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Liberia - A mission on the move: the Salesian presence at Tappita

1 week 4 days ago

(ANS - Tappita) - The Salesian mission in the Liberian forest, at Tappita, continues its development, expands its services to the local population and gives new impetus to apostolic activities. But the community, not ready to settle down, wants to do even more and is already looking at all the other initiatives to carry out.

At the end of March, electricity was also brought to the mission which, until now, was the only residence in the entire town not connected to the grid. "Now the church, the school and the dispensary can also connect and carry out their activities more efficiently," said Fr Riccardo Castellino, SDB, in a letter.

Among the items in the to-do list are the mission's roofs. The community hoped to be able to deal with this issue later, but the unexpected increase in seasonal rains made the change mandatory.

A new area of commitment will be the construction of a palava hut, that is an outdoor kiosk where meetings, reunions and activities can be organized and hosted. "The parish lacks rooms for meetings and for catechism. This is a first, quick and easy solution," said the Salesian. Subsequently the intention is to restructure the old Salesian residence, which was sacked during the war.

And again, "always thanks to Providence," as the missionary points out, two motorcycles have arrived, which will allow them to reach the villages cars cannot access and make travel easier and cheaper.

Each new instrument is aimed at evangelization and education: the Salesians continue to visit the surrounding villages, have imparted the Sacraments of Christian Initiation to various catechumens, have held two meetings in as many villages.

"The methods are the usual ones," the letter continues. "Three days in a village, where people sleep in the school or in the homes of families who welcome them. A roof of branches is prepared, one cooks outdoors and does catechesis. We discuss the problems of the various communities, make plans for the year and encourage each other to maintain and live the faith."

The mission also welcomed the local bishop and the Superior of the Salesian Province during two quick visits. "After seeing us with his own eyes, the Provincial assured us that this is a very significant and meaningful presence. This motivates and urges us to do more and better. Now let's look forward. We are thinking about the Youth Summer Camp. It will be an absolute novelty," ends Fr Castellino's letter.

  • Liberia
  • AFW
  • Missioni
  • Sviluppo
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Argentina - A new building for Intercultural Vocational Training Center

    1 week 4 days ago

    (ANS - Resistencia) - The Salesian Intercultural Vocational Training Center of Resistencia has recently inaugurated a new building, enabling more young people to learn a useful profession or trade for their future, build precious relationships and improve their quality of life.

    The establishment of the Salesian center of Resistencia dates back to December 8, 1941. Fr Horacio Lóvine, Fr Juan Rolando and Salesian Coadjutor Francisco Marozzi had been sent to Resistencia with the aim of first opening a festive oratory, a center of the "Exploradores de Don Bosco", and later an institute. Faced with the constant insistence of the bishop of the time, Msgr. Nicolás de Carlo, an old wish also came true: to obtain a favorable site for a foundation at the service of young people, deemed necessary for the existent social needs.

    On June 21, 1942, six months after the start of the oratory, the Don Bosco Institute opened, with a total of 150 students, 45 of whom resided in the internal boarding house, students originating from the Chaco area and northern Santa Fe.

    The structures built for the Salesian Institute also included a Vocational Training Center for young people and adults and a Higher Formation Institute where over the years hundreds of young people and adults were trained in many different job sectors and fields.

    Today, the new center answers to a growing need in the country for work and training for work. "It is estimated that there are more than one million young people in the country who do not study or work," stated a 2017 report by the Adecco consulting firm. "Of this group, 700 thousand young people not only do not study or work, but do not even look for a job."

    The modern structure of the Salesian Intercultural Vocational Training Center (CFPIS) in Resistencia, created thanks to the contribution of the Swiss "Papalin" Foundation and the Swiss NGO  "Don Bosco Jugendhilfe Weltweit ", was inaugurated and blessed last 6 April. It will offer five vocational courses - one for each working day of the week - in agreement with the Cultural Institute of the Province.

    The courses, lasting four months, shall be led by members of the Qom community, one of the country's Aboriginal ethnic groups, and will include workshops in pottery, the preparation of baskets, wind instruments, string instruments, and other instruments.

    • Argentina
    • ARN
    • Formazione Professionale
    • Lavoro
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Italy - "Love": "Offering education to stop this modern slavery of youths forced into prostitution"

      1 week 4 days ago

      (ANS - Rome) – Yesterday, 12 April, "Misiones Salesianas" - the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid - presented the film documentary "Love", directed by Raúl de la Fuente. The film narrates the dramatic life some girls of Freetown, Sierra Leone are forced to live. These young people, all underage, are forced into prostitution to get a meal for themselves or to pay for their studies. In short, they have to sell their bodies to survive.

      On the streets, they are mocked, insulted, poorly treated, abused. The girls are poor and often infected with diseases they do not even know. The documentary, however, does not just tell a story of pain and suffering, but also shows the commitment of the Salesians who, in a poor country like Sierra Leone, help these girls, take them off the streets and offer them the opportunity to study, to take care of themselves and thus build themselves a future.

      To help them is in fact the main objective of the Salesian NGO "Don Bosco Fambul" of Freetown, directed by Fr Jorge Crisafulli, Salesian missionary, who in Rome yesterday participated in the presentation of the documentary.

      "There are many young people in Sierra Leone who earn their living as prostitutes," explained Fr. Jorge Crisafulli, "but in talking to them one realizes that they are only children. They think like little girls, they behave like little girls and they have the rights of little girls! The Salesians in Freetown offer them an alternative to life on the streets, a way out of this modern slavery. They are given the opportunity to study and receive an education. It is important to understand that these girls are not objects, but people."

      One of the protagonists of the documentary is Aminata and hers is a story of hope and redemption.

      An orphan and coming from a very poor family, Aminata was forced to prostitute herself from the age of 13. Thanks to the meeting with Don Bosco Fambul, today this young woman has become a hairdresser and has returned to live with her grandmother. Aminata is a concrete example of how the Salesian mission in Freetown can be an answer to the suffering and exploitation to which girls are subjected.

      The documentary, which has already been presented recently in Brussels and Geneva, will now be shown in other European cities. After Rome, it shall be seen in Vienna today, then Bonn, and on tour  in several Spanish cities in forthcoming weeks.

      {gallery}Documentario Love - Ginevra e Bruxelles{/gallery}

      • Italia
      • Sierra Leone
      • AFW
      • Prostituzione
      • Don Bosco Fambul
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Spain - First Salesian Platform for Children in Galicia started, a Salesian guide

        1 week 5 days ago

        (ANS - Santiago de Compostela) - Twenty-one social entities of Galicia have decided to join forces to build the first Platform for Infancy of that Autonomous Community, and the Don Bosco Federation of Galicia has taken the lead, with Xesús María Vilas Otero its representative and president. Working as a network to analyze the situation of the children and adolescents of the Autonomous Community, improve child policies and ensure the effective implementation of children's rights are the objectives of this platform, which is supported and inspired by the Platform for Children of Spain.

        The platform was officially established yesterday, Wednesday 11 April, and includes the entities: AcladAlborada, Aldeas Infantiles SOS Galicia, Fundación Amigó, Asociación Abuse and Maltrato Infantil NO, Asociación Arela, Federación ASDE-Scouts, Federación Aspace, Fundación Ayuda en Acción, Cruz Vermella, Fundación Diagrama, Fundación Educo, Escola de Tempo Libre Don Bosco, Federación Don Bosco, Instituto Galego de Xestión para or Terceiro Sector Igaxes, Federación Marcha Compostela, Fundación Meniños, Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Fundación Tierra de Hombres, Centro Trama , Unicef ​​and Asociación Viraventos.

        In addition to the aforementioned, others who participated in this act were: José Manuel Rey Varela, Councilor for Social Policies of the Galician Junta, various political and civil authorities, María del Carmen Fernández Morante, Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the University of Santiago de Compostela, and Fr Santiago Domínguez Fernández, Salesian in charge of Salesian Youth Centers in Spain and Secretary General of the Platform of Childhood Organizations of Spain.

        The general objective of this Platform is the protection and the promotion of the Rights of the Child, as established by the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN convention with the highest number of national ratifications in history, which is also supported by the Spanish Parliament. The National Platform was created in 1997 and currently includes 59 organizations, including the Salesians of Spain, represented by Fr Domínguez, who is also its Secretary General.

        From this common area, the organizations shall be working to promote general and sectoral policies aimed at increasing children's well-being, denouncing and monitoring situations of violation of children's rights, as well as raising society's awareness regarding the knowledge and respect of and for children's rights.

        • Spagna
        • Diritti
        • Bambini
        • SSM
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Mozambique - "What do all these names have in common?" Fr Martín Lasarte in missionary formation

          1 week 6 days ago

          (ANS - Matola) - Francisco is 14 years old and has been asking for alms since he was seven years old, that is since his mother died. Dércio is also 14, is his best friend and is part of the same group of minors that stand at the EN4 traffic light – the "Estrada Nacional 4" which connects Mozambique and South Africa – where they ask for money. There is a sort of brotherhood at the Matola toll booth, where about a dozen children and teenagers approach drivers each and every day.

          Filomena and Inicencio are siblings. Their mother insists they are five years old, but they seem to be at least 10. The mother watches them from afar to see how much the children manage to collect daily. Edu is 17 years old and has been deaf-mute since birth. Luiza is 13, Monica is 21 and has a nine-month-old, but she still runs with the group.

          What do they all have in common? The absolute and urgent need to be seen and welcomed. Nobody knows how to read or write. Not only do they not have money, but they also lack schooling, social attention, dignity and the fundamental right to be children and adolescents.

          Speaking to these minors were the members of the missionary teams who participated in the training session held on 7-8 April at the "Emmaus" Spirituality Center, in Matola, led by Fr Martin Lasarte, of the Missions Department.

          On the first day of the meeting Fr Lasarte spoke about "Missionary Dimension in Youth Ministry" to about 50 young people from Goba and Namaacha (on the border with Swaziland), from Moamba (on the border with South Africa) and from various parishes of Maputo and Matola. The day ended with a vigil led by Fr Francisco Pescador, Delegate for Youth Ministry in the Mozambique Province, by Fr Luiz Gonzaga Piccoli, Delegate for Missionary Animation, and Fr Lasarte.

          The second day began with the celebration of the Eucharist, during which a group of young people were sent as envoys: they set off on a mission of evangelization in various places around the "St Domingo Savio" house in Matola. They visited the families, listened to their stories, difficulties, desires ... At the end of the morning they came back to share the many experiences they had had.

          As for the street children at the EN4 toll gate, the group has made a commitment to return to the minors for what will be a journey of accompaniment.

          • Mozambico
          • MOZ
          • Missioni
          • Opzione Preferenziale
          • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Syria - The Rector Major from Aleppo: “You can see and feel it, there’s so much hope!”

            2 weeks ago

            (ANS - Aleppo) - After Damascus, Aleppo. The Rector Major's journey continues through the main cities of Syria, in places marked by the suffering of war, but also by the hope of those who, like the Salesians and the youths of the Salesian houses, have decided to continue to believe in a future of peace and prosperity.

            After arriving in the city on the afternoon of Saturday 7 April, the X Successor of Don Bosco visited the city the next day when he recorded a video-message.

            “Today is Sunday, April 8, 2018. Here in Aleppo we find ourselves in the same place where our confreres sent us their Christmas greeting. I am very happy to be here with all these young people, the Salesian Family, our sisters of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, our brothers, all as one family and Salesian Youth Movement, here to say a word to all our Salesian world, to the Salesian Family in the world, to our confreres and sisters and to all the young people who can listen to us.

            I am happy to tell you that we have come to pray for peace, to pray for a meeting between peoples, cultures and religions and also to ask the Lord that with our human freedom this war and destruction is never repeated.

            I must tell you that we are struck by so much destruction, so much pain, so many deaths, for 102,000 people who have been injuried by bombs and more than 3-4-5 million Syrians who have left Syria. This is really painful.

            But I want to tell you something else that you can see and feel: there is so much hope!

            First, because in faith, even more so during this Easter season, one truly feels that life continues, and that life, fraternity, help is possible, that the Lord supports everyone, all believers of any creed towards the one and only God. We see that life returns, that there is a real desire to rebuild fraternity, to living side by side, to continue serving one's own people, those who follow, those who were born in these years.

            Dear Salesian Family, dear young people, let me ask, above all, for understanding, a look of tenderness for these confreres, sisters, friends, for a prayer with faith to the Lord, so that they do not lack for strength. And I continue to appeal again to fraternity and solidarity, to help those who have lost everything, with a large embrace and a strong feeling of friendship towards our Salesian reality, which is very beautiful, Christian and also simply of Aleppo citizens and of Syria.

            To all of you a big hug and a greeting from everyone.

            Bye Bye and Shukran Shukran”

            In the afternoon, after having met several Syrian prelates for lunch, the Rector Major celebrated the Eucharist, wherein 13 Salesian Cooperators took their vows; a meeting followed with high school and university students and then with a number of Salesian Cooperators, including some from Damascus and Kafroun, who gave their testimony of the ongoing war to the Rector Major.

            “Father Angel has truly moved us in these last few moments! He has truly been a father and brother for everyone. He listened to us, told us he shall continue to pray for us and that he will speak about the Salesians and young people in Syria to the entire world,” concluded the Social Communication Delegate of the Middle Province East (MOR), Sally A-Jamra.

            • Siria
            • MOR
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Ángel Fernández Artime
            • Guerra
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Papua New Guinea – Media Education Seminar for Catholic Schools of Port Moresby

              2 weeks ago

              (ANS – Port Moresby) – The 2nd Media Education Seminar (MES) for Catholic Schools of Port Moresby was held on Saturday, 7th April 2018, at the Emmaus Conference Centre Hall. Seven Catholic schools of Port Moresby participated in the program. In an era marked by the growing popularity of fake news, the purpose of the Media Education Seminar is to give the students a critical understanding of the media and an ability to enable them to creatively use the media to spread positive stories.

              By Abigail Seta

              “To be good journalists, you have to know the elements of writing articles,” said Fr Ambrose Pereira, SDB, CBC’s Secretary for Communication and Youth at the start of the seminar.

              The program had three sessions. The first session saw MES animator Sheryll Isoaimo dwell on Writing articles. She highlighted the 5Ws and 1H and with the help of examples gave the students the rules and components of writing articles. The students where then given time to rework the articles they had written.

              In the second session, MES animator, Ian Zuasula shared with the students the different parts of a newspaper and gave them the understanding of the anatomy of a newspaper. He also highlighted the different sections that can form part of their school newsletter.

              The third session saw the students working on producing their school newsletters by using what they learnt in the first two sessions and presenting their work.

              “Learning how to write articles and creating school news reports and bulletin board displays is what struck us most in the session today,” Caritas representatives stated.

              Another school, Don Bosco Technological Institute representatives stated that this session motivated them to revive their school news bulletin using the knowledge they gained from the seminar.

              The students of the M’ville Express brought out the best newsletter with a variety of articles, poems and programs.

              The next MES will dwell on the audio and visual media and will be conducted from 4 to 6 May at the Sivarai Namona Centre in Bomana.

              Source: AustraLasia

              • PGS
              • Papua Nuova Guinea
              • Comunicazione Sociale
                Gian Francesco Romano

                India – Making Dreams Come True

                2 weeks ago

                (ANS – Mumbai) – The Mission of the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) is to provide hope for those with little hope of a future, and the Salesian-run organisation - working in communities in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh - has successfully lived up to its mission, arming the poor - like Sharmila Thale - with tools and skills to make a livelihood.

                By Karen Laurie

                Thale, a member of the Shri Ganesh Self-Help Group (SHG), resides with her family at Wadala in Mumbai. A few months ago, she lost everything due to a short circuit accident in her area. The fire destroyed all that she possessed, her home, household items and other belongings. When her family was rendered practically homeless, she approached DBDS and its Executive Director, Father Rolvin D'Mello, for help.

                DBDS, true to its calling, came to her aid, when she shared her dream of starting a small sandwich business to provide for her family. DBDS first trained her to manage the small-scale business, and then provided a sandwich maker - through sponsorship from Auxilium India (Seregno, Italy), which is a voluntary organisation that has worked in conjunction with Don Bosco for a decade.  

                This helped her start a small stall where she began selling different types of sandwiches. Today, Thale earns around Rs 900 per day. Her story does prove that hard work, mixed with a helping hand from concerned institutions like DBDS, helps dreams come true.

                ''I am very grateful to Don Bosco Development Society for training me in this business and helping me become self-reliant,'' Thale said. Father D'Mello too expressed his joy adding, ''We are glad to see Sharmila standing on her own feet and I am grateful to Auxilium India for their help and support.''

                Source: Don Bosco India

                • India
                • INB
                • Opzione Preferenziale
                • Donne
                • Sviluppo
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Syria – Rector Major bears a smile of Damascus

                  2 weeks 1 day ago

                  (ANS - Damascus) - While East of the Syrian capital, Damascus, the war continued, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, was in the Syrian city committed to bringing, as Successor of Don Bosco, comfort, joy and hope to a population wounded by over 7 years of war.

                  The Rector Major arrived in the city on Thursday 5 April. In the early afternoon, accompanied by several young people, in a spirit of pilgrimage he made the journey of the Apostle Paul and reached the church of St. Anania. There was a recital of the story of the conversion of St. Paul, after which Fr Á.F. Artime pronounced a few words of commentary, emphasizing how important it was for everyone today to change their lives by directing it towards God.

                  The day concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist at the church of St. Paul in the area of Tabbala, in Damascus, and with words of encouragement to the many who approached him.

                  The next day, Friday, April 6, the Rector Major first gathered with the Salesians of the local community to listen to their problems and challenges and to offer his accompaniment. Then, in the afternoon, he participated in a festive meeting with all the children, teens and young people of the oratory - for a total of about 1,000 people. "He was asked to pose for pictures and took selfies with all those who asked him!," said an amazed Sally A-Jamra, the Social Communication Delegate of the Middle East Province (MOR).

                  The afternoon continued with traditional performances by the oratorians, to which Fr Á.F. Artime himself responded by playing the guitar much to the joy and satisfaction of everyone present. The Rector Major himself then presided over Mass in the courtyard of the house, then freed a dove in flight, a sign of peace for the city and the country.

                  Finally, quoting Don Bosco, he told the young people present that they had stolen his heart, and that during the evening spent with the center's Pastoral Educational Community, he said, answering all the questions addressed to him, he was happy to have found the second Valdocco in Damascus.

                  All photos of the Visit are available on ANSFlickr

                  • Siria
                  • MOR
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                  • Guerra
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Honduras – WYD symbols arrive in Salesian houses

                    2 weeks 1 day ago

                    (ANS - Tegucigalpa) – The World Youth Day (WYD) is a great youth gathering that attracts hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world at each edition. The next WYD is scheduled in Panama for 2019 and, while preparations in Panama are underway, the symbols accompanying this event are traveling across the globe: the Pilgrim Cross and the icon of Mary "Salus Populi Romani" have arrived in the Diaconate "Immaculate Conception" of the archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, in Honduras.

                    On 9 April, 2017, Palm Sunday, in Rome, Pope Francis entrusted the WYD symbols to young Panamanians: thus began the pilgrimage of the cross and the Marian icon, first to the dioceses of Panama and, later, to other countries of the Americas.

                    In the first week of April 2018, the Salesian parish "Mary Help of Christians" hosted and held the two symbols in the name of the Diaconate of Tegucigalpa. The activities planned for the occasion were attended by young people from different parishes and, amid songs and prayers, a large procession was held on the main avenue leading to the parish church. The curiosity of many people watching from their windows to witness the passage of the two symbols represented the effectiveness of the testimony of the many young participants.

                    Then, in the parish church, the Eucharist was celebrated, presided over by Fr Guido Maroto, SDB, and concelebrated by Fr Lenin Cruz, of the parish "El Calvario". During the homily by Fr Cruz, much attention was paid to the importance of "Easter joy in youth, because only in the life that Jesus gives us is that full happiness our heart seeks." Fr Cruz also encouraged everyone to live the WYD with joy and hope, and to cultivate in Honduras the seed of the Gospel, sown by the young people themselves.

                    At the end of the Eucharist there was an opportunity for the various delegations for a moment of veneration and prayer before the two symbols, as well time for some souvenir photos.

                    "The visit of these symbols to Salesian parishes commits us to continue to walk with young people in Easter joy and with our hand in the hands of Mary, our Mother," one of the supervisors declared.

                    • Honduras
                    • CAM
                    • GMG2019
                    • GMG
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      RMG - The Poster of Salesian Holiness - 2018

                      2 weeks 4 days ago

                      (ANS - Rome) - On the occasion of the second Seminar to promote the causes of beatification and canonization of the Salesian Family, which will be held in Rome from April 10 to 14, 2018, the Poster of the Salesian Holiness has been updated.

                      Compared to the last edition of 2014 there are various news items of recent years: the beatification of Fr Titus Zeman, the Venerability of Fr Giuseppe Arribat, of msgr Stefano Ferrando, Fr Francesco Convertini, Fr José Vandor and mgr Ottavio Ortiz Arrieta, as well as the new Servants of God: Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo.

                      In total the Postulation concerns 169 people of which 9 Saints, 118 Blessed, 16 Venerable and 26 Servants of God. Overall, there are 51 causes being followed.

                      The graphic design was curated by Andrea Cugini, of the Salesian Graphic School of Milan, with the collaboration of Fr Erino Leoni, Director of the Postnovitiate of Nave (Brescia).

                      The poster with images of the Saints, Blessed, Venerable and Servants of God of the Salesian Family presents original photos that narrate the reality within which these men and women expressed their full devotion to God and to humanity. Through the real vision of their faces it is possible to exit the forms of a certain traditional iconography to recover the universal vocation to holiness within the plot or fabric of everyday life.

                      "Seeing them side by side shows how much our brief history is already marked with a great number of saints and candidates for sanctity," commented Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family. 'Their closeness and visibility provoke wonder and gratitude and stimulate emulation, as Pope Francis recalled on the occasion of the All Saints Day of 2017: 'The saints are not perfect little models, but people marked by God. We can compare them to the stained glass of the churches, which let the light enter in different shades of color. The saints are our brothers and sisters who have received the light of God in their hearts and have transmitted it to the world, each according to their own tone. But all were transparent, they struggled to remove the stains and the darkness of sin, so as to let pass the gentle light of God. This is the purpose of life: to let in the light of God, and also the purpose of our life.'"

                      The Poster

                      • RMG
                      • Santità Salesiana
                      • Comunicazione Sociale
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        India – Don Bosco on front page of “The Times of India”

                        2 weeks 4 days ago

                        (ANS – Mumbai) – The Don Bosco High school of Matunga, Mumbai, which recently celebrated its 75° anniversary of educational service to young people was the protagonist of an important communication operation to promote info on Don Bosco and the validity of his educative system throughout India. Several students of the institutete, accompanied by their Principal, participated in the program “The Times of India Newspaper in Education” (TIMES NIE) produced firsthand a special issue of... “The Times of India Student Edition”, entirely dedicated to the presentation of the Salesian education.

                        The TIMES NIE is a program established in 1985 that included over 90 thousand students of 2000 schoosls in India. Thanks to this program, the supplementary issue for young students The Times of India Student Edition is published, associated to The Times of India, which with its 800 thousand daily copies is the most widely read in English in India.

                        The student edition of this past 26 March is the work of the team of Don Bosco High School, Fr Fernandes, the Principal, and three teachers, as well as six students.

                        In the various pages, besides pages dedicated to the traditional items of interest to the young readers, there are reports on the various activities of the Don Bosco High School, and more generally, Salesian education: the testimony of past pupils, presentation of the Preventive System, experiences of the system in the world...

                        “The Times of India building looked like a castle of sorts – said one of the students –. We met Dr Ram Chaddha, our alumnus, who shared anecdotes from his school days and his inspiration to become a doctor. He gave us a new insight into what it means to be a Boscoite! We marvelled at the intricate processes involved in the production of a newspaper. We caught the waft of the printing ink and whirring of the incessant machines at the press that gave us a sense of excitement. The process was 80 percent automated right from the unwrapping of the reels to the packaging of the newspapers. We thought that newspaper production must be a cakewalk, but when we visited the press we witnessed the efforts put in behind the scenes. Wielding the quill is no mean task! At the same time, it was interesting to note the important role photojournalists play in a media house. A newspaper is a fine blend of creativity, mechanisation and automation. It was an enriching experience we will always cherish.”

                        Credits: TIMES NIE

                         

                        • India
                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                        • INB
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Lebanon - Rector Major: "What strength, what resistance, what dignity in these people I have met!"

                          2 weeks 5 days ago

                          (ANS - Al Fidar) - Yesterday, Wednesday, April 4, the Animation Visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Salesian presences in Lebanon continued with his visit to Al Fidar where a Vocational Training Center and a reception house offering informal educational courses is located. The Rector Major spent the whole day talking with the Syrian and Iraqi students and the refugees from the center.

                          Fr Á.F. Artime was extremely impressed by his meeting with the refugees and on his Facebook page he expressed all his emotional involvement:

                          "The testimony of those young families, married couples with young children, and young people (more girls than boys) who left their country and are now in Salesian houses ... I am talking about refugees of Syrian and Iraqi origin. Today was a very special day. I was in a Salesian oratory with a hundred boys and girls, with several young married couples with their children, with a number of young refugees also from Syria (as were the young families) and with a group of 12 girls and two boys coming from Iraq. And I must tell you that  I was very much "touched" in my heart by their dignity, by their ability to overcome suffering. They danced and sang (in a very beautiful way) ... because they do not allow anything or anyone to turn off their smiles, at least in many moments. And I am happy because Salesian houses, like other houses of the Latin Church and the Maronite Church, are a protection, a refuge, for the displaced in a country, Lebanon, which is at peace, but which is in a state of very difficult religious and social equilibrium. And I encouraged my Salesian brothers, Salesian sisters and the Salesian Family to continue to SIDE WITH THE POOR AND THE 'OUTCASTS' - as Pope Francis says - ALWAYS. ALWAYS WITH THEM."

                          In the afternoon the program of the Rector Major's visit continued with the traditional appointments of each animation visit: the meeting with all the Salesians present in the country for an update on the life of the Congregation and to listen to their concerns and their observations on the local reality.

                          At the end of the day there was a meeting with the local Salesian Family, the recitation of Vespers and the thought of the Salesian "Goodnight."

                          {gallery}Libano - Profughi siriani e iracheni 2018{/gallery}

                          • Libano
                          • MOR
                          • Rettor Maggiore
                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            India – Don Bosco Green Alliance powers its Web Portal

                            2 weeks 5 days ago

                            (ANS – Mumbai) – At a time when headlines of major news organisations focus on air pollution, the Great Pacific garbage patch, the Pacific trash vortex and the collapsing glaciers, there comes news of hope, and the Salesians of Don Bosco are leading the way in fostering this hope by adding a touch of green to a global picture being sullied by shades of grey. 

                            An initiative by Salesian India, the “Don Bosco Green Alliance”, is leading the way to teach a generation of young people, from Don Bosco institutions and organisations, throughout the world, to use our God-given natural resources in a responsible manner, in a bid to foster hope for future generations.

                            The Alliance, on April 1, powered its global web portal www.dbgreen.in in a bid to streamline its effort to push the green agenda and to garner more support for its eco-friendly initiatives not just in India but in foreign shores.  

                            The user-friendly web presence paints a pretty picture of our planet. Users will now have access to a wealth of green information at the click of a button. Pictures of youth, the main stakeholders, in the Alliance are clearly apparent on the website, pointing to, and underlining with no uncertain terms, the urgent need to work together for a brighter and a cleaner future.

                            “Young people take up the challenge,” reads the first-deck header that welcomes web-users. Below is text that encapsulates the mission, “We are working to create an environment that is safe and caring for all life on the planet, while building up a new generation of environmentally committed citizens and leaders.”

                            “Combatting pollution, reducing global warming and eliminating disposable plastic. In each of these areas, we partner with ongoing global campaigns promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) or other international organisations. We have set specific targets to be achieved for each of the campaigns that we engage in...”

                            The “Priority Area” link underlines just why three main priority areas have been singled out. “The environmental crisis we are presently facing is easily the biggest threat to the planet - to humans and to every species on this earth,” it reads.

                            “Green Champs” makes users aware of the clean-up drives, awareness promotion rallies and campaigns, exhibitions and competitions, exposure visits, environmental education programmes and eco clubs being undertaken by the Alliance.  

                            “Don Bosco Eco Concerns,” it reads, “an initiative by Don Bosco Tiruchy, India has been promoting Green Lifestyles in Don Bosco campuses with a specific 10 Point Green Programme. These Green Programmes are aimed at educating and empowering young people to protect and nurture the planet.”

                            The 10 Point Green Programme includes increasing green cover, reduction in the use of non-degradable materials, increasing the usage of renewable sources of energy, zero wastage in the campus, promotion of organic farming, home vegetable and herbal gardens, preserve and conserve water, clean and green environment, healthy organic food habits, usage of eco-friendly products and environment education for all.

                            It must be noted that the Alliance is a growing network, with new members constantly joining. The members, besides working on the key priority areas of the Alliance, are also involved in various other environmental initiatives, based on local needs and challenges.

                            The “Join the Alliance” tab offers web users an opportunity to make a difference. “We warmly invite Don Bosco institutions (schools, colleges, training centres, youth centres, care centres, parishes) and organisations (environmental, social, cultural, pastoral) across the world to become members of the Don Bosco Green Alliance,” a message reads. Filling a web-based form with basic information is all it takes to get started. “At the time of registering, please state at least three such definite commitments that you would wish to make...”

                            • India
                            • Ambiente
                            • Creato
                            • Comunicazione Sociale
                            • Sito
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Lebanon – Visit of the Rector Major

                              2 weeks 6 days ago

                              (ANS - Beirut) - At the end of the Intermediate Plenary Council and the celebrations of Easter rites, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, left for an animated visit to the Salesian presences in Lebanon. The Rector Major departed from Rome Fiumicino airport on the evening of Monday 2 April and landed in the night in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon.

                              At the airport, Fr Á.F. Artime was welcomed by a delegation of Salesians, including both the Provincial of the Middle East (MOR), Fr Munir El Rai', and the appointed provincial, Fr Alejandro José León Mendoza.

                              After a few hours of rest, yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, April 3, the X Successor of Don Bosco met the Provincial Council. Then, during the Eucharist with his confreres, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco preached a brief homily in which he reiterated the themes of the Easter celebrations to instil a message of hope and optimism: Christ is risen, wars and violence still express the existence of evil, but thanks to faith, Christians are aware that it is precisely passing through the Cross that one reaches resurrection.

                              After the celebration, the Rector Major visited the shrine of Harissa - located about 20 km north of Beirut and dedicated to the Madonna with the appellation of Our Lady of Lebanon.

                              The Salesians of Don Bosco have been present in Lebanon since 1952 and currently animate two canonically erected houses: in Fidar and in El Houssoun.

                              {gallery}Libano - Visita RM 2018{/gallery}

                              • Libano
                              • MOR
                              • Rettor Maggiore
                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                              • Visita di Animazione
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                India – Studio Don Bosco Inaugurated at Kapadvanj

                                2 weeks 6 days ago

                                (ANS – Kapadvanj) – The Salesians of Don Bosco in Kapadvanj, on April 1, inaugurated Studio Don Bosco, a new initiative of the AmrutDhara Catechetical Centre, to produce audio-video narrations, jingles, audio-books, podcasts, spiritual audio-video reflections, voice-overs, and backing tracks for vocalists in the region.

                                by Father Dinesh Vasava & Cleric Sachin Tribhuvan

                                In his welcome address, Father Mayank Parmar – Rector of Kapadvanj Don Bosco Society said, “Studio Don Bosco is more than just a long-felt need. It is the hope and advancement of AmrutDhara to reach out through a state-of-the-art infrastructure to the catechetical needs of the Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan region where the Salesians of Don Bosco accompany the young.” Further elaborating, Father Parmar added, “Studio Don Bosco is being initiated in a small way with very minimal investment. Hopefully, in the years to come, it will be a full-fledged professional studio that will help produce materials for value-education, life-skills and spiritual animation.”

                                Father Arackaparambil said, “It has been a long desired dream that AmrutDhara develop in keeping with the times. This Studio Don Bosco will hopefully manage to create a spiritual & social awakening in this our region and eventually contribute with its own audio-visual aids for the themes of social harmony, solidarity and universal brotherhood. My wish is that under the able guidance of our confreres here, this Studio Don Bosco will evolve into a full fledged Media Centre that will reach out to many more young people bringing them closer to God.”

                                Studio Don Bosco is dedicated to the memory of Father Edward Rathod, SDB, who wanted to enhance the lives of people, especially the young through music, song & dance when he was a resident at the Kapadvanj Don Bosco Campus. Adept at Bharatnatyam, he animated his companions during his formative years and was also talented in putting up notice board displays, backdrops and house system boards. He was known, appreciated and popular for his original Gujarati plays, prayer-services, bhajans, katha-recitals. An avid lover of music, Fr. Rathod also composed Gujarati hymns for the purpose of catechesis and spiritual animation of his boys and villagers; was very popular in the villages of Narukot and in Dakor; and was also a great promoter of vocations to the Church in Gujarat. Conducting catechism classes, animating the prayers and breaking the Word of God were his personal passions. Post-ordination, Father Rathod endeared himself to the people in Kapadvanj with his well prepared animation-sessions, talks, value seminars and katha-recitals. Managing AmrutDhara - the Salesian Catechetical Animation Centre, for a short time, for the Gujarat-Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan region - Fr Edward wanted to reach out to the marginalized and the unreached through his hard work and vision to do something great for his people. Unfortunately a road accident cut short this vibrant life in 2001.

                                The highlights of the newborn Studio Don Bosco is professional multi-lingual quality work in a comfortable work environment through the services of a professional film industry audio engineer, with special focus on booth recording, editing, mixing and mastering with ProTools catering to diverse clients – individual, schools and institutions. As part of the work scheme, Studio Don Bosco will produce audio-video narrations, jingles, audio-books, podcasts, spiritual audio-video reflections, voice-overs, and backing track for vocalists. “Gujarati Bhajans, Scouting Songbook and Video Homilies are the immediate tasks that Studio Don Bosco will engage in,” said Father Dinesh Vasava, Director of AmrutDhara Don Bosco. 

                                • India
                                • INB
                                • Comunicazione Sociale
                                • Musica
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Netherlands – Missionary life: will of God and a blessing

                                  3 weeks ago

                                  (ANS – Amsterdam) – “I would like to share three main answers or motivations that I have been able to provide for myself during past months in Belgium North - Netherland province: Grace of God - Vision of Faith - Prayer.” Speaking thus is Cl. Cirilo de Deus, a Timorese Salesian Missionary.

                                  It is the grace and will of God 

                                  Nothing is impossible for God. The story of Jonas in the Bible makes me think about my life. God sent Jonah to Nineveh to ‘facilitate’ the repentance of the sinners but he tried to escape at the beginning of his vocation - mission. He refused to cooperate with God. It is interesting that Jonah was not able to go about his own plan as he wanted to. At the end, God is able to make him cooperate and even ‘enlarged’ his own vision. I consider my missionary life to be the grace and will of God because of my daily challenges I experience: the language barrier, the cultural shocks (in big and small sizes), the (cold) weather, the style of life, the way of living the faith. All of these life difficulties have impact on my missionary life. Sometimes I wanted to do things in my own way and according to my whim. Yet, I have learned so far that God has made me humble and grateful in following him wherever He may lead me. He does everything to me as he did to Jonah.

                                  The vision of faith 

                                  As a human being in the secularized world it is difficult to accept something beyond the explanation and proofs provided by science. How to find God in such a world which is heavily influenced by scientific dictate? I do not believe in the dualism between science and faith. I affirm that God intervenes in our life. If I look back and reflect what I have experienced, it was God’s care and protection. He did not let me alone in time of difficulties. And He would always be with me in every circumstances, as he promised: "I am with you always, even to the end of the ages.” (Mat 28,20)

                                  Prayer 

                                  I am powerless to control the world even myself when I face difficult situation. I need someone who understands me deeply. He is God. I brought everything that I felt and experienced and expressed it through my daily prayer. This has been a reliance which I have rebuilt in myself since my first dream to become a missionary when I was still a novice. Until now, thanks be to God, I maintain this contact with the Lord through daily prayer both in community and personal prayer such as: rosary, thanking the Lord before sleep and wake up, etc. That is the strongest point in my life that I do regularly and trying to faithfully and devoutly fulfilling them. I have experienced that the Lord heard my cries

                                  These are the three reasons that strengthen me and keep me happy and optimistic as a missionary. 

                                  I am joyful in my assignment here in Amsterdam (Netherlands) with four confreres from our province, Belgium North and Netherlands. We are a multicultural community of Belgian, Indonesian, Indian and Timorese. Our community mission is entrusted with four parishes, five churches, at distance of seven kilometer away from our community. We have just begin new pastoral activities for youth such a sort of Lectio divina and Taizé style prayer gathering.

                                  We hope that through the intercession of our Mother everything will be better in the next year and bring more fruits to the Kingdom of God.

                                  • Olanda
                                  • BEN
                                  • Missioni
                                  • Testimonianza
                                  • Preghiera
                                  • Progetto Europa
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Tanzania – Death of Fr Richard Mtui in a road accident

                                    3 weeks ago

                                    (ANS – Shinyanga) – On the night of March 29th and 30th, Fr Richard Mtui, SDB, died in a road accident while traveling back to his Don Bosco Didia Community in Tanzania. Until now Fr Richard had been the Rector of Don Bosco Didia, a presence in the northern part of Tanzania, where the Salesians have an apostolic school for both boys and girls, totalling about 1200 students.

                                    Fr Richard was traveling back from a funeral of his aunt. At the time of the accident he was in a semi-public vehicle, a Toyota Noah. The driver of the vehicle apparently tried to overtake a stationary truck but in the process was met with an oncoming vehicle. Reconstructing the facts from the police, it appears that there was a head-on collision. Fr Richard died on the spot.

                                    Fr Mtui was born on 19 June 1977 in Mbahe Bondeni, Tanzania, entered the Novitiate of Debre Zeit, in Ethiopia, in 2000, made his perpetual vows in 2009 and was ordained priest in 2011. In his service to the Congregation and to the young, before being appointed Director of the Salesian community in Shinyanga, he had also held the position of Economer in Embu, Kenya, from 2011 to 2016.

                                    “We pray for the eternal repose of Fr Richard at this moment we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. May the Lord of the resurrection grant him the joy of seeing our Father in heaven and also bring spiritual consolation to the family and to all of us,” said Fr Simon Asira Lipuku, SDB, Provincial of East Africa Province.

                                    • Tanzania
                                    • AFE
                                    • Decessi
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Brazil - Cradle the dreams of Indian children

                                      3 weeks 4 days ago

                                      (ANS - Iauaretê) - Loss of traditional indigenous values, alcoholism, degradation. The damage of colonialism, amplified by globalization, continues to seriously endanger thousands of ethnicities in South America. This is the context in which many children grow up in Iauaretê, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, a remote district inhabited by 35 communities of 16 different ethnic groups, where alcohol smuggling and drug trafficking worsen a social scenario that is already strongly compromised.

                                      Here the Italian Salesian missionary Fr Roberto Cappelletti tries to protect the childhood of children, with the occasional help of several Italian volunteers and in collaboration with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. They are the children of underage mothers, forced to leave their homes by their parents on being discovered with pregnancy. Outcast, relegated to the margins of society, these young women are forced to play a parental role without having the tools, completely alone, and without the help of their families of origin.

                                      Abandonment and solitude represent the daily landscape of the children whom the Salesian missionary takes care of, via providing hot meals, helping in their studies and education, in moments of play and reading, providing health care and often also a place to stay for the night.

                                      Meanwhile, the construction work for a family home that can accommodate them comfortably has already started. Thinking of all the needs involved, Fr Cappelletti has planned to equip the house with 50 hammocks: in fact, in the heart of the Amazon forest, hammocks are used, not beds, hammocks being part of the local cultural heritage and are, in fact, the most practical solution on which to find rest.

                                      The simple project of Fr Cappelletti has found the generosity of many. Missioni Don Bosco of Turin has adhered to the proposal and asked to run with the "Rete del Dono" the half-marathon of 18 March promoted by Santander in the Parco del Valentino. 24 runners, both professionals and amateurs, ran to raise awareness and to give their economic contribution to the project called "50 hammocks for 50 little indios" by Fr Cappelletti: all "proud to run for Don Bosco", as one of the marathon runners wrote at their first collaboration with the Salesians. 

                                      Currently, funds have been raised for 40 of the 50 necessary hammocks, while Missioni Don Bosco continues to encourage its benefactors to complete the work.

                                      Even with simple means we can counteract the social degradation that so many indigenous peoples suffer. The protection of minorities, of the most isolated ethnic groups, starts with the protection of the little ones.

                                      • Brasile
                                      • Missioni
                                      • Missioni Don Bosco
                                      • Indigeni
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        France - Video-competition on agricultural culture: 5 participations and 5 prizes for Pouillé Salesian campus

                                        3 weeks 4 days ago

                                        (ANS - Angers) - The national competition celebrating agricultural culture is a video competition organized by the French cooperative bank "Crédit Mutuel". Every year, the jury establishes a theme and rewards the best videos at the national and departmental level. This year the theme was "Agriculture of the future", and the Salesian agricultural school "Bac Pro Paysage" in Pouillé, near Angers, won the 1st national prize.

                                        In the last five years, the students of the first year of the agricultural institute, the landscaping department, have always participated in the competition. Supervised by Fabrice Fouchet and Florence Brault, they benefit from a flexible time schedule and program, thanks to an enthusiastic and comprehensive team of instructors.

                                        The students made several videos: one on a company of gardeners who go about on bicycles, another on ecological pastures, a third on a breeder robot ... This year, at the Paris Agricultural Show, they learned they had won the 1st national award , an award that is accompanied by a check for € 5,000 to finance their educational trip to Ireland ...

                                        Here is the video that won the first prize.

                                        In 2014, the theme of the competition was "Tomorrow's work in our farmlands". The team of the Salesian Institute was motivated and imaginative and at its very first participation obtained a prize, a 4th place in the standings and a check for 1000 € (used for the trip to Portugal).

                                        In 2015 the theme was "Becoming an agro-journalist". The students redoubled their efforts and the results were seen: 2nd national prize and the 1st departmental prize: a total of € 3,000 won and a trip to Italy.

                                        Other satisfactions arrived in 2016 in the competition, its theme: "The energies in our farms", when the group decided to explore various issues on the topic including reports on wind and water mills, the use of methane power plants, the electric car, energy saving ... Last year, thanks to the video on the theme "Land and Soil", the students made videos on the gardens of the castle of Angers, the theme park, “Terre Botanique”, the lands of the Loire ...

                                        "We are happy to organize this event ... to raise public awareness of the agricultural world," said Dr. Jean-Louis Bazille, President of the Federation of Crédit Mutuel Agricole et Rural, during the awarding of prizes to the winning students.

                                        Source: Don Bosco Aujourd'hui

                                        • Francia
                                        • Rurali
                                        • Formazione Professionale
                                        • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                        • FRB
                                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana