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RMG – Rector Major’s online address to 12th International Congress of Past Pupils for Asia Oceania Region

1 day 8 hours ago
RMG – Rector Major’s online address to 12th International Congress of Past Pupils for Asia Oceania Region

(ANS – Rome) – The Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, sent a message of thanks and encouragement to the Past Pupils who tomorrow and the day after (June 25-26) will participate, in digital mode, in the XII Congress of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco of the Asia and Oceania Region. "We must be moved by hope in all possible senses of this sentence," he says.

Below is the text of his message.

My dear friends, Past Pupils of Don Bosco from the South Asia/East Asia-Oceania Region who are now celebrating the 12th International Congress involving the 28 nations of that part of the world, of the Salesian world.

I am very happy to greet you and be with you in this way since any other way would not be possible today, and I really feel very happy, and especially thankful. Thanks to all of you because, believe me, what you are doing is so very important. Thanks means thanking all the leadership, thanking all of you involved in carrying forward your (local) Past Pupil Associations, because it means you have discovered the great value these have for the Salesian Family and for today’s world.

I have to tell you that while I was preparing a letter of reflection over these days on Fr Albera, I was amazed to see how Fr Albera, Don Bosco’s second successor from 1911 up until 1921, stressed the importance the Past Pupils have, because Don Bosco carried all his past pupils in his heart, in his very great heart. And on this matter, Fr Albera said that we too must take much care of our Past Pupils around the world.

Well then. I would like to do this by telling you that you are very important in our Salesian Family. And do you know why?  Because you are, and can be even more so, the arm which, in the name of Jesus and in Don Bosco’s style, prolongs (his work) in the world; in this world of countries, cities, work, and of course your own families. And this means bringing the world the values of the Gospel, of God who loves us so much,  the values of the spirituality you have succeeded in living. Bringing all this to the world with the sense (you have) of belonging to Don Bosco’s heart and to the Salesian Family will do so much good.

Finally, I would like to encourage you to promote the Association among young Past Pupils. We must all believe in the young and I encourage you to continue to believe in these young people and involve those who can join the ranks of past pupils around the world even more in beautiful initiatives carried out with creativity, especially in Asia and Oceania.

My dear friends, I greet you from here, from Sacro Cuore (Sacred Heart), the house that Don Bosco himself wanted. I promise to accompany you with my prayer at the Eucharist over these days. I hope you have some very wonderful days at this 12th Congress which, for the first time ever you are carrying out online as part of the reality of today’s circumstances. It is more difficult to bring people together but surely we will succeed in reaching so many others who might not have been able to be present. So congratulations for this.

Have lots of courage – and lots of hope! Let me remind you that the motto you have chosen is the one from this year’s Strenna: Moved by Hope. We must be moved by hope in every sense of that phrase.

So greetings once again. A prayer for you and for your families!


Fr Ángel Fernández Artime

Rector Major

In order to take part in the Congress – First session on June 25, 6PM (GMT+8) – here are some links to the YouTube channels in their respective languages:

  • Exallievi
  • Ángel Fernández Artime
  • Rettor Maggiore
  • Asia Sud
  • Asia EstOceania
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – 80th anniversary of death of 4 Salesians in Auschwitz extermination camp

    1 day 8 hours ago
    RMG – 80th anniversary of death of 4 Salesians in Auschwitz extermination camp

    (ANS - Rome) – 27 June 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the martyrdom of four of the twelve Salesians, belonging to the St Hyacinth Province of Krakow, arrested on the night of 23 May 1941 by Gestapo officials. They are Fr Jan Świerc, 64, parish priest; Fr Ignacy Dobiasz, 61, parish vicar; Fr Franciszek Harazim, 56, professor of Theology; Fr Kazimierz Wojciechowski, 37, catechist.

    After a summary interrogation, although completely uninvolved with any form of political propaganda, they were accused of participating in clandestine organizations and, even more serious, of promoting the national culture - to the detriment of Nazi Germany - among young people, exploiting the influence deriving from their priesthood. That was enough to deserve the torture and the Auschwitz concentration camp.

    Deprived even of their name, they were forced to wear the bloody rags of those who, before them, had not survived the terrible penal company to which the accused of serious crimes were destined. Almost suffocated by the nauseating fumes of the burnt corpses that rose from the crematorium chimney, beaten and exhausted by the inhuman work, in a short time they fell by the hands of the SS men.

    Fr Jan Świerc and Fr Ignacy Dobiasz were the victims of that morning of June 27, 1941. In the afternoon, Fr Franciszek Harazim and Fr Kazimierz Wojciechowski suffered martyrdom, side by side.

    “This sacrifice was a seed of life, a seed of victory […]. Those pastors [...] for the Christian life of every parishioner and especially for young parishioners [...] paid not only with a good word, not only with the good example of their generous life, but also with the sacrifice and blood of martyrdom,” the then archbishop of Krakow and cardinal, Karol Wojtyła, said of them in the homily of January 30, 1972.

    The Positio super martyrio is currently being drafted for these and five other martyrs (Fr Ignacy Antonowicz, Fr Karol Golda, Fr Ludwik Mroczek, Fr Wlodzimierz Szembek, Fr Franciszek Miśka).

    {gallery}RMG - 4 martiri Auschwitz 2021{/gallery}

    • Santità Salesiana
    • Martiri
    • Polonia
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Italy – Video Tour of Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, “Don Bosco’s Madonna”

      1 day 8 hours ago
      Italy – Video Tour of Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, “Don Bosco’s Madonna”

      (ANS – Turin) – The Basilica of Mary Help of Christians is the jewel in the crown of Don Bosco’s original Oratory in Valdocco (Turin), Italy. Built between 1863 and 1868, it was literally a dream come true for Don Bosco. Begun as a worship space for the boys of the Oratory, it became the centre of the newly founded Salesian Congregation and today it is the pulsing spiritual heart of the worldwide Salesian Family. And last March, the Salesian Family Coordinators in the SUE Province (United States East and Canada) asked Fr Mike Pace SDB, Vice-Director, Museo Casa Don Bosco, if he would prepare a video tour of the Basilica. “This was a privileged invitation to make the Basilica and Don Bosco’s Madonna better known and loved,” Fr Pace comments. So a guided tour is now available– in English, and also with Italian and Korean subtitles, but soon in Spanish too – that explores various strands which are woven together to make the Basilica a magnificent tapestry of Salesian history, spirituality and Marian devotion.

      Part I: History, Art and Architecture

      For Don Bosco, art and architecture were always at the service of education and catechesis. With this in mind, the first half of the tour focuses on these questions: Why did Don Bosco choose the Renaissance-era Basilica of St. George in Venice as the model for his façade? What passages from Sacred Scripture and what events of church history are depicted therein? Why is there a statue of Our Lady of Mercy on the cupola if the Basilica is dedicated to Mary Help of Christians? What are the historical roots of the devotion to Mary as “Help of Christians”? When and why did the original Basilica undergo two major renovations?  Who were the major artists commissioned to adorn the Basilica? What message did Don Bosco wish to communicate through the iconic painting of Mary Help of Christians which dominates the altar space and is recognized all over the world as Don Bosco’s Madonna? How  does the Basilica convey Don Bosco’s “Three White Loves”? How did faith and finances come together to pay for such a magnificent church?

      Part II: Salesian Family Heroes

      The second part of the tour focuses on the Salesian family heroes who are honoured at the side altars and in the Crypt of Relics: St. Maria Domenica Mazzarello, St. Dominic Savio, St. Francis de Sales, Blessed Michael Rua and Blessed Philip Rinaldi (the first and second successors of Don Bosco), and the Salesian Proto-martyrs, Bishop Luigi Versiglia and Fr Callistus Caravario.

      The altar of St. Joseph receives particular attention, as it is the only altar that has remained unchanged ever since Don Bosco built and blessed it.

      This section culminates in the presentation of Don Bosco’s altar, which replaced the original altar dedicated to St. Peter as the Vicar of Christ. Don Bosco has been honoured here since his beatification on 2 June 2 1929 when he was translocated to the Basilica from the Salesian school in Valsalice. He awaits the glory of the resurrection at the altar where he celebrated his daily mass for twenty years.

      Part III: The Mission

      Finally, the tour reflects on the missionary dimension of the Basilica. From the walnut pulpit in the nave of the church, Don Bosco commissioned the first missionary expedition in 1875 under the leadership of Fr John Cagliero, future bishop and cardinal. The video explores some of Don Bosco’s heart-felt words from that occasion which still echo in the Basilica today and allow us to reflect on our own mission within the Church and the world as members of the Salesian Family.

      Part IV: “Our Church, Our Mother’s House”

      At the very foundations of the Basilica are those words which Mary spoke to Don Bosco when she revealed her desire that he build this church: hic est domus mea, inde gloria me; this is my home, from here my glory shall go forth.

      “Just as these words inspired Don Bosco to realize what seemed like an impossible dream, they also inspired this video,” Fr Pace adds. “Most Salesians and most devotees of Mary, Help of Christians will never have the privilege of visiting Valdocco. For those of us who serve the Congregations here, this privilege becomes a heart-felt responsibility: a responsibility to make this Basilica more accessible to the Salesian world, in their own language. As our loving mother, Mary not only welcomes her children who can come to Valdocco, but also, from Valdocco, her love goes out to embrace all her children far and wide. It is our hope that this video may in some way be an experience of our Mother’s embrace.”

      The production team was male and female, lay, religious and ordained: namely, Katia Fiorito, a Salesian Cooperator who recorded and edited the video; and Fr Pace, as guide. Much gratitude goes to ANS for the HD photos and drone footage, to the Basilica Rector and Vice-Rector, Frs. Guido Errico SDB and Vincenzo Trotta SDB for the generous access we had to the Basilica, and to the Basilica’s Music Director, Fr Maurizio Palazzo SDB for his musical support.

      The Virtual tour of Basilica Mary Help of Christians with Fr Mike Pace is available here.

      • Italia
      • Maria Ausiliatrice
      • Basilica Maria Ausiliatrice
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – A new issue of the magazine "Salesian Historical Research"

        2 days 8 hours ago

        (ANS - Rome) - Issue 76 (January-June 2021) of "Ricerche Storiche Salesiane" (RSS), the bimonthly magazine of religious and civil history, published by the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS), has been published.

        The magazine features four essays in the STUDIES section of this issue:

        Paolo Pieraccini's contribution continues on the theme: National Awakening of Arabs and Catholics of the Holy Land: the case of the Salesian Society (1904-1920). Part 2. After the British occupation of Jerusalem (December 1917), the "struggle" of the Arab Salesians against the Italian confreres intensified further. The escalation of tensions - which also involved other indigenous Catholic nuns, the Italian government, and, through an appeal, even the Pope - ended with the decision of the Arab Salesians to incardinate themselves in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

        The research on the Scope and limits of the missionary work of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Katanga (1910-1970) is by Fr Germain Kivungila. The study examines the period preceding the country’s independence and the first decade that followed and argues that the Salesian charism was able to settle in Congo thanks to the help of the colonizing government, rather than by the will of religious superiors. Furthermore, due to the lack of methodological initiative and adequate training, the so-called "paternalistic" mentality developed in many mission posts. In any case, the Salesian charism was able to find its own way; it is now organized and continues to develop increasingly more.

        The Salesian response to the problem of "poor street children" during the rectorate of Fr Albera. The requests for the opening of Salesian houses from Northern Italy in the period 1910-1921. Part One is the result of the research of Bro. Paolo Vaschetto, SDB. The statistical analysis of the sources found in the Salesian Central Archive highlights the percentage of letters from this area compared to the totality and the type of work requested. The research also investigates the wider social situation and the condition of youth before, during, and after the Great War.

        In the last article of this sector, Fr Thomas Anchukandam examines the First Salesian missionary expansion (1875-1910) - Some salient aspects. In view of the 150th anniversary of the first Missionary Expedition, the author analyzes the socio-cultural and political-ecclesiastical context of Italy and the mission lands. It emerges that Don Bosco and especially Fr Rua already understood the need to ensure a certain level of intellectual and cultural preparation and a certain accompaniment to all future missionaries.

        The critical edition of the text Conference of the Masters of Salesian Novitiates in Europe (Turin-Valsalice, May 28-29, 1923), edited by Fr Aldo Giruado, is presented in the SOURCES sector. While the revision of the novitiate regulations (published in 1924) was underway, Fr Filippo Rinaldi summoned the 14 European novice masters of the time to review, compare and "give the novitiates a uniform approach". Here the minutes are published, reconstructed by Fr Luigi Terrone after "almost thirty years".

        In the PROFILES sector, an essay by Fr Stanisław Zimniak is presented: Fr Paolo Albera (1845-1921) Second successor of Don Giovanni Bosco. Biographical outline.

        The issue is completed, as usual, by the contributions accepted in the Notes, Reviews and Recommendations sections.

        • Storia
        • ISS
        • Ricerche Storiche Salesiane
          Gian Francesco Romano

          South Sudan – Gladys, from young refugee to United Nations driver

          2 days 8 hours ago
          South Sudan – Gladys, from young refugee to United Nations driver

          (ANS - Juba) - Gladys is a young South Sudanese woman, already a widow and mother at 25, as well as one of the protagonists of the documentary “Palabek. Refuge of Hope” produced by the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid - “Misiones Salesianas” - to narrate the story of the refugees welcomed in the refugee camp of Palabek, Uganda, and of the Salesians who work there. Gladys always knew that to give her son Martin a better future than she had, she would have to study hard. Why she learned to repair motorcycles in the Salesian vocational training school in Palabek. A few weeks ago, her dream came true: she found a job as a professional driver at the service of the United Nations in Juba, the capital of her tormented country, South Sudan.

          The war had forced Gladys to flee her home to seek a better future elsewhere. She had become a refugee in Uganda, welcomed in Palabek, but had had to leave her son in her native village in the care of the child's grandmother. To see her son and mother, Gladys rented a motorbike and rode from Palabek to visit them on weekends whenever she could.

          After going through three refugee camps, in addition to peace, Gladys dreamed of only one thing: to become a professional driver. This is why she attended a Motorcycle Repair Course at the Don Bosco Technical School in Palabek, the only female among many men. "I don't care that they're all men. I want to learn how to repair motorcycles to avoid danger when I return to South Sudan," she explained. Nor was she discouraged by having to get up at dawn and walk more than 6 kilometers every day to get to classes on time.

          Gladys is now 25 and Martin is 4. She was part of the first class of graduates of the Don Bosco Technical School. While studying she also busied herself with a small sewing machine and so she earned some money for traveling on weekends. When she finished her lessons, her commitment and her involvement led her to take care of the materials warehouse of the technical school. Thanks to the support of "Misiones Salesianas" and the Salesian NGO "Jóvenes y Desarrollo", she was also able to learn to drive a car and obtained her driving license.

          In recent weeks she passed a driving test for the UN office in Juba and was hired. Her joy was so great that she returned to Palabek just to thank the Salesians for the opportunity they had given her with education at the Don Bosco vocational school.

          The farewell was, in truth, a "see you again soon". Because Gladys – a woman, young, poor, refugee, mother and widow, but above all a strenuous fighter - wants to keep in touch with the Salesians and make all her dreams come true. Her next challenge is to continue studying so that her son Martin can have a better future and can live in peace.

          {gallery}Palabek - Gladys - 2021{/gallery}

          • Sudan del Sud
          • Uganda
          • Rifugiati
          • ONU
          • AFE AFRICA EST
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Italy – Formation for aspirants to Primary ADMA of Valdocco begins

            3 days 8 hours ago
            Italy – Formation for aspirants to Primary ADMA of Valdocco begins

            (ANS - Turin) - The training course for people wishing to get to know the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) began in Valdocco on Sunday, 13 June. Following the group's own charism, the Eucharist, celebrated in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, and the recitation of the Rosary, were planned before any other activity; only afterwards did the moment of presentation of the path, of knowledge and sharing, begin.

            Fr Guido Errico, Rector of the basilica, invited all those present to reflect on the fact that they were gathered right under the basilica, where the foundations from which the stone construction of the Sanctuary began, and where aspirants to ADMA can also lay the foundations of their journey.

            Renato Valera, President of Primary ADMA, then highlighted that all over the world many groups walk together to get to know Mary and to transform their lives through her in imitation of Jesus.

            Fr Alejandro Guevara, World Spiritual Animator of ADMA, instead proposed to look at the day of the beginning of the journey as that of the conception of a new life. In this perspective, aspirants are called to be born as children of Mary, to be incorporated as members in her association. This is why Fr Guevara expressed the desire that this path lead them to fall in love more and more with Mary.

            Again, Tullio Lucca, former President of Primary ADMA, then added that at the base of this journey of faith and spirituality there is a relationship of love with Mary, who guides the aspirants all together towards Jesus, making them experience people and family. And he also recalled Don Bosco's intuition when he founded the basilica: a basilica of stones is not enough, one of people is needed who must place a strong bond with Jesus in the Eucharist and with Mary at the basis of their experience. “It is the Totus tuus of Luigi Maria Grignion de Montfort, the motto of Pope John Paul II: All with Mary, all for Mary, all through Mary who leads us to Jesus because she is the full transparency of Jesus”.

            Finally, speaking of the apostolate, he manifested the importance of bringing Jesus and Mary to others through a concrete love for one's brother, following Don Bosco's motto Da mihi animas coetera tolle, and bearing witness with his own life to the love received from Mary.

            The meeting ended with Fr Guevara’s last note, who underlined how, although it is Mary who guides the training course, the aspiring members of ADMA are also accompanied by all the other people who are part of the association.  

            • ADMA
            • Italia
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Poland – Salesian Missionary Center in Warsaw turns 40

              3 days 8 hours ago
              Poland – Salesian Missionary Center in Warsaw turns 40

              (ANS - Warsaw) - On 19 June the Salesian Missionary Center in Warsaw celebrated its 40th anniversary. For the occasion, a Mass was celebrated at 12 local time, presided over by Msgr. Jerzy Mazur, bishop of Ełk and President of the Commission for Missions within the Polish Episcopal Conference, during which 21 volunteers received their mandate and missionary crosses.

              These young people will leave in the coming weeks to work in various missionary outposts in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe. “We are all sent to go to the peripheries, to look for human beings wherever they live, work and rest and suffer. Having a missionary spirit is to go to preach,” underlined Msgr. Mazur in his homily.

              Subsequently, at 3 pm, a missionary program began, conducted by the television journalist Paulina Guzik. The highlights of the program were a round table with missionaries and volunteers, a teleconference with the missionaries - two sessions attended by men and women religious of the Salesian Family, together with several young people, active in Africa, Asia and Latin America - and a concert by Magda Anioł, Polish singer of Christian music.

              “The 40th anniversary of the Salesian Missionary Center is an opportunity for us to give thanks to God for the great amount of good that is being done through the Center,” said, on the sidelines of the Mass, Fr Jacek Zdzieborski, Director of the Salesian Missionary Center. “It is an opportunity to thank the missionaries for their attentive and zealous service on all continents. It is an opportunity to express gratitude to all benefactors, without whom this work would not be possible, as well as to volunteers, workers, collaborators, and all supporters of Don Bosco's missionary work. All together we form an army of thousands of people for whom the fate of another person does not remain indifferent to us. Together we create a Salesian Missionary Family!”

              During the day of celebration, a traveling exhibition on the history and activities of the Salesian Missionary Center was also presented, with pavilions full of gadgets brought from Madagascar and Ghana, books and missionary material, so that visitors could also take souvenir photos on a missionary background.

              The origins of the Salesian Missionary Center in Warsaw are associated with the "Project Africa" announced by the Salesian Family to the world in 1978. At the time Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and lay people were invited to missionary work in favor of the African Continent. The Salesian Missionary Center was established three years later, in September 1981. And over time it became not only a home for missionaries, but also a base for the development of missionary activities. New departments were created - for Missionary Projects and Long Distance Adoptions, which made it possible to materially support the missionary outposts. And in 2002, the Center began training lay volunteers for the mission. This is how the Don Bosco International Voluntary Service (MWDB) was born.

              {gallery}PLE - 40 anni Centro Missionario 2021{/gallery}

              • PLE POLONIA WARSZAWA
              • Polonia
              • Missioni
              • Procura Missionaria Salesiana Varsavia
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Mali – Salesians in a climate of pandemic: "We must stand by the side of the most vulnerable young people and their families"

                3 days 8 hours ago

                (ANS - Bamako) - The young Salesian Fr Romeo Salami, originally from Benin, but active in Mali - also in the Province of Francophone West Africa (AFO) - tells of the work that the Salesians are doing in this era of the coronavirus and its social consequences. “We are currently focused on responding to the needs of our young people and their families, many of whom are affected by the pandemic,” he says.

                “As in the whole world, here too Covid-19 has caused not only a health problem, but also a problem of reduced income or loss of jobs due to the confinement measures. And for the most vulnerable people, those who earn their living day to day, it's a very tough situation. Our goal is to stand by the side of the most vulnerable young people and their families in Mali,” adds the Salesian.

                Fr Salami, however, underlines the importance of solidarity. In fact, thanks to the generosity of many different people and entities, such as the Spanish development NGO "Bosco Global", it was possible to respond to the emergency situation by accompanying families, providing essential food in the hardest phases of the pandemic, carrying out campaigns for raising awareness on Covid-19, promoting hygiene and distributing materials to stem infections.

                Beyond the work in times of this pandemic-related emergency, one of the projects that most enthuses this young African Salesian is for the "Promotion of healthy educational entertainment for disadvantaged young people in the Niaréla neighborhood", in Bamako, a project that is also part of an international solidarity program, being supported by the Municipality of Pozoblanco, in Spain - the same municipality of which the late Salesian missionary Fr Antonio César Fernández was born, and who was killed on 15 February 2019 in Burkina Faso during an attack carried out by fundamentalist militiamen.

                The objective of this project, properly Salesian, is to strengthen the formation of the most disadvantaged young people in this district of Bamako through educational activities that promote cultural values ​​and the talent of each person: organized sports, music and free time young people far from the street and from bad acquaintances, while promoting brotherhood and favoring the integral growth of the person.

                “Seeing the boys and girls so happy in this project is something that gives me joy. Football and sport in general, as well as music and theater, are a way to bring joy even in times of confinement and social distance. Young people always need to feel together and united,” concludes Fr Salami.

                • Mali
                • Missioni
                • Spagna
                • Bosco Global
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Uganda – With Refugees… Towards An Ever Wider “We”

                  4 days 8 hours ago
                  Uganda – With Refugees… Towards An Ever Wider “We”

                  (ANS – Palabek) – Yesterday, Sunday 20 June, World Refugee Day was celebrated. The Salesians are strongly committed to the care of many young people and communities forced to abandon their homes and the Sector for the Missions intends to foster greater sensitivity on the subject in the Congregation for ever more incisive and effective work. For this reason, today we share a broad synthesis of the reflection of Fr Lazar Arasu, an Indian Salesian, in charge of the community of Palabek, in Uganda.

                  As I put down a message for World Refugee Day, I am receiving distressing telephone calls from the Health Centers in and around Palabek Refugee Settlement, Lamwo district where I work for the last four years that Coronavirus infections are growing almost every hour. The living conditions, particularly the hygiene situation in the refugee settlement, are appalling—it has always been so.

                  A refugee household often finds it difficult to get a piece of soap. In this background, we are called to celebrate the World Refugee Day.

                  This international day instituted by the United Nations is celebrated every year on 20th June. Every year the day highlights thoughts such as the rights of refugees, resilience in rebuilding their lives and offering them the protection that they are urgently in need of.  Refugees are our guests rather than strangers; they are our brothers and sisters rather than sojourners. Anyone can be forced to become migrants and refugees.  Most of them did not choose to be in the condition that they are. They are made refugees due to the war, insecurity, political turmoil, natural calamities, and even situations caused by climate change.

                  It is unfortunate that a considerable portion of humanity is made into refugees in the world of today. A deeper look into this reality tells us that it is human greed and selfishness of a few that has made fellow human beings to suffer untold misery. People who lived in their own land and earned their own living were deprived of their land and livelihood and forced to take refuge in unknown land and culture. Now even their self-worth and human dignity as persons are at stake.

                  In this context Pope Francis in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti invites everyone to live in the thought of “We” and “Us”, thus building a human family. In the context of the Coronavirus pandemic he wrote,  “Once this health crisis passes, our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism and new forms of egotistic self-preservation. God willing, after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those’, but only ‘us’” (No. 35). Yes, when we consider everyone as part of our family, no one will be a migrant and a refugee among us.

                  On 3rd May 2021, Pope Francis presented to the Church his message for the World Refugee Day with the theme: Towards an Ever Wider “We”. It is easy to combine the theme that is also given by the United Nations for the same—Together We Heal, Together Learn, Together We Shine. It is a sure fact that both messages overshadow each other. The word that shouts aloud in both themes is “WE”.

                  Together we heal, aimed at giving refugees access to primary and secondary health care, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, and mental health services.

                  Together we learn, aimed at transforming the lives of young refugees by offering education and building a better future.

                  Together we shine, aimed at supporting refugees to discover their creativity so as to discover their potentiality and make best use of their lives.

                  Healing, Learning and Shining can boost mental health and help refugees gain confidence, forge new friendships, and feel welcome. In this process using sports, games, new methods of learning and other creative activities can develop among the young refugees their inherent talents.

                  The word—pronoun “WE” stands for togetherness, unity, closeness, inseparability, friendship, and even intimacy. Perhaps, in the world of consumerism, materialism and profit-mindedness, the WE concept is easily forgotten and overlooked. Now the United Nations and world leaders such as Pope Francis are calling us to feel the sense of “WE”. At this moment this feeling alone can save refugees and everyone, especially in this dreadful period of Coronavirus pandemic. The feeling of “WE” can surely help us to stay together (though in physical/social distancing).

                  At the celebration of World Refugee Day often we hear speeches based on compassion, mercy, sharing and welcoming. Surely it is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

                  The day shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilize political will and resources so refugees can not only survive but also thrive. While it is important to protect and improve the lives of refugees every single day, international days like World Refugee Day help to focus global attention on the plight of those fleeing conflict or persecution. Many activities held on World Refugee Day create opportunities to support refugees.

                  Amidst maneuvering many politics and policies Uganda has been a haven for refugees. Being a poor and developing country it may not be in a position to offer the best for refugees. Uganda has been welcoming, especially on the part of ordinary citizens. Now it is the responsibility of the international community to keep their commitment to fulfilling their promises of meeting the basic needs of refugees, especially at this time of pandemic when the needs are growing everywhere, even among the wealthier nations. Vaccination should be extended to refugees, too.

                  Food rations have been reduced and support for livelihood programmes has been brought to the minimum. With the feeling of “WE” let us all put together our hearts and hands in reaching out to the refugees who are at our doorsteps. 

                  May the words of Pope Francis given for this day continue to ring in our ears, “I also make this appeal to journey together towards an ever wider “we” to all men and women, for the sake of renewing the human family, building together a future of justice and peace, and ensuring that no one is left behind. We are called to dream together, fearlessly, as a single human family, as companions on the same journey, as sons and daughters of the same earth that is our common home, sisters and brothers all.”

                  • AGL AFRICA GRANDI LAGHI
                  • Uganda
                  • Palabek
                  • Rifugiati
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Italy – A hospital dedicated to Servant of God Nino Baglieri

                    4 days 8 hours ago
                    Italy – A hospital dedicated to Servant of God Nino Baglieri

                    (ANS - Modica) - The Hospital of Modica, Province of Ragusa, Sicily, shall be dedicated to the Servant of God Nino Baglieri (1951-2007), Volunteer with Don Bosco (CFB). The news was given by the town's mayor, Ignazio Abbate, on 17 June: "The hospital of Modica will become 'Ospedale Maggiore Nino Baglieri'. Having received the availability of the Curia and the Direzione General Asp, there are no more obstacles to dedicating the health facility to our beloved Nino. A fair recognition for the example that Nino Baglieri has left throughout his life."

                    The Servant of God Nino Baglieri was born in Modica on May 1, 1951. After attending elementary school and taking up the profession of bricklayer, at the age of seventeen, on May 6, 1968, he fell down from a 17-meter-high scaffolding. Hospitalized, Nino realizes with bitterness that he has been completely paralyzed. Faced with a very dramatic situation, mother Giuseppina courageously and trusting in her God, makes herself available to take care of him personally for his whole life.

                    Thus begins Nino's path of suffering as he passes from one hospital to another, but without any improvement. Returning to his native town in 1970, after the first days of visiting friends, Nino began ten long dark years, without leaving his home, in solitude, suffering and much despairing. On March 24, 1978, Good Friday, at four in the afternoon, a group of people belonging to the Renewal in the Spirit prays for him; Nino feels a transformation in himself. From that moment he accepts the Cross and says his "yes" to the Lord.

                    He begins to read the Gospel and the Bible: he rediscovers the wonders of faith. By helping some kids, neighbors, with their homework, he learns to write with his mouth. In this way, he draws up his memoir, writes letters to people of all categories in various parts of the world, personalizes souvenir-images that he offers as homage to those who visit him. Thanks to a rod, he dials telephone numbers and gets in direct contact with many sick people and his calm and convincing word comforts them. A continuous flow of relationships begins that not only brings him out of isolation but leads him to bear witness to the Gospel of joy and hope.

                    From 6 May 1982 onwards, Nino celebrated the Anniversary of the Cross and, the same year, he joined the Salesian Family as a Salesian Cooperator. On 31 August 2004, he made his perpetual profession among the Volunteers with Don Bosco (CDB). On March 2, 2007, at 8 am, Nino Baglieri, after a period of long-suffering and trial, returns his soul to God. After death, he is dressed in overalls and sneakers, so that, as he said, “On my last journey to God, I will be able to run to meet him.”

                    On 2 March 2014, the diocesan inquiry into the cause of beatification and canonization of Nino Baglieri was officially opened in the diocese of Noto (Syracuse).

                    • Italia
                    • Santità Salesiana
                    • Nino Baglieri
                    • CDB Volontari Con Don Bosco
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      India – The “Training and Faith Formation of Catechists” project

                      4 days 8 hours ago
                      India – The “Training and Faith Formation of Catechists” project

                      (ANS – Guwahati) – Salesians in India were able to train 125 catechists with a year-long program thanks to funding Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, received through the Koch Foundation. The “Training and Faith Formation of Catechists” project prepared catechists to work in Roman Catholic parishes throughout the Salesian Guwahati Province, headquartered in Assam, India.

                      The catechists who completed the training are qualified to serve as educators in a variety of religious topics. This training enables laypeople to reliably convey Catholic Church teachings in a way that is understandable and relevant to the local circumstances of their particular parish. Motivational classes give individual laypeople the means to live their faith in a deeper and more authentic fashion in their daily lives.

                      Funding was utilized for printing booklets and stationery, other expenses for the faith formation trainings, food, lodging and an honorarium for the priests leading the training. Participants were also provided travel assistance.

                      “The project had such success that Salesians will continue the program on a yearly basis with their own meager resources,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Salesians are determined to bring the faith formation training to lay leaders so that they in turn will be able to move into the various villages to strengthen the faith of Christians, as well as bring new people to faith.”

                      Source: Mission Newswire

                      • India
                      • ING INDIA GUWAHATI
                      • Laici
                      • Catechisti
                      • Procure Missionarie
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        RMG – Formation and accompaniment course for newly appointed Provincials

                        1 week ago
                        RMG – Formation and accompaniment course for newly appointed Provincials

                        (ANS - Rome) - Tomorrow, 19 June, concludes the new edition of the Course for the recently appointed Provincials, the second which has taken place with the new General Council elected by the 28th General Chapter, and the second since the beginning of the pandemic. Starting from  June 6, seven Provincials have been sharing their days with the Rector Major and his first collaborators, learning about the programme and the guidelines of the Congregation and each one had the opportunity to present their own circumscriptions to the General Council.

                        The participants, who took part in this course coordinated by the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Stefano Martoglio, are:

                        • Fr José Pastor Ramírez, Provincial of the Antilles (ANT);
                        • Fr Giovanni D'Andrea, Provincial of Italy-Sicily (ISI);
                        • Fr Sigfried Kettner, Provincial of Austria (AUS);
                        • Fr Leonardo Mancini, Superior of Piedmont/Aosta Valley Special   Circumscription (ICP);
                        • Fr Melchor Trinidad, Provincial of United States West (SUO);
                        • Fr Mychajlo Czaban, Superior of Ukraine Vice Province (UKR);
                        • Fr Peter Timko, Provincial of Slovakia (SLK).

                        Comparing to the course that was organized last March for the Provincials, this new edition sees a small increase in participation; despite the numerous travel difficulties of this period, seven Provincials managed to reach Rome, seven now instead of six last time – and there has been an increase in its geographical composition: no longer only Provincials from EU countries, but also from the non-Schengen European area, and also from the American continent.

                        The legal elements relevant to the exercise of government, as well as the characteristics of animation, and the fundamental references for religious identity and discipline remain, as usual, the crux of the group  work of the Provincials. Moreover, the individual sharing of the objectives and projects with the Rector Major and the other Sector Councilors, favor the adoption of a broader perspective on the realities of the Congregation and nourish the climate of fraternity.

                        The present condition which manifests a decline of the Covid-19 infections in Italy allows this edition of the course to also enjoy its first "outings", a few places nearby in Rome which have great importance, and always with maximum precautions. Today, in fact, the Provincials will visit and know about the Salesian Pontifical University, its large and modern library, and also the Salesian research facilities of the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS) and of the Salesian History Association (ACSSA); and in the afternoon, almost as a spiritual flavor to the day’s itinerary, the Provincials will experience a moment of pilgrimage, prayer, and meditation at the Catacombs of San Callisto.

                        In light of this process of gradual return to normality, the formation and accompaniment courses offered by the Rector Major and his Council to the Provincials who have reached the mid-term of their mandate, will resume in Turin, coming September.

                        {gallery}RMG - Ispettori 2021{/gallery}

                        • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                        • Corso Ispettori
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Thailand – “We Are All In The Same Boat”

                          1 week ago
                          Thailand – “We Are All In The Same Boat”

                          (ANS – Bangkok) – The Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand is still going on, not only in Bangkok, the capital city. From the daily statistics issued, the number of people infected is still at the level between 2,300 - 3,000 people. From the recent survey, there have been infections of persons working in big factories, in many provinces, especially in Phetchaburi Province. Some 3,000 people were tested Covid-19 positive out of 5,000 workers, mostly from neighbouring countries. The virus has spread through the adjacent villages. The government has put more effort to bring the vaccines to the people, but percentage-wise, the numbers are not high. More time is needed.

                          Aside from this, because of the precarious situation in Myanmar, some residents especially along the border areas fled to take refuge in Thailand. They have experienced severe hardships.

                          Due to these situations, the Salesian Family of Thailand could not remain at ease. They have reached out to these people in the best way they can.

                          On 17 June 2021, Fr Aaron Alcoseba, the vice provincial, together with the members of the Salesian Family - composed of the Salesians [SDB], the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians [FMA], the Salesian Cooperators [ASC], the Association of Mary Help of Christians [ADMA], the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary [SIHM], the Institute of the Queenship of Mary [DQM], the Sisters of the Queenship of Mary [SQM] and the Salesian Past Pupils - joined forces to bring relief to the affected people. They prepared 500 food bags for the poor residents of the municipality of Khao Yoi, Phetchaburi Province, and the municipality of Banpong, Ratchaburi Province. Another 100 food bags were given to the refugees from Myanmar staying along the border of Kanchanaburi Province. This event was held at the grounds of the Office of the Salesian Society in Bangkok.

                          This activity was organized and coordinated by the Planning and Development Office [PDO] of the Salesian Province, under the project “We Are In The Same Boat”. On this special occasion, a great thank you was said to Fr Sarawin Phatsrirueang, the assistant director of the Social Development Centre of the Ratchaburi Diocese, for receiving these food bags to be distributed to the people infected by Covid-19, and also to Mr. Surasit Jit-uthat, a staff member of COERR Kanchanaburi, for bringing the food bags to be handed to the refugees.

                          “Since the areas affected by the Covid-19 pandemic have been put in 'lockdown', and the place of the refugees was difficult to reach, bringing the goods directly to the recipients was therefore impossible. Thank you ‘Diocesan Social Action Center – Ratchaburi’ [DISAC] and COERR - Kanchanaburi for acting as the 'human bridge' to bring the food donations to those who are suffering,” states the Thai Salesian Family.

                          {gallery}THA - Attivita FS 2021{/gallery}

                          • Thailandia
                          • THA THAILANDIA
                          • Famiglia Salesiana
                          • Coronavirus
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Spain – Salesian Social Platforms encourage people to welcome via words and fraternal discourse

                            1 week ago
                            Spain – Salesian Social Platforms encourage people to welcome via words and fraternal discourse

                            (ANS - Madrid) - World Refugee Day will be celebrated on Sunday 20 June. In Spain, last year, only 5% of the approximately 115,000 asylum applications were accepted, a percentage far below the European average of 33%. The Salesian Social Platforms assist about 1,000 people seeking international protection or refugee status, through residential resources for international protection, social and work integration programs, language learning, and hospitality.

                            Currently, the number of refugees and displaced persons in the world amounts to around 80 million. But beyond the numbers, there are people and their life stories that led them to flee their countries. People who, after having suffered serious violations of their fundamental rights, often encounter rejection and misunderstanding, lies and ignorance.

                            For this reason, this year the Salesian Social Platforms are encouraging people to become the first refuge for people who come to the Country in search of protection. With a message: “My voice does not spread lies or hoaxes, it does not share prejudices or join in xenophobic discourses. Even my voice is a refuge.”

                            In 2020, 88,762 people filled out asylum applications in Spain: a figure that is 25% lower than in 2019, but only due to the closure of the borders due to the pandemic, not because there have been improvements in the countries of origin. But these applications face many obstacles. The first is certainly the length of time to process them. “This means that refugees are forced to live on the street or in overcrowded camps,” the Salesian Social Platforms report.

                            Another problem is the lack of resources and personnel, especially specialized resources to deal with the circumstances of people seeking international protection. Add to this, the uncertainty as regards the model and the very continuity of the reception system.

                            Due to the slowness in receiving the necessary documents, "I always encounter many difficulties when I have to deal with bureaucratic formalities," testifies one refugee.

                            For this reason the Salesian Social Platforms request:

                            -       to increase the structures necessary to deal with requests for international protection within the terms established by law.

                            -       to provide more means for reception, which ensure adequate accompaniment of applicants seeking international protection and refugees already in the initial phase.

                            -       to provide more resources and stability to what already exists to promote the integration process at different levels: legal, administrative, linguistic, cultural ... in order to promote the integral development of people.

                            The Salesian Social Platforms have an integral reception program for young people aged 18 to 26 seeking international protection and refugees, supported by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, which welcomes about one thousand people.

                            Despite the pandemic, during 2020 and in this first part of 2021, the Platforms assisted 150 young people in their request for international protection: 14 applications were accepted, 19 rejected: but above all 80% of the applications presented by the Salesian Social Platforms are still awaiting resolution.

                            {gallery}Spagna - Rifugiati 2021{/gallery}

                            • Spagna
                            • Piattaforme Sociali Salesiane
                            • Rifugiati
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Rwanda – Day of the African Child: Salesians in AGL committed to strengthening Safe Environment for all Children

                              1 week ago
                              Rwanda – Day of the African Child: Salesians in AGL committed to strengthening Safe Environment for all Children

                              (ANS – Kigali) – As the African continent celebrates the Day of the African Child, the Salesians of Don Bosco in the Africa of the Great Lakes Province (Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda) call on parents to join hands in caring for the welfare of the children from birth to adulthood because that is what will help them to become good and valuable citizens for the country of origin and the continent in general.

                              Every year on June 16, the Day of the African Child is celebrated, with the theme of the year 2021 being “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children”.

                              This theme emphasizes everyone's role in complying with the contents of the African Union's 2040 Agenda, in particular where the call is to have an African Continent whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children.

                              Despite the COVID-19 pandemic not allowing to celebrate the Day of the African Child as it used to, the Salesians of Don Bosco believe that a child has the fundamental right to grow up safely, free from exploitation and abuse, and able to enjoy life and all the gifts of a compassionate God.

                              In the Province of Africa of the Great Lakes, the Salesians are striving to take care of as many children as possible through education in Nursery Schools, Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and a large number of young people who are enrolled in Vocational and Training Schools in order to prepare for their future.

                              Also, various programs have been put in place to fight against any form of violence against a child or anything that can deprive him or her of certain rights. For example, it is common for children to be exploited or to live a miserable life due to family problems, including limited resources.

                              Within Salesian centers, such children are given special attention, from physical to spiritual care, as well as getting them back to school. All of these activities are achieved with the help of others, including lay people, collaborators in the centers, donors, the church, the local government among others.

                              The Salesians of Don Bosco acknowledge that children and young people have equal rights to protection regardless of their gender, race, religion, disability, social or cultural background, or any other distinguishing characteristics.

                              The Constitutions of the Society of St Francis de Sales (Salesians) assert that the mission of the Salesians is to be in the Church “signs and bearers of the love of God for young people especially those who are poor," (Constitutions #2).

                              {gallery}AGL - Giornata Bambino Africano 2021{/gallery}

                              • AGL AFRICA GRANDI LAGHI
                              • Bambini
                              • Africa
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                RMG – Meeting of Regional Coordinators of Social Communication

                                1 week 1 day ago
                                RMG – Meeting of Regional Coordinators of Social Communication

                                (ANS - Rome) - The Regional Coordinators of Salesian Social Communication Sector met yesterday, June 16, 2021, in digital mode, with the General Councilor for Social Communication, Fr Gildasio Mendes, and the new members of the dicastery. The main agenda of the meeting was to take stock of the of the progress made in each Region in view of the launch of the “Salesian School of Social Communication” (SSCS), and to have an overview of all the programmes planned, in each of the regions.

                                The Regional Coordinators who took part in the meeting were: Fr Ernest Rosario (South Asia), Fr Peter Chinh (East Asia - Oceania), Fr Rigobert Fumtchum (Africa - Madagascar), Fr James Gardner (Central and Northern Europe), Fr João Carlos (Brazil) and Zaida Navarrete (Inter America).

                                At the opening of the meeting, Fr ​​Gildásio Mendes presented to all participants, his two new collaborators, who had joined the Department recently:  Fr Harris Pakkam, new Director of the Salesian iNfo Agency; and Fr Ricardo Campoli, who is taking care of the research in the areas of social networks and Salesian publishing houses.

                                Subsequently, the calendar of appointments of the Salesian Social Communication Sector for the second semester of 2021 was reviewed and approved.

                                Each Regional Coordinator then presented the modalities and specifics of their own SSCS program – taking into consideration that the SSCS provides for the first part of the common programme and the second part containing the specific modules would be realized as per the different needs and realities of the various Salesian Regions. On the whole, the catalogue of themes, time duration, dates, and resource persons involved were shared with the group.  

                                Another topic that came on the agenda was the study of the proposal to establish the Salesian World Communication Day.

                                Then Fr Mendes also illustrated how his in-depth formative study on the theme of the disciples of Emmaus was proceeding, which the Councilor for Social Communication was intending to develop to highlight the "Biblical Dimension" of Communication. "Understanding Communication from the perspective of Emmaus" is the objective set and on which they are working.

                                Finally, Fr Campoli specified about the modules he had developed for the questionnaire and survey that he would be sending to all the salesian houses globally  to evaluate the situation  of the Salesian social networks and publishing houses.

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

                                  El Salvador – UDB inaugurates new facilities to improve physical rehabilitation courses and enhance research

                                  1 week 1 day ago
                                  El Salvador – UDB inaugurates new facilities to improve physical rehabilitation courses and enhance research

                                  (ANS - Soyapango) - The "Universidad Don Bosco" (UDB) of El Salvador recently inaugurated the new facilities of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, as part of the "Walking Anew!". The intention is to help revolutionize the field of rehabilitation sciences by strengthening the skills of the next generation of professionals as well as developing innovative techniques that raise the standards of treatment for people with physical disabilities in the country and throughout Latin America.

                                  The construction of this new building responds to one of the four objectives that make up the project, which also includes an Applied Research Center that allows the exchange of information with sector professionals, internationally, as well as a podiatry laboratory and another for other specialized practices.

                                  With the construction of this new building, the UDB takes an important step forward, becoming the first university in El Salvador with a building built according to LEED parameters (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design - At the forefront of environmental and energy design), a paradigm based on the adoption of aspects related to energy efficiency, the use of alternative energy sources, the improvement of the internal environmental quality, efficiency in water consumption, sustainable development of the available land spaces, and the choice of ecological materials.

                                  Another phase will include updating the technological infrastructure of the existing orthotic and prosthetic laboratories, as well as the movement and walking analysis laboratory. Similarly, the Applied Research Center will be equipped with the technology necessary for the exchange of knowledge and experience with specific physical and academic rehabilitation centers identified in the United States and Latin America.

                                  The project was developed together with "Salesian Missions", the Salesian Mission Office of New Rochelle, and then presented to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA), which approved the project and allocated the funds for its execution - to which, however, UDB itself also made an important contribution.

                                  In this 2021, the "Universidad Don Bosco" celebrates 25 years of training professionals in orthoses and prostheses. In this quarter of a century it has trained 492 national professionals from all over Latin America, Angola, and the Balkan region, through Baccalaureate, Technical and Degree courses in Orthoses and Prosthetics offered both in-person and via distance learning. Its past pupils today work and are appreciated in El Salvador and around the world.

                                  Erika Vanessa Méndez

                                  • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                                  • El Salvador
                                  • Università
                                  • Ricerca
                                  • Disabilità
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Mozambique – Salesian College in Maputo has clean water access thanks to the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative”

                                    1 week 1 day ago
                                    Mozambique – Salesian College in Maputo has clean water access thanks to the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative”

                                    (ANS – Maputo) – Students and staff at the Salesian College in Maputo, Mozambique, will have clean water access thanks to funding from the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” Salesian Missions is the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

                                    The project provided a new borewell and water tank with a distribution system on the Salesian grounds, which houses the college and a Salesian coordination house. More than 700 people were directly impacted by this project and another 200 families from the local community will also be able to access the new water source.

                                    The Salesian College is a higher education institution dedicated to teacher training for professional, technical and vocational schools. The institution has close to 600 students attending and offers courses in hospitality and tourism, mechanics and electricity, information and communication technologies, and administration sciences. On the same grounds is the Salesian coordination house, which is the headquarters of the Salesians of Don Bosco for the entire country of Mozambique. The coordination team works and lives there.

                                    The borewell and new water source were needed because of the high cost of water supplied by the national network FIPAG (Investment Fund and Heritage of Water Supply). FIPAG also faces water supply capacity problems and has not been able to meet the demand for water. There are several restrictions and breaks in the supply that sometimes last a week. This makes it extremely difficult to run an educational institution with many students.

                                    The project will ensure that the Salesian community has access to the water supply it needs, keep costs low, and ensure the quality of water provided to Salesian staff and students. This project is the first phase. Additional funding is needed for an electrical pump and switchboard and other activities for clean water access.

                                    “Salesian Missions has made clean water projects a priority for the health and safety of those we serve,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Improving water access ensures that teachers and students are working and learning in an environment that promotes proper hygiene and has safe drinking water. This reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”

                                    Salesian missionaries have been living and working in Mozambique for 110 years, providing education and social development programs for poor youth. The country gained its independence in 1975, but a civil war erupted in 1977 and lasted until peace treaties were signed in Rome in 1992. The civil war left some 60,000 youth with few employment prospects, little training and war being their only education.

                                    Mozambique has made great strides in reducing poverty, according to the World Bank. But with nearly 50 percent of the population still living in poverty, progress has not been fast enough. Poverty is concentrated in rural areas, and even with growth within the country, the regions of Zambezia, Sofala, Manica and Gaza saw an increase in poverty in the 2000s.

                                    More than 70 percent of those living in poverty reside in rural areas and rely on farming and fishing to make a living. The vast majority of the rural population lives on less than $1.25 a day and lacks basic services such as access to safe water, health facilities and schools.

                                    • MOZ MOZAMBICO
                                    • Mozambico
                                    • Acqua
                                    • Procure Missionarie
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Peru – "Salesian solidarity in the Amazon"

                                      1 week 2 days ago

                                      (ANS - San Lorenzo) - “We have witnessed very painful situations. Covid-19 has brought death and doom. The vast majority of people were left without daily income during the state of emergency. The greed of speculators for medicines and oxygen cylinders has come to the surface; but greater was the goodness of heart that shone in the initiatives encouraged by the Salesian missionaries.” Thus begins Fr José Kamza, SDB, Director of the Salesian mission in San Lorenzo, Peru.

                                      The Salesian then continues:

                                      Without health professionals, care teams, medicines and facilities to treat the sick, there was nothing but divine consolation. First of all, bringing the sacraments to the sick. Then, accompanying the families of the deceased to the cemetery to pray. Through Masses, prayers, and spiritual assistance, they felt accompanied and comforted in these trying moments.

                                      On the social level, about 1,800 families - out of 6,000 who live in the Province of Datem del Marañón - received food baskets in the months when they could not work regularly: in San Lorenzo, in the cities along the river, and in the indigenous communities.

                                      The parish was able to provide this help thanks to the Peruvian “Don Bosco Foundation”, the Caritas of Yurimaguas, the Salesian Mission Office in Warsaw, its own resources, and the contribution of other private and state institutions.

                                      A fundamental service for hundreds of people of San Lorenzo and the neighboring communities was to be able to go to the parish to find out what subsidies they could receive: the one for rural workers, for self-employed workers, the #Yomequedoencasa bonus, the Universal Family bonus. … Salesian Brother José Gallego has become an expert in subsidies and grants, various pension and administrative procedures; the Salesian parish was the only institution where those who did not have an Internet connection could still access these services.

                                      And in terms of drugs and medicines, thanks to the help of the "Don Bosco Foundation", we were able to purchase anti-Covid-19 kits with ivermectin, azithromycin, and paracetamol for the communities of San Fernando, Kuyuntsa, Wijint, Andoas, Puerto Alegria, and for families of San Lorenzo.

                                      The "Juntos por el Datem" campaign (Together for the Datem)

                                      Never before has such broad support been achieved as in the city campaign "Together for the Datem". Undertaken and organized by the parish of San Lorenzo, it has attracted a torrent of funds as generous as the rivers of the Amazon. It was the miracle of solidarity that made it possible to purchase four oxygen concentrators and 104 cylinders to restore the breath of life to people infected with Covid-19 in the forgotten villages of the Province of Datem del Marañón. A radio play, a lottery with a motorcar as a prize, and other activities were organized with the unanimous support of citizens, businesses, organizations, and municipalities.

                                      Aid has also come from abroad. I was touched by the enthusiasm of the communities. For example, one community - San Isidro - had no money to send. And so they collected the salted fish, brought it to the parish, and allocated the money from the sale to the collection.

                                      {gallery}PER - Don Kamza 2021{/gallery}

                                      • Perù
                                      • PER PERÙ
                                      • Coronavirus
                                      • Solidarietà
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Colombia – "Ciudad Don Bosco": Colombian youth towards a sustainable economy

                                        1 week 2 days ago

                                        (ANS - Medellín) – Every year the Salesian "Ciudad Don Bosco" center in Medellín, Colombia, welcomes and accompanies hundreds of minors on an educational path for the whole person that is strongly oriented towards environmental sustainability and respect for the Common Home.

                                        The Salesian community that runs the center concentrates its service in five sectors: school, first employment, the parish, a production company, and protection activities, especially towards street children.

                                        The Salesian center is also involved in significant prevention work in the Medellín neighborhoods for the schooling of minors working in the mines in Amagá, south of the city, and in reintegration activities for former child soldiers recruited in the armed movements. The "Casa de protección especializada" program is aimed at them, involving a large group of professionals, more than half being former street children who now wish to help today's children to have better opportunities for their future.

                                        At the end of their studies, Ciudad Don Bosco offers these young people reintegration paths in the world of work in the following sectors: mechanics, electrical installations, fashion, cooking, logistics, accounting, and marketing.

                                        Two large companies, 55% supported by the Colombian government, are also part of the works managed by the Salesian community: one deals with lithography and graphic design, while the other involves metalworking.

                                        The community that runs "Ciudad Don Bosco" has chosen to embrace the values ​​of care for the Common Home contained in Laudato Si'. "Thanks to the help of the government in the community land we have planted potatoes, tomatoes, beans and planted 6,500 trees, thanks to which we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. We have also activated projects aimed at improving the hydrographic basin and the micro-basins of water scattered over the mountains, installed a water treatment plant, and invested in sanitary fittings and other materials that allow us to save and reduce water consumption," explained Juan Pablo Sandoval, Ciudad Don Bosco Project and Institutional Development Coordinator.

                                        Also, through a number of small gardens, the work provides the necessary food to be able to feed over 300 young people every day. And a project has also been developed for heating water using solar panels which allows for a substantial reduction in energy consumption.

                                        “In Ciudad Don Bosco,” explains Robinson Àlvarez, Ciudad Don Bosco environmental management coordinator, “we have developed alliances with control bodies that help us to foster an ecological culture with our children and adolescents, oriented towards the care and protection of our environmental heritage. We have undertaken many concrete actions, campaigns for water care, the efficient use of natural resources, the protection of our fauna and flora, separate waste collection. In this way, we have set up a research center for the benefit of our young people and we have allowed the creation of an ecological nucleus.”

                                        Cristiana Noaptes

                                        {gallery}COM - Ciudad DB 2021{/gallery}

                                        • Colombia
                                        • COM COLOMBIA MEDELLIN
                                        • Ciudad Don Bosco
                                        • Bambini di Strada
                                        • Bambini Soldato
                                        • Laudato Si
                                        • Ambiente
                                        • Creato
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          52 minutes 28 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
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