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East Timor – The visit's most important moment

3 weeks 2 days ago

(ANS – Dili) – Finally, on the second day of the Rector Major's visit to East Timor came the most highly awaited time for the Salesians. Besides the large outdoor celebrations with hundreds of youth or Salesian Family member participating, in the afternoon of January 31, the 10th successor of Don Bosco dedicated two and half hours to meet personally with professed Salesians.

After the presentation of each local community member present in the Audio Visual Hall in Don Bosco Comoro, Fr. Ángel contextualized this meeting: since GC27 (April 2014) he has met with Salesian confreres in 59 provinces and 70 different countries, reminding all that although we celebrated the Feast of Don Bosco away from Valdocco in Turin, all of us were, however, born there as Don Bosco Salesians thanks to the Holy Spirit.

The Rector Major shared in the language of the heart (a wonderful symbiosis of Portuguese, Spanish and Italian) and mentioned six major points about the beauty and future of the Congregation in the world as well as in East Timor: “We have a great future in these two countries of the ITM Vice Province. But there is one condition: we need a clear charismatic vision!” Fr. Ángel went on to explain how the present challenges of the Congregation are to become motivations for our charismatic growth.

Among the main points emphasized was the need for growth in fraternal communion, growth in Salesian identity that needed to be consolidated, and required the solid preparation of young confreres. The important role of the Salesian Brother for the future of the charism in East Timor was stressed with force and the audience all applauded the 15 Brothers present in the hall!

With passion, the Rector Major also underlined the charismatic future of East Timor: “Your future is in the province, with a simple lifestyle, a province living with the poor and for the poor people! This is your major strength. Your main treasure is the mission for the humble and poor youth of East Timor. Don’t be misguided!”

The final part of the fraternal talk focused on vocation discernment, accompaniment of all confreres, with explicit points about the weakness and remedies for the Salesians within the worldwide Salesian community with over 14,000 SDBs and 432 novices.

What followed were a few questions about the shared participatory decision-making process, animation and government, about how to help the confreres in irregular situations. In his answers, Fr. Angel spoke of the healthy situation of the Salesians at the present time as well the duty to build strong foundations of the future province of East Timor.

The first full day of Rector Major’s visit ended with common prayer of Vespers and a fraternal meal shared in the provincial house.

Source: AustraLasia

  • Timor Est
  • ITM
  • Rettor Maggiore
  • Ángel Fernández Artime
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Mexico - Warning! FALSE Facebook account attributed to Rector Major

    3 weeks 2 days ago

    (ANS - Guadalajara) - A week since the Pope reminded Catholics of the importance of living according to the truth, including journalism and the use of social networks, and denouncing fake news, the bad news is that the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has not remained exempt from this phenomenon – as a victim.

    There is, in fact, a Facebook user who for years has been using a false account similar to that of the Salesian Rector Major. The FALSE PROFILE is: "Don Ángel Fernández Artime" (www.facebook.com/Don-Ángel-Fernández-Artime-241088362745710). It is NOT managed by the Rector Major nor by any other of his collaborators.

    The thinking and the practice of a believer in Jesus should not resort to lies, and even more so if they aim to undermine someone's credibility or even to capture the attention of a wider audience or distract it from what is useful and, especially: true. "The truth will make you free," said Pope Francis in quoting the Gospel of John.

    The proliferation of false news and false websites, which mimic real, authentic and verified sites and accounts, has also required concrete answers from global service providers, such as Twitter and Facebook, where misleading news are often published. Alas, by the time someone is able to identify the falsehood, many have already fallen into the trap ... and others will never notice the deception right away, if ever.

    Another phenomenon is the accounts of people who, in their desire to pay tribute or express their admiration for someone, create fake profiles and accounts of public figures. Artists, athletes, scientists and religious leaders have had to deny and even denounce those who pretended to be them, what is known as identity theft. That that person wanted at the beginning to flatter or pay tribute to the person one admires, or is a fan of, does NOT matter: it is a LIE.

    Steps, of course, must be taken to prevent and avoid that someone is allowed to continue impersonating the Rector Major, for one, and the best way is to stop following false accounts and be aware and careful of any possible faked or offensive pages that might appear in his name. There is only one legitimate page.

    If anyone really wants to be know more and read news and publications by and about the Rector Major, please visit or follow ANGEL Fernández-Rector MAYOR at: (https://www.facebook.com/ANGEL-Fern%C3%A1ndez-Rector-MAYOR-1475236676049017/)

    • Rettor Maggiore
    • Ángel Fernández Artime
    • Comunicazione Sociale
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Mozambique - Extraordinary Visit of General Councilor for Social Communication has begun

      3 weeks 2 days ago

      (ANS - Maputo) - Fr Filiberto González, General Councilor for Social Communication of the Salesian Congregation, landed in Mozambique on Sunday, 28 January. The reason for his trip is the Extraordinary Visit of the "Mary Help of Christians" Vice Province of Mozambique, scheduled until March 14, to evaluate the path undertaken by the Vice Province along the route indicated by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, during his visit from 21 to 26 November, 2017.

      During his stay in Mozambique, Fr González will visit all the Salesian missions in the country. To evaluate the set path, he has already met with the Provincial of the Vice-Province, Fr Marco Biaggi, and his Council on the morning of Monday 29. Together, they reviewed the process of animation and government. In the afternoon, the Councilor met with the Delegates and the coordinators of the services of the Vice Province to verify the changes in the educational and pastoral processes. He also met the directors of the religious communities and the Salesian houses to examine the animation and governance of local communities.

      On Tuesday, January 30, the General Councilor met the Advisory Council of the Don Bosco Superior Institute (ISDB), one of the three Salesian Institutes of Higher Education (IUS) in Africa. Yesterday, January 31, he participated in the feast of Don Bosco at Namaacha and presided at the Eucharistic celebration where 14 novices made their first Salesian Religious Professions: 11 from Angola and 3 from Mozambique.

      {gallery}MOZ - Arrivo visita don Filiberto{/gallery}

      • MOZ
      • Mozambico
      • Filiberto González
      • Comunicazione Sociale
      • Visita Straordinaria
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG - My dear young people: "the world with you has a beautiful gift and will have a future full of hope"

        3 weeks 3 days ago

        (ANS - Rome) - As per tradition, every 31 January, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, sends a message on the occasion of the feast of St. John Bosco to all the young people of the world, be they believers or non-believers, or of other religions. This year, from Dili, East Timor, he spoke loud and strong: my dear young people "the world with you has a beautiful gift and will have a future full of hope."

        It is undoubtedly one of the most appropriate messages at a time like this when everywhere one hears that young people are without hope and meaning, afraid of commitment and fidelity, who have closed their lives and their hearts to God.

        However, we also hear different and very positive voices about young people.

        "The youth of the current generation are making a religious revolution, silent but firm. They raise questions among Christians and are not afraid to manifest themselves as such. They do not want to be intimidated or silenced ... Young people from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the East live their faith as emancipation and liberation in God ...," explained the psychiatrist priest T. Anatrella. And in this sense the Rector Major insists and calls young people to live happiness just as the great saints did. This is why she poses St. Ediht Stein as a model of prayer. During adolescence the future saint "had consciously and deliberately lost the habit of praying", but then came to compose that beautiful prayer: "Leave me, Lord, blindly follow your paths ... If you call me to offer in silence, help me to answer, let me close my eyes on all that I am, because dead to myself, not living but for you."

        The Rector Major invites young people to seek happiness. "Keep on looking passionately for your happiness ... This happiness has a name and a specific face: Jesus of Nazareth." And he insists: "the path of encounter with the face and person of Jesus must be done in a simple way: through prayer."

        The Rector Major's message to young people is available in several languages ​​on the website sdb.org.

        • Rettor Maggiore
        • Ángel Fernández Artime
        • Giovani
          Gian Francesco Romano

          RMG - #sym4synod: Salesian Youth Movement alongside Synod of Bishops 2018

          3 weeks 3 days ago

          (ANS - Rome) - If 2018 was recently defined by the media as "the year of young people", it is certainly also due to the XV Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in Rome, 3-28 October, 2018,  dedicated, by the will of Pope Francis, to "Youth, faith and vocational discernment." The Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) walks with and alongside the Church towards this important universal appointment.

          In recent months, SYM groups have participated, where present, in the consultations of the dioceses and bishops' conferences and have sent the online questionnaire published by the Secretariat of the Synod last June to young people around the globe. The answers and data collected will contribute to the writing of the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod, the instrument to guide the work of the Synod Fathers.

          The document, whose publication is expected in June, will be inspired by the Preparatory Document and will include the contributions collected thanks to the responses of the Episcopal Conferences and the Religious Unions, to the International Seminar on Youth Condition organized by the Synod Secretariat in September 2017 and finally, the so-called "Pre-Synodal Meeting" - a true novelty of this Synod, which will on March 19-24, 2018,  in Rome about 300 young people from different realities, not just Catholic, to listen directly to the voice of the young. The Salesian Youth Movement will also be present on this occasion.

          In view of these events, on the day when St. John Bosco is remembered, SYM reaffirms its commitment to walking with the Church by launching the hashtag #sym4synod. SYM is the English acronym of Salesian Youth Movement and they mean to propose a single international hashtag to support the official #Synod2018 in all the stories (photos, videos, articles, reports) on the stages of approaching the Synod that the SYM groups will publish on social media over the next few months.

          The aim is to support, not to replace: not to create parallel channels of communication, but rather to infect with Salesian joy the communicative flow that will invest this world event. The message is simple: "SYM-MGS for the Synod", the Salesian Youth Movement at the service of the Synodal journey of the whole Church, so that the Good News will reach all young people.

          To find out more about the synodal journey and to share what each SYM group across the globe will live in approach to the October Synod, the appointment is online: #sym4synod #Synod2018

          • RMG
          • Sinodo sui Giovani
          • Pastorale Giovanile
          • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
            Gian Francesco Romano

            East Timor – Fr Ángel Fernández Artime: "I come here because I love you all"

            3 weeks 4 days ago

            (ANS – Dili) – The tenth successor of St John Bosco and Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Angel Fernandez Artime SDB arrived at Dili, East Timor, on the morning of 30 January. This is the third Salesian Rector Major visiting East Timor after the first and second visit of Fr. Egido Viganò 30 years ago in 1988, and Fr. Pascual Chavez 14 years ago in 2004; hence, 91 years after the first Salesian community arrived in Timor Leste in 1927.The Rector Major was accompanied by his secretary Fr. Horacio Lopez and Salesians from Jakarta Fr. Lino Quintão Belo and Fr. Onny, together with Salesian Bishop Virgilio do Carmo da Silva, Bishop of Diocese of Dili.

            By Fr. José de Sá, SDB

            The Rector Major and his team were solemnly welcomed at Dili airport by many members of the Salesian Family: thousands of young people and students and many Salesians and Salesian Sisters, Alumni of Don Bosco, Salesian Cooperators, ADMA and friends of Don Bosco who were eagerly awaiting the Rector Major. “Seeing, touching and meeting the Rector Major in person is really a blessing for me and for my family,” says Gaspar Freitas Kassa, an alumnus of Don Bosco and a father of two children. “Talking to him and listening to him, during this coming 7 days,.. well I feel very blessed and I can feel Don Bosco's presence. His visit is really strengthening our alumni commitment to share mission with Salesians here. He brings alive the experience of Don Bosco to us to explore.” Many other young students shouted: “Viva Don Angel, Viva Don Bosco, bemvindo and welcome dear Fr. Angel to our country, we love you.” 

            Fr. Angel was then driven by parades of young people to the Hall of Youth Training Centre, where the formal ceremony was held, accompanied by Fr. Apolinario, the Provincial, driven by a car surrounded by young people. He was also stopped for a while by Salesian Sister students to welcome him with a beautiful song of benvenidos.  

            In a welcome speech by Provincial Fr Apolinario in Portuguese, he thanked the Rector Major for his presence in the Province. “A father between us, Don Bosco’s presence in our life. Your presence opens for us a new well of joy and of love which will give a new water of life to all of us. As sons and daughters of Don Bosco, we feel very happy with your presence among us as father, brother and friend. The Salesian Congregation flourished  in our country through the courage and sacrifices of our great Salesian missionaries. They came here in two expeditions: first in 1927 until 1929 and they could not stay longer for causes difficult to explain, but the second expedition was truly fruitful: the good seed spread in good soil and continued to grow until today. Some of our missionaries returned home, some died here and other are still alive working in our Province. The small seed is growing bigger with many fruits, in many Salesian groups: SDB, FMA, ASC, ADMA, VDB and friends of Don Bosco. Besides Timor, the Salesian presence has also been flourishing in Indonesia since 1985, where now a new Delegation will begin. Salesian Family, especially SDB and FMA, doesn’t only work in this country but goes also outside as missionaries in different countries of the world. We do pray that the Lord continues blessing us, so that we may continue to work for the good of the people in the family, in the church and in the country. We hope your presence will strengthen our commitment and fidelity to our Salesian vocation. Seja bemvindo a sua casa em Timor Pe. Angel e que a sua visita se torne uma grande benção para todos nós”.

            In return, the Rector Major addressed the assembly in Portuguese mixed with Spanish: “I’m deeply happy to be here with you all. Rome is very far from Timor, but not Timor far from Rome. We started from Rome on Sunday, and today is Tuesday at our arrival in Timor. We passed through Indonesia just a while, and then we will formally return for a second time. I’m really happy seeing so many young people, adults, elders, and many others from Salesian Family and I am sure that we will meet again tomorrow for the feast of Don Bosco. I have to say one thing that is really true. I come here not just because of a program that I have to come to Timor today – no, oh no. I come here because I love you all. I celebrated the first year of the Feast of Don Bosco in Valdocco (Turin), the second year in Africa, in Sierra Leone; in the third year, in Cuba, and the fourth year I decided to go to Asia. But Asia is very big. Isn't it true? It's true! And Timor is not so big, is it? All the places I’ve visited were very good but Timor is the best one to celebrate the Feast of Don Bosco. I feel very happy to greet you, my dear confreres, my beloved brother, that now a Bishop is present here among us, Fr Virgilio; dear Salesians Sisters and other sisters and members of the Salesian Family that are so lovely: I just greet you in this way but tomorrow we have to celebrate the Feast of Don Bosco. Just enough for today and obrigado, obrigado.” After speaking to the assembly, Fr. Angel went among the students and Salesian Family giving them photo opportunities and greeting them in person.

            The Rector Major shared a meal with the Salesian Family in the Provincial House. He had a very happy time with some students and staff of the Provincial House. He specifically congratulated and thanked the first old Salesian missionary Fr. João de Deus Pires, SDB, for his outstanding work in the past 60 years for the foundation of the Salesian presence in East Timor. Later in the same afternoon, the Rector Major toured the compound of the Provincial House before visiting and participating in the last day of the “Novena to Dom Bosco” in the Parish of Mary Help of Christians. Fr Ángel Fernández Artime SDB, didn't seem to have much rest since his arrival from Jakarta to Dili, but he was smiling throughout his busy first day at Salesian Provincial House compound. He made every one smile, too. It was meeting the real Don Bosco, as many of the Salesian Family said after seeing Fr. Ángel on the first day. 

            • Timor Est
            • ITM
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Ángel Fernández Artime
            • Famiglia Salesiana
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Spain - Salesian Family celebrates Don Bosco with its gaze on Youth Synod

              3 weeks 4 days ago

              (ANS - Madrid) – These days, the Salesian Family is preparing for the celebration of the feast of its founder, St. John Bosco (1815-1888), on January 31st. Over 650 Salesian centers in Spain continue their work today in favor of the young, especially the neediest. Some 188,000 young people attend different Salesian centers where they receive education, technical training and values, which are provided by 1,635 Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) plus 14,500 educators and collaborators.

              Schools, vocational training centers, youth centers, social intervention projects for young people at risk of exclusion and immigrants, parishes, shelters ... These are the main Salesian works used to form "good Christians and honest citizens", as per Don Bosco.

              952 Salesians and 683 FMA work in Spain. Their educational centers are one of the country's largest non-university educational networks. Both congregations manage and animate 138 schools. 96,000 students attend these educational centers where 6,235 teachers teach. There are 60 Centers of Vocational Training, of Spain's Salesians and FMA, with about 18,700 students and over 1,400 teachers.

              The 134 Salesian youth centers offer education in their free time to 42,300 children and young people. Approximately 5,150 animators volunteer to serve them.

              Salesian work also reaches young people at risk of social exclusion. Salesians and FMA are currently carrying out 293 social projects through shelters, apartments for emancipation, migrant routes, work placement programs ... Almost 29,500 recipients benefit from these initiatives, and are supported by circa 1,670 educators.

              In Madrid last autumn the Salesians celebrated the International Congress of Youth Ministry and Family, part of a process to make the family ever more the authentic subject and focus of Salesian Youth Ministry.

              And why in 2018 the Salesian Family will closely follow the Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment". Furthermore, work is also being done to promote a vocational culture among Salesians to promote reflection of children and young people on the meaning of their lives and on how to achieve happiness through faith.

              • Spagna
              • Famiglia Salesiana
              • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
              • Salesiani
              • Don Bosco
                Gian Francesco Romano

                RMG - Rector Major's"Goodnight": "We are a Congregation that continues to grow in loyalty to young people"

                3 weeks 5 days ago

                (ANS - Rome) - On the feast of the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, 25 January, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, offered the thought of the Salesian "goodnight" at the end of the winter plenary session of the General Council, the first celebrated in the new Salesian Headquarters of the "Sacred Heart", its name: "Comunità San Giuseppe."

                "We thank you for what you are for this community and for the whole Congregation, dear Rector Major. Our community is yours, it supports you and always accompanies you with prayer," said the Director of the San Giuseppe community, Fr Jean Claude Ngoy. "It is thanks to your animation that every Province in the world enters the vision of the Rector Major, becomes converted to the love of God and neighbor, who are our young people, and becomes a tireless missionary, according to the heart of God and the model of Don Bosco."

                Fr Á.F. Artime described how the General Council met during the months of December and January for work he deemed intense; six Provincials were appointed: Fr Ábrahám Béla, confirmed Provincial of Hungary; Fr Tihomir Šutalo, new Provincial of Croatia; Fr Januarius Sangma, Provincial of India-Guwahati and Fr Paul Olphindro, Provincial of India-Shillong; Fr Marko Košnik, Provincial of Slovenia; and Fr Jefferson Luis da Silva Santos, Provincial of Brazil-Manaus Province. All the appointed Provincials reached the seat of the Salesian Congregation to dialogue with the Rector Major and to receive a letter with the "roadmap as Superiors of the Provinces", a task entrusted to them by God, with the mission of animating and governing them.

                The Rector Major then added that four Vicars and eight Provincial Economers were also appointed as were 105 Salesian Directors. Three Salesian centers have been opened, others closed. He emphasized that "we are a Congregation that continues to grow in fidelity to the most needy young people."

                "I thank you from my heart for all the service each of you offers in the Dicasteries, a service that makes the Congregation great," the Rector Major concluded. "May the Lord accompany us in continuing to do his will, wherever he calls us and in the service he asks of us."

                • RMG
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                • Consiglio Generale
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  The Philippines – Eruption of vulcano Mayon: Don Bosco Legazpi coordinates diocese social action

                  3 weeks 5 days ago

                  (ANS – Legazpi) – From the Salesian Legazpi community, Don Bosco Vocation Training Center, the latest update on the Philppines vulcano Mayon's  continous eruption since January 22, 2018: Don Bosco Vocation Training Center (VCT) is about 24 km aways from the volcano Mayon and the danger zone declared by the government is only 9 km from the volcano Mayon. We are, however, located at the safe side. Secondly, the elevation of the hilly part of Legazpi where Don Bosco is located is more than 70 meters above sea level, thereby much safer in relation to other areas in the province.

                  By Fr. Ronil Javines, SDB

                  Indeed the possible effect on Don Bosco VTC from the eruption is through the fall of ash the volcano emits. But at the moment, the wind direction does not lead to the Don Bosco Legazpi side. Don Bosco Legazpi now coordinates the social action of the diocese to help the people in evacuation areas.

                  The social action arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines has appealed for donations for the relief and rehabilitation of families affected by the ongoing eruption of Vulcano Mayon in Albay province. Over 70,000 people have already been evacuated to temporary shelters as the volcano started spewing columns of ashes as high as ten kilometers this week.

                  The Diocese of Legazpi declares that most of those affected by the eruption are farmers who live and work within the volcano's six-kilometer radius permanent danger zone. "Their lives are disrupted and their means of livelihood suddenly became inaccessible, that is why they need all the help we could give."

                  The immediate needs of the affected communities include sleeping mats, mosquito nets, blankets, face masks, hygiene kits, firewood, food, water, toilets, and communal kitchens. Parishes around the diocese have already activated their respective Parish Disaster Response Committees that set up of soup kitchens. Church facilities are also being opened to house the most vulnerable evacuees, such as pregnant and lactating mothers, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. The government's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has also announced that it has already prepared relief goods for the displaced population.

                  On January 22, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised Alert Level 4 over the volcano and advised the public to desist from entering the 9-kilometer radius danger zone. Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi issued circular letters urging the faithful in his diocese "to open your homes once again and welcome some of our brothers and sisters... If for whatever reason this is not possible, can we at least consider allowing those to use our toilets and bathrooms?"

                  Mount Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines, erupting more than 50 times in the past 500 years. Its most destructive eruption was on Feb. 1, 1814, burying the town of Cagsawa and killing at least 1,200 people. The volcano has so far ejected 6.2 million cubic meters of volcanic materials including molten rocks in the past week, with sulfur dioxide gas emission at an average of 2,466 tons per day.

                  Source: AustraLasia

                  • Filippine
                  • Disastri
                  • FIN
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Panama - The "Valdocco of America": a center that irradiates the devotion to Don Bosco to all the young people of the continent

                    4 weeks 1 day ago

                    (ANS - Panama City) - The Salesian Province of Central America presented the project "Panama, Valdocco of America", which aims to make the country a center of devotion to Don Bosco throughout Latin America.

                    The project will have its base in the Basilica of Don Bosco, located in the popular district of Calidonia, Panama City. In addition to promoting religious tourism, it aims to strengthen the integral education of young people, especially those in difficulty and at risk.

                    The project started in 2017 and continues until 2021. For the 2019 World Youth Day, to take place in Panama, the Don Bosco Basilica will become the reference point for young people from around the globe and the event shall be without doubt the best opportunity to launch the project throughout the Americas and worldwide.

                    The Salesians of Central America, under the guidance of the Provincial, Fr José Ángel Prado, are now busy developing this project.

                    Meanwhile, the Basilica of Don Bosco and the Don Bosco Technical Institute have united to strengthen the Salesian presence regarding education, formation and ministry.

                    Specifically, the Basilica has initiated a restructuring process to promote assistance programs for young people who are poor and at risk. To this end, technical training workshops and a leisure center will be built in the basilica.

                    Valdocco is the original place of Don Bosco's work. Located in what was the outskirts of Turin, Valdocco was where the Saint of Youth gathered his children and helped them build a better life: poor and abandoned young people who found in Don Bosco a father and a friend, young people emigrating from the farms and countryside to the city in search of work ... Don Bosco offered them a helping hand, bread, work and paradise. He had a basilica dedicated to Mary Help of Christians built and he used to say that "She did everything". From that house, Salesianity irradiated to the entire world.

                    The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, visited Panama City in 2016. From the affection and devotion of the Panamanians to Don Bosco, he found inspiration to launch the project to transform Panama's Basilica of Don Bosco into the "Valdocco of America": a center that irradiates the devotion to Don Bosco to all the young people of the continent.

                    • Panama
                    • CAM
                    • GMG2019
                    • Don Bosco
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      RMG – Visit of the Rector Major in ITM Vice-province

                      4 weeks 1 day ago

                      (ANS – Rome) – Also this year the Rector Major has chosen to celebrate the Solemnity of St. John Bosco not at the Valdocco of Turin (2016 - Sierra Leone, 2017 in Dominican Republic) but in Dili - the capital of Timor Leste.

                      The 200+ confreres of the ITM Viceprovince living in two countries (RDTL - Republica Democratica de Timor Leste and Republic of Indonesia) are excited to welcome the 10th Successor of Don Bosco with a meaning. The best witness is the prayer for the visit of the Rector Major already circulated in all EPC of Timor Leste in Tetun language and in the Indonesia Delegation in Bahasa Indonesia. On the welcoming banner we can read in Tetun: 'Hametin liutan Ita-nia compromisu ba misaun' (=Strengthen our commitment for the Mission).

                      The visit of the Rector major is the third in history (Fr. Vigano in 1988, Fr. Chavez in 2004) in Timor Leste and the fourth (Fr. Vigano in 1988, Fr. Chavez in 2004 and 2010) in Indonesia.

                      During the five full days of Timor Leste visit, the 10th successor of Don Bosco will preside the Solemn Eucharist on January 31st in Dili - Comoro and held a variety of encounters with the Salesians of Don Bosco, with the Rectors, with the Provincial Council ITM, with the Salesian Youth Movement and also with the main groups of the Salesian Family: FMA Sisters (Venilale), ADMA (Fatumaca), Don Bosco Alumni (Dili) and Salesian Cooperators (Dili). The only movement out of the capital of Dili will be towards the 'Valdocco of Timor Leste' in Fatumaca (Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Novitiate, Aspirantate, Don Bosco Technical School, VTC, with the social and pastoral work in nearby rural zone).

                      During the two full days of Indonesia Delegation visit, Fr. Angel will meet the Salesians SDB, the Delegation Council, the Salesian Family, the Salesian Youth Movement and will visit three Salesian works around Jakarta - Wisma Don Bosco (Headquarters of the Delegation, Postnovitiate), Tigaraksa (Novitiate, Vocation Training Center, Oratory) and the Parish of St. John Bosco in Sunter.

                      • RMG
                      • ITM
                      • Rettor Maggiore
                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Italy - "Urban-Regeneraction". Rediscovering inner cities through young eyes

                        4 weeks 1 day ago

                        (ANS - Rome) – The "Urban Re-Generation" project started about 6 months ago and has already achieved significant results in obtaining the involvement and commitment of young people, about 400, thanks to the support of 40 operators in 16 different peripheral locations (inner cities) in 14 Italian regions. Young ideas in urban “suburbs”, peripheral areas, banlieues. Experiences of active and supportive citizenship for/with new generations. Its objective, a huge challenge: to design, foster and implement actions of active citizenship with and for young people in the name of civic commitment that becomes testimony within the community and restitution, or giving back, to the community.

                        The project has already developed in many peripheral and social contexts where its regenerated the urban fabric of the “suburbs” through the proactive participation of adolescents and young people; for one, via the rediscovery of these same territories and their improvement into welcoming spaces suitable for children and raising children.

                        Intermediate-level training courses and monitoring with project managers took place on 12-13 January in Turin and 19-20 January, Rome. "Let's paint the suburbs in which we live", "let's give life to our days", "let's start looking for and discovering the beauty around us and within us" ... The words of the local activists emphasize how the opportunity to work together to improve the urban and social fabric lead the children to re-read, re-evaluate and improve their own lives.

                        Living in the suburbs does not only mean passing through and across, but to invest in the development of bonds and social fabrics that are, in fact, substantial, meaningful, actions that revive the projects of young people who are an active and vital part of any urban context. Together, operators and young people collaborate in the search for strategies of shared participation, all with an eye to the future, and the aim of listening and giving voice to young people in a concrete fashion.


                        The project is co-funded by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and coordinated by the Salesians for Social Work - SCS/CNOS Federation - in collaboration with CGS associations (socio-cultural youth cine-clubs) and TGS (Youth and social tourism).


                        Further details on the project can be found at:

                        https://www.salesianiperilsociale.it/urban-re-generaction-periferie-urbane/

                        {gallery}Italia - Urban Re-Generation{/gallery}

                         

                        • Italia
                        • Periferie
                        • Salesiani per il Sociale
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Italy - Pope Francis to visit Santa Sofia Basilica in Rome, commemorating Msgr. Czmil, SDB

                          4 weeks 2 days ago

                          (ANS - Rome) - Next Sunday, January 28, the Holy Father, accepting the invitation of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč, shall visit the Basilica of Santa Sofia in Rome, where he will meet with the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic community and pray at the tomb of Salesian bishop Msgr. Stepan Czmil (1914-1978) in memory of the 40th anniversary of his death, January 22.

                          Rome's Santa Sofia church was commissioned in 1963 by Archbishop Major Cardinal Josyp Slipyi, then Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, when after long and harsh persecution by the Soviet regime, he was finally able to leave the Soviet Gulag after 18 years of imprisonment. On September 27-28, 1969, the church was solemnly consecrated by the same Slipyi, in the presence of Pope Paul VI. In 1998, Saint John Paul II elevated it to Minor Basilica. The meeting of Pope Francis with the Ukrainian migrants and pilgrims will be a sign of his pastoral concern for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and his proximity to the Ukrainian people.

                          Pope Francis knows the history of this people well. And he knows it well thanks to a Salesian, Fr Stepan Czmil, who arrived in Buenos Aires as a missionary for the Ukrainian faithful in 1949 and was an educator at the Salesian Institute of Ramos Mejia where he also taught the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Msgr. Stepan Czmil was  the first Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Salesian, a pioneer and originator, indeed, of the entire branch of Ukrainian Salesians of the Greek-Catholic rite. On 2 April 1977, he was consecrated bishop, together with Liubomyr Husar and Ivan Choma, in absolute secrecy, by Cardinal Slipyi, to prevent Soviet persecution.

                          Msgr. Czmil died in Rome on 22 January, 1978, at the age of 63, only 9 months after the secret episcopal ordination. His gave ample proof of a consecrated life of a Salesian, a life fully lived on a day-to-day basis in fidelity, in tireless and complete dedication to others; he dedicated himself to the foundation of the Eastern Byzantine branch of the Salesians; in Argentina, he distinguished himself in his apostolic work among the Ukrainian faithful and in education among young Ukrainians at Ukraine's Pontifical Minor Seminary in Rome. A faithful son of Don Bosco, in everything he tried to love and serve the Congregation and the Church and its people oppressed by the Soviet communist regime.

                          The start of his possible beatification process has,meanwhile, begun to be studied and evaluated.

                          • Italia
                          • Papa Francesco
                          • Stefano Czmil
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Venezuela - Street children and criminal gangs: Salesians in their midst

                            4 weeks 2 days ago

                            (ANS - Caracas) - The political, economic and social situation in Venezuela has seen an increase in corruption, prices, the scarcity of goods, and as a last consequence: increased insecurity and violence. The Salesians have expressed their position: to remain close to the population and to qualify as a dictatorship the lack of freedom the country is experiencing. The Salesians continue to take care of the children living on the streets and to recover those who belong to criminal gangs.

                            The "Red de Casas Don Bosco" in Venezuela offers shelter to over 1,300 street children across the country, thanks to 10 houses. Mr. Leonardo Rodríguez, a lawyer and director of the aforesaid association, expresses his concern because every day adults come "in search of their children who have fled their homes, or parents who ask us to welcome their children in one of the Don Bosco Houses because they have no way to feed their children."

                            "For almost a year, we have asked the National Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents to draw up a national plan for the protection of the rights of children at risk, given that it does not exist," states Dr. Rodríguez.

                            In the 20 years of experience with the Salesians, the Director of "Red de Casas Don Bosco" has also met minors who had been criminal gang members and acknowledges that "the hardest thing is when you make every effort to bring these kids together and maybe in less than a year they end up killed or in jail."

                            Since 2013, the Salesians have started new initiatives in the poorest neighborhoods to prevent children and adolescents from joining criminal groups.

                            Among the cases that Dr Rodríguez will never forget is the case of two brothers aged 11 and 13. "They were taken to an uncle in one of the centers of Caracas where they received help from our institution for two years, but the result was terrifying: the child was killed in a gang battle and the older boy was hit in the head and remained deaf. It was pitiful to see him that way, but he continued to come to the Don Bosco House until, the following year, the band found him and killed him."

                            • Venezuela
                            • VEN
                            • Bambini di Strada
                            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                            • Opzione Preferenziale
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Germany - A new short movie series about Don Bosco

                              1 month ago

                              (ANS - Hildesheim) - If you type "Don Bosco" on Google, the search engine delivers nearly 28 million results, of which about 480,000 are videos on YouTube. The amount of information available on the founder of the Salesian Congregation is immense. Now, specially designed to summarize and clearly encapsulate the most essential information about Don Bosco, a new series of short animated videos is being produced.

                              "But there is more," explains Fr. Alfons Friedrich SDB, Managing Director of the Salesian Publishing House "Don Bosco Medien S.A", Munich. "With videos we want to both inform and entertain people at the same time. Nowadays people don't really want to read texts that are too long, or boring. Instead of reading, they prefer watching videos; if they're short, all the better."

                              The Salesian publishing house is developing the project in collaboration with a television production company in Hildesheim, Germany. "The idea of producing these videos isn't new, of course, but we believe this is the most appropriare time for them, the time also to explain complex problems or the lives of the saints, as in the case of Don Bosco, for example, which otherwise would be difficult to transmit and make appealing for a general audience."

                              With these videos on St. John Bosco, the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians wish to offer new German-language digital productions for Germany and Austria, especially to those who have never heard of Don Bosco.

                              In fact, the project does not target a specific group of people – regardless of age - but to a larger audience. "With this type of short film we want to reach a wide audience that covers all ages, and the videos we wish used in religious formation, in parish ministry with adults, in formative moments, infotainment on Don Bosco, the Saint of Youth, in other words," adds Fr Friedrich.

                              The first short film produced is on the life of Don Bosco and has a duration of 3:54 minutes. In view of the upcoming feast of St. John Bosco on January 31st, it was released last week.

                              Other short films being produced include: the life of Maria Mazzarello, the pedagogy and spirituality of Don Bosco, and other topics.

                              • Germania
                              • GER
                              • Comunicazione Sociale
                              • Cortometraggi
                              • Don Bosco
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Italy - Salesian Sites: living sites for the Salesian Family and the young people of the world

                                1 month ago

                                (ANS - Turin) - The valorization of Salesian heritage sites, those historic locations where the Salesian charism was born and developed at its very beginnings, was one of the themes addressed at the last 27th General Chapter (2014), which in fact had placed them under the special and specific responsibility of the Rector Major and his Council. Today, the "Salesian Heritage Sites Commission", the body appointed to protect, develop and exalt these sites, sends an invitation to all members of the Salesian Family asking them to learn about the sites, visit them and "live them."

                                Colle Don Bosco, Chieri and Valdocco: these are, specifically, the locations the Commission intends promoting. And the reason is simple: "the locations of our origins are the places of our originality," explains Fr Luca Barone, Director of the Colle Don Bosco community.

                                The Colle is not just Don Bosco's birthplace. It is also where, as a 9-year old, he had the dream that would orient his whole existence and his charisma, the place where he grew up, was raised and learned from the example of Mother Margherita with the many teachings that, in the future, would be revealed useful.

                                In Chieri, Don Bosco's vocational path, and where the future saint was helped to discern how to realize his mission.

                                Finally, Valdocco is the site of the first stable Oratory, where the pedagogy of the Saint of the Young takes shape, is established, develops.

                                Regarding the sites, the Commission's proposal is not just to visit them, but includes people participating in celebrations, praying, thinking, reflecting, discussing, sharing together, taking advantage of the numerous opportunities they offer for hospitality; they ask people to immerse themselves in that river of holiness that, originated over 200 years ago, still sweeps across the continents like a wave.

                                "We would like to invite you to live a real spiritual and charismatic journey," says Fr Guido Errico, Director of the Mother Mary Help of Christians HQ in Valdocco.

                                "The new Salesian-style evangelization goes through these locations," concludes Fr Barone.

                                So that this invitation reaches a greater audience, thanks to the collaboration of Turin's "Missioni Don Bosco", the Commission has produced a video in three languages wherein the proposals are presented and illustrated.

                                Further information is also available at:

                                www.colledonbosco.org

                                And on the new website of the Basilica of Valdocco:

                                www.basilicamariaausiliatrice.it 

                                • Italia
                                • Luoghi Salesiani
                                • ICP
                                • Don Bosco
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Chile – Pope's brief meeting with Juan Namuncurá, relative of Blessed Ceferino

                                  1 month ago

                                  (ANS - Temuco) - Before celebrating Mass in the city of Temuco last January 17, Pope Francisco met Juan Namuncurá, a relative of Salesian Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá (1886-1905), together with a group of Argentines.

                                  The Holy Father had decided in advance that in Temuco he would reserve some time for a meeting, even a short one, with some people of Argentinian nationality he wanted to see and listen to personally for a short while.

                                  Among those received by the Pope: Mario Cafiero, political leader; Eduardo Valdés, former Argentine ambassador to the Holy See; Juan Namuncurá, whose great-uncle was blessed Ceferino Namuncurá, in turn the son of the indigenous leader Manuel Namuncurá. Joining this group, at the invitation of the first three, was Juan Carlos Reinao Marilao, a medical doctor, politician and Chilean Mapuche leader, who has been mayor of the town of Renaico since 2017 and is President of the Association of Chilean Municipalities with Mapuche Mayors.

                                  A few months after the Pope's visit to Chile, Juan Namuncurá decided to write a letter to the Pope. Mario Cafiero and Eduardo Valdés served as facilitators so that the missive of almost four pages reached its goal as it, indeed, did.

                                  "Dear and and most respectable Francis, I am Juan Namuncurá, preceded by the fame of the actions of my ancestors - the most famous and beloved of which, as far as recent times are concerned, is my great-uncle, Ceferino, or Zeffirino, our little Sapphire."

                                  Thus began the letter the Pope received and read, its purpose immediately explained: "I wish to be 'a bridge for your brothers' who, on a person level and as a consequence of the times, are not only those who once inhabited the communities, today commonly called 'Mapuche', but all of society."

                                  In his letter to the Pope, Juan Namuncurá expressed his wish to continue "the inheritance and commitment of the family lineage" by seeking together "with a small group of brothers (...) new roads and bridges, based on peace and harmony" centered on the concept of "democratization of indigenous peoples."

                                  After reading the letter, the Pope invited Namuncurá to meet him in Chile and to speak personally about these problems, outside the official agenda. This was the theme of the dialogue in the improvised sacristy of Temuco. Juan Namuncurá described the dialogue as "very concrete and profound", but did not specify the terms of the exchange. He also expressed surprise at how the Pope recalled the letter's details, taking noting that several themes and expressions were also adopted in the homily given a little earlier. "I admired," Namuncurá said, "the enormous intellectual speed of Francesco", from whom he hopes to receive support for his initiative and with whom he will remain in contact in the future to advance the conversations begun in Temuco.

                                  • Cile
                                  • Papa Francesco
                                  • Mapuche
                                  • Ceferino Namuncurà
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Burkina Faso - Construction of a Women's Promotion Center started

                                    1 month ago

                                    (ANS - Kouba) - Thanks to the joint efforts of numerous Spanish Salesian entities, a Women's Promotion Center is taking shape in Kouba, at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Recently the first images of the center have arrived, a center promoted by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians as part of a vast socio-educational project.

                                    Kouba is currently in the second construction phase of the large socio-educational, cultural and sporting complex for children, girls and young people that the FMA have planned over a period of 5-10 years. The complete project will include a nursery school, primary and secondary schools, a shelter for girls with limited resources, an oratory open to the neighborhood with sports facilities and educational workshops of various kinds and, of course, the Women's Center offering apprenticeships and fostering literacy.

                                    This center was born to address the precarious situation experienced by many women and young people by providing qualified skills and professional training in sectors such as catering, tailoring, information technology and hairdressing. The project includes courses of literacy, support for work placement, education in values, attention to the use of free time; its main objective is to train girls and women so they can work and get out of poverty.

                                    As for the Women's Center, work started in December 2017 and should be completed in 10 months.

                                    The global project has the support of the Spanish Salesian NGOs "Solidaridad Don Bosco", "VOLS" and "Jóvenes y Desarrollo", of the "MadreSelva" Foundation, of the FMA, and of the Austrian NGO "Jugend Eine Welt-Don Bosco", and the support of various public bodies.

                                    The educative-pastoral community of the "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" Province, of the Salesians of Don Bosco, played a key role in supporting this project - and to other Salesians in Burkina Faso - through the "Sowing opportunities in Burkina" campaign, thanks to which over 50,000 euros were collected and sent.

                                    To date, a first phase of the project has been completed with the construction of a tower water tank, which has the ability to supply the entire complex, and a training course in horticultural techniques for a hundred women in the area, a land particularly arid where the optimization of resources is essential to ensure good and proper nutrition for the local families.

                                    • Burkina Faso
                                    • AFO
                                    • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                    • Donne
                                    • Ragazze
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      India – Sad Demise of Father James Poonthuruthil SDB

                                      1 month ago

                                      (ANS – Shillong) – Father James Poonthuruthil SDB, Rector and Professor at Sacred Heart Theological College Shillong and former Provincial of Dimapur Province, passed away on January 21 at NEIGRIHMS (North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences) in Shillong, Meghalaya, after being seriously hurt in a road accident on 14 January while travelling from Shillong to Guwahati in Assam. He would have turned 63 on January 27.

                                      By Father George Maliekal, SDB

                                      The Tata Nano car he was travelling in rammed into a stationery truck on NH-6 at Umsawnongkharai near Nongpoh in the Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya. The police, along with sisters and fathers of Nongpoh parish, rushed the injured first to Nongpoh Civil Hospital and later to NEIGRIHMS.

                                      The team of doctors at NEIGRIHMS conducted surgery on him to stop the swelling and brain hemorrhage.  On Friday, 19 January, a tracheostomy was also performed. But he responded little to the round the clock medical attention that was given him. He passed away at 7:55 PM, 21 January.

                                      Father Ponthuruthil's body was taken to the Sacred Heart Theological College and placed in the Shrine of the Sacred Heart. The requiem Mass was held at 5.00 PM on 22 January, after which the body was taken to Salesian College Dimapur in Nagaland for burial at 2.00 PM, 23 January.

                                      Father  Poonthuruthil, the former Provincial Superior of Dimapur Province, with a doctoral degree in Moral Theology from Alfonsiana, Rome, with the thesis ''Towards Responsibility: A Study of Erik H Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development and Viktor E Frankl's theory of Logotherapy'' served the Church in Northeast India in various capacities.

                                      He was registrar of the Sacred Heart College from 1988 to 1992; and from 1994 to 1995. He was rector of the Salesian College of Higher Education, Dimapur, during 1995-2001. He became the president of the Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, in 2003, a post he held for three years. He was then appointed as Provincial Superior of the Salesian Province of Dimapur, Nagaland, from 2006 to 2012. A year later, he was appointed director of Integrated Training for Laity and Religious and as Rector of the Mathias Institute, Mawlai. Last May, he had also become Rector of the Sacred Heart Theological College Shillong.

                                      • India
                                      • IND
                                      • INS
                                      • Decessi
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Peru - Salesian Family close to the Pope

                                        1 month ago

                                        (ANS - Puerto Maldonado) - An indescribable feeling: the experience of Peru's Salesian Family during various meetings with Pope Francis these past few days. In the capital, Lima, and then in Puerto Maldonado, young people, Salesian religious, representatives of missions and indigenous peoples accompanied by the Sons of Don Bosco, had the opportunity to display their affection to the Pontiff and to listen to his words of hope and of encouragement.

                                        On the first day of the Pope's Apostolic Voyage to Peru, Friday 18, the Salesian Family and many other young Catholics gathered n the capital along the Papal route. Besides songs and prayers, the young welcomed the Pope by exhibiting a large statue of Mary Help of Christians. Passing along "Avenida Brasile", the Pope gave his blessing to all those present. In the evening of this festive day, a crowd of young people, accompanied by the Provincial, Fr Manolo Cayo, waited for the Pope to appear under the balcony of the Nunciature. "If this was the first day ... what will the next few days be like?," said Provincial enthusiastically.

                                        In fact, the second day saw the Salesians play an even greater role in the program of the papal trip, thanks to Fr Diego Clavijo, Salesian missionary, and the deacons of Achuar origin of Kuyuntsa, at the Eucharist presided by the Pontiff in Puerto Maldonado for all the indigenous peoples of the Amazon.

                                        On the occasion, Pope Francis spoke very clear words in favor of respect for the original peoples of the Amazon, who "have never been so threatened in their territories as they are now", because of "neo-activist (extraction) policies and the strong pressure of large economic interests that direct their greed on oil, gas, gold, agro-industrial monocultures", but also from the "perversion of certain policies that promote the conservation of nature without taking into account the human being and, in concrete terms, of you Amazonian brothers who live there."

                                        To thank the Pontiff for his presence and for the attention he is dedicating to the Amazon - also highlighted by the appointment of a special assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region in 2019 - Fr. Clavijo and the Achuar who accompanied him donated a colored stole and wrote a letter to the Holy Father "to ask him to promote a Church that is born in Amazonia, with its own ministers."

                                        • Perù
                                        • Papa Francesco
                                          José Luis Munoz
                                          Checked
                                          32 minutes 33 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana