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Panama – “Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God”: The Holy Father spoke about Don Bosco in Panama 2019.

3 weeks 3 days ago
Panama – “Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God”: The Holy Father spoke about Don Bosco in Panama 2019.

(ANS - Panama City) - Before thousands of young people, the Holy Father spoke on topics of great relevance for today’s youth and with a simple language, deep and close to young people’s understanding. He told them that “the life that Jesus gives us is a ‘love story’, a story of life that wants to mix with ours and take root in the good soil of each one of us”, as it has been the case with our saints.

When referring to the saints, he presented the figure of one of the Holy Patrons of the World Youth Day. "I think for example of Don Bosco who did not go to look for young people far away. Let's see here those who love Don Bosco: put your hands together! Don Bosco did not go to look for young people in far places or special locations; he simply learned to see everything that happened in the city with the eyes of God and, thus, his heart was stricken by hundreds of children, of abandoned young people without chance for study, without work and without the helping hand of a community. Many people lived in the same city, many criticized these young people, but they were unable to look at them with the eyes of God. Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God."

Referring to the Saint of the young people, he presented him as a saint who took a step for in favour of abandoned young people: “He did it; Don Bosco was courageous, and he dared to take that first step: to embrace life just as it comes and, from there, he was not afraid to take the second step: to create with them a community, a family, where, with work and study, they felt loved. To give them roots from which to hold themselves up, so that they can reach heaven, so that they can be someone in society; to give them roots so that they can stand steady and not be thrown down by the next wind. That is what Don Bosco did, that’s what the saints do, that’s what is done by communities that know how to look at young people with the eyes of God. "

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  • Panama2019
  • Don Bosco
  • Papa Francesco
  • GMG2019
    Jesus Jurado

    Panama - Calvary of Jesus "in many faces who suffer who suffer in satisfied and anaesthetizing indifference of our society": Pope in Panamá2019

    3 weeks 4 days ago

    (ANS - Panama City) - In Campo Santa Maria la Antigua, the Via Crucis takes place with over 400,000 young people from the XXXIV World Youth Day. The Pontiff emphasizes that the "journey of loneliness" and sorrow of the Son of God continues in our day, "in so many faces who suffer from the satisfied and anaesthetizing indifference of our society." The young pray, among other things, for ecumenism, for migrants and refugees, for peace and reconciliation, for ecology.

    In the embrace between land and sea of the Cinta Costera of Panama, the youth of the XXXIV World Youth Day accompany Jesus on the way of the Cross, reliving "a path of suffering and loneliness" that unfortunately, even today, is repeated in the faces of migrants forced to abandon their land, women stripped of their dignity, young people deprived of dreams and hope, discarded elderly, children to whom childhood is refused and, not infrequently, the right to birth: all in the "satisfied and anesthetizing indifference of our society", peopled by armored or walled up hearts. The speech that Pope Francis pronounces at the end of the Way of the Cross of WYD takes on the contours of an intense prayer addressed to God the Father, recognizing also the responsibilities of those who consider themselves friends of the Lord.

    Pope Bergoglio enumerates, like many pieces of a mosaic, the many dramas that disfigure the contemporary world: how many, for example, "instead of solidarity, by a society full of abundance, find rejection, pain and misery, and moreover they are indicated and treated as carriers and responsible of and for every social ill"; the "resigned loneliness of the old abandoned and discarded"; the native peoples, "stripped of their lands, roots and culture"; the "cry of our mother earth, which is wounded in its bowels by the pollution of the atmosphere, by the sterility of its fields, by the filth of its waters, and which is seen trampled by contempt and by the crazed consumption beyond all reason."

    The Pontiff reiterates that the Church wants to be present "in the life and crosses of many Christs who walk beside us"; like Mary, she wants to learn "to say 'yes' to the stubborn patience and creativity of those who do not lose heart and start all over again in situations where everything seems to be lost."


    To all Pope Francis remembers that walking with Jesus always represents a "grace", "because he commits us to live in faith and to know Him"; and a "risk", because "His words, His gestures, His actions contrast with the Spirit of the world, with human ambition, with the proposals of a culture of waste and lack of love."


    Source: www.vaticannews.va/it/papa/news/2019-01/papa-francesco-panama-gmg-2019-via-crucis.html#play

    • Panama
    • Panama2019
    • Via Crucis
    • GMG2019
    • Papa Francesco
    • Giovani
      Jesus Jurado

      Venezuela - The country's Bishops: "It is urgent to listen to the popular cry for change"

      3 weeks 5 days ago

      (ANS - Caracas) - While the world is watching with attention and concern at the events taking place in Venezuela, the Holy Father from Panama shows his closeness to the population and "prays for the victims and for all Venezuelans." The Venezuelan situation is dramatic: deaths, injuries, arrests, people forced to take refuge in churches. Above all, a divided country and a country that has further divided the whole world. The bishops of Venezuela have expressed with courage, audacity and truth that the people "live in a dramatic and extremely serious situation due to the deterioration of respect for their rights."

      "January 23, 1958 is a historical date for all Venezuelans, an inspiring sign of the triumph of social rationality in the face of the abuse of power, of the unity of the weak people before the dismantling of a regime of abuse, corruption and repression that hid all the evils that an authoritarian government can have". This is how the message of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela (CEV) begins on the occasion of the national holiday commemorating the January 23 of 61 years ago, when the people's revolt ended the dictatorship of Perez Jiménez and marked the return of democracy to the country.

      "Faced with this reality that we have described as a national tragedy, people are asking for a change that includes a period of transition to elect new national authorities. Therefore, it is urgent to listen to the popular cry of change" the Bishops say.

      The statement continues to describe the nation's current plight: “The marches organized for this 23 January, throughout the national territory, are a sign of hope, something new that is starting to be generated in our country. We Venezuelans cannot be mere spectators of what happens in the country”.

      In the end, the Bishops call for reflection and prayer: “January 23 must also be a day of reflection and prayer. We are believers and devoted people. We ask the Blessed Virgin of Coromoto, patron of Venezuela, to take care of every Venezuelan, of families, in their search for well-being and freedom”.

      The message, dated January 22nd, is undersigned by Msgr. José Luis Azuaje Ayala, Archbishop of Maracaibo and President of the CEV, together with the Bishops of the Presidency.

      At the moment, the opposition has become more cohesive and revitalized around the figure of the president of parliament, Juan Guaidó. 

      Source: Agenzia Fides

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        Gian Francesco Romano

        Panama - Pope Francis: a day full of meetings and messages in Panama2019

        3 weeks 5 days ago
        Panama - Pope Francis: a day full of meetings and messages in Panama2019

        (ANS - Panama City) - With the presence of over 350,000 young participants from all over the world, hundreds of priests and bishops, and with the eyes of the whole world set on Panama, WYD has come fully into life with the welcome to Holy Father Francis. On Thursday, January 24, the Pope began official activities with a visit to the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela. He then met with authorities, bishops and finally with the thousands of young people.

        Yesterday morning, Pope Francis was received by the President of the Republic, and by his wife, Lorena Castillo, in the "Palacio de las Garzas". A few minutes after his entrance to the Presidency of the Republic, the Pope went to one of the balconies of the palace and greeted the crowd that had been waiting since the early hours of the morning to greet him.

        At the end of this courtesy visit, the Pope met with other authorities, the diplomatic corps and the representatives of civil society in the Bolívar Palace, a building emblematic of the Old City, where the Congress of Panama was held in 1826, presided over by the famous Latin American patriot Simón Bolívar.

        The Pope then went to the church of "San Francesco d'Assisi" to meet with the bishops. Upon his arrival, the Pope was received by the archbishop of Panama, Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, and by the President of the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC), Msgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, who welcomed the pontiff. The Holy Father read a message to the bishops. His Holiness's meeting with the Central American bishops ended with a fraternal greeting and official photos.

        Finally, the Pope met the many youths gathered at the welcoming ceremony dedicated to him in the Santa Maria de la Antigua-Cinta Costera camp, with 350,000 participants, according to Panamanian authorities. Once again, the Pope changed the protocol, arriving with the open Pope-mobile, instead of the closed one, initially planned.

        After receiving a greeting from Msgr. Ulloa Mendieta, the Pope said to the young crowd: "You teach us that to meet each other does not mean to camouflage oneself, or to think in all the same way ... No, that's not it. The culture of the encounter is a call and an invitation to keep alive a common dream ... Everyone will go back home with that new energy that is generated every time we meet.

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        • Panama2019
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          Gian Francesco Romano

          Panama - "Don Bosco made of his life a gift of light for the young": a look at the patrons of Panama2019

          3 weeks 5 days ago

          (ANS - Panama City) - During the meeting that the Pope had with young people on Thursday, January 24, four boys from different countries presented the testimonies of life of the eight holy and blessed patrons of the World Youth Day in Panama 2019.

          The person in charge of presenting the two patrons belonging to the Salesian Family, St. John Bosco and the Blessed Sister Maria Romero Meneses, was Jackson François, of Haiti, who described them speaking in Creole, his mother tongue.

          In front of about 350,000 young people, the Haitian youth said that Don Bosco "made of his life a gift of light for the young. With overflowing joy, he understood that young people needed a close, loving, patient God, full of blessings for everyone. How we so need this joy, in a world like ours marked by sad faces without hope! May he teach us to proclaim the victory of good and the triumph of humble patience."

          Young Jackson also explained that the Blessed Romero "teaches that service done with love can make life full, that dedication to the poor frees us from our selfishness and fills us with peace, makes us servants of mercy and motivates us to respond, from any vocation, to the call to sainthood".

          • Panama
          • Panama2019
          • Don Bosco
          • GMG2019
          • Santità Salesiana
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Spain - "I need you, be many and be men of great virtue": Salesians Coadjutors

            3 weeks 6 days ago

            (ANS - Barcelona) - In the time of Don Bosco, founder of the Salesian Congregation, there were many people who helped the Italian priest in his tasks. People who came and went or even his own mother, Mamma Margarita, who gave a hand wherever it was needed. At that time the “suit” was indispensable for every religious, priest or lay person. Don Bosco instead ventured to integrate people in their “shirt-sleeves” into his nascent Salesian Congregation, without frocks or external signs. Thus was born the figure of the Salesian brother, a lay consecrated person, with religious vows and equally dedicated to the Salesian mission, but without being a priest.

            From January 17 to 21, the Salesian House of Martí Codolar in Barcelona hosted the European Seminar dedicated to the deepening of the figure of the Salesian Coadjutor. 40 Salesian brothers from the two Salesian regions of Europe participated, accompanied by Fr Pascual Chávez, and they discussed aspects such as identity, mission, formation and specific characteristics of the coadjutor.

            As Fr Chávez reported, it was Don Bosco himself who said, referring to the Salesian brothers: "I need you, be many and be men of great virtue." For the Piedmontese saint it was clear that there were many things that the priest could not do, "and that he was not obliged to do," observes Fr Chávez. In fact, it often happens that the priest finds himself doing things that take time away from what is important in the priestly ministry. Even if the Salesian priest, by vocation, is an educator, and therefore "it is inevitable that you meet him among children."

            The difference, however, between the Salesian priest and the Salesian brother is that the latter lives his mission "from a lay perspective": he is a consecrated person who professes the three vows of obedience, poverty and chastity - without becoming a priest.

            This was the personal choice of Jesús Julián García or Pep Alamán, two Salesian coadjutors present at the European Seminar. For Br García the difference, perhaps, is that "they bring Christ to the people and do not wait for the people to come to church to do it", even if, as Br Alamán said, "the charism is the same for everyone; the encounter with the living Christ is realized through the young and in particular those most in need."

            • Spagna
            • Salesiani Coadiutori
            • Don Bosco
            • Pascual Chávez
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Panama - Voices from WYD: first days of Panama2019 in words of protagonists

              3 weeks 6 days ago
              Panama - Voices from WYD: first days of Panama2019 in words of protagonists

              (ANS - Panama City) - Young people from all over the world have arrived in Panama City with plenty of great energy, joy and faith to share. Their purpose is to live the events of the World Youth Day under the maternal mantle of Mary, which carries with it a message of service: "Here I am. I am the Lord's servant; let it be to me according to your Word" (Lk 1,38 ) is the motto of Panama2019. Maria's "yes" has changed the course of history. Young people at WYD are ready to do the same.

              "The experience of being welcomed by simple, cordial and friendly people, always ready to help you, is the hallmark of my stay so far," says Fr Ambrose Pereira, an Indian Salesian who leads a delegation of young people from as far as Papua New Guinea. "Panama has dressed up for the occasion with banners and flags and, above all, with a spirit of contagious joy and happiness."

              It is precisely the young who most fascinate those who meet them on the street. They are smiling, joyful, cheerful and engaging. Many are working as volunteers, and they prepared themselves with great zeal: as did Jenica, a young American woman, who guides the groups of pilgrims to the various moments of the WYD: catechesis, meetings with the Pope, celebrations.

              Others simply pass on their enthusiasm to everyone they meet. Like, Adriana and Juan, both Panamanians, who say to their peers: "Do not lose happiness and the desire to show the world that with Christ we can succeed in whatever goal we set ourselves"; and again: "Under no circumstances must you lose hope, because God always has a plan for each of us."

              While waiting for the great meetings with the Pope, many young people have spent the first days of the WYD visiting the “Vocations Fair” at the Omar Park, deepening the path of discernment on their lives.

              Also the “Park of Forgiveness” is another symbolic place: there are 250 confessionals and young people have formed long queues, despite the heat, to approach the sacrament of Reconciliation. "The search for a serious life of faith is evident," says Fr Pereira.

              The opening Mass of the WYD, Tuesday 22nd, was presided over by Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, OSA, archbishop of Panama. With just a few words, the archbishop summarized the meaning of WYD: "As pilgrims we come to share the personal and living encounter with the Lord, united with young people from around the world who add their wealth of culture, tradition and experience. Let us celebrate the glory of God by professing one faith in many languages, to glorify God through prayer, love, forgiveness and communion with all."

              {gallery}GMG2019 - Apertura{/gallery}

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              • Panama2019
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              • Giovani
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Panama - Pope Francis in Panama2019: "I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church"

                3 weeks 6 days ago
                Photo: © Vatican Media

                (ANS - Panama City) - Pope Francis landed yesterday, January 23rd, at 4:15 pm local time, at Tocumen Airport, Panama, after a journey lasting about 13 hours, on a plane that also carried a large delegation of journalists. On his arrival the Pope was received by the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and his wife; by the Apostolic Nuncio in Panama, mgr. Mirosław Adamczyk, and several other civil and ecclesial authorities.

                Unlike what usually occurs, this time the Holy Father during the flight that brought him to Panama did not just say a few words of greetings, but spoke openly on various topics. Commenting with a journalist on the fact that the walls to stop migrants on the Mexican-US border reach right to the ocean, he said: "It's fear that makes us crazy." "I will go to Japan in November, get ready," he later added regarding future plans.

                According to the news reported by "Vatican News", a journalist gave the Pope a drawing of a young migrant who died at sea and who had tied his report card to his clothes. The Pope was moved to hear this story and said that he will speak on the subject during the return journey.

                Once he reached the airport, Pope Francis broke with protocol and approached the faithful waiting in line. At the age of 80, the Holy Father began the long and arduous program of WYD events. On his Twitter profile, he wrote: "I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church."

                At the WYD, the Successor of Peter will also give priority to the "existential peripheries": as when he will visit the juvenile prison of Pacora and the "House of the Good Samaritan", which hosts young people suffering from HIV.

                Meanwhile, the organizers of WYD2019 have shared some data: participating are 480 bishops, 380 of whom offer catechesis to young people, in 137 centers, and in 25 different languages; 20,000 national volunteers and 2,445 foreign volunteers collaborate in the activities; the countries that gave the greatest contribution in terms of volunteers are: Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Poland; 2,500, finally, are the number of accredited journalists. And according to unofficial sources, GMG2022 may take place in Portugal.

                {gallery}Panama - Arrivo Papa GMG 2019{/gallery}

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

                  Panama - Rector Major at Panama2019: "The SYM mustn't entertain young people for a few years. It's about experimenting donation and continuing to give our whole lifetime"

                  3 weeks 6 days ago

                  (ANS - Panama City) - Yesterday, Wednesday, January 23, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) experienced a day of extreme profundity what with his messages, a day rich in meetings and solid in prayer. Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, shared moments of reflection, celebration and prayer with young people from around the world.

                  "Do not be afraid of God" was one of the main messages that the Rector Major and Mother General FMA gave to the Youth Forum of the SYM, an event that was held yesterday morning in the Basilica Don Bosco of Panama. The forum, led by Fr Fabio Attard and Sr. Runita Borja, General Councilors for Youth Ministry of the two Congregations, gathered about 200 young SYM leaders from different countries worldwide to work on common global guidelines in working with young people.

                  During the meeting, a group of young people asked the two Superiors General questions. A young Angolan asked the Rector Major. "Could we better take care of the formation of lay people who collaborate with Salesians?"

                  Fr Artime's answer opened a panorama of reflection for all the young people of the world: "I believe it is the only possible path. Pope Francis warned that there is a danger in the Church, which is clericalism ... We must know that we all have different vocations, inspired by the Spirit. The Church of the future will have to be less clerical. The only way is to walk together, lay and consecrated, and the testimony will be richer, more credible, more attractive. The Gospel will be more visible. And it is true that we must take paths of formation; it is not enough with good will ... An option for the Gospel is not a question of two or three years ... I can imagine that in ten years you will be witnesses wherever you are. The SYM should not entertain young people for just a few years. It is about experiencing the donation and continuing to give our whole life."

                  The forum closed with the Eucharist presided by the Rector Major. Subsequently, in the afternoon, the great SYM party began, which first saw a dense program of songs, dances and activities for around 2,500 young people. Then, in the evening, the Vigil of Eucharistic Adoration began, presided over by Fr Attard. The party ended with the message of the "good night" offered by Fr Á.F. Artime and Mother Reungoat.

                  Videos of the Forum and SYM party  are available on Facebook.

                  {gallery}Panama - 23 gennaio forum e festa{/gallery}

                  • GMG2019
                  • Panama2019
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                  • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                  • Fabio Attard
                  • Pastorale Giovanile
                  • Panama
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Panama - Inauguration of pilgrimage center of Blessed Sr. Maria Romero, FMA, in Panama2019

                    4 weeks ago
                    Panama - Inauguration of pilgrimage center of Blessed Sr. Maria Romero, FMA, in Panama2019

                    (ANS - Panama City) - In the temple of Mary Help of Christians of the "Don Bosco Technical Institute" of Panama City, the pilgrimage center of the Blessed Sister Maria Romero Meneses (1902-1977), Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, was inaugurated. She is one of the patrons of the World Youth Day (WYD) 2019. Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the FMA, cut the ribbon to open the doors of the church to the pilgrims of WYD.

                    One year ago, a group of religious sisters was founded - Sister Inés Berríos, Sr. Marcela Ortiz, Sr. Celia López, Sr. Carolina Cruz, Sr. Araceli Pereira, Sr. Marianela Solís and Sr. Mayra Biches, as responsible - for the creation of the pilgrimage center. "We want this to be a pilgrimage through the life of the Blessed, so that after leaving the temple the pilgrims can see with the glasses and walk with the shoes of Sister Maria Romero," they said.

                    Pilgrims enter through the main door and begin a journey of encounter with the blessed Romero, a woman in love with God: her two loves - Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and Mary Help of Christians – she called her "King" and her "Queen".

                    Prilgrims will live the first moment in the Marian shrine through a reflection under the sign of water. The Blessed FMA asked the Virgin for water that healed and it was granted her in the foundation of the "House of the Virgin" in Costa Rica. There are testimonies of people who drank this water with great faith and received physical and spiritual healing. For the pilgrimage center, water was taken from the same source in Costa Rica.

                    Continuing the journey, pilgrims reach the central nave of the temple, where there is the dream of the two columns of Don Bosco represented, and where one can reflect on the Salesian dimension. After a meeting with the Blessed Sacrament, the historical route, one arrives at the altar of the relic of the Blessed Sister Romero.

                    The center is already open and being visited by pilgrims since, in these days of the WYD, it hosts many young people from the Salesian world.

                    The exposed relic was donated by the Archbishop of Panama City, Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa, at the Technical Institute of Don Bosco, and it will remain there for public veneration.

                    {gallery}Panama - Centro sr Panama{/gallery}

                    • Panama
                    • Panama2019
                    • GMG2019
                    • Maria Romero Meneses
                    • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                    • Santità Salesiana
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Panama - The WYD of young indigenous people, before Panama2019

                      4 weeks ago
                      Panama - The WYD of young indigenous people, before Panama2019

                      (ANS - Soloy) - An authentic novelty, as part of the World Youth Day: the one represented by the World Meeting of Indigenous Youth, which was also held in Panama, in the village of Soloy, just before the start of the WYD, on January 17-21. "Go back to the culture of the origins. Take charge of your roots, because from the roots comes the strength that makes you grow," said a video message by Pope Francis to the young indigenous participants.

                      The World Meeting of Indigenous Youth, also called "the WYD of young indigenous people", answers to a special sensitivity of Pope Francis, who has dedicated several talks to the indigenous peoples, and has often in his apostolic journeys wanted to meet delegations of the native peoples, and who included the theme of the indigenous peoples among the fundamentals of the Special Synod for the Panamazonic Region to be held in October 2019.

                      Approximately 350 young people from 13 different Latin American countries took part in the event.

                      On the first day, the program of activities provided a focus on the living memory of the indigent peoples, while the second, on the struggle to maintain harmony with the earth, starting from the richness of cultures and in the light of Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Sì". The last day included a reflection on the importance of the active participation of young indigenous peoples in the construction of another possible world and the concluding Eucharist, presided over by Cardinal José Luis Lacunza, bishop of David, Panama.

                      Each day began with a moment of joy through animation, singing, music and dancing and always closed with cultural events prepared by local groups. In the middle, in addition to reflections and discussions, there was always space for prayer expressed in the different cultural identities, pilgrimages, dynamics, concerts and ecological activities.

                      "We thought of a pre-Day experience as a 'bridge experience', where young indigenous people could come from their towns and share the good and bad of the societies in which they live," explained one of the organizers.

                      "Many see us as crazy, for how we dress, for how we talk ... It's not like that. We simply do not have the same opportunities as people in cities," complains an indigenous young woman.

                      In his video message, Pope Francis showed appreciation for the initiative, which shows "the indigenous face of our Church in the WYD environment" and recalls "our commitment to protect our common home and to collaborate in the construction of another possible world, more egalitarian and more humane."

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

                        Panama - #WeAreDonBosco: Salesian Missionary Offices' proposal to young people of Panama2019

                        4 weeks ago
                        Panama - #WeAreDonBosco: Salesian Missionary Offices' proposal to young people of Panama2019

                        (ANS - Panama City) - "We Are Don Bosco": this is the motto, translated into various languages, that the Salesian Missionary Offices of the whole world launch on the occasion of the WYD of Panama2019 and in view of the Feast of the Saint of Youth scheduled for January 31st. The thousands of pilgrims from the Salesian areas who have gathered these days in Panama are therefore invited to bear witness to their Salesianity by spreading the message: #WeAreDonBosco.

                        There are several reasons that led to this initiative. First of all, the peculiarity of this January, already in itself the "Salesian month", but this year there is also the WYD, which takes place in a country that loves Don Bosco viscerally.

                        Then there is the desire for collaboration and unity among the various Salesian Missionary Offices, which is also expressed through messages and common communication projects.

                        And then there is the reality of the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) at the WYD. Every WYD, in fact, sees the SYM at the forefront, and when it comes to youth spirituality, joy, solidarity and sharing, always stands at center stage and is, moreover, a model of the worldwide network among the young faithful.

                        At WYD it is easy to note the Salesian specificity: the welcome that precedes and accompanies the pilgrims, the formative and spiritual journey that accompanies the official appointments of the "Day", the joy of those who live similar experiences that take place at a distance of a continent away, the hymns to Don Bosco in the different languages and in the different musical styles, the conspicuous numbers of groups, and more.

                        The proposal to young people is now simple: to those in Panama, do share your photos and posts using the hashtags#WeAreDonBosco and #IAmSalesian, in addition to the others suggested by the WYD. Thus, the ideal link will be made to all those who belong to the Salesian world. Indeed, this will also allow those who could not go to Panama to feel part of the celebrations.

                        With "We Are Don Bosco" we want to spread the message that Don Bosco is still alive today: in the 30,000 religious men and women serving the most needy young people, following his model and his style; in the 3 million people who have gone through Salesian training programs; in the 5,500 Salesian schools in the world, in the 330 shelters for young people in difficulty, in the 1,100 vocational training centers …

                        Further information is available at www.missionidonbosco.org and at http://salesianmissions.org/wyd. From the latter, it is possible to download, in English and Spanish, a specific prayer for the young people of WYD to request the intercession of Don Bosco.

                        • Panama2019
                        • Panama
                        • GMG2019
                        • Procure Missionarie
                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Panama - Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, arrives in Panama2019

                          4 weeks 1 day ago
                          Panama - Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, arrives in Panama2019

                          (ANS - Panama City) - Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, arrived yesterday, Monday, January 21st, at the Basilica of Don Bosco in Panama to accompany the youth who will participate in the World Youth Day (WYD) and the world festival of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM).

                          As early as two o'clock in the afternoon the Salesian delegations were present in the courtyard of the Basilica of Don Bosco to receive the Rector Major. During the wait there reigned an oratorian party atmosphere, with the young people busy singing, dancing, joking, telling each other their  experiences, spontaneously making new friends.

                          Then, at 6:15 pm, amid applauses, ovations and songs, Fr Á.F. Artime made his way through the young people crowded together to take a selfie with him or to give a welcome hug to the Successor of Don Bosco. In a natural and spontaneous fashion, some space gave way, bounded by the flags of different countries, for the encounter. At the end of the route one could glimpse the exact replica of the "Becchi" house - Don Bosco's birthplace - built at the Salesian center, the "Valdocco of America".

                          Fr Rómulo Gallegos, SDB, Director of the House, welcomed the Rector Major and thanked him for his visit. The Superior of the Salesian Congregation greeted all those present, spoke of his long journey and expressed his joy and happiness in finding himself among the young.

                          "We want to make a journey of fidelity to the Lord. I am the first who wants to continue to learn to be truly faithful to Jesus, and to do it with you, my dear young people, is a wonderful gift. We shall have time to share and to greet each other before meeting the Pope and the young people of the world," said Fr Á.F. Artime before an audience of boys and girls from all over the world who listened to him with attention and admiration.

                          Tomorrow, January 23rd, the Rector Major, together with the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, will give a message to all the young people of the Salesian community present at WYD, as part of the worldwide celebration of the SYM.

                          After the WYD, the Rector Major will remain in Panama to celebrate Don Bosco's triduum and the great feast of 31 January together with the Panamanian community, which in Don Bosco celebrates its patron saint.

                          • Panama2019
                          • Panama
                          • Rettor Maggiore
                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                          • GMG2019
                          • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Palestine - One million rosaries from the Holy Land to WYD of Panama2019

                            4 weeks 1 day ago
                            Palestine - One million rosaries from the Holy Land to WYD of Panama2019

                            (ANS - Bethlehem) - Panama2019's World Youth Day (WYD) has already begun. In the Latin American country, one million rosaries have arrived from Bethlehem, which the Holy Father will give to the young people who have gathered for this great event, scheduled from today, 22 January, to Sunday 27. "This initiative is essential because, on the one hand, it stimulates prayer and, on the other, it helps support our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land," said the archbishop of Panama, mgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, underlining the importance of this project.

                            The rosaries were made of olive wood in the city of birth of Jesus, and they traveled 12,000 kilometers to reach Panama. They are part of the "AVE GMG" project, inspired by the appeal of Pope Francis to pray for peace in the world. The initiative was born from the Swiss association "Saint Jean-Marie Vianney" of Lausanne and "Caritas Jerusalem", led by the bishop emeritus of Reykjavik, Iceland, Msgr. Pierre Bürcher.

                            The Pontifical Foundation "Aid to the Church in Need" (ACS) contributed to the project with a donation of 100 thousand euros for the creation of the small wreaths. "A gift already in itself precious," comments the director of ACS Italia, Alessandro Monteduro, "which is made even more special by the fact that the rosaries were made by the Christian craftsmen of Bethlehem."

                            There are over 350,000 Christians who have abandoned Bethlehem since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. A hemorrhage that is closely linked to economic difficulties and the high rate of unemployment among Christians.

                            The approximately 200 families of Bethlehem who have worked for months to make one million rosaries for WYD will be supported for a whole year. "They are grateful for the support received, but above all they are happy to know that hundreds of thousands of young people in Panama will pray for peace, reciting the Rosary with the wreaths they have made," continues Monteduro.

                            "Here I am, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me what you have said" (Lk 1:38) is the motto of Panama2019, and represents the first Marian theme motto of a WYD.

                            "The Virgin Mary is the mother of all: this is why the young are called to trust Her, because She is the queen of peace and if we do the will of the Lord all men, women and young people of good will, we can gradually create peace, starting from our hearts, starting from Jerusalem," said Msgr. Bürcher.

                            WYD has involved many people in the devotion to the Holy Rosary. This is the case of female inmates of the "Cecilia Orillac de Chiari" Women's Rehabilitation Center in Panama, 60 of whom made ring rosaries and other religious objects to be offered to young people during the WYD.

                            • Palestina
                            • Preghiera
                            • GMG2019
                            • Panama
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Brazil - "Missionary Action" brings Salesian youth to meet one's neighbour

                              4 weeks 1 day ago

                              (ANS - São Paulo- From 6 to 13 January, as was tradition among the young people in Salesian circles, another edition of "Missionary Action" took place, a project carried out by the Youth Ministry of the "Mary Help of Christians" Province of Brazil - São Paulo  (BSP) through the Missionary Animation Service.

                              by Anderson Bueno

                              This year, 2019, the parishes that welcomed the young missionaries were those of "Santa Teresinha", in Araraquaraquara, the parish of "Nossa Senhora da Conceição", in Cunha; the parish of "São Francisco", in Monte Verde-MG; the parish of "Nossa Senhora Aparecida", in Santa Izabel; the parish "Sagrada Família" and the Pastoral Area of "São Sebastião", in Itaim Paulista, São Paulo.

                              Missionary Action always takes place in January, because it is a month of holidays for young people, and is led by young people of the "Missionary Action Groups" (GAM) of Salesian houses scattered throughout the State of São Paulo. During the week, young people interact with the community by reciting the luminous rosary, participating in the celebrations, making visits and blessings to the houses and also organizing workshops for children, young people and adults.

                              The fulfillment of a missionary project like this also affects the life of the parishes that welcome it. It gives courage to the pastoral workers, brings people close together, brings the parish into contact with people and families who until then had not attended the parish community, and offers strong moments of fraternity and spirituality.

                              "It is foolish for strangers to see you leave the comfort of your home to go to an unknown place to speak of Jesus. But, as St. Paul says in the First Letter to the Corinthians: The word of the Cross is in fact folly for those who go into perdition, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God," says the missionary Mariana Borges Rezende, 22, of the GAM of Sorocaba.

                              Because of the similarity, Missionary Action is sometimes confused with the Mission Week, which is held in July. The proposals are similar, but the young people taking part in the January event are already more mature in their faith by participating in the GAM and their local communities. In July, the Missionary Week allows, in many cases, young people in social works and schools to have their first contact with a missionary project that leads them to go to others.

                              In both cases, these are worthy projects that do good for both those who work as missionaries, and for the communities that receive them.

                              {gallery}BSP - Azione missionaria{/gallery}

                              • Brasile
                              • BSP
                              • Missioni
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Italy - Feast of Salesian Family of Lazio, amidst holiness and extraordinary generosity

                                4 weeks 2 days ago
                                Italy - Feast of Salesian Family of Lazio, amidst holiness and extraordinary generosity

                                (ANS - Rome) - The Feast of the Salesian Family of Lazio, celebrated yesterday, Sunday, January 20, at the "Don Bosco Theater" of Cinecittà in Rome, saw a large number of participants rediscover, thanks to the theater, the figure of the Saint of Youth. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, also intervened, calling attention to the possibility of holiness for all and a gesture of extraordinary generosity.

                                by Aurelio Marinelli, SDB

                                The nuclei of the festive afternoon was the show that Laura Curino and Simone Derai presented, a tale narrating the intelligence and the spirit able to transform extraordinary men into "social saints", in the Piedmont of the 19th century.

                                Also present at the feast was Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, who thanked the theatrical company for having shown the reality of the Salesian charism born at the Pinardi home.

                                "The trail of Piedmontese holiness," said Fr Á.F. Artime, "found in Valdocco a fertile soil, which made great figures of holiness directly or indirectly linked to our Family flourish."

                                The Rector Major then said that a few days after Christmas, greetings from Uganda arrived from a Salesian of the Salesian headquarters who'd visited two presences of the Congregation among the poorest youth, one in Palabek, which hosts about 42 thousand refugees.

                                "A year ago, on the feast day of Don Bosco," the Rector Major continued, "we opened a presence with a small community. Without houses, without church, in the middle of the refugee camp, with the people of the camp. I received from this confrere two envelopes with offers for me, with the commitment to donate them to the needy young people. I felt a great emotion: they, the poorest of the poor, who put aside a small amount of money for people in need like them. I wanted to tell you this because it is precisely the story that today, through this representation, you have told all of us. This is a sign of Don Bosco who wants to remind us that the human heart is the most precious and generous reality that exists in the world."

                                Fr Artime greeted those present, saying that the next morning he would be leaving for Panama to participate in the WYD and the great events planned for the feast of Don Bosco.

                                {gallery}ICC - Santa Impresa ex post{/gallery}

                                • Italia
                                • ICC
                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                • Uganda
                                • Palabek
                                • Famiglia Salesiana
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Panama - World youth festival begins with volunteers with a Salesian heart: Panama 2019

                                  4 weeks 2 days ago
                                  Panama - World youth festival begins with volunteers with a Salesian heart: Panama 2019

                                  (ANS - Panama City) - Just a few hours to go before the World Youth Day (WYD) of Panama 2019 begins, an event prepared with a highly precise organization. The Salesians were the first to take up this challenge. And in the spirit of service, driven by the love of God, thousands of people, from the youngest to the oldest, have decided to be part of the organization of the greatest event of the Catholic Church, to be witnesses of God's love.

                                  Ever since Pope Francis announced the WYD of Panama 2019, Panamanians and foreigners have not hesitated to give their support in its preparation, with the objective that young people all over the world live an experience of a true encounter with Jesus.

                                  At the Basilica of Don Bosco in Panama there are 234 people who have accepted the call to service, dividing themselves into commissions: accommodation, transport, ecology, administration, logistics, catechesis, health, technical support and communication. Volunteers prepare themselves on an organizational and spiritual level, receiving formation and training, subdivided into four modules: general information of the WYD, history of the Panamanian Church, service and civilization.

                                  Fpr its part, the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Panama (ITDB) hosts 1,100 pilgrims from Salesian circles. The first of these pilgrims began to arrive as early as last Friday, January 18, all greeted with a warm welcome, ovations, songs and applause. "Having the house full of these young people is a dream come true. We have been preparing for your arrival for a long time, with joy and enthusiasm. We want you to feel at home!," said Fr Alex Figueroa, Director of ITDB, during Sunday Mass celebrated specifically for the young.

                                  "Being here is beautiful. It does not matter if we come from different countries. We are all 'Salesians' and this is enough to be friends, to be a family. Panama welcomed us with great affection and joy," said Marco Andino, Coordinator of the Honduran delegation.

                                  The Salesian News Agency (ANS) has sent a team to Panama to follow the event. Timely information on WYD, the meetings of the Holy Father, the appointments of the Rector Major with the SYM and Salesian activities will be published on the news website, on the agency's Facebook page (which will host live broadcasts) and on other social networks. Photos will be uploaded to ANSFlickr.

                                  For general information on WYD: https://panama2019.pa/en/home/ 

                                  To see what has been achieved since Pope Francis announced the Panama WYD 2019: https://www.flickr.com/photos/panama2019/page1 

                                  "To place oneself at the service of others," said the Holy Father in his message to the young people participating in WYD 2019, "does not just mean being ready for action; we must also engage in dialogue with God, in an attitude of listening, as Mary did."

                                  {gallery}Panama - Volontari e arrivi{/gallery}

                                  • Panama
                                  • CAM
                                  • GMG2019
                                  • Pastorale Giovanile
                                  • Volontariato
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG – 2019: a missionary year!

                                    4 weeks 2 days ago
                                    RMG – 2019: a missionary year!

                                    (ANS - Rome) - 2019 marks the centenary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter "Maximum illud", with which Pope Benedict XV sought to give new impetus to the missionary task of proclaiming the Gospel. This is why Pope Francis has called the "Extraordinary Missionary Month" this coming October. In this perspective, the traditional Salesian Mission Day (SMD) 2019 takes on a particular meaning.

                                    The Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud called for transcending national boundaries and bearing witness, with prophetic spirit and evangelical boldness, to God’s saving will through the Church’s universal mission. May the approaching centenary of that Letter serve as an incentive to combat the recurring temptation lurking beneath every form of ecclesial introversion, self-referential retreat into comfort zones, pastoral pessimism and sterile nostalgia for the past. Instead, may we be open to the joyful newness of the Gospel," Pope Francis wrote in announcing the proclamation of the extraordinary missionary month.

                                    The official website of the Extraordinary Missionary Month is available on the web: http://www.october2019.va/it.html.

                                    Meanwhile, the Sector for Salesian Missions has already broadcast the motto of the Salesian Missionary Day 2019, officially launched on the day of the Epiphany: "Without knowing it, they have welcomed angels" (Hebrews 13: 2).

                                    Like every year, the SMD explores a specific theme, in a given continental reality. This year the choice fell on the "First Announcement among refugees and displaced persons in Africa".

                                    Along with the motto, the first resources for the animation of the SMD are already being shared. The poster and the card with the prayer are on their way to the provinces around he globe and in February more material for animation and videos will be available in the six most spoken languages in the Congregation.

                                    The poster presents two girls, where one welcomes the other. It is a symbol of the value of African hospitality, Africa that welcomes Africa. "The greatest migration of our time is the intra-African one, where millions of people are forced to travel," the Missions Sector explains.

                                    In the background one can see the realities of refugee camps and settlements; pastoral and educational activities, especially in vocational training; and the Salesians who are present with refugees and displaced persons, sharing their lives.

                                    "The theme focuses our attention on the challenge of this frontier full of young people, who await the friendship of Salesians, their oratories, schools, vocational training ... and the Good News of Jesus. But the theme," says the Sector for Salesian Missions, "is also an opportunity to live and promote the evangelical virtue of hospitality, that capacity to welcome, to open our homes, our hands, our hearts to others, especially those who find themselves most in need. In doing so, we welcome angels, the same Lord."

                                    • RMG
                                    • Missioni
                                    • Giornata Missionaria Salesiana
                                    • Giornata Missionaria Mondiale
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      RMG – The Rector Major’s “goodnight”: “We are convinced that our mission is to be with the most needy young people”

                                      1 month ago
                                      RMG – The Rector Major’s “goodnight”: “We are convinced that our mission is to be with the most needy young people”

                                      (ANS – Rome) – “As is customary, I have the opportunity to give you a ‘good night’, for two reasons: to tell you about the work of the Winter Plenary Session of the General Council, and to thank you for the work that you do for the good of the Salesian Congregation around the world.” These were Fr Ángel Fernández Artime’s words as Rector Major on the evening of 17 January at the conclusion of the General Council’s work.

                                      Four Provincials were appointed during this session: Fr Choi Wonchol, South Korea (KOR), Fr Tadeusz Jarecki for Warsaw, Poland (PLE), Fr Ignacio Ocampo Uribe for Guadalajara, Mexico (MEM),and Fr Daniel Federspiel, reconfirmed as Provincial of France-Belgium South.

                                      Five Vice-provincials were also appointed, one Provincial Economer, 20 Provincial Councillors, 45 Rectors and three Novice Masters. At the same time 9 extraordinary Visitations carried out by General Council members on behalf of the Rector Major in the preceding months were studied: Thailand (THA), Slovenia (SLO), India-Hyderabad (INH), Bolivia (BOL), Argentina South (ARS), Mexico-Guadalajara (MEG), Chile (CIL), English-speaking West Africa (AFW) and Slovakia (SLK).

                                      The Rector Major also said that “at the moment we do not know exactly how many we are in the Salesian Congregation because many young people are making their religious profession in the coming months, but we can say that we are a Congregation increasing in numbers. At the moment there are 14,489 SDBs, and I can state” the Rector Major continued  “that ours is the Congregation with the largest number of novices.”

                                      “One of the topics that gives us great hope is the numbers” the Rector Major concluded. On 31 December 2018 there were 2,060 newly professed, and this is reason for hope. We need to thank God for this gift. We are convinced that our mission is to be with the most needy young people, and we need to be very attentive to houses of formation and formators. This can make the difference in the coming six years in order to continue growth in vocations, while still guaranteeing the ongoing formation of every Salesian.”

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

                                        Dominican Republic – Youth Going Forth, a missionary Church

                                        1 month ago
                                        Dominican Republic – Youth Going Forth, a missionary Church

                                        (ANS – Santo Domingo) – “Jóvenes en Salida” (Youth Going Forth) is a program thought up to remind young people of their commitment as baptised lay people and to sensitise them to being missionaries and disciples of the Lord and to live out this responsibility in community, and indeed in Salesian Missionary Communities.

                                        Through learning projects carried out over two years, those taking part in the ‘Youth Going Forth’ program will gain the ability to carry out effective community tasks aimed at solidarity and holistic promotion of the community in which they are working; at the same time they will be accompanied in their activities of evangelisation and promotion in their communities of origin.

                                        Those taking part in the project are young adults who are or have been involved in community leadership tasks in Salesian works; once formed through the “Young Peopl going Forth” program they will be ready to become members of Salesian Missionary Communities – communities of young people intending to respond to God’s call to a missionary vocation ad gentes: “go out to all the world and proclaim the Good News to all of creation.”

                                        One of the addresses given at the Youth Going Forth program is “Epiphany Going Forth”, an initiative meant to develop supportive commitment among the youth, allowing them to mature in their choice of community life and lay involvement.

                                        This initiative, after due preparation, will be put into action at the Feast of the Epiphany in January next, and is meant to be a real “epiphany” (a “manifestation”, “revelation”) of God’s love for our neighbour.

                                        “We would like to be the manifestation of the love that was revealed, became flesh, took on our human history with all its consequences”, say those responsible for the initiative, also quoting John’s Letter (1 Jn 4:8) which reminds us that “God is love” and that love is God’s characteristic attribute, as well as being his most attractive one.

                                        The formation process of Youth Going Forth sees that the experience of the learning project in service to others is framed within the notion of “Supportive Commitment” and involves awareness of the place for mission (communities on the periphery) and approach to people and existing social structures. This way the young people have a practical experience of being sensitive to the needs of their neighbour, to responsibility, solidarity, commitment and proclamation of the Gospel.

                                        {gallery}ANT - Giovani in uscita 2019{/gallery}

                                        • ANT
                                        • Repubblica Dominicana
                                        • Missioni
                                        • Volontariato
                                        • Laici
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Panama – “Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God”: The Holy Father spoke about Don Bosco in Panama 2019.

                                          3 weeks 3 days ago
                                          Panama – “Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God”: The Holy Father spoke about Don Bosco in Panama 2019.

                                          (ANS - Panama City) - Before thousands of young people, the Holy Father spoke on topics of great relevance for today’s youth and with a simple language, deep and close to young people’s understanding. He told them that “the life that Jesus gives us is a ‘love story’, a story of life that wants to mix with ours and take root in the good soil of each one of us”, as it has been the case with our saints.

                                          When referring to the saints, he presented the figure of one of the Holy Patrons of the World Youth Day. "I think for example of Don Bosco who did not go to look for young people far away. Let's see here those who love Don Bosco: put your hands together! Don Bosco did not go to look for young people in far places or special locations; he simply learned to see everything that happened in the city with the eyes of God and, thus, his heart was stricken by hundreds of children, of abandoned young people without chance for study, without work and without the helping hand of a community. Many people lived in the same city, many criticized these young people, but they were unable to look at them with the eyes of God. Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God."

                                          Referring to the Saint of the young people, he presented him as a saint who took a step for in favour of abandoned young people: “He did it; Don Bosco was courageous, and he dared to take that first step: to embrace life just as it comes and, from there, he was not afraid to take the second step: to create with them a community, a family, where, with work and study, they felt loved. To give them roots from which to hold themselves up, so that they can reach heaven, so that they can be someone in society; to give them roots so that they can stand steady and not be thrown down by the next wind. That is what Don Bosco did, that’s what the saints do, that’s what is done by communities that know how to look at young people with the eyes of God. "

                                          • Panama
                                          • Panama2019
                                          • Don Bosco
                                          • Papa Francesco
                                          • GMG2019
                                            Jesus Jurado

                                            Panama - Calvary of Jesus "in many faces who suffer who suffer in satisfied and anaesthetizing indifference of our society": Pope in Panamá2019

                                            3 weeks 4 days ago

                                            (ANS - Panama City) - In Campo Santa Maria la Antigua, the Via Crucis takes place with over 400,000 young people from the XXXIV World Youth Day. The Pontiff emphasizes that the "journey of loneliness" and sorrow of the Son of God continues in our day, "in so many faces who suffer from the satisfied and anaesthetizing indifference of our society." The young pray, among other things, for ecumenism, for migrants and refugees, for peace and reconciliation, for ecology.

                                            In the embrace between land and sea of the Cinta Costera of Panama, the youth of the XXXIV World Youth Day accompany Jesus on the way of the Cross, reliving "a path of suffering and loneliness" that unfortunately, even today, is repeated in the faces of migrants forced to abandon their land, women stripped of their dignity, young people deprived of dreams and hope, discarded elderly, children to whom childhood is refused and, not infrequently, the right to birth: all in the "satisfied and anesthetizing indifference of our society", peopled by armored or walled up hearts. The speech that Pope Francis pronounces at the end of the Way of the Cross of WYD takes on the contours of an intense prayer addressed to God the Father, recognizing also the responsibilities of those who consider themselves friends of the Lord.

                                            Pope Bergoglio enumerates, like many pieces of a mosaic, the many dramas that disfigure the contemporary world: how many, for example, "instead of solidarity, by a society full of abundance, find rejection, pain and misery, and moreover they are indicated and treated as carriers and responsible of and for every social ill"; the "resigned loneliness of the old abandoned and discarded"; the native peoples, "stripped of their lands, roots and culture"; the "cry of our mother earth, which is wounded in its bowels by the pollution of the atmosphere, by the sterility of its fields, by the filth of its waters, and which is seen trampled by contempt and by the crazed consumption beyond all reason."

                                            The Pontiff reiterates that the Church wants to be present "in the life and crosses of many Christs who walk beside us"; like Mary, she wants to learn "to say 'yes' to the stubborn patience and creativity of those who do not lose heart and start all over again in situations where everything seems to be lost."


                                            To all Pope Francis remembers that walking with Jesus always represents a "grace", "because he commits us to live in faith and to know Him"; and a "risk", because "His words, His gestures, His actions contrast with the Spirit of the world, with human ambition, with the proposals of a culture of waste and lack of love."


                                            Source: www.vaticannews.va/it/papa/news/2019-01/papa-francesco-panama-gmg-2019-via-crucis.html#play

                                            • Panama
                                            • Panama2019
                                            • Via Crucis
                                            • GMG2019
                                            • Papa Francesco
                                            • Giovani
                                              Jesus Jurado

                                              Venezuela - The country's Bishops: "It is urgent to listen to the popular cry for change"

                                              3 weeks 5 days ago

                                              (ANS - Caracas) - While the world is watching with attention and concern at the events taking place in Venezuela, the Holy Father from Panama shows his closeness to the population and "prays for the victims and for all Venezuelans." The Venezuelan situation is dramatic: deaths, injuries, arrests, people forced to take refuge in churches. Above all, a divided country and a country that has further divided the whole world. The bishops of Venezuela have expressed with courage, audacity and truth that the people "live in a dramatic and extremely serious situation due to the deterioration of respect for their rights."

                                              "January 23, 1958 is a historical date for all Venezuelans, an inspiring sign of the triumph of social rationality in the face of the abuse of power, of the unity of the weak people before the dismantling of a regime of abuse, corruption and repression that hid all the evils that an authoritarian government can have". This is how the message of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela (CEV) begins on the occasion of the national holiday commemorating the January 23 of 61 years ago, when the people's revolt ended the dictatorship of Perez Jiménez and marked the return of democracy to the country.

                                              "Faced with this reality that we have described as a national tragedy, people are asking for a change that includes a period of transition to elect new national authorities. Therefore, it is urgent to listen to the popular cry of change" the Bishops say.

                                              The statement continues to describe the nation's current plight: “The marches organized for this 23 January, throughout the national territory, are a sign of hope, something new that is starting to be generated in our country. We Venezuelans cannot be mere spectators of what happens in the country”.

                                              In the end, the Bishops call for reflection and prayer: “January 23 must also be a day of reflection and prayer. We are believers and devoted people. We ask the Blessed Virgin of Coromoto, patron of Venezuela, to take care of every Venezuelan, of families, in their search for well-being and freedom”.

                                              The message, dated January 22nd, is undersigned by Msgr. José Luis Azuaje Ayala, Archbishop of Maracaibo and President of the CEV, together with the Bishops of the Presidency.

                                              At the moment, the opposition has become more cohesive and revitalized around the figure of the president of parliament, Juan Guaidó. 

                                              Source: Agenzia Fides

                                              • Venezuela
                                              • Vescovi
                                              • Violenze
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Panama - Pope Francis: a day full of meetings and messages in Panama2019

                                                3 weeks 5 days ago
                                                Panama - Pope Francis: a day full of meetings and messages in Panama2019

                                                (ANS - Panama City) - With the presence of over 350,000 young participants from all over the world, hundreds of priests and bishops, and with the eyes of the whole world set on Panama, WYD has come fully into life with the welcome to Holy Father Francis. On Thursday, January 24, the Pope began official activities with a visit to the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela. He then met with authorities, bishops and finally with the thousands of young people.

                                                Yesterday morning, Pope Francis was received by the President of the Republic, and by his wife, Lorena Castillo, in the "Palacio de las Garzas". A few minutes after his entrance to the Presidency of the Republic, the Pope went to one of the balconies of the palace and greeted the crowd that had been waiting since the early hours of the morning to greet him.

                                                At the end of this courtesy visit, the Pope met with other authorities, the diplomatic corps and the representatives of civil society in the Bolívar Palace, a building emblematic of the Old City, where the Congress of Panama was held in 1826, presided over by the famous Latin American patriot Simón Bolívar.

                                                The Pope then went to the church of "San Francesco d'Assisi" to meet with the bishops. Upon his arrival, the Pope was received by the archbishop of Panama, Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, and by the President of the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC), Msgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, who welcomed the pontiff. The Holy Father read a message to the bishops. His Holiness's meeting with the Central American bishops ended with a fraternal greeting and official photos.

                                                Finally, the Pope met the many youths gathered at the welcoming ceremony dedicated to him in the Santa Maria de la Antigua-Cinta Costera camp, with 350,000 participants, according to Panamanian authorities. Once again, the Pope changed the protocol, arriving with the open Pope-mobile, instead of the closed one, initially planned.

                                                After receiving a greeting from Msgr. Ulloa Mendieta, the Pope said to the young crowd: "You teach us that to meet each other does not mean to camouflage oneself, or to think in all the same way ... No, that's not it. The culture of the encounter is a call and an invitation to keep alive a common dream ... Everyone will go back home with that new energy that is generated every time we meet.

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

                                                  Panama - "Don Bosco made of his life a gift of light for the young": a look at the patrons of Panama2019

                                                  3 weeks 5 days ago

                                                  (ANS - Panama City) - During the meeting that the Pope had with young people on Thursday, January 24, four boys from different countries presented the testimonies of life of the eight holy and blessed patrons of the World Youth Day in Panama 2019.

                                                  The person in charge of presenting the two patrons belonging to the Salesian Family, St. John Bosco and the Blessed Sister Maria Romero Meneses, was Jackson François, of Haiti, who described them speaking in Creole, his mother tongue.

                                                  In front of about 350,000 young people, the Haitian youth said that Don Bosco "made of his life a gift of light for the young. With overflowing joy, he understood that young people needed a close, loving, patient God, full of blessings for everyone. How we so need this joy, in a world like ours marked by sad faces without hope! May he teach us to proclaim the victory of good and the triumph of humble patience."

                                                  Young Jackson also explained that the Blessed Romero "teaches that service done with love can make life full, that dedication to the poor frees us from our selfishness and fills us with peace, makes us servants of mercy and motivates us to respond, from any vocation, to the call to sainthood".

                                                  • Panama
                                                  • Panama2019
                                                  • Don Bosco
                                                  • GMG2019
                                                  • Santità Salesiana
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Spain - "I need you, be many and be men of great virtue": Salesians Coadjutors

                                                    3 weeks 6 days ago

                                                    (ANS - Barcelona) - In the time of Don Bosco, founder of the Salesian Congregation, there were many people who helped the Italian priest in his tasks. People who came and went or even his own mother, Mamma Margarita, who gave a hand wherever it was needed. At that time the “suit” was indispensable for every religious, priest or lay person. Don Bosco instead ventured to integrate people in their “shirt-sleeves” into his nascent Salesian Congregation, without frocks or external signs. Thus was born the figure of the Salesian brother, a lay consecrated person, with religious vows and equally dedicated to the Salesian mission, but without being a priest.

                                                    From January 17 to 21, the Salesian House of Martí Codolar in Barcelona hosted the European Seminar dedicated to the deepening of the figure of the Salesian Coadjutor. 40 Salesian brothers from the two Salesian regions of Europe participated, accompanied by Fr Pascual Chávez, and they discussed aspects such as identity, mission, formation and specific characteristics of the coadjutor.

                                                    As Fr Chávez reported, it was Don Bosco himself who said, referring to the Salesian brothers: "I need you, be many and be men of great virtue." For the Piedmontese saint it was clear that there were many things that the priest could not do, "and that he was not obliged to do," observes Fr Chávez. In fact, it often happens that the priest finds himself doing things that take time away from what is important in the priestly ministry. Even if the Salesian priest, by vocation, is an educator, and therefore "it is inevitable that you meet him among children."

                                                    The difference, however, between the Salesian priest and the Salesian brother is that the latter lives his mission "from a lay perspective": he is a consecrated person who professes the three vows of obedience, poverty and chastity - without becoming a priest.

                                                    This was the personal choice of Jesús Julián García or Pep Alamán, two Salesian coadjutors present at the European Seminar. For Br García the difference, perhaps, is that "they bring Christ to the people and do not wait for the people to come to church to do it", even if, as Br Alamán said, "the charism is the same for everyone; the encounter with the living Christ is realized through the young and in particular those most in need."

                                                    • Spagna
                                                    • Salesiani Coadiutori
                                                    • Don Bosco
                                                    • Pascual Chávez
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Panama - Voices from WYD: first days of Panama2019 in words of protagonists

                                                      3 weeks 6 days ago
                                                      Panama - Voices from WYD: first days of Panama2019 in words of protagonists

                                                      (ANS - Panama City) - Young people from all over the world have arrived in Panama City with plenty of great energy, joy and faith to share. Their purpose is to live the events of the World Youth Day under the maternal mantle of Mary, which carries with it a message of service: "Here I am. I am the Lord's servant; let it be to me according to your Word" (Lk 1,38 ) is the motto of Panama2019. Maria's "yes" has changed the course of history. Young people at WYD are ready to do the same.

                                                      "The experience of being welcomed by simple, cordial and friendly people, always ready to help you, is the hallmark of my stay so far," says Fr Ambrose Pereira, an Indian Salesian who leads a delegation of young people from as far as Papua New Guinea. "Panama has dressed up for the occasion with banners and flags and, above all, with a spirit of contagious joy and happiness."

                                                      It is precisely the young who most fascinate those who meet them on the street. They are smiling, joyful, cheerful and engaging. Many are working as volunteers, and they prepared themselves with great zeal: as did Jenica, a young American woman, who guides the groups of pilgrims to the various moments of the WYD: catechesis, meetings with the Pope, celebrations.

                                                      Others simply pass on their enthusiasm to everyone they meet. Like, Adriana and Juan, both Panamanians, who say to their peers: "Do not lose happiness and the desire to show the world that with Christ we can succeed in whatever goal we set ourselves"; and again: "Under no circumstances must you lose hope, because God always has a plan for each of us."

                                                      While waiting for the great meetings with the Pope, many young people have spent the first days of the WYD visiting the “Vocations Fair” at the Omar Park, deepening the path of discernment on their lives.

                                                      Also the “Park of Forgiveness” is another symbolic place: there are 250 confessionals and young people have formed long queues, despite the heat, to approach the sacrament of Reconciliation. "The search for a serious life of faith is evident," says Fr Pereira.

                                                      The opening Mass of the WYD, Tuesday 22nd, was presided over by Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, OSA, archbishop of Panama. With just a few words, the archbishop summarized the meaning of WYD: "As pilgrims we come to share the personal and living encounter with the Lord, united with young people from around the world who add their wealth of culture, tradition and experience. Let us celebrate the glory of God by professing one faith in many languages, to glorify God through prayer, love, forgiveness and communion with all."

                                                      {gallery}GMG2019 - Apertura{/gallery}

                                                      • Panama
                                                      • Panama2019
                                                      • GMG2019
                                                      • Giovani
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Panama - Pope Francis in Panama2019: "I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church"

                                                        3 weeks 6 days ago
                                                        Photo: © Vatican Media

                                                        (ANS - Panama City) - Pope Francis landed yesterday, January 23rd, at 4:15 pm local time, at Tocumen Airport, Panama, after a journey lasting about 13 hours, on a plane that also carried a large delegation of journalists. On his arrival the Pope was received by the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and his wife; by the Apostolic Nuncio in Panama, mgr. Mirosław Adamczyk, and several other civil and ecclesial authorities.

                                                        Unlike what usually occurs, this time the Holy Father during the flight that brought him to Panama did not just say a few words of greetings, but spoke openly on various topics. Commenting with a journalist on the fact that the walls to stop migrants on the Mexican-US border reach right to the ocean, he said: "It's fear that makes us crazy." "I will go to Japan in November, get ready," he later added regarding future plans.

                                                        According to the news reported by "Vatican News", a journalist gave the Pope a drawing of a young migrant who died at sea and who had tied his report card to his clothes. The Pope was moved to hear this story and said that he will speak on the subject during the return journey.

                                                        Once he reached the airport, Pope Francis broke with protocol and approached the faithful waiting in line. At the age of 80, the Holy Father began the long and arduous program of WYD events. On his Twitter profile, he wrote: "I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church."

                                                        At the WYD, the Successor of Peter will also give priority to the "existential peripheries": as when he will visit the juvenile prison of Pacora and the "House of the Good Samaritan", which hosts young people suffering from HIV.

                                                        Meanwhile, the organizers of WYD2019 have shared some data: participating are 480 bishops, 380 of whom offer catechesis to young people, in 137 centers, and in 25 different languages; 20,000 national volunteers and 2,445 foreign volunteers collaborate in the activities; the countries that gave the greatest contribution in terms of volunteers are: Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Poland; 2,500, finally, are the number of accredited journalists. And according to unofficial sources, GMG2022 may take place in Portugal.

                                                        {gallery}Panama - Arrivo Papa GMG 2019{/gallery}

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

                                                          Panama - Rector Major at Panama2019: "The SYM mustn't entertain young people for a few years. It's about experimenting donation and continuing to give our whole lifetime"

                                                          3 weeks 6 days ago

                                                          (ANS - Panama City) - Yesterday, Wednesday, January 23, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) experienced a day of extreme profundity what with his messages, a day rich in meetings and solid in prayer. Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, shared moments of reflection, celebration and prayer with young people from around the world.

                                                          "Do not be afraid of God" was one of the main messages that the Rector Major and Mother General FMA gave to the Youth Forum of the SYM, an event that was held yesterday morning in the Basilica Don Bosco of Panama. The forum, led by Fr Fabio Attard and Sr. Runita Borja, General Councilors for Youth Ministry of the two Congregations, gathered about 200 young SYM leaders from different countries worldwide to work on common global guidelines in working with young people.

                                                          During the meeting, a group of young people asked the two Superiors General questions. A young Angolan asked the Rector Major. "Could we better take care of the formation of lay people who collaborate with Salesians?"

                                                          Fr Artime's answer opened a panorama of reflection for all the young people of the world: "I believe it is the only possible path. Pope Francis warned that there is a danger in the Church, which is clericalism ... We must know that we all have different vocations, inspired by the Spirit. The Church of the future will have to be less clerical. The only way is to walk together, lay and consecrated, and the testimony will be richer, more credible, more attractive. The Gospel will be more visible. And it is true that we must take paths of formation; it is not enough with good will ... An option for the Gospel is not a question of two or three years ... I can imagine that in ten years you will be witnesses wherever you are. The SYM should not entertain young people for just a few years. It is about experiencing the donation and continuing to give our whole life."

                                                          The forum closed with the Eucharist presided by the Rector Major. Subsequently, in the afternoon, the great SYM party began, which first saw a dense program of songs, dances and activities for around 2,500 young people. Then, in the evening, the Vigil of Eucharistic Adoration began, presided over by Fr Attard. The party ended with the message of the "good night" offered by Fr Á.F. Artime and Mother Reungoat.

                                                          Videos of the Forum and SYM party  are available on Facebook.

                                                          {gallery}Panama - 23 gennaio forum e festa{/gallery}

                                                          • GMG2019
                                                          • Panama2019
                                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                                          • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                          • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                                          • Fabio Attard
                                                          • Pastorale Giovanile
                                                          • Panama
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Panama - Inauguration of pilgrimage center of Blessed Sr. Maria Romero, FMA, in Panama2019

                                                            4 weeks ago
                                                            Panama - Inauguration of pilgrimage center of Blessed Sr. Maria Romero, FMA, in Panama2019

                                                            (ANS - Panama City) - In the temple of Mary Help of Christians of the "Don Bosco Technical Institute" of Panama City, the pilgrimage center of the Blessed Sister Maria Romero Meneses (1902-1977), Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, was inaugurated. She is one of the patrons of the World Youth Day (WYD) 2019. Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the FMA, cut the ribbon to open the doors of the church to the pilgrims of WYD.

                                                            One year ago, a group of religious sisters was founded - Sister Inés Berríos, Sr. Marcela Ortiz, Sr. Celia López, Sr. Carolina Cruz, Sr. Araceli Pereira, Sr. Marianela Solís and Sr. Mayra Biches, as responsible - for the creation of the pilgrimage center. "We want this to be a pilgrimage through the life of the Blessed, so that after leaving the temple the pilgrims can see with the glasses and walk with the shoes of Sister Maria Romero," they said.

                                                            Pilgrims enter through the main door and begin a journey of encounter with the blessed Romero, a woman in love with God: her two loves - Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and Mary Help of Christians – she called her "King" and her "Queen".

                                                            Prilgrims will live the first moment in the Marian shrine through a reflection under the sign of water. The Blessed FMA asked the Virgin for water that healed and it was granted her in the foundation of the "House of the Virgin" in Costa Rica. There are testimonies of people who drank this water with great faith and received physical and spiritual healing. For the pilgrimage center, water was taken from the same source in Costa Rica.

                                                            Continuing the journey, pilgrims reach the central nave of the temple, where there is the dream of the two columns of Don Bosco represented, and where one can reflect on the Salesian dimension. After a meeting with the Blessed Sacrament, the historical route, one arrives at the altar of the relic of the Blessed Sister Romero.

                                                            The center is already open and being visited by pilgrims since, in these days of the WYD, it hosts many young people from the Salesian world.

                                                            The exposed relic was donated by the Archbishop of Panama City, Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa, at the Technical Institute of Don Bosco, and it will remain there for public veneration.

                                                            {gallery}Panama - Centro sr Panama{/gallery}

                                                            • Panama
                                                            • Panama2019
                                                            • GMG2019
                                                            • Maria Romero Meneses
                                                            • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                            • Santità Salesiana
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Panama - The WYD of young indigenous people, before Panama2019

                                                              4 weeks ago
                                                              Panama - The WYD of young indigenous people, before Panama2019

                                                              (ANS - Soloy) - An authentic novelty, as part of the World Youth Day: the one represented by the World Meeting of Indigenous Youth, which was also held in Panama, in the village of Soloy, just before the start of the WYD, on January 17-21. "Go back to the culture of the origins. Take charge of your roots, because from the roots comes the strength that makes you grow," said a video message by Pope Francis to the young indigenous participants.

                                                              The World Meeting of Indigenous Youth, also called "the WYD of young indigenous people", answers to a special sensitivity of Pope Francis, who has dedicated several talks to the indigenous peoples, and has often in his apostolic journeys wanted to meet delegations of the native peoples, and who included the theme of the indigenous peoples among the fundamentals of the Special Synod for the Panamazonic Region to be held in October 2019.

                                                              Approximately 350 young people from 13 different Latin American countries took part in the event.

                                                              On the first day, the program of activities provided a focus on the living memory of the indigent peoples, while the second, on the struggle to maintain harmony with the earth, starting from the richness of cultures and in the light of Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Sì". The last day included a reflection on the importance of the active participation of young indigenous peoples in the construction of another possible world and the concluding Eucharist, presided over by Cardinal José Luis Lacunza, bishop of David, Panama.

                                                              Each day began with a moment of joy through animation, singing, music and dancing and always closed with cultural events prepared by local groups. In the middle, in addition to reflections and discussions, there was always space for prayer expressed in the different cultural identities, pilgrimages, dynamics, concerts and ecological activities.

                                                              "We thought of a pre-Day experience as a 'bridge experience', where young indigenous people could come from their towns and share the good and bad of the societies in which they live," explained one of the organizers.

                                                              "Many see us as crazy, for how we dress, for how we talk ... It's not like that. We simply do not have the same opportunities as people in cities," complains an indigenous young woman.

                                                              In his video message, Pope Francis showed appreciation for the initiative, which shows "the indigenous face of our Church in the WYD environment" and recalls "our commitment to protect our common home and to collaborate in the construction of another possible world, more egalitarian and more humane."

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

                                                                Panama - #WeAreDonBosco: Salesian Missionary Offices' proposal to young people of Panama2019

                                                                4 weeks ago
                                                                Panama - #WeAreDonBosco: Salesian Missionary Offices' proposal to young people of Panama2019

                                                                (ANS - Panama City) - "We Are Don Bosco": this is the motto, translated into various languages, that the Salesian Missionary Offices of the whole world launch on the occasion of the WYD of Panama2019 and in view of the Feast of the Saint of Youth scheduled for January 31st. The thousands of pilgrims from the Salesian areas who have gathered these days in Panama are therefore invited to bear witness to their Salesianity by spreading the message: #WeAreDonBosco.

                                                                There are several reasons that led to this initiative. First of all, the peculiarity of this January, already in itself the "Salesian month", but this year there is also the WYD, which takes place in a country that loves Don Bosco viscerally.

                                                                Then there is the desire for collaboration and unity among the various Salesian Missionary Offices, which is also expressed through messages and common communication projects.

                                                                And then there is the reality of the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) at the WYD. Every WYD, in fact, sees the SYM at the forefront, and when it comes to youth spirituality, joy, solidarity and sharing, always stands at center stage and is, moreover, a model of the worldwide network among the young faithful.

                                                                At WYD it is easy to note the Salesian specificity: the welcome that precedes and accompanies the pilgrims, the formative and spiritual journey that accompanies the official appointments of the "Day", the joy of those who live similar experiences that take place at a distance of a continent away, the hymns to Don Bosco in the different languages and in the different musical styles, the conspicuous numbers of groups, and more.

                                                                The proposal to young people is now simple: to those in Panama, do share your photos and posts using the hashtags#WeAreDonBosco and #IAmSalesian, in addition to the others suggested by the WYD. Thus, the ideal link will be made to all those who belong to the Salesian world. Indeed, this will also allow those who could not go to Panama to feel part of the celebrations.

                                                                With "We Are Don Bosco" we want to spread the message that Don Bosco is still alive today: in the 30,000 religious men and women serving the most needy young people, following his model and his style; in the 3 million people who have gone through Salesian training programs; in the 5,500 Salesian schools in the world, in the 330 shelters for young people in difficulty, in the 1,100 vocational training centers …

                                                                Further information is available at www.missionidonbosco.org and at http://salesianmissions.org/wyd. From the latter, it is possible to download, in English and Spanish, a specific prayer for the young people of WYD to request the intercession of Don Bosco.

                                                                • Panama2019
                                                                • Panama
                                                                • GMG2019
                                                                • Procure Missionarie
                                                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Panama - Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, arrives in Panama2019

                                                                  4 weeks 1 day ago
                                                                  Panama - Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, arrives in Panama2019

                                                                  (ANS - Panama City) - Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, arrived yesterday, Monday, January 21st, at the Basilica of Don Bosco in Panama to accompany the youth who will participate in the World Youth Day (WYD) and the world festival of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM).

                                                                  As early as two o'clock in the afternoon the Salesian delegations were present in the courtyard of the Basilica of Don Bosco to receive the Rector Major. During the wait there reigned an oratorian party atmosphere, with the young people busy singing, dancing, joking, telling each other their  experiences, spontaneously making new friends.

                                                                  Then, at 6:15 pm, amid applauses, ovations and songs, Fr Á.F. Artime made his way through the young people crowded together to take a selfie with him or to give a welcome hug to the Successor of Don Bosco. In a natural and spontaneous fashion, some space gave way, bounded by the flags of different countries, for the encounter. At the end of the route one could glimpse the exact replica of the "Becchi" house - Don Bosco's birthplace - built at the Salesian center, the "Valdocco of America".

                                                                  Fr Rómulo Gallegos, SDB, Director of the House, welcomed the Rector Major and thanked him for his visit. The Superior of the Salesian Congregation greeted all those present, spoke of his long journey and expressed his joy and happiness in finding himself among the young.

                                                                  "We want to make a journey of fidelity to the Lord. I am the first who wants to continue to learn to be truly faithful to Jesus, and to do it with you, my dear young people, is a wonderful gift. We shall have time to share and to greet each other before meeting the Pope and the young people of the world," said Fr Á.F. Artime before an audience of boys and girls from all over the world who listened to him with attention and admiration.

                                                                  Tomorrow, January 23rd, the Rector Major, together with the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, will give a message to all the young people of the Salesian community present at WYD, as part of the worldwide celebration of the SYM.

                                                                  After the WYD, the Rector Major will remain in Panama to celebrate Don Bosco's triduum and the great feast of 31 January together with the Panamanian community, which in Don Bosco celebrates its patron saint.

                                                                  • Panama2019
                                                                  • Panama
                                                                  • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                  • GMG2019
                                                                  • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Palestine - One million rosaries from the Holy Land to WYD of Panama2019

                                                                    4 weeks 1 day ago
                                                                    Palestine - One million rosaries from the Holy Land to WYD of Panama2019

                                                                    (ANS - Bethlehem) - Panama2019's World Youth Day (WYD) has already begun. In the Latin American country, one million rosaries have arrived from Bethlehem, which the Holy Father will give to the young people who have gathered for this great event, scheduled from today, 22 January, to Sunday 27. "This initiative is essential because, on the one hand, it stimulates prayer and, on the other, it helps support our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land," said the archbishop of Panama, mgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, underlining the importance of this project.

                                                                    The rosaries were made of olive wood in the city of birth of Jesus, and they traveled 12,000 kilometers to reach Panama. They are part of the "AVE GMG" project, inspired by the appeal of Pope Francis to pray for peace in the world. The initiative was born from the Swiss association "Saint Jean-Marie Vianney" of Lausanne and "Caritas Jerusalem", led by the bishop emeritus of Reykjavik, Iceland, Msgr. Pierre Bürcher.

                                                                    The Pontifical Foundation "Aid to the Church in Need" (ACS) contributed to the project with a donation of 100 thousand euros for the creation of the small wreaths. "A gift already in itself precious," comments the director of ACS Italia, Alessandro Monteduro, "which is made even more special by the fact that the rosaries were made by the Christian craftsmen of Bethlehem."

                                                                    There are over 350,000 Christians who have abandoned Bethlehem since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. A hemorrhage that is closely linked to economic difficulties and the high rate of unemployment among Christians.

                                                                    The approximately 200 families of Bethlehem who have worked for months to make one million rosaries for WYD will be supported for a whole year. "They are grateful for the support received, but above all they are happy to know that hundreds of thousands of young people in Panama will pray for peace, reciting the Rosary with the wreaths they have made," continues Monteduro.

                                                                    "Here I am, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me what you have said" (Lk 1:38) is the motto of Panama2019, and represents the first Marian theme motto of a WYD.

                                                                    "The Virgin Mary is the mother of all: this is why the young are called to trust Her, because She is the queen of peace and if we do the will of the Lord all men, women and young people of good will, we can gradually create peace, starting from our hearts, starting from Jerusalem," said Msgr. Bürcher.

                                                                    WYD has involved many people in the devotion to the Holy Rosary. This is the case of female inmates of the "Cecilia Orillac de Chiari" Women's Rehabilitation Center in Panama, 60 of whom made ring rosaries and other religious objects to be offered to young people during the WYD.

                                                                    • Palestina
                                                                    • Preghiera
                                                                    • GMG2019
                                                                    • Panama
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Brazil - "Missionary Action" brings Salesian youth to meet one's neighbour

                                                                      4 weeks 1 day ago

                                                                      (ANS - São Paulo- From 6 to 13 January, as was tradition among the young people in Salesian circles, another edition of "Missionary Action" took place, a project carried out by the Youth Ministry of the "Mary Help of Christians" Province of Brazil - São Paulo  (BSP) through the Missionary Animation Service.

                                                                      by Anderson Bueno

                                                                      This year, 2019, the parishes that welcomed the young missionaries were those of "Santa Teresinha", in Araraquaraquara, the parish of "Nossa Senhora da Conceição", in Cunha; the parish of "São Francisco", in Monte Verde-MG; the parish of "Nossa Senhora Aparecida", in Santa Izabel; the parish "Sagrada Família" and the Pastoral Area of "São Sebastião", in Itaim Paulista, São Paulo.

                                                                      Missionary Action always takes place in January, because it is a month of holidays for young people, and is led by young people of the "Missionary Action Groups" (GAM) of Salesian houses scattered throughout the State of São Paulo. During the week, young people interact with the community by reciting the luminous rosary, participating in the celebrations, making visits and blessings to the houses and also organizing workshops for children, young people and adults.

                                                                      The fulfillment of a missionary project like this also affects the life of the parishes that welcome it. It gives courage to the pastoral workers, brings people close together, brings the parish into contact with people and families who until then had not attended the parish community, and offers strong moments of fraternity and spirituality.

                                                                      "It is foolish for strangers to see you leave the comfort of your home to go to an unknown place to speak of Jesus. But, as St. Paul says in the First Letter to the Corinthians: The word of the Cross is in fact folly for those who go into perdition, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God," says the missionary Mariana Borges Rezende, 22, of the GAM of Sorocaba.

                                                                      Because of the similarity, Missionary Action is sometimes confused with the Mission Week, which is held in July. The proposals are similar, but the young people taking part in the January event are already more mature in their faith by participating in the GAM and their local communities. In July, the Missionary Week allows, in many cases, young people in social works and schools to have their first contact with a missionary project that leads them to go to others.

                                                                      In both cases, these are worthy projects that do good for both those who work as missionaries, and for the communities that receive them.

                                                                      {gallery}BSP - Azione missionaria{/gallery}

                                                                      • Brasile
                                                                      • BSP
                                                                      • Missioni
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Italy - Feast of Salesian Family of Lazio, amidst holiness and extraordinary generosity

                                                                        4 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                        Italy - Feast of Salesian Family of Lazio, amidst holiness and extraordinary generosity

                                                                        (ANS - Rome) - The Feast of the Salesian Family of Lazio, celebrated yesterday, Sunday, January 20, at the "Don Bosco Theater" of Cinecittà in Rome, saw a large number of participants rediscover, thanks to the theater, the figure of the Saint of Youth. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, also intervened, calling attention to the possibility of holiness for all and a gesture of extraordinary generosity.

                                                                        by Aurelio Marinelli, SDB

                                                                        The nuclei of the festive afternoon was the show that Laura Curino and Simone Derai presented, a tale narrating the intelligence and the spirit able to transform extraordinary men into "social saints", in the Piedmont of the 19th century.

                                                                        Also present at the feast was Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, who thanked the theatrical company for having shown the reality of the Salesian charism born at the Pinardi home.

                                                                        "The trail of Piedmontese holiness," said Fr Á.F. Artime, "found in Valdocco a fertile soil, which made great figures of holiness directly or indirectly linked to our Family flourish."

                                                                        The Rector Major then said that a few days after Christmas, greetings from Uganda arrived from a Salesian of the Salesian headquarters who'd visited two presences of the Congregation among the poorest youth, one in Palabek, which hosts about 42 thousand refugees.

                                                                        "A year ago, on the feast day of Don Bosco," the Rector Major continued, "we opened a presence with a small community. Without houses, without church, in the middle of the refugee camp, with the people of the camp. I received from this confrere two envelopes with offers for me, with the commitment to donate them to the needy young people. I felt a great emotion: they, the poorest of the poor, who put aside a small amount of money for people in need like them. I wanted to tell you this because it is precisely the story that today, through this representation, you have told all of us. This is a sign of Don Bosco who wants to remind us that the human heart is the most precious and generous reality that exists in the world."

                                                                        Fr Artime greeted those present, saying that the next morning he would be leaving for Panama to participate in the WYD and the great events planned for the feast of Don Bosco.

                                                                        {gallery}ICC - Santa Impresa ex post{/gallery}

                                                                        • Italia
                                                                        • ICC
                                                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                        • Uganda
                                                                        • Palabek
                                                                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Panama - World youth festival begins with volunteers with a Salesian heart: Panama 2019

                                                                          4 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                          Panama - World youth festival begins with volunteers with a Salesian heart: Panama 2019

                                                                          (ANS - Panama City) - Just a few hours to go before the World Youth Day (WYD) of Panama 2019 begins, an event prepared with a highly precise organization. The Salesians were the first to take up this challenge. And in the spirit of service, driven by the love of God, thousands of people, from the youngest to the oldest, have decided to be part of the organization of the greatest event of the Catholic Church, to be witnesses of God's love.

                                                                          Ever since Pope Francis announced the WYD of Panama 2019, Panamanians and foreigners have not hesitated to give their support in its preparation, with the objective that young people all over the world live an experience of a true encounter with Jesus.

                                                                          At the Basilica of Don Bosco in Panama there are 234 people who have accepted the call to service, dividing themselves into commissions: accommodation, transport, ecology, administration, logistics, catechesis, health, technical support and communication. Volunteers prepare themselves on an organizational and spiritual level, receiving formation and training, subdivided into four modules: general information of the WYD, history of the Panamanian Church, service and civilization.

                                                                          Fpr its part, the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Panama (ITDB) hosts 1,100 pilgrims from Salesian circles. The first of these pilgrims began to arrive as early as last Friday, January 18, all greeted with a warm welcome, ovations, songs and applause. "Having the house full of these young people is a dream come true. We have been preparing for your arrival for a long time, with joy and enthusiasm. We want you to feel at home!," said Fr Alex Figueroa, Director of ITDB, during Sunday Mass celebrated specifically for the young.

                                                                          "Being here is beautiful. It does not matter if we come from different countries. We are all 'Salesians' and this is enough to be friends, to be a family. Panama welcomed us with great affection and joy," said Marco Andino, Coordinator of the Honduran delegation.

                                                                          The Salesian News Agency (ANS) has sent a team to Panama to follow the event. Timely information on WYD, the meetings of the Holy Father, the appointments of the Rector Major with the SYM and Salesian activities will be published on the news website, on the agency's Facebook page (which will host live broadcasts) and on other social networks. Photos will be uploaded to ANSFlickr.

                                                                          For general information on WYD: https://panama2019.pa/en/home/ 

                                                                          To see what has been achieved since Pope Francis announced the Panama WYD 2019: https://www.flickr.com/photos/panama2019/page1 

                                                                          "To place oneself at the service of others," said the Holy Father in his message to the young people participating in WYD 2019, "does not just mean being ready for action; we must also engage in dialogue with God, in an attitude of listening, as Mary did."

                                                                          {gallery}Panama - Volontari e arrivi{/gallery}

                                                                          • Panama
                                                                          • CAM
                                                                          • GMG2019
                                                                          • Pastorale Giovanile
                                                                          • Volontariato
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            RMG – 2019: a missionary year!

                                                                            4 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                            RMG – 2019: a missionary year!

                                                                            (ANS - Rome) - 2019 marks the centenary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter "Maximum illud", with which Pope Benedict XV sought to give new impetus to the missionary task of proclaiming the Gospel. This is why Pope Francis has called the "Extraordinary Missionary Month" this coming October. In this perspective, the traditional Salesian Mission Day (SMD) 2019 takes on a particular meaning.

                                                                            The Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud called for transcending national boundaries and bearing witness, with prophetic spirit and evangelical boldness, to God’s saving will through the Church’s universal mission. May the approaching centenary of that Letter serve as an incentive to combat the recurring temptation lurking beneath every form of ecclesial introversion, self-referential retreat into comfort zones, pastoral pessimism and sterile nostalgia for the past. Instead, may we be open to the joyful newness of the Gospel," Pope Francis wrote in announcing the proclamation of the extraordinary missionary month.

                                                                            The official website of the Extraordinary Missionary Month is available on the web: http://www.october2019.va/it.html.

                                                                            Meanwhile, the Sector for Salesian Missions has already broadcast the motto of the Salesian Missionary Day 2019, officially launched on the day of the Epiphany: "Without knowing it, they have welcomed angels" (Hebrews 13: 2).

                                                                            Like every year, the SMD explores a specific theme, in a given continental reality. This year the choice fell on the "First Announcement among refugees and displaced persons in Africa".

                                                                            Along with the motto, the first resources for the animation of the SMD are already being shared. The poster and the card with the prayer are on their way to the provinces around he globe and in February more material for animation and videos will be available in the six most spoken languages in the Congregation.

                                                                            The poster presents two girls, where one welcomes the other. It is a symbol of the value of African hospitality, Africa that welcomes Africa. "The greatest migration of our time is the intra-African one, where millions of people are forced to travel," the Missions Sector explains.

                                                                            In the background one can see the realities of refugee camps and settlements; pastoral and educational activities, especially in vocational training; and the Salesians who are present with refugees and displaced persons, sharing their lives.

                                                                            "The theme focuses our attention on the challenge of this frontier full of young people, who await the friendship of Salesians, their oratories, schools, vocational training ... and the Good News of Jesus. But the theme," says the Sector for Salesian Missions, "is also an opportunity to live and promote the evangelical virtue of hospitality, that capacity to welcome, to open our homes, our hands, our hearts to others, especially those who find themselves most in need. In doing so, we welcome angels, the same Lord."

                                                                            • RMG
                                                                            • Missioni
                                                                            • Giornata Missionaria Salesiana
                                                                            • Giornata Missionaria Mondiale
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              RMG – The Rector Major’s “goodnight”: “We are convinced that our mission is to be with the most needy young people”

                                                                              1 month ago
                                                                              RMG – The Rector Major’s “goodnight”: “We are convinced that our mission is to be with the most needy young people”

                                                                              (ANS – Rome) – “As is customary, I have the opportunity to give you a ‘good night’, for two reasons: to tell you about the work of the Winter Plenary Session of the General Council, and to thank you for the work that you do for the good of the Salesian Congregation around the world.” These were Fr Ángel Fernández Artime’s words as Rector Major on the evening of 17 January at the conclusion of the General Council’s work.

                                                                              Four Provincials were appointed during this session: Fr Choi Wonchol, South Korea (KOR), Fr Tadeusz Jarecki for Warsaw, Poland (PLE), Fr Ignacio Ocampo Uribe for Guadalajara, Mexico (MEM),and Fr Daniel Federspiel, reconfirmed as Provincial of France-Belgium South.

                                                                              Five Vice-provincials were also appointed, one Provincial Economer, 20 Provincial Councillors, 45 Rectors and three Novice Masters. At the same time 9 extraordinary Visitations carried out by General Council members on behalf of the Rector Major in the preceding months were studied: Thailand (THA), Slovenia (SLO), India-Hyderabad (INH), Bolivia (BOL), Argentina South (ARS), Mexico-Guadalajara (MEG), Chile (CIL), English-speaking West Africa (AFW) and Slovakia (SLK).

                                                                              The Rector Major also said that “at the moment we do not know exactly how many we are in the Salesian Congregation because many young people are making their religious profession in the coming months, but we can say that we are a Congregation increasing in numbers. At the moment there are 14,489 SDBs, and I can state” the Rector Major continued  “that ours is the Congregation with the largest number of novices.”

                                                                              “One of the topics that gives us great hope is the numbers” the Rector Major concluded. On 31 December 2018 there were 2,060 newly professed, and this is reason for hope. We need to thank God for this gift. We are convinced that our mission is to be with the most needy young people, and we need to be very attentive to houses of formation and formators. This can make the difference in the coming six years in order to continue growth in vocations, while still guaranteeing the ongoing formation of every Salesian.”

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

                                                                                Dominican Republic – Youth Going Forth, a missionary Church

                                                                                1 month ago
                                                                                Dominican Republic – Youth Going Forth, a missionary Church

                                                                                (ANS – Santo Domingo) – “Jóvenes en Salida” (Youth Going Forth) is a program thought up to remind young people of their commitment as baptised lay people and to sensitise them to being missionaries and disciples of the Lord and to live out this responsibility in community, and indeed in Salesian Missionary Communities.

                                                                                Through learning projects carried out over two years, those taking part in the ‘Youth Going Forth’ program will gain the ability to carry out effective community tasks aimed at solidarity and holistic promotion of the community in which they are working; at the same time they will be accompanied in their activities of evangelisation and promotion in their communities of origin.

                                                                                Those taking part in the project are young adults who are or have been involved in community leadership tasks in Salesian works; once formed through the “Young Peopl going Forth” program they will be ready to become members of Salesian Missionary Communities – communities of young people intending to respond to God’s call to a missionary vocation ad gentes: “go out to all the world and proclaim the Good News to all of creation.”

                                                                                One of the addresses given at the Youth Going Forth program is “Epiphany Going Forth”, an initiative meant to develop supportive commitment among the youth, allowing them to mature in their choice of community life and lay involvement.

                                                                                This initiative, after due preparation, will be put into action at the Feast of the Epiphany in January next, and is meant to be a real “epiphany” (a “manifestation”, “revelation”) of God’s love for our neighbour.

                                                                                “We would like to be the manifestation of the love that was revealed, became flesh, took on our human history with all its consequences”, say those responsible for the initiative, also quoting John’s Letter (1 Jn 4:8) which reminds us that “God is love” and that love is God’s characteristic attribute, as well as being his most attractive one.

                                                                                The formation process of Youth Going Forth sees that the experience of the learning project in service to others is framed within the notion of “Supportive Commitment” and involves awareness of the place for mission (communities on the periphery) and approach to people and existing social structures. This way the young people have a practical experience of being sensitive to the needs of their neighbour, to responsibility, solidarity, commitment and proclamation of the Gospel.

                                                                                {gallery}ANT - Giovani in uscita 2019{/gallery}

                                                                                • ANT
                                                                                • Repubblica Dominicana
                                                                                • Missioni
                                                                                • Volontariato
                                                                                • Laici
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana