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United States – New Rochelle Province still at work despite COVID-19

1 month 1 week ago
Carmen Lopez de Linero, manager of the program, keeps an inventory of those who visit the food service at the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester, New York.

(ANS - New Rochelle) – The Don Bosco Community Center, one of only a few food pantries in the Village of Port Chester, is providing an average of 230 meals a day to support persons who can’t otherwise shop because of the statewide order for persons to stay in place and the closure of local businesses.

Fr. Patrick Angelucci, pastor of St. John Bosco Parish, said, “God is sending us people who need food. I met with the Salesian community, and we made a decision to take $10,000 out of our community savings to help the soup kitchen in this crisis.”

The extra demand on the program is costing about $2,000 a week above what it normally costs to run the program throughout the year. “In this crisis, God is sending these persons to Don Bosco, and Don Bosco would never turn his back on a person in such need,” explains Fr. Pat.

Carmen Lopez de Linero, a volunteer, oversees the operation of the food pantry and organizes the distribution of food, which begins each weekday at 11:30 A.M. She is assisted by a team of volunteers who sort food, cook, prepare food packages, and deliver food to persons unable to visit the pantry.

Normally, individuals would be able to come into the dining room for a cooked meal. The social distancing requirements have changed their operation to take-out service. The number of people coming for assistance has increased over the last four weeks.

In addition to the food program, St. John Bosco Parish provides awareness of prevention measures, home delivery of food, making and distributing masks, online counselling, online classes, transport of the sick to hospitals, and resources for accommodation of the sick or homeless.

Salesians throughout the province, in the United States and Canada, are doing their best to help those affected by the coronavirus. Eight communities out of sixteen are offering social services. Several offer online learning or live streaming of religious services. All six high schools in the province offer a full day of classes using distance learning programs. Over 1,400 families benefit from the food programs offered across the province. All are practicing the safety protocols of distancing and staying in place, while making these efforts to support others.

At the provincial house in New Rochelle, the Salesians placed bright LED bulbs in each window of the tower as a sign of support to health care workers, first responders, and those providing essential services.

{gallery}SUE - Banco alimentare 2020{/gallery}

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

    Spain – "Essentials should not be a luxury": food and soap to fight coronavirus in Africa and the Americas

    1 month 1 week ago

    (ANS - Madrid) - The medical emergency generated by Covid-19 has put the world on high alert. Madrid's "Misiones Salesianas" and the Spanish Salesian NGO "Jóvenes y Desarrollo" (JyD) have so far sent more than 200,000 euros to 12 countries in America and Africa to fight the pandemic: Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

    Everyone, albeit in different ways, is affected by the coronavirus and everyone is concerned with serving the most vulnerable population. Everywhere there are multitudes of people who have lost their fear of coronavirus and have started to go to help poor families, the elderly and people in need. Nobody has remained calm and at home. Everyone has started working and contributing part of their time. This is why the words of Pope Francis become so current: "The world must face the pandemic united, it is not the time for selfishness."

    In many countries of the world, it is not only essential foods that are lacking, but also resources for hygiene care. The harsh reality of the coronavirus in Latin America and Africa is summed up in one sentence: "We are hungry!" There are millions of people who cannot meet their primary needs. Mandatory confinement makes families unable to earn an income and to buy food, just as prices are rising. In these countries, and in 122 others, the Salesians have continued to work, bringing a "grain" of solidarity.

    Access to water and hygiene products is very difficult: "A bar of soap, clean water and a plate of food every day are a luxury for many families around the world," explains Fr José Antonio San Martín, head of "Misiones Salesianas". For this reason, its organization, with "JyD" and many other Salesian entities, are working to bring food to those who need it most and to distribute hygiene products, because the lack of food and soap facilitates contagion.

    To date, more than 200,000 euros have been sent to 12 countries in America and Africa to combat coronavirus.

    Children, migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons, families with scarce resources are always a priority for the Salesians, but at the moment they are even more so. For this reason, "Misiones Salesianas" with the support of "JyD" launched the campaign: "The essential should not be a luxury."

    Providing basic food products and hygiene products to thousands of people who cannot access them is the goal that the two Salesian organizations have set themselves, so that hunger does not feed the coronavirus and hygiene can prevent its spread.

    Source: Misiones Salesianas

    {gallery}Misiones Salesianas - 24 aprile 2020{/gallery}

    • Misiones Salesianas
    • Spagna
    • Solidarietà
    • Coronavirus
      Gian Francesco Romano

      The Philippines – Don Bosco is present in the hearts of his Magone Boys

      1 month 1 week ago
      The Philippines – Don Bosco is present in the hearts of his Magone Boys

      (ANS – Cebu City) – In 1854, fear envelops Turin, Italy, because of countless lives lost and still no effective means of immunization from the contagious disease. Businesses are closed and the streets are empty. People are running away while some people are dying alone deserted by their relatives. But Don Bosco seems to show no fear. Or, maybe he is... but is willing to be on their aid for he trusts God and the intercession of the Blessed Mother. This drive prompts the boys to volunteer in bringing aid to the victims.

      This scene in Turin during the cholera outbreak is familiar in our time today, including the experience of pain and hope. Still, Don Bosco continues to be alive in the hearts of his boys in Magone Home Aftercare Program (MHAP). His example of courage is the aspiration of his boys in sharing this hope to others. The boys in the Magone Home may not be able to go out and help but the face shields they make give the front-liners a feel of their presence. Mr. Abby Banuag, the Psychological Services Supervisor and Magone Home Team Lead Coordinator shares, “It is hopeful to see that the young individuals of Magone Home Aftercare Program who used to have infractions against the law gave their own contribution to let their support be felt by our front-liners who are battling for our safety against the COVID 19 virus.”

      The boys share the joy they have received from helping others. It gives them a unique feeling when they hear people say that they have helped doctors, nurses and especially the police. They recalled how the police use to catch them because of their ill doings but now they are helping them. One boy has said that he used to think only of himself and doing mischievous acts. Now, he has learned how to help others and see it as the beginning of his change.

      The boys enjoy what they are doing. Even though they have stopped their regular activities and have focused on making the face shields, they fully understand that they will learn more out of this experience. When they heard that many doctors fell ill and died, they have become more determined to help. They know that what they are doing will help protect them. Ms. Balet Artes, the Magone Home Social Worker, shares, “They proudly share to their parents how they are helping the front-liners. This has a great impact on them specially as former CICL, to show to the community that they can do something. They enjoyed it!”

      Bro. Louie Domasian, SDB, the Magone Home Director, adds, “Amidst the worries and fears that they have with this pandemic that might cause on them and their families they are happy and proud to be give the chance to do something even if they are inside.”

      On April 10, 2020 (Good Friday), the boys together with the Rector, Fr. Roneldo R. Vilbar, were praying the Way of the Cross within the compound of Don Bosco Liloan. For quite some time that they have been observing lockdown inside. No one is permitted to just casually come in like the parents of the boys, visitors, and others. The Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) and the Magone Helping Team ensure their safety while facing this crisis. However, they cannot avoid worrying about the condition of their families: whether they have something to eat, or if they have acquired the virus. All of these, they offered during the Way of the Cross. They also offered this to the families and to those individuals who are inside their individual homes, and most of all, to all front-liners who do not have much rest while battling against the current problem. Truly, Don Bosco is present in the hearts of his boys as they give hope and receive hope.

      Source: AustraLasia

      • FIS FILIPPINE SUD
      • Filippine
      • Giovani a Rischio
      • Coronavirus
      • Solidarietà
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Guatemala – Between coronaviruses and social risks, Salesians hopeful: "the Lord will surely provide"

        1 month 1 week ago

        (ANS - San Benito Petén) - “The situation is quite complicated at the moment, but we also trust in God because there are signs of hope.” With a gaze to Heaven and one at their people, Fr Giampiero de Nardi, a Salesian missionary in Guatemala, has not lost heart: fortunately the country is controlling the coronavirus. The reported cases are few compared with other situations and other regions: for now there are 342, with 10 victims. In any case, the level of attention cannot certainly be lowered, especially as regards the risk that the blockade of productive activities may cause social tensions.

        The President of the Republic is a doctor, why he immediately took very drastic measures to avoid propagation: curfew from 4 in the afternoon to 4 in the morning, closing of borders, transport, blocking of recreational, recreational, religious and cultural activities. And he had five new hospitals built to treat only Covid-19 patients so that they would not mix with people in other hospitals.

        The biggest problem is the blocking of work-related activities. “This is creating a very serious economic downturn. Here most of the people work illegally and sporadically. They have no savings. So soon serious problems will begin: people will be hungry ... And that they may start attacking shops is very possible,” declares Fr de Nardi. In fact, the police have already gone to the Salesians to ask them to help them keep the population calm.

        Meanwhile, while the President has promised economic vouchers and food crates to poor families, the spiritual children of Don Bosco have also been very busy:

        1. On Saturday 18 April, they filled 62 bags of food, thanks to donations received from the capital and from the NGO "Canadian Food for Children";
        2. Next month the payment of the second part of the scholarships given by "Don Bosco Missions" in Turin will be granted before initially scheduled, normally consigned in August. Beneficiaries will likely have to use them to buy food.
        3. The migrant's house is closed, although the flow of migrants has not stopped.
        4. Unfortunately, the clinic is temporarily closed by decision of the government. Only the clinic's pharmacy remains open.
        5. The house construction project has been stopped, not being able to build at the moment; however, 12 houses had already been completed before the blockade.

        Economically, it is hard even for the Salesians, who are drawing on the few resources saved over the years to pay the workers active in the parish, “It seems dutiful to me to ensure a certain stability to these people who work for us. The government has given the opportunity to terminate contracts, but it cannot be our style. We'll see... as long as we can ... Then the Lord will certainly provide. He has never abandoned us and I don't think He will do so at this moment,” concludes the Salesian.

        More information on: missionepeten.altervista.org 

        • Guatemala
        • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
        • Coronavirus
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Chile – "The Church has already embarked on this path of pastoral creativity": Salesian works united in solidarity initiatives

          1 month 1 week ago

          (ANS - Santiago) - Although the number of people infected and killed by Covid-19 in Chile is not so alarming, the situation is, however, critical. The Salesians of Don Bosco, with works and services throughout the country, together with the laity, have carried out a series of solidarity actions to tackle this pandemic.

          From Iquique to Punta Arenas, the Salesian schools, parishes and shrines have responded to the Provincial's call for solidarity, Fr Carlo Lira informing his confreres of the initiative at the provincial level to make the works available to the authorities of the Ministry of Health.

          A few weeks ago, the Provincial had announced the possibility of offering Salesian works for the care of the sick and the most needy and had made available the house for Spiritual Exercises in Lo Cañas, the Macul Institute and the retreat house in Quilpué.

          Currently the Salesians of all the works have made available all their knowledge and pastoral proposals.

          The Salesians of Iquique have made available material to support the psychological well-being of adults and those who take care of children and young people, the online liturgical celebrations, a program of films for families in time of quarantine, the creation of platforms and e-mail for online lessons and a proposal to send gospel messages through YouTube.

          The Salesian School of Copiapó offers Mass to its students through Facebook, will provide Internet access to 50 students of the school who do not have access from their homes, while parents have prepared about 50 food baskets for those in difficulty. The schools have carried out many activities so as not to leave their students alone and that they may continue learning.

          The Salesian parishes also organize activities to maintain contact with the faithful. Activities include animation and virtual communication, accompaniment of lay people responsible for parochial coordination, chapels and basic ecclesial communities, providing guidelines and materials for personal and liturgical formation. The Eucharist is offered online, a moment of Eucharistic adoration on Thursday. The parish priests, with due health precautions, go out to give the sacraments to the sick.

          At this point it is worth reflecting on what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI outlined for the future and what we are experiencing today as a Church. "Besides traditional and perennially valid pastoral methods, the Church seeks to adopt new ones, developing new language attuned to the different world cultures, proposing the truth of Christ with an attitude of dialogue and friendship rooted in God who is Love.  In various parts of the world, the Church has already set out on this path of pastoral creativity." (Mass for the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops - October 28, 2012). 

          gallery}Cile - 23 aprile 2020{/gallery}

          • Cile
          • Solidarietà
          • Pastorale
          • Coronavirus
          • CIL CILE
            Gian Francesco Romano

            India – All India Salesians continue COVID-19 Relief Outreach

            1 month 1 week ago
            Photo: Mumbai

            (ANS – Mumbai) – Around all India, the Salesians of Don Bosco are responding to the needs of the poor, migrant workers and homeless youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Salesians are mobilizing in their communities to assess needs and find avenues for support.

            “Don Bosco Development Society” (DBDS), the Mumbai Salesians' PDO [Province Planning and Development Office] had initiated COVID-19 relief outreach, thanks to its funding partners, facilitating the provision of essential food, hygiene, and toiletries to 10,000 individuals from impoverished underprivileged backgrounds in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai assisted by the Mahanagar Gas Ltd. In the cities of Vadodara and Pune too, relief outreach is underway, thanks to financial aid from Mix-for-Kids Germany and Manos Unidas Spain.

            Likewise, DBDS has distributed relief aid to 150 stranded migrant labourers in CBD Belapur. This outreach in Mumbai city and in Navi Mumbai has been possible thanks to financial assistance from the Mahanagar Gas Ltd. under the MGL Disha Project.

            Father Rolvin D'Mello Executive Director DBDS says, “The primary beneficiaries of this relief work are widows, senior citizens without family/children, migrant labourers, the physically incapacitated, and homeless destitute people. All the norms and directives as required by the civic administration are being strictly complied with in this process. This is a very difficult task, given the lockdown situation. My sincere thanks to Mahanagar Gas Ltd., Mix-for-Kids Germany and Manos Unidas Spain for their large-hearted and timely financial assistance.”

            Moreover, resources for 600 free online courses and mental health services are among the services provided to those struggling with employment or mental health issues, services offered by the Archdiocesan Labour Commission of Mumbai in India.

            The “Konkan Development Society” (KDS), the PDO of the Salesian Province of Panjim (INP), is doing its utmost to reach out to deprived and stranded individuals and families in Kudal-Maharashtra, Sankeshwar-Karnataka and across Goa. KDS in collaboration with its Childline Office reached out with food and other essentials like rice, wheat flour, cooking oil, lentils, sugar, soya chunks, soaps, onions and potatoes to stranded people in Tiswadi, Bardez, Salcete, and Mormugao Talukas of the Goa state. 

            KDS Director Father Francis Silveira said, “the generous contributions of our benefactors were the backbone for the successful carrying out of the outreach programme to the most remote and isolated places.”

            Asst. Director KDS Father Lawrence Monteiro added: “As of 15 April 2020, around 2,900 needy families and individuals benefited from the outreach organized by KDS.

            Meanwhile, at Yercaud, in the Tiruchy Salesian Province (INT), Coronavirus itself seems to have a very low spread, but the number of people suffering from hunger and misery is unimaginable. In Shevaroy HIlls, the people living around Yercaud town are worst affected as they are all dependent on the tourism industry (auto/taxi drivers, small shops, hotel/restaurant workers, daily-waged construction workers).

            For this reason, the "COVID-19 Lockdown Relief" of the Salesian "Retreat" work in Yercaud is still operative. On 16th and 17th April, the entire team and the Young Salesians were busy identifying the families by field visits and through phone calls to Oratory leaders by the young Salesians. It was a list with 225 FAMILIES for GROCERY BAGS. Then, the Montfort Community, under the leadership of Brother Dominic Savio, extended its huge support to collaborate and reach out to the poor together. And with the support of other donors, the Salesian Volunteers reach out to people in 15 Villages. As of 17 April, the Salesian crew in Yercaud has completed around 800 HOUSEHOLDS in 37 VILLAGES, reaching out to circa 35,000 people.

            {gallery}India - Tre Ispettorie 2020{/gallery} 

            • India
            • INT INDIA TIRUCHY
            • INB INDIA MUMBAY
            • INP INDIA PANJIM
            • Coronavirus
            • Solidarietà
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Peru – "Works are love and not good reasons": being charitable means finding Jesus in the poor

              1 month 1 week ago
              Photo: Ayacucho

              (ANS - Lima) - There is a saying that repeats itself everywhere and returns in circumstances such as the one we are experiencing: "Works are love and not good reasons". In this pandemic period, people have become supportive. Examples abound. Young people are losing fear and looking for a way to help. Doctors, nurses, policemen, people who work in garbage collection are the heroes of our time. But we cannot forget those who continue to build hope every day in the midst of this difficult situation that many families are experiencing. Salesians from all over Peru do charity work for the most needy because "works are love".

              In Lima, the capital, with more than 10 million inhabitants, where the main roads are never empty, neither day or night, everything looks like a desert today. The Salesians serve in those areas where need makes young people break the law. A piece of bone can be part of a soup for over 80 kids. In fact, a past pupil donated a large amount of bones to prepare soups.

              In Rímac, Lima's oldest area, at the foot of the imposing hill where poverty becomes manifest and where the Salesians are also present, the Don Bosco Foundation's "Emergency Team" is active with the young Salesians of the Rímac house. "I didn't know, nor did I imagine that so many people lived on this hill," said a surprised Mr. Miguel. This is why "the famous cachangas" are prepared with flour and water, put in a pan with a little oil. "And there, on the hill, very close to the sky, we eat bread with them," he adds.

              In the Port of Callao, where life is a miracle and where drug trafficking and use, organized crime and prostitution abound, the Salesians have not forgotten the poor. In the so-called "Barrio Frigorifico", with the support of the mothers of the area, they registered the most vulnerable families - Venezuelan migrants, the elderly, children under 13 years - and gave them bags of food to survive for a few days.

              In Ayacucho, the city of 33 churches, "the cradle of Liberty in America", the Director of the Salesian house, Fr Domingo Yanqui, and the Salesian past pupils, are doing what they have learned in Salesian classrooms: to be supportive, to work in solidarity. They put on masks and gloves and "bring sacks of food to families who have put a white cloth outside the house, as a sign that they have children and have nothing more to eat," says Alberto, a Salesian past pupil.

              If "works are love and not good reasons", nothing could be done if the Salesians of today and yesterday had not impregnated the hearts of the people, not only of solidarity, but above all of "charity": because "to be charitable is to find Jesus himself in the poor ", as Pope Francis says.

              {gallery}Peru - solidarieta - La COVID-19 - 2020{/gallery}

              • Perù
              • PER PERÙ
              • Solidarietà
              • Coronavirus
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Democratic Republic of the Congo – Prevention and solidarity in recovery center for children at risk in Bakanja

                1 month 1 week ago
                Democratic Republic of the Congo – Prevention and solidarity in recovery center for children at risk in Bakanja

                (Lubumbashi) - Currently, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the coronavirus does not seem to have broadly affected the country: 165 confirmed cases, with six victims, mostly in the Kinshasa area. But considering the health system, prevention is the main weapon: if an outbreak arises, the risk of a massacre would be high. “And Africa would not be Africa without all its traditions of witchcraft, the search for culprits …,” comments Fr Eric Meert, a Belgian Salesian missionary active at the Bakanja Salesian center, just outside Lubumbashi. The commitment of the Sons of Don Bosco thus focuses on providing information and taking care of the children most at risk.

                Lubumbashi, the country's second largest city, has yet to register any cases. But since 19 March several preventive measures have been imposed there too. Which, however, are not well seen by everyone, because restrictions to some appear to be a worse remedy than the evil itself, especially for those who live off odd jobs or the informal economy: “Even if we must implement security measures, we must still let people work. So all men and women have to go out and get something to eat. If there are no coronavirus cases and we are asked to stay home, how will we live?” says an inhabitant of Lubumbashi.

                “For our part,” continues Fr Meert, “we try to sensitize and protect young people and children as much as possible, teaching them how to protect themselves and the educators.”

                For the young people currently staying in Bakanja-Ville, the Salesians have made efforts to make the restrictions more attractive: “We have proposed a new way of greeting each other: with one's feet or elbows. Guaranteed fun!,” says the Salesian.

                And while the importance of washing hands regularly was also explained to the children, two volunteers from the center are sewing masks for all the young and the educators. A final measure being undertaken is the daily cleaning of the center: the rooms are disinfected every day with a chlorinated solution.

                The thought of the Sons of Don Bosco, however, also goes to those young people who still live on the street. Not being able to welcome them at Bakanja, in order to not endanger the other boys at risk, the Salesians made several patrols around the city. Fr Meert continues: “We talk for half an hour with each group we meet and make sure they repeat all the elements to pay attention to in order to prevent infections. We have indicated a hospital to them that will be able to receive them in case of problems, since many are used to coming to us for treatment.”

                Their model - Don Bosco, who during the cholera epidemic in Turin had deployed his boys in the streets to help the sick, so too the Salesians also have in mind a program of distribution of food and soap for needy young people. “We would not be Salesians if we did not take example from Don Bosco,” concludes the missionary.

                • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
                • Rep Dem del Congo
                • Coronavirus
                • Bambini di Strada
                • Giovani a Rischio
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Portugal – Meeting of SYM at WYD 2023 (SYMinWYD) to have "one more year of intense work, prayer"

                  1 month 1 week ago

                  (ANS - Lisbon) - The decision to postpone World Youth Day (WYD) was made public on Monday, April 20, by the Holy Father and the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life. The cardinal patriarch of Lisbon, Msgr. Manuel Clemente, said that this extra year of preparation will serve to prepare for this great youth event even better and, for now, to focus efforts on the battle against Covid-19.

                  The Portuguese team responsible for the animation and participation of the young Salesians in this WYD 2023 event received this news with calm and ease, ready to double their efforts in preparation for what shall thus be an extra year of intense work and prayer.

                  The participation of young Salesians from all over the world in this mega-meeting will take place within the framework of the organization "SYMinWYD" (Salesian Youth Movement on World Youth Day) which, in addition to the proposal to participate as pilgrims to the WYDs, will transmit a markedly Salesian character to them.

                  The young people, coming from Salesian houses all over the world, will be hosted in the Portuguese presences of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and shall be guided and accompanied by young people from the Salesian Youth Movement of Portugal with various activities specially prepared for them. Among these, the SYM Forum, which will bring together animators from dozens of countries and, as the most awaited moment, the SYM Festival, which will gather thousands of young people for an afternoon and an evening of Salesian-style celebrations: activities in the courtyard, playgrounds, with lots of entertainment, music and choreography, moments of prayer and the typical "Salesian goodnight".

                  At this moment the coordination of Salesian participation in WYD is finalizing the work plan and invitations for the different teams that will collaborate in this beautiful, demanding and huge meeting. As the Provincial of the Salesians of Portugal, Fr José Aníbal Mendonça, said in a recent communication sent to the members of this team, "SYMinWYD's brain and heart are already in full swing, so that everything goes smoothly."

                  João Fialho 

                  • POR PORTOGALLO
                  • Portogallo
                  • Vaticano
                  • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                  • GMG
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Italy – Civil Service with Salesians, 67 projects restart: 753 volunteers return to community service

                    1 month 1 week ago
                    Italy – Civil Service with Salesians, 67 projects restart: 753 volunteers return to community service

                    (ANS - Rome) - "Salesians for Social APS" has reactivated 67 projects of the Universal Civil Service which had been suspended due to the COVID-19 health crisis; thus, about 80% of the total activities have resumed; 753 voluntary operators (78% of the total) have re-started their activities in 198 project locations (62% of the total).

                    Among these volunteers are also those who, initially, had chosen to carry out their civil service abroad: having to return to Italy for the health emergency, they still wanted to continue by converting their activities in Italy. Their peculiar choice was also underlined by Vincenzo Spadafora, Minister of Youth Policies and Sports.

                    There were also circumstances where reactivation was not possible (75 locations for 27 projects). These are young people who have suspended their service at the moment, but work is underway to reactivate the projects as soon as possible.

                    The activities that the operators will carry out will – in part - change: in some cases it will take place “remotely” (290 volunteers), therefore directly from their home; in other cases, the volunteer works at the project's original site or in another place thanks to agreements or twinnings (88 operators) with local bodies and organizations engaged in the fight against the health emergency (Caritas, Dioceses, parishes in the area, public bodies, non-profit organization).

                    These are the activities in which the volunteers resuming service will be involved:
                    • support to municipalities and/or municipal operating centers: 11 volunteers in 4 locations
                    • support for the elderly and frail subjects: 82 volunteers in 29 locations
                    • social assistance: 72 volunteers in 19 locations
                    • support to the school system: 230 volunteers in 48 locations
                    • support for foreigners: 20 volunteers in 6 locations
                    • digital literacy: 14 volunteers in 2 locations
                    • institutional communication activities: 6 volunteers in 4 locations
                    • creation of educational or cultural projects: 186 volunteers in 58 locations
                    • flow management at accessible places: 5 volunteers in 2 locations
                    • light welfare: 24 volunteers in 5 locations
                    • support for food solidarity activities: 74 volunteers in 17 locations
                    • donation management: 29 volunteers in 4 locations

                    “We are satisfied with the restarting of the Universal Civil Service projects,” says Fr Roberto Dal Molin, president of Salesians for the Social APS, “because we strongly believe in the educative values of this experience which acquire greater strength in a moment of social emergency like this. Our young know the value of their activities well and have made themselves available for the good of all, primarily for a service to our country. We are sure that they will be of great help in the places where the Universal Civil Service will start again with that energy and enthusiasm typical of young people,” concludes Fr Dal Molin.

                    • Italia
                    • Salesiani per il Sociale APS
                    • Volontariato
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Brazil – Rest in peace, Fr Georg Lachnitt, true Salesian, friend of the Indigenous

                      1 month 1 week ago
                      Brazil – Rest in peace, Fr Georg Lachnitt, true Salesian, friend of the Indigenous

                      (ANS - Campo Grande) - Yesterday, Monday 20 April, at 1.45 pm, Fr Georg Lachnitt, SDB, left for the Father's house, at 81 years of age, after 62 years of religious life and 52 years of priesthood. “Father Lachnitt was a great Salesian, a zealous priest and a missionary in love with the cause of the Indigenous, to whom he dedicated his life. He was faithful to the Church and the Congregation. We praise God for this,” they say from the Provincial House of Brazil-Campo Grande (BCG).

                      Fr Lachnitt was born in Markrode, in German Silesia, on April 3, 1939, while Europe was on the eve of World War II. He spent all his childhood suffering the horrors of this scourge and with all his family he also experienced the anguish of deportation and the consequences of a Germany devastated by world conflict. In September 1953, he entered the Salesian aspirantate in Burghausen, southern Germany, where he completed his fundamental studies. He did his novitiate in Ensdorf, Germany, and at the age of 19, he left as a missionary for Brazil, being assigned to the Campo Grande Province. In 1958, while still in the novitiate, he decided to become a missionary together with Fr Rudolf Lunkenbein, today recognized Servant of God.

                      At the beginning of his life and work in Brazil, he lent service in formation houses, being an excellent pianist. In obedience to the then Provincial, Fr Geraldo Pompeo, he then began to work with the indigenous people of Sangradouro. In this activity, he distinguished himself for having written several books on the Xavante language and culture, producing the first translation of the Roman Missal into the Xavante language.

                      He organized the Indigenous Documentation Center of the Province and participated in conferences and seminars in Brazil and abroad. He worked on the organization and management of formation courses for pastoral workers of the Xavante ethnic group. He continued to work until the end of last year, stopping only to take care of his health which quickly deteriorated at the beginning of the year.

                      Until 2019, he had coordinated the Nucleus of Indigenous Projects and Research of the Don Bosco Catholic University (UCDB).

                      “He spoke of a world and traditions that were not his by nature, but which, once taken on, became almost a second habitat for him. He had a history suffered from birth ... But in his life he cultivated a happy soul and dedicated himself to those he had chosen and whom he had been called to love,” testifies Br. José Gillianno, SDB.

                      “He was still working on the research of materials and testimonies on the martyrs Fr Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo. Rest in peace, our great missionary, liturgist and friend on the journey with the indigenous peoples,” concludes Sister Silde Coldebela, of the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master.

                      • Brasile
                      • BCG BRASILE CAMPO GRANDE
                      • Indigeni
                      • Decessi
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Poland – Krakow Salesians in the time of COVID-19: spirituality and support for the sick

                        1 month 1 week ago
                        Poland – Krakow Salesians in the time of COVID-19: spirituality and support for the sick

                        (ANS - Krakow) - The situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has also forced many Salesians from the Poland-Krakow Province (PLS) to change their working style, to seek new ways to reach the most needy with the Gospel.

                        The Internet has become a platform for evangelization through which various meetings, conferences, retreats, broadcast of Masses, celebrations and adorations are being held. Two groups are currently active in the Theological Studentate: "Ziemia Boga" (Land of God) which constitutes a proposal addressing children and students; and the "Młodzi Światu" (SWM), the Salesian Missionary Volunteer Service. Every day, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary prayer of the Salesian community are broadcast online. Once a week, both groups, via video conference, have their meetings.

                        But the Salesians do not limit themselves to virtual or online activities only; they have also taken up other concrete initiatives. Twelve spiritual sons of Don Bosco, responding to the request of the city authorities, began their volunteering in one of the social care homes where people with chronic mental illnesses are housed. In this situation in which the house staff is in short supply, the service rendered by the Salesians is of great help: even the simple daily tasks related to cleaning and disinfection are crucial for the good health of the home's patients, who for their condition are especially vulnerable.

                        Also, every day, following the appeal of the archbishop of Krakow and President of the Polish Bishops' Conference, Msgr. Stanisław Gądecki, the Salesians unite in the prayer of the Rosary and in the singing of the Supplications to the whole Church. “It is a gesture of solidarity with the suffering because of the pandemic,” the Provincial Center emphasizes.

                        And on the subject of sacraments, the number of Masses celebrated has also increased, so that as many people as possible can benefit from participating in the Eucharist, albeit at a distance, in compliance with health restrictions. In addition, some shifts have been organized as regards the confessional, and there is also the possibility of confessions after making an appointment over the phone.

                        “Christianity means, above all, to bring hope to those who live in despair. The Risen Christ came to His disciples through a closed door, so that the message of Divine Love may arrive in all possible ways," conclude the Salesians of Krakow.

                        Maciej Sokalski SDB

                        {gallery}Polonia - PLS iniziative COVID-19 - 2020{/gallery}

                        • Polonia
                        • PLS POLONIA KRAKÓW
                        • Coronavirus
                        • Solidarietà
                        • Spiritualità
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Argentina – Young protagonists of solidarity: "Cultivating and bearing witness to hope, generosity and solidarity"

                          1 month 1 week ago

                          (ANS - Cordoba) - As Fr George Menamparampil, SDB, World Coordinator of the Covid-19 Emergency of the Salesian Congregation, wrote a few days ago: “The needs are enormous, but miracles are visible.” One of the great miracles of this time is the awakening of thousands of people, especially young people who have lost their fear of the virus to go to help the poor, people in difficulty, families with children, the elderly who have locked themselves up because of their fear of the virus. As Pope Francis says: “Here we cry and suffer. We can only get out of this situation together, as a united humanity.” The Salesians in Argentina, as in many countries, contribute with their presence and activity.

                          Faced with an unexpected scenario, the Salesian House "San José" of Rosario de Santa Fe had to look for new ways to meet those in need, thus becoming one of the many Salesian works that in the Province of Northern Argentina, as in all the world, are putting into practice the commandment of love described in the Gospel. It has opened its doors and made available its resources, its technology, its knowledge, to show solidarity with the most affected people.

                          In the Casa Oratorio, in Santiago del Estero, the young volunteers focus on families who depend on what they earn every day, doing small jobs or working on the street, in informal and precarious work situations. Using the contributions received from various institutions, boxes with food and educational materials were prepared for the families of the most vulnerable boys and girls who attend the center.

                          In the Salesian house dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, Cordoba, the role of young people is central. The youths of the Salesian Youth Movement accompany families on a daily basis. The animators intensify the virtual accompaniment of the children and young people of the San Vicente and Müller neighborhoods. At the same time, they started to "weave networks" with institutions to get to know the situation of the locals and young people went to give needy families bags of food and cleaning products.

                          In the Don Bosco house in San Nicolás, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement collected food and cleaning products to be distributed to families in three of the city's poor neighborhoods. “We all agreed that we couldn't just stand back and watch such a situation, and so we decided to start the campaign,” said one of the committed youngsters.

                          In an interview, Pope Francis urged young people “to cultivate and bear witness to the hope, generosity and solidarity that we all need in this difficult time.” This is what the young people who have put aside the fear of the virus and have thrown themselves into solidarity are doing.

                          {gallery}ARN - Opere solidali 2020{/gallery}

                          • ARN ARGENTINA NORD
                          • Argentina
                          • Solidarietà
                          • Coronavirus
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Great Britain – SDB Provincial welcomes you to GBR new website

                            1 month 1 week ago
                            Great Britain – SDB Provincial welcomes you to GBR new website

                            (ANS – London) – “I am delighted to be able to welcome you to the new website of the Salesian Province of Great Britain incorporating the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) the Salesian Co-operators and the various groups within the Salesian Family”  This is Fr Gerry Briody SDB, Provincial of Salesians of Don Bosco GBR - Province of St Thomas of Canterbury.

                            We wish this website – www.salesians.org.uk/ – not simply to be a purveyor of good news but an online centre to aid the promulgation of the Salesian charism, in its many distinct expressions and the promotion of Salesian Spirituality both in its active dimension, through the pedagogy of youth ministry, catechesis and education, and in its contemplative dimension, through the promotion of spiritual exercises (points of retreat) and personal and collective reflection and prayer.

                            As people well versed in the Salesian charismatic tradition, we should not be reticent in sharing our wide experience of Don Bosco's preventive system as our way of approaching young people in many and varied settings. Don Bosco's approach works in both formal and non-formal as well as in religious and secular settings; it operates across cultures and languages and the very different political contexts we find in our modern world; it functions in every continent and in the vast majority of the poorest countries, offering young people hope.

                            At its heart is the figure of Christ the Good Shephard, who reaches out to those who are lost, making the first move in offering the hand of friendship and trust.

                            Similarly we can be confident, through exploring and sharing the richness of St Francis de Sales, St Mary Domenica Mazzarello, St Dominic Savio and St John Bosco himself, in offering our Salesian Spirituality as a way of contemplation and discernment in the midst of the demands of modern daily living.

                            The experience of livestreaming the Easter Triduum has reminded us that there is a deep thirst for community prayer and worship and a need for regular spiritual nourishment in our lives. The world wide web has an important role to play in meeting these needs. It is important that we have a visible presence.

                            The Salesian charism, the identity badge of Salesian Family, is able to meet the needs set out above with innovation, adaptation and a vital and life-giving energy.

                            This website is a starting point on the journey of deepening our knowledge and realisation of our Salesian identity.

                            My hope is that it will become the first port of call, not simply for Salesian news, but for those who are interested in deepening their personal spirituality and knowledge of Don Bosco.

                            Two hundred years after his birth, his mission to encourage his Salesians to be young with the young, and to form them as good Christians and honest citizens, able to contribute to the building up of the Church and of society, is as relevant as it ever has been.

                            Let us pray that this website may play an ever-increasing role in furthering the worldwide Salesian mission that the young might know that they are loved.

                            • GBR GRAN BRETAGNA
                            • Sito
                            • Ispettori
                            • Gran Bretagna
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Czech Republic – Don Bosco Youth Centre is closer to the young people as never before

                              1 month 1 week ago
                              Czech Republic – Don Bosco Youth Centre is closer to the young people as never before

                              (ANS – Pardubice) – “The current crisis helps me learn how to get oriented in a new situation and face it, so that our work with other people was good. (…) I am deeply moved by people’s togetherness. They are calling us and offering face masks. This situation showed how humane we can be. I hope this crisis will bring something positive to the world. I hope that we will take time to think about our lives and its meaning and I genuinely hope that this situation will change everyone positively.”  This is Fr Václav Čunek, SDB, from Salesian Youth Centre in the Czech Republic, Pardubice.

                              “The current crisis,” he goes on, “also influenced the team of the Center Don Bosco. They work from home and communicate through videoconference. During one call one of my colleagues said: ‘I have to admit that I miss you. Those online calls are not the same.’ That was a pleasant surprise. I realised that despite our flaws, we love and miss each other. Now we are happy to see each other at least through the videoconference and talk or do long-distance praying. This situation did create something good. Something we wouldn’t have experienced if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 epidemic.”  

                              Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Czech Republic issued an extraordinary regulation: since the March 11th, all schools and Salesian Youth Centers are closed; free movement is prohibited since March 16th (except for work and necessary things like grocery and medicine shopping or visiting a doctor); since March 19th, all people in public spaces have to wear face masks or cover their respiratory tract otherwise.

                              The Salesian Youth Centre provides social services and support even during the times of this crisis. Their employees work with clients from home and communicate through cell phones, e-mails, Facebook and so on. They are in contact with approximately 80 clients. Ms Anežka Jeníková is the leader of direct work and coordinates social workers of the Salesian Youth Center. With her colleagues, she helps youngsters in institutional care and foster care to start an independent grown-up life and find their place in society. Normally their contact is personal and long-distance but these days the personal contact isn’t possible.

                              “Our ways of helping and supporting youngsters have changed a lot. We are trying to keep as much long-distance contact as possible and we discuss the current situation with them. We ask them what it means for them and what impact does it have on their lives,” says Anežka Jeníková and adds: “We are building a relationship of cooperation and trust with them on a long-term basis. We are offering them a long-term accompaniment on their way to an independent life and also afterwards. The current situation is also part of life. They are young people who often don’t have a safe and supporting environment. And we are here to provide it. There are many ways of communication these days which allow us to work on a long-distance basis and our youngsters now need encouragement and practical help more than ever.”

                              Ms Anežka Jeníková explains with what things she helps the youngsters: “With some clients, we discuss a fear of the uncertainty, future and whether life will ever come back to normal. (…) I also have older clients, like mothers with whom I discuss what to do with their kids when they live in the city center and right next to their house is a playground but kids can only watch it from the window because the police would send them away. It’s just those everyday practical things that we are wondering about seeking other options.”

                              Anežka Jenížková also says what opportunities she sees in this crisis: “The current situation reminds me that even in these conditions we are able to keep the connection with youngsters and be their anchor. It also provides an opportunity to open topics from other parts of life. Besides the human support and practical help, in some of the conversations, we also discuss topics like the meaning of life and its finiteness. That is very valuable because under normal circumstances we wouldn’t really get to topics like this.”

                              Fr Čunek, SDB, currently communicates with the youngsters via cell phone, e-mail, chat and extraordinarily also in person, when they urgently need food, material or social aid. The Youth Center determined several sanitary measures, thanks to which, under special circumstances, it's possible. Clients in institutional care have trouble with managing their school responsibilities or boredom and isolation. On the other hand, those who already live independently face fear, loss of income, work or loneliness. “The long-distance contact is necessary. Without it, we would lose connection with the clients. Nowadays I feel the need to write and call them more than ever.”

                              {gallery}CEP - Pardubice 2020{/gallery}

                              • Rep Ceca
                              • CEP REPUBBLICA CECA
                              • Coronavirus
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                India – Appreciation of Governor of Telangana for services of Bosco Seva Kendra

                                1 month 1 week ago
                                India – Appreciation of Governor of Telangana for services of Bosco Seva Kendra

                                (ANS - Hyderabad) - The "Bosco Seva Kendra" (BSK), the Planning and Development Office of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad (INH), has made extensive efforts to provide food and health care to migrant families from other Indian states and districts that are in great difficulty due to the Covid-19 pandemic. BSK also collaborated with the "Greater Hyderabad Muncipal Corporation", (GHMC), the Hyderabad municipal authority, providing protective masks, especially in the Serilingampally and Kukkatpally areas. GHMC expressed their appreciation for all the services offered in this period to counter the spread of Covid-19.

                                The work offered by the Salesian body was also noted by the Secretariat of the Governor of the State of Telangana. Deputy Raghu Prasad, secretary of the Governor of Telangana, learned about the services offered by Salesian organizations through social networks: reading a tweet by Rashanthi Vangeepuram, Vice Commissioner of GHMC.

                                Subsequently, Fr Bellamkonda Sudhakar, BSK Executive Director - together with Fr Sarath, his assistant, and Fr Gnanapraksam, Director of the Don Bosco Navajeevan Laboratory and Rehabilitation Center (DBNJ) in Ramanthapur - was sent to participate in the food distribution campaign organized by the Honorable Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana. In return, the Hyderabad "Don Bosco Network" delivered 2,500 masks sewn by DBNJ students to the Governor.

                                The Governor wished to express a heartfelt thanks to the Salesian organizations for the relief works carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic.

                                At the same time, the BSK expressed gratitude to both the Governor's Secretariat for promoting collaboration and the GHMC Vice Commissioner for facilitating the meeting with the Governor.

                                • India
                                • INH INDIA HYDERABAD
                                • Coronavirus
                                • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  RMG - Biographical note regarding Bishop Giuseppe Cognata (1885-1972), S.D.B., Bishop of Bova and Founder of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart

                                  1 month 2 weeks ago
                                  RMG - Biographical note regarding Bishop Giuseppe Cognata (1885-1972), S.D.B., Bishop of Bova and Founder of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart

                                  (ANS – Rome)Childhood and youth Born at Agrigento on 14 October 1885 of Vitale and Rosa Montana, he showed a great wealth of human gifts and talents since childhood.

                                  As a twelve-year-old he entered the 'San Basilio' Salesian college in Randazzo (Catania), Don Bosco's first work in Sicily, ready to accept the call to religious and apostolic life among the Salesians; a vocation strongly opposed by his father and grandfather, with its trials and long and painful struggles, but crowned with joyful success.

                                  Salesian: priest – teacher – apostle

                                  On 5 May 1908, cleric Giuseppe Cognata made his perpetual profession at San Gregorio di Catania, into the hands of the then Rector Major, (and today Blessed) Fr Michael Rua, and the following year, on 29 August 1909, he received his priestly ordination in Acireale.

                                  He had graduated brilliantly in both Literature and Philosophy and then went to young people not only as a teacher and assistant, but also as a zealous priest, carrying out his mission at Bronte in Sicily, at Este in Veneto, and at Le Marche in Macerata.

                                  Rector

                                  The First World War saw Fr Cognata, the soldier, in Palermo, Trapani, Padua. And it was in Trapani that he laid the first foundations of the Salesian Work which he was called to direct a few years later. He was Rector of a number of works, but even more the director of souls. From Trapani he was called to lead the college at Randazzo (Catania), then the college at Gualdo Tadino in Umbria and finally he became Rector of "Sacro Cuore" (Sacred Heart) in Rome.

                                  Bishop and Founder

                                  In the Consistory on 16 March 1933, Pius XI appointed Fr Giuseppe Cognata as Bishop of Bova, a particularly poor and disadvantaged diocese of Calabria. He received his episcopal ordination the following 23 April in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Rome, from the Salesian Cardinal (today Venerable) Augusto Hlond, Metropolitan Archbishop of Gniezno and Poznań, co-consecrators being the Salesian Bishop of Sutri and Nepi, Luigi Maria Olivares, also Venerable, and Bishop Romolo Genuardi, auxiliary bishop of Palermo.

                                  Along steep paths and mule tracks, Bishop Cognata – who had chosen the Pauline expression “Caritas Christi urget nos” as his episcopal motto – sought to visit and comfort not only all the small villages of the diocese, but also groups of poor families scattered here and there in the most remote and inaccessible places.

                                  He gave life to a pious society of generous young women willing to work with courage and joy in the smallest, lost, and most abandoned centres. Thus the Congregation of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart was born on 8 December 1933.

                                  In silence and solitude

                                  In 1939, an infernal storm raged against the Founder and his Institution. On 20 December 1939, the Congregation of the Holy Office, on the basis of false accusations, unjustly condemned Bishop Cognata to dismissal from his episcopal dignity. He then went far away, living for long years in silence and solitude, separated from his spiritual daughters. He was welcomed into the Salesian houses in Trent and Rovereto until 1952 and then at Castello di Godego (Treviso) until 1972, carrying out an assiduous and appreciated ministry as confessor and spiritual guide.

                                  Per Crucem ad lucem

                                  The Cross is hope, the certainty of resurrection and life. In Easter 1962, Bishop Giuseppe Cognata was reintegrated into the Episcopate by Pope John XXIII. Thus, by the will of Pope Paul VI, he participated in the second, third and fourth sessions of the Second Vatican Council. On 6 August 1963, he was appointed titular bishop of Farsalo. On 29 January 1972, he had the joy of seeing his Institute recognised by the Holy See with the “Decretum Laudis” or “Decree of Praise”. He died on 22 July 1972 in Pellaro (Reggio Calabria), the initial headquarters of the missionary activity of the Salesian Oblates.

                                  His remains lie at rest in the General House of the Oblate Sisters in Tivoli.

                                  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                  • Salesiane Oblate del Sacro Cuore
                                  • Giuseppe Cognata
                                    Jesus Jurado

                                    RMG - Official announcement by the Rector Major Cause of Beatification and Canonisation of Bishop Giuseppe Cognata

                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                    RMG - Official announcement by the Rector  Major Cause of Beatification and Canonisation of Bishop Giuseppe Cognata

                                    (ANS - Roma) - Herewith the official Press Release whereby the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, announces that Pope Francis, in relation to the request presented by the Group of Catholic Jurists, authorizes the opening of the Cause of Beatification of Mons. Giuseppe Cognata, S.D.B., Bishop of Bova and Founder of the Salesian Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

                                    Rome 18 April 2020

                                    Official announcement by the Rector  Major

                                    Cause of Beatification and Canonisation of Bishop Giuseppe Cognata (1885-1972), S.D.B., Bishop of Bova, Founder of the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart

                                                The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, rejoices in announcing, in the exultation of Easter and on the Feast of the Divine Mercy, that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has itself announced in a letter dated 15 April 2020 to the Salesian Postulator General (Prot. VAR. 8579/20), Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, and signed by Bishop Marcello Bartolucci, Secretary of the aforesaid Congregation, that: “I am happy to inform you that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its Letter No. Prot. 911/1935-AS265-74579 on 17 February of this current year has communicated to this Dicastery that the Holy Father ‘upon careful and thoughtful examination, has given his august consent to the requests of religious and laity who have petitioned for the opening of the Cause of Beatification of Bishop Giuseppe Cognata, S.D.B., Bishop of Bova’”.

                                                It remains our duty to thank the Holy Father most sincerely for his conviction and commitment to a choice, as thoughtful as it is transparent in the specific nature of the form followed, which reintegrates the values of truth and justice in their fullness.

                                                These thanks must be extended first of all to the Group of Catholic Jurists for the essential and decisive role they played, and to all those who at different times and in different ways have made possible this extraordinary event so long awaited by the whole Salesian Family, in particular by the Salesian Oblates of the Sacred Heart, and by the whole ecclesial community.

                                    Official announcement

                                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Giuseppe Cognata
                                      Jesus Jurado

                                      Guatemala – "Campur rejuvenece": promising dream to benefit hundreds of young people and families

                                      1 month 2 weeks ago

                                      (ANS - Carchá) - San Pedro Carchá - so named in honor of its patron, the apostle Peter - is a municipality in the Alta Verapaz Department in the northern region of Guatemala, where the Salesians first arrived in 1935. Carchá and Chisec are small cities that act as reference poles of a population of circa 270,000 inhabitants, the great majority of the Qeqchí ethnic group, distributed in 433 rural communities. Campur is a Salesian missionary area where works of transformation of the Salesian community have begun which will benefit these small towns.

                                      The Salesian missionaries from Carchá went to Campur, 50 km away, to receive a direct report on the progress of the restructuring of the Salesian presence.

                                      The delegation was received by Fr Anton De Groot, responsible for the impressive work in progress. The team working on this project is made up of the chief engineer, bricklayers and thirty young students from the Don Bosco Center in Carchá. They all accompanied the missionaries in their inspection, explaining what has been done so far and what has been planned.

                                      First of all, there was a deep cleaning action of the grounds to remove weeds and old trees, fence the ground and demolish the crumbling buildings.

                                      The Salesian house itself is acquiring a new use as a parish office and rooms.

                                      Other steps are forthcoming: the raising of the church roof, the replacement of benches with chairs and the reconstruction of the large meeting room. To all this a system for the storage of rainwater is being added.

                                      “In the not too distant future, we're thinking of renting or buying land nearby that has an aquifer. And as a promising dream: the construction of a Don Bosco Center near the church,” say those in charge.

                                      This whole complex project requires a great deal of money. The houses of the Province provide precious monetary resources. The villages, about a hundred, are showing impressive generosity in the face of their poverty. The Don Bosco Center itself provides work to its students who are doing their practical training in masonry, electricity, etc. And yet from its scarce resources it also manages to make generous economic contributions.

                                      Parallel to this enormous construction effort, the "Qeqchí Ministry" is being revitalized with a reorganization and animation of its numerous local leaders and committees.

                                      The soul, mind and heart of this transformative drive is Fr De Groot, who with intelligence, experience and foresight promotes both the structural work and the "Qeqchí Ministry".

                                      • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                                      • Guatemala
                                      • Missioni
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        India – “Solidarity Viral”: COVID 19 Relief Campaign

                                        1 month 2 weeks ago
                                        India – “Solidarity Viral”: COVID 19 Relief Campaign

                                        (ANS – New Delhi) – The Tsunami of the COVID-19 pandemic that has literally been sweeping across the world in the past 3-4 months, affecting millions of people, taking away lives, livelihoods and economies, has also reached India. In response, the Don Bosco Network-South Asia has launched “Solidarity Viral”, a COVID-19 relief campaign to address this enormous emergency holistically.

                                        The campaign addresses different aspects of the situation: prevention of the viral infection to the extent possible; sustenance of the most vulnerable people during lockdowns and loss of livelihoods; and promotion of productivity and livelihood in the changed, emerging scenarios. The essence of the campaign is Solidarity— across the world, societies and classes and the main vehicle of solidarity is viral giving of ourselves and resources. The campaign and its logo have been adopted by the international Salesian family to represent all the COVID-19 relief work across the globe.

                                        Don Bosco Network, through its 11 province networks, began COVID-19 relief activities across India, just before the nation-wide lockdown began on 25 March 2020. The emergency prompted swift action through video conferences coordinated by Bosconet, appropriate responses from its partners on the ground, the Planning and Development offices of the 12 SDB provinces of the South Asian region.

                                        Initial preventive interventions included creating awareness about physical distancing, staying indoors, wearing masks, frequent sanitizing/washing, maintaining cleanliness and healthy diets. Since face masks are generally scarce and out of reach for the vulnerable people, Don Bosco partners began to manufacture masks for free distribution. Volunteering their services, the youth from Young-at-Risk centers in INH prepared 11,000 while the women of self-help groups in INK prepared 61,145 masks. ING produced 10,000 masks and INH also distributed 5,000 bottles of sanitiser. 372 medical kits and 1,100 sanitary kits containing soaps, sanitisers, sanitary pads, masks and pamphlets were also distributed to people in need.

                                        The abrupt announcement of the national lockdown led to large-scale distress among vulnerable groups such as migrants, daily wage workers, the poor on the streets, and senior citizens without support, who were suddenly bereft of their livelihood, faced still with living expenses and amenities. Widespread panic resulted with migrant rural labourers opting to walk home instead of starving in cities, jeopardizing their own health and increasing the risk of COVID-19 contagion in semi-urban and rural India.

                                        The Don Bosco Network swung into action, distributing nutrition kits containing a week’s supply of rice, wheat flour, lentils, oil, biscuits, etc. for a family. Families of 14,036 migrants, 1,100 daily wage earners, 380 elderly people, 16,783 others, 74 transgender persons, and 200 Sri Lankan refugees were supported with nutrition kits. Across places, cooked meals are provided to 2,684 people daily. The Don Bosco Network sourced 50,000 kgs of wheat flour and 20,000 kgs of lentils from Zomato Internet Pvt. Ltd. for distribution to people in need. Don Bosco institution premises were offered as quarantine facilities in Kerala. Despite the challenge of maintaining physical distances in overcrowded places in India, the Don Bosco COVID-19 relief workers are careful about prescribed safety protocols during their work.

                                        In desperate situations, people either rise to the occasion or fall short of it. We are witness to the heroism of countless people globally, led by medical caregivers who despite being infected and exhausted, come back on duty to help their patients. In India and elsewhere, we see ordinary folk simply do their bit to help their neighbours and strangers in need. We see the Don Bosco Network – South Asia respond like it always does in such emergencies, reaching out with effective speed to people most in need. Alert and ready, because we know the global war against COVID-19 is not yet won. In India, it’s just begun.     

                                        Cheryl Bartholomeusz - Bosconet

                                        • India
                                        • Asia Sud
                                        • Solidarietà
                                        • Coronavirus
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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