Main page content

Laos – Certificates and medals of honor for Salesian Family representatives

1 day 9 hours ago
Laos – Certificates and medals of honor for Salesian Family representatives

(ANS - Vientiane) - On Wednesday 6 January 2021, on the day of the Solemnity of Epiphany, at the headquarters of the Youth Union of Laos, Fr Patrick Maccioni, Rector of the Don Bosco  Vocational Training Center for Youth in Vientiane, Laos, received the III degree Medal with the official signature and stamp of Bounnhang Vorachith, the President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. Two religious of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Tuong Van and Sr Thuy, were also awarded with similar awards.

The ceremony was chaired by Alounxai Souvannalath, Secretary General of the Lao Youth Union and member of the Lao National Assembly, in the presence of over 100 officials of the Lao Youth Union, on the occasion of the institution's annual evaluation meeting.

The awarding of these medals and certificates from the Laotian institutions to the religious sons and daughters of Don Bosco was intended to represent a public sign of appreciation for the great work that the “Don Bosco” Salesian Foundation of Thailand has been doing to help the poor and needy young people of Laos.

The manager of the Thai company "Rach-Lao" also received a medal for sponsoring scholarships to help young people start their business.

“Let us thank the Lord and Don Bosco that our work for poor youth is known at the government level. We hope that these signs of appreciation will bear fruit for the development of our Don Bosco Center and in the land of Laos, where many young people are still waiting for Don Bosco,” said Fr Maccioni on the occasion.

The work of the Salesians in Laos began on 24 May 2004 under the guidance of Fr Tito Pedron and Sanya Boonprasert, a Past Pupil of Don Bosco, through a first workshop on the repair of small vehicles. This activity was called “Mitr Samphan”, and was run by five young Laotians who were Past Pupils of the Don Bosco Technological College in Bangkok, Thailand. Later, that first workshop was expanded and became the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center at its current location.

The canonical erection of the Salesian house took place just two years ago, on 17 January 2019. Currently the community sees Fr Maccioni as Rector and two other confreres: Fr John Paul Vu Van Trung and Fr John Baptist Huy Hoan.

{gallery}THA - Premi in Laos 2021{/gallery}

  • Laos
  • THA THAILANDIA
  • Premi e Riconoscimenti
  • Famiglia Salesiana
  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – “A father, a family”: commemorative book of solidarity of Salesian Family

    1 day 9 hours ago
    RMG – “A father, a family”: commemorative book of solidarity of Salesian Family

    (ANS - Rome) - An illustrated book, which constitutes a valid reminder for the whole Salesian Family of the great work that has been done to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the first six months after its outbreak; and also a tribute to the heroes and martyrs of this work and a sign of appreciation for the numerous people and organizations who have collaborated with so many institutions of the Salesian Family. This is the meaning of the book which, under the patronage of the Salesian Missions Sector, is currently being published: “One Father, One Family. Don Bosco Solidarity in COVID times”.

    In addition to the numerous quality photos, there are also very short texts on a large variety of aspects of what has been done. There are also six pages of data, an initial and minimal synthesis of the enormous amount of data that the Salesian coordination of the emergency response to Covid-19 has received from all the Provinces and the Salesian Family across the globe. Finally, there is also a list of international and local partners to thank.

    The book is currently only in English, but the possibility of producing it in other language versions is already foreseen. It counts 246 pages of 170mm x 210mm. Four free copies will be sent from the Salesian Headquarters in Rome to each Provincial House, as a sign of gratitude for the active collaboration given throughout the ongoing emergency.

    From next week, the interested parties of the Salesian Family will be able to request the editable PDF version of the book, for a symbolic contribution to its preparation, and each Province or group can also replace some of the photos in the book with those of its area or country to make it more attractive to its own audience.

    “You can purchase additional copies if you want to give them away to some of your donors, collaborators, volunteers and friends. If you order by Wednesday 20th January, a copy will cost you eight euros plus shipping costs. For subsequent orders, each copy will cost 10 euros plus shipping costs,” explained Fr George Menamparampil, Coordinator assigned deputy by the Congregation to manage the Covid-19 emergency.

    For more information: mcgeorge@sdb.org 

    • Famiglia Salesiana
    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
    • Missioni
    • Libri e Pubblicazioni
    • Coronavirus
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG – Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2021 kicks off

      1 day 9 hours ago
      RMG – Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2021 kicks off

      (ANS - Rome) - The long wait on the part of thousands of followers and spreaders of Don Bosco's charism is over: the Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2021 start today, Friday 15 January. In a new way, but always under the guide of Don Bosco's Successor, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, it will shed light on the message of the Strenna for 2021: "Moved by hope: 'See, I am making all things new' (Rev 21,5)".

      From today until next Sunday, at least 8,000 people - not counting the last hour subscribers - can take part in the appointment, made with a skilful mix of common parts for everyone, between 13:00 - 15:30 (UTC +1), and specific programs developed by the appropriate regional/linguistic coordinating bodies.

      The start of the common activities is expected with the opening session, prayer and the presentation of the Strenna 2021 by Fr Á.F. Artime; the regional work has already started: at 9.30 am, Italian time, the live broadcast, and the work of groups in East Asia-Oceania.

      With his introductory speech, the Rector Major illustrates in detail the invitation that he himself has formulated to the entire Salesian Family for this 2021, "before a global reality that challenges us and that we cannot ignore". 

      Msgr. Derio Olivero, Bishop of Pinerolo, was invited offer a reading of his, under the banner of hope, of the time that all humanity is experiencing. It was not a casual invitation: besides being the bishop of a place loved by Don Bosco, who on several occasions retired there to get rest and soothe the pains of his infirmities, Msgr. Olivero in the spring of 2020 was ill with Covid-19 and risked dying, and was able to draw lessons from that experience.

      On the sidelines of the common events, the various activities coordinated by the language and regional centers are scheduled, including the unmissable appointment with the virtual tour of the "Casa Don Bosco Museum".

      Since the first edition of the Week of Spirituality of the Salesian Family it is the first time in history that so many people can participate in the appointment. This is already a first testimony of that hope that the Salesian Family is preparing to deepen and celebrate. In an era of crisis and pandemic, the members of the Don Bosco Family are able to get closer as never before, transforming a problem into an opportunity: thanks to modern technologies, but above all in communion of prayer and rooted in a common charism.

      Thanks to the joint work of ANS and IME Comunicazione, the joint works are all visible, with commentary in many languages, on the ANS Facebook page and on ANSChannel.

      , with commentary in five languages
      • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
      • Famiglia Salesiana
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – Venerable Ignazio Stuchlý: letter from the Rector Major

        2 days 9 hours ago
        RMG – Venerable Ignazio Stuchlý: letter from the Rector Major

        (ANS - Rome) - On the occasion of the Venerability of the Servant of God Ignazio Stuchlý, decreed by Pope Francis on 21 December 2020, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, wrote a letter to his Salesian confreres and members of the Salesian Family entitled: "The Venerable Ignatius Stuchlý, a man moved by hope", underlining the "testimony of a man and a consecrated person who in very difficult situations and times knew how to live with hope and evangelical strength".

        After retracing the stages of his life marked by a demanding journey of vocational discernment, from Salesian formation in contact with the first generation who lived after Don Bosco's death to the various obediences lived in different contexts and with multiple duties and responsibilities, the Venerable learned to accept and face promising challenges in the educational and pastoral fields and in the exercise of authority, in obedience to the Church and at the service of the young.

        Over an adventurous and enterprising life Fr Ignazio Stuchlý was able to transmit the genuine Salesian spirit to the new generations, in particular as founder of the Salesian presence in Czechoslovakia; he embodied a heroic fidelity to the Gospel, to the Church and to the Salesian charism in historical seasons marked by totalitarian ideologies and regimes such as Nazism and Communism; he lived in an exemplary and inspiring way the virtues of humility, industriousness and obedience, matured in fruits of vocational and apostolic fruitfulness.

        “A man who lived in many and different geographical, linguistic and cultural realities (such as today's Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy), also in borderlands (between the current Czech Republic and Poland, in Moravia in the nineteenth century strongly influenced by the German-speaking culture, or in the Austro-Hungarian Gorizia of the early twentieth century and then in Ljubljana), the Venerable Ignazio Stuchlý proposes himself as a man of peace, unity and reconciliation between peoples. In difficult contexts and facing numerous challenges with great faith and hope, the new Venerable leaves us a message of great relevance: 'Let us work while it is day. When night comes, the Lord will provide.'”

        The letter from the Rector Major is available - in Italian, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Polish - at the bottom of the page and on the sdb.org website.

        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – A "video-launch" on the second part of the "Salesian Rector"

        2 days 9 hours ago

        (ANS - Rome) - Next week a video interview will be available, with related animation material, which helps to illustrate the second part of the text “Animating and Governing the Community - The Ministry of the Salesian Rector”.

        This is the part that bears the title: "The Rector in the Salesian religious community". The video consists of short interviews with six members of the General Council. Fr Paco Santos, a member of the Formation Department, has already given the news in a video message of 2 minutes and 20 seconds, available - in Italian, English and Spanish - on the respective language channels of ANSChannel.

        • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
        • Formazione
        • Direttori
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Philippines – Transforming soccer field into vegetable farm

          2 days 9 hours ago
          Philippines – Transforming soccer field into vegetable farm

          (ANS – Manila) – On Sunday 3 January, the Don Bosco Tondo – guided by Rector Fr Gaudencio Carandang, Jr – a vegetable urban farm project - was featured by most of the mainstream Filipino media, like Manila BulletinManila TimesCNN PhilippinesGMA Network and Philippines Star. Thanks to the courageous pandemic solidarity move of Don Bosco community in Tondo the football field got a new face. During the last 50 years the soccer field was always full of children and young people and during these difficult times was transformed into a vegetable farm.

          The good and surprising news in just a few words: the residents in Tondo, Manila, harvest the vegetables they planted under the “Buhay sa Gulay” Harvest Festival project led by the Manila LGU, Department of Agrarian Reform, and the St John Bosco Parish Church on Sunday, January 3, 2021. The whole process, from land preparation to planting and propagation, was done by 17 different barangays (small districts).

          The “Buhay sa Gulay” project is being implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DAR) in partnership with the “Don Bosco Parish – Tondo”, and the local government of Manila, where the 8,000 square metre football field was converted into an urban vegetable garden to plant varieties of vegetables to benefit families and residents of 17 barangays around the parish.

          The project started in October 2020, where six agrarian reform beneficiaries in Cavite (province), who are known as farmer-scientists, volunteered to teach the resident-beneficiaries of Tondo the proper way of urban vegetable farming. Apart from the training, seedlings, fertilizers, vermicast, and other farming materials were provided by the provincial office of DAR in Cavite, while the machinery used were borrowed from the Department of Agriculture. Aside from the pick, harvest and pay promo, cooking contest, farmers products booth contest and raffle of prizes will be conducted.

          During the pandemic, 16% of Filipino families say they are not poor and some 7.6 million Filipinos declare they suffered hunger over the past 3 months. In this context, this small but first urban vegetable farm in Manila is becoming a good model for others in our difficult times.

          Source: AustraLasia

          {gallery}FIN - Campo da gioco e agricolo - 2021{/gallery}

           

          • Filippine
          • FIN FILIPPINE NORD
          • Agricoltura
          • Sviluppo Sociale
          • Solidarietà
          • Coronavirus
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Mexico – Formation Week for Formators

            2 days 9 hours ago
            Mexico – Formation Week for Formators

            (ANS - Guadalajara) - Following a good practice begun years ago by the Province of Mexico-Guadalajara (MEG), then enriched, with the unification of the houses of formation, by the participation of the Province of Mexico-México (MEM), and in recent years, the Provinces of the Antilles (ANT) and Central America (CAM), and the Center for Formation of Brothers (CRESCO) of Guatemala, the experience of formation of formators, with representatives of the aforementioned Provinces, took part from 4 to 8 January.

            Among the topics dealt with - online: the deepening of the parts of the General Chapter 28 most closely related to initial formation; the current reality of the various stages and houses of formation of the Provinces involved; interculturality in formation houses; and a more detailed approach to the document “Young Salesians and accompaniment”.

            This annual meeting currently formally involves five Provinces, but due to the origins of the Salesians in formation the group actually has a greater importance or scope. To cite some significant examples: the post-novitiate of the CAM Province hosts those in formation from the same Province and from the two Mexican Provinces (MEG and MEM); the theologate of Tlaquepaque, in Mexico, instead, serves Salesians from ANT, Haiti, Ecuador, Venezuela, the West United States Province, and MEG and MEM; while CRESCO trains Salesian brothers in formation from the two Salesian regions of America.

            In this interprovincial and multicultural reality, collaboration and common reflection are of great importance. This also explains the interventions on Thursday 7 January by Fr Francisco Santos from the Department of Formation of the Salesian Congregation, and on Friday 8 by the General Councilor for Formation himself, Fr Ivo Coelho.

            At the end of each day, the participants also had the opportunity to reflect on the thought of the "Salesian goodnight" of the Provincials Fr Filiberto González (MEG), Fr Ángel Prado (CAM), Fr José Pastor Ramírez (ANT), and Fr Ignacio Ocampo (MEM).

            The week of formation was coordinated by the respective Provincial Delegates for Formation and Vicars of the two Mexican Provinces, Fr Carlos Barbosa (MEM) and Fr Felipe Carranza (MEG).

            {gallery}MEG - Formazione formatori 2021{/gallery}

            • Messico
            • MEG MESSICO GUADALAJARA
            • MEM MESSICO MÉXICO
            • ANT ANTILLE
            • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
            • CRESCO
            • Ivo Coelho
            • Formazione
              Gian Francesco Romano

              India – Blessing and inauguration of a new school building in Kuarmunda

              2 days 9 hours ago
              India – Blessing and inauguration of a new school building in Kuarmunda

              (ANS - Kuarmunda) - January 9 was a day of great importance for the “Don Bosco English Medium School” of Kuarmunda, in the State of Orissa. On that date, in fact, a new school building was blessed and inaugurated, in the front part of which a statue of Don Bosco was also installed.

              The new building was blessed by Fr Jose Mathew Koorappallil, Provincial of the "Jesus Good Shepherd" Province of India-New Delhi (INN) for the past six years, in the presence of Fr Biju Akkilettu, Provincial Economer, and Mr. Remish Kerketta, former MLA.

              The function began with the words of welcome from Mr. Valentin Baa, followed by the blessing of the statue of Don Bosco. Furthermore, during the ceremony, a typical Sanskrit chant was sung and, finally, there was the traditional lighting of the lamp.

              After a moment of meditation and prayer, Fr Jose Mathew Koorappallil officially inaugurated the recently built second floor of the “Don Bosco English Medium School”. This was the occasion to thank the school's Rector and Principal, Fr Noas Vijay Soy, but also the whole Salesian community of Kuarmunda and to the many people who were involved in the construction work.

              Finally, Fr Jose Mathew urged students and school staff to continue on this path and to be "little lights that dispel the darkness of ignorance".

              Source: Don Bosco India

              • India
              • INN INDIA NEW DELHI
              • Scuole
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Vietnam – “Don Rua Philosophical Institute” celebrates 50th anniversary of foundation and inauguration of new pastoral building

                3 days 9 hours ago
                Vietnam – “Don Rua Philosophical Institute” celebrates 50th anniversary of foundation and inauguration of new pastoral building

                (ANS – Dalat) – On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation and inauguration of new pastoral building of the Don Rua Philosophical Institute, at 8 AM on Saturday 2 January 2021, the bishop of Dalat diocese, Mgr. Dominic Nguyen Van Manh, chaired the inauguration rites of the new pastoral building.

                Present were the former bishop of Dalat diocese, Anthony Vu Huy Chuong, the Salesian bishop of Thai Binh diocese, Peter Nguyen Van De, the bishop of Phan Thiet diocese, Joseph Do Manh Hung, the Provincial of the Vietnam province, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Van Quang, the Rector of Don Rua Institute, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Chan Hung, together with the Salesians from different communities, priests and religious from different dioceses and congregations, members of Salesian family, relatives of the Salesians and benefactors, parishioners of Don Bosco parish and guests.

                After that everyone went inside to the chapel on the third floor of the new building to attend the mass celebrated by Bishop Dominic. In his homily, the Salesian Bishop Peter Nguyen Van De recalled the memories of 50 years ago when the institute was fouìnded. He said that in 50 years there had been 330 Salesians who had graduated from Don Rua institute. Among them, 106 Salesians had been Ad Gentes missionaries in 49 countries around the world. All was God’s grace.

                Later on, he emphasised the Salesians’ mission that was to love and serve young people, especially the abandoned ones. He quoted the motto “Da mihi Animas, cetera tolle” of Saint John Bosco. He talked about the current situation of young people in today’s practical world and the challenges of educators. He invited everyone together with the Salesians to take part in the education, guidance and protection of young people.

                After the homily came the rites of blessing of the chapel and the altar by Bishop Dominic then the Mass continued.

                After Holy Communion, Fr. Provincial Joseph Quang on behalf of the Province expressed his gratitude to the bishops, the priests, religious, benefactors and everyone who came for this special day. He also sent a special thank to the architect of this pastoral building who had designed and managed directly its construction without any fees and to the benefactors who had supported the construction of the building in many ways.

                In his response, Bishop Dominic congratulated the Salesian Congregation on the new pastoral building and gave thanks for the help the Congregation has given to the Dalat diocese and the Church in the education of young people over these past years. He hoped that the new pastoral building would be a good venue for many people, particularly for the young to have fun in the playgrounds and to be educated according to Salesian spirituality.

                By Br. Pham hong Phuoc, SDB

                Source: AustraLasia

                {gallery}VIE - Nuovo edificio Dalat - 2021{/gallery}

                • VIE VIETNAM
                • Vietnam
                • Anniversari
                • Vescovi
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Spain – “In search of heroes” who know how to risk for a better world

                  3 days 9 hours ago
                  Spain – “In search of heroes” who know how to risk for a better world

                  (ANS - Madrid) - At the beginning of 2021, with the feast day of Don Bosco already on the horizon, the Vocation Campaign of the Salesians of the "Spain - St. James Major" (SSM) Province arrives: "In search of heroes". A proposal that comes from the call made by Pope Francis during the pandemic's hardest days: "ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time."

                  The vocation campaign is part of the annual pastoral campaign and looks for the new kind of hero that is emerging. The objective is to help young people, in the first place, to commit themselves as authentic heroes, who by God and with the power of the Spirit are capable of giving their lives with generosity and courage: “We are looking for heroes who are not afraid of showing that love is the greatest of their powers”, states the video that illustrates the campaign.

                  Heroes in flesh and blood, like you and me, who perform simple actions, but which leave their mark. Heroes capable of fighting battles without using weapons. Heroes who put their commitment and efforts at the service of others. Committed, brave, selfless heroes. Who are capable of taking risks for a better world. Heroes who trust older people. Firm, who do not give up. Who make themselves available and take care of the most vulnerable. Heroes who educate their gaze and their heart. Who protect all life and create opportunities to discover God.

                  In addition to the promotional video, various materials were prepared to deepen the proposals of the vocation campaign: thoughts of the “Salesian Good morning”, celebrations, testimonies, dynamics. All the resources, available online, try to contribute to the promotion and consolidation of an authentic vocational culture.

                  José Carlos Sobejano, Provincial Coordinator of Vocation Animation activities, invites all the Salesian Houses of the Province to follow up on the campaign, “articulating strategies, facilitating times, coordinating those responsible and environments, encouraging the different groups of the Salesian Family. Ultimately sharing and spreading the vocation campaign.”

                  As the video closes: “This year a new type of hero is emerging. That hero is you.”

                  All campaign materials are available here: https://www.salesianos.es/campana-vocacional-2021/ 

                  • Spagna
                  • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
                  • Vocazioni
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Sierra Leone – Church expands to meet needs

                    3 days 9 hours ago
                    Sierra Leone – Church expands to meet needs

                    (ANS – Freetown) – Salesian missionaries with St. Augustine’s Parish, located in the Dworzark community within Freetown, Sierra Leone, have partially completed construction of a new church thanks to donor funding provided by “Salesian Missions”, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. As the number of parishioners and the size of the community have increased, Salesian missionaries embarked on a multi-phase project to expand their outgrown church.

                    “St. Augustine’s Parish” is one of the poorest parishes in the Archdiocese of Freetown and parishioners are making personal efforts to bring the building to completion. The church is still in need of funding to complete the last phase of the project, which includes windows, doors, flooring, painting, plumbing and electrical work. Salesian Missions is seeking donor funding to help finish this project.

                    The church serves more than 700 members of Dworzark Catholic community, and with the larger church, this number is expected to grow. In addition, more than 150 youth come to the parish compound to attend activities at the Don Bosco Youth Center from Monday to Saturday. The parish also has two schools, St. Augustine’s Pre-School and St. Augustine’s Primary School.

                    “We appreciate the funding donors have provided to date to help with the construction of this church,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “With the construction of the building, Salesians in Sierra Leone are now in need of funding to finish the internal parts of the church to make it operational for the community. Our donors are generous and we hope to provide the funding to finalize this project.”

                    Salesian missionaries have been serving in Sierra Leone since 2001 when they began working to rehabilitate former child soldiers through the organization Don Bosco Fambul. Don Bosco Fambul, located in the capital city of Freetown, has become one of the country’s leading child welfare organizations—offering food, clothing, crisis intervention services, shelter, educational opportunities, long-term counseling and family reunification.

                    Food security in Sierra Leone is undermined by chronic poverty. The UN World Food Program reports that over half of the population lives under the national poverty line of earning approximately $2 per day. According to the 2016 Global Hunger Index, Sierra Leone also faces an alarming level of hunger with nearly 38 percent of children younger than 5 years of age suffering from chronic malnutrition.

                    Young people also face significant challenges in accessing education. With too few teachers and many school buildings destroyed in the war, resources are thin. Persistently high illiteracy rates mean that an estimated 70 percent of Sierra Leone’s youth are unemployed or underemployed.

                    Source: MissionNewswire 

                    • Sierra Leone
                    • AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
                    • Procure Missionarie
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Belgium - Don Bosco International prepares for Don Bosco feast day with "Next Generation Edu"

                      4 days 9 hours ago

                      (ANS - Brussels) – On 29 January, on the occasion of the annual celebrations for Don Bosco's feast day, Don Bosco International (DBI) invites you to join the event "Next Generation Edu - Education for the future of Europe" via the Zoom platform.

                      The DBI, which represents the Salesians of Don Bosco in European institutions, wishes to promote reflection on the role of education. On the eve of Don Bosco's annual celebrations, DBI intends to discuss and review the lessons learned from its partners alongside many young people, especially the most vulnerable, to raise public awareness of the potential of education for Europe's future.

                      "In the continental framework of the European Education Area and in the global ones, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Pact for Education, we want to ensure that, by reducing inequalities and preventing discrimination through inclusive and quality education, no minors and no young people are left behind in Europe," DBI explain. "This initiative aims to highlight some of the best practices and alliances existing in Europe and internationally to build societies that are suitable for children and young people. Promising new measures at European level, such as the Childhood Guarantee, can lead us in this direction. We want to underline how European platforms and networks, such as Eurochild and SIRIUS, are promoting the contribution of civil society to this important effort with a rights-based approach."

                      The event scheduled for Friday 29 January, at 12 noon, will be opened by DBI Executive Secretary, Renato Cursi, and will see the participation of numerous people involved in education in Europe, including: Fr Jean-Marie Petitclerc, Achim Jaegers, Micaela Valentino, Fr Robert Kukuczka, Gema Rodriguez, and Fr Antoine Farrugia. Each of them will address a specific theme, such as the situation of NEETs, unaccompanied minors, young Roma, young people suffering from addictions and young people in care services.

                      Subsequently, “One World”, an educational video produced by “Don Bosco International Media Academy” (DBIMA) will be screened.

                      Also speaking: Fr Tarcizio Morais, coordinator of schools and vocational training, Dr Mialy Dermish, Secretary General of the SIRIUS network, Fr George Tharanyil, Executive Director of Don Bosco Tech Africa, and S. E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preica, President of Eurochild.

                      The conclusions will instead be entrusted to Fr Miguel Ángel García Morcuende, President of the DBI and General Councilor for Youth Ministry.

                      • Belgio
                      • Don Bosco International
                      • Don Bosco
                      • Educazione
                        Virginia Nitto

                        Benin - The importance of sports at Don Bosco Technical Center in Parakou

                        4 days 9 hours ago
                        Benin - The importance of sports at Don Bosco Technical Center in Parakou

                        (ANS - Parakou) - The Don Bosco Technical Center in Parakou welcomes and forms 700 students. Quality vocational training makes it one of Benin's most sought-after educational centers. Furthermore, since education and sport are always closely linked to each other, the vocational center is also distinguished by the vast number of sports specialties practiced in the school and, above all, by the "Bosco Star" basketball team, which participates in Benin's national categories with outstanding results.

                        Students play basketball, handball, volleyball, and karate, and there is also a skating team, a dance group and an orchestra. All these groups are always open to welcoming new children and are proposed as a space and occasion for socialization and recreation.

                        It is in this context that the "Bosco Star" was established, a club founded in 2008 at the Don Bosco Technical Center in Parakou and member of the Benin Basketball Federation since 2011. The team currently has over 120 players divided between the categories of children, cadets, youth, juniors, and senior men and women.

                        Nationally, they have already won several championships. The basketball team participates in the First Division League and there are players who have left Don Bosco's courtyard and are now playing for teams in other countries such as the Philippines and France.

                        Basketball is a sport that helps to instill a sense of common effort and solidarity in young people, but also of friendship and healthy fun. It should be remembered that the means by which the young athletes are trained are very limited. For this reason, in the absence of institutional support for these sports activities, many - young people and Salesian missionaries - have mobilized. The Parakou Technical Center provides the sports fields, the teams provide the necessary materials and the Salesian missionaries accompany the young people with their presence, their advice and their motivation even during matches.

                        As an example of the importance of "Bosco Star" in the young people's education, reference can be made to a parents' meeting at the Don Bosco Center. A parent thanked the Salesian center for what it had done for his son. At the end of the meeting, a Salesian missionary approached to ask who his son was and where he was. The parent replied that his son, who played for Bosco Star, had now been registered for a first division team in the Philippines.

                        • Benin
                        • AFO AFRICA OCCIDENTALE FRANCOFONA
                        • Sport
                          Virginia Nitto

                          RMG - “Get out of your comfort zone!”: Fr Alfred Maravilla's message

                          4 days 9 hours ago
                          RMG - “Get out of your comfort zone!”: Fr Alfred Maravilla's message

                          (ANS - Rome) - Fr Alfred Maravilla, General Councilor for the Missions, published a missionary message for the month of January 2021. The focus of his reflection is the need to leave one's comfort zone, even if this can be very demanding for each of us.

                          Below, his message:

                          We often hear the saying ‘get out of your comfort zone’ but what is it? Our ‘comfort zone’ is that area of our life in which we do not feel any stress and anxiety because we feel familiar with and in control of our environment. Anything outside our comfort zone is always very challenging for us. But there is also that little voice in the back of our head which readily comes up with a thousand reasons why our new idea or new way of doing will fail, is dangerous, should not be repeated, should be avoided…

                          We will always be stuck in our comfort zone, never moving forward and never growing. It does not allow us to discover what we are capable of. Thus, we continue doing things we have always done without realising that we have actually become blind to the fact that it is not producing results anymore.

                          We need to challenge ourselves to move out of our comfort zones by taking small steps like learning to understand and appreciate the way others see things which is different from my own point of view. Learning to eat food from another culture or learning another foreign language is another small step. So is living in another culture, another country. Indeed, it is only in taking small steps, but many of them, that we will be able to break through our comfort zone and move forward.

                          A ship is meant to sail the high seas, not to be safe in the harbour. We too are designed to set out into the deep, to push the boundaries of what we can achieve and unlock our potentials as ‘missionary disciples’. Thus, Pope Francis insisted that “following Jesus is not a polite etiquette to be observed, but a journey to be undertaken.” Indeed, if we ourselves want to find Jesus, “we have to overcome our fear of taking risks, our self-satisfaction and our indolent refusal to ask anything more of life” (Homily, January 6, 2018).

                          Source: AustraLasia 

                          • Missioni
                          • Alfred Maravilla
                          • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                            Virginia Nitto

                            Haiti - The pandemic exacerbates social problems in Haiti

                            4 days 9 hours ago
                            Haiti - The pandemic exacerbates social problems in Haiti

                            (ANS - Port-au-Prince) - 11 years have gone by since that 12 January 2010 that wrought havoc to the lives of the people of Haiti. The earth shook for an interminable 45 seconds, causing 300,000 victims, affecting 1.5 million people, and destroying 90% of the schools present throughout the territory. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the country's problems, with over six million people living in poverty and 60% of the population unemployed.

                            In Haiti, Salesian missionaries continue to work alongside the population, serving more than 24,000 children and young people in their rebuilt schools every year, but it is not enough. The pandemic, in fact, has considerably and further worsened social hardships.

                            “We Salesians were among the first to commit ourselves to reconstruction; a reconstruction first of the human being and then of the infrastructures,” explained Fr Jean Paul Mesidor, Provincial of the Salesian Vice Province of Haiti. “In this decade, we have worked hard to rebuild many of our centers, but over the years this momentum has faded. Today, everything is paralyzed and we have to face other emergencies such as the pandemic,” he added.

                            Covid-19 has placed itself inside a context that is already marked by violence, insecurity and poverty, and is leaving serious socio-economic consequences. As Fr Mesidor further explains, many children have dropped out of school due to the economic problems of their families and thousands of people have lost their jobs.

                            During the months of lockdown, the Salesians stood by the locals: they carried out awareness programs on protective measures, distributed more than 8,000 masks, provided hygiene kits and food to more than 3,000 vulnerable families, and launched a seed distribution project and agricultural tools to help 1,500 families.

                            Furthermore, Misiones Salesianas, the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, continues to invest in education with scholarships to help students without resources. “We still believe in education as the only way out for the poorest children and young people. They will be poorer and poorer if they do not have access to education,” concludes Fr Mesidor.

                            • HAI HAITI
                            • Haiti
                            • Coronavirus
                              Virginia Nitto

                              India - Salesian Family Songfest

                              4 days 9 hours ago
                              India - Salesian Family Songfest

                              (ANS – Mumbai) –Salesian Family Songfest” is a tribute of love and gratitude to the Salesian Family for the education received. This production consists of songs 14 to 30 taken from the music score of Don Bosco, A Witness to Light compiled by Jay Franco and produced and prefaced by Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, SDB in 2019.

                              The hymns in this album are inspired by the spirituality of the worldwide Salesian Family, which consists of Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB, established in 1869), Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA, established in 1872), Salesian Cooperators (1876), the World Federation of Salesian Past Pupils of the SDBs and FMAs (1908), and many more.

                              According to statistical data published on December 31, 2019,

                              - Salesians numbered 14,476 spread over 134 countries.

                              - Daughters of Mary Help of Christians were 11,841 and are present in 97 countries.

                              - Salesian Cooperators were 27,035.

                              - Members of the Confederation of Past Pupil Associations – of which the SDB group

                              approximated 10,000 and the FMA group 34,793.

                              Today, the total number of organizations that form part of the International Salesian Family is 32, comprising over 402,500 members. (source: www.sdb.org).

                              The album, Salesian Family Songfest, evolved over ten years. In August 2011, Tej-Prasarini published a CD of thirteen hymns entitled Don Bosco – A Witness to Light. The occasion was the visit of the pilgrim relics of St. John Bosco to the Salesian Province of Mumbai. A couple of years later, Jay Franco, a musician and Salesian past pupil listened to the album at his home in Toronto and thought it a good idea to compile the sheet music to accompany the thirteen recorded songs. He was enthusiastic about the project and felt it would be worthwhile increasing the number of hymns celebrating Salesian holiness from thirteen to thirty. Thus, he added seventeen new hymns to the compilation, some of them translations of Italian, Spanish and Latin hymns.

                              On March 24, 2020, something unexpected happened in India. A nationwide COVID19 lockdown was enforced, confining more than one billion people to their homes. Roney Gomes, an accomplished musician with a mini-recording studio in Mumbai, was one of them. On being informed about the unrecorded seventeen songs, he immediately volunteered to make the best of a bad situation. He enthusiastically welcomed the proposal and coopted his son Myron and wife Mylene into the project. Being past pupils of Salesian schools in Mumbai (run by SDBs and FMAs), they considered it a privilege to pay tributes to Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello for the education received. Thanks to their generosity, dedication and perseverance over six months, we now have the Salesian Family Songfest ready for use.May they be blessed forever!

                              Fr. Peter Gonsalves, SDB
                              Salesian University, Rome

                              • INB INDIA MUMBAY
                                Virginia Nitto

                                RMG – A year dedicated to the memory of Fr Paolo Albera

                                5 days 9 hours ago
                                RMG – A year dedicated to the memory of Fr Paolo Albera

                                (ANS – Rome) - In the Acts of the General Council 432 (2020), the Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime promulgated a year dedicated to the memory of Fr Paolo Albera, commemorating the first centenary of the death of the second successor of Don Bosco.

                                2021 is therefore the Year of Paolo Albera. Elected by General Chapter 11 to succeed Don Rua, Albera was Rector Major from 1910 up to his death on 29 October 1921.

                                The Year will be inaugurated during the Salesian Spirituality Week, 15-17 January 2021, which this year, because of the Corona virus pandemic, will be held completely online. A video interview with Bro. Paolo Vaschetto, an Albera scholar currently pursuing a doctorate in Salesian history at the UPS, will be broadcast during these days.

                                The Year will be brought to a conclusion during the Salesian Spirituality Week, 13-16 January 2022.

                                During the year, one of the highlights will be a Congress on Fr Albera organized by the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS) – Rome, 30 October to 1 November 2021, at Valdocco.

                                Throughout the year there will also be a special exhibition, “Paulo Albera (1845-1921): The world seen through his eyes,” in “Casa Don Bosco” museum, Valdocco, Turin. The exhibition will be inaugurated by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime. Photographic and documentary material has been meticulously researched from the Central Salesian Archives and other sources by Bro. Paolo Vaschetto and his collaborators, and gives us an extremely interesting glimpse into the life of the second successor of Don Bosco, not least into his many and demanding travels around the Salesian world, both as representative of Don Rua and as Rector Major. The exhibition also contains some items from the extensive correspondence carried out by Albera with the over 1,500 Salesians directly involved on different sides of World War I, and excerpts from Albera’s spiritual diary, which he wrote not only in Italian but for several years also in French and in English.

                                Germain Kivungila (ISS) is preparing a new biography of Albera, while Aldo Giraudo is working on an anthology of his writings, which will be prefaced with a biographical profile and a note on Albera’s spiritual-charismatic contribution. Work on translations is under way.

                                The Salesian Bulletins around the world will carry Bruno Ferrero’s article on Albera, and have been encouraged by Fr Gildasio Mendes dos Santos, Councillor for Social Communications, to find ways of promoting the Albera Year.

                                Ivo Coelho, SDB
                                General Councillor for Formation

                                • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                • Don Bosco
                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                  Virginia Nitto

                                  Italy - Honor for Mother Yvonne Reungoat

                                  5 days 9 hours ago
                                  Italy - Honor for Mother Yvonne Reungoat

                                  (ANS – Rome) - The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is honored by the Legion of Honor.

                                  In the special edition of the Official Gazette of the French Republic, of 1 January 2021, regarding the Promotion and Appointment to the National Order in the Legion of Honor and in the National Order of Merit, it is reported:

                                  The appointment of Officier of the Légion d’Honneur is conferred on the Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Yvonne Reungoat.”

                                  The motivation for the conferment: “For more than a year now, the entire French population, and that of many countries around the world, has found itself facing the serious health crisis of Covid-19, with great consequences at the humanitarian, educational, and social levels. Many citizens have committed themselves professionally and voluntarily in the fight against the virus, at all levels and in all sectors of activity. ”

                                  The Legion of Honor is the highest honor established after the French Revolution. Currently it rewards, according to different degrees, the eminent merits acquired in service to the Nation.

                                  In July 2012, Mother Yvonne was awarded the Medal of Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

                                  The FMA Institute is close to Mother General, for the appointment conferred on her by the French Republic, which will have its positive effects not only in France, but throughout the Salesian world committed to transmitting the values of the Gospel to young people.

                                  Official French  Gazette

                                  • Italia
                                  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  • Yvonne Reungoat
                                    Virginia Nitto

                                    RMG - January 9, 1921-2021: centenary of episcopal ordination of St. Luigi Versiglia

                                    1 week 1 day ago
                                    RMG - January 9, 1921-2021: centenary of episcopal ordination of St. Luigi Versiglia

                                    (ANS - Rome) - In Fr Luigi Versiglia, missionary and superior of the Salesians in China, there was always a great desire to acquire the virtues necessary to become a good missionary, convinced that at the basis of every apostolate for souls there must be profound piety, union with God and entrustment to Mary Help of Christians. At the beginning of Lent in 1920 he sent all the confreres a circular in which he summarized his thoughts in five points that became known as the five commandments of the missionary:

                                    1.    The missionary who is not united with God is a channel that's detached itself from the source.
                                    2.    The missionary who prays a lot will also do a lot.
                                    3.    Love souls very much; this love will master all industries to do them good.
                                    4.    Always aspire to the best in and of everything; but always be satisfied with what happens.
                                    5.    Without Mary Help of Christians, we Salesians are nothing.

                                    In the 1920s the Holy See decided to elevate the Salesian Mission in China to an Apostolic Vicariate and despite the fact that Fr Versiglia, in the immense humility that distinguished him, considered himself lacking any ability and virtue and the necessary strength to assume roles of responsibility and with his insistence on being exonerated from leadership positions, he was appointed Bishop and Apostolic Vicar of Shiu-chow.

                                    His episcopal consecration took place on 9 January 1921 in the cathedral of Canton by the hands of Mons.De Guébrand, assisted by the Bishops of Hong-Kong and Swatow and in the presence of the Superiors of the various Missions, representatives of the French, Italian and Portuguese, Spanish, and American clergy, and a crowd of faithful that had flocked from all over, as well as from the "Schola Cantorum" of the Macao Orphanage. “In verbo tua laxabo rete” (At your word I will let down the net): this is the motto chosen by Bishop Versiglia.

                                    On becoming bishop, Mons. Versiglia did not change his habits; he continued to sacrifice himself for his confreres and for the Chinese and lent himself to any task, role or service: typographer, sacristan, gardener, house painter, even barber. When the Salesians arrived in Shiu-chow, the Mission owned nothing but a poor residence in a narrow street that ran along the ancient city walls but, over the years, Bishop Versiglia worked to raise funds and, thanks to his zeal and innate gifts as an architect, he designed schools, residences, small churches, a cathedral, a shelter for the elderly, a dispensary, and their construction followed.

                                    In 12 years of mission, from 1918 to 1930, Bishop Versiglia was able to work wonders in a land not always favorable to Catholics. The intrepid bishop stopped before nothing, not even the famines, epidemics, the defeats that presented themselves to him and his collaborators, not always humanly rewarded: apostasy, slander, abandonment, misunderstanding, cowardice ... But it was all overcome thanks to prayer, intense and constant. A donation in the style of the Good Shepherd that will be sealed with the blood of martyrdom on February 25, 1930.

                                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                    • Luigi Versiglia
                                      Virginia Nitto

                                      RMG - Blessed Titus Zeman, witness of hope

                                      1 week 1 day ago
                                      RMG - Blessed Titus Zeman, witness of hope

                                      (ANS - Rome) - January 8 is the liturgical memorial celebration of Blessed Titus Zeman, a Slovak Salesian priest, who died in hatred of the faith at the age of 54 (Vajnory, January 4, 1915 - Bratislava, January 8, 1969). He was beatified on 30 September 2017 in the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. “By this, we came to know love: He gave His life for us; thus we too must give our life for our brothers” (1 Jn 3:16). It was in listening to this Word of God during the celebration of the Eucharist that Titus Zeman felt in his heart the inspiration and strength to sacrifice his own life for the salvation of vocations, overcoming fear and declaring himself ready to follow the will of God, trusting in divine mercy and hoping for eternal life. His offer, repeated several times during the dangerous years: “Even if I lost my life, I would not consider it wasted knowing that at least one of those I had helped became a priest in my place” is for us a seed of hope and trust in new generations.

                                      His life offered for the salvation of vocations and "perseverance in the vocation", the 18 years of suffering in prisons or in conditional freedom and, above all, his death contributed, concretely, to the building up of the Church and of the society of the time. First of all, they allowed about twenty young people to reach the otherwise impossible goal of the priesthood; he thus encouraged many others to “not let their hope be robbed”, and generated in the Salesians a mentality of vocation ministry which has allowed the Congregation to never completely die out in those lands (since January 1969, the month of Titus' death, and in the years immediately following, more than 100 vocations flourished in secret prayer groups near Bratislava, to limit oneself to just one example).

                                      The then provincial Fr Andrej Dermek SDB said on the day of the funeral: “a few dozen Salesian priests thank you for their priesthood”; even the regime's spies present at the funeral attest to his martyrdom and suffering “for the faith and the Slovak people”. The very conversion of Judge Pavol Korbuly, responsible for the condemnation of Zeman but who later became a Christian, and ready to ask forgiveness together with his family for having condemned “about twenty innocent Salesians”, is a fruit of the martyrial life of Blessed Zeman.

                                      The Communist director who had fired him in 1946 also converts, like others he meets during his years in prison. The presence of Fr Titus therefore flourishes in encounters that change many lives, and bring them closer to the Lord. It should also be remembered that - among the clerics brought by Zeman to Turin - some returned to Slovakia, others remained abroad with teaching positions, and still others became missionaries. On the day of his funeral, there was also the testimony of a Lutheran pastor, a sign that the very blood of the martyrs “creates” an ecumenism that breaks down barriers and generates brotherhood.

                                      As Pope Francis said: “This fidelity to the style of Jesus — which is style of hope — even to death, would be called by a most beautiful name by the early Christians: “martyrdom,” which means “witness” ... a name fragrant with discipleship. Martyrs do not live for themselves, they do not fight to affirm their own ideas, and they accept having to die only out of fidelity to the Gospel.” (Audience of 28 June 2017).

                                      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                      • Titus Zeman
                                        Virginia Nitto
                                        Checked
                                        21 minutes 3 seconds ago
                                        ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
                                        More posts about Salesian World News (ANS-Rome)