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Italy - Team Visit for Vice Province-Salesian Pontifical University "Maria Sede della Sapienza"

1 week 2 days ago

(ANS - Rome) - On 8-10 June, the Team Visit, the last in the calendar of the Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the Rector Major, and his Council, took place at the "Maria Sede della Sapienza" Vice Province. An important visit, which involved 40 Salesians working in the cultural and pastoral mission of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS).

The presence of the Rector Major and members of the General Council highlighted the esteem and consideration of the whole Congregation for this formative service, in favor of many confreres, priests, religious and youth from all backgrounds.

The visit was marked by meetings as an assembly and for group work. There were two poles of reflection: "the identity of Salesian consecrated life in the Vice Province and in the University", to verify the journey of assimilation of the General Chapter 27; and "the specific mission of the UPS within and at the service of the Salesian mission", to improve and better clarify educational and formative skills professionally.

After the presentation of these themes, there were reflections in what was a climate of listening, participation and authentic responsibility. A much-felt involvement shared by all with the desire to walk in truth. This was precisely the invitation of the Rector Major: to always walk in truth and for truth. An invitation addressed to all those present, but also to all the Salesians of the Vice Province who in some moments gathered around the Successor of Don Bosco: in the "good night" of Friday evening and in the two Eucharistic celebrations animated and experienced with special care and depth.

It was significant that the older Salesians of the infirmary also attended these celebrations, accompanied by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. For them, a sign of unity and fidelity, the Rector Major had words of paternity, esteem and appreciation.

The Vice Province - UPS community expressed its gratitude for the animation and the government of the Rector Major, for his attentive presence, support and paternity in accompanying it in its carrying out its university mission in favor of the Congregation, of the Church and of society.

The Team Visit is an encounter that confirms the unity of the Congregation, which reinvigorates its steps forward and gives the typically Salesian optimism and enthusiasm "to continue the journey together, in team work that looks to the future with foresight and joy," said Fr. Á.F. Artime summing up.

{gallery}UPS - Visita d Insieme 2018{/gallery}

  • Italia
  • UPS
  • Visita d'Insieme
  • Rettor Maggiore
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – Fr Joseph NG Chi Yuen nominated 15th Superior of CIN Province

    1 week 2 days ago
    RMG – Fr Joseph NG Chi Yuen nominated 15th Superior of CIN Province

    (ANS - Rome) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernánez Artime, with the consensus of his Council, appointed Fr Joseph NG Chi Yuen as Provincial of the "Mary Help of Christians" Province of China, based in Hong Kong, for the six-year term: 2018 -2024.

    Fr Joseph NG was born in Hong Kong on September 12, 1955. In his native Hong Kong, he did his novitiate between 1980 and 1981, made his perpetual vows on July 12, 1987, and received priestly ordination on 31 January, 1989.

    After his ordination he served the communities of Taiwan for several years, working in all three of the island's Salesian houses: Tainan (1991-96), Chao Chou (1996-2004), where he was also Director and Master of Novices; finally, he served in Taipei (2004-2005), as Director. Meanwhile, between 1992 and 1995, he also studied Sociology at the "Loyola Marymount University" in Los Angeles, USA.

    After the Taipei experience, he returned to Hong Kong to continue his ministry as Director of the Salesian Missions House (2005-2015) and then of the Provincial House, from 2015 to the present.

    For the Province, he held the role of Director from 2012 to 2016, and assumed the role of Economer in 2016.


    The future CIN Provincial speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English and has a long experience in formation and work in parishes, schools and the social sphere. The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for June 23, in Hong Kong.

    • RMG
    • Nomine
    • Ispettori
    • CIN
    • Cina
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG – Appointed new Provincial of the Salesian Central Italy Circumscription: Fr Stefano Aspettati

      1 week 4 days ago
      RMG – Appointed new Provincial of the Salesian Central Italy Circumscription: Fr Stefano Aspettati

      (ANS – Rome) – Changes in the government and in the leadership of the Salesian Central Italy Circumscription: Fr Stefano Aspettati, currently Director in Rome - “Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco” on Via Prenestina, has been nominated Provincial for the six-year term, 2018-2024.

      He was nominated by Fr Angel Fernandez Artime, the Rector Major of the Salesians, Don Bosco's successor, with the consensus of his Council, and succeeds Fr Leonardo Mancini, who is about to complete his mandate.

      The nomination by the Rector Major comes at the end of a process of discernment, after consultations involving the Salesians of the Circumscription.

      The nomination itself comes on a meaningful day for the Central Italy Circumscription: on Friday, 8 June, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated in the Church, and the Sacred Heart is the patron of the Central Italy Circumscription.

      A patron and a model, who will not fail to accompany and support the governmental actions of Fr Stefano, just as the service rendered by Fr Leonardo throughout his entire term was certainly accompanied and guided.

      While best wishes and prayers are being expressed to and for the new Provincial for what is undoubtedly a demanding and exhausting service, there is certainly no lack of heartfelt thanks to his predecessor, now at the end of his term.

      Thus the words of Fr Stefano Martoglio, Councilor General for the Mediterranean Region, who on behalf of the Rector Major gave the official communication: "Father Aspettati has accepted in a spirit of obedience this task he will assume at the end of Father Leonardo Mancini's mandate, whom I thank very much for his pastoral service, in the next month of August."

      Fr Stefano, a native of Florence, as a young man participated in the life of the Parish and the Salesian Oratory of the Sacra Famiglia, the Holy Family. Even his younger brother, Fr Marco, is a Salesian.

      Fr Stefano is 44 years old and has been a Salesian since 1998 and a Priest since 2006.
      He carried out his apostolate and ministry mainly in Arezzo, Livorno, Rome-Borgo Don Bosco, its current Director for the past 7 years. He has been part of the provincial council for four years now.

      He begins his service as Provincial on the evening of August 28th during the Eucharist which will be celebrated in Rome, in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, whereby the yearly annual Assembly which unites Salesians and lay people of the Circumscription also begins.

      • Ispettori
      • RMG
      • ICC
      • Nomine
        Jesus Jurado

        RMG – Erection of the new Vice-province of Saint Louis Versiglia of Indonesia

        1 week 5 days ago
        RMG – Erection of the new Vice-province of Saint Louis Versiglia of Indonesia

        (ANS – Rome) – On June 8, 2018 was approved the erection of the new Vice-province of Saint Louis Versiglia of Indonesia (INA). The long awaited recognition brings the number of the East Asia – Oceania Region Circumscriptions to twelve: eight Provinces and four Vice-provinces. After the establishment of INA, the Timor Leste Vice-province (TLS) since 1998, Myanmar (MYM) since 2004 and Papua New Guinea – Solomon Islands (PGS) since 2015. With INA, the total number of the SDB Circumscriptions (Provinces and Viceprovinces, Special Circumscriptions) is 88.

        Last June 2017 the Rector Major and his Council approved the timeline for the erection of the INA Vice-province: Report of the Delegate INA about the State of the Delegation, Canonical visit of the ITM provincial superior, opinion and vote by both Councils (ITM Viceprovince and INA Delegation), Consultation promoted by the Rector Major to all confreres of ITM Vice-province (April – May 2018) and finally the approval for the erection of the new Vice-province by the Rector Major and his council (C156) today.

        Salesian presence in Indonesia started in 1985 (under then united Philippines province, FIL) and the Delegation of Indonesia was canonically established in 2010. Over the years the service of the Delegate-Superior was entrusted to Fr. Yohanes Boedi Soerjonoto (2011-2013), Fr. Andre Delimarta (2014-2015) and finally to Fr. Lino Belo (2015-2018).

        The need for the growth from the Delegation towards the Vice-province was already discussed and grew mature at various occasions. Already the first Delegation Assembly of Indonesia in 2012 produced a Road Map (2012-2018) with a clear goal to prepare the necessary animation environment and structures during past 6 years. Indeed, that dream was accomplished just today!

        According the Report of the 2018 Extraordinary visitation (February – March 2018) there are 7 Salesian communities (5 canonical and two non canonical) with 61 SDB (30 Priests, 10 Salesian Brothers and 20 Salesians – candidates to the priesthood) with 12 novices and 8 prenovices this year. Another 6 Salesians of Indonesia are missionaries ad gentes in Europe, Latin America and East Asia. At present only five of the confreres working in Indonesia are coming from other countries – two from Timor Leste and three from the Philippines. Fr Andrew Wong was recently assigned to the INA by the Rector Major upon his missionary request ad gentes.

        Recent Consultation’ to the ITM confreres for the establishment of the new Vice-province INA brought rich reflection for the leadership of Indonesia. Not only about the strong and weak point of the Salesian charism in Indonesia, but also about many items that might be included in the mutual agreement between Indonesia and Timor Leste Viceprovinces in the future.

        There are still few more steps until the full swing of the new Indonesia Vice province (INA) – next June 20-21 will be held the consultation for the first Superior of the new Vice-province and after the appointment of the first Superior in the summer session of the General Council will follow the installation of the first Superior of the new Vice-province, scheduled for August 1, 2018 in Jakarta – Sunter.

        After the establishment of the Indonesia (INA) Viceprovince, the Timor Leste Viceprovince will figure under the sigla of TLS (Timor Leste). Former sigla of ITM (Indonesia - Timor Leste) would no used anymore.

        Source: AustraLasia

        • RMG
        • Indonesia
        • Timor Est
        • ITM
        • INA
        • Asia EstOceania
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Italy - 150th anniversary celebration of consecration of Basilica of Mary Help of Christians

          1 week 5 days ago
          Italy - 150th anniversary celebration of consecration of Basilica of Mary Help of Christians

          (ANS - Turin) - After a long journey of preparation, the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin reach their climax tomorrow, June 9th 2018. On the exact day of the anniversary, Msgr. Renato Boccardo, archbishop of Spoleto, will preside over a solemn Eucharistic Concelebration, inside the Basilica.

          The presence of the archbishop of Spoleto is not accidental and Fr Guido Errico, director of the community of Mary Help of Christians of Valdocco, explains why: "St. John Bosco in two 'good nights' to the young men of the Oratory (in 1862 and 1865) declares his enthusiasm and his joy for some coeval prodigious events in Spoleto, linked to a Marian effigy. He felt a special harmony with the title with which the then archbishop of the Umbrian city, Monsignor Arnaldi, had baptized the Marian image (Auxilium Christianorum) and declared to one of the first Salesians, Giovanni Cagliero: 'So far we have celebrated with solemnity and pomp the feast of the Immaculate, and on this day the first works of the Festive Oratories have begun. But Our Lady wants us to honor her under the title of Mary Help of Christians: the times are so sad that we need that the Blessed Virgin help us to preserve the Christian faith."

          "It seemed moreover opportune to the Salesian community," continues Fr Errico, "to invite the successor of that pastor of the Spoleto church, who suggested to the saint of young people the title of the Basilica he built, in obedience to the Virgin Mary, after the well-known dream of 1845."

          The solemn Mass shall be celebrated at 10.00 (UTC + 2) and broadcast worldwide via satellite by TELEPACE HD (channel 515 Sky), in collaboration with "Missioni Don Bosco". The live streaming will be accessible on the website: www.missionidonbosco.org and sdb.org.

          Concelebrating the Eucharist together with Msgr. Boccardo and many other priests will also be Fr Stefano Martoglio, Councilor for the Mediterranean region, representing Fr Ángel Fernandez Artime, X Successor of Don Bosco.

          Furthermore, for the anniversary, a candelabra will be donated to the basilica to be placed in the presbytery, a work by the sculptor Ettore Marinelli. The work was commissioned to the Pontificia Fonderia di Campane Marinelli by several entrepreneurs, as a sign of gratitude to the Lord and to the Virgin.

          • Italia
          • Maria Ausiliatrice
          • Anniversari
          • ICP
          • Chiesa
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Vatican - Fr Dennis Panipitchai, SDB, appointed auxiliary bishop of Miao, India

            1 week 5 days ago
            Vatican - Fr Dennis Panipitchai, SDB, appointed auxiliary bishop of Miao, India

            (ANS - Vatican City) - On the day of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today, 8 June, the Salesian Fr Dennis Panipitchai, belonging to the India-Dimapur Province, was appointed auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Miao, in India. At the same time, the Episcopal See of Aggersel was also assigned to the Salesian.

            Dennis Panipitchai was born on July 27, 1958, in Colachel, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. After attending the novitiate in Shillong, between 1979 and 1980, he made his perpetual vows on May 24, 1986, in Dimapur, and ordained priest in his hometown on December 27, 1991.

            He was economer of the Salesian mission of Tinsukia Hijuguri (1995-98); Director and Parish Priest at Borduria between 2003 and 2009; Director and Rector in the Salesian center of Kohima (2009-2015); until only a few days ago, he was parish priest and  Delegate for the Salesian Cooperators at the Salesian house "Chingmeirong" in Imphal.

            In early May, he was designated Director and Master of Salesian Novices of Sechii Zubza for a period of three years.

            At the Provincial level, he was Delegate for the Salesian Family (2012-16) and Provincial Councilor.

            In his episcopal service, Fr Panipitchai will go to help another Son of Don Bosco, mgr. George Palliparambil, appointed in 2005 as the first bishop of the diocese of Miao.

            • Vaticano
            • India
            • Nomine
            • Vescovi
            • Dennis Panipitchai
            • George Palliparambil
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Nicaragua - Chain of prayer before Jesus in Blessed Sacrament to invoke peace

              1 week 5 days ago
              Nicaragua - Chain of prayer before Jesus in Blessed Sacrament to invoke peace

              (ANS - Granada) - On the night of June 5, the city of Granada was in chaos. The shops were looted and several companies were set fire to and burned. The following morning Granada woke up desolate. Food and basic necessities have started to become scarce; shopkeepers, to avoid being looted, have taken away their wares and with people worried about food supplies, supermarkets are being emptied.

              In the area of the Don Bosco Institute, the situation is under control. The streets are still closed by the barricades. The chapel is only opened for Mass and then closed again.

              In Masaya the local population continues to fight. The Salesians are close to the area of the clashes and the Don Bosco Institute has had to close its doors. The same situation exists in Managua, where the Don Bosco Youth Center is located.

              The police are joined by paramilitary groups and the “Sandinista Youth” who fight against protesting people. The request of the people of Nicaragua is clear: the renunciation of Daniel Ortega to holding power.

              "In Nicaragua and, especially in Granada, we all know each other. In the attacks, no one is identified, but we clearly know who they are. There is a lot of attention to the protests, because the opposing faction is infiltrating the groups of ordinary citizens. We are all very careful," says a citizen who wished to remain anonymous.

              On the night of 6 June, an attempt was made to loot a supermarket. The local citizens came together to defend it and two people were injured. As a security measure, three barricades were erected near the site of the incident.

              There have been attempts to burn down the municipal market. But the inhabitants of the area have prevented it. The streets of Granada remain closed. People can only move on foot.

              "We make public our repudiation of the events that have occurred and condemn all acts of violence, vandalism and repression against the life and integrity of people and speak out in support of their right to express themselves peacefully in defense of justice and solidarity," said Fr Ángel Prado, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Central America, which also includes Nicaragua.

              The episcopal conference is scheduled to meet the President. The bishops have invited all to join in prayer for peace before the Blessed Sacrament.

              Over 50 days without peace in Nicaragua have gone by and more than 90 people have died. "We live with profound sorrow and great sadness what people are going through because of the violent repression that the government has unleashed against the thousands of demonstrators," added Fr Prado.

              • Nicaragua
              • CAM
              • Violenze
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Guatemala - Church mobilizes to help victims of Fuego volcano

                1 week 5 days ago
                Guatemala - Church mobilizes to help victims of Fuego volcano

                (ANS - Escuintla) - After the tragic eruption of the Fuego volcano on 3 June, the entire Guatemalan population has mobilized to help the survivors, recover the bodies of the victims and support the relief effort.

                by Wendy Susana Acevedo

                Before a tragedy that according to the latest official data has caused 99 victims and forced 3,319 people into the reception centers, the widespread participation of citizens, of different groups of the population and of neighboring countries has been surprising. That said, it is difficult to determine the exact number of reception centers and shelters activated so far, since there are many institutions, companies and associations that have opened their doors to collect aid and bring them to people housed in the shelters.

                The actions of the Catholic Church in dealing with this catastrophe have been of various kinds. Mgr. Víctor Hugo Palma, for example, was at the scene of the tragedy at Monday sunrise to bless and accompany all the rescuers, to give the last sacraments to the victims ... The Episcopal Conference also issued a statement of solidarity and call to action. The material support that is provided to all the affected areas is varied, with humanitarian aid centralized by the Caritas of Guatemala which, in coordination with the Caritas of Escuintla, is distributing all the goods being received. In addition, several accounts have been opened for supporters wishing to make donations.

                Various religious bodies, such as the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, have been preparing food for rescuers and taking food to the areas struck by this tragedy. Likewise, the members of "Eventos Católicos" yesterday, June 7, headed to Alotenango, one of the villages most affected by the eruption, and to nearby areas, to provide medical assistance.

                In the diocese of Escuintla, collections during all the Masses of Sunday, 10 June, shall be destined to the rescue efforts.

                Most churches have started collection centers and some parish halls have become shelters. In the case of Salesian houses, the parish "San Juan Bosco", through the group "Duc in Altum", has started a fundraising campaign. The Youth Ministry students collect medicines and various items and manage the collection center opened in the youth center. In the Mesoamerican University, a Salesian structure, the University ministry has taken responsibility for the collection, organization and despatch of all the contributions received.

                • CAM
                • Guatemala
                • Disastri
                • Solidarietà
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Cambodia – Tragic Gas Explosion in Mechanics Workshop of Don Bosco Sihanoukville

                  1 week 6 days ago
                  Cambodia – Tragic Gas Explosion in Mechanics Workshop of Don Bosco Sihanoukville

                  (ANS – Sihanoukville) – A powerful explosion happened today at the Mechanics Department of Don Bosco Technical School in Sihanoukville at about 13:10 local time and took the life of Teacher Sarat Seng, Manager of the Mechanics Workshop. Three other persons, 2 students and a teacher, were brought to the hospital according to the latest updates. One student lost his right hand. It seems have been a gas explosion, probably from the machines of the Mechanics Department. At the moment, the Sihanoukville Police Department is at the school campus conducting investigations of the incident. The Salesian Community has closed the school for the time being and asks for prayers and solidarity, especially for the family of Mr. Sarit Seng, his widow and two little children.

                  The very powerful explosion took place behind the Mechanics Department and affected most of the campus, breaking windows, roof tiles, and affecting the hearing of the people nearby, some dazed from the loud explosion. The school solar panels were not affected, as they are located on another building. In the beginning, people first thought it was lighting, common in Sihanoukville. 

                  The Manager of Electricity in Sihanoukville said to Teacher Seyha of Don Bosco Kep that it seems that Mr. Sarat Seng was operating a gas device they used for welding. When the explosion took place, fortunately for others, the students were standing at a distance. Mr. Hans Kluecle, SES expert in construction – an expert in explosions – saw the photos and believed it seemed to be a bottle, like an extinguisher. 

                  Three other people were directly wounded: another teacher and two students. They are at currently being treated at the hospital, in good recovery, but unfortunately one of the students has suffered the loss of a hand. 

                  All students were summoned to the school hall and dismissed until new further notice. 

                  Members of the Sihanoukville Police Department came to the school about one hour after the accident and they are now inquiring.

                  The worry now is to support the family of Mr. Sarath, as well as the wounded persons.

                  For further information, please visit the Facebook page or website of “Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia”.

                  • Cambogia
                  • Disastri
                  • THA
                  • Docenti
                  • Decessi
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    RMG - Explanation of logo of General Chapter 28

                    1 week 6 days ago
                    RMG - Explanation of logo of General Chapter 28

                    (ANS - Rome) - After the presentation of the convocation letter of the General Chapter 28, issued by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, the Province of Ecuador contributes with the logo of the General Chapter 28 (GC28).

                    "We need to commit ourselves to giving absolute priority to the Salesian mission with the young people of today in order to be as he was, 'signs and bearers of the love of God for young people especially those who are poor.' This priority or special concern for the most needy teenagers and youth in today’s world, that in a certain sense is different from the world of previous decades,  objectively conditions our mission," wrote the Rector Major in the letter of convocation of the GC28.

                    With these orientations well in mind, a logo was designed to represent a full range of Salesian centers and works across the globe, which - if read from left to right - ends with a representative image of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians of Turin, a city the General Chapter returns to after 62 years.

                    The logo suggests in a dynamic manner that every spiritual Son of Don Bosco must have creativity, service, and a passion for working with young people and devoting oneself entirely to the young.

                    In the middle of the logo are features that refer to the three elements of the next GC28: the priority of the Salesian mission among the young people of today, the profile of the Salesian figure for today's young people and the work done and to be done together with the laity in missions and in formation.

                    The logo also presents several figures: the young, the laity and the Salesians, taken by the hand of Jesus, who accompanies the Salesian mission, clearly showing how the most important aspect of the work is the "Da mihi animas".

                    The color was chosen specifically to highlight the dynamism of the mission, and the blue hue is also a reference to Mary Help of Christians who leads to heaven.

                    From the Province of Ecuador, Marcelo Mejía stated that the logo was created by Marco Ospina, of the "Editorial Don Bosco" of Ecuador. "We feel committed to the journey of the Congregation and we offer the logo to recall the question presented by the 10th Successor of Don Bosco: what kind of Salesians for the youth of today?"

                    • RMG
                    • CG28
                    • Comunicazione Sociale
                    • Ecuador
                    • ECU
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Guatemala - Death and destruction after volcano eruption: Salesian Family alongside victims

                      1 week 6 days ago
                      Guatemala - Death and destruction after volcano eruption: Salesian Family alongside victims

                      (ANS - Escuintla) - At 3:00 pm local time on Sunday 3 June, the Fuego volcano began to erupt, launching columns of ash rising above six thousand meters. The catastrophe has devastated the south of the country, several villages have disappeared under tons of lava and ashes, and dozens of people have died. So far, the eruption of the volcano has caused 99 victims, almost 200 missing and about 3,000 people wounded and displaced, in one of the greatest tragedies of recent years in Guatemala, a country that has 38 volcanoes.

                      Once the roars of the volcano had calmed down, after the lava ceased sliding over the area and the gases started to dissolve, people started to go out in search of their relatives. On the way they found what looked like a horror movie. Now, their experiences.

                      "Olga González, 46, lies on the floor of the Escuintla shelter, and remembers her escape. 'Under there is my father and my niece. The girl had gone to her grandfather and did not come back. If we had waited for her, we would all be dead, so we started running," she says, pointing to her burned feet. 'She had no time for anything, the lava river was coming over us and we had to run. We could only run and cry without looking back,' recalls, next to her, Domingo López, 79, with feet full of sores and wounds, who had locked himself up in his house and stayed there until the water vapor made it unbearable and someone recovered and pulled him out through a window. God has in glory all those who are left behind," wrote J. García of Escuintla.

                      "The Holy Father, deeply saddened to learn of the sad news of the violent eruption of the Fuego volcano, which caused numerous victims and enormous material damage that have hit a significant number of inhabitants of the area, offers suffrages for the eternal rest of the dead and the prayers for all those who suffer the consequences of that natural catastrophe," wrote the Holy See in a telegram.

                      A few days ago, the Salesian parish "Espiritu Santo" began a campaign for aid, while the Mesoamerican University has become a collection center, where non-perishable food and especially water are received and collected for distribution.

                      Also adhering to this worldwide request for help and solidarity is the "Damas Salesianas". "There are many people who are helping in the search and rescue work and the conditions in which they are working are very dangerous ... We want to appeal to your good heart and love for God to help these people," they wrote on their Facebook page.

                      To collaborate: Misiones Salesianas - https://misionessalesianas.org/ 

                      {gallery}Guatemala - Post eruzione vulcano{/gallery}

                      • Guatemala
                      • Disastri
                      • CAM
                      • Damas Salesianas
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Spain - "Child slaves. The back door ": a documentary in favor of Africa's children

                        1 week 6 days ago

                        (ANS - Madrid) - "Niños esclavos. La puerta de atrás" (Child slaves, the back door) is a documentary project by the photojournalist Ana Palacios, with the collaboration of "Misiones Salesianas", the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid. There are 152 million child slaves in the world, 72 million of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. 50% of these 152 million children are between five and eleven years old. Thanks to the work of the photojournalist Ana Palacios, for the first time the slavery, release, rehabilitation and return of the child victims of human trafficking in West Africa to their families are documented through a book, a documentary and a photographic exhibition that will be presented in this month of June.

                        Human trafficking is considered modern slavery. The term "trafficking" is used in contexts such as trafficking in human beings, forced labor, exploitation of minors, recruitment of child soldiers, child marriages, begging, organ trafficking, sexual exploitation ... The common denominator of all these crimes is that the forms of exploitation are varied and different.

                        Thousands of children are trafficked every year on the west coast of Africa, usually sold by their families in exchange for about thirty euros and the vague promise of a better life for the child, which instead results in a situation of slavery, physical and psychological abuse, work in solitude far away from the family and places of origin. Moreover, if a girl, it is very likely that the exploitation is multiplied with the minor living as a domestic slave, forced to help in the commercial activities of the family and, moreover, is subject to sexual abuse.

                        "Niños esclavos. La puerta de atrás" #TheBackdoorProject shows the work of three Spanish NGOs and religious institutions, including Misiones Salesianas, which with their reception centers in that region ensure the full transitional protection of these children and carry out research to find their families or to offer alternatives for the social reintegration of minors, while facilitating their education and formation.

                        With this new project, Ana Palacios tells the life stories of over 50 child slaves who managed to find, open and go beyond that "back door" to recover their interrupted childhood.

                        The project is the result of three years of work, four study trips and five months spent in the field in those realities and with the young protagonists in Togo, Benin and Gabon, thanks to the support of "Misiones Salesianas", the Carmelite Sisters of Charity of Vedruna, the Messengers of Peace and with the support of Unicef.

                        • Spagna
                        • Africa
                        • AFO
                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                        • Missioni
                        • Bambini di Strada
                        • Bambini Soldato
                        • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                        • Opzione Preferenziale
                        • Tratta
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          RMG - Appointed new Provincial of North East Italy: Fr Igino Biffi

                          1 week 6 days ago
                          RMG - Appointed new Provincial of North East Italy: Fr Igino Biffi

                          (ANS - Rome) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consensus of the General Council, appointed Fr Igino Biffi as Provincial of the "San Marco" Province of North-Eastern Italy (INE) for the six-year period 2018-2024.

                          Fr Igino Biffi was born in Latisana on 6 March 1970, and did his novitiate in Pinerolo between 1990 and 1991. He made his perpetual vows as Salesian of Don Bosco on 14 September 1997 in Caorle, and was ordained priest in Udine on 26 June 1999.

                          He accompanied the activities of the Communità Proposta of Mogliano Veneto in two different periods (1993-95 and 1999-2003) and was a student at the Salesian center of Cremisan, in Israel, from 1995 to 1999. He also served as Vicar of the Provincial House (2013-14) and currently holds the position of Director and Dean of the Salesian center in Udine.

                          At the Provincial level, he was Delegate for Vocational Animation (1999-2003) and Youth Ministry (2002-03) of the then Venetian Province of the East (IVE), before becoming Delegate for Youth Ministry (2006-14) of the new INE Province, a position he held alongside the accompaniment of various Salesian groups and realities: "Youth and Social Tourism" (TGS), from 2003 to 2006; "Friends of Domenico Savio", from 2006 to 2008; and International Voluntary Service for Development (VIS), from 2008 to 2010.

                          • RMG
                          • INE
                          • Nomine
                          • Ispettori
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Nicaragua - Clashes continue: young man from Salesian oratory dies

                            2 weeks ago
                            Nicaragua - Clashes continue: young man from Salesian oratory dies

                            (ANS - Granada) – Yesterday morning, June 5, at circa 5:30, clashes broke out between gangs and groups defending the city. The gangs are supported by the police. From that time on, a field battle began in the sector of the Xalteva, only a few hundred meters from the Salesian Don Bosco Institute in Granada.

                            At 7:45 am, prisoners of the Granada prison system were taken to the site and a barricade built and raised just one block away from the school. This obviously alarmed the parents of the students, who called their children home. All around mortar fire, gunshots and tear gas being exploded could be heard.

                            The young oratorian, José Maltez, 22, had left his home to observe the goings-on. "The boy died of a specific blow to the chest, according to a modus operandi used by the national police to 'render justice'  to the demonstrators," said a spokesperson for the "self-appointed" of Granada to the EFE agency.

                            Around noon, the field battle moved to the city's historical center. The gangs fought against people who tried to defend their shops and kiosks in the city's commercial center.

                            On the same day, presumed paramilitary forces and agents of the national police burned the Granada City Hall and attacked the inhabitants of the department. Local sources report that ammunition and gas canisters were stored inside.

                            Currently the clashes are taking place in the "Arroyo Carita" sector,"Sor Maria Romero" Street and at the municipal market. Even the historical center of the city is in full conflict. New and more violent attacks are expected in the night.

                            These acts of violence occur in the midst of a socio-political crisis in Nicaragua, 50 days on June 5, and have left at least 127 dead and over a thousand wounded, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH).

                            • Nicaragua
                            • CAM
                            • Decessi
                            • Violenze
                            • Ragazzi
                            • Oratorio
                            • Giovani
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Guatemala - Eruption of Fuego volcano causes deaths and injuries: a Salesian parish helps displaced people

                              2 weeks 1 day ago
                              Guatemala - Eruption of Fuego volcano causes deaths and injuries: a Salesian parish helps displaced people

                              (ANS - Escuintla) - On Sunday 3 June, around 3 pm local time, the Fuego volcano erupted with ash columns to 6 thousand meters high. So far 69 victims have been counted, in a catastrophe that affects the whole southern part of the country. Three whole villages have disappeared under tons of ash.

                              by Pablo Santiago

                              The ashes fell on at least five departments of Guatemala: Escuintla, Chimaltenango, Quiché, Sacatepéquez and Guatemala. The alarm system was immediately activated and the rescue corps intervened to evacuate the population affected by the natural disaster and to save the injured. However, the lava of the volcano joined a stream of mud generated by heavy rains falling in those areas, with the result of increasing the speed of the lava's movement, preventing local people from escaping.

                              The Guatemalan army, firefighter volunteers, members of the National Congregation for Disaster Reduction (Conred) and relief groups worked late into the night between Sunday and Monday, but due to the high temperatures and poor visibility they had to suspend operations to resume it in the early hours of the following day.

                              Sixty-nine victims have been counted so far, including entire families. The village of San Miguel los Lotes, on the slopes of the volcano, was completely covered by volcanic materials. Rescuers have found a number of bodies, but there are fears that there are others hidden in the rubble.

                              The latest available data show 1.7 million people involved, 3,265 people evicted, 1,687 accepted in the shelters and dozens injured. Bishop Víctor Hugo Palma, bishop of Escuintla, made himself present among the people to give spiritual support and help.

                              In Guatemala City, the capital, a rain of ashes fell at the time of the eruption and the authorities have advised not to go out in the streets and to be very careful if driving.

                              The Salesian parish "Espíritu Santo" is sending out information on how to help and the locations of the aid collection centers, one being the Salesian "Mesoamerican University." Clothes, non-perishable foods and water are collected to be delivered to the Caritas of Guatemala, responsible for distributing to the needy.

                              The Salesians in Guatemala animate seven centers and all have been put at the service of the population affected by the eruption.

                              • Guatemala
                              • CAM
                              • Disastri
                              • Solidarietà
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                South Sudan - A project that will remain in history: 100 primary schools for the country

                                2 weeks 1 day ago
                                South Sudan - A project that will remain in history: 100 primary schools for the country

                                (ANS - Juba) - 74 elementary schools built, almost 15,000 children included in the educational cycle, countless families and communities benefiting: these are some of the numbers of the project launched in 2012 by the Salesian Missionary Office "Don Bosco Nanum", based in Seoul, South Korea, for the construction of 100 schools in the rural areas of the youngest country on the African continent: South Sudan.

                                In the monthly newsletter of May sent to Don Bosco's benefactors, donors and friends, the Director of "Don Bosco Nanum" announced the closure of the project, due to the circumstances in which, unfortunately, today this country finds itself in, with millions of civilians fleeing from clashes and forced to take refuge in neighboring countries, such as Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia.

                                Despite the closure of the project to three quarters of the result initially planned, it does not diminish the enormous importance of what has been done, which has succeeded in providing thousands of disadvantaged children with the most important resource for the future of the country: education.

                                The project was inspired by the visionary idea of two experienced Italian Salesian missionaries, Fr Vincenzo Donati and Salesian Brother Giacomo (Jim) Comino, who after many years of mission in South Korea, were assigned to the East Africa Province (to which the Salesian centers in South Sudan belong respectively) in 1981 and 1992, respectively. Initially many doubted the feasibility of such a large educational project, but their courageous and engaging invitation to generosity was welcomed with enthusiasm by many people of good will, including the then Provincial of East Africa, Fr Gianni Rolandi, and Fr Pascual Chávez, then Rector Major, who gave his assent to the initiative at the end of the Team Visit to the Africa-Madagascar region of 2012.

                                The 74 new schools erected, each with four classrooms, are the result of the gestures of generosity and solidarity of many people: from the well-known and more affluent - like the Olympic and World ice skating champion Kim Yu-na who, after his conversion to Christianity, alone donated the sum necessary for the construction of a school, as well as those who silently donated a part of their savings. In detail, the lion's share are the Korean benefactors, who supported 51 schools, followed by Italian donors, with 18, and the United States (2), Austria (2) and Germany (1).

                                Six years after its launch, the "One Hundred Village Schools" project remains a great example and an inspiration for the whole Salesian world to aim high whenever it has to do with the education of children or poor young people.

                                {gallery}Sud Sudan - 100 scuole{/gallery}

                                • Sudan del Sud
                                • AFE
                                • Missioni
                                • Scuole
                                • Educazione
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  RMG – Salesians Institutions Get Ready for World Environment Day

                                  2 weeks 2 days ago
                                  RMG – Salesians Institutions Get Ready for World Environment Day

                                  (ANS – Rome) – With ‘World Environment Day’ being held on 5 June, Salesian institutions in different parts of the world are getting ready to make their contribution towards this annual global event. The theme for World Environment Day 2018 is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. This theme seeks to put the focus on the huge environmental damage caused by single-use plastic items such as disposable plates, cups, straws and plastic bags. The United Nations Environment Programme has called for an immediate reduction and eventual elimination of single-use plastics.

                                  Various programmes have been planned for this day by different Salesian institutions worldwide. Morning Star School, a Salesian institution in Nepal, will be holding an awareness programme for all its students. “The students will be putting up a skit on the issue of plastic pollution. Besides this, we will be screening a documentary film on the problems caused to the environment by single-use plastics.” says Fr. Leslie Pereira, principal of the school.

                                  Don Bosco Tech Institute in Ashaiman, Ghana has already held a series of activities with its students in preparation for World Environment Day. “We are determined to organize more of these activities to inculcate the habit of being conscious about our environment and to minimize, if not to eliminate, garbage in our communities.” states DBTI Principal Fr. Mark Anthony.

                                  In Mumbai, India an awareness campaign on plastic pollution is being organized by GreenLine, a Salesian Environmental Organization, which will be held on six major railway stations across the city. “We have over 50 youth volunteers who will be present at these different railway stations and will enlighten the public on alternatives that can be used instead of disposable plastic. Our youth volunteers will also request the people they interact with to take a pledge to give up single-use plastic.” says Ms. Carol Pereira, who is coordinating this event.

                                  With the theme, “Flora of Garo Hills is our sustainable future”, Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Tura organised an impressive Tree Plantation campaign for the students of X on 2nd June, 2018 in its adopted Aminda Simsang village, about 15 km from Tura under Gambegre Block. The 150 odd students, with saplings in their hands, proceeded to the allotted site and planted at least a tree each. This is the first instance that a school has organised such a programme to observe the Environment Day.

                                  These global environmental initiatives are being promoted by the Don Bosco Green Alliance. Don Bosco Green Alliance is an international collective of young people from Don Bosco Institutions and Organizations that contributes to global environmental action, thought and policy. Launched at the International Planning and Development Offices Meeting in Nairobi in April 2018, the alliance already has close to 30 Salesian institutions as members from 11 countries. To know more about the DB Green Alliance, or to become a member, please visit the website www.dbgreen.in

                                  • RMG
                                  • Ambiente
                                  • Creato
                                  • India
                                  • Don Bosco Green Alliance
                                  • AFW
                                  • Ghana
                                  • INB
                                  • Greenline
                                  • Nepal
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Montenegro - Integration and testimony: Rector Major's legacy in Podgorica

                                    2 weeks 2 days ago
                                    Montenegro - Integration and testimony: Rector Major's legacy in Podgorica

                                    (ANS - Podgorica) - A short visit, lasting less than two days, but full of stimuli and ideas, in which a large number of children, young people and adults of all nationalities, cultures and religions were involved: what the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, accomplished at the Salesian house in Podgorica, Montenegro, where the 10th Successor of Don Bosco reaffirmed his message of openness and integration in Salesian works and encouraged the Salesians to bear witness to Christian life.

                                    Fr Á.F. Artime arrived at the city airport on Saturday morning, 2 June, and received the homage of a number of young people from the youth center of Podgorica, the Provincial of Slovenia - on which the Montenegrin house depends upon - Fr Marko Košnik, and former Provincial, in charge until only a few days ago, Fr Janez Potočnik.

                                    On reaching the Salesian house, the Rector Major and his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, were involved in an afternoon of animation and art by the children of the oratory. At the end of this joyful encounter, Fr Á.F. Artime blessed a new statue of Don Bosco placed at the entrance of the Salesian parish.

                                    He later met with the laity active at the Salesian house and the Salesian school, and maintained that their service was more than a job; it was a mission that included professionalism and heart. The first day ended with a festive evening with local Salesians and the Salesian "goodnight", wherein he invited all to cultivate mutual respect and integration in diversity.

                                    On the second and last day, the Rector Major first met his confreres active in Montenegro, together with other specifically from Slovenia and from Scutari, in Albania, and spoke about the state of the Congregation at a global level and listened to the situation of the Slovenian Province reality. Then, he indicated several guidelines for the coming years, urging them to go back to praying with young people, to deepen their spirituality so as to bear testimony with their own lives, and not to be afraid of the future.

                                    As the highight and end of his visit, Fr Á.F. Artime met the parish community and concelebrated the Eucharist presided over by the bishop emeritus of Bar, the Salesian Zef Gashi.

                                    ANSFlickr

                                    • Montenegro
                                    • SLO
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Vatican - Salesian Fr Yamanouchi appointed bishop of Saitama

                                      2 weeks 2 days ago
                                      Vatican - Salesian Fr Yamanouchi appointed bishop of Saitama

                                      (ANS - Vatican City) - Fr Mario Michiaki Yamanouchi, SDB, shall be the new bishop of Saitama, diocese of Japan, the seat vacant since 2013. The Salesian religious, who currently holds the office of Provincial of the Japanese Province, was nominated bishop last Saturday, 2 June.

                                      Fr Yamanouchi was born in Saeiki, in the prefecture of Oita, in Japan, on August 8, 1955. His Salesian religious journey began in Argentina, where, in Manucho, Santa Fe, he entered the novitiate in 1975. From 1976 to 1979 he studied Philosophy and Theology in Córdoba, until he obtained a Baccalaureate in Theology and Education Sciences. He made his perpetual vows in Cordoba in 1982 and was ordained a priest on December 21, 1984 in San Juan.

                                      In Argentina he was Director of the Salesian houses "Miguel Rua" of Córdoba (1987-91), "San Michele" of La Plata (1991-92), and of the "Domingo Savio" institute of Ramos Mejía (1991-96), also fulfilling the role of Master of Novices (1991-96).

                                      Returning to Japan at the beginning of 1997, he served in three Salesian houses in Tokyo, nominated Director in all three; first in Suginami (2001-04), then Chõfu (2004-10), then at the provincial center in Yotsuya (2010-15).

                                      For the "St. Francis Xavier" Province of Japan he was Delegate for Formation (2007-15), for the Past Pupils of Don Bosco (2009-12), for the Salesian Family (2009-15) and for the Association of Mary Help of Christians (2010-18).

                                      Appointed as Provincial Vicar from 2009 to 2014, he has been Provincial since January 2015.

                                      • Vaticano
                                      • Nomine
                                      • Giappone
                                      • GIA
                                      • Mario Yamanouchi
                                      • Vescovi
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Nicaragua - Salesian cardinal Miguel Obando, historical mediator in Nicaragua, dies

                                        2 weeks 2 days ago
                                        Nicaragua - Salesian cardinal Miguel Obando, historical mediator in Nicaragua, dies

                                        (ANS - Managua) - The Salesians of Nicaragua communicate to the entire educational community and to the Salesian Family that on Sunday, 3 June, at 3:48 am, Salesian Miguel Obando y Bravo, bishop emeritus and cardinal, has passed away.

                                        Miguel Obando y Bravo died at the age of 92. He was an emblematic figure of the Catholic Church, a man who distinguished himself for his role as a mediator in the acute military and political conflicts experienced by the Central American country. A person's political situation does not always play a preponderant role in taking a position for or against a person, certainly, and yet this could be the case with Cardinal Obando, but his work and actions in favor of the people speak volumes about his person and his life.

                                        Cardinal Obando y Bravo lived an exceptionally difficult period in the history of Nicaragua, with contradictory currents. "He fought the regime of Anastasio Somoza with a rigor that nobody denies him," wrote D. Urtasun of him.  "And he did it because, in his own words, 'evil must be challenged, fought and overcome'. Somoza ended up calling him 'Commander Miguel'. With the same courage he faced the Sandinista commanders, surrounded by a believing people, who followed his shepherd, waving the banner of Christ."

                                        "Many support him unconditionally and show their appreciation with respect and gratitude," continues Urtasun. "In the person of the cardinal they see a father, a guide, the good shepherd. Others, less, look at him with disdain and mistrust, because Obando was inconvenient to them, because he represented a critical awareness of the excesses of the government. The prolonged attitude and behaviour taken in encouraging the reconciliation of his people led him to act as a mediator on several occasions ... ".

                                        The Salesian cardinal had been "Procer of Peace and Reconciliation" of Nicaragua since the National Assembly in 2016.

                                        Miguel Obando y Bravo was born on 2 February, 1926, in La Libertad, Chontales province, in the center of the country. From a peasant family, after completing his studies in the Salesian Congregation, he was ordained a priest on 10 August, 1958. He was appointed bishop on 31 March, 1968; in February 1970, he became archbishop of Managua and on 25 May, 1985, was made cardinal by Pope John Paul II.

                                        • Nicaragua
                                        • CAM
                                        • Vescovi
                                        • Miguel Obando y Bravo
                                        • Decessi
                                        • Cardinali
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
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