Main page content

Checked
59 minutes 43 seconds ago
image
News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Belgium – Augusta: voice of Don Bosco Fambul girls in European Parliament

22 hours 46 minutes ago
Belgium – Augusta: voice of Don Bosco Fambul girls in European Parliament

(ANS - Brussels) - Yesterday, February 19, an absolutely Salesian day took place in Brussels: bringing the voice of the most defenseless young people of Sierra Leone to the highest European institutions to discuss the issue of these young people being forced to exercise prostitution to survive. The Salesian delegation met the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani who appreciated and urged the work of the Salesians to continue and pledged to support the advocacy work for these girls.

In an event organized by Don Bosco International, together with COMECE (Commission of EU Bishops’ Conferences), and hosted by the Spanish Member of the European Parliament Mrs Teresa Jiménez-Becerril, Fr Jorge Crisafulli, director of Don Bosco Fambul, and Augusta Ngombu-Gboli, a young beneficiary, were able to share what Salesians do in this African country and the opportunity that Don Bosco Fambul is providing for young girls like Augusta through education, therapeutic care and vocational training. The event took place in the European Parliament and counted on the presence of six MEPs from diverse nationalities and many representatives of civil society and church authorities.

Augusta shared her terrifying and touching story, how Don Bosco saved her life and gave her a new opportunity to start again; she also described how she is now a young entrepreneur in catering services and she cooperates as a trainer in Fambul to support girls that went through the same traumatic experience. Also, Fr Jorge shared the programmes and some key successes with the Sierra Leone government after his first visit in April 2018.

In the same event, Mrs Barbara Terenzi, Human Rights Office coordinator of VIS, shared the campaign Stop-Human Trafficking and the joint efforts with other Salesian organizations to prevent this dramatic phenomenon, as well as promoting circular migration. In addition, Fr Michael Czerny, Undersecretary of Pope Francis in the Migrants and Refugees section, presented the recent document “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking” that establishes several pastoral policy guidelines to deal with this modern slavery of which Pope Francis often speaks.

This intense day was completed with a number of technical encounters, with the research parliamentary services and with public servants in charge of development policies for Africa in the European Parliament; as well as a private meeting of Fr Czerny with several Catholic organizations that work in the EU institutions on migration and the fight against human trafficking.

The immense joint work of Misiones Salesianas and Don Bosco International to overcome the bureaucratic and migratory burdens, and make possible the presence of Augusta on this day in Brussels, were a sign of Divine Providence, but also a great opportunity to show the vast discrimination faced by young people like Augusta in today’s world. These phenomena are a clear appeal to Salesians to be present both at the grass-roots level but also in the Institutions and International Forums.

  • Belgio
  • Unione Europea
  • Prostituzione
  • Don Bosco Fambul
  • Don Bosco International
  • Sierra Leone
  • Politica
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Vatican - Protection of minors in the Church: UISG and USG with Pope "to find an effective response"

    22 hours 46 minutes ago

    (ANS - Rome) - In view of the Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church, scheduled from tomorrow, 21 February, to Sunday 24, the International Unions of Superiors General (UISG / USG, that is, male and female) have issued a joint message to reaffirm the desire to "humbly recognize and confess the mistakes made; support survivors; learn from them the way to accompany those who have been abused."

    "Let us bow our heads in shame" because of the abuses "that have occurred in our Congregations and Orders and in our Church," the statement immediately affirms, which goes on to acknowledge how often "the answer of those in authority was not what it should have been."

    For this reason the leaders of religious life in the world hope that during the meeting in the Vatican "new steps can be identified and decisions taken", and they commit themselves to "listening to the survivors better", to implement that which will be decided and to follow the Holy Father, whose guide is defined as "fundamental."

    In general, the religious identify the need for a "culture of Protection, or Care", to be pursued in every area:

    - in education and health care, where better protocols and higher standards of protection for minors are already in place;

    - in formation, ensuring that at every stage adequate education and instruction are given to both formators and those in formation, and that it is clear in any culture and context, that "child abuse is never allowed and is not tolerable";

    - in spirituality, taking on the commitment to develop "special programs to accompany every person who is a victim of abuse, who wants to find help in the difficulty with faith and with the meaning of life."

    By identifying some roots of the problem in clericalism, in the abuse of power and in the misunderstood sense of belonging to the congregations, the religious commit to continuous conversion, and intend to pool resources and skills to be more effective.

    The religious also invoke the collaboration of parents and women; and in closing, a message is directly addressed to the survivors: "we recognize that there was an inadequate attempt to tackle this problem and a shameful inability to understand your pain. We offer you our sincerest apologies and our pain ... We invite you to work with us to create new structures to ensure that risks are kept to a minimum."

    The complete message is available, in English and Italian, on the site dedicated to the event.

    • Vaticano
    • Abusi
    • USG
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Togo – Wake of Togolese land for Fr Antonio César: Masses and prayers for Salesian missionary

      1 day 22 hours ago
      Togo – Wake of Togolese land for Fr Antonio César: Masses and prayers for Salesian missionary

      (ANS - Lomé) - The violent death of Fr Antonio César Fernández was a blow to the Salesians and young people of the Francophone Province of Western Africa (AFO). "He helped us a lot to grow in Salesian formation"; "He was a model of religious life, a saint," say the testimonies that continue to arrive from that part of Africa. While the dynamics of the aggression that led to the death of the Spanish missionary are being investigated, the Salesian communities in Togo have programmed various funeral vigils and celebrations of suffrage.

      The Salesians of Togo have been watching over the remains of Fr Antonio César since the afternoon of that tragic 15 February. According to the latest reports, before the attack on the Salesians, the jihadist militiamen had already attacked a customs office and killed four people in the ranks of the customs officers. When Fr Fernández and the other two Salesians accompanying him on their return from the first session of the Provincial Chapter arrived on the scene, they thought they were being stopped for a routine border check. Instead, they were surrounded by armed men, who separated them, then shot Fr Antonio César and fled the scene.

      The Province has scheduled vigils and celebrations to allow all those who loved Fr Fernández to wake over him in one last greeting. Tomorrow afternoon, 20 February, prayer vigils are scheduled in the various churches and pastoral communities animated by the Salesians of Lomé. On Thursday, a Eucharist will take place in Lomé and then in Gbodjomé, just on the outskirts of the Togolese capital.

      On the evening of Friday 22, another vigil will take place at the "Mary Help of Christians" parish of Gbenyedzi, in Lomé, with four Masses, celebrated throughout the night, animated by the various groups.

      Finally, on the morning of Saturday 23rd, at the same parish, the funeral of Fr Antonio César is scheduled. In addition to the current Provincial, Fr José Elegbede, the two predecessors, Fr Faustino García Peña and Fr Manolo Jímenez will also participate.

      Although Fr Antonio César had expressed his desire to be buried in Togo, the Spanish religious' family requested his body.

      • Togo
      • AFO
      • Antonio César Fernández
      • Decessi
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Province of France-South Belgium

        1 day 22 hours ago
        RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Province of France-South Belgium

        (ANS - Rome) - The Rector Major continues his journey of knowledge and animation across the Provinces of Central and Northern Europe. A few days after his return from Ireland, tomorrow, Wednesday 20 February, Fr Á.F. Artime begins the Animation Visit to the Province of France-South Belgium (FRB): a visit that will allow him to learn about many examples of success in the Salesian mission shared between religious and laity.

        After the arrival in Lyon and a first meeting with the city's Salesians, official activities start the following day. On Thursday 21, he visit the large Salesian school complex "Notre Dame des Minimes". Here, the X Successor of Don Bosco shall first meet with the laity and religious who animate the educational project of the school - the "Tutelle", in the local technical jargon - ensuring its fidelity to Salesian charism and the principles of Catholic education. Then he will gather with the young people who animate Salesian youth pastoral projects, as part of the "Defís Citoyen" program.

        In the afternoon, he meets with the community that offers formation to lay collaborators in the Salesian mission, this at the "Jean Bosco" center, and the day ends with a Eucharist for the Salesian Family and friends of the Don Bosco's work.

        On Friday 22, the Rector Major goes to Paris and the Provincial House to meet the leaders of the network of Salesian organizations "Don Bosco Action Sociale", and, subsequently, the Provincial Council. He will spend the afternoon and evening at the Salesian center of Argenteuil.

        The Rector Major will dedicate Saturday 23 to the assembly with all the Salesians of the Province, and then to the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), with whom he shall dialogue in the afternoon and celebrate in the evening.

        On Sunday 24, the Rector Major goes to Belgium. He will preside at the Eucharist in Liège, meet the local Salesian Family, and go to Farnière to learn about the work carried out by Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Laity in different locations of the FRB Province - Lyon, Paris, Lille and Farnière.

        Before returning to the Salesian HQ in Rome, Fr Á.F. Artime shall make a short stop in Luxembourb on Monday morning, 25 February.

        • RMG
        • Visita di Animazione
        • Rettor Maggiore
        • FRB
        • Ángel Fernández Artime
        • Laici
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Zambia – A drop of hope in Lufubu: new Salesian Center for Early Childhood Education

          1 day 22 hours ago
          Zambia – A drop of hope in Lufubu: new Salesian Center for Early Childhood Education

          (ANS – Lufubu) – Young children in the village of Lufubu, Zambia, will have a new Salesian Early Childhood Education Center thanks to “Salesian Missions” donors. Many pre-school children in the village are left unattended during the day and roam around aimlessly. The Early Childhood Education Center will provide a safe, healthy learning environment for more than 100 pre-school aged children.

          Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.

          The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.

          Now, donor funding is supporting the renovation of two existing classrooms and equipping them with age-appropriate furniture, supplies and learning materials to provide a strong foundation for future education. Early pre-school education provides the opportunity for these young children to access a school environment and learn early education fundamentals before primary school starts.

          “Access to quality education provides a stepping stone out of poverty for youth,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The education received at the Early Childhood Education Center will allow children to easily transition to a nearby Salesian primary school and then later into secondary school where students can begin to focus on finding a career path and learning the skills needed to lead a productive life.”

          Salesian missionaries have been providing programs in Zambia since missionaries from Poland first came to the country in 1982. From the beginning, Salesian missionaries worked in parishes serving mainly poor youth in need. Many Polish Salesian missionaries continue to work in Salesian programs across the country today. They are joined by Salesian priests from Zambia and other countries around the globe who are dedicated to giving poor youth and their families hope for a better future.

          Source: Salesian Missions

          • Zambia
          • ZMB
          • Procure Missionarie
          • Scuole
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Italy - Hadidi: from Morocco to businessman via Salesian education

            1 day 22 hours ago
            Italy - Hadidi: from Morocco to businessman via Salesian education

            (ANS - Bra) - A case of fully successful integration, where the education and vocational training offered by Salesians played a fundamental role: the story of Hadidi Lakbir, 30, now married and father of a child. 25 years ago he arrived in Italy from Morocco to join his father who worked for a local business. But today it is Hadidi himself who has become an entrepreneur.

            It is now 10 years since Hadidi has started and owns "Omh - Soluzioni Tecnologiche" in the town of Cavallerleone, a company with which he put himself at the service of the mechanical production companies in the provinces of Cuneo and Turin. He is a past pupil of the Vocational Training Center (CFP) of Bra and, filled with emotion, he told his story during the awarding of diplomas to the students of Salesian CFPs in the province of Cuneo, on 4 February.

            "I joined my family in Sommariva Bosco about 25 years ago. My father, who had arrived from Morocco, was working at a company in Ceresole d'Alba when we reached him in Piedmont. I remember with pleasure the elementary schools, with the teachers who helped us a lot. I also remember with gratitude the Salesians of Bra who educated me, even if I am of a different religion from the Christian one, and they trained me as a technician."

            Hadidi has been working on his own for almost 10 years and for this reason he is grateful to the Salesians: "They have helped me a lot in my role as an entrepreneur. My technical and human formation was guided during the three years I attended the Salesian Institute 'San Domenico Savio' of Bra."

            His testimony has highlighted the quality of an integral and comprehensive formation - in technical skills, as well as in values: "I have learned a lot from the Salesians in Bra, both from a professional and a human standpoint. I'm of foreign origin, but thanks to this education I managed to fit perfectly in the production sector in which I have been operating for many years."

            During the ceremony for the awarding of diplomas to the young students of Salesian CFPs, Hadidi received a prize from the General Director of the CNOS-FAP of Piedmont. He then concluded by addressing the students who have attended the very same workshops, a few years later.

            "I wish all the students present to find their way to work as I did," he concluded. "I thank the Salesians of Bra again for what they have 

            • Italia
            • ICP
            • Formazione Professionale
            • Migranti
            • CNOSFAP
              Gian Francesco Romano

              RMG - A true Salesian, a true missionary: Fr Antonio César Fernández

              2 days 22 hours ago
              RMG - A true Salesian, a true missionary: Fr Antonio César Fernández

              (ANS - Rome) - In the eyes of God every creature has the same, inestimable value; but for us human beings, no matter how hard we try, it's sadder and more painful when a person we knew, we appreciated, is stolen away from us. Fr Antonio César Fernández, SDB, over the years has left behind many good memories even among the Salesians at Salesian Headquarters and in the editorial staff of ANS.

              Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, was one of the closest friends and collaborators of Fr Fernández. Born in the same city, in Pozoblanco, they attended the same high school and completed the novitiate one year later. Fr Muñoz was the first to verify the missionary discernment of Fr Fernández when, in the early 1980s, he manifested his desire to go to serve young Africans. A few years later, as Provincial, it was Fr Muñoz to assign the position of Master of Novices in that region of Africa to Fr Fernández.

              "He was a man of exceptional goodness and great intelligence, convinced of his vocation," recalls Fr Muñoz. "When we were studying in the community of Ronda our classmates said that it took him only a week to do what they needed a year for."

              "He was aware of the risks involved," continues Fr Muñoz. "Once while I was visiting the African communities, we were stopped by militia, who threatened and attacked us. But he wanted to stay there and would repeat to me: 'I won't go back to Europe.' And he shared everything with the young Africans: he slept on the ground, drank water from the streams ... There was no way to make him change. He wanted to testify to the young people his complete donation."

              Fr Martín Lasarte, from the Missions Sector, also had the chance to collaborate with Fr Fernández on several occasions, to organize several events in the Africa and Madagascar region. "He transmitted the Salesian charism to the Africans; as Master of Novices for 10 years he formed generations of African Salesians. And today it is no coincidence that the Provincial of AFO is indigenous."

              "He was happy; his was a life in the service of young people," continues Fr Lasarte. "Service and availability were his hallmarks. If we asked him for translations, he was always ready, to organize, to prepare ... He had already said yes to the request to accompany the Orientation Course for the Missionaries of the 150th Missionary Expedition, next September."

              In 2011 he had released an interview with ANS to talk about the social difficulties in the Ivory Coast. Again on that occasion he testified his concrete attention to the needy population, the refugees, the most fragile people ... And he also spoke to us about his personal and Salesian commitment to promote interreligious dialogue.

              "Working with him was a joy," concludes Fr Muñoz. "As other people who knew him also wrote to me, I am convinced that he has also forgiven his murderers."

              • RMG
              • Antonio César Fernández
              • Martiri
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Brazil – Celebrating ten years medical students offer missionary voluntary service

                2 days 22 hours ago
                Brazil – Celebrating ten years medical students offer missionary voluntary service

                (ANS - Meruri) - Medical students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Santos, State of São Paulo, completed the 10th expedition of the Academic Project of Assistance to Indigenous Peoples (PAAPI) from 15 to 25 January. First established in 2009 with the aim of providing basic health care, collecting data on home visits and promoting preventive medicine, the project brought together, in this edition, 34 volunteers to promote health and solidarity in the villages of Meruri (Bororo culture) and Sangradouro (Xavante culture). The project is independent and funded by the students themselves, with revenues generated by promotions and events.

                Accompanied by Dr. Marcella Rolim, Salesian past pupil, the future doctors set up a clinic in the villages to take care of the population and talk to them about general health care and personal hygiene. About 7,000 medicines and 600 hygiene kits were delivered by volunteers to the two villages. Pregnant women and children also received vitamins and the doctor examined people who were experiencing specific problems.

                "We made house visits, in which we created a medical history and did physical examinations to all those who recieved us; we asked them what and how they felt, if they had any pain, their personal clinical history, measured their pressure and recorded the blood sugar of diabetics and those who had diabetes-like symptoms. We held conferences in the Salesian mission on diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, depression and alcoholism. Every day we also played with the children and offered a snack, after which they brushed their teeth with the hygiene kits we brought," said the student Dr. Cindy Buchmann, who coordinates the project with her colleagues Silvana Nardi, Bruna Bossi, Julie Kinoshita and Maria Eduarda Bormann. The entire organization before the trip was organized by students Natália Santana and Rafaela Saragiotto.

                This year, for the first time, Dr. Rolim took part in the project as a specialized doctor. She had already gone on a missionary expedition in 2014, as a medical student, in her fourth year of studies. "I learned about the project thanks to faculty friends and I fell in love with it. When I arrived in the villages, I had another surprise: to be welcomed in a Salesian Mission! A happy coincidence, because I had studied my whole life in a Salesian school and I was happy to be able to give back all the teachings and values that helped me in my formation and allowed me to get where I am today."

                According to the student Daniela Saad, the students leave with the mission of transmitting knowledge to the indigenous peoples, but it is they who take home a lesson in life. "PAAPI gives us ten days to help the indigenous people of Mato Grosso in the best possible way, but the truth is that these few days are already enough to make us learn to give more value to our lives. What a lesson in life, gratitude and emotion!," she exclaimed.

                • Brasile
                • BSP
                • Missioni
                • Indigeni
                • Salute
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  RMG - Letter of the Rector Major on the killing of Fr Antonio César Fernández, SDB

                  2 days 22 hours ago
                  Fr Antonio César Fernández, to the right of Fr Horacio López, Secretary of the Rector Major, on the occasion of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime's visit to the Francophone West Africa Province (AFO)

                  (ANS - Rome) - To my Salesian Confreres, to the Salesian Family in the world. My dear brethren, it’s just a few minutes I have arrived in Rome, “Sacro Cuore”, on my return from Ireland, where I was doing the visit to the Province of St. Patrick, whose headquarters are in Dublin, and I right away get in touch with all of you.

                  The reason for this is the sad and painful news that came a few hours ago, during the night, which informed me that our Salesian confrere Fr. Antonio César Fernández, missionary in Africa since 1982, has been assassinated yesterday (February 15, 2019, Ed.) at 15.00 hours local time, with three shots during a jihadist attack perpetrated at about 40 kilometers from the border of Burkina Faso. Fortunately, two other confreres managed to survive the attack. They were coming from Lome, after celebrating the first session of the Provincial Chapter of the AFO Province.

                  Dear brethren, there are many days during the year in which I receive the news of the demise of Salesian confreres for natural causes. This is the law of life, and it will come for us as well. In such cases, however, we give thanks to the Lord for so many beautiful lives generously donated.

                  But our confrere Antonio César war deprived of his life, they killed him without any reason. He was a good man, a man of God who, like the Lord, spent his life “doing good”, especially among his beloved African people. Antonio Cesar was 72 years old, with 55 years of religious profession and 46 of priestly life. We had met a few months ago in Burkina Faso, precisely in his community of Ouagadougou, where he was Rector and Parish Priest.

                  Antonio Cesar adds to the number of many other martyrs of the Church today in the world (some of whom are Salesians and members of our Salesian Family).

                  I invite you to thank the Lord for the beautiful life of our Fr. Antonio César. And also to ask God the Father to help humankind to put an end to this escalation of violence which only causes damage. May the Lord grant that César’s blood, shed in African land, be the seed of Christians, faithful followers of Jesus, and of young vocations at the service of the Kingdom.

                  Rest in peace, dear César.

                  Dear brethren, let us proceed more united than ever in the service of the Peole of God, and of the pooerst youth. Evil never has the last word. The Resurrection of the Lord clearly shows this to us, and it follows that, even in suffering, it is becoming a reality that the Lord transforms everything.

                  An embrace and a prayer from all of us for the eternal rest of Fr. Antonio César. As well as our affection to his family in Pozoblanco (Spain) and wherever they are, to the beloved Province of AFO to which he belonged and to the Province of Maria Auxiliadora in Spain where he learned to love Don Bosco and to live like him.

                  With true affection,

                  Fr. Ángel Fernández A., SDB

                  Rector Major

                  {gallery}AFO - Don C.A. Fernandez con RM{/gallery} 

                  • RMG
                  • Decessi
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • Martiri
                  • AFO
                  • Burkina Faso
                  • Antonio César Fernández
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Burkina Faso - Salesian missionary Antonio César Fernández murdered

                    4 days 22 hours ago
                    Burkina Faso - Salesian missionary Antonio César Fernández murdered

                    (ANS - Ouagadougou) – Alas, the hour of martyrs. A tragic death has struck the Salesian Congregation in Africa. Our beloved confrere Antonio César Fernández, of the AFO Province (Francophone Western Africa), was shot dead in an ambush by jihadist assassins yesterday, Friday, February 15, 2019, after 3 PM.

                    Lomé (Togo) and he was currently in charge of the Salesian community of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

                    We pray for his eternal rest. He had offered his life for Africa and his offer was fully accepted. We ask him to pray with us for his province, where he arrived with the first group of missionaries in Lomé (Togo). He was also the founder of the parish of Mary Help of Christians, the first teacher of novices for 10 years.

                    This attack is part of the wave of violence that has been afflicting Burkina Faso since 2015, in a context that has seen a surge in terrorist threats in the past few weeks after the fifth Conference of Heads of State of the Sahel G5, of which the country has the current presidency.

                    May the Risen Lord welcome Brother César with tenderness alongside all those who have given their lives to the Salesian mission, and may Mary Help of Christians, whom he so loved, welcome him with the affection of the Good Mother of Heaven.

                    https://youtu.be/2Y-X1BrdEik

                     

                    • AFO
                    • Burkina Faso
                    • Antonio César Fernández
                    • Decessi
                    • Martiri
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Ireland – Rector Major's animation visit for 100 years of Salesian presence

                      5 days 22 hours ago
                      Ireland – Rector Major's animation visit for 100 years of Salesian presence

                      (ANS - Maynooth) – Plenty of activities for the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, during his Irish visit. Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, and by the Councilor for the Salesian Central and Northern Europe, Fr Tadeusz Rozmus, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco has already visited several centers that are symbols of Salesian educational work in the land of Saint Patrick.

                      After his arrival at Shannon airport, on the evening of 12 February, and moments of fraternal sharing at the Salesian Community in Pallaskenry, Fr Á.F. Artime began the following day with the Junior students in the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians in a context of prayer, reflection, sharing of music and joy. The celebrations continued with Senior students, after which he met with the teachers of the Salesian Secondary School and from the Agricultural College. The Rector Major expressed words of  appreciation and encouragment for the teacher's work for and with young people.

                      After leaving the community of Pallaskenry between two rows of students waving and cheering from both sides of the road, the X Successor of Don Bosco reached the center of Milford, where he met with the Council of the Province and the community.

                      On Thursday, the Rector Major began with Community prayer and later presided at the Eucharist for Salesians and students from the nearby Primary school. It was a festive celebration, after which Fr Á.F. Artime met with some members of the parish council and leaders of the Salesian school.

                      The Rector Major then reached the "Killeshin Hotel" in Portlaoise, where he met with Salesians of the Irish Province. "It was an occasion to share a special moment, where we not only celebrated 100 years of Salesian presence in Ireland, but also a number of anniversaries of several confreres in a climate of celebration and sharing," said the Salesians present.

                      Finally, the Rector Major was accompanied to Maynooth, a town about 20 km from Dublin, where, in the middle of the University, the Salesians have their house and community. Fr Artime met numerous young adults and participated in a festive evening, which began with prayer and a brief presentation of the story of Don Bosco, and continued with a Salesian-style celebration with food, singing, dancing and sharing.

                      Finally, the evening ended with the "good night" offered by the Rector Major.

                      Photos are available in ANSFlickr

                      • Irlanda
                      • IRL
                      • Rettor Maggiore
                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                      • Visita di Animazione
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Argentina – The Past Pupils of America are with Pope Francis

                        5 days 22 hours ago
                        Argentina – The Past Pupils of America are with Pope Francis

                        (ANS - Buenos Aires) - The federations of the Past Pupils, men and women, of Don Bosco and of the Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) of the American continent have drawn up and signed a document expressing their support for the pontificate of Francis, who enthuses them for the Synod of Bishops on Youth, the WYD in Panama, and the forthcoming anti-pedophilia summit. "We live in a unique and unrepeatable ecclesial context for young people," they say.

                        By Lucas Schaerer

                        The Salesian charism, 131 years after the "birth to Heaven" of Don Bosco, finds its continuity in Pope Francis. This process is claimed by the lay men and women of the Salesian world in the American continent, through a document in which they bring together the Rector Major, responsible for the world's second largest male congregation, and the first Latin American Pope in history, with Salesian roots and then ordained priest in the Society of Jesus.

                        Don Bosco's work developed in Argentina, the first country on the first continent outside Europe to be reached; in these "arid societies," say the laity of Salesian circles, "has taught us to serve others and to generate processes, rather than just occupy spaces, as the Evangelii Gaudium affirms," continue the Past Pupils of Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Canada, Chile, Uruguay and USA.

                        The Past Pupils, male and female, of the two institutes of the Salesian Family believe that the recent Synod, "of undoubted Salesian flavor" and the "effective and affective" presence, took note of the desire of young people to be heard and accompanied while they circulated along the modern "motorways of life" at speeds that often do not allow them to pay great attention "to others."

                        For the federations of Past Pupils of Don Bosco and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of America "we are not adrift: we navigate under the guidance of Mary Help of Christians, with empty pockets, far from the temptations of the devil, without sensationalism or superficiality." For this reason they ask the Salesians to become "driving generators of trends in the current digital age, curating our dear charism in every detail."

                        And to deepen the empathy with young people the necessity of accompanying "the generations of Millennials and Z" is underscored and emphasized.

                        Source: La Stampa

                        • America Cono Sud
                        • Interamerica
                        • Exallievi
                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                        • Papa Francesco
                        • Exallieve
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Brazil – 1954 "Time Capsule" opened in old Salesian school

                          5 days 22 hours ago

                          (ANS - Campinas) - January 31, for the feast of Don Bosco, was a day of great expectations at the social center "São João Bosco" of Campinas for the past pupils of the semi-boarding house "São João", together with directors and staff of the social center "São João Bosco", who met for the opening of a "time capsule" - a bottle inserted in the pedestal of a bust of Don Bosco – which had been sealed in 1954.

                          The historical artefact was a sort of local legend: the "São João" boarding house was founded in 1909 and offered its school services and meals to generations of students of different social classes until 1994, when the center was converted into a center for social assistance. It had always been said that a "time capsule" was kept in the bust of Don Bosco, but there were no official records or data capable of confirming this tale.

                          Then, on the afternoon of January 31st, the past pupils of the "São João", together with the members of the current social center "São João Bosco", gathered to start the commemorations for the 110th anniversary of the center (festivities culminating next June) and proposed to find out what was inside the "time capsule."

                          Thus, after the celebration of the Eucharist, the current Director of the social center, Fr Orivaldo Voltolini, and the former Director of the "São João", opened the cavity where the time capsule was located. Angélica Barbosa, historian and coordinator of the work, and Luís Monteiro, restorer of the institute's patrimony, led the different phases of the procedure, ensuring that the documents and the objects were treated with all the due and necessary care. In the end, the capsule was extracted; inside: a glass bottle full of historical documents of the institution, a copy of the newspaper Diário do Povo of 17 March 1954, and a photographic film roll.

                          Also inside: messages from students, a note from the Spanish Mint, a scapular, objects of everyday school life, an oratory card, a register with student grades, a description of the center at the time, and the names of the director of the boarding house, the mayor of the city and even the Pope in office in 1954.

                          With the "time capsule", part of the Salesian history of Campinas and its service to the education of young people has come to light.

                          {gallery}Brasile - Capsula del tempo{/gallery}

                          • Brasile
                          • Exallievi
                          • Scuole
                          • BSP
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Spain - Edebé and Google allies for improvment of education with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

                            6 days 22 hours ago
                            Spain - Edebé and Google allies for improvment of education with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

                            (ANS - Barcelona) - "The world lives in the antechamber of the greatest revolution in the history of education," writes Jorge Benitez. "A field that, apart from the technological or disciplinary elements, has not undergone deep reforms for some time." On the other hand, explains Victor Mayer - Professor of Internet Regulation and Management at the University of Oxford and author of Big Data: "The great hope of Big Data is that every student have a personalized and adaptive tutoring with costs that are not prohibitive." With this in mind, the Salesian publishing house "Edebé" and "Google for Education" have reached a collaboration agreement.

                            The Salesian publisher and the information giant have reached an agreement for the production and distribution of digital educational products for adaptive learning in schools, through the use of artificial intelligence and data analysis, Big Data.

                            The rapid pace of change and the transformation of the educational paradigm have led all the actors involved in teaching to consider how to deal with attention to diversity.

                            The use of artificial intelligence in school will offer the student personalized learning, adapted to his or her needs, with the contents and materials they need at all times. Reaching the maximum potential of each student, according to his or her abilities, will thus be the objective. Also, the technology will provide educators with a virtual assistant that will facilitate the individualized accompaniment of the student and will be able to detect and solve the challenges of the learning process.

                            Marc Sanz López, Director of "Google for Education" for Southern Europe said: "With this strategic alliance we want to accompany leaders and teachers in the process of transformation and evolution of education, having technology as a key ally to achieve this goal and to support their projects."

                            According to Antonio Garrido, General Manager of the Edebé Group, "this collaboration agreement allows us to support the digital transformation of schools and give teachers more time to personalize the teaching and be able to make every student face his own challenges."

                            As a result of this agreement, the first products will be made available during the 2019/2020 school year.

                            The collaboration between the two companies aims to drive digital transformation with the combination of Google's digital tools and Edebé's digital educational products and content. These new products integrate with the "Google for Education" ecosystem consisting of the "G Suite for Education" collaboration and communication platform and Chromebook devices.

                            Thanks to this agreement, the latest findings of Artificial Intelligence and adaptive learning based on Big Data will be within reach of the educational community and will be able to respond to its great challenges.

                            • Spagna
                            • Tecnologie
                            • Educazione
                            • Editrici
                            • Edebé
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              India – Salesians at work for literacy and artistic education of youths in need

                              6 days 22 hours ago
                              India – Salesians at work for literacy and artistic education of youths in need

                              (ANS - Kochi) - "One of the key challenges facing youth in India is the lack of education and the skills required to find and retain stable employment when they are older," says Fr Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, with headquarters in New Rochelle, USA. "Salesian missionaries provide youth access to primary education so that they can acquire the basic skills needed for later vocational and technical training or university."

                              Literacy education is obviously the first step towards embarking upon a successful educational journey: this is why the Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco concentrate their many efforts in this area and in a series of other initiatives aimed at giving young people the fundamental skills.

                              With this in mind, Salesian Missions used the donations received from its benefactors to support the creation of a Don Bosco Literacy Center in the village of Bualpui, in the Indian state of Mizoram, near the border with Myanmar. The school classrooms consisted of dilapidated sheds that hardly created a favorable learning environment. The new structure, on the other hand, now offers an environment of eight classrooms designed specifically for primary school children, so that they can now concentrate and study profitably.

                              In addition to traditional school lessons, Salesians worldwide are also known to promote the knowledge and development of music and the arts, to help young people cultivate their talents, increase their potential, foster their integral development.

                              Another example of its support activities to missions is Salesian Missions donating a piano to the students attending the Don Bosco Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Kochi, Kerala, which offers free courses to the most disadvantaged youngsters. Currently, there are about 100 students who are learning piano, keyboard, violin, guitar, drums, singing and more.

                              In a country like India, where almost 44% of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10% of the working age population has completed secondary education, Salesians offer young people opportunities that give them the chance to break the vicious circle of poverty and help them to contribute to the well-being of their families and communities.

                              Source: Mission Newswire

                              • India
                              • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                              • Missioni
                              • Procure Missionarie
                              • Educazione
                              • Musica
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Ecuador - The volunteering experience motivates Nicson to work like Don Bosco

                                6 days 22 hours ago
                                Ecuador - The volunteering experience motivates Nicson to work like Don Bosco

                                (ANS - Esmeralda) - The daily work with the vulnerable children and young people of Esmeraldas has aroused the interest of Nicson Sicha, a young man of 18, for the consecrated life. Seeing the work done by Salesians like Fr Pedro Vidal up close, and being aware of the good that can be done towards the most needy children and young people, has motivated this young man to follow in the footsteps of Don Bosco.

                                "Volunteering is a step to decide what you will do with your life, to clarify your doubts about the future; in my specific case, I am thinking of Salesian life," says Nicson, who was one of the protagonists of the last vocational meeting promoted by the Province, held in January in the "El Horeb" spirituality house in Quito.

                                When asked what was the impulse that led him to volunteer, Nicson did not hesitate to answer: it was thanks to his brother Dillan, born with a brain disability and a great desire to live.

                                Among the obstacles he had to face, however, Nicson reported the refusal of his family members. Moreover, since there was no Salesian presence in his canton, the boy was not able to follow a previous formation, with the exception of the 21 days of intensive course when he was already ready.

                                His efforts and determination were however repaid and he was sent to the "San Filippo Neri" community of Esmeraldas for a year.

                                The first time he visited the Santa Martha neighborhood, where the Salesian community operates, he was shocked: he saw young people between the ages of 15 and 16 smoking drugs on the streets and others who were beating each other up in full daylght. He was also surprised by their aggressive attitudes and behaviour, their lack of respect for others and the use of inappropriate language by the neighborhood children and youths.

                                Yet, recalling his experience, he affirms that the Salesian volunteer is he who is there for the children in need, and who in every moment or situation knows how to be a counselor. The best reward in these cases is a simple "thank you" or a smile on the face of someone who has been helped.

                                "To this one boy I dedicated great attention: I would talk to him and advise him, but I suffered a heavy blow when I saw that he was taking drugs, because I said to myself: 'we do a lot for them, but they do not care.' But then I realized that it is God who brought us to there, and so one recovers the desire to continue giving one's all."

                                Now Nicson hopes to continue in the process of discernment and strengthening of his vocation.

                                • Ecuador
                                • ECU
                                • Volontariato
                                • Missioni
                                • Testimonianza
                                • Discernimento Vocazionale
                                • Opzione Preferenziale
                                • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Spain - Fr Martoglio's Extraordinary Visit resumes: opportunity to strengthen unity with Rector Major and Congregation

                                  1 week ago
                                  Spain - Fr Martoglio's Extraordinary Visit resumes: opportunity to strengthen unity with Rector Major and Congregation

                                  (ANS - Madrid) – On behalf of the Rector Major, Fr Stefano Martoglio, elected Councilor for the Mediterranean Region in 2014, is on an Extraordinary Visitation to the Spain-St James Major Province, one of the 10 that make up the territory of his region (six in Italy, two in Spain, Portugal and the Middle East).

                                  The mission of the Regional Councilors, according to the Salesian Constitutions, is to promote "a direct link between the Provinces and the Rector Major and his Council. They take care of the interests of the Provinces entrusted to them. In the General Council they encourage the knowledge of local situations, in which the mission takes place" (No. 140).

                                  With this in mind, at the end of January, Fr Martoglio returned to Spain, to Madrid, where he had begun his Extraordinary Visitation as early as last September.

                                  On February 1-2, he visited the Vocational Guidance House in Madrid, and met the members of the "Pan Bendito" Social Platform, members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), children and youth, the Council of the Educational-Pastoral Community and the Salesians and pre-novices of the community.

                                  Also on February 2, he visited the house of Carabanchel, in Madrid, where he began the meeting with prayer, presented himself to the community and explained the meaning of an Extraordinary Visitation, which he defined as "a grace of the Lord."

                                  Fr Martoglio dedicated his time to dialogue with each of his confreres, pedagogical directors, pastoral coordinators and other persons in charge. He also took the opportunity to greet the various groups of students - those in vocational training, maternal and primary education, high school and higher education courses - and he animated and encouraged the teaching staff in their service.

                                  He was also able to meet the members of the Salesian Family: Salesian Cooperators, ADMA and Past Pupils of Don Bosco, to listen to their concerns and get an idea of ​​the development of the groups. Later, he met the Youth Center animators to get to know firsthand the work they do with children and young people.

                                  Finally, on 5 February, he inaugurated and blessed the "Innovation Room".

                                  "It was a very interesting visit because he proved to be a pleasant person, close to us. His guidance was very precious for our spiritual and Salesian life," said the Salesians of Carabanchel.

                                  {gallery}Spagna - SSM - Visita Straordinaria 2019{/gallery} 

                                  • Spagna
                                  • SSM
                                  • Visita Straordinaria
                                  • Stefano Martoglio
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Venezuela - "Today, the Venezuelan does not live, he survives": Salesian works of Venezuela continue to bet on justice and peace

                                    1 week 1 day ago

                                    (ANS - Caracas) - Yesterday, February 11, the Holy See welcomed the delegation of the self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, and insistently asked for a "just and peaceful" solution for Venezuela, "avoiding bloodshed", said Msgr. Edgar Peña Parra, Substitute for General Affairs of the Vatican Secretariat of State after the meeting with Guaidó's delegation.

                                    The situation in Venezuela is very difficult. As the Venezuelan journalists M. Castro and J. Lafuente have well described, "the needs, which include hunger, lack of water and continuous power cuts ... impose themselves on politics in this devastated Venezuela. Today, the Venezuelan does not live, he survives."

                                    Another journalist, Federica Bello, for La Voce e il Tempo, through "Missioni Don Bosco", contacted Fr Rafael Andrés Borges in Caracas. His voice testifies to the grave nature of the situation, but also hope and confidence in a recovery.

                                    From a parish in Caracas, which has just celebrated the feast of Don Bosco, he says: "Venezuela is going through a very painful phase ... Weighing upon it are twenty years of social defeat caused by both a serious political confusion, with a very fragile practice of democracy and from a serious moral weakening. These elements constitute fertile ground, negative, due to the increase of some viruses in Venezuelan social life. First, a generalized discouragement that now dominates in the citizen's conscience. The Venezuelan, who is cheerful and enthusiastic about culture, has become a sad, fearful and suspicious person, without dreams. Anarchy is another of the 'diseases' that has struck us: for the moment there are two cases of governability, that provided by the Constitution of the country and the one that seeks to impose itself by a usurping regime. The current situation transmits dangerous patterns of behavior: as if the lack of respect was the practice to be followed throughout. Anarchy dresses itself in arrogance and violence. Everything goes hand in hand with corruption as the modus operandi in all areas of national life."

                                    "In this difficult social, political and economic context," continues Fr Borges, "the Salesian Family of Venezuela has faced the challenge of celebrating well the holiness of Don Bosco, despite the limitations of economic and social security: a sign that all the Salesian works of this Venezuela continues to bet on arriving at justice and peace in democracy."

                                    • Venezuela
                                    • VEN
                                    • Vescovi
                                    • Sociale
                                    • Politica
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Italy - In memory of Fr Teresio Bosco, SDB, passionate narrator of the Salesian treasure: Don Bosco

                                      1 week 1 day ago
                                      Italy - In memory of Fr Teresio Bosco, SDB, passionate narrator of the Salesian treasure: Don Bosco

                                      (ANS - Turin) - "Now I recommend to some of you who have a good memory, that you write down what I have said," Don Bosco often repeated. There have always been Salesians who have cherished and recorded the facts and the words of the founder. Fr Teresio Bosco (1931-2019) was one of these men.

                                      Fr Teresio Bosco was born in 1931 in Montemagno Monferrato. He did his Salesian aspirantate in Penango, immediately showing vivacity and intelligence, together with a natural goodness and generosity. With enthusiasm and success, he journeyed through his years of formation to his degree in Theology at the Pontifical Salesian Athenaeum.

                                      Meanwhile, he had already manifested an extraordinary communicative imagination, especially in his writings. His qualities did not escape the superiors who flanked him to Fr Carlo Fiore and Fr Gigi Zulian in the adventure of the "Salesian Companies". He had his secret: he wrote like a movie camera, the rhythm and pace of his writing was TV-like and readers could almost truly visualize the characters and story.

                                      With the publisher SEI  Fr Teresio was the protagonist of a group of modern and popular magazines: Meridiano 12, Dimensioni and Ragazzi Duemila. He wrote as if he were before an audience of teens and young people. For them he began several series of publications that had immediate and lasting success: "Campioni" and "Eroi" and then the seven volumes of the series "An adventure for every day", and the five of the series "Diamanti", the first real attempt – and a very successful one – to publish books on meditation for teenagers. Also in this, his work, it was as if Don Bosco's own work was being continued, updated over time.

                                      For schools he published numerous books. For three years he directed Bollettino Salesiano while churning out popular works with his recipe of "high readability", the same Don Bosco wanted for his "Catholic readings".

                                      But the work he cared about most was the life of Don Bosco, to whom he dedicated many years and books. Above all: "Don Bosco. A new biography", which was translated into many languages and is still today the book that makes Don Bosco known to the world.

                                      At the beginning of one of the many books dedicated to Don Bosco, Fr Teresio wrote: "I am convinced that Don Bosco is our great and specific treasure. If Don Bosco is removed from Salesians, what is left of them that is precious, specific, that distinguishes them from all other religious families? ... When I will remember and narrate the facts and words of Don Bosco, I will try to read deep inside, and I hope to strengthen the conviction that he is truly the Father and Teacher for each of us, and to him the Virgin Mary has entrusted us."

                                      Yesterday, 11 February, Mary Help of Christians took Father Teresio by the hand and brought him to the House of the Father.

                                      • Italia
                                      • Decessi
                                      • Storia
                                      • Don Bosco
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Myanmar - Card. Bo, SDB, defending population threatened by Myitsone Dam

                                        1 week 1 day ago
                                        Myanmar - Card. Bo, SDB, defending population threatened by Myitsone Dam

                                        (ANS - Myitkyina) - "Inequity affects not only individuals, but entire countries," writes Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Sì (No. 51). In the same passage the Holy Father warns against those companies who for their immediate commercial interests leave behind enormous human and environmental damage in their wake: "villages without life, depletion of natural reserves, deforestation, impoverishment of agriculture and local breeding, craters, devastated hills ... ". In tune with the words of Pope Francis, and in defense of his flock of faithful, Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo is fighting against the resumption of work on the Myitsone Dam.

                                        The Myitsone Dam is an imposing Chinese construction project, to be built at the confluence of the Mali and N'Mai rivers, which come together and form the Irrawaddy. It would be the first dam to block the Irrawaddy River, which represents the cradle of the Myanmar civilization, and would be exploited for 90% of its capacity by China alone.

                                        Work on the dam's construction - capable of generating 6,400 megawatts, and worth USD 3.6 billion - was discontinued in 2011, following popular protests, which denounced fears about the project's environmental impact and serious consequences and hardship to the local population - to a large extent Christian.

                                        In recent times, however, there have been ever stronger signs of a possible resumption of work and for this reason many voices, including from the Christian minority, have risen to defend those who risk the most because of this project. Among the many voices is the first cardinal in the country's history, namely Cardinal Bo:

                                        "The Myitsone Dam is a death sentence for the population of Myanmar," he stated bluntly. "The gloomy prospect of millions of farmers losing their livelihood, the violation of sacred sites along the rivers, the death and destruction of the precious flora and fauna of our beloved nation, is becoming a nightmarish reality ...

                                        On behalf of all the people of Myanmar, especially the poor farmers, we sincerely ask all interested parties to stop their attempts to abuse our mother Irrawaddy. We warmly invite the people of Myanmar to collaborate to protect the dignity of our mother Irrawaddy. We are confident that our leaders will resist all efforts to destroy the destiny and dignity of our nation."

                                        Source: AsiaNews

                                        • Myanmar
                                        • Ambiente
                                        • Creato
                                        • Cardinali
                                        • Charles Maung Bo
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Belgium – Augusta: voice of Don Bosco Fambul girls in European Parliament

                                          22 hours 46 minutes ago
                                          Belgium – Augusta: voice of Don Bosco Fambul girls in European Parliament

                                          (ANS - Brussels) - Yesterday, February 19, an absolutely Salesian day took place in Brussels: bringing the voice of the most defenseless young people of Sierra Leone to the highest European institutions to discuss the issue of these young people being forced to exercise prostitution to survive. The Salesian delegation met the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani who appreciated and urged the work of the Salesians to continue and pledged to support the advocacy work for these girls.

                                          In an event organized by Don Bosco International, together with COMECE (Commission of EU Bishops’ Conferences), and hosted by the Spanish Member of the European Parliament Mrs Teresa Jiménez-Becerril, Fr Jorge Crisafulli, director of Don Bosco Fambul, and Augusta Ngombu-Gboli, a young beneficiary, were able to share what Salesians do in this African country and the opportunity that Don Bosco Fambul is providing for young girls like Augusta through education, therapeutic care and vocational training. The event took place in the European Parliament and counted on the presence of six MEPs from diverse nationalities and many representatives of civil society and church authorities.

                                          Augusta shared her terrifying and touching story, how Don Bosco saved her life and gave her a new opportunity to start again; she also described how she is now a young entrepreneur in catering services and she cooperates as a trainer in Fambul to support girls that went through the same traumatic experience. Also, Fr Jorge shared the programmes and some key successes with the Sierra Leone government after his first visit in April 2018.

                                          In the same event, Mrs Barbara Terenzi, Human Rights Office coordinator of VIS, shared the campaign Stop-Human Trafficking and the joint efforts with other Salesian organizations to prevent this dramatic phenomenon, as well as promoting circular migration. In addition, Fr Michael Czerny, Undersecretary of Pope Francis in the Migrants and Refugees section, presented the recent document “Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking” that establishes several pastoral policy guidelines to deal with this modern slavery of which Pope Francis often speaks.

                                          This intense day was completed with a number of technical encounters, with the research parliamentary services and with public servants in charge of development policies for Africa in the European Parliament; as well as a private meeting of Fr Czerny with several Catholic organizations that work in the EU institutions on migration and the fight against human trafficking.

                                          The immense joint work of Misiones Salesianas and Don Bosco International to overcome the bureaucratic and migratory burdens, and make possible the presence of Augusta on this day in Brussels, were a sign of Divine Providence, but also a great opportunity to show the vast discrimination faced by young people like Augusta in today’s world. These phenomena are a clear appeal to Salesians to be present both at the grass-roots level but also in the Institutions and International Forums.

                                          • Belgio
                                          • Unione Europea
                                          • Prostituzione
                                          • Don Bosco Fambul
                                          • Don Bosco International
                                          • Sierra Leone
                                          • Politica
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            Vatican - Protection of minors in the Church: UISG and USG with Pope "to find an effective response"

                                            22 hours 46 minutes ago

                                            (ANS - Rome) - In view of the Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church, scheduled from tomorrow, 21 February, to Sunday 24, the International Unions of Superiors General (UISG / USG, that is, male and female) have issued a joint message to reaffirm the desire to "humbly recognize and confess the mistakes made; support survivors; learn from them the way to accompany those who have been abused."

                                            "Let us bow our heads in shame" because of the abuses "that have occurred in our Congregations and Orders and in our Church," the statement immediately affirms, which goes on to acknowledge how often "the answer of those in authority was not what it should have been."

                                            For this reason the leaders of religious life in the world hope that during the meeting in the Vatican "new steps can be identified and decisions taken", and they commit themselves to "listening to the survivors better", to implement that which will be decided and to follow the Holy Father, whose guide is defined as "fundamental."

                                            In general, the religious identify the need for a "culture of Protection, or Care", to be pursued in every area:

                                            - in education and health care, where better protocols and higher standards of protection for minors are already in place;

                                            - in formation, ensuring that at every stage adequate education and instruction are given to both formators and those in formation, and that it is clear in any culture and context, that "child abuse is never allowed and is not tolerable";

                                            - in spirituality, taking on the commitment to develop "special programs to accompany every person who is a victim of abuse, who wants to find help in the difficulty with faith and with the meaning of life."

                                            By identifying some roots of the problem in clericalism, in the abuse of power and in the misunderstood sense of belonging to the congregations, the religious commit to continuous conversion, and intend to pool resources and skills to be more effective.

                                            The religious also invoke the collaboration of parents and women; and in closing, a message is directly addressed to the survivors: "we recognize that there was an inadequate attempt to tackle this problem and a shameful inability to understand your pain. We offer you our sincerest apologies and our pain ... We invite you to work with us to create new structures to ensure that risks are kept to a minimum."

                                            The complete message is available, in English and Italian, on the site dedicated to the event.

                                            • Vaticano
                                            • Abusi
                                            • USG
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              Togo – Wake of Togolese land for Fr Antonio César: Masses and prayers for Salesian missionary

                                              1 day 22 hours ago
                                              Togo – Wake of Togolese land for Fr Antonio César: Masses and prayers for Salesian missionary

                                              (ANS - Lomé) - The violent death of Fr Antonio César Fernández was a blow to the Salesians and young people of the Francophone Province of Western Africa (AFO). "He helped us a lot to grow in Salesian formation"; "He was a model of religious life, a saint," say the testimonies that continue to arrive from that part of Africa. While the dynamics of the aggression that led to the death of the Spanish missionary are being investigated, the Salesian communities in Togo have programmed various funeral vigils and celebrations of suffrage.

                                              The Salesians of Togo have been watching over the remains of Fr Antonio César since the afternoon of that tragic 15 February. According to the latest reports, before the attack on the Salesians, the jihadist militiamen had already attacked a customs office and killed four people in the ranks of the customs officers. When Fr Fernández and the other two Salesians accompanying him on their return from the first session of the Provincial Chapter arrived on the scene, they thought they were being stopped for a routine border check. Instead, they were surrounded by armed men, who separated them, then shot Fr Antonio César and fled the scene.

                                              The Province has scheduled vigils and celebrations to allow all those who loved Fr Fernández to wake over him in one last greeting. Tomorrow afternoon, 20 February, prayer vigils are scheduled in the various churches and pastoral communities animated by the Salesians of Lomé. On Thursday, a Eucharist will take place in Lomé and then in Gbodjomé, just on the outskirts of the Togolese capital.

                                              On the evening of Friday 22, another vigil will take place at the "Mary Help of Christians" parish of Gbenyedzi, in Lomé, with four Masses, celebrated throughout the night, animated by the various groups.

                                              Finally, on the morning of Saturday 23rd, at the same parish, the funeral of Fr Antonio César is scheduled. In addition to the current Provincial, Fr José Elegbede, the two predecessors, Fr Faustino García Peña and Fr Manolo Jímenez will also participate.

                                              Although Fr Antonio César had expressed his desire to be buried in Togo, the Spanish religious' family requested his body.

                                              • Togo
                                              • AFO
                                              • Antonio César Fernández
                                              • Decessi
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Province of France-South Belgium

                                                1 day 22 hours ago
                                                RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Province of France-South Belgium

                                                (ANS - Rome) - The Rector Major continues his journey of knowledge and animation across the Provinces of Central and Northern Europe. A few days after his return from Ireland, tomorrow, Wednesday 20 February, Fr Á.F. Artime begins the Animation Visit to the Province of France-South Belgium (FRB): a visit that will allow him to learn about many examples of success in the Salesian mission shared between religious and laity.

                                                After the arrival in Lyon and a first meeting with the city's Salesians, official activities start the following day. On Thursday 21, he visit the large Salesian school complex "Notre Dame des Minimes". Here, the X Successor of Don Bosco shall first meet with the laity and religious who animate the educational project of the school - the "Tutelle", in the local technical jargon - ensuring its fidelity to Salesian charism and the principles of Catholic education. Then he will gather with the young people who animate Salesian youth pastoral projects, as part of the "Defís Citoyen" program.

                                                In the afternoon, he meets with the community that offers formation to lay collaborators in the Salesian mission, this at the "Jean Bosco" center, and the day ends with a Eucharist for the Salesian Family and friends of the Don Bosco's work.

                                                On Friday 22, the Rector Major goes to Paris and the Provincial House to meet the leaders of the network of Salesian organizations "Don Bosco Action Sociale", and, subsequently, the Provincial Council. He will spend the afternoon and evening at the Salesian center of Argenteuil.

                                                The Rector Major will dedicate Saturday 23 to the assembly with all the Salesians of the Province, and then to the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), with whom he shall dialogue in the afternoon and celebrate in the evening.

                                                On Sunday 24, the Rector Major goes to Belgium. He will preside at the Eucharist in Liège, meet the local Salesian Family, and go to Farnière to learn about the work carried out by Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Laity in different locations of the FRB Province - Lyon, Paris, Lille and Farnière.

                                                Before returning to the Salesian HQ in Rome, Fr Á.F. Artime shall make a short stop in Luxembourb on Monday morning, 25 February.

                                                • RMG
                                                • Visita di Animazione
                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                • FRB
                                                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                • Laici
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Zambia – A drop of hope in Lufubu: new Salesian Center for Early Childhood Education

                                                  1 day 22 hours ago
                                                  Zambia – A drop of hope in Lufubu: new Salesian Center for Early Childhood Education

                                                  (ANS – Lufubu) – Young children in the village of Lufubu, Zambia, will have a new Salesian Early Childhood Education Center thanks to “Salesian Missions” donors. Many pre-school children in the village are left unattended during the day and roam around aimlessly. The Early Childhood Education Center will provide a safe, healthy learning environment for more than 100 pre-school aged children.

                                                  Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.

                                                  The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.

                                                  Now, donor funding is supporting the renovation of two existing classrooms and equipping them with age-appropriate furniture, supplies and learning materials to provide a strong foundation for future education. Early pre-school education provides the opportunity for these young children to access a school environment and learn early education fundamentals before primary school starts.

                                                  “Access to quality education provides a stepping stone out of poverty for youth,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The education received at the Early Childhood Education Center will allow children to easily transition to a nearby Salesian primary school and then later into secondary school where students can begin to focus on finding a career path and learning the skills needed to lead a productive life.”

                                                  Salesian missionaries have been providing programs in Zambia since missionaries from Poland first came to the country in 1982. From the beginning, Salesian missionaries worked in parishes serving mainly poor youth in need. Many Polish Salesian missionaries continue to work in Salesian programs across the country today. They are joined by Salesian priests from Zambia and other countries around the globe who are dedicated to giving poor youth and their families hope for a better future.

                                                  Source: Salesian Missions

                                                  • Zambia
                                                  • ZMB
                                                  • Procure Missionarie
                                                  • Scuole
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Italy - Hadidi: from Morocco to businessman via Salesian education

                                                    1 day 22 hours ago
                                                    Italy - Hadidi: from Morocco to businessman via Salesian education

                                                    (ANS - Bra) - A case of fully successful integration, where the education and vocational training offered by Salesians played a fundamental role: the story of Hadidi Lakbir, 30, now married and father of a child. 25 years ago he arrived in Italy from Morocco to join his father who worked for a local business. But today it is Hadidi himself who has become an entrepreneur.

                                                    It is now 10 years since Hadidi has started and owns "Omh - Soluzioni Tecnologiche" in the town of Cavallerleone, a company with which he put himself at the service of the mechanical production companies in the provinces of Cuneo and Turin. He is a past pupil of the Vocational Training Center (CFP) of Bra and, filled with emotion, he told his story during the awarding of diplomas to the students of Salesian CFPs in the province of Cuneo, on 4 February.

                                                    "I joined my family in Sommariva Bosco about 25 years ago. My father, who had arrived from Morocco, was working at a company in Ceresole d'Alba when we reached him in Piedmont. I remember with pleasure the elementary schools, with the teachers who helped us a lot. I also remember with gratitude the Salesians of Bra who educated me, even if I am of a different religion from the Christian one, and they trained me as a technician."

                                                    Hadidi has been working on his own for almost 10 years and for this reason he is grateful to the Salesians: "They have helped me a lot in my role as an entrepreneur. My technical and human formation was guided during the three years I attended the Salesian Institute 'San Domenico Savio' of Bra."

                                                    His testimony has highlighted the quality of an integral and comprehensive formation - in technical skills, as well as in values: "I have learned a lot from the Salesians in Bra, both from a professional and a human standpoint. I'm of foreign origin, but thanks to this education I managed to fit perfectly in the production sector in which I have been operating for many years."

                                                    During the ceremony for the awarding of diplomas to the young students of Salesian CFPs, Hadidi received a prize from the General Director of the CNOS-FAP of Piedmont. He then concluded by addressing the students who have attended the very same workshops, a few years later.

                                                    "I wish all the students present to find their way to work as I did," he concluded. "I thank the Salesians of Bra again for what they have 

                                                    • Italia
                                                    • ICP
                                                    • Formazione Professionale
                                                    • Migranti
                                                    • CNOSFAP
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      RMG - A true Salesian, a true missionary: Fr Antonio César Fernández

                                                      2 days 22 hours ago
                                                      RMG - A true Salesian, a true missionary: Fr Antonio César Fernández

                                                      (ANS - Rome) - In the eyes of God every creature has the same, inestimable value; but for us human beings, no matter how hard we try, it's sadder and more painful when a person we knew, we appreciated, is stolen away from us. Fr Antonio César Fernández, SDB, over the years has left behind many good memories even among the Salesians at Salesian Headquarters and in the editorial staff of ANS.

                                                      Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, was one of the closest friends and collaborators of Fr Fernández. Born in the same city, in Pozoblanco, they attended the same high school and completed the novitiate one year later. Fr Muñoz was the first to verify the missionary discernment of Fr Fernández when, in the early 1980s, he manifested his desire to go to serve young Africans. A few years later, as Provincial, it was Fr Muñoz to assign the position of Master of Novices in that region of Africa to Fr Fernández.

                                                      "He was a man of exceptional goodness and great intelligence, convinced of his vocation," recalls Fr Muñoz. "When we were studying in the community of Ronda our classmates said that it took him only a week to do what they needed a year for."

                                                      "He was aware of the risks involved," continues Fr Muñoz. "Once while I was visiting the African communities, we were stopped by militia, who threatened and attacked us. But he wanted to stay there and would repeat to me: 'I won't go back to Europe.' And he shared everything with the young Africans: he slept on the ground, drank water from the streams ... There was no way to make him change. He wanted to testify to the young people his complete donation."

                                                      Fr Martín Lasarte, from the Missions Sector, also had the chance to collaborate with Fr Fernández on several occasions, to organize several events in the Africa and Madagascar region. "He transmitted the Salesian charism to the Africans; as Master of Novices for 10 years he formed generations of African Salesians. And today it is no coincidence that the Provincial of AFO is indigenous."

                                                      "He was happy; his was a life in the service of young people," continues Fr Lasarte. "Service and availability were his hallmarks. If we asked him for translations, he was always ready, to organize, to prepare ... He had already said yes to the request to accompany the Orientation Course for the Missionaries of the 150th Missionary Expedition, next September."

                                                      In 2011 he had released an interview with ANS to talk about the social difficulties in the Ivory Coast. Again on that occasion he testified his concrete attention to the needy population, the refugees, the most fragile people ... And he also spoke to us about his personal and Salesian commitment to promote interreligious dialogue.

                                                      "Working with him was a joy," concludes Fr Muñoz. "As other people who knew him also wrote to me, I am convinced that he has also forgiven his murderers."

                                                      • RMG
                                                      • Antonio César Fernández
                                                      • Martiri
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Brazil – Celebrating ten years medical students offer missionary voluntary service

                                                        2 days 22 hours ago
                                                        Brazil – Celebrating ten years medical students offer missionary voluntary service

                                                        (ANS - Meruri) - Medical students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Santos, State of São Paulo, completed the 10th expedition of the Academic Project of Assistance to Indigenous Peoples (PAAPI) from 15 to 25 January. First established in 2009 with the aim of providing basic health care, collecting data on home visits and promoting preventive medicine, the project brought together, in this edition, 34 volunteers to promote health and solidarity in the villages of Meruri (Bororo culture) and Sangradouro (Xavante culture). The project is independent and funded by the students themselves, with revenues generated by promotions and events.

                                                        Accompanied by Dr. Marcella Rolim, Salesian past pupil, the future doctors set up a clinic in the villages to take care of the population and talk to them about general health care and personal hygiene. About 7,000 medicines and 600 hygiene kits were delivered by volunteers to the two villages. Pregnant women and children also received vitamins and the doctor examined people who were experiencing specific problems.

                                                        "We made house visits, in which we created a medical history and did physical examinations to all those who recieved us; we asked them what and how they felt, if they had any pain, their personal clinical history, measured their pressure and recorded the blood sugar of diabetics and those who had diabetes-like symptoms. We held conferences in the Salesian mission on diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, depression and alcoholism. Every day we also played with the children and offered a snack, after which they brushed their teeth with the hygiene kits we brought," said the student Dr. Cindy Buchmann, who coordinates the project with her colleagues Silvana Nardi, Bruna Bossi, Julie Kinoshita and Maria Eduarda Bormann. The entire organization before the trip was organized by students Natália Santana and Rafaela Saragiotto.

                                                        This year, for the first time, Dr. Rolim took part in the project as a specialized doctor. She had already gone on a missionary expedition in 2014, as a medical student, in her fourth year of studies. "I learned about the project thanks to faculty friends and I fell in love with it. When I arrived in the villages, I had another surprise: to be welcomed in a Salesian Mission! A happy coincidence, because I had studied my whole life in a Salesian school and I was happy to be able to give back all the teachings and values that helped me in my formation and allowed me to get where I am today."

                                                        According to the student Daniela Saad, the students leave with the mission of transmitting knowledge to the indigenous peoples, but it is they who take home a lesson in life. "PAAPI gives us ten days to help the indigenous people of Mato Grosso in the best possible way, but the truth is that these few days are already enough to make us learn to give more value to our lives. What a lesson in life, gratitude and emotion!," she exclaimed.

                                                        • Brasile
                                                        • BSP
                                                        • Missioni
                                                        • Indigeni
                                                        • Salute
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          RMG - Letter of the Rector Major on the killing of Fr Antonio César Fernández, SDB

                                                          2 days 22 hours ago
                                                          Fr Antonio César Fernández, to the right of Fr Horacio López, Secretary of the Rector Major, on the occasion of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime's visit to the Francophone West Africa Province (AFO)

                                                          (ANS - Rome) - To my Salesian Confreres, to the Salesian Family in the world. My dear brethren, it’s just a few minutes I have arrived in Rome, “Sacro Cuore”, on my return from Ireland, where I was doing the visit to the Province of St. Patrick, whose headquarters are in Dublin, and I right away get in touch with all of you.

                                                          The reason for this is the sad and painful news that came a few hours ago, during the night, which informed me that our Salesian confrere Fr. Antonio César Fernández, missionary in Africa since 1982, has been assassinated yesterday (February 15, 2019, Ed.) at 15.00 hours local time, with three shots during a jihadist attack perpetrated at about 40 kilometers from the border of Burkina Faso. Fortunately, two other confreres managed to survive the attack. They were coming from Lome, after celebrating the first session of the Provincial Chapter of the AFO Province.

                                                          Dear brethren, there are many days during the year in which I receive the news of the demise of Salesian confreres for natural causes. This is the law of life, and it will come for us as well. In such cases, however, we give thanks to the Lord for so many beautiful lives generously donated.

                                                          But our confrere Antonio César war deprived of his life, they killed him without any reason. He was a good man, a man of God who, like the Lord, spent his life “doing good”, especially among his beloved African people. Antonio Cesar was 72 years old, with 55 years of religious profession and 46 of priestly life. We had met a few months ago in Burkina Faso, precisely in his community of Ouagadougou, where he was Rector and Parish Priest.

                                                          Antonio Cesar adds to the number of many other martyrs of the Church today in the world (some of whom are Salesians and members of our Salesian Family).

                                                          I invite you to thank the Lord for the beautiful life of our Fr. Antonio César. And also to ask God the Father to help humankind to put an end to this escalation of violence which only causes damage. May the Lord grant that César’s blood, shed in African land, be the seed of Christians, faithful followers of Jesus, and of young vocations at the service of the Kingdom.

                                                          Rest in peace, dear César.

                                                          Dear brethren, let us proceed more united than ever in the service of the Peole of God, and of the pooerst youth. Evil never has the last word. The Resurrection of the Lord clearly shows this to us, and it follows that, even in suffering, it is becoming a reality that the Lord transforms everything.

                                                          An embrace and a prayer from all of us for the eternal rest of Fr. Antonio César. As well as our affection to his family in Pozoblanco (Spain) and wherever they are, to the beloved Province of AFO to which he belonged and to the Province of Maria Auxiliadora in Spain where he learned to love Don Bosco and to live like him.

                                                          With true affection,

                                                          Fr. Ángel Fernández A., SDB

                                                          Rector Major

                                                          {gallery}AFO - Don C.A. Fernandez con RM{/gallery} 

                                                          • RMG
                                                          • Decessi
                                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                                          • Martiri
                                                          • AFO
                                                          • Burkina Faso
                                                          • Antonio César Fernández
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Burkina Faso - Salesian missionary Antonio César Fernández murdered

                                                            4 days 22 hours ago
                                                            Burkina Faso - Salesian missionary Antonio César Fernández murdered

                                                            (ANS - Ouagadougou) – Alas, the hour of martyrs. A tragic death has struck the Salesian Congregation in Africa. Our beloved confrere Antonio César Fernández, of the AFO Province (Francophone Western Africa), was shot dead in an ambush by jihadist assassins yesterday, Friday, February 15, 2019, after 3 PM.

                                                            Lomé (Togo) and he was currently in charge of the Salesian community of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

                                                            We pray for his eternal rest. He had offered his life for Africa and his offer was fully accepted. We ask him to pray with us for his province, where he arrived with the first group of missionaries in Lomé (Togo). He was also the founder of the parish of Mary Help of Christians, the first teacher of novices for 10 years.

                                                            This attack is part of the wave of violence that has been afflicting Burkina Faso since 2015, in a context that has seen a surge in terrorist threats in the past few weeks after the fifth Conference of Heads of State of the Sahel G5, of which the country has the current presidency.

                                                            May the Risen Lord welcome Brother César with tenderness alongside all those who have given their lives to the Salesian mission, and may Mary Help of Christians, whom he so loved, welcome him with the affection of the Good Mother of Heaven.

                                                            https://youtu.be/2Y-X1BrdEik

                                                             

                                                            • AFO
                                                            • Burkina Faso
                                                            • Antonio César Fernández
                                                            • Decessi
                                                            • Martiri
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Ireland – Rector Major's animation visit for 100 years of Salesian presence

                                                              5 days 22 hours ago
                                                              Ireland – Rector Major's animation visit for 100 years of Salesian presence

                                                              (ANS - Maynooth) – Plenty of activities for the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, during his Irish visit. Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, and by the Councilor for the Salesian Central and Northern Europe, Fr Tadeusz Rozmus, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco has already visited several centers that are symbols of Salesian educational work in the land of Saint Patrick.

                                                              After his arrival at Shannon airport, on the evening of 12 February, and moments of fraternal sharing at the Salesian Community in Pallaskenry, Fr Á.F. Artime began the following day with the Junior students in the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians in a context of prayer, reflection, sharing of music and joy. The celebrations continued with Senior students, after which he met with the teachers of the Salesian Secondary School and from the Agricultural College. The Rector Major expressed words of  appreciation and encouragment for the teacher's work for and with young people.

                                                              After leaving the community of Pallaskenry between two rows of students waving and cheering from both sides of the road, the X Successor of Don Bosco reached the center of Milford, where he met with the Council of the Province and the community.

                                                              On Thursday, the Rector Major began with Community prayer and later presided at the Eucharist for Salesians and students from the nearby Primary school. It was a festive celebration, after which Fr Á.F. Artime met with some members of the parish council and leaders of the Salesian school.

                                                              The Rector Major then reached the "Killeshin Hotel" in Portlaoise, where he met with Salesians of the Irish Province. "It was an occasion to share a special moment, where we not only celebrated 100 years of Salesian presence in Ireland, but also a number of anniversaries of several confreres in a climate of celebration and sharing," said the Salesians present.

                                                              Finally, the Rector Major was accompanied to Maynooth, a town about 20 km from Dublin, where, in the middle of the University, the Salesians have their house and community. Fr Artime met numerous young adults and participated in a festive evening, which began with prayer and a brief presentation of the story of Don Bosco, and continued with a Salesian-style celebration with food, singing, dancing and sharing.

                                                              Finally, the evening ended with the "good night" offered by the Rector Major.

                                                              Photos are available in ANSFlickr

                                                              • Irlanda
                                                              • IRL
                                                              • Rettor Maggiore
                                                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                              • Visita di Animazione
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Argentina – The Past Pupils of America are with Pope Francis

                                                                5 days 22 hours ago
                                                                Argentina – The Past Pupils of America are with Pope Francis

                                                                (ANS - Buenos Aires) - The federations of the Past Pupils, men and women, of Don Bosco and of the Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) of the American continent have drawn up and signed a document expressing their support for the pontificate of Francis, who enthuses them for the Synod of Bishops on Youth, the WYD in Panama, and the forthcoming anti-pedophilia summit. "We live in a unique and unrepeatable ecclesial context for young people," they say.

                                                                By Lucas Schaerer

                                                                The Salesian charism, 131 years after the "birth to Heaven" of Don Bosco, finds its continuity in Pope Francis. This process is claimed by the lay men and women of the Salesian world in the American continent, through a document in which they bring together the Rector Major, responsible for the world's second largest male congregation, and the first Latin American Pope in history, with Salesian roots and then ordained priest in the Society of Jesus.

                                                                Don Bosco's work developed in Argentina, the first country on the first continent outside Europe to be reached; in these "arid societies," say the laity of Salesian circles, "has taught us to serve others and to generate processes, rather than just occupy spaces, as the Evangelii Gaudium affirms," continue the Past Pupils of Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Canada, Chile, Uruguay and USA.

                                                                The Past Pupils, male and female, of the two institutes of the Salesian Family believe that the recent Synod, "of undoubted Salesian flavor" and the "effective and affective" presence, took note of the desire of young people to be heard and accompanied while they circulated along the modern "motorways of life" at speeds that often do not allow them to pay great attention "to others."

                                                                For the federations of Past Pupils of Don Bosco and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of America "we are not adrift: we navigate under the guidance of Mary Help of Christians, with empty pockets, far from the temptations of the devil, without sensationalism or superficiality." For this reason they ask the Salesians to become "driving generators of trends in the current digital age, curating our dear charism in every detail."

                                                                And to deepen the empathy with young people the necessity of accompanying "the generations of Millennials and Z" is underscored and emphasized.

                                                                Source: La Stampa

                                                                • America Cono Sud
                                                                • Interamerica
                                                                • Exallievi
                                                                • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                • Papa Francesco
                                                                • Exallieve
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Brazil – 1954 "Time Capsule" opened in old Salesian school

                                                                  5 days 22 hours ago

                                                                  (ANS - Campinas) - January 31, for the feast of Don Bosco, was a day of great expectations at the social center "São João Bosco" of Campinas for the past pupils of the semi-boarding house "São João", together with directors and staff of the social center "São João Bosco", who met for the opening of a "time capsule" - a bottle inserted in the pedestal of a bust of Don Bosco – which had been sealed in 1954.

                                                                  The historical artefact was a sort of local legend: the "São João" boarding house was founded in 1909 and offered its school services and meals to generations of students of different social classes until 1994, when the center was converted into a center for social assistance. It had always been said that a "time capsule" was kept in the bust of Don Bosco, but there were no official records or data capable of confirming this tale.

                                                                  Then, on the afternoon of January 31st, the past pupils of the "São João", together with the members of the current social center "São João Bosco", gathered to start the commemorations for the 110th anniversary of the center (festivities culminating next June) and proposed to find out what was inside the "time capsule."

                                                                  Thus, after the celebration of the Eucharist, the current Director of the social center, Fr Orivaldo Voltolini, and the former Director of the "São João", opened the cavity where the time capsule was located. Angélica Barbosa, historian and coordinator of the work, and Luís Monteiro, restorer of the institute's patrimony, led the different phases of the procedure, ensuring that the documents and the objects were treated with all the due and necessary care. In the end, the capsule was extracted; inside: a glass bottle full of historical documents of the institution, a copy of the newspaper Diário do Povo of 17 March 1954, and a photographic film roll.

                                                                  Also inside: messages from students, a note from the Spanish Mint, a scapular, objects of everyday school life, an oratory card, a register with student grades, a description of the center at the time, and the names of the director of the boarding house, the mayor of the city and even the Pope in office in 1954.

                                                                  With the "time capsule", part of the Salesian history of Campinas and its service to the education of young people has come to light.

                                                                  {gallery}Brasile - Capsula del tempo{/gallery}

                                                                  • Brasile
                                                                  • Exallievi
                                                                  • Scuole
                                                                  • BSP
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Spain - Edebé and Google allies for improvment of education with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

                                                                    6 days 22 hours ago
                                                                    Spain - Edebé and Google allies for improvment of education with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

                                                                    (ANS - Barcelona) - "The world lives in the antechamber of the greatest revolution in the history of education," writes Jorge Benitez. "A field that, apart from the technological or disciplinary elements, has not undergone deep reforms for some time." On the other hand, explains Victor Mayer - Professor of Internet Regulation and Management at the University of Oxford and author of Big Data: "The great hope of Big Data is that every student have a personalized and adaptive tutoring with costs that are not prohibitive." With this in mind, the Salesian publishing house "Edebé" and "Google for Education" have reached a collaboration agreement.

                                                                    The Salesian publisher and the information giant have reached an agreement for the production and distribution of digital educational products for adaptive learning in schools, through the use of artificial intelligence and data analysis, Big Data.

                                                                    The rapid pace of change and the transformation of the educational paradigm have led all the actors involved in teaching to consider how to deal with attention to diversity.

                                                                    The use of artificial intelligence in school will offer the student personalized learning, adapted to his or her needs, with the contents and materials they need at all times. Reaching the maximum potential of each student, according to his or her abilities, will thus be the objective. Also, the technology will provide educators with a virtual assistant that will facilitate the individualized accompaniment of the student and will be able to detect and solve the challenges of the learning process.

                                                                    Marc Sanz López, Director of "Google for Education" for Southern Europe said: "With this strategic alliance we want to accompany leaders and teachers in the process of transformation and evolution of education, having technology as a key ally to achieve this goal and to support their projects."

                                                                    According to Antonio Garrido, General Manager of the Edebé Group, "this collaboration agreement allows us to support the digital transformation of schools and give teachers more time to personalize the teaching and be able to make every student face his own challenges."

                                                                    As a result of this agreement, the first products will be made available during the 2019/2020 school year.

                                                                    The collaboration between the two companies aims to drive digital transformation with the combination of Google's digital tools and Edebé's digital educational products and content. These new products integrate with the "Google for Education" ecosystem consisting of the "G Suite for Education" collaboration and communication platform and Chromebook devices.

                                                                    Thanks to this agreement, the latest findings of Artificial Intelligence and adaptive learning based on Big Data will be within reach of the educational community and will be able to respond to its great challenges.

                                                                    • Spagna
                                                                    • Tecnologie
                                                                    • Educazione
                                                                    • Editrici
                                                                    • Edebé
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      India – Salesians at work for literacy and artistic education of youths in need

                                                                      6 days 22 hours ago
                                                                      India – Salesians at work for literacy and artistic education of youths in need

                                                                      (ANS - Kochi) - "One of the key challenges facing youth in India is the lack of education and the skills required to find and retain stable employment when they are older," says Fr Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, with headquarters in New Rochelle, USA. "Salesian missionaries provide youth access to primary education so that they can acquire the basic skills needed for later vocational and technical training or university."

                                                                      Literacy education is obviously the first step towards embarking upon a successful educational journey: this is why the Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco concentrate their many efforts in this area and in a series of other initiatives aimed at giving young people the fundamental skills.

                                                                      With this in mind, Salesian Missions used the donations received from its benefactors to support the creation of a Don Bosco Literacy Center in the village of Bualpui, in the Indian state of Mizoram, near the border with Myanmar. The school classrooms consisted of dilapidated sheds that hardly created a favorable learning environment. The new structure, on the other hand, now offers an environment of eight classrooms designed specifically for primary school children, so that they can now concentrate and study profitably.

                                                                      In addition to traditional school lessons, Salesians worldwide are also known to promote the knowledge and development of music and the arts, to help young people cultivate their talents, increase their potential, foster their integral development.

                                                                      Another example of its support activities to missions is Salesian Missions donating a piano to the students attending the Don Bosco Academy of Music and Fine Arts in Kochi, Kerala, which offers free courses to the most disadvantaged youngsters. Currently, there are about 100 students who are learning piano, keyboard, violin, guitar, drums, singing and more.

                                                                      In a country like India, where almost 44% of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10% of the working age population has completed secondary education, Salesians offer young people opportunities that give them the chance to break the vicious circle of poverty and help them to contribute to the well-being of their families and communities.

                                                                      Source: Mission Newswire

                                                                      • India
                                                                      • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                                      • Missioni
                                                                      • Procure Missionarie
                                                                      • Educazione
                                                                      • Musica
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Ecuador - The volunteering experience motivates Nicson to work like Don Bosco

                                                                        6 days 22 hours ago
                                                                        Ecuador - The volunteering experience motivates Nicson to work like Don Bosco

                                                                        (ANS - Esmeralda) - The daily work with the vulnerable children and young people of Esmeraldas has aroused the interest of Nicson Sicha, a young man of 18, for the consecrated life. Seeing the work done by Salesians like Fr Pedro Vidal up close, and being aware of the good that can be done towards the most needy children and young people, has motivated this young man to follow in the footsteps of Don Bosco.

                                                                        "Volunteering is a step to decide what you will do with your life, to clarify your doubts about the future; in my specific case, I am thinking of Salesian life," says Nicson, who was one of the protagonists of the last vocational meeting promoted by the Province, held in January in the "El Horeb" spirituality house in Quito.

                                                                        When asked what was the impulse that led him to volunteer, Nicson did not hesitate to answer: it was thanks to his brother Dillan, born with a brain disability and a great desire to live.

                                                                        Among the obstacles he had to face, however, Nicson reported the refusal of his family members. Moreover, since there was no Salesian presence in his canton, the boy was not able to follow a previous formation, with the exception of the 21 days of intensive course when he was already ready.

                                                                        His efforts and determination were however repaid and he was sent to the "San Filippo Neri" community of Esmeraldas for a year.

                                                                        The first time he visited the Santa Martha neighborhood, where the Salesian community operates, he was shocked: he saw young people between the ages of 15 and 16 smoking drugs on the streets and others who were beating each other up in full daylght. He was also surprised by their aggressive attitudes and behaviour, their lack of respect for others and the use of inappropriate language by the neighborhood children and youths.

                                                                        Yet, recalling his experience, he affirms that the Salesian volunteer is he who is there for the children in need, and who in every moment or situation knows how to be a counselor. The best reward in these cases is a simple "thank you" or a smile on the face of someone who has been helped.

                                                                        "To this one boy I dedicated great attention: I would talk to him and advise him, but I suffered a heavy blow when I saw that he was taking drugs, because I said to myself: 'we do a lot for them, but they do not care.' But then I realized that it is God who brought us to there, and so one recovers the desire to continue giving one's all."

                                                                        Now Nicson hopes to continue in the process of discernment and strengthening of his vocation.

                                                                        • Ecuador
                                                                        • ECU
                                                                        • Volontariato
                                                                        • Missioni
                                                                        • Testimonianza
                                                                        • Discernimento Vocazionale
                                                                        • Opzione Preferenziale
                                                                        • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Spain - Fr Martoglio's Extraordinary Visit resumes: opportunity to strengthen unity with Rector Major and Congregation

                                                                          1 week ago
                                                                          Spain - Fr Martoglio's Extraordinary Visit resumes: opportunity to strengthen unity with Rector Major and Congregation

                                                                          (ANS - Madrid) – On behalf of the Rector Major, Fr Stefano Martoglio, elected Councilor for the Mediterranean Region in 2014, is on an Extraordinary Visitation to the Spain-St James Major Province, one of the 10 that make up the territory of his region (six in Italy, two in Spain, Portugal and the Middle East).

                                                                          The mission of the Regional Councilors, according to the Salesian Constitutions, is to promote "a direct link between the Provinces and the Rector Major and his Council. They take care of the interests of the Provinces entrusted to them. In the General Council they encourage the knowledge of local situations, in which the mission takes place" (No. 140).

                                                                          With this in mind, at the end of January, Fr Martoglio returned to Spain, to Madrid, where he had begun his Extraordinary Visitation as early as last September.

                                                                          On February 1-2, he visited the Vocational Guidance House in Madrid, and met the members of the "Pan Bendito" Social Platform, members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), children and youth, the Council of the Educational-Pastoral Community and the Salesians and pre-novices of the community.

                                                                          Also on February 2, he visited the house of Carabanchel, in Madrid, where he began the meeting with prayer, presented himself to the community and explained the meaning of an Extraordinary Visitation, which he defined as "a grace of the Lord."

                                                                          Fr Martoglio dedicated his time to dialogue with each of his confreres, pedagogical directors, pastoral coordinators and other persons in charge. He also took the opportunity to greet the various groups of students - those in vocational training, maternal and primary education, high school and higher education courses - and he animated and encouraged the teaching staff in their service.

                                                                          He was also able to meet the members of the Salesian Family: Salesian Cooperators, ADMA and Past Pupils of Don Bosco, to listen to their concerns and get an idea of ​​the development of the groups. Later, he met the Youth Center animators to get to know firsthand the work they do with children and young people.

                                                                          Finally, on 5 February, he inaugurated and blessed the "Innovation Room".

                                                                          "It was a very interesting visit because he proved to be a pleasant person, close to us. His guidance was very precious for our spiritual and Salesian life," said the Salesians of Carabanchel.

                                                                          {gallery}Spagna - SSM - Visita Straordinaria 2019{/gallery} 

                                                                          • Spagna
                                                                          • SSM
                                                                          • Visita Straordinaria
                                                                          • Stefano Martoglio
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            Venezuela - "Today, the Venezuelan does not live, he survives": Salesian works of Venezuela continue to bet on justice and peace

                                                                            1 week 1 day ago

                                                                            (ANS - Caracas) - Yesterday, February 11, the Holy See welcomed the delegation of the self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, and insistently asked for a "just and peaceful" solution for Venezuela, "avoiding bloodshed", said Msgr. Edgar Peña Parra, Substitute for General Affairs of the Vatican Secretariat of State after the meeting with Guaidó's delegation.

                                                                            The situation in Venezuela is very difficult. As the Venezuelan journalists M. Castro and J. Lafuente have well described, "the needs, which include hunger, lack of water and continuous power cuts ... impose themselves on politics in this devastated Venezuela. Today, the Venezuelan does not live, he survives."

                                                                            Another journalist, Federica Bello, for La Voce e il Tempo, through "Missioni Don Bosco", contacted Fr Rafael Andrés Borges in Caracas. His voice testifies to the grave nature of the situation, but also hope and confidence in a recovery.

                                                                            From a parish in Caracas, which has just celebrated the feast of Don Bosco, he says: "Venezuela is going through a very painful phase ... Weighing upon it are twenty years of social defeat caused by both a serious political confusion, with a very fragile practice of democracy and from a serious moral weakening. These elements constitute fertile ground, negative, due to the increase of some viruses in Venezuelan social life. First, a generalized discouragement that now dominates in the citizen's conscience. The Venezuelan, who is cheerful and enthusiastic about culture, has become a sad, fearful and suspicious person, without dreams. Anarchy is another of the 'diseases' that has struck us: for the moment there are two cases of governability, that provided by the Constitution of the country and the one that seeks to impose itself by a usurping regime. The current situation transmits dangerous patterns of behavior: as if the lack of respect was the practice to be followed throughout. Anarchy dresses itself in arrogance and violence. Everything goes hand in hand with corruption as the modus operandi in all areas of national life."

                                                                            "In this difficult social, political and economic context," continues Fr Borges, "the Salesian Family of Venezuela has faced the challenge of celebrating well the holiness of Don Bosco, despite the limitations of economic and social security: a sign that all the Salesian works of this Venezuela continues to bet on arriving at justice and peace in democracy."

                                                                            • Venezuela
                                                                            • VEN
                                                                            • Vescovi
                                                                            • Sociale
                                                                            • Politica
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Italy - In memory of Fr Teresio Bosco, SDB, passionate narrator of the Salesian treasure: Don Bosco

                                                                              1 week 1 day ago
                                                                              Italy - In memory of Fr Teresio Bosco, SDB, passionate narrator of the Salesian treasure: Don Bosco

                                                                              (ANS - Turin) - "Now I recommend to some of you who have a good memory, that you write down what I have said," Don Bosco often repeated. There have always been Salesians who have cherished and recorded the facts and the words of the founder. Fr Teresio Bosco (1931-2019) was one of these men.

                                                                              Fr Teresio Bosco was born in 1931 in Montemagno Monferrato. He did his Salesian aspirantate in Penango, immediately showing vivacity and intelligence, together with a natural goodness and generosity. With enthusiasm and success, he journeyed through his years of formation to his degree in Theology at the Pontifical Salesian Athenaeum.

                                                                              Meanwhile, he had already manifested an extraordinary communicative imagination, especially in his writings. His qualities did not escape the superiors who flanked him to Fr Carlo Fiore and Fr Gigi Zulian in the adventure of the "Salesian Companies". He had his secret: he wrote like a movie camera, the rhythm and pace of his writing was TV-like and readers could almost truly visualize the characters and story.

                                                                              With the publisher SEI  Fr Teresio was the protagonist of a group of modern and popular magazines: Meridiano 12, Dimensioni and Ragazzi Duemila. He wrote as if he were before an audience of teens and young people. For them he began several series of publications that had immediate and lasting success: "Campioni" and "Eroi" and then the seven volumes of the series "An adventure for every day", and the five of the series "Diamanti", the first real attempt – and a very successful one – to publish books on meditation for teenagers. Also in this, his work, it was as if Don Bosco's own work was being continued, updated over time.

                                                                              For schools he published numerous books. For three years he directed Bollettino Salesiano while churning out popular works with his recipe of "high readability", the same Don Bosco wanted for his "Catholic readings".

                                                                              But the work he cared about most was the life of Don Bosco, to whom he dedicated many years and books. Above all: "Don Bosco. A new biography", which was translated into many languages and is still today the book that makes Don Bosco known to the world.

                                                                              At the beginning of one of the many books dedicated to Don Bosco, Fr Teresio wrote: "I am convinced that Don Bosco is our great and specific treasure. If Don Bosco is removed from Salesians, what is left of them that is precious, specific, that distinguishes them from all other religious families? ... When I will remember and narrate the facts and words of Don Bosco, I will try to read deep inside, and I hope to strengthen the conviction that he is truly the Father and Teacher for each of us, and to him the Virgin Mary has entrusted us."

                                                                              Yesterday, 11 February, Mary Help of Christians took Father Teresio by the hand and brought him to the House of the Father.

                                                                              • Italia
                                                                              • Decessi
                                                                              • Storia
                                                                              • Don Bosco
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Myanmar - Card. Bo, SDB, defending population threatened by Myitsone Dam

                                                                                1 week 1 day ago
                                                                                Myanmar - Card. Bo, SDB, defending population threatened by Myitsone Dam

                                                                                (ANS - Myitkyina) - "Inequity affects not only individuals, but entire countries," writes Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Sì (No. 51). In the same passage the Holy Father warns against those companies who for their immediate commercial interests leave behind enormous human and environmental damage in their wake: "villages without life, depletion of natural reserves, deforestation, impoverishment of agriculture and local breeding, craters, devastated hills ... ". In tune with the words of Pope Francis, and in defense of his flock of faithful, Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo is fighting against the resumption of work on the Myitsone Dam.

                                                                                The Myitsone Dam is an imposing Chinese construction project, to be built at the confluence of the Mali and N'Mai rivers, which come together and form the Irrawaddy. It would be the first dam to block the Irrawaddy River, which represents the cradle of the Myanmar civilization, and would be exploited for 90% of its capacity by China alone.

                                                                                Work on the dam's construction - capable of generating 6,400 megawatts, and worth USD 3.6 billion - was discontinued in 2011, following popular protests, which denounced fears about the project's environmental impact and serious consequences and hardship to the local population - to a large extent Christian.

                                                                                In recent times, however, there have been ever stronger signs of a possible resumption of work and for this reason many voices, including from the Christian minority, have risen to defend those who risk the most because of this project. Among the many voices is the first cardinal in the country's history, namely Cardinal Bo:

                                                                                "The Myitsone Dam is a death sentence for the population of Myanmar," he stated bluntly. "The gloomy prospect of millions of farmers losing their livelihood, the violation of sacred sites along the rivers, the death and destruction of the precious flora and fauna of our beloved nation, is becoming a nightmarish reality ...

                                                                                On behalf of all the people of Myanmar, especially the poor farmers, we sincerely ask all interested parties to stop their attempts to abuse our mother Irrawaddy. We warmly invite the people of Myanmar to collaborate to protect the dignity of our mother Irrawaddy. We are confident that our leaders will resist all efforts to destroy the destiny and dignity of our nation."

                                                                                Source: AsiaNews

                                                                                • Myanmar
                                                                                • Ambiente
                                                                                • Creato
                                                                                • Cardinali
                                                                                • Charles Maung Bo
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana