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RMG – The General Councillor for Social Communication meets with a group of communicators to study the Salesian digitization project for Salesian regions

2 weeks 6 days ago
RMG – The General Councillor for Social Communication meets with a group of communicators to study the Salesian digitization project for Salesian regions

(ANS – Rome) – On March 26th, the General Councillor for Social Communication, Fr. Gildasio Mendes, met with a group of Salesian Communicators from different Regions of the Salesian world to continue the study of the seventh area of the Project of Animation and Government of the Rector Major and his Council (2020-2026) named “Technology, Information and Networking”.

The online meeting, coordinated by Fr. Ernest Rosario, from India, was attended by Fr. Harris Pakkam (Vatican), Fr. Ricardo Cámpoli (Argentina), Fr. Mariusz Jawny (Poland), Fr. John Paul Swaminathan (France), Fr. Javier Valiente (Spain), Fr. Jerome Quinto (Philippines), Fr. Donnie Duchin (Philippines), Fr. Jiji Kalavanal (India), Fr. P. T. Joseph (India), and Fr. Michael Makri (India).

Initially, Fr. Mendes spoke about how communication has taken the centre stage all around the globe during this COVID crisis and of how important it is to families, education, business, religion and education. He highlighted that we as Salesians are responding creatively and actively to the Covid Crisis with many educative, communicative initiatives and actions of solidarity taken by all Provinces around the globe.

During the meeting, each of the participants shared the digital projects they are developing in their Provinces and contributed concretely indicating necessary steps we have to take together to continue to advance and implement the digitization in our communities and provinces.

Fr. Mendes reinforced the importance of supporting digital transformation, modernization and technological innovation in the Provinces always working closer to the Social Communication Delegate and the Salesians, and moving forward together, collaborating and working on communication, considering the charismatic and the Salesian educative mission.

The next meeting of the group will be on August 24th, 2021.

Fr. Ernest Rosario, SDB

  • Gildasio Mendes dos Santos
  • Comunicazione Sociale
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy – Mediterranean Region Councilor visits community of "Don Bosco" International Institute of Turin-Crocetta

    2 weeks 6 days ago

    (ANS - Turin) - Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, Councilor for the Mediterranean Region, visited the specific formation community of the “Crocetta” Theologate of Turin on Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 March. The main purpose of this visit was the possibility of gaining a deeper knowledge of this international institute dedicated to Don Bosco, which is currently preparing about forty young Salesians from different Provinces for the priesthood. The Regional Councilor, as President of the Curatorium of this house, wanted to have direct and personal knowledge of this important Salesian reality.

    Fr Pérez Godoy arrived early Wednesday afternoon and met with the Director, Fr Marek Chrzan, his vicar, Fr Andrea Bozzolo, and the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Fr Cristian Besso. Then, at 6 pm, he attended a meeting of the formation team and members of the House Council.

    Then he took part in the solemn celebration of the first vespers of the Annunciation after which he offered the community a significant thought of the "Salesian goodnight", underlining the importance of the formative stage of the theologate.

    During the evening the community expressed thanks to the Regional Councilor for his visit, with a small tribute and some songs, which Fr Pérez Godoy himself also skillfully joined in. After dinner, a fraternal meeting was organized with the Regional, above all by the young Salesians in formation belonging to the Provinces of the Mediterranean Region, but also open to all those who wanted to dialogue with him. Fr Pérez Godoy spoke about his vocation and his Salesian experiences, and then he answered the questions addressed to him, which touched on the themes of the Mediterranean Region and formation in general.

    The following morning, Thursday 25, the General Councilor presided over the solemn Eucharist with Lauds; in his homily he underlined the connection between the Salesian pastoral dimension and the attitudes of Mary in the Annunciation, to show how this feast is important for the Salesian charism.

    Then he spent the morning carrying out various talks, both with some formators and with the students and, in the early afternoon, he left for Rome to participate in the intermediate session of the General Council.

    For its part, the community of the “Crocetta”, thanks to this visit, was able to enjoy another particular sign of the closeness of the members of the General Council to the formative reality underway in Turin.

    {gallery}ICP - Perez Godoy a Crocetta 2021{/gallery}

    • Italia
    • Formazione
    • Mediterranea
    • Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Democratic Republic of Congo – A six-year term under St. Joseph's protection

      2 weeks 6 days ago
      Democratic Republic of Congo – A six-year term under St. Joseph's protection

      (ANS - Lubumbashi) - On 3 March the "Assumption of Mary" Province of Central Africa (AFC) had the joy of receiving the announcement of the appointment of its new Provincial, Fr Guillermo Basañes; the following day it was able to learn about the entire new Provincial Council, in which the Rector Major, welcoming the discernment carried out in the last two AFC Provincial Chapters, has now appointed a Delegate for the Provincial Delegation of the East, which includes the communities of Goma, Bukavu and Uvira. Finally, on Friday 19 March, on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, joy reached its climax with the inauguration ceremony of Fr Basañes.

      Representatives of the various branches of the Salesian Family, as well as several Salesians and novices, took part in the celebration held in the "Regina Mundi" Chapel of the "Imara" Salesian Institute in Lubumbashi. The Mass was presided over by the Regional Councilor of Africa-Madagascar, Fr Alphonse Owoudou, and also saw the presence of Msgr. Gaston Ruvezi, Salesian, bishop of Sakania-Kipushi, and Fr Manolo Jiménez, Superior of the Vice Province of Africa Congo Congo (ACC), who came to take part, the following day, in the Curatorium of the Theological Studentate “St John Bosco” Institute in Kansebula, but also for a fraternal visit to the Salesians in his jurisdiction.

      During the celebration, the new Provincial entrusted the entire 6-year term to Saint Joseph, this on the day of his liturgical memorial and in the special year that the Holy Father has dedicated to him.

      After the Mass, a moment of fraternal sharing followed in the courtyard of the institute. Everything took place in simplicity and in Salesian joy.

      {gallery}RD Congo - Insediamento Basanes 2021{/gallery}

      • Rep Dem del Congo
      • Guillermo Basañes
      • Alphonse Owoudou
      • Insediamenti
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Mexico – From Saltillo to California: a success story

        2 weeks 6 days ago
        Mexico – From Saltillo to California: a success story

        (ANS - Saltillo) – Every day many people cross the border between Mexico and the United States in search of a better life. But not all have the same chances of social redemption. Of course, when you have a good education, everything is easier. This is the success story of Pedro Eduardo Valdés Sierra, a student of Mechatronic Engineering at the "Don Bosco" Technological Institute in Saltillo, Mexico, who obtained a working stay in California, United States, thanks to an internship at the company “Tesla”, an iconic company in the most advanced engineering and technology sector.

        Today the young man narrates his experience with satisfaction and gratitude and shares advice for all those who want to work and study at the same time.

        “Working while studying is a commitment and requires a great responsibility. I thank the 'Don Bosco' Technological Institute for supporting me and allowing me to have this great experience,” he says.

        “Doing my internship abroad is a great experience and here I can continue to get an excellent level of learning, as well as new challenges to face,” adds Pedro Eduardo.

        The assignment that was entrusted to him for the internship is to collaborate on a project to install and improve electrical systems, pneumatic and hydraulic controls; at the same time, he will be able to help update and adapt various automation systems and integrate new production lines.

        "Everything is different at Tesla. There's a lot of planning; it's a great work culture," he explains happily.

        In this semester, moreover, Pedro is called to combine the internship at Tesla with the lessons of the Institute, which, given the situation, he can also fulfill remotely. All this, he reiterates, is a wonderful opportunity for academic, professional and human growth.

        • Messico
        • Tecnologie
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Spain – First 50 years of Salesian "St Joseph the Artisan" in Elche

          3 weeks 2 days ago

          (ANS - Elche) - The Salesian center "St Joseph the Artisan" in Elche, which offers secondary school, baccalaureate and vocational training, is celebrating 50 years of work this year at the service of training young people to the benefit of local businesses, to which it offers technically and humanly qualified people. "Decades of constant educational work, with the Salesian style that is our trademark," summarizes Fr Miguel Gambín, director of the Salesian house.

          In these 50 years, many things have happened at the Salesian center that are worth mentioning. And Fr Gambín adds: “The persistence of an educational center for fifty years means talking about thousands of young people who have passed through its classrooms, its courtyards and its premises, and who have brought with them a baggage of training, shared dreams and hopes that will stay with them for life. Moreover, during these years many young people have been inserted into the job market, and have managed to find a place in the world, even if they have everything against them.”

          To commemorate the 50th anniversary of its foundation and to celebrate its bond with the citizenship, the Vocational Training Center has decided to offer a monument to the city of Elche. Specifically, it is a 1.80 meter high statue of the "Lady of Elche", made with metal sheets welded by the students of the Mechanics course.

          The proposal for this gift was formulated to the mayor of Elche, Carlos González, during a visit that he granted, last March 17, to Fr Gambín and to the management team of the center, made up of the heads of the Vehicle Sectors, Administration and Formation Cycles.

          It was thus decided that next May 6 will be the day of the solemn celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the work, and that on that occasion the mayor will visit the Mechanical Department of the institute; then, a commemorative plaque will be unveiled; finally, the sculpture of the Lady of Elche will also be unveiled, which will have its permanent home in the rotunda in front of the institute's entrance.

          The mayor of Elche also thanked students and teachers for the implementation of these initiatives; while the Director of the Salesian house thanked the City Council for their collaboration and concluded by saying: “There is a lot to remember, to continue dreaming of the future.”

          • Spagna
          • Anniversari
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Philippines – Youth continue studies thanks to scholarships

            3 weeks 2 days ago
            Philippines – Youth continue studies thanks to scholarships

            (ANS - Calauan) - Two youth attending the “Don Bosco” Technical Vocational Center in Calauan, Philippines, continued their studies thanks to scholarship funding provided by donors of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The financial assistance received will enable the students to gain the education needed to find and retain stable employment either locally or internationally. Don Bosco Calauan provides education in automotive servicing, motorcycle small engine servicing, computer systems servicing, electrical installation and maintenance, and shielded metal arc welding.

            “We at Don Bosco Calauan are grateful to Salesian Missions for the support you have given us especially in this great moment of crisis,” said Father Jeffrey L. Mangubat, administrator and technical director of Don Bosco Calauan. “We thank you for being part of our mission in cutting the vicious cycle of poverty among youth as we provide them quality technical education and training which will bring them to obtain a decent future. The students and their parents are very grateful for this wonderful opportunity.”

            The Salesians are regarded as the single largest provider of vocational and technical training in the world. They offer more than 1,000 vocational, technical, professional and agricultural schools around the globe. This training provides youth the practical skills to prepare for employment and helps them lead productive lives while becoming contributing adults in their communities. These programs go beyond educating. They also assist youth with making connections within industries and preparing them for the process of searching, finding and retaining employment.

            “We know that access to education lays the foundation for a better future for all youth and that work must continue even as we face a global health crisis,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “In many countries around the globe where poverty is high and access to education is not universal, it is crucial that Salesian missionaries continue to offer technical and vocational training to as many youth as possible to ensure that they have access to long-term stable employment.”

            Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines - working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5-15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.

            • Filippine
            • FIN FILIPPINE NORD
            • Educazione
            • Scuole
            • Formazione Professionale
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Poland – "St Joseph" Salesian parish of Przemyśl celebrates patron, archdiocese entrusts itself to him

              3 weeks 2 days ago

              (ANS - Przemyśl) - In the year especially dedicated to St Joseph, on the day of his liturgical feast, last Friday 19 March, the Salesian parish of Przemyśl, dedicated to St Joseph, celebrated its patron saint - who is also one of the patrons of the whole Congregation - with a solemn Eucharist presided over by the metropolitan archbishop, Msgr. Adam Szal, who also entrusted the entire archdiocese to the Custodian of the Redeemer.

              On behalf of the entire parish, those present at the ceremony were welcomed by Fr Bogdan Nowak, parish priest and director of the local Salesian community, belonging to the Poland-Krakow Province (PLS).

              Msgr. Szal, in his homily, observed that Saint Joseph had, has and will have many devotees. Among them, St. Józef Sebastian Pelczar, bishop of Przemyśl, patron saint of the current diocesan pastoral year, has a special place. "He, among other things, in 1921 wrote a special pastoral letter for Lent dedicated to St. Joseph. In the same letter he wrote that one should look at the dignity of Saint Joseph, at his virtues, at how to venerate him, in what to follow him. And in many writings he repeatedly returned to the idea and the need to honor St. Joseph," said the archbishop.

              The prelate then added that Saint Joseph has not exhausted his mission with his earthly life, but continues to intercede for those who invoke him: “Today, when we see how the Church is mortally threatened by the temptations of evil, we invoke him with all the more reason with this beautiful prayer made by Pope Leo XIII, so that, as he did for the Holy Family, he may take care of the Holy Church.”

              And he exhorted everyone to take an example from his meekness and his humility. “He is a model of faith and trust in God in difficult and hopeless situations. St. Joseph teaches us to be courageous in facing adversity. He teaches us patience and perseverance ... ” After the Eucharist, the archbishop blessed a painting of St. Joseph, the result of the generosity of the parish community, who will visit the homes of the Salesian parish, following a lengthy pilgrimage program.

              The celebration ended with the entrustment, before the Blessed Sacrament, of the entire archdiocese and the entire parish community to St. Joseph, first by Archbishop Szal and then by Fr Nowak and some lay representatives of the community.

              {gallery}PLS - Parrocchia San Giuseppe{/gallery}

              • Polonia
              • PLS POLONIA KRAKÓW
              • San Giuseppe
                Gian Francesco Romano

                RMG – A new edition of the Accompaniment Course for recently appointed Provincials

                3 weeks 3 days ago
                RMG – A new edition of the Accompaniment Course for recently appointed Provincials

                (ANS - Rome) - The Accompaniment Course for recently appointed Provincials is being held from 21 to 31 March 2021 at the Salesian Headquarters in Rome. For ten days, six Provincials of as many Salesian Provinces of Europe have the opportunity to learn and discuss the roadmap for the current six-year term directly with the Rector Major and his Council, while experiencing Salesian communion and getting to know the organisms and the central structures of the Congregation better.

                The following take part in the Course, which is coordinated by the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Stefano Martoglio:

                • Fr Tadeusz Jarecki, Provincial of Poland-Warsaw (PLE);
                • Fr Ianos Andreasfalvy, Provincial of Hungary (UNG);
                • Fr Marcin Kaznowski, Provincial of Poland-Krakow (PLS);
                • Fr Manuel Fernando Garcia, Provincial of Spain-St James Greater (SSM);
                • Fr Martin Hobza, Provincial of the Czech Republic (CEP);
                • Fr Tadeusz Itrych, Provincial of Poland-Piła (PLN).

                There are two especially noteworthy elements of this edition of the Course. First, the fact that it takes place in presence. It is, in fact, the first accompaniment course for the new Provincials which is carried out with the live in-person participation of those concerned since after the 28th General Chapter. Although digital meetings are now widely used by the members of the General Council for the animation of Provinces, groups and communities, the possibility of carrying out the Course in person, with all that this modality entails, certainly represents a message full of meanings and an undoubted success for the quality of the meeting.

                The second novelty is also linked to this aspect. Normally, in fact, the Course for new Provincials takes place during the plenary sessions of the General Council, in summer and winter; this time, however, it takes place during an intermediate session - while some of the members of the Regional Councilors are engaged in Extraordinary Visits - and precisely for the specific purpose of recovering some of the time spent during these months in which live meetings were not in any way programmable.

                The activities and contents of the program remain the traditional ones, aimed at promoting an integral care of the Provincial's person - in his spiritual and pastoral dimension, his physical health ... - and to allow knowledge of:

                • the relevant legal elements in their own service;
                • the specific features of the task of animation and government of the Province;
                • identity and religious discipline;
                • the work and activities of the various Sectors and Departments present at the Salesian Headquarters.

                After the first day of presentation and introduction to the work sessions, the program officially opened on Monday 23 March with the intervention of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who illustrated the Project Guidelines of the six-year term to the Provincials.

                Formation then continues in the various appointments and talks with the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Martoglio, with the Sector Councilors, Fr Ivo Coelho (Formation), Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende (Youth Ministry), Fr Gildasio Mendes (Social Communication), Fr Alfred Maravilla (Missions) and Bro. Jean Paul Muller (Economics), as well as with those in charge of other central services of the Congregation.

                • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                • Ispettori
                • Corso Ispettori
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  RMG – Meeting of Central Commission of Salesian School of America (ESA)

                  3 weeks 3 days ago
                  RMG – Meeting of Central Commission of Salesian School of America (ESA)

                  (ANS - Rome) - On Tuesday 23 March, the meeting of the Central Commission of the Salesian School of America (ESA, in Spanish), made up of representatives of the four areas of the continent, took place in digital mode.

                  Participants included: Sr. Adair Aparecida Sberga, Sr. Ana Paula Costa e Silva, Sr. Altagrace Mathias, Fr Carlos Montoya, Fr Luis Adolfo Tórrez, Sister Myriam Celeste Benítez, Rossanna Benítez and Sr. Patricia Parraguez, together with the representatives of the Sector (for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians) and of the Youth Ministry Department (for the Salesians), respectively Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes and Fr Claudio Cartes.

                  In the first part of the morning, after the prayer, together with Fr René Santos the Commission worked on the advancement of the ESA Identity Card, which aims to be a common point of reference for the construction of the pastoral educational projects of the Salesian Family schools on the continent. The purpose of this document will be to help form a critical conscience and transform societies starting from the Salesian proposal of integral formation.

                  Later, together with Sr. Patricia Parraguez and Sergio Garay, from Chile, they worked on the document on strategic planning, based on the four axes that emerged from the fourth ESA meeting (ESA IV), namely: attention to educational needs of the pupils of the Salesian schools; ongoing formation of educators; qualification of the pastoral educational proposal; and institutional management.

                  Finally, the participants also worked on the significance of the Salesian school which seeks to advance in a system of quality assurance in schools.

                  All these documents, the fruit of the work of the commissions, seek to promote identity, networking and synergy in favor of the thousands of children, adolescents and young people who attend the approximately 900 schools - of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, the Salesians of Don Bosco, the Daughters of the Divine Savior and the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary - who are part of the ESA network.

                  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                  • Scuole
                  • Pastorale Giovanile
                  • Famiglia Salesiana
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Nigeria – Borehole project supplies clean water, prevents disease

                    3 weeks 3 days ago
                    Nigeria – Borehole project supplies clean water, prevents disease

                    (ANS – Nkerefi) – People living in the Nkerefi community in the Enugu state of Nigeria have access to clean water thanks to funding from the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative.” The funding provided for the implementation of a new water borehole. This will contribute to the livelihood of the local community, curtail the outbreak of waterborne diseases and infections, and help reduce the rate of women and infant mortality.

                    Nkerefi is made up of the four communities of Enuogu-Nkerefi, Ohuani-Nkerefi, Isienu Amofu Nkerefi and Imeoha Nkerefi. Each of these communities is made up of different villages and clans. Clean water is a scarce commodity in Nkerefi.  The majority of families depend on a small, brownish stream called Evuna that partially runs through parts of the villages.

                    The Evuna stream is the only accessible water source for drinking, bathing, washing and cooking. The stream is seasonal, however, and dries up during the dry season. As a result, there is a severe shortage of potable water as few people can afford to develop wells due to the cost and the hard nature of the soil.

                    In addition, the Evuna water has been clinically confirmed to not be hygienic for consumption, especially drinking. The stream has been a source for waterborne-related diseases. There have been outbreaks of cholera, ringworm, tapeworms, acute diarrhea and dysentery linked to the water. Typhoid fever is also a disease among the inhabitants of the community, and each year there are a number of women and children lost to the disease.

                    “We are pleased to be able to help support clean water access in this community, especially give all the health concerns the current water supply has caused,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The new borehole will provide potable water that will save the community from avoidable waterborne diseases and infections caused by heavy dependence on stream water and rainwater.”

                    According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. By United Nations estimates, Nigeria will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050. While Nigeria has the second strongest economy in Africa, it also has extreme rates of poverty with 100 million people living on less than $1 a day.

                    About 64 percent of households in Nigeria consider themselves to be poor while 32 percent of households say their economic situation had worsened over a period of one year, according to UNICEF. Poverty still remains one of the most critical challenges facing the country and population growth rates have meant a steady increase in the number of people living in conditions of poverty.

                    Source: Mission Newswire

                    • Nigeria
                    • Acqua
                    • Procure Missionarie
                    • Povertà
                    • Solidarietà
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Vatican – Another important post in Roman Curia for Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA

                      3 weeks 3 days ago
                      Vatican – Another important post in Roman Curia for Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA

                      (ANS - Vatican City) - Yesterday, Wednesday 24 March, Pope Francis appointed Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, Under-Secretary for the Faith and Development Sector of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. “I feel grateful to the Holy Father and to the prefect of my dicastery, Cardinal Turkson, to all those who work in the dicastery who show trust in me. I hope to be able to do my part,” commented the nun.

                      Yesterday’s appointment is only the last important task that the Holy Father entrusts to the religious of the Salesian Family. Sister Smerilli, who holds a PhD in Political Economy from the "La Sapienza" University of Rome and a PhD in Economics from the "East Anglia University" in Norwich (Great Britain), is full Professor of Political Economy at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium" in Rome. In the last two years, Pope Francis has also appointed her as Councilor of the Vatican City State, Consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, as well as Coordinator of the Economics Task Force of the Vatican Commission for Covid-19.

                      The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development was established by Pope Francis on 1 January 2017 and "promotes integral human development by drawing inspiration from the Gospel and in the wake of the theology and social doctrine of the Church (...) Integrating, relating and by making the various social systems dialogue with each other - such as economy, finance, work, politics, culture - the Dicastery works to ensure that the Church's social teaching is made known and put into practice. ”

                      Sister Smerilli already knows the Dicastery well because it is where she had come to work as Coordinator of the Economics Task Force for Covid-19. “Working here, I understood how beautiful this mission of the Dicastery is and how much it reaches the whole world,” she commented to Vatican News.

                      Working in that Task Force, Sister Smerilli also learned that "there is a need for a lot of listening to local realities and the problems that are caused by this crisis." But at the same time, “as a Church we also have the duty to raise the tone of the debate, to inspire visions, not to focus only on what to do, even if we need to work on concreteness, but to have a perspective.”

                      Looking at this new role, she believes that her task is to "translate, in pastoral terms, what the economic knowledge and skills are" and therefore hopes to "collaborate with everyone to bring together the Gospel and the economy."

                      And to those who point out to her that with her appointment the number of women with important positions in the Roman Curia increases, Sister Smerilli replies: "God created man in His image, male and female He created them, and therefore this wants to say that male and female is the image of God, of a God who is communion. This vocation of alliance and reciprocity must be carried out not only in the family sphere but in all other areas of life, even in the workplace."

                      • Vaticano
                      • Alessanda Smerilli
                      • Nomine
                      • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Syria – When love lights up in the form of a 0+

                        3 weeks 4 days ago
                        Syria – When love lights up in the form of a 0+

                        (ANS - Aleppo) - Ten years of war, an ongoing pandemic, inflation, unemployment… Syria today is a country with an innumerable amount of serious problems and moreover in extreme difficulty. Yet, there is still room for a ray of hope that warms hearts and makes us imagine a brighter future. This is testified by a beautiful story of solidarity that sees the young Pamela as the protagonist, a girl from the Salesian Oratory in Aleppo.

                        Pamela is a fifth-year student of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Aleppo. Since she had been showing various alarming symptoms for about two months, she underwent several tests. And from the results, doctors estimated that her health condition required a large supply of blood plasma (an average of 13 bags per session) and for several sessions. To understand the urgency and gravity of the situation, it must be clarified that a plasma bag is obtained from 7 blood bags: this explains the great and urgent need for as many donors as possible to ensure the required quantities of plasma.

                        News and phone calls for donations spread, first in Aleppo, and then throughout Syria. Through social networks and sharing of messages, a chain of appeals developed that urged to contact and motivate as many blood donors as possible from group 0 positive.

                        The result was visible on the morning of March 21: at the door of the blood bank, many people, young and old, men and women, some who know Pamela and others not, Muslims and Christians gathered, rushed to express their love, and the desire to do good. “And they didn't leave until the blood bank closed,” says the Salesian from Aleppo Fr Pier Jabloyan.

                        “We want to share this fact to say that there is always hope, despite the brutality of the war and the heavy economic hardship that Syria is experiencing. Faced with a request for help, we found solidarity and closeness among Syrian citizens, and today we are witnessing a sincere love and an unparalleled response for Pamela ...,” the Salesian comments with renewed hope.

                        Even in this case, Don Bosco's spiritual children did not stand by: both in Aleppo, Syria and throughout the Middle East, they did not hesitate to give support from near or far to Pamela, encouraging and supporting her, and making people pray for her.

                        • Siria
                        • MOR MEDIO ORIENTE
                        • Salute
                        • Giovani
                        • Solidarietà
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Brazil – Fr Romero visits Recife-Bongi, Carpina and Natal

                          3 weeks 4 days ago
                          Brazil – Fr Romero visits Recife-Bongi, Carpina and Natal

                          (ANS - Recife) - Listening, observing, evaluating, animating, indicating the best paths to follow ... This is the commitment of Fr Gabriel Romero, Regional Councilor for America South Cone, in the Brazil-Recife Province (BRE), who has already visited various communities as part of the Extraordinary Visitation which he is carrying out on behalf of the Rector Major.

                          After starting the Extraordinary Visitation, in early March, from the Provincial House, Fr Romero then reached the presence in Bongi-Recife, where he stayed from 5 to 8 March. In the first place, he had a dialogue with the Salesian community, made up of 4 professed religious and two aspirants; then, he got to know the reality of the parish of “Our Lady of Fatima” and had a dialogue with the Parish Council and the Salesian Family present there. “These were days marked by profound joy for the whole parish, especially in this moment of social distancing. Receiving Fr Gabriel was gratifying and encouraging: we were fascinated by his simplicity, by his spontaneous and welcoming way towards everyone,” a parishioner testified.

                          During these same days, Fr Romero also visited the "Don Bosco" school, where he was warmly welcomed by the educational team; he listened with interest to the institute's history and current mission, described to him by the Dean, Mirelly Silva, and by the heads of the various addresses; and he was able to attend and participate in a digital lesson, through Google Meet, with over 80 young people.

                          After the stop on 9 March, at the "Sacred Heart" community in Recife, the Regional Councilor continued his itinerary with a visit, on 15 March, to Carpina, where the Salesians animate both the "don Rinaldi" school and the parish "St Joseph". In the educational institute he met with the educational team, noting the challenges, achievements and perspectives of the center; at the parish, he offered a concise and effective program for it to be a “Salesian” parish: to be young; to be popular, that is, for the poor; to be missionary, that is, outgoing.

                          After reaching the city of Natal on Sunday 21 March, Fr Romero began his visit to the Salesian community, which runs a parish and an educational center. Introducing himself and presenting the purpose of his mission to his confreres, the Regional Councilor explained: “In these days I shall be able to visit the communities, the chapels and I will be able to speak with some of the representatives of the various activities. We will have some online meetings and I will speak with my Salesian brothers who live in this Salesian house and then I shall bring the report of this visit and the thanks to the Rector Major. It will be a pleasure to enjoy these days, getting to know the city and our Salesian parish.”

                          Finally, in the online appointment of Monday 22 March with the Pastoral Council of the "St John Bosco" parish of Natal, Fr Romero urged the laity to take an active role and the whole community to maintain communion with the local Church, following archbishop Msgr. Jaime Vieira Rocha.

                          {gallery}Brasile - Prima parte Visita Romero 2021{/gallery}

                          • Brasile
                          • BRE BRASILE RECIFE
                          • Gabriel Romero
                          • Visita Straordinaria
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Brazil – "RSB-Social" Notebook series completed

                            3 weeks 5 days ago

                            (ANS - Brasilia) - The series of Papers, or Notebooks, of the Salesian Network of Social Action Brazil (RSB-Social) was finally completed in these first months of 2021. The series offers guides containing support material to achieve alignment and coordinated networking of the works and presences that make up RSB-Social.

                            By proposing a model of approach and integration of social works, respecting the diversity and particularity of each one, the Notebooks offer a guide and a reflection on the elements present in the proposed Reference Framework. As practical tools, they serve to guide the entire RSB-Social in its purposes and to support alignment with the principles, to provide a basis for conducting training processes, to guide a renewed action built on interaction with the territory, and to open local presences to the much-needed re-defining of their educational offers to children, adolescents, young people and their families.

                            The preparation of the Notebooks is the result of a whole process of collective reflection and construction on how to create a methodology for articulating the Social Works of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in view of coordinated online action.

                            Once the path and the form had been defined, it was a question of aligning visions, strategies, guiding contents, tools ... In this sense, the creation of the Notebooks can be considered a theoretical-practical alignment model for all the dimensions that can be involved in a similar process.

                            Each of the four Notebooks responds to a specific objective:

                            Book 1 explores the Organizational Identity of the RSB in its social dimension, defining the alignment points on the Charismatic Identity and on the Commitments to be assumed collectively by all the members of the Network.

                            Book 2 focuses on the educational-pastoral identity, leading the Works and Presences to perceive more clearly the concept and practice of the educational-pastoral processes and what is the relationship with the charism animated by Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, which must permeate all Salesian educational action.

                            Book 3 seeks to revive and strengthen the element of Charismatic Identity. Among the various elements, the focus was on the Educational Method: Preventive System and Human Rights; and on the awareness that Salesians, FMA and laity are fundamentally "Educators of Youth", who accept the principles of Social Education to the extent that they act with professionalism and competence and enrich them with the Salesian method.

                            Finally, Book 4 is made up of a set of 6 files which, through various themes, seek to promote actions that foster and strengthen a network and harmony between all.

                            Noteworthy is the process through which these notebooks are drawn up. If, in fact, for each of them there was a referent or a central coordination team, at the same time, there was a collective and artisanal construction that involved university professors, experts outside the Salesian environment, public administrators, magistrates, members of social organizations, professionals belonging to Salesian social works and also young people participating in projects carried out in some Salesian works.

                            More information

                            • Brasile
                            • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                            • Salesiani
                            • Opzione Preferenziale
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Tunisia – Salesian presence at work for inculturation

                              3 weeks 5 days ago
                              Tunisia – Salesian presence at work for inculturation

                              (ANS - Manouba) - The Salesians are present in Tunisia with a single canonically erected community, which however animates two presences: one in Tunis, the capital, the other in Manouba, which is actually the Mother House of the Salesians in the country. Although Manouba is just 8 km from Tunis, it is an independent governorate. In total, the Sons of Don Bosco animate two schools, two parishes and an oratory. And they are working hard so that the name of Don Bosco is increasingly known and accessible to the local population.

                              The composition of the community is highly heterogeneous, by age (from 25 to 73 years) and by origin (its members are originally from Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo).

                              Among them, the veteran is Fr Bashir Souccar, a native of Aleppo, who worked 42 years in Alexandria in Egypt and two years in Bethlehem, Palestine, before being sent as a missionary to Tunisia. Today he is strongly committed to this new role of his, trying to make Don Bosco known to young Muslim students, to all the school staff, and to the youth and animators of the oratory.

                              Here is his testimony:

                              "For the formation of the young of the school, every morning I pass by the classrooms sharing the 'word of the morning', or 'good morning', visiting one year of the cycle in turn every day, from second to sixth primary, considering that each year is composed of 4-6 classes of the different sections. The word of the morning I draw from the literature inspired by the Salesian preventive system - such as the Salesian Bulletin, the Strennas or the Rector Major's Messages, or the Pope's texts such as the encyclical Fratelli tutti - which may concern a universal pluri-religious audience. The official language used is Arabic, but I often attach the French translation as well. And I end each intervention with an invocation to God.

                              At the school we also do Salesian pedagogical formation for teachers and non-school staff. For them I mainly use the monthly articles of the Italian Salesian Bulletin of the column 'Like Don Bosco', which I translate and adapt into Arabic.

                              At the oratory we work in the evening of Saturday and Sunday, and during the summer and in the periods of prolonged holidays we organize a kind of Youth Summer Camp ... Training at the oratory is given to everyone above all with the 'word of the evening' or 'goodnight', which has the same characteristics as the' morning word ', but which always ends with an invocation: for peace, brotherhood, reconciliation, for the poor, refugees….

                              And there is also an appropriate pedagogical training for the animators of the oratory, whose sources and arguments are similar to those used for school educators."

                              Fr Souccar’s commitment to transmit the Salesian charism and to make Don Bosco’s Preventive System known has no boundaries. In fact, recently he also committed to sharing, translated into Arabic, the Rector Major's Facebook posts. For those who wish, some articles from the Italian Salesian Bulletin translated into Arabic by Fr Souccar are freely available at the end of this article.

                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Italy – Service to children first of all and in all circumstances. Digital experience of "DonBoScuola"

                              3 weeks 5 days ago

                              (ANS - Macerata) - At exactly 3 pm, for many years, every afternoon, at the Salesian oratory-youth center in Macerata, many children and young people gather for the "DonBoScuola", a project that aims, on the one hand, to providing scholastic support to children who suffer from educational and non-educational poverty, with the aim of ensuring that they are accompanied in their daily study; and on the other, to increase the dynamics of socialization and inclusion through workshops and games. Even the "DonBoScuola" was affected by the pandemic and its consequences. But it hasn't stopped them at all.

                              As long as the situation allowed it, DonBoScuola continued its traditional activities in person: of the fifty children and young people enrolled, in compliance with all the regulations and safety requirements, thirty were welcomed every day, thanks to the daily support of five volunteers who supported the children in study and play.

                              But on Macerata being deemed a "red zone" meant that the children could no longer reach the Salesian House. For this reason the Salesian educative-pastoral community, from Tuesday 9 March, has put all the energies available to start "DonBoScuola" in remote or distance mode: it has involved children aged 16 to 19 belonging to the "Clan & Novitiate" of the Scouts group and the “Compagnia del Savio”, as well as young university students; all of them dedicating hemselves to the individual, albeit digital, accompaniment of the small recipients of the initiative.

                              Trying to convey light-heartedness and cohesion, they helped the children with their homework, kept them company at recess and organized workshops and games for them. For all the volunteers, especially the younger ones, it was a chance to give a prompt and responsible response to the many service opportunities that are usually offered.

                              Here are the testimonials of some of the volunteers:

                              "At a distance, the relationship between the children is lost, but a very beautiful relationship is created between the animator and the child, even more than the relationship that would be created in presence."

                              "I was also afraid of not being able to help them as I wanted, but the two girls I helped were very good and I was very pleased to help them."

                              "Donboscuola is a way to feel useful and to give myself in my small way, especially in this situation, in which we all feel powerless against something greater than us".

                              "When I was asked to do service at Donboscuola, I was frankly afraid, because for the first time I would have found myself alone with a child without the support of a group ... But in just two days of service I received the best gift possible: a 10-year-old boy who reveals his dreams to you. I found a very intelligent and sensitive child behind a complicated situation, and I learned not to stop at appearances and that we shouldn't expect everything here and now”.

                              • Italia
                              • ICC ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE CENTRALE
                              • Coronavirus
                              • Scuole
                              • Volontariato
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Equatorial Guinea – Emergency aid for more than 500 people after powder keg exploded

                                3 weeks 6 days ago
                                Equatorial Guinea – Emergency aid for more than 500 people after powder keg exploded

                                (ANS - Bata) - The official figures of the chain of explosions on March 7 in a military barracks in the most populated city and economic capital of Equatorial Guinea, Bata, report 107 dead and more than 600 injured, “but there are still many people missing and unidentified under the rubble,” explain the Salesians of Bata. From the first moment, as happened with the pandemic, the affected population that lost everything went to the Salesian's Spanish Institute in Bata to receive help and attention.

                                Two weeks have passed and the Salesian educational center has welcomed more than 100 people into its structures, most of whom are women and minors. Another 200 people come every day for lunch or dinner and another large group of 200 people are being helped in the neighborhoods where they have been relocated as displaced persons.

                                The Salesians present in Equatorial Guinea, as in many other countries of the world, are a point of reference for the population. A Caritas social canteen serves 200 people affected by the consequences of the pandemic on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Salesian Spanish Institute in Bata, and another youth canteen is active on Sundays.

                                Thus, when hundreds of people saw their homes destroyed by the shock wave of the explosions that took place in the Nkoantoma barracks, the natural reflex was to ask the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco for help. The explosions were devastating: in the areas farthest from the accident, its effects are also visible in the broken glass and doors, in cracked walls; while the epicenter of the disaster is still closed.

                                The Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, “Misiones Salesianas” has already sent 5,000 euros for a first phase of aid. However, much more needs to be done: there is an urgent need for clothes, non-perishable food, medicines ...

                                “We are experiencing something worse than a horror movie. The Salesian school is located 2.5 kilometers from the site of the explosions and we did not suffer major damage, but everything shook and even I jumped because of the shock wave,” recalls Salesian Francisco Moro, Director of the Spanish Institute of the Salesians of Bata.

                                The first explosion occurred at three in the afternoon and “a large black column made us think of a crashed plane. Then the next ones arrived and it became known that it had happened in an army barracks. There was a moment when it seemed like a war, because all the ammunition was exploding,” continues the Salesian.

                                “Everyone arrived traumatized by what they had experienced and from the first moment we offered them the opportunity to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today we take the sick to hospitals, we visit them and we also have leisure activities to distract the children. But we need help to be able to continue to take care of them, because many others come to have lunch here due to the consequences of the pandemic,” explains the director of the Salesian school.

                                • Guinea Equatoriale
                                • ATE AFRICA TROPICALE EQUATORIALE
                                • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Bolivia – Japanese embassy donates equipment for "C.E.A. Don Bosco - El Prado "

                                  3 weeks 6 days ago

                                  (ANS - La Paz) – On 12 March, in the premises of the Embassy of Japan in the city of La Paz, several donation contracts were signed by the embassy towards various realities, including one that benefits from the Salesian initiative of the “Don Bosco Center for Alternative Education (CEA) - El Prado”. Present at the signing ceremony were the second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Takeshi Sakurai, the Chief Councilor of the Chancellery, Takahiro Ogihara, members of the "Non-refundable Financial Cooperation Program for assistance to human security community projects A.P.C. of the Embassy", and the National Director of the “Don Bosco Popular Schools” (EPDB, in Spanish), Fr Luis Adolfo Tórrez Sanjinés, together with several other municipal authorities who have benefited from donation projects.

                                  During this event, Fr Tórrez Sanjinés said he was very happy and grateful to receive the generous donation from the Japanese people, which will be used to equip the workshops of the Gastronomy area of ​​the “C.E.A. Don Bosco” in the city of La Paz and thus form young people with scarce economic resources through technical training.

                                  The aim of the work is and will be to make young people develop their skills and competences, in line with the needs of the labor market, to obtain their professional integration and thus improve their living conditions and those of their families and communities.

                                  The project provides for an important donation of almost 21,000 euros to equip the workshops of the CEA gastronomic area, funds that will be used for the acquisition of refrigerators and freezers, industrial kitchens, gas ovens, pans and crockery, industrial blenders, industrial mixers, stainless steel dishwashers and in-line fans.

                                  For over 20 years, since 2000, the Embassy of Japan has been helping EPDBs through the "Non-Refundable Financial Cooperation Program for assistance to human security community projects A.P.C". In total, it has supported 28 projects indicated by the Projects Area of the National Directorate of Popular Schools, for the construction of classrooms, bathrooms, libraries, perimeter walls and the equipment of various technical training centers, for the benefit of hundreds and hundreds of girls, children, young people, and parents of Salesian educational units.

                                  • Bolivia
                                  • BOL BOLIVIA
                                  • Donazioni
                                  • Giappone
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG – World Water Day: “Valuing Water”

                                    3 weeks 6 days ago
                                    RMG – World Water Day: “Valuing Water”

                                    (ANS – Rome) – Since 1993, March 22 has been designated as World Water Day. This commemoration focuses our attention on the importance of water in our lives and raises awareness concerning the 2.2 billion people who live without access to safe water. Since 2015, an essential aspect of the observance is to encourage governments to work at achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. To reach this goal, all members of society need to take concrete actions to help preserve our precious resource of water and work to ensure that proper sanitation is possible throughout the world. And the Salesians do their best to reach it.

                                    This year’s theme for “World Water Day” is “Valuing Water”. The observance is about what water means to everyday people, its value in their lives, and their thoughts about how to better protect this vital resource. Because a comprehensive understanding of water’s multidimensional importance and value is required if we are going to safeguard this essential resource for our own use and preserve it for future generations. And even if some see the value of water only as a commodity for sale, it has an enormous and complex value for nearly every aspect of our life together.

                                    Yet, today, half of the population does not have the basic facilities for washing their hands with soap and water and are without toilets. This situation, unacceptable in the 21st century, causes two million deaths of children every year because of diarrhea due to the intake of unsafe water.

                                    Other statistics reveal that the water that a person consumes in one day in Europe is equal to that available to three families in a whole week in Ethiopia. Also: the time of a school day for a European girl is equal to the time spent by a minor to bring water to her family in many places in Africa, America and Asia.

                                    Faced with this situation, the Salesians are widely committed to improving access to this fundamental good or resource for life. In fact, 25% of Salesian projects to combat the coronavirus in the last year have had to do with access to water and adequate sanitation.

                                    In the last year only, for example, more than 254,000 people have had access to water and adequate sanitation facilities thanks to the projects carried out by "Misiones Salesianas", the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid, in countries such as Namibia, Haiti, Tanzania, Togo, Colombia and the Republic of the Congo ...

                                    And the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid also reports that in the last two decades it has developed more than one hundred related projects, which have benefited more than four million people thanks to a total investment of over 2.6 million euros.

                                    Moreover, in Malawi, for example, thanks to funding from the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative”, “Don Bosco High School in Nkhotakota” has got now a second borehole to provide clean, fresh water for its students and staff.

                                    Don Bosco High School was launched in direct response to the need for education for youth in the southwestern part of Nkhotakota. The school started with 88 students and six teachers. Today, Don Bosco High School has 378 students across four grades educated by 20 teachers. More than half of the students are from the local community, but the school does board 160 students.

                                    “The biggest challenge the school faced was the chronic lack of regular water supply for both our boarding and day students,” said Father J. Czerwinski, rector of the Salesian community. “Although the school is near a large lake and connected to the town water source, there were still acute water shortages every day. The town supply is very erratic and unreliable. This caused problems for our students including a lack of proper hygiene, a health hazard, and no water for cooking and drinking. Now students and the community have a sufficient amount of water. This directly positively impacts their educational environment”.

                                    Funding from the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative” was utilized to dig a borehole, install a water pump and solar panels, and construct a water tank in Nkhotakota, Malawi.

                                    Sources: Salesian Missions (New Rochelle – USA), Misiones Salesians (Madrid - Spain)

                                    • Acqua
                                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                    • Malawi
                                    • Procure Missionarie
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Brazil – A fish farming project brings development to Indigenous Mission with Bororo

                                      4 weeks 2 days ago
                                      Brazil – A fish farming project brings development to Indigenous Mission with Bororo

                                      (ANS - Meruri) - In the Salesian Mission among the Bororo indigenous people, in Meruri, a fish farming project was developed at the beginning of the year. The despesca (harvest) carried out in recent days has produced more than half a ton of fish which, in addition to being a source of protein for the natives of Meruri, will also allow, through the sale of the product, to buy the fry - newborn of fish - and so to continue the project in the future.

                                      The fish project's objective is to provide options for increasing the income and quality of life of women who are part of the "AREME" association and their families, an association made up of just over 60 indigenous women from Boe Bororo ethnic group who joined together to jointly manage development projects of the local community.

                                      Fish farming was developed in the ponds already naturally present in the territory of the community, which had not produced fish for a long time. There are a total of six basins, for a total area of ​​about 20,000 m², where four different fish species have been bred. After the first "pescada" the community has found a good result and the expectation is to achieve a good return for the association.

                                      The project was fully supported by the Salesian Mission of Mato Grosso, Province of Brazil-Campo Grande (BCG), which purchased 33,000 fry to start the business. With foresight and entrepreneurial spirit, the project managers “ripened” 27,000 fish for this first season, leaving around 5,000 for the following season. In addition to the fish, the BCG Province also procured the feed and paid for the technical assistance of professionals in the sector, the transport for sale and the hiring of a full-time employee to help in the management of the fish, with a total investment of almost 50,000 reais (over 7,500 euros) in this project to support indigenous women.

                                      Technical support was provided by the Dom Bosco Catholic University (UCDB) of Campo Grande, through Professor Milena Wolff Ferreira, professor of Zootechnics.

                                      This fish project was a promise of the former BCG Provincial, today General Councilor for Social Communication, Fr Gildásio Mendes dos Santos, to support the women of this community and their families.

                                      According to the Director of the Salesian presence in Meruri, Fr Andelson, fish is culture for the Boe Bororo people. “The fish farming project is used for ritual ceremonies, for food and to obtain resources that will be used for the continuity of the project. This project has also had a beneficial effect on the health problems of the population, given that today many women, in particular, are afflicted with diabetes, a problem aggravated by poor nutrition,” says the Salesian.

                                      Along with fish farming, the Bororo women develop other activities to teach the younger generations the value of work and the importance of family farming. This year in particular, thanks to the AREME association, corn, beans, cassava, bananas, pumpkins and watermelons have already been planted.

                                      {gallery}Brasile - Pesci a Meruri 2021{/gallery}

                                      • Brasile
                                      • BCG BRASILE CAMPO GRANDE
                                      • Donne
                                      • Sviluppo Sociale
                                        Gian Francesco Romano
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