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RMG – Two important publications on Salesian meditation released

2 days 13 hours ago
RMG – Two important publications on Salesian meditation released

(ANS - Rome) – At the beginning of Lent, the Formation Department of the Salesian Congregation released two important publications on Salesian meditation. Below is the letter with which Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation, presents the two texts to the Provincials and Provincial Delegates for Formation.

Dear confrers,

I am happy to be able to present to you The Practice of Meditation in the Prayer of the Salesians of Don Bosco (accessible by clicking here), fruit of a seminar organized by the Formation Sector in Rome, 10-12 May 2018. The aim of the seminar was to clarify the place of meditation in the tradition and life of the Salesians of Don Bosco and to offer guidelines in this area. We asked ourselves three fundamental questions: what is Salesian meditation? Why should we meditate? And how do we meditate? To our pleasant surprise, the seminar had surprisingly positive echoes from around the Salesian world, and not only from those involved in initiating young novices and Salesians into the art of meditation. This strengthened us in our determination to make available the fruits of our seminar, and this is what we are happy to be able to offer you at this moment.

The book includes, obviously, the four main papers presented at the seminar: Notes for a “brief treatise” on meditation at the origins of the Society of St Francis de Sales, by Giuseppe Buccellato; Learning to meditate with St Francis de Sales, by Eunan McDonnell; Meditation as Lectio Divina, by Giuseppe M. Roggia; and Three perspectives on the importance of Christian meditation, by Xabier Blanco. These have been revised by the authors and edited by Giuseppe Buccellato.

Buccellato is also responsible for the Pointers and Suggestions for Daily Meditation (accessible by clicking here) that form a second contribution to the process, an aid for initiating people to meditation in the early phases of initial formation. It can be used with profit both by formation guides and by those going through these phases, but also by anyone, individuals or communities, who would like to renew their way of practising the half hour of meditation that is part of our Salesian way of life.

Our little seminar was a beautiful learning experience for us who participated in it. It began with a sharing of our own experiences of meditation, which was then illuminated by the four papers. This process led to a rather rich discussion and to some practical conclusions, which were shared in a letter sent to all the provinces and which may be found also in the present book. From Buccellato we learnt that Giulio Barberis, the first novice director of the Congregation, used to dedicate the first period of the novitiate, no doubt at Don Bosco’s urging, to initiation to meditation. Don Bosco insisted on the affective dimension of meditation – something that, as Eunan McDonnell reminded us, is at the very heart of the teaching of St Francis de Sales. In turn, St Francis’ insistence on the place of the Word of God in meditation has been ‘canonized’ by Vatican II, as Giuseppe M. Roggia pointed out. Salesian meditation today, therefore, is very much lectio divina: listening to, reflecting on, praying over and allowing ourselves to be carried by God’s Word and his Spirit. Xabier Blanco in his turn took us to the person and example of Jesus himself. Jesus prayed because he felt the need to pray, because he loved. People today, including the young, seem to be rediscovering the need for silence and for prayer. This is what the young people told us during the Synod on youth, faith and vocational discernment. The Salesians of today are, therefore, certainly invited to give an adequate response to them. When the people of God ask for bread, we cannot give them stones.

Dear confreres, the practice of meditation, as Don Bosco saw, is fundamental to our vocational fidelity and to our mission. Our Constitutions put it beautifully: “For us mental prayer is essential. It strengthens our intimate union with God, saves us from routine, keeps our heart free and fosters our dedication to others. For Don Bosco it is a guarantee of joyous perseverance in our vocation.” (C 93)

The Practice of Meditation in the Prayer of the Salesians of Don Bosco is being made available at the moment in digital format. This does not exclude the possibility of some provinces or regions going into print, though this would obviously entail a further checking of the text. Since all of the material included in the book is original, so there is no question of seeking further copyrights: it would be enough to indicate your intentions to us in the Formation Sector. 

I hope this work will serve to awaken a renewed interest in and appreciation of the very important element of Salesian prayer that is our daily meditation. The season of Lent that we are just beginning is a favourable time to listen to and meditate on the Word, which calls and moves us to conversion.

A warm thanks once again to all those who contributed to the seminar: our four contributors, Giuseppe Buccellato, Eunan McDonnell, Giuseppe M. Roggia and Xabier Blanco; our editor Giuseppe Buccellato; the many confreres who helped in the translations; and the members of the Formation Sector, most especially Silvio Roggia who has been the driving force behind the arduous efforts of gathering the contributions, seeing to the translations, and bringing the whole project to completion.


Ivo Coelho, SDB

  • Formazione
  • Meditazione
  • Ivo Coelho
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – 60th anniversary of Servant of God Matilde Salem's death

    2 days 13 hours ago
    RMG – 60th anniversary of Servant of God Matilde Salem's death

    (ANS - Rome) - Tomorrow, Saturday 27 February, will be the 60th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God Matilde Salem (1904-1961), a lay woman, very active in charity, who, thanks also to the collaboration with the Salesians of Middle East, knew how to live an authentic life of faith and benefit many needy people.

    Matilde Salem (née Chelhot) was born in Aleppo on November 15, 1904. The wealthy condition of the family did not prevent Matilde from a strong interior life. On August 15, 1922, she married Georges Elias Salem. However, the joy of this union was soon tarnished by the impossibility of becoming a mother and the bridegroom's fragile health. In fact, on October 26, 1944 she became a widow. She could have rebuilt a life: beauty, wealth, noble trait, chosen friendships could have won her over. Instead, it was then that she discovered her true vocation: to dedicate herself totally to her neighbor with a wider love.

    Her family were the poor young people of her town. In collaboration with the Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Msgr. Isidoro Fattal, she undertook to carry out the grandiose project left by her Georges by will, committing the conspicuous capital he created with his successful commercial activity. The "Georges Salem Foundation" entrusted to the Sons of Don Bosco, called in 1947, shall from that moment on be her home and her family.

    She enriched herself with various spiritual experiences: Salesian benefactress, daughter of St. Francis of Assisi, co-founder of the Work of Infinite Love. As for charity, there was no charity that did not see her as a supporter: Catechetical Society, St. Vincent's conferences, summer camps for poor and abandoned children, Vice-Presidency of the Red Cross, Islamic charity, work in favor of young lawbreakers, and more.

    On Whit Monday 1959 she found herself struck by cancer. In response to the doctors' diagnosis, a single comment: “Thank you, my God”. It was a 20-month via crucis. By her will, she distributed all her possessions in favor of the various charities, so much so that she could say: “I am dying in a house that no longer belongs to me”. She died with a reputation for holiness on 27 February 1961 at 56 years of age. She is buried in the Salesian church in Aleppo.

    The Cause of Beatification of Matilde Salem concerns a lay woman from the Middle East, who lived the evangelical ability to "see with the heart", practicing the humility of the little ones, working for the unity of Christians, the sanctification of priests, the evangelical promotion of many works of charity in favor of all those in need of any Christian confession and any religion. She was a disciple of Christ following the example of the women of the Gospel who followed Jesus putting their goods at the service of the Kingdom of God.

    Today the testimony of a woman of peace and reconciliation is made even more relevant by the dramatic situation that for over ten years has affected her beloved country, Syria.

    • Matilde Salem
    • Santità Salesiana
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Democratic Republic of Congo – A memory of Ambassador Attanasio, killed on his way to visit relief and development works

      2 days 13 hours ago
      Democratic Republic of Congo – A memory of Ambassador Attanasio, killed on his way to visit relief and development works

      (ANS - Bukavu) - The news of the killing of the Italian ambassador Luca Attanasio, of the carabiniere, his police bodyguard, Vittorio Iacovacci, and of his driver, Mustapha Milambo, has had much media attention. Fr Piero Gavioli, an Italian Salesian missionary active in the country for 55 years, and who had met Attanasio just two days before the attack, offers an affectionate memory of him, along with some considerations.

      On Saturday 20 February, Luca Attanasio arrived in Bukavu from Goma. On the way from Goma to Bukavu, they stopped to visit some of the World Food Program (WFP) projects for the displaced (circa 5 million people in the country, mainly women and children).

      At 4:30 pm, the ambassador had an appointment with the small Italian community of Bukavu (about 25 people, almost all religious) at the provincial house of the Xaverians. As ambassador, Attanasio visited his compatriots at least once a year, making himself available to those who had to renew their documents, to spare Italians residing in the East an expensive trip to Kinshasa.

      This time too he was very cordial: he gave us news of Kinshasa (where he and his family were victims of Covid-19), he asked us for news, he let the Deputy Director of WFP, Rocco Leone, speak to us, he introduced us to Vittorio Iacovacci, the carabiniere, his bodyguard, he promised that he would look into ensuring that there was a consular representative in Goma ... Then we attended a reception, I greeted him with the promise that next time he was to visit our school of trades… We parted; the next day he left for Goma where he had to meet the Italian community. I think on Monday he was headed to visit other WFP-assisted centers north of Goma.

      I allow myself two considerations. An assassinated Italian ambassador makes headlines. In North and South Kivu there are hundreds of people who are killed every year by armed groups. Unfortunately, they do not make the news ... We hope that this assassination pushes the authorities to take measures to pacify our region and all of Eastern Congo.

      In various regions, armed groups recruit their fighters from among young people from the interior, who live in misery and have no prospects for a future. A few years ago, when I was in Goma, the teachers had started a strike movement for wage claims. Some older boys, who had been in the armed groups, threatened them: if you don't let us study, we shall go back into the bush. The pacification of eastern Congo will come when there are conditions for life and development for all.

      Ambassador Attanasio was very sensitive to this aspect, and was killed while he was on his way to visit relief and development works.

      In their own small way, the Salesians in Goma, Bukavu, Uvira welcome vulnerable children into vocational schools who could, otherwise, be attracted by armed groups. We offer them a trade and a prospect for the future. It is our contribution to building peace in eastern Congo.

      • Rep Dem del Congo
      • Decessi
      • Personaggi illustri
      • Missioni
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Poland – 89th representation of Passion of Christ: "Mystery of Hope"

        2 days 13 hours ago

        (ANS - Krakow) - 89 years have passed since the young Salesians in Krakow proposed the sacred representation of the Passion of Christ entitled "Mysterium" for the first time. Every year, the actors are the Salesian clerics who study in Krakow: first they were only those of the Salesian Provinces of Krakow (PLS) and Wrocław (PLO), then they came from all four Polish Provinces (thus also from Warsaw and Piła); for some years now, there are also some young people from the group “Ziemia Boga” (The Land of God).

        If the event is therefore a consolidated tradition, this year's edition presents several novelties: first of all, the representation is in the form of a musical, and in this new guise has seen adaptations and changes: many of the texts that were recited by certain characters are sung this year.

        Moreover, and above all, this year's representation is intended to be a "Mystery of Hope", because it wants to remind the spectator of today, gripped by the problems of the pandemic, that friendship is able to overcome even the border of death, that God perseveres every day alongside man and that the redemptive death of Jesus on the cross broke the chains imposed by sin.

        The person in charge of the preparation of the entire musical performance is Mr. Marcin Kobierski, an actor of the "Bagatela" Theater in Krakow, who also wrote the lyrics, created the choreography, as well as the scenography and costumes. He himself testified: “The previous show was marked by suffering… I did not want to surpass myself in this direction, because we are all already marked by the suffering of this pandemic, which is very present in social life. The Passion must always be there, of course, but I wanted to look at it this time from a different perspective: so as not to stop only on suffering and instead look to where it leads, that is, to the hope of the Resurrection and eternal life. Jesus with his passion opens Heaven to us.”

        This special musical, which asks everyone a crucial question - "And you, do you believe that on the third day the power of death was broken?" - had its premiere, as usual, on the first Saturday of Lent, last February 20, after the general rehearsals open to the public had already shown a notable appreciation.

        The shows, like every year, will be staged every weekend of Lent until Palm Sunday, with four performances every weekend - obviously, unless otherwise ordered by the authorities due to the epidemiological situation. Although the number of seats available fell from 320 to 120 due to the pandemic, interest, as in previous years, is high, and tickets sold out in two days.

        For more details, please visit the pages: and

        Dominik Kruszyński SDB and Fr Marcin Wosiek

        {gallery}PLS - Mysterium 2021{/gallery}

        • Polonia
        • Arte e Cultura
        • Teatro
        • Teologia
          Gian Francesco Romano

          India – South Asia Economers Meeting 2021

          3 days 13 hours ago
          India – South Asia Economers Meeting 2021

          (ANS – New Delhi) – Two days of South Asia Economers' Meet took place in Don Bosco Provincial House, Okhla, New Delhi, on 22nd and 23rd February, 2021. Fr. Biju Michael, Regional Councillor of South Asia, Fr. Davis Maniparamben, Provincial of New Delhi Province, and eleven Provincial Economers participated in the meeting hosted by Delhi Province and co-ordinated by Fr. Amaladoss Samson, Co-ordinator of Economers' Forum South Asia.

          After the opening prayer animated by Fr. Babu Varghese, Youth Ministry Delegate of New Delhi Province, Fr. Biju Abraham, Provincial Economer of Delhi Province, and Fr. Amaladoss Samson, Co-ordinator of Economers' Forum South Asia welcomed Fr. Biju Michael, Regional Councillor of South Asia, Fr. Davis Maniparamben, Provincial of New Delhi Province, and the participants.

          In the opening address, Fr. Davis Maniparamben appreciated the significant roles the Economers play in the provinces of South Asia in ensuring responsibility, accountability and transparency in financial administration and the leadership they provide for the variety of services in the region. Fr. Davis said, ''We may be strong as individual provinces, but together we can be stronger and synergize to reach out much more than we can imagine.'' He stressed that we need to align ourselves to the vision of the Rector Major and that of the Regional Councillor for South Asia region to make a real impact of our Salesian mission for the young.

          Fr. Biju Michael, Regional Councillor for South Asia, spoke about the role of Provincial Economers in transforming systems and recalled their attention to the centre of the Salesian charism. He stated: “Any organized human system, like our SDB Congregation, is a complex system that is formed of four fundamental components such as purpose, organization, process and resources. The purpose should be something that is shared and inspirational. When many intelligences focus on a unified purpose, the impossible begins to evolve.”

          In the afternoon online session, Bro. Jean Paul Muller, Economer General, presented the Priorities of the Rector Major and the General Council for the six-year period from 2020 to 2026. Mr. Joselyn Martin, Auditor, addressed the Economers in the evening session and clarified their doubts.

          Source: Don Bosco India

          • India
          • Economia
          • Asia Sud
          • Michael Biju
            Gian Francesco Romano

            United States – “Education is a matter of the heart”. The “Don Bosco Prep” experience

            3 days 13 hours ago
            United States – “Education is a matter of the heart”. The “Don Bosco Prep” experience

            (ANS – Ramsey) – “Don Bosco Prep” in Ramsey, NJ, is a Private Catholic College Preparatory High School for Boys. Since it was founded in 1915, it has carried out the education and evangelization of young men through the charism of St. John Bosco. Don Bosco Prep mirrors St. John Bosco, who advocated that “education is a matter of the heart,” and Salesians and their lay collaborators in the Salesian mission strive to create a family spirit in an oratory environment.

            Dedicated to empowering young men, the school provides rigorous academics at the Advanced Placement, honors and college prep levels, and encourages participation in extracurricular activities, clubs and athletics. Located on a 35-acre campus in Ramsey, Bergen County, New Jersey, the school's 850 students are accepted to the finest colleges and universities in the country and go on to make significant contributions to their families and communities.

            The preventive system of education – marked by reason, religion and kindness – is practiced by educators and students alike.

            Today, 12 members of the Salesian Community in residence at “Don Bosco Prep”, along with two Salesians residing in nearby care facilities, mirror St. John Bosco’s pastoral heart and joyful spirituality. They are actively involved in the lives of our students: in the classroom, in the chapels, in the lunch areas, in the auditorium, on the playing field, or – in a word – all around campus. They guide our students, their parents, and our lay colleagues by their example, their leadership, and their prayer. Their active presence is greatly felt.

            Looking after the example of St. John Bosco – an exceptional educator, whose preventive system transformed the whole (person  body, heart, mind, and spirit) so as to then send the young forth to transform the world – many of the Don Bosco Prep students became honourable citizens and good Christians and went forth to further their education and then made a difference in an array of vocations, including within the Church.

            Over 150 alumni have gone on to serve as diocesan or religious priests or religious brothers. We currently have two alumni in formation for the Salesians and two alumni in formation for dioceses. Countless more alumni have become lay missioners in other countries, or serve in their local parishes in various ministries, including the diaconate.

            But it all comes back to reaching the heart. “I think that the way we mostly reflect St. John Bosco is that we are a home that welcomes,” said Burton Oh ’22. “Everyone is always included, especially the new students. No one is ever excluded. And just like St. John Bosco used to do, before the pandemic, when kids would stay late after school to volunteer, the Salesians would invite us into their home for dinner. It is truly a home that welcomes all.”

            Further information: 

            By Jennifer Passerino

            Source: Salesians SUE

            • Stati Uniti
            • Educazione
            • Scuole
              Gian Francesco Romano

              India – General Councillor for Formation meets Young Salesians of the Mumbai Province

              4 days 13 hours ago
              India – General Councillor for Formation meets Young Salesians of the Mumbai Province

              (ANS – Mumbai) – The priests and brothers of the quinquennium of the Mumbai Province have gathered in the Provincial House at Matunga (Mumbai) for their annual course of animation. The 25 participants began the four-day course on 22 February 2021. On the second day, Fr Ivo Coelho – the General Councillor for Formation – addressed the participants. He began his session by listening to the participants share their experience of their first few years of active ministry as priests and perpetually professed brothers. Fr Coelho acknowledged the growth in experience and maturity that he noticed in the Salesians, many of whom he knew during their years of initial formation.

              Based on the sharing of the Salesians, Fr Coelho invited the participants to reflect on three aspects. He began by comparing the period of the quinquennium of their ministry to the quinquennium of the priestly ministry of Don Bosco. He told the young Salesians that Don Bosco spent the first three years of his priesthood at the Convitto Ecclesiastico where along with moral theology, canon law and pastoral experience, he was taught to reflect on his ministry. He said that every Salesian ought to imitate Don Bosco in reflecting on their ministry, and this should be done in faith. Quoting article 119 of the Constitutions of the Society of St Francis de Sales, he encouraged the Salesians to listen to the voice of the Spirit while immersed in the apostolate, and in the midst of the poor.

              Secondly, he asked the young Salesians to clarify their notion of being ‘Salesian religious’ priests. He said this in the context of clarifying that pastoral ministry for a Salesian is much more than merely the administration of the sacraments. He said, “Don Bosco began a new way of being priests.” While it included the practice of the evangelical counsels, it necessarily included living in community and participating in the mission. He emphasised the primacy of the Christian vocation to be Alter Christus. He stated that ministerial priesthood was thus, secondary, and an office of service, and not dominance.

              Finally, he encouraged the young Salesians to not only offer accompaniment to youth, but also seek accompaniment from a spiritual guide. He reminded the Salesians that Don Bosco had the gift of counsel, and was a guide to many youth. However, he also sought guidance from Joseph Cafasso who was his spiritual guide. According to him, along with the sacrament of reconciliation, spiritual direction is extremely important for every Salesian to grow during the period of on-going formation.

              He then responded to the various queries of the participants. This included diverse topics like the vocation of the Salesian Brother, having non-Salesians as spiritual guides, the issues faced by young Salesians in the area of affectivity, and maintaining one’s identity as educator-pastors in the digital world.

              {gallery}India - Visita d Coelho 2021{/gallery}

              • India
              • INB INDIA MUMBAY
              • Formazione
              • Ivo Coelho
              • Salesiani Sacerdoti
              • Salesiani Coadiutori
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Sierra Leone – "Don Bosco" Youth Center in Freetown: factory that saves lives with a smile

                4 days 13 hours ago

                (ANS - Freetown) - Thousands of minors roam the streets of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, every day. They don't go to school because they are orphans or have been kicked out or ran away from home and survive by grouping into gangs. In many cases they come from large families where there was not enough food or space for everyone, and if they are girls or young women the dangers for them double ... The coronavirus, in this past year, has further increased the problems for these children, that during the lockdown they had nowhere to hide. However, the “Don Bosco” youth center of Dwarzak parish in Freetown has become a big family for them, where they can play, learn, receive food and, at the same time, lay the foundations for a dignified future.

                Fr Sergej Goman is a Salesian missionary from Belarus. Just over forty, he spent most of his religious life in West Africa. In Sierra Leone he dedicated himself to street children, Ebola orphans. During the pandemic he also collaborated on various projects with the "Don Bosco Fambul" work. For three years he has been in charge of the “Don Bosco” Youth Center in Dwarzak and has become a father-figure for dozens of abandoned or problematic minors.

                The Salesian center offers young people a space for recreation and sports, to receive school help, a meal and personal and spiritual accompaniment in a safe and healthy environment, where joy and laughter are the protagonists. Salesians promote an attitude of service in children, adolescents and young people, helping them to become honest citizens and good and devoted people.

                Every day about 50-100 boys and girls aged between 7 and 18 participate in the recreational, educational and spiritual activities of the Youth Center. 50 young people receive nutritional assistance three times a week and 80 children receive educational and spiritual assistance at the Youth Center, six days a week. These activities promote an environment full of values and hope, where young people feel safe and free.

                Other activities are table tennis, educational films, performances and quizzes, the music band, music courses ... The Youth Center also organizes sports programming six days a week with football and basketball training, friendly matches in Lungi and Freetown, and championship races; it also offers formation and meeting spaces for animators and educators.

                In a country of enormous contradictions - it has a population among the youngest in the world, but also one of the lowest life expectancies, there is no shortage of resources, yet poverty is very high - the Salesians help to educate aware young people in joy and serenity of their rights and their possibilities, so that they can write bright pages in the history of Sierra Leone.

                • Sierra Leone
                • Missioni
                • Giovani a Rischio
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Portugal – Salesians of Estoril develop “Salesian Digital Oratory” to continue accompanying young people

                  4 days 13 hours ago
                  Portugal – Salesians of Estoril develop “Salesian Digital Oratory” to continue accompanying young people

                  (ANS - Estoril) - With proposals for activities segmented by age group, the Salesians of Estoril have developed a "Salesian Digital Oratory" in response to the challenge posed by the interruption of normal school activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To promote the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of children, young people, and their families, the local Salesian institute has prepared a program of educational, recreational and playful activities, led by Salesian students and educators.

                  Education is a tool that is used to face the challenges that arise in life. Resilience, especially in these times, seems to have become the watchword. For this reason, in the face of the alarm generated by the current context of education, and the consequent social call to action, educators know that they must give primacy to what has the most value. And so, in a charismatic way, in response to the challenge of interrupting school and other activities, the Salesian Digital Oratory was born.

                  “The Oratory was a response of proximity to students and their families, capable of conferring the perception of social support, of promoting hope, of warming the soul and of mobilizing essential resources for physical, psychological and spiritual. Inspired by the month that celebrates our Patron Saint, and trying to give color to a project that had already been conceived, we witnessed a reconciliation of synergies that led us to believe that the path would be this: to replicate the Oratory of Don Bosco adapted to contemporary reality and needs,” explained the Salesians of Estoril.

                  Stimulated by the objective of doing more and better, the activities have been designed in the most diverse ways and areas of knowledge: informal learning, oriented to the essential art of learning to be happy.

                  Sports, music, science, emotions, spirituality, arts, cooking, social networks, study methods and techniques, games, photography… All this and much more occupied the days of students and young people. The activities were segmented by age groups, from 4 to 18 years, to ensure greater adaptability to the diversity of the participants.

                  The interactions between educators and participants exceeded initial expectations, reinforcing the certainty that, by working together, it is possible to overcome all difficulties, and to learn and continue to grow at the rhythm of the heart.

                  • Portogallo
                  • POR PORTOGALLO
                  • Oratorio
                  • Coronavirus
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Brazil – Collaboration between past pupils from different faculties of "UniSALESIANO" gives life to veterinary clinic

                    5 days 13 hours ago

                    (ANS - Araçatuba) - A collaboration between two past pupils of the "UniSALESIANO" Salesian University of Araçatuba, belonging to the Brazil-Campo Grande Province (BCG), has resulted in a veterinary clinic that strikes you right from the start. The fostering and enhanced appreciation of talents and personal inclinations, so typical of Salesian education, left a tangible and immediately evident sign in this case.

                    Four years have passed since veterinarian Fabianna de Simone Souza, 34, graduated from the UniSALESIANO, but the Salesian institute of higher education is still a real and important presence in the life of this professional.

                    After finishing her university studies, Fabianna worked in some businesses in the area, but then decided to pursue her dream: to open her own veterinary clinic. But not just any clinic. "I wanted something that was an extension of people's homes with benches to sit outside, gardens to relax ... Something out of the ordinary," she explained.

                    For this reason, the veterinary surgeon contacted the Coordinator of the UniSALESIANO Architecture Course, prof. Giuliano Pincerato, looking for collaboration. “It was the first thing that came to mind. The UniSALESIAN has such a wealth of professionals and projects that I decided that the facade of the clinic would be done by some of them," she clarified.

                    Fabianna's request was immediately examined and satisfied by the teacher in a perspective that always tries to enhance multidisciplinarity. "It was the union of Veterinary with Architecture that made it possible to achieve the goal of adapting the space in the best possible way," said prof. Pincerato.

                    The person in charge of the project was the architect Mariana Rie Nonaka Yamaguchi, who graduated last year from the UniSALESIANO. In her work, the architect prepared a re-adaptation in the spaces of the clinic, which involved a reform of the rooms, their reorganization, the decor ... "This project was very useful for my final dissertation. It is enriching to leave the classroom and have contact with the client, it helps you to develop confidence. It was a sensational experience," said Mariana.

                    So now Fabianna has her own veterinary clinic where she can fulfill her dream of treating animals in an ethical, dignified and humane way - all traits, she stresses, - which have a lot to do with the training and formation she received at the UniSALESIANO. “It was wonderful to attend your dream faculty in a place that provides the student with attention to her practical experiences. For five years, in parallel with the theoretical lessons, I carried out internships which were very important for my learning and my career,” concludes the young professional.

                    For his part, the Director of the UniSALESIANO of Araçatuba, Fr Erondi Tamandaré, observes that some of the objectives of the courses in Architecture and Veterinary Medicine are, respectively, to design, create and cure - activities that truly express the vocation of man and of woman according to the plan of God, "the great architect and keeper of the universe".

                    {gallery}Brasile - Clinica veterinaria 2021{/gallery}

                    • Brasile
                    • BCG BRASILE CAMPO GRANDE
                    • Università
                    • Exallievi
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Mexico – “Don Bosco's Tuesdays”: Past Pupils present Salesian social charism

                      5 days 13 hours ago
                      Mexico – “Don Bosco's Tuesdays”: Past Pupils present Salesian social charism

                      (ANS - Mexico City) - To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, the Past Pupils active in Southern Mexico since July 2020 are organizing various digital video conferences. This series of events, entitled, for its weekly frequency, "Don Bosco's Tuesdays", has already made known every group of the Salesian Family present in Mexico, and has recently opened a new thematic cycle. The Salesian Family of Mexico, which participates en masse in these digital events, last February 14 also came together in condolences for the passing of Fr Rodolfo Sánchez Romo, an appreciated Salesian, which took place on the previous 12 February.

                      The appointments of “Tuesday with Don Bosco” - broadcast at 8.30 pm on Zoom and on the Facebook page of the Past Pupils - since last January 19th are aimed at presenting the social activities inspired by the charism of the Saint of Youth.

                      On the theme "The Salesian preferential option for poor and excluded young people", Virginia Cerón Martínez, Delegate for Mission Animation and Social Works of the Province of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians "Our Lady of Guadalupe" (MME), presented the various works and apostolates of the Province, their objectives, their scope and future expectations.

                      On 26 January the project "Yolia niñas de la Calle A.C." was presented, a work founded 25 years ago by the professional educator Mónica Rábago González, Salesian Cooperator, together with other associates of that group. The special guest of that Tuesday spoke of how her motivation to serve was born at a very young age, thanks to the testimony of an FMA, and her experience of people in extreme poverty in the Salesian Youth Centers and Oratories.

                      On 2 February it was the turn of the "Déjame Ayudarte" (Let me help you) foundation, the "Chavos de Don Bosco" Salesian Project, which was presented by Fr Noé Jorge Lara, SDB, Vicar of the foundation, who illustrated the details of the Mission, Vision and Values of the institution, which assist children, adolescents and young people in vulnerable situations in a typically Salesian perspective, that is, preventive.

                      On Tuesday 9 February, instead, there was the "Institute for the Improvement of Indigenous Communities - Don Bosco" (IMCI Don Bosco) in Matagallinas. The great service to the Mixe population and other ethnic groups in the area, as well as programs for agricultural production, animal care, textile workshops, together with formal courses, school and boarding school ... were at the center of the intervention by Fr Pedro Narvaéz Cab, SDB, who did not fail to recall how the Salesian work has been the cradle of many vocations, or where many young Salesians have carried out their formation and forged their conviction of serving God in the style Don Bosco.

                      {gallery}MEM - Martedi di Don Bosco 2021{/gallery}

                      • MEM MESSICO MÉXICO
                      • Exallievi
                      • Famiglia Salesiana
                      • Decessi
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Papua New Guinea – Start of school, educational and pastoral activities

                        5 days 13 hours ago
                        Papua New Guinea – Start of school, educational and pastoral activities

                        (ANS - Port Moresby) - The continent that undoubtedly has withstood the impact of Covid-19 best is Oceania. In the young Salesian Vice Province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (PGS), always with great attention, but with fewer limitations than elsewhere, school, educational and pastoral activities have therefore been restarted.

                        The 2021 Pastoral Year for the Mary Help of Christians Parish, Rapolo, Port Moresby, was officially launched on Saturday 6 February with a day of formation and prayer. The meeting was opened by Fr Möise who introduced the Rector Major's 2021 Strenna to the participants. He later explained the Salesian Culture to the participants since many of them were new to the Salesian environment and reminded the participants that they are valuable to Don Bosco and are members of the Don Bosco Educative-Pastoral Community. The participants were also urged by Fr Möise, that moved by hope in Christ they are to commit themselves this year by extending their hands to their fellow brothers and sisters in their respective parishes and sub-parishes. The participants ended the formation with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and professed their faith as a sign of commitment to God in their ministries.

                        “Don Bosco Technical School”, located in Gabutu, Port Moresby, celebrated Ash Wednesday with a Eucharistic celebration that also opened the academic year. Held on Wednesday, 17th February, the theme of the celebration was “Give and it shall be given back to you” (Luke 6:38). Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB, was the main celebrant accompanied by the School Rector, Fr Pedro Sachitula, SDB.

                        In his homily, Archbishop Panfilo reminded the school of the meaning of Lent as a journey towards the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. His message to the school community was an invitation to pray more and better during this time of Lent; to get closer to our Lord Jesus; to fast from things we do not really need and to share what we save from our fasting to the needy.

                        After the Mass there followed a program to mark the formal opening of the academic year 2021 with the presentation of awards of continuing students from 2020.

                        Finally, the “Don Bosco Rural Training Centre”, sited in Honiara, Henderson, Solomon Islands, came alive on 19 February to inaugurate the new scholastic year invoking the Holy Spirit. The Holy Eucharist was presided over by Rector Fr Robinson Parappilly, and concelebrated by Fr Bai Albesa, the Principal of the school, and Fr Dai. The young people of the RTC very well prepared the liturgy with solemn dancing processions and singing using the special musical instruments of Solomon Islands. 

                        During the Holy Eucharist, Fr Robinson inspired the students and teachers to have dreams quoting Holy Father Pope Francis's Encyclical Fratelli Tutti. He also told them the stories of Joseph the dreamer, St. Joseph the dreamer, and Don Bosco the great dreamer. Their dreams had a vision and the mission followed. “We are here to fulfill our own cherished dreams and fulfill them following the vision mission of our RTC,” said Fr Robinson. 

                        This was followed by the official inauguration ceremony. Fr Bai in his welcome address emphasised the Strenna of the Rector Major to Hope for the better. Then, he explained to the students the role and functions of various youth groups, sodalities and clubs and urged them to develop leadership qualities. In his speech, Fr Parappilly acknowledged the contributions made by previous missionaries and Salesians and said the school will develop nationally and internationally accepted curriculum and will implement in the following years: “We will work in close collaboration with the Ministry of education, agriculture, and like-minded NGOs and Universities to empower the staff and students.”

                        The ceremony concluded with the singing of the alma mater song by the Bosconian.

                        {gallery}PGS Riaperture - 2021{/gallery}

                        • Papua Nuova Guinea
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Democratic Republic of Congo - Visit by Regional Councilor, Fr Alphonse Owoudou, to Salesian Province of Central Africa

                          6 days 13 hours ago
                          Democratic Republic of Congo - Visit by Regional Councilor, Fr Alphonse Owoudou, to Salesian Province of Central Africa

                          (ANS - Lubumbashi) - The Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region, Fr Alphonse Owoudou, began his visit to the Salesian Province of Central Africa (AFC), during which he presented the Rector Major's, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Program Letter for the six-year term.

                          In an interview with Jambo Vijana, the Salesian magazine for young people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Fr Owoudou said he was especially confident about the future of the oldest Salesian Province in Africa. The Regional Councilor also wished to explain that the Rector Major's Program Letter, a document of normative and pedagogical guidelines, aims at a better expression of the Salesian charism. He then underlined the potential of the Province and what, on the other hand, are its most critical points. He announced the beginning of the process of the Salesian mission of close accompaniment in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo by the AFC Province.

                          To do this, he invited all his confreres, all members of the Salesian Family and collaborators to remain united in the charismatic identity of the Church and Don Bosco. He recalled this charism founded on the life of prayer, on attention to young people, especially the poorest ones, on fidelity to Christ, on a life of love for oneself and for others, on poverty and chastity in freedom.

                          It is in union of the hearts of all parties, with the courage and spirit of bearing witness, specific qualities of John the Baptist, forerunner of the Messiah, that the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, of the AFC Province, will reach its new configuration in perspective.

                          Furthermore, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Salesian presence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Forty years of mission at the service of the poorest young people, who are a precious and at the same time very delicate gift. Fr Owoudou thus exhorted the confreres to keep this responsibility high towards the most disadvantaged.

                          Journal Jambo Vijana/Don Bosco RDC-EST

                          {gallery}AFC - Visita del Consigliere Regionale{/gallery}

                          • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
                          • Africa
                            Virginia Nitto

                            El Salvador - New furniture to improve life and learning of Don Bosco University students

                            6 days 13 hours ago
                            El Salvador - New furniture to improve life and learning of Don Bosco University students

                            (ANS - San Salvador) - The Don Bosco University of San Salvador has new furniture, thanks to a donation from “Salesian Missions”, the Salesian Mission Office based in New Rochelle, United States. The furniture was supplied by “Furniture Reuse Solutions”, a US company committed to sustainability. The company supplies materials to charities and non-profits, helping them in their humanitarian missions. This is the first donation that Furniture Reuse Solutions offers to the Salesian Mission Office of New Rochelle.

                            The new furniture is mainly intended for the student residences of the Don Bosco University of San Salvador, the student lounge and the outdoor area of ​​the Don Bosco Chapel. The materials were also shared with the Sacred Heart Retreat House, which is used for meetings, reunions and spiritual retreats.

                            "We are really grateful to Furniture Reuse Solutions for donating this furniture, which will guarantee students a more comfortable environment, which will also favor their learning," said Fr Gus Baek, Director of Salesian Missions. "Having an adequate environment gives our students dignity and allows them to focus better on their lessons," he added.

                            Don Bosco University is one of the country's most prestigious higher education institutions, especially in the technical and technological sector. The University has nearly 6,000 students enrolled and maintains a strong link with the local employment sector through research, technology transition programs, continuing education courses and consulting services.

                            The University has several degree courses: engineering, social sciences, humanities, economics, aeronautics, and many more. Furthermore, it is the only teaching center in the country accredited by the International Society of Orthotics and Prosthetics.

                            El Salvador is one of Central America's the most violent countries. Gang violence is one of the main forms of violence in the country and it is estimated that around 60,000 young people are affiliated with gangs. Involvement in gangs is often associated with a lack of education and job opportunities in the country.

                            In fact, crime is often linked to poverty, a state where nearly 35% of El Salvador's population lives, according to the World Bank. El Salvador's youth face not only poverty but also instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. The need for education in El Salvador is more important than ever, with 12% of young people aged 15 to 24 unemployed and 41% underemployed.

                            • El Salvador
                            • SUE STATI UNITI EST E CANADA
                              Virginia Nitto

                              Czech Republic - A year dedicated to the memory of Fr John Med, a Czech missionary in India

                              6 days 13 hours ago
                              Czech Republic - A year dedicated to the memory of Fr John Med, a Czech missionary in India

                              (ANS - Prague) - Each of the 11,000 Salesians who have been sent as missionaries ad gentes since 1875 has left a precious legacy in his homeland and also in his mission land. And Fr John Med, a Czech Salesian missionary in India (1924 – 2011), is no exception. Fr Med is a model for every Province, that it always preserves the memory of its "legendary" missionaries.

                              This year the Province of the Czech Republic (CEP), his Province of origin, launched "The year of Fr Med". This is an initiative launched on the provincial website and shared by the Salesians in India to treasure the memory of Fr Med through his books of songs, testimonies, biographies and numerous videos available on the "Divine Echoes" YouTube channel.

                              Every month, the Czech Republic's Province shares an aspect and a story on its web portal regarding a certain period of Fr Med's life. In January, an in-depth study entitled “A priest on a moped, the friend of the poor", while in February his childhood was examined through the video "His name is John: childhood and family". From March it will continue with the publication of many other documents, photos and short videos. In this way, it will be possible to deeply understand the missionary vocation of this Salesian who did not hesitate to leave his homeland to dedicate himself to others.

                              Currently, there are not many elderly Salesian missionaries in the East Asia-Oceania Region and it is therefore important to treasure all their vocational stories. It is essential to dialogue with them, to record their words and pass on their testimonies, so that they are a motivation for the current young Salesian generations.

                              To learn more about Fr Med's story, you can consult the section dedicated to him on the website of the Salesians of the Czech Republic and watch the documentary "Singing Missionary", organized by the Salesian Province of Dimapur (IND).

                              The videos of January and February are available at the following links: "A priest on a moped" and "His name is John"

                              • CEP REPUBBLICA CECA
                                Virginia Nitto

                                South Korea - Second ADMA group established in Seoul

                                6 days 13 hours ago
                                South Korea - Second ADMA group established in Seoul

                                (ANS - Seoul) - With Fr Alejandro Guevara Rodríguez, SDB, new World Spiritual Animator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), the latter is experiencing a new spring and in many places, including South Korea, where new groups are being established.

                                The first ADMA group in South Korea was founded in Gwangju, the cradle of the Salesian charism in Korea and now, in Seoul, a second is ready to be born. Gwangju's group has 14 members, with the first 12 having issued their promises in 2016 and another two joining in 2019. This ADMA group, made up of graduates from the “Marian school”, now also has 15 new aspirants. The group meets monthly, even if it is planning to meet every week or two.

                                The Seoul group, instead, began the period of formation in 2017. During this time, they have learned to know each other and to know Don Bosco and the history of ADMA. There are currently 7 aspirants, ready to issue their promises, scheduled for next May 24th. The aspirants, who have already asked the Provincial for approval of their foundation, are also in contact with the ADMA Primary of Turin.

                                The two groups, about 300 km away from each other, have agreed on a common formation plan which includes the study of Don Bosco's Memoirs of the Oratory, the ADMA Regulations, the Letter of the Rector Major for the 150th anniversary, and other important documents of the Salesian Family. They also deal with the youth apostolate, participate in events of the Salesian Family and in pilgrimages.

                                However, the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down the activities and meetings of ADMA groups are taking place only online. ADMA members keep in touch with each other also thanks to Kakao-Talk, the most common Korean messaging platform, and here they share information, videos and useful news.

                                ADMA's journey in South Korea is still long and not without challenges, but all the members are happy to offer their contribution to the Salesian Family. The ADMA network in the East Asia-Oceania Region is a source of great inspiration and encourages all members to continue along this path.

                                “We are grateful to God and to all the Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians who accompanied the start-up period of ADMA in Korea,” said Sister Susanna Lee, ADMA spiritual animator.

                                • KOR KOREA
                                • ADMA
                                  Virginia Nitto

                                  Lebanon – Huge mobilization to help Beirut's displaced people produces concrete results

                                  1 week 2 days ago
                                  Lebanon – Huge mobilization to help Beirut's displaced people produces concrete results

                                  (ANS - Beirut) - The terrible explosion that devastated Beirut last August 4 brought the country's economy to its knees and many families lost their homes and their belongings. The Salesian Mission Office "Missioni Don Bosco" in Turin was immediately active in supporting the local Salesians and, thanks to the help of many benefactors, restored a little serenity and comfort to 189 families.

                                  Lebanon, a country already devastated by a complex and long socio-political and economic crisis, subsequently aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic, suffered a huge catastrophe. The explosion, probably caused by a fire inside an abandoned ammonium nitrate deposit in the port of Beirut, razed the entire surrounding area to the ground and destroyed most of the adjacent neighborhoods.

                                  During the first two days after the explosion, the flow of ambulances was constant, the capital's hospitals were literally in crisis. The health system, already strained, perpetually struggling with the lack of electricity and medical supplies, had been put under further pressure due to the Covid-19 emergency, and found itself having to face the disaster of the August 4th in the worst possible situation.

                                  In this context, the Salesians of Lebanon immediately worked to respond to the numerous requests for help. The emergency plan mainly focused on the distribution of basic necessities, food and medicine, hospitality, economic assistance to a group of 189 families whose homes or work activities suffered considerable damage; the Salesians also provided the financing of scholarships for boys and girls.

                                  The support sent by Missioni Don Bosco to the Lebanese mission, thanks to donations from benefactors, was aimed at giving a response as quickly as possible. An assistance and rescue plan, with the aim also of alleviating and mitigating the socio-economic impact, sense of loss and upheaval following everything that happened.

                                  The emergency project was divided into 5 categories, with some families receiving more than one type of support):

                                  -      financial support offered to 43 Syrian families and 46 Lebanese families, which amounted to $ 165 - $ 1,990 based on individual case and damage to homes;

                                  -      medical assistance guaranteed to 80 Lebanese and 24 Syrian families;

                                  -      food parcels distributed to 80 Lebanese, 61 Syrian and 34 Iraqi families;

                                  -      welcome and meals for 24 Syrian and 48 Iraqi families, families who were hosted in the Al-Housson hospitality house.

                                  -      scholarships guaranteed to 41 Lebanese students, boys and girls aged 14-18 who attend the “Don Bosco Technique Institute” in Al Fidar.

                                  To revive the fortunes of Lebanon, all this is certainly still little. But to restore the smile to many children, teenagers and young people and a little serenity to many parents, Salesian help is essential.

                                  For more information, visit the website: 

                                  {gallery}Libano - Aiuti post esplosione - 2021{/gallery}

                                  • Libano
                                  • MOR MEDIO ORIENTE
                                  • Missioni
                                  • Missioni Don Bosco
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Mongolia – The Shuwuu community is growing greener

                                    1 week 2 days ago
                                    Mongolia – The Shuwuu community is growing greener

                                    (ANS - Ulan Bator) - The Salesians took over the pastoral care of the mission of Shuwuu, not too far from the capital of the country, Ulan Bator, in 2016, on the proposal of the then Vicar Apostolic of Mongolia, Msgr. Wenceslaus Padilla. “When we first arrived there, we had just four gers (traditional Mongolian round houses) at our disposal. Yes, it was difficult to start apostolic activities without a solid infrastructure. We used two ger joined together as a chapel, a small ger was for the parish office and the other ger was for the kitchen,” says Salesian Fr Mario Gaspar dos Santos from Timor, who has been serving in Shuwuu since last year.

                                    Noting, then, that in that way they did not have an adequate place to live, nor an adequate place to offer people to pray, given that during the winter the chapel built in the gers was extremely cold, the Salesians got busy: they renovated a two-story building and created a chapel, an indoor games room, a library, a shower made available to people and even a computer room.

                                    In fact, as the Salesian missionaries quickly learned, in Mongolia the two fundamental elements of a building are heating and water. “Since we have a well, it was easy for us to connect it to the building. But for the proper functioning of the structure and the parish we also need heating. Thus, we also connected the electric heating,” the Salesian continues. Of course, given the temperatures that are reached in Shuwuu, the bill is very high: about 2,000 dollars a month, during the winter.

                                    Trying to limit expenses so as to use the money saved for educational and pastoral purposes, the Salesians contacted a benefactor in Hong Kong, who said he was willing to donate a system of solar panels. The entire installation of the system and commissioning should have already taken place last year, but due to Covid-19 the project has been postponed. But once fully operational, the solar energy system will make it possible to produce heating for both the two-story building and the new church inaugurated last autumn.

                                    But this is not the only "ecological" project of the Salesian community in Shuwuu, which has decided to plant 50 trees every year. “Planting trees in Mongolia is not easy. We need a good irrigation system, which we started three years ago precisely to make the trees survive. It was the young people of our parish who planted the trees and the whole community is committed to promoting the planting of new trees every year,” said Fr dos Santos.

                                    {gallery}Mongolia - Missione Shuwuu 2021{/gallery}

                                    • Mongolia
                                    • VIE VIETNAM
                                    • Ambiente
                                    • Creato
                                    • Missioni
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Italy – Boxed set publications on Rimini's Maria Ausiliatrice church

                                      1 week 2 days ago
                                      Italy – Boxed set publications on Rimini's Maria Ausiliatrice church

                                      (ANS - Rimini) - A few days after the feast day of Don Bosco, the Salesian community of Rimini publishes a boxed set containing all the publications concerning its church of Mary Help of Christians. The collection serves as a synthesis of the in-depth works developed in conjunction with two centenarians recently experienced by the community: that of the birth of Blessed Alberto Marvelli (21 March 1918), who was formed as a committed young Christian in the church of Mary Help of Christians; and that relating to the arrival of the Salesians in Rimini (1919-2019).

                                      The boxed set, which consists of 12 publications, concerns the building of the Church of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice which is told in its historical, artistic and religious aspects with different display modes ranging from the brochure to the leaflet, booklet, text.

                                      This choice of opting for a varied form instead of a single commemorative text has favored the celebration of the centenaries with numerous events placed in the year's main festivals and has met the interest of various readers: the professional historian, the lover of the territory, the parishioner who relives the times of his or her recent past and the tourist on a guided tour in the summer evenings.

                                      Of all the texts, the “Short Guide to the Church of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice” by the most qualified Rimini author in the sector is especially important, the work of historian Piergiorgio Pasini.

                                      The text “People and facts of the Church of Mary Help of Christians”, written on an eight-leaf leaflet to highlight the chronological path, is also of great interest.

                                      Other specific publications are dedicated to the careful reading of some details of the structure, such as the stained glass windows or the tombstone of the Venetian refugees, or to the meticulous examination of the Gothic style and religious symbolism present in the church.

                                      And since a church exists only if it is lived by a community, people also find a place in the boxed set with publications aimed at remembering the many benefactors, the aforementioned Alberto Marvelli, and also the famous Salesian Fr Antonio Gavinelli, founder of the work.

                                      All the graphic design was handled by the Kaleidon studio under the direction of Francesco Ramberti.

                                      The texts by Sonia Bodellini and Adriani-Masini for the “extra large” format and the one on the Via Crucis, still being worked on, are not included in the collection.

                                      "It would be too much to wish ad perpetuam rei memoriam (as a perennial reminder of the thing), but sincere is the intention to leave memories and admiration," say the Rimini Salesians.

                                      {gallery}Italia - Cofanetto Rimini 2021{/gallery}

                                      • Italia
                                      • ILE ITALIA LOMBARDO EMILIANA
                                      • Alberto Marvelli
                                      • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                      • Anniversari
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Italy – The “Valdocco Shop” goes online

                                        1 week 3 days ago
                                        Italy – The “Valdocco Shop” goes online

                                        (ANS - Turin) - It was in the early 1960s when a shop selling religious objects appeared for the first time in the courtyard of Valdocco, the Mother House of the Salesian Congregation. It was born from a beautiful intuition. There were many pilgrims and missionaries already back then: all eager to bring home objects that would narrate and recall the presence of Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco on their return to their lands of origin or mission. From this intuition comes a service that still persists, and today has expanded to the web. In fact, the website has been recently activated: 

                                        The motivation is that of the origins: to bring religious objects to lands far away from Valdocco that recall the charism breathed in the courtyard of the cradle of the Salesian charism, where everything was born.

                                        Of course, some memories, some experiences, can only be kept in the heart. But an object can help to remember it, to crystallize over time the taste or experience of something good that has been tried, to more easily tell loved ones of a beauty that has been known and one has managed to experience.

                                        On the site you can find prayer tools, devotional objects, votive images, and more. There are, of course, many gift items and souvenirs with the effigy of Don Bosco, Mary Help of Christians, Domenico Savio, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians ...

                                        “We believe that this place makes sense if lived as a service: and thus you can also find gadgets or objects for use by oratories or pastoral activities. But also statues, icons, and paintings that can be of use in Salesian communities,” explained Fr Guido Errico, Rector of the Shrine.

                                        In recent years, a bookshop has been added to the shop for religious souvenirs, whose uniqueness is a catalog full of publications on the charism and the Salesian Family. This catalog can also be consulted online, together with pastoral, catechetical or spirituality books which are certainly of great interest to the Salesian world.

                                        Especially now, in the context of a pandemic that has afflicted the world for a year and that is limiting a lot of travel and pilgrimages, the opening of the site for the shop/bookstore becomes an important option for many.

                                        “The web allows us to look out onto the whole world, so shipments are designed to reach abroad as well,” concludes Fr Errico. “In our own small way, we try to bring a piece of Valdocco closer to your homes and communities. We have always done so, now even more.”

                                        • Italia
                                        • Valdocco
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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