Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016


(Remembering my priest companion on his death anniversary...Here is the sermon of the funeral mass celebrated by our then provincial Fr. Tony D'Souza sdb)



Dear Confreres,

Once again death has struck our Province and a little down the rungs of our ladder, claiming this time a young priest of seven years, our dear Fr. Anand Dalmet, at the age of thirty-eight.

It was the 9th October 1997, Fr. Anand had travelled overnight by train to Jaitala, Nagpur to the Church of Our Lady of Fatima to preach at the novena service. He preached on devotion to Mary and urged the people to find their hope and Joy in the family rosary. Informed about an elderly sick parishioner, he volunteered to carry Holy communion to the sick person accompanied by Sister Isabel of the Fatima Sisters Congregation. On  his return back while driving across on the Nagpur Highway at 8:15 p.m., he was run over by a speeding truck.  Sr. Isabel fell off the bike and sustained fractures in the arm and leg and is recovering in the government hospital in Nagpur. For Fr. Anand It was instant death but it was also I believe instant Life ! Fr. Anand died with Jesus, in fact, from his lifeless body I lifted the pix which contained Holy Communion.

With these last acts of ministry, Fr. Anand concluded his service as a priest in Jaitala, the very place where he began seven years ago.

St. Paul in 2 Timothy says:
Here is a saying that you can rely on:
If we have died with him, then we shall live with him,
If we hold firm, then we shall reign with him.    (2Tim 2:8,11)

Born on 20th September 1959 at Bassein, his parents Braz-Anton and Merciana brought him up in a holy family of christian faith. He was baptised on 11th October 1959 at Nirmal, Bassein, and received the sacrament of Confirmation on 26th March 1970. He entered the Salesian aspirantate in Borivli from 1972 to 1975 and later was transferred to the aspirantate to Lonavla from 1975 to 1978. While still a student, at home, he completed his Junior college and picked up tailoring as a trade.  He entered the Salesian novitiate at Nashik on 24th May 1978 and professed on 24th May 1979 in Nashik. During his studies of philosophy in Yercaud, Madras, he was privileged to receive the cassock from the hands of the Rector Major, the late Rev. Fr. Egidio Vigano.

After completing his practical training in the houses of Don Bosco Matunga and Don Bosco Borivli, he made his perpetual profession on 24th May 1986. He completed his theological studies from 1986 to 1990 in Kristu Jyoti College Bangalore and was ordained a priest by Simon Cardinal Pimenta on 1st April 1990 in Vasai. He was appointed in Jaitala, Nagpur, as Assistant Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima Church, and Vice Principal of St. Joseph’s High School. After three years of zealous ministry in Jaitala, he spent a year in St. Dominic Savio’s Boys’ Home Andheri as Prefect of Studies, and in 1994 he took charge as Vice-Rector of the community and Principal of Don Bosco High School Yervada Pune. The life of Fr. Anand Dalmet though brief leaves behind very many happy memories in grateful hearts among his family members, his confreres and the youth and people he cared for. He came across to us all as a strong and well built Salesian and more than his looks, his gentle personality attracted us to make friends with him. Though a bit shy and reserved by nature, he made great effort to reach out a helping hand to people and youth in need even at the cost of sacrifice.

As a Salesian religious, he lived a very exemplary life and related with much respect towards  his superiors and confreres. Fr. Anand was a man of unassuming ways and simplicity. He was very popular among the confreres who enjoyed poking fun at him and always got away with a smile from Anand. There were times when he did feel hurt but he never kept a grudge.

His obedience to his superiors was characteristic of a man of faith. There were moments in his life when misunderstandings crossed his path but he turned to God in prayer and found strength  in Jesus. There was much of the human in Fr. Anand and his tastes for the little joys of life stayed with him till the end.

He had a strong sense of duty and fulfilled his responsibilities in the best way possible. As Principal, he was concerned about discipline but then his kind heart always got the better of him on many occasions. His students both in Jaitala and Pune mourn the loss of a friend and loving Principal. The school staff appreciated his sincerity and understanding ways.

There was a little touch of elegance in Fr. Anand. A slight look of seriousness in his face but he couldn’t help hiding his friendliness and humility, preferring to suffer in silence rather than hurting anyone. His sense of humour could be read more in his eyes than on his lips. We shall miss that smile that we all remember as a smile of a priest gentle and understanding, compassionate and concerned, a smile behind which he also carried bravely his little hurts and disappointments of life. We shall remember him as a young, exuberant Salesian with a radiating smile that spoke of his love for Jesus and the Church, for Don Bosco and the Salesian Congregation and for poor simple people and our youth.

We shall miss Fr. Anand  very much. Our hopes seem shattered but our faith in God assures us that he is with Jesus and that he will continue to stay with us and obtain for us His choicest Blessings.

Unlike the young man of the gospel who asked, ‘Lord, what must I do to gain eternal life?’  Fr. Anand  responded promptly to the call of Jesus to follow Him leaving everything behind and  follow Him he did,  faithfully and enthusiastically as a Salesian Priest of Don Bosco.

True to His word, Jesus has granted him Eternal Life earlier perhaps than anyone of us expected. We surrender ourselves to God’s will and pray ‘ Fr. Anand may you be Anand forever.’



Monday, October 13, 1997 
                                                              Fr. Tony D’Souza sdb


Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Lord, forgive me for getting used to seeing children who seem to be eight years old and are really thirteen.
Lord, forgive me for getting used to sloshing around in the mud. I can leave, they can't.
Lord, forgive me for learning to put up with contaminated water. I can get away from it, they can't.
Lord, forgive me whenever I switch on the light and forget that they can't.
Lord, I can go on a hunger strike but not they; how can the hungry go on a hunger strike?
Lord, forgive me for telling them that "not by bread alone does man live" and not fighting all out for their bread.
Lord, I want to love them for them, and not for me.
Help me. Lord, I dream of dying for them: Help me to live for them.
Lord, I want to be with them when the light comes. Help me.

Prayer of Carlos Mugica (d. May 11,1974), member of the Movement of Priests for the Third World in Argentina, liberation martyr, incorruptible prophet of the dispossessed, murdered by those who fear to face a people free from oppression 

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Remembering what happened this day 15 years ago:
(From the Provincial Circular regarding the killing of Frs. Fr. Raphael Paliakara and two others Fr. Andreas Kindo and a young cleric, Bro. Shinu Varghese which took place on 15 May 2001 at Ngarian, Manipur.)
“Two armed men in combat fatigues appeared at the gate of the Salesian Novitiate house at Ngarian at about 6.45 pm on 15 Tuesday, May 2001. The two armed men went near the kitchen by the side gate through the volleyball court. At gunpoint a domestic worker was told to call out the Fathers. The worker went in and informed Fr. Andreas Kindo. He went and informed Fr. Raphael who was giving a conference to the second year novices at that time. Fr. Raphael stopped the conference saying that he would return in tow minutes. He went out to meet the gunmen, together with Fr. Andreas.”
“Fr. Raphael came back shortly to tell the novices that the day’s conference was closed and asked them to go to the study hall, and to remain there without leaving the place. The novices saw him going to the chapel, where he remained a minute or two, and then came out into the volleyball court to talk to them again. After a lengthy discussion Fr. Raphael went into his office, apparently to collect money from there. As reported by the worker when he returned, the gunmen said that the sum was not sufficient. Fr. Andreas went into the house again. The novices saw him counting money as he rejoined the group in the volleyball court.”
“For the next 45 minutes, the four of them were engaged in a discussion. In the mean time the worker went to the front side of the building and saw white Maruti van parked at the road a with a man inside and another gunman dressed in casuals on guard at the gate.”
Fr. Andreas Kindo

“When the worker returned to the scene, he overheard one of the gunmen asking Fr. Raphael to bring out all the novices and separate them into locals and non-locals. The Master told them: ‘They are young boys. Why call them out. What you want from them, you tell me, and I will inform them.’ As all this going on, Bro. Shinu was watching the whole incident through the window of the dining hall, adjacent to the volleyball court. He also went to the study hall several times asking the novices to remain inside the study hall.”
“After a while, the gunman asked the worker to call the brother. The brother came out and followed the conversation for about ten minutes. It was now 7.50 pm. The novices were in the chapel for their personal prayer. They heard a shot from the road. Immediately after that, the gunmen at point blank range opened fire with their AK-47 at Fr. Raphael. As he fell to the ground, Fr. Andreas who bent forward to help Fr. Raphael was also sprayed with bullets. At this Bro. Shinu moved forward crying. The gunmen shot him, too, several times. Three martyrs in one pool of blood. ‘If two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.’ The young men waited till their mission was accomplished, to their full satisfaction. Then they took the money that was given them and walked away. And it was night!”
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“The twelve second year Novices and the fifteen new ones who had just arrived at Ngarian on 8 May 2001, were left totally alone in a state of paralyzing fear. ‘They will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ No, not they. They stood by their master, Socius and their Assistant. Now it was quick action – two novices, one old and one new, together with two workers, ran across the paddy field to the nearby Yairipok Parish, and informed Fr. George Malayil, the Parish Priest what had happened in their hearing, and what they had seen. The rest carried their Master, Socius and Assistant into the house…bullet wounds all over the body, blood oozing out, drenching their minds more than the campus… and they waited – frightened, crying, praying. For them, all doors seemed shut. ‘If they have done it to a green tree, what about the dry wood?’ The young novices who were eight days away from their first commitment to daily martyrdom, and those who just walked in looking forward to a year of prayer, seemed to hear those words of Jesus. If only what they witnessed was not true. If only what they saw could be changed.”
“The confreres from Chingmeirong came in, to take the place of the three Martyrs, to shepherd the fledglings. The bodies were shifted to the nearby Yairipok Police station for the formalities, and then to the RIMS for the post mortem. No bullet was found. Shots fired at point blank range had pierced through their meek bodies."
“Why did the assailants do such an irrevocable act? Was it for money? Or was it, that they thought it is better that these men die for the nation – that the system may fail, the Church and the Province will be shaken to their roots?”

The blood of the martyrs, we believe and hope, is the seeds of the Church and the Kingdom of God...Thank you for your witness - Pray that we are able to stand up for Christ and the Kingdom...

Sunday, January 3, 2016