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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

India – Tragic accident involves a Salesian school community

1 month ago
India – Tragic accident involves a Salesian school community

(ANS – Ahmednagar) – Yesterday, Thursday, 17 January 2019, Fr James Tuscano, four staff and 44 students of DB Savedi, Ahmednagar, were returning from Vasai by bus. Around 7 pm, the bus met with an accident and rammed into a pick-up vehicle. Mr Arun Jadhav, a senior teacher of the School, the driver of the pick-up and the cleaner of the bus have died.

Last night, one staff and 32 students returned to Ahmednagar. Fr Tuscano, two staff members, and 12 students had some injuries; they were taken to close-by hospitals for treatment and observation. This morning, they, too, are returning to Ahmednagar.

“We pray for the repose of the deceased, and for the complete recovery of the injured” has said Fr Vinod Mascarenhas, SDB, Provincial Secretary on India-Mumbai province (INB).

  • India
  • INB
  • Disastri
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – “Ricerche Storiche Salesiane” no. 71

    1 month ago
    RMG – “Ricerche Storiche Salesiane” no. 71

    (ANS – Roma) – Number 71 of “Ricerche Storiche Salesiane” (RSS), the July-December 2018 edition, has just been published. This is the Journal of religious and civil history published by the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS).

    The STUDIES (Studi) section has the following contributions:

    Understanding the mission of the Church in the letters of Bishop Giuseppe Fagnano”, by Antonio Scudero. This essay analyses Fr Fagnano’s correspondence with Don Bosco, Fr Rua, Bishop Cagliero and other Salesians. The letters show the development and crises in Fr Fagnano’s missionary activity, as well as the maturing of pastoral awareness that lay behind an extraordinary activity due to his dedication, spirit of sacrifice and understanding of the circumstances of the indigenous peoples.

    “Salesians in Italy during the First World War” is a study by Francesco Motto. This conflict, which disrupted the daily lives of millions of European families, had a very strong impact also on the 2,000 or more Salesians in Italy, who at a time of serious emergency remained faithful to their charism as educators and at the same time did not fail to show that they were religious, citizens, Christians and patriots.

    The third contribution is by Thomas Anchunkandam on the subject of “Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore: history and significance of the opening of the first Salesian Institute in the Archdiocese of Bangalore.” This number of the RSS offers the first of three parts to this study and examines both the reason for the enthusiasm of the Salesians in having a presence in Bangalore,  and the reasons for the failure of earlier attempts.

    The SOURCES (Fonti) section presents the text:

    “Regulations for the Immaculate Conception Sodality approved by Don Bosco on 9 June 1856”, a critical edition of one of the most important sources, edited by Rodolfo Bogotto. The Immaculate Conception Sodality came into being on 8 June 1856 at Valdocco, due to the initiative of a number of boys, including Dominic Savio, who came together and placed themselves under the protection of Mary Immaculate. They drew up some regulations offering indications for a simple path to formation, but at a high level. They committed themselves to accompanying new members, the “more unruly ones” and the “more ignorant”. A good number of these members later formed the original core group of the Salesian Congregation.

    The edition is completed by items offered in the “Notes” (Note) section – “Filling the space: Don Bosco’s letters to missionaries” by Nicola Bottiglieri; and “Cardinal August Hlond: the weight of responsibility and courage in decision-making” by Zygmunt Zieliński – the  Reviews (Recensioni) of a number of publications on Salesian activities and personalities, and one contribution in the Notifications (Segnalazioni) section.

    • RMG
    • Ricerche Storiche Salesiane
    • Giuseppe Fagnano
    • Guerra
      Gian Francesco Romano

      India – Father Joseph Thekadathu SDB, pre-eminent Church historian in the country, has passed away

      1 month ago
      India – Father Joseph Thekadathu SDB, pre-eminent Church historian in the country, has passed away

      (ANS – Bangalore) – Eminent Salesian historian, Fr Joseph Thekkedath SDB, passed away on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at the age of 91. Following a fall he had sustained a few days earlier, he was confined to his room in Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, and the end came quite unexpectedly yet serenely at 9.15 p.m.

      By Fr Thomas Anchukandam, SDB

      Direttore – ISS

      The funeral services were conducted at Kristu Jyoti College, the Salesian studentate of theology, Bangalore, at 2.00 p.m. on Thursday, 17 January and his mortal remains laid to rest in the cemetery adjacent to the College Chapel.

      Fr Joseph Thekkedath, a former President of the Church History Association of India (CHAI) and indisputably the pre-eminent Church historian in the country, was also a member of the Associazione Cultori Storia Salesiana (ACSSA). His contribution to the history of the Church in India is his History of Christianity in India, Vol. II – From the Middle of the Sixteenth Century to the End of the Seventeenth Century (Theological Publications of India, Bangalore 1982). His monumental two-volume work, A History of the Salesians of Don Bosco in India from the Beginning up to 1951-52 (Kristu Jyoti Publications, Bangalore 2005) is arguably the only scientifically pursued historical writing of any region/country in the entire Congregation.

      Besides being a scholar of great merit, Fr Thekkedath also served as the Rector of Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee, Chennai (1970-’74) founded in 1936 by Archbishop Louis Mathias sdb; Rector of Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore (1981-’85) and Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province of Bangalore (1985-1991). After his term as Provincial, Fr Thekkedath returned to Kristu Jyoti College as Professor of Church History and Patrology and remained there till his death.

      The “Istituto Storico Salesiano” (ISS) and the “Associazione Cultori Storia Salesiana” (ACSSA) deeply mourn his death and pray for the eternal repose of his soul.

      • India
      • Decessi
      • INB
      • ISS
      • ACSSA
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – Salesian Family Spirituality Days: video summary available online

        1 month ago
        RMG – Salesian Family Spirituality Days: video summary available online

        (ANS – Rome) – With more than 360 participants from 43 countries around the world, the 37th Salesian Family Spirituality Days were a new opportunity for unity and sharing among members of the spiritual and apostolic family which came about through St John Bosco. In order not to lose the results of this great occasion. A number of useful resources have been made available.

        Holiness as a path available to everyone, even the youngest, and in daily life: this was the starting point for the Turin event, notably given greater depth by the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2019 along lines offered by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate”.

        “Everything that happened during the days headed in this direction and all put together we were able to accomplish some wonderful things” commented Fr Joan Lluis Playa, Coordinator of the event. “Addresses by Fr Aldo Giraudo and Prof. Francesc Torralba helped us to come to a better understanding of Don Bosco’s school of holiness and what it means to experience holiness as mission.”

        The testimonies and dialogues of group members offered examples of holiness today while the pilgrimage around significant places at the Mother House were a keen reminder of the holiness that emerged from Valdocco.

        “What came through even more was the great family spirit among the groups, a good twenty of them represented at the Days” Fr Playa continued.  “This was something that was appreciated and pleased those who took part, along with the sense of unity around the Rector Major. The content offered was also much appreciated, along with the welcome: not to be underestimated was the great response from the Salesian Family in Turin who took part en masse, and young people from the Salesian Youth Movement in Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, who bore the brunt of the animation”.

        While the “7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family” are already being disseminated and shared – one of the fruits drawn up over the Days to which everyone contributed – other resources are being released to allow everyone to continue to savour the atmosphere and pass on the message that “holiness is for you too”.

        From today in fact ANSChannel is offering the video summary of the 37th Salesian Family Spirituality Days, picking up the message of the Strenna, and reminding us of the activities experienced over recent days in Valdocco.

        • RMG
        • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
        • Famiglia Salesiana
        • Santità
        • Comunicazione Sociale
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Guatemala – Iván, a humble young man whose life was changed by “Deportivo Don Bosco” in Petén

          1 month ago
          Guatemala – Iván, a humble young man whose life was changed by “Deportivo Don Bosco” in Petén

          (ANS – San Benito Petén) – There is a mixture of stories relating to very many children, adolescents, older youth from difficult circumstances who attend the Salesian oratory in San Benito Petén. But there are also signs of hope, thanks to the Salesian presence. In this area, says Fr Giampiero De Nardi, a Salesian missionary, “poverty impinges on life every day and it is only through education that we will be able to change things.” And in order to change things, a football team was founded some time ago at: “Deportivo Don Bosco” or “Don Bosco Sports”.

          “Deportivo Don Bosco” is a football team at the San Benito parish, in the Guatemalan area known as Petén where the Salesians continue their traditional Salesian involvement in the oratory with young people at risk from neighbouring districts, trying to keep them away from risky activities and, at the same time, involve them in things that can change their future.

          The Salesians took on the Parish of San Benito in 2012  and from that time, Fr de Nardi has been responsible for this vast, poor community. The Deportivo Don Bosco Club was founded in February 2016, and it allows many young men to begin their Christian journey through sport. For some footballers, belonging to a team is a source of work to support their families, thanks to the quality of the sport and the interest other clubs show in the young men.

          A young man came to Fr de Nardi one day: “Here is one of the best footballers we have in Petén. His name is Nelso Iván García”. Iván was a humble young man, and kept his eyes cast down, but all it needed was two minutes on the field to show that he had a great future as a footballer.

          He joined Deportivo Don Bosco and became a pillar of the team. It was one of his cousins who in fact convinced the missionary to enrol him in the third division of the Guatemalan championship, explaining that there are many boys whose lives would change if they had the possibility of success.

          After Iván played for Petén for a season, many teams in other divisions had their eye on him. But Iván has not lost his humility, although he has already debuted in the first division and has already represented his country in the Guatemalan Under 20s.

          Ivan always says with pride: “I belong to Deportivo Don Bosco”. Now his life has changed for the better and surely other young men from Petén, looking at his example, can change their lives.

          • Guatemala
          • CAM
          • Sport
          • Missioni
          • San Benito Petén
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Italy – Opening of “CASA di GIÒ”, a group residential apartment helping needy young people to grow

            1 month ago
            Italy – Opening of “CASA di GIÒ”, a group residential apartment helping needy young people to grow

            (ANS – Collegno) –  The E.T. Social Cooperative, (Educators in the Territory, or Neighbourhood Educators), which is affiliated with the Salesiani per il Sociale (a Salesian Welfare organisation) opened its CASA di Giò, or Youth Home  on 9 January 2019. The opening took place in a quiet and familiar atmosphere, involving a time for prayer and an opening blessing.

            “CASA di GIÒ” is the first residential structure that falls under the “Group Apartment” classification and aims at offering temporary accommodation for young males between the age of 16 and 21. The project, conceived as a response to the growing needs of Turin city and its metropolitan district, wishes to help its young residents by fostering their growth at many levels: by looking after them individually, giving attention to the group, the district and the city, healing family connections. It will do all this by offering shared living family-style, supported by educators.

            With regard to the choice of name, those responsible explain: “Giò meaning ‘giovani’ or youth, whom we choose by preference; Giò also meaning Giovanni (John) Bosco, in memory of our founding father; Giò is also the name of one of the characters in the book ‘Piccole donne’ (Young Women), because Giò is the one who looks after the poorest kids, the ‘least’.”

            Thinking of those who will reside at “Casa di Giò” the Cooperative made Pope Francis’ words their own: “Let us never forget that true power is service. We need to look after people, each individual, lovingly, especially children, the elderly, those who are the weakest and who are often at the peripheries of our heart.”

            Hence the choice to turn to young people traumatised by sorrowful experiences, people affected by life, looking for support, accompaniment, someone to be close to them, solidarity so they can build or rebuild their own life project and thus achieve real personal autonomy which extends to where they live and work, and a positive settling into society.

            This educational approach to work is aimed at establishing a relationship of trust between the young worker and the educator. It is up to the educator to recognise and have others recognise each person’s resources, abilities, knowledge and then plan the path with him to the realisation of such.

            Residents at “Casa di Giò” will find a family dimension in this educational rapport which becomes a trusted point of reference for the individual, the setting winch welcomes him and for managing daily life.

            {gallery}Italia - Collegno{/gallery}

            • Italia
            • ICP
            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Vatican – “Pastoral Orientations on human trafficking”. Focus of the Church and the Salesian world on this “atrocious scourge”

              1 month ago
              Vatican – “Pastoral Orientations on human trafficking”. Focus of the Church and the Salesian world on this “atrocious scourge”

              (ANS – Vatican City) – Pope Francis has never hidden his great concern over the phenomenon of human trafficking which claims millions of victims – men women and children. It is a concern not only of the Pope, but of many people within and beyond the Church who are working to counteract what the Holy Father describes as an “atrocious scourge” and a wound “in the body of contemporary humanity”. As part of the long journey of reflection and action that the Church has been conducting on the matter, today “Pastoral Orientations on human trafficking” have been released.

              To address the trafficking and enslavement of human beings, during 2018 Migrants & Refugees (M&R) Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development held two consultations with Church leaders, scholars and experienced practitioners and partner organizations working in the field. Participants exchanged experiences and viewpoints, addressing relevant aspects of the phenomenon. The Church’s full response was considered, in terms of strengths, weaknesses, pastoral and political opportunities as well as enhanced coordination worldwide.

              This six-months process resulted in the present Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, approved by the Holy Father and meant to orient the work of the M&R Section and its partners.

              The Orientations are for use by Catholic dioceses, parishes and religious congregations, schools and universities, by Catholic and other organizations of civil society and by any groups willing to respond. Besides their implementation in local programs as well as collaboration at a distance, the Orientations also offer key points for homilies, education and media.

              This 42 page document takes a wide-ranging look at the question of human trafficking, providing both a reading of the phenomenon, its causes and origins, seeking to offer an adequate understanding of its dynamics and developments in order to support the necessary struggle against human trafficking.

              Human trafficking, a grave crime in itself, is accompanied by other atrocities and violations of human rights, such as slave labour, using child soldiers, sexual violence and exploitation, the commercialisation of human organs…

              In coping with so many of these crimes, as also in the fight against and prevention of human trafficking, the Salesian Congregation and Salesian family are also very active, with various initiatives at various levels. Just to quote some examples, in the English-speaking West Africa Province (AFW) there is the “Girls Os+” program (where Os means “refuge” in Krio, the local language) run by “Don Bosco Fambul” in Freetown, Sierra Leone, for the recovery of girls who are victims of sexual exploitation; then there is the “Child Protection Centre” at Ashaiman, in Ghana, dedicated to minors whom police have rescued from slave trafficking.

              Furthermore, The Salesian Mission Procure, “Missioni Don Bosco” in Turin, in collaboration with the Salesian NGO “Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo” (International Voluntariate for Development, or VIS), has been conducting its “Stop Human Trafficking” campaign since 2015 opposing trafficking and promoting development opportunities in Ghana, Senegal and Ethiopia.

              Finally, Salesian reflection on the matter has also been carried out at the highest levels of political decision-makers thanks to VIS, who take part in the “EU Anti-trafficking Platform”; and at Don Bosco International (DBI), which is organising an event on this theme in collaboration with COMECE (Commission of the Episcopal Conferences of the European Union). The event will take place 19 February next at the European Parliament, and will involve Fr Jorge Crisafulli, SDB, the Director of Don Bosco Fambul, and a girls rescued from sexual exploitation.

              Continuing in the spirit of “synodality” which has produced it, this document of “Pastoral Orientations on human trafficking” concludes with a request for comments and further contributions from all interested parties and individuals involved in reflection, and with a prayer that calls on the intercession of St Giuseppina Bakhita, the saintly patron of victims of human trafficking.

              • Vaticano
              • Tratta
              • Missioni
              • Pastorale Giovanile
              • VIS
              • Don Bosco International
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Panama – Panama 2019: preparations under way for the grand SYM gathering at the “Valdocco of the Americas”

                1 month ago
                Panama – Panama 2019: preparations under way for the grand SYM gathering at the “Valdocco of the Americas”

                (ANS – Panama City) – The various areas of the Don Bosco Technical Institute have become the focus of much excitement: it is like a human beehive. Each in his or her own way is preparing to welcome more than 800 Salesian pilgrims getting ready to experience World Youth Day 2019.

                The school will be hosting delegations from the Salesians and Salesian Sisters from Central America, Mexico-Guadalajara, Colombia and Bolivia. Young people from Uruguay, Ecuador, Great Britain, Mexico-Mexico and Angola will be hosted in the days leading up to the beginning of the Day.

                Around 300 people are at work, in seven commissions, preparing for the World Salesian Youth Movement celebrations (SYM) which will take place on Wednesday 23 January. Three thousand pilgrims are expected at this event which will take on the atmosphere of a genuine oratory, with music, colour, cheerfulness and reflection, and a special meeting with the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the Mother General of the Salesian Sisters, Mother Yvonne Reungoat.

                Young Salesians in formation from the post-novitiate, students of theology and students from the Regional Formation Centre for Salesian Brothers (CRESCO) are helping with the preparation of the logistics at the SYM event and the Salesian Family Pavilion at the vocations fair which will remain open and available to young people from around the world throughout the WYD week.

                This is an important display area, representing all Congregations who wish to offer an invitation to the young pilgrims. The Salesian Family Pavilion will have Salesians of Don Bosco, the Daughters of the Divine Saviour, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators and Volunteers With Don Bosco available at all times.

                On the morning of 23 January, those responsible for the Salesian Youth Movement will meet in the Don Bosco Basilica, an authentic Centre of  Salesian Spirituality, the “Valdocco of the Americas”. 170 youth and religious leading Youth Ministry activities in their countries will meet here. In an eminently Salesian atmosphere, they will be able to share in the “SYM Forum”, and thus experience a time of encounter and reflection with Fr Á.F. Artime and Mother Reungoat, who will offer topics of interest to young people today.

                For those who cannot be physically present at these events, there are still many options for experiencing them. The Salesians in Central America will offer live coverage on their official channels: www.boletinsalesiano.info and Salesianos CS CAM, on YouTube.

                All SYM pilgrims are also invited to download the app of the Central American Salesian Bulletin before they leave (“Kiosko BS” on the Android platform, “Boletin Salesiano CAM” on the Apple Store), where they can already find and download the text for the SYM festivities vigil.

                All the information will also be available on ANS and SDB.

                Official SYM site 

                Official SYM Feast site

                {gallery}Panama - GMG - Preparazione{/gallery}

                • Panama
                • GMG2019
                • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                • CAM
                • Comunicazione Sociale
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Vatican – Venerable Mother Anna Kaworek, Co-foundress and first Superior General of the Congregation of Sisters of St Michael the Archangel

                  1 month ago
                  Vatican – Venerable Mother Anna Kaworek, Co-foundress and first Superior General of the Congregation of Sisters of St Michael the Archangel

                  (ANS – Vatican City) – On Tuesday 15 September, upon receiving Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, authorised the Congregation to promote the Decree regarding the heroic virtues of Servant of God Anna Kaworek, Co-foundress and first Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of St Michael the Archangel; she was born in Biedrzychowice, Poland, on 18 June 1872 and died in Miejsce Piastowe, Poland, on 30 December 1936.

                  Already in her early years of schooling the seed of a religious vocation had sprouted in young Anna but even if she knew about a number of female religious institutes, she had not yet come to any decision about her future. Only when she was 22 years old, hearing about the religious institutes that was coming into being through the efforts of Blessed Bronislaus Markiewicz, a Salesian at the time, did she answer the divine call.

                  On 25 February 1894 she came to Miejsce Piastowe where she presented herself to the future Blessed, but she was somewhat put off, since what she saw was quite different from any convent she had in mind. After eight months stay there, she asked Fr Markiewicz for permission to return for a visit to her home and to go to the Sanctuary of Mount Sant’Anna.

                  She returned strengthened in her vocation and dedicated herself enthusiastically to the service of the most needy. After 34 of trials and heroic fidelity, on 21 August 1928 the Servant of God, together with a group of the first Sisters, was able to rejoice at the canonical approval of her Congregation which she was immediately elected the Superior General of. She died with a reputation for holiness on 30 December 1936 at Miejsce Piastowe.

                  The Michaelite Sisters, similar to the Fathers, are engaged especially in the education of children and older youth following the spirituality of St John Bosco, of whom Blessed Markiewicz was a spiritual son. The Patron of the Congregation is Saint Michael the Archangel.

                  The Michaelite spirituality has two mottoes: “He who is like God” (Mi-cha-el) and “Temperance and work”. It is a union of the contemplative attitude toward God and pastoral charity for our brothers and sisters which makes this vocation ever relevant.

                  In 2009 the Congregation of the Sisters of St Michael the Archangel became the 26th member group of the Salesian Family.

                  • Vaticano
                  • Suore di San Michele Arcangelo
                  • Famiglia Salesiana
                  • Santità Salesiana
                  • Anna Kaworek
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    RMG – IUS Network: the challenge of the Synod on Youth and GC28

                    1 month ago
                    RMG – IUS Network: the challenge of the Synod on Youth and GC28

                    (ANS – Rome) – The Executive Council of the Salesian Higher Institutes of Education (IUS) met in Rome from 8 to 10 January. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, also joined the meeting, addressing participants on three fundamental issues for the leadership and government of IUS as it reflects, in preparation for the coming 28th General Chapter of the Congregation: the centrality of the option for poor youth; the urgency of shared mission between Salesians and lay people; the strengthening of the sense of charismatic belonging of IUS to the Provinces and the Congregation.

                    By Fr Marcelo Farfán

                    General Coordinator, IUS

                    For his part, Fr Fabio Attard, General Councillor for Youth Ministry, focused his attention on the change of paradigm which the recent Synod on Youth implies for the Church, and hence for Salesian institutions. Synodality and discernment as method and content are certainly the great challenges for a Youth Ministry that looks to the future.

                    The Executive Council of IUS was also able to follow up development of the “Common Program 5” and Common Continental Programs. Particular emphasis was placed on evaluating how the document on guidelines for ministry in IUS has been applied, on a course for the principal leaders/directors of institutes of higher education, and on preparation for the next General Assembly to be held in 2021.

                    Specific reflection was given to the “IUS Education Group” and other networks emerging especially in Latin America (on topics like interculturality, artifical intelligence, psychology and business administration). At the same time the experience of the IUS web portal was evaluated, confirming the need to give it greater energy, visibility and communicative capacity.

                    Much appreciated was the setting in place of a formation experience for IUS leaders from America, Europe and Africa. The course offered a global perspective on the opportunities and challenges demanded by the current higher education context; it suggested basic understandings, criteria and tools for guiding and managing higher education institutes and at the same time, there was room for strengthening relationships of cooperation as a IUS network. A course is being prepared for the near future for IUS leaders from Asia.

                    Finally, the Council also indicated the path toward preparations and possible topics for the coming General Assembly in 2021.

                    • RMG
                    • IUS
                    • Sinodo sui Giovani
                    • CG28
                    • Fabio Attard
                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                    • Rettor Maggiore
                    • Opzione Preferenziale
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      India – A counseling initiative for 100 young adults

                      1 month ago
                      India – A counseling initiative for 100 young adults

                      (ANS – Vijayawada) – The Don Bosco Youth Center, which is part of the Salesian Assumption Church located in Vijayawada in the Krishna District of India, has launched a new initiative thanks to Salesian Missions donors. The initiative will offer counseling to young adults with a focus on marriage preparedness and sound life choices. The donor funding will help support personnel and materials to implement courses for 100 participants.

                      While most Salesian centers and programs are known for their education and skills training, many also offer services that ensure the health and wellness of the youth they serve. Programs in India have long been providing counseling and other supportive services to help youth develop stronger relationships with their families and peers and better understand their life choices.

                      One of the best known Salesian programs in India with a focus on counseling and psychological support is Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services which was founded in 1998 on the campus of the Salesian St. Dominic Savio High School in Mumbai. The organization recently celebrated its 20th anniversary providing psychological services to youth and families in the region.

                      As a result of rampant poverty, child abuse and exploitation as well as high incidences of child labor, many poor youth in India face psychological and emotional difficulties. Often, parents are unable to deal with these problems at home so turn to school staff and teachers for extra support.

                      Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services provides psychological evaluation and diagnosis, professional counseling, career guidance, remedial education, psychiatric services and occupational therapy. The organization’s psychologists and other professionals offer these services to individuals, groups and families to help aid independent functioning and improve quality of life.

                      “Thousands of people had been reached by the organization in many ways and the ones who were trained by Prafulta further reached out to many others,” says Father Godfrey D’Sa, founder and director of Prafulta Psychological Services. “It is difficult to quantify our reach but we are in the process of building awareness of all that we do so that others know the importance of our work and issues within mental health.”

                      India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A “multidimensionally poor” child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

                      India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.

                      Source: Mission Newswire

                      • India
                      • INH
                      • Missioni
                      • Psicologia
                      • Prafulta
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Sierra Leone – Lamín, the young man who is ashamed of his scars, but wants to become a saint

                        1 month ago
                        Sierra Leone – Lamín, the young man who is ashamed of his scars, but wants to become a saint

                        (ANS – Freetown) – Lamín is a 21 year-old youth who lives at the Salesian house and NGO known as “Don Bosco Fambul”, which takes in so many street kids who can begin a new life in a familiar and loving setting. One day he came into the Rector’s office and, quite upset, came straight to the point: he was worried about the scars on his scalp, arms, his tattoos. They constantly reminded him and people around him of his shameful and ignominious past.

                        Having lost both his parents, Lamín lived on the streets of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, since a young child, learning to survive by using his wits and strength, first begging then stealing. He experienced everything during that time: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and sex with prostitutes. He spent two years in Pademba prison and when he came out he approached Don Bosco Fambul asking for help. However, “the street” was stronger and he relapsed.

                        Since it was his second time, when they arrested him he was “marked”, as is the custom in Sierra Leone. Thanks be to God they did not break his arms or fingers, but he was cut with a machete on his head, arms, and so he would limp for the rest of his life, they cut his Achille’s tendon.

                        The scars were meant to label him for the rest of his life: “Captured thief”.  Lamín had reached rock bottom and was aware of it; so, once he did recognise it, he began his journey of recovery, rehabilitation and healing.

                        The Rector of Don Bosco Fambul told him that his glory lay in those scars and that he should not be ashamed of them. He ought not hide them. “They show, together with your ability for rehabilitation, that there are always second opportunities in life and it does not matter how low you have fallen.”

                        His life is an example of how to overcome limits: he is finishing secondary school and would like to study social work so he can help street kids in the future. “I would like to become a saint!” he says today. His determination has surprised even Fr Jorge Crisafulli, the Rector of Don Bosco Fambul: his ideal have finally enlightened his past filled with suffering and his life has taken a new direction and new meaning.

                        When a journalist asked Nelson Mandela if he thought himself to be a contemporary saint, he replied: “If a saint is a sinner who keeps trying, who never throws in the sponge, then yes, I am a saint.” Lamín keeps trying!

                        • Sierra Leone
                        • AFW
                        • Don Bosco Fambul
                        • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                        • Opzione Preferenziale
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Panama – “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together”: the official program for World Youth Day Panama 2019

                          1 month ago
                          Panama – “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together”: the official program for World Youth Day Panama 2019

                          (ANS – Panama City) – Young people from various parts of the world are preparing to experience one of the greatest events in the life of the Church which brings thousands upon thousands of people together, this time at the centre of the Americas, Panama: World Youth Day (WYD). Some have already left, others are just leaving, and still others will depart in the coming days. What is certain is that the celebration will begin in a few days time, and the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco will be ready to welcome so many visitors.

                          The involvement of three great personalities will make the WYD celebrations complete: first of all the Holy Father, Francis  and then, for the Salesian world, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat. Also taking part will be authorities from various countries: The Governor of Panama has confirmed that the Presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Portugal will be taking part …

                          Pope Francis will leave Rome on 23 January and arrive in Panama the same day. On Thursday 24 he will receive the greetings of authorities from various countries and from the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, and will also meet the Central American bishops. In the afternoon there will be a welcoming and opening ceremony for the World Youth Day 2019, in the “Campo Santa María la Antigua” - Cinta Costera.

                          During his stay in Panama the Holy Father will have a number of occasions when he will meet thousands of young people, and he will conclude his visit with the celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday 27 January, in the great “Campo San Juan Paolo II” – Metro Park, where some 250,000 faithful are expected to gather

                          The official hymn for WYD Panama 2019, with the title: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) was written and composed by Abdiel Jiménez, with production and arrangement by Aníbal Muñoz, and the collaboration of Carlos Samaniego and Ricky Ramírez, professionals with a great musical career. 

                          The official WYD program is available on the Vatican website

                          Salesians, for their part, will transmit live the main events of the WYD through the ANS Facebook page.

                          The whole country has been preparing for months, finalising details before the Holy Father arrives, and it is with great enthusiasm that it awaits the youth of the world who have decided to take part in this WYD. “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together in love for their brothers and sisters, of whatever religion creed or political persuasion”, explained Yithzak Gonzalez, youth ministry worker with the Episcopal Conference of Panama, in an interview released on “Vatican News”.

                          • Panama
                          • GMG2019
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Kenya – Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar: a dream becomes reality

                            1 month ago
                            Kenya – Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar: a dream becomes reality

                            (ANS – Nairobi) – After a time of preparation, the Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar (SAFCAM) has begun its activities. The first workshops are now being offered in January 2019: for the first time there is a workshop for Rectors in English and another one in French.

                            The SAFCAM vision goes back to the explicit mandate given by the 27th General Chapter to assist Salesians to become mystics in the Spirit, prophets of fraternity and servants of the young.

                            SAFCAM promotes the Lifelong Formation of all who share the spirit and mission of Don Bosco in the context of the opportunities and challenges of the Church and society in Africa and Madagascar. Such formation involves the deepening of the Salesian charismatic identity and the promotion of communion among the different vocations in the mission.

                            SAFCAM is located at DBYES (Don Bosco Youth Educational Services) in Nairobi.  Two confreres have been appointed by the Rector Major: Camiel Swertvagher and François Dufour.

                            After these first meetings, other conferences, courses or workshops will be organised in the coming months for other groups of confreres, members of the Salesian Family and lay partners.

                            “It’s a joy for the team, for the Region of Africa and Madagascar and for the Congregation to see that the dream becomes reality!” Fr Augustine Sellam, Vice Provincial of the East Africa Province, said.

                            {gallery}AFE - SAFCAM{/gallery}

                            • AFE
                            • Kenya
                            • Formazione
                            • Africa
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Great Britain – From the street to “Don Bosco Ashalayam” and finally, Bollywood

                              1 month ago
                              Great Britain – From the street to “Don Bosco Ashalayam” and finally, Bollywood

                              (ANS – London) – Rajdeep, an Indian boy who spent many years at the “Don Bosco Ashalayam” Salesian centre for youth at risk in Kolkata, left there last year to join a rugby school. Recently, he was selected by a Bollywood film director to play a role in “Jungle Cry”, a film based on the true story of the Indian Under 14 rugby team known as the “Jungle Crows” who won the London-based international school Rugby tournament, “Touraid” in 2007. Rajdeep is among 13 boys chosen from among more than 500 aspiring film actors.

                              The “Jungle Crows” club was made up of tribal boys trained by Indian coach Rudraksha Jena, from the “Kalinga” Institute of Social Sciences (played by Abhay Deol in the film, one of the greatest Bollywood stars), and by Paul Walsh OBE, a British diplomat who gave up his carrier to teach rugby to disadvantaged minors.

                              Rajdeep came to Great Britain in December 2018, more precisely to Wales, to do the shooting in three different rugby stadiums. On this occasion he explained that his stay at “Don Bosco Ashalayam” had helped him so much in public speaking – something that was obviously a decisive factor in his selection – and he was very grateful to the Salesians in Kolkata for this.

                              The young rugby player and actor also told how he and his two brothers and been rescued by a Salesian, Fr Mathew, at the Howrah railway station. In fact, although their father was still alive, he had been unable to maintain and educate them, and had it not been for the Salesians they would have spent their lives on the street.

                              Shortly before returning to India it was also possible for Rajdeep, together with another boy who had stayed at “Don Bosco Ashalayam”, to meet the British woman who had funded their education through an overseas program during their time at the home for youth at risk in Kolkata.

                              “It was a wonderful encounter and a dream come true for Rajdeep”, said Fr Andrew Ebrahim. On their return to the hotel, Fr Ebrahim, who had coordinated all the movements, also succeeded in bringing the two boys to the Salesian community at Chertsey, and both of them were very happy to get to know and be able to personally thank people involved for years in helping youngsters like them to be able to be given attention and opportunities.

                              The film director is a Salesian past pupil from Mumbai who hopes to return to London in May for the film’s preview.

                              Source: Salesians UK

                              • Gran Bretagna
                              • GBR
                              • India
                              • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                              • Sport
                              • Exallievi
                              • Cinema
                              • Solidarietà
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Haiti – 12 January 2010 – 12 January 2019: 9 years later, Haiti continues to weep for its children

                                1 month ago
                                Haiti – 12 January 2010 – 12 January 2019: 9 years later, Haiti continues to weep for its children

                                (ANS – Port-au-Prince) – On 12 January last, exactly 9 years after the earthquake that shook Haiti, a Eucharistic celebration took place at the National School of Arts and Trades (ENAM, in French), the first Salesian house in Haiti. This ceremony, at which Fr Morachel Bonhomme, the Vice Provincial, presided, brought together a great number of Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, postnovices, prenovices, rectos, and teachers of the “Work of the Little Schools of Father Bonen” and students from the Salesian Normal School.

                                In his homily at the Mass, Fr Bonhomme explained to his listeners the importance of the spiritual life for every individual who professes to be a Christian. He then commented especially on the Gospel chosen for the occasion: Jesus and the death of his friend Lazarus. He thus recalled the dialogue between Jesus and Martha which begins with the woman’s profession of faith – “Lord, had you been here, my brother would not have died! But even now I know that you will ask God for something and he will grant it to you” – and it concludes with Jesus’ promise: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live”.

                                The Vice Provincial then went on to explain to the faithful gathered there that we need to always be ready to encounter the Lord and that all of human existence belongs to God.

                                This celebration brought many memories to light for those present, and they remembered the many students who died in the earthquake, as well as the three victims from among the spiritual sons of Don Bosco, Salesian Brother Hubert Sanon, the first Haitian Salesian, and two young Salesians in formation.

                                Nine years later the Salesians in Haiti are picking up the consequences of the earthquake on 12 January 2010, and the Rinaldi Foundation, the Planning and Development Office, continue to carry out the work of coordination of funds for the communities. Furthermore, the Work of the Little Schools of Father Bohnen, situated at the centre of La Saline and Cité Soleil, two fo the largest shanty towns in Port-au-Prince, continue to serve thousands of children and young migrants, and the Salesians in Haiti, following the invitation that the then Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez made to them, continue working to be “makers of history, sentinels of dawn and prophets of hope”.

                                {gallery}HAI - Ricordo anniversario{/gallery}

                                • Haiti
                                • HAI
                                • Anniversari
                                • Disastri
                                • Famiglia Salesiana
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Democratic Republic of Congo – Solidarity in support of education for families affected by the fire last August

                                  1 month ago
                                  Democratic Republic of Congo – Solidarity in support of education for families affected by the fire last August

                                  (ANS – Bukavu) – On17 August 2018 a devastating fire broke out between Irambo and Pesage roads, in the area of Nyalukemba in Bukavu. It destroyed more than 300 houses built with wooden planks and very close to one another. “I wrote to various friends in Europe, asking for help for the families who lost everything in the fire. I received a beautiful response of generosity”, comments Fr Piero Gavioli, Salesian missionary in the country for more than 35 years.

                                  With the agreement of the diocesan Caritas, the Salesian missionary decided to help families who needed to pay school fees for their children who attend the primary school. “The leaders of the Christian communities in these districts carried out a serious survey in houses and schools, and drew up a list of children to be helped” the missionary recounts.

                                  At Irambo, the Don Bosco Centre took in more than a hundred minors. Recently, a social worker from the Don Bosco Centre at Bukavu, Bienvenu Karume, visited the families affected by the fire and were able to see that some families had received help in materials or money from public or private bodies, and had begun to rebuild their houses. But since the authorities had not taken measures to help the inhabitants to build according to the standards of the urban planning regulations, the same errors as in the past have been repeated.

                                  “Dad built a house out of sheet metal in which we spend the night, but in very difficult conditions, without a bed, mattress or good blankets. It is rather cold…” says Lea, a 12-year-old and sixth of nine children.

                                  “With help received in aid-in-kind and money, my father rebuilt the house, but it is not yet finished or furnished; we are already living there but it is tough” adds Ahana Babwine, 10 years old, the eighth of ten children.

                                  The families who have returned to their homes have to tackle many difficulties: many houses are made of tin, the rooms are not separated by solid walls and are often lacking everything. Furthermore, when it rains they are also victims of flooding because the district is on swampy ground which is not appropriate for building on.

                                  Hence the Don Bosco Centre has preferred to invest help received in a school for the children. At least, thanks to national and international solidarity, almost all the children of the district are enrolled in school and, with the hope that comes from education, can perhaps build a better future for themselves and their families.

                                  • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                  • AFC
                                  • Disastri
                                  • Solidarietà
                                  • Povertà
                                  • Educazione
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Italy – Spirituality Days, the Rector Major hands over the 7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family

                                    1 month ago
                                    Italy – Spirituality Days, the Rector Major hands over the 7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family

                                    (ANS – Turin) – The final session of the 37th Salesian Family Spirituality Days took place on Sunday 13 January. After solemn Mass in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, which saw the participation of 16 Major Superiors or Presidents of various groups of the Salesian Family, a summary of what had been shared among the 350 participants was made in the grand theatre at Valdocco.

                                    Earlier, on Saturday the 12th, Prof. Francesc Torralba from Barcelona, starting out from Pope Francis’ Magisterium, had shown how the road to holiness is always one that leads us to go out of ourselves. Following this, Sr Lucy Nderi, FMA, and a young leader, Elisa, spoke of their experience of taking part in the activities of the recent Synod.

                                    Then, after the round table discussion involving 8 members of the Salesian Family who shared their personal discovery of the call to Salesian holiness, the third day concluded with the Musical “Arte di Giò”.

                                    On Sunday, at the conclusion of these days which have been so rich in inspiration, testimonies and reflections, Fr Á.F. Artime insisted, during the Mass, on three fundamental concepts on the road to holiness: unity which overcomes barriers;  a missionary outlook which helps by accepting others; community which makes our witness to communion credible.

                                    Finally, in the theatre, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco presented the “Seven beatitudes of the Salesian family”, drawn up by the various working groups over these days.

                                    #HOLINESS FOR YOU TOO: THE BEATITUDES OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY

                                    1. Blessed is the Salesian Family that finds joy in poverty, imbued with God’s grace, it will work amongst the poorest and marginalised youth – this is holiness!

                                    2. Blessed is the Salesian Family that embodies the docility and love of the Good Shepherd. It thus welcomes and accompanies youth with loving kindness, forming them toward dialogue and the welcoming of diversity - this is holiness!

                                    3. Blessed is the Salesian Family that accompanies others, heals the wounds of those who suffer and gives hope to those who feel hopeless, thus bringing the joy of the Risen Christ – this is holiness!

                                    4. Blessed is the Salesian Family that hungers and thirsts for justice and accompanies youth on their mission to actualise their life project within their families, in the workplace, and within political and social commitment – this is holiness!

                                    5. Blessed is the Salesian Family that has a living experience of mercy, opening its eyes and heart to active listening and forgiving. It thus becomes a home that welcomes others – this is holiness!

                                    6. Blessed is the Salesian Family that seeks to be authentic, whole and transparent whilst cultivating a loving gaze that goes beyond appearances and recognises the grace of God within each person – this is holiness!

                                    7. Blessed is the Salesian Family, that draws from the truth of the Gospel and remains faithful to the charism of Don Bosco. It thus becomes yeast for a new humanity and joyfully embraces the joy of the Cross for the Kingdom of God – this is holiness!

                                    A new video was also presented at the conclusion of the Spirituality Days. It is hope that it can be an aid for presenting the Strenna 2019 to youngsters (and not only them). The video, which was much appreciated by those present, is available on ANSChannel

                                    The photos of the Days are available on ANSFlickr.

                                    Further information is available on the website dedicated to the Days: http://salesianfamilydays.com 

                                    Videos of the principal live moments are available on the ANS Facebook page.

                                    • Italia
                                    • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                    • Famiglia Salesiana
                                    • Santità
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Italy - Don Bosco's school yesterday and today

                                      1 month 1 week ago
                                      Italy - Don Bosco's school yesterday and today

                                      (ANS - Turin) – A second day of work and reflection for the participants of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family. The good morning was given by the prayer of praise animated by the choir of the Novices of Pinerolo.

                                      To Fr Aldo Giraudo, professor of Salesian History at the Salesian Pontifical University, the task of warming up the assembly with the first meeting; its theme: "Holiness at the school of Don Bosco."

                                      Domenico Savio finds himself with his heart set on fire by the preaching of Don Bosco. Not only did he want to be a saint, he truly needed to.


                                      Starting from this analysis of the life of the Saint what are the secrets that he has left us as an inheritance? Four, the ideas offered by the analysis of Fr Aldo. First of all, the desire to "Give oneself to God" in time and with totality borne of the idea; secondly, that it is easy to become saints. A journey that must then be supported with a journey of personal and apostolic asceticism so as to be able to experience daily life in living in the presence of God.

                                      In the testimony of Fr Damir Stojic, a Salesian from Croatia, a concrete pastoral experience addressed to young university students was presented, embodying one of the different ways of today making the Good Christians and Honest Citizens of St. John Bosco current.

                                      The afternoon was dedicated to the visit of the places of holiness: Valdocco, Cottolengo, the Oratory of the Marchesa Barolo and the surrounding streets, a real and proper itinerary not only of the city but a spiritual journey to enable, in the spirit of pilgrims, entering the secrets of the histories of holiness that have preceded us.

                                      Returning to the theater, at the end of this beautiful experience divided by linguistic groups, the group of participants were welcomed by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni with a talk dedicated to holiness in the Salesian Family.

                                      • Italia
                                      • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                      • Don Bosco
                                        Jesus Jurado

                                        Cambodia - Samai and Phirun recover their childhood at "Don Bosco Kep"

                                        1 month 1 week ago

                                        (ANS - Kep) - In Cambodia, one of the world's poorest countries, the most vulnerable population is exposed to the risks deriving from exploitation, the depredation of natural resources and climate change. Samai and Phirun are two boys aged 11 and 13. "Both were exploited in the brick factory where they worked to earn some money and help their families," says Fr Albeiro Rodas, Salesian missionary at Kep.

                                        Together with Samai and Phirun lives Danith, aged 16; at 11 he lost his sight and his family, as they abandoned him in the streets. And also Meng, Dara, Pinch ... and so on until one arrives at the total of 50 children who are part of the "Brother Sun" program that welcomes and hosts vulnerable children. "It's amazing how in a few weeks these children, who lived without a childhood, recover their smiles, their games ... They return definitively to what a natural childhood should be," explains Fr Albeiro.

                                        To the "children of the sun", as they are called, there are another 300 children and young people between the ages of 3 and 22, who receive education and vocational training in the Salesian Don Bosco Kep. "Every child, every young person, also represents a family, almost always of peasants and of low income, which includes indigenous families, children and young people with physical disabilities, girls and young women at risk of exploitation, children and young people who may end up in networks of trafficking and illegal emigration," says the missionary, explaining the situation in which the children cared for are initially found.

                                        At the technical school of Don Bosco Kep the young people, about 200 per course, receive vocational training in electro-technical skills, media, secretarial work, hotel management and programming. "This is a great opportunity for these young people, who see a previously unimaginable future open up," the people at Kep explain.

                                        "We are very happy this year because we have been able to complete some buildings for the development of our programs, such as a new electrical department and a kiosk by the sea, where students can carry out their internship", adds Fr Rodas. "And we have also launched a project to sell our products, so as to increase our sustainability as a center." This new 2019 year shall hence continue to be a year of challenges in Kep.

                                        • Cambogia
                                        • Scuole
                                        • Formazione Professionale
                                        • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                        • THA
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          India – Tragic accident involves a Salesian school community

                                          1 month ago
                                          India – Tragic accident involves a Salesian school community

                                          (ANS – Ahmednagar) – Yesterday, Thursday, 17 January 2019, Fr James Tuscano, four staff and 44 students of DB Savedi, Ahmednagar, were returning from Vasai by bus. Around 7 pm, the bus met with an accident and rammed into a pick-up vehicle. Mr Arun Jadhav, a senior teacher of the School, the driver of the pick-up and the cleaner of the bus have died.

                                          Last night, one staff and 32 students returned to Ahmednagar. Fr Tuscano, two staff members, and 12 students had some injuries; they were taken to close-by hospitals for treatment and observation. This morning, they, too, are returning to Ahmednagar.

                                          “We pray for the repose of the deceased, and for the complete recovery of the injured” has said Fr Vinod Mascarenhas, SDB, Provincial Secretary on India-Mumbai province (INB).

                                          • India
                                          • INB
                                          • Disastri
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            RMG – “Ricerche Storiche Salesiane” no. 71

                                            1 month ago
                                            RMG – “Ricerche Storiche Salesiane” no. 71

                                            (ANS – Roma) – Number 71 of “Ricerche Storiche Salesiane” (RSS), the July-December 2018 edition, has just been published. This is the Journal of religious and civil history published by the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS).

                                            The STUDIES (Studi) section has the following contributions:

                                            Understanding the mission of the Church in the letters of Bishop Giuseppe Fagnano”, by Antonio Scudero. This essay analyses Fr Fagnano’s correspondence with Don Bosco, Fr Rua, Bishop Cagliero and other Salesians. The letters show the development and crises in Fr Fagnano’s missionary activity, as well as the maturing of pastoral awareness that lay behind an extraordinary activity due to his dedication, spirit of sacrifice and understanding of the circumstances of the indigenous peoples.

                                            “Salesians in Italy during the First World War” is a study by Francesco Motto. This conflict, which disrupted the daily lives of millions of European families, had a very strong impact also on the 2,000 or more Salesians in Italy, who at a time of serious emergency remained faithful to their charism as educators and at the same time did not fail to show that they were religious, citizens, Christians and patriots.

                                            The third contribution is by Thomas Anchunkandam on the subject of “Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore: history and significance of the opening of the first Salesian Institute in the Archdiocese of Bangalore.” This number of the RSS offers the first of three parts to this study and examines both the reason for the enthusiasm of the Salesians in having a presence in Bangalore,  and the reasons for the failure of earlier attempts.

                                            The SOURCES (Fonti) section presents the text:

                                            “Regulations for the Immaculate Conception Sodality approved by Don Bosco on 9 June 1856”, a critical edition of one of the most important sources, edited by Rodolfo Bogotto. The Immaculate Conception Sodality came into being on 8 June 1856 at Valdocco, due to the initiative of a number of boys, including Dominic Savio, who came together and placed themselves under the protection of Mary Immaculate. They drew up some regulations offering indications for a simple path to formation, but at a high level. They committed themselves to accompanying new members, the “more unruly ones” and the “more ignorant”. A good number of these members later formed the original core group of the Salesian Congregation.

                                            The edition is completed by items offered in the “Notes” (Note) section – “Filling the space: Don Bosco’s letters to missionaries” by Nicola Bottiglieri; and “Cardinal August Hlond: the weight of responsibility and courage in decision-making” by Zygmunt Zieliński – the  Reviews (Recensioni) of a number of publications on Salesian activities and personalities, and one contribution in the Notifications (Segnalazioni) section.

                                            • RMG
                                            • Ricerche Storiche Salesiane
                                            • Giuseppe Fagnano
                                            • Guerra
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              India – Father Joseph Thekadathu SDB, pre-eminent Church historian in the country, has passed away

                                              1 month ago
                                              India – Father Joseph Thekadathu SDB, pre-eminent Church historian in the country, has passed away

                                              (ANS – Bangalore) – Eminent Salesian historian, Fr Joseph Thekkedath SDB, passed away on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at the age of 91. Following a fall he had sustained a few days earlier, he was confined to his room in Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, and the end came quite unexpectedly yet serenely at 9.15 p.m.

                                              By Fr Thomas Anchukandam, SDB

                                              Direttore – ISS

                                              The funeral services were conducted at Kristu Jyoti College, the Salesian studentate of theology, Bangalore, at 2.00 p.m. on Thursday, 17 January and his mortal remains laid to rest in the cemetery adjacent to the College Chapel.

                                              Fr Joseph Thekkedath, a former President of the Church History Association of India (CHAI) and indisputably the pre-eminent Church historian in the country, was also a member of the Associazione Cultori Storia Salesiana (ACSSA). His contribution to the history of the Church in India is his History of Christianity in India, Vol. II – From the Middle of the Sixteenth Century to the End of the Seventeenth Century (Theological Publications of India, Bangalore 1982). His monumental two-volume work, A History of the Salesians of Don Bosco in India from the Beginning up to 1951-52 (Kristu Jyoti Publications, Bangalore 2005) is arguably the only scientifically pursued historical writing of any region/country in the entire Congregation.

                                              Besides being a scholar of great merit, Fr Thekkedath also served as the Rector of Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee, Chennai (1970-’74) founded in 1936 by Archbishop Louis Mathias sdb; Rector of Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore (1981-’85) and Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province of Bangalore (1985-1991). After his term as Provincial, Fr Thekkedath returned to Kristu Jyoti College as Professor of Church History and Patrology and remained there till his death.

                                              The “Istituto Storico Salesiano” (ISS) and the “Associazione Cultori Storia Salesiana” (ACSSA) deeply mourn his death and pray for the eternal repose of his soul.

                                              • India
                                              • Decessi
                                              • INB
                                              • ISS
                                              • ACSSA
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                RMG – Salesian Family Spirituality Days: video summary available online

                                                1 month ago
                                                RMG – Salesian Family Spirituality Days: video summary available online

                                                (ANS – Rome) – With more than 360 participants from 43 countries around the world, the 37th Salesian Family Spirituality Days were a new opportunity for unity and sharing among members of the spiritual and apostolic family which came about through St John Bosco. In order not to lose the results of this great occasion. A number of useful resources have been made available.

                                                Holiness as a path available to everyone, even the youngest, and in daily life: this was the starting point for the Turin event, notably given greater depth by the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2019 along lines offered by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate”.

                                                “Everything that happened during the days headed in this direction and all put together we were able to accomplish some wonderful things” commented Fr Joan Lluis Playa, Coordinator of the event. “Addresses by Fr Aldo Giraudo and Prof. Francesc Torralba helped us to come to a better understanding of Don Bosco’s school of holiness and what it means to experience holiness as mission.”

                                                The testimonies and dialogues of group members offered examples of holiness today while the pilgrimage around significant places at the Mother House were a keen reminder of the holiness that emerged from Valdocco.

                                                “What came through even more was the great family spirit among the groups, a good twenty of them represented at the Days” Fr Playa continued.  “This was something that was appreciated and pleased those who took part, along with the sense of unity around the Rector Major. The content offered was also much appreciated, along with the welcome: not to be underestimated was the great response from the Salesian Family in Turin who took part en masse, and young people from the Salesian Youth Movement in Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, who bore the brunt of the animation”.

                                                While the “7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family” are already being disseminated and shared – one of the fruits drawn up over the Days to which everyone contributed – other resources are being released to allow everyone to continue to savour the atmosphere and pass on the message that “holiness is for you too”.

                                                From today in fact ANSChannel is offering the video summary of the 37th Salesian Family Spirituality Days, picking up the message of the Strenna, and reminding us of the activities experienced over recent days in Valdocco.

                                                • RMG
                                                • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                • Santità
                                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Guatemala – Iván, a humble young man whose life was changed by “Deportivo Don Bosco” in Petén

                                                  1 month ago
                                                  Guatemala – Iván, a humble young man whose life was changed by “Deportivo Don Bosco” in Petén

                                                  (ANS – San Benito Petén) – There is a mixture of stories relating to very many children, adolescents, older youth from difficult circumstances who attend the Salesian oratory in San Benito Petén. But there are also signs of hope, thanks to the Salesian presence. In this area, says Fr Giampiero De Nardi, a Salesian missionary, “poverty impinges on life every day and it is only through education that we will be able to change things.” And in order to change things, a football team was founded some time ago at: “Deportivo Don Bosco” or “Don Bosco Sports”.

                                                  “Deportivo Don Bosco” is a football team at the San Benito parish, in the Guatemalan area known as Petén where the Salesians continue their traditional Salesian involvement in the oratory with young people at risk from neighbouring districts, trying to keep them away from risky activities and, at the same time, involve them in things that can change their future.

                                                  The Salesians took on the Parish of San Benito in 2012  and from that time, Fr de Nardi has been responsible for this vast, poor community. The Deportivo Don Bosco Club was founded in February 2016, and it allows many young men to begin their Christian journey through sport. For some footballers, belonging to a team is a source of work to support their families, thanks to the quality of the sport and the interest other clubs show in the young men.

                                                  A young man came to Fr de Nardi one day: “Here is one of the best footballers we have in Petén. His name is Nelso Iván García”. Iván was a humble young man, and kept his eyes cast down, but all it needed was two minutes on the field to show that he had a great future as a footballer.

                                                  He joined Deportivo Don Bosco and became a pillar of the team. It was one of his cousins who in fact convinced the missionary to enrol him in the third division of the Guatemalan championship, explaining that there are many boys whose lives would change if they had the possibility of success.

                                                  After Iván played for Petén for a season, many teams in other divisions had their eye on him. But Iván has not lost his humility, although he has already debuted in the first division and has already represented his country in the Guatemalan Under 20s.

                                                  Ivan always says with pride: “I belong to Deportivo Don Bosco”. Now his life has changed for the better and surely other young men from Petén, looking at his example, can change their lives.

                                                  • Guatemala
                                                  • CAM
                                                  • Sport
                                                  • Missioni
                                                  • San Benito Petén
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Italy – Opening of “CASA di GIÒ”, a group residential apartment helping needy young people to grow

                                                    1 month ago
                                                    Italy – Opening of “CASA di GIÒ”, a group residential apartment helping needy young people to grow

                                                    (ANS – Collegno) –  The E.T. Social Cooperative, (Educators in the Territory, or Neighbourhood Educators), which is affiliated with the Salesiani per il Sociale (a Salesian Welfare organisation) opened its CASA di Giò, or Youth Home  on 9 January 2019. The opening took place in a quiet and familiar atmosphere, involving a time for prayer and an opening blessing.

                                                    “CASA di GIÒ” is the first residential structure that falls under the “Group Apartment” classification and aims at offering temporary accommodation for young males between the age of 16 and 21. The project, conceived as a response to the growing needs of Turin city and its metropolitan district, wishes to help its young residents by fostering their growth at many levels: by looking after them individually, giving attention to the group, the district and the city, healing family connections. It will do all this by offering shared living family-style, supported by educators.

                                                    With regard to the choice of name, those responsible explain: “Giò meaning ‘giovani’ or youth, whom we choose by preference; Giò also meaning Giovanni (John) Bosco, in memory of our founding father; Giò is also the name of one of the characters in the book ‘Piccole donne’ (Young Women), because Giò is the one who looks after the poorest kids, the ‘least’.”

                                                    Thinking of those who will reside at “Casa di Giò” the Cooperative made Pope Francis’ words their own: “Let us never forget that true power is service. We need to look after people, each individual, lovingly, especially children, the elderly, those who are the weakest and who are often at the peripheries of our heart.”

                                                    Hence the choice to turn to young people traumatised by sorrowful experiences, people affected by life, looking for support, accompaniment, someone to be close to them, solidarity so they can build or rebuild their own life project and thus achieve real personal autonomy which extends to where they live and work, and a positive settling into society.

                                                    This educational approach to work is aimed at establishing a relationship of trust between the young worker and the educator. It is up to the educator to recognise and have others recognise each person’s resources, abilities, knowledge and then plan the path with him to the realisation of such.

                                                    Residents at “Casa di Giò” will find a family dimension in this educational rapport which becomes a trusted point of reference for the individual, the setting winch welcomes him and for managing daily life.

                                                    {gallery}Italia - Collegno{/gallery}

                                                    • Italia
                                                    • ICP
                                                    • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Vatican – “Pastoral Orientations on human trafficking”. Focus of the Church and the Salesian world on this “atrocious scourge”

                                                      1 month ago
                                                      Vatican – “Pastoral Orientations on human trafficking”. Focus of the Church and the Salesian world on this “atrocious scourge”

                                                      (ANS – Vatican City) – Pope Francis has never hidden his great concern over the phenomenon of human trafficking which claims millions of victims – men women and children. It is a concern not only of the Pope, but of many people within and beyond the Church who are working to counteract what the Holy Father describes as an “atrocious scourge” and a wound “in the body of contemporary humanity”. As part of the long journey of reflection and action that the Church has been conducting on the matter, today “Pastoral Orientations on human trafficking” have been released.

                                                      To address the trafficking and enslavement of human beings, during 2018 Migrants & Refugees (M&R) Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development held two consultations with Church leaders, scholars and experienced practitioners and partner organizations working in the field. Participants exchanged experiences and viewpoints, addressing relevant aspects of the phenomenon. The Church’s full response was considered, in terms of strengths, weaknesses, pastoral and political opportunities as well as enhanced coordination worldwide.

                                                      This six-months process resulted in the present Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, approved by the Holy Father and meant to orient the work of the M&R Section and its partners.

                                                      The Orientations are for use by Catholic dioceses, parishes and religious congregations, schools and universities, by Catholic and other organizations of civil society and by any groups willing to respond. Besides their implementation in local programs as well as collaboration at a distance, the Orientations also offer key points for homilies, education and media.

                                                      This 42 page document takes a wide-ranging look at the question of human trafficking, providing both a reading of the phenomenon, its causes and origins, seeking to offer an adequate understanding of its dynamics and developments in order to support the necessary struggle against human trafficking.

                                                      Human trafficking, a grave crime in itself, is accompanied by other atrocities and violations of human rights, such as slave labour, using child soldiers, sexual violence and exploitation, the commercialisation of human organs…

                                                      In coping with so many of these crimes, as also in the fight against and prevention of human trafficking, the Salesian Congregation and Salesian family are also very active, with various initiatives at various levels. Just to quote some examples, in the English-speaking West Africa Province (AFW) there is the “Girls Os+” program (where Os means “refuge” in Krio, the local language) run by “Don Bosco Fambul” in Freetown, Sierra Leone, for the recovery of girls who are victims of sexual exploitation; then there is the “Child Protection Centre” at Ashaiman, in Ghana, dedicated to minors whom police have rescued from slave trafficking.

                                                      Furthermore, The Salesian Mission Procure, “Missioni Don Bosco” in Turin, in collaboration with the Salesian NGO “Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo” (International Voluntariate for Development, or VIS), has been conducting its “Stop Human Trafficking” campaign since 2015 opposing trafficking and promoting development opportunities in Ghana, Senegal and Ethiopia.

                                                      Finally, Salesian reflection on the matter has also been carried out at the highest levels of political decision-makers thanks to VIS, who take part in the “EU Anti-trafficking Platform”; and at Don Bosco International (DBI), which is organising an event on this theme in collaboration with COMECE (Commission of the Episcopal Conferences of the European Union). The event will take place 19 February next at the European Parliament, and will involve Fr Jorge Crisafulli, SDB, the Director of Don Bosco Fambul, and a girls rescued from sexual exploitation.

                                                      Continuing in the spirit of “synodality” which has produced it, this document of “Pastoral Orientations on human trafficking” concludes with a request for comments and further contributions from all interested parties and individuals involved in reflection, and with a prayer that calls on the intercession of St Giuseppina Bakhita, the saintly patron of victims of human trafficking.

                                                      • Vaticano
                                                      • Tratta
                                                      • Missioni
                                                      • Pastorale Giovanile
                                                      • VIS
                                                      • Don Bosco International
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Panama – Panama 2019: preparations under way for the grand SYM gathering at the “Valdocco of the Americas”

                                                        1 month ago
                                                        Panama – Panama 2019: preparations under way for the grand SYM gathering at the “Valdocco of the Americas”

                                                        (ANS – Panama City) – The various areas of the Don Bosco Technical Institute have become the focus of much excitement: it is like a human beehive. Each in his or her own way is preparing to welcome more than 800 Salesian pilgrims getting ready to experience World Youth Day 2019.

                                                        The school will be hosting delegations from the Salesians and Salesian Sisters from Central America, Mexico-Guadalajara, Colombia and Bolivia. Young people from Uruguay, Ecuador, Great Britain, Mexico-Mexico and Angola will be hosted in the days leading up to the beginning of the Day.

                                                        Around 300 people are at work, in seven commissions, preparing for the World Salesian Youth Movement celebrations (SYM) which will take place on Wednesday 23 January. Three thousand pilgrims are expected at this event which will take on the atmosphere of a genuine oratory, with music, colour, cheerfulness and reflection, and a special meeting with the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the Mother General of the Salesian Sisters, Mother Yvonne Reungoat.

                                                        Young Salesians in formation from the post-novitiate, students of theology and students from the Regional Formation Centre for Salesian Brothers (CRESCO) are helping with the preparation of the logistics at the SYM event and the Salesian Family Pavilion at the vocations fair which will remain open and available to young people from around the world throughout the WYD week.

                                                        This is an important display area, representing all Congregations who wish to offer an invitation to the young pilgrims. The Salesian Family Pavilion will have Salesians of Don Bosco, the Daughters of the Divine Saviour, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators and Volunteers With Don Bosco available at all times.

                                                        On the morning of 23 January, those responsible for the Salesian Youth Movement will meet in the Don Bosco Basilica, an authentic Centre of  Salesian Spirituality, the “Valdocco of the Americas”. 170 youth and religious leading Youth Ministry activities in their countries will meet here. In an eminently Salesian atmosphere, they will be able to share in the “SYM Forum”, and thus experience a time of encounter and reflection with Fr Á.F. Artime and Mother Reungoat, who will offer topics of interest to young people today.

                                                        For those who cannot be physically present at these events, there are still many options for experiencing them. The Salesians in Central America will offer live coverage on their official channels: www.boletinsalesiano.info and Salesianos CS CAM, on YouTube.

                                                        All SYM pilgrims are also invited to download the app of the Central American Salesian Bulletin before they leave (“Kiosko BS” on the Android platform, “Boletin Salesiano CAM” on the Apple Store), where they can already find and download the text for the SYM festivities vigil.

                                                        All the information will also be available on ANS and SDB.

                                                        Official SYM site 

                                                        Official SYM Feast site

                                                        {gallery}Panama - GMG - Preparazione{/gallery}

                                                        • Panama
                                                        • GMG2019
                                                        • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                                        • CAM
                                                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Vatican – Venerable Mother Anna Kaworek, Co-foundress and first Superior General of the Congregation of Sisters of St Michael the Archangel

                                                          1 month ago
                                                          Vatican – Venerable Mother Anna Kaworek, Co-foundress and first Superior General of the Congregation of Sisters of St Michael the Archangel

                                                          (ANS – Vatican City) – On Tuesday 15 September, upon receiving Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, authorised the Congregation to promote the Decree regarding the heroic virtues of Servant of God Anna Kaworek, Co-foundress and first Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of St Michael the Archangel; she was born in Biedrzychowice, Poland, on 18 June 1872 and died in Miejsce Piastowe, Poland, on 30 December 1936.

                                                          Already in her early years of schooling the seed of a religious vocation had sprouted in young Anna but even if she knew about a number of female religious institutes, she had not yet come to any decision about her future. Only when she was 22 years old, hearing about the religious institutes that was coming into being through the efforts of Blessed Bronislaus Markiewicz, a Salesian at the time, did she answer the divine call.

                                                          On 25 February 1894 she came to Miejsce Piastowe where she presented herself to the future Blessed, but she was somewhat put off, since what she saw was quite different from any convent she had in mind. After eight months stay there, she asked Fr Markiewicz for permission to return for a visit to her home and to go to the Sanctuary of Mount Sant’Anna.

                                                          She returned strengthened in her vocation and dedicated herself enthusiastically to the service of the most needy. After 34 of trials and heroic fidelity, on 21 August 1928 the Servant of God, together with a group of the first Sisters, was able to rejoice at the canonical approval of her Congregation which she was immediately elected the Superior General of. She died with a reputation for holiness on 30 December 1936 at Miejsce Piastowe.

                                                          The Michaelite Sisters, similar to the Fathers, are engaged especially in the education of children and older youth following the spirituality of St John Bosco, of whom Blessed Markiewicz was a spiritual son. The Patron of the Congregation is Saint Michael the Archangel.

                                                          The Michaelite spirituality has two mottoes: “He who is like God” (Mi-cha-el) and “Temperance and work”. It is a union of the contemplative attitude toward God and pastoral charity for our brothers and sisters which makes this vocation ever relevant.

                                                          In 2009 the Congregation of the Sisters of St Michael the Archangel became the 26th member group of the Salesian Family.

                                                          • Vaticano
                                                          • Suore di San Michele Arcangelo
                                                          • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                          • Santità Salesiana
                                                          • Anna Kaworek
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            RMG – IUS Network: the challenge of the Synod on Youth and GC28

                                                            1 month ago
                                                            RMG – IUS Network: the challenge of the Synod on Youth and GC28

                                                            (ANS – Rome) – The Executive Council of the Salesian Higher Institutes of Education (IUS) met in Rome from 8 to 10 January. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, also joined the meeting, addressing participants on three fundamental issues for the leadership and government of IUS as it reflects, in preparation for the coming 28th General Chapter of the Congregation: the centrality of the option for poor youth; the urgency of shared mission between Salesians and lay people; the strengthening of the sense of charismatic belonging of IUS to the Provinces and the Congregation.

                                                            By Fr Marcelo Farfán

                                                            General Coordinator, IUS

                                                            For his part, Fr Fabio Attard, General Councillor for Youth Ministry, focused his attention on the change of paradigm which the recent Synod on Youth implies for the Church, and hence for Salesian institutions. Synodality and discernment as method and content are certainly the great challenges for a Youth Ministry that looks to the future.

                                                            The Executive Council of IUS was also able to follow up development of the “Common Program 5” and Common Continental Programs. Particular emphasis was placed on evaluating how the document on guidelines for ministry in IUS has been applied, on a course for the principal leaders/directors of institutes of higher education, and on preparation for the next General Assembly to be held in 2021.

                                                            Specific reflection was given to the “IUS Education Group” and other networks emerging especially in Latin America (on topics like interculturality, artifical intelligence, psychology and business administration). At the same time the experience of the IUS web portal was evaluated, confirming the need to give it greater energy, visibility and communicative capacity.

                                                            Much appreciated was the setting in place of a formation experience for IUS leaders from America, Europe and Africa. The course offered a global perspective on the opportunities and challenges demanded by the current higher education context; it suggested basic understandings, criteria and tools for guiding and managing higher education institutes and at the same time, there was room for strengthening relationships of cooperation as a IUS network. A course is being prepared for the near future for IUS leaders from Asia.

                                                            Finally, the Council also indicated the path toward preparations and possible topics for the coming General Assembly in 2021.

                                                            • RMG
                                                            • IUS
                                                            • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                                            • CG28
                                                            • Fabio Attard
                                                            • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                            • Rettor Maggiore
                                                            • Opzione Preferenziale
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              India – A counseling initiative for 100 young adults

                                                              1 month ago
                                                              India – A counseling initiative for 100 young adults

                                                              (ANS – Vijayawada) – The Don Bosco Youth Center, which is part of the Salesian Assumption Church located in Vijayawada in the Krishna District of India, has launched a new initiative thanks to Salesian Missions donors. The initiative will offer counseling to young adults with a focus on marriage preparedness and sound life choices. The donor funding will help support personnel and materials to implement courses for 100 participants.

                                                              While most Salesian centers and programs are known for their education and skills training, many also offer services that ensure the health and wellness of the youth they serve. Programs in India have long been providing counseling and other supportive services to help youth develop stronger relationships with their families and peers and better understand their life choices.

                                                              One of the best known Salesian programs in India with a focus on counseling and psychological support is Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services which was founded in 1998 on the campus of the Salesian St. Dominic Savio High School in Mumbai. The organization recently celebrated its 20th anniversary providing psychological services to youth and families in the region.

                                                              As a result of rampant poverty, child abuse and exploitation as well as high incidences of child labor, many poor youth in India face psychological and emotional difficulties. Often, parents are unable to deal with these problems at home so turn to school staff and teachers for extra support.

                                                              Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services provides psychological evaluation and diagnosis, professional counseling, career guidance, remedial education, psychiatric services and occupational therapy. The organization’s psychologists and other professionals offer these services to individuals, groups and families to help aid independent functioning and improve quality of life.

                                                              “Thousands of people had been reached by the organization in many ways and the ones who were trained by Prafulta further reached out to many others,” says Father Godfrey D’Sa, founder and director of Prafulta Psychological Services. “It is difficult to quantify our reach but we are in the process of building awareness of all that we do so that others know the importance of our work and issues within mental health.”

                                                              India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A “multidimensionally poor” child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

                                                              India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.

                                                              Source: Mission Newswire

                                                              • India
                                                              • INH
                                                              • Missioni
                                                              • Psicologia
                                                              • Prafulta
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Sierra Leone – Lamín, the young man who is ashamed of his scars, but wants to become a saint

                                                                1 month ago
                                                                Sierra Leone – Lamín, the young man who is ashamed of his scars, but wants to become a saint

                                                                (ANS – Freetown) – Lamín is a 21 year-old youth who lives at the Salesian house and NGO known as “Don Bosco Fambul”, which takes in so many street kids who can begin a new life in a familiar and loving setting. One day he came into the Rector’s office and, quite upset, came straight to the point: he was worried about the scars on his scalp, arms, his tattoos. They constantly reminded him and people around him of his shameful and ignominious past.

                                                                Having lost both his parents, Lamín lived on the streets of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, since a young child, learning to survive by using his wits and strength, first begging then stealing. He experienced everything during that time: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and sex with prostitutes. He spent two years in Pademba prison and when he came out he approached Don Bosco Fambul asking for help. However, “the street” was stronger and he relapsed.

                                                                Since it was his second time, when they arrested him he was “marked”, as is the custom in Sierra Leone. Thanks be to God they did not break his arms or fingers, but he was cut with a machete on his head, arms, and so he would limp for the rest of his life, they cut his Achille’s tendon.

                                                                The scars were meant to label him for the rest of his life: “Captured thief”.  Lamín had reached rock bottom and was aware of it; so, once he did recognise it, he began his journey of recovery, rehabilitation and healing.

                                                                The Rector of Don Bosco Fambul told him that his glory lay in those scars and that he should not be ashamed of them. He ought not hide them. “They show, together with your ability for rehabilitation, that there are always second opportunities in life and it does not matter how low you have fallen.”

                                                                His life is an example of how to overcome limits: he is finishing secondary school and would like to study social work so he can help street kids in the future. “I would like to become a saint!” he says today. His determination has surprised even Fr Jorge Crisafulli, the Rector of Don Bosco Fambul: his ideal have finally enlightened his past filled with suffering and his life has taken a new direction and new meaning.

                                                                When a journalist asked Nelson Mandela if he thought himself to be a contemporary saint, he replied: “If a saint is a sinner who keeps trying, who never throws in the sponge, then yes, I am a saint.” Lamín keeps trying!

                                                                • Sierra Leone
                                                                • AFW
                                                                • Don Bosco Fambul
                                                                • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                                • Opzione Preferenziale
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Panama – “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together”: the official program for World Youth Day Panama 2019

                                                                  1 month ago
                                                                  Panama – “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together”: the official program for World Youth Day Panama 2019

                                                                  (ANS – Panama City) – Young people from various parts of the world are preparing to experience one of the greatest events in the life of the Church which brings thousands upon thousands of people together, this time at the centre of the Americas, Panama: World Youth Day (WYD). Some have already left, others are just leaving, and still others will depart in the coming days. What is certain is that the celebration will begin in a few days time, and the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco will be ready to welcome so many visitors.

                                                                  The involvement of three great personalities will make the WYD celebrations complete: first of all the Holy Father, Francis  and then, for the Salesian world, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat. Also taking part will be authorities from various countries: The Governor of Panama has confirmed that the Presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Portugal will be taking part …

                                                                  Pope Francis will leave Rome on 23 January and arrive in Panama the same day. On Thursday 24 he will receive the greetings of authorities from various countries and from the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, and will also meet the Central American bishops. In the afternoon there will be a welcoming and opening ceremony for the World Youth Day 2019, in the “Campo Santa María la Antigua” - Cinta Costera.

                                                                  During his stay in Panama the Holy Father will have a number of occasions when he will meet thousands of young people, and he will conclude his visit with the celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday 27 January, in the great “Campo San Juan Paolo II” – Metro Park, where some 250,000 faithful are expected to gather

                                                                  The official hymn for WYD Panama 2019, with the title: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) was written and composed by Abdiel Jiménez, with production and arrangement by Aníbal Muñoz, and the collaboration of Carlos Samaniego and Ricky Ramírez, professionals with a great musical career. 

                                                                  The official WYD program is available on the Vatican website

                                                                  Salesians, for their part, will transmit live the main events of the WYD through the ANS Facebook page.

                                                                  The whole country has been preparing for months, finalising details before the Holy Father arrives, and it is with great enthusiasm that it awaits the youth of the world who have decided to take part in this WYD. “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together in love for their brothers and sisters, of whatever religion creed or political persuasion”, explained Yithzak Gonzalez, youth ministry worker with the Episcopal Conference of Panama, in an interview released on “Vatican News”.

                                                                  • Panama
                                                                  • GMG2019
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Kenya – Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar: a dream becomes reality

                                                                    1 month ago
                                                                    Kenya – Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar: a dream becomes reality

                                                                    (ANS – Nairobi) – After a time of preparation, the Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar (SAFCAM) has begun its activities. The first workshops are now being offered in January 2019: for the first time there is a workshop for Rectors in English and another one in French.

                                                                    The SAFCAM vision goes back to the explicit mandate given by the 27th General Chapter to assist Salesians to become mystics in the Spirit, prophets of fraternity and servants of the young.

                                                                    SAFCAM promotes the Lifelong Formation of all who share the spirit and mission of Don Bosco in the context of the opportunities and challenges of the Church and society in Africa and Madagascar. Such formation involves the deepening of the Salesian charismatic identity and the promotion of communion among the different vocations in the mission.

                                                                    SAFCAM is located at DBYES (Don Bosco Youth Educational Services) in Nairobi.  Two confreres have been appointed by the Rector Major: Camiel Swertvagher and François Dufour.

                                                                    After these first meetings, other conferences, courses or workshops will be organised in the coming months for other groups of confreres, members of the Salesian Family and lay partners.

                                                                    “It’s a joy for the team, for the Region of Africa and Madagascar and for the Congregation to see that the dream becomes reality!” Fr Augustine Sellam, Vice Provincial of the East Africa Province, said.

                                                                    {gallery}AFE - SAFCAM{/gallery}

                                                                    • AFE
                                                                    • Kenya
                                                                    • Formazione
                                                                    • Africa
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Great Britain – From the street to “Don Bosco Ashalayam” and finally, Bollywood

                                                                      1 month ago
                                                                      Great Britain – From the street to “Don Bosco Ashalayam” and finally, Bollywood

                                                                      (ANS – London) – Rajdeep, an Indian boy who spent many years at the “Don Bosco Ashalayam” Salesian centre for youth at risk in Kolkata, left there last year to join a rugby school. Recently, he was selected by a Bollywood film director to play a role in “Jungle Cry”, a film based on the true story of the Indian Under 14 rugby team known as the “Jungle Crows” who won the London-based international school Rugby tournament, “Touraid” in 2007. Rajdeep is among 13 boys chosen from among more than 500 aspiring film actors.

                                                                      The “Jungle Crows” club was made up of tribal boys trained by Indian coach Rudraksha Jena, from the “Kalinga” Institute of Social Sciences (played by Abhay Deol in the film, one of the greatest Bollywood stars), and by Paul Walsh OBE, a British diplomat who gave up his carrier to teach rugby to disadvantaged minors.

                                                                      Rajdeep came to Great Britain in December 2018, more precisely to Wales, to do the shooting in three different rugby stadiums. On this occasion he explained that his stay at “Don Bosco Ashalayam” had helped him so much in public speaking – something that was obviously a decisive factor in his selection – and he was very grateful to the Salesians in Kolkata for this.

                                                                      The young rugby player and actor also told how he and his two brothers and been rescued by a Salesian, Fr Mathew, at the Howrah railway station. In fact, although their father was still alive, he had been unable to maintain and educate them, and had it not been for the Salesians they would have spent their lives on the street.

                                                                      Shortly before returning to India it was also possible for Rajdeep, together with another boy who had stayed at “Don Bosco Ashalayam”, to meet the British woman who had funded their education through an overseas program during their time at the home for youth at risk in Kolkata.

                                                                      “It was a wonderful encounter and a dream come true for Rajdeep”, said Fr Andrew Ebrahim. On their return to the hotel, Fr Ebrahim, who had coordinated all the movements, also succeeded in bringing the two boys to the Salesian community at Chertsey, and both of them were very happy to get to know and be able to personally thank people involved for years in helping youngsters like them to be able to be given attention and opportunities.

                                                                      The film director is a Salesian past pupil from Mumbai who hopes to return to London in May for the film’s preview.

                                                                      Source: Salesians UK

                                                                      • Gran Bretagna
                                                                      • GBR
                                                                      • India
                                                                      • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                                      • Sport
                                                                      • Exallievi
                                                                      • Cinema
                                                                      • Solidarietà
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Haiti – 12 January 2010 – 12 January 2019: 9 years later, Haiti continues to weep for its children

                                                                        1 month ago
                                                                        Haiti – 12 January 2010 – 12 January 2019: 9 years later, Haiti continues to weep for its children

                                                                        (ANS – Port-au-Prince) – On 12 January last, exactly 9 years after the earthquake that shook Haiti, a Eucharistic celebration took place at the National School of Arts and Trades (ENAM, in French), the first Salesian house in Haiti. This ceremony, at which Fr Morachel Bonhomme, the Vice Provincial, presided, brought together a great number of Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, postnovices, prenovices, rectos, and teachers of the “Work of the Little Schools of Father Bonen” and students from the Salesian Normal School.

                                                                        In his homily at the Mass, Fr Bonhomme explained to his listeners the importance of the spiritual life for every individual who professes to be a Christian. He then commented especially on the Gospel chosen for the occasion: Jesus and the death of his friend Lazarus. He thus recalled the dialogue between Jesus and Martha which begins with the woman’s profession of faith – “Lord, had you been here, my brother would not have died! But even now I know that you will ask God for something and he will grant it to you” – and it concludes with Jesus’ promise: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live”.

                                                                        The Vice Provincial then went on to explain to the faithful gathered there that we need to always be ready to encounter the Lord and that all of human existence belongs to God.

                                                                        This celebration brought many memories to light for those present, and they remembered the many students who died in the earthquake, as well as the three victims from among the spiritual sons of Don Bosco, Salesian Brother Hubert Sanon, the first Haitian Salesian, and two young Salesians in formation.

                                                                        Nine years later the Salesians in Haiti are picking up the consequences of the earthquake on 12 January 2010, and the Rinaldi Foundation, the Planning and Development Office, continue to carry out the work of coordination of funds for the communities. Furthermore, the Work of the Little Schools of Father Bohnen, situated at the centre of La Saline and Cité Soleil, two fo the largest shanty towns in Port-au-Prince, continue to serve thousands of children and young migrants, and the Salesians in Haiti, following the invitation that the then Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez made to them, continue working to be “makers of history, sentinels of dawn and prophets of hope”.

                                                                        {gallery}HAI - Ricordo anniversario{/gallery}

                                                                        • Haiti
                                                                        • HAI
                                                                        • Anniversari
                                                                        • Disastri
                                                                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Democratic Republic of Congo – Solidarity in support of education for families affected by the fire last August

                                                                          1 month ago
                                                                          Democratic Republic of Congo – Solidarity in support of education for families affected by the fire last August

                                                                          (ANS – Bukavu) – On17 August 2018 a devastating fire broke out between Irambo and Pesage roads, in the area of Nyalukemba in Bukavu. It destroyed more than 300 houses built with wooden planks and very close to one another. “I wrote to various friends in Europe, asking for help for the families who lost everything in the fire. I received a beautiful response of generosity”, comments Fr Piero Gavioli, Salesian missionary in the country for more than 35 years.

                                                                          With the agreement of the diocesan Caritas, the Salesian missionary decided to help families who needed to pay school fees for their children who attend the primary school. “The leaders of the Christian communities in these districts carried out a serious survey in houses and schools, and drew up a list of children to be helped” the missionary recounts.

                                                                          At Irambo, the Don Bosco Centre took in more than a hundred minors. Recently, a social worker from the Don Bosco Centre at Bukavu, Bienvenu Karume, visited the families affected by the fire and were able to see that some families had received help in materials or money from public or private bodies, and had begun to rebuild their houses. But since the authorities had not taken measures to help the inhabitants to build according to the standards of the urban planning regulations, the same errors as in the past have been repeated.

                                                                          “Dad built a house out of sheet metal in which we spend the night, but in very difficult conditions, without a bed, mattress or good blankets. It is rather cold…” says Lea, a 12-year-old and sixth of nine children.

                                                                          “With help received in aid-in-kind and money, my father rebuilt the house, but it is not yet finished or furnished; we are already living there but it is tough” adds Ahana Babwine, 10 years old, the eighth of ten children.

                                                                          The families who have returned to their homes have to tackle many difficulties: many houses are made of tin, the rooms are not separated by solid walls and are often lacking everything. Furthermore, when it rains they are also victims of flooding because the district is on swampy ground which is not appropriate for building on.

                                                                          Hence the Don Bosco Centre has preferred to invest help received in a school for the children. At least, thanks to national and international solidarity, almost all the children of the district are enrolled in school and, with the hope that comes from education, can perhaps build a better future for themselves and their families.

                                                                          • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                                                          • AFC
                                                                          • Disastri
                                                                          • Solidarietà
                                                                          • Povertà
                                                                          • Educazione
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            Italy – Spirituality Days, the Rector Major hands over the 7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family

                                                                            1 month ago
                                                                            Italy – Spirituality Days, the Rector Major hands over the 7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family

                                                                            (ANS – Turin) – The final session of the 37th Salesian Family Spirituality Days took place on Sunday 13 January. After solemn Mass in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, which saw the participation of 16 Major Superiors or Presidents of various groups of the Salesian Family, a summary of what had been shared among the 350 participants was made in the grand theatre at Valdocco.

                                                                            Earlier, on Saturday the 12th, Prof. Francesc Torralba from Barcelona, starting out from Pope Francis’ Magisterium, had shown how the road to holiness is always one that leads us to go out of ourselves. Following this, Sr Lucy Nderi, FMA, and a young leader, Elisa, spoke of their experience of taking part in the activities of the recent Synod.

                                                                            Then, after the round table discussion involving 8 members of the Salesian Family who shared their personal discovery of the call to Salesian holiness, the third day concluded with the Musical “Arte di Giò”.

                                                                            On Sunday, at the conclusion of these days which have been so rich in inspiration, testimonies and reflections, Fr Á.F. Artime insisted, during the Mass, on three fundamental concepts on the road to holiness: unity which overcomes barriers;  a missionary outlook which helps by accepting others; community which makes our witness to communion credible.

                                                                            Finally, in the theatre, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco presented the “Seven beatitudes of the Salesian family”, drawn up by the various working groups over these days.

                                                                            #HOLINESS FOR YOU TOO: THE BEATITUDES OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY

                                                                            1. Blessed is the Salesian Family that finds joy in poverty, imbued with God’s grace, it will work amongst the poorest and marginalised youth – this is holiness!

                                                                            2. Blessed is the Salesian Family that embodies the docility and love of the Good Shepherd. It thus welcomes and accompanies youth with loving kindness, forming them toward dialogue and the welcoming of diversity - this is holiness!

                                                                            3. Blessed is the Salesian Family that accompanies others, heals the wounds of those who suffer and gives hope to those who feel hopeless, thus bringing the joy of the Risen Christ – this is holiness!

                                                                            4. Blessed is the Salesian Family that hungers and thirsts for justice and accompanies youth on their mission to actualise their life project within their families, in the workplace, and within political and social commitment – this is holiness!

                                                                            5. Blessed is the Salesian Family that has a living experience of mercy, opening its eyes and heart to active listening and forgiving. It thus becomes a home that welcomes others – this is holiness!

                                                                            6. Blessed is the Salesian Family that seeks to be authentic, whole and transparent whilst cultivating a loving gaze that goes beyond appearances and recognises the grace of God within each person – this is holiness!

                                                                            7. Blessed is the Salesian Family, that draws from the truth of the Gospel and remains faithful to the charism of Don Bosco. It thus becomes yeast for a new humanity and joyfully embraces the joy of the Cross for the Kingdom of God – this is holiness!

                                                                            A new video was also presented at the conclusion of the Spirituality Days. It is hope that it can be an aid for presenting the Strenna 2019 to youngsters (and not only them). The video, which was much appreciated by those present, is available on ANSChannel

                                                                            The photos of the Days are available on ANSFlickr.

                                                                            Further information is available on the website dedicated to the Days: http://salesianfamilydays.com 

                                                                            Videos of the principal live moments are available on the ANS Facebook page.

                                                                            • Italia
                                                                            • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                                            • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                            • Santità
                                                                            • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                            • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                                                            • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Italy - Don Bosco's school yesterday and today

                                                                              1 month 1 week ago
                                                                              Italy - Don Bosco's school yesterday and today

                                                                              (ANS - Turin) – A second day of work and reflection for the participants of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family. The good morning was given by the prayer of praise animated by the choir of the Novices of Pinerolo.

                                                                              To Fr Aldo Giraudo, professor of Salesian History at the Salesian Pontifical University, the task of warming up the assembly with the first meeting; its theme: "Holiness at the school of Don Bosco."

                                                                              Domenico Savio finds himself with his heart set on fire by the preaching of Don Bosco. Not only did he want to be a saint, he truly needed to.


                                                                              Starting from this analysis of the life of the Saint what are the secrets that he has left us as an inheritance? Four, the ideas offered by the analysis of Fr Aldo. First of all, the desire to "Give oneself to God" in time and with totality borne of the idea; secondly, that it is easy to become saints. A journey that must then be supported with a journey of personal and apostolic asceticism so as to be able to experience daily life in living in the presence of God.

                                                                              In the testimony of Fr Damir Stojic, a Salesian from Croatia, a concrete pastoral experience addressed to young university students was presented, embodying one of the different ways of today making the Good Christians and Honest Citizens of St. John Bosco current.

                                                                              The afternoon was dedicated to the visit of the places of holiness: Valdocco, Cottolengo, the Oratory of the Marchesa Barolo and the surrounding streets, a real and proper itinerary not only of the city but a spiritual journey to enable, in the spirit of pilgrims, entering the secrets of the histories of holiness that have preceded us.

                                                                              Returning to the theater, at the end of this beautiful experience divided by linguistic groups, the group of participants were welcomed by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni with a talk dedicated to holiness in the Salesian Family.

                                                                              • Italia
                                                                              • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                                              • Don Bosco
                                                                                Jesus Jurado

                                                                                Cambodia - Samai and Phirun recover their childhood at "Don Bosco Kep"

                                                                                1 month 1 week ago

                                                                                (ANS - Kep) - In Cambodia, one of the world's poorest countries, the most vulnerable population is exposed to the risks deriving from exploitation, the depredation of natural resources and climate change. Samai and Phirun are two boys aged 11 and 13. "Both were exploited in the brick factory where they worked to earn some money and help their families," says Fr Albeiro Rodas, Salesian missionary at Kep.

                                                                                Together with Samai and Phirun lives Danith, aged 16; at 11 he lost his sight and his family, as they abandoned him in the streets. And also Meng, Dara, Pinch ... and so on until one arrives at the total of 50 children who are part of the "Brother Sun" program that welcomes and hosts vulnerable children. "It's amazing how in a few weeks these children, who lived without a childhood, recover their smiles, their games ... They return definitively to what a natural childhood should be," explains Fr Albeiro.

                                                                                To the "children of the sun", as they are called, there are another 300 children and young people between the ages of 3 and 22, who receive education and vocational training in the Salesian Don Bosco Kep. "Every child, every young person, also represents a family, almost always of peasants and of low income, which includes indigenous families, children and young people with physical disabilities, girls and young women at risk of exploitation, children and young people who may end up in networks of trafficking and illegal emigration," says the missionary, explaining the situation in which the children cared for are initially found.

                                                                                At the technical school of Don Bosco Kep the young people, about 200 per course, receive vocational training in electro-technical skills, media, secretarial work, hotel management and programming. "This is a great opportunity for these young people, who see a previously unimaginable future open up," the people at Kep explain.

                                                                                "We are very happy this year because we have been able to complete some buildings for the development of our programs, such as a new electrical department and a kiosk by the sea, where students can carry out their internship", adds Fr Rodas. "And we have also launched a project to sell our products, so as to increase our sustainability as a center." This new 2019 year shall hence continue to be a year of challenges in Kep.

                                                                                • Cambogia
                                                                                • Scuole
                                                                                • Formazione Professionale
                                                                                • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                                                • THA
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana