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RMG – An anniversary that unites and engages

1 month 1 week ago
RMG – An anniversary that unites and engages

(ANS - Rome) - 11 March 2021 marks the first year of the election of Fr Ángel Fernandez Artime as Rector Major of the Salesians and successor of Don Bosco. The election for a second term took place during the 28th General Chapter held in Valdocco, Turin, in a context that has seen the Covid-19 pandemic develop rapidly throughout the world, affecting social and religious life worldwide.

With a renewed General Council as well, Fr Ángel concluded the Chapter and immediately set to work, encouraging and sowing hope. In these months, which were not easy for everyone, the Congregation moved forward with determination and openness.

Using online communication, Fr Ángel has tried to be present whenever possible, and the entire Salesian Family has felt his closeness to them in various circumstances and events. Having him as an attentive, practical and secure father is a gift that Providence has wanted to give the Salesian world in these times of risks, deaths and rapid transformations. Gathering around him in prayer becomes a spontaneous act of gratitude to God and a request for a renewed blessing on him.

Bearing hope within and around us, we remain close to the Rector Major, joyfully wishing him health and courage for the present and future.

{gallery}RMG - Anniversario Elezione D AFA 2021{/gallery}

  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
  • Ángel Fernández Artime
  • Rettor Maggiore
  • Anniversari
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Zambia - The Salesian heart of Zambia

    1 month 1 week ago
    Zambia - The Salesian heart of Zambia

    (ANS - Kabwe) - The city of Kabwe is a center of the mining industry, located in the Central Province of Zambia. Since 1987, Don Bosco's mission in this area has been slowly growing and taking root in the Catholic community and in the local society. It is no coincidence that the latest development in the second community of Kabwe-Makululu is called "Ciloto", or "Dream", in the Bemba language.

    There are two Salesian communities in Kabwe. The mother house of “St. Mary” is located in the old parish ceded by the Jesuits in 1987, which has about 4,000 Catholics. The other community of Makululu, on the other hand, started from the parish of St John Bosco, founded in 2015. Both communities are international and multicultural, reaching a total of about 10,000 Catholics and have hundreds of catechumens. There are primary and secondary schools, Vocational Training Centers, Oratories, Youth Centers that welcome thousands of young people. The Salesian Family, moreover, is in an initial phase of establishing and organizing the first center of Salesian Cooperators and of Past Pupils.

    After 9 years, the novitiate of the "Zambia-Malawi-Zimbabwe-Namibia" Vice Province (ZMB) was transferred back to Kabwe in 2019. Currently the novice master, Fr Treshphord Chisanga, is accompanying 11 novices from 5 countries: South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia. Among the apostolic experiences of the novices there is also their presence at the Oratory and at the “Ciloto” House, which provides specialized care for street children.

    Many lay people, as mission partners, are engaged in their role as teachers, educators, social workers, catechists or animators, responsible for various youth groups. Don Bosco's "Preventive System" is becoming more and more familiar to the local Catholic community.

    When the diocese of Kabwe was established in 2011, its first bishop was a Salesian of Don Bosco: the first Salesian bishop of Zambia, Mgr. Clement Mulenga. His diocese today covers a vast territory of 63,000 square kilometers, with 31 parishes, 18 diocesan priests, 33 religious and 25 major seminarians. As in the rest of the African continent, the key expression is "self-sustainability of the mission." Even the complex of the bishop's residence, in fact, looks like a garden inspired by the encyclical Laudato Si', with numerous animals and a large green space.

    The recent House of Hope, “Ciloto”, for street kids is of great importance. The children who turn to it (currently there are about 90) are offered an education, but also shelter, family spirit and the possibility of transforming their lives. Also, new educational structures are being built on the large land owned by the Salesians.

    Don Bosco's dream in this part of Zambia thus continues. Let us pray that more and more young people may discover and follow Don Bosco, to live fully for God and for other young people in need.

    {gallery}Zambia Il cuore salesiano dello Zambia{/gallery}

    • Zambia
    • ZMB ZAMBIA MALAWI ZIMBABWE NAMIBIA
      Alessandro Parrozzani

      Italy - 120 years ago the Salesians arrived in Schio

      1 month 1 week ago
      Italy - 120 years ago the Salesians arrived in Schio

      (ANS - Schio) - On 27 October 1901, four long-awaited travelers arrived at the Schio railway station. They are the first Salesians to set foot in the city. Before their eyes a territory that has undergone a major transformation in the space of a few decades opens wide. The evolution of the wool industry has changed the face of Schio, which has earned the nickname "Manchester of Italy" and which has attracted masses of workers from the countryside. The installation of the Salesians was strongly desired by Monsignor Francesco Panciera, defined as the "father of the youth of Schio" for his pedagogical activity in the congregation of San Luigi.

      In the second half of the nineteenth century, Panciera was among the first to grasp the needs and difficulties of the children of the increasingly numerous working class. He also understands that, in order to create educational paths adapted to the changed social context, it is necessary to rely on experts with new pedagogical approaches. The choice falls on the Salesians for their ability to combine catechism, formation and leisure time initiatives. Thus in 1890 a long mediation began with Fr Michele Rua, Don Bosco's First Successor. After several letters and a few trips to Turin, Panciera managed to obtain the opening of the oratory in 1901, the year in which the Salesians took possession of a building specially designed for them by the engineer Carlo Letter. Built in less than a year, the building is equipped with a church, a theater and a courtyard.

      The first director is Fr Callisto Mander, who puts into practice Salesian pedagogy, which aims to provide education and social aggregation through playful activities such as theater, music and sport. These are paths that can be followed by both children and young adults. The first activity to start is that of the musical band. Shortly thereafter, the Concordia youth club was born, made up of willing children who increasingly became the protagonists of the oratory. The official foundation act took place on 31 May 1903 during Fr Michele Rua's visit. For the occasion, the club is also equipped with a standard, a flag, which becomes a strong symbol of belonging.

      In the theater the representations of the amateur drama club come to life, while in the large courtyard sports activities such as gymnastics and football take place, which in 1906 merged to become the Concordia Sports Union.

      However, a few years later, history knocks at the institute's doors. On 13 June 1915 the building is requisitioned by the Royal Army which transformed it into war hospital 073 and the interior spaces were revolutionized. Only in 1919 was possession of the oratory re-obtained. In the post-war period, activities resume vigorously and in 1923 the young Catholic explorers are born, however already in 1931 the political climate changes radically. In fact, with fascism, all youth associations in the country are dissolved.

      On May 14 of that year the black shirts raided the Salesian institute to take possession of the banner of the Concordia club, which had just been suppressed. The flag, however, was saved and stored away in a barn a few hours earlier. In the course of the Thirties, then, amid a thousand difficulties, the first elementary classes were started. During the conflict, the Salesian institute remains open to offer refuge to young people and anyone in need. After World War II, the oratory experienced an exponential growth. The spaces expand with the sports hall and the new complex for vocational training, thus continuing a journey that began 120 years ago.

      Source: Walter Ronzani, Giornale di Vicenza

      • Italia
      • INE ITALIA NORD EST
        Alessandro Parrozzani

        Philippines - ADMA's dynamism in the Philippines

        1 month 1 week ago
        Philippines - ADMA's dynamism in the Philippines

        (ANS - Manila) - Ten years have passed since the first Congress of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) in the East Asia-Oceania Region. It was October 2010 and since then, ADMA has experienced dynamic and fruitful growth in the Philippines. More than 1,500 members, in 35 local chapters, contribute day after day to the charismatic growth of the whole Salesian Family.

        Looking at the short video broadcast on the occasion of the first Congress in 2010, only Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, two Salesian Brothers from Yamanouchi, several Japanese priests and two women from ADMA in Papua New Guinea can be recognized. Today, the Association of Mary Help of Christians has been enriched, in other countries such as Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

        Devotion to Mary Help of Christians in the Philippines has ancient roots and saw its beginnings with the appointment of Monsignor Guglielmo Piani, SDB, as Apostolic Delegate (1922-1948). Then, in 1951 the Salesians arrived and, in the country, many zealous apostles of Mary began to spread this devotion even beyond the environment of the Salesian Family.

        The first ADMA group in the Philippines dates back to 1956 and was born in Makati. From then on, the growth has been constant. In fact, animation soon began at the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Parañaque and subsequently at the "Don Bosco" Diocesan Shrine in Canlubang.

        Currently, the ADMA of the Philippines is animated by the National President, Mrs. Rheena May R. Lim, and by two Salesians: Fr Cris Magbitang, ADMA Spiritual Animator of the North Philippines Province (FIN), and Fr Bong Borguette, who covers the same role in the Southern Philippine Province (FIS). Dozens of Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are also involved.

        ADMA in the Philippines thus continues to grow and to share its charismatic experience with the younger generations, both in the country and in the rest of the East Asia-Oceania Region.

        • Filippine
        • ADMA
          Alessandro Parrozzani

          RMG – “It's time for GC28”: Rector Major's 2nd video on 6-year roadmap is available

          1 month 1 week ago
          RMG – “It's time for GC28”: Rector Major's 2nd video on 6-year roadmap is available

          (ANS - Rome) - In December 2020, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, inaugurated a series of videos entitled "It's time for GC28", designed with the aim of deepening the eight Program Lines for the new six years contained in the document "Post-Chapter Reflections". As already mentioned, the initiative provides for the publication of a video approximately every three months, thus completing, within a couple of years, the presentation of all eight program guidelines.

          “The second programmatic line for the whole Congregation,” the Rector Major begins in the video, “says this: it is urgent for us to really put into action the DA MIHI ANIMAS, CETERA TOLLE”. Never as in these times, continues the Successor of Don Bosco, is it necessary to have the ability to accompany young people on their respective paths of growth and to be, for them, witnesses of the Faith.

          The video is available - in Italian, Spanish, English, French and Portuguese - in the ANSChannel language channels.

          • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
          • Rettor Maggiore
          • Ángel Fernández Artime
          • CG28
            Gian Francesco Romano

            India – First Solar Powered Province in the World: (INH) - Don Bosco, Hyderabad

            1 month 1 week ago
            India – First Solar Powered Province in the World: (INH) - Don Bosco, Hyderabad

            (ANS – Bangalore) – During the Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia (SPCSA) Assembly on 28 February 2021, Rev Fr Biju Michael, the Regional of South Asia, has released the “Energy Forever - mission accomplished” poster of the Province of St Joseph, Hyderabad.

            Fr Biju Michael congratulated the provincial Fr Thathireddy Vijaya Bhaskar and the confreres of the province for this innovative and futuristic venture. He commended, ''the Salesian Province of Hyderabad having anticipated the dream of the Rector Major, Rev Fr Angel Fernandez Artime, of Energy Forever (2032) by 12 years.''

            One of the points of the Final Declaration of the "Energy Forever" Conference, promoted by the Sector for the Missions and by the General Economer of the Salesian Congregation (Rome, 26-27 November 2019), in fact invited "all the Provinces of the Congregation to conform to a sustainable development model leading to the full use of renewable energy sources by 2032. We ask for a commitment from the Congregation not to invest in fossil fuels.”

            In response to the global call of Pope Francis through Laudato Sì, and the call of the Salesian congregation through General Chapter 28, crystallized in the 8th Priority of the Rector Major, ''accompanying the young towards a sustainable future,'' the province leadership has decided together with all the communities of the province to realize the dream of installing Solar Power Units in all the communities of the province, thus contributing to the significant reduction of carbon footprint and move towards sustainability.

            The province has thus completed the process of adopting the renewable energy on 31 January 2021 in all its 31 communities with 65 Solar Units. This initiative will reduce 26,400 tons of CO2 produced to generate same amount of fossil fuel energy and spare 1,58,400 trees in treating CO2 emissions per annum. Fr Androth Jose, the economer of the province, and Fr Sudhakar Bellamkonda, the PDO of the province, have followed up the implementation of this initiative of the province.

