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Salesian World News (ANS-Rome)

RMG – Book published: "The Salesian Family of Don Bosco"

3 days 4 hours ago

(ANS - Rome) - In the celebration of the World Advisory Council (Consulta) of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, invited to prepare a new edition of the book "The Salesian Family of Don Bosco", considering also that the previous edition of the year 2000 was by now outdated, deprived as it was of the presence of the new groups that had in the meantime entered the Family of Don Bosco. Fr Á.F. Artime also pointed out how this ecclesial entity had made a long and rich journey, with very significant changes. For this reason it seemed not only appropriate, but also necessary to produce a new edition of this precious volume, now finally available.

The preparation for the new edition started from the inspiration of the Rector Major. Some members of the Secretariat for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Fr Giuseppe Casti, Fr Jayapalan Raphael, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni and Fr Joan Lluís Playá, made this commitment, and after a long and laborious process the final text was reached. The coordination work carried out by Fr Jayapalan was decisive for the success of the work done. The continuous inspiration and orientation of the Rector Major allowed us to walk confidently towards concrete goals.

To respond to the universality of the Salesian Family, the book was translated into French, English, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish from the original Italian edition. A significant number of people contributed to the translation, who worked with dedication and competence.

"The re-edition of the book helps us to better understand the vitality of a charismatic Family of the Church that grows significantly, both quantitatively and qualitatively. One easily becomes aware that the significant increase in groups shows the current relevance of the Salesian charism. This surprising growth is accompanied by a continuous change in each of the groups, it reflects the depth of the response that Don Bosco's family is giving to the challenges of an era, like ours, in constant evolution. The book expresses the journey of the Salesian Family to the constant calls of God, following the path marked by Don Bosco," commented Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family.

The recipients of the book are first of all the members of the Groups of the Salesian Family, even if it also wants to be a tool to make the Salesian Family visible in the Church and in society.

"We hope," concludes Fr Muñoz, "that these pages are one more reason to thank God for the priceless gift of the Salesian Family to society and the Church. The content of the book becomes an invitation to answer to God with fidelity. We participate in a sacred history, marked by numerous testimonies of holiness, where Mary Help of Christians continues to work miracles, accompanying our response to the vocation received and to the continuous demands of our recipients."

Book (Italian)

  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
  • Famiglia Salesiana
  • Eusebio Muñoz
  • Libri e Pubblicazioni
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Argentina – Map of Salesian hope for poor suffering from Covid-19

    3 days 4 hours ago
    Argentina – Map of Salesian hope for poor suffering from Covid-19

    (ANS - Argentina) - Argentina is suffering from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Salesians have not been standing still. In different parts of the country, Salesian works are dealing with the health and social emergency: they prepare and deliver meals, produce alcoholic gels and masks, bring supplies to poor families. The message sent by the Rector Major - "I believe these are moments to be lived with a great sensitivity towards the poor" - has permeated the whole Salesian Family in the world.

    In Río Grande, sacks of food with fresh vegetables are being distributed in the city's working class neighborhoods. The Salesian mission of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians has a greenhouse; a group of teachers and Salesians has thus collected fresh vegetables from the greenhouse and took them to one of the chapels in the "Margen Sur" area, where the most “popular” housing blocks and neighborhoods are located.

    In Almagro, a district of Buenos Aires, the only thing that continues to function for the Salesian work is the refectory. There, every day, food is prepared for 150 people, about 35 families. “But then to these families who habitually attend the refectory there are others from the school and youth groups who need a hand and who also receive bags of food,” reports the Director General of the work, Federico Tirelli. In total, more than 250 people are benefited every day.

    In Rosario, the Salesian work produces alcoholic disinfectant gel and masks and prepares to bring food to people living on the street. The Salesian work "San José" is located in Rosario's city center, where it is estimated that there are over 500 people living on the street, and many others in precarious conditions, among the most vulnerable in the event that the infection should spread. In the coming days, the Salesians have planned to distribute food to more than 500 people, organizing a network of volunteers, with all the necessary security measures.

    In Santiago del Estero the Salesians are delivering bags of food and supplies for the families of the slums. “We think of many people who survive every day based on what they collect working on the street,” says Fr Silvio Torres, the Director of the Salesian community. “For this reason, with the contributions of various companies and organizations and of the Province, we give families food parcels and educational material.”

    In Villa Itatí, in the municipality of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, where thousands of poor boys and young people live for whom the Salesians routinely spend their money, it was decided to keep the Salesian center open, so that young people can find a meal to nourish themselves.

    {gallery}Argentina - Speranza per poveri 2020{/gallery}

    • Argentina
    • ARN ARGENTINA NORD
    • ARS ARGENTINA SUD
    • Coronavirus
    • Solidarietà
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG – "We give assistance, we help, we accompany": verbs never forgotten by Salesians in Africa and America in the time of Covid-19

      3 days 4 hours ago

      (ANS - Rome) - The Salesians are preparing for the worst case scenario. Warned of the situation in Europe, those who participated in the 28th General Chapter in Turin, once they returned home, voluntarily placed themselves in quarantine. Some communities have suffered Salesian losses due to Covid-19, especially in Spain and Italy where there have been communities with many infected and hospitalizations. All over the world, the Salesian communities have suspended normal activities. They have closed courtyards, playgrounds, temples, classrooms; but they haven't locked themselves in. They continue to take care of young people and people in difficulty, they continue to take care of them, to help and to accompany.

      Governments have taken measures ranging from the ban on movement to the closure of borders and the ban on public activities. “What is clear is that this pandemic is worsening the living conditions of already poor people. They are caught between uncertainty and fear,” says Fr Jacob, a Salesian missionary in Sudan.

      Yet in every country across the globe, the Salesians have been asking themselves the same question, the result of the fear that the pandemic will cause a humanitarian catastrophe. How will it be possible for that large mass of people who live in an underground economy to survive, people who, if they do not go out into the street, do not have enough to feed themselves?

      Coronavirus infections are on the rise in all countries of Africa and America. A paradigmatic case is Ecuador.

      The Salesian Hernán, from Benin, regrets that "due to health conditions, one will know that the coronavirus has arrived when there are deaths. In the parish, we are collecting food because when the crisis breaks out, the population will come to ask us for food," he says.

      From Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fr Domingo says that "we have 40 children with us who have no family and about 80 orphans."

      While from Mbuji-Mayi, Fr Mario Pérez assures that the Salesians are particularly concerned about cholera. "We live with 127 street children accused of witchcraft and more come every day."

      The concern of the Salesians is for street children, migrants and refugees.

      The biggest concern in Angola is the care of street children.

      Maximo, a Salesian brother, explains that “the government has asked us to welcome another hundred street children. Currently we already take care of almost 300 in different centers."
      Salesians in America also have a clear concern: "The most disadvantaged people, whose daily lives consist of what they receive on the street, and migrants and refugees in many countries," explains Juan Carlos Quirarte, coordinator of the Salesian America Social Network, which spans 19 countries.

      Source: "Misiones Salesianas" (Spain)

      {gallery}RMG - Solidarieta per COVID19 - 2020{/gallery}

      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
      • Solidarietà
      • Coronavirus
      • Povertà
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Chile – Salesian Solidarity in times of crisis: "This scenario calls us to not stand by"

        4 days 4 hours ago

        (ANS - Santiago de Chile) - The Provincial of the Salesians in Chile sent a letter to his Salesian confreres inviting solidarity and putting personal and community creativity at the service of the health emergency being experienced during this COVID-19 pandemic.

        As a concrete gesture of the commitment of the Salesian Province at this crucial moment, the retreat houses in Quilpué, Macul and Lo Cañas have made themselves available to the authorities of the Ministry of Health, as expressed by the Chilean Episcopal Conference in the letter published on 19 March of this year. In total, these are 175 beds that will certainly help in some way to face the crisis that Chile, like many other countries in the world, is facing today.

        In addition, the Provincial invited the Salesians to follow the directions of the authorities and to remain as much as possible within the communities. He also urged to intensify personal and community prayer, especially for those most affected by this pandemic: the sick, the elderly and health workers.

        "This scenario also calls us to action, we will not stand by, watching our people suffer; just as Don Bosco, our Father and Founder, faced the cholera epidemic in 1854, I invite you to put yourself in the hands of Mary's maternal help," said Fr Lira.

        Before ending his message, the Salesian encouraged his confreres to continue evangelizing and educating, exercising the pastoral ministry and the accompaniment of young people through digital media. In this sense, the Salesian Schools Network and the Silva Henriquez Catholic University (UCSH) offer a pedagogical accompaniment service.

        Finally, the Provincial of Chile concluded: "Let young people, their families and parishioners in general know that we are available online at any time for them."

        • Cile
        • CIL CILE
        • Solidarietà
        • Coronavirus
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Peru – UNHCR and Salesians united in favor of blocked migrants. "The poor will never find God indifferent"

          4 days 4 hours ago

          (ANS - Lima) - According to BBC World News, Peru is the country with the largest impulse project in Latin America against Covid-19. On April 1, the Ministry of Health of Peru confirmed that 47 people died from Covid-19, 1,323 confirmed cases and 198 people hospitalized. Despite the extremely difficult situation, the Peruvian government has not forgotten the poor or migrants who have been blocked. "In dialogue with the Salesian Congregation and with the permission of the Superior, Fr Manuel Cayo," said Fr José Valdivia, Provincial Economer, "the main courtyard of the Provincial House was made available so as to welcome the needy until this pandemic is over."

          In a letter Fr Valdivia informed the Salesians of the Provincial and his council's decision to give Salesian support in this humanitarian crisis. “A few days ago we communicated with Federico Agusti, UNHCR Coordinator General in Peru (the UN Refugee Agency) who asked for, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the use of the structures of the Breña courtyard to welcome and host a group of Haitians who have nowhere to live. Many of them are children and mothers of families." This decision was made in the context of the "invitation of the Rector Major and the Economer General to welcome the most vulnerable people or victims of this pandemic by making our structures available."

          About 90 Haitians arrived at the designated place for migrants and were welcomed into the Provincial House of Breña. These migrants were unable to travel to Ecuador because of the Covid-19 emergency medical declaration in Peru, and were left with the only option of sleeping in the streets.

          At the request of the Peruvian state, UNHCR, in coordination with the Salesian Congregation, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the NGO "Illari Amanecer" are coordinating a response in this moment of mandatory asylum, why they looked for mattresses, beds and sleeping modules, together with food.

          Thanks to this teamwork, it was possible to help these 90 people, most of whom are young families. In total there are 25 minors, 32 women and 33 men.

          "The poor will never find God indifferent, He does justice and does not forget," said the Pope energetically, and precisely in these circumstances we see the presence and hand of God. The option for the poor, for the least and for the discarded, which society rejects, "is a priority option that the disciples of Christ are called to do in order not to betray the credibility of the Church and to give effective hope to many defenseless people," said the Pontiff.

          {gallery}PER - Cortile Brena 2020{/gallery}

          • Perù
          • PER PERÙ
          • Migranti
          • Coronavirus
          • Solidarietà
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Thailandia – Salesian Cooperators' advice to young people in conflict with the law

            4 days 4 hours ago
            Thailandia – Salesian Cooperators' advice to young people in conflict with the law

            (ANS – Ratchaburi) – The Salesian Cooperators advise the young in conflict with the law to uphold the preventive system of St. John Bosco, Increase Love and Value to Life.

            On Thursday, 19 March 2020, Ms. Nalinnat Krainara, the administrator of the Regional Juvenile Vocational Training Center [2] Ratchaburi Province, Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection, which is a center receiving youth that the court had passed judgment according to the wrong done, then commuted from imprisonment to educational training, offered welcome to Mr. Pornsawat Lertvitayavivat, the coordinator of the Salesian Cooperators in Thailand, and Mr. Thanya Sirottanyachock, the staff incharge of education and training, on this occasion that the group organized activities to motivate the young on how to use life profitably, under the theme "How to make oneself Lovable". 158 young men and women participated in these activities. These were people preparing themselves to be freed from the Center.

            This training led the young to know and to uphold the preventive system of St. John Bosco. The values of reason, spirituality and loving-kindness are principles for living one's life, corresponding to the Head, the Hand, and the Heart. The training gives importance to a good heart which has good values as foundations for life, possessing goodness, and having a volunteering heart, attaining skills useful in life, in order to be lovable by all. These were learned from the exchange of knowledge gained from the automobile game and the tree of life.

            After the activities, many young representatives said in unison 'thank you' to the resource persons who led the learning activities that add to thinking, useful to the development of a happy life and greater value. These were matters and theories which the young had not known yet.

            Source: AustraLasia

            • Thailandia
            • THA THAILANDIA
            • Salesiani Cooperatori
            • Giovani a Rischio
            • Sistema Preventivo
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Democratic Republic of Congo – Living confinement in Bukavu

              5 days 4 hours ago
              Archive photo

              (ANS - Bukavu) - "For the time being, the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is less tragic than in Europe," says Fr Piero Gavioli, an Italian Salesian missionary, as he begins to describe the current situation in the country that he has served for over 35 years. And yet one must still be careful: already there have been about fifty cases of Covid-19 in the capital, with 5 or 6 dead, and in the same Bukavu, where Fr Gavioli operates, two have been found. "We are preparing for the worst, as we pray and hope that the worst will not happen," the Salesian continues. 

              Currently, schools, churches, markets, borders are closed, all meetings of numerous people are forbidden, all are invited to stay at home and to go out only for essentials. The same precautionary actions recommended in every part of the world (washing hands often, keeping distances…) are being promoted and adopted so as to be ready.

              The Salesians in Bukavu, after the discovery of the two positive cases at COVID-19 in their city, have "radicalized confinement" and suspended the few activities still in progress. Thus, in addition to the school - which closed days ago - they have stopped the workshops definitively – they'd been working in a reduced fashion -, while the interns, guests of the center, had already returned to their families (except those who live far away or have no family ready to welcome them). Even the Mass is celebrated in a cautionary mode.

              "But our prayer is ever more universal," Fr Gavioli continues. "From 15 to 24 March, we prayed the novena to Mary Help of Christians in communion with the whole Salesian family. On the evening of 27 March we joined, live, thanks to Vatican Media, the solitary and supportive prayer of Pope Francis."

              The thought of the Salesians, however, cannot stop at their works or even at their only direct recipients. "There are thousands of families around us who live day by day, who eat in the evening because their mother could sell something at the market. If markets are closed, how will they feed their children? And if they leave them open, the disease will spread. These mothers are faced with a tragic choice: dying of coronavirus or starving," Fr Gavioli continues.

              The same authorities are discussing what measures to take: the National Coordinator of the response to the coronavirus, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, said that the confinement of the capital "is not compulsory", because "the social aspect must also be taken into account."

              Father Gavioli concludes: "Covid-19 obliges us to global solidarity. The human and Christian ideal is well defined by Saint Paul: It is not a question of reducing oneself to poverty to help others, but of establishing equality (2 Cor 8:13)."

              • Coronavirus
              • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
              • Povertà
              • Rep Dem del Congo
                Jesus Jurado

                Haiti – Information and prevention against COVID-19

                5 days 4 hours ago
                Haiti – Information and prevention against COVID-19

                (ANS - Port-au-Prince) - With 16 registered cases, Covid-19 has arrived in Haiti, too. Although the numbers are very limited for the moment, the fear is tangible, especially due to the structural weaknesses the country has been subject to for years. The Rinaldi Foundation, the Salesian Planning and Development Office in Haiti, has thus immediately set to work to start prevention and information operations against possible infections.

                Haiti, the country among the poorest on the American continent, addresses the health emergency of coronavirus with very few resources. In fact, Haiti lives in a permanent health emergency, because there is no de facto national health system. The real health centers are the clinics of NGOs and the Church.

                Since 19 March, the President has declared a state of health emergency throughout the country, issuing the classic prevention measures against the COVID-19 epidemic, including the closure of schools and churches, a ban on rallies, limitations on travel, and encouraging hygiene and public health practices… But most of the population cannot afford these measures: “There is no clean water anywhere to wash your hands as required, there is no electricity in the houses and there are not even hospitals. Many people live on the streets, so it is very difficult to remain closed somewhere," reported a Redemptorist missionary to the agency Fides.

                As soon as the news of the virus's arrival was heard, an emergency meeting was convened with the Rinaldi Foundation, with all participants keeping their social distance, and taking extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of personnel. The Foundation also contacted all the communities to motivate and raise awareness of how to deal with the situation, with operational suggestions, indications for the placement of water distribution points in the works, good practices for community life ...

                At the same time, an awareness-raising campaign was launched through the Foundation's Facebook page: the messages are simple with explanatory images and Creole-language texts, the language that every Haitian speaks and understands very well.

                Buckets of chlorinated water are placed in all Salesian communities so that the few visitors can wash their hands thoroughly. In some places, there is also a container at the main entrance of the communities so passersby may wash their hands, with messages that invite citizens to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

                “Around us we see people who were already living in suffering, with a large majority of people who need to go out every day to earn their daily bread. Now asking this majority to stay home to avoid spreading the virus will expose them to another challenge, that of finding food. Some are beginning to think that some people may die not from coronavirus, but from hunger. For this reason we are evaluating if it will be possible to find the means to distribute not only sanitary kits (masks, gloves, soaps, disinfectants, chlorine, alcohol ...), but also food kits (rice, beans, spaghetti, oil, milk ... ),” says the Rinaldi Foundation spokespersons.

                • Haiti
                • Coronavirus
                • HAI HAITI
                • Fondazione Rinaldi
                • Povertà
                  Jesus Jurado

                  RMG – A message of faith and hope from the Rector Major

                  5 days 4 hours ago
                  RMG – A message of faith and hope from the Rector Major

                  (ANS - Rome) - The moment we are living must strengthen us in faith and intensify our prayers. It is the invitation that the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, addresses to all Salesians, to the Salesian Family and to all the catechists, animators, young people and families.

                  In his message, the Rector Major recalled the prayer of Pope Francis on 27 March: a prayer which Salesian communities from all over the world joined in force. "The Pope left us this message, the only one possible: an outlook of faith and hope," highlighted Fr Á.F. Artime, recalling the words of the Gospel quoted by the Holy Father: "Do not be afraid."

                  In addition, the Successor of Don Bosco expressed thanks to the entire Salesian Family for how it is responding to the emergency caused by Covid-19. On the one hand, he praised the many initiatives designed to continue carrying out formative and celebratory activities; on the other, he recalled the importance of continuing to follow the regulations dictated by the authorities and governments. Finally, he addressed a special thought to the poor and to all those who "if they cannot work, they cannot eat." It is everyone's duty, as upright citizens, to think of how to help the most needy in this difficult moment.

                  The complete video is available in Italian, English and Spanish on the ANSChannels

                  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                  • Coronavirus
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • Solidarietà
                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Germany – In times of Covid-19, Salesians fostering digital proposals

                    5 days 4 hours ago
                    Germany – In times of Covid-19, Salesians fostering digital proposals

                    (ANS - Munich) - To respond to the transformed needs and new challenges of working with young people in this era of a coronavirus pandemic, the Salesians of Don Bosco in Germany are strengthening their digital proposals and their presence in social networks to carry out their pedagogical and pastoral work.

                    German Salesians work with young people who are often on the margins of society. For this reason, it is important, especially in the current situation, to keep in touch with them. "We use the various social media and various messengers in a heightened way to accompany them," says the Provincial Vicar, Fr Christian Vahlhaus.

                    The Don-Bosco-Club in Cologne, for example, offers live streaming three times a week via Instagram and Facebook. Young people who would otherwise have taken advantage of the Club's open offers in Cologne-Mülheim are invited to telephone, write or participate in another way. Users tell what worries them, how their daily lives have changed and what they are currently doing at home. A psychologist from the Don-Bosco-Club is available for the most serious needs.

                    Digital proposals have also increased in other areas. In the vocational training works of the religious community, teaching materials were made available, both analogically and digitally, or via virtual learning platforms.

                    In the field of youth assistance, Fr Vahlhaus stressed that the Salesian commitment is now even more energetic, to absorb the anxieties and frustrations of young people and provide them with positive support.

                    Under the hashtag #GuteNachtCorona (Goodnight, Corona), the Youth Ministry and the Salesian Public Relations department are offering the thought of the "Salesian Goodnight" via Instagram and Facebook every day, around 6 pm. Also offering their contributions alongside the Salesians of Don Bosco are the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the collaborators and volunteers of the "Don Bosco Volunteers."

                    Also, a separate area was created on the religious Don Bosco Medien GmbH, which brings together information and proposals from the religious community; among the initiatives, "Together at home", a proposal by "Don Bosco Medien GmbH" with activities for family life.

                    "Don Bosco would like to be always present in this difficult time especially for young people, but also for families," explains Katharina Hennecke, head of Public Relations for the Salesians of Don Bosco in Germany. This page offers indications, suggestions and materials to facilitate the daily life of families, as well as pastoral proposals curated directly by the Salesians.

                    They also offer creative initiatives via social networks every day, such as cooking recipes and suggestions for manual work and physical activity.

                    Finally, there are also other proposals, edited by the Salesian centers in Chemnitz and Essen, or through the Instagram channel of the Salesian Youth Movement in Germany, which shares videos, images and texts by young people, for young people.

                    • Germania
                    • Coronavirus
                    • GER GERMANIA
                    • Comunicazione Sociale
                      Jesus Jurado

                      Spain – "We will overcome it together": "Misiones Salesianas" joins fight against coronavirus

                      5 days 4 hours ago

                      (ANS - Madrid) - In this very difficult moment Spain is experiencing, even the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, "Misiones Salesianas", wants to play its part in the fight against Covid-19. For this reason, it has launched the campaign "Vamos a superarlo juntos" (We will overcome it together), donating masks to the hospitals of Madrid and thus helping to alleviate the deficiency of this essential health materiel in the city that most suffers from the consequences of coronavirus.

                      In Spain there are already more than 95,000 people infected with Covid-19, 10% of them are health workers, according to government data. The sad thing is that every day the number of deaths increases, which today amounts to 8,464. Between March 7 and 25, almost seven million masks were distributed throughout Spain, but these are not enough.

                      "The lack of masks, the testimonies of the health workers ... and, above all, the desire to help in what is most needed right now, is what made us launch this campaign," explains Fr José Antonio San Martín, Head of "Misiones Salesianas".

                      Normally the Mission Office of Madrid is an organization that works looking to the South of the world and to young people, but in extraordinary times, such as the current ones, it has decided to help the closest community, the Spanish one, which collaborates with countries so much poorer. “We are an organization that is on the side of people, especially young people, the most vulnerable children. And, on this occasion, we want the Spanish population to feel our closeness too,” continues the Salesian.

                      The Mission Office will not act alone: ​​the Wottoline company collaborates in this campaign to ensure that the masks reach their destination.

                      “We must help our heroes to continue fighting against the coronavirus. Let them know they're not alone,” they say from the Mission Office.

                      For all those who want to collaborate, they can do so via the website www.misionessalesianas.org

                      Misiones Salesianas, together with all those who accompany them, can change the future of millions of people. On this occasion, helping healthcare professionals to continue saving lives. Tomorrow, God willing, the Mission Office will be able to return to help others who are more vulnerable, as it has done to date.

                      • Spagna
                      • Misiones Salesianas
                      • Coronavirus
                      • Procure Missionarie
                        Jesus Jurado

                        RMG – Salesians launch coordinated response to COVID-19 emergency

                        6 days 4 hours ago
                        RMG – Salesians launch coordinated response to COVID-19 emergency

                        (ANS - Rome) - Over the course of a few weeks, Covid-19 has gone from being a Chinese national problem to a pandemic involving the whole world. While the contagion has spread day by day in new regions and countries, the Don Bosco Network (DBN), the coordinating body of nine of the most important Salesian NGOs, has been hard at work. Under the patronage of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, it has initiated a coordinated response to the current emergency under the guidance of the Congregation's Emergency Response Coordinator - the coordinator of the Congregation's Mission Office.

                        Already three years ago, based on the experience matured in various circumstances faced by the Congregation through the years, the Rector Major had appointed an Emergency Response Coordinator, namely the Coordinator of its Mission Office. On 25 March, he promoted a video conference in which 47 people participated, Salesians and lay people, from all the Regions of the Congregation and from the Salesian Central Office.

                        In addition to sharing information and good practices, they decided to follow a number of actions: map the needy people the Salesian centers can reach at this moment, identify what they need; evaluate the resources available for the needs of individual Circumscriptions (Provinces/Vice Provinces); share best practices; carry out advocacy work through the Salesian presence at the UN and the European Union; develop fundraising campaigns in an orderly and coordinated manner; monitor and accompany the distribution of resources - both bilaterally and internationally.

                        The emergency response team, promoted by the Mission Sector and supported by the Economer General, have developed the operational tools to follow up on these lines of action (protocols for requesting/offering aid, materials for information, auditing, reporting, etc). These tools were shared with the 90 Circumscriptions of the Congregation and a regular flow of information and the sharing of materials and resources has already been registered via, also, the email address created for the occasion: solidarity.covid19@sdb.org.

                        Among the numerous actions already reported:

                        In India, the Salesians are increasing their efforts to save lives and prevent COVID-19 through as many as five projects; they are also collaborating with the government to adapt a higher education institution, with its boarding schools, for use as a hospital for the treatment of COVID-19 patients; meanwhile, the Swiss Salesian NGO "Don Bosco JugendHilfe WeltWeit" is supporting the Salesian projects in the Provinces of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Tiruchy, with a contribution of circa 80,000 Euros.

                        And while in Croatia many young people of the Salesian Youth Movement are volunteering in the initiatives of the Red Cross and the Caritas by bringing help to the homeless, in the Anglophone West African Province (AFW), thanks to the experience of the Ebola epidemic, the Salesians have already prepared hygiene tools in all their works and have launched information campaigns (via the web, radio, flyers) for the prevention of contagion.

                        Finally, the Salesian presence at the UN is working, together with numerous other civil society organizations, to press on the Member States for the adoption of global measures to support development worldwide.

                        “This is an inter-provincial and international operation, for the benefit of all humanity, especially the weakest: migrant workers who have been stuck in the workplace, the homeless, the unemployed, the elderly, the beggars … Don Bosco is on the march and solidarity is always alive. Let's spread hope,” says Fr Menamparampil.

                        In the next few days, Fr Á.F. Artime will relaunch the DBN initiative through a short video.

                        For more information, visit: www.donbosconetwork.org

                        • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                        • Missioni
                        • Procure Missionarie
                        • Coronavirus
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          India – Salesian efforts for the poor during Covid-19 emergency

                          6 days 4 hours ago
                          India – Salesian efforts for the poor during Covid-19 emergency

                          (ANS - Mumbai) - Since last week, given the increase in the number of infections, new measures have also been implemented in India to contain the spread of coronavirus. The Salesians are launching numerous initiatives in the country, initiatives which aim to support the poorest and most needy.

                          In Mumbai, the Salesians took up the Covid-19 challenge with their heads held high and, in accordance with the directives of the civic administration, they are bringing aid to the poorest and most abandoned, reaching the inhabitants of the slums. In particular, the "Don Bosco Development Society" (DBDS), the Mumbai Planning and Development Office, has planned the production of 1,200 masks to be distributed free of charge to migrants and slum residents. In addition, thanks to their collaboration with the company "Mahanagar Gas Ltd", it is creating a kit, containing food and personal hygiene products, intended for approximately 3,000 families.

                          The Don Bosco oratory of Matunga continues to show its closeness to young people. The boys who attend this oratory often come from poor and fragile contexts and cannot be abandoned right now. The Salesians supply them with food and products of primary necessity. Young Oratorians, accompanied by their parents or guardians, can access certain collection points, to take what they need. The managers of the oratory, in accordance with the provisions of the civil authorities, oversee the delivery points.

                          Furthermore, since the Covid-19 emergency may have psychological repercussions, the Salesian organization "Prafulta Psychological Services" has launched a telephone consultancy service, which involves 50 consultants. Covid-19 has raised problems of anxiety, fear, behavioral changes that lead to insomnia, feeling of loneliness and depression. For this reason, the specialists will make themselves available to those who feel these problems and need psychological support.

                          The Bangalore Province is also at the forefront in dealing with this emergency. The Bangalore Planning and Development Office, "BREADS", in collaboration with "KISMAT", the help desk for migrants, is organizing the distribution of 1,000 kits, mainly containing rice, wheat flour, legumes, oil, vegetables and other food products.

                          Also in the Bangalore Province, the "Don Bosco Sneha Bhavan Palluruthy", the Authority for Legal Services of the District of Ernakulam, in collaboration with the "Childline" of Kochi and the High Court of Justice, has created a kitchen community to provide food for the poor and migrants. 750 packets of food are being distributed daily, as well as masks and hand sanitizer gel.

                          • India
                          • INK INDIA BANGALORE
                          • INB INDIA MUMBAY
                          • Coronavirus
                          • Solidarietà
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Peru – Many the poor knocking at parish door of Mary Help of Christians and Casa Don Bosco, say: "Thank you, God bless you"

                            6 days 4 hours ago

                            (ANS - Lima) - Peru is one of the Latin American nations that can be defined as a "young country". According to the National Institute of Statistics and Computer Science (INEI), one third of the population, that is, 10,338,000 people are children and adolescents from zero to 17 years of age, but unfortunately the country has the highest child labor rate in South America with 1,274,000 children and adolescents carrying out dangerous jobs. The Salesians of Don Bosco, who first arrived in 1891, are aware of this situation and wherever there is a Salesian House they have created the "Don Bosco Shelter Homes", where hundreds of these adolescents and young people are taken care of.

                            Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the shelters have been forced to look after young people 24 hours a day. "With this new situation, the timetables and forms of attention to our recipients have been distorted; this is why we offer them moments to nourish the spirit: prayer, the thought of the 'Salesian good morning', the Rosary, daily Mass, and the thought of the 'good night'. At the same time, we have organized the time for cleaning activities, maintenance of gardens, walls and floors, virtual lessons, sports and sports spaces," writes Fr Julio Acurio, SDB.

                            "We have seen the images from many parts of the world, especially from Italy," comments Fr Rafael Vildozo, SDB, "and we immediately asked ourselves: why don't we go to help people, too? And so, that's what we're doing." In fact, the boys of the "Casa Don Bosco" in Breña, Lima, started to go to help the poorest and most needy people.

                            "A team of people, together with the youngsters, have formed the 'emergency team', after requesting special permits, because we are an organization that takes care of minors and families at social risk. Every day, the members of this team collect food donations that are used in our homes, to share them with the poorest, with those who have a precarious job and for whom this period of social immobility means zero income. Everything that is donated every day is packed by the boys themselves, and we have called them 'bags of salvation' because they are the 'salvation of the poor'," says a young man from the Don Bosco House.

                            "Many poor people knock on the door of the parish of Mary Help of Christians and of the Don Bosco House. We know that Covid-19 can make you sick and kill you, but the hunger and despair of not being able to take care of children and the elderly is worse," comments Fr Acurio.

                            "Every time we give a 'bag of salvation' we tell them that it is from God and Don Bosco and their answer is simple: 'Thank you, God bless you', while their pained faces become faces of joy, at least for another day," say Fr Acurio and Fr Vildozo.

                            • Perù
                            • PER PERÙ
                            • Povertà
                            • Solidarietà
                            • Coronavirus
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Spain – Salesians for Holy Week prepare virtual initiatives for young people

                              6 days 4 hours ago
                              Spain – Salesians for Holy Week prepare virtual initiatives for young people

                              (ANS - Madrid) - The self-confinement to stop the expansion of COVID-19 from spreading has forced the suspension of the traditional Easter youth meetings organized every year by the Salesians, in which about 2,000 young people usually participate. However, the Youth Ministry Delegations of the two Salesian Provinces in Spain have presented virtual online alternatives so that young people can celebrate the Lord's Passion, Death and Resurrection even at home.

                              #PascuaSalesianEnCasa is the hashtag used by the Salesian Province "Spain-Mary Help of Christians", based in Seville, so that young people and families can participate in their proposal to celebrate Easter. The Youth Ministry Delegation will provide the material for each day through this medium, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

                              Individual prayer and reflection will be combined with moments of group sharing via Internet. In addition, the Province encourages young people and families to participate in Holy Week celebrations which can be followed from home.

                              With the name of iPascua 2020, the Salesian Province "Spain-St James Major", based in Madrid, offers three ways to join the Salesian Easter. One is for families with children, while the other two are for young people: 16 to 19 years old, and over 20 years old. The proposal includes daily videos, prayers, reflections, moments of virtual gathering, the celebrations of the Easter Triduum, and more, a great variety of resources available on the Internet that everyone can adapt according to their possibilities.

                              The Youth Ministry Delegation maintains the motto chosen for live meetings for Easter 2020: "I will come to your house and we will dine together", a step that takes up a biblical motto (Ap 3,20) and that acquires even more meaning in the current circumstances.

                              The Salesians in Spain also join the #QuédateEnCasa and #YoMeQuedoEnCasa campaigns to stop the spread of COVID-19. After the declaration of the state of alarm, schools, youth centers, social platforms, parishes and communities have devised initiatives so that children, adolescents and young people can make the most of their time at home. Educational projects, moments of prayer, live Masses, reflections and alternatives for leisure time are continuously available on the web pages of the two Provinces, Spain-María Auxiliadora and Spain-Santiago el Mayor. 

                              • Spagna
                              • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
                              • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
                              • Pasqua
                              • Pastorale Giovanile
                              • Comunicazione Sociale
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Sierra Leone – "Don Bosco Fambul" draws on experience during Ebola to face coronavirus

                                1 week ago

                                (ANS - Freetown) - "We feel very close to Spain right now, because we know what it means to be in quarantine, to be afraid to go out on the street, to see people die during the epidemic ... We lived with Ebola."  These are the words of the Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli, director of the "Don Bosco Fambul" work in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The work he directs is prepared for the arrival of the pandemic, having had the experience of overcoming Ebola without ever ceasing to take care of the most needy children.

                                To date, Sierra Leone has not reported any cases of Covid-19 infections. But Liberia and Guinea Conakry, which border the country, have had some. In any case, the Salesians do not have too many illusions, because they know that it is difficult to make sure if there really have been no cases in Sierra Leone. "There are only two places where tests are possible, and also here poverty has always caused the death of people, from malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis, AIDS …," they say.

                                As a preventive key, the country's airport has been closed to international flights since last week, just as land borders have been closed. Public religious celebrations are prohibited, meetings with more than 100 people and schools will be closed this week. However, everyone knows that as soon as there is a positive case, quarantine and curfew will be mandatory.

                                The Salesians in Sierra Leone took care of orphaned children during the Ebola epidemic, working closely with the government, and are renowned for their work for children. For weeks now, the spiritual children of Don Bosco have been informing the street children they welcome and the population of the poorest neighborhoods on the necessary measures to take to prevent contagion.

                                Missionaries ensure that they are prepared for the worst. "As soon as the first case is declared, we will close visits to all our homes, because they are green areas where boys and girls are not infected: we will protect them by placing ourselves in self-quarantine." And if the emergency for the pandemic is declared, given that the school will be closed, "we will transform it into a care and reception center for 400 street children, obviously with all the necessary precautions towards everyone."

                                Prevention protocols in the African country were put in place a long time ago. However, there are two needs that concern the Salesians at the moment: "On the one hand, putting food aside, because in these cases social problems then follow and we must continue to feed many people who depend on us. And then we have to buy cleaning materials and medicines to deal with this crisis."

                                From "Don Bosco Fambul" Fr Crisafulli sends a message of hope for the whole world: "We pray for you, in Spain, and you don't have to worry, because everything will end well ... God created us, loves us and takes care of us even in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic."

                                • Sierra Leone
                                • AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
                                • Don Bosco Fambul
                                • Coronavirus
                                • Ebola
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Great Britain – GBR Province-wide work during COVID-19

                                  1 week ago
                                  Great Britain – GBR Province-wide work during COVID-19

                                  (ANS – London) – The Salesians of Don Bosco UK have been strictly observing all of the measures to support our NHS and protect vulnerable people, and that has meant a lot of changes. However, much of our work is continuing, just in different ways. Staff who are able to do so are working safely from home to keep the GBR Province-wide services, including Communications, Youth Ministry and Don Bosco Publications, going.

                                  Don Bosco Publications remains 'open for business' as staff work from home and Fr Bob works on the picking and packing element from his home, Thornleigh House. You can still browse the online shop, place orders for cards to keep in touch the old-fashioned way, and for books and devotional items to inspire you, keep you company and sustain your faith. Your orders will be processed and sent out to you as before, though the service may be a bit slower as the Post Office has to cope with increased demand across the board. You can still email Sarah and Dominic on publications@salesians.org.uk 

                                  GBR Communications Office, Salesian Link, has also moved home, and is continuing to keep you informed and connected through our websites and social media channels, and our emails. We are still able to share your prayer requests and news. Email Clare on clarelewis@salesianlink.co.uk or Dominic dominic.small@salesians.org.uk. If you're on social media, keep in touch with us there too.

                                  Salesian Youth Ministry is still operating and is adapting to the changed circumstances by taking its work online, to keep everyone working with the young connected in Salesian friendship. If you are on Facebook, you can 'like' their @symonlineoratory page and join in. They will be sharing as much as they can on the website too, for non-Facebookers.

                                  Among the initiatives carried out in these days was the meeting for animators and young people who share the Salesian charism; it took place last Friday, March 27, via the web, during which the participating young people lived a moment of prayer and then a fraternity chat online. The Facebook page of the GBR Youth Ministry is also used for the live broadcasts of the Eucharist or Eucharistic adoration from the communities of Bolton and Battersea.

                                  For more info, you can contact Sue on sue@salesianyouthministry.org.uk 

                                  Provincial Office staff Anne-Marie and Nicola are also working safely from home to keep our administrative and finance functions operating smoothly, with Economer Fr Mervyn working from Thornleigh.

                                  Unfortunately, some things just don't fit with the current restrictions. Our overseas volunteer project, BOVA, is suspended until September for now, but anyone interested can still get in touch with Fr Bob bova@salesianyouthministry.com to discuss possible options for the future. Although the Youth Easter retreat can't take place as a physical assembly, Sue and the Salesian Youth Ministry team are adapting it for the times, and coming up with more ways to support our Salesian Family, youth ministry workers and young people during this crisis.

                                  • GBR GRAN BRETAGNA
                                  • Gran Bretagna
                                  • Coronavirus
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Argentina – “Are you Don Bosco's? Come forward!” A pandemic that unites and fosters working for each other

                                    1 week ago
                                    Argentina – “Are you Don Bosco's? Come forward!” A pandemic that unites and fosters working for each other

                                    (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Covid-19 has reached every corner of the world and has become a pandemic. Some Latin American countries have made important decisions for the care of their citizens. In Argentina, President Alberto Fernández has extended the rigid quarantine until April 12 and has declared that "a falling economy rises again, but a falling life never rises again." Salesians from all parts of this large country are preparing to support, help and in some cases offer some Salesian works, because "the worst situation", with the peak of infections, is expected for the month of May.

                                    The Director of the Military Hospital, Fabio Monserrat, told the newspaper Clarín, "We are preparing for a catastrophe." The General Manager of the General Roca-Stefenelli Salesian House was contacted by a doctor from the Public Health Commission to solicit the collaboration of the Salesian house in view of Covid-19's possible advancement in the city. The Salesians made the Stefenelli retreat center available to house suspected cases in quarantine or minor cases of people unable to find adequate insulation in their homes, especially for low-income people.

                                    In addition, beds and mattresses were requested by the local hospital to build a field hospital and the Salesian house has already made them available. The collaboration of the Salesian work "Ceferino Namuncurá" and of the sports field of the Salesians of the city of La Plata was also requested.

                                    It is also worth mentioning that the "Exploradores de Don Bosco" (EADB) were invited to the Casa Rosada (the Government House) by the Cabinet Undersecretary for Relations with Civil Society to plan action guidelines between the National State and civil society organizations in the health emergency caused by Covid-19. The Salesian group was represented by Leonel Mantía, National Head, and Fr Facundo Arriola, Delegate for Youth Ministry in the South Argentina Province (ARS), and was consulted with the aim of designing forms of organized volunteering in order to avoid spontaneous and irresponsible voluntary initiatives in the face of the health emergency generated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

                                    "This challenges us to put into practice the legacy that Don Bosco has left us, to be good Christians and upright citizens. At the same time, it encourages us to unite all the forces of civil society and to help us all move forward," the Salesians said.

                                    Finally, it should be noted that in the last week of March, members of the Zarate community joined as volunteers to make food packages to be distributed among the poorest sectors of the city. Dressed with a polo shirt with the writing: “Are you Don Bosco's? Come forward!”, the young people offered their support in solidarity.

                                    • Argentina
                                    • ARS ARGENTINA SUD
                                    • Coronavirus
                                    • Exploradores de Don Bosco
                                    • Solidarietà
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Spain – Letter from Fr Pérez Godoy, new Councilor for Mediterranean Region

                                      1 week ago
                                      Spain – Letter from Fr Pérez Godoy, new Councilor for Mediterranean Region

                                      (ANS - Mohernando) - The new Councilor for the Mediterranean Region, Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, has written, for the first time since his appointment, a letter to all the Salesians in the Region. For the new Counselor, it is an opportunity to present his vision on what awaits him in this new service: the region's available talents, the challenges to overcome.

                                      The first thought of Fr Pérez Godoy, until a few days ago Provincial of the Spain-St James Major Province, based in Madrid, is for the Salesians who have died due to COVID-19. “We entrust these brothers of ours and all those who may have died in other Provinces of our region and of the whole Congregation to the Lord, in the hope of the Risen Lord, so that they may already enjoy the promised Paradise with Don Bosco. We also entrust our confreres, relatives and friends who are sick due to this pandemic to our Mother Help of Christians.”

                                      Fr Pérez Godoy then goes on to retrace the experience of the GC28: “I still have in my heart and in my memory, the days lived with young people ... Their presence, their words, their messages, their testimonies, what they asked us - at least for me - it was a new 'Letter from Rome'. It is as if Don Bosco himself sent us these young people on his own initiative to ask us: 'go back to your origins, to your first love; go back to being among us'."

                                      The Mediterranean Region, the cradle of the Congregation, before looking at the challenges, should focus on its great wealth: “Aware also of our weaknesses, let's start from the great potential of our Region: first, the people, all the Salesians, of all ages and conditions, the lay people in love with Don Bosco, the Salesian Family, all united and in the convergence of intentions and synergy of forces working for the education and evangelization of young people ... They are the guarantee of our future,” says Fr Pérez Godoy. Among its peculiar riches, the Salesian dedicates more than a hint to the “immense and inexhaustible wealth of the Salesian holy places”, “a source that radiates spirituality.”

                                      Of course, then, there are also the challenges: “vocational fruitfulness; the revitalization of our Salesian consecrated life; the care of young people, those who are poorest and most at risk of exclusion, with particular attention to immigration; the missionary horizon ...” Without forgetting the great challenge of synergy, to be pursued in various areas: in the field of communication, in formation, in collaboration between the National Youth Ministry Centers.

                                      Finally, the new Councilor for the Mediterranean Region concludes: “I assure you that I will give myself with all my energy to the mission that has been entrusted to me.”

                                      The full letter of Fr Pérez Godoy is available, in Italian, here.

                                      • Spagna
                                      • Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy
                                      • Mediterranea
                                      • Coronavirus
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        RMG – Rector Major's video message, end of extraordinary Novena to Mary Help of Christians

                                        1 week 3 days ago
                                        RMG – Rector Major's video message, end of extraordinary Novena to Mary Help of Christians

                                        (ANS - Rome) - On March 24, the day of the monthly commemoration of Mary Help of Christians, the extraordinary novena proposed by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, ended in considerations regarding the health emergency caused by the spread of Covid-19. At the end of the extraordinary Novena to Mary Help of Christians, prayed throughout the Salesian world, the Rector Major invited everyone to make an Act of Entrustment, renew with the heart of Don Bosco one's trust in Mary Most Holy, in this hour of great trial and suffering.

                                        On March 24, through a video message recorded at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Rome, the Rector Major also wished to send his greetings and encouragement to the Salesian Family across the globe.

                                        In this video, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco invited everyone to trust Mary Help of Christians and to entrust our prayers to her for all those who suffer, for those who have lost a loved one, or for those who have loved ones in the hospital, but also for all health professionals who are working every day to help others.

                                        In line with the Strenna 2020's theme, the Rector Major also recalled that this difficult historical moment calls everyone to an active and responsible citizenship.

                                        The complete video is available in Italian and Spanish on ANSChannel.

                                        • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • Novena
                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          Checked
                                          50 minutes 17 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
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