Main page content

RMG - Fr Ángel Asurmendi Martínez new Provincial of Spain-Mary Help of Christians

3 weeks 5 days ago

(ANS - Rome) - As part of the work of the Plenary Intermediate Council, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consensus of the General Council, appointed Fr Ángel Asurmendi Martínez as Provincial of the "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" (SMX) Province yesterday, March 28, for the six-year 2018-2024 period.

Fr Ángel Asurmendi Martínez was born in Mendavia, Navarre, Spain, on February 27, 1952. After the novitiate at Godelleta, between 1970 and 1971, he made his perpetual profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco on 15 June 1980 in Huesca, and was ordained a priest in Barcelona on 29 May 1983.

He served several houses and communities, first in the Spain-Barcelona Province, then, after the fusion, the Spain-Mary Help of Christians: he was (DIRETTORE O RETTORE) Director of Sant Vicenç dels Horts (1996-2000), Rector (2000-2006) and Principal (2005-2006) in Sarrià, then Rector in Can Prats (2006-2008).

For the Province of Barcelona, he served as Coordinator of the Pastoral and School Ministries, and was Provincial Vicar and Councilor for Formation from 2006 to 2008, then Provincial in the following six years (2008-2014).

With the birth of the SMX Province, in 2014 he was appointed again as Provincial Vicar and Councilor for Formation, positions he still holds.

"Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak several times with the Rector Major, who expressed his trust and the trust of the members of the General Council in me, and this gives me the hope and the realism to face the task," said Fr Asurmendi Martínez. "I was lucky enough to receive the call as I accompanied the confreres who were doing the spiritual exercises in Solius. The atmosphere of prayer and the Word of God commented by Fr Juan José Bartolomé facilitated the internalization of the assignment."

Fr Asurmendi Martínez will succeed Mons. Cristóbal López Romero, who Pope Francis appointed Archbishop of Rabat, Morocco, last December 29th. The inauguration ceremony of the new SMX Provincial is scheduled for May 5, as part of the Provincial feast scheduled in Horta, in the presence of the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Francesco Cereda, representing Fr Á.F. Artime.

The SMX Province, based in Seville, has more than 400 Salesians and 76 canonically erected houses, spread in the territories of Andorra, Catalonia, Aragon, Valencia, Balearic, Castilla La Mancha (Albacete), Andalusia, Extremadura, Murcia and Canary Islands.

  • RMG
  • Nomine
  • Ispettori
  • SMX
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG - Deliberations on General Chapter 28

    3 weeks 5 days ago

    (ANS - Rome) - In the thought of the "Salesian Good Night" offered to the community of the Central Salesian See, yesterday, 28 March 2018, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, presented the decisions taken with the General Council regarding General Chapter 28 (CG28).

    "At the end of the Plenary Intermediate Council we have important news for the Congregation and the Salesian Family," the Rector Major said. "Today we have concluded the Intermediate Council and can give the news regarding the General Chapter 28."

    First, he read from his letter with information soon to be released with the next few, and then he spoke of the greatness of this forthcoming event and the meaning of the site where the Chapter will meet.

    The first element presented by the Rector Major was the CG28 theme. "We have chosen as the title: What kind of Salesians for the youth of today? With this theme we want to discuss the profile of the Salesian of today and also of tomorrow, to enable us to give the best possible answers to young people, especially the poorest and those who need it most ... We will also have to face an important number of judicial issues with which we intend to help the mission, issues that need attending to nowadays."

    He spoke of the location for the celebration of the CG28: it will be held in Valdocco, in Turin. This great Salesian event begins on Sunday 16 February 2020 and end on 4 April. Finally, he declared, "As Regulator of General Chapter 28, I have appointed Fr Stefano Vanoli." Fr Vanoli is currently Secretary of the General Council.

    "What should the profile of the Salesian be today and in the future?" asked Fr Á.F. Artime "Today's reality is not the same as forty years ago and even the answers cannot be the same. We want to answer faithfully to the young people of today and of tomorrow. Young people today live different situations compared to forty years ago ... Today's young people live different situations, even from those of only a few years ago. They are immersed in a digital world, in the exciting world of youth voluntary work, in the reality of vocational training, in the painful reality of exploited young people, of young immigrants. These realities have a force unknown to us, situations that we did not talk about 30 or 40 years ago."

    "Today the Salesian mission in the world is carried out, thank God, by being immersed in the realities of our missions shared between Salesians and laity ... and through fidelity we must open ourselves to this reality ... I invite you to pray from this moment."

    • RMG
    • CG28
    • Ángel Fernández Artime
    • Laici
    • Giovani
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG – Appointed new Provincial of Middle East Province

      3 weeks 6 days ago

      (ANS - Rome) - As part of the work of the Intermediate Plenary Council, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consensus of the General Council, appointed Fr Alejandro José León Mendoza as Provincial of the "Jesus Adolescent" Province of the Middle East (MOR) for the six-year term, 2018-2024.

      Alejandro José León Mendoza was born in Mérida, Venezuela, on 17 September 1979. He completed his novitiate in San Antonio de los Altos between 1997 and 1998, made his perpetual profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco in the Basilica del Colle Don Bosco on 16 September 2007, and was ordained priest in his hometown on July 31, 2010.

      After spending two years in Egypt, at the Cairo-Zeitun house, and completing his formation between the "Crocetta" Theologate in Turin and the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome, he worked at the Salesian house in Damascus between 2011 and 2015, holding the roles of Rector, Treasurer and Director of the oratory.

      For the Province, in 2012 he was appointed Delegate for Missionary Animation and in 2015 the Provincial Economer.

      Fr León Mendoza, who succeeds Fr Munir El Rai at the leadership of the Province, will take up his new post at the end of next August.

      The MOR Province includes the Salesian houses of Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine.

      • RMG
      • Nomine
      • MOR
      • Ispettori
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Argentina - "Laboratory students begin to arrive ... mostly poor": "San José" Vocational Training Center

        3 weeks 6 days ago

        (ANS - Salta) - When the afternoon is about to end, after the noise of the backpacks being dragged has stopped resounding on the sidewalks and the parish has said farewell to the faithful of the 7.30 pm Mass, a few blocks from the center of Salta, in calle Caseros 1250, the lab students begin to arrive. They come from different neighborhoods, most poor and some have not finished school, but they are there because they want to do something with their young lives.

        The "San José" Vocational Training Center (CFP) operates in the structures of the "Ángel Zerda" Salesian Institute and offers free vocational training to young people and adults in situations of social marginality. Like the other 13 centers of the same type, distributed throughout the country, they conceive of education as a tool for transforming reality and a channel of and for social inclusion.

        The purpose of this project, approved and supported by the Planning and Development Office of the Salesian Province of Northern Argentina (ARN), is "to reduce the unemployment and job insecurity of those people who, due to their socio-economic vulnerability, do not have access or have not completed their basic education, nor have they obtained professional qualifications," as reported by the same office.

        The "San José" CFP offers a socio-educational proposal for non-formal education that provides a quick entry into the world of work. In this way, it fully fulfills the Salesian educative-pastoral proposal, which works to support and promote the poorest. Furthermore, the formation and support proposals are completed by the offer of a snack to all participants.

        The opening of the "San José" CFP in 2015 was a response of the Salesian Family to the difficult working conditions in the province of Salta, and is in line with Pope Francis's request to be an "outgoing Church": a Church that is inclusive, that shortens distances and engages in concrete works and deeds to accompany the most needy.

        Since its opening, hundreds of young people and adults have already passed through this school and have managed to challenge themselves to improve their self-esteem, safety, spirituality, job opportunities and their quality of life.

        For the Salesians, the education and formation of the young are the essence or reason for life: without them, the Salesian vocation loses its true horizon. 

        {gallery}Argentina - CFP San Jose{/gallery}

        • Argentina
        • ARN
        • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
        • Opzione Preferenziale
        • Formazione Professionale
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Japan – First national assembly on Vietnamese migrant ministry in Japan

          4 weeks ago

          (ANS – Tokyo) – At the present time there are about 200,000 Vietnamese migrants resident in Japan, a good number of them are Catholics. The proposals of the first General Assembly on Vietnamese migrant ministry (Tokyo, March 13) are very concrete and viable. These are the first impression after this important meeting.

          By Fr. Mario Yamanouchi, SDB

          After the first stage of an individualistic approach to the Vietnamese migrants' pastoral care, the first ‘General Assembly’ met to share the current experiences of many initiatives at the diocesan and religious congregational level. Some of these ministers are also lay activists for human rights, called in Japan 'help group' or 'cooperatives' who work at the airports, among other places, when some are about to be deported to their country of origin and know the local laws better than the mafias involved in human trafficking. Indeed, famous Japanese agencies called 'Haken Gaisya' are dedicated simply to human trafficking and able to cheat family members with many tales about romantic Japan. In Ho Chi Min City, there is also a center for unwanted children of women who became pregnant in Japan. This is just one of the many stories told during the Assembly.

          As Salesians we could do something – link, for example, Salesian parishes in both countries, get in touch with the agencies or enterprises that receive Vietnamese workers. But the migrant numbers are growing. The estimates are about 230,000 Vietnamese, and if one counts the children of Nepalese and Filipinos, the numbers rise to about one million.

          Two Salesians – Fr. Mario Yamanouchi and Fr. Takei - together with three other CONFER members (Association of Major Religious Superiors of Japan) took part in the meeting.

          The Assembly was organized by the Catholic Commission for Migrants and Refugees of Japan in the headquarters of Japan's Catholic Bishops Conference in Shiomi and was presided by Nagoya's Bishop Michael Matsuura Goro who represented the whole bishops' conference. More than 40 Vietnamese and Japanese participants from religious congregations, lay people involved in this ministry, participated. A few professionals in human rights and advocacy contributed to the quality discussions.

          The Salesians of Japan would like to contribute effectively to the needs of Vietnamese migrants in Japan, especially as their numbers are growing and some of them have been living here already for the past 20-30 years and the second generation is already present. Since an effective help to the migrants cannot be done only by few, there is a strong need of networking among all congregations and dioceses involved as well the mutual information and cooperation network between the Catholic Church in Vietnam and Japan.

          Operative conclusions of the meeting:

          1. Ensure each parish or local community offers an effective welcoming environment for the migrants with their Eucharist, confessions or other necessary sacramental and pastoral services, visit to the sick and people in difficulty.
          2. Awareness-raising campaign in the parishes about the situation of Vietnamese migrants and distribution of adequate leaflets with necessary basic information in both Japanese and Vietnamese languages. Also, a phone hot line in both countries.
          3. Inform the Catholic community about the real situation of the migrants and distribute leaflets so both sides – Vietnamese and Japanese – learn and know about the dangers and the possible help available to the migrants. In difficult cases there is a need of professional assistance, such as lawyers, counselling.
          4. As there are already appointed episcopal vicars for the migrants and refugees, it is also important that in each of the 16 dioceses of Japan there is one delegate with their team of priests, religious and lay persons who focus on the Vietnamese people.
          5. After setting up a diocesan migrant ministry structure, each bishop could ask help to other bishop in Vietnam or some religious congregations who have communities in both countries. Indeed networking among dioceses and religious congregations became already a strongly felt need.
          6. Many religious houses open their doors for weekend encounters of Vietnamese migrants for their prayer meeting, meals and life sharing, including also one with overnight hospitality. On the next day, the guests continue to the Sunday parish Mass and this experience may become a start of vocation journey in Japan.

          Source: AustraLasia

          • Giappone
          • GIA
          • Migranti
          • Vietnam
          • Chiesa
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Spain - Young Italians work as volunteers in Salesian houses

            4 weeks ago

            (ANS - Madrid) - In 2018, there are 30 young Italians fulfilling their civil service in social and leisure projects with the Salesians in Spain. This is an experience that began in Spain in 2003.

            On March 7th and 8th, a meeting was held in Seville with the heads of the Italian Universal Civil Service in a Salesian environment. The meeting, organized by the Delegation of Youth Ministry, saw the participation of Chiara Diella, for the Civil Service overseas, and of Fr Giovanni d'Andrea, SDB, President of "Salesians for the Social - SCS / CNOS Federation", and was intended to guide and support the work of those responsible for social projects included in the program for years.

            Since 2003, Fr Santi Domínguez, head of the Youth Centers at the National Center for Youth Ministry, is also in charge of the Italian Civil Service; he takes care of the selection of young people who go to work in Salesian centers in Spain and takes part in the various formative moments that these young people carry out in Italy.

            "Being able to count on young Italians, who often do not know us, is an experience that enriches us. They enrich our centers with another culture, very similar, but at the same time different, and open us to new experiences. The contact with the Salesians and the Italian leaders is very fluid and enriching," said Fr Domínguez.

            Civil Service is a program promoted by the Italian government. It has its roots in the forms of social service that until a few years ago were alternative and obligatory in the event of conscientious objection to military service. After the abolition of compulsory military service, the State continued to allocate resources for the provision of these social services and defined the Civil Service as that activity whose ultimate goal is "the defense of the homeland starting from the values ​​of solidarity, cooperation, civic, social, cultural, environmental and professional education of young people."

            The aim of the program is that young Italians between the ages of 18 and 30 voluntarily choose to spend one year of life serving in a social, educational, cultural or other project in their own country or abroad. This program is attended by about 30,000 young people this year, of which about 1,000 are involved in Salesian works throughout Italy, and about thirty in Salesian projects in Spain.

            • Spagna
            • Servizio Civile
            • SSM
            • SMX
            • Italia
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Uganda - Namugongo school towards "phase two"

              4 weeks 1 day ago

              (ANS - Namugongo) – There has been a center in the city of Namugongo since 2001, namely the "Children and Life Mission" (CALM), founded by two Comboni Missionaries and a Jesuit, that welcomes and supports vulnerable children. In 2006 the center was entrusted to the Salesians, thus becoming the Congregation's fourth mission in the African country. The Sons of Don Bosco have also associated the activity of hosting children at risk with providing education through a primary school; with greater support, it may be expanded and further improve its services.

              The project of the Salesian primary school in Namugongo began in 2015 on the initiative of Salesian Brother Hubert Twagirayezu, who had asked for help to the Salesian Mission Office in Turin, Missioni Don Bosco. Phase One was thus completed: full painting of the pre-existing building, purchase of school desks, construction of a technical and management support building ... Activities made possible thanks to many supporters; moreover, many local workers were employed, thereby adding a further benefit.

              CALM currently hosts 155 children: the older children, about 60, go to the Salesian school in Bombo during the school year; the others attend the "Don Bosco" school in Namugongo together with 40 external students; the classes have between 10 and 25 children, with two teachers. There are other schools in the area, but in those environments prejudices weigh on the CALM children; furthermore, the higher fees prevent the children of the poorest families to enroll.

              For this reason, today the Salesians intend to proceed to "Phase Two": add by building a new wing to the school complex, so families in the area and nearby villages can benefit from registering their children and have them attend. "It is not just an increase in the existing offer, but a leap in quality that offers new possibilities," say Missioni Don Bosco.

              Today, 34 million people live in Uganda, half under 15 years of age. Many children and teenagers have to deal with diseases such as malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhea, even AIDS. Creating CALM came about precisely for its its willingness to help the neediest children and young people; with this new project the Salesians plan to intervene on a broader and more preventive scale.

              Source: Missioni Don Bosco

              • AGL
              • Uganda
              • Scuole
              • Missioni
              • Missioni Don Bosco
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Spain - Knowing how to correct oneself starting from Jaén jail

                4 weeks 1 day ago

                (ANS - Jaen) - "Being good does not consist in not making a mistake. Oh no! Being good consists of this: in having the will to emend oneself." (Biographical Memoirs VI, 322). These words of Don Bosco accompany the firm conviction that young people need large doses of love, attention and orientation. For this reason, a group of educators from the "Fundación Don Bosco" of Jaén and former animators of the DOSA Youth Center, accompanied by Salesian Fr Pepe González, launched an initiative in favor of the Salesian past pupils present in the Jaén II Penitentiary Center.

                It is a fact that "three out of ten prisoners in Spanish prisons are foreigners. The latest official statistics of the Ministry of the Interior indicate that among the 58,814 held in the country's prisons at the end of last year, 16,549 were foreigners, or 28% of the total prison population," reported the newspaper ABC. The Salesians have worked for some years among these young people, holding meetings, offering vocational training and accompaniment.

                More specifically, there is an initiative that is gradually taking root and consolidating itself: it consists of monthly vocational training sessions inside the prison, courses aimed at prisoners who have gone through the various projects of the "Fundación Don Bosco". The initiative allows these inmates to meet with their former educators and animators and to resume the formation and learning begun in another time, the whole based on nurturing relationships of affection, fraternity and faith.

                An example of this dynamic took place on Saturday 3 March during the year's second meeting with the prisoners. In this session, different options for conflict resolution were provided, one of the topics proposed by the group of volunteers within the planned program. In the coming months other topics will be addressed: decision-making processes, the project of personal life, needs and affection ...

                “The inmates have welcomed the initiative with great enthusiasm to the point of asking us that the meetings be more frequent and not just once a month,” said Fr González. “'The past must be a master of the future', Don Bosco would say. This idea encourages us to receive the detainees, session after session, with open arms, with a happy heart and a steady gaze on a dignified future for the young.”

                • Spagna
                • Carceri
                • Exallievi
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Malawi – Don Bosco Youth Center provides youth a safe space for sports and technical education

                  1 month ago

                  (ANS – Lilongwe) – Don Bosco Youth Center in Lilongwe, Malawi, has become a symbol of youth empowerment through sporting activities as well as vocational and technical education. The center conducts motivational evening talks for spiritual and moral growth, according to an article in the Nyasa Times. The article also notes that the Don Bosco Youth Center also provides leadership training for youth with the aim of equipping them with skills in leading and motivating other youth toward positive behavior and social change in their respective communities.

                  Brigitte Felfernig from Austria is one of the volunteers working at the center. She says youth in Malawi have the potential to achieve great things in their lives through youth centers like Don Bosco.

                  “We have youth and kids of different age brackets starting from five years old taking part in various sporting activities,” says Felfernig in the Nyasa Times article. “Most of them are passionate with what they do and are open minded on what they want to achieve. They need support and encouragement, especially from their parents, for them to achieve their goals.”

                  Don Bosco Youth Center hosts more than 600 youth each day from the surrounding townships of Areas 23, 24, 44, Kawale and Chilinde among others, according to the article. The center offers facilities for youth development in sporting disciplines including a football pitch and courts for basketball, netball and volleyball games. The campus also hosts Don Bosco Youth Technical Institute, which offers commercial and technical courses such as fashion arts and beauty, accounting, bricklaying, motor vehicle mechanics, hospitality and information and communications technology.

                  Praise Mwandira started coming to the Don Bosco Youth Center when she was 10 and is still regularly attending at 23 years old. She says in the article that in addition to having fun, the center has helped her in so many ways including developing skills in networking, self-discipline and team work.

                  “Every day in the afternoon after school, I come here with fellow members of a volleyball club. We learn new skills in the sport and life skills important for youth,” says Mwandira in the article. “I believe these attributes are fundamental for youth to achieve their desired goals in life.”

                  Some youth believe that the center has helped them to keep away from alcohol and drug abuse. According to the article, Yamikani Kasapha, 22, is a member of a dancing club and says his life has transformed for the better since he joined Don Bosco Youth Centre six years ago.

                  He adds that the dancing skills acquired at the center are elevating the status of most club members with some of them acquiring job opportunities as dancing instructors in different institutions. The dancing club, which has 30 members, also takes part in competitions and is hired to perform at various community events.

                  In Malawi, more than 50 percent of the population lives in poverty and the majority of households have women as the head of the household, according to the World Bank. Located in southeast Africa, Malawi is a landlocked country bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique to the east, south and west.

                  Agriculture is a central part of Malawi’s economy but land distribution is unequal and crops are highly vulnerable to the region’s frequent droughts. Few houses have piped water and less than one in 10 Malawians have access to electricity. Water is collected from wells or streams and most cook over an open fire. Malawians deal with hunger and malnutrition on a daily basis. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, 45 percent of the country’s children under age 5 are stunted due to a lack of adequate nutrition. Many children also lack educational opportunities and have few options for improving their circumstances.

                  Source: Mission Newswire

                  • Malawi
                  • AFM
                  • Oratorio
                  • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                  • Sport
                  • Formazione Professionale
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Spain - Approx 2,000 young people to participate in Easter meetings organized by Salesians

                    1 month ago

                    (ANS - Madrid) - This year there will again be more than 2,000 young people from the Salesian environments throughout Spain who will participate in the Easter meetings organized by Salesians in different areas of the country from March 29 to April 1, Resurrection Sunday. The two Provinces of the Salesians in Spain - "Mary Help of Christians" and "St. James Major" - have prepared these meetings so participants can truly celebrate the most important events of Christianity: the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

                    Two different experiences are being proposed by the Province of Mary Help of Christians: the events of the Easter Young and those of the Easter Families, with the participation of 1,400 people. The chosen motto is: "Come and you shall see."

                    After last year's success, the proposal of the Easter Families aims to consolidate itself as an attractive invitation for Christian families who wish to live the Easter celebrations in a youthful, cheerful and Salesian environment.

                    In the Province of St. James Major, Easter events are also being offered for Youth and for Families in five different places; its motto: "Happiness is to love to the extreme."

                    In Arévalo (Ávila), Logroño and Mohernando (Guadalajara), over 300 young people will be divided into groups to participate in three different levels of preparation for Easter. These meetings are part of the educational process to faith and are important moments for young people, a time for them to prepare to focus and live the celebrations of the Easter Triduum in their places of origin.

                    The first two levels focus on boys and girls of 16 and 17 years and have a pedagogical purpose, as they propose the discovery of the meaning of Holy Week through symbols and group experiences. In Arévalo, more than 120 young people are expected to benefit from this meeting, accompanied by about 45 animators. In Logroño almost 150 young people will participate, alongside over 30 organizers.

                    The third level instead seeks a more personal discernment, of intimate prayer, a time to explore and ponder the central days of Holy Week. About 40 young people will participate in this path, at Mohernando.

                    The other experience being proposed for living Holy Week as a community is Easter for Families, both in Somalo (La Rioja) and in Mohernando, in parallel with the events for young people.

                    There will, thus, be more than one way to celebrate Easter with young people, which will also be shared on social networks with the hashtag #PascuaSalesiana, and live this time according to the Salesian charism.

                    • Spagna
                    • SSM
                    • SMX
                    • Pasqua
                    • Famiglia
                    • Giovani
                    • Pastorale Giovanile
                    • Pastorale Familiare
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Spain - Farewell to Severiano Sanz, Salesian Brother and missionary, the personification of goodness

                      1 month ago

                      (ANS - Madrid) - A life dedicated to the missions and marked by simplicity, service to others and the example of his uncle Valentín, also a Salesian brother: this is the summary of the 91 years of life of Brother Severiano Sanz, SDB, who died last March 16th in Arévalo. He was clear about his Salesian vocation from an early age and, after 21 years spent as a missionary in Paraguay, he spent 43 years at the Mission Office in Madrid, of which he was one of its promoters.

                      Br Severiano Sanz Gil met his uncle Valentín Gil Arribas when he was 9 years old. He was his mother's brother and had come by to spend a few days in Torre de Peñafiel, near Valladolid, where his family lived. Little Seve, between walks and singing, learned that his uncle was a Salesian and his own vocation was born from the desire to possess that joyful spirit he saw in his uncle, from the will to be, like him, a Salesian brother. His uncle Valentín, killed during the Spanish Civil War, is one of the martyrs and blessed Salesians.

                      Among the best students at the time of the novitiate, Severiano Sanz learned the profession of cook and was assigned to the Salesian community of Madrid-Atocha, where he remained 12 years, playing a key role during their summer camps.

                      The travels in Spain of the missionary in India Fr José Luis Carreño, SDB, and his great friendship with another Salesian missionary, Fr Hiscio Morales, who brought him Indian spices for his cooking, aroused his missionary vocation. He dreamed of India, but ended up in Paraguay.

                      He was supposed to head for the missions in Chaco Paraguayo; instead, he remained 21 years in the capital. He carried out his apostolate above all through the cinema, becoming  a large distributor of films, documentaries, slides.

                      In 1975 he asked to return to his country because of his mother's health. In those years he promoted the festival of the missionary song, began to promote the activities of the missionaries with itinerant exhibitions and he pushed forthe creation of the current Salesian Mission Office.

                      He spent the last years of his life devoting himself to the martyrs killed during the civil war in Paracuellos del Jarama, Madrid.

                      Although he had always enjoyed good health, three months ago he had to be transferred to the house for elderly and sick Salesians in Arévalo, where he continued to spread his joy and goodness.

                      • Spagna
                      • SSM
                      • Salesiani Coadiutori
                      • Decessi
                      • Missioni
                      • Martiri
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        RMG – Intermediate Plenary Council

                        1 month ago

                        (ANS - Rome) - Ordinarily, in spring and in autumn, the Intermediate Council takes place, with the participation of the Rector Major, his Vicar, the Sector Councilors (Formation, Youth Ministry, Social Communication, Missions and Economics) and from time to time with a Regional Councilor. In said intermediate sessions, specific topics to be submitted to the General Council in the plenary sessions are studied, with the GCs scheduled in summer and in winter. However, from March 19 to 28, an intermediate session is currently in progress with the Rector Major and the whole General Council, the task of this session being to prepare the General Chapter XXVIII (GC28).

                        The obligations of this preparatory session are indicated by our General Regulations in articles 111 and 112. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and the General Council must choose the topics and the purpose of the GC28, its starting date and location; no longer in possession of the General House of Via della Pisana, the choice of the location is especially important. All this will be indicated by the letter of convocation of the GC28 which will appear in the next issue of the Acts of the General Council.

                        To the Rector Major, then, the responsibility of choosing the Regulator and the constitution of the technical commission, which has the task of indicating the manners of participation of the Salesians, of the Provinces and especially the Provincial Chapters. It will also be important to identify the methodology of how these chapters take place.

                        The eight General Team Visits, celebrated in the seven Regions, were undoubtedly an opportunity to listen to the voice of the Provinces, through the participation of Provincials and Provincial Councils. Already these convocations are a great help in discerning in the General Council the priorities of the Congregation in response to the needs of these current times, of the Church and of the young.

                        • RMG
                        • Consiglio Generale
                        • CG28
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Venezuela - Mons. Biord Castillo: “Support the priests, accompany the People who suffer!”

                          1 month ago

                          (ANS - La Guaira) - "Our first duty is to accompany the people who are suffering: we cannot abandon them and to prevent this from happening we must support the priests in their pastoral service." Mons. Raúl Biord Castillo, a 55-year-old Salesian, now in his fifth year as bishop of La Guaira, does not hide the difficulties that the whole country and with it the Church of Venezuela are experiencing during this long-lasting political, social and economic crisis. And for this very same reason, he also has the courage to ask for help.

                          In the diocese of La Guaira, in the north of the country, the general crisis has aggravated the situation of many families: many children and the elderly are left to themselves, many adults are in a state of apathy and despair, the result being an increase in violence, drug addiction and crime.

                          "Here in Venezuela, (...) where hunger and poverty have reaped so many innocent victims, the Church is perhaps the only institution that remains credible for its very presence among the people. In the parishes we endeavor to offer thousands of Venezuelans a soup dish of solidarity, or something more," wrote Msgr. Biord Castillo in a letter to the Pontifical Foundation, "Aid to the Church in Need." (ACN)

                          In fact, the priests, together with many religious and volunteers of the Catholic Church, in addition to offering food to eat, also take care of the elderly and the orphans, see to distributing charity clothing to the poor, accompany the sick and needy ... And meanwhile they continue to proclaim the Good News to children and young people in catechetical groups, bring the Communion to the sick, animate the Bible study groups, organize retreats, form lay catechists who can in turn transmit the Word of God ...

                          And yet, even the clergy and all the religious are profoundly affected by this crisis: they too must fight for their daily bread, for vital medical care and medicine, and for the essential tools they urgently need for themselves and for others.

                          Why mons. Biord, in his letter to ACN, launches an appeal: "It is essential to help the priests, to avoid also that, in spite of themselves, they must do other work to sustain themselves, taking away precious time from pastoral care, or that they are forced to emigrate to other countries."

                          Further information is available on the ACN website.

                          • Venezuela
                          • Vescovi
                          • Raúl Biord Castillo
                          • Solidarietà
                          • Povertà
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Italy – Day of the Salesian Pontifical University

                            1 month ago

                            (ANS - Rome) - On March 14, the Day of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) took place, a moment of sharing and community. Presided by Msgr. Fabio Fabene, Undersecretary of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, and Fr Mauro Mantovani, Rector Magnificus of the UPS, the day was presented by Sara Gugliersi and Andrea Santoni, students of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences (FSC). The day began with the greetings of Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation, and the introduction of nine workshops.

                            The workshop on the theme of “Television Series”, with a focus on the show “Black Mirror”, was offered by the UPS Salesian Cooperators Center, with a talk by TV scriptwriter Alessandra Caneva. A discussion of the educational paths between the Classical and Christian world starting from Plutarch were organized by the students of the Faculty of Christian and Classical Literature, and was introduced by prof. Miran Sajovic.

                            The Faculty of Theology offered a workshop on the accompaniment of young people in their life choices, and was coordinated by prof. Jesús Manuel García, with the collaboration of several students. The Faculty of Educational Sciences proposed two workshops: the first organized by prof. Anna Rita Colasanti and prof. Mario Becciu, on self-efficacy beliefs, while prof. Mario Llanos discussed the ethical aspects of youthful choices, distinguishing between conformist, “reset” and responsible.

                            Fake news, truth and society of communication were the topics addressed by professors Tommaso Sardelli and Vittorio Sammarco of the FSC, which also proposed another workshop, again yesterday, on the relationship between advertising, social networks, influencers, held by professors Simonetta Blasi and Roberta Gisotti.

                            The artistic exhibition organized by UPS students marked the beginning of the second part of the work sessions. The sociologist and prof. Franco Garelli of the University of Turin commented on the data collected on the perception of the Salesian world on youth.

                            The day ended with Fr Ivo Coelho awarding UPS medals to three professors emeritus at the end of their invaluable teaching tenure: Scaria Thuruthiyil, Francesco Casella and Giuseppe Roggia.


                            {gallery}ICP - Convengo cicatrici di guerra 2018{/gallery}

                            • Italia
                            • UPS
                            • Ivo Coelho
                            • Università
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Australia – Archbishop Costelloe SDB appointed President of 2020 Australia Plenary Council

                              1 month ago

                              (ANS – Canberra) – The Australian Catholic Church, with the approval of Pope Francis, will hold a Plenary Council in 2020-2021 to discuss its way forward in light of the challenges it faces in contemporary society. It's the most significant Catholic Church gatherings after 1937. The Council in 2020 will address the way forward for the Church in Australia in light of the challenges it faces in contemporary society and will be presided by the Salesian Archbishop of Perth, Mgr. Timothy Costelloe.

                              “Together, we are on a journey of listening to God by listening to one another. We invite all Australians to engage in an open and inclusive process of listening, dialogue and discernment about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. Your voice is needed – join in! Speak boldly and with passion, listen with an open and humble heart. With faith and guided by God’s Holy Spirit, we journey together, toward the future.” - from the official website of the Australia Catholic Church Plenary Council 2020. (

                              Delegates from the 34 local churches (=dioceses) of Australia will gather across two sessions in 2020 and 2021 to enable deeper discernment, further learning, and dialogue. The process begins at Pentecost 2018 and will help form the agenda for the Council.

                              In approving the Plenary Council, Pope Francis also endorsed the bishops’ nomination of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB as the president of the Plenary Council. Archbishop Costelloe said: “I encourage all Catholics, whether devout or disillusioned, fervent or frustrated, to seize this opportunity to speak what is on their minds and in their hearts.”

                              In a statement by the Australian Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, chair of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, said the gathering “will be a unique opportunity for people to come together and listen to God in all the ways God speaks to us, and in particular by listening to one another as together we discern what God is asking of us at this time – a time when the Church in Australia is facing significant challenges... “We sincerely hope the preparation and celebration of the Plenary Council is a time when all parts of the Church listen to and dialogue with one another as we explore together how we might answer the question: ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia?’”


                              • Australia
                              • Vescovi
                              • Timothy Costelloe
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                United States – Don Bosco Workers, Inc. protects immigrant workers’ rights in Port Chester, N.Y.

                                1 month ago

                                (ANS – Port Chester) – Don Bosco Workers, Inc. is a grassroots community-organizing group led by Latino immigrant day laborers and other low-income workers in Port Chester, N.Y. Launched in 2006, the organization utilized the local Salesian Holy Rosary Church. Here, workers would meet and conduct informal hiring. A designated site for hiring benefited both the workers and employers in addition to the Village of Port Chester since it reduced the number of “on the corner” day laborers.

                                When the organization incorporated as its own nonprofit, it chose the name Don Bosco in recognition of St. John (Don) Bosco, the founder of the Salesians, and his legacy of education and opportunity for poor immigrant youth. Since its inception in 2006, the organization has hosted nearly 800 workers and has a current active membership of 150 men and women.

                                According to the American Immigration Council, immigrants now account for one-fifth of New York state’s total population and make up a staggering 25 percent of its labor force. Don Bosco Workers advocates for full and fair participation in the labor market through workplace rights education, leadership development and popular education methods for identifying social change goals from within the worker community.

                                As part of its goal for full integration of immigrant worker members into the labor force and society, the organization is committed to English language instruction and civic participation. The hiring site not only matches worker skills to employer needs, but negotiates wage contracts, provides wage recovery services and advocates for victims of wage fraud.

                                Through collaboration with other worker centers, Don Bosco Workers has become a formidable voice in advocacy for workers’ rights, in particular the cause to end the exploitation of Latino immigrant workers. The organization was recently highlighted in a Catholic Philly article about protections for immigrant workers.

                                The article noted that Don Bosco Workers is under the leadership of Gonzalo Cruz (a Mexican immigrant and professional community organizer) and a worker-majority board of directors. The organization partners with five other worker centers serving the Westchester area. “We meet and talk about the problems,” said Cruz in the article.

                                The article highlighted one recent example of how Don Bosco Workers intervenes and protects the rights of workers. A contractor was holding wages back from his immigrant workforce. Don Bosco Workers has the expertise and know-how to get a state investigation launched and suspend the contractor.

                                “The problem of wage theft plagues many immigrants, who may not be in the country legally and believe they can’t trust someone should they make a complaint,” added Cruz.

                                Four years ago, according to Catholic Philly, Don Bosco Workers and Communications Workers of America Local 1103 developed a “No Pay, No Way” campaign. Cruz notes in the video, “I was working 72 hours (a week) and no overtime. I didn’t even know what is overtime.”

                                Catholic Philly noted that within a year of its launch, 70 businesses had taken the “No Pay, No Way” pledge, which earned them a gold seal to affix to their store window to show customers.

                                The article also highlighted that Don Bosco Workers helped to start a pre-apprenticeship program in the building trades in the Westchester area. “Those in the program get good wages and benefits, and a good chance too, to get a job in the local community,” said Cruz.

                                For more information visit:

                                Source: Salesian Mission

                                • Stati Uniti
                                • SUE
                                • Lavoro
                                • Migranti
                                • Sociale
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Indonesia – At the new frontier of the Salesian Congregation

                                  1 month ago

                                  (ANS – Purwodadi) – The youngest Salesian presence in Indonesia in Purwodadi opened in 2015 and the canonical community with the first rector (Fr. Anto) was established only last summer 2017 in this Central Java town around the 60 year-old Junior High School of Bhaktia Mulia. Three priests and two practical trainees are animating a small town Catholic School of 50 students after the invitation of Bishop of Purwokerto, Mons. Julianus Sunarko, SJ (2000-2016). In the context of the SDB Indonesia delegation this is probably the least visited community - a true periphery.

                                  By Fr. Tarcisius Trianto, SDB

                                  The Valdocco-like Salesian presence among the poor young people in the rural area (500 km from Jakarta and 300 km from our Blitar City school) brings the best of our Charism into life. Our 20 teachers (Christians and Muslims) admire the family spirit and team work of our confreres that does, indeed, change the lives of our young people. Five Salesians live and pray together with 6 boarding Catholics (grades 7-9) and their simple and inspiring life becomes also a vocation invitation.

                                  After two years of our presence, the local parish (MSC - Missionary of the Sacred Heart) priest requested our contribution to the youth ministry and Purwodadi Oratory is being born. Since September 2017 four animators have been taking care of about 30 young Catholics in twice-a-month Oratory events with a formative touch. In this way the Salesian spirit is being shared in the local Church.

                                  Salesian community of Purwodadi has also great dreams: to attract more students, to improve the infrastructures and education environment of the school, to build a decent (not emergency-like) community house, as Purwodadi, located close to the sea shore, is also famous for almost annual floods with schools finding themselves often under 50-60 cm of water. The Salesians also pray for the possible purchase of land for a larger sports field or extension of this rather small school campus. Indeed the main dream and action requested is to share our preventive system of education and spirituality with many mission partners and young people.

                                  Source: AustraLasia

                                  • Indonesia
                                  • Periferie
                                  • ITM
                                  • Scuole
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Chile - Fr David Albornoz, SDB, new member of National Council for Prevention of Abuse

                                    1 month ago

                                    (ANS - Santiago) - During its last ordinary meeting, the National Council for the Prevention of Abuse and the Accompaniment of the Victims of the Episcopal Conference of Chile (CECh), has called Fr David Albornoz, SDB, to join their group of specialists.

                                    The National Council for the Prevention of Abuse and the Accompanying of Victims was created by the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops of the CECh in April 2011 to "guide and direct policies to prevent sexual abuse of minors and help victims."

                                    The Council has as its priority the protection of children and vulnerable adults. For this reason, it works on prevention policies and establishes networks of contacts and the formation of pastoral agents.

                                    Referring to his election to the Council, Fr Albornoz indicated he hoped to be able to contribute to the work of the team of experts starting from his specialization - Canon Law - in the field of the formation of persons, the creation of healthy and safe environments, strengthening of diocesan councils, as well as the development of CECh policies on the prevention of abuse.

                                    Fr Albornoz Pavisic, SDB, became a Doctor of Canon Law at the Salesian Pontifical University (Rome, 2002). He is currently a judge at the National Ecclesiastical Court of Appeal and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. He also participates in the Council for the Prevention of Abuses of the Conference of Religious and Religious (Conferre) and has collaborated in various formation courses for consecrated persons, male and female, on the prevention of abuse.

                                    Currently the Council is presided over by Msgr. Alejandro Goic, bishop of Rancagua; among its members there is also Msgr. Juan Ignacio González, bishop of San Bernardo, while the National Coordinator is Pilar Ramírez.

                                    As shown by CECh, for the Church "the absolute priority (is) the protection of minors and vulnerable adults, so that they may grow in faith in an environment that pays special attention and care to their conditions."

                                    Source: CECh

                                    • Cile
                                    • Chiesa
                                    • Abusi
                                    • CIL
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Uganda - Rector Major's Animation Visit ends

                                      1 month ago

                                      (ANS - Bombo) - The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, arrived at the Salesian Headquarters yesterday, Sunday 18 March, after 5 intense days spent in his Animation Visit to the Africa-Great Lakes Vice Province (AGL) and a long journey started on Saturday 17.

                                      The last stage of the visit was the community of Bombo, Uganda, where the Rector Major arrived on the morning of Friday 16. He was welcomed with a musical homage by the school's musical band. On this occasion, Fr Á.F. Artime said, "This is the 74th country that I have visited since I am Rector Major and the most important thing in all these visits is to meet young people [...] You, dear children, use well this opportunity of being able to come to school given to you. Take advantage of these years of education, my dear young people! I am very happy when I see girls at school because the Church and society need you! You will be the mothers of tomorrow."

                                      After greeting the youth of several houses in Uganda, the Rector Major celebrated Mass together with the Archbishop of Kampala, Msgr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga - who publicly thanked him for the services rendered by the Salesians with regard to the education and evangelization of young people. During the celebration, the Rector Major praised the way in which the assembly brought the Gospel to the altar: covered with banana leaves, as is done with the matooke, the staple food of the Ugandan population - to mean that the Word of God is their main nourishment.

                                      The X Successor of Don Bosco blessed the parish offices and then met with the local Salesian Family. "The most important thing I ask of you is to be good examples to help young people grow, to learn from you," he urged them.

                                      "We are at the service of poor young people. No young person should ever leave a Salesian house because of his poverty," he said to his confreres in the meeting he had shortly thereafter.

                                      Finally, Saturday 17, Fr Á.F. Artime received the last homages from the Apostolic Nuncio in Uganda, Msgr. Michael August Blume, from Msgr. Kizito Luanga, and the Salesian community of Namugongo. On his journey to the Entebbe airport, he stopped at the sanctuary dedicated to St. Charles Lwanga and fellow martyrs.

                                      All photos of the Visit are available on ANSFlickr


                                      • AGL
                                      • Rettor Maggiore
                                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                      • Visita di Animazione
                                      • Uganda
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        RMG - 1918 - March 21 - 2018: centenary of the birth of Blessed Alberto Marvelli, past pupil of the oratory

                                        1 month ago

                                        (ANS - Rome) - Alberto Marvelli was born on 21 March 1918 in Ferrara. 100 years have passed since that distant day and many in the world know his life, his educational, charitable, social and political commitment.

                                        by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB,

                                        Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family

                                        A student of the Salesian Oratory in Rimini, following the example of Domenico Savio, he matured his faith with a decisive choice: "My program is summed up in one word: saint." In just 28 years he achieved a life of "full measure": spending all in his love of God and neighbor.

                                        When his life was tragically interrupted on 5 October 1946, many believed they had lost him forever and that his commitment, support, and example would be lost. Instead: saints have a "posthumous" life. Today, more than ever, Alberto is alive and active: the good he has worked upon the earth has expanded in time and space. His exemplary holiness has become a model for laity committed in works across the globe, in search of Christian identity and of coherence with faith. He opened a new road, which can be traveled by everyone. The diffusion of his testimony in the world, the many young people who have taken him as a model, are the sure signs of his living and working person among us all.

                                        Celebrating his centenary, in this special year that the Church is dedicating to young people with the Synod, means not just commemorating, but acknowledging this presence, as St. John Paul II indicated on the day of his beatification on 5 September 2004: "It is up to you lay persons to bear witness to faith through the virtues specific to you: fidelity and tenderness in the family, competence in work, tenacity in serving the common good, solidarity in social relations, creativity in undertaking works useful for evangelization and human promotion. It is up to you to show - in close communion with the Pastors - that the Gospel is current, contemporary, and that faith does not take the believer away from history, but immerses them more profoundly in history."

                                        • RMG
                                        • Alberto Marvelli
                                        • Santità Salesiana
                                        • Anniversari
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          5 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana