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Kenya – World Confederation of Past Pupils focusing on Africa

1 month 1 week ago
Kenya – World Confederation of Past Pupils focusing on Africa

(ANS - Nairobi) – For the first time, the World Presidency members of Don Bosco Past Pupils organized their annual meeting in Africa. The meeting was held in the conference hall of the “Don Bosco Youth Educational Services” (DBYES) in Nairobi from 27 to 30 August, and was followed by a meeting with the heads of various Provinces from 31 August to 2 September.

The meeting was chaired by Michal Hort, President of the Confederation, accompanied by the world delegate, Fr Raphael Jayapalan. The work focused on the preparation for the 150th anniversary of the first Past Pupils' meeting, on reflections on the process "Which Past Pupil for the 21st Century?", and on the review of each of the projects included in the strategic plan of the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco.

Accompanied by Fr Américo Chaquisse, Regional Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, members of the current Presidency took advantage of their visit to Nairobi to meet with National Presidents and Salesians Delegates for the Past Pupils of Don Bosco in Africa.

The representatives of Africa committed themselves to working for the consolidation of the associative structures in their respective countries and to ensure that the Young Past Pupils are included in their respective Local Unions. They also reaffirmed their commitment as part of the Salesian Family to "work for young people, especially those in situations of poverty and social exclusion."

The Past Pupils of Don Bosco are preparing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their foundation, and within the next jubilee year (2020-2021), various local and national activities will be organized throughout Africa to boost the movement in the region.

The meeting was attended by representatives of 11 African countries, several directors for the coordination and animation of Past Pupils, members of the World Presidency of the Past Pupils and the Salesian Provincial of East Africa, Fr Simon Asira Lipuku.

To continue the animation work carried out by the members of the World Presidency of the Past Pupils in different regions of the world, the next meeting will take place in Asia. "In this way the World Presidency of the Past Pupils has the opportunity to know firsthand the work done by Don Bosco's Past Pupils around the world and does not remain centralized in Europe," explained the Confederal President.

  • AFE
  • Kenya
  • Exallievi
  • Africa
  • Famiglia Salesiana
    Gian Francesco Romano

    India – Rector Major in Chennai Province, "the land of the Salesians"

    1 month 1 week ago

    (ANS - Chennai) – In recent days, the Animation Visit of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, to the India-Chennai Province (INM) has continued amid a number of significant meetings and large gatherings fully in the spirit of family.

    The visit's first official act was the Eucharistic celebration together with the members of the Provincial Council, the Salesians of the Provincial House and the Councilor for the South Asia region, Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga. On this occasion, the Successor of Don Bosco said today's Salesians must concern themselves with being humble and “lovable”, so as to be able to give a beautiful testimony to religious life. He also reminded everyone that young people seek indeed the Salesians who know how to share the journey with them.

    Subsequently, the provincial house, named Citadel, was filled with the colors and energy of the young people, who animated a rich program of cultural exhibitions. For his part, the Rector Major delivered several fundamental messages: "It is enough that you are young that I love you!"; "I believe in you and in your goodness" and "dream big and you will build a beautiful future."

    Saturday 7 September opened with a visit to the missionary aspirantate of Perambur, which currently hosts 20 students, animated by 8 Salesians. After learning about the history of the center, Fr Á.F. Artime recalled that music is never just an accessory in Salesian life, and animated his audience by performing several songs himself.

    Later in the morning, he visited the General House of the Sisters of Mary Auxiliatrix (SMA), 27th group of the Salesian Family, a Congregation dedicated to serving the neediest young women, and who, with only 43 years of life, can already count 33 communities and 134 professed. In a frank dialogue with the religious, in the presence of Mother General, Mother Josephine Selvi, and her Council, the Superior General of the Salesians insisted on maintaining and transmitting the credibility and beauty of religious life, and acknowledged the spirit of Don Bosco in their service.

    Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning were also dedicated to the Salesian Family. At the Provincial House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in Kodambakkam, the Rector Major met with hundreds of members of the various groups, emphasizing that communion in the Salesian Family and the care of a specific identity are the priorities to be cultivated.

    Later, at the “Gandhi Nagar” center in Vellore, 140 km from Chennai - a territory where the Salesian charism has borne much fruit in terms of vocations - the Successor of Don Bosco reiterated that all the members of the Salesian Family were born to serve young people, and in order to transmit the values of Don Bosco, besides direct teaching, daily testimony is fundamental. Present were several Salesian bishops or past pupils. The bishop of Vellore, Salesian Msgr. Periyanayagam Soundararaju thanked the Rector Major for the many vocations offered by the Salesians to the local Church, exclaiming: "This is really the land of the Salesians!"


    • India
    • INM
    • Rettor Maggiore
    • Visita di Animazione
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Vietnam – Inauguration of the new North Vietnam Delegation

      1 month 1 week ago
      Vietnam – Inauguration of the new North Vietnam Delegation

      (ANS – Hanoi) – The second Delegation of VIE province (Mongolia Delegation was established in 2009) was inaugurated on 7 September 2019, during the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist in the Parish Church of St. Peter in Van Phuc (Hanoi) celebrated by Fr. Joseph Nguyen Van Quang (Provincial of Vietnam - Mongolia) and concelebrated by 40 Salesian Priests and attended by a small group of Salesian Family members (Salesian Brothers, FMA sisters, Salesian Cooperators and two VDB). Fr. Thomas Aquinas Tran Quoc Tuan, parish priest of Van Phuc, was introduced to his 3 year term of office. Also the complete Provincial council was present at this occasion.

      Before the Mass, representatives from all 10 Salesian presences in the northern part of Vietnam gathered for a short meeting, to understand the Delegation Statutes approved by the Rector Major in July 2019 with a clear wish for effective animation and to establish firm roots for Salesian animation. The current confreres raised many questions about “What is the Delegation? What is exactly the role of the Delegate? How to establish new Salesian works when we are based mainly in diocesan parishes with a short term agreement?” All questions were briefly commented on by the EAO Regional Councillor, through translation by the first Secretary of the Delegation, Fr. JB Tran Van Hao.

      In the short address after the Gospel the EAO Regional Councillor expressed his gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the birth of the Delegation, especially to the Salesian confreres, the lay mission partners and benefactors over the past 25 years. Although there are many challenges on the way, the words of faith shared by St John Paul II “Don't Be Afraid” (inscription on the Salesian community house in Van Phuc) expressed his second point. In his third point Fr. Klememnt expressed the need for an ongoing search for a common vision in the fast-changing situation of the youth and the society. 

      At the conclusion of the Eucharist, the newly installed Delegate Superior, Fr. Thomas Aquinas, shared his vision for next 6 years: in order to lay solid foundations for the future Vice-province, he invited everyone to focus on community building, formation of the Salesian Family (esp. Salesian Cooperators, Alumni and ADMA) and work with their whole heart for the total development of the youth in this specific culture of the North.

      The new Delegate also highlighted the specific need to work for vocations, through the committed witness of religious life and invited all confreres to build a stronger sense of belonging to each local community, to the Delegation and to the whole Vietnam-Mongolia province.

      Among the current Salesian confreres (44, with no less than 11 Salesian Brothers) only very few were born in the North, thus finding themselves in a true missionary environment, needing to learn the local traditions, customs and also some ethnic dialects of minority groups. The 10 Salesian communities spread from Ky Anh (Ha Thinh, most southern presence) until Lao Cai (most northern presence) are mostly parish settings trying to develop some response to the needs of the young people in this large part of the country.

      • Vietnam
      • VIE
      • Delegazione Vietnam del Nord
      • Václav Klement
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Bolivia – International Literacy Day: the work of "Don Bosco Proyecto"

        1 month 1 week ago

        (ANS - Santa Cruz de la Sierra) - There are many places in Bolivia where the Salesians work hard to take children and adolescents from the street, trying to distance them gradually from a terrible condition to which they have grown accustomed. One of these places is Santa Cruz de la Sierra where, thanks to an initiative of Fr Ottavio Sabbadin, the "Proyecto Don Bosco" was launched a few years ago: a project that leverages the principles of the Preventive System and offers the young the opportunity to develop and attend school.

        Despite the great wealth of raw materials, Bolivia's GDP per capita is one of the lowest in all of South America, with an average monthly salary of around 91 dollars. Social and family policies are few and ineffective, and the weakest categories are the ones who pay the heaviest toll, especially children. Even though there are laws and initiatives that protect children and adolescents (such as the introduction of a voucher for pregnant women and a law against dropping out of school and provides a small contribution to pupils) the poorest children in Bolivia are abandoned to themselves. For example, it is estimated that only 7% of children living in rural areas complete 8 years of compulsory education.

        Faced with such a situation, 28 years ago, in 1991, Fr Sabbadin started the "Proyecto Don Bosco", an initiative aimed at the recovery and social reintegration of street children. The initiative includes 3 different steps, to be carried out in as many centers located in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra: "Hogar Don Bosco", the reception house "Mano Amiga", and the "Centro Barrio Juvenil Don Bosco".   

        Attending these centers are 900 minors at very high social risk, but, thanks to "papà Ottavio" - as they call him - and his confreres, the children can get an education for their future and, when possible, reintegration into the family of origin.

        On the occasion of International Literacy Day, 8 September, the local Salesians relaunched their commitment to fostering child literacy, the first step towards a longer lasting educational journey. For this they are collecting aid for the purchase of educational material - books, backpacks, uniforms, pencils, cases - which will be allocated to 250 children, girls and adolescents who are in a state of neglect and abuse and whom the missionaries have been taken charge.

        For more information, visit the website: 

        • Bolivia
        • BOL
        • Educazione
        • Scuole
          Gian Francesco Romano

          RMG – "Dear Salesian Brothers, we need you!"

          1 month 2 weeks ago

          (ANS - Rome) - For the last video of the "Dear Confreres" column of this six-year term, available online today, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, starts again from young people and from the cry that has come from all the Salesian Circumscriptions through the Provincial Chapters' reports: young people need Salesians, educators and witnesses. But they must be educated to know how to face the challenges of the present time.

          The Rector Major speaks from the Hall of the General Council at the end of the summer plenary session, and with his gaze already projected to the next important appointment that awaits the Congregation: the 28th General Chapter (GC28).

          "There is a constant element that fascinates me: it is listening to what our young people tell us. They simply tell us: dear Salesian confreres, we need you, your presence next to us!," says the Rector Major.

          The boys and girls do not ask for the presence of "administrators or managers", but Sons of Don Bosco who are like their founder, who know how to be carers in life to young people: "What else is still needed, after an appeal made with this intensity to indicate to us the way for this twenty-first century?" asks the Rector Major.

          Subsequently, the Successor of Don Bosco also touches on a second theme, the motivations that led him to choose the motto for the Rector Major's Strenna for 2020: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6, 10). "GOOD CHRISTIANS AND UPRIGHT CITIZENS". A formula, notes Fr Á.F. Artime, which contains the "politics of Our Father."

          They are two inseparable elements: "We were born to be educators to the faith of the young, to accompany them to the encounter of Jesus." But, adds the Rector Major, Salesian education cannot be disengaged or unlinked from the social and global context: "We cannot educate our young people to sit back, shut inside their homes, without bothering anyone ... No! We must prepare them for life ... To serve others, to commit themselves for others, not to be indifferent to the great global challenges of today, to be sensitive to the defense of Human Rights, especially of minors, and also to be open to a possible commitment in the world of politics, according to their sensitivity and their faith."

          The "Dear Confreres" video is already available in 25 languages ​​on the ANSChannel YouTube channel. Here the playlist with subtitled videos in different languages ​​- a playlist that will be enriched gradually in the coming days.

          • RMG
          • Rettor Maggiore
          • CG28
          • Cari Confratelli
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Haiti - Quality vocational training for young people

            1 month 2 weeks ago
            Haiti - Quality vocational training for young people

            (ANS - Port-au-Prince) - The Salesians of Haiti are committed to the country's future and, above all, to quality professional training for young people. And the reason is very simple: the goal is for young people to be the engines of development and eliminate poverty in the country.

            The École Normale Technique (ENTEC) is already a reality in Haiti. Inaugurated a few months ago, this center will help hundreds of young people receive quality formation and, in turn, be able to train other young people. The Salesians, with the support of the Spanish Salesian NGO "Jóvenes y Desarrollo" and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), has managed to achieve what seemed a dream.

            "This new center makes us continue to believe in the future and to dream of a different Haiti, rich in opportunities for young people and children," explained Fr Jean Paul Mésidor, Provincial of the Salesians of Haiti, on the day of the building's inauguration.

            The initiative represents an important step forward in fostering Vocational Training through the improvement of teachers' skills and study programs.

            ENTEC is the first center of its kind in Haiti and will help modernize approaches and study programs so that teachers can provide complete and quality education to Haitian youth.

            The low level of education that young people receive and the lack of pedagogical resources of professional teachers are two major obstacles to the country's development and of its students. For this reason, it was decided to collaborate with the Spanish institutions and with the Haitian government.

            A few weeks after the inauguration, the Spanish Ambassador in Haiti, Hon. Pedro José Sanz Serrano, visted the center; he underlined the importance of this education project and thanked the Salesians for their special dedication to vocational training, a line of work that helps the development of communities.

            In fact, many young people find themselves facing difficult obstacles and situations to their studies due to the earthquake of 2010 and the passage of hurricane Matthew in 2016, which have wreaked havoc all across the country.

            The district of La Saline, one of the most dangerous in Port-au-Prince, is the living face of poverty in which more than half of the 10 million Haitians live, and which drives thousands of young people to emigrate. Only in the last 3 years, around 300,000 Haitians have emigrated in search of a better future.

            • Haiti
            • Docenti
            • Formazione Professionale
            • Solidarietà
            • HAI
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Israel – "Formative Experience in Holy Land": meeting Jesus in His home, His land, through His Word

              1 month 2 weeks ago

              (ANS - Jerusalem) - The wonderful and thrilling "Formative Experience in the Holy Land" (EFTS), which took place from 11 to 23 August, has come to an end. It was led by Fr Juan José José Bartolomé and Fr Francisco Enríquez de Zulaica, and saw the participation of 37 Salesians from all over the Hispanic world. It was a necessary experience for the Salesians and a proposal that comes from the Formation Department and is supported by the Salesian community of Ratisbonne, in particular by Fr Matteo Balla, SDB.

              The Salesian Constitutions declare that "our most eminent science is to know Jesus Christ." And this experience in the places where Jesus Christ walked more than two thousand years ago "appeared in this moment of my life," said Fr Alberto Sandoval, from Mexico, "in a convenient and necessary way. I consider it as a grace from God. I had moments of profound encounter with God in the places where He lived."

              During the 13 days of the experience, the daily activities were divided into two moments. In the morning, the significant and meaningful places of Jesus' life and ministry were visited with evocative Eucharisties celebrated in different places. In the afternoon, supported by Gospel texts, and through prayer, participants reflected on the "mystery" of Jesus in relation to the location visited.

              "It was a timely moment for my life, especially in this moment in which I find myself, seized by a whirlwind of work and pastoral tasks that consume energy. I returned to the places of Jesus to focus on who is the reason for my life: Jesus," said Fr José Luis Villota, from Spain. For José Manuel Gonzales, also of Spain, these days "have been a grace of God. After this experience, the Word of God that we read every day is totally different."

              The meeting's 37 participants, coming from Spain, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Chile  and Peru, were welcomed into the Community of the Monastery of Ratisbonne, where a community of formators welcomes the students of Theology.

              Fr Luis Chamizo, a Salesian missionary in Bolivia, who at 86 years of age showed great vitality in walking the paths of Jesus, affirmed categorically: "This meeting is ideal for all Salesians, but at the same time indispensable. We must all do it one day or another in our lives. We must fill ourselves with God to be able to transmit it."

              In the words of Fr Alexandre L. de Oliveira, from Brazil, it was "an encounter with the very Word of God, and an opportunity for spiritual renewal."

              These days, Fr Bartolomé summarized, "want to awaken and maintain a personal and profound experience with the Salesians who follow Jesus. It is an experience of formation with which it is hoped that all participants meet Jesus Christ in His home, in His land and through His Word."

              {gallery}Terra Santa - EFTS 2019{/gallery}

              • Israele
              • Palestina
              • Pellegrinaggi e Peregrinazioni
              • Formazione
                Gian Francesco Romano

                RMG – Orientation Course for Missionaries of 150th Expedition

                1 month 2 weeks ago
                RMG – Orientation Course for Missionaries of 150th Expedition

                (ANS - Rome) - Next September 29, in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin-Valdocco, a gesture will be repeated for the 150th time, a rite that is within the heart of the Salesian charism: the sending of missionaries ad gentes, ad extra, ad vitam - missionaries, that is, sent to other peoples, outside their country of origin, committed for life. In view of such a large step, last Sunday, 1 September, the Orientation Course for new Salesian missionaries began.

                The first part of the course takes place in Rome this year at the Salesian community of San Tarcisio, near the Catacombs of San Callisto. Under the guidance of the General Councilor for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, and his team - Fr Gianni Rolandi, responsible for missionary formation, and his successor, Fr Joseph Nguyen Phuoc, from the Vietnam Province - (VIE) the new missionaries are receiving an orientation these days on intercultural missionary dynamics, so that they can adequately approach the challenges that await them in new mission contexts.

                Yesterday, 4 September, the missionaries also received the visit of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, who underlined in a paternal intervention the meaning of their being at the service of the most needy young people.

                As in past years, the course includes a second part of formation specifically dedicated to the deepening of Salesian and missionary spirituality in Salesian Places, to be carried out in the days prior to sending.

                There are 36 spiritual Sons leaving with the 150th Salesian Missionary Expedition.

                Regarding their origins:

                -four come from Europe;
                -four from Latin America;
                -twelve from Africa-Madagascar;
                -sixteen from Asia.

                Regarding their destinations:

                -one will go to Africa;
                -one to Oceania;
                -three to Asia;
                -six to the Middle East;
                -ten to Europe;
                -and as many as 15 to Latin American countries.

                While waiting to celebrate with the solemnity that the 150th Salesian Missionary Expedition deserves, let us remember the words of Don Bosco: "One of the most worthy works of praise and support is that of the missions among foreign peoples" (MB XVIII, 785).

                {gallery}RMG - Corso Missioni 150 - 2019{/gallery}

                • RMG
                • Missioni
                • Spedizione Missionaria Salesiana
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • Guillermo Basañes
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Ecuador - Volunteering in the family: "It's possible to help as a family"

                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                  (ANS - Riobamba) - From the city of León, in Spain, Javier Fernández (46 years) and Diana Pérez (45) went to Riobamba together with their children Gerardo (12) and Míriam (9) to volunteer: they are a sign that there are no impediments when the desire to share one's life with others is greater than the difficulties that may arise.

                  The Fernández family has been in Ecuador for around 30 days, doing itinerant volunteering in different places. They put their gifts at the service of others: by holding meetings on trafficking in human beings, for example, or by helping in the preparation of food rations for people with scarce economic resources.

                  Their first experience was at the side of the "Damas Salesianas" of Riobamba, where they learned about and supported the work the latter do in a center for the elderly and in another center for teenagers with criminal records.

                  "It shocked me to find that there were 12-year-old boys, which is my son's age, held for crimes like murder or rape. This is why I say that the work that the 'Damas Salesianas' are doing to make these children recover their lives is admirable," Diana testified.

                  In the small villages of Morales and Curtincapac, this Spanish family has animated games and dynamics for children and young people, and Gerardo and Míriam have given their valid contribution: "In these places we have seen that the children are able to collaborate. They participated in the things we organized. We've seen that children can actively participate as little educators, and all this has helped us grow as a family."

                  The missionary vocation of this family is an option that has become a lifestyle. Javier and Diana have been collaborating with the Spanish Salesian NGO "Jóvenes y Desarrollo" for about 20 years, through various programs in favor of children and young people, as well as in awareness campaigns on volunteering.

                  Both agree that the wealth of volunteering is not so much in what one gives to others, but in the experiences and learnings that can be drawn from people with whom one shares moments of grace.

                  When they left Ecuador, they thanked the Salesian community of Riobamba who welcomed them and stressed that it was worthwhile to make this experience for the smiles obtained and for the affection received - things that can only be felt by being in direct contact with the people and that cannot really be understood by looking at them on television or even reading it in a report like this, because sometimes words are not enough.

                  "This experience helped us strengthen the belief that it is possible to help as a family," they conclude.

                  • Ecuador
                  • ECU
                  • Volontariato
                  • Famiglia
                  • ONG
                  • Spagna
                  • Jóvenes y Desarrollo
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    RMG – Rector Major's Journey to India: first stop in Chennai

                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                    RMG – Rector Major's Journey to India: first stop in Chennai

                    (ANS - Rome) - Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, is once again about to leave. This time he will not  adding a new name to the very long list of countries he has visited as Rector Major, because he will return to India where he has already been several times since the beginning of his mandate - the last one last spring. This time, however, there will be different Salesian realities that he will animate: those of the Provinces of Chennai (INM) and Dimapur (IND).

                    Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, Fr Á.F. Artime will land at Chennai airport on Friday, September 6th. Upon reaching the Provincial House, he will preside over the Eucharist and gather with the Provincial and his Council.

                    On the morning of the following day he will visit the missionary aspirantate of Perambur, the General House of the Sisters of Mary Auxiliatrix (SMA), 27th group of the Salesian Family, and the Theologate of Kavarapettai. In the afternoon, at the Provincial House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), he will encourage the Salesian Family in Chennai and the Puducherry area.

                    On Sunday 8 September, the Rector Major will first be in Vellore - about 140 km west of Chennai - where he will preside over the Eucharist for the Salesian Family in the area; and then to Tirupattur - 90 km further south-west - where he will meet aspirants, prenovices and novices of the formation house. The long day will end with a lively youth party.

                    On Monday 9, at Tiripattur, the X Successor of Don Bosco will meet with his confreres from the regions of Vellore and Tirupattur, before returning to Chennai to depart again, this time for Dimapur.

                    • RMG
                    • Visita di Animazione
                    • Rettor Maggiore
                    • India
                    • INM
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Pakistan – Akash Bashir's family receives statue of Mary Help of Christians from Rector Major

                      1 month 2 weeks ago
                      Pakistan – Akash Bashir's family receives statue of Mary Help of Christians from Rector Major

                      (ANS - Lahore) - As part of his Visit to the two Salesian houses in Pakistan, namely in Quetta and Lahore, the General Councilor for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, paid special attention to the family of Akash Bashir, a Salesian Past Pupil who died to prevent an attack on the church of St John Bosco in Youhannabad.

                      Fr Basañes wanted to personally meet the family of the young Akash, a Salesian Past Pupil who, just twenty years old, gave his life on March 15, 2015, while serving as a security guard in the church of St John Bosco.

                      That day, in fact, he prevented a man who carried explosives from immolating himself within the parish, where hundreds of people were celebrating Palm Sunday Mass. To avoid the explosion, Akash bravely embraced the terrorist and died saving the lives of all those who were praying inside the church.

                      Fr Basañes then dedicated his last afternoon in Lahore to meeting with the young man's family, to whom he delivered a small statue of Mary Help of Christians. It was the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who wished to send the statue from Turin, as a sign of respect and appreciation for the life and martyrdom of Akash.

                      The family members accepted the blessings of the Rector Major and the gift with great joy and gratitude.

                      The General Councilor for the Missions also had the opportunity to visit the church of St John and observed the exact place where the martyrdom of the young Past Pupil took place. He also visited the monument dedicated to his martyrdom and finally prayed at his tomb.

                      The Salesians of Pakistan, united with Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, continue to give thanks for the life of Akash Bashir, as he is a symbol not only for the Past Pupils, but for all the young religious who live in Islamic countries. His heroism and martyrdom are a pride for the Salesian Congregation and for the whole Pakistani Christian community.

                      In fact, already in January 2017, Fr Francis Gulzar, pastor of the Church of St. John and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lahore, sent a letter to the Archbishop of Lahore, Msgr. Sebastian Francis Shaw, "to formally request to start the official procedure to declare Akash Bashir Martyr, to honor his sacrifice for his community in the parish of Yauhanabad."

                      {gallery}Pakistan - Vsita a Famiglia Bashir 2019{/gallery} 

                      • Pakistan
                      • FIS
                      • Martiri
                      • Maria Ausiliatrice
                      • Rettor Maggiore
                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                      • Akash Bashir
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Egypt – Volunteer experience of young people in Central Italy

                        1 month 2 weeks ago
                        Egypt – Volunteer experience of young people in Central Italy

                        (ANS - Cairo) - The Salesian oratory of Cairo-Zeitun is one of the two works of the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco in the capital of Egypt. For several years, as part of the collaboration between the Circumscription of Central Italy and the Salesians of Egypt, it has welcomed young Italian volunteers who have put themselves at the service of the local children during the summer. It is precisely these volunteers who can testify today: "the oratory of Zeitun fully embodies the phrase of Don Bosco: it is a home that welcomes, a parish that evangelizes and a school that leads to life."

                        It is home because it welcomes children from all over Cairo, both Egyptians and South Sudanese, without distinction. This makes this work special, especially in a city where the South Sudanese are discriminated against and not accepted. At the "Don Bosco", they play together: Sudanese and Egyptians in the same courtyard. Two cultures in one oratory. Dancing together, listening to Sudanese and Egyptian music, leaving the various games to dance that song of the moment that makes the courtyard explode with joy ... It makes one understand that the sharing of small gestures breaks any cultural barrier.

                        It is a parish, because one breathes an air of faith. During the week, there are moments for catechism; they are divided into age groups and between Sudanese and Egyptians, due only to the lack of space. Even with the church benches full, the children, even the youngest, remain silent and respectful of the moment; participation in prayers indeed shows how important and participatory faith is. Faith that does not occur only in moments of joy, but is made external, or expressed, especially in moments of pain and difficulty. Knowing how to say in suffering: "Lord, thy will be done" means to have understood that one's cross is brought together and with the Lord and not alone, by oneself.

                        It is school because in this oasis in the desert children learn to be loved, to respect each other in their differences; they learn about care of and for the environment and of themselves, to become responsible by accepting small tasks, to become "good Christians and upright citizens."

                        "We volunteers," say the young Italians, "immediately felt welcomed: the oratory became our home. Every gesture received, from a handshake to a smile, have been helpful in creating bonds with every young person met. Zeitun was a parish for us because we felt the presence of the Lord in every heart that opened up to us. It was a school, because in the face of different languages, we learned to understand each other by speaking the language of the heart."

                        • Egitto
                        • ICC
                        • Volontariato
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Myanmar – What are the fruits of the 2nd EAO translators workshop?

                          1 month 2 weeks ago
                          Myanmar – What are the fruits of the 2nd EAO translators workshop?

                          (ANS – Anisakan) – Two main visible fruits of the 2nd EAO Salesian Translators Workshop are at the spotlight – “Salesian Translators Handbook” (20 pages for all EAO translators and their provincials) and “Salesian Glossary” as homework of the translators (450 Salesian terms with clear description in own province language). After 3 days of intense sharing, questioning, workshop sessions and fraternal exchange the 2nd EAO Workshop was concluded on August 29.

                          There are two main fruits of this “rare” EAO regional workshop, since the ordinary work of the Salesian Translators (both SDB and various Salesian Family members) is hidden, silent and not much publicly appreciated. However without the continuous translation of the SDB institutional documents, Don Bosco sources or the daily Salesian world or EAO regional news, probably the whole Congregation would cease to breath as one world community.

                          At the end of the Workshop each participant was encouraged to wrap up the long reflection and discernment journey with two personal, two provincial and two regional “Resolutions” in the field of Salesian Translation ministry

                          Among the province level resolutions stands out: Assist their provincial to acknowledge the translation mission in more serious way, with long term planning mentality for translators formation and accompaniment, activate or found the provincial level team of Salesian translators (main tool translation ministry, that can’t be carried effectively this mission.

                          At the regional level our translators dream: to keep in touch through the digital communication (e.g. WhatsApp group) and ask their provincial to suggest the most necessary translations for their mission.

                          During the last two session on August 29 the 30 workshop participants (20 SDB and 10 members of other SF group) were able to finalize the 4th revision of the EAO Salesian Translators Handbook (due for publication on September 30 - the international day of Translators, Feast of St Jerome), put together their personal, province and region level resolutions and evaluate the whole workshop. Before the last evening prayer each participant received from the hands of the hosting provincial the special Certificate of Appreciation with the personal signature of the Rector Major.

                          Moreover, the Regional Councillor for the East Asia - Oceania region, Fr Václav Klement, has identified a third fruit: “When we read the ‘Resolutions’ of each participant (personal – province – regional level) there is one strongly requested theme of the ‘Provincial team of translators’ (commission or equip). We realize, that without a team work, we can’t produce a quality translation process, that needs to cross-check (copy-editing process) the final product. Hope that each of the translating EAO provinces will witness the ‘official appointment’. 

                          As a matter of fact, in some delegations and provinces we are short of prepared confreres (SDB), Salesian Family members (Salesian Cooperators, Alumni, VDB) or lay mission partners to strengthen the translation ministry. In some provinces we need to call, to prepare and form new generation of Salesian Translators. Without this commitment our charism can’t be deeply rooted in the various cultures or our beautiful Region. In provinces with sufficient number of Salesian translators we need to foster their team-work with the necessary tools and system”.

                          Gathered in one place after 5 years, the EAO Salesian translators return to their home provinces with more motivation, convictions and concrete tools like the Salesian Glossary (450 terms) and clear guidelines discerned in the Salesian Translators Handbook (20 page-short document with own Glossary and Translators Prayers composed by SDB, FMA, VDB and Salesian Cooperators).

                          “We are grateful for the organizers, for the expert contribution of Fr. George Thadathil from Sonada (India, Kolkatta Province) “Salesian Translation Center” and wisdom from many senior translators present in the workshop hall or helping through their online advice and assistance” Fr. Pascal Kyaw, SDB, Secretary of the Workshop, concludes.

                          • Myanmar
                          • MYM
                          • Traduttori
                          • Václav Klement
                          • Asia EstOceania
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Madagascar – Bishop Vella, SDB: "May the Holy Father revive hope and bring peace"

                            1 month 2 weeks ago

                            (ANS - Moramanga) - The apostolic journey of Holy Father Francis to Mozambique, Madagascar and the Mauritius Islands begins tomorrow, 4 September. "Hope, Peace, and Reconciliation" is the motto chosen by the Pope, seen as the Sower of Peace and Hope, for his stop in Madagascar. “Our hope is that the Holy Father can rekindle hope in the hearts of the Malagasy, who have long been trying to change society without succeeding, and at the same time bring peace to a society that is strongly divided even within families, villages, of society,” commented Salesian prelate Msgr. Rosario Vella, appointed bishop of Moramanga last July, after having been a holder of the diocese of Ambanja for 12 years.

                            The Salesian, in Madagascar for almost forty years, told the "Aid to the Church in Need" Foundation about the locals' great emotion for the Pope's forthcoming visit to the island, where the Catholic Church, although a minority, represents an indispensable support for the entire population.

                            "If people need to be treated," explained mgr. Vella, "they come to our dispensaries, while parents confidently send their children to the schools we have set up even in the most remote villages. And then every parish manages agriculture-related projects or health care programs that benefit everyone. The Catholic Church here has always been the only point of reference for everyone."

                            Although rich in resources, Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries. Almost half of the children are malnourished, the illiteracy rate is 31% and only 15% of the population has access to electricity.

                            Faced with poverty and divisions, Pope Francis, in his video message sent in view of his imminent journey, encouraged the Malagasy population by saying: "Your country is famous for its natural beauty, and for these we say: 'Praised be you!' It is our duty to preserve them carefully. But there is another beauty that is even more dear to Christ and to the Pope: that of his people, that is your holiness! For this reason, I will come to confirm you in the faith and at the same time to draw from it."

                            • Madagascar
                            • MDG
                            • Rosario Vella
                            • Vescovi
                            • Papa Francesco
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Argentina – Short film entitled "Zatti, our brother"

                              1 month 2 weeks ago

                              (ANS - Córdoba) - The Salesian Coadjutor Brother Artemide Zatti, beatified in 2002, has his film. Salesian Argentina is in fact working on post-production to give birth to one of the first film productions.

                              The idea of ​​producing a film emerged within the context of the "2nd Seminar on the Causes of Canonization of the members of the Salesian Family", held in Rome in April 2018. At that appointment, Salesians Pedro Narambuena and Ricardo Cámpoli participated as delegates of Argentina and, before the news that an alleged miracle of the blessed Zatti was being studied, they thought about the possibility of making a short film to spread the knowledge of this prominent figure.

                              The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who became aware of the initiative, encouraged its production, with the contribution of the "Misiones Salesianas" of Spain, which collected most of the necessary funds.

                              In 2018, Fr Cámpoli, Delegate for Social Communication of Northern Argentina (ARN) and recently graduated in Film and Audiovisual Production, gave shape to the script. In June it was proposed to the Argentine Salesian Bulletin to participate as a producer, making the short film a production of "Don Bosco Argentina", and associating the two Salesian Provinces of the North and South of the Country in the project, thus giving a significant contribution of people and means. The title chosen: “Zatti, hermano nuestro - Zatti, our brother).”

                              The following months were dedicated to pre-production, with the casting and selection of 25 actors and the choice of directions for photography, sound and art. Mercedes Baxzos, ARS Delegate for Social Communication, wrote to Juan José Campanella, director, winner of the Oscar for the film "El secreto de sus ojos - Secret in their eyes", who exchanged opinions with Fr Cámpoli and provided valuable suggestions.

                              On March 25, shooting began, lasting 8 days, and with the presence of about 50 people, including committed laymen, Salesians and professionals from the entertainment world, especially from the theater. Filming was completed on Friday 5 April. Juan José Chiappetti, Executive Director of the Salesian Bulletin, Fr Fernando Canigia, SB Director, and Matías Audisio, Santiago Valdemoros, Exequiel Herrero, Matías Imaz and Santiago Viskatis, were happy and satisfied with their participation in the work. Special mention also for the dedication and work offered by Natalia Wasinski, Nahuel Medina, Gabriel Osorio, SDB, and Richard Godoy, SDB.

                              The film trailer shall be screened for the first time at the "VIII World Congress of Mary Help of Christians" to be held in Buenos Aires next November in the presence of hundreds of participants of the Salesian Family, of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco and of the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. The short film will be officially presented as a preview at the 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, which will take place in Turin in 2020.

                              {gallery}Argentina - Zatti fratello nostro 2019{/gallery}

                              • Argentina
                              • ARN
                              • ARS
                              • Artemide Zatti
                              • Cinema
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Nepal – Reconstruct earthquake-resistant schools and assist children and young people in need

                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                Nepal – Reconstruct earthquake-resistant schools and assist children and young people in need

                                (ANS - Sankhu) - Children and young people from Sankhu, district of Lalitpur, will be able to return to classrooms at the beginning of the new school year. The Shree Saraswoti center has not only been rebuilt, but has also been equipped with everything necessary and sanitary fixtures and all necessary toiletries have also been installed, so that boys and girls can properly take care of hygiene. Furthermore, the school will also have a kindergarten, so that even the smallest children of Sankhu can access quality education.

                                The school was inaugurated in recent weeks during a ceremony that brought together over 200 people, including teachers, students and their families. Among those present were also the head of the village development committee, Dhurva Ghimire, and the head of the Salesians in Nepal, Fr Augusty Pulickal.

                                Salesian missionaries are still working to rebuild the country after the terrible earthquakes that hit Nepal in April 2015, causing the devastation of Kathmandu and the surrounding areas and the death of around 8,000 people. The reconstruction of schools in rural areas and the provision of suitable equipment - including sanitation - are part of the Salesian objectives in the country, not to mention the more than 1,600 children and young people who are already being educated in the five Salesian schools in Nepal.

                                Thanks to the Salesians, 10 rural schools have already been rebuilt and equipped. But the development program of Don Bosco's Spiritual Sons is broader and also includes teacher training.

                                "Salesian institutions are welcome centers where everyone feels at home and the educational programs and diplomas released help many young Nepalese to build their future," a teacher explains.

                                Salesian missionaries have been working in Nepal for more than 25 years, taking care of the most vulnerable children and young people. The construction of schools that can withstand earthquakes and access to education for the youngest and most vulnerable children is the daily commitment of the Salesians in Nepal so that the children and young people of Nepal have the necessary tools to change their lives and become agents of development in their country.

                                • Nepal
                                • INC
                                • Scuole
                                • Educazione
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Italy – Blessed Maria Troncatti celebrated in Corteno Golgi

                                  1 month 2 weeks ago
                                  Italy – Blessed Maria Troncatti celebrated in Corteno Golgi

                                  (ANS - Corteno Golgi) - The birthplace of the blessed Maria Troncatti (1883-1969), ie., Corteno Golgi (Brescia), thanks to the pastoral commitment of the parish priest, Fr Alessandro Nana, and to the great love of the whole civil and religious community for its distinguished citizen, wanted to commemorate and celebrate in solemn and participatory form the 50th anniversary of the birth in heaven of this Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, a missionary among the Shuar of Ecuador.

                                  On 24-25 August 2019, various moments helped to recall the testimony of Sr. Troncatti, beatified 24 November 2012, and together underline the relevance of her message in this year in which the Pan Amazon Synod is celebrated and in the imminence of an extraordinary missionary month of October, wanted by Pope Francis on the occasion of the centenary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter Maximum illud by Pope Benedict XV (November 30, 1919).

                                  A first sign, offered by nature, was a rainbow that enveloped the sky of Corteno Golgi on the evening of Saturday 24 August, as if to confirm the mission of Sister Troncatti as a woman of peace and reconciliation. Even 50 years ago, at the end of the missionary's funeral, a rainbow appeared in the sky of Sucúa (Ecuador), to seal the offer made of her life for the reconciliation between the Shuar and the white settlers.

                                  On the same evening, a solemn concelebration was held in Corteno Golgi presided by the Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, with the participation of several native priests of Corteno. In the homily, inspired by the Gospel of the day that spoke of the need to "strive to enter through the narrow door", Fr Cameroni recalled how Blessed Maria Troncatti not only dedicated her life to the little ones, to the poor, with a mother's heart, to the sick and to the missionaries, but above all how she gave herself in a gift of love for the good of the people to whom the Lord had sent her as a missionary.

                                  Through six stages in especially meaningful places across town, an evocative Via Lucis followed which proposed the luminous testimony of this Daughter of Mary Help of Christians as a woman of faith, daughter of her land, announcer of the Gospel to children and to the poor, disciple of Christ on the Cross, devoted daughter of Our Lady, example of missionary charity.

                                  On Sunday 25 August there were several celebrations. In particular, in the parish church, near the baptismal font where Maria Troncatti was baptized, the Christian community renewed its baptismal promises, asking, through the intercession of the blessed, that the grace of the baptism of each bear fruit in ways of holiness, and confirming the commitment missionary of the Church, in the announcement of salvation in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.

                                  • Italia
                                  • Santità Salesiana
                                  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  • Maria Troncatti
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Germany – A different youth camp: first "Meet" of young Syrians in the heart of Europe

                                    1 month 2 weeks ago

                                    (ANS - Benediktbeuern) - At first glance, it might seem like a normal Salesian youth camp, one of the many organized by Salesian youth centers and oratories throughout Europe; but just pay a little attention and you realize that all the posters are in Arabic! The reason is very simple: it is the first camp for young people of the Middle East in Salesian environments, mostly Syrians, who live as refugees in various European countries.

                                    The Middle East Province (MOR), with the support of the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco and the German Province, organized the first "Meet" of young refugees in Benediktbeuern, Germany, from 21 to 26 August. The work, coordinated by Fr Munir El Rai, developed the theme: "You too can be a saint".

                                    Under the motto of sanctity, therefore, about 35 young people from Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Sweden and Italy met again three, four or five years since the last time, that is, since when the war forced them to leave their homes in Aleppo, Damascus or Kafroun.

                                    The life and integration of the young people who have had to leave their homeland has not been easy and on many occasions European societies have not helped them. In this sense, Fr El Rai observed: "This meeting is a reunion with oneself, a time to pray and set aside the difficulties, and give these children the opportunity to support their strong Salesian identity that war and the condition of refugees have put to the test."

                                    Activities and sports, musical and spiritual animation, walks in the woods and a cultural trip to Munich were the main activities these young people experienced over six intense days. Furthermore, the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2019 was presented to them in detail, "Holiness for you, too" as was the specific identity of the Past Pupil of Don Bosco.

                                    On Saturday, August 24th, the young people of the Middle East had a dialogue with the Provincial of Germany, Fr Reinhard Gesing, and with the "Consultive Body of Young Past Pupils of Europe", which was preparing the activities of Don Bosco's young Past Pupils for the next two years.

                                    During the "Meet" some of the young people shared very difficult personal stories, which emotionally moved the group. Now for the Salesians the most important thing is to accompany them and help them in the places where they live, so that they can find Salesian support in their daily life in Europe.

                                    {gallery}GER - Confronto 2019{/gallery}

                                    • Germania
                                    • GER
                                    • Siria
                                    • MOR
                                    • Pastorale Giovanile
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Vatican – Next cardinal López Romero, SDB: "My highest title and diploma... to be 'son of God'"

                                      1 month 2 weeks ago

                                      (ANS - Vatican City) - On the sidelines of yesterday's Angelus, 1 September, Pope Francis announced a Consistory for the creation of 10 new Cardinals. Among them, the Pontiff also appointed Salesian Cristóbal López Romero, archbishop of Rabat, Morocco. His comment as regards the appointment: "I repeat what I already explained when I was appointed bishop: my highest title and diploma is to be 'son of God', and I obtained it through baptism. They are already at the top (like most of you); I cannot go higher or be promoted, because one cannot be more than a child of God."

                                      Mons. López Romero was born 19 May 1952 in Vélez-Rubio, Spain; he carried out his novitiate in Godelleta, professed his first vows on 16 August 1968, followed by solemn vows on 2 August 1974, after which he was ordained a priest on 19 May 1979.

                                      He served the Salesian Congregation in multiple ways and in various geographical areas: following ordination he took care of the pastoral ministry with the marginalized in Barcelona; he was Director of the Salesian Bulletin of Asunción, Paraguay (1991-92); then Superior of three different Provinces: Paraguay (1994-2000), Bolivia (2011-2014), and Spain-Mary Help of Christians (2014-2017). And in between, from 2003 to 2011, he also gained the experience of Director of the Community, head of the pastoral parish and school ministry in the vocational training center in Kénitra, Morocco. Precisely in virtue of this service, and of the good relations he developed with the Christian and Muslim religious leaders present in Morocco, on 29 December 2017, Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Rabat. In this capacity, he accompanied the Holy Father throughout his apostolic journey to Morocco this past March.

                                      On the day of his appointment, in which the liturgy recalled "The greater you become, the more humble you should be." (Sir 3, 18), Msgr. López Romero wrote on his Facebook page: 

                                      “Dear friends ... I would have wanted to answer all the messages I received ... But I give up: they are so many! ... I would like every greeting to become a prayer for the Pope, for the Church, for this diocese of Rabat and for my person. I thank Pope Francis for the deference he has shown me and I intend to continue to serve the Church by helping her with everything she needs. (...)

                                      I reiterate what I already explained when I was appointed Bishop: my title and diploma of the highest category is that of being "son of God", and I obtained it in Baptism. I am at the top (like most of you); I cannot ascend or be promoted, since more than the son of God one cannot be.

                                      Being bishop, priest, cardinal, Pope ...  is nothing but a concrete service rendered to the Church and in the Church ... But it does not put you above anyone. (...)

                                      The responsibility received overflows me and overcomes me, but I am counting on the One who began His work in me to bring it a fine end.

                                      Let Your kingdom come!”

                                      • Vaticano
                                      • Cardinali
                                      • Cristóbal López
                                      • Marocco
                                      • Vescovi
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Guatemala - Salesian Coadjutor Formation Center receives Regional Councilors and Provincials

                                        1 month 3 weeks ago
                                        Guatemala - Salesian Coadjutor Formation Center receives Regional Councilors and Provincials

                                        (ANS - Guatemala City) - The Curatorium annual meeting was held from August 19 to 20 at the Salesian Coadjutor Formation Center (CRESCO), Salesian community of "San José"; its theme: "Which Salesians for today's young people?" The event was attended by Fr Natale Vitali, Councilor for the America South Cone Region, Fr Timothy Ploch, Councilor for the Interamerica Region, Provincials and representatives of the provinces of the two regions.

                                        The Curatorium is a meeting to follow and deepen the formative stages of the Salesians in formation. The objectives of the Curatorium include listening to formators and young Salesians in formation on their experience in the four fundamental dimensions of the formative proposal: human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral-apostolic; to review and evaluate the development of the CRESCO formation project; to analyze the administrative and financial aspects of this experience, with the budget approval for next year; and to offer recommendations that contribute to the way of experiencing this training experience. Despite the busy agenda, the meeting took place in a climate of Salesian familiarity, freedom and love for the Salesian Congregation.

                                        CRESCO offers the Salesian Coadjutor Brother, after completing his internship, an interprovincial community experience which, together with an adequate theological-pastoral and Salesian formation, and shared experience, seeks to consolidate his professional identity and enrich his initial formation in view of educational-pastoral work and preparation for his perpetual vows. It is here that the Provinces offer the Salesian Brother the opportunity to prepare themselves for their specific vocation as consecrated laity, just like Salesian candidates to the priesthood prepare themselves in the theologate for their ministry.

                                        The ten Salesian Brothers who began their formative experience during this year come from various countries, which gives the group a great human, cultural and spiritual richness.

                                        Don Bosco conceived the figure of the coadjutor brother as a Salesian completely inserted into the religious community and participating in his mission. "The identity of the Salesian brother revolves around two poles," stated A. Bozzolo.  "The first is the peculiarity of the apostolic-educational charism in an existence of radical following of the Lord: the habitat in which he is called to live; the second is the figure of professional work in which he symbolically expresses his lay contribution, with sensitivity and accent that are different from those of a priest."

                                        • Guatemala
                                        • Formazione
                                          Jesus Jurado
                                          6 minutes 48 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
                                          News - Salesians of Don Bosco