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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Italy – ADMA Youth's specific mission: education of the heart

1 week 2 days ago
Italy – ADMA Youth's specific mission: education of the heart

(ANS - Turin) - From the charismatic riches of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) - which is preparing to celebrate the 150 years of its foundation the day after tomorrow, Holy Thursday – comes the proposal of a special itinerary for young people who intend living with Mary Help of Christians the experience of faith: this is ADMA Youth. The ADMA Youth groups participate fully in the spirit and life of the association and cooperate with ADMA and the Salesian and diocesan Youth Ministry.

The experience of the ADMA Youth groups arose almost spontaneously in different realities of the world (from Turin-Valdocco, to Venezuela, Bolivia ...). The youth groups of the ADMA are characterized by the reference to the "two columns" of Don Bosco's dream: the Eucharist and Mary Immaculate and Help of Christians; the relationship between Youth and Family Pastoral; the daily entrustment to Mary; the promotion of formation paths oriented to live and witness to youthful holiness; commitment to service and animation; the Gospel of charity lived in service to the little ones and the needy.

But what could the specific mission of the ADMA Youth ever be, born within the path of the ADMA Families? The answer is simple: education of the heart. Never as today do young people need to learn to love, love themselves like others and God, above all else.

A unique experience, in this sense, was the series of meetings entitled "I LOVE YOU", promoted by the ADMA Don Bosco group in Turin and intended for secondary school students.

The course, centered on the themes of affectivity and sexuality, was led by Salesian Fr Roberto Carelli, but the issues for reflection were concretized and enriched by numerous testimonies of married couples, engaged couples and young people who led the workshops and curated group moments.

After a first meeting on the beauty and delicacy of human sexuality and affectivity, the second meeting deepened the many meanings of the difference between men and women, while the third and fourth meetings were devoted respectively to the stages of affective maturation and to the moral orientations on specific themes of the sexual sphere: a Christian word on all the main "hot spots" of human love.

The large participation of more than a hundred members confirmed the urgency of this type of formation and the need for discussion on issues on which the happiness and success of children's lives depends.

  • Italia
  • ADMA Giovani
  • ADMA
  • Maria
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Papua New Guinea – “Sharing my life with young people gives me profound missionary fulfilment”

    1 week 3 days ago
    Papua New Guinea – “Sharing my life with young people gives me profound missionary fulfilment”

    (ANS – Gabutu) – “Two elements from my childhood urged me towards becoming a missionary. One was my dad. Before he got married, he worked four years as a builder-foreman in Ghana, Africa. His stories and pictures fascinated me very much. Second, as a young adult I had an accident in the sea. I was caught in a current and almost drowned. Only through God’s grace was I saved. I received a second life. I saw it as a call from God for some specific mission for me. This was also the time I was woken up from an over-protected life in my family and left without any clear direction in life.” Speaking is Reto Wanner, Salesian missionary from Switzerland into Papua New Guinea.

    “Not long after the accident I came to know that the Salesians in Papua New Guinea needed an instructor in mechanics. I had the required background of mechanical engineering. I offered my services through a Swiss volunteer organization. I stayed three years in the Don Bosco Technological Institute at Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. Very soon I came to realize that sharing only my engineering knowledge and professional skills was not enough. The accompaniment of the young people became more and more important to me. My role models were many Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and the aspirants among whom I worked.

    I returned to Switzerland and began to work as a project leader in a metal fabrication company. I felt unsatisfied. I missed the young people. I was no longer interested in making a career, looking only for my own benefit and wellbeing. I turned once again to the Salesians. In spite of not being a Catholic, I was allowed to start my aspirantate. I became a Catholic. Already in the novitiate I felt the vocation to become a lay brother – to be with the young people in the workshop, class room, dormitories. The good Lord guided me further towards this. The missionary experience I had had accompanied me all through my formation.

    After making my final vows Fr. Provincial, Josef Grünner, allowed me to return temporarily to PNG.

    There my wish to become a missionary intensified so much that, in 2016, I followed the call of the Rector Major to be a missionary ad vitam. And again, the good Lord let me go back to PNG.

    I am assigned for five years to Don Bosco Technological Institute – the same institute where I had been as a volunteer. My main task is technical education in the machine fitting and welding trade. A good change from this demanding work as an educator-pastor is the Sunday oratory. Sharing my life with the less privileged children and youths from our neighbouring villages gives me great fulfilment and strengthens my identity as a missionary.

    I am very happy to be a Salesian lay Brother. I am fully immersed among young people – in the classroom, in the workshop and in the Oratory. After class I spend time with the students and children. Through this intense togetherness a relationship of trust and love has emerged. The young people’s confidence in me has grown. They open up. They get interested in my life as a religious. So, I get opportunities to share with them my Christian values and promote good behaviour, respect, dignity, love, etc. A holistic formation is taking place, which will last far beyond our time together.

    Looking back, I think what is most essential for a missionary is to be open and humble. Had I not listened to God and let myself be guided by the Holy Spirit, I would not have become a Salesian, a brother, a missionary”.

    • Papua Nuova Guinea
    • PGS
    • Missioni
    • Spedizione Missionaria Salesiana
    • Austria
    • Salesiani Coadiutori
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG - April 18: 150th foundation of Association of Mary Help of Christians

      1 week 3 days ago
      RMG - April 18: 150th foundation of Association of Mary Help of Christians

      (ANS - Rome) - "The undersigned humbly exposes to your Most Reverend Excellency that for the sole desire of promoting the glory of God and the good of souls a pious union of the faithful should be started under the name of Association of the Mary Help of Christians in the Church of Mary Help of Christians which thou consecrated a year ago; its main purpose would be to promote veneration of the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Mary Auxilium Christianorum: a title that seems to return with vivid pleasure to the august Queen of Heaven."

      It was with these words that Don Bosco asked the archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Alessandro Ottaviani Riccardi, for the authorization to establish the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), with the aim of promoting the faith of the Christian people. On 18 April 1869, the archbishop decreed the canonical erection of the Association, which marked the beginning of the second group founded by Don Bosco.

      In the same year, in order to expand the association, Don Bosco wrote a booklet "Association of devotees of Mary Help of Christians canonically erected in the Church dedicated to her in Turin", in response to the numerous requests to establish an association of the faithful "who joined in the same spirit of prayer and piety to pay homage to the great Mother of the Savior invoked with the beautiful title of Help of Christians."

      Membership to ADMA commits to participating in Don Bosco's mission above all by spreading Marian popular devotion as an instrument of evangelization and promotion among the working class classes and youth most in need.

      It is significant that the foundation's 150th anniversary coincides with Holy Thursday, underlining how the Eucharistic cult is, with the devotion to the Immaculate Conception, the founding point for the spirituality and life of the Association. The 150th anniversary of ADMA's foundation will be particularly remembered in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, during the Eucharistic adoration of Holy Thursday, as well as in the 800 local groups across the globe.

      Confirmed with the celebration of the 150th anniversary is the wish formulated by Don Bosco himself in 1869: "The holy Virgin Mary, who in so many ways [different ways] has blessed and favored those who have begged her with the precious title of Help of Christians, continue to spread the heavenly treasures copiously, not only over the aggregates to this pious Association, but above all those who will invoke it in their spiritual or temporal needs, as a sign that all have reasons to bless it above the earth, to then go and praise her one day and thank her eternally in heaven."

      • RMG
      • ADMA
      • Anniversari
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Costa Rica – "Hogares Don Bosco" in Central America

        1 week 3 days ago

        (ANS - Cartago) - An ecclesial movement of married couples and family apostolate, with a strong Salesian spirituality, is taking hold in Central America, as an option of hope to save and strengthen families. What was born simply as a possibility of accompaniment and formation for the parents of the young people who attended the “Santo Domingo Savio” Salesian center in Cartago, Costa Rica, has instead become the gateway through which the “Hogares Don Bosco Movement”(HDB) is expanding today in the Central American region.

        In 2015, the married couple Alejandro Loría and Priscilla Bogarín, two Costa Rican Salesian Cooperators, was called to the Salesian Center "Santo Domingo Savio" of Cartago to start the Family Pastoral. After an arduous research on the different options present in the Salesian Family, they learned about the experience of the "Hogares Don Bosco" (Don Bosco Houses) born in Spain, and found therein a movement that brought together all the features they had been seeking in a Family Pastoral in Salesian spirituality. In fact, HDBs offer a concrete option for all those who have experienced a Salesian spirituality and wish to maintain it within the vocation to marriage to which they have been called.

        "When we accepted the adventure of forming a group of 'Hogares Don Bosco' in Costa Rica, we thought only of offering a space of growth for the families of the young people who attend the Salesian center, in order to support the work that the groups do with children, but in the HDB we have found an answer to our concerns of growth as spouses, as parents, as adult co-workers of the Kingdom of God, called to a daily life of holiness," said Priscila. And this is how they immediately contacted the National HDB Commission of Spain, in the persons of the married couple Cristóbal Marín and Irene Blaya.

        The HDB Movement was born in 1965 in Spain, thanks to several Salesian Cooperators. Today the HDBs welcome all those couples who, by freely accepting the underlying ideal and respecting its norms and guidelines, want to undertake a serious journey of human and Christian growth.

        In Central America, from the foundation of the first group in Cartago, in October 2017, until today, the current members have traveled a challenging path and have had the full support of many members of the Salesian Family, including Fr Ángel Prado, Salesian Provincial of Central America (CAM), and Fr Javier Rivas, his Vicar.

        Their experience was also shared by the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz, SDB, during the recent IV Central American Meeting of the Salesian Family: "We invite you to recognize the richness that exists in 'Hogares Don Bosco'. We wish to reach as many families as we can and place them under the protection of our Mother Help of Christians." he said on that occasion.

        • Costa Rica
        • CAM
        • Famiglia
        • Pastorale Familiare
        • Eusebio Muñoz
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Zambia – Support women, support the world

          1 week 6 days ago
          Zambia – Support women, support the world

          (ANS – Lusaka) – Education is power. Historically, this fact has led to access to education being limited based on factors such as gender, class and ethnicity. Access to even basic schooling in countries such as Zambia is often not available to female students. Pregnancy, early marriage and extreme poverty are all factors in restricting girls and young women, as well as an expectation that they will stay at home and help to cook, clean and care for siblings.

          People at “Share the Light” – a charity organization created from the projects and links developed by the staff and students of Salesian College Farnborough, Great Britain, with young people in Zambia – know how valuable education is as a tool for changing lives. “We were created after a wonderful teacher recognised a need for sponsorship to keep children in school, and while we continue this work and other projects, we also support the Salesian Sisters' project for women and girls, City of Joy,” the project manager Sophie Astles explains.

          This began in response to the impact of Zambia’s AIDS pandemic, which decimated many families, leaving the eldest siblings at their head. Along with abject poverty, this left girls and young women particularly vulnerable and open to abuse.

          At the City of Joy, these vulnerable girls are given a loving home and family where they feel safe and cared for again, and where they are encouraged and supported in their education and training. So “Share the Light” helps catering for the medical and nutritional requirements of the girls, as well as providing clothing, school uniforms and other equipment.

          “We help provide transport to enable groups from the City of Joy to travel out together safely, and we fund the maintenance of fencing to keep their boundaries secure,” Sophie adds.

          Maureen was one of the first girls to live at the City of Joy, and the first to reach Grade 12 and finish school. In 2015, she started nursing college but unfortunately, the local community could not find the funds needed to support her as she did not receive a full bursary from the government. This resulted in Maureen having to leave college. In 2016, she managed to obtain some sponsorship and the local community agreed to make up the remainder. However, it once again proved too great a burden and “Share the Light” received a request for help.

          The “Share the Light” advocates, knowing how lucky they are to be able to obtain an education, were dismayed to hear of Maureen’s plight and their fundraising efforts have ensured she can continue her studies. They continue to fundraise to support her until she qualifies as a nurse this year.

          Maureen says: “My education is very important to me, because it will make my future bright. I would like to build an orphanage so that I also can help young ones who have no one to help them. I thank you my sponsors for your support and generosity and I am grateful for the money you have sent to me to finish my studies. May God richly bless each one of you. Be assured of my prayers.”

          Visit “Share the Light” to find out more about their work and how you can support it at: https://sharethelight.uk/ 

          {gallery}Zambia - Educazione Maureen 2019{/gallery}

          • Zambia
          • GBR
          • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
          • Ragazze
          • Educazione
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Colombia - "Young people want to be understood, educated and accompanied": Fr Jaime García receives first "Civil Order of Merit Javier de Nicoló"

            1 week 6 days ago

            (ANS - Bogotá) - “Young people want to be understood, educated and accompanied in their process of cultural, work and professional growth. This is what we offer to those historically ignored: the poorest in Bogotá.” Thus stated Fr Jaime García, SDB, in receiving the first "Civil Order of Merit Javier de Nicoló" awarded by the Bogotá Municipal Council.

            Fr Javier (Saverio) de Nicoló, a Salesian priest and missionary, founder of the District Institute for the Protection of Childhood and Youth (IDIPRON), remembered throughout the city and the country for his work with disadvantaged children and young people, would have said the same thing. "Together we finished the baccalaureate and ventured into priestly formation. Javier was a star of God for the smallest of Colombia," said Fr García during the ceremony in which he received the medal bearing the name of his friend and confrere.

            This new Civil Order of Merit is the result of a decision by the Bogotá Municipal Council to honor the memory of a priest who has worked for over 40 years for the rights and well-being of children and young people, and designed to give recognition to those who dedicate themselves to this same sector.

            Thus to the first awarding of the recognition - carried out on the occasion of the third anniversary of the death of Fr de Nicolò - among the honored is Fr Jaime García, thanks to his work at the “Juan Bosco”, where over 8,000 students have grown, thanks to non-formal education, art schools and sport. The motivation reads: "At the age of 88, Fr Jaime Garcia Cuéllar continues to work in favor of the whole youth community in a situation of high vulnerability, and continues to change the lives of thousands of young people with scarce resources."

            The award assigned to Fr García also encouraged the memory of Fr de Nicoló, who in his life helped about 80,000 young people throughout the country in social reintegration processes and who, although he died in 2016, is still alive in the memory of many.

            Today the footsteps of this great Salesian are retraced by other spiritual Sons of Don Bosco and by co-responsible laity in the mission. "Now we want to continue working under the care of his heir, Fr Jaime García," said Alexis Vidal, of the project "Circus Juan Bosco Obrero", a group of young people born in the Salesian center of Fr García, which educates young people to circus arts.

            • Colombia
            • COB
            • Premi e Riconoscimenti
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Madagascar – Salesian Missions donors help Salesian vocational training center graduates launch small business enterprise

              2 weeks ago
              Madagascar – Salesian Missions donors help Salesian vocational training center graduates launch small business enterprise

              (ANS – Fianarantsoa) – Salesian missionaries in the Fianarantsoa region of Madagascar are able to assist 10 graduates of the local Salesian vocational training center in launching a small business enterprise, thanks to Salesian Missions donors. The project will train the Salesian graduates in management, operations and the development of a plan to establish a construction business.

              “We are thankful for our donors who are able to help these graduates realize a dream of starting their own business,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Graduates leave Salesian vocational training programs with the skills to enter the workforce. Those who have an entrepreneurial spirit are encouraged, through projects like these, to start businesses that meet a need in the local labor force. This ensures graduates are able to earn a stable income and help the community as well.”

              In addition to providing business training and support, Salesian missionaries will work to connect the graduates’ new business with the community to help with the acquisition of customers. In the meantime, Salesian missionaries are employing them to repair and restore sections of the Salesian training center where they learned their skills.

              Salesian vocational and technical training in Madagascar provides poor youth access to school while helping them gain the skills needed for later employment. Many students begin by attending Salesian rehabilitation centers where they have their most basic needs met including food, clothing and shelter, and then they enter either secondary or vocational school. The goal is for youth to grow into self-sufficient adults with stable employment who are utilizing the skills necessary to contribute to their families and communities.

              Madagascar, an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. Seventy percent of Madagascar’s almost 19 million people live in poverty with 5.7 million of those being youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years, according to UNICEF. This number is expected to double by 2025. Due to Madagascar’s poverty, geography and an ongoing political crisis, the country is ranked 158 out of the 188 countries classified by the 2015 Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program. Women and children in the country are particularly vulnerable to the effects of poverty.

              For close to 80 percent of the country’s inhabitants who live in rural areas and practice subsistence farming, living conditions have been steadily declining in recent years, particularly when it comes to access to transportation, health services, education and markets. Because of the lack of hygiene and access to safe drinking water coupled with chronic malnutrition, people in Madagascar often suffer from respiratory ailments, tuberculosis and hepatitis.

              In order to help youth break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness, Salesian missionaries in Madagascar operate elementary, middle and high schools throughout the country. The focus of the schools is on providing educational opportunities, increasing literacy and laying a foundation for education well past the compulsory education required in the country. Access to education and training in social and life skills encourages graduates to find liveable wage employment, breaking the cycle of poverty.

              Source: Mission Newswire

              • Madagascar
              • MDG
              • Formazione Professionale
              • Procure Missionarie
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Brazil - "Radio Dom": two years on the air, now broadcasts stories told by Don Bosco in his "Memories of the Oratory"

                2 weeks ago

                (ANS - Curitiba) - "Radio Don Bosco" is an online radio station of the Salesians, established in 2017 in Curitiba, with a Salesian identity, and where young people produce the content. The Salesians also collaborate in radio programming and in the first two months of broadcasting 15 programs were launched and a loyal audience of 10,000 listeners was reached. Today this radio is gradually expanding its audience, launches new programs and has been renamed itself "Radio Dom."

                "Radio Don Bosco" was rebaptized "Radio Dom" on August 16, 2018, the 203rd anniversary of the birth of Saint John Bosco. Being a Salesian radio, the name "Dom" obviously refers to Don Bosco, (Dom Bosco, in Brazil); but it can also recall the idea of gift, at the service of others.

                "Radio Dom" is an integral part of the Salesian Communication Network of Brazil and is maintained in association with Vatican Radio and other broadcasters. Today it has 20 programs and an audience of over 150,000 listeners, has its headquarters in Lorraine, and other centers in Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Piracicaba.

                On the occasion of the two years since its debut, a new program has been launched: it is called "Memories of the Oratory." Through the voice of Fr Maurício Miranda, it tells the story of the Salesian Congregation and Don Bosco's autobiography narrated in the book “Memories of the Oratory of St Frances of Sales.” The program lasts ten minutes and is broadcast three times a day.

                Another gift from the broadcaster to its radio listeners is the availability of programs through podcasts, which allow them to listen to their favorite programs at any time. The first two podcasts are related to the program "Memories of the Oratory" and "Walking with Mary", presented by Fr Hilário Moser.

                To listen live, learn more about programming, send messages or download the podcasts, you can visit www.radiodom.com.br or download the "Radio Dom" application, available for Android phones.

                The radio is also on Facebook and Instagram.

                "Radio Dom" is a true gift for those who want to hear a voice at the service of youth and evangelization.

                • Brasile
                • Radio
                • Radio Dom Bosco
                • Comunicazione Sociale
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Chile - Being a reference point for youth, education and human development: Silva Henríquez Catholic University

                  2 weeks ago
                  Chile - Being a reference point for youth, education and human development: Silva Henríquez Catholic University

                  (ANS - Santiago) - One hundred people belonging to the educational community of the Silva Henríquez Catholic University (UCSH) gathered to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the death of Salesian cardinal Silva Henríquez, with a Eucharist celebrated in the temple of Mary Help of Christians of Lo Cañas, in Santiago, on the morning of Tuesday 9 April. The Eucharist was presided over by the President of the "Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez" foundation, Msgr. Camilo Vial, and concelebrated by the Provincial of the Salesians in Chile, Fr Carlo Lira, and by the Rector of the UCSH, Fr Galvarino Jofré.

                  During the homily, Fr Lira spoke about the figure of the good shepherd and how Cardinal Silva Henríquez knew the Salesian charism and Don Bosco. "Because if there is one thing that Cardinal Raúl has taught us is that between word and action there must be no difference: we are called to collect this heritage to serve man in all his dimensions, and above all those who live in urgent need. The young are the raison d'être of this institution, and have occupied a priority place in the life of Fr Raúl, as a person, as a Salesian and as a pastor."

                  Taking place after the Eucharist was the inauguration ceremony of the campus of Lo Cañas, work jointly completed by the Salesian Province and by the UCSH. The campus now has new classrooms, laboratories and equipment and in 2019 it welcomes 300 new students in phono-audiology, kinesiology and nursing courses.

                  During the ceremony, Fr Lira addressed the audience, saying: "This shows that the university is not a mere appendage to the Congregation, because it is its university, and we are planning the Salesian mission strongly in this university field."

                  He then added: "We have proposed ourselves to challenge this institution to achieve the objectives that a Salesian university in Chile should have: to be a reference point for youth in pedagogical thought, and in human development."

                  For his part, Fr Jofré said: "A dream becomes reality, placing at the service of the new generations of students a privileged space, which for years has served for the philosophical and theological formation of the Salesians. The Province demonstrates its commitment to the UCSH by offering it one of its best spaces."

                  The celebration ended with the blessing of the structures, the cutting of the ribbon and the opening of the doors by the students present. 

                  {gallery}Cile - UCSH 2019{/gallery}

                  • Cile
                  • CIL
                  • Università
                  • Silva Henríquez
                  • Cardinali
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    RMG - Towards 150th anniversary of foundation of Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA)

                    2 weeks 1 day ago
                    RMG - Towards 150th anniversary of foundation of Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA)

                    (ANS - Rome) - The Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) will celebrate its 150th anniversary on 18 April. It was established in Turin on 18 April 1869 through the work of Saint Giovanni Bosco, the year after the consecration of the Church of Mary Help of Christians (June 9, 1868), as thanks for the benefits that people recognized to the Virgin and as a tool for the defense and growth of the faith of the Christian people.

                    The inspiration that moved Don Bosco was to offer a proposal for a simple Christian life that would sustain the ordinary life of the faithful, anchoring them firmly to the "two columns" of the Eucharist and of Mary, Immaculate and Help of Christians.

                    In the message sent on the occasion of this happy anniversary the President of the Primary ADMA of Turin-Valdocco, Renato Valera, said: "The coincidence with the liturgical date of Holy Thursday invites us to live this anniversary with a Eucharistic spirit. As we give thanks for these 150 years of life of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, let us commit, faithful to the charism of our holy founder Don Bosco, to letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit for a renewed evangelizing and educational impulse."

                    "It is about living and bringing faith in Jesus Christ and love to Mary to many friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances," continues Mr. Valera. "The essential part of this evangelizing impulse consists in renewing the Association with a privileged attention to the family and to the new generations, favoring and taking care of personal friendship, openness to all and the spirit of service, making the deeply evangelical attitudes of Mary our own: her availability to God, her faithfulness in the hour of trial and of the cross, her spirit of joy and thanksgiving for the marvels that the Lord works."

                    More specifically, the 800 groups of ADMA aggregated around the world are invited to plan, for Holy Thursday or at another time, a time of Eucharistic adoration in which to renew, with Mary, faith in Jesus Christ and the commitment to be joyful witnesses of the new life of the Gospel.

                    For more information, please visit: https://www.admadonbosco.org/ 

                    • RMG
                    • ADMA
                    • Anniversari
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Uganda – In the midst of terrifying statistics, a young mother - a biker - struggles to survive

                      2 weeks 1 day ago
                      Uganda – In the midst of terrifying statistics, a young mother - a biker - struggles to survive

                      (ANS - Palabek) - More than 4 million people have been forced to flee their country and nearly 400,000 have died as a result of armed clashes, but also of diseases and food shortages. These are the frightening statistics of the civil war in South Sudan, the world's youngest country, independent for just eight years, but still without peace. Thousands of people have no choice but to flee, and many take refuge in Uganda. Among these terrifying numbers, a young mother struggles to survive: her name is Gladys and she has a son.

                      Gladys is a 23-year-old woman who immediately draws attention by her height, her hair, her beauty and a smile that always appears on her face. To render her even more special is the fact that she is the only woman attending the Motorcycle Repair Course at the Don Bosco Technical School in the village of Palabek, Uganda. She attends the course with dedication, but outside the school she also works with a small sewing machine, making small repairs, and as soon as she can she rides her motorcycle to South Sudan to visit her mother and son.

                      The dream of Gladys does not differ almost in any way from the dream of other refugees in the settlement of Palabek: peace. But until peace materializes, the long and difficult day in the field is full of little dreams, such as education, activities with Salesians and motorbike trips to South Sudan to visit her family.

                      Gladys fled from South Sudan when she understood that staying put could mean being killed at any time, and her will to live overcame the fear of migration. "One day they shot a bus full of people and I managed to throw myself to the ground and survived, but many people died," recalls Gladys painfully.

                      Gladys is the example of a refugee, young, a woman, mother and a survivor with incredible strength.

                      She knows how to ride motorcycles and wants to become a professional driver to travel assiduously in South Sudan. Thanks to the Don Bosco Technical School, opened by the Salesians just two months ago, she attends the Motorcycle Mechanics Workshop. "I don't care that I'm the only girl; for me it's clear that I have to know how to repair the motorbike in case it breaks during the journey."

                      Gladys' dream continues in her son. "I want to give him a good education," she says. She also hopes that one day it will be possible to have a definitive peace "in order to be able to think about the long-term future" and to be able to continue smiling at life, without having to worry about how much time she will have to stay in a refugee settlement.

                      • Uganda
                      • AGL
                      • Palabek
                      • Rifugiati
                      • Donne
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        India – Mising indigenous youths receive comprehensive formation

                        2 weeks 1 day ago
                        India – Mising indigenous youths receive comprehensive formation

                        (ANS - Jorhat) - Educating young people, especially those most at risk of social marginalization, according to the Salesian perspective means equipping them with the tools to develop as human beings and citizens, both spiritually and professionally. This is why from 5 to 8 April, 75 young Mising indigenous people took part in a training course promoted by the Institute for Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD), founded and directed by Salesian Fr K.A. Thomas, who contemplated both dimensions.

                        The young people, from the districts of Golaghat, Sivasagar, Majuli, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji, in the Indian state of Assam, attended an introductory session led by two officials of the “Gas Authority of India"- Puspalata Kardong and Bipul Taid - who spoke to the children about the need to have a positive outlook on life, to listen to their inner life and to cultivate spirituality. "Give prayer a chance" the two interlocutors recommended.

                        In the morning of the following day, after a moment of meditation and another of social work, the whole group reached the Agricultural University of Assam, where they attended a lesson/laboratory session, both theoretical and practical, on raising pigs, in which the effectiveness and value of integrated breeding of pigs, fish and poultry was emphasized.

                        In the afternoon, at the I-CARD facilities, formation continued through a session on government schemes and projects on pig breeding. In this phase, Fr K.A. Thomas was also able to illustrate to the young indigenous people the Japanese technique "Bokashi" used at the institute's farm, which combines productivity and respect for nature, while also improving the quality of the air.

                        On the third day, the participants in the training course worked on various activities of public utility within the I-CARD campus, and then, in the last two sessions, completed technical training in pig breeding - discovering how to prevent diseases among pigs, which drugs to give them - and receiving valuable information on their own individual health and hygiene as well as on the rights of each person.

                        On this last occasion, Fr K.A. Thomas focused mainly on domestic violence and insisted that young people should proceed with courage and determination to stop these abuses and give dignity to all members of their tribes.

                        During the course, each evening was animated by lively presentations and cultural programs to which all participants joined with joy. "It was more a party than a training course," one of the young participants said. And in fact, even some young people who had initially come to participate for just one day, then attended the entire course.

                        At the end of the last session the young students were awarded their graduate certificates.

                        {gallery}India - Formazione per Mising 2019{/gallery}

                        • India
                        • IND
                        • Indigeni
                        • Educazione
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Italy – Concrete help against over-indebtedness. The efforts of IUS-Turin

                          2 weeks 1 day ago
                          Italy – Concrete help against over-indebtedness. The efforts of IUS-Turin

                          (ANS - Turin) - The Salesian University Institute of Turin-Rebaudengo (IUS-TO) doubles its efforts to people in financial difficulty: in fact, the free "SU.PER.A il GAP" help desk (Support to People Facing Pathological Gambling; overcome the gap, the acronym), established in 2015, now expands its focus and also includes over-indebtedness: this is the first free branch managed by a university, and intends to offer support to people who have ended up in the downward spiral of debts.

                          Over-indebtedness is a growing phenomenon in Italy, and is not only related to gambling. It may depend on many factors, such as job loss or difficulties due to unexpected expenses, perhaps to deal with medical care. In these circumstances, many people find themselves not knowing how to manage nor to whom to turn to to pay their mortgage, bills, loans ... And there are those who – as a solution - come to contemplate turning to usurious loans or even suicide.

                          The statistics confirm this expanding emergency: in 2017, almost half of Italian families said they had problems getting to the end of the month, when salaries are paid in Italy, and 28.7% of them had to apply for a bank loan to cover their expenses. But loans are not always granted and for this reason 12% of these families resort to loan sharks, thus entering a vicious circle.

                          It is to stem this phenomenon that the IUS-TO has established its own branch within the University Library in a city area particularly affected by these problems.

                          The IUS-TO Help Desk is offered and manned by ad hoc trained volunteers, including graduates in Psychology from the same institution, and is supervised by clinical psychologists; in the case of foreign users, the support of intercultural mediators is also provided.

                          It first offers people with dependency or over-indebtedness, and their families, a first reception and psychological support; then it encourages contact with specialized structures.

                          "The choice to open the 'Supera il GAP' HelpDesk is part of a precise idea of a university that we want to achieve ... So that the university produces and spreads science and culture, not only from authoritative studies and research, but also from from intelligent and supportive listening of the multiple 'worlds' in which people find themselves," explained prof. Alessio Rocchi, Director General of the IUS-TO.

                          In addition, the IUS-TO, as part of the "D.REA.M.S" project, also offers courses and workshops focused on the consequences of gambling.

                          For further information: http://www.superailgap.it/ 

                          • Italia
                          • ICP
                          • Economia
                          • Povertà
                          • Università
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Belgium – Synod on Youth continues: a socio political reading

                            2 weeks 2 days ago
                            Belgium – Synod on Youth continues: a socio political reading

                            (ANS – Bruxelles) – The Don Bosco International (DBI), together with the Commission of Episcopal Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), is organising a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, 11 April, in continuity with the Synod on Youth held last October. The meeting intends to continue to "listen to the young" and reflect on their social and political commitment.

                            “The young are called to make constant choices that give direction to their lives; they express the desire to be heard, recognized, accompanied. Many find that their voice is not considered interesting or useful in social and ecclesial circles.” This is one of the conclusions made by the participants on the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2018.

                            The Catholic Church has focused her attention on youth in the last two years in the process known as “Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”, through a very participatory approach. The Synod has allowed Catholic bishops and other Church authorities to take an attitude of careful listening to young people, gathering their aspirations and dreams, in order to help them take life choices in different fields of their life. Young people have been involved and present at all stages of the Synod. 

                            Don Bosco International and COMECE, in their capacity as religious actors in contact with the European Institutions and other stakeholders, intend to analyze this process from a socio-political perspective. How can youth, including young Catholics, respond to this call of engaging in a more challenging social and political environment? 

                            Together with different participants in the Synod Assembly, young Catholic leaders, policy-makers and other active stakeholders in the field of youth, they will try to give continuity to the Synod of Youth in the heart of Europe.

                            The first moment of the appointment on Thursday 11 will be a dialogue between the President of COMECE, the archbishop of Luxembourg, Msgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, the bishop of Ghent and President of Caritas Europe, the Salesian Msgr. Luc Van Looy, and Annelien Boone, a young Belgian who took part in the Synod.

                            In a second moment, they will reflect on “possible synergies between EU policies on young people and the Synod”, with speeches by Fabienne Metayer, Head of Youth Policy of the European Commission, Lukáš Pachta; assistant to MEP Michaela Sojdrova; Katharina Norpoth, President of the Bdkj, German Catholic Youth Federation.

                            Furthermore, some concrete examples of the socio-political commitment of young people will be presented.

                            "At the Synod Pope Francis said that rather than working for young people it is necessary to work with young people, to enable them to fully realize their talents and aspirations in their local community and to strengthen them at all levels of social, economic and political life," summarized the organizers.

                            If you want to join us, please register here until today, 9th April. 

                            • Belgio
                            • Don Bosco International
                            • Sinodo sui Giovani
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Spain – Salesian Confraternities, a reflection of St. Giovanni Bosco's charism

                              2 weeks 2 days ago
                              Spain – Salesian Confraternities, a reflection of St. Giovanni Bosco's charism

                              (ANS - Seville) - In the world of the Salesian Confraternities or Brotherhoods (Hermandades and Cofradías) the liturgical time of the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus occupies a privileged place, because it combines devotion, social action and the protagonism of the young. On the entire territory of Spain, there are today about 30 entities of the faithful, dependent on the respective archdioceses, and born, largely, in the channel of the Associations of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco.

                              In places like Algeciras, Morón de la Frontera, Alicante, Malaga, Cadiz, Ciudad Real, Cordoba, Jerez, Mataró, Huesca, Elche or Palma del Río, just to mention a few places, traditional processions will take place from 12 to 21 April with an approximate number of 30,000 adherents.

                              As a corporation born within the Association of Past Pupils, the Malaga Brotherhood has, for example, expressed its marked Salesian character. Its apostolic impulse, service to people, the simplicity of the celebrations, the desire to be present among the young and humble families, work, initiative and profound Marian devotion are all aspects proper to Salesian spirituality.

                              "For all these reasons, on June 20, 1996, the then Provincial, Fr Eusebio Muñoz Ruiz, gave the title of Salesian Brotherhood and with the desire to deepen the commitment to young people."

                              This desire to expand the sense of confraternity is what has encouraged the process of creating the Provincial Council of the Salesian Brotherhoods. "The Salesian Brotherhoods are represented by an advisory and organizational council, reporting directly to the delegate of the Salesian Family and then to the Provincial. The Coordinator also belongs to the Council of the Salesian Family of the Spain-Mary Help of Christians Province," explains Manolo Orellana Delgado, Coordinator of the Brotherhoods.

                              The full life of the Salesian Confraternities is not limited solely to a season of penance during the week of the Passion or to the triduums and cults of Lent. It is worth emphasizing that, in their daily lives, they animate many different initiatives, which are centered on social work, solidarity campaigns, the collection of school materials, toys, food or clothing, as well as paying attention to the people received in nursing homes, schools or associations.

                              Such are a few small examples of the full life of these Salesian brotherhoods, a reflection of the charism of St. Giovanni Bosco.

                              • Spagna
                              • SSM
                              • Devozione
                              • Pasqua
                              • Quaresima
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Spain - 75 years at service of education and faith: "Central Catequística Salesiana" (CCS)

                                2 weeks 3 days ago

                                (ANS - Madrid) - To celebrate the 75 years of its existence, the publishing house "Editorial Catequística Salesiana" (CCS) organized a commemorative event on Saturday 6 April at the school theater "San Miguel Arcángel-Salesianos Paseo de Extremadura", in Madrid. It was attended by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, the archbishop of Madrid, card. Carlos Osoro Serra, the two Provincials of Salesian Spain, Fr Juan Carlos Godoy Pérez and Fr Ángel Asurmendi Martínez, the Provincial of Portugal, Fr José Aníbal Mendonça, and many members of the Salesian Family from around the world.

                                The celebration featured several speeches through which the history of the CCS was recalled, that the publishing house was born by the will of the then Rector Major Fr Pietro Ricaldone, IV Successor of Don Bosco, who wanted, like Don Bosco, the "publication of good books". He wanted the books published by CCS not only to be texts lasting over time, but above all to contribute to education and faith. It was under his impulse that in 1944 the SEI (Sociedad Editora Ibérica) was born, which in 1994 took the name of Editorial CCS.

                                Besides the commemoration of the past and the progress made, there was also recognition paid to those who have shown depth and intellectual rigor, leaving traces of their thought in the work of the CCS, whether they were Salesians or lay people.

                                Furthermore, as a prelude to the celebration of this anniversary, the organizers had launched a drawing competition for all the students of the Salesian schools in Spain, entitled "Imagina a Don Bosco hoy". Launched to make Don Bosco's presence in today's world even more alive, for the organizers it was "a sign of the appreciation that the figure of Don Bosco continues to have, as it had a great response, with almost 4,000 participants."  Of note, one of the winners of the competition was Bianca Scurtu, a student of the Salesians of Zaragoza.

                                The presence of the Rector Major at the Madrid appointment was of great importance. In his speech he recalled Don Bosco as a great communicator and great writer of books for his young people. At the same time, he thanked all the Salesians and lay people who have worked and continue to work at the CCS, and in a special way to José Luis Mena, a professional photographer, creator of significant projects and a Salesian who produced beautiful photographs of the last four Rectors Major.

                                Having completed its first 75 years, the CCS continues to be valid and current not only in Spain but in the world, through an editorial production at the service of education and faith.

                                {gallery}Spagna - 75 anni CCS - 2019{/gallery}

                                • Spagna
                                • Editrici
                                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                • Anniversari
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  India – Month of March of NGO "PARA": celebrating women, celebrating equality

                                  2 weeks 3 days ago

                                  (ANS - Ravulapalem) - March 23 was a "Day of the Days" for the activists of the Salesian NGO "PARA" (People's Action for Rural Awakening), because it served to celebrate – at one single time - several “international days” taking place in March. In Ravulapalem, in the State of Andhra Pradesh, in India, a special conference was therefore organized for local leaders for the occasion.

                                  PARA sees every day as an opportunity to promote the dignity of all human beings and gender equality. March 4, World Day of the fight against Sexual Exploitation, was an important opportunity to raise awareness of the NGO's activities; as was March 10, the anniversary of the birth of Savitri Bhai Phule (1831-1897), who started the first girls' school in India (1848) and was a social reformer committed against caste and gender discrimination.

                                  On March 8th, it was obviously International Women's Day; while on March 24th the International Day for the Right to Truth on Human Rights Violations and for the dignity of Victims was celebrated; March 25 is International Day of Remembrance for the Slavery and Transatlantic Slaves of Slaves, renewed today for the many women and girls still treated as slaves.

                                  For all these reasons, a round table was held in Ravulapalem on March 23rd with the participation of women leaders from the surrounding villages and the "Mandala" committees to combat discrimination, together with some men active in awareness-raising activities and social promotion of women.

                                  Through the interventions of various speakers, who interpreted the themes of the different days, the guiding theme of the round table - #Balanceforbetter - was discussed, concerning the path to be taken towards authentic gender equality.

                                  Among the numerous speeches there were those who recalled the precious role of Human Rights Clubs in educating girls to assert their rights; there were those cited the example of the new saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero for the battle of justice; and those who presented different, touching testimonies on the condition of slavery experienced by so many domestic workers in the Gulf countries.

                                  The meeting concluded with the commitment of the participants to support the campaign to make their villages in places with a "zero" incidence of domestic violence and sexual exploitation.

                                  • India
                                  • INH
                                  • ONG
                                  • Donne
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    India – Former street children mourn their father

                                    2 weeks 3 days ago
                                    India – Former street children mourn their father

                                    (ANS - New Delhi) – Bimal Das is no more a street child, nor is he Christian. But the 30-year-old stood inside a New Delhi church and wept as he joined funeral prayers for Salesian Father Antony Thaiparambil, SDB. The compassionate Salesian priest gave shelter and hope to thousands of homeless youngsters.

                                    Das flew in from Kolkata to attend the funeral of Father Thaiparambil, who rescued him from a street in the eastern Indian city when he was barely six years old. “I have not seen God, nor have I seen my parents. But if God is there, I am sure he looks like this man,” he said after the ceremony.

                                    The priest helped at least 80,000 children like Das to leave the streets and secure a decent life, Salesian officials said. Father Thaiparambil began his work with street children in Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, three decades ago in 1985. Das was one of the initial beneficiaries of his mission.

                                    The 84-year-old priest died in New Delhi of an age-related illness on March 19. About 500 people including former street children attended his funeral officiated by Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi and retired Archbishop Vincent Cocessao of Delhi. Condolence messages recalled how Father Thaiparambil witnessed the misery of children wandering the streets of Kolkata, particularly near Howrah railway station, and decided to work for them.

                                    He opened his first night shelter for 14 street children in a slum area near Howrah and began to live with them. St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata blessed his second shelter, which he named Ashalayam (house of hope), in 1991. She also blessed his third shelter in 1995. About 500 street children now live in 23 Ashalayam shelter homes in Kolkata and Nadia district of West Bengal state.

                                    After moving to New Delhi in 1995, Father Thaiparambil opened three shelter homes in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Das said the priest gave him “a life, an identity.” He had no name. Children around him called him by nicknames they liked, he said while trying to control his emotion.

                                    “I hardly remember when I was rescued because I was too young, barely six years old, and was wandering with other children there,” he said. “My name and age were given by father [Thaiparambil]. But not just that … my entire life is his gift.”

                                    Das now works with the government’s “Child Help Line”, a project to help street children. He continues to live in the shelter where he grew up in Howrah. Father Thaiparambil, from the southern state of Kerala, joined the Salesian congregation in 1950. After he completed a master’s degree in social work, he was assigned to work for youth and children at risk in Kolkata.

                                    Deepak Kumar Johnny, a street child rescued by the priest from New Delhi railway station, said he used to sell popcorn on the railway platform, where he also ate and slept along with other homeless children. “On a cold winter day, I was sleeping on the platform covering myself with newspaper. I felt someone cover me with a blanket. That was my first interaction with father,” he recalled.

                                    Johnny, who uses the name the priest gave him, is now 35 and married with two children. He said Father Thaiparambil started to visit the station regularly with food and clothes and slowly the children agreed to go to his ashram. “I am lucky and privileged that I was the first person to enter Ashalayam in 1991 in New Delhi,” he said.

                                    The priest educated Johnny and trained him to be a social worker. He now works in the church-run Holy Family Hospital and volunteers to help Ashalayam rescue children from Delhi’s railway and bus stations and streets.

                                    India had about 11 million street children in 1994, according to UNICEF, but activists say this number is a gross underestimate.

                                    Das said he would have led a miserable life but for the intervention of Father Thaiparambil. He said he had wanted to become a Catholic. “But father told me this: Follow any faith, but first of all you have to respect yourselves and fellow brethren because service to humanity is the biggest religion in this world.”

                                    With teary eyes, he added: “Sad that father is not with us but I will never starve in life because God has blessed me.”

                                    Salesian Father Nirmol Gomes, the provincial of Kolkata, in his condolence message said the “inspiring vision and decisive initiatives” of Father Thaiparambil “was able to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of children from the street and set them on the path to a purpose-driven life, giving them hope and a home.”

                                    Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, the apostolic administrator of Jowai Diocese, said the priest was “always a source of encouragement to me, never even once exchanging hard words. He had a positive way of looking at things. I never found him upset or angry.”

                                    Source: UCAN

                                    • India
                                    • INC
                                    • Bambini di Strada
                                    • Decessi
                                    • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      RMG – Somewhere between Plato and the “Mappa Mundi”. Salesian Map 2019

                                      2 weeks 6 days ago
                                      RMG – Somewhere between Plato and the “Mappa Mundi”. Salesian Map 2019

                                      (ANS – Rome) – “We know how much Don Bosco loved maps of the world. He would pore over them and refer to them, especially at a time when his horizons had gone well beyond Piedmont, and what was coming together as 'Italy' in the second half of the 19th century, to the wider world of souls to be saved, young, old, indifferent, and especially souls as yet unenlightened by faith in Jesus”.

                                      By Fr Filiberto González, SDB

                                      General Councillor for Social Communications

                                      Such is the Salesian tradition in which, over a good many years now, the patient work of producing a “Salesians in the World” map has continued, offering us, via the website www.bosco.link, a map of the Salesian world in two versions:

                                      Pacific focused: 128x91cm, 256x182cm, 384x273cm

                                      Eurocentric: 128x91cm, 256x182cm, 384x273cm

                                      It was Plato, who in one of his “Dialogues”, described the sphere of the world as something that a soul, ascending in a moment of supreme transcendence, might behold as fashioned “of colours more numerous and beautiful than any we have ever seen”. Then we have the famous Mappa Mundi (the largest of which, dating back to some time in the 1300s, is preserved at Hereford Cathedral in England). Measuring 1.59 x 1.34 metres, the map is constructed on a single sheet of vellum (calf skin).

                                      Clearly within a Christian context, Jerusalem is at the centre, East is at the top. East, where the sun rises, was where medieval Christians looked for the second coming of Christ - when all geography would cease to be relevant! So, the Salesians in the World map fits somewhere between these two notions, borrowing something of the beauty of the former and the saving significance of the latter -- 'Holiness for you too' is featured prominently as a reminder at the top.

                                      The Salesians in the World map is a Miller projection map, regarded these days as a successful compromise avoiding the extremes of the Mercator projection (though, interestingly enough, these showed up largely in the Arctic and Antarctic, neither of which appear in our map for obvious reasons!). It contains a wealth of information, a kind of mini 'Annuario' or Yearbook (it is based on Vol. 2 of the 2109 edition of the latter), enabling one to find a quick statistical summary of nations, provinces, houses, Salesians in their various categories, presented in at least two ways, one of which indicates the city where the provincial house or centre is located. There is even the ubiquitous QR code.

                                      Download your own personal copy today! For further information on availability, contact the bosco.link webmaster via eao@bosco.link.

                                      • RMG
                                      • Comunicazione Sociale
                                      • Filiberto González
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Spain - "CCS" publishing house celebrating its 75th anniversary

                                        2 weeks 6 days ago

                                        (ANS - Madrid) - The "CCS" publishing house (Central Catequística Salesiana) is celebrating its 75th anniversary. To mark the anniversary, a celebratory event is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday 6 April, in Madrid. The event will be chaired by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime.

                                        It was January 31, 1944, the feast of St. John Bosco, when the publishing house SEI was first established - Sociedad Editora Ibérica being its first name. The idea came from the then Rector Major, Fr Pietro Ricaldone, who had entrusted it to the Salesians Fr Miguel Riera and Fr Romulo Piñol. With the support of the Salesian bishop Marcelino Olaechea, the Council of SEI was established, placed under the presidency of Ángel García de Vinuesa, a past pupil of the Salesians of Utrera.

                                        Throughout these 75 years, the CCS has specialized in the publication of pastoral and catechetical books, education, social action and all things Salesian. Based in Madrid, it boasts an editorial catalogue of almost 4,000 titles. It also publishes several magazines, such as the National Salesian Bulletin, Misión Joven, Catequistas and Cuadernos de Formación, with a circulation of around 620,000 copies per year.

                                        Hundreds of authors have chosen this publisher to publish their works. Since its inception, the CCS has also promoted the distribution of its books outside Spain, with special attention to Latin America.

                                        Currently, the CCS publisher, in addition to publishing books, organizes activities aimed at educators and pastoral workers, events such as days of formation and meetings between authors and readers. It also produces various religious items, all this for a single purpose: to continue to be at the service of education and faith.

                                        To celebrate 75 years of service, the publishing house has prepared various activities over a period of several months. In October 2018, a drawing competition for children was launched, entitled "Imagina a Don Bosco hoy", while in October 2019 the theatrical performance for children "El estanque de las Estrellas" is set to be staged.

                                        Another initiative is the renewal of the website - www.editorialccs.com – "of a functional and intuitive design."

                                        Other events that have already taken place: the book presentation of San Francisco de Sales, profeta y doctor del amor by Fr Eugenio Alburquerque, SDB; and the conference of Fr Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary for the Synod of Bishops on Youth.

                                        At the height of all the anniversary activities is, as said, the institutional meeting of tomorrow, 6 April, presided over by the Rector Major.

                                        • Spagna
                                        • Editrici
                                        • CCS
                                        • Anniversari
                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Italy – ADMA Youth's specific mission: education of the heart

                                          1 week 2 days ago
                                          Italy – ADMA Youth's specific mission: education of the heart

                                          (ANS - Turin) - From the charismatic riches of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) - which is preparing to celebrate the 150 years of its foundation the day after tomorrow, Holy Thursday – comes the proposal of a special itinerary for young people who intend living with Mary Help of Christians the experience of faith: this is ADMA Youth. The ADMA Youth groups participate fully in the spirit and life of the association and cooperate with ADMA and the Salesian and diocesan Youth Ministry.

                                          The experience of the ADMA Youth groups arose almost spontaneously in different realities of the world (from Turin-Valdocco, to Venezuela, Bolivia ...). The youth groups of the ADMA are characterized by the reference to the "two columns" of Don Bosco's dream: the Eucharist and Mary Immaculate and Help of Christians; the relationship between Youth and Family Pastoral; the daily entrustment to Mary; the promotion of formation paths oriented to live and witness to youthful holiness; commitment to service and animation; the Gospel of charity lived in service to the little ones and the needy.

                                          But what could the specific mission of the ADMA Youth ever be, born within the path of the ADMA Families? The answer is simple: education of the heart. Never as today do young people need to learn to love, love themselves like others and God, above all else.

                                          A unique experience, in this sense, was the series of meetings entitled "I LOVE YOU", promoted by the ADMA Don Bosco group in Turin and intended for secondary school students.

                                          The course, centered on the themes of affectivity and sexuality, was led by Salesian Fr Roberto Carelli, but the issues for reflection were concretized and enriched by numerous testimonies of married couples, engaged couples and young people who led the workshops and curated group moments.

                                          After a first meeting on the beauty and delicacy of human sexuality and affectivity, the second meeting deepened the many meanings of the difference between men and women, while the third and fourth meetings were devoted respectively to the stages of affective maturation and to the moral orientations on specific themes of the sexual sphere: a Christian word on all the main "hot spots" of human love.

                                          The large participation of more than a hundred members confirmed the urgency of this type of formation and the need for discussion on issues on which the happiness and success of children's lives depends.

                                          • Italia
                                          • ADMA Giovani
                                          • ADMA
                                          • Maria
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            Papua New Guinea – “Sharing my life with young people gives me profound missionary fulfilment”

                                            1 week 3 days ago
                                            Papua New Guinea – “Sharing my life with young people gives me profound missionary fulfilment”

                                            (ANS – Gabutu) – “Two elements from my childhood urged me towards becoming a missionary. One was my dad. Before he got married, he worked four years as a builder-foreman in Ghana, Africa. His stories and pictures fascinated me very much. Second, as a young adult I had an accident in the sea. I was caught in a current and almost drowned. Only through God’s grace was I saved. I received a second life. I saw it as a call from God for some specific mission for me. This was also the time I was woken up from an over-protected life in my family and left without any clear direction in life.” Speaking is Reto Wanner, Salesian missionary from Switzerland into Papua New Guinea.

                                            “Not long after the accident I came to know that the Salesians in Papua New Guinea needed an instructor in mechanics. I had the required background of mechanical engineering. I offered my services through a Swiss volunteer organization. I stayed three years in the Don Bosco Technological Institute at Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. Very soon I came to realize that sharing only my engineering knowledge and professional skills was not enough. The accompaniment of the young people became more and more important to me. My role models were many Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and the aspirants among whom I worked.

                                            I returned to Switzerland and began to work as a project leader in a metal fabrication company. I felt unsatisfied. I missed the young people. I was no longer interested in making a career, looking only for my own benefit and wellbeing. I turned once again to the Salesians. In spite of not being a Catholic, I was allowed to start my aspirantate. I became a Catholic. Already in the novitiate I felt the vocation to become a lay brother – to be with the young people in the workshop, class room, dormitories. The good Lord guided me further towards this. The missionary experience I had had accompanied me all through my formation.

                                            After making my final vows Fr. Provincial, Josef Grünner, allowed me to return temporarily to PNG.

                                            There my wish to become a missionary intensified so much that, in 2016, I followed the call of the Rector Major to be a missionary ad vitam. And again, the good Lord let me go back to PNG.

                                            I am assigned for five years to Don Bosco Technological Institute – the same institute where I had been as a volunteer. My main task is technical education in the machine fitting and welding trade. A good change from this demanding work as an educator-pastor is the Sunday oratory. Sharing my life with the less privileged children and youths from our neighbouring villages gives me great fulfilment and strengthens my identity as a missionary.

                                            I am very happy to be a Salesian lay Brother. I am fully immersed among young people – in the classroom, in the workshop and in the Oratory. After class I spend time with the students and children. Through this intense togetherness a relationship of trust and love has emerged. The young people’s confidence in me has grown. They open up. They get interested in my life as a religious. So, I get opportunities to share with them my Christian values and promote good behaviour, respect, dignity, love, etc. A holistic formation is taking place, which will last far beyond our time together.

                                            Looking back, I think what is most essential for a missionary is to be open and humble. Had I not listened to God and let myself be guided by the Holy Spirit, I would not have become a Salesian, a brother, a missionary”.

                                            • Papua Nuova Guinea
                                            • PGS
                                            • Missioni
                                            • Spedizione Missionaria Salesiana
                                            • Austria
                                            • Salesiani Coadiutori
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              RMG - April 18: 150th foundation of Association of Mary Help of Christians

                                              1 week 3 days ago
                                              RMG - April 18: 150th foundation of Association of Mary Help of Christians

                                              (ANS - Rome) - "The undersigned humbly exposes to your Most Reverend Excellency that for the sole desire of promoting the glory of God and the good of souls a pious union of the faithful should be started under the name of Association of the Mary Help of Christians in the Church of Mary Help of Christians which thou consecrated a year ago; its main purpose would be to promote veneration of the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Mary Auxilium Christianorum: a title that seems to return with vivid pleasure to the august Queen of Heaven."

                                              It was with these words that Don Bosco asked the archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Alessandro Ottaviani Riccardi, for the authorization to establish the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), with the aim of promoting the faith of the Christian people. On 18 April 1869, the archbishop decreed the canonical erection of the Association, which marked the beginning of the second group founded by Don Bosco.

                                              In the same year, in order to expand the association, Don Bosco wrote a booklet "Association of devotees of Mary Help of Christians canonically erected in the Church dedicated to her in Turin", in response to the numerous requests to establish an association of the faithful "who joined in the same spirit of prayer and piety to pay homage to the great Mother of the Savior invoked with the beautiful title of Help of Christians."

                                              Membership to ADMA commits to participating in Don Bosco's mission above all by spreading Marian popular devotion as an instrument of evangelization and promotion among the working class classes and youth most in need.

                                              It is significant that the foundation's 150th anniversary coincides with Holy Thursday, underlining how the Eucharistic cult is, with the devotion to the Immaculate Conception, the founding point for the spirituality and life of the Association. The 150th anniversary of ADMA's foundation will be particularly remembered in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, during the Eucharistic adoration of Holy Thursday, as well as in the 800 local groups across the globe.

                                              Confirmed with the celebration of the 150th anniversary is the wish formulated by Don Bosco himself in 1869: "The holy Virgin Mary, who in so many ways [different ways] has blessed and favored those who have begged her with the precious title of Help of Christians, continue to spread the heavenly treasures copiously, not only over the aggregates to this pious Association, but above all those who will invoke it in their spiritual or temporal needs, as a sign that all have reasons to bless it above the earth, to then go and praise her one day and thank her eternally in heaven."

                                              • RMG
                                              • ADMA
                                              • Anniversari
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Costa Rica – "Hogares Don Bosco" in Central America

                                                1 week 3 days ago

                                                (ANS - Cartago) - An ecclesial movement of married couples and family apostolate, with a strong Salesian spirituality, is taking hold in Central America, as an option of hope to save and strengthen families. What was born simply as a possibility of accompaniment and formation for the parents of the young people who attended the “Santo Domingo Savio” Salesian center in Cartago, Costa Rica, has instead become the gateway through which the “Hogares Don Bosco Movement”(HDB) is expanding today in the Central American region.

                                                In 2015, the married couple Alejandro Loría and Priscilla Bogarín, two Costa Rican Salesian Cooperators, was called to the Salesian Center "Santo Domingo Savio" of Cartago to start the Family Pastoral. After an arduous research on the different options present in the Salesian Family, they learned about the experience of the "Hogares Don Bosco" (Don Bosco Houses) born in Spain, and found therein a movement that brought together all the features they had been seeking in a Family Pastoral in Salesian spirituality. In fact, HDBs offer a concrete option for all those who have experienced a Salesian spirituality and wish to maintain it within the vocation to marriage to which they have been called.

                                                "When we accepted the adventure of forming a group of 'Hogares Don Bosco' in Costa Rica, we thought only of offering a space of growth for the families of the young people who attend the Salesian center, in order to support the work that the groups do with children, but in the HDB we have found an answer to our concerns of growth as spouses, as parents, as adult co-workers of the Kingdom of God, called to a daily life of holiness," said Priscila. And this is how they immediately contacted the National HDB Commission of Spain, in the persons of the married couple Cristóbal Marín and Irene Blaya.

                                                The HDB Movement was born in 1965 in Spain, thanks to several Salesian Cooperators. Today the HDBs welcome all those couples who, by freely accepting the underlying ideal and respecting its norms and guidelines, want to undertake a serious journey of human and Christian growth.

                                                In Central America, from the foundation of the first group in Cartago, in October 2017, until today, the current members have traveled a challenging path and have had the full support of many members of the Salesian Family, including Fr Ángel Prado, Salesian Provincial of Central America (CAM), and Fr Javier Rivas, his Vicar.

                                                Their experience was also shared by the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz, SDB, during the recent IV Central American Meeting of the Salesian Family: "We invite you to recognize the richness that exists in 'Hogares Don Bosco'. We wish to reach as many families as we can and place them under the protection of our Mother Help of Christians." he said on that occasion.

                                                • Costa Rica
                                                • CAM
                                                • Famiglia
                                                • Pastorale Familiare
                                                • Eusebio Muñoz
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Zambia – Support women, support the world

                                                  1 week 6 days ago
                                                  Zambia – Support women, support the world

                                                  (ANS – Lusaka) – Education is power. Historically, this fact has led to access to education being limited based on factors such as gender, class and ethnicity. Access to even basic schooling in countries such as Zambia is often not available to female students. Pregnancy, early marriage and extreme poverty are all factors in restricting girls and young women, as well as an expectation that they will stay at home and help to cook, clean and care for siblings.

                                                  People at “Share the Light” – a charity organization created from the projects and links developed by the staff and students of Salesian College Farnborough, Great Britain, with young people in Zambia – know how valuable education is as a tool for changing lives. “We were created after a wonderful teacher recognised a need for sponsorship to keep children in school, and while we continue this work and other projects, we also support the Salesian Sisters' project for women and girls, City of Joy,” the project manager Sophie Astles explains.

                                                  This began in response to the impact of Zambia’s AIDS pandemic, which decimated many families, leaving the eldest siblings at their head. Along with abject poverty, this left girls and young women particularly vulnerable and open to abuse.

                                                  At the City of Joy, these vulnerable girls are given a loving home and family where they feel safe and cared for again, and where they are encouraged and supported in their education and training. So “Share the Light” helps catering for the medical and nutritional requirements of the girls, as well as providing clothing, school uniforms and other equipment.

                                                  “We help provide transport to enable groups from the City of Joy to travel out together safely, and we fund the maintenance of fencing to keep their boundaries secure,” Sophie adds.

                                                  Maureen was one of the first girls to live at the City of Joy, and the first to reach Grade 12 and finish school. In 2015, she started nursing college but unfortunately, the local community could not find the funds needed to support her as she did not receive a full bursary from the government. This resulted in Maureen having to leave college. In 2016, she managed to obtain some sponsorship and the local community agreed to make up the remainder. However, it once again proved too great a burden and “Share the Light” received a request for help.

                                                  The “Share the Light” advocates, knowing how lucky they are to be able to obtain an education, were dismayed to hear of Maureen’s plight and their fundraising efforts have ensured she can continue her studies. They continue to fundraise to support her until she qualifies as a nurse this year.

                                                  Maureen says: “My education is very important to me, because it will make my future bright. I would like to build an orphanage so that I also can help young ones who have no one to help them. I thank you my sponsors for your support and generosity and I am grateful for the money you have sent to me to finish my studies. May God richly bless each one of you. Be assured of my prayers.”

                                                  Visit “Share the Light” to find out more about their work and how you can support it at: https://sharethelight.uk/ 

                                                  {gallery}Zambia - Educazione Maureen 2019{/gallery}

                                                  • Zambia
                                                  • GBR
                                                  • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                  • Ragazze
                                                  • Educazione
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Colombia - "Young people want to be understood, educated and accompanied": Fr Jaime García receives first "Civil Order of Merit Javier de Nicoló"

                                                    1 week 6 days ago

                                                    (ANS - Bogotá) - “Young people want to be understood, educated and accompanied in their process of cultural, work and professional growth. This is what we offer to those historically ignored: the poorest in Bogotá.” Thus stated Fr Jaime García, SDB, in receiving the first "Civil Order of Merit Javier de Nicoló" awarded by the Bogotá Municipal Council.

                                                    Fr Javier (Saverio) de Nicoló, a Salesian priest and missionary, founder of the District Institute for the Protection of Childhood and Youth (IDIPRON), remembered throughout the city and the country for his work with disadvantaged children and young people, would have said the same thing. "Together we finished the baccalaureate and ventured into priestly formation. Javier was a star of God for the smallest of Colombia," said Fr García during the ceremony in which he received the medal bearing the name of his friend and confrere.

                                                    This new Civil Order of Merit is the result of a decision by the Bogotá Municipal Council to honor the memory of a priest who has worked for over 40 years for the rights and well-being of children and young people, and designed to give recognition to those who dedicate themselves to this same sector.

                                                    Thus to the first awarding of the recognition - carried out on the occasion of the third anniversary of the death of Fr de Nicolò - among the honored is Fr Jaime García, thanks to his work at the “Juan Bosco”, where over 8,000 students have grown, thanks to non-formal education, art schools and sport. The motivation reads: "At the age of 88, Fr Jaime Garcia Cuéllar continues to work in favor of the whole youth community in a situation of high vulnerability, and continues to change the lives of thousands of young people with scarce resources."

                                                    The award assigned to Fr García also encouraged the memory of Fr de Nicoló, who in his life helped about 80,000 young people throughout the country in social reintegration processes and who, although he died in 2016, is still alive in the memory of many.

                                                    Today the footsteps of this great Salesian are retraced by other spiritual Sons of Don Bosco and by co-responsible laity in the mission. "Now we want to continue working under the care of his heir, Fr Jaime García," said Alexis Vidal, of the project "Circus Juan Bosco Obrero", a group of young people born in the Salesian center of Fr García, which educates young people to circus arts.

                                                    • Colombia
                                                    • COB
                                                    • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Madagascar – Salesian Missions donors help Salesian vocational training center graduates launch small business enterprise

                                                      2 weeks ago
                                                      Madagascar – Salesian Missions donors help Salesian vocational training center graduates launch small business enterprise

                                                      (ANS – Fianarantsoa) – Salesian missionaries in the Fianarantsoa region of Madagascar are able to assist 10 graduates of the local Salesian vocational training center in launching a small business enterprise, thanks to Salesian Missions donors. The project will train the Salesian graduates in management, operations and the development of a plan to establish a construction business.

                                                      “We are thankful for our donors who are able to help these graduates realize a dream of starting their own business,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Graduates leave Salesian vocational training programs with the skills to enter the workforce. Those who have an entrepreneurial spirit are encouraged, through projects like these, to start businesses that meet a need in the local labor force. This ensures graduates are able to earn a stable income and help the community as well.”

                                                      In addition to providing business training and support, Salesian missionaries will work to connect the graduates’ new business with the community to help with the acquisition of customers. In the meantime, Salesian missionaries are employing them to repair and restore sections of the Salesian training center where they learned their skills.

                                                      Salesian vocational and technical training in Madagascar provides poor youth access to school while helping them gain the skills needed for later employment. Many students begin by attending Salesian rehabilitation centers where they have their most basic needs met including food, clothing and shelter, and then they enter either secondary or vocational school. The goal is for youth to grow into self-sufficient adults with stable employment who are utilizing the skills necessary to contribute to their families and communities.

                                                      Madagascar, an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa, is one of the poorest countries in the world. Seventy percent of Madagascar’s almost 19 million people live in poverty with 5.7 million of those being youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years, according to UNICEF. This number is expected to double by 2025. Due to Madagascar’s poverty, geography and an ongoing political crisis, the country is ranked 158 out of the 188 countries classified by the 2015 Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program. Women and children in the country are particularly vulnerable to the effects of poverty.

                                                      For close to 80 percent of the country’s inhabitants who live in rural areas and practice subsistence farming, living conditions have been steadily declining in recent years, particularly when it comes to access to transportation, health services, education and markets. Because of the lack of hygiene and access to safe drinking water coupled with chronic malnutrition, people in Madagascar often suffer from respiratory ailments, tuberculosis and hepatitis.

                                                      In order to help youth break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness, Salesian missionaries in Madagascar operate elementary, middle and high schools throughout the country. The focus of the schools is on providing educational opportunities, increasing literacy and laying a foundation for education well past the compulsory education required in the country. Access to education and training in social and life skills encourages graduates to find liveable wage employment, breaking the cycle of poverty.

                                                      Source: Mission Newswire

                                                      • Madagascar
                                                      • MDG
                                                      • Formazione Professionale
                                                      • Procure Missionarie
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Brazil - "Radio Dom": two years on the air, now broadcasts stories told by Don Bosco in his "Memories of the Oratory"

                                                        2 weeks ago

                                                        (ANS - Curitiba) - "Radio Don Bosco" is an online radio station of the Salesians, established in 2017 in Curitiba, with a Salesian identity, and where young people produce the content. The Salesians also collaborate in radio programming and in the first two months of broadcasting 15 programs were launched and a loyal audience of 10,000 listeners was reached. Today this radio is gradually expanding its audience, launches new programs and has been renamed itself "Radio Dom."

                                                        "Radio Don Bosco" was rebaptized "Radio Dom" on August 16, 2018, the 203rd anniversary of the birth of Saint John Bosco. Being a Salesian radio, the name "Dom" obviously refers to Don Bosco, (Dom Bosco, in Brazil); but it can also recall the idea of gift, at the service of others.

                                                        "Radio Dom" is an integral part of the Salesian Communication Network of Brazil and is maintained in association with Vatican Radio and other broadcasters. Today it has 20 programs and an audience of over 150,000 listeners, has its headquarters in Lorraine, and other centers in Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Piracicaba.

                                                        On the occasion of the two years since its debut, a new program has been launched: it is called "Memories of the Oratory." Through the voice of Fr Maurício Miranda, it tells the story of the Salesian Congregation and Don Bosco's autobiography narrated in the book “Memories of the Oratory of St Frances of Sales.” The program lasts ten minutes and is broadcast three times a day.

                                                        Another gift from the broadcaster to its radio listeners is the availability of programs through podcasts, which allow them to listen to their favorite programs at any time. The first two podcasts are related to the program "Memories of the Oratory" and "Walking with Mary", presented by Fr Hilário Moser.

                                                        To listen live, learn more about programming, send messages or download the podcasts, you can visit www.radiodom.com.br or download the "Radio Dom" application, available for Android phones.

                                                        The radio is also on Facebook and Instagram.

                                                        "Radio Dom" is a true gift for those who want to hear a voice at the service of youth and evangelization.

                                                        • Brasile
                                                        • Radio
                                                        • Radio Dom Bosco
                                                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Chile - Being a reference point for youth, education and human development: Silva Henríquez Catholic University

                                                          2 weeks ago
                                                          Chile - Being a reference point for youth, education and human development: Silva Henríquez Catholic University

                                                          (ANS - Santiago) - One hundred people belonging to the educational community of the Silva Henríquez Catholic University (UCSH) gathered to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the death of Salesian cardinal Silva Henríquez, with a Eucharist celebrated in the temple of Mary Help of Christians of Lo Cañas, in Santiago, on the morning of Tuesday 9 April. The Eucharist was presided over by the President of the "Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez" foundation, Msgr. Camilo Vial, and concelebrated by the Provincial of the Salesians in Chile, Fr Carlo Lira, and by the Rector of the UCSH, Fr Galvarino Jofré.

                                                          During the homily, Fr Lira spoke about the figure of the good shepherd and how Cardinal Silva Henríquez knew the Salesian charism and Don Bosco. "Because if there is one thing that Cardinal Raúl has taught us is that between word and action there must be no difference: we are called to collect this heritage to serve man in all his dimensions, and above all those who live in urgent need. The young are the raison d'être of this institution, and have occupied a priority place in the life of Fr Raúl, as a person, as a Salesian and as a pastor."

                                                          Taking place after the Eucharist was the inauguration ceremony of the campus of Lo Cañas, work jointly completed by the Salesian Province and by the UCSH. The campus now has new classrooms, laboratories and equipment and in 2019 it welcomes 300 new students in phono-audiology, kinesiology and nursing courses.

                                                          During the ceremony, Fr Lira addressed the audience, saying: "This shows that the university is not a mere appendage to the Congregation, because it is its university, and we are planning the Salesian mission strongly in this university field."

                                                          He then added: "We have proposed ourselves to challenge this institution to achieve the objectives that a Salesian university in Chile should have: to be a reference point for youth in pedagogical thought, and in human development."

                                                          For his part, Fr Jofré said: "A dream becomes reality, placing at the service of the new generations of students a privileged space, which for years has served for the philosophical and theological formation of the Salesians. The Province demonstrates its commitment to the UCSH by offering it one of its best spaces."

                                                          The celebration ended with the blessing of the structures, the cutting of the ribbon and the opening of the doors by the students present. 

                                                          {gallery}Cile - UCSH 2019{/gallery}

                                                          • Cile
                                                          • CIL
                                                          • Università
                                                          • Silva Henríquez
                                                          • Cardinali
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            RMG - Towards 150th anniversary of foundation of Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA)

                                                            2 weeks 1 day ago
                                                            RMG - Towards 150th anniversary of foundation of Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA)

                                                            (ANS - Rome) - The Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) will celebrate its 150th anniversary on 18 April. It was established in Turin on 18 April 1869 through the work of Saint Giovanni Bosco, the year after the consecration of the Church of Mary Help of Christians (June 9, 1868), as thanks for the benefits that people recognized to the Virgin and as a tool for the defense and growth of the faith of the Christian people.

                                                            The inspiration that moved Don Bosco was to offer a proposal for a simple Christian life that would sustain the ordinary life of the faithful, anchoring them firmly to the "two columns" of the Eucharist and of Mary, Immaculate and Help of Christians.

                                                            In the message sent on the occasion of this happy anniversary the President of the Primary ADMA of Turin-Valdocco, Renato Valera, said: "The coincidence with the liturgical date of Holy Thursday invites us to live this anniversary with a Eucharistic spirit. As we give thanks for these 150 years of life of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, let us commit, faithful to the charism of our holy founder Don Bosco, to letting ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit for a renewed evangelizing and educational impulse."

                                                            "It is about living and bringing faith in Jesus Christ and love to Mary to many friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances," continues Mr. Valera. "The essential part of this evangelizing impulse consists in renewing the Association with a privileged attention to the family and to the new generations, favoring and taking care of personal friendship, openness to all and the spirit of service, making the deeply evangelical attitudes of Mary our own: her availability to God, her faithfulness in the hour of trial and of the cross, her spirit of joy and thanksgiving for the marvels that the Lord works."

                                                            More specifically, the 800 groups of ADMA aggregated around the world are invited to plan, for Holy Thursday or at another time, a time of Eucharistic adoration in which to renew, with Mary, faith in Jesus Christ and the commitment to be joyful witnesses of the new life of the Gospel.

                                                            For more information, please visit: https://www.admadonbosco.org/ 

                                                            • RMG
                                                            • ADMA
                                                            • Anniversari
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Uganda – In the midst of terrifying statistics, a young mother - a biker - struggles to survive

                                                              2 weeks 1 day ago
                                                              Uganda – In the midst of terrifying statistics, a young mother - a biker - struggles to survive

                                                              (ANS - Palabek) - More than 4 million people have been forced to flee their country and nearly 400,000 have died as a result of armed clashes, but also of diseases and food shortages. These are the frightening statistics of the civil war in South Sudan, the world's youngest country, independent for just eight years, but still without peace. Thousands of people have no choice but to flee, and many take refuge in Uganda. Among these terrifying numbers, a young mother struggles to survive: her name is Gladys and she has a son.

                                                              Gladys is a 23-year-old woman who immediately draws attention by her height, her hair, her beauty and a smile that always appears on her face. To render her even more special is the fact that she is the only woman attending the Motorcycle Repair Course at the Don Bosco Technical School in the village of Palabek, Uganda. She attends the course with dedication, but outside the school she also works with a small sewing machine, making small repairs, and as soon as she can she rides her motorcycle to South Sudan to visit her mother and son.

                                                              The dream of Gladys does not differ almost in any way from the dream of other refugees in the settlement of Palabek: peace. But until peace materializes, the long and difficult day in the field is full of little dreams, such as education, activities with Salesians and motorbike trips to South Sudan to visit her family.

                                                              Gladys fled from South Sudan when she understood that staying put could mean being killed at any time, and her will to live overcame the fear of migration. "One day they shot a bus full of people and I managed to throw myself to the ground and survived, but many people died," recalls Gladys painfully.

                                                              Gladys is the example of a refugee, young, a woman, mother and a survivor with incredible strength.

                                                              She knows how to ride motorcycles and wants to become a professional driver to travel assiduously in South Sudan. Thanks to the Don Bosco Technical School, opened by the Salesians just two months ago, she attends the Motorcycle Mechanics Workshop. "I don't care that I'm the only girl; for me it's clear that I have to know how to repair the motorbike in case it breaks during the journey."

                                                              Gladys' dream continues in her son. "I want to give him a good education," she says. She also hopes that one day it will be possible to have a definitive peace "in order to be able to think about the long-term future" and to be able to continue smiling at life, without having to worry about how much time she will have to stay in a refugee settlement.

                                                              • Uganda
                                                              • AGL
                                                              • Palabek
                                                              • Rifugiati
                                                              • Donne
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                India – Mising indigenous youths receive comprehensive formation

                                                                2 weeks 1 day ago
                                                                India – Mising indigenous youths receive comprehensive formation

                                                                (ANS - Jorhat) - Educating young people, especially those most at risk of social marginalization, according to the Salesian perspective means equipping them with the tools to develop as human beings and citizens, both spiritually and professionally. This is why from 5 to 8 April, 75 young Mising indigenous people took part in a training course promoted by the Institute for Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD), founded and directed by Salesian Fr K.A. Thomas, who contemplated both dimensions.

                                                                The young people, from the districts of Golaghat, Sivasagar, Majuli, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji, in the Indian state of Assam, attended an introductory session led by two officials of the “Gas Authority of India"- Puspalata Kardong and Bipul Taid - who spoke to the children about the need to have a positive outlook on life, to listen to their inner life and to cultivate spirituality. "Give prayer a chance" the two interlocutors recommended.

                                                                In the morning of the following day, after a moment of meditation and another of social work, the whole group reached the Agricultural University of Assam, where they attended a lesson/laboratory session, both theoretical and practical, on raising pigs, in which the effectiveness and value of integrated breeding of pigs, fish and poultry was emphasized.

                                                                In the afternoon, at the I-CARD facilities, formation continued through a session on government schemes and projects on pig breeding. In this phase, Fr K.A. Thomas was also able to illustrate to the young indigenous people the Japanese technique "Bokashi" used at the institute's farm, which combines productivity and respect for nature, while also improving the quality of the air.

                                                                On the third day, the participants in the training course worked on various activities of public utility within the I-CARD campus, and then, in the last two sessions, completed technical training in pig breeding - discovering how to prevent diseases among pigs, which drugs to give them - and receiving valuable information on their own individual health and hygiene as well as on the rights of each person.

                                                                On this last occasion, Fr K.A. Thomas focused mainly on domestic violence and insisted that young people should proceed with courage and determination to stop these abuses and give dignity to all members of their tribes.

                                                                During the course, each evening was animated by lively presentations and cultural programs to which all participants joined with joy. "It was more a party than a training course," one of the young participants said. And in fact, even some young people who had initially come to participate for just one day, then attended the entire course.

                                                                At the end of the last session the young students were awarded their graduate certificates.

                                                                {gallery}India - Formazione per Mising 2019{/gallery}

                                                                • India
                                                                • IND
                                                                • Indigeni
                                                                • Educazione
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Italy – Concrete help against over-indebtedness. The efforts of IUS-Turin

                                                                  2 weeks 1 day ago
                                                                  Italy – Concrete help against over-indebtedness. The efforts of IUS-Turin

                                                                  (ANS - Turin) - The Salesian University Institute of Turin-Rebaudengo (IUS-TO) doubles its efforts to people in financial difficulty: in fact, the free "SU.PER.A il GAP" help desk (Support to People Facing Pathological Gambling; overcome the gap, the acronym), established in 2015, now expands its focus and also includes over-indebtedness: this is the first free branch managed by a university, and intends to offer support to people who have ended up in the downward spiral of debts.

                                                                  Over-indebtedness is a growing phenomenon in Italy, and is not only related to gambling. It may depend on many factors, such as job loss or difficulties due to unexpected expenses, perhaps to deal with medical care. In these circumstances, many people find themselves not knowing how to manage nor to whom to turn to to pay their mortgage, bills, loans ... And there are those who – as a solution - come to contemplate turning to usurious loans or even suicide.

                                                                  The statistics confirm this expanding emergency: in 2017, almost half of Italian families said they had problems getting to the end of the month, when salaries are paid in Italy, and 28.7% of them had to apply for a bank loan to cover their expenses. But loans are not always granted and for this reason 12% of these families resort to loan sharks, thus entering a vicious circle.

                                                                  It is to stem this phenomenon that the IUS-TO has established its own branch within the University Library in a city area particularly affected by these problems.

                                                                  The IUS-TO Help Desk is offered and manned by ad hoc trained volunteers, including graduates in Psychology from the same institution, and is supervised by clinical psychologists; in the case of foreign users, the support of intercultural mediators is also provided.

                                                                  It first offers people with dependency or over-indebtedness, and their families, a first reception and psychological support; then it encourages contact with specialized structures.

                                                                  "The choice to open the 'Supera il GAP' HelpDesk is part of a precise idea of a university that we want to achieve ... So that the university produces and spreads science and culture, not only from authoritative studies and research, but also from from intelligent and supportive listening of the multiple 'worlds' in which people find themselves," explained prof. Alessio Rocchi, Director General of the IUS-TO.

                                                                  In addition, the IUS-TO, as part of the "D.REA.M.S" project, also offers courses and workshops focused on the consequences of gambling.

                                                                  For further information: http://www.superailgap.it/ 

                                                                  • Italia
                                                                  • ICP
                                                                  • Economia
                                                                  • Povertà
                                                                  • Università
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Belgium – Synod on Youth continues: a socio political reading

                                                                    2 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                    Belgium – Synod on Youth continues: a socio political reading

                                                                    (ANS – Bruxelles) – The Don Bosco International (DBI), together with the Commission of Episcopal Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), is organising a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, 11 April, in continuity with the Synod on Youth held last October. The meeting intends to continue to "listen to the young" and reflect on their social and political commitment.

                                                                    “The young are called to make constant choices that give direction to their lives; they express the desire to be heard, recognized, accompanied. Many find that their voice is not considered interesting or useful in social and ecclesial circles.” This is one of the conclusions made by the participants on the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2018.

                                                                    The Catholic Church has focused her attention on youth in the last two years in the process known as “Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment”, through a very participatory approach. The Synod has allowed Catholic bishops and other Church authorities to take an attitude of careful listening to young people, gathering their aspirations and dreams, in order to help them take life choices in different fields of their life. Young people have been involved and present at all stages of the Synod. 

                                                                    Don Bosco International and COMECE, in their capacity as religious actors in contact with the European Institutions and other stakeholders, intend to analyze this process from a socio-political perspective. How can youth, including young Catholics, respond to this call of engaging in a more challenging social and political environment? 

                                                                    Together with different participants in the Synod Assembly, young Catholic leaders, policy-makers and other active stakeholders in the field of youth, they will try to give continuity to the Synod of Youth in the heart of Europe.

                                                                    The first moment of the appointment on Thursday 11 will be a dialogue between the President of COMECE, the archbishop of Luxembourg, Msgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, the bishop of Ghent and President of Caritas Europe, the Salesian Msgr. Luc Van Looy, and Annelien Boone, a young Belgian who took part in the Synod.

                                                                    In a second moment, they will reflect on “possible synergies between EU policies on young people and the Synod”, with speeches by Fabienne Metayer, Head of Youth Policy of the European Commission, Lukáš Pachta; assistant to MEP Michaela Sojdrova; Katharina Norpoth, President of the Bdkj, German Catholic Youth Federation.

                                                                    Furthermore, some concrete examples of the socio-political commitment of young people will be presented.

                                                                    "At the Synod Pope Francis said that rather than working for young people it is necessary to work with young people, to enable them to fully realize their talents and aspirations in their local community and to strengthen them at all levels of social, economic and political life," summarized the organizers.

                                                                    If you want to join us, please register here until today, 9th April. 

                                                                    • Belgio
                                                                    • Don Bosco International
                                                                    • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Spain – Salesian Confraternities, a reflection of St. Giovanni Bosco's charism

                                                                      2 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                      Spain – Salesian Confraternities, a reflection of St. Giovanni Bosco's charism

                                                                      (ANS - Seville) - In the world of the Salesian Confraternities or Brotherhoods (Hermandades and Cofradías) the liturgical time of the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus occupies a privileged place, because it combines devotion, social action and the protagonism of the young. On the entire territory of Spain, there are today about 30 entities of the faithful, dependent on the respective archdioceses, and born, largely, in the channel of the Associations of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco.

                                                                      In places like Algeciras, Morón de la Frontera, Alicante, Malaga, Cadiz, Ciudad Real, Cordoba, Jerez, Mataró, Huesca, Elche or Palma del Río, just to mention a few places, traditional processions will take place from 12 to 21 April with an approximate number of 30,000 adherents.

                                                                      As a corporation born within the Association of Past Pupils, the Malaga Brotherhood has, for example, expressed its marked Salesian character. Its apostolic impulse, service to people, the simplicity of the celebrations, the desire to be present among the young and humble families, work, initiative and profound Marian devotion are all aspects proper to Salesian spirituality.

                                                                      "For all these reasons, on June 20, 1996, the then Provincial, Fr Eusebio Muñoz Ruiz, gave the title of Salesian Brotherhood and with the desire to deepen the commitment to young people."

                                                                      This desire to expand the sense of confraternity is what has encouraged the process of creating the Provincial Council of the Salesian Brotherhoods. "The Salesian Brotherhoods are represented by an advisory and organizational council, reporting directly to the delegate of the Salesian Family and then to the Provincial. The Coordinator also belongs to the Council of the Salesian Family of the Spain-Mary Help of Christians Province," explains Manolo Orellana Delgado, Coordinator of the Brotherhoods.

                                                                      The full life of the Salesian Confraternities is not limited solely to a season of penance during the week of the Passion or to the triduums and cults of Lent. It is worth emphasizing that, in their daily lives, they animate many different initiatives, which are centered on social work, solidarity campaigns, the collection of school materials, toys, food or clothing, as well as paying attention to the people received in nursing homes, schools or associations.

                                                                      Such are a few small examples of the full life of these Salesian brotherhoods, a reflection of the charism of St. Giovanni Bosco.

                                                                      • Spagna
                                                                      • SSM
                                                                      • Devozione
                                                                      • Pasqua
                                                                      • Quaresima
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Spain - 75 years at service of education and faith: "Central Catequística Salesiana" (CCS)

                                                                        2 weeks 3 days ago

                                                                        (ANS - Madrid) - To celebrate the 75 years of its existence, the publishing house "Editorial Catequística Salesiana" (CCS) organized a commemorative event on Saturday 6 April at the school theater "San Miguel Arcángel-Salesianos Paseo de Extremadura", in Madrid. It was attended by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, the archbishop of Madrid, card. Carlos Osoro Serra, the two Provincials of Salesian Spain, Fr Juan Carlos Godoy Pérez and Fr Ángel Asurmendi Martínez, the Provincial of Portugal, Fr José Aníbal Mendonça, and many members of the Salesian Family from around the world.

                                                                        The celebration featured several speeches through which the history of the CCS was recalled, that the publishing house was born by the will of the then Rector Major Fr Pietro Ricaldone, IV Successor of Don Bosco, who wanted, like Don Bosco, the "publication of good books". He wanted the books published by CCS not only to be texts lasting over time, but above all to contribute to education and faith. It was under his impulse that in 1944 the SEI (Sociedad Editora Ibérica) was born, which in 1994 took the name of Editorial CCS.

                                                                        Besides the commemoration of the past and the progress made, there was also recognition paid to those who have shown depth and intellectual rigor, leaving traces of their thought in the work of the CCS, whether they were Salesians or lay people.

                                                                        Furthermore, as a prelude to the celebration of this anniversary, the organizers had launched a drawing competition for all the students of the Salesian schools in Spain, entitled "Imagina a Don Bosco hoy". Launched to make Don Bosco's presence in today's world even more alive, for the organizers it was "a sign of the appreciation that the figure of Don Bosco continues to have, as it had a great response, with almost 4,000 participants."  Of note, one of the winners of the competition was Bianca Scurtu, a student of the Salesians of Zaragoza.

                                                                        The presence of the Rector Major at the Madrid appointment was of great importance. In his speech he recalled Don Bosco as a great communicator and great writer of books for his young people. At the same time, he thanked all the Salesians and lay people who have worked and continue to work at the CCS, and in a special way to José Luis Mena, a professional photographer, creator of significant projects and a Salesian who produced beautiful photographs of the last four Rectors Major.

                                                                        Having completed its first 75 years, the CCS continues to be valid and current not only in Spain but in the world, through an editorial production at the service of education and faith.

                                                                        {gallery}Spagna - 75 anni CCS - 2019{/gallery}

                                                                        • Spagna
                                                                        • Editrici
                                                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                        • Anniversari
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          India – Month of March of NGO "PARA": celebrating women, celebrating equality

                                                                          2 weeks 3 days ago

                                                                          (ANS - Ravulapalem) - March 23 was a "Day of the Days" for the activists of the Salesian NGO "PARA" (People's Action for Rural Awakening), because it served to celebrate – at one single time - several “international days” taking place in March. In Ravulapalem, in the State of Andhra Pradesh, in India, a special conference was therefore organized for local leaders for the occasion.

                                                                          PARA sees every day as an opportunity to promote the dignity of all human beings and gender equality. March 4, World Day of the fight against Sexual Exploitation, was an important opportunity to raise awareness of the NGO's activities; as was March 10, the anniversary of the birth of Savitri Bhai Phule (1831-1897), who started the first girls' school in India (1848) and was a social reformer committed against caste and gender discrimination.

                                                                          On March 8th, it was obviously International Women's Day; while on March 24th the International Day for the Right to Truth on Human Rights Violations and for the dignity of Victims was celebrated; March 25 is International Day of Remembrance for the Slavery and Transatlantic Slaves of Slaves, renewed today for the many women and girls still treated as slaves.

                                                                          For all these reasons, a round table was held in Ravulapalem on March 23rd with the participation of women leaders from the surrounding villages and the "Mandala" committees to combat discrimination, together with some men active in awareness-raising activities and social promotion of women.

                                                                          Through the interventions of various speakers, who interpreted the themes of the different days, the guiding theme of the round table - #Balanceforbetter - was discussed, concerning the path to be taken towards authentic gender equality.

                                                                          Among the numerous speeches there were those who recalled the precious role of Human Rights Clubs in educating girls to assert their rights; there were those cited the example of the new saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero for the battle of justice; and those who presented different, touching testimonies on the condition of slavery experienced by so many domestic workers in the Gulf countries.

                                                                          The meeting concluded with the commitment of the participants to support the campaign to make their villages in places with a "zero" incidence of domestic violence and sexual exploitation.

                                                                          • India
                                                                          • INH
                                                                          • ONG
                                                                          • Donne
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            India – Former street children mourn their father

                                                                            2 weeks 3 days ago
                                                                            India – Former street children mourn their father

                                                                            (ANS - New Delhi) – Bimal Das is no more a street child, nor is he Christian. But the 30-year-old stood inside a New Delhi church and wept as he joined funeral prayers for Salesian Father Antony Thaiparambil, SDB. The compassionate Salesian priest gave shelter and hope to thousands of homeless youngsters.

                                                                            Das flew in from Kolkata to attend the funeral of Father Thaiparambil, who rescued him from a street in the eastern Indian city when he was barely six years old. “I have not seen God, nor have I seen my parents. But if God is there, I am sure he looks like this man,” he said after the ceremony.

                                                                            The priest helped at least 80,000 children like Das to leave the streets and secure a decent life, Salesian officials said. Father Thaiparambil began his work with street children in Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, three decades ago in 1985. Das was one of the initial beneficiaries of his mission.

                                                                            The 84-year-old priest died in New Delhi of an age-related illness on March 19. About 500 people including former street children attended his funeral officiated by Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi and retired Archbishop Vincent Cocessao of Delhi. Condolence messages recalled how Father Thaiparambil witnessed the misery of children wandering the streets of Kolkata, particularly near Howrah railway station, and decided to work for them.

                                                                            He opened his first night shelter for 14 street children in a slum area near Howrah and began to live with them. St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata blessed his second shelter, which he named Ashalayam (house of hope), in 1991. She also blessed his third shelter in 1995. About 500 street children now live in 23 Ashalayam shelter homes in Kolkata and Nadia district of West Bengal state.

                                                                            After moving to New Delhi in 1995, Father Thaiparambil opened three shelter homes in Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Das said the priest gave him “a life, an identity.” He had no name. Children around him called him by nicknames they liked, he said while trying to control his emotion.

                                                                            “I hardly remember when I was rescued because I was too young, barely six years old, and was wandering with other children there,” he said. “My name and age were given by father [Thaiparambil]. But not just that … my entire life is his gift.”

                                                                            Das now works with the government’s “Child Help Line”, a project to help street children. He continues to live in the shelter where he grew up in Howrah. Father Thaiparambil, from the southern state of Kerala, joined the Salesian congregation in 1950. After he completed a master’s degree in social work, he was assigned to work for youth and children at risk in Kolkata.

                                                                            Deepak Kumar Johnny, a street child rescued by the priest from New Delhi railway station, said he used to sell popcorn on the railway platform, where he also ate and slept along with other homeless children. “On a cold winter day, I was sleeping on the platform covering myself with newspaper. I felt someone cover me with a blanket. That was my first interaction with father,” he recalled.

                                                                            Johnny, who uses the name the priest gave him, is now 35 and married with two children. He said Father Thaiparambil started to visit the station regularly with food and clothes and slowly the children agreed to go to his ashram. “I am lucky and privileged that I was the first person to enter Ashalayam in 1991 in New Delhi,” he said.

                                                                            The priest educated Johnny and trained him to be a social worker. He now works in the church-run Holy Family Hospital and volunteers to help Ashalayam rescue children from Delhi’s railway and bus stations and streets.

                                                                            India had about 11 million street children in 1994, according to UNICEF, but activists say this number is a gross underestimate.

                                                                            Das said he would have led a miserable life but for the intervention of Father Thaiparambil. He said he had wanted to become a Catholic. “But father told me this: Follow any faith, but first of all you have to respect yourselves and fellow brethren because service to humanity is the biggest religion in this world.”

                                                                            With teary eyes, he added: “Sad that father is not with us but I will never starve in life because God has blessed me.”

                                                                            Salesian Father Nirmol Gomes, the provincial of Kolkata, in his condolence message said the “inspiring vision and decisive initiatives” of Father Thaiparambil “was able to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of children from the street and set them on the path to a purpose-driven life, giving them hope and a home.”

                                                                            Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, the apostolic administrator of Jowai Diocese, said the priest was “always a source of encouragement to me, never even once exchanging hard words. He had a positive way of looking at things. I never found him upset or angry.”

                                                                            Source: UCAN

                                                                            • India
                                                                            • INC
                                                                            • Bambini di Strada
                                                                            • Decessi
                                                                            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              RMG – Somewhere between Plato and the “Mappa Mundi”. Salesian Map 2019

                                                                              2 weeks 6 days ago
                                                                              RMG – Somewhere between Plato and the “Mappa Mundi”. Salesian Map 2019

                                                                              (ANS – Rome) – “We know how much Don Bosco loved maps of the world. He would pore over them and refer to them, especially at a time when his horizons had gone well beyond Piedmont, and what was coming together as 'Italy' in the second half of the 19th century, to the wider world of souls to be saved, young, old, indifferent, and especially souls as yet unenlightened by faith in Jesus”.

                                                                              By Fr Filiberto González, SDB

                                                                              General Councillor for Social Communications

                                                                              Such is the Salesian tradition in which, over a good many years now, the patient work of producing a “Salesians in the World” map has continued, offering us, via the website www.bosco.link, a map of the Salesian world in two versions:

                                                                              Pacific focused: 128x91cm, 256x182cm, 384x273cm

                                                                              Eurocentric: 128x91cm, 256x182cm, 384x273cm

                                                                              It was Plato, who in one of his “Dialogues”, described the sphere of the world as something that a soul, ascending in a moment of supreme transcendence, might behold as fashioned “of colours more numerous and beautiful than any we have ever seen”. Then we have the famous Mappa Mundi (the largest of which, dating back to some time in the 1300s, is preserved at Hereford Cathedral in England). Measuring 1.59 x 1.34 metres, the map is constructed on a single sheet of vellum (calf skin).

                                                                              Clearly within a Christian context, Jerusalem is at the centre, East is at the top. East, where the sun rises, was where medieval Christians looked for the second coming of Christ - when all geography would cease to be relevant! So, the Salesians in the World map fits somewhere between these two notions, borrowing something of the beauty of the former and the saving significance of the latter -- 'Holiness for you too' is featured prominently as a reminder at the top.

                                                                              The Salesians in the World map is a Miller projection map, regarded these days as a successful compromise avoiding the extremes of the Mercator projection (though, interestingly enough, these showed up largely in the Arctic and Antarctic, neither of which appear in our map for obvious reasons!). It contains a wealth of information, a kind of mini 'Annuario' or Yearbook (it is based on Vol. 2 of the 2109 edition of the latter), enabling one to find a quick statistical summary of nations, provinces, houses, Salesians in their various categories, presented in at least two ways, one of which indicates the city where the provincial house or centre is located. There is even the ubiquitous QR code.

                                                                              Download your own personal copy today! For further information on availability, contact the bosco.link webmaster via eao@bosco.link.

                                                                              • RMG
                                                                              • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                                              • Filiberto González
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Spain - "CCS" publishing house celebrating its 75th anniversary

                                                                                2 weeks 6 days ago

                                                                                (ANS - Madrid) - The "CCS" publishing house (Central Catequística Salesiana) is celebrating its 75th anniversary. To mark the anniversary, a celebratory event is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday 6 April, in Madrid. The event will be chaired by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime.

                                                                                It was January 31, 1944, the feast of St. John Bosco, when the publishing house SEI was first established - Sociedad Editora Ibérica being its first name. The idea came from the then Rector Major, Fr Pietro Ricaldone, who had entrusted it to the Salesians Fr Miguel Riera and Fr Romulo Piñol. With the support of the Salesian bishop Marcelino Olaechea, the Council of SEI was established, placed under the presidency of Ángel García de Vinuesa, a past pupil of the Salesians of Utrera.

                                                                                Throughout these 75 years, the CCS has specialized in the publication of pastoral and catechetical books, education, social action and all things Salesian. Based in Madrid, it boasts an editorial catalogue of almost 4,000 titles. It also publishes several magazines, such as the National Salesian Bulletin, Misión Joven, Catequistas and Cuadernos de Formación, with a circulation of around 620,000 copies per year.

                                                                                Hundreds of authors have chosen this publisher to publish their works. Since its inception, the CCS has also promoted the distribution of its books outside Spain, with special attention to Latin America.

                                                                                Currently, the CCS publisher, in addition to publishing books, organizes activities aimed at educators and pastoral workers, events such as days of formation and meetings between authors and readers. It also produces various religious items, all this for a single purpose: to continue to be at the service of education and faith.

                                                                                To celebrate 75 years of service, the publishing house has prepared various activities over a period of several months. In October 2018, a drawing competition for children was launched, entitled "Imagina a Don Bosco hoy", while in October 2019 the theatrical performance for children "El estanque de las Estrellas" is set to be staged.

                                                                                Another initiative is the renewal of the website - www.editorialccs.com – "of a functional and intuitive design."

                                                                                Other events that have already taken place: the book presentation of San Francisco de Sales, profeta y doctor del amor by Fr Eugenio Alburquerque, SDB; and the conference of Fr Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary for the Synod of Bishops on Youth.

                                                                                At the height of all the anniversary activities is, as said, the institutional meeting of tomorrow, 6 April, presided over by the Rector Major.

                                                                                • Spagna
                                                                                • Editrici
                                                                                • CCS
                                                                                • Anniversari
                                                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana