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Tej-Prasarini Silver Jubilee Celebrations
By Karen Laurie
Mumbai, Sep. 26. Tej-Prasarini - Don Bosco Communications - the publishing arm of the Salesian Province of Mumbai celebrated its Silver Jubilee with grandeur and enthusiasm with an event that included a series of dances, songs and a touch of Biblical magic at St. Andrew's Auditorium in Bandra on September 22.
(L-R) Father Joaquim Fernandes, Director of Tej-Prasarini, Our Chief Guest His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, Bishop Dominic Savio and Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai
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The presence of Cardinal Oswald Gracias - as the Chief Guest - reflected the importance of the event, as the Cardinal, alongside Bishop Dominic Savio and Father Savio Silveira - the Guests of Honour - lauded the team of Tej-Prasarini - under the able guidance of Father Joaquim Fernandes, the Director - for their contribution to the field of communication, not just at a Salesian level but in the Diocese of Bombay too.

Tej took root in 1992 - under guidance of Father Peter Gonsalves - as an audio-cassette production centre, producing five recordings with Christian songs and drama to meet the spiritual needs of the poor people of Maharashtra.  As they say 'the rest is history'.

The audience, on Friday included bishops, religious and well-wishers, who took their seats in the auditorium at 7pm for an extravaganza that lasted over two hours. Youth from the Mazzarello Youth Centre, Wadala set the tone for the evening with a welcome prayer dance entitled 'Gata Rahe Mera Dil'. The boarders from St. Dominic Savio High School, Andheri then inspired the audience with a song entitled 'Let your light shine'.

Father Fernandes, the brain behind the functioning of 'Tej' since he took the reins in 2006, addressed the gathering. He stressed on the importance of media in society today, reflecting upon how Saint Don Bosco himself set the tone of spreading the light through the written word, through his various publications.  

''It's never too late to refurbish old dreams, to dust them off and dare to dream again,'' Father Fernandes said, while looking to the future of 'Tej' as it's affectionately called. ''All it requires is a new vision and renewed enthusiasm to bring the original version to fulfilment.

In a specially published jubilee souvenir, Father Fernandes summed up his success mantra for Tej in the future. 'Nothing is more valuable than our integrity, for in doing so we might lose out on the immediate situation by refusing to compromise, but the long-term benefits of being known for honesty far outweigh the losses,'' he wrote.

Following his address, Father Fernandes ushered the Cardinal and the other guests to the dais for a felicitation ceremony that recognised 'team Tej' for their contribution to the organisation's continued success. Father Silveira, the Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Province, first lauded Tej and Father Fernandes for their efforts in spreading the light through a host of communication mediums.  

Cardinal Gracias echoed a similar sentiment in his address, thanking Father Fernandes and his team for their contribution to not just Salesians but the Diocese over the years. ''It's an importance milestone that offers an opportunity to look back on the distance travelled and to look forward to the journey that lies ahead,'' Cardinal Gracias, said, adding, ''I am confident that they will face the challenges of the future with courage, confidence, commitment and competence. I pray for them and invoke God's blessings on all associated with Tej-Prasarini.''  

The special souvenir entitled, 'Celebrating the Legacy of Radiating Light' was then released by the Cardinal, before the staff of Tej were felicitated. Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial of the Salesian Province of Bombay, distributed certificates to those who had successfully completed the Master Your Mind course conducted by D P Mahesha, the founder of Mastermind International in association with Tej.

Throughout the evening special mention was made to Late Nicholas Peris, the marketing Manager of Tej for the last 25 years, who passed away in July 2017. He was part of the core planning team for the jubilee celebrations and was present in the initial planning meeting for the same. His daughter, Cecilia Vaz, a professional pianist, with varied experience around the world, took the stage to honour her late father with a piano recital.

A medley of Tej-Prasarini music productions- since its inception- in Marathi and English was conducted by Amon Daniels. Father Ivan Madtha then left the audience spell bound with his Bible-themed magic show. He used a mix of music, humour and colourful props to grip the audience with a series of magic tricks that reflected on Biblical messages. Father Madtha, a survivor of a train accident in 2012, when he lost his left arm and injured his leg, inspired the audience with his life testimony.  

The Faith and Harmony choir conducted by Bosco Rodrigues brought the curtain down on the event, with a series of hymns, which included 'God Still Loves the World', penned by Father Peter Gonsalves, the Founder of Tej.

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