Monday, November 29, 2010


NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 2, 2010: The ACPI Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2 vols), ed. Johnson J. Puthenpurackal, OFM Cap and George Panthanmackel, MSFS, was released on October 23, 2010 by H.E. Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, at Father Agnel School Auditorium, Gautam Nagar, New Delhi, in the presence of a number of dignitaries, including Justice Sree Markandey Katju of the Supreme Court of India, Dr Cyriac Thomas, Member of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Dr Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Islamic Scholar and Padma Bhushan Awardee, Mr John Dayal, Chairperson, Minority Commission of India, and Prof. Gracious Thomas, Coordinator, CBCI Chair, IGNOU. 
The encyclopedia is the fruit of the very hard work of the two chief editors, assisted by a board of sectional editors who include Keith D'Souza, SJ, Augustine Thottakara, CMI, Kuruvilla Pandikattu, SJ, Stanislaus Swamikannu, SDB, Vincent Aind, Saju Chackalackal, CMI, and Ivo Coelho, Sdb.
The two volume work contains four hundred and twenty two entries, more than eighty percent of which were contributed by members of the ACPI and staff of various Christian institutions all over the country. Very handsomely brought out by ATC Bangalore, the encyclopedia is a pleasure to the eye.
Among Indian Christian thinkers, the following are included: Swami Abhishiktananda, Robert De Nobili, Richard De Smet, (Mother Teresa), Raimon Panikkar, Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya and Thomas Stephens (unfortunately listed under ‘T’). Missing, unfortunately, are the Jesuits of the 'Calcutta Jesuit School of Indology': J. Putz, Pierre Johanns, J. Bayart, G. Dandoy, R. Antoine, and P. Fallon.
A milestone for the ACPI which was "conceived in 1975 and born in 1976 at Aluva (Kerala)" under the guidance and inspiration of the late Fr Richard De Smet, SJ, and the initiative of Dr Albert Nambiaparambil, CMI.
Among the contributors are at least twenty four Salesiansa good ten percent of the total of two hundred and thirty six writers. 
Fr Ivo Coelho sdb 


NASHIK, NOVEMBER 22, 2010: Pune Vidyapeeth (University) Marathi Department which is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee (2010-2011) held a Seminar cum Discussion on the Kristapurana of Fr. Thomas Stephens (1549-1619) on November 15 and November 16, 2010 at P.C. Ray Sabhagruha, Pune University.  It was a joint venture of Pune Vidyappeth Marathi Department and Don Bosco, Nashik.  The theme of the seminar was:  Kristapurana:  A Review (Punaravalokan)”.  The University Hall was filled to capacity which showed the great response from many intellectuals who gathered at Pune University from far and near, from other Universities as well as from the Colleges around. 

There were eminent speakers both from the Christian as well as from Pune University side. There were others from the field of Marathi literature itself.  From the Christian side the speakers and their themes of the talks were as follows:  Bishop Thomas Dabre (Bishop of Pune -  “Inauguration Talk”); Fr. Dr. Nelson Falcao, sdb (Main Talk of the Seminar on “Method and Principles of Inculturation and Inter-religious Dialogue in the Kristapurana”); Rev. Fr. Francis de Britto (“Bible and the Kristapurana”); Msgr. Francis Correia (“Shakespeare of the Konkan Land”); Rev. Fr. Caridade Drago, s.j. (“Indianisation in the Kristapurana); Dr. Cecilia Carvalho (“Language and Society in the Kristapurana”); Dr. Anupama Ujagare “(Kristapurana and Kristayan”).  The speakers from Pune University and others were: Prof. Dr. Kalyan Kale (Ex-HOD Marathi Dept. Pune University - “Various Editions of the Kristapurana”); Prof. Dr. Sadananda More (Prof. Philosophy Department, “Kristapurana: From Hindu Point-of-view”); Prof. Dr. Dilip Dhondge (Prof. at Satana University – “Linguistic Style in the Kristapurana”).

Prof. Dr. R.G. Jadhav, Marathi Literary critic and Ex-President of Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, affirmed that the Kristapurana has been a proper response to Indian tradition and culture.  He said that the Kristapurana cuts across all cultures, traditions and religions. Prof. Dr. Naganatha Kottapalle (Vice-Chancellor of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathawada Vidyapeeth, Aurangabad) stated that the Kristapurana has been an invitation to openness, broad-mindedness and inter-religious dialogue. Prof. Dr. Sadananda More spoke of the Kristapurana as a Great Christian Biblical Epic which was expressed and interpreted in Hindu-Vaishnavaite tradition from the Christian Greco-Hebrew-Latin-Scholastic categories. The significant words of late Dr. S.G. Tulpule were quoted more than once:  “Without sliding out even a little bit from the basic truth in the Bible, putting an Eastern garb agreeable to he Hindu mind, and that also in poetic form, on to the life of Christ, was truly a difficult task.  But Stephens has done it.  He has kept to the language (bhasha), conduct (vritta), ideas (kalpana), imagination of poets (kavisanketa) and all other poetic forms (kavyange) in pure Marathi. The Deity inside is that of Jesus Christ, the temple is Hindu (‘Murti Khristaci, Mandira Hinduce’), such is the arrangement of this Purana.” 

The whole two-day Seminar ended on a heavenly note of Mukti-Moksha (salvation/liberation) reaching Vaikuntha (heaven). The various talks and discussion created an atmosphere of Sarva-Dharma-Samabhava (equality of all) and awakened the feeling of the personal responsibility and duty to respond faithfully and generously to Sva-Dharma (one’s own Religion) among all the participants. 
Fr Robert Pen sdb


AURANGABAD, NOVEMBER 20, 2010: The community of Divyadaan ventured out for an Educational Tour to the famous rock- cut temples at Ajanta and Ellora in Aurangabad on November 17 and November 18, 2010.  This tri-annual tour was the outcome of a lot of detailed planning and arrangement done very much in advance by Fr. Savio D’souza, the Rector of Divyadaan, Fr. Anton D’souza and Br. Jacob.
The confreres placed their mortal feet on the immortal Ellora caves after a five hour enjoyable journey.  After a brief introduction on the co-existence of the Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples, the guide led us to witness the cut-in and cut-out rock structures of the perfectly chiseled shrines. The precision of the Buddhist temple and the largest monolith of the chariot-shaped Kailash temple with graceful sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses elevated one’s being to marvel at the ingenuity of the people.  The community captured the eternal memories of the caves in their hearts and proceeded to the historic Daulatabad Fort. The guide gave a detailed history of the fort’s strategic location, the deep moat, the dark tunnels, the minaret and the city structure that reflected the intense expertise of the builders. After a wholesome lunch, the confreres moved on to enjoy the Panchakki – an ancient watermill used for grinding flour, and Bibi-Ka-Maqbara – a pale imitation of the Taj Mahal built by Aurangzeb’s son. The confreres spent their evening in the famous Siddharth garden and feasted over a sumptuous dinner at Br. Jacob’s residence. After felicitating Jacob’s parents and the other guests, the community members proceeded to spend the night at Holy Cross School, thanks to the Convent Sisters.
The new day began with the Holy Eucharist which was offered as a thanksgiving for the Educational Tour and all the persons responsible for making it a success.  After expressing sentiments of gratitude to the Sisters, the community members headed for the world famous rock cut wonders at Ajanta caves.  The monks and artists of early Buddhism have put an amazing show of the rock formations, hammering out temples from top to bottom, sculptural embellishments, the exquisite murals, frescos and paintings that give an insight into the exuberance and talent that existed form ancient ages.
The remote sites of Ajanta and Ellora re-echo the architecture and spirituality of rich Indian culture. The co-existence of different faiths, the engineering skills of the artists and the awe-inspiring interiors of the caves help to appreciate and understand the vastness of ancient art. It is a national pride to have such ancient masterpieces of art and paintings in India. The saying is true ‘Old is Gold.’ This ancient heritage is a ‘Divya Daan’ to all future generations. The community members also enjoyed this bonding by praying together and sharing moments of oneness by singing songs and getting closer to one another. The confreres returned with grateful hearts and everlasting memories of ancient rich art. 
Cl. Bosco Carvalho sdb


DIVYADAAN, NOVEMBER 2, 2010: The Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) Eighth National Convention was held at Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya from October 10, 2010 to October 17, 2010. The Nashik Diocese Youth Team was led by Fr Anton D’Souza sdb, the youth director of the Nashik diocese.
On the way to Guawathi the group had the opportunity to visit Mother Teresa’s home at Kolkata. Fr Anton celebrated Mass for the youth and inmates at the tomb of Mother Teresa. In Guawathi the Nashik diocesan youth were sent to Jovai diocese for the mission experience. The Convention began with an inaugural mass celebrated by Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong Diocese. The Convention witnessed more than two thousand youth representing hundred and fifty two dioceses. During the convention, there were many input sessions. The last day witnessed one lakh people who gathered at the Calvary for the Eucharist. It was presided by the Papal Nuncio.
Overall it was a very enriching experience for the youth of the Nashik diocese. They had an opportunity to mingle with other youth and learn form them to be true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Fr Anton D’Souza, sdb

Sunday, November 28, 2010

‘GROW MORE’ 2010

Lonavla, November 1, 2010: The Don Bosco Scout and Guide Meet of the Maharashtra region, GRO MO 2010 commenced on October 31, 2010. Don Bosco Matunga; St. Dominic Savio, Andheri; Don Bosco Borivali; Don Bosco Nerul; Don Bosco Nashik; Don Bosco Savedi; Don Bosco Yerwada; Don Bosco Lonavala and Don Bosco Naigaon were the participants of this grand event.
It was a great joy to see the scouts and guides of the various schools well decked in their uniforms and enthusiastic to put their best feet forward for the camp. The scouts and guides along with their Scout Masters under the direction and the able guidance of Fr. Anthony Goyal, Fr. Lorenzo D’Souza and Fr. Glen Lowe pitched their tents in full earnest.
The ‘Friendship Games’ that followed enabled the scouts and guides to interact and get familiar with each other. The Grand Inauguration’ for the GRO MO 2010 was held close to twilight. We were privileged to have in our midst Mr. B.I. Nagarale, the State Chief Commissioner for Bharat Scouts and Guides, Maharashtra and Fr. Edwin Calosso, in charge of Groups and Movements as the chief guests for the evening. The March Past, Prayer Service and ‘The Anthem Presentation’ on the theme - ‘Peace on Earth’ were the highlights of the event.
The day concluded with the ‘Theme Presentation by the various schools. Creativity, spontaneity, exuberance, precision and good oration by the participants ignited the event.
All in all the day was an excellent starter to the GROMO 2010. Fr. Ajoy Fernandes and the organizing committee deserve a pat on their backs.
Cl. Evangelo D’Souza sdb


DIYVADAAN, OCTOBER 30, 2010: The Thirty fifth annual meeting of ACPI (Association of Christian Philsophers of India) was held at Carmel Vidya Niketan, Pakhal village,  Faridabad Dt., Hariyana from October 23 to October 27, 2010 to reflect on the theme “Tradition and Innovation: Philosophical Rootedness and Openness. On behalf of Divyadaan Institute, Frs.  Ivo Coelho, Aloysius Hemrom and Robert Pen participated in it. It was a gathering of intellectuals that reflected on tradition and innovativeness as the complementary and interrelatedness dimension of life.
The meeting began with a well organized function for the release of the two volumes ACPI Encyclopedia of Philosophy that took place on October 23 in the Auditorium of Father Agnel School, Gautam Nagar, New Delhi. In the presence of various dignitaries and officials His Eminence Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi released it by giving the first copy to the chief guest His Lordship Justice Sree Markandey Katju, Supreme Court of India. During the function the ACPI book on Violence and Its Victims: A Challenge to Philosophizing in the Indian Context which contained ACPI papers presented at Anugraha, Dindigul,Tamilnadu, India in October 2009 and edited by Fr. Ivo Coelho, was also released at the hand of Dr. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, an Islamic Scholar and a  Padma Bhusan Awardee.
The second phase of the ACPI meet began on October 23 in the evening at Carmal Vidya Niketan during which seventeen papers were presented by eminent scholars in the presence of sixty three philosophers across India. The papers were divided into three categories such as Philosophical Foundations, Religious Application and Social Critique. Fr. Ivo Coelho presented a paper entitled “Tradition-Innovation-Dynamics in Christianity” while Fr. Robert Pen gave an exposition on “Tradition-Innovation-Dynamics in Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action”.
In the light of the theme the gathering also reflected on the Indian Christian Philosophizing.  Accordingly they expressed that the term ‘Indian’ constitutes a geographically bound political grouping, whereas ‘Christian’ stands for a religious grouping.  ‘Indian Christian’ however did not constitute two groups but ‘one’ group with a twofold ‘rootedness’. The members felt that innovation in Indian Christian Philosophizing has to be well rooted in the givenness of Indian Christian tradition. If not it can give rise to mere novelty in thinking without any stability and depth. They concluded that Indian Christian philosophizing has to be a philosophizing with a difference.  This difference of innovative philosophizing with solidity and width can come about only in so far as it is carried out from the depth of Indian Christian tradition.
Fr Robert Pen sdb


DIVYADAAN, OCTOBER 16, 2010: The Mass media has enveloped all walks of life. The human person, in his search for meaning, has intertwined himself/herself into this web of inter-subjective communication through the mass media. Yet the media is not self-revelatory. It has to be understood and grasped. It has to be deciphered and solved. In this process of understanding and deciphering the media and its effects, the brothers from Divyadaan, Salesian Institute of Philosophy participated in a two day course on Film Appreciation conducted by Rev. Fr. Robert Pen, sdb.
The course dealt with feature films and its effects. The brothers during the course viewed various blockbuster films and critically evaluated them. The first session saw the students discuss ‘The Rules of How to Discuss a Film’. The students systematically understood that in a critical evaluation of a movie one must understand 1) The production particulars 2) The Plot 3) The techniques involved 4) The Sociological theme and 5) The Educational relevance. The students further, through a video presentation, understood that a feature film takes over a year or a year and half to complete and that the feature film is not single continuous stream of movements but is made up of different ‘edited shots’. The brothers then through the next two days viewed different films and evaluated them. The evaluation of the feature films was done at two levels: the individual and the group level. During the evaluation the students had to first critically evaluate a film. The evaluation would then continue as the students were divided into groups of six and discussed their findings.
During the concluding evaluation the students expressed their gratitude for getting an opportunity to attend a course of such magnitude. They found this course useful as it would help them evaluate and understand feature films in new light especially during their practical training in the coming years. This would in turn help their boys to understand the ramifications of the media and thus counter its effects on their lives. 

Cl. Leon Rodrigues