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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Spain – The Salesian Family celebrates feast of its founder this week

2 weeks 3 days ago
Spain – The Salesian Family celebrates feast of its founder this week

(ANS - Madrid) - Don Bosco was one of the eight patrons of the World Youth Day celebrated in Panama. Pope Francis, Salesian past pupil, affectionately remembered him during the Saturday Vigil: "I think of Don Bosco, for example, who did not go to look for young people in distant or special places, but he learned to see with God's eyes all that happened in the city." Don Bosco left  the Salesian Family as part of his legacy, with the SF now preparing to celebrate the feast of its founder on 31 January. More than 173,000 young people throughout Spain are assisted in the various Salesian centers, thanks to the work of 944 Salesians, 653 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and about 12,500 educators and collaborators.

Evangelizing by educating, educating by evangelizing. This binomial defines the Salesian mission. Currently being defined is a new Itinerary of Education to Faith, with the aim of orienting children and young people aged 9 to 25 in this sense. In addition, Salesian parishes have undertaken the paths of welcoming, of going out to the peripheries, of the shared mission with the laity and of youthful protagonism.

The Youth Ministry of the Salesians has embarked on a journey so that the family becomes a true subject within the educative-pastoral communities.

Salesian schools are in fact one of the largest non-university educational networks in the country.

Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians direct 139 schools, attended by 96,600 students and 5,750 teachers.

Vocational Training is the flagship of Salesian education, with 63 centers in which over 1,400 teachers educate almost 18,500 students.

The Salesian youth centers are opening new horizons beyond education towards the good use of their free time. 41,500 young people participate in the activities of these centers - 137 in Spain - thanks to the commitment of 4,800 animators. The Confederation of Don Bosco Youth Centers in Spain promotes a real and high quality youth participation, encouraging young people to participate in Salesian networks, forums and social and ecclesial platforms.

Salesian social platforms continue to answer to the various situations where youths risk exclusion. The platforms have around 300 projects under their direction, to the benefit of over 35,000 people and involve more than 1,800 workers and volunteers.

Among the programs carried out last year, the focus on young refugees and Unaccompanied Foreign Minors stands out. Group-apartments were opened with the aim of providing an accompaniment that allows these children and young people to emancipate themselves.

{gallery}Spagna - Festa Don Bosco{/gallery}

  • Spagna
  • SSM
  • Famiglia Salesiana
  • Don Bosco
  • Festa Don Bosco
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy – Salesian Pontifical University research advances, with Rector Major's support

    2 weeks 3 days ago
    Italy – Salesian Pontifical University research advances, with Rector Major's support

    (ANS - Rome) - In its meeting of last January 16, the University Council of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) approved funding four new research projects presented by various professors of the UPS and their respective faculties, taking into account the new "Regulations for access to UPS Funds for Research and Formation" approved by the Academic Senate on 2 May 2018.

    The four projects are: Historical research for the Conference 'Fellini and the Sacred' (Faculty of Social Communication Sciences - FSC); "Assumptions and Statute of the Biblical Pastoral" (Faculty of Theology); "No place is far. Bastogi and Torpignattara" (FSC); "Transdisciplinarity and Youth Studies" (Faculty of Educational Sciences). They will be supported through the appropriate Research Fund of the Rector Major, and their total amount is over € 22,000.

    It is a further investment on people and on shared projects that thanks to the attention of the Grand Chancellor of the UPS, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the funds can be directed to qualify research and skills of various scholars, and offer new contributions of value to the scientific community.

    In the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium, promulgated a year ago, Pope Francis underscores in various points, as a commitment for the ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties to take on, the importance of promoting research through projects that on the one hand enhance the value of what is most specific to and in each of our institutions, and on the other hand that they debate, challenge each other and share via transdisciplinary research promoted by the main centers operating on an international level.

    • Italia
    • UPS
    • Università
    • Rettor Maggiore
    • Ángel Fernández Artime
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Brazil - Young coordinators of Salesian Missionary Youth: "youthful enthusiasm and strength to change the world"

      2 weeks 3 days ago

      (ANS - Maturacá) - On 8 January the young Celso Dias Bertazo Júnior, Coordinator of the "Salesian Missionary Youth" group (GMS) of Vitória, and Miguel Alvarenga Ribeiro, GMS coordinator of Campos dos Goitacazes, arrived in the State of Amazonas as missionaries. Together with Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, Provincial Vicar and Delegate for Missionary Animation of the Brazil-Manaus Province, they left for Maturacá, a city located to the north of the State, for a mission of about 2 weeks, which gave the youths a formative experience of great significance, through direct contact with some indigenous peoples of the Rio Negro region.

      "The reality in the State of Amazonas is very difficult," explains Miguel once he returned. "We had already been informed in meetings prior to the mission, but as young people we did not believe it was all truly like that. Yet, despite the setbacks, such as swamps, air travel, boat trips and 29 hours of travel, there was no lack of willpower to overcome all problems. What helped us not to give up was the memory of the Salesians who went through those places. Going to the Maturacá missions today is much easier than 90 years ago. Doing everything for the Kingdom of God is worth it."

      Celso Dias, for his part, adds: "It was a very beautiful experience and with the older natives we were able to speak in Portuguese, and on knowing their guests were 'Salesians' they were very happy."

      Of this experience Miguel emphasized the youthful enthusiasm, the force and strength of wanting to change the world. Celso, for his part, points out that what remains of this experience is the overcoming of oneself and of one's own limits. "In a certain sense, nothing is impossible when one has the willpower. What the person really needs is to have faith and to understand that God can do anything."

      Both return to their homes and the groups entrusted to them with projects for the rest of the year. Miguel intends to continue several missionary projects: "I have a great dream, to volunteer, in Angola or somewhere else."

      Celso, instead, expressed a desire to focus a little more on his personal life, but will not leave the GMS group and will continue to contribute to it with effort and commitment.

      The Salesian presence in the indigenous missions is more than 100 years old and is located about 900 km from the state capital, Manaus, in the central region and in the upper Rio Negro. There the Salesians have five missionary presences.

      • BMA
      • Brasile
      • Missioni
      • Giovani Leader
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Italy - Sea Watch: "Salesians for Social" ready to house minors from ship

        2 weeks 4 days ago

        (ANS - Rome) - The Salesian Network for Social (SCS-CNOS Federation) is open to welcoming the minors aboard the Sea Watch ship, anchored off Siracusa, in its structures. There are 13 minors, of which eight are unaccompanied.

        The Salesian Network for Social (SCS-CNOS Federation), making Don Bosco's words their own: "Charity knows no diversity of races, nor distance of place,"; in response to the Pope's appeal during the Angelus of January 6: "For many days now, 49 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea are on board two NGO ships, looking for a safe haven to land. I address a heartfelt appeal to European leaders to demonstrate their solidarity with these people"; sharing the pronouncement of Msgr Stefano Russo, CEI General Secretary: "we can no longer remove our gaze from these victims"; considering the presence on board of 13 minors, eight unaccompanied; respecting the skills and functions of the administrative bodies, together with many associations with which it collaborates; thus renders open and available to welcome in their structures the minors present on board in the offices of: Arese (Salesian Center San Domenico Savio); Udine, Albarè and Gorizia (Salesian North East Province); Naples (Salesian Institute "Menichini"); Catania (Metacometa Association and Don Bosco 2000); Foggia (Community Association “On the road to Emmaus”).

        "We consider this to be the most true and concrete gesture to celebrate the forthcoming anniversary of Don Bosco, founder of the Salesians, who welcomed without distinction the young poor of 19th century Turin," say Fr Giovanni D'Andrea, Salesian president for the Social, and Fr Carmine Ciavarella, National Delegate for Marginalization and Distress Aid.

        • Italia
        • Salesiani per il Sociale
        • Migranti
        • Rifugiati
        • ONG
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Panama - Message of Salesian Youth Movement from Panama

          2 weeks 4 days ago
          Panama - Message of Salesian Youth Movement from Panama

          (ANS - Rome) - Youth is a gift to be shared; young people are not only the future, but also the present of the Church and of society; and being part of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) means leaving one's comfort zones to go serve the most needy: these are just some of the precious concepts contained in the Message that the SYM has prepared in the WYD of Panama2019, which are now offered as an encouragement to all the young people of the Movement.

          Wednesday, January 23, in the Basilica of St John Bosco in Panama City, more than 200 young people and leaders of the Youth Ministry of Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, representing 30 countries of all 5 continents, gave life to the SYM Forum.

          In that broad open debate, sub-divided by language, the participants gathered together on the meaning and role of youth in today's world; on how to integrate the vocational perspective and the discernment in the paths proper to the SYM; on how to build, starting from youth commitment, a more humane and just society; and they also shared the good practices carried out by the SYM in so many parts of the world.

          All these contributions, together with those received in the subsequent debate with the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), Mother Yvonne Reungoat, were then elaborated upon on the following day at the Don Bosco Technical Institute of Panama.

          Five young people of the SYM, coming from different regions of the world - Dino Martinello (Australia); Victoria Weekley (USA); Julia Kershofer (Austria); Gerson Santos (Angola); and Andrea Ordoñez (Colombia) - accompanied by the heads of the SDB Dicastery and the FMA Youth Ministry Sector, summarized what had emerged the day before, and helped to focus how the SYM helps to make life choices.

          In a sort of continuation of the work of the recent Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", and in light of the theme of the WYD of Panama, which indicates to young people the example of Mary as a model of availability to the plans of God ("Here I am, I am the servant of the Lord, let what you have said happen to me" - Lk 1:38), the young people of SYM in Panama have elaborated a message addressed to all the youth of the world's SYM.

          The full text of the message is available here.

          {gallery}MGS - Messaggio Panama{/gallery}

          • Panama
          • Panama2019
          • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
          • GMG2019
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Panama - Rector Major during Triduum to Don Bosco: "Do not be afraid of what God asks of you ... Holiness gives a profound joy"

            2 weeks 4 days ago

            (ANS - Panama City) - Yesterday, 28 January, was the first day of the triduum of preparation for the feast of Don Bosco. At 6:30 pm the Basilica of San Giovanni Bosco was crowded with faithful, attracted not only by Don Bosco but also, exceptionally, by the presence of his Successor: the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who preached the homily.

            It is well known that Don Bosco is much loved in Panama. The devotion to the Saint of Youth has entered the genes of the Panamanians: every city in the country celebrates his feast, in various ways, with specific artistic and folkloric features.

            On the first day of the Triduum, the Rector Major referred to the theme of the Strenna: "Holiness for you too". With his warm and stimulating style, he encouraged the faithful and young participants to take seriously the path of holiness as an accessible vocation for every Christian, and stressed that it is not about doing extraordinary things.

            He encouraged the participants to make God's dream for each one of them come true. "What does God want from each of us?", he asked emphatically. "This is the fundamental prospect on our lives."

            "Do not be afraid of what God is asking of you," he insisted. "Do not demand an immediate sanctity. Walk on this road little by little. Give priority to young people, give your life for them. Don Bosco knew how to see the young with the eyes of God."

            "You must be saints," the Rector Major repeated. "Holiness gives a profound joy. It is accomplished in the responsible fulfillment of its tasks."

            After Mass, the faithful approached the Rector Major, who did not skimp on hugs, photos and smiles for everyone.

            {gallery}Panama - Triduo a DB - Primo giorno{/gallery}

            • Panama
            • Don Bosco
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Ángel Fernández Artime
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Italy - When Synod comes to life: young people from Salesian circles visiting sites of youth in distress

              2 weeks 4 days ago
              Italy - When Synod comes to life: young people from Salesian circles visiting sites of youth in distress

              (ANS - Turin) - A group of about 40 university students from the Salesian University Institute of Venice (IUSVE), and the Salesian missionary animation groups in the Triveneto region, spent a few days of commitment and solidarity in the city of Don Bosco. The young people, accompanied by some teachers and educators, starting from a reflection on the Synod, retraced the footsteps of the Social Saints of the 19th century, and visited a number of emblematic sites of alienated youngsters at risk and their daily battle to combat difficulties and sense of alienation and distress.

              The young protagonists of this initiative put themselves at the service of various Turin-based bodies active in the fight against marginalization: the Cottolengo Institute, the soup kitchens for the poor, the Turin center of the "Sermig" - Arsenal of Peace; the "Gruppo Abele", an NGO for 50 years alongside the last of Turin; the "Community of Sant'Egidio", the center of the Missionaries of Charity of Sant'Egidio ...

              Among the different stages of their journey, made in the early days of the month, young people from Veneto also visited the city's juvenile prison, called "Ferrante Aporti". The meeting was preceded by an exchange of information on the reality of detention, and consisted of spending an afternoon of talks and friendship with the detainees.

              "The Synod on the young," says Fr Domenico Ricca, Salesian, chaplain of the 'Ferrante Aporti', "in the intentions of Pope Francis had to involve all the juvenile realities, especially the most fragile: this is why it is very significant that a group of teenagers of our Christian communities have proposed to their animators their wish to know their peers who live the reality of detention."

              "The Synod has offered the opportunity to make young people reflect on their vocational choices," adds Barbara Celia, the educator who guided the approach path to the prison, "and in our meetings we reflected on how the prison and the world of distress of these young people can be, in perspective, a choice of professional commitment or a field in which to engage as volunteers."

              "Service and provocations. Service and reflection. Life with our voids and our fullness, fabrics and saints, poverty and drama": this was, in the words of Arianna Pigani, a young former student of IUSVE, the experience of solidarity lived in Turin.

              • Italia
              • Carceri
              • Sinodo sui Giovani
              • ICP
              • INE
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Panama - In front of 700,000 at final Mass of Panama2019, Pope: "You young are God's now!"

                2 weeks 5 days ago

                (ANS - Panama City) - The World Youth Day in Panama ended with the last greeting the Holy Father addressed to the approximately 700,000 young people present in the Campo St John Paul II - Metro Park. Each of his words becomes, from this moment on, a program of life for the young, for priests, for bishops, for the laity, for families.

                "These were five days of great happiness," the Panamanian media wrote, "The event was named as one of the most memorable in the nation's history."

                Thousands of pilgrims greeted the Holy Father at the international airport of Tocumen, on the afternoon of Sunday, January 27th, in addition to the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, and his wife, Lorena Castillo de Varela.

                The Pope has thus embarked on his journey back to Rome, but his words and messages remain.

                The day most awaited by young people was Saturday, January 26, when a true feast of the universal Church took place. "The appointment was at six in the afternoon, but as early as the morning hours the streets of Panama City were full of pilgrims eager to hear the message of Francis," wrote Zaida Navarrete, of the Salesian Bulletin of Central America. "The Salesians organized themselves in groups for the vigil. It was a sea of ​​flags, colorful t-shirts, vibrant drawings with the WYD logo and their favorite saints or the names of the groups they belonged to."

                During the Vigil there were beautiful testimonies of life and then the expected message of Pope Francis. In his speech he spoke about Don Bosco. When they heard the words 'Don Bosco', "an explosion of emotions was born among the young. All the young people who attend Salesian works stood up, applauded and felt protagonists in the Pope's and the Church's speech in the name of their Holy Founder. In all this immense crowd there were no young people who were more proud than those of Salesian circles," continues Zaida Navarrete.

                On Sunday 27 the Pope returned again. At 8 o'clock the Eucharist began. "You young are the now of God", was the strong message addressed to all the young people gathered, a breath of encouragement and hope that was percieved on everyone's face. There is no doubt that "no young person would remain the same on his or her return home."

                The Pope concluded his stay in Panama by attending a meeting with the volunteers. He thanked them for their service, and then visited the "House of the Good Samaritan" reception center, which hosts young people with HIV. "The good Samaritan, like all your houses, shows us that our neighbor is first of all a person, someone with a concrete face," said the Pope to all those present.

                His prayer did not forget the suffering peoples. "I wish to express my sorrow for the tragedies that have struck the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil and the State of Hidalgo in Mexico ... Here in Panama, I thought a lot about the Venezuelan people, the Philippines …," concluded the Holy Father.

                At the end of the WYD in Panama, Portugal was announced as the next location of WYD 2022.

                {gallery}28 Panama finale{/gallery} 

                • Panama2019
                • GMG2019
                • Panama
                • Papa Francesco
                • Giovani
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Panama – Laudato Si’ Generation launched at World Youth Day in Panama2019

                  2 weeks 5 days ago
                  Panama – Laudato Si’ Generation launched at World Youth Day in Panama2019

                  (ANS – Panama City) – Laudato Si’ Generation was officially launched on 25 January during the celebration of the World Youth Day in Panama. Laudato Si’ Generation, which is the youth branch of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, aims at becoming a global youth movement that works for environmental issues, especially climate justice.  Don Bosco Green Alliance and the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) are founding members of Laudato Si’ Generation. 

                  Carina Baumgartner and Julia Marion Kerschhofer from SYM Austria were the Salesian representatives on the main stage of the World Youth Day at the lunch of Laudato Si’ Generation. “It was really inspiring being part of this special moment, especially since I was representing the SYM. Seeing all these people joining us in singing and hugging is something I will never forget. I am proud to be part of the Laudato Si’ Generation!” said Julia Marion Kerschhofer.

                  “It was an unforgettable moment to be on the main stage of the WYD and to represent Salesian youth worldwide during the launching action. We had the possibility to spread the Laudato Si’ message to young people from all over the world and to invite them to join the Laudato Si’ Generation. The highlight of this moment was the big hug, where we invited all people to the world’s biggest hug. This was an amazing sign because it brought all people together, people that come from many different and far places, but united in one Mission: to take care of our earth, our common home,” said Carina Baumgartner

                  Sending a message to the SYM globally, Julia said, “Laudato Si’ is something that everyone should be thinking of. Our planet needs a change NOW. Everyone can contribute, small or big, to make our planet the home we want to live in.” 

                  “I want to invite all of us not to wait for others to take care of our earth. It's us - young people - who have the strength, courage and creativity to change something. Let the SYM not wait for others, but be an example for Laudato Si’,” was the message from Carina.

                  “Don Bosco Green Alliance is thrilled to be a founding member of Laudato Si’ Generation” said Fr Savio Silveira sdb, Convener of the Don Bosco Green Alliance. “Young people feel strongly the urgency of responding to the ecological crisis, and we Salesians must support their efforts for a safe and sustainable world,” added Fr Silveira.

                  Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam sdb, Coordinator of the Sector ‘Ecology and Creation’ at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, applauded this new initiative. “Laudato Si’ Generation is a grassroot movement of young people to care for our ‘common home’. They are telling us that we need to come together and act urgently and radically,” said Fr. Kureethadam.

                  “Young people are passionate about the planet.  It is marvellous to note the enthusiasm as young people engage in searching for ways to protect our Home.  It is not only the statements made, but the lived experience of keeping the area clean, collecting plastic for recycling and reminding participants that we are a Laudatory Si’ Generation,” said Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb from Papua New Guinea, present at the WYD in Panama.

                  {gallery}Laudato Si{/gallery}

                  • Panama2019
                  • Panama
                  • GMG2019
                  • Ambiente
                  • Creato
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Ethiopia - The Salesians' work in Dilla: nourishing the body, nourishing the mind

                    2 weeks 5 days ago
                    Ethiopia - The Salesians' work in Dilla: nourishing the body, nourishing the mind

                    (ANS - Dilla) - Dilla is a town of about 90,000 inhabitants, located in the south of Ethiopia, whose economy is mainly based on the cultivation of coffee. The population growth has led to the problem of the subdivision of the land: many families have had to give up their plots and have been forced to move, often moving to the outskirts of the city and losing the food autonomy that was guaranteed by the small land that they used to cultivate.

                    Thus today on the outskirts of Dilla live hundreds of families who are forced to live in conditions of extreme poverty and unable to have their children attend elementary school.

                    The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco have been present in the city since 1982, with various activities, many of which are aimed at school-aged children. The elementary school, however, was inaugurated just one year ago, in January 2018, and with its 554 students, aged 5 to 12, it is already now one of the projects that has had the greatest positive impact on families.

                    The intention, however, is to do even better: given the large number of needy children and given the surrounding context the Salesians have proposed to act on two complementary fronts: "We want to set up two new classes for 78 boys and girls aged between 7 and 9 years; and we want to guarantee to every child the possibility of receiving at least one hot meal every day," they say in no uncertain terms.

                    Defeating the scourge of illiteracy is the first step in building a fairer society. But it has also been shown that malnutrition and denutrition play a major role in child growth, impairing physical development and learning abilities.

                    For this reason the Salesians have decided to launch this dual project, food and education: because a child cannot really learn on a perpetually empty stomach, and because food alone is not enough to turn children into responsible men and women.

                    For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                    {gallery}Etiopia - Dilla 2019{/gallery}

                    • Etiopia
                    • AET
                    • Missioni
                    • Missioni Don Bosco
                    • Fame
                    • Educazione
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Austria – 31. January: “Day of Street Children” in Austria focuses on Salesian help for railway kids in India

                      2 weeks 5 days ago
                      Austria – 31. January: “Day of Street Children” in Austria focuses on Salesian help for railway kids in India

                      (ANS – Vienna) – Who will reach them first – Don Bosco or the traffickers? Every 5 minutes a child arrives alone in one of India's biggest railway stations, most of them fleeing poverty or abuse at home. If they escape from traffickers, they may live for months or even years in the chaotic stations, collecting rags, begging and facing exploitation every day. But there is help – for example through the Street children program “BOSCO” in Bangalore run by the Salesians, which has rescued more than 120,000 children in the past 35 years and therefore received the prestigious National Child Welfare Award from the President of India in 2015.

                      Every year, the Austrian NGO “Jugend Eine Welt” organizes the campaign “Day of Street Children” around Don Bosco Day, January 31, and invites in particular young people and school classes to participate. This year, the campaign focuses on the plight of India's railway kids and how the Salesians are helping them. As special guest of honour, Father Jiji Kalavanal SDB from “Don Bosco Image” in Bangalore spoke at several events organized by Jugend Eine Welt in Vienna, Linz and Innsbruck and met high ranking Church officials and politicians like Bishop Dr. Manfred Scheuer and Governor Thomas Stelzer from Upper Austria.

                      Fr Jiji Kalavanal SDB was accompanied by the young Indian actor Lokesh Kumar who himself had lived on the streets and in the railway station of Bangalore since the age of 7. He described how BOSCO changed the course of his life, offering him a new home, health care, education and vocational training. He is proud to be a former “BOSCO boy” and now returns the help he received from the Salesians: he regularly visits the street children program, offers training and encourages street children to follow his example.

                      For Reinhard Heiserer, director from Jugend Eine Welt, Lokesh Kumar´s biography is a wonderful testimony for the efficiency of the pedagogical system of Don Bosco: “Even a child that has spent so many years on the streets like Lokesh can return to a normal life and be an inspiration for other children, as Father Jiji has shown in his impressive video ´This is ME!´using the music and lyrics of a popular song.”

                      Video “This is ME!” from Don Bosco Image: https://youtu.be/sN3eM7HpPmw 

                      Further information about the campaign “Day of Street Children” can be found at: www.tagderstrassenkinder.at 

                      • Austria
                      • AUS
                      • Bambini di Strada
                      • India
                      • INK
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Panama – “Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God”: The Holy Father spoke about Don Bosco in Panama 2019.

                        2 weeks 6 days ago
                        Panama – “Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God”: The Holy Father spoke about Don Bosco in Panama 2019.

                        (ANS - Panama City) - Before thousands of young people, the Holy Father spoke on topics of great relevance for today’s youth and with a simple language, deep and close to young people’s understanding. He told them that “the life that Jesus gives us is a ‘love story’, a story of life that wants to mix with ours and take root in the good soil of each one of us”, as it has been the case with our saints.

                        When referring to the saints, he presented the figure of one of the Holy Patrons of the World Youth Day. "I think for example of Don Bosco who did not go to look for young people far away. Let's see here those who love Don Bosco: put your hands together! Don Bosco did not go to look for young people in far places or special locations; he simply learned to see everything that happened in the city with the eyes of God and, thus, his heart was stricken by hundreds of children, of abandoned young people without chance for study, without work and without the helping hand of a community. Many people lived in the same city, many criticized these young people, but they were unable to look at them with the eyes of God. Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God."

                        Referring to the Saint of the young people, he presented him as a saint who took a step for in favour of abandoned young people: “He did it; Don Bosco was courageous, and he dared to take that first step: to embrace life just as it comes and, from there, he was not afraid to take the second step: to create with them a community, a family, where, with work and study, they felt loved. To give them roots from which to hold themselves up, so that they can reach heaven, so that they can be someone in society; to give them roots so that they can stand steady and not be thrown down by the next wind. That is what Don Bosco did, that’s what the saints do, that’s what is done by communities that know how to look at young people with the eyes of God. "

                        • Panama
                        • Panama2019
                        • Don Bosco
                        • Papa Francesco
                        • GMG2019
                          Jesus Jurado

                          Panama - Calvary of Jesus "in many faces who suffer who suffer in satisfied and anaesthetizing indifference of our society": Pope in Panamá2019

                          3 weeks ago

                          (ANS - Panama City) - In Campo Santa Maria la Antigua, the Via Crucis takes place with over 400,000 young people from the XXXIV World Youth Day. The Pontiff emphasizes that the "journey of loneliness" and sorrow of the Son of God continues in our day, "in so many faces who suffer from the satisfied and anaesthetizing indifference of our society." The young pray, among other things, for ecumenism, for migrants and refugees, for peace and reconciliation, for ecology.

                          In the embrace between land and sea of the Cinta Costera of Panama, the youth of the XXXIV World Youth Day accompany Jesus on the way of the Cross, reliving "a path of suffering and loneliness" that unfortunately, even today, is repeated in the faces of migrants forced to abandon their land, women stripped of their dignity, young people deprived of dreams and hope, discarded elderly, children to whom childhood is refused and, not infrequently, the right to birth: all in the "satisfied and anesthetizing indifference of our society", peopled by armored or walled up hearts. The speech that Pope Francis pronounces at the end of the Way of the Cross of WYD takes on the contours of an intense prayer addressed to God the Father, recognizing also the responsibilities of those who consider themselves friends of the Lord.

                          Pope Bergoglio enumerates, like many pieces of a mosaic, the many dramas that disfigure the contemporary world: how many, for example, "instead of solidarity, by a society full of abundance, find rejection, pain and misery, and moreover they are indicated and treated as carriers and responsible of and for every social ill"; the "resigned loneliness of the old abandoned and discarded"; the native peoples, "stripped of their lands, roots and culture"; the "cry of our mother earth, which is wounded in its bowels by the pollution of the atmosphere, by the sterility of its fields, by the filth of its waters, and which is seen trampled by contempt and by the crazed consumption beyond all reason."

                          The Pontiff reiterates that the Church wants to be present "in the life and crosses of many Christs who walk beside us"; like Mary, she wants to learn "to say 'yes' to the stubborn patience and creativity of those who do not lose heart and start all over again in situations where everything seems to be lost."


                          To all Pope Francis remembers that walking with Jesus always represents a "grace", "because he commits us to live in faith and to know Him"; and a "risk", because "His words, His gestures, His actions contrast with the Spirit of the world, with human ambition, with the proposals of a culture of waste and lack of love."


                          Source: www.vaticannews.va/it/papa/news/2019-01/papa-francesco-panama-gmg-2019-via-crucis.html#play

                          • Panama
                          • Panama2019
                          • Via Crucis
                          • GMG2019
                          • Papa Francesco
                          • Giovani
                            Jesus Jurado

                            Venezuela - The country's Bishops: "It is urgent to listen to the popular cry for change"

                            3 weeks 1 day ago

                            (ANS - Caracas) - While the world is watching with attention and concern at the events taking place in Venezuela, the Holy Father from Panama shows his closeness to the population and "prays for the victims and for all Venezuelans." The Venezuelan situation is dramatic: deaths, injuries, arrests, people forced to take refuge in churches. Above all, a divided country and a country that has further divided the whole world. The bishops of Venezuela have expressed with courage, audacity and truth that the people "live in a dramatic and extremely serious situation due to the deterioration of respect for their rights."

                            "January 23, 1958 is a historical date for all Venezuelans, an inspiring sign of the triumph of social rationality in the face of the abuse of power, of the unity of the weak people before the dismantling of a regime of abuse, corruption and repression that hid all the evils that an authoritarian government can have". This is how the message of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela (CEV) begins on the occasion of the national holiday commemorating the January 23 of 61 years ago, when the people's revolt ended the dictatorship of Perez Jiménez and marked the return of democracy to the country.

                            "Faced with this reality that we have described as a national tragedy, people are asking for a change that includes a period of transition to elect new national authorities. Therefore, it is urgent to listen to the popular cry of change" the Bishops say.

                            The statement continues to describe the nation's current plight: “The marches organized for this 23 January, throughout the national territory, are a sign of hope, something new that is starting to be generated in our country. We Venezuelans cannot be mere spectators of what happens in the country”.

                            In the end, the Bishops call for reflection and prayer: “January 23 must also be a day of reflection and prayer. We are believers and devoted people. We ask the Blessed Virgin of Coromoto, patron of Venezuela, to take care of every Venezuelan, of families, in their search for well-being and freedom”.

                            The message, dated January 22nd, is undersigned by Msgr. José Luis Azuaje Ayala, Archbishop of Maracaibo and President of the CEV, together with the Bishops of the Presidency.

                            At the moment, the opposition has become more cohesive and revitalized around the figure of the president of parliament, Juan Guaidó. 

                            Source: Agenzia Fides

                            • Venezuela
                            • Vescovi
                            • Violenze
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Panama - Pope Francis: a day full of meetings and messages in Panama2019

                              3 weeks 1 day ago
                              Panama - Pope Francis: a day full of meetings and messages in Panama2019

                              (ANS - Panama City) - With the presence of over 350,000 young participants from all over the world, hundreds of priests and bishops, and with the eyes of the whole world set on Panama, WYD has come fully into life with the welcome to Holy Father Francis. On Thursday, January 24, the Pope began official activities with a visit to the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela. He then met with authorities, bishops and finally with the thousands of young people.

                              Yesterday morning, Pope Francis was received by the President of the Republic, and by his wife, Lorena Castillo, in the "Palacio de las Garzas". A few minutes after his entrance to the Presidency of the Republic, the Pope went to one of the balconies of the palace and greeted the crowd that had been waiting since the early hours of the morning to greet him.

                              At the end of this courtesy visit, the Pope met with other authorities, the diplomatic corps and the representatives of civil society in the Bolívar Palace, a building emblematic of the Old City, where the Congress of Panama was held in 1826, presided over by the famous Latin American patriot Simón Bolívar.

                              The Pope then went to the church of "San Francesco d'Assisi" to meet with the bishops. Upon his arrival, the Pope was received by the archbishop of Panama, Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, and by the President of the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC), Msgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, who welcomed the pontiff. The Holy Father read a message to the bishops. His Holiness's meeting with the Central American bishops ended with a fraternal greeting and official photos.

                              Finally, the Pope met the many youths gathered at the welcoming ceremony dedicated to him in the Santa Maria de la Antigua-Cinta Costera camp, with 350,000 participants, according to Panamanian authorities. Once again, the Pope changed the protocol, arriving with the open Pope-mobile, instead of the closed one, initially planned.

                              After receiving a greeting from Msgr. Ulloa Mendieta, the Pope said to the young crowd: "You teach us that to meet each other does not mean to camouflage oneself, or to think in all the same way ... No, that's not it. The culture of the encounter is a call and an invitation to keep alive a common dream ... Everyone will go back home with that new energy that is generated every time we meet.

                              • Panama
                              • Panama2019
                              • GMG2019
                              • Papa Francesco
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Panama - "Don Bosco made of his life a gift of light for the young": a look at the patrons of Panama2019

                                3 weeks 1 day ago

                                (ANS - Panama City) - During the meeting that the Pope had with young people on Thursday, January 24, four boys from different countries presented the testimonies of life of the eight holy and blessed patrons of the World Youth Day in Panama 2019.

                                The person in charge of presenting the two patrons belonging to the Salesian Family, St. John Bosco and the Blessed Sister Maria Romero Meneses, was Jackson François, of Haiti, who described them speaking in Creole, his mother tongue.

                                In front of about 350,000 young people, the Haitian youth said that Don Bosco "made of his life a gift of light for the young. With overflowing joy, he understood that young people needed a close, loving, patient God, full of blessings for everyone. How we so need this joy, in a world like ours marked by sad faces without hope! May he teach us to proclaim the victory of good and the triumph of humble patience."

                                Young Jackson also explained that the Blessed Romero "teaches that service done with love can make life full, that dedication to the poor frees us from our selfishness and fills us with peace, makes us servants of mercy and motivates us to respond, from any vocation, to the call to sainthood".

                                • Panama
                                • Panama2019
                                • Don Bosco
                                • GMG2019
                                • Santità Salesiana
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Spain - "I need you, be many and be men of great virtue": Salesians Coadjutors

                                  3 weeks 2 days ago

                                  (ANS - Barcelona) - In the time of Don Bosco, founder of the Salesian Congregation, there were many people who helped the Italian priest in his tasks. People who came and went or even his own mother, Mamma Margarita, who gave a hand wherever it was needed. At that time the “suit” was indispensable for every religious, priest or lay person. Don Bosco instead ventured to integrate people in their “shirt-sleeves” into his nascent Salesian Congregation, without frocks or external signs. Thus was born the figure of the Salesian brother, a lay consecrated person, with religious vows and equally dedicated to the Salesian mission, but without being a priest.

                                  From January 17 to 21, the Salesian House of Martí Codolar in Barcelona hosted the European Seminar dedicated to the deepening of the figure of the Salesian Coadjutor. 40 Salesian brothers from the two Salesian regions of Europe participated, accompanied by Fr Pascual Chávez, and they discussed aspects such as identity, mission, formation and specific characteristics of the coadjutor.

                                  As Fr Chávez reported, it was Don Bosco himself who said, referring to the Salesian brothers: "I need you, be many and be men of great virtue." For the Piedmontese saint it was clear that there were many things that the priest could not do, "and that he was not obliged to do," observes Fr Chávez. In fact, it often happens that the priest finds himself doing things that take time away from what is important in the priestly ministry. Even if the Salesian priest, by vocation, is an educator, and therefore "it is inevitable that you meet him among children."

                                  The difference, however, between the Salesian priest and the Salesian brother is that the latter lives his mission "from a lay perspective": he is a consecrated person who professes the three vows of obedience, poverty and chastity - without becoming a priest.

                                  This was the personal choice of Jesús Julián García or Pep Alamán, two Salesian coadjutors present at the European Seminar. For Br García the difference, perhaps, is that "they bring Christ to the people and do not wait for the people to come to church to do it", even if, as Br Alamán said, "the charism is the same for everyone; the encounter with the living Christ is realized through the young and in particular those most in need."

                                  • Spagna
                                  • Salesiani Coadiutori
                                  • Don Bosco
                                  • Pascual Chávez
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Panama - Voices from WYD: first days of Panama2019 in words of protagonists

                                    3 weeks 2 days ago
                                    Panama - Voices from WYD: first days of Panama2019 in words of protagonists

                                    (ANS - Panama City) - Young people from all over the world have arrived in Panama City with plenty of great energy, joy and faith to share. Their purpose is to live the events of the World Youth Day under the maternal mantle of Mary, which carries with it a message of service: "Here I am. I am the Lord's servant; let it be to me according to your Word" (Lk 1,38 ) is the motto of Panama2019. Maria's "yes" has changed the course of history. Young people at WYD are ready to do the same.

                                    "The experience of being welcomed by simple, cordial and friendly people, always ready to help you, is the hallmark of my stay so far," says Fr Ambrose Pereira, an Indian Salesian who leads a delegation of young people from as far as Papua New Guinea. "Panama has dressed up for the occasion with banners and flags and, above all, with a spirit of contagious joy and happiness."

                                    It is precisely the young who most fascinate those who meet them on the street. They are smiling, joyful, cheerful and engaging. Many are working as volunteers, and they prepared themselves with great zeal: as did Jenica, a young American woman, who guides the groups of pilgrims to the various moments of the WYD: catechesis, meetings with the Pope, celebrations.

                                    Others simply pass on their enthusiasm to everyone they meet. Like, Adriana and Juan, both Panamanians, who say to their peers: "Do not lose happiness and the desire to show the world that with Christ we can succeed in whatever goal we set ourselves"; and again: "Under no circumstances must you lose hope, because God always has a plan for each of us."

                                    While waiting for the great meetings with the Pope, many young people have spent the first days of the WYD visiting the “Vocations Fair” at the Omar Park, deepening the path of discernment on their lives.

                                    Also the “Park of Forgiveness” is another symbolic place: there are 250 confessionals and young people have formed long queues, despite the heat, to approach the sacrament of Reconciliation. "The search for a serious life of faith is evident," says Fr Pereira.

                                    The opening Mass of the WYD, Tuesday 22nd, was presided over by Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, OSA, archbishop of Panama. With just a few words, the archbishop summarized the meaning of WYD: "As pilgrims we come to share the personal and living encounter with the Lord, united with young people from around the world who add their wealth of culture, tradition and experience. Let us celebrate the glory of God by professing one faith in many languages, to glorify God through prayer, love, forgiveness and communion with all."

                                    {gallery}GMG2019 - Apertura{/gallery}

                                    • Panama
                                    • Panama2019
                                    • GMG2019
                                    • Giovani
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Panama - Pope Francis in Panama2019: "I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church"

                                      3 weeks 2 days ago
                                      Photo: © Vatican Media

                                      (ANS - Panama City) - Pope Francis landed yesterday, January 23rd, at 4:15 pm local time, at Tocumen Airport, Panama, after a journey lasting about 13 hours, on a plane that also carried a large delegation of journalists. On his arrival the Pope was received by the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and his wife; by the Apostolic Nuncio in Panama, mgr. Mirosław Adamczyk, and several other civil and ecclesial authorities.

                                      Unlike what usually occurs, this time the Holy Father during the flight that brought him to Panama did not just say a few words of greetings, but spoke openly on various topics. Commenting with a journalist on the fact that the walls to stop migrants on the Mexican-US border reach right to the ocean, he said: "It's fear that makes us crazy." "I will go to Japan in November, get ready," he later added regarding future plans.

                                      According to the news reported by "Vatican News", a journalist gave the Pope a drawing of a young migrant who died at sea and who had tied his report card to his clothes. The Pope was moved to hear this story and said that he will speak on the subject during the return journey.

                                      Once he reached the airport, Pope Francis broke with protocol and approached the faithful waiting in line. At the age of 80, the Holy Father began the long and arduous program of WYD events. On his Twitter profile, he wrote: "I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church."

                                      At the WYD, the Successor of Peter will also give priority to the "existential peripheries": as when he will visit the juvenile prison of Pacora and the "House of the Good Samaritan", which hosts young people suffering from HIV.

                                      Meanwhile, the organizers of WYD2019 have shared some data: participating are 480 bishops, 380 of whom offer catechesis to young people, in 137 centers, and in 25 different languages; 20,000 national volunteers and 2,445 foreign volunteers collaborate in the activities; the countries that gave the greatest contribution in terms of volunteers are: Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Poland; 2,500, finally, are the number of accredited journalists. And according to unofficial sources, GMG2022 may take place in Portugal.

                                      {gallery}Panama - Arrivo Papa GMG 2019{/gallery}

                                      • GMG2019
                                      • Panama
                                      • Panama2019
                                      • Papa Francesco
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Panama - Rector Major at Panama2019: "The SYM mustn't entertain young people for a few years. It's about experimenting donation and continuing to give our whole lifetime"

                                        3 weeks 2 days ago

                                        (ANS - Panama City) - Yesterday, Wednesday, January 23, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) experienced a day of extreme profundity what with his messages, a day rich in meetings and solid in prayer. Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, shared moments of reflection, celebration and prayer with young people from around the world.

                                        "Do not be afraid of God" was one of the main messages that the Rector Major and Mother General FMA gave to the Youth Forum of the SYM, an event that was held yesterday morning in the Basilica Don Bosco of Panama. The forum, led by Fr Fabio Attard and Sr. Runita Borja, General Councilors for Youth Ministry of the two Congregations, gathered about 200 young SYM leaders from different countries worldwide to work on common global guidelines in working with young people.

                                        During the meeting, a group of young people asked the two Superiors General questions. A young Angolan asked the Rector Major. "Could we better take care of the formation of lay people who collaborate with Salesians?"

                                        Fr Artime's answer opened a panorama of reflection for all the young people of the world: "I believe it is the only possible path. Pope Francis warned that there is a danger in the Church, which is clericalism ... We must know that we all have different vocations, inspired by the Spirit. The Church of the future will have to be less clerical. The only way is to walk together, lay and consecrated, and the testimony will be richer, more credible, more attractive. The Gospel will be more visible. And it is true that we must take paths of formation; it is not enough with good will ... An option for the Gospel is not a question of two or three years ... I can imagine that in ten years you will be witnesses wherever you are. The SYM should not entertain young people for just a few years. It is about experiencing the donation and continuing to give our whole life."

                                        The forum closed with the Eucharist presided by the Rector Major. Subsequently, in the afternoon, the great SYM party began, which first saw a dense program of songs, dances and activities for around 2,500 young people. Then, in the evening, the Vigil of Eucharistic Adoration began, presided over by Fr Attard. The party ended with the message of the "good night" offered by Fr Á.F. Artime and Mother Reungoat.

                                        Videos of the Forum and SYM party  are available on Facebook.

                                        {gallery}Panama - 23 gennaio forum e festa{/gallery}

                                        • GMG2019
                                        • Panama2019
                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                        • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                        • Fabio Attard
                                        • Pastorale Giovanile
                                        • Panama
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Spain – The Salesian Family celebrates feast of its founder this week

                                          2 weeks 3 days ago
                                          Spain – The Salesian Family celebrates feast of its founder this week

                                          (ANS - Madrid) - Don Bosco was one of the eight patrons of the World Youth Day celebrated in Panama. Pope Francis, Salesian past pupil, affectionately remembered him during the Saturday Vigil: "I think of Don Bosco, for example, who did not go to look for young people in distant or special places, but he learned to see with God's eyes all that happened in the city." Don Bosco left  the Salesian Family as part of his legacy, with the SF now preparing to celebrate the feast of its founder on 31 January. More than 173,000 young people throughout Spain are assisted in the various Salesian centers, thanks to the work of 944 Salesians, 653 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and about 12,500 educators and collaborators.

                                          Evangelizing by educating, educating by evangelizing. This binomial defines the Salesian mission. Currently being defined is a new Itinerary of Education to Faith, with the aim of orienting children and young people aged 9 to 25 in this sense. In addition, Salesian parishes have undertaken the paths of welcoming, of going out to the peripheries, of the shared mission with the laity and of youthful protagonism.

                                          The Youth Ministry of the Salesians has embarked on a journey so that the family becomes a true subject within the educative-pastoral communities.

                                          Salesian schools are in fact one of the largest non-university educational networks in the country.

                                          Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians direct 139 schools, attended by 96,600 students and 5,750 teachers.

                                          Vocational Training is the flagship of Salesian education, with 63 centers in which over 1,400 teachers educate almost 18,500 students.

                                          The Salesian youth centers are opening new horizons beyond education towards the good use of their free time. 41,500 young people participate in the activities of these centers - 137 in Spain - thanks to the commitment of 4,800 animators. The Confederation of Don Bosco Youth Centers in Spain promotes a real and high quality youth participation, encouraging young people to participate in Salesian networks, forums and social and ecclesial platforms.

                                          Salesian social platforms continue to answer to the various situations where youths risk exclusion. The platforms have around 300 projects under their direction, to the benefit of over 35,000 people and involve more than 1,800 workers and volunteers.

                                          Among the programs carried out last year, the focus on young refugees and Unaccompanied Foreign Minors stands out. Group-apartments were opened with the aim of providing an accompaniment that allows these children and young people to emancipate themselves.

                                          {gallery}Spagna - Festa Don Bosco{/gallery}

                                          • Spagna
                                          • SSM
                                          • Famiglia Salesiana
                                          • Don Bosco
                                          • Festa Don Bosco
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            Italy – Salesian Pontifical University research advances, with Rector Major's support

                                            2 weeks 3 days ago
                                            Italy – Salesian Pontifical University research advances, with Rector Major's support

                                            (ANS - Rome) - In its meeting of last January 16, the University Council of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) approved funding four new research projects presented by various professors of the UPS and their respective faculties, taking into account the new "Regulations for access to UPS Funds for Research and Formation" approved by the Academic Senate on 2 May 2018.

                                            The four projects are: Historical research for the Conference 'Fellini and the Sacred' (Faculty of Social Communication Sciences - FSC); "Assumptions and Statute of the Biblical Pastoral" (Faculty of Theology); "No place is far. Bastogi and Torpignattara" (FSC); "Transdisciplinarity and Youth Studies" (Faculty of Educational Sciences). They will be supported through the appropriate Research Fund of the Rector Major, and their total amount is over € 22,000.

                                            It is a further investment on people and on shared projects that thanks to the attention of the Grand Chancellor of the UPS, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, the funds can be directed to qualify research and skills of various scholars, and offer new contributions of value to the scientific community.

                                            In the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium, promulgated a year ago, Pope Francis underscores in various points, as a commitment for the ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties to take on, the importance of promoting research through projects that on the one hand enhance the value of what is most specific to and in each of our institutions, and on the other hand that they debate, challenge each other and share via transdisciplinary research promoted by the main centers operating on an international level.

                                            • Italia
                                            • UPS
                                            • Università
                                            • Rettor Maggiore
                                            • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              Brazil - Young coordinators of Salesian Missionary Youth: "youthful enthusiasm and strength to change the world"

                                              2 weeks 3 days ago

                                              (ANS - Maturacá) - On 8 January the young Celso Dias Bertazo Júnior, Coordinator of the "Salesian Missionary Youth" group (GMS) of Vitória, and Miguel Alvarenga Ribeiro, GMS coordinator of Campos dos Goitacazes, arrived in the State of Amazonas as missionaries. Together with Fr Reginaldo Cordeiro, Provincial Vicar and Delegate for Missionary Animation of the Brazil-Manaus Province, they left for Maturacá, a city located to the north of the State, for a mission of about 2 weeks, which gave the youths a formative experience of great significance, through direct contact with some indigenous peoples of the Rio Negro region.

                                              "The reality in the State of Amazonas is very difficult," explains Miguel once he returned. "We had already been informed in meetings prior to the mission, but as young people we did not believe it was all truly like that. Yet, despite the setbacks, such as swamps, air travel, boat trips and 29 hours of travel, there was no lack of willpower to overcome all problems. What helped us not to give up was the memory of the Salesians who went through those places. Going to the Maturacá missions today is much easier than 90 years ago. Doing everything for the Kingdom of God is worth it."

                                              Celso Dias, for his part, adds: "It was a very beautiful experience and with the older natives we were able to speak in Portuguese, and on knowing their guests were 'Salesians' they were very happy."

                                              Of this experience Miguel emphasized the youthful enthusiasm, the force and strength of wanting to change the world. Celso, for his part, points out that what remains of this experience is the overcoming of oneself and of one's own limits. "In a certain sense, nothing is impossible when one has the willpower. What the person really needs is to have faith and to understand that God can do anything."

                                              Both return to their homes and the groups entrusted to them with projects for the rest of the year. Miguel intends to continue several missionary projects: "I have a great dream, to volunteer, in Angola or somewhere else."

                                              Celso, instead, expressed a desire to focus a little more on his personal life, but will not leave the GMS group and will continue to contribute to it with effort and commitment.

                                              The Salesian presence in the indigenous missions is more than 100 years old and is located about 900 km from the state capital, Manaus, in the central region and in the upper Rio Negro. There the Salesians have five missionary presences.

                                              • BMA
                                              • Brasile
                                              • Missioni
                                              • Giovani Leader
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Italy - Sea Watch: "Salesians for Social" ready to house minors from ship

                                                2 weeks 4 days ago

                                                (ANS - Rome) - The Salesian Network for Social (SCS-CNOS Federation) is open to welcoming the minors aboard the Sea Watch ship, anchored off Siracusa, in its structures. There are 13 minors, of which eight are unaccompanied.

                                                The Salesian Network for Social (SCS-CNOS Federation), making Don Bosco's words their own: "Charity knows no diversity of races, nor distance of place,"; in response to the Pope's appeal during the Angelus of January 6: "For many days now, 49 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea are on board two NGO ships, looking for a safe haven to land. I address a heartfelt appeal to European leaders to demonstrate their solidarity with these people"; sharing the pronouncement of Msgr Stefano Russo, CEI General Secretary: "we can no longer remove our gaze from these victims"; considering the presence on board of 13 minors, eight unaccompanied; respecting the skills and functions of the administrative bodies, together with many associations with which it collaborates; thus renders open and available to welcome in their structures the minors present on board in the offices of: Arese (Salesian Center San Domenico Savio); Udine, Albarè and Gorizia (Salesian North East Province); Naples (Salesian Institute "Menichini"); Catania (Metacometa Association and Don Bosco 2000); Foggia (Community Association “On the road to Emmaus”).

                                                "We consider this to be the most true and concrete gesture to celebrate the forthcoming anniversary of Don Bosco, founder of the Salesians, who welcomed without distinction the young poor of 19th century Turin," say Fr Giovanni D'Andrea, Salesian president for the Social, and Fr Carmine Ciavarella, National Delegate for Marginalization and Distress Aid.

                                                • Italia
                                                • Salesiani per il Sociale
                                                • Migranti
                                                • Rifugiati
                                                • ONG
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Panama - Message of Salesian Youth Movement from Panama

                                                  2 weeks 4 days ago
                                                  Panama - Message of Salesian Youth Movement from Panama

                                                  (ANS - Rome) - Youth is a gift to be shared; young people are not only the future, but also the present of the Church and of society; and being part of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) means leaving one's comfort zones to go serve the most needy: these are just some of the precious concepts contained in the Message that the SYM has prepared in the WYD of Panama2019, which are now offered as an encouragement to all the young people of the Movement.

                                                  Wednesday, January 23, in the Basilica of St John Bosco in Panama City, more than 200 young people and leaders of the Youth Ministry of Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, representing 30 countries of all 5 continents, gave life to the SYM Forum.

                                                  In that broad open debate, sub-divided by language, the participants gathered together on the meaning and role of youth in today's world; on how to integrate the vocational perspective and the discernment in the paths proper to the SYM; on how to build, starting from youth commitment, a more humane and just society; and they also shared the good practices carried out by the SYM in so many parts of the world.

                                                  All these contributions, together with those received in the subsequent debate with the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), Mother Yvonne Reungoat, were then elaborated upon on the following day at the Don Bosco Technical Institute of Panama.

                                                  Five young people of the SYM, coming from different regions of the world - Dino Martinello (Australia); Victoria Weekley (USA); Julia Kershofer (Austria); Gerson Santos (Angola); and Andrea Ordoñez (Colombia) - accompanied by the heads of the SDB Dicastery and the FMA Youth Ministry Sector, summarized what had emerged the day before, and helped to focus how the SYM helps to make life choices.

                                                  In a sort of continuation of the work of the recent Synod of Bishops on "Youth, faith and vocational discernment", and in light of the theme of the WYD of Panama, which indicates to young people the example of Mary as a model of availability to the plans of God ("Here I am, I am the servant of the Lord, let what you have said happen to me" - Lk 1:38), the young people of SYM in Panama have elaborated a message addressed to all the youth of the world's SYM.

                                                  The full text of the message is available here.

                                                  {gallery}MGS - Messaggio Panama{/gallery}

                                                  • Panama
                                                  • Panama2019
                                                  • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                                  • GMG2019
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Panama - Rector Major during Triduum to Don Bosco: "Do not be afraid of what God asks of you ... Holiness gives a profound joy"

                                                    2 weeks 4 days ago

                                                    (ANS - Panama City) - Yesterday, 28 January, was the first day of the triduum of preparation for the feast of Don Bosco. At 6:30 pm the Basilica of San Giovanni Bosco was crowded with faithful, attracted not only by Don Bosco but also, exceptionally, by the presence of his Successor: the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who preached the homily.

                                                    It is well known that Don Bosco is much loved in Panama. The devotion to the Saint of Youth has entered the genes of the Panamanians: every city in the country celebrates his feast, in various ways, with specific artistic and folkloric features.

                                                    On the first day of the Triduum, the Rector Major referred to the theme of the Strenna: "Holiness for you too". With his warm and stimulating style, he encouraged the faithful and young participants to take seriously the path of holiness as an accessible vocation for every Christian, and stressed that it is not about doing extraordinary things.

                                                    He encouraged the participants to make God's dream for each one of them come true. "What does God want from each of us?", he asked emphatically. "This is the fundamental prospect on our lives."

                                                    "Do not be afraid of what God is asking of you," he insisted. "Do not demand an immediate sanctity. Walk on this road little by little. Give priority to young people, give your life for them. Don Bosco knew how to see the young with the eyes of God."

                                                    "You must be saints," the Rector Major repeated. "Holiness gives a profound joy. It is accomplished in the responsible fulfillment of its tasks."

                                                    After Mass, the faithful approached the Rector Major, who did not skimp on hugs, photos and smiles for everyone.

                                                    {gallery}Panama - Triduo a DB - Primo giorno{/gallery}

                                                    • Panama
                                                    • Don Bosco
                                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Italy - When Synod comes to life: young people from Salesian circles visiting sites of youth in distress

                                                      2 weeks 4 days ago
                                                      Italy - When Synod comes to life: young people from Salesian circles visiting sites of youth in distress

                                                      (ANS - Turin) - A group of about 40 university students from the Salesian University Institute of Venice (IUSVE), and the Salesian missionary animation groups in the Triveneto region, spent a few days of commitment and solidarity in the city of Don Bosco. The young people, accompanied by some teachers and educators, starting from a reflection on the Synod, retraced the footsteps of the Social Saints of the 19th century, and visited a number of emblematic sites of alienated youngsters at risk and their daily battle to combat difficulties and sense of alienation and distress.

                                                      The young protagonists of this initiative put themselves at the service of various Turin-based bodies active in the fight against marginalization: the Cottolengo Institute, the soup kitchens for the poor, the Turin center of the "Sermig" - Arsenal of Peace; the "Gruppo Abele", an NGO for 50 years alongside the last of Turin; the "Community of Sant'Egidio", the center of the Missionaries of Charity of Sant'Egidio ...

                                                      Among the different stages of their journey, made in the early days of the month, young people from Veneto also visited the city's juvenile prison, called "Ferrante Aporti". The meeting was preceded by an exchange of information on the reality of detention, and consisted of spending an afternoon of talks and friendship with the detainees.

                                                      "The Synod on the young," says Fr Domenico Ricca, Salesian, chaplain of the 'Ferrante Aporti', "in the intentions of Pope Francis had to involve all the juvenile realities, especially the most fragile: this is why it is very significant that a group of teenagers of our Christian communities have proposed to their animators their wish to know their peers who live the reality of detention."

                                                      "The Synod has offered the opportunity to make young people reflect on their vocational choices," adds Barbara Celia, the educator who guided the approach path to the prison, "and in our meetings we reflected on how the prison and the world of distress of these young people can be, in perspective, a choice of professional commitment or a field in which to engage as volunteers."

                                                      "Service and provocations. Service and reflection. Life with our voids and our fullness, fabrics and saints, poverty and drama": this was, in the words of Arianna Pigani, a young former student of IUSVE, the experience of solidarity lived in Turin.

                                                      • Italia
                                                      • Carceri
                                                      • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                                      • ICP
                                                      • INE
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Panama - In front of 700,000 at final Mass of Panama2019, Pope: "You young are God's now!"

                                                        2 weeks 5 days ago

                                                        (ANS - Panama City) - The World Youth Day in Panama ended with the last greeting the Holy Father addressed to the approximately 700,000 young people present in the Campo St John Paul II - Metro Park. Each of his words becomes, from this moment on, a program of life for the young, for priests, for bishops, for the laity, for families.

                                                        "These were five days of great happiness," the Panamanian media wrote, "The event was named as one of the most memorable in the nation's history."

                                                        Thousands of pilgrims greeted the Holy Father at the international airport of Tocumen, on the afternoon of Sunday, January 27th, in addition to the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, and his wife, Lorena Castillo de Varela.

                                                        The Pope has thus embarked on his journey back to Rome, but his words and messages remain.

                                                        The day most awaited by young people was Saturday, January 26, when a true feast of the universal Church took place. "The appointment was at six in the afternoon, but as early as the morning hours the streets of Panama City were full of pilgrims eager to hear the message of Francis," wrote Zaida Navarrete, of the Salesian Bulletin of Central America. "The Salesians organized themselves in groups for the vigil. It was a sea of ​​flags, colorful t-shirts, vibrant drawings with the WYD logo and their favorite saints or the names of the groups they belonged to."

                                                        During the Vigil there were beautiful testimonies of life and then the expected message of Pope Francis. In his speech he spoke about Don Bosco. When they heard the words 'Don Bosco', "an explosion of emotions was born among the young. All the young people who attend Salesian works stood up, applauded and felt protagonists in the Pope's and the Church's speech in the name of their Holy Founder. In all this immense crowd there were no young people who were more proud than those of Salesian circles," continues Zaida Navarrete.

                                                        On Sunday 27 the Pope returned again. At 8 o'clock the Eucharist began. "You young are the now of God", was the strong message addressed to all the young people gathered, a breath of encouragement and hope that was percieved on everyone's face. There is no doubt that "no young person would remain the same on his or her return home."

                                                        The Pope concluded his stay in Panama by attending a meeting with the volunteers. He thanked them for their service, and then visited the "House of the Good Samaritan" reception center, which hosts young people with HIV. "The good Samaritan, like all your houses, shows us that our neighbor is first of all a person, someone with a concrete face," said the Pope to all those present.

                                                        His prayer did not forget the suffering peoples. "I wish to express my sorrow for the tragedies that have struck the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil and the State of Hidalgo in Mexico ... Here in Panama, I thought a lot about the Venezuelan people, the Philippines …," concluded the Holy Father.

                                                        At the end of the WYD in Panama, Portugal was announced as the next location of WYD 2022.

                                                        {gallery}28 Panama finale{/gallery} 

                                                        • Panama2019
                                                        • GMG2019
                                                        • Panama
                                                        • Papa Francesco
                                                        • Giovani
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Panama – Laudato Si’ Generation launched at World Youth Day in Panama2019

                                                          2 weeks 5 days ago
                                                          Panama – Laudato Si’ Generation launched at World Youth Day in Panama2019

                                                          (ANS – Panama City) – Laudato Si’ Generation was officially launched on 25 January during the celebration of the World Youth Day in Panama. Laudato Si’ Generation, which is the youth branch of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, aims at becoming a global youth movement that works for environmental issues, especially climate justice.  Don Bosco Green Alliance and the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) are founding members of Laudato Si’ Generation. 

                                                          Carina Baumgartner and Julia Marion Kerschhofer from SYM Austria were the Salesian representatives on the main stage of the World Youth Day at the lunch of Laudato Si’ Generation. “It was really inspiring being part of this special moment, especially since I was representing the SYM. Seeing all these people joining us in singing and hugging is something I will never forget. I am proud to be part of the Laudato Si’ Generation!” said Julia Marion Kerschhofer.

                                                          “It was an unforgettable moment to be on the main stage of the WYD and to represent Salesian youth worldwide during the launching action. We had the possibility to spread the Laudato Si’ message to young people from all over the world and to invite them to join the Laudato Si’ Generation. The highlight of this moment was the big hug, where we invited all people to the world’s biggest hug. This was an amazing sign because it brought all people together, people that come from many different and far places, but united in one Mission: to take care of our earth, our common home,” said Carina Baumgartner

                                                          Sending a message to the SYM globally, Julia said, “Laudato Si’ is something that everyone should be thinking of. Our planet needs a change NOW. Everyone can contribute, small or big, to make our planet the home we want to live in.” 

                                                          “I want to invite all of us not to wait for others to take care of our earth. It's us - young people - who have the strength, courage and creativity to change something. Let the SYM not wait for others, but be an example for Laudato Si’,” was the message from Carina.

                                                          “Don Bosco Green Alliance is thrilled to be a founding member of Laudato Si’ Generation” said Fr Savio Silveira sdb, Convener of the Don Bosco Green Alliance. “Young people feel strongly the urgency of responding to the ecological crisis, and we Salesians must support their efforts for a safe and sustainable world,” added Fr Silveira.

                                                          Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam sdb, Coordinator of the Sector ‘Ecology and Creation’ at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, applauded this new initiative. “Laudato Si’ Generation is a grassroot movement of young people to care for our ‘common home’. They are telling us that we need to come together and act urgently and radically,” said Fr. Kureethadam.

                                                          “Young people are passionate about the planet.  It is marvellous to note the enthusiasm as young people engage in searching for ways to protect our Home.  It is not only the statements made, but the lived experience of keeping the area clean, collecting plastic for recycling and reminding participants that we are a Laudatory Si’ Generation,” said Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb from Papua New Guinea, present at the WYD in Panama.

                                                          {gallery}Laudato Si{/gallery}

                                                          • Panama2019
                                                          • Panama
                                                          • GMG2019
                                                          • Ambiente
                                                          • Creato
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Ethiopia - The Salesians' work in Dilla: nourishing the body, nourishing the mind

                                                            2 weeks 5 days ago
                                                            Ethiopia - The Salesians' work in Dilla: nourishing the body, nourishing the mind

                                                            (ANS - Dilla) - Dilla is a town of about 90,000 inhabitants, located in the south of Ethiopia, whose economy is mainly based on the cultivation of coffee. The population growth has led to the problem of the subdivision of the land: many families have had to give up their plots and have been forced to move, often moving to the outskirts of the city and losing the food autonomy that was guaranteed by the small land that they used to cultivate.

                                                            Thus today on the outskirts of Dilla live hundreds of families who are forced to live in conditions of extreme poverty and unable to have their children attend elementary school.

                                                            The spiritual Sons of Don Bosco have been present in the city since 1982, with various activities, many of which are aimed at school-aged children. The elementary school, however, was inaugurated just one year ago, in January 2018, and with its 554 students, aged 5 to 12, it is already now one of the projects that has had the greatest positive impact on families.

                                                            The intention, however, is to do even better: given the large number of needy children and given the surrounding context the Salesians have proposed to act on two complementary fronts: "We want to set up two new classes for 78 boys and girls aged between 7 and 9 years; and we want to guarantee to every child the possibility of receiving at least one hot meal every day," they say in no uncertain terms.

                                                            Defeating the scourge of illiteracy is the first step in building a fairer society. But it has also been shown that malnutrition and denutrition play a major role in child growth, impairing physical development and learning abilities.

                                                            For this reason the Salesians have decided to launch this dual project, food and education: because a child cannot really learn on a perpetually empty stomach, and because food alone is not enough to turn children into responsible men and women.

                                                            For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                                            {gallery}Etiopia - Dilla 2019{/gallery}

                                                            • Etiopia
                                                            • AET
                                                            • Missioni
                                                            • Missioni Don Bosco
                                                            • Fame
                                                            • Educazione
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Austria – 31. January: “Day of Street Children” in Austria focuses on Salesian help for railway kids in India

                                                              2 weeks 5 days ago
                                                              Austria – 31. January: “Day of Street Children” in Austria focuses on Salesian help for railway kids in India

                                                              (ANS – Vienna) – Who will reach them first – Don Bosco or the traffickers? Every 5 minutes a child arrives alone in one of India's biggest railway stations, most of them fleeing poverty or abuse at home. If they escape from traffickers, they may live for months or even years in the chaotic stations, collecting rags, begging and facing exploitation every day. But there is help – for example through the Street children program “BOSCO” in Bangalore run by the Salesians, which has rescued more than 120,000 children in the past 35 years and therefore received the prestigious National Child Welfare Award from the President of India in 2015.

                                                              Every year, the Austrian NGO “Jugend Eine Welt” organizes the campaign “Day of Street Children” around Don Bosco Day, January 31, and invites in particular young people and school classes to participate. This year, the campaign focuses on the plight of India's railway kids and how the Salesians are helping them. As special guest of honour, Father Jiji Kalavanal SDB from “Don Bosco Image” in Bangalore spoke at several events organized by Jugend Eine Welt in Vienna, Linz and Innsbruck and met high ranking Church officials and politicians like Bishop Dr. Manfred Scheuer and Governor Thomas Stelzer from Upper Austria.

                                                              Fr Jiji Kalavanal SDB was accompanied by the young Indian actor Lokesh Kumar who himself had lived on the streets and in the railway station of Bangalore since the age of 7. He described how BOSCO changed the course of his life, offering him a new home, health care, education and vocational training. He is proud to be a former “BOSCO boy” and now returns the help he received from the Salesians: he regularly visits the street children program, offers training and encourages street children to follow his example.

                                                              For Reinhard Heiserer, director from Jugend Eine Welt, Lokesh Kumar´s biography is a wonderful testimony for the efficiency of the pedagogical system of Don Bosco: “Even a child that has spent so many years on the streets like Lokesh can return to a normal life and be an inspiration for other children, as Father Jiji has shown in his impressive video ´This is ME!´using the music and lyrics of a popular song.”

                                                              Video “This is ME!” from Don Bosco Image: https://youtu.be/sN3eM7HpPmw 

                                                              Further information about the campaign “Day of Street Children” can be found at: www.tagderstrassenkinder.at 

                                                              • Austria
                                                              • AUS
                                                              • Bambini di Strada
                                                              • India
                                                              • INK
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Panama – “Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God”: The Holy Father spoke about Don Bosco in Panama 2019.

                                                                2 weeks 6 days ago
                                                                Panama – “Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God”: The Holy Father spoke about Don Bosco in Panama 2019.

                                                                (ANS - Panama City) - Before thousands of young people, the Holy Father spoke on topics of great relevance for today’s youth and with a simple language, deep and close to young people’s understanding. He told them that “the life that Jesus gives us is a ‘love story’, a story of life that wants to mix with ours and take root in the good soil of each one of us”, as it has been the case with our saints.

                                                                When referring to the saints, he presented the figure of one of the Holy Patrons of the World Youth Day. "I think for example of Don Bosco who did not go to look for young people far away. Let's see here those who love Don Bosco: put your hands together! Don Bosco did not go to look for young people in far places or special locations; he simply learned to see everything that happened in the city with the eyes of God and, thus, his heart was stricken by hundreds of children, of abandoned young people without chance for study, without work and without the helping hand of a community. Many people lived in the same city, many criticized these young people, but they were unable to look at them with the eyes of God. Young people must be looked at with the eyes of God."

                                                                Referring to the Saint of the young people, he presented him as a saint who took a step for in favour of abandoned young people: “He did it; Don Bosco was courageous, and he dared to take that first step: to embrace life just as it comes and, from there, he was not afraid to take the second step: to create with them a community, a family, where, with work and study, they felt loved. To give them roots from which to hold themselves up, so that they can reach heaven, so that they can be someone in society; to give them roots so that they can stand steady and not be thrown down by the next wind. That is what Don Bosco did, that’s what the saints do, that’s what is done by communities that know how to look at young people with the eyes of God. "

                                                                • Panama
                                                                • Panama2019
                                                                • Don Bosco
                                                                • Papa Francesco
                                                                • GMG2019
                                                                  Jesus Jurado

                                                                  Panama - Calvary of Jesus "in many faces who suffer who suffer in satisfied and anaesthetizing indifference of our society": Pope in Panamá2019

                                                                  3 weeks ago

                                                                  (ANS - Panama City) - In Campo Santa Maria la Antigua, the Via Crucis takes place with over 400,000 young people from the XXXIV World Youth Day. The Pontiff emphasizes that the "journey of loneliness" and sorrow of the Son of God continues in our day, "in so many faces who suffer from the satisfied and anaesthetizing indifference of our society." The young pray, among other things, for ecumenism, for migrants and refugees, for peace and reconciliation, for ecology.

                                                                  In the embrace between land and sea of the Cinta Costera of Panama, the youth of the XXXIV World Youth Day accompany Jesus on the way of the Cross, reliving "a path of suffering and loneliness" that unfortunately, even today, is repeated in the faces of migrants forced to abandon their land, women stripped of their dignity, young people deprived of dreams and hope, discarded elderly, children to whom childhood is refused and, not infrequently, the right to birth: all in the "satisfied and anesthetizing indifference of our society", peopled by armored or walled up hearts. The speech that Pope Francis pronounces at the end of the Way of the Cross of WYD takes on the contours of an intense prayer addressed to God the Father, recognizing also the responsibilities of those who consider themselves friends of the Lord.

                                                                  Pope Bergoglio enumerates, like many pieces of a mosaic, the many dramas that disfigure the contemporary world: how many, for example, "instead of solidarity, by a society full of abundance, find rejection, pain and misery, and moreover they are indicated and treated as carriers and responsible of and for every social ill"; the "resigned loneliness of the old abandoned and discarded"; the native peoples, "stripped of their lands, roots and culture"; the "cry of our mother earth, which is wounded in its bowels by the pollution of the atmosphere, by the sterility of its fields, by the filth of its waters, and which is seen trampled by contempt and by the crazed consumption beyond all reason."

                                                                  The Pontiff reiterates that the Church wants to be present "in the life and crosses of many Christs who walk beside us"; like Mary, she wants to learn "to say 'yes' to the stubborn patience and creativity of those who do not lose heart and start all over again in situations where everything seems to be lost."


                                                                  To all Pope Francis remembers that walking with Jesus always represents a "grace", "because he commits us to live in faith and to know Him"; and a "risk", because "His words, His gestures, His actions contrast with the Spirit of the world, with human ambition, with the proposals of a culture of waste and lack of love."


                                                                  Source: www.vaticannews.va/it/papa/news/2019-01/papa-francesco-panama-gmg-2019-via-crucis.html#play

                                                                  • Panama
                                                                  • Panama2019
                                                                  • Via Crucis
                                                                  • GMG2019
                                                                  • Papa Francesco
                                                                  • Giovani
                                                                    Jesus Jurado

                                                                    Venezuela - The country's Bishops: "It is urgent to listen to the popular cry for change"

                                                                    3 weeks 1 day ago

                                                                    (ANS - Caracas) - While the world is watching with attention and concern at the events taking place in Venezuela, the Holy Father from Panama shows his closeness to the population and "prays for the victims and for all Venezuelans." The Venezuelan situation is dramatic: deaths, injuries, arrests, people forced to take refuge in churches. Above all, a divided country and a country that has further divided the whole world. The bishops of Venezuela have expressed with courage, audacity and truth that the people "live in a dramatic and extremely serious situation due to the deterioration of respect for their rights."

                                                                    "January 23, 1958 is a historical date for all Venezuelans, an inspiring sign of the triumph of social rationality in the face of the abuse of power, of the unity of the weak people before the dismantling of a regime of abuse, corruption and repression that hid all the evils that an authoritarian government can have". This is how the message of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela (CEV) begins on the occasion of the national holiday commemorating the January 23 of 61 years ago, when the people's revolt ended the dictatorship of Perez Jiménez and marked the return of democracy to the country.

                                                                    "Faced with this reality that we have described as a national tragedy, people are asking for a change that includes a period of transition to elect new national authorities. Therefore, it is urgent to listen to the popular cry of change" the Bishops say.

                                                                    The statement continues to describe the nation's current plight: “The marches organized for this 23 January, throughout the national territory, are a sign of hope, something new that is starting to be generated in our country. We Venezuelans cannot be mere spectators of what happens in the country”.

                                                                    In the end, the Bishops call for reflection and prayer: “January 23 must also be a day of reflection and prayer. We are believers and devoted people. We ask the Blessed Virgin of Coromoto, patron of Venezuela, to take care of every Venezuelan, of families, in their search for well-being and freedom”.

                                                                    The message, dated January 22nd, is undersigned by Msgr. José Luis Azuaje Ayala, Archbishop of Maracaibo and President of the CEV, together with the Bishops of the Presidency.

                                                                    At the moment, the opposition has become more cohesive and revitalized around the figure of the president of parliament, Juan Guaidó. 

                                                                    Source: Agenzia Fides

                                                                    • Venezuela
                                                                    • Vescovi
                                                                    • Violenze
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Panama - Pope Francis: a day full of meetings and messages in Panama2019

                                                                      3 weeks 1 day ago
                                                                      Panama - Pope Francis: a day full of meetings and messages in Panama2019

                                                                      (ANS - Panama City) - With the presence of over 350,000 young participants from all over the world, hundreds of priests and bishops, and with the eyes of the whole world set on Panama, WYD has come fully into life with the welcome to Holy Father Francis. On Thursday, January 24, the Pope began official activities with a visit to the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela. He then met with authorities, bishops and finally with the thousands of young people.

                                                                      Yesterday morning, Pope Francis was received by the President of the Republic, and by his wife, Lorena Castillo, in the "Palacio de las Garzas". A few minutes after his entrance to the Presidency of the Republic, the Pope went to one of the balconies of the palace and greeted the crowd that had been waiting since the early hours of the morning to greet him.

                                                                      At the end of this courtesy visit, the Pope met with other authorities, the diplomatic corps and the representatives of civil society in the Bolívar Palace, a building emblematic of the Old City, where the Congress of Panama was held in 1826, presided over by the famous Latin American patriot Simón Bolívar.

                                                                      The Pope then went to the church of "San Francesco d'Assisi" to meet with the bishops. Upon his arrival, the Pope was received by the archbishop of Panama, Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, and by the President of the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC), Msgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, who welcomed the pontiff. The Holy Father read a message to the bishops. His Holiness's meeting with the Central American bishops ended with a fraternal greeting and official photos.

                                                                      Finally, the Pope met the many youths gathered at the welcoming ceremony dedicated to him in the Santa Maria de la Antigua-Cinta Costera camp, with 350,000 participants, according to Panamanian authorities. Once again, the Pope changed the protocol, arriving with the open Pope-mobile, instead of the closed one, initially planned.

                                                                      After receiving a greeting from Msgr. Ulloa Mendieta, the Pope said to the young crowd: "You teach us that to meet each other does not mean to camouflage oneself, or to think in all the same way ... No, that's not it. The culture of the encounter is a call and an invitation to keep alive a common dream ... Everyone will go back home with that new energy that is generated every time we meet.

                                                                      • Panama
                                                                      • Panama2019
                                                                      • GMG2019
                                                                      • Papa Francesco
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Panama - "Don Bosco made of his life a gift of light for the young": a look at the patrons of Panama2019

                                                                        3 weeks 1 day ago

                                                                        (ANS - Panama City) - During the meeting that the Pope had with young people on Thursday, January 24, four boys from different countries presented the testimonies of life of the eight holy and blessed patrons of the World Youth Day in Panama 2019.

                                                                        The person in charge of presenting the two patrons belonging to the Salesian Family, St. John Bosco and the Blessed Sister Maria Romero Meneses, was Jackson François, of Haiti, who described them speaking in Creole, his mother tongue.

                                                                        In front of about 350,000 young people, the Haitian youth said that Don Bosco "made of his life a gift of light for the young. With overflowing joy, he understood that young people needed a close, loving, patient God, full of blessings for everyone. How we so need this joy, in a world like ours marked by sad faces without hope! May he teach us to proclaim the victory of good and the triumph of humble patience."

                                                                        Young Jackson also explained that the Blessed Romero "teaches that service done with love can make life full, that dedication to the poor frees us from our selfishness and fills us with peace, makes us servants of mercy and motivates us to respond, from any vocation, to the call to sainthood".

                                                                        • Panama
                                                                        • Panama2019
                                                                        • Don Bosco
                                                                        • GMG2019
                                                                        • Santità Salesiana
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Spain - "I need you, be many and be men of great virtue": Salesians Coadjutors

                                                                          3 weeks 2 days ago

                                                                          (ANS - Barcelona) - In the time of Don Bosco, founder of the Salesian Congregation, there were many people who helped the Italian priest in his tasks. People who came and went or even his own mother, Mamma Margarita, who gave a hand wherever it was needed. At that time the “suit” was indispensable for every religious, priest or lay person. Don Bosco instead ventured to integrate people in their “shirt-sleeves” into his nascent Salesian Congregation, without frocks or external signs. Thus was born the figure of the Salesian brother, a lay consecrated person, with religious vows and equally dedicated to the Salesian mission, but without being a priest.

                                                                          From January 17 to 21, the Salesian House of Martí Codolar in Barcelona hosted the European Seminar dedicated to the deepening of the figure of the Salesian Coadjutor. 40 Salesian brothers from the two Salesian regions of Europe participated, accompanied by Fr Pascual Chávez, and they discussed aspects such as identity, mission, formation and specific characteristics of the coadjutor.

                                                                          As Fr Chávez reported, it was Don Bosco himself who said, referring to the Salesian brothers: "I need you, be many and be men of great virtue." For the Piedmontese saint it was clear that there were many things that the priest could not do, "and that he was not obliged to do," observes Fr Chávez. In fact, it often happens that the priest finds himself doing things that take time away from what is important in the priestly ministry. Even if the Salesian priest, by vocation, is an educator, and therefore "it is inevitable that you meet him among children."

                                                                          The difference, however, between the Salesian priest and the Salesian brother is that the latter lives his mission "from a lay perspective": he is a consecrated person who professes the three vows of obedience, poverty and chastity - without becoming a priest.

                                                                          This was the personal choice of Jesús Julián García or Pep Alamán, two Salesian coadjutors present at the European Seminar. For Br García the difference, perhaps, is that "they bring Christ to the people and do not wait for the people to come to church to do it", even if, as Br Alamán said, "the charism is the same for everyone; the encounter with the living Christ is realized through the young and in particular those most in need."

                                                                          • Spagna
                                                                          • Salesiani Coadiutori
                                                                          • Don Bosco
                                                                          • Pascual Chávez
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            Panama - Voices from WYD: first days of Panama2019 in words of protagonists

                                                                            3 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                            Panama - Voices from WYD: first days of Panama2019 in words of protagonists

                                                                            (ANS - Panama City) - Young people from all over the world have arrived in Panama City with plenty of great energy, joy and faith to share. Their purpose is to live the events of the World Youth Day under the maternal mantle of Mary, which carries with it a message of service: "Here I am. I am the Lord's servant; let it be to me according to your Word" (Lk 1,38 ) is the motto of Panama2019. Maria's "yes" has changed the course of history. Young people at WYD are ready to do the same.

                                                                            "The experience of being welcomed by simple, cordial and friendly people, always ready to help you, is the hallmark of my stay so far," says Fr Ambrose Pereira, an Indian Salesian who leads a delegation of young people from as far as Papua New Guinea. "Panama has dressed up for the occasion with banners and flags and, above all, with a spirit of contagious joy and happiness."

                                                                            It is precisely the young who most fascinate those who meet them on the street. They are smiling, joyful, cheerful and engaging. Many are working as volunteers, and they prepared themselves with great zeal: as did Jenica, a young American woman, who guides the groups of pilgrims to the various moments of the WYD: catechesis, meetings with the Pope, celebrations.

                                                                            Others simply pass on their enthusiasm to everyone they meet. Like, Adriana and Juan, both Panamanians, who say to their peers: "Do not lose happiness and the desire to show the world that with Christ we can succeed in whatever goal we set ourselves"; and again: "Under no circumstances must you lose hope, because God always has a plan for each of us."

                                                                            While waiting for the great meetings with the Pope, many young people have spent the first days of the WYD visiting the “Vocations Fair” at the Omar Park, deepening the path of discernment on their lives.

                                                                            Also the “Park of Forgiveness” is another symbolic place: there are 250 confessionals and young people have formed long queues, despite the heat, to approach the sacrament of Reconciliation. "The search for a serious life of faith is evident," says Fr Pereira.

                                                                            The opening Mass of the WYD, Tuesday 22nd, was presided over by Msgr. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, OSA, archbishop of Panama. With just a few words, the archbishop summarized the meaning of WYD: "As pilgrims we come to share the personal and living encounter with the Lord, united with young people from around the world who add their wealth of culture, tradition and experience. Let us celebrate the glory of God by professing one faith in many languages, to glorify God through prayer, love, forgiveness and communion with all."

                                                                            {gallery}GMG2019 - Apertura{/gallery}

                                                                            • Panama
                                                                            • Panama2019
                                                                            • GMG2019
                                                                            • Giovani
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Panama - Pope Francis in Panama2019: "I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church"

                                                                              3 weeks 2 days ago
                                                                              Photo: © Vatican Media

                                                                              (ANS - Panama City) - Pope Francis landed yesterday, January 23rd, at 4:15 pm local time, at Tocumen Airport, Panama, after a journey lasting about 13 hours, on a plane that also carried a large delegation of journalists. On his arrival the Pope was received by the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and his wife; by the Apostolic Nuncio in Panama, mgr. Mirosław Adamczyk, and several other civil and ecclesial authorities.

                                                                              Unlike what usually occurs, this time the Holy Father during the flight that brought him to Panama did not just say a few words of greetings, but spoke openly on various topics. Commenting with a journalist on the fact that the walls to stop migrants on the Mexican-US border reach right to the ocean, he said: "It's fear that makes us crazy." "I will go to Japan in November, get ready," he later added regarding future plans.

                                                                              According to the news reported by "Vatican News", a journalist gave the Pope a drawing of a young migrant who died at sea and who had tied his report card to his clothes. The Pope was moved to hear this story and said that he will speak on the subject during the return journey.

                                                                              Once he reached the airport, Pope Francis broke with protocol and approached the faithful waiting in line. At the age of 80, the Holy Father began the long and arduous program of WYD events. On his Twitter profile, he wrote: "I ask you to pray for this very beautiful and important event on the path of the Church."

                                                                              At the WYD, the Successor of Peter will also give priority to the "existential peripheries": as when he will visit the juvenile prison of Pacora and the "House of the Good Samaritan", which hosts young people suffering from HIV.

                                                                              Meanwhile, the organizers of WYD2019 have shared some data: participating are 480 bishops, 380 of whom offer catechesis to young people, in 137 centers, and in 25 different languages; 20,000 national volunteers and 2,445 foreign volunteers collaborate in the activities; the countries that gave the greatest contribution in terms of volunteers are: Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Poland; 2,500, finally, are the number of accredited journalists. And according to unofficial sources, GMG2022 may take place in Portugal.

                                                                              {gallery}Panama - Arrivo Papa GMG 2019{/gallery}

                                                                              • GMG2019
                                                                              • Panama
                                                                              • Panama2019
                                                                              • Papa Francesco
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Panama - Rector Major at Panama2019: "The SYM mustn't entertain young people for a few years. It's about experimenting donation and continuing to give our whole lifetime"

                                                                                3 weeks 2 days ago

                                                                                (ANS - Panama City) - Yesterday, Wednesday, January 23, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) experienced a day of extreme profundity what with his messages, a day rich in meetings and solid in prayer. Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, shared moments of reflection, celebration and prayer with young people from around the world.

                                                                                "Do not be afraid of God" was one of the main messages that the Rector Major and Mother General FMA gave to the Youth Forum of the SYM, an event that was held yesterday morning in the Basilica Don Bosco of Panama. The forum, led by Fr Fabio Attard and Sr. Runita Borja, General Councilors for Youth Ministry of the two Congregations, gathered about 200 young SYM leaders from different countries worldwide to work on common global guidelines in working with young people.

                                                                                During the meeting, a group of young people asked the two Superiors General questions. A young Angolan asked the Rector Major. "Could we better take care of the formation of lay people who collaborate with Salesians?"

                                                                                Fr Artime's answer opened a panorama of reflection for all the young people of the world: "I believe it is the only possible path. Pope Francis warned that there is a danger in the Church, which is clericalism ... We must know that we all have different vocations, inspired by the Spirit. The Church of the future will have to be less clerical. The only way is to walk together, lay and consecrated, and the testimony will be richer, more credible, more attractive. The Gospel will be more visible. And it is true that we must take paths of formation; it is not enough with good will ... An option for the Gospel is not a question of two or three years ... I can imagine that in ten years you will be witnesses wherever you are. The SYM should not entertain young people for just a few years. It is about experiencing the donation and continuing to give our whole life."

                                                                                The forum closed with the Eucharist presided by the Rector Major. Subsequently, in the afternoon, the great SYM party began, which first saw a dense program of songs, dances and activities for around 2,500 young people. Then, in the evening, the Vigil of Eucharistic Adoration began, presided over by Fr Attard. The party ended with the message of the "good night" offered by Fr Á.F. Artime and Mother Reungoat.

                                                                                Videos of the Forum and SYM party  are available on Facebook.

                                                                                {gallery}Panama - 23 gennaio forum e festa{/gallery}

                                                                                • GMG2019
                                                                                • Panama2019
                                                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                                • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                                                • MGS Movimento Giovanile Salesiano
                                                                                • Fabio Attard
                                                                                • Pastorale Giovanile
                                                                                • Panama
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana