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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Syria – The sad story of José, the Syrian Salesian animator and model for all young people

1 week 3 days ago
Syria – The sad story of José, the Syrian Salesian animator and model for all young people

(ANS - Aleppo) - The war in Syria has lasted for over eight years. The number of deaths, injuries and people who have fled the country varies depending on who provides the data; what is invariable is the figure of 30 million people who have however been affected by the war and whose lives have changed forever, one way or another.

Throughout this time there have been thousands of stories of pain, but also of overcoming oneself and peace, despite adversity. One of these is the story of José, a sports instructor, a young man who worked and studied. For this reason the Salesians often presented him to children as a model of life in youth centers. José passed his last university exam in June last year and in September he was due to graduate.

His parents were elderly and sick, but they had instilled in him a great sense of responsibility and he was always there to assist all those who needed him. He was the eldest son and the only male in the family.

The only time that José devoted to himself was the time he spent with his girlfriend. They had been together for five years and had set the wedding date for September 24th. It would have been a simple marriage because the war doesn't allow for more, but it didn't matter, because no war can stop love.

José was a support for everyone as a brother, a boyfriend, an exemplary son, a true friend of and to all. But, unfortunately, it is necessary to say "was" because on 5 September last, a few weeks after graduation and just 19 days before the wedding, a missile that fell on a bus stole his life away and suddenly canceled the dreams of everyone who depended on him.

It was really hard for the Salesians to meet with his sisters and parents, nor did they know how to console his girlfriend. It was also very difficult to comfort the children in the oratory and youth center. Some of them asked themselves: "What sense is there to study, what sense is there to make an effort to learn to work, what is the point of being good and generous, what is the meaning of faith? Those you who have brought to us as examples have demonstrated to us that it is useless ... "

Source: www.misionessalesianas.org

  • Siria
  • MOR
  • Violenze
  • Guerra
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – Provincials of Northern Philippines and Italy-Sicily appointed

    1 week 4 days ago
    RMG – Provincials of Northern Philippines and Italy-Sicily appointed

    (ANS - Rome) - As part of the work of the General Council, and with the consensus of the other Council members, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has appointed the Provincials of the Philippines North (FIN) and Italy-Sicily (ISI) Provinces, respectively Fr Gerardo Martin and Fr Giovanni D'Andrea.

    Fr Martin was born in Makati (Manila) on 3 October 1964. After several years as a chartered accountant he attended the Salesian Novitiate in Bacolod in 1994-1995; he then made his first profession on 24 May 1995 and the perpetual profession on 24 March 2001.

    Ordained a priest in 2002, in Parañaque-Manila, he served for five years (2005-2010) in the formation house "Seminary ng Don Bosco", dedicated to specific formation for the priesthood, and in the last nine (2010-2019) in the large community of the Pre-Novitiate and Aspirantate of Canlubang.

    He was a member of the Economic Commissions (2005-2010) and of Youth Ministry (2008-10). Since 2013 he has been the Provincial Delegate for Formation.

    The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, 15 June 2019, in the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Parañaque – Manila.

    Fr D'Andrea was born in Messina on 18 July 1968. He attended the Salesian novitiate at Lanuvio in the 1996-1997 school year, made his first profession on 8 September 1997 in Rome and his perpetual profession on 12 October 2003 in Messina.

    Ordained a priest in his hometown on 28 May 2005, he was Director of Oratory (2006-2009) and Director of Community (2009) at the "Santa Chiara" house in Palermo.

    Provincial Delegate of the Marginalized section in his Province (2009-2012), from 2012 until last April he served as President of "Salesians for Social Affairs", the civil body that expresses the charismatic dimension of the Salesians concerned with caring for young people at risk in Italy.

    Returning last year to his Province of origin, he is currently the Vice Provincial and Coordinator of the Marginalized Sector and the Office of Planning and Development.

    Fr D’Andrea, who succeeds Fr Giuseppe Ruta, will take up his post next August.

    • RMG
    • Nomine
    • Ispettori
    • FIN
    • ISI
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG - Summer session of General Council started

      1 week 4 days ago
      RMG - Summer session of General Council started

      (ANS - Rome) - The summer session plenary of the General Council of the Salesian Congregation began on Monday 3 June with the first meetings of sharing. It lasts for 8 weeks and finally concludes on 26 July.

      Providing animation to the government of a Congregation that has over 14 thousand religious, hundreds of thousands of collaborators and millions of young beneficiaries is not a trivial matter. For this reason the Rector Major meets twice a year, for a lengthy period of time, with all his first collaborators of the General Council: to listen, to evaluate, to discern, to nominate, to offer indications and guidelines, to decide.

      Scheduled for this summer session are:

      - the accompaniment of recently appointed provincials in the orientation course dedicated to them;

      - the appointments of four Provincials (Colombia-Bogotà, India-Mumbai, Italy-Sicily and the Northern Philippines) and of the Superior of the Africa-Ethiopia Vice-Province;

      - the sharing of reports on as many as 10 Extraordinary Visits (Brazil-Campo Grande; Spain-St James Major; India-Bangalore; Ethiopia; South Philippines; United States-East; United States-West; Austria; Hungary; Italy Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta);

      - the semester report of the Sector Councilors (Formation, Youth Ministry, Social Communication, Missions, Economy);

      - the sharing of mission support and the destination of new missionaries;

      - the discussion of economic issues.

      Attention and care will also be reserved for the study of various specific themes, ranging from the preparation of the 28th General Chapter (GC28) to the Strenna for 2020; from Salesian personal accompaniment to the Provincial Bursar Manual; from the redesign of the formation communities in the Africa-Madagascar region to the advancement of the project to enhance the Salesian sites and places; up to the post-Synod perspectives on young people and the update on child protection.

      There will also be the moments of spirituality and sharing, such as the week of spiritual pilgrimage for all members of the General Council in the Holy Land, between the end of June and the beginning of July; and the fraternal meeting with the General Council of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

      • RMG
      • Consiglio Generale
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – Baptized and sent. Church of Christ on mission in the world

        1 week 4 days ago
        RMG – Baptized and sent. Church of Christ on mission in the world

        (ANS - Rome) - In view of the Extraordinary Missionary Month (MMS) announced by Pope Francis for next October - due to the centenary of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XV, namely Maximum Illud – the Dicastery for Salesian Missions has elaborated support for all the Salesians and pastoral workers who intend to relaunch the Church's evangelizing action in their field of activity. The subsidy, which has as its title the same MMS theme, “Baptized and sent. The Church of Christ on its mission in the world”, will be officially launched next Sunday, June 9th, Solemnity of Pentecost.

        The booklet edited by the Dicastery for Salesian Missions was elaborated in the form of a diary that accompanies the reader / missionary throughout the month of October 2019, offering different elements for reflection each day. It features:

        - A quote from the Maximum Illud;
        - Biblical references related to the same subject;
        - A reflection of the magisterium of the pontiffs following Benedict XV;
        - A thought of Pope Francis;
        - A starting point derived from the documents of the Congregation.

        This wide range of elements offered to the readers' reflection is completed each day with two other segments: a section containing suggestions for sharing and proposals for practical activities; and a prayer to God asking for the intercession of a particular saint for the needs of the Church in the various territories of the world.

        The aid, which in Salesian communities can be used in morning meditation or in the vespertina community prayer, has already been printed in 700 copies in the English version, and is currently being printed in the Italian and Spanish editions.

        Moreover, to distribute it in a capillary way, the digital version of the text has already been sent in recent weeks to various Provinces, which have taken care of the translation into local languages and will independently provide for its printing as needed.

        But there is more: since the value of this initiative is to give support to global ecclesial missionary action, the Dicastery for Salesian Missions offers the aid in digital form and can also be modified to other groups, religious families and local Churches, which can further customize it according to their needs.

        “Ours wants to be simply a service for the Church,” explained the editor of this product, Fr George Menamparampil, SDB.

        For anyone interested in receiving information or materials from the grant, please write to: mcgeorge@sdb.org 

        • RMG
        • Missioni
        • Mese Missionario Straordinario
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Indonesia – First animation visit of Regional Councillor to INA Vice-province

          1 week 4 days ago
          Indonesia – First animation visit of Regional Councillor to INA Vice-province

          (ANS – Jakarta) – Nine months after the birth of the new Vice-province of St Louis Versiglia, Indonesia (INA), last August 2018, the first animation visit from East Asia-Oceania Regional Councillor (May 29 - June 1, 2019) took place in the Jakarta region communities of Wisma Don Bosco, Provincial House, Parish of St. John Bosco and Tigaraksa. For the Salesians in Indonesia these days are days of festivity thanks to the end of the Holy month of Ramadhan - Eid al Fitri (June 4) and millions of the Jakarta population are moving towards the provinces.

          Four full days of the animation visit were dedicated to different animation encounters with the Provincial Council (Provincial Fr. Andrew Wong), with the Formation Commission (Delegate Fr. Vincent Prastowo) and animating interactions with the Novitiate (6 novices) and Postnovitiate (13 postnovices) formation communities.

          During the Formation team meetings the Salesians shared their thoughts on the “Personal Spiritual Accompaniment” Guidelines in the context of the initial formation and during the two meetings with young Salesians altogether explored the motivations for living the Salesian consecrated apostolic life in its two forms: Salesian Brother and Salesian Priest.

          The half-day provincial Council Meeting with Fr. Klement was a good chance to exchange the progress in the fields of Youth Ministry and Formation on the journey as a newborn Vice-province. Special attention was dedicated to the new approach to the Aspirantate (Sumba community with a residential program and each local community open to accompanying candidates).

          As a young and dynamic Vice-Province, the Salesians are investing in the preparation and qualification of their confreres, especially in the field of formation, social communication as well as with regular Rectors meeting focused on formation.

          With the establishment of a new Provincial House community (Wisma - Jakarta, Rector Fr Noel Villafuerte) they aim at more effective animation of the 7 communities in Java and Sumba island and pray that the dream of the Rector Major to start the first presence in Flores will come true soon.

          By Fr. Vincent Prastowo, SDB

          Source: AustraLasia

          • Indonesia
          • INA
          • Visita di Animazione
          • Václav Klement
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Chile – Launch of "Espacio República", community environment for young people in university district

            1 week 4 days ago

            (ANS - Santiago) - Where the Don Bosco Library was once located, in the heart of the university district, on Thursday 23 May there was the inauguration of the so-called "Espacio República", an event that marks the experimental start of this project and the end of the building's renovation, which will now be destined to accompany young people passing through the neighborhood, regardless of the religion they profess.

            According to Ghislaine Fuentes, coordinator of this space and Delegate for Pastoral Care for Higher Education, this initiative was born in 2017 from the dream of the Salesian Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati to have a place in the university district for young people - the desire converged with the need of the Salesian Province of Chile to reconvert the space. Thus the project began to take shape, while involving other actors, such as the Vicariate for Higher Education, the Congregation of the Divine Word, Apsis, Shalom, the Technical Formation Center "ENAC" and the Alberto Hurtado University.

            "Today this activity took place so that young people come here, be interested and know that this space exists. We hope to soon make a missionary outing to let the students of the neighborhood know what they can do here," said Ana Leyton Escobar, Director of Pastoral Care for Higher Education of the Vicariate for Education.

            "We knew of the existence of this space, but it's the first time we come here. We need a place like this to be able to socialize with others. I think this space will be a place to share," said Leontina Caroca, an ENAC student.

            Her words confirm the expectations of the promoters of this initiative, based on the needs reported by the young people of the neighborhood - including the lack of places to eat. For this reason the ground floor of the building is equipped with microwaves and kettles. "The idea is that, regardless of the institution to which they belong, all young people can share this space," says Ghislaine.

            Another important aspect of this space is its second floor, which houses rooms for rest and study, a small church and rooms for conversation, where young people can meet with a spiritual guide.

            "One of the needs identified in setting up this space was listening. Young people often don't have anyone to tell their things to, because today it is very difficult to tell them in the family and in the universities there is often no room for this. That is why we prepare people only for listening, because we want to be a Church that accompanies, not simply that says what to do", explained the Provincial of the Salesians in Chile, Fr Carlo Lira.

            "I dream that in this space young people really feel listened to. When a place is capable of welcoming, the young people themselves feel heard and therefore accepted. This is a good in what is a crowded neighborhood. Having this place is a privilege and we will continue to pray that God will do His part and that it will materialize according to His will," added Fr Erasmo.

            • Cile
            • CIL
            • Università
            • Giovani
              Gian Francesco Romano

              RMG – Communicating General Chapter: section on GC28 launched

              1 week 5 days ago
              RMG – Communicating General Chapter: section on GC28 launched

              (ANS - Rome) - Exactly 255 days left until 16 February 2020, the day in which the 28th General Chapter (GC28) of the Salesian Congregation opens in Turin. The time available seems a lot, but preparations have been going on for months, from an organizational and communicative point of view. ANS is also involved in this process and therefore offers its readers a specific section on its website, so as to immediately identify all the articles pertaining to the GC28.

              The General Chapter is "a sign of the unity of the Congregation" and "a fraternal meeting to remain faithful to the Gospel and to the charism"; it does not only concern the Capitulars, but the entire Congregation which "seeks to know the will of God for a better service to the Church" (Cf. Const. No. 146).

              In the current Era of Communication, the Dicastery for Social Communication (CS) has articulated a holistic communication project of the GC28, "ad intra" and "ad extra", which started with the first deliberations on the Chapter taken by the Rector Major together with his Council, in March 2018, and which is designed to make it clear how the guidelines for the next six-year term of the Congregation are born.

              It is not just a matter of informing the Salesians of the world, the members of the Salesian Family, young people and lay collaborators in the mission, religious and general media and press in a clear and timely manner; but also to make the GC28 a lively and transparent event, and to facilitate the fallback into the Provinces of the GC28 guidelines.

              The opening on the ANS homepage of the new section dedicated to the GC28 - on the right column of the screen, immediately below the opening window - is therefore a small step in the communicative journey undertaken by the CS Dicastery, which will be carried out in concert with all the Provinces and which will continue until after the conclusion of the General Chapter.

              • RMG
              • CG28
              • Comunicazione Sociale
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Morocco - Building bridges over Mediterranean: Salesian students on journey of discovery

                1 week 5 days ago
                Morocco - Building bridges over Mediterranean: Salesian students on journey of discovery

                (ANS - Kenitra) - If superficial knowledge generates fear, close knowledge can foster friendship and trust. This is witnessed by the experience achieved during this scholastic year by the students of the Salesian Institute of Gières, in France, with their peers from Kenitra, in Morocco.

                For a trip lasting 9 days, made last March, the 29 French students participating in this project had worked for several months.

                "This daring and enriching project was launched for us students in September 2018, with the announcement of our director and our educational consultant, ambassadors of the project, Mrs Chemin and Mrs Ducret. From that moment on, the whole class was enthusiastic and eager to meet the students of another Salesian high school outside Europe," said two students, Alec and Clément.

                Once the idea was approved, the preparation required a preparatory path, both organizational - with various fundraising activities to reduce travel costs – as well as cultural and motivational. The two French students explained: "Some parents and even our companions had some fear before leaving, being for many the first time of a trip to Africa. And yet, as Msgr. Cristóbal López, SDB, the archbishop of Rabat, during our visit to his diocese said: 'The world is my home and humanity is my family'."

                Even before leaving, the students of the two Salesian institutes separated by the Mediterranean were getting to know each other through the exchange of letters, videos, conversations on social networks ...

                Thus, when it was the time of their meeting in person, a great sympathy was immediately born among the students. "We were greeted by the Moroccan students with songs, poems, dances and flowers. Faced with such a welcome, the emotion moved us and we had no words to describe the joy and happiness of meeting our Moroccan Salesian brothers and sisters," said Alec and Clément. "Then, over the next three days, we were able to fully put ourselves in their shoes and experience everyday life with them, in their homes."

                "This journey has brought us another vision of Muslim culture and lifestyle in that beautiful country that is Morocco," conclude the two students of Gières. "We thank the students of Kenitra for their warm welcome and their joy of life. We would like to be able to welcome them and show them our customs and our lifestyle and we hope that this magnificent project continues."

                • Marocco
                • FRB
                • Cristóbal López
                • Scuole
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  South Korea – The most senior member of the Korea Salesian province

                  1 week 5 days ago
                  South Korea – The most senior member of the Korea Salesian province

                  (ANS – Seoul) – The most senior member of the Korea Salesian province, most sought-after Salesian confessor Fr Jose Maria Blanco, Spain missionary, is celebrating his 60th anniversary of priestly ordination this year.

                  Fr. Blanco was born on 18 August 1930 in Madrid, Spain as the second of five siblings (three brothers and two sisters). During the Salesian retreat in September 1945, teenager Jose Maria decides for religious vocation after reading the biography of St Francis Xavier. He shared his dream with his Salesian confessor of living for God and gave his best effort in prayer and studies, scrapping his dream of becoming a pilot, and entering the Salesian formation house.

                  After the novitiate he made his first profession in 1949 (70th anniversary in 2019) and was sent as a missionary to Japan, first serving in the orphanage – Boys Town: “Among our batch of 63 Salesians who made the first profession, no fewer than 30 of us submited their application for the missions. Unlike many of my friends I was not sent to Latin America, but to Japan. Since I needed the permission of my parents, my father agreed” he said.

                  After his studies and apostolic work in Tokyo, Fr Jose Maria was ordained to the priesthood in Tokyo on March 8, 1959.

                  As a busy working young missionary priest in Japan, after his first home visit, Fr. Blanco suddenly received a new obedience: “I still remember 13 March 1962. Just after returning from Spain, I was called by Father Provincial: ‘Without opening your luggage, make preparations for your travel to Korea.’ Honestly, I didn’t want to go to Korea, since I was already accustomed to life in Japan and I was afraid to learn another new language and adjust to another new culture and environment. However, I thought that this is the will of God and gladly accepted this obedience.”

                  “On 30 March 1962 at 3 p.m. I arrived at Gimpo airport in Seoul and my first obedience was the Salesian parish in Dorim Dong, Seoul. Living in the Dorim Dong parish, it was beautiful to listen every morning to the fervent prayer of the faithful. It was also my great joy to play with the children coming to the parish. After my arrival, I received my new Korean name ‘Father Wang Joseph’”.

                  Then Fr Joseph experienced the apostolate in Gwangju and in Seoul as an evangelizer among the poor and marginalized people. And with this heart he has already spent 57 years in Korea.

                  Currently, Fr Jose Maria is living in the provincial house community (Seoul) as provincial archivist, and translator of official correspondence between the KOR province and the General House in Rome. According to his Korean age, Fr Blanco in 2019 would already be 90 years old, however he has better health than many younger confreres, his diligent and healthy life style becomes a good model for the younger Salesian generations.

                  “Our vocation is a great grace from God. We need to humbly give thanks to the Lord who calls us to this life. Even in the busy daily life we should not miss Eucharistic adoration, because God is the centre of our life! And we should also entrust all to our Mother Mary. She is the mother of us all and intercedes for us!” he concludes

                  By Fr Samuel Yu, SDB

                  Source: AustraLasia

                  • Corea del Sud
                  • KOR
                  • Missioni
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Ethiopia – New vocational training opportunities for young Ethiopians

                    1 week 6 days ago
                    Ethiopia – New vocational training opportunities for young Ethiopians

                    (ANS - Macallè) - The inauguration ceremony of a new structure designed to allow many young people in need of studying and training as Automotive Technicians was held last Thursday, May 30th, in Macallè, Ethiopia. Carried out at the "Don Bosco Poly Technic College", the project, which operates within the Technical-Vocational Education Institute (TVET) of Macallè, was possible thanks to the collaboration between the "Opera Don Bosco" Onlus Foundation, based in Milan, and CNH Industrial, thanks to its "TechPro2" program.

                    The industrial giant of commercial vehicles will train and form teachers who will hold the courses and workshops within the new structure, providing them with all the tools, both theoretical and operational (thanks to the donation of an IVECO 682 vehicle). In this way, the young people who will attend the courses at the Salesian center will learn a strategic profession for that specific area of ​​Africa and Ethiopia, a crossroads of large-scale traffic of heavy vehicles transiting, in fact, from Makallè to reach different parts of Africa.

                    "We are thrilled that a giant like CNH Industrial and its IVECO brand have taken to heart a very important project for us: the TVET of Macallè is for us a strategic formation center, which today has always counted on several vocational training courses including motor mechanics, electrical engineering, machine tool mechanics, welding, cutting and sewing," said Fr Giuliano Giacomazzi, Salesian Provincial of Lombardo Emiliana and member of the Council of the non-profit "Opera Don Bosco" Foundation.

                    "In the last year," added the ILE Provincial, "we have expanded the structure with a view to implementing the training offer of the center, thanks to one of our benefactors. We can confirm that with IVECO, and with the efforts of many other people, we have given life to a great project that, I am sure, will be of great value for many young people."

                    "TechPro2" is a formation program launched for the first time in 2011 with CNH Industrial with the aim of encouraging the formation of new generations, giving them all the tools necessary to acquire useful skills for a brilliant professional future.

                    Macallè is the third site of the "TechPro2" program. At the end of the one-year course, the dozen students expected to attend this first edition will receive a special certification in "Vehicle Maintenance" and will also have the possibility of taking part in internships within the network of IVECO dealerships present in Ethiopia, where they will be able to gain valuable experience in the field and where they will have the opportunity to seek employment directly.

                    {gallery}AET - TechPro2 - 2019{/gallery}

                    • Etiopia
                    • AET
                    • Fondazione Opera Don Bosco Onlus
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Dominican Republic - Philosophy Association and Salesians praise work of Fr Jesus Hernández, SDB

                      1 week 6 days ago
                      Dominican Republic - Philosophy Association and Salesians praise work of Fr Jesus Hernández, SDB

                      (ANS - Santo Domingo) - For many people philosophy is a de-classed discipline. Suffice it to say that in many countries it is a forgotten science, excluded from the study centers. What is philosophy today or why is it important? In general, there is much ignorance in this regard. The reasons why this happens are many, including the decline of curiosity or the omnipresence of the blind idea that the past does not bring anything of value to the present. After all, there is no deep reflection on the part of a "light" culture, an "efficient" culture. Against this backdrop, Fr Jesus Hernández was awarded.

                      The Dominican Association of Philosophy (ADOFIL) and the Salesian Province of the Antilles gave recognition to Fr Jesús Hernández Martínez, SDB, for his contribution to Dominican philosophy and Salesian formation for over 60 years.

                      The philosophers who participated in the event highlighted the bibliographical, philosophical and pastoral contributions of Fr Hernández Martínez in favor of Dominican education, culture and society.

                      For their part, the Salesians praised their confrere for his commitment to the Salesian mission through the creation, development and promotion of the Salesian Antillean Library (BAS), and his support for the intellectual formation of generations of religious, priests and lay people, devoting themselves to the education and evangelization of the poorest young people.

                      An excursus on the life and work of the awarded Salesian was carried out by José Mármol, Executive Vice President for Public Relations and Communication of the “Banco Popular Dominicano”, who announced how all BAS books will be digitized to safeguard their cultural and philosophical heritage and assets.

                      "The Salesian Antillana Library has already celebrated 60 years of institutional life in the Spanish-speaking Antilles, and Fr Hernández Martinez has completed six decades of priestly life. His two immense vocations, as religious and bibliophile, are born and grow together," he added.

                      Dr Edickson Minaya, Director of the Philosophy School of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) and President ADOFIL, offered a profile of the work of Fr Hernández Martínez in the 60 years of service, and publicly acknowleged the worth of his work and thanked him for his philosophical contributions.

                      Lastly, Fr Francisco Batista, SDB, Salesian Provincial of the Antilles, spoke of the over 60 years of Fr Hernández Martínez's dedication to the BAS and to work in favor of philosophy students.

                      • ANT
                      • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                      • Repubblica Dominicana
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Bolivia - "Historical images that speak"

                        1 week 6 days ago

                        (ANS - La Paz) - The "Basic Contract" signed in Rome, and after the fatal accident among the trains carrying mons. Luigi Lasagna and his 14 companions, which crashed at the beaches of Plata in 1894, the Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco arrived in Bolivia, in February 1895.

                        According to the stories of Alberto Aramayo Zalles, SDB, in the book The first Salesians in Bolivia, written in 1976: "Don Bosco never went out of Europe, but he knew Bolivia and it was familiar to him, as were all the other South American nations; he knew it through his visions and his extraordinary intuitions."

                        In 1883 Don Bosco had a mysterious dream: he was travelling in South America as a passenger on a fast train. In that dream, Providence showed him the camp destined for his children, the Salesians. Years later, with the arrival of the first Salesian in Bolivia, Msgr. Giacomo Costamagna, SDB, began the construction of an Arts and Crafts Formation Center for Bolivian young people, promoted by Dr. Aniceto Arce, then President of the Republic.

                        Today the "House of Aniceto Arce", as it is known within the municipal historical heritage, currently called "Academic and Cultural Center of the Salesian University of Bolivia", opens its doors to people who walk about the city every year, around these dates, breathing history, culture and artistic expressions.

                        In the XIII edition of the "Long Night of Museums" organized by the Autonomous Municipal Government of La Paz, the Salesian University dresses up as a gala event and exhibits a photo exhibition entitled "Salesian images that speak", which includes two aspects. The first is the historical aspect, which describes the glorious past of the Salesians; and the second is the academic aspect, which shows the result of a process in the university community.

                        The photographic exhibition had as its strategic partner the Bolivian publishing house Editorial Don Bosco, which proposed selected printed works, with publications from 1920. These works were part of the memories of many visitors, because many of them looked with nostalgia at the books with which they had learned to write and read. Some ancient books are still today masterpieces, which despite the years continue to be printed and continue to be part of the teaching of the history of Bolivia.

                        The evening was full of memories and emotions for thousands of visitors who had the opportunity to appreciate the Salesian opus, written through and across 123 years with the Salesian heart, and represented by 31 photographs that are "historical images that speak".

                        • Bolivia
                        • BOL
                        • Storia
                        • Arte
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Guatemala - A small Salesian hospital for the poorest

                          2 weeks ago
                          Guatemala - A small Salesian hospital for the poorest

                          (ANS - San Benito Petén) - In San Benito, in the heart of Guatemala, there is a public hospital that cannot manage to meet the demands of the population: it is the only health facility in the entire Department of Petén, a region as large as Belgium, with a population exceeding one million inhabitants. To meet, at least in part, the needs of the most disadvantaged population, the Salesian missionary Fr Giampiero De Nardi, with the help of medical and nursing staff, offers health support to the poorest.

                          Fr De Nardi brings forth his mission in the heart of Guatemala with strength, determination and great sensitivity to the social inequalities that have always characterized Guatemalan society. He is an old-style missionary: he runs the oratory, celebrates Mass in the parish and in the surrounding neighborhoods, helps those who knock on his door ... But he is also a young priest who is attentive to gender issues (he opened a Help Desk for women who are victims of domestic abuse in one of the most violent countries of Central and South America, for one...) and those of infancy (unfortunately in Guatemala the rate of child sexual abuse is very high).

                          The medical dispensary attached to the Salesian parish is one of the activities to which he is most attached. Because of the scarce availability of drinking water and of hygienic precariousness, diseases are widespread: tuberculosis, typhus, malaria, worms and diarrhea, skin diseases ... But also psychological problems (depression is widespread), respiratory diseases, sometimes fatal for children and the elderly, digestive problems, AIDS, genital infections, early and risky pregnancies, exanthematous diseases …


                          All these ills easily afflict women, and even more children, because they are the most vulnerable and also because there is the highest rate of chronic infantile malnutrition in Latin America: 49.3% of children under the age of five suffer from lack of food.

                          The medical dispensary fails to be economically independent because the drugs are distributed free to needy families. A tube of antiviral ointment, an anti-parasite pack, folic acid tablets - essential for preventing fetal malformations - are "luxuries" that too many people cannot afford in San Benito. For this reason, Fr De Nardi has asked for help from the Don Bosco Missions of Turin: the Salesian wants to continue to guarantee medicines and treatments to anyone in need.


                          For more information: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                          • Guatemala
                          • CAM
                          • Bambini
                          • Salute
                          • Missioni
                          • Missioni Don Bosco
                          • San Benito Petén
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Belgium – Hand-over in Don Bosco International

                            2 weeks 3 days ago
                            Belgium – Hand-over in Don Bosco International

                            (ANS – Brussels) – Don Bosco International (DBI) is the office of the Salesian Congregation advocating for youth rights before the European Institutions. After serving four years in Brussels as Executive Secretary of DBI, Mr Angel Gudiña is concluding his mandate, being replaced in this function by Mr Renato Cursi, former Secretary of the Youth Ministry Department of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Rome.

                            On the occasion of DBI General Assembly in 2015, the organisation’s Council of Administration was renewed, with Fr. Fabio Attard sdb, General Councillor for Salesian Youth Ministry, being elected as President of DBI and Mr Angel Gudiña being appointed as Executive Secretary. As well, the whole structure and working methodology of DBI were strengthened and reformed. A strategic plan for three years was adopted, monitored, evaluated and then renewed in 2018. The following three priorities for the advocacy work of DBI were set: poverty and social inclusion, migration and transition from education to employment. Not only did these choices allow the Salesian Congregation to better focus its advocacy work before the European Institusions, but they also contributed to raise awareness about European Union among the Salesian Provinces of the Salesian Centre-North Europe and Mediterranean regions; leading them to be actively involved in this field.

                            The positive outcomes of DBI over the last four years were the result of a collective effort: the active involvement of the General Council of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the participation of the Salesian Regions and Provinces, the expertise provided by many Salesian and lay experts from different Provinces, the warm welcome service offered by the Salesian community in Brussels (Woluwé Saint Lambert), together with the ongoing contribution of the Executive Secretary, the Council of Administration and the annual General Assemblies of DBI.

                            Between 2015 and 2019, DBI was able to achieve many different results: from high-level meetings and interactions (e.g. with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of the European Parliament and the European Commissioner for Employment of Social Affairs), to the integration of DBI in both civil and ecclesial European networks and platforms, the publication of policy papers by DBI (based on the reflection of experts from different Salesian Provinces on topics of interest, such as youth poverty, inclusion and participation), the institutionalization of the celebration of the Feast of Saint John Bosco in Brussels with relevant partners, a stronger and more intense interaction within the international Salesian networks and platforms, such as Don Bosco Youth Net and Don Bosco Network.

                            Before joining DBI, Mr Angel Gudiña, Past Pupil of the Salesian house of Coruña (Spain) and current Secretary General of the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco, worked in the Spanish National Center of Salesian Youth Ministry in Madrid, in Confederación Don Bosco (Salesian youth centers), and he was also actively involved in civil platforms such as the National Youth Council of Spain. His future destination will be the Salesian Missionary Procure of Madrid, Spain, where he will be in charge of institutional and corporate relations, starting his new mandate on 1st June 2019.

                            Mr. Renato Cursi, Salesian Cooperator from the Salesian house of Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco (Rome, Italy), served in the Salesian Youth Ministry Department in Rome over the last five years, supporting the secretariat of the Department and facilitating the international coordination of the Salesian Youth Movement. Former officer in the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he graduated in International Relations and specialized in Human Rights, Peace Studies and Youth Ministry. He is currently a PhD candidate in Youth Studies, within a joint doctorate between the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome and the Catholic University Silva Henriquez in Santiago del Chile. After concluding his mandate in the Salesian Youth Ministry Department in Rome, he will move to the DBI office in Brussels together with his family in August 2019.

                            The hand-over process, which took place in the first months of 2019 between Rome and Brussels, was reported to the annual General Assembly of DBI in January 2019 and coordinated by the President of DBI, in order to guarantee the continuity of the activities and processes agreed in the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan.

                            • Don Bosco International
                            • Belgio
                            • Pastorale Giovanile
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Italy - "Necessary to change paradigm; search other platforms, languages". International Meeting of Salesian Bulletin

                              2 weeks 3 days ago

                              (ANS - Rome) - "The International Meeting of the Salesian Bulletin has ended. Our Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Editor and Director of the Salesian Bulletin, entrusted us with updating the magazine of Don Bosco, the institutional magazine of the Congregation, taking into account the Salesian Social Communication System (SSCS) and for this reason we reflected on the theme: Communicating to involve in the mission, between press and digital culture," said Fr Filiberto González, General Councilor for Social Communication at the conclusion of the work sessions.

                              The days of the International Meeting of the Directors of the Salesian Bulletin began on Sunday 26 and ended on Wednesday 29 May. Fr Á.F. Artime presided over the opening Eucharist and gave a lecture inviting all present to seek ways of renewal, with creativity and professionalism. "The Salesian Bulletin is not an invention we made in the early nineteenth century; Don Bosco had carried it in his heart for a long time. Don Bosco was certain that the Salesian Bulletin was to be a means of communicating the good that was being done, first of all, as Salesians, and then as a nascent Salesian Family."

                              Among the speakers there was Fr Francesco Motto, SDB, who helped place the Salesian Bulletin in the social, ecclesial, cultural and communicative context of Don Bosco's time; and the theologian Nataša Govekar, who emphasized that communication is at the service of communion and truth and that the image has a primordial value as an element of communication. Nicola Zamperini and Francesco Marino urged changing the paradigm by opening the magazine to other platforms and to current languages of information.

                              Journalist José Beltrán also gave his contribution, and pointed out that the magazine Vida Nueva has entered the conversion of content in a collegial, institutional and prophetic way. Esteban Lorenzo, for his part, indicated that the technology must be at the service of people. Br José Luis Muñoz, SDB, invited everyone to work closely and in contact with the Salesian iNfo Agency (ANS). Also discussed were the good practices developed by some Salesian Bulletins in: Argentina, Ethiopia, France and Portugal.

                              "We must also thank the Dicastery for Social Communications and Miguel Mendes, from Portugal, who created the logo of the meeting, in addition to the Rector Major, ‘Misiones Salesianas’ of Madrid and ‘Missioni Don Bosco’ of Turin for their support," added Fr González.

                              The meeting ended with the participation in the audience on Wednesday of Pope Francis. The Holy Father was moved when he heard Fr Leonardo Sánchez, a Spanish Salesian, tell the story of Fr Antonio César Fernández, a Salesian missionary recently assassinated in Burkina Faso. He was again moved on receiving the book of Fr Vicente Santilli on Fr Luigi Bolla.

                              • Italia
                              • Comunicazione Sociale
                              • Filiberto González
                              • Bollettino Salesiano
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Italy – IV level School of Salesianity - 2019

                                2 weeks 3 days ago
                                Italy – IV level School of Salesianity - 2019

                                (ANS - Turin) - The Course of Salesianity, level IV, promoted and organized by the Salesian Center for Ongoing Formation of America, based in Quito, Ecuador, has just ended. 26 participants belonging to various branches of the Salesian Family (consecrated and lay) and coming from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador, went on a pilgrimage for 28 days of joint formation on Salesian Sites, where Don Bosco lived.

                                After studying the social, political and religious context throughout the previous three years, through a historical-critical-experiential method, a great gift of God was now revealed for all the participants to be able to see, touch, contemplate, the spaces, the memories and relics that make present the memory of Don Bosco to us all, and thus giving a true dimension and real proportions to what was previously for them only of the imagination.

                                The students of the course began their journey in Annecy, to learn more about St. Francis de Sales; they then visited the places of Mother Mazzarello in Mornese and Nice; they passed through Genoa to renew their missionary convictions; visited the places of Don Bosco's childhood and the life of Mother Margherita in Capriglio in Monferrato; then they went to the house at Colle and Chieri, where the future saint held a seminar; they visited the houses of Domenico Savio and walked in the footsteps of a few of Don Bosco's autumn walks. Finally, they crossed Turin in every which way, to get to know the Salesian realities, such as the Oratory of Valdocco, Casa Pinardi, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, and the site of the many contemporary "social saints".

                                Such a rich path necessarily required a good logistic and training organization. On the occasion of the celebration of the feast of Mary Help of Christians, meetings were also planned with the Rector Major of the Salesians, the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family.

                                Furthermore, each day ended with a moment of evaluation, during which attempts were made to collect the experiences lived and the reflections motivated by the various visits.

                                For the participants it was an experience that not only illuminated, but that touched their hearts, renewing the motivations and deep convictions that sustain the Salesian charism.

                                And it was certainly also an experience of family, of fraternal communion, of strengthening the bonds of friendship rooted in the sources of the shared Salesian charism. The closing of the experience, after passing also through Assisi and visiting the places of Don Bosco in Rome, took place with the Eucharist celebrated at the Catacombs of San Callisto.

                                The participants have now returned to their respective Provinces and works with hearts inflamed by Salesian fervor and with renewed and updated fidelity to the young people whom Divine Providence entrusts to them.

                                By Fr Luis Timossi, SDB

                                • Italia
                                • Ecuador
                                • Formazione
                                • Scuola di Salesianità
                                • ICP
                                • Luoghi Salesiani
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Burkina Faso – Farewell to Fr Fernando Hernández, the assassinated Salesian missionary

                                  2 weeks 4 days ago
                                  Burkina Faso – Farewell to Fr Fernando Hernández, the assassinated Salesian missionary

                                  (ANS - Bobo Dioulasso) – Taking place on May 23 was the funeral of Fr Fernando Hernández, SDB, who died in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, on Friday 17 May, due to a crime the authorities are still investigating. From 7:30 am local time, to the opening of the funeral home, there was an uninterrupted flow of people who came to bear witness of their affection for the deceased missionary and their closeness to the whole community. Then, at 8:30 am, the prayer for the dead began, which started the celebration in suffrage of Fr Hernández.

                                  The religious ceremony, as often happens in Christian communities in Africa, lasted over three hours in all and saw the participation of thousands of people who occupied the entire pavilion specially set up in the Salesian school by soldiers and Salesian prenovices.

                                  On the central wall was a photograph of Fr Hernández, surrounded by Don Bosco's phrase: "I promised God that until my last breath it will be for my dear young people!"

                                  After the prayer for the dead, presided by Fr Américo Chaquisse, Regional Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, the Eucharist began, concelebrated by 60 priests, an impressive testimony of a local Church committed to its own people.

                                  The presence of the bishop emeritus of the diocese, the Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in the country, religious communities, diocesan organizations, Salesians and lay collaborators of other Salesian centers in various countries, groups and associations of the Salesian Family and other religious entities, together with representatives of the Spanish diplomatic corps, the government and the city's civil authorities supported and accompanied the Salesian community, much tried by the sudden mourning, and Marcelino Hernández, brother of Fr Fernando, who came from Spain to represent the family.

                                  Within the assembly a large group was made up of children from the vocational school and other young members of the Christian communities, who from their behaviour showed that they had interpreted the teachings and life lived alongside Fr Hernández as gifts that the missionary had given to them.

                                  The concluding words pronounced by Fr Juan Carlos Ingunza, former director of the Don Bosco Center of Bobo Dioulasso, by the Vicar General of the diocese, of the President of the religious of Burkina Faso, of the Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Mali and Burkina Faso and of the Salesian Provincial, had the figure of Fr Hernández emerge in all his brilliance.

                                  The recognition and appreciation of his total surrender to the mission, to the gift of life and the gratitude for Fr Hernández' wanting to be buried on African soil were the central elements of the farewell ceremony.

                                  Finally, the remains of Fr Hernández were accompanied in procession up to the tomb dug in the garden of the Salesian house where, with ritual prayers and a final applause, a day full of meaning and shared hope concluded.

                                  {gallery}AFO - Funerali don Hernandez 2019{/gallery}

                                  • Burkina Faso
                                  • AFO
                                  • Decessi
                                  • Fernando Hernández
                                  • Américo Chaquisse
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Italy – Don Bosco Network General Assembly and Development Cooperation Working Group meeting

                                    2 weeks 4 days ago
                                    Italy – Don Bosco Network General Assembly and Development Cooperation Working Group meeting

                                    (ANS – Rome)  On 29-30 May 2019, members and partners of the Don Bosco Network (DBN), including the Councilor for Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, SDB, Economer General, Bro Jean Paul Muller, SDB, and the Coordinator of Mission Offices, Fr George Menamparampil, SDB, met at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome for the annual General Assembly and Development Cooperation Working Group meetings.

                                    25 representatives of Don Bosco organizations from Europe, USA, India and Africa discussed the best possible ways of support to young people education and skills training all over the world. Special attention was given to youth in developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Following the mission of Don Bosco, Don Bosco Network empowers young people to have their dreams of a better life and access to the job market fulfilled in their home countries. It is due to such programmes as Don Bosco Tech Africa, which stands for 102 technical institutions in 34 countries in Africa, that young people do not have to migrate in order to find better life. Through the education, skills training and job finding support they can realize their dreams and build a better future in their own home countries and communities. Similar programs and networks like BoscoNet in South Asia Region, Young People at Risk (YARs) networks in Inter-America and South Asia regions assure the effectiveness of Don Bosco Mission.

                                    Don Bosco Network provides this support through: professional capacity building programmes, effective humanitarian aid, resilience programmes, partnership building, cooperation and networking. DBN is using modern techniques and means of communication.

                                    Don Bosco Network cares about the future for all by engaging with partners in the innovative green energy programmes.

                                    The network is growing as more Salesian organizations join in effective collaboration. This year Don Bosco Network welcomed a new member: Mission Office Ireland

                                    • Italia
                                    • UPS
                                    • Don Bosco Network
                                    • Missioni
                                    • Economia
                                    • Guillermo Basañes
                                    • Jean Paul Muller
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Portugal - National Pilgrimage of Salesian Family and Salesian Youth Movement Day

                                      2 weeks 4 days ago
                                      Portugal - National Pilgrimage of Salesian Family and Salesian Youth Movement Day

                                      (ANS - Fatima) - "With Mary, sainthood is joy" was the theme of the 67th Pilgrimage of the Salesian Family of Portugal to the Shrine of Fatima, held on the weekend of 18-19 May. And also in Fatima, on Saturday 18, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), who attend the works of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), celebrated their National Day.

                                      Guided by the Provincial of Portugal, Fr José Aníbal Mendonça, the Provincial of the FMA, Sr. Rosa Cândida Gomes, and by the National Delegate for the Salesian Family, Fr Joaquim Taveira da Fonseca, the pilgrimage brought together about 800 people in the devotion to Mary to several SF groups.

                                      The highlight of the activities was reached on Sunday with the Eucharist presided over within the sanctuary by the archbishop of Evora, Msgr. Francisco Senra Coelho. The prelate, a Salesian past pupil of the Don Bosco Institute in Maputo, Mozambique, recalled in the homily the "complete and disinterested priestly testimony" of Don Bosco who was able to "love, defend, promote and give his life for children, adolescents and the poorest young people." For this reason he invited all pilgrims to be missionaries of God's love through "concrete gestures of the Gospel lived and shared."

                                      Msgr. Senra Coelho, already the day before, had taken part in the "Salesian activities", joining the young people of the SYM for the exhibition "Art and Faith", which took place at the Paul VI Center, within the program of the National Day of the SYM.

                                      Organized by the Salesian Youth Ministry and by the National Delegate, Fr Álvaro Lago, the youth meeting brought together 500 young people from the different houses of the Salesians and the FMA of Portugal, who celebrated Mary by living the youth spirituality inherited from Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.

                                      The young participants thus lived many moments together with the Salesian Family, such as the Greeting to the Madonna, the show "Art and Faith" and the Rosary in the Chapel of the Apparitions. During the day, they also participated in various workshops, and finally ended their activities with a prayer concert.

                                      Source: Boletim Informativo Hoje

                                      {gallery}POR - Pellegrinaggio FS a Fatima 2019{/gallery}

                                      • Portogallo
                                      • POR
                                      • Famiglia Salesiana
                                      • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                      • Maria
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Gambia – First 7 months of Salesian mission in Kunkujang

                                        2 weeks 4 days ago
                                        Gambia – First 7 months of Salesian mission in Kunkujang

                                        (ANS - Kunkujang) - “Teenagers and young people are still waiting for us, and among them the poorest, abandoned and unsafe ... Malaysia and Gambia will be spaces for our presence shortly. From many other countries where we are already present, we are called to go to other areas that are authentically missionary.” Thus wrote wrote the Rector Major, back in December 2017, in his missionary appeal for the following year. Today the Salesian mission in Kunkujang, Gambia, is a reality, which a few days ago celebrated its first seven months of service to young people and people in need.

                                        From the outset, the new Gambian mission has represented a particular Salesian mission project, so much so that it was jointly initiated by the Salesians of the two Provinces of West Africa, that is Francophone (AFO) and Anglophone (AFW).

                                        Located in one of the poorest areas of Gambia, within the country's only diocese, based in the capital Banjul, the Salesian mission has as its greatest wealth the only true Salesian treasure: the many young people who are just waiting for a chance to get to know Don Bosco.

                                        It was officially inaugurated on 27 October 2018 in the presence of the two Provincials of AFW and AFO, respectively Fr Michael Karikunnel and Fr José Elégbédé, and several members of the AFO Provincial Council.

                                        In the successive weeks, two other important members of the General Council of the Salesian Congregation visited the new mission to encourage it and to provide the information and advice suitable for a new Community, namely: Fr Guillermo Basañes, General Councilor for the Missions, and former Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, and Fr Américo Raúl Chaquisse, current Councilor for Africa-Madagascar.

                                        “As we celebrate seven months of our presence in Gambia, we want to use this opportunity to thank God for this new mission; our dear Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, for his support for the new mission; and our able Provincials and their Councilors for their various supports,” says from Kunkujang, Fr Peace Ike, a Nigerian Salesian, one of the pioneer missionaries in Gambia.

                                        “We pray God to continue to guide and protect us as we carry out our duties as expected of us. We are looking forward for more visits, even from the Rector Major,” he concludes.

                                        {gallery}Gambia - 7 mesi missione - maggio 2019{/gallery}

                                        • Gambia
                                        • AFO
                                        • AFW
                                        • Missioni
                                        • Américo Chaquisse
                                        • Guillermo Basañes
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Syria – The sad story of José, the Syrian Salesian animator and model for all young people

                                          1 week 3 days ago
                                          Syria – The sad story of José, the Syrian Salesian animator and model for all young people

                                          (ANS - Aleppo) - The war in Syria has lasted for over eight years. The number of deaths, injuries and people who have fled the country varies depending on who provides the data; what is invariable is the figure of 30 million people who have however been affected by the war and whose lives have changed forever, one way or another.

                                          Throughout this time there have been thousands of stories of pain, but also of overcoming oneself and peace, despite adversity. One of these is the story of José, a sports instructor, a young man who worked and studied. For this reason the Salesians often presented him to children as a model of life in youth centers. José passed his last university exam in June last year and in September he was due to graduate.

                                          His parents were elderly and sick, but they had instilled in him a great sense of responsibility and he was always there to assist all those who needed him. He was the eldest son and the only male in the family.

                                          The only time that José devoted to himself was the time he spent with his girlfriend. They had been together for five years and had set the wedding date for September 24th. It would have been a simple marriage because the war doesn't allow for more, but it didn't matter, because no war can stop love.

                                          José was a support for everyone as a brother, a boyfriend, an exemplary son, a true friend of and to all. But, unfortunately, it is necessary to say "was" because on 5 September last, a few weeks after graduation and just 19 days before the wedding, a missile that fell on a bus stole his life away and suddenly canceled the dreams of everyone who depended on him.

                                          It was really hard for the Salesians to meet with his sisters and parents, nor did they know how to console his girlfriend. It was also very difficult to comfort the children in the oratory and youth center. Some of them asked themselves: "What sense is there to study, what sense is there to make an effort to learn to work, what is the point of being good and generous, what is the meaning of faith? Those you who have brought to us as examples have demonstrated to us that it is useless ... "

                                          Source: www.misionessalesianas.org

                                          • Siria
                                          • MOR
                                          • Violenze
                                          • Guerra
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            RMG – Provincials of Northern Philippines and Italy-Sicily appointed

                                            1 week 4 days ago
                                            RMG – Provincials of Northern Philippines and Italy-Sicily appointed

                                            (ANS - Rome) - As part of the work of the General Council, and with the consensus of the other Council members, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has appointed the Provincials of the Philippines North (FIN) and Italy-Sicily (ISI) Provinces, respectively Fr Gerardo Martin and Fr Giovanni D'Andrea.

                                            Fr Martin was born in Makati (Manila) on 3 October 1964. After several years as a chartered accountant he attended the Salesian Novitiate in Bacolod in 1994-1995; he then made his first profession on 24 May 1995 and the perpetual profession on 24 March 2001.

                                            Ordained a priest in 2002, in Parañaque-Manila, he served for five years (2005-2010) in the formation house "Seminary ng Don Bosco", dedicated to specific formation for the priesthood, and in the last nine (2010-2019) in the large community of the Pre-Novitiate and Aspirantate of Canlubang.

                                            He was a member of the Economic Commissions (2005-2010) and of Youth Ministry (2008-10). Since 2013 he has been the Provincial Delegate for Formation.

                                            The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, 15 June 2019, in the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Parañaque – Manila.

                                            Fr D'Andrea was born in Messina on 18 July 1968. He attended the Salesian novitiate at Lanuvio in the 1996-1997 school year, made his first profession on 8 September 1997 in Rome and his perpetual profession on 12 October 2003 in Messina.

                                            Ordained a priest in his hometown on 28 May 2005, he was Director of Oratory (2006-2009) and Director of Community (2009) at the "Santa Chiara" house in Palermo.

                                            Provincial Delegate of the Marginalized section in his Province (2009-2012), from 2012 until last April he served as President of "Salesians for Social Affairs", the civil body that expresses the charismatic dimension of the Salesians concerned with caring for young people at risk in Italy.

                                            Returning last year to his Province of origin, he is currently the Vice Provincial and Coordinator of the Marginalized Sector and the Office of Planning and Development.

                                            Fr D’Andrea, who succeeds Fr Giuseppe Ruta, will take up his post next August.

                                            • RMG
                                            • Nomine
                                            • Ispettori
                                            • FIN
                                            • ISI
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              RMG - Summer session of General Council started

                                              1 week 4 days ago
                                              RMG - Summer session of General Council started

                                              (ANS - Rome) - The summer session plenary of the General Council of the Salesian Congregation began on Monday 3 June with the first meetings of sharing. It lasts for 8 weeks and finally concludes on 26 July.

                                              Providing animation to the government of a Congregation that has over 14 thousand religious, hundreds of thousands of collaborators and millions of young beneficiaries is not a trivial matter. For this reason the Rector Major meets twice a year, for a lengthy period of time, with all his first collaborators of the General Council: to listen, to evaluate, to discern, to nominate, to offer indications and guidelines, to decide.

                                              Scheduled for this summer session are:

                                              - the accompaniment of recently appointed provincials in the orientation course dedicated to them;

                                              - the appointments of four Provincials (Colombia-Bogotà, India-Mumbai, Italy-Sicily and the Northern Philippines) and of the Superior of the Africa-Ethiopia Vice-Province;

                                              - the sharing of reports on as many as 10 Extraordinary Visits (Brazil-Campo Grande; Spain-St James Major; India-Bangalore; Ethiopia; South Philippines; United States-East; United States-West; Austria; Hungary; Italy Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta);

                                              - the semester report of the Sector Councilors (Formation, Youth Ministry, Social Communication, Missions, Economy);

                                              - the sharing of mission support and the destination of new missionaries;

                                              - the discussion of economic issues.

                                              Attention and care will also be reserved for the study of various specific themes, ranging from the preparation of the 28th General Chapter (GC28) to the Strenna for 2020; from Salesian personal accompaniment to the Provincial Bursar Manual; from the redesign of the formation communities in the Africa-Madagascar region to the advancement of the project to enhance the Salesian sites and places; up to the post-Synod perspectives on young people and the update on child protection.

                                              There will also be the moments of spirituality and sharing, such as the week of spiritual pilgrimage for all members of the General Council in the Holy Land, between the end of June and the beginning of July; and the fraternal meeting with the General Council of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                                              • RMG
                                              • Consiglio Generale
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                RMG – Baptized and sent. Church of Christ on mission in the world

                                                1 week 4 days ago
                                                RMG – Baptized and sent. Church of Christ on mission in the world

                                                (ANS - Rome) - In view of the Extraordinary Missionary Month (MMS) announced by Pope Francis for next October - due to the centenary of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XV, namely Maximum Illud – the Dicastery for Salesian Missions has elaborated support for all the Salesians and pastoral workers who intend to relaunch the Church's evangelizing action in their field of activity. The subsidy, which has as its title the same MMS theme, “Baptized and sent. The Church of Christ on its mission in the world”, will be officially launched next Sunday, June 9th, Solemnity of Pentecost.

                                                The booklet edited by the Dicastery for Salesian Missions was elaborated in the form of a diary that accompanies the reader / missionary throughout the month of October 2019, offering different elements for reflection each day. It features:

                                                - A quote from the Maximum Illud;
                                                - Biblical references related to the same subject;
                                                - A reflection of the magisterium of the pontiffs following Benedict XV;
                                                - A thought of Pope Francis;
                                                - A starting point derived from the documents of the Congregation.

                                                This wide range of elements offered to the readers' reflection is completed each day with two other segments: a section containing suggestions for sharing and proposals for practical activities; and a prayer to God asking for the intercession of a particular saint for the needs of the Church in the various territories of the world.

                                                The aid, which in Salesian communities can be used in morning meditation or in the vespertina community prayer, has already been printed in 700 copies in the English version, and is currently being printed in the Italian and Spanish editions.

                                                Moreover, to distribute it in a capillary way, the digital version of the text has already been sent in recent weeks to various Provinces, which have taken care of the translation into local languages and will independently provide for its printing as needed.

                                                But there is more: since the value of this initiative is to give support to global ecclesial missionary action, the Dicastery for Salesian Missions offers the aid in digital form and can also be modified to other groups, religious families and local Churches, which can further customize it according to their needs.

                                                “Ours wants to be simply a service for the Church,” explained the editor of this product, Fr George Menamparampil, SDB.

                                                For anyone interested in receiving information or materials from the grant, please write to: mcgeorge@sdb.org 

                                                • RMG
                                                • Missioni
                                                • Mese Missionario Straordinario
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Indonesia – First animation visit of Regional Councillor to INA Vice-province

                                                  1 week 4 days ago
                                                  Indonesia – First animation visit of Regional Councillor to INA Vice-province

                                                  (ANS – Jakarta) – Nine months after the birth of the new Vice-province of St Louis Versiglia, Indonesia (INA), last August 2018, the first animation visit from East Asia-Oceania Regional Councillor (May 29 - June 1, 2019) took place in the Jakarta region communities of Wisma Don Bosco, Provincial House, Parish of St. John Bosco and Tigaraksa. For the Salesians in Indonesia these days are days of festivity thanks to the end of the Holy month of Ramadhan - Eid al Fitri (June 4) and millions of the Jakarta population are moving towards the provinces.

                                                  Four full days of the animation visit were dedicated to different animation encounters with the Provincial Council (Provincial Fr. Andrew Wong), with the Formation Commission (Delegate Fr. Vincent Prastowo) and animating interactions with the Novitiate (6 novices) and Postnovitiate (13 postnovices) formation communities.

                                                  During the Formation team meetings the Salesians shared their thoughts on the “Personal Spiritual Accompaniment” Guidelines in the context of the initial formation and during the two meetings with young Salesians altogether explored the motivations for living the Salesian consecrated apostolic life in its two forms: Salesian Brother and Salesian Priest.

                                                  The half-day provincial Council Meeting with Fr. Klement was a good chance to exchange the progress in the fields of Youth Ministry and Formation on the journey as a newborn Vice-province. Special attention was dedicated to the new approach to the Aspirantate (Sumba community with a residential program and each local community open to accompanying candidates).

                                                  As a young and dynamic Vice-Province, the Salesians are investing in the preparation and qualification of their confreres, especially in the field of formation, social communication as well as with regular Rectors meeting focused on formation.

                                                  With the establishment of a new Provincial House community (Wisma - Jakarta, Rector Fr Noel Villafuerte) they aim at more effective animation of the 7 communities in Java and Sumba island and pray that the dream of the Rector Major to start the first presence in Flores will come true soon.

                                                  By Fr. Vincent Prastowo, SDB

                                                  Source: AustraLasia

                                                  • Indonesia
                                                  • INA
                                                  • Visita di Animazione
                                                  • Václav Klement
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Chile – Launch of "Espacio República", community environment for young people in university district

                                                    1 week 4 days ago

                                                    (ANS - Santiago) - Where the Don Bosco Library was once located, in the heart of the university district, on Thursday 23 May there was the inauguration of the so-called "Espacio República", an event that marks the experimental start of this project and the end of the building's renovation, which will now be destined to accompany young people passing through the neighborhood, regardless of the religion they profess.

                                                    According to Ghislaine Fuentes, coordinator of this space and Delegate for Pastoral Care for Higher Education, this initiative was born in 2017 from the dream of the Salesian Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati to have a place in the university district for young people - the desire converged with the need of the Salesian Province of Chile to reconvert the space. Thus the project began to take shape, while involving other actors, such as the Vicariate for Higher Education, the Congregation of the Divine Word, Apsis, Shalom, the Technical Formation Center "ENAC" and the Alberto Hurtado University.

                                                    "Today this activity took place so that young people come here, be interested and know that this space exists. We hope to soon make a missionary outing to let the students of the neighborhood know what they can do here," said Ana Leyton Escobar, Director of Pastoral Care for Higher Education of the Vicariate for Education.

                                                    "We knew of the existence of this space, but it's the first time we come here. We need a place like this to be able to socialize with others. I think this space will be a place to share," said Leontina Caroca, an ENAC student.

                                                    Her words confirm the expectations of the promoters of this initiative, based on the needs reported by the young people of the neighborhood - including the lack of places to eat. For this reason the ground floor of the building is equipped with microwaves and kettles. "The idea is that, regardless of the institution to which they belong, all young people can share this space," says Ghislaine.

                                                    Another important aspect of this space is its second floor, which houses rooms for rest and study, a small church and rooms for conversation, where young people can meet with a spiritual guide.

                                                    "One of the needs identified in setting up this space was listening. Young people often don't have anyone to tell their things to, because today it is very difficult to tell them in the family and in the universities there is often no room for this. That is why we prepare people only for listening, because we want to be a Church that accompanies, not simply that says what to do", explained the Provincial of the Salesians in Chile, Fr Carlo Lira.

                                                    "I dream that in this space young people really feel listened to. When a place is capable of welcoming, the young people themselves feel heard and therefore accepted. This is a good in what is a crowded neighborhood. Having this place is a privilege and we will continue to pray that God will do His part and that it will materialize according to His will," added Fr Erasmo.

                                                    • Cile
                                                    • CIL
                                                    • Università
                                                    • Giovani
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      RMG – Communicating General Chapter: section on GC28 launched

                                                      1 week 5 days ago
                                                      RMG – Communicating General Chapter: section on GC28 launched

                                                      (ANS - Rome) - Exactly 255 days left until 16 February 2020, the day in which the 28th General Chapter (GC28) of the Salesian Congregation opens in Turin. The time available seems a lot, but preparations have been going on for months, from an organizational and communicative point of view. ANS is also involved in this process and therefore offers its readers a specific section on its website, so as to immediately identify all the articles pertaining to the GC28.

                                                      The General Chapter is "a sign of the unity of the Congregation" and "a fraternal meeting to remain faithful to the Gospel and to the charism"; it does not only concern the Capitulars, but the entire Congregation which "seeks to know the will of God for a better service to the Church" (Cf. Const. No. 146).

                                                      In the current Era of Communication, the Dicastery for Social Communication (CS) has articulated a holistic communication project of the GC28, "ad intra" and "ad extra", which started with the first deliberations on the Chapter taken by the Rector Major together with his Council, in March 2018, and which is designed to make it clear how the guidelines for the next six-year term of the Congregation are born.

                                                      It is not just a matter of informing the Salesians of the world, the members of the Salesian Family, young people and lay collaborators in the mission, religious and general media and press in a clear and timely manner; but also to make the GC28 a lively and transparent event, and to facilitate the fallback into the Provinces of the GC28 guidelines.

                                                      The opening on the ANS homepage of the new section dedicated to the GC28 - on the right column of the screen, immediately below the opening window - is therefore a small step in the communicative journey undertaken by the CS Dicastery, which will be carried out in concert with all the Provinces and which will continue until after the conclusion of the General Chapter.

                                                      • RMG
                                                      • CG28
                                                      • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Morocco - Building bridges over Mediterranean: Salesian students on journey of discovery

                                                        1 week 5 days ago
                                                        Morocco - Building bridges over Mediterranean: Salesian students on journey of discovery

                                                        (ANS - Kenitra) - If superficial knowledge generates fear, close knowledge can foster friendship and trust. This is witnessed by the experience achieved during this scholastic year by the students of the Salesian Institute of Gières, in France, with their peers from Kenitra, in Morocco.

                                                        For a trip lasting 9 days, made last March, the 29 French students participating in this project had worked for several months.

                                                        "This daring and enriching project was launched for us students in September 2018, with the announcement of our director and our educational consultant, ambassadors of the project, Mrs Chemin and Mrs Ducret. From that moment on, the whole class was enthusiastic and eager to meet the students of another Salesian high school outside Europe," said two students, Alec and Clément.

                                                        Once the idea was approved, the preparation required a preparatory path, both organizational - with various fundraising activities to reduce travel costs – as well as cultural and motivational. The two French students explained: "Some parents and even our companions had some fear before leaving, being for many the first time of a trip to Africa. And yet, as Msgr. Cristóbal López, SDB, the archbishop of Rabat, during our visit to his diocese said: 'The world is my home and humanity is my family'."

                                                        Even before leaving, the students of the two Salesian institutes separated by the Mediterranean were getting to know each other through the exchange of letters, videos, conversations on social networks ...

                                                        Thus, when it was the time of their meeting in person, a great sympathy was immediately born among the students. "We were greeted by the Moroccan students with songs, poems, dances and flowers. Faced with such a welcome, the emotion moved us and we had no words to describe the joy and happiness of meeting our Moroccan Salesian brothers and sisters," said Alec and Clément. "Then, over the next three days, we were able to fully put ourselves in their shoes and experience everyday life with them, in their homes."

                                                        "This journey has brought us another vision of Muslim culture and lifestyle in that beautiful country that is Morocco," conclude the two students of Gières. "We thank the students of Kenitra for their warm welcome and their joy of life. We would like to be able to welcome them and show them our customs and our lifestyle and we hope that this magnificent project continues."

                                                        • Marocco
                                                        • FRB
                                                        • Cristóbal López
                                                        • Scuole
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          South Korea – The most senior member of the Korea Salesian province

                                                          1 week 5 days ago
                                                          South Korea – The most senior member of the Korea Salesian province

                                                          (ANS – Seoul) – The most senior member of the Korea Salesian province, most sought-after Salesian confessor Fr Jose Maria Blanco, Spain missionary, is celebrating his 60th anniversary of priestly ordination this year.

                                                          Fr. Blanco was born on 18 August 1930 in Madrid, Spain as the second of five siblings (three brothers and two sisters). During the Salesian retreat in September 1945, teenager Jose Maria decides for religious vocation after reading the biography of St Francis Xavier. He shared his dream with his Salesian confessor of living for God and gave his best effort in prayer and studies, scrapping his dream of becoming a pilot, and entering the Salesian formation house.

                                                          After the novitiate he made his first profession in 1949 (70th anniversary in 2019) and was sent as a missionary to Japan, first serving in the orphanage – Boys Town: “Among our batch of 63 Salesians who made the first profession, no fewer than 30 of us submited their application for the missions. Unlike many of my friends I was not sent to Latin America, but to Japan. Since I needed the permission of my parents, my father agreed” he said.

                                                          After his studies and apostolic work in Tokyo, Fr Jose Maria was ordained to the priesthood in Tokyo on March 8, 1959.

                                                          As a busy working young missionary priest in Japan, after his first home visit, Fr. Blanco suddenly received a new obedience: “I still remember 13 March 1962. Just after returning from Spain, I was called by Father Provincial: ‘Without opening your luggage, make preparations for your travel to Korea.’ Honestly, I didn’t want to go to Korea, since I was already accustomed to life in Japan and I was afraid to learn another new language and adjust to another new culture and environment. However, I thought that this is the will of God and gladly accepted this obedience.”

                                                          “On 30 March 1962 at 3 p.m. I arrived at Gimpo airport in Seoul and my first obedience was the Salesian parish in Dorim Dong, Seoul. Living in the Dorim Dong parish, it was beautiful to listen every morning to the fervent prayer of the faithful. It was also my great joy to play with the children coming to the parish. After my arrival, I received my new Korean name ‘Father Wang Joseph’”.

                                                          Then Fr Joseph experienced the apostolate in Gwangju and in Seoul as an evangelizer among the poor and marginalized people. And with this heart he has already spent 57 years in Korea.

                                                          Currently, Fr Jose Maria is living in the provincial house community (Seoul) as provincial archivist, and translator of official correspondence between the KOR province and the General House in Rome. According to his Korean age, Fr Blanco in 2019 would already be 90 years old, however he has better health than many younger confreres, his diligent and healthy life style becomes a good model for the younger Salesian generations.

                                                          “Our vocation is a great grace from God. We need to humbly give thanks to the Lord who calls us to this life. Even in the busy daily life we should not miss Eucharistic adoration, because God is the centre of our life! And we should also entrust all to our Mother Mary. She is the mother of us all and intercedes for us!” he concludes

                                                          By Fr Samuel Yu, SDB

                                                          Source: AustraLasia

                                                          • Corea del Sud
                                                          • KOR
                                                          • Missioni
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Ethiopia – New vocational training opportunities for young Ethiopians

                                                            1 week 6 days ago
                                                            Ethiopia – New vocational training opportunities for young Ethiopians

                                                            (ANS - Macallè) - The inauguration ceremony of a new structure designed to allow many young people in need of studying and training as Automotive Technicians was held last Thursday, May 30th, in Macallè, Ethiopia. Carried out at the "Don Bosco Poly Technic College", the project, which operates within the Technical-Vocational Education Institute (TVET) of Macallè, was possible thanks to the collaboration between the "Opera Don Bosco" Onlus Foundation, based in Milan, and CNH Industrial, thanks to its "TechPro2" program.

                                                            The industrial giant of commercial vehicles will train and form teachers who will hold the courses and workshops within the new structure, providing them with all the tools, both theoretical and operational (thanks to the donation of an IVECO 682 vehicle). In this way, the young people who will attend the courses at the Salesian center will learn a strategic profession for that specific area of ​​Africa and Ethiopia, a crossroads of large-scale traffic of heavy vehicles transiting, in fact, from Makallè to reach different parts of Africa.

                                                            "We are thrilled that a giant like CNH Industrial and its IVECO brand have taken to heart a very important project for us: the TVET of Macallè is for us a strategic formation center, which today has always counted on several vocational training courses including motor mechanics, electrical engineering, machine tool mechanics, welding, cutting and sewing," said Fr Giuliano Giacomazzi, Salesian Provincial of Lombardo Emiliana and member of the Council of the non-profit "Opera Don Bosco" Foundation.

                                                            "In the last year," added the ILE Provincial, "we have expanded the structure with a view to implementing the training offer of the center, thanks to one of our benefactors. We can confirm that with IVECO, and with the efforts of many other people, we have given life to a great project that, I am sure, will be of great value for many young people."

                                                            "TechPro2" is a formation program launched for the first time in 2011 with CNH Industrial with the aim of encouraging the formation of new generations, giving them all the tools necessary to acquire useful skills for a brilliant professional future.

                                                            Macallè is the third site of the "TechPro2" program. At the end of the one-year course, the dozen students expected to attend this first edition will receive a special certification in "Vehicle Maintenance" and will also have the possibility of taking part in internships within the network of IVECO dealerships present in Ethiopia, where they will be able to gain valuable experience in the field and where they will have the opportunity to seek employment directly.

                                                            {gallery}AET - TechPro2 - 2019{/gallery}

                                                            • Etiopia
                                                            • AET
                                                            • Fondazione Opera Don Bosco Onlus
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Dominican Republic - Philosophy Association and Salesians praise work of Fr Jesus Hernández, SDB

                                                              1 week 6 days ago
                                                              Dominican Republic - Philosophy Association and Salesians praise work of Fr Jesus Hernández, SDB

                                                              (ANS - Santo Domingo) - For many people philosophy is a de-classed discipline. Suffice it to say that in many countries it is a forgotten science, excluded from the study centers. What is philosophy today or why is it important? In general, there is much ignorance in this regard. The reasons why this happens are many, including the decline of curiosity or the omnipresence of the blind idea that the past does not bring anything of value to the present. After all, there is no deep reflection on the part of a "light" culture, an "efficient" culture. Against this backdrop, Fr Jesus Hernández was awarded.

                                                              The Dominican Association of Philosophy (ADOFIL) and the Salesian Province of the Antilles gave recognition to Fr Jesús Hernández Martínez, SDB, for his contribution to Dominican philosophy and Salesian formation for over 60 years.

                                                              The philosophers who participated in the event highlighted the bibliographical, philosophical and pastoral contributions of Fr Hernández Martínez in favor of Dominican education, culture and society.

                                                              For their part, the Salesians praised their confrere for his commitment to the Salesian mission through the creation, development and promotion of the Salesian Antillean Library (BAS), and his support for the intellectual formation of generations of religious, priests and lay people, devoting themselves to the education and evangelization of the poorest young people.

                                                              An excursus on the life and work of the awarded Salesian was carried out by José Mármol, Executive Vice President for Public Relations and Communication of the “Banco Popular Dominicano”, who announced how all BAS books will be digitized to safeguard their cultural and philosophical heritage and assets.

                                                              "The Salesian Antillana Library has already celebrated 60 years of institutional life in the Spanish-speaking Antilles, and Fr Hernández Martinez has completed six decades of priestly life. His two immense vocations, as religious and bibliophile, are born and grow together," he added.

                                                              Dr Edickson Minaya, Director of the Philosophy School of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) and President ADOFIL, offered a profile of the work of Fr Hernández Martínez in the 60 years of service, and publicly acknowleged the worth of his work and thanked him for his philosophical contributions.

                                                              Lastly, Fr Francisco Batista, SDB, Salesian Provincial of the Antilles, spoke of the over 60 years of Fr Hernández Martínez's dedication to the BAS and to work in favor of philosophy students.

                                                              • ANT
                                                              • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                                              • Repubblica Dominicana
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Bolivia - "Historical images that speak"

                                                                1 week 6 days ago

                                                                (ANS - La Paz) - The "Basic Contract" signed in Rome, and after the fatal accident among the trains carrying mons. Luigi Lasagna and his 14 companions, which crashed at the beaches of Plata in 1894, the Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco arrived in Bolivia, in February 1895.

                                                                According to the stories of Alberto Aramayo Zalles, SDB, in the book The first Salesians in Bolivia, written in 1976: "Don Bosco never went out of Europe, but he knew Bolivia and it was familiar to him, as were all the other South American nations; he knew it through his visions and his extraordinary intuitions."

                                                                In 1883 Don Bosco had a mysterious dream: he was travelling in South America as a passenger on a fast train. In that dream, Providence showed him the camp destined for his children, the Salesians. Years later, with the arrival of the first Salesian in Bolivia, Msgr. Giacomo Costamagna, SDB, began the construction of an Arts and Crafts Formation Center for Bolivian young people, promoted by Dr. Aniceto Arce, then President of the Republic.

                                                                Today the "House of Aniceto Arce", as it is known within the municipal historical heritage, currently called "Academic and Cultural Center of the Salesian University of Bolivia", opens its doors to people who walk about the city every year, around these dates, breathing history, culture and artistic expressions.

                                                                In the XIII edition of the "Long Night of Museums" organized by the Autonomous Municipal Government of La Paz, the Salesian University dresses up as a gala event and exhibits a photo exhibition entitled "Salesian images that speak", which includes two aspects. The first is the historical aspect, which describes the glorious past of the Salesians; and the second is the academic aspect, which shows the result of a process in the university community.

                                                                The photographic exhibition had as its strategic partner the Bolivian publishing house Editorial Don Bosco, which proposed selected printed works, with publications from 1920. These works were part of the memories of many visitors, because many of them looked with nostalgia at the books with which they had learned to write and read. Some ancient books are still today masterpieces, which despite the years continue to be printed and continue to be part of the teaching of the history of Bolivia.

                                                                The evening was full of memories and emotions for thousands of visitors who had the opportunity to appreciate the Salesian opus, written through and across 123 years with the Salesian heart, and represented by 31 photographs that are "historical images that speak".

                                                                • Bolivia
                                                                • BOL
                                                                • Storia
                                                                • Arte
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Guatemala - A small Salesian hospital for the poorest

                                                                  2 weeks ago
                                                                  Guatemala - A small Salesian hospital for the poorest

                                                                  (ANS - San Benito Petén) - In San Benito, in the heart of Guatemala, there is a public hospital that cannot manage to meet the demands of the population: it is the only health facility in the entire Department of Petén, a region as large as Belgium, with a population exceeding one million inhabitants. To meet, at least in part, the needs of the most disadvantaged population, the Salesian missionary Fr Giampiero De Nardi, with the help of medical and nursing staff, offers health support to the poorest.

                                                                  Fr De Nardi brings forth his mission in the heart of Guatemala with strength, determination and great sensitivity to the social inequalities that have always characterized Guatemalan society. He is an old-style missionary: he runs the oratory, celebrates Mass in the parish and in the surrounding neighborhoods, helps those who knock on his door ... But he is also a young priest who is attentive to gender issues (he opened a Help Desk for women who are victims of domestic abuse in one of the most violent countries of Central and South America, for one...) and those of infancy (unfortunately in Guatemala the rate of child sexual abuse is very high).

                                                                  The medical dispensary attached to the Salesian parish is one of the activities to which he is most attached. Because of the scarce availability of drinking water and of hygienic precariousness, diseases are widespread: tuberculosis, typhus, malaria, worms and diarrhea, skin diseases ... But also psychological problems (depression is widespread), respiratory diseases, sometimes fatal for children and the elderly, digestive problems, AIDS, genital infections, early and risky pregnancies, exanthematous diseases …


                                                                  All these ills easily afflict women, and even more children, because they are the most vulnerable and also because there is the highest rate of chronic infantile malnutrition in Latin America: 49.3% of children under the age of five suffer from lack of food.

                                                                  The medical dispensary fails to be economically independent because the drugs are distributed free to needy families. A tube of antiviral ointment, an anti-parasite pack, folic acid tablets - essential for preventing fetal malformations - are "luxuries" that too many people cannot afford in San Benito. For this reason, Fr De Nardi has asked for help from the Don Bosco Missions of Turin: the Salesian wants to continue to guarantee medicines and treatments to anyone in need.


                                                                  For more information: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                                                  • Guatemala
                                                                  • CAM
                                                                  • Bambini
                                                                  • Salute
                                                                  • Missioni
                                                                  • Missioni Don Bosco
                                                                  • San Benito Petén
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Belgium – Hand-over in Don Bosco International

                                                                    2 weeks 3 days ago
                                                                    Belgium – Hand-over in Don Bosco International

                                                                    (ANS – Brussels) – Don Bosco International (DBI) is the office of the Salesian Congregation advocating for youth rights before the European Institutions. After serving four years in Brussels as Executive Secretary of DBI, Mr Angel Gudiña is concluding his mandate, being replaced in this function by Mr Renato Cursi, former Secretary of the Youth Ministry Department of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Rome.

                                                                    On the occasion of DBI General Assembly in 2015, the organisation’s Council of Administration was renewed, with Fr. Fabio Attard sdb, General Councillor for Salesian Youth Ministry, being elected as President of DBI and Mr Angel Gudiña being appointed as Executive Secretary. As well, the whole structure and working methodology of DBI were strengthened and reformed. A strategic plan for three years was adopted, monitored, evaluated and then renewed in 2018. The following three priorities for the advocacy work of DBI were set: poverty and social inclusion, migration and transition from education to employment. Not only did these choices allow the Salesian Congregation to better focus its advocacy work before the European Institusions, but they also contributed to raise awareness about European Union among the Salesian Provinces of the Salesian Centre-North Europe and Mediterranean regions; leading them to be actively involved in this field.

                                                                    The positive outcomes of DBI over the last four years were the result of a collective effort: the active involvement of the General Council of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the participation of the Salesian Regions and Provinces, the expertise provided by many Salesian and lay experts from different Provinces, the warm welcome service offered by the Salesian community in Brussels (Woluwé Saint Lambert), together with the ongoing contribution of the Executive Secretary, the Council of Administration and the annual General Assemblies of DBI.

                                                                    Between 2015 and 2019, DBI was able to achieve many different results: from high-level meetings and interactions (e.g. with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of the European Parliament and the European Commissioner for Employment of Social Affairs), to the integration of DBI in both civil and ecclesial European networks and platforms, the publication of policy papers by DBI (based on the reflection of experts from different Salesian Provinces on topics of interest, such as youth poverty, inclusion and participation), the institutionalization of the celebration of the Feast of Saint John Bosco in Brussels with relevant partners, a stronger and more intense interaction within the international Salesian networks and platforms, such as Don Bosco Youth Net and Don Bosco Network.

                                                                    Before joining DBI, Mr Angel Gudiña, Past Pupil of the Salesian house of Coruña (Spain) and current Secretary General of the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco, worked in the Spanish National Center of Salesian Youth Ministry in Madrid, in Confederación Don Bosco (Salesian youth centers), and he was also actively involved in civil platforms such as the National Youth Council of Spain. His future destination will be the Salesian Missionary Procure of Madrid, Spain, where he will be in charge of institutional and corporate relations, starting his new mandate on 1st June 2019.

                                                                    Mr. Renato Cursi, Salesian Cooperator from the Salesian house of Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco (Rome, Italy), served in the Salesian Youth Ministry Department in Rome over the last five years, supporting the secretariat of the Department and facilitating the international coordination of the Salesian Youth Movement. Former officer in the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, he graduated in International Relations and specialized in Human Rights, Peace Studies and Youth Ministry. He is currently a PhD candidate in Youth Studies, within a joint doctorate between the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome and the Catholic University Silva Henriquez in Santiago del Chile. After concluding his mandate in the Salesian Youth Ministry Department in Rome, he will move to the DBI office in Brussels together with his family in August 2019.

                                                                    The hand-over process, which took place in the first months of 2019 between Rome and Brussels, was reported to the annual General Assembly of DBI in January 2019 and coordinated by the President of DBI, in order to guarantee the continuity of the activities and processes agreed in the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan.

                                                                    • Don Bosco International
                                                                    • Belgio
                                                                    • Pastorale Giovanile
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Italy - "Necessary to change paradigm; search other platforms, languages". International Meeting of Salesian Bulletin

                                                                      2 weeks 3 days ago

                                                                      (ANS - Rome) - "The International Meeting of the Salesian Bulletin has ended. Our Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Editor and Director of the Salesian Bulletin, entrusted us with updating the magazine of Don Bosco, the institutional magazine of the Congregation, taking into account the Salesian Social Communication System (SSCS) and for this reason we reflected on the theme: Communicating to involve in the mission, between press and digital culture," said Fr Filiberto González, General Councilor for Social Communication at the conclusion of the work sessions.

                                                                      The days of the International Meeting of the Directors of the Salesian Bulletin began on Sunday 26 and ended on Wednesday 29 May. Fr Á.F. Artime presided over the opening Eucharist and gave a lecture inviting all present to seek ways of renewal, with creativity and professionalism. "The Salesian Bulletin is not an invention we made in the early nineteenth century; Don Bosco had carried it in his heart for a long time. Don Bosco was certain that the Salesian Bulletin was to be a means of communicating the good that was being done, first of all, as Salesians, and then as a nascent Salesian Family."

                                                                      Among the speakers there was Fr Francesco Motto, SDB, who helped place the Salesian Bulletin in the social, ecclesial, cultural and communicative context of Don Bosco's time; and the theologian Nataša Govekar, who emphasized that communication is at the service of communion and truth and that the image has a primordial value as an element of communication. Nicola Zamperini and Francesco Marino urged changing the paradigm by opening the magazine to other platforms and to current languages of information.

                                                                      Journalist José Beltrán also gave his contribution, and pointed out that the magazine Vida Nueva has entered the conversion of content in a collegial, institutional and prophetic way. Esteban Lorenzo, for his part, indicated that the technology must be at the service of people. Br José Luis Muñoz, SDB, invited everyone to work closely and in contact with the Salesian iNfo Agency (ANS). Also discussed were the good practices developed by some Salesian Bulletins in: Argentina, Ethiopia, France and Portugal.

                                                                      "We must also thank the Dicastery for Social Communications and Miguel Mendes, from Portugal, who created the logo of the meeting, in addition to the Rector Major, ‘Misiones Salesianas’ of Madrid and ‘Missioni Don Bosco’ of Turin for their support," added Fr González.

                                                                      The meeting ended with the participation in the audience on Wednesday of Pope Francis. The Holy Father was moved when he heard Fr Leonardo Sánchez, a Spanish Salesian, tell the story of Fr Antonio César Fernández, a Salesian missionary recently assassinated in Burkina Faso. He was again moved on receiving the book of Fr Vicente Santilli on Fr Luigi Bolla.

                                                                      • Italia
                                                                      • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                                      • Filiberto González
                                                                      • Bollettino Salesiano
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Italy – IV level School of Salesianity - 2019

                                                                        2 weeks 3 days ago
                                                                        Italy – IV level School of Salesianity - 2019

                                                                        (ANS - Turin) - The Course of Salesianity, level IV, promoted and organized by the Salesian Center for Ongoing Formation of America, based in Quito, Ecuador, has just ended. 26 participants belonging to various branches of the Salesian Family (consecrated and lay) and coming from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador, went on a pilgrimage for 28 days of joint formation on Salesian Sites, where Don Bosco lived.

                                                                        After studying the social, political and religious context throughout the previous three years, through a historical-critical-experiential method, a great gift of God was now revealed for all the participants to be able to see, touch, contemplate, the spaces, the memories and relics that make present the memory of Don Bosco to us all, and thus giving a true dimension and real proportions to what was previously for them only of the imagination.

                                                                        The students of the course began their journey in Annecy, to learn more about St. Francis de Sales; they then visited the places of Mother Mazzarello in Mornese and Nice; they passed through Genoa to renew their missionary convictions; visited the places of Don Bosco's childhood and the life of Mother Margherita in Capriglio in Monferrato; then they went to the house at Colle and Chieri, where the future saint held a seminar; they visited the houses of Domenico Savio and walked in the footsteps of a few of Don Bosco's autumn walks. Finally, they crossed Turin in every which way, to get to know the Salesian realities, such as the Oratory of Valdocco, Casa Pinardi, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, and the site of the many contemporary "social saints".

                                                                        Such a rich path necessarily required a good logistic and training organization. On the occasion of the celebration of the feast of Mary Help of Christians, meetings were also planned with the Rector Major of the Salesians, the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family.

                                                                        Furthermore, each day ended with a moment of evaluation, during which attempts were made to collect the experiences lived and the reflections motivated by the various visits.

                                                                        For the participants it was an experience that not only illuminated, but that touched their hearts, renewing the motivations and deep convictions that sustain the Salesian charism.

                                                                        And it was certainly also an experience of family, of fraternal communion, of strengthening the bonds of friendship rooted in the sources of the shared Salesian charism. The closing of the experience, after passing also through Assisi and visiting the places of Don Bosco in Rome, took place with the Eucharist celebrated at the Catacombs of San Callisto.

                                                                        The participants have now returned to their respective Provinces and works with hearts inflamed by Salesian fervor and with renewed and updated fidelity to the young people whom Divine Providence entrusts to them.

                                                                        By Fr Luis Timossi, SDB

                                                                        • Italia
                                                                        • Ecuador
                                                                        • Formazione
                                                                        • Scuola di Salesianità
                                                                        • ICP
                                                                        • Luoghi Salesiani
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Burkina Faso – Farewell to Fr Fernando Hernández, the assassinated Salesian missionary

                                                                          2 weeks 4 days ago
                                                                          Burkina Faso – Farewell to Fr Fernando Hernández, the assassinated Salesian missionary

                                                                          (ANS - Bobo Dioulasso) – Taking place on May 23 was the funeral of Fr Fernando Hernández, SDB, who died in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, on Friday 17 May, due to a crime the authorities are still investigating. From 7:30 am local time, to the opening of the funeral home, there was an uninterrupted flow of people who came to bear witness of their affection for the deceased missionary and their closeness to the whole community. Then, at 8:30 am, the prayer for the dead began, which started the celebration in suffrage of Fr Hernández.

                                                                          The religious ceremony, as often happens in Christian communities in Africa, lasted over three hours in all and saw the participation of thousands of people who occupied the entire pavilion specially set up in the Salesian school by soldiers and Salesian prenovices.

                                                                          On the central wall was a photograph of Fr Hernández, surrounded by Don Bosco's phrase: "I promised God that until my last breath it will be for my dear young people!"

                                                                          After the prayer for the dead, presided by Fr Américo Chaquisse, Regional Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, the Eucharist began, concelebrated by 60 priests, an impressive testimony of a local Church committed to its own people.

                                                                          The presence of the bishop emeritus of the diocese, the Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in the country, religious communities, diocesan organizations, Salesians and lay collaborators of other Salesian centers in various countries, groups and associations of the Salesian Family and other religious entities, together with representatives of the Spanish diplomatic corps, the government and the city's civil authorities supported and accompanied the Salesian community, much tried by the sudden mourning, and Marcelino Hernández, brother of Fr Fernando, who came from Spain to represent the family.

                                                                          Within the assembly a large group was made up of children from the vocational school and other young members of the Christian communities, who from their behaviour showed that they had interpreted the teachings and life lived alongside Fr Hernández as gifts that the missionary had given to them.

                                                                          The concluding words pronounced by Fr Juan Carlos Ingunza, former director of the Don Bosco Center of Bobo Dioulasso, by the Vicar General of the diocese, of the President of the religious of Burkina Faso, of the Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Mali and Burkina Faso and of the Salesian Provincial, had the figure of Fr Hernández emerge in all his brilliance.

                                                                          The recognition and appreciation of his total surrender to the mission, to the gift of life and the gratitude for Fr Hernández' wanting to be buried on African soil were the central elements of the farewell ceremony.

                                                                          Finally, the remains of Fr Hernández were accompanied in procession up to the tomb dug in the garden of the Salesian house where, with ritual prayers and a final applause, a day full of meaning and shared hope concluded.

                                                                          {gallery}AFO - Funerali don Hernandez 2019{/gallery}

                                                                          • Burkina Faso
                                                                          • AFO
                                                                          • Decessi
                                                                          • Fernando Hernández
                                                                          • Américo Chaquisse
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            Italy – Don Bosco Network General Assembly and Development Cooperation Working Group meeting

                                                                            2 weeks 4 days ago
                                                                            Italy – Don Bosco Network General Assembly and Development Cooperation Working Group meeting

                                                                            (ANS – Rome)  On 29-30 May 2019, members and partners of the Don Bosco Network (DBN), including the Councilor for Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, SDB, Economer General, Bro Jean Paul Muller, SDB, and the Coordinator of Mission Offices, Fr George Menamparampil, SDB, met at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome for the annual General Assembly and Development Cooperation Working Group meetings.

                                                                            25 representatives of Don Bosco organizations from Europe, USA, India and Africa discussed the best possible ways of support to young people education and skills training all over the world. Special attention was given to youth in developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Following the mission of Don Bosco, Don Bosco Network empowers young people to have their dreams of a better life and access to the job market fulfilled in their home countries. It is due to such programmes as Don Bosco Tech Africa, which stands for 102 technical institutions in 34 countries in Africa, that young people do not have to migrate in order to find better life. Through the education, skills training and job finding support they can realize their dreams and build a better future in their own home countries and communities. Similar programs and networks like BoscoNet in South Asia Region, Young People at Risk (YARs) networks in Inter-America and South Asia regions assure the effectiveness of Don Bosco Mission.

                                                                            Don Bosco Network provides this support through: professional capacity building programmes, effective humanitarian aid, resilience programmes, partnership building, cooperation and networking. DBN is using modern techniques and means of communication.

                                                                            Don Bosco Network cares about the future for all by engaging with partners in the innovative green energy programmes.

                                                                            The network is growing as more Salesian organizations join in effective collaboration. This year Don Bosco Network welcomed a new member: Mission Office Ireland

                                                                            • Italia
                                                                            • UPS
                                                                            • Don Bosco Network
                                                                            • Missioni
                                                                            • Economia
                                                                            • Guillermo Basañes
                                                                            • Jean Paul Muller
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Portugal - National Pilgrimage of Salesian Family and Salesian Youth Movement Day

                                                                              2 weeks 4 days ago
                                                                              Portugal - National Pilgrimage of Salesian Family and Salesian Youth Movement Day

                                                                              (ANS - Fatima) - "With Mary, sainthood is joy" was the theme of the 67th Pilgrimage of the Salesian Family of Portugal to the Shrine of Fatima, held on the weekend of 18-19 May. And also in Fatima, on Saturday 18, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), who attend the works of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), celebrated their National Day.

                                                                              Guided by the Provincial of Portugal, Fr José Aníbal Mendonça, the Provincial of the FMA, Sr. Rosa Cândida Gomes, and by the National Delegate for the Salesian Family, Fr Joaquim Taveira da Fonseca, the pilgrimage brought together about 800 people in the devotion to Mary to several SF groups.

                                                                              The highlight of the activities was reached on Sunday with the Eucharist presided over within the sanctuary by the archbishop of Evora, Msgr. Francisco Senra Coelho. The prelate, a Salesian past pupil of the Don Bosco Institute in Maputo, Mozambique, recalled in the homily the "complete and disinterested priestly testimony" of Don Bosco who was able to "love, defend, promote and give his life for children, adolescents and the poorest young people." For this reason he invited all pilgrims to be missionaries of God's love through "concrete gestures of the Gospel lived and shared."

                                                                              Msgr. Senra Coelho, already the day before, had taken part in the "Salesian activities", joining the young people of the SYM for the exhibition "Art and Faith", which took place at the Paul VI Center, within the program of the National Day of the SYM.

                                                                              Organized by the Salesian Youth Ministry and by the National Delegate, Fr Álvaro Lago, the youth meeting brought together 500 young people from the different houses of the Salesians and the FMA of Portugal, who celebrated Mary by living the youth spirituality inherited from Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.

                                                                              The young participants thus lived many moments together with the Salesian Family, such as the Greeting to the Madonna, the show "Art and Faith" and the Rosary in the Chapel of the Apparitions. During the day, they also participated in various workshops, and finally ended their activities with a prayer concert.

                                                                              Source: Boletim Informativo Hoje

                                                                              {gallery}POR - Pellegrinaggio FS a Fatima 2019{/gallery}

                                                                              • Portogallo
                                                                              • POR
                                                                              • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                              • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                                                              • Maria
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Gambia – First 7 months of Salesian mission in Kunkujang

                                                                                2 weeks 4 days ago
                                                                                Gambia – First 7 months of Salesian mission in Kunkujang

                                                                                (ANS - Kunkujang) - “Teenagers and young people are still waiting for us, and among them the poorest, abandoned and unsafe ... Malaysia and Gambia will be spaces for our presence shortly. From many other countries where we are already present, we are called to go to other areas that are authentically missionary.” Thus wrote wrote the Rector Major, back in December 2017, in his missionary appeal for the following year. Today the Salesian mission in Kunkujang, Gambia, is a reality, which a few days ago celebrated its first seven months of service to young people and people in need.

                                                                                From the outset, the new Gambian mission has represented a particular Salesian mission project, so much so that it was jointly initiated by the Salesians of the two Provinces of West Africa, that is Francophone (AFO) and Anglophone (AFW).

                                                                                Located in one of the poorest areas of Gambia, within the country's only diocese, based in the capital Banjul, the Salesian mission has as its greatest wealth the only true Salesian treasure: the many young people who are just waiting for a chance to get to know Don Bosco.

                                                                                It was officially inaugurated on 27 October 2018 in the presence of the two Provincials of AFW and AFO, respectively Fr Michael Karikunnel and Fr José Elégbédé, and several members of the AFO Provincial Council.

                                                                                In the successive weeks, two other important members of the General Council of the Salesian Congregation visited the new mission to encourage it and to provide the information and advice suitable for a new Community, namely: Fr Guillermo Basañes, General Councilor for the Missions, and former Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, and Fr Américo Raúl Chaquisse, current Councilor for Africa-Madagascar.

                                                                                “As we celebrate seven months of our presence in Gambia, we want to use this opportunity to thank God for this new mission; our dear Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, for his support for the new mission; and our able Provincials and their Councilors for their various supports,” says from Kunkujang, Fr Peace Ike, a Nigerian Salesian, one of the pioneer missionaries in Gambia.

                                                                                “We pray God to continue to guide and protect us as we carry out our duties as expected of us. We are looking forward for more visits, even from the Rector Major,” he concludes.

                                                                                {gallery}Gambia - 7 mesi missione - maggio 2019{/gallery}

                                                                                • Gambia
                                                                                • AFO
                                                                                • AFW
                                                                                • Missioni
                                                                                • Américo Chaquisse
                                                                                • Guillermo Basañes
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana