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RMG – Rector Major's video message, end of extraordinary Novena to Mary Help of Christians

2 days 6 hours ago
RMG – Rector Major's video message, end of extraordinary Novena to Mary Help of Christians

(ANS - Rome) - On March 24, the day of the monthly commemoration of Mary Help of Christians, the extraordinary novena proposed by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, ended in considerations regarding the health emergency caused by the spread of Covid-19. At the end of the extraordinary Novena to Mary Help of Christians, prayed throughout the Salesian world, the Rector Major invited everyone to make an Act of Entrustment, renew with the heart of Don Bosco one's trust in Mary Most Holy, in this hour of great trial and suffering.

On March 24, through a video message recorded at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Rome, the Rector Major also wished to send his greetings and encouragement to the Salesian Family across the globe.

In this video, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco invited everyone to trust Mary Help of Christians and to entrust our prayers to her for all those who suffer, for those who have lost a loved one, or for those who have loved ones in the hospital, but also for all health professionals who are working every day to help others.

In line with the Strenna 2020's theme, the Rector Major also recalled that this difficult historical moment calls everyone to an active and responsible citizenship.

The complete video is available in Italian and Spanish on ANSChannel.

  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
  • Rettor Maggiore
  • Novena
  • Ángel Fernández Artime
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy – COVID-19: situation in Lombard-Emilian Province

    2 days 6 hours ago
    Italy – COVID-19: situation in Lombard-Emilian Province

    (ANS - Milan) - COVID-19 has reached the entire world. The situation in northern Italy is especially critical, where even the Salesians of Don Bosco of the Lombardy-Emilian Province (ILE) suffer the consequences of the infection and have had to mourn the loss of several confreres.

    In the face of the “apocalyptics” who refer to this serious world situation as a punishment from God, the Salesian cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Coordinator of the Council of Cardinals of Pope Francis, replied clearly stating that "the Coronavirus is not a punishment from God." However, humanity is grappling with a global crisis and in this situation Pope Francis urges everyone: "Don't be afraid." His words are of great encouragement to the whole Salesian Congregation, which is also paying a high toll due to COVID-19.

    Yesterday, the Salesian world received, with Christian resignation and hope in the Lord, the news of the situation caused by the virus in Spain. Thousands of people united in prayer, testifying to the unity of a world community. Today we wish to inform of the situation in Italy, where there are a total of 80,539 cases of contagion, 8,165 total victims, and 10,361 healed, according to official information.

    In the ILE Province, corresponding to the territory most affected by the epidemic, the Provincial Vicar communicates:

    At the community of Nave, made up of 24 religious, those who have died due to COVID-19 are: Msgr. Angelo Moreschi (67 years old), Apostolic Prefect of Gambella (Ethiopia); Fr Alessandro Baroni (90), and Fr Giuseppe Ghiggini (81).

    In the Chiari community, Fr Pietro Bettinzoli (95) has died.

    In the community of Sesto San Giovanni, parish of Mary Help of Christians, Fr Agostino Sosio (66), former Provincial, the acting Director and parish priest, has also passed away.

    In Nave, among the illl, are: Fr Giovanni Dof Sotta and Fr Mario Moriggi; from the Provincial Community of Milan, Fr Luca Fossati, Provincial Economer, has been hospitalized, as has Fr Germano Battaglia, from the "Sant’Ambrogio" community, in Milan.

    Several other religious have lost relatives because of COVID-19.

    The three communities, Nave le due in Milan, are in quarantine.

    From Rome, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, said in a short message: “We want to unite in prayer and make you feel our presence in this painful moment of the pandemic. We feel with and are supportive of those who suffer most."

    "How can God help us?" a reporter asked Pope Francis. "He does so in many ways. He gives us strength and closeness, as He did with the disciples who asked Him for help in the midst of the storm," he replied.

    • Italia
    • ILE ITALIA LOMBARDO EMILIANA
    • Coronavirus
    • Decessi
      Gian Francesco Romano

      India – Covid-19 and isolation threaten the poor. Salesian efforts for the emergency

      2 days 6 hours ago
      India – Covid-19 and isolation threaten the poor. Salesian efforts for the emergency

      (ANS - New Delhi) - India is also facing the global challenge of the coronavirus. The government has imposed the nation's total lockdown until April 14. 1.3 billion Indian citizens, almost a fifth of the world's population, should "forget what it means to go out," as Prime Minister Modi said in his message. So far, the numbers of infections and deaths are contained, but there are fears that the low figures are related to the lack of tests, rather than the virus.

      The stay-at-home order is feared may have a devastating impact on the approximately 300 million Indians who live below the poverty line and survive on their daily earnings. For this reason, the network of organizations that deals with the needs of destitute people, migrants, day laborers is fundamental. Among these organizations are the Salesians.

      The Planning and Development Office of the Indian Province of Bangalore, "BREADS", has invited all Salesian centers to identify 20 families in their communities who may need food kits, even with specific attention to migrants. Furthermore, the Salesian centers where Tailoring & Dressmaking courses were already active have started to produce masks; information is then provided on how to volunteer for those who are in good health and who are available to help those in need, with all due precaution; while the educational centers are now dedicated to online teaching.

      The Salesian "Mary Help of Christians" Province of Guwahati is also heavily involved and has organized itself to produce 50,000 masks and distribute 25 kg of rice and 10 kg of dal, a legume, to 20,000 people.

      The Don Bosco Institute in Guwahati is experiencing a peculiar situation in the same Province. It currently houses 56 people - including workers and students - who faced with the chance to return to their homes, for various reasons, said they felt safer in the Salesian center. The Salesians, strictly following government directives, do not allow anyone to leave the campus. But now the big challenge is to feed everyone until April 14th.

      In Hyderabad, the Bosco Seva Kendra Initiative Development Center launched a fundraising campaign for orphaned children and immigrant workers. In this way, 1,000 hygiene and health safety kits are expected to be produced; over 500 food kits; and complete meals for 60 days for orphaned children in the care of the Salesians.

      Finally, news came from Shillong that the Provincial House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) is in isolation, and the nuns have provided 500 masks to the head of the village. Food rations are provided for workers who currently cannot enter the nuns' house, while the possibility of allocating the FMA dispensary to Pyndengrei to keep students who have returned from other States in quarantine is under consideration.

      • India
      • INH INDIA HYDERABAD
      • INK INDIA BANGALORE
      • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
      • Coronavirus
      • Solidarietà
      • ING INDIA GUWAHATI
      • INS INDIA SHILLONG
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Ecuador – "For daily bread, so they can stay home": Salesian solidarity in the time of COVID-19

        2 days 6 hours ago

        (ANS - Quito) The coronavirus pandemic has not only caused thousands of infections and deaths worldwide, but has also dealt a severe blow to the economy in countries where poverty and misery abound, because of the period of isolation and the paralysis of production activities at all levels; so, too, in Ecuador. According to the BBC website, Ecuador has the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths compared to the local population in the context of Latin America; and at the same time, the Ecuadorian embassy in Madrid reports that there are currently 422,000 Ecuadorians in Spain, which makes it the largest Latin American community in the country.

        In Ecuador, the worst affected are families with limited economic resources, as they do not have a stable job and live on a daily income.

        Faced with this situation, the Salesian Provincial of Ecuador, through the Salesian Mission Office "misión Don Bosco", launched the campaign "For daily bread, so that they can stay at home", an initiative that aims to help about 1,000 families through basic food kits - worth $60 - for three months. In addition to supporting the most needy, this initiative also helps public health, because it allows them to avoid leaving their homes in search of a much-needed livelihood.

        The direct beneficiaries will be the most vulnerable groups linked to the Andean and Amazon missions, the parishes and the "Ecuador Salesian Project", which are priority works for the Province of the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" active in that country. Priority will be given to families that do not receive state support, with only one parent and more than 3 children, those with elderly or disabled people, those whose income came from small street sales or those with no fixed salary.

        To achieve this goal, a national awareness campaign was launched with the various groups of the Salesian Family. For further information, please contact: www.misiondonbosco.org.ec 

        Consistent with the Salesian Constitutions, which affirm that the first and main recipients of the mission are the young, especially the poorest, this initiative asnwers to the urgencies present, so as not to remain indifferent to what is happening on the ground, so to speak. "We are sure that thousands of supportive hearts will join this great crusade for the well-being of those who need it the most," say the people in charge from Quito.

        • Ecuador
        • ECU ECUADOR
        • Solidarietà
        • Coronavirus
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Belgium – Salesian Organizations offering Good Evening Words against fear and loneliness

          2 days 6 hours ago
          Belgium – Salesian Organizations offering Good Evening Words against fear and loneliness

          (ANS - Oud-Heverlee) – In this time of a worldwide emergency related to a Virus that is making the world slow down a bit, but also provokes loneliness and sadness, Don Bosco Youth-Net ivzw, the European network of Salesian youth organisations, together with other European Salesian organizations, invite us to not lose our hope and faith. “Did you know that in the Bible, there is written ‘do not fear’ for 365 times?” the DBYN explain.

          For this reason, the European network of Salesian youth organisations, partnered with “Jeugddienst Don Bosco - Flanders” and “Mouvement Salésien des Jeunes France/Belgique-Sud” in France and Wallonia, to offer a Good Evening Word each day at 19:00 CET on Facebook.

          Published on the organisations’ respective Facebook pages, the Good Evening is the same one translated in the language of the organisation. It is written by young people and members of the Salesian Family and aims to bring comfort and hope during these times where most countries are facing lockdown or at least social distancing.

          “Everyone is welcome to participate and to send us a Good Evening Word as Mamma Margherita and Don Bosco once did. We will then translate and publish them in order to bring a wave of hope. If your organization, school, parish or community would like to participate as well and provide the same Good Evening, we would be very happy. Please get in touch with us by email at projects@donboscoyouth.net with ‘Good Evening Words’ in the subject line,” say the DBYN in a press release.

          This first “Good evening” was written by Stefano, DBYN trainer and member of Movimento Giovanile Salesiano in Italy.

          This is not the only way in which DBYN and the Salesians of Belgium are working to to bring joy in this time of isolation, loneliness and suffering for many. Always at Oud-Heverlee, children are creating drawings and notes for the elderly who are shut-in and isolated because of the virus.

          • Belgio
          • Francia
          • BEN BELGIO NORD E OLANDA
          • FRB FRANCIA BELGIO SUD
          • Don Bosco Youth Net
          • Comunicazione Sociale
          • Solidarietà
          • Coronavirus
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Spain – "St James Major" province heavily affected by Covid-19 pandemic

            3 days 6 hours ago

            (ANS - Madrid) - The Salesian province of "St James Major", based in Madrid, has been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several circumstances, unforeseen at the time they occurred, have caused widespread infections and the death of several Salesians.  Several communities were then joined by infected religious who, in turn, infected other Salesians.

            In the Oviedo community, all religious, except the oldest, have been infected. The consequence was the death of two Salesian coadjutors brothers Avelino Uña (68 years old) and Tirso Álvarez (94 years old). A Salesian priest, Joaquín Egozcue (76 years old), is in hospital, sedated and intubated.

            In the communities of León, where the meeting from which the contagion spread, the effects were more catastrophic. In the "Centro Don Bosco" community, the Salesian brothers Manuel Machado (79 years old) and Pedro García (81 years old) died, while other religious with COVID-19 symptoms are healing. In the work "Santiago el Mayor", the virus also reached the residence that houses the elderly Salesians. Several Salesian brothers Cayetano Álvarez (89 years) and Maximiliano Asenjo (87 years) have died. Three other Salesians in the retirement home, not diagnosed with the virus, joined them on their way to the Father: the priests Félix Cantón (86), Ángel Neila (86) and the Salesian coadjutor Ivo Díez (94). The Salesian coadjutor Graciano Vidal is in critical conditions.

            Another of the communities affected by that meeting is the "San José" house in Salamanca. Almost all the Salesians are or were infected. At the moment, some of them are in a delicate situation.

            In a Salesian community in the city of Madrid, the Salesian priest Pablo Ortega (81 years old) died of Coronavirus. Another brother was hospitalized for pneumonia and the rest live in solitary confinement.

            In the residence for elderly Salesians in Arevalo, the Salesian priest Florencio Martinez (90 years), with some symptoms of the virus, died suddenly. Days later, with no apparent signs of contagion, the Salesian coadjutor Fidel Montes (94 years) also died.

            It is clear to everyone that the evolution of the situation has been very rapid since the beginning, in its first manifestations, and has precipitated dramatically in just a few days. From the first moment, the SSM Province has tried to pay close attention, to protect the most vulnerable Salesians, to confine all those who showed symptoms, to live quarantine in the communities, maintaining the corresponding security measures. Some communities have already been sanitized.

            From the Province, all the communities have been duly instructed and trained with all the procedures to be followed scrupulously. Furthermore, the need for religious in isolation to feel the companionship and affection of the rest of the brothers is also underlined, through the different options that technology offers today. And in any case, one remembers that "we are all in the hands of God the Father."

            • Spagna
            • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
            • Decessi
            • Coronavirus
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Peru – Quarantine has left poor unprepared. And “it hurts to say no ..."

              3 days 6 hours ago

              (ANS - Lima) - In many Latin American countries, the crisis generated by COVID-19 is dragging millions of people into a situation of poverty and misery. The President of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, has announced the measure that provides an allowance of 380 soles ($ 108) to each vulnerable family for the 15 days of quarantine decreed by the government. The Salesians have spared no time in responding. In Magdalena del Mar, in the Lima district, they continue to take care of over 100 Venezuelan children and the "Fundación Don Bosco" delivers food to poor families.

              Quarantine has brought images and situations never imagined before to the world. Those who suffer most are the poor, those who, if they don't work every day, do not have enough to survive. According to the National Electoral Processes Office, there are about 9 million vulnerable people in Peru who need financial support.

              "The first week of quarantine has passed and many needy people have contacted the 'Fundación Don Bosco' to ask for help," explains Fr Raúl Acuña, SDB. The decline in economic activity and the deterioration of small businesses was a real tragedy. "Many families who, before the quarantine, survived with their income and managed to make small savings, now faced with total economic paralysis, were forced to use their few savings and spend them entirely," reports Marco Calderon, of the "Fundación Don Bosco."

              At this time, the Salesian foundation has organized emergency teams to provide for the food needs of the children in the various reception centers and other needs that have emerged. "In these seven days we have been able to cover food needs and we have been able to share some things with poor families around the Salesian works," explains Mr. Calderón. "At the beginning of the second week, the requests multiplied, the calls became permanent ... How difficult it was to tell the poor that we have nothing to share and that we delivered everything in this first week. It hurts to say that we no longer have anything to give."

              Despite this situation, several private companies are continuing to support the Salesians in helping the poorest. The children who live in the reception house are committed to this laudable effort and are also helping the police to distribute water.

              "Let us pray today for people who are beginning to experience economic problems because they cannot work due to the pandemic, and all of this falls on the family," said Pope Francis. 

              {gallery}Peru - Covid-19 2020{/gallery}

              • Perù
              • PER PERÙ
              • Povertà
              • Fundación Don Bosco Social (SSM)
              • Coronavirus
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Italy – Salesians for Social APS: #Noicis(t)iamo

                3 days 6 hours ago
                Italy – Salesians for Social APS: #Noicis(t)iamo

                (ANS - Rome) – Covid-19 is putting everyone to the test. "Ci siamo" – we're here for you - is the commitment that "Salesians for Social APS" manifests via its many presences throughout the nation. "Ci stiamo" – we're here, let's take up the challenge - is the educational commitment with those who struggle the most, which continues now as before, only in different ways, making greater use of the reservoirs of creativity and tenacity. Here are just a few examples that come from the many educational outposts that the Salesian organization manages throughout Italy.

                In Prato, the association "La lunga domenica, the long Sunday" of the Salesian Social Network, provides distance-learning support to its children and their families with individual tutoring via Skype or WhatsApp and offers a "good night" message on Facebook. Furthermore, with the project "Una mano spesa bene, a hand well spent", the young animators make themselves available to the elderly - the most fragile in this moment of emergency - for their groceries: "For us young people, helping them is a civic duty."

                In the Salesian office for the Social APS of Corigliano-Rossano, at the Salesian foster family home "Il Timone, the Rudder", the children's days were turned upside down. They no longer go to school, but they still study, since many teachers are using the form of virtual study. Living in a Salesian oratory, it can be said that the children have become the masters of Don Bosco's playgrounds; not dozens and dozens of kids to liven it up these days, but only them, 13 kids who have fun playing football, skateboarding, improvising flash mobs, singing with the educators, and talking in the evening.

                The same happens in the "Mamma Margherita" foster family home in Cagliari. Those responsible testify:  "Special days are lived with the children and young people welcomed here: there is homework, recreation and imagination to always find new games. Who better than them can look us in the eye and tell us that everything will go well, or #tuttoandràbene?"

                Until a few days ago, in the "Peppino Brancati" community of Torre Annunziata, Rosaria did her volunteer Civil Service. Now that she has had to suspend it, she has understood how much those fragile and needy children have entered her heart, and she says: "I would like the State to think of them as people, as well as members of a community ... I would like to give them a voice. I wish I could stimulate their intelligence ... I would like many things, but most of all I would like this pandemic to pass quickly so that I can enter the house shouting, make fun of them and in the joking around, to embrace them again."

                 

                • Italia
                • Coronavirus
                • Salesiani per il Sociale APS
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Brazil – Covid-19: how activities proceed in Salesian schools of Belo Horizonte Province

                  3 days 6 hours ago
                  Brazil – Covid-19: how activities proceed in Salesian schools of Belo Horizonte Province

                  (ANS - Belo Horizonte) - In these difficult times due to the world coronavirus pandemic, the educational teams of the "St John Bosco" Province of Belo Horizonte (BBH) offer numerous proposals and keep in touch with students who are at home. A special educational campaign has also been launched for social networks and the Clipescola application, used by schools, which shows the figure of the Father and Master of Youth as "Captain John Bosco", an astronaut who guides students in carrying out various home activities.

                  Here is a rundown of the proposed initiatives.

                  In Niterói, the pedagogical team has developed study programs for students of all study fields and grades. The communication campaigns focus on the invitation to carry out creative activities, so that children do not experience social isolation, and to foster hygienic measures to avoid contagion. Thinking about emotional comfort as well, a motivational campaign will soon begin to spread positive thoughts for when all the disorder passes.

                  In Belo Horizonte, the Salesian Institute is committed to organizing activities and content for students in each sector. It tries, as Don Bosco did, to show the whole educational community the importance of strengthening the bond with God and Mary Help of Christians in these times of crisis, so that everyone is capable of self-care that, in turn, automatically involves caring for others.

                  In Goiânia, the pedagogical team of the Don Bosco University, which immediately adopted the project of "Captain John Bosco" through ClipEscola, intensified their proposals with various creative suggestions and multidisciplinary projects that foresee the reading of e-books and the viewing of educational films. In addition, a guide has also been developed for the early childhood segment that also involves parents. Conversely, the students of the last years of elementary school, in addition to what is proposed on ClipEscola, are also developing activities through the EDEBE and Redigir portals. All are given small pastoral texts and messages to strengthen and animate faith in God and devotion to Don Bosco.

                  In Araxá, the "Dom Bosco" Institute has multiplied, via social networks, the basic hygiene tips to avoid the proliferation of COVID-19. Furthermore, it proposes study initiatives so that students do not remain inactive during this period.

                  Behaving similarly, the management team of the "São José" Institute of Resende offers an all-round project that integrates messages for prevention, messages of encouragement to avoid social isolation, proposals for activities to be carried out in the family among students and parents, and frequent contact to maintain constant communication and interaction between students and leaders.

                  In all Salesian houses there is a strong responsibility to accompany young people in this delicate phase, confident that the battle against Covid-19 will be won with the contribution of all.

                  • Brasile
                  • BBH BRASILE BELO HORIZONTE
                  • Coronavirus
                  • Educazione
                  • Scuole
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Italy – A great Salesian leaves us, due to Covid-19: Msgr. Angelo Moreschi

                    4 days 6 hours ago
                    Italy – A great Salesian leaves us, due to Covid-19: Msgr. Angelo Moreschi

                    (ANS - Brescia) - The Salesian community mourns the death of the Apostolic Vicar of Gambella (Ethiopia), namely Msgr. Angelo Moreschi, SDB, who died today, March 25, in Brescia (Italy) due to the coronavirus.

                    Archbishop Moreschi was born in Nave (Brescia) on June 13, 1952. He attended the Salesian novitiate in Albarè, made his first religious vows on September 1, 1974, and perpetual vows in Cremisan (Israel) on August 15, 1980. He was ordained a priest on October 2, 1982, in Brescia.

                    Going to Ethiopia as a missionary, he served as a parish priest and Director in Dilla (1991-2000) and held the office of Provincial Councilor for the then Vice-Province Africa Ethiopia-Eritrea (1998-2001).

                    On November 16, 2000, he was appointed Apostolic Prefect of Gambella; on December 5, 2009, the prefecture was elevated to vicariate and he was appointed titular Bishop of Elefantaria of Mauritania and Apostolic Vicar of Gambella, receiving episcopal consecration on January 31, 2010.

                    In his mission as prefect and then as apostolic vicar, he continued to embody the Salesian focus in helping children, accompanying them by his practical spirit and his strong apostolic zeal. In his visits to the villages, they still remember when the Salesian arrived with a battered SUV - or by motorboat in the villages along the Baro river when the roads were flooded - and he immediately began to distribute multi-vitamin biscuits to malnourished children.

                    Bishop Moreschi leaves this land after serving the young, the poor and his flock of souls as a Salesian for 46 years, as a priest for 38, and as a bishop for over 10.

                    • Italia
                    • Coronavirus
                    • Vescovi
                    • Angelo Moreschi
                    • Etiopia
                    • AET AFRICA ETIOPIA
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      RMG – "Formation, Solidarity, Prevention": letter of General Councilor for Formation to address COVID-19

                      4 days 6 hours ago

                      (ANS - Rome) - In just a few months, all of our lives have changed due to a virus that is spreading increasingly faster and that afflicts many people worldwide. It is a global emergency that is changing our habits and which, inevitably, also affects all the pre-novices, novices and Salesians in the formation communities in Italy. To them, Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation, addressed a letter with several recommendations and with an invitation to cultivate communion in the spirit "with all the more intensity in this time."

                      "First of all, I am writing to express the closeness and solidarity of the Rector Major, the Council and the other confreres who live here, in conditions that a few weeks ago would have been unthinkable," writes Fr Coelho, before focusing on the hygiene measures that have been taken in the community of the "Sacred Heart" and, undoubtedly, in all the houses of formation across Italy: different shifts apply, different rooms are used for prayer and meals, and automatic distributors have been installed with hand sanitizing liquid.

                      "It is not an excess of prudence," continues Fr Coelho. "It is a duty of citizenship in line with this year's Strenna and, even more, in solidarity with the enormous effort that is being made in our countries to contain the spread of the virus."

                      The General Councilor for Formation, remembering that COVID-19 has also spread within some houses of religious in Rome, infecting practically all the members of those communities, therefore invites caution, especially so as not to aggravate a health system that is already at the limits of its capacity.

                      However, the letter continues, in this time when everyone's movements are limited, community life must not stop and "charity and mutual support can find new forms."

                      In fact, Fr Coelho explains that new "digital" forms have been devised in the community of the Sacred Heart to participate in the Mass, which is video-transmitted via the Internet every day, and which is followed both from Italy and abroad.

                      In concluding the letter, the General Councilor for Formation invites us to prepare for Easter by remaining united and supporting each other with prayer and, above all, living this time as a time of "Passion and Resurrection, unique in its kind compared to all the previous years."

                      • Coronavirus
                      • Ivo Coelho
                      • Formazione
                      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Italy – A bridge of Salesian solidarity between China and Italy

                        4 days 6 hours ago
                        Italy – A bridge of Salesian solidarity between China and Italy

                        (ANS - Milan) - The Salesian Family reacts to the threats of Covid-19 by sustaining itself as a single body, as a vast movement of people committed to the salvation, not only of young people, but of every human being. It amply demonstrated this with the global and devoted participation in the extraordinary novena and the Act of Entrustment to Mary Help of Christians, with thousands of people worldwide who gathered - virtually and spiritually - around the Rector Major and his Councilors in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Rome; and it testifies to this with the practical and effective support of health aid.

                        In this situation, through the Salesian Family network, not less than four different groups of the Salesian Family of CIN Province have volunteered to help the Salesian Family members in Italy. Thanks to the indication of the Vicar of the Rector Major, all “benefactors” were directed to the epicenter in Lombardy.

                        The following messages came from China province lay people living the spirit of Don Bosco:

                        “Some people here in China province are talking about collecting donations and sending them to the Rector Major for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. What do you think - surgical face masks are the best to send...?” (Macao)

                        “Our friends are asking, how can we help the people who suffer in Italy (home place of Don Bosco). Which ways to help is better, sending medical supply, such as masks, etc., or money instead?” (Hong Kong)

                        “I have just received a call from my friend, who would like to donate 10,000 surgical masks to the Salesians and the medical staffs in Italy, but he does not know where is the channel and asks for my assistance. Can you help?” (Taiwan)

                        Another group of Don Bosco Alumni writes to the Rector Major: “The pandemic has brought us together as never before, as we are working closely with the Salesian China Province in Hong Kong in procuring emergency equipment for the Salesian confreres, as well as teachers and students in the local schools: items such as surgical face masks and hand sanitizers, which are now considered indispensable in containing the spread of the virus. In taking up what essentially is a mundane task, we also realise that we are called, as past pupils, to participate in the great work of making Don Bosco’s dream come true… As a token of our solidarity with the Salesians at the headquarters in Rome, we are working out ways to dispatch to you a modest consignment of surgical facemasks, which we hope will be useful in protection against cross-transmission of the disease. Please let us know if you need these or other emergency materials and we will try our best to help.”

                        On the other side of this show of solidarity is the Milan-Lombardy Salesian Family: Fr Giuliano Giacomuzzi, Salesian provincial of Milan province (ILE-Italia: Lombardy and Emilia) who replies to our China province Salesian Cooperators and Don Bosco Alumni from his heart: “Dear friends, many thanks! This generosity warms our hearts and helps us to be strong in this moment of history when we all feel more fragile!”

                        • ILE ITALIA LOMBARDO EMILIANA
                        • CIN CINA
                        • Coronavirus
                        • Solidarietà
                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Hungary – Online Lenten Retreat for Young People

                          4 days 6 hours ago
                          Hungary – Online Lenten Retreat for Young People

                          (ANS – Péliföldszentkereszt) – The Salesians in Hungary gave young people the chance to go on a virtual Lenten retreat. On March 21, four Salesians gathered in the Salesian Retreat House at Péliföldszentkereszt and animated the Lenten spiritual exercise online via a Facebook virtual community for those 60 young people who had registered but, due to the coronavirus situation, could not travel to the Retreat Center.

                          Students of Theology Kovács Sándor SDB, Ilodigwe Emmanuel SDB, and Tóth Péter SDB, along with Fr Csány Péter SDB, broadcasted the all-day spiritual programs live. “Retreat participants and retreat animators were united in spirit,” with animated meditations, prayers immersed in nature, the Holy Mass taking place at the Retreat House.

                          The target group for the spiritual retreat was young people between 18 and 25 years old. The registered participants, as mentioned above, were 60. But during live broadcasts, the retreat animators were surprised to see the number of participants increase to 250.

                          The title given to the virtual Lenten retreat in Hungarian was “VISzLeK”, which literally means “I take/bring you” - and in this case, it was meant both visually and spiritually.

                          The VISzLeK spiritual project began at 5.45 am with the Sunrise Prayer Worship on the hilltop: 375 meters above sea level, close to heaven and the natural surroundings of Gerecse. 

                          After descending the hill at 8.30 am, the “thought for the day” was delivered by S. Kovács Sándor. At 10.30 am, the retreat animators prayed in procession the novena to Mary Help of Christians as requested by our Rector Major. The procession ended at the Salesian Cemetery where they fondly remembered and prayed for their deceased beloved, especially Fr Havasi József SDB, the ex-provincial.

                          In viewers, the retreat animators rekindled the passion for God’s love by recalling the first love (vocation), the dreams that came true and showed new ways for a better spiritually renewed future.

                          At noon, the live Holy Mass was broadcast from the St. Vendel Salesian Chapel where the confreres of the local community enriched the Holy celebration with their prayerful participation and concelebration.

                          From 2 pm, the retreat animators were at the disposal for answering the questions raised by the viewers. Celestina Mama Coffee shop created a virtual community for young people to exchange ideas and experiences.

                          The Virtual Lenten Spiritual Exercise came to an end with the Solemn Adoration Service and final blessing of the Blessed Sacrament.

                          {gallery}Ungheria - Ritiro online 2020{/gallery}

                          • Ungheria
                          • UNG UNGHERIA
                          • Ritiri Spirituali
                          • Coronavirus
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Spain – Solidarity to face Covid-19

                            5 days 6 hours ago
                            Spain – Solidarity to face Covid-19

                            (ANS - Madrid) - In the context of the emergency and suffering caused by Covid-19, the Salesian houses of Palma del Río, Elche, Cadiz, Martí Codolar, Atocha, Pamplona, ​​Puertollano, Salamanca or Santander, among others, have put their gifts at the service of various collaboration initiatives with Spanish healthcare centers.

                            "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." This phrase, attributed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, can summarize the sense of solidarity sown by the Salesian presence in the face of Covid-19.

                            In times of crisis, human solidarity shows its best side: in this case, by highlighting the disinterested resources that begin to flow from the Salesian presence to reach the Spanish health system.

                            The Salesians of Palma del Río (Córdoba) have joined the coordinated project throughout Spain to produce elements for the individual protection of health workers with 3D printers. The Salesians are contributing to the creation of a thousand protective visors, the first of which will be delivered to the "Reina Sofía" hospital.

                            The same devices are also being produced by the Martí Codolar Social Education Platform (Barcelona).

                            At the same time, a teacher from the “Mary Help of Christians” educational center in Salamanca participates in a group of 154 people who are making new anti-spray visors. The material was presented to the healthcare offices of Castile and León together with the design of a device for ventilation. "If they accept it, many can be produced in a short time," says the teacher.

                            The Salesian centers in Santander, Madrid-Atocha or Puertollano see professors and students busy making masks with the materials readily available in their respective homes.

                            With the contribution of teachers, students and past pupils of the local Salesian institute, a company from Elche is designing a basic ventilator to supply the health centers.

                            The teachers of Engineering of the Salesians of Pamplona, ​​in collaboration with the past pupil Pablo Goñi of Noxon Technology, collaborate with the Navarre hospital complex in the realization of elements necessary for respirators.

                            Finally, news came from Cadiz that Juan Camacho, professor of Electronics at the local Salesian Vocational Training School, co-designed a new system to complete the patient ventilation system and expand the lung, bringing oxygen to the poorly ventilated areas.

                            "This virus represents an unprecedented threat, but also an unprecedented opportunity to unite us as everyone against an enemy of humanity," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization.

                            The Salesians are working in this new scenario in the awareness that every little drop made will add to the ocean of solidarity initiatives against Covid-19.

                            {gallery}Spagna{/gallery}

                            • Spagna
                            • Tecnologie
                            • Coronavirus
                            • Solidarietà
                            • Laici
                            • Studenti
                            • Docenti
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG – Letter from the Economer General for the fight against COVID-19

                              5 days 6 hours ago
                              RMG – Letter from the Economer General for the fight against COVID-19

                              (ANS - Rome) - Recommendations to prevent contagions, suggestions on how to continue helping the population in different local contexts, and finally several ideas for drawing lessons from this pandemic: these are the fundamental elements of a fraternal letter sent by Bursar General, Bro. Jean Paul Muller, SDB, to the Salesian Provincials around the world due to Covid-19's advancement at the global level.

                              “Dear Provincial, I hope you have been able to make your way back home. You can imagine how concerned we are about the situation ...”, begins Bro Muller. He then goes on to indicate several of the most well-known and basic hygienic actions for one's personal protection and the containment of infections, before suggesting a number of specific preventive measures for the Salesian religious communities themselves.

                              Our models are Don Bosco and his boys at the time of a cholera epidemic. More recently, we've had our brave confreres in Sierra Leone and Liberia at the time of Ebola.”

                              For this reason, the Economer General invites everyone to take special care of the people most exposed to the risk of contagion, such as “the elderly” or “people with chronic diseases such as diabetes”, without, however “presuming that children are safe.”

                              Calling for caution, without panic, Bro. Muller recalls the importance of “respect scrupulously the order or guidelines given by your civil authorities” and letting “students, parishioners and beneficiaries see that we respect them”, these guidelines, “educate and lead by example” and encourage the widespread adoption of good practices.

                              The Economer General also recalls the commitment to solidarity, proposing specific options for this time of pandemic: “Can we produce masks in our institutes and also supply them to the public, too? ... Ensure that soap is freely and abundantly available to all who are with us ... Do we have rooms or spaces where confreres or students can remain isolated if they show any symptoms? ... Can we be ready to welcome the sick if the hospitals in your area collapse?”

                              Finally, Bro. Muller also calls for a moral to be drawn from all that this pandemic is causing in the world. After the importance of solidarity as an architrave of every human relationship, he underscores the importance of personal and environmental hygiene, a healthy diet, healthy lifestyles, as well as the possibilities for didactic innovation and evangelization through the means of social communication, and to a more authentic relationship with God, in the awareness of one's means and limits.

                              The full text of the letter is available here.

                              • Economia
                              • Jean Paul Muller
                              • Coronavirus
                              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Egypt – Distance learning: plan implemented by “Don Bosco Cairo” school

                                5 days 6 hours ago
                                Egypt – Distance learning: plan implemented by “Don Bosco Cairo” school

                                (ANS - Cairo) - Egypt is also facing COVID-19: according to data released by the Minister of Health, yesterday, March 23, there were 366 infected people and 19 victims. The spread of the coronavirus has forced the closure of schools, so the "Don Bosco Cairo" institute - with 860 students and 60 teachers - immediately took action to implement a plan to continue providing its courses. Their quick and effective solution may indeed be a valid model for the many institutions that are (or will find) themselves in the same conditions.

                                “One has seen a noticeable sense of responsibility on the part of teachers and, above all, children, thus making this plan effective at all levels. A faithful response to the expectations of families,” said Fr Pietro Bianchi, Delegate for the Schools of the Middle East Province (MOR).

                                The aspects considered in order to implement this plan were:

                                - The simplicity of implementation;

                                - The measurability of the work done;

                                - The active involvement of all subjects (students, families, teachers, secretariat, digital contacts and managerial staff).

                                Thus, a hybrid solution was chosen which envisages the use of two large platforms (Spaggiari - G-Suite). Each teacher, every day, during their lesson time, delivers a lesson on Spaggiari, indicating:

                                - Detailed topic of the lesson;

                                - Lesson mode: streaming (through Zoom or Meet) - link to video - video of the professor shared on the institute's Youtube channel (accessible only by invitation) - other useful material shared (through the Spaggiari or Drive platforms);

                                - Tasks/homework (of what type and for when).

                                All activities are monitored thanks to a special panel of the principal.

                                Students are required to follow the lessons remotely by logging in with the institutional account on G-Suite. The assignments must all be delivered on Spaggiari or on the institutional email of the teacher.

                                Manuals for teachers have been created through training carried out during two extraordinary teaching colleges for the use of these technologies.

                                A YouTube channel has also been created that explains the basic steps for students; and the school shares many Facebook posts to keep families and students up to date with all the new methods.

                                At the same time, two teams of 5 people were set up to respond to e-mails and requests from students and teachers in difficulty. And finally, a page of the school website is dedicated to distance learning.
                                In the future, online meetings are to be scheduled with the class leaders and teaching board to evaluate the progress of teaching.

                                The issue of privacy is also well protected, since they work exclusively with closed services, which do not allow access by third parties.

                                “Despite the objective difficulties, all the subjects responded in a way that I would call excellent,” concludes Fr Bianchi.

                                • Egitto
                                • Scuole
                                • Pastorale Giovanile
                                • MOR MEDIO ORIENTE
                                • Coronavirus
                                • Tecnologie
                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  RMG – Act of Entrustment to Mary Help of Christians

                                  5 days 6 hours ago
                                  RMG – Act of Entrustment to Mary Help of Christians

                                  (ANS - Rome) - Exhorted by the Rector Major, father and center of unity of the Salesian Family, and in communion with the whole Church, the various groups that share the charism of Don Bosco have these days been pleading for the intercession of Mary Help of Christians to implore God for the cessation of the pandemic, relief for those afflicted by it and the eternal salvation of those whom the Lord has called to Himself. Today, March 24, the monthly commemoration of Mary Help of Christians, this spiritual journey finds fulfillment in the Act of Entrustment to Mary Help of Christians.

                                  Don Bosco said many times: "It is impossible to get to Jesus without going through love for Mary"; “Mary has always been my guide. Whoever puts his trust in Her will never be disappointed"; "Trust in Mary Help of Christians and you will see what miracles are"; and again: "If you want to obtain graces from the Holy Virgin, do a novena."

                                  For this reason, following the footsteps of the Founder of the great tree of the Salesian Family, today, at individual and group levels, in homes and communities, even if at different times and in different languages, a single summons rises from all over the world.

                                  The invitation for all, and especially to young people, as emphasized by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, is to recite the crown of the Holy Rosary and then pronounce the Act of Entrustment to Mary Help of Christians.

                                  Text of the Rosary and of the Act of Entrustment

                                  VIDEO

                                  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                  • Rettor Maggiore
                                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                  • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  • Coronavirus
                                  • Novena
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    India – Most Rev. Dr. Soudararaju Periyanayagam SDB, Bishop of Vellore, has passed away

                                    6 days 6 hours ago
                                    India – Most Rev. Dr. Soudararaju Periyanayagam SDB, Bishop of Vellore, has passed away

                                    (ANS – Chetpet) – Bishop Sounararaju Periyanayagam SDB of Vellore is no more. He was admitted in The German Hospital, Chetpet a few days ago as he was not feeling well. Early morning on 21st March he suddenly collapsed due to a massive heart attack. A requiem mass was celebrated and the body was taken to Kolapalur, his native village where another mass was celebrated for the repose of his soul. Then the body was taken to the Christian Medical Hospital, Vellore to be kept in the mortuary till the Funeral Service, tentatively fixed on 25th March 2020 at 10 a.m. in Assumption Cathedral, Vellore.

                                    Bishop Soundararaju Periyanayagam of Vellore died of a massive heart attack on March 21 2020. The 70-year-old Salesian Prelate was undergoing treatment for cardiac problems at Thomas Hospital, Chetpet, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, when the death occurred at 12:15 a.m.

                                    Bishop Periyanayagam was born on June 6, 1949, at Kolappalur, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. After his school studies, he joined the Salesians and made his First Profession on May 24, 1970. He was ordained a priest on June 25, 1983, at Manchester, England, United Kingdom. He was appointed the sixth Bishop of Vellore Diocese on July 11, 2006. His Episcopal Ordination was on August 24, 2006.

                                    He had a B.A. in Economics from Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur; M.A. in Economics from Loyola College, Chennai; M.A. in Theology from Ushaw College, Durham University, UK; and Doctorate in Economics St. Joseph College, Bharadhidassan University, Trichy.

                                    He was the Professor and Vice-Principal (1983-1988 and 1991-1994), of Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur; Principal (1994-2000), in Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur, Rector and Parish Priest (2001-2004), in St. Lourdes’Shrine, Perambur, Chennai, and Rector (2004-2006), in Don Bosco, Gandhinagar, Vellore, before becoming the Bishop of Vellore.

                                    He was a priest for 36 years and a Bishop for 13 years.

                                    Bishop Soundararaju was known for his administrative skills. He always preferred team work in administration. Even as a Bishop he followed this principle. He was a very out spoken person who would not mince words when he pointed out things that were going wrong.

                                    He was known for his deep friendship and loyalty to his friends. It is no wonder that he had a very large group of friends. He helped many young boys to come out of suicidal tendencies by listening to them and counselling them. He would go out of his way to help the needy especially the poor young. He was generous.

                                    He wanted the religious working in his Diocese to focus their ministry on behalf of the poor and the marginalized.

                                    Source: Don Bosco Chennai

                                    • India
                                    • INM INDIA MADRAS
                                    • Decessi
                                    • Vescovi
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Ethiopia – Staying at home, standing by kids who don't have a home

                                      6 days 6 hours ago
                                      Ethiopia – Staying at home, standing by kids who don't have a home

                                      (ANS - Addis Ababa) - The health emergency generated by the spread of coronavirus has truly no boundaries. It has already been a week that precautionary measures have also been taken in Ethiopia and the authorities have decided to close schools and leave students at home. For this same reason, the four Salesians of the community of "Don Bosco Children" in Addis Ababa have also closed the school, but they didn't leave the students at home, but rather asked teachers and instructors to stay home, because the street children who attend the "Don Bosco Children" have no home, or rather, the Salesian house is their only home.

                                      "We no longer go out on the streets at night in search of kids: too risky," said Fr Angelo Regazzo, a Salesian missionary, over seventy-five of age, who has been stationed in Ethiopia for over 30 years and is still always active with the energy of a young lad. Last Monday, March 16, however, he did make several trips by bus to bring in as many kids as possible and to help them in this emergency. "Don Bosco would have done the same," says the missionary.

                                      During this period of quarantine, at the "Don Bosco Children" manual works have been organized, such as special classes, sports tournaments, music, offering educational films to view... And basic goods are not a problem. "We have enough food, water, diesel to run the generators, water pumps and refrigerators for several months. We have plenty of soap to wash ourselves, alcohol to disinfect ourselves, paracetamol and First Aid medicines ... Nobody goes outside the fence and those few who enter, such as guardians, cooks and social workers, have to wash their hands with soap at the entrance and disinfect their shoes with bleach and alcohol," continues the Salesian.

                                      The Salesians celebrate daily Mass and find their strength in the Pious Practices in an emergency situation such as this. “We invite the boys, almost all Muslims and Orthodox, to pray according to their religious beliefs. And we urge them to be happy and believe in life, so we are convinced that everything will be fine," adds Fr Regazzo.

                                      The concern of the Salesians is for those outside. "Looking out of the fence, unfortunately, one notices no change in people's behavior. Thousands upon thousands of people coming and going. Open restaurants and shops, crowded banks and supermarkets, very intense traffic ... The general attitude of people seems to be aimed at business, as usual. I don't know until when, because the numbers of the infected are growing day by day."

                                      Fr Regazzo concludes by expressing condolences to those who have lost their loved one because of coronavirus. "I wish that you may all return to normal soon and enjoy the sea and the mountains. For now, we have the opportunity to taste the hearth of home and pray together. We all needed it so much."

                                      • AET AFRICA ETIOPIA
                                      • Bambini di Strada
                                      • Missioni
                                      • Coronavirus
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        RMG – Rector Major's message at the end of GC28

                                        6 days 6 hours ago
                                        RMG – Rector Major's message at the end of GC28

                                        (ANS - Rome) - "Finding us here, in Valdocco, in our cradle, here where we were all born in Don Bosco, made this Chapter very special." Thus the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, at the end of the 28th General Chapter, wanted to greet the Salesian Family.

                                        The Rector Major has entrusted a video message with several reflections and considerations on the recently concluded General Chapter; a General Chapter which, as stated by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, will be remembered "truly as special". What certainly contributed to making this Chapter so special were the young people who took part in it and who simply asked the Salesians to continue to make their presence felt.

                                        And in this video message, the Rector Major wished to encourage the whole Salesian Family to persevere in the Faith in these difficult times in which a virus "speaks to us of our fragility" and "can truly show us that we are not omnipotent."

                                        The full video is available in the different language channels of ANSChannel.

                                        • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                        • CG28
                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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