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RMG – Salesians discuss "Accompaniment and Affectivity"

1 week 4 days ago

(ANS - Rome) - When interviewed or participating in surveys and studies, young people around the world say that their priorities in life are lovefamilyrelationships ... But in today's society, so fluid in all its ties and marked by precariousness, children often lack the educational cues and reference models among adults that would enable them to achieve or fulfil their wishes and ambitions. To try to answer to this challenge, the Department for Youth Ministry has organized a seminar on "Accompaniment and Affectivity", which started Monday 25th and ends today, Friday 29th, at the Salesian Central Office in Rome.

The seminar is part of a long journey begun by the Department already through 2008-2014, with a series of seminars on the topic of Salesian spiritual accompaniment - in which the theme of accompaniment from the charismatic and pastoral point of view were addressed - and then continued in this six-year term (2014-2020) with a seminar on prayer.

On this specific occasion, the seminar's 57 participants - mostly Salesians, but also lay people and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, from all over the world - reflected together and discussed the issue of affective education for young people and adolescents and on how the concrete reality of youth affectivity must be met, lived and experienced in pastoral journeys or paths.

In the development of the seminar, a first anthropological reading, curated by Fr Selvam Sahaja, SDB, university professor in Nairobi, Kenya, helped to identify the challenges for education in love starting from the perspective of Social Sciences.

The second day was followed by a reflection on the person of the youth carer in affect education. The session, led by prof. Alessandro Ricci of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), focused on the themes of maturity and useful skills for those who carry out this precious service.

The reflection then continued, thanks to the contribution of two speakers - Marlene Cauchi and Jeanine Balzan - on the theme of intimacy, with particular regard to those challenges that young people face around the theme of love and sexuality.

And finally, with the report by Fr Eunan McDonell, Provincial of Ireland, the relationship between love and freedom in the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales was explored, thus observing the "Salesian perspective" on education for love.

Furthermore, among the specific workshops, other important topics have been touched upon for those who work side by side with young people in emotional growth - gender theory, homosexuality, family education ... - as well as other aspects relevant to personal formation - with a session on "Transformative Learning".

"This field, with its complexity, asks us Salesians to be not only aware of this complexity, but also to be competent to understand the various messages that our young people encounter. In this sense, our walk with the young must find us as true educators, who gradually help them find meaning and take courage in their integral growth," concluded Fr Fabio Attard, General Councilor for Youth Ministry.

  • RMG
  • Pastorale Giovanile
  • Affettività
  • Accompagnamento
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Spain – Salesian organizations present environmental initiatives

    1 week 4 days ago
    Spain – Salesian organizations present environmental initiatives

    (ANS - Madrid) - Yesterday, November 28, the Salesian and Daughter of Mary Help of Christians organizations in Spain presented their commitments to the environment during a press conference held in Madrid. In view of the "COP25" (the 25th United Nations conference on climate change) and the 15th Youth Conference, both scheduled in Madrid these days, Salesian organizations in Spain presented their work with young people towards the issue of change climate, through the campaign "(Go Green for the Future of Young People).

    On this occasion, the "Don Bosco Green Alliance" (DBGA) was also presented, the international Salesian network that encourages young people to contribute with concrete gestures and reflections to addressing global environmental policies.

    “In his time, Don Bosco was determined to respond to the needs of the young people of his time. Today we want to respond to the urgent needs of the young people of the 21st century, for which it is necessary to engage in the care of the common home," said Fr Koldo Gutiérrez, Director of the National Salesian Center for Youth Ministry, at the beginning of his press conference.

    At his side was Almudena Rodríguez, a young participant in the 15th Youth Conference (COY15), in progress from today until Sunday December 1st, and Salvi Macías, a young participant at COP25, scheduled from December 2nd to 13th.

    A summary of what was said:

    Koldo Gutiérrez:

    This campaign will consist of a series of actions in our schools, youth centers and social platforms. We want children and young people of our homes to organize climate marches. We will also have several actions on social networks that can be monitored with the hashtag #PorElFuturoDeLaJuventud. Today it is very important to underscore words such as cure, protect, guard, preserve, safeguard. We have a commitment to Creation. To engage in caring for the common home, dialogue is very important and we are convinced that ecology is a cultural, educational and spiritual challenge. Our proposal is based on these aspects.

    Almudena Rodríguez:

    We want to be one of the principal players in the search for solutions to the problems and injustices caused by the climate crisis. We must not lose sight of the fact that the impact of this crisis is suffered above all by the poorest people. And let's not forget that over 1,550 activists have been killed in 50 different countries over the past 15 years for having carried out activities of protection and care of the natural resources of their living environments, in particular of the territories of high natural and biological value belonging to the indigenous communities.

    Salvi Macías:

    Salesian youth, who are part of the DBGA, are concretely engaged along three guidelines:

    • Combatting air, water and land pollution;
    • Reducing global warming by adopting more responsible and efficient consumption;
    • Eliminating single-use plastic.

    We can no longer delay climate action. It's time to act.

    • Spagna
    • Ambiente
    • Creato
    • Famiglia Salesiana
    • Don Bosco Green Alliance
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Albania – Earthquake emergency, VIS cooperates with Caritas

      1 week 4 days ago
      Albania – Earthquake emergency, VIS cooperates with Caritas

      (ANS - Durres) – The powerful earthquake, 6.4 Richter Scale, that shook Albania in the early hours of November 26th has caused, according to the most recent estimates, at least 49 victims, about 750 wounded and countless displaced persons and homes destroyed. Rescuers and Armed Forces personnel are working tirelessly in the search for people still alive under the rubble and many international organizations are also working to support the local population in this emergency phase; among these, the Salesian NGO "VIS - International Voluntary Service for Development", which has been taking care of various projects in the country for years.

      The greatest damage has been recorded in the cities of Durres and Thumane, but also in Kruje, Lezhe, Tirana, Lac, Lushnje and Fier. The authorities have deployed Armed Forces and police to support the relief efforts and the government has activated emergency shelters. Food support and hygiene kits are the most urgent needs and, as winter has already arrived, the availability of blankets is also a priority.

      Several states are also providing support, including Italy, Greece, Kosovo and Romania, as well as the European Union.

      The civil protection has set up three accommodation centers in Tirana, three accommodation centers in Shijak-Durres, a center in Helmes-Kavaje and a tent camp in Thumane.

      The epicenter of the earthquake occurred far from the Salesian presence, which is why there were neither victims nor material damages in the works of the Salesian Family. Meanwhile, a reception center for displaced persons is being set up in Tirana at the Salesian facility.

      Furthermore, VIS is supporting Caritas Albania in the emergency and post-emergency plan activated after the earthquake. Caritas interventions in this phase are focusing on visits to areas most affected by the earthquake for the distribution of First Aid kits; in the search for information and reliable data for the coordination of relief; in the activation of a network of volunteers; in launching an emergency plan, also coordinated with the network of Caritas Europe, in view of what may be the many needs that will emerge.

      Further information on the VIS site

      • Albania
      • VIS
      • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
      • Terremoto
      • IME
        Gian Francesco Romano

        India – Peace Award for Salesian Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, SDB

        1 week 5 days ago
        India – Peace Award for Salesian Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, SDB

        (ANS – New Delhi) – The Delhi-based International Human Rights Council has announced an “Ambassador for Peace” Award for Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil Emeritus of Guwahati. The Award will be conferred on 9th December 2019 in New Delhi in the presence of invitees from all over the country and abroad. One of the earlier recipients of the Award is the Dalai Lama among many other internationally known figures.

        International Human Rights Council is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, the organization gives voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes.

        Surprised by the news, the prelate dedicated the recognition to the members of his team: “I have never worked for awards. I am the last person to worry about these things, but I accept them when they happen, as an encouragement to my colleagues, who are the real winners,” he said.

        Though a Church man, Salesian Archbishop Thomas believes in social activism and is a firm believer of peace building and social harmony who often repeats, “Peace comes when all of us recognize that we need each other.”

        Mgr. Menamparampil is a key figure in the peace process in India, particularly among the ethnic groups of the State of Assam, in North-East India. For him, the best method of evangelizing in Asia is to “whisper the Gospel in the soul of Asia”, becoming mediators between the various positions and cultures and promoters of a sincere dialogue between the parties, which can only happen through mutual knowledge, respect and through a “hint of sympathy in the heart.”

        “I was drawn into it [peace building] in 1996 when almost two-and-a-half lakh people fled into relief camps around Kokrajhar [Bodoland] having lost their dear ones and property,” recalls Archbishop Menamparampil. Without hesitation the soft spoken archbishop adds, “Fortunately, like-minded people came together to help from different Churches and communities.”

        “It was a people’s effort, of joint action,” he says. With the encouragement and support of the State Government and the general public, relief work made progress and an atmosphere for peace was created.

        It was on that occasion that the “Joint Peace Mission Team” was born, he being among its promoters and with which he still works today, to support local harmony. For him peace is possible, through prayer and commitment, in all contexts and at all levels.

        Archbishop Thomas admits, “After that experience, I was called to help in several other instances of conflict in the region where ethnic violence had taken away several lives, destroyed houses, and caused immense suffering to people.”

        Peace initiatives under Menamparamil’s leadership included Northeast India’s ethnic conflict hot spots like Churachandpur, Haflong, Diphu, Udalguri, Mendipathar, and Sarupathar.

        “My contribution was small,” he insists, “but those who were working for peace in those contexts have greatly valued our initiatives.”

        The eighty-three year old Archbishop Thomas took office in 1992 as the first Catholic bishop of Guwahati. Prior to that, he had been the bishop of Dibrugarh for eleven years. Earlier, he was in the field of education, working for many years in the Don Bosco Technical School, Shillong, and St. Anthony’s College. Several of his students have emerged as prominent leaders in Northeast India and at national levels.

        Dialogue and reconciliation remain the cardinal points of his work in the numerous other positions held, including: President of the Regional Conference of Bishops of North-Eastern India; President of the Commission for Education and Culture of the Indian Episcopal Conference; and President of the Office for the Evangelization of the Episcopal Conferences of Asia (FABC).

        Of late, he has been invited to several universities in India and abroad to speak on themes like inter-community understanding, healing of historic memories, and the arduous path to peace. He made a very useful contribution at the World Congress of Philosophers last year in Beijing.

        • India
        • Premi e Riconoscimenti
        • Thomas Menamparampil
        • Pace
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Italy – IUSVE: Pope Francis launches "Xmas Facts" and two new "social" courses start

          1 week 5 days ago

          (ANS - Venice) - There is much excitement these days at the "Salesian University Institute of Venice" (IUSVE): the institute has begun the new academic year with two new degree courses in the sector most in vogue at the moment, social networks; and with this, yesterday, Wednesday 27 November, the institute's radio, Cube Radio, had an exceptional sponsor for the launch of its new Christmas broadcast called "Xmas Facts": Pope Francis, on the sidelines of the general audience, gave the start to the new multimedia show.

          The new radio program will talk about Christmas and Christmas curiosities, flanked however by brief reflections related to the Holy Scriptures, all in a festive atmosphere that will accompany radio listeners from the first Sunday of December, the first day of the month, until Christmas day.

          Yesterday it was no less than the Holy Father to officially start the program, with a "click" given directly on the tablet of Jasmine Pagliarusco and Mattia Franchini, students of IUSVE of Mestre, for the occasion on a mission to the Vatican.

          "The path of communication by contagion that we have activated," explained Marco Sanavio, director of Cube Radio, "is – by priority - intended for university students and their peers but is also designed for those who are not very familiar with Christian practice, but willingly welcome proposals of unconventional spirituality."

          Every message will also be distributed daily through all the radio's social channels - Telegram (@iusvecuberadio), Youtube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - and will also be made available in e-mail as well as with an Alexa stil. The main media partner is the online Catholic information network: Aleteia.org.

          "#XmasFacts," added Federico Gottardo, the IUSVE University Pastoral Officer who met the Pope together with the two students, "was born to help university students, and not only them, to follow an Advent itinerary that could intrigue them and, at the same time, make them reflect by proposing stimulating questions rather than exhaustive answers."

          "This initiative," concluded Nicola Giacopini, IUSVE Director, "wants to offer 'pills' of Christian wisdom about life, in a Salesian style, profound, cheerful and innovative: it's a Gospel proposed also in digital places."

          And always on the subject of new digital courtyards or playgrounds, tomorrow, Friday November 29, at the IUSVE headquarters in Mestre, a press conference will present the two new degree courses: "Advertising & Marketing" and "Digital & Graphic Design." These courses, which already have a total of 315 new students, freshmen, will be included in an offer, by the Communication Department, which is already very broad and sees a total of 958 students attending: 696 in the three-year courses and 222 in the graduate (magistrale) courses (142 in Venice and 80 in Verona), plus about forty students in the MA.

          • Italia
          • IUSVE
          • Papa Francesco
          • Comunicazione Sociale
          • Radio
          • INE
            Gian Francesco Romano

            RMG - CG28: Fr Maurizio Palazzo traces history of “Piedmont's largest organ”

            1 week 5 days ago
            RMG - CG28: Fr Maurizio Palazzo traces history of “Piedmont's largest organ”

            (ANS - Rome) - “Music has always had a fundamental importance, since the founding of the oratories, for Don Bosco. We have photographs in which he is depicted together with the musical band.” The speaker is Fr Maurizio Palazzo, in charge of musical animation of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, who in the video "Interviews with the eyes of ...", 80 days from the beginning of the 28th General Chapter, presents the organ in the Basilica.

            In the video, Fr Palazzo traces the organ's history and its functions within the Basilica. It was the famous organ builder Giovanni Tamburini who, a few years after Don Bosco's canonization, designed and built the pipe organ with its complex console, featuring circa 90 registers and 5,100 pipes. In fact, the organ of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians is the largest in all of Piedmont.

            The complete video, with the whole explanation about the pipe organ, is available in the six channels - divided by language - on ANSChannel.

            • CG28
            • RMG
              Virginia Nitto

              Eritrea – Foundations set for birth of Association of Salesian Past Pupils

              1 week 6 days ago
              Eritrea – Foundations set for birth of Association of Salesian Past Pupils

              (ANS - Asmara) - In a country where a boy cannot imagine a future for himself, or draw a life plan, where even dreaming is, sometimes, useless, having known Don Bosco can be the keystone of one's life, that element that allows you to give a new direction to your future. For this reason, some Past Pupils of the Salesian schools in Eritrea have decided to protect, enhance and promote this "added value" of their lives and decided to start the Past Pupils Association in their country, too.

              The first step for this ambitious project was made in Turin, on November 2 and 3, when a dozen Eritrean past pupils met with Fr Petros Abraha, Delegate for the Eritrean Delegation, committed to keeping relations between his compatriots in the diaspora.

              A meeting between old school friends, united by having left their land to try to make use, in a condition of freedom and security, of the skills acquired in Salesian vocational training schools. Forced to look for asylum far from their villages and cities, the meeting's ten participants had to overcome another border: that of being welcomed in Europe. It was not easy to go beyond the status of foreigner in which they found themselves in different countries: United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway. The first difficulty was the language, although their scholastic English they practiced in Eritrea was found to be very valuable to enter the world of work. Today, they have the opportunity to support themselves and their families and to send money back to the families left behind.

              But it was not just a reunion between schoolmates. The choice of the meeting's venue, in Turin-Valdocco, was motivated by a specific purpose: "To make the place where everything began known," explained Marco Faggioli, of "Missioni Don Bosco" of Turin, which sponsored the initiative. "Everyone became aware of being helped by Don Bosco, and they wanted to know more about where the thrust of the Salesian charism comes from," said Fr Abraha.

              Unfortunately not all those who had booked were able to participate. However, with those who had come, a historic decision matured: "We have decided to give life to a network among the Eritrean past pupils." The decision arose among the participants themselves and the purpose is to lend a hand to their brothers in Eritrea: support for professional paths, sharing of experiences on the most requested specializations including abroad, advice on how to avoid relying on human traffickers.

              At the end of the meeting one of the past pupils said that as Don Bosco sent missionaries from Turin, they too felt they had to grow as missionaries among their brothers. And as a natural epilogue to this historic meeting it was decided to meet again in August next year.

              • Eritrea
              • Exallievi
              • Missioni Don Bosco
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Japan – “Protect All Life”. A sharing on the Pope's Pastoral Visit

                1 week 6 days ago
                Japan – “Protect All Life”. A sharing on the Pope's Pastoral Visit

                (ANS – Tokyo) – The Pastoral Visit of Pope Francis to Japan was held from November 23rd to 26th. The Pope, who was eager to mission in Japan when he was a seminarian, with the authority of Jesus Christ met many people on a hard schedule here in Japan and had the opportunity to share and pray together. Here Mr. Chihiro Okawa, a Salesian Past Pupil, shares how he lived this experience.

                My SNS is now full of posts of my friends about the Pope’s visit. Yes. We can't help sharing. I have been a Catholic in Japan for more than 10 years, and this visit became the No.1 special opportunity in these 10 years for the small community of the Catholic church in Japan. The heart of believers has burned so much that it has been socially recognized and has sympathized with many people. I am deeply impressed not only by the Pope's great faith in Jesus, but also in a way of life full of mercy and joy, and a strong determination to peace, and I am now in a state where I cannot suppress my impression.

                Although the Pope is a member of the Jesuits, he has a deep connection with the Salesians and is also an alumnus of the Salesian School. As a member of the Salesian Family in Japan, I would like to briefly look back on what I felt from his visiting our country.

                1) Mercy – faith in Jesus and closeness to those in weak positions

                The Pope often stressed the importance of staying close to the people, especially those who are in a weak position always with mercy as a standard of action, based on the current social situation in Japan. That was actually shown through actions at encounters with survivors of the Atomic Bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the Great East Japan Earthquake, and meetings with young people. At the mass at the Tokyo Dome, the Pope clearly stated the reasons for being close to those people. “Because Jesus hugged a sick man and a sinner and forgave a thief who was crucified.”

                Faith is not just sticking to old traditions and forms but living in the same way as Jesus Christ while feeling the living Christ. In other words, we must be aware to be interested in people in weak positions in front of us, to stand close together, listening, sympathizing, and trying to move in a better direction. In Salesian terms, I think he pointed out the importance of “Assistenza”.

                I felt that the Pope taught us that Jesus is not far from us through his kindness and standing with people.

                The opposite of mercy is to be self-centered, selfish. Therefore, the Pope also says that mercy should extend to nature, a gift from God, and to the entire creation. It made me consider a lot because I witnessed the negative effects of climate change these days in Japan.

                2) Joy – love with an open heart, and being loved

                The Pope is 82 years old and should be tired from the forced schedule, but he spent the days in Japan, always smiling in front of us, blessing the babies with his kiss, and sometimes with jokes and humor. That grabbed the hearts of many people.

                Why does the Pope attract people so much around the world? The keyword is “joy”.
                Our founding father Don Bosco was a saint of joy. In the same way, this time I was able to realize that the Pope is a joyful person. This joy never disappears in any difficulty. I think this is what makes the Pope close to us.
                One of Don Bosco's famous words is that “It is not enough to love the young, they must know that they are loved”. If a person truly loves the other person, he will be loved.

                The Pope sent messages during this visit to Japan, not only for Christians but also for those who believed in other religions or those who don’t believe in any religion. He spoke repeatedly about the importance of dialog and collaboration with joy and an open heart, that is, loving while accepting differences. I think he is hoping the Catholic Church and believers in Japan to go beyond the logic of the church, go out into society more and become widely loved.

                3) Peace – Preciousness of kindness, prayer, and hope

                The Pope visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima, both A-bomb sites. In the two places where he felt obliged to visit, he expressed the passion for the abolition of nuclear weapons and unwavering commitment to peace, calling us all responsible. We were strongly encouraged to recall always past mistakes, to walk together and to take action actually to protect the peace.

                In the past, Don Bosco was told by Jesus in his 9-year-old dream that illuminated his life, "Don't swing your fist wildly. With meekness and charity, you will conquer these your friends." Thus, in any case, he denied pressing down people with power and preached the way to be friends with people through kindness, love, and reason.
                The Pope then prayed a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi at the Nagasaki meeting. At the gathering in Hiroshima, as a “pilgrim of peace,” he said, “True peace is nothing but unarmed peace.” This is exactly the peace that God wants, also mentioned by the saints of the past, and the peace that we should realize in the midst of people beyond ideology.

                It seems that it is not so easy to achieve peace through kindness. We may have doubts, our hearts may be broken, and give up. However, the Pope taught us that instead of making excuses for peace, it is something that should be pursued in a simple and straightforward manner, imagining humans (their sufferings and sorrows). And I realized once again how valuable it is to change our mind, pray as one team, and continue to hope.

                My four-year-old eldest son saw Pope Francis this time and said, “I was so touched and almost started to cry. I love Papa!” I hope that I will continue to be close together with the young people as an adult so that the seeds planted through the visit of the Pope to the young and children who will lead the future will grow someday and bloom beautifully.

                Source: AustraLasia

                • Giappone
                • GIA
                • Papa Francesco
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Venezuela – Even amidst an emergency, Salesians focus on education

                  1 week 6 days ago
                  Venezuela – Even amidst an emergency, Salesians focus on education

                  (ANS - Caracas) - The price of the economic, social and political crisis that has been rocked Venezuela for several years now continues to be paid, above all, by the most vulnerable population. To the daily despair due to food scarcity, given that the currency is so devalued that only dollars have value and a month's salary is just enough to buy a chicken, are added the difficulties to emigrate abroad. The educational sector is so abandoned that schools see themselves emptied of teachers, busy as they are looking for another job so as to eat. Despite this critical situation, the Salesians continue betting on education and the possibility of offering their students a future, also by giving their teachers the best care possible.

                  The Salesians in Venezuela clearly know that education is the first resource for the country's moral revival. In the last school year, the Maduro Government broke all negative records, leaving schools without teachers, without students and without resources, to the point that the teaching profession is so degraded that the teacher training and pedagogical faculties languish for lack of students and teachers who have abandon the school.

                  But the educational charism commits the Salesians not to abandon in their turn young people, schools or the centers of vocational training in which they work. The concrete contribution of Salesians in Venezuela is given by 18 educational centers in total, whose service is aimed primarily at poor children and young people.

                  Before this emergency, the Church is seeking solutions and for some time the Salesians and other congregations have been concerned to respond to this reality by making food and books available to students and teachers. The Salesian Family, with all its members and from different parts of the world, is actively participating by supplying resources, together with Caritas and the Red Cross.

                  The Venezuelan people also receive the support of the Salesian Congregation and, in particular, of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who has repeatedly stated: "You are not alone. From the different parts of the Salesian world we are attentive to what you experience and we are aware of everything that happens."

                  For his part, Msgr. Jhonny Reyes, Salesian and apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, points out that in many rural schools in the Venezuelan Amazon “teachers are authentic heroes. With the difficulties that exist, they refuse the job offers and salaries that come to them from the other side of the border, from Colombia, and decide to continue to take care of children and young people."
                  "That's why," he concludes, "we must continue to help them and do our part for the future generations of the country."

                  Source: Misiones Salesianas

                  • VEN
                  • Venezuela
                  • Povertà
                  • Educazione
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Vatican – International Youth Advisory Body: SYM is there!

                    2 weeks ago
                    Vatican – International Youth Advisory Body: SYM is there!

                    (ANS - Vatican City) - On the Feast of Christ the King, Sunday 25 November, the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life joyfully announced the establishment of the "International Youth Advisory Body", consisting of 20 young people from 5 continents and from several international movements, associations and communities. The Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) is also represented, thanks to Carina Baumgartner, a 28-year-old Austrian, who has already participated in numerous international meetings - including the XI International Youth Forum last June. She has wide-ranging experience in the field of youth across the globe.

                    The Final Document of the Synod 2018 called for the "activity of the Youth Office of the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life to be strengthened also through the establishment of a body representing young people at the international level." The institution of this new body, therefore, is the direct daughter of that Synod, as well as the will of Pope Francis, who often emphasizes how the active contribution of young people is essential for the Church.

                    The body will work closely with the Dicastery on youth issues and the first 20 selected young men and women, appointed for a three-year term, are young people who have been involved in different phases of the synod process; they will have their first meeting in April 2020.

                    "I look forward to listening and discussing different perspectives from around the world. In particular, I want to contribute with my experience in the SYM. We put young people at the center, we give them responsibility, we trust them and we take their concerns seriously. I am pleased that Pope Francis gives this place to young people now in the Church!," Carina commented.

                    The 28-year-old Viennese represented Austria in the Salesian Youth Movement in Europe and the Middle East. She also has contacts in various African, Asian and American countries. A sincere concern for her is the commitment of young people in the Generation Laudato Sì initiative. When it was founded, during World Youth Day in Panama, she was present. And at the XI International Youth Forum in Rome, she also had the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis personally.

                    Born in Vienna in 1991, Carina is a kindergarten and after-school teacher. She studied Social Work and is currently completing her Master's degree as a Theater teacher. For three years, she has been working as a pedagogical attachè in the SYM of the Salesians of Don Bosco; has carried out numerous voluntary initiatives, always aimed at the care of children and adolescents, and with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the NGO VIDES, she was a volunteer in Georgia and Ethiopia. She has staged shows for children, directed a children's choir and was responsible for the altar boys in her parish of origin.

                    "I'm very happy to be a believing and religious person and to know that there is God by my side. My faith gives meaning to my life. Holy Mass, celebrating, singing and praying together are like filling stations for me. With a full tank I feel, in everyday life, to live, like Don Bosco, the words 'Be happy, do good and let the sparrows whistle.'"

                    • Vaticano
                    • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                    • MGS Europa
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Mexico – Eric Ponce, the rapper who escaped violence and cares for youth at risk in Ciudad Juárez

                      2 weeks ago
                      Mexico – Eric Ponce, the rapper who escaped violence and cares for youth at risk in Ciudad Juárez

                      (ANS - Ciudad Juárez) - "A mistake does not say who you are. Don't let them tag you" is the message of Eric Ponce, a 32 year old from Ciudad Juárez who combines his passion for rap music and writing with his work on behalf of children at risk. His current position as Coordinator of the course in "Second Opportunity, Fundraising and Development of Educational Programs" in a youth promotion association was unimaginable until a few years ago, when he was part of a criminal gang. He handled weapons, saw friends and relatives die next to him, was numb with drugs and had to hide to avoid being killed. Now he is happy and he has become an example, and role model, that it is indeed possible to escape, do more.

                      As a child he was a good student, but the home environment was far from idyllic. His mother had lived on the street and worked by accompanying illegal immigrants to the United States, while his father had joined the army; Eric thus grew up alone and even as a boy went to parties where alcohol and drugs were widely available.

                      He dropped out of school, was tagged with labels such as "donkey", "dysfunctional" and "drug addict"; as a teenager, he ran with boys who were six years older than he was, and that did the rest, moreover in the years of Ciudad Juárez's worst violence. Without realizing it, he found himself entangled in a gang, with a gun in hand and marijuana in his pocket, busy having to defend their territory, or turf, in each and every way.

                      But the worst was yet to come. In just five months in 2009, six of his cousins, a brother-in-law and his best friend, were killed. Eric looked very much like one of his cousins, so much so that on several occasions they mistook one for the other; the last time was when the killers burst into the funeral home to make sure they hit the right person. It was at that moment that Eric decided to escape, hide and get away from violence.

                      Eric has now been composing rap songs since 2003. Argumentation, social criticism and ethics have become his weapons. He has released three albums, a dozen videos on Youtube and he's about to finish writing a book.

                      At home they were not religious, and there was only one image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus before which to pray when his parents quarreled. "Our grandmother asked and it worked, because then they stopped." As a child, he attended one of the Salesian oratories in Ciudad Juárez, the Don Bosco, and since 2003 he has dedicated himself to rap, penning songs and performing as "Ponce PX1". Once a Salesian asked him at a Mass to improvise the Our Father in rap form and it was a huge success.

                      His career is definitely on the rise, but he hasn't forgetten his roots and does not want to give up his work with young people, helping them get a second chance.

                      Alberto López Herrero

                      • Messico
                      • MEG
                      • Musica
                      • Violenze
                      • Oratorio
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Paraguay – 65 years of "Carlos Pfannl" Agro-Pastoral Institute

                        2 weeks ago

                        (ANS - Coronel Oviedo) - The "Carlos Pfannl" Agro-Pastoral Institute celebrated its first 65 years a few days ago: it was November 21, 1954, in fact, when the blessing of the cornerstone of the then "Carlos Pfannl" Agricultural School took place, located in the Blas Garay neighborhood, Compagnia Santa María, in the city of Coronel Oviedo. This Salesian work, which bears the name of one of its benefactors, was founded with the young people of the third year of the Salesian Agricultural School of Ypacaraí. At the time it extended over about five thousand hectares of forests and fields.

                        Fr Guido Coronel, a Salesian, dedicated himself to the construction of the gigantic and current Agro-Pastoral Institute of Coronel Oviedo, where he had the large parish dedicated to Mary Help of Christians erected. It is a privileged land, with productive resources and an optimal position for cultivation and breeding.

                        The institute is located about 140 km from the national capital, Asunción, and was born as a response to the needs of young people in rural areas, to offer them skills that can be used in the world of work, according to the needs of the area. At the beginning, the center was dedicated to the training of Rural Operators and Agronomists; but since 1970, it has been offering its students Baccalaureate courses in Agro-pastoral and Forestry Techniques. Furthermore, since 2004, the Salesian Agro-Pastoral Institute "Carlos Pfannl" has also opened its doors to girls who wish to pursue this field of study.

                        The reputation of the institute's quality is known throughout Paraguay, and every year students from every part of the country, who besides receiving technical skills, are also trained to become good Christians and upright citizens.

                        Furthermore, the institute's management has always been committed to improving the center's programs so as to offer the best to both students and the rural local communities: for this reason, over the years they have been able to create projects for the reduction of poverty and the improvement of producers' living conditions.

                        It is currently one of the most important Salesian works in Paraguay, thanks to its valuable contributions to the formation of young people in rural areas as agricultural technicians, as well as the support it offers to neighboring schools and the formation of the local population.

                        {gallery}PAR - Carlos Pfannl - 2019{/gallery}

                        • Paraguay
                        • PAR
                        • Rurali
                        • Agricoltura
                        • Anniversari
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Austria – “Every child behind bars is one too many”

                          2 weeks 1 day ago
                          Austria – “Every child behind bars is one too many”

                          (ANS – Vienna) – All over the world, Salesians are aware of the plight of children and young people put in prison, often for minor offences, or being held in institutions where their rights are violated on a daily basis. Numerous Salesian programs bring hope and concrete help to these children who are often forgotten by the outside world.

                          For the first time in history, a huge UN study was launched on November 18, which highlights the worldwide problem of 7.2 million children deprived of liberty. The main author is the Austrian human rights expert Manfred Nowak. His compatriot Reinhard Heiserer, director of “Jugend Eine Welt – Don Bosco Aktion Austria”, welcomed the study as an extremely helpful tool to convince responsible authorities that detention of children should only be permitted in truly exceptional situations as a measure of last resort and that these children need much more attention and care. “Don Bosco himself cared a lot about boys in jail,” he said. “There are many stories which document his special focus on this vulnerable group of young people.”

                          The central message of this global study is to encourage States to better respect and protect children's rights, drastically reducing the number of those who are deprived of their liberty - in whatever context they find themselves: correctional institution, prison, center for refugees ... - through the adoption of all other alternative measures.

                          Furthermore, the study intends to indicate to public decision-makers the need to give greater recognition to families as a fundamental unit of society and first responsible for the education of children. And finally, the study intends to foster and demand greater collaboration between all the parties involved (police, prosecutors, judges, parents, social services, professors, educators ...) so that the need to safeguard the harmonious development of minors is clearly taken into account, avoiding therefore the use of detention as much as possible.

                          During the research phase of the study, “Jugend Eine Welt” had invited several project partners to fill out a questionnaire related to street children in detention. Among them was Fr Jorge Crisafulli, Director of “Don Bosco Fambul” in Freetown/Sierra Leone where numerous minors are incarcerated together with adults. In the past, “Jugend Eine Welt” was able to finance a water-supply system within the prison.

                          “Every child behind bars is one too many,” said Prof. Manfred Nowak during the presentation of the Global Study in a press conference which took place in Vienna on International Children's Day, 20 November. “The study found psychiatric disorders for children in detention can increase tenfold during detention, and detention is correlated with early death among children once released.” The study also found that, globally, children are being detained at increasingly younger ages and are being held for longer periods of time.

                          Here you can read and download the full text of the Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.

                          • Austria
                          • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                          • Carceri
                          • ONG
                          • Don Bosco Fambul
                          • Sierra Leone
                          • ONU
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Pakistan – Exploratory Visit to Hyderabad Diocese

                            2 weeks 1 day ago
                            Pakistan – Exploratory Visit to Hyderabad Diocese

                            (ANS – Hyderabad) – One year after the meeting between the Hyderabad (Sindh) bishop and the Rector Major during the Youth Synod (October 2018) in Rome,  the Salesian Community in Lahore (Fr Noble, Fr Gabriel and Bro. Alex) together with Mr Elias Mushtaq (Technical Director of Don Bosco Technical Center), Mr Afzal Anthony (Industry Liaison Officer) and Mr Shahed (Contractor of Don Bosco) set out for an exploratory trip to the Hyderabad diocese on 5 November 2019, reaching Hyderabad on 6 November at 3:30 pm. They were welcomed by Bishop Samson Shukardin, OFM Cap, happy that at last his long-time dream might soon be fulfilled.

                            He gave us the diocese's background and the reason for inviting the Salesians, namely to establish a Technical Training Center with a Hostel in the Diocese of Hyderabad. This is to respond to the challenge of unemployment and the lack of youth with a deep Christian formation. The Diocese itself covers 16 parishes,8 of which cater to tribal communities. The Spiritans (CSSp), Franciscans Friar Minor (OFM), Mill Hill Missionaries (MHM) and the Society of St Columban (SSC) also serve in the diocese.

                            In Hyderabad, there are many tribal communities that are so poor that the only way to get out of poverty is to provide them with skills so they can earn a decent income. Without specific technical skills, they work like slaves deprived of human rights with little compensation. The young people in the villages need to grow and deepen their Christian faith. Bishop Samson has thus asked the Salesians to open a Technical School with a Hostel for the purpose of accepting more students from far-flung villages.

                            Educational Institutions in Hyderabad (Sindh)

                            20 private High Schools, 35 private Colleges, 26 public Government Colleges and 9 Government Institutes and Universities.

                            Peaceful social situation

                            For the past ten years, there have been no incidents of attacks or bombings in Hyderabad. The people are normally peaceful and simple. There have been no incidents involving church or mosque attacks.

                            Religions

                            The majority of the people in Hyderabad followed Islam as their religion which accounts for 94.0%, followed by Hindus, who are the largest minority group forming 5% of the total population, while other religions count for 1%.

                            Youth

                            The Sindhi youth are afflicted with pervasive poverty, chronic unemployment, drug addiction and limited recreational venues. Due to this problem, the youth have become susceptible to anger, disillusionment and suicide. Lahore’s Salesian group further note that the province's youth, due to the surging youth population, are facing daunting challenges from physical to psychological insecurities and frustration.

                            Visit to possible TVET sites

                            The group visited first the town of Latifabad (a large number of Christians reside on the river banks), then Kohsar (3 ha area, near the city, close to a poor community). Then they went to Mirphur Khas (60 km from the city), passing Tando Alla Yar (40 km from the city). Along the road, there are vast open agricultural areas, another possible location.

                            Emerging reflection

                            The Salesian community met with the Bishop and discussed some concrete concerns: the land ownership and the contribution of the diocese to financial matters; administration and position of the future TVET (city or near the city).

                            Bishop Samson listened to them and invited them to visit first the areas of his diocese so they could gain a better understanding. After the visit to the diocese, the Salesian community really felt the need of the diocese for the Technical Skills for both Hindu and Christian communities. These communities are victimized and compelled to remain in their slavery, generation after generation. Through Education and Skill Training the youth can be freed from forced labour and poverty, as indicated by Bishop Samson Shukardin. The Salesians agree with the Bishop's vision and will continue the discernment.

                            Way forward

                            “An empty lot within the city with a minimum of 5 hectares is not available. We continue the search for land with an acceptable price and possibly close to a Christian community. We entrust this possible third Pakistan Salesian presence dreamed to Mary Help of Christians and request prayers for good discernment and available Salesians and Lay mission partners for the Hyderabad mission,” Bro. Abelgas concludes.

                            Source: AustraLasia

                            • Pakistan
                            • FIS
                            • Missioni
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Great Britain – Rector Major's Visit to GBR ends

                              2 weeks 1 day ago
                              Great Britain – Rector Major's Visit to GBR ends

                              (ANS - London) - The Rector Major's Animation Visit to the "St. Thomas of Canterbury" Province of Great Britain ended on Saturday, November 23rd, in London, at the center of Battersea. With this visit, Rector Major Fr Á.F. Artime brings to a close the Animation Visits for the 2014-2020 term.

                              On Friday, November 22, the Rector Major visited the Salesian community in Farnborough, Hampshire, spending about an hour and a half with his confreres, animating them in the service and answering their questions. Then he went to the local Salesian Institute, where he met students, and presented the prizes to those students who took part in the "Don Bosco Projects" initiative.

                              On this occasion, Fr Á.F. Artime also expressed the closeness and empathy that every Salesian, follower of Don Bosco should have, and he spoke about technique and manual skills with the young Brian Soloman, who is competing in the British national team in the competition to resolve the Rubik's Cube faster.

                              In the evening, having reached the community of Battersea, London, and flanked by the Councilor for Central and Northern Europe, Fr Tadeusz Rozmus, he presided at the meeting with the Provincial, Fr James Briody, and his Council.

                              On Saturday morning, the last day of his visit, the Successor of Don Bosco still had time for a fatherly dialogue with the Salesians of the Cowley, Chertsey Farnborough and Battersea communities, for the occasion all gathered in this latter work; and then he had a moving meeting with Mrs Theresa Deveraux, mother of Sean Deveraux, the Salesian volunteer killed in Somalia in 1993, who has become a model of dedication and service for all Salesian youth.

                              Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Rector Major returned in the afternoon of Saturday 23 November to Rome. Now, before him, he has a week of ordinary work, before starting, next week, from Monday 2 December, the Winter Plenary Session of the General Council, which will continue until the end of next January.

                              And, then, the 28th General Chapter is already on the horizon, an event which will begin in Turin on February 16th.

                              Photos of the Visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                              • GBR
                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                              • Rettor Maggiore
                              • Gran Bretagna
                              • Visita di Animazione
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Great Britain – The Rector Major animates Salesian England

                                2 weeks 4 days ago
                                Great Britain – The Rector Major animates Salesian England

                                (ANS - Bollington) - Festive meetings, inaugurations and constructive dialogue to strengthen the Salesian mission among the young people of Great Britain: the features of the Animation Visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in Great Britain.

                                On Wednesday afternoon, the Rector Major travelled from Bolton to Bollington, Cheshire, where he met with the Salesian community at Savio House, the youth retreat centre, before joining the retreat team volunteers and members of Salesian Youth Ministry to hear about current work and future plans.

                                The young adults present provided the music at an intimate Mass in the community chapel, and the evening continued with a delicious dinner, and much friendly conversation and laughter. Everyone was delighted when Fr Ángel  and Fr Horacio played and sang after dinner, teaching the choruses to some Spanish songs, and we took the opportunity to entertain honoured guests in return, as the Provincial, Fr Gerry O’Briody, led all in a rousing rendition of ‘The Wild Rover’, a well-known folk song from the British Isles, and of course, a couple of hits from The Beatles and Oasis.

                                Fr Ángel presented Sue McDonald, Salesian Youth Ministry Animator, with a gift to thank her for translating during his visit and for the work she does in the Province, expressing gratitude for ‘your Salesian heart’.

                                The gathering closed with evening prayer. The Rector Major taught a hauntingly beautiful Portuguese chant to the Virgin Mary, composed by a Salesian, and the day ended by calling on Our Lady’s help and protection, as Don Bosco always did.

                                On Thursday, Fr Ángel was at Salesian School in Chertsey, Surrey. The school celebrated its centenary in the summer, and during his visit, the Rector Major blessed and officially opened the Centenary Hall.

                                From there, he went to Royal Holloway, University of London, where he was shown around the buildings and the spectacular chapel by Fr John Dickson SDB, Rector of the Chertsey community, who is also the Catholic Chaplain at the university. Fr Ángel then met students and staff for afternoon tea.

                                Thursday evening saw him back at Chertsey for dinner with the community, and the headteacher and governors of Salesian School, before celebrating the Eucharist with parishioners and Salesian Cooperators at St Anne's parish, and chatting to everyone over coffee afterwards.

                                Father Ángel’s busy schedule in our Province continues today in Farnborough, Hampshire.

                                Photos are available on ANSFlickr

                                • GBR
                                • Gran Bretagna
                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Slovenia - National Award in Youth Sector for Salesian Fr Rafo Pinosa

                                  2 weeks 4 days ago
                                  Slovenia - National Award in Youth Sector for Salesian Fr Rafo Pinosa

                                  (ANS - Ljubljana) - On Wednesday 20 November, at the Ljubljana Exhibition and Congress Center, the 2019 Youth Sector National Conference organized by the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth in collaboration with the Youth Council of Slovenia was held. The event annually brings together youth leaders and animators, representatives of youth organizations and those who in any way develop policies and programs for young people. At the conclusion of the work sessions, the Salesian Fr Rafo Pinosa was awarded with a national prize for his outstanding results in working with young people.

                                  Fr Pinosa, currently Director of the Salesian community of Ljubljana Kodeljevo and collaborator of the Salesian work for young people at risk, was honored with the "National Award for Contribution to the Promotion of the Youth Sector." The commission that granted the award, in the statement of motivation, declared:

                                  Rafo Pinosa has spent his whole life working with young people, an activity he interprets as a mission. Thanks to his charisma, he enjoys an enormous influence on the creation and professionalization of youth organizations and on the networking of various organizations in the youth sector. In his work, he uses the preventive educational method introduced by Don Bosco, which has brought the culture of working with youth to a very high level. Through his efforts, he has helped many young people active in youth organizations to become responsible adults.

                                  Of particular importance was the impact of Rafo Pinosa on social cohesion, which he achieved by working with disadvantaged children and adolescents in a culturally, religiously and ethnically diverse environment such as that of immigrants from the former Yugoslavia, and today adds assistance to the teaching and the accompaniment of individuals.

                                  In his work, Rafo Pinosa has also actively participated in numerous national work organizations ... [In particular those dedicated to the themes of poverty and volunteering.]

                                  Rafo Pinosa has also been active in the field of non-formal education. Today work with young people cannot be imagined without the acknowledgment of non-formal education, and this is also an important contribution to the development of work with young people. In his long career with young people, he has acted as a visionary, innovator, creator, initiator and motivator and was a driving force in every youth organization in which he worked or in which he is still active today.

                                  Receiving the prize, Fr Pinosa gave thanks for the award, but above all expressed his joy for the youth-related discussion he witnessed at the National Conference, expressing that "as long as we discuss the challenges of young people, it is worth staying in this sector."

                                  • Slovenia
                                  • SLO
                                  • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                  • Giovani
                                  • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Spain – Hip Hop to Fight Discrimination, youths produce tune

                                    2 weeks 4 days ago
                                    Spain – Hip Hop to Fight Discrimination, youths produce tune

                                    (ANS - Girona) - A group of young people from the Salesian Social Education Platform "Sant Jordi - PES Girona", together with their team of educators and with the collaboration of the youth space "Güell Espai Jove", produced a hip-hop song , with a video, entitled "Tot ho podem canviar" (We can change it all). The aim of the artistic work, presented in the first edition of the "monar'T" Festival, is to break with stereotypes due to fears and prejudices towards different cultures and races, and to claim equality and dignity for all.

                                    The young singers express themselves in Catalan, Spanish, French and Arabic and the texts in the video are subtitled and translated to show the importance of the cultural richness that languages ​​and cultures bring.

                                    "Tot ho podem canviar" is part of the "Neu" initiative, a socio-educational project to raise awareness about diversity and intercultural reality, developed by the Salesians of the "Sant Jordi" work in Girona, Lleida, Mataró and Sant Boi de Llobregat. The objective of the "Neu" project is to raise awareness of the reference communities, and especially the young, to the richness of a diversified and plural society, promoting models of social cohesion based on intercultural coexistence.

                                    The genesis of the song saw the group of young people being highly motivated since their very first meetings. They felt that the best means for their purpose was to adopt hip-hop, because in the course of its history, the musical style best served as a vindictive and critical tool for everything that society does not like.

                                    Once the objective and the instruments were clear, the educational team started looking for different associations and collaborators to work with. Thanks to the collaboration of three sound technicians and two professional collaborators, two workshops were then organized: one, to create the music for the theme, taking into account the tastes and preferences of young people; and the other, to write the lyrics, which the youths involved also composed.

                                    The video was then produced with the collaboration of a student of the "Eram" University School, during two sessions in the two districts of Girona Can Gibert del Pla and Santa Eugenia.

                                    • Spagna
                                    • Musica
                                    • SSM
                                    • Giovani
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Samoa – Fr Guillermo Basañes visits Samoa during State of Emergency

                                      2 weeks 4 days ago
                                      Samoa – Fr Guillermo Basañes visits Samoa during State of Emergency

                                      (ANS – Apia) – On 19 November, Fr Guillermo Basañes, General Councillor for the Missions, began his visit to the Australia Pacific Province (AUL) with a visit deemed successful to the Pacific island nation of Samoa. The visit featured a number of wonderful meetings and moments of animation. It was, however, tinged with an air of sadness as Samoa is currently experiencing a measles epidemic that has claimed at least 16 lives, mostly children under the age of two. There have been over 1,100 cases of the measles reported and new cases are being reported every day.

                                      The Samoan Government has declared a State of Emergency and closed all schools. It has even urged parents to keep their children home from church on Sunday. Consequently, this has meant that Fr Basañes has been unable to interact with any of the young people and students in Samoa. It has, however, provided more space and opportunity for Fr Basañes to meet and enter into lengthy discussions and talks with teachers, cooperators, FMAs and SDBs.

                                      It is Fr Basañes's first visit to the Pacific and to the AUL Province and he is accompanied by Lauren Hichaaba, Delegate for Mission Animation for the AUL Province.

                                      The visit began on the island of Upolu. Fr Basañes celebrated Mass in the Salesian Parish of Leauva’a, only hours after arriving. The rest of the day was then spent with the community in Alafua. He was warmly welcomed with true Samoan hospitality. The following day, Fr Basañes celebrated Mass with the Salesian cooperators, FMAs and SDBs. It was a joyful celebration with a beautiful mass and lively conversations. The visit in Samoa continued to the remote island of Savai’i. Once again, in the absence of students, he was able to spend time with the teachers at Don Bosco High School and Vocational Training Center in Salelologa.

                                      The visit continues to the other parts of the AUL Province, namely Fiji and Australia. “We are grateful to Fr Basañes for his dynamic visit and we hope to welcome him again soon in Samoa so that he will have an opportunity to interact with our incredible young people,” Mrs Hichaaba said.

                                      AUL Salesians ask the Salesian world to please remember Samoa, and most importantly the children, in prayer as they struggle to bring an end to the measles epidemic.

                                      Source: AustraLasia

                                      • AUL
                                      • Samoa
                                      • Salute
                                      • Missioni
                                      • Guillermo Basañes
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Great Britain – Rector Major in Thornleigh, an institute that is "Home, Church, School, Playground"

                                        2 weeks 5 days ago

                                        (ANS – Bolton) – During his visit to Bolton, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, rededicated the recently refurbished chapel at Thornleigh Salesian College, in a beautiful prayer service created by the students and staff.

                                        Fr Ángel told the assembled congregation of students and guests that he was delighted to be told that most of the students are learning Spanish. He said he was also pleased with the focus in the service on the words “Home, School, Church, Playground”, because these words sum up Salesian life and the environment Don Bosco wanted for his young people, and told the students and staff he felt they were embodying the Salesian spirit.

                                        Guests included the Bishop of Salford, the Right Reverend John Arnold, many past pupils including Shrigley Old Boys who had travelled from Scotland, Salesian Cooperators, and Sr Mary Treacy FMA, who also travelled all the way from Glasgow, just for the day.

                                        In the lead up to the rededication, students spoke movingly about the role of the chapel in the life of the school since its establishment in 1925, as a place of peace and solace, and the scene for receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. They also referred to the many Salesians who have made their professions here, and been ordained, and those whose funerals have taken place in the chapel. The present building was dedicated to the memory of past pupils who gave their lives during the war. The choir then sang “This is Holy Ground”, as the plaque commemorating Fr Ángel’s rededication was brought to the altar.

                                        After the service, students, staff and guests joined the Rector Major in the school hall for refreshments, with the talented students providing musical entertainment. Fr Ángel had said he was very inpressed by their performances, and at the end of the gathering, he and Fr Horacio López, his secretary, led the students in singing a few songs, to the great delight of everyone present.

                                        The Rector Major presented Fr Mervyn Williams SDB with a gift thanking him for his service as Province Economer over the past 18 years.

                                        Fr Ángel is now on his way to Savio House, our Youth Retreat Centre in Bollington, Cheshire, where he will meet the community including the gap year volunteers, and learn more about the work of Salesian Youth Ministry in GBR Province.

                                        Photos are available on ANSFlickr

                                        • GBR
                                        • Gran Bretagna
                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                        • Visita di Animazione
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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