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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Burkina Faso – Holy Mass and burial of Salesian missionary Fr Fernando Hernández, killed in Bobo Diuolasso

4 weeks ago
Burkina Faso – Holy Mass and burial of Salesian missionary Fr Fernando Hernández, killed in Bobo Diuolasso

(ANS - Bobo Dioulasso) - 60-year-old Spanish Salesian missionary Fernando Hernández was murdered on Friday 17 May in the Salesian house of Bobo Dioulasso, killed by a former chef from the center. The murderer, who had worked at the center for seven years and was fired two months ago, also knifed Salesian Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa in the same attack, the latter currently recovering. Security forces arrested the former employee immediately after the crime.

The Salesian Congregation expresses its deepest sorrow for the tragic death of the Salesian priest and wants to be close to his family and members of his community. And while it condemns all forms of violence, it however reaffirms its desire to continue working in African countries, especially in the area of ​​education and evangelization of young people, to contribute to their full development. Sometimes, this work is done in very difficult and even hostile situations. Just three months ago, in fact, another Spanish Salesian missionary, Fr Antonio César Fernández, was assassinated in Burkina Faso, on that occasion during a jihadist attack.

Fr Fernando Hernández, born April 8, 1959, was originally from Ledesma, province of Salamanca, Spain, but studied vocational training in Urnieta, Gipuzkoa province, where his family had emigrated when he was young. Later, in response to the Salesian vocation, he studied Philosophy and Theology and was ordained a priest in Santander in 1991, and immediately sent to Benin as a missionary.

"He was a priest with a technical background, a very interesting profile for the work he did in the places to which he was assigned, because vocational training is the engine of the development of young students and their environment," his confreres said of him.

In the Salesian center of Bobo Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso, Fr Hernández was vicar and economer, responsible of a centre for students attending the Salesian Vocational School and other schools in the city. The news of his murder has caused great consternation in the whole Salesian Family, especially in this area of Burkina Faso where the Salesians have been present since 1994.

The funeral and the subsequent burial of Fr Hernandez will take place in Burkina Faso as the Salesian missionary himself wished. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, at 9 am. Subsequently, his mortal remains will be buried in the courtyard of the work of Bobo Dioulasso, to make the words of the Gospel resound forever in that place: "If the grain of wheat that falls on the ground does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

From Spain, some of his relatives will go to Burkina Faso, accompanied by members of the Salesian Congregation, to participate in the funeral.

  • Burkina Faso
  • AFO
  • Violenze
  • Decessi
  • Antonio César Fernández
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – World Council of Salesian Family starts tomorrow

    4 weeks ago
    RMG – World Council of Salesian Family starts tomorrow

    (ANS - Rome) - Finding oneself in Turin immediately before the feast of Mary Help of Christians and thus, in fraternal sharing and in common Marian devotion, discerning together how to cooperate for the good of young people around the world. This is the meaning of the gathering of the World Consulta of the Salesian Family, scheduled from Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 May, at Valdocco.

    About 60 participants are expected, namely, two speakers / animators - Fr Rossano Sala, former Special Secretary to the Synod of Bishops on young people; and Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Postulation of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family; and as many as 57 people, including Provincials and Directors, spiritual assistants or Delegates of the different groups of the Salesian Family.

    In total, 26 of the 31 Salesian Family groups will be represented - which, as a whole, has nearly 300,000 members.

    The work will open on the morning of Tuesday 21st with the greetings of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime and the presentation of the participants and the program of activities by the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz.

    Fr Sala will then explain what the Synod of Youth represents for the Church and the Salesian Family. In the afternoon, thanks to the presentations of Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General of the Causes of the Salesian Family, and of Dr. Zanet, the theme of holiness in the Salesian Family will be studied in depth; to follow, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), shall each present their own group.

    On the morning of Wednesday 22, the reflections will continue on the theme of Salesian spirituality as "a journey of apostolic and educational holiness", and the presentations of four other groups of the Salesian Family will take place: the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart (SOSC), the Sisters of Resurrection (HR), the Sisters of St. Michael the Archangel (CSSMA), and the Daughters of the Divine Savior (HDS).

    The day also includes a time to learn more about Valdocco as a "land of holiness".

    Scheduled on the last day is the review of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2019, as well as the presentation of various service communiqués: on the Site of the Salesian Family, on the VIII Congress of Mary Help of Christians scheduled for next November in Buenos Aires, and in this regard, information to be shared between the Secretariat for the Salesian Family and the various groups belonging to it.

    Finally, as is customary, the groups of the Council shall offer their suggestions to the Rector Major on the theme of the next Strenna; and lastly, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime will summarize what he experienced in these days of spirituality and fraternity.

    • RMG
    • Famiglia Salesiana
    • Spiritualità Salesiana
    • Eusebio Muñoz
    • Pier Luigi Cameroni
    • Ángel Fernández Artime
    • Rettor Maggiore
    • Consulta Mondiale FS
    • Italia
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Democratic Republic of Congo - Rector Major: "Each of us has the right to be loved"

      4 weeks ago

      (ANS - Kinshasa) – During the visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Africa Congo Congo Vice Province, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement and all the youths who attend the Salesian centers in Kinshasa met at the seat of the Vice Province to show, with their songs and their enthusiasm, the joy of having he who represents Don Bosco today close to them.

      The meeting took place Thursday, May 16, and opened with words of praise and thanksgiving to God and to the Salesians by some young animators for the service that the Sons of Don Bosco lend to needy boys and girls. Then, with the passing of time, the gathering became more and more a celebration of art, dance, music and entertainment, which saw the performance of many young people in different disciplines.

      Friday 17, after Mass and the meeting with the local Salesian Family, the Rector Major, accompanied by his secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region, Fr Américo Chaquisse, and the ACC Provincial, Fr Manolo Jiménez, he boarded a ferry on the Congo River, which took him from Kinshasa to Brazzaville.

      Here, too, in the Republic of the Congo, the Rector Major's journey continued in a climate of great youthful celebration: children gave him gifts, boys and girls crowded the streets to huddle around him, young people waited for hours just to be able to greet him as he traveled by car in his various transfers ...

      All this constituted a reason for hope and comfort for the Rector Major, who received the news of the assassination of Fr Fernando Hernández, and the wounding of Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa, in Burkina Faso, in Bobo-Dioulasso, just three months after the killing of Fr Antonio Cesar Fernández.

      In successive meetings, however, the Rector Major continued to animate the Salesians, young people and the Salesian Family of Brazzaville, and then of Pointe-Noire, where he arrived on the evening of Saturday 18.

      There, on Sunday 19, the Sunday Eucharist was concelebrated in the parish dedicated to St. John Bosco, together with Msgr. Miguel Angel Olaverri, SDB; taking inspiration from the Gospel of the day, on the commandment of love, in the homily Fr Á.F. Artime recalled: "Each of us has the right to be loved."

      Furthermore, on the sidelines of the Mass, he blessed the structures of the new “Domenico Savio” school, and offered words of encouragement to the young women of the Vocational Training Center of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians “Maddalena Morano”.

      Photos of the Rector Major's visit are available on ANSFlickr.

      • ACC
      • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
      • Repubblica del Congo
      • Ángel Fernández Artime
      • Rettor Maggiore
      • Visita di Animazione
        Gian Francesco Romano

        BRIEF INFORMATION AND MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SALESIAN FAMILY IN RMG - THE WORLD When only faith, silence and prayer are possible ...

        4 weeks 2 days ago
        BRIEF INFORMATION AND MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SALESIAN FAMILY IN RMG - THE WORLD  When only faith, silence and prayer are possible ...

        Dear brothers and sisters of the Salesian Family in the world,


        I write to you to share sad news and to invite you again to put your life and your mission in the hands of the One in whom the full meaning of every event resides: the God of Love and His Son Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord.

        I was coming to Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo) for the visit to this new Vice Province when the Provincial of the Western French-speaking Africa Province (AFO) informed me that, a few minutes before, the missionary confrere Fr Fernando Hernández was cruelly murdered and that Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa was seriously injured and is now in the hospital. Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa was at the side of Fr César Antonio Fernández, who was assassinated just three months ago.

        The reason for this tragedy is related to an act of revenge. In fact, it seems that the old chef of the community, who was fired about a year ago, entered the refectory of the confreres during lunch time and enacted his vendetta with a machete.

        In three months, two missionary confreres have lost their lives in this Province. We pray intensely for the healing of Father Germain and also for the wounds that will remain imprinted in his soul, since it must be terrible to endure all that he has lived during this time.

        Dear brothers and sisters of our dear Salesian Family, I share with you all the sorrow that the confreres share with their families and to ask you to remember them in prayer at such a dramatic moment.

        We are living through the time of Easter and at this moment I can only hold on and anchor myself in faith to the Lord, keep silent and pray that He may transform the blood of these martyrs, cruelly and innocently shed, to life and good for the African people and for all peoples.

        Our two confreres, Fr César Antonio and Fr Fernando, lived profoundly loving the African people, the young Africans and their families, always seeking their good in the name of the Lord.


        Our prayer today should be an intercession for them, an intense prayer for Father Germain and a request for forgiveness for their assassins, as the Lord has done.

        Our Mother Help of Christians takes us by the hand and leads us before God the Father. She accompanies us and takes care of all of us, sons and daughters, on this earth.

        With these words, I intend to express our condolences and our closeness to Fr José Elegbede and the confreres of the AFO Province, much tried by these tragic events.

        • Rettor Maggiore
        • Africa
        • AFC
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Vanuatu – Catholic community in Vanuatu looks to Charism of Don Bosco

          1 month ago
          Vanuatu – Catholic community in Vanuatu looks to Charism of Don Bosco

          (ANS – Port Vila) – After the first exploratory visit of the PGS Vice-province Confreres (Provincial Fr Alfred Maravilla from PNG and Fr Srimal from Solomon Islands) last August 2018, this time the PGS Provincial superior with the EAO Regional Councillor made the visit to Port Villa (Vanuatu Republic capital) between 12-15 May 2019. The French/English-speaking country (lingua franca is Bislama, like the Pidgin English of Papua New Guinea) is very peaceful, with a Samoa-like population of 200,000 inhabitants spread over 6 provinces and 83 islands. The Catholic community is growing, with about 15% of the total population.

          The warm welcoming care of Vanuatu Bishop Jean Bosco Baremes, SM (Marist), made the two visitors feel very much at home. Since the first Catholic evangelization of the Pacific, the Marist Congregation has been the main driving force and until now in many countries remains the only male religious congregation.

          The three days were spent on the island of Efate, where Port Vila is also located, hosting its Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

          Thanks to the care of Bishop Jean Bosco, the visitors were able to visit a number of Catholic educational institutions, the Marist cultural and Catholic mission museum, a few sub-parishes and chapels and were also invited for the ongoing final assembly of the Vanuatu Diocesan Synod. This encounter offered a good opportunity for dialogue with almost all Catholic clergy, religious and lay leaders of the whole Vanuatu diocese. Variety of nationalities and points of view among the participants have been very helpful for discernment on this possible new mission frontier.

          Following main point of the sharing: “Youth Ministry in Vanuatu needs new inspiration, since the younger generation are drifting away from parish life, some Catholic youth are even victims of marijuana. There is a need for another male religious Congregation beside the Marists; we would like to enjoy another Universal Church charism, especially that of St John Bosco. The drop outs and out-of-school youth need more care from our communities.”

          The overall welcoming tone of the Synod assembly touched the heart of the two visitors and Fr Alfred shared the Salesian typical gift - a small statue of Mary Help of Christians as One who goes always ahead of Her sons in every mission land. The last three days of the Synod Assembly were celebrated with Her statue on the Presidents table.

          The three-day interaction with the Vanuatu Catholic community is over and the two visitors entrust the future decision of the Rector Major to the motherly care of the Star of the Sea and Help of Christians, main Patroness of the whole Church in the Pacific.

          Source: AustraLasia

          • Vanuatu
          • PGS
          • Václav Klement
          • Alfred Maravilla
          • Missioni
          • Maria Ausiliatrice
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Argentina – The Courtyard in the streets ... And the Virgin in the middle

            1 month ago
            Argentina – The Courtyard in the streets ... And the Virgin in the middle

            (ANS - Salta) - "The Salesian," said Pope Francis, "is an educator who embraces the fragility of children who live on the margins of society and without a future; he bends over their wounds and heals them like a good Samaritan.” The words of the Holy Father become reality in the different parts of the world in which a Salesian finds himself. As part of the celebrations for the month of Mary Help of Christians, the three Salesian houses in Salta made an important gesture of solidarity and extended the oratory to the whole city.

            The communities "Mary Help of Christians - Laura Vicuña", "Ángel Zerda" and "Ceferino Namuncurá" left their traditional courtyards to take them through the streets of the city. Thus, on the morning of Saturday 11 May, three simultaneous oratorial days were held in different areas of Salta, with the aim of bringing everyone a little of the Salesian charism.

            School children participated by creating cards and collecting donations. Many were attracted to this proposal and did not miss the opportunity to be in the midst of an oratory. The day left its mark in the hearts of all the participants and Caterina, Nicolás and Betiana decided to share their experience.

            "I lived a different Saturday," writes Caterina Torres. "I had the opportunity to share my time with very good people and I learned a lot from them. I could see how the children painted, jumped, ran and enjoyed themselves ... We managed to bring out a beautiful smile on their faces. We prepared a performance on Maria, because our goal was that they would know Her and feel that great love we feel for Her. I learned that with small details you can light up the day of a child, young or adult. It was a very nice experience that I hope to relive."

            "It was an experience of Paradise," says Nicolás Martínez. "Seeing most of the animators, the teachers, the parents, the Salesian Cooperators, the Salesians, the members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians ... All together spending a cold morning in favor of the children and adolescents of the area was truly gratifying. Personally, I really liked that to crown it all there was a statue of Mary, not on an altar or a pedestal, but on a wooden table adorned with a pink cloak worn by a mother from the neighborhood and the purple scarf of an animator. That statue, among boys and girls. The Help of Christians and Her Son, in the midst of the slum, celebrating the immense Love."

            "Maria took us back to the courtyard. We have lived and shared a beautiful oratorian day ... Happy to see that we are united and we are part of a community that beats to the rhythm of Don Bosco ... Our young people are a great gift. Thank you!" concludes Betiana Durand. 

            {gallery}Argentina - Oratorio in uscita 2019{/gallery}

            • Argentina
            • ARN
            • Maria Ausiliatrice
            • Oratorio
              Gian Francesco Romano

              RMG – Cultivating a dream: Network of Salesian Museums. International Museum Day

              1 month ago
              RMG – Cultivating a dream: Network of Salesian Museums. International Museum Day

              (ANS - Rome) – Due to the celebration of International Museum Day, Saturday 18 May, and of the invitation of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to "start in a coordinated way the care and promotion of Salesian artistic and cultural assets as the wealth and heritage of the Congregation in favor of the mission", seven Salesian museums in the world held what was a first work session towards laying the foundations for a Network of Salesian Museums.

              It was a first approach and contact via a video conference. Exhorted by the General Councilor of the Missions, Fr. Guillermo Basañes, seven of the largest Salesian museums in the world - in terms of size, exhibitions, catalogs, and related - shared their experiences and together set guidelines for future common work.

              This ambitious project is led by Salesian Fr Gianni Rolandi who, among other functions, is the contact person for Salesian museums within the Dicastery for Salesian Missions. From his presentation we'd like to report these fine words:

              "In an ever smaller world – increasingly more a global village - we realize that, as Salesians, we have an enormous heritage that we need to:

              1. Safeguard
              2. Share
              3. Promote and make known: among ourselves and to the world."

              In addition to Fr Rolandi, other participants included: Nataly Orbe Ortiz and Fr Juan Botasso, of the “Abya Yala” Museum in Ecuador; Miguel Ángel Fernández, Head of Registration and Documentation of Cultural Heritage at the “St James Major” Province of Spain-Madrid; Rosanna Russo of the "Colle Don Bosco Museum" of Turin; Jorge Liotta and the team of the "Museum of Natural Sciences" of Turin; Antonio Scasso, from Argentina; Salvatore Cirillo from the "Maggiorino Borgatello Museum" in Chile; Dirceu Mauricio Van Lonkhuijzen, of the "Museum das Culturas Don Bosco" in Brazil; and Mariano García and Virginia Escribá of the "Museum of Salesian Missions" in Spain, these thus acting as organizing referents in this early stage.

              For a few minutes, the managers of each museum were able to present their institution, their own projects, the hosted collection and the lines of action undertaken and being developed.

              During the cordial conversation and the exchange of impressions, which lasted about 1.5 hour, the participants committed themselves to holding periodic meetings with the aim of collaborating together and starting to work in and as a network to spread and curate in a universal fashion the missionary charism of Don Bosco.

              In the future it is hoped that other Salesian museums will be able to join this initiative.

              {gallery}RMG - Loncandina Musei EN 2019{/gallery}

              • RMG
              • Musei
              • Missioni
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Great Britain – “Honey and Apples”: helping children of all faiths understand each other

                1 month ago
                Great Britain – “Honey and Apples”: helping children of all faiths understand each other

                (ANS – London) – At the end of April, some of the Year 7 students (aged 11-12) from “St John Bosco College”, Battersea, London, put on a short play entitled “Honey and Apples” which was written specifically for them. The play was based on the experience of children during the Holocaust. The school invited some external guests from the local Jewish community, and the rest of the audience was made up of Year 11 students (aged 15-16) who were revising Judaism for their GCSEs.

                The play was beautifully presented and sensitively acted under the direction of Elvira Tallo, one of SJBC's PGCE students, who, although she is not a teacher of drama, worked tirelessly with the students during their form time to bring out excellent performances. The guests and Year 11s loved the play and openly showed their appreciation.

                When the students were asked to reflect on their experience of putting on this short but powerful drama, they acknowledged how difficult being involved in a production was, but found as they rehearsed more, it became easier. The teamwork aspect was appreciated: "you felt good, and as if you were part of a family", said one young actor, and they were all pleased that they learned more about Judaism, and had been able to help the Year 11s with their studies, even if it was "nerve-wracking" at times.

                Although the subject matter was difficult, the young actors valued the opportunity to gain insights and to empathise with the real young people devastated by the Holocaust. "I found working on the play upsetting, but learnt how Jewish children must have felt, and it made me appreciate what I have," one student said, and another added, "It was amazing because I have never been in such an important play before."

                The guests from the Jewish community were very impressed by the performance and the students' engagement with it. The Religious Advisor from the local Jewish home was impressed with how much the students incorporated about Judaism and the Jewish way of life into the play. He said he was touched by the interfaith nature of the event.

                Another guest wrote to the school to say, "Clearly a lot of hard work was put into this by both you and the students and the result was really impressive. I think you should all be very proud of yourselves. This drama covered a very difficult subject very sensitively and also it also included an enormous amount of knowledge about Judaism. The result was really excellent. It was so uplifting to see the efforts that you and the school are clearly making to ensure that the students understand other religions. This is so important in these difficult times."

                St John Bosco College Battersea is continuing to build strong interfaith links with all of the community, so that young people can come together to help build a world of greater understanding and harmony between people of all faiths... and none.

                {gallery}GBR - Teatro su Olocausto 2019{/gallery}

                • GBR
                • Teatro
                • Ebraismo
                • Dialogo
                • Gran Bretagna
                • Scuole
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Democratic Republic of Congo – Rector Major in Africa Congo Congo Vice Province

                  1 month ago
                  Democratic Republic of Congo – Rector Major in Africa Congo Congo Vice Province

                  (ANS - Kinshasa) - After completing his Animation Visit in the Province of Central Africa (AFC), where he met with the Provincial Council and a paternal meeting with Chem-Chem novices, yesterday, May 15, the Rector Major began his tour in the Vice Province of Congo Congo (ACC).

                  Arriving in Kinshasa in the afternoon, site of the ACC Vice Province, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime immediately gathered with the Vice-Province Council, before spending the evening with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians who animate the "Mozart Café" at the nearby Gombe municipality.

                  Today, Thursday 16 May, he meets with the Salesians of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, holds a press conference and a meeting with the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement in the Kinshasa area, who in his honor have planned an afternoon of celebration and artistic-cultural exhibitions.

                  Tomorrow, Fr Á.F. Artime shall preside over the Mass for young people and the local Salesian Family, before entering the Republic of the Congo (so-called Congo-Brazzaville) and meeting the novices.

                  On Saturday 18 May he will meet the Salesians of the Republic of the Congo, preside over the Eucharist for the local Salesian Family and hold a new press conference.

                  In the evening he flies to Pointe-Noire where, on Sunday 19 May, he will preside over the Eucharist with young people and the local Salesian Family, before leaving for Rome, with a stopover at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

                  The ACC Vice Province, guided by Fr Manuel Jiménez Castro, is the newest Salesian circumscription on the African continent, officially founded on 8 September 2017, starting with the “mother” Province of Central Africa (AFC). It was erected after a discernment that lasted about 6 years, which took into account both the growth and expansion of Salesian life in that area, and the difficulties for the animation and governance of the only AFC Province due to the great distances and the scarce connections - roads and such - present.

                  Dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, it has 105 religious and 10 houses, scattered between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congo-Brazzaville.

                  Photos of the Rector Major's visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                  • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                  • ACC
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    India – Giving light for the education of children in Khoupum Valley

                    1 month ago
                    India – Giving light for the education of children in Khoupum Valley

                    (ANS - Khoupum Valley) - In the North-East of India, in the State of Manipur, there is a small valley surrounded by green hills that give rise to spectacular waterfalls. It is the Khoupum Valley, which encompasses all the contrasts of India: it is surrounded by pristine forests and is at the same time the destination of choice for the holiday trips of city dwellers; it is rich in natural resources, but most of the population of tribal origin lives below the poverty line. The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco arrived in this remote area of ​​India in the 1940s, but the official inauguration of their mission dates to 1981.

                    Initially, the Salesians who had been assigned to it were all Italian; then, thanks to their commitment and their testimony, over time the vocations among the youth of these remote areas  flourished, so now all four Salesians who live and work there originate from the very same regions.

                    Faithful to their charism, in addition to animating the public church for Christians in the area, they dedicate themselves, above all, to education via a school that goes from elementary to high school. And they do so, as often happens, together with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA). In total, they deal with 1,100 students: 500 males and 600 females, of which 100 boys and 100 girls from two different hostels, for boys and girls.

                    Salesians and FMA fight in unison so that the highest possible number of children and young people can learn to read and write and develop their talents, and they are particularly attentive to the situation of the deprivation of rights in which girls live.

                    In that area, in fact, there is generally little attention with respect to the education of children, but girls are especially discriminated against; they often work as domestic workers and their salary is used to allow their male siblings to study.

                    Among the various difficulties that afflict these isolated lands is the supply, or lack, of electricity, which is highly erratic: for this reason the local Salesian Family has recently requested the support and generosity of Salesians across the globe, so that they may replace the electricity generator currently in use, old and noisy, with a new one.

                    Without electricity, of course, it is impossible to provide and take computer lessons and, alas, the kids who live in the hostels have no light by which to study in the evening. A new generator would solve these two problems.

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

                    • India
                    • Scuole
                    • Missioni
                    • Missioni Don Bosco
                    • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                    • IND
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Peru – "In every corner of Peru we celebrate our Mother"

                      1 month ago
                      Maria Auxiliadora Breña-Lima-Peru

                      (ANS - Lima) - On May 15, the beginning of the Novena to Mary Help of Christians was celebrated throughout the world. Thousands and thousands of devotees of the Help of Christians return to the place that has seen them grow - be it a school, an oratory, a parish, a youth center, a house, a Salesian mission place, a reception center ... And this reality happens in every house of the Salesians, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Peru or of any other of the groups of the Salesian Family.

                      "In every corner of Peru we celebrate our Mother" is the expression of jubilation of the local Salesian Family. And it's not just a ready-made sentence; it's the truth. Those who have known the Salesians know that in the identity of their charism there is love for the Mother of Jesus invoked under the title of Help of Christians.

                      For example, in the majestic Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in the district of Breña, in Lima, completely renovated, throughout the nine-day journey there are Masses at all hours, and at 7.00 pm the Novena begins, with the participation of hundreds of faithful who come to recite the rosary, to attend Mass and to ask Mary for special grace. The sanctuary was inaugurated in 1921, thanks to the hard work of many Salesians, and above all of the famous Fr Carlo Pane.

                      "We are on our way to celebrating the centenary of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Breña, in 2021," writes historian David Franco Córdoba, "inaugurated as a national tribute for the centenary of Peru's independence. As a Salesian wrote in September 1917, during the construction of this temple: 'It will be a monument lasting more than bronze, which in the coming centuries will tell that a generation of believers and patriots has passed here.'"

                      And indeed to celebrate this magnificent anniversary, a video was produced with the title of a phrase that Don Bosco dreamed about wherein the Virgin Mary uttered: Hic domus mea, inde gloria mea (This is my home, from here my glory will go forth).

                      The producer, Tulio Manuel Mesta, writes: "I'm only giving back some of the affection and favors I have always received from our Mother Help of Christians."

                      In the various houses or centers of the whole Salesian Family the novena is celebrated with the participation of thousands of faithful, and one of the main themes proposed by the preachers is holiness, in the wake of the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2019.

                      And thus we see Mary Help of Christians truly being celebrated in every corner of Peru: Lima, Callao, Cusco, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Piura, Huaraz, Huancayo, Ica...

                      • Perù
                      • Maria Ausiliatrice
                      • PER
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Chile - Make visible the reality of children and adolescents living in the streets

                        1 month ago
                        Chile - Make visible the reality of children and adolescents living in the streets

                        (ANS - Santiago) - "It is enough for one child to live on the street to demonstrate the total failure of our childcare policies," writes G. Guzmán. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, in its objective 16.2 proposes to end abuses, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children. The question arises spontaneously. What does society do about this problem? Some governmental and religious institutions contribute every day to providing a solution. The "Don Bosco" Foundation of Chile participated in the public presentation of the results of the "Counting of street children and adolescents (NNA, in Spanish)" by the Ministry of Social Development and the Family, on May 6th.

                        The study conducted by the "Alberto Hurtado" University revealed that last year 547 children or adolescents had spent at least one night on the street, without a responsible adult nearby.

                        Minister Alfredo Moreno stressed that "the problems of these children are very serious. They are children who have problems with alcohol consumption, drugs, who have experienced dramatic situations. We have taken an important step to make this problem visible, because we cannot progress in solving a problem if we do not know it."

                        The executive director of the "Don Bosco" Foundation, Sergio Mercado, emphasized to the newspaper La Tercera that minors living on the street are "invisible" to society, and for this reason their counting serves to fill that gap. "The street child is not like the stereotype we have in mind, with torn and dirty clothes. That no longer exists. Today the street child is very clean and is no different from anyone else of his age. They are fully integrated into networks and has Facebook. We don't see the difference until we intervene in the field," he explains.

                        The measures that will be implemented in the short term are proximity routes available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 3 regions of the country: Metro, Valparaiso and Biobío. The executors of the Program will work at all hours to complete the field work with the children and adolescents included in the Program. In addition, two emergency shelters will be opened during the winter period in the Metropolitan Region and Valparaiso, which can each accommodate 10 to 20 children and adolescents.

                        Attending the presentation were: the Undersecretary for Children, Carol Bown; the Defender of Children, Patricia Muñoz; representatives of the organizations: UNICEF, "Hogar de Cristo", "Fundación América Solidaria", "Fundación para la Confianza", of the Chilean association of municipalities and of the University "Alberto Hurtado".


                        Source: Diario La Tercera

                        • Cile
                        • Disagio
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Colombia - In memory of Fr Mario Leonardo Peresson Tonelli, SDB

                          1 month ago
                          Colombia - In memory of Fr Mario Leonardo Peresson Tonelli, SDB

                          (ANS - Bogotà) - The funeral of Fr Mario Leonardo Peresson Tonelli, SDB, who passed away on 30 April, was held on Thursday 2 May, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bogotà. Born in Colombia to Italian parents, he spent his 78 years of life for young people.

                          In the courtyard of the Salesian School "León XIII" the Symphonic Band of the Don Bosco Center shared some musical works to remember his passion for bands. The Eucharist of suffrage was presided over by Msgr. Héctor Julio López, SDB, bishop emeritus of Girardot, and was concelebrated by four other bishops, about ninety priests and a large number of people close to Fr Peresson. It was an impressive manifestation of what he came to mean in the lives of many people: lay and religious, priests and bishops, representatives of the Salesian Family, together with friends, students and past pupils, colleagues, leaders, and many others.

                          It could be said that everyone underscored Fr Peresson Tonelli's being a man of God and close to men for the faith that, as a backbone, defined all his life, and for his innate ability to be a friend: close, faithful, respectful, prompt, generous. Behind this great humanity hid a priest of wide intellectual formation, one characterized by his love for Jesus Christ, which he also knew how to search for in the suffering faces of the poor and in the troubled looks of young people and students.

                          His status as an educator, his ministry as a teacher and his charism as a formator kept him anchored in the school of personal and apostolic learning. Here lies the genius that led him to intuit, to develop, to teach what today is understood as the anthropology of the poor and the methodology that implies its leading role in the theological citizenship of the Kingdom.

                          In his numerous services, from the Pastoral Institute "IPLAJ", to the one of education "EDUCLAR", from the chairs he held from schools to universities, from the provincial assignments to the service in the streets and in the parishes, Fr Peresson Tonelli was a missionary, a witness, a traveler ... A paradigm of those who are able to make their mark among people, institutions and the epoch in which they live.

                          And on May 10, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the educational community of the Salesian School "León XIII" gathered around the mortal remains of Fr Peresson Tonelli to give thanks for his life. On that occasion the Eucharist was presided over by the Provincial, Fr Jaime Morales.

                          • Colombia
                          • Salesiani
                          • Università
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            D.R. Congo - Fourth day of Rector Major's visit

                            1 month ago
                            D.R. Congo - Fourth day of Rector Major's visit

                            (ANS - Lubumbashi) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, continues his visit to Central Africa. On the morning of May 13, before going to the Kansebula post-novitiate, the X Successor of Don Bosco made a stop in the Kafubu valley, more than 15 km from the city of Lubumbashi, where Msgr. Gaston Ruvezi, SDB, bishop of Sakania-Kipushi, and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians form novices and run a high school.

                            After this moment of communion, Fr Á.F. Artime arrived in Kansebula where he was warmly welcomed by the Salesians in formation and their formators. The Rector Major then presided over the opening ceremony of the 60th formative year of the post-novitiate founded in 1959.

                            In the afternoon the Rector Major, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, Fr Américo Chaquisse, Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region, and Fr Albert Kabuge, AFC Provincial, together with a large delegation of Salesians and communication officers, visited the 'Bakanja-ville' Salesian house, a reception and recovery center for children and young people at risk. Fr Artime dialogued with many of the center's children who are assisted by the Salesians of the Province of Central Africa.

                            In the evening the Rector Major celebrated the feast of Maria Domenica Mazzarello with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                            • Rettor Maggiore
                            • AFC
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Ethiopia – Fr. Américo Chaquisse concludes his Extraordinary Visitation

                              1 month ago
                              Ethiopia – Fr. Américo Chaquisse concludes his Extraordinary Visitation

                              (ANS - Addis Ababa) – After a long stay of almost one and a half month in the Vice-province of “Mariam Kidane Meheret”, the Extraordinary Visitation of Fr Américo Chaquisse, on behalf of the Rector Major, ended in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 7 May, 2019. The last day of the Extraordinary visitation was reserved for a meeting with all the rectors of the 14 presences in Ethiopia and an afternoon session for an encounter with the provincial council members.

                              By Fr Lijo Vadakken, SDB

                              In his final good night talk that was delivered in the presence of all the rectors and councilors, the regional appeared extremely happy and satisfied of the beautiful experience that he lived in Ethiopia, “the land of origins”. At the same time, he encouraged the Salesians to continue the great work they were doing in the country, especially in championing the cause of the young, work which began almost 44 years ago, in 1975.  

                              In his final report regarding the state of the Province, the Regional Councilor presented all that he observed during his visitation, highlighting both the lights and shadows of the AET province, so that they can be given sufficient attention in regard to the improvement and progress of the province.  In the opinion of Fr Chaquisse, the Salesian province of AET presented a “beautiful reality” comprising of a diversity of culture, language, liturgical traditions, various ethnicities and, of course, a rich cultural heritage. 

                              Even though the vice-province is rather young with a total number of less than 100 confreres, it is very active, having many educational institutions throughout the country, contributing greatly to the life of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia.

                              The Catholic Church is a minority in Ethiopia and makes up not even 1% of the total population of Ethiopia.  “As Ethiopia is characterized by a majority of youth population, there is a great lot that Salesians can do and is still doing in this growing country,” commented the regional in his final discourse.

                              The presence of Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva and currently active at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, at the Thanksgiving Supper added a special flavor to the farewell gathering that was organized at the Salesianum in Addis Ababa. 

                              The Ethiopian Province, canonically erected in 1998, currently has 94 Salesians, working in 14 Salesians presences throughout the country.  

                              • AET
                              • Etiopia
                              • Américo Chaquisse
                              • Visita Straordinaria
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Samoa – Salesian presence soon to celebrate its 40th anniversary

                                1 month ago
                                Samoa – Salesian presence soon to celebrate its 40th anniversary

                                (ANS – Alafua) – The Salesian presence in Samoa will soon celebrate its 40th anniversary (November 1979 - August 2019). On the occasion of this significant anniversary, numerous signs of growth have emerged from various parts: from the “Alafua Don Bosco” center, the Mother House of the Pacific Delegation (including Samoa, Fiji Islands and New Zealand), from the house of Saleleloga, and from the local center of the Salesian Cooperators.

                                In the Samoan Valdocco-like family-size school there are 22 instructors and teachers, two office staff, 5 Salesians (3 Salesians in practical training included), and 198 students of “Don Bosco Alafua” this year (first year 47 only, and in 2019: 74% increase). This increase of students is due to the proactive use of social media, joint action and information sessions in Upolu and Savaii islands with government and mission colleges in 2018. Moreover, the Salesians are growing in the partnership with the SQA (Samoa Qualification Authority) that accredits the five department skill vocational training programs and also offers scholarships and subsidy for the equipment and school upgrade.

                                Since most of the students come from not very wealthy families, scholarship programs are very important; and the SQA guarantee also the international (Australia and New Zealand) certification standard for graduates, accreditation of program quality (ongoing program for level II of five sections).

                                Most of all, the Salesians in Samoa are proud that most of the graduates found employment in industries through on-job-training (6 weeks) and the school is working closely with the Industry Advisory Panel.

                                “To sustain our school we are working on production (carpentry and welding) and we are trying to maintain our school building (repainted last year) with school fundraising activity; Government grants are also a good help. Since 1979 we are grateful to the AUL province centre in Melbourne and its Mission Office (ASMOAF) for the continuous support,” said Mr. Mane, Principal of “Don Bosco Technical School”.

                                At the same time, the center of Saleleloga is also growing: thanks to the generosity of many benefactors, it has been possible to build a large multi-purpose hall, finally able to gather the entire school population in a single environment, composed of 225 pupils from the school and Vocational Training Center, and 22 teachers. The hall, dedicated to Fr Elio Proietto, the first Salesian missionary in Samoa, will also contribute to the school's self-sustainability, because it will be rented for events - for example, in July it will host some Boxing matches of the 2019 Pacific Games.

                                Furthermore, the Salesian Cooperators (SSCC) of the center of Alafua have also been busy. For this reason, after the glories of 2018 - which saw the translation into Samoan of the Project of Apostolic Life and the official opening of the center (the first and only one so far in the whole Pacific Delegation) - in this beginning of 2019 the SSCCs of Samoa have managed, through various fundraising activities, to provide the salary for an additional educator at the Salesian kindergarten, and foster a family atmosphere with aspiring SSCCs of the rest of the Delegation by sharing news concerning the Salesian Family.

                                {gallery}Samoa - 2019{/gallery}

                                • Samoa
                                • AUL
                                • Anniversari
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Democratic Republic of the Congo - Rector Major's visit to "Maria Santissima Assunta" Province

                                  1 month ago

                                  (ANS - Lubumbashi) - Since last Friday, May 10th, until next Saturday, May 18th, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime is engaged in the animation of one of the most flourishing realities of the Salesian Congregation: the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Precisely because of its constant and ongoing development it has, since 2017, two circumscriptions: the "Central Africa" ​​Province (AFC), based in Lubumbashi; and the Africa Congo Congo Vice-Province (ACC), based in Kinshasa.

                                  The Rector Major landed at Lubumbashi airport, AFC province, on Friday afternoon. Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, he was welcomed by the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar region, Fr Américo Chaquisse, and by a large delegation from the Provincial House, headed by the Provincial, Fr Albert Kabuge. Having reached the Provincial House, he celebrated the Eucharist, together with Msgr. Jean-Pierre Tafunga, Salesian, Archbishop of Lubumbashi, and representatives of the local Salesian Family.

                                  On Saturday 11 May, Fr Á.F. Artime spent the morning with members of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) who for months have been preparing spiritually and with practical activities for the visit of the Successor of Don Bosco. The Rector Major met them at the "Cité des Jeunes", a large center consisting of an oratory, a Vocational Training Center, an internship, and social promotion activities; there he celebrated Mass followed by the exchange of gifts and a Q & A session with the young participants. Before concluding the morning with a moment of fraternal agape, the Rector Major also animated the award ceremony of the "Salesian Games 2019" and presented the trophies to the young winners in the various disciplines.

                                  In the afternoon, on reaching the Theological Studentate, Fr Á.F. Artime animated the Salesians in formation, urging them to live as authentic followers of Jesus in the style of Don Bosco.

                                  Yesterday, Sunday 12 May, in the centenary Institute of Imara, Fr Á.F. Artime presided over a Eucharist for the whole Salesian Family, during which he also received the perpetual vows of five Salesians. Later he made a visit to the future "Marian City", where he laid the foundation stone of the complex to be built, and blessed the work. Finally he concluded the day by gathering with the Don Bosco Volunteers at the “Afya Don Bosco” center of the Lubumbashi-Carrefour work.

                                  Photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr

                                  • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                  • AFC
                                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                  • Visita di Animazione
                                  • Professioni Perpetue
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG – World Novena to Mary Help of Christians: first resources already available online

                                    1 month ago
                                    RMG – World Novena to Mary Help of Christians: first resources already available online

                                    (ANS - Rome) – Now near the beginning of the novena to Mary Help of Christians, the first resources relating to the World Novena proposed by the Rector Major to the whole Congregation and to all the groups that share the Salesian charism are being made available online. Accompanied by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, this year's focus for meditation shall be the "beatitudes of the Salesian Family".

                                    While the translation and video-editing work to make the novena videos available in the six languages ​​foreseen (Italian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish) proceeds at a rapid pace, the support material - in Italian and Spanish - which gather the texts of the novena have already been produced, namely: title of the beatitude, motto referring to the Magnificat, presentation of an example taken from the figures of holiness of the Salesian Family, commentary by the Rector Major and final prayer.

                                    Furthermore, to favor the use of videos all over the world, due to the time zone differences, the first videos will be made available on the ANSChannel YouTube channel starting Tuesday 14 May, one day earlier than the ordinary start date of the novena, that is May 15th.

                                    To read and download the support material, please visit: www.sdb.org 

                                    For videos of the novena, visit www.sdb.org, the ANS channel on YouTube, and the ANS Facebook page.

                                    • RMG
                                    • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                    • Comunicazione Sociale
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Argentina – "I make available one year of my life": Salesian Missionary Volunteer Work

                                      1 month ago

                                      (ANS - Buenos Aires) - The volunteer team of the Province of South Argentina is witness to the process carried out by young people who are able to say "I make one year of my life available". It is a proposal for a powerful human and spiritual experience.

                                      The volunteers are extremely normal people, of flesh and bone, but full of energy, strength, dreams, people who ask and discern "and now, what else, or what more?" They turn to the communities that welcome them to help them, making the Salesian community and the educative pastoral community feel they are not alone in the mission.

                                      In early 2019, eight young people completed the one-year missionary volunteer experience: Ezequiel and Mili, in Junín de los Andes; Florencia and Pepa in Bariloche; Leandro and Celeste at Villa Itatí; Vicky in Trelew and Paula Rodríguez in Victorica la Pampa.

                                      A new group of volunteers began their experiences at the beginning of the year, with a meeting in Junín de los Andes; they then joined the provincial youth retreat which takes place every year in the city of Junín de los Andes, and which was completed with the sending off Mass presided by the Provincial, Fr Honorio Caucamán.

                                      The new Salesian missionary volunteers departed for the following communities: Dalila Lopardo of Neuquén and Braian Fernández de Pringles to the community of Trelew, on a mission in the Chubut highlands area; Sofia Bobb from Bahía Blanca and Juan Balmaceda from Corrientes to the community "Hogares Don Bosco - Good Shepherd" of the province of Buenos Aires; Rocío Spontón from Río Grande and Juan Martín Sparvieri from Mar del Plata to the Salesian center of Victorica and the Pampas; Milagros González from Bahía Blanca and Ana Núñez from La Plata in Bariloche, province of Río Negro; Lorena Sosa from La Plata and Gabriel Parry from Caleta Olivia to Junín de los Andes, province of Neuquén.

                                      The path of Salesian pastoral care leads to missionary animation and various forms of volunteering, all seen as a continuity that must be maintained and developed. Openness to missionary vocation, social commitment and charity in volunteering are mature expressions of education to the faith and evangelization of the young; at the same time, it presents a clear and essential expression of that identity capable of motivating the communities towards an apostolic dynamism.

                                      Don Bosco's missionary heart sensed the enormous spiritual tension and the extraordinary apostolic strength that the missionary ideal awakened in his young people. In these times, Pope Francis asks everyone to be "an outgoing Church", a Church that reaches out, and the missionary pastoral ministry tries to abandon the complacent or comfortable pastoral criterion of "it's always been done this way" to, indeed, change, reach out.

                                      {gallery}ARS - Volontariato Missionario 2019{/gallery}

                                      • Argentina
                                      • ARS
                                      • Volontariato
                                      • Missioni
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Uganda – Better nutrition for young people from "Don Bosco CALM" and primary school

                                        1 month ago

                                        (ANS – Kampala) – More than 300 poor youth at the Don Bosco Children and Life Mission (Don Bosco CALM) orphanage and Don Bosco Primary School, located in the town of Namugongo just 10 miles northeast of the city of Kampala in Central Uganda, have access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

                                        Close to 77,500 meals were provided to youth in Uganda over the third and fourth quarter of 2018 thanks to Rise Against Hunger rice-meal shipments. In addition, 64 individuals were trained in the cooking and preparation of the meals. Among the beneficiaries were children from the local refugee camp which hosts children and families who have fled from South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda. These children and those in the surrounding communities need access to nutritious food that provides them the energy and focus to gain an education and participate in social programs.

                                        “At Don Bosco CALM, most of our beneficiaries are from the street, HIV positive and other vulnerable children,” explains Father Elie Nyandwi, director of Don Bosco CALM and the Don Bosco Primary School. “Our financial, human and logistic resources are scarce. We face challenges in feeding children, paying their school fees, scholastic materials, medical assistance and paying monthly salaries for our workers. We have few funding people and organizations, and the Uganda Government does not help support our work. Since we started receiving the Rise Against Hunger meals, our organization can now breathe and save some money for solving some other children’s problems.”

                                        Children at Don Bosco CALM receive nutritious Rise Against Hunger meals every day. Vianny is a student at the Don Bosco Primary School and lives at Don Bosco CALM. Originally from the Ugandan district of Butambala, he came to Don Bosco CALM a year ago and was warmly welcomed by the other students. At home, he and his family were only eating a meal made of cassava bread and beans once a day.

                                        Vianny says, “I want to a policeman in future in order to keep law and order in this village.” Vianny enjoys the rice-meals with beans which make him strong and healthy. He states that children at Don Bosco CALM no longer suffer from hunger because of Rise Against Hunger. After having a meal, Vianny relaxes and plays with his friends before resuming his academic studies.

                                        “We welcomed Vianny after listening to his touching story from his family poor financial background,” adds Fr. Nyandwi. “I remember the first time I met him, I greeted him but he did not answer. After enjoying the Rise Against Hunger meals, he is the first one to come to greet me everywhere he finds me. His gorgeous smile reveals his internal joy caused by being loved, fed well and cared for in most of his needs by different stakeholders of our institution. He is always among the five best pupils performing well in his class. I wish him success in his life.”

                                        Today, 34 million people live in Uganda with half being under 15 years of age. Many children and older youth have to deal with diseases such as malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhea and HIV/AIDS. The number of Ugandans living below the poverty line declined from 31.1 percent in 2006 to 19.7 percent in 2013, where it stands today.

                                        Close to 67 percent of Ugandans are either poor or highly vulnerable to poverty, according to UNICEF. While the country has seen some economic growth as well as improvement in its Human Development Index ranking over the last 20 years, the country still ranks near the bottom at 163 out of 188 countries. After decades of war left many displaced, the people of Uganda face many significant challenges as they work to rebuild their country.

                                        Uganda’s literacy rate has improved with 73 percent of the population literate but only 23 percent of Ugandans go on to acquire a secondary education. According to UNICEF, one of the biggest challenges in the country is combating the serious increase of HIV/AIDS that has left millions of children orphaned.

                                        Source: Salesian Missions

                                        • Uganda
                                        • AGL
                                        • Missioni
                                        • Procure Missionarie
                                        • Fame
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Burkina Faso – Holy Mass and burial of Salesian missionary Fr Fernando Hernández, killed in Bobo Diuolasso

                                          4 weeks ago
                                          Burkina Faso – Holy Mass and burial of Salesian missionary Fr Fernando Hernández, killed in Bobo Diuolasso

                                          (ANS - Bobo Dioulasso) - 60-year-old Spanish Salesian missionary Fernando Hernández was murdered on Friday 17 May in the Salesian house of Bobo Dioulasso, killed by a former chef from the center. The murderer, who had worked at the center for seven years and was fired two months ago, also knifed Salesian Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa in the same attack, the latter currently recovering. Security forces arrested the former employee immediately after the crime.

                                          The Salesian Congregation expresses its deepest sorrow for the tragic death of the Salesian priest and wants to be close to his family and members of his community. And while it condemns all forms of violence, it however reaffirms its desire to continue working in African countries, especially in the area of ​​education and evangelization of young people, to contribute to their full development. Sometimes, this work is done in very difficult and even hostile situations. Just three months ago, in fact, another Spanish Salesian missionary, Fr Antonio César Fernández, was assassinated in Burkina Faso, on that occasion during a jihadist attack.

                                          Fr Fernando Hernández, born April 8, 1959, was originally from Ledesma, province of Salamanca, Spain, but studied vocational training in Urnieta, Gipuzkoa province, where his family had emigrated when he was young. Later, in response to the Salesian vocation, he studied Philosophy and Theology and was ordained a priest in Santander in 1991, and immediately sent to Benin as a missionary.

                                          "He was a priest with a technical background, a very interesting profile for the work he did in the places to which he was assigned, because vocational training is the engine of the development of young students and their environment," his confreres said of him.

                                          In the Salesian center of Bobo Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso, Fr Hernández was vicar and economer, responsible of a centre for students attending the Salesian Vocational School and other schools in the city. The news of his murder has caused great consternation in the whole Salesian Family, especially in this area of Burkina Faso where the Salesians have been present since 1994.

                                          The funeral and the subsequent burial of Fr Hernandez will take place in Burkina Faso as the Salesian missionary himself wished. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, at 9 am. Subsequently, his mortal remains will be buried in the courtyard of the work of Bobo Dioulasso, to make the words of the Gospel resound forever in that place: "If the grain of wheat that falls on the ground does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

                                          From Spain, some of his relatives will go to Burkina Faso, accompanied by members of the Salesian Congregation, to participate in the funeral.

                                          • Burkina Faso
                                          • AFO
                                          • Violenze
                                          • Decessi
                                          • Antonio César Fernández
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            RMG – World Council of Salesian Family starts tomorrow

                                            4 weeks ago
                                            RMG – World Council of Salesian Family starts tomorrow

                                            (ANS - Rome) - Finding oneself in Turin immediately before the feast of Mary Help of Christians and thus, in fraternal sharing and in common Marian devotion, discerning together how to cooperate for the good of young people around the world. This is the meaning of the gathering of the World Consulta of the Salesian Family, scheduled from Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 May, at Valdocco.

                                            About 60 participants are expected, namely, two speakers / animators - Fr Rossano Sala, former Special Secretary to the Synod of Bishops on young people; and Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Postulation of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family; and as many as 57 people, including Provincials and Directors, spiritual assistants or Delegates of the different groups of the Salesian Family.

                                            In total, 26 of the 31 Salesian Family groups will be represented - which, as a whole, has nearly 300,000 members.

                                            The work will open on the morning of Tuesday 21st with the greetings of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime and the presentation of the participants and the program of activities by the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz.

                                            Fr Sala will then explain what the Synod of Youth represents for the Church and the Salesian Family. In the afternoon, thanks to the presentations of Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General of the Causes of the Salesian Family, and of Dr. Zanet, the theme of holiness in the Salesian Family will be studied in depth; to follow, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), shall each present their own group.

                                            On the morning of Wednesday 22, the reflections will continue on the theme of Salesian spirituality as "a journey of apostolic and educational holiness", and the presentations of four other groups of the Salesian Family will take place: the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart (SOSC), the Sisters of Resurrection (HR), the Sisters of St. Michael the Archangel (CSSMA), and the Daughters of the Divine Savior (HDS).

                                            The day also includes a time to learn more about Valdocco as a "land of holiness".

                                            Scheduled on the last day is the review of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2019, as well as the presentation of various service communiqués: on the Site of the Salesian Family, on the VIII Congress of Mary Help of Christians scheduled for next November in Buenos Aires, and in this regard, information to be shared between the Secretariat for the Salesian Family and the various groups belonging to it.

                                            Finally, as is customary, the groups of the Council shall offer their suggestions to the Rector Major on the theme of the next Strenna; and lastly, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime will summarize what he experienced in these days of spirituality and fraternity.

                                            • RMG
                                            • Famiglia Salesiana
                                            • Spiritualità Salesiana
                                            • Eusebio Muñoz
                                            • Pier Luigi Cameroni
                                            • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                            • Rettor Maggiore
                                            • Consulta Mondiale FS
                                            • Italia
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              Democratic Republic of Congo - Rector Major: "Each of us has the right to be loved"

                                              4 weeks ago

                                              (ANS - Kinshasa) – During the visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Africa Congo Congo Vice Province, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement and all the youths who attend the Salesian centers in Kinshasa met at the seat of the Vice Province to show, with their songs and their enthusiasm, the joy of having he who represents Don Bosco today close to them.

                                              The meeting took place Thursday, May 16, and opened with words of praise and thanksgiving to God and to the Salesians by some young animators for the service that the Sons of Don Bosco lend to needy boys and girls. Then, with the passing of time, the gathering became more and more a celebration of art, dance, music and entertainment, which saw the performance of many young people in different disciplines.

                                              Friday 17, after Mass and the meeting with the local Salesian Family, the Rector Major, accompanied by his secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region, Fr Américo Chaquisse, and the ACC Provincial, Fr Manolo Jiménez, he boarded a ferry on the Congo River, which took him from Kinshasa to Brazzaville.

                                              Here, too, in the Republic of the Congo, the Rector Major's journey continued in a climate of great youthful celebration: children gave him gifts, boys and girls crowded the streets to huddle around him, young people waited for hours just to be able to greet him as he traveled by car in his various transfers ...

                                              All this constituted a reason for hope and comfort for the Rector Major, who received the news of the assassination of Fr Fernando Hernández, and the wounding of Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa, in Burkina Faso, in Bobo-Dioulasso, just three months after the killing of Fr Antonio Cesar Fernández.

                                              In successive meetings, however, the Rector Major continued to animate the Salesians, young people and the Salesian Family of Brazzaville, and then of Pointe-Noire, where he arrived on the evening of Saturday 18.

                                              There, on Sunday 19, the Sunday Eucharist was concelebrated in the parish dedicated to St. John Bosco, together with Msgr. Miguel Angel Olaverri, SDB; taking inspiration from the Gospel of the day, on the commandment of love, in the homily Fr Á.F. Artime recalled: "Each of us has the right to be loved."

                                              Furthermore, on the sidelines of the Mass, he blessed the structures of the new “Domenico Savio” school, and offered words of encouragement to the young women of the Vocational Training Center of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians “Maddalena Morano”.

                                              Photos of the Rector Major's visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                                              • ACC
                                              • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                              • Repubblica del Congo
                                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                              • Rettor Maggiore
                                              • Visita di Animazione
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                BRIEF INFORMATION AND MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SALESIAN FAMILY IN RMG - THE WORLD When only faith, silence and prayer are possible ...

                                                4 weeks 2 days ago
                                                BRIEF INFORMATION AND MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SALESIAN FAMILY IN RMG - THE WORLD  When only faith, silence and prayer are possible ...

                                                Dear brothers and sisters of the Salesian Family in the world,


                                                I write to you to share sad news and to invite you again to put your life and your mission in the hands of the One in whom the full meaning of every event resides: the God of Love and His Son Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord.

                                                I was coming to Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo) for the visit to this new Vice Province when the Provincial of the Western French-speaking Africa Province (AFO) informed me that, a few minutes before, the missionary confrere Fr Fernando Hernández was cruelly murdered and that Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa was seriously injured and is now in the hospital. Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa was at the side of Fr César Antonio Fernández, who was assassinated just three months ago.

                                                The reason for this tragedy is related to an act of revenge. In fact, it seems that the old chef of the community, who was fired about a year ago, entered the refectory of the confreres during lunch time and enacted his vendetta with a machete.

                                                In three months, two missionary confreres have lost their lives in this Province. We pray intensely for the healing of Father Germain and also for the wounds that will remain imprinted in his soul, since it must be terrible to endure all that he has lived during this time.

                                                Dear brothers and sisters of our dear Salesian Family, I share with you all the sorrow that the confreres share with their families and to ask you to remember them in prayer at such a dramatic moment.

                                                We are living through the time of Easter and at this moment I can only hold on and anchor myself in faith to the Lord, keep silent and pray that He may transform the blood of these martyrs, cruelly and innocently shed, to life and good for the African people and for all peoples.

                                                Our two confreres, Fr César Antonio and Fr Fernando, lived profoundly loving the African people, the young Africans and their families, always seeking their good in the name of the Lord.


                                                Our prayer today should be an intercession for them, an intense prayer for Father Germain and a request for forgiveness for their assassins, as the Lord has done.

                                                Our Mother Help of Christians takes us by the hand and leads us before God the Father. She accompanies us and takes care of all of us, sons and daughters, on this earth.

                                                With these words, I intend to express our condolences and our closeness to Fr José Elegbede and the confreres of the AFO Province, much tried by these tragic events.

                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                • Africa
                                                • AFC
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Vanuatu – Catholic community in Vanuatu looks to Charism of Don Bosco

                                                  1 month ago
                                                  Vanuatu – Catholic community in Vanuatu looks to Charism of Don Bosco

                                                  (ANS – Port Vila) – After the first exploratory visit of the PGS Vice-province Confreres (Provincial Fr Alfred Maravilla from PNG and Fr Srimal from Solomon Islands) last August 2018, this time the PGS Provincial superior with the EAO Regional Councillor made the visit to Port Villa (Vanuatu Republic capital) between 12-15 May 2019. The French/English-speaking country (lingua franca is Bislama, like the Pidgin English of Papua New Guinea) is very peaceful, with a Samoa-like population of 200,000 inhabitants spread over 6 provinces and 83 islands. The Catholic community is growing, with about 15% of the total population.

                                                  The warm welcoming care of Vanuatu Bishop Jean Bosco Baremes, SM (Marist), made the two visitors feel very much at home. Since the first Catholic evangelization of the Pacific, the Marist Congregation has been the main driving force and until now in many countries remains the only male religious congregation.

                                                  The three days were spent on the island of Efate, where Port Vila is also located, hosting its Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

                                                  Thanks to the care of Bishop Jean Bosco, the visitors were able to visit a number of Catholic educational institutions, the Marist cultural and Catholic mission museum, a few sub-parishes and chapels and were also invited for the ongoing final assembly of the Vanuatu Diocesan Synod. This encounter offered a good opportunity for dialogue with almost all Catholic clergy, religious and lay leaders of the whole Vanuatu diocese. Variety of nationalities and points of view among the participants have been very helpful for discernment on this possible new mission frontier.

                                                  Following main point of the sharing: “Youth Ministry in Vanuatu needs new inspiration, since the younger generation are drifting away from parish life, some Catholic youth are even victims of marijuana. There is a need for another male religious Congregation beside the Marists; we would like to enjoy another Universal Church charism, especially that of St John Bosco. The drop outs and out-of-school youth need more care from our communities.”

                                                  The overall welcoming tone of the Synod assembly touched the heart of the two visitors and Fr Alfred shared the Salesian typical gift - a small statue of Mary Help of Christians as One who goes always ahead of Her sons in every mission land. The last three days of the Synod Assembly were celebrated with Her statue on the Presidents table.

                                                  The three-day interaction with the Vanuatu Catholic community is over and the two visitors entrust the future decision of the Rector Major to the motherly care of the Star of the Sea and Help of Christians, main Patroness of the whole Church in the Pacific.

                                                  Source: AustraLasia

                                                  • Vanuatu
                                                  • PGS
                                                  • Václav Klement
                                                  • Alfred Maravilla
                                                  • Missioni
                                                  • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Argentina – The Courtyard in the streets ... And the Virgin in the middle

                                                    1 month ago
                                                    Argentina – The Courtyard in the streets ... And the Virgin in the middle

                                                    (ANS - Salta) - "The Salesian," said Pope Francis, "is an educator who embraces the fragility of children who live on the margins of society and without a future; he bends over their wounds and heals them like a good Samaritan.” The words of the Holy Father become reality in the different parts of the world in which a Salesian finds himself. As part of the celebrations for the month of Mary Help of Christians, the three Salesian houses in Salta made an important gesture of solidarity and extended the oratory to the whole city.

                                                    The communities "Mary Help of Christians - Laura Vicuña", "Ángel Zerda" and "Ceferino Namuncurá" left their traditional courtyards to take them through the streets of the city. Thus, on the morning of Saturday 11 May, three simultaneous oratorial days were held in different areas of Salta, with the aim of bringing everyone a little of the Salesian charism.

                                                    School children participated by creating cards and collecting donations. Many were attracted to this proposal and did not miss the opportunity to be in the midst of an oratory. The day left its mark in the hearts of all the participants and Caterina, Nicolás and Betiana decided to share their experience.

                                                    "I lived a different Saturday," writes Caterina Torres. "I had the opportunity to share my time with very good people and I learned a lot from them. I could see how the children painted, jumped, ran and enjoyed themselves ... We managed to bring out a beautiful smile on their faces. We prepared a performance on Maria, because our goal was that they would know Her and feel that great love we feel for Her. I learned that with small details you can light up the day of a child, young or adult. It was a very nice experience that I hope to relive."

                                                    "It was an experience of Paradise," says Nicolás Martínez. "Seeing most of the animators, the teachers, the parents, the Salesian Cooperators, the Salesians, the members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians ... All together spending a cold morning in favor of the children and adolescents of the area was truly gratifying. Personally, I really liked that to crown it all there was a statue of Mary, not on an altar or a pedestal, but on a wooden table adorned with a pink cloak worn by a mother from the neighborhood and the purple scarf of an animator. That statue, among boys and girls. The Help of Christians and Her Son, in the midst of the slum, celebrating the immense Love."

                                                    "Maria took us back to the courtyard. We have lived and shared a beautiful oratorian day ... Happy to see that we are united and we are part of a community that beats to the rhythm of Don Bosco ... Our young people are a great gift. Thank you!" concludes Betiana Durand. 

                                                    {gallery}Argentina - Oratorio in uscita 2019{/gallery}

                                                    • Argentina
                                                    • ARN
                                                    • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                    • Oratorio
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      RMG – Cultivating a dream: Network of Salesian Museums. International Museum Day

                                                      1 month ago
                                                      RMG – Cultivating a dream: Network of Salesian Museums. International Museum Day

                                                      (ANS - Rome) – Due to the celebration of International Museum Day, Saturday 18 May, and of the invitation of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to "start in a coordinated way the care and promotion of Salesian artistic and cultural assets as the wealth and heritage of the Congregation in favor of the mission", seven Salesian museums in the world held what was a first work session towards laying the foundations for a Network of Salesian Museums.

                                                      It was a first approach and contact via a video conference. Exhorted by the General Councilor of the Missions, Fr. Guillermo Basañes, seven of the largest Salesian museums in the world - in terms of size, exhibitions, catalogs, and related - shared their experiences and together set guidelines for future common work.

                                                      This ambitious project is led by Salesian Fr Gianni Rolandi who, among other functions, is the contact person for Salesian museums within the Dicastery for Salesian Missions. From his presentation we'd like to report these fine words:

                                                      "In an ever smaller world – increasingly more a global village - we realize that, as Salesians, we have an enormous heritage that we need to:

                                                      1. Safeguard
                                                      2. Share
                                                      3. Promote and make known: among ourselves and to the world."

                                                      In addition to Fr Rolandi, other participants included: Nataly Orbe Ortiz and Fr Juan Botasso, of the “Abya Yala” Museum in Ecuador; Miguel Ángel Fernández, Head of Registration and Documentation of Cultural Heritage at the “St James Major” Province of Spain-Madrid; Rosanna Russo of the "Colle Don Bosco Museum" of Turin; Jorge Liotta and the team of the "Museum of Natural Sciences" of Turin; Antonio Scasso, from Argentina; Salvatore Cirillo from the "Maggiorino Borgatello Museum" in Chile; Dirceu Mauricio Van Lonkhuijzen, of the "Museum das Culturas Don Bosco" in Brazil; and Mariano García and Virginia Escribá of the "Museum of Salesian Missions" in Spain, these thus acting as organizing referents in this early stage.

                                                      For a few minutes, the managers of each museum were able to present their institution, their own projects, the hosted collection and the lines of action undertaken and being developed.

                                                      During the cordial conversation and the exchange of impressions, which lasted about 1.5 hour, the participants committed themselves to holding periodic meetings with the aim of collaborating together and starting to work in and as a network to spread and curate in a universal fashion the missionary charism of Don Bosco.

                                                      In the future it is hoped that other Salesian museums will be able to join this initiative.

                                                      {gallery}RMG - Loncandina Musei EN 2019{/gallery}

                                                      • RMG
                                                      • Musei
                                                      • Missioni
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Great Britain – “Honey and Apples”: helping children of all faiths understand each other

                                                        1 month ago
                                                        Great Britain – “Honey and Apples”: helping children of all faiths understand each other

                                                        (ANS – London) – At the end of April, some of the Year 7 students (aged 11-12) from “St John Bosco College”, Battersea, London, put on a short play entitled “Honey and Apples” which was written specifically for them. The play was based on the experience of children during the Holocaust. The school invited some external guests from the local Jewish community, and the rest of the audience was made up of Year 11 students (aged 15-16) who were revising Judaism for their GCSEs.

                                                        The play was beautifully presented and sensitively acted under the direction of Elvira Tallo, one of SJBC's PGCE students, who, although she is not a teacher of drama, worked tirelessly with the students during their form time to bring out excellent performances. The guests and Year 11s loved the play and openly showed their appreciation.

                                                        When the students were asked to reflect on their experience of putting on this short but powerful drama, they acknowledged how difficult being involved in a production was, but found as they rehearsed more, it became easier. The teamwork aspect was appreciated: "you felt good, and as if you were part of a family", said one young actor, and they were all pleased that they learned more about Judaism, and had been able to help the Year 11s with their studies, even if it was "nerve-wracking" at times.

                                                        Although the subject matter was difficult, the young actors valued the opportunity to gain insights and to empathise with the real young people devastated by the Holocaust. "I found working on the play upsetting, but learnt how Jewish children must have felt, and it made me appreciate what I have," one student said, and another added, "It was amazing because I have never been in such an important play before."

                                                        The guests from the Jewish community were very impressed by the performance and the students' engagement with it. The Religious Advisor from the local Jewish home was impressed with how much the students incorporated about Judaism and the Jewish way of life into the play. He said he was touched by the interfaith nature of the event.

                                                        Another guest wrote to the school to say, "Clearly a lot of hard work was put into this by both you and the students and the result was really impressive. I think you should all be very proud of yourselves. This drama covered a very difficult subject very sensitively and also it also included an enormous amount of knowledge about Judaism. The result was really excellent. It was so uplifting to see the efforts that you and the school are clearly making to ensure that the students understand other religions. This is so important in these difficult times."

                                                        St John Bosco College Battersea is continuing to build strong interfaith links with all of the community, so that young people can come together to help build a world of greater understanding and harmony between people of all faiths... and none.

                                                        {gallery}GBR - Teatro su Olocausto 2019{/gallery}

                                                        • GBR
                                                        • Teatro
                                                        • Ebraismo
                                                        • Dialogo
                                                        • Gran Bretagna
                                                        • Scuole
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Democratic Republic of Congo – Rector Major in Africa Congo Congo Vice Province

                                                          1 month ago
                                                          Democratic Republic of Congo – Rector Major in Africa Congo Congo Vice Province

                                                          (ANS - Kinshasa) - After completing his Animation Visit in the Province of Central Africa (AFC), where he met with the Provincial Council and a paternal meeting with Chem-Chem novices, yesterday, May 15, the Rector Major began his tour in the Vice Province of Congo Congo (ACC).

                                                          Arriving in Kinshasa in the afternoon, site of the ACC Vice Province, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime immediately gathered with the Vice-Province Council, before spending the evening with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians who animate the "Mozart Café" at the nearby Gombe municipality.

                                                          Today, Thursday 16 May, he meets with the Salesians of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, holds a press conference and a meeting with the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement in the Kinshasa area, who in his honor have planned an afternoon of celebration and artistic-cultural exhibitions.

                                                          Tomorrow, Fr Á.F. Artime shall preside over the Mass for young people and the local Salesian Family, before entering the Republic of the Congo (so-called Congo-Brazzaville) and meeting the novices.

                                                          On Saturday 18 May he will meet the Salesians of the Republic of the Congo, preside over the Eucharist for the local Salesian Family and hold a new press conference.

                                                          In the evening he flies to Pointe-Noire where, on Sunday 19 May, he will preside over the Eucharist with young people and the local Salesian Family, before leaving for Rome, with a stopover at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

                                                          The ACC Vice Province, guided by Fr Manuel Jiménez Castro, is the newest Salesian circumscription on the African continent, officially founded on 8 September 2017, starting with the “mother” Province of Central Africa (AFC). It was erected after a discernment that lasted about 6 years, which took into account both the growth and expansion of Salesian life in that area, and the difficulties for the animation and governance of the only AFC Province due to the great distances and the scarce connections - roads and such - present.

                                                          Dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, it has 105 religious and 10 houses, scattered between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congo-Brazzaville.

                                                          Photos of the Rector Major's visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                                                          • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                                          • ACC
                                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            India – Giving light for the education of children in Khoupum Valley

                                                            1 month ago
                                                            India – Giving light for the education of children in Khoupum Valley

                                                            (ANS - Khoupum Valley) - In the North-East of India, in the State of Manipur, there is a small valley surrounded by green hills that give rise to spectacular waterfalls. It is the Khoupum Valley, which encompasses all the contrasts of India: it is surrounded by pristine forests and is at the same time the destination of choice for the holiday trips of city dwellers; it is rich in natural resources, but most of the population of tribal origin lives below the poverty line. The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco arrived in this remote area of ​​India in the 1940s, but the official inauguration of their mission dates to 1981.

                                                            Initially, the Salesians who had been assigned to it were all Italian; then, thanks to their commitment and their testimony, over time the vocations among the youth of these remote areas  flourished, so now all four Salesians who live and work there originate from the very same regions.

                                                            Faithful to their charism, in addition to animating the public church for Christians in the area, they dedicate themselves, above all, to education via a school that goes from elementary to high school. And they do so, as often happens, together with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA). In total, they deal with 1,100 students: 500 males and 600 females, of which 100 boys and 100 girls from two different hostels, for boys and girls.

                                                            Salesians and FMA fight in unison so that the highest possible number of children and young people can learn to read and write and develop their talents, and they are particularly attentive to the situation of the deprivation of rights in which girls live.

                                                            In that area, in fact, there is generally little attention with respect to the education of children, but girls are especially discriminated against; they often work as domestic workers and their salary is used to allow their male siblings to study.

                                                            Among the various difficulties that afflict these isolated lands is the supply, or lack, of electricity, which is highly erratic: for this reason the local Salesian Family has recently requested the support and generosity of Salesians across the globe, so that they may replace the electricity generator currently in use, old and noisy, with a new one.

                                                            Without electricity, of course, it is impossible to provide and take computer lessons and, alas, the kids who live in the hostels have no light by which to study in the evening. A new generator would solve these two problems.

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

                                                            • India
                                                            • Scuole
                                                            • Missioni
                                                            • Missioni Don Bosco
                                                            • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                            • IND
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Peru – "In every corner of Peru we celebrate our Mother"

                                                              1 month ago
                                                              Maria Auxiliadora Breña-Lima-Peru

                                                              (ANS - Lima) - On May 15, the beginning of the Novena to Mary Help of Christians was celebrated throughout the world. Thousands and thousands of devotees of the Help of Christians return to the place that has seen them grow - be it a school, an oratory, a parish, a youth center, a house, a Salesian mission place, a reception center ... And this reality happens in every house of the Salesians, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Peru or of any other of the groups of the Salesian Family.

                                                              "In every corner of Peru we celebrate our Mother" is the expression of jubilation of the local Salesian Family. And it's not just a ready-made sentence; it's the truth. Those who have known the Salesians know that in the identity of their charism there is love for the Mother of Jesus invoked under the title of Help of Christians.

                                                              For example, in the majestic Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in the district of Breña, in Lima, completely renovated, throughout the nine-day journey there are Masses at all hours, and at 7.00 pm the Novena begins, with the participation of hundreds of faithful who come to recite the rosary, to attend Mass and to ask Mary for special grace. The sanctuary was inaugurated in 1921, thanks to the hard work of many Salesians, and above all of the famous Fr Carlo Pane.

                                                              "We are on our way to celebrating the centenary of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Breña, in 2021," writes historian David Franco Córdoba, "inaugurated as a national tribute for the centenary of Peru's independence. As a Salesian wrote in September 1917, during the construction of this temple: 'It will be a monument lasting more than bronze, which in the coming centuries will tell that a generation of believers and patriots has passed here.'"

                                                              And indeed to celebrate this magnificent anniversary, a video was produced with the title of a phrase that Don Bosco dreamed about wherein the Virgin Mary uttered: Hic domus mea, inde gloria mea (This is my home, from here my glory will go forth).

                                                              The producer, Tulio Manuel Mesta, writes: "I'm only giving back some of the affection and favors I have always received from our Mother Help of Christians."

                                                              In the various houses or centers of the whole Salesian Family the novena is celebrated with the participation of thousands of faithful, and one of the main themes proposed by the preachers is holiness, in the wake of the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2019.

                                                              And thus we see Mary Help of Christians truly being celebrated in every corner of Peru: Lima, Callao, Cusco, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Piura, Huaraz, Huancayo, Ica...

                                                              • Perù
                                                              • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                              • PER
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Chile - Make visible the reality of children and adolescents living in the streets

                                                                1 month ago
                                                                Chile - Make visible the reality of children and adolescents living in the streets

                                                                (ANS - Santiago) - "It is enough for one child to live on the street to demonstrate the total failure of our childcare policies," writes G. Guzmán. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, in its objective 16.2 proposes to end abuses, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children. The question arises spontaneously. What does society do about this problem? Some governmental and religious institutions contribute every day to providing a solution. The "Don Bosco" Foundation of Chile participated in the public presentation of the results of the "Counting of street children and adolescents (NNA, in Spanish)" by the Ministry of Social Development and the Family, on May 6th.

                                                                The study conducted by the "Alberto Hurtado" University revealed that last year 547 children or adolescents had spent at least one night on the street, without a responsible adult nearby.

                                                                Minister Alfredo Moreno stressed that "the problems of these children are very serious. They are children who have problems with alcohol consumption, drugs, who have experienced dramatic situations. We have taken an important step to make this problem visible, because we cannot progress in solving a problem if we do not know it."

                                                                The executive director of the "Don Bosco" Foundation, Sergio Mercado, emphasized to the newspaper La Tercera that minors living on the street are "invisible" to society, and for this reason their counting serves to fill that gap. "The street child is not like the stereotype we have in mind, with torn and dirty clothes. That no longer exists. Today the street child is very clean and is no different from anyone else of his age. They are fully integrated into networks and has Facebook. We don't see the difference until we intervene in the field," he explains.

                                                                The measures that will be implemented in the short term are proximity routes available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 3 regions of the country: Metro, Valparaiso and Biobío. The executors of the Program will work at all hours to complete the field work with the children and adolescents included in the Program. In addition, two emergency shelters will be opened during the winter period in the Metropolitan Region and Valparaiso, which can each accommodate 10 to 20 children and adolescents.

                                                                Attending the presentation were: the Undersecretary for Children, Carol Bown; the Defender of Children, Patricia Muñoz; representatives of the organizations: UNICEF, "Hogar de Cristo", "Fundación América Solidaria", "Fundación para la Confianza", of the Chilean association of municipalities and of the University "Alberto Hurtado".


                                                                Source: Diario La Tercera

                                                                • Cile
                                                                • Disagio
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Colombia - In memory of Fr Mario Leonardo Peresson Tonelli, SDB

                                                                  1 month ago
                                                                  Colombia - In memory of Fr Mario Leonardo Peresson Tonelli, SDB

                                                                  (ANS - Bogotà) - The funeral of Fr Mario Leonardo Peresson Tonelli, SDB, who passed away on 30 April, was held on Thursday 2 May, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bogotà. Born in Colombia to Italian parents, he spent his 78 years of life for young people.

                                                                  In the courtyard of the Salesian School "León XIII" the Symphonic Band of the Don Bosco Center shared some musical works to remember his passion for bands. The Eucharist of suffrage was presided over by Msgr. Héctor Julio López, SDB, bishop emeritus of Girardot, and was concelebrated by four other bishops, about ninety priests and a large number of people close to Fr Peresson. It was an impressive manifestation of what he came to mean in the lives of many people: lay and religious, priests and bishops, representatives of the Salesian Family, together with friends, students and past pupils, colleagues, leaders, and many others.

                                                                  It could be said that everyone underscored Fr Peresson Tonelli's being a man of God and close to men for the faith that, as a backbone, defined all his life, and for his innate ability to be a friend: close, faithful, respectful, prompt, generous. Behind this great humanity hid a priest of wide intellectual formation, one characterized by his love for Jesus Christ, which he also knew how to search for in the suffering faces of the poor and in the troubled looks of young people and students.

                                                                  His status as an educator, his ministry as a teacher and his charism as a formator kept him anchored in the school of personal and apostolic learning. Here lies the genius that led him to intuit, to develop, to teach what today is understood as the anthropology of the poor and the methodology that implies its leading role in the theological citizenship of the Kingdom.

                                                                  In his numerous services, from the Pastoral Institute "IPLAJ", to the one of education "EDUCLAR", from the chairs he held from schools to universities, from the provincial assignments to the service in the streets and in the parishes, Fr Peresson Tonelli was a missionary, a witness, a traveler ... A paradigm of those who are able to make their mark among people, institutions and the epoch in which they live.

                                                                  And on May 10, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the educational community of the Salesian School "León XIII" gathered around the mortal remains of Fr Peresson Tonelli to give thanks for his life. On that occasion the Eucharist was presided over by the Provincial, Fr Jaime Morales.

                                                                  • Colombia
                                                                  • Salesiani
                                                                  • Università
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    D.R. Congo - Fourth day of Rector Major's visit

                                                                    1 month ago
                                                                    D.R. Congo - Fourth day of Rector Major's visit

                                                                    (ANS - Lubumbashi) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, continues his visit to Central Africa. On the morning of May 13, before going to the Kansebula post-novitiate, the X Successor of Don Bosco made a stop in the Kafubu valley, more than 15 km from the city of Lubumbashi, where Msgr. Gaston Ruvezi, SDB, bishop of Sakania-Kipushi, and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians form novices and run a high school.

                                                                    After this moment of communion, Fr Á.F. Artime arrived in Kansebula where he was warmly welcomed by the Salesians in formation and their formators. The Rector Major then presided over the opening ceremony of the 60th formative year of the post-novitiate founded in 1959.

                                                                    In the afternoon the Rector Major, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, Fr Américo Chaquisse, Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region, and Fr Albert Kabuge, AFC Provincial, together with a large delegation of Salesians and communication officers, visited the 'Bakanja-ville' Salesian house, a reception and recovery center for children and young people at risk. Fr Artime dialogued with many of the center's children who are assisted by the Salesians of the Province of Central Africa.

                                                                    In the evening the Rector Major celebrated the feast of Maria Domenica Mazzarello with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                                                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                    • AFC
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Ethiopia – Fr. Américo Chaquisse concludes his Extraordinary Visitation

                                                                      1 month ago
                                                                      Ethiopia – Fr. Américo Chaquisse concludes his Extraordinary Visitation

                                                                      (ANS - Addis Ababa) – After a long stay of almost one and a half month in the Vice-province of “Mariam Kidane Meheret”, the Extraordinary Visitation of Fr Américo Chaquisse, on behalf of the Rector Major, ended in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 7 May, 2019. The last day of the Extraordinary visitation was reserved for a meeting with all the rectors of the 14 presences in Ethiopia and an afternoon session for an encounter with the provincial council members.

                                                                      By Fr Lijo Vadakken, SDB

                                                                      In his final good night talk that was delivered in the presence of all the rectors and councilors, the regional appeared extremely happy and satisfied of the beautiful experience that he lived in Ethiopia, “the land of origins”. At the same time, he encouraged the Salesians to continue the great work they were doing in the country, especially in championing the cause of the young, work which began almost 44 years ago, in 1975.  

                                                                      In his final report regarding the state of the Province, the Regional Councilor presented all that he observed during his visitation, highlighting both the lights and shadows of the AET province, so that they can be given sufficient attention in regard to the improvement and progress of the province.  In the opinion of Fr Chaquisse, the Salesian province of AET presented a “beautiful reality” comprising of a diversity of culture, language, liturgical traditions, various ethnicities and, of course, a rich cultural heritage. 

                                                                      Even though the vice-province is rather young with a total number of less than 100 confreres, it is very active, having many educational institutions throughout the country, contributing greatly to the life of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia.

                                                                      The Catholic Church is a minority in Ethiopia and makes up not even 1% of the total population of Ethiopia.  “As Ethiopia is characterized by a majority of youth population, there is a great lot that Salesians can do and is still doing in this growing country,” commented the regional in his final discourse.

                                                                      The presence of Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva and currently active at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, at the Thanksgiving Supper added a special flavor to the farewell gathering that was organized at the Salesianum in Addis Ababa. 

                                                                      The Ethiopian Province, canonically erected in 1998, currently has 94 Salesians, working in 14 Salesians presences throughout the country.  

                                                                      • AET
                                                                      • Etiopia
                                                                      • Américo Chaquisse
                                                                      • Visita Straordinaria
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Samoa – Salesian presence soon to celebrate its 40th anniversary

                                                                        1 month ago
                                                                        Samoa – Salesian presence soon to celebrate its 40th anniversary

                                                                        (ANS – Alafua) – The Salesian presence in Samoa will soon celebrate its 40th anniversary (November 1979 - August 2019). On the occasion of this significant anniversary, numerous signs of growth have emerged from various parts: from the “Alafua Don Bosco” center, the Mother House of the Pacific Delegation (including Samoa, Fiji Islands and New Zealand), from the house of Saleleloga, and from the local center of the Salesian Cooperators.

                                                                        In the Samoan Valdocco-like family-size school there are 22 instructors and teachers, two office staff, 5 Salesians (3 Salesians in practical training included), and 198 students of “Don Bosco Alafua” this year (first year 47 only, and in 2019: 74% increase). This increase of students is due to the proactive use of social media, joint action and information sessions in Upolu and Savaii islands with government and mission colleges in 2018. Moreover, the Salesians are growing in the partnership with the SQA (Samoa Qualification Authority) that accredits the five department skill vocational training programs and also offers scholarships and subsidy for the equipment and school upgrade.

                                                                        Since most of the students come from not very wealthy families, scholarship programs are very important; and the SQA guarantee also the international (Australia and New Zealand) certification standard for graduates, accreditation of program quality (ongoing program for level II of five sections).

                                                                        Most of all, the Salesians in Samoa are proud that most of the graduates found employment in industries through on-job-training (6 weeks) and the school is working closely with the Industry Advisory Panel.

                                                                        “To sustain our school we are working on production (carpentry and welding) and we are trying to maintain our school building (repainted last year) with school fundraising activity; Government grants are also a good help. Since 1979 we are grateful to the AUL province centre in Melbourne and its Mission Office (ASMOAF) for the continuous support,” said Mr. Mane, Principal of “Don Bosco Technical School”.

                                                                        At the same time, the center of Saleleloga is also growing: thanks to the generosity of many benefactors, it has been possible to build a large multi-purpose hall, finally able to gather the entire school population in a single environment, composed of 225 pupils from the school and Vocational Training Center, and 22 teachers. The hall, dedicated to Fr Elio Proietto, the first Salesian missionary in Samoa, will also contribute to the school's self-sustainability, because it will be rented for events - for example, in July it will host some Boxing matches of the 2019 Pacific Games.

                                                                        Furthermore, the Salesian Cooperators (SSCC) of the center of Alafua have also been busy. For this reason, after the glories of 2018 - which saw the translation into Samoan of the Project of Apostolic Life and the official opening of the center (the first and only one so far in the whole Pacific Delegation) - in this beginning of 2019 the SSCCs of Samoa have managed, through various fundraising activities, to provide the salary for an additional educator at the Salesian kindergarten, and foster a family atmosphere with aspiring SSCCs of the rest of the Delegation by sharing news concerning the Salesian Family.

                                                                        {gallery}Samoa - 2019{/gallery}

                                                                        • Samoa
                                                                        • AUL
                                                                        • Anniversari
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Democratic Republic of the Congo - Rector Major's visit to "Maria Santissima Assunta" Province

                                                                          1 month ago

                                                                          (ANS - Lubumbashi) - Since last Friday, May 10th, until next Saturday, May 18th, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime is engaged in the animation of one of the most flourishing realities of the Salesian Congregation: the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Precisely because of its constant and ongoing development it has, since 2017, two circumscriptions: the "Central Africa" ​​Province (AFC), based in Lubumbashi; and the Africa Congo Congo Vice-Province (ACC), based in Kinshasa.

                                                                          The Rector Major landed at Lubumbashi airport, AFC province, on Friday afternoon. Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, he was welcomed by the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar region, Fr Américo Chaquisse, and by a large delegation from the Provincial House, headed by the Provincial, Fr Albert Kabuge. Having reached the Provincial House, he celebrated the Eucharist, together with Msgr. Jean-Pierre Tafunga, Salesian, Archbishop of Lubumbashi, and representatives of the local Salesian Family.

                                                                          On Saturday 11 May, Fr Á.F. Artime spent the morning with members of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) who for months have been preparing spiritually and with practical activities for the visit of the Successor of Don Bosco. The Rector Major met them at the "Cité des Jeunes", a large center consisting of an oratory, a Vocational Training Center, an internship, and social promotion activities; there he celebrated Mass followed by the exchange of gifts and a Q & A session with the young participants. Before concluding the morning with a moment of fraternal agape, the Rector Major also animated the award ceremony of the "Salesian Games 2019" and presented the trophies to the young winners in the various disciplines.

                                                                          In the afternoon, on reaching the Theological Studentate, Fr Á.F. Artime animated the Salesians in formation, urging them to live as authentic followers of Jesus in the style of Don Bosco.

                                                                          Yesterday, Sunday 12 May, in the centenary Institute of Imara, Fr Á.F. Artime presided over a Eucharist for the whole Salesian Family, during which he also received the perpetual vows of five Salesians. Later he made a visit to the future "Marian City", where he laid the foundation stone of the complex to be built, and blessed the work. Finally he concluded the day by gathering with the Don Bosco Volunteers at the “Afya Don Bosco” center of the Lubumbashi-Carrefour work.

                                                                          Photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr

                                                                          • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                                                          • AFC
                                                                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                          • Visita di Animazione
                                                                          • Professioni Perpetue
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            RMG – World Novena to Mary Help of Christians: first resources already available online

                                                                            1 month ago
                                                                            RMG – World Novena to Mary Help of Christians: first resources already available online

                                                                            (ANS - Rome) – Now near the beginning of the novena to Mary Help of Christians, the first resources relating to the World Novena proposed by the Rector Major to the whole Congregation and to all the groups that share the Salesian charism are being made available online. Accompanied by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, this year's focus for meditation shall be the "beatitudes of the Salesian Family".

                                                                            While the translation and video-editing work to make the novena videos available in the six languages ​​foreseen (Italian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish) proceeds at a rapid pace, the support material - in Italian and Spanish - which gather the texts of the novena have already been produced, namely: title of the beatitude, motto referring to the Magnificat, presentation of an example taken from the figures of holiness of the Salesian Family, commentary by the Rector Major and final prayer.

                                                                            Furthermore, to favor the use of videos all over the world, due to the time zone differences, the first videos will be made available on the ANSChannel YouTube channel starting Tuesday 14 May, one day earlier than the ordinary start date of the novena, that is May 15th.

                                                                            To read and download the support material, please visit: www.sdb.org 

                                                                            For videos of the novena, visit www.sdb.org, the ANS channel on YouTube, and the ANS Facebook page.

                                                                            • RMG
                                                                            • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                                            • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Argentina – "I make available one year of my life": Salesian Missionary Volunteer Work

                                                                              1 month ago

                                                                              (ANS - Buenos Aires) - The volunteer team of the Province of South Argentina is witness to the process carried out by young people who are able to say "I make one year of my life available". It is a proposal for a powerful human and spiritual experience.

                                                                              The volunteers are extremely normal people, of flesh and bone, but full of energy, strength, dreams, people who ask and discern "and now, what else, or what more?" They turn to the communities that welcome them to help them, making the Salesian community and the educative pastoral community feel they are not alone in the mission.

                                                                              In early 2019, eight young people completed the one-year missionary volunteer experience: Ezequiel and Mili, in Junín de los Andes; Florencia and Pepa in Bariloche; Leandro and Celeste at Villa Itatí; Vicky in Trelew and Paula Rodríguez in Victorica la Pampa.

                                                                              A new group of volunteers began their experiences at the beginning of the year, with a meeting in Junín de los Andes; they then joined the provincial youth retreat which takes place every year in the city of Junín de los Andes, and which was completed with the sending off Mass presided by the Provincial, Fr Honorio Caucamán.

                                                                              The new Salesian missionary volunteers departed for the following communities: Dalila Lopardo of Neuquén and Braian Fernández de Pringles to the community of Trelew, on a mission in the Chubut highlands area; Sofia Bobb from Bahía Blanca and Juan Balmaceda from Corrientes to the community "Hogares Don Bosco - Good Shepherd" of the province of Buenos Aires; Rocío Spontón from Río Grande and Juan Martín Sparvieri from Mar del Plata to the Salesian center of Victorica and the Pampas; Milagros González from Bahía Blanca and Ana Núñez from La Plata in Bariloche, province of Río Negro; Lorena Sosa from La Plata and Gabriel Parry from Caleta Olivia to Junín de los Andes, province of Neuquén.

                                                                              The path of Salesian pastoral care leads to missionary animation and various forms of volunteering, all seen as a continuity that must be maintained and developed. Openness to missionary vocation, social commitment and charity in volunteering are mature expressions of education to the faith and evangelization of the young; at the same time, it presents a clear and essential expression of that identity capable of motivating the communities towards an apostolic dynamism.

                                                                              Don Bosco's missionary heart sensed the enormous spiritual tension and the extraordinary apostolic strength that the missionary ideal awakened in his young people. In these times, Pope Francis asks everyone to be "an outgoing Church", a Church that reaches out, and the missionary pastoral ministry tries to abandon the complacent or comfortable pastoral criterion of "it's always been done this way" to, indeed, change, reach out.

                                                                              {gallery}ARS - Volontariato Missionario 2019{/gallery}

                                                                              • Argentina
                                                                              • ARS
                                                                              • Volontariato
                                                                              • Missioni
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Uganda – Better nutrition for young people from "Don Bosco CALM" and primary school

                                                                                1 month ago

                                                                                (ANS – Kampala) – More than 300 poor youth at the Don Bosco Children and Life Mission (Don Bosco CALM) orphanage and Don Bosco Primary School, located in the town of Namugongo just 10 miles northeast of the city of Kampala in Central Uganda, have access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

                                                                                Close to 77,500 meals were provided to youth in Uganda over the third and fourth quarter of 2018 thanks to Rise Against Hunger rice-meal shipments. In addition, 64 individuals were trained in the cooking and preparation of the meals. Among the beneficiaries were children from the local refugee camp which hosts children and families who have fled from South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda. These children and those in the surrounding communities need access to nutritious food that provides them the energy and focus to gain an education and participate in social programs.

                                                                                “At Don Bosco CALM, most of our beneficiaries are from the street, HIV positive and other vulnerable children,” explains Father Elie Nyandwi, director of Don Bosco CALM and the Don Bosco Primary School. “Our financial, human and logistic resources are scarce. We face challenges in feeding children, paying their school fees, scholastic materials, medical assistance and paying monthly salaries for our workers. We have few funding people and organizations, and the Uganda Government does not help support our work. Since we started receiving the Rise Against Hunger meals, our organization can now breathe and save some money for solving some other children’s problems.”

                                                                                Children at Don Bosco CALM receive nutritious Rise Against Hunger meals every day. Vianny is a student at the Don Bosco Primary School and lives at Don Bosco CALM. Originally from the Ugandan district of Butambala, he came to Don Bosco CALM a year ago and was warmly welcomed by the other students. At home, he and his family were only eating a meal made of cassava bread and beans once a day.

                                                                                Vianny says, “I want to a policeman in future in order to keep law and order in this village.” Vianny enjoys the rice-meals with beans which make him strong and healthy. He states that children at Don Bosco CALM no longer suffer from hunger because of Rise Against Hunger. After having a meal, Vianny relaxes and plays with his friends before resuming his academic studies.

                                                                                “We welcomed Vianny after listening to his touching story from his family poor financial background,” adds Fr. Nyandwi. “I remember the first time I met him, I greeted him but he did not answer. After enjoying the Rise Against Hunger meals, he is the first one to come to greet me everywhere he finds me. His gorgeous smile reveals his internal joy caused by being loved, fed well and cared for in most of his needs by different stakeholders of our institution. He is always among the five best pupils performing well in his class. I wish him success in his life.”

                                                                                Today, 34 million people live in Uganda with half being under 15 years of age. Many children and older youth have to deal with diseases such as malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhea and HIV/AIDS. The number of Ugandans living below the poverty line declined from 31.1 percent in 2006 to 19.7 percent in 2013, where it stands today.

                                                                                Close to 67 percent of Ugandans are either poor or highly vulnerable to poverty, according to UNICEF. While the country has seen some economic growth as well as improvement in its Human Development Index ranking over the last 20 years, the country still ranks near the bottom at 163 out of 188 countries. After decades of war left many displaced, the people of Uganda face many significant challenges as they work to rebuild their country.

                                                                                Uganda’s literacy rate has improved with 73 percent of the population literate but only 23 percent of Ugandans go on to acquire a secondary education. According to UNICEF, one of the biggest challenges in the country is combating the serious increase of HIV/AIDS that has left millions of children orphaned.

                                                                                Source: Salesian Missions

                                                                                • Uganda
                                                                                • AGL
                                                                                • Missioni
                                                                                • Procure Missionarie
                                                                                • Fame
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana