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Israel – "Formative Experience in Holy Land": meeting Jesus in His home, His land, through His Word

1 month 1 week ago

(ANS - Jerusalem) - The wonderful and thrilling "Formative Experience in the Holy Land" (EFTS), which took place from 11 to 23 August, has come to an end. It was led by Fr Juan José José Bartolomé and Fr Francisco Enríquez de Zulaica, and saw the participation of 37 Salesians from all over the Hispanic world. It was a necessary experience for the Salesians and a proposal that comes from the Formation Department and is supported by the Salesian community of Ratisbonne, in particular by Fr Matteo Balla, SDB.

The Salesian Constitutions declare that "our most eminent science is to know Jesus Christ." And this experience in the places where Jesus Christ walked more than two thousand years ago "appeared in this moment of my life," said Fr Alberto Sandoval, from Mexico, "in a convenient and necessary way. I consider it as a grace from God. I had moments of profound encounter with God in the places where He lived."

During the 13 days of the experience, the daily activities were divided into two moments. In the morning, the significant and meaningful places of Jesus' life and ministry were visited with evocative Eucharisties celebrated in different places. In the afternoon, supported by Gospel texts, and through prayer, participants reflected on the "mystery" of Jesus in relation to the location visited.

"It was a timely moment for my life, especially in this moment in which I find myself, seized by a whirlwind of work and pastoral tasks that consume energy. I returned to the places of Jesus to focus on who is the reason for my life: Jesus," said Fr José Luis Villota, from Spain. For José Manuel Gonzales, also of Spain, these days "have been a grace of God. After this experience, the Word of God that we read every day is totally different."

The meeting's 37 participants, coming from Spain, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Chile  and Peru, were welcomed into the Community of the Monastery of Ratisbonne, where a community of formators welcomes the students of Theology.

Fr Luis Chamizo, a Salesian missionary in Bolivia, who at 86 years of age showed great vitality in walking the paths of Jesus, affirmed categorically: "This meeting is ideal for all Salesians, but at the same time indispensable. We must all do it one day or another in our lives. We must fill ourselves with God to be able to transmit it."

In the words of Fr Alexandre L. de Oliveira, from Brazil, it was "an encounter with the very Word of God, and an opportunity for spiritual renewal."

These days, Fr Bartolomé summarized, "want to awaken and maintain a personal and profound experience with the Salesians who follow Jesus. It is an experience of formation with which it is hoped that all participants meet Jesus Christ in His home, in His land and through His Word."

{gallery}Terra Santa - EFTS 2019{/gallery}

  • Israele
  • Palestina
  • Pellegrinaggi e Peregrinazioni
  • Formazione
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – Orientation Course for Missionaries of 150th Expedition

    1 month 1 week ago
    RMG – Orientation Course for Missionaries of 150th Expedition

    (ANS - Rome) - Next September 29, in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin-Valdocco, a gesture will be repeated for the 150th time, a rite that is within the heart of the Salesian charism: the sending of missionaries ad gentes, ad extra, ad vitam - missionaries, that is, sent to other peoples, outside their country of origin, committed for life. In view of such a large step, last Sunday, 1 September, the Orientation Course for new Salesian missionaries began.

    The first part of the course takes place in Rome this year at the Salesian community of San Tarcisio, near the Catacombs of San Callisto. Under the guidance of the General Councilor for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, and his team - Fr Gianni Rolandi, responsible for missionary formation, and his successor, Fr Joseph Nguyen Phuoc, from the Vietnam Province - (VIE) the new missionaries are receiving an orientation these days on intercultural missionary dynamics, so that they can adequately approach the challenges that await them in new mission contexts.

    Yesterday, 4 September, the missionaries also received the visit of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, who underlined in a paternal intervention the meaning of their being at the service of the most needy young people.

    As in past years, the course includes a second part of formation specifically dedicated to the deepening of Salesian and missionary spirituality in Salesian Places, to be carried out in the days prior to sending.

    There are 36 spiritual Sons leaving with the 150th Salesian Missionary Expedition.

    Regarding their origins:


    -four come from Europe;
    -four from Latin America;
    -twelve from Africa-Madagascar;
    -sixteen from Asia.

    Regarding their destinations:

    -one will go to Africa;
    -one to Oceania;
    -three to Asia;
    -six to the Middle East;
    -ten to Europe;
    -and as many as 15 to Latin American countries.

    While waiting to celebrate with the solemnity that the 150th Salesian Missionary Expedition deserves, let us remember the words of Don Bosco: "One of the most worthy works of praise and support is that of the missions among foreign peoples" (MB XVIII, 785).

    {gallery}RMG - Corso Missioni 150 - 2019{/gallery}

    • RMG
    • Missioni
    • Spedizione Missionaria Salesiana
    • Rettor Maggiore
    • Guillermo Basañes
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Ecuador - Volunteering in the family: "It's possible to help as a family"

      1 month 1 week ago

      (ANS - Riobamba) - From the city of León, in Spain, Javier Fernández (46 years) and Diana Pérez (45) went to Riobamba together with their children Gerardo (12) and Míriam (9) to volunteer: they are a sign that there are no impediments when the desire to share one's life with others is greater than the difficulties that may arise.

      The Fernández family has been in Ecuador for around 30 days, doing itinerant volunteering in different places. They put their gifts at the service of others: by holding meetings on trafficking in human beings, for example, or by helping in the preparation of food rations for people with scarce economic resources.

      Their first experience was at the side of the "Damas Salesianas" of Riobamba, where they learned about and supported the work the latter do in a center for the elderly and in another center for teenagers with criminal records.

      "It shocked me to find that there were 12-year-old boys, which is my son's age, held for crimes like murder or rape. This is why I say that the work that the 'Damas Salesianas' are doing to make these children recover their lives is admirable," Diana testified.

      In the small villages of Morales and Curtincapac, this Spanish family has animated games and dynamics for children and young people, and Gerardo and Míriam have given their valid contribution: "In these places we have seen that the children are able to collaborate. They participated in the things we organized. We've seen that children can actively participate as little educators, and all this has helped us grow as a family."

      The missionary vocation of this family is an option that has become a lifestyle. Javier and Diana have been collaborating with the Spanish Salesian NGO "Jóvenes y Desarrollo" for about 20 years, through various programs in favor of children and young people, as well as in awareness campaigns on volunteering.

      Both agree that the wealth of volunteering is not so much in what one gives to others, but in the experiences and learnings that can be drawn from people with whom one shares moments of grace.

      When they left Ecuador, they thanked the Salesian community of Riobamba who welcomed them and stressed that it was worthwhile to make this experience for the smiles obtained and for the affection received - things that can only be felt by being in direct contact with the people and that cannot really be understood by looking at them on television or even reading it in a report like this, because sometimes words are not enough.

      "This experience helped us strengthen the belief that it is possible to help as a family," they conclude.

      • Ecuador
      • ECU
      • Volontariato
      • Famiglia
      • ONG
      • Spagna
      • Jóvenes y Desarrollo
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – Rector Major's Journey to India: first stop in Chennai

        1 month 1 week ago
        RMG – Rector Major's Journey to India: first stop in Chennai

        (ANS - Rome) - Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, is once again about to leave. This time he will not  adding a new name to the very long list of countries he has visited as Rector Major, because he will return to India where he has already been several times since the beginning of his mandate - the last one last spring. This time, however, there will be different Salesian realities that he will animate: those of the Provinces of Chennai (INM) and Dimapur (IND).

        Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, Fr Á.F. Artime will land at Chennai airport on Friday, September 6th. Upon reaching the Provincial House, he will preside over the Eucharist and gather with the Provincial and his Council.

        On the morning of the following day he will visit the missionary aspirantate of Perambur, the General House of the Sisters of Mary Auxiliatrix (SMA), 27th group of the Salesian Family, and the Theologate of Kavarapettai. In the afternoon, at the Provincial House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), he will encourage the Salesian Family in Chennai and the Puducherry area.

        On Sunday 8 September, the Rector Major will first be in Vellore - about 140 km west of Chennai - where he will preside over the Eucharist for the Salesian Family in the area; and then to Tirupattur - 90 km further south-west - where he will meet aspirants, prenovices and novices of the formation house. The long day will end with a lively youth party.

        On Monday 9, at Tiripattur, the X Successor of Don Bosco will meet with his confreres from the regions of Vellore and Tirupattur, before returning to Chennai to depart again, this time for Dimapur.

        • RMG
        • Visita di Animazione
        • Rettor Maggiore
        • India
        • INM
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Pakistan – Akash Bashir's family receives statue of Mary Help of Christians from Rector Major

          1 month 1 week ago
          Pakistan – Akash Bashir's family receives statue of Mary Help of Christians from Rector Major

          (ANS - Lahore) - As part of his Visit to the two Salesian houses in Pakistan, namely in Quetta and Lahore, the General Councilor for the Missions, Fr Guillermo Basañes, paid special attention to the family of Akash Bashir, a Salesian Past Pupil who died to prevent an attack on the church of St John Bosco in Youhannabad.

          Fr Basañes wanted to personally meet the family of the young Akash, a Salesian Past Pupil who, just twenty years old, gave his life on March 15, 2015, while serving as a security guard in the church of St John Bosco.

          That day, in fact, he prevented a man who carried explosives from immolating himself within the parish, where hundreds of people were celebrating Palm Sunday Mass. To avoid the explosion, Akash bravely embraced the terrorist and died saving the lives of all those who were praying inside the church.

          Fr Basañes then dedicated his last afternoon in Lahore to meeting with the young man's family, to whom he delivered a small statue of Mary Help of Christians. It was the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who wished to send the statue from Turin, as a sign of respect and appreciation for the life and martyrdom of Akash.

          The family members accepted the blessings of the Rector Major and the gift with great joy and gratitude.

          The General Councilor for the Missions also had the opportunity to visit the church of St John and observed the exact place where the martyrdom of the young Past Pupil took place. He also visited the monument dedicated to his martyrdom and finally prayed at his tomb.

          The Salesians of Pakistan, united with Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, continue to give thanks for the life of Akash Bashir, as he is a symbol not only for the Past Pupils, but for all the young religious who live in Islamic countries. His heroism and martyrdom are a pride for the Salesian Congregation and for the whole Pakistani Christian community.

          In fact, already in January 2017, Fr Francis Gulzar, pastor of the Church of St. John and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lahore, sent a letter to the Archbishop of Lahore, Msgr. Sebastian Francis Shaw, "to formally request to start the official procedure to declare Akash Bashir Martyr, to honor his sacrifice for his community in the parish of Yauhanabad."

          {gallery}Pakistan - Vsita a Famiglia Bashir 2019{/gallery} 

          • Pakistan
          • FIS
          • Martiri
          • Maria Ausiliatrice
          • Rettor Maggiore
          • Ángel Fernández Artime
          • Akash Bashir
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Egypt – Volunteer experience of young people in Central Italy

            1 month 1 week ago
            Egypt – Volunteer experience of young people in Central Italy

            (ANS - Cairo) - The Salesian oratory of Cairo-Zeitun is one of the two works of the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco in the capital of Egypt. For several years, as part of the collaboration between the Circumscription of Central Italy and the Salesians of Egypt, it has welcomed young Italian volunteers who have put themselves at the service of the local children during the summer. It is precisely these volunteers who can testify today: "the oratory of Zeitun fully embodies the phrase of Don Bosco: it is a home that welcomes, a parish that evangelizes and a school that leads to life."

            It is home because it welcomes children from all over Cairo, both Egyptians and South Sudanese, without distinction. This makes this work special, especially in a city where the South Sudanese are discriminated against and not accepted. At the "Don Bosco", they play together: Sudanese and Egyptians in the same courtyard. Two cultures in one oratory. Dancing together, listening to Sudanese and Egyptian music, leaving the various games to dance that song of the moment that makes the courtyard explode with joy ... It makes one understand that the sharing of small gestures breaks any cultural barrier.

            It is a parish, because one breathes an air of faith. During the week, there are moments for catechism; they are divided into age groups and between Sudanese and Egyptians, due only to the lack of space. Even with the church benches full, the children, even the youngest, remain silent and respectful of the moment; participation in prayers indeed shows how important and participatory faith is. Faith that does not occur only in moments of joy, but is made external, or expressed, especially in moments of pain and difficulty. Knowing how to say in suffering: "Lord, thy will be done" means to have understood that one's cross is brought together and with the Lord and not alone, by oneself.

            It is school because in this oasis in the desert children learn to be loved, to respect each other in their differences; they learn about care of and for the environment and of themselves, to become responsible by accepting small tasks, to become "good Christians and upright citizens."

            "We volunteers," say the young Italians, "immediately felt welcomed: the oratory became our home. Every gesture received, from a handshake to a smile, have been helpful in creating bonds with every young person met. Zeitun was a parish for us because we felt the presence of the Lord in every heart that opened up to us. It was a school, because in the face of different languages, we learned to understand each other by speaking the language of the heart."

            • Egitto
            • ICC
            • Volontariato
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Myanmar – What are the fruits of the 2nd EAO translators workshop?

              1 month 1 week ago
              Myanmar – What are the fruits of the 2nd EAO translators workshop?

              (ANS – Anisakan) – Two main visible fruits of the 2nd EAO Salesian Translators Workshop are at the spotlight – “Salesian Translators Handbook” (20 pages for all EAO translators and their provincials) and “Salesian Glossary” as homework of the translators (450 Salesian terms with clear description in own province language). After 3 days of intense sharing, questioning, workshop sessions and fraternal exchange the 2nd EAO Workshop was concluded on August 29.

              There are two main fruits of this “rare” EAO regional workshop, since the ordinary work of the Salesian Translators (both SDB and various Salesian Family members) is hidden, silent and not much publicly appreciated. However without the continuous translation of the SDB institutional documents, Don Bosco sources or the daily Salesian world or EAO regional news, probably the whole Congregation would cease to breath as one world community.

              At the end of the Workshop each participant was encouraged to wrap up the long reflection and discernment journey with two personal, two provincial and two regional “Resolutions” in the field of Salesian Translation ministry

              Among the province level resolutions stands out: Assist their provincial to acknowledge the translation mission in more serious way, with long term planning mentality for translators formation and accompaniment, activate or found the provincial level team of Salesian translators (main tool translation ministry, that can’t be carried effectively this mission.

              At the regional level our translators dream: to keep in touch through the digital communication (e.g. WhatsApp group) and ask their provincial to suggest the most necessary translations for their mission.

              During the last two session on August 29 the 30 workshop participants (20 SDB and 10 members of other SF group) were able to finalize the 4th revision of the EAO Salesian Translators Handbook (due for publication on September 30 - the international day of Translators, Feast of St Jerome), put together their personal, province and region level resolutions and evaluate the whole workshop. Before the last evening prayer each participant received from the hands of the hosting provincial the special Certificate of Appreciation with the personal signature of the Rector Major.

              Moreover, the Regional Councillor for the East Asia - Oceania region, Fr Václav Klement, has identified a third fruit: “When we read the ‘Resolutions’ of each participant (personal – province – regional level) there is one strongly requested theme of the ‘Provincial team of translators’ (commission or equip). We realize, that without a team work, we can’t produce a quality translation process, that needs to cross-check (copy-editing process) the final product. Hope that each of the translating EAO provinces will witness the ‘official appointment’. 

              As a matter of fact, in some delegations and provinces we are short of prepared confreres (SDB), Salesian Family members (Salesian Cooperators, Alumni, VDB) or lay mission partners to strengthen the translation ministry. In some provinces we need to call, to prepare and form new generation of Salesian Translators. Without this commitment our charism can’t be deeply rooted in the various cultures or our beautiful Region. In provinces with sufficient number of Salesian translators we need to foster their team-work with the necessary tools and system”.

              Gathered in one place after 5 years, the EAO Salesian translators return to their home provinces with more motivation, convictions and concrete tools like the Salesian Glossary (450 terms) and clear guidelines discerned in the Salesian Translators Handbook (20 page-short document with own Glossary and Translators Prayers composed by SDB, FMA, VDB and Salesian Cooperators).

              “We are grateful for the organizers, for the expert contribution of Fr. George Thadathil from Sonada (India, Kolkatta Province) “Salesian Translation Center” and wisdom from many senior translators present in the workshop hall or helping through their online advice and assistance” Fr. Pascal Kyaw, SDB, Secretary of the Workshop, concludes.

              • Myanmar
              • MYM
              • Traduttori
              • Václav Klement
              • Asia EstOceania
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Madagascar – Bishop Vella, SDB: "May the Holy Father revive hope and bring peace"

                1 month 2 weeks ago

                (ANS - Moramanga) - The apostolic journey of Holy Father Francis to Mozambique, Madagascar and the Mauritius Islands begins tomorrow, 4 September. "Hope, Peace, and Reconciliation" is the motto chosen by the Pope, seen as the Sower of Peace and Hope, for his stop in Madagascar. “Our hope is that the Holy Father can rekindle hope in the hearts of the Malagasy, who have long been trying to change society without succeeding, and at the same time bring peace to a society that is strongly divided even within families, villages, of society,” commented Salesian prelate Msgr. Rosario Vella, appointed bishop of Moramanga last July, after having been a holder of the diocese of Ambanja for 12 years.

                The Salesian, in Madagascar for almost forty years, told the "Aid to the Church in Need" Foundation about the locals' great emotion for the Pope's forthcoming visit to the island, where the Catholic Church, although a minority, represents an indispensable support for the entire population.

                "If people need to be treated," explained mgr. Vella, "they come to our dispensaries, while parents confidently send their children to the schools we have set up even in the most remote villages. And then every parish manages agriculture-related projects or health care programs that benefit everyone. The Catholic Church here has always been the only point of reference for everyone."

                Although rich in resources, Madagascar is one of the world's poorest countries. Almost half of the children are malnourished, the illiteracy rate is 31% and only 15% of the population has access to electricity.

                Faced with poverty and divisions, Pope Francis, in his video message sent in view of his imminent journey, encouraged the Malagasy population by saying: "Your country is famous for its natural beauty, and for these we say: 'Praised be you!' It is our duty to preserve them carefully. But there is another beauty that is even more dear to Christ and to the Pope: that of his people, that is your holiness! For this reason, I will come to confirm you in the faith and at the same time to draw from it."

                • Madagascar
                • MDG
                • Rosario Vella
                • Vescovi
                • Papa Francesco
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Argentina – Short film entitled "Zatti, our brother"

                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                  (ANS - Córdoba) - The Salesian Coadjutor Brother Artemide Zatti, beatified in 2002, has his film. Salesian Argentina is in fact working on post-production to give birth to one of the first film productions.

                  The idea of ​​producing a film emerged within the context of the "2nd Seminar on the Causes of Canonization of the members of the Salesian Family", held in Rome in April 2018. At that appointment, Salesians Pedro Narambuena and Ricardo Cámpoli participated as delegates of Argentina and, before the news that an alleged miracle of the blessed Zatti was being studied, they thought about the possibility of making a short film to spread the knowledge of this prominent figure.

                  The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who became aware of the initiative, encouraged its production, with the contribution of the "Misiones Salesianas" of Spain, which collected most of the necessary funds.

                  In 2018, Fr Cámpoli, Delegate for Social Communication of Northern Argentina (ARN) and recently graduated in Film and Audiovisual Production, gave shape to the script. In June it was proposed to the Argentine Salesian Bulletin to participate as a producer, making the short film a production of "Don Bosco Argentina", and associating the two Salesian Provinces of the North and South of the Country in the project, thus giving a significant contribution of people and means. The title chosen: “Zatti, hermano nuestro - Zatti, our brother).”

                  The following months were dedicated to pre-production, with the casting and selection of 25 actors and the choice of directions for photography, sound and art. Mercedes Baxzos, ARS Delegate for Social Communication, wrote to Juan José Campanella, director, winner of the Oscar for the film "El secreto de sus ojos - Secret in their eyes", who exchanged opinions with Fr Cámpoli and provided valuable suggestions.

                  On March 25, shooting began, lasting 8 days, and with the presence of about 50 people, including committed laymen, Salesians and professionals from the entertainment world, especially from the theater. Filming was completed on Friday 5 April. Juan José Chiappetti, Executive Director of the Salesian Bulletin, Fr Fernando Canigia, SB Director, and Matías Audisio, Santiago Valdemoros, Exequiel Herrero, Matías Imaz and Santiago Viskatis, were happy and satisfied with their participation in the work. Special mention also for the dedication and work offered by Natalia Wasinski, Nahuel Medina, Gabriel Osorio, SDB, and Richard Godoy, SDB.

                  The film trailer shall be screened for the first time at the "VIII World Congress of Mary Help of Christians" to be held in Buenos Aires next November in the presence of hundreds of participants of the Salesian Family, of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco and of the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. The short film will be officially presented as a preview at the 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, which will take place in Turin in 2020.

                  {gallery}Argentina - Zatti fratello nostro 2019{/gallery}

                  • Argentina
                  • ARN
                  • ARS
                  • Artemide Zatti
                  • Cinema
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Nepal – Reconstruct earthquake-resistant schools and assist children and young people in need

                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                    Nepal – Reconstruct earthquake-resistant schools and assist children and young people in need

                    (ANS - Sankhu) - Children and young people from Sankhu, district of Lalitpur, will be able to return to classrooms at the beginning of the new school year. The Shree Saraswoti center has not only been rebuilt, but has also been equipped with everything necessary and sanitary fixtures and all necessary toiletries have also been installed, so that boys and girls can properly take care of hygiene. Furthermore, the school will also have a kindergarten, so that even the smallest children of Sankhu can access quality education.

                    The school was inaugurated in recent weeks during a ceremony that brought together over 200 people, including teachers, students and their families. Among those present were also the head of the village development committee, Dhurva Ghimire, and the head of the Salesians in Nepal, Fr Augusty Pulickal.

                    Salesian missionaries are still working to rebuild the country after the terrible earthquakes that hit Nepal in April 2015, causing the devastation of Kathmandu and the surrounding areas and the death of around 8,000 people. The reconstruction of schools in rural areas and the provision of suitable equipment - including sanitation - are part of the Salesian objectives in the country, not to mention the more than 1,600 children and young people who are already being educated in the five Salesian schools in Nepal.

                    Thanks to the Salesians, 10 rural schools have already been rebuilt and equipped. But the development program of Don Bosco's Spiritual Sons is broader and also includes teacher training.

                    "Salesian institutions are welcome centers where everyone feels at home and the educational programs and diplomas released help many young Nepalese to build their future," a teacher explains.

                    Salesian missionaries have been working in Nepal for more than 25 years, taking care of the most vulnerable children and young people. The construction of schools that can withstand earthquakes and access to education for the youngest and most vulnerable children is the daily commitment of the Salesians in Nepal so that the children and young people of Nepal have the necessary tools to change their lives and become agents of development in their country.

                    • Nepal
                    • INC
                    • Scuole
                    • Educazione
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Italy – Blessed Maria Troncatti celebrated in Corteno Golgi

                      1 month 2 weeks ago
                      Italy – Blessed Maria Troncatti celebrated in Corteno Golgi

                      (ANS - Corteno Golgi) - The birthplace of the blessed Maria Troncatti (1883-1969), ie., Corteno Golgi (Brescia), thanks to the pastoral commitment of the parish priest, Fr Alessandro Nana, and to the great love of the whole civil and religious community for its distinguished citizen, wanted to commemorate and celebrate in solemn and participatory form the 50th anniversary of the birth in heaven of this Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, a missionary among the Shuar of Ecuador.

                      On 24-25 August 2019, various moments helped to recall the testimony of Sr. Troncatti, beatified 24 November 2012, and together underline the relevance of her message in this year in which the Pan Amazon Synod is celebrated and in the imminence of an extraordinary missionary month of October, wanted by Pope Francis on the occasion of the centenary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter Maximum illud by Pope Benedict XV (November 30, 1919).

                      A first sign, offered by nature, was a rainbow that enveloped the sky of Corteno Golgi on the evening of Saturday 24 August, as if to confirm the mission of Sister Troncatti as a woman of peace and reconciliation. Even 50 years ago, at the end of the missionary's funeral, a rainbow appeared in the sky of Sucúa (Ecuador), to seal the offer made of her life for the reconciliation between the Shuar and the white settlers.

                      On the same evening, a solemn concelebration was held in Corteno Golgi presided by the Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, with the participation of several native priests of Corteno. In the homily, inspired by the Gospel of the day that spoke of the need to "strive to enter through the narrow door", Fr Cameroni recalled how Blessed Maria Troncatti not only dedicated her life to the little ones, to the poor, with a mother's heart, to the sick and to the missionaries, but above all how she gave herself in a gift of love for the good of the people to whom the Lord had sent her as a missionary.

                      Through six stages in especially meaningful places across town, an evocative Via Lucis followed which proposed the luminous testimony of this Daughter of Mary Help of Christians as a woman of faith, daughter of her land, announcer of the Gospel to children and to the poor, disciple of Christ on the Cross, devoted daughter of Our Lady, example of missionary charity.

                      On Sunday 25 August there were several celebrations. In particular, in the parish church, near the baptismal font where Maria Troncatti was baptized, the Christian community renewed its baptismal promises, asking, through the intercession of the blessed, that the grace of the baptism of each bear fruit in ways of holiness, and confirming the commitment missionary of the Church, in the announcement of salvation in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.

                      • Italia
                      • Santità Salesiana
                      • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                      • Maria Troncatti
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Germany – A different youth camp: first "Meet" of young Syrians in the heart of Europe

                        1 month 2 weeks ago

                        (ANS - Benediktbeuern) - At first glance, it might seem like a normal Salesian youth camp, one of the many organized by Salesian youth centers and oratories throughout Europe; but just pay a little attention and you realize that all the posters are in Arabic! The reason is very simple: it is the first camp for young people of the Middle East in Salesian environments, mostly Syrians, who live as refugees in various European countries.

                        The Middle East Province (MOR), with the support of the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco and the German Province, organized the first "Meet" of young refugees in Benediktbeuern, Germany, from 21 to 26 August. The work, coordinated by Fr Munir El Rai, developed the theme: "You too can be a saint".

                        Under the motto of sanctity, therefore, about 35 young people from Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Sweden and Italy met again three, four or five years since the last time, that is, since when the war forced them to leave their homes in Aleppo, Damascus or Kafroun.

                        The life and integration of the young people who have had to leave their homeland has not been easy and on many occasions European societies have not helped them. In this sense, Fr El Rai observed: "This meeting is a reunion with oneself, a time to pray and set aside the difficulties, and give these children the opportunity to support their strong Salesian identity that war and the condition of refugees have put to the test."

                        Activities and sports, musical and spiritual animation, walks in the woods and a cultural trip to Munich were the main activities these young people experienced over six intense days. Furthermore, the Strenna of the Rector Major for 2019 was presented to them in detail, "Holiness for you, too" as was the specific identity of the Past Pupil of Don Bosco.

                        On Saturday, August 24th, the young people of the Middle East had a dialogue with the Provincial of Germany, Fr Reinhard Gesing, and with the "Consultive Body of Young Past Pupils of Europe", which was preparing the activities of Don Bosco's young Past Pupils for the next two years.

                        During the "Meet" some of the young people shared very difficult personal stories, which emotionally moved the group. Now for the Salesians the most important thing is to accompany them and help them in the places where they live, so that they can find Salesian support in their daily life in Europe.

                        {gallery}GER - Confronto 2019{/gallery}

                        • Germania
                        • GER
                        • Siria
                        • MOR
                        • Pastorale Giovanile
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Vatican – Next cardinal López Romero, SDB: "My highest title and diploma... to be 'son of God'"

                          1 month 2 weeks ago

                          (ANS - Vatican City) - On the sidelines of yesterday's Angelus, 1 September, Pope Francis announced a Consistory for the creation of 10 new Cardinals. Among them, the Pontiff also appointed Salesian Cristóbal López Romero, archbishop of Rabat, Morocco. His comment as regards the appointment: "I repeat what I already explained when I was appointed bishop: my highest title and diploma is to be 'son of God', and I obtained it through baptism. They are already at the top (like most of you); I cannot go higher or be promoted, because one cannot be more than a child of God."

                          Mons. López Romero was born 19 May 1952 in Vélez-Rubio, Spain; he carried out his novitiate in Godelleta, professed his first vows on 16 August 1968, followed by solemn vows on 2 August 1974, after which he was ordained a priest on 19 May 1979.

                          He served the Salesian Congregation in multiple ways and in various geographical areas: following ordination he took care of the pastoral ministry with the marginalized in Barcelona; he was Director of the Salesian Bulletin of Asunción, Paraguay (1991-92); then Superior of three different Provinces: Paraguay (1994-2000), Bolivia (2011-2014), and Spain-Mary Help of Christians (2014-2017). And in between, from 2003 to 2011, he also gained the experience of Director of the Community, head of the pastoral parish and school ministry in the vocational training center in Kénitra, Morocco. Precisely in virtue of this service, and of the good relations he developed with the Christian and Muslim religious leaders present in Morocco, on 29 December 2017, Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Rabat. In this capacity, he accompanied the Holy Father throughout his apostolic journey to Morocco this past March.

                          On the day of his appointment, in which the liturgy recalled "The greater you become, the more humble you should be." (Sir 3, 18), Msgr. López Romero wrote on his Facebook page: 

                          “Dear friends ... I would have wanted to answer all the messages I received ... But I give up: they are so many! ... I would like every greeting to become a prayer for the Pope, for the Church, for this diocese of Rabat and for my person. I thank Pope Francis for the deference he has shown me and I intend to continue to serve the Church by helping her with everything she needs. (...)

                          I reiterate what I already explained when I was appointed Bishop: my title and diploma of the highest category is that of being "son of God", and I obtained it in Baptism. I am at the top (like most of you); I cannot ascend or be promoted, since more than the son of God one cannot be.

                          Being bishop, priest, cardinal, Pope ...  is nothing but a concrete service rendered to the Church and in the Church ... But it does not put you above anyone. (...)

                          The responsibility received overflows me and overcomes me, but I am counting on the One who began His work in me to bring it a fine end.

                          Let Your kingdom come!”

                          • Vaticano
                          • Cardinali
                          • Cristóbal López
                          • Marocco
                          • Vescovi
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Guatemala - Salesian Coadjutor Formation Center receives Regional Councilors and Provincials

                            1 month 2 weeks ago
                            Guatemala - Salesian Coadjutor Formation Center receives Regional Councilors and Provincials

                            (ANS - Guatemala City) - The Curatorium annual meeting was held from August 19 to 20 at the Salesian Coadjutor Formation Center (CRESCO), Salesian community of "San José"; its theme: "Which Salesians for today's young people?" The event was attended by Fr Natale Vitali, Councilor for the America South Cone Region, Fr Timothy Ploch, Councilor for the Interamerica Region, Provincials and representatives of the provinces of the two regions.

                            The Curatorium is a meeting to follow and deepen the formative stages of the Salesians in formation. The objectives of the Curatorium include listening to formators and young Salesians in formation on their experience in the four fundamental dimensions of the formative proposal: human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral-apostolic; to review and evaluate the development of the CRESCO formation project; to analyze the administrative and financial aspects of this experience, with the budget approval for next year; and to offer recommendations that contribute to the way of experiencing this training experience. Despite the busy agenda, the meeting took place in a climate of Salesian familiarity, freedom and love for the Salesian Congregation.

                            CRESCO offers the Salesian Coadjutor Brother, after completing his internship, an interprovincial community experience which, together with an adequate theological-pastoral and Salesian formation, and shared experience, seeks to consolidate his professional identity and enrich his initial formation in view of educational-pastoral work and preparation for his perpetual vows. It is here that the Provinces offer the Salesian Brother the opportunity to prepare themselves for their specific vocation as consecrated laity, just like Salesian candidates to the priesthood prepare themselves in the theologate for their ministry.


                            The ten Salesian Brothers who began their formative experience during this year come from various countries, which gives the group a great human, cultural and spiritual richness.

                            Don Bosco conceived the figure of the coadjutor brother as a Salesian completely inserted into the religious community and participating in his mission. "The identity of the Salesian brother revolves around two poles," stated A. Bozzolo.  "The first is the peculiarity of the apostolic-educational charism in an existence of radical following of the Lord: the habitat in which he is called to live; the second is the figure of professional work in which he symbolically expresses his lay contribution, with sensitivity and accent that are different from those of a priest."

                            • Guatemala
                            • Formazione
                              Jesus Jurado

                              Democratic Republic of Congo – Alert issued to prevent further Ebola infections in Goma

                              1 month 2 weeks ago
                              Democratic Republic of Congo – Alert issued to prevent further Ebola infections in Goma

                              (ANS - Goma) - The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been fighting a new Ebola epidemic for over a year. Since 1 August 2018, more than 2,700 people have been affected by Ebola and more than 1,800 have died. Despite the authorities and health workers working tirelessly and talking about control, the population is still not aware of the true consequences of this disease.
                              "On 18 July the first case of Ebola was confirmed in Goma, one of the most populated cities in the DR Congo and the alert was immediately announced," explain the Salesian missionaries who work in the city. The victim was a 46-year-old man. Since then, there have been seven positive Ebola cases in Goma and the city's routine has barely changed.

                              "Despite the efforts of the Ministry of Health and the preventive measures in place, the population does not respect the directives and does not believe what is happening," they add. The missionaries warn: "They do not believe the explanations of health personnel and do not take into account the preventive measures that are proposed to them."

                              At the Don Bosco Ngangi youth center and at the technical school where the Salesians work, those responsible keep watch so that children and young people who come every day are in good health. "However, we are concerned about what is happening outside our doors. We are all in touch with the people of the city, with children and young people, with their families, with employees ... We cannot control that measures of prevention are applied out there," they explain from Goma. "In some cases, because they don't believe it, in others because they all wash themselves with the same soap and in the same tub, and in others because the families can't afford to buy disinfectants," they add.

                              Ebola has spread widely in the province of North Kivu and Ituri, where it remains out of control: 2,850 infections and 1,913 Ebola deaths have been recorded here. The country's authorities confirmed that a mother and her seven-month-old child tested positive for Ebola in Mwenga, in the province of South Kivu, which raises concerns about the risk of international expansion, due to its proximity to countries like Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. This is the most lethal Ebola epidemic in this African country and the second most lethal in the world.

                              Fear in the Salesian centers of Goma is increasing, given that the educational centers will reopen their doors to hundreds of children and young people in September.

                              • Ebola
                                Jesus Jurado

                                Ecuador - Sister Maria Troncatti Museum: objects and photographs of saint's journey

                                1 month 2 weeks ago
                                Ecuador - Sister Maria Troncatti Museum: objects and photographs of saint's journey

                                (ANS - Sucúa) - Even after so many years, Sister Maria Troncatti continues to be a model for the life of a religious of these times; it is enough to note that Pope Francis elected her as a witness of the Pan Amazon Synod. To commemorate the greatness of this saint, the blessing of the museum of Sister Maria Troncatti in the city of Sucúa took place on the eve of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of her ascent to heaven. This site was built so people can learn about the life and missionary passion of this Salesian nun who first arrived in Ecuador in 1922.

                                The ceremony was attended by: Sister Cruz María Piña, FMA Provincial; Fr Ángel Lazo, Vicar of the Salesian Province of Ecuador; Enrique Delgato, Mayor of the Sucúa canton; several Sisters of the Provincial Council and a good number of people who came from various cities from across the country to visit and learn about the religious museum.

                                Sister Cruz María Piña said that a museum has the objective of showing what has been done in life and the echo that these actions have in eternity. "Everything we find in this place speaks of her great love for God which made her exclaim: 'Every day I am happier in my religious and missionary vocation ...'. Let us live this experience of contemplating the life and mission of Blessed Sister Maria Troncatti."

                                Before opening the museum's doors to the public, there was the cutting of the ribbon by the FMA Provincial, which was followed by Fr Lazo blessing the premises. The museum displays objects and photographs that visually present the journey of Sister Mary, especially together with the Shuar people.


                                One of the museum's spaces is dedicated exclusively to her work as a nurse, as she was a "doctor" for the body, but also for the soul. She did not devote herself exclusively to treating pains or treating illnesses, but for each of her "patients" she always had advice and an evangelizing word.

                                Fr Lazo underlined the Blessed's love for the missionary life and urged the young people present to commit themselves to following her example of life and go where God calls them. He also said that Sister Troncatti was designated as the "Protector of young volunteers."

                                 

                                {gallery}SuorTroncatti{/gallery}

                                • Ecuador
                                • ECU
                                • Musei
                                • Maria Troncatti
                                • Santità Salesiana
                                • FMA Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  Jesus Jurado

                                  Philippines - Wonderful Salesian intercontinental enrichment in "Sandor Community"

                                  1 month 2 weeks ago

                                  (ANS - Parañaque) - "I'm very happy to be here in the Salesian house named after Blessed Stephen Sándor, our beloved Hungarian brother." Brothers Gábor and Áron, two Salesian coadjutors from Hungary, immediately felt welcome at the “Sandor Community” of Parañaque, in the Northern Philippines Province.

                                  They have been here since May 2018 and, despite the initial difficulties, they have also been able to seize the many opportunities that this experience offers them. In the Philippines, in fact, they have learned to reflect on social issues never faced before and to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of their own culture.


                                  "The difference between cultures can be a challenge," the two coadjutor brothers commented. "The communication of the Hungarians, for example, is very direct and this could be strange for the other members of the community. But it's positive to spend much time together with the other members of this community," they added. For this reason, they especially enjoyed the moments spent together, such as prayers, meals and outings.

                                  Visiting the various Salesian circles, moreover, the two brothers were able to see how the Salesian charism is applied in the Philippines. They then noted that there is greater involvement of the laity in the life of the Church.

                                  "We hope that the specific formation of the Salesian Brothers can always be useful for the Salesian Family, in Hungary and in the rest of the world, increasingly enriching each year the specific aspect of the Salesian Brother," concluded Brothers Gábor and Áron.

                                  Currently, the Sandor Community, directed by Fr Arnold Sanico, Salesian, is composed of four formators (3 priests and a Salesian Coadjutor) and is attended by 21 brothers from five Regions and 13 different Provinces.


                                  Thanks to the patron saint of this formation house, relations between Hungary and the city of Parañaque grow from year to year. In fact, last year, the Hungarian provincial economer, Br Géza Nádudvari, participated in the Curatorium of the Philippines and personally experienced the environment of this community of Salesian Brothers, so dear to the Salesian Family. This year, Fr János Andrásfalvy, Formation delegate of the Salesian Province of Hungary (UNG), took part in the Curatorium experience.

                                  • Filippine
                                    Jesus Jurado

                                    Myanmar - 2nd Seminar for Salesian translators in East Asia-Oceania Region

                                    1 month 2 weeks ago
                                    Myanmar - 2nd Seminar for Salesian translators in East Asia-Oceania Region

                                    (ANS - Anisakan) - Thanks to the cool rainy season and the wonderful spirit of a family reception, all 30 participants at the 2nd Seminar for Salesian translators immediately felt very much at home. The Seminar was attended by translators from ten Provinces of the East Asia-Oceania Region (absent were AUL and PGS) and a participant from the South Asia Region (Fr George Thadathil, INC - Sonada College). Everyone gathered in the "Don Bosco" retreat house on the evening of August 26th.

                                    The first day was opened by the Eucharist presided by Fr Václav Klement, Councilor for the East Asia-Oceania Region. In his homily, he expressed his gratitude for this meeting, which brought together many members of the Salesian Family dedicated to the ministry of translation. Subsequently, he wished to highlight the spirit of so many faithful Saints who in the course of their lives have been associated with the task of translators (St Jerome, St Monica, Simao Bororo and Fr Luigi Bolla).

                                    In the opening session, participants were welcomed by the video message of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, who encouraged all translators to continue in this important ministry, so useful for bringing people, especially the younger ones, together and closer to Jesus and to Don Bosco. Fr Charles Saw, Superior of the Vice Province of Myanmar, then expressed the hope that translations will also become part of the commitment and effort to bring Jesus closer to the youth of the East Asia-Oceania Region.

                                    Later, the participants shared their experiences in the field of translation among themselves. It was not an easy moment, but certainly useful to understanding each other and discussing their work. Some, in fact, are just beginning, while others have been translating Salesian texts for many years.


                                    Among their expectations of the Seminar, the will to learn from each other was cited first and foremost; the need to be faithful to both the original text and the language in which it is translated; the need of the Salesian transator to grow in spirituality, which is necessary to carry out this rather hidden and not very publicly appreciated ministry, but important from the charismatic point of view.


                                    The Seminar has three main objectives: to contribute to the drafting of the first Salesian Translator Manual, to obtain a "Salesian Glossary" (a set of 450 words in Italian-English) and to develop an institutional support necessary for the ministry of translation as an indispensable part of the Social Communications sector.


                                    The languages ​​in which the Seminar's participants worked were: Chinese, Cebuano, Korean, Japanese, Tetum, Bahasa, Indonesian, Burmese, Vietnamese, Thai, Khmer and Mongolian.

                                    • Myanmar
                                    • Asia EstOceania
                                    • Traduttori
                                      Jesus Jurado

                                      Ecuador - Each volunteer looks for their suitcases full of dreams, illusions and projects: "folly of God"

                                      1 month 2 weeks ago

                                      (ANS - Macas) - On the afternoon of Saturday 24th August, the Cathedral of the Purissima of Macas was the scene of one of the most significant provincial events that has indeed been taking place year after year: the send off ceremony of Volunteers. On this occasion, 57 young people from Sierra and the East received the missionary cross and the letter of obedience to carry out this "folly of God", as Fr Ángel Lazo, Provincial Vicar of Ecuador, said during the previous days of preparation.

                                      Why a "folly of God"? Because only the love and the call that the Lord makes in the hearts of young people is able to motivate a vocation that implies moving away from family, from friends, leaving the comforts of home, postponing university studies and delivering one's gifts to the service of others.

                                      The culminating moment was the celebration of the "Sending off Mass", presided over by Msgr. Néstor Montesdeoca, SDB, bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Méndez. Here, each song resounded throughout the church and one was truly moved on feeling the devotion put into every word. Moreover, in the faces of the young volunteers one sees the anxiety of learning their place of mission, a shared experience among hundreds of people, including family and friends, who come from every corner of the country.

                                      It is a true celebration of faith that is lived and experienced, because every delegation of volunteers has its own group that animates and encourages them, to tell them that they are not alone in this courageous decision that they have taken, that Jesus and Don Bosco accompany them.


                                      Every year the Salesian Province of Ecuador sends over 90 young volunteers to the various centers across the country. In 2020, the project of "Missionary Youth Volunteering of the Salesian Family" will be fifty years old, its main fruit being to give society "Good Christians and upright citizens."


                                      Of note, this year a good group of young people from the Amazon and Andean missions were also sent as volunteers: 3 from Tuutinentsa, 3 from Bomboiza, 1 from Chiguaza and 1 from Zumbahua.


                                      At the end of Holy Mass, each volunteer thus searches for their suitcases full of dreams, illusions and projects that they will put into practice in the place that God has chosen for them.

                                       

                                      {gallery}EcuadorVoluntari{/gallery}

                                      • Ecuador
                                      • ECU
                                      • Volontariato
                                        Jesus Jurado

                                        Cameroon – "We're with humanity ... and with the certainty that Don Bosco's dream has reached the whole world"

                                        1 month 3 weeks ago

                                        (ANS - Ebolowa) - Covadonga Cid Busto and Elena Martínez Ramos have returned from a beautiful and profound volunteering experience in Ebolowa (Cameroon). "We didn't know to what point Africa would remain in our hearts. When you live something like this, the question always arises: what remains of this experience?" Covadonga and Elena tell us about their experiences.

                                        "We remain with the humanity, with the good received, with the desire to learn and with the certainty that Don Bosco's dream has arrived in the same way to the whole world. We felt his presence especially in an Ebolowa prison. A very small place for hundreds of people, a place where we were able to see evil, where we saw smiles, where we shared volleyball games and eucharists.


                                        Faith cannot be missing when everything else is missing. We did like Don Bosco with the boys from the prison in Turin: we pray and we play, we share our time with these people who find themselves there ...

                                        Our life there was very simple and humble. We got up very early. The first thing we did was pray and then have breakfast. We taught English and Spanish. We ate bananas, rice and avocado. We played soccer and basketball. Perhaps what has most touched our hearts was to see with our eyes that in life there are indispensable things, others essential and others simply useless.

                                        For many people it is indispensable to have something to eat every day and to be able to drink clean drinking water, even if you have to walk two kilometers to get it and carry it on your head.

                                        We have learned great lessons of life and that there is always a time for everything and we are responsible for what we do with the time we have in life. Thanks to the people we have met and with whom we have shared life.


                                        In Cameroon we got to know a little of the culture of its people and we understood the value of living the present moment. Life flows, it goes away and only what we have lived remains and this is why the most beautiful thing left to us is our affection and sympathy for the Cameroon children and young people of the Ebolowa region."

                                        • Camerun
                                        • Volontariato
                                        • Don Bosco
                                          Jesus Jurado
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