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East Timor – Youth Ministry and Missions work together in East Asia-Oceania

3 weeks 6 days ago
East Timor – Youth Ministry and Missions work together in East Asia-Oceania

(ANS - Dili) - The annual gathering of Delegates for Youth Ministry (YM) and for Mission Animation (MA) of the Asia East-Oceania region (AEO) is currently underway (11-15 November) in Dili, Capital of Timor-Leste. The meeting is led by Fr Fabio Attard, General Councilor for YM, and Fr Guillermo Basañes, General Councilor for the Missions, together with their collaborators in their respective ministries, and regional coordinators Fr Joebeth L. Vivo (YM) and Fr Arvin Abatayo (MA). The meeting is also attended by Fr Václav Klement, Regional Councilor, and the Archbishop of Dili, the Salesian Msgr. Virgilio Da Silva.

Such a gathering offered the best possible setting for the inauguration of the new Center for Philosophical Studies "Saint Francis of Sales" built in the Salesian complex of Dili-Comoro. Taking place on the evening of Monday 11 November was a solemn Eucharist and the formal act of inauguration and blessing, accompanied by a cultural academy organized by the young people who attend Salesian works and by the customary speeches of the various authorities present,  including the Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Dulce Soares, and the Superior of the Vice Province of East Timor (TLS), Fr Apolinário Neto.

Yesterday, Tuesday 12 November, it was the first day of actual work for the region's YM and MA delegates. It began with a morning of spirituality that served to put the person of Jesus and the Salesian charism at the very center of all Salesian services and activities, of both YM and MA. After moments of silence, meditation, reflection and prayer, the approximately 30 participants shared what to ask forgiveness for and what to thank for as regards their daily commitment.

The distancing or departure from the Lord and from the young, the distraction towards one's own parishioners, individual pride or pastoral timidity were some of the errors for which they apologized; at the same time the Lord was praised for the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Salesian communities and initiatives, and that the young, especially the most marginalized, continue to save the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco.

In the afternoon and in the evening, finally, the ideas that come from the last two Synods of Bishops were collected: Fr Patrick Antonyraj led the reflection on the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, the papal text that summarized the work of the Synod on young people, faith and vocational discernment; and Fr Martín Lasarte, who participated in the Synod on the Pan-Amazon region, spoke of the Congregation's missionary commitment among as many as 69 (out of about 350) ethnic minorities scattered across Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.

Source: AustraLasia

{gallery}TLS - Incontro PG e AM 2019{/gallery}

  • Timor Est
  • TLS
  • Pastorale Giovanile
  • Animazione Missionaria
  • Guillermo Basañes
  • Fabio Attard
  • Asia EstOceania
  • Virgilio do Carmo da Silva
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Burundi – Blessing and inauguration of "Maison Cana" orphanage

    3 weeks 6 days ago

    (ANS - Rukago)  Blessed and inaugurated on October 30th  was the new building of the "Maison Cana" orphanage in Rukago. It is managed by the Congregation of the "Daughters of Mary - Our Lady of Cana", and founded in 1994 by the Salesian Fr Vital Minani, who today is Vicar of the "Mary Mother of God" house of Rukago.

    In an atmosphere of great celebration, with decorated streets and festoons everywhere, the guests who came for the occasion, were first welcomed. Then the blessing ceremony of the new building began, with Fr Minani, not only founder, but also legal representative of the Association "Daughters of Mary - Our Lady of Cana" and of the orphanage; subsequently, in the parish church of the nearby Salesian center, the Eucharist was celebrated, during which the Salesian thanked God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Salesian Congregation and other benefactors, the government and all those who worked in various ways to ensure that the building was completed.

    After Mass, the assembly returned to the orphanage building for the second part of the protocol activities, opened by the folk dances to the beat of the drums, and the cutting of the ribbon by Ignace Ntawembarira, Delegate of the Ministry of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender Issues, which marked the official inauguration of the new building.

    The building itself is a large two-storey structure, whose work began in 2012. The ground floor was built in various stages, based on the availability of funds received from various benefactors, mainly from the Salesian Congregation; the first floor, instead, was erected thanks mainly to the donation of the "Formons une famille" Foundation of Québec, Canada.

    After the greeting of Fr Minani, speaking on behalf of the delegation of the "Formons une famille" foundation, Guy Ménard congratulated the promoters of this project and recalled with emotion the moment when the foundation met the "Daughters of Cana" and explained the reasons for their involvement in this project.

    The administrator of the host municipality of Gahombo stressed that this orphanage is an inspiration of God and congratulated the "Daughters of Mary - Our Lady of Cana" for their compassionate spirit and their noble apostolate.

    Finally, Mr. Ntawembarira gave the children a ton of rice from the Ministry and stressed that this orphanage offers children a real family, education, care, love and guidance to help them become good citizens who will actively participate in the development of Burundi.

    The "Maison Cana" orphanage aims to be more and more a place where young people who are deprived of parents are loved and feel loved.

    Fr Raphaël Katanga, SDB

    {gallery}Burundi - Orfanotrofio Rukago 2019{/gallery}

    • Burundi
    • AGL
    • Orfanotrofio
    • Missioni
      Gian Francesco Romano

      RMG – The letter of the Councilor for Missions to sick and elderly Salesians

      4 weeks ago
      RMG – The letter of the Councilor for Missions to sick and elderly Salesians

      (ANS - Rome) - On the day of commemorating the departure of the first Salesian Missionary Expedition, on November 11th, in the year of the 150th Expedition, the General Councilor for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, sent, as per tradition, a letter to the elderly and sick Salesians.

      "I started writing this letter in Shillong, northeast India, and I am sending it to you from Dili, the capital of East Timor. What I manage to do through tiring days of travel, uniting north and south, east and west, you manage to do much better than me, sometimes without leaving your rooms, but uniting all points of the globe in your prayer and silent offering," the Councilor for the Missions begins, renewing his gratitude to all those of his confreres who accompany the missionary activity of the Congregation through spiritual support and the donation of their own daily labors and prayers.

      Subsequently, Fr Basañes recalls the great emotion of the Missionary Sending celebrated last 29 September in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, adding that the 36 new missionaries were not only the fruit of the Rector Major's missionary summons, but also "a fruitful outcome of your persevering prayers for the missions and missionaries."

      For this reason he urged the elderly and sick Salesians to persevere in accompanying prayer. And, citing the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud that Pope Benedict XV wrote 100 years - why Pope Francis declared October 2019 as 'Extraordinary Missionary Month' - he underlines their contribution in "ensuring that this fire continues to burn in every corner of the Congregation, which is constantly on a journey."

      The letter could not close without a fraternal commemoration of the two Salesian missionaries killed in early 2019 in Burkina Faso, Fr Antonio César Fernández and Fr Fernando Hernández.

      "May these two martyrs really help us to get closer and closer to the most appropriate answers to the crucial question of the next 28th General Chapter: 'What kind of Salesian...?' We could say, a Salesian living in a permanent state of martyrdom... ready to give reason for their hope... to radiate their faith, even if this preaching were to be tinged with the red of their own blood."

      The full text of the letter is available here.

      • RMG
      • Missioni
      • Anziani
      • Malattie
      • Guillermo Basañes
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Ethiopia – Animation visit of Rector Major's Vicar

        4 weeks ago
        Ethiopia – Animation visit of Rector Major's Vicar

        (ANS - Addis Ababa) - The Animation Visit of Fr Francesco Cereda, Vicar of the Rector Major, to the Vice Province of Africa Ethiopia (AET) was recently concluded. From 4 to 10 November, Fr Cereda visited the communities of Addis Ababa and Meki, meeting numerous Salesians, young people and members of the Salesian Family. These were intense days, during which the Rector Major's Vicar visited the Salesian schools and centers and had moments of discussion with the Directors and the Provincial Council.

        On Monday 4 November, Fr Cereda visited the youth of "Bosco Children" in Addis Ababa, the center for street children that hosts around 50 children every day - and still welcomes many others who go there only to attend courses and lessons. 

        On the same day, he then went to the community of Mekanissa, also in Addis Ababa, where he received a festive welcome from the school's children and teachers; he then visited the "Don Bosco TVET", the Professional Technical Training Center, known for its printing and for excellence in the graphics and printing press/typographic sector. Finally, he met with Meki, the community of the "Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians", a group of the Salesian Family founded by Msgr. Stefano Ferrando, SDB.

        The next day, in Meki, Fr Cereda visited the Adamitullu school and the Zway community where he met Salesians, aspirants and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. On Wednesday 6 November, he participated in a meeting with the novices of the community of Debre Zeit, 40 km south of Addis Ababa. From here, he returned to the provincial house for the last two days of the visit, the most intense and demanding ones.

        On Friday, in fact, the Vicar of the Rector Major met with the Directors for the presentation - with consequent review and dicussion - of the end letter of the Rector Major's Visit. Numerous other topics of interest were also discussed. Saturday, instead, he met the Provincial Council to discuss the functioning of the Vice Province, on the works of animation and government and to address the important theme of vocations.

        Fr Cereda, who recalled that he visited these lands for the first time in 1990, renewed, with this visit, his attention and closeness to the Salesian communities of Ethiopia.

        {gallery}Etiopia - Visita don Cereda 2019{/gallery}

        • AET
        • Etiopia
        • Francesco Cereda
        • Vicario del Rettor Maggiore
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Syria – Salesian Cooperator murdered in attack

          4 weeks ago
          Syria – Salesian Cooperator murdered in attack

          (ANS - Qamishli) - The Salesian Family of Syria mourns yet another victim: yesterday, Monday 11 November, Hovsep (Aphraham) Bedo, the Salesian Cooperator and priest of the Armenian Catholic rite, was killed while traveling by car with his father, also killed, and two other people, who managed to save themselves. The murder was perpetrated by fundamentalist militants. "The Association of Salesian Cooperators shares the pain of the family of Hovsep Bedo, who was tragically killed in an attack with his father," Fr Giuseppe Casti, World Delegate for Salesian Cooperators, said in a statement.

          The Salesian Cooperator, about 50 years old, was pastor of the "Saint Joseph" Cathedral in Qamishli, a city located in the North-East of Syria, on the border with Turkey and not far from Iraq. He was married and the father of three children, two girls and a boy, the latter currently being trained in a house in Lebanon as a Salesian aspirant.

          "We join in the prayer of the whole Church and of the Salesian Family for the Syrian people who, due to an interminable war, suffer injustices and suffering that injure above all the innocent and the poor. Let us pray for the Armenian Church which, in the midst of so many difficulties, continues to bear witness to the Gospel and to Christ. May the blood of this Salesian brother of ours, Cooperator, priest and martyr, be fruitful for peace and new vocations," said Fr Casti.

          The double murder took place while Fr Bedo was visiting the Armenian Catholic church of Dei Al Zor "to follow a mission and check the status of the renovation works on the city church and other connected areas," said Fr Nareg Naamo, Rector of the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome and friend of the killed priest, to the SIR news agency.

          Again according to the testimony of Fr Naamo, the aggression had the features of a real and proper execution, carried out because "hitting the shepherd means also hitting the flock". Fr Bedo, in fact, was driving his car, with his father at his side, with a deacon and another layman seated behind. "The car was flanked by two strangers on a motorcycle who opened fire and killed his father. Once the car stopped, the two continued to shoot, hitting the priest in the chest. The deacon and the layman managed to save themselves by rushing out of the vehicle," said the Rector of the Armenian College.

          Immediately taken to the hospital in Dei Al Zor, Fr Bedo was then transferred by ambulance to  the hospital in Hassaké for more effective treatments, but he arrived already deceased.

          The region of the North-East of Syria is experiencing a resurgence of hostilities these days: yesterday in Qamishli there were three attacks, one near the Chaldean church, with a toll of 6 dead and 20 wounded.

          • Siria
          • Salesiani Cooperatori
          • Violenze
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Chile – Shrine of Mary Help of Christians of Talca brutally profaned

            4 weeks ago
            Chile – Shrine of Mary Help of Christians of Talca brutally profaned

            (ANS - Talca) - Today, at 12, in the shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Talca, a Eucharist of Peace was celebrated, to implore from God a future of justice and social peace for all the Chileans. For a Chile without violence. That violence that has mortified and wounded this very Shrine, so dear to the faithful.

            The beautiful church, located in the center of the city and very popular, in fact, today, was bare, without benches, without many paintings. As if pierced and humiliated. This is because on the night of Monday 11 November, a group of hooded men ransacked and damaged the church, taking away the wooden benches, used to form barricades and then set on fire to block the streets.

            Even paintings and furnishings were destroyed as a sign of contempt, as television pictures clearly showed.

            Talca is a city of 250 thousand inhabitants in the center of Chile. Here, the Salesians are well known and respected for their vocational training schools and for the shrine of Mary Help of Christians, a center of faith and prayer.

            The church of Mary Help of Christians is the second church to suffer this type of attack, since the protests began in Chile. Two days ago, in the capital Santiago, the parish of the Assumption was also desecrated.

            The photographs posted on the web, even concerning the church of Talca, testify to the senseless violence of the events, incomprehensible pretexts suitable only for triggering anguish and fear.

            This attack represents a double pain for the Salesian Family, since the month dedicated to Mary Immaculate began recently, and this church is a traditional meeting place for devotees of the Virgin. Another reason that it touches the Salesian Family closely is that this Salesian house was the last house of which Don Bosco knew of its foundation before his death in 1888.

            The educational community of the city has expressed in many ways its dismay and its sadness for these acts of vandalism, which have no connection with the social movement of recent days in Chile and its just demands.

            Faced with these events, the Provincial of Chile, Fr Carlos Lira, declared: "We totally condemn this situation of violence and call for peace, dialogue and the search for respectful ways to channel the legitimate demands of the Chilean people. We invite the Salesian Family to pray intensely for our country and to continue to renew the commitment to a fraternal and just homeland."

            {gallery}Cile - Profanazione Talca 2019{/gallery}

            • Cile
            • CIL
            • Violenze
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Hong Kong – Salesian Past Pupil seriously injured during protests

              4 weeks ago
              Hong Kong – Salesian Past Pupil seriously injured during protests

              (ANS - Hong Kong) - Yesterday, 11 November, two Salesian Past Pupils of the "Salesian English School" involved in protests between protesters and police in Hong Kong. One of them, a 21-year-old, was seriously injured.

              It all happened yesterday around 7.20 local time in the Sai Wan Ho neighborhood, north-east of Hong Kong. Here, some people had gathered for yet another day of protests and already in the early hours of the morning they had blocked roads. Yesterday's protest was announced following the death of a boy who died last week while fleeing from police tear gas.

              The two young past pupils, along with a dozen other people, were blocking a road junction. A policeman immediately approached the group and in a few seconds a fight broke out.

              Although the demonstrators were unarmed, the policeman fired three pistol shots, the first of which hit the young Salesian past pupil in the abdomen. The other past pupil was instead pushed to the ground and arrested.

              The young man hit by the bullet was promptly taken to the hospital, where he underwent a delicate operation. He is still in intensive care, in critical conditions.

              The attack was recorded by a journalist, who then released the video in which the policeman is seen shooting the unarmed young man; the video soon went viral on all the main international news channels.

              The same evening, the Salesians in Hong Kong organized a prayer vigil for all the wounded and in particular for the two past pupils. Furthermore, the same day, the Salesians of the "Mary Help of Christians" Province based in Hong Kong issued an official declaration, condemning the violence used by the police against the protesters and calling everyone to rationality and non-violence.

              "May God bless Hong Kong," they conclude, "and give us peace, joy and freedom."

              • Hong Kong
              • CIN
              • Violenze
              • Cina
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Argentina – Rector Major: “I've decided that the IX International Congress of Mary Help of Christians will take place in Portugal”

                4 weeks 1 day ago
                Argentina – Rector Major: “I've decided that the IX International Congress of Mary Help of Christians will take place in Portugal”

                (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Sunday 10 November, inside the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians of Buenos Aires, filled with faithful from 36 countries attending the VIII World Congress of Mary Help of Christians, the Father of the Salesian Family, Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, announced the decision to stage the next International Congress, the Ninth, in Portugal, in Fatima, in August 2023.

                The closing ceremony of the VIII World Congress of Mary Help of Christians, carried out in an atmosphere of Salesian celebration in the basilica built by the Salesian architect Fr Ernesto Vespignani, saw the presence of several Provincials, Superiors and leaders of the Salesian Family groups, and Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, and Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, World Head of the Association of Mary Help of Christians.

                Renato Valera, President of the Primary ADMA of Turin, expressed: “The meeting was an experience of the two columns of the Salesian charism - Jesus Eucharist and Mary Help of Christians. I am excited at the idea of ​​where the next meeting will be held, above all for the Love for Mary that is lived in those places.”

                Then, at 10:00 am, the Rector Major presented himself to the Shrine to offer the closing words and present the path for the coming years. "The Salesian missionary dimension unites us from the very heart of Don Bosco and the history of this nation speaks to us of his love in bringing the Gospel. First of all, we need to be aware of being a missionary church," he said.

                Fr Á.F. Artime also recalled the work of Salesian missionaries in every corner of the world and, above all, the commitment to bring Mary Help of Christians across the globe, even the most difficult ones, such as in Meruri, Brazil.

                He then delivered some key elements for personal work and above all for the Salesian mission of every child of Mary Help of Christians. "Maria knows us, knows our dreams and knows our plans. She takes us by the hand and leads us little by little towards Jesus," he said. He then invited all the participants in the Congress to live their spiritual life in depth and to ask themselves at all times: “'What do you want from me, oh Lord?' This is a question that everyone must ask themselves to deepen the life and mission in this world."

                The Rector Major concluded by stating that "Mary is our mother and tells us as in the Gospel: 'Do what God tells you!'”, and announced the seat of Congress IX. From the top of the Basilica, he  gave his blessing and greeted everyone with gratitude.

                {gallery}Argentina - Chiusura VIII Congresso MA 2019{/gallery}

                More photos of the Congress on ANSFlickr

                • Argentina
                • ARS
                • Rettor Maggiore
                • Maria Ausiliatrice
                • ADMA
                • Famiglia Salesiana
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Australia – “Joy in Learning”. Salesian spirit alive in St John Bosco College

                  4 weeks 1 day ago
                  Australia – “Joy in Learning”. Salesian spirit alive in St John Bosco College

                  (ANS – Perth) – Four years after the blessing and opening of “St John Bosco College” (Principal Mr Kevin Sheehy) in Perth, Western Australia in 2015, one of the youngest Catholic schools in Australia is growing day by day. The first section (Kindergarten to 2nd grade of Primary school) started in March 2015 and now 500 students (KG, Grades 1-6) are busy welcoming the first Grade 7 (High school) in the coming school year. The school’s 11 hectares are a beautiful green space with evidence of new buildings as the school grows.

                  During the informal visit of Archbishop Tim Costelloe, SDB, accompanied by the EAO Regional Councillor on 4 November, the two visitors were able to experience a genuine Salesian spirit.

                  The four “houses” of the schools are named after St Francis de Sales (Joy in Loving), St Dominic Savio (Joy in Christ), St Mary Mazarello (Joy in Serving) and St Mary Mc Killop (Joy in Caring - first Australian Saint).

                  Not only in the Principal’s office, but on the campus you would be surprised by the Salesian and “Bosconian” decorations, photos from the recent visit of Kevin Sheehy to the Don Bosco Holy Places in Turin and surroundings (Italy). Also, the school logo, inspired by the Salesian Archbishop of Perth, reveals the Salesian spirit:

                  • The heart at the top left embodies Don Bosco's teaching approach which was based on love.
                  • The cross at the top right is the main symbol of the College’s Catholic identity, at the heart of the College's identity.
                  • The “book” icon represents the bible but also the concepts of “learning” and “education”.
                  • The symbol of the tree is intended to represent “Bosco” whose literal translation means “woods”. The tree also refers to the location of the new College close to the bush at Piara Waters.
                  • The white space between the four quadrants also creates a symbolic cross, tying the four elements together.

                  After greeting the teachers in the staff room and walking around the compound with its new labs and other wonderful, new facilities, the two visitors enjoyed the simple school Assembly with a Don Bosco Song (composed by one of the teachers) and shared their feelings in the family spirit. And the EAO Regional Councillor welcomed SJB College into the world-wide network of almost 5,000 Salesian schools and other educational institutions and challenged the Assembly with the typical Salesian question: “What fills your heart with joy?”

                  “Our hope is that the desire of the St John Bosco College leadership to enter the wider Don Bosco Salesian schools network will come true soon! In many countries around the EAO region, we find Don Bosco educational institutions that are not started by the SDBs but are inspired by the Salesian preventive system or by the person of St John Bosco. We are glad to share the gift of Don Bosco far and wide!” Fr Klement has said.

                  Website: https://www.stjohnbosco.wa.edu.au/index.html 

                  • Australia
                  • AUL
                  • Timothy Costelloe
                  • Václav Klement
                  • Asia EstOceania
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Bolivia – Attacked in Yapacaní, Salesian "Radio-Televisión Ichilo"

                    4 weeks 1 day ago

                    (ANS - Yapacaní) - Yesterday, Sunday 10 November, violent groups linked to the government of the outgoing President Evo Morales attacked Radio-Television Ichilo (RTI) owned by the Salesians. It is based in the municipality of Yapacaní, Ichilo Province, Department of Santa Cruz.

                    In the early hours of Sunday, after the announcement of the President's resignation, the Salesian radio station was attacked by several assailants: the radio facilities were looted, the equipment destroyed, the offices on the first floor burned.

                    In the two-story building, Radio Ichilo had been operating for 38 years, one of the most important radio stations in the region, known for its social commitment and service of and to the peasant population and working-class organizations. Since 1992, the broadcaster has also equipped itself with a television channel, which thus complemented the radio broadcast.

                    The radio was founded in 1981 by the Salesian priest Fr Aquilino Libralon, along with six young people from the youth group of the local parish. Although starting with a single signal repeater, the radio did a great deal of pastoral work in the community and was able to foster social promotion and the integration of the great diversity of immigrant peasant families from the other provinces of the country that had been arriving in the area since the 1960s.

                    The destruction of the Salesian radio and TV station is a violent response to the choice of the Salesian community and its broadcaster to provide information in the most truthful and objective way possible. It is an attack that goes directly against the indigenous communities of the region.

                    For his part, the General Councilor for Social Communication of the Salesians, Fr Filiberto González, commented: "We deeply regret this vandalism which destroyed Salesian Radio Ichilo, in Bolivia. We reject all acts of violence that hinder dialogue and threaten social peace and the right to democracy. We express our solidarity to all the Salesians and the staff of Radio Ichilo and to the network of Salesian radio stations in Bolivia, whose professional ethics are well known, and we remember them as authentic informants of truth and justice in the service of those who have no voice. Thank you for your testimony and your conviction as communicators in the service of peace and democracy."

                    {gallery}BOL - Attacco a Radio 2019{/gallery}

                    • Bolivia
                    • BOL
                    • Radio
                    • Violenze
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      East Timor – Walking together with hope and discern the way forward

                      1 month ago
                      East Timor – Walking together with hope and discern the way forward

                      (ANS – Dili) – Ten days, 1000 kilometres on the dusty and construction-busy roads, eleven local Salesian communities, two province-level meetings and three Salesian Family-related encounters with many talks, sharing, good nights – this is the account of the 2019 annual animation visit to East Timor run by the East Asia-Oceania Regional Councillor, Fr Václav Klement. Ten days of discerning with the eyes of hope amidst the many external challenges of this young country.

                      The landscape of East Timor is slowly transforming with the main highway from Dili to Los Palos coming to completion soon and all around the country new houses are being built, usually thanks to the revenues coming from the young population working overseas. The comparative social stability, despite the fragmentation of political parties, is fostering the steadfast social, economic and cultural progress of the young nation. Meanwhile, the Catholic community will remember the anniversary of St. John Paul II's visit to East Timor on October 30 at the most difficult time of their history (1989).

                      During this year, the funeral of Fr Joao de Deus, one of the “pillars of the Salesian family” in Timor, inspired movement by the Alumni. The approaching Centenary of the SDB's arrival in East Timor in 1927, with Saint Callisto Caravario, is also an important inspiration for the whole Salesian family.

                      There are still many structural challenges persisting, including the backward developing education system with its lack of budget, unclear curriculum, insufficiently qualified teachers or just a superficial focus on the number of graduates. In spite of these challenges, the Salesians of Don Bosco are doing their best at educating 15,000 young people entrusted to our care in various schools, vocational training centres or boarding houses. Education is the best answer to all the external challenges facing the country, from the eroding of traditional values, materialism to youth attracted by SNS and martial arts groups.

                      However, there are many hope-filled signs of the young Viceprovince, including the steadfast vocation flow with another 19 novices heading towards their first profession on 8 December. The twenty prenovices and some 20-25 possible candidates for next year's prenovitiate are indeed a blessing. This great gift of vocations requires closer accompaniment of our candidates and young confreres, less formal but deeper, without 'human respect' and being able to call all the concrete obstacles on their vocation journey by name.

                      The most inspiring are the occasions of sharing with young people, our candidates or with the Salesians (community, rectors, provincial council) or with Salesian family members. At this moment of history, the Salesians in East Timor need a lot of hope, wisdom in facing the future. The interest in the open question of GC28 “What kind of Salesians for the young people of East Timor?” echoes the family spirit and involvement of the young in the Salesian mission.

                      Source: AustraLasia

                      • Timor Est
                      • TLS
                      • Václav Klement
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Argentina – Rector Major: "If Mary Help of Christians is in our hearts, we shall be the Salesian Family desired by Don Bosco"

                        1 month ago

                        (ANS - Buenos Aires) - "We are gathered to celebrate Mary as a believing woman for young people. The whole Salesian Family knows that we are sons and daughters of Mary Help of Christians. This is why we propose Mary as a model of Christian life." With these words, yesterday, November 7, Fr Alejandro Gómez welcomed the participants of the VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, scheduled until Sunday 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

                        In an eminently Salesian atmosphere, and therefore rich in familiarity, the 36 countries participating in the event were presented, a record in the number of total registrations.

                        The event, which took place in the auditorium of the Salesian Institute "Saint Francis of Sales", saw several distinguished guests, including Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, World Head of the Association of Mary Help of Christians, the Superior General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, and the Provincials of Southern Argentina, Northern Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Paraguay.

                        "Why did we choose the motto: 'With Mary, a believing woman, for the youth of today?' Well, we will try to give you an answer during the days of the event," said the congress promoters at the opening.

                        Subsequently, the Eucharistic celebration took place, presided by card. Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires, who in the homily said: "I am happy to participate in this event, and the presence of the Rector Major, whom I was able to meet in my mission work." He then invited those present to be aware of the presence of the Good Shepherd: "What characterizes the good shepherd is giving one's life for others"; and then he added: "When I was in the Argentine Pampas, I learned from the Salesians that to evangelize again, the Salesians return to the dream of Don Bosco traveling the world ... And when they want to renew their love for the Virgin, they talk about the dream of the 'nine years'. What a marvel of formation and education you have received from Don Bosco!"

                        Immediately after Mass, a group of actors represented the Salesian history and the lives of the saints of the Salesian Family who come together to love God and the Virgin in the service of the young. Later, the Rector Major offered his thoughts for the "good night", saying that Our Lady is always present on the journey of life and evangelization. He then presented two lay people and a Brazilian priest active in a mission in the middle of the forest, who testified that Mary Help of Christians was also venerated there. And he commented: "I have the conviction, that I have often experienced that the Virgin opens the way to be the mother of everyone."

                        At the end of the evening, the VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians was officially inaugurated, inviting everyone to ask for the grace to continue to grow in love for the Mother: "If Mary Help of Christians is in our hearts, we will be the Salesian Family desired by Don Bosco."

                        {gallery}ARS - Apertura VIII Congresso MA 2019{/gallery}

                        More photos of the Congress on ANSFlickr

                        • Argentina
                        • ARS
                        • Maria Ausiliatrice
                        • ADMA
                        • Congresso Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice
                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • Yvonne Reungoat
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Argentina – Inauguration of Salesian Historical Archive of Southern Argentina: "A well-deserved tribute to Salesian missionary work"

                          1 month ago

                          (ANS - Buenos Aires) - Anyone arriving in Buenos Aires can easily see that the blood flowing in the veins of the Argentines is not purely indigenous, but also Italian. And part of Argentina's history, and especially of Patagonia, was made by the Salesians who arrived with the first intrepid missions sent by Don Bosco. There are now over 100 years of Salesian presence and educational contributions in favor of Argentine children and young people, and there is a whole story and history printed in books, pamphlets, photographs and letters written by Don Bosco himself to and/or about the first Salesians. To preserve and enhance all this heritage, the Salesian Historical Archive of the Province of Southern Argentina (ARS) was inaugurated yesterday, November 7th.

                          Fr Alejandro Ángel León, Director of the institute "St Joseph the Worker" of Caleta Olivia, is in charge of this project. "It is really a dream awaited by many Salesians, which allows us to preserve our history and our past. Today it has become reality, thanks to the decision, the interest and the far-sightedness of he who was our Provincial and is today our Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime," he said.

                          The creation of the ARS Salesian Historical Archive has to do with the restructuring of the Argentine Provinces in past years, which led to the erection of the one ARS constituency, formed or starting from the previous three, namely Northern Patagonia, Southern Patagonia and La Plata region. "Fundamentally, we have tried to discover the common history that unites all the Salesians of all times, because the missionaries have traveled all the spaces on which the ARS Province today extends. And therefore, starting this archive seemed to us a deserved tribute to the missionary efforts and work of hundreds of Salesians who came from Italy and of all those who spent their lives for this land and its inhabitants."

                          "The archive has all the historical and documentary heritage of thousands of documents written by many Salesians and some letters written by Don Bosco in his own hand," said Fr León.

                          Thanks to the efforts of Fr León and his collaborators - the professionals Guadalupe Morad, Soledad Urrestarazu, Pamela Alarcón and Juan Napoli - visitors can now see for themselves the glorious past written by thousands of Salesians.

                          The inauguration of the archive was also attended by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, who gave the first impulse to its creation when he was ARS Provincial. In this way, he was able to personally admire the site where the whole history of Salesian devotion for Argentine youth is now preserved.

                          {gallery}ARS - Apertura Archivio ARS 2019{/gallery}

                          • Argentina
                          • ARS
                          • Storia
                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                          • Rettor Maggiore
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            India – Assam CM inaugurates 4th Don Bosco College

                            1 month ago
                            India – Assam CM inaugurates 4th Don Bosco College

                            (ANS – Bongaigaon) – Assam Chief Minister, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, inaugurated Don Bosco College Bongaigaon, on Monday, 4 November 2019. This is the fourth “Don Bosco College” in Assam after Azara, Diphu and Golaghat, at Chapaguri in Chirang district. The Chief Minister in his inaugural address congratulated the Don Bosco Fathers and Brothers for providing quality education to the student community, and for nurturing talents and for inculcating discipline in the students. 

                            He said, “I am a product of Don Bosco School, Dibrugarh and I know the type of quality that Don Bosco offers to the people all over the world.” 

                            He did not hesitate to add, “Don Bosco has set up this college for you and you must promise to do your best.” He also made the students to promise that they will become the best in the region and even in the country.

                            The college building was blessed by Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon who thanked the Salesians for setting up the college in his region and particularly in his diocese. 

                            While praising the Salesians for the great work they are doing in the Northeast and the bishop told the people to take advantage of their services. 

                            The Provincial of Guwahati province Fr. Januarius S Sangma, in his address dedicated the college to the people of the region and thanked the Salesian Communities for their generous contribution towards the building up of the college. 

                            Other dignitaries present at the event included: Minister for Forest, Soil Conservation etc. Govt. of Assam Smti. Pramila Rani Brahma; Chief, Bodoland Territorial Council, Kokrajar Shri Hagrama Mohilary; Deputy Chief, BTC, Kokrajhar Shri. Kampa Borgoyary; Cabinet Minister, Government of Assam Shri. Chandan Brahma; Vice Chancellor, Bodoland University Kokrajhar; Prof. Laishram Ladu Singh, Priests, Religious, large number of Salesians, Teachers, students and the people of the locality. 

                            Principal of the College Fr. (Dr.) Alex Mathew, welcomed dignitaries and the invited guests and presented an overview of Don Bosco works in the world and in the Northeast and Bodoland area in particular. 

                            The much acclaimed Band of Don Bosco School Bengtol who took part in the Republic Day function in New Delhi welcomed the Chief Guest and performed at the event. A variety of cultural items added solemnity to the occasion which concluded with a meal for all.

                            By Fr CM Paul, SDB

                            • India
                            • Scuole
                            • Personaggi illustri
                            • ING
                            • Nuova Presenza
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG - "Casa Don Bosco House" project continues, to rediscover Salesian history and places

                              1 month ago

                              (ANS - Rome) - "Casa Don Bosco" will be inaugurated in 2020, the new space wanted by the Rector Major in order to appreciate and promote Salesian historical sites. The project of valorization and recovery of these places is told, through videos, by Br Giampietro Pettenon, President of Missioni Don Bosco.

                              In this second video, Br Pettenon, SDB, speaks to us before the cellar of the oratory, and then moves into the space that housed the first oratory, built in 1854 by Don Bosco and located on the first floor of Casa Pinardi. The video shows all those places in Don Bosco's everyday life, those in which he worked and carried out activities with his boys.

                              Rediscovering these places also rediscovers Salesian history, its origins and its roots. This is clearly of great importance for all Salesians and for the Salesian Family throughout the world.

                              The complete video is available in 5 languages ​​on ANSChannel.

                              • Casa Don Bosco
                              • RMG
                              • Giampietro Pettenon
                              • Don Bosco
                              • Comunicazione Sociale
                              • CG28
                                Virginia Nitto

                                Vatican – The Cause of Servant of God Ignatius Stuchlý advances

                                1 month ago
                                Vatican – The Cause of Servant of God Ignatius Stuchlý advances

                                (ANS - Vatican City) - On 5 November 2019, during the special Congress of Theological Consultors at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a positive opinion was given unanimously as regards the reputation of sanctity and the exercise of heroic virtues of the Servant of God Ignazio Stuchlý, Professed Priest of the Society of St. Francis de Sales (1869-1953).

                                The Servant of God Fr Ignatius Stuchlý lived in an age marked by important historical, political and social upheavals, but he knew how to adapt to ever new contexts and, in obedience to the Church and to the service of young people, he often assumed government duties. Like when:

                                - still a young Salesian, he was sent to Gorizia, where he collaborated with the archbishop and other Salesians in accompanying an authentic vocational flowering at the “Convitto San Luigi”;

                                - he moved to Ljubljana, Slovenia, and contributed to the launch of the local Salesian house and to the completion of the shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Rakovnik;

                                - called back to Italy, in the mid-1920s, he selected candidates for Salesian religious life for the Czech Republic, implementing a firm and prudent discernment;

                                - he transplanted this work to Bohemia and Moravia, in response to the concrete need of the local Church.

                                As founder of the nascent Salesian presence in those lands, then as Superior of the Czechoslovak Province (1935) and later of the Czech Province alone, between 1925 and 1948, Fr Stuchlý accompanied at least 200 new Salesian vocations just in Bohemia and Moravia; he was founder of houses; ferried Salesian works through the drama of the Second World War ...

                                To the Czech confreres, the Servant of God succeeded in transmitting not only the structures, but the lively spirit of the Salesian tradition he had breathed in Piedmont, having also enjoyed a particular familiarity with Blessed Michael Rua and other Salesian saints.

                                Under the rule of Nazism and then of communism, and until his last years of life, spent in the confinement of a house for the elderly in which he was spied and controlled, Fr Stuchlý continued to attest to this integral fidelity to the Church and to the Congregation, testifying how no condition of suffering and injustice can distance us from the fullness of self-giving to Christ.

                                • Vaticano
                                • Ignazio Stuchlý
                                • Santità Salesiana
                                • Servo di Dio
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Bolivia – Social outbreaks also affect Salesian works

                                  1 month ago
                                  Bolivia – Social outbreaks also affect Salesian works

                                  (ANS - La Paz) – The social protests in Bolivia are increasing, heightening in intensity. It all started after the disputed October 20 elections, which eventually established the incumbent President, Evo Morales, as the winner. But the opposition rejected the result, denouncing the elections as manipulated, thus allowing the President to achieve his fourth consecutive term. Yesterday, November 6, social tensions also directly affected a Salesian institute, where the police fired tear gas.

                                  The protests started again in the country's main cities and the Archdiocese of La Paz took the side of the people affected by the violence; on its Facebook page, it shared some photos, stating: “Before the tense situation in the city center, (we) launch a call for (special) attention from educational institutions, especially regarding the use of chemical agents. This afternoon this happened in the Don Bosco Educational Unit 'El Prado'; we don't want violence, we are grieved to show these images that affect our children, where they normally follow the lessons. We pray for peace in Bolivia.” At the same time, the archdiocese is defending itself against accusations by the government of its promoting protests.

                                  The reference of the message of the Archdiocese of La Paz is precisely the Salesian Institute "Don Bosco El Prado", which suffered the violence of the protests directly and that yesterday, Wednesday 6 November, had to close the doors, after the police detonated 5 tear gas grenades inside the school, putting the safety of everyone, the approximately 1,000 students, teachers and administrative staff, at risk

                                  The students, who were doing their ordinary scholastic activities, experienced moments of anxiety and confusion caused by the tear gas. Hours later, the Red Cross and the Fire Brigade arrived to intervene against what looked like a possible fire inside the educational institution.

                                  “It is something incredible, unbelievable ... Anything could have happened due to the chaos that then arose, in addition to the damage caused by the gases. Who are the security forces giving security to?” - said the Director of the Institute, Fr José Iriarte.

                                  The situation in Bolivia is not very different from the wave of protests that are affecting various Latin American countries where the Salesian presence is very significant. The Salesians, in addition to always being close to the people who are suffering, are seeking to promote paths of dialogue and peaceful mobilization.

                                  • BOL
                                  • Bolivia
                                  • Violenze
                                  • Sociale
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Portugal – 125 years since arrival of first Salesians

                                    1 month ago
                                    Portugal – 125 years since arrival of first Salesians

                                    (ANS - Lisbon) – 125 years ago, on 8 November, 1894, the first Salesians arrived in Portugal to take over the management of the “St. Caetano” College in Braga. The institute, founded in 1791 by Msgr. Caetano Brandão, welcomed and educated children and young people, mostly orphans and abandoned children. It was free of charge, and also admitted a small number of internists. With the arrival of a small group of Salesians, the Salesian presence in the country was thus inaugurated. The missionaries were three and young: Fr Pietro Cogliolo, 28 years old; Fr Angelo Bergamini, of 30; and cleric Giuseppe Galli, just 17 years old.

                                     

                                    The reception of the first Salesians in Portugal was narrated by Fr Michele Rua, First Successor of Don Bosco in the government of the Congregation, through a letter from the Director, Fr Cogliolo, dated 12 November 1894: "All the students of the excellent Dr. Padre Francisco da Cruz, who until then had directed the College, were waiting for us at the station. Other representatives of the clergy and lay people were also present, as well as many people curious to see the Salesians whom they had long been waiting for and of whom the country's newspapers had often spoken."

                                    And then he adds: "The College building was illuminated and the small instrumental band of students was waiting for us at the entrance. Everyone's face was full of joy." Then, in the chapel of the College, Fr Cogliolo thanked everyone with great emotion. "So I said briefly who the Salesians were and I referred to Don Bosco and his work, finally adding that, more than as superiors, we came as friends."

                                    Years later, in March 1899, the College was visited by Fr Rua himself. The trip also included a visit to Porto, at the “St José” Laboratories in Lisbon (which the Salesians took over in November 1896) and the novitiate of Quinta do Pinheiro.

                                    The history of the presence of the Salesians in the city of Braga and in the “St Caetano” is well described in the work of Fr Amador Anjos, SDB, Os Salesianos no Colégio de San Caetano de Braga 1894-1911 (Porto: Edições Salesianas, 2006).

                                    The Salesians left the direction of the College of Braga in January 1911, after the establishment of the Republic in Portugal. Despite the short time in which the Salesians directed it, many were the students who followed the religious vocation, both in the diocesan clergy and in the Salesian Congregation.

                                    Today the Portuguese Province of the Salesian Society is composed of 10 presences and the Provincial See. There are 93 Salesians, 61 of whom are priests, 2 deacons, 12 clerics and 18 coadjutors. They have six schools in the country on the continent, one on the island of Madeira and one in Cape Verde, on the island of Saint Vincent, attended by a total of over 9,300 students. About 9,000 children, young people and adults participate in other educational and pastoral activities, which take place in almost all presences. Hundreds of children and young people and their families also enjoy the support of Salesian Social Services.

                                    {gallery}POR - 125 anni Presenza SDB - 2019{/gallery}

                                    • Portogallo
                                    • POR
                                    • Anniversari
                                    • Storia
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      South Korea – Window on the Salesian world: NANUM, the Korea Mission Office

                                      1 month ago
                                      South Korea – Window on the Salesian world: NANUM, the Korea Mission Office

                                      (ANS – Seoul) – For the past 6 years, we have witnessed the steadfast growth of the youngest Salesian Mission Office in the EAO region. Under the leadership of Fr Michael Chang, Fr Peter Kim, Fr Isidore Hong, Fr Raphael Lee and now with Br Mark Choi, this “Province window on the world” is growing in quality with two lay mission partners (Ms. Kim Da-Eun, Kim Young-Eun) some 5,000 donors and many other collaborators, mission assistance is reaching many parts of the world.

                                      Among the countries of the 2019 support plan, we find South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam, Peru and East Timor. It began with simple support focused on the Korean SDB missionaries, but now NANUM is also open to other destinations.

                                      The international missionary volunteer action is also among the main activities. Every year some (young and not-so-young) missionary volunteers are sent to Mongolia, Malawi or other countries.

                                      Aside from mission project fundraising, “NANUM” ('Sharing', in Korean) Seoul Mission Office is involved in missionary animation, works closely with the Provincial Delegate for MA (Fr Michael Chang), and promotes knowledge of the missions on social media (https://www.facebook.com/salesiomission).

                                      The Mission Office is looking forward to better online connectivity with benefactors, also facilitating online donations. The Statutes of the NANUM mission office have been approved by the Provincial Council in October.

                                      The Mission Office is working closely with the “Fr John Lee Memorial Foundation” (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004135036461) that was started some 10 years ago (preparing the 10th anniversary of Fr John Lee death, i.e 2020, January 10) to help the South Sudan mission. Now it is also open to Salesian Mission assistance beyond this “original destination”.

                                      NANUM mission office Facebook/ Instagram ID: Salesiomission

                                      For the Korean benefactors, there is also a vibrant KAKAO group (Korean mainstream social network)

                                      Source: AustraLasia

                                      • Corea del Sud
                                      • KOR
                                      • Procure Missionarie
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Italy – VDB 100 years from first professions: Memory and Prophecy

                                        1 month ago
                                        Italy – VDB 100 years from first professions: Memory and Prophecy

                                        (ANS - Rome) - On October 26th, exactly 100 years have passed since seven young women made their professions as lay, consecrated and Salesian women, thus laying the foundations for what would later become the Secular Institute of Pontifical Law of Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDB). On the occasion of this significant anniversary, the head of the Institute sent a letter to all the volunteers, which we publish below.

                                        It is beautiful to remember these moments to renew our vocation and to commit ourselves to be prophets in today's world. Thanks to the courage of these first (sisters), it was possible for us (our institute) to be born, and thanks to their fidelity we are today an Institute at the service of the Church and of the world.

                                        Memory:

                                        26 October 1919: The First Professions of our sisters, at that time "Zealots of the Society of Saint Francis of Sales" according to reports from Luigina Carpanera, in her Notebook, page 79-87. I like to return in heartfelt fashion to those moments celebration, to feel the atmosphere that was experienced and to look with a grateful heart at what the Holy Spirit has done for us over these hundred years.

                                        The place chosen: the “Chapel in the Rooms of Venerable Don Bosco” which, according Cardinal Cagliero ..., is a “very special sign of predestination”.

                                        The powerful message of his words: “Today begins your new life” ... “consecrate all for the salvation of souls...”.

                                        The celebrants: two significant priests of our Salesian history: Cardinal Giovanni Cagliero and Father Filippo Rinaldi.

                                        The Salesian Family: represented by the FMA who accompanied the first steps of the group.

                                        The Feelings: For a good two times, at the beginning and at the end of the report, Luigina Carpanera describes the celebration as “moving”.

                                        Prophecy:

                                        Even though a 100 years have passed, each of us sees herself again on that Sunday 26 October.

                                        Let's take a little time there where we find ourselves and for a while let us remain in silence to recall how each one's vocation was born:

                                        - my first YES;

                                        - the place where I professed for the first time;

                                        - all the people who have accompanied my consecrated life;

                                        - the path I have travelled;

                                        - the steps I wish to take, with trust in God, to accomplish His will.

                                        For us too, as for the first sisters, that was the beginning of a new life, all for Christ to bring the Church to the world and the world to the heart of the Church.

                                        “Our chaste, poor and obedient love, which is opposed to hedonism and the cult of the body, to profit and materialism, individualism and the culture of exclusion, thus becomes announcement, testimony, mission, sign of a love that is free and liberating.” (AG8, p. 6).

                                        This is my wish for each of us.

                                        United in daily prayer for our holiness, with love in Jesus!

                                        Yours

                                        Dagmar K, VDB President General

                                        • VDB Volontarie di Don Bosco
                                        • Anniversari
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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