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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Italy - Farewell to Fr Luigi Melesi, the "jail priest" who took weapons away from Red Brigades

Gian Francesco Romano
1 month 1 week ago

(ANS - Lecco) - As an authentic spiritual Son of Don Bosco he never resigned himself to considering the worst of the criminals as unrecoverable and in all he sought "that accessible point to the good" from which to initiate a change in life's direction. After a life spent in this manner, yesterday, Tuesday, July 10, Fr Luigi Melesi died in Lecco.

Born in Cortenova in 1933, already during the course of his formative journey he lived the Salesian mission among the boys of the "Ferrante Aporti" reformatory in Turin. From 1960 to 1967, he worked in the Salesian center of Arese, entrusted to the Salesians after having been a juvenile prison of the Beccaria National Association. In 1967, he led the first group of 25 young people in Brazil, beginning, together with Fr Ugo De Censi and Fr Bruno Ravasio, "Operation Mato Grosso".

After returning to Italy and serving as a Director in Darfo, he returned to Arese, and while he continued to accompany the boys sent to him by juvenile courts throughout Italy, he was called by the then archbishop of Milan, card. Giovanni Colombo, to work as a chaplain in the "San Vittore" prison in Milan.

There Fr Melesi served for 30 years, meeting prisoners of every race and religion, becoming their friend and brother. During his service behind bars, he met terrorists, burglars, murderers, criminals, but also many simple people, in prison for lesser crimes. His style consisted in never putting the crime at the center, but the person.

The surrendering of weapons, a real arsenal, by the terrorists of the Red Brigades, which took place in the archdiocese on 13 June 1984 into the hands of card. Carlo Maria Martini - of whom Fr Melesi was an intimate collaborator and advisor - was in fact preceded by Fr Melesi's precious and indispensable work of accompaniment and mediation.

In recent years he shared his experience through conferences, meetings, rallies and various publications - including the interview book "Prete da galera", or “Jail Priest”, by Silvio Valota.

Recognizing his skills as a communicator in 2013, the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome awarded him the Honoris Causa degree in Social Communication Sciences.

His spiritual heritage can be condensed into some of his famous expressions: "It is not possible to help a person change his life for the better if one does not go to his side, if one does not take up his story ... A person, to become good, must feel loved."

  • Italia
  • ILE
  • Decessi
  • Carceri

    Syria - There is still hope in Aleppo: testimony of Fr Luca Pellicciotta

    Gian Francesco Romano
    1 month 1 week ago
    Syria - There is still hope in Aleppo: testimony of Fr Luca Pellicciotta

    (ANS - Aleppo) - Aleppo is Syria's martyr city. A city deeply wounded, in its buildings, but above all in the souls and in the hearts of its inhabitants. To many people, the war has stolen years of serenity and normality, but Aleppo wants to be reborn. It is a city that does not give up and tries to slowly return to normal.

    Fr Luca Pellicciotta, SDB, speaks of this city "of paradoxes", Aleppo, a city he says has not only found suffering, but also a lot of hope.

    "There is a desire to be reborn, to sit at a bar and have a tea or an ice cream to cool the hot hours of the day. There is a desire to dance, to shout, to run, perhaps even without measure, but it is normal after a war that has blown up every measure," says Fr Luca.

    A war that has lasted many years, but which has not affected the faith of the Christians who live here. "I am being enriched of the depth and faith of Christians in Aleppo," continues Fr Luca. "Here faith is not a label, a slogan, a mask to put on and take off when necessary. Here, faith is life. Christians know what it means to believe in God when their life is hanging from a bomb that could fall near or on you."

    In fact, the Salesians in Aleppo continue to nourish faith and hope, remaining always operational, as they did during and throughout the darkest days.

    "Many have closed, barred their doors. The Salesians have not! Don Bosco would be satisfied with the loyalty and love of the Aleppo kids," he adds.

    The children of Don Bosco, in Aleppo, also have a great fortune: that of having many young people around the world who pray constantly for them. "We continue to deliver this gift of prayer," says Fr Luca, "which is the only truly useful thing for a true and radical spiritual renewal of Aleppo."

    {gallery}Siria - Aleppo don Pellicciotta{/gallery}

    • Siria
    • Aleppo
    • MOR
    • Violenze

      Italy - Prof. Pasqualetti new Dean of UPS Social Communication Sciences Faculty

      Gian Francesco Romano
      1 month 1 week ago
      Italy - Prof. Pasqualetti new Dean of UPS Social Communication Sciences Faculty

      (ANS - Rome) – On 28 June, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians and Grand Chancellor of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome, appointed prof Fabio Pasqualetti as the new Dean of the Faculty of Social Communication Sciences (FSC) for the 2018-2021 triennium. 

      Prof Pasqualetti, a Salesian priest, is Emeritus Professor of Theories and Research in Communication at the Soc Com Faculty where he teaches "Introduction to Communication Sciences", "Communication and Development" and "Public Opinion".

      After his diploma in Chemistry at the Industrial Institute of Cremona, he graduated in Pedagogy at the University of Parma. In 1994, he completed his Master's in Telecommunication at the University of Michigan; his thesis: "Pietro Barcellona. Critical narrator of Modernity and guardian of the Human."

      In December, Prof Pasqualetti obtained the title of Doctor of Social Sciences at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome. He is a much-appreciated lecturer and has more than twenty years of teaching and research experience.

      He is the author of numerous academic papers; among his recent publications: Pasqualetti F., Giovani, fede e vocazione cristiana nell’era della tecnologia digitale., in «Salesianum», LXXIX, 231-256, Roma, LAS, 2017; La verità ci farà liberi? Big data e società del calcolo. Il culto del dataismo e le sue conseguenze, in Paola Springhetti – Renato Butera (Edd.), La verità vi farà liberi (Gv 8,32). Fake news e giornalismo di pace, Roma, LAS, 2018, 143-166.

      In a letter sent to colleagues, students and friends of the UPS, the newly-appointed Dean recalled the recent invitation by Pope Francis to "make the school an educating community, wherein teachers and students are not connected only by an educational plan, but by a program of life and experience, able to educate to mutual reciprocity between different generations." To this regard, he cited three essential criteria: identity, consistent with the values ​​of the university; quality, as a safe beacon to illuminate study initiatives; and the goal of the common good.

      Prof Pasqualetti succeeds Prof Fr Peter Andrew Gonsalves, SDB, Professor Emeritus of Communication and Education, who will continue to teach at the SC Faculty.

      • Italia
      • UPS
      • Comunicazione Sociale
      • Nomine

        UN - Salesian contributions for rights of most vulnerable at United Nations Council in Geneva

        Gian Francesco Romano
        1 month 1 week ago
        UN - Salesian contributions for rights of most vulnerable at United Nations Council in Geneva

        (ANS - Geneva) - The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is present in 95 countries on 5 continents and as International Institute of Mary Help of Christians (IIMA) obtained its special consultative status of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2008. From that moment on, with Sr. Maria Grazia Caputo as head of the team, it contributes to the work of the Human Rights Council and to the universal periodic review of the situation of Human Rights, through the Human Rights Office.

        IIMA's Human Rights Office works with the UN and also collaborates with the NGO Vides to carry out its activities and, at the same time, to highlight the work of the entire congregation for children and young people on the five continents.

        Within the United Nations, IIMA also works to promote the right to education, urging governments to respect the agreements stipulated on this issue. It also asks that preventive action be taken in the most urgent situations and, thanks to side events, presents a series of good practices implemented by the Salesian Family

        The IIMA also supports the presence of UN experts to inform on the situation of human rights across the globe; offers the opportunity to participate in UN meetings and organizes courses to make international procedures for the protection of Human Rights know.

        Since 2009, it has organized 20 side events, focusing on the recovery and integration of children at risk all over the world. Of note, its having helped governments to focus on young people, urging them to take action in the sessions of the Human Rights Council.

        Since 2009, IIMA has organized 21 training courses in Geneva for 146 participants from 53 countries, and has presented reports to the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights for at least 46 countries, always collaborating with experts and government representatives, who have shown their admiration for Salesian work.

        In the office itself there are young people who collaborate, have the opportunity to carry out their internships at the UN and share their lives with the Salesian community. 96 young people from 16 different countries have collaborated thus far.

        The method that guarantees the success of IIMA and Vides is the "positive denunciation" that, in full Salesian style, "highlights all that is positive in those contexts where the weakest live in more difficult situations," says Sister Maria Grazia Caputo.

        • ONU
        • Diritti
        • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
        • IIMA

          Vatican – Saving Our Common Home

          Gian Francesco Romano
          1 month 1 week ago
          Vatican – Saving Our Common Home

          (ANS – Vatican City) – A conference titled “Saving Our Common Home and the Future of Life on Earth” was organized by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development to celebrate the third anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Sì. This conference, held over two days on 5-6 July at the Synod Hall in the Vatican, brought together about 400 delegates, which included environmental experts and activists, scientists, economists, politicians, representatives of various global networks, as well as high-ranking UN officials. The Don Bosco Green Alliance was represented at the conference by Fr. Savio Silveira, SDB, and Mr. Macson Almeida.

          The conference opened with a panel of five young people from five different continents presenting their views on the environmental crisis and their personal reflections on the impact of Laudato Si'.  Macson Almedia speaking as one of the panellists said, “The Don Bosco Green Alliance is a global initiative that has been recently launched, inspired by Laudato Sì.  This alliance is an international collective of young people who are working together to contribute towards global environmental action, thought and policy.  We young people must work without borders, shed our national identities and assume the identity as residents of one planet.”

          A key highlight of the conference was the audience with Pope Francis. Addressing the delegates, Pope Francis said, “Your presence here is a sign of your commitment to take concrete steps to save the planet and the life it sustains, inspired by the Encyclical’s assumption that 'everything is connected'.”  The Pope expressed his hope that “concern for the state of our common home” would be translated into concrete actions to preserve the environment.

          The Pope also stressed the importance of making space for young people in efforts “to foster an integral ecology.” Quoting from Laudato Sì, the Pope said, “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded”.  “It is the young who will have to face the consequences of the current environmental and climate crisis. Consequently, intergenerational solidarity “is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us,” the Pope added.

          After two days of inspiring presentations and intense discussions, the conference closed with the call to bring environmental work into the mainstream of the Church’s mission.  It stressed that all church institutions should lead by example when it comes to offering environmental solutions. Young people are important stakeholders in this matter and must have the space to act. Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, SDB, Coordinator of the Sector on Ecology and Creation in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, was one of the main organizers of the conference.

          {gallery}Vaticano - Sessione Laudato Si terzo anno{/gallery}

          • Vaticano
          • Ambiente
          • Creato
          • Don Bosco Green Alliance

            Sierra Leone - Maria, survived and wounded in a fire, returns to smile

            Gian Francesco Romano
            1 month 1 week ago
            Sierra Leone - Maria, survived and wounded in a fire, returns to smile

            (ANS - Freetown) - Mary was asleep when a short-circuit triggered a fire that destroyed the home of the "Girls Os" program in Freetown, the Salesian house that housed 34 child victims of abuse. The heat and the smoke woke her up, but she could not leave the house. Her hands and her screams through the grates of one of the rooms allowed her to be saved, thanks to a young man who, on a ladder and with a stone in his hand, broke the bars. Maria suffered burns on her feet, but she has returned to smiling again and keeps intact her dream of becoming a social worker to help other girls like her.

            Three days after the feast of Mary Help of Christians, May 27, Mary is reborn. "Mary Help of Christians performed a miracle, because I could only think of May 24 and asking the Virgin that she not die in the fire, " recalls Salesian missionary Fr Jorge Crisafulli.

            When it seemed that all the children of the "Girls Os" program had already left the house and that they were all safe, Maria's hands suddenly appeared at the window making everyone fear the worst. The entrance to the house and the main hall were blocked by the flames. In an attempt to leave the house, Maria burned her feet on flaming plastic.

            A month and a half later, Maria is smiling again at "Don Bosco Fambul", with all her wounds healed. "I like to sing and dance with my classmates and I keep dreaming of becoming a social worker to help other girls who have suffered situations like mine," she explains.

            The story of Maria, like the story of many other girls in the "Girls Os" program, is very hard. She was sexually abused by a neighbor while her mother was at work. The serious injuries caused by the attacker forced her to stay in hospital for a long time and she needed several blood transfusions to survive.

            After leaving the hospital, Mary's mother went to "Don Bosco Fambul" to denounce the assailant and ask that the minor be accepted. Thanks to the Salesians, her aggressor is now in prison; while for Mary, who had to interrupt her attending school for a quarter, the Salesians took action to make her recover her level of education.

            • Sierra Leone
            • AFW
            • Disastri
            • Ragazze
            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
            • Don Bosco Fambul

              Argentina - "Symptoms of disease we experience in soil, water, air": World Soil Day

              Gian Francesco Romano
              1 month 1 week ago

              (ANS - San José) - Currently there is a deterioration of the global environment, and Pope Francis says: "I renew the dialogue with every person who lives on this planet ... This “sister earth cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her." On the World Day of Soil Conservation, celebrated annually on July 7, in memory of a person who managed to increase the production of the earth by protecting it, Hugh Hammond Bennet, the young people of the Salesian Agricultural Institute "Pascual Gentilini" have animated various activities related to the anniversary.

              Recalling the need for soil conservation, the students began the day at the headquarters of the "Pascual Gentilini" institute in San José, Province of Misiones, with the participation of about 300 high school students from all over the area.

              Under the motto "a thin layer of soil surface is what lies between us and disaster", a theory-based seminar followed. This year's focus was the high rates of soil degradation in the province and on the actions needed to keep it fertile.

              Subsequently, those present visited the school facilities, where the students of the institute explained the concrete activities they perform in the pursuit of soil conservation.

              Preserving the land is one of the basic fundamental tasks of this era, why Pope Francis, in the encyclical Laudato sì, insists on the need to "take care of the soil." And he affirms this in several points of the text: "The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life." (paragraph 2); "...that human beings pollute the water, soil, air: all these are sins." (paragraph 8); "There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, by the fumes of industry, by the landfills of substances that contribute to the acidification of soil and water." (paragraph 20); "Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God." (paragraph 84).

              The Holy Father insists on the need to protect the soil and Salesians are also called to educate the young so they understand the need to care for its conservation.

              Days such as the recent event experienced at the Salesian Institute aim to raise awareness on the current state of a non-renewable resource such as soil and to promote projects that emerge from those who should be the main protagonists of this commitment: young people.

              • Argentina
              • ARN
              • Rurali
              • Ambiente
              • Creato
              • Scuole

                Italy - Lamin, unaccompanied foreign minor: "I'm not dangerous, but I'm in danger"

                Gian Francesco Romano
                1 month 1 week ago

                (ANS - Torre Annunziata) - Since the beginning of the migrant emergency, the Salesians of Italy have opened the doors of their homes to Unaccompanied Foreign Minors (MSNA). So they did with Lamin, a boy from Gambia, who is now 17 years old and until a few months ago was housed in the family community "Mamma Matilde" of the Salesians of Torre Annunziata.

                "I grew up in a village near Benjul. I saw poverty and war. In my village, we had to walk many miles to get drinking water and almost no one went to school.

                On knowing of some guys who had escaped to have a better life, together with two other friends, we left our homes and started this adventure. We worked a few months in a paddy field, to face the journey.

                As we crossed the desert on a truck with fifty other people, my friend Shamim felt sick. So the driver threw him down, abandoning him like an animal.

                When I arrived in Libya, my friend and I stayed in jail for 20 days. Once out of jail, we went to work in a clothes warehouse, to pay for the trip to Italy. Before getting on the boat they asked for the money, but we were afraid of being robbed. Given our resistance, a smuggler shot my friend in the face, killing him. On seeing that scene, me and all 150 present there, we gave the money and we boarded.

                After about 10 hours that we were on the boat, an Italian ship approached. We reached Salerno and I arrived in the Salesian community. It had been months that I had not washed myself in a decent way and I had not eaten something good.

                Now I have found a new family. I see Italian kids going to school, playing and living with their parents. These are things that I hope to do, but I would love to help my family in Gambia too. Now my life is beautiful, thanks to Don Bosco, that allowed me to go to school, study and attend the oratory. And now I work in a pizzeria."

                Last Saturday, the youngsters welcomed in the Salesian family communities of Italy's Campania region participated in a national initiative promoted by the NGO "Libera" by Fr Ciotti and at the Lido Mappatella observed a minute of silence to affirm: "I'm not dangerous, but I am in danger."

                {gallery}Italia - Lamin Torre Annunziata{/gallery}

                • Italia
                • IME
                • Migranti
                • Rifugiati

                  Ecuador - Óscar, the child who recovered his childhood

                  Gian Francesco Romano
                  1 month 1 week ago
                  Ecuador - Óscar, the child who recovered his childhood

                  (ANS - Ambato) - According to the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion, child labor in Ecuador has decreased in the last six years; however over "360,000 children in Ecuador work in the streets selling candy or begging." On average, around 8.56% of the country's children and adolescents work. Óscar is one of these street children. At the age of nine he started working: that's where his childhood was interrupted. "At that age - he explains - I realized what was the situation of my family."

                  Óscar is now eleven years old and has been attending the "Don Bosco House" in Ambato for over a year. At the House, he studies, receives food, tutoring, practices sports and finds people who take care of his integral well-being.

                  Óscar is one of the 90 children and young people followed by the Salesians at the "Don Bosco Farm" in Ambato and through the "Mi Caleta" project in Quito, which needs support to continue with its work of welcoming, supporting and educating children of the streets.

                  The children who participate in the project are like Óscar: children who come from families with very few resources, working children, with malnutrition problems ... and with serious family difficulties. "My parents are from Colombia and we arrived in Ecuador in 2007, fleeing the armed conflict. My mother was pregnant with me and saw how they killed my two brothers, whom I never met. Because of the shock she had, I too risked dying. She, also, has suffered serious consequences and cannot work. My father is the only one who brings money home," says Óscar.

                  The Don Bosco Farm in Ambato, as also the "Mi Caleta" project in Quito and the "Chicos de la Calle" project of the "Proyecto Salesiano of Ecuador" Foundation seek to improve the quality of life of street children by offering: adequate accommodation, with suitable and safe facilities; complete and adequate nutrition; health care; personal, family and scholastic psychological accompaniment; education and / or vocational training.

                  In Ecuador, the Salesians serve over 1,200 vulnerable children and adolescents in seven cities: Quito, Guayaquil, Esmeraldas, San Lorenzo, Santo Domingo and Ambato.

                  Óscar today has recovered his childhood; this is what the Salesians desire for the thousands of street children all over the country.

                  • Ecuador
                  • ECU
                  • Bambini di Strada
                  • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                  • Opzione Preferenziale

                    Uganda - Don Bosco, a prominent figure in Palabek refugee camp

                    Gian Francesco Romano
                    1 month 1 week ago
                    Uganda - Don Bosco, a prominent figure in Palabek refugee camp

                    (ANS - Palabek) - In less than a year of their presence in the Palabek refugee camp, the Salesians have already won the trust of the people, especially women and children, fleeing the war in South Sudan, bringing with them nothing but the clothes they had on, people who only dream of returning to their country in an atmosphere of peace. As in the case of the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, the Salesians are the only organization that resides permanently in the camp and Don Bosco is already a moral authority for the refugees.

                    The area is about 400 km2 of forest that is destined to accommodate about 150,000 refugees. The generosity of the Ugandan government with the people fleeing the war in neighboring South Sudan has led to numerous refugee camps, but also to various other forms of support and attention, such as issuing work permits in Uganda for those who leave their past due to violence.

                    Since the beginning of the year the Salesians have been offering a direct response to these refugees. A first expedition of four Salesian missionaries live in the Palabek camp, trying to instill hope, accompany the families and offer education and technical formation to the little ones, who arrive practically without anything after escaping on foot and clandestinely from South Sudan.

                    "They are doctors, engineers, lawyers ... These young people have great potential and accept all the activities that are offered to them, but unfortunately in the camp they all have the same title: refugees," reports Fr Ubaldino Andrade, Salesian missionary in Palabek.

                    The Salesians work with the more than 42,000 refugees in the camp, but also with the population of the neighboring villages. Their intention is to build a vocational training center, why they bought a plot next to the 30-hectare field.

                    In this short span of time the Salesians have become a moral authority in the camp, for their proximity to the refugees and by the organization of small chapels that already function as schools for the smallest children.

                    The refugees build their houses on a 30 square meter lot, where they also have a small vegetable garden. Access to drinking water and the training of refugees to increase the productivity of these gardens are some other short-term goals of Don Bosco's spiritual Sons.

                    • Uganda
                    • AGL
                    • Missioni
                    • Rifugiati
                    • Sudan del Sud

                      Ivory Coast - Abidjan: yes to clean city and protection of children

                      Gian Francesco Romano
                      1 month 1 week ago
                      Ivory Coast - Abidjan: yes to clean city and protection of children

                      (ANS - Abidjan) – This year, the Salesian presence in Abidjan focuses on the protection of the environment and of children. The Salesians of Don Bosco have been active in the capital of the Ivory Coast for over 25 years, working tirelessly for the well-being of the city's youth. Their presence in this city is defined by the education and evangelization of the young, the heart of the Salesian charism.

                      Every year a series of activities are offered to achieve this goal and during the current pastoral year there have been two main activities: the campaign to combat the unhealthiness of the environment, and raising awareness against child abuse.

                      Regarding the environment, the Salesian community in Abidjan organized a special day on the theme with a march throughout the city's main streets. Carrying garbage bags, young people collected waste and garbage found on the streets and sensitized citizens on the importance of a healthy environment. The march, moreover, crossed the suburb of Koumassi, home of the Salesian center in the capital, an area which holds a large shantytown and where the population has to deal with the pollution produced by industrial plants, from permanent wastewater sewage, and piles of trash that remain on the streets.

                      Child abuse is sadly also part of the Ivorian situation: according to an investigation promoted in 2016 by the Government of the Ivory Coast in collaboration with UNICEF, "over 8 children in 10 aged between 1 and 14 years (86.5 %) have been victims of violent disciplinary action (psychological, emotional or physical)." To help respond to this scourge, the Salesian community of Abidjan - which counts among its centers a home for children at risk – organizes multiple actions towards the protection of children, children who say they escape from their family homes because of the mistreatment – at home.

                      In this case too, an awareness-raising campaign was launched, which resulted in a march of many children dressed in traditional clothes along the streets of Koumassi, flying the banner motto: "It is our responsibility to protect children from violence."

                      These two initiatives of the Salesians are aimed at educating consciences to work for a healthy life in a healthy environment (environmental protection) and for a better future for youth (the care and protection of children).

                      As Nelson Mandela said: "Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world."

                      {gallery}AFO - Marce 2018{/gallery}

                      • Costa d'Avorio
                      • AFO
                      • Ambiente
                      • Creato
                      • Giovani a Rischio Sociale

                        East Timor – Vocation story going back to the St Callistus Caravario times

                        Gian Francesco Romano
                        1 month 1 week ago
                        East Timor – Vocation story going back to the St Callistus Caravario times

                        (ANS – Dili) – Salesian Brother Carlos da Conceicao Marques was born on February 17, 1912 in Wailili, Baucau, East Timor. He was 15 years old when the first Salesian missionary expedition, including Fr. Callistus Caravario, reach the shores of East Timor. He is the first Timorese person who joined the Salesian Congregation although he passed away in Portugal on 29th October 1978.

                        by Bro. Adriano de Jesus, SDB

                        His vocation story is very simple. He enrolled into the first Salesian technical school in Dili (Escola Salesiana de Artes e Oficios) and attended during the two years of the first Salesian stay in Timor (1927-1929) as student of Carpentry-Masonry section. In the daily contact with the Salesian he was inspired especially by the Rector, Fr. Herminio Rossetti, and the future Saint, that time just “practical trainee” Cl. Callistus Caravario.

                        When the Salesians were leaving Timor in 1929, they took with them few promising boys to Italy. So Carlos was able to finish his technical studies in Turin, Rebaudengo Institute, in 1932 and enter the Salesian Novitiate in Villa Moglia (Chieri) and made his first Salesian profession on 14th September 1933 and spent another 4 years in Italy (Foglizzo and Rebaudengo).

                        Then he went to Portugal province - where we made his perpetual profession in 1938 and worked in the “Oratorio de Sao Jose”, in Evora, as an Assistant assigned to different house tasks. In 1943 became part of the first SDB expedition to the island of Cabo Verde, Portugal territory, that started in Sao Nicolau the first Don Bosco education work, until 1947.

                        When the Salesians were again invited to East Timor, in 1946, (first expedition), Br. Carlos reached his homeland on 23rd June 1947 for next 3 years. Then due to his frail health he returned again to Portugal, in 1950, assigned to the “Oficinas de Sao Jose” in Lisbon.

                        Br. Carlos went to heaven in Quinta do Pisao, Alcabideche, Portugal, on October 29, 1978, after long years of incurable sickness at the age of 66 years and 45 years of Salesian religious profession. His tomb is in the cemetery of Frequesia de Alcabideche-Cascais, in Portugal.

                        The Salesians remember Br. Carlos as man of many distinguished qualities, faithful in his profession, always ready to contribute to improve the community environment, hardworking character, exemplary religious with spirit of sacrifice, loving the Congregation, always able to attract the young people to Jesus.

                        Source: AustraLasia

                        • Timor Est
                        • ITM
                        • Callisto Caravario
                        • Salesiani Coadiutori

                          Italy - Educating for global citizenship. Through... a diary

                          Gian Francesco Romano
                          1 month 2 weeks ago
                          Italy - Educating for global citizenship. Through... a diary

                          (ANS - Rome) - A diary has great educational value and is a tool of great impact on the formation of the ideas of a child. In some cases it can also be a proponent of civic education, globalization, respect between cultures and religions ... And sometimes even a concrete vehicle of solidarity. This is the case of the diary "My dear distant Desk Mate."

                          The diary is the result that matured from a global citizenship education project promoted by the Salesian NGO "International Voluntary Service for Development" (VIS), in collaboration with the association "PRIMO VOLO (First Flight) - Specialists in the Adult-Child relationship".

                          As its immediate recipients, the project focusses on Italian minors between 8 and 14, and, in parallel, their peers from developing countries; for every diary purchased in Italy, an equivalent one is donated to children from twinned foreign schools (in Liberia, where it arrives translated into English; in Côte d'Ivoire, in French; in Bolivia,  Spanish; and in Pakistan, translated into Urdu).

                          Moreover, it is certainly also an educational tool in the hands of professors, teachers, educators and parents, who can use it to start a dialogue with their children.

                          The diary accompanies the pupil's full growth by proposing 4 short stories about bullying, self-esteem, willpower, loyalty. Also, it features, besides the solar and lunar phases, the Christian, Hebrew and Islamic calendar with explanatory notes of the various festivities. The saint of the day is also indicated and Sunday is home to a special focus.

                          Always with the aim of breaking down walls and building bridges based on mutual knowledge, the diary presents the recurrences of the World Days proclaimed by the UN and the EU, informs on the national holidays of the various countries of the European Union, reports proverbs of wisdom from African cultures, and culture of peace with a reminder, in the centenary of World War I's end, how children and adolescents suffered during the war.

                          "Certainly it is a counter-cultural diary," explains Fr Michele Novelli, SDB, among the promoters of the project. However, the Salesian asks the many parents: "what society do you want for your children? A peaceful coexistence, full of multiple contributions of the various ethnic groups? Then it is necessary to take a stand today, for their future."

                          For further information: michelenovelli45.sdb@gmail.com 

                          • Italia
                          • Educazione
                          • ICC

                            Bolivia - Salesian University Library awarded as "Library of the Year"

                            Gian Francesco Romano
                            1 month 2 weeks ago

                            (ANS - La Paz) - Among its objectives, the Salesian University of Bolivia includes "contributing to the development and integral education of students through educational processes aimed at academic excellence". And academic excellence is also achieved by being able to know and study the thought of those who have left a mark in history through their writings. The Salesian University, in fact, boasts a good library, one dedicated to "Don Esteban Bertolusso", and it has been awarded as "Library of the Year" by the College of Professionals in Information Sciences of Bolivia (CPCIB, in Spanish), on the occasion of the "Bolivian Librarian Day".

                            The Don Esteban Bertolusso Library - Learning and Research Resources Center (CRAI, in Spanish) - features modern infrastructures, and was inaugurated for the 20th anniversary of the university's foundation. It provides a comfortable, attractive and modern space, which supports and develops the activities of promoting reading, guided tours, the discussion of theses, as well as cultural activities such as book presentations or debates.

                            The CRAI also offers a number of services: a reading room with individual workstations, a reading room with group tables, study rooms, a space for group reflection, an internet room with free WiFi, pedagogical classrooms for academic mentorship and research rooms with access to digital theses. CRAI's philosophy is to work on the basis of the user's needs and making available the benefits of Information and Communication Technologies.

                            The library is dedicated to Fr Esteban Bertolusso, the institution's founder and principal animator, in recognition of his hard work, which created and animated the Salesian University of Bolivia, that now hosts thousands of students, and of which CRAI is the engine of knowledge generation.

                            The library was created thanks to an important investment and the authorities taking up the challenge, engaged in providing a modern area of ​​access to information and knowledge management, and fostering the integral development of the community in general. It supports the teaching and learning process of students, teachers, scholars, researchers and the academic community.

                            For 20 years, the Salesian University has trained skilled professionals, honest citizens and good Christians, to ensure that they leave the university ready to serve people in a professional way.

                            "It is a source of pride to belong to an institution that invests to improve the spaces for its university students, and that has the specific purpose of encouraging reading and generating knowledge," said Dr. Waldo Espinar Rocha, Director of the library.

                            {gallery}BOL - Biblioteca Universita Salesiana{/gallery}

                            • Bolivia
                            • BOL
                            • Università
                            • IUS
                            • Premi e Riconoscimenti

                              India – Call to Serve in the Lord's Vineyard

                              Gian Francesco Romano
                              1 month 2 weeks ago
                              India – Call to Serve in the Lord's Vineyard

                              (ANS – Mumbai) – The Salesians of the Province of Mumbai bid farewell to the two young Clerics: Sheldon Dias and Nilesh Dodiyar during the Eucharistic celebration celebrated by Fr Godfrey D’Souza, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai, at the Don Bosco Provincial House Chapel along with the neighbouring Salesian Community members on Wednesday 27th July, 2018.

                              By Father Joaquim Fernandes

                              Father Godfrey D'Souza during the sermon exhorted them to live by the constitution and enumerated on the points given by Don Bosco to the Salesians on their 1st missionary expedition in 1875. He encouraged both the Clerics to ''bear good fruits and to be in union with God always''.

                              Cleric Sheldon Dias is a man on a mission. He has opted for the Salesian missions and entrusted his future in the hands of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Father Ángel Fernández Artime, the 10th successor of Don Bosco. He has been assigned to the Gambia, AFO Province. Brother Dias left for Rome where he will first learn Italian and then after a preparatory course will be given the Missionary Cross and sent to a Salesian mission station.

                              His father Mr. Victor Dias, presently works as an Insurance agent and is part of the association of the Legionary of Mary. His mother Mrs. Leera Dias, Salesian Co-operator from Don Bosco Borivali, is currently a counsellor in Bosco Boys Home, Borivali. He is the youngest son and has two older sisters Siana and Serene. When his parents enrolled him at Don Bosco, Lonavla boarding in standard nine, they never envisioned this future for their son, yet they have been very supportive in giving their only son to God.

                              “I have always been in a Salesian school, so I am very enthused by the Salesians. I met and spoke to Father Clifford Morias, a Salesian priest, who went on a mission to Papua New Guinea and I felt very inspired,” Brother Dias said.

                              His attraction to serve in unchartered territories began with his training in the missions in Gujarat, where he worked with tribal boys. He lived their lifestyle and felt that his contribution to their growth was one of the most enriching experiences in his life. He completed his Technical Studies in Welding at Don Bosco Vyawasaik Prashikshan Kendra, Chinchwad, and also enjoyed working with poor youth in a technical set up.

                              Cleric Nilesh Dodiyar has been assigned by the Rector Major to Belgium. His father, Mr. Dhuliya Dodiyar, is a farmer and his mother, Mrs. Sabina Dodiyar, is a housewife. They are from Banswara District, Tambesara, Rajasthan. He is the second child and has three brothers Jitendra, Shailender and Rohit.

                              Brother Dodiyar studied with the Holy Cross Sisters at Shanti Sadan. “I went to Don Bosco, Kapadvanj, to learn English. I had planned to join The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, but after visiting the vocation camp at Don Bosco, Kapadvanj, I decided to join the Salesians. The Salesians have a great rapport with the poor youngsters and I loved the rural mission work and this inspired me,” said Brother Dodiyar.

                              He completed his initial formation and has now completed his Bachelor of Philosophy from the Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Divyadaan, Nashik. He added, “I thank my formators for having guided me to discern my calling for this way of life. I guess I will need to learn a few foreign languages to work in the mission of Belgium viz, French, Dutch and German.

                              Brother Micheal Gaikwad is one of the Saleisans who inspired me to go to the missions and work for the Lord’s vineyard. I prefer to work for the migrants, especially the refugees. It was really great working in the mission of Gujarat”.

                              Source: Don Bosco India

                              • India
                              • INB
                              • Missioni

                                France - Khairollah: a powerful testimony inspires companions to write a book

                                Gian Francesco Romano
                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                France - Khairollah: a powerful testimony inspires companions to write a book

                                (ANS - Poisy) - Khairollah, a young 15-year-old Afghan refugee, with the strength of his testimony, inspired the students of the Institute of Environmental Sciences and of the Territory of Annecy (ISETA) to write a book, an institute associated with the Don Bosco Network.

                                At the age of 10, Khairollah is already an orphan and knows that he has no future in his country, Afghanistan, ravaged by an endless war. Furthermore, he belongs to the Hazara ethnic group, which has always been oppressed. For this reason, after leaving his city, Helmand, south of Kabul, in the summer of 2009, he spends four years to cross Iran, Turkey, Greece and Italy to finally arrive in France, in Annecy, in July 2013. His journey is marked by continuous returns and setbacks, always at the mercy of greedy and unreliable couriers who practice violence and human trafficking.

                                He risks death on overcrowded 4x4s running along the edge of precipices. He knows thirst, hunger, icy nights spent in the mountains - sometimes under the gunshots of the military - risks drowning in makeshift dens, is hunted by the Turkish and Greek police. He spends long stays in prison. He arrives in France without knowing a word of French and seeks help. Finally, the curse gives way to luck when he meets Charbanou, a Franco-Iranian doctor, and oher adults who give him the opportunity to learn and study.

                                A teacher then asked Khairollah to give testimony about his past to his classmates, who listen passionately to the events of this boy, a boy their age, full of life force. For months they recorded interviews with Khairollah, dividing the task into small groups. They transcribe the testimony of his life by retiring in a house in the mountains for two days to write. They draw his routes on the map and several identikits. They listen to writers, journalists and Dr. Charbanou, who helps them decipher the East, information that has them drop their prejudices about exile and immigration issues. They feel the desire to go beyond the scope of the school, to create awareness-raising events.

                                After intense and exciting teamwork, they manage to publish their book, entitled: "Carnet d'exil, le voyage de Khairollah" (Diary of exile, the journey of Khairollah).

                                As for Khairollah, he would like to bring his little brother to France, who had to leave behind, because he was still too young, in the care of his neighbors.

                                Source: Don Bosco Aujourd'hui

                                • Francia
                                • Migranti
                                • Rifugiati
                                • Libri
                                • Scuole
                                • FRB

                                  Brazil - "Walking like disciples of Emmaus": the project "Ruta Juvenil Salesiana" arrives in missions

                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                                  (ANS - Meruri) - "The project 'Ruta Juvenil Salesiana' (Salesian Youth Itinerary) is aimed at young people as if it were an invitation by the Holy Father Francis, who summons Christians to take care of nature and to watch over the people who live there". Thus Fr Wagner Luis Galvão, SDB, Delegate for Youth Ministry in the Salesian Province of Brazil-Campo Grande, presented the significance of this dynamic Salesian program, aimed at young people and members of the Salesian Family who wish to live an experience of faith and joy through contact with Nature and the indigenous Xavantes and Bororo peoples.

                                  The Salesian Mission of Mato Grosso, through the Salesian Youth Ministry, has collected the groups expressing their interest in covering the "Ruta Juvenil Salesiana". They were able to choose between four different itinerary options, which retrace the journey of the first Salesian missionaries who arrived in Mato Grosso 124 years ago and who, with sweat and blood, collaborated in the construction of a vast movement in favor of youth. Among them, the Salesians Fr José Thannuber, Fr João Fuchs, Fr Pedro Sacilotti and Fr Rudolf Lunkenbein, together with the indigenous Simão Bororo.

                                  20 young people from different courses of the Salesian university centers of Araçatuba and Lins took part in this first experience. They met and traveled on Sunday, July 1, and they undertook this "Ruta Juvenil Salesiana" that puts them in touch, until next July 8, with the Bororo, in Meruri, and the Xavante, in San Marcos.

                                  During this period, the group develops volunteer activities and initiatives, have the opportunity to experience moments of learning and knowledge and the exchange of experiences. "In addition to cultural awareness, this experience allows students an inculturated vision in new realities," said Fr Waldomiro Bronakowski, SDB.

                                  To participate in the project, the young people had to undergo a selective process, developed in two phases: a questionnaire about themselves and individual motivational interviews.

                                  It is interesting how Fr Galvão presents the objective of the "Ruta Juvenil Salesiana", that is, ensure that the participants walk as brothers and sisters, disciples and missionaries in the Church. "To walk like the disciples of Emmaus, who shared the challenges and hopes of our life and our reality," he said.

                                  • Brasile
                                  • BCG
                                  • Indigeni
                                  • Università
                                  • Volontariato
                                  • Missioni

                                    Spain - Salesians organize summer activities for about 20,000 youths

                                    Gian Francesco Romano
                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                    Spain - Salesians organize summer activities for about 20,000 youths

                                    (ANS - Madrid) - The service Salesians dedicate to young people does not stop with the end of school. Since the start of the school holidays, numerous initiatives have been launched to promote an educational use of leisure time. Activities combine a time of rest and leisure with human and spiritual formation.

                                    According to 2018  forecasts, around 20,000 children and young people will participate in the summer activities organized by the Salesians in Spain and about 2,500 animators will devote their free time to collaborating in these activities. In addition, 350 Salesians will accompany the young people during the Salesian summer.

                                    The main proposal for these holidays are the summer camps and the colonies of faith groups, attended by the youngsters who usually attend Salesian youth centers. But there are also alternatives for children and young people with urban camps which are organized thanks to the support of the municipalities. The offer is broad and varied and there is also the possibility of going to a summer camp for entire families.

                                    The Salesians also direct and adapt other proposals for the neediest young people. For example, the Salesian Social Platforms offer leisure activities to hundreds of young people at risk of social exclusion, through summer camps, urban camps and pilgrimages.

                                    Salesian social entities also provide young people the opportunity to collaborate in socio-educational programs where the latter offer their time. An experience of solidarity that participants will experience in voluntary missionary in the countries of Latin America and Africa through the projects of Salesian NGOs.

                                    The holiday season also lends itself to formation. The professors of Salesian institutes will be able to take part in formation courses in various areas throughout the country. Worthy of note, the training week for teachers who have recently entered Salesian schools, formation in the Summer School and the "Salesian School Day", among the various activities. And there will also be formation activities for the Salesian Family, with Salesians able to attend the days of theological-pastoral renewal at two different locations.

                                    One of the most important activities of this Salesian summer is certainly the so-called "Campobosco", organized by the Salesian Youth Movement of Spain and Portugal, which will attract about 650 young people and take them to visit the Salesian sites of Barcelona and Turin.

                                    • Spagna
                                    • Oratorio
                                    • Estate Ragazzi

                                      Puerto Rico – DBCR Students and Staff Spend a Week of Service, Prayer, and Play in San Juan

                                      Gian Francesco Romano
                                      1 month 2 weeks ago
                                      Luis Saavedra, Mike Orosco, and César Cisneros sealed a leaking roof to prevent further water damage indoors.

                                      (ANS – San Juan) – From June 21 to 28, fourteen students and three faculty of “Don Bosco Cristo Rey” High School in Takoma Park were able to visit the Salesian works in Cantera, San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a service trip.

                                      by Frances Santiago

                                      The effects of Hurricane María were still visible, nine months later, in the neighborhood. Fr. Carlos Piantini, one of the Salesian priests in Puerto Rico, identified five families connected to the local Salesian oratory that needed additional help after the hurricane. The DBCR students were able to meet the families, ask them about their needs, and then come up with a plan for each home where they worked.

                                      The students scraped paint, sealed roofs, cleared out damaged homes, collected trash, painted, and scrubbed walls. They were also able to provide a new kitchen sink, counter, and cabinets, several new washing machines, and beds, bedding, and towels for the families.

                                      Many of the families were caring for family members with disabilities, which made the physical work of clearing out the damaged spaces difficult, but the students had the strength and energy to remove damaged appliances and furniture. The students commented on the overwhelming scope of the work that still needed to be done and reflected on how the families were discouraged by just how much they had lost in the hurricane.

                                      While the students spent most of their time working, they also found time to pray and to play. The group joined the congregation at Parroquia Maria Auxiliadora for Mass on Sunday morning, and they spent time in prayer and Scripture reading each morning and evening. They were thrilled to discover that Cantera is among the only places in Puerto Rico where soccer is king, so they were able to join in games with the students attending camp at Colegio San Juan Bosco, as well as a college team. Fr. Carlos introduced the students to a homemade frozen treat called limber, which all were eager to enjoy every day after lunch. They also particularly enjoyed chasing chickens with the families that they helped and playing with the pets at the various homes.

                                      At the culminating activity, the students mentioned that they had felt a real sense of family connection as they worked with the families and played with the students at the camp. They are inspired to seek justice for those still suffering from the effects of Hurricane María, and they look forward to returning to Puerto Rico to visit their Salesian family on the island.

                                      {gallery}Porto Rico - Viaggio allievi USA 2018{/gallery}

                                      • Porto Rico
                                      • CAM
                                      • SUE
                                      • Stati Uniti
                                      • Solidarietà
                                      • Disastri
                                      • Giovani
                                      • Volontariato

                                        Chile - "We need more centers for street children, their situation is invisible"

                                        Gian Francesco Romano
                                        1 month 2 weeks ago

                                        (ANS - Santiago) - "Nueva Luz" (New Light) is the name of the home for minors inaugurated last Friday, June 29, in the municipality of La Reina, a suburb of Santiago de Chile. It can accommodate eight people and was created thanks to a public-private collaboration between the "Fundación Don Bosco" of Chile, the construction company "Sodimac", and the Chilean Government. Good news, after, as some may remember, a fire destroyed the "Miguel Magone" welcome house last February.

                                        During the inauguration of the new center, the Minister for Social Development, Alfredo Moreno, recalled the visit of several children of the "Fundación Don Bosco" to the "Palacio de La Moneda" - the residence of the President of the Republic of Chile - which took place last April : "Some time ago the young people of Don Bosco visited La Moneda and asked us for a new house, because theirs had burnt down. So we told them that we would solve the problem and from today on those children have a place to go."

                                        Even the Executive Director of the "Fundación Don Bosco", Sergio Mercado, recalled that visit: "For the first time in history, street children were welcomed in La Moneda ... We need more centers for street children, their situation is invisible," said Mercado.

                                        The Minister of National Heritage, Felipe Ward, commented that he had received instructions from the same President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, to "make good use of the house, and undoubtedly this is good use."

                                        "Thanks to the Government and to Minister Moreno for developing public-private alliances with civil society and carrying out processes like this. The children are taking a very profound personal journey to change," added Dr. Mercado.

                                        The company "Sodimac" was charged with radically renovating the house, to make it suitable. Eduardo Mizón, Director General of Sodimac-Chile, said he was very satisfied with the work: "I think that as a company we are contributing with our grain of sand to make Chile a better country ... All children should live in a dignified way; we want that none of them lives on the street."

                                        In the afternoon, after the inauguration, the first five inhabitants entered the house: three girls and two street boys who, until recently, had been sleeping in the streets of the center of Santiago.

                                        • CIL
                                        • Cile
                                        • Bambini di Strada
                                        • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                        • Personaggi illustri
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana