Sunday, 30 June 2013


June 24-25, 2013: At the early invitation of Sr. Jyotsna, FSMA, Principal of St. Mary's Convent Secondary High School - Ajmeer, the AVEC team were able to travel all the way to Ajmeer, for the first time outside the Archdioceses of mumbai, to animate Ninety Eight Teachers of the school for a period of two days, June 24-25, 2013. The theme for the Two days was: 'Alignment with Commitment' and "Management By Values" (MBV). Sr. Jyotsna, Principal, welcomed Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes to the school and wished the teachers the best as they prepared themselves for the new scholastic year.
 The start of each day's session began with a Prayer Song: 'Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu' and 'Dil Ke Mandir Mei'. Both the songs set the spiritual tone to the day's proceedings. Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes, Program Coordinator of AVEC, began the session with a fantasy meditation that coupled breathing with connecting to everyday life. These moments for deep silence and rhythmic breathing added a sense of calm and relaxation too. He then introduced Fr. Glenn to the participants.
The whole two days focused on a number of relevant topics and with the help of a PowerPoint presentation, and everyday life situations, Fr. Lowe was able to hold the audience spell bound all through. Deep insights and humour blended well. The topics touched upon were: The Perspective Changes needed to Act Differently, the Psychological Climate necessary for Commitment and Alignment to: one's institution; one's profession; students' development and Team Work. He enabled the teachers to clarify certain presumptions and remove some mindsets  that were 'routine-bound' rather than 'Rhythm led'.
The teachers were also invited to enter the 'World of the Youth' today and to understand the values that either guide them or distract them. Focusing on six major pain points of the young today, the teachers were able to connect and understand their role as 'significant value gurus' in the lives of the young to lead the away for the 'darkness' into the 'light of living a Value based life'. He then invited the teachers to look at their own lifestyle and to evaluate the words they speak. Words are expressions of the lifestyle we live and values are the underlying force that trigger our perception of life and the world around us.
With the help of the 'Brian Hall - Benjamin Tonna Value Map, the teachers were able to gauge themselves and to understand their call to be more significant by making a Value Shift in their lives. The exercise was really helpful and one could see the sense of attention and eagerness to know more and more so, to put it into practice. Many of the teachers too came forward to share their personal concerns and need for greater commitment in the educative journey of the young. On behalf of the Management and teachers, Mrs. Denis Mendonza proposed the vote of thanks. Gifts of appreciation were also presented to the speakers.
 The following words of appreciation were recorded in the AVEC log book:
“It was a great pleasure having you Fr. Glenn and making us realize how important our ‘word’ is for the students. Thank you very much”- Mr. Anthony Coelho (behalf of gent staff)

“The session was highly challenging and creatively innovative with a new approach and outlook. I feel greatly privileged to have been a part of it” – Jasjeet K. Vilkhu
 “Thank you for helping me to know and understand myself a little better. I’m sure, because of this session, I’ll be able to make my students’ life more worthwhile. Good luck and God’s blessings for enriching thousands of more lives” – Sharon Everett
“The entire session was very informative. Beautiful example helped in understanding the topic well. Through your session I came to know about the ‘world of the young’ – it will definitely help me to understand this better” – Kavita Mathew
 “Thanks a lot for helping us think in a different way which is more wide and beneficial for our students as well as our own self. Definitely your wonderful contribution to the society will make the world a better place of high values”- Swati Banerju
“I am thankful to God that I got to hear you and know things which were alien to us. Before hearing you I thought I was a person of great imagination but soon I realized that my world was actually very small. But as you said there is always hope and scope, so I promise, I’ll widen my vision and see the world and my own family and will contribute to it as much as possible. I thank you once again” – Snigdha Yoby
 “The experience has been an enlightening one. Thank you so.. so… much for bringing to the fore the many thoughts that had existed but… in the subconscious mind. Thank you for lightening up the path into the World ‘Heart’ of the young. I’m sure it will help me to understand them better and help them” – Elvira Fernandez
“Thank you very much for making our days significant. These two days were very very useful for us. We learnt a lot from you. You made us to look at things in a different way. Your wisdom will surely benefit us. Hope I would be able to contribute positively and effectively to my people and the institution. Thank you once again” – Ketaki S

Thanks to the management and the Teaching staff for your constant attentiveness and participation in the two day Value Orientation program.
God bless you all as you accompany the young minds towards fullness of life.

Monday, 24 June 2013


June 20, 2013: For the first time in its four year history, the AVEC were able to conduct a full day's Value Education Teachers' Orientation Program for Ninety Eight teachers from St. Joseph's High School - Bandra. Thanks to the invitation by Sr. Blanche, Principal of the school. The theme for the Value Orientation Program was 'Management By Values' (MBV). On behalf of the school management, Ms. Malica D'Mello, Primary school teacher, welcomed the guests to the school and also took the time to introduce Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Fernandes.
Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes began the session inviting the teachers to join in a Prayer Song 'Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu' - imploring God's auspiciousness, health, prosperity, blessings and peace on one and all at the start of the new scholastic year 2013-14. Mr. Fernandes also introduced the teachers to a short moment of fantasy meditation that involved the awareness of one's body and breath and inhaling all that was 'life enhancing' while exhaling all that was 'toxic and destructive'. He then presented a brief report of the AVEC activities for the year 2012-13. He once again introduced Fr. Glenford Lowe and hope that the session would be a moment of grace and renewal for all.
 Fr. Glenford Lowe in his characteristic creative style, blending with a touch of humour and a lot of thought provoking questions, challenged the teachers of the school to embrace a new perspective so as to have a new procedural outcome. "What you see, is what you get", he kept repeating. With the help of a PowerPoint presentation packed with personal examples and down to earth everyday classroom moments, he was able to bring flashbacks of how the 'words' we speak in class reflect our values and our lifestyle priorities too. In a very subtle way, he presented the world of the young today and their pain points and value systems. "Until we understand and enter the world of the young, we would have no impact in our educational journey with them", he stressed.
The second part of the Orientation program focused on the power of WORD. Values are often hidden behind the words we use. Our lifestyle is a reflection of the values we uphold and that are dear to us. There are four types of lifestyle we live: from the level of Survival, to Stability, to Success, and then finally, to Significance. Using the three fold intersection of Focus, Capabilities and Will, the teachers were able to gauge where they stood in relationship to the alignment of Personal and institutional Values. 
 The third part of the session focused on the Brian Hall- Benjamin Tonna Value Map. Each participant was asked to identify their 'Goal Values' and their 'Means values' and to plot them on the Value map. In the end, Fr. Glenford made some very insightful comments and reflections on the way each one views the world and how we respond to it by the level of our value consciousnesses. He helped to teachers to make the effort to align 'Goal Values' with that of the 'Means values' and to also understand the importance of Value Skills development. He helped the teachers to understand the world of the young and how their value systems and view of life prevent them from maturing in the process. 'Education to Becoming' becomes a lot more difficult and fragmented as a result.
At the end of the session, Teacher Sibil Pereira, proposed the vote of thanks and appreciation to the AVEC team. A few of the teachers took the time to write their words of appreciation in the AVEC log book:
"An awakening session for teachers. Thank you for this session. It was an eye-opening session. Well done, and keep up the good work" - Ms. Malica D'Mello
 "A morning well spent. I'm grateful to you for giving me and my colleagues a great chance to know ourselves and our students better. thank you once again and God bless you always" - Candida Britto
"Keep up the good work and a very successful heart transplant. God bless you" - Genevieve Fernandes
"The entire session was very good. The concept of WORDS, even though is experienced in our daily life, was not that important until you cleared it to us in a very unusual way. Thank you father and we will definitely try to change our world" - Ashnima Andrades


June 21-22, 2013: ninety Three students along with four teachers were privileged to go up to the hills of Khandala, during this rainy season, for an annual retreat for the students of Standard Ten. Fr. Glenford Lowe sdb, Director of Don Bosco Youth Services and Archdiocesan Value Education Centre preached the retreat.  The theme for the retreat was ' Life is sacred, Live it abundantly'.
The natural settings: the mighty waterfalls, the lush greenery, the deep ravines and the cool misty winds added to the prayerful atmosphere. The students were very well disposed to learn and be challenged on various aspects of life and of making a worthy contribution to the world. The first session focused on the 'Sacredness of Life". With the help of a hand out and personal testimonies, Fr. Glenford was able to draw the attention of the students to their personal life journey: The PAST, the PRESENT and the FUTURE. "Every retreat is an opportunity to withdraw into the depths of one's past, draw inspiration and wisdom to realign one's present with the glorious future that beckons each one", he added. It was interesting to see the students share the story of their life with each other and also in small groups. 
In the next session, the students were invited to review their life in the context of a 'RIVER ME' metaphor. Identifying fourteen different stages of the River and comparing it with one's own journey from Conception to final destination was a very fruitful and deep reflective moment. They even took time to share their own personal journey in small groups and some even were courageous enough to step in front and share their life's history. With the heaving rain lashing on the window panes and rooftops, the silent moments for reflection were often interrupted. Nevertheless, the students really took the time to reflect and share their own faith journeys.
In the evening, the students were divided into eight groups, representing their various house colours. The various Values that were taught during the day's sessions were now enacted through skits and songs. It was interesting to see how the students used the medium of drama and song to communicate some very important Values that uphold the sacredness of life and the investment of of time too. 
The following morning's mediation focused on the importance of Prayer. Fr. Glenford Lowe, with the help of a lot of personal testimonies, enabled the students look at prayer not as a 'beggar-king' model but as a personal loving relationship. Miracle happen when faith meets a deep sense of relationship, expressed through an intimate prayer life that is sincere and true. He took time also to help the students to focus on personal commitments for the future. He then said the final prayer and blessed the students

At the end of the session, the students took time to thank Fr. Glenford Lowe for the the wonderful experience and promised to Make a Difference in life.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Two hundred and twenty students of Standard X (A-D), from Our lady of Good Health High School - Sahar, were fortunate to have the AVEC team right at the start of their scholastic year 2013-14, to conduct a full two day's Value Orientation program. Fr. Nobert D'Souza, Principal of the school, welcomed the speakers Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes to their school.This orientation program took place in the Parish Church. "First things first, here we want to place the emphasis on Values right at the start of the school year," said the new Principal.
The theme for the two day's program was: 'Lead Your Life By a Value Compass'. "Due to the various choices we make that are not value based, we have often traded our value compass for something less valuable, and as a result, we are lost along the path of life. Resetting our Value Compass is essential if we are to go beyond mere survival," said Fr. Glenford Lowe. Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes took over by inviting the students to join in the prayer song 'Saveshaam Swastir Bhavatu',  imploring God's auspiciousness, peace, fullness and health upon all. 
The students were then guided into a rhythmic breathing session that also enabled them to journey into their own past school life and inhale everything that was life-enhancing and exhale every thing that was toxic and a distraction to their educative journey. Mr. Fernandes then introduced Fr. Glenford and wished the students a fruitful experience.
Through the use of a PowerPoint Presentation, coupled with a lot of humor and yet, full of challenging insights and personal reflective moments, Fr. Glenford was able to draw the attention of the students for the next three and a half hours on their personal response to the gift of life and time. "Setting new perspectives in life is the path to doing new things in life. What you perceive, is what you achieve", he kept reminding them. He added, "Challenge yourself to see beyond, dream big and let your value compass guide you there."
The students were asked to check out their favorite 'excuses' and their 'most meaningful questions asked'. "Excuse is not a value. As a young student, you have to transcend asking mere 'survival questions' and move towards asking more 'meaningful questions'. This is what makes your life more meaningful and valuable", he said. He then presented twelve important Diamond Values to be kept in mind: The value of a 'Winners' Attitude', working in a TEAM, Communicating Effectively, Gaining Confidence, Working Creatively, Multitasking, Self motivation, Being Truthful and Accountable, Living a Balanced Life and finally having a sense of Abundance. "I don't promise you a problem free journey, but I can assure you of a more meaningful one, if you have your value compass at hand", he promised them.
 At the end of the session, many of the students came forward to write their words of appreciation in the AVEC log book:
"Awesome session for all students who cannot cope with their life and learning process" - A. Shaikh
"Today's seminar was very heart rendering. We learnt many values from this session" -  Bhagyashree,  X

"I really wanted someone to guide me on my way and to make me feel that I can do it. And, 'yeah' I was very happy when we were told that we would have a seminar. The teachings, the songs and talks were awesome. I will always cherish the things that I've learned in this seminar" - Carol Braggs, X
"I am very happy after attending this seminar. It gave me good knowledge on how to act in life, how to be a successful person too. i am thankful to Fr. Glenn for visiting our school" - Mala Narwani, X
"I liked the seminar very much. It was a heart touching moment for us all. I got the way to walk my life now. Fr. Glenn explained the topic very well. We the students of Std X - A/B liked it very much. Thanks on behalf of all the students" -  Inderjeet Gurjar
"I liked the seminar very much. the message that gave us challenged us to live life better" - Rajesh Patil, X
"This was a heart touching seminar for me. It was good for us students as we understand that life is very valuable. This was ans awesome seminar in all my school days" -  Prem Patel X
"I am in std X. I loved the pleasant talk that Fr. Glenn gave us. I had a fruitful experience and we are want to thank you for coming here" - Clyde DSouza
"I liked the new knowledge that was given to us. I had a good experience. Iliked the session as a class which taught me many good things. I also experienced the right way to help others" -  Mamta Rawat X-D
 "This seminar had a great impact on me. I had an amazing experience. It has changed the way I look at my life" - Shefali Kale X-C
"I loved this seminar that gave me a lot of valuable knowledge about life and good things. I loved this session very much" - Sakshi Borse X-C
"I liked your session very much. It was a very interesting seminar. I learnt many different values. Thank you Fr. Glenford" -  Ram Patel X-C
"It was an awesome seminar that was held here. I liked it very much" - Bipin Patel X-D
"Fr. Glenn you are awesome! I enjoyed the seminar. I will get in touch for more information about life. Just loved it... You made my day!" - Dahlin D'Souza
"Today, was an awesome day in my life" -  Ashok Patel X-C

Monday, 17 June 2013


June 17, 2013: A very warm welcome was accorded to Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes, by the management of Holy Cross High School, Lower Parel.  The Principal, Sr. Lali Sebastian welcomed the guest speakers at the start of this scholastic year, 2013-14 and invited Fr. Consancio Nazareth, Manager of the School to present floral bouquets to the AVEC team. Fifty four teachers took part in the one day Teachers' Value Orientation Program. 
Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes introduced the topic of the day, "Management By Values" (MBV) and then took the teachers through a short but very fruitful fantasy meditation that enabled the participants to relax, while concentrating on their rhythmic breathing. The fresh breeze and the falling rains added to the experience. He then presented the AVEC report for the scholastic year 2012-13. The prayer Son was presented after the break due to a slight technical problem with the audio. 
Fr. Glenford Lowe, Director AVEC then started the session on 'Management By Values'. The whole session involved looking into the world of the young, listening to one's words and world view of reality and trying to align with the values of the institution. Fr. Glenn helped the teachers to connect with their own children at home and to understand the six main pain points of the young. "Only when we get into the heart of the young person, will they be able to leave through the door of the teacher's heart", he stressed. Only a 'caring teaching' who is value based can make the difference in their lives. 
The WORDS we speak often advertise our inner values and lifestyle. By taking stock of the 'ten most favorite' words used be a teacher in class and resetting them by a higher view of life, it would change one's world too. The session of aligning one's personal values with that of the institutional values was a nice opportunity to see whether one lives only on the level of 'survival' or is able to move up the ladder of 'stability' to 'success' and to being more 'significant'. 
In the final part of the session, the teachers were asked to plot their Value map based on Goal Values and Mean Values. The session was an opportunity to find out at which phase of Value consciousness they were and what needed to be done at a personal and community level. The understand of the various 'skills development' was also an eye opener. Through the use of simple everyday examples, the teachers were able to understand better how are values enable us top filter all that happens around us. 
At the end of the session, many teachers took the time to write the words of appreciation. On behalf of the management and teachers, the Deputy Headmistress proposed the vote of thanks.
"A very inspiring session. It has really helped us to realize our self worth as individuals too" - Tr. Fernandes
 "A well delivered session. Thank you for helping us understand ourselves better. Keep up your good work" - Tr. Pinto
 "A though pondering session. Gives us a better insight into dealing with the students in our class" -
 "A very warm up session at the start of the year... It really inspired us" -
Thanks to Fr. Nazareth and Sr. Lali for all the arrangements and for making the time available at the start of this year for this all important Value Education Orientation program. be blessed always.