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India - Salesians for the environmental education of young people

1 month 2 weeks ago

(ANS - New Delhi) - "It is very noble to take on the task of taking care of creation with small daily actions, and it is wonderful that education is capable of motivating them even to shaping their lifestyle. Educating to environmental responsibility can encourage various behaviors that have a direct and important impact on caring for the environment." These are words that Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical "Laudato Sì" (LS, 211). These are words that Salesians throughout India are putting into practice by educating their students to curate, improve, restore and defend the Creation.

At Sonada, in a first-time effort, the NGO Tieedi (Take it easy, easy does it) Forest Garden Gorabari and Salesian College Gorabari NSS group teamed up to experiment on an eight-day socio-ecological outreach programme for students from 19 to 26 February, 2018. They cleaned up some 150 meters of the source of the 8th Mile mountain river.

The workshop aimed to reconnect students to nature and the community. Highlights of the camp included an Ecological Survey of the 8th Mile village; setting up a fire-place and foraging for deadwood for the wood-fire to cook meals; grocery shopping for the week-long programme; cooking outdoors team activity; and sharing the learning from protracted observations during the ecological survey. On the way back, the students cleaned-up and picked all the trash along the way in the Old Military Road and Rajahatta village.

On 3 March, in Mumbai, participating teachers and students representing 48 schools sat on the edge of their seats in the packed Bianchi hall at Don Bosco International School, Matunga, hoping their labor of love towards conserving the environment earned them the Green School Award. The theme for the eighth edition of the Green School Campaign was 'Go Trash-less'. With Mumbai currently generating about 10,000 tonnes of trash daily, waste management is a pressing issue.

The announcement made, the staff and students of St. Joseph's High School, Wadala, shouted with joy as they were declared winners for 2017-18. The winning school mobilized the entire institute towards its greening initiatives. During the breaks, students, including first and second graders, collected all the waste and segregated it. It was then given to the NGOs who recycled it; in return, the school received back benches and other stationary for its use.

Of the nearly 50 participating schools, 20 have implemented waste segregation and 25 are composting, the work done by the students themselves.

''It is a proud moment for me to say that the Green Schools Campaign is the biggest environmental education programme going on in the city of Mumbai,'' said Father Savio Silveira, Director of GreenLine.

Finally, in Tiruchy, two days of Animation of Eco Club Leaders was conducted at the Don Bosco Centre Manikandam in the Province of Tiruchy from 3-4 March 2018. The Eco Club Leaders, 160 of them, gathered for animation and training. ''It's Our Mother Earth and We Love It,'' was the theme of the two-days gathering.

Input sessions on themes such as “Human Being in the Environment,” “Eco Systems, Interconnectedness in the Universe” and “Problems created by human beings” were organized for the students. A green walk was organized to explore and learn about various trees, herbal plants and flowers found in their natural settings. A session on star-gazing was also organized to introduce children to gazing at the sky and understanding the structure of the stars and their visibility.

The two-day gathering has given children new information, skills required to evaluate environmental problems and the steps to address as young leaders. Father Antony Joseph, the Provincial, addressed the children during the concluding ceremony and appreciated all their interest and efforts towards the protection of the Environment. 

{gallery}India - Azioni ambientali 2018{/gallery}

  • India
  • INM
  • INT
  • INC
  • Ambiente
  • Creato
    Gian Francesco Romano

    France - In Nice, about 100 young people rediscover the footsteps of Don Bosco

    1 month 2 weeks ago

    (ANS - Nizza) - It was in Nice that Don Bosco inaugurated his first center outside Italy and where he spoke about the Preventive System for the first time. 140 years later, it is in Nice that children and young people representing eight French Salesian houses have rediscovered the Salesian history of the city and experienced Salesian pedagogy firsthand. Through a great game.

    A cross-town treasure hunt. With a tablet at their disposal plus map, clues, a list of people to meet and interview, the participants moved throughout the city on foot or by public transport, with stops at especially symbolic locations.

    First they gathered at the Marble Cross on Rue de France where in May 1874 the first union of apprentices was established; then at the Episcopal House, at Palais Sarde (or Palais de la Prefecture), then in Place Garibaldi, to finally reach Place Don Bosco (formerly Place des Armes) where Don Bosco founded his center by buying Villa Gauthier in 1876. What was the building at the time, initially called "Patronage Saint Pierre"? At the time it had only 9 students - 6 Algerians and 3 locals from Nice; today it has become the "Don Bosco" Institute of Nice and forms 1603 students.

    The participants in the treasure hunt were guided in their journey by four “characters” that Don Bosco himself met in Nice: Ernest Michel, a prominent city figure and President of the Conference of St. Vincent de Paul; Msgr. Sola, bishop of Nice; Albert Decrais, Prefect of the Maritime Alps; and Fr Louis Cartier, Director of the center from 1887 to 1919.

    These illustrious personalities told students about their special relationship with Don Bosco and took turns asking young people how they lived the Preventive System today in modern times. At that time, these historical figures encouraged Don Bosco to create a center for young people in Nice, especially for apprentices, and to replace the then existing re-education houses into a home led by his Salesians.

    After the game, the children were invited to offer a summary of the Preventive System for the 21st century, thanks to what they live and experience in their own institutes and thanks, also, to the answers of the characters on the issues of trust, hope, reason, and education.

    "And now, let's walk with confidence, towards tomorrow." This is how Fr Jean-Marie Petitclerc, SDB, concluded this meeting for the 140th anniversary of the Preventive System.

    • Francia
    • FRB
    • Sistema Preventivo
    • Giovani
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Malaysia – A deep missionary sharing of first Malaysia rector, Fr. Ramon Borja

      1 month 2 weeks ago

      (ANS – Kuching) – “It has been more than six months since I first arrived here in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Honestly, at that time, I was thinking, by this time, construction of a Skills Training School that will be run by us, Salesians, the first in this country, would already be ongoing, or at the least, on its beginning… Well… obviously… God has other plans”.

      by Fr Ramon Borja, SDB

      All we have up to now… are plans.… Very good and very optimistic, but still, nothing but plans. Truly, God’s ways are not man’s ways. For the first time in my life, I find Isaiah 55:8 so true and alive. Before, I only heard and read about it. Now, I do experience it. God is telling me, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways.”

      The very recent (just a few days ago) and very historic (the first ever where the SDB FIN Provincial and the Kuching Archbishop had a dialogue and decision-making together about the school project and the presence of the Salesians in the Archdiocese) visit of my Provincial, Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong, accompanied by my classmate, Fr. Jose Armando Cortez, the FIN Province Delegate for Missionary Animation (PDMA), made me feel so glad and grateful.

      Fr. Andre and I felt we’re not alone. We are not left on our own. The Congregation, the whole FIN Province, especially, is with us. The presence of our Provincial bringing with him not just the prayers, greetings and best wishes of the whole Province but also the concrete and substantial financial support made us feel so encouraged.

      On a personal note, honestly, especially when they left (while the sky was darkening though it was mid-morning), I also felt a tinge of low-spirits. The very challenging reality started to confront me more strongly – the reality that the school we are dreaming of will only take full shape after at least three years, only if we have Malaysian ringgit in millions and at least a minimum number of Malaysian lay who have both the competence and the heart for this kind of stuff and of Malaysian companies or individuals who are willing to partner with us, and thus acquire certification from the government which surely would not be easy and speedy.

      God wants me to wait. God wills that I do. This is His, not mine, not even ours. This is God’s… and it will only unfold in His time, in His grace, in His ways. Through my superiors, my Provincial, the Rector Major, my Archbishop, and the people that God continuous to send, let me be guided and led that I may be His humble though passionate, docile and compassionate, Salesian missionary priest instrument of His.

      Please don’t get me wrong. Forgive my musing as a neophyte missionary. Know that I remain so happy, honored and hopeful here, feeling so blessed, wanting to be a blessing. God is not just making this Don Bosco Malaysia dream come true. I feel, He also purifies me, humbles me, crafts me, as He is doing so…

      When will that tomorrow be when Don Bosco Malaysia becomes a full reality? I don’t know. All I know is the God holds all tomorrows and also holds my hand …. And that is more enough for me.

      Source: AustraLasia

      • Malesia
      • FIN
      • Testimonianza
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Belarus - Don Bosco is very present in the country

        1 month 2 weeks ago

        (ANS - Zhuprany) - Belarus is a country that has suffered greatly during the second half of the 20th century and for various reasons children's rights have struggled to find a decisive place in the country. Today in Belarus there are a dozen Salesians among young people, adults and the elderly in the home in Zhuprany. On the occasion of the feast of Saint Casimir, on March 4th, everyone gathered, coming from the communities of Smarhon, Minsk and Baraulany. No one minds having to travel for up to two hours on a snow-covered road, because they know that with fraternal sharing and meeting the Salesian charism is strengthened

        by Fr Francisco Santos, SDB

        They speak enthusiastically about the new projects, the construction of the new church and the headquarters of Minsk, the capital of Belarus. They show the plans of the new church in Baraulany and discuss how to rebuild the Salesian oratory in Zhuprany or the new activities for young people in Smarhon.

        Perhaps they do not know this clearly, but they are tracing the path of a promising future for the Salesian Congregation in Belarus. When Don Bosco sent the first Salesians out of Valdocco, he said to Fr Michele Rua, "The oratory is in you." And Fr Rua's immediate reply was, "In Mirabello I will do as Don Bosco."

        The first Salesians in Belarus are sowing the Congregation and to some extent they feel in their hearts the enormous responsibility and honor of being bearers of the Salesian charism in this beautiful country.

        Indeed, there is no lack of enthusiastic young people: in the youth centers of Minsk, Smarhon and Baraulany, there are many young people willing to collaborate with this handful of men full of God, who sit for hours in the confessional, who travel on icy roads to create fraternity, who end the day chatting with young people, playing with them, talking about their problems and their dreams, and that every day in the small community chapels they ask God for the light and the strength to carry on Salesian works, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of the young.

        In a short time the Salesians can already count on several aspirants who have started the community experience in Minsk.

        The Salesian Congregation shall have a beautiful future if it succeeds in transmitting to young people the idea that "giving oneself completely to everyone" can fill an entire life and make it whole.

        {gallery}Bielorussia - Visita Paco 2018{/gallery}

        • Bielorussia
        • PLE
        • Missioni
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Uganda - The extreme poverty of the missionaries in their new mission in Palabek refugee camp

          1 month 2 weeks ago

          (ANS - Palabek) - Last year, through a letter, the Rector Major of the Salesians recalled that over a million people from South Sudan are currently refugees in Uganda and invited the Salesians to go to them, to work with them and for them. This is why today missionaries of different nationalities now animate the new Salesian presence in the refugee camp of Palabek.

          "86% of the population in the refugee camp are women and children. More than 60% are minors. These young people are the reason for our commitment to education and evangelization. We must take care of them and give them an integral formation," says the Director of the Salesian community, Fr Lazar Arasu.

          The refugees are hungry and thirsty. They do not have a home. They do not have clothes. They do not have education and they need the attention and care that the Salesians provide them. "We started literacy and pastoral activities. I hope and pray that with the help of Don Bosco, we will succeed in this pastoral service," says the Salesian missionary.

          Living conditions are not easy. They live in extreme poverty, but they are "happy", as Fr Ubaldino Andrade, also a missionary in Palabek, shows us: "A house for missionaries, with a single room divided by a tent, with a thatched roof and walls and mud floor. On one side there is a space for sleeping, a place for a bed or a mat to be laid on the floor at night."

          This is the refuge where missionaries hide to shelter themselves from sandstorms, "and where we take refuge to wait for the extremely hot hours of the day to pass," continues Fr Andrade. Nearby there is the latrine and an improvised room where they take a shower with water that must carried from the wells located about 250 meters from the camp.

          He narrates how the place where the refugee camp is located was the land of fighting peoples and warriors. In one of the battles, the missionaries intervened to restore peace by forcing warriors to retain their weapons. "Pala" means knife or machete, and "Bek" means to save, put it back in its sheath. Palabek therefore means "retaining the weapon of war". This is the origin of the name of the place where the refugee camp is currently located and where the Salesians decided to stay and live with them and for them.

          • Uganda
          • AGL
          • Missioni
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Liberia - The Salesians again at Tappita

            1 month 2 weeks ago

            (ANS - Tappita) - The Salesian mission at Tappita, in the Liberian forest, is now re-establishing itself again after years of forced expulsion: it was founded by the Salesians before the civil war in Liberia (1989-1997), but was then handed over to the local clergy for the impossibility of communications and lack of personnel. In this phase of re-awakening, it needs everything: from small things, like a whistle to referee the games of the oratory or the catechetical animation material, to the most demanding, such as reactivating the school, creating the youth center ... It is a reality where the pioneering spirit of the mission ferments every activity of education, social development and evangelization.

            The three Salesians who have taken over the mission have given themselves a few months to take stock of the situation, understand the challenges and draft an action plan. They currently live in the house that belonged to the Consolata Sisters until they too had to leave due to the war. In the last 20 years the structure has been used in part by the priest who visited the mission from time to time and then permanently, but its deterioration was progressive and fast. 

            For Christmas activities, the community had decided to adopt the "do as it has always been done" method to see and learn from the situation. And despite the challenges of the reality of Tappita – rationed electricity and water supply, sketchy communication routes, linguistic difficulties with the local population - the religious have begun to shape pastoral activities.

            In January, all the parish groups met: Pastoral Council, Economic Commission, Men, Women, Young People, altar boys, Chorus, and various Associations ... "Every evening, from 5 pm onwards, we 'listened'," explained Fr Riccardo Castellino, SDB.

            The parish also has 24 mission stations in the villages. The Salesians have decided to visit them all: so every Sunday one of them stays in the parish and the other two reach two neighboring villages.

            The local people are simple, poor. They live on agriculture, and though they do not lack food, they have no money to spend. All the communities, with the little they have, have built or are building a little church of mud and sheet metal.

            "There is a lot of work to do and this involves a great deal of energy and material resources. But they too are children of God and deserve our full attention!," concludes Fr Castellino. 

            • Liberia
            • AFW
            • Missioni
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Togo - Another step in the journey of world animation

              1 month 2 weeks ago

              (ANS - Lomé) - Another country is added to the long list of nations visited by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, in his service of animation to the entire Salesian Congregation across the globe: Togo is the latest country reached by the X Successor of Don Bosco, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, and by the Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, Fr Américo Chaquisse, on Saturday 3 March.

              Before flying to the Togolese capital, Lomé, Fr Á.F. Artime completed his visit to Burkina Faso. At Bobo-Dioulasso, the Rector Major visited the Salesian "Foyer Don Bosco", which houses a literacy center, a vocational training center and a formation center. There, addressing the children present, he urged them to dedicate themselves to their studies so that through education they could guarantee themselves and their loved ones a dignified future.


              During the rest of the day, full of cultural and artistic performances offered by Foyer Don Bosco students in honor of their illustrious guest, the Rector Major also met the Salesian prenovices, animating them on the path of discernment and deepening of their faith.

              As is typical, iFr Á.F. Artime received his first, joyful reception at the Togo airport. Then, escorted by a group of young people, he was taken to the "Don Bosco" house in Lomé, where he received the traditional homage of the whole community and the welcoming words of the center's Director, Fr Adolphe Akpoué Koffi. In the afternoon, there was one of the set appointments of the Animation Visits of the Rector Major: the meeting reserved for Salesians; here, on this occasion, all the Sons of Don Bosco of the Country participated, plus the Salesians of Benin.

              Yesterday, Sunday 4 March, the Rector Major visited the Salesian parish "Mary Help of Christians", also in Lomé, and presided over a solemn Eucharist, followed by a warm meeting with the local Salesian Family. In the afternoon, he met with young people and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

              Finally, this morning, he celebrated the Eucharist with the students of the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Human Sciences and Social Communication. This afternoon, he has a meeting with formators.

              All the photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr.

              • Togo
              • AFO
              • Rettor Maggiore
              • Visita di Animazione
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Liberia - The Salesians again at Tappit

                1 month 2 weeks ago

                (ANS - Tappita) - The Salesian mission at Tappita, in the Liberian forest, is now re-establishing itself again after years of forced expulsion: it was founded by the Salesians before the civil war in Liberia (1989-1997), but was then handed over to the local clergy for the impossibility of communications and lack of personnel. In this phase of re-awakening, it needs everything: from small things, like a whistle to referee the games of the oratory or the catechetical animation material, to the most demanding, such as reactivating the school, creating the youth center ... It is a reality where the pioneering spirit of the mission ferments every activity of education, social development and evangelization.

                The three Salesians who have taken over the mission have given themselves a few months to take stock of the situation, understand the challenges and draft an action plan. They currently live in the house that belonged to the Consolata Sisters until they too had to leave due to the war. In the last 20 years the structure has been used in part by the priest who visited the mission from time to time and then permanently, but its deterioration was progressive and fast.

                 

                For Christmas activities, the community had decided to adopt the "do as it has always been done" method to see and learn from the situation. And despite the challenges of the reality of Tappita – rationed electricity and water supply, sketchy communication routes, linguistic difficulties with the local population - the religious have begun to shape pastoral activities.

                In January, all the parish groups met: Pastoral Council, Economic Commission, Men, Women, Young People, altar boys, Chorus, and various Associations ... "Every evening, from 5 pm onwards, we 'listened'," explained Fr Riccardo Castellino, SDB.

                The parish also has 24 mission stations in the villages. The Salesians have decided to visit them all: so every Sunday one of them stays in the parish and the other two reach two neighboring villages.

                The local people are simple, poor. They live on agriculture, and though they do not lack food, they have no money to spend. All the communities, with the little they have, have built or are building a little church of mud and sheet metal.

                "There is a lot of work to do and this involves a great deal of energy and material resources. But they too are children of God and deserve our full attention!," concludes Fr Castellino.

                 

                http://www.donboscoliberia.org/ 

                • Liberia
                • AFW
                • Missioni
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  El Salvador – First stone set at Micro-Macro Observatory of Don Bosco University

                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                  (ANS - San Salvador) - The Don Bosco University (UDB) of El Salvdor will have a Micro-Macro Observatory (MMO), a center that is unique in the region. It is designed for research and formation and oriented towards developing the capacity for perception of the students and of the local population through the scientific observation of the universe (macrocosm) and of organic and inorganic matter (microcosm).

                  Made thanks to the support of the German foundation "Karlheinz Wolfgang for Health and Education" (KWS), the observatory will consist of an observation tower, a room for the development of educational-scientific activities, a terrace for observation, a planetarium and an astronomical observatory equipped with technology that will allow the study of science at the micro and macro levels. The size of the structure will be about 700 square meters.

                  The main telescope will have an RC optical design, ideal for observing deep space objects such as the galaxy, globular clusters, open star clusters ... It will also be equipped with CCD cameras, used in astronomy to transmit telescope images in real time of the moon, of the planets, of the galaxies, of the various celestial bodies ... all with the aim of conducting research in this field. 

                  The center will also house secondary telescopes, solar telescopes, as well as main and secondary microscopes for research in the microcosm.

                  For the UDB Rector, Br. Mario Olmos, SDB, this new project with the KWS foundation seeks to integrate the academic and scientific dimensions of the UDB with the potential and dynamism generated by the principles of Individual Psychology developed by the Foundation, and to make way for a project that responds to current challenges of the Salvadoran educational, cultural and social contexts.

                  "Certainly we are all aware of the great challenges that await our country and the great effort required to find solutions. The real danger is to convince ourselves, on the basis of a superficial assessment of their size and nature, that it is impossible to solve or deal with these problems."

                  To benefit from the MMO will be the university community, but also the children and young people from the educational centers of the UDB area of ​​influence, together with the teachers and society in general, their interest in the sciences stimulated by the literally vast initiative.

                  The Micro-Macro Observatory shall offer opportunities to expand people's attention and ability to observe and analyze reality assisted by tools and professional staff, explore and find new experiences and knowledge within a scientific framework.

                  {gallery}CAM - Osservatorio Micro-Macro 2018{/gallery}

                  • El Salvador
                  • CAM
                  • Università
                  • IUS
                  • Scienze
                  • Tecnologie
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Burkina Faso - Great celebrations for presence of Don Bosco's Successor

                    1 month 3 weeks ago

                    (ANS - Ouagadougou) - The Animation Visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Province of Western Francophone Africa (AFO) continues. The X Successor completed his stay in Mali on Tuesday 27 February and he subsequently reached Burkina Faso, stopping in the country's two major cities: Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso.

                    On Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, Fr Á.F. Artime visited the house of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) in Niamana, a rural village in Mali where he offered his message of hope and comfort to the many children, young people and educators present.

                    On returning to the Salesian center "Père Michel" of Bamako, the Rector Major spoke with the representatives of the Salesian Family, and shared the traditional Salesian "Good Night". The day was further enriched that evening by his meeting with the archbishop of Bamako, Cardinal Jean Zerbo.

                    The following day, the X Successor of Don Bosco was welcomed at the Ouagadougou airport by a delegation of young people, Salesians and FMA. The next stop was the Salesian Vocational Training Center where - after the traditional reception ceremony, which saw the participation of the Center's Economer, Fr Bruno Gossa, students and a district manager - Fr Á. F. Artime blessed the construction of the new Salesian house and was audience to a festive cultural show.

                    Yesterday, Thursday, March 1, the day was marked by the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Salesian presence in Bobo-Dioulasso. The Rector Major, who arrived in the city early in the afternoon, greeted the pre-novices, met the local Salesian Family and presided over the solemn Eucharist for the anniversary.

                    ANSFlickr

                     

                    • Burkina Faso
                    • AFO
                    • Rettor Maggiore
                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                    • Visita di Animazione
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      India – Free Training for School Dropouts in Vocational Skills

                      1 month 3 weeks ago

                      (ANS – Santipur) – The Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD) has launched yet one more daring project for underprivileged youth in Santipur, Sadiya, Tinsukia District. It is called Yuva Bandhu, a training center for school dropouts and unemployed youth in vocational skills and in farming activities.

                      The five-month program will be offered free to residential candidates, in imitation of Don Bosco and Mother Teresa, said Fr. Thomas, the director of I-CARD. The Yuva Bandhu center was inaugurated by Rev. Theophil Ganlari, in the presence of other dignitaries, on 20th February. There are 20 students belonging to the Mising, Nepali and Bodo communities in the first batch.

                      The skills offered besides farming activities are: tailoring, beautician, embroidery, welding, carpentry, motor mechanics, electrical and plumbing. The instructors were trained by I-CARD over the past few years in Bangalore and in other parts of Northeast India. The center coordinated by Gayatri Panging has six other staff members.

                      The center hopes to raise its income from its own 18 bigha farm, and from the industrial products. Yuva Bandhu is heavily dependent on the goodwill of individuals to support this noble venture by donations in cash or kind.

                      • India
                      • IND
                      • Rurali
                      • Formazione Professionale
                      • Mising
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        RMG – Strengthening the sense of belonging to the world community

                        1 month 3 weeks ago

                        (ANS – Roma) – Do you have in your Salesian school, your SDB community room or refectory or in the entrance of your Oratory or Youth Center one beautiful Salesian World Map? It goes much beyond our curiosity: How many are the Salesian communities? How many are the Salesians in each province? How many are the Salesian communities in India, in South Sudan or in Argentina?

                        By Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez, SDB

                        General Councilor for the Social Communication

                        The Salesian World Map is excellent material not only of missionary animation – opening to other Salesian provinces and countries where the same SDB confreres live and work, but also a very practical expression of our sense of belonging to one great world-wide community.

                        Since last 2006 the Salesian World Map has been published and updated many time thanks to the initiative of the Social Communication and Mission Sector in the Salesian Center in Rome. Of course, the main date are taken based on the ‘Flash 2017’ – annual statistics provided by all 90 Salesian provinces that are grouped together in the seven Regions of the World-wide Salesian Congregation: Mediterranian Region, Central and North Europe, Africa and Madagascar, America South Cone, Interamerica, South Asia and EAO Region (East Asia – Oceania).

                        Thanks to the patient work of our 90 Provincial Secretaries and Fr. Stefano Vanoli and his team in Rome everybody can easily download and print anywhere around the world two versions of this updated 2018 Salesian World Map – one is Eurocentric and the other one with the Pacific at the Center (good for our EAO Region!).

                        Euro-centric Salesian World Map: 128 x 91cm, 256 x 182cm, 350 x 248cm

                        Pacific-centric Salesian World Map: 128 x 91cm, 256 x 182cm, 350 x 248cm

                        Indeed one of the most beautiful, but often neglected article of our Constitutions states: “Religious profession incorporates the Salesian in Society, making him a participant in the communion of spirit, witness and service that is its life within the Universal Church.

                        Union with the Rector Major and his Council, solidarity in apostolic initiatives, the provincial community and the world community.

                        Communication and exchange of information about the work of the confreres, all increase this communion, deepen the sense of belonging and dispose us to give our service to the world community.” (C 59)

                        • RMG
                        • Comunicazione Sociale
                        • Missioni
                        • Salesiani
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Venezuela – 107, the oldest Salesian in the Congregation: Fr Giuseppe "José" Berno

                          1 month 3 weeks ago

                          (ANS - Caracas) – He was born in 1911 in Riese (today known as Riese Pio X, in honor of its most illustrious fellow citizen) Giuseppe Berno. Mamma Antonia chose his name: "He will be called Bepi, like the Pope (Giuseppe Sarto, Pius X, reigning at the time), because I want my son to be a priest, like him." And in fact, little Giuseppe became a priest and a Salesian who celebrated his 107th birthday a few days ago, the oldest Salesian in the Congregation.

                          The Salesian history of Fr Berno first begins in Legnano and continues in Trento with his first years of formation and preparation for the novitiate. He made his first religious profession in Este on 1 September 1929. In that same year, just eighteen, he asked to leave as a missionary for Venezuela, a country that would become his second homeland.


                          He made his perpetual vows on 11 September 1932, was ordained a deacon in 1937, and in 1938, on 30 October, the feast of Christ the King, he was ordained priest at La Vega - Caracas by the laying on of hands and the consecratory prayer of Msgr. Luigi Centoz, the country's Apostolic Nuncio at the time.

                          In 1961, already aged 50, he was invited by the then Apostolic Vicar of the Amazon and Upper Orinoco, Msgr. Segundo García, to work as a missionary in those lands. He accepted immediately and unconditionally.

                          He spent the first seven years in Puerto Ayacucho, episcopal seat and capital of the Venezuelan Amazon. Then, together with Fr Cocco and Fr Bonvecchio, he journeyed into the virgin forest of the Venezuelan Amazon and stayed there uninterruptedly for 20 years!


                          He was called to travel into the hostile forest, its overflowing rivers and the thousands and thousands of natural channels of water. Everything was done to everyone, as Saint Paul said, to try to attract someone to the proposal of the Gospel.

                          Also famous for his maps of the Upper Orinoco, for his study of native languages, for his interpretation of the signs and sounds of those cultures, in 1987, at the age of 76, he returned to Puerto Ayacucho, and from 1990 to 2009 was its vice-parish priest until, nearing 100, he was transferred to Caracas.

                          His life is a testimony of fidelity and generous dedication to the service of God and of men.

                          Last Saturday, February 24, he celebrated 107 years of life, 89 years as a missionary in Venezuela, 86 of perpetual religious profession and 80 as a priest.

                          {gallery}VEN - Don Giuseppe Berno - 107 anni{/gallery}

                          • Venezuela
                          • VEN
                          • Missioni
                          • Anziani
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            RMG - The invited guests of the Pre-Synodal Meeting: young Catholics, of different Christian confessions and non-believers

                            1 month 3 weeks ago

                            (ANS - Rome) - "From March 19 to 24, about 300 young people from all over the world will come to Rome for a preparatory meeting of the October Synod," Pope Francis announced a few weeks ago. "There will also be young non-Catholics, non-Christians, non-believers, so as to listen to the broadest range of young people possible."

                            The promoter of this decision is Pope Francis in person because "it will allow young people to express their expectations and desires, as well as their uncertainties and their concerns in the complex events of today's world," said the statement announcing the event.

                            The current situation represents a challenge for the organizers, since most young people will be chosen by the Episcopal Conferences, the Eastern Churches, the Institutes of Consecrated Life, seminaries, associations and ecclesial movements, together with spaces reserved for young people of other faiths or of none.

                            The first names of participants are starting to emerge. Four young people were nominated in Brazil: David Rodrigues da Silva, Julena Martins Barros, Ariany de Oliveira Leite and Matheus Vinicius de Oliveira Santos.

                            The path of Matheus, for example, is very significant because of the vocational journey he has carried out: after a fruitful activity in the parish, he heard the call to the priesthood and is part of this new wave of future priests formed under the papacy of Pope Francis.

                            The Swiss bishops will send three young people: Jonas Feldmann, 25, a non-practicing Catholic; Sandro Bucher, 25, journalist; and Medea Sarbach, 23, a student of Theology, a practicing Catholic.

                            In addition to the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, the Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life is also collaborating in this event to try to include representatives from the world of education, university, culture, work, sport, arts, voluntary service and the world of youth in general. Among the guests there will also be disabled young people, former drug addicts and immigrants.

                            • RMG
                            • Brasile
                            • Sinodo sui Giovani
                            • Giovani
                            • Vaticano
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Mali - A school in Touba, in one of the world's 10 poorest countries

                              1 month 3 weeks ago

                              (ANS - Touba) - Mali is among the world's 10 poorest countries. Even if Mali is experiencing macroeconomic growth, it is the elites that are getting rich, not the population, which has serious problems even to feed themselves. In recent years the drought has sowed chaos among farmers and has led to an impoverishment of the rural population. A sign of hope: the Salesians have built a secondary school in Touba, a small town in Mali, where there were no educational institutions at this level.

                              In February, the support project for the "St John Bosco" secondary school in Touba, Mali, was completed. It was built by the Spanish Salesian NGO "Solidaridad Don Bosco", which aims to facilitate young people at risk of social exclusion accessing quality education. The project helped improve school performance, the center's library service, teaching materials and teacher formation.

                              In the past, many young people from Touba ended primary school at the age of 12 or 13, and then had to move to the nearest city, more than 20 kilometers away, to continue their studies, why the Salesians started the construction of the secondary school, since the area offered no educational institute for forming local young people.

                              Together with the construction of the new school, the gender awareness development plan developed by the Salesians also continued to facilitate girls' access to education and to foster and welcome their participation in the activities of the Oratory.

                              The recently built "St John Bosco" high school now serves over 400 adolescents and young people at risk of social exclusion, children from 17 villages in the region, each poorer than the next.

                              "Do you want to do something good? Educate the young," Don Bosco would say. "Do you want to do something sacred? Educate the young. Do you want to do something holy? Educate the young. Do you want to do something divine? Educate the young. In fact this is one of the most divine things." The words of Don Bosco are valid today as they were more than a hundred years ago and the Salesians continue to do one of the "most divine things": schools to form future generations.

                              In Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, the Salesians continue to struggle to change the history and future of humanity.

                              • Mali
                              • AFO
                              • ONG
                              • Scuole
                              • Povertà
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Brazil - "Don Bosco House" among the poor and at the service of the most needy

                                1 month 3 weeks ago

                                (ANS - Campo Grande) - The latest UNICEF and World Bank data state that "385 million children live in extreme poverty."; "In the world it is estimated that around 145 million children live on the streets."; "About 60 million children in Latin America are victims of all kinds of abuse." Frightening figures. The Salesians in many parts of the world work like "ants" in favor of children and young people: not very visible, but decisive. "Casa Don Bosco" in the district of Taquaral Bosque, in Campo Grande, has been serving the most disadvantaged for 29 years.

                                Casa Don Bosco has commemorated the date to remind all Salesians, educators and people who were part and continue to be part of the activities of the center. The Salesian house is a social center that offers socio-educational and human development in the style of Don Bosco to children and adolescents aged 6 to 15 in a situation of vulnerability and socially at risk and who reside in the district of Taquaral Bosque.

                                During the day, the children receive food and are offered sports, artistic and cultural workshops, always in the light of Don Bosco's Preventive System, which focuses on the triad: reason, religion and loving-kindness.

                                Casa Don Bosco began its work on 21 February 1989. Its headquarters were opened amid a thousand challenges and at the beginning it was a shelter for children and teenagers who lived on the streets, with headquarters at "Barão do Rio Branco" street. Then the headquarters was moved to a plot of land in the neighborhood of Bosque Taquaral, donated by public authorities, and activities began at the chapel dedicated to Don Orione.

                                With the creation of this new project on the outskirts of the capital, the Salesians started the "Don Bosco House", which went to serve about 200 children and adolescents every day as direct beneficiaries, without counting the indirect support offered to families.

                                There are millions of children and teenagers whose home is the street, who go looking for food in the trash and have drugs as their street companions. Casa Don Bosco celebrates 29 years at the service of the most disadvantaged. It does not take care of millions of children, but continues to save those children that God places on its path.

                                {gallery}Brasile - Casa Don Bosco - BCG{/gallery}

                                • Brasile
                                • BCG
                                • Opzione Preferenziale
                                • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Madagascar - An ecological project that benefits everyone

                                  1 month 3 weeks ago

                                  (ANS - Fianarantsoa) - Due to a number of unscrupulous actions, forests are being reduced by about 200,000 hectares a year in Madagascar. Fr Giuseppe "Bepi" Miele, a Salesian of Venetian origins, has been in Madagascar for almost 37 years, knows the problems of the local population and intends to do everything he can to help. This is why he has developed an initiative to preserve the Created, to be carried out with and for the benefit of young people and the entire local population.

                                  Various firms and activities damage the environment in the Fianarantsoa region, but Fianarantsoa, ​​where the Salesians have been present for about a quarter of a century, also houses several sawmills and small workshops that work wood; hence, Fr Miele began from the local context to look for and find a concrete solution to the problem.


                                  With the support of "Missioni Don Bosco" of Turin he wants to equip the mission with a "briquetting machine". Through it, he explains, "the waste from the sawmills we are in contact with will be compressed into bricks and logs that will then be used as fuel to replace coal. It is about changing a mentality. The first step will be to put the bricks at the disposal of local families so they familarize themselves with the bricks, using them for free instead of coal. When people have seen the benefits, an awareness-raising plan in place for their purchase, sales will subsidize the wages of young people who use the briquetting machine and will become a source of self-financing for the oratory's activities."

                                  The beneficiaries will be: the young people who will be able to find a job; families who will have a cheaper and more ecological fuel than coal; the whole population, which will no longer be exposed to the harmful gas that coal releases; and lastly, the 250 children from the Salesian school canteen who will thus be able to benefit from the revenues from the sale of the fuel.

                                  Further information is available on the "Missioni Don Bosco" website.

                                  • Madagascar
                                  • MDG
                                  • Ambiente
                                  • Creato
                                  • Missioni
                                    Gian Francesco Romano
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                                    ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana