Don Bosco's Madonna Magazine


Editor : Rev. Fr. Ian Doulton SDB

Printed by Rev. Fr. Edwin D'Souza SDB

Published by Rev. Fr. Edwin D'Souza SDB, on behalf of Bombay Salesian Society

Printed at St. Paul Press Training School, 58/23rd Road, TPS III, Bandra Mumbai 400050.

Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna,

Matunga, Mumbai 400019. INDIA.

Tel / Fax : (91-22) 2 4146320

E-Mail : dbmshrine@gmail.com

Website : http://www.donboscosmadonna.org

History of the Don Bosco's Madonna Magazine

Which Catholic periodical in English has the widest circulation in India today? There's no prize for guessing the answer "The Don Bosco's Madonna!"Disseminated from the Shrine office at Matunga once every month, This magazine reaches 95,000 homes and institutions : 82,000 in India and 12,500 in India and abroad.. and the number keeps growing steadily every year.

The brainchild of Fr. Aurelius Maschio, the Don Bosco's Madonna was launched in 1937. It first appeared in the form of a two-page folder that gradually developed into a 16-page booklet (including the covers). In 1960, it had grown into 28 pages (including the covers). in 1964, the cover pages began to appear in 4-clour print, then in 1971, the magazine reached its present size of 36 pages. Finally in 1990 there was a qualitative leap with the switching over from Linotype to offset printing and computerized formatting.

Fr. Maschio himself was the founder-editor of the magazine and he guarded his editorial rights even later as the publisher of the magazine. Even when Fr. Antonio Alesi became its declared editor and publisher in 1976 it was Fr. Maschio who screened everything that went into print. And so it continued till 1990, when after three years of editorship, Fr. Joseph Moja came into the open as the registered editor of the Madonna, and claimed a reasonable amount of autonomy in his task as editor.

Over the past 60 years of its existence, the Madonna can claim a large share of the credit for the updating of the Catholic family with news and views of the church. Thanks to the Madonna there has been a phenomenal rise in the devotion to Mary Help of Christians and to St. John Bosco.

Among the earliest regular contributors were Frs. Peter Gatti and Dennis Duarte of happy memory. More recent contributors are Frs. Erasto Fernandes, J. Pimenta and Vincent Vaz.. all of them highly appreciated, thanks to their readable and popular style.

The line that the Madonna pursues is certainly not theologically trendy. On the contrary, not a few critics have berated the pietism that is writ large all over its pages. And yet, there is something here that immediately touches the heard of the ordinary Catholic! The reason for the popularity of the Madonna, I believe, is its constant striving to be a Catholic Family Magazine.. Ever seeking to instruct, to inform, to encourage, to exhort.. through its articles, letters, stories, photographs, illustrations, and even its jokes.

In fact, the Madonna is sort of minor miracle in itself. No subscription fees are charged; no advertisements are allowed and yet, the contributions that come in, more than cover the cost of printing and postage.

Former Editor Fr. Joseph Moja was a worthy inheritor of Fr. Maschio's mantle. He had been editing the Madonna almost single-handedly over the past decade, through sickness and health, conscientiously seeing to it that a new issue is out before the beginning of every month.

"What are your hopes for the Madonna?" I once had the occasion to ask Fr. Moja. Quick came the reply: To have an editorial board working on this project! Its too much for one man and an old one at that to handle. Fr. Moja would like to see more pages of the Madonna telling real life stories of ordinary Indian Christians in a manner that inspires.

How much the Madonna is worth, can be gauged from this little conversation that took place some years ago. Fr. Moja once asked Fr. Maschio: "Just suppose for the sake of fantasy , that everything you have done in Bombay is destroyed in some great catastrophe. With what would you start again?" Without a moment's hesitation Fr. Maschio replied: "With the Don Bosco's Madonna!"

- Fr Kenneth Pereira.

The Present Editor of the Madonna is Fr. Ian Doulton.