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Italy - "Urban-Regeneraction". Rediscovering inner cities through young eyes

3 weeks 3 days ago

(ANS - Rome) – The "Urban Re-Generation" project started about 6 months ago and has already achieved significant results in obtaining the involvement and commitment of young people, about 400, thanks to the support of 40 operators in 16 different peripheral locations (inner cities) in 14 Italian regions. Young ideas in urban “suburbs”, peripheral areas, banlieues. Experiences of active and supportive citizenship for/with new generations. Its objective, a huge challenge: to design, foster and implement actions of active citizenship with and for young people in the name of civic commitment that becomes testimony within the community and restitution, or giving back, to the community.

The project has already developed in many peripheral and social contexts where its regenerated the urban fabric of the “suburbs” through the proactive participation of adolescents and young people; for one, via the rediscovery of these same territories and their improvement into welcoming spaces suitable for children and raising children.

Intermediate-level training courses and monitoring with project managers took place on 12-13 January in Turin and 19-20 January, Rome. "Let's paint the suburbs in which we live", "let's give life to our days", "let's start looking for and discovering the beauty around us and within us" ... The words of the local activists emphasize how the opportunity to work together to improve the urban and social fabric lead the children to re-read, re-evaluate and improve their own lives.

Living in the suburbs does not only mean passing through and across, but to invest in the development of bonds and social fabrics that are, in fact, substantial, meaningful, actions that revive the projects of young people who are an active and vital part of any urban context. Together, operators and young people collaborate in the search for strategies of shared participation, all with an eye to the future, and the aim of listening and giving voice to young people in a concrete fashion.

The project is co-funded by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and coordinated by the Salesians for Social Work - SCS/CNOS Federation - in collaboration with CGS associations (socio-cultural youth cine-clubs) and TGS (Youth and social tourism).

Further details on the project can be found at:

{gallery}Italia - Urban Re-Generation{/gallery}


  • Italia
  • Periferie
  • Salesiani per il Sociale
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy - Pope Francis to visit Santa Sofia Basilica in Rome, commemorating Msgr. Czmil, SDB

    3 weeks 4 days ago

    (ANS - Rome) - Next Sunday, January 28, the Holy Father, accepting the invitation of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč, shall visit the Basilica of Santa Sofia in Rome, where he will meet with the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic community and pray at the tomb of Salesian bishop Msgr. Stepan Czmil (1914-1978) in memory of the 40th anniversary of his death, January 22.

    Rome's Santa Sofia church was commissioned in 1963 by Archbishop Major Cardinal Josyp Slipyi, then Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, when after long and harsh persecution by the Soviet regime, he was finally able to leave the Soviet Gulag after 18 years of imprisonment. On September 27-28, 1969, the church was solemnly consecrated by the same Slipyi, in the presence of Pope Paul VI. In 1998, Saint John Paul II elevated it to Minor Basilica. The meeting of Pope Francis with the Ukrainian migrants and pilgrims will be a sign of his pastoral concern for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and his proximity to the Ukrainian people.

    Pope Francis knows the history of this people well. And he knows it well thanks to a Salesian, Fr Stepan Czmil, who arrived in Buenos Aires as a missionary for the Ukrainian faithful in 1949 and was an educator at the Salesian Institute of Ramos Mejia where he also taught the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Msgr. Stepan Czmil was  the first Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Salesian, a pioneer and originator, indeed, of the entire branch of Ukrainian Salesians of the Greek-Catholic rite. On 2 April 1977, he was consecrated bishop, together with Liubomyr Husar and Ivan Choma, in absolute secrecy, by Cardinal Slipyi, to prevent Soviet persecution.

    Msgr. Czmil died in Rome on 22 January, 1978, at the age of 63, only 9 months after the secret episcopal ordination. His gave ample proof of a consecrated life of a Salesian, a life fully lived on a day-to-day basis in fidelity, in tireless and complete dedication to others; he dedicated himself to the foundation of the Eastern Byzantine branch of the Salesians; in Argentina, he distinguished himself in his apostolic work among the Ukrainian faithful and in education among young Ukrainians at Ukraine's Pontifical Minor Seminary in Rome. A faithful son of Don Bosco, in everything he tried to love and serve the Congregation and the Church and its people oppressed by the Soviet communist regime.

    The start of his possible beatification process has,meanwhile, begun to be studied and evaluated.

    • Italia
    • Papa Francesco
    • Stefano Czmil
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Venezuela - Street children and criminal gangs: Salesians in their midst

      3 weeks 4 days ago

      (ANS - Caracas) - The political, economic and social situation in Venezuela has seen an increase in corruption, prices, the scarcity of goods, and as a last consequence: increased insecurity and violence. The Salesians have expressed their position: to remain close to the population and to qualify as a dictatorship the lack of freedom the country is experiencing. The Salesians continue to take care of the children living on the streets and to recover those who belong to criminal gangs.

      The "Red de Casas Don Bosco" in Venezuela offers shelter to over 1,300 street children across the country, thanks to 10 houses. Mr. Leonardo Rodríguez, a lawyer and director of the aforesaid association, expresses his concern because every day adults come "in search of their children who have fled their homes, or parents who ask us to welcome their children in one of the Don Bosco Houses because they have no way to feed their children."

      "For almost a year, we have asked the National Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents to draw up a national plan for the protection of the rights of children at risk, given that it does not exist," states Dr. Rodríguez.

      In the 20 years of experience with the Salesians, the Director of "Red de Casas Don Bosco" has also met minors who had been criminal gang members and acknowledges that "the hardest thing is when you make every effort to bring these kids together and maybe in less than a year they end up killed or in jail."

      Since 2013, the Salesians have started new initiatives in the poorest neighborhoods to prevent children and adolescents from joining criminal groups.

      Among the cases that Dr Rodríguez will never forget is the case of two brothers aged 11 and 13. "They were taken to an uncle in one of the centers of Caracas where they received help from our institution for two years, but the result was terrifying: the child was killed in a gang battle and the older boy was hit in the head and remained deaf. It was pitiful to see him that way, but he continued to come to the Don Bosco House until, the following year, the band found him and killed him."

      • Venezuela
      • VEN
      • Bambini di Strada
      • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
      • Opzione Preferenziale
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Germany - A new short movie series about Don Bosco

        3 weeks 5 days ago

        (ANS - Hildesheim) - If you type "Don Bosco" on Google, the search engine delivers nearly 28 million results, of which about 480,000 are videos on YouTube. The amount of information available on the founder of the Salesian Congregation is immense. Now, specially designed to summarize and clearly encapsulate the most essential information about Don Bosco, a new series of short animated videos is being produced.

        "But there is more," explains Fr. Alfons Friedrich SDB, Managing Director of the Salesian Publishing House "Don Bosco Medien S.A", Munich. "With videos we want to both inform and entertain people at the same time. Nowadays people don't really want to read texts that are too long, or boring. Instead of reading, they prefer watching videos; if they're short, all the better."

        The Salesian publishing house is developing the project in collaboration with a television production company in Hildesheim, Germany. "The idea of producing these videos isn't new, of course, but we believe this is the most appropriare time for them, the time also to explain complex problems or the lives of the saints, as in the case of Don Bosco, for example, which otherwise would be difficult to transmit and make appealing for a general audience."

        With these videos on St. John Bosco, the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians wish to offer new German-language digital productions for Germany and Austria, especially to those who have never heard of Don Bosco.

        In fact, the project does not target a specific group of people – regardless of age - but to a larger audience. "With this type of short film we want to reach a wide audience that covers all ages, and the videos we wish used in religious formation, in parish ministry with adults, in formative moments, infotainment on Don Bosco, the Saint of Youth, in other words," adds Fr Friedrich.

        The first short film produced is on the life of Don Bosco and has a duration of 3:54 minutes. In view of the upcoming feast of St. John Bosco on January 31st, it was released last week.

        Other short films being produced include: the life of Maria Mazzarello, the pedagogy and spirituality of Don Bosco, and other topics.

        • Germania
        • GER
        • Comunicazione Sociale
        • Cortometraggi
        • Don Bosco
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Italy - Salesian Sites: living sites for the Salesian Family and the young people of the world

          3 weeks 5 days ago

          (ANS - Turin) - The valorization of Salesian heritage sites, those historic locations where the Salesian charism was born and developed at its very beginnings, was one of the themes addressed at the last 27th General Chapter (2014), which in fact had placed them under the special and specific responsibility of the Rector Major and his Council. Today, the "Salesian Heritage Sites Commission", the body appointed to protect, develop and exalt these sites, sends an invitation to all members of the Salesian Family asking them to learn about the sites, visit them and "live them."

          Colle Don Bosco, Chieri and Valdocco: these are, specifically, the locations the Commission intends promoting. And the reason is simple: "the locations of our origins are the places of our originality," explains Fr Luca Barone, Director of the Colle Don Bosco community.

          The Colle is not just Don Bosco's birthplace. It is also where, as a 9-year old, he had the dream that would orient his whole existence and his charisma, the place where he grew up, was raised and learned from the example of Mother Margherita with the many teachings that, in the future, would be revealed useful.

          In Chieri, Don Bosco's vocational path, and where the future saint was helped to discern how to realize his mission.

          Finally, Valdocco is the site of the first stable Oratory, where the pedagogy of the Saint of the Young takes shape, is established, develops.

          Regarding the sites, the Commission's proposal is not just to visit them, but includes people participating in celebrations, praying, thinking, reflecting, discussing, sharing together, taking advantage of the numerous opportunities they offer for hospitality; they ask people to immerse themselves in that river of holiness that, originated over 200 years ago, still sweeps across the continents like a wave.

          "We would like to invite you to live a real spiritual and charismatic journey," says Fr Guido Errico, Director of the Mother Mary Help of Christians HQ in Valdocco.

          "The new Salesian-style evangelization goes through these locations," concludes Fr Barone.

          So that this invitation reaches a greater audience, thanks to the collaboration of Turin's "Missioni Don Bosco", the Commission has produced a video in three languages wherein the proposals are presented and illustrated.

          Further information is also available at:

          And on the new website of the Basilica of Valdocco:


          • Italia
          • Luoghi Salesiani
          • ICP
          • Don Bosco
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Chile – Pope's brief meeting with Juan Namuncurá, relative of Blessed Ceferino

            3 weeks 6 days ago

            (ANS - Temuco) - Before celebrating Mass in the city of Temuco last January 17, Pope Francisco met Juan Namuncurá, a relative of Salesian Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá (1886-1905), together with a group of Argentines.

            The Holy Father had decided in advance that in Temuco he would reserve some time for a meeting, even a short one, with some people of Argentinian nationality he wanted to see and listen to personally for a short while.

            Among those received by the Pope: Mario Cafiero, political leader; Eduardo Valdés, former Argentine ambassador to the Holy See; Juan Namuncurá, whose great-uncle was blessed Ceferino Namuncurá, in turn the son of the indigenous leader Manuel Namuncurá. Joining this group, at the invitation of the first three, was Juan Carlos Reinao Marilao, a medical doctor, politician and Chilean Mapuche leader, who has been mayor of the town of Renaico since 2017 and is President of the Association of Chilean Municipalities with Mapuche Mayors.

            A few months after the Pope's visit to Chile, Juan Namuncurá decided to write a letter to the Pope. Mario Cafiero and Eduardo Valdés served as facilitators so that the missive of almost four pages reached its goal as it, indeed, did.

            "Dear and and most respectable Francis, I am Juan Namuncurá, preceded by the fame of the actions of my ancestors - the most famous and beloved of which, as far as recent times are concerned, is my great-uncle, Ceferino, or Zeffirino, our little Sapphire."

            Thus began the letter the Pope received and read, its purpose immediately explained: "I wish to be 'a bridge for your brothers' who, on a person level and as a consequence of the times, are not only those who once inhabited the communities, today commonly called 'Mapuche', but all of society."

            In his letter to the Pope, Juan Namuncurá expressed his wish to continue "the inheritance and commitment of the family lineage" by seeking together "with a small group of brothers (...) new roads and bridges, based on peace and harmony" centered on the concept of "democratization of indigenous peoples."

            After reading the letter, the Pope invited Namuncurá to meet him in Chile and to speak personally about these problems, outside the official agenda. This was the theme of the dialogue in the improvised sacristy of Temuco. Juan Namuncurá described the dialogue as "very concrete and profound", but did not specify the terms of the exchange. He also expressed surprise at how the Pope recalled the letter's details, taking noting that several themes and expressions were also adopted in the homily given a little earlier. "I admired," Namuncurá said, "the enormous intellectual speed of Francesco", from whom he hopes to receive support for his initiative and with whom he will remain in contact in the future to advance the conversations begun in Temuco.

            • Cile
            • Papa Francesco
            • Mapuche
            • Ceferino Namuncurà
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Burkina Faso - Construction of a Women's Promotion Center started

              3 weeks 6 days ago

              (ANS - Kouba) - Thanks to the joint efforts of numerous Spanish Salesian entities, a Women's Promotion Center is taking shape in Kouba, at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Recently the first images of the center have arrived, a center promoted by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians as part of a vast socio-educational project.

              Kouba is currently in the second construction phase of the large socio-educational, cultural and sporting complex for children, girls and young people that the FMA have planned over a period of 5-10 years. The complete project will include a nursery school, primary and secondary schools, a shelter for girls with limited resources, an oratory open to the neighborhood with sports facilities and educational workshops of various kinds and, of course, the Women's Center offering apprenticeships and fostering literacy.

              This center was born to address the precarious situation experienced by many women and young people by providing qualified skills and professional training in sectors such as catering, tailoring, information technology and hairdressing. The project includes courses of literacy, support for work placement, education in values, attention to the use of free time; its main objective is to train girls and women so they can work and get out of poverty.

              As for the Women's Center, work started in December 2017 and should be completed in 10 months.

              The global project has the support of the Spanish Salesian NGOs "Solidaridad Don Bosco", "VOLS" and "Jóvenes y Desarrollo", of the "MadreSelva" Foundation, of the FMA, and of the Austrian NGO "Jugend Eine Welt-Don Bosco", and the support of various public bodies.

              The educative-pastoral community of the "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" Province, of the Salesians of Don Bosco, played a key role in supporting this project - and to other Salesians in Burkina Faso - through the "Sowing opportunities in Burkina" campaign, thanks to which over 50,000 euros were collected and sent.

              To date, a first phase of the project has been completed with the construction of a tower water tank, which has the ability to supply the entire complex, and a training course in horticultural techniques for a hundred women in the area, a land particularly arid where the optimization of resources is essential to ensure good and proper nutrition for the local families.

              • Burkina Faso
              • AFO
              • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
              • Donne
              • Ragazze
                Gian Francesco Romano

                India – Sad Demise of Father James Poonthuruthil SDB

                3 weeks 6 days ago

                (ANS – Shillong) – Father James Poonthuruthil SDB, Rector and Professor at Sacred Heart Theological College Shillong and former Provincial of Dimapur Province, passed away on January 21 at NEIGRIHMS (North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences) in Shillong, Meghalaya, after being seriously hurt in a road accident on 14 January while travelling from Shillong to Guwahati in Assam. He would have turned 63 on January 27.

                By Father George Maliekal, SDB

                The Tata Nano car he was travelling in rammed into a stationery truck on NH-6 at Umsawnongkharai near Nongpoh in the Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya. The police, along with sisters and fathers of Nongpoh parish, rushed the injured first to Nongpoh Civil Hospital and later to NEIGRIHMS.

                The team of doctors at NEIGRIHMS conducted surgery on him to stop the swelling and brain hemorrhage.  On Friday, 19 January, a tracheostomy was also performed. But he responded little to the round the clock medical attention that was given him. He passed away at 7:55 PM, 21 January.

                Father Ponthuruthil's body was taken to the Sacred Heart Theological College and placed in the Shrine of the Sacred Heart. The requiem Mass was held at 5.00 PM on 22 January, after which the body was taken to Salesian College Dimapur in Nagaland for burial at 2.00 PM, 23 January.

                Father  Poonthuruthil, the former Provincial Superior of Dimapur Province, with a doctoral degree in Moral Theology from Alfonsiana, Rome, with the thesis ''Towards Responsibility: A Study of Erik H Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development and Viktor E Frankl's theory of Logotherapy'' served the Church in Northeast India in various capacities.

                He was registrar of the Sacred Heart College from 1988 to 1992; and from 1994 to 1995. He was rector of the Salesian College of Higher Education, Dimapur, during 1995-2001. He became the president of the Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, in 2003, a post he held for three years. He was then appointed as Provincial Superior of the Salesian Province of Dimapur, Nagaland, from 2006 to 2012. A year later, he was appointed director of Integrated Training for Laity and Religious and as Rector of the Mathias Institute, Mawlai. Last May, he had also become Rector of the Sacred Heart Theological College Shillong.

                • India
                • IND
                • INS
                • Decessi
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Peru - Salesian Family close to the Pope

                  4 weeks ago

                  (ANS - Puerto Maldonado) - An indescribable feeling: the experience of Peru's Salesian Family during various meetings with Pope Francis these past few days. In the capital, Lima, and then in Puerto Maldonado, young people, Salesian religious, representatives of missions and indigenous peoples accompanied by the Sons of Don Bosco, had the opportunity to display their affection to the Pontiff and to listen to his words of hope and of encouragement.

                  On the first day of the Pope's Apostolic Voyage to Peru, Friday 18, the Salesian Family and many other young Catholics gathered n the capital along the Papal route. Besides songs and prayers, the young welcomed the Pope by exhibiting a large statue of Mary Help of Christians. Passing along "Avenida Brasile", the Pope gave his blessing to all those present. In the evening of this festive day, a crowd of young people, accompanied by the Provincial, Fr Manolo Cayo, waited for the Pope to appear under the balcony of the Nunciature. "If this was the first day ... what will the next few days be like?," said Provincial enthusiastically.

                  In fact, the second day saw the Salesians play an even greater role in the program of the papal trip, thanks to Fr Diego Clavijo, Salesian missionary, and the deacons of Achuar origin of Kuyuntsa, at the Eucharist presided by the Pontiff in Puerto Maldonado for all the indigenous peoples of the Amazon.

                  On the occasion, Pope Francis spoke very clear words in favor of respect for the original peoples of the Amazon, who "have never been so threatened in their territories as they are now", because of "neo-activist (extraction) policies and the strong pressure of large economic interests that direct their greed on oil, gas, gold, agro-industrial monocultures", but also from the "perversion of certain policies that promote the conservation of nature without taking into account the human being and, in concrete terms, of you Amazonian brothers who live there."

                  To thank the Pontiff for his presence and for the attention he is dedicating to the Amazon - also highlighted by the appointment of a special assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region in 2019 - Fr. Clavijo and the Achuar who accompanied him donated a colored stole and wrote a letter to the Holy Father "to ask him to promote a Church that is born in Amazonia, with its own ministers."

                  • Perù
                  • Papa Francesco
                    José Luis Munoz

                    Colombia - Cimac/Nac-Mesoamérica Meeting

                    4 weeks ago

                    (ANS - Bogotá) - The XXth meeting of the CIMAC/NAC-MESOAMERICA region was held at the Salesian Institute "Leo XIII", Bogotá, on January 8 and 9. The organization includes 14 Provinces of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesians and Daughters of the Divine Savior in the areas of Central America, Mexico, Antilles and North America. Twenty-three people took part, representing and referring to hundreds of educational centers of the Salesian Family scattered among 13 countries, involving tens of thousands of children, adolescents and adults being formed every year.

                    The meeting served to renew awareness among the participants of the identity of the Salesian Network of Schools, in which religious and laity share the Salesian charism and style of management through projects, processes and programs deriving from a convergence of work-related guidelines.

                    Fr Jaime Morales, Provincial of Bogotá, led the prayer and welcomed the Salesian School of America (ESA, in Spanish). Fr René Antonio Santos, of the Youth Ministry Dicastery (PG) and Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes, PG, coordinated the formative session.

                    Work proceeded with the verification of ESA IV, held last May, and the results from the first meeting "Cumbayá I" up to "ESA IV". The gains obtained from the exchange of experiences and good practices in ESA IV guided the lines of action for the region, in consideration of the main educational needs of the continent.

                    Fr Hector Ugarte and Sr. Arelys Paulino, representatives of the CIMAC/NAC-MESOAMERICA region, presented the work methodology and the path taken by the central commission, organized in three work areas. The work for commissions of the various Provinces aimed to:

                    a) analyze what has already been done in each Province to answer to the set challenges and objectives;

                    b) present a variety of proposals on what remains to be done. These responses were the basis for the elaboration of a regional work plan.

                    The participants then discussed processes to be activated in the next 4 years, based on the ESA IV guidelines, and the work program; the objectives to be achieved and the timetable for the next meetings in the region were also elaborated.

                    All participants in the CIMAC / NAC-MESOAMERICA meeting will also participate in the XXV Inter-American Congress on Catholic Education, organized by the CIEC,  also to be held in Bogotà.

                    • Colombia
                      José Luis Munoz

                      Spain - Salesians and businesses reflect on the improvement of Vocational Training

                      4 weeks ago

                      (ANS - Madrid) - On 18 and 19 January, the Salesian Provincial Office of Madrid was the location for the IV Meeting of the Vocational Training Groups (VT) in Europe, which brought together the coordinators of the Salesian Centers for Vocational Training and partner business companies operating in this area. Present: Fr Fabio Attard, General Councilor for Youth Ministry.

                      During the first day, about 25 Salesian VT leaders from Italy, France, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Spain spoke about how to revitalize, improve, expand and coordinate the Salesian Technical-Vocational Centers in Europe. The General Councilor for Youth Ministry, Fr Fabio Attard, emphasized the need to assume a vision of leadership in order to strengthen and increase Vocational Training.

                      Also presented: how VT functioned in the Spanish educational system; the experience of exchange students with other Salesian centers across Europe; the dual school-VT of Spain and Italy, and Erasmus+ program of overseas apprenticeship.

                      On the second day, company representatives from the companies collaborating with the Salesian VT centers joined the meeting: Neobis, FEDA, Clece, FIAT Chrysler Automobili (FCA, Spain), Hoffmann Group, Robert Bosch (Spain), Schneider Electric (Spain), Tetra Pak, Xerox (Spain) and ENI (Italy). Discussions focused on the relationship between Salesians in Europe and companies, curating and coordinating reciprocal needs, and the inclusion of  VT pupils into the firms and the job market.

                      Juan Seoane, of the German Dual Entrepreneurial Training (FEDA), presented the training experience that the "Salesianos Atocha" center is carrying out in collaboration with the German Chamber of Commerce. Then there was a round table discussion on the different models of formative collaboration of the Salesian centers.

                      A profile of the modern 21st century student was then drawn. What the companies look for are: technically qualified professionals, with special attention to the use of new technologies, the knowledge of various languages, a commercial or business mindset, communication skills and the ability to work in a team; also, the importance to the human formation of the pupil: integrity, responsibility, humility and the desire to learn are some of the values that businesses recognize and acknowledge in Salesian students.

                      Fr Fabio Attard concluded the meeting by saying that events of this kind are "an opportunity to continue with our efforts and commitment in the accompaniment of young people." In this regard, he pointed out that for many young people, Vocatonal Training was their last chance to secure and guarantee a future for themselves.

                      • Spagna
                      • Formazione Professionale
                        José Luis Munoz

                        Spain - Salesians and "Festo" sign national collaboration agreement for Vocational Training

                        1 month ago

                        (ANS - Madrid) - The German company "Festo", specialized in automation and industrial development 4.0, will provide training to the teachers of Spain's Salesian Vocational Training Centers (CFP). The agreement was signed on 15 January by Fr Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, Provincial of the Salesian Province "St James Major" (SSM), and Xavier Segura, Director General of Festo, in the Provincial house of Madrid. Also present at the signing: Mr. Santiago Elorriaga, SDB, Coordinator of Vocational Training of SSM, and the members of the Provincial Council.

                        The agreement is national in scope and consolidates the collaboration that the Salesians and Festo have already previously established and maintained in a more informal fashion. The German company, in addition to offering technical and training consultancy to Salesian teachers, shall also provide access to its materials and educational equipment at advantageous economic conditions.

                        Dr Segura explained that Festo has always offered its services starting from an "educational vision", with the aim of ensuring that "technology reaches people as quickly as possible." This vision is accentuated even more today, with "ongoing technological and social change", which makes training essential, especially "for young people." Moreover, he said that "we must continue to enhance vocational training, a sector in which the Salesians have been, are and will be a point of reference."

                        In the same vein, Fr Pérez Godoy said, "Vocational Training is the flagship" of the Salesians. He also mentioned the difficulties sometimes arising in keeping the formation of young people updated, cutting edge, and expressed appreciation for the collaboration with Festo in this task.

                        Finally, Mr Elorriaga underlined the importance of the ongoing preparation of the teaching staff of the Salesian centers to give the students the best possible training and greater opportunities for job placement.

                        The "Festo" company is a global supplier of automated solutions that use pneumatic, electronic and network technology for all types of processes and industrial activities. They supply individual components and complete systems as well as technological and commercial consulting and training.

                        The Salesians in Spain run 50 CFPs, with about 16,000 students and 1,000 teachers, as well as the Salesian Social Platforms which offer professional training, thanks to the support of companies from different sectors.

                        Furthermore, in recent months, the Salesians in Spain have signed collaboration agreements for professional training with other major companies, such as  “Schneider Electric”, “Hoffmann Group” and “Siemens”.

                        • Spagna
                        • SSM
                        • SMX
                        • Formazione Professionale
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Argentina - Farewell to Fr Juan Picca, SDB

                          1 month ago

                          (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Fr Juan Picca, SDB, passed away on Wednesday, January 17, in Buenos Aires. "We thank the Lord for the life of this talented confrere, a tireless worker and a creative and responsible priest," commented Fr Luis Gallo, Secretary of the Vice Province of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome (UPS). "I have no words with which to thank God for our dear Father Juan ... Were it to me, I would make him saint right away! He will continue to accompany us from heaven, no doubt."

                          Juan Vicente Picca was born on 11 October 1938 in San Luis to Juan Domingo and María Cioffi, parents of five children. He entered the Salesian aspirantate of Bernal in 1950, undertook the novitiate in 1956 and made his first profession as a Salesian on 31 January 1957.

                          He was sent to study in Rome during the years of the Second Vatican Council, a privileged witness of that fundamental event of the Church and a listener of the Council Fathers who used to visit the Roman universities to present their first concise summaries.

                          Ordained priest in March 1966, Fr Picca continued his theological studies in the then Salesian Pontifical Athenaeum (PAS), subsequently obtaining a Doctorate in Biblical Studies at the "École Biblique" of Jerusalem. After returning to Rome, he obtained a doctorate in Theology at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS), and became a teacher of Sacred Scripture for 39 years at that same University, between 1968 and 2008, while hold various positions within the same institution - a catechist of the students of theology, community counselor, and he served in the Deanery of the Faculty of Theology.

                          From 1985 to 2008, he was also Prefect of the UPS Central Library, which in the last years of his administration was completely computerized and became one of the most modern and technological of its kind. In 2009, he returned to Argentina to serve at the "ISET" center. From 2011 to 2015, he was Director of the "San Carlos" Salesian community in Buenos Aires, and in 2016 he was awarded the "Divino Maestro" prize.

                          Fr Picca was also a scholar of Salesianity and knew how to transmit his love for the Congregation to his students. He is remembered by all as a laborious, simple, austere and merciful man, and a good priest, always willing to serve when and where asked.

                          • Argentina
                          • ARS
                          • Decessi
                          • UPS
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            India – Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India 2018

                            1 month ago

                            (ANS – Mumbai) – Short films carve out a space for voices often quelled in the world of big-budget blockbusters! It's these voices that the organisers of the Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India (DBYFFI), Boscom South Asia seek to amplify when the third edition of DBYFFI under the banner of 'Youth for Life' is conducted on January 18 and 19.

                            By Karen Laurie

                            Nearly 100 venues across 20 states in India will screen 34 short films that have been meticulously selected by a panel of experts from amongst hundreds of submissions. The themes treated in the short films focus on eco awareness, respect for parents and teachers, alcoholism, social media addiction, teenage problems, peer group pressure, social responsibility, sense of God, ethics of relationships, friendship, hard work, creativity and oppression amongst others.

                            The various categories for the festival include drama, animation, inspirational, comedy, bio-drama, animation and live action, and biopic animation. Titles like ''Class of rowdies'', which focuses on the plight of a young teacher who meets a class of rowdy students, or ''The right decision'', a film that stresses on the values of education and hard work, will feature prominently among titles like, ''Thank you teacher'', ''Teenage love'', ''Study hard'', ''A cup of positivity'' and ''Happiness''.

                            The films to be screened have been directed and produced in countries like the US, Australia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Singapore, South Africa, France, Germany, Malaysia, UAE and India. The shorts range from one minute to 19 minute productions and seek to stress on messages that would lead to a better world.

                            The name Don Bosco is synonymous with youth and in tune with the vision of its founder, DBYFFI seeks to re-launch and rekindle positivity into the personal realms of youth and society at large. Youth, today, are engaged so intensely with the visual media, rather than listening to eloquent discourses and their hearts are ever-so-receptive to film, hence DBYFFI is a unique tool to talk to the youth in the language and setting that they connect with so easily.

                            ''Under a short time, we are back again to unite under the banner of our founder for the third season of Don Bosco Youth Film Festival of India. This is indeed a unique event that is uniting Salesian presence across pan-India in collaboration with Government Colleges and Secular Institutions. This is a wonderful opportunity given to Boscom South Asia (Don Bosco Communications) to glorify the name of Don Bosco and to meaningfully celebrate our cause for the young through the screening of these short films, the festival includes film screenings, and discussions with the youth, with a host of Film Directors participating across India. I would like to thank my Social Communication Delegates from all the Indian Provinces who work to make this Film Festival a grand success,'' Father Joaquim Fernandes SDB, Delegate, Boscom South Asia, said.

                            More info at: 

                            Source: Don Bosco India

                            • India
                            • Comunicazione Sociale
                            • Festival
                            • Cinema
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Syria - "Enlightening the future": educational and economic support for young people

                              1 month ago

                              (ANS - Damascus) – Since last year, the Salesians in Syria have increased their efforts to develop the skills of young people, so that, despite the war that has been devastating the country since 2011, they can more easily find a job and so generate income for themselves and their families. To this end, the Sons of Don Bosco have developed new initiatives in favor of young people, consisting mainly in offering real economic help to support the costs and fees of university courses and vocational training.

                              Following the nationalization of the country's schools, imposed in 1928, the Salesians do not have formal education centers in Syria. This is why this project is particularly important and is also supported with conviction by the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid.

                              Since last March 25, thanks to the project, young people have benefitted from an initiative that offers them the opportunity to enroll in a wide variety of technical and vocational training courses, mainly related to the learning of Information Technology and English, while another 20 young people have received financial support to obtain their school certificates and attend university.

                              In total, therefore, the initiative has successfully supported 45 young Syrians in developing their personal and technical skills, through professional courses and academic studies, increasing their chances of finding a job and earning income to support themselves and their families.

                              Another 6 people have received support through the supply of equipment and tools to start or develop an activity or firm in various small business sectors - such as hairdressers, restaurateurs, pastry chefs ...

                              The Salesians of Damascus monitor the beneficiaries monthly and foster their awareness of the significance and relevance of this program: a long-term investment on them and on the future of young Syrians.

                              Source: Misiones Salesianas

                              • Siria
                              • Educazione
                              • MOR
                              • Giovani
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Peru - Salesian craftsmanship again at center of papal celebrations

                                1 month ago

                                (ANS - Puerto Maldonado) - After three days in Chile, Pope Francis reaches Peru today, January 18, the second and last stage of his apostolic journey to South America. Also in Peru to accompany the celebrations of the pontiff there will be a bit of "salesianity" - as previously in Iquique, where to adorn the altar of the mass there were 12 thousand traditional aluminum flowers by the Salesian past pupil Humberto Alache. This time, however, it is a crucifix and chairs for the Pope, all works created by the youth of the "Taller Don Bosco", to be used tomorrow, January 19, in Puerto Maldonado.

                                "We want this to be the Christ that the Pope, with his presence, will bless; it will be the Christ of Pope Francis," says Msgr David Martinez de Aguirre, bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Maldonado.

                                "The crucifix and the chairs were made by young members of the Don Bosco Artesanos," explains Agustín Guzmán, from the Don Bosco parish of Puerto Maldonado. The 'Taller (workshop) Don Bosco' was created by the Salesian priest Ugo de Censi at the beginning of the 90s, "to offer some work and education to people with low income," he adds. Today, woodworking, stone, bronze and weaving products are being produced at the laboratory.

                                With the Christ, the three chairs have also arrived, and will be on the stage of the meeting, the central one reserved for Pope Francis.

                                Attention is drawn to the fine details of the chairs, like the furrows carved in the armrests. "The furrows are used to understand who worked; they are the children of peasants and those lines are reminiscent of the furrows of the plow," continues Guzmán.

                                The crucifix also stands out for its fine finish and detailed work. Made entirely of wood and oil painted, it will be placed on a large wooden wall behind the Pope.

                                "Under the crucifix there will be bamboo rods and chairs in front," adds Paula Franco, responsible for the preparation of the venue for the celebration of the Pope, who emphasizes how the whole setting was designed to make the Pope feel inside of a community.

                                After the Pope's visit, the crucifix will remain in Puerto Maldonado, in the chapel adjacent to the city's Cathedral.

                                Source: Periodista Digital

                                • Perù
                                • PER
                                • Arte
                                • Papa Francesco
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Chile - Pope Francis to religious and clergy: "the People of God do not wait for, nor need superheroes"

                                  1 month ago

                                  (ANS - Santiago) - It was with a climate of joy and celebration that the priests, consecrated persons and seminarians welcomed Pope Francis to the cathedral of Santiago for their meeting together. "We have long been awaiting you," said Salesian Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, archbishop of Santiago, at the beginning of his opening address.

                                  The Pope used the "Peter-community" analogy as the experience of the apostles always had this dual aspect, that is, the personal and the community. They go together hand-in-hand and cannot be separated. He said we were, yes, called individually, but always to be part of a larger group. "There is no vocational selfie. The vocation requires that another person takes a picture of you: what can we do?"

                                  Pope Francis also referred to the scandals of which some priests marked themselves. The Pope had previously met privately with several victims of abuse by priests and religious. He, too, felt the suffering of the victims, their families and felt the pain of that part of the ecclesiastic community that remained faithful: "I know the pain that the cases of abuse against minors have meant and I attentively follow all you do to overcome this serious and painful evil. Pain for the damage and suffering of the victims and their families, who saw the trust placed in the ministers of the Church betrayed."

                                  The Pope spoke of Chile and the challenges before which we sometimes isolated ourselves. "We forget that the promised land is in front of us. That the promise is yesterday's, but for tomorrow. And we can fall into the temptation to close off and isolate ourselves to defend our positions that end up being nothing but nice monologues."

                                  The Pope added that, "the People of God does not wait for, nor does it need superheroes; they wait for shepherds, consecrated persons, who know compassion, who know how to stop before those who have fallen."

                                  He concluded by inviting the entire assembly to prepare "a kind of spiritual testament" in their hearts, adopting as a role model Chilean Salesian Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez, and to renew one's own 'yes' to God with "that beautiful prayer that begins by saying: 'The Church that I love is the Holy Church of every day ... yours, mine, the daily Holy Church of every day ... '".

                                  {gallery}Cile - Incontro Papa Francesco e religiosi{/gallery} 

                                  • Cile
                                  • CIL
                                  • Papa Francesco
                                  • Ricardo Ezzati
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Haiti - Prayer and remembrance 8 years after the earthquake

                                    1 month ago

                                    (ANS - Port-au-Prince) - Friday, January 12, 2018, exactly 8 years after the terrible earthquake that lacerated the country, a Eucharistic commemoration was held at the National School of Arts and Crafts (ENAM) in Port-au-Prince, the country's first Salesian center. The ceremony was presided by Fr Morachel Bonhomme, Vicar of the Vice Province of Haiti, and gathered a large number of Salesians, post-novices, aspirants, prenovices, staff and teachers from ENAM and the Little Schools of Father Bohnen (OPEPB).

                                    In his homily, Fr Bonhomme began by reminding all the faithful of the importance of spiritual life for Christians. He insisted on making it clear that we were always to be ready to meet the Lord. Our whole existence belonged to God: "If we live, we live for the Lord, if we die, we die for the Lord."

                                    The celebration recalled many episodes among the many people who still remember the painful events of 8 years ago. Many prayed for the over 200 Salesian students who perished that day, for the Salesian Coadjutor brother Hubert Sanon, the first Haitian Salesian, and for three other Salesian youngsters: Wilfrid Atismé, Valsaint Vilbrun and Pierre-Richard René.

                                    In the afternoon, the Salesians headed to the University of Quisqueya where two of the young Salesians are buried, killed by the earthquake. In a room built for the occasion, the Salesians recited the Vespers, prayed for all the students who died at the site, beginning with the three Salesians in formation at the time. The whole day was spent in an atmosphere of profound meditation and reflection on the fragility of  human life. 

                                    {gallery}Haiti - ottavo anniversario terremoto{/gallery} 

                                    • Haiti
                                    • HAI
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Brazil - The cause of Fr Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo: a great event of both Church and Congregation

                                      1 month ago

                                      (ANS - Meruri) – On January 31, in Meruri, the diocese of Barra do Garças, Brazil, opens the diocesan inquiry into the martyrdom of the Servants of God Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein, Salesian priest, and Simão Bororo, a layman, killed on July 15, 1976, in the courtyard of the Salesian mission of Meruri. Their cause of martyrdom is a living sign that God has blessed the Congregation and the Church with His love and grace, especially in Brazil.

                                      "Incredible how this cause has struck the hearts of so many people in the Mato Grosso Province, in Salesian Brazil and in the Church. The example of faith and love for the Kingdom of God of Fr Rodolfo and Simão is truly a sign and a call to renewal and missionary ardor," comments Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family. "Father Rodolfo and Simão are part of that long line of Catholic missionaries and indigenous people murdered as they accompanied, evangelized and fought alongside the Indians for their rights. The struggle for the defense of the earth, of the peoples that inhabit it and its immense natural, cultural and spiritual riches, has been and is still fertilized by the blood of martyrs."

                                      For the opening of the diocesan process, the Provincial of Brazil Campo Grande (BCG), Fr Gildasio Santos, addressed a message to his confreres, to the educative-pastoral communities and to the Salesian Family, inviting them to live this gift with participation. He also emphasized how Fr Lunkenbein and Simão lived a true encounter with Jesus Christ, sealed a deep alliance in blood by giving themselves: "a covenant of hearts and dreams in missionary lands."

                                      On the occasion, the writings of Fr Lunkenbein shall be discussed; in his letters, homilies and other interventions, he showed his missionary heart and the prophetic power of the Gospel in promoting justice and solidarity. In his last writings, allusions to death often appear: "Even today, a missionary must be willing to die to do his duty. The help you give us shows that you have clearly understood what it means today to be a Christian: to sacrifice oneself with Christ, to suffer with Christ, to die with Christ and to win with Christ for the salvation of the whole world of our neighbor." (Letter to his countrymen dated 11.08.1975).

                                      • Brasile
                                      • BCG
                                      • Indigeni
                                      • Rodolfo Lunkenbein
                                      • Simão Bororo
                                      • Santità Salesiana
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Nepal – Nepal Don Bosco Society hands over earthquake resilient school to villagers

                                        1 month ago

                                        (ANS – Sindhupalchawk) – The Salesian NGO “Nepal Don Bosco Society” marked its 25th year of service to the people of Nepal by handing over a fifth earthquake resilient school to villagers at Kallery in Sindhupalchawk district, central Nepal, some 90 kilometers east of Kathmandu. A total of ten schools in remote and inaccessible areas affected by the recent earthquake in Nepal (2015) are being got ready to be handed over.

                                        By Fr C.M. Paul, SDB

                                        The handing over ceremony took place 11th January 2018 at Kallery Basic School in the presence of Shri Yuvaraj Dulal, a local Member of the Legislative Assembly; President of the School's Founder Body, Headmaster Shri Yajanath Dungal; and other dignitaries of the district administration.

                                        The inauguration of the school building consisted of the unveiling of the dedication plaque and the handing over of six keys to the six classrooms to the headmaster.

                                        In return, the school and local authorities read out a letter of appreciation signed by the MLA, President of the School Founder Body and the headmater. The chief guest at the event, the MLA handed over the framed letter along with a ceremonial shawl to Rector of Don Bosco School Lubu Fr Abraham Kannattu.

                                        Today the primary school has 85 students from kindergarten to grade four.

                                        Speaking at the event witnessed by people of the entire village, both young and old, the Coordinator of the Rehabilitation Project of Nepal Don Bosco Society, Fr Augusty Pulickal, told the teachers and local people, “we hope that in the next academic year the number of students will increase to 105.”

                                        He also appealed to the local administration to come forward and do what was required to furnish the classrooms which are equipped with state of the art electrical and other basic fittings.

                                        The newly constructed school building has two blocks of three spacious classrooms each with a capacity of 40 students. The total capacity of the six classrooms: up to 240 students.

                                        The funding for the construction of the ten schools came from “Don Bosco Jugend Welt Austria”.

                                        The history of Nepal Don Bosco Society began in 1992. The Silver Jubilee (1992-2017) was celebrated on 11 November 2017 at Don Bosco School Biratnagar. The Nepal Don Bosco Society is engaged in a variety of ministries dedicated to the country's young people - two technical schools, four academic schools, three social outreach centers, four boarding houses, and several non-formal education centers. They also run a number of social programs, such as scholarships for students and emergency response projects as in the aftermath of the tragic earthquakes of 2015.

                                        Source: Don Bosco India

                                        • Nepal
                                        • INC
                                        • Scuole
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          34 minutes 49 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana