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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

India – Salesians meet to "build the nation"

1 month 2 weeks ago

(ANS - Dimapur) - Between the end of February and the beginning of March, the Salesian Provincials of the South Asia Region experienced three days of talks, planning and study: first in the context of the XX Conference of Salesian Provincials of the region ( SPCSA), and then through a formative day on some specific topics of Canon Law.

Under the guidance of the Regional Councilor, Fr Maria Arockiam Kanaga, and of the General Councilor for the Salesian Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, the Superiors, the Provincial Delegates of the various Provinces and those responsible for the various regional organizations of South Asia gathered at the Dimapur Institute for Development and Leadership on February 27-28.

Organized on the theme "Salesians towards Nation Building", the theme also served to launch the three-year preparation for the centenary of the Salesian presence in the north-east of the country, now flourishing in three Provinces - Dimapur, Guwahati and Shillong. During each year, it was announced, a specific theme shall be developed: Imparting Gospel Values and Catechetics, 2019; Youth Ministry, 2020; Salesian Spirituality, 2021.

On Wednesday 27 February, in addition to verifying what has been achieved since the previous assembly, a research paper was presented on the theme - "Nation Building in the Constitutional way: What type of Salesians do we need today?" Starting from the current challenges of nationalism, it was reiterated that the Indian Salesian today, as an educator of the young, must be a prophet of the secular state, democracy and fundamental rights; he must educate young people not to politicize their faith and not soil it with violence; he must combat widespread illiteracy, children dropping out of school, and discrimination.

Subsequently the Framework for Salesian Youth Ministry was also examined and the day ended with the community Eucharist.

On the second and last day of the SPCSA each Province shared strategies put in place to "build the nation in accordance with the Constitution", through the education and dissemination of evangelical values. Synergies were proposed to improve operations in this sector.

Other themes dealt with included the presentation of a series of booklets on Youth Ministry, edited by Fr Maria Charles Antonysamy; the new communication strategies of the regional web platform - www.donboscoindia.org; there was even talk of the proposal to develop a lay association among those who, after having been part of the Congregation, discovered their true vocation elsewhere, but who still feel the desire to serve the poorest and most needy young people.

Finally, Fr Kanaga awarded the SPCSA Innovative Award to Fr K M Jose, the Provincial of India-Chennai, on behalf of the "Surabi Trust", for their work towards the empowerment of women.

On 1 March, instead, Fr Pier Fausto Frisoli, Procurator General of the Salesian Congregation, animated the entire day for all SPCSA participants on the application of Canon Law in those particular situations that require greater attention. Through the clear illustration of the concepts and numerous concrete examples, which decision-making processes to follow and how to comply with the foreseen procedures were clarified for all.

In the end, it emerged that those with authority must be able to courageously carry out their duties, without fear and without prejudice. And it clearly echoed and resounded throughout that to live the Salesian vocation is a blessing that requires living the radical Gospel Values and following the charism of Don Bosco to be a real Salesian.

{gallery}India - Incontro con Frisoli 2019{/gallery} 

  • India
  • Salesiani
  • Asia Sud
    Jesus Jurado

    South Korea - Meeting of Salesian Provincials of East Asia-Oceania region begins in climate of great spirituality

    1 month 2 weeks ago
    South Korea - Meeting of Salesian Provincials of East Asia-Oceania region begins in climate of great spirituality

    (ANS - Seoul) - The meeting of Salesian Provincials of the East Asia-Oceania Region takes place in Seoul, South Korea, from Monday March 4 to Thursday 7. The event sees the participation of 12 Provincials and Superiors of the Vice Province of the region; five Superiors of Provincial Delegations; in addition to the presence of the Regional Councilor, Fr Václav Klement, and of the General Councilors for Youth Ministry, Fr Fabio Attard, and Formation, Fr Ivo Coelho.

    The first day of work was characterized by the spirit of personal sharing among the participants and by the time dedicated to spiritual recollection, just a few hours before Lent 2019.

    In the homily of the morning Eucharist, Fr Klement highlighted the need to abandon one's comfort zones. He indicated the powerful source of inspiration offered by the Salesian Mission Day 2019 (among the Refugees in Africa), and recalled the warning of Don Bosco on the temptation of a comfortable life.

    The morning continued with a session dedicated to personal sharing: it was a very fraternal moment, in which each of those participants intervened, bringing their own experience and the acknowledgement of their difficulties.

    The afternoon, instead, was dedicated to the deepening of the Rector Major's 2019 Strenna by watching the video and reading the text. Many were the comments raised by this authentic "gift" of the Rector Major. Some asked: "do we know how to recognize the young saints surrounding us?"; others praised the immediacy of the motto "Holiness for you too", easy to share; still others appreciated the link with the previous Strenna, proposing to listen to and to accompany the young people on the path of holiness; and those who recalled that holiness is expressed also through joy, which is why Salesians cannot and must not have a sad and disconsolate face!

    Also, there were other moments of shared spirituality, such as Eucharistic adoration, a time for confessions, the recitation of the rosary and the visit to the exhibition on the 60 years of Salesian presence in Korea, always produced within the large provincial center of Seoul.

    Finally, as was the case last year, in Dili, East Timor, at a similar gathering, this year too there were several novices (three from South Korea and one from Japan) taking part in moments of prayer with the Superiors.

    Source: AustraLasia

    • Corea del Sud
    • KOR
    • Asia EstOceania
    • Spiritualità
      Jesus Jurado

      Liberia - Living the faith in the peripheries ... of the forest!

      1 month 2 weeks ago
      Liberia - Living the faith in the peripheries ... of the forest!

      (ANS - Tappita) - The Salesian mission at Tappita, restarted at the beginning of 2018, after years of forced absence, is "at the far edge of the world", within the Liberian forest. Yet there are even more peripheral realities: like the villages of Sahnpa and Zeah, which Salesian missionaries managed to visit for the first time just a few weeks ago, after more than a year after their arrival to the area. "Last year, the rains started early and so they took us by surprise," explained the director of the mission, Fr Riccardo Castellino.

      Currently Sahnpa has no real church as the one they had was crushed by a tree in 2016, felled during a bad storm. To avoid the complete dispersion of the community, one of the members of the village has made available a room of his house for Sunday meetings.

      After having recalled the faithful with the bell - "or rather, beating on that wheel rim of truck that serves as a bell," continues Fr Castellino - in that room a dozen people gather, surprised to see the priest, but extremely pleased to see that they have not been forgotten.

      After the Mass, the Salesian is accompanied to see the place where the church stood, and where the community intends to rebuild it: it is an expanse of brushwood, where there are already many reconstruction materials: the blocks of mud, the timber cut and stacked, the metal sheets, "even if still more are needed, but the money is gone" ...

      In order to get the work starting again, the first step is to clean up that site, but for the construction there is still a lack of cement and tools and material required by manpower. For this reason, Fr Castellino asks the community members to make a donation and send it to him. "We will try to do something to make sure that with the arrival of the rains, this community has a roof under which to gather to pray and grow in faith," he concludes.

      In Zeah, on the other hand, there had been another Salesian the previous week, who said that not only did the inhabitants not have a church, but they had never even had one: the Mass was celebrated under the palava hut of the village, the kiosk used for village meetings.

      "With the church or without the church, faith survives! But we commit ourselves to doing something for them too ... and to visit them a little more often," concludes Fr Castellino.

      Source: Don Bosco Liberia

      • Liberia
      • Missioni
      • AFW
      • Chiesa
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Austria - The advice of Fr Á.F. Artime: "To look at every person as God would look at them"

        1 month 2 weeks ago

        (ANS - Vienna) – On Friday, March 1 2019, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime began his visit to the Austrian Province. During the various appointments, the Rector Major made several appeals to welcome and live, like Don Bosco, in the search for daily sanctity.

        The first step was the Salesian grammar school in Unterwaltersdorf. Always among children and young people, the Rector Major invited teachers to educate the younger generations to a critical mentality free from manipulation, and concluded: "I am happy that the values of Don Bosco are lived in your homes."

        In the afternoon, having reached Vienna and met with the Provincial Council of Salesians and the lay leaders in the Salesian houses of Austria, Fr Á.F. Artime met with the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement for "Giovanni's Party Night" - an evening that combined reflection, prayer, dancing, singing and entertainment. During the party, a prayer for peace in 11 languages resounded throughout and the Rector Major recalled some episodes he had lived in Syria and stressed that in the 134 countries where Salesians work, no one is ever a foreigner.

        On the morning of Saturday, 2 March, the large gathering of the Salesian Family took place with the Rector Major. With about 250 present, Fr Á.F. Artime spoke about the Strenna for 2019, indicating paths to live the daily sanctity: "Everyone should ask himself: 'How can I give every day the best of myself as a Christian? My life is there because I share it with others."

        The morning then continued with several artistic workshops that represented the creativity and areas of service of the Salesian Family in Austria - such as Salesian volunteer programs or the "Feel Like a Refugee" project, with which one can experience the situation in asylum procedures with the Salesian association for juvenile refugees.

        In the afternoon, in the Eucharist, the Rector Major thanked everyone for the talents shared during the day and concluded by inviting, as Pope Francis does, to "look at every person as God would look at them."

        Yesterday, Sunday 3 March, the Rector Major went to the Salesian parish of Stadlau, in Vienna, where the Salesians have been working for 100 years. In the Sunday Eucharist, concelebrated also by the Councilor for the Central and Northern Europe Region, Fr Tadeusz Rozmus, and by the Salesian Provincial of Austria, Fr Petrus Obermüller, Fr Artime reiterated once again the wealth that different cultures bring with them, and reminded everyone that if at times the world seems cold, in truth there is much widespread humanity and goodness all around. Don Bosco is also a model in this, because "he has always believed that in every young man there is a point accessible to goodness."

        All photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr.

        • Austria
        • AUS
        • Rettor Maggiore
        • Ángel Fernández Artime
        • Visita di Animazione
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Vatican - "Apostolic Letter" of beatification of Fr Titus Zeman, SDB

          1 month 2 weeks ago

          (ANS - Vatican City) - On February 26, through the Vatican Secretary of State, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, the Apostolic Letter was delivered to the Postulator General of the Causes of the Saints of the Salesian Family, that is the official document signed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, and with the seal of the Supreme Pontiff Francesco (anulus piscatoris), confirming the successful beatification of Blessed Fr Titus Zeman, Salesian martyr, held in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 30 September 2017, with Cardinal Angelo the papal Legate.

          The letter contains brief biographical notes of the new blessed, his martyrdom, a brief summary of the canonical course of the Cause, including the date of the memorial liturgy, the place and the date of the beatification.

          As an official and permanent memorial of the event in ecclesial life, which also involves juridical-canonical consequences, the Apostolic Letter is published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, official commentary of the Apostolic See.

          This document will be kept in the Archive of the General Postulation in Rome.

          {gallery}Vaticano - Breve apostolico 2019{/gallery} 

          • Vaticano
          • Titus Zeman
          • Santità Salesiana
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Papua New Guinea – No matter the quantity, but the quality: the hint by Br Muller, SDB

            1 month 2 weeks ago
            Papua New Guinea – No matter the quantity, but the quality: the hint by Br Muller, SDB

            (ANS – Port Moresby) – Br Jean Paul Muller, SDB, Economer General of the Salesian Congregation, is on a visit to the Salesian Vice-Province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. “Be definite about your choice of vocation,” Br Muller said as he spoke to the aspirants and the Salesians at the Good Night at Savio Haus, Bomana, on 1 March, 2019.

            The Economer General highlighted the need for committed and dedicated confreres. “As a Congregation we are concerned not about numbers, but about the quality of each aspirant,” he continued as he invited all to reflect on their call to a Salesian vocation.

            He was received warmly at Savio House and was joined by Archbishop Francisco Panfilo SDB, Archbishop of Rabaul (Solomon Islands) and Bishop Pedro Baquero SDB, Bishop of Kerema (Papua New Guinea). At the family circle held during supper, the aspirants sang and danced for the visitors. The confreres sang for Fr Dominic Kachira SDB, Rector of Savio Haus as he celebrated his birthday.

            Earlier in the day, Br Muller had visited the “Don Bosco Technical School”, Gabutu, where he addressed the staff. He appreciated the openness of the educators. He then visited the “Mary Help of Christians” Parish at Sabama, located in a very difficult and dangerous settlement. He spoke to the parishioners and the young people who gathered to meet him.

            Br Muller is accompanied in his tour by Br Alberto Rodríguez SDB, Dr Fabio Buconi, Dr Janko Jochimsen and Fr MC George SDB; he and the other visitors are in Papua New Guinea for the EAO Provincial Economers’ Meeting, to be held at Boroko East (March, 3-7). While in the country, they will also visit a few Salesian houses.

            • Papua Nuova Guinea
            • PGS
            • Jean Paul Muller
            • Economia
              Gian Francesco Romano

              RMG – Novelties of ANS news on Social Networks

              1 month 2 weeks ago
              RMG – Novelties of ANS news on Social Networks

              (ANS - Rome) – Being present on Social Networks is a fundamental element for anyone involved in communications. Even in the recent World Consultation (aka Consulta) on Social Communication, the role social networks play in today's society and how useful they can be towards reaching young people was widely discussed.

              For this reason ANS, which has always proposed to be a window on the Salesian Congregation in and across the globe, has decided to renew itself on Facebook, which today still remains the "leader" of all social networks, as regards exchanges and interaction among users.

              From this moment on, the Facebook page of ANS - which published posts in Italian, English and Spanish - will now publish in the six languages already used on the website (Italian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish), so all users can read the contents in the language they prefer.

              To do so, ANS will use the "multilingual post" option, a function recently activated by Facebook that allows followers of a page to view posts directly in their default language. In this way, readers with their profile set in Italian will read the contents in Italian, those in Spanish will see them in Spanish, and so on.

              The publication with the "multilingual" method arises from the need to reach as many users as possible. From a study of the page "insights", in fact, it emerges that the languages most spoken by our followers are, in order: Spanish, French, Italian, English, Portuguese and Polish. Moreover, continuing to publish only in Italian, English and Spanish would have been an obstacle for the rest of our virtual audience, one we've decided to overcome.

              This is a choice that, we are sure, will be appreciated by all users who follow ANS on a daily basis. To them, now approaching 22,000 readers, goes our most heartfelt thanks!

              Thanks to the trust of our followers, the ANS Facebook has reached, over time, peak coverage of our posts that were very high. To cite an example, on the occasion of the 203rd birthday of Don Bosco, August 16, 2018, our Facebook page reached a total of 149,072 views.

              In addition, ANS continues to be present and to inform on other social channels as well.

              The six Twitter profiles - one for each language - count 7,549 followers; on Flickr, from 2015 to today, almost 29,000 photographs were published and the agency has a professional profile; on YouTube the videos present on our ANSChannel have achieved a total of 937,003 views.

              Then there's the news of this last year, Instagram. Opened in February 2018, today the agency's official Instagram profile has 2,145 authentic followers, with an engagement rate of between 7 and 8%.

              ANS aims to grow and develop further again, always with the aim of providing accurate and timely information. Not only that. What ANS, as a means of Salesian communication, aims to do today and in the future, is to reach as many young people as possible, to know their interests and their points of view, to open with them a space for dialogue, not just make them feel like passive readers, but rather an integral part of this reality.

              • RMG
              • Comunicazione Sociale
              • Social
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Togo - Lomé childcare project successfully completed

                1 month 3 weeks ago
                Togo - Lomé childcare project successfully completed

                (ANS - Lomé) - According to the latest report published by the United Nations Development Program, Togo is in 166th place out of 188 countries, as regards the Human Development Index. Located in the Gulf of Guinea, on the west coast of Africa, Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world: over 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. The living conditions of children and women are degrading and worrying, and there are still cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, as well as impunity for human rights violations, as stated by Amnesty International. To cope with all this, the Spanish Salesian NGO "Solidaridad Don Bosco" continues to support projects in Togo.

                The project of assistance to children at risk of social exclusion ended in February, which "Solidaridad Don Bosco" developed in the "Mother Margherita House" of Lomé, capital of Togo, together with the local center of the Salesian Cooperators. It had begun, thanks to the support of the Province of Huelva (Spain), in January 2018.

                Some of the protagonists of this project have been asked to comment on the progress of the project and how it has had a positive impact on the "Mother Margherita House." Blaise Kpeni, Economer of the Salesian Cooperators of Lomé, commented that the project benefited the entire community, because it facilitated water access, through the construction of a well and a water tank, two fundamental elements.

                The same was done with the "fencing of the horticultural area", which will help nurture and support the house. "The project has also helped to support the shelter for children in difficult circumstances and provide educational support for 12 interns and 30 girls."

                Blaise publicly praised the formation of the families of these boys and girls as very positive, as well as that for the members of the Association of Salesian Cooperators and for all those who help in the accompaniment of minors.

                For Joseph Olipoh, an active educator at home, "there are many experiences", and formation for educators was very useful, as was "learning about the psycho-social development of children and learning how to educate them according to their age."

                Finally, the educator Akouvi believes that children have many emotional needs and that, as Don Bosco said, "it is not enough to love; we must make them feel that they are loved", because "when they feel loved, they open their hearts to tell you everything that happened to them and what leads them to do inappropriate things."

                • Togo
                • AFO
                • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                • Solidarietà
                • ONG
                • Spagna
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Peru - "We are called to be educators of the faith": train the animators and the catechists

                  1 month 3 weeks ago

                  (ANS - Piura) - In the late 1960s Fr Alberto Álvarez moved from Castilla, the area where the Salesian school was located, to the western sector of the city of Piura, in an uninhabited area. With a lot of work and sacrifice he created a new Salesian oratory he called "Coscomba", with an area of about 12 hectares. With the passing of time this great work in the desert, thanks to the efforts of Fr López, has become a center at the service of young people and has been called "Bosconia". Today it is a presence with a number of different structures and a community that works among the local population, even if everything "began with a simple catechesis."

                  The Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) who work in Bosconia continue to work with the same enthusiasm that Don Bosco had. "Evangelization and catechesis are the fundamental dimension of our mission," they explain. In this area of ​​Bosconia and in some areas of Piura, the oratories have been founded over the course of many years now, but still continue to animate, train and accompany.

                  Recently, the animators of the oratories, the catechists of the First Communion and Confirmation, gathered in the educational community of the "Maria Mazzarello" Center to participate in a training workshop on the Christian life. This workshop, made possible thanks to the coordination of Fr Stefan Gorécki and the FMA community, was led by Sr Eliana Salas, FMA, in the company of Ana Tenorio, in charge of pastoral care with the Salesians of Peru. The speakers, coming from the city of Lima, shared enriching testimonies with all the young people and educators present.

                  María Morales, Coordinator of the Oratory "Mary Help of Christians", noted that the week of formation allowed her to understand that being a catechist involves several commitments, among which stand out: the preparation of the themes and the knowledge of Catholic doctrine: "Catechesis is not based only on the knowledge of the doctrine or on participating in the sacraments, but also on the interiorization, living and sharing with others what we profess. The idea is that the doctrine must be practiced in daily life," she said.

                  María Jiménez Sernaqué, Coordinator of the oratory "Ceferino Namuncurá", said she understood that the path of Christian initiation involves a series of steps to get to know the Church and follow the teachings of Jesus: "We have been nourished by the teachings. We have learned that we must always accompany children and adolescents, and that their spiritual growth does not end with the celebration of the sacraments."

                  In a context in which it is not easy to announce and bring Jesus, the Salesian Family is called to "educate to the faith in all circumstances."

                  • Perù
                  • PER
                  • Catechesi
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    RMG - Dear Brothers, "I want to invite you to live with an authentic Salesian evangelizing and educational passion"

                    1 month 3 weeks ago

                    (ANS - Rome) - The latest video recorded by the Rector Major for the quarterly column "Cari Confratelli, or Dear Confreres" is available online today, Thursday 28 February. Made during the World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama, it is a warm call to the Salesians to live, following the example of Don Bosco, in total dedication to the young.

                    Speaking from the Basilica of Don Bosco in Panama City, right in front of the casket containing a distinguished relic of the Holy of Youth, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime observes the beauty of the youthful show staged during the days with WYD: "What a wonderful opportunity we have! Because our young people, though each with their own difficulties, continue to be close to us, continue to need us."

                    For this reason, according to the needs of each boy and girl, sometimes intervening as a friend, sometimes as an older brother, yet other times as a father, each Salesian is invited by the Successor of Don Bosco "to turn the dreams of God into reality for our young people ... to follow, in a very simple way, a path of Salesian holiness that is fulfilled in daily life."

                    The video "Cari Confratelli" is available on the ANSChannel, in the two original versions in Italian and Spanish, and subtitled in English, French, Portuguese and Polish.

                    As usual, videos subtitled in numerous other languages spoken in the Congregation will also be made available in the coming weeks.

                    • RMG
                    • Cari Confratelli
                    • Panama
                    • Panama2019
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Italy - A new volume of Don Bosco Letters

                      1 month 3 weeks ago
                      Italy - A new volume of Don Bosco Letters

                      (ANS - Rome) – Published few days ago was the eighth volume of the Don Bosco Epistle in a critical edition, edited by Fr Francesco Motto, the Director emeritus of the Salesian Historical Institute, available at the LAS publisher in Rome. It contains 394 letters from the two-year period 1882-1883, many of which are unpublished - with all the obvious consequences towards a better knowledge of the human and spiritual life of the saint.

                      The recipients of the letters are, as usual, very different from each other: a total of 45% of the letters are addressed to benefactors, a little less than 40% are letters addressed to clerical exponents. The subjects discussed, numerous, are easily identifiable through the series of final indices.

                      The volume differs from the previous ones for various aspects. First of all, because a good 25% of the letters are in French: a French more "spoken" than written, of Italian "flavor" rather than from beyond the Alps. Secondly, the recipient with the most letters is a forty-year-old French benefactor, Claire Louvet, who from this moment on exchanges with Don Bosco a dense correspondence of a spiritual character, practically continued until the saint's death.

                      Finally, it is a corpus of letters of which more than half written away from Turin-Valdocco. In fact, over the two years considered Don Bosco was "away from home" for a total of a whole year, of which 6 months in France.

                      These few details are enough to realize the historical-biographical-spiritual value of this correspondence. The thread that binds the letters is the daily life of Don Bosco interwoven with great events (long journeys, the triumph of Paris, the many missionary expeditions, the foundation of new houses, the Patagonian enterprise, the first Salesian bishop appointments, the painful closure of bitter conflicts with Monsignor Gastaldi ...), but also, and above all, his daily commitments: community appointments, private audiences, study, readings, visits to benefactors, and more.

                      What emerges is an all-round whole-hearted Don Bosco who, although physically fragile, gives his all to keep the Congregation alive and solid. It is now walking on its own feet, but Don Bosco remains, albeit from a distance, at the top, a reference point for major problems, a procurator of economic resources essential for development, a defender of his convictions, a vigilant "father and teacher" of young people, of confreres, of correspondents.

                      He is certainly not the "shadow of himself" as has been said; he will only be so later and, in fact, it will be seen in the next two volumes.

                      • Italia
                      • Don Bosco
                      • Storia
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        France - Rector Major traveling to heart of Europe: visits to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria

                        1 month 3 weeks ago
                        France - Rector Major traveling to heart of Europe: visits to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria

                        (ANS - Paris) - The Animation Visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in the Province of France-South Belgium (FRB) concluded recently. Gaining knowledge of the realities of Salesian social initiative in these two countries, together with the meeting with the young and the Salesian Family, marked his days in the aforesaid Province. After a brief stop in Rome, from tomorrow, February 28, he resumes travel. In the evening, the Rector Major will arrive in Vienna to begin a new visit to the Austrian Province.

                        As for this previous trip, on the second day full of visits to France, Friday 22, the Rector Major first met the delegates of the "Don Bosco Action Social Network", who presented the breadth of the Salesian educational and social offer in that area. The Rector Major observed and appreciated the role played by the laity, praised the initiatives for the most needy young people and insisted on the importance of giving a clearly Salesian identity to the initiatives.

                        Then, after a meeting with the Provincial Council, he met with Salesian Cooperators and presided over the Eucharist in the church "St Jean Marie Vianney" at the Argenteuil house, on the outskirts of the French capital.

                        Saturday 23 was characterized by a long dialogue with all the Salesians in the Province: the Rector Major celebrated Mass with all of them, spoke on many aspects of the life of the Congregation and listened to the challenges of the Province and visited the Salesian publisher.

                        The afternoon and evening were dedicated to the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement, who first addressed their questions to the Successor of Don Bosco, and then animated a festive evening for him.

                        Finally, last Sunday, 24 February, Fr Á.F. Artime reached Farnières, in Belgium. Already welcomed at the railway station, with enthusiasm and warmth, by children, young people and members of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major then went to the Salesian house, where he presided over the Sunday Eucharist, also flanked by the Provincial FRB, Fr Daniel Federspiel.

                        In the course of the day, marked by a large youth festival, with games and activities for the whole family, he met the children and young people who attend Salesian centers, and finally  greeted the local community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                        Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Rector Major went to Brussels on the morning of Monday 25, from where he took the plane back to Rome.

                        All photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                        {gallery}RMG - Manifesto Visita Austria{/gallery} 

                        • FRB
                        • Francia
                        • Belgio
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • Visita di Animazione
                        • AUS
                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Vatican - Agreement between Holy See and Italy on recognition of academic qualifications

                          1 month 3 weeks ago
                          Vatican - Agreement between Holy See and Italy on recognition of academic qualifications

                          (ANS - Vatican City) - For the students of the Pontifical universities, including the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), it is certainly good news: in recent days an agreement was signed between the Italian State (Ministry for Instruction, University and Research - MIUR) and the Holy See (Congregation for Catholic Education - CEC) on the mutual recognition of their respective University degrees. The students of all the educational centers will thus benefit from this agreement, as they will be able to carry out their studies in the Pontifical centers or in the Italian ones, knowing they can enjoy the same mutual guarantees.

                          The agreement - MIUR explained in a note - provides for the recognition of all university degrees issued by the Holy See, as happens for any other sovereign State, through a procedure that will take place materially through the Universities, which will evaluate the degrees and will provide for their recognition.

                          Until now, only the titles of "Theology and Sacred Scripture" were fully recognized, while for the other titles issued by the Holy See's university institutions there was no uniform recognition in the Italian national territory, and they could be assessed in the same way as all the other foreign degrees.

                          The agreement is the daughter of the so-called "Lisbon Convention" and the "European Higher Education Area" (EHEA), to which the Holy See has adhered to since 2003. "This was the fundamental step that paved the way for the study of a new agreement arrived to port these days. The equivalence of titles for Theology and the Holy Scriptures remains alive, while the possibility of recognizing the other titles opens up," said, summing up, Msgr. Angelo Vincenzo Zani, CEC Secretary.

                          "I am particularly happy with the signing of this agreement ... As it is evident, this is an agreement that primarily favors the students," added Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, CEC Prefect.

                          "We are very proud of the result achieved," said MIUR director, Minister Bussetti. "This is a long-awaited, historic agreement."

                          • Italia
                          • Vaticano
                          • Educazione
                          • Università
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            East Timor - Los Palos and Dili are first destinations of Australian Volunteers of Cagliero Project

                            1 month 3 weeks ago
                            East Timor - Los Palos and Dili are first destinations of Australian Volunteers of Cagliero Project

                            (ANS - Dili) - Less than a year after the invitation from Fr Apolinario Neto, Superior of the Vice Province of Timor-Leste (TLS), two young volunteers from the "Cagliero Project" - the missionary voluntary program of the Australian Province - arrived in East Timor, respectively in Los Palos and Dili. They are Keith Collins, from Perth, and Alasdair O'Brien from Melbourne, who already live in their respective communities and wanted to share their first impressions.

                            "It's an honor to be one of the first volunteers of the Cagliero Project in East Timor. I have certainly received a fantastic welcome and I'm determined to help as much as possible and at the same time learn from the local community. The prenovices of Los Palos are very interested in improving their skills in English and are really curious about Australia. Here there is a real cultural crossover," said one of the two volunteers. "There is a unique link in history between Australia and East Timor and the Cagliero Project is now further strengthening this link," he added.

                            "The welcome at the Don Bosco Centec Vocational Training Center in Dili-Comoro has been unique. Here I help three young Salesians with English lessons. In particular, we make prayers and readings in English to improve the language, so they will be prepared if they want to study abroad," added the other volunteer.

                            Keith and Alasdair then wanted to emphasize how much they were amazed by the great faith of the people of East Timor. "It's striking to see how much faith there is in the Timorese, despite the difficult conditions of life. This is undoubtedly the fruit of constant missionary activity in this land," they said.

                            The Cagliero Project fosters solidarity among the different Provinces and, precisely in the name of this solidarity, the volunteers who are part of it have been sent not only to East Timor, but also to Thailand, Cambodia, Samoa and Zambia.

                            The volunteers of the Cagliero Project are committed to working in the Salesian manner, which means that young people are placed at the center of all the work. This gives young people the opportunity to contribute to the mission of Don Bosco, that is, to serve the poorest and most disadvantaged children and make them become good Christians and honest citizens.

                            To learn more about the project, you can visit the website: https://www.cagliero.org.au/ 

                            The Cagliero Project is also on Facebook.

                            • AUL
                            • TLS
                            • Volontariato
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Argentina - "Tying Networks of Solidarity": project to support projects for young people

                              1 month 3 weeks ago

                              (ANS - Salta) - The project "Amarrando Redes de Solidaridad" (tying solidarity networks), carried out by the Planning and Development Office of the North Argentina Province (ARN), is now eight years old. The ARN project area has now launched the video presentation of "Amarrando Redes de Solidaridad", created in collaboration with the communication team. This year the work of the "San José" Vocational Training Center (CFP) in Salta is being presented.

                              The "San José" CFP was born in 2015 as a new educational pastoral front of the Salesian house "Ángel Zerda", in agreement with the Ministry of Education. The proposal was to answer to the needs expressed by unemployed young people and adults and those with incomplete studies: short courses with immediate work opportunities and certification of skills.

                              In the first year, the number of students of the courses was 150, both men and women, between 18 and 35 years old, coming from the poor neighborhoods of Salta and immersed in complex family and social situations: people with criminal records, dependencies, a past of violence in family…

                              In this Salesian center, vocational technical training becomes an instrument and a clear opportunity for educational, social and productive reintegration and, therefore, to improve the quality of personal and family life of these persons.


                              "The Center currently offers young people four courses: plumbing, painting for construction, electricity and advanced electricity. The courses we offer are short and provide a quick exit, so that the young can work immediately," reported Mrs Gimena Carrizo. While the young Daniel Núñez, of the electricity course, says that this "is a great opportunity for us, a complete course for young people who need it. Right now it's a great benefit for me because I do not have a job."

                              The objective of "Amarrando Redes de Solidariedad" is to promote mutual help among the various Salesian houses that belong to the "Blessed Artemide Zatti" Province of Northern Argentina.


                              The activities begin during the school year, and present to the directors, to the heads of the educational centers and to other employees of Salesian works, the needs of the houses that are more vulnerable.


                              In this first phase of awareness-raising a video is shown that presents some of the work that will benefit from solidarity. Thanks to the generous dedication of families, throughout the year it is possible to gather the necessary help to strengthen the educational-pastoral proposals of the various Salesian presences that accompany children, young people and adults in situations of risk, through a fixed (optional) monthly amount, which is paid together with the school fees.

                              • Argentina
                              • ARN
                              • Solidarietà
                              • Formazione Professionale
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Italy - Counter the Baby Gangs: educational pact between institutions and civil society is urgent

                                1 month 3 weeks ago
                                Italy - Counter the Baby Gangs: educational pact between institutions and civil society is urgent

                                (ANS - Bari) - "Networking", proposing alternative models and values, recalling politics to its responsibilities, but also being less bigoted and more concrete. These are some actions that could counteract the phenomenon of "baby gangs" and the attraction of criminal organizations at every latitude. The issue was discussed Friday, February 22, at the Salesian center of Bari, during the conference "Baby Gang and Organized Crime: what answers from the educating community?"

                                The event, the second in the series of meetings on the theme: "Man called in search of his own dignity" saw the participation of the Quaestor of Bari, police superintendant Carmine Esposito, the lawyer Michele Laforgia, who is engaged in the promotion of paths on legality, and Fr Francesco Preite, Director of the house in Bari.

                                Dr Laforgia listed five challenges to be overcome in order to take minors away from the baby gangs: that of the community, because even "the mafia is a community", which builds an identity for those who are part of it; that of the family, which "can be a resource, but also a huge problem" for those who encounter negative models; prison, which "is not the solution, let alone for minors"; therefore "social services and juvenile justice", which must receive more resources; and the educating community, which "must be open" and where the educator, "must compromise with the world he wants to educate," he concluded.

                                After recalling the beginnings of Don Bosco in prison, Fr Preite called for everyone to work in unity, because in the divisions "crime inserts itself, which is organized." It is important, however, that there is mutual aid between the generations: "The young animators must perform their task well and the adults must accompany the young animators and youngsters."


                                Attitudes of "openness and acceptance" and alternative proposals must be promoted. On this front, politics "must be there, present" and "must give answers." The oratory with its sports, cultural and educational activities must face the challenge, even creating businesses. "Creating businesses with young people is not a sin; we must be less bigoted and more concrete."

                                For his part, the Quaestor of Bari recalled that, faced with the prospects of the easy gains offered by criminal organizations, "we must merge all our energies", to offer an alternative that is primarily "of value, or value-based."

                                "School and family are the cornerstones on which to concentrate the commitment ... Boys must (be able to) verify that there is a possibility of a different life,"  he concluded.

                                • Italia
                                • IME
                                • Redentore
                                • Educazione
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Spain - "Today a saint is buried": Fr Antonio César Fernández, SDB

                                  1 month 3 weeks ago

                                  (ANS - Pozoblanco) - On a very important day for the Spanish municipality of Pozoblanco, which celebrated the feast of its patron, the Virgin of the Moon, on February 25, the funeral of an illustrious citizen of the Andalusian town took place: Salesian Fr Antonio César Fernández, victim of a jihadist attack perpetrated about 40 kilometers from the southern border of Burkina Faso.

                                  During the celebration, which began at 5 PM, at the parish of Santa Caterina, the statue of the Virgin of the Moon, which had been carried in procession in the morning, was throughout beside the main altar, close to the coffin containing the remains of the Salesian priest.

                                  Presiding at Mass was Mgr Demetrio Fernández, bishop of Cordoba, flanked by Msgr Miguel Angel Olaverri, SDB, bishop of Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo, and many Salesians from Spain, various African countries, from the Salesian headquarters in Rome. Among the civil authorities present, the Delegate of the City Council, Antonio Repullo; the mayor of Pozoblanco, Santiago Cabello; the mayor of Dos Torres, Manuel Torres; the MP Isabel Albás; and the provincial deputy Andrés Lorite.

                                  "I want to say a few words of closeness to relatives and Salesians," said Msgr Fernández in the homily. "The Salesians in Pozoblanco have borne fruit, especially the ripe fruit that is Father Antonio Cesar ... As a missionary he made it clear that life can be lived in another way, not only to enjoy it, but also to donate it."

                                  There were many words about this missionary that resounded during the homily, but one in particular drew attention: "Today a saint is buried." His holiness was that of daily life, in a life offered fully to the poor, to the young. He lived an "ordinary" holiness, as defined among Salesians. "If in his life he was a great apostle, in his death he was even more so", it has been said. In this way the city of Pozoblanco gave a last goodbye to Fr Antonio César Fernández.

                                  "Today we remember Mgr Luigi Versiglia and Fr Callisto Caravario, missionaries and martyrs," observed Fr Teodoro Castillejo, Director of the Salesians of Pozoblanco. "We will never forget Father Antonio Cesar, his incomparable witness of humanity, his dedication, his simplicity, his Salesian disposition, his missionary spirit of predilection for the last to whom Jesus Christ announced and his intimate devotion to the Virgin under the intimate title of Auxiliary. May the good Lord grant that this blood shed on African soil be the seed of new Christians, faithful followers of Jesus Christ."

                                  At the end of the Eucharist, the remains of Fr Antonio César Fernández were carried on the shoulders of his Salesian confreres to the Salesian pantheon in the cemetery of Our Lady of Sorrows in Pozoblanco, the place where he was born 72 years ago.

                                  On the web there is a video on the Salesian's funeral: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfl8RoOFWAI 

                                  • Spagna
                                  • Antonio César Fernández
                                  • Decessi
                                    Gian Francesco Romano
                                    ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                    India – Salesians meet to "build the nation"

                                    1 month 2 weeks ago

                                    (ANS - Dimapur) - Between the end of February and the beginning of March, the Salesian Provincials of the South Asia Region experienced three days of talks, planning and study: first in the context of the XX Conference of Salesian Provincials of the region ( SPCSA), and then through a formative day on some specific topics of Canon Law.

                                    Under the guidance of the Regional Councilor, Fr Maria Arockiam Kanaga, and of the General Councilor for the Salesian Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, the Superiors, the Provincial Delegates of the various Provinces and those responsible for the various regional organizations of South Asia gathered at the Dimapur Institute for Development and Leadership on February 27-28.

                                    Organized on the theme "Salesians towards Nation Building", the theme also served to launch the three-year preparation for the centenary of the Salesian presence in the north-east of the country, now flourishing in three Provinces - Dimapur, Guwahati and Shillong. During each year, it was announced, a specific theme shall be developed: Imparting Gospel Values and Catechetics, 2019; Youth Ministry, 2020; Salesian Spirituality, 2021.

                                    On Wednesday 27 February, in addition to verifying what has been achieved since the previous assembly, a research paper was presented on the theme - "Nation Building in the Constitutional way: What type of Salesians do we need today?" Starting from the current challenges of nationalism, it was reiterated that the Indian Salesian today, as an educator of the young, must be a prophet of the secular state, democracy and fundamental rights; he must educate young people not to politicize their faith and not soil it with violence; he must combat widespread illiteracy, children dropping out of school, and discrimination.

                                    Subsequently the Framework for Salesian Youth Ministry was also examined and the day ended with the community Eucharist.

                                    On the second and last day of the SPCSA each Province shared strategies put in place to "build the nation in accordance with the Constitution", through the education and dissemination of evangelical values. Synergies were proposed to improve operations in this sector.

                                    Other themes dealt with included the presentation of a series of booklets on Youth Ministry, edited by Fr Maria Charles Antonysamy; the new communication strategies of the regional web platform - www.donboscoindia.org; there was even talk of the proposal to develop a lay association among those who, after having been part of the Congregation, discovered their true vocation elsewhere, but who still feel the desire to serve the poorest and most needy young people.

                                    Finally, Fr Kanaga awarded the SPCSA Innovative Award to Fr K M Jose, the Provincial of India-Chennai, on behalf of the "Surabi Trust", for their work towards the empowerment of women.

                                    On 1 March, instead, Fr Pier Fausto Frisoli, Procurator General of the Salesian Congregation, animated the entire day for all SPCSA participants on the application of Canon Law in those particular situations that require greater attention. Through the clear illustration of the concepts and numerous concrete examples, which decision-making processes to follow and how to comply with the foreseen procedures were clarified for all.

                                    In the end, it emerged that those with authority must be able to courageously carry out their duties, without fear and without prejudice. And it clearly echoed and resounded throughout that to live the Salesian vocation is a blessing that requires living the radical Gospel Values and following the charism of Don Bosco to be a real Salesian.

                                    {gallery}India - Incontro con Frisoli 2019{/gallery} 

                                    • India
                                    • Salesiani
                                    • Asia Sud
                                      Jesus Jurado

                                      South Korea - Meeting of Salesian Provincials of East Asia-Oceania region begins in climate of great spirituality

                                      1 month 2 weeks ago
                                      South Korea - Meeting of Salesian Provincials of East Asia-Oceania region begins in climate of great spirituality

                                      (ANS - Seoul) - The meeting of Salesian Provincials of the East Asia-Oceania Region takes place in Seoul, South Korea, from Monday March 4 to Thursday 7. The event sees the participation of 12 Provincials and Superiors of the Vice Province of the region; five Superiors of Provincial Delegations; in addition to the presence of the Regional Councilor, Fr Václav Klement, and of the General Councilors for Youth Ministry, Fr Fabio Attard, and Formation, Fr Ivo Coelho.

                                      The first day of work was characterized by the spirit of personal sharing among the participants and by the time dedicated to spiritual recollection, just a few hours before Lent 2019.

                                      In the homily of the morning Eucharist, Fr Klement highlighted the need to abandon one's comfort zones. He indicated the powerful source of inspiration offered by the Salesian Mission Day 2019 (among the Refugees in Africa), and recalled the warning of Don Bosco on the temptation of a comfortable life.

                                      The morning continued with a session dedicated to personal sharing: it was a very fraternal moment, in which each of those participants intervened, bringing their own experience and the acknowledgement of their difficulties.

                                      The afternoon, instead, was dedicated to the deepening of the Rector Major's 2019 Strenna by watching the video and reading the text. Many were the comments raised by this authentic "gift" of the Rector Major. Some asked: "do we know how to recognize the young saints surrounding us?"; others praised the immediacy of the motto "Holiness for you too", easy to share; still others appreciated the link with the previous Strenna, proposing to listen to and to accompany the young people on the path of holiness; and those who recalled that holiness is expressed also through joy, which is why Salesians cannot and must not have a sad and disconsolate face!

                                      Also, there were other moments of shared spirituality, such as Eucharistic adoration, a time for confessions, the recitation of the rosary and the visit to the exhibition on the 60 years of Salesian presence in Korea, always produced within the large provincial center of Seoul.

                                      Finally, as was the case last year, in Dili, East Timor, at a similar gathering, this year too there were several novices (three from South Korea and one from Japan) taking part in moments of prayer with the Superiors.

                                      Source: AustraLasia

                                      • Corea del Sud
                                      • KOR
                                      • Asia EstOceania
                                      • Spiritualità
                                        Jesus Jurado

                                        Liberia - Living the faith in the peripheries ... of the forest!

                                        1 month 2 weeks ago
                                        Liberia - Living the faith in the peripheries ... of the forest!

                                        (ANS - Tappita) - The Salesian mission at Tappita, restarted at the beginning of 2018, after years of forced absence, is "at the far edge of the world", within the Liberian forest. Yet there are even more peripheral realities: like the villages of Sahnpa and Zeah, which Salesian missionaries managed to visit for the first time just a few weeks ago, after more than a year after their arrival to the area. "Last year, the rains started early and so they took us by surprise," explained the director of the mission, Fr Riccardo Castellino.

                                        Currently Sahnpa has no real church as the one they had was crushed by a tree in 2016, felled during a bad storm. To avoid the complete dispersion of the community, one of the members of the village has made available a room of his house for Sunday meetings.

                                        After having recalled the faithful with the bell - "or rather, beating on that wheel rim of truck that serves as a bell," continues Fr Castellino - in that room a dozen people gather, surprised to see the priest, but extremely pleased to see that they have not been forgotten.

                                        After the Mass, the Salesian is accompanied to see the place where the church stood, and where the community intends to rebuild it: it is an expanse of brushwood, where there are already many reconstruction materials: the blocks of mud, the timber cut and stacked, the metal sheets, "even if still more are needed, but the money is gone" ...

                                        In order to get the work starting again, the first step is to clean up that site, but for the construction there is still a lack of cement and tools and material required by manpower. For this reason, Fr Castellino asks the community members to make a donation and send it to him. "We will try to do something to make sure that with the arrival of the rains, this community has a roof under which to gather to pray and grow in faith," he concludes.

                                        In Zeah, on the other hand, there had been another Salesian the previous week, who said that not only did the inhabitants not have a church, but they had never even had one: the Mass was celebrated under the palava hut of the village, the kiosk used for village meetings.

                                        "With the church or without the church, faith survives! But we commit ourselves to doing something for them too ... and to visit them a little more often," concludes Fr Castellino.

                                        Source: Don Bosco Liberia

                                        • Liberia
                                        • Missioni
                                        • AFW
                                        • Chiesa
                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                          Austria - The advice of Fr Á.F. Artime: "To look at every person as God would look at them"

                                          1 month 2 weeks ago

                                          (ANS - Vienna) – On Friday, March 1 2019, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime began his visit to the Austrian Province. During the various appointments, the Rector Major made several appeals to welcome and live, like Don Bosco, in the search for daily sanctity.

                                          The first step was the Salesian grammar school in Unterwaltersdorf. Always among children and young people, the Rector Major invited teachers to educate the younger generations to a critical mentality free from manipulation, and concluded: "I am happy that the values of Don Bosco are lived in your homes."

                                          In the afternoon, having reached Vienna and met with the Provincial Council of Salesians and the lay leaders in the Salesian houses of Austria, Fr Á.F. Artime met with the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement for "Giovanni's Party Night" - an evening that combined reflection, prayer, dancing, singing and entertainment. During the party, a prayer for peace in 11 languages resounded throughout and the Rector Major recalled some episodes he had lived in Syria and stressed that in the 134 countries where Salesians work, no one is ever a foreigner.

                                          On the morning of Saturday, 2 March, the large gathering of the Salesian Family took place with the Rector Major. With about 250 present, Fr Á.F. Artime spoke about the Strenna for 2019, indicating paths to live the daily sanctity: "Everyone should ask himself: 'How can I give every day the best of myself as a Christian? My life is there because I share it with others."

                                          The morning then continued with several artistic workshops that represented the creativity and areas of service of the Salesian Family in Austria - such as Salesian volunteer programs or the "Feel Like a Refugee" project, with which one can experience the situation in asylum procedures with the Salesian association for juvenile refugees.

                                          In the afternoon, in the Eucharist, the Rector Major thanked everyone for the talents shared during the day and concluded by inviting, as Pope Francis does, to "look at every person as God would look at them."

                                          Yesterday, Sunday 3 March, the Rector Major went to the Salesian parish of Stadlau, in Vienna, where the Salesians have been working for 100 years. In the Sunday Eucharist, concelebrated also by the Councilor for the Central and Northern Europe Region, Fr Tadeusz Rozmus, and by the Salesian Provincial of Austria, Fr Petrus Obermüller, Fr Artime reiterated once again the wealth that different cultures bring with them, and reminded everyone that if at times the world seems cold, in truth there is much widespread humanity and goodness all around. Don Bosco is also a model in this, because "he has always believed that in every young man there is a point accessible to goodness."

                                          All photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                                          • Austria
                                          • AUS
                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                          • Visita di Animazione
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            Vatican - "Apostolic Letter" of beatification of Fr Titus Zeman, SDB

                                            1 month 2 weeks ago

                                            (ANS - Vatican City) - On February 26, through the Vatican Secretary of State, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, the Apostolic Letter was delivered to the Postulator General of the Causes of the Saints of the Salesian Family, that is the official document signed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, and with the seal of the Supreme Pontiff Francesco (anulus piscatoris), confirming the successful beatification of Blessed Fr Titus Zeman, Salesian martyr, held in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 30 September 2017, with Cardinal Angelo the papal Legate.

                                            The letter contains brief biographical notes of the new blessed, his martyrdom, a brief summary of the canonical course of the Cause, including the date of the memorial liturgy, the place and the date of the beatification.

                                            As an official and permanent memorial of the event in ecclesial life, which also involves juridical-canonical consequences, the Apostolic Letter is published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, official commentary of the Apostolic See.

                                            This document will be kept in the Archive of the General Postulation in Rome.

                                            {gallery}Vaticano - Breve apostolico 2019{/gallery} 

                                            • Vaticano
                                            • Titus Zeman
                                            • Santità Salesiana
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              Papua New Guinea – No matter the quantity, but the quality: the hint by Br Muller, SDB

                                              1 month 2 weeks ago
                                              Papua New Guinea – No matter the quantity, but the quality: the hint by Br Muller, SDB

                                              (ANS – Port Moresby) – Br Jean Paul Muller, SDB, Economer General of the Salesian Congregation, is on a visit to the Salesian Vice-Province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. “Be definite about your choice of vocation,” Br Muller said as he spoke to the aspirants and the Salesians at the Good Night at Savio Haus, Bomana, on 1 March, 2019.

                                              The Economer General highlighted the need for committed and dedicated confreres. “As a Congregation we are concerned not about numbers, but about the quality of each aspirant,” he continued as he invited all to reflect on their call to a Salesian vocation.

                                              He was received warmly at Savio House and was joined by Archbishop Francisco Panfilo SDB, Archbishop of Rabaul (Solomon Islands) and Bishop Pedro Baquero SDB, Bishop of Kerema (Papua New Guinea). At the family circle held during supper, the aspirants sang and danced for the visitors. The confreres sang for Fr Dominic Kachira SDB, Rector of Savio Haus as he celebrated his birthday.

                                              Earlier in the day, Br Muller had visited the “Don Bosco Technical School”, Gabutu, where he addressed the staff. He appreciated the openness of the educators. He then visited the “Mary Help of Christians” Parish at Sabama, located in a very difficult and dangerous settlement. He spoke to the parishioners and the young people who gathered to meet him.

                                              Br Muller is accompanied in his tour by Br Alberto Rodríguez SDB, Dr Fabio Buconi, Dr Janko Jochimsen and Fr MC George SDB; he and the other visitors are in Papua New Guinea for the EAO Provincial Economers’ Meeting, to be held at Boroko East (March, 3-7). While in the country, they will also visit a few Salesian houses.

                                              • Papua Nuova Guinea
                                              • PGS
                                              • Jean Paul Muller
                                              • Economia
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                RMG – Novelties of ANS news on Social Networks

                                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                RMG – Novelties of ANS news on Social Networks

                                                (ANS - Rome) – Being present on Social Networks is a fundamental element for anyone involved in communications. Even in the recent World Consultation (aka Consulta) on Social Communication, the role social networks play in today's society and how useful they can be towards reaching young people was widely discussed.

                                                For this reason ANS, which has always proposed to be a window on the Salesian Congregation in and across the globe, has decided to renew itself on Facebook, which today still remains the "leader" of all social networks, as regards exchanges and interaction among users.

                                                From this moment on, the Facebook page of ANS - which published posts in Italian, English and Spanish - will now publish in the six languages already used on the website (Italian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish), so all users can read the contents in the language they prefer.

                                                To do so, ANS will use the "multilingual post" option, a function recently activated by Facebook that allows followers of a page to view posts directly in their default language. In this way, readers with their profile set in Italian will read the contents in Italian, those in Spanish will see them in Spanish, and so on.

                                                The publication with the "multilingual" method arises from the need to reach as many users as possible. From a study of the page "insights", in fact, it emerges that the languages most spoken by our followers are, in order: Spanish, French, Italian, English, Portuguese and Polish. Moreover, continuing to publish only in Italian, English and Spanish would have been an obstacle for the rest of our virtual audience, one we've decided to overcome.

                                                This is a choice that, we are sure, will be appreciated by all users who follow ANS on a daily basis. To them, now approaching 22,000 readers, goes our most heartfelt thanks!

                                                Thanks to the trust of our followers, the ANS Facebook has reached, over time, peak coverage of our posts that were very high. To cite an example, on the occasion of the 203rd birthday of Don Bosco, August 16, 2018, our Facebook page reached a total of 149,072 views.

                                                In addition, ANS continues to be present and to inform on other social channels as well.

                                                The six Twitter profiles - one for each language - count 7,549 followers; on Flickr, from 2015 to today, almost 29,000 photographs were published and the agency has a professional profile; on YouTube the videos present on our ANSChannel have achieved a total of 937,003 views.

                                                Then there's the news of this last year, Instagram. Opened in February 2018, today the agency's official Instagram profile has 2,145 authentic followers, with an engagement rate of between 7 and 8%.

                                                ANS aims to grow and develop further again, always with the aim of providing accurate and timely information. Not only that. What ANS, as a means of Salesian communication, aims to do today and in the future, is to reach as many young people as possible, to know their interests and their points of view, to open with them a space for dialogue, not just make them feel like passive readers, but rather an integral part of this reality.

                                                • RMG
                                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                • Social
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Togo - Lomé childcare project successfully completed

                                                  1 month 3 weeks ago
                                                  Togo - Lomé childcare project successfully completed

                                                  (ANS - Lomé) - According to the latest report published by the United Nations Development Program, Togo is in 166th place out of 188 countries, as regards the Human Development Index. Located in the Gulf of Guinea, on the west coast of Africa, Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world: over 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. The living conditions of children and women are degrading and worrying, and there are still cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, as well as impunity for human rights violations, as stated by Amnesty International. To cope with all this, the Spanish Salesian NGO "Solidaridad Don Bosco" continues to support projects in Togo.

                                                  The project of assistance to children at risk of social exclusion ended in February, which "Solidaridad Don Bosco" developed in the "Mother Margherita House" of Lomé, capital of Togo, together with the local center of the Salesian Cooperators. It had begun, thanks to the support of the Province of Huelva (Spain), in January 2018.

                                                  Some of the protagonists of this project have been asked to comment on the progress of the project and how it has had a positive impact on the "Mother Margherita House." Blaise Kpeni, Economer of the Salesian Cooperators of Lomé, commented that the project benefited the entire community, because it facilitated water access, through the construction of a well and a water tank, two fundamental elements.

                                                  The same was done with the "fencing of the horticultural area", which will help nurture and support the house. "The project has also helped to support the shelter for children in difficult circumstances and provide educational support for 12 interns and 30 girls."

                                                  Blaise publicly praised the formation of the families of these boys and girls as very positive, as well as that for the members of the Association of Salesian Cooperators and for all those who help in the accompaniment of minors.

                                                  For Joseph Olipoh, an active educator at home, "there are many experiences", and formation for educators was very useful, as was "learning about the psycho-social development of children and learning how to educate them according to their age."

                                                  Finally, the educator Akouvi believes that children have many emotional needs and that, as Don Bosco said, "it is not enough to love; we must make them feel that they are loved", because "when they feel loved, they open their hearts to tell you everything that happened to them and what leads them to do inappropriate things."

                                                  • Togo
                                                  • AFO
                                                  • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                  • Solidarietà
                                                  • ONG
                                                  • Spagna
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Peru - "We are called to be educators of the faith": train the animators and the catechists

                                                    1 month 3 weeks ago

                                                    (ANS - Piura) - In the late 1960s Fr Alberto Álvarez moved from Castilla, the area where the Salesian school was located, to the western sector of the city of Piura, in an uninhabited area. With a lot of work and sacrifice he created a new Salesian oratory he called "Coscomba", with an area of about 12 hectares. With the passing of time this great work in the desert, thanks to the efforts of Fr López, has become a center at the service of young people and has been called "Bosconia". Today it is a presence with a number of different structures and a community that works among the local population, even if everything "began with a simple catechesis."

                                                    The Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) who work in Bosconia continue to work with the same enthusiasm that Don Bosco had. "Evangelization and catechesis are the fundamental dimension of our mission," they explain. In this area of ​​Bosconia and in some areas of Piura, the oratories have been founded over the course of many years now, but still continue to animate, train and accompany.

                                                    Recently, the animators of the oratories, the catechists of the First Communion and Confirmation, gathered in the educational community of the "Maria Mazzarello" Center to participate in a training workshop on the Christian life. This workshop, made possible thanks to the coordination of Fr Stefan Gorécki and the FMA community, was led by Sr Eliana Salas, FMA, in the company of Ana Tenorio, in charge of pastoral care with the Salesians of Peru. The speakers, coming from the city of Lima, shared enriching testimonies with all the young people and educators present.

                                                    María Morales, Coordinator of the Oratory "Mary Help of Christians", noted that the week of formation allowed her to understand that being a catechist involves several commitments, among which stand out: the preparation of the themes and the knowledge of Catholic doctrine: "Catechesis is not based only on the knowledge of the doctrine or on participating in the sacraments, but also on the interiorization, living and sharing with others what we profess. The idea is that the doctrine must be practiced in daily life," she said.

                                                    María Jiménez Sernaqué, Coordinator of the oratory "Ceferino Namuncurá", said she understood that the path of Christian initiation involves a series of steps to get to know the Church and follow the teachings of Jesus: "We have been nourished by the teachings. We have learned that we must always accompany children and adolescents, and that their spiritual growth does not end with the celebration of the sacraments."

                                                    In a context in which it is not easy to announce and bring Jesus, the Salesian Family is called to "educate to the faith in all circumstances."

                                                    • Perù
                                                    • PER
                                                    • Catechesi
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      RMG - Dear Brothers, "I want to invite you to live with an authentic Salesian evangelizing and educational passion"

                                                      1 month 3 weeks ago

                                                      (ANS - Rome) - The latest video recorded by the Rector Major for the quarterly column "Cari Confratelli, or Dear Confreres" is available online today, Thursday 28 February. Made during the World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama, it is a warm call to the Salesians to live, following the example of Don Bosco, in total dedication to the young.

                                                      Speaking from the Basilica of Don Bosco in Panama City, right in front of the casket containing a distinguished relic of the Holy of Youth, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime observes the beauty of the youthful show staged during the days with WYD: "What a wonderful opportunity we have! Because our young people, though each with their own difficulties, continue to be close to us, continue to need us."

                                                      For this reason, according to the needs of each boy and girl, sometimes intervening as a friend, sometimes as an older brother, yet other times as a father, each Salesian is invited by the Successor of Don Bosco "to turn the dreams of God into reality for our young people ... to follow, in a very simple way, a path of Salesian holiness that is fulfilled in daily life."

                                                      The video "Cari Confratelli" is available on the ANSChannel, in the two original versions in Italian and Spanish, and subtitled in English, French, Portuguese and Polish.

                                                      As usual, videos subtitled in numerous other languages spoken in the Congregation will also be made available in the coming weeks.

                                                      • RMG
                                                      • Cari Confratelli
                                                      • Panama
                                                      • Panama2019
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Italy - A new volume of Don Bosco Letters

                                                        1 month 3 weeks ago
                                                        Italy - A new volume of Don Bosco Letters

                                                        (ANS - Rome) – Published few days ago was the eighth volume of the Don Bosco Epistle in a critical edition, edited by Fr Francesco Motto, the Director emeritus of the Salesian Historical Institute, available at the LAS publisher in Rome. It contains 394 letters from the two-year period 1882-1883, many of which are unpublished - with all the obvious consequences towards a better knowledge of the human and spiritual life of the saint.

                                                        The recipients of the letters are, as usual, very different from each other: a total of 45% of the letters are addressed to benefactors, a little less than 40% are letters addressed to clerical exponents. The subjects discussed, numerous, are easily identifiable through the series of final indices.

                                                        The volume differs from the previous ones for various aspects. First of all, because a good 25% of the letters are in French: a French more "spoken" than written, of Italian "flavor" rather than from beyond the Alps. Secondly, the recipient with the most letters is a forty-year-old French benefactor, Claire Louvet, who from this moment on exchanges with Don Bosco a dense correspondence of a spiritual character, practically continued until the saint's death.

                                                        Finally, it is a corpus of letters of which more than half written away from Turin-Valdocco. In fact, over the two years considered Don Bosco was "away from home" for a total of a whole year, of which 6 months in France.

                                                        These few details are enough to realize the historical-biographical-spiritual value of this correspondence. The thread that binds the letters is the daily life of Don Bosco interwoven with great events (long journeys, the triumph of Paris, the many missionary expeditions, the foundation of new houses, the Patagonian enterprise, the first Salesian bishop appointments, the painful closure of bitter conflicts with Monsignor Gastaldi ...), but also, and above all, his daily commitments: community appointments, private audiences, study, readings, visits to benefactors, and more.

                                                        What emerges is an all-round whole-hearted Don Bosco who, although physically fragile, gives his all to keep the Congregation alive and solid. It is now walking on its own feet, but Don Bosco remains, albeit from a distance, at the top, a reference point for major problems, a procurator of economic resources essential for development, a defender of his convictions, a vigilant "father and teacher" of young people, of confreres, of correspondents.

                                                        He is certainly not the "shadow of himself" as has been said; he will only be so later and, in fact, it will be seen in the next two volumes.

                                                        • Italia
                                                        • Don Bosco
                                                        • Storia
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          France - Rector Major traveling to heart of Europe: visits to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria

                                                          1 month 3 weeks ago
                                                          France - Rector Major traveling to heart of Europe: visits to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria

                                                          (ANS - Paris) - The Animation Visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in the Province of France-South Belgium (FRB) concluded recently. Gaining knowledge of the realities of Salesian social initiative in these two countries, together with the meeting with the young and the Salesian Family, marked his days in the aforesaid Province. After a brief stop in Rome, from tomorrow, February 28, he resumes travel. In the evening, the Rector Major will arrive in Vienna to begin a new visit to the Austrian Province.

                                                          As for this previous trip, on the second day full of visits to France, Friday 22, the Rector Major first met the delegates of the "Don Bosco Action Social Network", who presented the breadth of the Salesian educational and social offer in that area. The Rector Major observed and appreciated the role played by the laity, praised the initiatives for the most needy young people and insisted on the importance of giving a clearly Salesian identity to the initiatives.

                                                          Then, after a meeting with the Provincial Council, he met with Salesian Cooperators and presided over the Eucharist in the church "St Jean Marie Vianney" at the Argenteuil house, on the outskirts of the French capital.

                                                          Saturday 23 was characterized by a long dialogue with all the Salesians in the Province: the Rector Major celebrated Mass with all of them, spoke on many aspects of the life of the Congregation and listened to the challenges of the Province and visited the Salesian publisher.

                                                          The afternoon and evening were dedicated to the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement, who first addressed their questions to the Successor of Don Bosco, and then animated a festive evening for him.

                                                          Finally, last Sunday, 24 February, Fr Á.F. Artime reached Farnières, in Belgium. Already welcomed at the railway station, with enthusiasm and warmth, by children, young people and members of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major then went to the Salesian house, where he presided over the Sunday Eucharist, also flanked by the Provincial FRB, Fr Daniel Federspiel.

                                                          In the course of the day, marked by a large youth festival, with games and activities for the whole family, he met the children and young people who attend Salesian centers, and finally  greeted the local community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                                                          Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Rector Major went to Brussels on the morning of Monday 25, from where he took the plane back to Rome.

                                                          All photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                                                          {gallery}RMG - Manifesto Visita Austria{/gallery} 

                                                          • FRB
                                                          • Francia
                                                          • Belgio
                                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                                          • Visita di Animazione
                                                          • AUS
                                                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Vatican - Agreement between Holy See and Italy on recognition of academic qualifications

                                                            1 month 3 weeks ago
                                                            Vatican - Agreement between Holy See and Italy on recognition of academic qualifications

                                                            (ANS - Vatican City) - For the students of the Pontifical universities, including the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), it is certainly good news: in recent days an agreement was signed between the Italian State (Ministry for Instruction, University and Research - MIUR) and the Holy See (Congregation for Catholic Education - CEC) on the mutual recognition of their respective University degrees. The students of all the educational centers will thus benefit from this agreement, as they will be able to carry out their studies in the Pontifical centers or in the Italian ones, knowing they can enjoy the same mutual guarantees.

                                                            The agreement - MIUR explained in a note - provides for the recognition of all university degrees issued by the Holy See, as happens for any other sovereign State, through a procedure that will take place materially through the Universities, which will evaluate the degrees and will provide for their recognition.

                                                            Until now, only the titles of "Theology and Sacred Scripture" were fully recognized, while for the other titles issued by the Holy See's university institutions there was no uniform recognition in the Italian national territory, and they could be assessed in the same way as all the other foreign degrees.

                                                            The agreement is the daughter of the so-called "Lisbon Convention" and the "European Higher Education Area" (EHEA), to which the Holy See has adhered to since 2003. "This was the fundamental step that paved the way for the study of a new agreement arrived to port these days. The equivalence of titles for Theology and the Holy Scriptures remains alive, while the possibility of recognizing the other titles opens up," said, summing up, Msgr. Angelo Vincenzo Zani, CEC Secretary.

                                                            "I am particularly happy with the signing of this agreement ... As it is evident, this is an agreement that primarily favors the students," added Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, CEC Prefect.

                                                            "We are very proud of the result achieved," said MIUR director, Minister Bussetti. "This is a long-awaited, historic agreement."

                                                            • Italia
                                                            • Vaticano
                                                            • Educazione
                                                            • Università
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              East Timor - Los Palos and Dili are first destinations of Australian Volunteers of Cagliero Project

                                                              1 month 3 weeks ago
                                                              East Timor - Los Palos and Dili are first destinations of Australian Volunteers of Cagliero Project

                                                              (ANS - Dili) - Less than a year after the invitation from Fr Apolinario Neto, Superior of the Vice Province of Timor-Leste (TLS), two young volunteers from the "Cagliero Project" - the missionary voluntary program of the Australian Province - arrived in East Timor, respectively in Los Palos and Dili. They are Keith Collins, from Perth, and Alasdair O'Brien from Melbourne, who already live in their respective communities and wanted to share their first impressions.

                                                              "It's an honor to be one of the first volunteers of the Cagliero Project in East Timor. I have certainly received a fantastic welcome and I'm determined to help as much as possible and at the same time learn from the local community. The prenovices of Los Palos are very interested in improving their skills in English and are really curious about Australia. Here there is a real cultural crossover," said one of the two volunteers. "There is a unique link in history between Australia and East Timor and the Cagliero Project is now further strengthening this link," he added.

                                                              "The welcome at the Don Bosco Centec Vocational Training Center in Dili-Comoro has been unique. Here I help three young Salesians with English lessons. In particular, we make prayers and readings in English to improve the language, so they will be prepared if they want to study abroad," added the other volunteer.

                                                              Keith and Alasdair then wanted to emphasize how much they were amazed by the great faith of the people of East Timor. "It's striking to see how much faith there is in the Timorese, despite the difficult conditions of life. This is undoubtedly the fruit of constant missionary activity in this land," they said.

                                                              The Cagliero Project fosters solidarity among the different Provinces and, precisely in the name of this solidarity, the volunteers who are part of it have been sent not only to East Timor, but also to Thailand, Cambodia, Samoa and Zambia.

                                                              The volunteers of the Cagliero Project are committed to working in the Salesian manner, which means that young people are placed at the center of all the work. This gives young people the opportunity to contribute to the mission of Don Bosco, that is, to serve the poorest and most disadvantaged children and make them become good Christians and honest citizens.

                                                              To learn more about the project, you can visit the website: https://www.cagliero.org.au/ 

                                                              The Cagliero Project is also on Facebook.

                                                              • AUL
                                                              • TLS
                                                              • Volontariato
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Argentina - "Tying Networks of Solidarity": project to support projects for young people

                                                                1 month 3 weeks ago

                                                                (ANS - Salta) - The project "Amarrando Redes de Solidaridad" (tying solidarity networks), carried out by the Planning and Development Office of the North Argentina Province (ARN), is now eight years old. The ARN project area has now launched the video presentation of "Amarrando Redes de Solidaridad", created in collaboration with the communication team. This year the work of the "San José" Vocational Training Center (CFP) in Salta is being presented.

                                                                The "San José" CFP was born in 2015 as a new educational pastoral front of the Salesian house "Ángel Zerda", in agreement with the Ministry of Education. The proposal was to answer to the needs expressed by unemployed young people and adults and those with incomplete studies: short courses with immediate work opportunities and certification of skills.

                                                                In the first year, the number of students of the courses was 150, both men and women, between 18 and 35 years old, coming from the poor neighborhoods of Salta and immersed in complex family and social situations: people with criminal records, dependencies, a past of violence in family…

                                                                In this Salesian center, vocational technical training becomes an instrument and a clear opportunity for educational, social and productive reintegration and, therefore, to improve the quality of personal and family life of these persons.


                                                                "The Center currently offers young people four courses: plumbing, painting for construction, electricity and advanced electricity. The courses we offer are short and provide a quick exit, so that the young can work immediately," reported Mrs Gimena Carrizo. While the young Daniel Núñez, of the electricity course, says that this "is a great opportunity for us, a complete course for young people who need it. Right now it's a great benefit for me because I do not have a job."

                                                                The objective of "Amarrando Redes de Solidariedad" is to promote mutual help among the various Salesian houses that belong to the "Blessed Artemide Zatti" Province of Northern Argentina.


                                                                The activities begin during the school year, and present to the directors, to the heads of the educational centers and to other employees of Salesian works, the needs of the houses that are more vulnerable.


                                                                In this first phase of awareness-raising a video is shown that presents some of the work that will benefit from solidarity. Thanks to the generous dedication of families, throughout the year it is possible to gather the necessary help to strengthen the educational-pastoral proposals of the various Salesian presences that accompany children, young people and adults in situations of risk, through a fixed (optional) monthly amount, which is paid together with the school fees.

                                                                • Argentina
                                                                • ARN
                                                                • Solidarietà
                                                                • Formazione Professionale
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Italy - Counter the Baby Gangs: educational pact between institutions and civil society is urgent

                                                                  1 month 3 weeks ago
                                                                  Italy - Counter the Baby Gangs: educational pact between institutions and civil society is urgent

                                                                  (ANS - Bari) - "Networking", proposing alternative models and values, recalling politics to its responsibilities, but also being less bigoted and more concrete. These are some actions that could counteract the phenomenon of "baby gangs" and the attraction of criminal organizations at every latitude. The issue was discussed Friday, February 22, at the Salesian center of Bari, during the conference "Baby Gang and Organized Crime: what answers from the educating community?"

                                                                  The event, the second in the series of meetings on the theme: "Man called in search of his own dignity" saw the participation of the Quaestor of Bari, police superintendant Carmine Esposito, the lawyer Michele Laforgia, who is engaged in the promotion of paths on legality, and Fr Francesco Preite, Director of the house in Bari.

                                                                  Dr Laforgia listed five challenges to be overcome in order to take minors away from the baby gangs: that of the community, because even "the mafia is a community", which builds an identity for those who are part of it; that of the family, which "can be a resource, but also a huge problem" for those who encounter negative models; prison, which "is not the solution, let alone for minors"; therefore "social services and juvenile justice", which must receive more resources; and the educating community, which "must be open" and where the educator, "must compromise with the world he wants to educate," he concluded.

                                                                  After recalling the beginnings of Don Bosco in prison, Fr Preite called for everyone to work in unity, because in the divisions "crime inserts itself, which is organized." It is important, however, that there is mutual aid between the generations: "The young animators must perform their task well and the adults must accompany the young animators and youngsters."


                                                                  Attitudes of "openness and acceptance" and alternative proposals must be promoted. On this front, politics "must be there, present" and "must give answers." The oratory with its sports, cultural and educational activities must face the challenge, even creating businesses. "Creating businesses with young people is not a sin; we must be less bigoted and more concrete."

                                                                  For his part, the Quaestor of Bari recalled that, faced with the prospects of the easy gains offered by criminal organizations, "we must merge all our energies", to offer an alternative that is primarily "of value, or value-based."

                                                                  "School and family are the cornerstones on which to concentrate the commitment ... Boys must (be able to) verify that there is a possibility of a different life,"  he concluded.

                                                                  • Italia
                                                                  • IME
                                                                  • Redentore
                                                                  • Educazione
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Spain - "Today a saint is buried": Fr Antonio César Fernández, SDB

                                                                    1 month 3 weeks ago

                                                                    (ANS - Pozoblanco) - On a very important day for the Spanish municipality of Pozoblanco, which celebrated the feast of its patron, the Virgin of the Moon, on February 25, the funeral of an illustrious citizen of the Andalusian town took place: Salesian Fr Antonio César Fernández, victim of a jihadist attack perpetrated about 40 kilometers from the southern border of Burkina Faso.

                                                                    During the celebration, which began at 5 PM, at the parish of Santa Caterina, the statue of the Virgin of the Moon, which had been carried in procession in the morning, was throughout beside the main altar, close to the coffin containing the remains of the Salesian priest.

                                                                    Presiding at Mass was Mgr Demetrio Fernández, bishop of Cordoba, flanked by Msgr Miguel Angel Olaverri, SDB, bishop of Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo, and many Salesians from Spain, various African countries, from the Salesian headquarters in Rome. Among the civil authorities present, the Delegate of the City Council, Antonio Repullo; the mayor of Pozoblanco, Santiago Cabello; the mayor of Dos Torres, Manuel Torres; the MP Isabel Albás; and the provincial deputy Andrés Lorite.

                                                                    "I want to say a few words of closeness to relatives and Salesians," said Msgr Fernández in the homily. "The Salesians in Pozoblanco have borne fruit, especially the ripe fruit that is Father Antonio Cesar ... As a missionary he made it clear that life can be lived in another way, not only to enjoy it, but also to donate it."

                                                                    There were many words about this missionary that resounded during the homily, but one in particular drew attention: "Today a saint is buried." His holiness was that of daily life, in a life offered fully to the poor, to the young. He lived an "ordinary" holiness, as defined among Salesians. "If in his life he was a great apostle, in his death he was even more so", it has been said. In this way the city of Pozoblanco gave a last goodbye to Fr Antonio César Fernández.

                                                                    "Today we remember Mgr Luigi Versiglia and Fr Callisto Caravario, missionaries and martyrs," observed Fr Teodoro Castillejo, Director of the Salesians of Pozoblanco. "We will never forget Father Antonio Cesar, his incomparable witness of humanity, his dedication, his simplicity, his Salesian disposition, his missionary spirit of predilection for the last to whom Jesus Christ announced and his intimate devotion to the Virgin under the intimate title of Auxiliary. May the good Lord grant that this blood shed on African soil be the seed of new Christians, faithful followers of Jesus Christ."

                                                                    At the end of the Eucharist, the remains of Fr Antonio César Fernández were carried on the shoulders of his Salesian confreres to the Salesian pantheon in the cemetery of Our Lady of Sorrows in Pozoblanco, the place where he was born 72 years ago.

                                                                    On the web there is a video on the Salesian's funeral: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfl8RoOFWAI 

                                                                    • Spagna
                                                                    • Antonio César Fernández
                                                                    • Decessi
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                      ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana