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Uganda – Fr Arasu: “COVID-19 robbed refugees of the little that they had”

2 weeks 4 days ago
Uganda – Fr Arasu: “COVID-19 robbed refugees of the little that they had”

(ANS – Palabek) – “My children are starving. They haven’t eaten anything for the last three days,” said 38-year-old Adol Majok, a single mother of three sons and two daughters. “They are going to die unless I get them food to eat.” Majok arrived at Palabek three years ago after her husband was killed during fighting in Pajok, a town in South Sudan. She lost everything in the violence and had no source of income.

After a few months at the camp that hosts around 46,000 refugees, mostly from South Sudan, Majok opened a small tea stall business to support her family. However, her life changed again the minute the government announced the first confirmed coronavirus case in the country. Her list of clients, mostly refugees, quickly dwindled. “My sufferings started. I had to close my business and as a result I lacked something to eat with my children. I now depend on aid.”

Deng Ajiing is another refugee welcomed in Palabek. She fled the war in 2017 in Pajok with her young baby after her husband was killed and her daughter raped and killed by soldiers in her presence. She has been recovering from trauma, but the pandemic exacerbated her situation. “Things are really bad. I thought of dying and joining my husband and daughter. But I thank those people who offered me food and emotional support during this period of pandemic” she said.

Majok and Deng are among 1.4 million refugees in Uganda facing hunger because of aid disruption, loss of income and rising food prices linked to the COVID-19 crisis. The U.N. Refugee Agency warns that unless urgent action is taken to address the situation, levels of acute malnutrition, stunting and anemia are expected to rise, especially among children.

The Salesians of Don Bosco in Palabek are trying to fill that gap, making an effort to help those in need with food, clothing and other supplies.

“Refugees who are among vulnerable groups should be remembered because COVID-19 robbed them of the little that they had,” said Salesian Father Lazar Arasu, director of Don Bosco Palabek Refugee Services. “They are suffering because they are the worst hit by the pandemic. The food ration has reduced because of lockdown. But we are trying our best to help them with everything during this hard time.”

The Salesians are also providing certified seeds, fertilizers and farming support to refugees to help them mitigate food shortage amid the pandemic. The Indian-born priest said his agency has given farmers several kilos of beans, corn, peanuts and a range of vegetable seeds.

“We are now slowly finding solutions to empower refugees to be self-sufficient through the cultivation of food,” said Father Arasu, who is among the five Salesian missionaries living and working in Palabek camp. “We have hired land for them from the local Ugandan neighbors so that they can grow food and fend for themselves.”

Catechist Peter Jok, a South Sudanese refugee, said they have been distributing face masks, soap and sanitizers in an effort to help refugees protect themselves against the virus that has already infected more than 31.4 million people worldwide.

“We are all worried because we don’t want any refugee to contract the virus here. It will be devastating,” said Jok, who works in Palabek camp. “We are encouraging them to keep the social distancing and observe the set government guidelines to fight the virus.”

Father Arasu noted that the economic hardship caused by the pandemic might further exacerbate mental health conditions in refugee populations. The Salesians have been providing information, counseling and psychosocial support to vulnerable refugees in the camp.

“Refugees need our support and prayers all the time. They have experienced a lot. We are offering pastoral care and counseling to refugees during the pandemic to make them feel wanted” said Father Arasu.

Source: Catholic News

  • Uganda
  • Palabek
  • Rifugiati
  • Violenze
  • Donne
  • Coronavirus
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Belgium – Don Bosco International and the 13th EU Forum on the Rights of the Child

    2 weeks 4 days ago
    Belgium – Don Bosco International and the 13th EU Forum on the Rights of the Child

    (ANS – Bruxelles) – The 13th edition of the European Forum on the Rights of the Child took place online with three morning sessions from the 29th of September to the 1st of October 2020. The Forum is an annual conference that provides a platform for dialogue between EU institutions and other stakeholders on the rights of the child. The theme of this year’s edition was ‘Delivering for Children: towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child’. Don Bosco International (DBI) was invited to join the event together with other civil society organizations.

    This year, in spite of the fully online format due to the Covid-19 restrictions, child participation was ensured, so that the main subjects of the Forum were effectively represented in the Forum. The participation of young people and children is indeed one of the core principles of DBI’s advocacy in the European institutions, in line with the Salesian guidelines in this field. Being member of the European platform “Eurochild”, DBI was able to have two young people selected to participate along with others who formed the Children’s Council of the Forum. Indeed, not only the Executive Secretary of DBI, Renato Cursi, was able to join the event, but also DBI Board Member Antoine Farrugia SDB, as accompanying adult of two minors, Stefania (15 years old) and Aaliyah (16). The two girls are members of the Core Team of the Salesjani Senglea Youth Centre (Malta), both active in the animation of the Oratory and aspiring future leaders and animators.

    When asked by DBI at the end of the Forum about her personal experience in the EU Forum, Aaliyah wrote: “This experience for me was very different to what I usually join but certainly one I will never forget. We met new people and met other organizations. We also got to learn more about the rights of the child and about the involvement of the EU in this matter. An experience I will never forget.” Stefania was in agreement: “This was one of the best experiences I had. I learned a lot about different cultures around Europe and met lots of nice people. I had a chance to express myself and saw that the other participants heard what children like me wanted to say.”

    The agenda of the EU Forum on the Rights of the Child included both high-level sessions, where three European Commissioners (for Democracy and Demography, Jobs and Social Rights, and Home Affairs) and some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) took the floor, and four workshops, respectively on 1) combating violence against children, 2) inclusive societies, 3) inclusive education and 4) child-friendly justice, where more interaction among participants was provided.

    This year’s edition focused on the incoming adoption of two important measures focused on children across the European Union: the new version of the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child and the brand new Child Guarantee, a social measure meant to support Member States in reducing child poverty. The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on children’s lives were also discussed. Specific attention was given to protecting vulnerable groups of children, such as children in institutions, those with disabilities and children in migration, as well as to preventing discrimination of children based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnic group or race.

    • Don Bosco International
    • Diritti
    • Unione Europea
    • Belgio
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Czech Republic – One of COVID-19 lockdown's pastoral fruits

      2 weeks 4 days ago
      Czech Republic – One of COVID-19 lockdown's pastoral fruits

      (ANS – Brno) – For the last seven months the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of suffering to most of the world and has also awakened a lot of human solidarity with the vulnerable population in many ways. However, there are also positives - future experiences opened - inspired by the strict lockdown situations. Last 7 September, one of the Salesian communities in Europe, in Brno, the Czech Republic's second-largest city, launched a special monthly SDB community prayer encounter with the young on its YouTube channel.

      Fr Libor Vsetula, the Rector, in a video explains the background and plan to continue this “community open prayer” on each first Monday of the month until next June 2021. The SDB community monthly recollection consists of a simple scheme of praying the Holy Rosary, followed by Eucharistic Adoration and a Goodnight Talk.

      In the first prayerful SDB community monthly encounter open to the public, the Rector shared last summer's activities - both in dozens of youth camps organized and conducted by SDB with many lay mission partners of Brno-Zabovresky and Brno-Lisen Youth Centers as well as news of the repair of three boiler rooms before the coming winter. A special 'guest' shared his Goodnight; this time it was a fresh perpetually professed Cl. Vlastimil Vajdak (currently a theology student in Ratisbonne, Jerusalem). His life and vocation story may touch the hearts of many young and not-so-young people: “God would like to enter your lives!”

      The whole SDB community prayer moment is a fruit of a three-month-long lockdown period when the Salesian were close via a professional broadcasting of daily Mass, Adoration or Rosary since last March. An interactive window on YouTube and Facebook also allow live prayer intentions and sharing of young people. The annual schedule is as follows: Sept 7, Oct 5, Nov 2, Dec 7, Jan 4, Feb 1, March 1, Apr 5, May 3 and June 7 (always at 8 PM, GMT+2).

      Thus echoed, one of the Rector Major's proposals following the GC28 (ACG 433, p. 25) : “We will make known and esteemed what was essential for Don Bosco and for so many generations of Salesians as a fundamental pillar of our work of evangelization and education: the beautiful presence of our Mother the Help of Christians in our educational proposals and in our prayer with the young.”  

      • Rep Ceca
      • Preghiera
      • Coronavirus
      • Pastorale Giovanile
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – Originality and ecclesial relevance of accompaniment style transmitted by Don Bosco today

        2 weeks 5 days ago
        RMG – Originality and ecclesial relevance of accompaniment style transmitted by Don Bosco today

        (ANS - Rome) - The dissemination of "Young Salesians and Accompaniment - Orientations and Guidelines", which began last month, continues. We are at the second of the 10 seeds, that is, the most relevant thematic nuclei of this process, which in the research phase involved over 4,000 young people in formation and accompanying persons, from whose contribution the guidelines and directives approved by the Rector Major and by his Council, delivered to the members of the GC28 for the whole Salesian Congregation, were elaborated.

        The seed for this month of October, concentrated in a 3-minute video made in 5 languages by young novices and confreres and further developed in the PowerPoint linked to the videos, is on the originality of Salesian accompaniment. In the document, this is what is found above all in the third chapter.

        What is brought into focus is the charismatic treasure that Don Bosco gave with his way of becoming a traveling companion for young people and accompanying them towards a full life, towards holiness. Don Bosco does not invent it all out of thin air. His pedagogical and spiritual art comes from great masters, such as Ignazio di Loyola, Francesco di Sales, Alfonso Maria de' Liguori, whom he met and loved through the teaching and example of Saint Joseph Cafasso. But what is born in and with Don Bosco is something new, in full harmony with our times, as the Synod of Youth has demonstrated.

        Don Bosco knows how to create an environment where one is transformed "by osmosis", where one breathes the desire for God and that "splendid harmony of nature and grace" (C 21) which triggers the capacity to renew one's life from within, as it did for Magone and Savio. Accompaniment comes in all forms that care for the environment, the group, the focus to each it requires.

        If all this is important for formation, it is because it is equally important for the mission. John Paul, Alessandro, Gerald, Anselmo and Chema say this clearly in the question with which they conclude their videos respectively in English, Italian, French, Portuguese and Spanish: “At the end of initial formation do we own this treasure? Does it become part of us? Are we able to recreate this educative-pastoral style of being companion on the way, sharing the material and spiritual bread with the young people in whatever context we encounter them? Is not this Oratorian heart of Don Bosco the purpose of all our formation?”.

        As we read in the document, number 77, “The Preventive System is our way of doing things: it is both a pastoral spirituality and methodology. It is ultimately our formation model.”

        The “seed video” is available in English on ANSChannel.

        On DropBox there is also a folder with all the videos in the 5 languages ​​and the PowerPoint/PDFs connected to them.

        Finally, on Google Doc, it is possible for Salesians from the various Provinces and regions to access questions that stimulate community sharing and which can also be answered online.

        • Formazione
        • Formazione Iniziale
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Italy – Meeting of Mediterranean Region and Iberian Conference, with Rector Major's participation

          2 weeks 5 days ago
          Italy – Meeting of Mediterranean Region and Iberian Conference, with Rector Major's participation

          (ANS - Catania) - On Monday 28 September the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, participated via the "Zoom" platform in the meeting of the Mediterranean Region and the Iberian Conference, physically held in Sicily, from 28 to 29 September. Other Salesian representatives from Spain, Portugal and the Middle East also participated in videoconference.

          The dialogue with the Rector Major served to share the guidelines of the Congregation for the 2020-2026 term, necessary to guide the work of all the Provinces. On the occasion, the X Successor of Don Bosco also presented the 28th General Chapter's final document, soon to be published.

          Subsequently, Fr Fabio Attard, who after two six-year terms as General Councilor for Youth Ministry was appointed last May as Head of Ongoing Formation of Salesians and lay people in Europe, presented a document concerning his new duties.

          For his part, Fr Tarcízio Morais, worldwide Head of the Schools and Vocational Training Centers of the Congregation, dealt instead with the project of structuring Vocational Training in the European context.

          The meeting of the Iberian Conference took place on the second day of work, this time through the “Google Meet” platform. The appointment served to create a discussion on some issues relating to Salesian formation.

          The ongoing formation course in El Campello was scheduled from 13 April to 13 May 2021, and the Iberian formation project and the regulation of an Iberian formation commission were presented. Other debates focused on other issues, such as the Salesian presence in the social media, with special reference to the intention to spread the Salesian vision on issues related to youth, education and the family.

          Several proposals for collaboration at the level of youth ministry occupied the final part of this meeting, which takes place every six months.

          • Italia
          • Mediterranea
          • Rettor Maggiore
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Burundi – Salesians and young people visit hospital and prison in Gahombo

            2 weeks 5 days ago
            Burundi – Salesians and young people visit hospital and prison in Gahombo

            (ANS - Rukago) - As part of the parish's pastoral plan, carried out according to the teaching of Pope Francis, the guidelines of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the pastoral plan of the diocese of Ngozi on the social commitment of Christians, two priests from the Salesian parish of Rukago, in Burundi - Fr Benjamin Gahungu and Fr Raphael Katanga - accompanied by 25 young leaders of the oratory, went to visit the sick and prisoners of the nearby town of Gahombo.

            The activities, which took place in September, began with Mass at the local hospital, presided over by the parish priest, Fr Gahungu, and animated by the choir of the oratory animators. At the end of the celebration, staff of the hospital’s social office helped the Salesian delegation distribute food and laundry soap to all the sick and healthcare personnel.

            “It was a moment of relief and consolation for the sick housed in the hospital. In our service, we also made sure that patients who are alone and have no relatives or friends to support them would receive something extra,” says Fr Katanga.

            From the Salesian parish another team instead left for the prison to offer the same kind of assistance and comfort to the prisoners. The visit was a great surprise for the prisoners and the guards, who were able to share a moment of emotion and serenity.

            Through expeditions such as these, the Salesian house in Rukago seeks to motivate young people on their possibility of having an impact on society, and to give society a powerful testimony of the importance of young people's social commitment.

            The youths who participated in the two initiatives are animators at the Salesian center, engaged in ongoing formation courses that make them increasingly effective in assisting the needy. In the near future, they have already planned other gestures of closeness and support to the vulnerable subjects of the municipality of Gahombo.

            “The young people of the parish of Rukago have decided to become protagonists of change,” says Fr Katanga. “They carry out charitable activities among the most vulnerable without expecting anything in return. Others participate in community programs for the renovation of roads and bridges. Sometimes they participate in the construction and renovation of homes for the needy.”

            “They, like other Christians in the parish, have understood that there can be no authentic Christian life without social commitment, especially in favor of the most needy,” concludes the Salesian.

            • Burundi
            • Carceri
            • Salute
            • Animatori
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Argentina – Always cheerful: boys and girls accompany other young people in the name of humor

              2 weeks 5 days ago
              Argentina – Always cheerful: boys and girls accompany other young people in the name of humor

              (ANS - Rosario) - Each group of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) in Argentina has had to upset the normal course of its activities due to the pandemic. Camps, oratories, meetings, rallies, retreats… could not take place. Yet, a group of boys and girls from the SYM of Rosario managed to generate closeness even in this period, through humor.

              The idea emerged as an option to accompany each other in times of isolation, claiming Salesian optimism and joy. In full compliance with the health regulations on social distancing, various audiovisual productions were made in an attempt to make quarantine more enjoyable.

              In this perspective, a first video was produced which then led to other productions shared on the Instagram profiles of the various SYM groups. The “Don Boscosas” kit was the main theme of this audiovisual that made everyone laugh.

              “It all started with the idea of ​​making a video for all children who, due to the pandemic, could not go to their oratories or groups,” explains Franco, of the oratory "Virgen de Caacupé ", one of the creators of the initiative. “The idea of ​​the video was to show everything we lack in those places and to trigger an identification mechanism. And I also believe that humor and joy are the most subtle and effective way to give a message and make the development of any project much more fun and bearable.”

              “It all started with the need to bring the playground to children in these times of isolation; to encourage them and accompany them with a little humor,” said Ezequiel, another animator. While Martín adds: “I think we can say that we have achieved this objective.”

              “I think that the joy of the charism is a beautiful tool that helps us to perceive that God is at the center of everything. It helps us to be a reflection of that love that God has for us and makes us appreciate the things we have, it makes us more grateful,” reflects Gaston, a trainee from San Juan who accompanies the work groups.

              What began as a form of accompaniment for the young people of Rosario ended up having repercussions in other parts of the country and this is how humorous messages arrived from Formosa, Buenos Aires, Salta, Entre Rios, Santiago del Estero ...

              Speaking of the experience with the young people of the group, Gastón also points out that “it helped us to understand that we can increase the confidence and self-esteem of each, to be more responsible with the commitment of the project undertaken and to explore new ways to express ourselves, since the children not only had to plan and write the videos, but also act them, sing and improvise.”

              “I think it helped me a lot to bond with others and learn to work as a team with the kids,” he concludes.

              Source: Don Bosco Norte

              • Argentina
              • ARN ARGENTINA NORD
              • Animatori
              • Oratorio
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Italy – A "scoop" for the month of Fr Rua

                2 weeks 6 days ago

                (ANS - Turin) - It would be hard to believe: a Salesian film from 110 years ago! No, it is not fake news, but a real scoop. From the Salesian "photographic" archives, entrusted to the Turin Cinema Museum and the National Corporate Cinema Archive - CSC for their restoration, a first delicacy has recently emerged: a silent motion picture, in black and white, lasting eight minutes which films the salient moments of Fr Michele Rua's funeral (6-9 April 1910). All made via the good and intelligent positioning of the camera in various places in Valdocco, in Piazza Maria Ausiliatrice, and the neighborhood. To watch, connect to the Vimeo address below to see Fr Rua's grand funeral, and those three unforgettable days in Turin.

                Don Bosco's in 1888 had been a memorable funeral, so universal was the fame of his holiness; but Fr Rua's was equally so, as one can see from the film, more eloquent than many words. The small rooms of Don Bosco and then of Fr Rua, the various churches of Valdocco, the adjoining arcades of the time, the courtyards, the entrance, as well as the many figures and faces of the very first Salesians all speak for themselves: Fr Filippo Rinaldi in priestly vestments, next to him the Secretary of the Superior Chapter (the famous Fr Giovani Battista Lemoyne), the Councilors Fr Barberis, Fr Albera, Fr Cerruti, Fr Piscetta, Fr Francesia, and many other early Salesians. They accompany their second father, Fr Rua, the one who had gone halfway with Don Bosco and who had now joined him in Heaven, to the church of Mary Help of Christians for the solemn funeral.

                We see the funeral procession through the adjacent streets and back to the church: young people with musical bands, associations and brotherhoods, clergy, nobles, notables, authorities, five bishops, Superiors, ecclesiastical and lay past pupils and an incalculable crowd of people which form a wing especially along the alley of viale Regina Margherita. If the images wobble due to the technique of the time, the film is movement in itself: the carriage of Princess Letizia of Savoy leaving Valdocco greeted by the most authoritative Salesians, the pedestrians crossing via Regina Margherita to pay homage to the passage of the coffin, horse-drawn carriages that come and go, cars and trams. A wonderful and ongoing snapshot of a sunny afternoon on Turin in April 1910, which is completed when the coffin, the next day, is buried in the niche on the right wall of Don Bosco's tomb in Valsalice, awaiting ascent on the altars.

                If the city of Turin acknowledged him not only as one of its illustrious fellow citizens but also as a worthy successor of Don Bosco, capable of maintaining the reputation of the Salesian work unaltered, all that remains is to express great admiration and gratitude to the Salesians of the time for their foresight in having promoted these images, which have now come down to us. At the dawn of cinema they were indeed "in the vanguard of progress".

                The video is available here

                • Italia
                • Michele Rua
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • Storia
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Chile – Courage, being good, brotherhood, in memory of Card. Silva Henríquez, SDB

                  2 weeks 6 days ago
                  Chile – Courage, being good, brotherhood, in memory of Card. Silva Henríquez, SDB

                  (ANS - Santiago) - Last 27 September was the anniversary of the birth of Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez (1907-1999), an emblematic figure of the Chilean Church and society of the second half of the twentieth century. Lawyer, Salesian of Don Bosco and bishop, first as ordinary of the diocese of Valparaíso and then, for over twenty years, as archbishop of Santiago (1961-1983) and Primate of Chile. An ecclesial and civil figure of reference in a time of profound socio-cultural, political and economic changes in Chilean society and Church.

                  The various pastoral and evangelization interventions promoted by Cardinal Silva Henríquez include, in general, three elements that still appear essential today in addressing many of the challenges the current pandemic continues to awaken in the Church, in civil society, in politics, and in the economy: unifying gazes and with common purposes so the current crises are transformed into opportunities for recovery and consolidation.

                  - Formation in the life of the Chilean rural world, with a family of 17 siblings, which helped to forge in him a courageous and determined character to face needs and adversities. With the pandemic, we are re-learning the courage to overcome crises and to remember that we need each other.

                  - As a Salesian, the educational dimension of every process of formation and accompaniment of young people according to Don Bosco's proposal: to be good Christians and upright citizens remains the motto which, in the life of school courtyards and in Salesian classes, is of vital importance. With the pandemic, we are learning to revive this practice in the virtual environment with the presence of an accompaniment that builds and fosters trust.

                  - As an exponent of the Chilean Church, the Cardinal took up the requests and was himself an expression of closeness to the people and the most needy, promoting numerous actions and works of solidarity. With the pandemic, we empathize and support those who suffer most and we suffer for not being able to be close to those who need it most. Let us take part in initiatives that bring the necessary aid into their homes.

                  In this perspective, a few days after the launch of the new encyclical Fratelli Tutti - Brothers All of Pope Francis, it is appropriate to recall the example of Card. Raúl Silva Henríquez to strengthen courage, cultivate goodness and multiply solidarity as an expression of human brotherhood.

                  Source: Salesian Bullettin of Chile

                  • Cile
                  • CIL CILE
                  • Storia
                  • Cardinali
                  • Raúl Silva Henríquez
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Belgium – Contribution of Salesian Vocational Training to Europe-Africa partnership

                    2 weeks 6 days ago
                    Belgium – Contribution of Salesian Vocational Training to Europe-Africa partnership

                    (ANS - Brussels) - The Covid-19 pandemic in recent months has upset the agenda of many organizations, including governmental ones. The leaders of the European Union and the African Union were due to meet in Brussels from 28 to 30 October to renew the political, economic and cultural partnership between the two continents. In view of this appointment, "Don Bosco International" (DBI), together with other NGOs, has prepared an initiative aimed at fostering the role of local communities in promoting resilience and human security, in the context of this partnership. Given the postponement of this appointment to a date to be set in 2021, DBI and the other six promoting organizations have decided to organize an information and awareness-raising event, which will be held in the form of a webinar on October 15th.

                    The event, which will be broadcast with simultaneous translation in English and French, is entitled: “Fostering Human Security and Resilience in the future EU-Africa partnership: the role of local communities.” It aims to offer a platform for a dialogue between civil society, religious and faith-based actors from Africa and Europe, together with representatives of the European Union institutions, and will allow European stakeholders to listen directly to the voice of local African actors.

                    The stories of the African protagonists will show how local faith-based actors and communities can bring added-value to the initiatives undertaken in the framework of EU-Africa relations.

                    The stories that will be presented will try to have different dimensions and perspectives of the concepts of resilience and human security emerge. The Salesian partners of this initiative have been entrusted with the task of deepening the role of education. Samuel Mwangi, a former student of the Vocational Training of Don Bosco Boys Town, part of the "Don Bosco Tech Africa" ​​network, will talk about how the education he received strengthened his resilience, leading him to become an entrepreneur in the mechanical sector in just a few years.

                    Furthermore, this testimony will make it possible to highlight how vocational training can become an important pillar in the collaboration between the two continents. Don Bosco Tech Africa, in fact, is the main African partner of the SAAM - Supporting Alliance for African Mobility pilot project. The project, funded by the European Union and also supported by the African Union, aims to build collaborations between the actors of VET in European and African countries.

                    The project, which started in 2020, has been slowed down by the pandemic, but will soon see mobility flows between Europe and Africa for the first teachers. If the pilot project is successful, it could be a pioneering experience that would pave the way for a sort of "Erasmus project" in vocational training between Europe and Africa.

                    Along with this story, webinar attendees will be able to hear five other testimonies from local actors from Africa. At the end of the meeting, several European policy-makers will speak and the organizers will also select some questions for a dialogue with participants and guests in the webinar's final session.

                    To participate you need to register at this address.

                    • Belgio
                    • Don Bosco International
                    • Formazione Professionale
                    • Don Bosco Tech Africa
                    • Europe
                    • Africa
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      RMG – “All Brothers”: for a culture of peace and dialogue in the world

                      3 weeks ago
                      RMG – “All Brothers”: for a culture of peace and dialogue in the world

                      (ANS - Rome) - After Lumen Fidei (2013) and Laudato Sì'(2015), last Saturday, October 3, Pope Francis delivered his third encyclical to the world, the second with a "social" theme and clearly inspired, right from the title, from the Poverello of Assisi, St Francis, from whom Pope Bergoglio also took his name. It is an encyclical with a broad, wide-ranging gaze, addressed not only to Catholics, but also to exponents of other religions, non-believers and people of good will.

                      Fratelli Tutti is not a singular element in the magisterium of the Argentine pontiff, but rather the ripe fruit of a long journey. “Issues of human fraternity and social friendship have always been a concern of mine... In this Encyclical, I have sought to bring together many of those statements and to situate them in a broader context of reflection,” the Pope begins.

                      In this case, the fundamental text for understanding the new encyclical and its scope is the "Document on Human Brotherhood for World Peace and Common Coexistence" that the Holy Father signed from Abu Dhabi with the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, in 2019, in what he himself defines “no mere diplomatic act, but a reflection born of dialogue and common commitment.”

                      In a world marked by many problems and contradictions - shattered dreams and abandoned projects, a throwaway culture, lack of respect for Human Rights, illusory communication ... - the scourge of the pandemic was suddenly added, which made clear “the inability to act together.”

                      But the Pope's gaze does not stop only at “dark clouds”. The way out is there and passes through the path of compassion and mercy, passes through the example of the Good Samaritan, who “surely had his plans that day ... but he was able to put everything aside in front of that wounded man, and without knowing him he considered him worthy of receiving the gift of his time.”

                      Just as the protagonist of the parable, a Samaritan, did not take notice or care about the differences between himself and the victim, a Jew, so too today the Pope invites everyone to broaden their horizons, “giving our capacity to love a universal dimension.”

                      The Pope’s invitation, therefore, is for each of us to our part: “We must not expect everything from those who govern us, it would be childish”; to build an open world marked by brotherhood it is necessary “to start from the bottom and case by case, to fight for what is more concrete and local”, aware that “there is a basic recognition to be made in order to walk towards social friendship and universal fraternity: to realize how much a human being is worth, how much a person is worth, always and in any circumstance.”

                      The papal encyclical Brothers All stands as a roadmap towards dialogue between peoples and mercy between individuals, to build a culture of universal brotherhood among men.

                      The full text of the encyclical is available in various languages on the Vatican website.

                      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                      • Papa Francesco
                      • Fratellanza
                      • Dialogo
                      • Società
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Italy – Don Bosco House Museum opens: "a precious pearl that will testify to Don Bosco's greatness"

                        3 weeks ago

                        (ANS - Turin) - The 27th General Chapter asked the Rector Major and his Council to take over the Salesian sites and make them something special for the Salesian world. That consignment gave rise to a new reality: the Don Bosco House Museum, which was solemnly inaugurated in Turin-Valdocco with three days of events this past weekend.

                        Instead of the "Don Bosco's rooms- Camerette", where one could see Don Bosco's presence in Valdocco, today visitors can now get to know Casa Pinardi, the first settlement of Don Bosco's Oratory, in detail. “Here, in these corridors, 11 people have passed that today the Church recognizes as venerable, blessed or saints: this means that Valdocco was a school of humanity and holiness and we want to transmit this heritage to the world,” said the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime at the press conference to present the new museum.

                        The Rector Major also announced that, to enhance Valdocco as the custodian of Salesian historical memory, the most important documents of the origins of the Congregation will be transferred from the Central Archives to the Don Bosco House Museum.

                        Also at the press conference, the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, a past pupil of the Salesian institute in Este, spoke. “There are various types of saints. In many the human dimension is sublimated by canonization, while Don Bosco remains human, it is difficult to call him St. John Bosco ... ” As for the new exhibition “with effective solutions,” he observed: “There are no Tiepolo, Picasso or Giotto, but a story: the story of life, education, books read, holy cards, worship ... ”

                        The second day, Saturday 3 October, was instead dedicated to institutional authorities. In addition to the Rector Major, Anna Laura Orrico and those responsible for the architectural works and the museographic and museological projects also took part. The rich parterre of prominent figures saw the presence of the Ambassadors of several Latin American countries strongly marked by the Salesian presence, such as Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico and El Salvador.

                        Yesterday, Sunday 4, after the Solemn Eucharist presided over by the Rector Major in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, the "Don Bosco House Museum" was opened to the public.

                        “We have tried to represent this long journey of youthful holiness, starting from 1846, inside the Don Bosco House Museum ... The Salesian community of Valdocco is pleased to make this precious pearl available to all of you and the world will testify to the greatness of Don Bosco,” said Fr Cristian Besso, head of the museum project, together with the Director of the Museum, Stefania De Vita.

                        The Rector Major then carried out the symbolic cutting of the ribbon, flanked by Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and by his predecessor at the head of the Congregation, Fr Pascual Chávez.

                        Photos and videos of the events are available on ANSFlickr and ANSChannel.

                        • Italia
                        • Musei
                        • Valdocco
                        • Arte e Cultura
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • Don Bosco
                        • Luoghi Salesiani
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Myanmar – Church's response to Covid-19 pandemic: Cardinal Bo takes stock of the situation

                          3 weeks ago
                          Myanmar – Church's response to Covid-19 pandemic: Cardinal Bo takes stock of the situation

                          (ANS - Yangon) - Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Salesian, archbishop of Yangon and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), retraced the months marked by the pandemic in Myanmar, underlining the constant commitment of the Church. In a report addressed to friends and benefactors, the Cardinal briefly explained what the main interventions of the Church have been in these difficult times.

                          Below, the text of Cardinal Bo.

                          Covid-19 has launched a challenge to humanity. As Pope Francis constantly reminds us we are "all called to row together". We are grateful for the global solidarity that emerges among the people of the world. Covid-19 was merciful to us until the second week of August, with only 400 cases and 10 deaths. Since August 16, however, Myanmar has been hit by a violent wave of the virus. The country is desperately trying to contain its spread, but to date, the virus has had an exponential growth with 15,000 infected people and about 400 dead. The country's health system is overwhelmed.

                          During these months of challenges, the Myanmar church has balanced security with solidarity. In the first phase, from March to August, the Church responded with the following programs for the benefit of thousands of people:

                          - Preventive awareness in vulnerable areas;

                          - Delivery of food to the most exposed people and support for the groups most at risk;

                          - The offer of our Major Seminary as a center for quarantine;

                          - Advocacy for non-discrimination in service provision and appeals for a ceasefire in conflict areas.

                          The second phase hit us from August 16, forcing us into a rigid lockdown, which impacted the survival of thousands of people. The Church fortified its response, with the following plans:

                          - Ensure food security for the most affected by the pandemic, starting with 1,000 families for three months;

                          - Motivate the Christian community to support the poor by providing food to at least 50 families for each parish;

                          - Give continuous preventive support;

                          - Offer the ecclesiastical structures for quarantine;

                          - Collaborate with the government to reach vulnerable communities;

                          - Raise national and global emergency funds;

                          - Continue advocacy for peace and an integrated approach between the various stakeholders;

                          - Establish an online pastoral presence and create a virtual counseling center.

                          We continue to be grateful to our friends around the world for the accompaniment with prayers and all kinds of support.

                          Accompanying with prayer,

                          Charles Bo

                          Archbishop of Yangon

                          • Myanmar
                          • MYM MYANMAR
                          • Cardinali
                          • Charles Maung Bo
                          • Coronavirus
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Ecuador - Paúl Cuadrado: "guardian angel" watches over entire community

                            3 weeks 3 days ago

                            (ANS - Guayaquil) - At only 18 years old, Paúl Cuadrado has taken on the responsibility of caring for an entire religious community infected with the coronavirus. This young man, who was completing his year of volunteer work, became the "guardian angel" of the Salesians of the "San Juan Bosco" community in Guayaquil, mostly elderly. His work was instrumental in keeping most of them alive.

                            “The Salesians told me that thanks to me they are alive and I replied that it was God who put me there so that they were well. I was an instrument of God in that situation,” he says.

                            The whole experience began on March 19, when everyone was confined to their rooms because one of them had symptoms related to Covid-19. After nine days of isolation, the first problems arose. The kitchen manager did not come and they had no food to eat.

                            Everyone was locked in their rooms, except Paúl, who since that day has become the only one to move inside the house and to have contact with the outside. During the period of the crisis, he always lent a hand in preparing food, cleaning work and even washing clothes, since there were no substitutes for carrying out these tasks.

                            After a few days, the test results confirmed their suspicions: they had all been infected with the coronavirus. Thus began an odyssey for Paúl to search for medicines for the treatment of Covid-19, which couldn't be found.

                            Time passed and the prospects were not encouraging. The first emotional blow for Paúl came with the death of Fr Jorge Bustamante, followed, weeks later, by a second, Fr Néstor Tapia, to whom Paúl was very attached.

                            It was hard for Paúl, but he didn't have time to stop: he had to continue working for the other Salesians alive. There were days when he slept three or four hours a night and he asked God for strength not to faint. Then came Holy Week, which was a balm for the health of the elderly Salesians. Paúl managed to get them to watch the celebrations via smartphone or TV and this raised their spirits.

                            The recovery of the various Salesians was such and generalized that on 24 May, the feast of Mary Help of Christians, they were able to meet for lunch, albeit at the right social distances. On June 6 the community met again and from that moment on community life returned to normal, and everyone began to gather for moments of prayer and for the celebration of Mass.

                            After finishing his volunteer service, he realized that this experience had left its mark on his heart and was decisive for the direction of his life. A few weeks ago he began the aspirantate and is now preparing to follow in the footsteps of Don Bosco.

                            • Ecuador
                            • ECU ECUADOR
                            • Coronavirus
                            • Volontariato
                            • Vocazioni
                            • Anziani
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              India – All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz 2020

                              3 weeks 3 days ago
                              India – All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz 2020

                              (ANS – New Delhi) – It has been the endeavour of the Salesian Family of New Delhi to help the young people to know the joy of a deep personal walk with Christ. The 10th edition of the “All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz”, ed. 2020 is a great opportunity to assist young people in discipleship and devotion.

                              Salesian Co-operators and ADMA members of New Delhi, who are members of the Salesian Family, draw their inspiration from Don Bosco and contribute to the welfare of the young people. They fulfil their commitment and live the Salesian spirit in the normal situations of their life and work, according to their lay state, and spread Salesian values in their neighbourhood. Deeply committed to Don Bosco's mission to youth and to ordinary people, they live out their vocation in the spirit of Don Bosco.

                              To commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Don Bosco School Alaknanda”, New Delhi, the school in collaboration with the Salesian Co-operators, Okhla Unit and ADMA members of New Delhi, is organizing “All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz 2020” for all Don Bosco Schools and FMA Schools in India and for all the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Delhi.

                              The event which will be conducted online this year due to Covid-19 pandemic, will be held on 11th October, 2020 from 3pm to 4 pm.

                              The All India Inter School Don Bosco Bible Quiz 2020 is being organized in two categories:

                              -      Category 1 - For students of classes 7, 8 and 9

                              -      Category 2 - For students of classes 10, 11 and 12

                              Source: Don Bosco India

                              • India
                              • INN INDIA NEW DELHI
                              • Scuole
                              • Spiritualità
                              • Catechesi
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                South Africa – “I asked God one day: how am I going to get out of this”: Testimony of Abraham Lottering, from gangster to dedicated Salesian

                                3 weeks 3 days ago
                                South Africa – “I asked God one day: how am I going to get out of this”: Testimony of Abraham Lottering, from gangster to dedicated Salesian

                                (ANS - Cape Town) - Abraham Lottering, also affectionately known by the nickname of “Mr. Focus ”, is a 39-year-old man who has a past of abuse and violence behind him. As a child, his parents abused him and, in the early years of his adult life, he was homeless. From an early age he was forced to try to survive amidst emotional and physical disturbances and soon found himself involved in drugs and the life of street gangs.

                                Despite the circumstances he was in, “Mr. Focus” had a desire to someday become someone important and with a purpose in life. He didn't know how he could escape this life of crime and violence, but he knew he wanted happiness.

                                Thus, together with his brother, he left the rural area where he lived and moved to the heart of the metropolis of Cape Town. It was during this time that he found refuge at the Cape Town City Missions, where the pastor took him under his protective wing, as he saw some potential in this young man. Abraham was welcomed by several people, but ended up being kicked out, living out on the streets for the next three years.

                                He said this was probably the worst experience he had ever had. “I asked God one day when I was really desperate, how am I going to get out of this?” Mr. Focus recalled. The City Mission pastor, after a long search on the streets, found him and encouraged him to work with young people. He introduced him to the Salesians and Abraham met Mr Greg Berry, who was involved in missionary work and youth activities. Greg helped him fill out a CV and find a real job.

                                He became acquainted with the program conducted by the Salesians "Waves of Change", which prepares young people at risk for employment in the maritime sector. This is where Mr. Focus has finally found his calling and he set himself the goal of learning as much as possible about this sector. Due to economic difficulties, however, the program was interrupted in 2018. Abraham, however, asked and obtained permission to continue free of charge, granted so as not to leave the young in need alone.

                                When South Africa was hit hard by the pandemic this year, Mr. Focus once again showed his dedication to young people by volunteering to accompany the Salesian Institute Youth Projects with the delivery of food packages. He put his life at risk to bring food and basic necessities to families in need.

                                “I want to be like Don Bosco,” Abraham says with a smile. “I want to spread happiness and hope. The Salesians is my home, I feel safe and know that I belong here.”

                                • AFM AFRICA MERIDIONALE
                                • Sudafrica
                                • Coronavirus
                                • Bambini di Strada
                                • Solidarietà
                                • Giovani a Rischio
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  India – Hyderabad Province starts second phase of assistance to needy

                                  3 weeks 4 days ago
                                  India – Hyderabad Province starts second phase of assistance to needy

                                  (ANS - Hyderabad) - On the occasion of the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, celebrated last 27 September, the Salesian Province of Hyderabad (INH) has started the second phase of assistance and distribution of food to the most needy and vulnerable. Aid was provided through the "Bosco Seva Kendra" (BSK), the Planning and Development Office of the INH Province.

                                  The second phase, which as mentioned, began on the day dedicated to migrants and refugees, is intended to be a response to the invitation of Pope Francis, who this year urged us to discover more deeply the dramatic reality of internally displaced people in their countries.

                                  In this second phase, the BSK involved all the Salesian communities of the Province, distributing food, nutritional and health kits to 2,210 families. For this, the Salesians of Hyderabad wished to express their heartfelt thanks to the “Conrad Foundation” and to the “Don Bosco Mission” of Bonn for their economic support, thanks to which many poor and destitute people, hard hit by the pandemic, have been reached. Thanks to which also Fr Thathireddy Vijaya Bhaskar, INH Provincial, and Fr Bellamkonda Sudhakar, Executive Director of BSK, joined in expressing.

                                  During the first phase of aid, in the period between 26 March and 31 August 2020, the Province helped and accompanied around 400,000 beneficiaries, through the Salesian communities, civil authorities, civil society organizations and religious communities. Packages containing essential foodstuffs, cooked foods, kits with basic necessities, protective masks and accessories for personal hygiene were distributed.

                                  Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. The Salesians in India personally witnessed the challenges faced by the population, the loss of jobs, the lack of basic necessities, means of transport and medical assistance. They have supported the thousands of people who have walked miles to reunite with loved ones, facing many dangers along the way. Many have been forced to cross interstate borders, dealing with the limitations imposed by the central government and by those of the various states.

                                  The Hyderabad Province thus continues its maximum commitment to reach more and more people affected by the pandemic, thanks also to the constant support of its supporters and benefactors.

                                  • India
                                  • INH INDIA HYDERABAD
                                  • Coronavirus
                                  • Solidarietà
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Vatican – The cause of the Servant of God Felice Canelli advances

                                    3 weeks 4 days ago
                                    Vatican – The cause of the Servant of God Felice Canelli advances

                                    (ANS - Vatican City) - On 29 September 2020, during the special Congress of Theological Consultors at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a unanimous positive opinion was given regarding the heroic exercise of virtues, the reputation of holiness and signs of the Servant of God Felice Canelli (1880-1977), priest of the Diocese of San Severo (Foggia-Italy), Salesian Cooperator, whose Cause of Beatification is followed by the Salesian Postulation.

                                    For this circumstance Mons. Giovanni Checchinato, bishop of San Severo (Foggia) communicated: “It is a cause of joy for us that a son of our land is on the way to the official recognition of the Church of his virtues and his reputation for holiness. A joy that is amplified by rethinking the fruitful and tireless life of the Servant of God, who really knew how to make the most of the gifts bestowed on him by the Lord, especially through the care of souls and constant attention and concern to the social problems of his land, which saw him passionately involved and willing to put himself at the service of his brothers and sisters, especially those most in need. Father Felice, continue to speak to our land and to our beloved Diocese, reminding us that only through the passion for the men and women of our time and of our land does the real possibility of making the passion for God real and current.”

                                    The Servant of God Felice Canelli was born on 14 October 1880 in extreme poverty. The young mother, widowed, educates her children to trust in Providence. Felice's dream is to become a priest, but he is poor. The canon Fr Luigi Giuliani helps him materially and spiritually. He was thus admitted, from 1892 (and until 1903), in the seminary, where he was formed in the spirit of Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum.

                                    On 6 June 1903, Fr Felice was ordained a priest. In 1905 with the arrival of Don Bosco's sons in San Severo, Fr Canelli prefers love for youth and the working class in his pastoral care and will remain Don Bosco's faithful son to the end. From 1909 to 1927 he was in charge of the Rectorate of Sant’Antonio Abate and together with the Salesian alumni of the "Circolo Don Bosco" he founded the local Azione Cattolica, the Partito Popolare. From the female youth of “Catholic Action” arises the "Ladies of St. Vincent" so that the Gospel of charity may be everywhere.

                                    In 1927 he was appointed parish priest of Croce Santa, a parish in the extreme periphery: he remained there until his death. With the Pauline motto “omnibus omnia” he draws close to the poor to bring them to God and to promote them in their dignity. To respond to the poverty emerging in the Second World War, he multiplies charitable and welfare works in the diocese and parish. Consumed by the love for God reflected in the love for souls, Fr Canelli died on November 23, 1977, with his hands open and raised to Heaven and with the prayer of Glory on his lips and in his heart.

                                    {gallery}Italia - Felice Canelli 2020{/gallery}

                                    • Italia
                                    • Salesiani Cooperatori
                                    • Santità Salesiana
                                    • Felice Canelli
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Papua New Guinea – Emotional farewell with gratitude to a much-loved shepherd: Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB

                                      3 weeks 4 days ago
                                      Papua New Guinea – Emotional farewell with gratitude to a much-loved shepherd: Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB

                                      (ANS – Rabaul) – Archbishop Francesco Panfilo, SDB, was given an emotional farewell by the people of the three deaneries of the Archdiocese of Rabaul. The celebration was held at Vunapope on 28 September 2020.

                                      Over the past few weeks, the people have expressed their gratitude and thanks to their shepherd Archbishop Panfilo. During his years as archbishop, he has travelled the length and breadth of the diocese, waded through fast-flowing streams, climbed steep mountains and sailed rough waters to reach his flock in the remote parts of the diocese. He was with his people to celebrate the sacraments with them, listen to their struggles and respond to their pains both spiritual and material. Over the last few weeks, he celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation in several parishes and ordained men to the priesthood. 

                                      Amidst expressions of gratitude at Vunapope were tears of appreciation for the much-loved shepherd for the past ten years. “Our thanks are not only in words, but it is expressed in our deeds and through the expression of our gifts”, were constant refrains as shell money and customary gifts of pigs and food were presented to the archbishop.

                                      Archbishop Panfilo took as his theme: Duc in altum – an ‘invitation to remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm and look forward to the future with confidence’ (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 1).

                                      “Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Archdiocese of Rabaul was a time for all the laity, consecrated persons, and clergy, to assess our fervor and find fresh enthusiasm for our spiritual and pastoral responsibilities,” said Archbishop Panfilo. He encouraged his flock to strive for Holiness, give importance to Prayer, to the Sunday Eucharist and to listen and proclaim the Word of God. 

                                      Vocations were his priority as he guided and supported several to the priesthood or religious life. On 27 September he ordained three priests – Fr Vincent Ngamanga, Fr Henry Matlavn and Fr Joseph Maglsos and two deacons – Dn Patrick Taroro and Dn Clarence Hamut. Fr Vincent Ngamanga is the second priest from his village in Pomio. He encouraged them to listen to their people, be humble, have a strong prayer life and be devoted to the Blessed Mother. He was emotionally moved as he celebrated his last Ordination as the Archbishop of Rabaul.

                                      He reminded the people to follow the Pastoral Plan of the Archdiocese and put into practice the motto of the Archdiocese: “Ut Unum Sint”.  “That they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you” (Jn 17:22-23).

                                      An issue dear to his heart was that of Land. In his last Pastoral Letter dated 8 September, he appealed to everyone to put personal interests aside and think of the common good, reminding them to leave behind the gifts received in good shape. “It should bring people together, instead it is tearing people apart because of greed and pride. The Church has the duty to help people consider themselves as stewards of the land rather than the owners of the land … We must help people to work together cooperatively and in harmony,” wrote the Archbishop. 

                                      He thanked Archbishop Emeritus Karl Hesse, MSC, for his unfailing support and example of pastoral zeal. He gratefully acknowledged his priests, consecrated brothers and sisters, the staff at the diocesan offices, the lay leaders and catechists in all parishes, the medical staff in health centres, the teachers in Catholic schools and all the Catholic faithful for their friendship, cooperation and faithful collaboration that made his ministry and work much easier.

                                      Archbishop Panfilo has spent his life as a missionary ready to serve the flock he was entrusted with. His missionary journey began in the Philippines where he has spent 32 years of his life. He spent 23 years in Papua New Guinea, 19 as a Bishop, 9 in Alotau, and 10 in the Archdiocese of Rabaul.

                                      At the farewell, Archbishop-elect Rochus Tatamai was handed over by the faithful of Keviang. He was brought in procession and handed over at a moving ceremony. Archbishop Panfilo welcomed him and invited the people to welcome him with the same love and affection with which they loved and accepted him. 

                                      As the sun set, the people gathered for prayer – a fitting way to prepare themselves for the installation celebrations on the next day.  A candlelight procession commenced at the cemetery. It was wonderful to experience a prayerful atmosphere as people sang and prayed for intentions of the church, country, and for the situation of COVID-19 in the world. With candles lit, the entire congregation wound its way to the cathedral, prayerfully reciting the holy rosary and thanked Our Blessed Mother for accompanying them over the years.

                                      The Archdiocese of Rabaul has grown in prayer and spirituality. Prayers on the last day of the novena in honour of the Archangel Michael, patron of Papua New Guinea, and also a prayer for Archbishop Rochus Tatamai were then said by the congregation in a packed cathedral. Right through the novena, the entire archdiocese prayed the novena in every parish, a symbol of the unity of the archdiocese. “Prayer and spirituality are high points of the archdiocese,” said Fr Albert Lenon, SDB. Every morning at the cathedral, the people join the priests in celebrating the daily office before the Eucharistic celebration, while the rosary is recited every evening.

                                      The entire archdiocese has been prepared spiritually for the installation.

                                      Fr Ambrose Pereira, SDB

                                      {gallery}PNG - Saluto a Panfilo - 2020{/gallery}

                                      • PGS PAPUA NUOVA GUINEA E ISOLE SALOMONE
                                      • Papua Nuova Guinea
                                      • Vescovi
                                      • Francesco Panfilo
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Guatemala – “Artemide Zatti” project for psycho-physical well-being of collaborators of Salesian works

                                        3 weeks 4 days ago
                                        Guatemala – “Artemide Zatti” project for psycho-physical well-being of collaborators of Salesian works

                                        (ANS - Guatemala City) - With the aim of creating a program for the psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being of all the collaborators of the Salesian houses in the Central American Province (CAM), and because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Nicaraguan psychologist and pedagogue Erick Calero devised the “Artemide Zatti” project.

                                        In this project, the leadership teams of the Salesian houses, especially the scholastic works, are a fundamental part of the whole process, which in any case is constantly accompanied by the Vicar of the Province, Fr Javier Rivas.

                                        The first step consisted in making a diagnosis of the emotional health and risk factors in which the staff found themselves. For this purpose, a measuring instrument was used whose elements were part of standardized and duly validated psychometric scales and tests.

                                        The diagnosis provided valuable information on their socio-demographic condition, identified the risk factors that could be amplified by the pandemic, noted the levels of anxiety and depression in which collaborators were, measured the state of consciousness with which they faced the situation and it even established the conditions of their spiritual life, religiosity and relationship with God.

                                        Scientific analysis was carried out with the results of the diagnosis which allowed to generate a baseline from which to start to offer a program of habits for psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being.

                                        This program embraces two specific areas:

                                        - health in the face of risk factors, which is mainly addressed through psycho-education initiatives;

                                        - the area of ​​anxiety, depression and spirituality, addressed through individual and group therapeutic support initiatives.

                                        The execution of this program is guided by the psycho-pedagogical, didactic, pastoral and Salesian teams of each house, who in a committed and solidarity way have provided a "plus" or added value of well-being to their colleagues.

                                        Currently, 912 teaching, administrative and operational staff members have benefited from this project, which it is hoped will continue to involve even more people.

                                        By 2021, plans are to hold online meetings and webinars with teams of psychologists to discuss the experience lived in the Artemide Zatti project and sharing those good practices capable of provoking new initiatives in the care of the emotional health of staff active in Salesian works.

                                        The project, right from its name, is placed under the protection of Blessed Artemide Zatti, an Argentine Salesian brother who spent his life as a nurse helping the patients of the "San José" Hospital in Argentine Patagonia.

                                        • Guatemala
                                        • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                                        • Laici
                                        • Coronavirus
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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