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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Great Britain - "Valdocco Project": vacations for young refugees and asylum seekers

16 hours 11 minutes ago

(ANS - London) - The Salesian Youth Ministry of the Province of Great Britain (GBR) is developing a new project to offer the opportunity for a holiday to young refugees and asylum seekers aged between 14 and 17 years. The "Valdocco Project" is inspired by the Salesian charism and takes its name from the place where Don Bosco began to give hope and joy to marginalized young people.

The project thus intends to respond to Pope Francis' appeals for compassion towards refugees and asylum seekers and "to recognize and welcome the Lord Jesus among the smallest and most vulnerable"; it also answers to the invitations of the Rector Major to the Salesian Family in Europe to look for practical ways to offer assistance regarding the refugee crisis, paying "particular attention to unaccompanied minors and young people."

Exclusion, uncertainty and, unfortunately, hostility, have serious repercussions, especially on young refugees and asylum seekers, who may become trapped in new societies and be with limited possibilities to rebuild their lives. A holiday, for its part, can offer a sense of freedom and normality, that is what young refugees and asylum seekers rarely experience.

The GBR Salesian Youth Ministry team met in November to start planning and developing this project, which is expected to actually take place from 3 to 10 August 2019 in Liverpool.

Danny Sweeney, one of the team members, said: “For this pilot program we thought of Liverpool because it is one of the areas of the United Kingdom where asylum seekers often remain missing after initially submitting their application for shelter. As this is a new area for our Salesian Youth Ministry, this experience will allow us to take root in a local community, and also, we hope, encourage contact with families, as well as with the young people who will participate.”

Support to taking root and becoming part within and of the community will come from local members of the Salesian Family who are involved in schools or working directly with young asylum seekers in the area.

The team of volunteers and organizers is truly intent on reaching these young people, whose childhood has been upset by war and persecution, and who have suffered the trauma of having to flee their homes to reach a foreign place, where their reception is often uncertain and unknown.

The managers of the "Valdocco Project" hope that it will have long-term effects, providing a basis for young refugees and asylum seekers "to build their lives in a positive way and to be able to fit responsibly into society", as the Framework Reference prescribes of Salesian Youth Ministry.

  • Gran Bretagna
  • Valdocco
  • Progetto Europa
  • Rifugiati
    Jesus Jurado

    Brazil - "This demonstrates that our work in favor of education and indigenous peoples has been significant": Rector Major

    16 hours 11 minutes ago

    (ANS - Cuiabá) - Fr Ángel Fernández Artíme, Rector Major of the Salesians, X Successor of Don Bosco, had his first meeting in the sports center of the Salesian College of San Gonçalo on Wednesday 24 April and received a medal from the city of Cuiabá that symbolizes the 300 years of the city's foundation.

    Hundreds of Salesian students, participants in social projects, school collaborators, the entire community of Cuiabá, people from the inland villages, all welcomed Father Angel in the morning. A colorful dance and cultural performances of the Salesian students and of the Flor Ribeirinha group awaited  him, showing the X Successor of Don Bosco the history and culture of the Salesian presence in Mato Grosso.

    Mayor Emanuel Pinheiro and his wife Márcia Pinheiro celebrated the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the first Salesian missionaries in Cuiabá, together with the faithful of the Catholic Church. The date was commemorated with a Mass of thanksgiving in the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians in the presence of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Brazil, Fr Angel Fernandez Artíme.


    Mr Pinheiro and Mrs Márcia paid tribute to the Rector Major with the commemorative medal of the 300 years, declaring that "I feel honored to be part of another important milestone that summarizes the history of the capital's 300 years and of being able to thank the Salesians for their contribution to the development of Cuiabá."

    "With a fruitful work in the field of education and also for the defense of indigenous peoples, they are helping to grow better people, giving more access to social inclusion .... For this reason we could not fail to present this medal to the Rector Major and thank him for all that has already been given to us. Gratitude is what we carry in our hearts for you," said Mr. Pinheiro.

    Fr Ángel Fernández Artime gave his thanks for the meeting and said he was very happy for the reception of the people of Curitiba. "I am also grateful for the recognition and tribute received. This demonstrates that our work in favor of education and indigenous peoples has been significant," the Rector Major emphasized.

    Governor Mauro Mendes and First Lady, Virginia Mendes, also participated in the celebration, presenting the "Order of Merit of Mato Grosso" to Don Bosco's successor.

    • Brasile
    • Rettor Maggiore
    • Educazione
    • Indigeni
      Jesus Jurado

      Sri Lanka – The Massacre that unfolded on Easter Sunday 2019

      1 day 16 hours ago
      Sri Lanka – The Massacre that unfolded on Easter Sunday 2019

      (ANS – Dungalpitiya) – Following the tragic attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Day, the Salesian Provincial in the country issued a statement today, April 24, which we publish below.

      Dear Friends,

      I am deeply saddened to write these few lines about the horrific events that unfolded on the morning of Easter Sunday, 21 April 2019 in Sri Lanka. Although you may be already aware of the tragedy of epic proportions, I would like to share with you some information in this regard.

      The powerful blasts - six at 8:45 am on Easter morning and then two more hours later - left the island nation grieving. The blasts targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday prayers were in progress. Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. As per the United Nations report, at least 45 children were among the more than 359 people killed in suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka. Three police officers were killed in a blast during a raid. At least 38 of the dead were foreigners, including American, Australian, Bangaladeshi, British, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Indian, Japanese, Portuguese, Saudi Arabian and Turkish citizens.

      The president's office on Monday (4/22) declared that emergency law would come into effect from midnight, giving police extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders. The attacks brought a shattering end to a calm that had existed in this Indian Ocean Island since the bitter civil war ended 10 years ago.

      The bombers targeted crowds that contained a large number of the elderly, women and children. The official counts only account for those who are dead or injured. It doesn't take into account those who are missing or those who may have been ripped apart by the blasts so badly that there are no identifiable body parts left.

      The authorities in Sri Lanka said a small radical Islamist group, the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ), carried out the attacks, with help from international militant group ISIS. After the bombings, Sri Lankan security services have arrested at least 59 suspects. The Government has commenced relief efforts along with civil society organizations.

      There are no Salesians or any Salesian house that has been directly affected in the carnage. However, we are still to assess if some of our parishioners and past pupils have been among the victims, either killed or those injured.

      I would like to thank you for your prayers and your concern. Due to the prevailing tense situation and the restriction of movement we are currently unable to reach out to the victims; however we at Don Bosco are assessing the situation along with the local church and some NGOs to see how best we can serve the victims of the tragedy as well as the nation of Sri Lanka in this time of crisis.

      Please do continue to accompany us with your prayers and support so that peace may prevail, the victims are duly assisted and that we all stand united in the face of such great evil. I will keep you updated and soon share with you our plans to reach out to the victims and the distressed.

      Thank you, Yours Truly,

      Fr. Joseph Almeida, SDB,

      Provincial

      • Sri Lanka
      • LKC
      • Terrorismo
      • Violenze
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Brazil – Rector Major in Campo Grande: "My heart is truly happy to be among you"

        1 day 16 hours ago

        (ANS - Campo Grande) - Yesterday, 23 April, was a historic day for the Salesians of Brazil-Campo Grande (BCG) for the arrival of the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Province. Welcomed by local Salesians and groups of the Salesian Family at the international airport, the Rector Major responded to everyone with a friendly smile and an attitude of paternity, despite the 10-hour flight.

        Waiting for him at the "Antonio João" international airport in Campo Grande, one of the country's major airports, was the archbishop emeritus, mgr. Vittorio Pavanello, SDB; the Provincial of BCG, Fr Gildásio Mendes; his Vicar, Fr Elías Roberto; the Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry, Fr Wagner Luis Galvão; also present were the young in formation, Salesians from Campo Grande, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, local coordinators of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, Salesians Cooperators and Volunteers of Don Bosco.

        "I think they will be very rich days, of great closeness, with much animation, a lot of listening, much sharing. My heart is truly happy in this moment to be among you," said the X Successor of Don Bosco.

        During this week, the Rector Major will participate in the celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the Salesian Province, visiting the Salesian works of Cuiabá, Barra do Garças and Meruri; he will then return to Campo Grande on Thursday 25, where he will remain until Saturday 27th.

        The agenda of the Rector Major for these days is filled with meetings, first of all with the Salesians of Don Bosco, but also with the young and the Salesian Family. Today, April 24, Fr Á.F. Artime meets the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement and the students of the "São Gonçalo" Salesian Institute in Cuiabá. He then presides over the Eucharist in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, in the presence of the mayor of the city, Emanuel Pinheiro, the Governor of the State of Mato Grosso, Mauro Mendes, and other authorities.

        Fr Paulo Vendrame, Director of the "São Gonçalo" institute, for his part said that in Mato Grosso the Salesians animate 21 centers, each with a parish, social work and some kind of educational center. "The Salesians arrived in Mato Grosso with two objectives," he explained. "On the one hand, taking care of the education of young people, and on the other hand working among the indigenous peoples. The Rector Major comes at an important time for us, as we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the Salesians in the State of Mato Grosso."

        {gallery}Brasile - BCG - Visita Animazione RM 2019{/gallery}

        • Brasile
        • BCG
        • Rettor Maggiore
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Eritrea – Efforts of the Salesians and VIS for young people in need

          1 day 16 hours ago
          Eritrea – Efforts of the Salesians and VIS for young people in need

          (ANS - Asmara) - The Salesians have been present in Eritrea since 1995, settling first in Dekemhare, a town 2060 meters above sea level, about 40 km south-east of the capital Asmara. In 1996 the Eritrean government donated land to the Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco, which, even in a desert territory, saw the birth of new plants, new buildings and new activities being added every year, all focused on a single goal: the reception of the poorest of youth and their education.

          Thus the technical school "Don Bosco Center" was established in Dekemhare which today forms about 400 pupils - for free - every year, to which, thanks also to the support of the government, food is also offered. It also provides recreational activities for children and school recovery courses.

          Furthermore, to improve the quality of teaching, since 2001, the Salesians - together with the NGO "International Voluntary Service for Development" (VIS) - organize refresher courses for teachers, both those of the Don Bosco Center and those of all the country's others technical schools.

          In 2017, the Salesians and the VIS then launched what is about to become the second Salesian technical school in Eritrea, currently simply called the "Skill Development Center", which is in Barent, towards Sudan, in an isolated area in need of development.

          As is typical of the Salesian tradition, these educational proposals are primarily addressed to the neediest of young people, those who have abandoned their studies and who would, otherwise, risk remaining on the margins of social life.

          Through the eight formative disciplines of the center of Dekemhare and the two of the center of Barent, poor children have access to good education, enabling them to find a job.

          Beyond the commitment to education, Salesians and VIS are also dedicated to fostering the development and autonomy of the local communities by promoting the construction of water wells, a fundamental condition in a land often subject to drought and famine. In this sense, the young people of the technical school are also trained to maintain and repair wells.

          In this phase of détente between Ethiopia and Eritrea, with the reopening of the borders after a latent war lasting many years, the Eritrean population looks with optimism to the future: in Eritrea new goods and merchandise have arrived, there has been a general lowering of prices, and finally Eritreans and Ethiopians have been able to re-embrace.

          • Eritrea
          • VIS
          • ONG
          • Sviluppo
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Sri Lanka – Easter massacre. Pope Francis: "Let all condemn these terrorist acts, inhuman acts, never justifiable"

            2 days 16 hours ago

            (ANS - Dungalpitiya) - 310 victims and over 500 wounded is the provisional toll of the 2019 Easter carnage, the result of numerous explosions in various churches and hotels frequented by tourists. Once again hatred and violence stain the main Christian festival with blood, the very one that announces the victory of the Lord over death.

            “I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, struck while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence. I entrust to the Lord those who have tragically disappeared and pray for the wounded and all those who suffer because of this dramatic event” was the message pronounced by Pope Francis from the central Loggia of St. Peter's Basilica on Easter Sunday.

            The Holy Father returned to express his spiritual closeness to the people of Sri Lanka also yesterday, Monday of the Angelus, in the margins of the Regina Coeli. “I am very close to my dear brother, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, and to the whole archdiocesan Church of Colombo. I pray for the many victims and wounded, and I ask everyone not to hesitate to offer this dear nation all the necessary help. I also hope that everyone condemns these terrorist acts, inhuman, never justifiable acts.”

            According to data provided by "Open Doors", an organization that monitors religious freedom in the world, from January to date already 4,336 faithful have been killed for matters related to their beliefs, an average of 11 per day. In addition, another 2,625 have been imprisoned. In particular, there is an increase in pressures in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, which sometimes take the form of obvious discrimination, others of latent marginalization from social life.

            In general, one in nine Christians in the world is a victim of severe forms of persecution, ranging from a series of limits, up to the most serious cases, such as death.

            The Christian community in Sri Lanka is approximately 7.5% of the total, and is composed of both Sinhalese and Tamil citizens. “It represents a bridge community that in itself reconciles society in the name of Christ,” as Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, tweeted.

            • Sri Lanka
            • LKC
            • Violenze
            • Papa Francesco
            • Terrorismo
              Gian Francesco Romano

              USA – Students of Verona's "Don Bosco" Institute triumph at Robotics World Championships

              2 days 16 hours ago

              (ANS - Houston) - The students of the Salesian "Don Bosco" Institute of Verona celebrate! On Saturday 20th April, Easter Eve, they won the 20th edition of the FIRST* LEGO League World Championship in Houston, Texas, “which saw 108 teams from all over the world compete against each other, teams selected during the national phases among the over 40,000 candidate teams.”

              It is the first time that an Italian team is crowned the winner of the main world science and robotics competition. NASA - the US space agency - had wanted to challenge young scientists from all over the world on the theme "Into orbit". In other words, it was a matter of inventing solutions to improve the living conditions of astronauts in space. So the youths of the "Don Bosco", together with their teachers / trainers, responded with the "Wemit" project, an innovative "space washing machine" designed to provide for the washing of astronauts' clothes in zero gravity and without water.

              As often happens with innovations originally conceived in the space sector, the "Wemit" system may later also be used in many areas of daily life to reduce the production of waste (for example, providing for washing clothes used in hospitals or food factories currently, in most cases, disposable). For this reason the Don Bosco Institute has already patented their project, thus bringing its eight young students into the ranks of inventors.

              Furthermore, the quality of the project led to the young Salesian students being invited to the prestigious "Global Innovation Award", the final for the 20 best scientific projects presented during the competitive season around the world, with the final staged in June in California.

              The "iDB Tech-No-Logic Team", the "Don Bosco" team of Verona, had already made headlines in 2018, qualifying for the World Championships held in Detroit and winning the prize for the best project presentation. This year, instead, they dominated right across the board, coming first in the following categories: scientific project, technological innovation, robotic programming, presentation and teamwork.

              The success of Salesian students confirms the importance of engaging in the field of education, to excite and inspire young people to scientific and technological subjects, using creative and unconventional methods.

              "The Salesian model is once again confirmed as a reference point in the panorama of the educational and formation system," commented Elena Dozzan, the Veneto Region's Councilor for Formation.

              • Stati Uniti
              • Italia
              • INE
              • Tecnologie
              • Formazione Professionale
              • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Guatemala – "Jesus, the Waze of my life": a unique experience to guide young people in their vocational choice

                2 days 16 hours ago

                (ANS - Guatemala City) - "We are in an educational and social situation where practically the young person does not respond to calls, but rather there are situations of stationary decisions," said Msgr. Jorge Carlos Patón Wong, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy. When one refers to the vocational theme, and directly to the summons to priestly life, today more than ever it is necessary to foster the "educational processes that teach young people to decide". It is for this reason that the Vocational Meetings must help to fulfill projects that favor the taking of decisions and, above all, that they listen to what God asks young people, who must not let themselves be carried away by fear.

                Many young people today are afraid of commitments, especially if they are commitments for life. For this reason, the Document of the Synod of Youth emphasizes: "The concern of many Churches for the decrease in the number of vocations to the ordained pastoral care means that a new reflection on vocation and vocation ministry is necessary."

                It is important to encourage young people to respond with a generous "yes" to their vocation and it is necessary to continue listening to what the Holy Father said to the young people: "Do not be deaf to the call of the Lord," and it is necessary rather to implement projects "that will help to take decisions."

                In this context it is beautiful to see that the 1st National Vocation Meeting took place at the Don Bosco Institute in Guatemala City in what was a climate of fraternity and expectation on the part of the young participants.

                Several young people from all over the country took part in the meeting. For some it represented a step forward in the process that started a few months ago; for others it was the first time in that group; all, however, actively participated.

                Some of the contents discussed were: "Remember my guide-chaperone", a cineforum on the film Cristiada, the five vocational values, the levels of vocation (human, Christian, specific).

                During the Eucharist those present were invited to seek the Lord in all living conditions. Furthermore, there were moments in which the young people had the opportunity to share their experiences in the search for the life option that the Lord proposes to them.

                The National Vocational Team of Guatemala was present at the event with the aim of guiding young people and presenting their vocational and charismatic proposal.

                The 1st National Vocation Meeting, which developed the motto "Jesus, the Waze of my life", (named after a well-known app for road navigation) was indeed a unique experience to guide young people in their vocational discernment and orientation.

                • Guatemala
                • CAM
                • Vocazioni
                • Discernimento Vocazionale
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Italy - "I pray that this evening we will save you". Touching testimony of Cameroon migrant

                  2 days 16 hours ago

                  (ANS - Santeramo in Colle) - A Saturday afternoon, a game of football ... It seems like an ordinary day at the oratory of Santeramo in Colle, not far from Bari. But there is a team of boys never seen before, with a colored uniform they are proud of: they come from Cameroon and have something to share. After the match, organized by the local Polisportiva Giovanile Salesiana – PGS - the Salesian Youth Sports association, and the oratory's missionary group, with the collaboration of the parish of Sacro Cuore, the Cameroon youths donated a piece of their story and history to the whole community.

                  The youths of Cameroon risked everything they had, left their land "when the sea seemed safer than the earth" and now they are here, open to dialogue. It was not difficult: it took just one ball, a match, a chat. The beauty of hospitality, as one of the boys from Cameroon pointed out, is that it becomes such only when it is two-way: welcoming means opening up to the other and letting the other open up to you.

                  This is what one of these young men welcomed to Santeramo said, leaving everyone speechless, with his testimony: "It's scary not to have a rock to cling to. I know what it means to cross the sea, crushed on a boat or on a rubber raft, between the tears and children and the screams of mothers. Among the waves that push you into the water with death in your heart knowing that no one is waiting for you and that you cannot go back.

                  I also know what it means to be saved and welcomed, but not everyone has been lucky like me, like us. And those bodies on the beach, in the sea, I will never be able to tear them from my heart and eyes.

                  I pray that tonight it is we who save you, because God has given His only son to save all of us, and you, because we are His family. His family is all of us, the whole world without borders, without hatred without rancor and without division. Because Jesus is the love on which we must found our lives, our homes and our families. Thank you."

                  During the testimony there were people of all ages, completely different from each other, but all animated by curiosity and the certainty that there is something beyond numbers and news. Behind these young people there is really a world to discover and it was nice to have the chance to explore a part of it.

                  • Italia
                  • Camerun
                  • Migranti
                  • IME
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Uganda – Easter in Kampala and Palabek, amid problems and hopes

                    6 days 16 hours ago
                    Uganda – Easter in Kampala and Palabek, amid problems and hopes

                    (ANS - Kampala) - Kampala, with the obvious contradictions of the capitals of developing countries; and Palabek, in the refugee center that houses the last of the last – here, too, in these two problematic realities the message of Easter shall resound: a message of hope that the Salesians, present in both places, try to testify every day of the year.

                    Chaotic and with so many contradictions - this is Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The metropolis most sought after by the country's villagers who in the big city come to seek their fortune. “The average salary here is 20,000 or 30,000 shillings, 300,000 a year. About 1,000 US dollars,” explains Fr Elie Nyandwi, Director of the Salesian mission in Namugongo, about thirty kilometers from Kampala. Present since 2006 and for ten years supported by "Missioni Don Bosco" of Turin, here the Salesians manage the "Children And Life Mission" (CALM) center, which welcomes around 150 vulnerable children and adolescents every day.

                    “In Uganda there is crime because people are poor,” said Fr Elie Nyandwi. “The economy is based on small business and finding work is very difficult, especially for young people.”

                    The center of Namugongo, with a primary school and a kindergarten, is home to mostly orphans and refugees, and children with difficult family situations. “Some want to become priests, other soldiers and others still businessmen,” continues the religious.

                    The project of the Salesian elementary school in Namugongo started in 2015 and was supported by the Salesian Mission Office of Turin, "Missions Don Bosco".

                    The same Office recently launched another charity project in Uganda, inside the Palabek refugee camp, where the Salesians arrived last year.

                    The refugees welcomed there are, above all, South Sudanese Catholics who need pastoral, liturgical and spiritual assistance and are hungry for sacraments, mass and other pastoral and spiritual activities.

                    Tomorrow night, in the Easter Vigil, 150 catechumens will be baptized in Palabek!

                    In the last year and a half at least 12 prayer points have been organized, where Masses and other liturgical programs are celebrated: it is always officiated outdoors, but obviously this is not always possible and in any case it is problematic.

                    For this reason the Salesians have decided to create 12 small chapels, between solid and lasting ones and semi-permanent ones. And through prayer and other ecclesial activities, they can spread peace and fraternity.

                    • Uganda
                    • Palabek
                    • Rifugiati
                    • Chiesa
                    • Battesimi
                    • Missioni
                    • Missioni Don Bosco
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Italy - After seven years the church of Ferrara Salesians reopens

                      6 days 16 hours ago
                      Italy - After seven years the church of Ferrara Salesians reopens

                      (ANS - Ferrara) - A Salesian center is such, above all, because of the environment it knows how to offer, as a home that welcomes, a parish that evangelises, a school that starts one to life and a courtyard or playground where people can meet, live and grow in joy. But structures are also necessary. Almost seven years after that May 2012, when several earthquakes shook the Emilia region, Saturday 6 April saw the inauguration and reopening of the Salesian parish in Ferrara.

                       

                      Years and years of work and patient waiting have elapsed, and it has now been a few days since the "San Benedetto Abate" parish of the Salesians of Ferrara has returned to its former glory. The celebration began in the early afternoon with the reception in the oratory; then, at the arrival of the city bishop, Msgr. Giancarlo Perego, they entered the church that is finally ready, and the Eucharist was celebrated. Finally, the day of celebration was completed with a moment of fraternal agape in the oratory.

                      “After almost seven years we are finally back home. Because this is what we are talking about: a House where we can meet, and meet Him, as a community,” commented Elena Mastellari, Ferrara's animator and member of the National Council of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), satisfied.


                      The Salesian oratory of Ferrara has endeavored to continue functioning as it always has these past seven years and, not without difficulty, has managed to cope with the damage caused by the earthquake. So those spaces that remained available were used for different purposes. The young woman adds, “It wasn't easy to get used to the idea of having to go to Mass in the same place where you'd return in the afternoon with a bag of popcorn in your hands to watch a movie,” she said, referring to the house's theater.

                      Now the work has paid off: “It was incredible to see the wide open eyes of those children who entered the church for the first time on Saturday night,” continues Elena.

                      In these seven years the parish and Oratorian community has not only maintained itself, but in a certain sense it has been strengthened precisely to face difficulties. “At every call from our priests there was always someone, young and adult, ready to answer 'I am here',” the Salesian animator concludes.

                      Don Bosco Italia

                      {gallery}ILE - Riapertura Ferrara 2019{/gallery}

                      • Italia
                      • ILE
                      • Terremoto
                      • Disastri
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        El Salvador - Supporting the education of young people with scholarships

                        6 days 16 hours ago
                        El Salvador - Supporting the education of young people with scholarships

                        (ANS - Santa Tecla) - Cesar Adalberto Acosta Barrera is an 18-year-old boy who was able to study, received a good education and now has a bright future ahead of him. But all this was not obvious. His education was provided by a scholarship program carried out by the Salesian High School "Santa Cecilia" of Santa Tecla, in El Salvador, funded by the Salesian Mission Office of New Rochelle, in the United States. Only last year the Mission Office funded 14 other boys like him.

                        Cesar Adalberto started attending the oratory attached to the school in 2014 when he was in 7th grade. He says, “I started going to the oratory thanks to a friend. He explained that it was a place where I could practice soccer and attend mass every Sunday. I thought this was excellent because I could play soccer and get closer to God. I enjoyed each reflection that the Father made at the oratory and each soccer game I played, in addition to all the friends I made.”

                        Because of Barrera’s attendance at the oratory, he was approached by the parish priest and asked if he would like to study at Saint Cecilia Salesian High School. He immediately said yes and was awarded a scholarship. Barrera notes, “Every time I saw the school from the outside, it seemed like an incredible place and the thought of studying there made me very happy.”

                        In 2015, he started the 8th grade with scholarship funding. Reflecting on his first day of school Barrera says, “I remember I was very nervous the first day of class – I didn’t know anybody – and then I discovered the Salesian charisma that resides there. Both students and teachers made me feel like the school was my second home. Thanks to this opportunity, I have been able to grow in many aspects of my life, both in the academic and spiritual aspect.”

                        Barrera adds, “As a student in school I have become a person who has acquired the knowledge of a secondary education, in addition to developing important skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership. I have now finished my second year of technical high school studies in electromechanics. Thanks to the scholarship that the school gave me I have had the opportunity to receive a better academic and Christian education, which will allow me to have even more opportunities in the future.”

                        Salesian missionaries in El Salvador provide social development services and primary, secondary and vocational education as well as university degree programs to aid youth in breaking the cycle of poverty and contributing back to their families and communities.

                        Close to 35 percent of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank. Youth in El Salvador are confronted not only with poverty, but with instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. Despite ranking high for economic indicators, the need for practical education in the country is more important than ever with 12 percent of youth ages 15 to 24 unemployed and 41 percent underemployed.

                        Source: Mission Newswire

                        {gallery}El Salvador - CAM - Santa Tecla 2019{/gallery}

                        • El Salvador
                        • CAM
                        • Procure Missionarie
                        • Educazione
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Vatican - A woman State Councilor of Vatican City: Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA

                          1 week ago
                          Vatican - A woman State Councilor of Vatican City: Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA

                          (ANS - Vatican City) - The Holy Father has appointed Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, Councilor of the Vatican City State, of the Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), as Professor of Political Economy at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium. It was yesterday's press release of the Holy See, Wednesday 17 April, to make public a decision of Pope Francis dated 5 March.

                          "Her mandate, which is carried out collegially together with other councilors, reunited in the Pontifical Commission for the State of the Vatican City, is five years," explains a note from Auxilium, where Sister Smerilli teaches. "The State Councilor provides assistance in the elaboration of the Vatican Laws and in other matters of particular importance."

                          The Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State, composed of a General Councilor and five State Councilors, is the body that exercises legislative power in the Vatican City State. It is the dicastery that holds the de facto administration of the Vatican City State, overseeing most public functions and representing the state on behalf of the Pope.

                          Prof. Alessandra Smerilli was born in Vasto in 1974, and graduated in Economics from the University of Roma Tre. She then specialized in Political Economics at the Sapienza University of Rome and at the School of Economics of the East Anglia University in Norwich.

                          In addition to teaching in the "Auxilium" Faculty, she holds teaching positions in other university institutions, is a member of the Scientific and Organizing Committee of the Catholic Social Weeks, promoted by the Italian Episcopal Conference, and is one of the experts of the National Council of the Third Sector, a body established at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies.

                          Last October, Sister Smerilli participated, as an auditor, in the Synod of Bishops on "Young people, faith and vocational discernment" - that same Synod in which the voice of the young required, among other things, greater consideration of women in positions of responsibility within the Church.

                          Now for Sister Smerilli there is this call on the part of the Pope, to take on a task of responsibility in which she will bring her experience on the subject of economics.

                          • Vaticano
                          • Donne
                          • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Cambodia – A better nutrition for 3,700 youngsters

                            1 week ago
                            Cambodia – A better nutrition for 3,700 youngsters

                            (ANS – Phnom Penh) – More than 3,700 beneficiaries involved in programming supported by the “Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia” have access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

                            The rice-meals donations were distributed to programs in Cambodia connected to Don Bosco Technical & Hotel School Sihanoukville, Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh and Don Bosco Technical School Kep. Beneficiaries included 1,100 vocational and technical students at the schools who are studying to gain the skills needed for long-term employment. The Salesian schools provide technical skills training for young people from poor families and also offer boarding opportunities for those who find it difficult to rent a room on their own.

                            One of the rice-meals donation recipients, Sokkhin Chea, is a 20-year old student from Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh and is in her second-year studying computers. She has eight siblings and her father died when she was in the 12th grade. After finishing high school, Chea applied to Don Bosco Tech and requested to stay at its boarding house since she could not afford to live on her own or pay for her own meals. Before she came to Don Bosco Tech, Chea was working hard in the fields with her mother, brothers and sisters in order to have enough money for food and to be able to go to school. The feeding program and rice-meal donation are ensuring that Chea and students like her have the nutrition they need to focus on their studies.

                            The Don Bosco schools are providing technical education for poor youth in subjects including electrical, mechanical, welding, automotive, electronics, computer and information technology, printing, media communication, hospitality and tourism.  After students graduate, they are qualified for jobs that offer a decent salary, allowing them to support themselves and their families and break the cycle of poverty.

                            “Rise Against Hunger meals are very important to our mission so we are able to reduce our expenses by not buying rice from local market,” explains Father Roel Soto, delegation superior of Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia and rector of Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh. “With this donation, we are able to use that funding for other necessary projects that provide us income in order to sustain our projects and upgrades for our training materials.”

                            Father Soto adds, “We are very proud of Sokkhin Chea because she has been chosen as a role model of being a good boarder student by her friends and her teachers.”

                            According to the World Bank, poverty continues to fall in Cambodia. In 2017, the poverty rate was close to 14 percent compared to 47.8 percent in 2007. About 90 percent of the poor live in the countryside. While Cambodia has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty in 2009, the vast majority of families who escaped poverty were only able to do so by a small margin. Around 4.5 million people remain near-poor, vulnerable to falling back into poverty when exposed to economic and other external challenges.

                            Source: Mission Newswire  

                            • Cambogia
                            • THA
                            • Fame
                            • Educazione
                            • Procure Missionarie
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Brazil – A small price for a priceless mission: a testimony from Iauaretê

                              1 week ago
                              Brazil – A small price for a priceless mission: a testimony from Iauaretê

                              (ANS - Iauaretê) - The Indigenous Salesian Mission of Iauaretê is immersed in the forest of the Brazilian Amazon, almost on the border with Colombia and about 1,200 km from its provincial headquarters, Manaus. It has welcomed and continues to welcome many missionaries. Today the director is the Salesian missionary, Fr Roberto Cappelletti, who spends himself on removing the population from alcohol and drugs and offering a future of hope to local children and young people.

                              When he was assigned to Iauaretê, he admits, it took a long time to find traces of the mission on the map of Brazil. Today, however, after more than four years of service, he holds various positions: he is Director of the mission, parochial vicar and responsible for the activities of the oratory. He also visits the 50 villages belonging to the parish, scattered along 4 rivers, in an area the size of Veneto. "The distances (one arrives there only after 2.5 days along the river) the Spartan style of life, and diseases such as malaria, represent the small price to pay for having the honor of living among these peoples, 16 different indigenous ethnic groups, among these simple people, always having a greater attention for the little ones and for the adolescents," says the missionary.

                              The big problem of that area is alcoholism, which is increasingly expanding, due to the clandestine entry of industrial alcohol, which is not even supposed to enter the indigenous reserve. And with alcohol comes the Colombian drug traffickers, the violence in families, among the young and in the villages ... All problems that go to impact the youngest, first of all.

                              For this reason, little by little, the Salesians are building a new home: it will take time, because the materials can only be transported by river and the work is done manually, but by 2020 it should be ready. Then, in addition to the Salesian community and aspirants, it will be able to accommodate children who are abandoned for days in the narrow streets of Iauaretê on weekends and in festive moments, "without a shelter, without food and with the fear of returning to their hut and take the beating from one of the adults; and when they are not beaten, they are even worse violence," testifies Fr Cappelletti.

                              The Salesian Family - the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are also present in the area - is there precisely for them, "so that children can grow with another vision of life, with other prospects, with the certainty that Jesus loves them," concludes Fr Cappelletti .

                              • Brasile
                              • BMA
                              • Missioni
                              • Indigeni
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Spain - Camino de Santiago, a special moment to prepare for Easter

                                1 week 1 day ago
                                Spain - Camino de Santiago, a special moment to prepare for Easter

                                (ANS - Madrid) - Among the thousands of pilgrims who come to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela every year, it is increasingly common to see groups of students accompanied by their teachers. Several Salesian centers offer this experience to their students throughout the year and some in the very days preceding Holy Week. This is the case of the “San Miguel Arcángel-Salesianos Paseo de Extremadura” centers in Madrid; "Salesianos Loyola" in Aranjuez; "Salesianos Atocha", in Madrid; "Salesianos Hermano Gárate", in Ciudad Real, and "Salesianos La Orotava", in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

                                This period "is preferred because it is academically more favorable," explains Susana de Torres, a teacher at the "San Miguel Arcángel" school. And the Lenten climate also has a positive influence: "It is an excellent time to prepare for Easter; in fact, many times we have made our arrival in Santiago coincide with Palm Sunday, to then reflect together on the analogy of festive entries in the city, for Jesus, and for the students," explains prof. of Ciudad Real, Enrique Ruiz.

                                The "San Miguel Arcángel" school organizes the participation of its students in the Camino de Santiago to "take care of the intermediate courses pastorally," adds Professor de Torres. From its beginning, which is becoming a beautiful tradition, the Salesian centers have transmitted to the students the central motivation of this activity: "it is a pilgrimage, not a cultural or sporting journey."

                                On the journey, faith is the guiding thread, with those proposals that are already made daily in educational centers, but which take on a special role during the days of pilgrimage. On some occasions, symbols are also used, perhaps between the yellow arrows that indicate the path of the Way and "those people that God puts on our path as guides," adds the teacher.


                                "We try to ensure that the pilgrimage encourages an encounter with oneself, with others and with God," adds another professor, Celia Antolín, from the center of Loyola-Aranjuez.

                                The long hours on foot favor solidarity and in-depth reflections. "All the difficulties are faced in a great family spirit ... The big questions you ask are all about yourself," says prof. Ruiz. Experience shows that along the way the kids go into relationships with family, friends, God ... "The hours of walking give us the opportunity to talk about many of these topics, and in a much more natural way than can be done at school," concludes Prof. Antolín.


                                And, as rightly emphasized by prof. Ruiz, "the teacher is just one more pilgrim."

                                {gallery}Spagna - Camino de Santiago 2019{/gallery}

                                • Spagna
                                • Scuole
                                • Docenti
                                • Studenti
                                • Spiritualità
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Vietnam – “Don Bosco Bakery – Café” opens in Ho Chi Minh City

                                  1 week 1 day ago
                                  Vietnam – “Don Bosco Bakery – Café” opens in Ho Chi Minh City

                                  (ANS – Ho Chi Minh City) – Four years after the opening of the Majcen Center - Bistro, Restaurant and Vocation Training Center in Ho Chi Minh City, last Sunday was a great opening of the humble outreach of “Don Bosco Bakery – Café”, (32 Truc Duong, Thao Dien , Q2) located in one of the central districts of HCM City (Saigon), just near the British International School, where many expatriates live.

                                  By Bro. Domenico Nam, SDB

                                  Four Salesians are assigned to this new pilot project (two Salesian Brothers and two Salesian Priests), who are still members of the large Ben Cat Community (Rector Fr Peter Hoang), but fully involved in Majcen Training Centre.

                                  The new Don Bosco Bakery - Cafe offers to the young people in Vietnam not only the opportunity to learn bread and sweet-making skills but also to learn about management and marketing, marking a new step toward the self-sustainability of our Vocation Training Center.

                                  From the idea stage the whole project has been accompanied by many Vietnamese and foreign experts, also the presence of two volunteer staff - a chef and training staff enhance the quality of training. Also this new outreach is a fruit of the cooperation among Salesians and expatriate volunteers helping the Majcen Bistro - Training Center.

                                  The Grand Opening was celebrated on Sunday, April 14, with a blessing and simple cultural items to make the new Bakery - Cafe known in the neighbourhood.

                                  “We wish and pray that the new Don Bosco enterprise will help many young people in Vietnam with their integral preparation for life and also that the Salesians will learn how to grow in the self-sustainability of our vocation training institutions,” the Salesians say.

                                  Imitating Don Bosco, the “Anre Mai Sen Hospitality Training Center” – named after the Slovenian Salesian Father and Servant of God, Andrej Majcen, well-known as “the Don Bosco of Vietnam” – provides for poor youth the opportunity of on-site training for Restaurant, Kitchen and Bakery careers. Improving on the Dual System Training from Germany, after 3 years of theoretical and practical training as well as an internship, the Salesian Training Centre is able to offer to the trainees a Culinary Certificate from Germany.

                                  Anre Mai Sen “Hospitality Training Center” is on Youtube and Facebook

                                  Source: AustraLasia

                                  • Vietnam
                                  • VIE
                                  • Formazione Professionale
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG – ADMA's 150th: video-message of the Rector Major

                                    1 week 1 day ago
                                    RMG – ADMA's 150th: video-message of the Rector Major

                                    (ANS - Rome) - On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, sent his greetings and a message to ADMA members and to all the members of the Salesian Family, highlighting the value of the Eucharist and entrustment to the Help of Christians in Salesian spirituality.

                                    Significantly, the Rector Major sends this message from the Basilica of the Sacro Cuore of Rome, before the altar of the Help of Christians, recalling how it was here that Don Bosco received confirmation of his mission carried out under the guidance and protection of Mary.

                                    Finally, he announced the publication of a letter on the occasion of this anniversary and spoke of the celebration of the VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 17 to 10 November this year.

                                    The following is the text of the message of the Rector Major:

                                    My dear brothers and sisters of the Salesian Family throughout the world, receive my affectionate greeting on this Palm Sunday. I greet you today because on Holy Thursday, in four days, the 150th anniversary of the foundation of what we now call the "Association of Mary Help of Christians" will be celebrated which at the time was the Archconfraternity of Mary Help of Christians.

                                    In the foundation document, one reads a text by our beloved Father Don Bosco.

                                    "In the church dedicated to Mary Help of Christians in Turin and with the authorization of the Reverend Archbishop of Turin, the Association of devotees who intend to promote the glory of the divine Mother of the Savior is canonically constituted, to merit your protection, in life and in particular at the moment of death. There are two means offered as special means: extend the devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the veneration to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament".

                                    We read it in the document of Catholic readings that communicate this message, because it is an occasion to say that what we are celebrating is something beautiful. Although what I have just read to you is the beginning of the letter that I am going to render public for the whole Salesian Family, today I just want you to get a greeting from the altar of this site, the altar of Mary Help of Christians in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

                                    The altar that I like to call "Don Bosco's tears and sobs", because in this place Don Bosco had that manifestation of what his life was, entirely accompanied, without doubt, by the Lord who has always guided him with the unique and special protection of the Mother.

                                    Because "She did everything", as Don Bosco used to say. My words of today are congratulations for these 150 important years for the whole Salesian world, for our Salesian Family, for the 800 legally constituted groups of our "ADMA" Association.

                                    And it is an invitation to fulfill what Don Bosco proposed: extend devotion to our Mother Mary Help of Christians, with the certainty that with the Eucharist and with Her, our Mother, we have these two great pillars that personally support our life, the Salesian Family and the Church.

                                    I take this opportunity to remind the whole Salesian Family that, under the guidance of the association of Mary Help of Christians, we shall celebrate at the end of the year, in the last part, the World Marian Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Mary will be proposed as a model of faith for all of you, dear brothers and sisters.

                                    My affectionate greeting, my words of encouragement and my prayer before our Mother Help of Christians, for all of you, for our Congregations, Institutes, Families and Communities.

                                    See you soon!

                                    The video message of the Rector Major is available online on ANSChannel.

                                    • RMG
                                    • ADMA
                                    • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Great Britain – Holiness is for you too! Saints in Action at the Bosco Group

                                      1 week 1 day ago
                                      Great Britain – Holiness is for you too! Saints in Action at the Bosco Group

                                      (ANS – Bootle) – Imagine “Savio Salesian College” students talking about the weird case of St. Peter, considering the motivation of merciful Mother Teresa or discovering that Don Bosco’s dream is still happening. It’s been a long time since the Bosco Group started weekly reflection as a part of the “Faith in Action” curriculum.

                                      by Br Lukasz Wojcik, SDB

                                      Hazel, from our Chaplaincy team, in the beginning of the school year, gathered quite a few volunteers to take part in “Faith in Action”, a well-known annual Catholic Youth Programme. Each Wednesday the whole group meets in the “Bosco Room” for a reflection on the life of another Saint which is being delivered by a Salesian. Every week the Bosco Group goes over one saint with a fine-tooth comb.

                                      After a few minutes of introduction, two or three stories, a short film, and then a 3…2…1…discussion, participants try to find out how to interpret these interesting stories into their own life practice and answer some questions.

                                      What is extra-ordinary in this particular Saint? Was he a strange creature from a fairy-tale or a normal human being with a good dose of grace? And the most important one: how to follow his/her example? Their answers and ideas are really inspiring. 

                                      Everything was started by a reflection on holiness based on the Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate” of Pope Francis and this year’s message from Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the Salesian Rector Major. They both shout at the top of their voices that sanctity is possible for everybody. The Savio Salesian College students were astonished at discovering that holiness isn’t to be perfect, but to realise God’s dream for their life.

                                      Even if it seems to be so far from reality, it is still possible. Holiness is for you too! 

                                      Source: Salesians UK

                                      • GBR
                                      • Santità
                                      • Strenna 2019
                                      • Gran Bretagna
                                      • Studenti
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Sierra Leone - The story of Musu and baby "Juan Bosco"

                                        1 week 2 days ago

                                        (ANS - Freetown) - Musu was a child when the Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli found her on the street under a table in the center of Freetown. It was raining heavily and it was cold for those used to tropical heat. "What's your name?" he asked her. "Are you sick?" Her sad eyes and the pain in her face announced deeper pains than just physical ones. She coughed unceasingly. Fr Crisafulli put his hand on her forehead and noticed that it was burning with fever. That was the beginning of a great story of hope.

                                        Little Musu told him that she had gone to the hospital, but not having 15,000 leones (about 1.5 euros) to enter, she had not been treated. "I will take you to the hospital immediately," said the Salesian; but at that moment Musu turned to look for something beside her and put a helpless, skeletal, almost dying, nameless baby boy in the hands of the cleric.

                                        Fr Crisafulli accompanied Musu to the General Hospital, where she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and pneumonia. As for the child, since they did not have the means to treat him there, he took him to the "Cottage Hospital", where he was found with tuberculosis, dehydration and malnutrition. When the doctor asked for a name to register the child in the health center, the Salesian missionary did not hesitate for a moment: "His name is Juan Bosco, Juanito Bosco".

                                        When he returned to the General Hospital he assured Musu that the child was well and would survive. Fr Crisafulli also had to tell her that he had been asked the name of the child to be able to register him in the hospital and that he had given him the name Juan Bosco.

                                        Musu changed her expression and seemed annoyed. The Salesian asked her if she did not like the name Juan Bosco and she replied, "you should have given him your name: Jorge Crisafulli!"

                                        Today, Musu and Juan Bosco are in good health. Both have overcome their problems. Musu is now 18 years old, studies as a hairdresser and sells sandals, while little Juan Bosco is a healthy and smiling boy, who honors his name, runs everywhere and is a sign of resistance, survival and hope in the face of adversity.

                                        Musu and Juan Bosco are two of the many success stories of the work that the Salesians carry out in Sierra Leone and in many countries of the world to take children off the streets and offer them an education.

                                        • Sierra Leone
                                        • AFW
                                        • Don Bosco Fambul
                                        • Donne
                                        • Ragazze
                                        • Bambini
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Great Britain - "Valdocco Project": vacations for young refugees and asylum seekers

                                          16 hours 11 minutes ago

                                          (ANS - London) - The Salesian Youth Ministry of the Province of Great Britain (GBR) is developing a new project to offer the opportunity for a holiday to young refugees and asylum seekers aged between 14 and 17 years. The "Valdocco Project" is inspired by the Salesian charism and takes its name from the place where Don Bosco began to give hope and joy to marginalized young people.

                                          The project thus intends to respond to Pope Francis' appeals for compassion towards refugees and asylum seekers and "to recognize and welcome the Lord Jesus among the smallest and most vulnerable"; it also answers to the invitations of the Rector Major to the Salesian Family in Europe to look for practical ways to offer assistance regarding the refugee crisis, paying "particular attention to unaccompanied minors and young people."

                                          Exclusion, uncertainty and, unfortunately, hostility, have serious repercussions, especially on young refugees and asylum seekers, who may become trapped in new societies and be with limited possibilities to rebuild their lives. A holiday, for its part, can offer a sense of freedom and normality, that is what young refugees and asylum seekers rarely experience.

                                          The GBR Salesian Youth Ministry team met in November to start planning and developing this project, which is expected to actually take place from 3 to 10 August 2019 in Liverpool.

                                          Danny Sweeney, one of the team members, said: “For this pilot program we thought of Liverpool because it is one of the areas of the United Kingdom where asylum seekers often remain missing after initially submitting their application for shelter. As this is a new area for our Salesian Youth Ministry, this experience will allow us to take root in a local community, and also, we hope, encourage contact with families, as well as with the young people who will participate.”

                                          Support to taking root and becoming part within and of the community will come from local members of the Salesian Family who are involved in schools or working directly with young asylum seekers in the area.

                                          The team of volunteers and organizers is truly intent on reaching these young people, whose childhood has been upset by war and persecution, and who have suffered the trauma of having to flee their homes to reach a foreign place, where their reception is often uncertain and unknown.

                                          The managers of the "Valdocco Project" hope that it will have long-term effects, providing a basis for young refugees and asylum seekers "to build their lives in a positive way and to be able to fit responsibly into society", as the Framework Reference prescribes of Salesian Youth Ministry.

                                          • Gran Bretagna
                                          • Valdocco
                                          • Progetto Europa
                                          • Rifugiati
                                            Jesus Jurado

                                            Brazil - "This demonstrates that our work in favor of education and indigenous peoples has been significant": Rector Major

                                            16 hours 11 minutes ago

                                            (ANS - Cuiabá) - Fr Ángel Fernández Artíme, Rector Major of the Salesians, X Successor of Don Bosco, had his first meeting in the sports center of the Salesian College of San Gonçalo on Wednesday 24 April and received a medal from the city of Cuiabá that symbolizes the 300 years of the city's foundation.

                                            Hundreds of Salesian students, participants in social projects, school collaborators, the entire community of Cuiabá, people from the inland villages, all welcomed Father Angel in the morning. A colorful dance and cultural performances of the Salesian students and of the Flor Ribeirinha group awaited  him, showing the X Successor of Don Bosco the history and culture of the Salesian presence in Mato Grosso.

                                            Mayor Emanuel Pinheiro and his wife Márcia Pinheiro celebrated the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the first Salesian missionaries in Cuiabá, together with the faithful of the Catholic Church. The date was commemorated with a Mass of thanksgiving in the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians in the presence of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Brazil, Fr Angel Fernandez Artíme.


                                            Mr Pinheiro and Mrs Márcia paid tribute to the Rector Major with the commemorative medal of the 300 years, declaring that "I feel honored to be part of another important milestone that summarizes the history of the capital's 300 years and of being able to thank the Salesians for their contribution to the development of Cuiabá."

                                            "With a fruitful work in the field of education and also for the defense of indigenous peoples, they are helping to grow better people, giving more access to social inclusion .... For this reason we could not fail to present this medal to the Rector Major and thank him for all that has already been given to us. Gratitude is what we carry in our hearts for you," said Mr. Pinheiro.

                                            Fr Ángel Fernández Artime gave his thanks for the meeting and said he was very happy for the reception of the people of Curitiba. "I am also grateful for the recognition and tribute received. This demonstrates that our work in favor of education and indigenous peoples has been significant," the Rector Major emphasized.

                                            Governor Mauro Mendes and First Lady, Virginia Mendes, also participated in the celebration, presenting the "Order of Merit of Mato Grosso" to Don Bosco's successor.

                                            • Brasile
                                            • Rettor Maggiore
                                            • Educazione
                                            • Indigeni
                                              Jesus Jurado

                                              Sri Lanka – The Massacre that unfolded on Easter Sunday 2019

                                              1 day 16 hours ago
                                              Sri Lanka – The Massacre that unfolded on Easter Sunday 2019

                                              (ANS – Dungalpitiya) – Following the tragic attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Day, the Salesian Provincial in the country issued a statement today, April 24, which we publish below.

                                              Dear Friends,

                                              I am deeply saddened to write these few lines about the horrific events that unfolded on the morning of Easter Sunday, 21 April 2019 in Sri Lanka. Although you may be already aware of the tragedy of epic proportions, I would like to share with you some information in this regard.

                                              The powerful blasts - six at 8:45 am on Easter morning and then two more hours later - left the island nation grieving. The blasts targeted St Anthony's Church in Colombo, St Sebastian's Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 8.45 am (local time) as the Easter Sunday prayers were in progress. Three explosions were reported from the five-star hotels - the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury. As per the United Nations report, at least 45 children were among the more than 359 people killed in suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka. Three police officers were killed in a blast during a raid. At least 38 of the dead were foreigners, including American, Australian, Bangaladeshi, British, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Indian, Japanese, Portuguese, Saudi Arabian and Turkish citizens.

                                              The president's office on Monday (4/22) declared that emergency law would come into effect from midnight, giving police extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders. The attacks brought a shattering end to a calm that had existed in this Indian Ocean Island since the bitter civil war ended 10 years ago.

                                              The bombers targeted crowds that contained a large number of the elderly, women and children. The official counts only account for those who are dead or injured. It doesn't take into account those who are missing or those who may have been ripped apart by the blasts so badly that there are no identifiable body parts left.

                                              The authorities in Sri Lanka said a small radical Islamist group, the National Thowheeth Jama'ath (NTJ), carried out the attacks, with help from international militant group ISIS. After the bombings, Sri Lankan security services have arrested at least 59 suspects. The Government has commenced relief efforts along with civil society organizations.

                                              There are no Salesians or any Salesian house that has been directly affected in the carnage. However, we are still to assess if some of our parishioners and past pupils have been among the victims, either killed or those injured.

                                              I would like to thank you for your prayers and your concern. Due to the prevailing tense situation and the restriction of movement we are currently unable to reach out to the victims; however we at Don Bosco are assessing the situation along with the local church and some NGOs to see how best we can serve the victims of the tragedy as well as the nation of Sri Lanka in this time of crisis.

                                              Please do continue to accompany us with your prayers and support so that peace may prevail, the victims are duly assisted and that we all stand united in the face of such great evil. I will keep you updated and soon share with you our plans to reach out to the victims and the distressed.

                                              Thank you, Yours Truly,

                                              Fr. Joseph Almeida, SDB,

                                              Provincial

                                              • Sri Lanka
                                              • LKC
                                              • Terrorismo
                                              • Violenze
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Brazil – Rector Major in Campo Grande: "My heart is truly happy to be among you"

                                                1 day 16 hours ago

                                                (ANS - Campo Grande) - Yesterday, 23 April, was a historic day for the Salesians of Brazil-Campo Grande (BCG) for the arrival of the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Province. Welcomed by local Salesians and groups of the Salesian Family at the international airport, the Rector Major responded to everyone with a friendly smile and an attitude of paternity, despite the 10-hour flight.

                                                Waiting for him at the "Antonio João" international airport in Campo Grande, one of the country's major airports, was the archbishop emeritus, mgr. Vittorio Pavanello, SDB; the Provincial of BCG, Fr Gildásio Mendes; his Vicar, Fr Elías Roberto; the Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry, Fr Wagner Luis Galvão; also present were the young in formation, Salesians from Campo Grande, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, local coordinators of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, Salesians Cooperators and Volunteers of Don Bosco.

                                                "I think they will be very rich days, of great closeness, with much animation, a lot of listening, much sharing. My heart is truly happy in this moment to be among you," said the X Successor of Don Bosco.

                                                During this week, the Rector Major will participate in the celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the Salesian Province, visiting the Salesian works of Cuiabá, Barra do Garças and Meruri; he will then return to Campo Grande on Thursday 25, where he will remain until Saturday 27th.

                                                The agenda of the Rector Major for these days is filled with meetings, first of all with the Salesians of Don Bosco, but also with the young and the Salesian Family. Today, April 24, Fr Á.F. Artime meets the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement and the students of the "São Gonçalo" Salesian Institute in Cuiabá. He then presides over the Eucharist in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, in the presence of the mayor of the city, Emanuel Pinheiro, the Governor of the State of Mato Grosso, Mauro Mendes, and other authorities.

                                                Fr Paulo Vendrame, Director of the "São Gonçalo" institute, for his part said that in Mato Grosso the Salesians animate 21 centers, each with a parish, social work and some kind of educational center. "The Salesians arrived in Mato Grosso with two objectives," he explained. "On the one hand, taking care of the education of young people, and on the other hand working among the indigenous peoples. The Rector Major comes at an important time for us, as we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the Salesians in the State of Mato Grosso."

                                                {gallery}Brasile - BCG - Visita Animazione RM 2019{/gallery}

                                                • Brasile
                                                • BCG
                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Eritrea – Efforts of the Salesians and VIS for young people in need

                                                  1 day 16 hours ago
                                                  Eritrea – Efforts of the Salesians and VIS for young people in need

                                                  (ANS - Asmara) - The Salesians have been present in Eritrea since 1995, settling first in Dekemhare, a town 2060 meters above sea level, about 40 km south-east of the capital Asmara. In 1996 the Eritrean government donated land to the Spiritual Sons of Don Bosco, which, even in a desert territory, saw the birth of new plants, new buildings and new activities being added every year, all focused on a single goal: the reception of the poorest of youth and their education.

                                                  Thus the technical school "Don Bosco Center" was established in Dekemhare which today forms about 400 pupils - for free - every year, to which, thanks also to the support of the government, food is also offered. It also provides recreational activities for children and school recovery courses.

                                                  Furthermore, to improve the quality of teaching, since 2001, the Salesians - together with the NGO "International Voluntary Service for Development" (VIS) - organize refresher courses for teachers, both those of the Don Bosco Center and those of all the country's others technical schools.

                                                  In 2017, the Salesians and the VIS then launched what is about to become the second Salesian technical school in Eritrea, currently simply called the "Skill Development Center", which is in Barent, towards Sudan, in an isolated area in need of development.

                                                  As is typical of the Salesian tradition, these educational proposals are primarily addressed to the neediest of young people, those who have abandoned their studies and who would, otherwise, risk remaining on the margins of social life.

                                                  Through the eight formative disciplines of the center of Dekemhare and the two of the center of Barent, poor children have access to good education, enabling them to find a job.

                                                  Beyond the commitment to education, Salesians and VIS are also dedicated to fostering the development and autonomy of the local communities by promoting the construction of water wells, a fundamental condition in a land often subject to drought and famine. In this sense, the young people of the technical school are also trained to maintain and repair wells.

                                                  In this phase of détente between Ethiopia and Eritrea, with the reopening of the borders after a latent war lasting many years, the Eritrean population looks with optimism to the future: in Eritrea new goods and merchandise have arrived, there has been a general lowering of prices, and finally Eritreans and Ethiopians have been able to re-embrace.

                                                  • Eritrea
                                                  • VIS
                                                  • ONG
                                                  • Sviluppo
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Sri Lanka – Easter massacre. Pope Francis: "Let all condemn these terrorist acts, inhuman acts, never justifiable"

                                                    2 days 16 hours ago

                                                    (ANS - Dungalpitiya) - 310 victims and over 500 wounded is the provisional toll of the 2019 Easter carnage, the result of numerous explosions in various churches and hotels frequented by tourists. Once again hatred and violence stain the main Christian festival with blood, the very one that announces the victory of the Lord over death.

                                                    “I wish to express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, struck while it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence. I entrust to the Lord those who have tragically disappeared and pray for the wounded and all those who suffer because of this dramatic event” was the message pronounced by Pope Francis from the central Loggia of St. Peter's Basilica on Easter Sunday.

                                                    The Holy Father returned to express his spiritual closeness to the people of Sri Lanka also yesterday, Monday of the Angelus, in the margins of the Regina Coeli. “I am very close to my dear brother, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, and to the whole archdiocesan Church of Colombo. I pray for the many victims and wounded, and I ask everyone not to hesitate to offer this dear nation all the necessary help. I also hope that everyone condemns these terrorist acts, inhuman, never justifiable acts.”

                                                    According to data provided by "Open Doors", an organization that monitors religious freedom in the world, from January to date already 4,336 faithful have been killed for matters related to their beliefs, an average of 11 per day. In addition, another 2,625 have been imprisoned. In particular, there is an increase in pressures in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, which sometimes take the form of obvious discrimination, others of latent marginalization from social life.

                                                    In general, one in nine Christians in the world is a victim of severe forms of persecution, ranging from a series of limits, up to the most serious cases, such as death.

                                                    The Christian community in Sri Lanka is approximately 7.5% of the total, and is composed of both Sinhalese and Tamil citizens. “It represents a bridge community that in itself reconciles society in the name of Christ,” as Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, tweeted.

                                                    • Sri Lanka
                                                    • LKC
                                                    • Violenze
                                                    • Papa Francesco
                                                    • Terrorismo
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      USA – Students of Verona's "Don Bosco" Institute triumph at Robotics World Championships

                                                      2 days 16 hours ago

                                                      (ANS - Houston) - The students of the Salesian "Don Bosco" Institute of Verona celebrate! On Saturday 20th April, Easter Eve, they won the 20th edition of the FIRST* LEGO League World Championship in Houston, Texas, “which saw 108 teams from all over the world compete against each other, teams selected during the national phases among the over 40,000 candidate teams.”

                                                      It is the first time that an Italian team is crowned the winner of the main world science and robotics competition. NASA - the US space agency - had wanted to challenge young scientists from all over the world on the theme "Into orbit". In other words, it was a matter of inventing solutions to improve the living conditions of astronauts in space. So the youths of the "Don Bosco", together with their teachers / trainers, responded with the "Wemit" project, an innovative "space washing machine" designed to provide for the washing of astronauts' clothes in zero gravity and without water.

                                                      As often happens with innovations originally conceived in the space sector, the "Wemit" system may later also be used in many areas of daily life to reduce the production of waste (for example, providing for washing clothes used in hospitals or food factories currently, in most cases, disposable). For this reason the Don Bosco Institute has already patented their project, thus bringing its eight young students into the ranks of inventors.

                                                      Furthermore, the quality of the project led to the young Salesian students being invited to the prestigious "Global Innovation Award", the final for the 20 best scientific projects presented during the competitive season around the world, with the final staged in June in California.

                                                      The "iDB Tech-No-Logic Team", the "Don Bosco" team of Verona, had already made headlines in 2018, qualifying for the World Championships held in Detroit and winning the prize for the best project presentation. This year, instead, they dominated right across the board, coming first in the following categories: scientific project, technological innovation, robotic programming, presentation and teamwork.

                                                      The success of Salesian students confirms the importance of engaging in the field of education, to excite and inspire young people to scientific and technological subjects, using creative and unconventional methods.

                                                      "The Salesian model is once again confirmed as a reference point in the panorama of the educational and formation system," commented Elena Dozzan, the Veneto Region's Councilor for Formation.

                                                      • Stati Uniti
                                                      • Italia
                                                      • INE
                                                      • Tecnologie
                                                      • Formazione Professionale
                                                      • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Guatemala – "Jesus, the Waze of my life": a unique experience to guide young people in their vocational choice

                                                        2 days 16 hours ago

                                                        (ANS - Guatemala City) - "We are in an educational and social situation where practically the young person does not respond to calls, but rather there are situations of stationary decisions," said Msgr. Jorge Carlos Patón Wong, Secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy. When one refers to the vocational theme, and directly to the summons to priestly life, today more than ever it is necessary to foster the "educational processes that teach young people to decide". It is for this reason that the Vocational Meetings must help to fulfill projects that favor the taking of decisions and, above all, that they listen to what God asks young people, who must not let themselves be carried away by fear.

                                                        Many young people today are afraid of commitments, especially if they are commitments for life. For this reason, the Document of the Synod of Youth emphasizes: "The concern of many Churches for the decrease in the number of vocations to the ordained pastoral care means that a new reflection on vocation and vocation ministry is necessary."

                                                        It is important to encourage young people to respond with a generous "yes" to their vocation and it is necessary to continue listening to what the Holy Father said to the young people: "Do not be deaf to the call of the Lord," and it is necessary rather to implement projects "that will help to take decisions."

                                                        In this context it is beautiful to see that the 1st National Vocation Meeting took place at the Don Bosco Institute in Guatemala City in what was a climate of fraternity and expectation on the part of the young participants.

                                                        Several young people from all over the country took part in the meeting. For some it represented a step forward in the process that started a few months ago; for others it was the first time in that group; all, however, actively participated.

                                                        Some of the contents discussed were: "Remember my guide-chaperone", a cineforum on the film Cristiada, the five vocational values, the levels of vocation (human, Christian, specific).

                                                        During the Eucharist those present were invited to seek the Lord in all living conditions. Furthermore, there were moments in which the young people had the opportunity to share their experiences in the search for the life option that the Lord proposes to them.

                                                        The National Vocational Team of Guatemala was present at the event with the aim of guiding young people and presenting their vocational and charismatic proposal.

                                                        The 1st National Vocation Meeting, which developed the motto "Jesus, the Waze of my life", (named after a well-known app for road navigation) was indeed a unique experience to guide young people in their vocational discernment and orientation.

                                                        • Guatemala
                                                        • CAM
                                                        • Vocazioni
                                                        • Discernimento Vocazionale
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Italy - "I pray that this evening we will save you". Touching testimony of Cameroon migrant

                                                          2 days 16 hours ago

                                                          (ANS - Santeramo in Colle) - A Saturday afternoon, a game of football ... It seems like an ordinary day at the oratory of Santeramo in Colle, not far from Bari. But there is a team of boys never seen before, with a colored uniform they are proud of: they come from Cameroon and have something to share. After the match, organized by the local Polisportiva Giovanile Salesiana – PGS - the Salesian Youth Sports association, and the oratory's missionary group, with the collaboration of the parish of Sacro Cuore, the Cameroon youths donated a piece of their story and history to the whole community.

                                                          The youths of Cameroon risked everything they had, left their land "when the sea seemed safer than the earth" and now they are here, open to dialogue. It was not difficult: it took just one ball, a match, a chat. The beauty of hospitality, as one of the boys from Cameroon pointed out, is that it becomes such only when it is two-way: welcoming means opening up to the other and letting the other open up to you.

                                                          This is what one of these young men welcomed to Santeramo said, leaving everyone speechless, with his testimony: "It's scary not to have a rock to cling to. I know what it means to cross the sea, crushed on a boat or on a rubber raft, between the tears and children and the screams of mothers. Among the waves that push you into the water with death in your heart knowing that no one is waiting for you and that you cannot go back.

                                                          I also know what it means to be saved and welcomed, but not everyone has been lucky like me, like us. And those bodies on the beach, in the sea, I will never be able to tear them from my heart and eyes.

                                                          I pray that tonight it is we who save you, because God has given His only son to save all of us, and you, because we are His family. His family is all of us, the whole world without borders, without hatred without rancor and without division. Because Jesus is the love on which we must found our lives, our homes and our families. Thank you."

                                                          During the testimony there were people of all ages, completely different from each other, but all animated by curiosity and the certainty that there is something beyond numbers and news. Behind these young people there is really a world to discover and it was nice to have the chance to explore a part of it.

                                                          • Italia
                                                          • Camerun
                                                          • Migranti
                                                          • IME
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Uganda – Easter in Kampala and Palabek, amid problems and hopes

                                                            6 days 16 hours ago
                                                            Uganda – Easter in Kampala and Palabek, amid problems and hopes

                                                            (ANS - Kampala) - Kampala, with the obvious contradictions of the capitals of developing countries; and Palabek, in the refugee center that houses the last of the last – here, too, in these two problematic realities the message of Easter shall resound: a message of hope that the Salesians, present in both places, try to testify every day of the year.

                                                            Chaotic and with so many contradictions - this is Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The metropolis most sought after by the country's villagers who in the big city come to seek their fortune. “The average salary here is 20,000 or 30,000 shillings, 300,000 a year. About 1,000 US dollars,” explains Fr Elie Nyandwi, Director of the Salesian mission in Namugongo, about thirty kilometers from Kampala. Present since 2006 and for ten years supported by "Missioni Don Bosco" of Turin, here the Salesians manage the "Children And Life Mission" (CALM) center, which welcomes around 150 vulnerable children and adolescents every day.

                                                            “In Uganda there is crime because people are poor,” said Fr Elie Nyandwi. “The economy is based on small business and finding work is very difficult, especially for young people.”

                                                            The center of Namugongo, with a primary school and a kindergarten, is home to mostly orphans and refugees, and children with difficult family situations. “Some want to become priests, other soldiers and others still businessmen,” continues the religious.

                                                            The project of the Salesian elementary school in Namugongo started in 2015 and was supported by the Salesian Mission Office of Turin, "Missions Don Bosco".

                                                            The same Office recently launched another charity project in Uganda, inside the Palabek refugee camp, where the Salesians arrived last year.

                                                            The refugees welcomed there are, above all, South Sudanese Catholics who need pastoral, liturgical and spiritual assistance and are hungry for sacraments, mass and other pastoral and spiritual activities.

                                                            Tomorrow night, in the Easter Vigil, 150 catechumens will be baptized in Palabek!

                                                            In the last year and a half at least 12 prayer points have been organized, where Masses and other liturgical programs are celebrated: it is always officiated outdoors, but obviously this is not always possible and in any case it is problematic.

                                                            For this reason the Salesians have decided to create 12 small chapels, between solid and lasting ones and semi-permanent ones. And through prayer and other ecclesial activities, they can spread peace and fraternity.

                                                            • Uganda
                                                            • Palabek
                                                            • Rifugiati
                                                            • Chiesa
                                                            • Battesimi
                                                            • Missioni
                                                            • Missioni Don Bosco
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Italy - After seven years the church of Ferrara Salesians reopens

                                                              6 days 16 hours ago
                                                              Italy - After seven years the church of Ferrara Salesians reopens

                                                              (ANS - Ferrara) - A Salesian center is such, above all, because of the environment it knows how to offer, as a home that welcomes, a parish that evangelises, a school that starts one to life and a courtyard or playground where people can meet, live and grow in joy. But structures are also necessary. Almost seven years after that May 2012, when several earthquakes shook the Emilia region, Saturday 6 April saw the inauguration and reopening of the Salesian parish in Ferrara.

                                                               

                                                              Years and years of work and patient waiting have elapsed, and it has now been a few days since the "San Benedetto Abate" parish of the Salesians of Ferrara has returned to its former glory. The celebration began in the early afternoon with the reception in the oratory; then, at the arrival of the city bishop, Msgr. Giancarlo Perego, they entered the church that is finally ready, and the Eucharist was celebrated. Finally, the day of celebration was completed with a moment of fraternal agape in the oratory.

                                                              “After almost seven years we are finally back home. Because this is what we are talking about: a House where we can meet, and meet Him, as a community,” commented Elena Mastellari, Ferrara's animator and member of the National Council of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), satisfied.


                                                              The Salesian oratory of Ferrara has endeavored to continue functioning as it always has these past seven years and, not without difficulty, has managed to cope with the damage caused by the earthquake. So those spaces that remained available were used for different purposes. The young woman adds, “It wasn't easy to get used to the idea of having to go to Mass in the same place where you'd return in the afternoon with a bag of popcorn in your hands to watch a movie,” she said, referring to the house's theater.

                                                              Now the work has paid off: “It was incredible to see the wide open eyes of those children who entered the church for the first time on Saturday night,” continues Elena.

                                                              In these seven years the parish and Oratorian community has not only maintained itself, but in a certain sense it has been strengthened precisely to face difficulties. “At every call from our priests there was always someone, young and adult, ready to answer 'I am here',” the Salesian animator concludes.

                                                              Don Bosco Italia

                                                              {gallery}ILE - Riapertura Ferrara 2019{/gallery}

                                                              • Italia
                                                              • ILE
                                                              • Terremoto
                                                              • Disastri
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                El Salvador - Supporting the education of young people with scholarships

                                                                6 days 16 hours ago
                                                                El Salvador - Supporting the education of young people with scholarships

                                                                (ANS - Santa Tecla) - Cesar Adalberto Acosta Barrera is an 18-year-old boy who was able to study, received a good education and now has a bright future ahead of him. But all this was not obvious. His education was provided by a scholarship program carried out by the Salesian High School "Santa Cecilia" of Santa Tecla, in El Salvador, funded by the Salesian Mission Office of New Rochelle, in the United States. Only last year the Mission Office funded 14 other boys like him.

                                                                Cesar Adalberto started attending the oratory attached to the school in 2014 when he was in 7th grade. He says, “I started going to the oratory thanks to a friend. He explained that it was a place where I could practice soccer and attend mass every Sunday. I thought this was excellent because I could play soccer and get closer to God. I enjoyed each reflection that the Father made at the oratory and each soccer game I played, in addition to all the friends I made.”

                                                                Because of Barrera’s attendance at the oratory, he was approached by the parish priest and asked if he would like to study at Saint Cecilia Salesian High School. He immediately said yes and was awarded a scholarship. Barrera notes, “Every time I saw the school from the outside, it seemed like an incredible place and the thought of studying there made me very happy.”

                                                                In 2015, he started the 8th grade with scholarship funding. Reflecting on his first day of school Barrera says, “I remember I was very nervous the first day of class – I didn’t know anybody – and then I discovered the Salesian charisma that resides there. Both students and teachers made me feel like the school was my second home. Thanks to this opportunity, I have been able to grow in many aspects of my life, both in the academic and spiritual aspect.”

                                                                Barrera adds, “As a student in school I have become a person who has acquired the knowledge of a secondary education, in addition to developing important skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership. I have now finished my second year of technical high school studies in electromechanics. Thanks to the scholarship that the school gave me I have had the opportunity to receive a better academic and Christian education, which will allow me to have even more opportunities in the future.”

                                                                Salesian missionaries in El Salvador provide social development services and primary, secondary and vocational education as well as university degree programs to aid youth in breaking the cycle of poverty and contributing back to their families and communities.

                                                                Close to 35 percent of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank. Youth in El Salvador are confronted not only with poverty, but with instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. Despite ranking high for economic indicators, the need for practical education in the country is more important than ever with 12 percent of youth ages 15 to 24 unemployed and 41 percent underemployed.

                                                                Source: Mission Newswire

                                                                {gallery}El Salvador - CAM - Santa Tecla 2019{/gallery}

                                                                • El Salvador
                                                                • CAM
                                                                • Procure Missionarie
                                                                • Educazione
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Vatican - A woman State Councilor of Vatican City: Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA

                                                                  1 week ago
                                                                  Vatican - A woman State Councilor of Vatican City: Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA

                                                                  (ANS - Vatican City) - The Holy Father has appointed Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, Councilor of the Vatican City State, of the Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), as Professor of Political Economy at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences Auxilium. It was yesterday's press release of the Holy See, Wednesday 17 April, to make public a decision of Pope Francis dated 5 March.

                                                                  "Her mandate, which is carried out collegially together with other councilors, reunited in the Pontifical Commission for the State of the Vatican City, is five years," explains a note from Auxilium, where Sister Smerilli teaches. "The State Councilor provides assistance in the elaboration of the Vatican Laws and in other matters of particular importance."

                                                                  The Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State, composed of a General Councilor and five State Councilors, is the body that exercises legislative power in the Vatican City State. It is the dicastery that holds the de facto administration of the Vatican City State, overseeing most public functions and representing the state on behalf of the Pope.

                                                                  Prof. Alessandra Smerilli was born in Vasto in 1974, and graduated in Economics from the University of Roma Tre. She then specialized in Political Economics at the Sapienza University of Rome and at the School of Economics of the East Anglia University in Norwich.

                                                                  In addition to teaching in the "Auxilium" Faculty, she holds teaching positions in other university institutions, is a member of the Scientific and Organizing Committee of the Catholic Social Weeks, promoted by the Italian Episcopal Conference, and is one of the experts of the National Council of the Third Sector, a body established at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies.

                                                                  Last October, Sister Smerilli participated, as an auditor, in the Synod of Bishops on "Young people, faith and vocational discernment" - that same Synod in which the voice of the young required, among other things, greater consideration of women in positions of responsibility within the Church.

                                                                  Now for Sister Smerilli there is this call on the part of the Pope, to take on a task of responsibility in which she will bring her experience on the subject of economics.

                                                                  • Vaticano
                                                                  • Donne
                                                                  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Cambodia – A better nutrition for 3,700 youngsters

                                                                    1 week ago
                                                                    Cambodia – A better nutrition for 3,700 youngsters

                                                                    (ANS – Phnom Penh) – More than 3,700 beneficiaries involved in programming supported by the “Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia” have access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and Rise Against Hunger, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

                                                                    The rice-meals donations were distributed to programs in Cambodia connected to Don Bosco Technical & Hotel School Sihanoukville, Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh and Don Bosco Technical School Kep. Beneficiaries included 1,100 vocational and technical students at the schools who are studying to gain the skills needed for long-term employment. The Salesian schools provide technical skills training for young people from poor families and also offer boarding opportunities for those who find it difficult to rent a room on their own.

                                                                    One of the rice-meals donation recipients, Sokkhin Chea, is a 20-year old student from Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh and is in her second-year studying computers. She has eight siblings and her father died when she was in the 12th grade. After finishing high school, Chea applied to Don Bosco Tech and requested to stay at its boarding house since she could not afford to live on her own or pay for her own meals. Before she came to Don Bosco Tech, Chea was working hard in the fields with her mother, brothers and sisters in order to have enough money for food and to be able to go to school. The feeding program and rice-meal donation are ensuring that Chea and students like her have the nutrition they need to focus on their studies.

                                                                    The Don Bosco schools are providing technical education for poor youth in subjects including electrical, mechanical, welding, automotive, electronics, computer and information technology, printing, media communication, hospitality and tourism.  After students graduate, they are qualified for jobs that offer a decent salary, allowing them to support themselves and their families and break the cycle of poverty.

                                                                    “Rise Against Hunger meals are very important to our mission so we are able to reduce our expenses by not buying rice from local market,” explains Father Roel Soto, delegation superior of Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia and rector of Don Bosco Technical School Phnom Penh. “With this donation, we are able to use that funding for other necessary projects that provide us income in order to sustain our projects and upgrades for our training materials.”

                                                                    Father Soto adds, “We are very proud of Sokkhin Chea because she has been chosen as a role model of being a good boarder student by her friends and her teachers.”

                                                                    According to the World Bank, poverty continues to fall in Cambodia. In 2017, the poverty rate was close to 14 percent compared to 47.8 percent in 2007. About 90 percent of the poor live in the countryside. While Cambodia has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty in 2009, the vast majority of families who escaped poverty were only able to do so by a small margin. Around 4.5 million people remain near-poor, vulnerable to falling back into poverty when exposed to economic and other external challenges.

                                                                    Source: Mission Newswire  

                                                                    • Cambogia
                                                                    • THA
                                                                    • Fame
                                                                    • Educazione
                                                                    • Procure Missionarie
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Brazil – A small price for a priceless mission: a testimony from Iauaretê

                                                                      1 week ago
                                                                      Brazil – A small price for a priceless mission: a testimony from Iauaretê

                                                                      (ANS - Iauaretê) - The Indigenous Salesian Mission of Iauaretê is immersed in the forest of the Brazilian Amazon, almost on the border with Colombia and about 1,200 km from its provincial headquarters, Manaus. It has welcomed and continues to welcome many missionaries. Today the director is the Salesian missionary, Fr Roberto Cappelletti, who spends himself on removing the population from alcohol and drugs and offering a future of hope to local children and young people.

                                                                      When he was assigned to Iauaretê, he admits, it took a long time to find traces of the mission on the map of Brazil. Today, however, after more than four years of service, he holds various positions: he is Director of the mission, parochial vicar and responsible for the activities of the oratory. He also visits the 50 villages belonging to the parish, scattered along 4 rivers, in an area the size of Veneto. "The distances (one arrives there only after 2.5 days along the river) the Spartan style of life, and diseases such as malaria, represent the small price to pay for having the honor of living among these peoples, 16 different indigenous ethnic groups, among these simple people, always having a greater attention for the little ones and for the adolescents," says the missionary.

                                                                      The big problem of that area is alcoholism, which is increasingly expanding, due to the clandestine entry of industrial alcohol, which is not even supposed to enter the indigenous reserve. And with alcohol comes the Colombian drug traffickers, the violence in families, among the young and in the villages ... All problems that go to impact the youngest, first of all.

                                                                      For this reason, little by little, the Salesians are building a new home: it will take time, because the materials can only be transported by river and the work is done manually, but by 2020 it should be ready. Then, in addition to the Salesian community and aspirants, it will be able to accommodate children who are abandoned for days in the narrow streets of Iauaretê on weekends and in festive moments, "without a shelter, without food and with the fear of returning to their hut and take the beating from one of the adults; and when they are not beaten, they are even worse violence," testifies Fr Cappelletti.

                                                                      The Salesian Family - the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are also present in the area - is there precisely for them, "so that children can grow with another vision of life, with other prospects, with the certainty that Jesus loves them," concludes Fr Cappelletti .

                                                                      • Brasile
                                                                      • BMA
                                                                      • Missioni
                                                                      • Indigeni
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Spain - Camino de Santiago, a special moment to prepare for Easter

                                                                        1 week 1 day ago
                                                                        Spain - Camino de Santiago, a special moment to prepare for Easter

                                                                        (ANS - Madrid) - Among the thousands of pilgrims who come to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela every year, it is increasingly common to see groups of students accompanied by their teachers. Several Salesian centers offer this experience to their students throughout the year and some in the very days preceding Holy Week. This is the case of the “San Miguel Arcángel-Salesianos Paseo de Extremadura” centers in Madrid; "Salesianos Loyola" in Aranjuez; "Salesianos Atocha", in Madrid; "Salesianos Hermano Gárate", in Ciudad Real, and "Salesianos La Orotava", in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

                                                                        This period "is preferred because it is academically more favorable," explains Susana de Torres, a teacher at the "San Miguel Arcángel" school. And the Lenten climate also has a positive influence: "It is an excellent time to prepare for Easter; in fact, many times we have made our arrival in Santiago coincide with Palm Sunday, to then reflect together on the analogy of festive entries in the city, for Jesus, and for the students," explains prof. of Ciudad Real, Enrique Ruiz.

                                                                        The "San Miguel Arcángel" school organizes the participation of its students in the Camino de Santiago to "take care of the intermediate courses pastorally," adds Professor de Torres. From its beginning, which is becoming a beautiful tradition, the Salesian centers have transmitted to the students the central motivation of this activity: "it is a pilgrimage, not a cultural or sporting journey."

                                                                        On the journey, faith is the guiding thread, with those proposals that are already made daily in educational centers, but which take on a special role during the days of pilgrimage. On some occasions, symbols are also used, perhaps between the yellow arrows that indicate the path of the Way and "those people that God puts on our path as guides," adds the teacher.


                                                                        "We try to ensure that the pilgrimage encourages an encounter with oneself, with others and with God," adds another professor, Celia Antolín, from the center of Loyola-Aranjuez.

                                                                        The long hours on foot favor solidarity and in-depth reflections. "All the difficulties are faced in a great family spirit ... The big questions you ask are all about yourself," says prof. Ruiz. Experience shows that along the way the kids go into relationships with family, friends, God ... "The hours of walking give us the opportunity to talk about many of these topics, and in a much more natural way than can be done at school," concludes Prof. Antolín.


                                                                        And, as rightly emphasized by prof. Ruiz, "the teacher is just one more pilgrim."

                                                                        {gallery}Spagna - Camino de Santiago 2019{/gallery}

                                                                        • Spagna
                                                                        • Scuole
                                                                        • Docenti
                                                                        • Studenti
                                                                        • Spiritualità
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Vietnam – “Don Bosco Bakery – Café” opens in Ho Chi Minh City

                                                                          1 week 1 day ago
                                                                          Vietnam – “Don Bosco Bakery – Café” opens in Ho Chi Minh City

                                                                          (ANS – Ho Chi Minh City) – Four years after the opening of the Majcen Center - Bistro, Restaurant and Vocation Training Center in Ho Chi Minh City, last Sunday was a great opening of the humble outreach of “Don Bosco Bakery – Café”, (32 Truc Duong, Thao Dien , Q2) located in one of the central districts of HCM City (Saigon), just near the British International School, where many expatriates live.

                                                                          By Bro. Domenico Nam, SDB

                                                                          Four Salesians are assigned to this new pilot project (two Salesian Brothers and two Salesian Priests), who are still members of the large Ben Cat Community (Rector Fr Peter Hoang), but fully involved in Majcen Training Centre.

                                                                          The new Don Bosco Bakery - Cafe offers to the young people in Vietnam not only the opportunity to learn bread and sweet-making skills but also to learn about management and marketing, marking a new step toward the self-sustainability of our Vocation Training Center.

                                                                          From the idea stage the whole project has been accompanied by many Vietnamese and foreign experts, also the presence of two volunteer staff - a chef and training staff enhance the quality of training. Also this new outreach is a fruit of the cooperation among Salesians and expatriate volunteers helping the Majcen Bistro - Training Center.

                                                                          The Grand Opening was celebrated on Sunday, April 14, with a blessing and simple cultural items to make the new Bakery - Cafe known in the neighbourhood.

                                                                          “We wish and pray that the new Don Bosco enterprise will help many young people in Vietnam with their integral preparation for life and also that the Salesians will learn how to grow in the self-sustainability of our vocation training institutions,” the Salesians say.

                                                                          Imitating Don Bosco, the “Anre Mai Sen Hospitality Training Center” – named after the Slovenian Salesian Father and Servant of God, Andrej Majcen, well-known as “the Don Bosco of Vietnam” – provides for poor youth the opportunity of on-site training for Restaurant, Kitchen and Bakery careers. Improving on the Dual System Training from Germany, after 3 years of theoretical and practical training as well as an internship, the Salesian Training Centre is able to offer to the trainees a Culinary Certificate from Germany.

                                                                          Anre Mai Sen “Hospitality Training Center” is on Youtube and Facebook

                                                                          Source: AustraLasia

                                                                          • Vietnam
                                                                          • VIE
                                                                          • Formazione Professionale
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            RMG – ADMA's 150th: video-message of the Rector Major

                                                                            1 week 1 day ago
                                                                            RMG – ADMA's 150th: video-message of the Rector Major

                                                                            (ANS - Rome) - On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, sent his greetings and a message to ADMA members and to all the members of the Salesian Family, highlighting the value of the Eucharist and entrustment to the Help of Christians in Salesian spirituality.

                                                                            Significantly, the Rector Major sends this message from the Basilica of the Sacro Cuore of Rome, before the altar of the Help of Christians, recalling how it was here that Don Bosco received confirmation of his mission carried out under the guidance and protection of Mary.

                                                                            Finally, he announced the publication of a letter on the occasion of this anniversary and spoke of the celebration of the VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 17 to 10 November this year.

                                                                            The following is the text of the message of the Rector Major:

                                                                            My dear brothers and sisters of the Salesian Family throughout the world, receive my affectionate greeting on this Palm Sunday. I greet you today because on Holy Thursday, in four days, the 150th anniversary of the foundation of what we now call the "Association of Mary Help of Christians" will be celebrated which at the time was the Archconfraternity of Mary Help of Christians.

                                                                            In the foundation document, one reads a text by our beloved Father Don Bosco.

                                                                            "In the church dedicated to Mary Help of Christians in Turin and with the authorization of the Reverend Archbishop of Turin, the Association of devotees who intend to promote the glory of the divine Mother of the Savior is canonically constituted, to merit your protection, in life and in particular at the moment of death. There are two means offered as special means: extend the devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the veneration to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament".

                                                                            We read it in the document of Catholic readings that communicate this message, because it is an occasion to say that what we are celebrating is something beautiful. Although what I have just read to you is the beginning of the letter that I am going to render public for the whole Salesian Family, today I just want you to get a greeting from the altar of this site, the altar of Mary Help of Christians in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

                                                                            The altar that I like to call "Don Bosco's tears and sobs", because in this place Don Bosco had that manifestation of what his life was, entirely accompanied, without doubt, by the Lord who has always guided him with the unique and special protection of the Mother.

                                                                            Because "She did everything", as Don Bosco used to say. My words of today are congratulations for these 150 important years for the whole Salesian world, for our Salesian Family, for the 800 legally constituted groups of our "ADMA" Association.

                                                                            And it is an invitation to fulfill what Don Bosco proposed: extend devotion to our Mother Mary Help of Christians, with the certainty that with the Eucharist and with Her, our Mother, we have these two great pillars that personally support our life, the Salesian Family and the Church.

                                                                            I take this opportunity to remind the whole Salesian Family that, under the guidance of the association of Mary Help of Christians, we shall celebrate at the end of the year, in the last part, the World Marian Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Mary will be proposed as a model of faith for all of you, dear brothers and sisters.

                                                                            My affectionate greeting, my words of encouragement and my prayer before our Mother Help of Christians, for all of you, for our Congregations, Institutes, Families and Communities.

                                                                            See you soon!

                                                                            The video message of the Rector Major is available online on ANSChannel.

                                                                            • RMG
                                                                            • ADMA
                                                                            • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                                            • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                            • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Great Britain – Holiness is for you too! Saints in Action at the Bosco Group

                                                                              1 week 1 day ago
                                                                              Great Britain – Holiness is for you too! Saints in Action at the Bosco Group

                                                                              (ANS – Bootle) – Imagine “Savio Salesian College” students talking about the weird case of St. Peter, considering the motivation of merciful Mother Teresa or discovering that Don Bosco’s dream is still happening. It’s been a long time since the Bosco Group started weekly reflection as a part of the “Faith in Action” curriculum.

                                                                              by Br Lukasz Wojcik, SDB

                                                                              Hazel, from our Chaplaincy team, in the beginning of the school year, gathered quite a few volunteers to take part in “Faith in Action”, a well-known annual Catholic Youth Programme. Each Wednesday the whole group meets in the “Bosco Room” for a reflection on the life of another Saint which is being delivered by a Salesian. Every week the Bosco Group goes over one saint with a fine-tooth comb.

                                                                              After a few minutes of introduction, two or three stories, a short film, and then a 3…2…1…discussion, participants try to find out how to interpret these interesting stories into their own life practice and answer some questions.

                                                                              What is extra-ordinary in this particular Saint? Was he a strange creature from a fairy-tale or a normal human being with a good dose of grace? And the most important one: how to follow his/her example? Their answers and ideas are really inspiring. 

                                                                              Everything was started by a reflection on holiness based on the Apostolic Exhortation “Gaudete et Exsultate” of Pope Francis and this year’s message from Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the Salesian Rector Major. They both shout at the top of their voices that sanctity is possible for everybody. The Savio Salesian College students were astonished at discovering that holiness isn’t to be perfect, but to realise God’s dream for their life.

                                                                              Even if it seems to be so far from reality, it is still possible. Holiness is for you too! 

                                                                              Source: Salesians UK

                                                                              • GBR
                                                                              • Santità
                                                                              • Strenna 2019
                                                                              • Gran Bretagna
                                                                              • Studenti
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Sierra Leone - The story of Musu and baby "Juan Bosco"

                                                                                1 week 2 days ago

                                                                                (ANS - Freetown) - Musu was a child when the Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli found her on the street under a table in the center of Freetown. It was raining heavily and it was cold for those used to tropical heat. "What's your name?" he asked her. "Are you sick?" Her sad eyes and the pain in her face announced deeper pains than just physical ones. She coughed unceasingly. Fr Crisafulli put his hand on her forehead and noticed that it was burning with fever. That was the beginning of a great story of hope.

                                                                                Little Musu told him that she had gone to the hospital, but not having 15,000 leones (about 1.5 euros) to enter, she had not been treated. "I will take you to the hospital immediately," said the Salesian; but at that moment Musu turned to look for something beside her and put a helpless, skeletal, almost dying, nameless baby boy in the hands of the cleric.

                                                                                Fr Crisafulli accompanied Musu to the General Hospital, where she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and pneumonia. As for the child, since they did not have the means to treat him there, he took him to the "Cottage Hospital", where he was found with tuberculosis, dehydration and malnutrition. When the doctor asked for a name to register the child in the health center, the Salesian missionary did not hesitate for a moment: "His name is Juan Bosco, Juanito Bosco".

                                                                                When he returned to the General Hospital he assured Musu that the child was well and would survive. Fr Crisafulli also had to tell her that he had been asked the name of the child to be able to register him in the hospital and that he had given him the name Juan Bosco.

                                                                                Musu changed her expression and seemed annoyed. The Salesian asked her if she did not like the name Juan Bosco and she replied, "you should have given him your name: Jorge Crisafulli!"

                                                                                Today, Musu and Juan Bosco are in good health. Both have overcome their problems. Musu is now 18 years old, studies as a hairdresser and sells sandals, while little Juan Bosco is a healthy and smiling boy, who honors his name, runs everywhere and is a sign of resistance, survival and hope in the face of adversity.

                                                                                Musu and Juan Bosco are two of the many success stories of the work that the Salesians carry out in Sierra Leone and in many countries of the world to take children off the streets and offer them an education.

                                                                                • Sierra Leone
                                                                                • AFW
                                                                                • Don Bosco Fambul
                                                                                • Donne
                                                                                • Ragazze
                                                                                • Bambini
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana