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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Guatemala – Circular Solidarity: when the poor help the poor

Gian Francesco Romano
16 hours 25 minutes ago
Guatemala – Circular Solidarity: when the poor help the poor

(ANS - San Benito Petén) - At the mission of San Benito Petén, in Guatemala, a container with food and medicines for the local people came from Canada in early 2018. Among the articles received there were also 10 cases of protective masks for nurses; definitely too many for the mission, they proved to extremely useful to help the villagers affected by the eruption of the volcano "Fuego" last June 3.

When Fr Giampiero De Nardi, an Italian Salesian missionary in San Benito Petén, found all those boxes at the beginning of the year, he rejoiced for the generosity, but thought: "What am I going to do with all these? Even if we used a dozen every day in our dispensary, they would be enough for fifty years!"

Yet, after a few months, these masks turned out to be among their most useful assets when his parish took part in the extraordinary collection of aid for the victims of the Fuego volcano. Together with the bandages he had found stacked in the container, the masks for rescuers and nurses arriving in the affected area proved to be a blessing, with the community of San Benito acting as intermediary. "Apparently the donation the Lord had sent to me, but not for my parishioners!," commented the Italian missionary.

The Salesian parish of San Benito Petén also distinguished itself in the vast show of solidarity for the populations hit by the disaster by organizing a collection of goods in two phases: the first, immediate, of foodstuffs and medicines; the second, of money, to be sent together with the other parishes of the Vicariate of Petén. "The response was very generous ... We live far from the areas hit by the eruption of the volcano, but we share with the areas affected by this disaster the difficulties of every day," said the Salesian.

In fact, what is most striking are two elements: the foresight of Providence, and the solidarity of the people despite their few resources. Fr De Nardi testifies: "a poor country is showing in all emergency situations a commendable generosity."

For more information, visit the website: www.missionidonbosco.org 

{gallery}Guatemala - Aiuti da San Benito a Fuego{/gallery}

  • Guatemala
  • CAM
  • Disastri
  • Salute
  • Solidarietà
  • Missioni
  • Missioni Don Bosco

    South Sudan - Alternative holidays ... Or rather, missionary!

    Gian Francesco Romano
    16 hours 25 minutes ago
    South Sudan - Alternative holidays ... Or rather, missionary!

    (ANS - Tonj) - For the eighth year, students, parents and collaborators of the Salesian House in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy, spend several weeks of their summer break in the city of Tonj, South Sudan, to serve and bring help to the local population.

    Six students attending the Sesto San Giovanni vocational courses in thermal-hydraulic, electric and motor repair/installations departed for South Sudan along with two parents. The project also involves other members of the Salesian Family as well as friends and supporters of Don Bosco from a number of Lombardia-region contexts ranging from the Salesian past-pupils of Treviglio to the volunteers of Vallecamonica.

    A first group reached the mission shortly after mid-June; a second in the first half of July. Waiting for them all were the smiles and hugs of many grateful South-Sudanese children and youths.

    Also alongside the volunteers is Fr Omar Delasa, Salesian, Head of the association that promotes this twinning, the NGO: "Tonjproject Onlus".

    The objective of the missionary expedition is to bring help to the hospital that the association has built and officially inaugurated on July 26, 2014, thanks to the precious contribution of the Pesenti Family of Bergamo. The volunteers are responsible for the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the hospital and of the small house of the volunteers, especially the infrastructures' electrical/plumbing systems.

    For one, the students of the Vocational Training School in Sesto San Giovanni have studied and installed a photovoltaic system for producing electricity, and set up a water purification system for the water well.

    In Tonj, volunteers, young and old, discover themselves to be bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, nurses, farmers and animal breeders. And throughout, they spend these two months of alternative vacations wherein they come to know, learn and put their skills in their respective fields into practice!

    {gallery}Sudan del Sud - Da Sesto a Tonj{/gallery}

    • Sudan del Sud
    • AFE
    • ILE
    • Scuole
    • Formazione Professionale
    • Volontariato
    • Missioni
    • Solidarietà
    • Salute

      Italy - Prof. Fr Mauro Mantovani, SDB, elected UPS Rector for 2nd three-year term

      Gian Francesco Romano
      16 hours 25 minutes ago
      Italy - Prof. Fr Mauro Mantovani, SDB, elected UPS Rector for 2nd three-year term

      (ANS - Rome) - The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, with a rescript dated 3 July 2018, in response to the request of the Grand Chancellor of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, appointed Prof. Mauro Mantovani, SDB, as UPS Rector for a second three-year term (2018-2021).

      Fr Mauro Mantovani, ordinary professor in the Faculty of Philosophy, was born in Moncalieri, province of Turin, on 3 January 1966. He has been a Salesian since 1986 and a priest since 1994. He received a Doctorate in Philosophy from the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain, and a Doctorate in Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas "Angelicum". After being Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy (2006-2012) and of the Faculty of Sciences of Social Communication (2012-2015), and Vice President of the UPS (2009-2015), he began his first three years as Rector on 15 July 2015. Since 24 October 2016, he has been President of the Conference of Rectors of the Roman Pontifical Universities (CRUPR).

      • Nomine
      • UPS
      • Mauro Mantovani

        Vatican - Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo among Youth Synod Delegates

        Gian Francesco Romano
        16 hours 25 minutes ago
        Vatican - Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo among Youth Synod Delegates

        (ANS - Vatican City) - In view of the Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", scheduled from October 3 to 28, 2018, at the Vatican, the Holy Father has appointed four Delegate Presidents, among whom Burmese Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Salesian, Archbishop of Yangon.

        The role of the Delegate President, whose office ceases with the dissolution of the meeting for which he is appointed, foresees:

        -       guiding the work of the Synod according to the faculties attributed in the delegation letter, according to the order of the work established;

        -       to attribute to some Members, when the opportunity arises, particular tasks so the assembly can work in a better way;

        -       sign the proceedings of the assembly.

        The other appointed Delegate Presidents are: the new cardinals Louis Raphaël I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, and Désiré Tsarahazana, archbishop of Toamasina, in Madagascar; and the card. John Ribat, of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, archbishop of Port Moresby, in Papua New Guinea.

        With the appointment of Card. Bo as Delegate President, the Salesian presence at the Youth Synod is enriched with yet another important piece, which already includes, among ascertained members, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, one of the chosen by the Union of Superiors General (USG) ); and Fr Rossano Sala, as Special Secretary for this Synod.

        To these we must add the names of the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco who can or may participate in various categories: by right, as elected by the episcopal conferences, nominated by the Holy Father, or as collaborators, auditors or assistants. Their names will be known once the Press Office publishes the official list of participants.

        • Vaticano
        • Charles Maung Bo
        • Cardinali
        • Sinodo sui Giovani

          Thailandia – Salesian Thai Students win international academic awards in Maths

          Gian Francesco Romano
          3 days 16 hours ago
          Thailandia – Salesian Thai Students win international academic awards in Maths

          (ANS – Hatyai) – Two Salesian Students in the Science, Mathematics, English Program, namely Kanisorn Kiratipongwut from the Saengthong Vitthaya Salesian School, and Miss Patnicha Daosodsai from Thinadukro Salesian Sister School Hatyai, Songkhla, Thailand, have brought great fame to the Thai nation and to their schools by winning international academic awards in Mathematics as representative students of Thailand in the Bulgaria International Mathematics Competition.

          Mr. Kanisorn Kiratipongwut won:

          -      1st place Medal and Trophy, Team Award

          -      3rd place Medal and Trophy, Individual Group Award

          -      Merit of Individuals Award.

          In the Elementary Mathematics category, Miss Patnicha Daosodsai, now studying in Mathayom 4 at Trium Udom Suksa, won:

          -      2nd place Medal and Trophy, Individual Group Award

          -      3rd place Medal and Trophy,  Team Award

          -      Bronze Medal, Individuals Award.

          The entire Thai Salesian Province proudly congratulates these two brilliant Thai students for their BIMC & WYMIC 2018 Academic Awards.

          • Thailandia
          • THA
          • Studenti
          • Premi e Riconoscimenti

            RMG - Strenna 2019: "'So that my joy may be in you' (Jn 15:11). Holiness for you, too!"

            Gian Francesco Romano
            3 days 16 hours ago

            (ANS - Rome) – Today, 13 July, Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime released the presentation of the 2019 Strenna. "This is a great opportunity to offer several notes for the development of the theme. There is no other pastoral element that the Rector Major offers, in the name of Don Bosco, to the whole Salesian world." The title that will accompany the 2019 journey is: 'So that my joy may be in you' (Jn 15:11). Holiness for you, too.'

            Although it is the Rector Major's task to prepare and present the text each year, Fr Á.F. Artime emphasizes that this Strenna "is the fruit of a dialogue in the World Council of the Salesian Family which, fortunately and by grace, has much to do with this ecclesial moment of the Synod, and also with the last appeal that the document of the Synod launched on the theme of holiness."

            The document presented today to the Salesian world consists of nine paragraphs. In the seventh, the Rector Major insists on an essential reality of holiness and he does it through a question: "what does 'holiness for you too' mean?" It is an exciting topic that this question offers, and even more exciting is the answer to each of the Salesian Family members. "Holiness is not an “extra”, an optional and a goal only for some. It is life to the full, according to God’s plan and gift. It is therefore a path of humanisation."

            Daily sanctity has become a reality in the lives lived to the full in the Salesian charism. We are thus invited not to forget that in the course of history Salesian holiness has become visible, embodied, with proper names, people: Zeman, Stuchlý, Lustosa, Zatti, Srugi, Sandor, Lunkenbien and Simão Bororo, Comini, Ana María Lozano, Laura Vicuña, Alexandrina Maria da Costa, among many others ...

            Fr Á.F. Artime goes on to say that the presentation of the Strenna 2019 "is a magnificent opportunity to be in harmony with the summons the Holy Father addresses in the Apostolic Gaudete et exsultate, which has much to do with our Salesian charism. Don Bosco was a great teacher in this sense, with the ability to inspire and accompany his children on the paths of daily holiness."

            "What is important is to be holy, not to be declared as such," emphasizes the Rector Major. "The canonised saints are like the façade of a church; but the church contains many precious treasures inside, which however remain invisible."

            The full presentation of the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2019 is available on the sdb.org website.

            • RMG
            • Strenna 2019
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Santità
            • Santità Salesiana

              Brazil - United in the mystery of Lamb of God, engaged with Church and indigenous cause

              Gian Francesco Romano
              3 days 16 hours ago
              Brazil - United in the mystery of Lamb of God, engaged with Church and indigenous cause

              (ANS - Campo Grande) - Next Sunday, 15 July 2018, the 42nd anniversary of the martyrdom of the Servants of God Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein, SDB, and Simão Bororo will be celebrated. On this subject Fr Gildásio Mendes, Provincial of the Brazil-Campo Grande Province (BCG), wrote: "This year, this event acquires a special ecclesial and Salesian importance because the diocesan process of beatification and canonization in progress of these two Servants of God expresses in a significant way the gift of the Holy Spirit at a meaningful moment for our Province and for our Church."

              The testimony of Fr Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo this year is more relevant than ever;
              first, for the 125th anniversary of the launch of the Salesian missionary presence in Mato Grosso, with celebrations beginning June 18th and ending in January 2019: every goal or achievement of this kind always presupposes a previous contribution of holiness.

              Then, because it falls on the path of preparations for the special Synod for the Panamazzonica region much wanted by Pope Francis, scheduled in October 2019. A synod that aims to "identify new ways for the evangelization of the people of God in the areas of the great Amazon, especially of the indigenous peoples."

              The figure of the indigenous catechist Simão, moreover, is also viewed as a valid example, especially in relation to the Year of the Laity promoted by the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, since it represents a Christian model "who was able to assume his vocation with evangelical rootedness, had the experience of inculturation of the Gospel in his life, witnessed his faith in Jesus Christ and shared the joy of the Gospel with his people and the missionaries."

              And finally, the model of these two martyrs is also a concrete starting point for the guiding theme of the next 28th General Chapter: "What kind of Salesians for today's young people?"

              "Fr Rodolfo and Simão," continues Fr Mendes in his letter, "were testimony to a faith in the Risen they lived in their daily service, in fraternal contact with people, in work, in the preaching of the Word and in catechesis, in ordinary prayer, in their love for Our Lady, in joy and in their evangelical commitment to the indigenous cause. In celebrating the 42 years of the martyrdom of Fr Rodolfo and Simão Bororo, we have many reasons to thank God for the gift of holiness in the Church and in the Salesian Congregation."

              • Brasile
              • BCG
              • Santità Salesiana
              • Martiri
              • Rodolfo Lunkenbein
              • Simão Bororo

                RMG - Salesian Historical Research n. 70

                Gian Francesco Romano
                3 days 16 hours ago
                RMG - Salesian Historical Research n. 70

                (ANS - Rome) - Don Bosco's commitment to the literacy of young people, the role of Salesians in spreading devotion to Mary Help of Christians in Poland, together with a critical edition of the unpublished speech of Giovanni Bosco seminarian on St. Bartholomew Apostle: this and much more featured in Issue Number 70 (January-June 2018) of "Ricerche Storiche Salesiane" (RSS), the bi-monthly magazine of religious and civil history, published by the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS).

                In the STUDI sector, there are two essays:

                Don Bosco for the literacy of young people in the mid-nineteenth century is the study of Vito Maurizio, who examines Don Bosco's contribution to the education of young illiterates of the working classes who generally did not have access to school, children he met at the oratory "Saint Francis de Sales" founded by him. It was probably not Turin's first, but he knew how to answer to the needs of his young people with determination. 

                The Salesians and the promotion of the cult of Mary Help of Christians in Poland is the research paper of Jan Pietrzykowski, professor at the University "Card. Wyszyński" of Warsaw and director of the Warsaw Province archives. Don Bosco was among the first devotees to Mary under the title of Help of Christians. When Salesians arrived in Poland at Oświęcim in 1898, and rebuilt the church of the Holy Cross, they immediately named and dedicated it to Mary Help of Christians and placed a copy of the image of the "Madonna of Don Bosco" at the altar. In addition to Oświęcim, the Congregation also runs the shrines of Mary Help of Christians in Przyłęków, Twardogóra and Rumia, as well as nine parishes and two central churches under the same title. The Salesians, moreover, contributed to the establishment of the compulsory feast of Mary Help of Christians, on May 24, in all the dioceses of the country.

                In FONTI – sources:

                The speech in honor of St Bartholomew the Apostle composed in Piedmontese by the seminarian Giovanni Bosco (1838), edited by Aldo Giraudo, professor of the Salesian Pontifical University. This is a critical edition and translation of the unpublished speech in Piedmontese dialect by Giovanni Bosco seminarian, recited at Castelnuovo in the church of the Confraternita, on the occasion of the feast of St. Bartholomew the Apostle in 1838. The document, recently discovered, reflects the sensitivity of the young Bosco, the tastes of his listeners and the practices of popular religiosity of that specific historical moment.

                Completing the text, in the NOTA sector, is an essay on: Don Francesco Convertini. Profilo biografico, by Grazia Loparco, professor at the Auxilium Faculty; a number of Reviews and Reports, and the Bibliographic Repertoire: 2016-2017, edited by Cinzia Angelucci and Stanisław Zimniak.

                • RMG
                • Ricerche Storiche Salesiane
                • ISS
                • Maria Ausiliatrice
                • Don Bosco

                  Bolivia - "We are not made to be sad, but to be happy": V American Missionary Congress

                  Gian Francesco Romano
                  3 days 16 hours ago

                  (ANS - Santa Cruz) - The fifth American Missionary Congress (V CAM) began on July 10th with the presence of about three thousand people from all over the world. The Salesians of Bolivia are part of the team that welcomes the missionaries who have reached the heights of Bolivia to reflect on a theme that never goes out of fashion: "America on a mission, the Gospel is joy."

                  Sister Cilenia Rojas, General Coordinator of V CAM, expressed her own joy at the event and stated that "when people get involved, they then give consistency to the event, which stops being just an activity for meeting, but it becomes, instead, a new way of rethinking how we can renew ourselves in the mission."

                  The V Congress is animated from the morning with prayer and presentations that seek to be enlightening, suggestive and provocative for the work to follow. Many missionary testimonies then emerge in the working groups, experiences that allow people to broaden their visions, and all this enriches the event's participants.

                  "May our welcoming the missionaries of all America help us, as Salesians and as a Province, to strengthen our missionary commitment there where we find ourselves and, above all, in missionary work," said Fr Javier Ortiz, Provincial of the Salesian Province of the Bolivia.

                  V CAM is a great missionary event, a time of grace to live a new Pentecost, where a missiological reflection on the life and situation of the Church in the American continent is promoted, but which also tries to look to the future to plan and develop pastoral commitments and actions in a missionary key and to help the local Churches in their pastoral conversion.

                  The presentations of last July 11th took place at the "Don Bosco Coliseum" and saw Msgr. Guido Charbonnea, Bishop of Choluteca, in Honduras, speaking of the attitude and the prophetic tone of the missionary who lives the joy of the Gospel. "In our world full of bad news, the proclamation of the Gospel is the joyous announcement of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And it is also the power of God for the salvation of all believers," he explained, adding, "We are not meant to be sad, but to be happy."

                  The V CAM ends tomorrow, Saturday, July 14, with a novelty: the parishes and the families of Santa Cruz will welcome the participants and share the missionary experience.

                  • Bolivia
                  • Missioni
                  • BOL

                    Italy - Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians together: with the Pope, in the Church, at the service of the young

                    Gian Francesco Romano
                    4 days 16 hours ago
                    Italy - Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians together: with the Pope, in the Church, at the service of the young

                    (ANS - Rome) - Men and women consecrated to God, who share the charism and the mission and work fraternally and in a spirit of fidelity to the Church and the Pope for young people from all continents, especially the poorest and most needy: with these few words, the meaning of the joint meeting held yesterday, 11 July, between the General Councils of the Salesians (SDB) and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), at the Generalate of the latter. Leading the work session was the reflection on the next Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment" by Fr Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary for this Synod.

                    In his presentation, Fr Sala illustrated the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod on Youth. The document, he said, is the result of "the convergence of listening to everyone", why it represents "an updated and realistic reference framework on the global youth condition", as well as being "a unitary and synthetic collection of the issues to be discussed."

                    Of the Instrumentum Laboris, Fr Sala emphasized the prospects, namely of accompaniment, a guiding theme of the Strenna 2018, too. It is, in fact, accompaniment that is the "presupposition for every Christian proclamation" and it is only in that perspective that we can speak of a journey of faith and that youthful leadership can be fostered - as indeed happened in the preparation of the synod.

                    Therefore, after having indicated positive and negative aspects regarding the conditions of today's youth – as in "paralysis before important decisions, but also of spiritual nostalgia" - the reflection led to a rethinking of the vocational dimension as a whole, which must lead to the "creation of a vocational culture that enhances and appreciates every type of calling."

                    Along with many questions and healthy provocations, the speaker finally indicated priorities for action for the two congregations: the primacy being assigned to the daily presence alongside the young, the quality of spirituality and testimony, the spirit of family, the commitment to give more to those who received less.

                    At the end of the presentation the SDB-FMA Councilors, divided into groups, elaborated reflections and resonances on how the two congregations are touched by the synod, what the respective contributions to the universal Church can be and what post-synodal path to foresee.

                    After a moment of sharing in an assembly debate, the work sessions closed with the summaries of Mother Reungoat and the Rector Major.

                    • Italia
                    • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                    • Salesiani
                    • Consiglio Generale
                    • Sinodo sui Giovani

                      Nicaragua - "In the midst of anguish and pain, the Nicaraguan people haven't lost hope"

                      Gian Francesco Romano
                      4 days 16 hours ago
                      Photo: celebration of the feast of the blessed Sr. Maria Romero Meneses, FMA

                      (ANS - Managua) - The Nicaraguan nation is experiencing one of the deepest crises in its history. A people that has denounced the arbitrariness of the government, which represses it, annihilates and arrests it. No one can go out to "protest", not even in the presence of international human rights organizations. The population is experiencing much pain and anguish.

                      The national dialogue has been interrupted. The bishops of the episcopal conference continue their pastoral mission by accompanying the people. On Monday, July 9, they embarked on their visit to the Department of Carazo, in the municipality of Diriamba, massively besieged by paramilitaries, police and government groups.

                      On their arrival, they were physically and verbally attacked, in a premeditated way. The delegation was led by the Apostolic Nuncio, mgr. Waldemar Stanilaw Sommertag, from the Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, and his auxiliary, mgr. Silvio Báez, together with other priests who retreated as they went to free refugees in the minor basilica of San Sebastian.

                      The pressure was so great that it resulted in beatings. In the middle of the struggle, the auxiliary bishop and several priests were injured and access to the temple was prevented. Government-related groups have others believe, by their actions, that the Church supports violence.

                      On the same day, the parish church of St. James the Apostle in Jinotepe was sacked by paramilitary groups and groups affiliated to the government, who entered the church violently to destroy what they could.

                      The government of Daniel Ortega has launched a strong and clear threat against the Catholic Church. By all possible means, they want the population to believe that the church is promoting violence. For their part, the bishops reaffirm their commitment to the population, remaining close to those who suffer, and on the side of those being besieged by the ideology of a ruler who clings to power, who has lost all credibility and promotes a "camouflaged peace".

                      The Salesians continue to firmly stand by and accompany the locals and to adopt security measures. The Salesian center of Managua, for one, is back to its normal activities. In Masaya, the violence has not stopped, while threats of looting the temples continue. In Granada, the Salesian house continues with its activities, but the Eucharistic celebrations take place behind closed doors.

                      In the midst of this anguish and pain, the Nicaraguan people have not lost hope. Today, Wednesday 11 July, an army raid is scheduled in Moninbó, Masaya district. For Friday 13, instead, a 24-hour national strike has been organized.

                      • Nicaragua
                      • CAM
                      • Violenze
                      • Chiesa
                      • Vescovi

                        Philippines – New water project provides clean, fresh water to 2,000 residents

                        Gian Francesco Romano
                        4 days 16 hours ago
                        Philippines – New water project provides clean, fresh water to 2,000 residents

                        (ANS – Dacudao) – Poor youth and their families attending the Mary Help of Christians parish, located in Dacudao, Mindanao island, Philippines, have access to clean, safe water thanks to funding provided by Salesian Missions’ “Clean Water Initiative.” The Salesian parish continues to care for more than 1,400 Catholic families who live in the surrounding five local villages. They attend services in the 24 chapels dispersed in the area.

                        The parish also holds spiritual formation, meetings and other pastoral activities or gatherings for its parishioners. The parish also offers a small farm next to the church, which contributes to the daily sustenance of the Salesian community in Calinan. A water system is set up in Dacudao that provides an adequate safe water supply to about 2,000 residents.

                        Recently work needed to be completed to improve this water system. With the funding provided by Salesian Missions, the project entailed the installation of water pump and pump house, water tanks and pipelines. An 8-inch, 100-meter deep water well borehole with a 6-inch casing was dug followed by the installation of a water pump. Constant discharge pumping tests were done and the construction of a pump house was also completed. The construction of the raised water storage stand and the installation of a water tank completed the project.

                        Residents of Dacudao are happy that they now have an additional source clean water. Many nearby residents are able to conveniently access water from the faucets strategically located in the farm. The new water supply was also effective in helping those affected by the December 2017 typhoon, Tropical Storm Vinta, which damaged a large area in Mindanao including those living in Calinan, Davao.

                        Flooding in many areas near the Davao River caused residents to be temporarily evacuated. Some of the families were evacuated to the church parish where they sought refuge from the storm and flooding. The completion of the water project was very timely as it provided the evacuees clean and potable water for their daily needs. In addition, the new water system supplies the irrigation requirements of the farm. With it, the farm is expected to increase production of fruits and vegetables for the families that live near the farm.

                        UN-Water estimates that worldwide 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services, and by 2050, the world’s population will have grown by an estimated 2 billion people, pushing global water demand up to 30 percent higher than today. UN-Water also indicates that around 1.9 billion people live in potentially severely water-scarce areas. By 2050, this could increase to around 3 billion people.

                        “Having access to clean water is essential for the health and safety of those we serve around the globe,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Improving water and sanitation facilities like this project in the Philippines brings a sense of dignity for the children we serve and ensures that teachers and students are working and learning in an environment that promotes proper hygiene and has safe drinking water. This reduces the number of waterborne illnesses that can affect those in our schools, keeping them away from important study time.”

                        Throughout the Philippines, Salesian missionaries offer a variety of educational and social development programs for youth, many with an emphasis on recreation and sports activities. The goal is to provide the opportunities necessary to gain an education and skills training to break the cycle of poverty and retain long-term employment.

                        Source: Salesian Missions

                        • Filippine
                        • FIS
                        • Acqua
                        • Missioni

                          Bolivia - "The first thing a missionary must do is to know how to transmit faith"

                          Gian Francesco Romano
                          4 days 16 hours ago

                          (ANS - Santa Cruz) - On 10 July, the V American Missionary Congress (CAMV) opened in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and was inaugurated with the presentation of Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Delegate of Pope Francis, who encouraged over three thousand participants to be "credible through testimony." The Salesians of Latin America, and of the world, participate in this great event. One of them, in the name of the Rector Major, is Fr Martín Lasarte, of the Missions Dicastery.

                          "The Missionary is like a candle. He lights the light and passes it on to others. To be an evangelizing missionary is to bring the light of Christ, but to bring it, we must first light it in our hearts. Every Christian must make the Gospel shine in his or her life and spread the joy of the Word of God to others," says Fr Lasarte.

                          "It is a great joy to be in this blessed land! This is the first time I have been in Bolivia," continues the Salesian, a Uruguayan Salesian missionary who has worked for many years in Africa, in Angola, and currently serves the Congregation at the Salesian Missions Dicastery.

                          During his stay in Bolivia, Fr Lasarte will also visit the Province, the Salesian communities and the Salesian houses in order to know and encourage the missionary Spirit. "Participation in this great event makes me realize that in Bolivia a great movement has awakened and that this is, without a doubt, a missionary community, a missionary Province, a living Province that will have a future," he adds.

                          Fr Lasarte was asked to visit the Salesian communities to encourage various pastoral proposals and to accompany Salesian missionary volunteer service. In this regard, he says: "It is wonderful to make young people passionate about service and mission and if this becomes reality, the Province, the mission, the charism, will have a great future ahead."

                          "The first thing a missionary must do," he urged, "is to know how to transmit faith in a natural way, with joy, bearing witness with love and with words. The missionary is called to evangelize, sometimes leaving his communities, leaving everything behind him, to sow hope and the Gospel."

                          This V American Missionary Congress highlights the challenges of ecclesial communities, that is, to create missionary groups that keep alive in communities, parishes and families the meaning of "going out to go to the encounter, the meeting with others, and bringing the Gospel."

                          • Bolivia
                          • Missioni
                          • Chiesa

                            Italy - Farewell to Fr Luigi Melesi, the "jail priest" who took weapons away from Red Brigades

                            Gian Francesco Romano
                            5 days 16 hours ago

                            (ANS - Lecco) - As an authentic spiritual Son of Don Bosco he never resigned himself to considering the worst of the criminals as unrecoverable and in all he sought "that accessible point to the good" from which to initiate a change in life's direction. After a life spent in this manner, yesterday, Tuesday, July 10, Fr Luigi Melesi died in Lecco.

                            Born in Cortenova in 1933, already during the course of his formative journey he lived the Salesian mission among the boys of the "Ferrante Aporti" reformatory in Turin. From 1960 to 1967, he worked in the Salesian center of Arese, entrusted to the Salesians after having been a juvenile prison of the Beccaria National Association. In 1967, he led the first group of 25 young people in Brazil, beginning, together with Fr Ugo De Censi and Fr Bruno Ravasio, "Operation Mato Grosso".

                            After returning to Italy and serving as a Director in Darfo, he returned to Arese, and while he continued to accompany the boys sent to him by juvenile courts throughout Italy, he was called by the then archbishop of Milan, card. Giovanni Colombo, to work as a chaplain in the "San Vittore" prison in Milan.

                            There Fr Melesi served for 30 years, meeting prisoners of every race and religion, becoming their friend and brother. During his service behind bars, he met terrorists, burglars, murderers, criminals, but also many simple people, in prison for lesser crimes. His style consisted in never putting the crime at the center, but the person.

                            The surrendering of weapons, a real arsenal, by the terrorists of the Red Brigades, which took place in the archdiocese on 13 June 1984 into the hands of card. Carlo Maria Martini - of whom Fr Melesi was an intimate collaborator and advisor - was in fact preceded by Fr Melesi's precious and indispensable work of accompaniment and mediation.

                            In recent years he shared his experience through conferences, meetings, rallies and various publications - including the interview book "Prete da galera", or “Jail Priest”, by Silvio Valota.

                            Recognizing his skills as a communicator in 2013, the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome awarded him the Honoris Causa degree in Social Communication Sciences.

                            His spiritual heritage can be condensed into some of his famous expressions: "It is not possible to help a person change his life for the better if one does not go to his side, if one does not take up his story ... A person, to become good, must feel loved."

                            • Italia
                            • ILE
                            • Decessi
                            • Carceri

                              Syria - There is still hope in Aleppo: testimony of Fr Luca Pellicciotta

                              Gian Francesco Romano
                              5 days 16 hours ago
                              Syria - There is still hope in Aleppo: testimony of Fr Luca Pellicciotta

                              (ANS - Aleppo) - Aleppo is Syria's martyr city. A city deeply wounded, in its buildings, but above all in the souls and in the hearts of its inhabitants. To many people, the war has stolen years of serenity and normality, but Aleppo wants to be reborn. It is a city that does not give up and tries to slowly return to normal.

                              Fr Luca Pellicciotta, SDB, speaks of this city "of paradoxes", Aleppo, a city he says has not only found suffering, but also a lot of hope.

                              "There is a desire to be reborn, to sit at a bar and have a tea or an ice cream to cool the hot hours of the day. There is a desire to dance, to shout, to run, perhaps even without measure, but it is normal after a war that has blown up every measure," says Fr Luca.

                              A war that has lasted many years, but which has not affected the faith of the Christians who live here. "I am being enriched of the depth and faith of Christians in Aleppo," continues Fr Luca. "Here faith is not a label, a slogan, a mask to put on and take off when necessary. Here, faith is life. Christians know what it means to believe in God when their life is hanging from a bomb that could fall near or on you."

                              In fact, the Salesians in Aleppo continue to nourish faith and hope, remaining always operational, as they did during and throughout the darkest days.

                              "Many have closed, barred their doors. The Salesians have not! Don Bosco would be satisfied with the loyalty and love of the Aleppo kids," he adds.

                              The children of Don Bosco, in Aleppo, also have a great fortune: that of having many young people around the world who pray constantly for them. "We continue to deliver this gift of prayer," says Fr Luca, "which is the only truly useful thing for a true and radical spiritual renewal of Aleppo."

                              {gallery}Siria - Aleppo don Pellicciotta{/gallery}

                              • Siria
                              • Aleppo
                              • MOR
                              • Violenze

                                Italy - Prof. Pasqualetti new Dean of UPS Social Communication Sciences Faculty

                                Gian Francesco Romano
                                5 days 16 hours ago
                                Italy - Prof. Pasqualetti new Dean of UPS Social Communication Sciences Faculty

                                (ANS - Rome) – On 28 June, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians and Grand Chancellor of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome, appointed prof Fabio Pasqualetti as the new Dean of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences (FSC) for the 2018-2021 triennium. 

                                Prof Pasqualetti, a Salesian priest, is Emeritus Professor of Theories and Research in Communication at the Soc Com Faculty where he teaches "Introduction to Communication Sciences", "Communication and Development" and "Public Opinion".

                                After his diploma in Chemistry at the Industrial Institute of Cremona, he graduated in Pedagogy at the University of Parma. In 1994, he completed his Master's in Telecommunication at the University of Michigan; his thesis: "Pietro Barcellona. Critical narrator of Modernity and guardian of the Human."

                                In December, Prof Pasqualetti obtained the title of Doctor of Social Sciences at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome. He is a much-appreciated lecturer and has more than twenty years of teaching and research experience.

                                He is the author of numerous academic papers; among his recent publications: Pasqualetti F., Giovani, fede e vocazione cristiana nell’era della tecnologia digitale., in «Salesianum», LXXIX, 231-256, Roma, LAS, 2017; La verità ci farà liberi? Big data e società del calcolo. Il culto del dataismo e le sue conseguenze, in Paola Springhetti – Renato Butera (Edd.), La verità vi farà liberi (Gv 8,32). Fake news e giornalismo di pace, Roma, LAS, 2018, 143-166.

                                In a letter sent to colleagues, students and friends of the UPS, the newly-appointed Dean recalled the recent invitation by Pope Francis to "make the school an educating community, wherein teachers and students are not connected only by an educational plan, but by a program of life and experience, able to educate to mutual reciprocity between different generations." To this regard, he cited three essential criteria: identity, consistent with the values ​​of the university; quality, as a safe beacon to illuminate study initiatives; and the goal of the common good.

                                Prof Pasqualetti succeeds Prof Fr Peter Andrew Gonsalves, SDB, Professor Emeritus of Communication and Education, who will continue to teach at the SC Faculty.

                                • Italia
                                • UPS
                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                • Nomine

                                  UN - Salesian contributions for rights of most vulnerable at United Nations Council in Geneva

                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                  5 days 16 hours ago
                                  UN - Salesian contributions for rights of most vulnerable at United Nations Council in Geneva

                                  (ANS - Geneva) - The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is present in 95 countries on 5 continents and as International Institute of Mary Help of Christians (IIMA) obtained its special consultative status of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2008. From that moment on, with Sr. Maria Grazia Caputo as head of the team, it contributes to the work of the Human Rights Council and to the universal periodic review of the situation of Human Rights, through the Human Rights Office.

                                  IIMA's Human Rights Office works with the UN and also collaborates with the NGO Vides to carry out its activities and, at the same time, to highlight the work of the entire congregation for children and young people on the five continents.

                                  Within the United Nations, IIMA also works to promote the right to education, urging governments to respect the agreements stipulated on this issue. It also asks that preventive action be taken in the most urgent situations and, thanks to side events, presents a series of good practices implemented by the Salesian Family

                                  The IIMA also supports the presence of UN experts to inform on the situation of human rights across the globe; offers the opportunity to participate in UN meetings and organizes courses to make international procedures for the protection of Human Rights know.

                                  Since 2009, it has organized 20 side events, focusing on the recovery and integration of children at risk all over the world. Of note, its having helped governments to focus on young people, urging them to take action in the sessions of the Human Rights Council.

                                  Since 2009, IIMA has organized 21 training courses in Geneva for 146 participants from 53 countries, and has presented reports to the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights for at least 46 countries, always collaborating with experts and government representatives, who have shown their admiration for Salesian work.

                                  In the office itself there are young people who collaborate, have the opportunity to carry out their internships at the UN and share their lives with the Salesian community. 96 young people from 16 different countries have collaborated thus far.

                                  The method that guarantees the success of IIMA and Vides is the "positive denunciation" that, in full Salesian style, "highlights all that is positive in those contexts where the weakest live in more difficult situations," says Sister Maria Grazia Caputo.

                                  • ONU
                                  • Diritti
                                  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  • IIMA

                                    Vatican – Saving Our Common Home

                                    Gian Francesco Romano
                                    6 days 16 hours ago
                                    Vatican – Saving Our Common Home

                                    (ANS – Vatican City) – A conference titled “Saving Our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth” was organized by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to celebrate the third anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Sì. This conference, held over two days on 5-6 July at the Synod Hall in the Vatican, brought together about 400 delegates, which included environmental experts and activists, scientists, economists, politicians, representatives of various global networks, as well as high-ranking UN officials. The Don Bosco Green Alliance was represented at the conference by Fr. Savio Silveira, SDB, and Mr. Macson Almeida.

                                    The conference opened with a panel of five young people from five different continents presenting their views on the environmental crisis and their personal reflections on the impact of Laudato Si'.  Macson Almedia speaking as one of the panellists said, “The Don Bosco Green Alliance is a global initiative that has been recently launched, inspired by Laudato Sì.  This alliance is an international collective of young people who are working together to contribute towards global environmental action, thought and policy.  We young people must work without borders, shed our national identities and assume the identity as residents of one planet.”

                                    A key highlight of the conference was the audience with Pope Francis. Addressing the delegates, Pope Francis said, “Your presence here is a sign of your commitment to take concrete steps to save the planet and the life it sustains, inspired by the Encyclical’s assumption that 'everything is connected'.”  The Pope expressed his hope that “concern for the state of our common home” would be translated into concrete actions to preserve the environment.

                                    The Pope also stressed the importance of making space for young people in efforts “to foster an integral ecology.” Quoting from Laudato Sì, the Pope said, “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded”.  “It is the young who will have to face the consequences of the current environmental and climate crisis. Consequently, intergenerational solidarity “is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us,” the Pope added.

                                    After two days of inspiring presentations and intense discussions, the conference closed with the call to bring environmental work into the mainstream of the Church’s mission.  It stressed that all church institutions should lead by example when it comes to offering environmental solutions. Young people are important stakeholders in this matter and must have the space to act. Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, SDB, Coordinator of the Sector on Ecology and Creation in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, was one of the main organizers of the conference.

                                    {gallery}Vaticano - Sessione Laudato Si terzo anno{/gallery}

                                    • Vaticano
                                    • Ambiente
                                    • Creato
                                    • Don Bosco Green Alliance

                                      Sierra Leone - Maria, survived and wounded in a fire, returns to smile

                                      Gian Francesco Romano
                                      6 days 16 hours ago
                                      Sierra Leone - Maria, survived and wounded in a fire, returns to smile

                                      (ANS - Freetown) - Mary was asleep when a short-circuit triggered a fire that destroyed the home of the "Girls Os" program in Freetown, the Salesian house that housed 34 child victims of abuse. The heat and the smoke woke her up, but she could not leave the house. Her hands and her screams through the grates of one of the rooms allowed her to be saved, thanks to a young man who, on a ladder and with a stone in his hand, broke the bars. Maria suffered burns on her feet, but she has returned to smiling again and keeps intact her dream of becoming a social worker to help other girls like her.

                                      Three days after the feast of Mary Help of Christians, May 27, Mary is reborn. "Mary Help of Christians performed a miracle, because I could only think of May 24 and asking the Virgin that she not die in the fire, " recalls Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli.

                                      When it seemed that all the children of the "Girls Os" program had already left the house and that they were all safe, Maria's hands suddenly appeared at the window making everyone fear the worst. The entrance to the house and the main hall were blocked by the flames. In an attempt to leave the house, Maria burned her feet on flaming plastic.

                                      A month and a half later, Maria is smiling again at "Don Bosco Fambul", with all her wounds healed. "I like to sing and dance with my classmates and I keep dreaming of becoming a social worker to help other girls who have suffered situations like mine," she explains.

                                      The story of Maria, like the story of many other girls in the "Girls Os" program, is very hard. She was sexually abused by a neighbor while her mother was at work. The serious injuries caused by the attacker forced her to stay in hospital for a long time and she needed several blood transfusions to survive.

                                      After leaving the hospital, Mary's mother went to "Don Bosco Fambul" to denounce the assailant and ask that the minor be accepted. Thanks to the Salesians, her aggressor is now in prison; while for Mary, who had to interrupt her attending school for a quarter, the Salesians took action to make her recover her level of education.

                                      • Sierra Leone
                                      • AFW
                                      • Disastri
                                      • Ragazze
                                      • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                      • Don Bosco Fambul

                                        Argentina - "Symptoms of disease we experience in soil, water, air": World Soil Day

                                        Gian Francesco Romano
                                        6 days 16 hours ago

                                        (ANS - San José) - Currently there is a deterioration of the global environment, and Pope Francis says: "I renew the dialogue with every person who lives on this planet ... This “sister earth cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her." On the World Day of Soil Conservation, celebrated annually on July 7, in memory of a person who managed to increase the production of the earth by protecting it, Hugh Hammond Bennet, the young people of the Salesian Agricultural Institute "Pascual Gentilini" have animated various activities related to the anniversary.

                                        Recalling the need for soil conservation, the students began the day at the headquarters of the "Pascual Gentilini" institute in San José, Province of Misiones, with the participation of about 300 high school students from all over the area.

                                        Under the motto "a thin layer of soil surface is what lies between us and disaster", a theory-based seminar followed. This year's focus was the high rates of soil degradation in the province and on the actions needed to keep it fertile.

                                        Subsequently, those present visited the school facilities, where the students of the institute explained the concrete activities they perform in the pursuit of soil conservation.

                                        Preserving the land is one of the basic fundamental tasks of this era, why Pope Francis, in the encyclical Laudato sì, insists on the need to "take care of the soil." And he affirms this in several points of the text: "The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life." (paragraph 2); "...that human beings pollute the water, soil, air: all these are sins." (paragraph 8); "There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, by the fumes of industry, by the landfills of substances that contribute to the acidification of soil and water." (paragraph 20); "Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God." (paragraph 84).

                                        The Holy Father insists on the need to protect the soil and Salesians are also called to educate the young so they understand the need to care for its conservation.

                                        Days such as the recent event experienced at the Salesian Institute aim to raise awareness on the current state of a non-renewable resource such as soil and to promote projects that emerge from those who should be the main protagonists of this commitment: young people.

                                        • Argentina
                                        • ARN
                                        • Rurali
                                        • Ambiente
                                        • Creato
                                        • Scuole
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana