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India – A memorable pastoral visit: Cardinal Bo, SDB, in North East India

2 weeks 5 days ago
India – A memorable pastoral visit: Cardinal Bo, SDB, in North East India

(ANS - Shillong) - Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, and President of the Federation of Episcopal Conferences of Asia, spent a week in North East India, from 7 to 13 November. It was his first visit to the region, known as the cradle of the Salesian charism in the country, and was marked by several exciting moments - above all, certainly, the Eucharist presided by the cardinal in Shillong before 200,000 faithful.

Cardinal Bo began his pastoral visit at the Salesian Institute of Sonada, where he spoke with the staff and students of the institute and recalled the long bond between the center and the Salesians of Myanamr, who to a large extent were trained there, given that up to ten years ago the present Vice Province of Myanmar depended on the Calcutta Province. On this occasion, he also presided over the presentation of a book tracing the history of the educational center (Salesian College - A History that Speaks Today - Salesian Institute). He then visited the bishop of Darjeeling.

In the following days, the cardinal reached Guwahati and from there Shillong to fulfill a vow made to a missing friend: the late Salesian Archbishop Msgr. Dominic Jala, recently passed away in a car accident in USA. In memory of Msgr. Jala, the cardinal wanted to keep faith with the commitment by going to the region and visiting the community.

He was also the main celebrant of the solemn Eucharist, followed by a Eucharistic procession, celebrated for and by about 200,000 faithful originating from the Khasi and Jaintia hills. Many faithful were impressed by his ability to communicate with them in their language. The Salesian prelate had words of great encouragement for them: "I was told that you Khasi are the first tribe, among the many in Northeast India, that God has chosen to share the gift of faith. Like the Israelites, you are the people who have been chosen in a special way, you are blessed by God. Today we can certainly see how you have responded wholeheartedly to the call of the Lord, and with your 'yes' you live the gift of faith so intensely. Following your example, many other tribes have embraced Christianity. You are all apostles, and you preach not with words but through your life testimony. May the Lord bless you a hundred times."

The cardinal then added: "I have heard so much about the Church in the North East of India. I was inspired by the stories told by Archbishop Jala about your profound faith and the spread of the Gospel. I have heard of the Khasi people and their love for the message of Christ. Yours is a vibrant Church, it transmits plenty of emotion and spiritual energy to me."

And he also addressed a personal thought "to the beloved archbishop", recalling how "the Eucharist was for him the source and summit of the spiritual life," and he invited the faithful to follow his example, "experiencing God, the living, loving and liberating God."

After making a crowd hear a recording of the last interview with Msgr. Jala – a recording that was supposed to serve as farewell at the end of the cardinal Bo's journey, but that ended up being an emotionally moving commemoration of Msgr. Jala - and a passionate intervention on the value of the Eucharist for the Church, the cardinal concluded his talk by inviting everyone to answer with faith and with the Gospel to the challenges of poverty and injustice, which also cross the region of northeastern India.

In the course of his visit, the Burmese cardinal presided at the Eucharist in the Theologate of the "Sacred Heart", Shillong, an institute that has formed hundreds of priests for the region and the Church. He also visited many important institutions and training centers, again at Shillong, meeting civil and religious authorities, Salesians and young people in formation.

Among other activities in the region, he inaugurated an amphitheater in Siloam, a leadership center in Umiam, near Shillong, and visited the tomb and family of Archbishop Jala.

In Shillong and Guwahati he addressed the Salesian Family, where he spoke of his country, Myamnar, which has experienced decades of military domination, and of the struggle it continues to face, even though a civilian government is gradually emerging. Speaking of the Church in the country, he stressed the role that the Catholic Church is playing in building peace between the many religious and ethnic communities, through interreligious dialogue.

Before leaving Guwahati for Calcutta, traveling to Yangon, the cardinal expressed his gratitude to God and the people of the region for the warmth, hospitality and spiritual fervor he witnessed.

  • India
  • INS
  • Cardinali
  • Charles Maung Bo
  • Dominic Jala
  • Indigeni
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Brazil – "UNISAL" now has a new Unit: Piracicaba

    2 weeks 5 days ago

    (ANS - Piracicaba) - The Salesian University Center of São Paulo (UNISAL) can now count on a new Unit, in the city of Piracicaba. The "Dom Bosco" Salesian Faculty of Piracicaba has become part of UNISAL: Unit of Piracicaba, Assunção Campus.

    The unification was made official on October 22nd with Act n. 480, published in the Official Journal of the Union.

    To celebrate this moment, an Eucharist was held in the Church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary on 7 November, followed by a solemn session to seal the beginning of the academic activities of the new unit.

    The Mass was attended by priests working in the university institutional mission, representing the various UNISAL units: for the Unit of Americana, Fr José Adilson Morgado; from that of Lorraine, Fr Sergio Baldin Júnior; and for the new Piracicaba Unit, Fr Alcy Maurício.

    Similarly, the honorary session with which the new unit began its academic year was guided by the institutional authorities of UNISAL, led by Fr Luís Otávio Botasso, Director-President, and Fr Eduardo Capucho, Rector.

    During his speech, Fr Botasso referred to a key element of Salesian education - to form "good Christians and upright citizens" - and he indicated Fr Ronaldo Francisco Aguarelli, parish priest of the Cathedral of St. Anthony in Piracicaba, and the mayor of Piracicaba, Barjas Negri, as valid models.

    The Directors, the Coordinators and the teachers of all the UNISAL units, as well as the technical-administrative collaborators of the Rectorate and of the different units also took part in the event.

    Finally, the Director-President and the Rector of UNISAL unveiled the memorial plaque of this event, which was then posted at the entrance of the new building of the unit, and the ceremony ended with a moment of fraternal agape.

    Source: Communication and Marketing Department - UNISAL

    • Brasile
    • BSP
    • Università
    • IUS
      Gian Francesco Romano

      India – Farewell to Fr Father VV Paul, SDB

      2 weeks 5 days ago
      India – Farewell to Fr Father VV Paul, SDB

      (ANS – Shillong) – Father Paul Vadakumpadam, SDB, or Father VV Paul as popularly known in North-East India, the Editor of Mission Today and President of the “Sacred Heart Theological College” in Shillong, who passed away on 18th November, was solemnly buried today, 21st November, in the Salesian Cemetery at Laitumkhrah amidst hundreds of faithful, priests, religious and his relatives.

      The Funeral Mass was held at Mawlai Parish presided over by Father Paul Lyngkot, the Provincial of the Province. The Mass was concelebrated by Father Januarius Sangma, the provincial of Guwahati Province, Father John Madur the Archdiocesan Administrator of Shillong Diocese, and hundreds of priests, religious, sisters, brothers, novices, aspirants, his relatives and the faithful who throng to the Parish at 1:30pm. The whole service was also telecasted live on YouTube and Facebook of the Don Bosco Media Network channel.

      Father Parackal Anthony Roy, the Parish Priest of Sohra and the Novitiate companion of Father VV Paul, gave the homily in which he characterized Father V.V Paul as “A silent and hard working person in his mission”. Father Roy further added that Father V.V Paul was a very good Missionary with Missiology as his professional subject. Father Paul worked silently to fulfil his mission entrusted to him in various places in Khasi Hills. Hearing confession and visiting people in interior villages without much of publicity were most of his missions.

      Father Paul Panachickal, another novitiate companion of Father VV Paul recalled in his condolences the early life at “Savio Juniorate” where they lived together as boys aspiring themselves to be Salesian Priest.

      Father Paul is known as a man of perfection. He had been the chief editor of the Mission Today for more than 17 years. He was also the Spiritual Director of the Visitation Sisters of Don Bosco (VSDB) since 1997-2001 and guided their first general chapter on September 1998. It was under his direction and guidance that many documents were written and well preserved. The people who gave their condolences were, Father Januarius Sangma (ING Provincial), Father Nazarius Lakra (IND Vice Provincial), Sr Redina Marwein VSDB, Rangbah Balang Mawpat, Br Jerry, Father Paul Panachickal, Father Philip Barjo, Sr Lisette SMI and his nephew who came all the way from Kerela.

      Lastly, Father Paul Lyngkot, the Provincial of Shillong, gave the Funeral Oration and proposed the vote of thanks. After the Holy Mass, the mortal remains of Father VV Paul was taken to Laitumkhrah Salesian cemetery to be laid to rest for eternity.   

      It may be mentioned here, that Father VV Paul had published over 12 books, 31 scholarly articles on missiology and theology and edited 50 issues of Mission Today Journal.

      Some of his books are used as textbooks in various Theological colleges across the country. Besides being involved in the parish and pastoral ministry in different Parishes of Shillong, Fr. VV Paul was a much sought after teacher at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong and visiting professor else where. And in spite of his busy academic and pastoral duty schedule, Father Paul found time also to edit the then undivided Guwahati Province newsletter NEWSLINE.

      • India
      • INS
      • Decessi
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG - CG28: Valdocco Vocational Training Center as told by Director Marco Gallo

        2 weeks 5 days ago
        RMG - CG28: Valdocco Vocational Training Center as told by Director Marco Gallo

        (ANS - Rome) - 87 days from the beginning of the 28th General Chapter, the "Interviews with the eyes of ..." continue, the videos made by ANS in collaboration with the IMEComunicazione team, in which the Salesians of Valdocco present the Mother House.

        This week, Br Marco Gallo, now four years the acting Director of the Cnos-Fap of Turin Valdocco, presents the Vocational Training Center. This center, Br Gallo explains, "is as important as in the times of Don Bosco."

        "Today, so many years later," continues Br Gallo, "Valdocco still means vocational training for cooks, electricians, graphic designers. It is, however, a solution, an alternative for these young people who need to work and maintain themselves." Cnos-Fap has indeed always been an educational model and a reference point for many young people.

        The complete video, which explains the activities and aims of the Valdocco Vocational Training Center, is available on the ANSChannel, in various languages.

        • CG28
        • RMG
        • Formazione Professionale
          Virginia Nitto

          Spain – International Children's Day and the violated rights of innumerable girls and boys

          2 weeks 6 days ago
          Spain – International Children's Day and the violated rights of innumerable girls and boys

          (ANS - Madrid) - Rachel is only one month old. Her mother died during childbirth and her grandmother has nothing but tea with which to nourish her. Cilanda was accused of witchcraft, thrown out of the house and abused. Meanwhile, Odia's mother beat her because she cried too much. They are survival stories, like those of Angel, Dayana, Aime ... Stories of struggle that take place every day in Mbuji Mayi, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the Salesians take care of over 150 children of all age in their reception center.

          However, Mbuji Mayi is not the only place where children's rights are violated. The numbers in the world are frightening: more than 150 million children live on the streets, over 300,000 children are exploited as soldiers in armed conflicts, over seven million children are refugees, over 250 million children have no access to education, 41,000 girls a day are forced to marry, thousands of children are not registered at birth ...

          The Salesians do their best to counter these scourges: the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid, "MISIONES SALESIANAS", alone takes care of 85,800 children in 110 child protection projects active throughout the world. But many other children need protection and support. For this reason, the Mission Office has launched the campaign "Una cucharada de cariño" (A spoon of affection), in order to reach more children in risky situations.

          "The defense of their rights, the protection, education and promotion of children is our formula for responding to the vulnerability of children," explains Fr José Antonio San Martín, Director of Misiones Salesianas. Schools, reception centers, vocational training centers, youth centers, kindergartens ... are Salesian instruments to defend the rights of children, who however also need affection so that they can recover their self-esteem and dignity, so that they can laugh, play, dream again ... in short, change their future.

          On International Children's Day, celebrated today, November 20, the Salesians want to invite the international community to make the protection and well-being of children a truly genuine priority.

          • Spagna
          • Rep Dem del Congo
          • Bambini
          • Misiones Salesianas
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Chile – Young Salesians dream for Chile: Salesian students and works reflect on social explosion

            2 weeks 6 days ago
            Chile – Young Salesians dream for Chile: Salesian students and works reflect on social explosion

            (ANS - Santiago) - On 18 October, a violent social explosion generated a growing movement of citizen participation that has changed and shall completely change the country's socio-political scenario: millions of people took to the streets demanding a radical change in the neoliberal economic model, the lifestyle of its political class and the way leaders govern.

            From any perspective, it is an unprecedented fact in that it has mobilized every social strata in a global and unified manner, one in search of a single dream: a more supportive Chile, with greater social justice.

            The young people of the Salesian Youth Movement, together with the youth of the Church of Santiago, coming from different pastoral areas, have created a space to reflect on this social phase Chile is going through, on the causes, consequences and future prospects, and above all on the role young Catholics play and shall play in the entire process to unfold in the country.

            Thus, in a meeting held on Saturday 16 November in Santiago, there were testimonies and experiences of young people, who also shared their dreams and plans as they continue walking in the construction or re-construction of the country.

            Under the motto "The Chile we dream of", the meetings will continue to encourage dialogue, reflection and discernment among young people. On this occasion, there were proposals relating to "a new pastoral care for today's Chile", "the socio-political commitment of young Christians", "the importance of prayer", "ongoing formation in a key to the maturity of faith" and "the opening of spaces for dialogue and discernment together", all themes that shall be further developed, with the invitation also to anyone who, even of different spirituality, wishes to contribute.

            This is a broad movement that also involves other Salesian works in the country. For example, already on Saturday 9 November, in the Salesian house in Alameda, more than 400 young people had held a meeting called "the Chile that I desire", in which the origin and forms of solving the current social-political crisis were similarly discussed.

            So, too, the Salesians of the city of La Serena; they set aside days for reflection in which the educators addressed the topic they discussed with the students in their classrooms and developed an Emotional Containment Plan, wherein everyone could express their feelings and reflect on this social explosion.

            "Chile has awoken to find itself facing the unjust life we ​​have lived, on a political, economic, health and educational level. We have to bring out the positive side, not remain with the negative side. Always with a Christian attitude, because we cannot join the looting or robbery. As Don Bosco thought for all his Salesian Family, we have trust in our young people, protagonists of our education, to make them good Christians and to lead them to be upright citizens. We must pray for what is happening, for God to help us and strengthen us, so that Chile is a paradise where we can live in peace and equality," said Guido Torres, a religion teacher and pastoral secretary.

            {gallery}CILE - Incontro studenti - 2019{/gallery}

            • Cile
            • CIL
            • Sociale
            • Politica
            • Giovani
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Cameroon – Mimboman, the periphery that offers opportunities for growth

              2 weeks 6 days ago
              Cameroon – Mimboman, the periphery that offers opportunities for growth

              (ANS - Yaoundé) - Mimboman is a new semi-residential working-class neighborhood of about 20,000 inhabitants on the outskirts of Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. Here the Salesians have been present since 1992, active, as always, in education, formation and support for young people, especially the poorest. In the field of vocational training, they have launched an interesting project to train young media professionals and now they have decided to invest in this sector with great courage.

              In the city of Yaoundé, many young people are unemployed, the informal economy is highly developed, especially in the commercial sector, and for many families, income is at the level of mere survival - which makes it difficult for life in school to last. Add to this a growing social insecurity, accompanied by highly developed social mobility phenomena.

              In this context, the work of the "Don Bosco" center is broad and articulated, and develops through the "Mary Help of Christians" parish, the youth-oratory center and the school complex, which in turn includes a secondary school and a Vocational Training Center.

              Among the flagships of the latter structure are two different elements: the section on "Audiovisual Editing" and the work procurement office inside the center, created by the Salesians to help students in the difficult phase of entering the local job market.

              At the moment, the section on "Audiovisual Editing" hosts about 20 young people per class, who after successfully attending a 9-month training cycle, obtain a certificate issued by the Don Bosco center and a Diploma of Professional Qualification (DPQ) issued by the State.

              But to further improve the quality of the training offered - in a sector such as audiovisual editing, which requires constant updating - the Salesians of Mimboman have asked for help from international benefactors and have devised a multi-stage project, the first of which will be to purchase two new MAC editing desks.

              In this way, they expect to offer students greater chances of success in the labor market.

              But even if they encounter difficulties, they will be assisted by the employment office of the “Don Bosco” center, which offers all students an internship inside private firms and always remains in contact with the graduate students to monitor their condition after completion of their studies.

              For more information, visit the website: www.missionidonbosco.org 

              • ATE
              • Comunicazione Sociale
              • Camerun
              • Missioni
              • Missioni Don Bosco
              • Formazione Professionale
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Great Britain – Rector Major begins his GBR visit

                2 weeks 6 days ago
                Great Britain – Rector Major begins his GBR visit

                (ANS – Bolton) – The Rector Major began his animation visit to the GBR Province last night, November 19th, with a trip to Bootle, near Liverpool, to meet the Salesian Community and members of the Salesian Family in the area. At Savio Salesian College, he addressed an audience of students and teachers, young leaders, parishioners, Salesian Sisters and Cooperators, and then spent time in conversation with groups of guests. 

                Don Á.F. Artime began his first full day in the GBR Province with a traditional English breakfast with the Thornleigh community in Bolton, and then began a tour of Thornleigh Salesian House, which is also home to Provincial Office and several other Province-wide functions.

                When Don Ángel visited the communications office and Don Bosco Publications, Fr Bob Gardner SDB, Director, showed him the range of books published here, and outlined plans to publish more works of Salesian spirituality in English. Sarah Seddon, Manager of Don Bosco Publications, presented Don Ángel and his secretary, Fr Horacio López, with copies of “Coraggio!”, the English translation of the Manga book on Don Bosco's story, and the new Pocketbook on Dominic Savio.

                At noon, he visited Thornleigh Salesian College and rededicate the chapel. 

                Photos are available on ANSFlickr

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

                  Bolivia – What is happening in the country

                  3 weeks ago
                  Bolivia – What is happening in the country

                  (ANS - Cochabamba) - The Salesian Province in Bolivia is grateful for the solidarity and support expressed by all in relation to the assault, looting and destruction of the Ichilo Radio and Television Broadcast Station, located in the municipality of Yapacaní, Santa Cruz, and for its proximity manifested earlier for the launch of tear gas at the "Don Bosco" school in La Paz while students were in the courtyard. Let us make clear to our sister communities in America and in the world that what has happened in Bolivia is the fruit of a complex social and political process that has resulted in the resignation of the former president Evo Morales and in the appointment of a legitimately constituted transitional government.

                  From what we can observe, there was nothing like a coup d'etat, but rather the clear civil and popular or people's resistance to a new affront by the former governing party against the Political Constitution of the State. Some related passages are that Evo Morales did not respect the result of the constitutional referendum of February 21, 2016 - in which the polls expressed that he should not resume his candidacy for other elections - and claiming a "human right", he ignored those results and presented himself in the October 20 elections this year.

                  To this, one must add the forest fires of more than 1,000,000 hectares in Chiquitanía, which among its causes has a government decree that favors the practice of the "chaqueo", i.e, the forest fire to provide more agricultural land to people close to the MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo) and for commercial interests. And finally, the electoral fraud in favor of Morales, denounced by the Organization of American States after reviews of verification carried out by a group of experts of the OAS.

                  The majority of Bolivian citizens has sought a peaceful solution to the conflict during this period and this has materialized in the mutiny of police officers who have refused to repress civilians in protest. The army also suggested that the former president cease his duties and he decided to resign to give way to a constitutional succession, now headed by Dr. Jeanine Áñez.

                  The Bolivian bishops, in their statement of November 10, say literally: "What is happening in Bolivia is not a coup d'etat, we say it before the Bolivian citizens and in front of the whole international community."

                  In this context, much too summarily, we ask the Salesian communities of America and the world not to fall into misinformation or into the assumption of the loss of legality and democracy in Bolivia. We still live in difficult times because of the squadrons of Evo Morales who do not accept the resignation of their leader and ask him to return to the government, which is completely unachievable after all the corruption and manipulation of the powers of the State in which we have been submergedhave come to light.

                  All our Salesian works continue to accompany the people in this difficult moment, offering their educational-evangelizing service to the extent that circumstances permit. We thank the whole Salesian Family of the world for prayer and closeness. And we continue to ask God for a quick, peaceful and just solution to these conflicts.

                  Cochabamba, 16 November 2019

                  • Bolivia
                  • Politica
                  • Sociale
                  • BOL
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Lebanon - The Salesians, tried by difficulties, in solidarity with local youth and people

                    3 weeks ago
                    Lebanon - The Salesians, tried by difficulties, in solidarity with local youth and people

                    (ANS - Beirut) - 100 years after the proclamation of the Greater Lebanon (1920) in its geographical and historical boundaries, the country, once considered the Switzerland of the Middle East, is going through one of the most delicate and difficult moments of its centennial history: a crisis, above all economic, but also social and political, which has pushed the local population to rise up and rebel against its leaders, to the point of asking that the whole political class go away. Something unheard of in a fragmented society, where political leaders, in some cases former lords of the interminable civil war (1975-1990), were mostly praised and followed almost blindly.

                    For a month now, the country has been living in a state of revolt that now borders on insurgency. The demonstrations have so far been relatively peaceful and sometimes managed with creativity, but the impatience of the people, faced with the lack of answers from those in charge and the ever-constant stalling while the crisis worsens day by day, is growing and the first acts of violence have been noted.

                    The country is virtually paralyzed due to the closure, complete or intermittently, of the main arteries, public offices, banks, universities, and schools with barricades. These recent phenomena weigh on already precarious social and economic difficulties: 30% of the population borders on the poverty line; the country hosts the highest percentage of refugees in the world - over a third of the population; the main social services are conspicuously lacking; infrastructures are obsolete …

                    In this situation, the flight of young people grows, many of whom are highly qualified, as they look for a job and a safe and better future.

                    In this context, the Salesian presence is expressed in two works: the vocational training high school of Al Fidar, on the coast, which is home to just over 200 students enrolled in various fields of study - automotive mechanics, electronics, electricity, information technology, physical education and sports, and culinary arts; and the oratory-youth center of El Houssoun, in the mountains, flanked by a reception center.

                    The Salesians are trying hard to make the school work, located as it is in a sensitive area, both at an educational and economic level, but the situation, especially economically, is getting worse day by day.

                    The oratory, located in a relatively quiet area, now functions regularly every Saturday, welcoming Lebanese children, mostly Christians. The Salesian mission also deals with Syrian and Iraqi refugees, the majority of whom live in Beirut at the center of the revolution.

                    Deeply united with the suffering people, the Salesians are involved in this economic effort to move forward, to counter resources already long diminished decreasing further, which risk overwhelming them in a much greater crisis.

                    Strengthened by the spirit of Don Bosco, however, the Salesians continue with their presence, qualifying themselves as peacemakers and sowers of hope.

                    {gallery}Libano - Proteste 2019{/gallery}

                    • Libano
                    • Politica
                    • Sociale
                    • MOR
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Pakistan – Salesian Brother makes a difference

                      3 weeks ago
                      Pakistan – Salesian Brother makes a difference

                      (ANS – Lahore) – What makes the Salesian Brother so special? Many are sharing the following conviction: “The Brothers are simply doing their ordinary youth ministry duties with an extraordinary love!” Brother Alex Abelgas (61 years old) from the Southern Philippines (FIS) province of Mary Help of Christians, arrived in Pakistan just a few months ago, but he has already conquered the hearts of the young people in Don Bosco Lahore (Technical Boarding School & High School).

                      After a brief two month exposure in Pakistan a few years ago, Br. Abelgas volunteered for this mission and he simply continues what he did during the past 40 years of Salesian consecrated life in the Philippines. He is always present the whole day among the young people as their “assistant” in the boarding house, in the refectory, in the football field, on the farm (buffaloes), in the vegetable garden. Simply put, the Brother is present among the young people as their friend, teacher and father, and as some Salesians have said, “the best practical trainee” they have ever had in this house!

                      Although Brother Abelgas does not yet speak perfect Urdu (Pakistan's national language), he delivers a good morning talk from the “romanized Urdu text” in the school assembly and is always mingling with the more difficult and naughty boys. Among his favourite tools is the accordion (music). The Salesians also pray that the promised fund from Turin, Italy will soon arrive and provide 10 small accordions for the future band, already known from his previous community in Borongan (Eastern Samar island, Philippines).

                      Soon after arrival, the only Salesian Brother present in the whole of Pakistan began guiding the Past Pupils through their monthly meetings, and a few days ago he was able to witness a significant step, the election of offices for the first Don Bosco Past Pupils Association on 27 October. His kind, patient and animating presence among the Past Pupils is very much felt.

                      Salesians in Pakistan hope that Brother Alex's presence will sow the seeds of the Salesian Brother Vocation among young Pakistanis one day. As Don Bosco's Salesians, they always dream about the complementary presence of Brothers and Priests, to make the mission and community witness complete!

                      • Pakistan
                      • FIS
                      • Salesiani Coadiutori
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Great Britain

                        3 weeks 1 day ago
                        RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Great Britain

                        (ANS - Rome) - Tomorrow, November 19, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, leaves for a four-day Animation Visit to the "St. Thomas of Canterbury" Province of Great Britain. This is an ordinary commitment for the Rector Major, who has among his specific tasks that of animating Salesian communities throughout the world; but at the same time it is something very special: it is the last visit he will make in this six-year term, and with it he shall be able to fulfill his wish to visit all the Provinces and Vice Provinces of the Congregation during his mandate.

                        Fr Á.F. Artime, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, will land in Manchester Tuesday, late in the afternoon, and shall be off to the Salesian community in Bootle, not far from Liverpool, where he will have a first fraternal meeting with the local Salesian Family.

                        The following day, at the Provincial House in Bolton, he shall meet with the Salesians of the northernmost communities (Bollington, Bootle and Bolton), then visit the Thornleigh and Bollington schools, where he shall gather with the Salesian and educational community and preside at the Eucharist.

                        On Thursday 21, he visits the Salesian school of Chertsey and the "Royal Holloway" University, before celebrating a Mass for the Salesian Cooperators and, in the evening, he goes to Farnborough.

                        On Friday 22nd, there will be a meeting with Salesians and young people from the Chertsey community, after which the Rector Major meets the Provincial Council in Battersea, London, in the afternoon.

                        On the last day of his visit to the GBR Province, the Successor of Don Bosco will meet the Salesians of the southern communities (Cowley, Chertsey, Battersea and Farnborough); he will preside over Mass for the Salesian Family; and then have the opportunity to speak with Theresa Devereux, the mother of Sean, the Salesian missionary volunteer, killed while on duty in Somalia in 1993, to whom the GBR Province is dedicating a film.

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

                          Uganda – Palabek mourns Eugene's death, refugee who welcomed first Salesians in his humble hut

                          3 weeks 1 day ago
                          Uganda – Palabek mourns Eugene's death, refugee who welcomed first Salesians in his humble hut

                          (ANS - Palabek) - Eugene Obwoya was 77 years old and dreamed that peace would return to South Sudan, so he could return home. He was an exception in the Palabek refugee camp in Uganda, where almost 90% of residents are women and children. He had been a government official in Sudan and, together with his inseparable wife Agnes, was among the first to arrive in Palabek.

                          Eugene Obwoya didn't care about having five children with stable jobs outside the refugee camp - and among them, a professor from the University of Juba, an administrator in Kampala, capital of Uganda, and a telecommunications engineer in China. His place was in the camp, despite his family putting pressure on him because they wanted him and his wife, a retired teacher, to leave that uncomfortable and difficult life to enjoy their last years.

                          But Eugene, an agronomist, had decided: "This is the third time I live in a refugee camp, and dreaming of peace in South Sudan and helping my compatriots is what keeps me alive," he said a year ago.

                          He was the person for whom the Salesians began to live in Palabek. In South Sudan, already a catechist, in the refugee camp he led the prayers of the first refugees beneath the trees and open sky. When the first Salesians arrived in Palabek to see the work the NGOs were doing with the refugees, Eugene asked them to celebrate Mass and to return assiduously; thus he continued until the first three Salesian missionaries stayed to live in his hut.

                          Always ready to help, Eugene didn't deny anyone a chair and a cup of tea to talk quietly at the doors of his hut. "I have been retired for years and it is true, in South Sudan I had a lot of land, fruit trees and machinery to live well," he recalled. "But my place is here now, to help the young as I can."

                          On Sundays, he was a minister at Masses and was always careful to have everything under control. One day he had difficulty reading one of the passages, the first symptom that something was wrong with his health.

                          Now Palabek mourns the absence of Eugene, the good man that everyone knew and asked for advice.

                          Alberto López Herrero

                          {gallery}Sudan del Sud - Eugene Obwoya 2019{/gallery}

                          • Uganda
                          • AGL
                          • Palabek
                          • Decessi
                          • Laici
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            East Timor – Resolutions and dreams of Missionary Animation Delegates in East Asia-Oceania

                            3 weeks 1 day ago
                            East Timor – Resolutions and dreams of Missionary Animation Delegates in East Asia-Oceania

                            (ANS - Dili) - The EAO meeting of Provincial Mission Animation Delegates (MA) of the East Asia-Oceania Region, carried out jointly with the region's Youth Ministry delegates (Dili, 11-15 November), was a good opportunity for participants to share the good practices of each Province and to support each other in common challenges. Thus, the annual appointment becomes an important time for discussion and dialogue, from which to begin again each time.

                            "This is already the second time we have held a joint meeting with the Delegates for Youth Ministry, after the meeting held in Seoul in 2015.  In this joint meeting, we discussed the new Handbook for Salesian Missionary Volunteering that has been prepared over the past 5 years. We also shared thoughts on the Youth Synod 2018, especially the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis Christus Vivit. The talk and the discourse were really enlightening and inspiring. We hope that the fruits of our meeting will be applied to the different provinces and communities in our EAO region," said Fr Arvin Abatayo, Coordinator for Mission Animation in the EAO region.

                            The Provincial MA Delegates discussed clear-cut guidelines for animation, so that it would be easy for the Salesians of the various Provinces to accept and apply them in every community. The objective, in fact, is not only to increase volunteers in the Provinces, but also their impact on the formation of young people, vocations culture, and help the community who receives the volunteers.

                            Various resolutions were discerned; below, a partial list.

                            At the provincial level: to improve local fundraising for MA; to collaborate closely with the Provincial and his Council; foster the missionary groups in the Salesian Youth Movement; include the Standard Operation Plan of Volunteering as part of the Salesian Educational-Pastoral Project.

                            At the regional level: guarantee a basic English course to each new MA Delegate; produce MA workshops and seminars for deeper learning; issue an EAO Statement on Salesian Missionary Volunteering; develop formation modules to Salesian volunteer receiving communities; create a regional network and database of missionary volunteers; provide animating questions for readers of Cagliero 11 for fruitful reflection and action.

                            At the congregation levell: work on the formation of Salesian Missionary Volunteering, as well as sharing the Mission between SDB and Lay people; foster preparation of the Manual for Salesian Parishes.

                            Finally, among other suggestions: conduct meetings between MA and Formation Commissions; foster interaction and animation with various specific groups of the Salesian Family; provide for visits to formation houses during the annual regional meeting of MA Delegates.

                            "At the end of the meeting, we can say that we are still far from the ideal, but we are hopeful because we are moving forward and into a direction that we hope to bring great fruits to our missionary Provinces, Congregation and the Church," concluded Fr Abatayo.

                            • Timor Est
                            • Animazione Missionaria
                            • Asia EstOceania
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Zambia – Salesian missionaries in the Makululu settlement buy land for new farm thanks to Salesian Missions donors

                              3 weeks 4 days ago
                              Zambia – Salesian missionaries in the Makululu settlement buy land for new farm thanks to Salesian Missions donors

                              (ANS - Kabwe) - Salesian missionaries working in the Makululu settlement in Kabwe, Zambia, were able to purchase close to 25 acres of land and develop a farm thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.

                              Missionaries have developed the farm near the “Don Bosco Children Home” so that the food developed on the farm will be a source of food for the children and the local community. The farm itself will also be utilized as an Agricultural Training Center. The “Don Bosco Children Home” transforms the lives of street children by providing shelter, education and agricultural training to help break the cycle of poverty and provide opportunities for financial independence.

                              In Makululu more than 40 percent of children between 7-14 years old do not attend school. The area once had no formal education. Many of the local families rely on basic trades to earn a meager living and to feed their families. They set up stalls with vegetables, fish, fruit, stone slabs, furniture and products from China. There is great poverty in the community with many residents having no electricity, enough food to eat or enough money to buy proper clothing.

                              Today, Salesian missionaries operate the Don Bosco Children Home, a nursery school that prepares young children for primary school, a Youth Centre that accommodates up to 60 youth, and now agriculture training so youth can earn a living.

                              “Access to quality education provides a stepping stone out of poverty for poor youth,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions. “We are grateful to our donors who provided funding so that the land could be purchased for the farm. This will enable Salesian missionaries to both have a food source for the community and use the farm for invaluable educational lessons.”

                              Poverty is widespread in Zambia with 64 percent of the total population living below the poverty line. For those living in rural areas, the poverty rate rises to 80 percent, according to UNICEF. Over the past three decades, incomes in Zambia have fallen steadily and people do not have enough money to meet basic needs such as shelter, nutritious food and medical care.

                              The HIV/AIDS epidemic has also taken a devastating toll on Zambia’s children. There are 1.2 million children classified as orphaned and vulnerable by UNICEF, and these children struggle to find education, basic services and hope for their future.

                              Further information is available at MissionNewswire and on YouTube.

                              {gallery}Zambia - Makalulu 2019{/gallery}

                              • Zambia
                              • ZMB
                              • Missioni
                              • Povertà
                              • Agricoltura
                              • Rurali
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                RMG – Poster of the Rector Major's 2020 Strenna presented

                                3 weeks 4 days ago
                                RMG – Poster of the Rector Major's 2020 Strenna presented

                                (ANS - Rome) - The poster for Strenna 2020, which develops the motto: "Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6.10) is available online today. "GOOD CHRISTIANS AND UPRIGHT CITIZENS." The poster of the Year 2020 stands firm in the memory of the spark of the beginning of Salesian work.

                                There was a stairway near the large market of Porta Palazzo where the young people sat to laugh, joke and have a snack. Don Bosco goes to meet them there. "Out there", where they normally meet and hang out. He does not lecture them; he simply offers his friendship.

                                Don Bosco possessed nothing, only his huge heart, which revealed itself in his unforgettable gaze: "What stood out most in Don Bosco was his gaze, sweet but penetrating, to the depths of the heart, which you could hardly resist staring at," an ancient student once said.

                                The poster is a page from the Gospel according to Don Bosco: “Jesus called forth a child, put him in their midst and said: 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'” (Mt 18, 1-5).

                                So, too, Don Bosco: he is all here, thus, with the same eyes and the same heart as Jesus.

                                He had a conviction about young people: "This portion is the most delicate and most precious of human society, on which the hopes of a happy future are based." It is his decisive choice: "You are the most important part of my day," "You are special, and you mean a lot to me," he would tell the young people he met. It is in this daily dynamic that the personality of young people is built, there the heart of the educational process that succeeds in forming "good Christians and upright citizens!"

                                His goal is simple and immense: "I want young people to be happy in time and in eternity."

                                In the poster, at the top of the staircase there is an open door. It is the door of the house of Don Bosco, the door of the church and the door of life. Today, young people often find only closed doors. Don Bosco wants the young to have open doors. Those of a future and a happy and responsible life, those of a mature and satisfying faith, those of joy, solidarity, open and free creativity.

                                This is why the Salesian Family exists.

                                The Strenna poster, designed by the artist Stefano Pachi, is currently being shipped to all ANSPhoto subscribers. The digital version, in six languages, is available on ANSFlickr and here.

                                {gallery}Poster Strenna 2020 - Anno 2019{/gallery}

                                • RMG
                                • Strenna 2020
                                • Don Bosco
                                • Giovani
                                • STRENNA
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Argentina - "Zatti, our brother" trailer available online

                                  3 weeks 5 days ago

                                  (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Yesterday, November 13, on the day when the Salesian Family celebrated the liturgical memorial of Blessed Artemide Zatti, a Salesian coadjutor, Salesian Argentina joyfully announced the distribution of the film trailer "Zatti, hermano nuestro" (Zatti, our brother), conceived in 2018, produced this year and scheduled for release in 2020.

                                  Fruit of the collaboration between the two Salesian Provinces in Argentina, produced by the National Salesian Bulletin, supported by the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid and encouraged by the Rector Major, the short film will be presented as a preview at the 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, scheduled in Turin, in 2020.

                                  In the meantime, it is possible to view the trailer, subtitled also in Italian, at the following website: www.zattilapelicula.com.ar 

                                  • Argentina
                                  • Artemide Zatti
                                  • Comunicazione Sociale
                                  • Cinema
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    India - "Aiming Higher" - Don Bosco University of Assam in BBC documentary

                                    3 weeks 5 days ago

                                    (ANS - Guwahati) - The "Assam Don Bosco University" (ADBU), India's first Catholic university, which just one year ago awarded the "University of the Year" award by the Indian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), has been portrayed in a documentary by the famous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) through StoryWorks, its Commercial Productions division. The documentary was produced as part of the "Aiming Higher" communication project promoted by the International Association of Universities (IAU) in collaboration with the BBC to convey the importance of the role of universities in the transformation of the world.

                                    The series of 30 documentaries of "Aiming Higher" is being presented today, November 14, in Puebla, Mexico, at the IAU International Conference.

                                    The series will be made available on dedicated website to be launched at the Conference and will have an important outreach through a global advertising campaign on the BBC’s website outside of the UK.

                                    IAU thanks all participating universities for their engagement and for sharing these beautiful experiences with the global higher education community and the general public. They embody what IAU is all about: collaboration, concrete action and exchange to make the movement of positive movers and shakers in higher education grow internationally and make a long-term impact on society at large.

                                    The "Aiming Higher" documentaries illustrate significant stories in the fields of Internationalization, Technology, Leadership and Sustainable Development cultivated in different universities, thus spotlighting the essential contributions of higher education to social development worldwide.

                                    ADBU is among the 30 positive models identified across the globe.

                                    "In the documentary, we were happy to spotlight the life story of how people of Assam now have access to clean drinking water thanks to the University's efforts. It was fascinating to work on the project with the ADBU team and better understand what drives your institution ... And we hope that this film will provide you with a powerful communication tool," wrote Simon Shelley, Director of BBC collaborative projects in an official communiquè to the Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University, Fr Stephen Mavely.

                                    Anxiously awaiting the launch of the "Aiming Higher" series, the Salesian answered from Puebla. "It was wonderful to admire the way this project was conceived, organized and wonderfully managed by the BBC and IAU. Thank you for the excellent work."

                                    In addition to thanking the main curators of the project on behalf of the ADBU - Dr. Juhi, Director of Human Resources; the Vice-rector, Dr. Nellanatt; Dr. Sunandan, the general coordinator; and the Director of the Department of Social Sciences, Dr. Riju – he added: "It's amazing to imagine the millions, literally millions of people around the world, that will be reached by this IAU-BBC production, people who will indeed get the message that higher education can and should be a change for the best in people's real life, starting with the closest ones. The ADBU fully shares this vision: it is written in our genes."

                                    The series will soon be available on a dedicated website and will be widely distributed through a global campaign by the BBC: it is estimated that in the first few days it will reach around 50 million Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook users, but a total of 110 million is expected. In addition, starting next week, it will be sent to around 19,300 universities enrolled in the IAU.

                                    • India
                                    • Università
                                    • ADBU
                                    • Comunicazione Sociale
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Hong Kong – EAO Formation and Social Communication Delegates come together

                                      3 weeks 5 days ago
                                      Hong Kong – EAO Formation and Social Communication Delegates come together

                                      (ANS – Hong Kong) – A few days before the Apostolic visit of Pope Francis to Thailand and Japan, the incoming East Asia-Oceania meeting of Social Communication, together with the Formation Delegates in Hong Kong, is also upon us. Together with three General Councillors – Fr Ivo Coelho (Formation), Fr Filiberto González (Social Communication) and Fr Vaclav Klement (EAO) – there will also be circa 30 Provincial Delegates for both sectors. Scheduled: four joint sessions (SC-Formation) and specific times for each sector delegates.

                                      SC Councilor Father González clearly spells out the three goals of this formative annual meeting:

                                      “The first goal is to answer the question: "What kind of Salesian communicators for the youth of the digital world? We are looking for the profile of Salesian communicator with 4 inseparable and complementary elements: Living together, being, knowing and doing. Second: How to make the GC28 live to the Salesians, lay people and young people in the own province. Third: presentation of a good practice of Social Communication in a time limit of ten minutes.”

                                      The SC delegates are meeting after two years (Vietnam, K’Long, in November 2017) and will evaluate their resolutions at personal, province and regional levels as regards: fostering communications via EAO regional and SDB world news (ANS) in both directions, also involving Lay Mission Partners and Young; working more closely with the YM, Mission Animation and Formation commissions; fostering Education and Formation sessions on Social Media (target on SDB and Salesian Family); supporting AustraLasia News and www.bosco.link (Boscolink).

                                      Among the specific topics pertaining to updates, this SC delegate meeting shall also discuss The Salesian Bulletin Editors (2019), the 2019 Salesian Translators Handbook and Salesian Dictionary and Corporate Identity (SDB logo-related issues).

                                      • Hong Kong
                                      • Comunicazione Sociale
                                      • Formazione
                                      • Asia EstOceania
                                      • Filiberto González
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Bolivia – Lay people of the Salesian Family in action

                                        3 weeks 5 days ago
                                        Bolivia – Lay people of the Salesian Family in action

                                        (ANS - Santa Cruz) - The Second Vatican Council invited the pastors of the local Church to "open spaces of shared responsibility in the life and mission of the Church". Don Bosco, here too, was a forerunner; in his Oratory, he counted on the help of everyone, both consecrated and lay persons, to carry forward not only the activities, but also the charism. Today in Bolivia, this sensitivity is spreading. An example is offered by the case of Cecilia Dörfelt, a lay person involved in the Church and in the Salesian Family, coordinator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians - Youth (ADMA Youth) of Bolivia. She was also recently appointed Executive Secretary of the "Commission for the Brotherhood", organ of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference which curates collaborations with several German dioceses for several development projects in Bolivia.

                                        Cecilia is the first Bolivian to take up this position. Her surname, atypical for where she lives, comes from her grandfather, who came from Germany, but she was born and raised in Santa Cruz. Third of four siblings, the only female, she received a Catholic education and the Salesian charism from her parents. "They always told me that I am a Salesian in my heart ... And when I had vocational doubts they told me to talk to God. The consecrated life intrigued me, but I think I can make better use of my talents as a lay person," said the 30-year-old woman.

                                        As head of the Commission for the Brotherhood, today she is primarily concerned with fostering links between Bolivia and the two German benefactor dioceses of Trier and Hildesheim.

                                        The projects the Commission deals with are as numerous as they are diverse. There are national, diocesan and local projects. Cecilia admits that it is difficult to summarize all the initiatives being supported, but she can proudly report a statistic. "About 80% of all social projects in Bolivia are carried out by the Catholic Church. And we are involved in 50% of these projects. This is an indication of how important our work is."

                                        A project that she has recently visited, for example, concerned the agricultural formation of communities in the jungle which can only be reached by river. Another project involved the direct donation of 10,000 euros from the diocese of Trier to support the fight against forest fires in the Bolivian Amazon region.

                                        Cecilia currently participates with the representatives of the dioceses of Trier and Hildesheim in the process of reviewing the guidelines of the last ten years and in the definition of the new guidelines for 2020 – 2030. And looking to the future, she is already also working on the preparation of the Jubilee for the 60 years of collaboration.

                                        • Bolivia
                                        • Laici
                                        • ADMA Giovani
                                        • ADMA
                                        • Chiesa
                                        • Germania
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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