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RMG – EAO Eco Team on Igniting Ecological Education, Spirituality and Solidarity in the Region

1 month 2 weeks ago
RMG – EAO Eco Team on Igniting Ecological Education, Spirituality and Solidarity in the Region

(ANS – Rome) – On the occasion of the solemnity of the feast of Annunciation, 25 March 2021, the East Asia-Oceania (EAO) Eco Team gathered online to also share the good news of how each Province or Delegation in the region joyfully moves towards radical ecological conversion which responds to both the cry of the poor and cry of the earth. The presence and accompaniment of the EAO Regional Councillor, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Thinh Phuoc SDB, was very helpful and encouraging.

The sharing of best practices, environmental activities and awareness campaigns created a venue to:

-      allow the coordinators to be familiar with what’s happening and get in touch with the right people in their respective Salesian localities;

-      and enrich and inspire each other on how to animate the Salesian eco-movement and involve more young people to be active stewards of the Common Home.

The second agenda of the meeting was to put a collective effort as one region in preparation for the World Earth Day on 22 April 2021 with the theme “Restore the Earth”. Truly moved by hope, various suggestions and ideas were solicited from the Eco team members and still in the process of discussion. This first concrete eco-solidarity in the region hopes to boost up awareness and formation among our Salesian youth and help them live the spirituality of ecological conversion in a Salesian way.

In his address, Fr Nguyen Thinh Phuoc emphasized the Salesian way of bringing our youth into this direction: “We are evangelizers. We tackle these issues not only on human perspective but mainly from faith perspective. That’s why we have to read Laudato Si' carefully and be connected with the creation”. He also shared, “From the Congregation perspective, we are implementing the line of actions according to the Rector Major’s guidelines related to our eco groups and have discussed during the Provincial meetings, among the Economers and many more. In the next meeting of the General Council, these issues will be brought up into discussion to see how the regions are moving and animating. I’m very happy that in the EAO Region we have been doing a lot of things and overcome language barriers. Thanks to Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB to set up this one very effectively.”

He finally affirmed everyone and uplifted them with these words: “The system is very fluid. Continue the movement no matter how little it is, and may this movement become a tree for everyone to benefit.”

Taichi Miranda

  • Asia EstOceania
  • Ambiente
  • Creato
  • Joseph Nguyen Thinh Phuoc
  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy – Volunteer work, workshops and sports… “Casa Valdocco” Day Center starts up again

    1 month 2 weeks ago
    Italy –  Volunteer work, workshops and sports… “Casa Valdocco” Day Center starts up again

    (ANS - Torre Annunziata) - The Salesian presence in Torre Annunziata, a town on the outskirts of Naples, represents an educational oasis in an area full of challenges, significantly increased and aggravated, moreover, by the pandemic. For this reason, the reopening of the Salesian Day Center "Casa Valdocco", animated by the Salesians and their lay collaborators, after almost two months of closure due to the Covid-19 emergency, is a ray of hope for those children who most need a friendly presence at their side.

    The minors who attend the day center are sent there by the social services of Area N.30 (Municipalities of Torre Annunziata, Boscoreale, Boscotrecase, Trecase) upon notification by the schools and by the Social Service of the Juvenile Justice Center for restorative justice paths.

    They are young people who already have difficult contexts behind them and who have spent the last few months experiencing further difficulties. "They remained closed in their homes, where often, in a single room, attempts were made to follow Distance Learning (DAD), sharing the same mobile phone between several brothers, unable to have a confrontation with peers and educators," explains Fr Antonio Carbone, Director of the Salesian house in Torre Annunziata.

    In this year of DAD, the Salesians and their lay collaborators at Casa Valdocco have put in place many strategies to reduce the growing school evasion. And now that the center can finally restart, they have provided for a reshaping of the activities and educational interventions aimed at the many young people followed by the operators of the Center.

    It starts at 8.30 to encourage those who are unable for various reasons to participate in the DAD, and continues in the afternoon with the study space and workshops.

    The innovative aspect of the new phase of this service is the creation of an educating community in which the outdoor educational experience is favored, further to the traditional indoor one: a perspective of leaving the physical space of the Day Center in favor of an educational strategy in which to bring together the social, cultural, sporting and voluntary experiences of the territorial network.

    The approximately 40 beneficiaries are involved, for example, in volunteer projects, as well as in urban redevelopment interventions. In this way, in addition to enjoying open spaces and receiving educational content, they also act in favor of the community.

    The activities are the most varied and include workshops of legality, creative writing and artistic recycling, without forgetting the courses and workshops of pizza-making, boxing, pastry-making, cafeteria-service, sailing, volleyball, football, dance, rugby, small artistic works ...

    All this, thanks to the planning, integrated services and collaborations developed by the non-profit organization "Piccoli Passi Grandi Sogni aps – Small steps, big dreams" belonging to the network of Salesians for Social APS.

    • IME ITALIA MERIDIONALE
    • Coronavirus
    • Educazione
    • Italia
    • Giovani a Rischio
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Democratic Republic of Congo – First activities of new Provincial: two Curatorium

      1 month 2 weeks ago
      Democratic Republic of Congo – First activities of new Provincial: two Curatorium

      (ANS - Lubumbashi) - On Saturday 20 March, the day after his inauguration as Provincial of the Central Africa Province (AFC), Fr Guillermo Basañes led a Curatorium at the "St. Francis de Sales" Theological Studentate to review the resolutions adopted last year and give indications for this year to guarantee quality formation to the religious in initial formation. In addition to Fr Basañes, Fr Manolo Jiménez, Provincial of the Vice Province of Africa Congo Congo (ACC), Fr Innocent Bizimana, Provincial of Madagascar (MDG), and Fr Alphonse Owoudou, Regional Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, were also present.

      In the afternoon the team continued their pilgrimage to the Kafubu valley for a second Curatorium, this time at the "St John Bosco" Institute, where 73 young Salesians study philosophy. After the presentation of the reports planned for the meeting, respectively on community life, academic activities and the functioning of the bursar's office, the members of the Curatorium took the opportunity of Vespers to greet the large formation community of Kansebula, where the elderly Salesians of the Province also live. It was a good opportunity for the new Provincial and for the Regional to thank the formation team for the work of accompanying the young people in formation.

      In all the appointments the Provincials conveyed the concern of the Rector Major for the care of vocations in AFC, and their importance for the mission, not only in Africa and Madagascar, but for the whole Congregation and the whole Church.

      • Rep Dem del Congo
      • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
      • Guillermo Basañes
      • Alphonse Owoudou
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Spain – Easter meetings organized by Salesians will bring together about 2,000 young people in complete safety

        1 month 2 weeks ago
        Spain – Easter meetings organized by Salesians will bring together about 2,000 young people in complete safety

        (ANS - Madrid) - The Easter Triduum is the culminating moment of the entire liturgical year and is a living expression of the faith of millions of people around the world. Aware of this, the Salesians in Spain are preparing the Easter youth meetings. About 2,000 young people, according to forecasts, will participate in this experience of meditation on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, always in compliance with health measures: some in local centers, others through the online broadcasts of some religious celebrations and moments of encounter.

        The two Salesian Provinces of the country, Spain-St James the Greater (SSM) and Spain-Mary Help of Christians (SMX) have organized these Easter meetings in recent months, which will take place from 1st (Holy Thursday) to 4th April (Easter Sunday). And the Salesian houses are now focusing on the so-called "urban Easter", the celebrations within the centers themselves, without moving away, and involving, in addition to the youth groups, also the families of the children, their educators and the members of the Salesian Family.

        Already during Lent, the Salesian centers have developed various initiatives to prepare for Easter. Retreats were held for educators and youth leaders, special celebrations for children, adolescents and young people, days of coexistence in schools and youth centers, spiritual exercises for religious….

        For the SSM Province, the invitation for this 2021, adapted to current limits, is a local, flexible and versatile proposal. "We are convinced that this invitation is an opportunity to call the entire educative-pastoral community of Salesian works around the local celebration of Easter. In fact, the animation and experience of the Easter Triduum was planned for each work, calling together all the pastoral environments of each house, as well as the groups of the Salesian Family," explains Fr Xabier Camino, Delegate for Youth Ministry of SSM. And, as in previous years, the goal is to promote the integration of young people in the celebrations of their parish communities.

        In line with the pastoral campaign of the year, the SSM Province proposed "Hope gushes out" as the Easter motto. “We hope that this initiative will help us to continue to be pastorally creative in this different time that we want to live with Christian hope”, concludes Fr Camino. Thus, reflection materials were prepared for groups divided into three age groups (17 to 20, 21 to 25, and 25 and up), as well as prayer proposals, motivational videos and group reflections.

        In the SMX Province, the motto chosen for this year is "We are one", in line with the pastoral campaign of the last two years. “The celebration of Easter is an invitation to unite with Jesus in His way of giving Himself totally, which leads us to the fullness of life. And it is by uniting with Him that we build the Christian community in which 'We are one'. This year we hope it will be an opportunity to build together this community which, united with Jesus, is a witness of the Resurrection,” explains the Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry, Fr Jordi Lleixà.

        • Spagna
        • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
        • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
        • Pasqua
          Gian Francesco Romano

          India – Rise above disability: inspiring story of five students

          1 month 2 weeks ago
          India – Rise above disability: inspiring story of five students

          (ANS - New Delhi) - Ricky Singh is a first-year student of Graphic Design at the Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI) in Okhla, New Delhi. Ricky has been deaf and dumb from birth and there are four other companions who live the same condition in the Salesian institute. All five are able to communicate with each other and with others thanks to sign language, and are happy and proud of their academic environment, because teachers and classmates are also learning this form of communication, which makes their life easier and happier. Indeed, the Don Bosco Technical Institute offers everyone the opportunities to excel in life.

          As the Greek politician and orator Demosthenes said: "Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises". Accompanying and supporting each other in research, learning and other activities, these students are courageously facing life's challenges, transforming them into opportunities for growth.

          Ricky Singh, who hails from the Umarlia district in Madhya Pradesh, with eyes full of joy, confirmed this: “Though I am hearing and speech impaired, I am happy that God has gifted me with lots of other qualities and talents. It helps me to do things differently and grow together with other trainees of the institute. I feel happy, and I am proud to do this course at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Okhla.”

          After attending the St Francis School for the Hearng Impaired in Lucknow, Ricky learned about the programs of the Salesian Institute in Okhla and the opportunities offered to young people in need. The institute takes care of the general development of its students through various curricular and co-curricular activities, and also offers sessions and stimuli for personal growth.

          Despite the many challenges, their presence in the institute is an inspiration for other students and a stimulus to be positive and to value the talents and skills given by God, in the knowledge that anyone who dares to dream can work hard and transform those dreams in reality.

          • India
          • INN INDIA NEW DELHI
          • Disabilità
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Sierra Leone – Urgent aid for hundreds of children who have lost everything in a fire

            1 month 2 weeks ago
            Sierra Leone – Urgent aid for hundreds of children who have lost everything in a fire

            (ANS - Freetown) - The capital of Sierra Leone is once again the scene of a tragedy of immense proportions: a vast fire that broke out on Wednesday night in the suburb of Susan Bay, near the bay of Freetown, destroyed more than 10 hectares of land covered with shacks and huts in wood and sheet metal. Over 500 of these houses are reduced to ashes and more than 5,000 people have lost everything, including more than 600 minors, boys and girls, beneficiaries of the socio-educational programs of the Salesian "Don Bosco Fambul". The Salesians have already announced that their doors are open to welcome, help and protect, especially children, adolescents and mothers with small children.

            “We have lost everything. We got out as fast as possible as soon as we heard the shouts 'Fire, fire!' We were on the street, without food since that day and without knowing where to go, because I am taking care of my grandmother who is very old,” says Yaikain, one of the girls hosted at “Don Bosco Fambul” and who, like hundreds of children, urgently needs help.

            In just four hours, and for reasons still unknown, the fire spread through the wood and cardboard that shaped most of the humble houses. Apparently there are no victims, but there are about 80 injured and more than 5,000 displaced.

            “Children, adolescents and mothers with babies know they have a safe place to go to at 'Don Bosco Fambul',” says the Spanish Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli.

            The Salesians have already acted in this way in other similar tragedies, opening their doors and offering all possible help to the most needy population.

            They did so during the Ebola epidemic in 2015, welcoming orphaned minors; in December 2016, when another fire in the Angola Town suburb left hundreds of people homeless; they did it again in August 2017, when the Salesian courtyards became the new home for dozens of people for several months, when a landslide on the "Sugar Loaf" hill caused over 1,000 deaths and hundreds of injuries and displaced persons; and, finally, they did so during the confinement for the Covid-19 pandemic, hosting dozens of children.

            “Many children we had rescued from the streets and reinstated with their families lived there. Many minors from the anti-violence program, saved from prostitution, also survived crammed into these humble shacks. More than 600 boys and girls we serve in our programs have lost everything in the Susan Bay fire, so we urgently need help to cover their basic needs,” adds Fr Crisafulli.

            The Salesians, who are collaborating with the government, the mayor's office and other NGOs active in Freetown, are clear. “We will help those who have lost everything by giving them shelter, clothes, hygiene products, food and medicine, so we will in turn need urgent help for hundreds of minors,” concludes the Salesian missionary.

            • Sierra Leone
            • AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
            • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
              Gian Francesco Romano

              RMG – The General Councillor for Social Communication meets with a group of communicators to study the Salesian digitization project for Salesian regions

              1 month 2 weeks ago
              RMG – The General Councillor for Social Communication meets with a group of communicators to study the Salesian digitization project for Salesian regions

              (ANS – Rome) – On March 26th, the General Councillor for Social Communication, Fr. Gildasio Mendes, met with a group of Salesian Communicators from different Regions of the Salesian world to continue the study of the seventh area of the Project of Animation and Government of the Rector Major and his Council (2020-2026) named “Technology, Information and Networking”.

              The online meeting, coordinated by Fr. Ernest Rosario, from India, was attended by Fr. Harris Pakkam (Vatican), Fr. Ricardo Cámpoli (Argentina), Fr. Mariusz Jawny (Poland), Fr. John Paul Swaminathan (France), Fr. Javier Valiente (Spain), Fr. Jerome Quinto (Philippines), Fr. Donnie Duchin (Philippines), Fr. Jiji Kalavanal (India), Fr. P. T. Joseph (India), and Fr. Michael Makri (India).

              Initially, Fr. Mendes spoke about how communication has taken the centre stage all around the globe during this COVID crisis and of how important it is to families, education, business, religion and education. He highlighted that we as Salesians are responding creatively and actively to the Covid Crisis with many educative, communicative initiatives and actions of solidarity taken by all Provinces around the globe.

              During the meeting, each of the participants shared the digital projects they are developing in their Provinces and contributed concretely indicating necessary steps we have to take together to continue to advance and implement the digitization in our communities and provinces.

              Fr. Mendes reinforced the importance of supporting digital transformation, modernization and technological innovation in the Provinces always working closer to the Social Communication Delegate and the Salesians, and moving forward together, collaborating and working on communication, considering the charismatic and the Salesian educative mission.

              The next meeting of the group will be on August 24th, 2021.

              Fr. Ernest Rosario, SDB

              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
              • Gildasio Mendes dos Santos
              • Comunicazione Sociale
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Italy – Mediterranean Region Councilor visits community of "Don Bosco" International Institute of Turin-Crocetta

                1 month 2 weeks ago

                (ANS - Turin) - Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, Councilor for the Mediterranean Region, visited the specific formation community of the “Crocetta” Theologate of Turin on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 March. The main purpose of this visit was the possibility of gaining a deeper knowledge of this international institute dedicated to Don Bosco, which is currently preparing about forty young Salesians from different Provinces for the priesthood. The Regional Councilor, as President of the Curatorium of this house, wanted to have direct and personal knowledge of this important Salesian reality.

                Fr Pérez Godoy arrived early Wednesday afternoon and met with the Director, Fr Marek Chrzan, his vicar, Fr Andrea Bozzolo, and the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Fr Cristian Besso. Then, at 6 pm, he attended a meeting of the formation team and members of the House Council.

                Then he took part in the solemn celebration of the first vespers of the Annunciation after which he offered the community a significant thought of the "Salesian goodnight", underlining the importance of the formative stage of the theologate.

                During the evening the community expressed thanks to the Regional Councilor for his visit, with a small tribute and some songs, which Fr Pérez Godoy himself also skillfully joined in. After dinner, a fraternal meeting was organized with the Regional, above all by the young Salesians in formation belonging to the Provinces of the Mediterranean Region, but also open to all those who wanted to dialogue with him. Fr Pérez Godoy spoke about his vocation and his Salesian experiences, and then he answered the questions addressed to him, which touched on the themes of the Mediterranean Region and formation in general.

                The following morning, Thursday 25, the General Councilor presided over the solemn Eucharist with Lauds; in his homily he underlined the connection between the Salesian pastoral dimension and the attitudes of Mary in the Annunciation, to show how this feast is important for the Salesian charism.

                Then he spent the morning carrying out various talks, both with some formators and with the students and, in the early afternoon, he left for Rome to participate in the intermediate session of the General Council.

                For its part, the community of the “Crocetta”, thanks to this visit, was able to enjoy another particular sign of the closeness of the members of the General Council to the formative reality underway in Turin.

                {gallery}ICP - Perez Godoy a Crocetta 2021{/gallery}

                • Italia
                • Formazione
                • Mediterranea
                • Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy
                • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Democratic Republic of Congo – A six-year term under St. Joseph's protection

                  1 month 2 weeks ago
                  Democratic Republic of Congo – A six-year term under St. Joseph's protection

                  (ANS - Lubumbashi) - On 3 March the "Assumption of Mary" Province of Central Africa (AFC) had the joy of receiving the announcement of the appointment of its new Provincial, Fr Guillermo Basañes; the following day it was able to learn about the entire new Provincial Council, in which the Rector Major, welcoming the discernment carried out in the last two AFC Provincial Chapters, has now appointed a Delegate for the Provincial Delegation of the East, which includes the communities of Goma, Bukavu and Uvira. Finally, on Friday 19 March, on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, joy reached its climax with the inauguration ceremony of Fr Basañes.

                  Representatives of the various branches of the Salesian Family, as well as several Salesians and novices, took part in the celebration held in the "Regina Mundi" Chapel of the "Imara" Salesian Institute in Lubumbashi. The Mass was presided over by the Regional Councilor of Africa-Madagascar, Fr Alphonse Owoudou, and also saw the presence of Msgr. Gaston Ruvezi, Salesian, bishop of Sakania-Kipushi, and Fr Manolo Jiménez, Superior of the Vice Province of Africa Congo Congo (ACC), who came to take part, the following day, in the Curatorium of the Theological Studentate “St John Bosco” Institute in Kansebula, but also for a fraternal visit to the Salesians in his jurisdiction.

                  During the celebration, the new Provincial entrusted the entire 6-year term to Saint Joseph, this on the day of his liturgical memorial and in the special year that the Holy Father has dedicated to him.

                  After the Mass, a moment of fraternal sharing followed in the courtyard of the institute. Everything took place in simplicity and in Salesian joy.

                  {gallery}RD Congo - Insediamento Basanes 2021{/gallery}

                  • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
                  • Rep Dem del Congo
                  • Guillermo Basañes
                  • Alphonse Owoudou
                  • Insediamenti
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Mexico – From Saltillo to California: a success story

                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                    Mexico – From Saltillo to California: a success story

                    (ANS - Saltillo) – Every day many people cross the border between Mexico and the United States in search of a better life. But not all have the same chances of social redemption. Of course, when you have a good education, everything is easier. This is the success story of Pedro Eduardo Valdés Sierra, a student of Mechatronic Engineering at the "Don Bosco" Technological Institute in Saltillo, Mexico, who obtained a working stay in California, United States, thanks to an internship at the company “Tesla”, an iconic company in the most advanced engineering and technology sector.

                    Today the young man narrates his experience with satisfaction and gratitude and shares advice for all those who want to work and study at the same time.

                    “Working while studying is a commitment and requires a great responsibility. I thank the 'Don Bosco' Technological Institute for supporting me and allowing me to have this great experience,” he says.

                    “Doing my internship abroad is a great experience and here I can continue to get an excellent level of learning, as well as new challenges to face,” adds Pedro Eduardo.

                    The assignment that was entrusted to him for the internship is to collaborate on a project to install and improve electrical systems, pneumatic and hydraulic controls; at the same time, he will be able to help update and adapt various automation systems and integrate new production lines.

                    "Everything is different at Tesla. There's a lot of planning; it's a great work culture," he explains happily.

                    In this semester, moreover, Pedro is called to combine the internship at Tesla with the lessons of the Institute, which, given the situation, he can also fulfill remotely. All this, he reiterates, is a wonderful opportunity for academic, professional and human growth.

                    • Messico
                    • MEG MESSICO GUADALAJARA
                    • Tecnologie
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Spain – First 50 years of Salesian "St Joseph the Artisan" in Elche

                      1 month 3 weeks ago

                      (ANS - Elche) - The Salesian center "St Joseph the Artisan" in Elche, which offers secondary school, baccalaureate and vocational training, is celebrating 50 years of work this year at the service of training young people to the benefit of local businesses, to which it offers technically and humanly qualified people. "Decades of constant educational work, with the Salesian style that is our trademark," summarizes Fr Miguel Gambín, director of the Salesian house.

                      In these 50 years, many things have happened at the Salesian center that are worth mentioning. And Fr Gambín adds: “The persistence of an educational center for fifty years means talking about thousands of young people who have passed through its classrooms, its courtyards and its premises, and who have brought with them a baggage of training, shared dreams and hopes that will stay with them for life. Moreover, during these years many young people have been inserted into the job market, and have managed to find a place in the world, even if they have everything against them.”

                      To commemorate the 50th anniversary of its foundation and to celebrate its bond with the citizenship, the Vocational Training Center has decided to offer a monument to the city of Elche. Specifically, it is a 1.80 meter high statue of the "Lady of Elche", made with metal sheets welded by the students of the Mechanics course.

                      The proposal for this gift was formulated to the mayor of Elche, Carlos González, during a visit that he granted, last March 17, to Fr Gambín and to the management team of the center, made up of the heads of the Vehicle Sectors, Administration and Formation Cycles.

                      It was thus decided that next May 6 will be the day of the solemn celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the work, and that on that occasion the mayor will visit the Mechanical Department of the institute; then, a commemorative plaque will be unveiled; finally, the sculpture of the Lady of Elche will also be unveiled, which will have its permanent home in the rotunda in front of the institute's entrance.

                      The mayor of Elche also thanked students and teachers for the implementation of these initiatives; while the Director of the Salesian house thanked the City Council for their collaboration and concluded by saying: “There is a lot to remember, to continue dreaming of the future.”

                      • Spagna
                      • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
                      • Anniversari
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Philippines – Youth continue studies thanks to scholarships

                        1 month 3 weeks ago
                        Philippines – Youth continue studies thanks to scholarships

                        (ANS - Calauan) - Two youth attending the “Don Bosco” Technical Vocational Center in Calauan, Philippines, continued their studies thanks to scholarship funding provided by donors of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The financial assistance received will enable the students to gain the education needed to find and retain stable employment either locally or internationally. Don Bosco Calauan provides education in automotive servicing, motorcycle small engine servicing, computer systems servicing, electrical installation and maintenance, and shielded metal arc welding.

                        “We at Don Bosco Calauan are grateful to Salesian Missions for the support you have given us especially in this great moment of crisis,” said Father Jeffrey L. Mangubat, administrator and technical director of Don Bosco Calauan. “We thank you for being part of our mission in cutting the vicious cycle of poverty among youth as we provide them quality technical education and training which will bring them to obtain a decent future. The students and their parents are very grateful for this wonderful opportunity.”

                        The Salesians are regarded as the single largest provider of vocational and technical training in the world. They offer more than 1,000 vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools around the globe. This training provides youth the practical skills to prepare for employment and helps them lead productive lives while becoming contributing adults in their communities. These programs go beyond educating. They also assist youth with making connections within industries and preparing them for the process of searching, finding and retaining employment.

                        “We know that access to education lays the foundation for a better future for all youth and that work must continue even as we face a global health crisis,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “In many countries around the globe where poverty is high and access to education is not universal, it is crucial that Salesian missionaries continue to offer technical and vocational training to as many youth as possible to ensure that they have access to long-term stable employment.”

                        Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines - working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5-15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.

                        • Filippine
                        • FIN FILIPPINE NORD
                        • Educazione
                        • Scuole
                        • Formazione Professionale
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Poland – "St Joseph" Salesian parish of Przemyśl celebrates patron, archdiocese entrusts itself to him

                          1 month 3 weeks ago

                          (ANS - Przemyśl) - In the year especially dedicated to St Joseph, on the day of his liturgical feast, last Friday 19 March, the Salesian parish of Przemyśl, dedicated to St Joseph, celebrated its patron saint - who is also one of the patrons of the whole Congregation - with a solemn Eucharist presided over by the metropolitan archbishop, Msgr. Adam Szal, who also entrusted the entire archdiocese to the Custodian of the Redeemer.

                          On behalf of the entire parish, those present at the ceremony were welcomed by Fr Bogdan Nowak, parish priest and director of the local Salesian community, belonging to the Poland-Krakow Province (PLS).

                          Msgr. Szal, in his homily, observed that Saint Joseph had, has and will have many devotees. Among them, St. Józef Sebastian Pelczar, bishop of Przemyśl, patron saint of the current diocesan pastoral year, has a special place. "He, among other things, in 1921 wrote a special pastoral letter for Lent dedicated to St. Joseph. In the same letter he wrote that one should look at the dignity of Saint Joseph, at his virtues, at how to venerate him, in what to follow him. And in many writings he repeatedly returned to the idea and the need to honor St. Joseph," said the archbishop.

                          The prelate then added that Saint Joseph has not exhausted his mission with his earthly life, but continues to intercede for those who invoke him: “Today, when we see how the Church is mortally threatened by the temptations of evil, we invoke him with all the more reason with this beautiful prayer made by Pope Leo XIII, so that, as he did for the Holy Family, he may take care of the Holy Church.”

                          And he exhorted everyone to take an example from his meekness and his humility. “He is a model of faith and trust in God in difficult and hopeless situations. St. Joseph teaches us to be courageous in facing adversity. He teaches us patience and perseverance ... ” After the Eucharist, the archbishop blessed a painting of St. Joseph, the result of the generosity of the parish community, who will visit the homes of the Salesian parish, following a lengthy pilgrimage program.

                          The celebration ended with the entrustment, before the Blessed Sacrament, of the entire archdiocese and the entire parish community to St. Joseph, first by Archbishop Szal and then by Fr Nowak and some lay representatives of the community.

                          {gallery}PLS - Parrocchia San Giuseppe{/gallery}

                          • Polonia
                          • PLS POLONIA KRAKÓW
                          • San Giuseppe
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            RMG – A new edition of the Accompaniment Course for recently appointed Provincials

                            1 month 3 weeks ago
                            RMG – A new edition of the Accompaniment Course for recently appointed Provincials

                            (ANS - Rome) - The Accompaniment Course for recently appointed Provincials is being held from 21 to 31 March 2021 at the Salesian Headquarters in Rome. For ten days, six Provincials of as many Salesian Provinces of Europe have the opportunity to learn and discuss the roadmap for the current six-year term directly with the Rector Major and his Council, while experiencing Salesian communion and getting to know the organisms and the central structures of the Congregation better.

                            The following take part in the Course, which is coordinated by the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Stefano Martoglio:

                            • Fr Tadeusz Jarecki, Provincial of Poland-Warsaw (PLE);
                            • Fr Ianos Andreasfalvy, Provincial of Hungary (UNG);
                            • Fr Marcin Kaznowski, Provincial of Poland-Krakow (PLS);
                            • Fr Manuel Fernando Garcia, Provincial of Spain-St James Greater (SSM);
                            • Fr Martin Hobza, Provincial of the Czech Republic (CEP);
                            • Fr Tadeusz Itrych, Provincial of Poland-Piła (PLN).

                            There are two especially noteworthy elements of this edition of the Course. First, the fact that it takes place in presence. It is, in fact, the first accompaniment course for the new Provincials which is carried out with the live in-person participation of those concerned since after the 28th General Chapter. Although digital meetings are now widely used by the members of the General Council for the animation of Provinces, groups and communities, the possibility of carrying out the Course in person, with all that this modality entails, certainly represents a message full of meanings and an undoubted success for the quality of the meeting.

                            The second novelty is also linked to this aspect. Normally, in fact, the Course for new Provincials takes place during the plenary sessions of the General Council, in summer and winter; this time, however, it takes place during an intermediate session - while some of the members of the Regional Councilors are engaged in Extraordinary Visits - and precisely for the specific purpose of recovering some of the time spent during these months in which live meetings were not in any way programmable.

                            The activities and contents of the program remain the traditional ones, aimed at promoting an integral care of the Provincial's person - in his spiritual and pastoral dimension, his physical health ... - and to allow knowledge of:

                            • the relevant legal elements in their own service;
                            • the specific features of the task of animation and government of the Province;
                            • identity and religious discipline;
                            • the work and activities of the various Sectors and Departments present at the Salesian Headquarters.

                            After the first day of presentation and introduction to the work sessions, the program officially opened on Monday 23 March with the intervention of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who illustrated the Project Guidelines of the six-year term to the Provincials.

                            Formation then continues in the various appointments and talks with the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Martoglio, with the Sector Councilors, Fr Ivo Coelho (Formation), Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende (Youth Ministry), Fr Gildasio Mendes (Social Communication), Fr Alfred Maravilla (Missions) and Bro. Jean Paul Muller (Economics), as well as with those in charge of other central services of the Congregation.

                            • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                            • Ispettori
                            • Corso Ispettori
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG – Meeting of Central Commission of Salesian School of America (ESA)

                              1 month 3 weeks ago
                              RMG – Meeting of Central Commission of Salesian School of America (ESA)

                              (ANS - Rome) - On Tuesday 23 March, the meeting of the Central Commission of the Salesian School of America (ESA, in Spanish), made up of representatives of the four areas of the continent, took place in digital mode.

                              Participants included: Sr. Adair Aparecida Sberga, Sr. Ana Paula Costa e Silva, Sr. Altagrace Mathias, Fr Carlos Montoya, Fr Luis Adolfo Tórrez, Sister Myriam Celeste Benítez, Rossanna Benítez and Sr. Patricia Parraguez, together with the representatives of the Sector (for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians) and of the Youth Ministry Department (for the Salesians), respectively Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes and Fr Claudio Cartes.

                              In the first part of the morning, after the prayer, together with Fr René Santos the Commission worked on the advancement of the ESA Identity Card, which aims to be a common point of reference for the construction of the pastoral educational projects of the Salesian Family schools on the continent. The purpose of this document will be to help form a critical conscience and transform societies starting from the Salesian proposal of integral formation.

                              Later, together with Sr. Patricia Parraguez and Sergio Garay, from Chile, they worked on the document on strategic planning, based on the four axes that emerged from the fourth ESA meeting (ESA IV), namely: attention to educational needs of the pupils of the Salesian schools; ongoing formation of educators; qualification of the pastoral educational proposal; and institutional management.

                              Finally, the participants also worked on the significance of the Salesian school which seeks to advance in a system of quality assurance in schools.

                              All these documents, the fruit of the work of the commissions, seek to promote identity, networking and synergy in favor of the thousands of children, adolescents and young people who attend the approximately 900 schools - of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the Salesians of Don Bosco, the Daughters of the Divine Savior and the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary - who are part of the ESA network.

                              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                              • Scuole
                              • Pastorale Giovanile
                              • Famiglia Salesiana
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Nigeria – Borehole project supplies clean water, prevents disease

                                1 month 3 weeks ago
                                Nigeria – Borehole project supplies clean water, prevents disease

                                (ANS – Nkerefi) – People living in the Nkerefi community in the Enugu state of Nigeria have access to clean water thanks to funding from the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” The funding provided for the implementation of a new water borehole. This will contribute to the livelihood of the local community, curtail the outbreak of waterborne diseases and infections, and help reduce the rate of women and infant mortality.

                                Nkerefi is made up of the four communities of Enuogu-Nkerefi, Ohuani-Nkerefi, Isienu Amofu Nkerefi and Imeoha Nkerefi. Each of these communities is made up of different villages and clans. Clean water is a scarce commodity in Nkerefi.  The majority of families depend on a small, brownish stream called Evuna that partially runs through parts of the villages.

                                The Evuna stream is the only accessible water source for drinking, bathing, washing and cooking. The stream is seasonal, however, and dries up during the dry season. As a result, there is a severe shortage of potable water as few people can afford to develop wells due to the cost and the hard nature of the soil.

                                In addition, the Evuna water has been clinically confirmed to not be hygienic for consumption, especially drinking. The stream has been a source for waterborne-related diseases. There have been outbreaks of cholera, ringworm, tapeworms, acute diarrhea and dysentery linked to the water. Typhoid fever is also a disease among the inhabitants of the community, and each year there are a number of women and children lost to the disease.

                                “We are pleased to be able to help support clean water access in this community, especially give all the health concerns the current water supply has caused,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The new borehole will provide potable water that will save the community from avoidable waterborne diseases and infections caused by heavy dependence on stream water and rainwater.”

                                According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. By United Nations estimates, Nigeria will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050. While Nigeria has the second strongest economy in Africa, it also has extreme rates of poverty with 100 million people living on less than $1 a day.

                                About 64 percent of households in Nigeria consider themselves to be poor while 32 percent of households say their economic situation had worsened over a period of one year, according to UNICEF. Poverty still remains one of the most critical challenges facing the country and population growth rates have meant a steady increase in the number of people living in conditions of poverty.

                                Source: Mission Newswire

                                • Nigeria
                                • Acqua
                                • Procure Missionarie
                                • Povertà
                                • Solidarietà
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Vatican – Another important post in Roman Curia for Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA

                                  1 month 3 weeks ago
                                  Vatican – Another important post in Roman Curia for Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA

                                  (ANS - Vatican City) - Yesterday, Wednesday 24 March, Pope Francis appointed Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, Under-Secretary for the Faith and Development Sector of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. “I feel grateful to the Holy Father and to the prefect of my dicastery, Cardinal Turkson, to all those who work in the dicastery who show trust in me. I hope to be able to do my part,” commented the nun.

                                  Yesterday’s appointment is only the last important task that the Holy Father entrusts to the religious of the Salesian Family. Sister Smerilli, who holds a PhD in Political Economy from the "La Sapienza" University of Rome and a PhD in Economics from the "East Anglia University" in Norwich (Great Britain), is full Professor of Political Economy at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium" in Rome. In the last two years, Pope Francis has also appointed her as Councilor of the Vatican City State, Consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, as well as Coordinator of the Economics Task Force of the Vatican Commission for Covid-19.

                                  The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was established by Pope Francis on 1 January 2017 and "promotes integral human development by drawing inspiration from the Gospel and in the wake of the theology and social doctrine of the Church (...) Integrating, relating and by making the various social systems dialogue with each other - such as economy, finance, work, politics, culture - the Dicastery works to ensure that the Church's social teaching is made known and put into practice. ”

                                  Sister Smerilli already knows the Dicastery well because it is where she had come to work as Coordinator of the Economics Task Force for Covid-19. “Working here, I understood how beautiful this mission of the Dicastery is and how much it reaches the whole world,” she commented to Vatican News.

                                  Working in that Task Force, Sister Smerilli also learned that "there is a need for a lot of listening to local realities and the problems that are caused by this crisis." But at the same time, “as a Church we also have the duty to raise the tone of the debate, to inspire visions, not to focus only on what to do, even if we need to work on concreteness, but to have a perspective.”

                                  Looking at this new role, she believes that her task is to "translate, in pastoral terms, what the economic knowledge and skills are" and therefore hopes to "collaborate with everyone to bring together the Gospel and the economy."

                                  And to those who point out to her that with her appointment the number of women with important positions in the Roman Curia increases, Sister Smerilli replies: "God created man in His image, male and female He created them, and therefore this wants to say that male and female is the image of God, of a God who is communion. This vocation of alliance and reciprocity must be carried out not only in the family sphere but in all other areas of life, even in the workplace."

                                  • Vaticano
                                  • Alessanda Smerilli
                                  • Nomine
                                  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Syria – When love lights up in the form of a 0+

                                    1 month 3 weeks ago
                                    Syria – When love lights up in the form of a 0+

                                    (ANS - Aleppo) - Ten years of war, an ongoing pandemic, inflation, unemployment… Syria today is a country with an innumerable amount of serious problems and moreover in extreme difficulty. Yet, there is still room for a ray of hope that warms hearts and makes us imagine a brighter future. This is testified by a beautiful story of solidarity that sees the young Pamela as the protagonist, a girl from the Salesian Oratory in Aleppo.

                                    Pamela is a fifth-year student of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Aleppo. Since she had been showing various alarming symptoms for about two months, she underwent several tests. And from the results, doctors estimated that her health condition required a large supply of blood plasma (an average of 13 bags per session) and for several sessions. To understand the urgency and gravity of the situation, it must be clarified that a plasma bag is obtained from 7 blood bags: this explains the great and urgent need for as many donors as possible to ensure the required quantities of plasma.

                                    News and phone calls for donations spread, first in Aleppo, and then throughout Syria. Through social networks and sharing of messages, a chain of appeals developed that urged to contact and motivate as many blood donors as possible from group 0 positive.

                                    The result was visible on the morning of March 21: at the door of the blood bank, many people, young and old, men and women, some who know Pamela and others not, Muslims and Christians gathered, rushed to express their love, and the desire to do good. “And they didn't leave until the blood bank closed,” says the Salesian from Aleppo Fr Pier Jabloyan.

                                    “We want to share this fact to say that there is always hope, despite the brutality of the war and the heavy economic hardship that Syria is experiencing. Faced with a request for help, we found solidarity and closeness among Syrian citizens, and today we are witnessing a sincere love and an unparalleled response for Pamela ...,” the Salesian comments with renewed hope.

                                    Even in this case, Don Bosco's spiritual children did not stand by: both in Aleppo, Syria and throughout the Middle East, they did not hesitate to give support from near or far to Pamela, encouraging and supporting her, and making people pray for her.

                                    • Siria
                                    • MOR MEDIO ORIENTE
                                    • Salute
                                    • Giovani
                                    • Solidarietà
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Brazil – Fr Romero visits Recife-Bongi, Carpina and Natal

                                      1 month 3 weeks ago
                                      Brazil – Fr Romero visits Recife-Bongi, Carpina and Natal

                                      (ANS - Recife) - Listening, observing, evaluating, animating, indicating the best paths to follow ... This is the commitment of Fr Gabriel Romero, Regional Councilor for America South Cone, in the Brazil-Recife Province (BRE), who has already visited various communities as part of the Extraordinary Visitation which he is carrying out on behalf of the Rector Major.

                                      After starting the Extraordinary Visitation, in early March, from the Provincial House, Fr Romero then reached the presence in Bongi-Recife, where he stayed from 5 to 8 March. In the first place, he had a dialogue with the Salesian community, made up of 4 professed religious and two aspirants; then, he got to know the reality of the parish of “Our Lady of Fatima” and had a dialogue with the Parish Council and the Salesian Family present there. “These were days marked by profound joy for the whole parish, especially in this moment of social distancing. Receiving Fr Gabriel was gratifying and encouraging: we were fascinated by his simplicity, by his spontaneous and welcoming way towards everyone,” a parishioner testified.

                                      During these same days, Fr Romero also visited the "Don Bosco" school, where he was warmly welcomed by the educational team; he listened with interest to the institute's history and current mission, described to him by the Dean, Mirelly Silva, and by the heads of the various addresses; and he was able to attend and participate in a digital lesson, through Google Meet, with over 80 young people.

                                      After the stop on 9 March, at the "Sacred Heart" community in Recife, the Regional Councilor continued his itinerary with a visit, on 15 March, to Carpina, where the Salesians animate both the "don Rinaldi" school and the parish "St Joseph". In the educational institute he met with the educational team, noting the challenges, achievements and perspectives of the center; at the parish, he offered a concise and effective program for it to be a “Salesian” parish: to be young; to be popular, that is, for the poor; to be missionary, that is, outgoing.

                                      After reaching the city of Natal on Sunday 21 March, Fr Romero began his visit to the Salesian community, which runs a parish and an educational center. Introducing himself and presenting the purpose of his mission to his confreres, the Regional Councilor explained: “In these days I shall be able to visit the communities, the chapels and I will be able to speak with some of the representatives of the various activities. We will have some online meetings and I will speak with my Salesian brothers who live in this Salesian house and then I shall bring the report of this visit and the thanks to the Rector Major. It will be a pleasure to enjoy these days, getting to know the city and our Salesian parish.”

                                      Finally, in the online appointment of Monday 22 March with the Pastoral Council of the "St John Bosco" parish of Natal, Fr Romero urged the laity to take an active role and the whole community to maintain communion with the local Church, following archbishop Msgr. Jaime Vieira Rocha.

                                      {gallery}Brasile - Prima parte Visita Romero 2021{/gallery}

                                      • Brasile
                                      • BRE BRASILE RECIFE
                                      • Gabriel Romero
                                      • Visita Straordinaria
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Brazil – "RSB-Social" Notebook series completed

                                        1 month 3 weeks ago

                                        (ANS - Brasilia) - The series of Papers, or Notebooks, of the Salesian Network of Social Action Brazil (RSB-Social) was finally completed in these first months of 2021. The series offers guides containing support material to achieve alignment and coordinated networking of the works and presences that make up RSB-Social.

                                        By proposing a model of approach and integration of social works, respecting the diversity and particularity of each one, the Notebooks offer a guide and a reflection on the elements present in the proposed Reference Framework. As practical tools, they serve to guide the entire RSB-Social in its purposes and to support alignment with the principles, to provide a basis for conducting training processes, to guide a renewed action built on interaction with the territory, and to open local presences to the much-needed re-defining of their educational offers to children, adolescents, young people and their families.

                                        The preparation of the Notebooks is the result of a whole process of collective reflection and construction on how to create a methodology for articulating the Social Works of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in view of coordinated online action.

                                        Once the path and the form had been defined, it was a question of aligning visions, strategies, guiding contents, tools ... In this sense, the creation of the Notebooks can be considered a theoretical-practical alignment model for all the dimensions that can be involved in a similar process.

                                        Each of the four Notebooks responds to a specific objective:

                                        Book 1 explores the Organizational Identity of the RSB in its social dimension, defining the alignment points on the Charismatic Identity and on the Commitments to be assumed collectively by all the members of the Network.

                                        Book 2 focuses on the educational-pastoral identity, leading the Works and Presences to perceive more clearly the concept and practice of the educational-pastoral processes and what is the relationship with the charism animated by Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, which must permeate all Salesian educational action.

                                        Book 3 seeks to revive and strengthen the element of Charismatic Identity. Among the various elements, the focus was on the Educational Method: Preventive System and Human Rights; and on the awareness that Salesians, FMA and laity are fundamentally "Educators of Youth", who accept the principles of Social Education to the extent that they act with professionalism and competence and enrich them with the Salesian method.

                                        Finally, Book 4 is made up of a set of 6 files which, through various themes, seek to promote actions that foster and strengthen a network and harmony between all.

                                        Noteworthy is the process through which these notebooks are drawn up. If, in fact, for each of them there was a referent or a central coordination team, at the same time, there was a collective and artisanal construction that involved university professors, experts outside the Salesian environment, public administrators, magistrates, members of social organizations, professionals belonging to Salesian social works and also young people participating in projects carried out in some Salesian works.

                                        More information

                                        • Brasile
                                        • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                        • Salesiani
                                        • Opzione Preferenziale
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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