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Italy - Basilica of Mary Help of Christians: "the open and welcoming home of an outreaching family"

3 days 6 hours ago

(ANS - Turin) - A huge crowd marked the celebrations held yesterday, May 24, in Turin, in honor of Mary Help of Christians. "In our hearts today we have a feeling of profound love for the Mother," said the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in the homily of the Mass presided at Valdocco.

Throughout the day numerous celebrations took place in the Salesian temple. At 11 o'clock Mass was presided by Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia, archbishop of Turin, who, speaking of the Synod on Youth, spoke of the difficulties many young people encounter in the world and he invited everyone to "listen to them and take seriously their problems and their observations ... Young people are capable of gestures and commitments of great generosity and vigor, spiritual and social."

With the entrustment to Mary Help of Christians and the invitation to pray to request intercession, the gaze then turned to the weakest of subjects among citizens: families in difficulty, immigrants and refugees, poor people ... Following the example of Don Bosco and the numerous Turin "social saints", Msgr. Nosiglia urged Christians to "inhabit" the existential and geographical peripheries and to strengthen the alliance between "inner values, both civil and spiritual, to give a soul not only to individuals, but to all of society."

In the afternoon, Fr Á.F. Artime presided at the Eucharist inside the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians. For those who share the Salesian charism, he explained, "the devotion to Mary Help of Christians is the experience of the active and operative presence of Mary, which occurs in hearts and in works: a personal relationship with 'She who did everything'."

Then, intervening on the value of the basilica of Valdocco for the entire Salesian world, the Rector Major observed: "Mary herself wanted this church to be her home. Not a simple house, where you live ... But a 'mother' house, from which to receive life and the drive to go beyond, beyond borders, seas and mountains, beyond imagination: it is the open and welcoming home of a family that reaches out."

In the evening, the traditional procession of the statue of Mary Help of Christians resounded with the hymns of praise and songs of thanksgiving of the whole city of Turin towards "Our Lady of Don Bosco".

Available on ANSFlickr, the photos of the day; on the ANS Facebook page, live videos.

{gallery}Italia - Chiesa di Maria Ausiliatrice Torino 24 maggio 2018{/gallery}

  • Italia
  • ICP
  • Maria Ausiliatrice
  • Torino
  • Ángel Fernández Artime
  • Rettor Maggiore
    Gian Francesco Romano

    India – Don Bosco Centre for Learning Hosts Mahakaushalya 2018

    3 days 6 hours ago

    (ANS – Kurla) – Don Bosco Centre of Learning (DBCL) and St. Joseph Industrial Training Institute (SJITI), in its mission to skill the young for life and livelihood, hosted the first-ever Maharashtra State Skills Competition 2018 called the “Mahakaushalya 2018”.

    The WorldSkills Competition takes place every two years and is the biggest vocational education and skills excellence event in the world that truly reflects the global industry. The competitors represent the best among their peers and are selected from skills competitions in WorldSkills member countries and regions. They demonstrate technical abilities both individually and collectively to execute specific tasks for which they study or perform at their workplace.

    The mega event is preceded by cluster level skill completion, which was the elimination round for the state level competition. It was a tough challenge and the competitors battled it out to win a berth in the regional competition followed by a national skills trial. Only one candidate from each trade will represent India in the WorldSkill competition 2019 in Kazan, Russia.

    On May 4, during the cluster level competition held in DBCL, father Mario Vaz, vice rector and executive director of DBCL, welcomed the gathering and gave a brief introduction of Don Bosco and DBCL Kurla. After the inauguration, the competitors reported to the various testing areas to participate in the event. Training was provided by experts to give equal opportunity to the competitors and then the testing was conducted.

    Competitors showed their skill in auto body repair, automotive technologies, car painting, architecture stone masonry, electrical installation, electronics, floristry, beauty therapy, brick laying, carpentry, cabinet making, information network cabling, IT software solutions for business, industrial control, hair dressing, mechanical engineering CAD, refrigeration and air conditioning, web design and development, welding, industrial control, bakery, cooking, confectionery and restaurant services.

    The second day of Mahakaushalya 2018 saw youth from hair, beauty therapy, floristry, refrigeration, air-conditioning, mechatronics and electronics vying for top honours.

    Russel Fernandes from automotive technology, Rohit Kharatmol from car painting, Shivaim Shukla from electronics, Saifali Khan from ref. & air-conditioning and Belim Hanif from plumbing, won gold medals, whereas Akash Pawar from car painting, Nishad Chandan from auto body repair & Shrinavas Boga from cooking bagged silver medals for DBCL Kurla. Winners and runner-ups will represent Maharashtra at the regional level to be held later this month.

    The Mahakaushalya 2018 is a unique platform to scout and promote youth skills and the Salesians are glad to be part in it.

    • India
    • Formazione Professionale
    • INB
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG – Rector Major's Animation visit to Croatia

      4 days 6 hours ago

      (ANS - Rome) - As soon as the celebratory events for the feast of Mary Help of Christians are over, a new journey awaits the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, always intent on meeting all his confreres personally and personally learning about the Salesian works across the globe: on the occasion of the centenary of the Salesian presence in that territory, the Rector Major will be in Croatia from 25 to 29 May.

      Fr Á.F. Artime will reach Rijeka on the evening of Friday 25, welcomed and greeted by young people of the local Salesian center, and will attend an artistic-cultural show celebrating the centenary of that house.

      The following morning, after the visit to the city's Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, he will meet the local Salesian Families and celebrate the Eucharist. In the afternoon there will be a transfer to Split, where the 10th Successor of Don Bosco shall have a new chance to meet young Croats.

      Sunday 27, after a meeting with the Salesian Cooperators and the Salesian Family in Split, a solemn Mass is scheduled for the 50th anniversary of the presence of the Salesians in the "Mary Help of Christians" parish in Split. Subsequently, the Rector Major - who will be accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, and by the Councilor for the Central and Northern Europe Region, Fr. Tadeusz Rozmus - will reach the country's capital, Zagreb.

      On Monday the specific appointments for the confreres of Fr Á.F. Artime: in the morning, the meeting with the members of the Provincial Council - outgoing and the newly-appointed - and then with the Mass for the inauguration of the new Provincial, Fr Tihomir Šutalo; in the afternoon, he shall be in a meeting with all the Salesians in the Province.

      In the evening the Rector Major visits the prenovitiate of Zagreb-Podsused and in the morning of Tuesday 28 he will return to Rome.

      • RMG
      • Croazia
      • CRO
      • Ángel Fernández Artime
      • Visita di Animazione
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Guatemala - "Zatti Clinic": a service close to the people

        4 days 6 hours ago

        (ANS - San Benito Petèn) - The Salesian medical dispensary of San Benito Petén, dedicated to the blessed Artemide Zatti, is a place of hope for many people. In fact, in the Petèn region there is only one hospital, which with two health centers, is meant to provide for the health of a population of almost one million inhabitants. "A situation that clearly makes people prefer to die at home rather than seek treatment at the hospital," says Fr Giampiero de Nardi, Salesian missionary.

        To make matters worse, there is little preparation for doctors and sometimes a lack of willingness to help. "The last case was a lady who came to our clinic to treat a leg infection caused by an accident. The woman suffered from diabetes, so the leg was seriously infected. The hospital doctor told her he would have to amputate her leg. The woman came to us, she was medicated every day and now she walks perfectly," the missionary tells us bitterly.

        Thus, the number of patients going to the "Zatti Clinic" to be treated is starting to be considerable. Central is also the humanity with which they deal with patients. "On the one hand it makes me happy, but on the other it makes me angry," continues Fr de Nardi. "It is not possible that our battered clinic can compete with a structure as big as that of the hospital."

        In a country where more than half the population lives on less than a dollar a day, health is not a recognized right. There are very few public facilities where they can be treated and the first causes of death among children are intestinal and respiratory infections. A simple antibiotic, combined with adequate hygienic conditions, could save their lives.

        Given the Salesian commitment to the health of the local people, several schools in the city are contacting the Salesian mission personnel to give training courses to children and parents on the topic.

        In the meantime, work to expand and improve the structure also continues. "Thanks to the help of Missioni Don Bosco and a benefactor, we have equipped ourselves with a new dental chair and instruments for electrocardiograms, mouth radiographs and urinalysis."

        And in the meantime a new room has been created to perform the clinical examinations and in which to place the new dental chair.

        • Guatemala
        • CAM
        • Salute
        • Missioni
        • San Benito Petén
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Italy - World Consultive Body of Salesian Family: "How to grow as a Salesian Family in listening and accompanying"

          5 days 6 hours ago

          (ANS - Turin) - On 22 May the World Consultive Body of the Salesian Family continued its activities in the presence of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime.

          The representatives of the various groups began the day with the celebration of Mass presided by the 10th Successor of Don Bosco and the homily preached by the World Delegate for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz. Mother Graziella Benghini, Superior of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the introduction to the Eucharist, observed that "the Salesian Family was born in this Chapel: the Pinardi Chapel, and this invites us to be like Don Bosco, humble and docile to the voice of God."

          "The Word illuminates our life when we let God speak," then added Fr Muñoz in his homily. "We must learn to listen to His message, and in these days we have talked about the young and the work among them. But we must ask ourselves: what are we doing for the young?"

          In the first part of the morning, Fr Silvio Roggia, from the Dicastery of Formation, continued work on the theme of spiritual accompaniment. Some groups presented their experiences in listening and accompanying. The first group was "Cancão Nova", who described the accompaniment carried out at different stages of life. Sr. Paola Casalis, FMA, then went on to present the experience of her Institute in listening to and accompanying problematic young people. The third group to intervene was the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), which showed how the association performs spiritual accompaniment to people of different ages. And finally, there was the presentation of a Salesian from Nigeria on accompaniment in the different ethnic groups of his country. In this way, reflection ended on: "How to grow as a Salesian Family in listening and accompanying."

          "We wanted each group to have a time to be known by all the participants of the World Consultive Body", explained Fr Muñoz. In this 2018 World Consultive Body, five groups were presented: Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDB), the Association of Salesian Cooperators (SSCC), the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), the Witnesses of the Risen Lord (TR) and the Association of Damas Salesianas (ADS). Each group was able to present their work, experience, growth and development of its institution.

          The evening ended with a visit to the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, led by the Rector, Fr. Cristian Besso.

          Photos available on ANSFlickr

          • Italia
          • ICP
          • Consulta Mondiale FS
          • Famiglia Salesiana
          • Accompagnamento
          • Eusebio Muñoz
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Italy - Rector Major: "If we change the life of only one young man, we have done a great job"

            5 days 6 hours ago

            (ANS - Turin) - In the last appointment of his Animation Visit to the Special Circumscription of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta, on Monday afternoon, 21 May, the Rector Major met members of various groups of the Salesian Family, a way of getting to know the reality of Street Education promoted by the San Luigi Oratory in the Parco del Valentino. He also inaugurated the innovative Salesian training course "Ri-generation Lab", which allows the most disadvantaged young people to learn how to repair and regenerate household appliances.

            At the first of the three appointments, more than 400 people attended the "San Giovanni Evangelista" Institute, where they welcomed Fr À.F. Artime with a joyful cheer and briefly talked with him.

            Then, at the Parco del Valentino, there was a moment to talk and listen to the Pastoral Educational Community that animates the activities of Street Education, with the young guests of the community for Unaccompanied Foreign Minors and with the families who accompany them.

            The third stage of the visit took place at the "Santi Pietro e Paolo" oratory, where the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, welcomed by a festive crowd of children and young people, inaugurated the "Ri-generation Lab", a workshop conceived with the help of the Impresa Astelav, a company, to teach young people in need to repair and regenerate household appliances.

            "As is, when a child feels welcomed and esteemed, he can give his best; if, instead, he feels to be a weight he seeks forms to escape from reality with the risk of falling into a network of deviance," said Fr Mauro Mergola, Director of the "San Luigi" oratory.

            The young people taking part in the new project are boys between 16 and 18, who do not know Italian, or come from difficult family contexts, mostly foreign.

            The new educational-training format, carried out by CNOS – FAP, the National Center for Salesian Works - Vocational Training, the Salesian Youth Ministry, the "St. Peter and Paul" Parish and the "Astelav" firm, proposes to put into practice values ​​that are based on the circular economy: to create jobs for those in difficulty and put appliances on the market that were destined for scrapping, thus safeguarding people and the environment.

            Great was the satisfaction of the Rector Major before this new initiative: "If we change the life of even one young man, we have done a great job."

            The video of the inauguration ceremony of "Ri-Generation Lab" is available on Facebook.

            • Italia
            • ICP
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Ángel Fernández Artime
            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
            • Opzione Preferenziale
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Vatican - Cardinal Hlond, SDB, persecuted by Nazis and Communists, is Venerable

              6 days 6 hours ago

              (ANS - Vatican City) - On May 19, Pope Francis, receiving in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, authorized the same Congregation to promulgate, together with others, the Decree concerning the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Augustus Joseph Hlond, of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco, born 5 July, 1881, in Brzęczkowice (Poland) and died in Warsaw (Poland) on October 22, 1948.

              Second of 11 children, his father was a railway worker. Having received a simple but strong faith from his parents, he becomes a Salesian. Ordained priest in 1905, he took care of the young, especially the poor, with the charism of Don Bosco. He lives among the people, shares the joys and sufferings of the simplest persons. But he is also noticed by Pope Pius XI who entrusts him with the mission of providing for the religious arrangement of the Polish Silesia: from his mediation between the Germans and the Poles the diocese of Katowice was born in 1925, of which he became bishop. In 1926 he was archbishop of Gniezno and Poznań and primate of Poland. The following year the Pope promoted him cardinal. In 1932 he founded the Society of Christ for Polish emigrants, aimed at assisting the many compatriots who left the country.

              In March 1939, he participates in the Conclave that elects Pius XII. On 1 September of the same year the Nazis invade Poland: the Second World War begins. The cardinal raises his voice against the violations of human rights and religious freedom made by Hitler. Forced into exile, he takes refuge in France, denouncing the persecution against Jews in Poland. The Gestapo arrests him and has him interned first in Lorraine and then in Westphalia. Released in 1945 by the Allies, he returns to his homeland, where he, however, finds communism. He courageously defends the Poles from oppressive Marxist regime, and is even subject to several attacks from he escapes unscathed. He died on 22 October, 1948, of pneumonia, at the age of 67.

              Cardinal Hlond was a virtuous man, a shining example of a Salesian religious and a generous, austere pastor capable of prophetic visions. Obedient to the Church and firm in the exercise of authority, he demonstrated humility and constancy in moments of greater trials. He cultivated poverty and practiced justice for the poor and the needy. The two columns of his spiritual life, at the school of St. John Bosco, were the Eucharist and Mary Help of Christians.

              • Vaticano
              • Augusto Hlond
              • Santità Salesiana
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Italy - Acceptance, self-giving, ability to dream: Rector Major indicates route to young people and Salesian Family

                6 days 6 hours ago

                (ANS - Turin) - As the wait for the feast of Mary Help of Christians comes alive, even more solemn this year for the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica dedicated to Her in Turin-Valdocco, ending Monday, May 21st, was the Animation Visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Special Circumscription of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta.

                Saturday 19, in the afternoon, at Valdocco, Fr Á. F. Artime met about 500 youngsters of the Salesian Youth Movement. He answered their questions, offered several points to ponder: "Diversity is a gift and acceptance is a Christian word. Having the sensitivity to understand this is already having the predisposition for an outgoing Church ... In animation, the important message is that my life is more beautiful if I take the opportunity to share, to give my time and my person ... No one will give you the place of happiness, it is a conquest and a personal journey. Do not live without a project of life, a dream to make come true, an ideal: when the dream of God comes to dwell in mine, then my life will be full. I do not say it is easy, but I tell you that you shall be happy."

                On the Sunday of Pentecost, he visited the Salesian community in the Borgo San Paolo district, in Turin, on the occasion of the 100 years of Salesian presence. He presided over the Mass in the "Gesù Adolescente" parish and met the young of the oratory. "It is not possible to call ourselves Christians and at the same time close doors," he said. "Being a Christian and Salesian community means, first of all, living with doors, minds and hearts open to the acceptance of diversity."

                On Sunday afternoon, the Rector Major met more than 400 members of various groups of the Salesian Family in Valdocco and invited them to "live in the Church the beauty of their vocation, with the charism of each group of the Salesian Family." Then, he reminded them how important it is to offer the testimony of communion today.

                Lastly, on Monday 21st, he visited the Salesian Vocational Training Center (CFP) in Fossano, where he blessed the new thermo-hydraulic and energy workshops. "Today Don Bosco would have your hairstyle. He too would have a mobile phone and an account on a social network. In his time the most advanced means of communication was typography, why he wanted to have the most avant-garde typography for those times," he said among the enthusiastic young people, before concluding. "Never give up your dreams, because the day you stop dreaming will mean you are getting old."

                • Italia
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • ICP
                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                • Famiglia Salesiana
                • Giovani
                • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Italy – "In listening to young people, it is the Church itself that rejuvenates": World Consultive Body of Salesian Family

                  6 days 6 hours ago

                  (ANS - Turin) - The work of the World Consultive Body of the Salesian Family continued yesterday, Monday 21 May, with the representation of 27 groups sharing the Salesian charism. Fr Eusebio Muñoz, World Delegate for the Salesian Family, animated the 56 participants.

                  The celebration of the Mass was presided by Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation. In his homily, he spoke of "Mary as Mother and Teacher, who teaches us to love as Jesus taught us." The presence of the Dicastery for Formation was very enriching for the participants, thanks to the presentation of the theme of the accompaniment of young people.

                  Fr Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, gave the morning's first presentation. In a clear and concise manner, he presented his report entitled: "Toward the synod of bishops, emerging dynamics, substantial issues, decisive questions" and noted that "there is a loss of educational passion in the ecclesial community, which determines an inability to accompany young people and an absence of key adults."

                  Fr Sala underscored what emerged in the preparation of the Synod, that it was not possible to speak to young people without listening to them. "Only when you have a clear idea of ​​reality can you discern and understand the challenges of the Church and of young people. One of the most important challenges is listening to young people; and in listening to the young, it is the Church itself that rejuvenates," he said.

                  In the afternoon, Fr Silvio Roggia, from the Dicastery of Formation, presented the theme: 'Accompaniment and Salesian Family.' "Accompaniment is the way in which Don Bosco educated the young and it is something that belongs to all the groups of the Salesian Family. In accompaniment, we discover the need of young people for adults in whom they can confide ... We are the experts of accompaniment, but there is the challenge of preparing to accompany young people with quality and depth," said Fr Roggia.

                  During dinner, the Rector Major thanked all the participants for their presence and invited them to continue to walk in the spirit of family and with the same youthful enthusiasm. Fr Muñoz, visibly happy, then added: "The day was of extraordinary density, of profound content and full of the extraordinary contribution of each group of the Salesian Family."

                  All photos are available on ANSFlickr

                  • Italia
                  • ICP
                  • Famiglia Salesiana
                  • Eusebio Muñoz
                  • Ivo Coelho
                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                  • Formazione
                  • Sinodo sui Giovani
                  • Accompagnamento
                  • Consulta Mondiale FS
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Italy - Youth and Salesians: Fr Á.F. Artime encourages everyone to look to the future with trust and hope

                    1 week ago

                    (ANS - Novara) - The Provincial visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Salesian District of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta (ICP) began on Friday 18 May. After the meeting with the Provincial Council, in the morning, the tour in the land of Don Bosco began: the first stop was the Salesian Institute "San Lorenzo" of Novara, celebrating its 125th anniversary.

                    "I am a Salesian like any other, simply more fortunate because I am called to bring the greeting of Don Bosco to the world," said the 10th Successor of Don Bosco to the students of the institute. "I meet many young people in many countries, and I often ask myself how they are different from each other and in the end the answer is always the same: they can have different skin color, a different language, but in the end, in their heart lives the same desire for happiness, that desire for happiness to which Don Bosco tried to give an answer."

                    The Rector Major continued with a testimony on his vocation followed by a theatrical performance at the end of which the young people of San Lorenzo addressed the Rector Major with other questions regarding the Synod on Youth, which sees them as the prime protagonists for a renewed Church.

                    On the occasion, a girl also asked him how to overcome moments of darkness. "Do not be afraid. Find someone who believes in you," replied Fr Á.F. Artime. "We Salesians believe in you young people, in your values, in your strength, in your courage. Have dreams, mighty dreams and beautiful dreams, dreams no one will ever be able to steal from you!"

                    The next day, in Turin, the Rector Major began with the meeting with his confreres. "The first thing I want to say to you is we have a beautiful Congregation. Pope Francis, I can assure you, has great respect and love for us ... I can assure you that the Congregation is experiencing a moment of profound maturity ... Within the Church, the Salesians are those who have suffered the least from the vocational crisis. If we take seriously the importance of discernment, the spiritual accompaniment of young people and of confreres, we shall soon reach a point of equilibrium. The Lord speaks to us clearly. And He invites us to never allow pessimism to prevail, but to contribute with passion and hope."

                    The photos are avialable at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pGnJBoIMp-55fCgS2MW17lu2uCl1wYYn  

                    {gallery}Italia - Visita RM a ICP 2018{/gallery}

                    • Italia
                    • ICP
                    • Rettor Maggiore
                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                    • Anniversari
                    • Giovani
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Indonesia - Catholic and Christian communities of Surabaya united in a spirit of prayer and forgiveness

                      1 week ago

                      (ANS - Surabaya) - The Provincial Delegation of the Salesians of Indonesia, belonging to the Vice Province of Indonesia-East Timor (ITM), has joined the entire Catholic and Christian community of the country in a spirit of prayer and forgiveness to respond to terrorist attacks who hit three churches on Sunday, May 13, and a police station on the following Monday.

                      Fr Noel Villafuerte, SDB, parish priest of the church dedicated to St. Michael and responsible for the Salesian presence in Surabaya, wanted to share what he witnessed: "Last night we prayed together with our brothers, priests and parishioners of the bombed church in Ngagel, recalling in particular the six victims killed in the attack at that church. During the vigil, Fr Romo Kurdo, the parish priest of Ngagel, shared that no one of the victims' relatives ever expressed hatred or revenge towards the perpetrators! Only forgiveness!  My friends, we preach by our lives. We stand up as different from the world, because we are not of it, and we don’t force others to agree with us; we convert by our compassion. We are not overcome by evil, but we overcome evil with good." (Rom 12:21)

                      "We continue to pray," added Fr Lino Belo, Provincial Delegate for Indonesia. "Please join us in prayer: we pray for all the Indonesian people. Terrorists are not only enemies of Christians, but also enemies of the whole people of Indonesia. And all major Indonesian religions are inviting with the same motivation for peaceful co-existence."

                      The Salesian presence of Surabaya is composed of 3 religious. It is entrusted to the responsibility of Fr Villafuerte and animates a high school, the parish and a youth center.

                      • Indonesia
                      • ITM
                      • Terrorismo
                      • Preghiera
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Nicaragua - On the horizon, a wish

                        1 week ago

                        (ANS - Managua) - The desire that millions of Nicaraguans hold is a desire for peace. Time flows. In a whole month this Central American nation has not given up its constant struggle for justice and truth. The month of May, when it arrives, brings with it the first rains, but the blood of the citizens continues to flow.

                        by José Carlos Martínez

                        The long-awaited "national dialogue" has managed to have its impact thanks to the mediation of the Episcopal Conference. But not everything is clear. The citizens do not trust this process and have taken their own measures, causing blockages in the main roads and gradually halting the development and progress of activities.

                        The Salesian Youth Center of Managua is partially closed, while the parish functions still. The Don Bosco school in Masaya has completely suspended its activities. The chapel offers some celebrations. The Don Bosco school in Granada has also suspended its lessons, while the chapel continues to recite the novena to Mary Help of Christians every day.

                        The shutdown of activities has been implemented for security reasons, as demonstrations continue, the roads closed, and no access to public transport.

                        A few blocks from the "Don Bosco" school in Granada there are road closures, burning tires, barricades and mortars being fired.

                        Even today, dialogue continues. In the country, the bishops have invited the faithful to carry out a day of fasting and prayer for peace.

                        The mark that the repression has left on the population is indelible. Pain and despair are the starting points because in the midst of this uncertainty and instability there is still a dose and measure of and for hope. The voice of the people is not silenced, their faith aimed at achieving peace.

                        • Nicaragua
                        • CAM
                        • Violenze
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Nicaragua – Un deseo en el horizonte

                          1 week ago

                          (ANS – Managua) – El deseo que miles de nicaragüenses ansían es la paz. El tiempo apremia. En un mes completo esta nación centroamericana no ha claudicado en su lucha constante por la justicia y la verdad. Al llegar mayo trae consigo las primeras lluvias, pero la sangre de los ciudadanos continúa corriendo.

                          El tan ansiado “diálogo nacional” logró encontrar su caudal gracias a la mediación de la Conferencia Episcopal. Pero, no todo es claro. Los pobladores no confían en este proceso y han tomado sus propias medidas provocando cierres en las principales vías deteniendo poco a poco el desarrollo de las actividades.

                          El Centro Juvenil en Managua está parcialmente cerrado, la parroquia sigue en funcionamiento. El Colegio Don Bosco en Masaya ha suspendido por completo sus actividades. La capilla ofrece algunas celebraciones. El colegio Don Bosco en Granada también ha suspendido clases. La capilla sigue celebrando la novena a María Auxiliadora.

                          El paro de actividades se hace por seguridad, siguen las marchas locales, cierre de calles y nulo acceso al transporte público.

                          A unas cuadras del Colegio Don Bosco en Granada están los cierres de calle, quema de llantas, barricadas y morteros.

                          Hoy continuará el diálogo. En el país, los obispos han invitad a jornada de ayuno y oración por la paz.

                          La marca que ha dejado la represión en la población es imborrable. El dolor y la desesperación son punto de partida para que en medio de la incertidumbre e inestabilidad aún se tenga una dosis de esperanza. La voz del pueblo no se apaga, la fe está puesta en alcanzar la paz.

                          • Nicaragua
                          • CAM
                          • Violenze
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            RMG - 75th anniversary of the death of venerable Luigi Olivares, Salesian bishop

                            1 week 3 days ago

                            (ANS - Rome) - Tomorrow, Saturday 19 May, marks the 75th anniversary of the death of the venerable Luigi Olivares, Salesian Bishop.

                            Born in Corbetta, near Milan, 18 October 1873, the fourth of fifteen children – he will have a missionary brother and a Canossian sister - he studied in Milan seminaries and was ordained a priest in Milan on 4 April 1896. His bishop, the blessed Cardinal Andrea Ferrari, sent him, a young priest of 22, as vice-chancellor of the archbishopric of Saronno. After 8 years he obtained entry into the Salesians.

                            He taught Moral Theology and Sociology in the student house of Foglizzo (1906-1910), then he was appointed parish priest of the incipient parish "Santa Maria Liberatrice" in the Testaccio district of Rome. The neighborhood, dangerous at the time, was visibly transformed, thanks to the goodness of its new parish priest. One day, slapped on the street by a violent man, Fr Luigi said to him: "Thank you!", and presented the other cheek.

                            In 1916, he was chosen by Benedict XV as bishop of Sutri and Nepi. He gave himself a five-point rule book: "I will love my diocese as a bride. In the oration, with Jesus, I will deal with the interests of souls; I will not make any important decisions before I have consulted Him. I will avoid luxury and superfluity. I will have a timetable and I will observe it faithfully. The calling card of my episcopal life: charity prepared for every sacrifice." Thus he did indeed for 26 years, in the full Salesian spirit: "I am, via a gift from God, a Christian, a priest, a Salesian and a bishop: I must become a saint."

                            He was always ready for every sort of work and sacrifice for the good of souls. The characteristic note of the figure of Msgr. Olivares was his amiable manner, the affability of his smile, his delicacy of mind and spirit. He knew how to live by the difficult binomial he had wanted as his episcopal motto, "Suaviter et fortiter", an echo of that kindness so favored and embraced by Don Bosco himself. Fr Luigi loved his priests extraordinarily, understanding them and defending them always.

                            He died on 19 May, 1943, in Pordenone, where he had gone to preach a course of spiritual exercises to the young high school students of the Salesian Institute. The fame of holiness following his death was immediate and widespread. One of the doctors who had treated him at the hospital in Pordenone confessed: "As long as the Catholic Church has champions like this, it is destined to always new and greater triumphs. Thus men can preach the Gospel and claim they are heard even by unbelievers."

                            • RMG
                            • Luigi Olivares
                            • Santità Salesiana
                            • Vescovi
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Gabon - A mission renewed: the Salesians in Oyem

                              1 week 3 days ago

                              (ANS - Oyem) - Oyem is a city in northern Gabon, not far from the borders with Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, why it is a crossroad of trade and commerce. In the city - inhabited by about 60,000 people, mainly fang and mostly adolescents, according to the 2013 census - the Salesians have been present for more than three decades, and have now decided to renew their educational support in favor of the neediest young people.

                              Dedicated to Saint Dominic Savio, the center belongs to the "Our Lady of Africa" ​​Vice Province of Equatorial Tropical Africa (ATE), a Salesian circumscription that includes, in addition to Gabon, another 4 countries: Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea.

                              The Salesians arrived in Oyem in 1984, but it is only from the 1990s that the initiatives they have developed have truly begun to operate at full capacity. In the last twenty years, in fact, the religious have started a vocational training center that trains young people to become masons, carpenters, electricians and IT technicians. They have also opened a youth center, which has become a point of reference for all the area's youth, especially for girls.

                              The youth center offers many activities: sports – such as Football, Volleyball and Basketball, Tennis and Athletics; cultural - dance, theater and drawing workshops; and educational – via the so-called "Café Philosophique", a space for debates and conferences that are regularly organized on topics of common interest, as well as courses of scholastic support. The café also houses a library and media library, thus constituting a real oasis of tranquility where children can carve out a space to read, to do their homework or have fun.

                              At present there is a need for radical renewal, but the Salesian community active in Oyem, led by the Congolese Salesian Fr Davy Caryl Bouetoutamio-Bantsimba, has decided to start with and from small signs of change: repainting all the structures and soundproofing them where necessary, buying new sports equipment (balls and uniforms) and new equipment for various activities (loudspeakers, guitars, microphones); renew the assortment of board games for the play areas; in addition to starting training activities for educators and about 400 children and young people who attend the oratory every day.

                              For more information visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                              • Gabon
                              • ATE
                              • Missioni
                              • Missioni Don Bosco
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Italy - "M'interesso di te", project: already over 100 Unaccompanied Foreign Minors approached and assisted

                                1 week 4 days ago

                                (ANS - Rome) - Mujtaba, Bobacar, Famana, Abdoulaye ... These are some of the names of foreign children with stories of violence, some even of prison and torture, of poverty and great suffering. They are young people who, having escaped from a context wherein they saw no chance of a future, found themselves alone and abandoned in a foreign country. For young people like them, the Salesians of Italy have activated the project "M'interesso di te", which in three months has already approached and assisted over 100 minors.

                                The project - "I am interested in you, but also I shall take care of you" - is being carried out by "Salesians per il Sociale - SCS / CNOS Federation" thanks to the charitable fund and support of "Intesa San Paolo", an Italian banking institute. The project takes place in Turin, Naples and Catania, in neighborhoods adjacent to the train stations.

                                The activities of the project are carried out by a network of street educators, psychologists and volunteers who immediately guarantee support and protection to each child intercepted. In a second phase, this network offers young people the opportunity to attend Italian language courses, receive legal assistance regarding recognition and legal status, acquire professional/vocational skills, and to enter the world of work.

                                In the first quarter of the year, 53 educational activities were carried out by the educational team, including mapping the territory, getting to know the meeting/gathering places of minors, fostering their first connections and relationships with the locality they find themselves in. Thanks to these actions, 106 Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (UFM) were contacted, mostly children outside the assistance/support networks; in addition, 26 public and private organizations were contacted, including social services, police forces, and a number of associations and cooperatives that work for the protection of children.

                                The services provided during this period concerned:

                                - social mediation (61 boys),
                                - low threshold reception (ie for people in extreme difficulty) with socio-educational       surveys (19 people),
                                - first literacy programs for learning the Italian language (19 people),
                                - street-based educational activities (127 people),
                                - support for professional/vocational qualification and job placement (6 people)
                                - relational support and legal tutoring (4 people).

                                Currently, "Salesians for Social - SCS / CNOS Federation" counts on five offices active in first reception of the UFM, thanks to which it is able to accompany and support about 160 minors; to these must be added another 18 structures active in the second reception phase.

                                Further information is available on the "Salesiani per il Sociale" website

                                {gallery}Italia - Mi interesso di te - tre mesi dopo{/gallery}

                                • Italia
                                • Salesiani per il Sociale
                                • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                • Migranti
                                • Rifugiati
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  RMG - Rector Major in the land of Don Bosco

                                  1 week 5 days ago

                                  (ANS - Rome) - A visit to animate the Salesian Family present in the land of Don Bosco, just days from the feast of Mary Help of Christians, is what the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, shall start from Friday, May 18th, to Monday, May 21st. Immediately after, numerous other appointments await the Rector Major, beginning with the traditional events linked to the celebration of the "Madonna of Don Bosco" as well as others organized specifically to celebrate this year's 150th anniversary of the inauguration of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco.

                                  During the four-day visit to the centers of the ICP circumscription, Fr Á.F. Artime shall be busy animating the main Salesian houses, meeting his confreres, young people and the Salesian Family.

                                  On the first day, he will be in Novara for the 125th anniversary of the city's center.

                                  The Rector Major will spend all day Saturday at Valdocco, speaking with the Salesians, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and over 400 youngsters of the Salesian Youth Movement; for the occasion, SYM shall present a festive program called "MGS Day". This event will also mark the final phase of the Youth Ministry project "Anima MGS or SYM - The art of animating. Animating the art", which culminates with the staging of the show: "THE ART OF GIO' - Io lascio l’abbozzo, il miei figli stenderanno i colori, or I leave (them) the drawing, my children will add the colors", at the Teatro Grande Valdocco.

                                  On Sunday, 20 May, Fr Á.F. Artime presides at the Eucharist at the "San Paolo" in Turin, celebrating the center's 100th anniversary. In the afternoon, he meets the Salesian Family and shall bring comfort and joy to the elderly or sick Salesians.

                                  Finally, on Monday 21st, he will visit the Fossano Vocational Training Center where he will bless the new Thermo-hydraulic Workshop; in the afternoon, he will be at the Salesian center in the working class and multiethnic neighborhood of San Salvario to inaugurate a first-welcome service for young people and the workshop, the Vocational Skills or Trade Workshop, or "La Bottega dei Mestieri."

                                  Even after the conclusion of the Animation Visit to the ICP, the Rector Major will remain in Turin to participate in the annual gathering of the Consulta of the Salesian Family (22-23 May); he will also present the non-commercial volume "La Città di Don Bosco" (23 May, 6.00 pm - Valdocco, Sala Sangalli); and, on the afternoon of Thursday 24 May, he presides at the Solemn Eucharist for Mary Help of Christians, followed by the traditional procession of the statue of the Virgin.

                                  • RMG
                                  • Rettor Maggiore
                                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                  • Luoghi Salesiani
                                  • ICP
                                  • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Vatican - Cardinal Augusto Hlond, SDB, towards Venerability

                                    1 week 5 days ago

                                    (ANS - Vatican City) - On 15 May 2018, in the Ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a positive opinion was expressed on the reputation of holiness and the exercise, or decree, of the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Augusto Hlond (1881-1948), of the Society of St. Francis de Sales, Archbishop of Gniezno and Warsaw, Founder of the Society of Christ for the Emigrants of Poland.

                                    Augusto Hlond was born in Brzęczkowice, Upper Silesia, on 5 July 1881 and died in Warsaw on 22 October 1948. He entered the Salesian Society at a very young age and did his novitiate in Italy at Foglizzo Canavese. After his religious profession he was sent to Rome where he attended the Gregorian University. Ordained a priest on 23 September 1905, he was Director of various Salesian houses in Przemyśl and then in Vienna.

                                    He was the first Provincial of the German-Hungarian Province. In Vienna he made his mark on Msgr. Achille Ratti who, on becoming Pope, appointed him Apostolic Administrator of Upper Silesia, a responsibility requiring exceptional tact.

                                    Appointed bishop of Katowice on 14 December 1925, on 24 June 1926 he was promoted to the archbishopric of Gniezno and Poznań, and also nominated the Primate of Poland. He was made cardinal by Pius XI on 20 June 1927. In 1932, he founded the Congregation: "Societas Christi pro Emigrantibus Polonis" (the Society of Christ for the Emigrants of Poland).

                                    In 1936, as Primate of Poland, he led the first Synod of the Polish bishops. He became a great promoter of Catholic Action. He was the first shepherd in Poland, and possibly worldwide, to establish the "Youth Festival". With the outbreak of the Second World War, in September 1939, card. Hlond, at the request of the Polish government, in agreement with the Apostolic Nuncio, went to Rome to inform the Holy Father of the tragic situation in Poland; unable to return, he took refuge in Lourdes. In September 1944, he was deported by the Nazis to Germany, and managed to return home in July 1945.

                                    In 1946, along with maintaining the headquarters of Gniezno, he was appointed archbishop of Warsaw by Pius XII. A Pastor "with his gaze cast to the future" was how the venerable cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, his successor, called him.

                                    The Servant of God, who died with the crown of the Rosary in his hands, always nourished a profound devotion to Mary Help of Christians, whose cult spread throughout Poland, and consecrated his country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

                                    • Vaticano
                                    • Augusto Hlond
                                    • Cardinali
                                    • Vescovi
                                    • Santità Salesiana
                                    • Polonia
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Indonesia - "Terrorists want to scare us, we must stay serene and pray for God to convert their hearts"

                                      1 week 6 days ago

                                      (ANS - Surabaya) - "It is traumatic to know that it was a whole family of bombers to act, attack: what are we injecting into the minds of children? Are they being educated in extremism?" This is the bitter question that the Indonesian bishops ask after the barbaric attacks on Sunday, May 13, in Surabaya, words expressed by the Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Conference of Indonesia, Fr. Siprianus Hormat.

                                      Shortly before the Sunday Masses, three churches were hit: one Catholic, one Pentecostal and one Anglican. A new attack hit a police station in Surabaya yesterday, May 14: the total sum of the two days of violence is 25 dead (of which 13 bombers) and over 50 people injured.

                                      Among the Catholic victims there is also Aloysius Bayu, "who died for having blocked the two suicide bombers, otherwise the explosion would have caused even more victims," explained the parish priest, Fr. Alexius Kurdo Irianto.

                                      Because of the danger of new attacks, the churches have asked their faithful to be careful during functions, to watch out for people who do not normally attend their parish. Furthermore, several churches intend to equip themselves with security cameras. "Our faithful are afraid, but we pastors constantly invite them to be calm. The terrorists want to scare us, but we must remain serene and pray that God converts their hearts," said Monsignor Robertus Rubiyatmoko, archbishop of Semarang, whose ecclesiastical province includes the diocese of Surabaya.

                                      The only positive result of this situation is the solidarity shown by the local Islamic community and the improvement of inter-religious relations. "Next to the archbishopric, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists gathered to pray together."

                                      Even Pope Francis on Sunday, after the recital of the Regina Coeli, expressed his great sorrow for the incident and his solidarity with the Indonesian people. "I am particularly close to the dear people of Indonesia, and especially to the Christian communities in the city of Surabaya, which have been severely hit by the serious attack on places of worship," he said. "I raise my prayer for all the victims and their relatives. Together, let us invoke the God of peace to stop these violent actions, and in the heart of all, may they find not feelings of hatred and violence, but of reconciliation and fraternity."

                                      In the city of Surabaya, the Salesians have been active since 2009, where they animate a center that consists of a parish, a parish school and an oratory.

                                      • Indonesia
                                      • Violenze
                                      • Terrorismo
                                      • Vescovi
                                      • ITM
                                      • Papa Francesco
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Italy - How do Salesian communities meditate? A seminar on Salesian Meditation

                                        1 week 6 days ago

                                        (ANS - Rome) - "Why are we not taught to do Salesian meditation?" It was the question of a Salesian Director interested not only in his personal spiritual life, but in the progress of his community. This was the starting point of the seminar on "Salesian Meditation", held from 10 to 12 May at the headquarters of the "San Callisto" community in Rome.

                                        The event saw the participation of six Salesian experts on the subject and members of the Dicastery for Formation. It began with sharing personal experiences of meditations carried out by the participants from the time of the novitiate to today. "How were we started upon meditation? Who taught us to meditate? How do we currently meditate in our communities?" These were some of the questions the team began to address.

                                        Although all Salesians begin learning meditation during the novitiate, most do not know the Salesian form of mental prayer. There is a marked confusion between meditation, spiritual reading and other methods of meditation.

                                        Meditation was of vital importance to Don Bosco, who considered it an important path for the holiness of his Salesians. In this sense one can also observe a charismatic continuity in the messages of the Rectors Major, especially Fr Filippo Rinaldi and Fr Pietro Ricaldone, who invited Salesians to practice meditation routinely in order to grow in Salesian identity. Fr Rinaldi said that a few days before his death Don Bosco wanted to confess and he managed to say only one word: "meditation". This was the inheritance that the Founder left to his Salesians.

                                        "For us mental prayer is an indispensable form of prayer," say Salesian Constitutions. "This strengthens our intimacy with God, saves us from routine, keeps our hearts free and supports one's dedication to others. For Don Bosco it is a guarantee of joyful perseverance in the vocation." For the Salesians, therefore, the time has come to ask oneself before God: "What are the motivations of Salesian life?"

                                        The seminar offered three days of meditation, reflection and prayer, inviting the Congregation to continue its reflection upon the subject. At the same time, initiatives have emerged that shall be converted into guidelines. The fruits of meditation will have to be seen in the transformation that takes place in the life of each Salesian.

                                        The first notes and conclusions of this seminar were transmitted by Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation, to all the Provincials and to the Provincial Delegates for formation. The Proceedings of this seminar are also available on the Internet at: https://formazionesdb.org 

                                        • Italia
                                        • Formazione
                                        • Ivo Coelho
                                        • Meditazione
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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