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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Italy - Spirituality Days of SF, the Rector Major: "Witness with our lives, believe in holiness in everyday life and demonstrate it"

1 month 1 week ago

(ANS - Turin) - The 2019 Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family (GSFS) officially opened on the afternoon of Thursday, 10 January. Participants experienced their first moment of reflection in the grand theater of Valdocco, listening to the words of the Father and the center of unity of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who deepened and presented the message of the Strenna 2019: "'So that my joy be in you' (Jn 15,11). Holiness for you too."

Fr Enrico Stasi, Provincial of the Salesians of Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta and Lithuania, gave a warm welcome to the participants from all over the world, while Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, underscored: "This experience allows us to better understand what the Spirit has done with Don Bosco and continues to renew in our groups and in each of us."

Fr Á.F. Artime then spoke of the reasons that led him to choose the theme of the Strenna: through the phrases of Pope Francis, through the witness of life of all the Saints of the Salesian Family, through the witness of Mary, through Jesus and through the "Indicators of holiness."

"To believe, to hope and to love. These are the teachings of Mary, woman of the here I am ... Sainthood is reserved for everyone, not just a few! It is a goal that is reached in an instant, but only if there is a progressive path to travel upon, easy and pleasant, but it must be robust or else it will fall into the superficial!"

The Rector Major then invited everyone to seek holiness in daily life and to bear witness of Holiness for others, for the young: "There is no need for consecrated people to tell young people what to do with their lives, to tell them what's good and what's not. It is necessary that, looking into our eyes, they can say: it's true, what they say is true! We must see happiness, joy, so that they can believe what we tell them, what we talk to them about. This is for all of us. Bear witness with our lives, believe in holiness in everyday life, and demonstrate it."

He concluded his speech by speaking of the "Indices of Holiness", to make it clear that being Saints is possible for everyone:

- live everyday life as a meeting place;
- be people and communities of prayer;
- develop the fruits of the Holy Spirit;
- practice virtue;
- witness the communion;
- understand that everyone's life is a mission;
- look for simplicity in the Gospel;
- grow in small gestures.

The photos of the Days are available on ANSFlickr.

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

For updates, please visit the Facebook page of ANS, which hosts the live broadcast of the main moments.

  • Italia
  • ICP
  • Valdocco
  • Rettor Maggiore
  • Santità
  • Strenna 2019
  • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
  • Famiglia Salesiana
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

    1 month 1 week ago
    Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

    (ANS - Al Fidar) - "A man so pure, sweet, profound as Monsignor Armando is something that cannot be found". With these words, a friend of Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, Salesian bishop emeritus of the Latins in Syria, presented his condolences in learning the news of the Monsignor's death. Bishop Bortolaso concluded his earthly journey on January 8, at the age of 92.

    A journey that had begun in Castagnero, province of Vicenza, in 1926, and which had embraced the lands of the Middle East since the years of Salesian formation. After 70 years spent in the region, his pilgrimage ended in Lebanon, in the Salesian community, where he chose to settle at the end of his decennial episcopal service (from 1992 to 2002) as an apostolic vicar of Aleppo.

    Having arrived in the Middle East in 1949 as a cleric, he began his service in Istanbul, Turkey. Ordained a priest in Jerusalem in 1953, he exercised his Salesian mission in various houses in the Holy Land, but above all in Aleppo, where he was repeatedly director and where he was nominated as a bishop.

    He was also strongly tied to the Focolarini movement, indeed, as bishop, he played a role of animation among the bishops who were friends of the movement, both at local, regional, international and also ecumenical levels (with Orthodox and Protestant bishops), in full light of his Salesian identity, which became him to affirm, making himself esteemed and loved by all for his humility, meekness, goodness, simplicity, delicacy and profound spirituality.

    As a bishop in Syria, he also won the friendship of Muslim religious leaders, with whom he fostered and maintained a relationship. The mourning for his loss is widespread.

    • Libano
    • MOR
    • Decessi
    • Vescovi
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Liberia - A vocational project in the Salesian style

      1 month 1 week ago
      Liberia - A vocational project in the Salesian style

      (ANS - Monrovia) – After 15 years of civil war, and then hit by an epidemic of Ebola that claimed thousands of victims, has left Liberia an extremely poor country. The data are merciless: 63.8% of Liberians live below the poverty line; life expectancy is only 63.3 years; a quarter of the population (about 4.6 million) has no access to drinking water and only 16.9% have adequate health services. Just over half of the inhabitants are illiterate. To foster a positive reaction in the face of many and such problems, the Salesians focus on Vocational Training.

      Back in 1991, in the middle of the civil war, the Salesians built the "Don Bosco Technical High School" in Monrovia, the capital. It is a school that provides primary, middle and high school education and is currently considered one of the best high schools in the city and in all of Liberia.

      Now the Sons of Don Bosco in Liberia want to start a new department of vocational training for electrotechnicians. A course that is open in the afternoon to high school students to offer an integration to their educational path; and in the morning to young workers to help them obtain a certification of their skills and help implement their capacities according to the demands of the world of work.

      The initiative includes the renovation of an existing space in the school and its transformation into a workshop, and to open it annually to 90 high school students and 30 uncertified electricians.

      The project aims to respond to the needs of the labor market while at the same time aligning itself with the national policy on technical and vocational training. The aim is to position the proposed activities as a model for the future development of its axis of intervention.

      For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

      • Liberia
      • Formazione Professionale
      • AFW
      • Missioni Don Bosco
      • Missioni
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG - Salesian Family on the road to holiness: Spirituality Days 2019

        1 month 1 week ago
        RMG - Salesian Family on the road to holiness: Spirituality Days 2019

        (ANS - Rome) - The XXXVII Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family take place from tomorrow, Thursday 10 January, to Sunday 13, at Turin-Valdocco, an event that every year attracts hundreds of people from all over the world and  gives them a chance to grow in awareness of belonging to the special spiritual and apostolic family born with St. John Bosco.

        As is tradition, the Days are an opportunity for a community-wide reflection on the Rector Major's Strenna. This year, continuing along the guideline traced by Pope Francis with his "Gaudete et Exsultate", Fr Ángel Fernández Artime shall offer the opportunity to deepen the reflection on holiness lived and experienced every day, well expressed by the motto: "Holiness for you, too."

        Certainly, we cannot help but take full advantage of the possibilities offered by the celebration of the Days in the city of Turin itself. "We shall live these days in the shadow of Mary Help of Christians and from the sanctuary of Valdocco, from which devotion to the Virgin Help of Christians spread throughout the world," said Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family.

        Fr Joan Lluís Playa, central assistant of the Don Bosco Volunteers, both male and female sections, as well as being the organizer of the Days, also underlines the importance of the pilgrimage of holiness at Valdocco: "a path to the discovery of holiness in the Salesian Family, to be accomplished on the places of the saints originating in that land."

        Across the various conferences, talks shall start from the subject of holiness to the school of Don Bosco, touching upon the typically Salesian connotation of holiness, to arrive at identifying the possibilities that each member of the Salesian Family has to be holy in their own daily life, simply by spending one's self in one's own mission.

        The progress made by the Church and the SF in 2018 will also be highlighted via the sharing of the experiences of young people and religious who participated in the Youth Pre-Synod of March 2018; and thanks to several testimonies and good practices specially selected on the theme of youth accompaniment - an accompaniment oriented to holiness.

        Accompanying the talks, as always, shall be the festive climate and Salesian joy, and moments of shared spirituality, with the Days ending Sunday with the concluding Mass and the summary intervention of the Rector Major.

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

        For updates, please visit the Facebook page of ANS, which will host the live broadcast of the main moments as below:

        January 10th
        4:30 pm - Welcome
        17:45 - Strenna presentation

        11 January
        09:00 - Conference
        10:30 - Experience

        12 January
        09:00 - Conference
        15:30 - Round Table
        8:45 pm - Feast of Holiness

        January 13th
        09:30 - Mass
        11:00 - Final meeting

        All times are expressed in local time (UTC+1)

        • RMG
        • Italia
        • Famiglia Salesiana
        • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Malta – People are more important

          1 month 1 week ago
          Malta – People are more important

          (ANS – Sliema) – The Salesians were among 46 groups and NGOs urging Europe’s governments to take action in favour of the migrants stranded on two boats between Malta and Sicily as bad weather caused ferry companies to cancel passenger services in the Mediterranean:

          We are appalled beyond words that, after 18 days of negotiations, 49 men, women and children remain stuck on a boat within sight of the Maltese shore.

          In spite of countless calls for solidarity, European Member States have not managed to find a diplomatic solution to the current impasse.

          This is nothing short of tragic and shameful. It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity – as a people and a union of states that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity.

          We acknowledge the complex issues this situation raises, and agree that it is a European challenge requiring a European solution. However, this cannot be an excuse to abdicate our own responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to save lives at any cost. The duty to save lives is not only a legal but also a moral imperative which can never be subjected to political conditions, such as the availability of concrete offers of relocation or the fear of creating a precedent.

          At this point, the question we must answer is simple: what is more important, scoring political points, or saving lives?

          For us, the undersigned organisations, there can be only one answer: people are more important.

          Today we are here to take a stand for life and dignity. We call on Malta to prioritize life and open its doors today.

          • Malta
          • MLT
          • Migranti
          • ONG
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Spain - "Your task: to change the world": Salesians encourage youth to discover their vocation to changing the world

            1 month 1 week ago

            (ANS - Madrid) - In this month that ends with the celebration of the feast of Don Bosco, the Salesians of Spain have launched a campaign to motivate and inspire children, adolescents and young people to recognize their vocation: "Your task: to change the world."

            "In the face of the unjust realities that surround us (poverty, corruption, war, death, exploitation, selfishness ...) our eyes often and, above all our hearts, feel compassion. Like Jesus of Nazareth we feel called to take up the challenge of 'changing the world' starting from our faith, from what God asks us to be and to live in our daily lives. God is counting on us to make His Kingdom a reality! Our qualities and talents are a good tool in this task, provided we make them available to others, as Don Bosco did with the poorest youth in Turin," the promoters of the Salesian campaign said.

            The general objective of the campaign is to propose a focus of faith on one's own life, which can help to discover the deepest essence of oneself and reveal the vocational proposal that God has for each one of us: a mission that fills life with meaning and reasons to build a better world.

            For this reason a promotional video was released in which the vocation "speaks" and asks to be discovered. It presents itself as the engine to fight injustice and promote a more human and at the same time a world "more of God."

            To make this campaign alive, various resources have been set up, which are already available to educators, animators, religious, catechists and other pastoral agents of Salesian houses, so that they can use them in class, in youth centers, in parishes, in social platforms and related.

            The materials for the 2019 vocational campaign are available at www.sersalesiano.com, distributed according to the various users. In this way, vocational culture can be extended to all Salesian environments.

            • SSM
            • Vocazioni
            • Spagna
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Italy - New academic courses of Salesian Pontifical University in Soverato: university formation of educators

              1 month 1 week ago
              Italy - New academic courses of Salesian Pontifical University in Soverato: university formation of educators

              (ANS - Soverato) - The University “Don Giorgio Pratesi” of Soverato, in the province of Catanzaro, Calabria, affiliated to the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the "Pontifical Salesian University" (UPS) of Rome, inaugurated its first Academic Year on Friday 21 December.

              by Veronica Petrocchi

              Present at the official ceremony were, among others: Fr Angelo Santorsola, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Southern Italy (IME), and the Director of the Institute, Prof. Rosa Fiore. The prolusion was entrusted to the Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Fr Mario Oscar Llanos, while the Rector Magnifico of the UPS, Fr Mauro Mantovani, solemnly inaugurated the academic year.

              "For a long time we have pursued the dream of activating in Calabria a place of formation for education professionals so that, starting too from the long and significant experience of the Salesians in Soverato, it may constitute a driving force for cultural change oriented to the centrality of the person, to the inclusion and the promotion of social justice," explained Prof. Fiore.

              The Rector Magnificus of the UPS and the Dean of the FSE, for their part, confirmed the importance of this center, "University of Educators", as a contribution of the Salesian Pontifical University for university formation within a territory that is rich in history, culture and hopes.

              The institute "Don Giorgio Pratesi" was born from an intuition of the Centro Reggino di Solidarietà, of the Calabrese Center of Solidarity and of the Istituto Universitario Progetto Uomo of Montefiascone (Viterbo). It is dedicated to the memory of Fr Pratesi (1920-2000) a Salesian priest who was founder of the "Justice and Peace" Commission in the Diocese of Locri-Gerace, and who in a territory marked by the presence of the 'Ndrangheta, knew how to promote comprehensive and integral human formation of the young and of the whole population in favor of the common good. To commemorate him, the University Institute has adopted the olive tree as its symbol.

              For further information, please visit: www.istitutouniversitariopratesi.it/

              {gallery}IME - UPS centro Soverato{/gallery}

              • Italia
              • IME
              • UPS
              • IUS
              • Università
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Chile - It's never too late to be a saint

                1 month 1 week ago
                Chile - It's never too late to be a saint

                (ANS - Santiago) - Over 120 children, adolescents and young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of the "Camilo Ortuzar Montt" Salesian Lyceum in Santiago participated in a camp-retreat at the Las Peñas house on 19-21 December to reflect on the theme of the Rector Major's 2019 Strenna: "Holiness for you, too."

                This experience was necessary to consolidate the path of integration and identity of the SYM of the "Camilo Ortuzar Montt" Lyceum, which was formed in 2014 by gathering members of various groups: the "Missionary Childhood", the "Domenico Savio" clubs, the "Meeting of the Children in the Spirit", the "Salesian Apostolic Communities" and recently "The Small Children of Valdocco."

                The children and young people were accompanied by adults who also experienced this oratory space of formation and recreation wherein to share a few days of youthful joy, Christian life, friendship, fresh air, recreation and sanctity.

                During the work days, the participants were invited to look at the three fundamental sacraments to live holiness, that is: Baptism, to be "new men and women"; Reconciliation, to be aware that "God is with me in the struggle"; and the Eucharist, "Bread broken and shared". Moreover, on the last day, the call to be a missionary of holiness was developed: "For the world, but not of the world".

                Various recreational activities took place, such as: sports, artistic and cultural workshops, walks ... accompanied by moments of prayer and meditation, following the example of Domenico Savio, who discovered at the Oratory of Valdocco that "here we make holiness consist in being very happy and doing our duty well."

                At the closing Eucharist of the camp, a boy from the Missionary Childhood, was much moved emotionally, thanked everyone for the days experienced together and said to his friends: "it's never too late to be holy ...".

                • Cile
                • CIL
                • Strenna 2019
                • Ragazzi
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Spain - European Seminar for Salesian Brothers

                  1 month 1 week ago
                  Spain - European Seminar for Salesian Brothers

                  (ANS - Barcelona) - Thirty-eight Salesians Coadjutors of the two Salesian regions of Europe - Mediterranean and Central and Northern Europe - will gather from 17 to 21 January at the Martí Codolar center in Barcelona, Spain, to participate in the European seminar dedicated to deepening the figure of the Salesian Coadjutor.

                  The purpose of the gathering is to reflect on today's Salesian Brotherhood, starting from the perspective of the Magisterium of the Church, of the Salesian Congregation and of the Congregation for Institutes of Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and present the Salesian Lay figure in a modern way, discussing their roles, functions and tasks, challenges and opportunities.

                  Guiding the meeting's activities is Fr Pascual Chávez, who will introduce several specific themes through conferences, which will be followed by sessions for personal reflection and discussion in individual groups and with the assembly.

                  Each of the three work days will be devoted to discussing a specific issue: first the identity, then the mission, and finally the formation and profile of the Salesian Coadjutor. Finally, on the last day, a review of what is produced and the identification of prospects will take place.

                  "The shared reflection, in the form of a seminar, starting from one's own personal experience is fundamental," explained the organizer of the meeting, Fr Francisco Santos, member of the Dicastery for Formation. "For this reason, we asked each participant to bring with him materials developed in their respective provinces, both of vocational proposals, and of the apostolic and work experiences they've done. It will serve to much enrich our meeting, and they will be good practices to share in the reflection on the figure of the Salesian lay person today."

                  At the seminar, all the provinces of Europe will be represented, at least with one participant. In addition, the choice of the location of the seminar is not accidental: the Salesian center of Martì Codolar, in fact, hosts, in addition to the "Don Bosco" Center for Religious Studies, the new "Zatti Community" for the Specific Formation of Salesian Brothers of Europe.

                  • Spagna
                  • Salesiani Coadiutori
                  • Europe
                  • Europa Centro Nord
                  • Mediterranea
                  • Pascual Chávez
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Malta - Salesians in Malta supporting NGO migrant rescue ships

                    1 month 1 week ago
                    Malta - Salesians in Malta supporting NGO migrant rescue ships

                    (ANS - Sliema) - "For several days now, 49 people saved in the Mediterranean Sea have been on board two NGO ships, looking for a safe haven to land. I address a heartfelt appeal to the European leaders to demonstrate their solidarity with these people." With these words Pope Francis in the Angelus on Sunday 6 January underscored the need to be welcoming towards migrants. The Salesians of Malta, as much as they can, are playing their part.

                    Since the week before Christmas, 49 migrants have been stranded on two rescue ships owned by NGOs operating in the central Mediterranean. The ships are unable to berth in any port because of the different interpretation that EU governments give to the Law of the Sea on helping migrants in distress and for the political diffidences within the EU.

                    Last Friday, January 4, two boats sailed from Malta to replenish supplies to the two ships carrying migrants and to ferry several German MPs, members of the European Parliament, a church representative and a fresh crew.

                    Unable to help the migrants directly, the Salesians in Malta, however, offered to host the 16 exhausted mostly German crew members, sailors who had spent almost four weeks on sea rescue missions.

                    "Our prayers accompany those still on board as we ask for humanitarian action in favor of those who risked all to save their lives and families by escaping from their home countries and Libya," said the Salesians of Malta.

                    • MLT
                    • Malta
                    • ONG
                    • Migranti
                    • Rifugiati
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      RMG - 8 January 2019: 50th anniversary of martyrdom of Blessed Fr Titus Zeman, SDB

                      1 month 1 week ago
                      RMG - 8 January 2019: 50th anniversary of martyrdom of Blessed Fr Titus Zeman, SDB

                      (ANS - Rome) - The liturgical memorial of the Salesian blessed Fr Titus Zeman coincides this year with the 50th anniversary of his ascent to Heaven, which took place in his town of birth, Vajnory, Slovakia, on 8 January 1969. On that day a long Calvary ended, one that began in April 1951, when he was arrested, then tried, transferred from one prison to another until March 1964; then followed 5 years of life in conditional freedom, with relentless harassment, persistent and harsh persecution and health issues due to imprisonment.

                      Fr Zeman had fought against death for 18 long years: and in the end he surrendered only to his Lord. The nurse who assisted would say she: "had never seen a man fight so much against death."

                      The funeral on the following 11 January was a triumph of faith and affection. Several dozen priests concelebrated, challenging the regime's prohibitions. Some of the boys whom he had helped become priests rushed to participate in the event. Even the regime's spies, present in the crowd, reported in their confidential reports that he had been defined "martyr".

                      Fr Andrej Dermek, then Provincial of the Salesians in Slovakia, could henceforth pronounce these words with good reason: "We meet in the cemetery ... like the first Christians in the catacombs. Perhaps it is thus for us religious. Life has dispersed us, but death brings us together [...] In this place today begins to rest the fighter who fought to the end, the priest who finished celebrating the Mass of his life. This is a departure [...]. His life was always and everywhere a priestly life."

                      Fr Zeman would accompany young Salesians in Turin to complete their studies in Theology and to be ordained as priests: he did not make them fugitives, but responsible people, able to form themselves at best for the service of the people of God. The most true and fullest judgment on life and the sacrifice of Fr Zeman comes from those who knew him; of him, they said: "He was a saint and he died a martyr." On 30 September 2017, in fact, he was beatified as a martyr in Bratislava.

                      Special celebrations will be held at the Provincial House in Bratislava and in the birthplace of Vajnory, where the mortal remains are kept in an urn. A solemn concelebration will be held in Rome, presided by the Rector Major, at the Basilica del Sacro Cuore.

                      • RMG
                      • Titus Zeman
                      • Slovacchia
                      • SLK
                      • Santità Salesiana
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        India – 8th Congress of Salesian Brothers of South Asia: Identity, Visibility, and Credibility

                        1 month 1 week ago
                        India – 8th Congress of Salesian Brothers of South Asia: Identity, Visibility, and Credibility

                        (ANS – Bangalore) – The 8th Congress of the Salesian Brothers of South Asia held at Don Bosco Skill Mission, Bangalore, from 30 December 2018 to 3 January 2019 elected Br Jose Puthenpurackel of Calcutta province as the new national delegate for Salesian Brothers in South Asia region comprising of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.

                        Br Puthenpurackel succeeds Br Biju Joseph Poonamkavil of Dimapur province as delegate.

                        The theme of the 5-day Congress was: “Salesian, be a Faithful Witness”. A total of 130 Salesians participated in the congress, including 98 Brothers and 32 priests. 

                        After serving as Vice-Principal and Principal of prestigious educational institutions of Calcutta province at Park Circus and Liluah, Br Puthenpurackel is currently on an education mission as Principal of the first co-education Secondary School in Calcutta province among the Santal tribals of Murshidabad district at Azimganj. 

                        Br Puthenpurackel, 47, who holds three Masters Degrees in Sociology & Social Anthropology; Psychology, and Management - besides two post-graduate diplomas in Human Resource Management, and School Leadership and Management - believes in providing quality education opportunities for tribal children.

                        In the past two and half years, Br Puthenpurackel, with the help of Don Bosco Alumni of earlier institutions where he served, and with the help of friends and well-wishers, was able to set up a library with a large collection of academic books in English and Bengali, a computer lab with 30 computers, a 8,500 sq. ft. assembly hall area, and bring about a total transformation in the school infrastructure and academic progress. 

                        Br Puthenpurackal does not hesitate to say, “The school that used to have failures every year in the Board Examinations has for the past two years not only had 100% of the students passing the boards, even produced a state topper from the ST category - Miss Roshni Hasda from this school. To impart skill training to senior girls along with academics, a tailoring unit with 30 machines too has been set up.”

                        Former Dean of Studies at Don Bosco Vidyaniketan Kalyani and Salesian College Sonada, Br Puthenpurackel believes that, “given the facilities and training, Santal tribal children can compete with their peers in any other prestigious English medium schools.”

                        Speaking about his plans for the Salesians Brothers of the region for the next five years, Br Puthenpurackel says that a concerted effort would be made, “to promote the vocation of the Salesian brother and make it known among priests and the faithful besides helping brothers to deepen their Identity, Visibility, and Credibility.”

                        Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore, Salesian Bishop George Rajendran of Thukalay, General Councillor for Formation Fr Ivo Coelho, Economer General from Rome Br Jean Paul Muller, and Regional Councillor for South Asia Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, along with all 12 Salesian provincials of the region, graced the 8th Brothers Congress with their presence at various moments.

                        The regional superior Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga delivered the Presidential Address while Economer General Br Jean Paul Muller gave the key note address stressing “the identity of the Salesian Brother as an apostle of Christ capable of proposing relevant solutions to the various challenges faced by the youth of South Asia.” 

                        The reflections during the Congress were facilitated by the inputs of four resource persons,  including Salesian Scripture Scholar Br Abraham M. Antony who dwelt on the theme of Salesian Brothers as personal witnesses of the Lord from a biblical perspective. 

                        Formation Councillor Fr Ivo Coelho considered the Post-novitiate Formation of the Salesian Brother, while Psychologist Fr Edison Fernandez reflected on how to be a witness, drawing inspiration from the New Testament, the life of Don Bosco, and the Salesian tradition. 

                        Administrator of Bosco Boys Home Borivli Fr Adolf Furtado elaborated on how to be a witness to the youth of our times and challenged each participant to come up with three innovative responses to the concerns of the young. 

                        The zonal meetings, the province-wide interactions, the religious-profession-knowledge sharing, and the various group discussions offered all the participants ample opportunities for airing their views and contributing their share to enrich the Congress.

                        The participants had the chance of listening to a panel of four speakers: the parents of a Salesian Brother, a Salesian Cooperator and two married men who were formerly Salesian Brothers. 

                        There was also an open question-and-answer session with Fr Ivo Coelho, Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Br Jean Paul Muller and Fr Silvio Roggia, a member of the Formation Department in Rome.

                        Brother Puthenpurackel says, “The entire Congress proceedings were characterized by a very serene, joyful and fraternal atmosphere. A good mix of both senior and junior confreres contributed to the richness of the Congress.”

                        The Brothers Congress concluded with a statement which listed action plans for three areas concerning Identity, Visibility, and Credibility of vocation to the Brotherhood.

                        Some of the plans include deepening Salesian Brother’s spiritual testimony; promotion of Brother’s vocation; and providing life sketches of famous Brothers in local languages in the coming four years.

                        • India
                        • Salesiani Coadiutori
                        • Asia Sud
                        • INK
                        • Ivo Coelho
                        • Jean Paul Muller
                        • Maria Arokiam Kanaga
                        • Formazione
                        • Economia
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Ghana - Preventive System as answer to "child trafficking"

                          1 month 2 weeks ago

                          (ANS - Accra) - Don Bosco's preventive system aims to eliminate risks at its root through a series of targeted actions. But, when needed, Salesian missionaries also intervene later, if there is someone that requires help.

                          This is what can be clearly seen in Ghana where the "Child Protection Centre" was born, a centre dedicated to minors police saved from the slave trade. It is a project created to offer spaces for welcoming youngsters from the outskirts of the capital Accra, a place that also welcomes victims of trafficking.

                          Fr Silvio Roggia, 20 years of mission in Ghana, is among the promoters of this project and explains: "The Child Protection Centre is a home for those who find themselves - overnight - without chains, but with terrible internal wounds to heal and a life to be revived after months and years of hell."


                          The phenomenon of child slavery is unfortunately widespread in that African region. "Already twenty years ago, when I traveled by land between Nigeria and Ghana, passing through Benin and Togo," recalls Don Silvio Roggia, "at the borders you could see the posters of organizations that warned against the trafficking of children, sold for years and used in cocoa plantations as labor at zero cost from unscrupulous bosses."

                          Child trafficking later spread to the fishing and herding sectors and then opened up to foreign criminal circuits.


                          Thus was born the Child Protection Centre, which now stands on a land donated by Inna Marian Patt, the winner of Miss Ghana 2004. The young woman wanted a structure to be created, one that was dedicated to the most disadvantaged young people and, on meeting the Salesians of Don Bosco, her dream came true.

                          A center like this is essential for the recovery of young people. When the police are able to save these children, it is very important to insert them as soon as possible in a path of psychological and social recovery.


                          At the Child Protection Centre, children learn to read and write, then receive a proper school education and, finally, they are helped in entering the world of work.

                          "You see the miracles," adds Fr Silvio. "Children who had lost their use of the word due to the trauma subjected to immediately resume to communicate and those who were sentenced to years of total isolation resume socializing."

                          • Ghana
                          • Sistema Preventivo
                          • Tratta
                            Jesus Jurado

                            Spain - Salesian Martí-Codolar residence: two years welcoming refugees and migrants

                            1 month 2 weeks ago
                            Spain - Salesian Martí-Codolar residence: two years welcoming refugees and migrants

                            (ANS - Barcelona) - About one million acknowledged refugees live in the European Union. They represent 7% of the global total and represent 0.2% of the population of the 28 member countries of the EU. According to data from the Immigrant, Emigrants and Refugees Service of the Barcelona Municipal Council (SAIER), in 2017, the Catalan capital welcomed 4,405 refugees. Many of them have lived or still live in spaces granted by the Church. The "Martí-Codolar" Salesian Residence is one of those sites where refugees and migrants have been welcomed as places of first arrival for the last two years.

                            The great migration crisis of 2016 summoned the Church to provide buildings and spaces of religious communities, even though these places were not entirely adequate to host actions and programs.


                            The Salesian Congregation considered it appropriate to offer the "Martí-Codolar" residence to welcome the refugees who arrived in the city. Specifically, two floors of the residence were ceded, where young and whole families live and are welcomed.

                            "At first, the agreement was signed with the travel agency Snow Travel and, subsequently, with the Red Cross," explained Joan Codina, SDB, superior of the Martí-Codolar community.

                            In addition to ceding the spaces mentioned, the Salesian Congregation also made some improvements, necessary for well hosting these people, such as the installation of a laundrette.

                            In addition to the spaces, the Salesians - together with volunteers - make their time available. Fr Codina states that these works are done without any act of heroism, but are simply part of being Salesians. "As Salesians," he said,  "we are called to work with young people and children. We could not refuse; on the contrary, we consider it absolutely necessary."

                            Most of the people who arrive at the Martí-Codolar residence are children with their families. Then, of course, there are also young people who arrive alone. The people who live there change continuously because, in fact, it is an emergency center. It can be called "center of first arrival", in the sense that the refugees, from here, are then moved to other places, depending on the different needs of people.

                            • Spagna
                            • Rifugiati
                            • Migranti
                              Jesus Jurado

                              Papua New Guinea - Christmas with Manus refugees: "The People who walk in darkness shall see a great Light"

                              1 month 2 weeks ago

                              (ANS - Port Moresby) - In the Urbi et Orbi message of this Christmas, Pope Francis invited us to stay by the side of refugees. A message that was received by the Salesians in Papua New Guinea, who spent Christmas with the Manus refugees.

                              For these refugees, it is the sixth Christmas spent far from home, in truly precarious social and health conditions.

                              In April 2016, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea declared the detention center for asylum seekers that the Australian government had established on the island of Manus as illegal and unconstitutional, following an agreement with the government of Papua New Guinea. Now, still, circa 400 refugees are waiting to be resettled. A truly dramatic situation, which seems very far from being resolved and which is leading to various social and moral problems and a series of human rights violations.


                              To take stock of the condition of Manus is Fr Ambrose Pereira, SDB, Secretary of the Communication and Youth Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.


                              "On 15 December 2017 I met the first two refugees who had been taken away from the Isle of Manus and sent to the Bomana penitentiary," explained Fr Ambros Pereira. "Last year was characterized by constant interaction with refugee homes. Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Syria and many other countries. Fortunately, some have been resettled, but most of them are still in Papua New Guinea," he added.


                              The round table, entitled "Manus Refuges" and dedicated precisely to the refugees of Manus, gathered the government, the Church, students, refugees and Papuan citizens in an open discussion in November 2018. Monsignor Bernard Unaballi, bishop of Bougainville, strongly committed himself and suggested the Christmas period as the deadline for finding a definitive solution. But despite this, no agreement was reached and the refugees had to spend their sixth Christmas in these terrible conditions.

                              "I have waited with hope, but the promised meetings with the Prime Minister and the Australian High Commissioner have never materialized,"  explained Fr Ambrose Pereira again. "The offices are now closed and everyone has returned home for the holidays, while beyond 400 refugees struggle to gain access to essential health and services."

                              Finally, Fr Ambrose adds: "We take strength from the words of the Scriptures: The people who walk in darkness shall see a great light."

                              • Papua Nuova Guinea
                              • Rifugiati
                                Jesus Jurado

                                Italy - Sending materials to Palabek to build small workshops

                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                Italy - Sending materials to Palabek to build small workshops

                                (ANS - Fossano) - Sometimes, in the mission places, a technical repair can be stalled for a long time due to the lack of a specific tool or a spare part. Or, the intervention that an expert could carry out without difficulty becomes an enigma for those who do not have even the most basic knowledge. For this reason, it is undoubtedly very important to have adequate equipment, but what really makes the difference is professional training.

                                This premise is used to describe what is happening in recent weeks in a Piedmontese town, Fossano, where a missionary, Giacomo Comino, is setting up a container that will arrive in Palabek in Uganda in February.

                                This container will arrive at the heart of what is one of the largest refugee camps on the planet. This container won't be carrying "ordinary" relief products, such as food or medicine, but rather useful materials towards setting up a technical school.

                                Being sent to Palabek are boxes of metal, computers, mixers, shovels, spades and even a forklift that will be used to lift loads. To help Giacomo Comino in this expedition is Flavio Filippi, a former businessman in the field of tools and hardware sales, who after leaving his business to his children, is now dedicated to this initiative to help the missionaries. Flavio Filippi has decided to make available as much material as possible, to be sent to the Palabek camp.

                                What will all this be for? The idea of Giacomo Comino, or Jim as many call him, is to set up small workshops in South Sudan, so that refugees can learn manual work and a trade.


                                Someone, at this point, might ask: with all the urgencies that a refugee camp has, is it really necessary to worry about installing a small workshop?

                                The answer is complex, but Jim makes it simple, remembering the well-known principle that inspires cooperation: "better to teach to fish than to give a fish."

                                In the camp of Palabek there are, in fact, many young people and it is necessary that they receive instruction and that they learn vocational skills, even basic ones, to build a possible future.

                                It is an important step towards rebuilding "normality", a normality that must go beyond the simple delivery of sacks of rice or powdered milk. It is an idea born with the aim of promoting the dignity of living and doing community.


                                Source: Don Bosco Missions.

                                • Italia
                                • Palabek
                                  Jesus Jurado

                                  Italy - IME Communication: a wholly Salesian startup

                                  1 month 2 weeks ago
                                  Italy - IME Communication: a wholly Salesian startup

                                  (ANS - Naples) - IME Comunicazione is the new startup sponsored by the Salesian General Administration and strongly desired by the Rector Major. The startup will provide eleven young people the chance to enter the world of work through the business of Video Productions.

                                  The first test bench of this new startup was the production of the 2019 Strenna video presentation, whose theme is: "Holiness for you too." A very current theme that contains within itself a profound desire for happiness and that calls on everyone to live their lives to the full.

                                  The IME Communication Team thus chose to narrate the holiness of everyday life, that holiness hidden in the everyday lives of many people. The story tells of people who live the Gospel simply through their daily gestures or in their family dynamics.

                                  IME Comunicazione is the face of the Social Communications of the Southern Italy Province and is composed of a group of young experts in the field of communications, videomaker, live streaming and graphics. There are sound engineers, editors, graphic designers, cameramen, engineers and directors.

                                  Fr Pierluigi Lanotte, delegate of the IME Social Communications, wanted to bet on this group of young people and that's how IME Comunicazione was born. It now has 11 members and aims to grow. During the course of the year, this startup, which offers its services to the entire Salesian Congregation, will also collaborate with ANS.

                                  IME Comunicazione, in sum, provides its capabilities and original solutions to the Congregation, a now added value, especially if enhanced in their interconnection and network, services such as:


                                  ● The production of content intended for Social Networks, for the young people on the network, with serious experimentation and a gradual implementation of new languages and codes of communication at the service of the evangelization of young people.

                                  ● The rethinking of the communicative model, which from a unidirectional module of information and content flow requires an evolution into a circular sense or direction, to foster, through social platforms, the active, equal and democratic interchange of the people involved.


                                  ● The serious experimentation and the gradual implementation of new languages and new communication codes of the network at the service of youth evangelization.

                                  "This was the extra quid that struck the Rector Major and the Salesian General Administration, and that made IME Comunicazione a coherent choice for betting on young people and their professional skills," IME Communication wrote in a note.

                                  • Italia
                                  • IME
                                  • Comunicazione Sociale
                                  • Lavoro
                                  • Giovani
                                    Jesus Jurado

                                    India - Young Salesians participate in Christmas Carol Contest

                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                    India - Young Salesians participate in Christmas Carol Contest

                                    (ANS - Darjeeling) - Several Salesian youth groups from the Darjeeling Hills took part in the popular "Jingle Bells" Christmas Carol Competition, now in its third year.

                                    In addition to the group of the Salesian College Sonada, three groups of the "Salesian College Brother", diocesan and brothers of the Calcutta Province and the regions of North-East India also participated.

                                    "This year, in addition to the certificates and the cash prizes obtained thanks to the generous sponsorship of the 'Glenary Restaurant Darjeeling' and the 'Church Art Kolkata', we also offer trophies to the winners," said the director of Radio Salesian 90.8, Fr CM Paul.

                                    The radio program coordinator, RJ Samir Chhetri, explained: "The competition consists of the creation of an original Christmas song, in Nepali or English, by a team of ten or less members, including musicians."

                                    This year, however, there was also an important novelty compared to the past editions: the musical groups, as well as recording the songs for Radio Salesian, also performed for "Salesian Television."

                                    The recording was later delivered to other TV channels, such as Darjeeling TV, Hamro TV Kurseong and Mirik Television.

                                    The votes to decree the winners of this song contest began on the Facebook page of Radio Salesian last Saturday, December 22nd, and today, January 2nd, the name of the winners are to be announced.

                                    The outcome will be published on the aforesaid Facebook page and through the Radio Salesian App "Listern2MyRadio".

                                    To win will be the first three songs that have obtained the highest number of likes.

                                    Thus, we have but to tune in to the above channels and, while waiting to know the winner, listen to the songs these talented youngsters have made!

                                    • India
                                    • Natale
                                    • Musica
                                      Jesus Jurado

                                      Panama - President of Panama Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, announces agreement with Salesians guaranteeing educational formation for young

                                      1 month 2 weeks ago
                                      Panama - President of Panama Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, announces agreement with Salesians guaranteeing educational formation for young

                                      (ANS - Colón) - The community of Alto de Los Lagos, in Colón, shall soon have a new bilingual educational center. The educational formation given to children and young people attending this school will go hand in hand with the work of Salesians. This was announced by the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, who signed an agreement between the Salesians and the Ministry of Education (Meduca).

                                      President Varela said that this new center shall indeed represent social change and progress in bilingual education for the children of Colón, who will be properly followed by the Salesians.

                                      "We have always had in mind that this center become something more, that it become a community where everyone could share, spend their leisure time and, of course, study. This is the origin of the idea of ​​building this educational center, dedicated to all those children of Colón who aspire to education of quality, close by and accessible," said President Varela at the signing ceremony of the agreement.

                                      "Knowing the methodology of the Salesian brothers, we know that there is no better choice for this mission. The children and youth of Alto de Los Lagos now have a safe place to sleep, recreational areas for play and physical exercise, and we also want to leave them an educational center that allows them to have a good future," underscored President Varela.

                                      The President then concluded his message by ensuring that the St Giovanni Bosco Bilingual Technical and Vocational Training Center in Los Lagos, in the hands of the Salesians, will have an incredible development and from there great professionals will emerge, men and women who will make Colón and Panama a better place.

                                      Fr Edward de La O, representing the Salesian congregation, signed this agreement with Ricardo Pinzón, Minister of Education, and thanked the Panamanian nation for maintaining its trust in the quality of the teaching of the Salesians. He added that this agreement will undoubtedly contribute to the development of local youth.

                                      "It is an investment in education and a sign of openness, which will give the opportunity to many children and young people in the province of Colón, to have Salesian quality in technical-vocational education, in the style of Don Bosco," he said.

                                      • Panama
                                      • Accordo Educativo
                                      • Giovani
                                        Jesus Jurado

                                        RMG - Spirituality Days of Salesian Family fast approaching

                                        1 month 2 weeks ago
                                        RMG - Spirituality Days of Salesian Family fast approaching

                                        (ANS - Rome) - The Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family 2019 will be held in Turin-Valdocco from 10 to 13 January 2019 and will be centered, as always, on the theme of the Rector Major's Strenna. The guideline for this 37th edition will therefore be the motto: "So that my joy may be in you" (Jn 15,11) - Holiness for you too."

                                        The Salesian Family, with a vast representation of the 31 groups that comprise it, will meet at Valdocco, the mother house of the Salesian charism, the setting for these four days of reflection, prayer, sharing and encounter in the joyful style of Don Bosco.

                                        The 300 participants of the Spirituality Days come from all five continents. They will be welcomed, as per schedule, on Thursday 10 January, by Fr Enrico Stasi, Provincial of Piedmont and Valle D'Aosta. After the initial welcome greeting, Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, will conduct the presentation of the Days.


                                        The beginning of the Spirituality Days, with the welcome of Fr Enrico Stasi, can be followed LIVE on ANS's Facebook page, which will broadcast the event.

                                        During the four Days, ANS will also transmit other events on its Facebook page; these include: the presentation of the Strenna by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, on January 10, at 5.45 pm; the roundtable discussion entitled "Holiness in the contexts where our life takes place," on 12 January, 3.30 pm; and, of course, Sunday Mass presided by the Rector Major and the final meeting, scheduled for Sunday, January 13, starting at 11 am.

                                        In this way, even those who will not be physically present, shall be able to follow closely the development of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family.

                                        Registration, take note, are closed, but for any additional requests and clarifications please visit www.salesianfamilydays.com  or write to the email address: joanlluis.playa@salesians.cat

                                         

                                        {gallery}GFS 2019{/gallery}

                                        • RMG
                                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                                        • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                          Jesus Jurado
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Italy - Spirituality Days of SF, the Rector Major: "Witness with our lives, believe in holiness in everyday life and demonstrate it"

                                          1 month 1 week ago

                                          (ANS - Turin) - The 2019 Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family (GSFS) officially opened on the afternoon of Thursday, 10 January. Participants experienced their first moment of reflection in the grand theater of Valdocco, listening to the words of the Father and the center of unity of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who deepened and presented the message of the Strenna 2019: "'So that my joy be in you' (Jn 15,11). Holiness for you too."

                                          Fr Enrico Stasi, Provincial of the Salesians of Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta and Lithuania, gave a warm welcome to the participants from all over the world, while Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, underscored: "This experience allows us to better understand what the Spirit has done with Don Bosco and continues to renew in our groups and in each of us."

                                          Fr Á.F. Artime then spoke of the reasons that led him to choose the theme of the Strenna: through the phrases of Pope Francis, through the witness of life of all the Saints of the Salesian Family, through the witness of Mary, through Jesus and through the "Indicators of holiness."

                                          "To believe, to hope and to love. These are the teachings of Mary, woman of the here I am ... Sainthood is reserved for everyone, not just a few! It is a goal that is reached in an instant, but only if there is a progressive path to travel upon, easy and pleasant, but it must be robust or else it will fall into the superficial!"

                                          The Rector Major then invited everyone to seek holiness in daily life and to bear witness of Holiness for others, for the young: "There is no need for consecrated people to tell young people what to do with their lives, to tell them what's good and what's not. It is necessary that, looking into our eyes, they can say: it's true, what they say is true! We must see happiness, joy, so that they can believe what we tell them, what we talk to them about. This is for all of us. Bear witness with our lives, believe in holiness in everyday life, and demonstrate it."

                                          He concluded his speech by speaking of the "Indices of Holiness", to make it clear that being Saints is possible for everyone:

                                          - live everyday life as a meeting place;
                                          - be people and communities of prayer;
                                          - develop the fruits of the Holy Spirit;
                                          - practice virtue;
                                          - witness the communion;
                                          - understand that everyone's life is a mission;
                                          - look for simplicity in the Gospel;
                                          - grow in small gestures.

                                          The photos of the Days are available on ANSFlickr.

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

                                          For updates, please visit the Facebook page of ANS, which hosts the live broadcast of the main moments.

                                          • Italia
                                          • ICP
                                          • Valdocco
                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                          • Santità
                                          • Strenna 2019
                                          • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                          • Famiglia Salesiana
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

                                            1 month 1 week ago
                                            Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

                                            (ANS - Al Fidar) - "A man so pure, sweet, profound as Monsignor Armando is something that cannot be found". With these words, a friend of Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, Salesian bishop emeritus of the Latins in Syria, presented his condolences in learning the news of the Monsignor's death. Bishop Bortolaso concluded his earthly journey on January 8, at the age of 92.

                                            A journey that had begun in Castagnero, province of Vicenza, in 1926, and which had embraced the lands of the Middle East since the years of Salesian formation. After 70 years spent in the region, his pilgrimage ended in Lebanon, in the Salesian community, where he chose to settle at the end of his decennial episcopal service (from 1992 to 2002) as an apostolic vicar of Aleppo.

                                            Having arrived in the Middle East in 1949 as a cleric, he began his service in Istanbul, Turkey. Ordained a priest in Jerusalem in 1953, he exercised his Salesian mission in various houses in the Holy Land, but above all in Aleppo, where he was repeatedly director and where he was nominated as a bishop.

                                            He was also strongly tied to the Focolarini movement, indeed, as bishop, he played a role of animation among the bishops who were friends of the movement, both at local, regional, international and also ecumenical levels (with Orthodox and Protestant bishops), in full light of his Salesian identity, which became him to affirm, making himself esteemed and loved by all for his humility, meekness, goodness, simplicity, delicacy and profound spirituality.

                                            As a bishop in Syria, he also won the friendship of Muslim religious leaders, with whom he fostered and maintained a relationship. The mourning for his loss is widespread.

                                            • Libano
                                            • MOR
                                            • Decessi
                                            • Vescovi
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              Liberia - A vocational project in the Salesian style

                                              1 month 1 week ago
                                              Liberia - A vocational project in the Salesian style

                                              (ANS - Monrovia) – After 15 years of civil war, and then hit by an epidemic of Ebola that claimed thousands of victims, has left Liberia an extremely poor country. The data are merciless: 63.8% of Liberians live below the poverty line; life expectancy is only 63.3 years; a quarter of the population (about 4.6 million) has no access to drinking water and only 16.9% have adequate health services. Just over half of the inhabitants are illiterate. To foster a positive reaction in the face of many and such problems, the Salesians focus on Vocational Training.

                                              Back in 1991, in the middle of the civil war, the Salesians built the "Don Bosco Technical High School" in Monrovia, the capital. It is a school that provides primary, middle and high school education and is currently considered one of the best high schools in the city and in all of Liberia.

                                              Now the Sons of Don Bosco in Liberia want to start a new department of vocational training for electrotechnicians. A course that is open in the afternoon to high school students to offer an integration to their educational path; and in the morning to young workers to help them obtain a certification of their skills and help implement their capacities according to the demands of the world of work.

                                              The initiative includes the renovation of an existing space in the school and its transformation into a workshop, and to open it annually to 90 high school students and 30 uncertified electricians.

                                              The project aims to respond to the needs of the labor market while at the same time aligning itself with the national policy on technical and vocational training. The aim is to position the proposed activities as a model for the future development of its axis of intervention.

                                              For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                              • Liberia
                                              • Formazione Professionale
                                              • AFW
                                              • Missioni Don Bosco
                                              • Missioni
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                RMG - Salesian Family on the road to holiness: Spirituality Days 2019

                                                1 month 1 week ago
                                                RMG - Salesian Family on the road to holiness: Spirituality Days 2019

                                                (ANS - Rome) - The XXXVII Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family take place from tomorrow, Thursday 10 January, to Sunday 13, at Turin-Valdocco, an event that every year attracts hundreds of people from all over the world and  gives them a chance to grow in awareness of belonging to the special spiritual and apostolic family born with St. John Bosco.

                                                As is tradition, the Days are an opportunity for a community-wide reflection on the Rector Major's Strenna. This year, continuing along the guideline traced by Pope Francis with his "Gaudete et Exsultate", Fr Ángel Fernández Artime shall offer the opportunity to deepen the reflection on holiness lived and experienced every day, well expressed by the motto: "Holiness for you, too."

                                                Certainly, we cannot help but take full advantage of the possibilities offered by the celebration of the Days in the city of Turin itself. "We shall live these days in the shadow of Mary Help of Christians and from the sanctuary of Valdocco, from which devotion to the Virgin Help of Christians spread throughout the world," said Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family.

                                                Fr Joan Lluís Playa, central assistant of the Don Bosco Volunteers, both male and female sections, as well as being the organizer of the Days, also underlines the importance of the pilgrimage of holiness at Valdocco: "a path to the discovery of holiness in the Salesian Family, to be accomplished on the places of the saints originating in that land."

                                                Across the various conferences, talks shall start from the subject of holiness to the school of Don Bosco, touching upon the typically Salesian connotation of holiness, to arrive at identifying the possibilities that each member of the Salesian Family has to be holy in their own daily life, simply by spending one's self in one's own mission.

                                                The progress made by the Church and the SF in 2018 will also be highlighted via the sharing of the experiences of young people and religious who participated in the Youth Pre-Synod of March 2018; and thanks to several testimonies and good practices specially selected on the theme of youth accompaniment - an accompaniment oriented to holiness.

                                                Accompanying the talks, as always, shall be the festive climate and Salesian joy, and moments of shared spirituality, with the Days ending Sunday with the concluding Mass and the summary intervention of the Rector Major.

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

                                                For updates, please visit the Facebook page of ANS, which will host the live broadcast of the main moments as below:

                                                January 10th
                                                4:30 pm - Welcome
                                                17:45 - Strenna presentation

                                                11 January
                                                09:00 - Conference
                                                10:30 - Experience

                                                12 January
                                                09:00 - Conference
                                                15:30 - Round Table
                                                8:45 pm - Feast of Holiness

                                                January 13th
                                                09:30 - Mass
                                                11:00 - Final meeting

                                                All times are expressed in local time (UTC+1)

                                                • RMG
                                                • Italia
                                                • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Malta – People are more important

                                                  1 month 1 week ago
                                                  Malta – People are more important

                                                  (ANS – Sliema) – The Salesians were among 46 groups and NGOs urging Europe’s governments to take action in favour of the migrants stranded on two boats between Malta and Sicily as bad weather caused ferry companies to cancel passenger services in the Mediterranean:

                                                  We are appalled beyond words that, after 18 days of negotiations, 49 men, women and children remain stuck on a boat within sight of the Maltese shore.

                                                  In spite of countless calls for solidarity, European Member States have not managed to find a diplomatic solution to the current impasse.

                                                  This is nothing short of tragic and shameful. It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity – as a people and a union of states that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity.

                                                  We acknowledge the complex issues this situation raises, and agree that it is a European challenge requiring a European solution. However, this cannot be an excuse to abdicate our own responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to save lives at any cost. The duty to save lives is not only a legal but also a moral imperative which can never be subjected to political conditions, such as the availability of concrete offers of relocation or the fear of creating a precedent.

                                                  At this point, the question we must answer is simple: what is more important, scoring political points, or saving lives?

                                                  For us, the undersigned organisations, there can be only one answer: people are more important.

                                                  Today we are here to take a stand for life and dignity. We call on Malta to prioritize life and open its doors today.

                                                  • Malta
                                                  • MLT
                                                  • Migranti
                                                  • ONG
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Spain - "Your task: to change the world": Salesians encourage youth to discover their vocation to changing the world

                                                    1 month 1 week ago

                                                    (ANS - Madrid) - In this month that ends with the celebration of the feast of Don Bosco, the Salesians of Spain have launched a campaign to motivate and inspire children, adolescents and young people to recognize their vocation: "Your task: to change the world."

                                                    "In the face of the unjust realities that surround us (poverty, corruption, war, death, exploitation, selfishness ...) our eyes often and, above all our hearts, feel compassion. Like Jesus of Nazareth we feel called to take up the challenge of 'changing the world' starting from our faith, from what God asks us to be and to live in our daily lives. God is counting on us to make His Kingdom a reality! Our qualities and talents are a good tool in this task, provided we make them available to others, as Don Bosco did with the poorest youth in Turin," the promoters of the Salesian campaign said.

                                                    The general objective of the campaign is to propose a focus of faith on one's own life, which can help to discover the deepest essence of oneself and reveal the vocational proposal that God has for each one of us: a mission that fills life with meaning and reasons to build a better world.

                                                    For this reason a promotional video was released in which the vocation "speaks" and asks to be discovered. It presents itself as the engine to fight injustice and promote a more human and at the same time a world "more of God."

                                                    To make this campaign alive, various resources have been set up, which are already available to educators, animators, religious, catechists and other pastoral agents of Salesian houses, so that they can use them in class, in youth centers, in parishes, in social platforms and related.

                                                    The materials for the 2019 vocational campaign are available at www.sersalesiano.com, distributed according to the various users. In this way, vocational culture can be extended to all Salesian environments.

                                                    • SSM
                                                    • Vocazioni
                                                    • Spagna
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Italy - New academic courses of Salesian Pontifical University in Soverato: university formation of educators

                                                      1 month 1 week ago
                                                      Italy - New academic courses of Salesian Pontifical University in Soverato: university formation of educators

                                                      (ANS - Soverato) - The University “Don Giorgio Pratesi” of Soverato, in the province of Catanzaro, Calabria, affiliated to the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the "Pontifical Salesian University" (UPS) of Rome, inaugurated its first Academic Year on Friday 21 December.

                                                      by Veronica Petrocchi

                                                      Present at the official ceremony were, among others: Fr Angelo Santorsola, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Southern Italy (IME), and the Director of the Institute, Prof. Rosa Fiore. The prolusion was entrusted to the Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Fr Mario Oscar Llanos, while the Rector Magnifico of the UPS, Fr Mauro Mantovani, solemnly inaugurated the academic year.

                                                      "For a long time we have pursued the dream of activating in Calabria a place of formation for education professionals so that, starting too from the long and significant experience of the Salesians in Soverato, it may constitute a driving force for cultural change oriented to the centrality of the person, to the inclusion and the promotion of social justice," explained Prof. Fiore.

                                                      The Rector Magnificus of the UPS and the Dean of the FSE, for their part, confirmed the importance of this center, "University of Educators", as a contribution of the Salesian Pontifical University for university formation within a territory that is rich in history, culture and hopes.

                                                      The institute "Don Giorgio Pratesi" was born from an intuition of the Centro Reggino di Solidarietà, of the Calabrese Center of Solidarity and of the Istituto Universitario Progetto Uomo of Montefiascone (Viterbo). It is dedicated to the memory of Fr Pratesi (1920-2000) a Salesian priest who was founder of the "Justice and Peace" Commission in the Diocese of Locri-Gerace, and who in a territory marked by the presence of the 'Ndrangheta, knew how to promote comprehensive and integral human formation of the young and of the whole population in favor of the common good. To commemorate him, the University Institute has adopted the olive tree as its symbol.

                                                      For further information, please visit: www.istitutouniversitariopratesi.it/

                                                      {gallery}IME - UPS centro Soverato{/gallery}

                                                      • Italia
                                                      • IME
                                                      • UPS
                                                      • IUS
                                                      • Università
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Chile - It's never too late to be a saint

                                                        1 month 1 week ago
                                                        Chile - It's never too late to be a saint

                                                        (ANS - Santiago) - Over 120 children, adolescents and young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of the "Camilo Ortuzar Montt" Salesian Lyceum in Santiago participated in a camp-retreat at the Las Peñas house on 19-21 December to reflect on the theme of the Rector Major's 2019 Strenna: "Holiness for you, too."

                                                        This experience was necessary to consolidate the path of integration and identity of the SYM of the "Camilo Ortuzar Montt" Lyceum, which was formed in 2014 by gathering members of various groups: the "Missionary Childhood", the "Domenico Savio" clubs, the "Meeting of the Children in the Spirit", the "Salesian Apostolic Communities" and recently "The Small Children of Valdocco."

                                                        The children and young people were accompanied by adults who also experienced this oratory space of formation and recreation wherein to share a few days of youthful joy, Christian life, friendship, fresh air, recreation and sanctity.

                                                        During the work days, the participants were invited to look at the three fundamental sacraments to live holiness, that is: Baptism, to be "new men and women"; Reconciliation, to be aware that "God is with me in the struggle"; and the Eucharist, "Bread broken and shared". Moreover, on the last day, the call to be a missionary of holiness was developed: "For the world, but not of the world".

                                                        Various recreational activities took place, such as: sports, artistic and cultural workshops, walks ... accompanied by moments of prayer and meditation, following the example of Domenico Savio, who discovered at the Oratory of Valdocco that "here we make holiness consist in being very happy and doing our duty well."

                                                        At the closing Eucharist of the camp, a boy from the Missionary Childhood, was much moved emotionally, thanked everyone for the days experienced together and said to his friends: "it's never too late to be holy ...".

                                                        • Cile
                                                        • CIL
                                                        • Strenna 2019
                                                        • Ragazzi
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Spain - European Seminar for Salesian Brothers

                                                          1 month 1 week ago
                                                          Spain - European Seminar for Salesian Brothers

                                                          (ANS - Barcelona) - Thirty-eight Salesians Coadjutors of the two Salesian regions of Europe - Mediterranean and Central and Northern Europe - will gather from 17 to 21 January at the Martí Codolar center in Barcelona, Spain, to participate in the European seminar dedicated to deepening the figure of the Salesian Coadjutor.

                                                          The purpose of the gathering is to reflect on today's Salesian Brotherhood, starting from the perspective of the Magisterium of the Church, of the Salesian Congregation and of the Congregation for Institutes of Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and present the Salesian Lay figure in a modern way, discussing their roles, functions and tasks, challenges and opportunities.

                                                          Guiding the meeting's activities is Fr Pascual Chávez, who will introduce several specific themes through conferences, which will be followed by sessions for personal reflection and discussion in individual groups and with the assembly.

                                                          Each of the three work days will be devoted to discussing a specific issue: first the identity, then the mission, and finally the formation and profile of the Salesian Coadjutor. Finally, on the last day, a review of what is produced and the identification of prospects will take place.

                                                          "The shared reflection, in the form of a seminar, starting from one's own personal experience is fundamental," explained the organizer of the meeting, Fr Francisco Santos, member of the Dicastery for Formation. "For this reason, we asked each participant to bring with him materials developed in their respective provinces, both of vocational proposals, and of the apostolic and work experiences they've done. It will serve to much enrich our meeting, and they will be good practices to share in the reflection on the figure of the Salesian lay person today."

                                                          At the seminar, all the provinces of Europe will be represented, at least with one participant. In addition, the choice of the location of the seminar is not accidental: the Salesian center of Martì Codolar, in fact, hosts, in addition to the "Don Bosco" Center for Religious Studies, the new "Zatti Community" for the Specific Formation of Salesian Brothers of Europe.

                                                          • Spagna
                                                          • Salesiani Coadiutori
                                                          • Europe
                                                          • Europa Centro Nord
                                                          • Mediterranea
                                                          • Pascual Chávez
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Malta - Salesians in Malta supporting NGO migrant rescue ships

                                                            1 month 1 week ago
                                                            Malta - Salesians in Malta supporting NGO migrant rescue ships

                                                            (ANS - Sliema) - "For several days now, 49 people saved in the Mediterranean Sea have been on board two NGO ships, looking for a safe haven to land. I address a heartfelt appeal to the European leaders to demonstrate their solidarity with these people." With these words Pope Francis in the Angelus on Sunday 6 January underscored the need to be welcoming towards migrants. The Salesians of Malta, as much as they can, are playing their part.

                                                            Since the week before Christmas, 49 migrants have been stranded on two rescue ships owned by NGOs operating in the central Mediterranean. The ships are unable to berth in any port because of the different interpretation that EU governments give to the Law of the Sea on helping migrants in distress and for the political diffidences within the EU.

                                                            Last Friday, January 4, two boats sailed from Malta to replenish supplies to the two ships carrying migrants and to ferry several German MPs, members of the European Parliament, a church representative and a fresh crew.

                                                            Unable to help the migrants directly, the Salesians in Malta, however, offered to host the 16 exhausted mostly German crew members, sailors who had spent almost four weeks on sea rescue missions.

                                                            "Our prayers accompany those still on board as we ask for humanitarian action in favor of those who risked all to save their lives and families by escaping from their home countries and Libya," said the Salesians of Malta.

                                                            • MLT
                                                            • Malta
                                                            • ONG
                                                            • Migranti
                                                            • Rifugiati
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              RMG - 8 January 2019: 50th anniversary of martyrdom of Blessed Fr Titus Zeman, SDB

                                                              1 month 1 week ago
                                                              RMG - 8 January 2019: 50th anniversary of martyrdom of Blessed Fr Titus Zeman, SDB

                                                              (ANS - Rome) - The liturgical memorial of the Salesian blessed Fr Titus Zeman coincides this year with the 50th anniversary of his ascent to Heaven, which took place in his town of birth, Vajnory, Slovakia, on 8 January 1969. On that day a long Calvary ended, one that began in April 1951, when he was arrested, then tried, transferred from one prison to another until March 1964; then followed 5 years of life in conditional freedom, with relentless harassment, persistent and harsh persecution and health issues due to imprisonment.

                                                              Fr Zeman had fought against death for 18 long years: and in the end he surrendered only to his Lord. The nurse who assisted would say she: "had never seen a man fight so much against death."

                                                              The funeral on the following 11 January was a triumph of faith and affection. Several dozen priests concelebrated, challenging the regime's prohibitions. Some of the boys whom he had helped become priests rushed to participate in the event. Even the regime's spies, present in the crowd, reported in their confidential reports that he had been defined "martyr".

                                                              Fr Andrej Dermek, then Provincial of the Salesians in Slovakia, could henceforth pronounce these words with good reason: "We meet in the cemetery ... like the first Christians in the catacombs. Perhaps it is thus for us religious. Life has dispersed us, but death brings us together [...] In this place today begins to rest the fighter who fought to the end, the priest who finished celebrating the Mass of his life. This is a departure [...]. His life was always and everywhere a priestly life."

                                                              Fr Zeman would accompany young Salesians in Turin to complete their studies in Theology and to be ordained as priests: he did not make them fugitives, but responsible people, able to form themselves at best for the service of the people of God. The most true and fullest judgment on life and the sacrifice of Fr Zeman comes from those who knew him; of him, they said: "He was a saint and he died a martyr." On 30 September 2017, in fact, he was beatified as a martyr in Bratislava.

                                                              Special celebrations will be held at the Provincial House in Bratislava and in the birthplace of Vajnory, where the mortal remains are kept in an urn. A solemn concelebration will be held in Rome, presided by the Rector Major, at the Basilica del Sacro Cuore.

                                                              • RMG
                                                              • Titus Zeman
                                                              • Slovacchia
                                                              • SLK
                                                              • Santità Salesiana
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                India – 8th Congress of Salesian Brothers of South Asia: Identity, Visibility, and Credibility

                                                                1 month 1 week ago
                                                                India – 8th Congress of Salesian Brothers of South Asia: Identity, Visibility, and Credibility

                                                                (ANS – Bangalore) – The 8th Congress of the Salesian Brothers of South Asia held at Don Bosco Skill Mission, Bangalore, from 30 December 2018 to 3 January 2019 elected Br Jose Puthenpurackel of Calcutta province as the new national delegate for Salesian Brothers in South Asia region comprising of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.

                                                                Br Puthenpurackel succeeds Br Biju Joseph Poonamkavil of Dimapur province as delegate.

                                                                The theme of the 5-day Congress was: “Salesian, be a Faithful Witness”. A total of 130 Salesians participated in the congress, including 98 Brothers and 32 priests. 

                                                                After serving as Vice-Principal and Principal of prestigious educational institutions of Calcutta province at Park Circus and Liluah, Br Puthenpurackel is currently on an education mission as Principal of the first co-education Secondary School in Calcutta province among the Santal tribals of Murshidabad district at Azimganj. 

                                                                Br Puthenpurackel, 47, who holds three Masters Degrees in Sociology & Social Anthropology; Psychology, and Management - besides two post-graduate diplomas in Human Resource Management, and School Leadership and Management - believes in providing quality education opportunities for tribal children.

                                                                In the past two and half years, Br Puthenpurackel, with the help of Don Bosco Alumni of earlier institutions where he served, and with the help of friends and well-wishers, was able to set up a library with a large collection of academic books in English and Bengali, a computer lab with 30 computers, a 8,500 sq. ft. assembly hall area, and bring about a total transformation in the school infrastructure and academic progress. 

                                                                Br Puthenpurackal does not hesitate to say, “The school that used to have failures every year in the Board Examinations has for the past two years not only had 100% of the students passing the boards, even produced a state topper from the ST category - Miss Roshni Hasda from this school. To impart skill training to senior girls along with academics, a tailoring unit with 30 machines too has been set up.”

                                                                Former Dean of Studies at Don Bosco Vidyaniketan Kalyani and Salesian College Sonada, Br Puthenpurackel believes that, “given the facilities and training, Santal tribal children can compete with their peers in any other prestigious English medium schools.”

                                                                Speaking about his plans for the Salesians Brothers of the region for the next five years, Br Puthenpurackel says that a concerted effort would be made, “to promote the vocation of the Salesian brother and make it known among priests and the faithful besides helping brothers to deepen their Identity, Visibility, and Credibility.”

                                                                Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore, Salesian Bishop George Rajendran of Thukalay, General Councillor for Formation Fr Ivo Coelho, Economer General from Rome Br Jean Paul Muller, and Regional Councillor for South Asia Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, along with all 12 Salesian provincials of the region, graced the 8th Brothers Congress with their presence at various moments.

                                                                The regional superior Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga delivered the Presidential Address while Economer General Br Jean Paul Muller gave the key note address stressing “the identity of the Salesian Brother as an apostle of Christ capable of proposing relevant solutions to the various challenges faced by the youth of South Asia.” 

                                                                The reflections during the Congress were facilitated by the inputs of four resource persons,  including Salesian Scripture Scholar Br Abraham M. Antony who dwelt on the theme of Salesian Brothers as personal witnesses of the Lord from a biblical perspective. 

                                                                Formation Councillor Fr Ivo Coelho considered the Post-novitiate Formation of the Salesian Brother, while Psychologist Fr Edison Fernandez reflected on how to be a witness, drawing inspiration from the New Testament, the life of Don Bosco, and the Salesian tradition. 

                                                                Administrator of Bosco Boys Home Borivli Fr Adolf Furtado elaborated on how to be a witness to the youth of our times and challenged each participant to come up with three innovative responses to the concerns of the young. 

                                                                The zonal meetings, the province-wide interactions, the religious-profession-knowledge sharing, and the various group discussions offered all the participants ample opportunities for airing their views and contributing their share to enrich the Congress.

                                                                The participants had the chance of listening to a panel of four speakers: the parents of a Salesian Brother, a Salesian Cooperator and two married men who were formerly Salesian Brothers. 

                                                                There was also an open question-and-answer session with Fr Ivo Coelho, Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Br Jean Paul Muller and Fr Silvio Roggia, a member of the Formation Department in Rome.

                                                                Brother Puthenpurackel says, “The entire Congress proceedings were characterized by a very serene, joyful and fraternal atmosphere. A good mix of both senior and junior confreres contributed to the richness of the Congress.”

                                                                The Brothers Congress concluded with a statement which listed action plans for three areas concerning Identity, Visibility, and Credibility of vocation to the Brotherhood.

                                                                Some of the plans include deepening Salesian Brother’s spiritual testimony; promotion of Brother’s vocation; and providing life sketches of famous Brothers in local languages in the coming four years.

                                                                • India
                                                                • Salesiani Coadiutori
                                                                • Asia Sud
                                                                • INK
                                                                • Ivo Coelho
                                                                • Jean Paul Muller
                                                                • Maria Arokiam Kanaga
                                                                • Formazione
                                                                • Economia
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Ghana - Preventive System as answer to "child trafficking"

                                                                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                                                                  (ANS - Accra) - Don Bosco's preventive system aims to eliminate risks at its root through a series of targeted actions. But, when needed, Salesian missionaries also intervene later, if there is someone that requires help.

                                                                  This is what can be clearly seen in Ghana where the "Child Protection Centre" was born, a centre dedicated to minors police saved from the slave trade. It is a project created to offer spaces for welcoming youngsters from the outskirts of the capital Accra, a place that also welcomes victims of trafficking.

                                                                  Fr Silvio Roggia, 20 years of mission in Ghana, is among the promoters of this project and explains: "The Child Protection Centre is a home for those who find themselves - overnight - without chains, but with terrible internal wounds to heal and a life to be revived after months and years of hell."


                                                                  The phenomenon of child slavery is unfortunately widespread in that African region. "Already twenty years ago, when I traveled by land between Nigeria and Ghana, passing through Benin and Togo," recalls Don Silvio Roggia, "at the borders you could see the posters of organizations that warned against the trafficking of children, sold for years and used in cocoa plantations as labor at zero cost from unscrupulous bosses."

                                                                  Child trafficking later spread to the fishing and herding sectors and then opened up to foreign criminal circuits.


                                                                  Thus was born the Child Protection Centre, which now stands on a land donated by Inna Marian Patt, the winner of Miss Ghana 2004. The young woman wanted a structure to be created, one that was dedicated to the most disadvantaged young people and, on meeting the Salesians of Don Bosco, her dream came true.

                                                                  A center like this is essential for the recovery of young people. When the police are able to save these children, it is very important to insert them as soon as possible in a path of psychological and social recovery.


                                                                  At the Child Protection Centre, children learn to read and write, then receive a proper school education and, finally, they are helped in entering the world of work.

                                                                  "You see the miracles," adds Fr Silvio. "Children who had lost their use of the word due to the trauma subjected to immediately resume to communicate and those who were sentenced to years of total isolation resume socializing."

                                                                  • Ghana
                                                                  • Sistema Preventivo
                                                                  • Tratta
                                                                    Jesus Jurado

                                                                    Spain - Salesian Martí-Codolar residence: two years welcoming refugees and migrants

                                                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                    Spain - Salesian Martí-Codolar residence: two years welcoming refugees and migrants

                                                                    (ANS - Barcelona) - About one million acknowledged refugees live in the European Union. They represent 7% of the global total and represent 0.2% of the population of the 28 member countries of the EU. According to data from the Immigrant, Emigrants and Refugees Service of the Barcelona Municipal Council (SAIER), in 2017, the Catalan capital welcomed 4,405 refugees. Many of them have lived or still live in spaces granted by the Church. The "Martí-Codolar" Salesian Residence is one of those sites where refugees and migrants have been welcomed as places of first arrival for the last two years.

                                                                    The great migration crisis of 2016 summoned the Church to provide buildings and spaces of religious communities, even though these places were not entirely adequate to host actions and programs.


                                                                    The Salesian Congregation considered it appropriate to offer the "Martí-Codolar" residence to welcome the refugees who arrived in the city. Specifically, two floors of the residence were ceded, where young and whole families live and are welcomed.

                                                                    "At first, the agreement was signed with the travel agency Snow Travel and, subsequently, with the Red Cross," explained Joan Codina, SDB, superior of the Martí-Codolar community.

                                                                    In addition to ceding the spaces mentioned, the Salesian Congregation also made some improvements, necessary for well hosting these people, such as the installation of a laundrette.

                                                                    In addition to the spaces, the Salesians - together with volunteers - make their time available. Fr Codina states that these works are done without any act of heroism, but are simply part of being Salesians. "As Salesians," he said,  "we are called to work with young people and children. We could not refuse; on the contrary, we consider it absolutely necessary."

                                                                    Most of the people who arrive at the Martí-Codolar residence are children with their families. Then, of course, there are also young people who arrive alone. The people who live there change continuously because, in fact, it is an emergency center. It can be called "center of first arrival", in the sense that the refugees, from here, are then moved to other places, depending on the different needs of people.

                                                                    • Spagna
                                                                    • Rifugiati
                                                                    • Migranti
                                                                      Jesus Jurado

                                                                      Papua New Guinea - Christmas with Manus refugees: "The People who walk in darkness shall see a great Light"

                                                                      1 month 2 weeks ago

                                                                      (ANS - Port Moresby) - In the Urbi et Orbi message of this Christmas, Pope Francis invited us to stay by the side of refugees. A message that was received by the Salesians in Papua New Guinea, who spent Christmas with the Manus refugees.

                                                                      For these refugees, it is the sixth Christmas spent far from home, in truly precarious social and health conditions.

                                                                      In April 2016, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea declared the detention center for asylum seekers that the Australian government had established on the island of Manus as illegal and unconstitutional, following an agreement with the government of Papua New Guinea. Now, still, circa 400 refugees are waiting to be resettled. A truly dramatic situation, which seems very far from being resolved and which is leading to various social and moral problems and a series of human rights violations.


                                                                      To take stock of the condition of Manus is Fr Ambrose Pereira, SDB, Secretary of the Communication and Youth Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.


                                                                      "On 15 December 2017 I met the first two refugees who had been taken away from the Isle of Manus and sent to the Bomana penitentiary," explained Fr Ambros Pereira. "Last year was characterized by constant interaction with refugee homes. Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Syria and many other countries. Fortunately, some have been resettled, but most of them are still in Papua New Guinea," he added.


                                                                      The round table, entitled "Manus Refuges" and dedicated precisely to the refugees of Manus, gathered the government, the Church, students, refugees and Papuan citizens in an open discussion in November 2018. Monsignor Bernard Unaballi, bishop of Bougainville, strongly committed himself and suggested the Christmas period as the deadline for finding a definitive solution. But despite this, no agreement was reached and the refugees had to spend their sixth Christmas in these terrible conditions.

                                                                      "I have waited with hope, but the promised meetings with the Prime Minister and the Australian High Commissioner have never materialized,"  explained Fr Ambrose Pereira again. "The offices are now closed and everyone has returned home for the holidays, while beyond 400 refugees struggle to gain access to essential health and services."

                                                                      Finally, Fr Ambrose adds: "We take strength from the words of the Scriptures: The people who walk in darkness shall see a great light."

                                                                      • Papua Nuova Guinea
                                                                      • Rifugiati
                                                                        Jesus Jurado

                                                                        Italy - Sending materials to Palabek to build small workshops

                                                                        1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                        Italy - Sending materials to Palabek to build small workshops

                                                                        (ANS - Fossano) - Sometimes, in the mission places, a technical repair can be stalled for a long time due to the lack of a specific tool or a spare part. Or, the intervention that an expert could carry out without difficulty becomes an enigma for those who do not have even the most basic knowledge. For this reason, it is undoubtedly very important to have adequate equipment, but what really makes the difference is professional training.

                                                                        This premise is used to describe what is happening in recent weeks in a Piedmontese town, Fossano, where a missionary, Giacomo Comino, is setting up a container that will arrive in Palabek in Uganda in February.

                                                                        This container will arrive at the heart of what is one of the largest refugee camps on the planet. This container won't be carrying "ordinary" relief products, such as food or medicine, but rather useful materials towards setting up a technical school.

                                                                        Being sent to Palabek are boxes of metal, computers, mixers, shovels, spades and even a forklift that will be used to lift loads. To help Giacomo Comino in this expedition is Flavio Filippi, a former businessman in the field of tools and hardware sales, who after leaving his business to his children, is now dedicated to this initiative to help the missionaries. Flavio Filippi has decided to make available as much material as possible, to be sent to the Palabek camp.

                                                                        What will all this be for? The idea of Giacomo Comino, or Jim as many call him, is to set up small workshops in South Sudan, so that refugees can learn manual work and a trade.


                                                                        Someone, at this point, might ask: with all the urgencies that a refugee camp has, is it really necessary to worry about installing a small workshop?

                                                                        The answer is complex, but Jim makes it simple, remembering the well-known principle that inspires cooperation: "better to teach to fish than to give a fish."

                                                                        In the camp of Palabek there are, in fact, many young people and it is necessary that they receive instruction and that they learn vocational skills, even basic ones, to build a possible future.

                                                                        It is an important step towards rebuilding "normality", a normality that must go beyond the simple delivery of sacks of rice or powdered milk. It is an idea born with the aim of promoting the dignity of living and doing community.


                                                                        Source: Don Bosco Missions.

                                                                        • Italia
                                                                        • Palabek
                                                                          Jesus Jurado

                                                                          Italy - IME Communication: a wholly Salesian startup

                                                                          1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                          Italy - IME Communication: a wholly Salesian startup

                                                                          (ANS - Naples) - IME Comunicazione is the new startup sponsored by the Salesian General Administration and strongly desired by the Rector Major. The startup will provide eleven young people the chance to enter the world of work through the business of Video Productions.

                                                                          The first test bench of this new startup was the production of the 2019 Strenna video presentation, whose theme is: "Holiness for you too." A very current theme that contains within itself a profound desire for happiness and that calls on everyone to live their lives to the full.

                                                                          The IME Communication Team thus chose to narrate the holiness of everyday life, that holiness hidden in the everyday lives of many people. The story tells of people who live the Gospel simply through their daily gestures or in their family dynamics.

                                                                          IME Comunicazione is the face of the Social Communications of the Southern Italy Province and is composed of a group of young experts in the field of communications, videomaker, live streaming and graphics. There are sound engineers, editors, graphic designers, cameramen, engineers and directors.

                                                                          Fr Pierluigi Lanotte, delegate of the IME Social Communications, wanted to bet on this group of young people and that's how IME Comunicazione was born. It now has 11 members and aims to grow. During the course of the year, this startup, which offers its services to the entire Salesian Congregation, will also collaborate with ANS.

                                                                          IME Comunicazione, in sum, provides its capabilities and original solutions to the Congregation, a now added value, especially if enhanced in their interconnection and network, services such as:


                                                                          ● The production of content intended for Social Networks, for the young people on the network, with serious experimentation and a gradual implementation of new languages and codes of communication at the service of the evangelization of young people.

                                                                          ● The rethinking of the communicative model, which from a unidirectional module of information and content flow requires an evolution into a circular sense or direction, to foster, through social platforms, the active, equal and democratic interchange of the people involved.


                                                                          ● The serious experimentation and the gradual implementation of new languages and new communication codes of the network at the service of youth evangelization.

                                                                          "This was the extra quid that struck the Rector Major and the Salesian General Administration, and that made IME Comunicazione a coherent choice for betting on young people and their professional skills," IME Communication wrote in a note.

                                                                          • Italia
                                                                          • IME
                                                                          • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                                          • Lavoro
                                                                          • Giovani
                                                                            Jesus Jurado

                                                                            India - Young Salesians participate in Christmas Carol Contest

                                                                            1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                            India - Young Salesians participate in Christmas Carol Contest

                                                                            (ANS - Darjeeling) - Several Salesian youth groups from the Darjeeling Hills took part in the popular "Jingle Bells" Christmas Carol Competition, now in its third year.

                                                                            In addition to the group of the Salesian College Sonada, three groups of the "Salesian College Brother", diocesan and brothers of the Calcutta Province and the regions of North-East India also participated.

                                                                            "This year, in addition to the certificates and the cash prizes obtained thanks to the generous sponsorship of the 'Glenary Restaurant Darjeeling' and the 'Church Art Kolkata', we also offer trophies to the winners," said the director of Radio Salesian 90.8, Fr CM Paul.

                                                                            The radio program coordinator, RJ Samir Chhetri, explained: "The competition consists of the creation of an original Christmas song, in Nepali or English, by a team of ten or less members, including musicians."

                                                                            This year, however, there was also an important novelty compared to the past editions: the musical groups, as well as recording the songs for Radio Salesian, also performed for "Salesian Television."

                                                                            The recording was later delivered to other TV channels, such as Darjeeling TV, Hamro TV Kurseong and Mirik Television.

                                                                            The votes to decree the winners of this song contest began on the Facebook page of Radio Salesian last Saturday, December 22nd, and today, January 2nd, the name of the winners are to be announced.

                                                                            The outcome will be published on the aforesaid Facebook page and through the Radio Salesian App "Listern2MyRadio".

                                                                            To win will be the first three songs that have obtained the highest number of likes.

                                                                            Thus, we have but to tune in to the above channels and, while waiting to know the winner, listen to the songs these talented youngsters have made!

                                                                            • India
                                                                            • Natale
                                                                            • Musica
                                                                              Jesus Jurado

                                                                              Panama - President of Panama Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, announces agreement with Salesians guaranteeing educational formation for young

                                                                              1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                              Panama - President of Panama Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, announces agreement with Salesians guaranteeing educational formation for young

                                                                              (ANS - Colón) - The community of Alto de Los Lagos, in Colón, shall soon have a new bilingual educational center. The educational formation given to children and young people attending this school will go hand in hand with the work of Salesians. This was announced by the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, who signed an agreement between the Salesians and the Ministry of Education (Meduca).

                                                                              President Varela said that this new center shall indeed represent social change and progress in bilingual education for the children of Colón, who will be properly followed by the Salesians.

                                                                              "We have always had in mind that this center become something more, that it become a community where everyone could share, spend their leisure time and, of course, study. This is the origin of the idea of ​​building this educational center, dedicated to all those children of Colón who aspire to education of quality, close by and accessible," said President Varela at the signing ceremony of the agreement.

                                                                              "Knowing the methodology of the Salesian brothers, we know that there is no better choice for this mission. The children and youth of Alto de Los Lagos now have a safe place to sleep, recreational areas for play and physical exercise, and we also want to leave them an educational center that allows them to have a good future," underscored President Varela.

                                                                              The President then concluded his message by ensuring that the St Giovanni Bosco Bilingual Technical and Vocational Training Center in Los Lagos, in the hands of the Salesians, will have an incredible development and from there great professionals will emerge, men and women who will make Colón and Panama a better place.

                                                                              Fr Edward de La O, representing the Salesian congregation, signed this agreement with Ricardo Pinzón, Minister of Education, and thanked the Panamanian nation for maintaining its trust in the quality of the teaching of the Salesians. He added that this agreement will undoubtedly contribute to the development of local youth.

                                                                              "It is an investment in education and a sign of openness, which will give the opportunity to many children and young people in the province of Colón, to have Salesian quality in technical-vocational education, in the style of Don Bosco," he said.

                                                                              • Panama
                                                                              • Accordo Educativo
                                                                              • Giovani
                                                                                Jesus Jurado

                                                                                RMG - Spirituality Days of Salesian Family fast approaching

                                                                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                                                                RMG - Spirituality Days of Salesian Family fast approaching

                                                                                (ANS - Rome) - The Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family 2019 will be held in Turin-Valdocco from 10 to 13 January 2019 and will be centered, as always, on the theme of the Rector Major's Strenna. The guideline for this 37th edition will therefore be the motto: "So that my joy may be in you" (Jn 15,11) - Holiness for you too."

                                                                                The Salesian Family, with a vast representation of the 31 groups that comprise it, will meet at Valdocco, the mother house of the Salesian charism, the setting for these four days of reflection, prayer, sharing and encounter in the joyful style of Don Bosco.

                                                                                The 300 participants of the Spirituality Days come from all five continents. They will be welcomed, as per schedule, on Thursday 10 January, by Fr Enrico Stasi, Provincial of Piedmont and Valle D'Aosta. After the initial welcome greeting, Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, will conduct the presentation of the Days.


                                                                                The beginning of the Spirituality Days, with the welcome of Fr Enrico Stasi, can be followed LIVE on ANS's Facebook page, which will broadcast the event.

                                                                                During the four Days, ANS will also transmit other events on its Facebook page; these include: the presentation of the Strenna by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, on January 10, at 5.45 pm; the roundtable discussion entitled "Holiness in the contexts where our life takes place," on 12 January, 3.30 pm; and, of course, Sunday Mass presided by the Rector Major and the final meeting, scheduled for Sunday, January 13, starting at 11 am.

                                                                                In this way, even those who will not be physically present, shall be able to follow closely the development of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family.

                                                                                Registration, take note, are closed, but for any additional requests and clarifications please visit www.salesianfamilydays.com  or write to the email address: joanlluis.playa@salesians.cat

                                                                                 

                                                                                {gallery}GFS 2019{/gallery}

                                                                                • RMG
                                                                                • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                                • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                                                  Jesus Jurado
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana