Wednesday, 27 November 2013

History of Plural Word...s

Here's an interesting historical lesson regarding English language, the origin of plurals, in particular.

Found it on Free Technology for Teachers.

Making every feast afresh

At the end of a hectic day and a very long but intense and meaningful preparation and celebration of our community day and the jubilee celebration of two of our confreres on November 25, Fr Maliekal (one of the Jubilarians) concluded the day stating thus:  We Salesians of Don Bosco have a way of making every feastday special and vibrant.  We build every feast anew. Not merely repeat the same old things but do things from the start all afresh and new.  Therefore there is no boredom or redundancy in our celebration, we start every preparation and celebration from the scratch.

I firmly agree with him.  This was also one of the reasons for the bigger crowd of audience this year. Most of them congratulated me and explicitly mentioned that they love the novelty and creativity that they get to see here in the programmes put up by the Seminarians.  It is primarily for that they come to the Seminary.  And this time they certainly were not disappointed... neither were any of us!

I certainly enjoyed this year, though it was tough managing and coordinating alone, but the Brothers did very well and each did their role to the best of their abilities. They too are very happy with the effort they put in and the consequent result that was there for all to see. 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

My epitaph

Yesterday evening working in the Parish, trying to set up stage backdrop for today's Holy Mass, I was struck by the number of plaques stuck to the newly built stage. It contained all the names of the different people who contributed in cash towards the building of the stage and the grotto beside it. In jest I told the Brothers working with me, "Only one Our Lady and one stage but so many names!"

This morning as I made my way to the Church to participate in the Holy Mass, I saw a rather large flex put up at the foot of the hill (the Parish being atop the hill). It was put up as a welcome board for the Archbishop was the chief guest of the day.  And below the photo of the archbishop was the photo of the guy who made it and put it up - a local politician!

I always found it very odd and strange when people are keen about this kind of publicity for the acts of charity they carry out. One of the Sisters working along with us on the stage last evening, was pulling my leg and for jest reading out the names of the donors on the plaque and in between she was 'reading' out my name too! I replied, "Not even on my epitaph, do I wish my name be engraved!"

Thursday, 14 November 2013

My new born niece

Roshni, my sister-in-law has been kind enough to share with me some of photos of my new born niece (November 1, 2013). She certainly looks like Roshni herself. Of course, the nose is characteristically from her father, my brother!

With her arrival the gender balance at home is complete: 3 men and 3 ladies! Chris, my nephew and her elder brother, has his own set of names for her; Chutki, being one of them (that's the name of the girl in the 'Chota Bheem' cartoon serial, he loves to watch).

Chris the ladybug!

My nephew Chris, took part in a competition at school and was all dressed up as a ladybug / lady bird... I'm told he did very well! Beware of the bug!

Have to vs Want to

Perhaps the whole process of contemporary formation strategies can be summed up in this short formula:
Moving from the 'have to' mode to 'want to' mode. 
I really feel this is all that needs to be done... and of course, it is easier said than done!
Most of the students go through the grind of the various activities and events in the community as if they 'have to'. If only they would see the point and desire it themselves as to doing it for their own sake, rather than for the satisfaction of the staff or the formators.

Well, I suppose that's the challenge of being a formator.  If all of this was easy and smooth, then I guess, any Tom, Dick and Harry could have been or become a formator. 

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Three Truths

While at Karunapuram to moderate a debate, one of the judges, a Brazilian Priest gave a very interesting and amusing conclusion to his observations about the debate and the theme under discussion.  The statement of the debate was 'Religion is a threat to secular society'. The Priest concluded his views stating thus:
There are three truths: Yours, mine and the truth! 
It turns out to be a Chinese saying...  and very applicable to any point of contention.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Out to take care of the world...??

As part of the invitation drive I'm on, for our upcoming Seminary day and Jubilee of Fr Rector and Wilson, I met a certain Doctor who was very helpful and kind to one of our community member a couple of years ago.  He did nurture back one of our confreres with great skill and gentleness.  Of course, the confrere is no more in our community.  Unfortunately his health is deteriorating, mostly due to lack of proper assistance and follow up.  The first thing the good Doctor asked me when I met him was, "How is ________?" I didn't want to tell lies to him and told him that he's not in the best of health.  He certainly didn't look happy to hear that.  He made a very profound statement,
How can you people who claim to make other people's lives better and the whole world better, do so when you cannot properly take care of your own? 
When I told him that in religious life not all get to make all possible decisions, he understood the point and mellowed down a bit.  But his anguish was clear for anyone to see.  

Temperance in Work

Just today I received a mail from a very good spiritual guide and friend of mine.  He reminded me to take care of my health and not to over-work.  On a lighter note he reminded me that I should perhaps take seriously the modern reinterpretation of the traditional idea of work and temperance in the Salesian Constitution: Not 'Work and Temperance' but 'Temperance in work'!

That was really amusing.  I'm sure most traditional novice masters would cringe at that reinterpretation!  

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Castilino Clan

Good news from home this evening:
The Castilino clan just got bigger...
My sister-in-law gave birth to a baby girl today.
The exact time and sequence of events, I'm yet to come to know myself.
I'm away in Guwahati for a Brothers' meeting and that's how, I'm out of the loop.

Even when Chris (my nephew) was born, I was out of the reachable circle (I was in Bangalore taking some classes on Salesiana for a group of Salesians).

However, it will not be until January that I get to see my niece in person. And when I do, hopefully, I'll have completed all my major responsibilities for this academic year... hopefully!  One never knows!  
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