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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Mozambique - Cyclone Idai: "A disaster of great proportions"

1 day 3 hours ago

(ANS - Beira) - After weeks of torrential rains and floods, a large area between Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi has been hit by Cyclone Idai. Although the official figures are still being updated, the situation on the ground is defined as "terrifying": over 200 victims already registered, but the estimates speak of more than 1,000.

Of the three countries affected by the fury of the cyclone, Mozambique is probably the hardest struck. The communities of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Mozambique, despite not having homes in the tragedy's epicenter, are mobilizing to assist the victims by providing food, clothing and basic necessities, as well as their prayers.

In the coastal city of Beira, 90% of the buildings have been destroyed or damaged, while most of the population is displaced. Also severely damaged are sections of the hospital and the city's most important access roads. The port is only partially operational, but still allows for the arrival of aid by sea. Other central provinces of Manica, Zambezia and Tete have also been affected by floods, as well as part of the northern part of Niassa. Many of the inland villages have remained isolated and still inaccessible to relief efforts.

It was President Filipe Nyusi, who flew over Beira and the Manica and Sofala provinces by helicopter, to declare to Radio Mozambique, "it is a disaster of great proportions" and to testify that "entire villages have disappeared, communities are isolated and bodies float on the waters.”

The archbishop of Beira, Msgr. Claudio Dalla Zuanna, issued a statement in which he testified to the seriousness of the situation and announced the preparation of a relief program to help the population: "As a diocesan church, through parishes and Caritas, we are activating an emergency plan to meet the most urgent needs.”

Even in Zimbabwe the situation is serious: there are at least one hundred dead and over 200 missing. The damage to homes and infrastructure are considerable and the first estimates speak of over 900 buildings destroyed. The Chimanimani region is among the most affected, many areas are inaccessible even to helicopters, making rescue operations very difficult.

In central and southern Malawi, the cyclone and floods have also caused massive damage with dozens of deaths, more than 500 injured and over 140,000 displaced people in 13 districts. The areas of Chikwawa, Zomba, Balaka, Machinga, Dedza and Ntcheu are the most affected.

{gallery}MOZ - Ciclone Idai 2019{/gallery}

  • Mozambico
  • MOZ
  • Disastri
  • Malawi
  • Zimbabwe
    Gian Francesco Romano

    India - Farewell to Fr Anthony Thaiparambil, SDB, a father for 80 thousand street children

    1 day 3 hours ago
    India - Farewell to Fr Anthony Thaiparambil, SDB, a father for 80 thousand street children

    (ANS - New Delhi) - On the day when the Church celebrates the putative father of Jesus, on March 19, Fr Anthony Thaiparambil passed away in New Delhi, a man who can be considered the father of about 80,000 street children from various cities of India. Among the pioneers in serving children at risk in the slums, he spent 33 years devoting himself to various activities in their favor. The funeral is scheduled for Friday 22nd in New Delhi, in the province to which he belonged.

    By Fr C.M. Paul, SDB

    Fr Anthony Thaiparambil was the eldest of three other brothers who became religious: two as Salesian brothers, in the Calcutta Province, and one as a Jesuit priest. His brother Mathew also died recently, on February 1 in Calcutta.

    "Father Anthony has touched many lives of street children [in Kolkata and New Delhi]. He always prayed for the children in the streets during his last days," said New Delhi Salesian Provincial Fr Jose Mathew.

    Besides being a model for many other volunteers who would follow in his footsteps, it was probably he who inspired the character of Paul Lambert, the French missionary active among the poorest of the slums, in the famous novel "The City of Joy" by Dominic Lapierre. In fact, Fr Thaiparambil had started working for street children in the same room in the shantytown of Pilkhana, near the Howrah railway station, rented by Lapierre to write his masterpiece.

    The Salesian had obtained a Master's degree as a Social Assistant and observed a disturbing number of children wandering in the area of ​​Howrah station, in Calcutta, children who were afflicted and very poor. Concerned, he decided to approach them and learn more about their situation. He began to regularly go to the station, to spend his time with them, to learn about their constant struggles for survival and the abuses they often suffered. He also noticed that during the day they did menial jobs and that at night they often had to fight for a minimum of security.

    Unable to bear such misery, Fr Thaiparambil decided to act.

    On 8 December 1985, with the support of the NGO "Seva Sanga Samity", he opened the first night shelter for 14 street children in the shantytowns of Pilkhana and began to live with them. Mother Teresa of Calcutta also came to the inauguration of the first shelter "Ashalayam" (House of Hope) in Belilious Road, Howrah, in 1991, and of the second refuge in Bhattnagar, Howrah, in 1995.

    “We shall take care of the girls, you take care of the boys,” Mother Teresa told Father Anthony when he started Ashalayam Project.

    Subsequently, the Salesian went to work in the nation's capital, again in favor of street children: within 10 years, he opened three centers: in 1997, the "Don Bosco Ashalayam" center in Bindapur; in 1999 in Palam Gaon; and in 2007 in Lucknow, then transferred to the current headquarters in Mohanlalganj.

    Today, over 500 children reside in the 23 "Ashalayam" shelter homes in the districts of Howrah, Calcutta and Nadia. Besides providing assistance to thousands of street children each year, the Ashalayam centers have so far helped around 80,000 children.

    Source: Matters India

    • India
    • Decessi
    • Bambini di Strada
    • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
    • Madre Teresa
    • INC
    • INN
      Gian Francesco Romano

      Italy – Rector Major's Visit to North-East Italy ends

      2 days 3 hours ago
      Italy – Rector Major's Visit to North-East Italy ends

      (ANS - Mestre) - The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, yesterday, Monday 18 March, concluded his visit to the Salesian Province "San Marco", of North-East Italy. After the big party on Sunday in Jesolo, yesterday was dedicated to the meeting at the Provincial headquarters of Mestre with the INE Province Council and to the visit to the Salesian house of Mogliano Veneto.

      by Francesca Bonotto

      If in the morning the gathering with Fr Igino Biffi, Provincial, and his council, was an important moment for listening to the challenges of the Province and to offer one's vision on the life of the Congregation globally, the highlight of the afternoon was lived in the Auditorium of the Salesian Institute "Astori" of Mogliano Veneto, with the meeting addressed to the laity of the houses of the North-East Province who hold positions of responsibility within the various Salesian realities.

      "It was nice to see familiar faces so excited and enjoying the words of the Rector Major, who with his charisma was able to give precious advice to all those present," said participants. The intervention of the Rector Major constituted in a study and search for clarity on the present situation and on the orientation to be taken for the future.

      Awareness and loving kindness: these were the two essential elements indicated by Fr Á.F. Artime, to live the Salesian reality today and to be able to operate in the full spirit of Don Bosco.

      The meeting took place in the debate mode with questions prepared by every present Salesian reality. In the pressing truth for answers, the fervent passion of a man who strongly believes in the power of union, in works, between laity and Salesians was noted.

      This appointment ended with the traditional greetings and many selfies, after which the X Successor gave an interview to the youths of the "Cube Radio" (radio host, Francesca Marchese; photo and video, Giacomo Mescalchin and Lorenzo Barutta), the radio station of the Istituto Universitario Salesiano Venezia (IUSVE), and offered concrete and convincing answers to current and deeply felt questions among today's youth. Finally, he went to the Community of Mogliano Veneto, a Salesian community that welcomes young people in vocational discernment and accompanies them in their search for God's will and in experiencing the Salesian charism.

      Thus the Animation Visit of the Rector Major in INE ended: "three days" of commitments, promises, answers and so much Salesian charism.

      Photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr.

      • Italia
      • INE
      • Rettor Maggiore
      • Ángel Fernández Artime
      • Visita di Animazione
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Mexico - Mercy returns to the streets of Chapultepec: "Corredor de la Misericordia"

        2 days 3 hours ago

        (ANS - Guadalajara) - The Chapultepec Promenade of Guadalajara, a long avenue marked by a significant flow of people and characterized by being a commercial and tourist area that often hosts various socio-cultural events, was the scenario for the fourth year consecutive, of the event "Corredor de la Misericordia" (Mercy Road), activity organized by the Salesian Youth Ministry, by the Parish of Our Lady of Peace and by the Salesian Temple of St. Francis of Sales.

        Pope Francis has coined an expression: "Outgoing Church". It is a terminology that has many meanings: a Church that takes care of every person, regardless of his or her moral status or ideas; a Church open to universal dialogue, with other Churches, religions and ideologies; a Church that renders all brothers and sisters, an immense fraternal community; a Church-shepherd who walks among the people, with the scent of sheep and mercy; a Church that seeks existential peripheries; a Church that is a servant and a prophetic voice; a Church that goes to the poor, dialogues with them, embraces them and defends them; a Church that stands in favor of the victims and calls them by name; a Church of the revolution of tenderness, mercy and care; a Church sensitive to the problem of ecology and the future of our Common House, Mother Earth; in short, a Church-joy of the Gospel and of hope for this world.

        It is with these values in the head and in the heart that the initiative of the "Corredor de la Misericordia" was also carried out this year. As in the previous editions, the objective of the activity was to offer people who passed by the popular Guadalajara street the possibility of receiving the ashes and inviting them to approach the sacrament of Reconciliation.

        The event brought together about 70 volunteers from the Salesian Family, young people from the Salesian Youth Movement and young people from the local pastoral care of the parish. Also present were Fr Abel Castillo and Msgr. Héctor Guerrero Córdova, SDB, bishop emeritus of the Prelature of Mixes.

        The main aim of the "Corredor de la Misericordia" was to replicate Pope Francis' invitation to announce God's mercy on the streets, and to make pastoral work a daily experience, joyful and close to all men.

        • Messico
        • MEG
        • Papa Francesco
        • Misericordia
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Spain - "Entarachén-VOLS" attracts 250 participants to its 4th Solidarity March for Ethiopia

          2 days 3 hours ago

          (ANS - Huesca) - "A spectacular day", thanks to good weather and, above all, to the large influx of participants in a cause of solidarity. Thus Antonio Rico, vice-president of the Salesian NGO "Entarachén-Vols", of Huesca, and of the mountaineering club "Javieres de Huesca", defined the 4th March of Solidarity of the municipality of Nueno for Ethiopia, which on 3 March brought together 250 participants in a circular route of 16 kilometers, with arrival and departure in the city of Hoya de Huesca de Arascués.

          In the popular gathering for refreshments after the march, the number of participants rose to around 300, making this edition the most attended so far. Most of the participants completed the journey, with the exception of some children who were forced by the effort to finish the journey by car. In general, people of all ages took part in the event.

          It was ultimately a day of solidarity, in which "from the first euro collected with the registration fee to the drinks purchased after the race were destined for 'Entarachén-Vols', for two projects in Ethiopia," said Mr. Rico.

          The two projects being supported concern the Don Bosco Youth Center in Addis Ababa, capital of the African country, which serves around 500 children in situations of extreme vulnerability, offering them scholastic and financial support; and the "Women In Development" Project (WID), in the city of Zway, which works as a center for the promotion of women from an early age.

          As known, the Ethiopians have a very low quality of life, as regards GDP per capita. Not only that, the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures the progress of a country, reports that Ethiopia is among the countries with the worst quality of life in the world. For this reason, the Salesians of Spain have decided to support their development.

          • Spagna
          • ONG
          • Solidarietà
          • Etiopia
          • Sport
            Gian Francesco Romano

            East Timor – A better nutrition for the Timorese youth

            2 days 3 hours ago
            East Timor – A better nutrition for the Timorese youth

            (ANS – Dili) – More than 1,170 poor youth across 11 Salesian centres in East Timor have access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and “Rise Against Hunger”, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

            The rice-meal donation was shared with the Don Bosco Co-Educational Technical School, the Don Bosco Agricultural College, the Salesian-run Madalena Morano Center, the Don Bosco Technical School Fatumaca and the Don Bosco Orphanage, among others.

            This shipment, received in October 2018, was one of two shipments sent to Salesian centres in East Timor. The second arrived in January 2019. The donated rice-meals are provided during the school day to ensure students have a healthy meal each day.

            “Hungry students have trouble focusing on their studies and learning,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Proper nutrition is needed to fully take part in classroom and in-field training. Prepared students are more likely to learn valuable skills that will help them gain employment and break the cycle of poverty in their lives while enabling them to give back to their communities.”

            Salesian missionaries in East Timor have been providing programs to help residents recover and rebuild in the wake of a devastating civil war in the country that claimed countless lives, decimated entire communities and resulted in living conditions that are among the worst in the world. Now that the violence has subsided, efforts are being focused on helping the poor, restoring hope and providing new opportunities for the future.

            In the city of Maliana, the new Don Bosco Co-Educational Technical School has already become an important centre of education. The school is focused on improving its overall facilities, including the kitchen and dormitory, and enlarging its provisions of filtered drinking water. At the Don Bosco Technical School, vocational education helps youth gain an education and prepare for the future. It serves more than 250 students, 11 percent of whom are girls, who take three-year courses in carpentry, mechanics or electronics. Each year there are more than 400 applications for the 84 student spots. Final year students are required to design and produce a product that encompasses much of what they have learned over the previous three years.

            In addition to technical education, Salesian missionaries in East Timor focus on agriculture training. In the city of Fuiloro where 75 percent of the population earns a living though farming, the Don Bosco Agricultural College plays an important role in promoting better care of livestock and increasing crop yields. In 2017, there was an increase in enrolment applications and now more than 200 students take courses at the college. The school is aiming to become more self-sufficient by increasing the farm production of corn, animal feed, varied horticulture and coconut oil and improving livestock intake.

            “Rise Against Hunger” partners with Salesian Missions which works to identify needs and coordinate delivery of 40-foot shipping containers full of meals, supplemented with additional supplies when available. The partnership was developed in 2011 and since that time shipments have been successfully delivered to 20 countries around the globe. The meals and life-saving aid have helped to nourish poor youth at Salesian schools and programs and care for those in need of emergency aid during times of war, natural disasters and health crises.

            “The partnership with Rise Against Hunger allows Salesian Missions to expand its services for youth in need,” adds Fr. Hyde. “Operating feeding programs for youth in Salesian schools whose families cannot afford to feed them is very important and integral to the success of our students.”

            East Timor is home to 1.26 million people and according to the Human Development Index, the country ranked 133 out of 188 for life expectancy, access to education and standard of living in 2016. The World Bank estimates that East Timor has close to 42 percent of its population living in poverty with over one-third of the population regularly experiencing food shortages. In addition, close to 50 percent of the population is illiterate.

            Source: Mission Newswire

            • Timor Est
            • TLS
            • ONG
            • Fame
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Italy – The Rector Major animates Children's Day and entire Province of North-East Italy

              3 days 3 hours ago
              Italy – The Rector Major animates Children's Day and entire Province of North-East Italy

              (ANS - Jesolo) - The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, spent the weekend in the Salesian Province "San Marco", of North-East Italy. "Don Ángel, come and remind us, in the name of Don Bosco, that we have a mission, entrusted to us by God, urgent and timely to accomplish: the salvation of souls,” wrote the INE Provincial, Fr Igino Biffi, in a letter sent to the Rector Major and to all his confreres in the Province on the occasion of the visit.

              The Rector Major's visit began on the evening of Friday 15 March with his arrival in Mestre. On the morning of Saturday 16, in the premises of the "San Marco" Institute, an assembly was held with the Salesians of INE, all gathered to hear the impressions and advice of the Successor of Don Bosco. The Rector Major focused on the importance of the presence of the Salesians to carry out the mission of the work in the world. In the afternoon he went to Schio to meet the children and visit the community.

              In the morning of Sunday, Fr Á.F. Artime continued his visit by participating in the "Festa dei Ragazzi" 2019 edition, organized by the INE Youth Ministry team.

               "I went to the Salesians, felt very good among the young and so it continued until today ... Did I hear 'a voice'? No. But I experienced so many beautiful things that made me feel that I could be happy in that way."

              He then praised the commitment of the children to support Salesian miThe Rector Major told the children how he met the Salesians and offered his vocational testimony.ssions in Syria, Brazil and Ethiopia and noted that in each country he visited he always saw, together with the suffering, the seeds of hope sown by the Salesian Family.

              He then narrated his experience at the Synod of Bishops on Youth and shared how, from the reports presented, young people from the poorest countries are happier than those in European countries. "It's something we have to think about. It's the truth told by young people," he commented.

              Finally, he spoke of some of his experiences in traveling to India and Syria, before concluding with the Eucharist.

              The afternoon saw him busy with the Salesian center in Padua and a visit to the community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

              Photos of the visit, ending today, Monday 18 March, are available on ANSFlickr.

              {gallery}INE - Festa dei Ragazzi 2019{/gallery}

              • Italia
              • INE
              • Bambini
              • Ragazzi
              • Rettor Maggiore
              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Ghana – Don Bosco empowering trafficked young women

                3 days 3 hours ago
                Ghana – Don Bosco empowering trafficked young women

                (ANS – Ashaiman) – “Don Bosco Child Protection Center Ashaiman”, Ghana, has started a new program, its theme: “Empower Women of Ghana”; it targets young women between the ages of 18 and 23.

                The program, launched last February, with assistance from Turin's “Missioni Don Bosco”, is designed to assist young women who face many adversities and challenges during their journey towards creating better lives for themselves and are, alas, susceptible to human trafficking and migration.

                They are from poverty-driven backgrounds, and have been deprived of basic education, with little or no support in learning to become respectable young women in society. By means of curbing this trend, in collaboration with responsible agencies, these young women were rescued from various vulnerable situations from all over Ghana for the program.

                One of the first things done during this period is to empower them from within by helping them re-ignite that reason to live as well as offering them group and individual therapy, behavioural management. It also addresses various topics such as personal hygiene, self-love, the importance of relationships, and etiquette in a professional setting.

                After the inward empowerment comes the outward empowerment. Thus the program provides skills-training in hairdressing, catering, beads-making, and fashion design.

                The mission of this project is to ensure these young women and many more who come in the future, leave the program with the skills-training needed to progress in the specific fields in which they desire to pursue self–employment.

                • Ghana
                • AFW
                • Tratta
                • Donne
                • Ragazze
                • Formazione Professionale
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  India – Indian Salesian to head Asian Bishops’ Office of Social Communication

                  3 days 3 hours ago
                  India – Indian Salesian to head Asian Bishops’ Office of Social Communication

                  (ANS – New Delhi– A Salesian who headed national media offices in New Delhi will now be in charge of the media office of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) in Manila, from 22nd March 2019. Media trainer Fr. (Dr.) George Plathottam has been appointed Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Social Communications (OSC) in Manila, the Philippines. The FABC-OSC is responsible for the Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), the only continental Catholic Radio service broadcasting in 22 languages of Asia for the last 50 years.

                  By Fr C.M. Paul

                  The RVA Golden Jubilee celebrations are scheduled for 11-12 April 2019.

                  The FABC Central Committee meeting in Rome on 25 February 2019 appointed 62 year old Dr Plathottam as Executive Secretary of the FABC OSC for a period of 4 years.

                  “We extend to you a warm welcome into the FABC family and thank you for your acceptance of this important FABC position,” wrote FABC President Salesian Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar.

                  Dr. Plathottam, was Rector and Principal of Don Bosco Tura in Meghalaya and Director of Don Bosco Academy Tura - a centre for Civil Service preparatory training and career guidance prior to his recent appointment.

                  A member of the Salesians of Don Bosco of  Guwahati province, Dr Plathottam has three masters degrees in Theology, Sociology, and Journalism & Mass Communications and doctoral degree on Mass Communication from North Eastern Hill University, Shillong.

                  Earlier, he was the director of the Mass Media Department in St Anthony’s College, Shillong, and president of Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) and South Asian Catholic Press Association, and editor of South Asia Religious News.

                  Dr. Plathottam who has spent some four decades in Northeast India, especially in Guwahati, Shillong and Tura has worked as national secretary for communications at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India from 2008 to 2015 and Director of national media training and research institute, NISCORT from 2012 to 2015.  

                  Dr Plathottam is on several academic and consultative boards related to media. One of the founding members of 25 year old BOSCOM India (Don Bosco Communications) Dr Plathottam is founder of the Salesian news agency which is now the official news agency of the Salesians in South Asia under the name Bosco Information Service (BIS).

                  In 1992, he won The North -South Friendship Prize from Union of Catholic International Press and the Government of Germany.

                  • India
                  • Vescovi
                  • Comunicazione Sociale
                  • Chiesa
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Spain - Remembering Fr Antonio César: "If in his life he was a great apostle, in his death he was even more so"

                    3 days 3 hours ago

                    (ANS - Seville) - The Salesian Province "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" has created a special e-mail address - recordandoacesar@salesianos.edu - in order to gather and convey news, testimonies and experiences related to Salesian missionary Fr Antonio César Fernández, killed last February 15 in Burkina Faso.

                    "The establishment of this address is motivated by the fact that many people are sending a large number of letters, messages on WhatsApp or comments because of what has happened, and we want to collect all this news. Furthermore, we were also motivated by the request of the Apostolic Nuncio to prepare a dossier with written, graphic and audiovisual testimonials about our brother Antonio César," explains Fr Alejandro Guevara, Delegate for the Salesian Family of the SMX Province, who also accompanied the family of the Salesian during the funeral celebrated in Togo and Pozoblanco, the birthplace of Fr Fernández.

                    The funeral in Spain, celebrated last February 24, was presided over by the bishop of Cordoba, Msgr. Demetrio Fernández González, who shared words of consolation for the citizenship and recalled a person who from a very early age had a clear vocation to serve those most in need, why he went to Togo to found the first Salesian presence in that country. "His death made us think. He did a great deal of good for the Salesian Family and for all those who received his testimony. If in his life he was a great apostle, in his death he was even more so. It was a final gift, after a commitment sustained throughout his life. For this he became a Salesian and that is why he asked to go to Africa where he was able to accompany young people at risk. He would not have been there if he had not chosen to live his daily life as a missionary," the prelate said during the event.

                    Mons. Miguel Ángel Olaverri, Salesian bishop of the diocese of Pointe-Noire, in the Republic of the Congo, shared some of the experiences lived with Fr Antonio César during the period of the foundation of the Salesian presence in Togo. "It was a moment of communion, as is also reflected in this celebration in which four Salesian Provincials are present and over 1,300 Salesians are represented in Africa." He then referred to the clamor caused by the death of Fr Fernández in Lomé, in Togo, where the figure of Caesar is highlighted as that of a martyr who will reach the altars. "After Pope Francis' invitation to holiness, I was pleased to hear the expression 'a saint is buried today.' We must identify the saints who live with us today and who accompany us," he added.

                    For his part, in a letter addressed to the Salesian Family, the Rector Major defined the Salesian killed as "a good man and a man of God", who spent his life doing good, especially in Africa.

                    • Spagna
                    • SMX
                    • Antonio César Fernández
                    • Martiri
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Pakistan - The memory of Akash Bashir, Salesian Past Pupil, 4 years after his death

                      6 days 3 hours ago
                      Pakistan - The memory of Akash Bashir, Salesian Past Pupil, 4 years after his death

                      (ANS - Lahore) - Four years have passed since that 15 March 2015, the day when the young Akash Bashir, Salesian Past Pupil, sacrificed himself to prevent a suicide bomber from provoking a massacre in the church of St John in Youhannabad, the Christian neighourhood of Lahore, Pakistan.

                      Akash Bashir was 18 years old, had studied at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Lahore and had become a security volunteer. That tragic March 15, like every Sunday, he was on duty. He was specifically charged with overseeing security at the entrance to the church of St John.

                      While on duty, he received news that the Church of Christ, an Anglican church located 500 meters away, had been attacked by several armed men. Akash tried to secure the area in front of the church of St John, when he saw a man running towards the building - a terrorist, intent on more carnage.

                      Akash faced him, trying to block him. The man threatened Akash, declaring he had a bomb with him, but the young man did not let himself be intimidated. He hugged the terrorist to keep him from entering the church. The bomber blew himself up, causing about twenty deaths, including Akash himself. The victims would have been many more, had the Salesian Past Pupil not sacrificed his life.

                      "The history of the Church is strongly marked by many women and by many men who with their faith, with their charity and with their lives have been like lighthouses that have illuminated and continue to illuminate many generations over time," writes the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in the Strenna 2019.

                      For the Christians of Youhannabad, Akash, with his great faith, is exactly this: a lighthouse, an example to follow.

                      On his tomb, as Fr Francis Gulzar, pastor of the church of St John, has said, many go to pray and ask for intercession. His courageous act still inspires Pakistan's Catholics today in their daily journey and motivates them not to be discouraged by the many challenges they still face.

                      For this reason, Fr Francis Gulzar, who is also Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lahore, in January 2017, sent a letter to the archbishop, Msgr. 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."

                      "The Christian community of Youhanabad is proud of its young hero, Akash Bashir, reads the letter, "and asks His Excellency to transmit our request to the Holy Father and to the relevant Congregation for the cause of martyrdom."

                      • Pakistan
                      • FIS
                      • Akash Bashir
                      • Martiri
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Province of North-East Italy

                        6 days 3 hours ago
                        RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Province of North-East Italy

                        (ANS - Rome) - "Father Ángel, we are waiting for you!": thus the joyful cry of the Salesian Youth Movement of the Triveneto, which awaits Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime next Sunday, March 17, for the traditional "Festa Ragazzi" in Jesolo. The X Successor of Don Bosco will participate in the large festival, which annually gathers thousands of participants from all the centers of the area's Salesian Family. He will also visit other Salesian houses and realities of the Salesian Province of North-East Italy.

                        Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Rector Major leaves for Venice-Mestre on the evening of today, Friday 15.

                        On Saturday morning he will preside over the assembly with all his confreres from the Province, while in the afternoon he will travel to Schio, where he will visit the Salesian house and meet the young people who attend it. In the evening, returning to Mestre, he will offer the Salesian "Good night" to the animators of the Festa Ragazzi.

                        On Sunday morning, the Rector Major will attend the Festa's central performance on the theme "Choose where to look", and then preside over the Eucharist for all those present. Later in the day he will move to Padua to meet the members of the Salesian Family and visit the local community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                        Finally, on the last day of the visit, Fr Á.F. Artime shall meet with the Provincial Council and then, in Mogliano Veneto, with the laity who have roles of responsibility in the houses of the Province and with young people in vocational research being hosted in the so-called "Comunità Proposta - Proposal Community."

                        • RMG
                        • Visita di Animazione
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • INE
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Spain - Don Bosco National Award reaches 1000 innovative projects presented during its history

                          1 week ago
                          Spain - Don Bosco National Award reaches 1000 innovative projects presented during its history

                          (ANS - Zaragoza) - Yesterday, March 13, the jury of the 32nd Don Bosco National Award was established, a competition that acknowledges innovative projects developed in the field of secondary education, vocational training and educational activities of Spanish educational centers in general. The 45 new projects presented this year are added to the others presented in the history of this prestigious award, thus reaching the impressive figure of 1030 innovation projects presented from the outset.

                          Technological companies, polytechnic universities, professional associations and public administrations will form the four juries that shall evaluate the projects, each from a different perspective. Yesterday, at the sports center of the Salesians of Zaragoza, the exhibition was inaugurated and the evaluation of the works presented began. Scheduled for today, Thursday 14, in the Auditorium of the Salesian institute, are the awarding of the prize and a presentation by Javier Sirvent, specialist in Digital Transformation.

                          A total of 45 projects were presented at the 32nd edition, of which 35 qualified, coming from schools and vocational training centers throughout Spain. A total of 61 students and 31 teachers as tutors participate, for a total of 22 educational centers.

                          As regards areas of research, the Technological Innovation section was established, with a total of 26 projects: 16 in the Information and Communication Technology segment (Telecommunications, Audiovisual Technologies ...) and 10 in Industrial Technologies (Electronics, Robotics, Mechatronics ...).

                          The Mario Rubio Award, a tribute to the figure of the Salesian creator and promoter of the "Don Bosco Prize", which is awarded each year to a person with a renowned professional career, will be presented to Amado Franco, President of the "IberCaja" Foundation.

                          The Don Bosco Award is an acknowledgment of entrepreneurship, teamwork and innovation. Since its creation in 1984, the competition has managed to make important contributions in the field of education and in the relations between the academic and business worlds, given that the Don Bosco Awards are also a showcase for entrepreneurial initiatives applicable to future company projects.

                          "The Don Bosco National Award wants to be more than a prize," said the director of the initiative, Fr Juan Bosco Sancho. "It wants to be a stimulus and a transformation for those who participate. For students and tutors, participating in this competition is an incentive for innovative skills, to become aware of the importance of research and the possibilities they have of contributing to the improvement of society."

                          • Spagna
                          • SMX
                          • Scuole
                          • Formazione Professionale
                          • Tecnologie
                          • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Colombia - Salesian Family present at "Expocatólica 2019"

                            1 week ago

                            (ANS - Bogotà) - From 7 to 10 March, at the "Ágora" Congress Center in Bogotá, the Salesian Family of Colombia took part in "Expocatólica 2019", an event thas been promoted for already several years now by the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, to make known the evangelizing force of the Church. The motto of this edition, on the wake of Pope Francis' visit to the country in 2017, was: "Let us continue to walk together."

                            The event represented a favorable opportunity for people, organizations and institutions to share creative and innovative experiences of their activities, as well as a space of prayer and culture in which the initiatives of integral human promotion developed in the various regions of the country were made visible.

                            One of its objectives was to promote the culture of encounter or meeting which, according to the teaching of Pope Francis, "is a lifestyle and an attitude that favors dialogue as a method, the shared search for consensus, agreements, of that which unites rather than divides, and it is a path that we must all travel. For this we must give priority to time over space, the whole to the part, reality to the abstract idea, and unity to conflict.”

                            It is the first time that the whole Salesian Family participates in this event with a single concept and in a single location. In past editions some centers or groups had participated separately but, in the desire to live fraternity and unity, it was decided to organize an extended team representing all the groups of the Salesian Family in Expocatólica 2019, with the same name and in the same spirit. For this reason, the group of exhibitors was composed of various members of the Salesian Family groups.

                            For the representation of the site, the house of Don Bosco ai Becchi was chosen, because it was from the experiences lived in that house that the desire of little Giovannino Bosco to become a priest and help others was born. What he lived in his early years marked his life in a decisive way and helped to consolidate the educational and evangelizing model that he would propose to his young people in the years to come.

                            Each part of this replica of Don Bosco's house at the Becchi was used to convey a message. The four dimensions of Salesian youth ministry (home, church, school, playground) were presented in different parts of the house, and there was also a silhouette of Don Bosco with which everyone wanted to take a picture.

                            "These were four days of encounters wherein we showed the Salesian charism through the groups of the Salesian Family," said the participants in "Expocatólica 2019" in conclusion. 

                            {gallery}Expocatolica 2019{/gallery}

                            • Colombia
                            • COB
                            • Famiglia Salesiana
                            • Fiera
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              Italy - "Vedendo / Facendo – seeing / doing" is online. A new project of listening and sharing

                              1 week ago

                              (ANS - Catania) - "Vedendo / Facendo" is a new web initiative designed and implemented by the Salesian Social Communication Office of Sicily. It is a series of videos about very broad themes (catechetical, ethical, social, philosophical and theological) in a journey that starts from seeing so as to arrive at doing, via understanding.

                              The issues dealt with will see the Salesians as protagonists, as well as young people, who have made themselves available for listening.

                              The first video, launched on 4 March 2019, is available on the Salesian channel of Sicily. It is a video presentation of what they wish to achieve through the Seeing/Doing feature.

                              The video, which has already achieved almost a thousand views and many shares, was first introduced by a social campaign, through storytelling on the main themes of the feature – to see and to do. Currently, other videos are already being written and planned, and even these will be introduced by graphics always related to the theme, and will be shared, as always, on the various channels of the Province in its social networks.

                              The "Vedendo / Facendo" project involves collaboration between a number of Salesians and young people occupying various roles in the Sicilian Province, and it is a project that will grow with time, committed as they are to improving day by day.

                              Fr Enrico Frusteri, Delegate for Social Communications of the Sicilian Province (ISI), underlines how the project is "a further web space where it is possible to deepen multiple themes, which are particularly important to young people; but the recipients of these videos are not only young people, but also those who dedicate themselves to their education."

                              Fr Giuseppe Cassaro, Dean of the "San Tommaso" Theological Institute of Messina and protagonist of the first video, for years engaged in the academic life, says they shall always tries to see issues that interest young people. In the video he says that this web space "does not want to be a strictly religious corner, but an opportunity to listen to the questions that arise from everyday life and affect our days."

                              "Vedendo/Facendo" is a journey of young people and for young people, but also a stimulus for those interested in the world of youth. As for the frequency of the offered contributions, at least one video is expected every 15 days.

                              "There is no time to lose - #staytuned - watch the first video, subscribe to the channel and participate!," concluded the promoters of the initiative.

                              Source: ISI Newsletter

                              • Italia
                              • ISI
                              • Comunicazione Sociale
                              • Giovani
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                India – DBYA South Asia Releases Youth Ministry Training Manual

                                1 week ago
                                India – DBYA South Asia Releases Youth Ministry Training Manual

                                (ANS – Dimapur) – The Salesians of Don Bosco in South Asia have prepared a Youth Ministry Training Manual for those in Formation, based on the “Salesian Youth Ministry: Frame of Reference.” The manual was launched by Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Superior for Don Bosco South Asia, at the solemn conclusion of the SPCSA [Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia] on 28 February 2019 in Dimapur.

                                The precious task undertaken by the members of DBYA-SA [Don Bosco Youth Animation-South Asia] Regional Team, with the help of Salesians from different provinces of the South Asian Region, was spearheaded by Fr Maria Charles Antonysamy, SDB.

                                The Training Manual comprises four books with well-planned modules for the different stages of formation, i.e. Pre-Novitiate, Novitiate, Post-Novitiate and Practical Training. Through this manual, various tenets of Salesian Youth Ministry will be effectively learnt, understood and put into practice by the young Salesians in initial formation.

                                Fr Maria Charles said, ''The first manual sets the stage, the second helps the young Salesian formulate his personal plan of life, the third helps the formee to gain an in-depth knowledge of the essential skills, while the fourth helps in practical application of the concepts within the lived socio-cultural context.''

                                The Pre-Novitiate manual provides the basic concepts of Salesian Youth Ministry in its different settings; various models of youth ministry; the qualities of a Salesian Youth Minister and the basic skills required to discern his own vocation. The Novitiate manual helps in formulation of the personal plan of life, to understand the contexts in which young people live; Salesian identity and youth ministry as the specific charism of the Salesians; to develop an Oratorian heart; the fundamentals of the preventive system and the skills of a youth minister.

                                The Post-Novitiate manual introduces the young Salesian to an in-depth knowledge of the challenges of youth today; the apostolic identity of Salesian Youth Minister; the history and spirituality of Salesian Youth Ministry with its fundamental dimensions, choices and its various sectors and activities. It also deals with the basics of a scientific approach towards Salesian Youth Ministry and the Preventive System as a Salesian philosophy of Education; the locus of Salesian Youth Ministry- the Educative Pastoral Community and the operational tools for Salesian Youth Ministry - the Salesian Educative Pastoral Plan. The Don Bosco Child Protection Policy; the art of accompanying the young people and the Salesian Youth Movement are also dealt with in detail.

                                The Practical Training module helps the young Salesian to understand the wherewithal of his field of apostolate and his own apostolic identity within a particular culture and in various socio-political contexts. Practical aspects of the preventive system and the Salesian Youth Spirituality as part of a holistic youth ministry will help the young formee to organize and animate the Salesian Youth Movement.

                                Source: Don Bosco India

                                • India
                                • Formazione
                                • Pastorale Giovanile
                                • Maria Arokiam Kanaga
                                • Asia Sud
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  India – “Tani Cool” photo journal released

                                  1 week ago
                                  India – “Tani Cool” photo journal released

                                  (ANS – Jorhat) – The latest book by K. A. Thomas, sdb, called “Tani Cool”, was released on 4th March 2019, by Rev. Jose Kuruvachira, the Provincial Superior of Don Bosco organizations in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur. The book was released at Don Bosco, Baghchung, in the presence of a large number of educationists and social workers from Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam. 

                                  “Tani Cool” is a random collection of photographs taken by the author, dating from 2000 to 2015. The colourful photographs depict their entire life and culture of the Mising people spread out in the rural situations of 11 districts of Assam and 3 districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The book describes pictorially 46 topics about the tribe.

                                  The word Tani in the title refers to the nomenclature of the tribe that once lived in the present day Arunachal Pradesh, and belonged to the Tani group of tribes. Misings are a cool people, who never had an army or a king. They were called upon by the British rulers to intermediate between the warring tribes living in the hills and plains of the region.

                                  Fr K.A. Thomas, SDB, a member of “Don Bosco International”, is the founder director of Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD), based at Jorhat, and is an Ashoka Fellow since 2002. Although hailing from Kerala, he has mastered the Assamese language, having obtained a bachelor’s degree in Assamese from Guwahati University way back in 1987.

                                  • India
                                  • IND
                                  • Indigeni
                                  • Libri
                                  • Mising
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    Italy – Don Bosco and Salesian missionaries in Patagonia at "European Academy of Religion"

                                    1 week 1 day ago

                                    (ANS - Bologna) - During the annual meeting, 4 - 7 March, the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS), a member of the "European Academy of Religion", based in Bologna, screened the documentary film "A sud del sud - South of South" by Salvatore Metastasio. Financed by Don Bosco Missions and the Dicastery for Salesian Missions, in collaboration with ISS, the film aims to commemorate the centenary of the Salesian missionaries raising the cross at Cape Froward (Strait of Magellan) in 1913, on the occasion of the 1600th anniversary of the edict of Constantine. The Bologna screening was received with great interest by the public.

                                    The Salesians, who had already presented the results of their historical research to the European Academy of Religion two years ago, through a conference on Salesian work in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century, were thus able to talk about the epic Salesian missionary journey in Patagonia through the film by Salvatore Metastasio.

                                    The film narrates the journey of two Italians who meet in Punta Arenas, Chile, and then continue together to Cape Froward. The youngest, Diego, wants to know the world of the Yagan, because he plans to make a film about Darwin and his friendship with Jemmy Botton, the native aboard the brig "Beagle" on his famous journey of 1832. Instead, the elderly man, Alessandro, narrates having set out towards Patagonia to follow the traces of Don Bosco's dream about that land, which a Salesian had told him about when he was a child. The journey together will give birth to a friendship between the two that is, however, filled with misunderstandings.

                                    It is the clash between science and faith, where a positive view of life is affirmed by the young, while a vision emerges on the part of the older man that cannot overlook the most fruitful part of life: the one that makes man feel part of a whole, a creature among creatures and awaiting a "revelation", which leads to reflect on the meaning of the Cross, seen not only as a religious symbol (for believers) but, above all, as a universal symbol of contact between sky and earth.

                                    The film ends with the director who entrusts a particular message to everyone: "You do not see the infinite if you do not have it in your heart."

                                    • Italia
                                    • ISS
                                    • Cile
                                    • Missioni
                                    • Missioni Don Bosco
                                    • Cinema
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Vatican - Positive opinion of theological Consultors to Cause of Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni

                                      1 week 1 day ago
                                      Vatican - Positive opinion of theological Consultors to Cause of Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni

                                      (ANS - Vatican City) - On 12 March 2019, during the Congress of Theological Consultors held at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a full positive opinion was given regarding the heroic exercise of virtues, the reputation of holiness and signs of the Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni, archbishop of Potenza, born in Pegognana (Mantua) on 10 January 1876 and died in Potenza on 30 August 1972. The Servant of God attended the Salesian oratory in Turin and met Don Bosco, who had a great influence on his formation.

                                      The Positio was presented on 27 September 2013 by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Postulator in Rome; among the speakers: Fr Daniel Ols, OP., followed by Fr P. Zdzisław Kijas, OFM Conv., and as a collaborator Msgr. Gerardo Messina, former vice-postulator, assisted by Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Salesian Postulation.

                                      It is nice to remember that this fundamental passage of the Cause took place on March 12, the day of the death of Saint Luigi Orione who, with the young Augusto Bertazzoni, was a pupil of the oratory of Valdocco in Turin. Both were among the boys who in 1887 offered their lives for the salvation of Don Bosco; while for his part the Saint of the Young had prophesied that the young Augustus would become bishop.

                                      Mons. Bertazzoni was a good Pastor and father of the poor, a true man of God, a man of faith and prayer, a tireless preacher of the Word of God, attentive to the spiritual needs of the faithful and even non-believers, for whom he spent his life to the very end, offering to God, for the good of the Churches that he had led as a bishop, the sufferings that led to his death.

                                      He was a father to the victims of war and to the Jews confined to Basilicata, a farsighted educator of the young, and he spent his time so that the priests of his diocese, together with men and women religious,  dedicated themselves to the formation of young people, both in schools as in “Catholic Action”; he would recommend to all of them to have a "spirit of paternity" for the new generations.

                                      After this step, the next takes place in the Ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops, after which the Supreme Pontiff authorizes the promulgation of the decree of Venerability.

                                      • Vaticano
                                      • Santità Salesiana
                                      • Augusto Bertazzoni
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Venezuela - Msgr Raúl Biord: "We look forward to this historic moment with hope, despite the hunger and the difficult situation that people are experiencing"

                                        1 week 2 days ago

                                        (ANS - Caracas) - "We look forward to this historic moment that Venezuela is experiencing," said Msgr. Raúl Biord, Salesian, bishop of La Guaira, Venezuela. His is a peripheral diocese of the city of Caracas, located about twenty kilometers from the capital, and has about 500,000 inhabitants.

                                        No one can deny that the situation in Venezuela is dramatic, even on a global scale. The images of disease, hunger and pain suffered by many people hurt the eyes. It hurts to see "the terrible scene of a mother carrying the corpse of her daughter to the morgue, who died during the blackout" or "to see dozens of children buried who had no medicine or electricity to save themselves." It hurts to see thousands of Venezuelans having to travel thousands of miles in search of a future, fleeing to other countries.

                                        In the midst of this desolate landscape, Msgr. Biord said: "We are experiencing profound political changes. Twenty years ago what was called the Bolivarian revolution, which proposed 21st century socialism, was established; but unfortunately that revolution has failed.

                                        This project has caused great poverty, having followed an economic and social model of great state control over people, businesses and free economic initiative. This whole situation has led to a general collapse of services and the failure and closure of almost all companies.

                                        One of the biggest catastrophes this regime has produced is that nearly 4 million Venezuelans have left the country in the last 10 years. Very poor and simple people have had to leave the country by bus or on foot.

                                        In Venezuela there is a situation of great poverty, of great need, and as we bishops have stated on various occasions, through the documents of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, we are faced with a situation of illegitimacy of the President, of illegitimacy in the performance of functions and of illegitimacy in the origin.

                                        We need a transition, with free elections and a renewal of powers, to renew the country's institutions ... Let's look at this historic moment with hope, despite the hunger and the difficult situation that people are experiencing, despite the collapse of many services, the economic collapse and hunger of many people.

                                        There is a people that resists bending. It is a people that wants to provide humanitarian assistance through various civil organizations. The Church has placed "Caritas" at the parish and diocesan level as an aid center for receiving aid and distributing support to the most vulnerable population, which are malnourished children, pregnant and child-nurturing mothers, and adults with terminal illnesses.

                                        The Venezuelan people have the right to live with a quality of life and to be able to give a future to their young people.

                                        There is a lot of hope, but also a lot of suffering.

                                        We thank the countries and religious groups that help us with prayer and with their presence, to keep us on our feet and to seek respect for human rights and the dignity of the people. Let's look at this situation with hope. We pray to God that the transition be peaceful."

                                        • Venezuela
                                        • Vescovi
                                        • Fame
                                        • Povertà
                                        • Politica
                                        • Raúl Biord Castillo
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Mozambique - Cyclone Idai: "A disaster of great proportions"

                                          1 day 3 hours ago

                                          (ANS - Beira) - After weeks of torrential rains and floods, a large area between Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi has been hit by Cyclone Idai. Although the official figures are still being updated, the situation on the ground is defined as "terrifying": over 200 victims already registered, but the estimates speak of more than 1,000.

                                          Of the three countries affected by the fury of the cyclone, Mozambique is probably the hardest struck. The communities of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Mozambique, despite not having homes in the tragedy's epicenter, are mobilizing to assist the victims by providing food, clothing and basic necessities, as well as their prayers.

                                          In the coastal city of Beira, 90% of the buildings have been destroyed or damaged, while most of the population is displaced. Also severely damaged are sections of the hospital and the city's most important access roads. The port is only partially operational, but still allows for the arrival of aid by sea. Other central provinces of Manica, Zambezia and Tete have also been affected by floods, as well as part of the northern part of Niassa. Many of the inland villages have remained isolated and still inaccessible to relief efforts.

                                          It was President Filipe Nyusi, who flew over Beira and the Manica and Sofala provinces by helicopter, to declare to Radio Mozambique, "it is a disaster of great proportions" and to testify that "entire villages have disappeared, communities are isolated and bodies float on the waters.”

                                          The archbishop of Beira, Msgr. Claudio Dalla Zuanna, issued a statement in which he testified to the seriousness of the situation and announced the preparation of a relief program to help the population: "As a diocesan church, through parishes and Caritas, we are activating an emergency plan to meet the most urgent needs.”

                                          Even in Zimbabwe the situation is serious: there are at least one hundred dead and over 200 missing. The damage to homes and infrastructure are considerable and the first estimates speak of over 900 buildings destroyed. The Chimanimani region is among the most affected, many areas are inaccessible even to helicopters, making rescue operations very difficult.

                                          In central and southern Malawi, the cyclone and floods have also caused massive damage with dozens of deaths, more than 500 injured and over 140,000 displaced people in 13 districts. The areas of Chikwawa, Zomba, Balaka, Machinga, Dedza and Ntcheu are the most affected.

                                          {gallery}MOZ - Ciclone Idai 2019{/gallery}

                                          • Mozambico
                                          • MOZ
                                          • Disastri
                                          • Malawi
                                          • Zimbabwe
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            India - Farewell to Fr Anthony Thaiparambil, SDB, a father for 80 thousand street children

                                            1 day 3 hours ago
                                            India - Farewell to Fr Anthony Thaiparambil, SDB, a father for 80 thousand street children

                                            (ANS - New Delhi) - On the day when the Church celebrates the putative father of Jesus, on March 19, Fr Anthony Thaiparambil passed away in New Delhi, a man who can be considered the father of about 80,000 street children from various cities of India. Among the pioneers in serving children at risk in the slums, he spent 33 years devoting himself to various activities in their favor. The funeral is scheduled for Friday 22nd in New Delhi, in the province to which he belonged.

                                            By Fr C.M. Paul, SDB

                                            Fr Anthony Thaiparambil was the eldest of three other brothers who became religious: two as Salesian brothers, in the Calcutta Province, and one as a Jesuit priest. His brother Mathew also died recently, on February 1 in Calcutta.

                                            "Father Anthony has touched many lives of street children [in Kolkata and New Delhi]. He always prayed for the children in the streets during his last days," said New Delhi Salesian Provincial Fr Jose Mathew.

                                            Besides being a model for many other volunteers who would follow in his footsteps, it was probably he who inspired the character of Paul Lambert, the French missionary active among the poorest of the slums, in the famous novel "The City of Joy" by Dominic Lapierre. In fact, Fr Thaiparambil had started working for street children in the same room in the shantytown of Pilkhana, near the Howrah railway station, rented by Lapierre to write his masterpiece.

                                            The Salesian had obtained a Master's degree as a Social Assistant and observed a disturbing number of children wandering in the area of ​​Howrah station, in Calcutta, children who were afflicted and very poor. Concerned, he decided to approach them and learn more about their situation. He began to regularly go to the station, to spend his time with them, to learn about their constant struggles for survival and the abuses they often suffered. He also noticed that during the day they did menial jobs and that at night they often had to fight for a minimum of security.

                                            Unable to bear such misery, Fr Thaiparambil decided to act.

                                            On 8 December 1985, with the support of the NGO "Seva Sanga Samity", he opened the first night shelter for 14 street children in the shantytowns of Pilkhana and began to live with them. Mother Teresa of Calcutta also came to the inauguration of the first shelter "Ashalayam" (House of Hope) in Belilious Road, Howrah, in 1991, and of the second refuge in Bhattnagar, Howrah, in 1995.

                                            “We shall take care of the girls, you take care of the boys,” Mother Teresa told Father Anthony when he started Ashalayam Project.

                                            Subsequently, the Salesian went to work in the nation's capital, again in favor of street children: within 10 years, he opened three centers: in 1997, the "Don Bosco Ashalayam" center in Bindapur; in 1999 in Palam Gaon; and in 2007 in Lucknow, then transferred to the current headquarters in Mohanlalganj.

                                            Today, over 500 children reside in the 23 "Ashalayam" shelter homes in the districts of Howrah, Calcutta and Nadia. Besides providing assistance to thousands of street children each year, the Ashalayam centers have so far helped around 80,000 children.

                                            Source: Matters India

                                            • India
                                            • Decessi
                                            • Bambini di Strada
                                            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                            • Madre Teresa
                                            • INC
                                            • INN
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              Italy – Rector Major's Visit to North-East Italy ends

                                              2 days 3 hours ago
                                              Italy – Rector Major's Visit to North-East Italy ends

                                              (ANS - Mestre) - The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, yesterday, Monday 18 March, concluded his visit to the Salesian Province "San Marco", of North-East Italy. After the big party on Sunday in Jesolo, yesterday was dedicated to the meeting at the Provincial headquarters of Mestre with the INE Province Council and to the visit to the Salesian house of Mogliano Veneto.

                                              by Francesca Bonotto

                                              If in the morning the gathering with Fr Igino Biffi, Provincial, and his council, was an important moment for listening to the challenges of the Province and to offer one's vision on the life of the Congregation globally, the highlight of the afternoon was lived in the Auditorium of the Salesian Institute "Astori" of Mogliano Veneto, with the meeting addressed to the laity of the houses of the North-East Province who hold positions of responsibility within the various Salesian realities.

                                              "It was nice to see familiar faces so excited and enjoying the words of the Rector Major, who with his charisma was able to give precious advice to all those present," said participants. The intervention of the Rector Major constituted in a study and search for clarity on the present situation and on the orientation to be taken for the future.

                                              Awareness and loving kindness: these were the two essential elements indicated by Fr Á.F. Artime, to live the Salesian reality today and to be able to operate in the full spirit of Don Bosco.

                                              The meeting took place in the debate mode with questions prepared by every present Salesian reality. In the pressing truth for answers, the fervent passion of a man who strongly believes in the power of union, in works, between laity and Salesians was noted.

                                              This appointment ended with the traditional greetings and many selfies, after which the X Successor gave an interview to the youths of the "Cube Radio" (radio host, Francesca Marchese; photo and video, Giacomo Mescalchin and Lorenzo Barutta), the radio station of the Istituto Universitario Salesiano Venezia (IUSVE), and offered concrete and convincing answers to current and deeply felt questions among today's youth. Finally, he went to the Community of Mogliano Veneto, a Salesian community that welcomes young people in vocational discernment and accompanies them in their search for God's will and in experiencing the Salesian charism.

                                              Thus the Animation Visit of the Rector Major in INE ended: "three days" of commitments, promises, answers and so much Salesian charism.

                                              Photos of the visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                                              • Italia
                                              • INE
                                              • Rettor Maggiore
                                              • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                              • Visita di Animazione
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Mexico - Mercy returns to the streets of Chapultepec: "Corredor de la Misericordia"

                                                2 days 3 hours ago

                                                (ANS - Guadalajara) - The Chapultepec Promenade of Guadalajara, a long avenue marked by a significant flow of people and characterized by being a commercial and tourist area that often hosts various socio-cultural events, was the scenario for the fourth year consecutive, of the event "Corredor de la Misericordia" (Mercy Road), activity organized by the Salesian Youth Ministry, by the Parish of Our Lady of Peace and by the Salesian Temple of St. Francis of Sales.

                                                Pope Francis has coined an expression: "Outgoing Church". It is a terminology that has many meanings: a Church that takes care of every person, regardless of his or her moral status or ideas; a Church open to universal dialogue, with other Churches, religions and ideologies; a Church that renders all brothers and sisters, an immense fraternal community; a Church-shepherd who walks among the people, with the scent of sheep and mercy; a Church that seeks existential peripheries; a Church that is a servant and a prophetic voice; a Church that goes to the poor, dialogues with them, embraces them and defends them; a Church that stands in favor of the victims and calls them by name; a Church of the revolution of tenderness, mercy and care; a Church sensitive to the problem of ecology and the future of our Common House, Mother Earth; in short, a Church-joy of the Gospel and of hope for this world.

                                                It is with these values in the head and in the heart that the initiative of the "Corredor de la Misericordia" was also carried out this year. As in the previous editions, the objective of the activity was to offer people who passed by the popular Guadalajara street the possibility of receiving the ashes and inviting them to approach the sacrament of Reconciliation.

                                                The event brought together about 70 volunteers from the Salesian Family, young people from the Salesian Youth Movement and young people from the local pastoral care of the parish. Also present were Fr Abel Castillo and Msgr. Héctor Guerrero Córdova, SDB, bishop emeritus of the Prelature of Mixes.

                                                The main aim of the "Corredor de la Misericordia" was to replicate Pope Francis' invitation to announce God's mercy on the streets, and to make pastoral work a daily experience, joyful and close to all men.

                                                • Messico
                                                • MEG
                                                • Papa Francesco
                                                • Misericordia
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Spain - "Entarachén-VOLS" attracts 250 participants to its 4th Solidarity March for Ethiopia

                                                  2 days 3 hours ago

                                                  (ANS - Huesca) - "A spectacular day", thanks to good weather and, above all, to the large influx of participants in a cause of solidarity. Thus Antonio Rico, vice-president of the Salesian NGO "Entarachén-Vols", of Huesca, and of the mountaineering club "Javieres de Huesca", defined the 4th March of Solidarity of the municipality of Nueno for Ethiopia, which on 3 March brought together 250 participants in a circular route of 16 kilometers, with arrival and departure in the city of Hoya de Huesca de Arascués.

                                                  In the popular gathering for refreshments after the march, the number of participants rose to around 300, making this edition the most attended so far. Most of the participants completed the journey, with the exception of some children who were forced by the effort to finish the journey by car. In general, people of all ages took part in the event.

                                                  It was ultimately a day of solidarity, in which "from the first euro collected with the registration fee to the drinks purchased after the race were destined for 'Entarachén-Vols', for two projects in Ethiopia," said Mr. Rico.

                                                  The two projects being supported concern the Don Bosco Youth Center in Addis Ababa, capital of the African country, which serves around 500 children in situations of extreme vulnerability, offering them scholastic and financial support; and the "Women In Development" Project (WID), in the city of Zway, which works as a center for the promotion of women from an early age.

                                                  As known, the Ethiopians have a very low quality of life, as regards GDP per capita. Not only that, the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures the progress of a country, reports that Ethiopia is among the countries with the worst quality of life in the world. For this reason, the Salesians of Spain have decided to support their development.

                                                  • Spagna
                                                  • ONG
                                                  • Solidarietà
                                                  • Etiopia
                                                  • Sport
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    East Timor – A better nutrition for the Timorese youth

                                                    2 days 3 hours ago
                                                    East Timor – A better nutrition for the Timorese youth

                                                    (ANS – Dili) – More than 1,170 poor youth across 11 Salesian centres in East Timor have access to better nutrition thanks to a partnership between Salesian Missions and “Rise Against Hunger”, an international relief organization that provides food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

                                                    The rice-meal donation was shared with the Don Bosco Co-Educational Technical School, the Don Bosco Agricultural College, the Salesian-run Madalena Morano Center, the Don Bosco Technical School Fatumaca and the Don Bosco Orphanage, among others.

                                                    This shipment, received in October 2018, was one of two shipments sent to Salesian centres in East Timor. The second arrived in January 2019. The donated rice-meals are provided during the school day to ensure students have a healthy meal each day.

                                                    “Hungry students have trouble focusing on their studies and learning,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Proper nutrition is needed to fully take part in classroom and in-field training. Prepared students are more likely to learn valuable skills that will help them gain employment and break the cycle of poverty in their lives while enabling them to give back to their communities.”

                                                    Salesian missionaries in East Timor have been providing programs to help residents recover and rebuild in the wake of a devastating civil war in the country that claimed countless lives, decimated entire communities and resulted in living conditions that are among the worst in the world. Now that the violence has subsided, efforts are being focused on helping the poor, restoring hope and providing new opportunities for the future.

                                                    In the city of Maliana, the new Don Bosco Co-Educational Technical School has already become an important centre of education. The school is focused on improving its overall facilities, including the kitchen and dormitory, and enlarging its provisions of filtered drinking water. At the Don Bosco Technical School, vocational education helps youth gain an education and prepare for the future. It serves more than 250 students, 11 percent of whom are girls, who take three-year courses in carpentry, mechanics or electronics. Each year there are more than 400 applications for the 84 student spots. Final year students are required to design and produce a product that encompasses much of what they have learned over the previous three years.

                                                    In addition to technical education, Salesian missionaries in East Timor focus on agriculture training. In the city of Fuiloro where 75 percent of the population earns a living though farming, the Don Bosco Agricultural College plays an important role in promoting better care of livestock and increasing crop yields. In 2017, there was an increase in enrolment applications and now more than 200 students take courses at the college. The school is aiming to become more self-sufficient by increasing the farm production of corn, animal feed, varied horticulture and coconut oil and improving livestock intake.

                                                    “Rise Against Hunger” partners with Salesian Missions which works to identify needs and coordinate delivery of 40-foot shipping containers full of meals, supplemented with additional supplies when available. The partnership was developed in 2011 and since that time shipments have been successfully delivered to 20 countries around the globe. The meals and life-saving aid have helped to nourish poor youth at Salesian schools and programs and care for those in need of emergency aid during times of war, natural disasters and health crises.

                                                    “The partnership with Rise Against Hunger allows Salesian Missions to expand its services for youth in need,” adds Fr. Hyde. “Operating feeding programs for youth in Salesian schools whose families cannot afford to feed them is very important and integral to the success of our students.”

                                                    East Timor is home to 1.26 million people and according to the Human Development Index, the country ranked 133 out of 188 for life expectancy, access to education and standard of living in 2016. The World Bank estimates that East Timor has close to 42 percent of its population living in poverty with over one-third of the population regularly experiencing food shortages. In addition, close to 50 percent of the population is illiterate.

                                                    Source: Mission Newswire

                                                    • Timor Est
                                                    • TLS
                                                    • ONG
                                                    • Fame
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Italy – The Rector Major animates Children's Day and entire Province of North-East Italy

                                                      3 days 3 hours ago
                                                      Italy – The Rector Major animates Children's Day and entire Province of North-East Italy

                                                      (ANS - Jesolo) - The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, spent the weekend in the Salesian Province "San Marco", of North-East Italy. "Don Ángel, come and remind us, in the name of Don Bosco, that we have a mission, entrusted to us by God, urgent and timely to accomplish: the salvation of souls,” wrote the INE Provincial, Fr Igino Biffi, in a letter sent to the Rector Major and to all his confreres in the Province on the occasion of the visit.

                                                      The Rector Major's visit began on the evening of Friday 15 March with his arrival in Mestre. On the morning of Saturday 16, in the premises of the "San Marco" Institute, an assembly was held with the Salesians of INE, all gathered to hear the impressions and advice of the Successor of Don Bosco. The Rector Major focused on the importance of the presence of the Salesians to carry out the mission of the work in the world. In the afternoon he went to Schio to meet the children and visit the community.

                                                      In the morning of Sunday, Fr Á.F. Artime continued his visit by participating in the "Festa dei Ragazzi" 2019 edition, organized by the INE Youth Ministry team.

                                                       "I went to the Salesians, felt very good among the young and so it continued until today ... Did I hear 'a voice'? No. But I experienced so many beautiful things that made me feel that I could be happy in that way."

                                                      He then praised the commitment of the children to support Salesian miThe Rector Major told the children how he met the Salesians and offered his vocational testimony.ssions in Syria, Brazil and Ethiopia and noted that in each country he visited he always saw, together with the suffering, the seeds of hope sown by the Salesian Family.

                                                      He then narrated his experience at the Synod of Bishops on Youth and shared how, from the reports presented, young people from the poorest countries are happier than those in European countries. "It's something we have to think about. It's the truth told by young people," he commented.

                                                      Finally, he spoke of some of his experiences in traveling to India and Syria, before concluding with the Eucharist.

                                                      The afternoon saw him busy with the Salesian center in Padua and a visit to the community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                                                      Photos of the visit, ending today, Monday 18 March, are available on ANSFlickr.

                                                      {gallery}INE - Festa dei Ragazzi 2019{/gallery}

                                                      • Italia
                                                      • INE
                                                      • Bambini
                                                      • Ragazzi
                                                      • Rettor Maggiore
                                                      • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Ghana – Don Bosco empowering trafficked young women

                                                        3 days 3 hours ago
                                                        Ghana – Don Bosco empowering trafficked young women

                                                        (ANS – Ashaiman) – “Don Bosco Child Protection Center Ashaiman”, Ghana, has started a new program, its theme: “Empower Women of Ghana”; it targets young women between the ages of 18 and 23.

                                                        The program, launched last February, with assistance from Turin's “Missioni Don Bosco”, is designed to assist young women who face many adversities and challenges during their journey towards creating better lives for themselves and are, alas, susceptible to human trafficking and migration.

                                                        They are from poverty-driven backgrounds, and have been deprived of basic education, with little or no support in learning to become respectable young women in society. By means of curbing this trend, in collaboration with responsible agencies, these young women were rescued from various vulnerable situations from all over Ghana for the program.

                                                        One of the first things done during this period is to empower them from within by helping them re-ignite that reason to live as well as offering them group and individual therapy, behavioural management. It also addresses various topics such as personal hygiene, self-love, the importance of relationships, and etiquette in a professional setting.

                                                        After the inward empowerment comes the outward empowerment. Thus the program provides skills-training in hairdressing, catering, beads-making, and fashion design.

                                                        The mission of this project is to ensure these young women and many more who come in the future, leave the program with the skills-training needed to progress in the specific fields in which they desire to pursue self–employment.

                                                        • Ghana
                                                        • AFW
                                                        • Tratta
                                                        • Donne
                                                        • Ragazze
                                                        • Formazione Professionale
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          India – Indian Salesian to head Asian Bishops’ Office of Social Communication

                                                          3 days 3 hours ago
                                                          India – Indian Salesian to head Asian Bishops’ Office of Social Communication

                                                          (ANS – New Delhi– A Salesian who headed national media offices in New Delhi will now be in charge of the media office of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) in Manila, from 22nd March 2019. Media trainer Fr. (Dr.) George Plathottam has been appointed Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Social Communications (OSC) in Manila, the Philippines. The FABC-OSC is responsible for the Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), the only continental Catholic Radio service broadcasting in 22 languages of Asia for the last 50 years.

                                                          By Fr C.M. Paul

                                                          The RVA Golden Jubilee celebrations are scheduled for 11-12 April 2019.

                                                          The FABC Central Committee meeting in Rome on 25 February 2019 appointed 62 year old Dr Plathottam as Executive Secretary of the FABC OSC for a period of 4 years.

                                                          “We extend to you a warm welcome into the FABC family and thank you for your acceptance of this important FABC position,” wrote FABC President Salesian Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar.

                                                          Dr. Plathottam, was Rector and Principal of Don Bosco Tura in Meghalaya and Director of Don Bosco Academy Tura - a centre for Civil Service preparatory training and career guidance prior to his recent appointment.

                                                          A member of the Salesians of Don Bosco of  Guwahati province, Dr Plathottam has three masters degrees in Theology, Sociology, and Journalism & Mass Communications and doctoral degree on Mass Communication from North Eastern Hill University, Shillong.

                                                          Earlier, he was the director of the Mass Media Department in St Anthony’s College, Shillong, and president of Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) and South Asian Catholic Press Association, and editor of South Asia Religious News.

                                                          Dr. Plathottam who has spent some four decades in Northeast India, especially in Guwahati, Shillong and Tura has worked as national secretary for communications at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India from 2008 to 2015 and Director of national media training and research institute, NISCORT from 2012 to 2015.  

                                                          Dr Plathottam is on several academic and consultative boards related to media. One of the founding members of 25 year old BOSCOM India (Don Bosco Communications) Dr Plathottam is founder of the Salesian news agency which is now the official news agency of the Salesians in South Asia under the name Bosco Information Service (BIS).

                                                          In 1992, he won The North -South Friendship Prize from Union of Catholic International Press and the Government of Germany.

                                                          • India
                                                          • Vescovi
                                                          • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                          • Chiesa
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Spain - Remembering Fr Antonio César: "If in his life he was a great apostle, in his death he was even more so"

                                                            3 days 3 hours ago

                                                            (ANS - Seville) - The Salesian Province "Spain-Mary Help of Christians" has created a special e-mail address - recordandoacesar@salesianos.edu - in order to gather and convey news, testimonies and experiences related to Salesian missionary Fr Antonio César Fernández, killed last February 15 in Burkina Faso.

                                                            "The establishment of this address is motivated by the fact that many people are sending a large number of letters, messages on WhatsApp or comments because of what has happened, and we want to collect all this news. Furthermore, we were also motivated by the request of the Apostolic Nuncio to prepare a dossier with written, graphic and audiovisual testimonials about our brother Antonio César," explains Fr Alejandro Guevara, Delegate for the Salesian Family of the SMX Province, who also accompanied the family of the Salesian during the funeral celebrated in Togo and Pozoblanco, the birthplace of Fr Fernández.

                                                            The funeral in Spain, celebrated last February 24, was presided over by the bishop of Cordoba, Msgr. Demetrio Fernández González, who shared words of consolation for the citizenship and recalled a person who from a very early age had a clear vocation to serve those most in need, why he went to Togo to found the first Salesian presence in that country. "His death made us think. He did a great deal of good for the Salesian Family and for all those who received his testimony. If in his life he was a great apostle, in his death he was even more so. It was a final gift, after a commitment sustained throughout his life. For this he became a Salesian and that is why he asked to go to Africa where he was able to accompany young people at risk. He would not have been there if he had not chosen to live his daily life as a missionary," the prelate said during the event.

                                                            Mons. Miguel Ángel Olaverri, Salesian bishop of the diocese of Pointe-Noire, in the Republic of the Congo, shared some of the experiences lived with Fr Antonio César during the period of the foundation of the Salesian presence in Togo. "It was a moment of communion, as is also reflected in this celebration in which four Salesian Provincials are present and over 1,300 Salesians are represented in Africa." He then referred to the clamor caused by the death of Fr Fernández in Lomé, in Togo, where the figure of Caesar is highlighted as that of a martyr who will reach the altars. "After Pope Francis' invitation to holiness, I was pleased to hear the expression 'a saint is buried today.' We must identify the saints who live with us today and who accompany us," he added.

                                                            For his part, in a letter addressed to the Salesian Family, the Rector Major defined the Salesian killed as "a good man and a man of God", who spent his life doing good, especially in Africa.

                                                            • Spagna
                                                            • SMX
                                                            • Antonio César Fernández
                                                            • Martiri
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Pakistan - The memory of Akash Bashir, Salesian Past Pupil, 4 years after his death

                                                              6 days 3 hours ago
                                                              Pakistan - The memory of Akash Bashir, Salesian Past Pupil, 4 years after his death

                                                              (ANS - Lahore) - Four years have passed since that 15 March 2015, the day when the young Akash Bashir, Salesian Past Pupil, sacrificed himself to prevent a suicide bomber from provoking a massacre in the church of St John in Youhannabad, the Christian neighourhood of Lahore, Pakistan.

                                                              Akash Bashir was 18 years old, had studied at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Lahore and had become a security volunteer. That tragic March 15, like every Sunday, he was on duty. He was specifically charged with overseeing security at the entrance to the church of St John.

                                                              While on duty, he received news that the Church of Christ, an Anglican church located 500 meters away, had been attacked by several armed men. Akash tried to secure the area in front of the church of St John, when he saw a man running towards the building - a terrorist, intent on more carnage.

                                                              Akash faced him, trying to block him. The man threatened Akash, declaring he had a bomb with him, but the young man did not let himself be intimidated. He hugged the terrorist to keep him from entering the church. The bomber blew himself up, causing about twenty deaths, including Akash himself. The victims would have been many more, had the Salesian Past Pupil not sacrificed his life.

                                                              "The history of the Church is strongly marked by many women and by many men who with their faith, with their charity and with their lives have been like lighthouses that have illuminated and continue to illuminate many generations over time," writes the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in the Strenna 2019.

                                                              For the Christians of Youhannabad, Akash, with his great faith, is exactly this: a lighthouse, an example to follow.

                                                              On his tomb, as Fr Francis Gulzar, pastor of the church of St John, has said, many go to pray and ask for intercession. His courageous act still inspires Pakistan's Catholics today in their daily journey and motivates them not to be discouraged by the many challenges they still face.

                                                              For this reason, Fr Francis Gulzar, who is also Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lahore, in January 2017, sent a letter to the archbishop, Msgr. 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."

                                                              "The Christian community of Youhanabad is proud of its young hero, Akash Bashir, reads the letter, "and asks His Excellency to transmit our request to the Holy Father and to the relevant Congregation for the cause of martyrdom."

                                                              • Pakistan
                                                              • FIS
                                                              • Akash Bashir
                                                              • Martiri
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Province of North-East Italy

                                                                6 days 3 hours ago
                                                                RMG – Rector Major's Visit to Province of North-East Italy

                                                                (ANS - Rome) - "Father Ángel, we are waiting for you!": thus the joyful cry of the Salesian Youth Movement of the Triveneto, which awaits Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime next Sunday, March 17, for the traditional "Festa Ragazzi" in Jesolo. The X Successor of Don Bosco will participate in the large festival, which annually gathers thousands of participants from all the centers of the area's Salesian Family. He will also visit other Salesian houses and realities of the Salesian Province of North-East Italy.

                                                                Accompanied by his Secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Rector Major leaves for Venice-Mestre on the evening of today, Friday 15.

                                                                On Saturday morning he will preside over the assembly with all his confreres from the Province, while in the afternoon he will travel to Schio, where he will visit the Salesian house and meet the young people who attend it. In the evening, returning to Mestre, he will offer the Salesian "Good night" to the animators of the Festa Ragazzi.

                                                                On Sunday morning, the Rector Major will attend the Festa's central performance on the theme "Choose where to look", and then preside over the Eucharist for all those present. Later in the day he will move to Padua to meet the members of the Salesian Family and visit the local community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

                                                                Finally, on the last day of the visit, Fr Á.F. Artime shall meet with the Provincial Council and then, in Mogliano Veneto, with the laity who have roles of responsibility in the houses of the Province and with young people in vocational research being hosted in the so-called "Comunità Proposta - Proposal Community."

                                                                • RMG
                                                                • Visita di Animazione
                                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                • INE
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  Spain - Don Bosco National Award reaches 1000 innovative projects presented during its history

                                                                  1 week ago
                                                                  Spain - Don Bosco National Award reaches 1000 innovative projects presented during its history

                                                                  (ANS - Zaragoza) - Yesterday, March 13, the jury of the 32nd Don Bosco National Award was established, a competition that acknowledges innovative projects developed in the field of secondary education, vocational training and educational activities of Spanish educational centers in general. The 45 new projects presented this year are added to the others presented in the history of this prestigious award, thus reaching the impressive figure of 1030 innovation projects presented from the outset.

                                                                  Technological companies, polytechnic universities, professional associations and public administrations will form the four juries that shall evaluate the projects, each from a different perspective. Yesterday, at the sports center of the Salesians of Zaragoza, the exhibition was inaugurated and the evaluation of the works presented began. Scheduled for today, Thursday 14, in the Auditorium of the Salesian institute, are the awarding of the prize and a presentation by Javier Sirvent, specialist in Digital Transformation.

                                                                  A total of 45 projects were presented at the 32nd edition, of which 35 qualified, coming from schools and vocational training centers throughout Spain. A total of 61 students and 31 teachers as tutors participate, for a total of 22 educational centers.

                                                                  As regards areas of research, the Technological Innovation section was established, with a total of 26 projects: 16 in the Information and Communication Technology segment (Telecommunications, Audiovisual Technologies ...) and 10 in Industrial Technologies (Electronics, Robotics, Mechatronics ...).

                                                                  The Mario Rubio Award, a tribute to the figure of the Salesian creator and promoter of the "Don Bosco Prize", which is awarded each year to a person with a renowned professional career, will be presented to Amado Franco, President of the "IberCaja" Foundation.

                                                                  The Don Bosco Award is an acknowledgment of entrepreneurship, teamwork and innovation. Since its creation in 1984, the competition has managed to make important contributions in the field of education and in the relations between the academic and business worlds, given that the Don Bosco Awards are also a showcase for entrepreneurial initiatives applicable to future company projects.

                                                                  "The Don Bosco National Award wants to be more than a prize," said the director of the initiative, Fr Juan Bosco Sancho. "It wants to be a stimulus and a transformation for those who participate. For students and tutors, participating in this competition is an incentive for innovative skills, to become aware of the importance of research and the possibilities they have of contributing to the improvement of society."

                                                                  • Spagna
                                                                  • SMX
                                                                  • Scuole
                                                                  • Formazione Professionale
                                                                  • Tecnologie
                                                                  • Premi e Riconoscimenti
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Colombia - Salesian Family present at "Expocatólica 2019"

                                                                    1 week ago

                                                                    (ANS - Bogotà) - From 7 to 10 March, at the "Ágora" Congress Center in Bogotá, the Salesian Family of Colombia took part in "Expocatólica 2019", an event thas been promoted for already several years now by the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, to make known the evangelizing force of the Church. The motto of this edition, on the wake of Pope Francis' visit to the country in 2017, was: "Let us continue to walk together."

                                                                    The event represented a favorable opportunity for people, organizations and institutions to share creative and innovative experiences of their activities, as well as a space of prayer and culture in which the initiatives of integral human promotion developed in the various regions of the country were made visible.

                                                                    One of its objectives was to promote the culture of encounter or meeting which, according to the teaching of Pope Francis, "is a lifestyle and an attitude that favors dialogue as a method, the shared search for consensus, agreements, of that which unites rather than divides, and it is a path that we must all travel. For this we must give priority to time over space, the whole to the part, reality to the abstract idea, and unity to conflict.”

                                                                    It is the first time that the whole Salesian Family participates in this event with a single concept and in a single location. In past editions some centers or groups had participated separately but, in the desire to live fraternity and unity, it was decided to organize an extended team representing all the groups of the Salesian Family in Expocatólica 2019, with the same name and in the same spirit. For this reason, the group of exhibitors was composed of various members of the Salesian Family groups.

                                                                    For the representation of the site, the house of Don Bosco ai Becchi was chosen, because it was from the experiences lived in that house that the desire of little Giovannino Bosco to become a priest and help others was born. What he lived in his early years marked his life in a decisive way and helped to consolidate the educational and evangelizing model that he would propose to his young people in the years to come.

                                                                    Each part of this replica of Don Bosco's house at the Becchi was used to convey a message. The four dimensions of Salesian youth ministry (home, church, school, playground) were presented in different parts of the house, and there was also a silhouette of Don Bosco with which everyone wanted to take a picture.

                                                                    "These were four days of encounters wherein we showed the Salesian charism through the groups of the Salesian Family," said the participants in "Expocatólica 2019" in conclusion. 

                                                                    {gallery}Expocatolica 2019{/gallery}

                                                                    • Colombia
                                                                    • COB
                                                                    • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                    • Fiera
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      Italy - "Vedendo / Facendo – seeing / doing" is online. A new project of listening and sharing

                                                                      1 week ago

                                                                      (ANS - Catania) - "Vedendo / Facendo" is a new web initiative designed and implemented by the Salesian Social Communication Office of Sicily. It is a series of videos about very broad themes (catechetical, ethical, social, philosophical and theological) in a journey that starts from seeing so as to arrive at doing, via understanding.

                                                                      The issues dealt with will see the Salesians as protagonists, as well as young people, who have made themselves available for listening.

                                                                      The first video, launched on 4 March 2019, is available on the Salesian channel of Sicily. It is a video presentation of what they wish to achieve through the Seeing/Doing feature.

                                                                      The video, which has already achieved almost a thousand views and many shares, was first introduced by a social campaign, through storytelling on the main themes of the feature – to see and to do. Currently, other videos are already being written and planned, and even these will be introduced by graphics always related to the theme, and will be shared, as always, on the various channels of the Province in its social networks.

                                                                      The "Vedendo / Facendo" project involves collaboration between a number of Salesians and young people occupying various roles in the Sicilian Province, and it is a project that will grow with time, committed as they are to improving day by day.

                                                                      Fr Enrico Frusteri, Delegate for Social Communications of the Sicilian Province (ISI), underlines how the project is "a further web space where it is possible to deepen multiple themes, which are particularly important to young people; but the recipients of these videos are not only young people, but also those who dedicate themselves to their education."

                                                                      Fr Giuseppe Cassaro, Dean of the "San Tommaso" Theological Institute of Messina and protagonist of the first video, for years engaged in the academic life, says they shall always tries to see issues that interest young people. In the video he says that this web space "does not want to be a strictly religious corner, but an opportunity to listen to the questions that arise from everyday life and affect our days."

                                                                      "Vedendo/Facendo" is a journey of young people and for young people, but also a stimulus for those interested in the world of youth. As for the frequency of the offered contributions, at least one video is expected every 15 days.

                                                                      "There is no time to lose - #staytuned - watch the first video, subscribe to the channel and participate!," concluded the promoters of the initiative.

                                                                      Source: ISI Newsletter

                                                                      • Italia
                                                                      • ISI
                                                                      • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                                      • Giovani
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        India – DBYA South Asia Releases Youth Ministry Training Manual

                                                                        1 week ago
                                                                        India – DBYA South Asia Releases Youth Ministry Training Manual

                                                                        (ANS – Dimapur) – The Salesians of Don Bosco in South Asia have prepared a Youth Ministry Training Manual for those in Formation, based on the “Salesian Youth Ministry: Frame of Reference.” The manual was launched by Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Superior for Don Bosco South Asia, at the solemn conclusion of the SPCSA [Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia] on 28 February 2019 in Dimapur.

                                                                        The precious task undertaken by the members of DBYA-SA [Don Bosco Youth Animation-South Asia] Regional Team, with the help of Salesians from different provinces of the South Asian Region, was spearheaded by Fr Maria Charles Antonysamy, SDB.

                                                                        The Training Manual comprises four books with well-planned modules for the different stages of formation, i.e. Pre-Novitiate, Novitiate, Post-Novitiate and Practical Training. Through this manual, various tenets of Salesian Youth Ministry will be effectively learnt, understood and put into practice by the young Salesians in initial formation.

                                                                        Fr Maria Charles said, ''The first manual sets the stage, the second helps the young Salesian formulate his personal plan of life, the third helps the formee to gain an in-depth knowledge of the essential skills, while the fourth helps in practical application of the concepts within the lived socio-cultural context.''

                                                                        The Pre-Novitiate manual provides the basic concepts of Salesian Youth Ministry in its different settings; various models of youth ministry; the qualities of a Salesian Youth Minister and the basic skills required to discern his own vocation. The Novitiate manual helps in formulation of the personal plan of life, to understand the contexts in which young people live; Salesian identity and youth ministry as the specific charism of the Salesians; to develop an Oratorian heart; the fundamentals of the preventive system and the skills of a youth minister.

                                                                        The Post-Novitiate manual introduces the young Salesian to an in-depth knowledge of the challenges of youth today; the apostolic identity of Salesian Youth Minister; the history and spirituality of Salesian Youth Ministry with its fundamental dimensions, choices and its various sectors and activities. It also deals with the basics of a scientific approach towards Salesian Youth Ministry and the Preventive System as a Salesian philosophy of Education; the locus of Salesian Youth Ministry- the Educative Pastoral Community and the operational tools for Salesian Youth Ministry - the Salesian Educative Pastoral Plan. The Don Bosco Child Protection Policy; the art of accompanying the young people and the Salesian Youth Movement are also dealt with in detail.

                                                                        The Practical Training module helps the young Salesian to understand the wherewithal of his field of apostolate and his own apostolic identity within a particular culture and in various socio-political contexts. Practical aspects of the preventive system and the Salesian Youth Spirituality as part of a holistic youth ministry will help the young formee to organize and animate the Salesian Youth Movement.

                                                                        Source: Don Bosco India

                                                                        • India
                                                                        • Formazione
                                                                        • Pastorale Giovanile
                                                                        • Maria Arokiam Kanaga
                                                                        • Asia Sud
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          India – “Tani Cool” photo journal released

                                                                          1 week ago
                                                                          India – “Tani Cool” photo journal released

                                                                          (ANS – Jorhat) – The latest book by K. A. Thomas, sdb, called “Tani Cool”, was released on 4th March 2019, by Rev. Jose Kuruvachira, the Provincial Superior of Don Bosco organizations in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur. The book was released at Don Bosco, Baghchung, in the presence of a large number of educationists and social workers from Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia Districts of Assam. 

                                                                          “Tani Cool” is a random collection of photographs taken by the author, dating from 2000 to 2015. The colourful photographs depict their entire life and culture of the Mising people spread out in the rural situations of 11 districts of Assam and 3 districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The book describes pictorially 46 topics about the tribe.

                                                                          The word Tani in the title refers to the nomenclature of the tribe that once lived in the present day Arunachal Pradesh, and belonged to the Tani group of tribes. Misings are a cool people, who never had an army or a king. They were called upon by the British rulers to intermediate between the warring tribes living in the hills and plains of the region.

                                                                          Fr K.A. Thomas, SDB, a member of “Don Bosco International”, is the founder director of Institution for Culture And Rural Development (I-CARD), based at Jorhat, and is an Ashoka Fellow since 2002. Although hailing from Kerala, he has mastered the Assamese language, having obtained a bachelor’s degree in Assamese from Guwahati University way back in 1987.

                                                                          • India
                                                                          • IND
                                                                          • Indigeni
                                                                          • Libri
                                                                          • Mising
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            Italy – Don Bosco and Salesian missionaries in Patagonia at "European Academy of Religion"

                                                                            1 week 1 day ago

                                                                            (ANS - Bologna) - During the annual meeting, 4 - 7 March, the Salesian Historical Institute (ISS), a member of the "European Academy of Religion", based in Bologna, screened the documentary film "A sud del sud - South of South" by Salvatore Metastasio. Financed by Don Bosco Missions and the Dicastery for Salesian Missions, in collaboration with ISS, the film aims to commemorate the centenary of the Salesian missionaries raising the cross at Cape Froward (Strait of Magellan) in 1913, on the occasion of the 1600th anniversary of the edict of Constantine. The Bologna screening was received with great interest by the public.

                                                                            The Salesians, who had already presented the results of their historical research to the European Academy of Religion two years ago, through a conference on Salesian work in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century, were thus able to talk about the epic Salesian missionary journey in Patagonia through the film by Salvatore Metastasio.

                                                                            The film narrates the journey of two Italians who meet in Punta Arenas, Chile, and then continue together to Cape Froward. The youngest, Diego, wants to know the world of the Yagan, because he plans to make a film about Darwin and his friendship with Jemmy Botton, the native aboard the brig "Beagle" on his famous journey of 1832. Instead, the elderly man, Alessandro, narrates having set out towards Patagonia to follow the traces of Don Bosco's dream about that land, which a Salesian had told him about when he was a child. The journey together will give birth to a friendship between the two that is, however, filled with misunderstandings.

                                                                            It is the clash between science and faith, where a positive view of life is affirmed by the young, while a vision emerges on the part of the older man that cannot overlook the most fruitful part of life: the one that makes man feel part of a whole, a creature among creatures and awaiting a "revelation", which leads to reflect on the meaning of the Cross, seen not only as a religious symbol (for believers) but, above all, as a universal symbol of contact between sky and earth.

                                                                            The film ends with the director who entrusts a particular message to everyone: "You do not see the infinite if you do not have it in your heart."

                                                                            • Italia
                                                                            • ISS
                                                                            • Cile
                                                                            • Missioni
                                                                            • Missioni Don Bosco
                                                                            • Cinema
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Vatican - Positive opinion of theological Consultors to Cause of Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni

                                                                              1 week 1 day ago
                                                                              Vatican - Positive opinion of theological Consultors to Cause of Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni

                                                                              (ANS - Vatican City) - On 12 March 2019, during the Congress of Theological Consultors held at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a full positive opinion was given regarding the heroic exercise of virtues, the reputation of holiness and signs of the Servant of God Augusto Bertazzoni, archbishop of Potenza, born in Pegognana (Mantua) on 10 January 1876 and died in Potenza on 30 August 1972. The Servant of God attended the Salesian oratory in Turin and met Don Bosco, who had a great influence on his formation.

                                                                              The Positio was presented on 27 September 2013 by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Postulator in Rome; among the speakers: Fr Daniel Ols, OP., followed by Fr P. Zdzisław Kijas, OFM Conv., and as a collaborator Msgr. Gerardo Messina, former vice-postulator, assisted by Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Salesian Postulation.

                                                                              It is nice to remember that this fundamental passage of the Cause took place on March 12, the day of the death of Saint Luigi Orione who, with the young Augusto Bertazzoni, was a pupil of the oratory of Valdocco in Turin. Both were among the boys who in 1887 offered their lives for the salvation of Don Bosco; while for his part the Saint of the Young had prophesied that the young Augustus would become bishop.

                                                                              Mons. Bertazzoni was a good Pastor and father of the poor, a true man of God, a man of faith and prayer, a tireless preacher of the Word of God, attentive to the spiritual needs of the faithful and even non-believers, for whom he spent his life to the very end, offering to God, for the good of the Churches that he had led as a bishop, the sufferings that led to his death.

                                                                              He was a father to the victims of war and to the Jews confined to Basilicata, a farsighted educator of the young, and he spent his time so that the priests of his diocese, together with men and women religious,  dedicated themselves to the formation of young people, both in schools as in “Catholic Action”; he would recommend to all of them to have a "spirit of paternity" for the new generations.

                                                                              After this step, the next takes place in the Ordinary Session of Cardinals and Bishops, after which the Supreme Pontiff authorizes the promulgation of the decree of Venerability.

                                                                              • Vaticano
                                                                              • Santità Salesiana
                                                                              • Augusto Bertazzoni
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Venezuela - Msgr Raúl Biord: "We look forward to this historic moment with hope, despite the hunger and the difficult situation that people are experiencing"

                                                                                1 week 2 days ago

                                                                                (ANS - Caracas) - "We look forward to this historic moment that Venezuela is experiencing," said Msgr. Raúl Biord, Salesian, bishop of La Guaira, Venezuela. His is a peripheral diocese of the city of Caracas, located about twenty kilometers from the capital, and has about 500,000 inhabitants.

                                                                                No one can deny that the situation in Venezuela is dramatic, even on a global scale. The images of disease, hunger and pain suffered by many people hurt the eyes. It hurts to see "the terrible scene of a mother carrying the corpse of her daughter to the morgue, who died during the blackout" or "to see dozens of children buried who had no medicine or electricity to save themselves." It hurts to see thousands of Venezuelans having to travel thousands of miles in search of a future, fleeing to other countries.

                                                                                In the midst of this desolate landscape, Msgr. Biord said: "We are experiencing profound political changes. Twenty years ago what was called the Bolivarian revolution, which proposed 21st century socialism, was established; but unfortunately that revolution has failed.

                                                                                This project has caused great poverty, having followed an economic and social model of great state control over people, businesses and free economic initiative. This whole situation has led to a general collapse of services and the failure and closure of almost all companies.

                                                                                One of the biggest catastrophes this regime has produced is that nearly 4 million Venezuelans have left the country in the last 10 years. Very poor and simple people have had to leave the country by bus or on foot.

                                                                                In Venezuela there is a situation of great poverty, of great need, and as we bishops have stated on various occasions, through the documents of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, we are faced with a situation of illegitimacy of the President, of illegitimacy in the performance of functions and of illegitimacy in the origin.

                                                                                We need a transition, with free elections and a renewal of powers, to renew the country's institutions ... Let's look at this historic moment with hope, despite the hunger and the difficult situation that people are experiencing, despite the collapse of many services, the economic collapse and hunger of many people.

                                                                                There is a people that resists bending. It is a people that wants to provide humanitarian assistance through various civil organizations. The Church has placed "Caritas" at the parish and diocesan level as an aid center for receiving aid and distributing support to the most vulnerable population, which are malnourished children, pregnant and child-nurturing mothers, and adults with terminal illnesses.

                                                                                The Venezuelan people have the right to live with a quality of life and to be able to give a future to their young people.

                                                                                There is a lot of hope, but also a lot of suffering.

                                                                                We thank the countries and religious groups that help us with prayer and with their presence, to keep us on our feet and to seek respect for human rights and the dignity of the people. Let's look at this situation with hope. We pray to God that the transition be peaceful."

                                                                                • Venezuela
                                                                                • Vescovi
                                                                                • Fame
                                                                                • Povertà
                                                                                • Politica
                                                                                • Raúl Biord Castillo
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana