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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

India – “Tani Cool” photo journal released

1 month 1 week ago
India – “Tani Cool” photo journal released

(ANS – Jorhat) – The latest book by K. A. Thomas, sdb, called “Tani Cool”, was released on 4th March 2019, by Rev. Jose Kuruvachira, the Provincial Superior of Don Bosco organizations in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur. The book was released at Don Bosco, Baghchung, in the presence of a large number of educationists and social workers from Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam. 

“Tani Cool” is a random collection of photographs taken by the author, dating from 2000 to 2015. The colourful photographs depict their entire life and culture of the Mising people spread out in the rural situations of 11 districts of Assam and 3 districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The book describes pictorially 46 topics about the tribe.

The word Tani in the title refers to the nomenclature of the tribe that once lived in the present day Arunachal Pradesh, and belonged to the Tani group of tribes. Misings are a cool people, who never had an army or a king. They were called upon by the British rulers to intermediate between the warring tribes living in the hills and plains of the region.

Fr K.A. Thomas, SDB, a member of “Don Bosco International”, is the founder director of Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD), based at Jorhat, and is an Ashoka Fellow since 2002. Although hailing from Kerala, he has mastered the Assamese language, having obtained a bachelor’s degree in Assamese from Guwahati University way back in 1987.

  • India
  • IND
  • Indigeni
  • Libri
  • Mising
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy – Don Bosco and Salesian missionaries in Patagonia at "European Academy of Religion"

    1 month 1 week ago

    (ANS - Bologna) - During the annual meeting, 4 - 7 March, the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS), a member of the "European Academy of Religion", based in Bologna, screened the documentary film "A sud del sud - South of South" by Salvatore Metastasio. Financed by Don Bosco Missions and the Dicastery for Salesian Missions, in collaboration with ISS, the film aims to commemorate the centenary of the Salesian missionaries raising the cross at Cape Froward (Strait of Magellan) in 1913, on the occasion of the 1600th anniversary of the edict of Constantine. The Bologna screening was received with great interest by the public.

    The Salesians, who had already presented the results of their historical research to the European Academy of Religion two years ago, through a conference on Salesian work in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century, were thus able to talk about the epic Salesian missionary journey in Patagonia through the film by Salvatore Metastasio.

    The film narrates the journey of two Italians who meet in Punta Arenas, Chile, and then continue together to Cape Froward. The youngest, Diego, wants to know the world of the Yagan, because he plans to make a film about Darwin and his friendship with Jemmy Botton, the native aboard the brig "Beagle" on his famous journey of 1832. Instead, the elderly man, Alessandro, narrates having set out towards Patagonia to follow the traces of Don Bosco's dream about that land, which a Salesian had told him about when he was a child. The journey together will give birth to a friendship between the two that is, however, filled with misunderstandings.

    It is the clash between science and faith, where a positive view of life is affirmed by the young, while a vision emerges on the part of the older man that cannot overlook the most fruitful part of life: the one that makes man feel part of a whole, a creature among creatures and awaiting a "revelation", which leads to reflect on the meaning of the Cross, seen not only as a religious symbol (for believers) but, above all, as a universal symbol of contact between sky and earth.

    The film ends with the director who entrusts a particular message to everyone: "You do not see the infinite if you do not have it in your heart."

    • Italia
    • ISS
    • Cile
    • Missioni
    • Missioni Don Bosco
    • Cinema
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Vatican - Positive opinion of theological Consultors to Cause of Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni

      1 month 1 week ago
      Vatican - Positive opinion of theological Consultors to Cause of Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni

      (ANS - Vatican City) - On 12 March 2019, during the Congress of Theological Consultors held at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a full positive opinion was given regarding the heroic exercise of virtues, the reputation of holiness and signs of the Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni, archbishop of Potenza, born in Pegognana (Mantua) on 10 January 1876 and died in Potenza on 30 August 1972. The Servant of God attended the Salesian oratory in Turin and met Don Bosco, who had a great influence on his formation.

      The Positio was presented on 27 September 2013 by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Postulator in Rome; among the speakers: Fr Daniel Ols, OP., followed by Fr P. Zdzisław Kijas, OFM Conv., and as a collaborator Msgr. Gerardo Messina, former vice-postulator, assisted by Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Salesian Postulation.

      It is nice to remember that this fundamental passage of the Cause took place on March 12, the day of the death of Saint Luigi Orione who, with the young Augusto Bertazzoni, was a pupil of the oratory of Valdocco in Turin. Both were among the boys who in 1887 offered their lives for the salvation of Don Bosco; while for his part the Saint of the Young had prophesied that the young Augustus would become bishop.

      Mons. Bertazzoni was a good Pastor and father of the poor, a true man of God, a man of faith and prayer, a tireless preacher of the Word of God, attentive to the spiritual needs of the faithful and even non-believers, for whom he spent his life to the very end, offering to God, for the good of the Churches that he had led as a bishop, the sufferings that led to his death.

      He was a father to the victims of war and to the Jews confined to Basilicata, a farsighted educator of the young, and he spent his time so that the priests of his diocese, together with men and women religious,  dedicated themselves to the formation of young people, both in schools as in “Catholic Action”; he would recommend to all of them to have a "spirit of paternity" for the new generations.

      After this step, the next takes place in the Ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops, after which the Supreme Pontiff authorizes the promulgation of the decree of Venerability.

      • Vaticano
      • Santità Salesiana
      • Augusto Bertazzoni
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Venezuela - Msgr Raúl Biord: "We look forward to this historic moment with hope, despite the hunger and the difficult situation that people are experiencing"

        1 month 1 week ago

        (ANS - Caracas) - "We look forward to this historic moment that Venezuela is experiencing," said Msgr. Raúl Biord, Salesian, bishop of La Guaira, Venezuela. His is a peripheral diocese of the city of Caracas, located about twenty kilometers from the capital, and has about 500,000 inhabitants.

        No one can deny that the situation in Venezuela is dramatic, even on a global scale. The images of disease, hunger and pain suffered by many people hurt the eyes. It hurts to see "the terrible scene of a mother carrying the corpse of her daughter to the morgue, who died during the blackout" or "to see dozens of children buried who had no medicine or electricity to save themselves." It hurts to see thousands of Venezuelans having to travel thousands of miles in search of a future, fleeing to other countries.

        In the midst of this desolate landscape, Msgr. Biord said: "We are experiencing profound political changes. Twenty years ago what was called the Bolivarian revolution, which proposed 21st century socialism, was established; but unfortunately that revolution has failed.

        This project has caused great poverty, having followed an economic and social model of great state control over people, businesses and free economic initiative. This whole situation has led to a general collapse of services and the failure and closure of almost all companies.

        One of the biggest catastrophes this regime has produced is that nearly 4 million Venezuelans have left the country in the last 10 years. Very poor and simple people have had to leave the country by bus or on foot.

        In Venezuela there is a situation of great poverty, of great need, and as we bishops have stated on various occasions, through the documents of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, we are faced with a situation of illegitimacy of the President, of illegitimacy in the performance of functions and of illegitimacy in the origin.

        We need a transition, with free elections and a renewal of powers, to renew the country's institutions ... Let's look at this historic moment with hope, despite the hunger and the difficult situation that people are experiencing, despite the collapse of many services, the economic collapse and hunger of many people.

        There is a people that resists bending. It is a people that wants to provide humanitarian assistance through various civil organizations. The Church has placed "Caritas" at the parish and diocesan level as an aid center for receiving aid and distributing support to the most vulnerable population, which are malnourished children, pregnant and child-nurturing mothers, and adults with terminal illnesses.

        The Venezuelan people have the right to live with a quality of life and to be able to give a future to their young people.

        There is a lot of hope, but also a lot of suffering.

        We thank the countries and religious groups that help us with prayer and with their presence, to keep us on our feet and to seek respect for human rights and the dignity of the people. Let's look at this situation with hope. We pray to God that the transition be peaceful."

        • Venezuela
        • Vescovi
        • Fame
        • Povertà
        • Politica
        • Raúl Biord Castillo
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Philippines - "Don Bosco Press, Inc.": 40 years of communicative passion for young people

          1 month 1 week ago

          (ANS - Makati City) – For the past 40 years the DB Press has been growing, despite the many challenges. In 1979, the Salesian Province of St. John Bosco in the Northern Philippines (FIN) salvaged the printing equipment of the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati and founded a company - the "Don Bosco Press, Inc." (DBPI ) - to serve the printing needs of its own educational and evangelizing apostolate. In this way the Salesians did nothing but follow up on the indications expressed by Don Bosco himself: "How many souls were saved by good books, how many preserved from horror, how many encouraged in good!" (Letter on the spread of good books, 19 March 1885).

          by Carmelo Martinez, SDB

          Located in Makati City, on the second floor of the Provincial House, DBPI has evolved over time, through internal growth and acquisitions from outside, from a small “courtyard” printer to the well-known and established publishing house that it is today.

          Currently, Don Bosco Press is divided into three main sectors: the core business consisting of the publishing house proper called "SalesianaBooks"; its Printing Services; and the Printing School at the Vocational Training Center.

          SALESIANABOOKS - DBPI publishes textbooks for basic education needs through the "SalesianaBooks" brand. Firmly convinced that Quality Education also passes through quality textbooks, Salesiana Books ensures that all its products are morally upright, up-to-date and enhanced by the most effective pedagogical, teaching and learning tools.

          PRINTING SERVICES - By putting into practice its own guiding philosophy, "Excellence within Reach!", DBPI is committed to providing customers with customized and personalized assistance to meet their printing needs.

          SCHOOL OF PRINTING – It represents the company's contribution to the development of the Philippine printing and publishing industries. The school is the only training institute for the printing and publishing industries that offers its students hands-on experience, a factor that allows them to be among the most sought-after skilled workers at graduation.

          Counting workers and employees of the central office and those of the peripheral centers in Baguio, Visayas and Mindanao, the "Don Bosco Press, Inc" is today a large family of about 200 people. For the company's 40th anniversary, yesterday, March 11, about 60 lay collaborators in the mission were able to hear the Salesian "good morning", during which the guiding values ​​of the company were remembered, including its care for the environment.

          For more information, visit: http://www.donboscopress.ph/

          {gallery}Filippine - DBPI 2019{/gallery}

          • Filippine
          • FIN
          • Comunicazione Sociale
          • Editrici
          • Anniversari
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Tanzania – Training youth in renewable energy. Salesian formation benefits everyone

            1 month 1 week ago
            Tanzania – Training youth in renewable energy. Salesian formation benefits everyone

            (ANS - Dar es Salaam) - "In the world there is a low level of access to clean and renewable energy. There is still a need to develop adequate accumulation technologies." (Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, n° 26). In order to improve the formation and employment opportunities of the most needy young people, to promote the spread of a culture of respect and protection of Creation, and to meet the needs of the local population, the Salesians in Tanzania are promoting training courses for renewable energy management.

            Thanks to collaborations with NGOs and charitable foreign foundations such as the German "Misereor" or the US "Charles Stewart Mott Foundation", for the past two years the Salesian center "Don Bosco Oysterbay" in Dar es Salaam has developed training programs in the field of renewable energy. Launched in 2017, these courses have enabled the quality technical training of 120 young people each year, selected from children who are the most needy and at risk of social exclusion.

            Among the top 35 young graduates of the solar energy training course, there is also Imani Mwasonga, one of the graduates who comments: "The training has been a great platform for me to learn and acquire new skills, enabling me to explore the use of solar energy. I hope to maximize my skills, empower the community to take advantage of solar power and, in the process, make the world a better place to live in."

            Given the success of this pilot project carried out at the "Don Bosco Oysterbay", the "Charles Stewart Mott Foundation" granted a further grant to the Salesian Mission Office of New Rochelle, USA, to finance the same educational initiative at the centers of Salesian formation in Dodoma and Iringa.

            In total, the 3 training centers - in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Iringa - will annually train 300 students in the installation, operation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic systems. The centers will also collaborate with companies active in the solar energy sector and with the government to offer apprenticeship opportunities to teachers and students.

            In Tanzania, only 15% of the 41.5 million inhabitants has access to electricity, with only 12% of urban areas and 2% of rural areas having access.

            Since electricity is slow to arrive in many areas, Tanzanians are opting for renewable energy and especially solar panels. Rural areas, in particular, are adopting photovoltaic (PV) technology more rapidly, largely due to the absence of an electricity grid. However, with the increase in the adoption of solar energy by rural and sub-rural communities, the lack of qualified technicians remains a challenge for the sector.

            The new renewable energy training programs started at the Salesian centers can thus meet the needs of the population and provide employment opportunities for young people in need. All with respect for Creation.

            Source: Salesian Missions 

            {gallery}Tanzania - Energie solari 2019{/gallery}

            • Tanzania
            • Tecnologie
            • Formazione Professionale
            • Missioni
            • AFE
            • Ambiente
            • Creato
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Peru - Growing up with music: the goal of the Salesians in Calca

              1 month 1 week ago
              Peru - Growing up with music: the goal of the Salesians in Calca

              (ANS - Calca) - Today in Peru there is much enthusiastic talk about economic growth, which unfortunately is not reflected in the living conditions of the peasants of remote villages in the country's interior. In the area of Calca, a peasant community in the Andean Sierra, progress and well-being have never arrived. It is for these people that the Salesians have begun to set things in motion.

              In the area of Calca the poverty rate is very high; high, too,  the rate of child malnutrition and family violence. Access to education for children and young people in the valleys is very limited: many of them have to walk four hours a day during their home-school trips, exposing themselves to dangers such as sexual abuse, abduction for the purpose of human trafficking and induction to child prostitution.

              The Salesian mission in Calca takes care of 40 rural communities spread over a route of 3000 km, for a total of over 27,000 beneficiaries.

              The "Don Bosco" house welcomes about 40 children and youngsters coming from far away areas and from social-family contexts that are not able to guarantee them a serene growth. At the Salesian house these minors receive hospitality, but also the opportunity to grow up in a familiar and cheerful environment, attending workshops, after-school courses and sports-related courses.

              To offer children and adolescents an integral education, providing them with the necessary means - human and material - for an optimal use of their studies and for the global development of their personality, reaching an adequate integration in society and becoming Christian promoters, leaders, animators in their own communities: this is the goal of the Salesians of Calca.

              Currently, the Salesians who animate the missionary youth center have developed a new idea: they want to start a music workshop that would involve 41 children. The value of the project is twofold, both cultural and psychological: on the one hand, to help young people to keep their roots through the study and the realization of folk songs; on the other, to favor the psycho-physical well-being that musical activities transmit. The students will attend the course twice a week for 2 hours of lessons each time, so as to maximize all the benefits that this activity generates.

              Traditional Pan flutes, but also triangles, wooden bass drums and modern musical keyboards ... Of these instruments, there is now an urgent need in the mission. The children of Calca are only waiting for someone to give them the chance to dream through music.

              For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

              • Perù
              • PER
              • Musica
                Gian Francesco Romano

                South Africa - Rector Major to the young: "How many of you believe that you will need sacrifice to achieve your dream?"

                1 month 1 week ago

                (ANS - Johannesburg) - Last Friday, March 8, landing in Cape Town, South Africa, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime reached the 86th country he has visited as Rector Major. "My wish is that the Salesians will help you to be good boys," he said shortly after his arrival, meeting the young students of the "Learn to Live School" path.

                On that same day, the X Successor of Don Bosco had two other significant meetings, both at the "Mary Help of Christians" parish: the one with the local Salesian Family and the one with the youngsters of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM).

                In the first of the two meetings, Fr Á.F. Artime recalled how in the whole world religious and laity of the Salesian Family really succeed in changing the lives of young people, and he also emphasized the value of unity: "In order to develop Salesian works, Don Bosco needed the help of many other people. It is very important that we remain united."

                Then, with the youth of SYM, the Rector Major acted as a true youth animator, provoking them with several questions: "Are you happy?"; "How many of you have a dream?"; "How many of you think it is possible to realize it, your dream?"; "How many are willing to make sacrifices to achieve it?" ... In the end, to the young he indicated the example of Don Bosco, a saint who dreamed great things for the young and sacrificed himself to pursue his dream. And he reminded them not to leave Jesus out of their lives.

                On Saturday morning, March 9, the Rector Major met his confreres in Cape Town where he said how Pope Francis once said to him: "Others work with the young, but the Salesians exist for young people."

                Later, Fr Á.F. Artime dialogued with Msgr. Stephen Brislin, archbishop of Cape Town. He later reached Johannesburg where, first of all, he visited the provincial community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                The Rector Major spent yesterday, Sunday 10 March, meeting young people and members of the Salesian Family who are active in the presences of Johannesburg. He reminded the youths that each person can be a gift to others and that holiness does not consist in performing miracles, but in performing "the miracle of service."

                To the various groups of the Salesian Family, he emphasized the importance of witnessing communion and of being significantly present among young people.

                • AFM
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                • Visita di Animazione
                • Famiglia Salesiana
                • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                • Giovani
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Angola - Salesians honored with "Manuel António da Mota" award

                  1 month 1 week ago

                  (ANS - Luanda) - The Salesians of Don Bosco in Angola received an honorable mention of the "Manuel António da Mota - A Life for Angola" award, officially launched last Friday, March 8, in Luanda, in the presence of the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and of the President of the Republic of Angola, João Lourenço.

                  The "Manuel António da Mota" Foundation is an emanation of the Mota-Engil Group, a large Portuguese company active in the construction, energy and transport sectors and operating in 22 countries on 3 continents (Europe, Africa and America). The Foundation, founded in Portugal, aims to promote, develop and support social and cultural initiatives and thus represents an important tool of the Corporate Social Responsibility policy of the Mota-Engil Group.

                  In order to pay tribute to those institutions that distinguish themselves in health and education, last Friday an event took place at the Epic Sana hotel in Luanda during which the first edition of the "Manuel António da Mota - A life in Angola " prize was launched, which will take place in 2020. On this occasion, a special mention of the award has already been assigned, which the First Lady of Angola, Ms Ana Dias Lourenço, has consigned to Fr Manuel Ordoñez Roman, Vicar of the Salesian Vice Province of Angola.

                  In the motivation of the award, the representatives of the "Manuel António da Mota Foundation" recalled that the Salesians of Don Bosco began their activities in Angola in 1981 and explained that the prize was awarded because of their dedication to the cause of the most disadvantaged groups and the well-being of the Angolans.

                  The president of the Board of Directors of the Foundation then indicated that the recognition "Manuel António da Mota - A Life for Angola" will aim to honor the non-governmental philanthropic organizations of Angola, similar to what has been done for 10 years in Portugal; and explained that it was decided to establish the award in Angola, because that is the country where Mr. Manuel António da Mota started his business 73 years ago.

                  The ceremony was also attended by the Vice-President of the Republic of Angola, Bornito de Sous, several Angolan and Portuguese parliamentarians, ministers, prominent figures and businessmen, together with several members of the Manuel António da Mota Foundation and the Mota-Engil company.

                  • Angola
                  • ANG
                  • Personaggi illustri
                  • Politica
                  • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Italy - "Mamma Margherita's Recipes" for the rebirth of women victims of violence

                    1 month 2 weeks ago

                    (ANS - Messina) - On the occasion of the International Women's Day, "Salesiani per il Sociale", together with the "House of Women" of Messina, presents "The Recipes of Mamma Margherita", a recipe book created by four women victims of violence, reborn thanks to their passion for cooking. It is a book full of culinary proposals, recipes, which also presents the stories of its four authors.

                    The recipe book - free download at https://www.salesianiperilsociale.it/menu - is inspired by Margherita Occhiena, mother of Don Bosco and cook for many young people from Turin-Valdocco. "It is a tribute to her and to all mothers who take care of their children even by cooking a 'good meal'," says Fr Giovanni d'Andrea, President of 'Salesians for Social Affairs'. "And it is also a way to be in solidarity with the girls welcomed in the 'House of Women' of Messina, which we support in its activities aimed at (helping) victims of violence or with serious family difficulties."

                    It was, in fact, some of the very guests of the structure - Paola, Sabrina, Sara and Miriam - to write the recipes, expressing in its pages their desire to live and rise again, and also to share their painful experiences, whichunfortunately are much too common still today.

                    The "House of Women", the center that hosts them, was established in 2004 on the initiative of the "Italian Social Reinsertion Committee" (CIRS Onlus), member of "Salesians for Social Affairs". In a reality that is among Italy's poorest, with high levels of unemployment and a serious lack of services, the structure is a safe house where these young people can be helped and assisted through psychological, legal and medical support and, above all, where they can raise their children in peace - many are single mothers.

                    The center not only offers hospitality, but also vocational training and job placement: thanks to the donation of an industrial kitchen, in recent years the women guests have also started a catering service, which allows them to be more economically autonomous.

                    Since - in 2017 - the region of Sicily has cut its funds for anti-violence centers and asked to sell the building run by CIRS, the managers of the "House of Women" have launched the #1CASAPERILCIRS campaign with the aim of buying the building so as to continue to provide its services. Solidarity and support is not lacking, but the path is still long and tiring, and the "Salesians for Social" want to be by their side, of the "House of Women" of Messina.

                    Further information on: http://www.cirsme.it/ and https://www.salesianiperilsociale.it

                    • Italia
                    • Salesiani per il Sociale
                    • ISI
                    • Donne
                    • Violenza di Genere
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Spain - Salesian Social Platforms celebrate International Women's Day with the #OrgullosaDeSerMujer campaign

                      1 month 2 weeks ago
                      Spain - Salesian Social Platforms celebrate International Women's Day with the #OrgullosaDeSerMujer campaign

                      (ANS - Madrid) - On the occasion of International Women's Day, today March 8, the Salesian Social Platforms have joined together to claim the rights of girls and women who struggle every day to create a world in which being a woman is not a obstacle, and to denounce the inequalities, abuses and injustices that they suffer every day, especially those who are most at risk or vulnerability.

                      Since their creation, the Salesian Social Platforms have developed, among other initiatives, specific services for the integral development of girls, young women and women and in favor of equality: through literacy projects, formation and accompaniment, specific social and work integration for women, and reception programs for single-parent families and women victims of gender-based violence.

                      An example can be seen in the "La Mina" center of the Salesians in Barcelona-Sant Jordi, where programs are offered for mothers with young children, whose purpose is to support women in taking up their parental role adequately, through concrete resources that allow them to carry out work compatible with the growth and maturation of their children.

                      Other programs currently underway are:

                      #GritandoAlMundo, from the "Fundación Juan Soñador", an intervention project with teenagers and young people to promote gender equality.

                      #Aurrera, of the "Fundación Boscos", which aims to eliminate sexist stereotypes, prejudices and discriminatory behavior.

                      #XarxaLaFinestra, organized by the "Fundación Maria Auxiliadora", a network learning project that promotes gender equality and the social and work inclusion of women at risk and socially excluded.

                      In the Pinardi Federation, various activities are carried out to work with girls, young people and women.

                      And the "Fundación Don Bosco" of Cordoba, wishing to give visibility to groups of women at risk of exclusion, will celebrate a special event entitled "Educating to equality."

                      Through the social networks, the Salesian Social Platforms have launched a message for the emancipation of all women: #OrgullosaDeSerMujer (Proud to be a woman).

                      With this campaign they want to promote a change of mentality and collaborate in the transformation of social and political reality, promoting a culture of acceptance, respect, generosity and justice, maintaining the commitment to be a reference organization in the field of gender equality.

                      • Spagna
                      • Donne
                      • Violenza di Genere
                      • Federazione Pinardi
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Italy - "Our concern is the common home where the young person is at the center of our attention": the Pan-Amazon Seminar

                        1 month 2 weeks ago

                        (ANS - Rome) - "I heard a story of a nun who had gone to evangelize an area of ​​the Amazon, and the natives told her: 'if you come to build a church, know that we have our convictions. If you come to build a school, know that we can educate our children for themselves ... But if you come to stay with us and fight for our rights, you are welcome." This is what Fr José Zanardini narrated in the first report of the Pan-Amazon Seminar entitled "New paths for a Church with an Amazonian Face",  underway (March 7-8) at the Salesian Pontifical University.

                        The event is being attended by a large group of people and speakers from various parts of the world: Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador. Fr Paolo Carlotta and Fr Martin Lasarte of the Missions Dicastery offered their welcome.

                        In a brief presentation, Fr Lasarte said that the mission of the Salesians at the Pan-Amazon Synod is not simply to take a position on nature. "Our concern is the common home where the young person is at the center of our attention. In these 125 years of Salesian presence in the Amazon, we have accompanied thousands of young people; we have 38 religious communities with the presence of 198 Salesians of Don Bosco."

                        Cardinal Claudio Hummes, archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, Brazil, presented the history of the Pan-Amazon Synod. Mgr. Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, then spoke: "Church and ecology are one reality. It is faith in God that stimulates the Church to be present in the territory, enhancing (the value of) culture and identity ... In this sense it is a matter of seeing the Amazonian face of the Church."

                        The morning ended with a presentation by Prof. Gabriela Bernal on the current state of the youth in the Amazon: "Latin America continues to be the continent of inequality. Indigenous women and young people are truly poor …," she said.

                        In the afternoon, mgr. Raúl Biord, bishop of La Guaira, from Venezuela, presented the report: "Theological, ecclesial and missionary perspectives for the Amazon region", and Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, SDB, presented a paper: "The spaces of young people in the Amazon Church."

                        In conclusion, Mauricio López Oropeza, Executive Secretary of the "Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network", explained that "the purpose of this Synod is to help us change our heart, recognize God in the other and be part of a process of transformation."

                        • Italia
                        • UPS
                        • Sinodo per la regione Panamazzonica
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Italy - "Our concern is the common home where the young person is at the center of our attention": the Pan-Amazon Seminar

                          1 month 2 weeks ago

                          (ANS - Rome) - "I heard a story of a nun who had gone to evangelize an area of ​​the Amazon, and the natives told her: 'if you come to build a church, know that we have our convictions. If you come to build a school, know that we can educate our children for themselves ... But if you come to stay with us and fight for our rights, you are welcome." This is what Fr José Zanardini narrated in the first report of the Pan-Amazon Seminar entitled "New paths for a Church with an Amazonian Face",  underway (March 7-8) at the Salesian Pontifical University.

                          The event is being attended by a large group of people and speakers from various parts of the world: Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador. Fr Paolo Carlotta and Fr Martin Lasarte of the Missions Dicastery offered their welcome.

                          In a brief presentation, Fr Lasarte said that the mission of the Salesians at the Pan-Amazon Synod is not simply to take a position on nature. "Our concern is the common home where the young person is at the center of our attention. In these 125 years of Salesian presence in the Amazon, we have accompanied thousands of young people; we have 38 religious communities with the presence of 198 Salesians of Don Bosco."

                          Cardinal Claudio Hummes, archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, Brazil, presented the history of the Pan-Amazon Synod. Mgr. Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, then spoke: "Church and ecology are one reality. It is faith in God that stimulates the Church to be present in the territory, enhancing (the value of) culture and identity ... In this sense it is a matter of seeing the Amazonian face of the Church."

                          The morning ended with a presentation by Prof. Gabriela Bernal on the current state of the youth in the Amazon: "Latin America continues to be the continent of inequality. Indigenous women and young people are truly poor …," she said.

                          In the afternoon, mgr. Raúl Biord, bishop of La Guaira, from Venezuela, presented the report: "Theological, ecclesial and missionary perspectives for the Amazon region", and Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, SDB, presented a paper: "The spaces of young people in the Amazon Church."

                          In conclusion, Mauricio López Oropeza, Executive Secretary of the "Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network", explained that "the purpose of this Synod is to help us change our heart, recognize God in the other and be part of a process of transformation."

                          Video

                          • Italia
                          • UPS
                          • Sinodo per la regione Panamazzonica
                          • Cardinali
                          • Vescovi
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Spain - Salesian Social Platforms celebrate International Women's Day with the #OrgullosaDeSerMujer campaign

                            1 month 2 weeks ago
                            Spain - Salesian Social Platforms celebrate International Women's Day with the #OrgullosaDeSerMujer campaign

                            (ANS - Madrid) - On the occasion of International Women's Day, today March 8, the Salesian Social Platforms have joined together to claim the rights of girls and women who struggle every day to create a world in which being a woman is not a obstacle, and to denounce the inequalities, abuses and injustices that they suffer every day, especially those who are most at risk or vulnerability.

                            Since their creation, the Salesian Social Platforms have developed, among other initiatives, specific services for the integral development of girls, young women and women and in favor of equality: through literacy projects, formation and accompaniment, specific social and work integration for women, and reception programs for single-parent families and women victims of gender-based violence.

                            An example can be seen in the "La Mina" center of the Salesians in Barcelona-Sant Jordi, where programs are offered for mothers with young children, whose purpose is to support women in taking up their parental role adequately, through concrete resources that allow them to carry out work compatible with the growth and maturation of their children.

                            Other programs currently underway are:

                            #GritandoAlMundo, from the "Fundación Juan Soñador", an intervention project with teenagers and young people to promote gender equality.

                            #Aurrera, of the "Fundación Boscos", which aims to eliminate sexist stereotypes, prejudices and discriminatory behavior.

                            #XarxaLaFinestra, organized by the "Fundación Maria Auxiliadora", a network learning project that promotes gender equality and the social and work inclusion of women at risk and socially excluded.

                            In the Pinardi Federation, various activities are carried out to work with girls, young people and women.

                            And the "Fundación Don Bosco" of Cordoba, wishing to give visibility to groups of women at risk of exclusion, will celebrate a special event entitled "Educating to equality."

                            Through the social networks, the Salesian Social Platforms have launched a message for the emancipation of all women: #OrgullosaDeSerMujer (Proud to be a woman).

                            With this campaign they want to promote a change of mentality and collaborate in the transformation of social and political reality, promoting a culture of acceptance, respect, generosity and justice, maintaining the commitment to be a reference organization in the field of gender equality.

                            • Spagna
                            • Federazione Pinardi
                            • Donne
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Italy - "Mamma Margherita's Recipes" for the rebirth of women victims of violence

                              1 month 2 weeks ago

                              (ANS - Messina) - On the occasion of the International Women's Day, "Salesiani per il Sociale", together with the "House of Women" of Messina, presents "The Recipes of Mamma Margherita", a recipe book created by four women victims of violence, reborn thanks to their passion for cooking. It is a book full of culinary proposals, recipes, which also presents the stories of its four authors.

                              The recipe book - free download - is inspired by Margherita Occhiena, mother of Don Bosco and cook for many young people from Turin-Valdocco. "It is a tribute to her and to all mothers who take care of their children even by cooking a 'good meal'," says Fr Giovanni d'Andrea, President of 'Salesians for Social Affairs'. "And it is also a way to be in solidarity with the girls welcomed in the 'House of Women' of Messina, which we support in its activities aimed at (helping) victims of violence or with serious family difficulties."

                              It was, in fact, some of the very guests of the structure - Paola, Sabrina, Sara and Miriam - to write the recipes, expressing in its pages their desire to live and rise again, and also to share their painful experiences, whichunfortunately are much too common still today.

                              The "House of Women", the center that hosts them, was established in 2004 on the initiative of the "Italian Social Reinsertion Committee" (CIRS Onlus), member of "Salesians for Social Affairs". In a reality that is among Italy's poorest, with high levels of unemployment and a serious lack of services, the structure is a safe house where these young people can be helped and assisted through psychological, legal and medical support and, above all, where they can raise their children in peace - many are single mothers.

                              The center not only offers hospitality, but also vocational training and job placement: thanks to the donation of an industrial kitchen, in recent years the women guests have also started a catering service, which allows them to be more economically autonomous.

                              Since - in 2017 - the region of Sicily has cut its funds for anti-violence centers and asked to sell the building run by CIRS, the managers of the "House of Women" have launched the #1CASAPERILCIRS campaign with the aim of buying the building so as to continue to provide its services. Solidarity and support is not lacking, but the path is still long and tiring, and the "Salesians for Social" want to be by their side, of the "House of Women" of Messina.

                              Further information on: http://www.cirsme.it/ and https://www.salesianiperilsociale.it 

                              • Italia
                              • Salesiani per il Sociale
                              • Donne
                              • Violenza di Genere
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Bolivia - Project started to improve production in rural communities

                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                Bolivia - Project started to improve production in rural communities

                                (ANS - Cochabamba) – In recent weeks, the Spanish Salesian NGO "Solidaridad Don Bosco" has launched the project "Development of agricultural production in the rural communities of Cochabamba." Its goal is to increase the capacity for families to support themselves in the area so as to improve their living conditions.

                                The project takes place in Kami, Cochabamba, and aims to improve the living conditions of more than 200 people, including young people and the rural and Andean population in the area, and to integrate  families and rural communities that until now have lived according to an economic model of mere subsistence into a more developed productive system.

                                "Solidaridad Don Bosco" develops the project with the Salesian Planning and Development Office (OFPROBOL) and together with the "San José Obrero" center of Kami, which since 1980 has dealt with secondary education, vocational training and health care.

                                The project will contribute to improving farming, raising animals and fish production through the introduction of new potatoes and freshwater fish, especially trout, and to improve the quality of pig meat, both for the community's own consumption, as well as for retail sale. In addition, a producer association will be created to support the development of sales strategies and the development of a marketing plan to improve their competitiveness.

                                At the same time, the technical training of the workers of the Kami Salesian center in the field of agricultural machinery repair will be improved, so that families do not have to go to the city every time the machinery breaks down.

                                The 2-year project is supported by the Agency for International Development Cooperation of Extremadura.

                                "Solidaridad Don Bosco" is confident that the project will reduce poverty in the area and promote gender equality and women's emancipation through joint training.

                                • BOL
                                • Bolivia
                                • ONG
                                • Sviluppo
                                • Rurali
                                • Solidarietà
                                • Spagna
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Spain - "Fr Antonio César's blood shall make the seed of the Gospel fruitful in African land"

                                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                                  (ANS - Madrid) - The Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Madrid was filled with faithful last Monday, March 4, to celebrate a Mass in suffrage of the Salesian missionary Fr Antonio César Fernández, assassinated during a terrorist attack in Burkina Faso last February 15th.

                                  Hundreds of people, including a large number of religious from different congregations, joined the Eucharistic celebration. It was a sign of the affection that the whole Church has shown in the last weeks towards the Salesian Family. The Eucharist was presided over by the Provincial of the "Spain-Saint James Major" Province (SSM), Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, and concelebrated by the Episcopal Vicar for Consecrated Life, Father Elías Royón, SJ, and by the Episcopal Vicar of V Vicariate, Fr Juan Pedro Gutiérrez, as well as by several Salesian priests.

                                  "César seems to me to have been a saint, not only for the way he died, but for his whole life," said Fr Pérez Godoy, confessing at the same time, at the beginning of the homily, that he had cried as soon as he learned of the news. The SSM Provincial recalled the circumstances in which Fr Antonio César Fernández was assassinated, and several similarities with Christ's death on the Cross: "It was a Friday, at 3:00 pm ... He was pierced three times, by three shots." He also emphasized the fact that the missionary had traveled by car, when he could have travelled by plane.

                                  The life of Fr Antonio César Fernández was intimately bound to the African continent. The Salesian missionary was one of the founders of the Salesian presence in Togo, a country to which he was sent as part of the "Project Africa" ​​of the then Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Egidio Viganò. "Father Antonio César's blood will make the seed of the Gospel fruitful on African soil, for the good of the Church, and especially for the most needy young people in Africa," assured Fr Pérez Godoy.

                                  The Salesian Provincial also expressed "feelings of thanksgiving to the Lord for people like Antonio Cesar" who "encourage us to continue to live our vocation faithfully."

                                  He concluded with an invocation: "May the Lord give us His light to accept these moments and His strength to live with the same ideals of Antonio César."

                                  {gallery}Spagna - Messa per don AC Fernandez 2019{/gallery}

                                  • Spagna
                                  • SSM
                                  • Antonio César Fernández
                                  • Eucaristia
                                  • AFO
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Philippines - Bringing young people to the 7th Art: the Fifth Don Bosco Film Festival

                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                    Philippines - Bringing young people to the 7th Art: the Fifth Don Bosco Film Festival

                                    (ANS - Makati City) – Last February 23, dozens of young people and film enthusiasts participated in the awards ceremony of the fifth edition of the Don Bosco Film Festival (DBFF) promoted by the Salesian Province "St John Bosco" of the North Philippines. The event took place at the Joy Center of the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City.

                                    Emceed by Fr Juvelan Samia, SDB, and Deacon Jerome Quinto, SDB, both members of the FIN Province Commission for Social Communications, this year's edition saw the number of Salesian films increase even further with the first-time participation of the houses of Batulao, of the Salesian parish in Santa Rosa, Laguna, and of the "Don Bosco Academy" in Bacolor, Pampanga.

                                    After the national anthem, there was the welcome of CS Delegate Fr Bernard Nolasco, and a musical-based prayer performed by the "Coro di Don Bosco" – an all-male choir of St. John Bosco Parish, Makati City, during the intermission. The Filipino director Kip Oebanda, a past pupil of Don Bosco and member of the DBFF Board of Judges, was the keynote speaker.

                                    Mr. Oebanda urged the young Salesian students present to use their God-given talent and their passion for cinema to produce useful stories that can truly serve the good interest of society. "As a filmmaker," he said, "you have a great responsibility to use this tool to serve the genuine values of life."

                                    After the screening of a short video that retraced the previous editions of the DBFF, the awards ceremony began in the respective categories, which included both technical and artistic prizes in the sections: short advertisement, documentaries and short films.

                                    In addition, two special prizes were awarded for the work most voted by the public and for the film chosen by the local Salesian publisher.

                                    Started in 2015, on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, the DBFF continues to grow year after year in consideration of the local society and sponsors. Currently, students from any institute (school, oratory, educational centre, vocational training centre...) of the Salesians, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Sisters of the Charity of Jesus from all over the country can participate.

                                    This last edition, launched during the year that the Church of the Philippines dedicated in particular to clergy and consecrated persons, had as its theme the Gospel passage: "Come and See" (Jn 1:46) and challenged young people to tell true stories of religious who lived the Salesian charism and transmitted God's love to the neediest young people.

                                    So the DBFF gets also to motivate young people to become observers and narrators of the reality that surrounds them.

                                    The complete list of winners in the various categories is available on the Australasia website.

                                    {gallery}Filippine - DBFF 2019{/gallery}

                                    • Filippine
                                    • FIN
                                    • Comunicazione Sociale
                                    • Cinema
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Italy - New paths for a Church with an Amazonic face: Pan-Amazonic Seminar at Salesian Pontifical University

                                      1 month 2 weeks ago
                                      Italy - New paths for a Church with an Amazonic face: Pan-Amazonic Seminar at Salesian Pontifical University

                                      (ANS - Rome) - It is said that "the Amazon is the lung of humanity". In fact, the preparatory document of the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazonic region also states that the Amazon basin is one of the largest reserves of biodiversity (30-50% of the world's flora and fauna), of fresh water (20% of non-frozen fresh water from the planet), and over a third of the planet's primary forests. Nine countries share this great biome: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, including French Guiana as overseas territory. And the Salesians are there too, working with young indigenous people.

                                      The Faculty of Theology of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, together with the Missions Sector of the Salesian Congregation, have organized the Seminar on the Pan-Amazonic Synod for 7-8 March: "New ways for a Church with an Amazonic face."

                                      The seminar's objective is to continue the reflection of Salesians; in fact, a few months ago, a first meeting was held in Brazil, in Manaus, attended by Salesian missionaries from Latin America to discuss the challenges and future prospects of the Salesian presence in the Amazon region.

                                      At the same time, "the seminar is not just a workshop of reflection on the Pan-Amazonic Synod, but is part of a journey within the Provinces for the reflection and qualification of our mission in the Amazon," explains Fr Martín Lasarte of the Mission Sector. "Our mission, given the importance for integral ecology, is attentive and gives - fundamentally - priority to the cry of young people, above all indigenous, but also to Afro-descendants, mestizos, whites, mulattos, of the forest, the countryside, the shores, the small and big cities."

                                      It is important to underline that for Pope Francis the Pan-Amazonic Synod aims to "identify new ways of evangelizing that part of God's people, especially the indigenous, often forgotten and without a serene future." This is why, for the Salesians, it is a matter of carrying out "a work of raising awareness" before this great challenge.

                                      To complete this task, the seminar organizers invited numerous speakers of import: mgr. Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops; Msgr. Raúl Biord, bishop of La Guaira, Venezuela; Msgr. Antonio de Assis Ribeiro, SDB, bishop of Belém, Brazil; Dr Guzmán Carriquiri, Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America; professor José Zanardini, SDB, from Paraguay; Dr. Gabriela Bernal from Ecuador; Fr Juan Botasso, SDB, from Ecuador; and Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, SDB, of the Brazil-Manaus Province.

                                      Other speakers will participate via pre-recorded interviews: card. Claudio Hummes, President of the "Pan-Amazzonic Ecclesial Network" (REPAM);  card. Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, Vice President of REPAM, Peru; and Mauricio Lopez Oropeza, Executive Secretary of REPAM.

                                      The Salesians, with the whole Church, are "called to be," as Pope Francis says, "the instruments of God the Father for our planet to be what He dreamed when He created it, and to respond to His plan of peace, beauty and fullness."

                                      • Italia
                                      • UPS
                                      • Sinodo per la regione Panamazzonica
                                        Jesus Jurado

                                        RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Southern Africa

                                        1 month 2 weeks ago
                                        RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Southern Africa

                                        (ANS - Rome) - From 8 to 12 March, Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime shall be on African soil. Accompanied by the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar region, Fr Américo Chaquisse, and by Fr Horacio López, Secretary of the Rector Major, he will animate Salesians and the Salesian Family present in the "Blessed Michael Rua" Vice Province of Southern Africa - which includes South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.

                                        Fr Á.F. Artime will reach South Africa on the morning of Friday 8 March, landing at the Cape Town airport. The first official appointment is in Landsdowne with the mission's Salesian Family and its lay collaborators.

                                        On Saturday 9, there will be a meeting with the Salesians and, after the transfer to Johannesburg, he meets with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA).

                                        On 10 March, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco meets the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), presides over the Sunday Eucharist. In the afternoon he shall preside over the gathering of the Salesian Family in the Johannesburg and Swaziland areas.

                                        The Salesian Family and youth will also be at the center of the next day, Monday, March 11, which the Rector Major will spend in Lesotho.

                                        Before returning to Rome, on the morning of Wednesday 13, Fr Á.F. Artime shall still dedicate the entire day of Tuesday 12 to his "dear confreres": first in the gathering with all the Salesians of the Vice Province, then in talks with the Provincial of AFM and his Council in an exchange that will serve to highlight challenges and priorities for the future path.

                                        Although the Vice Province of AFM was canonically erected only in 1988, in the year of the centenary of the death of Don Bosco, the Salesian presence at the southern tip of the African continent is much older: the Salesian house of Cape Town, in fact, was started as early as 1896, while Salesians first set foot in Swaziland in 1953, and in Lesotho in 1980.

                                        Today the Vice-Province has 9 canonically erected centers: five in South Africa, two in Swaziland and two in Lesotho, animated by 42 Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco.

                                        • RMG
                                        • Visita di Animazione
                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • AFM
                                          Jesus Jurado
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          India – “Tani Cool” photo journal released

                                          1 month 1 week ago
                                          India – “Tani Cool” photo journal released

                                          (ANS – Jorhat) – The latest book by K. A. Thomas, sdb, called “Tani Cool”, was released on 4th March 2019, by Rev. Jose Kuruvachira, the Provincial Superior of Don Bosco organizations in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur. The book was released at Don Bosco, Baghchung, in the presence of a large number of educationists and social workers from Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam. 

                                          “Tani Cool” is a random collection of photographs taken by the author, dating from 2000 to 2015. The colourful photographs depict their entire life and culture of the Mising people spread out in the rural situations of 11 districts of Assam and 3 districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The book describes pictorially 46 topics about the tribe.

                                          The word Tani in the title refers to the nomenclature of the tribe that once lived in the present day Arunachal Pradesh, and belonged to the Tani group of tribes. Misings are a cool people, who never had an army or a king. They were called upon by the British rulers to intermediate between the warring tribes living in the hills and plains of the region.

                                          Fr K.A. Thomas, SDB, a member of “Don Bosco International”, is the founder director of Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD), based at Jorhat, and is an Ashoka Fellow since 2002. Although hailing from Kerala, he has mastered the Assamese language, having obtained a bachelor’s degree in Assamese from Guwahati University way back in 1987.

                                          • India
                                          • IND
                                          • Indigeni
                                          • Libri
                                          • Mising
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            Italy – Don Bosco and Salesian missionaries in Patagonia at "European Academy of Religion"

                                            1 month 1 week ago

                                            (ANS - Bologna) - During the annual meeting, 4 - 7 March, the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS), a member of the "European Academy of Religion", based in Bologna, screened the documentary film "A sud del sud - South of South" by Salvatore Metastasio. Financed by Don Bosco Missions and the Dicastery for Salesian Missions, in collaboration with ISS, the film aims to commemorate the centenary of the Salesian missionaries raising the cross at Cape Froward (Strait of Magellan) in 1913, on the occasion of the 1600th anniversary of the edict of Constantine. The Bologna screening was received with great interest by the public.

                                            The Salesians, who had already presented the results of their historical research to the European Academy of Religion two years ago, through a conference on Salesian work in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century, were thus able to talk about the epic Salesian missionary journey in Patagonia through the film by Salvatore Metastasio.

                                            The film narrates the journey of two Italians who meet in Punta Arenas, Chile, and then continue together to Cape Froward. The youngest, Diego, wants to know the world of the Yagan, because he plans to make a film about Darwin and his friendship with Jemmy Botton, the native aboard the brig "Beagle" on his famous journey of 1832. Instead, the elderly man, Alessandro, narrates having set out towards Patagonia to follow the traces of Don Bosco's dream about that land, which a Salesian had told him about when he was a child. The journey together will give birth to a friendship between the two that is, however, filled with misunderstandings.

                                            It is the clash between science and faith, where a positive view of life is affirmed by the young, while a vision emerges on the part of the older man that cannot overlook the most fruitful part of life: the one that makes man feel part of a whole, a creature among creatures and awaiting a "revelation", which leads to reflect on the meaning of the Cross, seen not only as a religious symbol (for believers) but, above all, as a universal symbol of contact between sky and earth.

                                            The film ends with the director who entrusts a particular message to everyone: "You do not see the infinite if you do not have it in your heart."

                                            • Italia
                                            • ISS
                                            • Cile
                                            • Missioni
                                            • Missioni Don Bosco
                                            • Cinema
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              Vatican - Positive opinion of theological Consultors to Cause of Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni

                                              1 month 1 week ago
                                              Vatican - Positive opinion of theological Consultors to Cause of Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni

                                              (ANS - Vatican City) - On 12 March 2019, during the Congress of Theological Consultors held at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a full positive opinion was given regarding the heroic exercise of virtues, the reputation of holiness and signs of the Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni, archbishop of Potenza, born in Pegognana (Mantua) on 10 January 1876 and died in Potenza on 30 August 1972. The Servant of God attended the Salesian oratory in Turin and met Don Bosco, who had a great influence on his formation.

                                              The Positio was presented on 27 September 2013 by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Postulator in Rome; among the speakers: Fr Daniel Ols, OP., followed by Fr P. Zdzisław Kijas, OFM Conv., and as a collaborator Msgr. Gerardo Messina, former vice-postulator, assisted by Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Salesian Postulation.

                                              It is nice to remember that this fundamental passage of the Cause took place on March 12, the day of the death of Saint Luigi Orione who, with the young Augusto Bertazzoni, was a pupil of the oratory of Valdocco in Turin. Both were among the boys who in 1887 offered their lives for the salvation of Don Bosco; while for his part the Saint of the Young had prophesied that the young Augustus would become bishop.

                                              Mons. Bertazzoni was a good Pastor and father of the poor, a true man of God, a man of faith and prayer, a tireless preacher of the Word of God, attentive to the spiritual needs of the faithful and even non-believers, for whom he spent his life to the very end, offering to God, for the good of the Churches that he had led as a bishop, the sufferings that led to his death.

                                              He was a father to the victims of war and to the Jews confined to Basilicata, a farsighted educator of the young, and he spent his time so that the priests of his diocese, together with men and women religious,  dedicated themselves to the formation of young people, both in schools as in “Catholic Action”; he would recommend to all of them to have a "spirit of paternity" for the new generations.

                                              After this step, the next takes place in the Ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops, after which the Supreme Pontiff authorizes the promulgation of the decree of Venerability.

                                              • Vaticano
                                              • Santità Salesiana
                                              • Augusto Bertazzoni
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Venezuela - Msgr Raúl Biord: "We look forward to this historic moment with hope, despite the hunger and the difficult situation that people are experiencing"

                                                1 month 1 week ago

                                                (ANS - Caracas) - "We look forward to this historic moment that Venezuela is experiencing," said Msgr. Raúl Biord, Salesian, bishop of La Guaira, Venezuela. His is a peripheral diocese of the city of Caracas, located about twenty kilometers from the capital, and has about 500,000 inhabitants.

                                                No one can deny that the situation in Venezuela is dramatic, even on a global scale. The images of disease, hunger and pain suffered by many people hurt the eyes. It hurts to see "the terrible scene of a mother carrying the corpse of her daughter to the morgue, who died during the blackout" or "to see dozens of children buried who had no medicine or electricity to save themselves." It hurts to see thousands of Venezuelans having to travel thousands of miles in search of a future, fleeing to other countries.

                                                In the midst of this desolate landscape, Msgr. Biord said: "We are experiencing profound political changes. Twenty years ago what was called the Bolivarian revolution, which proposed 21st century socialism, was established; but unfortunately that revolution has failed.

                                                This project has caused great poverty, having followed an economic and social model of great state control over people, businesses and free economic initiative. This whole situation has led to a general collapse of services and the failure and closure of almost all companies.

                                                One of the biggest catastrophes this regime has produced is that nearly 4 million Venezuelans have left the country in the last 10 years. Very poor and simple people have had to leave the country by bus or on foot.

                                                In Venezuela there is a situation of great poverty, of great need, and as we bishops have stated on various occasions, through the documents of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, we are faced with a situation of illegitimacy of the President, of illegitimacy in the performance of functions and of illegitimacy in the origin.

                                                We need a transition, with free elections and a renewal of powers, to renew the country's institutions ... Let's look at this historic moment with hope, despite the hunger and the difficult situation that people are experiencing, despite the collapse of many services, the economic collapse and hunger of many people.

                                                There is a people that resists bending. It is a people that wants to provide humanitarian assistance through various civil organizations. The Church has placed "Caritas" at the parish and diocesan level as an aid center for receiving aid and distributing support to the most vulnerable population, which are malnourished children, pregnant and child-nurturing mothers, and adults with terminal illnesses.

                                                The Venezuelan people have the right to live with a quality of life and to be able to give a future to their young people.

                                                There is a lot of hope, but also a lot of suffering.

                                                We thank the countries and religious groups that help us with prayer and with their presence, to keep us on our feet and to seek respect for human rights and the dignity of the people. Let's look at this situation with hope. We pray to God that the transition be peaceful."

                                                • Venezuela
                                                • Vescovi
                                                • Fame
                                                • Povertà
                                                • Politica
                                                • Raúl Biord Castillo
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Philippines - "Don Bosco Press, Inc.": 40 years of communicative passion for young people

                                                  1 month 1 week ago

                                                  (ANS - Makati City) – For the past 40 years the DB Press has been growing, despite the many challenges. In 1979, the Salesian Province of St. John Bosco in the Northern Philippines (FIN) salvaged the printing equipment of the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati and founded a company - the "Don Bosco Press, Inc." (DBPI ) - to serve the printing needs of its own educational and evangelizing apostolate. In this way the Salesians did nothing but follow up on the indications expressed by Don Bosco himself: "How many souls were saved by good books, how many preserved from horror, how many encouraged in good!" (Letter on the spread of good books, 19 March 1885).

                                                  by Carmelo Martinez, SDB

                                                  Located in Makati City, on the second floor of the Provincial House, DBPI has evolved over time, through internal growth and acquisitions from outside, from a small “courtyard” printer to the well-known and established publishing house that it is today.

                                                  Currently, Don Bosco Press is divided into three main sectors: the core business consisting of the publishing house proper called "SalesianaBooks"; its Printing Services; and the Printing School at the Vocational Training Center.

                                                  SALESIANABOOKS - DBPI publishes textbooks for basic education needs through the "SalesianaBooks" brand. Firmly convinced that Quality Education also passes through quality textbooks, Salesiana Books ensures that all its products are morally upright, up-to-date and enhanced by the most effective pedagogical, teaching and learning tools.

                                                  PRINTING SERVICES - By putting into practice its own guiding philosophy, "Excellence within Reach!", DBPI is committed to providing customers with customized and personalized assistance to meet their printing needs.

                                                  SCHOOL OF PRINTING – It represents the company's contribution to the development of the Philippine printing and publishing industries. The school is the only training institute for the printing and publishing industries that offers its students hands-on experience, a factor that allows them to be among the most sought-after skilled workers at graduation.

                                                  Counting workers and employees of the central office and those of the peripheral centers in Baguio, Visayas and Mindanao, the "Don Bosco Press, Inc" is today a large family of about 200 people. For the company's 40th anniversary, yesterday, March 11, about 60 lay collaborators in the mission were able to hear the Salesian "good morning", during which the guiding values ​​of the company were remembered, including its care for the environment.

                                                  For more information, visit: http://www.donboscopress.ph/

                                                  {gallery}Filippine - DBPI 2019{/gallery}

                                                  • Filippine
                                                  • FIN
                                                  • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                  • Editrici
                                                  • Anniversari
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Tanzania – Training youth in renewable energy. Salesian formation benefits everyone

                                                    1 month 1 week ago
                                                    Tanzania – Training youth in renewable energy. Salesian formation benefits everyone

                                                    (ANS - Dar es Salaam) - "In the world there is a low level of access to clean and renewable energy. There is still a need to develop adequate accumulation technologies." (Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, n° 26). In order to improve the formation and employment opportunities of the most needy young people, to promote the spread of a culture of respect and protection of Creation, and to meet the needs of the local population, the Salesians in Tanzania are promoting training courses for renewable energy management.

                                                    Thanks to collaborations with NGOs and charitable foreign foundations such as the German "Misereor" or the US "Charles Stewart Mott Foundation", for the past two years the Salesian center "Don Bosco Oysterbay" in Dar es Salaam has developed training programs in the field of renewable energy. Launched in 2017, these courses have enabled the quality technical training of 120 young people each year, selected from children who are the most needy and at risk of social exclusion.

                                                    Among the top 35 young graduates of the solar energy training course, there is also Imani Mwasonga, one of the graduates who comments: "The training has been a great platform for me to learn and acquire new skills, enabling me to explore the use of solar energy. I hope to maximize my skills, empower the community to take advantage of solar power and, in the process, make the world a better place to live in."

                                                    Given the success of this pilot project carried out at the "Don Bosco Oysterbay", the "Charles Stewart Mott Foundation" granted a further grant to the Salesian Mission Office of New Rochelle, USA, to finance the same educational initiative at the centers of Salesian formation in Dodoma and Iringa.

                                                    In total, the 3 training centers - in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Iringa - will annually train 300 students in the installation, operation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic systems. The centers will also collaborate with companies active in the solar energy sector and with the government to offer apprenticeship opportunities to teachers and students.

                                                    In Tanzania, only 15% of the 41.5 million inhabitants has access to electricity, with only 12% of urban areas and 2% of rural areas having access.

                                                    Since electricity is slow to arrive in many areas, Tanzanians are opting for renewable energy and especially solar panels. Rural areas, in particular, are adopting photovoltaic (PV) technology more rapidly, largely due to the absence of an electricity grid. However, with the increase in the adoption of solar energy by rural and sub-rural communities, the lack of qualified technicians remains a challenge for the sector.

                                                    The new renewable energy training programs started at the Salesian centers can thus meet the needs of the population and provide employment opportunities for young people in need. All with respect for Creation.

                                                    Source: Salesian Missions 

                                                    {gallery}Tanzania - Energie solari 2019{/gallery}

                                                    • Tanzania
                                                    • Tecnologie
                                                    • Formazione Professionale
                                                    • Missioni
                                                    • AFE
                                                    • Ambiente
                                                    • Creato
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Peru - Growing up with music: the goal of the Salesians in Calca

                                                      1 month 1 week ago
                                                      Peru - Growing up with music: the goal of the Salesians in Calca

                                                      (ANS - Calca) - Today in Peru there is much enthusiastic talk about economic growth, which unfortunately is not reflected in the living conditions of the peasants of remote villages in the country's interior. In the area of Calca, a peasant community in the Andean Sierra, progress and well-being have never arrived. It is for these people that the Salesians have begun to set things in motion.

                                                      In the area of Calca the poverty rate is very high; high, too,  the rate of child malnutrition and family violence. Access to education for children and young people in the valleys is very limited: many of them have to walk four hours a day during their home-school trips, exposing themselves to dangers such as sexual abuse, abduction for the purpose of human trafficking and induction to child prostitution.

                                                      The Salesian mission in Calca takes care of 40 rural communities spread over a route of 3000 km, for a total of over 27,000 beneficiaries.

                                                      The "Don Bosco" house welcomes about 40 children and youngsters coming from far away areas and from social-family contexts that are not able to guarantee them a serene growth. At the Salesian house these minors receive hospitality, but also the opportunity to grow up in a familiar and cheerful environment, attending workshops, after-school courses and sports-related courses.

                                                      To offer children and adolescents an integral education, providing them with the necessary means - human and material - for an optimal use of their studies and for the global development of their personality, reaching an adequate integration in society and becoming Christian promoters, leaders, animators in their own communities: this is the goal of the Salesians of Calca.

                                                      Currently, the Salesians who animate the missionary youth center have developed a new idea: they want to start a music workshop that would involve 41 children. The value of the project is twofold, both cultural and psychological: on the one hand, to help young people to keep their roots through the study and the realization of folk songs; on the other, to favor the psycho-physical well-being that musical activities transmit. The students will attend the course twice a week for 2 hours of lessons each time, so as to maximize all the benefits that this activity generates.

                                                      Traditional Pan flutes, but also triangles, wooden bass drums and modern musical keyboards ... Of these instruments, there is now an urgent need in the mission. The children of Calca are only waiting for someone to give them the chance to dream through music.

                                                      For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                                      • Perù
                                                      • PER
                                                      • Musica
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        South Africa - Rector Major to the young: "How many of you believe that you will need sacrifice to achieve your dream?"

                                                        1 month 1 week ago

                                                        (ANS - Johannesburg) - Last Friday, March 8, landing in Cape Town, South Africa, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime reached the 86th country he has visited as Rector Major. "My wish is that the Salesians will help you to be good boys," he said shortly after his arrival, meeting the young students of the "Learn to Live School" path.

                                                        On that same day, the X Successor of Don Bosco had two other significant meetings, both at the "Mary Help of Christians" parish: the one with the local Salesian Family and the one with the youngsters of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM).

                                                        In the first of the two meetings, Fr Á.F. Artime recalled how in the whole world religious and laity of the Salesian Family really succeed in changing the lives of young people, and he also emphasized the value of unity: "In order to develop Salesian works, Don Bosco needed the help of many other people. It is very important that we remain united."

                                                        Then, with the youth of SYM, the Rector Major acted as a true youth animator, provoking them with several questions: "Are you happy?"; "How many of you have a dream?"; "How many of you think it is possible to realize it, your dream?"; "How many are willing to make sacrifices to achieve it?" ... In the end, to the young he indicated the example of Don Bosco, a saint who dreamed great things for the young and sacrificed himself to pursue his dream. And he reminded them not to leave Jesus out of their lives.

                                                        On Saturday morning, March 9, the Rector Major met his confreres in Cape Town where he said how Pope Francis once said to him: "Others work with the young, but the Salesians exist for young people."

                                                        Later, Fr Á.F. Artime dialogued with Msgr. Stephen Brislin, archbishop of Cape Town. He later reached Johannesburg where, first of all, he visited the provincial community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                                                        The Rector Major spent yesterday, Sunday 10 March, meeting young people and members of the Salesian Family who are active in the presences of Johannesburg. He reminded the youths that each person can be a gift to others and that holiness does not consist in performing miracles, but in performing "the miracle of service."

                                                        To the various groups of the Salesian Family, he emphasized the importance of witnessing communion and of being significantly present among young people.

                                                        • AFM
                                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                        • Visita di Animazione
                                                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                        • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                                        • Giovani
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Angola - Salesians honored with "Manuel António da Mota" award

                                                          1 month 1 week ago

                                                          (ANS - Luanda) - The Salesians of Don Bosco in Angola received an honorable mention of the "Manuel António da Mota - A Life for Angola" award, officially launched last Friday, March 8, in Luanda, in the presence of the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and of the President of the Republic of Angola, João Lourenço.

                                                          The "Manuel António da Mota" Foundation is an emanation of the Mota-Engil Group, a large Portuguese company active in the construction, energy and transport sectors and operating in 22 countries on 3 continents (Europe, Africa and America). The Foundation, founded in Portugal, aims to promote, develop and support social and cultural initiatives and thus represents an important tool of the Corporate Social Responsibility policy of the Mota-Engil Group.

                                                          In order to pay tribute to those institutions that distinguish themselves in health and education, last Friday an event took place at the Epic Sana hotel in Luanda during which the first edition of the "Manuel António da Mota - A life in Angola " prize was launched, which will take place in 2020. On this occasion, a special mention of the award has already been assigned, which the First Lady of Angola, Ms Ana Dias Lourenço, has consigned to Fr Manuel Ordoñez Roman, Vicar of the Salesian Vice Province of Angola.

                                                          In the motivation of the award, the representatives of the "Manuel António da Mota Foundation" recalled that the Salesians of Don Bosco began their activities in Angola in 1981 and explained that the prize was awarded because of their dedication to the cause of the most disadvantaged groups and the well-being of the Angolans.

                                                          The president of the Board of Directors of the Foundation then indicated that the recognition "Manuel António da Mota - A Life for Angola" will aim to honor the non-governmental philanthropic organizations of Angola, similar to what has been done for 10 years in Portugal; and explained that it was decided to establish the award in Angola, because that is the country where Mr. Manuel António da Mota started his business 73 years ago.

                                                          The ceremony was also attended by the Vice-President of the Republic of Angola, Bornito de Sous, several Angolan and Portuguese parliamentarians, ministers, prominent figures and businessmen, together with several members of the Manuel António da Mota Foundation and the Mota-Engil company.

                                                          • Angola
                                                          • ANG
                                                          • Personaggi illustri
                                                          • Politica
                                                          • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Italy - "Mamma Margherita's Recipes" for the rebirth of women victims of violence

                                                            1 month 2 weeks ago

                                                            (ANS - Messina) - On the occasion of the International Women's Day, "Salesiani per il Sociale", together with the "House of Women" of Messina, presents "The Recipes of Mamma Margherita", a recipe book created by four women victims of violence, reborn thanks to their passion for cooking. It is a book full of culinary proposals, recipes, which also presents the stories of its four authors.

                                                            The recipe book - free download at https://www.salesianiperilsociale.it/menu - is inspired by Margherita Occhiena, mother of Don Bosco and cook for many young people from Turin-Valdocco. "It is a tribute to her and to all mothers who take care of their children even by cooking a 'good meal'," says Fr Giovanni d'Andrea, President of 'Salesians for Social Affairs'. "And it is also a way to be in solidarity with the girls welcomed in the 'House of Women' of Messina, which we support in its activities aimed at (helping) victims of violence or with serious family difficulties."

                                                            It was, in fact, some of the very guests of the structure - Paola, Sabrina, Sara and Miriam - to write the recipes, expressing in its pages their desire to live and rise again, and also to share their painful experiences, whichunfortunately are much too common still today.

                                                            The "House of Women", the center that hosts them, was established in 2004 on the initiative of the "Italian Social Reinsertion Committee" (CIRS Onlus), member of "Salesians for Social Affairs". In a reality that is among Italy's poorest, with high levels of unemployment and a serious lack of services, the structure is a safe house where these young people can be helped and assisted through psychological, legal and medical support and, above all, where they can raise their children in peace - many are single mothers.

                                                            The center not only offers hospitality, but also vocational training and job placement: thanks to the donation of an industrial kitchen, in recent years the women guests have also started a catering service, which allows them to be more economically autonomous.

                                                            Since - in 2017 - the region of Sicily has cut its funds for anti-violence centers and asked to sell the building run by CIRS, the managers of the "House of Women" have launched the #1CASAPERILCIRS campaign with the aim of buying the building so as to continue to provide its services. Solidarity and support is not lacking, but the path is still long and tiring, and the "Salesians for Social" want to be by their side, of the "House of Women" of Messina.

                                                            Further information on: http://www.cirsme.it/ and https://www.salesianiperilsociale.it

                                                            • Italia
                                                            • Salesiani per il Sociale
                                                            • ISI
                                                            • Donne
                                                            • Violenza di Genere
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Spain - Salesian Social Platforms celebrate International Women's Day with the #OrgullosaDeSerMujer campaign

                                                              1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                              Spain - Salesian Social Platforms celebrate International Women's Day with the #OrgullosaDeSerMujer campaign

                                                              (ANS - Madrid) - On the occasion of International Women's Day, today March 8, the Salesian Social Platforms have joined together to claim the rights of girls and women who struggle every day to create a world in which being a woman is not a obstacle, and to denounce the inequalities, abuses and injustices that they suffer every day, especially those who are most at risk or vulnerability.

                                                              Since their creation, the Salesian Social Platforms have developed, among other initiatives, specific services for the integral development of girls, young women and women and in favor of equality: through literacy projects, formation and accompaniment, specific social and work integration for women, and reception programs for single-parent families and women victims of gender-based violence.

                                                              An example can be seen in the "La Mina" center of the Salesians in Barcelona-Sant Jordi, where programs are offered for mothers with young children, whose purpose is to support women in taking up their parental role adequately, through concrete resources that allow them to carry out work compatible with the growth and maturation of their children.

                                                              Other programs currently underway are:

                                                              #GritandoAlMundo, from the "Fundación Juan Soñador", an intervention project with teenagers and young people to promote gender equality.

                                                              #Aurrera, of the "Fundación Boscos", which aims to eliminate sexist stereotypes, prejudices and discriminatory behavior.

                                                              #XarxaLaFinestra, organized by the "Fundación Maria Auxiliadora", a network learning project that promotes gender equality and the social and work inclusion of women at risk and socially excluded.

                                                              In the Pinardi Federation, various activities are carried out to work with girls, young people and women.

                                                              And the "Fundación Don Bosco" of Cordoba, wishing to give visibility to groups of women at risk of exclusion, will celebrate a special event entitled "Educating to equality."

                                                              Through the social networks, the Salesian Social Platforms have launched a message for the emancipation of all women: #OrgullosaDeSerMujer (Proud to be a woman).

                                                              With this campaign they want to promote a change of mentality and collaborate in the transformation of social and political reality, promoting a culture of acceptance, respect, generosity and justice, maintaining the commitment to be a reference organization in the field of gender equality.

                                                              • Spagna
                                                              • Donne
                                                              • Violenza di Genere
                                                              • Federazione Pinardi
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Italy - "Our concern is the common home where the young person is at the center of our attention": the Pan-Amazon Seminar

                                                                1 month 2 weeks ago

                                                                (ANS - Rome) - "I heard a story of a nun who had gone to evangelize an area of ​​the Amazon, and the natives told her: 'if you come to build a church, know that we have our convictions. If you come to build a school, know that we can educate our children for themselves ... But if you come to stay with us and fight for our rights, you are welcome." This is what Fr José Zanardini narrated in the first report of the Pan-Amazon Seminar entitled "New paths for a Church with an Amazonian Face",  underway (March 7-8) at the Salesian Pontifical University.

                                                                The event is being attended by a large group of people and speakers from various parts of the world: Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador. Fr Paolo Carlotta and Fr Martin Lasarte of the Missions Dicastery offered their welcome.

                                                                In a brief presentation, Fr Lasarte said that the mission of the Salesians at the Pan-Amazon Synod is not simply to take a position on nature. "Our concern is the common home where the young person is at the center of our attention. In these 125 years of Salesian presence in the Amazon, we have accompanied thousands of young people; we have 38 religious communities with the presence of 198 Salesians of Don Bosco."

                                                                Cardinal Claudio Hummes, archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, Brazil, presented the history of the Pan-Amazon Synod. Mgr. Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, then spoke: "Church and ecology are one reality. It is faith in God that stimulates the Church to be present in the territory, enhancing (the value of) culture and identity ... In this sense it is a matter of seeing the Amazonian face of the Church."

                                                                The morning ended with a presentation by Prof. Gabriela Bernal on the current state of the youth in the Amazon: "Latin America continues to be the continent of inequality. Indigenous women and young people are truly poor …," she said.

                                                                In the afternoon, mgr. Raúl Biord, bishop of La Guaira, from Venezuela, presented the report: "Theological, ecclesial and missionary perspectives for the Amazon region", and Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, SDB, presented a paper: "The spaces of young people in the Amazon Church."

                                                                In conclusion, Mauricio López Oropeza, Executive Secretary of the "Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network", explained that "the purpose of this Synod is to help us change our heart, recognize God in the other and be part of a process of transformation."

                                                                • Italia
                                                                • UPS
                                                                • Sinodo per la regione Panamazzonica
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Italy - "Our concern is the common home where the young person is at the center of our attention": the Pan-Amazon Seminar

                                                                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                                                                  (ANS - Rome) - "I heard a story of a nun who had gone to evangelize an area of ​​the Amazon, and the natives told her: 'if you come to build a church, know that we have our convictions. If you come to build a school, know that we can educate our children for themselves ... But if you come to stay with us and fight for our rights, you are welcome." This is what Fr José Zanardini narrated in the first report of the Pan-Amazon Seminar entitled "New paths for a Church with an Amazonian Face",  underway (March 7-8) at the Salesian Pontifical University.

                                                                  The event is being attended by a large group of people and speakers from various parts of the world: Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil and Ecuador. Fr Paolo Carlotta and Fr Martin Lasarte of the Missions Dicastery offered their welcome.

                                                                  In a brief presentation, Fr Lasarte said that the mission of the Salesians at the Pan-Amazon Synod is not simply to take a position on nature. "Our concern is the common home where the young person is at the center of our attention. In these 125 years of Salesian presence in the Amazon, we have accompanied thousands of young people; we have 38 religious communities with the presence of 198 Salesians of Don Bosco."

                                                                  Cardinal Claudio Hummes, archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, Brazil, presented the history of the Pan-Amazon Synod. Mgr. Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, then spoke: "Church and ecology are one reality. It is faith in God that stimulates the Church to be present in the territory, enhancing (the value of) culture and identity ... In this sense it is a matter of seeing the Amazonian face of the Church."

                                                                  The morning ended with a presentation by Prof. Gabriela Bernal on the current state of the youth in the Amazon: "Latin America continues to be the continent of inequality. Indigenous women and young people are truly poor …," she said.

                                                                  In the afternoon, mgr. Raúl Biord, bishop of La Guaira, from Venezuela, presented the report: "Theological, ecclesial and missionary perspectives for the Amazon region", and Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, SDB, presented a paper: "The spaces of young people in the Amazon Church."

                                                                  In conclusion, Mauricio López Oropeza, Executive Secretary of the "Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network", explained that "the purpose of this Synod is to help us change our heart, recognize God in the other and be part of a process of transformation."

                                                                  Video

                                                                  • Italia
                                                                  • UPS
                                                                  • Sinodo per la regione Panamazzonica
                                                                  • Cardinali
                                                                  • Vescovi
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Spain - Salesian Social Platforms celebrate International Women's Day with the #OrgullosaDeSerMujer campaign

                                                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                    Spain - Salesian Social Platforms celebrate International Women's Day with the #OrgullosaDeSerMujer campaign

                                                                    (ANS - Madrid) - On the occasion of International Women's Day, today March 8, the Salesian Social Platforms have joined together to claim the rights of girls and women who struggle every day to create a world in which being a woman is not a obstacle, and to denounce the inequalities, abuses and injustices that they suffer every day, especially those who are most at risk or vulnerability.

                                                                    Since their creation, the Salesian Social Platforms have developed, among other initiatives, specific services for the integral development of girls, young women and women and in favor of equality: through literacy projects, formation and accompaniment, specific social and work integration for women, and reception programs for single-parent families and women victims of gender-based violence.

                                                                    An example can be seen in the "La Mina" center of the Salesians in Barcelona-Sant Jordi, where programs are offered for mothers with young children, whose purpose is to support women in taking up their parental role adequately, through concrete resources that allow them to carry out work compatible with the growth and maturation of their children.

                                                                    Other programs currently underway are:

                                                                    #GritandoAlMundo, from the "Fundación Juan Soñador", an intervention project with teenagers and young people to promote gender equality.

                                                                    #Aurrera, of the "Fundación Boscos", which aims to eliminate sexist stereotypes, prejudices and discriminatory behavior.

                                                                    #XarxaLaFinestra, organized by the "Fundación Maria Auxiliadora", a network learning project that promotes gender equality and the social and work inclusion of women at risk and socially excluded.

                                                                    In the Pinardi Federation, various activities are carried out to work with girls, young people and women.

                                                                    And the "Fundación Don Bosco" of Cordoba, wishing to give visibility to groups of women at risk of exclusion, will celebrate a special event entitled "Educating to equality."

                                                                    Through the social networks, the Salesian Social Platforms have launched a message for the emancipation of all women: #OrgullosaDeSerMujer (Proud to be a woman).

                                                                    With this campaign they want to promote a change of mentality and collaborate in the transformation of social and political reality, promoting a culture of acceptance, respect, generosity and justice, maintaining the commitment to be a reference organization in the field of gender equality.

                                                                    • Spagna
                                                                    • Federazione Pinardi
                                                                    • Donne
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Italy - "Mamma Margherita's Recipes" for the rebirth of women victims of violence

                                                                      1 month 2 weeks ago

                                                                      (ANS - Messina) - On the occasion of the International Women's Day, "Salesiani per il Sociale", together with the "House of Women" of Messina, presents "The Recipes of Mamma Margherita", a recipe book created by four women victims of violence, reborn thanks to their passion for cooking. It is a book full of culinary proposals, recipes, which also presents the stories of its four authors.

                                                                      The recipe book - free download - is inspired by Margherita Occhiena, mother of Don Bosco and cook for many young people from Turin-Valdocco. "It is a tribute to her and to all mothers who take care of their children even by cooking a 'good meal'," says Fr Giovanni d'Andrea, President of 'Salesians for Social Affairs'. "And it is also a way to be in solidarity with the girls welcomed in the 'House of Women' of Messina, which we support in its activities aimed at (helping) victims of violence or with serious family difficulties."

                                                                      It was, in fact, some of the very guests of the structure - Paola, Sabrina, Sara and Miriam - to write the recipes, expressing in its pages their desire to live and rise again, and also to share their painful experiences, whichunfortunately are much too common still today.

                                                                      The "House of Women", the center that hosts them, was established in 2004 on the initiative of the "Italian Social Reinsertion Committee" (CIRS Onlus), member of "Salesians for Social Affairs". In a reality that is among Italy's poorest, with high levels of unemployment and a serious lack of services, the structure is a safe house where these young people can be helped and assisted through psychological, legal and medical support and, above all, where they can raise their children in peace - many are single mothers.

                                                                      The center not only offers hospitality, but also vocational training and job placement: thanks to the donation of an industrial kitchen, in recent years the women guests have also started a catering service, which allows them to be more economically autonomous.

                                                                      Since - in 2017 - the region of Sicily has cut its funds for anti-violence centers and asked to sell the building run by CIRS, the managers of the "House of Women" have launched the #1CASAPERILCIRS campaign with the aim of buying the building so as to continue to provide its services. Solidarity and support is not lacking, but the path is still long and tiring, and the "Salesians for Social" want to be by their side, of the "House of Women" of Messina.

                                                                      Further information on: http://www.cirsme.it/ and https://www.salesianiperilsociale.it 

                                                                      • Italia
                                                                      • Salesiani per il Sociale
                                                                      • Donne
                                                                      • Violenza di Genere
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Bolivia - Project started to improve production in rural communities

                                                                        1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                        Bolivia - Project started to improve production in rural communities

                                                                        (ANS - Cochabamba) – In recent weeks, the Spanish Salesian NGO "Solidaridad Don Bosco" has launched the project "Development of agricultural production in the rural communities of Cochabamba." Its goal is to increase the capacity for families to support themselves in the area so as to improve their living conditions.

                                                                        The project takes place in Kami, Cochabamba, and aims to improve the living conditions of more than 200 people, including young people and the rural and Andean population in the area, and to integrate  families and rural communities that until now have lived according to an economic model of mere subsistence into a more developed productive system.

                                                                        "Solidaridad Don Bosco" develops the project with the Salesian Planning and Development Office (OFPROBOL) and together with the "San José Obrero" center of Kami, which since 1980 has dealt with secondary education, vocational training and health care.

                                                                        The project will contribute to improving farming, raising animals and fish production through the introduction of new potatoes and freshwater fish, especially trout, and to improve the quality of pig meat, both for the community's own consumption, as well as for retail sale. In addition, a producer association will be created to support the development of sales strategies and the development of a marketing plan to improve their competitiveness.

                                                                        At the same time, the technical training of the workers of the Kami Salesian center in the field of agricultural machinery repair will be improved, so that families do not have to go to the city every time the machinery breaks down.

                                                                        The 2-year project is supported by the Agency for International Development Cooperation of Extremadura.

                                                                        "Solidaridad Don Bosco" is confident that the project will reduce poverty in the area and promote gender equality and women's emancipation through joint training.

                                                                        • BOL
                                                                        • Bolivia
                                                                        • ONG
                                                                        • Sviluppo
                                                                        • Rurali
                                                                        • Solidarietà
                                                                        • Spagna
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Spain - "Fr Antonio César's blood shall make the seed of the Gospel fruitful in African land"

                                                                          1 month 2 weeks ago

                                                                          (ANS - Madrid) - The Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Madrid was filled with faithful last Monday, March 4, to celebrate a Mass in suffrage of the Salesian missionary Fr Antonio César Fernández, assassinated during a terrorist attack in Burkina Faso last February 15th.

                                                                          Hundreds of people, including a large number of religious from different congregations, joined the Eucharistic celebration. It was a sign of the affection that the whole Church has shown in the last weeks towards the Salesian Family. The Eucharist was presided over by the Provincial of the "Spain-Saint James Major" Province (SSM), Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, and concelebrated by the Episcopal Vicar for Consecrated Life, Father Elías Royón, SJ, and by the Episcopal Vicar of V Vicariate, Fr Juan Pedro Gutiérrez, as well as by several Salesian priests.

                                                                          "César seems to me to have been a saint, not only for the way he died, but for his whole life," said Fr Pérez Godoy, confessing at the same time, at the beginning of the homily, that he had cried as soon as he learned of the news. The SSM Provincial recalled the circumstances in which Fr Antonio César Fernández was assassinated, and several similarities with Christ's death on the Cross: "It was a Friday, at 3:00 pm ... He was pierced three times, by three shots." He also emphasized the fact that the missionary had traveled by car, when he could have travelled by plane.

                                                                          The life of Fr Antonio César Fernández was intimately bound to the African continent. The Salesian missionary was one of the founders of the Salesian presence in Togo, a country to which he was sent as part of the "Project Africa" ​​of the then Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Egidio Viganò. "Father Antonio César's blood will make the seed of the Gospel fruitful on African soil, for the good of the Church, and especially for the most needy young people in Africa," assured Fr Pérez Godoy.

                                                                          The Salesian Provincial also expressed "feelings of thanksgiving to the Lord for people like Antonio Cesar" who "encourage us to continue to live our vocation faithfully."

                                                                          He concluded with an invocation: "May the Lord give us His light to accept these moments and His strength to live with the same ideals of Antonio César."

                                                                          {gallery}Spagna - Messa per don AC Fernandez 2019{/gallery}

                                                                          • Spagna
                                                                          • SSM
                                                                          • Antonio César Fernández
                                                                          • Eucaristia
                                                                          • AFO
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            Philippines - Bringing young people to the 7th Art: the Fifth Don Bosco Film Festival

                                                                            1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                            Philippines - Bringing young people to the 7th Art: the Fifth Don Bosco Film Festival

                                                                            (ANS - Makati City) – Last February 23, dozens of young people and film enthusiasts participated in the awards ceremony of the fifth edition of the Don Bosco Film Festival (DBFF) promoted by the Salesian Province "St John Bosco" of the North Philippines. The event took place at the Joy Center of the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati City.

                                                                            Emceed by Fr Juvelan Samia, SDB, and Deacon Jerome Quinto, SDB, both members of the FIN Province Commission for Social Communications, this year's edition saw the number of Salesian films increase even further with the first-time participation of the houses of Batulao, of the Salesian parish in Santa Rosa, Laguna, and of the "Don Bosco Academy" in Bacolor, Pampanga.

                                                                            After the national anthem, there was the welcome of CS Delegate Fr Bernard Nolasco, and a musical-based prayer performed by the "Coro di Don Bosco" – an all-male choir of St. John Bosco Parish, Makati City, during the intermission. The Filipino director Kip Oebanda, a past pupil of Don Bosco and member of the DBFF Board of Judges, was the keynote speaker.

                                                                            Mr. Oebanda urged the young Salesian students present to use their God-given talent and their passion for cinema to produce useful stories that can truly serve the good interest of society. "As a filmmaker," he said, "you have a great responsibility to use this tool to serve the genuine values of life."

                                                                            After the screening of a short video that retraced the previous editions of the DBFF, the awards ceremony began in the respective categories, which included both technical and artistic prizes in the sections: short advertisement, documentaries and short films.

                                                                            In addition, two special prizes were awarded for the work most voted by the public and for the film chosen by the local Salesian publisher.

                                                                            Started in 2015, on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, the DBFF continues to grow year after year in consideration of the local society and sponsors. Currently, students from any institute (school, oratory, educational centre, vocational training centre...) of the Salesians, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Sisters of the Charity of Jesus from all over the country can participate.

                                                                            This last edition, launched during the year that the Church of the Philippines dedicated in particular to clergy and consecrated persons, had as its theme the Gospel passage: "Come and See" (Jn 1:46) and challenged young people to tell true stories of religious who lived the Salesian charism and transmitted God's love to the neediest young people.

                                                                            So the DBFF gets also to motivate young people to become observers and narrators of the reality that surrounds them.

                                                                            The complete list of winners in the various categories is available on the Australasia website.

                                                                            {gallery}Filippine - DBFF 2019{/gallery}

                                                                            • Filippine
                                                                            • FIN
                                                                            • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                                            • Cinema
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Italy - New paths for a Church with an Amazonic face: Pan-Amazonic Seminar at Salesian Pontifical University

                                                                              1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                              Italy - New paths for a Church with an Amazonic face: Pan-Amazonic Seminar at Salesian Pontifical University

                                                                              (ANS - Rome) - It is said that "the Amazon is the lung of humanity". In fact, the preparatory document of the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazonic region also states that the Amazon basin is one of the largest reserves of biodiversity (30-50% of the world's flora and fauna), of fresh water (20% of non-frozen fresh water from the planet), and over a third of the planet's primary forests. Nine countries share this great biome: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, including French Guiana as overseas territory. And the Salesians are there too, working with young indigenous people.

                                                                              The Faculty of Theology of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, together with the Missions Sector of the Salesian Congregation, have organized the Seminar on the Pan-Amazonic Synod for 7-8 March: "New ways for a Church with an Amazonic face."

                                                                              The seminar's objective is to continue the reflection of Salesians; in fact, a few months ago, a first meeting was held in Brazil, in Manaus, attended by Salesian missionaries from Latin America to discuss the challenges and future prospects of the Salesian presence in the Amazon region.

                                                                              At the same time, "the seminar is not just a workshop of reflection on the Pan-Amazonic Synod, but is part of a journey within the Provinces for the reflection and qualification of our mission in the Amazon," explains Fr Martín Lasarte of the Mission Sector. "Our mission, given the importance for integral ecology, is attentive and gives - fundamentally - priority to the cry of young people, above all indigenous, but also to Afro-descendants, mestizos, whites, mulattos, of the forest, the countryside, the shores, the small and big cities."

                                                                              It is important to underline that for Pope Francis the Pan-Amazonic Synod aims to "identify new ways of evangelizing that part of God's people, especially the indigenous, often forgotten and without a serene future." This is why, for the Salesians, it is a matter of carrying out "a work of raising awareness" before this great challenge.

                                                                              To complete this task, the seminar organizers invited numerous speakers of import: mgr. Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops; Msgr. Raúl Biord, bishop of La Guaira, Venezuela; Msgr. Antonio de Assis Ribeiro, SDB, bishop of Belém, Brazil; Dr Guzmán Carriquiri, Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America; professor José Zanardini, SDB, from Paraguay; Dr. Gabriela Bernal from Ecuador; Fr Juan Botasso, SDB, from Ecuador; and Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, SDB, of the Brazil-Manaus Province.

                                                                              Other speakers will participate via pre-recorded interviews: card. Claudio Hummes, President of the "Pan-Amazzonic Ecclesial Network" (REPAM);  card. Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, Vice President of REPAM, Peru; and Mauricio Lopez Oropeza, Executive Secretary of REPAM.

                                                                              The Salesians, with the whole Church, are "called to be," as Pope Francis says, "the instruments of God the Father for our planet to be what He dreamed when He created it, and to respond to His plan of peace, beauty and fullness."

                                                                              • Italia
                                                                              • UPS
                                                                              • Sinodo per la regione Panamazzonica
                                                                                Jesus Jurado

                                                                                RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Southern Africa

                                                                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                                RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Southern Africa

                                                                                (ANS - Rome) - From 8 to 12 March, Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime shall be on African soil. Accompanied by the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar region, Fr Américo Chaquisse, and by Fr Horacio López, Secretary of the Rector Major, he will animate Salesians and the Salesian Family present in the "Blessed Michael Rua" Vice Province of Southern Africa - which includes South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.

                                                                                Fr Á.F. Artime will reach South Africa on the morning of Friday 8 March, landing at the Cape Town airport. The first official appointment is in Landsdowne with the mission's Salesian Family and its lay collaborators.

                                                                                On Saturday 9, there will be a meeting with the Salesians and, after the transfer to Johannesburg, he meets with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA).

                                                                                On 10 March, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco meets the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), presides over the Sunday Eucharist. In the afternoon he shall preside over the gathering of the Salesian Family in the Johannesburg and Swaziland areas.

                                                                                The Salesian Family and youth will also be at the center of the next day, Monday, March 11, which the Rector Major will spend in Lesotho.

                                                                                Before returning to Rome, on the morning of Wednesday 13, Fr Á.F. Artime shall still dedicate the entire day of Tuesday 12 to his "dear confreres": first in the gathering with all the Salesians of the Vice Province, then in talks with the Provincial of AFM and his Council in an exchange that will serve to highlight challenges and priorities for the future path.

                                                                                Although the Vice Province of AFM was canonically erected only in 1988, in the year of the centenary of the death of Don Bosco, the Salesian presence at the southern tip of the African continent is much older: the Salesian house of Cape Town, in fact, was started as early as 1896, while Salesians first set foot in Swaziland in 1953, and in Lesotho in 1980.

                                                                                Today the Vice-Province has 9 canonically erected centers: five in South Africa, two in Swaziland and two in Lesotho, animated by 42 Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco.

                                                                                • RMG
                                                                                • Visita di Animazione
                                                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                                • AFM
                                                                                  Jesus Jurado
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana