's help.
                    Thank you from the bottom of my heart dearest Mother
Mary for the extraordinary favour granted to me through the recitation of
the 3 Hail Marys.                           Mednora Bantleman, Australia
Thank you dear Mother for helping my son get the admission into school
through my faithful recitation of the 3 Hail Marys. Jacinta Pinto, Goa
Sincere thanks to Our Blessed Mother for the special graces received
through the faithful recitation of the 3 Hail Marys. G. Fernandes, Goa
Our sincere thanks to Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco for a
successful gall bladder operation thanks to the faithful recitation of the
3 Hail Marys.                                  Mrs. Jeanette Rebello, Goa
My most grateful thanks dear Blessed Mother for the several favours
received through the faithful recitation of the 3 Hail Marys.
                                                   Mrs. Noronha, Bombay
Thank you most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Help of Christians for
the successful operation of my daughter through the recitation of the 3
Hail Marys.                                        Isabel D'Mello, Bombay
I thank you Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Help of Christians for
a successful operation through the recitation of the 3 Hail Marys.
                                                   Isabel D'Mello, Bombay
My sincere thanks to Mary Help of Christians for taking care of my
family and for the success my son secured in his HSC examinations.
                                                     Mrs. F. Pinto, Dahisar
My heartfelt thanks dear Mother Mary for curing my daughter of a 'Cold
Abscess' on her left leg through the recitation of the 3 Hail Marys.
                                               Evelyn Vanspall, Bangalore
My belated grateful thanks to Mary for all the graces and favours re-
ceived through the faithful recitation of the 3 Hail Marys for success in
my examinations.                            Mrs. Tina Antony, Trivandrum
Thank you Mother Mary for the many graces and for a good season
2003/2004. I prayed regularly the 3 Hail Marys.                S. de Souza
I daily pray the 3 Hail Marys and Our Blessed Mother granted me the
grace of an instant cure after having slipped and hit my head.
                                                      Christine Costa, Goa
Grateful thanks to Mary Help of Christians for the many favours received
through the recitation of the 3 Hail Marys.          Socorina Collaco, Goa
My sincere thanks to Our Blessed Mother for the gift of my sight through
the recitation of the 3 Hail Marys, regularly and fervently.
                                        Sr. Blanche Fernandes, Goregaon
March 2005                         33             Don Bosco's Madonna
                      THEY ARE GRATEFUL TO
                     OUR LADY AND DON BOSCO
Thank you dearest Mother Mary and Don Bosco for protecting us during
a picnic to Khandala and bringing us home safe.
                                            Mr & Mrs D'Mello, Bombay
My sincere thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Blessed Mother
and Don bosco for granting my husband a good job and my children
success in their examinations.                    Mrs B. Dores, Bombay
My belated, but sincere thanks dear Mother Mary and Don Bosco for a
safe delivery granted to my daughter the girl is named Jenniefer.
                                         Mrs. Lucy G. D'Souza, Thane
Thank you Mother Mary, Don Bosco and Dominic Savio for the many
favours received.                                   P. D'Souza, Bombay
My grateful thanks dear Mother Mary Help of Christians, Don Bosco
and Dominic Savio the promotion my son to the rank of a director.
                                           Franklin Borges, Shrirampur
Thanks dear Mother and Don Bosco for the gift of a baby girl, Christina.
Grant that they reach Australia safely.          Harry Pereira, Bombay
Thanks dear Mother Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco for success
in my daughter's board examinations.                  O Soares, Sharjah
I am grateful to Our Lord, Our Lady and Don Bosco for the numerous
favours and graces received. Henry and Charmaine Rodrigues, Canada
Thank you Mother Mary, Don Bosco and Dominic Savio for helping my
child secure a good percentage in her Std X examinations.
                                                  Adeline Edbor, Thane
Thank you dearest Mother and Don Bosco for granting my husband a
Portugese passport in a record 2 months.                    Santana Lobo
Our most sincere thanks to the Lord Jesus and His Mother Mary Help
of Christians for sustaining and defending us inspite of a severe financial
crisis.                                              Lorna Jain, Bombay
Thank you for granting me a special grace of settling my sister's
marriage.                                         Rita Dourado, Bombay
Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco, a million thanks for helping
and protecting my son in the US, for helping him complete his MS and
secure a job too.                                          Usha, Bombay
Thank you dear Mother Mary, help of Christians and Don Bosco for the
many favours I received.                       Eugene Pereira, Bombay
I am grateful for the many favours granted to our family through the
powerful intercession of Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco.
                                                    F. D'Souza, Bombay
Thank you dear Don Bosco and Dominic Savio for a safe and healthy
delivery.                                   Rochelle Poppen, Bombay
Our apologies to all those who promised publications of favours received and
whose letters did not appear yet in Don Bosco's Madonna in one of the sections. We
are delighted that you wrote but unfortunately there isn't enough space available for
the very many letters and thanksgiving notes. I am certain that Our Lady and Don
Bosco understand and I think that they would agree that your promise of publication
is fulfilled by the very fact that you reported your favour to us. (The Editor)

March 2005                             34                Don Bosco's Madonna

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