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Italy – Don Bosco House Museum opens: "a precious pearl that will testify to Don Bosco's greatness"

2 weeks 2 days ago

(ANS - Turin) - The 27th General Chapter asked the Rector Major and his Council to take over the Salesian sites and make them something special for the Salesian world. That consignment gave rise to a new reality: the Don Bosco House Museum, which was solemnly inaugurated in Turin-Valdocco with three days of events this past weekend.

Instead of the "Don Bosco's rooms- Camerette", where one could see Don Bosco's presence in Valdocco, today visitors can now get to know Casa Pinardi, the first settlement of Don Bosco's Oratory, in detail. “Here, in these corridors, 11 people have passed that today the Church recognizes as venerable, blessed or saints: this means that Valdocco was a school of humanity and holiness and we want to transmit this heritage to the world,” said the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime at the press conference to present the new museum.

The Rector Major also announced that, to enhance Valdocco as the custodian of Salesian historical memory, the most important documents of the origins of the Congregation will be transferred from the Central Archives to the Don Bosco House Museum.

Also at the press conference, the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, a past pupil of the Salesian institute in Este, spoke. “There are various types of saints. In many the human dimension is sublimated by canonization, while Don Bosco remains human, it is difficult to call him St. John Bosco ... ” As for the new exhibition “with effective solutions,” he observed: “There are no Tiepolo, Picasso or Giotto, but a story: the story of life, education, books read, holy cards, worship ... ”

The second day, Saturday 3 October, was instead dedicated to institutional authorities. In addition to the Rector Major, Anna Laura Orrico and those responsible for the architectural works and the museographic and museological projects also took part. The rich parterre of prominent figures saw the presence of the Ambassadors of several Latin American countries strongly marked by the Salesian presence, such as Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico and El Salvador.

Yesterday, Sunday 4, after the Solemn Eucharist presided over by the Rector Major in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, the "Don Bosco House Museum" was opened to the public.

“We have tried to represent this long journey of youthful holiness, starting from 1846, inside the Don Bosco House Museum ... The Salesian community of Valdocco is pleased to make this precious pearl available to all of you and the world will testify to the greatness of Don Bosco,” said Fr Cristian Besso, head of the museum project, together with the Director of the Museum, Stefania De Vita.

The Rector Major then carried out the symbolic cutting of the ribbon, flanked by Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and by his predecessor at the head of the Congregation, Fr Pascual Chávez.

Photos and videos of the events are available on ANSFlickr and ANSChannel.

  • Italia
  • Musei
  • Valdocco
  • Arte e Cultura
  • Rettor Maggiore
  • Don Bosco
  • Luoghi Salesiani
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Myanmar – Church's response to Covid-19 pandemic: Cardinal Bo takes stock of the situation

    2 weeks 2 days ago
    Myanmar – Church's response to Covid-19 pandemic: Cardinal Bo takes stock of the situation

    (ANS - Yangon) - Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Salesian, archbishop of Yangon and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), retraced the months marked by the pandemic in Myanmar, underlining the constant commitment of the Church. In a report addressed to friends and benefactors, the Cardinal briefly explained what the main interventions of the Church have been in these difficult times.

    Below, the text of Cardinal Bo.

    Covid-19 has launched a challenge to humanity. As Pope Francis constantly reminds us we are "all called to row together". We are grateful for the global solidarity that emerges among the people of the world. Covid-19 was merciful to us until the second week of August, with only 400 cases and 10 deaths. Since August 16, however, Myanmar has been hit by a violent wave of the virus. The country is desperately trying to contain its spread, but to date, the virus has had an exponential growth with 15,000 infected people and about 400 dead. The country's health system is overwhelmed.

    During these months of challenges, the Myanmar church has balanced security with solidarity. In the first phase, from March to August, the Church responded with the following programs for the benefit of thousands of people:

    - Preventive awareness in vulnerable areas;

    - Delivery of food to the most exposed people and support for the groups most at risk;

    - The offer of our Major Seminary as a center for quarantine;

    - Advocacy for non-discrimination in service provision and appeals for a ceasefire in conflict areas.

    The second phase hit us from August 16, forcing us into a rigid lockdown, which impacted the survival of thousands of people. The Church fortified its response, with the following plans:

    - Ensure food security for the most affected by the pandemic, starting with 1,000 families for three months;

    - Motivate the Christian community to support the poor by providing food to at least 50 families for each parish;

    - Give continuous preventive support;

    - Offer the ecclesiastical structures for quarantine;

    - Collaborate with the government to reach vulnerable communities;

    - Raise national and global emergency funds;

    - Continue advocacy for peace and an integrated approach between the various stakeholders;

    - Establish an online pastoral presence and create a virtual counseling center.

    We continue to be grateful to our friends around the world for the accompaniment with prayers and all kinds of support.

    Accompanying with prayer,

    Charles Bo

    Archbishop of Yangon

    • Myanmar
    • Cardinali
    • Charles Maung Bo
    • Coronavirus
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Ecuador - Paúl Cuadrado: "guardian angel" watches over entire community

      2 weeks 5 days ago

      (ANS - Guayaquil) - At only 18 years old, Paúl Cuadrado has taken on the responsibility of caring for an entire religious community infected with the coronavirus. This young man, who was completing his year of volunteer work, became the "guardian angel" of the Salesians of the "San Juan Bosco" community in Guayaquil, mostly elderly. His work was instrumental in keeping most of them alive.

      “The Salesians told me that thanks to me they are alive and I replied that it was God who put me there so that they were well. I was an instrument of God in that situation,” he says.

      The whole experience began on March 19, when everyone was confined to their rooms because one of them had symptoms related to Covid-19. After nine days of isolation, the first problems arose. The kitchen manager did not come and they had no food to eat.

      Everyone was locked in their rooms, except Paúl, who since that day has become the only one to move inside the house and to have contact with the outside. During the period of the crisis, he always lent a hand in preparing food, cleaning work and even washing clothes, since there were no substitutes for carrying out these tasks.

      After a few days, the test results confirmed their suspicions: they had all been infected with the coronavirus. Thus began an odyssey for Paúl to search for medicines for the treatment of Covid-19, which couldn't be found.

      Time passed and the prospects were not encouraging. The first emotional blow for Paúl came with the death of Fr Jorge Bustamante, followed, weeks later, by a second, Fr Néstor Tapia, to whom Paúl was very attached.

      It was hard for Paúl, but he didn't have time to stop: he had to continue working for the other Salesians alive. There were days when he slept three or four hours a night and he asked God for strength not to faint. Then came Holy Week, which was a balm for the health of the elderly Salesians. Paúl managed to get them to watch the celebrations via smartphone or TV and this raised their spirits.

      The recovery of the various Salesians was such and generalized that on 24 May, the feast of Mary Help of Christians, they were able to meet for lunch, albeit at the right social distances. On June 6 the community met again and from that moment on community life returned to normal, and everyone began to gather for moments of prayer and for the celebration of Mass.

      After finishing his volunteer service, he realized that this experience had left its mark on his heart and was decisive for the direction of his life. A few weeks ago he began the aspirantate and is now preparing to follow in the footsteps of Don Bosco.

      • Ecuador
      • Coronavirus
      • Volontariato
      • Vocazioni
      • Anziani
        Gian Francesco Romano

        India – All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz 2020

        2 weeks 5 days ago
        India – All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz 2020

        (ANS – New Delhi) – It has been the endeavour of the Salesian Family of New Delhi to help the young people to know the joy of a deep personal walk with Christ. The 10th edition of the “All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz”, ed. 2020 is a great opportunity to assist young people in discipleship and devotion.

        Salesian Co-operators and ADMA members of New Delhi, who are members of the Salesian Family, draw their inspiration from Don Bosco and contribute to the welfare of the young people. They fulfil their commitment and live the Salesian spirit in the normal situations of their life and work, according to their lay state, and spread Salesian values in their neighbourhood. Deeply committed to Don Bosco's mission to youth and to ordinary people, they live out their vocation in the spirit of Don Bosco.

        To commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Don Bosco School Alaknanda”, New Delhi, the school in collaboration with the Salesian Co-operators, Okhla Unit and ADMA members of New Delhi, is organizing “All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz 2020” for all Don Bosco Schools and FMA Schools in India and for all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Delhi.

        The event which will be conducted online this year due to Covid-19 pandemic, will be held on 11th October, 2020 from 3pm to 4 pm.

        The All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz 2020 is being organized in two categories:

        -      Category 1 - For students of classes 7, 8 and 9

        -      Category 2 - For students of classes 10, 11 and 12

        Source: Don Bosco India

        • India
        • Scuole
        • Spiritualità
        • Catechesi
          Gian Francesco Romano

          South Africa – “I asked God one day: how am I going to get out of this”: Testimony of Abraham Lottering, from gangster to dedicated Salesian

          2 weeks 5 days ago
          South Africa – “I asked God one day: how am I going to get out of this”: Testimony of Abraham Lottering, from gangster to dedicated Salesian

          (ANS - Cape Town) - Abraham Lottering, also affectionately known by the nickname of “Mr. Focus ”, is a 39-year-old man who has a past of abuse and violence behind him. As a child, his parents abused him and, in the early years of his adult life, he was homeless. From an early age he was forced to try to survive amidst emotional and physical disturbances and soon found himself involved in drugs and the life of street gangs.

          Despite the circumstances he was in, “Mr. Focus” had a desire to someday become someone important and with a purpose in life. He didn't know how he could escape this life of crime and violence, but he knew he wanted happiness.

          Thus, together with his brother, he left the rural area where he lived and moved to the heart of the metropolis of Cape Town. It was during this time that he found refuge at the Cape Town City Missions, where the pastor took him under his protective wing, as he saw some potential in this young man. Abraham was welcomed by several people, but ended up being kicked out, living out on the streets for the next three years.

          He said this was probably the worst experience he had ever had. “I asked God one day when I was really desperate, how am I going to get out of this?” Mr. Focus recalled. The City Mission pastor, after a long search on the streets, found him and encouraged him to work with young people. He introduced him to the Salesians and Abraham met Mr Greg Berry, who was involved in missionary work and youth activities. Greg helped him fill out a CV and find a real job.

          He became acquainted with the program conducted by the Salesians "Waves of Change", which prepares young people at risk for employment in the maritime sector. This is where Mr. Focus has finally found his calling and he set himself the goal of learning as much as possible about this sector. Due to economic difficulties, however, the program was interrupted in 2018. Abraham, however, asked and obtained permission to continue free of charge, granted so as not to leave the young in need alone.

          When South Africa was hit hard by the pandemic this year, Mr. Focus once again showed his dedication to young people by volunteering to accompany the Salesian Institute Youth Projects with the delivery of food packages. He put his life at risk to bring food and basic necessities to families in need.

          “I want to be like Don Bosco,” Abraham says with a smile. “I want to spread happiness and hope. The Salesians is my home, I feel safe and know that I belong here.”

          • Sudafrica
          • Coronavirus
          • Bambini di Strada
          • Solidarietà
          • Giovani a Rischio
            Gian Francesco Romano

            India – Hyderabad Province starts second phase of assistance to needy

            2 weeks 6 days ago
            India – Hyderabad Province starts second phase of assistance to needy

            (ANS - Hyderabad) - On the occasion of the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, celebrated last 27 September, the Salesian Province of Hyderabad (INH) has started the second phase of assistance and distribution of food to the most needy and vulnerable. Aid was provided through the "Bosco Seva Kendra" (BSK), the Planning and Development Office of the INH Province.

            The second phase, which as mentioned, began on the day dedicated to migrants and refugees, is intended to be a response to the invitation of Pope Francis, who this year urged us to discover more deeply the dramatic reality of internally displaced people in their countries.

            In this second phase, the BSK involved all the Salesian communities of the Province, distributing food, nutritional and health kits to 2,210 families. For this, the Salesians of Hyderabad wished to express their heartfelt thanks to the “Conrad Foundation” and to the “Don Bosco Mission” of Bonn for their economic support, thanks to which many poor and destitute people, hard hit by the pandemic, have been reached. Thanks to which also Fr Thathireddy Vijaya Bhaskar, INH Provincial, and Fr Bellamkonda Sudhakar, Executive Director of BSK, joined in expressing.

            During the first phase of aid, in the period between 26 March and 31 August 2020, the Province helped and accompanied around 400,000 beneficiaries, through the Salesian communities, civil authorities, civil society organizations and religious communities. Packages containing essential foodstuffs, cooked foods, kits with basic necessities, protective masks and accessories for personal hygiene were distributed.

            Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. The Salesians in India personally witnessed the challenges faced by the population, the loss of jobs, the lack of basic necessities, means of transport and medical assistance. They have supported the thousands of people who have walked miles to reunite with loved ones, facing many dangers along the way. Many have been forced to cross interstate borders, dealing with the limitations imposed by the central government and by those of the various states.

            The Hyderabad Province thus continues its maximum commitment to reach more and more people affected by the pandemic, thanks also to the constant support of its supporters and benefactors.

            • India
            • Coronavirus
            • Solidarietà
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Vatican – The cause of the Servant of God Felice Canelli advances

              2 weeks 6 days ago
              Vatican – The cause of the Servant of God Felice Canelli advances

              (ANS - Vatican City) - On 29 September 2020, during the special Congress of Theological Consultors at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a unanimous positive opinion was given regarding the heroic exercise of virtues, the reputation of holiness and signs of the Servant of God Felice Canelli (1880-1977), priest of the Diocese of San Severo (Foggia-Italy), Salesian Cooperator, whose Cause of Beatification is followed by the Salesian Postulation.

              For this circumstance Mons. Giovanni Checchinato, bishop of San Severo (Foggia) communicated: “It is a cause of joy for us that a son of our land is on the way to the official recognition of the Church of his virtues and his reputation for holiness. A joy that is amplified by rethinking the fruitful and tireless life of the Servant of God, who really knew how to make the most of the gifts bestowed on him by the Lord, especially through the care of souls and constant attention and concern to the social problems of his land, which saw him passionately involved and willing to put himself at the service of his brothers and sisters, especially those most in need. Father Felice, continue to speak to our land and to our beloved Diocese, reminding us that only through the passion for the men and women of our time and of our land does the real possibility of making the passion for God real and current.”

              The Servant of God Felice Canelli was born on 14 October 1880 in extreme poverty. The young mother, widowed, educates her children to trust in Providence. Felice's dream is to become a priest, but he is poor. The canon Fr Luigi Giuliani helps him materially and spiritually. He was thus admitted, from 1892 (and until 1903), in the seminary, where he was formed in the spirit of Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum.

              On 6 June 1903, Fr Felice was ordained a priest. In 1905 with the arrival of Don Bosco's sons in San Severo, Fr Canelli prefers love for youth and the working class in his pastoral care and will remain Don Bosco's faithful son to the end. From 1909 to 1927 he was in charge of the Rectorate of Sant’Antonio Abate and together with the Salesian alumni of the "Circolo Don Bosco" he founded the local Azione Cattolica, the Partito Popolare. From the female youth of “Catholic Action” arises the "Ladies of St. Vincent" so that the Gospel of charity may be everywhere.

              In 1927 he was appointed parish priest of Croce Santa, a parish in the extreme periphery: he remained there until his death. With the Pauline motto “omnibus omnia” he draws close to the poor to bring them to God and to promote them in their dignity. To respond to the poverty emerging in the Second World War, he multiplies charitable and welfare works in the diocese and parish. Consumed by the love for God reflected in the love for souls, Fr Canelli died on November 23, 1977, with his hands open and raised to Heaven and with the prayer of Glory on his lips and in his heart.

              {gallery}Italia - Felice Canelli 2020{/gallery}

              • Italia
              • Salesiani Cooperatori
              • Santità Salesiana
              • Felice Canelli
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Papua New Guinea – Emotional farewell with gratitude to a much-loved shepherd: Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB

                2 weeks 6 days ago
                Papua New Guinea – Emotional farewell with gratitude to a much-loved shepherd: Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB

                (ANS – Rabaul) – Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB, was given an emotional farewell by the people of the three deaneries of the Archdiocese of Rabaul. The celebration was held at Vunapope on 28 September 2020.

                Over the past few weeks, the people have expressed their gratitude and thanks to their shepherd Archbishop Panfilo. During his years as archbishop, he has travelled the length and breadth of the diocese, waded through fast-flowing streams, climbed steep mountains and sailed rough waters to reach his flock in the remote parts of the diocese. He was with his people to celebrate the sacraments with them, listen to their struggles and respond to their pains both spiritual and material. Over the last few weeks, he celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation in several parishes and ordained men to the priesthood. 

                Amidst expressions of gratitude at Vunapope were tears of appreciation for the much-loved shepherd for the past ten years. “Our thanks are not only in words, but it is expressed in our deeds and through the expression of our gifts”, were constant refrains as shell money and customary gifts of pigs and food were presented to the archbishop.

                Archbishop Panfilo took as his theme: Duc in altum – an ‘invitation to remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm and look forward to the future with confidence’ (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 1).

                “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Archdiocese of Rabaul was a time for all the laity, consecrated persons, and clergy, to assess our fervor and find fresh enthusiasm for our spiritual and pastoral responsibilities,” said Archbishop Panfilo. He encouraged his flock to strive for Holiness, give importance to Prayer, to the Sunday Eucharist and to listen and proclaim the Word of God. 

                Vocations were his priority as he guided and supported several to the priesthood or religious life. On 27 September he ordained three priests – Fr Vincent Ngamanga, Fr Henry Matlavn and Fr Joseph Maglsos and two deacons – Dn Patrick Taroro and Dn Clarence Hamut. Fr Vincent Ngamanga is the second priest from his village in Pomio. He encouraged them to listen to their people, be humble, have a strong prayer life and be devoted to the Blessed Mother. He was emotionally moved as he celebrated his last Ordination as the Archbishop of Rabaul.

                He reminded the people to follow the Pastoral Plan of the Archdiocese and put into practice the motto of the Archdiocese: “Ut Unum Sint”.  “That they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you” (Jn 17:22-23).

                An issue dear to his heart was that of Land. In his last Pastoral Letter dated 8 September, he appealed to everyone to put personal interests aside and think of the common good, reminding them to leave behind the gifts received in good shape. “It should bring people together, instead it is tearing people apart because of greed and pride. The Church has the duty to help people consider themselves as stewards of the land rather than the owners of the land … We must help people to work together cooperatively and in harmony,” wrote the Archbishop. 

                He thanked Archbishop Emeritus Karl Hesse, MSC, for his unfailing support and example of pastoral zeal. He gratefully acknowledged his priests, consecrated brothers and sisters, the staff at the diocesan offices, the lay leaders and catechists in all parishes, the medical staff in health centres, the teachers in Catholic schools and all the Catholic faithful for their friendship, cooperation and faithful collaboration that made his ministry and work much easier.

                Archbishop Panfilo has spent his life as a missionary ready to serve the flock he was entrusted with. His missionary journey began in the Philippines where he has spent 32 years of his life. He spent 23 years in Papua New Guinea, 19 as a Bishop, 9 in Alotau, and 10 in the Archdiocese of Rabaul.

                At the farewell, Archbishop-elect Rochus Tatamai was handed over by the faithful of Keviang. He was brought in procession and handed over at a moving ceremony. Archbishop Panfilo welcomed him and invited the people to welcome him with the same love and affection with which they loved and accepted him. 

                As the sun set, the people gathered for prayer – a fitting way to prepare themselves for the installation celebrations on the next day.  A candlelight procession commenced at the cemetery. It was wonderful to experience a prayerful atmosphere as people sang and prayed for intentions of the church, country, and for the situation of COVID-19 in the world. With candles lit, the entire congregation wound its way to the cathedral, prayerfully reciting the holy rosary and thanked Our Blessed Mother for accompanying them over the years.

                The Archdiocese of Rabaul has grown in prayer and spirituality. Prayers on the last day of the novena in honour of the Archangel Michael, patron of Papua New Guinea, and also a prayer for Archbishop Rochus Tatamai were then said by the congregation in a packed cathedral. Right through the novena, the entire archdiocese prayed the novena in every parish, a symbol of the unity of the archdiocese. “Prayer and spirituality are high points of the archdiocese,” said Fr Albert Lenon, SDB. Every morning at the cathedral, the people join the priests in celebrating the daily office before the Eucharistic celebration, while the rosary is recited every evening.

                The entire archdiocese has been prepared spiritually for the installation.

                Fr Ambrose Pereira, SDB

                {gallery}PNG - Saluto a Panfilo - 2020{/gallery}

                • Papua Nuova Guinea
                • Vescovi
                • Francesco Panfilo
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Guatemala – “Artemide Zatti” project for psycho-physical well-being of collaborators of Salesian works

                  2 weeks 6 days ago
                  Guatemala – “Artemide Zatti” project for psycho-physical well-being of collaborators of Salesian works

                  (ANS - Guatemala City) - With the aim of creating a program for the psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being of all the collaborators of the Salesian houses in the Central American Province (CAM), and because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Nicaraguan psychologist and pedagogue Erick Calero devised the “Artemide Zatti” project.

                  In this project, the leadership teams of the Salesian houses, especially the scholastic works, are a fundamental part of the whole process, which in any case is constantly accompanied by the Vicar of the Province, Fr Javier Rivas.

                  The first step consisted in making a diagnosis of the emotional health and risk factors in which the staff found themselves. For this purpose, a measuring instrument was used whose elements were part of standardized and duly validated psychometric scales and tests.

                  The diagnosis provided valuable information on their socio-demographic condition, identified the risk factors that could be amplified by the pandemic, noted the levels of anxiety and depression in which collaborators were, measured the state of consciousness with which they faced the situation and it even established the conditions of their spiritual life, religiosity and relationship with God.

                  Scientific analysis was carried out with the results of the diagnosis which allowed to generate a baseline from which to start to offer a program of habits for psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being.

                  This program embraces two specific areas:

                  - health in the face of risk factors, which is mainly addressed through psycho-education initiatives;

                  - the area of ​​anxiety, depression and spirituality, addressed through individual and group therapeutic support initiatives.

                  The execution of this program is guided by the psycho-pedagogical, didactic, pastoral and Salesian teams of each house, who in a committed and solidarity way have provided a "plus" or added value of well-being to their colleagues.

                  Currently, 912 teaching, administrative and operational staff members have benefited from this project, which it is hoped will continue to involve even more people.

                  By 2021, plans are to hold online meetings and webinars with teams of psychologists to discuss the experience lived in the Artemide Zatti project and sharing those good practices capable of provoking new initiatives in the care of the emotional health of staff active in Salesian works.

                  The project, right from its name, is placed under the protection of Blessed Artemide Zatti, an Argentine Salesian brother who spent his life as a nurse helping the patients of the "San José" Hospital in Argentine Patagonia.

                  • Guatemala
                  • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                  • Laici
                  • Coronavirus
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Germany – Centenary commemoration of death of Fr Josef Thannhuber, missionary in Mato Grosso

                    2 weeks 6 days ago
                    Germany – Centenary commemoration of death of Fr Josef Thannhuber, missionary in Mato Grosso

                    (ANS - Wurmannsquick) - In his hometown, Wurmannsquick, diocese of Passau, on 26-27 September 2020, one of the first German-speaking Salesian missionaries, Fr Josef Thannhuber (1880-1920), killed in Brazil as an innocent victim, was commemorated.

                    Fr Thannhuber arrived in Foglizzo, near Turin, at the age of 17, as the "Son of Mary"; after completing his novitiate in Ivrea, he was sent as a missionary to Brazil in 1903. Before leaving, Rector Major Fr Michele Rua told him: “Prepare yourself for martyrdom.” This prediction was effectively fulfilled on August 29, 1920: Fr Thannhuber, Rector of the house of Palmeiras, in Mato Grosso, was killed by a bandit, after asking the latter to spare the other religious and to kill only him. Even if the case has never been completely resolved, it can be assumed that the reason lay in the differences on land issues, with the Salesians committed to defending the rights of indigenous peoples.

                    The commemorative function for the testimony of Fr Thannhuber began on Saturday 26 September with solemn Vespers celebrated in the parish church of Wurmannsquick in the presence of several members of the Thannhuber family and many faithful from the region. After Vespers, Fr Josef Grünner, Head of the "Don Bosco Mission" Salesian Mission Office in Bonn, spoke about the life and work of this enthusiastic Bavarian Salesian missionary who had worked with zeal in Cuiabá, Corumbá and Palmeiras, being highly appreciated everywhere.

                    The commemoration reached its climax the following day, Sunday 27, with Mass presided over by the bishop of the diocese of Passau, Salesian Msgr. Stefan Oster. In his homily, taking Fr Thannhuber as an example, he underlined the meaning of conversion as a connection with Jesus and the meaning of missionary action as life in the following of Christ and in devotion to one's neighbor: “Today in our Church we need men, women, passionate young people who know how to narrate Christ ... Let us learn from him to be missionaries where we are, to bear witness of Christ's love.”

                    The Provincial of the Salesians of Germany, Fr Reinhard Gesing, also participated in the commemoration and emphasized the value of Fr Thannhuber’s testimony for today: “Pope John Paul II left us an appeal to not forget the martyrs. Because from their courageous testimony we can draw strength for our testimony of faith today. And in these difficult times, we need their intercession, too.”

                    Mons. Oster concluded his speech with the words: “I am happy, as a bishop, to be able to celebrate in this place a martyr who gave his life for love of Christ.” The Diocese of Passau, as well as the Province of Germany, intend to work to cultivate and pass on the memory of Fr Josef Thannhuber.

                    • Germania
                    • GER GERMANIA
                    • Martiri
                    • Brasile
                    • Josef Thannhuber
                    • Stefan Oster
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      South Sudan – Salesians support internally displaced persons and most vulnerable

                      3 weeks ago
                      South Sudan – Salesians support internally displaced persons and most vulnerable

                      (ANS - Tonj) - The Salesian organization "Don Bosco Mission" of Tonj, in these months marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, has been at the forefront to improve the standard of living of the South Sudanese population. To do so, it has received support from the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid via the network of “Solidarity Vs COVID-19”.

                      The objective of the project supported by the Madrid Mission Office was to offer support to the internally displaced people of Tonj and the western state of Bahr-el-Ghazal, who find themselves in this situation due to violent border conflicts. These people were left homeless and forced to take refuge in the adjacent forests without food, water, shelter, sanitation, medicine.

                      After being contacted and duly registered, the displaced families received a donation of basic necessities. More than 3,500 internally displaced people have benefited from these emergency items. The whole population expressed happiness and great appreciation for the commitment of the Salesian missionaries who have never stopped providing their support to vulnerable communities and those most affected by conflicts.

                      In addition to the distribution of primary goods and medicines, radio programs were also broadcast in recent months; the preventive measures to be taken to prevent coronavirus infection were described.

                      As explained in detail in a report written by Fr Joseph James Nakholi, the main areas of intervention were the State of Tonj (and the capital of the same name), and that of Bahr-el-Ghazal, especially in the areas of Bap-Chok, Kapara, Dakum, Kuelcok and in the Checkpoint area.

                      “The health standards of families, and especially of children, have improved thanks to the supply of medicines,” continues Fr Nakholi in the report. “The population has also recovered emotionally and psychologically after the intervention of the Salesians.”

                      Similar actions, aimed at IDPs, were also extended to the village of Lepers, thanks to the intervention of the Salesian Mission Office of South Korea and the "John Lee Memorial Foundation", a foundation erected in memory of the late Korean Salesian missionary Fr John Lee, SDB, in order to help the mission in South Sudan.

                      {gallery}Sud Sudan - Sostegno sfollati 2020{/gallery}

                      • Sudan del Sud
                      • Rifugiati
                      • AFE AFRICA EST
                      • Solidarietà
                      • Coronavirus
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Slovenia – "A reflection of the East". The story of Servant of God Fr Andrea Majcen, SDB, in an illustrated book

                        3 weeks ago

                        (ANS - Ljubljana) - On the occasion of the Dies Natalis of the Servant of God Fr Andrea Majcen (Maribor-Slovenia, 30 September 1904 - Ljubljana, 30 September 1999), the Salesian Province "Saints Cyril and Methodius" of Slovenia and the publishing house "Salve" have published an illustrated book for children that tells the "missionary adventures" of Fr Majcen.

                        Fr Andrea Majcen, a Salesian and heroic missionary, is considered the "patriarch of the Salesians" of Vietnam, a country he reached in 1952 after being expelled from China. He remained in Vietnam until the advent of the communist regime in 1976, when he returned to Slovenia, becoming a missionary animator, spiritual director and confessor until the end of his life with forty-four years of missionary apostolate in China and Vietnam and 20 years of missionary animation in Slovenia. The reflections and meditations, collected in his diaries (more than 6,000 handwritten pages), express a profound Christian and religious life and a personal commitment to spiritual growth. In his long and fruitful life, Fr Majcen fulfilled the mission of being in the Church a sign and bearer of God's love, drawing from the very Heart of Christ that pastoral charity marked by great apostolic ardor and a predilection for young people.

                        Today his missionary, religious and human history is collected in an educational comic book, created by illustrator Juan Juvančič, a Salesian past pupil of the Don Bosco Institute in Buenos Aires, thanks to the collaboration of the vice-postulator of his cause, Fr Alojzij Slavko Snoj, and of the Delegate for Social Communication Marko Suhoveršnik.

                        The book's illustrator, Juan Juvančič, was born in Argentina to Slovenian parents. He attended Salesian schools and started a family and lived for many years working in Argentina. In 2008 he moved to his parents' land where, in addition to other jobs, he collaborates with the Salesians.

                        The artist learned about the figure of Fr Majcen only a year ago, on the occasion of the closure of the diocesan process of his cause, but was immediately fascinated by him. He studied his life and via illustrations he tried to narrate significant and amusing events of his missionary actions. In doing so, he used bright colors and action scenes, so that the message that the Servant of God lived and transmitted the Word of God in China and Vietnam was clearly expressed in just a few words.

                        The comic is also accompanied by a short animated video in various languages, which lists the most important dates in the life of Fr Majcen and summarizes the human, spiritual and apostolic life of the Servant of God:






                        {gallery}SLO - Fumetto Majcen 2020{/gallery}

                        • Slovenia
                        • SLO SLOVENIA
                        • Santità Salesiana
                        • Arte e Cultura
                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                        • Andrej Majcen
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          United States – “St. Philip” Province Honors 20 Jubilarians

                          3 weeks ago
                          United States – “St. Philip” Province Honors 20 Jubilarians

                          (ANS - New Rochelle, N.Y) – The province of St. Philip the Apostle celebrated the profession and ordination anniversaries of 20 jubilarians on Saturday, September 26, at the Marian Shrine in Haverstraw, N.Y. The jubilarians included 14 confreres observing 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 65th, and even 70th anniversaries of their first religious profession in 2020; 4 observing 25th, 40th, or 50th anniversaries of priestly ordination; and 2 observing both priestly and religious anniversaries.

                          Distance, health, or Covid-19 restrictions prevented 15 of the jubilarians from being physically present at the Shrine for the celebration. In fact, New York state’s coronavirus policy kept half of the province’s leadership (council, directors, and sector leaders) from taking part in person in the leadership meeting of the preceding two days (September 24-25) at the Don Bosco Retreat Center.

                          The jubilees Mass began shortly after 10:00 a.m. and lasted almost 90 minutes. Taking part, in addition to Fr. Tim Zak and 5 jubilarians were another 26 priests, 17 brothers, 3 prenovices, 3 candidates, and almost 30 family members, Cooperators, and other friends of the jubilarians. The Mass was livestreamed, giving confreres and friends throughout the province the opportunity to take part in the rites, which included the renewal of priestly commitment by the men celebrating their presbyteral jubilee, and the renewal of Salesian religious profession by those celebrating that anniversary.

                          Fr. Tim called the jubilarians “living witnesses to what the provincial council and province leadership studied” during the preceding meeting days. He stated that GC28, which met earlier this year, calls Salesians to return to Jesus Christ, the center of religious life. The jubilarians have presented Jesus to their confreres in multiple ways: as apostle, high priest, Son of God in human form, carpenter’s son, meek and humble, welcoming the poor, zealous preacher and healer, teacher, good shepherd, unifier in brotherhood, a living rule.

                          Fr. Tim continued: All “the jubilarians have found in Christ the happiness for which we were created.... They’re living memorials of our Lord.” With the prophet Isaiah (first reading, Is 44:1-5), they’ve responded to the Lord’s invitation by saying, “I am the Lord’s.” Their fidelity has brought us the fruit of the Lord’s blessings and reminds all of us that we’re chosen by the Lord. Therefore we all join the jubilarians in thanking God “for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (second reading, Phil 3:8-14).

                          2020’s “double jubilarians” are Fr. Jim McKenna (40 years ordained and 50 professed) and Fr. Jim Cerbone (also 40 and 50).

                          The longest-serving confreres are Fr. Jan Bernas, professed 70 years; and with 65 years professed, Bro. Gerard Richard and Frs. John Blanco, Bob Falk, and George Hanna.

                          Fr. Jan Bernas, a former missionary in Zambia (1984-1994), is now semi-retired at age 90, after 23 years as chaplain at St. Joseph’s Terrace, a Polish nursing home in Woodbridge, N.J., where he still resides. He was born at Oswiecim, Poland, where one of the main Salesian works of his native land is located. He made his first profession at Kopiec, Poland, on August 16, 1950, and was ordained in 1958 in Krakow.

                          Bro. Gerard Richard, 97, is the oldest confrere in the province. Born at St. Louis de Kent, N.B., in 1923, he professed at St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Newton, N.J., on September 8, 1955, and has spent most of his life in the Salesian works of Canada: Boucherville, Que., Jacquet River, N.B., and especially Seminaire Salesien in Sherbrooke, for over 40 years. He served as a general fix-it man, doing electricity, plumbing, carpentry, and locks, and was a skilled craftsman in wood. Before joining the Salesians, he worked to pay for the studies of his youngest brother, Arsene, who became a priest and, eventually, bishop of Bathurst, N.B. Bishop Arsene died of cancer in 1989 at age 53; Bro. Gerard spent 6 months caring for him until he passed away. Bro. Gerard belongs still to the Sherbrooke community. His greatest joy was to participate in Arsene’s episcopal ordination, for which he crafted the episcopal crosier, and he presented it to him the day of his ordination!

                          Fr. John Blanco, 90, has been serving at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, home of the Ironmen, for the last 3 years. He has proven to be an ironman his whole life, still working at odd jobs around the house rather than “retire.” The New Rochelle native, a member of the city’s Hall of Fame, first professed at Newton on September 8, 1955. He has been a house treasurer for much of his Salesian life in Ramsey, Columbus, New Rochelle, East Boston, and Paterson-DBT (24 years total) as well as director in Marrero for 6 years and a parish priest in Port Chester-Corpus Christi and Manhattan-Mary Help of Christians for 13 years. As a Salesian he has found his greatest satisfaction in celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, and preaching.

                          Fr. Bob Falk, 88, has been a missionary in Korea for his entire Salesian life. He hails originally from Green Bay, Wisc., and he also made his first profession at Newton on September 8, 1955. He was ordained in Turin in 1963. In Korea he has been director, master of novices, and delegate to the Cooperators and the Don Bosco Volunteers, besides teaching and preaching retreats.

                          Fr. George Hanna, 86, is assistant pastor at St. Rosalie and St. John Bosco parishes in Harvey and a member of the community of Marrero. He was born in Pawtucket, R.I., and made his first profession at Newton on September 8, 1955. He was ordained in Rome in 1966 and has been a parish priest for most of the years since, in Paterson, Port Chester-Holy Rosary, Elizabeth, Harlem, Orange, Washington, and Marrero (47 years in all). He was director of the communities of Port Chester, Harlem, the provincial house, and Washington (22 years), and part of the province’s vocation team for 4 years early in his priesthood. Fr. George states: “I have great joy and satisfaction from my Salesian family and from the parishioners, young and old in various parishes who have touched my heart, to have journeyed with these people and to have had the privilege to love them and be loved by them. More now than ever I have come to understand that we are deeply loved by God. What greater joy can there be!”

                          Jubilarians celebrating 60 years of religious profession, from September 8, 1960, when they completed their novitiate at Newton, include:

                          Bro. Mike Brinkman, 88, has been retired at the St. Philip Residence in Tampa since 2012. His hometown is Dayton, Ohio. He taught electronics at Don Bosco Tech in Rosemead, Don Bosco Tech in Boston, and St. Thomas the Apostle in Harlem (16 years total). He also taught at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, was principal at Don Bosco Tech in Paterson, and was on staff the of Don Bosco Multimedia in New Rochelle, the province development office at the provincial house, and for 10 years at Salesian Boys & Girls Club in Columbus.

                          Fr. John Grinsell, 78, was ordained in 1971 in Columbus. He was director of the communities of New Rochelle-Salesian, Ramsey, and St. Petersburg for 6 years each and master of novices in Newton (1986-1989), and he did a lot of teaching and/or guidance work at Cedar Lake, Paterson-DBT, and South Orange-formation house. He served in parishes for 16 years in Port Chester (Holy Rosary and St. John Bosco), Miami, and Orange. He has been coordinator of the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester since 2015.

                          Bro. Jerry Meegan, 78, was born in Teaneck, N.J. He taught in the junior seminaries at Haverstraw and Goshen and served as principal in Boston-DBT, New Rochelle, and St. Petersburg (13 years total). He was a provincial councilor and superintendent of province schools during 12 years at the provincial house. He has also served as coordinator of the Don Bosco Retreat Center in Haverstraw (2 years) and director of youth ministry for the diocese of St. Petersburg (9 years). From 2010 to 2020 he was CYM in Marrero. He is beginning a new assignment at Cristo Rey Tampa High School. Bro. Jerry states: “My greatest satisfaction as a Salesian brother has been working with young men and women as a high school principal and a campus minister. These opportunities gave me a chance to get closer to young adults and help them along their journeys.”

                          Fr. Frank Twardzik, 80, is a golden jubilarian of ordination. He was born in Springfield, Mass., and was ordained at St. Anthony Church in Elizabeth on March 21, 1970. He has been a member of the community of the Salesian formation house in Orange since 2017. He made his first profession in Newton in 1959 and has spent most of his priestly life in parishes of Byzantine Eparchy of Passaic: assistant pastor in Minersville (1973-1976), past in Dunellen, N.J. (1978-1989), and Scranton, Pa. (1989-2017). He had brief stints as a teacher in Tampa and Marrero and one year at St. Rosalie in Harvey. Since the pandemic outbreak, he has resided in Haledon as chaplain for the Salesian sisters.

                          Fr. Jim Cerbone and Fr. Jim McKenna completed 50 years of religious profession this year and 40 years of ordination. They professed together in Newton on September 1, 1970, but were ordained separately.

                          Fr. Jim Cerbone, 71, was ordained in East Orange, N.J., on October 4, 1980. He was born in Newark, N.J., in 1949. During his Salesian life he spent 7 years at the provincial house as assistant province treasurer and another 9 years in residence while serving as campus minister at Manhattan College. He taught at Ramsey and New Rochelle for a total of 10 years and has also done parish ministry in Manhattan and Poughkeepsie. He has been part of the Ramsey community for the last 11 years and is now in a nursing home in Paramus.

                          Fr. Jim McKenna, 69, was ordained on May 24, 1980, in Columbus. Since 2009 he has been director of the Marian Shrine-Don Bosco Retreat Center in Haverstraw-Stony Point. He comes from Jersey City and is an alumnus of Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey. He was province treasurer (1991-1994) and treasurer of the communities in Newton and Tampa, director in Marrero, and pastor in Port Chester-Corpus Christi. He taught briefly in Tampa and Ramsey and was an assistant pastor in Manhattan and Belle Glade. He has found that the years went fast, and “being a Salesian priest has been a great fit for me vocationally. The many places being of service have given me a wider view of how God in this world is present in His church and sacraments.”

                          Three confreres who came to our province from elsewhere have observed their 40th anniversary of profession: Fr. Rufo “Junji” Zarate, Fr. Sagayaraj Devadoss, and Fr. John Louis Mariapragasam.

                          Fr. Sagayaraj Joseph Devadoss was born in 1960 in Tamil Nadu state, India, and made his first profession on May 24, 1980, in the province of Madras (Chennai). He was ordained in 1991 in Madras. The most interesting periods of his priestly life came in houses of formation—a diocesan major seminary and a Salesian studentate of philosophy. Since 2018 he has been pastor of St. Dominic Savio Parish in Edmonton, after two years as pastor of St. Thomas More Church in the same city. He states: “Ministering for the holistic growth of those in their postnovitiate formation was a more enriching experience (not without challenges, of course) both for the candidates and for me.”

                          Fr. John Louis Mariapragasam, 60, is from Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu State, India, and made his first profession on May 24, 1980, in the province of Madras (Chennai). After ministry in many of that province’s schools and parishes as teacher, director, and parish priest, he came to Edmonton in 2013, where he was director of the community and pastor of St. Matthew Church. In March 2020 he was transferred to Etobicoke, Ont., as director of the community of St. Benedict Parish.

                          Fr. Rufo Zarate, 59, is from Binan (Laguna), Philippines, made his first profession on April 1, 1980, and was ordained in 1990. After ordination he served as a campus minister in several schools, as a parish priest, administrator of the province retreat center, and administrator of one of the most important schools in the province, Don Bosco Makati (2008-2014). He came to Canada in 2014 to minister to the Filipino members of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Surrey, which he continues. In addition, he’s the local delegate for the Salesian Cooperators. In 2019 he transferred from the North Philippines Province to that of New Rochelle. He has found his greatest joy as a Salesian priest in his strong faith in the real presence of the Lord especially during the Eucharistic celebration, inculcated by Don Bosco through his admirable mentors in formation.

                          Fr. Dominic Tran, 51, is the only silver jubilarian of religious profession. A native of Dalat, Vietnam, he came to America as a young boy and was professed on August 15, 1995, in Bellflower. He was ordained in 2003 at Orange. Since 2016 he has been province director of vocations, based at the provincial house. After 6 years teaching at Paterson and New Rochelle, he was assigned to formation ministry in Orange (2007-2016), including 3 years as director.

                          Celebrating jubilees of priestly ordination are Frs. Dennis Hartigan, Gus Baek, and Rich Rosin.

                          Fr. Dennis Hartigan, 69, ordained for 40 years, comes from Kearny, N.J., and was ordained for the diocese of Toledo, Ohio, on June 7, 1980. He had entered the Salesians and professed in 1971 but withdrew when his vows expired in 1977. After many years of both high school and parish ministry in the diocese, earning a doctorate in educational leadership, and teaching at the University of Dayton, he returned to the Salesians and professed again in 2014. He is teaching now at Cristo Rey Tampa High School. Previously he served in Ramsey, Orange, and Takoma Park.

                          Fr. Gus Baek, 62, was ordained on May 28, 1995, in Columbus. He is currently director of Salesian Missions in New Rochelle, having taken on that responsibility a year ago. He was born in Kwangju, Korea, in 1958 and was influenced by Fr. Henry Bonetti to join the Salesians, which he did at Newton in 1985 as a Son of Mary; he professed in 1987. He has taught in Marrero and East Boston, done Boys & Girls Club ministry in East Boston and parish ministry in Port Chester-Corpus Christi and Orange, and taught theology at Caldwell College in New Jersey. For 15 years he coordinated Korean youth ministry from the Reborn Young Christ Center in Stony Point, N.Y. (2004-2019), and that ministry, chiefly conducting retreats for the high school students, has been his greatest joy as a Salesian priest. He feels blessed to be a Salesian priest for 25 years, working for the young and the poor. “I am very grateful to God,” he adds, “for the many blessings that have been given me. I would like to ask the Lord His wisdom, courage and strength to continue working for the poorest children and families of the world.”

                          Fr. Rich Rosin, 58, was ordained on May 28, 1995, at Columbus. He comes from Astoria, Queens, and was professed at Newton in 1988. He served mainly in schools: Marrero, New Rochelle, Ramsey, and St. Petersburg, including stints as principal in Marrero and New Rochelle and director in St. Pete. He has also been a parish priest in Etobicoke and Chicago.

                          {gallery}SUE - Celebrazioni 2020{/gallery}

                          • SUE STATI UNITI EST E CANADA
                          • Stati Uniti
                          • Anniversari
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Italy – Mons. Giuseppe Cognata: "A light that has never gone out"

                            3 weeks 1 day ago

                            (ANS - Reggio Calabria) - "A light never extinguished": this is the motto with which the city communities of Pellaro and Bova, with the entire ecclesial community of Reggio Calabria, wanted to remember the Servant of God Mons. Giuseppe Cognata , SDB, former Bishop of Bova from 1933 to 1940 and founder of the Congregation of the Salesian Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart, of which Pope Francis gave his consent last February for the opening of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization.

                            On Saturday 26 September, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, presented to the Christian community of Pellaro (Reggio Calabria) the biographical and spiritual profile of the Salesian bishop, together with the steps taken in recent months in view of the official Opening of the Cause which will take place on 12 December in San Vittorino Romano (Diocese of Tivoli). A street in the city was later dedicated to Mons. Cognata.

                            Sunday 27 September 2020, in Bova, at the Co-Cathedral Maria SS. dell’Isodia, episcopal seat of Msgr. Cognata, greetings took place with the welcome to all the authorities and public by Sister Caterina Quattrone, Provincial Superior of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart, which was followed by a greeting from Mother General, Sister Graziella Maria Benghini, who underlined the significance of a place where Mons. Cognata exercised his episcopal ministry and where the first sisters of the Congregation made their vows.

                            Fr Cameroni recalled how the Church of Reggio Calabria-Bova has always spent itself in favor of the Cause of Msgr. Cognata, starting from the first dark hours of the sad story that saw him as protagonist, when the Salesian found fraternal comfort in Archbishop Enrico Montalbetti, and took up the prophetic words spoken by Archbishop Lanza to the Salesian Fr Umberto Pasquale in 1950, saying : “He was a Salesian. But know that he is an innocent and a saint ... Fortunately for us there is a God who, in due time, will do justice. Tell him that he is innocent and that he is a saint! ”.

                            Subsequently, in the central square, the solemn Eucharistic concelebration took place - broadcast live on Facebook (visible here) - and presided over by Msgr. Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini, Metropolitan Archbishop of Reggio Calabria-Bova, who in his homily highlighted how Msgr. Cognata was a man of faith who in the hour of trial and the cross joined in Jesus' obedience to the Father.

                            At the end of the celebration, the Mayor of Bova, Santo Casile, and Fr Leone Stelitano, Parish Administrator of Bova and Vicar of Forania di Bova, thanked all participants.

                            {gallery}IME - Feste mons Cognata 2020{/gallery}

                            • Italia
                            • IME ITALIA MERIDIONALE
                            • Giuseppe Cognata
                            • Pier Luigi Cameroni
                            • SOSC Salesiane Oblate del Sacro Cuore
                            • Santità Salesiana
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Vatican – Pope Francis to Michaelites: "Dedicate all care and attention to the young and social realities exposed to danger"

                              3 weeks 1 day ago

                              (ANS - Vatican City) - “Your charism, ever timely, is characterized by your concern for poor, orphaned and abandoned children, unwanted by anyone and often considered waste by society. While I am pleased with everything you have done in these decades in favor of abandoned children, I invite you to continue with renewed enthusiasm in the educational commitment for those who often no one wants to welcome and defend.” Thus writes Pope Francis in the message he sent to Father Dariusz Wilk, Superior General of the Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel (CSMA, or "Michaelites"), XXI group of the Salesian Family, on account of the opening of the jubilee year for the Centenary of canonical approval of the Congregation, which took place on 29 September 1921.

                              In his message, the Pope begins by encouraging “to continue with conviction, joy and renewed fidelity the path traced by the Founder, Blessed Bronislao Markiewicz.” He knew how to cultivate the seeds given to him by Providence “through the experience of religious life in the Salesian Congregation and in the amiable direct relationship with St. John Bosco.” And in his homeland, Poland, he gathered men and women in the service of poor and abandoned children, and his legacy has been collected and carried on by many of his spiritual children - even at the cost of their lives, as the martyrs and Blessed Ladislao Błądziński and Adalberto Nierychlewski, CSMA, testify.

                              Today the Michaelites are active through schools, oratories, foster family homes, shelters and other welfare and formation settings. This is why Pope Francis points out to them the vast field of “human and Christian education ... the greatest gift that even today you are called to offer to neglected children and young people.” And recalling the phrase of Blessed Markiewicz: “I would like to gather millions of orphaned children from all nations and all races to lead them to God,” the Pope urges the CSMA: “Your Institute is called to devote every care and attention to the circumstances of youth and society exposed to the danger of evil and estrangement from God”, aware that “the most needy today take on the face not only of those who live in material want, but are often slaves to modern conditioning and addictions.”

                              The apostolate of the Congregation through the media is also underlined by the Pontiff. “The Michalineum Publishing House and the two reviews: 'Temperance and Work' and 'He who is like God', are not only the legacy of the Founder, but constitute precious means of social communication which, adapted to current needs and enriched by modern technologies, can reach many, generating fruits of good in the minds and consciences of people.”

                              “The present times,” concludes the Pope finally, “need consecrated persons who know how to look more and more to the needs of the least, who are not afraid to fulfill the charism of their Institutes in modern field hospitals ... It is necessary to be men of communion, to overcome borders, building bridges and breaking down the walls of indifference. In the itinerary of a renewed fidelity to the charism, do not fail to refer to the words that along these hundred years have illuminated the path of your worthy Congregation: the victorious cry of St. Michael the Archangel, 'He who is like God!'."

                              {gallery}Vaticano - Messaggio Micheliti 2020{/gallery}

                              • Vaticano
                              • Bronislaw Markiewicz
                              • Santità Salesiana
                              • Famiglia Salesiana
                              • Micheliti
                              • Educazione
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Italy – "Our Lady" to Turin for inauguration of "Casa Don Bosco" Museum

                                3 weeks 1 day ago

                                (ANS - Turin) - There are many and different initiatives designed to celebrate the opening of the "Casa Don Bosco" Museum in Turin: presentations, civil and religious celebrations, as well as singular artistic events, such as the transfer of important works of art. Like the painting of the "Madonna" by Reffo, traditionally placed at the Institute "Our Lady of Grace" in Nizza Monferrato; in the forthcoming weeks, the painting will instead be exhibited in the new Salesian museum space in Valdocco.

                                In 1905, to complete the Church of the "Sacred Heart",  Mother Elisa Roncallo, FMA, had a Marian chapel dedicated to "Our Lady of Graces" built for the girls who attended the Institute "Our Lady of Grace" in Nizza Monferrato. Don Bosco, in fact, out of respect for the Franciscan friars - who had twice been forced to leave the convent and the adjoining sanctuary dedicated to "Our Lady of Grace" for the suppression of religious orders and the consequent confiscation of goods by the State - had preferred to leave the Marian title and not change it with the one dear to him of "Mary Help of Christians". A talented Piedmontese painter was called in, Enrico Reffo.

                                The painting depicts the Madonna sitting on a neo-Gothic throne with cherubs on the sides and is wrapped in a large blue mantle; the background is golden and highlights the subject. In her arms, asleep, the Baby Jesus. Mary's face has a pale complexion illuminated by the halo, while that of the Child is rosy, in a peaceful and deep sleep. Reffo depicts two powerfully realistic figures; the painter prefers bright colors and manages to express a strong feeling of contemplation and deep devotion. One can see the study of light from life; the colors are clean, clear, brushed large across the background.

                                This painting was requested for the inauguration of the "Casa Don Bosco" Museum where it will be exhibited until January 31, 2021. It is an ambitious project by the Salesian Congregation, which - as explained by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime - “has the joy and responsibility of delivering, for the good of the whole Salesian Family in the world, for the pilgrims and tourists of the City of Turin, the new museum, completely renovated, of the places of origin, of the educational adventure spirituality of Don Bosco.”

                                Reffo's "Madonna" is not the only artistic work that will embellish the rooms of Valdocco for the inauguration of the "Casa Don Bosco" Museum. For the same purpose and in the same spirit, the painting “Don Bosco in Valdocco” by David Pastor Corbì, kindly loaned by the “Colegio Salesiano San Juan Bosco” in Valencia, will also be exhibited until 31 January 2021.

                                • Italia
                                • Musei
                                • Arte e Cultura
                                • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Spain – Salesian Social Platforms ask to defend rights of migrants

                                  3 weeks 2 days ago
                                  Spain – Salesian Social Platforms ask to defend rights of migrants

                                  (ANS - Madrid) - On the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, celebrated yesterday, Sunday 27 September, the Salesian entities, in addition to reaffirming their commitment to continue welcoming and including migrants and people in situations of vulnerability, ask public administrations and society itself to guarantee the necessary means to defend the rights and dignity of migrants.

                                  Pope Francis, in the letter he wrote to convene this day, explains that the drama of internally displaced people, to whom the day was dedicated, is “an often unseen tragedy that the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated … The crisis we are facing should not make us forget the many other crises that bring suffering to so many people.”

                                  Faced with the circumstances of migrants and asylum seekers in Spain, the Salesian Social Platforms work to accompany the processes of reception and integration of these people: they mainly accompany children, adolescents and young people, many of whom are unaccompanied, but they also develop programs to assist their families and especially adults who are most vulnerable. The Salesian Social Platforms currently deal with over 35,000 migrants and about 1,000 people seeking asylum or refugees.

                                  Salesian projects respond to their specific needs by offering extracurricular educational programs, support in the regularization of documentation, specific work placement itineraries, foster family homes, psychological support, actions to promote non-discrimination and intercultural mediation, activities to promote social participation of migrant women, healthy habits, positive parenting and the offer of information, guidance and legal advice.

                                  Especially noteworthy is the program for the comprehensive reception of young asylum seekers and refugees between 18 and 26 years of age. During 2019 and 2020 thus far, 84 young asylum seekers were assisted. Of the total number of applications submitted, 19 were rejected, 7 were approved with refugee status, and 1 was approved with subsidiary protection, while 68% of the applications presented by the Salesian Social Platforms are still awaiting a result.

                                  “To preserve our common home and make it conform more and more to God’s original plan, we must commit ourselves to ensuring international cooperation, global solidarity and local commitment, leaving no one excluded,” said the Pope in the letter issued for the Day.

                                  Similarly, the Salesian Social Platforms are now encouraging all of society - as it had already done with the campaign "Tu voz también es refugio" (Your voice is also a refuge) - to take a step forward for these people, offering one's voice to fight false news and build a better, more fraternal, more just and more united society, where the dignity of all people is acknowledged and no one is left behind.

                                  • Spagna
                                  • Migranti
                                  • Rifugiati
                                  • Piattaforme Sociali Salesiane
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG – 28 September 2020: 125th anniversary of birth of Venerable Stefano Ferrando, SDB

                                    3 weeks 2 days ago
                                    RMG – 28 September 2020: 125th anniversary of birth of Venerable Stefano Ferrando, SDB

                                    (ANS - Rome) - Mons. Stefano Ferrando, Salesian Bishop and founder of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, was born in Rossiglione (province of Genoa and diocese of Acqui Terme) on 28 September 1895. Today is thus the 125th anniversary of his birth.

                                    Stefano Ferrando attended schools with the Salesians, first in Fossano and then in Turin, and was fascinated by the life of Don Bosco. He forcibly interrupted his studies at the outbreak of the First World War, in which he participated as an officer, earning a silver medal. After his priestly ordination in 1923, he left for the Salesian missions in the North East of India, where he became one of the great pioneers of the Salesian missionary epic in that vast region.

                                    In 1934 he was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Krishnagar by Pius XI, but after just one year, he was transferred to the see of Shillong, which will become the center of all his fruitful apostolic and evangelizing activity for the next 35 years.

                                    His apostolate was characterized by the Salesian style: joy, simplicity and direct contact with people. His humility, simplicity, love for the poor inspire many to convert and to request Baptism. He rebuilt the great Cathedral and the mission buildings. The devotion to Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco spread. He undertook to ensure that the Indians became the first evangelizers of their land.

                                    From a first group of Indian catechists, he started the foundation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), aggregated to the Salesian Family on 27 June 1986.

                                    On June 26, 1969, after taking part in the work of the Council, he resigned from his diocese. In Assam, he had found 4,000 Catholics; on leaving, 500,000. In Italy, the elderly missionary bishop retired to the Salesian house in Quarto (Genoa). He died on June 20, 1978.

                                    On March 3, 2016, Pope Francis recognized his heroic virtues by declaring him Venerable.

                                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                    • Stefano Ferrando
                                    • Santità Salesiana
                                    • India
                                    • Anniversari
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      RMG – Strenna 2021 Poster released

                                      3 weeks 2 days ago
                                      RMG – Strenna 2021 Poster released

                                      (ANS - Rome) - 'Moved by hope: “See, I am making all things new” (Rev 21: 5)'  is the title that the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, has chosen for the message of his Strenna for 2021. As every year, his message is accompanied by a poster that graphically translates the insights and orientations that the Father and Center of Unity of the Salesian Family intends to offer to all the followers of Don Bosco. Here, then, is the poster for the Strenna of 2021, which is being sent to Salesian houses all over the world in these days.

                                      Following on from a path already undertaken some years ago, that of assigning the preparation of the poster of the Strenna to artists from different contexts and geographical origins - so as to grasp each time the different sensitivities present in the Salesian universe - the Department for Social Communication wished to privilege the perceptions of Latin America for this edition.

                                      Among the various illustrations proposed, the winner was that of the Argentine artist Gustavo Daguerre, 41 years of age and a whole life spent in Salesian circles, who currently works as pastoral coordinator in an institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and who in the past illustrated the pages of the national Salesian Bulletin.

                                      Here's how he presents the poster:

                                      "When I learned the phrase that will accompany the Strenna for 2021, I thought of the need to offer through an image what is strong for me in that prayer ... HOPE. And for us, as a community of believers, our hope is in Jesus. We often feel, in these times in which we live, that people are without hope. A pandemic is enough to make humanity 'tremble' and make it much more vulnerable. And in that wounded humanity, there are also our young people ... the privileged of our charism.

                                      This is why, and almost by 'praying', we find the image of Jesus at the center, who supports us, invites us to rise, and not only with an outstretched hand, but also with an understanding gaze that gives dignity. And around it there is an environment that tends to convert, from a gray, dark, dense scenario to another full of color, with the necessary brightness to see in the faces of those who receive us, the testimony of Christ.

                                      Our great challenge, as the Salesian Family, is simply to be a sign of Hope, to put light and color, to look with understanding, to continue to heal and accompany what this pandemic has hurt, to continue to be attentive to the needs of others, as Mother Mazzarello and Don Bosco taught us.

                                      The poster will be distributed in paper form and - compatibly with the postal services of the various countries - will reach the Salesian houses by October. Salesian illustrators from all over the world will also be able to modify the background to represent the different local contexts.

                                      The poster, digitally, in the six most spoken languages in the Congregation, is accessible on the web.

                                      And on ANSFlickr, too.

                                      {gallery}RMG - Poster Strenna 2021 lingue - 2020{/gallery}

                                      • Strenna 2021
                                      • Poster
                                      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                      • Rettor Maggiore
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Italy - Rector Major's thanks for Salesian response to pandemic

                                        3 weeks 2 days ago
                                        Italy - Rector Major's thanks for Salesian response to pandemic

                                        (ANS - Turin) - Since the coronavirus pandemic has spread all over the world, the Salesians have immediately taken action to help the population in any way possible. Numerous initiatives have taken place to reach the most needy, young people and families in difficulty. The heartfelt thanks of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, went to those who did not hesitate to help and to give their contribution. 

                                        From Turin, where he is located for the inauguration of the "Don Bosco House Museum", the Successor of Don Bosco invited everyone to continue doing good. "Months ago we made a call saying: we can all help each other and immediately there was a very beautiful response," said the Rector Major.

                                        The full video is available on ANSChannel, in Italian and Spanish.

                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • Coronavirus
                                        • Valdocco
                                          Virginia Nitto
                                          3 minutes 28 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
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