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Guatemala – New member of Missions Department makes his first missionary visit: Fr Giuseppe Nguyen

1 month 2 weeks ago
Guatemala – New member of Missions Department makes his first missionary visit: Fr Giuseppe Nguyen

(ANS - Guatemala City) - "I dreamed that I accompanied the Salesian missionaries on their trip to South America and that they asked me to give them some advice. And I dreamed that I said to them: - 'You will do very well, do much good ... Have a great desire to save souls, a lot of pity and a lot of enthusiasm to promote the glory of God and the spiritual good of others." It is nice to remember the words of Don Bosco to a group of Salesian missionaries on January 31, 1885. This desire of the Saint is still very valid and current for the Salesians. And who directly carries out this mission at the Congregation level? The General Councilor for Missions with a team of Salesians and lay people.

In recent months, several members of the team of the Missions Department have received other assignments, such as Fr Giovanni Rolandi, appointed Director of Colle Don Bosco, in Castelnuovo Don Bosco; and Fr Martín Lasarte, appointed Provincial of the Vice Province of Angola. It has also been just a few months since the Rector Major confirmed the obedience of Fr Giuseppe Nguyen Thinh Phuoc as a member of the Missions Department.

This Dicastery has numerous responsibilities, but the fundamental one is the Missionary Animation of all Salesian works. This is achieved by offering a monthly message through the digital magazine Cagliero 11, the preparation of the "Salesian Mission Day", the preparation of the missionaries who are sent every year, the missionary refresher courses, the accompaniment of the projects financed by the solidarity fund of the Rector Major, the accompaniment of the Salesian Mission Offices, the search for new frontiers of missionary work, and more.

Fr Nguyen was invited by the Rector Major to work in the Mission Department and his first mission was to accompany the members of the 150th Salesian Missionary Expedition, currently visiting Brazil, Guatemala and Ecuador. His work will focus on the accompaniment of new missionaries, the accompaniment of the missionary course at the Salesian Pontifical University and the Missionary Animation in America and Africa.

Fr Nguyen Thinh Phuoc, born on November 2, 1955, is originally from Quang Ngai, Vietnam. For his home Province, he was Councilor and Delegate for Formation.

In his recent stay in Guatemala, earlier this month, he talked about his work in Vietnam and the challenges presented by working with young people in a communist country. "The work of the Salesians was characterized by the technical-professional proposal, which was well seen by the government," he underscored. "We are all called to be missionaries; it is a fundamental dimension of the Salesian vocation."

  • Guatemala
  • Missioni
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy – Inter-generational Forum for common educational alliance: We are, We share, We care

    1 month 2 weeks ago
    Italy – Inter-generational Forum for common educational alliance: We are, We share, We care

    (ANS - Rome) - The dialogue between generations to revive the commitment towards a more open and inclusive education: this is the answer that the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) and the Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium" of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) have given to Pope Francis' invitation to prepare the "global compact on education." For this reason, a forum has been organized, its title: "We are, We share, We care." It shall be held at the "Opera Nazionale delle Città dei Ragazzi" in Rome, a symbolic site of youth participation and protagonism, The date: Saturday 22 February. Young people and adults, students and teachers, workers, entrepreneurs and institutions shall meet to together develop a common educational alliance.

    The Forum wishes to "revive the commitment for and with the younger generations, renewing the passion for a more open and inclusive education, capable of patient listening, constructive dialogue and mutual understanding."

    Three of the event's generating values:

    • We are: being there firsthand, not keeping or staying out of the course of global, local, personal history. Everyone, young and old, can choose to be there, present.
    • We share: share and participate. Dialogue is essential to build the "culture of the encounter, of meeting", to change the model of global development, to reorient globalization towards relationality.
    • We care: get involved personally in understanding the implications of our being a single human family.

    The Salesian Pontifical University and the Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium" believe that, in the current social context, it is necessary to open spaces for dialogue and mutual accompaniment, make educational alliances between all the protagonists of social life and rediscover the importance of education.

    "We must seek together new forms of active participation of young people and adults born from creative sharing, from the involvement of all," say the promoters of the initiative.

    The specificity of the forum is given by the methodology used, which will be divided into three stages:

    • Groups of dialogue by membership (children, educators, young workers, etc.) - who will answer a series of questions;
    • Moderated comparison groups, where the same groups are involved in a dialogue;
    • Finally the General Assembly - where each moderated comparison group shares its summary.

    For more information, visit the dedicated pages on the websites of the two Salesian universities: UPS and Auxilium.

    • Italia
    • UPS UNIVERSITÀ PONTIFICIA SALESIANA
    • Educazione
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Venezuela – Rector Major: "I'm moved, seeing my Salesian confreres serene, despite difficulties"

      1 month 2 weeks ago

      (ANS - Caracas) - The Rector Major's Animation Visit to the "San Luca" Province of Venezuela, which took place from 6 to 11 February, has ended. On the last day of his visit, the Rector Major offered his words to the provincial community. His last message was like what Don Bosco wrote to Miguel Rua: "My thoughts always fly where I have my treasure in Jesus Christ, my dear children."

      During the Eucharist with the Directors of the Salesian works in Venezuela he opened his heart to them: "Brothers, these days have been extremely special; I bring a lot of Salesian life with me. I continue to see how God acts through you on behalf of many young people. And I am moved because I see my Salesian confreres serene, upright, even in the midst of this very difficult situation that you are experiencing in your country. You are giving this testimony so it can be seen that we work with God."

      During his dialogue with his confreres, Fr Á.F. Artime highlighted various elements that underlie Salesian work in such a difficult context as the present one in Venezuela. "We are living a prophetic moment for our charism." Then he listed  10 elements that must accompany the Salesian work in Venezuela:

      1. We are living a providential moment and I invite you to share life with young people and people;
      2. Organize a more lively Youth Ministry with open spaces in our presences;
      3. Maintain the apostolic ingenuity to fulfill a meaningful proposal of educational; associations, youth prayers, narrate the experiences of missionary voluntary service: this is the way;
      4. Young people have their dreams, which is why they need us to accompany them;
      5. The difficult times have been fruitful times for vocations, but be careful to maintain the purity of motivations;

      6. You have many opportunities in favor of the youth mission, but form young leaders, formed for the common good, also with the dream of being Salesians;
      7. You have among you some lay people among you with a Salesian passion that surpass us, continue to form them;
      8. Never sit back. Getting stuck in a place or condition is the danger that obscures the meaning of our life;
      9. Generous dedication to mission is the way to overcome and learn from trials;
      10. Have great trust in God and in our Mother, Mary Help of Christians.

      Finally, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco said he was returning to Rome happy because he had met "whole, upright Salesians", "young and courageous dreamers", "lay enthusiasts of the Salesian charism". At the end of the meeting, the new Provincial, Fr Rafael Bernardo Montenegro Latouche, thanked him for coming "like a father, to confirm us in our vocational fidelity."

      {gallery}VEN - Fine Visita RM 2020{/gallery}

      More photos on ANSFlickr

      • Venezuela
      • VEN VENEZUELA
      • Rettor Maggiore
      • Ángel Fernández Artime
      • Visita di Animazione
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Italy – Feeding the needy, involving young people: a canteen for the poor at "Tempio Don Bosco"

        1 month 2 weeks ago

        (ANS - Rome) - A new Caritas canteen for the poor was inaugurated on Sunday, 2 February, in the "San Giovanni Bosco" parish in the Tuscolano district of Rome. There are already 200 volunteers who have guaranteed their availability to guarantee the service, which will include, in addition to providing meals, medical and nursing consultancy, the possibility of offering showers, distribution of clothing and a dedicated listening center.

        Inaugurating the canteen on Sunday was Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar of the Holy Father for the diocese of Rome.

        “At the prefecture level, we work very well, especially as regards charity. There is a lot of attention and sensitivity towards those who need help," said Fr Roberto Colameo, who started as parish priest at the "Tempio Don Bosco" just five months ago.

        Educational charity for young people and charity for the neighborhood's poor and needy are the two pillars on which parish ministry is based and which merge into a single charism with the start of the new canteen.

        "We have made new spaces for our work available to the XX Prefecture, right at the entrance to the oratory," adds Fr Roberto. "We also want to involve young people in service to others, to invite them to engage in what will not be a simple canteen, but a personal service desk open four days a week."

        The inauguration of the structure took place as part of the events calendar for the feast day of Don Bosco and for the 60th anniversary of the basilica's construction. The church is the largest parish in Rome for number of inhabitants. "Officially there are 45,000, but at least 10,000 unregistered people live in the neighborhood," explains the parish priest. "The population has gradually aged and we are therefore witnessing a generational change with a good presence of young people."

        Another "record" of the church is the imposing dome, which in size is only slightly smaller than the Pantheon's and St Peter's. "In sixty years, we've received the visit of four saints," adds Fr Roberto, namely John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

        The heart of the Salesian parish could not but be the oratory, where all the Youth Ministry is carried out. "For us, it is the sign of a home that welcomes, a parish that evangelizes, a courtyard wherein to meet, a school that starts one to life," concluded Fr Colameo.

        • Italia
        • ICC ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE CENTRALE
        • Oratorio
        • Povertà
        • Fame
        • Società
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Thailand – SIHM ended their XII General Chapter

          1 month 2 weeks ago
          Thailand – SIHM ended their XII General Chapter

          (ANS – Ratchaburi) – On 5 February 2020, the XII General Chapter of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Ratchaburi Province, with the theme “Sisters of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: The Living Message of the Mission of Love and Service in the Midst of the Present World”, ended with the election of the new General Superior and her Council.

          The Chapter Assembly held the vote, confirming the General Superior of the Congregation, namely Sr. Maria Gorretti Maliwan Porramatwirote, elected for the second time, who will serve from 2020 to 2025.

          The Assembly also chose the Council Members of the General Superior:

          –     Vicar General and Councilor for Ongoing Formation: Sr. Maria Sompong Thabping;

          –     Councilor for Initial Formation:  Sr. Bernadette Meena Phuengphornphra;

          –     Councilor for Mission and Youth Ministry:  Sr. Agnes Nilubol Thivakorn;

          –     Councilor for Education:  Sr. Maria Dararat Phengphinit;

          –     Councilor for Financial Administration:  Sr. Theresa Utsanee Hembutr;

          –     Councilor for Secretariate Duties:  Sr. Bernadette Utumporn Saelow.

          Mother Maria Gorretti Maliwan Porramatwirote was born on 22 June 1954 in Don Krabueang, Banpong Municipality, Ratchaburi Province. She made her First Religious Profession on 6 May 1973 and her Perpetual Religious Profession on 3 May 1982.

          She has got a Bachelor's Degree in Education; Salesian Spirituality at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome.

          Among her previous responsibilities, she was General Superior from 2015 to 2020, and has twice been Vicar.

          “I am grateful to all the Sisters for your trust. Alone I cannot do much. But I am ready to be an instrument of God in accepting His divine plan,” said the Mother General upon accepting the election results.

          Then she added: “I believe in the guidance of God and the collaboration of the Councilors and the Sisters, especially in fulfilment of our mission according to the theme of the 12th General Chapter.”

          SIHM Social Communication Office

          • Thailandia
          • THA THAILANDIA
          • Famiglia Salesiana
          • Suore Ancelle del Cuore Immacolato di Maria
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Venezuela – Rector Major to educators: “Betting on education is the best answer we can offer to our young people”

            1 month 2 weeks ago
            Venezuela – Rector Major to educators: “Betting on education is the best answer we can offer to our young people”

            (ANS - Caracas) - Under the motto “Don Bosco in Venezuela”, the Salesian Family is currently welcoming the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with large meetings and youth-focussed parties. Caracas, “the city of spring”, welcomes him with affection and love. His visit has revitalized the Salesians, the Salesian Family and, above all, has given young people respite by giving them a smile, a word and a strength that come from Jesus. On Monday 10 February, the Rector Major had a meeting with educators and young people, then visited the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and spoke with the “Damas Salesianas”, a group of the Salesian Family born in Venezuela.

            The meeting with the Venezuelan youth took place in an atmosphere of lively oratorian celebrations, preceded by a vigil of prayer and fraternity at the Don Bosco Youth Center in the "Boleíta" area. Speaking with the youngsters on the issue of the migration of young people into the world, the Rector Major highlighted the suffering experienced by a Salesian heart before so many young people forced to leave their country by themselves, without identity and without history. "Human mobility in these conditions is an attack on life, it is not human," he said.

            On countries that live in pain, the Rector Major invited to see the testimony of the Salesians and young Syrians who, in a city destroyed for 6 years by the bombings, decided to build a culture of life by opening the Salesian oratory every day. "Don Bosco was a saint in his reality and today he offers us a school of holiness that involves having God in the heart," he said.

            Later, speaking to about 500 educators, he added: “Even though I live in Rome, I know what is going on in Venezuela and now I am among you to encourage you. What I ask of you is to open the doors of all the Salesian houses and to continue creating the culture of life ... Commit yourselves to the education of young people, to face the death systems that want to impose themselves and that cause the frightening migration of many valid professionals."

            "A human social fabric that is weakening or losing itself needs people with a great experience of God and witnesses of Christian values," he continued. "Our Salesian education offers values ​​and is based on the Gospel and the Preventive System, and takes account of economic, social and political difficulties. As educators, we are intervening in the most delicate and precious point of our Venezuela: education."

            Then, he concluded: "Faced with the situation that the Country is experiencing, betting on education is the best answer we can offer to our young people."

            {gallery}VENEZUELA - Visita RM 2020{/gallery}

             More photos are available on ANSFlickr.

            • Venezuela
            • VEN VENEZUELA
            • Rettor Maggiore
            • Ángel Fernández Artime
            • Visita di Animazione
              Gian Francesco Romano

              RMG – GC28: all the info to experience the Chapter from afar

              1 month 2 weeks ago
              RMG – GC28: all the info to experience the Chapter from afar

              (ANS - Rome) – Still five days to the start of the 28th General Chapter (GC28) of the Salesian Congregation: the main sign of the unity of the Congregation in its multiple diversity, the fraternal meeting in which Salesians carry out community reflection, the body that holds the supreme authority in the Society. From next Sunday, 16 February, until Saturday April 4, over 240 Capitulars will be busy at the Mother House of the Congregation in Turin-Valdocco to answer the Chapter's guiding question: "Which Salesians for today's young people?"

              Given the importance of this event, a great effort shall be made to achieve far-reaching and effective communication.

              The activities begin next Sunday, February 16, with the Eucharist celebrated at 18:30 (UTC +1) in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, and will be broadcast live on the ANS Facebook page and on the website sdb.org.

              In the first week, the Chapter's work will focus mainly on listening to and reflecting on the reports of the Rector Major and his Council on the state of the Congregation, as well as creating an atmosphere of discernment.

              On the morning of Saturday 22nd, the official opening ceremony of the GC28 is scheduled, which will also be broadcast live.

              In the following weeks, all those who cannot physically be present in Valdocco will be able to receive constant updates thanks to the vast communication apparatus set up by the Social Communication Department.

              Thanks to the work of the GC28 Secretariat, the Communication Secretariat and ANS, which will support them from Turin, the information will be published and broadcast on various channels:

              • on the ANS website it will be possible to find a daily report on the activities of the GC28, as well as interviews with the Chapter Members and insights on specific issues of the assembly. In order not to miss any news, do subscribe to our Newsletter.
              • on sdb.org you will find official documents and reports, as well as photos of the various days of the GC28.
              • audiovisual materials and short messages and interviews will be shared on the social pages of ANS (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and ANSChannel on YouTube.

              Through this articulated system, and other initiatives that will be activated when work is in progress, the Congregation intends not only to inform Salesians and collaborators in the mission on the progress of the GC28, but also to encourage dialogue in the Provinces and communities and to arouse a shared reflection at the global level.

              Stay tuned!

              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
              • CG28
              • Comunicazione Sociale
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Myanmar – Coronavirus: card. Bo, SDB, invites you to entrust yourself to Our Lady of Lourdes

                1 month 2 weeks ago
                Myanmar – Coronavirus: card. Bo, SDB, invites you to entrust yourself to Our Lady of Lourdes

                (ANS - Yangon) - As President of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, the Salesian Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, has sent a message to all the bishops of that continent, so that they "entrust all coronavirus victims to Our Lady of Health, Our Lady of Lourdes, which we celebrate on 11 February."

                "While the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, the miraculous healer, is imminent, on 11 February, special prayers and blessings, through the intercession of the Virgin, are dedicated to the victims of the lethal coronavirus that afflicts the world, in particular our Asian continent," begins the prelate in his message, released last Saturday, February 8th.

                The text for the Asian bishops recalls that the virus has spread to about 30 countries and that so far the greatest number of infections and victims has been found in China, but it does not forget that cases have been recorded in almost all the countries of Asia.

                "At this critical moment, we want to be close and pray for the deceased, and for the brothers and sisters who are sick from this virus that has spread to China and the world. May the Lord welcome the dead in his peace, comfort the families and support the great commitment of the Chinese community which has already mobilized to fight the epidemic" continues the message.

                In addition to praying for the sick, the Salesian cardinal invites his brothers in the episcopate to pray for the Virgin to intervene and help prevent a global epidemic. "We fervently ask for her maternal protection to stop the rapid spread of this deadly virus, to give us hope and courage, imposing her miraculous hands for the healing of the sick."

                The text concludes, finally, invoking protection on those who, not without danger, work for the health of others: "In these tragic moments, may our Mother Mary, she who was beside the cross of her dying son Jesus, be the pillar of strength and the beacon of hope for health workers who risk their lives to save the lives of infected people."

                • MYM MYANMAR
                • Myanmar
                • Cardinali
                • Charles Maung Bo
                • Salute
                • Asia
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Venezuela – Rector Major, "He has come to confirm his brothers in faith: a gesture worthy of a Father"

                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                  (ANS - Caracas) - Two events marked the visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the "city of spring", Caracas, on Saturday 8 February 2020: the installation of the new Provincial and the meeting with the Salesian family. In each appointment, the Rector Major left a message of hope, a word of encouragement, a charge to continue the struggle in the midst of so many difficulties in a wounded city, which is struggling to survive the devastation caused by an economic model.

                  In the "Don Bosco" National Temple of Caracas, the 10th Successor of Don Bosco presided over the Eucharist of the installation of the new Provincial, Fr Rafael Bernardo Montenegro Latouche. In the presence of Fr Francisco Méndez, former Provincial of Venezuela, of Msgr. José Ángel Divassón, Apostolic Vicar Emeritus of Puerto Ayacucho, and of numerous Don Bosco Salesians of various works, the Rector Major thanked Fr Méndez in his homily and encouraged Fr Montenegro. "Dear Father Rafael, your ministry as Provincial means service. The confreres ask you to be a father and brother close to them."

                  Then, he insisted with the Salesians: "We were born for the poorest and most defenseless young people, in the spirit of Saint John Bosco. We were born for the poorest kids."

                  The Rector Major then met with the members of the various groups of the local Salesian Family: Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators, Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), Volunteers of Don Bosco, Volunteers With Don Bosco, Daughters of the Divine Savior (HDS), Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (HHSSCC), Damas Salesianas, and Past Pupils.

                  Fr Á.F. Artime then had the opportunity to dialogue with Msgr. Tulio Luis Ramírez Padilla, Auxiliary Bishop of Caracas, who came to represent Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, apostolic administrator of Caracas. In their dialogue, Msgr. Ramírez had words of great praise towards the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco and towards the Rector Major himself: "The Salesians are making a very precious contribution among us. You have come to confirm your brothers in faith: it is a gesture worthy of a father. Your children give a clear image of Christ, the Good Shepherd; in an outgoing Church, the Salesians always show themselves as missionary educators. All their works can be recognized as 'field hospitals'. They carry out an extraordinary apostolic work, blessed by new vocations."

                  Sunday 9 February was another day of celebration and meetings with hundreds of people. The Rector Major moved to the sector of Petare, in La Dolorita, where he presided over the Eucharist, during which he said: "There are two great forces in the world: love and prayer. Love heals, moves, inspires, strengthens; and prayer, even if not seen, transforms, guides and protects."

                  {gallery}VEN - Visita RM 2020{/gallery}

                  More photos on ANSFlickr

                  • Venezuela
                  • VEN VENEZUELA
                  • Rettor Maggiore
                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                  • Visita di Animazione
                  • Chiesa
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    RMG – Salesian Missionary Day 2020: initial proclamation in Europe

                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                    RMG – Salesian Missionary Day 2020: initial proclamation in Europe

                    (ANS - Rome) - In recent years, the Salesian Missionary Day (SMD) has focused on the theme of the First Proclamation, framing each time a different continent: Oceania (2016), America (2017), Asia (2018) and Africa (2019). In this 2020, at the end of the six-year term, the reference area is Europe, and the specific focus is on the Oratories and Youth Centers.

                    "The oratory is an educational environment with a strong missionary slant, and open to all boys and young men," say the Salesian Regulations (n​​° 11).

                    The educational and evangelizing power of this typical Salesian presence continues to be, today as it did yesterday, a lively and current missionary proposal for European youth. It is an outgoing Oratorian church, that opens up to the local youth world, loving what young people love, so that young people can love the one whom the Salesians love above all else, the Lord Jesus.

                    This Missionary Day also wants to stimulate all the Provinces of the five continents to take this original presence of Don Bosco to heart, as a fundamental way of meeting with children, adolescents and young people, where in the gratuitousness, freedom, sense of family of a creative ministry, the Salesian educative-pastoral community has the opportunity to approach, accompany, educate and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to those whom the Lord allows to meet.

                    “Don Bosco lived a pastoral experience in his first Oratory which serves as a model; it was for the youngsters a home that welcomed, a parish that evangelized, a school that prepared them for life and a playground where friends could meet and enjoy themselves. As we carry out our mission today, the Valdocco experience is still the lasting criterion for discernment and renewal in all our activities and works.” (Const. 40)

                    The launch of SMD 2020 took place on the day of the Epiphany, although to keep the missionary flame of the Congregation alive, it is celebrated around the 11th of November, the date of the First Salesian Missionary Expedition.

                    "May the Lord grant the Salesians and lay people of the Salesian Family an oratorian-missionary heart for today's young people," concludes the Councilor General for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes.

                    On the www.sdb.org website it is already possible to view and download the SMD poster in the six most spoken languages ​​in the Congregation. In the coming weeks, additional textual and audio-visual materials will also be made available for the animation of SMD in the various local communities. 

                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                    • Giornata Missionaria Salesiana
                    • Missioni
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Germany – Effects of Brexit: "St. Markushof" in Gadheim at center of European Union

                      1 month 2 weeks ago

                      (ANS - Gadheim) - From 1 February, at midnight, the "Veitshöchheim" district of the town of Gadheim became the new center of the European Union (EU). After the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, the geographical center is now located in a field in this town of 80 inhabitants, where there is also a branch of the Salesian work in Würzburg, the St. Markushof institute. To celebrate this historic event, the students of the institute's Gardening course paved the place that indicates the geographical center of the EU and carried out landscaping work; also, a delegation from the educational community attended the party, on the night between January 31 and February 1, distributing hot sausages and drinks.

                      With the farewell of the United Kingdom, the small village of Gadheim in northern Bavaria has taken the place of Westerngrund, another Bavarian town, about eighty kilometers further north-west from the new center. Gadheim was chosen on the basis of the calculations of the IGN, the French geographic institute, which calculated the location of the village by applying the "center of gravity" model to the EU territory to 27 Member States.

                      On behalf of the diocesan Caritas of Wurzburg, partner of "Caritas-Don Bosco" - the partnership body that manages the Salesian work in Würzburg - the former President of the Bavarian Parliament, Barbara Stamm, spoke on the occasion. Andreas Halbig, Dean of the Caritas-Don Bosco Educational Center and the local parish priest, Clemens Bieber, were among those who personally served the event's 300 guests, including the operators of the first German national network, ARD, who curated a live broadcast for the occasion.

                      The Salesian house in Würzburg is the first Salesian house founded in the territory of present-day Germany, in 1916. Today it is the independent entity "Caritas Don Bosco", the result of a collaboration between the diocesan Caritas Würzburg and the German Salesian Province. It is the largest Salesian work in Germany. The Salesian community is not located in Gadheim, but at the headquarters of the work, in Würzburg, which occupies the land of a historic former Irish-Scottish monastery (founded in the XII century).

                      In Gadheim, however, there is the hotel training institute “St. Markushof”, accompanied by a real three-star hotel. The other branches dependent on the Würzburg work are the "Kindertagesstätte Margherita" (KiTa), a nursery dedicated to Mother Margherita; a socio-emotional assistance center for young people who need continuous support, which currently also welcomes single mothers and refugees from other countries; and, above all, a Vocational Training Center (BBW) aimed at young people with mental disabilities, with autism spectrum disorders or with special needs in the field of learning.

                      • Germania
                      • GER GERMANIA
                      • Unione Europea
                      • Europe
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Venezuela – "Your presence fills us with encouragement, comfort and hope": Rector Major returns

                        1 month 3 weeks ago

                        (ANS - Caracas) - "Hello, Don Bosco, Saint, you young in heart!" So the children of the "Father Luciano Costalunga" welcome house sang at the "Simon Bolivar" international airport in Maiquetía to welcome the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime. "The X Successor of Don Bosco," comments Fr Rafael Montenegro, appointed Provincial of Venezuela, "comes to us for the second time, to support us, to encourage us with his word, his affection and - above all - his presence. It is an important moment as a Salesian Family: he comes to be among us, to animate us to continue to give answers, to work among people, especially among young people, with our Salesian style."

                        At 4 pm on February 6, 2020, the Rector Major left the airport's Arrivals gate, greeting those waiting for him. He was welcomed, with gestures of great fraternity, by his Salesian confreres, and was then accompanied to the Provincial House, where he was welcomed by young Salesians in initial formation, staff, members of the Salesian Family and students of the Don Bosco Technical School.

                        "We could see that his presence filled us with courage, comfort and hope. It revives our commitment to continue building our future on the basis of the values ​​of the Gospel," commented a Salesian who was waiting for him with warm expectation.

                        "Encourage all of us Salesians to continue fighting for young people. His visit is very special, because he wants to be at the side of the young," added another Salesian. And yet another continues: "I thank God for the presence of the Successor of Don Bosco, especially for the historical moment we are going through. His presence will spiritually encourage the Salesians and the Salesian Family. We look forward to hearing your message." Finally, Fr Montenegro hopes that this visit of the Rector Major "will be an opportunity to renew our serious, strong and determined commitment to building the civilization of love in our country ... We need it so much!"

                        The Rector Major shared dinner and evening prayers in fraternity with the community of the Provincial House. At the end of the day he offered the Salesian "Good Night" with a message full of hope and joy for this new meeting with his confreres from Venezuela.

                        In fact, Fr Á.F. Artime visited the Salesians of Venezuela as early as 2014 at the beginning of his six-year term. Now, on the threshold of the 28th General Chapter, he has returned, and has begun his second visit with simplicity and joy. "I want to be with my confreres to accompany them, to be with them, and to show them that I always think and pray for the whole Salesian Family in Venezuela and, especially, for young people," the Rector Major said.

                        • Venezuela
                        • VEN VENEZUELA
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                        • Visita di Animazione
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          RMG – GC28: video on Salesians in the world available online today

                          1 month 3 weeks ago
                          RMG – GC28: video on Salesians in the world available online today

                          (ANS - Rome) - Oratories, schools, Vocational Training Centers, parishes, universities, apostolate programs, social and development projects ... All that is most typical of the Salesian charism and mission is summarized in 4 minutes and 33 seconds of video, now online and available to everyone so as to present to the world, a few days from their 28th General Chapter, who the Don Bosco Salesians are and what they do.

                          Produced by IME Comunicazione in collaboration with ANS, and with the data provided by the General Secretariat of the Congregation, the video presents in an appealing fashion how the dream of “a priest from the end of the 19th century lived so that young people could be happy now and for eternity.”

                          The video is available on ANSChannel in six language versions - Italian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Polish - each accessible in the respective channel.

                          • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                          • CG28
                          • Comunicazione Sociale
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Lithuania – Don Bosco returns ... to Telšiai, too!

                            1 month 3 weeks ago
                            Lithuania – Don Bosco returns ... to Telšiai, too!

                            (ANS - Telšiai) - Telšiai is a Lithuanian town of about 30,000 inhabitants, located in the Samogitia region, a north-western region of Lithuania and the last land of Europe to be evangelized. Here, for some time now, the spiritual sons of Don Bosco have been active with a small presence, still not canonically erected, and who, faithful to the charism of their founder, never miss an opportunity to spread the Gospel message in the Salesian style. And what better occasion than the Feast Day of Don Bosco to boost their activities?

                            In fact, even in Telšiai, Don Bosco was celebrated in a big way, arousing the interest of young people and the enthusiasm of educators and faithful. The affection for the Saint of Youth has well taken root: the urn containing a relic of Don Bosco arrived in the town and in the school where the Salesians now work well before they arrived. It was March 2014 and a festive procession of over 600 young people, preceded by the band, paraded from the school to the cathedral, where they entered the notes of the song "Giù dai Colli, or Down from the Hills".

                            And in January 2020, the name of Don Bosco resounded in Telsiai, too, and in particular in the "Borisevicius" school and in the parish "Assumption of Mary", the only one in the whole diocese to have an altar dedicated to the Father and Master of Youth.

                            Among the most engaging and incisive initiatives was the testimony of an oratorian from Volpiano, now an established chef and well-known face of Lithuanian television, who transmitted the passion and importance of the Salesian oratory in his life to the young high school students. The culmination of the celebrations was reached with the solemn conclusion of the novena dedicated to Don Bosco, which offered ample opportunity to make the faithful passionate about the charism of the Saint of young people.

                            "We believe that Don Bosco himself has prepared the entry of his children into this town. For this reason, we hope that here a spring will soon begin for our mission among the young," affirms enthusiastically Fr Onorino Pistellato, SDB.

                            The Salesians in Telšiai are mostly active in a state-run Catholic school, which includes the entire school cycle, from elementary to high school, with a total of 630 students and 56 teachers. In the institute, the work of animation is broad, promising; to this, there is the pastoral ministry in the parish and throughout the territory and, as a prospect, in the oratory.

                            The presence in Telšiai is also a mirror of the international aspect of the Salesian Congregation - and of its mission. With the arrival, from the house in Vilnius, on which Telsiai depends, of two young missionaries, to whom a third will soon be added, four continents will be represented: Europe, Asia, America and Africa. 

                            {gallery}Lituania - Festa DB 2020{/gallery}

                            • Lituania
                            • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
                            • Festa Don Bosco
                            • Nuova Presenza
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              RMG – The revised Manual of Salesian Prayer and other aids to prayer

                              1 month 3 weeks ago
                              RMG – The revised Manual of Salesian Prayer and other aids to prayer

                              (ANS – Rome) – The revised Manual of Salesian Prayer requested by General Chapter 27 is in the DTP phase. The title continues to be In Dialogue with the Lord, and various language versions are ready (Italian, UK English, US English, Spanish, Portuguese, French), while others are being prepared.

                              In the meantime, the experimental version of the prayer App called Salesians@prayer is already functioning and can be downloaded from Google Play or App Store: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dosatic.salesiansbook) 

                              As of now, the App contains the revised In Dialogue with the Lord and the old version of the Salesian Proper, as well as a space for GC28 Prayers.

                              The Salesian Proper is in the process of being revised, taking into account the newer Saints and Blesseds of the Salesian Family. Work on the Italian version of the Missal and the Lectionary is nearing completion, but we have still to begin work on the Prayer of the Church. There remains the work of translation into different languages.

                              The Salesian Proper contained in IBreviary will be updated in due time. This App remains a very good option for members of the Salesian Family who want to find “everything in one place.”

                              Ivo Coelho, SDB

                              General Councillor for Formation

                              • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                              • Formazione
                              • Preghiera
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                United States – Salesian Family Youth Center gets support from Latin America

                                1 month 3 weeks ago
                                United States – Salesian Family Youth Center gets support from Latin America

                                (ANS – Los Angeles) – Fr Juan Carlos Quirarte from Mexico Guadalajara, and James Areiza from Colombia Medellin, spend one week working at the Salesian Family Youth Center in Los Angeles. Their main objective was to strengthen the great job being done at “Boyle Heights” in Los Angeles, where over 1,900 children are served yearly.

                                The project started by analyzing the reality at the Salesian Family Youth Center. They analyzed personnel, processes, clients, and reviewing how the club is doing in general. They found out some strong points like motivated staff, good organizational structure, great location, good collaboration with St Mary’s church, among others.

                                All this analysis was done by meeting with all personnel at different levels of responsibility and reviewing the 2018-2021 strategic plan. They contacted them if what is being written is being put into practice in the daily activity.

                                As a result of this analysis, they also gave some recommendations; among them, we have:

                                – To improve the visibility of the club. Making sure there are clear signs and motivational posters around the club. They also suggested it may be a good idea to paint a mural at the entrance of the club.
                                – Salesian ongoing formation. It was recommended that the team and the children have a precise Salesian ongoing formation. This formation must be something that is combined with professional development.
                                – Develop an emotional salary concept at the club, understanding that money is not everything, and the question is how the club can motivate its employees emotionally.
                                – Ongoing recruitment activity was suggested that the club should continuously recruit children not only at the beginning of the year and during the summer camp.
                                – Develop collaboration among all the Salesian presences in Los Angeles as it is being done with St Mary’s church.

                                The visit of these two Salesians is part of the strengthening project of the social works at the regional level, where 18 countries are participating.

                                Since 1966, the Salesian Family Youth Center of Los Angeles – located within walking distance of more than 13,000 elementary, middle and high school students – has served the Boyle Heights and City Terrace communities by providing positive after-school activities and low-cost alternative programs for thousands of at-risk and economically disadvantaged youth between the ages of 6 and 18. To inspire and enable the young people of Boyle Heights and the surrounding communities to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens and to support their families in this effort.

                                Source: Salesian Bullettin

                                • SUO STATI UNITI OVEST
                                • Stati Uniti
                                • Pastorale Giovanile
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Italy – "Give more to those who've had less". Fight against educational poverty must involve entire community

                                  1 month 3 weeks ago

                                  (ANS - Rome) - 57 partners including non-profit organizations, local authorities and schools, 14 implementation sites - 11 of which are located in the South - more than 80 committed operators, 3000 minors as recipients: these are the figures of the “Salesiani per il Sociale APS” initiative entitled "Give more to those who have had less", selected by the social enterprise "Con i Bambini - With Children" in the context of the Fund to combat child educational poverty. The project has now reached its halfway point: after a year and a half, events and seminars are being organized in all local offices to present the local project, the activities carried out and the prospects for the final period.

                                  The first of these public events took place in Trapani with the presence of schools, teachers, school managers. The mayor of Trapani also attended, as did staff from the city's social services, and Fr Giovanni D’Andrea, Provincial of the Salesians in Sicily. The meeting was coordinated by the local team and the national project manager, Andrea Sebastiani.

                                  In the project, the involvement of not only children but also adults (teachers and parents) as figures to be qualified and developed in their educational role was important.

                                  “It's not just a matter of providing new or additional knowledge and skills, but of enhancing and rediscovering the skills they already possess,” explains the national manager, Andrea Sebastiani. “In particular, the actions of the project that have this tension are pedagogical counseling aimed at class councils and the training of teachers and parents.”

                                  A second level of the project was working as a network with the various educational agencies in the territory: in fact, participatory courses were developed at each location to draft, seal and soon implement Local Education Contracts (CEL). In this way, the educational challenges and objectives of the various territorial realities and age groups of the minors were identified; in this way it becomes possible to enhance the value and put in a network what the entities already do.

                                  The third level of intervention concerned adolescents directly. "In the operational offices, training courses have been activated in high schools that have, as their aim, to work on self-esteem, motivation and aggregation through sports, creative and artistic and digital activities and support to studying," says Roberto Maurizio, scientific manager of the project.

                                  Dr. Sebastiani concludes: "Education is never a private or self-referential fact, but a matter of community, as well as the fight against educational poverty, which must involve all the actors of the community in order to become an 'educating community'."

                                  {gallery}Italia Dare di piu 2020{/gallery}

                                  • Italia
                                  • Salesiani per il Sociale APS
                                  • Educazione
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG – Rector Major on Animation Visit to Venezuela

                                    1 month 3 weeks ago
                                    RMG – Rector Major on Animation Visit to Venezuela

                                    (ANS - Rome) - In his recent meeting with journalists in view of the Congregation's 28th General Chapter, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, was asked what the Salesians are doing in Venezuela. The Rector Major replied by talking about the concrete, even financial, help being offered to needy families and clarified: "The Salesians always remain at the side of the population in times of difficulty." To show even more the closeness of the whole Congregation to the Venezuelan people, exhausted by years of suffering, starting tomorrow, Thursday 6 February, until Tuesday 10, Fr Á.F. Artime will be on an Animation Visit to Venezuela.

                                    After the reception at the airport and the transfer to the Provincial House of Caracas tomorrow evening, the official activities will start the next morning with the meeting with the Provincial Commissions, in Caracas. In the afternoon, however, the Rector Major travels to Los Teques to meet the Salesians in formation and celebrate the Eucharist.

                                    On Saturday, 8 February, the central act will undoubtedly be the Eucharist celebrating the installation of the new Provincial of the Salesians of Venezuela, Fr Rafael Bernardo Montenegro Latouche, at the Temple of Don Bosco in Altamira, Caracas. Other important moments include the meeting with the Salesian Family in the morning and one with the bishops in the afternoon.

                                    On Sunday 9, there is the solemn Mass at the "La Dolorita" center in Caracas; in the afternoon, his participation in the National Youth Meeting.

                                    Monday shall be especially busy, what with meeting Salesian educators, the Eucharist in the "Boleita" center, in Caracas, and two meetings with two groups of the Salesian Family who are very present and active in Venezuela: the "Damas Salesianas" and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                                    Finally, Tuesday, he has meetings scheduled with the new Provincial and his Council, and then with all the Directors of the Salesian works.

                                    "We joyfully announce the visit of the Rector Major to our San Luca Province of Venezuela," announced the Social Communication Office of the Province. "Fr Ángel wanted to return to visit us and to share the experience lived in recent years in the animation of the Congregation worldwide, when we are by now on the threshold of the 28th General Chapter. He is the Don Bosco of our time, so we cannot miss the opportunity to meet on different occasions to continue to deepen our charism and our way of educating in the reality we live in."

                                    • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                    • Venezuela
                                    • VEN VENEZUELA
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Italy – A new residential shelter in Turin-San Paolo

                                      1 month 3 weeks ago
                                      Italy – A new residential shelter in Turin-San Paolo

                                      (ANS - Turin) - The offer of the "This is my home" program of the Salesians of Turin doubles: the inauguration of the new temporary residential shelter for young adults and of the new Caritas premises took place last Saturday, 1st February, at the Salesian oratory "San Paolo".

                                      The project was carried out by the Salesians of the work with the contribution offered by a benefactor and has the aim of offering a solution to those young university students or workers, Italian and foreign neo-adults, who need, in their path of independence, a temporary residence with the formula of social housing.

                                      The inaugurated spaces, which benefited from the renovation, include the Caritas premises located inside the building and an adjoining apartment that will accommodate up to 7 young people.

                                      The new structure adds to the housing community opened at the same building in October 2016 in which 12 unaccompanied foreign minors entrusted to the Salesians by the Office for Foreign Minors of the Municipality of Turin were welcomed.

                                      The new house is part of the welcoming path of the parish and the oratory of San Paolo, which contribute with many volunteers to the practical and educational management of the two communities for the most fragile young people, and of the Caritas listening center, a true "lifesaver" for the growing needs of the families in the neighborhood.

                                      “We consider it important to place small signs, which however speak. Such is this new residence for young people facing adult life, where it is intended to put the sign of sharing between different nationalities," said the director of the work, Fr Alberto Lagostina.

                                      The inauguration of the new house saw the participation of over 100 people. After Fr Lagostina's greeting, Councilor Sonia Schellino, Deputy Mayor of the city, congratulated the Salesians for the project, which constitutes a valid contribution to the community and concrete help to the most fragile categories.

                                      The President of District 3 of the Municipality of Turin, Francesca Troise, spoke, saying she was  greatly satisfied with the collaboration that has existed for years with the Salesian reality of San Paolo.

                                      Finally, the Provincial of the Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta Special Circumscription, Fr Enrico Stasi, intervened and wished to underline the beauty of this new experience, stating that it represents a new perspective for all the Salesians in Piedmont who want to support those young people oriented towards experiences of cohabitation, service and shared growth.

                                      The inauguration then ended with the traditional ribbon-cutting, the visit to the premises and a convivial moment. 

                                      {gallery}Inaugurazione housing sociale ICP 2020{/gallery}

                                      • ICP ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE SPECIALE PIEMONTE E VALLE D'AOSTA
                                      • Italia
                                      • Giovani a Rischio
                                      • Migranti
                                      • Opzione Preferenziale
                                      • Torino
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        South Sudan – Robert Ocan, the hero who saved over 7,000 people from death

                                        1 month 3 weeks ago
                                        South Sudan – Robert Ocan, the hero who saved over 7,000 people from death

                                        (ANS - Pajok) - Robert Ocan is 33 years old. He studied Computer Science in South Sudan and was a professor of Chemistry and Mathematics in his city, Pajok, 15 kilometers from the border with Uganda, when the war reached the almost 50,000 people living there. In April 2017, it was the second time he had to flee for the same reason, but this time he didn't do so alone.

                                        Married and with two young children, as soon as Robert heard the rebel gunfire in the city center, he organized not only his and his family's escape, but also the escape of almost 7,000 other people. Thanks to his mobile phone, he warned the school teachers to bring the children into the bush. "They ran, escaped with what they were wearing and had no water or food with them," recalls Robert.

                                        He had already had to flee on another occasion with his parents during the war of independence in Sudan. But this time, on arrival on Ugandan soil, everything was easier because Uganda is a country welcoming refugees. "UNHCR buses took us to Palabek, the last refugee settlement that was opened in northern Uganda."

                                        Since then, the people who fled with him, and others who came later - more than 53,000 in total today - all live together in the Palabek camp. "Robert is the mediator of any conflict among the refugees, but also the highest authority of the refugees before those who manage the settlement. He has continuous meetings with UN authorities and the Prime Minister's office and regularly visits every part of the camp to check that everything is in order," explains Mariatzu, a refugee who arrived with him from Pajok.

                                        Robert is just one of many refugees and he receives no salary for his work, but does so voluntarily; he is also involved in all the educational projects that the Salesians have undertaken in Palabek.

                                        The young man says he is optimistic: "I have a hope of peace because Don Bosco is contributing to creating a new generation of young people: the generation that brings peace. Don Bosco offers formation, a great humanitarian and pastoral service and, above all, gives us hope for the future and trust in our capacities."

                                        His dream, as with all refugees, is to return to South Sudan, but acknowledges that "it will take a few years. It is not enough for peace agreements to be signed. Clashes must end, free elections must be held, whoever wins must be recognized as the winner, a government must be formed and we all must start working together for peace. To do all this, at least five years must pass."

                                        • Sudan del Sud
                                        • Uganda
                                        • Rifugiati
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
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