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Salesian World News (ANS-Rome)

Colombia – Official statement on situation of country's public order

1 day 6 hours ago
Colombia – Official statement on situation of country's public order

(ANS - Medellín) - Since 28 April there have been street protests, marches and demonstrations in Colombia's main cities: sparked by the announcement of an unpopular tax reform, which was then withdrawn, the protests continued subsequently as critical towards the authorities for their management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which sees the country deeply affected and its health facilities in crisis. Faced with this situation, and above all following the clashes between demonstrators and the police, which have already caused 24 victims and over 800 injured, the Salesians of the Medellín Province (COM) have issued an official statement.

We, members of the Salesian Community, "St Luigi Bertrando" Province of Colombia-Medellín, acknowledge the difficult situation our country is going through, not only due to the public health crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, but also, and more sadly, for the serious humanitarian emergency and the violation of the human rights of many Colombians, men and women, following the social mobilizations that began last April 28th.

In this difficult moment, we reaffirm our defense of non-violence and peace, as well as the full recognition of Human Rights and the inalienable value of the life and dignity of each and every person. We acknowledge and stand in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who, exercising their legitimate right to protest peacefully, have been victims of abuse of all kinds.

We reject the outrages and violent actions that cause harm to others, as well as the indolence, indifference and silence of those who evade the obligation to denounce.

We support our recipients, parents and collaborators who have joined the voice of a nation that asks only for equity, justice and peace for all. We offer our works as spaces for reflection, consent and meeting, always in a free, respectful and democratic dialogue.

The values ​​of the Gospel and the attitudes of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, motivate us to walk with our brothers and sisters in an action that does not spring only from empathy, but is clearly born of faith. This is what St. John Bosco teaches us with his Preventive System, to educate and evangelize in view of the formation of good Christians and honest citizens, especially the poorest and most excluded.

The Provincial and his Council,

Provincial Commission on Human Rights

Fr Luis Fernando Valencia

  • Colombia
  • COM COLOMBIA MEDELLIN
  • Società
    Gian Francesco Romano

    RMG – Letter from Rector Major to Salesians of India: "Feel supported by our prayer and closeness"

    1 day 6 hours ago

    (ANS - Rome) - A letter to express and testify to his confreres and the local population "the closeness, fraternal affection and great concern" – his own, and of the whole Congregation: a letter sent these first days of May by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Councilor for South Asia, Fr Michael Biju, to the Provincials and to the Salesians in India.

    Fr Á.F. Artime is aware that the vastness of the Indian nation prevents easy generalizations; and yet, the news arriving from the Salesians themselves and from the international media describe an extremely difficult situation.

    “Among the areas that are suffering most are areas where we are intensely present as Salesian communities,” recapitulates the Rector Major, then citing the criticalities recorded by the Salesian Family in the areas of Calcutta, Mumbai and Shillong.

    The difficulties in obtaining medical assistance and appropriate care, "a problem shared a little bit all over the country", as well as those for travel, even if in an emergency situation ... The 10th Successor of Don Bosco contemplates the many problems of which he was informed with a suffering heart.

    And he draws near: "It is not I, dear confreres who can explain to you what you and your people know very well on a daily basis ... But I would like you to feel strongly my closeness and that of the whole Congregation, of all the confreres and of the Salesian Family throughout the world."

    As a spur in the face of a reality that would risk weakening souls, he then praises the great contribution made by the Salesian Family in the past months: “Your response to this global challenge in recent months has been exemplary for the whole Salesian world. You have acted promptly and with great generosity alongside those most in need, multiplying your efforts and initiatives. … Evidence of this is provided by the hundreds of confreres SDB who have lost their lives due to the infection since the pandemic began."

    For all this, he reassures that "your pain does not leave us indifferent". And, as also said in his message for the Strenna 2021, he recalls that Hope in God and Mary Help of Christians cannot be subtracted even by the pandemic, and in this month of May he entrusts "each and every one of you to our Heavenly Mother so that She may sustain your lives, help us all to support your labours with closeness and solidarity.”

    The text of the letter is available at the bottom of the page, in the official English version, and in the preparatory draft in Italian.

    Gian Francesco Romano

    Italy – Rector Major presides over Perpetual Professions of eight Salesians

    1 day 6 hours ago
    Italy – Rector Major presides over Perpetual Professions of eight Salesians

    (ANS - Rome) - On the day on which the Salesian Family commemorates Saint Dominic Savio - yesterday, 6 May - and in the church dedicated to him in Rome, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, presided at the Eucharist wherein he welcomed the perpetual vows of eight young Salesians from 4 different continents.

    To concelebrate together with the Rector Major were: Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Superior of the Vice Province "Maria Sede della Sapienza" of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS); Fr Nicolussi, confessor of the community and former General Councilor for Formation; the Director of the community, Fr Adam Kazimierz Homoncik; and other Salesians.

    During the homily Fr Á.F. Artime touched on several points to try to summarize, even in a short time, the cornerstones of Salesian life: a life fully dedicated to God and to young people. He first recalled the profound meaning of perpetual profession as a complete donation to God. "If God is not in the center of the heart, sooner or later fatigue devours us, life burns us". This is why he invited the eight Salesians to ask God that "the covenant be strong, firm and lasting".

    Then, recalling his dream "of a Congregation made up of happy Salesians of Don Bosco", he spoke of Salesian community life as an opportunity for happiness, and invited them to assume "Don Bosco's humanity" towards poor young people, without being satisfied of a "comfortable" life.

    "Dear young confreres, you offer your life to God to live it with true passion, with that humanity that lets itself be struck by the pain of others," he added, underlining that only in that way can the risk "of becoming an Elite Congregation" be avoided.

    Subsequently, he highlighted the priority of Salesian consecration over the priestly or lay dimension of one's own vocation; and he illustrated the Salesian's Cross as a symbol that constantly reminds us of the model to which the Salesians are called to conform: Jesus the Good Shepherd.

    Finally, he highlighted how the community and the fraternity are part of the charismatic heritage of the Congregation, and he underlined the "prophetic sign" constituted by the richly multicultural presence of the new Salesians for all time.

    In fact, the eight new perpetually professed, formed in the "Blessed Zeffirino Namuncurá" community in Rome, at the Gerini Theological Studentate, are a small representation of the cultural and geographical variety of the entire Congregation: they come from Asia (East Timor, Sri Lanka, South Korea), the Americas (Haiti, Brazil), Europe (Poland), and Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda, Madagascar).

    The Eucharist, celebrated in full compliance with anti-Covid-19 security measures, was streamed live on the Facebook page of the Theological Studentate community, and is therefore still visible here.

    On Flickr there are photos of the celebration

    • Rettor Maggiore
    • ICC ITALIA CIRCOSCRIZIONE CENTRALE
    • Italia
    • Professioni Perpetue
    • Ángel Fernández Artime
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Belgium – Don Bosco International: “Education for the Future of Europe”

      1 day 6 hours ago
      Belgium – Don Bosco International: “Education for the Future of Europe”

      (ANS – Bruxelles) – On 9 May 2021, Europe Day, the European Union is officially opening the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE). This Conference is a pan-European participatory process, facilitated by a multilanguage digital platform available here from April 19. You can register within the ECAS system, login and share ideas or organize events on 10 thematic areas. DBI is contributing to this reflection by issuing the digital version of the Acts of the Conference we organized on 29 January 2021, on the eve of Don Bosco’s Feast, entitled “Next Generation Edu – Education for the Future of Europe”.

      The Conference was opened by the messages of MEP David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, as well as of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. Many Salesian educators and youth workers from different EU countries intervened in the Conference, together with two partners of DBI from EU civil society.

      As stated in the Conclusions of this Conference by the President of DBI, Fr Miguel Angel Garcia Morcuende, Don Bosco “had that charismatic ability to gather around him hundreds of young people enthusiastic about his educational mission, to support the youth of the lower classes who, left to their fate, would potentially be a social danger. This is why he has always tried to network with all those who could collaborate with his cause, as we have seen in this online meeting.”

      Following the example of Don Bosco, at DBI we believe that the future of Europe needs imagination. It needs quality and inclusive education. Children and young people in Europe dream to dare. We need to dare to dream with them.

      You can now download and share these Acts with your contacts. So far, they are available in English, French and Italian. Coming soon, they will also be available in Spanish.

      • Belgio
      • Don Bosco International
      • Europe
      • Unione Europea
        Gian Francesco Romano

        India – Salesian response to "unprecedented crisis" of new wave of Covid-19

        2 days 6 hours ago

        (ANS - New Delhi) - “The second wave of covid-19 in India and in particular in Delhi is extremely violent. Every phone call we receive is a desperate call for help or is made to inform us of someone's death. We have lost many of our friends and family on staff. Few staff members are in critical situations, but many have tested positive.” Thus wrote the Indian Salesian Fr Biju Akkilettu, Economer of the New Delhi Province in a heartbreaking letter.

        In recent days, more than 400,000 cases and about 3,500 deaths a day have been found in the country, the highest number recorded to date worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic. In the capital, all the hospitals are in crisis, there are no beds available, people are crowded in the corridors, equipment and oxygen are lacking. And if the violence of this wave is affecting all walks of life, the marginalized population is the one that is suffering the most: poor families in the slums, children of the slums, those who live on the street, migrants, people with disabilities. ...

        Fr Akkilettu continues: “It is a very serious situation, we are trying to do our best to reach people in all possible ways. Based on the requests for help we receive every day and according to our assessment, we have prepared an emergency action plan to support vulnerable people in this context of health disaster.”

        Even in the Bangalore Province, the situation requires the utmost effort: "BREADS", the Provincial Planning and Development Office, has already taken action at all levels: it has begun to deliver food at home to the sick in quarantine; supplies masks, sanitizers and personal protective equipment. Fr Anil D'Sa, Head of Youth Groups and Movements, and all the young volunteers who, together with him, are committed to serving the needy and helping nurses and doctors in hospitals of the city; it is also financially supporting many families who are unable to meet medical/hospital expenses or who have lost their head of household due to the pandemic; in addition, it is also planning, in collaboration with the municipality, a center for Covid-19 patients in the slums of Lingarajapuram.

        All this, while many Salesians, young people and staff members also tested positive and they too need to be treated.

        Finally, also in the Hyderabad Province, the Provincial Planning and Development Office "Bosco Seva Kendra" has prepared a vast relief program to deal with the "unprecedented crisis" that has hit the country. The project plans to deliver pre-cooked and nutritionally balanced foods to 5,000 households (4 people on average); food supplies (cereals, oil, biscuits, salt ...) and hygiene kits (handkerchiefs, masks, sanitizers ...) to 2,000 families; medical kits (inhalers, thermometers, vitamins…) and nutrient kits (food and energy drinks) to 1,500 families; and 1,000 specific kits for pregnant women and new mothers.

        For further information and cooperation, please visit www.facebook.com/donboscosolidarity.vscovid.3 or www.missionidonbosco.org 

        {gallery}India - Reazione Covid-19{/gallery}

        • India
        • INN INDIA NEW DELHI
        • INK INDIA BANGALORE
        • INH INDIA HYDERABAD
        • Coronavirus
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Italy – Educational excellence of Salesians of Sesto San Giovanni

          2 days 6 hours ago
          Italy – Educational excellence of Salesians of Sesto San Giovanni

          (ANS - Sesto San Giovanni) - In a regional context that sees huge competition in the sector of Vocational Training, the Salesian Institute of Sesto San Giovanni represents a touchstone and a model to imitate for many. "Among the excellences there is our Mechatronics institute, which records an employment index of its graduates equal to 98%," underlines Fr Elio Cesari, Director of the institute, one of the largest in Europe.

          At the mechatronic institute, students often find a place even before completing their formation. Thanks to the internships, activated via the collaboration with high-level companies that for years have become partners and sponsors of the Salesian institute, contributing also to the creation of innovative workshops, where students take their first steps before trying their hand inside the actual firms, local and multinationals.

          And if the training on offer covers all technological areas - from the traditional sectors of Made in Italy to new technologies, from energy efficiency to sustainable mobility - the central element is the connection with the world of work. “The employment rate testifies to the goodness of these paths. The peculiarity is precisely the strong integration with the business company system, since they provide for more than 50% of the formation given by experts from the world of work, and internships and/or apprenticeships,” continues the Salesian.

          There are five scheduled courses, with 500 training internships activated per year: industrial mechatronics, automotive-railway mechatronics, biomedical mechatronics, mechatronics of eco-sustainable vehicles and maintenance 4.0 for advanced mechatronic systems. It is no coincidence that since 2014, the "Don Bosco Social Works" have also hosted the headquarters of the ITS Foundation (higher technical institutes) Lombardia Meccatronica, of which the "Ernesto Breda" secondary school and the "Enrico Falck" Vocational Training Center (both part of the vast Salesian complex of Sesto San Giovanni) are founding members.

          In total, considering all the fields offered by the Salesian institute in Viale Matteotti there are 2,750 students and 300 collaborators: and if the employment rate of the technical institutes soars to 98%, the general one is still an impressive 72.2% of its graduates.

          Internships are offered, as are the many competitions and fairs that give students the opportunity to show their skills and qualifications. At the beginning of April, for example, a group of students of the two fifth-year classes of IT of the Breda Technical-Technological Institute distinguished themselves in the "IT Academy Days Award 2021" event organized by the international company Cisco: the students, out of 400 participants, received a mention, "demonstrating high-level technical skills in networking technologies and software development". On 8, 15 and 29 May in live streaming, there will be open days to promote the courses, teachers and partner companies and supporters of the mechatronics institute on offer.

          Source: Il Giorno

          • Italia
          • ILE ITALIA LOMBARDO EMILIANA
          • Formazione Professionale
          • Lavoro
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Brazil – Extraordinary Visit marked by moments of faith and sharing

            2 days 6 hours ago
            Brazil – Extraordinary Visit marked by moments of faith and sharing

            (ANS - Salvador) - Fr Gabriel Romero, Councilor for the America South Cone Region, currently on an Extraordinary Visitation to the "St Luigi Gonzaga" Province of Brazil-Recife, has seen some extremely busy days in recent weeks.

            From the 18th to the 23rd, the Regional Councilor stopped in Salvador to learn more about the rich Salesian presence in the capital of the State of Bahia. After enjoying a first tourist-spiritual taste of the city on 17 April, Fr Romero began his visit on the morning of Sunday 18 with the Eucharist in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians and a subsequent first meeting with the members of the local Salesian Family at the Salesian Lyceum.

            The following day he concentrated on animating the Salesian community. Fr Romero shared and highlighted with his confreres some important points linked to the 28th General Chapter, especially in the development and life of the Educational-Pastoral Community (CEP). Furthermore, he underlined the dimension of evangelization, with the aim that Salesian action should not be reduced to mere assistance, and the importance of the Salesian sacrament of presence. After the group meeting, the Visitor began individual conversations with the individual religious.

            On Tuesday 20 April he learned about the Salesian Institute more in depth, spent time in dialogue with teachers and staff, then, through the Meet platform, he also chatted with some groups of students, and finally he met with the Pastoral and Pedagogical teams.

            A completely similar program, but dedicated to getting to know the reality of the Salesian high school in Salvador, took place two days later, on 22 April. The following morning the Regional Councilor left for Aracaju, in the State of Sergipe. After a few days of rest there, from 29 April to 1 May the Visitor was in Matriz de Camaragibe, in the state of Alagoas. Among the various events held over the four days, the following should be noted: the meeting with the Salesian Family, during which Fr Romero, with an attentive and open heart, encouraged all present to tell a little about their activities; the one with the various pastoral groups and movements active in the local parish; meeting with the archbishop of Maceió, Msgr. Antônio Muniz; and with the young people of the oratory; and with the members of the "Bom Jesus Philharmonic".

            Finally, on 2 May, Fr Romero reached the municipality of João Pessoa, capital of the state of Paraíba, and on that same day presided over a Mass for the young people who animate that Salesian presence.

            The Regional Councilor remains on a visit to João Pessoa until today, May 6.

            {gallery}BRE - Visita Romero 2021{/gallery}

            • Brasile
            • BRE BRASILE RECIFE
            • Gabriel Romero
            • Visita Straordinaria
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Philippines – Solidarity and communion in the neighbourhood: Salesian parish launches its “community pantry”

              2 days 6 hours ago
              Philippines – Solidarity and communion in the neighbourhood: Salesian parish launches its “community pantry”

              (ANS - Mandaluyong City) – The St Dominic Savio Parish launched its own version of “community pantry” last April 27, on the first day of Novena of St Dominic. A community pantry is a free service that provides food directly to the members of a community, suffering from food scarcity due to the pandemic. The supplies are pooled in by any member of the community, left in the pantry for anyone to benefit from. The idea behind it is that people could take as much as they need and donate whatever they can.

              This effort is spearheaded by Fr Eduardo “Duds” Hila, SDB, the parish priest. The project is a collaborative effort of the 17 mandated organizations of the parish, local government units (LGUs), and private individuals of the parish.

              A bottom-up approach is initiated by the organizers where different organizations help in the entire process from asking for donations, packing, manning the pantry, inventory, and educating the people about the value of this project.

              The local officials are present to monitor the proper health protocol and social distancing for those people who will avail themselves of free essential goods.

              This time of pandemic when hunger is most visible caused a lot of worries, fear, and hopelessness among its parishioners and the parish would like to respond by showing more compassion, more kindness, more humility.

              The Savio community pantry shows a strong message of “God’s love in action” “Loving my neighbour” where people who have more share their blessings and those who are in need only get what they need.

              Sustainability is a great challenge for the volunteers, but they believe in the kindness and generosity of individuals and families. They encourage the residents of the six barangays to share what they have and put them in the pantry station of the parish.

              Kindness is contagious, the essence of the community pantry of sharing will ripple down to the goodness of each individual, and the bayanihan (community spirit) spirit among Filipinos will prevail. “We receive a lot of support from our parish priest and from other priests of the community. We thought our food supply would run out, but there was always something coming,” a parishioner testify.

              {gallery}FIN - Dispensa 2021{/gallery}

              • Filippine
              • FIN FILIPPINE NORD
              • Solidarietà
              • Coronavirus
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Peru – Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Lima declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation

                3 days 6 hours ago
                Peru – Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Lima declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation

                (ANS - Lima) - Sunday 2 May will remain marked as a memorable day in the history of the Salesians of Peru and of the entire Salesian Family in the country. In fact, around 9 am, the news was made public that the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Lima, inaugurated in July 1921 as a "National Tribute for the Centenary of Peru's Independence", was declared by the Peruvian Ministry of Culture as Cultural Heritage of the Nation. This is the highest official recognition of the cultural, artistic, architectural and spiritual contribution offered by the Sons of Don Bosco to the Peruvian Republic.

                This important result, obtained on the centenary of its inauguration and in the month of Mary Help of Christians, would not have been possible without the collaboration and support of talented professionals such as the architect Maria Esther Rios, the historian Milagros Valenzuela, and the lawyer Jessica Flórez of the Ministry of Culture, led by Hon. Alejandro A. Neyra. On the Salesian side, heartfelt thanks go to the admirable institutional arrangement of the "Santa Rosa" Province of Peru, and in particular to the Provincial Fr Manolo Cayo, the parish priest of the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, Fr Santo Dal Ben, and the Delegate for Communications, Renato Luna.

                The importance of this religious monument is rooted in its own conception, when it was designed to be the temple of gratitude to God for the Centenary of Independence, which was celebrated in 1921.

                In 1916 the Salesians, present in Peru since 1891, called the Italian priest and architect Ernesto Vespignani, residing in Buenos Aires, to lead the project. He had already followed the work of the Salesian temple dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo and Mary Help of Christians. Once the official project was presented, it was approved as a National Tribute for Peru's Centenary of Independence

                The Salesians began fundraising, directed by the priest Carlos Pane, and the same faithful, local and national, financed the construction. However, in 1920, the work's progress was such that it would not be possible to have the complete temple for the following year. In fact, on July 28, 1921, the central date of the centenary celebrations, the temple was unfinished; even so, on July 30, 1921, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Augusto Leguía, the temple was solemnly inaugurated.

                Between 1921 and 1924, the work continued and on 8 December 1924, for the celebrations of the centenary of the battle of Ayacucho, the other sections were inaugurated, again in the presence of President Leguía.

                Today, a century after its construction, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, a title it received in 1962 from Pope John XXIII, has been consolidated not only as a milestone in the city's architecture, but also as the main depository of religious art of the twentieth century in Lima.

                {gallery}PER - Basilica MA 2021{/gallery}

                • Perù
                • PER PERÙ
                • Arte e Cultura
                • Maria Ausiliatrice
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Portugal – Councilor for Social Communication animates Salesian houses of Mogofores and Mirandela

                  3 days 6 hours ago
                  Portugal – Councilor for Social Communication animates Salesian houses of Mogofores and Mirandela

                  (ANS - Mogofores) - The Extraordinary Visitation that the General Councilor for Social Communication, Fr Gildasio Mendes, is making, on behalf of the Rector Major, continues to the Salesian Province "Saint Anthony" of Portugal. The last stops were at the Salesians of Mogofores and Mirandela.

                  Fr Mendes visited Mogofores in the last days from 22 to 24 April and, punctually at 8 am on the first of the 3 days, he was received by the Director and by the other Salesians of the community. Then he offered the thought of the Salesian “Good morning” to the school's students and explained all the meaning of his visit: to be with his brothers, to praise God for what is being done there, to offer useful suggestions and indications.

                  He also brought the greeting of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and his Council, and his paternal "concern" to help the Congregation grow in the beauty of the Salesian charism, in the apostolic holiness of every religious, and in pastoral service to the poorest and most marginalized young people.

                  During his visit, he spent a lot of time listening: to fully understand the characteristics of the work of Mogofores and the environment in which it is inserted; before offering, in a very simple and comprehensive way, the best ways to follow to achieve goals and projects.

                  He conversed with the entire Educational Community of the School, with the members of the Salesian Family and the Parish Pastoral Council, and often interacted with the students of the institute.

                  Subsequently, from 25 to 29 April, the General Councilor for Social Communication reached Mirandela, where he carried out the previously planned program, involving the people who animate the main sectors of the Salesian presence - the Salesian community, the reception house, the “St John Bosco” parish with its pastoral project. He also met the diocesan bishop and dedicated himself to getting to know the surrounding situation.

                  Fr Mendes had various meetings with the Salesian community and met the community council. At the reception house itself, he met, in a more specific way, the members of the technical team and had a meeting with all the collaborators who make up the educational and support teams.

                  He then gathered with the leaders of the parish animation teams, whom he congratulated on their ability to engage in the process of education and evangelization typical of a Salesian parish.

                  He expressed his appreciation of the geographical position of the Salesian house from the point of view of landscape and ecology and noted the good relationship that exists with the various entities and institutions of the city.

                  And during the visit to the diocesan bishop, Msgr. José Cordeiro, the work carried out by various generations of Salesians who have passed through that city, the Salesian imprint of the parish of St John Bosco and the need to strengthen the educational-pastoral intervention in the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, were all highlighted. 

                  {gallery}POR - Visita d Mendes 2021{/gallery}

                  • Portogallo
                  • POR PORTOGALLO
                  • Gildasio Mendes dos Santos
                  • Visita Straordinaria
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Solomon Islands – Peregrination of Paschal Candle and Cross in view of 60th anniversary of Gizo diocese

                    4 days 6 hours ago
                    Solomon Islands – Peregrination of Paschal Candle and Cross in view of 60th anniversary of Gizo diocese

                    (ANS - Gizo) - To prepare to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the diocese of Gizo, (1966-2026) its bishop, the Salesian Msgr. Luciano Capelli, has launched a five-year journey of preparation, which began in recent weeks with an itinerant journey of the paschal candle and a cross through the various parishes and communities. Traveling by ship between the numerous islands that make up the territory of the diocese, the candle and the cross stimulate the pastoral life and rekindle the evangelizing fire of every baptized person.

                    The pilgrimage began on April 14 in the "St Peter" cathedral of Gizo with the blessing of the candle and the jubilee cross, and their official delivery to the pastoral team in charge, by Msgr. Capelli.

                    Its first destination was the parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the community of algae growers at Wagina. The following destinations were the parish of “Christ the King” in Voruvoru, the parish of “St Dominic” in Sirovanga, and the parish of “St John Bosco” in Taro; before continuing with the stops at the "St Joseph" church in Moli, the "Holy Rosary" in Nila, near Gizo, and at the parish of "St Eusebius" in Noro.

                    In each of these locations, a three-day animation activity has been planned, during which the history of the Church and the message of light that Jesus brings to these parishes is highlighted.

                    Through their homilies, the priests involved in the various realities invited the faithful to allow themselves to be renewed by Jesus Christ, so that His light may continue to illuminate their hearts and lives from Baptism (represented by the candle) to death (represented by the cross).

                    The visit of the candle and the cross also become an opportunity to revitalize vocational activities for couples, youth ministry and missionary activities among young people.

                    "Baptized, consecrated and sent for missions" is the theme that will mark the Diamond Jubilee of the diocese of Gizo, a theme that wants to remind each lay faithful to their responsibility in building the Kingdom of God for a new society, new community, new family.

                    The conclusion of the pilgrimage of the candle and the cross is scheduled for the third week of May 2021.

                    {gallery}Isole Salomone - Peregrinazione Gizo 2021{/gallery}

                    • Isole Salomone
                    • Pellegrinaggi e Peregrinazioni
                    • Vescovi
                    • Luciano Capelli
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      RMG – World Novena to Mary Help of Christians, the "Powerful Virgin"

                      4 days 6 hours ago

                      (ANS - Rome) - The tradition of the Novena to Mary Help of Christians, widespread since the time of Don Bosco within the Salesian Family, in recent years has increasingly taken on the dimension of international community prayer, of shared spirituality on a global level, thanks to above all to the initiative of the “worldwide” Novena shared through the channels of the Salesian iNfo Agency. This year the novena is characterized by fixing the gaze on Mary under the invocation of the "Powerful Virgin".

                      Developed thanks to the collaboration between the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), the "IME Communication" team and ANS, this year's novena will make us reflect on the power of Mary, fruit of God's love.

                      Throughout the nine days of preparation for the feast of Mary Help of Christians (15-23 May), a different accent or aspect will be proposed from time to time on which to meditate, thanks to the inspired words of various international influencers and witnesses.

                      A few days before the novena begins, today a short video presentation of the initiative is shared on the ANSChannel YouTube channel - available in the languages ​​in which the novena itself will be broadcast: Italian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and, with subtitles, in Polish.

                      Finally, it should be noted that on the sdb.org site, in the next few days, a written aid will be made available in the respective languages ​​with all the materials to participate in the novena every day.

                      • RMG CASA GENERALIZIA
                      • Novena
                      • Maria Ausiliatrice
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        India – Solidarity and prayer to face the pandemic

                        5 days 6 hours ago
                        India – Solidarity and prayer to face the pandemic

                        (ANS - Mumbai) - The situation of Covid-19 infections in India remains critical and worrying. The number of new cases has risen to over 400,000 per day; in a district of the state of Madhya Pradesh, 99% of pilgrims swabbed after their return from a major Hindu religious festival, attended by over 9 million people, tested positive; and even in those states that have held elections in recent weeks there is a clear growth in infections. The fear, therefore, is that the peak has not yet been reached.

                        In this scenario of vast suffering and where human resources appear insufficient, the Salesians remain faithful to the motto indicated by the Rector Major for this pandemic, and "Moved by hope" in Christ, they do everything they can to benefit their neighbor and implore from God the end of the pandemic.

                        For example, the Salesian community in Nerul, near Navi Mumbai, Mumbai Province (INB), has started various measures to reach and help, in complete safety, people in need. A roadside refrigerator has been set up where anyone can put food and anyone who needs it can pick it up. In this way, while benefiting those who have lost jobs and livelihoods, contacts are limited to a minimum.

                        And always with the utmost care, food is also delivered to those who are subjected to quarantine and who have no one else, apart from the Salesians and their collaborators, to help them.

                        Great efforts are still being made in the information campaigns, especially at this stage to disseminate verified notices on the facilities and the free treatment options for Covid patients available in the city.

                        On another front, in order to act as a "generator of spiritual energy", the "Don Bosco Nerul" center also involved over 70 people in a dedicated prayer initiative: for one hour a day, between 9.00 and 22.00, each of them, in the silence of their homes, offers an hour of prayer or spiritual meditation for Covid-19 patients and for the large number of people involved in the rescue, why they also had materials distributed for reflection of various kinds of adoration.

                        “There are people who are bending over backwards to buy an oxygen tank, find a hospital bed, medicine, food or even a place for cremation or burial ... There are so many needs that when we seem not to to be able to do nothing, we can only entrust ourselves to the Lord,” explain the Salesians of the Nerul work.

                        Lastly, there is also a nice gesture of inter-provincial Salesian solidarity: even the Vice Province of Madagascar, with various missionary works to think about, has decided to donate 15,000 euros to the Salesians of India to help them in the emergency from Covid- 19.

                        {gallery}India - Nerul Covid-19 maggio 2021{/gallery}

                        • India
                        • INB INDIA MUMBAY
                        • Preghiera
                        • Solidarietà
                        • Coronavirus
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Italy – Opening of diocesan inquiry for Mother Rosetta Marchese

                          5 days 6 hours ago
                          Italy – Opening of diocesan inquiry for Mother Rosetta Marchese

                          (ANS - Rome) - The opening session of the diocesan inquiry on the life, heroic virtues and reputation of holiness and signs of Servant of God Rosetta Marchese, professed religious of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Institute, took place on Friday 30 April 2021. During the opening session, the members of the diocesan Tribunal were sworn in: the Episcopal Delegate, Msgr. Giuseppe D’Alonzo; the Promoter of Justice, Fr Giorgio Ciucci; the Actuary Notary Marcello Terramani; the deputy notary Giancarlo Bracchi; and subsequently, also the Postulator, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, and the Vice Postulator Sr. Francesca Caggiano, FMA.

                          Present for the FMA Institute were Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Superior General, Sister Chiara Cazzola, her Vicar, Sister Piera Cavaglià, Secretary General, and some religious of the Generalate. In her speech, Mother Reungoat compared the testimony of Mother Marchese to that of Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello: "Both - the only two Superiors General, so far, whose holiness has been asked for the recognition of the Church - consciously offered their lives for growth and the sanctity of the Institute, in difficult times. Both lived their mission as a service to the life and vitality of the Institute, paying attention to the journey of each sister and of the institution as a whole. Emblematic are the words she spoke when she was elected on 24 October 1981: 'The Institute has always given me everything, but now it gives me all of itself'. Both in their educational service were capable of intuition and mystagogy, they nourished their donation to the educational mission with a profound interior life, they were sisters and mothers for the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, for the young people, for those who needed to be welcomed and accompanied in the response to God's call."

                          Mother Rosetta Marchese was born in Aosta, Italy, on 20 October 1922. She knew and attended the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians since childhood, thus maturing her faith and her ideal of total consecration to God. After her first religious profession, in 1941, she completed her studies at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, graduating in Literature. From 1947 to 1958 she was a teacher and vicar in the “Mother Mazzarello” missionary house in Turin, where she followed with particular attention the young sisters who were preparing to leave for the missions. From 1958 to 1974 she carried out tasks of animation and government in Sicily, in Rome, in Lombardy.

                          In 1981 she was elected Superior General, but just eight months after her election, the first signs of leukemia came. In the circular of 24 October 1982, Mother Marchese concluded her teaching by wishing all her daughters to let themselves be infected by Don Bosco "with acute nostalgia for 'beautiful Paradise'", to enter the path of holiness "with a will without return". She said: "The destination is unique: to arrive in Heaven with all the young people for whom we have given and consumed our existence". She died on March 8, 1984, in Rome.

                          You can see the opening celebration and a video presentation by Mother Marchese.

                          {gallery}Italia - Apertura Inchiesta Diocesana M Marchese 2021{/gallery}

                          • Italia
                          • Santità Salesiana
                          • Rosetta Marchese
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Italy – Students keep up with online learning through tablets, support from donor funding

                            5 days 6 hours ago
                            Italy – Students keep up with online learning through tablets, support from donor funding

                            (ANS – Palermo) – Forty students attending the Salesian oratory in the community of “Santa Chiara” in Palermo, Italy, had access to school supplies, including tablets for online learning as well as pens, pencils and notebooks thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The funding also covered the costs for sanitizing gels, a machine to sanitize rooms and food for the families of the children at the oratory.

                            Most of the children attending the oratory are ages 6-15 and come from families that are low income. Most of their parents are unemployed or illegally employed, some of the children’s fathers are in jail or under house arrest. Twelve families were supported through this initiative.

                            Giuseppe, who is 9, was one of the students supported. He lives in a small home with his parents who do odd jobs to make a meager income. When his family tested positive for COVID-19, he had to remain home in quarantine for 20 days and missed school. Salesian missionaries were able to provide him with a tablet so he could continue with his schoolwork during this time. He was able to connect with online lessons and not miss any days of school or fall behind his peers.

                            “Providing ongoing support to families in need is especially important during this time,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Through donor funding, students were able to continue with their lessons and have the supplies they needed to fully engage in their school work. The nutritional support also helped ensure that they were well fed and ready for their school lessons.”

                            Salesian programs across Italy help youth who are unable to attend school and others who drop out to work at the few jobs available to them. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms and others have turned to the sex trade to help support their families. Those in poverty often live without adequate shelter, hot water, regular meals and health care.

                            Young people who are unemployed and not in school or training programs represent 20 percent of the population in Italy. Vocational training is an educational path that serves as a highly effective bridge between work and school.

                            Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis. Unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent.

                            According to UNICEF, a growing number of youth are living away from their families in temporary shelters and within government and charity programs because of inadequate support from or neglect by their families. Salesian programs work to combat these challenges by providing shelter, nutrition, education and workforce development services for youth in need.

                            Source: Mission Newswire

                            • Italia
                            • ISI ITALIA SICILIA
                            • Procure Missionarie
                            • Solidarietà
                            • Coronavirus
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Spain – Integration through sport: "Eyser" team of "Cadiz Virgili Don Bosco" club

                              5 days 6 hours ago

                              (ANS - Cadiz) - The five-a-side football team "Cadiz Virgili Don Bosco", founded in the 2021-2021 season from the agreement between the five-a-side football team "Cadiz CF Virgili Futsal" and the sports club of the Don Bosco Salesian institute in Cadiz, has expanded its sports-educational offer with a section especially dedicated to people with disabilities, the “Eyser” team.

                              The "Eyser" section owes its name to George Eyser, the first disabled Olympic athlete, German naturalized American, who won six medals as a gymnast, and was born from the initiative of the team's coaches, Teresa Atero and Néstor Villegas, as well as support of the “Don Bosco Polideportivo Club” and of the “Cádiz Virgili Futsal”, by virtue of the affiliation agreement existing between the two entities.

                              The training activity for team members takes place free of charge on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:40 pm to 7:00 pm at the Salesian school in Cadiz.

                              The "Cadiz Virgili Don Bosco" currently has several teams engaged in tournaments and training in the youth categories in those of the youngest, and has incorporated in its structure a five-a-side football school run by qualified and certified technicians who, with the support of the Salesian community, promote the individual care and development of the athlete.

                              Néstor Villegas, coordinator of the "Eyser" section of the "Cádiz Virgili Don Bosco", stressed that "it is a team that 5-a-side football needed, and we are fortunate to have qualified people to carry it forward, hoping that this section will begin and continue over time. With this team, people with functional diversity will have a place and an opportunity to play sports, have fun and learn and play 5-a-side football."

                              For his part, Salesian Rafael Cazorla, coordinator of the Salesian sports club, acknowledged that “we want to achieve greater integration in sport. It is very important to work in this direction and that is why we want this team to continue to grow and be able to compete in tournaments in the near future.”

                              {gallery}Spagna - Cadiz Virgili DB Eyser 2021{/gallery}

                              • Spagna
                              • SMX SPAGNA MARIA AUSILIATRICE
                              • Disabilità
                              • Sport
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                France – Salesian pedagogy: what happens when “Papi, the clown” arrives at school?

                                5 days 6 hours ago
                                France – Salesian pedagogy: what happens when “Papi, the clown” arrives at school?

                                (ANS - Paris) - In Aveyron, the French Department of the Occitania Region, there are six elementary schools that are part of the "Don Bosco" network: in Bozouls, Saint-Géniez-d'Olt, Séverac-le-Château, Rodez, Onet-le-Château and Drulhe. The children of these schools have recently received a somewhat special visit; that of "Papi, the clown", sent to them at the request of the Provincial of the Salesians in France and Southern Belgium, Fr Daniel Federspiel. But what happens when "Papi, the clown" comes to class? A brief history brings us to the heart of Salesian pedagogy ...

                                It all begins with a letter from Fr Federspiel, wherein the Salesian tells how, during his travels, he met this clown whom he welcomed into his school in Paris, thinking he could help him. However, the poor clown soon showed that he could not read, write or do arithmetic; during his childhood he could not go to school and now, even if he wanted to learn, he was afraid of being mocked.

                                Upon reading the Provincial's letter, all the children said they would be happy to welcome him and there was no shortage of words to reassure him: "everyone goes at his own pace", "we will not leave him alone", "we will explain", "we will not make fun of him"," we are all here to learn! "...

                                And thus Papi the clown went to each class so that the students could share their knowledge with him and teach him a little. In one class, he learned to read by syllables, words and sentences and to do calculations, but not too difficult; in another, he learned about double-digit multiplications. Older children taught him to identify the subject and the verb, divisions and even geometry ...

                                For the students, this was obviously an opportunity to reflect on hospitality, acceptance of differences and respect for others. Each of them was able, on their own level, to offer what he or she knew and to help the poor clown overcome his weaknesses. They were made aware of the learning difficulties and realized how fortunate they were to be able to learn and pass on their knowledge. And for the teachers it was a moment of relief "in really difficult times", as well as a way to go back to the roots of their career choice.

                                For his part, the clown, an excellent magician, taught them some magic tricks instead: “You teach me what you can do, and I'll teach you magic” was the pact.

                                At the center of these meetings remains this message transmitted by "Papi, the clown": "We are rich, not for what we have, but for what we have learned to share".

                                The experience ended with another letter, this time from the clown from Paris, who thanked everyone for helping him make progress in such a short time and with so much patience and affection.

                                Grace Boscredon

                                • Francia
                                • FRB FRANCIA BELGIO SUD
                                • Arte e Cultura
                                • Scuole
                                • Educazione
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Vatican – “Youth Summer Camp in Vatican”. Ready for a new edition

                                  1 week 1 day ago
                                  Vatican – “Youth Summer Camp in Vatican”. Ready for a new edition

                                  (ANS - Vatican City) - Despite the current pandemic situation, and potential future changes in compliance with public health decisions, the second edition of "Youth Summer Camp in the Vatican" is set to start. The initiative promoted by the Governorate of the Vatican City State, also sees the Salesian Family involved and at the forefront.

                                  "Estate Ragazzi in Vaticano" promotes and accompanies an educational proposal that wants to give children and young participants the opportunity to experience the summer vacation period in a fun and constructive way, in an educational "habitus" that becomes increasingly “habitat” of meaning and hope.

                                  After the success of the past edition, marked by the participation of 130 minors, and which was also honored by the visit of Pope Francis himself, from Monday 21 June it will start again until Friday 30 July, for six weeks - two more than in the past edition.

                                  Children from 5 to 13 years old, divided into three age groups, children of employees of the Governorate of the Vatican City State and the Holy See, will be able to live a beautiful experience made of sports, moments of play, workshop activities, special events and thematic days, moments of reflection and sharing, all within the Vatican City, in dedicated spaces equipped to carry out fun, recreational and sports activities - including a swimming pool.

                                  Registrations starts tomorrow, May 1st 2021.

                                  “These are still difficult days for all of us and for your families. Proposing, in these times, the registration to the initiative 'also wants to instill hope in the “light” that will come,” said Fr Franco Fontana, Director of the Salesian community in the Vatican, chaplain of the Gendarmerie and the Vatican Museums, and Head of the initiative.

                                  Two other Salesians will collaborate with him, Bro. Paolo Vaschetto, a Salesian brother, and deacon Batista de Abreu Wellington; two Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Mea Carmen and Sister Tran Thi Them; the operators of the association specializing in youth work "Tutti in una Festa", together with other young volunteer animators.

                                  Each week, a detailed program will mark the days of the children, and a fictional story, with educational contents, will guide them through the different activities designed specifically for the different age groups. The primary objective is to discover the beauty of being together, of sharing passions, emotions, smiles. An experience where everyone feels at home and where the little ones learn from the older kids and people.

                                  After a 2020 edition focused on the values of sport, in search of happiness, this year "Youth Summer Camp in the Vatican" will address the issue of integral ecology, contained in Pope Francis' Laudato Si', as the key to a better world. The thematic path of this edition, "Are you one of ours?", is taken from the homonymous support material proposed for the Summer Camp by ElleDiCi, and develops in harmony with the “Laudato Si' Year”, promoted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which celebrates 5 years since the publication of the encyclical.

                                  "While we reflect on ecological issues, we will also try to discover what is the true meaning of being a Christian, this way of thinking within the world and creation", conclude the authors of the program of activities.

                                  Further information is available on the website: www.estateragazzivaticano.it 

                                  {gallery}Vaticano - ER 2021{/gallery}

                                  • Vaticano
                                  • Estate Ragazzi
                                  • Oratorio
                                  • Famiglia Salesiana
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Myanmar – To stand by the beloved people of Myanmar

                                    1 week 1 day ago
                                    Myanmar – To stand by the beloved people of Myanmar

                                    (ANS – Yangon) – After three months of Myanmar's people struggle for peace, democracy and a dignified future since the military coup, many may have already forgotten their cause. But the international movement of effective solidarity is ongoing.

                                    Even the ASEAN leaders failed to agree on some viable support from the 10 country South-East Asian nations block, and the international society and other Asian countries show only timid signs of concrete support for this struggling people. The number of victims rose (April 29) to 759 civilians and the number of people imprisoned by the military junta is more than 3400 (Source: Assistance Association for Political Prisoners - Burma).

                                    In the meantime, the NGU (New Government of National Unity) is getting more organized and visible both in Myanmar and abroad, while the response of the military continues and the supporters of the CDM (Civil Disobedience Movement) has been relaunched with enthusiasm - a new wave of protests against the military junta and its coup. They are asking people to stop paying for electricity, loans for agriculture, to stop sending their children to school. The new campaign will further torpedo the national economy, already weakened by civil disobedience strikes.

                                    The appeal addressed by the EAO Salesian Family to sustain the poor people in this country, especially the fundraising in South Korea and Thailand brings some important fruits. The Association of Major Superiors of Thailand jointly with the Chang Mai Bishop Francis Vira, launched concrete aid for the Karen refugees crossing the border from Myanmar to Thailand (MaeHeongSon) with real commitment.

                                    From Myanmar Salesians, we hear that .... “We are fine. The clashes are still ongoing and just last night (April 26, Editor's note), around 10 pm, there was one on the road in front of our community, but none of us was harmed. It seems that the military were after some activists...” In another community with a boarding house facility, the Salesians restarted daily Eucharistic adoration jointly with Salesians and boarding students.

                                    This is a long-term struggle. Without being able to visit and sustain the Salesian family members in Myanmar, it's possible only to say: “We stand by you, dear people of Myanmar’' and “our prayers and solidarity continue!”

                                    During these weeks before the Mary Help of Christian feast, this is a special intention of prayer!

                                    Source: AustraLasia

                                    • MYM MYANMAR
                                    • Myanmar
                                    • Violenze
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Spain – “Indestructible”, photo exhibition brings show of African strength closer via the story of 11 children

                                      1 week 1 day ago
                                      Spain – “Indestructible”, photo exhibition brings show of African strength closer via the story of 11 children

                                      (ANS - Bilbao) – Inaugurated in Bilbao last Monday, April 26, was the photographic exhibition "Indestructible: a look at the generation of the future of Africa". It was organized by the Salesian NGO "Jóvenes y Desarrollo" and by "Misiones Salesianas" , the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, which sponsors the initiative. The artists - the photographer Alfons Rodríguez and the journalist Xavier Aldekoa - were also present at the opening of the exhibition, who organized a guided tour of the exhibition.

                                      Africa is the continent of the future. The youngest region on the planet, with an average age of 19, it is also a land of enormous contrasts. "Indestructible" brings viewers closer to the reality of Africa through the stories of 11 children who, despite the difficulties, look at the world with strength, but without forgetting their scars, since every day thousands of them are exposed to the ravages of war, terrorism, poverty or climate change.

                                      For over two years, the “Indestructible” project documented the stories of 11 children in 10 African countries, reflecting the achievements and challenges of a diverse and ever-changing continent. But this is not a photographic exhibition of "winners", even if its protagonists sometimes triumph; nor of "losers", even if some of these stories have a bitter ending.

                                      The selection of images in this exhibition, co-financed by the Basque Government and the City of Bilbao, seeks to go beyond the hurt and negative vision of African reality and presents stories of children and adolescents as active protagonists in their lives. "Indestructible" aims to build a bridge of learning and respect towards an African childhood which, thanks to its ability to overcome and its strength, knows how to react in the face of their destiny.

                                      The ten stories and the epilogue of the exhibition, consisting of 44 photographs, are a window on a complex Africa; on a continent, or part of it, that changes and transforms itself. This exhibition is a journey through a young, energetic and dynamic territory, full of people who move forward as best they can. And that, when things go wrong, they try to be "indestructible" and to move forward.

                                      The authors, Alfons Rodríguez and Xavier Aldekoa, make a journey through 10 countries of the African continent and show the life and opportunities of Africa; and how, despite poverty, disease, violence, inequality ... African children look at the world with optimism, with the desire to move forward, to live and to improve.

                                      These are stories like that of Margaret who, despite having had to get married at 13, struggles so that this should never happen to any other girl; or Joad, who works for hours in the family garden, but hasn't stopped going to school, since he wants to become a doctor; or the street children of Beira, Mozambique; or the stories of the violence suffered by minors in the Democratic Republic of Congo; stories of hunger in Mali ...

                                      "But always with a realistic and positive message", explain the artists.

                                      • Spagna
                                      • SSM SPAGNA SAN GIACOMO MAGGIORE
                                      • Misiones Salesianas
                                      • Africa
                                      • Bambini Soldato
                                      • Giovani a Rischio
                                      • Bambini di Strada
                                      • Matrimoni precoci
                                        Gian Francesco Romano
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                                        55 minutes 14 seconds ago
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                                        InTouch Newsletter • Salesian Family Bulletin
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