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Paraguay – A great man, a great priest, a great bishop is gone: Msgr. Zacarias Ortiz Rolón

1 week 5 days ago
Paraguay – A great man, a great priest, a great bishop is gone: Msgr. Zacarias Ortiz Rolón

(ANS - Asunción) - "A great man is gone, friend of all, who has done so much for the children of Chaco ... a great priest, a great bishop," said Msgr. Gabriel Escobar, SDB, Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco Paraguayo, in dismayed comment on the death of Salesian Msgr. Zacarías Ortiz Rolón, Apostolic Vicar emeritus of Chaco Paraguayo and Emeritus Bishop of Concepción-Amambay. The prelate died yesterday, 6 January 2020, at the Central Hospital of Asunción.

"When the Holy See appointed me bishop of Upper Paraguay, I had to go because we are children of obedience. I arrived in Fuerte Olimpo towards the end of June 1988, accompanied by 7 bishops, while the Paraguay river was in full growth," said Msgr. Ortiz when he narrated his beginnings as a bishop.

He was born on September 6, 1934, in Arroyos and Esteros, a place where he spent most of his childhood.

On January 31, 1955, he made his first religious profession. He studied Philosophy and Theology in the Salesian institutes of Cordoba (Argentina) and then specialized in Educational Sciences at the Catholic University of Asunción and at the Salesian Pontifical University of Rome, where he obtained his License in Pastoral Catechetics. He was ordained a priest in Cordoba on August 14, 1965.

In 1985 he took on the role of Salesian Provincial of Paraguay, being the first Paraguayan Salesian to carry out this service. In 1986, together with Msgr. Alejo Ovelar, who later became bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco, he attended to the blessing of the land where the future boarding school Ñu Apu'apu'a would arise. "Bishop Obelar," Msgr. Ortiz said, "brought me and showed me the land where the future school would be built. I remember that we had no other type of water except that of the ditch, for the blessing of the place. So I drew that same water with my hands so that Msgr. Ovelar could sprinkle the ground. So it was a blessing Sui Generis."

On March 12, 1988, Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop. He was consecrated in the Cathedral of Asunción on the following 26 June and took possession of the Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco on 1 July of the same year, succeeding Msgr. Alejo Ovelar.

On July 13, 2003, after 15 years of pastoral work in Upper Paraguay, Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Concepción and Amambay.

  • Paraguay
  • PAR PARAGUAY
  • Decessi
  • Vescovi
  • Zacarias Ortiz Rolón
    Gian Francesco Romano

    South Korea – Preparations for celebrating 10th anniversary of Fr John Lee, SDB

    1 week 5 days ago
    South Korea – Preparations for celebrating 10th anniversary of Fr John Lee, SDB

    (ANS – Seoul) – In forthcoming days, and then throughout 2020, South Korea will remember the 10th anniversary of the death of their most famous Salesian missionary, the late Fr John Lee Tae Sok. He was sent by the superiors to South Sudan in Africa as a Salesian missionary priest, as a medical doctor and educator and spent 8 years working in Tonj. Fr John passed away after a year-long battle with cancer and is now called the ‘Don Bosco of Tonj’.

    In remembrance of this beloved Salesian in South Korea and beyond, the Salesian province of Korea is preparing a broad variety of initiatives in order to keep his legacy alive.

    The 10th anniversary will open with the Eucharist to be celebrated in the Salesian High School in Gwangju by Archbishop Kim Hee Jung Hijino, Salesian Past Pupil and Archbishop of Gwangju, on 12 January 2020.

    Another documentary movie produced by KBS media (National TV station) “Don’t Cry, Tonj 2: Shukran Baba” is soon to be released this month. This movie will present the life and death of Fr John, after the successful “Don’t’ Cry, Tonj 1” that was watched by several million people in Korea and abroad. This movie is the result of cooperation (MOU) between KBS and the Salesian Society in Korea, supervised by SC delegate, Fr Samuel Yu.

    The opening of the Fr John Lee Memorial Hall in Busan (second largest Korean city) is scheduled for 14 January 2020 on the day of the anniversary of his death. This memorial hall (4-storey building) is located in the Western part of Busan, within the “Tonj Cultural Park”, and was constructed by the local administration in order to keep alive the spirit of generosity and service of Fr John Lee in his home place.

    Last November this Memorial Hall was entrusted to the Salesians of Don Bosco and one Salesian priest and one Salesian brother will be sent to this new apostolic work. The opening ceremony will involve another four organizations that care about the spirit of Fr John Lee.

    The launch of a new biography (scheduled for December 2020) by the 10th year death anniversary commission, edited by Lee Chung Ryol (author of the late Cardinal Stephen Kim's biography) to be published and distributed by a major Korean publisher, namely “Kim Yong Sa”, is also on the calendar.

    This process is under the responsibility of the Fr John Lee Memorial Foundation (chairman Fr Mike Chang, SDB – provincial delegate for missionary animation).

    The Salesian Family open “Symposium on Retelling the Story of Fr John Lee” is scheduled for 24 June, his feast day (St John Baptist) in Seoul, with a photo exhibition and concert.

    The whole one-year celebration is launched with the help of many well-wishers, Korea Catholic media (Pyong Hwa Broadcasting) and other major media. At the same time, the Salesians continue the process of collecting all related documentation about the life and mission of Fr John Lee (1962-2010).

    Source: AustraLasia

    • Corea del Sud
    • KOR KOREA
    • John Lee TaeSuk
    • Anniversari
      Gian Francesco Romano

      The Philippines – Fr. Monix, a passionate and faithful Salesian

      1 week 5 days ago
      The Philippines – Fr. Monix, a passionate and faithful Salesian

      (ANS - Borongan) – On Monday 6 January, the Salesian Family, in the presence of Bishop Peter Baquero, SDB, DD of Kerema and Bishop Crispin Varquez, DD of Borongan, and the Pacada Family, laid Fr. Ramon “Monix” Pacada, SDB to rest. Bishop Baquero presided over the funeral mass at 9:30 in the morning. He described the funeral as “a celebration of life: life that Fr. Monix received at birth, life that Fr. Monix shared in his ministry, and lives that Fr. Monix touched.” Concelebrating with him were Bishop Crispin, Salesian priests from the different Salesian communities of FIS, and Fr. Monix’s three classmates from the Philippine North Province (FIN). Fr "Monix", as he was called, collapsed during the “Fun Run” in Borongan around 5:30 a.m. on 29 December. He was rescued, revived and rushed to Borongan Doctor's Hospital, but unfortunately was declared dead on arrival.

      Fr Monix was born in 1963, and spent the last last 30 years of his Salesian consecrated life and 23 years as Salesian Priest with enthusiasm and great fidelity. He served the young people and Catholic communities around the Visayas and also in the Pakistan delegation (2006-2009), where he was sent together with Fr. Jude Albarando in May 2006. His dedication is well known especially by the young people and parishioners of Lourdes, Pasil and Borongan.

      The Salesian Family of Mary Help of Christian Province (FIS - Southern Philippines and Pakistan) treasure his simple and joyful life witness, as expressed on many pages of social media immediately after receiving the sad news:

      • Welcome to the Salesian Eternal Gardens in Heaven Reverend Father Ramon Pacada, SDB!
      • Your death reminds me of an incident in the life of Dominic Savio. When asked what he would do if he had only 24 hours to live, Dominic replied that he would continue doing the ordinary duties in life.
      • Thank you for your exemplary witness of the Salesian spirituality. In performing your ordinary schedule, heaven called you home. 
      • Rest in peace, dear Father Monix! We will indeed miss you!
      • Thank you, Fr Monix, for your exemplary ways of showing Simplicity, Dedication, Responsibility & Great Love to bring us closer to God. I am sure the Salesian Saints and the Holy Family of Nazareth are welcoming you in the Salesian Garden. please intercede for us. you will be greatly missed! 

      During the funeral Mass, in his homily, Fr. Arturo Julius Sanchez, SDB, one of Fr. Monix’s former rectors, shared that Fr. Monix was a simple Salesian who did not build any buildings, write any books, or achieved doctorates, but he was a passionate and faithful Salesian. He said, “In front of God, greatness does not count, only our faithfulness,” and described Fr. Monix’s faithfulness in his prayer life, in his passion for the ministry, and in his practice of poverty.

      At the end of the celebration, eulogies were given. The Provincial Superior, Fr. Godofredo Atienza, SDB, thanked everyone who prayed and helped at the death of Fr. Monix. He said that Fr. Monix gave us memories, his messages, and meaning to live for.

      Fr. Monix died suddenly in the morning of 29 December 2019. He was part of the fun run organized by the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) Sisters in the diocese of Borongan. He was about to finish a 5-kilometer run when he dropped to his knees just five meters from an ambulance on-standby and collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead-on-arrival. He died of heart failure.

      Fr. Monix is part of the Salesian community of Borongan, Eastern Samar. Together with his rector, Fr. John Cardinal, SDB and Bro. Edward Villordon, SDB, they are working for young people through the youth and training center in the eastern part of the Philippines.

      It is a glorious day for the Salesian congregation when a Salesian dies wearing his working boots, St. John Bosco once said. Fr. Monix, was faithful Salesian who gave his life for the young people in the Philippine South. His passion and his faithfulness is the glory gained for the congregation and a powerful witness for his confreres and the young.

      Source: AustraLasia

      • Filippine
      • FIS FILIPPINE SUD
      • Decessi
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Brazil - AMA project travels to Xavantes villages for maintenance of wells

        2 weeks 2 days ago
        Brazil - AMA project travels to Xavantes villages for maintenance of wells

        (ANS - Campinapolis) - Every 2 or 3 months, the team of the AMA (Salesian Mission Animation) project travels through the region's villages to maintain services to indigenous communities. All belong to the Xavante ethnic group and are part of the "St Domenico Savio" parish in Campinapolis. Fr Bartolomeo Giaccaria, Salesian missionary, is the parish priest with a long history of service in favor of the "poorest of the Kingdom of God".

        The service trip lasts a few weeks. Salesian deacon José Alves explains that all activities are planned in detail. “We enter the villages praying, accompany the lessons and activities of the schools, health. We meet people in their villages and on the roads. If they have problems with the functioning of the wells, we take note of them and when we reach a quantity of necessary services that allow the transfer of the AMA project, we return knowing in advance which wells need maintenance,” said the religious.


        Around 500 people live in these 13 villages in the Parabubure region, who today benefit from the wells being maintained. In this case, minor repairs were made, such as changing the pumps, repairing the taps, and other services.


        The existing wells were built at different times more than 30 years ago according to the needs of the natives. The last borehole from the AMA project was built in the village of Teihidzatse 3 years ago.


        Other wells were built in the villages thanks to state support. The well maintenance project answers to a clear need of the Xavantes people of the region. Indigenous people usually build their villages on the banks of small streams, which sometimes dry up in periods of drought or when it rains little, the water becomes very muddy. In general, it is the water of these rivers and streams that indigenous people use to drink and cook, regardless of its quality.


        In some villages there is a serious shortage of water, why the presence of the AMA project is fundamental for the drilling of wells and their maintenance, all this at the service of the "poorest of the Kingdom of God".

         

        {gallery}Brasil_Pozzo{/gallery}

        • Brasile
          Jesus Jurado

          Italy - With Salesians for Social 1,157 young people ready to experience Universal Civil Service

          2 weeks 2 days ago
          Italy - With Salesians for Social 1,157 young people ready to experience Universal Civil Service

          (ANS - Rome) – Starting mid-January, 1,157 young people will experience civil service volunteering with the Salesians for the Social sector, the non-profit organization of the Salesians in Italy that coordinates the Universal Civil Service in Italy and abroad.

          In Italy and abroad there are 90 projects that will involve young people: 64 ordinary civil service projects in Italy with 752 places available; 20 projects with additional civil service measures in Italy for 365 places available (projects with additional measures that will allow young people to test several innovations introduced by the recent universal civil service reform. This is specifically a tutoring period, up to three months, aimed at facilitating access to the labor market for volunteers; measures that encourage the participation of young people with fewer opportunities).

          71 projects for 971 volunteers will start on 15 January, while 13 projects for 146 volunteers on 20 February.


          Abroad, there are three projects in Spain, France and Romania: the 30 volunteers from 15 to 21 January will be engaged in residential formation in Rome at Borgo Ragazzi Don Bosco. The projects abroad will be carried out in the oratories, boarding schools, schools and family homes. The activities concern free time, study support, education, creative, sports, language and music workshops. Two more VIS projects will start in February in Angola, Ghana, Ethiopia and Palestine with eight volunteers.

          • Italia
          • Giovani
          • Servizio Civile
          • Salesiani per il Sociale APS
            Jesus Jurado

            D.R. Congo - Mattresses and mosquito nets for children of Papy maison

            2 weeks 2 days ago
            D.R. Congo - Mattresses and mosquito nets for children of Papy maison

            (ANS - Kinshasa) - La Cité des Jeunes Don Bosco Lukunga is a large Salesian center inaugurated in 1989 and aimed at recovering the most vulnerable children. Located in a very poor area on the outskirts of Kinshasa, where electricity runs in fits and starts and water scarcity is a constant on a daily basis, this Salesian center wants to offer a chance for the future to all the area's children and young people who do not have access to basic education as they come from very poor, disintegrated families who live in inhuman conditions.

            Maison Papy

            Papy is the name of a boy who grew up in the streets and was received in the Cité des Jeunes Don Bosco Lukunga in very serious health conditions: he died shortly afterwards in the hospital of Kinshasa, where the Salesian missionaries had immediately transported and watched over him for 2 days, until the end. To pay homage to his memory, the Salesians gave his name to the reception house which houses minors belonging to the most disadvantaged categories. They are the last of the last. Enfants sorcièrs - children unjustly accused of being sorcerers, orphans living on the streets, minor workers, drug-addicted children. It is estimated that over 13,000 in Kinshasa are considered sorcerers or "ndoki".

            The project and the beneficiaries

            Maison Papy cares for the all-round well-being of the minors welcomed, 40 among children and young people aged from 5 to 17 years. Here the Salesians offer them a home and education, health care and food, those attentions and affection that most of them have never received ...

            Missions Don Bosco has launched a project because now there is a need for mattresses, mosquito nets and sheets for the Maison Papy children.

            Source: Missioni Don Bosco

            • Bambini
              Jesus Jurado

              Ecuador - "Proyecto Salesiano Ecuador" presented its new corporate image

              2 weeks 3 days ago

              (ANS - Quito) - "Proyecto Salesiano Ecuador" (PSE) presented its new corporate image in its 42nd year of assistance to children, adolescents and young people in vulnerable situations in Ecuador. Taking advantage of this celebration, the Salesian project launched and presented its new corporate image at the "Cándido Rada" Auditorium of the Salesian Polytechnic University (UPS), Quito.

              On 8 December 1977, the reception service center for street worker children was born, thanks to a group of young Salesians with the support of the community of the post-novitiate "El Girón" of Quito. This proposal has been maintained and strengthened over the years. As part of the history and service offered, in 2010 it was recorded that the "Fundación Proyecto Salesiano - Zona Norte" supported 2,581 children and 1,790 families.


              The ceremony was attended by Fr Francisco Sánchez, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Ecuador, Fr José Ruiz, director of the "Fundación Proyecto Salesiano Zona Norte", Salesians, prominent local figures and young people. Fr Ruiz explained that the new design implies the renewal of the commitment to continue walking alongside the favorites of Jesus and Don Bosco, and to answering to new challenges.

              Fr Juan Cárdenas, director of the Salesian center of Cuenca, presented the historical context in which the center was established, recalling that the project began for the 100 years of the Salesian presence in Ecuador. The project currently serves over 5,000 children, adolescents and young people in seven cities across the nation.


              Fr Esteban Ortiz, director of the "Fundación Proyecto Salesiano Guayaquil", blessed the new image and underlined the importance of the ongoing formation of educators to guarantee the identity and quality of the pastoral educational proposal.

              The new logo shows the outline of Don Bosco educator together with recipients as a sign of the Salesian pedagogical model. The background is a circle that represents the unity and the provincial vision of the PSE network; in the center, an "S" that symbolizes the vision of the future of the Salesian Congregation with the meaning of Salesianity, holiness and salvation that Don Bosco desired for his boys.

              Jesus Jurado

              Rwanda – The year 2019 ends with the commitment of modernizing TVET Education in the Salesian Schools

              2 weeks 3 days ago
              Rwanda – The year 2019 ends with the commitment of modernizing TVET Education in the Salesian Schools

              (ANS – Kigali) – The Salesians of Don Bosco in Africa of the Great Lakes have started considering the modernization of Youth Education with special efforts being invested in Technical and Vocational Education. The Job Service Office (JSO) and the AGL Planning and Development Office (PDO) are the coordinating organs that advocate and redirect the move towards the improved education in the Salesian schools.

              In October 2019, the AGL provincial administration convened a special meeting to assess the current situation of the Salesian Technical schools and expanded the path towards the revival of the quality education, since it was noticed that there are education gaps referring to the past experience where Salesian schools were among the best performing in their respective capacities.

              Speaking at the meeting, the Provincial Superior Fr.  Pierre Celestin Ngoboka asked members of the ad hoc committee to bring concrete answers to the Salesian Technical schools adding that in the past, the Salesian centres were role models in technical education and that’s why that pride should be back to continue the formation of qualified youth.   The ad hoc committee which was set up was assigned the task of bringing solutions to the existing challenges especially in Technical and Vocational Training Schools since the big number of youth today is starting to get appetite of enrolling in technical schools where they will get practical knowledge needed in today’s life.   The AGL Director of the Salesian Planning and Development Office Brother Hubert Twagirayezu said “We have the target to help the young people to get needed skills for the job market and plan of bringing new equipment to the schools to help young people to learn modern technologies as the world also keeps changing.”   “We have started with Gatenga TVET School in Rwanda where we have installed such equipment, we are working with DB Tech Africa to support our schools in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda with the detailed plan also on changing school structures, constructing new classes, capacity building in the schools, coming up with environmental conservation initiatives taking into consideration the issue of climate change as well as strengthening  networking programs to promote the stakeholders partnership in this move, ” Brother Twagirayezu said.

              Dusabemungu Ange De La Victoire

               

              {gallery}CentroRwanda{/gallery}

              • Rwanda
              • Formazione Professionale
                Jesus Jurado

                Italy – Don Bosco Salesians of L'Aquila: why ADMA?

                2 weeks 3 days ago
                Italy – Don Bosco Salesians of L'Aquila: why ADMA?

                (ANS - L'Aquila) - Everyone knows the history of the city of L'Aquila and the earthquake of April 6, 2009, which caused over 300 deaths, 1,600 injured and thousands of internally displaced people in the city of the Abruzzo region and in dozens of neighboring towns. Even today, after more than 10 years, they talk about it, because the wounds are still open, but little is said about what has been done to start over, be reborn, how much the Aquila people have fought and still struggle to find that social fabric, that serenity, those locations, that peace that has been snatched from us.

                It is true that at the end of the tunnel there is always a light, which invites us to move forward, which the Salesian Family has indeed, from the Salesians present since 2009 onwards, by the families linked to that environment, who have never abandoned the idea of ​​finding and rebuilding the beauty of the past, but with a specific purpose, not to live on memories, but to start over. Year zero. Time to be born again.

                The directors of the Salesian work in L'Aquila follow one another; their ideas, their projects are put on the work table in order to be fulfilled. Fr Kamil Podorski, current director, talks to us about ADMA, the Association of Mary Help of Christians.

                It is May 24, 2017. The ADMA group is formalized in L'Aquila, too. About twenty people pronounce their promise by committing themselves to participating in the liturgical life, to live and spread the devotion to Our Lady, to cultivate a welcoming Christian environment, to collaborate in Don Bosco's mission.

                We are familiar faces, our names have echoed for years within these walls. We have been scouts, past pupils, cooperators, educators and now ADMA associates; but there is also someone new, who joins us, veterans of the environment and they bring us a breath of fresh air.


                A family in the great Salesian Family that lives in symbiosis with the oratory, that participates in all its activities, a community of brothers and sisters who love each other.

                What prompted us to join? Love for Mary Help of Christians and for Don Bosco.
                The path of ADMA is a path of the Salesian Family, as our founder wanted, a path of Christian formation. In the face of the many difficulties and disappointments of personal lives, in the face of the tragedies of society, we do not want to give up the hope of a more humane and more peaceful world. Those who recognize and acknowledge the values ​​of life find time here for prayer, dialogue, charity, conversation, friendship, collaboration. For us, staying together has become a necessity, praying together is finding peace for our souls, celebrating together is rejoicing in the gift of life.

                Source: www.donbosco.it

                • Italia
                • Salesiani
                • Don Bosco
                • ADMA
                  Jesus Jurado

                  Brazil - "Dom Bosco" Catholic University of Campo Grande launches its first international postgraduate course

                  2 weeks 5 days ago

                  (ANS - Campo Grande) - The "Dom Bosco" Catholic University (UCDB) of Campo Grande has recently launched its first international postgraduate course and the chosen theme was "Salesianity". Intended for collaborators of Salesian works, members of the Congregation and committed lay people, the specialization has been offered in Brazil, as distant learning, since 2017, with a total of 360 hours of lessons in Spanish and Portuguese.

                  According to the coordinator of the specialization course, Brasdorico Merqueades Santos, the Salesianity course is an excellent opportunity to learn about Don Bosco's life, work, pedagogical, pastoral and spiritual teachings. "The course provides those who attend it with the knowledge of Don Bosco educator that emerges from the complex context of the nineteenth century and offers specific answers to its reality. At the same time, it brings the reflections of the rich Salesian teaching, trying to offer educational and pastoral paths suitable for the new youth contexts."

                  Don Bosco's entire Preventive System is analyzed starting from his primeval experience in Valdocco (Italy) up to the demanding dialogues proposed by today's scientific topics. "Each academic reflection offered aims, first of all, to bring about a personal benefit for growth in the life of faith, in family life and in the life of the Church," continues the course coordinator.

                  Totally accessible via the web, the course is divided into nine specific disciplines and the teaching staff is made up of teachers and researchers from different countries, educators specialized in Salesian pedagogy: "Salesianity and contemporaneity"; "Youth Grammars"; "Don Bosco and his time"; "Salesian pedagogical elements"; "Salesian identity"; "Salesianity from the female point of view"; "Educational traits of the thought of Saint Francis de Sales"; "Health, well-being and happiness"; and "Salesian Pastoral" by Fr Jacir Zanatta.

                  You can enroll in the course directly online, from the web page: virtual.ucdb.br/salesianidade 

                  • Brasile
                  • Università Dom Bosco
                  • Salesianità
                  • Campo Grande
                    Jesus Jurado

                    Venezuela - Nutritional emergency

                    2 weeks 5 days ago
                    Venezuela - Nutritional emergency

                    (ANS - Caracas) - According to the FAO, the levels of malnutrition in Venezuela have tripled in the past two years. 80% of families live in a state of nutritional insecurity. Food consumption has halved, as has GDP. Inflation reached 1,698,488% and the unemployment rate 27%. The operation of the health system and of the school system has decreased by 60 and 70% respectively. These are just some of the figures extrapolated from the 2019 Sfide - Challenges report, published in February by Caritas Venezuela, which outline the scenario of total crisis in which the country has been for too long. Meanwhile, the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants worldwide has almost reached 5 million. Venezuelans are exhausted. Caracas is a ghost town.

                    News from missionaries
                    The Salesians in Venezuela have confirmed these alarming figures and stressed that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, recently released information that child malnutrition is 35% and that almost all Venezuelans live in extreme poverty, with an income of less than two dollars a day. The Sons of Don Bosco, as is their style, continue to be close to the population, especially the youngest, but not only, and to strongly support the importance of education.

                     

                    A project involving 11 schools: motivations and objectives
                    The Sons of Don Bosco again asked Missions Don Bosco for help, as they had already done a year and a half ago, to guarantee one meal a day to the users of the Salesian schools. The element that is different is the new nutritional project that now also involves adults: teachers, school workers, administrative employees ... to help them carry on their work, to offer them one more opportunity to stay in Venezuela, where food is scarce, where millions of people eat only one meal a day. They want them to continue to support young people: for this reason, guaranteeing them lunch too, along with being the reference figures of children and young people who attend Salesian schools, means a lot. Those involved in the project are educational institutions of various levels and degrees, scattered throughout the country, all located in difficult neighborhoods. And they asked to ensure a daily meal for 1,650 students selected from those at risk of malnutrition and 750 employees of 11 schools in Venezuela.

                    Source: Don Bosco Missions

                    • Venezuela
                      Jesus Jurado

                      Italy - Elisabetta Cipollone appointed Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic

                      2 weeks 6 days ago
                      Italy - Elisabetta Cipollone appointed Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic

                      (ANS - Rome) - The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, has awarded, motu proprio, thirty-two honors of the Merit of the Italian Republic to citizens, male and female, who have distinguished themselves for acts of heroism, for their commitment to solidarity, in rescue efforts, in international cooperation, in the protection of minors, in the promotion of culture and legality, for activities in favor of social cohesion, integration, research and environmental protection. Among these positive models, the Head of State also rewarded Elisabetta Cipollone, who for years has been working together with the Salesian NGO "VIS - International Volunteering for Development" in the "Un Pozzo per Andrea" project, a water well for Andrea, in Ethiopia.

                      The award, declares a note from the Quirinale, is assigned to celebrate "among the many examples present in civil society and institutions, several significant cases of civil commitment, dedication to the common good and testimony of republican values."


                      Elisabetta Cipollone lost her son Andrea a few years ago in a road accident; but instead of folding away in understandable pain, she decided to fulfill her son's dream of "bringing water to Africa", after reading this sentence in the pages of his diary.


                      Thus was born the collaboration with the VIS.

                      Since the beginning of the project, 24 wells have been built, all inaugurated personally by her, the last 7 inaugurated this year, during an expedition in March. The project will continue with the construction of other wells, although Elisabetta's ambition is to create a water point along the border line between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

                       

                      • Italia
                      • Elisabetta Cipollone
                      • Ordine al Merito
                        Jesus Jurado

                        Spain - The photographer of recent Rectors Major has died: Fr Mena

                        2 weeks 6 days ago
                        Spain - The photographer of recent Rectors Major has died: Fr Mena

                        (ANS - Arévalo) - Fr José Luis Mena died on 28 December last in Ávila, Spain, at 92 years old. He leaves behind a huge accumulation of documentary material of high historical value, but also a great void that will be difficult to fill. Fr Mena spent more than 50 years in the Casa Don Bosco in Madrid as an official photographer and communication expert. He was responsible for many covers of the Salesian Bulletin, images and many books and above all beautiful photographs of the last five Major Rectors. He undoubtedly leaves a rich graphic heritage that illustrates the history of the Salesian Congregation in Spain.

                        Fr Mena was born on 17 March 1927 in Casablanca, Morocco, to Spanish parents. He made his novitiate in Mohernando, where he made his first religious vows on August 16, 1948. In 1953, he began his theological studies in Carabanchel, where he was ordained a priest on June 23, 1957. For two years he was a professor of French and during this period he developed his innate artistic qualities with photography and cinematography.


                        Since 1965 he was destined for the "Don Bosco" house of "Calle Alcalá, 164", home to the Salesian Bulletin, the CCS Publishing House, the Catechetical Center and the Youth Ministry Center. His work was extremely intense and of extraordinary quality. He left a rich graphic heritage illustrating the history of the Salesian Congregation in Spain.


                        Fr Mena was certainly a great, friendly and welcoming person, a true professional, a tireless worker, a masterful perfectionist who always aspired to perfection, an enemy of mediocrity and superficiality. But, above all, he was a good religious, with a profound and well demonstrated Salesian spirit, a lover of Don Bosco and of the Salesian Congregation. As a priest, he was faithful to his vocation from the details of the liturgy, always well made in conformity with the norms, up to his apostolic zeal, seeking in everyone the good of their souls.

                        • Spagna
                        • José Luis Mena
                        • Fotografo
                          Jesus Jurado

                          RMG – Presentation of Rector Major's Strenna for 2020: the "politics of Our Father"

                          3 weeks 2 days ago

                          (ANS - Rome) - The Strenna's message represents an invitation addressed by the Rector Major to the whole Salesian Family to know how to trace new paths, even in the wake of their own charism. This year then, reaching the end of a six-year term, the Strenna really wants to indicate a legacy to be preserved and valued: for 2020 the Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, started again from the heart of the Salesian educational system to illustrate "politics of Our Father". Today, Friday 27 December, he presented it as a premiere at the Generalate of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                          "Good Christians and Upright Citizens" is the title of the Strenna 2020, which deepens the Gospel verse: "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." The Rector Major, in his presentation before Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the FMA, with his Council, of Fr Filiberto González, General Councilor for Social Communication, and other members of the Salesian Family, began by recalling the many different ways and expressions with which Don Bosco exhorted to form young people who knew how to be the leaven of a more just and more humane world.

                          Subsequently he delved, step by step, into the many areas in which to be good Christians: good Christians in daily life illuminated by faith, in careful discernment, in apostolic zeal and evangelizer, in an authentically Salesian spirituality, in missions ad gentes, in courageously going outward towards the peripheries and out of one's own comfort zones ...

                          In the same way, then, he indicated the priorities and criteria for living as upright citizens in the world: bearing witness of justice to young people, solidarity, the protection of the most vulnerable, educating young people to active and responsible citizenship and to service in politics, pushing away from oneself every form of corruption, taking care of a world in movement and in migration, of caring for the common home, of effective respect for Human Rights …

                          The Strenna 2019 will then be further illustrated and explored with the leaders of the Salesian Family as part of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days to be held in Turin-Valdocco in January 2020.

                          The Strenna 2020 video is available on ANSChannel, in the various language channels.

                          {gallery}RMG - Presentazione Strenna 2020 - Realizzata nel 2019{/gallery}

                          • Strenna 2020
                          • Rettor Maggiore
                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                          • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                          • Filiberto González
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Italy – Progetto INSIEME, in Venaria Reale, workshop for parents to learn how to "wash clothes" together

                            3 weeks 2 days ago

                            (ANS - Venaria Reale) - For the Progetto INSIEME (together), which sees "Salesiani per il Sociale APS" as the leading body of the project and whose objective is to prevent and contrast the phenomena of educational child poverty through an intervention on minors, families, teachers and territorial context, Dr. Daniela Rizzo, psychologist and psychotherapist, talks about the experience of "Genitori Insieme/Parents Together", a series of meetings that takes place in the Venaria Reale headquarters.

                            "Parents Together" began, in its part dedicated to parenting, with an evening conducted by Fr Domenico Ricca, SDB.

                            The meeting, entitled: "Children and adults hanging in the balance. Educational views on the malaise of young people" was especially appreciated by parents as, even while looking at the deviance and reality of the juvenile prison, the place where Fr Ricca is chaplain, he also highlighted the difficulty of educating nowadays. Difficulties that are inherent in the society in which we live and in which we are protagonists: social and environmental changes, frenetic rhythms of both life and work, confrontations/comparisons with different cultural models that intersect, cross and compare ...

                            On that evening a group of parents, teachers, educators stopped to reflect on the growth and raising of children. Not to run between one commitment and another, but to prepare oneself for listening, understanding and dialogue.

                            Memberships in the parenting support group, led by me, exceeded expectations; there are 54 registered parents, including several couples. This aspect made it necessary to create two groups that will meet five times.

                            At the end of the first meeting I gathered: participation, enthusiasm, desire to share one's idea of ​​family and to present one's difficulties. As Fr Ricca said, mentioned several times, we need to get out of the perspective of "dirty clothes need to be washed in the family" to share the care of the clothes and maybe even put some patches on them.

                            Participation certainly demonstrates and makes public a social need: taking care of normal families too, who have a desire not to feel alone, to network but also to be led by an expert in reflection, in managing growth, in understanding intrapsychic dynamics of teenagers. (...)

                             

                            In conclusion, I cite the words of a lady who expressed herself this way: “I came tonight thinking of being a disastrous mother, I leave feeling better, I understand that we are many, perhaps it is difficult for everyone. I'd like not to be bored, I think it won't happen."

                            The meetings have just started but will be oriented towards awareness of the importance of the educational relationship.

                            {gallery}Italia - INSIEME a Venaria 2019{/gallery}

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

                              Ecuador – Death of Father Juan Bottasso, missionary and university professor

                              3 weeks 3 days ago
                              Ecuador – Death of Father Juan Bottasso, missionary and university professor

                              (ANS - Quito) - Father Juan Bottasso, a Salesian missionary in the Amazon and in Sierra de Ecuador, died on Tuesday 24 December in Quito. He was 83 years old.

                              Fr Bottasso was a great Salesian missionary, one of the pioneers in the defense of Ecuador's indigenous peoples. The "Sacred Heart of Jesus" Salesian Province announced his death around midnight on December 24th through its social networks, stating "that his Resurrection Easter be the announcement of the fruitfulness of new great missionaries for the Church and the Salesian Family."

                              Giovanni Bottasso was born in Peveragno (Piedmont, Italy) on 27 September 1936. He had studied in the Salesian Institute of Valdocco, the Salesian mother house in Turin, from 1947. In 1952, he entered the Novitiate of Monte Oliveto, in Pinerolo, and continued his studies in Foglizzo, where he attended the lyceum and studied Philosophy. He did his apprenticeship as a teacher in Chieri and Cuneo, between 1957 and 1959.

                              He asked to leave as a missionary and embarked for Ecuador when he was not yet 25 years old. He studied Theology in Bogotá, but his heart was always with the Salesian missions in Sucúa, where he was sent after his priestly ordination in 1963.

                              He spent six decades living, knowing and defending the Shuar people, building bridges between the Church and the indigenous people, and opening roads towards a new understanding of the meaning of the evangelizing mission among indigenous peoples, a precursor of an "outgoing Church" with "an indigenous face and heart."

                              "Juan Bottasso was my great inspirer in the process of missionary renewal and in the study of cultures," commented the Consolata missionary Julio Caldeira, new head of communication of the Pan-Amazonian Church Network (REPAM), who researched the cultural legacy and apostolic life of Father Bottasso in the development of his Master's degree in Communication. "His work with the Shuar, but especially in the foundation of the Salesian Polytechnic University (UPS) of Quito and in the Abya-Yala publishing house, has helped me a lot in understanding the new missionary model," added Caldeira.

                              As a theologian and anthropologist, Fr Bottasso was a pioneer in the formation of the indigenous movement in the Amazon in 1964, supporting "a missionary presence respectful of cultures and in solidarity with the territorial demands of the natives, the language and intercultural education," say those who knew his ability and intellectual preparation in the management of the Mundo Shuar publishing house, which he created in 1975, which would later give life to what is now the Abya-Yala Cultural Center, the Abya-Yala publishing house and the Abya-Yala Museum.

                              Undoubtedly, his enlightened dynamism in the publishing and academic world has opened avenues in defense of the country's original cultures.

                              "His teaching, his dedication and his work for the poor, together with the immense gift of the person that he was, remain with us forever," declared the UPS, of which Father Botasso was vice-rector at Quito from 1995 to 1999

                              • Ecuador
                              • Missioni
                              • Salesiani Sacerdoti
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                RMG – "Living the tenderness of God's love for his children". Rector Major's invitation for Christmas 2019

                                3 weeks 5 days ago

                                (ANS - Rome) - On the eve of Christmas 2019, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, sends greetings to all his confreres, to the Salesian Family and to the young: to remember that “there are many reasons to feel profoundly good, because profoundly loved by God"; but also to animate "to have eyes to see and more open hearts" to help solve humanity's many challenges.

                                The Rector Major does not ignore current problems: the difficulties in taking care of Creation, the condition of those who emigrate due to wars and violence, the lack of decent work for many young people ... "This too becomes present, as pain, in the mystery of the Christmas of God, who becomes the Word, flesh among us."

                                But the Rector Major assures his prayer for all and invites to celebrate this Christmas with the capacity to "live the tenderness of God's love for his children" and the desire to commit oneself to create "a more beautiful humanity and a marvellous Creation."

                                The video is available on ANSChannel channels, divided by language.

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

                                  India – Salesian Priest translated Tiwa Bible: released in Don Bosco Umswai

                                  3 weeks 5 days ago
                                  India – Salesian Priest translated Tiwa Bible: released in Don Bosco Umswai

                                  (ANS – Shillong– 21st December 2019 was a Red Letter Day for the Tiwa Community. On this auspicious day, the complete Tiwa Bible - “Baibil Khumur” (Holy Bible) - was released by Reverend Bishop Paul Matekatt, Bishop of Diphu, in a solemn ceremony in Umswai parish, West Karbi Anglong, Assam, in the presence of Reverend Bishop John Moolechira, Archbishop of Guwahati, Reverend Father UV Jose SDB, Chief translator, Reverend Fr Januarius Sangma SDB, Provincial of Guwahati Province, Reverend Fr Joseph Teron SDB, Vice-Provincial, Fr Basil Benny, Economer, Shri D Uphing Maslai, MAC, many priests and religious. A huge crowd witnessed the historic celebration.

                                  The release of the Bible was preceded by the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Reverend Bishop John Moolechira, Archbishop of Guwahati. In his homily, he congratulated Fr UV Jose SDB and his team for the “unmatched” achievement of translating the Bible into Tiwa language and making it the ‘youngest’ edition among thousands of copies in different languages in the world. He urged everyone to read and reflect on the word of God as it has the power to change our lives – individually and as a society.

                                  Reverend Bishop Paul Matekatt, Bishop of Diphu, in his speech, thanked the Chief translator and his collaborators for making the Bible available in the mother tongue of the Tiwa community. He noted that Fr UV Jose painstakingly worked for over five years, spending up to 14 hours every day to achieve the challenging task. He termed “Baibil Khumur” a treasure but the treasure is not just for show but should be utilized well. The people, particularly the young, should now learn verses of the Bible as it is now available in their own language, he further added.

                                  Fr Januarius Sangma SDB, Provincial, expressed his joy and happiness to see the Tiwa Bible join millions of copies of the Bible being printed every day. While wholeheartedly congratulating Fr UV Jose, he also acknowledged the contribution of the ‘co-translators’ who are all past pupils of Don Bosco schools.

                                  The first copy of the Bible was presented to Revered Bishop John Moolechira, Archbishop of Guwahati, before it was given to Bishop Paul Matekatt, Bishop of Diphu, Fr UV Jose himself, all members of the translating team and to other dignitaries. 

                                  In his passionate speech, the man behind the noble project, Fr UV Jose, blessed the community with his impeccable Tiwa, much to the cheers of the large congregation present.

                                  Felicitations, gratitude to God and to the people responsible, joy and happiness expressed in sweet melodies of songs and music, rhythm of dances filled the air as the ‘Monumental’ work has been accomplished. The Tiwa Bible will serve as a priceless piece of literature and spiritual gift. Fr UV Jose’s exceptional contribution will be remembered forever.  

                                  The Tiwa or Lalung community is an indigenous tribe inhabiting mainly the states of Assam and Meghalaya of North East India. They are also found in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur. 

                                  Numbering about 371,000, the 2011 census says that the total number of Tiwa speakers is only 34,800 (approximately). Hence the significance of the Tiwa Bible! Fr UV Jose has also compiled a 725-page Tiwa-English Dictionary (2014), besides textbooks up to class IV and many other books in the language, to make his contribution in the development of the “endangered” language nothing short of outstanding. Before him, the pioneer missionary, Reverend Fr Michael Balawan SDB also translated the New Testament into Tiwa. He wrote the Tiwa-English-Khasi dictionary and brought out religious and song books in the language.

                                  Both can be called “Fathers of Tiwa Literature’. But the man of the moment deserves millions of our congratulations.

                                  Fr Albert Thyrniang, SDB 

                                  • India
                                  • Libri e Pubblicazioni
                                  • Indigeni
                                  • ING INDIA GUWAHATI
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Burkina Faso – Sister Bernarda Garcia, FMA, receives "Caminando juntos" award on 60th anniversary of "Manos Unidas"

                                    3 weeks 5 days ago

                                    (ANS - Ouagadougou) - "Together we can change the world a little." This is how the missionary Sister Bernarda Garcia, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, who has been working in Africa for almost 40 years, expressed herself after receiving the "Caminando juntos" award from "Manos Unidas" on 12 December last, at the Auditorium del Caixa Madrid Forum, representing all the missionaries who work for the less fortunate in many parts of the world. Salesian NGOs in Spain, including "Bosco Global", have collaborated with her and hold her in high regard for her professionalism, availability and commitment to development in all the countries of the Francophone region of West Africa.

                                    For the first time since it grants these awards (40 years), this year “Manos Unidas” has decided internally, through a vote, the categories and people worthy of being recognized for their work, commitment and support in defense of the most disadvantaged. In this way, "Manos Unidas" has set up 11 categories of awards, which represent all the sectors that have made the work of the NGO possible in 60 years of life.

                                    In a presentation, Sister Garcia declared: “You have saved these girls who previously roamed the streets and who are now dignified girls with a dignified life. Thousands of young people will continue to pass through our centers thanks to you, to your sacrifice. Together we can change the world a little, by feeding the hungry, but above all by giving them integral education, the basis of development."

                                    In accepting the award, the religious FMA did nothing but give thanks. “I have no words to thank you for this gesture, a gesture of God's Providence that has marked my life. He is present in everything. I don't deserve any of this, but I accept it on His behalf, for the congregation and for the girls and young women we work with. Don Bosco said on occasions like these: 'it is the Virgin Mary who has done everything'. Thank you, God bless you and that you can continue doing good all over the world."

                                    The missionary also delivered a "batik" fabric to Clara Pardo, which represents the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish, a miracle that continues to occur thanks to "Manos Unidas"; and concluded her speech by revealing a secret: "This award," she said, "will be given to girls who have become homeless in Abidjan, because their homes and businesses have been demolished." 

                                    {gallery}Burkina Faso - Premio a suor Bernarda 2019{/gallery}

                                    • Burkina Faso
                                    • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                    • Solidarietà
                                    • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                    • Spagna
                                    • ONG
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Italy – Launch of Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Vera Grita, Salesian Cooperator

                                      3 weeks 6 days ago
                                      Italy – Launch of Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Vera Grita, Salesian Cooperator

                                      (ANS - Savona) – On Sunday 22 December, the 50th anniversary of Vera Grita's birth in heaven (1923-1969), the Supplex libellus, for the opening of the diocesan Inquiry on the life, virtues, fame of holiness and signs of Vera Grita, Laywoman, Salesian Cooperator, was officially presented by the Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, to the bishop of Savona-Noli, Msgr. Calogero Marino.

                                      This request was made at the end of the Eucharist celebrated in the church of Mary Help of Christians in Savona, presided by Msgr. Marino, and concelebrated - among others - by the bishop emeritus, Msgr. Vittorio Lupi, by Fr Francesco Cereda, Vicar of the Rector Major, who officially read the letter of the Rector Major with which the Congregation constitutes itself as Actor of the Cause; and by Fr Stefano Aspicati, Provincial of the Central Italy Circumscription, in the presence of numerous members of the groups of the Opera dei Tabernacoli Viventi.

                                      Vera Grita, second of four sisters, lived and studied in Savona where she obtained her teaching degree. At the age of 21, during an air raid on the city (1944), she was overwhelmed and trampled by the fleeing crowd, suffering serious consequences for her physique which remained marked forever. She lived quietly, largely unnoticed in her short earthly life, teaching in the schools of the Ligurian hinterland, where she earned everyone's esteem and affection for her good and mild character.

                                      In Savona, in the Salesian parish of Mary Help of Christians, she attended Mass and was assiduous in the sacrament of Penance. Salesian Cooperator since 1967, she fulfilled her call in the total gift of herself to the Lord, who extraordinarily gave Himself to her, in the depths of her heart, with the "Voice", with the "Word", to communicate to her the Work of Living Tabernacles. She submitted all her writings to the spiritual director, Salesian Fr Gabriello Zucconi, and kept the secret of that call in the silence of her heart.

                                      Vera Grita responded to the gift of God by bearing witness in her life, marked by the fatigue of her illness, the encounter with the Risen One and dedicating herself with heroic generosity to the teaching and education of students, helping the needs of the families and bearing witness to a life of evangelical poverty, a Christian existence made of patience and constancy in and for the Good.

                                      She died on December 22, 1969, at 46, in a hospital room where she had spent the last six months of her life in a crescendo of sufferings accepted and lived in union with Jesus Crucified. "Vera's soul," wrote Fr Borra, SDB, her first biographer, "with messages and letters enters the ranks of those charismatic souls called to enrich the Church with flames of love for God and Eucharistic Jesus for the expansion of the Kingdom."

                                      • Italia
                                      • Santità Salesiana
                                      • Vera Grita
                                      • Pier Luigi Cameroni
                                      • Francesco Cereda
                                        Gian Francesco Romano
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