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Lebanon – The Beirut tragedy and the prompt Salesian response

1 day 11 hours ago
Lebanon – The Beirut tragedy and the prompt Salesian response

(ANS - Beirut) - Medical care, food, hospitality, spiritual, moral and economic support for families affected by the explosion: this is what the Salesians in Lebanon have been working on immediately following the explosion of 4 August. Driven by young people, of all rites and religions, who have voluntarily put themselves at the service of the most affected families in the capital, the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco give home and assistance to those who have lost their family, shelter and work.

In a video recorded in front of the devastated port of Bierut, the Syrian Salesian Fr Simon Zakerian describes the situation of enormous pain that pervades the whole population, but also the desire for redemption and reconstruction that arises in the first place from young people:

We are here in front of this sad place, where this explosion took place, the port of Beirut, where so many people have left this world, so many people are still missing, so many are injured, so much damage to the whole of Beirut and to the whole country … It's a very sad thing, a thing that makes you cry,” says Fr Simon Zakerian.

“However, despite this destruction, these difficulties,” he continues, “our young Salesian animators have joined the youth groups of the diocese of Jbeil, and with them also the young Muslims, all the young people of Lebanon, have decided to voluntarily put themselves at the service of people most in need, the elderly who could not themselves clean the houses full of shattered glass ...

Beirut does not die, life has to rise again. This is what we want to say to the whole world. Young people give hope, joy and take to the streets to help and to reaffirm that we must build our city together, remaining united.

I ask you a remembrance in prayer for Lebanon, the Lebanese people and for all the peoples who live here as refugees.

Present in the country since the second half of the last century, the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco in recent years have turned their activities in a special way towards refugees from Iraq, mostly Chaldean Christians. Many of these lived or carried out commercial activities in the affected area. In this emergency, relief was extended to the victims of the powerful explosion, refugees (including from Syria) and Lebanese residents who suffered losses: family members, homes, jobs. “We're visiting the houses to see how they are and how they are going through these difficulties, to give help,” continues Fr Zakerian.

The Salesian Mission Office of Turin, "Missioni Don Bosco", sent help to respond to immediate needs, while launching an extraordinary fundraiser: 80 families have already been identified to whom the Salesians have begun to bring concrete help.

Fr Zakerian concludes with a hymn to hope: “Christ is risen, hope never dies: we saw it in the eyes of many young people of many rites and religions who told us that life is stronger than death!”

  • Libano
  • MOR MEDIO ORIENTE
  • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
  • Giovani
  • Speranza
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Brazil – Msgr. Pedro Casaldàliga passed away, friend of Servant of God Fr Lunkenbein, SDB

    1 day 11 hours ago
    Brazil – Msgr. Pedro Casaldàliga passed away, friend of Servant of God Fr Lunkenbein, SDB

    (ANS - Batatais) - Bishop Pedro Casaldáliga, 92, prelate emeritus of São Félix, State of Mato Grosso, belonging to the Congregation of the missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians), passed away on Saturday 8 August in Batatais, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Fr Casaldáliga, born in Balsareny, Catalonia, prelate of São Félix from 1971 to 2005, was a well-known bishop and a point of reference for his battles in favor of human rights, indigenous rights and creation.

    In 1971 he wrote the courageous pastoral letter "A Church in the Amazon at war against large estates and social exclusion", in which he denounced the evils that are more current than ever: land grabbing, growing inequalities, the suffering of local populations. He can, therefore, be considered a precursor of that sensitivity that gave life to the recent Synod for the Amazon.

    He was a close friend of the Servant of God Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein, SDB, with whom he founded and collaborated in the Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI). On 15 July 1976 Fr Lunkenbein and the Indian Simão were killed in the Salesian mission in Meruri and on the following 18 July Mgr. Casaldáliga wrote in Meruri's Book of Condolences: “July 15 is a historic date in the history of the new Missionary Church. Rodolfo and Simão are two other martyrs, broken in love, according to the word of Christ: the Indios gave his life for the missionary. The missionary gave his life for the Indios. For all of us, Indios and missionaries, this blood of Meruri is a commitment and a hope. The Indios will have the land! The Indios will be free! The Church will be indigenous!” A prophetic synthesis of a story of love and a cross to bear, of sweat and blood, of faith and courage.

    Pope Francis, in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia, published on February 12, 2020, quoted one of the poems of Mons. Casaldáliga: “Shadows float from me, dead wood. But the star is born without reproach/over the expert hands of this child, that conquer the waters and the night. It has to be enough for me to know/that you know me
    completely, from before my days.” (Carta de navegar - Pedro Casaldáliga); its aim: to emphasize and make the "relationship with God present in the cosmos into an increasingly personal relationship with a Thou who sustains our lives and wants to give them meaning, a Thou who knows us and loves us." (n. 73 of Querida Amazonia).

    {gallery}Brasile - Mons Casaldaliga 2020{/gallery}

    • Brasile
    • Decessi
    • Vescovi
    • Indigeni
    • Rodolfo Lunkenbein
    • Simão Bororo
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Italy – VIS efforts to the needy of all latitudes: resto@attivo nel mondo

      1 day 11 hours ago
      Italy – VIS efforts to the needy of all latitudes: resto@attivo nel mondo

      (ANS - Rome) - The coronavirus epidemic has spread everywhere, but in some areas of the planet its impact has been more devastating than elsewhere, due to the fragility of their economic and health contexts. The operators of the Salesian NGO "Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo - International Volunteer Service for Development" (VIS), based in Rome, have chosen to remain in mission countries to stay close to those in need and to try to curb the advance of Covid-19. With the motto "resto@attivo nel mondo" they want to give expression to their efforts, so they can tell firsthand what they are doing.

      In Senegal and Ghana, they are carrying out awareness and information campaigns in rural areas with the aim of spreading good health and hygiene practices and distributing personal protective equipment.

      In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they are working to donate a subsidiary to girls and boys who cannot go to school and do not have the opportunity to take advantage of online education. They distribute masks to the most vulnerable groups of populations, such as pregnant women, the elderly and the disabled. Furthermore, they take care of street children who are even more exposed to the risks of violence, poverty and contagion during the pandemic.

      In Bolivia, VIS monitors families in a situation of vulnerability and with whom they had already been working for some months to reintegrate their children welcomed in a center for minors. These nuclei found themselves in a situation of food poverty. The VIS is reorienting the family reunification project into a humanitarian aid action with the distribution of food parcels.

      In Haiti, education and vocational training projects continue, activating a few online courses and trying to follow the children even at a distance. In addition, the operators distribute some hand washing devices that allow sanitation without contact with water taps.

      In Palestine, they are supporting the activities of two hospitals by supplying face masks and hand gels.

      The VIS officials say: “The people we are helping were already in difficult situations even before the coronavirus arrived. In this complex period for all of us, they have been hit even harder.” And that is why the VIS does not stop and continues to help.

      • Italia
      • VIS
      • ONG
      • Solidarietà
      • Coronavirus
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – Farewell to Bro. Celato, SDB: a whole life in the service of the Congregation

        4 days 11 hours ago
        RMG – Farewell to Bro. Celato, SDB: a whole life in the service of the Congregation

        (ANS - Rome) - Don Bosco said: "When a Salesian dies working for souls, the Congregation has experienced a great triumph and the blessings of Heaven will descend abundantly on it." Today is therefore a day of triumph and blessing for the Salesian Congregation, given that the Lord has called Bro. Renato Celato, Salesian Coadjutor, for decades at the service, tireless and discreet, of the Rectors Major and of the community of the Salesian Central Office.

        Born 96 years ago, on 22 September 1923, in Ribis, Reana del Rojale, in the province of Udine, Italy, he was fascinated by the smile of Don Bosco seen in a postcard produced for the canonization of the Saint of Youth, which took place in 1934. The following year he entered the aspirantate of Colle Don Bosco and did the year of his novitiate during the war, between 1940 and 1941. He made his perpetual vows at Chieri, Villa Moglia, on August 16, 1947.

        He spent the first years of service almost always at Colle Don Bosco, tirelessly caring for the endless expanse of fruit trees and the numerous beehives.

        In 1959 he received in obedience the position of driver of the Rector Major, at the time, Fr Renato Ziggiotti. As usual, he fulfilled the mission with dedication and confidentiality, and was confirmed in this position also under the Rectorates of Fr Luigi Ricceri, Fr Egidio Viganò and Fr Juan Edmundo Vecchi.

        "As a driver of the Rectors Major, I have traveled a lot, throughout Italy and Europe. And always with the utmost discretion. When I started in Turin, they told me: 'You are blind, deaf and dumb'," he recalled.

        After leaving the post of driver, he had no thoughts for rest: he began to devote himself to the internal Post Office, a position he held until a few weeks ago.

        His spiritual testament is contained in a few sentences pronounced in an interview with the Salesian Bulletin: "I've always tried to say 'yes'. And be useful to everyone, even if it cost me ... Day and night available to everyone, always ready for any service."

        He passed away at 4 am on Friday 7 August 2020, delivering to all his younger confreres an unparalleled model of docility, obedience, passion for work and dedication to the Congregation.

        • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
        • Decessi
        • Anziani
        • Salesiani Coadiutori
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Myanmar – Time of blessing despite pandemic: testimony of a Salesian

          4 days 11 hours ago
          Myanmar – Time of blessing despite pandemic: testimony of a Salesian

          (ANS - Anisakan) - “Reflecting upon these past few months, the Covid pandemic, while it brings so many hardships to the lives of many people, it also brings so many blessings to our Salesian and education - pastoral community.” Speaking is Fr Bosco Zeya Aung, Director of the "Nazareth House" in Anisakan, who today tells us how his community, together with the few remaining young people, has been able to transform a problem into an opportunity.

          “First of all, because of the lock-down, we Salesians have ample time to share with one another, to know more about each other and to become closer to each other. Before, with so many (160-170) boys with us, we had very little time to chat and laugh. Our meal times were always short but now we take more time to share and enjoy one's another story.

          Now we have 23 boys with us and since there are not many, we come to know more about them, we can do the so-called 'personal accompaniment' to them listening to their interesting stories. Many of them come from poor families and a few have some family problems. We can thus offer that 'little word in the ear' that can meet the needs of each individual boy.

          Another blessing we received during these days is that we could reach out to 500 poor families, helping them with some dry food ration. We got financial help from ACTS Singapore (https://acts-singapore.com/web/index.php). It was a very touching experience to witness the smiles and joys of the poor people upon receiving help. A thought keeps coming to my mind, as though He who is above keeps talking to me ... 'Hey don't complain anything about your Salesian life, your poverty is nothing compared to theirs'...

          During these days, we Salesians take more time for prayers, praying every day for all the children of God who are suffering from Covid-19.

          Since the boys are on holidays for a longer period this year, we could do more house maintenance and I would say for us Salesians, as we have less activities, this is a time also to do spiritual maintenance.”

          {gallery}MYM - Pandemia ad Anisakan - 2020{/gallery}

          • MYM MYANMAR
          • Myanmar
          • Coronavirus
          • Solidarietà
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Chile – Role of communication in Salesian educational environment

            5 days 11 hours ago
            Chile – Role of communication in Salesian educational environment

            (ANS - Santiago) - Developing a sense of adaptation to the context of a health crisis is one of the main objectives of the Salesian Province "San Gabriele Arcangelo" of Chile (CIL) to continue the institutional educational project and to be able to respond to current needs. To achieve this goal, the Communication Area has offered the management team of the country's Salesian schools the online course entitled: "Fundamentals of Strategic Communication".

            This initiative, free-of-charge, is directed by Cristian Calderón, Professor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, communication consultant for the CIL Province, who claims that the course seeks a paradigm shift: conceiving communication within decision-making processes. "The idea is to work on a positioning strategy, where each school strengthens its image in the community in which it is inserted, thus building a Salesian identity," he said.

            The course lasts one month, develops via Facebook in an asynchronous way, that is, with lessons that the student can start when he or she is most comfortable. The first group of school directors who followed the course were of the northern and southern areas of the country, in July; the second group, of the southern and central areas, begins this month of August.

            Rosa Carcamo, director of the Salesian high school "San José" of Punta Arenas, who participated in the course, believes that it poses a necessary challenge to the management teams, which is to "rethink a re-elaboration of our institutional communication plans, taking care to ensure maximum coherence between what is seen and perceived externally and what is done within our educational institution."

            For Carlos Darwit, administrator of the Salesian school "Domenico Savio" in San Ramón, "as Directors, it is essential to maintain the image of what we say and do. This is why it is important to be in permanent contact with the users of our services, students, parents, internal and external personnel linked to our work, to be updated on the perception and congruence of our actions."

            • CIL CILE
            • Cile
            • Comunicazione Sociale
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Lebanon – Apocalypse in Beirut. An eyewitness

              5 days 11 hours ago
              Lebanon – Apocalypse in Beirut. An eyewitness

              (ANS - Beirut) - Lebanon, already long shocked by an extremely serious socio-political and economic-financial crisis, subsequently aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic, suffered a huge catastrophe on Tuesday, August 4, with the explosion of over 2,500 tons of ammonium nitrate carelessly deposited in a warehouse in the port of Beirut after being seized, some time ago, from a ship. The Salesians, present in the country with two works - Al Fidar, on the coast, and El Housson, on a hill in the interior, both about thirty kilometers from Beirut – have no victims, nor suffered direct damage, but suffer with all their population for yet another disaster that strikes and affects the local population.

              The Beirut explosion has caused at least 137 deaths and about 5,000 injured. The shock wave spread over a radius of over 10 km, seriously destroying or damaging hospitals, places of worship, public buildings and private homes, as well as ships that were in the harbor or at anchor. About 300,000 people are estimated to have lost their homes and material damage is estimated in billions of dollars.

              One of the Sons of Don Bosco active in the Land of the Cedars testifies: “If so far, as Salesians there have been no victims among our acquaintances, we have suffered more or less significant injuries and damage in many houses they live in. The home of a Lebanese confrere, Fr Dany El-Hayek, suffered serious damage, but, fortunately, his parents were in the mountains. Syrian and Iraqi refugees living in Beirut whom we care for are reporting to us not only the material damage of their homes, but also and above all the psychological shock suffered by them and their children. Having left their country to escape the war, they are now in a country in crisis and in a situation of very serious hardship.”

              Lebanon, in fact, even struggles to care for its own citizens today and now finds itself with the capital suddenly devastated, after 30 years of slow and arduous reconstruction following the civil war. The country's civil and religious authorities are making appeals to the whole world. “Lebanon deserves the support of its brothers and friends, necessary to put its capital back on its feet,” the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon, Bechara Boutros Rai, invoked in a statement.

              The crisis, already serious, is now completely unsustainable and its consequences unpredictable, or rather, predictable for the worse.

              In this situation, the Salesians try to contribute by offering an outlook of hope and relaunching an appeal to international solidarity: “If from many there is a cry of despair and anger at the unconsciousness of too many politicians and officials, including the port authorities from Beirut, to whom responsibility for yesterday's catastrophe is attributed, we launch a cry of hope looking above all at the resourceful and enterprising young Lebanese. We feel close to them and concerned about their future. The help we ask is for both them and for the Syrian and Iraqi refugees we care for.

              {gallery}Porto di Beirut - 2020{/gallery}

              • Libano
              • MOR MEDIO ORIENTE
              • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
              • Solidarietà
                Gian Francesco Romano

                India – Salesian Brother Mathew John’s Latest Contemporary Masterpiece: “The Last Supper”

                5 days 11 hours ago
                India – Salesian Brother Mathew John’s Latest Contemporary Masterpiece: “The Last Supper”

                (ANS – New Delhi) – The paintings of Salesian Brother Mathew John Puthanangady, of the Salesian Province of New Delhi [INN], depict a wide range of style, subject matter and fine technique of oil painting, which has helped him achieve international recognition. The various pictures of landscapes and biblical personalities painted by Mathew John are considered masterpieces and they adorn the walls of Don Bosco Institutions in India and abroad. Recently he has ventured forth, with excellent results, with a pictorial theme of ancient tradition and with which even the greatest artists of every era have challenged themselves: the Last Supper of Jesus.

                Bro. Mathew John was trained under Elio Lago, an Italian artist who teaches art and culture at Istituto Salesiano San Zeno, Verona. However, Mathew is more inclined to Rembrandt’s style of paintings, his approach to composition, colour usage and his play on light and shadow. Large areas of his paintings are obscured in shadow or in dark tone but the little streaks of colour here and there give life to the painting.

                Art curator and critic Uma Nair says: “The Last Supper is the most talked-about painting in the world. Bro. Mathew brings Leonardo da Vinci forward into the modern millennium by creating a contemporary masterpiece in which the participants belong to Today. What is brilliant is his composition and his translation of the spiritual expression alongside the realism of dimension.”

                Mathew John completed a training in printing technology in Chennai, went on to do an advanced course in pre-press technology in Verona, Italy. On his return in 1995, along with 2 other Salesians, he started the Bosco School of Printing in New Delhi. In the year 2000, to celebrate the 125th year of the First Salesian Expedition to Argentina, the then Rector Major Father Juan Edmundo Vecchi invited at least 2 Salesians from each province to be part of this mission. Bro. Mathew John offered himself willingly for this extraordinary event and went to Nigeria. Already in Nigeria, he used to spend his free time in painting and giving expression to his artistic skill. Besides painting, his other skills and interests include 2D-animation, 3D-modelling and 3D-animation, graphic design and photography.

                Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio of Nigeria, was so impressed by Mathew’s paintings that he requested him to make 4 typical African scenes for the Vatican Embassy in Nigeria. In 2002, at the request of Istituto Salesiano San Zeno for a 3D-modeler and animator, he moved to Verona. In 2008 he won second prize for “Il ragazzo del sogno”, an animation movie in the Youtube category at the International Catholic Film Festival held in Niepokalanów, Poland.

                Currently he teaches Graphic Design and Multimedia in Don Bosco Technical Institute, New Delhi.

                Source: Don Bosco India

                • India
                • INN INDIA NEW DELHI
                • Arte e Cultura
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  South Africa – Struggle of winter and COVID-19 in Snake Park Township near Dobsonville, Soweto

                  6 days 11 hours ago
                  South Africa – Struggle of winter and COVID-19 in Snake Park Township near Dobsonville, Soweto

                  (ANS – Johannesburg) – Nhlanhla Lucky Mdlalose is a former Salesian Volunteers who is currently part of the Salesian Youth Ministry team at Bosco Youth Centre in Walkerville, Johannesburg. He is from Dobsonville, Soweto (Johannesburg), and together with their youth group decided to assist those most vulnerable during this time of Covid-19.

                  Many children have to go through this winter season with blankets that are torn and have holes, but they still have to share the same blankets with their siblings. Some have no blankets at all. For these families, it’s even difficult to afford to buy food let alone to afford a new blanket.

                  There are children who get into fights with their siblings over a jersey. The elderly suffer just as much.  There are elderly people staying in shacks, backrooms with raw cement floors, holes in the walls, broken windows. Winter is a beautiful season, but it is a dreadful one for all destitute families, children and elderly people. They are the longest three months of your life if you have no warm clothes, no warm bedding, live in a shack or room with cold cement floors, holes in your roof and still have to fight off the hunger.

                  Nhlanhla asks himself: “Where do they find the strength that they need to overcome all of this?”

                  Looking at all this suffering and need, the youth of Dobsonville and Snake Park have taken it upon themselves to be the change and give these poor families the strength and lift them up by providing blankets, warm clothing and warm food.

                  Starting on 24 May 2020, two months after the lockdown and at a time when people were becoming increasingly desperate, the youth began to prepare warm meals every Sunday, preparing vegetable soup, pap, bread and other hot items. So far, their soup kitchen has fed more than 3,000 people in Snake Park Township in Soweto.  To be ready to feed everyone by 10 am, the 15 youth members gather in the early hours of the morning and begin preparing nutritious meals. Mostly they use their own funds to get all the soup ingredients; there are, however, some generous people in the area who occasionally donate something.

                  The youth recognize that feeding the hungry only addresses part of the needs for the families of Snake Park Township. Blankets and warm blankets will also go a long way to alleviating the bitter winter cold. They are therefore also appealing for winter clothes for children, women, and men, including tracksuits, jerseys, long-sleeved vests, jackets, warm shoes, pajamas, trousers and sanitary towels.

                  Salesian Brother Clarence Watts, Delegate for Social Communication of the Southern Africa Vice Province (AFM), speaks about Nhlanhla and his team and says: “He is a truly inspiring young man, together with his team of youth. There is no Salesian presence in Soweto, but Nhlanhla has brought the Salesian spirit of generosity and kindness to the most vulnerable youth in Soweto. Don Bosco would be very proud of him.”

                  • AFM AFRICA MERIDIONALE
                  • Sudafrica
                  • Povertà
                  • Fame
                  • Coronavirus
                  • Solidarietà
                  • Laici
                  • Giovani
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Hungary – Salesians organize 26th Altar Servers Camp

                    6 days 11 hours ago
                    Hungary – Salesians organize 26th Altar Servers Camp

                    (ANS – Budapest) – Altar servers camp is one of the oldest summer camps conducted in the Salesian Province of Hungary. After the fall of communism, the Salesians resumed youth ministry by organising altar servers camp for boys following the footsteps of founder Don Bosco who began his mission with an altar boy. This year is the 26th year of the camp being organised.

                    In the past years, it has been noted that among the participants some have become priests and religious. Hence the Salesian fathers and brothers consider this camp as one of the special occasions for vocation promotion and therefore quite a few of them interacted with the altar servers and accompanied them as team leaders.

                    About 100 participants took part in the camp which was held on July 14-18. Fr. Kirner Zoltán SDB who celebrates his silver jubilee of his priestly ordination this year was the spiritual director of the camp. The goal of the live-in camp is to emphasize more on liturgy and to relax in having fun activities. The spiritual director of the camp gave everyday formation session on the theme: 'Behold, the mystery of faith'. Lots of workshops, sport and skillful activities were conducted in order to strengthen the team building because the team members come from different non-Salesian parishes. The winning team was given the Alter Servers Cup which has been named after Blessed Stephen Sándor, the Hungarian Salesian martyr brother.

                    The Best Altar Server of the camp was awarded with the statue of Saint Dominic Savio, the patron saint of the altar servers. The participants evaluated this camp as a useful, helpful and joyful venture of the Salesians. Hats off to the ex-provincial Fr. Ábrahám Béla SDB and the present provincial Fr. Andrásfalvy János SDB for their support.

                    {gallery}UNG - Campo per ministranti 2020{/gallery}

                    • Ungheria
                    • UNG UNGHERIA
                    • Ministranti
                    • Pastorale Giovanile
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      India – Don Bosco Tech India Raises Concerns about NCVT & Offers Suggestions for Curriculum Development

                      1 week ago
                      India – Don Bosco Tech India Raises Concerns about NCVT & Offers Suggestions for Curriculum Development

                      (ANS - New Delhi) – Don Bosco institutions have been in the forefront of technical education for over a century in India. They manage 27 NCVT recognized ITI institutions and several others offering skill training under various schemes of the government such as NSDC and different ministries at central and state levels.  Don Bosco Tech Society, as the network of all skill training initiatives of the Don Bosco institutions across the country, represented the concerns and suggestions about the NCVT examinations for the consideration of the Director General of Training, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

                      In the context of coronavirus causing uncertainty all around, Don Bosco Tech expressed concern regarding the pending NCVT examinations. Pointedly, they brought into focus the final year students. These students are at the finish line, but they are unable to cross over to get on with their lives and making their mark on the society. All because they have not given their final exam which will qualify them to go in for their apprenticeship, plan for further studies or begin working, as the case may be.

                      The trainees wish to have their studies and examinations over and done with at the earliest. Lingering takes a psychological toll on the students leading to poor performance in the long run. DB Tech has requested the Director General of Training, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to conduct the tests as soon as possible on CBT mode from the syllabus completed so far. As many of the trainees have also travelled to their native places, the possibility of allowing such trainees to give their exams from their current location in a nearby ITI with proper authorization and in a secured way will have to be explored. DB Tech suggested that the results be declared within 15 to 20 days so that trainees can further take up studies, apprenticeship, job or self-employment.

                      Several suggestions were given to the Director General of Training regarding the new affiliation norms that are soon to be implemented and for curriculum development. The shortcomings in the present grading system needs to be rectified so that the grading result will be based on the quality of the training imparted. Experienced and knowledgeable personnel from Don Bosco ITIs will be enabled to contribute for the same.

                      By Father Babu Varghese, SDB

                      Source: Don Bosco India

                      • India
                      • Educazione
                      • Formazione Professionale
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Cuba – 100 years for Salesian Bruno Roccaro

                        1 week ago
                        Cuba – 100 years for Salesian Bruno Roccaro

                        (ANS - Santa Clara) - The Salesian priest Bruno Roccaro, born in Italy, but a missionary in Cuba for half of his life, celebrated 100 years of life on 23 July. To celebrate it, on the same day, a Eucharist was celebrated at the parish of Our Lady of Carmel, during which Fr Roccaro himself preached the homily.

                        “A man of God. Fully Cuban. A tireless missionary in the villages of Guamá, in eastern Cuba, a lover of the mountains, art and literature, passionate above all of the young,” his confreres defined him on social networks.

                        The Mass for his birthday was celebrated by Fr Roccaro himself. In his homily he indicated how this anniversary is an act of thanksgiving for all the people who have shared this path with him and helped him get to where he is now.

                        "What little I have done in my life, I have not done it alone, is not my work, but of the many who have helped me," and in the first place God, he underscored.

                        The priest thanked his family, who always accompanied him during his priestly life, all the people of his hometown, Scorzé, the Salesians, thanks to whom he was able to finish his studies and find the way to the religious vocation, and his brother priests with whom he spent many years in Cuba, where he was sent as a missionary 50 years ago.

                        The priest also emphasized that, in this period, it is necessary to build bridges between Catholics themselves, and asked the faithful to be "seekers of God." "I find it very difficult to think that two people of religious life cannot agree, that they are enemies, opposites," he said.

                        Fr Roccaro also stressed that obedience is essential in life, thanks to it the apostolate becomes fruitful. "Because it's not what I choose, but what I'm told, what God wants," he said. Here is "not only peace, fruitfulness, but also happiness," he added.

                        Finally, the priest asked the faithful to pray for him so that "when God wills it, he can meet this God, this mystery that I have so often wanted to know in depth."

                        {gallery}ANT - Messa don Roccaro fa 100 - 2020{/gallery}

                        • ANT ANTILLE
                        • Cuba
                        • Missioni
                        • Anziani
                        • Eucaristia
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Portugal – SYM Summer 2020: Invited to Recreate

                          1 week ago
                          Portugal – SYM Summer 2020: Invited to Recreate

                          (ANS - Lisbon) - From 20 to 24 July, the SYM Summer Camp 2020 took place, an online event that compensated for the cancellation of the National Camp of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) which, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was not possible.

                          SYM Summer 2020 brought together about 90 participants throughout the week, divided into the usual sectors for pre-teenagers, teenagers and young people. Every day, at 12:00 local time, the day's theme was presented through the Zoom platform. Creation was the common thread on which everyone reflected and which was fundamental for the challenges offered during the single day in which each young person was to participate to then share the fruit of their commitment on social networks such as Tik Tok and Instagram.

                          In the afternoon the different groups met to reflect on the questions that had been presented in the morning. And at 22:30 they met again in the common group to pray together and end with other properly recreational and educational activities.

                          Although the SYM Summer 2020 was not able to replace the National Camp in full, for a week the participants savoured Salesian youth spirituality, made up of prayer, games, companionship, joy and friendship.

                          The final Eucharist was also transmitted via Zoom, celebrated at the home of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Setúbal and presided over by Fr Álvaro Lago, National Delegate for Salesian Youth Ministry. "In practice, we replaced one activity with another experience, but we did not want to lose the goals of when we are together and celebrate," said the priest in the homily. "We are Salesian youth spirituality in person and this is what makes it present in us," said the presbyter.

                          Fr Lago then launched one last challenge to the participants: that of celebrating the Creation today, so that everyone becomes the visible face of the life of communion with Jesus. “We are invited to live in such a way that those who look at us ask themselves: Why is this person joyful and happy?”

                          In the Eucharist it was also announced that Sister Alzira Sousa had completed her position as National Delegate for Youth Ministry of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, giving way to Sister Linda Vieira. After her very intense work with the SYM Council, the religious thanked all those who had worked with her in recent years.

                          {gallery}POR - Estate MGS 2020{/gallery}

                          • Portogallo
                          • POR PORTOGALLO
                          • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                          • Estate Ragazzi
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            India – Solidarity and education: cornerstones of social and educational action of Sonada Salesian Institute

                            1 week ago
                            India – Solidarity and education: cornerstones of social and educational action of Sonada Salesian Institute

                            (ANS - Sonada) - While for months India has been grappling with the challenges created by the pandemic, a Salesian educational center, located in the state of West Bengal, near Darjeeling, not far from the border with Nepal, uses every means to meet the demands of those in need, offering material support, digitized lessons and scholarships. This is the case of the Salesian Institute of Sonada.

                            In their social commitment to helping the most needy, the school is represented by the Dean of the Institute and Salesian past pupil Terence Mukhia, who is also the President of the Society United Christian Minorities Welfare of Sonada (SUCMWS), an organization that gathers 14 Christian groups from the Sonada area.

                            “Initially we were afraid of being infected and exposing my family members at risk. Still, I felt that something had to be done, not as an individual, but as a community," says prof. Mukhia.

                            This is how the professor, ever since two young people knocked on his door asking for help, has come to lead a rescue project for migrant workers from Nepal, Christians in need of the Sonada locality, who have been stuck in the Sonada area and barely manage to survive. Overall, from June 4 to July 29, SUCMWS organized five expeditions for the delivery of aid, relying on the contribution of many: “The resources - in money, goods or services - arrived generously from religious, priests, lay people, members of family and friends,” says the professor.

                            Furthermore, since the main purpose of the Salesian school is education, the leaders of the institute have continued to work hard also in this sector. Thus, from 1 May and until early July - before the start of the exams - they made available the radio station "Darjeeling Radio Salesian" (90.8) for the English-language broadcast of 10-15 minutes of 12 subjects to the benefit of the students of 64 colleges affiliated to the University of North Bengal.

                            The project, called "Radio Edu Pods", saw the voluntary participation of about 50 professors from 9 colleges. They recorded their lessons with their mobile phones and sent them to the editorial staff of "Darjeeling Radio Salesian" on WhatsApp for editing. And to ensure that students can access the lessons without time limits, they have also been adapted for video and uploaded to the SALESIAN TV YouTube channel.

                            Finally, looking ahead to the next school year, the school management has decided not to raise school fees and to offer 30 scholarships to its students, divided into six categories. As school principal Fr George Thadathil explained: "It is our continuous effort to make higher education accessible to students who otherwise would not be able to attend."

                            {gallery}INC - SCSonada varie 2020{/gallery}

                            • INC INDIA CALCUTTA
                            • India
                            • Coronavirus
                            • Solidarietà
                            • Radio
                            • Comunicazione Sociale
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG – Presentation of 2021 Strenna theme: «Hope moves us: "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev 21,5)»

                              1 week ago

                              (ANS - Rome) - After speaking with many Provincials, heard their needs, and after consulting members of the General Council, with the leaders of the Salesian Family and the Salesians of the Salesian Central Office, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, elaborated the theme of the Strenna for 2021, emblem of the Salesian response to the current situation generated by the pandemic: «Hope moves us: "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev 21,5)».

                              "Thinking about the message that can unite us as a Salesian Family in this year 2021, it is impossible not to take into account that for many months, to a greater or lesser extent, the world, all nations have remained, if not paralyzed (although many are), certainly blocked,” begins the Rector Major in his presentation text of the Strenna.

                              At the same time, “our message underlines and reaffirms that, faced with this harsh and painful reality with its heavy consequences, we continue to express the certainty of being moved by hope: because God in His Spirit continues to make 'all things new'.”

                              Illustrating the structure of the Strenna's message, Fr Á.F. Artime points out that Don Bosco himself experienced many difficult situations - including a cholera epidemic - without losing hope, on the contrary, always reacting and motivating others to increase their efforts, work even harder.

                              The current era, therefore, is the opportune time for awareness and commitment in the face of everything that even before the pandemic was not going well, but which we had become accustomed to: the suffering of many people, the epidemics of other less-publicized diseases, the damage to Creation ...

                              Here, then, the Strenna will serve to propose a Salesian reading of the present time in order to learn alternative processes to the dominant culture, capable of achieving a change of values ​​and vision. And to maintain Salesian concreteness, to propose, at the same time, places and situations, where "to learn and exercise hope."

                              All this while always allowing oneself to be accompanied by Mary, "Mother of God, Star of Hope".

                              The complete text of the presentation of the Strenna is available from today, in Italian and Spanish, on the sdb.org website. The presentation will also be released in other languages ​​in the coming days.

                              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                              • STRENNA
                              • Strenna 2021
                              • Speranza
                              • Rettor Maggiore
                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                RMG – “We're part of great Salesian map dreamed of and planned by our father, Don Bosco”. Salesian Map 2020

                                1 week 1 day ago
                                RMG – “We're part of great Salesian map dreamed of and planned by our father, Don Bosco”. Salesian Map 2020

                                (ANS – Rome) – “Jesus Christ, Communicator of the Father, said to his disciples: ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15). Don Bosco, Communicator of the Father’s love for the young, left his own testimony to the Salesians in the great motto: ‘Da mihi animas, caetera tolle’. Don Bosco, in faithful response to the call of God’s love in his life, and following Jesus Christ, Communicator of the Father, drew the map of the world in his heart, and dreamed of educating and evangelising young people everywhere”. That's how Fr Gildásio Mendes dos Santos SDB, General Councillor for Social Communication, begins his message of introduction of the 2020 Map of the Salesian presence in the world.

                                Fr Mendes dos Santos goes on:

                                His dream, like seeds of the Gospel, spread throughout the world. The seed grew and became a great Salesian Family. We are a great movement of people who love God and the young.

                                We are part of the great Salesian map dreamed of and planned by our father, Don Bosco.

                                Coming from all continents, we draw the Salesian map with our love for young people. A map that is always new because it is drawn with the colours and beauty of the Salesian charism. It is always open, without borders, because it welcomes all young people, especially the poorest and most needy.

                                In this world map, each Salesian in each community is part of the educational characteristics and features of this great map of the evangelisation of young people.

                                Each community in each Province is a route on this map educating for life and to hope.

                                All our works in all the countries where we are working provide the colour and dynamics of the Salesian mission at the service of those to whom we are sent in the different regions and cultures.

                                We are the map of young people! A map made up of the Salesian Family: Salesians, Salesian Sisters, Salesian Cooperators, ADMA, Past Pupils, friends of Don Bosco.

                                We are the map of new youthful languages, the digital map and the map of social networks. As a great network of love and service to young people, we are the educational networks that give vitality and visibility to the Salesian map in the world.

                                Don Bosco, at Valdocco, was the creator of this map that we continue to redraw every day of our life together with our young people.

                                One afternoon in 1883, according to the BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS, Fr Philip Rinaldi “entered Don Bosco's office in Turin for an informal conversation and was surprised to see Don Bosco with a globe on his desk and his eyes lost far away in the immensity of the places on the globe”.  Don Bosco so wanted to send out his Salesians to be missionaries everywhere, to create a globe of evangelization.

                                Don Bosco always believed that Our Lady Help of Christians was the one who did everything. We entrust to her all the members of the Salesian Family, all the young people, friends who share the gift of the Salesian charism in all nations, forming the great and ever new Salesian map, a map for today and for tomorrow.

                                The “Salesians in the World” map is available in two versions and three formats.

                                • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                • Gildasio Mendes dos Santos
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Malta – “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”

                                  1 week 1 day ago
                                  Malta – “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”

                                  (ANS – Sliema) – As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”, and that is precisely what we did with our Salesian summer programme in Malta.  With all the uncertainty that the Covid-19 pandemic brought along and the several safety restrictions in place all through spring, we actively sought to change our normal summer plans to make them as Covid-safe as possible.

                                  For the first time, all the four different Salesian houses teamed up to collaborate on a nation-wide summer programme to be safely delivered online. This summer programme includes sports and fitness sessions, creativity and performing arts, story-telling workshops, creative arts and a live morning show with animators and SDBs as participants of the activities.

                                  In addition to all this, since the safety measures have been recently relaxed in Malta, each respective Salesian house is holding outdoor activities to small groups of children and youth at a time. These activities include water games, bike rides, night hikes, cook-outs and fun outdoor games in general. 

                                  Both options have gone down really well with our members and the general feedback is overwhelmingly good across the board. Surely a summer to be remembered for the innovative activities and experiences we are going through together. In all this confusion around the world we aim to take heed to our beloved Don Bosco’s advice:  “Enjoy yourselves as much as you like, if only you keep away from sin”.

                                  {gallery}Malta - ER 2020{/gallery}

                                  • Malta
                                  • MLT MALTA
                                  • Estate Ragazzi
                                  • Coronavirus
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Argentina – Salesian students win NASA competition: their car to participate in first Moon race

                                    1 week 4 days ago
                                    Left: above, Nicolas Macullan; below, Francisco Yennacaro. Right: above, Pablo Molina Ruiz; below, Federico Muzzio. In the center, the rendering of the vehicle that will be sent to the moon.

                                    (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Four Salesian students from Buenos Aires have won a competition organized by NASA: their car will participate in the first race to be held on the Moon.

                                    Nicolás Macullan, Pablo Molina Ruiz, Federico Muzzio and Francisco Yennacaro are students of the fifth year of the Technical Institute of the Salesian house "León XIII", as well as the members of the "Atlas" group. Their project was chosen from 35 other projects from 11 countries to participate in the first race to be held on the Moon, a race organized by the "Moon Mark" group, scheduled for October 2021, and sponsored by NASA.

                                    The students already knew each other at school and had already worked together. For this project, they divided their tasks: Nicolás took care of the ideas for the car's suspension; Pablo, the 3D design and software; Francisco did research on the moon's natural conditions; while Federico took care of the necessary calculations.

                                    The pace of work was challenging. The competition lasted a month, and there was a [task] consignment to be made every week. "In the last two weeks we have been fighting against time ... We thought we were done, and we realized that something was missing ... And we had to start over," recalls Pablo.

                                    Yet, comments Francisco, "It was really fantastic ... The experts were surprised to see that seventeen-year-olds were able to do in four weeks what many Engineering students take several months to do."

                                    The natural conditions of the Moon, where temperatures vary from –100° C to +100° C, were one of the great challenges. "We rushed to read a NASA manual on the production of microsatellites, looking for ideas," says Nicolas.

                                    It was at the Salesian school that the four learned about 3D design and engine operations, but also about the right method to face this challenge. “They taught us to work on projects, for real life. And they gave us the values ​​to work in a group," adds Nicolás.

                                    “Constancy, organization. If you have a delivery to be made in two weeks, start working today,” says Federico. They will also have next year to put all this, and much more, into practice, given that they still have one more year of secondary school.

                                    Each week the students had to send a video with the project's progress. Here's last week's.

                                    “Being able to do this in quarantine was fantastic. Stop thinking about your four walls all day ... thinking about the Moon!" the boys conclude.

                                    To find out more about the "Atlas" team, see their Instagram profile; while for next Monday, August 3, a live interview is scheduled on the YouTube channel of the Salesian Bulletin of Argentina (18:00 – UTC-3).

                                    • Argentina
                                    • ARS ARGENTINA SUD
                                    • Tecnologie
                                    • Scienze
                                    • Studenti
                                    • Giovani
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      RMG – Online meeting of Salesian publishers of Europe

                                      1 week 4 days ago
                                      RMG – Online meeting of Salesian publishers of Europe

                                      (ANS - Rome) - The online meeting of the leaders of the Salesian publishing houses in Europe was held on 29 July, chaired by the General Councilor for Social Communications, Fr Gildásio Mendes dos Santos. The topics dealt with, on the one hand, how the publishers dealt with the Covid-19 crisis, the way in which confinement affected them, the effects on sales ... And on the other, how they prepare to face the future.

                                      In addition to Fr Mendes dos Santos, other participants were: Luca Priuli, for "Elledici" (Italy); Antonio Garrido and Marta Palomares, of the "Grupo Edebé" (Spain); Fr Bob Gardner, for "Don Bosco Publications" (United Kingdom); Ricardo Martín, of the "CCS" (Spain); Stefan Höchstädter of "Don Bosco Medien GmbH" (Germany); Fr Andrej Baligač, for "Salve d.o.o." (Slovenia); Fr Wojciech Kułak, of "Wydawnictowo Salezjanskie" (Poland), and Fr Alberto Rui, of "Ediçôes Salesianas" (Portugal).

                                      During the meeting, and generally speaking, it emerged that all firms suffered the condition created by Covid-19 - some more, others less. Most publishers decreased production while waiting to see the situation evolve, while others have adopted innovative ways to overcome the lack of sales. Publishers who depend on bookstores and parishes have seen their orders drop, but some have decided to take advantage of progressive digitalization, especially teaching. And on the other hand, online selling was another tool that in some cases turned out to be positive. For some, it was not easy even to adapt to work from home, but other editorial managers commented that they had discovered in this modality a new way of working that was more positive than they had previously thought.

                                      As for the future, everyone hopes that the opening of bookshops and schools will resume in a strong fashion in September and, above all, that the arrival of orders will start and help reduce the expected losses in total turnover. However, nobody knows exactly what to expect.

                                      In conclusion, the General Councilor for Social Communications encouraged everyone to adopt a creative attitude, just like Don Bosco, who knew how to adopt innovative paths to overcome difficulties. "This is what the Salesian publishing houses are called to do today: to seek new ways of communicating among us to ensure that the Salesian community is involved in our productions. And also to think of solutions that not only make us think about problems, but also make us look to the future with courage and positivism," he said.

                                      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                      • Comunicazione Sociale
                                      • Gildasio Mendes dos Santos
                                      • Editrici
                                      • Europe
                                        Gian Francesco Romano
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