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RMG – "Energy Forever". Salesian institutions publish their Final Declaration

19 hours 52 minutes ago

(ANS - Rome) - At the end of the international Salesian conference on clean, renewable green energy, entitled "Energy Forever" - Rome, November 26-27 - representatives of various NGOs, Mission Offices and Salesian institutions of around 20 countries from all over the world, led by the Congregation's Economer General, Salesian Brother Jean Paul Muller, and by the General Councilor for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, drew up and signed a final Declaration, which contains specific commitments on the protection of Creation in terms of care of and for the "common home" that the Salesian world fully feels its own, and not just from today.

“For our young people, it is a matter of their very survival,” says Bro Jean Paul Muller, the Economer General of the Salesians, speaking of climate change. Since many years, the Salesian Congregation has been conscious of the problem of the environment. The movement named DON BOSCO GREEN ALLIANCE worked on this theme at the educational and awareness level. The Institutions and Provinces adopted concrete practices that reduce pollution, promote recycling and encourage the use of solar energy. The encyclical, Laudate Sì added impetus to our work in this line.

And that is why last November, the Economer General's Office and the Sector for the Missions promoted the "Energy Forever" conference on green, clean and renewable energy.

“The timing of the conference is perfect,” says Fr Basanes, “as the topic is in perfect harmony with the theme of General Chapter 28 – Which Salesian for the youth of today?” This conference, named ‘ENERGY FOREVER’, concluded in Rome on 27 November 2019 with a statement requesting the entire congregation to give ‘Climate Emergency’, as Pope Francis calls it, the urgent attention that our young people want us to.

This final statement or appeal of the conference can be found on this website, in English and Italian.

A record of the vast amount of work already being done by the Congregation in the field of renewable energy also can be found here.

More information about the vast movement DON BOSCO GREEN ALLIANCE (which now has over 200 Salesian institutions as members) can be found at www.donboscogreen.org 

For more information about the conference and/or the resources shared at the conference, write to mcgeorge@sdb.org 

  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
  • Creato
  • Ambiente
  • Economia
  • Missioni
    Gian Francesco Romano

    India – Collaboration between tea producers and Salesians to prevent female trafficking

    19 hours 52 minutes ago
    India – Collaboration between tea producers and Salesians to prevent female trafficking

    (ANS - Siliguri) - During a conversation between the well-known entrepreneur Mr Rajah Banerjee, of the renowned company "Rimpaocha Tea" based in Siliguri, and the Campus Minister of the Salesian Institute of Sonada, Fr C.M. Paul, an "Industry-College Partnership" was established and ratified, a partnership aimed at benefiting the vocational training of adolescent females in the area who are at risk of exploitation.

    This agreement shall offer high-level vocational training to the region's adolescents and young people, who will thus be more aware of their qualities and more resources and opportunities to reject the deceptive lure of traffickers.

    "'Education and skill training is the only solution, to prevent them [girls] from falling easy prey to stalking flesh traders who lure the unsuspecting girls with false promises of quick bucks and better future outside,'' says Salesian College Principal Dr. (Fr.) George Thadathil.

    The Salesian College, founded in 1938 and located in the village of Gorabari, 2 km from the town of Sonada and at an altitude of almost 2,000 meters above sea level, has more than 95% of the student population from the hills of Darjeeling, a region known throughout the world for the quality of its tea leaves.

    In the District of Darjeeling, there are currently 83 tea farms covering an area of about 19,000 hectares; they provide stable employment to over 52,000 people.

    In addition to the typical problem of migration from rural regions, and to the dangers of trafficking in girls, another element that affects educational opportunities for young people is the low wages of the sector's workers.

    The NGOs working to prevent trafficking estimate that ''over 400 girls are trafficked every year from tea gardens, mostly those that have stopped functioning.'' Traffickers, in fact, first look for their victims where hunger and poverty are higher, and not where businesses are stable and there are more opportunities for higher education and health facilities.

    For his part, Mr. Banerjee, belonging to a dynasty of tea growers, the first to start tea cultivation in Darjeeling, besides being committed to training young women, is among the pioneers of sustainable agriculture in the region.

    "Rimpocha is not just tea," explains Banerjee, "but a philosophy of life which stands on five pillars of sustainability: healthy soil, economically-empowered women, biodynamic compost and fuel from the holy cow, fair price and trade for marginalized growers and technological assistance for direct marketing of their produce."

    Source: Don Bosco India

    • India
    • INC INDIA CALCUTTA
    • Ragazze
    • Giovani a Rischio
    • Tratta
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Italy - XXIII Formation Course in Missionary Pastoral Care concludes

      19 hours 52 minutes ago
      Italy - XXIII Formation Course in Missionary Pastoral Care concludes

      (ANS - Rome) - A group of 34 missionaries from all over the world - 13 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, 2 Franciscan Sisters and 19 Salesians of Don Bosco – have participated in the XXIII Formation Course in Missionary Pastoral. The last stop is in the footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem.

      The missionaries arrived from India, Congo, Cambodia, Argentina, Syria, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the Philippines and Brazil. Some were part of the 150th Salesian Missionary Expedition and thus received the Missionary Cross on September 29 last, in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. In one way or another, these months of reflection and deepening served to keep alive the words of Pope Francis: "We are missionaries of an outgoing Church ... In fact we are mission, as the Church is mission."


      The three-month formation course held at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome began with the study of the sources of the Salesian charism at Valdocco and Mornese.

      It was not just an experience of deepening missionary, theological, pastoral and ecclesial themes, but "an experience of profound spirituality with the Spiritual Exercises in the Fraternal Domus of Sacrofano that spontaneously invited us to prayer and depth," declared Sister Liliane Kaputo, FMA, who attended the course.


      During the various weeks, the participants had the opportunity to go as pilgrims to Rome and to some important places where great spiritual figures were born and lived, such as Assisi (St Frances), Siena (St Caterina) and Subiaco (St Benedict). "The pilgrimage not only motivated us, but also invited us to enter into communion with these great saints of the Church. Visiting the Catacombs of San Callisto, walking in the footsteps of St. Paul and visiting the excavations of the Tomb of St. Peter in the Vatican have allowed us to enter into harmony with a Church of martyrs, a minority Church, an outgoing Church," continues the religious.

      The course participants were also close to Pope Francis in a Wednesday hearing. "We could feel him so closely, feel ourselves in deep communion with him and feel obliged, solicited and even sent forth as missionaries."

      All the participants confirm that it was a moment of spiritual richness and missionary renewal, thanks to over 200 hours of formation, with the participation of experts from various important topics for missionary commitment.

      "There are still many challenges, but we are sure that after this time of formation, reflection and prayer, we will be able to leave with more enthusiasm and trust in God. All of us are mission," concludes Sister Kaputo.

      • Italia
      • Missioni
      • Pastorale
      • Università
      • UPS UNIVERSITÀ PONTIFICIA SALESIANA
        Gian Francesco Romano

        East Timor – Creative ways to foster the EAO missionary cultures

        19 hours 52 minutes ago
        East Timor – Creative ways to foster the EAO missionary cultures

        (ANS – Dili) – When you contemplate the whole “missionary culture landscape” in the East Asia-Oceania (EAO) provinces, you may give thanks for the wonderful creativity of different ways of fostering the missionary interest of Salesians, Youth and Lay Mission Partners. Here some clues:

        • Missionary Month is already established in some provinces: AUL, CIN province
        • Missionary exhibit is again on the move: FIN province shows the way
        • Missionary volunteer group or movement is making impact on the whole province: AUL, FIS, VIE provinces
        • Extensive use of the web and social media for spreading the missionary witnesses: All 12 EAO provinces
        • Missionary becomes the image of the whole province: Fr. John Lee Memorial Center in Busan, Korea
        • Growing synergy of Mission Animation with the PDO or Mission offices (fundraising): VIE, AUL, KOR, GIA provinces
        • Missionary formation and accompaniment of the missionary ad gentes: VIE (3 months intense course before departure)
        • Consistent translations and spread of Cagliero11 as the effective tool of missionary culture (CIN, GIA, INA, KOR, THA, TLS, VIE)
        • Salesian Mission Day or Month 2019 has produced many new materials, experiences and tools for animation: All 12 EAO provinces.

        Last November Dili, East Timor, has hosted the annual Meeting of the Delegates of Missionary Animation in the EAO Region; and aside from the usual annual report on the progress of Missionary Animation in each province, the Delegates discussed the 'Handbook of Salesian Missionary Animation' (ed 2017), Salesian Missionary Volunteering (ed. 2019) as well the fruits of the recent Extraordinary Mission Month (October 2019) promoted by Pope Francis in the whole Catholic world. These institutional documents are an effective help for the building of the missionary culture with clear goals, methods.

        In their reports the Delegates also shared a wide range of challenges that are connected to external influence (e.g. diminishing number of long term missionary volunteers) or to the internal Salesian culture (e.g. lack of synergy with other sectors - mainly Formation, SC or Youth Ministry; multitasking of the Delegate; the lack of an established consistent provincial team for Mission Animation (including SDB, Youth and Lay); exploring the most effective ways of reaching each local community (visit from the Delegate, missionary theme for one monthly recollection every year); some resistance to promoting missionary vocation ad gentes etc.

        On the last day of the meeting, the Delegates with their Coordinator will discern the most relevant resolutions for next 12 month of their ministry.

        Missionary Animation reports 2019

        • Timor Est
        • TLS TIMOR EST
        • Asia EstOceania
        • Missioni
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Italy – "Don Bosco wanted to come here!" Don Bosco mural inaugurated

          1 day 19 hours ago

          (ANS - Foggia) - On the day when Mary Immaculate is celebrated and the birth of the Salesian oratory is commemorated, in the city of Foggia, in the outlying district of Candelaro, the large mural representing Don Bosco, by Jorit, the famous street artist, was inaugurated.

          Used, as planned, on Saturday 7 December for the last scenes of the Rector Major's Strenna for 2020 - thanks to the collaboration of many young extras - the work was inaugurated at the end of the morning Mass on Sunday 8, presided by Fr Angelo Santorsola, Superior of the “Blessed Michael Rua” Province of Southern Italy (IME).

          The ceremony was attended by a large crowd of faithful, many youth from the oratory and many inhabitants of the neighborhood. First, a brief artistic representation animated by the youngsters took place, then followed the traditional Marian circle - the Salesian custom of reciting a prayer to Mary on the feast of the Immaculate Conception by forming a large circle, in memory of the birth of the oratory; then followed the final blessing-inauguration of the great work of art.

          There were also official speeches. "Don Bosco feels at home in this neighborhood, because it is a neighborhood populated by young people and where there are young people, he is there. Young people are the present, to cultivate, to welcome, to help grow. The commitment of the Salesians is to bring out the beauty that every young person has in himself," said Fr Santorsola.

          The event was also attended by Fr Filiberto González, General Councilor for Social Communication, and the General Bursar of the Congregation, Salesian Brother Jean Paul Muller, who came from Rome specifically to represent the Salesian General Directorate, which commissioned the work; and the mayor of Foggia, dr. Franco Landella.

          "Don Bosco wanted to come here," reiterated Fr González, also underscoring the opportunity of the Saint's portrait being among the youth of the popular or working classes. Then, also in reference to the feast of Mary Immaculate, he stressed that to educate the young of Foggia the Salesians do not feel alone, but know rather that they can count on families and, especially, on mothers.

          Brother Muller highlighted the mural's message of hope, that is that in the end good is stronger than evil and violence. To this end, he emphasized the particularity of this work, which, contrary to Jorit's traditional style, does not feature a dark background from which the subject's face emerges by contrast, but in this case we have a colored background, of red and blue, which serves to place Don Bosco halfway between earth and Heaven.

          Finally, the Mayor of Foggia, who worked very hard to ensure that the mural could be created in a short time, thanked the Salesians for choosing his city for this art work, expressing how this monument redevelops and requalifies the entire district.

          {gallery}Italia - Inaugurazione murale 2019{/gallery}

          • Italia
          • Arte e Cultura
          • Don Bosco
          • IME ITALIA MERIDIONALE
          • Filiberto González
          • Jean Paul Muller
          • Comunicazione Sociale
          • Economia
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Spain – "Malaga is a good land to establish our style, Don Bosco wants this place": 125 years of Salesian presence

            1 day 19 hours ago

            (ANS - Malaga) - "Being in Malaga is like being in another Valdocco. We must thank Don Bosco and his Mother for having shaped this dream," said the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime on the occasion of the celebration of 125 years of Salesian presence in Malaga.

            In recalling the history of the Salesians' arrival in the city, the premonitory words of Fr Michele Rua, the First Successor of Don Bosco at the head of Congregation, came to mind. "Malaga is a good land to establish our style, Don Bosco wants this place and a great future starts here."

            The Salesians have been present in Malaga since 1894. The 19th century was difficult for the city: economic regression, misery, illiteracy and social upheaval were the predominant features. As soon as they arrived, the Salesians brought their educational and pedagogical style and took care of the "San Bartolomé" school, whose first Director was Fr Epifanio Salvatore Fumagalli. Another important event for this city was the canonical coronation of the statue of Mary Help of Christians, the first to be performed in Spain and the fourth in the world.

            After the civil war, the Salesians quickly began reconstruction work. New pavilions, new church, new workshops, which formed the current and modern institute, which houses about 1,300 students.

            There were celebrations and thanks to God given during the past weekend, with the participation of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians.

            On Saturday 7 December, the act of welcome to the Rector Major, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, by Fr Ángel Asurmendi, Superior of the “Spain-Mary Help of Christians” Province, Fr Antonio Gil, Director, and with the representatives of the groups of the Salesian Family. "We enjoyed an intimate, familiar and emotional moment. 'It's forbidden to complain', he told us and invited us to continue dreaming and keeping the Salesian charism alive in our home," participants said.

            Two important moments marked the 125th anniversary celebration. One was the festive celebration in the grand Cervantes Theater, one of the city's oldest, where "Don Bosco, the musical" was represented - a work that gives an account of the brilliant insights born from the pedagogical anxiety of the dreamer and great Piedmontese educator; the second, the celebration of the solemn closing Mass of the anniversary.

            "The most important thing is the Salesian charism of this house. It is the Salesian life that is lived and breathed in these 125 years of Salesian presence in Malaga. I invite you to continue dreaming like Don Bosco," said the Rector Major.

            {gallery}SPAGNA MALAGA 125 anni{/gallery}

            • Spagna
            • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Ángel Fernández Artime
            • Anniversari
              Gian Francesco Romano

              RMG – A completely new digital oratory: "SDB.org" website renewed

              1 day 19 hours ago

              (ANS - Rome) - Starting yesterday, 8 December, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and the anniversary of the birth of the Salesian oratory, the Salesian Congregation has a totally renewed institutional website: the address has remained the same - www.sdb.org - but the inside of this vast "digital oratory" has been deeply rearticulated.

              In the long renewal process, which has lasted almost two years, and strongly supported by the General Councilor for Social Communication, Fr Filiberto González, three fundamental principles were followed: first, to recover and reorganize as best as possible the vast contents of the institutional website to allow maximum usability. It is a site that boasts nearly 25 years of history (it started in 1995), which has reached its sixth edition and has about 18,000 pages.

              Secondly, it is a site that wants to clearly emphasize the Congregation's global vision: several specific tools, such as the map of Salesian presences or the focus on some peculiar works, serve precisely to transmit and spotlight the dimension and the reach of Salesian works across the globe.

              Finally, it was developed with a gaze to the future: the site's development was carried out in the perspective of the continuous and ongoing “Digital Transformation”, thinking, that is, to favor as much as possible, the personalized use of the tools at hand, compatibility of systems, ease of use and sharing.

              In addition to these general principles, the site's developers worked on three operational guidelines: use a very modern language as regards graphics and presentation; represent a "digital oratory" open to all Salesians and to those who share the charism; and pursue maximum simplicity and intuitiveness, both graphically and functionally.

              "In three to four clicks at most it is possible to arrive at the desired resource," explained Br. Hilario Seo, SDB, the site webmaster.

              The work of renewal of the SDB.org site, coordinated by Br. Seo, was created in collaboration with the Spanish web development agency "DOSATIC" and with the Social Communication Delegates of the Salesian Provinces and Vice Provinces throughout the world.

              The site is available in six languages and, of course, is still in the phase of growth and implementation and, above all, as regards the enhancement and completion of sections such as the presentation of Salesian houses and centers, their location on the map, the data on the Provinces ... which will require the active collaboration of many Salesians present in the different local realities.

              To collaborate, you can send an email to: admin@sdb.org 

              Almost 25 years after its first launch, SDB.org continues to be a digital oratory open to all.

              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
              • Oratorio
              • Comunicazione Sociale
              • Sito
                Gian Francesco Romano

                RMG - Rector Major's 2020 missionary appeal

                1 day 19 hours ago
                RMG - Rector Major's 2020 missionary appeal

                (ANS - Rome) - December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, is the date chosen by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to make the customary missionary appeal addressed to the entire Congregation.

                At the beginning of the video of the missionary appeal for 2020, which comes a few months after the 150th Missionary Expedition, the Rector Major shows what he himself calls "a real jewel": the book which holds the name of every Salesian confrere who has left as missionary over the years. Holding this precious book, Fr Á.F. Artime makes his appeal, "an enthusiastic missionary appeal and with a strong conviction."

                "This is our reality and this is also the identity of our Congregation," the Rector Major tells us. "You know that Don Bosco carried a great missionary passion in his heart." And in the light of this passion, the Successor of Don Bosco addresses the Provinces, his confreres, the whole Congregation, so that they may always be generous and never give up listening to the Lord.

                The complete video is available in the different channels, divided by language, of ANSChannel.

                • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • Appello Missionario
                  Virginia Nitto

                  RMG - Appointment of new Provincial of South Argentina: Fr. Ramón Darío Perera

                  4 days 19 hours ago
                  RMG - Appointment of new Provincial of South Argentina: Fr. Ramón Darío Perera

                  (ANS - Rome) - On the day of the commemoration of Blessed Philip Rinaldi, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, with the General Council's consensus, appointed Fr Ramón Darío Perera as the new Provincial of South Argentina (ARS), for the period 2020-2026.

                  Fr Perera was born in the city of Victorica on 7 December 1964. He is the son of Jesús María Perera and María Rita Pereira. He studied at the "San Juan Bosco" Institute in Victorica and participated in the parish's association activities, such as the Argentine Catholic Action in Mallín.

                  Fr Perera made his Religious Profession as Salesian of Don Bosco in the Basilica "Sagrado Corazón" of La Plata on 31 January 1985. He is professor of Philosophy and Educational Sciences with orientation in Youth Ministry (1987), and has a Baccalaureate in Theology.

                  On 16 April 1994 he was ordained a priest in the parish of "Nuestra Señora de la Merced" in Victorica. From February 1995 until February 1997, he was in charge of pastoral care and director of the Del Valle agricultural engineering school (province of Buenos Aires). During 1997, he worked as a formator in the post-novitiate and later in Del Valle as director in 1998.

                  In 2000 he was responsible for pastoral work of the "Sagrado Corazón" center of La Plata and from 2001 to 2005 director of the "Domingo Savio" of Santa Rosa, capital of the province of La Pampa.
                  In the former La Plata province, he was coordinator of the Provincial Team of Schools (1996-1999), formator of theology students (1999), Provincial Councilor (2002-2005) and Provincial Vicar (2006-2009).

                  In 2010, with the beginning of the Province of “Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá, South Argentina, he was Provincial Vicar (2010-2012), Provincial Councilor and director of the Salesian agrotechnical school of Del Valle (2013-2018). In 2019, he became the director and pastor of the Salesian community "La Piedad" in the city of Bahía Blanca.

                  The appointment as new Provincial will take place on 4 February 2020 in the Shrine "Nuestra Señora de las Nieves y Laura Vicuña" of Junín de los Andes, in the presence of Fr Natale Vitali, Councilor for the America South Cone Region.

                  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                  • Ispettori
                  • Argentina
                  • ARS ARGENTINA SUD
                    Jesus Jurado

                    Spain – Ordinary people with extraordinary abilities: International Volunteer Day

                    5 days 19 hours ago
                    Spain – Ordinary people with extraordinary abilities: International Volunteer Day

                    (ANS - Madrid) - Today, Thursday 5 December, International Volunteer Day is being celebrated. The Salesian Family wants to focus on this day, given that volunteering is one of the driving forces behind the activities it carries out.

                    The Salesian Family commemorates the International Day of Volunteering as a large number of volunteers all over the world collaborate with the youth-center oratories, in social platforms and in parishes, in missionary volunteer programs, as in youth and ecclesial movements.

                    To celebrate this day, for example, the "RECONOCE" program, promoted by the Confederation of Youth Centers "Don Bosco" of Spain, has proposed to flood the social networks with photographs that bear witness to the importance of volunteering. The idea is that each volunteer uploads a photo of him/herself with the hashtag #PersonasCorrientesConHabilidadesExtraordinarias and thus give "faces" to this day of celebration, December 5 (# 5D).

                    In 1985 the UN proclaimed this international day to give recognition to the work and dedication of all those who work as volunteers, as well as to all the organizations that support them. Volunteering allows individuals and communities to participate in their own growth and that of societies.

                    "RECONOCE" is a project led by the Confederation of Don Bosco Youth Centers of Spain, in collaboration with the "Didania" Federation and the "ASDE" Scouts of Spain, who decided to work together to highlight the experience of volunteering in the sector of educational leisure time, to make the business world and society in general aware of the skills acquired through volunteering and to improve the employment opportunities of young people. Just these three youth organizations, together, have about 15,000 volunteers throughout Spain ...

                    The Confederation of Don Bosco Youth Centers of Spain currently consists of 9 Federations that operate in 14 Autonomous Communities and which, in turn, comprise 126 youth centers. It has around 3,521 volunteers and 127 people who work full-time with contracts, all of whom serve around 66,000 people in various programs and initiatives.

                    Updates, with all the news of the project, are available at the website: www.reconoce.org

                    Furthermore, every year the volunteer platform of Spain, to which the Salesian organizations belong, publishes a poster around the celebration of this #5D; this time, with the slogan: "Volunteering and Planet" related to the 25th United Nations conference on climate changes (COP25) underway in Madrid.

                    Last week, the organizations of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians presented their proposals for the care of this common house through the Campaign: "Ponte en verde por el futuro de los jóvenes" (Go green for the future of young people.)

                    • Spagna
                    • Volontariato
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Brazil – Donations of clay filters alleviate suffering of Xavante natives in Campinapolis

                      5 days 19 hours ago
                      Brazil – Donations of clay filters alleviate suffering of Xavante natives in Campinapolis

                      (ANS - Campinápolis) - About 9,000 people, all of them Xavante, live in the 180 villages served by the Campinapolis Missionary Ministry.  In that region, in the eastern part of the State of Mato Grosso, the rainy season is in progress, which relieves the intense heat and brings other benefits to the vegetation, but also causes health problems to the local population.

                      Nurse Géssyca Santiago is the head of indigenous health in the village "Cuerpo de Cristo", where about 100 people live, and she has detected a serious health problem. "We have seen that cases of diarrhea in the community increase during the rainy season, because the river water, which they use for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing clothes, is very dirty and muddy."

                      The inhabitants of some villages near Campinápolis already enjoy the water of artisanal wells, some made by teams led by the Salesian Alois Würz, of the AMA Project, and others by the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (SESAI). But the families of the village of "Cuerpo de Cristo" continue to survive only with water from the São Felipe river, which runs through the region.

                      To deal with the problem - which can only be fully solved by supplying treated water to the population - pastoral agents have produced a series of guidelines on how to proceed in using the water collected from the river. First, information and spoons were distributed so that they could learn how to make whey - used for the treatment of the disease; then clay filters were distributed. These two initiatives managed to contain the cases of diarrhea.

                      Salesian deacon José Alves said the material was obtained through donations from benefactors and friends who work for indigenous peoples.

                      "It's very sad that when we arrive in the village we see malnourished children and we cannot do anything. We leave with an anguished heart. We fight so that children do not suffer from malnutrition, because once it is diagnosed, it is difficult to resolve," says volunteer Deusmira Moreira.

                      At the ecclesial level, the indigenous peoples of Campinapolis are part of the parish of "San Domenico Savio", whose parish priest is the Salesian Fr Bartolomeo Giaccaria. The participation of the Salesian Mission of Mato Grosso is acknowledged and appreciated by the community and the authorities. "It is a joy to be able to count on the support of the Salesians and of the health teams. Without this support, we are nothing," explains Moreira.

                      "I really want to thank the Salesians. With this help, we can do more and more. It is a great honor for me to be able to save lives. Not only those of children, but also of pregnant women and the elderly," reiterated Deusmira.

                      Euclides Fernandes

                      • Brasile
                      • BCG
                      • Povertà
                      • Indigeni
                      • Missioni
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Hong Kong – Don Bosco Discovery Centre ever new

                        5 days 19 hours ago
                        Hong Kong – Don Bosco Discovery Centre ever new

                        (ANS - Hong Kong) – “Don Bosco Discovery Centre” is located in the Catechetical Centre, Tang King Po School - Hong Kong. DB Discovery Centre is one of the China province Centenary Celebrations (1906-2006), following a simple chronological concept from the life and mission of Don Bosco the Founder until the present reality of Salesian Work in the world and especially in the four territories of China province.

                        The EAO Social communication and Formation delegates were also happy to visit this meaningful venue during the last day of the 2019 meeting, last November.

                        The EAO Delegates, guided by the Viceprovincial, Fr. Domingos Leong, were able in 30 minutes time to get a deeper insight not only into the history, pedagogy and spirituality of our Father and Founder, but especially into the moving history of 113 years of our mother province.

                        From the Macau foundation (1906), through the Vicariate of Shiu Chow with the Martyrdom of Bishop Versiglia and Fr. Caravario, following the marvelous development of the 20 schools in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan over the years, the numerous Salesian witnesses, 'confessors of faith', and the richness of Salesian charism expressed in many vibrant groups of the Salesian Family, Salesian Bulletin, Youth ministry and contribution to civil society and local Chruch.

                        The “Discovery Centre” in Hong Kong looks like the “Salesian Historic Hall” in Seoul provincial house (Korea), Hua Hin Salesian Hall (Thailand), Manila-Makati Salesian Missionary Exhibition (Philippines) or Cimatti Museum in Tokyo (Japan).

                        And there’s hope that other EAO Provinces will also offer insight into the Salesian rich charismatic history to the young, lay mission partners, Salesian Family members.

                        • Hong Kong
                        • CIN CINA
                        • Musei
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Brazil – Unforgettable experience for volunteers of "Operation Mato Grosso"

                          6 days 19 hours ago

                          (ANS - Campinápolis) - They spent six months in Brazil, working among the "poorest in the Kingdom". An experience in three states: Goiás, Tocantins and Mato Grosso. They have finished their work and now have to go home with an experience that has completely transformed their lives. A total of 67 young people participated in a joint effort in the villages of São Pedro, São José and São Gabriel. "This is a farewell work camp for young people who came to live in Mato Grosso for six months," explained Vanderley Miranda, president of the Alvorada Social Center, which organized the Mutirão activities.

                          They stayed in Campinápolis, MT, between 18 and 22 November. They worked in the village of São Pedro, renovating the school, repairing the homes of missionaries and the roofs of houses and the church. In the village of São Gabriel, they repaired a building that had been destroyed by a fire a few weeks before.

                          Clemílson was assigned to accompanying the boarding school's young Xavantes who come from the villages and study in  "Novo São Joaquim". He considers himself a privileged person to have lived this experience which he considers extremely enrichening, humanly and spiritually. "We often talk about poverty and it is only in theory. When we have the grace to come to work in the villages, we can see this reality. We are lucky because we do something good for those who really need it," he said.

                          Ursula and Pietro are Italians. They spent six months serving the poor youth of Brazil, the oratories and boarding schools. Both recognize that the experience of helping those in need has been transformative for them. "I did charity, I helped clean the old people's home, I talked to them, I kept them company. I am very grateful for this experience that I will always carry in my heart," says Ursula.

                          Another foreign volunteer is Ivan, from Peru, where he met the founder and spiritual guide of "Operation Mato Grosso", Fr Ugo De Censi, who died in December 2018. "For me it was something beautiful, because I never had had the opportunity to see this reality, let alone live it."

                          According to the Pastoral Coordinator of the community of Nova Xavantina, Salesian deacon José Alves de Oliveira, the volunteers also helped repair the medical facility in the village of São José.

                          During the farewell party of the Campinapolis group of volunteers, Fr de Oliveira recalled that "the important thing is that every activity was a gesture of love. And this love is a small seed that will bear much fruit."

                          Source: Salesian Misión de Mato Grosso

                          • Brasile
                          • Volontariato
                          • Ugo de Censi
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Costa Rica – Students of "CEDES Don Bosco" are finalists in educational projects in Latin America

                            6 days 19 hours ago

                            (ANS - Alajuelita) - The Don Bosco School is part of the "Don Bosco Salesian Educational Center" (CEDES) and serves a population of 400 students. In accordance with the Salesian charism, the school has the firm intention of offering excellence in all its educational activities. In recent weeks, its young students have participated in two projects: the "First Lego League", a science, technology and robotics competition, and the development of a project called "Quimera".

                            On November 16th, the fourth edition of the "First Lego League" was held in Costa Rica, a science, technology and robotics competition that aims to enable children and young people to face the challenges of research and critical thinking development.

                            500 students from different schools participated in the activity. "CEDES Don Bosco" was represented by 16 students from the areas of the Infants' Center, of the Technical School and of the Institute. The team of children from the "Pasitos Pequeños" Infants' Center designed two cities that reflect emotions, colors and fun as a solution for a city of the future. The second team composed of students of the School obtained an honorable mention as "Creative Project" for the proposal of an "eco-friendly" residential complex with accessibility and "ecoterraces" to encourage sharing among families.

                            The other project prepared by the students was the creation of the application called "Quimera" which aims to contrast school abandonment. Created by five students of the "CEDES Don Bosco", the project was a finalist in the regional competition "Latin Code Week", promoted by "Junior Achievement".

                            "Quimera" is a cross-platform application and is currently competing for first place with 10 other apps from various countries. This application was developed by the young Pablo Bermúdez, Melanie Arista, Ángel Ureña, María Rivel and Joel Ávila. Through games and tests, it motivates young people to enjoy study and reinforce learning interactively.

                            The objective of "Quimera" is to interactively link academic subjects and schools, allowing students to gain greater knowledge of the subjects, tackling them in a more dynamic way. Moreover, it will allow teachers to appreciate, through the application, the progress of the children, all in order to reduce the early abandonment of school.

                            According to data from the Ministry of Public Education of Costa Rica, in 2018, 10,211 students left secondary school.

                            If the "Quimera" project wins its competition, it could become an excellent instrument of contrast at the Latin American level, given that early school leaving is high.

                            It is still possible to vote for this project: https://latincodeweek.org/ 

                            • Costa Rica
                            • CAM
                            • App
                            • Scienze
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Italy – Don Bosco's face in the peripheries: a mural by Jorit in Foggia

                              1 week ago
                              Italy – Don Bosco's face in the peripheries: a mural by Jorit in Foggia

                              (ANS - Foggia) – In these past few days a blank wall of the "Candelaro" district of Foggia, near the local Salesian center, has acquired a lot of meaning and social value, thanks to the master strokes of the Street Art artist "Jorit". On the initiative of the General Directorate of the Salesian Congregation, a large wall painting of the face of Don Bosco was created, which decorates and embellishes a peripheral area of ​​the city, and which thus continues to bring the magnetic gaze of the Saint of Young to the youngsters of the 21st century. Moreover, the mural will also be the protagonist of a surprise destined to enter Salesian houses around the world ...

                              "If you want to make yourself good, practice these three things and everything will be fine: joy, study, pity. This is the great program which, by practicing, will enable you to live happily!" Jorit started from there, from this famous aphorism of Don Bosco for his representation of Don Bosco on the Foggia wall. As usual, before making the mural-portraits that have made him famous, the artist has in fact inaugurated the "cement canvas" by replicating Don Bosco's phrase on the wall, which was later covered by the drawing.

                              Begun on Friday, November 29th, the work continued at an ample pace in the following days and already today, December 3rd, it is possible to see the well-defined image of Don Bosco's portrait.

                              The mural created in Foggia will be officially inaugurated on the day of the Immaculate Conception, Sunday 8 December, in the presence of the General Councillor for Social Communication of the Congregation, Fr Filiberto González Plasencia, and of the Economer General, Brother Jean Paul Muller. But already before, Saturday 7, it will be the backdrop for shooting the last scenes of the Rector Major's Strenna video for 2020 - and in this way it will then be visible to the whole Salesian Family across the globe, starting from the last days of December.

                              Here is how a young woman from Foggia, Gessica Borrelli, wrote on Facebook, referring to Don Bosco and the mural: "Where Candelaro crosses with Via Lucera, I see you ... and that's enough to enflame the heart."

                              Born in Naples in 1990, "Jorit" is today one of the world's most established Street Art artists. He has matured and developed a figurative style and specializes in the representation of giant realistic portraits, most often in the peripheries and, of course, accessible for viewing to all for free: San Gennaro and Maradona in Naples, Nelson Mandela in Florence, Yuri Gagarin among the tower blocks of Odintsovo, not far from Moscow, a young Palestinian on the Israeli separation wall, and then street kids, autistic boys, are just some of the artist's grand portraits...

                              • Italia
                              • Arte e Cultura
                              • Musica
                              • IME
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Philippines – Legazpi Salesian center heavily damaged by "Kammuri"

                                1 week ago

                                (ANS - Legazpi) - The “Kammuri” super typhoon is sweeping the Filipino archipelago, causing severe damage and four victims, so far, due to violent storm winds and incessant rains that have continued to fall for hours. The Salesian work located in Legazpi has also suffered heavy damage due to the typhoon.

                                "We really need help," the director of the work, Fr Ronilo Javines, wrote on Facebook.

                                The Salesian center in Legazpi is a vast and richly structured Agricultural Training Center, designed to offer formation that can be spent in the world of work for the poor of rural areas.

                                The damage at the center has been extensive: Chapel Oratory, Sacristy, Pastoral Office, Window glasses of Workshops and classrooms, sports facility, Roof of Staff House, Roof of Boarders’ Dormitory, Agro-mech/Farm House, Goat and Chicken Houses, Compost Area facility, including the plantation of corn, cacao, calamansi, pili, banana, tomato, pepper and high value crops.

                                Kammuri is currently transiting south-east of the island of Luzon and will continue to travel towards the northwest, leaving the Philippine archipelago for the Chinese Sea only on Thursday 5 December, when it will be downgraded to a tropical storm.

                                "We also appeal help in a special way for Families of our Trainees-students whose houses have been heavily damaged by the typhoon as well" Fr Javines concluded.

                                {gallery}FIN - Danni a Legazpi 2019{/gallery}

                                • Filippine
                                • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
                                • FIN
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Uruguay – "Mamma Margherita" association of Salesian parents celebrates 30 years

                                  1 week ago

                                  (ANS - Montevideo) - The "Mamma Margarita" Association, an association of mothers and fathers of consecrated Salesians in Uruguay, celebrated its 30th anniversary on 30 November. For the occasion, the Provincial, Fr Alfonso Bauer, presided over a solemn Eucharist concelebration in the "Our Lady of the Rosary" chapel of the "Saint Francis of Sales" Institute, during which he recalled the origins of the association and of the history of Mamma Margaret.

                                  In the homily, Fr Bauer reviewed the genesis of this association, born of an uneasiness of Carmen Topolansky, mother of Fr Martín Lasarte, SDB, the latter for years a missionary in Angola and today active in the Sector for Missions in Rome. The woman proposed to the then Provincial, Victor Reyes, to form this organization and to convene a first meeting.

                                  "When she made that proposal it was November 25th - and she didn't know that that was the day of the death of Mother Margherita - and she proposed to have the meeting on December 8th, the day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary - and she didn't even know that this was the day when Don Bosco began the Salesian work in his first meeting with Bartolomeo Garelli," said Fr Bauer.

                                  For his part, the then Rector Major, Fr Egidio Viganó, immediately blessed the initiative, stating: "If my mother were alive, she would be the first to enroll." The fundamental objective of the association lies in "gathering, accompanying, forming and helping the parents of those who are called to consecrated life, so that they know how to accompany their children and pray for vocations, fidelity and perseverance."

                                  "Sometimes," continued Fr Bauer, "the misunderstanding, confusion and negativity in which some parents may find themselves are shared with others who lived those same experiences 'yesterday' and who 'today', instead, live the vocation of their children as the greatest gift of God to the family." And he also reported that when Lasarte's mother conceived this idea, she had said: "If we mothers could get to know each other, we would not feel alone, helpless, with so many needs, we would have another vision of our children's vocation ...".

                                  "Being a father and mother is a vocation and every vocation is a call from God to fulfill a mission," he added, specifying that the mission of these fathers and mothers is "at the service of the full life of their children, to allow them to reach their fulfillment in all the orders of life, such as the choice of state, employment, studies ... ".

                                  Today, the Association is also present in other parts of the world such as Argentina, Mexico, Nicaragua, Chile, Italy and South Korea.

                                  "Mamma Margarita is the foundation, the heart of the association; she was the mother of the first Salesian, Don Bosco. Imitate her, so that all our daily work becomes prayer and we live the mission of accompanying our children," urged the Superior of the Salesians in Uruguay.

                                  {gallery}URU - 30 anni Mamma Margherita 2019{/gallery}

                                  • Uruguay
                                  • URU
                                  • Mamma Margherita
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Croatia – End of Extraordinary Visitation of Fr Rozmus

                                    1 week ago
                                    Croatia – End of Extraordinary Visitation of Fr Rozmus

                                    (ANS - Zagreb) - On 30 November last, the General Councilor for the Salesian Region of Central and Northern Europe, Fr Tadeusz Rozmus, completed his Extraordinary Visitation of the "St. John Bosco" Province of Croatia with a final meeting at the Provincial House in the Knežija district of the capital, Zagreb. The meeting was attended by 35 Salesians, who came specially from all parts of Croatia as well as from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

                                    Conducted by Fr Rozmus on behalf of the Rector Major, the Visit began on 26 October in the same locality. During the five weeks spent in the Province, the Regional Councilor reviewed all the Salesian houses, met with the religious, the members of the Salesian Family and the laity who participate in the same mission, as well as with the many young people present in the schools, in the parishes and oratories.

                                    In his concluding speech, Fr Rozmus thanked the Provincial, Fr Tihomir Šutalo, the members of the Provincial Council, the Directors and all the religious, especially those who prepared the Visit at the provincial level, as well as in the local communities, making a transparent presentation of the main characteristics of after-school educational activities.

                                    With the question "Quo vadis, Croatian Province?", the Councilor presented an objective and global vision of the current state of the Province. He stressed the importance of initial formation and its strengthening, pointing out that this is a fundamental question, which is reflected in the providential increase in vocations, in the appreciation of Salesian publications, and in a well-directed Youth Ministry that can foster an increasingly decisive option towards poor young people.

                                    He also emphasized the need for a reduction in current presences, creating new ones that are typically Salesian. Among his recommendations there were also: a more active international collaboration in the "Project for Europe"; the care of the missionary vocation; transparent management of economic resources; professionalism and solidarity to try to achieve the works' economic self-sufficiency.

                                    Speaking of the future of the Province, he recommended strategies and concrete projects, at a personal and community level, and an investment in the quality of fraternal life, in the formative field and in youth ministry.

                                    In the second part of the meeting, the Salesians present were divided into small groups and they examined - in depth - various observations and specific aspects of the Extraordinary Visitor's report.

                                    {gallery}CRO - Fine visita S Rozmus 2019{/gallery}

                                    • Croazia
                                    • CRO
                                    • Tadeusz Rozmus
                                    • Visita Straordinaria
                                    • Progetto Europa
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Japan – Final animation visit within the EAO Region in 2019

                                      1 week ago
                                      Japan – Final animation visit within the EAO Region in 2019

                                      (ANS – Chofu) – Just a few hours after the memorable apostolic visit of Pope Francis (23-26 November) the Japan Salesian Province (GIA) welcomed the East Asia-Oceania Regional Councillor, Fr Václav Klement, at Narita airport for his last animation visit within the Region in 2019. Four full days of this visit were carefully planned and helped Fr Klement to get in touch with the changing realities of this provincial community.

                                      Fr. Klement was based in Chofu Formation community, praying and sharing his Good Night talks with the young Salesians, candidates and vocation prospects. For the Salesians this visit was a good chance to get in touch with the wider worldwide reality of the Salesian Congregation.

                                      Fr. Klement spent his first day visiting the Salesian Family - Provincial house of Caritas Sisters of Jesus in Suginami (Tokyo) and Provincial house of FMA Sisters in Chofu (Tokyo). Accompanied by the Provincial, Fr. Jacob Hamaguchi and his Vicar, Fr. Michael Lap, the Regional Councillor had ample time to understand the impact of Pope Francis’ visit on the Japanese Catholic community and on civil society. All three religious Congregations of the Salesian Family are making progress in the systematic formation of their lay mission partners.

                                      Second day was dedicated in the morning to visiting Tokyo - Kodaira (Salesian Boys Home and Salesian Primary and High school), with a longer interaction with the Salesians and leadership of both works. In the afternoon followed the visit to Salesian Polytechnic in Machida City - a quality time was spent in deeper dialogue with Fr Kojima (principal of the school) and his leadership team.

                                      The Regional Councillor spent last two days of Province animation visit with the Rectors and Provincial Councillors in the Salesio Gakuin (Yokohama) - High School. Both meetings began with Salesian Lectio Divina, based on the Scripture and Salesian Constitutions. Traditionally, this is one of the three Rector meetings during the year, before the Advent season.

                                      The province leadership tackled a wide range of issues: from Salesian Brother vocation, Reshaping of Salesian presences, Child Protection Guidelines, DB Green Alliance, Finance and Sustainability of the Mission, Lay Mission Partners formation, Commitment to Vietnamese Migrant Workers in Japan, Youth Ministry survey about daily time spent with the young, up to the Strenna 2020 Poster.

                                      As usual, Rectors meeting (overnight experience) was a good opportunity for fraternal sharing, prayer for each other, Gospel Magic show from “Fr Mickey” Muramatsu and ongoing discernment about vocation culture and Salesian Mission.

                                      Source: AustraLasia

                                      • Giappone
                                      • GIA
                                      • Visita di Animazione
                                      • Václav Klement
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Italy – What freedom of educational choice?

                                        1 week 1 day ago
                                        Italy – What freedom of educational choice?

                                        (ANS - Rome) - "Autonomy, equality and freedom of educational choice in Italy and in Europe" was the theme of a conference promoted by the Union of the Superiors Major of Italy (USMI) and by the Italian Conference of Major Superiors (CISM), with the patronage of the Senate and the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI). A large Salesian delegation was also present at the event.

                                        The conference, held in Rome on November 14th, saw the presence of Fr Roberto Dal Molin, President of CNOS and school contact for the CISM in the National Council of the Catholic School of the CEI; Fr Giuliano Giacomazzi, Provincial of Italy Lombardia-Emilia (ILE) and Provincial delegate for Schools in the Conference of the Salesian P,ovincials of Italy (CISI); the Delegates of the Piedmont schools, prof. Mauro Pace from Piedmont; Fr Lorenzo Teston and Fr Nicola Toffanello from the Triveneto; Fr Francesco Marcoccio, Delegate of the ICC Schools, and Fr Gino Berto, Director of the "Pio XI" institute in Rome.

                                        The conference, as explained by Fr Luigi Gaetani, OCD, President of the CISM, served as "a seminar of synthesis with which to draw the attention of public opinion and the political world to the Italian school system that is 'still unfinished' and to invite them to take the necessary steps 'so that the Italian educational system, as a whole, can better pursue the educational mission that society entrusts to it and the law fully attributes and acknowledges.'"

                                        The topic, which had been discussed a few days before the work of the 59th CISM General Assembly, (Assisi, 3-7 November), had produced a strong reflection on that occasion, stating that “an injustice towards the legitimacy conferred by the Italian Constitution, which establishes an educational pluralism, is being perpetuated. We are discriminated against because we are not (being put) in a position to guarantee adequate formation."

                                        The President of the Senate, Hon. Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, admitted that "Law 62 (known as the law on scholastic equality, Ed.) has done much to give life to constitutional principles, but has not produced the results on any substantial level."

                                        CEI President first underscored that the priority of parents' choices on education to be given to their children is already enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and then he presented a worrying statistic: "In the last ten years, in fact, about 1,000 Catholic schools have disappeared (out of a total of almost 9,000) and more than 160,000 students have been lost." At the same time, he added, "we must not lead to pessimistic considerations. There are also many realities in which schools open to answer to the demand for Christian education that families want for their children."

                                        While Fr Dal Molin reiterated: "In Italy, the school system is egalitarian on paper, but in fact it does not remedy the differences between students linked to the family, social and economic context."

                                        The Salesian presence at the conference represented the 101 schools in Italy and their more than 22,000 students, and the 64 Vocational Training Centers, with their over 26,000 students.

                                        • Italia
                                        • Scuole
                                        • Chiesa
                                        • Educazione
                                        • CISI
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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