            • India
            • INH INDIA HYDERABAD
            • Creato
            • Ambiente
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Spain – Women poorer due to consequences of pandemic

              1 month 1 week ago
              Spain – Women poorer due to consequences of pandemic

              (ANS - Madrid) - Rupa is 25 years old and lives in Tirupur, India. The pandemic has caused her parents to lose their jobs and she has not found a job to help her family either. Grace, in Ghana, was unable to open her own fashion store, her dream since she was a child. Jency lost her teaching job, but in this pandemic period she has gathered the 43 children from her village in India around a tree. Priscilla, a retired nurse in South Africa, returned to her hospital to help her colleagues with the pandemic. “For months I worked more than 12 consecutive hours without even having time for a coffee,” she says.

              Millions of women have been affected by the pandemic. The burden of care and stress has fallen on them, and the workload has multiplied due to confinement and the consequences of the health and social crisis. “But women were already at a disadvantage, because poverty is a female name,” says Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Head of “Misiones Salesianas”, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid.

              On the occasion of International Women's Day, yesterday, 8 March, the Mission Office denounced the injustices suffered by women around the world, which have increased in this pandemic year. At least seven out of ten hungry people in the world are women and the poverty rate, according to international organizations, will increase by more than 9% due to the pandemic and its consequences; 60% of children who do not go to school are girls; women contribute two thirds of the working hours, but have only 10% of the resources. “Not to mention the violence, discrimination, inequalities ... that women suffer for the mere fact of being women. Being born a woman means being more likely to live in poverty, to be marginalized and to be vulnerable to the violation of fundamental rights,” adds Fr Muñoz.

              “Misiones Salesianas” has always worked to ensure that women have a voice and participate in decisions. And, to do this, education is one of the fundamental keys, able to overcome the differences between men and women. The life of a woman who has access to education is wholly different from those who are deprived of this universal right. An educated girl will marry later, have fewer children, better care and feed her family, and participate more actively in her community. The education of girls breaks the vicious circle of poverty. Women's education and economic independence are two key factors in achieving community development.

              "Misiones Salesianas", together with the Salesians who work in more than 130 countries around the world, carry out initiatives to strengthen the role of women in their communities and facilitate access to education for girls and young women.

              • Spagna
              • Misiones Salesianas
              • Donne
              • Povertà
              • Coronavirus
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Hong Kong – CIN Province Salesian Youth Day 2021

                1 month 1 week ago
                Hong Kong – CIN Province Salesian Youth Day 2021

                (ANS – Hong Kong) – Salesian Youth Day (SYD), in fact, is no longer a strange term in the Salesian Family. It is held most of the time at the Provincial level, occasionally also at the Regional and International level. For the China province, it is an annual event organized by the Salesian Youth ministry office based in Hong Kong. After being cancelled because of the pandemic last year, this year, the SYD was successfully held on 27 February, from 2:00 to 4:30 pm, via an online platform. Approximately 400 youths, together with Salesian priests, brothers, and sisters were called to meet to celebrate their common identity as Salesian youth and to reflect the pastoral theme of the year in-depth.

                The theme was “Be masters of the earth”. Through games, short films made by some of the young participants and prayer, participants learn to take care of God’s creation in three ways: (1) wise consumption, that is, to buy something you need but not something you want; (2) healthy diet, that is, not to waste food and to eat green; and (3) waste reduction by not using disposable products.

                Salesian Youth Day started with a short film – “The Covenant Engraved in Everyone’s Heart”. It talks about the rainbow as the symbol of covenant between God and man is becoming bleak due to the destruction of the environment, such as air pollution, over-exploitation of land and contamination of plastic chemicals, etc. In order to remind mankind of the invitation of God to be the master of the land, an advocacy organization invites the 4 protagonists (Ann, Victor, Mandy, Tao Shao) to participate in a campaign called "Remembering the Covenant with God" so as to change their habits while they are asked to live together. With an increased awareness of environmental protection, they assist in recolouring the “rainbow” of the Covenant.

                After the short film, the participants reflected in small groups on how they could change their lifestyle to save the environment. Then, they played in multiple of mini-games using the apps “Goose chase” to discover that some of us had actually unwittingly started to be more environmentally friendly in past years.

                Fr Antonio Leung, Youth Delegate of the province, challenged the participants to live out the three proposed actions: reducing waste by using alternatives in replacement of disposable products, cherishing food and possibly eating green, last but not the least consuming wisely. Fr Antonio also highlighted that the names of the four protagonists in the short film could be combined as “Environmental” (Ann, Victor, Mandy, and Tao Shao). It served as a reminder for everyone’s responsibility to protect God’s creation and, starting from our Salesian youth, they may invite other young people to join our mission. Finally, Fr Antonio introduced this year’s souvenir which is environmentally friendly tableware and asked everyone to begin from our daily life.

                SYD was concluded with a solemn prayer. Before the final blessing, Fr Joseph Ng, Provincial, encouraged young people to appreciate and cherish everything that God has given to us as gifts and, at the same time, our actions respond to the Strenna of Rector Major, “Good Christians and Upright Citizens”. Fr Joseph invited young people to start practicing environmental protection actions during this Lenten period.

                Source: AustraLasia

                • CIN CINA
                • Hong Kong
                • Giovani
                • Ambiente
                • Creato
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Eritrea – “Food for Work”: many trees for Women's Day

                  1 month 1 week ago
                  Eritrea – “Food for Work”: many trees for Women's Day

                  (ANS - Decamerè) - In a context of great poverty, with few educational opportunities and enormous water supply difficulties, Eritrean women can be the key to restoring some of the country's confidence and hope for the future. The Salesians believe in them. This is why they have launched a special reforestation project that relies on the presence and commitment of women. This is the project: “Food for work”, to be carried out in Decameré, a town south of Asmara.

                  In Eritrea, the majority of the population lives on an income below the poverty line of $ 1.25 a day. Furthermore, the financially disastrous conditions of families in the last year have been further aggravated by the lockdown imposed by the government to stem the Covid-19 pandemic. There are no governmental or non-governmental organizations that provide assistance to the poor and there are no safety nets that offer financial protection to families strained by the pandemic and its consequences.

                  The lockdown, which has been in place for months, has totally interrupted the daily activities of the population, who mostly survive on a day-to-day basis. These are daily laborers or street vendors who can no longer count on the minimum income that allowed them to buy some food for themselves and their families. Men and, in many cases, women, who no longer know how to feed their children.

                  In a similar situation, the Sons of Don Bosco present at Decamerè came up with an initiative that would support 20 vulnerable families through the hiring of 20 female heads of families in conditions of total poverty for a reforestation activity lasting one year.

                  The women, selected with the support of the local authorities, after a short training course will work to plant new trees on the Salesian's land and in the immediate surroundings upon payment of a salary. The project will not only allow mothers to provide for the needs of their families on a regular basis, but will create benefits for the whole community which will be able to enjoy a 35% increase in wooded area in the Salesian compound and in the areas surrounding it.

                  The first presence of the Salesians in Eritrea dates back to 25 years ago, when, in 1996, Fr Angelo Regazzo and other missionaries arrived from Ethiopia right in Decamerè and opened a technical school with an adjoining boarding school. Subsequently, at the invitation of the bishop, the Sons of Don Bosco opened another vocational training center in Barentu, a city near the border with Sudan and Ethiopia. The third work in the country is located in Asmara, the capital, where the formation house for young people who want to become Salesians is located.

                  For more information, please visit the website: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                  • Eritrea
                  • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                  • Missioni
                  • Donne
                  • Missioni Don Bosco
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Iraq – Pope Francis: "God is merciful and the most blasphemous offense is to desecrate His name by hating our brothers and sisters"

                    1 month 1 week ago

                    (ANS - Baghdad) - A journey to bring hope to an entire people; a journey to the roots of the Abrahamic religions; a journey to reaffirm the value of brotherhood among all peoples: there are many readings that can be given to Pope Francis' trip to Iraq. A little more than three days, but which will remain engraved in the history of the country, of the pontificate of Pope Francis and in his personal life. As he said while greeting the crowd at the "Franso Hariri" stadium in Erbil: "Iraq will always remain with me, in my heart".

                    As pastor of the universal Church, in the first public meeting, the one with the Iraqi bishops, clergy and religious communities, on Friday 5, in Baghdad, the Holy Father thanked the bishops and priests for having remained close to their people despite the last decades of suffering and trials. He encouraged them to persevere in this commitment, “in order to ensure that the Catholic community in Iraq, although small as a mustard seed (cf. Mt 13: 31-32), continues to enrich the country's journey as a whole.” Words that take on even more value if one remembers where they were pronounced: the Syrian-Catholic Cathedral of "Our Lady of Salvation", where, in 2010, 48 faithful died in an attack.

                    The following day, having reached the Plain of Ur, the land of Abraham - recognized as "father" by the three monotheistic religions - the Pontiff sent a message of unity and spirituality, but also of concreteness. In fact, he summed up his message in the motto: "Let us look at the sky and walk the earth". This is why he underlined that in today's world, "which often forgets the Most High or offers a distorted image of Him, believers are called to bear witness to His goodness, to show His paternity through our fraternity", and he recalled at the same time that "God is merciful and that the most blasphemous offense is to profane His name by hating our brothers and sisters."

                    Yesterday, Sunday 7 March, the Pope visited the Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan, moving between Mosul, Quaraqosh and Erbil: three key places, hit in different ways by the wave of fundamentalist delirium.

                    In Mosul, the Pontiff read the prayer of suffrage for the victims of the war, and also begged God that "those who caused such harm to their brothers and sisters repent, touched by the power of your mercy".

                    In Qaraqosh, welcomed by a cheering crowd, he heartened Christians with words of faith: “Now is the time to rebuild and start over, relying totally on the grace of God, who guides the fate of every man and of all peoples. You are not alone. The whole Church is close to you, with prayer and concrete charity.”

                    Finally, in the Erbil stadium, the Pope presided over the Eucharistic liturgy in front of ten thousand faithful. Recalling the many wounds that have marked the whole country, in general, and the Christian community in particular, he again indicated the way to follow: “Jesus shows us the way of God, the one He walked and on which He calls us to follow Him … He sends us, not to proselytize, but as His missionary disciples, men and women called to testify that the Gospel has the power to change lives.”

                    • Iraq
                    • Papa Francesco
                    • Chiesa
                    • Fratellanza
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Brazil – A new Salesian presence in the State of Piauí

                      1 month 1 week ago
                      Brazil – A new Salesian presence in the State of Piauí

                      (ANS - Oeiras) - The Salesians of Brazil, specifically, of the Recife Province (BRE), in the north-east of the country, launched a new presence last month, at Oeiras, which is also the first in the whole state di Piauí, among the poorest in the Brazilian federation. The two Salesians in charge of this outpost have their objectives very clear: to educate and evangelize young people in the style of Don Bosco.

                      Here is their story of the very first days of mission, sent by Fr Zé Pereira, responsible for the presence, in which he is joined by the Salesian in formation Amós Santiago de Carvalho.

                       

                      February 6: The heat of these days has reached 40 degrees; we will also collaborate with the parish priest of the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, where we live, which has 25 rural communities. We intend to have a festive oratory in each of these rural communities with the help of the animators we shall prepare.

                      February 8: This morning I was in the bakery having a coffee and a guy approached me to polish my shoes. I started a conversation. "Don't you have a father or a mother?" His grandmother had died a few days ago, he's 18 years old, he got together with his girlfriend and he has a three-month-old daughter. The honesty of this boy reminded me of that dialogue between Don Bosco and Bartolomeo Garelli. I gave him a tip, a loaf of bread and some coffee; he left happy and grateful, his name is João Marcos. It is to help these poor children that Don Bosco invited us to Oeiras, in the Piauí sertão. "... Until my last breath it will be for you". And I also remembered the Salesian brother Zé Maria who, in Juazeiro do Norte, created the Shoe Shine Club to help and promote the poor children of Cariri.

                      February 9: Tomorrow, Amos and I will visit Fr João de Deus, here in Oeiras; during the conversation we will ask him: a window in the program on Radio Cristo Rei, one in the program "Time of Peace" by Fr João Carlos, and another to talk about Don Bosco's charism (With Don Bosco and the Times).

                      February 10: Today we went to speak with Fr João to ask for his help in acquiring good land so that the Congregation can build a Youth Center in the future. He told us that he will find it for us soon, "because young people deserve to have the Sons of Don Bosco here" and, he added: "It is the hand of God that is blessing us with your presence here". He has been parish priest in Oeiras for 40 years. He created six agricultural schools, a radio station, built the church of the Holy Family, which is now the parish where he works, and countless social projects to help needy families. And he dug many wells and cisterns in the rugged lands of Piauí. He is a giant.

                      • Brasile
                      • BRE BRASILE RECIFE
                      • Nuova Presenza
                      • Missioni
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Italy – Foggia Salesians relaunch mission for young people with "Family Community"

                        1 month 1 week ago

                        (ANS - Foggia) - The Salesians of Foggia, who have always been motivated by the desire to welcome, educate and care for the neediest young people according to Don Bosco's educational principles, have thought of a new initiative: a "Family Community" to welcome minors in difficulty. The project, which has already been approved and started, is nearing completion, but still needs the support of women and men of good will.

                        Don Bosco realized that "for many young people any effort would be useless if they were not given a place to stay". For this reason, in the Candelaro district of Foggia - one of the most difficult and with fewer opportunities in the Apulian city - the Salesians are present with a work that includes, in addition to the parish, the oratory and the association “Sacro Cuore ”, and which just over a year ago was embellished with an artistic mural representing Don Bosco, as a symbol of hope and redemption for the entire district and above all for the youth population.

                        “In a neighborhood lacking in educational opportunities, we will try to give more to those who have had less from life. Our future 'home' will be a small village in solidarity where education, love and sharing will be the 'glue' of the days,” explained Fr Antonio Carbone, Director of the Salesian community of Torre Annunziata and President of the Social Promotion Association "Piccoli Passi Grandi Sogni – Small Steps, Big Dreams" – an association that will be in charge of managing the new structure and that already animates seven of them: two in Torre Annunziata (Mamma Matilde and Peppino Brancati), one in Caserta, one in Naples, and the other three in Puglia: in Bari, Cisternino and Corigliano d'Otranto.

                        “Whoever loves, educates and welcomes is the fil-rouge that accompanies our service as Salesians in Foggia. We propose to take care of children, young people, of those situations that require greater educational attention,” added Fr Luigi Cella.

                        The inauguration of the structure is scheduled for the end of May, the actual start of the activities in the summer. The work will also be carried out thanks to the help of the General House of the Salesians, the DON BOSCO NEL MONDO Foundation and a public contribution from the Puglia Region. To cover all expenses, in particular, for the purchase of the kitchen and furnishings, the "Piccoli Passi Grandi Sogni" association has also promoted an online fundraiser.

                        Further information is available on the Facebook page of "Piccoli Passi Grandi Sogni APS".

                        • Italia
                        • IME ITALIA MERIDIONALE
                        • Giovani a Rischio
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          RMG – VII video-seed, “CREATING TRUST”: at heart of the Preventive System

                          1 month 1 week ago
                          RMG – VII video-seed, “CREATING TRUST”: at heart of the Preventive System

                          (ANS - Rome) - The seventh episode based on the document “Young Salesians and accompaniment - Orientations and Guidelines” has been released. The video-seed explores the themes presented in the 4th chapter: “Understanding what the Spirit is saying”. These are important and also critical aspects of formation, as clearly emerged from the research on accompaniment, which was attended by over 4,000 respondents, mostly young Salesians.

                          These are the subtitles found in the text, between n ° 152 and n ° 166:

                          10   Respecting confidentiality and creating trust.

                          11   Returning to the Preventive System.

                          12   Learning by experience.

                          13   Spiritual accompaniment as holistic.

                          The insistence on trust, which cannot be imposed, but only earned, is the fruit of both the charismatic strength of the Salesian roots - as the letter from Rome of 1884 recalls - and the strong signs, positive and negative, that emerged from the research. Among these, the many difficulties encountered due to insufficient respect for confidentiality. We read at n ° 155 of the text: "As Fr Paolo Albera says, there is such a close correlation between confidentiality and trust that even a slight 'leakage' in the first causes the almost complete and immediate loss of the second."

                          Equally, the strong reference to the model of the Preventive System is both a return to the Valdocco of the origins, as well as a response to situations that must be purified and corrected. “Becoming aware of the operative model of formation is, therefore, important and urgent. By bringing the operative model to light, we can look at it critically and decide whether it needs to be changed.”

                          In our opinion, the conformation model of formation is uncomfortably close to the Repressive System, and cannot go along with the Salesian spirit (see Constitutions Chapter 2). We need to look at it honestly, and have the courage to go back to the Preventive System. The recommendation of Don Bosco to the young first Rector of the Congregation, Michael Rua – Studia di farti amare (Strive to make yourself loved) – is inscribed on the cross given to us at our perpetual profession, and cries to be put into practice, with the invaluable comment on it that is the Letter from Rome.

                          To access the video on YouTube, click here.

                          To access this and the previous videos, with related materials to encourage reflection and sharing in the community, enter the "multimedia" section of the page dedicated to Formation on the Congregation's website: https://www.sdb.org/en/Departments/Formation/Multimedia 

                          Everything available there can be downloaded, including videos.

                          • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                          • Formazione
                          • Formazione Iniziale
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Mexico – Fr Hugo Orozco on Extraordinary Visit to MEM

                            1 month 1 week ago
                            Mexico – Fr Hugo Orozco on Extraordinary Visit to MEM

                            (ANS - Puebla) - Fr Hugo Orozco, Regional Councilor for Interamerica, began an Extraordinary Visitation to the Province of Mexico-México (MEM) in the middle of last month on behalf of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime. As part of the various stages of the visit, on Saturday 27 February, he met the representatives of the Salesian Family present in the State of Puebla in the city of Puebla: Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators, Past Pupils, Volunteers of Don Bosco and "Damas Salesianas".

                            In his meeting, held in person since the restrictions due to the pandemic were partially eased in those days, Fr Orozco first met and greeted all the representatives of the various groups, praising them for their commitment and encouraging them for future work.

                            Then, he highlighted the great work done by the various groups of the Salesian Family in their different areas of intervention, as well as the valid, diverse and widespread initiatives with which they responded to the health emergency that affects the whole world. In this sense, he underlined, by way of example, the great work carried out by the Salesian Cooperators of the Interamerica Region through the program "Vamos en la misma barca" (Let's move forward in the same boat), which brought together - and brings together - thousands of volunteers and which put the Salesian world, including from other Regions, in contact with the Rector Major, thus giving a sense of unity to the work of the Salesian Family.

                            Subsequently, referring to the message of the Rector Major's Strenna for 2021, "Moved by hope: 'See, I am making all things new' (Rev 21,5)", he shared some ideas with those present. First of all, he clarified that hope is not a blind optimism "that things will go well ... Our hope has a lot to do with our faith, that is, with the conviction that God does not leave us, that He accompanies us, that even in that step that is darker there is a little light that makes us walk.”

                            He then spoke of the “places of hope”, that is to say of those sources proper to the Salesian charism where members of the SF can find hope, and then share it with others, especially with those who need it most.

                            He identified the first of these places in friendship, a proper Salesian experience, because, he said: "We provide the possibility, we ensure the possibility for people to become friends, for boys, girls ... We as educators want to become their friends to promote them.”

                            The second he identified in the "maybe" or "who knows" of Don Bosco, as of Fr Luigi Variara, of Mother Mazzarello ... of all those great saints and founders, who were able to open new opportunities starting from a small glimmer of possibility. Like Don Bosco who, coming out of the “Generala” juvenile prison in Turin, asked himself: “Who knows, had these youngsters had a friend outside…”. "There are two places of hope for us in the Salesian Family: friendship and perhaps those that allow us to glimpse a different panorama," concluded Fr Orozco.

                            • Messico
                            • MEM MESSICO MÉXICO
                            • Visita Straordinaria
                            • Hugo Orozco Sánchez
                            • Speranza
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              United States – “Salesian Boys and Girls Club” Centennial Celebration

                              1 month 1 week ago
                              United States – “Salesian Boys and Girls Club” Centennial Celebration

                              (ANS – San Francisco) – In a virtual presentation, San Francisco Mayor, London Breed, commemorating the 100 year history of the Club, proclaimed February 6th as “Salesian Boys’ & Girls’ Club Day” in San Francisco. In the video, the Mayor, along with North Beach Supervisor, Aaron Peskin, Executive Director, Randal DeMartini, and members of the Club’s Board of Directors, staff, and alumni, recognized the accomplishments of the Club.

                              It was a grand day and kicked off what will be a yearlong celebration acknowledging the Club’s success during its 100 year history.

                              Established in 1921 to cater to Italian immigrant boys that lived in the North Beach District in San Francisco at the time, the Club now serves both boys and girls throughout the City and the Bay Area. The Club boasts of alumni that have gone on to become pillars of the San Francisco Community. Among its ranks can be found successful entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, judges, professional athletes, and even a former mayor.

                              In addition to presenting the Club with a key to the City and a plaque recognizing the work it has accomplished in its 100 year history, Mayor Breed also ordered the lights of City Hall and Coit Tower to be illuminated in green and gold, reflecting the Club’s colours. It was a fine tribute to the Club and recognized the Club’s commitment to working with the youth of San Francisco for years to come.

                              During the year the Club will commemorate its history with pole banners throughout the City. Plans are in the works for virtual and, hopefully, in-person reunions. A documentary is also being produced to show at future Club events. The Club hopes to culminate its Centennial Celebration with a Gala Event in October at the Fairmont Hotel.

                              Russell Gumina

                              Former Executive Director, SBGC San Francisco

                              • Stati Uniti
                              • SUO STATI UNITI OVEST
                              • Anniversari
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                RMG – Fr Basañes appointed Provincial of Central Africa

                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                RMG – Fr Basañes appointed Provincial of Central Africa

                                (ANS - Rome) - On 2 March, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, with the consensus of the General Council, appointed Fr Guillermo Basañes as Provincial of the “Our Lady" Province of Central Africa (AFC), in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for the 2021-2027 term.

                                Fr Guillermo Basañes Luis was born on 19 October 1965 in Washington D.C. (United States), and is also of Argentine citizenship. He entered the "St Michael Archangel" Salesian novitiate in La Plata (now South Argentina) on 11 February 1985, made his first religious vows on 31 January 1986, and his perpetual vows on 24 November 1991 in Buenos Aires.

                                He did his Theology studies in what will be his new Province at Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and there he also received the lectorate in 1992, and the acolyte in 1993. He was ordained a deacon in Luanda, Angola, in 1994, and a priest in San Isidro, Buenos Aires, on August 12, 1995.

                                Fr Basañes worked in the "Dom Bosco" community of Palanca, Luanda, for three years, before going to study in the Faculty of Educational Sciences (FSE) of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, "San Giovanni Bosco" community. He then returned to Luanda, as Director of the "Dom Bosco" work in Palanca, on November 15, 2001. He was appointed Councilor of the Vice Province of Angola in January 2003, Vicar of the same on December 5, 2003, as well as Provincial Delegate for Formation from 2004 to 2005, the year he was appointed Superior of the Vice Province of Angola (ANG). On 28 March 2008, he was appointed General Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region; and on 27 March 2014, he became General Councilor for the Salesian Missions.

                                He holds a Baccalaureate in Philosophy, Baccalaureate in Theology, and a Licentiate in Educational Sciences. He speaks Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese and French.

                                From 1 September 2020, in the Communities of St. Joseph and Rome Sacro Cuore respectively, he was appointed by the Rector Major for Extraordinary Visits, a mission he was carrying out in the Vice Province of Tropical Equatorial Africa (ATE) at the time of his appointment.

                                {gallery}RMG - Basanes AFC 2021{/gallery}

                                • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                • Guillermo Basañes
                                • AFC AFRICA CENTRALE
                                • Nomine
                                • Ispettori
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Spain – Salesian parishes reflect on their identity and mission as "outgoing people of God"

                                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                                  (ANS - Madrid) - The Congress of the Salesian Parishes of Spain took place online on 19 and 20 February, created to give continuity to the journey begun with the similar congress in 2017 and inspired by the National Congress of the Laity which took place in February 2020, at the instigation of the Spanish Bishops' Conference.

                                  The event of this past 19-20 February served to share the work carried out by parish priests and lay people under the motto "The Salesian parish, outgoing people of God", and also provided an opportunity to offer good practices and testimonies relating to the paths envisaged by the Congress of the Laity.

                                  The meeting, which began on Friday 19th at 11:30 am, had as its main presentation the one entitled "A welcoming, close, empathetic and collaborative priest" offered by Msgr. Antonio Vadell, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Barcelona. On Saturday the meeting continued with the report "The parish within a Salesian work", held by the General Councilor for Salesian Youth Ministry, Fr Miguel Angel García Morcuende - who encouraged those present to rethink the present and the possibilities parishes in the light of the Salesian charism; and continued with the speech "People of God going out: memory and future of the Congress of the Laity", by Ana Medina.

                                  “We need creativity, the noisy presence of young people. Being a friendly face of the complex reality of youth. It is up to us to accompany and awaken young people, so that they may be the prophets of this time,” explained the General Councilor in his speech. Which concluded by saying: "We must build the house on the rock, a house that is the community of God, aware that if the Lord does not build the house, our efforts will be in vain, but also aware that God needs workers to send out." 

                                  According to the National Coordinator of the Salesian Parishes, Fr Miguel Angel Calavia, the objectives of the meeting were to make the reflections of the National Congress of the Laity become concrete in the Salesian reality, reflect on the identity and mission of parish priests and, finally, offer good practices and testimonies relating to the paths identified in the last Congress of the Laity.

                                  In addition to the reports mentioned, the meeting also included some workshops on specific topics, held by Xavier Morlans, Ana Arbona, Pedro Vilchez, Manuel Olid, Myrian Navarro, Fr Álvaro Ginel and Franciso Javier Cruz.

                                  More information here

                                  {gallery}Spagna - Congresso Parrocchie 2021{/gallery}

                                  • Spagna
                                  • Parrocchie
                                  • Pastorale Giovanile
                                  • Miguel Angel Garcia Morcuende
                                  • Pastorale
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Nigeria – Salesians for Development: the “St. Joseph’s Farm” initiative

                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                    Nigeria – Salesians for Development: the “St. Joseph’s Farm” initiative

                                    (ANS – Sagamu) – In Sagamu, Ogun State, south-western Nigeria, the Salesians are working since 2014. Actually the Salesians community oversees parish ministry, missionary out-stations, youth pastoral ministry, chaplaincy and Agro-Projects in the diocese of Ijebu Ode, in which it is located. Among their project, the flagship is the “St Joseph’s Farm”, a Centre for training, Research and Production.

                                    With a population of near 256,000 with a mix of Christians, Muslims and traditionalists, Sagamu is known for its agricultural products such as cocoa and kola nuts. The region’s rich vegetation and large masses of unoccupied or unused land continue to attract a lot of people to develop an interest in agriculture. Yet, the region is bedevilled with high rates of unemployment, underemployment and a low rate of formal education.

                                    St Joseph’s Farm initiative is situated on 25 hectares acquired by the Salesians. It is planned as a centre of excellence for crop production, animal farming, research and training especially for youth and smallholder farmers.

                                    The Salesians have started a project aimed at:

                                    -      Providing a good opportunity for food security with the intention of generating income for the employed young people and other poor persons, especially widows and girls;

                                    -      Improving the method of crop production in a sustainable manner, market and innovative technology access;

                                    -      Access to climate resilient techniques and practices in order to increase smallholder farmers’ productivity and revenue in a sustainable way;

                                    -      Providing a platform for practical experience for farmers and farmers-to-be within the locality;

                                    -      Increasing employment opportunities for smallholder farmers in general, however it will target specifically poor youth and women in the locality;

                                    -      Aiding in curbing the menace of irregular migration and providing income for many vulnerable people.

                                    St Joseph’s Farm, in the next years, will concentrate enormous skills and energy in the promotion of crop production for the poor residents, community and the environs. Selected crops for the farm will include lettuce, cabbage, ugu, cucumber, maize, soybean, cassava, yam and any other essential crop according to season and demand. The farm will also have a greenhouse.

                                    Each training session is expected to have 100 participants involved in the farming activities with prior attention given to poor women and girls. Indirect beneficiaries are expected to be over 5,000 involved in the value chain of the project.

                                    Target Groups:

                                    -      Poor and vulnerable young people across the country;

                                    -      Women and girls;

                                    -      Students from Don Bosco technical and vocational schools;

                                    -      Graduates from Agriculture institutions;

                                    -      Potential migrants and returnees;

                                    -      Researchers in the field of agriculture;

                                    -      Small scale farmers;

                                    -      Families already in agriculture.

                                    Source: Salesians Ireland

                                    • Nigeria
                                    • AFW AFRICA OCCIDENTALE ANGLOFONA
                                    • Rurali
                                    • Agricoltura
                                    • Sviluppo Sociale
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      India – “Snehotsava”: a Festival of Friendship

                                      1 month 2 weeks ago
                                      India – “Snehotsava”: a Festival of Friendship

                                      (ANS – Bangalore) – Bosco Youth, Bangalore Zone, organized “Snehotsava: A Festival Of Friendship” as part of the Zonal Convention at Don Bosco Church, Lingarajapuram. It was an event meant to give young people an awareness on relationships. Fr Joe Kokandathil SDB was the chief Resource Person for the day. 120 Bosco Youth from 6 Bosco Youth units of Bangalore Zone actively participated in the programme. 10 Salesians (priests and brothers) and 2 Salesian Sisters were present for the event. Snehotsava was indeed a rejuvenating experience for the young people after a year-long gap due to the pandemic and other related issues. SNEHOTSAVA had the special privilege of being visited by Rev Fr Biju Michael SDB, the Regional of South Asia, and Rev Fr Robert Simon, the National Coordinator for Don Bosco Youth Services.

                                      Snehotsava began with a formal inauguration ceremony. Fr Aloysious Santiago, the Parish Priest and Rector of Lingarajapuram, was the chief guest. In his presidential address, he spoke to young people about the need for authentic and true relationships.

                                      Fr Joe Kokandathil began the morning session with Mindfulness Meditation and then through a series of practical exercises he helped young people to deal with their emotions. The young people really enjoyed those exercises. In the afternoon, Fr Joe spoke on relationship, especially cautioning the young people on the various blocks or obstacles that may prevent true and authentic relationships.

                                      Once the sessions were over, there was a Panel Discussion where young people were given the opportunity to speak about their perspectives on Parent-child relationships, relationships among friends, and relationships between a boy and a girl. Fr Joe Tony Previnth SDB and Sr Alice Chacko FMA spoke on one’s Relationship with God and Relationship in Religious Life respectively.

                                      Mrs and Mr Monica Sagayaraj, a couple from Don Bosco Church, Lingarajapuram, were invited to talk about the bond of love between them. After each of them spoke, the floor was open for questions and clarifications. The young people asked some relevant questions and the discussion truly became a time of great learning.

                                      Snehotsava had a beautiful moment of blessing when Rev Fr Biju SDB, the Regional of South Asia, and Rev Fr Robert Simon, the National Coordinator for Don Bosco Youth Services, paid a visit. They were welcomed by the youth with friendship bands.

                                      Snehotsava was the first youth gathering that Fr Biju attended after he took over as the Regional of South Asia that once again made the Province of Bangalore very proud. In his talk, he spoke on love and friendship from the Biblical point of view and stated that friendship is one of the highest forms of love. Then Fr Simon reminded the Bosco Youth that they were part of a Global Youth Movement and invited the participants to retain their identity as Salesian youth wherever they might be.

                                      Snehotsava was concluded with a vote of thanks by Fr William D'Souza SDB, the Regional Director of Bosco Youth, Karnataka.

                                      Source: Don Bosco India

                                      • India
                                      • INK INDIA BANGALORE
                                      • Michael Biju
                                      • Pastorale Giovanile
                                      • Giovani
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        RMG – Videos of Salesian Missionary Day 2021 are ready

                                        1 month 2 weeks ago
                                        RMG – Videos of Salesian Missionary Day 2021 are ready

                                        (ANS - Rome) - The videos of Salesian Missionary Day 2021 are ready "One Father, one Family - Missionary Solidarity as First Announcement". They come from all over the world, as a witness to the unity of the Salesian Family, which has set itself in motion to respond to the needs of the poorest and announce the message of the Gospel. “Feeling like children of the same Father and, therefore, brothers, is the most beautiful and important challenge that we can carry out, showing our solidarity with everyone, starting with the simplest gestures,” affirm the Sector for Salesian Missions.

                                        There are six videos: five regional and one summary, made thanks to the contribution of the Southern Italy Province (IME).

                                        In Africa, the variety and enormous wealth of peoples and cultures found themselves united in the fight against Covid-19, and all the communities in the 42 countries with a Salesian presence responded promptly, understanding how important everyone's contribution was, also through simple and apparently small gestures, involving many different people. As the video summarizes: "The sweetest streams of solidarity are those that flow sideways".

                                        In Europe, the closures imposed by the pandemic have not stopped the evangelizing zeal and new ways of staying close to young people have been devised, such as the online oratory created in Slovakia: even the digital world can be a field of Christian testimony. “We are close to the people and bring God into the digital world” is the meaning of this contribution.

                                        In South Asia, in India, migrant workers, discarded by society, met the smile and the open heart of a vast movement of people who took care of them, fulfilling the motto "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam", "All the world is a family". "The heart of the lonely, jobless, stranded migrant longs to reunite with his families thousands of kilometers away" states the video.

                                        The video of America narrates the experience of the "Fundación Don Bosco" in Peru, which having seen how the pandemic has increased the gap within society and has affected the poorest families, has put into practice the preferential option for the poor and was able to show the merciful face of Jesus. “The love of the Father is unconditional and inclusive of all, especially those at the peripheries,” states the fourth video.

                                        From the East Asia and Oceania region, and in particular in Thailand, the splendid collaboration between the groups of the Salesian Family has made explicit the meaning of feeling like a family in which everyone takes care of the others: "We are all in the same boat," as Pope Francis recalled in prayer in front of a deserted St Peter's Square on 27 March 2020. “The Salesian Family comes together to serve the human family” is the message, in summary, of the last video.

                                        Salesian Mission Day invites everyone to mobilize with solidarity, as a sign of hope and the first proclamation of faith. It calls to be united in one family to go out to meet the neediest brothers with acts of charity inspired by faith in God the Father.

                                        All the videos are available, in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, on the Youtube channel “Sector for the Salesian Missions”.

                                        • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                        • Missioni
                                        • Video
                                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                                        • Giornata Missionaria Salesiana
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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