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Zambia – Salesian missionaries in the Makululu settlement buy land for new farm thanks to Salesian Missions donors

3 days 9 hours ago
Zambia – Salesian missionaries in the Makululu settlement buy land for new farm thanks to Salesian Missions donors

(ANS - Kabwe) - Salesian missionaries working in the Makululu settlement in Kabwe, Zambia, were able to purchase close to 25 acres of land and develop a farm thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

Missionaries have developed the farm near the “Don Bosco Children Home” so that the food developed on the farm will be a source of food for the children and the local community. The farm itself will also be utilized as an Agricultural Training Center. The “Don Bosco Children Home” transforms the lives of street children by providing shelter, education and agricultural training to help break the cycle of poverty and provide opportunities for financial independence.

In Makululu more than 40 percent of children between 7-14 years old do not attend school. The area once had no formal education. Many of the local families rely on basic trades to earn a meager living and to feed their families. They set up stalls with vegetables, fish, fruit, stone slabs, furniture and products from China. There is great poverty in the community with many residents having no electricity, enough food to eat or enough money to buy proper clothing.

Today, Salesian missionaries operate the Don Bosco Children Home, a nursery school that prepares young children for primary school, a Youth Centre that accommodates up to 60 youth, and now agriculture training so youth can earn a living.

“Access to quality education provides a stepping stone out of poverty for poor youth,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “We are grateful to our donors who provided funding so that the land could be purchased for the farm. This will enable Salesian missionaries to both have a food source for the community and use the farm for invaluable educational lessons.”

Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.

Further information is available at MissionNewswire and on YouTube.

{gallery}Zambia - Makalulu 2019{/gallery}

  • Zambia
  • ZMB
  • Missioni
  • Povertà
  • Agricoltura
  • Rurali
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – Poster of the Rector Major's 2020 Strenna presented

    3 days 9 hours ago
    RMG – Poster of the Rector Major's 2020 Strenna presented

    (ANS - Rome) - The poster for Strenna 2020, which develops the motto: "Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6.10) is available online today. "GOOD CHRISTIANS AND UPRIGHT CITIZENS." The poster of the Year 2020 stands firm in the memory of the spark of the beginning of Salesian work.

    There was a stairway near the large market of Porta Palazzo where the young people sat to laugh, joke and have a snack. Don Bosco goes to meet them there. "Out there", where they normally meet and hang out. He does not lecture them; he simply offers his friendship.

    Don Bosco possessed nothing, only his huge heart, which revealed itself in his unforgettable gaze: "What stood out most in Don Bosco was his gaze, sweet but penetrating, to the depths of the heart, which you could hardly resist staring at," an ancient student once said.

    The poster is a page from the Gospel according to Don Bosco: “Jesus called forth a child, put him in their midst and said: 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” (Mt 18, 1-5).

    So, too, Don Bosco: he is all here, thus, with the same eyes and the same heart as Jesus.

    He had a conviction about young people: "This portion is the most delicate and most precious of human society, on which the hopes of a happy future are based." It is his decisive choice: "You are the most important part of my day," "You are special, and you mean a lot to me," he would tell the young people he met. It is in this daily dynamic that the personality of young people is built, there the heart of the educational process that succeeds in forming "good Christians and upright citizens!"

    His goal is simple and immense: "I want young people to be happy in time and in eternity."

    In the poster, at the top of the staircase there is an open door. It is the door of the house of Don Bosco, the door of the church and the door of life. Today, young people often find only closed doors. Don Bosco wants the young to have open doors. Those of a future and a happy and responsible life, those of a mature and satisfying faith, those of joy, solidarity, open and free creativity.

    This is why the Salesian Family exists.

    The Strenna poster, designed by the artist Stefano Pachi, is currently being shipped to all ANSPhoto subscribers. The digital version, in six languages, is available on ANSFlickr and here.

    {gallery}Poster Strenna 2020 - Anno 2019{/gallery}

    • RMG
    • Strenna 2020
    • Don Bosco
    • Giovani
    • STRENNA
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Argentina - "Zatti, our brother" trailer available online

      4 days 9 hours ago

      (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Yesterday, November 13, on the day when the Salesian Family celebrated the liturgical memorial of Blessed Artemide Zatti, a Salesian coadjutor, Salesian Argentina joyfully announced the distribution of the film trailer "Zatti, hermano nuestro" (Zatti, our brother), conceived in 2018, produced this year and scheduled for release in 2020.

      Fruit of the collaboration between the two Salesian Provinces in Argentina, produced by the National Salesian Bulletin, supported by the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid and encouraged by the Rector Major, the short film will be presented as a preview at the 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, scheduled in Turin, in 2020.

      In the meantime, it is possible to view the trailer, subtitled also in Italian, at the following website: www.zattilapelicula.com.ar 

      • Argentina
      • Artemide Zatti
      • Comunicazione Sociale
      • Cinema
        Gian Francesco Romano

        India - "Aiming Higher" - Don Bosco University of Assam in BBC documentary

        4 days 9 hours ago

        (ANS - Guwahati) - The "Assam Don Bosco University" (ADBU), India's first Catholic university, which just one year ago awarded the "University of the Year" award by the Indian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), has been portrayed in a documentary by the famous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) through StoryWorks, its Commercial Productions division. The documentary was produced as part of the "Aiming Higher" communication project promoted by the International Association of Universities (IAU) in collaboration with the BBC to convey the importance of the role of universities in the transformation of the world.

        The series of 30 documentaries of "Aiming Higher" is being presented today, November 14, in Puebla, Mexico, at the IAU International Conference.

        The series will be made available on dedicated website to be launched at the Conference and will have an important outreach through a global advertising campaign on the BBC’s website outside of the UK.

        IAU thanks all participating universities for their engagement and for sharing these beautiful experiences with the global higher education community and the general public. They embody what IAU is all about: collaboration, concrete action and exchange to make the movement of positive movers and shakers in higher education grow internationally and make a long-term impact on society at large.

        The "Aiming Higher" documentaries illustrate significant stories in the fields of Internationalization, Technology, Leadership and Sustainable Development cultivated in different universities, thus spotlighting the essential contributions of higher education to social development worldwide.

        ADBU is among the 30 positive models identified across the globe.

        "In the documentary, we were happy to spotlight the life story of how people of Assam now have access to clean drinking water thanks to the University's efforts. It was fascinating to work on the project with the ADBU team and better understand what drives your institution ... And we hope that this film will provide you with a powerful communication tool," wrote Simon Shelley, Director of BBC collaborative projects in an official communiquè to the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University, Fr Stephen Mavely.

        Anxiously awaiting the launch of the "Aiming Higher" series, the Salesian answered from Puebla. "It was wonderful to admire the way this project was conceived, organized and wonderfully managed by the BBC and IAU. Thank you for the excellent work."

        In addition to thanking the main curators of the project on behalf of the ADBU - Dr. Juhi, Director of Human Resources; the Vice-rector, Dr. Nellanatt; Dr. Sunandan, the general coordinator; and the Director of the Department of Social Sciences, Dr. Riju – he added: "It's amazing to imagine the millions, literally millions of people around the world, that will be reached by this IAU-BBC production, people who will indeed get the message that higher education can and should be a change for the best in people's real life, starting with the closest ones. The ADBU fully shares this vision: it is written in our genes."

        The series will soon be available on a dedicated website and will be widely distributed through a global campaign by the BBC: it is estimated that in the first few days it will reach around 50 million Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook users, but a total of 110 million is expected. In addition, starting next week, it will be sent to around 19,300 universities enrolled in the IAU.

        • India
        • Università
        • ADBU
        • Comunicazione Sociale
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Hong Kong – EAO Formation and Social Communication Delegates come together

          4 days 9 hours ago
          Hong Kong – EAO Formation and Social Communication Delegates come together

          (ANS – Hong Kong) – A few days before the Apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Thailand and Japan, the incoming East Asia-Oceania meeting of Social Communication, together with the Formation Delegates in Hong Kong, is also upon us. Together with three General Councillors – Fr Ivo Coelho (Formation), Fr Filiberto González (Social Communication) and Fr Vaclav Klement (EAO) – there will also be circa 30 Provincial Delegates for both sectors. Scheduled: four joint sessions (SC-Formation) and specific times for each sector delegates.

          SC Councilor Father González clearly spells out the three goals of this formative annual meeting:

          “The first goal is to answer the question: "What kind of Salesian communicators for the youth of the digital world? We are looking for the profile of Salesian communicator with 4 inseparable and complementary elements: Living together, being, knowing and doing. Second: How to make the GC28 live to the Salesians, lay people and young people in the own province. Third: presentation of a good practice of Social Communication in a time limit of ten minutes.”

          The SC delegates are meeting after two years (Vietnam, K’Long, in November 2017) and will evaluate their resolutions at personal, province and regional levels as regards: fostering communications via EAO regional and SDB world news (ANS) in both directions, also involving Lay Mission Partners and Young; working more closely with the YM, Mission Animation and Formation commissions; fostering Education and Formation sessions on Social Media (target on SDB and Salesian Family); supporting AustraLasia News and www.bosco.link (Boscolink).

          Among the specific topics pertaining to updates, this SC delegate meeting shall also discuss The Salesian Bulletin Editors (2019), the 2019 Salesian Translators Handbook and Salesian Dictionary and Corporate Identity (SDB logo-related issues).

          • Hong Kong
          • Comunicazione Sociale
          • Formazione
          • Asia EstOceania
          • Filiberto González
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Bolivia – Lay people of the Salesian Family in action

            4 days 9 hours ago
            Bolivia – Lay people of the Salesian Family in action

            (ANS - Santa Cruz) - The Second Vatican Council invited the pastors of the local Church to "open spaces of shared responsibility in the life and mission of the Church". Don Bosco, here too, was a forerunner; in his Oratory, he counted on the help of everyone, both consecrated and lay persons, to carry forward not only the activities, but also the charism. Today in Bolivia, this sensitivity is spreading. An example is offered by the case of Cecilia Dörfelt, a lay person involved in the Church and in the Salesian Family, coordinator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians - Youth (ADMA Youth) of Bolivia. She was also recently appointed Executive Secretary of the "Commission for the Brotherhood", organ of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference which curates collaborations with several German dioceses for several development projects in Bolivia.

            Cecilia is the first Bolivian to take up this position. Her surname, atypical for where she lives, comes from her grandfather, who came from Germany, but she was born and raised in Santa Cruz. Third of four siblings, the only female, she received a Catholic education and the Salesian charism from her parents. "They always told me that I am a Salesian in my heart ... And when I had vocational doubts they told me to talk to God. The consecrated life intrigued me, but I think I can make better use of my talents as a lay person," said the 30-year-old woman.

            As head of the Commission for the Brotherhood, today she is primarily concerned with fostering links between Bolivia and the two German benefactor dioceses of Trier and Hildesheim.

            The projects the Commission deals with are as numerous as they are diverse. There are national, diocesan and local projects. Cecilia admits that it is difficult to summarize all the initiatives being supported, but she can proudly report a statistic. "About 80% of all social projects in Bolivia are carried out by the Catholic Church. And we are involved in 50% of these projects. This is an indication of how important our work is."

            A project that she has recently visited, for example, concerned the agricultural formation of communities in the jungle which can only be reached by river. Another project involved the direct donation of 10,000 euros from the diocese of Trier to support the fight against forest fires in the Bolivian Amazon region.

            Cecilia currently participates with the representatives of the dioceses of Trier and Hildesheim in the process of reviewing the guidelines of the last ten years and in the definition of the new guidelines for 2020 – 2030. And looking to the future, she is already also working on the preparation of the Jubilee for the 60 years of collaboration.

            • Bolivia
            • Laici
            • ADMA Giovani
            • ADMA
            • Chiesa
            • Germania
              Gian Francesco Romano

              East Timor – Youth Ministry and Missions work together in East Asia-Oceania

              5 days 9 hours ago
              East Timor – Youth Ministry and Missions work together in East Asia-Oceania

              (ANS - Dili) - The annual gathering of Delegates for Youth Ministry (YM) and for Mission Animation (MA) of the Asia East-Oceania region (AEO) is currently underway (11-15 November) in Dili, Capital of Timor-Leste. The meeting is led by Fr Fabio Attard, General Councilor for YM, and Fr Guillermo Basañes, General Councilor for the Missions, together with their collaborators in their respective ministries, and regional coordinators Fr Joebeth L. Vivo (YM) and Fr Arvin Abatayo (MA). The meeting is also attended by Fr Václav Klement, Regional Councilor, and the Archbishop of Dili, the Salesian Msgr. Virgilio Da Silva.

              Such a gathering offered the best possible setting for the inauguration of the new Center for Philosophical Studies "Saint Francis of Sales" built in the Salesian complex of Dili-Comoro. Taking place on the evening of Monday 11 November was a solemn Eucharist and the formal act of inauguration and blessing, accompanied by a cultural academy organized by the young people who attend Salesian works and by the customary speeches of the various authorities present,  including the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Dulce Soares, and the Superior of the Vice Province of East Timor (TLS), Fr Apolinário Neto.

              Yesterday, Tuesday 12 November, it was the first day of actual work for the region's YM and MA delegates. It began with a morning of spirituality that served to put the person of Jesus and the Salesian charism at the very center of all Salesian services and activities, of both YM and MA. After moments of silence, meditation, reflection and prayer, the approximately 30 participants shared what to ask forgiveness for and what to thank for as regards their daily commitment.

              The distancing or departure from the Lord and from the young, the distraction towards one's own parishioners, individual pride or pastoral timidity were some of the errors for which they apologized; at the same time the Lord was praised for the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Salesian communities and initiatives, and that the young, especially the most marginalized, continue to save the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco.

              In the afternoon and in the evening, finally, the ideas that come from the last two Synods of Bishops were collected: Fr Patrick Antonyraj led the reflection on the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, the papal text that summarized the work of the Synod on young people, faith and vocational discernment; and Fr Martín Lasarte, who participated in the Synod on the Pan-Amazon region, spoke of the Congregation's missionary commitment among as many as 69 (out of about 350) ethnic minorities scattered across Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.

              Source: AustraLasia

              {gallery}TLS - Incontro PG e AM 2019{/gallery}

              • Timor Est
              • TLS
              • Pastorale Giovanile
              • Animazione Missionaria
              • Guillermo Basañes
              • Fabio Attard
              • Asia EstOceania
              • Virgilio do Carmo da Silva
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Burundi – Blessing and inauguration of "Maison Cana" orphanage

                5 days 9 hours ago

                (ANS - Rukago)  Blessed and inaugurated on October 30th  was the new building of the "Maison Cana" orphanage in Rukago. It is managed by the Congregation of the "Daughters of Mary - Our Lady of Cana", and founded in 1994 by the Salesian Fr Vital Minani, who today is Vicar of the "Mary Mother of God" house of Rukago.

                In an atmosphere of great celebration, with decorated streets and festoons everywhere, the guests who came for the occasion, were first welcomed. Then the blessing ceremony of the new building began, with Fr Minani, not only founder, but also legal representative of the Association "Daughters of Mary - Our Lady of Cana" and of the orphanage; subsequently, in the parish church of the nearby Salesian center, the Eucharist was celebrated, during which the Salesian thanked God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Salesian Congregation and other benefactors, the government and all those who worked in various ways to ensure that the building was completed.

                After Mass, the assembly returned to the orphanage building for the second part of the protocol activities, opened by the folk dances to the beat of the drums, and the cutting of the ribbon by Ignace Ntawembarira, Delegate of the Ministry of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender Issues, which marked the official inauguration of the new building.

                The building itself is a large two-storey structure, whose work began in 2012. The ground floor was built in various stages, based on the availability of funds received from various benefactors, mainly from the Salesian Congregation; the first floor, instead, was erected thanks mainly to the donation of the "Formons une famille" Foundation of Québec, Canada.

                After the greeting of Fr Minani, speaking on behalf of the delegation of the "Formons une famille" foundation, Guy Ménard congratulated the promoters of this project and recalled with emotion the moment when the foundation met the "Daughters of Cana" and explained the reasons for their involvement in this project.

                The administrator of the host municipality of Gahombo stressed that this orphanage is an inspiration of God and congratulated the "Daughters of Mary - Our Lady of Cana" for their compassionate spirit and their noble apostolate.

                Finally, Mr. Ntawembarira gave the children a ton of rice from the Ministry and stressed that this orphanage offers children a real family, education, care, love and guidance to help them become good citizens who will actively participate in the development of Burundi.

                The "Maison Cana" orphanage aims to be more and more a place where young people who are deprived of parents are loved and feel loved.

                Fr Raphaël Katanga, SDB

                {gallery}Burundi - Orfanotrofio Rukago 2019{/gallery}

                • Burundi
                • AGL
                • Orfanotrofio
                • Missioni
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  RMG – The letter of the Councilor for Missions to sick and elderly Salesians

                  6 days 9 hours ago
                  RMG – The letter of the Councilor for Missions to sick and elderly Salesians

                  (ANS - Rome) - On the day of commemorating the departure of the first Salesian Missionary Expedition, on November 11th, in the year of the 150th Expedition, the General Councilor for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, sent, as per tradition, a letter to the elderly and sick Salesians.

                  "I started writing this letter in Shillong, northeast India, and I am sending it to you from Dili, the capital of East Timor. What I manage to do through tiring days of travel, uniting north and south, east and west, you manage to do much better than me, sometimes without leaving your rooms, but uniting all points of the globe in your prayer and silent offering," the Councilor for the Missions begins, renewing his gratitude to all those of his confreres who accompany the missionary activity of the Congregation through spiritual support and the donation of their own daily labors and prayers.

                  Subsequently, Fr Basañes recalls the great emotion of the Missionary Sending celebrated last 29 September in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, adding that the 36 new missionaries were not only the fruit of the Rector Major's missionary summons, but also "a fruitful outcome of your persevering prayers for the missions and missionaries."

                  For this reason he urged the elderly and sick Salesians to persevere in accompanying prayer. And, citing the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud that Pope Benedict XV wrote 100 years - why Pope Francis declared October 2019 as 'Extraordinary Missionary Month' - he underlines their contribution in "ensuring that this fire continues to burn in every corner of the Congregation, which is constantly on a journey."

                  The letter could not close without a fraternal commemoration of the two Salesian missionaries killed in early 2019 in Burkina Faso, Fr Antonio César Fernández and Fr Fernando Hernández.

                  "May these two martyrs really help us to get closer and closer to the most appropriate answers to the crucial question of the next 28th General Chapter: 'What kind of Salesian...?' We could say, a Salesian living in a permanent state of martyrdom... ready to give reason for their hope... to radiate their faith, even if this preaching were to be tinged with the red of their own blood."

                  The full text of the letter is available here.

                  • RMG
                  • Missioni
                  • Anziani
                  • Malattie
                  • Guillermo Basañes
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Ethiopia – Animation visit of Rector Major's Vicar

                    6 days 9 hours ago
                    Ethiopia – Animation visit of Rector Major's Vicar

                    (ANS - Addis Ababa) - The Animation Visit of Fr Francesco Cereda, Vicar of the Rector Major, to the Vice Province of Africa Ethiopia (AET) was recently concluded. From 4 to 10 November, Fr Cereda visited the communities of Addis Ababa and Meki, meeting numerous Salesians, young people and members of the Salesian Family. These were intense days, during which the Rector Major's Vicar visited the Salesian schools and centers and had moments of discussion with the Directors and the Provincial Council.

                    On Monday 4 November, Fr Cereda visited the youth of "Bosco Children" in Addis Ababa, the center for street children that hosts around 50 children every day - and still welcomes many others who go there only to attend courses and lessons. 

                    On the same day, he then went to the community of Mekanissa, also in Addis Ababa, where he received a festive welcome from the school's children and teachers; he then visited the "Don Bosco TVET", the Professional Technical Training Center, known for its printing and for excellence in the graphics and printing press/typographic sector. Finally, he met with Meki, the community of the "Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians", a group of the Salesian Family founded by Msgr. Stefano Ferrando, SDB.

                    The next day, in Meki, Fr Cereda visited the Adamitullu school and the Zway community where he met Salesians, aspirants and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. On Wednesday 6 November, he participated in a meeting with the novices of the community of Debre Zeit, 40 km south of Addis Ababa. From here, he returned to the provincial house for the last two days of the visit, the most intense and demanding ones.

                    On Friday, in fact, the Vicar of the Rector Major met with the Directors for the presentation - with consequent review and dicussion - of the end letter of the Rector Major's Visit. Numerous other topics of interest were also discussed. Saturday, instead, he met the Provincial Council to discuss the functioning of the Vice Province, on the works of animation and government and to address the important theme of vocations.

                    Fr Cereda, who recalled that he visited these lands for the first time in 1990, renewed, with this visit, his attention and closeness to the Salesian communities of Ethiopia.

                    {gallery}Etiopia - Visita don Cereda 2019{/gallery}

                    • AET
                    • Etiopia
                    • Francesco Cereda
                    • Vicario del Rettor Maggiore
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Syria – Salesian Cooperator murdered in attack

                      6 days 9 hours ago
                      Syria – Salesian Cooperator murdered in attack

                      (ANS - Qamishli) - The Salesian Family of Syria mourns yet another victim: yesterday, Monday 11 November, Hovsep (Aphraham) Bedo, the Salesian Cooperator and priest of the Armenian Catholic rite, was killed while traveling by car with his father, also killed, and two other people, who managed to save themselves. The murder was perpetrated by fundamentalist militants. "The Association of Salesian Cooperators shares the pain of the family of Hovsep Bedo, who was tragically killed in an attack with his father," Fr Giuseppe Casti, World Delegate for Salesian Cooperators, said in a statement.

                      The Salesian Cooperator, about 50 years old, was pastor of the "Saint Joseph" Cathedral in Qamishli, a city located in the North-East of Syria, on the border with Turkey and not far from Iraq. He was married and the father of three children, two girls and a boy, the latter currently being trained in a house in Lebanon as a Salesian aspirant.

                      "We join in the prayer of the whole Church and of the Salesian Family for the Syrian people who, due to an interminable war, suffer injustices and suffering that injure above all the innocent and the poor. Let us pray for the Armenian Church which, in the midst of so many difficulties, continues to bear witness to the Gospel and to Christ. May the blood of this Salesian brother of ours, Cooperator, priest and martyr, be fruitful for peace and new vocations," said Fr Casti.

                      The double murder took place while Fr Bedo was visiting the Armenian Catholic church of Dei Al Zor "to follow a mission and check the status of the renovation works on the city church and other connected areas," said Fr Nareg Naamo, Rector of the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome and friend of the killed priest, to the SIR news agency.

                      Again according to the testimony of Fr Naamo, the aggression had the features of a real and proper execution, carried out because "hitting the shepherd means also hitting the flock". Fr Bedo, in fact, was driving his car, with his father at his side, with a deacon and another layman seated behind. "The car was flanked by two strangers on a motorcycle who opened fire and killed his father. Once the car stopped, the two continued to shoot, hitting the priest in the chest. The deacon and the layman managed to save themselves by rushing out of the vehicle," said the Rector of the Armenian College.

                      Immediately taken to the hospital in Dei Al Zor, Fr Bedo was then transferred by ambulance to  the hospital in Hassaké for more effective treatments, but he arrived already deceased.

                      The region of the North-East of Syria is experiencing a resurgence of hostilities these days: yesterday in Qamishli there were three attacks, one near the Chaldean church, with a toll of 6 dead and 20 wounded.

                      • Siria
                      • Salesiani Cooperatori
                      • Violenze
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Chile – Shrine of Mary Help of Christians of Talca brutally profaned

                        6 days 9 hours ago
                        Chile – Shrine of Mary Help of Christians of Talca brutally profaned

                        (ANS - Talca) - Today, at 12, in the shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Talca, a Eucharist of Peace was celebrated, to implore from God a future of justice and social peace for all the Chileans. For a Chile without violence. That violence that has mortified and wounded this very Shrine, so dear to the faithful.

                        The beautiful church, located in the center of the city and very popular, in fact, today, was bare, without benches, without many paintings. As if pierced and humiliated. This is because on the night of Monday 11 November, a group of hooded men ransacked and damaged the church, taking away the wooden benches, used to form barricades and then set on fire to block the streets.

                        Even paintings and furnishings were destroyed as a sign of contempt, as television pictures clearly showed.

                        Talca is a city of 250 thousand inhabitants in the center of Chile. Here, the Salesians are well known and respected for their vocational training schools and for the shrine of Mary Help of Christians, a center of faith and prayer.

                        The church of Mary Help of Christians is the second church to suffer this type of attack, since the protests began in Chile. Two days ago, in the capital Santiago, the parish of the Assumption was also desecrated.

                        The photographs posted on the web, even concerning the church of Talca, testify to the senseless violence of the events, incomprehensible pretexts suitable only for triggering anguish and fear.

                        This attack represents a double pain for the Salesian Family, since the month dedicated to Mary Immaculate began recently, and this church is a traditional meeting place for devotees of the Virgin. Another reason that it touches the Salesian Family closely is that this Salesian house was the last house of which Don Bosco knew of its foundation before his death in 1888.

                        The educational community of the city has expressed in many ways its dismay and its sadness for these acts of vandalism, which have no connection with the social movement of recent days in Chile and its just demands.

                        Faced with these events, the Provincial of Chile, Fr Carlos Lira, declared: "We totally condemn this situation of violence and call for peace, dialogue and the search for respectful ways to channel the legitimate demands of the Chilean people. We invite the Salesian Family to pray intensely for our country and to continue to renew the commitment to a fraternal and just homeland."

                        {gallery}Cile - Profanazione Talca 2019{/gallery}

                        • Cile
                        • CIL
                        • Violenze
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Hong Kong – Salesian Past Pupil seriously injured during protests

                          6 days 9 hours ago
                          Hong Kong – Salesian Past Pupil seriously injured during protests

                          (ANS - Hong Kong) - Yesterday, 11 November, two Salesian Past Pupils of the "Salesian English School" involved in protests between protesters and police in Hong Kong. One of them, a 21-year-old, was seriously injured.

                          It all happened yesterday around 7.20 local time in the Sai Wan Ho neighborhood, north-east of Hong Kong. Here, some people had gathered for yet another day of protests and already in the early hours of the morning they had blocked roads. Yesterday's protest was announced following the death of a boy who died last week while fleeing from police tear gas.

                          The two young past pupils, along with a dozen other people, were blocking a road junction. A policeman immediately approached the group and in a few seconds a fight broke out.

                          Although the demonstrators were unarmed, the policeman fired three pistol shots, the first of which hit the young Salesian past pupil in the abdomen. The other past pupil was instead pushed to the ground and arrested.

                          The young man hit by the bullet was promptly taken to the hospital, where he underwent a delicate operation. He is still in intensive care, in critical conditions.

                          The attack was recorded by a journalist, who then released the video in which the policeman is seen shooting the unarmed young man; the video soon went viral on all the main international news channels.

                          The same evening, the Salesians in Hong Kong organized a prayer vigil for all the wounded and in particular for the two past pupils. Furthermore, the same day, the Salesians of the "Mary Help of Christians" Province based in Hong Kong issued an official declaration, condemning the violence used by the police against the protesters and calling everyone to rationality and non-violence.

                          "May God bless Hong Kong," they conclude, "and give us peace, joy and freedom."

                          • Hong Kong
                          • CIN
                          • Violenze
                          • Cina
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Argentina – Rector Major: “I've decided that the IX International Congress of Mary Help of Christians will take place in Portugal”

                            1 week ago
                            Argentina – Rector Major: “I've decided that the IX International Congress of Mary Help of Christians will take place in Portugal”

                            (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Sunday 10 November, inside the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians of Buenos Aires, filled with faithful from 36 countries attending the VIII World Congress of Mary Help of Christians, the Father of the Salesian Family, Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, announced the decision to stage the next International Congress, the Ninth, in Portugal, in Fatima, in August 2023.

                            The closing ceremony of the VIII World Congress of Mary Help of Christians, carried out in an atmosphere of Salesian celebration in the basilica built by the Salesian architect Fr Ernesto Vespignani, saw the presence of several Provincials, Superiors and leaders of the Salesian Family groups, and Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, and Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, World Head of the Association of Mary Help of Christians.

                            Renato Valera, President of the Primary ADMA of Turin, expressed: “The meeting was an experience of the two columns of the Salesian charism - Jesus Eucharist and Mary Help of Christians. I am excited at the idea of ​​where the next meeting will be held, above all for the Love for Mary that is lived in those places.”

                            Then, at 10:00 am, the Rector Major presented himself to the Shrine to offer the closing words and present the path for the coming years. "The Salesian missionary dimension unites us from the very heart of Don Bosco and the history of this nation speaks to us of his love in bringing the Gospel. First of all, we need to be aware of being a missionary church," he said.

                            Fr Á.F. Artime also recalled the work of Salesian missionaries in every corner of the world and, above all, the commitment to bring Mary Help of Christians across the globe, even the most difficult ones, such as in Meruri, Brazil.

                            He then delivered some key elements for personal work and above all for the Salesian mission of every child of Mary Help of Christians. "Maria knows us, knows our dreams and knows our plans. She takes us by the hand and leads us little by little towards Jesus," he said. He then invited all the participants in the Congress to live their spiritual life in depth and to ask themselves at all times: “'What do you want from me, oh Lord?' This is a question that everyone must ask themselves to deepen the life and mission in this world."

                            The Rector Major concluded by stating that "Mary is our mother and tells us as in the Gospel: 'Do what God tells you!'”, and announced the seat of Congress IX. From the top of the Basilica, he  gave his blessing and greeted everyone with gratitude.

                            {gallery}Argentina - Chiusura VIII Congresso MA 2019{/gallery}

                            More photos of the Congress on ANSFlickr

                            • Argentina
                            • ARS
                            • Rettor Maggiore
                            • Maria Ausiliatrice
                            • ADMA
                            • Famiglia Salesiana
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Australia – “Joy in Learning”. Salesian spirit alive in St John Bosco College

                              1 week ago
                              Australia – “Joy in Learning”. Salesian spirit alive in St John Bosco College

                              (ANS – Perth) – Four years after the blessing and opening of “St John Bosco College” (Principal Mr Kevin Sheehy) in Perth, Western Australia in 2015, one of the youngest Catholic schools in Australia is growing day by day. The first section (Kindergarten to 2nd grade of Primary school) started in March 2015 and now 500 students (KG, Grades 1-6) are busy welcoming the first Grade 7 (High school) in the coming school year. The school’s 11 hectares are a beautiful green space with evidence of new buildings as the school grows.

                              During the informal visit of Archbishop Tim Costelloe, SDB, accompanied by the EAO Regional Councillor on 4 November, the two visitors were able to experience a genuine Salesian spirit.

                              The four “houses” of the schools are named after St Francis de Sales (Joy in Loving), St Dominic Savio (Joy in Christ), St Mary Mazarello (Joy in Serving) and St Mary Mc Killop (Joy in Caring - first Australian Saint).

                              Not only in the Principal’s office, but on the campus you would be surprised by the Salesian and “Bosconian” decorations, photos from the recent visit of Kevin Sheehy to the Don Bosco Holy Places in Turin and surroundings (Italy). Also, the school logo, inspired by the Salesian Archbishop of Perth, reveals the Salesian spirit:

                              • The heart at the top left embodies Don Bosco's teaching approach which was based on love.
                              • The cross at the top right is the main symbol of the College’s Catholic identity, at the heart of the College's identity.
                              • The “book” icon represents the bible but also the concepts of “learning” and “education”.
                              • The symbol of the tree is intended to represent “Bosco” whose literal translation means “woods”. The tree also refers to the location of the new College close to the bush at Piara Waters.
                              • The white space between the four quadrants also creates a symbolic cross, tying the four elements together.

                              After greeting the teachers in the staff room and walking around the compound with its new labs and other wonderful, new facilities, the two visitors enjoyed the simple school Assembly with a Don Bosco Song (composed by one of the teachers) and shared their feelings in the family spirit. And the EAO Regional Councillor welcomed SJB College into the world-wide network of almost 5,000 Salesian schools and other educational institutions and challenged the Assembly with the typical Salesian question: “What fills your heart with joy?”

                              “Our hope is that the desire of the St John Bosco College leadership to enter the wider Don Bosco Salesian schools network will come true soon! In many countries around the EAO region, we find Don Bosco educational institutions that are not started by the SDBs but are inspired by the Salesian preventive system or by the person of St John Bosco. We are glad to share the gift of Don Bosco far and wide!” Fr Klement has said.

                              Website: https://www.stjohnbosco.wa.edu.au/index.html 

                              • Australia
                              • AUL
                              • Timothy Costelloe
                              • Václav Klement
                              • Asia EstOceania
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Bolivia – Attacked in Yapacaní, Salesian "Radio-Televisión Ichilo"

                                1 week ago

                                (ANS - Yapacaní) - Yesterday, Sunday 10 November, violent groups linked to the government of the outgoing President Evo Morales attacked Radio-Television Ichilo (RTI) owned by the Salesians. It is based in the municipality of Yapacaní, Ichilo Province, Department of Santa Cruz.

                                In the early hours of Sunday, after the announcement of the President's resignation, the Salesian radio station was attacked by several assailants: the radio facilities were looted, the equipment destroyed, the offices on the first floor burned.

                                In the two-story building, Radio Ichilo had been operating for 38 years, one of the most important radio stations in the region, known for its social commitment and service of and to the peasant population and working-class organizations. Since 1992, the broadcaster has also equipped itself with a television channel, which thus complemented the radio broadcast.

                                The radio was founded in 1981 by the Salesian priest Fr Aquilino Libralon, along with six young people from the youth group of the local parish. Although starting with a single signal repeater, the radio did a great deal of pastoral work in the community and was able to foster social promotion and the integration of the great diversity of immigrant peasant families from the other provinces of the country that had been arriving in the area since the 1960s.

                                The destruction of the Salesian radio and TV station is a violent response to the choice of the Salesian community and its broadcaster to provide information in the most truthful and objective way possible. It is an attack that goes directly against the indigenous communities of the region.

                                For his part, the General Councilor for Social Communication of the Salesians, Fr Filiberto González, commented: "We deeply regret this vandalism which destroyed Salesian Radio Ichilo, in Bolivia. We reject all acts of violence that hinder dialogue and threaten social peace and the right to democracy. We express our solidarity to all the Salesians and the staff of Radio Ichilo and to the network of Salesian radio stations in Bolivia, whose professional ethics are well known, and we remember them as authentic informants of truth and justice in the service of those who have no voice. Thank you for your testimony and your conviction as communicators in the service of peace and democracy."

                                {gallery}BOL - Attacco a Radio 2019{/gallery}

                                • Bolivia
                                • BOL
                                • Radio
                                • Violenze
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  East Timor – Walking together with hope and discern the way forward

                                  1 week 3 days ago
                                  East Timor – Walking together with hope and discern the way forward

                                  (ANS – Dili) – Ten days, 1000 kilometres on the dusty and construction-busy roads, eleven local Salesian communities, two province-level meetings and three Salesian Family-related encounters with many talks, sharing, good nights – this is the account of the 2019 annual animation visit to East Timor run by the East Asia-Oceania Regional Councillor, Fr Václav Klement. Ten days of discerning with the eyes of hope amidst the many external challenges of this young country.

                                  The landscape of East Timor is slowly transforming with the main highway from Dili to Los Palos coming to completion soon and all around the country new houses are being built, usually thanks to the revenues coming from the young population working overseas. The comparative social stability, despite the fragmentation of political parties, is fostering the steadfast social, economic and cultural progress of the young nation. Meanwhile, the Catholic community will remember the anniversary of St. John Paul II's visit to East Timor on October 30 at the most difficult time of their history (1989).

                                  During this year, the funeral of Fr Joao de Deus, one of the “pillars of the Salesian family” in Timor, inspired movement by the Alumni. The approaching Centenary of the SDB's arrival in East Timor in 1927, with Saint Callisto Caravario, is also an important inspiration for the whole Salesian family.

                                  There are still many structural challenges persisting, including the backward developing education system with its lack of budget, unclear curriculum, insufficiently qualified teachers or just a superficial focus on the number of graduates. In spite of these challenges, the Salesians of Don Bosco are doing their best at educating 15,000 young people entrusted to our care in various schools, vocational training centres or boarding houses. Education is the best answer to all the external challenges facing the country, from the eroding of traditional values, materialism to youth attracted by SNS and martial arts groups.

                                  However, there are many hope-filled signs of the young Viceprovince, including the steadfast vocation flow with another 19 novices heading towards their first profession on 8 December. The twenty prenovices and some 20-25 possible candidates for next year's prenovitiate are indeed a blessing. This great gift of vocations requires closer accompaniment of our candidates and young confreres, less formal but deeper, without 'human respect' and being able to call all the concrete obstacles on their vocation journey by name.

                                  The most inspiring are the occasions of sharing with young people, our candidates or with the Salesians (community, rectors, provincial council) or with Salesian family members. At this moment of history, the Salesians in East Timor need a lot of hope, wisdom in facing the future. The interest in the open question of GC28 “What kind of Salesians for the young people of East Timor?” echoes the family spirit and involvement of the young in the Salesian mission.

                                  Source: AustraLasia

                                  • Timor Est
                                  • TLS
                                  • Václav Klement
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Argentina – Rector Major: "If Mary Help of Christians is in our hearts, we shall be the Salesian Family desired by Don Bosco"

                                    1 week 3 days ago

                                    (ANS - Buenos Aires) - "We are gathered to celebrate Mary as a believing woman for young people. The whole Salesian Family knows that we are sons and daughters of Mary Help of Christians. This is why we propose Mary as a model of Christian life." With these words, yesterday, November 7, Fr Alejandro Gómez welcomed the participants of the VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, scheduled until Sunday 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

                                    In an eminently Salesian atmosphere, and therefore rich in familiarity, the 36 countries participating in the event were presented, a record in the number of total registrations.

                                    The event, which took place in the auditorium of the Salesian Institute "Saint Francis of Sales", saw several distinguished guests, including Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, World Head of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, the Superior General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, and the Provincials of Southern Argentina, Northern Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Paraguay.

                                    "Why did we choose the motto: 'With Mary, a believing woman, for the youth of today?' Well, we will try to give you an answer during the days of the event," said the congress promoters at the opening.

                                    Subsequently, the Eucharistic celebration took place, presided by card. Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires, who in the homily said: "I am happy to participate in this event, and the presence of the Rector Major, whom I was able to meet in my mission work." He then invited those present to be aware of the presence of the Good Shepherd: "What characterizes the good shepherd is giving one's life for others"; and then he added: "When I was in the Argentine Pampas, I learned from the Salesians that to evangelize again, the Salesians return to the dream of Don Bosco traveling the world ... And when they want to renew their love for the Virgin, they talk about the dream of the 'nine years'. What a marvel of formation and education you have received from Don Bosco!"

                                    Immediately after Mass, a group of actors represented the Salesian history and the lives of the saints of the Salesian Family who come together to love God and the Virgin in the service of the young. Later, the Rector Major offered his thoughts for the "good night", saying that Our Lady is always present on the journey of life and evangelization. He then presented two lay people and a Brazilian priest active in a mission in the middle of the forest, who testified that Mary Help of Christians was also venerated there. And he commented: "I have the conviction, that I have often experienced that the Virgin opens the way to be the mother of everyone."

                                    At the end of the evening, the VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians was officially inaugurated, inviting everyone to ask for the grace to continue to grow in love for the Mother: "If Mary Help of Christians is in our hearts, we will be the Salesian Family desired by Don Bosco."

                                    {gallery}ARS - Apertura VIII Congresso MA 2019{/gallery}

                                    More photos of the Congress on ANSFlickr

                                    • Argentina
                                    • ARS
                                    • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                    • ADMA
                                    • Congresso Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice
                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                    • Famiglia Salesiana
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Yvonne Reungoat
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Argentina – Inauguration of Salesian Historical Archive of Southern Argentina: "A well-deserved tribute to Salesian missionary work"

                                      1 week 3 days ago

                                      (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Anyone arriving in Buenos Aires can easily see that the blood flowing in the veins of the Argentines is not purely indigenous, but also Italian. And part of Argentina's history, and especially of Patagonia, was made by the Salesians who arrived with the first intrepid missions sent by Don Bosco. There are now over 100 years of Salesian presence and educational contributions in favor of Argentine children and young people, and there is a whole story and history printed in books, pamphlets, photographs and letters written by Don Bosco himself to and/or about the first Salesians. To preserve and enhance all this heritage, the Salesian Historical Archive of the Province of Southern Argentina (ARS) was inaugurated yesterday, November 7th.

                                      Fr Alejandro Ángel León, Director of the institute "St Joseph the Worker" of Caleta Olivia, is in charge of this project. "It is really a dream awaited by many Salesians, which allows us to preserve our history and our past. Today it has become reality, thanks to the decision, the interest and the far-sightedness of he who was our Provincial and is today our Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime," he said.

                                      The creation of the ARS Salesian Historical Archive has to do with the restructuring of the Argentine Provinces in past years, which led to the erection of the one ARS constituency, formed or starting from the previous three, namely Northern Patagonia, Southern Patagonia and La Plata region. "Fundamentally, we have tried to discover the common history that unites all the Salesians of all times, because the missionaries have traveled all the spaces on which the ARS Province today extends. And therefore, starting this archive seemed to us a deserved tribute to the missionary efforts and work of hundreds of Salesians who came from Italy and of all those who spent their lives for this land and its inhabitants."

                                      "The archive has all the historical and documentary heritage of thousands of documents written by many Salesians and some letters written by Don Bosco in his own hand," said Fr León.

                                      Thanks to the efforts of Fr León and his collaborators - the professionals Guadalupe Morad, Soledad Urrestarazu, Pamela Alarcón and Juan Napoli - visitors can now see for themselves the glorious past written by thousands of Salesians.

                                      The inauguration of the archive was also attended by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, who gave the first impulse to its creation when he was ARS Provincial. In this way, he was able to personally admire the site where the whole history of Salesian devotion for Argentine youth is now preserved.

                                      {gallery}ARS - Apertura Archivio ARS 2019{/gallery}

                                      • Argentina
                                      • ARS
                                      • Storia
                                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                      • Rettor Maggiore
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        India – Assam CM inaugurates 4th Don Bosco College

                                        1 week 3 days ago
                                        India – Assam CM inaugurates 4th Don Bosco College

                                        (ANS – Bongaigaon) – Assam Chief Minister, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, inaugurated Don Bosco College Bongaigaon, on Monday, 4 November 2019. This is the fourth “Don Bosco College” in Assam after Azara, Diphu and Golaghat, at Chapaguri in Chirang district. The Chief Minister in his inaugural address congratulated the Don Bosco Fathers and Brothers for providing quality education to the student community, and for nurturing talents and for inculcating discipline in the students. 

                                        He said, “I am a product of Don Bosco School, Dibrugarh and I know the type of quality that Don Bosco offers to the people all over the world.” 

                                        He did not hesitate to add, “Don Bosco has set up this college for you and you must promise to do your best.” He also made the students to promise that they will become the best in the region and even in the country.

                                        The college building was blessed by Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon who thanked the Salesians for setting up the college in his region and particularly in his diocese. 

                                        While praising the Salesians for the great work they are doing in the Northeast and the bishop told the people to take advantage of their services. 

                                        The Provincial of Guwahati province Fr. Januarius S Sangma, in his address dedicated the college to the people of the region and thanked the Salesian Communities for their generous contribution towards the building up of the college. 

                                        Other dignitaries present at the event included: Minister for Forest, Soil Conservation etc. Govt. of Assam Smti. Pramila Rani Brahma; Chief, Bodoland Territorial Council, Kokrajar Shri Hagrama Mohilary; Deputy Chief, BTC, Kokrajhar Shri. Kampa Borgoyary; Cabinet Minister, Government of Assam Shri. Chandan Brahma; Vice Chancellor, Bodoland University Kokrajhar; Prof. Laishram Ladu Singh, Priests, Religious, large number of Salesians, Teachers, students and the people of the locality. 

                                        Principal of the College Fr. (Dr.) Alex Mathew, welcomed dignitaries and the invited guests and presented an overview of Don Bosco works in the world and in the Northeast and Bodoland area in particular. 

                                        The much acclaimed Band of Don Bosco School Bengtol who took part in the Republic Day function in New Delhi welcomed the Chief Guest and performed at the event. A variety of cultural items added solemnity to the occasion which concluded with a meal for all.

                                        By Fr CM Paul, SDB

                                        • India
                                        • Scuole
                                        • Personaggi illustri
                                        • ING
                                        • Nuova Presenza
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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