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Ethiopia - New opportunities for the future of refugees, thanks to Salesians and VIS

18 hours 28 minutes ago
Ethiopia - New opportunities for the future of refugees, thanks to Salesians and VIS

(ANS - Gambella) - She is only 22, but has to take care of four children. Two are hers, two belong to her sister, killed with her husband during the clashes in South Sudan. Nyanthiay took the little ones with her and walked for twenty days to Ethiopia: "I was forced to leave my husband and my mother. My objective was to bring the children to safety, in a safe place where there is no hunger and war." Nyanthiay is among the more than 17,000 refugees from South Sudan who arrived this year at the Nguenyyiel camp, in the Gambella region, which hosts almost 100,000.

The protection of children and the vocational training of young people is part of the project that the Salesians in Ethiopia, together with the NGO "International Volunteers for Development" (VIS), carry forward in the field: in addition to the recreational and sports center, which offers the camp's children and adolescents a safe educational place, there have, since February, also been short courses of carpentry, construction, tailoring and courses for hairdressers with140 boys and girls of the camp, made possible thanks to the financial support of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

The courses were held by the Salesian staff and involved, as is the style inherited by Don Bosco, the most marginalized children, those excluded from "classical" schooling. All of them have been offered practical and useful activities to learn a profession or trade to enable them to find a job in the near future and thus improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

The students attended the workshops enthusiastically and some of them organized themselves in groups to continue learning the trade independently thanks to kits specially provided by the project operators to help them in the delicate phase of entering the world of work.

Last Sunday, June 17, the camp held the project's closing event with the awarding of prizes to the first 5 students for each course, an exhibition of the craft products created in the workshops, and a number of lively and colorful art performances.

Thanks to the support of VIS, the center active at the camp will remain open even after the closing of the courses, indeed is already thinking about offering a second cycle of vocational courses to be organized always with the contribution of the experience of the Salesians.

{gallery}Etiopia - Ballare a Gambella{/gallery}

  • Etiopia
  • AET
  • VIS
  • Rifugiati
  • Formazione Professionale
    Gian Francesco Romano

    India - Bangalore Salesians in solidarity with Yemen people

    18 hours 28 minutes ago
    India - Bangalore Salesians in solidarity with Yemen people

    (ANS - Bangalore) - "With worry I follow the dramatic fate of the people of Yemen, already so exhausted from years of conflict ...". The Pope's words after the recital of the Angelus last Sunday have focused attention on a country exhausted by over three years of civil war, which has caused over 15,000 victims and forced more than three million people to flee: practically one of every 8 Yemeni today lives away from home. The Salesians of the Indian Province of Bangalore have served in Yemen as missionaries for several years, and today echo the Pope's invitation to prayer for the Yemeni people.

    Fr George Muttathuparambil, current Provincial of Bangalore, speaks of the gravity of the situation and the urgency for prayer. "This war is unjust. People suffer in an atrocious manner," says the Salesian. 

    "I saw the horror of the war in Yemen. We must pray for peace," he continues, thus re-launching the appeal of Pope Francis and Mgr. Paul Hinder, the Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia - which includes the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen - who had in turn renewed the Pope's appeal on Monday 18 June.

    Fr Muttathuparambil knows the Middle Eastern country well: there from 2010 to 2016, first in Hodeidah and then in Taiz, he was also there when, on 4 March 2016, in Aden, an Islamist group kidnapped his confrere Fr Tom Uzhunnalil from the elders home of the Missionaries of Charity, slaughtering four religious women and another 12 people. Given the dangerous conditions in the country, on 30 March 2016, the priest was forced to leave the mission to return to India, but expects to return to the service of the Yemeni people. 

    The Salesians of Bangalore will express their spiritual closeness to the people of Yemen specifically this next Saturday: "On June 23," explains Fr Muttathuparambil,  "we will offer a Mass and Eucharistic adoration in solidarity [with the population]. Together with my community, I will besiege Paradise [with prayers] for peace in Yemen. Let us pray to God to intervene and bring justice and peace."

    In conclusion, the religious said, "The situation is extremely serious. People need food, water, medicine. Everything has been destroyed. We join Msgr. Hinder in prayer. He is very concerned about the region and about the Christians living in the four parishes," that is Sana'a, Taiz, Hodeidah and Aden.

    Source: AsiaNews

    • India
    • Yemen
    • INK
    • Preghiera
    • Violenze
    • Guerra
      Gian Francesco Romano

      El Salvador - Don Bosco University Students awarded for Water Purification Project

      1 day 18 hours ago
      El Salvador - Don Bosco University Students awarded for Water Purification Project

      (ANS - San Salvador) – Students of the Strategic Design course of the "Mónica Herrara" School of Communication (ECMH) and by the students of the Industrial Design and Graphic Design courses at the Don Bosco University (UDB) in El Salvador presented a  project called "Design for Vulnerability" which was presented in New York in May as part of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. The project won a prize awarded in the "school" section by a panel of journalists from specialized magazines.

      The problem of access to water is increasingly perceived all across the globe; in some countries the scarcity of drinking water has long been critical. Consider: about 1.1 billion people in the world have no direct access to sources of drinking water. Moreover, about 1,400 children under the age of five die every day from diseases related to lack of access to drinking water and adequate hygiene.

      The project was born from the study of access to drinking water in the El Majahual community, located in the coastal area of ​​the "La Libertad" Department of El Salvador. Only 25% of the inhabitants in that area actually have access to drinking water through a system of pipelines for distribution and management; the remaining 75% look for alternative access to water through natural sources, rainwater collected during the winter season, wells, river water or freshwater springs. These sources are contaminated with biological and solid waste which, in turn, generate the proliferation of diseases which, due to the lack of organization of the health system and their distance from where needed, are difficult to eradicate.

      Faced with this challenge, the multi-disciplinary team of university students from both universities, together with professionals from different sectors, has designed a water filtration system for the contaminated water of those sources, a system which purifies water and makes it suitable for human consumption.

      The team developed a filter consisting of three layers of materials extracted from the existing resources in the coastal area, its effectiveness validated by various professionals and institutions expert in water treatment, including: the "Fusades" Integral Quality Laboratory, the Center of Applied Technology (CTA), "AZURE" and the "Stove Team International".

      The filter is a low-cost and easy-to-produce product and, in the future, can be replicated in other areas that also experience difficulty in accessing water.

      • El Salvador
      • Università
      • IUS
      • Acqua
      • CAM
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Italy - Don Bosco Naples: Christian and Muslim children pray together

        1 day 18 hours ago
        Italy - Don Bosco Naples: Christian and Muslim children pray together

        (ANS - Naples) - On the occasion of the end of Ramadan, for the second consecutive year, Christian and Muslim children prayed together at the Salesian "Don Bosco" house of Naples with prayers from the Koran, in Arabic, and several psalms from the Bible, in Italian. The evening began with an invitation to prayer with the typical singing of the muezzin and the sound of bells and ended with the exchange of peace among all participants.

        The young of the "Il Ponte" community, which currently hosts about 15 Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (MSNA in Italian), organized the meeting inviting friends, peers from other communities, "past-pupils" of the house, friends and acquaintances. About fifty young people in all from different countries, languages and religions attended.

        Most of the young present have lived through the difficult experience of traveling from their own country to Italy, crossing Libya and the sea on a rubber dinghy. A journey that lasted months, if not years, accomplished without an adult of reference in order to reach and achieve a possible future in Europe. Not a few have a heavy load of life's experiences behind them, represented by violence, torture, slavery, abuse.

        During the period in which they are at the community, they face the challenges of integration, decisive for their future in Italy and in Europe, ranging from learning the Italian language to inclusion in school and work and the regularization of their status as residents.

        "The moment of prayer and celebration was strongly desired by these youngsters, not only as a moment of aggregation but, above all, as a great testimony of unity and mutual respect," explained Fr Giovanni Vanni, head and Economer of the MSNA community.

        All the young people present together invoked the gift of peace as a blessing from God and thus expressed their solidarity with today's immigrants who suffer because of violence, poverty and the many political situations developing in Italy and throughout the world.

        The evening continued with a convivial moment which had begun, as per Muslim tradition, with the gift of a date and ended with a musical concert.

        • Italia
        • IME
        • Migranti
        • Rifugiati
        • Islam
        • Preghiera
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Syria - Spring and summer activities of Salesian oratories

          2 days 18 hours ago
          Syria - Spring and summer activities of Salesian oratories

          (ANS - Damascus) - Despite the current circumstances being still marked by instability, Salesians and animators have decided to start the summer programs and have begun to welcome hundreds of children and young people.

           

          by Sally Abou Jamra

          During the last month of May the winter activities carried out in the houses of the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco were concluded: catechism meetings, activities of sharing and fraternity of the various groups, as well as the community recitation of the rosary as a special tribute to Our Lady in the Marian month.

          In the meantime, a formation course for animators - boys and girls aged between 16 and 17 years old - was also organized to prepare them for summer activities, which this year will be developed following the theme "I hear you".

          The path developed by the educational community for the six weeks of the summer activities take up the stories of the biblical characters of the Old Testament (Samuel, David, Solomon, Moses, Job and John the Baptist), all united by a common denominator, namely listening and following one's own vocation.

          The summer activities follow the guideline indicated by the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, for 2018, so that they deepen the theme of listening and accompaniment, as presented in this year's Strenna, which moves from episode of the encounter of Jesus Christ with the Samaritan woman and of her request: "Lord, give me this water".

          At the same time, precisely because the theme of summer activities revolves around the vocation, its individuation, the way in which it is possible to discover it and the response from the Lord, they are in line with the Church's path towards the Synod on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment"; in fact, various ideas have been taken from the Synod's preparatory document.

          For the occasion, a booklet was also developed that serves as a support for the activities and includes questions on spirituality and life, educational games, indications for manual workshops, teachings and prayers.

          In conclusion: children and youth in Syria today need more than ever the support of Salesian spirituality and of adults who listen to them and accompany them in the slow reconquest of their balance and their relationship with God and society, in a phase of instability and after a seven-year war. And the Salesians intend to stay with them in this process.

          • Siria
          • MOR
          • Oratorio
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Ethiopia – Sport for Development: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Championship

            2 days 18 hours ago
            Ethiopia – Sport for Development: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Championship

            (ANS – Addis Ababa) – The first “Sport for Development Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Championships” has kicked off today at the Entoto Technical Vocational College. Organized by Sport for Development in Africa (S4DA), programme, implemented by “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH” on behalf of the German Development Cooperation, together with the Addis Ababa TVET Bureau, the tournament will bring together ten colleges and TVET training centers in Addis Ababa.

            Sport can be used to promote education, health, development and peace across the world. It helps young people acquire important life and social skills, boost their confidence and increase willingness to take on responsibility.  

            Sport for Development in Africa project has been making important contributions to the “More Space for Sport – 1,000 Chances for Africa”, a German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development initiative that aims to use sport as an important tool to bring positive changes in sub-Saharan Africa.

            The project, in partnership with the Ethiopian TVET agency, used sport as an instrument to promote quality vocational education. It provided sport infrastructure and equipment as well as support for specialized life-skills through sport training.

            Furthermore, the project helped more than 100,000 children and young people get access to sports by rehabilitating 35 sports grounds throughout the country. It has given sport for development training for 65 TVET teachers.

            The “Sport for Development TVET Championship” aims to promote the importance of sport for development by teaching the young population important life skills and preparing them for the labor market. “More Space for Sport – 1,000 Chances for Africa” initiative was launched in 2014 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

            It aims at providing a framework in which the various partners can work together to open up new opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people. German development cooperation is implementing sport-related programs in several areas – especially education, health, violence prevention, inclusion and gender equality.

            Sport for Development in Africa project began establishing sport as a tool for achieving development goals in selected African countries in 2014.

            Sport for Development in Ethiopia focuses on promoting vocational education through “Sport for Development” approach. The project works closely with existing vocational education projects currently being implemented by German Development Cooperation.

            As partner to GIZ mainly on the sport for development approach, the Salesians of Don Bosco have benefited as new sport fields are constructed and maintenance work to old fields has been taking place in almost all the Salesian Centers in the country.

            For “Sport for Development TVET Championship,” the Salesians of Don Bosco is represented by two TVET Colleges run by the Salesians of Don Bosco in the capital, Addis Ababa: Bosco Children and Mekanissa. 

            The capacity development in the form of various soft skill training is going well as GIZ is organizing various training events in all Salesian Communities which, after training, GIZ continue providing some sport materials and training manuals.

            {gallery}Etiopia - Sport per lo Sviluppo 2018{/gallery}

            • Etiopia
            • AET
            • Sport
            • Sviluppo
            • Formazione Professionale
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Guatemala - After the disaster: we help people to rebuild their lives and plan their future

              2 days 18 hours ago
              Guatemala - After the disaster: we help people to rebuild their lives and plan their future

              (ANS - Escuintla) - Guatemala continues to tremble. Today, June 18, an earthquake of magnitude 5.7 ° has shaken the country, fortunately without causing damage, with its epicenter in the Department of Escuintla - the same wherein the volcano Fuego rises, which erupted on 3 June last year. Already last June 14, Guatemala had suffered an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 °, when many people died, and that had affected thousands of people and caused much material damage. The exact number of dead and missing is not yet known; however, "the authorities of Guatemala (CONRED, the Disaster Reduction Coordinator) ended their search for the missing in the devastated area on Sunday, 17 June."

              The Director of the National Institute of Forensic Sciences of Guatemala illustrated the latest death toll: over 200 people missing and almost 3,000 wounded and displaced. After the eruption, the cities were swallowed by a dense and heavy ash.

              According to CNN, "hot gases, rocks and ashes have killed dozens of people, erased villages in the hills, blocked roads and deposited toxic substances on the ground".

              It is estimated that 1.7 million people have been affected and 3,265 have lost their homes. The shelters host about 1,687 people. In the reception centers the attention is still high and to date there are 17 centers that function as shelters for 3,571 people: 12 in Escuintla (2798 people); four in the Department of Sacatepéquez (754 people) and one in Suchitepéquez (19 people).

              Mons. Víctor Hugo Palma, bishop of Escuintla, showed himself willing to provide spiritual support and help, and organized parishes as places for the collection of food and providing aid.

              "The Salesians live among the people in communities and villages, so they are always ready to respond in case of emergency or crisis," said Fr Mark Hyde, head of the Salesian Mission Office in New Rochelle, United States. "After a disaster, they will continue to rebuild communities, helping people rebuild their physical structures and their lives through education and training."

              The Salesians work in Guatemala with poor youth and their families, street children and those of the indigenous and poor communities, through youth centers, orphanages, parishes and schools, technical institutes and two universities.

              • Guatemala
              • CAM
              • Disastri
              • Missioni
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Spain - Salesian social entities show their commitment to arrival and reception of the "Aquarius"

                2 days 18 hours ago

                (ANS - Madrid) - The last vessel of the Aquarius flotilla ended landings in the port of Valencia on Sunday, June 17. After an eight-day trip across the Mediterranean, the 629 people of 31 different nationalities, saved along the shores of Libya, ended after the governments of Malta and Italy refused to receive them. The State Coordination of Salesian Social Platforms, formed by the social action entities of Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid, the NGO "Jóvenes y Desarrollo" and the "Don Bosco Confederation of Youth Centers", intends to communicate its reflection on the issue.

                "As Church organizations we listen to Pope Francis and the Vatican Migrants and Refugees Section, who have prepared 20 action points on the theme of migrants and refugees. The bodies represented here are united to welcome, protect, promote and integrate people forced to leave their homes and look for new directions of life.

                The Salesians also work in the countries from which the migrants arrive, know the causes of this humanitarian crisis and work near-miracles in favor of the development of these impoverished countries.

                We express our commitment to welcoming and including all those migrants and vulnerable people in our society. For this reason we ask all the people, Salesian social and developmental entities, members of the Salesian Family, all Christians, our local, regional and central governments and the general population to guarantee the necessary means to defend the rights and the dignity of these people.

                Attention to the most needy and the design of medium-term programs that guarantee real integration into our society is one of our priorities as Salesian organizations. In this way, and always keeping in mind our Christian attitude, we join with other entities that offer their resources for the reception of these people in emergency situations.

                We hope that the welcome offered to the 629 people disembarked from the Aquarius in the port of Valencia represents the start of measures that encourage the completion of the relocation program, with legal and safe routes and the improvement of the asylum system.

                We also encourage the entire population, and the Salesian Family in particular, to unite and create networks of social and family support, generating a greater guarantee of protection and development of a life project for young migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, which is sustainable in the medium and long term and does not depend only on specific action projects."

                • Spagna
                • Migranti
                • Rifugiati
                • ONG
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  RMG – Fr Jose Kuruvachira appointed new Provincial of Salesian Province of Dimapur

                  4 days 18 hours ago
                  RMG – Fr Jose Kuruvachira appointed new Provincial of Salesian Province of Dimapur

                  (ANS – Rome) – The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consent of his council has appointed the new provincial for the Province of Dimapur, India: Fr. Jose Kuruvachira. Fr. Jose Kuruvachira succeeds Fr Nestor Guria who is now laying down his office in August 2018, after six years of service.

                  Kuruvachira, currently a professor of Philosophy at the Salesian Pontifical University at Rome, is aged 60. He was born at Rayarom at Kannur in Kerala (India), on 7 March 1958, from Joseph Kuruvachira and Aleykutty. He is fluent in Italian, English and Malayalam, has a Doctorate in Philosophy, and a Master’s degree in Theology.

                  He began his journey as a Salesian in 1977 with his novitiate at Sunnyside, Shillong, made his perpetual vows on 24 May 1984 in Dimapur, and was ordained in 1988 at Marygiri in Kerala. He has rich experience in the domain of Religious Formation and is well known for his intellectual acumen and teaching capacity.

                  He worked for several years in the Salesian College, Dimapur, as Principal and Dean of Philosophy and as Formator of the post-novices and several other religious and diocesan seminarians. He has been serving at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome since 2010 in the Faculty of Philosophy as professor of Indian Philosophy and Eastern Religions.

                  He becomes the 7th Provincial of the Salesian Province of Dimapur which was erected on 8 December 1981 with Fr Pulingathil Mathew as its first Provincial.

                  • RMG
                  • Ispettori
                  • India
                  • Dimapur
                    Jesus Jurado

                    Venezuela - After desecration of tombs, deceased Salesians may now rest in peace

                    5 days 18 hours ago
                    Venezuela - After desecration of tombs, deceased Salesians may now rest in peace

                    (ANS - Caracas) - A few days ago, at 107 years of age, Fr Giuseppe (José) Berno, the oldest Salesian of the Congregation, died. No one would have thought that after having joyfully dedicated his long life to God and to the most needy, he would not be able to rest in peace at the cemetery, and that it would become necessary to proceed to his cremation.

                    In the socio-economic context that Venezuela is experiencing, the testimony of this Salesian missionary should not be forgotten. Many have wondered these days: what was the secret of his long life? It was enough to see him: always smiling, optimistic, cheerful. "Only God and Mary Help of Christians know the life of Father Berno, the difficulties and the sacrifice of a missionary ... His life is a testimony of fidelity, of giving, of suffering, but of immense happiness," wrote one of his past pupils.

                    Yet the same Venezuelan socio-economic crisis has now reached even the cemeteries: not even the dead rest in peace!

                    In recent months the pantheon of Salesians in the General Cemetery has been desecrated twice. The graves of the Salesians have been opened and looted.


                    "Given the situation and the lack of response from the cemetery authorities in ensuring the safety of the remains, the bodies of the deceased Salesians were exhumed. Thus, thanks to the collaboration of the Valles family, the mortal remains of the Salesians were transferred to a burial chamber, where a Eucharist of reparation was celebrated. Subsequently, all the bodies were cremated and deposited in small urns," reported the Salesians of Venezuela.

                    "41, the number of Salesian tombs desecrated," said Fr Timothy Ploch, Regional Councilor for Interamerica. "The reason is unknown, whether it's simple theft or for religious reasons; the truth is that the authorities have been asked to take care of the cemeteries, but there have been no answers. So all the bones were collected, the identification of each Salesian was made and finally they were cremated. And in a solemn religious ceremony they were deposed in the Don Bosco parish."

                    The funeral of Fr Berno, presided in the parish of Don Bosco Altamira by Msgr. Raúl Biord, bishop of La Guaira, offered the opportunity for translation. The remains of Fr Berno were cremated together with those of the 41 Salesians whose tombs were desecrated and the funeral urns were placed at the main entrance of the temple, at the foot of the Virgin Mary Help of Christians.

                    Now, finally, they can rest in peace!

                    • Venezuela
                    • VEN
                    • Violenze
                    • Salesiani
                    • Decessi
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Equatorial Guinea - Daughters of Sacred Hearts for Intl Day of African Child

                      5 days 18 hours ago
                      Equatorial Guinea - Daughters of Sacred Hearts for Intl Day of African Child

                      (ANS - San José de Evinayong) - It was 16 June 1976 when in Soweto, South Africa, clashes developed between the black students and the segregationist police due to the imposition of Afrikaans, the language of the white minority, even in the schools in which the black majority of the population was segregated. Among the many victims were several young demonstrators who also died in the clashes; in their name the "International Day of the African Child" was born, a day celebrated every year to draw attention to the living conditions and rights of children and young people on the African continent.

                      Today the apartheid regime that separated whites and blacks in South Africa no longer exists, buried by the evidence of its absurdity. But throughout the African Continent there are still many problems that compromise the natural development of African children, first of all, poverty.

                      The Salesians and other groups of the Salesian Family work in many African countries, making every effort towards giving new hope to children and young people, especially the most disadvantaged.

                      For example, the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, eighth group of the Salesian Family, have been active since 1987 in one of the most remote regions of Equatorial Guinea; amid lush mountains and spectacular waterfalls, they founded a mission they named after the Immaculate and that soon became a point of reference for all the area's children.

                      Initially, there were only 50 little ones attending the nursery school started by the nuns; now they are almost 300. The missionaries take care of the children, who all come from very poor families, by  providing primary care, which they desperately need, and affection.

                      The nursery school runs from 7:30 to 13:00, according to ministerial programs, while in the afternoon the mission hosts activities of play, sharing and prayer according to the Don Bosco Preventive Method.

                      In addition to moments of games, education and prayer, the missionaries want to give the children something equally fundamental: one complete meal a day. In a context of great poverty, neglect, disease (HIV, malaria, typhoid fever), the supply of a nutritionally balanced diet represents a guarantee against malnutrition and, consequently, the physical and cognitive deficits it causes, in this case for the 119 girls and 161 boys involved in the project.


                      For more information, please visit: www.missionidonbosco.org

                      • Guinea Equatoriale
                      • ATE
                      • Figlie dei Sacri Cuori di Gesù e Maria
                      • Bambini
                      • Africa
                      • Missioni Don Bosco
                      • Missioni
                      • Anniversari
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        RMG - Appointment of new Provincial of Paraguay: Fr Mario Villalba

                        5 days 18 hours ago
                        RMG - Appointment of new Provincial of Paraguay: Fr Mario Villalba

                        (ANS - Rome) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consensus of his Council, appointed Fr Mario Jesús Villalba Ramírez as Provincial of the "Maria Santissima Assunta" Province of Paraguay (PAR), for the 2018-2024 six-year term.

                        The 47-year-old PAR Provincial, a past pupil of the "Salesianito" Institute in Asunción, was born in the capital of Paraguay on 24 September 1970. He did his novitiate in San Miguel de la Plata, Argentina, between 1990 and 1991, professed his perpetual vows in Asuncion on 31 January 1997 and, after completing his formation, he was ordained a priest on 23 October 1999 at the Institute of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the "Salesianito".

                        "Today it is up to us, as Don Bosco has asked us, to love him as Provincial and to support him with a spirit of faith," said Fr Néstor Ledesma, current Provincial, in his letter announcing the appointment to his confreres, in which he also announced that the inaugural Mass of Father Villalba Ramírez will take place on Wednesday, August 1, at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Asunción.

                        In his 19 years of priestly life, Fr Villalba Ramírez was responsible for various groups of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM): National Councilor of the SYM (2012-2016), National Councilor of the Movements "JJ" (2008-2011); Member of the group "Friends of Dominic Savio and Laura Vicuña" (ADS-ALV, in 2017) and of the Movement of Salesian Student Animators (MLES, in 2018).

                        He also held the positions of Director of the Salesian Institute "Don Bosco" of Ypacaraí (2003-2012), of the "Salesianito" (2015) and he is currently Director of the Provincial House. In 2012 he was appointed Provincial Economer.

                        • RMG
                        • Ispettori
                        • Nomine
                        • Paraguay
                        • PAR
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Japan - Challenges awaiting Fr Yamanouchi

                          6 days 18 hours ago
                          Japan - Challenges awaiting Fr Yamanouchi

                          (ANS - Tokyo) - "As Pope Francis already did after his own election, I too ask each of you to pray for me, and, in turn, I give you my blessing. From today on, we do not stop praying for each other." This is how the nominated bishop of Saitama, Fr Mario Yamanouchi, begins his public message wherein he traces his path and examines the reality of his diocese. Despite the most recent nomination, the Salesian already has in mind the priorities and challenges to be faced in the task entrusted to him by the Holy Father.

                          The diocese covers an area of about 22,600 km2 and covers 4 civil prefectures. The population reaches over 14 million people and the number of native Catholics is just 20,600 faithful - however, the number rises to over 120 thousand with the inclusion of the immigrant Catholics.

                          The Catholic community includes about 250 consecrated persons (priests, permanent deacons, men and women religious, consecrated laypersons), of different nationalities - Koreans, Brazilians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Peruvians, Indonesians ... And among the other segments to take into consideration there are many children of mixed couples, some refugees or people awaiting legal recognition for their stay in Japan.

                          The diocese has about 60 parishes, with 40 priests and a few permanent deacons, 4 male congregations and 18 female congregations, some of which are cloistered. "My wish is to visit all the parishes and religious communities, to meet them all in the first year and to renew this appointment every year."

                          Important will be the relationship with the other majority religions in the territory, especially as there are, in the area, many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, together with Protestant churches. "Without a doubt, this is a spiritual treasure to be shared as brothers," comments the future prelate.

                          Among the challenges that Fr Yamanouchi has already identified, there are three in the forefront:

                          -        the strong component of immigrant Catholics (70%) out of the total Catholic community;

                          -        the need to help the charisms of the various congregations present to enrich the entire diocesan community;

                          -        dialogue with the ecclesial movements and their collaboration under the guidance and authority of the bishop.

                          Fr Yamanouchi concludes: "We pray that Mary, Mother of the Church and of all peoples, protect us against the forces of evil and that St. Joseph, her spouse, guide us in the ministry, with special attention for children, young people and seniors!"

                          AustraLasia

                          • Giappone
                          • GIA
                          • Vescovi
                          • Mario Yamanouchi
                          • Migranti
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Tanzania - The story of Grace and the path to a better future for girls

                            6 days 18 hours ago
                            Tanzania - The story of Grace and the path to a better future for girls

                            (ANS - Dodoma) - Grace is a young 21-year-old Tanzanian woman. Daughter of farmers, born in a large family, she would wake up every day at three in the morning to prepare simple dishes to sell in a kiosk along the street and for this reason she could not complete her high school education.

                            After a meeting with a nun she decided to enroll in an electro-technical course at a Salesian vocational training school. "When I resumed my studies in 2016, I felt happy again - says Grace -. Every day I learned something new and I also did a two-month internship in a company. Not everything was easy there: there were linguistic difficulties and I was also the only girl. Sometimes I did not feel comfortable, but I wanted to insist, continue. Many people think that only boys can become electricians. But I was happy to disappoint them: my tutor told me I'm the best in my class! And this encourages me to make my dream come true."

                            Grace's story illustrates how important Tanzania schools are for gender equality. Originally designed to provide training only for boys, Tanzanian vocational schools now count girls at 38% of the student population, while in 2015 they were only 11%!

                            Salesian vocational schools in Tanzania opening to girls is necessary for many reasons: for reasons of social justice, to avoid early marriages, to support the growth and development of the country, which requires a greater number of qualified people, and because to educate "a girl means educating an entire society", as a Tanzanian motto says.

                            Yet, this change is not so easy to achieve, especially in the context of Vocational Training, often considered a male stronghold. In Tanzania, change did not come by itself. Salesian schools have organized a series of actions to encourage girls to enroll in technical and vocational schools. The "Binti Thamani" campaign (literally "precious girl") made pupils, teachers and parents aware of equal opportunities for boys and girls in education, technical training and work.


                            Many of them did not know that they could attend vocational training courses. The campaign has reached 3,000 girls and still bears fruit today: the number of girls from Salesian schools continues to grow steadily year after year.

                            VIA Don Bosco

                            • Tanzania
                            • Ragazze
                            • Formazione Professionale
                            • Donne
                            • Educazione
                            • AFE
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Australia – Cardinal Bo, SDB: “Ours Is a Nation on Exodus. It Was a Promised Land”

                              6 days 18 hours ago
                              Australia – Cardinal Bo, SDB: “Ours Is a Nation on Exodus. It Was a Promised Land”

                              (ANS – Sydney) – Cardinal Charles Bo, SDB, the Archbishop of Yangon, was in Sydney on June 10 as a part of a tour arranged by “Catholic Mission”, Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia, whose major Church Appeal in 2018 is raising funds for innovative education programs backed by the cardinal in his native Myanmar. Cardinal Bo celebrated a public mass at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney and here we share his inspiring homily.

                              Dear Brothers and Sisters, good to see you all today – in our sacred fellowship of breaking the bread and breaking the word. Australia – I remember you for many things – for welcoming our refugees from Burma when the country made their life difficult. The Burmese community here, especially the Catholics have settled well and they are safe. As a nation, you are great hosts welcoming everyone from war-affected countries. Though you may not have the statue of Liberty, each one of you raised your arms and hearts to welcome the people. Australia is the city set on the mountain of hope for millions.

                              I also remember when a monstrous cyclone Nargis struck us ten years ago it was the Australian church that rushed to our help through Caritas Australia and Catholic Mission.

                              We rebuild our the lives of our poor. In this war against want and poverty, our ally is the Australian Catholic Mission. The strong bond we have developed with Catholic Mission is mutually enriching. We face many challenges in our life. Sixty years of disempowerment. Sixty years of diluted education. Sixty years of war and displacement. Sixty years of unsafe migration.

                              The country’s problem can be traced to lack of opportunities to the youth. Church hopes to forge a future for youth through education. We have planned a national Seminar in which we wish to open the doors of opportunity through Education. Education as Emancipation of historical bondage, Empowerment of millions of our youth and Employability of our men and women otherwise forced to unsafe migration.

                              Australian people through Catholic mission stood shoulder to shoulder in our struggle to bring dignity to our poor youth. We have opened schools in remote areas. We have built churches where there was none. We have educated our poor seminarians and sent them back to remote areas. You have shared the bread of compassion. We march ahead because people like Catholic Mission accompanies us in our mission. This is sincerely a pilgrimage of gratitude to the Church and the graceful people of Australia.

                              Thank you, my brothers and Sisters and the great Catholic mission, and we say that your compassion to the less fortunate people would be remembered by the Lord who said: “Whenever you do it to the least of my brothers and sisters you do it to me” (Mt 25:40)

                              I am very glad to be with you to break the Word today. In the Gospel passage Jesus stands at a critical juncture: doubted by his family and accused by the religious elite of the day. Christ came as a good news of God’s love for the whole creation. People were touched by him, healed by him, raised from the dead by him. He preached with great authority that the poor and the lame went back with the message: No one spoke like this man. The power Jesus had on the suffering and marginal people was astounding.

                              But Today’s Gospel opens up with a scene where the Pharisees demonize him. His power was stigmatized – accused of being a power broker for the devil. They say: “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demon”

                              Demonizing people, stereotyping people – Jesus was a victim. Imagine today in many parts of the world people belonging to a certain culture, a certain geographical areas are demonized and held as violent people. Walls go up to prevent the people.

                              As Pope Francis bemoans the world has forgotten the art of building bridges but is becoming savvy in building walls. The popular culture today does not see “brothers and sisters” in suffering people. Parochial nationalism is diluting faiths. As cultures and religions are stigmatized there is a global paranoia against the others. People see Beelzebul in babies and women and children.

                              This is the challenge to Catholic community today. Christ was considered as a ‘crazy’ by even by his family. The world needs crazy people. Crazy Christians. Crazy Christians like Mother Teresa who go and collect the dying and infirmed from the street and nursed them back to life. But sadly as Pope Francis pointed out, many traditional Christian nations have stigmatized, demonized and dehumanised other communities.

                              Myanmar faces such moment now.

                              Unresolved conflicts have resulted in millions leaving our shores, as unsafe migrants, refugees and IDPs. Ours is a nation on Exodus. It was a promised land – with treasures over the land and below the land. Human hatred and fear of the other have made our people’s life an unending Exodus.

                              Fear of our own brothers is a genetic curse of humanity. It started with Cain. There was no Jew, no Christian, no Muslim, and No Buddhist in the first pages of the Bible. You see death, gruesome murder of brother killing brother. The first pages of Bible are soaked in blood. The Old Testament enumerated at least 100 wars with causalities more than a million.

                              Hatred is the original sin of Humanity. Demonising our brothers and Sisters is the original Sin of Humanity. In the recorded human history there is less than a century where men have lived in peace without war. 20th Century ended with killing more than 135 million people.

                              Pope Francis mandated to Catholic Church in Myanmar only one Mission: Never repay vengeance with revenge. Be the Peace makers. Never repay hatred with hatred he said during the Public mass. “Do not wound, but heal the visible and invisible wounds of this nation” he poignantly requested Christians.

                              Christ urged his followers in his Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called as children of God. In Myanmar, we are a small church but we are an active peace maker. As a Church, we are in a vantage point of being a peace makers in Myanmar and we have taken this role with vigour. Last year, for the first time, we organised the interreligious initiatives for peace. Just last month we managed to gather a group of Religions for Peace from all over to visit the leaders and affected people in Rakhine state. We keep our options open by meeting all the stakeholders: civilian and military.

                              You as a Church have been in communion with us in this sacred pilgrimage of peace. During Nargis time and afterwards Australian church was generous in supporting quality teachers and building schools. School s are the new temples of hope. Thank you very much for your generosity. Many remote communities see education because of your generosity. Thanks to Catholic Mission and Caritas Australia.

                              Returning the Gospel once again, I am reminded of the phobias and demonizing Christ underwent in his community was staggering. Conflict emerged and Christ ended on the cross.

                              History repeats itself today. Nationalism and hatred are becoming normal. Pope stands on the hilltop crying out to show mercy to people in the margin and those who are at sea. Hatred against all starts inside, says Buddhism. The very violence thoughts are provoked by avidya (lack of knowledge). Peace is possible only when the mind is at peace and receives knowledge with critical perception.

                              The conflict between the evil and good continues. Christ tried to dispel the darkness. Myanmar Church strongly believes education will be the light set on the hilltop that would dispel the darkness of hatred and bring harmony and peace to our people.

                              • Australia
                              • Myanmar
                              • Cardinali
                              • Vescovi
                              • Charles Maung Bo
                              • Missioni
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Vatican - Fr Murguía Villalobos appointed new prelate bishop of Mixes

                                1 week ago
                                Vatican - Fr Murguía Villalobos appointed new prelate bishop of Mixes

                                (ANS - Vatican City) - In accepting the renunciation of Msgr. Héctor Guerrero Córdova, SDB, the Holy Father Francis has appointed Fr Salvador Cleofás Murguía Villalobos, Salesian, as a Prelate of Mixes, in Mexico, currently a member of the Formation Department at the Salesian Headquarters.

                                Fr Murguía Villalobos was born in León on 25 September, 1953. A professed Salesian since 1974, he made his perpetual vows in Guadalajara on 28 September, 1980.

                                He attended the courses of philosophical and theological preparation in the Salesian seminary of Tlaquepaque, obtained a License in Educación Media in the area of Pedagogy and a Licentiate in Spiritual Theology at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome. He also attended a postgraduate course in Spiritual Theology at Berkeley, in the United States.

                                He was ordained a priest on December 11, 1982, in Tlaquepaque. His pastoral duties include being Director and Spiritual Director of the Salesian Minor Seminary of Guadalajara, Director of the Salesian Institute of Higher Studies, Director and Master of Novices in the Chula-Vista Novitiate, Director of the Provincial House of Guadalajara, and Director of the Theologate of Tlaquepaque.

                                For the Province he was Vicar, Delegate for Formation and finally Provincial.

                                Since 2015 he has been in Rome and works as Delegate for Latin America at the Dicastery of Formation.

                                {gallery}RMG - Foto don Cleofas Murguia{/gallery}

                                • Vaticano
                                • Nomine
                                • Salvador Cleofás Murguía Medina
                                • Messico
                                • MEG
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  RMG - Fr Valencia Mosquera next Provincial of Colombia-Medellin

                                  1 week ago
                                  RMG - Fr Valencia Mosquera next Provincial of Colombia-Medellin

                                  (ANS - Rome) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernánez Artime, with the consensus of his Council, appointed Fr Luis Fernando Valencia Mosquera as Provincial of the "St Luigi Bertando" Province of Colombia-Medellin for the six-year period: 2018-2024.

                                  Fr Valencia Mosquera was born in Abejorral on September 9, 1963. He did his novitiate between 1982 and 1983 at Rionegro, made his perpetual vows on December 31, 1988, in Copacabana, and was ordained a priest on November 2, 1991, in Rionegro.

                                  He served as Vicar at the "San Jorge" house in Ibagué (1992-94), and then in the La Ceja novitiate (1994-96). After a year in Cartagena, he resided in Medellín, becoming Director of "Ciudad Don Bosco" (1999-2006), Economer from 2010, and Director, since 2015, of the Provincial Center, positions he still holds.

                                  At the Provincial level, he was first Counselor (2000-04), then Vicar (2004-06) and Delegate for the Pastoral Ministry in the field of marginalization (2004-07 and 2010-13). Since 2009 he is also Provincial Economer.

                                  Fr Valencia Mosquera, who will succeed Fr. John Jairo Gómez Rúa, will be sworn in on July 29 during a Eucharist presided by the Councilor for the Interamerica region, Fr Timothy Ploch.

                                  • RMG
                                  • Ispettori
                                  • COM
                                  • Nomine
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG - World Day Against Child Labor: raise our voices for the millions of children victims of this scourge

                                    1 week 1 day ago
                                    RMG - World Day Against Child Labor: raise our voices for the millions of children victims of this scourge

                                    (ANS - Rome) – Do you study or work? It is a question that nobody should ask a child, because children already have their place: the school, the playground, the classrooms ... Yet, about 168 million children are victims of child labor. The International Labor Organization (ILO), which launched the World Day Against Child Labor - celebrated today, 12 June - and the World Day for Occupational Safety and Health, unite in a joint campaign to improve safety and health and put an end to child labor.

                                    On World Day Against Child Labor, we recall the millions of children who are victims of this scourge. And the worst thing is that 73 million children work in situations that are dangerous for their safety and integrity.

                                    Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development insists on the need to "end the abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children". The numbers speak of a chilling reality: the number of exploited and maltreated children has grown in recent years. Thousands of children work in agriculture, in mines and quarries, or as child soldiers and, more terrible, exploited in a system of human trafficking and sexual trade.

                                    Minors are a low-cost and silent work force. A child away from his or her family, who is mistreated, becomes a silent and obedient worker, because they do not know their rights or other realities. But behind the figures there are childhoods that have ceased to exist, boys and girls who do jobs no meant to be theirs and they become adults far ahead of time. 

                                    The Salesians in the world work so that Anderson does not have to get up at six in the morning from Monday to Sunday to go to the market to sell merchandise, or that Pyalo should not have to wash and prepare food in the house wherein he is servant; so that Noel should not spend his days making bricks and why Manuel should not go down into the mine ...

                                    We demand that the international community take appropriate measures to ensure that children are protected, feel secure and can exercise their rights. Education is the basis for children not to be exploited, to transform their lives and to be agents of change and development.

                                    Source: Misiones Salesianas 

                                    • RMG
                                    • Lavoro Minorile
                                    • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                    • Bambini di Strada
                                    • Bambini Soldato
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      RMG - Formation course for new Provincials has begun

                                      1 week 1 day ago
                                      RMG - Formation course for new Provincials has begun

                                      (ANS - Rome) - They are nine, and they have come from all over the world with an important mission to carry out: they are the newly appointed Provincials, together in Rome, for the traditional formation session at the beginning of their mandate.

                                      Taking part in the course for Provincials, coordinated by Fr Francesco Cereda, Vicar of the Rector Major, and organized by Fr Saimy Ezhanikatt, the Provincials of the nine Salesian circumscriptions, belonging to five regions and five continents, are:

                                      • Fr William Matthews, from the Australia-Pacific Province (AUL);
                                      • Fr Manuel Jiménez, of the Africa Congo Congo Province (ACC);
                                      • Fr Manuel Cayo, of the Peru Province (PER);
                                      • Fr Timothy Zak, from the Province of USA and Canada (SUE);
                                      • Fr Alfonso Bauer, of the Uruguayan Province (URU);
                                      • Fr Carlo Lira, from the Chile Province (CIL);
                                      • Fr Ernesto Piccinini, from the Brazil-São Paulo Province (BSP);
                                      • Fr Jefferson Luis Santos, of the Brazil-Manaus Province (BMA);
                                      • Fr Tihomir Šutalo, from the Province of Croatia (CRO).

                                      The course, as usual, takes place concurrently with a plenary session of the General Council, to allow the new Provincials to interact, meet, discuss issues both in groups and individually, with all the leaders of the Congregation worldwide.

                                      Having started on Sunday 10 June, it runs until Saturday 23rd.

                                      Among the main topics discussed in the joint sessions are the consignment of the six-year guidelines and indications for the Provincial animation and government; the presentation of the fundamental juridical elements, as well as of the current reality of the Congregation in the various regions; and suggestions for the care of religious life and religious discipline among the communities entrusted to them.

                                      Among the events that complete the formation course, there will also be a day of spiritual retreat, Saturday, 16 June, and three visits: one to the Vatican, on the afternoon of 19 June; one to see the places of Don Bosco at the Sacred Heart on the morning of the following day; and a last visit to the Salesian Pontifical University, on Friday 22nd.

                                      The course ends on Saturday, 23, with a moment of sharing the experiences lived among all the participants of the course, together with the Rector Major and his Council.

                                      {gallery}RMG - Corso Ispettori estate 2018{/gallery}

                                      • RMG
                                      • Corso Ispettori
                                      • Ispettori
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Sierra Leone - President receives Director of "Don Bosco Fambul" and congratulates the latter's work for children

                                        1 week 2 days ago

                                        (ANS - Freetown) - The new President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Hon. Julius Maada Bio, received Fr Jorge Crisafulli, SDB, Director of the Salesian center and NGO "Don Bosco Fambul", together with a delegation from the center, at his official headquarters in Freetown to congratulate the Salesians for their work, thank them for their willingness to work with the government during recent emergencies, and to offer its support for the defense and protection of the most disadvantaged minors.

                                        The President, of Catholic faith in a country with an overwhelming Muslim majority, visited Don Bosco Fambul last year, as a presidential candidate, to make a donation to the Salesian house which, after the landslides that in mid-August had caused the death of about a thousand people, welcomed over 300 displaced persons in its facilities for a good four months.

                                        Every day the President has over a hundred requests for interviews, to which he can dedicate only 10 minutes, but for Don Bosco Fambul not only did he make an exception to consider the request a priority, but he also spent a good half an hour in conversation with the Salesian delegation.

                                        Fr Crisafulli congratulated the new President of Sierra Leone for his speech in Parliament, in which he defended the rights of children, committed himself to fighting abuse and corruption and to promoting the education of the most disadvantaged.

                                        For his part, the President said to Don Bosco Fambul's Director that he had followed the news of the presentation of the documentary "Love" in Sierra Leone and of the "Break the silence" anti-human trafficking campaign. He expressed his gratitude for the response that the Salesians have always given in emergency situations in the country, and in their collaboration with the Government.

                                        Fr Crisafulli informed the President of the possibility of attending an event in Geneva together with "Misiones Salesianas", the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid, an event regarding the UN Convention on Human Rights, to present the situation of minors in prostitution that the Salesians save and have saved from the streets.

                                        Finally, the Director of Don Bosco Fambul asked the President for a message for the hundreds of minors the Salesians accompany in Freetown, but President Maada replied that he would give it to the children in person, as he intends to personally visit the house, to thank the Salesians at the very center and transmit hope to all the children present.

                                        • Sierra Leone
                                        • AFW
                                        • Don Bosco Fambul
                                        • Personaggi illustri
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
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