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India – The spirit and charism of St John Bosco are alive in Hyderabad Province

1 week 2 days ago
India – The spirit and charism of St John Bosco are alive in Hyderabad Province

(ANS – Hyderabad) – The Salesian Province of St. Joseph, Hyderabad (INH), last month welcomed a few representatives of  the Salesian NGO “Missioni Don Bosco-Turin” to show them various social outreach programmes, institutions, schools and orphanages operated by the Province. Rev. Fr Thathireddy Vijaya Bhaskar SDB, Provincial of the Salesian Province of St. Joseph, Hyderabad, and Fr Bellamkonda Sudhakar SDB, Executive Director of the Planning and Development Office of the province, accompanied them in their visit to various communities in the province.

“Missioni Don Bosco” has been one of the major long-term benefactors for the Province, providing financial support for scholarships of poor children over the past few decades. Recently, the organization sponsored the education of hundreds of poor children in INH Province, who are now enrolled in schools.

On the first day of their arrival in India, Bro Giampietro Pettenon SDB, from the Mission Office of “Missioni Don Bosco”, and his travel companions could visit the “Don Bosco Human Resource Development Center” in Gagillapur. The purpose of this visit was to show how the Province in its mission with the charism of the congregation is educating and rehabilitating poor youth in the city of Hyderabad and the rest of the region. 

Don Bosco Human Resource Development (DBHRDC) was established in 2010 to provide vocational training and job skills to poor youth in the city and across the region. Over the past couple of years, the centre has trained more than 1200 (average of 120 youth per year) poor youth with close to 100% job placement rate. The Centre provides training in hospitality, tailoring, plumbing, electricals, electronics, AC refrigeration, mobile phone repair, solar panel installation and diagnostics. The vast majority of students are from poor rural villages.

On the second day of the visit, they travelled to “Don Bosco Navajeevan” (DBNJ), Visakhapatnam, to witness various outreach activities and programmes being undertaken by the Salesians in Visakhapatnam, the largest city in the state of Andhra Pradesh and home to one of the largest ports on Eastern India. 

The Salesians and the Province own and operate four campuses that serve orphaned and poor youth in the city, three campuses that serve as orphanages or ‘Navajeevan’ centres, and one campus that serves as a training centre for skill development for poor youth and education for very poor children. At Visakhapatnam, they could hear also three success story by three past-pupils of the centre.

The visitors were glad to see that the Beech Blossoms Bridge School operated by the Salesians in the city have helped educated 1,500 children and placed them into government schools over the past 12 years. They were very supportive of plans to demolish one of the Navajeevan center and replace it with a new facility that can grow to the outreach of the centre from 30 orphans to 100 in an integrated campus for staff, children, volunteers and Salesians.

On the third day, the guests travelled to St Michael’s Boys’ Home, Guntur, the first mission in the Province which started in 1964. Don Bosco Industrial Technical Institute is the oldest technical school in the Province. It provides certified technical training in electricals, electronics, motor mechanics, fitter and skill development in industrial printing. Around 200 students are currently residing at the centre and come from marginalized families.

While travelling from Guntur to Mangalagiri – to visit also the Don Bosco School, the second school established in the Province in 1974 and now part of a proposal to provide a standard education – the guests had stopped at Migrant mission started by Navajeevan Bala Bhavan (NJBB), Vijayawada. It was started in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Fr Ratna Neelam, Director of NJBB, along with Mr Anto, explained the mission carried out among the migrant workers, with 41 boys and girls who are under 15 years of age, facing the hardest challenges, since builders and contractors do not cooperate with the Salesians.

On the final day, visitors reached Don Bosco School, Wyram, that serves a region that is poor and rural. “Missioni Don Bosco” helped the Province and the School construction, a new basketball court and the community. The School currently has around 300+ students who are receiving an education for the first time in a generation.

During the final meeting with the Provincial Father and his core team, Bro Pettenon said he was glad to see the spirit and charism of St John Bosco alive in the Province and stated that the Province was living out the mission in keeping with the wishes of the Rector Major in Turin. He expressed that the Province must work towards financial self-sustainability, and proposed four areas for the Salesians to focus upon: food, education, water and the welfare of women.

  • India
  • INH INDIA HYDERABAD
  • Missioni
  • Missioni Don Bosco
  • Opzione Preferenziale
    Gian Francesco Romano

    The Philippines – Volcano Taal or Mindanao earthquake victims helped by many Salesian Family members

    1 week 2 days ago
    The Philippines – Volcano Taal or Mindanao earthquake victims helped by many Salesian Family members

    (ANS – Manila) – Although at the moment the Taal Volcano in Batangas province (Philippines) is rather low profile and there are no major earthquakes, many people still suffer the life of internally displaced persons (IDP) due to these natural calamities. In Batangas and Canlubang, the Salesians and their lay mission partners are generously assisting with thousands of people with simple, but effective help.

    FIN Province - MAYAPA PARISH

    At present, the Mayapa SDB community (Rector Fr Cerada and 3 Salesian priests - Fr Raffy, Fr Sonny and Fr Ben) are trying their best: “Our Social Action Ministry is still very busy for ‘relief operations’ since many Taal volcano victims are coming back to our vicinity (living with their relatives) since they don’t have electricity and water in their areas. We are glad that our confreres helped us in relief operations. I also asked the help of our Bishop and the Social Action ministry of the Laguna diocese of San Pablo. Right now we (both the social action of the parish and the diocese) are planning to rehabilitate our 3 affected Barrios, especially regarding their livelihood.

    We are finalizing the working paper for our Parish Pastoral Planning (SEPP) based on the results of the Youth Congress last October: Renewed Salesian Youth ministry. Please, pray for our huge parish! We are not less than 33 Barangays from Laguna to foot of Tagaytay (heights near the Taal volcano).”

    FIS Province - MISSIONARY ANIMATION IN MINDANAO OUTREACH (SALVO Volunteers)

    “We are very grateful to all the generous people who shared their blessings to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao affected by the series of earthquake last year. A total of Php 68,500 cash donations were gathered from different organizations and donors. It was allocated for the house materials, for the feeding and dental care, as well as for the purchase of hollow blocks. One hundred nineteen (119) families in Little Bliss Evacuation Center were the beneficiaries last December 29, 2019, in Malasila, North Cotabato, 15 to 20 minutes away from Kidapawan. Each child was given a lunch box, spoon and fork, toothbrush and toothpaste, a pair of slippers, and a tumbler. Mothers and Elderlies were given vitamins, blankets, and towels. The volunteers also served a sumptuous lunch for the evacuees. Our deepest thanks to the Parishioners of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, Don Bosco FIS-Provincial House, Don Bosco-Victorias, Philippine Dental Association, the BCBP group, and Medical Doctors who donated. Special thanks to Ma’am Idz Marie's friends and family members for their help.”

    “We are inspired and we are proud of this small gesture of human and Christian solidarity in difficult times and we pray that more Salesian Family members are inspired and continue to reach out to the people in need,” said the Salesians in the Philippines.

    Source: AustraLasia - https://www.bosco.link/webzine/55741

     

    {gallery}Filippine - Solidarieta 2020{/gallery}

    • Filippine
    • FIN FILIPPINE NORD
    • FIS FILIPPINE SUD
    • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
    • Solidarietà
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Italy – GC28: worldwide panorama for "multinational education company" in the name of Don Bosco

      1 week 2 days ago

      (ANS - Turin) - Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February are the first days totally dedicated to chapter work. The days have begun to be lived with their ordinary pace. At 6:45 am, all the capitulars, divided into linguistic groups, begin the day with prayer: praise, meditation and the Eucharist, as if it were an ordinary day in community life, in the daily rhythm of the many geographical and cultural contexts.

      Daily work takes place in four assembly moments, days mainly engaged in listening, studying, in a first personal reflection for taking stock of the presence of the Congregation in the world.

      ­Days of listening, above all: in the next few days, the reports will be taken up again, studied and discussed in Commissions, and also to elaborate evaluations and any questions of integration to be addressed to the Rector Major.

      The unifying theme of the two days is the Report of the Rector Major for the Society of St. Francis of Sales with reference to the six-year term, namely 2014-2020.

      Article. 119 of the General Regulations asks in fact that "in one of the initial sessions the Rector Major, or whoever takes his place, will present a general report on the state of the Congregation". This is a task that the Rector Major is carrying out, also through the collaboration of his Councilors.

      In succession, the Sector Councilors, the Regional Councilors and the Secretary of the Secretariat of the Salesian Family presented their papers. Each speaker presented a summary of what is available to all the Chapter members, both in hard copy and on the web pages inside the Chapter. There was no shortage of presentations, with the help of videos and slides.

      Of note, also the reference, by some Directors, to documents, materials, and sites that complement the reports presented.

      A first element that unites all the relationships emerges: with a reference to the six-year term that is now ending, each Report has originated from the previous term and, after an examination and an evaluation of the path traveled, identifies several challenges to be examined to be actively present in the next six years.

      Listening continues until tonight, Tuesday 18 February, with the specific intervention of the Rector Major who can be followed on the ANS Facebook page starting at 5:30 pm (UTC + 1).

      On the occasion of the first Chapter Assembly, a communquè was also published as regards the broadcasting of the General Chapter's work sessions, which makes use of the different communication channels: information on www.infoans.org, official documents on www.sdb.org, ANS presence in social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and ANSChannel on YouTube) and the live broadcast of various moments, on the ANS Facebook page.

      • CG28
      • Italia
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Spain – "Generating a culture of protection of minors": Salesians enhance safe spaces

        1 week 3 days ago

        (ANS - Madrid) - The Salesians educate in schools and want their educational centers to remain safe environments for the children and adolescents who go there. As a continuation of the work being carried out in this sector during these years, the Salesian Province of "Spain-St James Major" held a conference on the protection of minors and vulnerable adults on 12 and 13 February, attended by 51 staff members of the Salesian educational centers.

        Two expert speakers on the subject shared the necessary tools to prevent, identify and address possible situations of ill treatment or abuse against minors, both inside and outside the school environment. Elia María Écija, legal adviser of the Catholic Schools of Madrid, focused on the protocol to be followed in such cases. For her part, the doctor and psychotherapist Lourdes Azorín invited the participants to take a careful look into the educational environments, so that they are spaces where everyone can feel well treated and live in mutual care.

        In addition, some of the participants had the opportunity to share their experiences in identifying and intervening on various cases of abuse in the intra-family environment and in other areas of life of minors.

        The day included the testimony of a victim of sexual abuse, who brought participants closer to the reality of those who suffered abuse. In his presentation, he traced a profile of the abuser and warned about the risk factors of abuse. Knowing this reality is fundamental to generate a culture of protection of minors in educational centers.

        The Salesian educational centers in Spain have equipped themselves with a code of conduct to prevent these situations, a code which is already in force and which is kept in mind by all those who work in the various environments of Salesian works. In fact, the educators of the centers studied it to put it into practice.

        The two Salesian Provinces in Spain have a commission for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults. They drafted both the code of conduct and the protocols of action for these cases, according to the indications of both the Church and the Salesian Congregation.

        It should be noted that some initiatives are being undertaken in recent years to address this problem. In particular, the Vicars of the Provinces, who are responsible for the Commissions, continue to be trained and updated. The same is true for religious, lay people and professionals in the centers, who through training days like the one held last week complete their skills to accompany possible situations of this type.

        • Spagna
        • Protezione Minori
        • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
        • Educazione
        • Scuole
          Gian Francesco Romano

          RMG – GC28: the Rector Major's report live on Facebook

          1 week 3 days ago
          RMG – GC28: the Rector Major's report live on Facebook

          (ANS - Rome) - The presentations of the Sectors and Regions by members of the General Council began today, Monday 17 February. Tomorrow, Tuesday 18 February, this program will be completed with the report of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, on the state of the Congregation, broadcast live at 5:30 pm (UTC+1) on the ANS Facebook page.

          • CG28
          • Rettor Maggiore
          • Ángel Fernández Artime
          • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Italy – CG28: "We're in Valdocco, we're from Valdocco"

            1 week 3 days ago

            (ANS - Turin) - "We are in Valdocco, we are from Valdocco": not only a statement, but also greetings for the Salesians arriving in Turin - Valdocco to participate in General Chapter 28. These are the words expressed by Fr Stefano Vanoli , Chapter Regulator, in what can be called the pre-chapter "Good Night" on the evening of Saturday, 15 February.

            A "Good Night" in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians; present, many Capitulars who'd already arrived in Turin, many Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, lay faithful. A Chapter with a biblical flavor in its duration: 7 weeks to answer the question "Which Salesians for today's young people?"

            The Capitulars will be intensely busy for the next few weeks until April 4, the closing date.

            A Chapter in Valdocco to give strength to the vocation and charismatic identity of Don Bosco's disciples.

            Fr Vanoli said: "Where the place of our origin is found, the place of our originality is also found."
            The General Chapter returns to Valdocco after 62 years. The Chapter members are 242, representing the 7 Regions into which the Congregation is divided.

            There are 66 nations to which the Chapter members natively belong, which for their mission are present in over 130 countries.

            23 people attended the first General Chapter which took place in Lanzo Torinese in 1877, presided over by Don Bosco. Today, having arrived at GC28, the Chapter Members have more than multiplied: 242 in total among participants as per Law, such as the Provincials and the elected Delegates, and the permanent guests as observers, appointed Provincials, Delegation Delegates.

            Let us not forget that among the participants by right are the 16 confreres of the Central Office and the Rector Major emeritus.

            To these already abundant numbers, the young and lay collaborators invited to participate for a week are to be added.

            All these numbers tell of a universal and missionary Congregation which finds, in the distinction of origins and languages, experiences and personal stories, the highest moment of convergence and unity.

            Today, Monday 17 February, the presentation reports of the Sectors and Regions by members of the General Council begin.

            Tomorrow, Tuesday 18 February, the Rector Major's report on the state of the Congregation will be broadcast live on the ANS Facebook page.

            ANSFlickr

            • CG28
            • Valdocco
            • Torino
            • Italia
            • Statistiche
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Democratic Republic of the Congo – Landslide emergency: appeal of Fr Gavioli, SDB

              1 week 6 days ago
              Democratic Republic of the Congo – Landslide emergency: appeal of Fr Gavioli, SDB

              (ANS - Bukavu) - “Dear friends, once again I take the liberty of informing you about the silent disasters affecting our small world of Bukavu. After (and on top of) the fires, landslides have now come upon us.” Thus begins the heartfelt letter that Fr Piero Gavioli, a Salesian missionary in Africa for over 35 years, sent to ANS, a letter sent together with several other friends and supporters of the Salesian work, to ask for help in favor of the poorest and most needy population of Bukavu.

              The missionary continues:

              Between 2018 and 2019, I launched several appeals to ask for help for the fire victims in Bukavu. Unfortunately, the fires, albeit on a smaller scale, continue. Our pastor told us that in 2019 a thousand families in our parish lost their home due to fires. At the end of January, the Diocesan Office for Medical Works was also set on fire, for unknown reasons. It was not only an office, but also a factory and a warehouse for medicines. The archives, the laboratory equipment, the medicines just produced and ready to be put on the market, the IT equipment, everything was reduced to ashes ... The damage has been immense.

              During the same period, we had heavy rains in Bukavu that caused landslides, mudslides, small floods, the collapse of the walls of the houses ... At least ten people died.

              The causes are always the same: due to misery, many families arrived from the countryside to the city, driven out by wars and guerrillas, from the lack of security, from poverty ... In Bukavu, they built their shacks wherever they found a small open space, on steep treeless slopes, exposed to foreseeable landslides. The public administration has been selling land not suitable for construction for years ... In official speeches, the government promises to decongest the city, to prepare new building land in outlying areas. So far, nothing has been done. And the disasters continue.

              In recent landslides, many families, even those we know, have lost everything. And they come to the Don Bosco Center to ask for emergency aid: clothes, food, money for the children's school ... And we tell them: as long as we are helped, we will help you ...

              The problem of landslides in densely populated irregular settlements is, unfortunately, not a rare occurrence when and where large unauthorized agglomerations, if not true and proper shantytowns, arise on risky land. Between March and August 2017, for example, it was the Salesian works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the "Don Bosco Fambul" in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which had to take care of hundreds of IDPs following the landslides they had assailed the slums close to them and which had caused hundreds of deaths.

              • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
              • Rep Dem del Congo
              • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
              • Missioni
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Bolivia – At the heart of the Salesian missionary commitment, a child's appeal: "That I lack everything, but not you"

                1 week 6 days ago

                (ANS - Santa Cruz) - "It is with some amazement that, in recent years, I've been able to gather undoubted and moving evidence of how Christianity has entered the life of many people in this land ... And what an emotion it is to feel part of this mysterious path of the Church that does not renounce the demanding dream of extending the Kingdom of God to every corner of the earth." The words of Fr Vicente (Vincenzo) Brunelli, a Salesian, 33 years a missionary in Bolivia, make it possible to better understand how profoundly the work that the Salesians do in the countries in which they operate is rooted in the territory.

                Bolivia is one of the countries of Latin America where the presence of the Salesians is strongest, in a continent that in Don Bosco's dreams was the first outpost.

                The Salesian work in the country is widespread, numerous and multifaceted. Just to give a few examples, in the country's eastern region, several works can be listed: in Montero, a town 40 kilometers from the capital, Santa Cruz, there is the large agricultural school "La Muyurina" and the parish "La Floresta." In the localities of San Carlos and in Sagrado Corazón, the Salesians pastorally animate an enormous territory with dozens of communities scattered throughout the vast agricultural area of ​​that territory. In Yapacani, there is a boarding school run by five Colombian volunteers, founded by a Colombian priest who was inspired by Don Bosco.

                And certainly we cannot neglect to mention "Hogar Don Bosco" of Santa Cruz, founded and still directed by Fr Ottavio Sabbadin, SDB, which constitutes a real citadel of and for poor youth, with a plurality of services for orphans, street children, the handicapped.

                Despite all the work that needs to be done and the many problems that the country is experiencing, the commitment of missionaries in Bolivia never fails. Fr Brunelli continues: "It has been a difficult 33 years, in which there have also been sorrows and failures. Every now and then, I get discouraged. But then I recover, holding my precious medal of merit: a piece of paper with the writing of a child: Qué me falte todo, menos tú ('that I lack everything, but not you') ... And I listen again to the usual refrain of the my good guardian angel: '... Never renounce, give up on your dream of giving a smile and hope to so many unfortunate children, everywhere, from one continent to the other'."

                For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org

                • Bolivia
                • BOL BOLIVIA
                • Missioni
                • Missioni Don Bosco
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  China – Recent Situation of Covid-19 in the “Greater China”

                  2 weeks ago
                  China – Recent Situation of Covid-19 in the “Greater China”

                  (ANS – Hong Kong) – As Cardinal Charles Maung Bo SDB, President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, appealed for prayers to our Blessed Mother for all coronavirus victims, in particular the greatest number of infections and victims in China, let us present the most recent situation of the “Greater China” which normally encompasses mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. 

                  The disease was first reported in late December 2019 when the medical staff in Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei Province, noticed unusual symptoms of viral pneumonia. But unfortunately not until 20 January did China finally confirm that human-to-human transmission was indeed taking place. And the drastic measure of closing down the city was imposed on 23 January. But it was too late, and the epidemic was quickly spread in the province and other parts in China.

                  The first confirmed case in Hong Kong was reported on 23 January. It was a 39-year-old man who lived in Wuhan and took the high-speed train to return to Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year family reunion.

                  After the first confirmed case, gradually there were patients being confirmed to be infected by the virus almost every day in Hong Kong. As of 12 February, in Hong Kong, there are 49 confirmed cases and one death; in Macau, there are 10 confirmed cases, and now there have been no more confirmed cases for 9 consecutive days; in Taiwan, there are 18 confirmed cases; in China, there are 44,653 confirmed cases of which 33,366 are in Hubei province, 1,113 deaths of which 1,068 are in the same province, and 4,740 patients have recovered.

                  As the situation of the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong and Macau is getting more and more critical, both Dioceses have taken some urgent pastoral measures since the beginning of February: so that gatherings involving a large number of people may be minimized, the faithful may adopt either watching the Sunday Mass Webcast and receive Holy Communion spiritually; or meditating on the Sunday liturgical text, reading the Bible or saying the Rosary, as alternatives to attending Sunday Mass.

                  The churches in Macau are closed until 19 Feb while in Hong Kong Sunday and weekday Masses in churches and chapels remain unchanged. However, members of the faithful who continue to attend Sunday or weekday Masses should put on face-masks. Singing is suspended (except for the “Alleluia” and “the Mystery of Faith”). This past Sunday, at Saint Anthony Parish, one of the two Salesian parishes in Hong Kong, there were about 60% of the usual attendants of Sunday Mass coming for the Holy Mass.

                  [Note of the Editor: In the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, the diocese in Hong Kong has decided to suspend all public Masses for two weeks, starting from today, February 13. "The next two weeks will be a crucial time to suppress the epidemic. The dioccese has decided to suspend all public Masses, on Sundays and weekdays for two weeks, including the liturgy of Ash Wednesday, from February 15 to 28. Some Church members may be disappointed. However, I hope that everyone can understand this is not an easy decision", wrote Cardinal John Tong, Apostolic Administrator of Hong Kong, in a message].

                  As the Covid-19 (Corona virus disease-2019) is still in progress, let us continue to pray in accordance with the appeal made to us by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, SDB.

                  Fr Pedro Leong,

                  Provincial Delegate for SC

                  • Cina
                  • Salute
                  • CIN CINA
                  • Hong Kong
                  • Macao
                  • Taiwan
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Guatemala – New member of Missions Department makes his first missionary visit: Fr Giuseppe Nguyen

                    2 weeks ago
                    Guatemala – New member of Missions Department makes his first missionary visit: Fr Giuseppe Nguyen

                    (ANS - Guatemala City) - "I dreamed that I accompanied the Salesian missionaries on their trip to South America and that they asked me to give them some advice. And I dreamed that I said to them: - 'You will do very well, do much good ... Have a great desire to save souls, a lot of pity and a lot of enthusiasm to promote the glory of God and the spiritual good of others." It is nice to remember the words of Don Bosco to a group of Salesian missionaries on January 31, 1885. This desire of the Saint is still very valid and current for the Salesians. And who directly carries out this mission at the Congregation level? The General Councilor for Missions with a team of Salesians and lay people.

                    In recent months, several members of the team of the Missions Department have received other assignments, such as Fr Giovanni Rolandi, appointed Director of Colle Don Bosco, in Castelnuovo Don Bosco; and Fr Martín Lasarte, appointed Provincial of the Vice Province of Angola. It has also been just a few months since the Rector Major confirmed the obedience of Fr Giuseppe Nguyen Thinh Phuoc as a member of the Missions Department.

                    This Dicastery has numerous responsibilities, but the fundamental one is the Missionary Animation of all Salesian works. This is achieved by offering a monthly message through the digital magazine Cagliero 11, the preparation of the "Salesian Mission Day", the preparation of the missionaries who are sent every year, the missionary refresher courses, the accompaniment of the projects financed by the solidarity fund of the Rector Major, the accompaniment of the Salesian Mission Offices, the search for new frontiers of missionary work, and more.

                    Fr Nguyen was invited by the Rector Major to work in the Mission Department and his first mission was to accompany the members of the 150th Salesian Missionary Expedition, currently visiting Brazil, Guatemala and Ecuador. His work will focus on the accompaniment of new missionaries, the accompaniment of the missionary course at the Salesian Pontifical University and the Missionary Animation in America and Africa.

                    Fr Nguyen Thinh Phuoc, born on November 2, 1955, is originally from Quang Ngai, Vietnam. For his home Province, he was Councilor and Delegate for Formation.

                    In his recent stay in Guatemala, earlier this month, he talked about his work in Vietnam and the challenges presented by working with young people in a communist country. "The work of the Salesians was characterized by the technical-professional proposal, which was well seen by the government," he underscored. "We are all called to be missionaries; it is a fundamental dimension of the Salesian vocation."

                    • Guatemala
                    • Missioni
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Italy – Inter-generational Forum for common educational alliance: We are, We share, We care

                      2 weeks ago
                      Italy – Inter-generational Forum for common educational alliance: We are, We share, We care

                      (ANS - Rome) - The dialogue between generations to revive the commitment towards a more open and inclusive education: this is the answer that the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) and the Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium" of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) have given to Pope Francis' invitation to prepare the "global compact on education." For this reason, a forum has been organized, its title: "We are, We share, We care." It shall be held at the "Opera Nazionale delle Città dei Ragazzi" in Rome, a symbolic site of youth participation and protagonism, The date: Saturday 22 February. Young people and adults, students and teachers, workers, entrepreneurs and institutions shall meet to together develop a common educational alliance.

                      The Forum wishes to "revive the commitment for and with the younger generations, renewing the passion for a more open and inclusive education, capable of patient listening, constructive dialogue and mutual understanding."

                      Three of the event's generating values:

                      • We are: being there firsthand, not keeping or staying out of the course of global, local, personal history. Everyone, young and old, can choose to be there, present.
                      • We share: share and participate. Dialogue is essential to build the "culture of the encounter, of meeting", to change the model of global development, to reorient globalization towards relationality.
                      • We care: get involved personally in understanding the implications of our being a single human family.

                      The Salesian Pontifical University and the Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium" believe that, in the current social context, it is necessary to open spaces for dialogue and mutual accompaniment, make educational alliances between all the protagonists of social life and rediscover the importance of education.

                      "We must seek together new forms of active participation of young people and adults born from creative sharing, from the involvement of all," say the promoters of the initiative.

                      The specificity of the forum is given by the methodology used, which will be divided into three stages:

                      • Groups of dialogue by membership (children, educators, young workers, etc.) - who will answer a series of questions;
                      • Moderated comparison groups, where the same groups are involved in a dialogue;
                      • Finally the General Assembly - where each moderated comparison group shares its summary.

                      For more information, visit the dedicated pages on the websites of the two Salesian universities: UPS and Auxilium.

                      • Italia
                      • UPS UNIVERSITÀ PONTIFICIA SALESIANA
                      • Educazione
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Venezuela – Rector Major: "I'm moved, seeing my Salesian confreres serene, despite difficulties"

                        2 weeks 1 day ago

                        (ANS - Caracas) - The Rector Major's Animation Visit to the "San Luca" Province of Venezuela, which took place from 6 to 11 February, has ended. On the last day of his visit, the Rector Major offered his words to the provincial community. His last message was like what Don Bosco wrote to Miguel Rua: "My thoughts always fly where I have my treasure in Jesus Christ, my dear children."

                        During the Eucharist with the Directors of the Salesian works in Venezuela he opened his heart to them: "Brothers, these days have been extremely special; I bring a lot of Salesian life with me. I continue to see how God acts through you on behalf of many young people. And I am moved because I see my Salesian confreres serene, upright, even in the midst of this very difficult situation that you are experiencing in your country. You are giving this testimony so it can be seen that we work with God."

                        During his dialogue with his confreres, Fr Á.F. Artime highlighted various elements that underlie Salesian work in such a difficult context as the present one in Venezuela. "We are living a prophetic moment for our charism." Then he listed  10 elements that must accompany the Salesian work in Venezuela:

                        1. We are living a providential moment and I invite you to share life with young people and people;
                        2. Organize a more lively Youth Ministry with open spaces in our presences;
                        3. Maintain the apostolic ingenuity to fulfill a meaningful proposal of educational; associations, youth prayers, narrate the experiences of missionary voluntary service: this is the way;
                        4. Young people have their dreams, which is why they need us to accompany them;
                        5. The difficult times have been fruitful times for vocations, but be careful to maintain the purity of motivations;

                        6. You have many opportunities in favor of the youth mission, but form young leaders, formed for the common good, also with the dream of being Salesians;
                        7. You have among you some lay people among you with a Salesian passion that surpass us, continue to form them;
                        8. Never sit back. Getting stuck in a place or condition is the danger that obscures the meaning of our life;
                        9. Generous dedication to mission is the way to overcome and learn from trials;
                        10. Have great trust in God and in our Mother, Mary Help of Christians.

                        Finally, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco said he was returning to Rome happy because he had met "whole, upright Salesians", "young and courageous dreamers", "lay enthusiasts of the Salesian charism". At the end of the meeting, the new Provincial, Fr Rafael Bernardo Montenegro Latouche, thanked him for coming "like a father, to confirm us in our vocational fidelity."

                        {gallery}VEN - Fine Visita RM 2020{/gallery}

                        More photos on ANSFlickr

                        • Venezuela
                        • VEN VENEZUELA
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                        • Visita di Animazione
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Italy – Feeding the needy, involving young people: a canteen for the poor at "Tempio Don Bosco"

                          2 weeks 1 day ago

                          (ANS - Rome) - A new Caritas canteen for the poor was inaugurated on Sunday, 2 February, in the "San Giovanni Bosco" parish in the Tuscolano district of Rome. There are already 200 volunteers who have guaranteed their availability to guarantee the service, which will include, in addition to providing meals, medical and nursing consultancy, the possibility of offering showers, distribution of clothing and a dedicated listening center.

                          Inaugurating the canteen on Sunday was Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar of the Holy Father for the diocese of Rome.

                          “At the prefecture level, we work very well, especially as regards charity. There is a lot of attention and sensitivity towards those who need help," said Fr Roberto Colameo, who started as parish priest at the "Tempio Don Bosco" just five months ago.

                          Educational charity for young people and charity for the neighborhood's poor and needy are the two pillars on which parish ministry is based and which merge into a single charism with the start of the new canteen.

                          "We have made new spaces for our work available to the XX Prefecture, right at the entrance to the oratory," adds Fr Roberto. "We also want to involve young people in service to others, to invite them to engage in what will not be a simple canteen, but a personal service desk open four days a week."

                          The inauguration of the structure took place as part of the events calendar for the feast day of Don Bosco and for the 60th anniversary of the basilica's construction. The church is the largest parish in Rome for number of inhabitants. "Officially there are 45,000, but at least 10,000 unregistered people live in the neighborhood," explains the parish priest. "The population has gradually aged and we are therefore witnessing a generational change with a good presence of young people."

                          Another "record" of the church is the imposing dome, which in size is only slightly smaller than the Pantheon's and St Peter's. "In sixty years, we've received the visit of four saints," adds Fr Roberto, namely John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

                          The heart of the Salesian parish could not but be the oratory, where all the Youth Ministry is carried out. "For us, it is the sign of a home that welcomes, a parish that evangelizes, a courtyard wherein to meet, a school that starts one to life," concluded Fr Colameo.

                          • Italia
                          • ICC ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE CENTRALE
                          • Oratorio
                          • Povertà
                          • Fame
                          • Società
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Thailand – SIHM ended their XII General Chapter

                            2 weeks 1 day ago
                            Thailand – SIHM ended their XII General Chapter

                            (ANS – Ratchaburi) – On 5 February 2020, the XII General Chapter of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Ratchaburi Province, with the theme “Sisters of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: The Living Message of the Mission of Love and Service in the Midst of the Present World”, ended with the election of the new General Superior and her Council.

                            The Chapter Assembly held the vote, confirming the General Superior of the Congregation, namely Sr. Maria Gorretti Maliwan Porramatwirote, elected for the second time, who will serve from 2020 to 2025.

                            The Assembly also chose the Council Members of the General Superior:

                            –     Vicar General and Councilor for Ongoing Formation: Sr. Maria Sompong Thabping;

                            –     Councilor for Initial Formation:  Sr. Bernadette Meena Phuengphornphra;

                            –     Councilor for Mission and Youth Ministry:  Sr. Agnes Nilubol Thivakorn;

                            –     Councilor for Education:  Sr. Maria Dararat Phengphinit;

                            –     Councilor for Financial Administration:  Sr. Theresa Utsanee Hembutr;

                            –     Councilor for Secretariate Duties:  Sr. Bernadette Utumporn Saelow.

                            Mother Maria Gorretti Maliwan Porramatwirote was born on 22 June 1954 in Don Krabueang, Banpong Municipality, Ratchaburi Province. She made her First Religious Profession on 6 May 1973 and her Perpetual Religious Profession on 3 May 1982.

                            She has got a Bachelor's Degree in Education; Salesian Spirituality at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome.

                            Among her previous responsibilities, she was General Superior from 2015 to 2020, and has twice been Vicar.

                            “I am grateful to all the Sisters for your trust. Alone I cannot do much. But I am ready to be an instrument of God in accepting His divine plan,” said the Mother General upon accepting the election results.

                            Then she added: “I believe in the guidance of God and the collaboration of the Councilors and the Sisters, especially in fulfilment of our mission according to the theme of the 12th General Chapter.”

                            SIHM Social Communication Office

                            • Thailandia
                            • THA THAILANDIA
                            • Famiglia Salesiana
                            • Suore Ancelle del Cuore Immacolato di Maria
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Venezuela – Rector Major to educators: “Betting on education is the best answer we can offer to our young people”

                              2 weeks 2 days ago
                              Venezuela – Rector Major to educators: “Betting on education is the best answer we can offer to our young people”

                              (ANS - Caracas) - Under the motto “Don Bosco in Venezuela”, the Salesian Family is currently welcoming the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with large meetings and youth-focussed parties. Caracas, “the city of spring”, welcomes him with affection and love. His visit has revitalized the Salesians, the Salesian Family and, above all, has given young people respite by giving them a smile, a word and a strength that come from Jesus. On Monday 10 February, the Rector Major had a meeting with educators and young people, then visited the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and spoke with the “Damas Salesianas”, a group of the Salesian Family born in Venezuela.

                              The meeting with the Venezuelan youth took place in an atmosphere of lively oratorian celebrations, preceded by a vigil of prayer and fraternity at the Don Bosco Youth Center in the "Boleíta" area. Speaking with the youngsters on the issue of the migration of young people into the world, the Rector Major highlighted the suffering experienced by a Salesian heart before so many young people forced to leave their country by themselves, without identity and without history. "Human mobility in these conditions is an attack on life, it is not human," he said.

                              On countries that live in pain, the Rector Major invited to see the testimony of the Salesians and young Syrians who, in a city destroyed for 6 years by the bombings, decided to build a culture of life by opening the Salesian oratory every day. "Don Bosco was a saint in his reality and today he offers us a school of holiness that involves having God in the heart," he said.

                              Later, speaking to about 500 educators, he added: “Even though I live in Rome, I know what is going on in Venezuela and now I am among you to encourage you. What I ask of you is to open the doors of all the Salesian houses and to continue creating the culture of life ... Commit yourselves to the education of young people, to face the death systems that want to impose themselves and that cause the frightening migration of many valid professionals."

                              "A human social fabric that is weakening or losing itself needs people with a great experience of God and witnesses of Christian values," he continued. "Our Salesian education offers values ​​and is based on the Gospel and the Preventive System, and takes account of economic, social and political difficulties. As educators, we are intervening in the most delicate and precious point of our Venezuela: education."

                              Then, he concluded: "Faced with the situation that the Country is experiencing, betting on education is the best answer we can offer to our young people."

                              {gallery}VENEZUELA - Visita RM 2020{/gallery}

                               More photos are available on ANSFlickr.

                              • Venezuela
                              • VEN VENEZUELA
                              • Rettor Maggiore
                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                              • Visita di Animazione
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                RMG – GC28: all the info to experience the Chapter from afar

                                2 weeks 2 days ago
                                RMG – GC28: all the info to experience the Chapter from afar

                                (ANS - Rome) – Still five days to the start of the 28th General Chapter (GC28) of the Salesian Congregation: the main sign of the unity of the Congregation in its multiple diversity, the fraternal meeting in which Salesians carry out community reflection, the body that holds the supreme authority in the Society. From next Sunday, 16 February, until Saturday April 4, over 240 Capitulars will be busy at the Mother House of the Congregation in Turin-Valdocco to answer the Chapter's guiding question: "Which Salesians for today's young people?"

                                Given the importance of this event, a great effort shall be made to achieve far-reaching and effective communication.

                                The activities begin next Sunday, February 16, with the Eucharist celebrated at 18:30 (UTC +1) in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, and will be broadcast live on the ANS Facebook page and on the website sdb.org.

                                In the first week, the Chapter's work will focus mainly on listening to and reflecting on the reports of the Rector Major and his Council on the state of the Congregation, as well as creating an atmosphere of discernment.

                                On the morning of Saturday 22nd, the official opening ceremony of the GC28 is scheduled, which will also be broadcast live.

                                In the following weeks, all those who cannot physically be present in Valdocco will be able to receive constant updates thanks to the vast communication apparatus set up by the Social Communication Department.

                                Thanks to the work of the GC28 Secretariat, the Communication Secretariat and ANS, which will support them from Turin, the information will be published and broadcast on various channels:

                                • on the ANS website it will be possible to find a daily report on the activities of the GC28, as well as interviews with the Chapter Members and insights on specific issues of the assembly. In order not to miss any news, do subscribe to our Newsletter.
                                • on sdb.org you will find official documents and reports, as well as photos of the various days of the GC28.
                                • audiovisual materials and short messages and interviews will be shared on the social pages of ANS (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and ANSChannel on YouTube.

                                Through this articulated system, and other initiatives that will be activated when work is in progress, the Congregation intends not only to inform Salesians and collaborators in the mission on the progress of the GC28, but also to encourage dialogue in the Provinces and communities and to arouse a shared reflection at the global level.

                                Stay tuned!

                                • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                • CG28
                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Myanmar – Coronavirus: card. Bo, SDB, invites you to entrust yourself to Our Lady of Lourdes

                                  2 weeks 2 days ago
                                  Myanmar – Coronavirus: card. Bo, SDB, invites you to entrust yourself to Our Lady of Lourdes

                                  (ANS - Yangon) - As President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, the Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, has sent a message to all the bishops of that continent, so that they "entrust all coronavirus victims to Our Lady of Health, Our Lady of Lourdes, which we celebrate on 11 February."

                                  "While the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, the miraculous healer, is imminent, on 11 February, special prayers and blessings, through the intercession of the Virgin, are dedicated to the victims of the lethal coronavirus that afflicts the world, in particular our Asian continent," begins the prelate in his message, released last Saturday, February 8th.

                                  The text for the Asian bishops recalls that the virus has spread to about 30 countries and that so far the greatest number of infections and victims has been found in China, but it does not forget that cases have been recorded in almost all the countries of Asia.

                                  "At this critical moment, we want to be close and pray for the deceased, and for the brothers and sisters who are sick from this virus that has spread to China and the world. May the Lord welcome the dead in his peace, comfort the families and support the great commitment of the Chinese community which has already mobilized to fight the epidemic" continues the message.

                                  In addition to praying for the sick, the Salesian cardinal invites his brothers in the episcopate to pray for the Virgin to intervene and help prevent a global epidemic. "We fervently ask for her maternal protection to stop the rapid spread of this deadly virus, to give us hope and courage, imposing her miraculous hands for the healing of the sick."

                                  The text concludes, finally, invoking protection on those who, not without danger, work for the health of others: "In these tragic moments, may our Mother Mary, she who was beside the cross of her dying son Jesus, be the pillar of strength and the beacon of hope for health workers who risk their lives to save the lives of infected people."

                                  • MYM MYANMAR
                                  • Myanmar
                                  • Cardinali
                                  • Charles Maung Bo
                                  • Salute
                                  • Asia
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Venezuela – Rector Major, "He has come to confirm his brothers in faith: a gesture worthy of a Father"

                                    2 weeks 3 days ago

                                    (ANS - Caracas) - Two events marked the visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the "city of spring", Caracas, on Saturday 8 February 2020: the installation of the new Provincial and the meeting with the Salesian family. In each appointment, the Rector Major left a message of hope, a word of encouragement, a charge to continue the struggle in the midst of so many difficulties in a wounded city, which is struggling to survive the devastation caused by an economic model.

                                    In the "Don Bosco" National Temple of Caracas, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco presided over the Eucharist of the installation of the new Provincial, Fr Rafael Bernardo Montenegro Latouche. In the presence of Fr Francisco Méndez, former Provincial of Venezuela, of Msgr. José Ángel Divassón, Apostolic Vicar Emeritus of Puerto Ayacucho, and of numerous Don Bosco Salesians of various works, the Rector Major thanked Fr Méndez in his homily and encouraged Fr Montenegro. "Dear Father Rafael, your ministry as Provincial means service. The confreres ask you to be a father and brother close to them."

                                    Then, he insisted with the Salesians: "We were born for the poorest and most defenseless young people, in the spirit of Saint John Bosco. We were born for the poorest kids."

                                    The Rector Major then met with the members of the various groups of the local Salesian Family: Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators, Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), Volunteers of Don Bosco, Volunteers With Don Bosco, Daughters of the Divine Savior (HDS), Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (HHSSCC), Damas Salesianas, and Past Pupils.

                                    Fr Á.F. Artime then had the opportunity to dialogue with Msgr. Tulio Luis Ramírez Padilla, Auxiliary Bishop of Caracas, who came to represent Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, apostolic administrator of Caracas. In their dialogue, Msgr. Ramírez had words of great praise towards the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco and towards the Rector Major himself: "The Salesians are making a very precious contribution among us. You have come to confirm your brothers in faith: it is a gesture worthy of a father. Your children give a clear image of Christ, the Good Shepherd; in an outgoing Church, the Salesians always show themselves as missionary educators. All their works can be recognized as 'field hospitals'. They carry out an extraordinary apostolic work, blessed by new vocations."

                                    Sunday 9 February was another day of celebration and meetings with hundreds of people. The Rector Major moved to the sector of Petare, in La Dolorita, where he presided over the Eucharist, during which he said: "There are two great forces in the world: love and prayer. Love heals, moves, inspires, strengthens; and prayer, even if not seen, transforms, guides and protects."

                                    {gallery}VEN - Visita RM 2020{/gallery}

                                    More photos on ANSFlickr

                                    • Venezuela
                                    • VEN VENEZUELA
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                    • Visita di Animazione
                                    • Chiesa
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      RMG – Salesian Missionary Day 2020: initial proclamation in Europe

                                      2 weeks 3 days ago
                                      RMG – Salesian Missionary Day 2020: initial proclamation in Europe

                                      (ANS - Rome) - In recent years, the Salesian Missionary Day (SMD) has focused on the theme of the First Proclamation, framing each time a different continent: Oceania (2016), America (2017), Asia (2018) and Africa (2019). In this 2020, at the end of the six-year term, the reference area is Europe, and the specific focus is on the Oratories and Youth Centers.

                                      "The oratory is an educational environment with a strong missionary slant, and open to all boys and young men," say the Salesian Regulations (n​​° 11).

                                      The educational and evangelizing power of this typical Salesian presence continues to be, today as it did yesterday, a lively and current missionary proposal for European youth. It is an outgoing Oratorian church, that opens up to the local youth world, loving what young people love, so that young people can love the one whom the Salesians love above all else, the Lord Jesus.

                                      This Missionary Day also wants to stimulate all the Provinces of the five continents to take this original presence of Don Bosco to heart, as a fundamental way of meeting with children, adolescents and young people, where in the gratuitousness, freedom, sense of family of a creative ministry, the Salesian educative-pastoral community has the opportunity to approach, accompany, educate and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to those whom the Lord allows to meet.

                                      “Don Bosco lived a pastoral experience in his first Oratory which serves as a model; it was for the youngsters a home that welcomed, a parish that evangelized, a school that prepared them for life and a playground where friends could meet and enjoy themselves. As we carry out our mission today, the Valdocco experience is still the lasting criterion for discernment and renewal in all our activities and works.” (Const. 40)

                                      The launch of SMD 2020 took place on the day of the Epiphany, although to keep the missionary flame of the Congregation alive, it is celebrated around the 11th of November, the date of the First Salesian Missionary Expedition.

                                      "May the Lord grant the Salesians and lay people of the Salesian Family an oratorian-missionary heart for today's young people," concludes the Councilor General for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes.

                                      On the www.sdb.org website it is already possible to view and download the SMD poster in the six most spoken languages ​​in the Congregation. In the coming weeks, additional textual and audio-visual materials will also be made available for the animation of SMD in the various local communities. 

                                      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                      • Giornata Missionaria Salesiana
                                      • Missioni
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Germany – Effects of Brexit: "St. Markushof" in Gadheim at center of European Union

                                        2 weeks 3 days ago

                                        (ANS - Gadheim) - From 1 February, at midnight, the "Veitshöchheim" district of the town of Gadheim became the new center of the European Union (EU). After the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, the geographical center is now located in a field in this town of 80 inhabitants, where there is also a branch of the Salesian work in Würzburg, the St. Markushof institute. To celebrate this historic event, the students of the institute's Gardening course paved the place that indicates the geographical center of the EU and carried out landscaping work; also, a delegation from the educational community attended the party, on the night between January 31 and February 1, distributing hot sausages and drinks.

                                        With the farewell of the United Kingdom, the small village of Gadheim in northern Bavaria has taken the place of Westerngrund, another Bavarian town, about eighty kilometers further north-west from the new center. Gadheim was chosen on the basis of the calculations of the IGN, the French geographic institute, which calculated the location of the village by applying the "center of gravity" model to the EU territory to 27 Member States.

                                        On behalf of the diocesan Caritas of Wurzburg, partner of "Caritas-Don Bosco" - the partnership body that manages the Salesian work in Würzburg - the former President of the Bavarian Parliament, Barbara Stamm, spoke on the occasion. Andreas Halbig, Dean of the Caritas-Don Bosco Educational Center and the local parish priest, Clemens Bieber, were among those who personally served the event's 300 guests, including the operators of the first German national network, ARD, who curated a live broadcast for the occasion.

                                        The Salesian house in Würzburg is the first Salesian house founded in the territory of present-day Germany, in 1916. Today it is the independent entity "Caritas Don Bosco", the result of a collaboration between the diocesan Caritas Würzburg and the German Salesian Province. It is the largest Salesian work in Germany. The Salesian community is not located in Gadheim, but at the headquarters of the work, in Würzburg, which occupies the land of a historic former Irish-Scottish monastery (founded in the XII century).

                                        In Gadheim, however, there is the hotel training institute “St. Markushof”, accompanied by a real three-star hotel. The other branches dependent on the Würzburg work are the "Kindertagesstätte Margherita" (KiTa), a nursery dedicated to Mother Margherita; a socio-emotional assistance center for young people who need continuous support, which currently also welcomes single mothers and refugees from other countries; and, above all, a Vocational Training Center (BBW) aimed at young people with mental disabilities, with autism spectrum disorders or with special needs in the field of learning.

                                        • Germania
                                        • GER GERMANIA
                                        • Unione Europea
                                        • Europe
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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