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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

RMG – IUS Network: the challenge of the Synod on Youth and GC28

1 month ago
RMG – IUS Network: the challenge of the Synod on Youth and GC28

(ANS – Rome) – The Executive Council of the Salesian Higher Institutes of Education (IUS) met in Rome from 8 to 10 January. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, also joined the meeting, addressing participants on three fundamental issues for the leadership and government of IUS as it reflects, in preparation for the coming 28th General Chapter of the Congregation: the centrality of the option for poor youth; the urgency of shared mission between Salesians and lay people; the strengthening of the sense of charismatic belonging of IUS to the Provinces and the Congregation.

By Fr Marcelo Farfán

General Coordinator, IUS

For his part, Fr Fabio Attard, General Councillor for Youth Ministry, focused his attention on the change of paradigm which the recent Synod on Youth implies for the Church, and hence for Salesian institutions. Synodality and discernment as method and content are certainly the great challenges for a Youth Ministry that looks to the future.

The Executive Council of IUS was also able to follow up development of the “Common Program 5” and Common Continental Programs. Particular emphasis was placed on evaluating how the document on guidelines for ministry in IUS has been applied, on a course for the principal leaders/directors of institutes of higher education, and on preparation for the next General Assembly to be held in 2021.

Specific reflection was given to the “IUS Education Group” and other networks emerging especially in Latin America (on topics like interculturality, artifical intelligence, psychology and business administration). At the same time the experience of the IUS web portal was evaluated, confirming the need to give it greater energy, visibility and communicative capacity.

Much appreciated was the setting in place of a formation experience for IUS leaders from America, Europe and Africa. The course offered a global perspective on the opportunities and challenges demanded by the current higher education context; it suggested basic understandings, criteria and tools for guiding and managing higher education institutes and at the same time, there was room for strengthening relationships of cooperation as a IUS network. A course is being prepared for the near future for IUS leaders from Asia.

Finally, the Council also indicated the path toward preparations and possible topics for the coming General Assembly in 2021.

  • RMG
  • IUS
  • Sinodo sui Giovani
  • CG28
  • Fabio Attard
  • Ángel Fernández Artime
  • Rettor Maggiore
  • Opzione Preferenziale
    Gian Francesco Romano

    India – A counseling initiative for 100 young adults

    1 month ago
    India – A counseling initiative for 100 young adults

    (ANS – Vijayawada) – The Don Bosco Youth Center, which is part of the Salesian Assumption Church located in Vijayawada in the Krishna District of India, has launched a new initiative thanks to Salesian Missions donors. The initiative will offer counseling to young adults with a focus on marriage preparedness and sound life choices. The donor funding will help support personnel and materials to implement courses for 100 participants.

    While most Salesian centers and programs are known for their education and skills training, many also offer services that ensure the health and wellness of the youth they serve. Programs in India have long been providing counseling and other supportive services to help youth develop stronger relationships with their families and peers and better understand their life choices.

    One of the best known Salesian programs in India with a focus on counseling and psychological support is Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services which was founded in 1998 on the campus of the Salesian St. Dominic Savio High School in Mumbai. The organization recently celebrated its 20th anniversary providing psychological services to youth and families in the region.

    As a result of rampant poverty, child abuse and exploitation as well as high incidences of child labor, many poor youth in India face psychological and emotional difficulties. Often, parents are unable to deal with these problems at home so turn to school staff and teachers for extra support.

    Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services provides psychological evaluation and diagnosis, professional counseling, career guidance, remedial education, psychiatric services and occupational therapy. The organization’s psychologists and other professionals offer these services to individuals, groups and families to help aid independent functioning and improve quality of life.

    “Thousands of people had been reached by the organization in many ways and the ones who were trained by Prafulta further reached out to many others,” says Father Godfrey D’Sa, founder and director of Prafulta Psychological Services. “It is difficult to quantify our reach but we are in the process of building awareness of all that we do so that others know the importance of our work and issues within mental health.”

    India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A “multidimensionally poor” child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

    India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.

    Source: Mission Newswire

    • India
    • INH
    • Missioni
    • Psicologia
    • Prafulta
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Sierra Leone – Lamín, the young man who is ashamed of his scars, but wants to become a saint

      1 month ago
      Sierra Leone – Lamín, the young man who is ashamed of his scars, but wants to become a saint

      (ANS – Freetown) – Lamín is a 21 year-old youth who lives at the Salesian house and NGO known as “Don Bosco Fambul”, which takes in so many street kids who can begin a new life in a familiar and loving setting. One day he came into the Rector’s office and, quite upset, came straight to the point: he was worried about the scars on his scalp, arms, his tattoos. They constantly reminded him and people around him of his shameful and ignominious past.

      Having lost both his parents, Lamín lived on the streets of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, since a young child, learning to survive by using his wits and strength, first begging then stealing. He experienced everything during that time: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and sex with prostitutes. He spent two years in Pademba prison and when he came out he approached Don Bosco Fambul asking for help. However, “the street” was stronger and he relapsed.

      Since it was his second time, when they arrested him he was “marked”, as is the custom in Sierra Leone. Thanks be to God they did not break his arms or fingers, but he was cut with a machete on his head, arms, and so he would limp for the rest of his life, they cut his Achille’s tendon.

      The scars were meant to label him for the rest of his life: “Captured thief”.  Lamín had reached rock bottom and was aware of it; so, once he did recognise it, he began his journey of recovery, rehabilitation and healing.

      The Rector of Don Bosco Fambul told him that his glory lay in those scars and that he should not be ashamed of them. He ought not hide them. “They show, together with your ability for rehabilitation, that there are always second opportunities in life and it does not matter how low you have fallen.”

      His life is an example of how to overcome limits: he is finishing secondary school and would like to study social work so he can help street kids in the future. “I would like to become a saint!” he says today. His determination has surprised even Fr Jorge Crisafulli, the Rector of Don Bosco Fambul: his ideal have finally enlightened his past filled with suffering and his life has taken a new direction and new meaning.

      When a journalist asked Nelson Mandela if he thought himself to be a contemporary saint, he replied: “If a saint is a sinner who keeps trying, who never throws in the sponge, then yes, I am a saint.” Lamín keeps trying!

      • Sierra Leone
      • AFW
      • Don Bosco Fambul
      • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
      • Opzione Preferenziale
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Panama – “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together”: the official program for World Youth Day Panama 2019

        1 month ago
        Panama – “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together”: the official program for World Youth Day Panama 2019

        (ANS – Panama City) – Young people from various parts of the world are preparing to experience one of the greatest events in the life of the Church which brings thousands upon thousands of people together, this time at the centre of the Americas, Panama: World Youth Day (WYD). Some have already left, others are just leaving, and still others will depart in the coming days. What is certain is that the celebration will begin in a few days time, and the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco will be ready to welcome so many visitors.

        The involvement of three great personalities will make the WYD celebrations complete: first of all the Holy Father, Francis  and then, for the Salesian world, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat. Also taking part will be authorities from various countries: The Governor of Panama has confirmed that the Presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Portugal will be taking part …

        Pope Francis will leave Rome on 23 January and arrive in Panama the same day. On Thursday 24 he will receive the greetings of authorities from various countries and from the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, and will also meet the Central American bishops. In the afternoon there will be a welcoming and opening ceremony for the World Youth Day 2019, in the “Campo Santa María la Antigua” - Cinta Costera.

        During his stay in Panama the Holy Father will have a number of occasions when he will meet thousands of young people, and he will conclude his visit with the celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday 27 January, in the great “Campo San Juan Paolo II” – Metro Park, where some 250,000 faithful are expected to gather

        The official hymn for WYD Panama 2019, with the title: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) was written and composed by Abdiel Jiménez, with production and arrangement by Aníbal Muñoz, and the collaboration of Carlos Samaniego and Ricky Ramírez, professionals with a great musical career. 

        The official WYD program is available on the Vatican website

        Salesians, for their part, will transmit live the main events of the WYD through the ANS Facebook page.

        The whole country has been preparing for months, finalising details before the Holy Father arrives, and it is with great enthusiasm that it awaits the youth of the world who have decided to take part in this WYD. “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together in love for their brothers and sisters, of whatever religion creed or political persuasion”, explained Yithzak Gonzalez, youth ministry worker with the Episcopal Conference of Panama, in an interview released on “Vatican News”.

        • Panama
        • GMG2019
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Kenya – Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar: a dream becomes reality

          1 month ago
          Kenya – Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar: a dream becomes reality

          (ANS – Nairobi) – After a time of preparation, the Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar (SAFCAM) has begun its activities. The first workshops are now being offered in January 2019: for the first time there is a workshop for Rectors in English and another one in French.

          The SAFCAM vision goes back to the explicit mandate given by the 27th General Chapter to assist Salesians to become mystics in the Spirit, prophets of fraternity and servants of the young.

          SAFCAM promotes the Lifelong Formation of all who share the spirit and mission of Don Bosco in the context of the opportunities and challenges of the Church and society in Africa and Madagascar. Such formation involves the deepening of the Salesian charismatic identity and the promotion of communion among the different vocations in the mission.

          SAFCAM is located at DBYES (Don Bosco Youth Educational Services) in Nairobi.  Two confreres have been appointed by the Rector Major: Camiel Swertvagher and François Dufour.

          After these first meetings, other conferences, courses or workshops will be organised in the coming months for other groups of confreres, members of the Salesian Family and lay partners.

          “It’s a joy for the team, for the Region of Africa and Madagascar and for the Congregation to see that the dream becomes reality!” Fr Augustine Sellam, Vice Provincial of the East Africa Province, said.

          {gallery}AFE - SAFCAM{/gallery}

          • AFE
          • Kenya
          • Formazione
          • Africa
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Great Britain – From the street to “Don Bosco Ashalayam” and finally, Bollywood

            1 month ago
            Great Britain – From the street to “Don Bosco Ashalayam” and finally, Bollywood

            (ANS – London) – Rajdeep, an Indian boy who spent many years at the “Don Bosco Ashalayam” Salesian centre for youth at risk in Kolkata, left there last year to join a rugby school. Recently, he was selected by a Bollywood film director to play a role in “Jungle Cry”, a film based on the true story of the Indian Under 14 rugby team known as the “Jungle Crows” who won the London-based international school Rugby tournament, “Touraid” in 2007. Rajdeep is among 13 boys chosen from among more than 500 aspiring film actors.

            The “Jungle Crows” club was made up of tribal boys trained by Indian coach Rudraksha Jena, from the “Kalinga” Institute of Social Sciences (played by Abhay Deol in the film, one of the greatest Bollywood stars), and by Paul Walsh OBE, a British diplomat who gave up his carrier to teach rugby to disadvantaged minors.

            Rajdeep came to Great Britain in December 2018, more precisely to Wales, to do the shooting in three different rugby stadiums. On this occasion he explained that his stay at “Don Bosco Ashalayam” had helped him so much in public speaking – something that was obviously a decisive factor in his selection – and he was very grateful to the Salesians in Kolkata for this.

            The young rugby player and actor also told how he and his two brothers and been rescued by a Salesian, Fr Mathew, at the Howrah railway station. In fact, although their father was still alive, he had been unable to maintain and educate them, and had it not been for the Salesians they would have spent their lives on the street.

            Shortly before returning to India it was also possible for Rajdeep, together with another boy who had stayed at “Don Bosco Ashalayam”, to meet the British woman who had funded their education through an overseas program during their time at the home for youth at risk in Kolkata.

            “It was a wonderful encounter and a dream come true for Rajdeep”, said Fr Andrew Ebrahim. On their return to the hotel, Fr Ebrahim, who had coordinated all the movements, also succeeded in bringing the two boys to the Salesian community at Chertsey, and both of them were very happy to get to know and be able to personally thank people involved for years in helping youngsters like them to be able to be given attention and opportunities.

            The film director is a Salesian past pupil from Mumbai who hopes to return to London in May for the film’s preview.

            Source: Salesians UK

            • Gran Bretagna
            • GBR
            • India
            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
            • Sport
            • Exallievi
            • Cinema
            • Solidarietà
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Haiti – 12 January 2010 – 12 January 2019: 9 years later, Haiti continues to weep for its children

              1 month ago
              Haiti – 12 January 2010 – 12 January 2019: 9 years later, Haiti continues to weep for its children

              (ANS – Port-au-Prince) – On 12 January last, exactly 9 years after the earthquake that shook Haiti, a Eucharistic celebration took place at the National School of Arts and Trades (ENAM, in French), the first Salesian house in Haiti. This ceremony, at which Fr Morachel Bonhomme, the Vice Provincial, presided, brought together a great number of Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, postnovices, prenovices, rectos, and teachers of the “Work of the Little Schools of Father Bonen” and students from the Salesian Normal School.

              In his homily at the Mass, Fr Bonhomme explained to his listeners the importance of the spiritual life for every individual who professes to be a Christian. He then commented especially on the Gospel chosen for the occasion: Jesus and the death of his friend Lazarus. He thus recalled the dialogue between Jesus and Martha which begins with the woman’s profession of faith – “Lord, had you been here, my brother would not have died! But even now I know that you will ask God for something and he will grant it to you” – and it concludes with Jesus’ promise: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live”.

              The Vice Provincial then went on to explain to the faithful gathered there that we need to always be ready to encounter the Lord and that all of human existence belongs to God.

              This celebration brought many memories to light for those present, and they remembered the many students who died in the earthquake, as well as the three victims from among the spiritual sons of Don Bosco, Salesian Brother Hubert Sanon, the first Haitian Salesian, and two young Salesians in formation.

              Nine years later the Salesians in Haiti are picking up the consequences of the earthquake on 12 January 2010, and the Rinaldi Foundation, the Planning and Development Office, continue to carry out the work of coordination of funds for the communities. Furthermore, the Work of the Little Schools of Father Bohnen, situated at the centre of La Saline and Cité Soleil, two fo the largest shanty towns in Port-au-Prince, continue to serve thousands of children and young migrants, and the Salesians in Haiti, following the invitation that the then Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez made to them, continue working to be “makers of history, sentinels of dawn and prophets of hope”.

              {gallery}HAI - Ricordo anniversario{/gallery}

              • Haiti
              • HAI
              • Anniversari
              • Disastri
              • Famiglia Salesiana
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Democratic Republic of Congo – Solidarity in support of education for families affected by the fire last August

                1 month ago
                Democratic Republic of Congo – Solidarity in support of education for families affected by the fire last August

                (ANS – Bukavu) – On17 August 2018 a devastating fire broke out between Irambo and Pesage roads, in the area of Nyalukemba in Bukavu. It destroyed more than 300 houses built with wooden planks and very close to one another. “I wrote to various friends in Europe, asking for help for the families who lost everything in the fire. I received a beautiful response of generosity”, comments Fr Piero Gavioli, Salesian missionary in the country for more than 35 years.

                With the agreement of the diocesan Caritas, the Salesian missionary decided to help families who needed to pay school fees for their children who attend the primary school. “The leaders of the Christian communities in these districts carried out a serious survey in houses and schools, and drew up a list of children to be helped” the missionary recounts.

                At Irambo, the Don Bosco Centre took in more than a hundred minors. Recently, a social worker from the Don Bosco Centre at Bukavu, Bienvenu Karume, visited the families affected by the fire and were able to see that some families had received help in materials or money from public or private bodies, and had begun to rebuild their houses. But since the authorities had not taken measures to help the inhabitants to build according to the standards of the urban planning regulations, the same errors as in the past have been repeated.

                “Dad built a house out of sheet metal in which we spend the night, but in very difficult conditions, without a bed, mattress or good blankets. It is rather cold…” says Lea, a 12-year-old and sixth of nine children.

                “With help received in aid-in-kind and money, my father rebuilt the house, but it is not yet finished or furnished; we are already living there but it is tough” adds Ahana Babwine, 10 years old, the eighth of ten children.

                The families who have returned to their homes have to tackle many difficulties: many houses are made of tin, the rooms are not separated by solid walls and are often lacking everything. Furthermore, when it rains they are also victims of flooding because the district is on swampy ground which is not appropriate for building on.

                Hence the Don Bosco Centre has preferred to invest help received in a school for the children. At least, thanks to national and international solidarity, almost all the children of the district are enrolled in school and, with the hope that comes from education, can perhaps build a better future for themselves and their families.

                • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                • AFC
                • Disastri
                • Solidarietà
                • Povertà
                • Educazione
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Italy – Spirituality Days, the Rector Major hands over the 7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family

                  1 month ago
                  Italy – Spirituality Days, the Rector Major hands over the 7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family

                  (ANS – Turin) – The final session of the 37th Salesian Family Spirituality Days took place on Sunday 13 January. After solemn Mass in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, which saw the participation of 16 Major Superiors or Presidents of various groups of the Salesian Family, a summary of what had been shared among the 350 participants was made in the grand theatre at Valdocco.

                  Earlier, on Saturday the 12th, Prof. Francesc Torralba from Barcelona, starting out from Pope Francis’ Magisterium, had shown how the road to holiness is always one that leads us to go out of ourselves. Following this, Sr Lucy Nderi, FMA, and a young leader, Elisa, spoke of their experience of taking part in the activities of the recent Synod.

                  Then, after the round table discussion involving 8 members of the Salesian Family who shared their personal discovery of the call to Salesian holiness, the third day concluded with the Musical “Arte di Giò”.

                  On Sunday, at the conclusion of these days which have been so rich in inspiration, testimonies and reflections, Fr Á.F. Artime insisted, during the Mass, on three fundamental concepts on the road to holiness: unity which overcomes barriers;  a missionary outlook which helps by accepting others; community which makes our witness to communion credible.

                  Finally, in the theatre, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco presented the “Seven beatitudes of the Salesian family”, drawn up by the various working groups over these days.

                  #HOLINESS FOR YOU TOO: THE BEATITUDES OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY

                  1. Blessed is the Salesian Family that finds joy in poverty, imbued with God’s grace, it will work amongst the poorest and marginalised youth – this is holiness!

                  2. Blessed is the Salesian Family that embodies the docility and love of the Good Shepherd. It thus welcomes and accompanies youth with loving kindness, forming them toward dialogue and the welcoming of diversity - this is holiness!

                  3. Blessed is the Salesian Family that accompanies others, heals the wounds of those who suffer and gives hope to those who feel hopeless, thus bringing the joy of the Risen Christ – this is holiness!

                  4. Blessed is the Salesian Family that hungers and thirsts for justice and accompanies youth on their mission to actualise their life project within their families, in the workplace, and within political and social commitment – this is holiness!

                  5. Blessed is the Salesian Family that has a living experience of mercy, opening its eyes and heart to active listening and forgiving. It thus becomes a home that welcomes others – this is holiness!

                  6. Blessed is the Salesian Family that seeks to be authentic, whole and transparent whilst cultivating a loving gaze that goes beyond appearances and recognises the grace of God within each person – this is holiness!

                  7. Blessed is the Salesian Family, that draws from the truth of the Gospel and remains faithful to the charism of Don Bosco. It thus becomes yeast for a new humanity and joyfully embraces the joy of the Cross for the Kingdom of God – this is holiness!

                  A new video was also presented at the conclusion of the Spirituality Days. It is hope that it can be an aid for presenting the Strenna 2019 to youngsters (and not only them). The video, which was much appreciated by those present, is available on ANSChannel

                  The photos of the Days are available on ANSFlickr.

                  Further information is available on the website dedicated to the Days: http://salesianfamilydays.com 

                  Videos of the principal live moments are available on the ANS Facebook page.

                  • Italia
                  • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                  • Famiglia Salesiana
                  • Santità
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • Sinodo sui Giovani
                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Italy - Don Bosco's school yesterday and today

                    1 month ago
                    Italy - Don Bosco's school yesterday and today

                    (ANS - Turin) – A second day of work and reflection for the participants of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family. The good morning was given by the prayer of praise animated by the choir of the Novices of Pinerolo.

                    To Fr Aldo Giraudo, professor of Salesian History at the Salesian Pontifical University, the task of warming up the assembly with the first meeting; its theme: "Holiness at the school of Don Bosco."

                    Domenico Savio finds himself with his heart set on fire by the preaching of Don Bosco. Not only did he want to be a saint, he truly needed to.


                    Starting from this analysis of the life of the Saint what are the secrets that he has left us as an inheritance? Four, the ideas offered by the analysis of Fr Aldo. First of all, the desire to "Give oneself to God" in time and with totality borne of the idea; secondly, that it is easy to become saints. A journey that must then be supported with a journey of personal and apostolic asceticism so as to be able to experience daily life in living in the presence of God.

                    In the testimony of Fr Damir Stojic, a Salesian from Croatia, a concrete pastoral experience addressed to young university students was presented, embodying one of the different ways of today making the Good Christians and Honest Citizens of St. John Bosco current.

                    The afternoon was dedicated to the visit of the places of holiness: Valdocco, Cottolengo, the Oratory of the Marchesa Barolo and the surrounding streets, a real and proper itinerary not only of the city but a spiritual journey to enable, in the spirit of pilgrims, entering the secrets of the histories of holiness that have preceded us.

                    Returning to the theater, at the end of this beautiful experience divided by linguistic groups, the group of participants were welcomed by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni with a talk dedicated to holiness in the Salesian Family.

                    • Italia
                    • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                    • Don Bosco
                      Jesus Jurado

                      Cambodia - Samai and Phirun recover their childhood at "Don Bosco Kep"

                      1 month ago

                      (ANS - Kep) - In Cambodia, one of the world's poorest countries, the most vulnerable population is exposed to the risks deriving from exploitation, the depredation of natural resources and climate change. Samai and Phirun are two boys aged 11 and 13. "Both were exploited in the brick factory where they worked to earn some money and help their families," says Fr Albeiro Rodas, Salesian missionary at Kep.

                      Together with Samai and Phirun lives Danith, aged 16; at 11 he lost his sight and his family, as they abandoned him in the streets. And also Meng, Dara, Pinch ... and so on until one arrives at the total of 50 children who are part of the "Brother Sun" program that welcomes and hosts vulnerable children. "It's amazing how in a few weeks these children, who lived without a childhood, recover their smiles, their games ... They return definitively to what a natural childhood should be," explains Fr Albeiro.

                      To the "children of the sun", as they are called, there are another 300 children and young people between the ages of 3 and 22, who receive education and vocational training in the Salesian Don Bosco Kep. "Every child, every young person, also represents a family, almost always of peasants and of low income, which includes indigenous families, children and young people with physical disabilities, girls and young women at risk of exploitation, children and young people who may end up in networks of trafficking and illegal emigration," says the missionary, explaining the situation in which the children cared for are initially found.

                      At the technical school of Don Bosco Kep the young people, about 200 per course, receive vocational training in electro-technical skills, media, secretarial work, hotel management and programming. "This is a great opportunity for these young people, who see a previously unimaginable future open up," the people at Kep explain.

                      "We are very happy this year because we have been able to complete some buildings for the development of our programs, such as a new electrical department and a kiosk by the sea, where students can carry out their internship", adds Fr Rodas. "And we have also launched a project to sell our products, so as to increase our sustainability as a center." This new 2019 year shall hence continue to be a year of challenges in Kep.

                      • Cambogia
                      • Scuole
                      • Formazione Professionale
                      • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                      • THA
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Italy - Spirituality Days of SF, the Rector Major: "Witness with our lives, believe in holiness in everyday life and demonstrate it"

                        1 month ago

                        (ANS - Turin) - The 2019 Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family (GSFS) officially opened on the afternoon of Thursday, 10 January. Participants experienced their first moment of reflection in the grand theater of Valdocco, listening to the words of the Father and the center of unity of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who deepened and presented the message of the Strenna 2019: "'So that my joy be in you' (Jn 15,11). Holiness for you too."

                        Fr Enrico Stasi, Provincial of the Salesians of Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta and Lithuania, gave a warm welcome to the participants from all over the world, while Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, underscored: "This experience allows us to better understand what the Spirit has done with Don Bosco and continues to renew in our groups and in each of us."

                        Fr Á.F. Artime then spoke of the reasons that led him to choose the theme of the Strenna: through the phrases of Pope Francis, through the witness of life of all the Saints of the Salesian Family, through the witness of Mary, through Jesus and through the "Indicators of holiness."

                        "To believe, to hope and to love. These are the teachings of Mary, woman of the here I am ... Sainthood is reserved for everyone, not just a few! It is a goal that is reached in an instant, but only if there is a progressive path to travel upon, easy and pleasant, but it must be robust or else it will fall into the superficial!"

                        The Rector Major then invited everyone to seek holiness in daily life and to bear witness of Holiness for others, for the young: "There is no need for consecrated people to tell young people what to do with their lives, to tell them what's good and what's not. It is necessary that, looking into our eyes, they can say: it's true, what they say is true! We must see happiness, joy, so that they can believe what we tell them, what we talk to them about. This is for all of us. Bear witness with our lives, believe in holiness in everyday life, and demonstrate it."

                        He concluded his speech by speaking of the "Indices of Holiness", to make it clear that being Saints is possible for everyone:

                        - live everyday life as a meeting place;
                        - be people and communities of prayer;
                        - develop the fruits of the Holy Spirit;
                        - practice virtue;
                        - witness the communion;
                        - understand that everyone's life is a mission;
                        - look for simplicity in the Gospel;
                        - grow in small gestures.

                        The photos of the Days are available on ANSFlickr.

                        Further information is available on the website dedicated to the Days: http://salesianfamilydays.com 

                        For updates, please visit the Facebook page of ANS, which hosts the live broadcast of the main moments.

                        • Italia
                        • ICP
                        • Valdocco
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • Santità
                        • Strenna 2019
                        • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                        • Famiglia Salesiana
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

                          1 month ago
                          Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

                          (ANS - Al Fidar) - "A man so pure, sweet, profound as Monsignor Armando is something that cannot be found". With these words, a friend of Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, Salesian bishop emeritus of the Latins in Syria, presented his condolences in learning the news of the Monsignor's death. Bishop Bortolaso concluded his earthly journey on January 8, at the age of 92.

                          A journey that had begun in Castagnero, province of Vicenza, in 1926, and which had embraced the lands of the Middle East since the years of Salesian formation. After 70 years spent in the region, his pilgrimage ended in Lebanon, in the Salesian community, where he chose to settle at the end of his decennial episcopal service (from 1992 to 2002) as an apostolic vicar of Aleppo.

                          Having arrived in the Middle East in 1949 as a cleric, he began his service in Istanbul, Turkey. Ordained a priest in Jerusalem in 1953, he exercised his Salesian mission in various houses in the Holy Land, but above all in Aleppo, where he was repeatedly director and where he was nominated as a bishop.

                          He was also strongly tied to the Focolarini movement, indeed, as bishop, he played a role of animation among the bishops who were friends of the movement, both at local, regional, international and also ecumenical levels (with Orthodox and Protestant bishops), in full light of his Salesian identity, which became him to affirm, making himself esteemed and loved by all for his humility, meekness, goodness, simplicity, delicacy and profound spirituality.

                          As a bishop in Syria, he also won the friendship of Muslim religious leaders, with whom he fostered and maintained a relationship. The mourning for his loss is widespread.

                          • Libano
                          • MOR
                          • Decessi
                          • Vescovi
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Liberia - A vocational project in the Salesian style

                            1 month ago
                            Liberia - A vocational project in the Salesian style

                            (ANS - Monrovia) – After 15 years of civil war, and then hit by an epidemic of Ebola that claimed thousands of victims, has left Liberia an extremely poor country. The data are merciless: 63.8% of Liberians live below the poverty line; life expectancy is only 63.3 years; a quarter of the population (about 4.6 million) has no access to drinking water and only 16.9% have adequate health services. Just over half of the inhabitants are illiterate. To foster a positive reaction in the face of many and such problems, the Salesians focus on Vocational Training.

                            Back in 1991, in the middle of the civil war, the Salesians built the "Don Bosco Technical High School" in Monrovia, the capital. It is a school that provides primary, middle and high school education and is currently considered one of the best high schools in the city and in all of Liberia.

                            Now the Sons of Don Bosco in Liberia want to start a new department of vocational training for electrotechnicians. A course that is open in the afternoon to high school students to offer an integration to their educational path; and in the morning to young workers to help them obtain a certification of their skills and help implement their capacities according to the demands of the world of work.

                            The initiative includes the renovation of an existing space in the school and its transformation into a workshop, and to open it annually to 90 high school students and 30 uncertified electricians.

                            The project aims to respond to the needs of the labor market while at the same time aligning itself with the national policy on technical and vocational training. The aim is to position the proposed activities as a model for the future development of its axis of intervention.

                            For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                            • Liberia
                            • Formazione Professionale
                            • AFW
                            • Missioni Don Bosco
                            • Missioni
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG - Salesian Family on the road to holiness: Spirituality Days 2019

                              1 month 1 week ago
                              RMG - Salesian Family on the road to holiness: Spirituality Days 2019

                              (ANS - Rome) - The XXXVII Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family take place from tomorrow, Thursday 10 January, to Sunday 13, at Turin-Valdocco, an event that every year attracts hundreds of people from all over the world and  gives them a chance to grow in awareness of belonging to the special spiritual and apostolic family born with St. John Bosco.

                              As is tradition, the Days are an opportunity for a community-wide reflection on the Rector Major's Strenna. This year, continuing along the guideline traced by Pope Francis with his "Gaudete et Exsultate", Fr Ángel Fernández Artime shall offer the opportunity to deepen the reflection on holiness lived and experienced every day, well expressed by the motto: "Holiness for you, too."

                              Certainly, we cannot help but take full advantage of the possibilities offered by the celebration of the Days in the city of Turin itself. "We shall live these days in the shadow of Mary Help of Christians and from the sanctuary of Valdocco, from which devotion to the Virgin Help of Christians spread throughout the world," said Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family.

                              Fr Joan Lluís Playa, central assistant of the Don Bosco Volunteers, both male and female sections, as well as being the organizer of the Days, also underlines the importance of the pilgrimage of holiness at Valdocco: "a path to the discovery of holiness in the Salesian Family, to be accomplished on the places of the saints originating in that land."

                              Across the various conferences, talks shall start from the subject of holiness to the school of Don Bosco, touching upon the typically Salesian connotation of holiness, to arrive at identifying the possibilities that each member of the Salesian Family has to be holy in their own daily life, simply by spending one's self in one's own mission.

                              The progress made by the Church and the SF in 2018 will also be highlighted via the sharing of the experiences of young people and religious who participated in the Youth Pre-Synod of March 2018; and thanks to several testimonies and good practices specially selected on the theme of youth accompaniment - an accompaniment oriented to holiness.

                              Accompanying the talks, as always, shall be the festive climate and Salesian joy, and moments of shared spirituality, with the Days ending Sunday with the concluding Mass and the summary intervention of the Rector Major.

                              Further information is available on the website dedicated to the Days: http://salesianfamilydays.com 

                              For updates, please visit the Facebook page of ANS, which will host the live broadcast of the main moments as below:

                              January 10th
                              4:30 pm - Welcome
                              17:45 - Strenna presentation

                              11 January
                              09:00 - Conference
                              10:30 - Experience

                              12 January
                              09:00 - Conference
                              15:30 - Round Table
                              8:45 pm - Feast of Holiness

                              January 13th
                              09:30 - Mass
                              11:00 - Final meeting

                              All times are expressed in local time (UTC+1)

                              • RMG
                              • Italia
                              • Famiglia Salesiana
                              • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Malta – People are more important

                                1 month 1 week ago
                                Malta – People are more important

                                (ANS – Sliema) – The Salesians were among 46 groups and NGOs urging Europe’s governments to take action in favour of the migrants stranded on two boats between Malta and Sicily as bad weather caused ferry companies to cancel passenger services in the Mediterranean:

                                We are appalled beyond words that, after 18 days of negotiations, 49 men, women and children remain stuck on a boat within sight of the Maltese shore.

                                In spite of countless calls for solidarity, European Member States have not managed to find a diplomatic solution to the current impasse.

                                This is nothing short of tragic and shameful. It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity – as a people and a union of states that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity.

                                We acknowledge the complex issues this situation raises, and agree that it is a European challenge requiring a European solution. However, this cannot be an excuse to abdicate our own responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to save lives at any cost. The duty to save lives is not only a legal but also a moral imperative which can never be subjected to political conditions, such as the availability of concrete offers of relocation or the fear of creating a precedent.

                                At this point, the question we must answer is simple: what is more important, scoring political points, or saving lives?

                                For us, the undersigned organisations, there can be only one answer: people are more important.

                                Today we are here to take a stand for life and dignity. We call on Malta to prioritize life and open its doors today.

                                • Malta
                                • MLT
                                • Migranti
                                • ONG
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Spain - "Your task: to change the world": Salesians encourage youth to discover their vocation to changing the world

                                  1 month 1 week ago

                                  (ANS - Madrid) - In this month that ends with the celebration of the feast of Don Bosco, the Salesians of Spain have launched a campaign to motivate and inspire children, adolescents and young people to recognize their vocation: "Your task: to change the world."

                                  "In the face of the unjust realities that surround us (poverty, corruption, war, death, exploitation, selfishness ...) our eyes often and, above all our hearts, feel compassion. Like Jesus of Nazareth we feel called to take up the challenge of 'changing the world' starting from our faith, from what God asks us to be and to live in our daily lives. God is counting on us to make His Kingdom a reality! Our qualities and talents are a good tool in this task, provided we make them available to others, as Don Bosco did with the poorest youth in Turin," the promoters of the Salesian campaign said.

                                  The general objective of the campaign is to propose a focus of faith on one's own life, which can help to discover the deepest essence of oneself and reveal the vocational proposal that God has for each one of us: a mission that fills life with meaning and reasons to build a better world.

                                  For this reason a promotional video was released in which the vocation "speaks" and asks to be discovered. It presents itself as the engine to fight injustice and promote a more human and at the same time a world "more of God."

                                  To make this campaign alive, various resources have been set up, which are already available to educators, animators, religious, catechists and other pastoral agents of Salesian houses, so that they can use them in class, in youth centers, in parishes, in social platforms and related.

                                  The materials for the 2019 vocational campaign are available at www.sersalesiano.com, distributed according to the various users. In this way, vocational culture can be extended to all Salesian environments.

                                  • SSM
                                  • Vocazioni
                                  • Spagna
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Italy - New academic courses of Salesian Pontifical University in Soverato: university formation of educators

                                    1 month 1 week ago
                                    Italy - New academic courses of Salesian Pontifical University in Soverato: university formation of educators

                                    (ANS - Soverato) - The University “Don Giorgio Pratesi” of Soverato, in the province of Catanzaro, Calabria, affiliated to the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the "Pontifical Salesian University" (UPS) of Rome, inaugurated its first Academic Year on Friday 21 December.

                                    by Veronica Petrocchi

                                    Present at the official ceremony were, among others: Fr Angelo Santorsola, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Southern Italy (IME), and the Director of the Institute, Prof. Rosa Fiore. The prolusion was entrusted to the Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Fr Mario Oscar Llanos, while the Rector Magnifico of the UPS, Fr Mauro Mantovani, solemnly inaugurated the academic year.

                                    "For a long time we have pursued the dream of activating in Calabria a place of formation for education professionals so that, starting too from the long and significant experience of the Salesians in Soverato, it may constitute a driving force for cultural change oriented to the centrality of the person, to the inclusion and the promotion of social justice," explained Prof. Fiore.

                                    The Rector Magnificus of the UPS and the Dean of the FSE, for their part, confirmed the importance of this center, "University of Educators", as a contribution of the Salesian Pontifical University for university formation within a territory that is rich in history, culture and hopes.

                                    The institute "Don Giorgio Pratesi" was born from an intuition of the Centro Reggino di Solidarietà, of the Calabrese Center of Solidarity and of the Istituto Universitario Progetto Uomo of Montefiascone (Viterbo). It is dedicated to the memory of Fr Pratesi (1920-2000) a Salesian priest who was founder of the "Justice and Peace" Commission in the Diocese of Locri-Gerace, and who in a territory marked by the presence of the 'Ndrangheta, knew how to promote comprehensive and integral human formation of the young and of the whole population in favor of the common good. To commemorate him, the University Institute has adopted the olive tree as its symbol.

                                    For further information, please visit: www.istitutouniversitariopratesi.it/

                                    {gallery}IME - UPS centro Soverato{/gallery}

                                    • Italia
                                    • IME
                                    • UPS
                                    • IUS
                                    • Università
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Chile - It's never too late to be a saint

                                      1 month 1 week ago
                                      Chile - It's never too late to be a saint

                                      (ANS - Santiago) - Over 120 children, adolescents and young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of the "Camilo Ortuzar Montt" Salesian Lyceum in Santiago participated in a camp-retreat at the Las Peñas house on 19-21 December to reflect on the theme of the Rector Major's 2019 Strenna: "Holiness for you, too."

                                      This experience was necessary to consolidate the path of integration and identity of the SYM of the "Camilo Ortuzar Montt" Lyceum, which was formed in 2014 by gathering members of various groups: the "Missionary Childhood", the "Domenico Savio" clubs, the "Meeting of the Children in the Spirit", the "Salesian Apostolic Communities" and recently "The Small Children of Valdocco."

                                      The children and young people were accompanied by adults who also experienced this oratory space of formation and recreation wherein to share a few days of youthful joy, Christian life, friendship, fresh air, recreation and sanctity.

                                      During the work days, the participants were invited to look at the three fundamental sacraments to live holiness, that is: Baptism, to be "new men and women"; Reconciliation, to be aware that "God is with me in the struggle"; and the Eucharist, "Bread broken and shared". Moreover, on the last day, the call to be a missionary of holiness was developed: "For the world, but not of the world".

                                      Various recreational activities took place, such as: sports, artistic and cultural workshops, walks ... accompanied by moments of prayer and meditation, following the example of Domenico Savio, who discovered at the Oratory of Valdocco that "here we make holiness consist in being very happy and doing our duty well."

                                      At the closing Eucharist of the camp, a boy from the Missionary Childhood, was much moved emotionally, thanked everyone for the days experienced together and said to his friends: "it's never too late to be holy ...".

                                      • Cile
                                      • CIL
                                      • Strenna 2019
                                      • Ragazzi
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Spain - European Seminar for Salesian Brothers

                                        1 month 1 week ago
                                        Spain - European Seminar for Salesian Brothers

                                        (ANS - Barcelona) - Thirty-eight Salesians Coadjutors of the two Salesian regions of Europe - Mediterranean and Central and Northern Europe - will gather from 17 to 21 January at the Martí Codolar center in Barcelona, Spain, to participate in the European seminar dedicated to deepening the figure of the Salesian Coadjutor.

                                        The purpose of the gathering is to reflect on today's Salesian Brotherhood, starting from the perspective of the Magisterium of the Church, of the Salesian Congregation and of the Congregation for Institutes of Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and present the Salesian Lay figure in a modern way, discussing their roles, functions and tasks, challenges and opportunities.

                                        Guiding the meeting's activities is Fr Pascual Chávez, who will introduce several specific themes through conferences, which will be followed by sessions for personal reflection and discussion in individual groups and with the assembly.

                                        Each of the three work days will be devoted to discussing a specific issue: first the identity, then the mission, and finally the formation and profile of the Salesian Coadjutor. Finally, on the last day, a review of what is produced and the identification of prospects will take place.

                                        "The shared reflection, in the form of a seminar, starting from one's own personal experience is fundamental," explained the organizer of the meeting, Fr Francisco Santos, member of the Dicastery for Formation. "For this reason, we asked each participant to bring with him materials developed in their respective provinces, both of vocational proposals, and of the apostolic and work experiences they've done. It will serve to much enrich our meeting, and they will be good practices to share in the reflection on the figure of the Salesian lay person today."

                                        At the seminar, all the provinces of Europe will be represented, at least with one participant. In addition, the choice of the location of the seminar is not accidental: the Salesian center of Martì Codolar, in fact, hosts, in addition to the "Don Bosco" Center for Religious Studies, the new "Zatti Community" for the Specific Formation of Salesian Brothers of Europe.

                                        • Spagna
                                        • Salesiani Coadiutori
                                        • Europe
                                        • Europa Centro Nord
                                        • Mediterranea
                                        • Pascual Chávez
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          RMG – IUS Network: the challenge of the Synod on Youth and GC28

                                          1 month ago
                                          RMG – IUS Network: the challenge of the Synod on Youth and GC28

                                          (ANS – Rome) – The Executive Council of the Salesian Higher Institutes of Education (IUS) met in Rome from 8 to 10 January. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, also joined the meeting, addressing participants on three fundamental issues for the leadership and government of IUS as it reflects, in preparation for the coming 28th General Chapter of the Congregation: the centrality of the option for poor youth; the urgency of shared mission between Salesians and lay people; the strengthening of the sense of charismatic belonging of IUS to the Provinces and the Congregation.

                                          By Fr Marcelo Farfán

                                          General Coordinator, IUS

                                          For his part, Fr Fabio Attard, General Councillor for Youth Ministry, focused his attention on the change of paradigm which the recent Synod on Youth implies for the Church, and hence for Salesian institutions. Synodality and discernment as method and content are certainly the great challenges for a Youth Ministry that looks to the future.

                                          The Executive Council of IUS was also able to follow up development of the “Common Program 5” and Common Continental Programs. Particular emphasis was placed on evaluating how the document on guidelines for ministry in IUS has been applied, on a course for the principal leaders/directors of institutes of higher education, and on preparation for the next General Assembly to be held in 2021.

                                          Specific reflection was given to the “IUS Education Group” and other networks emerging especially in Latin America (on topics like interculturality, artifical intelligence, psychology and business administration). At the same time the experience of the IUS web portal was evaluated, confirming the need to give it greater energy, visibility and communicative capacity.

                                          Much appreciated was the setting in place of a formation experience for IUS leaders from America, Europe and Africa. The course offered a global perspective on the opportunities and challenges demanded by the current higher education context; it suggested basic understandings, criteria and tools for guiding and managing higher education institutes and at the same time, there was room for strengthening relationships of cooperation as a IUS network. A course is being prepared for the near future for IUS leaders from Asia.

                                          Finally, the Council also indicated the path toward preparations and possible topics for the coming General Assembly in 2021.

                                          • RMG
                                          • IUS
                                          • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                          • CG28
                                          • Fabio Attard
                                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                          • Opzione Preferenziale
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            India – A counseling initiative for 100 young adults

                                            1 month ago
                                            India – A counseling initiative for 100 young adults

                                            (ANS – Vijayawada) – The Don Bosco Youth Center, which is part of the Salesian Assumption Church located in Vijayawada in the Krishna District of India, has launched a new initiative thanks to Salesian Missions donors. The initiative will offer counseling to young adults with a focus on marriage preparedness and sound life choices. The donor funding will help support personnel and materials to implement courses for 100 participants.

                                            While most Salesian centers and programs are known for their education and skills training, many also offer services that ensure the health and wellness of the youth they serve. Programs in India have long been providing counseling and other supportive services to help youth develop stronger relationships with their families and peers and better understand their life choices.

                                            One of the best known Salesian programs in India with a focus on counseling and psychological support is Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services which was founded in 1998 on the campus of the Salesian St. Dominic Savio High School in Mumbai. The organization recently celebrated its 20th anniversary providing psychological services to youth and families in the region.

                                            As a result of rampant poverty, child abuse and exploitation as well as high incidences of child labor, many poor youth in India face psychological and emotional difficulties. Often, parents are unable to deal with these problems at home so turn to school staff and teachers for extra support.

                                            Don Bosco’s Prafulta Psychological Services provides psychological evaluation and diagnosis, professional counseling, career guidance, remedial education, psychiatric services and occupational therapy. The organization’s psychologists and other professionals offer these services to individuals, groups and families to help aid independent functioning and improve quality of life.

                                            “Thousands of people had been reached by the organization in many ways and the ones who were trained by Prafulta further reached out to many others,” says Father Godfrey D’Sa, founder and director of Prafulta Psychological Services. “It is difficult to quantify our reach but we are in the process of building awareness of all that we do so that others know the importance of our work and issues within mental health.”

                                            India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A “multidimensionally poor” child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

                                            India’s youth face a lack of educational opportunities due to issues of caste, class and gender. Almost 44 percent of the workforce is illiterate and less than 10 percent of the working-age population has completed a secondary education. In addition, many secondary school graduates do not have the knowledge and skills to compete in today’s changing job market.

                                            Source: Mission Newswire

                                            • India
                                            • INH
                                            • Missioni
                                            • Psicologia
                                            • Prafulta
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              Sierra Leone – Lamín, the young man who is ashamed of his scars, but wants to become a saint

                                              1 month ago
                                              Sierra Leone – Lamín, the young man who is ashamed of his scars, but wants to become a saint

                                              (ANS – Freetown) – Lamín is a 21 year-old youth who lives at the Salesian house and NGO known as “Don Bosco Fambul”, which takes in so many street kids who can begin a new life in a familiar and loving setting. One day he came into the Rector’s office and, quite upset, came straight to the point: he was worried about the scars on his scalp, arms, his tattoos. They constantly reminded him and people around him of his shameful and ignominious past.

                                              Having lost both his parents, Lamín lived on the streets of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, since a young child, learning to survive by using his wits and strength, first begging then stealing. He experienced everything during that time: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and sex with prostitutes. He spent two years in Pademba prison and when he came out he approached Don Bosco Fambul asking for help. However, “the street” was stronger and he relapsed.

                                              Since it was his second time, when they arrested him he was “marked”, as is the custom in Sierra Leone. Thanks be to God they did not break his arms or fingers, but he was cut with a machete on his head, arms, and so he would limp for the rest of his life, they cut his Achille’s tendon.

                                              The scars were meant to label him for the rest of his life: “Captured thief”.  Lamín had reached rock bottom and was aware of it; so, once he did recognise it, he began his journey of recovery, rehabilitation and healing.

                                              The Rector of Don Bosco Fambul told him that his glory lay in those scars and that he should not be ashamed of them. He ought not hide them. “They show, together with your ability for rehabilitation, that there are always second opportunities in life and it does not matter how low you have fallen.”

                                              His life is an example of how to overcome limits: he is finishing secondary school and would like to study social work so he can help street kids in the future. “I would like to become a saint!” he says today. His determination has surprised even Fr Jorge Crisafulli, the Rector of Don Bosco Fambul: his ideal have finally enlightened his past filled with suffering and his life has taken a new direction and new meaning.

                                              When a journalist asked Nelson Mandela if he thought himself to be a contemporary saint, he replied: “If a saint is a sinner who keeps trying, who never throws in the sponge, then yes, I am a saint.” Lamín keeps trying!

                                              • Sierra Leone
                                              • AFW
                                              • Don Bosco Fambul
                                              • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                              • Opzione Preferenziale
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Panama – “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together”: the official program for World Youth Day Panama 2019

                                                1 month ago
                                                Panama – “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together”: the official program for World Youth Day Panama 2019

                                                (ANS – Panama City) – Young people from various parts of the world are preparing to experience one of the greatest events in the life of the Church which brings thousands upon thousands of people together, this time at the centre of the Americas, Panama: World Youth Day (WYD). Some have already left, others are just leaving, and still others will depart in the coming days. What is certain is that the celebration will begin in a few days time, and the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco will be ready to welcome so many visitors.

                                                The involvement of three great personalities will make the WYD celebrations complete: first of all the Holy Father, Francis  and then, for the Salesian world, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat. Also taking part will be authorities from various countries: The Governor of Panama has confirmed that the Presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Portugal will be taking part …

                                                Pope Francis will leave Rome on 23 January and arrive in Panama the same day. On Thursday 24 he will receive the greetings of authorities from various countries and from the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, and will also meet the Central American bishops. In the afternoon there will be a welcoming and opening ceremony for the World Youth Day 2019, in the “Campo Santa María la Antigua” - Cinta Costera.

                                                During his stay in Panama the Holy Father will have a number of occasions when he will meet thousands of young people, and he will conclude his visit with the celebration of Holy Mass on Sunday 27 January, in the great “Campo San Juan Paolo II” – Metro Park, where some 250,000 faithful are expected to gather

                                                The official hymn for WYD Panama 2019, with the title: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) was written and composed by Abdiel Jiménez, with production and arrangement by Aníbal Muñoz, and the collaboration of Carlos Samaniego and Ricky Ramírez, professionals with a great musical career. 

                                                The official WYD program is available on the Vatican website

                                                Salesians, for their part, will transmit live the main events of the WYD through the ANS Facebook page.

                                                The whole country has been preparing for months, finalising details before the Holy Father arrives, and it is with great enthusiasm that it awaits the youth of the world who have decided to take part in this WYD. “An event that has brought more than 4 million Panamanians together in love for their brothers and sisters, of whatever religion creed or political persuasion”, explained Yithzak Gonzalez, youth ministry worker with the Episcopal Conference of Panama, in an interview released on “Vatican News”.

                                                • Panama
                                                • GMG2019
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Kenya – Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar: a dream becomes reality

                                                  1 month ago
                                                  Kenya – Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar: a dream becomes reality

                                                  (ANS – Nairobi) – After a time of preparation, the Salesian Formation Centre for Africa & Madagascar (SAFCAM) has begun its activities. The first workshops are now being offered in January 2019: for the first time there is a workshop for Rectors in English and another one in French.

                                                  The SAFCAM vision goes back to the explicit mandate given by the 27th General Chapter to assist Salesians to become mystics in the Spirit, prophets of fraternity and servants of the young.

                                                  SAFCAM promotes the Lifelong Formation of all who share the spirit and mission of Don Bosco in the context of the opportunities and challenges of the Church and society in Africa and Madagascar. Such formation involves the deepening of the Salesian charismatic identity and the promotion of communion among the different vocations in the mission.

                                                  SAFCAM is located at DBYES (Don Bosco Youth Educational Services) in Nairobi.  Two confreres have been appointed by the Rector Major: Camiel Swertvagher and François Dufour.

                                                  After these first meetings, other conferences, courses or workshops will be organised in the coming months for other groups of confreres, members of the Salesian Family and lay partners.

                                                  “It’s a joy for the team, for the Region of Africa and Madagascar and for the Congregation to see that the dream becomes reality!” Fr Augustine Sellam, Vice Provincial of the East Africa Province, said.

                                                  {gallery}AFE - SAFCAM{/gallery}

                                                  • AFE
                                                  • Kenya
                                                  • Formazione
                                                  • Africa
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Great Britain – From the street to “Don Bosco Ashalayam” and finally, Bollywood

                                                    1 month ago
                                                    Great Britain – From the street to “Don Bosco Ashalayam” and finally, Bollywood

                                                    (ANS – London) – Rajdeep, an Indian boy who spent many years at the “Don Bosco Ashalayam” Salesian centre for youth at risk in Kolkata, left there last year to join a rugby school. Recently, he was selected by a Bollywood film director to play a role in “Jungle Cry”, a film based on the true story of the Indian Under 14 rugby team known as the “Jungle Crows” who won the London-based international school Rugby tournament, “Touraid” in 2007. Rajdeep is among 13 boys chosen from among more than 500 aspiring film actors.

                                                    The “Jungle Crows” club was made up of tribal boys trained by Indian coach Rudraksha Jena, from the “Kalinga” Institute of Social Sciences (played by Abhay Deol in the film, one of the greatest Bollywood stars), and by Paul Walsh OBE, a British diplomat who gave up his carrier to teach rugby to disadvantaged minors.

                                                    Rajdeep came to Great Britain in December 2018, more precisely to Wales, to do the shooting in three different rugby stadiums. On this occasion he explained that his stay at “Don Bosco Ashalayam” had helped him so much in public speaking – something that was obviously a decisive factor in his selection – and he was very grateful to the Salesians in Kolkata for this.

                                                    The young rugby player and actor also told how he and his two brothers and been rescued by a Salesian, Fr Mathew, at the Howrah railway station. In fact, although their father was still alive, he had been unable to maintain and educate them, and had it not been for the Salesians they would have spent their lives on the street.

                                                    Shortly before returning to India it was also possible for Rajdeep, together with another boy who had stayed at “Don Bosco Ashalayam”, to meet the British woman who had funded their education through an overseas program during their time at the home for youth at risk in Kolkata.

                                                    “It was a wonderful encounter and a dream come true for Rajdeep”, said Fr Andrew Ebrahim. On their return to the hotel, Fr Ebrahim, who had coordinated all the movements, also succeeded in bringing the two boys to the Salesian community at Chertsey, and both of them were very happy to get to know and be able to personally thank people involved for years in helping youngsters like them to be able to be given attention and opportunities.

                                                    The film director is a Salesian past pupil from Mumbai who hopes to return to London in May for the film’s preview.

                                                    Source: Salesians UK

                                                    • Gran Bretagna
                                                    • GBR
                                                    • India
                                                    • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                    • Sport
                                                    • Exallievi
                                                    • Cinema
                                                    • Solidarietà
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Haiti – 12 January 2010 – 12 January 2019: 9 years later, Haiti continues to weep for its children

                                                      1 month ago
                                                      Haiti – 12 January 2010 – 12 January 2019: 9 years later, Haiti continues to weep for its children

                                                      (ANS – Port-au-Prince) – On 12 January last, exactly 9 years after the earthquake that shook Haiti, a Eucharistic celebration took place at the National School of Arts and Trades (ENAM, in French), the first Salesian house in Haiti. This ceremony, at which Fr Morachel Bonhomme, the Vice Provincial, presided, brought together a great number of Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, postnovices, prenovices, rectos, and teachers of the “Work of the Little Schools of Father Bonen” and students from the Salesian Normal School.

                                                      In his homily at the Mass, Fr Bonhomme explained to his listeners the importance of the spiritual life for every individual who professes to be a Christian. He then commented especially on the Gospel chosen for the occasion: Jesus and the death of his friend Lazarus. He thus recalled the dialogue between Jesus and Martha which begins with the woman’s profession of faith – “Lord, had you been here, my brother would not have died! But even now I know that you will ask God for something and he will grant it to you” – and it concludes with Jesus’ promise: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live”.

                                                      The Vice Provincial then went on to explain to the faithful gathered there that we need to always be ready to encounter the Lord and that all of human existence belongs to God.

                                                      This celebration brought many memories to light for those present, and they remembered the many students who died in the earthquake, as well as the three victims from among the spiritual sons of Don Bosco, Salesian Brother Hubert Sanon, the first Haitian Salesian, and two young Salesians in formation.

                                                      Nine years later the Salesians in Haiti are picking up the consequences of the earthquake on 12 January 2010, and the Rinaldi Foundation, the Planning and Development Office, continue to carry out the work of coordination of funds for the communities. Furthermore, the Work of the Little Schools of Father Bohnen, situated at the centre of La Saline and Cité Soleil, two fo the largest shanty towns in Port-au-Prince, continue to serve thousands of children and young migrants, and the Salesians in Haiti, following the invitation that the then Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez made to them, continue working to be “makers of history, sentinels of dawn and prophets of hope”.

                                                      {gallery}HAI - Ricordo anniversario{/gallery}

                                                      • Haiti
                                                      • HAI
                                                      • Anniversari
                                                      • Disastri
                                                      • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Democratic Republic of Congo – Solidarity in support of education for families affected by the fire last August

                                                        1 month ago
                                                        Democratic Republic of Congo – Solidarity in support of education for families affected by the fire last August

                                                        (ANS – Bukavu) – On17 August 2018 a devastating fire broke out between Irambo and Pesage roads, in the area of Nyalukemba in Bukavu. It destroyed more than 300 houses built with wooden planks and very close to one another. “I wrote to various friends in Europe, asking for help for the families who lost everything in the fire. I received a beautiful response of generosity”, comments Fr Piero Gavioli, Salesian missionary in the country for more than 35 years.

                                                        With the agreement of the diocesan Caritas, the Salesian missionary decided to help families who needed to pay school fees for their children who attend the primary school. “The leaders of the Christian communities in these districts carried out a serious survey in houses and schools, and drew up a list of children to be helped” the missionary recounts.

                                                        At Irambo, the Don Bosco Centre took in more than a hundred minors. Recently, a social worker from the Don Bosco Centre at Bukavu, Bienvenu Karume, visited the families affected by the fire and were able to see that some families had received help in materials or money from public or private bodies, and had begun to rebuild their houses. But since the authorities had not taken measures to help the inhabitants to build according to the standards of the urban planning regulations, the same errors as in the past have been repeated.

                                                        “Dad built a house out of sheet metal in which we spend the night, but in very difficult conditions, without a bed, mattress or good blankets. It is rather cold…” says Lea, a 12-year-old and sixth of nine children.

                                                        “With help received in aid-in-kind and money, my father rebuilt the house, but it is not yet finished or furnished; we are already living there but it is tough” adds Ahana Babwine, 10 years old, the eighth of ten children.

                                                        The families who have returned to their homes have to tackle many difficulties: many houses are made of tin, the rooms are not separated by solid walls and are often lacking everything. Furthermore, when it rains they are also victims of flooding because the district is on swampy ground which is not appropriate for building on.

                                                        Hence the Don Bosco Centre has preferred to invest help received in a school for the children. At least, thanks to national and international solidarity, almost all the children of the district are enrolled in school and, with the hope that comes from education, can perhaps build a better future for themselves and their families.

                                                        • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                                        • AFC
                                                        • Disastri
                                                        • Solidarietà
                                                        • Povertà
                                                        • Educazione
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Italy – Spirituality Days, the Rector Major hands over the 7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family

                                                          1 month ago
                                                          Italy – Spirituality Days, the Rector Major hands over the 7 beatitudes of the Salesian Family

                                                          (ANS – Turin) – The final session of the 37th Salesian Family Spirituality Days took place on Sunday 13 January. After solemn Mass in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, which saw the participation of 16 Major Superiors or Presidents of various groups of the Salesian Family, a summary of what had been shared among the 350 participants was made in the grand theatre at Valdocco.

                                                          Earlier, on Saturday the 12th, Prof. Francesc Torralba from Barcelona, starting out from Pope Francis’ Magisterium, had shown how the road to holiness is always one that leads us to go out of ourselves. Following this, Sr Lucy Nderi, FMA, and a young leader, Elisa, spoke of their experience of taking part in the activities of the recent Synod.

                                                          Then, after the round table discussion involving 8 members of the Salesian Family who shared their personal discovery of the call to Salesian holiness, the third day concluded with the Musical “Arte di Giò”.

                                                          On Sunday, at the conclusion of these days which have been so rich in inspiration, testimonies and reflections, Fr Á.F. Artime insisted, during the Mass, on three fundamental concepts on the road to holiness: unity which overcomes barriers;  a missionary outlook which helps by accepting others; community which makes our witness to communion credible.

                                                          Finally, in the theatre, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco presented the “Seven beatitudes of the Salesian family”, drawn up by the various working groups over these days.

                                                          #HOLINESS FOR YOU TOO: THE BEATITUDES OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY

                                                          1. Blessed is the Salesian Family that finds joy in poverty, imbued with God’s grace, it will work amongst the poorest and marginalised youth – this is holiness!

                                                          2. Blessed is the Salesian Family that embodies the docility and love of the Good Shepherd. It thus welcomes and accompanies youth with loving kindness, forming them toward dialogue and the welcoming of diversity - this is holiness!

                                                          3. Blessed is the Salesian Family that accompanies others, heals the wounds of those who suffer and gives hope to those who feel hopeless, thus bringing the joy of the Risen Christ – this is holiness!

                                                          4. Blessed is the Salesian Family that hungers and thirsts for justice and accompanies youth on their mission to actualise their life project within their families, in the workplace, and within political and social commitment – this is holiness!

                                                          5. Blessed is the Salesian Family that has a living experience of mercy, opening its eyes and heart to active listening and forgiving. It thus becomes a home that welcomes others – this is holiness!

                                                          6. Blessed is the Salesian Family that seeks to be authentic, whole and transparent whilst cultivating a loving gaze that goes beyond appearances and recognises the grace of God within each person – this is holiness!

                                                          7. Blessed is the Salesian Family, that draws from the truth of the Gospel and remains faithful to the charism of Don Bosco. It thus becomes yeast for a new humanity and joyfully embraces the joy of the Cross for the Kingdom of God – this is holiness!

                                                          A new video was also presented at the conclusion of the Spirituality Days. It is hope that it can be an aid for presenting the Strenna 2019 to youngsters (and not only them). The video, which was much appreciated by those present, is available on ANSChannel

                                                          The photos of the Days are available on ANSFlickr.

                                                          Further information is available on the website dedicated to the Days: http://salesianfamilydays.com 

                                                          Videos of the principal live moments are available on the ANS Facebook page.

                                                          • Italia
                                                          • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                          • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                          • Santità
                                                          • Rettor Maggiore
                                                          • Sinodo sui Giovani
                                                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Italy - Don Bosco's school yesterday and today

                                                            1 month ago
                                                            Italy - Don Bosco's school yesterday and today

                                                            (ANS - Turin) – A second day of work and reflection for the participants of the Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family. The good morning was given by the prayer of praise animated by the choir of the Novices of Pinerolo.

                                                            To Fr Aldo Giraudo, professor of Salesian History at the Salesian Pontifical University, the task of warming up the assembly with the first meeting; its theme: "Holiness at the school of Don Bosco."

                                                            Domenico Savio finds himself with his heart set on fire by the preaching of Don Bosco. Not only did he want to be a saint, he truly needed to.


                                                            Starting from this analysis of the life of the Saint what are the secrets that he has left us as an inheritance? Four, the ideas offered by the analysis of Fr Aldo. First of all, the desire to "Give oneself to God" in time and with totality borne of the idea; secondly, that it is easy to become saints. A journey that must then be supported with a journey of personal and apostolic asceticism so as to be able to experience daily life in living in the presence of God.

                                                            In the testimony of Fr Damir Stojic, a Salesian from Croatia, a concrete pastoral experience addressed to young university students was presented, embodying one of the different ways of today making the Good Christians and Honest Citizens of St. John Bosco current.

                                                            The afternoon was dedicated to the visit of the places of holiness: Valdocco, Cottolengo, the Oratory of the Marchesa Barolo and the surrounding streets, a real and proper itinerary not only of the city but a spiritual journey to enable, in the spirit of pilgrims, entering the secrets of the histories of holiness that have preceded us.

                                                            Returning to the theater, at the end of this beautiful experience divided by linguistic groups, the group of participants were welcomed by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni with a talk dedicated to holiness in the Salesian Family.

                                                            • Italia
                                                            • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                            • Don Bosco
                                                              Jesus Jurado

                                                              Cambodia - Samai and Phirun recover their childhood at "Don Bosco Kep"

                                                              1 month ago

                                                              (ANS - Kep) - In Cambodia, one of the world's poorest countries, the most vulnerable population is exposed to the risks deriving from exploitation, the depredation of natural resources and climate change. Samai and Phirun are two boys aged 11 and 13. "Both were exploited in the brick factory where they worked to earn some money and help their families," says Fr Albeiro Rodas, Salesian missionary at Kep.

                                                              Together with Samai and Phirun lives Danith, aged 16; at 11 he lost his sight and his family, as they abandoned him in the streets. And also Meng, Dara, Pinch ... and so on until one arrives at the total of 50 children who are part of the "Brother Sun" program that welcomes and hosts vulnerable children. "It's amazing how in a few weeks these children, who lived without a childhood, recover their smiles, their games ... They return definitively to what a natural childhood should be," explains Fr Albeiro.

                                                              To the "children of the sun", as they are called, there are another 300 children and young people between the ages of 3 and 22, who receive education and vocational training in the Salesian Don Bosco Kep. "Every child, every young person, also represents a family, almost always of peasants and of low income, which includes indigenous families, children and young people with physical disabilities, girls and young women at risk of exploitation, children and young people who may end up in networks of trafficking and illegal emigration," says the missionary, explaining the situation in which the children cared for are initially found.

                                                              At the technical school of Don Bosco Kep the young people, about 200 per course, receive vocational training in electro-technical skills, media, secretarial work, hotel management and programming. "This is a great opportunity for these young people, who see a previously unimaginable future open up," the people at Kep explain.

                                                              "We are very happy this year because we have been able to complete some buildings for the development of our programs, such as a new electrical department and a kiosk by the sea, where students can carry out their internship", adds Fr Rodas. "And we have also launched a project to sell our products, so as to increase our sustainability as a center." This new 2019 year shall hence continue to be a year of challenges in Kep.

                                                              • Cambogia
                                                              • Scuole
                                                              • Formazione Professionale
                                                              • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                              • THA
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Italy - Spirituality Days of SF, the Rector Major: "Witness with our lives, believe in holiness in everyday life and demonstrate it"

                                                                1 month ago

                                                                (ANS - Turin) - The 2019 Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family (GSFS) officially opened on the afternoon of Thursday, 10 January. Participants experienced their first moment of reflection in the grand theater of Valdocco, listening to the words of the Father and the center of unity of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who deepened and presented the message of the Strenna 2019: "'So that my joy be in you' (Jn 15,11). Holiness for you too."

                                                                Fr Enrico Stasi, Provincial of the Salesians of Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta and Lithuania, gave a warm welcome to the participants from all over the world, while Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, underscored: "This experience allows us to better understand what the Spirit has done with Don Bosco and continues to renew in our groups and in each of us."

                                                                Fr Á.F. Artime then spoke of the reasons that led him to choose the theme of the Strenna: through the phrases of Pope Francis, through the witness of life of all the Saints of the Salesian Family, through the witness of Mary, through Jesus and through the "Indicators of holiness."

                                                                "To believe, to hope and to love. These are the teachings of Mary, woman of the here I am ... Sainthood is reserved for everyone, not just a few! It is a goal that is reached in an instant, but only if there is a progressive path to travel upon, easy and pleasant, but it must be robust or else it will fall into the superficial!"

                                                                The Rector Major then invited everyone to seek holiness in daily life and to bear witness of Holiness for others, for the young: "There is no need for consecrated people to tell young people what to do with their lives, to tell them what's good and what's not. It is necessary that, looking into our eyes, they can say: it's true, what they say is true! We must see happiness, joy, so that they can believe what we tell them, what we talk to them about. This is for all of us. Bear witness with our lives, believe in holiness in everyday life, and demonstrate it."

                                                                He concluded his speech by speaking of the "Indices of Holiness", to make it clear that being Saints is possible for everyone:

                                                                - live everyday life as a meeting place;
                                                                - be people and communities of prayer;
                                                                - develop the fruits of the Holy Spirit;
                                                                - practice virtue;
                                                                - witness the communion;
                                                                - understand that everyone's life is a mission;
                                                                - look for simplicity in the Gospel;
                                                                - grow in small gestures.

                                                                The photos of the Days are available on ANSFlickr.

                                                                Further information is available on the website dedicated to the Days: http://salesianfamilydays.com 

                                                                For updates, please visit the Facebook page of ANS, which hosts the live broadcast of the main moments.

                                                                • Italia
                                                                • ICP
                                                                • Valdocco
                                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                • Santità
                                                                • Strenna 2019
                                                                • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                                • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

                                                                  1 month ago
                                                                  Lebanon - Farewell to Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, SDB

                                                                  (ANS - Al Fidar) - "A man so pure, sweet, profound as Monsignor Armando is something that cannot be found". With these words, a friend of Msgr. Armando Bortolaso, Salesian bishop emeritus of the Latins in Syria, presented his condolences in learning the news of the Monsignor's death. Bishop Bortolaso concluded his earthly journey on January 8, at the age of 92.

                                                                  A journey that had begun in Castagnero, province of Vicenza, in 1926, and which had embraced the lands of the Middle East since the years of Salesian formation. After 70 years spent in the region, his pilgrimage ended in Lebanon, in the Salesian community, where he chose to settle at the end of his decennial episcopal service (from 1992 to 2002) as an apostolic vicar of Aleppo.

                                                                  Having arrived in the Middle East in 1949 as a cleric, he began his service in Istanbul, Turkey. Ordained a priest in Jerusalem in 1953, he exercised his Salesian mission in various houses in the Holy Land, but above all in Aleppo, where he was repeatedly director and where he was nominated as a bishop.

                                                                  He was also strongly tied to the Focolarini movement, indeed, as bishop, he played a role of animation among the bishops who were friends of the movement, both at local, regional, international and also ecumenical levels (with Orthodox and Protestant bishops), in full light of his Salesian identity, which became him to affirm, making himself esteemed and loved by all for his humility, meekness, goodness, simplicity, delicacy and profound spirituality.

                                                                  As a bishop in Syria, he also won the friendship of Muslim religious leaders, with whom he fostered and maintained a relationship. The mourning for his loss is widespread.

                                                                  • Libano
                                                                  • MOR
                                                                  • Decessi
                                                                  • Vescovi
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Liberia - A vocational project in the Salesian style

                                                                    1 month ago
                                                                    Liberia - A vocational project in the Salesian style

                                                                    (ANS - Monrovia) – After 15 years of civil war, and then hit by an epidemic of Ebola that claimed thousands of victims, has left Liberia an extremely poor country. The data are merciless: 63.8% of Liberians live below the poverty line; life expectancy is only 63.3 years; a quarter of the population (about 4.6 million) has no access to drinking water and only 16.9% have adequate health services. Just over half of the inhabitants are illiterate. To foster a positive reaction in the face of many and such problems, the Salesians focus on Vocational Training.

                                                                    Back in 1991, in the middle of the civil war, the Salesians built the "Don Bosco Technical High School" in Monrovia, the capital. It is a school that provides primary, middle and high school education and is currently considered one of the best high schools in the city and in all of Liberia.

                                                                    Now the Sons of Don Bosco in Liberia want to start a new department of vocational training for electrotechnicians. A course that is open in the afternoon to high school students to offer an integration to their educational path; and in the morning to young workers to help them obtain a certification of their skills and help implement their capacities according to the demands of the world of work.

                                                                    The initiative includes the renovation of an existing space in the school and its transformation into a workshop, and to open it annually to 90 high school students and 30 uncertified electricians.

                                                                    The project aims to respond to the needs of the labor market while at the same time aligning itself with the national policy on technical and vocational training. The aim is to position the proposed activities as a model for the future development of its axis of intervention.

                                                                    For more information, visit: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                                                    • Liberia
                                                                    • Formazione Professionale
                                                                    • AFW
                                                                    • Missioni Don Bosco
                                                                    • Missioni
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      RMG - Salesian Family on the road to holiness: Spirituality Days 2019

                                                                      1 month 1 week ago
                                                                      RMG - Salesian Family on the road to holiness: Spirituality Days 2019

                                                                      (ANS - Rome) - The XXXVII Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family take place from tomorrow, Thursday 10 January, to Sunday 13, at Turin-Valdocco, an event that every year attracts hundreds of people from all over the world and  gives them a chance to grow in awareness of belonging to the special spiritual and apostolic family born with St. John Bosco.

                                                                      As is tradition, the Days are an opportunity for a community-wide reflection on the Rector Major's Strenna. This year, continuing along the guideline traced by Pope Francis with his "Gaudete et Exsultate", Fr Ángel Fernández Artime shall offer the opportunity to deepen the reflection on holiness lived and experienced every day, well expressed by the motto: "Holiness for you, too."

                                                                      Certainly, we cannot help but take full advantage of the possibilities offered by the celebration of the Days in the city of Turin itself. "We shall live these days in the shadow of Mary Help of Christians and from the sanctuary of Valdocco, from which devotion to the Virgin Help of Christians spread throughout the world," said Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family.

                                                                      Fr Joan Lluís Playa, central assistant of the Don Bosco Volunteers, both male and female sections, as well as being the organizer of the Days, also underlines the importance of the pilgrimage of holiness at Valdocco: "a path to the discovery of holiness in the Salesian Family, to be accomplished on the places of the saints originating in that land."

                                                                      Across the various conferences, talks shall start from the subject of holiness to the school of Don Bosco, touching upon the typically Salesian connotation of holiness, to arrive at identifying the possibilities that each member of the Salesian Family has to be holy in their own daily life, simply by spending one's self in one's own mission.

                                                                      The progress made by the Church and the SF in 2018 will also be highlighted via the sharing of the experiences of young people and religious who participated in the Youth Pre-Synod of March 2018; and thanks to several testimonies and good practices specially selected on the theme of youth accompaniment - an accompaniment oriented to holiness.

                                                                      Accompanying the talks, as always, shall be the festive climate and Salesian joy, and moments of shared spirituality, with the Days ending Sunday with the concluding Mass and the summary intervention of the Rector Major.

                                                                      Further information is available on the website dedicated to the Days: http://salesianfamilydays.com 

                                                                      For updates, please visit the Facebook page of ANS, which will host the live broadcast of the main moments as below:

                                                                      January 10th
                                                                      4:30 pm - Welcome
                                                                      17:45 - Strenna presentation

                                                                      11 January
                                                                      09:00 - Conference
                                                                      10:30 - Experience

                                                                      12 January
                                                                      09:00 - Conference
                                                                      15:30 - Round Table
                                                                      8:45 pm - Feast of Holiness

                                                                      January 13th
                                                                      09:30 - Mass
                                                                      11:00 - Final meeting

                                                                      All times are expressed in local time (UTC+1)

                                                                      • RMG
                                                                      • Italia
                                                                      • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                      • Giornate di Spiritualità della FS
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Malta – People are more important

                                                                        1 month 1 week ago
                                                                        Malta – People are more important

                                                                        (ANS – Sliema) – The Salesians were among 46 groups and NGOs urging Europe’s governments to take action in favour of the migrants stranded on two boats between Malta and Sicily as bad weather caused ferry companies to cancel passenger services in the Mediterranean:

                                                                        We are appalled beyond words that, after 18 days of negotiations, 49 men, women and children remain stuck on a boat within sight of the Maltese shore.

                                                                        In spite of countless calls for solidarity, European Member States have not managed to find a diplomatic solution to the current impasse.

                                                                        This is nothing short of tragic and shameful. It can only mean that we have completely lost our humanity – as a people and a union of states that supposedly upholds the values of solidarity, respect for human rights and human dignity.

                                                                        We acknowledge the complex issues this situation raises, and agree that it is a European challenge requiring a European solution. However, this cannot be an excuse to abdicate our own responsibility, as individuals and as a nation, to save lives at any cost. The duty to save lives is not only a legal but also a moral imperative which can never be subjected to political conditions, such as the availability of concrete offers of relocation or the fear of creating a precedent.

                                                                        At this point, the question we must answer is simple: what is more important, scoring political points, or saving lives?

                                                                        For us, the undersigned organisations, there can be only one answer: people are more important.

                                                                        Today we are here to take a stand for life and dignity. We call on Malta to prioritize life and open its doors today.

                                                                        • Malta
                                                                        • MLT
                                                                        • Migranti
                                                                        • ONG
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Spain - "Your task: to change the world": Salesians encourage youth to discover their vocation to changing the world

                                                                          1 month 1 week ago

                                                                          (ANS - Madrid) - In this month that ends with the celebration of the feast of Don Bosco, the Salesians of Spain have launched a campaign to motivate and inspire children, adolescents and young people to recognize their vocation: "Your task: to change the world."

                                                                          "In the face of the unjust realities that surround us (poverty, corruption, war, death, exploitation, selfishness ...) our eyes often and, above all our hearts, feel compassion. Like Jesus of Nazareth we feel called to take up the challenge of 'changing the world' starting from our faith, from what God asks us to be and to live in our daily lives. God is counting on us to make His Kingdom a reality! Our qualities and talents are a good tool in this task, provided we make them available to others, as Don Bosco did with the poorest youth in Turin," the promoters of the Salesian campaign said.

                                                                          The general objective of the campaign is to propose a focus of faith on one's own life, which can help to discover the deepest essence of oneself and reveal the vocational proposal that God has for each one of us: a mission that fills life with meaning and reasons to build a better world.

                                                                          For this reason a promotional video was released in which the vocation "speaks" and asks to be discovered. It presents itself as the engine to fight injustice and promote a more human and at the same time a world "more of God."

                                                                          To make this campaign alive, various resources have been set up, which are already available to educators, animators, religious, catechists and other pastoral agents of Salesian houses, so that they can use them in class, in youth centers, in parishes, in social platforms and related.

                                                                          The materials for the 2019 vocational campaign are available at www.sersalesiano.com, distributed according to the various users. In this way, vocational culture can be extended to all Salesian environments.

                                                                          • SSM
                                                                          • Vocazioni
                                                                          • Spagna
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            Italy - New academic courses of Salesian Pontifical University in Soverato: university formation of educators

                                                                            1 month 1 week ago
                                                                            Italy - New academic courses of Salesian Pontifical University in Soverato: university formation of educators

                                                                            (ANS - Soverato) - The University “Don Giorgio Pratesi” of Soverato, in the province of Catanzaro, Calabria, affiliated to the Faculty of Educational Sciences of the "Pontifical Salesian University" (UPS) of Rome, inaugurated its first Academic Year on Friday 21 December.

                                                                            by Veronica Petrocchi

                                                                            Present at the official ceremony were, among others: Fr Angelo Santorsola, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Southern Italy (IME), and the Director of the Institute, Prof. Rosa Fiore. The prolusion was entrusted to the Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Fr Mario Oscar Llanos, while the Rector Magnifico of the UPS, Fr Mauro Mantovani, solemnly inaugurated the academic year.

                                                                            "For a long time we have pursued the dream of activating in Calabria a place of formation for education professionals so that, starting too from the long and significant experience of the Salesians in Soverato, it may constitute a driving force for cultural change oriented to the centrality of the person, to the inclusion and the promotion of social justice," explained Prof. Fiore.

                                                                            The Rector Magnificus of the UPS and the Dean of the FSE, for their part, confirmed the importance of this center, "University of Educators", as a contribution of the Salesian Pontifical University for university formation within a territory that is rich in history, culture and hopes.

                                                                            The institute "Don Giorgio Pratesi" was born from an intuition of the Centro Reggino di Solidarietà, of the Calabrese Center of Solidarity and of the Istituto Universitario Progetto Uomo of Montefiascone (Viterbo). It is dedicated to the memory of Fr Pratesi (1920-2000) a Salesian priest who was founder of the "Justice and Peace" Commission in the Diocese of Locri-Gerace, and who in a territory marked by the presence of the 'Ndrangheta, knew how to promote comprehensive and integral human formation of the young and of the whole population in favor of the common good. To commemorate him, the University Institute has adopted the olive tree as its symbol.

                                                                            For further information, please visit: www.istitutouniversitariopratesi.it/

                                                                            {gallery}IME - UPS centro Soverato{/gallery}

                                                                            • Italia
                                                                            • IME
                                                                            • UPS
                                                                            • IUS
                                                                            • Università
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Chile - It's never too late to be a saint

                                                                              1 month 1 week ago
                                                                              Chile - It's never too late to be a saint

                                                                              (ANS - Santiago) - Over 120 children, adolescents and young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of the "Camilo Ortuzar Montt" Salesian Lyceum in Santiago participated in a camp-retreat at the Las Peñas house on 19-21 December to reflect on the theme of the Rector Major's 2019 Strenna: "Holiness for you, too."

                                                                              This experience was necessary to consolidate the path of integration and identity of the SYM of the "Camilo Ortuzar Montt" Lyceum, which was formed in 2014 by gathering members of various groups: the "Missionary Childhood", the "Domenico Savio" clubs, the "Meeting of the Children in the Spirit", the "Salesian Apostolic Communities" and recently "The Small Children of Valdocco."

                                                                              The children and young people were accompanied by adults who also experienced this oratory space of formation and recreation wherein to share a few days of youthful joy, Christian life, friendship, fresh air, recreation and sanctity.

                                                                              During the work days, the participants were invited to look at the three fundamental sacraments to live holiness, that is: Baptism, to be "new men and women"; Reconciliation, to be aware that "God is with me in the struggle"; and the Eucharist, "Bread broken and shared". Moreover, on the last day, the call to be a missionary of holiness was developed: "For the world, but not of the world".

                                                                              Various recreational activities took place, such as: sports, artistic and cultural workshops, walks ... accompanied by moments of prayer and meditation, following the example of Domenico Savio, who discovered at the Oratory of Valdocco that "here we make holiness consist in being very happy and doing our duty well."

                                                                              At the closing Eucharist of the camp, a boy from the Missionary Childhood, was much moved emotionally, thanked everyone for the days experienced together and said to his friends: "it's never too late to be holy ...".

                                                                              • Cile
                                                                              • CIL
                                                                              • Strenna 2019
                                                                              • Ragazzi
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Spain - European Seminar for Salesian Brothers

                                                                                1 month 1 week ago
                                                                                Spain - European Seminar for Salesian Brothers

                                                                                (ANS - Barcelona) - Thirty-eight Salesians Coadjutors of the two Salesian regions of Europe - Mediterranean and Central and Northern Europe - will gather from 17 to 21 January at the Martí Codolar center in Barcelona, Spain, to participate in the European seminar dedicated to deepening the figure of the Salesian Coadjutor.

                                                                                The purpose of the gathering is to reflect on today's Salesian Brotherhood, starting from the perspective of the Magisterium of the Church, of the Salesian Congregation and of the Congregation for Institutes of Religious Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and present the Salesian Lay figure in a modern way, discussing their roles, functions and tasks, challenges and opportunities.

                                                                                Guiding the meeting's activities is Fr Pascual Chávez, who will introduce several specific themes through conferences, which will be followed by sessions for personal reflection and discussion in individual groups and with the assembly.

                                                                                Each of the three work days will be devoted to discussing a specific issue: first the identity, then the mission, and finally the formation and profile of the Salesian Coadjutor. Finally, on the last day, a review of what is produced and the identification of prospects will take place.

                                                                                "The shared reflection, in the form of a seminar, starting from one's own personal experience is fundamental," explained the organizer of the meeting, Fr Francisco Santos, member of the Dicastery for Formation. "For this reason, we asked each participant to bring with him materials developed in their respective provinces, both of vocational proposals, and of the apostolic and work experiences they've done. It will serve to much enrich our meeting, and they will be good practices to share in the reflection on the figure of the Salesian lay person today."

                                                                                At the seminar, all the provinces of Europe will be represented, at least with one participant. In addition, the choice of the location of the seminar is not accidental: the Salesian center of Martì Codolar, in fact, hosts, in addition to the "Don Bosco" Center for Religious Studies, the new "Zatti Community" for the Specific Formation of Salesian Brothers of Europe.

                                                                                • Spagna
                                                                                • Salesiani Coadiutori
                                                                                • Europe
                                                                                • Europa Centro Nord
                                                                                • Mediterranea
                                                                                • Pascual Chávez
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana