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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

India – Brother Mathew Thaiparambil SDB - Non-Formal Vocational Training pioneer passes away

2 weeks 2 days ago
India – Brother Mathew Thaiparambil SDB - Non-Formal Vocational Training pioneer passes away

(ANS – Kolkata) – A Salesian brother, who was hailed as the “father of drop-outs,” for his pioneering works in non-formal vocation training in eastern India, died on February 1 in Kolkata. The funeral of Brother Mathew, aged 78, will be held at the historical Marian shrine of Bandel on Wednesday 6 February 2019.

By Fr C.M. Paul, SDB

Brother Mathew has two other brothers in the Salesian Society: elder brother Fr T.V. Anthony in Delhi province and younger brother Br T.V. Johny in Kolkata province.

Br Mathew was a well-known innovator and consultant, both among Government and Non-Government circles in India and abroad, for his unique and spectacular approach in training and creating job opportunities through non-formal technical education.

“Hailed as the 'father of drop outs' Br Mathew, while he was director of Don Bosco Technical School at Liluah, started a self-employment project to care for school drop-outs, the young people of the area who had a propensity to become anti-socials,” recalls one of his collaborators and Don Bosco Alumnus Subrata Ganguly.

“One man's vision and initiative has, over the years, successfully managed to bring hope to the lives of many marginalized young people who would otherwise have been left out of the social mainstream,” Mr Ganguly recalls.

Kolkata Salesian Provincial Fr Nirmol Gomes asserts, “I have no hesitation in saying that Br T.V. Mathew is a jewel in the crown of Salesian Brother Vocations in India and lodestar for the typically Salesian initiatives in the non-formal education for the poor and marginalized youth. At the NCERT ceremony that conferred on DBSERI the Best Vocational Training Institution Award 2012 in West Bengal, Brother Mathew was hailed as 'Father of Non-Formal Vocational Training in India.”

Fr Gomes adds, “A man of great vision and foresight, Brother Mathew has touched and transformed the lives of thousands of young people over 40 plus years, saving them from vagrancy and despair, and from falling prey to militancy, particularly from joining the Naxals in the Jungalmahal area.”

Br T.V. Mathew's connection to Kolkata goes back to 1957, when he came to study at Bandel, and started the then revolutionary concept of providing self-employment opportunity through non-formal vocational training.

In a previous interview DBSERI's founder-director Br Mathew recalled his efforts to fight youth unemployment with self-employment saying, “as more than 85 per cent of children drop out from schools, Don Bosco Society took up this noble program to equip school drop-out boys and girls with income generating skills leading to self-employment.”

The initiative, which started during the tenure of first Indian provincial of Calcutta province Fr Joseph Kezhakkekara in hired premises with 14 vagrant boys, was later shifted to the present permanent site, at Mirpara, in 1990 with over 17 trades. The first Salesians who joined Br Mathew in the early days were: Fr M.M. Joy, Br Andrew Jojo, Fr K. A. Thomas and others.

After running the programme for 12 years in a rented building near Don Bosco School, Liluah, Salesian Calcutta province found a property of 4 acres of land which consisted of two factories that were closed down, while the land was a jungle with dilapidated sheds.

The Don Bosco Self Employment Research Institute (DBSERI) shifted to the present location at Mirpara in 1990 to keep up with the growing numbers of students.

DBSERI Mirpara is about 1.5 km from Liluah railway station, just 10 minutes of train travel from Howrah, nestled in what are four acres of salvation for hundreds of school dropouts.

A long time Consultant to the Government of West Bengal in Vocational Training and Government of India for Self Employment, Br Mathew has also initiated non-traditional income generating trades to train women in setting up small enterprises and be financially independent.

  • India
  • INC
  • Formazione Professionale
  • Decessi
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG - "At service of most vulnerable and at risk young people": Salesian Consulta on marginalization and young people at risk

    2 weeks 2 days ago

    (ANS - Rome) - The Department for Youth Ministry, following the indications of the Rector Major and his Council contained in the "Plan of animation and government for the six-year period 2014-2020", and according to the guidelines offered by General Chapter 27, called the "World Consultation on marginalization and young people at risk", which will take place from 27 to 31 March 2019 at the Salesian Headquarters of the "Sacro Cuore", in Rome.

    Participating in the event are 30 Salesians and lay people, sector experts and regional, national or provincial coordinators of the Salesian Social Centers and Services of Africa (ACC, AFE, AFW), America (BSP, COM, MEG, URU), Asia and Oceania ( FIN, KOR, INK, INM, INM, INM) and Europe (BEN, FRB, GER, GER, SLK, together with the "Salesians for Social" team of Italy and the "PESS" of Spain). The Dicastery for the Missions will also be represented, with one member, as will the Youth Ministry Department, through its team, the secretary of the "Don Bosco International" (DBI) and the representative at the United Nations.

    The goal of the Consulta, the Salesian World Consultive Body or Commitee, is, first of all, to know and share the challenges of the Congregation in relation to the Salesian Works and Social Services and the attention to the most vulnerable and at risk young people, analyze the answers to the challenges (processes, ways, options , structures) in the work with aforesaid youths, their families and the same poor environments, thinking of the processes to be activated to respond prophetically to the Salesian mission of today and tomorrow.

    Secondly, this World Council has a second specific challenge: that of reflecting and deepening the Salesian Mission in relation to the Salesian Social Works and Services for the most vulnerable young people and their families in the light of the Framework for Salesian Youth Ministry, of the Synod of Bishops on "Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment", and of the next General Chapter 28 (GC28).


    A third aspect is that of learning, sharing and reflecting together, in a joint fashion, to take on a global perspective of Salesian services and thus offer a message of hope to the Congregation in view of the GC28, which will push the whole Congregation to place, with greater charismatic impulse, the young most in need and at risk at the center of the Salesian mission.

    As a result of this World Council, preparations for a "World Symposium" to be held in 2021 are foreseen, which will strengthen the commitment, identity, processes and synergies of the Congregation in the Salesian Social Services and Work for young people at risk, as the social dimension of the charism in their different contexts.

    The "World Consultation on the marginalization of young people at risk" is part of a process of coordination and accompaniment at the world level of the Youth Ministry Department for the teams of the Congregation who are active in the sector of Works and Services for young people at risk.

    • RMG
    • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
    • Pastorale Giovanile
    • Missioni
    • Emarginazione
    • Povertà
      Gian Francesco Romano

      United States – Cardinal Zen celebrates Feast of Don Bosco at “Don Bosco Cristo Rey”

      2 weeks 2 days ago
      United States – Cardinal Zen celebrates Feast of Don Bosco at “Don Bosco Cristo Rey”

      (ANS – Takoma Park– Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School welcomed Cardinal Joseph Zen, SDB, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, as celebrant and preacher for the solemnity of St. John Bosco on January 31. Mass was celebrated at 10:00 a.m. in the church of Our Lady of Sorrows adjacent to the school in the presence of students, staff, Salesian Cooperators, and friends of the school.

      by Fr. Mike Mendl, SDB

      Cardinal Zen had been visiting the U.S. for several days and earlier in the week was honored with the “Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom” by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation on account of his staunch defense of human rights and freedom of religion in China. He was accompanied by Fr. Joseph Ng, superior of the Salesian Province based in Hong Kong. The priests of the local Salesian community also concelebrated the Mass.

      Basing his homily on the gospel (Matt 18:1-6,10), the cardinal noted how Don Bosco put into practice Jesus’ exhortation to take care of the little ones and the poor. He asked why Jesus blesses the poor and responded that suffering is part of life because all of us are sinners; but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, takes care of his sheep and through his own suffering on the cross leads us to salvation.

      Cardinal Zen said that believers live by hope in something this is already present, a first installment in salvation, because of God’s love. Life without love is meaningless, he said, and life without suffering is not possible.

      The cardinal noted that the Mass was taking place in Our Lady of Sorrows Church and linked the Virgin Mary’s suffering, in mystery, to the joy of salvation that followed her sorrows. Turning again to St. John Bosco, the cardinal said that he was always happy in spite of the difficulties of his life because he always knew that he was on his way to Paradise.

      The cardinal, so well known for his defense of the freedom of the Church, spoke briefly about the current situation in China. He mentioned Pope Benedict XVI’s encouragement to Chinese Catholics to persevere in the Faith even if they have to suffer for it. Christians, the cardinal said, are always winners if they are on God’s side, if they are little ones who put their faith in God.

      Through the humble servant of God St. John Bosco, he concluded, many little ones got the help they needed in life and grew up to help others also.

      DBCR’s students and staff very much appreciated Cardinal Zen’s visit. In the evening Cardinal Zen and Fr. Ng visited the Salesians’ new residence in College Park, Md., and took part with the community in Evening Prayer II of St. John Bosco.

      {gallery}Stati Uniti - Visita Zen{/gallery}

      • Stati Uniti
      • SUE
      • CIN
      • Cardinali
      • Joseph Zen
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Panama - "Panama belongs to Don Bosco and Don Bosco is from Panama": thousands of people accompanied Don Bosco in a procession

        2 weeks 5 days ago

        (ANS - Panama City) – Taking place yesterday, 31 January, in the "Valdocco of America", in Panama City, was the biggest feast in honor of Don Bosco with the solemn Eucharistic presided over by Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa, archbishop of Panama, and concelebrated by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians. Subsequently, thousands of people accompanied the statue and the relic of Don Bosco in a procession.

        As Fr Romulo Gallegos, SDB, Director of the center of the Basilica of Don Bosco in Panama City explained: "The patron saint of Panama is Our Lady of Santa Maria la Antigua. But St. John Bosco is so revered that every year on January 31, four hundred thousand people gather, in a sort of WYD."

        For his part, Fr Carlos Vilanova, parish priest of the Basílica, underscored that "the procession this year accompanies the relic of the Saint", and is a novelty made on the occasion of the presence of the Rector Major for this feast.

        In front of a basilica full of faithful, mgr. Ulloa expressed his gratitude for the presence of the X Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Á. F. Artime, and of Fr Fabio Attard, General Councilor for Youth Ministry. Mons.Ulloa then emphasized that the procession in honor of St. John Bosco, "Father and Teacher of Youth", would symbolically close the activities of the World Youth Day, which Pope Francis presided last week.

        In his homily, the archbishop of Panama expressed "that you stop being young when you stop dreaming ... I become old if I stop dreaming. Today we are living the extension of the WYD, celebrating this solemnity of St. John Bosco, patron of young people and of WYD2019, and we can say that 'Panama belongs to Don Bosco and Don Bosco belongs to Panama'."

        "While we know that the body of Don Bosco is in Turin," the prelate added, "the heart of Don Bosco is in Panama."

        About 100 young people of the Salesian Youth Movement, who came from Colombia, Mexico, Central America and other countries of the world, participated in these celebrations, who wanted to remain to live Don Bosco's feast in the country of America where Don Bosco is most loved.

        "Don Bosco continues to be as modern as it was 160 years ago," the Rector Major said. "The profiles of boys and girls will be changed. We know that young people with their cultures are different, but they are very similar in the heart. We offer them a home, a family, a project, we prepare them for life and present them with freedom to God, who loves them so much."

        • Panama
        • CAM
        • Rettor Maggiore
        • Don Bosco
        • Ángel Fernández Artime
        • Festa Don Bosco
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Vatican - Pope Francis points out Don Bosco to priests: "He made others happy and himself rejoiced"

          2 weeks 5 days ago

          (ANS - Vatican City) - First in front of about 700,000 young people in Panama City; then in the general audience at the Vatican; finally, yesterday, during the morning Mass celebrated in the "Domus Sanctae Marthae", for the third time in less than a week Pope Francis indicated Don Bosco as a model and example to follow.

          Yesterday the Pope began by recalling the importance of Mother Margherita, a humble woman, "who had not studied in the faculty of theology", but who was able to pronounce "a mother's prophecy" when she told Don Bosco, on the day of his ordination: "Today you will begin to suffer" - a suffering understood as a sign of commitment to the good.

          Then, examining Don Bosco's apostolic action, Pope Francis observed: "In that Masonic era ... where the poor were really the poorthe “left behind”, he saw those young people on the streets and said: 'It cannot be! '... He looked with the eyes of man, who is brother and dad as well, and said:' This cannot go this way! These young people may perhaps end up like Father Cafasso, on the gallows ... '. He was moved and as a man he began to think of humane ways to make young people grow. And then, he had the courage to look with the eyes of God and go to God and say: 'You have created these people for a fullness, they are in a real tragedy ...'. And so, looking at reality with the love of a father - Father and Teacher, says today's liturgy - and looking at God with the eyes of a beggar, who asks for something of light - (luminous) - begins to move forward."

          Thus, after having indicated him as a model to all the young people of the world in the WYD vigil in Panama, yesterday the Pope presented Don Bosco as an example for all priests, as an emblem of the priest who "spent so much time in front of the tabernacle" and a long time in the midst of his people.

          "He did not go with the Catechism and the Crucifix only, [saying] 'do this'. No, no: he went close to them, with liveliness. He made them play, he put them in groups, like brothers ... He went, he walked with them, he heard with them, he saw them, he cried with them and he brought them along, like that."

          The Pope then thanked God for Don Bosco and recalled his distinctive trait, which also represents the signal that a priest is going on the right path: "Joy. The joy of Don Bosco is known: he is the master of joy, eh? Because he made others enjoy and rejoiced himself. And he too suffered. We ask the Lord, through the intercession of Don Bosco, today, the grace that our priests are joyful: joyful because they have the true sense of looking at the things of the pastoral, the people of God with eyes of man and with the eyes of God."

          As a summary of the homily, yesterday morning the Pope also tweeted: "Don Bosco had the courage to look at reality with human eyes and with the eyes of God. May every priest imitate him by seeing reality with human eyes and with the eyes of God."

          • Vaticano
          • Papa Francesco
          • Don Bosco
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Panama - The Rector Major, together with the President of the Republic, visited the new project in Colón

            2 weeks 5 days ago
            Panama - The Rector Major, together with the President of the Republic, visited the new project in Colón

            (ANS - Colón) - On 30 January Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, visited the project under construction of the Los Lagos Integrated Educational Center, located in the province of Colón, which the Government of Panama has entrusted to the Salesian Congregation.

            During the visit, Fr Á.F. Artime was accompanied by the President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela; by Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa, archbishop of Panama; and the Minister for Housing, Martín Sucre Champsaur. Together they visited the residential project "Altos de Los Lagos", located in the province of Colón, and were able to see the progress of the work.

            The President of Panama sustained that in consideration of the growth this project maintains, and the large number of children living in that area, it was necessary to provide this important educational center.

            "The San Juan Bosco Integral Bilingual Formation Center of Los Lagos will be managed by a group of Salesians," explained President Varela, "to strengthen family and Christian values among the hundreds of children in Colón, for whom now begins a new phase of the residential project."

            The Center was entrusted to the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco thanks to an agreement signed with the Ministry of Education in December 2018. In this way, the Government of Panama decided to focus on education and on the Preventive System of Don Bosco in favor of a population of about 1,500 children at risk living in that area.

            For his part, Minister Sucre Champsaur added: "We are satisfied because there are new days awaiting a generation that is preparing to positively change the country ... The whole center in its entirety will be ready by 2020, but we have verified every possibility to start the new infrastructure, including some premises within the residential project 'Altos de Los Lagos', and thus begin to carry out a socio-educational work," said Sucre Champsaur.

            The structure will be able to count on a number of buildings, which will host: administrative offices, kindergartens, primary and middle schools, as well as a gym, a bar, sports fields and an auditorium. In addition, eight halls have already been set up to welcome classrooms for nursery and kindergarten children from next March.

            The occasion was also favorable for the delivery, by the State, of two apartments in the residential complex, which will constitute the residence of the religious who will lead the center.

            Altos de Los Lagos is a residential complex recently inaugurated by the national government for the benefit of the poor, with decent housing and a healthy environment, far from the violence of the popular neighborhoods of the province of Colón in Panama.

            {gallery}Panama - Festa Don Bosco 2019{/gallery}

             More photos on Flickr

            • Panama
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Ángel Fernández Artime
            • Politica
            • Scuole
            • Nuova Presenza
            • CAM
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Italy - Don Bosco Feast in Valdocco: between street art and celebrations

              2 weeks 6 days ago
              Italy - Don Bosco Feast in Valdocco: between street art and celebrations

              (ANS - Turin) - Live performances by young street performers; a playful recollection of Giovanni Bosco's dream as a 9-year old, with "the irruption of wolves and lambs among passersby"; then, at the height of the day, the solemn Eucharist with the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Francesco Cereda: this - and more - makes up the rich program of activities to celebrate Don Bosco in the place where it all began: at Valdocco.

              Throughout the day at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians there are numerous celebrations to allow the participation of all the faithful and devotees of Don Bosco. At 11:00 a.m. (UTC+1) the Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia, presides over the Eucharist - which can also be seen live on www.missionidonbosco.org 

              On the wave of the enthusiasm aroused by the graffiti "Don Bosco Story" created by the street artist "Mr. Wany" for the 150th anniversary of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians last summer, visible on the street at the corner with Via Cigna, a new appointment in Valdocco with street art is proposed.

              Starting from 4 pm today, Thursday 31st January, two groups of young people from the Lyceum of the Mary Help of Christians Institute, which overlooks the square of the basilica, alternate, armed with spray cans, in writing various messages on the tarps hanging from the gate, which faithful will read while entering for the various liturgies of the feast of Don Bosco.

              The "instructions for use" and artistic coordination are by Fr Gianmarco Pernice, a Salesian, expert in street art, and parish priest of the parish of the "Istituto Agnelli" of Turin.


              Following this, twelve youths from the oratory of that same institute, disguised as wolves and lambs, ideally recall the fundamental dream of the Saint of Youth, from which his vocation of service to the young emerged.

              This double event will be documented by other young people who will make videos and photos with passersby. Images and sounds will then end up in the Net to be shared with the other young people of the world who will experience in a special way the feast of Don Bosco: in Panama, with the Rector Major, and in all the towns and villages where a Salesian center lives: because, united all together in the Salesian world, we can say: #WeAreDonBosco.

              At the end of the afternoon event with the young artists, in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, the solemn Eucharistic Celebration takes place with the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Francesco Cereda, (6:30 pm - UTC + 1), which will be visible live streaming on: www.missionidonbosco.org 

              • Italia
              • ICP
              • Festa Don Bosco
              • Arte
              • Francesco Cereda
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Panama - Rector Major's message to the young: "Be missionary apostles for other young people in the world"

                2 weeks 6 days ago

                (ANS - Panama City) - The traditional greeting of the Rector Major to the young on the occasion of the feast of Don Bosco arrives this year from Panama, where Fr Ángel Fernández Artime has remained even after World Youth Day, to celebrate the Saint of the Young in a country much devoted to Don Bosco.

                The Rector Major speaks surrounded by the boys and girls of the Salesian Youth Movement, in several sites symbolic of the Salesian presence in the City of Panama: the Basilica of Don Bosco which houses the urn and the relic of Don Bosco and the exact replica of "I Becchi ", the birthplace of the Saint of Youth.

                The Rector Major recalls the dream of the nine-year old John Bosco, a dream which marked his whole life, so that each young person may be convinced that it is never too early to decide to become a missionary apostle to other young people.

                As Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Á.F. Artime then summons a challenge to young people: "I want to invite you to make a beautiful journey of youth, of youthful dreams, of Christian life, fidelity to Jesus and sainthood, ultimately a simple and forthcoming life."

                The full video of the Rector Major's message to young people is available in six languages on ANSChannel at youtube.

                {gallery}Panama - Video Messaggio RM{/gallery}

                • Panama
                • CAM
                • Festa Don Bosco
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Panama - "Sainthood is contagious". Rector Major on last day of triduum of preparation for feast of Don Bosco

                  2 weeks 6 days ago

                  (ANS - Panama City) - During the Eucharistic celebration of Wednesday, January 30, in preparation for the feast of Don Bosco, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, emphasized that "the path of Christian life cannot be traveled alone, but in community."

                  The Rector Major began the celebration by thanking the faithful, the Salesians, the Salesian Family and above all the presence of diocesan priests and Msgr. Luis Antonio Secco, bishop of Curaçao in the Caribbean.

                  During the homily, Fr Á.F. Artime expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to be in Panama. "I thank the Lord for being able to celebrate this feast with the heart of Don Bosco, inspired by the Spirit. The theme of this day invites us to present the walk (along the path) of missionary holiness in daily life ... Today I want to place as the starting point of this holiness the Venerable Mother Margherita, the mother of Don Bosco ... Don Bosco said to his mother: 'I need you to come with me to take care of my boys' ... I think about what it meant for this woman to leave everything!," explains the Rector Major, "to go to Valdocco, take care of hundreds of children ... The life of Mamma Margarita is a testimony of anonymous, silent holiness."

                  To reinforce this community vision of holiness, the Rector Major recalled the "school of sainthood" that Don Bosco was able to form with a group of young people in a rather restricted physical space: a school wherein were formed the figures of holiness of the stature of Domenico Savio, Michele Rua, Luigi Versiglia, Callisto Caravario, Luigi Variara, Andra Beltrami.

                  What was Don Bosco's secret in stimulating the desire for holiness in these simple boys? First of all, precisely the simple sharing of life with two saints: Don Bosco himself and Mamma Margherita.

                  What ascetic proposal was offered them to awaken the desire for holiness? Nothing extraordinary. Yes, the channeling of those youthful energies in study, in sport, in joy, in the family atmosphere. And, of course, prayer. A festive and youthful prayer.

                  Don Bosco looked at those boys with the eyes of God. He believed in their potential. He encouraged them to give their best. He convinced them that God had a dream for each of them and that they should not be afraid of what God would ask each of them, because that would be the way of their happiness.

                  • Panama
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                  • CAM
                  • Santità Salesiana
                  • Mamma Margherita
                  • Festa Don Bosco
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Spain – The Salesian Family celebrates feast of its founder this week

                    3 weeks ago
                    Spain – The Salesian Family celebrates feast of its founder this week

                    (ANS - Madrid) - Don Bosco was one of the eight patrons of the World Youth Day celebrated in Panama. Pope Francis, Salesian past pupil, affectionately remembered him during the Saturday Vigil: "I think of Don Bosco, for example, who did not go to look for young people in distant or special places, but he learned to see with God's eyes all that happened in the city." Don Bosco left  the Salesian Family as part of his legacy, with the SF now preparing to celebrate the feast of its founder on 31 January. More than 173,000 young people throughout Spain are assisted in the various Salesian centers, thanks to the work of 944 Salesians, 653 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and about 12,500 educators and collaborators.

                    Evangelizing by educating, educating by evangelizing. This binomial defines the Salesian mission. Currently being defined is a new Itinerary of Education to Faith, with the aim of orienting children and young people aged 9 to 25 in this sense. In addition, Salesian parishes have undertaken the paths of welcoming, of going out to the peripheries, of the shared mission with the laity and of youthful protagonism.

                    The Youth Ministry of the Salesians has embarked on a journey so that the family becomes a true subject within the educative-pastoral communities.

                    Salesian schools are in fact one of the largest non-university educational networks in the country.

                    Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians direct 139 schools, attended by 96,600 students and 5,750 teachers.

                    Vocational Training is the flagship of Salesian education, with 63 centers in which over 1,400 teachers educate almost 18,500 students.

                    The Salesian youth centers are opening new horizons beyond education towards the good use of their free time. 41,500 young people participate in the activities of these centers - 137 in Spain - thanks to the commitment of 4,800 animators. The Confederation of Don Bosco Youth Centers in Spain promotes a real and high quality youth participation, encouraging young people to participate in Salesian networks, forums and social and ecclesial platforms.

                    Salesian social platforms continue to answer to the various situations where youths risk exclusion. The platforms have around 300 projects under their direction, to the benefit of over 35,000 people and involve more than 1,800 workers and volunteers.

                    Among the programs carried out last year, the focus on young refugees and Unaccompanied Foreign Minors stands out. Group-apartments were opened with the aim of providing an accompaniment that allows these children and young people to emancipate themselves.

                    {gallery}Spagna - Festa Don Bosco{/gallery}

                    • Spagna
                    • SSM
                    • Famiglia Salesiana
                    • Don Bosco
                    • Festa Don Bosco
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Italy – Salesian Pontifical University research advances, with Rector Major's support

                      3 weeks ago
                      Italy – Salesian Pontifical University research advances, with Rector Major's support

                      (ANS - Rome) - In its meeting of last January 16, the University Council of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) approved funding four new research projects presented by various professors of the UPS and their respective faculties, taking into account the new "Regulations for access to UPS Funds for Research and Formation" approved by the Academic Senate on 2 May 2018.

                      The four projects are: Historical research for the Conference 'Fellini and the Sacred' (Faculty of Social Communication Sciences - FSC); "Assumptions and Statute of the Biblical Pastoral" (Faculty of Theology); "No place is far. Bastogi and Torpignattara" (FSC); "Transdisciplinarity and Youth Studies" (Faculty of Educational Sciences). They will be supported through the appropriate Research Fund of the Rector Major, and their total amount is over € 22,000.

                      It is a further investment on people and on shared projects that thanks to the attention of the Grand Chancellor of the UPS, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the funds can be directed to qualify research and skills of various scholars, and offer new contributions of value to the scientific community.

                      In the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium, promulgated a year ago, Pope Francis underscores in various points, as a commitment for the ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties to take on, the importance of promoting research through projects that on the one hand enhance the value of what is most specific to and in each of our institutions, and on the other hand that they debate, challenge each other and share via transdisciplinary research promoted by the main centers operating on an international level.

                      • Italia
                      • UPS
                      • Università
                      • Rettor Maggiore
                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Brazil - Young coordinators of Salesian Missionary Youth: "youthful enthusiasm and strength to change the world"

                        3 weeks ago

                        (ANS - Maturacá) - On 8 January the young Celso Dias Bertazo Júnior, Coordinator of the "Salesian Missionary Youth" group (GMS) of Vitória, and Miguel Alvarenga Ribeiro, GMS coordinator of Campos dos Goitacazes, arrived in the State of Amazonas as missionaries. Together with Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, Provincial Vicar and Delegate for Missionary Animation of the Brazil-Manaus Province, they left for Maturacá, a city located to the north of the State, for a mission of about 2 weeks, which gave the youths a formative experience of great significance, through direct contact with some indigenous peoples of the Rio Negro region.

                        "The reality in the State of Amazonas is very difficult," explains Miguel once he returned. "We had already been informed in meetings prior to the mission, but as young people we did not believe it was all truly like that. Yet, despite the setbacks, such as swamps, air travel, boat trips and 29 hours of travel, there was no lack of willpower to overcome all problems. What helped us not to give up was the memory of the Salesians who went through those places. Going to the Maturacá missions today is much easier than 90 years ago. Doing everything for the Kingdom of God is worth it."

                        Celso Dias, for his part, adds: "It was a very beautiful experience and with the older natives we were able to speak in Portuguese, and on knowing their guests were 'Salesians' they were very happy."

                        Of this experience Miguel emphasized the youthful enthusiasm, the force and strength of wanting to change the world. Celso, for his part, points out that what remains of this experience is the overcoming of oneself and of one's own limits. "In a certain sense, nothing is impossible when one has the willpower. What the person really needs is to have faith and to understand that God can do anything."

                        Both return to their homes and the groups entrusted to them with projects for the rest of the year. Miguel intends to continue several missionary projects: "I have a great dream, to volunteer, in Angola or somewhere else."

                        Celso, instead, expressed a desire to focus a little more on his personal life, but will not leave the GMS group and will continue to contribute to it with effort and commitment.

                        The Salesian presence in the indigenous missions is more than 100 years old and is located about 900 km from the state capital, Manaus, in the central region and in the upper Rio Negro. There the Salesians have five missionary presences.

                        • BMA
                        • Brasile
                        • Missioni
                        • Giovani Leader
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Italy - Sea Watch: "Salesians for Social" ready to house minors from ship

                          3 weeks 1 day ago

                          (ANS - Rome) - The Salesian Network for Social (SCS-CNOS Federation) is open to welcoming the minors aboard the Sea Watch ship, anchored off Siracusa, in its structures. There are 13 minors, of which eight are unaccompanied.

                          The Salesian Network for Social (SCS-CNOS Federation), making Don Bosco's words their own: "Charity knows no diversity of races, nor distance of place,"; in response to the Pope's appeal during the Angelus of January 6: "For many days now, 49 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea are on board two NGO ships, looking for a safe haven to land. I address a heartfelt appeal to European leaders to demonstrate their solidarity with these people"; sharing the pronouncement of Msgr Stefano Russo, CEI General Secretary: "we can no longer remove our gaze from these victims"; considering the presence on board of 13 minors, eight unaccompanied; respecting the skills and functions of the administrative bodies, together with many associations with which it collaborates; thus renders open and available to welcome in their structures the minors present on board in the offices of: Arese (Salesian Center San Domenico Savio); Udine, Albarè and Gorizia (Salesian North East Province); Naples (Salesian Institute "Menichini"); Catania (Metacometa Association and Don Bosco 2000); Foggia (Community Association “On the road to Emmaus”).

                          "We consider this to be the most true and concrete gesture to celebrate the forthcoming anniversary of Don Bosco, founder of the Salesians, who welcomed without distinction the young poor of 19th century Turin," say Fr Giovanni D'Andrea, Salesian president for the Social, and Fr Carmine Ciavarella, National Delegate for Marginalization and Distress Aid.

                          • Italia
                          • Salesiani per il Sociale
                          • Migranti
                          • Rifugiati
                          • ONG
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Panama - Message of Salesian Youth Movement from Panama

                            3 weeks 1 day ago
                            Panama - Message of Salesian Youth Movement from Panama

                            (ANS - Rome) - Youth is a gift to be shared; young people are not only the future, but also the present of the Church and of society; and being part of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) means leaving one's comfort zones to go serve the most needy: these are just some of the precious concepts contained in the Message that the SYM has prepared in the WYD of Panama2019, which are now offered as an encouragement to all the young people of the Movement.

                            Wednesday, January 23, in the Basilica of St John Bosco in Panama City, more than 200 young people and leaders of the Youth Ministry of Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, representing 30 countries of all 5 continents, gave life to the SYM Forum.

                            In that broad open debate, sub-divided by language, the participants gathered together on the meaning and role of youth in today's world; on how to integrate the vocational perspective and the discernment in the paths proper to the SYM; on how to build, starting from youth commitment, a more humane and just society; and they also shared the good practices carried out by the SYM in so many parts of the world.

                            All these contributions, together with those received in the subsequent debate with the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), Mother Yvonne Reungoat, were then elaborated upon on the following day at the Don Bosco Technical Institute of Panama.

                            Five young people of the SYM, coming from different regions of the world - Dino Martinello (Australia); Victoria Weekley (USA); Julia Kershofer (Austria); Gerson Santos (Angola); and Andrea Ordoñez (Colombia) - accompanied by the heads of the SDB Dicastery and the FMA Youth Ministry Sector, summarized what had emerged the day before, and helped to focus how the SYM helps to make life choices.

                            In a sort of continuation of the work of the recent Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", and in light of the theme of the WYD of Panama, which indicates to young people the example of Mary as a model of availability to the plans of God ("Here I am, I am the servant of the Lord, let what you have said happen to me" - Lk 1:38), the young people of SYM in Panama have elaborated a message addressed to all the youth of the world's SYM.

                            The full text of the message is available here.

                            {gallery}MGS - Messaggio Panama{/gallery}

                            • Panama
                            • Panama2019
                            • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                            • GMG2019
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Panama - Rector Major during Triduum to Don Bosco: "Do not be afraid of what God asks of you ... Holiness gives a profound joy"

                              3 weeks 1 day ago

                              (ANS - Panama City) - Yesterday, 28 January, was the first day of the triduum of preparation for the feast of Don Bosco. At 6:30 pm the Basilica of San Giovanni Bosco was crowded with faithful, attracted not only by Don Bosco but also, exceptionally, by the presence of his Successor: the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who preached the homily.

                              It is well known that Don Bosco is much loved in Panama. The devotion to the Saint of Youth has entered the genes of the Panamanians: every city in the country celebrates his feast, in various ways, with specific artistic and folkloric features.

                              On the first day of the Triduum, the Rector Major referred to the theme of the Strenna: "Holiness for you too". With his warm and stimulating style, he encouraged the faithful and young participants to take seriously the path of holiness as an accessible vocation for every Christian, and stressed that it is not about doing extraordinary things.

                              He encouraged the participants to make God's dream for each one of them come true. "What does God want from each of us?", he asked emphatically. "This is the fundamental prospect on our lives."

                              "Do not be afraid of what God is asking of you," he insisted. "Do not demand an immediate sanctity. Walk on this road little by little. Give priority to young people, give your life for them. Don Bosco knew how to see the young with the eyes of God."

                              "You must be saints," the Rector Major repeated. "Holiness gives a profound joy. It is accomplished in the responsible fulfillment of its tasks."

                              After Mass, the faithful approached the Rector Major, who did not skimp on hugs, photos and smiles for everyone.

                              {gallery}Panama - Triduo a DB - Primo giorno{/gallery}

                              • Panama
                              • Don Bosco
                              • Rettor Maggiore
                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Italy - When Synod comes to life: young people from Salesian circles visiting sites of youth in distress

                                3 weeks 1 day ago
                                Italy - When Synod comes to life: young people from Salesian circles visiting sites of youth in distress

                                (ANS - Turin) - A group of about 40 university students from the Salesian University Institute of Venice (IUSVE), and the Salesian missionary animation groups in the Triveneto region, spent a few days of commitment and solidarity in the city of Don Bosco. The young people, accompanied by some teachers and educators, starting from a reflection on the Synod, retraced the footsteps of the Social Saints of the 19th century, and visited a number of emblematic sites of alienated youngsters at risk and their daily battle to combat difficulties and sense of alienation and distress.

                                The young protagonists of this initiative put themselves at the service of various Turin-based bodies active in the fight against marginalization: the Cottolengo Institute, the soup kitchens for the poor, the Turin center of the "Sermig" - Arsenal of Peace; the "Gruppo Abele", an NGO for 50 years alongside the last of Turin; the "Community of Sant'Egidio", the center of the Missionaries of Charity of Sant'Egidio ...

                                Among the different stages of their journey, made in the early days of the month, young people from Veneto also visited the city's juvenile prison, called "Ferrante Aporti". The meeting was preceded by an exchange of information on the reality of detention, and consisted of spending an afternoon of talks and friendship with the detainees.

                                "The Synod on the young," says Fr Domenico Ricca, Salesian, chaplain of the 'Ferrante Aporti', "in the intentions of Pope Francis had to involve all the juvenile realities, especially the most fragile: this is why it is very significant that a group of teenagers of our Christian communities have proposed to their animators their wish to know their peers who live the reality of detention."

                                "The Synod has offered the opportunity to make young people reflect on their vocational choices," adds Barbara Celia, the educator who guided the approach path to the prison, "and in our meetings we reflected on how the prison and the world of distress of these young people can be, in perspective, a choice of professional commitment or a field in which to engage as volunteers."

                                "Service and provocations. Service and reflection. Life with our voids and our fullness, fabrics and saints, poverty and drama": this was, in the words of Arianna Pigani, a young former student of IUSVE, the experience of solidarity lived in Turin.

                                • Italia
                                • Carceri
                                • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                • ICP
                                • INE
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Panama - In front of 700,000 at final Mass of Panama2019, Pope: "You young are God's now!"

                                  3 weeks 2 days ago

                                  (ANS - Panama City) - The World Youth Day in Panama ended with the last greeting the Holy Father addressed to the approximately 700,000 young people present in the Campo St John Paul II - Metro Park. Each of his words becomes, from this moment on, a program of life for the young, for priests, for bishops, for the laity, for families.

                                  "These were five days of great happiness," the Panamanian media wrote, "The event was named as one of the most memorable in the nation's history."

                                  Thousands of pilgrims greeted the Holy Father at the international airport of Tocumen, on the afternoon of Sunday, January 27th, in addition to the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, and his wife, Lorena Castillo de Varela.

                                  The Pope has thus embarked on his journey back to Rome, but his words and messages remain.

                                  The day most awaited by young people was Saturday, January 26, when a true feast of the universal Church took place. "The appointment was at six in the afternoon, but as early as the morning hours the streets of Panama City were full of pilgrims eager to hear the message of Francis," wrote Zaida Navarrete, of the Salesian Bulletin of Central America. "The Salesians organized themselves in groups for the vigil. It was a sea of ​​flags, colorful t-shirts, vibrant drawings with the WYD logo and their favorite saints or the names of the groups they belonged to."

                                  During the Vigil there were beautiful testimonies of life and then the expected message of Pope Francis. In his speech he spoke about Don Bosco. When they heard the words 'Don Bosco', "an explosion of emotions was born among the young. All the young people who attend Salesian works stood up, applauded and felt protagonists in the Pope's and the Church's speech in the name of their Holy Founder. In all this immense crowd there were no young people who were more proud than those of Salesian circles," continues Zaida Navarrete.

                                  On Sunday 27 the Pope returned again. At 8 o'clock the Eucharist began. "You young are the now of God", was the strong message addressed to all the young people gathered, a breath of encouragement and hope that was percieved on everyone's face. There is no doubt that "no young person would remain the same on his or her return home."

                                  The Pope concluded his stay in Panama by attending a meeting with the volunteers. He thanked them for their service, and then visited the "House of the Good Samaritan" reception center, which hosts young people with HIV. "The good Samaritan, like all your houses, shows us that our neighbor is first of all a person, someone with a concrete face," said the Pope to all those present.

                                  His prayer did not forget the suffering peoples. "I wish to express my sorrow for the tragedies that have struck the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil and the State of Hidalgo in Mexico ... Here in Panama, I thought a lot about the Venezuelan people, the Philippines …," concluded the Holy Father.

                                  At the end of the WYD in Panama, Portugal was announced as the next location of WYD 2022.

                                  {gallery}28 Panama finale{/gallery} 

                                  • Panama2019
                                  • GMG2019
                                  • Panama
                                  • Papa Francesco
                                  • Giovani
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Panama – Laudato Si’ Generation launched at World Youth Day in Panama2019

                                    3 weeks 2 days ago
                                    Panama – Laudato Si’ Generation launched at World Youth Day in Panama2019

                                    (ANS – Panama City) – Laudato Si’ Generation was officially launched on 25 January during the celebration of the World Youth Day in Panama. Laudato Si’ Generation, which is the youth branch of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, aims at becoming a global youth movement that works for environmental issues, especially climate justice.  Don Bosco Green Alliance and the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) are founding members of Laudato Si’ Generation. 

                                    Carina Baumgartner and Julia Marion Kerschhofer from SYM Austria were the Salesian representatives on the main stage of the World Youth Day at the lunch of Laudato Si’ Generation. “It was really inspiring being part of this special moment, especially since I was representing the SYM. Seeing all these people joining us in singing and hugging is something I will never forget. I am proud to be part of the Laudato Si’ Generation!” said Julia Marion Kerschhofer.

                                    “It was an unforgettable moment to be on the main stage of the WYD and to represent Salesian youth worldwide during the launching action. We had the possibility to spread the Laudato Si’ message to young people from all over the world and to invite them to join the Laudato Si’ Generation. The highlight of this moment was the big hug, where we invited all people to the world’s biggest hug. This was an amazing sign because it brought all people together, people that come from many different and far places, but united in one Mission: to take care of our earth, our common home,” said Carina Baumgartner

                                    Sending a message to the SYM globally, Julia said, “Laudato Si’ is something that everyone should be thinking of. Our planet needs a change NOW. Everyone can contribute, small or big, to make our planet the home we want to live in.” 

                                    “I want to invite all of us not to wait for others to take care of our earth. It's us - young people - who have the strength, courage and creativity to change something. Let the SYM not wait for others, but be an example for Laudato Si’,” was the message from Carina.

                                    “Don Bosco Green Alliance is thrilled to be a founding member of Laudato Si’ Generation” said Fr Savio Silveira sdb, Convener of the Don Bosco Green Alliance. “Young people feel strongly the urgency of responding to the ecological crisis, and we Salesians must support their efforts for a safe and sustainable world,” added Fr Silveira.

                                    Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam sdb, Coordinator of the Sector ‘Ecology and Creation’ at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, applauded this new initiative. “Laudato Si’ Generation is a grassroot movement of young people to care for our ‘common home’. They are telling us that we need to come together and act urgently and radically,” said Fr. Kureethadam.

                                    “Young people are passionate about the planet.  It is marvellous to note the enthusiasm as young people engage in searching for ways to protect our Home.  It is not only the statements made, but the lived experience of keeping the area clean, collecting plastic for recycling and reminding participants that we are a Laudatory Si’ Generation,” said Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb from Papua New Guinea, present at the WYD in Panama.

                                    {gallery}Laudato Si{/gallery}

                                    • Panama2019
                                    • Panama
                                    • GMG2019
                                    • Ambiente
                                    • Creato
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Ethiopia - The Salesians' work in Dilla: nourishing the body, nourishing the mind

                                      3 weeks 2 days ago
                                      Ethiopia - The Salesians' work in Dilla: nourishing the body, nourishing the mind

                                      (ANS - Dilla) - Dilla is a town of about 90,000 inhabitants, located in the south of Ethiopia, whose economy is mainly based on the cultivation of coffee. The population growth has led to the problem of the subdivision of the land: many families have had to give up their plots and have been forced to move, often moving to the outskirts of the city and losing the food autonomy that was guaranteed by the small land that they used to cultivate.

                                      Thus today on the outskirts of Dilla live hundreds of families who are forced to live in conditions of extreme poverty and unable to have their children attend elementary school.

                                      The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco have been present in the city since 1982, with various activities, many of which are aimed at school-aged children. The elementary school, however, was inaugurated just one year ago, in January 2018, and with its 554 students, aged 5 to 12, it is already now one of the projects that has had the greatest positive impact on families.

                                      The intention, however, is to do even better: given the large number of needy children and given the surrounding context the Salesians have proposed to act on two complementary fronts: "We want to set up two new classes for 78 boys and girls aged between 7 and 9 years; and we want to guarantee to every child the possibility of receiving at least one hot meal every day," they say in no uncertain terms.

                                      Defeating the scourge of illiteracy is the first step in building a fairer society. But it has also been shown that malnutrition and denutrition play a major role in child growth, impairing physical development and learning abilities.

                                      For this reason the Salesians have decided to launch this dual project, food and education: because a child cannot really learn on a perpetually empty stomach, and because food alone is not enough to turn children into responsible men and women.

                                      For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                      {gallery}Etiopia - Dilla 2019{/gallery}

                                      • Etiopia
                                      • AET
                                      • Missioni
                                      • Missioni Don Bosco
                                      • Fame
                                      • Educazione
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Austria – 31. January: “Day of Street Children” in Austria focuses on Salesian help for railway kids in India

                                        3 weeks 2 days ago
                                        Austria – 31. January: “Day of Street Children” in Austria focuses on Salesian help for railway kids in India

                                        (ANS – Vienna) – Who will reach them first – Don Bosco or the traffickers? Every 5 minutes a child arrives alone in one of India's biggest railway stations, most of them fleeing poverty or abuse at home. If they escape from traffickers, they may live for months or even years in the chaotic stations, collecting rags, begging and facing exploitation every day. But there is help – for example through the Street children program “BOSCO” in Bangalore run by the Salesians, which has rescued more than 120,000 children in the past 35 years and therefore received the prestigious National Child Welfare Award from the President of India in 2015.

                                        Every year, the Austrian NGO “Jugend Eine Welt” organizes the campaign “Day of Street Children” around Don Bosco Day, January 31, and invites in particular young people and school classes to participate. This year, the campaign focuses on the plight of India's railway kids and how the Salesians are helping them. As special guest of honour, Father Jiji Kalavanal SDB from “Don Bosco Image” in Bangalore spoke at several events organized by Jugend Eine Welt in Vienna, Linz and Innsbruck and met high ranking Church officials and politicians like Bishop Dr. Manfred Scheuer and Governor Thomas Stelzer from Upper Austria.

                                        Fr Jiji Kalavanal SDB was accompanied by the young Indian actor Lokesh Kumar who himself had lived on the streets and in the railway station of Bangalore since the age of 7. He described how BOSCO changed the course of his life, offering him a new home, health care, education and vocational training. He is proud to be a former “BOSCO boy” and now returns the help he received from the Salesians: he regularly visits the street children program, offers training and encourages street children to follow his example.

                                        For Reinhard Heiserer, director from Jugend Eine Welt, Lokesh Kumar´s biography is a wonderful testimony for the efficiency of the pedagogical system of Don Bosco: “Even a child that has spent so many years on the streets like Lokesh can return to a normal life and be an inspiration for other children, as Father Jiji has shown in his impressive video ´This is ME!´using the music and lyrics of a popular song.”

                                        Video “This is ME!” from Don Bosco Image: https://youtu.be/sN3eM7HpPmw 

                                        Further information about the campaign “Day of Street Children” can be found at: www.tagderstrassenkinder.at 

                                        • Austria
                                        • AUS
                                        • Bambini di Strada
                                        • India
                                        • INK
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          India – Brother Mathew Thaiparambil SDB - Non-Formal Vocational Training pioneer passes away

                                          2 weeks 2 days ago
                                          India – Brother Mathew Thaiparambil SDB - Non-Formal Vocational Training pioneer passes away

                                          (ANS – Kolkata) – A Salesian brother, who was hailed as the “father of drop-outs,” for his pioneering works in non-formal vocation training in eastern India, died on February 1 in Kolkata. The funeral of Brother Mathew, aged 78, will be held at the historical Marian shrine of Bandel on Wednesday 6 February 2019.

                                          By Fr C.M. Paul, SDB

                                          Brother Mathew has two other brothers in the Salesian Society: elder brother Fr T.V. Anthony in Delhi province and younger brother Br T.V. Johny in Kolkata province.

                                          Br Mathew was a well-known innovator and consultant, both among Government and Non-Government circles in India and abroad, for his unique and spectacular approach in training and creating job opportunities through non-formal technical education.

                                          “Hailed as the 'father of drop outs' Br Mathew, while he was director of Don Bosco Technical School at Liluah, started a self-employment project to care for school drop-outs, the young people of the area who had a propensity to become anti-socials,” recalls one of his collaborators and Don Bosco Alumnus Subrata Ganguly.

                                          “One man's vision and initiative has, over the years, successfully managed to bring hope to the lives of many marginalized young people who would otherwise have been left out of the social mainstream,” Mr Ganguly recalls.

                                          Kolkata Salesian Provincial Fr Nirmol Gomes asserts, “I have no hesitation in saying that Br T.V. Mathew is a jewel in the crown of Salesian Brother Vocations in India and lodestar for the typically Salesian initiatives in the non-formal education for the poor and marginalized youth. At the NCERT ceremony that conferred on DBSERI the Best Vocational Training Institution Award 2012 in West Bengal, Brother Mathew was hailed as 'Father of Non-Formal Vocational Training in India.”

                                          Fr Gomes adds, “A man of great vision and foresight, Brother Mathew has touched and transformed the lives of thousands of young people over 40 plus years, saving them from vagrancy and despair, and from falling prey to militancy, particularly from joining the Naxals in the Jungalmahal area.”

                                          Br T.V. Mathew's connection to Kolkata goes back to 1957, when he came to study at Bandel, and started the then revolutionary concept of providing self-employment opportunity through non-formal vocational training.

                                          In a previous interview DBSERI's founder-director Br Mathew recalled his efforts to fight youth unemployment with self-employment saying, “as more than 85 per cent of children drop out from schools, Don Bosco Society took up this noble program to equip school drop-out boys and girls with income generating skills leading to self-employment.”

                                          The initiative, which started during the tenure of first Indian provincial of Calcutta province Fr Joseph Kezhakkekara in hired premises with 14 vagrant boys, was later shifted to the present permanent site, at Mirpara, in 1990 with over 17 trades. The first Salesians who joined Br Mathew in the early days were: Fr M.M. Joy, Br Andrew Jojo, Fr K. A. Thomas and others.

                                          After running the programme for 12 years in a rented building near Don Bosco School, Liluah, Salesian Calcutta province found a property of 4 acres of land which consisted of two factories that were closed down, while the land was a jungle with dilapidated sheds.

                                          The Don Bosco Self Employment Research Institute (DBSERI) shifted to the present location at Mirpara in 1990 to keep up with the growing numbers of students.

                                          DBSERI Mirpara is about 1.5 km from Liluah railway station, just 10 minutes of train travel from Howrah, nestled in what are four acres of salvation for hundreds of school dropouts.

                                          A long time Consultant to the Government of West Bengal in Vocational Training and Government of India for Self Employment, Br Mathew has also initiated non-traditional income generating trades to train women in setting up small enterprises and be financially independent.

                                          • India
                                          • INC
                                          • Formazione Professionale
                                          • Decessi
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            RMG - "At service of most vulnerable and at risk young people": Salesian Consulta on marginalization and young people at risk

                                            2 weeks 2 days ago

                                            (ANS - Rome) - The Department for Youth Ministry, following the indications of the Rector Major and his Council contained in the "Plan of animation and government for the six-year period 2014-2020", and according to the guidelines offered by General Chapter 27, called the "World Consultation on marginalization and young people at risk", which will take place from 27 to 31 March 2019 at the Salesian Headquarters of the "Sacro Cuore", in Rome.

                                            Participating in the event are 30 Salesians and lay people, sector experts and regional, national or provincial coordinators of the Salesian Social Centers and Services of Africa (ACC, AFE, AFW), America (BSP, COM, MEG, URU), Asia and Oceania ( FIN, KOR, INK, INM, INM, INM) and Europe (BEN, FRB, GER, GER, SLK, together with the "Salesians for Social" team of Italy and the "PESS" of Spain). The Dicastery for the Missions will also be represented, with one member, as will the Youth Ministry Department, through its team, the secretary of the "Don Bosco International" (DBI) and the representative at the United Nations.

                                            The goal of the Consulta, the Salesian World Consultive Body or Commitee, is, first of all, to know and share the challenges of the Congregation in relation to the Salesian Works and Social Services and the attention to the most vulnerable and at risk young people, analyze the answers to the challenges (processes, ways, options , structures) in the work with aforesaid youths, their families and the same poor environments, thinking of the processes to be activated to respond prophetically to the Salesian mission of today and tomorrow.

                                            Secondly, this World Council has a second specific challenge: that of reflecting and deepening the Salesian Mission in relation to the Salesian Social Works and Services for the most vulnerable young people and their families in the light of the Framework for Salesian Youth Ministry, of the Synod of Bishops on "Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment", and of the next General Chapter 28 (GC28).


                                            A third aspect is that of learning, sharing and reflecting together, in a joint fashion, to take on a global perspective of Salesian services and thus offer a message of hope to the Congregation in view of the GC28, which will push the whole Congregation to place, with greater charismatic impulse, the young most in need and at risk at the center of the Salesian mission.

                                            As a result of this World Council, preparations for a "World Symposium" to be held in 2021 are foreseen, which will strengthen the commitment, identity, processes and synergies of the Congregation in the Salesian Social Services and Work for young people at risk, as the social dimension of the charism in their different contexts.

                                            The "World Consultation on the marginalization of young people at risk" is part of a process of coordination and accompaniment at the world level of the Youth Ministry Department for the teams of the Congregation who are active in the sector of Works and Services for young people at risk.

                                            • RMG
                                            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                            • Pastorale Giovanile
                                            • Missioni
                                            • Emarginazione
                                            • Povertà
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              United States – Cardinal Zen celebrates Feast of Don Bosco at “Don Bosco Cristo Rey”

                                              2 weeks 2 days ago
                                              United States – Cardinal Zen celebrates Feast of Don Bosco at “Don Bosco Cristo Rey”

                                              (ANS – Takoma Park– Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School welcomed Cardinal Joseph Zen, SDB, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, as celebrant and preacher for the solemnity of St. John Bosco on January 31. Mass was celebrated at 10:00 a.m. in the church of Our Lady of Sorrows adjacent to the school in the presence of students, staff, Salesian Cooperators, and friends of the school.

                                              by Fr. Mike Mendl, SDB

                                              Cardinal Zen had been visiting the U.S. for several days and earlier in the week was honored with the “Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom” by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation on account of his staunch defense of human rights and freedom of religion in China. He was accompanied by Fr. Joseph Ng, superior of the Salesian Province based in Hong Kong. The priests of the local Salesian community also concelebrated the Mass.

                                              Basing his homily on the gospel (Matt 18:1-6,10), the cardinal noted how Don Bosco put into practice Jesus’ exhortation to take care of the little ones and the poor. He asked why Jesus blesses the poor and responded that suffering is part of life because all of us are sinners; but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, takes care of his sheep and through his own suffering on the cross leads us to salvation.

                                              Cardinal Zen said that believers live by hope in something this is already present, a first installment in salvation, because of God’s love. Life without love is meaningless, he said, and life without suffering is not possible.

                                              The cardinal noted that the Mass was taking place in Our Lady of Sorrows Church and linked the Virgin Mary’s suffering, in mystery, to the joy of salvation that followed her sorrows. Turning again to St. John Bosco, the cardinal said that he was always happy in spite of the difficulties of his life because he always knew that he was on his way to Paradise.

                                              The cardinal, so well known for his defense of the freedom of the Church, spoke briefly about the current situation in China. He mentioned Pope Benedict XVI’s encouragement to Chinese Catholics to persevere in the Faith even if they have to suffer for it. Christians, the cardinal said, are always winners if they are on God’s side, if they are little ones who put their faith in God.

                                              Through the humble servant of God St. John Bosco, he concluded, many little ones got the help they needed in life and grew up to help others also.

                                              DBCR’s students and staff very much appreciated Cardinal Zen’s visit. In the evening Cardinal Zen and Fr. Ng visited the Salesians’ new residence in College Park, Md., and took part with the community in Evening Prayer II of St. John Bosco.

                                              {gallery}Stati Uniti - Visita Zen{/gallery}

                                              • Stati Uniti
                                              • SUE
                                              • CIN
                                              • Cardinali
                                              • Joseph Zen
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Panama - "Panama belongs to Don Bosco and Don Bosco is from Panama": thousands of people accompanied Don Bosco in a procession

                                                2 weeks 5 days ago

                                                (ANS - Panama City) – Taking place yesterday, 31 January, in the "Valdocco of America", in Panama City, was the biggest feast in honor of Don Bosco with the solemn Eucharistic presided over by Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa, archbishop of Panama, and concelebrated by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians. Subsequently, thousands of people accompanied the statue and the relic of Don Bosco in a procession.

                                                As Fr Romulo Gallegos, SDB, Director of the center of the Basilica of Don Bosco in Panama City explained: "The patron saint of Panama is Our Lady of Santa Maria la Antigua. But St. John Bosco is so revered that every year on January 31, four hundred thousand people gather, in a sort of WYD."

                                                For his part, Fr Carlos Vilanova, parish priest of the Basílica, underscored that "the procession this year accompanies the relic of the Saint", and is a novelty made on the occasion of the presence of the Rector Major for this feast.

                                                In front of a basilica full of faithful, mgr. Ulloa expressed his gratitude for the presence of the X Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Á. F. Artime, and of Fr Fabio Attard, General Councilor for Youth Ministry. Mons.Ulloa then emphasized that the procession in honor of St. John Bosco, "Father and Teacher of Youth", would symbolically close the activities of the World Youth Day, which Pope Francis presided last week.

                                                In his homily, the archbishop of Panama expressed "that you stop being young when you stop dreaming ... I become old if I stop dreaming. Today we are living the extension of the WYD, celebrating this solemnity of St. John Bosco, patron of young people and of WYD2019, and we can say that 'Panama belongs to Don Bosco and Don Bosco belongs to Panama'."

                                                "While we know that the body of Don Bosco is in Turin," the prelate added, "the heart of Don Bosco is in Panama."

                                                About 100 young people of the Salesian Youth Movement, who came from Colombia, Mexico, Central America and other countries of the world, participated in these celebrations, who wanted to remain to live Don Bosco's feast in the country of America where Don Bosco is most loved.

                                                "Don Bosco continues to be as modern as it was 160 years ago," the Rector Major said. "The profiles of boys and girls will be changed. We know that young people with their cultures are different, but they are very similar in the heart. We offer them a home, a family, a project, we prepare them for life and present them with freedom to God, who loves them so much."

                                                • Panama
                                                • CAM
                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                • Don Bosco
                                                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                • Festa Don Bosco
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Vatican - Pope Francis points out Don Bosco to priests: "He made others happy and himself rejoiced"

                                                  2 weeks 5 days ago

                                                  (ANS - Vatican City) - First in front of about 700,000 young people in Panama City; then in the general audience at the Vatican; finally, yesterday, during the morning Mass celebrated in the "Domus Sanctae Marthae", for the third time in less than a week Pope Francis indicated Don Bosco as a model and example to follow.

                                                  Yesterday the Pope began by recalling the importance of Mother Margherita, a humble woman, "who had not studied in the faculty of theology", but who was able to pronounce "a mother's prophecy" when she told Don Bosco, on the day of his ordination: "Today you will begin to suffer" - a suffering understood as a sign of commitment to the good.

                                                  Then, examining Don Bosco's apostolic action, Pope Francis observed: "In that Masonic era ... where the poor were really the poorthe “left behind”, he saw those young people on the streets and said: 'It cannot be! '... He looked with the eyes of man, who is brother and dad as well, and said:' This cannot go this way! These young people may perhaps end up like Father Cafasso, on the gallows ... '. He was moved and as a man he began to think of humane ways to make young people grow. And then, he had the courage to look with the eyes of God and go to God and say: 'You have created these people for a fullness, they are in a real tragedy ...'. And so, looking at reality with the love of a father - Father and Teacher, says today's liturgy - and looking at God with the eyes of a beggar, who asks for something of light - (luminous) - begins to move forward."

                                                  Thus, after having indicated him as a model to all the young people of the world in the WYD vigil in Panama, yesterday the Pope presented Don Bosco as an example for all priests, as an emblem of the priest who "spent so much time in front of the tabernacle" and a long time in the midst of his people.

                                                  "He did not go with the Catechism and the Crucifix only, [saying] 'do this'. No, no: he went close to them, with liveliness. He made them play, he put them in groups, like brothers ... He went, he walked with them, he heard with them, he saw them, he cried with them and he brought them along, like that."

                                                  The Pope then thanked God for Don Bosco and recalled his distinctive trait, which also represents the signal that a priest is going on the right path: "Joy. The joy of Don Bosco is known: he is the master of joy, eh? Because he made others enjoy and rejoiced himself. And he too suffered. We ask the Lord, through the intercession of Don Bosco, today, the grace that our priests are joyful: joyful because they have the true sense of looking at the things of the pastoral, the people of God with eyes of man and with the eyes of God."

                                                  As a summary of the homily, yesterday morning the Pope also tweeted: "Don Bosco had the courage to look at reality with human eyes and with the eyes of God. May every priest imitate him by seeing reality with human eyes and with the eyes of God."

                                                  • Vaticano
                                                  • Papa Francesco
                                                  • Don Bosco
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Panama - The Rector Major, together with the President of the Republic, visited the new project in Colón

                                                    2 weeks 5 days ago
                                                    Panama - The Rector Major, together with the President of the Republic, visited the new project in Colón

                                                    (ANS - Colón) - On 30 January Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, visited the project under construction of the Los Lagos Integrated Educational Center, located in the province of Colón, which the Government of Panama has entrusted to the Salesian Congregation.

                                                    During the visit, Fr Á.F. Artime was accompanied by the President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela; by Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa, archbishop of Panama; and the Minister for Housing, Martín Sucre Champsaur. Together they visited the residential project "Altos de Los Lagos", located in the province of Colón, and were able to see the progress of the work.

                                                    The President of Panama sustained that in consideration of the growth this project maintains, and the large number of children living in that area, it was necessary to provide this important educational center.

                                                    "The San Juan Bosco Integral Bilingual Formation Center of Los Lagos will be managed by a group of Salesians," explained President Varela, "to strengthen family and Christian values among the hundreds of children in Colón, for whom now begins a new phase of the residential project."

                                                    The Center was entrusted to the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco thanks to an agreement signed with the Ministry of Education in December 2018. In this way, the Government of Panama decided to focus on education and on the Preventive System of Don Bosco in favor of a population of about 1,500 children at risk living in that area.

                                                    For his part, Minister Sucre Champsaur added: "We are satisfied because there are new days awaiting a generation that is preparing to positively change the country ... The whole center in its entirety will be ready by 2020, but we have verified every possibility to start the new infrastructure, including some premises within the residential project 'Altos de Los Lagos', and thus begin to carry out a socio-educational work," said Sucre Champsaur.

                                                    The structure will be able to count on a number of buildings, which will host: administrative offices, kindergartens, primary and middle schools, as well as a gym, a bar, sports fields and an auditorium. In addition, eight halls have already been set up to welcome classrooms for nursery and kindergarten children from next March.

                                                    The occasion was also favorable for the delivery, by the State, of two apartments in the residential complex, which will constitute the residence of the religious who will lead the center.

                                                    Altos de Los Lagos is a residential complex recently inaugurated by the national government for the benefit of the poor, with decent housing and a healthy environment, far from the violence of the popular neighborhoods of the province of Colón in Panama.

                                                    {gallery}Panama - Festa Don Bosco 2019{/gallery}

                                                     More photos on Flickr

                                                    • Panama
                                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                    • Politica
                                                    • Scuole
                                                    • Nuova Presenza
                                                    • CAM
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Italy - Don Bosco Feast in Valdocco: between street art and celebrations

                                                      2 weeks 6 days ago
                                                      Italy - Don Bosco Feast in Valdocco: between street art and celebrations

                                                      (ANS - Turin) - Live performances by young street performers; a playful recollection of Giovanni Bosco's dream as a 9-year old, with "the irruption of wolves and lambs among passersby"; then, at the height of the day, the solemn Eucharist with the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Francesco Cereda: this - and more - makes up the rich program of activities to celebrate Don Bosco in the place where it all began: at Valdocco.

                                                      Throughout the day at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians there are numerous celebrations to allow the participation of all the faithful and devotees of Don Bosco. At 11:00 a.m. (UTC+1) the Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia, presides over the Eucharist - which can also be seen live on www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                                      On the wave of the enthusiasm aroused by the graffiti "Don Bosco Story" created by the street artist "Mr. Wany" for the 150th anniversary of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians last summer, visible on the street at the corner with Via Cigna, a new appointment in Valdocco with street art is proposed.

                                                      Starting from 4 pm today, Thursday 31st January, two groups of young people from the Lyceum of the Mary Help of Christians Institute, which overlooks the square of the basilica, alternate, armed with spray cans, in writing various messages on the tarps hanging from the gate, which faithful will read while entering for the various liturgies of the feast of Don Bosco.

                                                      The "instructions for use" and artistic coordination are by Fr Gianmarco Pernice, a Salesian, expert in street art, and parish priest of the parish of the "Istituto Agnelli" of Turin.


                                                      Following this, twelve youths from the oratory of that same institute, disguised as wolves and lambs, ideally recall the fundamental dream of the Saint of Youth, from which his vocation of service to the young emerged.

                                                      This double event will be documented by other young people who will make videos and photos with passersby. Images and sounds will then end up in the Net to be shared with the other young people of the world who will experience in a special way the feast of Don Bosco: in Panama, with the Rector Major, and in all the towns and villages where a Salesian center lives: because, united all together in the Salesian world, we can say: #WeAreDonBosco.

                                                      At the end of the afternoon event with the young artists, in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, the solemn Eucharistic Celebration takes place with the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Francesco Cereda, (6:30 pm - UTC + 1), which will be visible live streaming on: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                                      • Italia
                                                      • ICP
                                                      • Festa Don Bosco
                                                      • Arte
                                                      • Francesco Cereda
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Panama - Rector Major's message to the young: "Be missionary apostles for other young people in the world"

                                                        2 weeks 6 days ago

                                                        (ANS - Panama City) - The traditional greeting of the Rector Major to the young on the occasion of the feast of Don Bosco arrives this year from Panama, where Fr Ángel Fernández Artime has remained even after World Youth Day, to celebrate the Saint of the Young in a country much devoted to Don Bosco.

                                                        The Rector Major speaks surrounded by the boys and girls of the Salesian Youth Movement, in several sites symbolic of the Salesian presence in the City of Panama: the Basilica of Don Bosco which houses the urn and the relic of Don Bosco and the exact replica of "I Becchi ", the birthplace of the Saint of Youth.

                                                        The Rector Major recalls the dream of the nine-year old John Bosco, a dream which marked his whole life, so that each young person may be convinced that it is never too early to decide to become a missionary apostle to other young people.

                                                        As Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Á.F. Artime then summons a challenge to young people: "I want to invite you to make a beautiful journey of youth, of youthful dreams, of Christian life, fidelity to Jesus and sainthood, ultimately a simple and forthcoming life."

                                                        The full video of the Rector Major's message to young people is available in six languages on ANSChannel at youtube.

                                                        {gallery}Panama - Video Messaggio RM{/gallery}

                                                        • Panama
                                                        • CAM
                                                        • Festa Don Bosco
                                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Panama - "Sainthood is contagious". Rector Major on last day of triduum of preparation for feast of Don Bosco

                                                          2 weeks 6 days ago

                                                          (ANS - Panama City) - During the Eucharistic celebration of Wednesday, January 30, in preparation for the feast of Don Bosco, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, emphasized that "the path of Christian life cannot be traveled alone, but in community."

                                                          The Rector Major began the celebration by thanking the faithful, the Salesians, the Salesian Family and above all the presence of diocesan priests and Msgr. Luis Antonio Secco, bishop of Curaçao in the Caribbean.

                                                          During the homily, Fr Á.F. Artime expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to be in Panama. "I thank the Lord for being able to celebrate this feast with the heart of Don Bosco, inspired by the Spirit. The theme of this day invites us to present the walk (along the path) of missionary holiness in daily life ... Today I want to place as the starting point of this holiness the Venerable Mother Margherita, the mother of Don Bosco ... Don Bosco said to his mother: 'I need you to come with me to take care of my boys' ... I think about what it meant for this woman to leave everything!," explains the Rector Major, "to go to Valdocco, take care of hundreds of children ... The life of Mamma Margarita is a testimony of anonymous, silent holiness."

                                                          To reinforce this community vision of holiness, the Rector Major recalled the "school of sainthood" that Don Bosco was able to form with a group of young people in a rather restricted physical space: a school wherein were formed the figures of holiness of the stature of Domenico Savio, Michele Rua, Luigi Versiglia, Callisto Caravario, Luigi Variara, Andra Beltrami.

                                                          What was Don Bosco's secret in stimulating the desire for holiness in these simple boys? First of all, precisely the simple sharing of life with two saints: Don Bosco himself and Mamma Margherita.

                                                          What ascetic proposal was offered them to awaken the desire for holiness? Nothing extraordinary. Yes, the channeling of those youthful energies in study, in sport, in joy, in the family atmosphere. And, of course, prayer. A festive and youthful prayer.

                                                          Don Bosco looked at those boys with the eyes of God. He believed in their potential. He encouraged them to give their best. He convinced them that God had a dream for each of them and that they should not be afraid of what God would ask each of them, because that would be the way of their happiness.

                                                          • Panama
                                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                          • CAM
                                                          • Santità Salesiana
                                                          • Mamma Margherita
                                                          • Festa Don Bosco
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Spain – The Salesian Family celebrates feast of its founder this week

                                                            3 weeks ago
                                                            Spain – The Salesian Family celebrates feast of its founder this week

                                                            (ANS - Madrid) - Don Bosco was one of the eight patrons of the World Youth Day celebrated in Panama. Pope Francis, Salesian past pupil, affectionately remembered him during the Saturday Vigil: "I think of Don Bosco, for example, who did not go to look for young people in distant or special places, but he learned to see with God's eyes all that happened in the city." Don Bosco left  the Salesian Family as part of his legacy, with the SF now preparing to celebrate the feast of its founder on 31 January. More than 173,000 young people throughout Spain are assisted in the various Salesian centers, thanks to the work of 944 Salesians, 653 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and about 12,500 educators and collaborators.

                                                            Evangelizing by educating, educating by evangelizing. This binomial defines the Salesian mission. Currently being defined is a new Itinerary of Education to Faith, with the aim of orienting children and young people aged 9 to 25 in this sense. In addition, Salesian parishes have undertaken the paths of welcoming, of going out to the peripheries, of the shared mission with the laity and of youthful protagonism.

                                                            The Youth Ministry of the Salesians has embarked on a journey so that the family becomes a true subject within the educative-pastoral communities.

                                                            Salesian schools are in fact one of the largest non-university educational networks in the country.

                                                            Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians direct 139 schools, attended by 96,600 students and 5,750 teachers.

                                                            Vocational Training is the flagship of Salesian education, with 63 centers in which over 1,400 teachers educate almost 18,500 students.

                                                            The Salesian youth centers are opening new horizons beyond education towards the good use of their free time. 41,500 young people participate in the activities of these centers - 137 in Spain - thanks to the commitment of 4,800 animators. The Confederation of Don Bosco Youth Centers in Spain promotes a real and high quality youth participation, encouraging young people to participate in Salesian networks, forums and social and ecclesial platforms.

                                                            Salesian social platforms continue to answer to the various situations where youths risk exclusion. The platforms have around 300 projects under their direction, to the benefit of over 35,000 people and involve more than 1,800 workers and volunteers.

                                                            Among the programs carried out last year, the focus on young refugees and Unaccompanied Foreign Minors stands out. Group-apartments were opened with the aim of providing an accompaniment that allows these children and young people to emancipate themselves.

                                                            {gallery}Spagna - Festa Don Bosco{/gallery}

                                                            • Spagna
                                                            • SSM
                                                            • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                            • Don Bosco
                                                            • Festa Don Bosco
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Italy – Salesian Pontifical University research advances, with Rector Major's support

                                                              3 weeks ago
                                                              Italy – Salesian Pontifical University research advances, with Rector Major's support

                                                              (ANS - Rome) - In its meeting of last January 16, the University Council of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) approved funding four new research projects presented by various professors of the UPS and their respective faculties, taking into account the new "Regulations for access to UPS Funds for Research and Formation" approved by the Academic Senate on 2 May 2018.

                                                              The four projects are: Historical research for the Conference 'Fellini and the Sacred' (Faculty of Social Communication Sciences - FSC); "Assumptions and Statute of the Biblical Pastoral" (Faculty of Theology); "No place is far. Bastogi and Torpignattara" (FSC); "Transdisciplinarity and Youth Studies" (Faculty of Educational Sciences). They will be supported through the appropriate Research Fund of the Rector Major, and their total amount is over € 22,000.

                                                              It is a further investment on people and on shared projects that thanks to the attention of the Grand Chancellor of the UPS, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the funds can be directed to qualify research and skills of various scholars, and offer new contributions of value to the scientific community.

                                                              In the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium, promulgated a year ago, Pope Francis underscores in various points, as a commitment for the ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties to take on, the importance of promoting research through projects that on the one hand enhance the value of what is most specific to and in each of our institutions, and on the other hand that they debate, challenge each other and share via transdisciplinary research promoted by the main centers operating on an international level.

                                                              • Italia
                                                              • UPS
                                                              • Università
                                                              • Rettor Maggiore
                                                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Brazil - Young coordinators of Salesian Missionary Youth: "youthful enthusiasm and strength to change the world"

                                                                3 weeks ago

                                                                (ANS - Maturacá) - On 8 January the young Celso Dias Bertazo Júnior, Coordinator of the "Salesian Missionary Youth" group (GMS) of Vitória, and Miguel Alvarenga Ribeiro, GMS coordinator of Campos dos Goitacazes, arrived in the State of Amazonas as missionaries. Together with Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, Provincial Vicar and Delegate for Missionary Animation of the Brazil-Manaus Province, they left for Maturacá, a city located to the north of the State, for a mission of about 2 weeks, which gave the youths a formative experience of great significance, through direct contact with some indigenous peoples of the Rio Negro region.

                                                                "The reality in the State of Amazonas is very difficult," explains Miguel once he returned. "We had already been informed in meetings prior to the mission, but as young people we did not believe it was all truly like that. Yet, despite the setbacks, such as swamps, air travel, boat trips and 29 hours of travel, there was no lack of willpower to overcome all problems. What helped us not to give up was the memory of the Salesians who went through those places. Going to the Maturacá missions today is much easier than 90 years ago. Doing everything for the Kingdom of God is worth it."

                                                                Celso Dias, for his part, adds: "It was a very beautiful experience and with the older natives we were able to speak in Portuguese, and on knowing their guests were 'Salesians' they were very happy."

                                                                Of this experience Miguel emphasized the youthful enthusiasm, the force and strength of wanting to change the world. Celso, for his part, points out that what remains of this experience is the overcoming of oneself and of one's own limits. "In a certain sense, nothing is impossible when one has the willpower. What the person really needs is to have faith and to understand that God can do anything."

                                                                Both return to their homes and the groups entrusted to them with projects for the rest of the year. Miguel intends to continue several missionary projects: "I have a great dream, to volunteer, in Angola or somewhere else."

                                                                Celso, instead, expressed a desire to focus a little more on his personal life, but will not leave the GMS group and will continue to contribute to it with effort and commitment.

                                                                The Salesian presence in the indigenous missions is more than 100 years old and is located about 900 km from the state capital, Manaus, in the central region and in the upper Rio Negro. There the Salesians have five missionary presences.

                                                                • BMA
                                                                • Brasile
                                                                • Missioni
                                                                • Giovani Leader
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Italy - Sea Watch: "Salesians for Social" ready to house minors from ship

                                                                  3 weeks 1 day ago

                                                                  (ANS - Rome) - The Salesian Network for Social (SCS-CNOS Federation) is open to welcoming the minors aboard the Sea Watch ship, anchored off Siracusa, in its structures. There are 13 minors, of which eight are unaccompanied.

                                                                  The Salesian Network for Social (SCS-CNOS Federation), making Don Bosco's words their own: "Charity knows no diversity of races, nor distance of place,"; in response to the Pope's appeal during the Angelus of January 6: "For many days now, 49 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea are on board two NGO ships, looking for a safe haven to land. I address a heartfelt appeal to European leaders to demonstrate their solidarity with these people"; sharing the pronouncement of Msgr Stefano Russo, CEI General Secretary: "we can no longer remove our gaze from these victims"; considering the presence on board of 13 minors, eight unaccompanied; respecting the skills and functions of the administrative bodies, together with many associations with which it collaborates; thus renders open and available to welcome in their structures the minors present on board in the offices of: Arese (Salesian Center San Domenico Savio); Udine, Albarè and Gorizia (Salesian North East Province); Naples (Salesian Institute "Menichini"); Catania (Metacometa Association and Don Bosco 2000); Foggia (Community Association “On the road to Emmaus”).

                                                                  "We consider this to be the most true and concrete gesture to celebrate the forthcoming anniversary of Don Bosco, founder of the Salesians, who welcomed without distinction the young poor of 19th century Turin," say Fr Giovanni D'Andrea, Salesian president for the Social, and Fr Carmine Ciavarella, National Delegate for Marginalization and Distress Aid.

                                                                  • Italia
                                                                  • Salesiani per il Sociale
                                                                  • Migranti
                                                                  • Rifugiati
                                                                  • ONG
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Panama - Message of Salesian Youth Movement from Panama

                                                                    3 weeks 1 day ago
                                                                    Panama - Message of Salesian Youth Movement from Panama

                                                                    (ANS - Rome) - Youth is a gift to be shared; young people are not only the future, but also the present of the Church and of society; and being part of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) means leaving one's comfort zones to go serve the most needy: these are just some of the precious concepts contained in the Message that the SYM has prepared in the WYD of Panama2019, which are now offered as an encouragement to all the young people of the Movement.

                                                                    Wednesday, January 23, in the Basilica of St John Bosco in Panama City, more than 200 young people and leaders of the Youth Ministry of Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, representing 30 countries of all 5 continents, gave life to the SYM Forum.

                                                                    In that broad open debate, sub-divided by language, the participants gathered together on the meaning and role of youth in today's world; on how to integrate the vocational perspective and the discernment in the paths proper to the SYM; on how to build, starting from youth commitment, a more humane and just society; and they also shared the good practices carried out by the SYM in so many parts of the world.

                                                                    All these contributions, together with those received in the subsequent debate with the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), Mother Yvonne Reungoat, were then elaborated upon on the following day at the Don Bosco Technical Institute of Panama.

                                                                    Five young people of the SYM, coming from different regions of the world - Dino Martinello (Australia); Victoria Weekley (USA); Julia Kershofer (Austria); Gerson Santos (Angola); and Andrea Ordoñez (Colombia) - accompanied by the heads of the SDB Dicastery and the FMA Youth Ministry Sector, summarized what had emerged the day before, and helped to focus how the SYM helps to make life choices.

                                                                    In a sort of continuation of the work of the recent Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", and in light of the theme of the WYD of Panama, which indicates to young people the example of Mary as a model of availability to the plans of God ("Here I am, I am the servant of the Lord, let what you have said happen to me" - Lk 1:38), the young people of SYM in Panama have elaborated a message addressed to all the youth of the world's SYM.

                                                                    The full text of the message is available here.

                                                                    {gallery}MGS - Messaggio Panama{/gallery}

                                                                    • Panama
                                                                    • Panama2019
                                                                    • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                                                    • GMG2019
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Panama - Rector Major during Triduum to Don Bosco: "Do not be afraid of what God asks of you ... Holiness gives a profound joy"

                                                                      3 weeks 1 day ago

                                                                      (ANS - Panama City) - Yesterday, 28 January, was the first day of the triduum of preparation for the feast of Don Bosco. At 6:30 pm the Basilica of San Giovanni Bosco was crowded with faithful, attracted not only by Don Bosco but also, exceptionally, by the presence of his Successor: the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who preached the homily.

                                                                      It is well known that Don Bosco is much loved in Panama. The devotion to the Saint of Youth has entered the genes of the Panamanians: every city in the country celebrates his feast, in various ways, with specific artistic and folkloric features.

                                                                      On the first day of the Triduum, the Rector Major referred to the theme of the Strenna: "Holiness for you too". With his warm and stimulating style, he encouraged the faithful and young participants to take seriously the path of holiness as an accessible vocation for every Christian, and stressed that it is not about doing extraordinary things.

                                                                      He encouraged the participants to make God's dream for each one of them come true. "What does God want from each of us?", he asked emphatically. "This is the fundamental prospect on our lives."

                                                                      "Do not be afraid of what God is asking of you," he insisted. "Do not demand an immediate sanctity. Walk on this road little by little. Give priority to young people, give your life for them. Don Bosco knew how to see the young with the eyes of God."

                                                                      "You must be saints," the Rector Major repeated. "Holiness gives a profound joy. It is accomplished in the responsible fulfillment of its tasks."

                                                                      After Mass, the faithful approached the Rector Major, who did not skimp on hugs, photos and smiles for everyone.

                                                                      {gallery}Panama - Triduo a DB - Primo giorno{/gallery}

                                                                      • Panama
                                                                      • Don Bosco
                                                                      • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Italy - When Synod comes to life: young people from Salesian circles visiting sites of youth in distress

                                                                        3 weeks 1 day ago
                                                                        Italy - When Synod comes to life: young people from Salesian circles visiting sites of youth in distress

                                                                        (ANS - Turin) - A group of about 40 university students from the Salesian University Institute of Venice (IUSVE), and the Salesian missionary animation groups in the Triveneto region, spent a few days of commitment and solidarity in the city of Don Bosco. The young people, accompanied by some teachers and educators, starting from a reflection on the Synod, retraced the footsteps of the Social Saints of the 19th century, and visited a number of emblematic sites of alienated youngsters at risk and their daily battle to combat difficulties and sense of alienation and distress.

                                                                        The young protagonists of this initiative put themselves at the service of various Turin-based bodies active in the fight against marginalization: the Cottolengo Institute, the soup kitchens for the poor, the Turin center of the "Sermig" - Arsenal of Peace; the "Gruppo Abele", an NGO for 50 years alongside the last of Turin; the "Community of Sant'Egidio", the center of the Missionaries of Charity of Sant'Egidio ...

                                                                        Among the different stages of their journey, made in the early days of the month, young people from Veneto also visited the city's juvenile prison, called "Ferrante Aporti". The meeting was preceded by an exchange of information on the reality of detention, and consisted of spending an afternoon of talks and friendship with the detainees.

                                                                        "The Synod on the young," says Fr Domenico Ricca, Salesian, chaplain of the 'Ferrante Aporti', "in the intentions of Pope Francis had to involve all the juvenile realities, especially the most fragile: this is why it is very significant that a group of teenagers of our Christian communities have proposed to their animators their wish to know their peers who live the reality of detention."

                                                                        "The Synod has offered the opportunity to make young people reflect on their vocational choices," adds Barbara Celia, the educator who guided the approach path to the prison, "and in our meetings we reflected on how the prison and the world of distress of these young people can be, in perspective, a choice of professional commitment or a field in which to engage as volunteers."

                                                                        "Service and provocations. Service and reflection. Life with our voids and our fullness, fabrics and saints, poverty and drama": this was, in the words of Arianna Pigani, a young former student of IUSVE, the experience of solidarity lived in Turin.

                                                                        • Italia
                                                                        • Carceri
                                                                        • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                                                        • ICP
                                                                        • INE
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Panama - In front of 700,000 at final Mass of Panama2019, Pope: "You young are God's now!"

                                                                          3 weeks 2 days ago

                                                                          (ANS - Panama City) - The World Youth Day in Panama ended with the last greeting the Holy Father addressed to the approximately 700,000 young people present in the Campo St John Paul II - Metro Park. Each of his words becomes, from this moment on, a program of life for the young, for priests, for bishops, for the laity, for families.

                                                                          "These were five days of great happiness," the Panamanian media wrote, "The event was named as one of the most memorable in the nation's history."

                                                                          Thousands of pilgrims greeted the Holy Father at the international airport of Tocumen, on the afternoon of Sunday, January 27th, in addition to the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, and his wife, Lorena Castillo de Varela.

                                                                          The Pope has thus embarked on his journey back to Rome, but his words and messages remain.

                                                                          The day most awaited by young people was Saturday, January 26, when a true feast of the universal Church took place. "The appointment was at six in the afternoon, but as early as the morning hours the streets of Panama City were full of pilgrims eager to hear the message of Francis," wrote Zaida Navarrete, of the Salesian Bulletin of Central America. "The Salesians organized themselves in groups for the vigil. It was a sea of ​​flags, colorful t-shirts, vibrant drawings with the WYD logo and their favorite saints or the names of the groups they belonged to."

                                                                          During the Vigil there were beautiful testimonies of life and then the expected message of Pope Francis. In his speech he spoke about Don Bosco. When they heard the words 'Don Bosco', "an explosion of emotions was born among the young. All the young people who attend Salesian works stood up, applauded and felt protagonists in the Pope's and the Church's speech in the name of their Holy Founder. In all this immense crowd there were no young people who were more proud than those of Salesian circles," continues Zaida Navarrete.

                                                                          On Sunday 27 the Pope returned again. At 8 o'clock the Eucharist began. "You young are the now of God", was the strong message addressed to all the young people gathered, a breath of encouragement and hope that was percieved on everyone's face. There is no doubt that "no young person would remain the same on his or her return home."

                                                                          The Pope concluded his stay in Panama by attending a meeting with the volunteers. He thanked them for their service, and then visited the "House of the Good Samaritan" reception center, which hosts young people with HIV. "The good Samaritan, like all your houses, shows us that our neighbor is first of all a person, someone with a concrete face," said the Pope to all those present.

                                                                          His prayer did not forget the suffering peoples. "I wish to express my sorrow for the tragedies that have struck the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil and the State of Hidalgo in Mexico ... Here in Panama, I thought a lot about the Venezuelan people, the Philippines …," concluded the Holy Father.

                                                                          At the end of the WYD in Panama, Portugal was announced as the next location of WYD 2022.

                                                                          {gallery}28 Panama finale{/gallery} 

                                                                          • Panama2019
                                                                          • GMG2019
                                                                          • Panama
                                                                          • Papa Francesco
                                                                          • Giovani
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            Panama – Laudato Si’ Generation launched at World Youth Day in Panama2019

                                                                            3 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                            Panama – Laudato Si’ Generation launched at World Youth Day in Panama2019

                                                                            (ANS – Panama City) – Laudato Si’ Generation was officially launched on 25 January during the celebration of the World Youth Day in Panama. Laudato Si’ Generation, which is the youth branch of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, aims at becoming a global youth movement that works for environmental issues, especially climate justice.  Don Bosco Green Alliance and the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) are founding members of Laudato Si’ Generation. 

                                                                            Carina Baumgartner and Julia Marion Kerschhofer from SYM Austria were the Salesian representatives on the main stage of the World Youth Day at the lunch of Laudato Si’ Generation. “It was really inspiring being part of this special moment, especially since I was representing the SYM. Seeing all these people joining us in singing and hugging is something I will never forget. I am proud to be part of the Laudato Si’ Generation!” said Julia Marion Kerschhofer.

                                                                            “It was an unforgettable moment to be on the main stage of the WYD and to represent Salesian youth worldwide during the launching action. We had the possibility to spread the Laudato Si’ message to young people from all over the world and to invite them to join the Laudato Si’ Generation. The highlight of this moment was the big hug, where we invited all people to the world’s biggest hug. This was an amazing sign because it brought all people together, people that come from many different and far places, but united in one Mission: to take care of our earth, our common home,” said Carina Baumgartner

                                                                            Sending a message to the SYM globally, Julia said, “Laudato Si’ is something that everyone should be thinking of. Our planet needs a change NOW. Everyone can contribute, small or big, to make our planet the home we want to live in.” 

                                                                            “I want to invite all of us not to wait for others to take care of our earth. It's us - young people - who have the strength, courage and creativity to change something. Let the SYM not wait for others, but be an example for Laudato Si’,” was the message from Carina.

                                                                            “Don Bosco Green Alliance is thrilled to be a founding member of Laudato Si’ Generation” said Fr Savio Silveira sdb, Convener of the Don Bosco Green Alliance. “Young people feel strongly the urgency of responding to the ecological crisis, and we Salesians must support their efforts for a safe and sustainable world,” added Fr Silveira.

                                                                            Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam sdb, Coordinator of the Sector ‘Ecology and Creation’ at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, applauded this new initiative. “Laudato Si’ Generation is a grassroot movement of young people to care for our ‘common home’. They are telling us that we need to come together and act urgently and radically,” said Fr. Kureethadam.

                                                                            “Young people are passionate about the planet.  It is marvellous to note the enthusiasm as young people engage in searching for ways to protect our Home.  It is not only the statements made, but the lived experience of keeping the area clean, collecting plastic for recycling and reminding participants that we are a Laudatory Si’ Generation,” said Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb from Papua New Guinea, present at the WYD in Panama.

                                                                            {gallery}Laudato Si{/gallery}

                                                                            • Panama2019
                                                                            • Panama
                                                                            • GMG2019
                                                                            • Ambiente
                                                                            • Creato
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Ethiopia - The Salesians' work in Dilla: nourishing the body, nourishing the mind

                                                                              3 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                              Ethiopia - The Salesians' work in Dilla: nourishing the body, nourishing the mind

                                                                              (ANS - Dilla) - Dilla is a town of about 90,000 inhabitants, located in the south of Ethiopia, whose economy is mainly based on the cultivation of coffee. The population growth has led to the problem of the subdivision of the land: many families have had to give up their plots and have been forced to move, often moving to the outskirts of the city and losing the food autonomy that was guaranteed by the small land that they used to cultivate.

                                                                              Thus today on the outskirts of Dilla live hundreds of families who are forced to live in conditions of extreme poverty and unable to have their children attend elementary school.

                                                                              The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco have been present in the city since 1982, with various activities, many of which are aimed at school-aged children. The elementary school, however, was inaugurated just one year ago, in January 2018, and with its 554 students, aged 5 to 12, it is already now one of the projects that has had the greatest positive impact on families.

                                                                              The intention, however, is to do even better: given the large number of needy children and given the surrounding context the Salesians have proposed to act on two complementary fronts: "We want to set up two new classes for 78 boys and girls aged between 7 and 9 years; and we want to guarantee to every child the possibility of receiving at least one hot meal every day," they say in no uncertain terms.

                                                                              Defeating the scourge of illiteracy is the first step in building a fairer society. But it has also been shown that malnutrition and denutrition play a major role in child growth, impairing physical development and learning abilities.

                                                                              For this reason the Salesians have decided to launch this dual project, food and education: because a child cannot really learn on a perpetually empty stomach, and because food alone is not enough to turn children into responsible men and women.

                                                                              For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                                                              {gallery}Etiopia - Dilla 2019{/gallery}

                                                                              • Etiopia
                                                                              • AET
                                                                              • Missioni
                                                                              • Missioni Don Bosco
                                                                              • Fame
                                                                              • Educazione
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Austria – 31. January: “Day of Street Children” in Austria focuses on Salesian help for railway kids in India

                                                                                3 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                                Austria – 31. January: “Day of Street Children” in Austria focuses on Salesian help for railway kids in India

                                                                                (ANS – Vienna) – Who will reach them first – Don Bosco or the traffickers? Every 5 minutes a child arrives alone in one of India's biggest railway stations, most of them fleeing poverty or abuse at home. If they escape from traffickers, they may live for months or even years in the chaotic stations, collecting rags, begging and facing exploitation every day. But there is help – for example through the Street children program “BOSCO” in Bangalore run by the Salesians, which has rescued more than 120,000 children in the past 35 years and therefore received the prestigious National Child Welfare Award from the President of India in 2015.

                                                                                Every year, the Austrian NGO “Jugend Eine Welt” organizes the campaign “Day of Street Children” around Don Bosco Day, January 31, and invites in particular young people and school classes to participate. This year, the campaign focuses on the plight of India's railway kids and how the Salesians are helping them. As special guest of honour, Father Jiji Kalavanal SDB from “Don Bosco Image” in Bangalore spoke at several events organized by Jugend Eine Welt in Vienna, Linz and Innsbruck and met high ranking Church officials and politicians like Bishop Dr. Manfred Scheuer and Governor Thomas Stelzer from Upper Austria.

                                                                                Fr Jiji Kalavanal SDB was accompanied by the young Indian actor Lokesh Kumar who himself had lived on the streets and in the railway station of Bangalore since the age of 7. He described how BOSCO changed the course of his life, offering him a new home, health care, education and vocational training. He is proud to be a former “BOSCO boy” and now returns the help he received from the Salesians: he regularly visits the street children program, offers training and encourages street children to follow his example.

                                                                                For Reinhard Heiserer, director from Jugend Eine Welt, Lokesh Kumar´s biography is a wonderful testimony for the efficiency of the pedagogical system of Don Bosco: “Even a child that has spent so many years on the streets like Lokesh can return to a normal life and be an inspiration for other children, as Father Jiji has shown in his impressive video ´This is ME!´using the music and lyrics of a popular song.”

                                                                                Video “This is ME!” from Don Bosco Image: https://youtu.be/sN3eM7HpPmw 

                                                                                Further information about the campaign “Day of Street Children” can be found at: www.tagderstrassenkinder.at 

                                                                                • Austria
                                                                                • AUS
                                                                                • Bambini di Strada
                                                                                • India
                                                                                • INK
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana