Monday, March 17, 2014
Nashik, August 3, 2010: The Community of Divyadaan staged the musical ‘The Prodigal Son’ written and composed by Lawrence Waddy in the Divyadaan Auditorium. Music was the theme for the evening. This Musical night began with the band. The brothers, under the able guidance of Mr. Bosco Monsorate, played the pieces The Crusader and Feelings.
The core of the night’s performance was the staging of the Musical ‘The Prodigal Son’. This musical is an adaptation from the Gospel parable of ‘The Lost Son’ narrated by Jesus (Lk 15: 11 - 31) which highlights the quality of the good shepherd. A crisp yet a meaningful performance ensured that the audience was spellbound and captivated. The audience truly appreciated the efforts of the brothers and acknowledged their performance. Mr. Merwin, a parishner who had been involved in the staging of the play a decade ago, stated that Divyadaan had been a centre of cultural performances during the past two decades. He felt that the brothers had really put in their best and were really good in the performance.
The brothers felt that the play was the most welcomed event in the life of the community. One thing that struck them was the fact that the entire community was involved in its production. They felt that the play was a wonderful time for community building. A load of talent was unearthed and a synergy was felt. The story of the Prodigal Son and its performance has left a lasting impression on the minds of all in the community.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
On the solemn occasion of the memorial of St. Barnabas, the ardent apostle of faith, the community of Divyadaan re-engaged in its pursuit of wisdom with the invocation of the Divine Spirit. The Inaugural Eucharist was presided over by Fr Michael Fernandes, the Salesian Provincial of Mumbai. He was joined by the Capuchin Provincial Fr Michael Fernandes and the various staff members from the campus.
‘Our main aim is human maturity’ were the words of Fr Michael, the Salesian Provincial, at the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration. He went on in his sermon to highlight the role of the Holy Spirit who helps and guides in this process of human maturity. Giving picturesque examples he painted with words the catalytic effect of the Holy Spirit.
The Eucharist was followed by the inaugural function. The event began with an invocation of the Holy Spirit and the lighting of the lamp by the different superiors. Fr Savio Dsouza, the Rector of Divyadaan, welcomed the gathering and motioned about the significance of the New Year as a sign of change.
The student Capuchin friars then sung a choral piece – Glorious God.
Fr Robert Pen, the Principal of Divyadaan, presented to all the Academic Report of the Academic Year 2010-11. He listed the achievements of the institution and the activities conducted during the year. He also enumerated the numerous publications by the professors which contribute to the academic growth of the Institution. After releasing the Handbook for the year 2011-12, Fr Michael Fernandes, the Salesian Provincial drew a parallel between study and prayer. He urged the young academicians to spend time in study as they would spend time in prayer. He wished all to enjoy life by doing things well.
The inaugural lecture for this year was delivered by Rev Fr Felix Fernandes, a residential professor at Divyadaan. The topic of his presentation was ‘The Relation with the Other: The Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas’. This presentation was an overflow of his reflections on Levinas’ philosophy during his doctoral thesis.
Having given a brief life sketch of Levinas, a philosopher whose thoughts were inspired and tested by his own life experiences, Fr Felix pointed out that for Levinas, the question of ethics was more important than the question of ontology. The heart of his philosophy is service and respect for the other, and recognition of the other as an individual independent of oneself. Levinas strongly championed for self-reflection and an other-centered world where one thinks not of oneself but of the other first; not what the other can do for me but what I can do for the other. This is what he meant by Asymmetrical Relations. Fr Felix remarkably synthesized the thoughts of Levinas in a crispy yet lucid manner giving to the audience only what was needed without losing on the essence of his philosophy. He presented the thoughts of Levinas as a voice of Conscience in a world ruled by totalitarianism. He concluded that the Challenge of the Asymmetrical continues to beckon us.
Monday, April 4, 2011
DIVYADAAN, MARCH 4, 2011: Today the students of the SyMph had the defense of the dissertation paper: Cl. Selvakumar
Arockiasamy (A Study of the Modern Self in the Writings of Charles Taylor), Cl. William D’Souza (René Girard’s Mimetic Theory of Violence), Cl. Aneesh Chacko (An Existential Phenomenological Study of Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning), and Cl. Roshan Kullu (The Human Person According to Karol Josef Wojtyla) which is a fulfillment required for the completion of their Master’s Degree in Philosophy. To reach the summit of this day there had been a lot of hard work and thorough study with a detailed research done by the students regarding their respective papers. The efforts of their intellectual and philosophical pursuit have been from the start of this academic year 2010-2011.
For the defense, the candidates presented a synopsis of their respective papers which was for the first fifteen minutes. After which the readers did a commendable work by exposing the queries regarding the matter of the text and the methodology, as well as highlighted the technical faults and mistakes that could be taken into consideration in the future. There was clarification of terms, concepts and understanding of texts that were not certain and clear. The guides too, commented their views on the paper. Above all, the moderator played an important role in the defense by introducing to the assembly the candidate and also the topic, and facilitating the readers to questioning the candidate.
If only you knew the gift of God (Jn 4, 10) … The brothers of the SyMph have made an attempt to know this gift of God through their philosophical venture. Our prayer and hope is that they truly persevere and come to understanding of this gift of knowledge that God has bestowed on them.
Cl. Romero D'Souza SDB
RUARY 28, 2011: Fr. Barnabe D’souza along with Ms. Dakshayini Madangopal and Ms. Snehal D’souza from Don Bosco Research and Documentation Centre, Mumbai, conducted a two day seminar on Social Research Methodology for the second year students of B.Ph. on February 25 and February 26, 2011. The seminar intended to introduce the brothers to the field of social research, its relevance in the apostolic religious life and how it can help focus or direct the activities of the individual and communities. Fr. Barnabe introduced the topic on day one, stressing on the different aspects of the term ‘research’ and how it influences our daily lives. The brothers were initiated to choose from any of the four groups, comprising of street hawkers/vendors, auto drivers, street dwellers and college youth and conduct a research on a topic that influences these groups. The brothers were given two hours in the afternoon to get on the field and interview their subjects on their own. They were guided by the resource persons on developing the right questions and implementing the right tools in collecting the data.
The research was conducted with great enthusiasm and the brothers returned to collate and evaluate the data collected, the experience of meeting and interacting with people. The data collected, though little helped to focus on social issues and also to formulate practical solutions to deal with them.
The second day involved topics on Relevance and Analyses of Social Research taken by Ms. Dakshayini. The brothers learnt how to evaluate the effectiveness of their research and also how to construct a cause-effect analysis design which will help to pinpoint the
problem. The brothers also learnt to critically review the research done by their peers as well as their own. They learnt to prepare a report that provides not only quantitative data but also qualitative information of the subjects complete with the researcher’s reflections, comments and suggestions for further research. The brothers were also introduced to Ethics in Social Research. This helped to realize that the subjects of any research need to be informed and their consent acquired. Confidentiality is another key feature which needs to be respected. Finally, all researches are encouraged to be participatory.
The seminar ended with the hope that the skills learnt could be implemented by brothers in their apostolate helping them to enrich their respective experiences and also enhancing their future apostolic prospects.
Cl. Rudolph D'Souza SDB
Divyadaan, Nashik, was honored to share the joy and celebration of Don Bosco with the youth of the ‘K2K Yatra’, an initiative by ‘Youth Activ8 Foundation’ and the ‘ICYM’. This encounter of the Salesian seminarians and the youth was arranged by Fr. Anton D’Souza, sdb, the Diocesan Youth Director of Nashik Diocese.
The day commenced as the youth and the community of Divyadaan joined in celebrating the Holy Eucharist. The main celebrant of the Eucharist, Rev. Fr. Savio D’Souza, sdb in his homily helped the assembly to understand the deep connection Don Bosco shared with the youth and the zeal in which he went about doing his work for the love of his beloved boys. He expressed his joy and stated that the youth were the very reason of the existence of the Salesian apostolate. He thanked the K2K Yatra for having made a stop here in Divyadaan to honor the name of Don Bosco.
As the day progressed, the youth joined the brothers in the lightening tournament too. The day climaxed as the youth and the brothers from Divyadaan gathered to celebrate the gift of Don Bosco through a quiz competition. Moments of sharing and interaction followed.
The K2K youth members presented to the Salesians the purpose of their journey; that is to promote peace and harmony in the nation by helping youngsters to have mutual dialogue and understanding. They shared their insights, learnings and suggestions to build a stronger youth apostolate. The brothers didn’t hesitate to ask them questions regarding their convictions of the yatra, the growth processes and also the followings of the yatra, to which the youth willingly responded. The enthusiasm of the youth was almost contagious as their zeal caught on like wild fire and the brothers from Divyadaan responded by presenting the Strenna of the Rector Major to the ‘K2K’ youth in a very creative way.
The K2K group consisted of the animating director and the ICYM president. The youth also held important posts in the troop but did so very humbly. All the members were from different parts of India. All together it was a conglomeration of persons, cultures and ideologies that gave them their identity. The Salesians did enjoy talking to the youth, who were overwhelmed by the love and hospitality. The brothers were inspired by the youth who had committed themselves to help their peers. At the end of the day all wished and prayed for the success of the trip with the blessings and intercession of St. John Bosco.
Friday, January 14, 2011
We the students of Masters in Philosophy (2010-2011) presented a symposium on the topic “Naxalism: An existential dilemma”. The ‘why’ of this topic – the Media Today is flooded with news of Naxals which brings to our senses the relevance of this topic, the India Today is faced with many realities and one of it is surely facing the Red reality of the Naxalism. Therefore, we as a group decided to take this existing dilemma realizing the thought that every citizen of India is affected by the Philosophy of the Naxalites, in thought and action. Thus in our paper we made an attempt to reflect and unveil firstly the ideology of Naxalism by exploring Naxalism as an offshoot of Marxism through the glasses of Materialism, Nihilism and Existentialism. Secondly The rise of Naxalism by giving the origin, and the background of the socio-economic and political situation and the causes that led to the rise of Naxalism in India. Thirdly Is Naxalism: A Way Out by taking a look at the roots of Violence in the tribal belts of India and unfolding the approaches that India as a Nation has taken towards the Naxalites. After which there were possible remedies presented to this existential dilemma, Naxalism: A way out??? Going through this process we came to a possible philosophy of the Naxalites.
The symposium was held in the Academic Hall scheduled from 2:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. The presentation of the papers led to questions that were life probing, insightful and ethically essential. There were also comments and sharing which made the discussion richer.
This symposium has been for us a learning and growing experience, to understand and think as religious on the meaning of life in a given situation of a nation like ours, India. This has also helped us in an awareness of the need to become ‘good Christians and honest citizens,’ to put it in the words of our father and founder, Don Bosco. All in all, it was an invitation for us to strive to live up to this ideal as Religious, as Salesians, as Christians and as human beings; to be witnesses of peace and love.
Cl. Romero D’Souza SDB