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Vietnam – Double Vietnamese "miracle" against Covid-19: prevention and solidarity

1 month ago

(ANS - Ho Chi Minh City) - Although bordering China, the country from which the Covid-19 pandemic originated, Vietnam is among the most virtuous countries in virus resistance: only 332 infections and 0 victims - so much so that several restrictions have already been eased in recent weeks. To this excellent result achieved by society in general, there must be added another beautiful and specifically Salesian goal: that of having set up and coordinated an excellent machine of solidarity, for the benefit of many poor and needy.

If, in fact, at a healthcare level the problems have been contained, the fear of the virus has caused difficulties as regards work, and therefore in sustenance, for many people and families, as it has in every other part of the world. For this reason, the "Saint John Bosco" Province of Vietnam (VIE) has decided to launch the "Ban Covid-19" campaign.

After a meeting of the Provincial Council, a special committee for the management of the initiative was appointed. The Provincial sent a letter to all the Salesian works and presences, asking each of them to help at least 50 families in their neighborhood. The special committee then elaborated the strategic plan, a campaign for the collection of local funds was started and, without resorting to aid from abroad, they set themselves the objective of collecting the equivalent of 60,000 euros in donations to help at least 1,500 needy people.

The solidarity campaign lasted a month. Besides bringing relief to people in difficult situations, it also favored the creation of links between the Salesian communities, the various groups of the Salesian Family and other social promotion organizations. Overall, 138 spiritual sons of Don Bosco, 92 collaborators, 35 benefactors and 41 friends of Salesian works contributed to the campaign.

At the end of the campaign, monitoring of the results showed the results to be higher than expected: the money raised was approximately 74,000 euros, and the people benefited were more than 7,300 - without considering that four communities worked in the solidarity initiatives, without actually counting the people helped.

In conclusion, it can be said that the launch of the "Ban Covid-19" campaign by the Vietnam Province has not only helped many poor families, but has also fostered the sense of belonging within the Province and creating links with the local Salesian Family, benefactors and society and civilians, as well as representing an excellent vehicle for evangelization, as it gave witness to the Vietnamese society of the Salesian mission in the service of the poor.

{gallery}VIE - Ban Covid-19 - 2020{/gallery}

  • VIE VIETNAM
  • Vietnam
  • Coronavirus
  • Solidarietà
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Spain – “Misiones Salesianas” delivers over 37,000 FFP2 masks to healthcare professionals to fight coronavirus

    1 month ago
    Spain – “Misiones Salesianas” delivers over 37,000 FFP2 masks to healthcare professionals to fight coronavirus

    (ANS - Madrid) - The Salesian Mission Office of Madrid - "Misiones Salesianas" - has delivered over 37,000 FFP2 masks to the Community of Madrid to continue helping healthcare professionals combat coronavirus. The initiative was launched with the campaign "Vamos a superarlo juntos" (We will overcome it together). Furthermore, starting from now, to continue alleviating the effects of the pandemic in the world by offering help to the most needy, Misiones Salesianas has launched another campaign "Más unidos que nunca" (More united than ever).

    The solidarity initiative was born to help healthcare workers in the most difficult moments of the pandemic in Spain. The high number of doctors and nurses infected with Covid-19 has encouraged the Mission Office to take care of those who care. For the first time in the history of Misiones Salesianas, the campaign "Vamos a superarlo juntos" has also made it possible to offer help in Spain itself, and it has done so in Madrid, the area most affected by the pandemic.

    The "Wottoline" company collaborated in importing the FFP2 masks from China, which was possible thanks to the generosity and solidarity of hundreds of benefactors, supporters and friends of the Mission Office. The supply and transfer of the masks, before their delivery to the Community of Madrid, passed a rigorous laboratory traceability check to certify their quality; and in these days the masks are being distributed in the healthcare centers of Madrid.

    At the same time, during the nearly three months of the global health emergency, Misiones Salesianas has contributed over 500,000 euros to helping nearly thirty countries meet the most serious needs due to the global pandemic.

    However, more support is needed to be able to respond to more people and more countries. For this reason, the campaign “Más unidos que nunca” was established.

    The requests for help from Salesian missionaries from all continents to support the most vulnerable of their respective local contexts and circumstances now exceed 6 million euros, and Salesian solidarity at a global level has already allocated more than 3 million euros. Basic foodstuffs and hygiene kits are now the fundamental products to alleviate the consequences of the pandemic.

    The lockdown or confinement of families and severe contagion control measures have left vulnerable people more exposed and deprived of resources. “People who work in the informal economy, migrants, refugees, children at risk ... They are the people who need support most, because they do not have access to basic needs such as food, medicine or hygiene products,” explains Fr José Antonio San Martín, Head of the Mission Office. “Once again, the poorest people are those who suffer most from the consequences of this disease. They turn to us and need our support, so we don't want to leave anyone behind.”

    {gallery}Spagna - Misiones Salesianas - 2020{/gallery}

    • Spagna
    • Procure Missionarie
    • Solidarietà
    • Coronavirus
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG – “I believe I've given everything: love, service, suffering.” Letter of thanks from Fr Casti to Salesian Cooperators

      1 month ago
      RMG – “I believe I've given everything: love, service, suffering.” Letter of thanks from Fr Casti to Salesian Cooperators

      (ANS - Rome) - At the end of his service, for eight years, as World Delegate for the Salesian Cooperators, Fr Giuseppe Casti wanted to send a moving letter of thanks to the members of the Association, in which he retraces the salient stages of this period.

      Dear Salesian Cooperators,

      After 8 years of service to the Association, I would like to greet you with the same dignity and love with which I have lived these years. For me they have been years of grace and great human and spiritual wealth. I met people strong in their faith in Christ, aware of their baptismal and Salesian vocation, women and men in love with Don Bosco and fully involved in the Salesian mission. Their witness was for me a great gift that leaves a profound mark on my life. I have met these Salesian Cooperators on the six continents and with significant moments that I want to remember.

      First of all, I attended the 2012 World Congress where the Project of Apostolic Life was definitively approved. The approval of this book of life was a historic moment for the whole Association, and from there the commitment was born to present the PVA in all the Regional Congresses, together with the Charter of Charismatic Identity of the Salesian Family. Together with these fundamental documents, we have developed and presented on all continents the other documents that form the backbone of our Association: the Commentary; Guidelines and Indications for the Formation of the Salesian Cooperators; the Criteria of Animation and Governance; and the Animating Economic Solidarity (ASE).

      With Sister Leslye we visited many African countries. From these visits came the idea of convening a Regional Congress in Addis Abeba. For Africa, it was a historic moment because following that Congress the decision was made to create two linguistic zones: one for Anglophone Africa and one for Francophone Africa. This choice of animation, confirmed in the Congress of Nairobi, signaled a good moment of growth for the Association on that great continent.

      I am happy to leave an association that is growing in the sense of belonging and communion. Together with Sr. Leslye, we have attested to these values in which I firmly believe. We shared joys, sufferings and dreams together. We felt and really acted as brother and sister. We always experienced this same communion on the World Council. I thank each of you personally, but especially Noemi for her wise, maternal, and generous service. Thanks also to Antonio for the courage with which he took over the Association. I can't help thanking Giuseppe. We spent many moments together and I have always admired his generosity made of simplicity and friendliness. A true model of an authentic Salesian Cooperator.

      But perhaps the most fruitful period of my service was the year of my chemotherapy. Suddenly discovering that you have lymphoma is a bad surprise for anyone, even for a priest. It is an unexpected and unwelcome guest. It changes your life. One suddenly moves from an active life, made of commitments and travel, to a passive life. One must submit a protocol that does not leave much room for what used to be usual occupations. Even for a priest it is not easy to handle this time that seems "lost" and which ought to be removed at all costs. In faith, I decided to transform that sterile isolation into fruitful solitude.
      Thus silence became a place of dialogue with God and with myself so I could return to what is essential, to rediscover the laws of the soul and the center of life which is always threatened by dispersion and fragmentation. During that time I offered my sufferings for the Salesian Family and for the Association. I felt close to Jesus who saved humanity through his Passion and Death.

      At this point I believe I have given it all: love, service, and suffering. These are also the gifts that I leave to the Association and to my successor to whom I wish the same blessings I have received.

      I thank all those who have accompanied me during these years and I shall gather together all your "thanks" in the Eucharistic celebration, the heart of the Church and of the Salesian Family, so as to render a unique "THANK YOU" to God the Father who sustains us with love on the journey that continues, even if in different directions.

      May Mary Help of Christians accompany the Association of Salesian Cooperators. At the right moment during this pandemic – a time when the mission field among young people seems even more difficult and arid – the Madonna of difficult times will make it rain and will make flowers spring up in the soil drenched by the sweat of our labors.


      Fraternally in Don Bosco

      Don Giuseppe Casti

      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
      • Salesiani Cooperatori
      • Famiglia Salesiana
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Liberia – Tappita Salesian mission vs Covid-19

        1 month ago
        Liberia – Tappita Salesian mission vs Covid-19

        (ANS - Tappita) - The threats of Covid-19 have not even spared the missionary periphery of Tappita, in the Liberian forest. Despite the limitations, the Sons of Don Bosco continued to serve the young and the poor.

        The first case of Covid-19 infection in Liberia was announced on March 16 in the capital, Monrovia. To date, the official data show 383 cases of contagion and 31 deaths, even if it is feared that the real data are higher.

        Furthermore, many people are not convinced that there is a virus in Liberia, and many things of a different nature are seen. The missionary Fr Riccardo Castellino, stationed in Tappita, says: “From gestures of great generosity and solidarity to the gesture of a group that assaults the center of isolation and frees those in quarantine, celebrating. Reason: the virus is a government ploy to take money and the dead are victims of the evil eye ... Illiteracy and superstition are much worse viruses than COVID-19!"

        Pastoral activity has also taken on different rhythms in the mission. The school has been closed since mid-March, the celebrations with people actually present suspended since Palm Sunday in late May; the medical dispensary continued its service, but at a slower pace, as with the closure of schools, many people returned to the villages to work on their land to survive.

        However, the community has remained united and alive in different ways. The young people, suitably prepared, have carried out awareness-raising campaigns and educational activities: convincing people of the circumstances, presenting the means for prevention and convincing them to use them.

        Various parish groups have put together as much as they have been able to to assist the most needy (elderly, sick, disabled, widows ...). A committee went on to distribute food and sanitary items: rice, oil, handwashing buckets, disinfectants ... The Past Pupils of the St. Francis school have done the same.

        Sunday Mass was resumed on May 24, the Feast Day of Mary Help of Christians.

        Recently, through the Province, the mission received a subsidy to help the population in an emergency situation. After a careful study of the various cases, each sector of the Mission set itself in motion for a second round of distribution of food and health products to the most needy. And the school also met all the staff, teachers and non-teachers, who were forced to stay at home and with the last salary received in April: they received food, health and a "sachet".

        One sector that has not stopped, although it has continued at a slower pace, has been that of "construction works"! The long renovation of the small community house is over. The church is almost completed in its first phase: extension, presbytery and ceiling. And Kindergarten has reached the completion of phase one: foundation and level of the windows.

        Fr Castellino concludes: “We look forward with trust and hope. Behind the clouds the sun continues to shine!"

        {gallery}Liberia - Missione Tappita 2020{/gallery}

        • Liberia
        • AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
        • Missioni
        • Coronavirus
        • Solidarietà
          Gian Francesco Romano

          RMG – Fr Juan Pablo Zabala appointed Provincial of Bolivia

          1 month ago
          RMG – Fr Juan Pablo Zabala appointed Provincial of Bolivia

          (ANS - Rome) - The General Council's work continues: during the summer session, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesian Congregation, with the consent of other Council members, has appointed Fr Juan Pablo Zabala as Provincial of the Province “Our Lady of Copacabana” of Bolivia (BOL) for the 2020-2026 term.

          Fr Zabala was born on 15 January 1965 in La Paz, Bolivia. He carried out his novitiate at Santa Eulalia, Peru, made his first religious profession on February 12, 1985 and perpetual profession on January 31, 1992, in La Paz. On 24 September 1994, he was ordained a priest in La Paz-El Alto.

          He was Vicar of the "Paul VI" Theologate community of Cochabamba (1998-99), Director of the "Don Bosco" Institute of the same city (1999-2005), and since 2017 he has held the position of Vicar of the "Don Bosco Institute" of La Paz.

          For the BOL Province he was Secretary (1997-99), Councilor (1999-2002 and 2017 - ongoing), Vicar (2002-2005) and Delegate for Provincial Services-Educational Centres (2004-2005).

          He has already held the position of Provincial of the BOL Province in 2005-2011.

          • Nomine
          • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
          • Ispettori
          • BOL BOLIVIA
            Gian Francesco Romano

            RMG – Fr Innocent Bizimana appointed Provincial of Vice Province of Madagascar

            1 month ago
            RMG – Fr Innocent Bizimana appointed Provincial of Vice Province of Madagascar

            (ANS - Rome) - During the current session of the General Council, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consent of his Council, has appointed Fr Innocent Bizimana as Provincial of the "Immaculate Mary" Vice Province of Madagascar (MDG) for 2020-2026.

            Fr Innocent Bizimana was born in Musha-Rwamagana, Rwanda, on 25 March 1969. He did his novitiate in Kansebula, Democratic Republic of the Congo, between 1993 and 1994. He made his first profession there on August 24, 1994. He continued his formation in Kansebula, then in Madagascar where he renewed his profession year after year, first in Tulear, then in Antsirabe and Ivato. He made his perpetual profession in Fianarantsoa in 2001, where he was ordained a priest two years later, on 9 August 2003.

            From 2003 to 2005, Fr Bizimana completed his studies at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome, where he graduated in Theology. Returning to Madagascar, from 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Fianarantsoa community, where he was pastor and head of the oratory between 2007 and 2009, before being appointed director of Ivato Notre-Dame de Clairvaux for two consecutive three-year terms. He was transferred to Betafo for a year, where he worked as Economer, and then returned to Ivato-Don Bosco as Director. He had just been confirmed for a second term last year on May 3, 2019.

            Fr Bizimana has been Provincial Vicar since 2 July 2014 and Provincial Delegate for Formation and Responsible for the Salesian Family since September 2016. At the time of this appointment, Fr Innocenzo Bizimana was also Coordinator of the Provincial Delegates for Formation for the Region of Africa and Madagascar. He speaks French, Italian, Malagasy, Swahili and Kinyarwanda.

            • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
            • Nomine
            • Ispettori
            • MDG MADAGASCAR
              Gian Francesco Romano

              RMG – A beautiful, transparent, joyful, intelligent Salesian figure: Fr. Francesco Maraccani (1936-2020)

              1 month ago
              RMG – A beautiful, transparent, joyful, intelligent Salesian figure: Fr. Francesco Maraccani (1936-2020)

              (ANS – Rome) – Four months after former Secretary and Procurator General of the Salesian Congregation, Fr. Francesco Maraccani (1936-2020), passed away, we have in our hands an inspiring 'mortuary letter' put together by Fr. Francesco Cereda (former Vicar of the Rector Major) and enriched by a large variety of 20 testimonies from many Salesian Family members and close relatives of Fr. Maraccani.

              A very human, spiritual, apostolic and very Salesian profile of Fr. Francesco stands out in so many ways - good spiritual reading for all of our provincial secretaries and all who are involved in administration around the Congregation. Some citations from the letter follow:

              Fr. Maraccani is a beautiful, transparent, joyful, intelligent figure. It is difficult to illustrate his profile, given the many facets of his personality. He is a multifaceted figure with many interests: from the liturgy to the history of the Church and the Congregation, to ecclesial events, science and current affairs. He loved the Sacred Heart, Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco, the saints and blesseds of the Salesian Family. He had been trained to work tirelessly. Work was the visible sign of his apostolic passion. In the Lombardo-Emiliana (ILE) Province they had coined an expression: "Working like dogs is demanding enough, but working like Maraccani [a play on the word ‘cani’=dogs] just doesn't compare."

              I imagine that in Heaven he will go to St Peter to ask for some work to do; what Don Bosco said: "We will rest in Heaven" will not apply to him. Work in its various forms is the hallmark of the Salesian: apostolic work, manual and intellectual work, work sanctified by union with God. For him, Don Bosco's words were a refrain: "Work, work, work". His desk with its many papers was a sign of the work he had in hand. Illness and physical ailments never prevented him from neglecting his duties; he knew how to live peacefully with illness. Above all, he was a man of prayer, and the many tasks and the great time dedicated to work did not prevent him from a life of confident, prolonged and contemplative prayer.

              He was simple, and there was something nice about the way he let himself be "teased", especially by dear Fr. Giovanni Fedrigotti who always dedicated a playful verse to him in songs during some community gatherings. And it was also like this at the meeting of the Rector Major and General Council with Pope Benedict XVI, after his resignation. Seeing Fr. Maraccani the Pope said to him: "But are you still here?" Fr. Maraccani would recount this joke with a smile and was pretty much pleased that the Pope recognised him for his long service to the Congregation he loved so much...."

              ... we may be also inspired by what was 'almost a summary of his vocation' - recalled in 2007, on the occasion of the 40 years of his priestly ordination when he was thanking God as follows:

              “I want to thank You, O Lord, first of all for the gift of life, in a family (Dad, Mum, Mari) that has led me to love You.

              Thank you for the many gifts with which you have enriched me and especially for the gift of my vocation which grew at the oratory in Pavone, with the wise and loving guidance of Fr. Beneditti.

              Thank you for having always accompanied me, also with the help of your Mother, Mary, in my studies and training (Nave, Parma, Milan, Rome), where I was also able to experience Salesian work among young people (school, assistance).

              How can I not recall the most beautiful stages and moments: the professions (the first in Montodine and perpetual in Missaglia) and above all my priestly ordination, 40 years ago, in the church at Pavone.

              You consecrated me priest, dispenser in your name of your grace and love, you gave me the power to make you truly present, with your Body and Blood, for the salvation of your people, especially the young, like Don Bosco, and in the style of Don Bosco.

              I have tried to be faithful during the years of direct ministry among the young and the people in Brescia, in the school, the oratory, the parish, and then as Provincial, with my confreres; and again in the tasks entrusted to me in Rome, even if no longer directly among the young.

              Unfortunately, at times I have been weak in my union with you, in my unconditional love, total dedication and humble service. Forgive me and help me to take up the task again every day with confidence and courage, despite the difficulties, even physical ones.

              Today I want to renew my response to your gift, to be a Salesian priest, truly all yours and at the service of your love, for the good of my brothers and sisters. With Mary and with Don Bosco."

              Full Mortuary Letter in English

              Fr Francesco Cereda, SDB

              Source: AustraLasia

              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
              • Decessi
                Gian Francesco Romano

                RMG – New Provincials of United States West and of Papua New Guinea-Solomon Islands appointed

                1 month ago
                RMG – New Provincials of United States West and of Papua New Guinea-Solomon Islands appointed

                (ANS - Rome) - As part of the General Council's summer working session, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesian Congregation, with the consensus of the Council's other members, have made two new appointments: Fr Melchor Trinidad as Provincial for the Province of the United States West (SUO), and Fr Gregorio Bicomong Jr. as Provincial of the Vice Province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (PGS).

                Fr Melchor Trinidad was born on 6 November 1956 in Tarlac, Philippines. He made his first religious profession in Newton, USA, on September 1, 1976, and perpetual profession on June 19, 1982, in Moraga, USA. On 25 May 1985, he was ordained a priest in Norwalk.

                He served in various Salesian houses in the United States and Canada, holding the position of Director in Rosemead (2007-2012), Richmond (2012-18) and Bellflower (2018 – ongoing).

                Provincial Councilor between 2000 and 2010, and then from 2018, he was also Delegate for Provincial Youth Ministry between 2000 and 2007 and in 2018-2019.

                Fr Gregorio Bicomong Jr was born on 19 October 1962 in Quezon City, Manila, Philippines. He made his first religious profession in Canlubang on 1 April 1981, and perpetual on 15 August 1986, also in Canlubang. From 1987-1990, he did his Theological Studies at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, followed by his licentiate in Church History at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He is a lecturer of Church History at the Don Bosco Center of Studies at Parañaque. He was ordained a priest in Parañaque on 4 August 1990.

                As Provincial Economer and Delegate for Missionary Animation (FIN), he visited all the houses of the then Delegation of PNG,  which was part of the FIN province until 2015. At present, he is Rector and Parish Priest of St. John Bosco Parish, Makati, Philippines. Now the Rector Major, with the consent of his Council, has appointed him to succeed Fr Alfred Maravilla who was elected General Councillor for Missions during the 28th General Chapter. The date of his installation will be announced later.

                {gallery}Due Ispettori SUO e PGS - 2020{/gallery}

                • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                • Nomine
                • Ispettori
                • SUO STATI UNITI OVEST
                • PGS PAPUA NUOVA GUINEA E ISOLE SALOMONE
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Sierra Leona – Augusta, role model for girls saved from prostitution, rests in peace. "We will never forget you!"

                  1 month ago

                  (ANS - Freetown) - Augusta Ngombu was only 23 years old. Despite her young age, she had time to make her dream come true. Orphaned as a child, exploited and abused by a relative, she ran away from home to survive in the streets, ending up selling her body in order to eat. The Salesians saved her life, helped her in her studies, and she was able to open her own food business. Augusta died of AIDS (HIV) last Sunday, June 7.

                  Augusta was an indirect victim of coronavirus. The fear of getting infected in the hospital led her to stop taking retroviral drugs for her illness.

                  Orphaned as a child, forced to sell food on the street, she decided to run away from home and began to live and survive on the street. She was exploited and abused, beaten and robbed, and eventually also got sick.

                  At 16, her life changed when a Salesian missionary approached her and offered her a way out of life in the streets and exploitation. She went back to school, finished high school, studied the hotel business, did an internship in a restaurant, "and she was always wanting to pay for her studies herself," recalls Fr Jorge Crisafulli, SDB, Director of the “Don Bosco Fambul” work in Freetown.

                  In 2018, she attended the 38th UN Session of Human Rights and offered her testimony in a recorded message. She participated in several meetings and moved all those who listened to her testimony. In Brussels, she was received by the then President of the European Parliament, Hon. Antonio Tajani, and participated with the now Cardinal Michael Czerny in a meeting of the COMECE (Commission of the Episcopal Conferences of the European Community) on the Action of the Catholic Church against Trafficking in Human Beings.

                  In Malta, she participated in the European event Lost in Migration with the documentary film "Love" and the round table on the Protection of Minors on the Way of Migration: Origin, Transit and Reception.

                  In Rome, thanks to the personal interest of Vatican News journalist Patricia Ynestroza, Augusta had the opportunity to participate in an audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square. To put it in the words of the young Sierra Leonean: "It was the happiest day of my life."

                  In Turin, she had the opportunity to meet the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime. In the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, she prayed in front of the tomb of the Salesian saints.

                  With the documentary film "Love", of which Augusta is the protagonist, she managed to change the lives of many minors in Sierra Leone: the government of the country began to see these minors as the victims they actually are, introducing new laws that prevent them from being arrested by the police.

                  “Death took her away at her best time. She fulfilled her dream and leaves us a very clear message: there is always a second chance in life. She did it, which is why other girls can follow in her footsteps today,” assures Fr Crisafulli.

                  During the filming of "Love" Augusta could say: "Today I'm happy. Nobody laughs at me anymore, nor do they use me. I do my job, I earn my money for that and I love what I do.”

                  Source: Misiones Salesianas

                  {gallery}Sierra Leone - Augusta RIP - 2020{/gallery}

                  • Sierra Leone
                  • AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
                  • Prostituzione
                  • Don Bosco Fambul
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Argentina – With the heart of Jesus and the face of Mary: "The pandemic has taught us to value more what we have to give to others"

                    1 month ago

                    (ANS - Rosario) - In Rosario, Mary dresses as a Help of Christians. The Salesian community of the Sacred Heart of Jesus accompanies the families of Ludueña and Barrio Industrial in this socio-health-related emergency. Latin America is now the continent with the highest number of sick people; Brazil is second for the highest number of infected and deceased people due to Covid-19. In Argentina, 23,620 cases of infection have so far been confirmed, 693 dead, with 7,305 people healed; thus, the quarantine has been extended until 28 June and, meanwhile, poverty continues to increase.

                    The pandemic has taught us to make the most of what we have to give to others," explains Angélica Gonchay, of the "San Cayetano" refectory. And this situation can be clearly seen in the Barrio Industrial and Ludueña districts, close to where the Salesian work stands in the northwest area of ​​the city of Rosario.

                    In just a few months, the social canteens have multiplied, bringing a plate of food to the table for many people who currently suffer much due to their not having jobs.

                    People have begun to organize themselves to give answers,” says Claudia De Gottardi, Director of the "Father Edgardo" school.

                    There are many people who, every day, seek donations to fill social pots, food banks; people who donate their time and their efforts to cook, serve, assist with motherly love those who approach carrying their needs on their shoulders.

                    Each of those we meet is, and we ourselves are, a suffering Christ,” indicates Claudia. “The Easter of Jesus gives a new and profound meaning to who we are and what we do.”

                    The presence of the suffering Christ is evident in that context, in the brothers and sisters of the neighborhood. And on the silent, gentle, yet present journey, there is also Mary Help of Christians.

                    There are "many Marys in the neighborhood who are the example of many women," says Agustina Díaz Gonález, Coordinator of the Salesian Youth Movement in the Ludueña neighborhood.

                    Mary, who from her trust in God knew how to give herself generously to the service of others, is the one who today more than ever helps, rescues, watches over her children in danger; who embraces and supports in the educational and maternal presence, typical of Don Bosco's Preventive System, which many live and transmit in their works "Domingo Savio" and "Vicaria Sagrado Corazón".

                    {gallery}ARN - Rosario - 2020{/gallery}

                    • Argentina
                    • Maria Ausiliatrice
                    • ARN ARGENTINA NORD
                    • Solidarietà
                    • Coronavirus
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Guatemala – Refectory in San Benito Salesian parish serves most vulnerable during pandemic

                      1 month ago
                      Guatemala – Refectory in San Benito Salesian parish serves most vulnerable during pandemic

                      (ANS - San Benito Petén) - The global emergency is having effects that go beyond coronavirus. The lockdown, curfew, restrictions on mobility, and the slowdown in economic activity have left millions of families in poverty. Without being able to work, they have no food to eat and the problems will last beyond the time when the pandemic will be overcome. The Salesians of the parish of San Benito Petén, in Guatemala, are looking for solutions to help the most vulnerable. Their latest initiative has been the establishment of a refectory to supply basic necessities to the most disadvantaged.

                      The three Salesians of the parish of San Benito Petén, with a population of 80,000 people, are always at the side of the population. However, the contagion has increased in the Country and the government has imposed more restrictions on mobility. For this reason, Salesian missionary Fr Giampiero de Nardi has set up a refectory for the poor that aims to reach the most vulnerable people: people without income and therefore unable to obtain food for themselves.

                      With public transportation closed and the curfew of the past few weeks, the country is trying to control the spread of coronavirus nationwide. The Salesians, meanwhile, want to continue offering their pastoral, accompaniment, and social services to people. In addition to the daily online broadcast of the Mass, the procession with the Blessed Sacrament by car through the city, and the distribution of food on the weekends, they have now thought to open this refectory.

                      The social refectory will help hundreds of people over the past few weeks who are without resources because of coronavirus.

                      "During the pandemic we want to continue helping the most vulnerable people," said Fr de Nardi. "To this end, the arrival of a container with non-perishable food will be essential in these days. In addition, we want to buy vegetables, condiments and some meat, so that families can eat meat once a week."

                      The Salesian missionary explains that "a pound of chicken costs about the equivalent of 0.70 euros and three people can eat with it." In the same way, "the solidarity of the population is seen in the collaboration they offer us with the delivery of non-perishable products that is then distributed0. Rice, beans, eggs, oil, pasta ... arrive every day at the refectory of Salesian solidarity, thanks to the generosity of the population."

                      In a restricted physical space, and with a road of separation, there are the cities of Petén, Santa Elena, which has 50,000 inhabitants, and Flores, the municipal capital. The fear that the crisis will continue and that the episodes of violence to get food will increase have prompted the Salesians to open this refectory to continue offering their help to the most vulnerable population in times of Covid-19.

                      • Guatemala
                      • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                      • Solidarietà
                      • Coronavirus
                      • Missioni
                      • San Benito Petén
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Israel – Fr Stephen Kuncherakatt, SDB, called to the Glory of God

                        1 month ago
                        Israel – Fr Stephen Kuncherakatt, SDB, called to the Glory of God

                        (ANS - Jerusalem) - Fr Stephen Kuncherakatt, SDB, died in Jerusalem on the night of June 2, 2020. He had been taken to the Italian hospital in Haifa for a check-up; the Salesians who accompanied him were unable to stay with him because of the emergency health rules and Fr Kuncherakatt died in silence, accompanied by the sisters of the hospital.

                        Fr Stephen, as he was commonly known, was born on 27 June 1934 in Kidangore, Kerala, India. He made his first profession on May 24, 1958, perpetual profession on May 24, 1962, and was ordained a priest on January 29, 1966.

                        A Past Pupil of the "St. Mary" of Kidangore, in 1967 he graduated from the Papal Seminary of Pune, India, and in 1971 obtained his doctorate in Liturgy from the Pontifical University "Sant’Anselmo" in Rome. He served from 1971 to 1975 as Dean of the "Sacred Heart" University Institute of Tirupattur; as Master of Novices from 1991 to 1997 for the novitiates of Vellakinar (Coimbatore) and Yellagiri. He was also Director and Vicar in various communities, including: "San Tommaso" at the Salesian Pontifical University of Rome (UPS); "Sacred Heart" Institute of Tirupattur; “Kristu Jyoti” Institute of Bangalore; the "Sacred Heart" of Tirupattur ...

                        In 2003 he was assigned the position of Professor of Latin and Liturgy in the then Salesian Theologate of Cremisan, Israel, and in 2004 he witnessed the transfer of the Theologate from Cremisan to Ratisbonne, where he continued to serve as a teacher, confessor and spiritual father for students, priests, religious, and lay people until his last day on earth.

                        Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation of the Salesian Congregation, thus commented his departure: “He was the type of man who could, in silence, reach out and touch the lives of people firsthand: a man of profound faith who lived his Salesian priesthood in a beautiful, kind and discreet way.

                        The most obvious thing in him was work: he had a passion for gardening, he made Ratisbonne beautiful, and I believe he continued to work until the end, despite our entreaties to take care of himself. Behind that passion, there was also the highly appreciated ministry as a confessor and spiritual father in the community, but also in the city of Jerusalem. He also spent a lot of time "re-editing", or rather "correcting", the license and perhaps even doctoral theses he received from all sides.

                        He was always available to greet or even guide the frequent visitors, mostly Israelis, who wanted to get to know Ratisbonne. And he had the ability to keep in touch with friends all over the world. His kindness has truly touched people from all over the world.

                        He aged in grace and God called him back to Himself in silence. We will miss him; Ratisbonne will never be the same again."

                        Fr Kuncherakatt's funeral took place in Ratisbonne on Friday 5 June; subsequently, the body was buried in Cremisan.

                        • Israele
                        • MOR MEDIO ORIENTE
                        • Decessi
                        • Ivo Coelho
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Slovakia – Donated Face Masks Helped in Pandemic at Home and Worldwide

                          1 month ago
                          Slovakia – Donated Face Masks Helped in Pandemic at Home and Worldwide

                          (ANS – Bratislava) – The challenges of these days did not leave many past pupils and Salesian family members in Slovakia cold, helping their neighbours as conditions permit. One of the opportunities to help was the project “Let’s Donate a Face Mask”. Its goal was to collect 10 x 150 face masks – as a sign of the anniversary that the past pupils in the world commemorate this year.

                          However, the will to get involved in the aid was even greater and within a few days, 2,871 face masks were collected. Volunteers from several places in Slovakia packed each face mask into a separate package containing instructions for its safe use and a picture with the relics of Fr Titus Zeman and Anka Kolesárová. In several cities, various components of the Salesian family, such as Salesian collaborators or members of ADMA, were involved in the project. "It was amazing to see how quickly women of all ages, professions and statuses were mobilized. An 88-year-old lady sewed a face mask, but also a 4-year-old girl using her toy machine. It is admirable what numbers of face masks young mothers who sat at the machine in the evenings were able to make, despite having small children and teaching their school kids at home. A busy front-line nurse was involved in the event, and even an oncology patient. Everybody was looking for ways to help,” said Katarína Pirohová, a volunteer from Prešov, describing her experience.

                          “My husband started to sew, and the older daughter learned to sew as well, so there was a battle for the sewing machine at home,” says Lenka Klingová, a volunteer who joined the project with the whole family. “My friend Danka helped to make the cords and ironed hundreds of meters of bias tape. Younger children also helped with packaging; it became a series production, so it was a pleasant family activity in the end. We have received a lot from God, we have something to return.”

                          Past pupils delivered face masks with silver fibre to Salesians as a priority. They also supported projects of peripheral interest - the Roma community in Plavecký Štvrtok and the marginalized community project in Nitra - Orechov Dvor, where Salesians sisters operate. In distributing aid, they also thought of friends in the countries most affected by the coronavirus in Europe. Almost 700 face masks were sent to Salesians in the city of Leon, Spain. More than 600 face masks went to the Salesian communities in Costanta, Romania. One consignment of face masks was also sent to Italy. Some of the face masks with the logo of Don Bosco were also sent to the main Salesian house in Rome to Fr Eusebio Muñoz who was requested to distribute them among the fellow brothers.

                          The social project of Slovak Past Pupils called “Let's Give a smile”, which is always held in the Advent, thus received an exceptionally new set of contours. Thanks to more than 40 involved donors, including the past pupils and the Salesian family from different parts of Slovakia, the Sisters of Charity and the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the initiators responded to the need for extreme caution and security during the coronavirus pandemic at its inception.

                          “I knew that many of the past pupils were actively involved in their communities, for example helping older people with shopping, but I was thinking about doing something together. Our current anniversary automatically directed us towards the amount we wanted to collect - 10 x 150. The fact that in the end, the number of face masks was double – almost 3,000 – only shows that our members are open to help their neighbours and are able to react quickly,” says the President of the Past Pupils Association and the initiator of the charitable project Róbert Mruk.

                          Simona Hrabošová, Michal Nemček

                          {gallery}SLK - Progetto mascherine 2020{/gallery} 

                          • Slovacchia
                          • SLK SLOVACCHIA
                          • Exallievi
                          • Solidarietà
                          • Coronavirus
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Rwanda – "Charity begins at home": assistance provided to teachers and school employees in months when wages were suspended due to Covid-19

                            1 month ago

                            (ANS - Kigali) - One of the main activities of the Planning and Development Office (PDO) of the Africa Great Lakes Vice Province (AGL) - which includes Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda - is to help families made vulnerable by the Coronavirus pandemic.

                            Rwanda was the first country in Central and Eastern Africa to announce the first cases of COVID-19. A team of Salesians and their collaborators, led by Bro. Hubert Twagirayezu, Director of the Vice Province's PDO, responded immediately and with multiple activities to the various requests for help that came from families that could have otherwise suffered a direct deterioration in their living conditions due to the pandemic's negative effects.

                            In this broad segment of people, the PDO also identified the teachers and employees of the Salesian schools and Vocational Training Centers. These institutions, in fact, are unable to pay monthly wages, as all schools and VTCs were closed by the authorities until September 2020 to prevent contagion. For this reason, being institutions recognized as private, they remained without the only revenues available to them, that is those coming from school fees, and therefore salaries were not available.

                            Fortunately there have been and there are still benefactors who have responded to the call of the Salesians. In particular, Mr. Peter Böhm of Handwerk Hilfe, an organization based in Germany, responded favorably.

                            Now teachers are confident they can also deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to this benefactor who has agreed to make a donation and to do everything possible to provide for their food needs until next September, that is, when the reopening of the schools is foreseen and consequently fees and salaries should also return to normal.

                            The Salesians of AGL hope that with the help of God, not only Mr. Peter Böhm and Handwerk Hilfe, but also many other benefactors can and may continue to support the Salesian mission in the service of the needy in Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.

                            {gallery}AGL - Rwanda - aiuto a docenti e dipendenti 2020{/gallery}

                            • Rwanda
                            • AGL AFRICA GRANDI LAGHI
                            • Coronavirus
                            • Solidarietà
                            • PDO
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG – Rector Major names new Delegates for Salesian Family

                              1 month 1 week ago
                              RMG – Rector Major names new Delegates for Salesian Family

                              (ANS - Rome) - With an official statement, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesian Congregation and Father and Center of Unity of the Salesian Family, communicated the names of the new Delegates of the Rector Major for those groups that foresee direct spiritual animation by the Sons of Don Bosco. Below, the text of the press release.

                              Dear Salesian Confreres, dear Members of the Salesian Family,

                              My heartfelt greetings to all of you.

                              After the celebration of the 28th General Chapter of the Salesians of Don Bosco, some changes are taking place in the various services of animation. One of these concerns the Secretariat of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family.

                              In this line I would like to notify the Salesian Family worldwide about the Delegates of the Rector Major for those groups where is required a direct spiritual animation by the Salesians of Don Bosco.

                              The Delegates of the Rector Major are:

                              -       Fr Joan Lluís Playà, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Secretariat of the Salesian Family; he will continue to be the Ecclesiastical Assistant of the VDB (Volunteers of Don Bosco) and CDB (Volunteers with Don Bosco). Fr Joan Lluís is already well known, since he worked in this field during the previous years. We also appreciated him as a good Coordinator of the Animation Team of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family.

                              -       Bro. Duc (Dominic) Nam Nguyen, Vietnamese Salesian Brother, will be the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Association of the Salesian Cooperators and the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Past Pupils of Don Bosco. Bro. Dominic has a good knowledge of the European and the Italian context and undoubtedly he is a reference point for the Asian culture. My intention is to avoid a Europeanisation or Westernization in the animation of the Salesian Family;  rather I wish to make it more universal, and also to value at the best the vocation of the Salesian Brother in its more specific characteristics, including the animation of the Salesian Family, in particular of the two groups within it composed mainly by lay people.

                              -       Fr Alejandro Guevara, at present the Delegate for the Salesian Family of the Province Mary Help of Christians in Seville (Spain), will be the Delegate of the Rector Major as Spiritual Animator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, accompanying first of all the ADMA PRIMARIA in Turin and, from there, the whole Association in the Salesian world. His dwelling will be in Valdocco and from Valdocco he will carry on his service of animation.

                              -       Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints, will also be part of the team of the Secretariat, in order to enrich the Salesian Family with the vision and better understanding of Salesian holiness, to which we are all called.

                              I am very grateful to these four confreres for their availability and generosity in accepting their assignments; I also thank Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Fr Giuseppe Casti and Fr Raphael Jayapalan for the dedicated and qualified service they have rendered in the previous six years to our Family. My best wishes for the years ahead, praying for the continuation of a lively and beautiful animation of the whole Salesian Family, and at the same time for the innovation and renewal that the Church and Don Bosco’s charism requires today from all of us.

                              Yours sincerely,

                              Ángel Fernández Artime, SDB

                              Rector Major

                              {gallery}Membri Segretariato RM - 2020{/gallery}

                              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                              • Famiglia Salesiana
                              • Rettor Maggiore
                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                              • CDB Volontari Con Don Bosco
                              • VDB Volontarie di Don Bosco
                              • Salesiani Cooperatori
                              • Exallievi
                              • ADMA
                              • Pier Luigi Cameroni
                              • Joan Lluís Playà
                              • Duc Domenico Nam Nguyen
                              • Alejandro Guevara
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                RMG – Rector Major and General Council continue organizational and planning meetings of Salesian Congregation

                                1 month 1 week ago
                                RMG – Rector Major and General Council continue organizational and planning meetings of Salesian Congregation

                                (ANS - Rome) - On June 3, 2020, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, Fr Stefano Martoglio, his Vicar, and a group of General and Regional Councilors present in the Generalate, with others scattered in different countries of the world, but connected online, resumed their work of organization and programming.

                                Plenary meetings of the Rector Major and the General Council began on June 3, but the organization of the Congregation had already started in May, with the appointment of seven Salesian Provincials.

                                In June, as they do every year, the meetings of the Rector Major and the General Council began, but this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they began with the physical absence of four Regional Councilors and one General Councilor, who were unable to enter Italy.

                                On June 4, Fr Miguel Angel García, General Councilor for Youth Ministry, and Fr Juan Carlos Pérez, Regional Councilor for the Mediterranean Region, joined the Council.

                                The General Council is made up of 15 members, including the Rector Major and the Secretary General. To date, 10 Councilors are present, even if those who are absent continue to participate by teleconference in the organization and programming of the Salesian Congregation.

                                The work of the Rector Major and his Council has as its mission the ordinary administration and the preparation, under the indication of the Rector Major, of the letter that will act as the program for the six-year period and other topics for reflection. The Council will adopt the document and make its own the resolution of the 28th General Chapter with the guidelines of the Rector Major, the navigation chart of the Congregation based on the guidelines of Pope Francis and the reflections of the Chapter. Thanks to the organization of these documents, the Congregation's Project and Programming for the 2020-2026 term will be offered in the coming months.

                                Due to the pandemic, the travelling of Councilors to various parts of the world shall be reduced and the intermediate October session of the General Council will reflect and evaluate new working methodologies.

                                The fundamental mission of the General Council is to cooperate with the Rector Major in the animation and government of the Congregation "to identify and study the problems which concern the common welfare of the Society, to promote fraternal union among the different Provinces and to develop an ever more efficient organization for the fulfillment of the Salesian mission in the world", states the Salesian Constitutions (art. 130).

                                {gallery}RMG - Consiglio Generale Estivo 2020{/gallery}

                                • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                • Consiglio Generale
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  RMG – Don Bosco Green Alliance launches ‘Rethink, Reconnect, Renew’ campaign

                                  1 month 1 week ago
                                  RMG – Don Bosco Green Alliance launches ‘Rethink, Reconnect, Renew’ campaign

                                  (ANS – Rome) – On 5 June, World Environment Day, Don Bosco Green Alliance is launching a new campaign entitled ‘Rethink, Reconnect, Renew’. This campaign will be carried out all through the ongoing Laudato Sì Year.

                                  The Covid-19 Pandemic has challenged us to rethink the path our lives and our world need to take.  As Pope Francis said in his Urbi et Orbi message on 27 March 2020: “We have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick.” The pandemic has made us realize how wrong we were! The campaign, therefore, invites all the alliance members to rethink their priorities, their choices and their lifestyles.

                                  Precisely at this very challenging moment in history, we have entered into the Laudato Sì Year, which has as its theme: ‘Everything is Connected’. Significantly, the theme for World Environment Day 2020 is: ‘Time for Nature’. As the UN Environment Chief Inger Anderson said in a recent interview: “We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves. And as we hurtle towards a population of ten billion people on this planet, we need to go into this future armed with nature as our strongest ally.” Through this campaign, a variety of activities will be proposed that help to reconnect with nature, especially in our own campuses and neighbourhoods.

                                  Our rethinking and our reconnecting should inspire us to renew our way of living, to ensure a healthier and happier future. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, referring to the pandemic called for a renewal saying: “I hope we’ll learn something from all this. For example, will we go back to a hectic lifestyle or will we be able to have a more humane pace and spaces? Do we want to make up for lost time in consumerism or will we learn that it is possible to live happily with the essentials? Will we continue unbridled in the race to contaminate the world or will we give the planet a respite? After this pandemic, an ecological indifference like the one we continue to see in the climatic summits is not possible.” All the alliance members are being encouraged to make pledges on how they will concretely live more eco-friendly lives.

                                  The campaign is inviting the alliance members to organize various activities and programmes during the course of the year that help to bring about concrete outcomes, at both institutional and individual levels. A series of monthly webinars on topics connected to the theme of the campaign has been planned for the year ahead. Special events will be organized during the year in which all the members of the alliance can participate collectively. Resources for the campaign are also available on the alliance website: https://donboscogreen.org

                                  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                  • Don Bosco Green Alliance
                                  • Ambiente
                                  • Creato
                                  • Laudato Si
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    El Salvador – Salesian Solidarity Days before storm "Amanda" and Covid-19

                                    1 month 1 week ago

                                    (ANS - San Salvador) - El Salvador is a small nation in Central America and has 7 million inhabitants. In the Country, cases of contagion from Covid-19 are multiplying. At the same time, this small nation is undergoing another catastrophe: the storm "Amanda" which has caused serious damage and is estimated to have left at least 14 people dead in its wake. The Salesians of Don Bosco have made available their centers, their strengths and their energies to help the needy.

                                    In El Salvador, on the night of May 31, the storm caused 14 victims and extensive material damage, destroying 50 homes, taking away 23 vehicles, and forcing about 4,000 people to flee. This emergency, at the height of the pandemic, worries the country even further, as health services are being severely tested by the advance of Covid-19, wrote journalist L. Muñoz.

                                    The "Ricaldone" Salesian Technical Institute has opened its doors to welcome people in need. It functions as a collection center for the national emergency that El Salvador is experiencing due to the tropical storm Amanda. A group of volunteers - including students, students' parents, past pupils, teachers, administrators, Salesian collaborators and friends of the work - helped the Salesian community to coordinate donations and deliver them to the temporary hospitalizations assigned to the responsibility of the institute.

                                    The Salesian Centers of the "Fundación Salvador del Mundo" (FUSALMO) began to provide support to the affected families. In the first week of June, breakfast and lunch were delivered to the people present in several temporary shelters in San Salvador. Among them the "Instituto Técnico Industrial" and the "Darío Gonzáles" Community of San Jacinto.

                                    Solidarity measures were taken in strict compliance with the health measures active in the country for Covid-19.

                                    Many families have already benefited from food and clothing, thanks to the support of all the people who have made their donations.

                                    • El Salvador
                                    • CAM CENTRO AMERICA
                                    • Coronavirus
                                    • Solidarietà
                                    • Disastri e Calamità Naturali
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Guatemala – Passion for medicine in time of COVID-19 without forgetting to be a past pupil of Don Bosco: Dr Venancio de León

                                      1 month 1 week ago
                                      Guatemala – Passion for medicine in time of COVID-19 without forgetting to be a past pupil of Don Bosco: Dr Venancio de León

                                      (ANS - Guatemala City)  On more than one occasion, Pope Francis raised a prayer for all those who work for the sick, especially the medical staff and health workers who are doing everything possible to help patients affected by Coronavirus. “I received a message from a priest from Bergamo,” commented the Pope, “asking to pray for the doctors of Bergamo, Treviglio, Brescia, Cremona, who are at the limit of their work; they are giving their lives to help the sick, to save the lives of others.” The stories of doctors who give their lives to save the sick is a reality. This is the case of Doctor Venancio de León, a past pupil of Don Bosco.

                                      In March, approximately 50,000 digital screens illuminated the facades of the most emblematic buildings of nearly twenty Chinese cities with the faces of healthcare professionals who assisted patients infected with COVID-19. “There is no doubt, medical professionals are the great heroes of this story,” wrote journalist Lea A of redEMC. In fact, Doctor Venancio is one of these heroes.

                                      On 24 January 2019, Dr Venancio ended his mandate as President of the National Association of Past Pupils (both male and female) of Don Bosco, who also chaired the "Alberto Marvelli Foundation", which manages and administers the "Father Bartolomé Ambrosio Vocational Training Center, SDB." “In addition to his professional qualities as a doctor, past pupil and person, Doctor Venancio has a great Salesian formation and human quality,” wrote Raúl Vázquez. And these characteristics, he lives them like a true professional with a Salesian formation in the midst of this pandemic.

                                      “Dr Venancio now works with COVID-19 patients, leaving his family to go to a hospital that is 5 hours from the capital and then he returns to do the same in the hospital that has national responsibility for the infected,” explains Raúl Vásquez, Director of the "Bartolomé Ambrosio SDB Center". “He is always smiling, he always talks about Don Bosco, Artemide Zatti, the Virgin Help of Christians. He is a doctor who lives an extraordinary spirituality and with truly admirable serenity.”

                                      In Guatemala, COVID-19 cases have increased and amounted to 5,500 cases in the last few days. Faced with this situation, Dr Venancio “is a doctor who lives to serve others, he is not a wealthy doctor, his work is among the poorest, among the Salesians, among the seminarians, among the people of the working class, who sometimes can't pay for his service. He is a past pupil of Don Bosco who lives the Salesian education received,” says Mr. Vásquez.

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

                                        Italy – Coronavirus, contribution of "Salesiani per il Sociale APS" to foster family homes

                                        1 month 1 week ago

                                        (ANS - Rome) - "We're here, with you!" This phrase has been repeated and heard many times over the past few months. As soon as the emergency began, the Salesians made themselves available to the many children and young people welcomed in the communities and centers scattered throughout Italy, guaranteeing proximity and concrete support to deal with this difficult pandemic. It was even more difficult for foster care family homes to live with this emergency: they could not be closed, as many of the boys housed had no other home to go to, while others risked returning to a family that would not have guaranteed their support.

                                        For this reason, directors, educators and operators of the foster homes supported by "Salesians for the Social APS", thinking of the good of minors, have taken all precautions to avoid infection (masks, gloves, social distances): an emergency in the emergency!

                                        Fr Antonio Carbone, who in Torre Annunziata coordinates two communities for minors, was among the first to ask for help from "Salesians per il Sociale APS". “We urgently need three sewing machines! Modu, one of our boys, was a tailor and now he is sewing 300 masks a day to be distributed free to the city's poor.” In just a few weeks, three new professional sewing machines were delivered to him, thus allowing Modu and his companions to start production. In the complete absence of masks, the contribution of Modu and his friends was essential, vital: “I'm putting my skills at the service of Father Antonio, of the people of Torre, of the Italians,” wrote Modu. “Don't worry Italy; everything will be fine!”

                                        Eleonora, who in Santa Severa is responsible for the foster home "Stella del Cammino", asked for support for basic necessities and for help to pay for the utilities of the house. Thanks to the timely contribution sent by "Salesiani per il Sociale APS", Eleonora was able to purchase sanitizers, masks, and gloves to make the rooms of the home, where ten children live, safe.

                                        Distance learning has been a method adopted in many of our structures, especially for extra school support and tutoring, guaranteed even during these months of emergency. Many families, however, found themselves unprepared for these new educational formulas as they lacked a PC, tablet, or a stable internet connection to enable their children to participate in the online video lessons. Fr Vincenzo Volpe, Director of the Salesian house of Santa Chiara in Palermo, wanted to speak for the many parents in difficulty in the Ballarò district, and asked for devices connected to the mobile network. Thanks to the collaboration of a regular supplier, within a few days the Salesian association delivered 5 tablets (with internet) to Sicily which, thanks to the structure's volunteers, were immediately distributed to those houses that needed them most urgently.

                                        The effort of these weeks has been remarkable, but none of this would have been possible without the generous response of many benefactors to whom the Salesians today say a resounding: “Thank you!

                                        “There are still many requests that we are receiving in these hours and to which we would like to respond as soon as possible,” say the people in charge at the 'Salesiani per il Sociale APS. “For us too, a new phase of the emergency begins. There are new needs to be met and precautions to be taken. But once again, with more force, we want to reiterate that We're here and we don't want to stop!"

                                        {gallery}Italia - Case famiglia SCS 2020{/gallery} 

                                        Source: Salesiani per il Sociale APS

                                        • Italia
                                        • Coronavirus
                                        • Solidarietà
                                        • Salesiani per il Sociale APS
                                        • Giovani a Rischio
                                        • Opzione Preferenziale
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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