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Venezuela – Even amidst an emergency, Salesians focus on education

1 week 3 days ago
Venezuela – Even amidst an emergency, Salesians focus on education

(ANS - Caracas) - The price of the economic, social and political crisis that has been rocked Venezuela for several years now continues to be paid, above all, by the most vulnerable population. To the daily despair due to food scarcity, given that the currency is so devalued that only dollars have value and a month's salary is just enough to buy a chicken, are added the difficulties to emigrate abroad. The educational sector is so abandoned that schools see themselves emptied of teachers, busy as they are looking for another job so as to eat. Despite this critical situation, the Salesians continue betting on education and the possibility of offering their students a future, also by giving their teachers the best care possible.

The Salesians in Venezuela clearly know that education is the first resource for the country's moral revival. In the last school year, the Maduro Government broke all negative records, leaving schools without teachers, without students and without resources, to the point that the teaching profession is so degraded that the teacher training and pedagogical faculties languish for lack of students and teachers who have abandon the school.

But the educational charism commits the Salesians not to abandon in their turn young people, schools or the centers of vocational training in which they work. The concrete contribution of Salesians in Venezuela is given by 18 educational centers in total, whose service is aimed primarily at poor children and young people.

Before this emergency, the Church is seeking solutions and for some time the Salesians and other congregations have been concerned to respond to this reality by making food and books available to students and teachers. The Salesian Family, with all its members and from different parts of the world, is actively participating by supplying resources, together with Caritas and the Red Cross.

The Venezuelan people also receive the support of the Salesian Congregation and, in particular, of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who has repeatedly stated: "You are not alone. From the different parts of the Salesian world we are attentive to what you experience and we are aware of everything that happens."

For his part, Msgr. Jhonny Reyes, Salesian and apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, points out that in many rural schools in the Venezuelan Amazon “teachers are authentic heroes. With the difficulties that exist, they refuse the job offers and salaries that come to them from the other side of the border, from Colombia, and decide to continue to take care of children and young people."
"That's why," he concludes, "we must continue to help them and do our part for the future generations of the country."

Source: Misiones Salesianas

  • VEN
  • Venezuela
  • Povertà
  • Educazione
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Vatican – International Youth Advisory Body: SYM is there!

    1 week 4 days ago
    Vatican – International Youth Advisory Body: SYM is there!

    (ANS - Vatican City) - On the Feast of Christ the King, Sunday 25 November, the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life joyfully announced the establishment of the "International Youth Advisory Body", consisting of 20 young people from 5 continents and from several international movements, associations and communities. The Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) is also represented, thanks to Carina Baumgartner, a 28-year-old Austrian, who has already participated in numerous international meetings - including the XI International Youth Forum last June. She has wide-ranging experience in the field of youth across the globe.

    The Final Document of the Synod 2018 called for the "activity of the Youth Office of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life to be strengthened also through the establishment of a body representing young people at the international level." The institution of this new body, therefore, is the direct daughter of that Synod, as well as the will of Pope Francis, who often emphasizes how the active contribution of young people is essential for the Church.

    The body will work closely with the Dicastery on youth issues and the first 20 selected young men and women, appointed for a three-year term, are young people who have been involved in different phases of the synod process; they will have their first meeting in April 2020.

    "I look forward to listening and discussing different perspectives from around the world. In particular, I want to contribute with my experience in the SYM. We put young people at the center, we give them responsibility, we trust them and we take their concerns seriously. I am pleased that Pope Francis gives this place to young people now in the Church!," Carina commented.

    The 28-year-old Viennese represented Austria in the Salesian Youth Movement in Europe and the Middle East. She also has contacts in various African, Asian and American countries. A sincere concern for her is the commitment of young people in the Generation Laudato Sì initiative. When it was founded, during World Youth Day in Panama, she was present. And at the XI International Youth Forum in Rome, she also had the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis personally.

    Born in Vienna in 1991, Carina is a kindergarten and after-school teacher. She studied Social Work and is currently completing her Master's degree as a Theater teacher. For three years, she has been working as a pedagogical attachè in the SYM of the Salesians of Don Bosco; has carried out numerous voluntary initiatives, always aimed at the care of children and adolescents, and with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the NGO VIDES, she was a volunteer in Georgia and Ethiopia. She has staged shows for children, directed a children's choir and was responsible for the altar boys in her parish of origin.

    "I'm very happy to be a believing and religious person and to know that there is God by my side. My faith gives meaning to my life. Holy Mass, celebrating, singing and praying together are like filling stations for me. With a full tank I feel, in everyday life, to live, like Don Bosco, the words 'Be happy, do good and let the sparrows whistle.'"

    • Vaticano
    • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
    • MGS Europa
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Mexico – Eric Ponce, the rapper who escaped violence and cares for youth at risk in Ciudad Juárez

      1 week 4 days ago
      Mexico – Eric Ponce, the rapper who escaped violence and cares for youth at risk in Ciudad Juárez

      (ANS - Ciudad Juárez) - "A mistake does not say who you are. Don't let them tag you" is the message of Eric Ponce, a 32 year old from Ciudad Juárez who combines his passion for rap music and writing with his work on behalf of children at risk. His current position as Coordinator of the course in "Second Opportunity, Fundraising and Development of Educational Programs" in a youth promotion association was unimaginable until a few years ago, when he was part of a criminal gang. He handled weapons, saw friends and relatives die next to him, was numb with drugs and had to hide to avoid being killed. Now he is happy and he has become an example, and role model, that it is indeed possible to escape, do more.

      As a child he was a good student, but the home environment was far from idyllic. His mother had lived on the street and worked by accompanying illegal immigrants to the United States, while his father had joined the army; Eric thus grew up alone and even as a boy went to parties where alcohol and drugs were widely available.

      He dropped out of school, was tagged with labels such as "donkey", "dysfunctional" and "drug addict"; as a teenager, he ran with boys who were six years older than he was, and that did the rest, moreover in the years of Ciudad Juárez's worst violence. Without realizing it, he found himself entangled in a gang, with a gun in hand and marijuana in his pocket, busy having to defend their territory, or turf, in each and every way.

      But the worst was yet to come. In just five months in 2009, six of his cousins, a brother-in-law and his best friend, were killed. Eric looked very much like one of his cousins, so much so that on several occasions they mistook one for the other; the last time was when the killers burst into the funeral home to make sure they hit the right person. It was at that moment that Eric decided to escape, hide and get away from violence.

      Eric has now been composing rap songs since 2003. Argumentation, social criticism and ethics have become his weapons. He has released three albums, a dozen videos on Youtube and he's about to finish writing a book.

      At home they were not religious, and there was only one image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus before which to pray when his parents quarreled. "Our grandmother asked and it worked, because then they stopped." As a child, he attended one of the Salesian oratories in Ciudad Juárez, the Don Bosco, and since 2003 he has dedicated himself to rap, penning songs and performing as "Ponce PX1". Once a Salesian asked him at a Mass to improvise the Our Father in rap form and it was a huge success.

      His career is definitely on the rise, but he hasn't forgetten his roots and does not want to give up his work with young people, helping them get a second chance.

      Alberto López Herrero

      • Messico
      • MEG
      • Musica
      • Violenze
      • Oratorio
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Paraguay – 65 years of "Carlos Pfannl" Agro-Pastoral Institute

        1 week 4 days ago

        (ANS - Coronel Oviedo) - The "Carlos Pfannl" Agro-Pastoral Institute celebrated its first 65 years a few days ago: it was November 21, 1954, in fact, when the blessing of the cornerstone of the then "Carlos Pfannl" Agricultural School took place, located in the Blas Garay neighborhood, Compagnia Santa María, in the city of Coronel Oviedo. This Salesian work, which bears the name of one of its benefactors, was founded with the young people of the third year of the Salesian Agricultural School of Ypacaraí. At the time it extended over about five thousand hectares of forests and fields.

        Fr Guido Coronel, a Salesian, dedicated himself to the construction of the gigantic and current Agro-Pastoral Institute of Coronel Oviedo, where he had the large parish dedicated to Mary Help of Christians erected. It is a privileged land, with productive resources and an optimal position for cultivation and breeding.

        The institute is located about 140 km from the national capital, Asunción, and was born as a response to the needs of young people in rural areas, to offer them skills that can be used in the world of work, according to the needs of the area. At the beginning, the center was dedicated to the training of Rural Operators and Agronomists; but since 1970, it has been offering its students Baccalaureate courses in Agro-pastoral and Forestry Techniques. Furthermore, since 2004, the Salesian Agro-Pastoral Institute "Carlos Pfannl" has also opened its doors to girls who wish to pursue this field of study.

        The reputation of the institute's quality is known throughout Paraguay, and every year students from every part of the country, who besides receiving technical skills, are also trained to become good Christians and upright citizens.

        Furthermore, the institute's management has always been committed to improving the center's programs so as to offer the best to both students and the rural local communities: for this reason, over the years they have been able to create projects for the reduction of poverty and the improvement of producers' living conditions.

        It is currently one of the most important Salesian works in Paraguay, thanks to its valuable contributions to the formation of young people in rural areas as agricultural technicians, as well as the support it offers to neighboring schools and the formation of the local population.

        {gallery}PAR - Carlos Pfannl - 2019{/gallery}

        • Paraguay
        • PAR
        • Rurali
        • Agricoltura
        • Anniversari
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Austria – “Every child behind bars is one too many”

          1 week 5 days ago
          Austria – “Every child behind bars is one too many”

          (ANS – Vienna) – All over the world, Salesians are aware of the plight of children and young people put in prison, often for minor offences, or being held in institutions where their rights are violated on a daily basis. Numerous Salesian programs bring hope and concrete help to these children who are often forgotten by the outside world.

          For the first time in history, a huge UN study was launched on November 18, which highlights the worldwide problem of 7.2 million children deprived of liberty. The main author is the Austrian human rights expert Manfred Nowak. His compatriot Reinhard Heiserer, director of “Jugend Eine Welt – Don Bosco Aktion Austria”, welcomed the study as an extremely helpful tool to convince responsible authorities that detention of children should only be permitted in truly exceptional situations as a measure of last resort and that these children need much more attention and care. “Don Bosco himself cared a lot about boys in jail,” he said. “There are many stories which document his special focus on this vulnerable group of young people.”

          The central message of this global study is to encourage States to better respect and protect children's rights, drastically reducing the number of those who are deprived of their liberty - in whatever context they find themselves: correctional institution, prison, center for refugees ... - through the adoption of all other alternative measures.

          Furthermore, the study intends to indicate to public decision-makers the need to give greater recognition to families as a fundamental unit of society and first responsible for the education of children. And finally, the study intends to foster and demand greater collaboration between all the parties involved (police, prosecutors, judges, parents, social services, professors, educators ...) so that the need to safeguard the harmonious development of minors is clearly taken into account, avoiding therefore the use of detention as much as possible.

          During the research phase of the study, “Jugend Eine Welt” had invited several project partners to fill out a questionnaire related to street children in detention. Among them was Fr Jorge Crisafulli, Director of “Don Bosco Fambul” in Freetown/Sierra Leone where numerous minors are incarcerated together with adults. In the past, “Jugend Eine Welt” was able to finance a water-supply system within the prison.

          “Every child behind bars is one too many,” said Prof. Manfred Nowak during the presentation of the Global Study in a press conference which took place in Vienna on International Children's Day, 20 November. “The study found psychiatric disorders for children in detention can increase tenfold during detention, and detention is correlated with early death among children once released.” The study also found that, globally, children are being detained at increasingly younger ages and are being held for longer periods of time.

          Here you can read and download the full text of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.

          • Austria
          • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
          • Carceri
          • ONG
          • Don Bosco Fambul
          • Sierra Leone
          • ONU
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Pakistan – Exploratory Visit to Hyderabad Diocese

            1 week 5 days ago
            Pakistan – Exploratory Visit to Hyderabad Diocese

            (ANS – Hyderabad) – One year after the meeting between the Hyderabad (Sindh) bishop and the Rector Major during the Youth Synod (October 2018) in Rome,  the Salesian Community in Lahore (Fr Noble, Fr Gabriel and Bro. Alex) together with Mr Elias Mushtaq (Technical Director of Don Bosco Technical Center), Mr Afzal Anthony (Industry Liaison Officer) and Mr Shahed (Contractor of Don Bosco) set out for an exploratory trip to the Hyderabad diocese on 5 November 2019, reaching Hyderabad on 6 November at 3:30 pm. They were welcomed by Bishop Samson Shukardin, OFM Cap, happy that at last his long-time dream might soon be fulfilled.

            He gave us the diocese's background and the reason for inviting the Salesians, namely to establish a Technical Training Center with a Hostel in the Diocese of Hyderabad. This is to respond to the challenge of unemployment and the lack of youth with a deep Christian formation. The Diocese itself covers 16 parishes,8 of which cater to tribal communities. The Spiritans (CSSp), Franciscans Friar Minor (OFM), Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM) and the Society of St Columban (SSC) also serve in the diocese.

            In Hyderabad, there are many tribal communities that are so poor that the only way to get out of poverty is to provide them with skills so they can earn a decent income. Without specific technical skills, they work like slaves deprived of human rights with little compensation. The young people in the villages need to grow and deepen their Christian faith. Bishop Samson has thus asked the Salesians to open a Technical School with a Hostel for the purpose of accepting more students from far-flung villages.

            Educational Institutions in Hyderabad (Sindh)

            20 private High Schools, 35 private Colleges, 26 public Government Colleges and 9 Government Institutes and Universities.

            Peaceful social situation

            For the past ten years, there have been no incidents of attacks or bombings in Hyderabad. The people are normally peaceful and simple. There have been no incidents involving church or mosque attacks.

            Religions

            The majority of the people in Hyderabad followed Islam as their religion which accounts for 94.0%, followed by Hindus, who are the largest minority group forming 5% of the total population, while other religions count for 1%.

            Youth

            The Sindhi youth are afflicted with pervasive poverty, chronic unemployment, drug addiction and limited recreational venues. Due to this problem, the youth have become susceptible to anger, disillusionment and suicide. Lahore’s Salesian group further note that the province's youth, due to the surging youth population, are facing daunting challenges from physical to psychological insecurities and frustration.

            Visit to possible TVET sites

            The group visited first the town of Latifabad (a large number of Christians reside on the river banks), then Kohsar (3 ha area, near the city, close to a poor community). Then they went to Mirphur Khas (60 km from the city), passing Tando Alla Yar (40 km from the city). Along the road, there are vast open agricultural areas, another possible location.

            Emerging reflection

            The Salesian community met with the Bishop and discussed some concrete concerns: the land ownership and the contribution of the diocese to financial matters; administration and position of the future TVET (city or near the city).

            Bishop Samson listened to them and invited them to visit first the areas of his diocese so they could gain a better understanding. After the visit to the diocese, the Salesian community really felt the need of the diocese for the Technical Skills for both Hindu and Christian communities. These communities are victimized and compelled to remain in their slavery, generation after generation. Through Education and Skill Training the youth can be freed from forced labour and poverty, as indicated by Bishop Samson Shukardin. The Salesians agree with the Bishop's vision and will continue the discernment.

            Way forward

            “An empty lot within the city with a minimum of 5 hectares is not available. We continue the search for land with an acceptable price and possibly close to a Christian community. We entrust this possible third Pakistan Salesian presence dreamed to Mary Help of Christians and request prayers for good discernment and available Salesians and Lay mission partners for the Hyderabad mission,” Bro. Abelgas concludes.

            Source: AustraLasia

            • Pakistan
            • FIS
            • Missioni
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Great Britain – Rector Major's Visit to GBR ends

              1 week 5 days ago
              Great Britain – Rector Major's Visit to GBR ends

              (ANS - London) - The Rector Major's Animation Visit to the "St. Thomas of Canterbury" Province of Great Britain ended on Saturday, November 23rd, in London, at the center of Battersea. With this visit, Rector Major Fr Á.F. Artime brings to a close the Animation Visits for the 2014-2020 term.

              On Friday, November 22, the Rector Major visited the Salesian community in Farnborough, Hampshire, spending about an hour and a half with his confreres, animating them in the service and answering their questions. Then he went to the local Salesian Institute, where he met students, and presented the prizes to those students who took part in the "Don Bosco Projects" initiative.

              On this occasion, Fr Á.F. Artime also expressed the closeness and empathy that every Salesian, follower of Don Bosco should have, and he spoke about technique and manual skills with the young Brian Soloman, who is competing in the British national team in the competition to resolve the Rubik's Cube faster.

              In the evening, having reached the community of Battersea, London, and flanked by the Councilor for Central and Northern Europe, Fr Tadeusz Rozmus, he presided at the meeting with the Provincial, Fr James Briody, and his Council.

              On Saturday morning, the last day of his visit, the Successor of Don Bosco still had time for a fatherly dialogue with the Salesians of the Cowley, Chertsey Farnborough and Battersea communities, for the occasion all gathered in this latter work; and then he had a moving meeting with Mrs Theresa Deveraux, mother of Sean Deveraux, the Salesian volunteer killed in Somalia in 1993, who has become a model of dedication and service for all Salesian youth.

              Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Rector Major returned in the afternoon of Saturday 23 November to Rome. Now, before him, he has a week of ordinary work, before starting, next week, from Monday 2 December, the Winter Plenary Session of the General Council, which will continue until the end of next January.

              And, then, the 28th General Chapter is already on the horizon, an event which will begin in Turin on February 16th.

              Photos of the Visit are available on ANSFlickr.

              • GBR
              • Ángel Fernández Artime
              • Rettor Maggiore
              • Gran Bretagna
              • Visita di Animazione
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Great Britain – The Rector Major animates Salesian England

                2 weeks 1 day ago
                Great Britain – The Rector Major animates Salesian England

                (ANS - Bollington) - Festive meetings, inaugurations and constructive dialogue to strengthen the Salesian mission among the young people of Great Britain: the features of the Animation Visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in Great Britain.

                On Wednesday afternoon, the Rector Major travelled from Bolton to Bollington, Cheshire, where he met with the Salesian community at Savio House, the youth retreat centre, before joining the retreat team volunteers and members of Salesian Youth Ministry to hear about current work and future plans.

                The young adults present provided the music at an intimate Mass in the community chapel, and the evening continued with a delicious dinner, and much friendly conversation and laughter. Everyone was delighted when Fr Ángel  and Fr Horacio played and sang after dinner, teaching the choruses to some Spanish songs, and we took the opportunity to entertain honoured guests in return, as the Provincial, Fr Gerry O’Briody, led all in a rousing rendition of ‘The Wild Rover’, a well-known folk song from the British Isles, and of course, a couple of hits from The Beatles and Oasis.

                Fr Ángel presented Sue McDonald, Salesian Youth Ministry Animator, with a gift to thank her for translating during his visit and for the work she does in the Province, expressing gratitude for ‘your Salesian heart’.

                The gathering closed with evening prayer. The Rector Major taught a hauntingly beautiful Portuguese chant to the Virgin Mary, composed by a Salesian, and the day ended by calling on Our Lady’s help and protection, as Don Bosco always did.

                On Thursday, Fr Ángel was at Salesian School in Chertsey, Surrey. The school celebrated its centenary in the summer, and during his visit, the Rector Major blessed and officially opened the Centenary Hall.

                From there, he went to Royal Holloway, University of London, where he was shown around the buildings and the spectacular chapel by Fr John Dickson SDB, Rector of the Chertsey community, who is also the Catholic Chaplain at the university. Fr Ángel then met students and staff for afternoon tea.

                Thursday evening saw him back at Chertsey for dinner with the community, and the headteacher and governors of Salesian School, before celebrating the Eucharist with parishioners and Salesian Cooperators at St Anne's parish, and chatting to everyone over coffee afterwards.

                Father Ángel’s busy schedule in our Province continues today in Farnborough, Hampshire.

                Photos are available on ANSFlickr

                • GBR
                • Gran Bretagna
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Slovenia - National Award in Youth Sector for Salesian Fr Rafo Pinosa

                  2 weeks 1 day ago
                  Slovenia - National Award in Youth Sector for Salesian Fr Rafo Pinosa

                  (ANS - Ljubljana) - On Wednesday 20 November, at the Ljubljana Exhibition and Congress Center, the 2019 Youth Sector National Conference organized by the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth in collaboration with the Youth Council of Slovenia was held. The event annually brings together youth leaders and animators, representatives of youth organizations and those who in any way develop policies and programs for young people. At the conclusion of the work sessions, the Salesian Fr Rafo Pinosa was awarded with a national prize for his outstanding results in working with young people.

                  Fr Pinosa, currently Director of the Salesian community of Ljubljana Kodeljevo and collaborator of the Salesian work for young people at risk, was honored with the "National Award for Contribution to the Promotion of the Youth Sector." The commission that granted the award, in the statement of motivation, declared:

                  Rafo Pinosa has spent his whole life working with young people, an activity he interprets as a mission. Thanks to his charisma, he enjoys an enormous influence on the creation and professionalization of youth organizations and on the networking of various organizations in the youth sector. In his work, he uses the preventive educational method introduced by Don Bosco, which has brought the culture of working with youth to a very high level. Through his efforts, he has helped many young people active in youth organizations to become responsible adults.

                  Of particular importance was the impact of Rafo Pinosa on social cohesion, which he achieved by working with disadvantaged children and adolescents in a culturally, religiously and ethnically diverse environment such as that of immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, and today adds assistance to the teaching and the accompaniment of individuals.

                  In his work, Rafo Pinosa has also actively participated in numerous national work organizations ... [In particular those dedicated to the themes of poverty and volunteering.]

                  Rafo Pinosa has also been active in the field of non-formal education. Today work with young people cannot be imagined without the acknowledgment of non-formal education, and this is also an important contribution to the development of work with young people. In his long career with young people, he has acted as a visionary, innovator, creator, initiator and motivator and was a driving force in every youth organization in which he worked or in which he is still active today.

                  Receiving the prize, Fr Pinosa gave thanks for the award, but above all expressed his joy for the youth-related discussion he witnessed at the National Conference, expressing that "as long as we discuss the challenges of young people, it is worth staying in this sector."

                  • Slovenia
                  • SLO
                  • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                  • Giovani
                  • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Spain – Hip Hop to Fight Discrimination, youths produce tune

                    2 weeks 1 day ago
                    Spain – Hip Hop to Fight Discrimination, youths produce tune

                    (ANS - Girona) - A group of young people from the Salesian Social Education Platform "Sant Jordi - PES Girona", together with their team of educators and with the collaboration of the youth space "Güell Espai Jove", produced a hip-hop song , with a video, entitled "Tot ho podem canviar" (We can change it all). The aim of the artistic work, presented in the first edition of the "monar'T" Festival, is to break with stereotypes due to fears and prejudices towards different cultures and races, and to claim equality and dignity for all.

                    The young singers express themselves in Catalan, Spanish, French and Arabic and the texts in the video are subtitled and translated to show the importance of the cultural richness that languages ​​and cultures bring.

                    "Tot ho podem canviar" is part of the "Neu" initiative, a socio-educational project to raise awareness about diversity and intercultural reality, developed by the Salesians of the "Sant Jordi" work in Girona, Lleida, Mataró and Sant Boi de Llobregat. The objective of the "Neu" project is to raise awareness of the reference communities, and especially the young, to the richness of a diversified and plural society, promoting models of social cohesion based on intercultural coexistence.

                    The genesis of the song saw the group of young people being highly motivated since their very first meetings. They felt that the best means for their purpose was to adopt hip-hop, because in the course of its history, the musical style best served as a vindictive and critical tool for everything that society does not like.

                    Once the objective and the instruments were clear, the educational team started looking for different associations and collaborators to work with. Thanks to the collaboration of three sound technicians and two professional collaborators, two workshops were then organized: one, to create the music for the theme, taking into account the tastes and preferences of young people; and the other, to write the lyrics, which the youths involved also composed.

                    The video was then produced with the collaboration of a student of the "Eram" University School, during two sessions in the two districts of Girona Can Gibert del Pla and Santa Eugenia.

                    • Spagna
                    • Musica
                    • SSM
                    • Giovani
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Samoa – Fr Guillermo Basañes visits Samoa during State of Emergency

                      2 weeks 1 day ago
                      Samoa – Fr Guillermo Basañes visits Samoa during State of Emergency

                      (ANS – Apia) – On 19 November, Fr Guillermo Basañes, General Councillor for the Missions, began his visit to the Australia Pacific Province (AUL) with a visit deemed successful to the Pacific island nation of Samoa. The visit featured a number of wonderful meetings and moments of animation. It was, however, tinged with an air of sadness as Samoa is currently experiencing a measles epidemic that has claimed at least 16 lives, mostly children under the age of two. There have been over 1,100 cases of the measles reported and new cases are being reported every day.

                      The Samoan Government has declared a State of Emergency and closed all schools. It has even urged parents to keep their children home from church on Sunday. Consequently, this has meant that Fr Basañes has been unable to interact with any of the young people and students in Samoa. It has, however, provided more space and opportunity for Fr Basañes to meet and enter into lengthy discussions and talks with teachers, cooperators, FMAs and SDBs.

                      It is Fr Basañes's first visit to the Pacific and to the AUL Province and he is accompanied by Lauren Hichaaba, Delegate for Mission Animation for the AUL Province.

                      The visit began on the island of Upolu. Fr Basañes celebrated Mass in the Salesian Parish of Leauva’a, only hours after arriving. The rest of the day was then spent with the community in Alafua. He was warmly welcomed with true Samoan hospitality. The following day, Fr Basañes celebrated Mass with the Salesian cooperators, FMAs and SDBs. It was a joyful celebration with a beautiful mass and lively conversations. The visit in Samoa continued to the remote island of Savai’i. Once again, in the absence of students, he was able to spend time with the teachers at Don Bosco High School and Vocational Training Center in Salelologa.

                      The visit continues to the other parts of the AUL Province, namely Fiji and Australia. “We are grateful to Fr Basañes for his dynamic visit and we hope to welcome him again soon in Samoa so that he will have an opportunity to interact with our incredible young people,” Mrs Hichaaba said.

                      AUL Salesians ask the Salesian world to please remember Samoa, and most importantly the children, in prayer as they struggle to bring an end to the measles epidemic.

                      Source: AustraLasia

                      • AUL
                      • Samoa
                      • Salute
                      • Missioni
                      • Guillermo Basañes
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Great Britain – Rector Major in Thornleigh, an institute that is "Home, Church, School, Playground"

                        2 weeks 2 days ago

                        (ANS – Bolton) – During his visit to Bolton, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, rededicated the recently refurbished chapel at Thornleigh Salesian College, in a beautiful prayer service created by the students and staff.

                        Fr Ángel told the assembled congregation of students and guests that he was delighted to be told that most of the students are learning Spanish. He said he was also pleased with the focus in the service on the words “Home, School, Church, Playground”, because these words sum up Salesian life and the environment Don Bosco wanted for his young people, and told the students and staff he felt they were embodying the Salesian spirit.

                        Guests included the Bishop of Salford, the Right Reverend John Arnold, many past pupils including Shrigley Old Boys who had travelled from Scotland, Salesian Cooperators, and Sr Mary Treacy FMA, who also travelled all the way from Glasgow, just for the day.

                        In the lead up to the rededication, students spoke movingly about the role of the chapel in the life of the school since its establishment in 1925, as a place of peace and solace, and the scene for receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. They also referred to the many Salesians who have made their professions here, and been ordained, and those whose funerals have taken place in the chapel. The present building was dedicated to the memory of past pupils who gave their lives during the war. The choir then sang “This is Holy Ground”, as the plaque commemorating Fr Ángel’s rededication was brought to the altar.

                        After the service, students, staff and guests joined the Rector Major in the school hall for refreshments, with the talented students providing musical entertainment. Fr Ángel had said he was very inpressed by their performances, and at the end of the gathering, he and Fr Horacio López, his secretary, led the students in singing a few songs, to the great delight of everyone present.

                        The Rector Major presented Fr Mervyn Williams SDB with a gift thanking him for his service as Province Economer over the past 18 years.

                        Fr Ángel is now on his way to Savio House, our Youth Retreat Centre in Bollington, Cheshire, where he will meet the community including the gap year volunteers, and learn more about the work of Salesian Youth Ministry in GBR Province.

                        Photos are available on ANSFlickr

                        • GBR
                        • Gran Bretagna
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                        • Visita di Animazione
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          India – A memorable pastoral visit: Cardinal Bo, SDB, in North East India

                          2 weeks 2 days ago
                          India – A memorable pastoral visit: Cardinal Bo, SDB, in North East India

                          (ANS - Shillong) - Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, and President of the Federation of Episcopal Conferences of Asia, spent a week in North East India, from 7 to 13 November. It was his first visit to the region, known as the cradle of the Salesian charism in the country, and was marked by several exciting moments - above all, certainly, the Eucharist presided by the cardinal in Shillong before 200,000 faithful.

                          Cardinal Bo began his pastoral visit at the Salesian Institute of Sonada, where he spoke with the staff and students of the institute and recalled the long bond between the center and the Salesians of Myanamr, who to a large extent were trained there, given that up to ten years ago the present Vice Province of Myanmar depended on the Calcutta Province. On this occasion, he also presided over the presentation of a book tracing the history of the educational center (Salesian College - A History that Speaks Today - Salesian Institute). He then visited the bishop of Darjeeling.

                          In the following days, the cardinal reached Guwahati and from there Shillong to fulfill a vow made to a missing friend: the late Salesian Archbishop Msgr. Dominic Jala, recently passed away in a car accident in USA. In memory of Msgr. Jala, the cardinal wanted to keep faith with the commitment by going to the region and visiting the community.

                          He was also the main celebrant of the solemn Eucharist, followed by a Eucharistic procession, celebrated for and by about 200,000 faithful originating from the Khasi and Jaintia hills. Many faithful were impressed by his ability to communicate with them in their language. The Salesian prelate had words of great encouragement for them: "I was told that you Khasi are the first tribe, among the many in Northeast India, that God has chosen to share the gift of faith. Like the Israelites, you are the people who have been chosen in a special way, you are blessed by God. Today we can certainly see how you have responded wholeheartedly to the call of the Lord, and with your 'yes' you live the gift of faith so intensely. Following your example, many other tribes have embraced Christianity. You are all apostles, and you preach not with words but through your life testimony. May the Lord bless you a hundred times."

                          The cardinal then added: "I have heard so much about the Church in the North East of India. I was inspired by the stories told by Archbishop Jala about your profound faith and the spread of the Gospel. I have heard of the Khasi people and their love for the message of Christ. Yours is a vibrant Church, it transmits plenty of emotion and spiritual energy to me."

                          And he also addressed a personal thought "to the beloved archbishop", recalling how "the Eucharist was for him the source and summit of the spiritual life," and he invited the faithful to follow his example, "experiencing God, the living, loving and liberating God."

                          After making a crowd hear a recording of the last interview with Msgr. Jala – a recording that was supposed to serve as farewell at the end of the cardinal Bo's journey, but that ended up being an emotionally moving commemoration of Msgr. Jala - and a passionate intervention on the value of the Eucharist for the Church, the cardinal concluded his talk by inviting everyone to answer with faith and with the Gospel to the challenges of poverty and injustice, which also cross the region of northeastern India.

                          In the course of his visit, the Burmese cardinal presided at the Eucharist in the Theologate of the "Sacred Heart", Shillong, an institute that has formed hundreds of priests for the region and the Church. He also visited many important institutions and training centers, again at Shillong, meeting civil and religious authorities, Salesians and young people in formation.

                          Among other activities in the region, he inaugurated an amphitheater in Siloam, a leadership center in Umiam, near Shillong, and visited the tomb and family of Archbishop Jala.

                          In Shillong and Guwahati he addressed the Salesian Family, where he spoke of his country, Myamnar, which has experienced decades of military domination, and of the struggle it continues to face, even though a civilian government is gradually emerging. Speaking of the Church in the country, he stressed the role that the Catholic Church is playing in building peace between the many religious and ethnic communities, through interreligious dialogue.

                          Before leaving Guwahati for Calcutta, traveling to Yangon, the cardinal expressed his gratitude to God and the people of the region for the warmth, hospitality and spiritual fervor he witnessed.

                          • India
                          • INS
                          • Cardinali
                          • Charles Maung Bo
                          • Dominic Jala
                          • Indigeni
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Brazil – "UNISAL" now has a new Unit: Piracicaba

                            2 weeks 2 days ago

                            (ANS - Piracicaba) - The Salesian University Center of São Paulo (UNISAL) can now count on a new Unit, in the city of Piracicaba. The "Dom Bosco" Salesian Faculty of Piracicaba has become part of UNISAL: Unit of Piracicaba, Assunção Campus.

                            The unification was made official on October 22nd with Act n. 480, published in the Official Journal of the Union.

                            To celebrate this moment, an Eucharist was held in the Church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary on 7 November, followed by a solemn session to seal the beginning of the academic activities of the new unit.

                            The Mass was attended by priests working in the university institutional mission, representing the various UNISAL units: for the Unit of Americana, Fr José Adilson Morgado; from that of Lorraine, Fr Sergio Baldin Júnior; and for the new Piracicaba Unit, Fr Alcy Maurício.

                            Similarly, the honorary session with which the new unit began its academic year was guided by the institutional authorities of UNISAL, led by Fr Luís Otávio Botasso, Director-President, and Fr Eduardo Capucho, Rector.

                            During his speech, Fr Botasso referred to a key element of Salesian education - to form "good Christians and upright citizens" - and he indicated Fr Ronaldo Francisco Aguarelli, parish priest of the Cathedral of St. Anthony in Piracicaba, and the mayor of Piracicaba, Barjas Negri, as valid models.

                            The Directors, the Coordinators and the teachers of all the UNISAL units, as well as the technical-administrative collaborators of the Rectorate and of the different units also took part in the event.

                            Finally, the Director-President and the Rector of UNISAL unveiled the memorial plaque of this event, which was then posted at the entrance of the new building of the unit, and the ceremony ended with a moment of fraternal agape.

                            Source: Communication and Marketing Department - UNISAL

                            • Brasile
                            • BSP
                            • Università
                            • IUS
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              India – Farewell to Fr Father VV Paul, SDB

                              2 weeks 2 days ago
                              India – Farewell to Fr Father VV Paul, SDB

                              (ANS – Shillong) – Father Paul Vadakumpadam, SDB, or Father VV Paul as popularly known in North-East India, the Editor of Mission Today and President of the “Sacred Heart Theological College” in Shillong, who passed away on 18th November, was solemnly buried today, 21st November, in the Salesian Cemetery at Laitumkhrah amidst hundreds of faithful, priests, religious and his relatives.

                              The Funeral Mass was held at Mawlai Parish presided over by Father Paul Lyngkot, the Provincial of the Province. The Mass was concelebrated by Father Januarius Sangma, the provincial of Guwahati Province, Father John Madur the Archdiocesan Administrator of Shillong Diocese, and hundreds of priests, religious, sisters, brothers, novices, aspirants, his relatives and the faithful who throng to the Parish at 1:30pm. The whole service was also telecasted live on YouTube and Facebook of the Don Bosco Media Network channel.

                              Father Parackal Anthony Roy, the Parish Priest of Sohra and the Novitiate companion of Father VV Paul, gave the homily in which he characterized Father V.V Paul as “A silent and hard working person in his mission”. Father Roy further added that Father V.V Paul was a very good Missionary with Missiology as his professional subject. Father Paul worked silently to fulfil his mission entrusted to him in various places in Khasi Hills. Hearing confession and visiting people in interior villages without much of publicity were most of his missions.

                              Father Paul Panachickal, another novitiate companion of Father VV Paul recalled in his condolences the early life at “Savio Juniorate” where they lived together as boys aspiring themselves to be Salesian Priest.

                              Father Paul is known as a man of perfection. He had been the chief editor of the Mission Today for more than 17 years. He was also the Spiritual Director of the Visitation Sisters of Don Bosco (VSDB) since 1997-2001 and guided their first general chapter on September 1998. It was under his direction and guidance that many documents were written and well preserved. The people who gave their condolences were, Father Januarius Sangma (ING Provincial), Father Nazarius Lakra (IND Vice Provincial), Sr Redina Marwein VSDB, Rangbah Balang Mawpat, Br Jerry, Father Paul Panachickal, Father Philip Barjo, Sr Lisette SMI and his nephew who came all the way from Kerela.

                              Lastly, Father Paul Lyngkot, the Provincial of Shillong, gave the Funeral Oration and proposed the vote of thanks. After the Holy Mass, the mortal remains of Father VV Paul was taken to Laitumkhrah Salesian cemetery to be laid to rest for eternity.   

                              It may be mentioned here, that Father VV Paul had published over 12 books, 31 scholarly articles on missiology and theology and edited 50 issues of Mission Today Journal.

                              Some of his books are used as textbooks in various Theological colleges across the country. Besides being involved in the parish and pastoral ministry in different Parishes of Shillong, Fr. VV Paul was a much sought after teacher at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong and visiting professor else where. And in spite of his busy academic and pastoral duty schedule, Father Paul found time also to edit the then undivided Guwahati Province newsletter NEWSLINE.

                              • India
                              • INS
                              • Decessi
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                RMG - CG28: Valdocco Vocational Training Center as told by Director Marco Gallo

                                2 weeks 2 days ago
                                RMG - CG28: Valdocco Vocational Training Center as told by Director Marco Gallo

                                (ANS - Rome) - 87 days from the beginning of the 28th General Chapter, the "Interviews with the eyes of ..." continue, the videos made by ANS in collaboration with the IMEComunicazione team, in which the Salesians of Valdocco present the Mother House.

                                This week, Br Marco Gallo, now four years the acting Director of the Cnos-Fap of Turin Valdocco, presents the Vocational Training Center. This center, Br Gallo explains, "is as important as in the times of Don Bosco."

                                "Today, so many years later," continues Br Gallo, "Valdocco still means vocational training for cooks, electricians, graphic designers. It is, however, a solution, an alternative for these young people who need to work and maintain themselves." Cnos-Fap has indeed always been an educational model and a reference point for many young people.

                                The complete video, which explains the activities and aims of the Valdocco Vocational Training Center, is available on the ANSChannel, in various languages.

                                • CG28
                                • RMG
                                • Formazione Professionale
                                  Virginia Nitto

                                  Spain – International Children's Day and the violated rights of innumerable girls and boys

                                  2 weeks 3 days ago
                                  Spain – International Children's Day and the violated rights of innumerable girls and boys

                                  (ANS - Madrid) - Rachel is only one month old. Her mother died during childbirth and her grandmother has nothing but tea with which to nourish her. Cilanda was accused of witchcraft, thrown out of the house and abused. Meanwhile, Odia's mother beat her because she cried too much. They are survival stories, like those of Angel, Dayana, Aime ... Stories of struggle that take place every day in Mbuji Mayi, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the Salesians take care of over 150 children of all age in their reception center.

                                  However, Mbuji Mayi is not the only place where children's rights are violated. The numbers in the world are frightening: more than 150 million children live on the streets, over 300,000 children are exploited as soldiers in armed conflicts, over seven million children are refugees, over 250 million children have no access to education, 41,000 girls a day are forced to marry, thousands of children are not registered at birth ...

                                  The Salesians do their best to counter these scourges: the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid, "MISIONES SALESIANAS", alone takes care of 85,800 children in 110 child protection projects active throughout the world. But many other children need protection and support. For this reason, the Mission Office has launched the campaign "Una cucharada de cariño" (A spoon of affection), in order to reach more children in risky situations.

                                  "The defense of their rights, the protection, education and promotion of children is our formula for responding to the vulnerability of children," explains Fr José Antonio San Martín, Director of Misiones Salesianas. Schools, reception centers, vocational training centers, youth centers, kindergartens ... are Salesian instruments to defend the rights of children, who however also need affection so that they can recover their self-esteem and dignity, so that they can laugh, play, dream again ... in short, change their future.

                                  On International Children's Day, celebrated today, November 20, the Salesians want to invite the international community to make the protection and well-being of children a truly genuine priority.

                                  • Spagna
                                  • Rep Dem del Congo
                                  • Bambini
                                  • Misiones Salesianas
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Chile – Young Salesians dream for Chile: Salesian students and works reflect on social explosion

                                    2 weeks 3 days ago
                                    Chile – Young Salesians dream for Chile: Salesian students and works reflect on social explosion

                                    (ANS - Santiago) - On 18 October, a violent social explosion generated a growing movement of citizen participation that has changed and shall completely change the country's socio-political scenario: millions of people took to the streets demanding a radical change in the neoliberal economic model, the lifestyle of its political class and the way leaders govern.

                                    From any perspective, it is an unprecedented fact in that it has mobilized every social strata in a global and unified manner, one in search of a single dream: a more supportive Chile, with greater social justice.

                                    The young people of the Salesian Youth Movement, together with the youth of the Church of Santiago, coming from different pastoral areas, have created a space to reflect on this social phase Chile is going through, on the causes, consequences and future prospects, and above all on the role young Catholics play and shall play in the entire process to unfold in the country.

                                    Thus, in a meeting held on Saturday 16 November in Santiago, there were testimonies and experiences of young people, who also shared their dreams and plans as they continue walking in the construction or re-construction of the country.

                                    Under the motto "The Chile we dream of", the meetings will continue to encourage dialogue, reflection and discernment among young people. On this occasion, there were proposals relating to "a new pastoral care for today's Chile", "the socio-political commitment of young Christians", "the importance of prayer", "ongoing formation in a key to the maturity of faith" and "the opening of spaces for dialogue and discernment together", all themes that shall be further developed, with the invitation also to anyone who, even of different spirituality, wishes to contribute.

                                    This is a broad movement that also involves other Salesian works in the country. For example, already on Saturday 9 November, in the Salesian house in Alameda, more than 400 young people had held a meeting called "the Chile that I desire", in which the origin and forms of solving the current social-political crisis were similarly discussed.

                                    So, too, the Salesians of the city of La Serena; they set aside days for reflection in which the educators addressed the topic they discussed with the students in their classrooms and developed an Emotional Containment Plan, wherein everyone could express their feelings and reflect on this social explosion.

                                    "Chile has awoken to find itself facing the unjust life we ​​have lived, on a political, economic, health and educational level. We have to bring out the positive side, not remain with the negative side. Always with a Christian attitude, because we cannot join the looting or robbery. As Don Bosco thought for all his Salesian Family, we have trust in our young people, protagonists of our education, to make them good Christians and to lead them to be upright citizens. We must pray for what is happening, for God to help us and strengthen us, so that Chile is a paradise where we can live in peace and equality," said Guido Torres, a religion teacher and pastoral secretary.

                                    {gallery}CILE - Incontro studenti - 2019{/gallery}

                                    • Cile
                                    • CIL
                                    • Sociale
                                    • Politica
                                    • Giovani
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Cameroon – Mimboman, the periphery that offers opportunities for growth

                                      2 weeks 3 days ago
                                      Cameroon – Mimboman, the periphery that offers opportunities for growth

                                      (ANS - Yaoundé) - Mimboman is a new semi-residential working-class neighborhood of about 20,000 inhabitants on the outskirts of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. Here the Salesians have been present since 1992, active, as always, in education, formation and support for young people, especially the poorest. In the field of vocational training, they have launched an interesting project to train young media professionals and now they have decided to invest in this sector with great courage.

                                      In the city of Yaoundé, many young people are unemployed, the informal economy is highly developed, especially in the commercial sector, and for many families, income is at the level of mere survival - which makes it difficult for life in school to last. Add to this a growing social insecurity, accompanied by highly developed social mobility phenomena.

                                      In this context, the work of the "Don Bosco" center is broad and articulated, and develops through the "Mary Help of Christians" parish, the youth-oratory center and the school complex, which in turn includes a secondary school and a Vocational Training Center.

                                      Among the flagships of the latter structure are two different elements: the section on "Audiovisual Editing" and the work procurement office inside the center, created by the Salesians to help students in the difficult phase of entering the local job market.

                                      At the moment, the section on "Audiovisual Editing" hosts about 20 young people per class, who after successfully attending a 9-month training cycle, obtain a certificate issued by the Don Bosco center and a Diploma of Professional Qualification (DPQ) issued by the State.

                                      But to further improve the quality of the training offered - in a sector such as audiovisual editing, which requires constant updating - the Salesians of Mimboman have asked for help from international benefactors and have devised a multi-stage project, the first of which will be to purchase two new MAC editing desks.

                                      In this way, they expect to offer students greater chances of success in the labor market.

                                      But even if they encounter difficulties, they will be assisted by the employment office of the “Don Bosco” center, which offers all students an internship inside private firms and always remains in contact with the graduate students to monitor their condition after completion of their studies.

                                      For more information, visit the website: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                      • ATE
                                      • Comunicazione Sociale
                                      • Camerun
                                      • Missioni
                                      • Missioni Don Bosco
                                      • Formazione Professionale
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Great Britain – Rector Major begins his GBR visit

                                        2 weeks 3 days ago
                                        Great Britain – Rector Major begins his GBR visit

                                        (ANS – Bolton) – The Rector Major began his animation visit to the GBR Province last night, November 19th, with a trip to Bootle, near Liverpool, to meet the Salesian Community and members of the Salesian Family in the area. At Savio Salesian College, he addressed an audience of students and teachers, young leaders, parishioners, Salesian Sisters and Cooperators, and then spent time in conversation with groups of guests. 

                                        Don Á.F. Artime began his first full day in the GBR Province with a traditional English breakfast with the Thornleigh community in Bolton, and then began a tour of Thornleigh Salesian House, which is also home to Provincial Office and several other Province-wide functions.

                                        When Don Ángel visited the communications office and Don Bosco Publications, Fr Bob Gardner SDB, Director, showed him the range of books published here, and outlined plans to publish more works of Salesian spirituality in English. Sarah Seddon, Manager of Don Bosco Publications, presented Don Ángel and his secretary, Fr Horacio López, with copies of “Coraggio!”, the English translation of the Manga book on Don Bosco's story, and the new Pocketbook on Dominic Savio.

                                        At noon, he visited Thornleigh Salesian College and rededicate the chapel. 

                                        Photos are available on ANSFlickr

                                        • Gran Bretagna
                                        • GBR
                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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