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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Liberia - A unique experience! Too bad it didn't last long!

Gian Francesco Romano
3 days 1 hour ago
Liberia - A unique experience! Too bad it didn't last long!

(ANS - Tappita) - Liberia and Sierra Leone represent the corner of Africa where tropical rains are abundant. In tropical West Africa, the most rainy season starts in April and ends in November, but this year it began much earlier ...

At Tappita - where the Salesians have recently reactivated a mission - people live on agriculture and the rhythm of the seasons and the rainfall decide on the harvest's quality and quantity. The rains also bring less pleasant side effects, especially in the field of health, housing and transport. In some moments one has the impression that life stops ... but no! Life goes on, the struggle gets harder, but one doesn't give up.

In Italy there is the "Estate Ragazzi"; in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the "Holiday Camp" is organized for the young. The substance remains the same: with schools closed in July and August, the children have more free time and the camp and its educational tasks keep them away from idleness and from the street.

In truth, the children are never idle in Tappita: even during the school year, as soon as school ends or on Saturdays, the children follow their parents into the countryside, walk around the streets selling bags of water, candies, biscuits ... In this way they help to put food on the table – and into their bellies - before going to sleep.

The Salesians on site alternated to illustrate various aspects of the training course for animators, adding the ingredients necessary to make it meaningful: full-time, from 9.00 to 17.00, including school lunch; school lessons in the most relevant subjects; learning the rudiments of several practical activities, such as computers, drawing, music, dance, baking and preparing desserts, tailoring and sewing; socializing activities: communal games, quiz competitions, dance competitions and drama performances according to the various cultural groups. All activities are framed in a point-scoring scheme for the four teams in which the participants were divided. At the end of the "Holiday Camp", there are prizes for everyone.

The conclusion is unanimous: "A unique experience! Too bad it did not last long! It should last for the whole two months of the holidays!"

As far as the community life of the Salesians is concerned, the "English-speaking West Africa" Province (AFW) organizes Spiritual Exercises, an opportunity to stop for a moment, pray, reflect and check if things are in order. They characterize moments of fraternity that also cancel the physical distance and the sense of isolation.

  • Liberia
  • AFW
  • Estate Ragazzi
  • Missioni

    India – “5 Rupya” Strikes a Chord

    Gian Francesco Romano
    3 days 1 hour ago
    India – “5 Rupya” Strikes a Chord

    (ANS – Mumbai) – Students and alumni from “Don Bosco High School” in Matunga are known worldwide for their creativity and excellence in a range of fields. This creativity came to the fore on August 4, when the teaching and non-teaching staff of the institution attended a special screening of the feature film “5 Rupya”, which featured current and past pupils of the institution in starring roles.

    By Susan Philip and Ashwini Gupte

    Yohan B Panjuani, the lead actor, is a student in standard five. Piyush C Panjuani, the producer/director/writer is from the Class of 1974-75; Bimal Panjuani, the producer, is from 1981-82; Dhruv P Panjuani, the associate director, is from the Class of 2005-06; and Jehan B Panjuani, another assistant director, is from 2010-11.  

    The film's production team and the young actor Yohan were present at the screening. The film, an adaptation of the classic short story, “Idgah” by Munshi Premchand, provided a telling take on the fact that children, despite the subterfuge, are good at heart.

    The film is a poignant narrative of the bonding between Ameena, a grandmother, and Hamid, her grandson and an orphan. Ameena, played by Shabana Azmi, is the quintessential grandma, fiercely proud of her grandson and willing to sacrifice all for his sake.

    Little Hamid, played by the young Boscoite Yohan Panjuani, is extremely affable, with his complete trust in Ameena, deferentially tagging along with a bunch of older boys, and especially his sense of wonderment when observing the simple beauty of nature.

    A loving relationship with God is a recurrent theme throughout the movie. The joyful celebration of Eid, offering of Namaaz, and even Ameena’s explanation to little Hamid that his father would return after completing the all-important work that he had been called to do by God, emphasises the theme.

    Set against the backdrop of the valley and the season of Eid, the movie unfolds with Ameena cooking over an earthen stove and getting her fingers singed, a fact noticed by Hamid. The two live in abject poverty, but Hamid is an optimistic, precocious and lively Kashmiri lad being promised “5 Rupya” by his grandmother as his “Eidee”.

    He looks forward to eidee and the scenes encapsulate the consequences of Hamid helping himself to the said coin. The movie captures the escapades Hamid has with the village boys, his unwavering faith in what his grandmother tells him about his parents and the will that he exerts to avoid the temptation to buy the frills offered at the fair.

    A powerful message about the purity and innocence of little children came through when Hamid, little knowing the upheaval he has created as a result of purloining the coin, returns happily from his first ever visit to the fair. He brings a gift, the only thing he has spent his money on, despite a multitude of juvenile allurements.

    Be it the puckish look or the myriad emotions that flit by Hamid’s face, the camera does not disappoint. It captures them all. The musical score, the lyrics by Javed Akhtar, add gravitas to the film.  

    Shabana Azmi and Yohan Panjuani stole the hearts of all with their stellar performances. Premchand came to Mumbai once, lured by the idea of writing stories for the silver screen, but went away disappointed. Today, if he were among the audience, watching Piyush Panjuani’s “5 Rupya”, the samrat would have nodded in approval.

    “How much more Don Bosco can it get!” Piyush gushed. The Rector, Father Crispino D’Souza, who was a part of the audience viewing the film, remarked, “I became emotional towards the end of the film because it reminded me of a similar incident in my life where my mother corrected me and that bore a deep impression on me.”

    The Principal, Father Bernard Fernandes, thanked the producer/director and his team, and the parents of Yohan Panjuani who were present in the audience, for their touching gesture in remembering the Don Bosco staff for a special screening of the film before its release.

    Having been allowed to relay the film at Don Bosco Matunga, Piyush said, “Father, it’s an absolute honour for me. I was a small kid walking and running around in Don Bosco and then to have my film screened is an emotional moment. You’ve made it happen. Thank you so very much!”

    Source: Don Bosco India

    {gallery}India - Film a Mumbai{/gallery}

    • India
    • Cinema
    • Exallievi
    • INB

      India – Floods situation in Kerala. Bangalore Provincial Letter

      Gian Francesco Romano
      3 days 1 hour ago
      India – Floods situation in Kerala. Bangalore Provincial Letter

      (ANS – Bangalore) – Fr Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, Provincial of Bangalore, has sent a letter to his confreres, in the context of the severe rain and floods in Kerala.

      Dear Confreres, the flood situation in Kerala has become more alarming with the rain still continuing in many parts of the State. It is causing severe damage to life and property of thousands of people. Flood water has entered our institutions at Don Bosco Angamaly, Don Bosco College, Mannuthy and Don Bosco Irinjalakuda. The area around Don Bosco Keezhmad in Aluva is badly affected though the institution is safe.

      We are also informed of the severe damage suffered by the houses and property of the family of many Salesians. I would personally request the Communities in these localities to be of support to the families, our confreres and others in need of our assistance.

      As an expression of our solidarity, the Province will certainly come to the assistance to the families and our confreres affected by the flood. Those who need any immediate support, kindly get in touch with the nearby Communities. As Public services like electricity, drinking water, telephone, internet connectivity, bank etc. and being affected, I would request the Communities take all the necessary precautions on war footing. Kindly keep sufficient money and stock provisions, medicines etc. to meet the emergencies.

      Let us support each other during this time of emergency and pray that the situation may reach normalcy at the earliest.

      May our Bl. Mother intercede for us!

      Yours affectionately in Don Bosco,

      Fr. Joyce (Mathew) Thonikuzhiyil, SDB

      • India
      • INK
      • Disastri

        Italy - 203rd birthday of Don Bosco: Rector Major celebrates at Colle

        Gian Francesco Romano
        4 days 1 hour ago
        Italy - 203rd birthday of Don Bosco: Rector Major celebrates at Colle

        (ANS - Castelnuovo Don Bosco) - On the gentle hills of Asti, the days of mid-August are not just a time of rest, but also an occasion for commemoration and gratitude. Because on August 16, 1815,  Giovanni Bosco was born in the "Becchi" hamlet of Castelnuovo d'Asti, today Castelnuovo Don Bosco, from a peasant family, a boy who at the age of nine had that well-known dream that marked the entire course of his life and his works. This year, the anniversary of Don Bosco's birthday also marks the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the "Shrine of Mary Help of Christians" and of the inauguration of the first Salesian community at Colle Don Bosco.

        For the occasion, the community of Colle Don Bosco prepared a special feast, embellished by the presence of the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who has just returned from his visit to the Brazilian Provinces of Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte.

        The celebratory activities began yesterday, on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, with a Mass presided by the Rector Major at the church of the Madonna del Castello located in the heart of the ancient village of Castelnuovo Don Bosco. During the celebration several young people also pronounced a prayer of entrustment to the Blessed Virgin and to Don Bosco.

        This morning activities began with a meeting at the Colle on the theme: "Three lights on the first 100 years of the sanctuary" which was attended by the mayor of Castelnuovo, Dr Giorgio Musso, the architect Carlo Faccio, Fr Ezio Orsini, Rector of the Sanctuary, and Fr Moreno Filipetto, as moderator.

        Fr Á.F. Artime then presided over the solemn concelebration in the Basilica del Colle. During the homily he invited the faithful to live the anniversary and devotion to Don Bosco with that deep sense of gratitude that arises from the recognition of the Grace received through the Holy of Youth. "Children today also need Salesians. They need to find us in their midst. Don Bosco must be lived through the centuries. From the sentiment of gratitude we must go to being Don Bosco today," he said.

        The sanctuary was first inaugurated with a huge party on August 8, 1918. Its construction had been decided by Pope Pius VIII three years earlier as a devotional work to commemorate the first centenary of the institution of the liturgical feast of Mary Help of Christians and to remember the first centenary of the birth of Don Bosco.

        The work was financed by the diocese of Turin, by the Superior Council of Salesians, by the Superior Council of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and by Salesian Cooperators and Past Pupils.

        To build it, the house of Anthony, the half-brother of Don Bosco, was sacrificed, and the laying of the first stone took place on the day of the first centenary of the birth of Don Bosco, on August 16, 1915. 

        {gallery}Italia - 203 anni DB{/gallery}

        • Italia
        • Ángel Fernández Artime
        • Rettor Maggiore
        • Don Bosco
        • Anniversari
        • Luoghi Salesiani
        • ICP

          India – Kerala flood death toll rises to 87, Salesians institutions hit

          Gian Francesco Romano
          4 days 1 hour ago
          India – Kerala flood death toll rises to 87, Salesians institutions hit

          (ANS – Thiruvananthapuram) – Flash floods in Kerala have killed 87 people and displaced around 36,000 according to Indian officials, after heavy monsoons led to landslides and overflowing reservoirs across the southern state. Also the Salesians institutions in central Kerala are flooded. “We are unable to do anything due to incessant rain” the Salesians working there say.

          Kerala, famed for its pristine palm-lined beaches and tea plantations, is battered by the monsoon every year but the rains have been particularly severe this season.

          An incessant downpour battered Kerala again on Wednesday, resulting in 28 more deaths and more destruction and forcing authorities to issue a red alert across the southern state. With these deaths on Wednesday, including five of a family, the death toll since August 8 climbed to 67.

          While a red alert was sounded in 11 of the 14 Kerala districts, including Idukki, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Pathanamthitta, Kannur and Ernakulam, by Wednesday afternoon, it was extended across the state by the evening hours.

          Cochin airport was shut till Saturday after water flooded the complex and the state government declared a holiday on Thursday in all educational institutions.

          As for the Salesians, at least three institutions have been hit by the floods: the center of Angamali, Irinjalakuda and Mannuthy Thrissur. Malabar region is affected by landslides.

          Communications in the area are still difficult and it is not excluded that other works may be involved.

          “Many people are now perched on terraces as hours up to first storey are flooded and water level is still rising. The biggest problem is no power supply in many flooded areas, with mobile phones running low on batteries,” said Raju Abraham, local CPI-M legislator.

          The heaviest rains and floods since 1924 have caused massive destruction, leaving more than 75,000 people in relief camps and damage to crops and properties that the state estimated to be over Rs 8,000 crore.

          {gallery}India - Alluvioni Kerala 2018{/gallery} 

          • India
          • Disastri

            Argentina - Don Bosco Oratory is extremely poor, but wants to give young people quality education

            Gian Francesco Romano
            4 days 1 hour ago
            Argentina - Don Bosco Oratory is extremely poor, but wants to give young people quality education

            (ANS - Santiago del Estero) - Speaking of the beginnings of the Valdocco Oratory means talking about poverty, of being uprooted, of young orphans and vagabonds with no chance of education, which is  how Don Bosco met them, embraced them and saved them from the streets with the firm intention of transforming their lives forever, despite the fact that he could not assure them a place to live or something to eat, having always led an austere life.

            Perhaps this experience of two centuries ago could be compared to what happens today in the "Don Bosco" Oratory in Santiago del Estero, Argentina.

            The residence for students of the "Don Bosco" secondary school in Santiago del Estero houses, for free, 29 young people between 12 and 18 years of age from the areas of Las Tinajas, Copo, Alberdi, Moreno and San José de Boquerón.

            From Monday to Friday the boys are hosted in the residence; they get up, do homework or other activities and at midday they prepare for lunch. They set the table and after meals they wash the dishes and tidy up. The school of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima opens its doors in the afternoon. On their return home, the young students have snacks and end the day in the workshops of the "weaving ties, or laces" program: courses for bakers, electrotechnicians, or playing sports, depending on the day.

            The Don Bosco oratory is totally poor. The structure has a youth center, community residence and a church, with no facilities to generate income. Everything the boys receive is the result of donations and agreements that derive from the hard work of the Salesians: Fr Silvio Torres, Fr Alejandro Jorrat, Fr Julián Arroyo and Br Javier Abregú, SDB.

            The morning school support is provided by volunteers in different classrooms based on the level of schooling of the boys; meals are provided by companies and shops. Everything is the result of much effort and commitment.

            In this context, the Planning and Development Office of the Salesian Province "Blessed Artemide Zatti" of Northern Argentina works together with various organizations and foundations interested in helping to support the Salesian work in Santiago del Estero. Last Tuesday, 14 August, the "Young Farmers: a responsible and sustainable participation" project was launched.

            With quality education and a climate of sharing as fundamental guidelines, young people can have greater opportunities for their social integration.

            • Argentina
            • ARN
            • Oratorio
            • Scuole
            • Povertà

              South Sudan - A much-needed commitment alongside the most disadvantaged

              Gian Francesco Romano
              6 days 1 hour ago
              South Sudan - A much-needed commitment alongside the most disadvantaged

              (ANS - Juba) - On 9 July 2011, South Sudan officially became an independent state. It was a day of celebration and its inhabitants hoped it would also be the beginning of a journey of prosperity and peace. More than 7 years later, it hurts see that the problems have even, alas, increased. For the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco all this represents a further stimulus to dedicate themselves to the population in a state of dire need.

              The last few years have been truly difficult. The numbers of this new conflict that has been oppressing the country for five years now speak for themselves: over 300,000 victims, huge refugee migrations, but above all: food is scarce. About 60% of people - a percentage that has doubled from 2014 to date - do not know where and when the next meal will come, while some areas of the country risk starvation. Malnutrition rates have reached high levels of criticality. Over 1 million children are malnourished and 250,000 risk death by starvation.

              According to UNICEF data, of the 3.4 million children born in South Sudan from independence to today, as many as 2.6 million were born in a state of war: they have not known any other context than that of conflict and fear.


              In this context of immense suffering, the Salesians try to help the local population as much as possible: they build schools, train teachers, promote access to treatment and medicines for those who would not have other alternatives to protect their health.

              An important service is addressed to refugees and displaced persons. In Juba, for example, the Salesians have the direct management of a refugee camp where they take care of everything: from the distribution of water and food to that of clothes, from the administration of vaccines to the provision of educational opportunities.

              Also operating in the country is the Opera Don Bosco Foundation, which supports the work of the Salesians with two projects: one of distance support aimed at helping children and young people in situations of extreme poverty and social hardship; and another, based on an educational development program for children and young people, brought forward through the construction of schools and teacher training.

              Wherever there is a greater need for help, the Salesians do not hold back.

              • Sudan del Sud
              • AFE
              • Missioni
              • Povertà
              • Guerra
              • Rifugiati
              • Migranti

                Germany - Dorothea Hahn, 22 years alongside Ghana's young

                Gian Francesco Romano
                6 days 1 hour ago
                Germany - Dorothea Hahn, 22 years alongside Ghana's young

                (ANS - Bonn) - Dorothea Hahn, teacher of physics and religion at the "Liebfrauengymnasium" school in Bonn, now retired, will leave for Ghana this next fall for the 65th time. Ms. Hahn visited Ghana for the first time in 1996, and was struck by the conditions of poverty and social inequality of the population, especially the restrictions on girls and young women who are unlikely to receive adequate education.

                Returning to Germany, Dorothea decided to take action, involved colleagues, friends, family and students. Many people decided to help her, even through small offers, parish markets and fairs. Subsequently, she founded the company "Eine-Welt-AG" ("A World") and chose as its partner the humanitarian association "Don Bosco Mondo", linked to the Salesian family.

                To date, Dorothea Hahn has raised over one million euros, which she has spent over the past 22 years to build seven schools and three residential homes for girls, all provided with school supplies. Her main commitment is precisely to help young Ghanaians girls to receive proper education.


                "Despite the material poverty, the Ghanaians are characterized by a great joy of life," explained Ms. Hahn. "Despite the well-being, in Europe we are often in a bad mood and pessimistic. The Ghanaians instead see the glass always half full. Optimism binds me to the people of Ghana," she added.


                In Ghana, the Salesians of Don Bosco are committed to fostering the growth of children and young people in the name of the entire pedagogy of Don Bosco and, in these 22 years, Dorothea has supported them so that they could successfully implement their projects.

                In the fall, when Dorothea returns to Africa, a (female) student house will be inaugurated in the city of Sunyani. "Here they will be able to live, study in Salesian institutions and obtain a diploma in domestic economics, become secretaries, specialize in agriculture and gastronomy. In any case, I will continue to promote scholastic and vocational training, especially for girls because they are the mothers of tomorrow. The girls who have gone to school will send their children to study and will be able to help them with their homework. If they have learned a job, if they are autonomous, they can support their children even for a university study," concluded Ms. Hahn.

                SIR

                • Germania
                • Ghana
                • Volontariato

                  RMG - Courageous and evangelical step by the Pope to eliminate death penalty from Catechism

                  Gian Francesco Romano
                  6 days 1 hour ago
                  RMG - Courageous and evangelical step by the Pope to eliminate death penalty from Catechism

                  (ANS - Rome) - When considering the death penalty, an infinite number of ideas, preconceptions and, above all, many questions arise. Does the image of the criminal in his grave really relieve the pain of someone who has lost a loved one, a victim of the worst atrocities? In the name of what may an institution, a man or a woman claim the right to pronounce and impose a death sentence?

                  In recent days the whole world has praised and thanked the Pope for the courageous and, above all, the evangelical decision to "eliminate the death penalty from the catechism."

                  According to Amnesty International, "there were 993 executions in 23 countries in 2017. This is a 4% reduction compared to 2016, with 1,032 executions, and 39% compared to 2015, when the organization recorded the highest value since 1989."

                  Salesian Cardinal Charles Bo praises this choice as "a courageous affirmation to protect human dignity", this recent revision that the Church has made of the Catechism, which now declares that the death penalty, in all circumstances, is "inadmissible."

                  The Salesian, archbishop of Yangon, in Myanmar, welcomed the revised section of the Catechism and praised the Holy Father and the action of the Church to protect human dignity. "With the characteristic mercy and compassion that mark his papacy, our beloved Holy Father Francis has unequivocally corrected the historical aberration," he said.

                  "The Catholic Church," he again emphasized, "from now on will not compromise on the right to life under any circumstances and will not in any way support the death penalty."

                  In the message, Cardinal Bo stressed that this "great announcement" was received with great joy and hope by the groups working for the application of Human Rights and by all people of good will. The cardinal of Myanmar thanked the Pontiff for his "courageous affirmation of the Christian principle of human dignity."


                  Cardinal Bo concluded by praying that "the courageous step taken by the Holy Father inspires governments and other actors of civil society to work to abolish the death penalty everywhere."

                  For centuries philosophers and thinkers have asked: "By virtue of what right can men permit themselves to kill their fellow men?" The Holy Father courageously sustains that "it is necessary to affirm that condemnation by the death penalty is an inhuman measure that humiliates human dignity in whatever way it is performed. It is in itself contrary to the Gospel because it voluntarily decides to suppress a human life that is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator."

                  Source: Religión Digital

                  • RMG
                  • Papa Francesco
                  • Cardinali
                  • Charles Maung Bo

                    Italy - Pope Francis to 70k youngsters at Circus Maximus: "Transform today's dreams into the reality of the future"

                    Gian Francesco Romano
                    1 week ago

                    (ANS - Rome) - Over 70 thousand young people met on Saturday 11 August at the Circus Maximus to meet Pope Francis in view of the October Synod of Bishops. The young people, coming from 200 dioceses of Italy, gathered in Rome to greet the Holy Father and, above all, to express their love and gratitude towards him. "We have come so far to tell you that we love you," they told Pope Francis.

                    The Holy Father answered questions raised by several youths present and urged them, first of all, to never stop dreaming and to always have courage.

                    "This is the work you have to do: transform today's dreams into the reality of the future, and this requires courage," said Pope Francis, answering the questions of Letizia and Lucamatteo, two young participants.

                    "Young people - I said it other times - without dreams, they retire at 20, 22: but what an ugly thing, a retired young man! Instead, the youth who dreams big things goes on, moves forward, he does not retire early. Understand?", continued Pope Francis, encouraging the young to always cultivate their dreams.

                    The next question was addressed by Martina, 24, who highlighted the need for young people to have points of reference, adults who teach to listen and to have patience.

                    "Love is not a profession," Pope Francis clarified, "love is life ... In this, I ask parents to help young people to mature when there is love."

                    Dario, a young man, then spoke, underscored a very important issue for today's young people.

                    "For young people, impositions from above are no longer sufficient. We need proof and sincere testimony of the Church that accompanies us and listens to us."

                    "If we Christians do not learn to listen to suffering, listen to problems, to be silent and to let people talk and listen, we will never be able to give a positive answer. And so many times the positive answers cannot be given with words: they must be given by risking oneself in giving testimony. Where there is no testimony, there is no Holy Spirit," replied Pope Francis.

                    The meeting ended with an encouragement from Pope Francis to the young. "Do not be content with the prudent step of those who queue at the end of the line. One needs the courage to risk a leap forward, a bold and daring leap to dream and realize, like Jesus, the Kingdom of God."

                    {gallery}Incontro Papa e giovani Circo Massimo 2018{/gallery}

                    • Italia
                    • Papa Francesco
                    • Giovani
                    • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                    • Sinodo sui Giovani

                      Brazil - Rector Major animates meeting of young Salesian animators

                      Gian Francesco Romano
                      1 week ago
                      Brazil - Rector Major animates meeting of young Salesian animators

                      (ANS - Brasilia) - A long celebration with young people, in homage to Don Bosco, he who first dreamed of the city of Brasilia. In this way the Rector Major, Fr Á.F. Artime, spent the last days of visiting the Brazil-Belo Horizonte Province, spent entirely in the national capital, Brasilia.

                      Thursday, August 9th, accompanied also by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, by the Counselor for the America South Cone Region, Fr Natale Vitali, and by the Provincial, Fr Carlinhos Fistarol, Fr Á.F. Artime was greeted with great enthusiasm at the airport by educators and Salesians active in Brasilia.

                      On Friday, August 10, the Rector Major first met with his Salesian confreres, while in the afternoon there was a large meeting of Salesian youths with the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, with about 2000 boys and girls taking part.

                      In the Shrine of Don Bosco, Fr Á.F. Artime gave a solemn opening to the event through a Eucharist that also served to deliver the missionary mandate to some young people who will be at the service of the Salesian mission in Angola. "Young people must remember to do good to themselves and to others," said the Rector Major in his homily.

                      The evening party that followed, marked by artistic performances of the various delegations present, ended with the words of the Director of the Don Bosco Institute, Fr Anselmo Nascimento. "On such an important day, there could be nothing better than the presence of the Successor of Don Bosco to show our young people some of our dreams."

                      The following day, Saturday 11, Fr Á.F. Artime spent entirely with young people. He met them at the Shrine of Don Bosco - where he also paid homage to the relic of the saint there preserved, for the faithful of all South America - and offered them a catechesis, accompanied by a Question and Answer session with the young on the theme of vocations. In the evening, he presided over Mass for them and participated in the prayer vigil that the young animators then continued throughout the night.

                      Finally yesterday, accompanied by the Salesian Family and by all the young Salesian animators, the Rector Major led the procession that escorted a large statue of Don Bosco from the city cathedral to the shrine dedicated to the Saint of Youth, where he presided at the concluding Eucharist of the visit.

                      All the photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr

                      • Brasile
                      • BBH
                      • Rettor Maggiore
                      • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano

                        Egypt - Salesian Institute offers unique and decisive opportunity for young lives of Alexandria

                        Gian Francesco Romano
                        1 week ago
                        Egypt - Salesian Institute offers unique and decisive opportunity for young lives of Alexandria

                        (ANS - Alessandria) - As part of the collaboration projects between the Circumscription of Central Italy (ICC) and the Province of the Middle East (MOR), during the summer several young Italian volunteers took turns at the Salesian school of Alexandria, in Egypt, to teach Italian language to youngsters aiming to enter the Salesian Vocational Training Institute.

                        The volunteer teachers dealt mainly with questioning the students outside the classroom, evaluating their reading and conversation skills. Each of the 160 boys was evaluated once or twice a week during the month of intensive Italian course and this allowed the students to feel constantly followed and accompanied.

                        Most of the students put a lot of effort during the course because they were eager to learn the language and so to enter the Vocational Training Institute in September. "Here it seems to me that a great passion circulates, a strong drive towards redemption, as if the Salesian Institute represented a dream," said Chiara, one of the volunteer teachers.

                        "To date," she continues, "I have understood that the vocational training Institute offers a unique and decisive opportunity for the life of the young people of Alessandria. The quality of the courses, the seriousness of the teachers and, above all, the educational style that is transmitted mean that at the end of the three years the student has professional and human skills that are much higher than the average. This will then allow him to have a greater margin of choice regarding his own future."

                        Not everything was easy, but the path deserved being done. Chiara adds, "I soon realized that sweetness, encouragement and flexibility are to be combined with a good dose of firmness and low marks, all seasoned with a serious face and a decisive tone of voice! ... I feel that this experience is enriching me under many points of view."

                        The school and the Salesian oratory of Alessandria are attended almost exclusively by Muslim minors. There is no intent of conversion, neither explicit nor implicit. There is the desire and the commitment to offer spaces for meeting and growth, to promote skills, to give dignity.

                        This spirit animates every activity, forcing Christian volunteers to ask themselves questions, to get angry, to change their minds. It is a spirit that leads to a conversion of the heart; to let go of prejudices, certainties, fears in order to meet the other in a simple and authentic brotherhood.

                        Source: Don Bosco ICC

                        • Egitto
                        • MOR
                        • ICC
                        • Italia
                        • Volontariato

                          RMG - Young people of SYM will meet with the Pope

                          Jesus Jurado
                          1 week 2 days ago
                          RMG - Young people of SYM will meet with the Pope

                          (ANS - Rome) – Today, 70,000 young people, including several hundreds belonging to the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), from all over Italy, will meet at the Circus Maximus in Rome, and witness the desire to get busy, involved, challenge themselves, find their own way.

                           

                          The meeting with Pope Francis will be the culminating moment, in which lies the reason for the whole event: the prayer vigil for the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme "Young people, faith and vocational discernment" to be held next 3 – 28 October.

                          In the end, the young will be able to participate in the Notte Bianca, the White Night, which will see numerous churches in Rome stay open until late, with spaces dedicated to meeting, confessions, to the presentation of stories and faces of people bearing witness.

                          And at the dawn they will all meet together in St. Peter's Square for the celebration of the Eucharist with Pope Francis.

                          • Italia
                          • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                          • Papa Francesco

                            Austria - 12 August, International Youth Day: young people need a future

                            Gian Francesco Romano
                            1 week 3 days ago
                            Austria - 12 August, International Youth Day: young people need a future

                            (ANS - Vienna) - "Around the world today, there are around 30 million children and adolescents on the run, exposed to dangers in terms of safety and health. In view of the International Youth Day, which is celebrated on 12 August, as a Church we are challenged to help these young people," says Salesian Brother Günter Mayer, SDB, Director of the Salesian Mission Office of Austria.

                            Br Mayer has worked for 18 years as Economer and has been in charge of development projects in the English-speaking West Africa Province (AFW) which includes Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

                            "Today we are well aware of the reasons for migration: authoritarian regimes, wars, terrorism, natural disasters, climate change, poverty and the absence of a future," adds the Salesian.

                            Modern migrations are no longer a regional phenomenon, but globalized, and are exacerbated by the intervention of human traffickers.

                            Faced with phenomena of such magnitude, the closing of borders or permanent camps in Europe and North Africa are short-sighted solutions. Because the problem must be solved inside Africa itself, with the help of European countries, and not just through donations.

                            "Many refugees risk their lives! What is it that drives people so? People have the right to have a future!", says Br. Mayer, who adds, "We Salesians want to give young people in Africa a future in their countries of origin, promoting sustainable education and vocational training, supporting the integration of disadvantaged children and young people in society."

                            This requires a rethinking in the global economy and in investments. The use of large areas of land for monocultures, for example, endangers the lives and livelihood of small landowners and farmers. The extraction and export of mineral resources to industrialized countries has brought few benefits to the continent. The processing of these resources should take place on site, with the participation of the local population, and should see greater added value recognized: this would create many jobs and provide sources of livelihood to many.

                            In view of the International Youth Day, the Salesian Mission of Austria invites everyone to work together in offering a future to the young, and for this year, it launches an appeal specifically for the young people of Africa because they too, like all the world's young, have the right to have a future.

                            For more information, visit: https://www.donboscomissionaustria.at 

                            • AUS
                            • Austria
                            • Procure Missionarie
                            • Giovani
                            • Migranti
                            • Rifugiati

                              Venezuela - The Challenge for Pedro

                              Gian Francesco Romano
                              1 week 3 days ago
                              Venezuela - The Challenge for Pedro

                              (ANS - Caracas) - Dolorita is the sadly famous Caracas neighborhood due to its rate of delinquency; every day, incidents of robbery, violence, kidnapping are reported. But, where social conditions stifle development, some young people find and encounter friendships and environments that can contribute to their maturity. This is the case of Pedro (pseudonym), born in 1992, who "grew up in the bosom of a large and affectionate family, full of joy and presence of God," as he himself says.

                              The parish, established in the eighties, is named "Addolorata", ie Sorrowful or Pained, as tradition commemorates the vision of the "Virgen de Los Dolores" in the Guaire River.

                              "As a child, I participated with my mother at the processions and religious activities in my neighborhood," Pedro remembers affectionately. Arousing the religious call after the first  Communion at 10 years old and Confirmation at 16 was the meeting with a youth group celebrating Christmas along the street. It was run by Wilfredo Rodriguez who invited Pedro to attend the Missions of the Holy Week. "Providential! I began to feel the vocation of being with the Lord and following Him closer."

                              The Salesians accompany Pedro in the search for faith. Vocation discernment passes through the Salesian Agricultural School of Barinas where, thanks to a second key figure, Roberth Gómez, Pedro lives an intense sharing of the charism of Don Bosco. "I have deepened the missionary dimension of the Salesian ascendant with the fundamental option for the poorest youth."

                              Pedro's journey winds through the prenovitiate at the Institute Filippo Rinaldi, then in the community of San Fernando de Atabapo in the Venezuelan Amazon, where Fr Darwin Vásquez is the third teacher for him.

                              At the novitiate "Sacred Heart of Jesus" he knows and studies the Salesian Constitutions. "I feel privileged and grateful to God for the great mercy and for the love He has had at all times of (my) life," Pedro confirms and confidently adds, "Beyond my fears and insecurities, I want to continue to answer 'yes' to the project of love that God has for me.'

                              A project that will bring Pedro, after the post-novitiate to Los Teques, to take care of the new generations of Dolorita. His human and spiritual testimony will be important to helping young people live in a place where violence seems to have become predominant, and dangerously associating with the degradation of the environment as a whole.

                              To "supervise" Pedro's mission there will be Mary Help of Christians, "Virgen de Los Dolores", but ready for hope!

                              For more information visit: www.missionidonbosco.org

                              • Venezuela
                              • VEN
                              • Formazione
                              • Sociale

                                Peru - "What we have done over the past 120 years has been to share how important it is to educate and evangelize"

                                Gian Francesco Romano
                                1 week 3 days ago

                                (ANS - Callao) - In a letter sent to Rome, Fr Giacomo Costamagna, who had visited Peru, namely Lima and Callao, wrote: "Before any other work in Peru, it is necessary to think of Callao ... I would venture to open the house of Callao." The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco arrived in Peru in 1891 and in 1898 founded their house in the port of Callao, a few meters from the sea.

                                This year, the house celebrates 120 years of service in the oratories, in the "Don Bosco" school, in the parish and in a social house in Puerto Nuevo.

                                The 120 years of history have been commemorated with a program full of events: parties, moments of sharing, dances and parades through the main streets of Puerto Chalaco. Over 15 allegorical wagons rolled through and colored the neighborhoods of Callao with joy and enthusiasm and included the participation of delegations from other Salesian centers in Peru. The whole Provincial Family gathered to delight the public with various typical dances from a number of cities: Arequipa, Cusco, Trujillo, Huancayo, San Martin ...

                                The gala ceremony was held in the municipal theater of Callao. In this setting, the dedication of the Salesians who directed this important work was celebrated and acknowledged. Fr Pablo Medina, current director of the community, and dr. Silvio Aylas, Director of the "Don Bosco" school, had the task of thanking each participating delegation and all those people who, with their effort and their small grain of sand, helped to achieve many results.

                                The week of celebrations culminated this past August 8 in the pressence of Fr Manolo Cayo, Provincial, many Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Past Pupils and other members of the Salesian Family, students and educators, with the celebration of the Eucharist in the parish "St Giovanni Bosco" of Callao, an act that closed the commemorative activities for the 120 years of the Salesian presence in the city.

                                "What we have done over the past 120 years has been to share how important it is to educate and evangelize," said Fr Cayo. "To celebrate an anniversary means to look with gratitude to the past, to engage in our present task and to look ahead. There is still much to do: sow, accompany, develop this experience that consists of education and evangelization.This great dream will continue for many years!"

                                {gallery}PER - 120 anni Callao{/gallery}

                                • Perù
                                • PER
                                • Anniversari
                                • Famiglia Salesiana

                                  Italy - Formation school for Family Animators

                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                  1 week 4 days ago
                                  Italy - Formation school for Family Animators

                                  (ANS - Castellammare di Stabia) - The town of Castellammare di Stabia hosts (4-11 August) the 14th edition of the School of Formation for Family Animators (SFAF). Organized by the Associazione Cerchi d'Onda, a non-profit organization, there were circa two hundred participants, including adults and children.

                                  The President of the Association, Fr Mario Oscar Llanos, SDB, Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the Salesian Pontifical University, underlines how, "The Pope has on several occasions invited priests, religious and lay people involved in the Church to take care of families: the future of society, the world, has its own incubation right inside the walls of home. Our commitment, for 14 years now, is precisely this: to allow families, couples and even children, to spend a time together that is both of rest and reflection, without the worry of everyday life, so that they may grow together in love and in mutual respect."

                                  Present among the organizers and speakers were Sr. Elena Cavaliere, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and Fr Giovanni D'Andrea, President of Salesians for the Social - SCS / CNOS FAP.

                                  During work sessions, morning reflections focused on the Encyclical of Pope Francis "Gaudete et exsultate". Interesting were the workshops reserved for participating adults on many and varied themes that affect family life: communication to understand and love each other, emotions, the balance between aggression and passivity in the couple, the need to take care of one's self to prevent stress, and finally, conjugal spirituality and the art of accompanying families.

                                  The heart of the week of formation is the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Msgr. Francesco Alfano, Bishop of Sorrento - Castellammare di Stabia.

                                  Also during the week, the animators, led by Fr Giovanni D'Andrea, provide animation to the children with a program of educational-recreational activities and diversified workshops according to their age group (infants, kindergarten, elementary, middle high, first level secondary school).

                                  For the young people of the fourth and fifth year of high school and for university students, the Cerchi d'Onda Association also proposed sessions tailored specifically for formative accompaniment.

                                  • Italia
                                  • Famiglia
                                  • Formazione

                                    Brazil - Rector Major: "If at least one young person has changed their life, we are building a story of salvation"

                                    Gian Francesco Romano
                                    1 week 4 days ago

                                    (ANS - Belo Horizonte) - The days of the Rector Major in the "St Giovanni Bosco" Province of Brazil-Belo Horizonte are full of activities. On the morning of Tuesday, 7 August, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime took part in the International Salesian Congress on Education, which brings together a large number of educators to reflect together on issues such as Education, Administration, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

                                    The activities of the day opened with the Eucharist presided by the Rector Major and concelebrated by the priests of the Province. In the homily, Fr Á.F. Artime stressed the importance of seeking authentic happiness and the wish that every Salesian educator impact the lives of young people. "If at least one young person has changed their life, we are building a story of salvation," he said.

                                    The Rector Major then gave an interview to a troupe of "Canção Nova", one of the groups of the Salesian Family.

                                    As part of the Congress on Education, he insisted on the need to "listen and accompany young people... Many young people need us, but sometimes they do not know how or do not have the courage to say, 'I need help'. This is why Salesians and educators must have open eyes and attentive ears, as did Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello."

                                    "We have to be friends with young people," he continued. "Sometimes they need a word that is the word of a 'father' or a 'mother'. On many occasions of my Salesian life I have been able to see the young people who needed my help as a 'father'. This is the art of listening and accompanying."

                                    Then, in the afternoon, he visited the "Don Bosco House", which welcomes children aged 12 to 17, and with his paternal style, he spoke and joked with the children, listened to their stories and encouraged them to continue studying.

                                    Later he returned to the Congress where he participated in a cultural evening, which included performances of music, dance and theater produced by teenagers and young people from Belo Horizonte and Pará de Minas.

                                    Yesterday, 8 August, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco concluded his visit to the city of Belo Horizonte with a Eucharistic celebration for the Salesians of the Province. Then he reached Brasilia where he participated in the presentation of the first two volumes of the "Biographical Memoirs" translated into Portuguese, and had a meeting with members of the Salesian Family.

                                    All the photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr

                                    • Brasile
                                    • BBH
                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Educazione

                                      Brazil - Rector Major at Congress on Education: "We must practice the art of listening ... it is the heart's capacity"

                                      Gian Francesco Romano
                                      1 week 5 days ago

                                      (ANS - Belo Horizonte) - Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime arrived in the afternoon of Monday 6 August in the "St Giovanni Bosco" Province of Brazil-Belo Horizonte. Also present: Fr Orestes Fistarol, Provincial, Fr José Ricardo Mole, Delegate for Youth Ministry, and Mgr. Tarcísio Scaramussa, bishop of Santos, and former General Councilor for Social Communications of the Salesian Congregation.

                                      On reaching the Provincial House, Fr Á.F. Artime met with Salesian novices and prenovices, conversing and reflecting with them and other guests present, including the Provincial, the Councilor for America South Cone, Fr Natale Vitali, and Fr Horacio López, the Rector Major's Secretary.

                                      In a greeting sent via social networks, the X Successor of Don Bosco said, "My dear young people, I am at the International Salesian Congress on Education, and I am already among you. My heart is restless because I want to meet you to greet you, embrace you and talk with you."

                                      From 6 to 8 August, in fact, a congress on education involving hundreds of Salesian educators, social workers, catechists, teachers, male and female religious gathered in Belo Horizonte with a dense and detailed program to discuss together the concepts and the tools to best contribute the educational process of their students.

                                      The event was planned specifically to also involve the Rector Major. "With Don Bosco among us" was the slogan used to advertise the presence of the Successor of Don Bosco.

                                      Fr Á.F. Artime participated in the congress on Tuesday 7, presiding at the Eucharistic celebration and speaking on the theme: "The art of listening and accompanying in educative-pastoral action". A presentation that recalled the importance and necessity of accompanying young people, and that for this reason has marked the capacity to listen as urgent and a priority.

                                      "Listening, today, for us, has much to do with an art," said the Rector Major. "We need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply listening. The first thing in communicating with each other is the capacity of the heart, which makes closeness possible, without which there is no real spiritual encounter."

                                      All the photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr

                                      • Brasile
                                      • BBH
                                      • Rettor Maggiore
                                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                      • Educazione

                                        Ghana - "If we have something with which to live here, nobody will want to leave"

                                        Gian Francesco Romano
                                        1 week 5 days ago

                                        (ANS - Sunyani) - "Leaving must be a choice, not the only (possible) road." It is the conviction that animates the Salesians and the NGO "Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo - VIS", the International Volunteer Service for Development, in their service to young people in developing countries. For example, in Ghana, thanks to vocational training courses in eco-sustainable agriculture, many young people have the opportunity to learn a trade, create employment and at the same time combat trafficking in human beings.

                                        by Mirko Bellis

                                        "I migrated the first time at the end of 2013. We left by car from Accra and arrived in Agadez, Niger. From there we reached Saba in Libya where they kidnapped me for a month. They only released me when my family paid the ransom. Once free I continued my trip to Tripoli." It is the crude testimony of Ofori Gyase Hendrus, a 33-year-old Ghanaian.

                                        Ofori spent four years in Libya before returning home due to health problems. It took six months of hospital care to heal, but now he has found a new opportunity in his country: the vocational training course in eco-sustainable agriculture organized by the Salesians and VIS in Sunyani, a city in the Brong-Ahafo region.

                                        "Whoever fails to arrive in Italy, in Europe, is someone who feels they have failed before their community," said Gianpaolo Gullotta, VIS Cooperator.

                                        "The principle cause of irregular immigration for us young people in Ghana is the lack of employment," says 30-year-old Badu Christiana. "I thought I would migrate too. We do it because we are looking for a better life. However, once we have learned a profession that allows us to live with dignity, the desire to leave disappears."

                                        In the didactic greenhouses, used as practical training workshops, young people learn how the techniques of biodynamic agriculture. "I want to become a farmer. I will borrow money from my family and put it together with my few savings," says Emmanuel Kwame Osei, a 31-year-old student.

                                        "Earning money here," echoes Badu, "is the best way to prevent illegal immigration."

                                        The vocational training courses in sustainable agriculture in Ghana are only part of the numerous projects carried out by Salesians and VIS in the "Stop Trafficking - Here we are dealing with human beings" campaign.

                                        • Ghana
                                        • AFW
                                        • Tratta
                                        • Missioni
                                        • VIS
                                        • Sviluppo
                                        • Migranti
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana