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News - Salesians of Don Bosco

Spain - Mary Help of Christians, a festival celebrated all over the world

1 day 22 hours ago
Spain - Mary Help of Christians, a festival celebrated all over the world

(ANS - Madrid) - Celebrations in honor of Mary Help of Christians have been going on across all five continents for days now. Wherever there is a Salesian house there are activities that fill everyone's heart with joy and gratitude towards Don Bosco's Madonna. Sporting events, games for the little ones, Masses, processions, floral offerings to Mary Help of Christians, cultural activities, and more. All because Mary Help of Christians is ever more present.

In May, the Salesian Family lives a month of celebrations and devotion to Mary, "Help of Christians", which Don Bosco set at the foundation of his work right from the beginning. When the little Giovanni Bosco was just 9 years old he dreamed of the Madonna who was already indicating his vocation to him and that he would become a priest. That was how it all began. But later, in 1860, Our Lady spoke to him again in another dream and told him that she wanted to be honored with the title of "Help of Christians" and showed him the place in Turin where a temple dedicated to her would be built. Today there is, in fact, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, which cost Don Bosco so much effort, but which was completed in only four years and was consecrated on 9 June 1868.

Devotion to Mary Help of Christians is associated with Don Bosco and the Salesians as the saint of Turin promoted this Marian invocation with phrases such as "It was not me; it was the Virgin Help of Christians who saved you" or "She did it all" . However, the recognition of Mary Help of Christians is full of curiosities. In fact, the title of Help of Christians is in itself rather ancient. It derives from the first Greek Christians who called his Virgin Mary "Boetéia" which means "She who brings help from Heaven". Mary Help of Christians is considered fundamental in many important battles, such as Lepanto and Vienna, or when in the seventeenth century the Catholics of southern Germany were not invaded by Protestants.

Another curious fact is the reason for the May 24th celebration: Pope Pius VII, after being imprisoned by Napoleon, thanks to the intervention of Mary, was freed. Pius VII arrived in Rome on May 24 and so he decided that this day would be dedicated to thank Mary Help of Christians.

And ... Did you know that Mary Help of Christians is the Patroness of China? Devotion to the Holy Virgin dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century and in Shanghai there is the Sheshan Shrine, which is a reference point for venerating Mary Help of Christians.

  • Maria Ausiliatrice
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Colombia - Two girls substracted from armed conflict graduate as nurses thanks to Don Bosco

    1 day 22 hours ago
    Colombia - Two girls substracted from armed conflict graduate as nurses thanks to Don Bosco

    (ANS - Medellín) - Catalina and Claudia are two girls who participated in the documentary of "Misiones Salesianas", the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, entitled "Alto el fuego". Three years ago they were immersed in a process that was changing their lives and they had a dream to fulfill: to study and become professionals thanks to the "Ciudad Don Bosco" center in Medellín. Now, not only have they graduated as auxiliary nurses, but they are two points of reference for the dozens of minors who seek peace and want to return to their studies in order to have a future full of opportunities.

    Catalina is 21 years old and has been linked to "Ciudad Don Bosco" in Medellín since she was 16 years old. She decided to join the guerrilla forces to escape the mistreatment and abuse at home, but she soon realized that handling a gun, living in the jungle and staying away from her family was even worse; so she didn't stop in her struggle until she managed to escape even from there.

    Claudia is also 21 years old and since 2015 she has participated in the Salesian program for minors removed from armed conflict. After being without food, walking for days in the mountains "treated worse than animals", she met with Salesians, began to feel the affection of a family and to share her human growth with other teenagers and young people.

    Both have become leaders and points of reference for other young people who have not been able to have a childhood. With effort and sacrifice, in recent years they have pursued their dream and now they have fulfilled it: they are two professionals helping others in the health sector.

    Catalina has always known she wanted to be a nurse because when she was with the guerrilla she had attended courses and enjoyed them. Claudia, on the other hand, experienced a traumatic experience: her father died "for lack of medical care", why she wanted to become a nurse, so that something similar would no longer happen in the place where she was born.

    Thanks to the Salesian program of Medellin's "Ciudad Don Bosco" for minors taken from armed conflict, hundreds of children have started a new life, having overcome their traumas, recovered self-esteem and have had the will and the spirit of sacrifice to return to studying.

    For all of them, there is now a future full of opportunities wherein to try to fulfill their dreams.

    • COM
    • Colombia
    • Guerra
    • Salute
    • Opzione Preferenziale
    • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
    • Ciudad Don Bosco
      Gian Francesco Romano

      France – Festiclip 2019 in “Eurolive”!

      1 day 22 hours ago
      France – Festiclip 2019 in “Eurolive”!

      (ANS – Lione) – “Festiclip” opens the 14th edition of the Short Film Festival on Saturday, 25 May 2019, at 7:30 pm. 13 short films will be screened with English subtitles. Everyone can follow the event online via live-Facebook.

      The Film Festival takes place at the Jean Bosco Center in Lyon. The selected 13 films and their respective team members represented by 8 high school students, 2 parish youth groups and 3 European countries (Spain, Ireland and Portugal) will be present.

      Participants start their programme on Saturday afternoon through “Ice-break,” introductions. Then they share their experience with one another. In the evening, at 7:30, Br Jacques Rey, SDB, (Jury President) opens the festival «by youth for youth». It is animated by Anne-Florence Perras (President of Salesian Youth Movement) and Charles Antoine Lefebvre (project manager: “Citizenship challenge”). 

      After screening, participants give their vote to their choice of film. There are 4 awards: Audience’s choice, Best soundtrack, Best foreign film, Best creativity. Follow us through live-Facebook at 7:30 pm at: https://www.facebook.com/DonBoscoMedias/ 

      Films in competition:

      1. «La vie d’Aurélien, the life of Aurelien» by Campus de Pouillé
      2. «Des réseaux pas très sociaux, not very social networks» by Lycée Costa de Beauregard - Chambéry
      3. «Exclus de la société, excluded from society» by Lycée de Sévigné - Marseille
      4. «Addiction» by Lycée Don Bosco Marseille
      5. «La cascade» by Chaplaincy of Bourgoin – Jallieu
      6. «Identité 2019» by Lycée LP Institut Lemonnier - Caen
      7. «Le prix de la liberté, the price of liberty» by Chaplaincy of Parish St Jean Bosco – Paris
      8. «Thank you» by Salesian College Celbridge – Ireland
      9. «L’ombre du second, the shadow of the second» by Lycée Don Bosco Landser
      10. «JT Bosco» by Lycée Don Bosco Lyon
      11. «Mixzapping» by Notre Dame des Minimes - Lyon
      12. «No Son Tonterias, they are not nonsense» by Casa Don Bosco – Valence - Spain
      13. «Em Terra de Cegos, in the land of the blind» by the youth group Rise’n Shine – Lisbon - Portugal
      • Francia
      • Festival
      • Cinema
      • FRB
        Gian Francesco Romano

        Dominican Republic - PROFAJ: each year Salesians form +100 youths for leadership

        2 days 22 hours ago
        Dominican Republic - PROFAJ: each year Salesians form +100 youths for leadership

        (ANS - Santo Domingo) - In May, the Salesian Family introduced 153 new young leaders to Dominican society, youths trained through the Youth Animators Formation Program (Programa de Formación de Animadores Juveniles, PROFAJ). It was the program's 33rd course and the most participated since its birth in 1986.

        The new animators attended the program by participating in seven stages developed over the course of two years. Through these stages, PROFAJ seeks to establish processes of leadership and training of young people, so that they learn to develop processes of group work and know how to begin a path of integration with other young people, which allows for integral growth through the various itineraries of evangelization and faith education.

        During the 7 stages of the program the young participants reflect and are formed on three nuclei of their person: Life, Faith and Action.

        The program is aimed at young people who live their apostolate in the various centers of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and of other diocesan parishes of the various dioceses of the country's Catholic Church.

        Over the past 10 years, PROFAJ has trained more than 1,000 young people, helping them to discover, promote and enhance their leadership skills, developing them in different groups of the Salesian Family and in the areas of Salesian Youth Ministry and in other local churches and congregations.

        "Many of these young people are now playing an important role in social life and their experience of youth animation, the result of PROFAJ, has undoubtedly helped them to acquire a series of experiences and skills that have been very important for their professional development, too, because they have been used to using their strengths and abilities by integrating them on the basis of proactive leadership," explained Fr Enrique Castillo, Delegate for Youth Ministry in the Province of the Antilles.

        The educational offer includes a process of sustained accompaniment, which allows to strengthen the identity of the young person as a Christian, provides him or her with animation techniques and helps them to clarify their personal life project and commitment to transformation in the communities where he or she performs their service.

        {gallery}ANT - Profaj 2019{/gallery}

        • Repubblica Dominicana
        • ANT
        • Giovani Leader
          Gian Francesco Romano

          Gambia - A chapel dedicated to Mary Help of Christians in new Salesian mission

          2 days 22 hours ago
          Gambia - A chapel dedicated to Mary Help of Christians in new Salesian mission

          (ANS - Kunkujang) - The Salesian mission in Gambia, specifically in Kunkujang, in the west of the country, is among the most recent of the Congregation, having been launched not even a year ago, in October 2018. Following the example of Don Bosco, Salesian missionaries decided to place the nascent work under the mantle of Mary Help of Christians, dedicating a chapel to the Virgin so venerated by the Turin saint.

          The reality in which the Salesians find themselves operating in Gambia, the 134th country in which the Congregation is present, faces numerous challenges: on the religious level, 96% of the population is of Islamic faith and the remaining 4% is of Christian religion; at the political level, we are witnessing a period of hopes, but also of fears, because after 22 years of authoritarian rule by former President Yahya Jammeh, in 2016 there was a regular election of a new President. Thus, after decades of immobility linked to the particular political situation, with this recent and sudden freedom, a series of tribal conflicts has been unleashed for the possession of land, which sees ethnic minorities in great difficulty.

          The Salesian mission, inherited from a local congregation and destined to the activity of oratory-youth center, finds itself therefore operating in a completely peculiar context. And yet, there are also opportunities for pastoral service, given that in the territory of the mission almost all of the population is Catholic, apart from a few animists.

          For this reason, wanting to meet the spiritual needs of the local population, the Salesians decided to build a chapel that could benefit the local population: about 750 souls, including children (300) young people (200) adult men and women (110) and inhabitants of the surrounding villages (140). The construction has been completed, but there is a need for the final touches, such as painting the chapel, both inside and out, providing it with benches for the faithful, windows ...

          Relying on the protection of Mary Help of Christians and the solidarity of benefactors from all over the world, Salesian missionaries in Gambia are convinced that they will soon be able to offer young people and the local population a suitable place to pray and meet God in the sacraments.

          For more information, visit the website: www.missionidonbosco.org 

          • Gambia
          • AFO
          • ATE
          • Missioni
          • Missioni Don Bosco
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Italy – Feast of Mary Help of Christians in Turin: here's how to follow it from a distance

            3 days 22 hours ago
            Italy – Feast of Mary Help of Christians in Turin: here's how to follow it from a distance

            (ANS - Turin) - For the Salesians, Mary Help of Christians is much more than a personal devotion: she is a dimension of the charism and of the mission. This is why the feast of Mary Help of Christians in the city of Don Bosco is never a local event, but rather an event that calls for global attention. Again this year, the main events can be seen and followed via different options.

            Below, the calendar of the main events:

            - May 24 - 11:00 (UTC + 2) - Solemn Mass, presided over by the Archbishop of Turin, Mgr. Cesare Nosiglia;

            - May 24 - 6:30 pm (UTC + 2) - Solemn Mass, presided over by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime;

            - May 24 - 8.30 pm - Solemn procession of Mary Help of Christians, presided by the Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Nosiglia.

            All these appointments can be seen LIVE on the ANS Facebook page, with multi-language commentary, and on www.missionidonbosco.org or via satellite on Telepace.

            • Italia
            • ICP
            • Comunicazione Sociale
            • Maria Ausiliatrice
              Gian Francesco Romano

              Italy – World Council of Salesian Family: synodality, holiness and spirituality

              3 days 22 hours ago
              Archive photo

              (ANS - Turin) - The traditional appointment of the World Council, aka Consulta, of the Salesian Family has been held for several years in Turin-Valdocco on the occasion of the feast of Mary Help of Christians. Around the Rector Major, representatives and leaders of the Groups of the Salesian Family gather to renew in trusting in Mary Help of Christians their belonging to the Salesian charism born of Don Bosco and which over time has developed into a plurality of forms and expressions.

              Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May were initially dedicated to the Salesian reception of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people, through several solicitations offered by Fr Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary of the Synod: entering the synod path; opening oneself to the missionary spirit, allowing oneself to be shaped by the Eucharist and putting the grace of Baptism to good use; inhabiting the condition of young people with the compassion of Don Bosco; learning the humus of discernment.

              Later, time was dedicated to the deepening of the 2019 Strenna, dedicated to holiness, through the interventions-provocations of Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, Postulation collaborator, who presented the theme of the anthropology of holiness and the principles and dynamics of life according to the Spirit: ability to love the poverty of one's own path; in agreement with other ecclesial spiritualities and sensibilities; animated by the principle of reality.

              Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, presented the holiness of the Salesian Family in the variety and richness of dimensions and in the beauty of incarnations that have flourished over time and in history. He also presented a theological-spiritual reading of the charismatic identity card, which deals with Salesian spirituality.

              A much-appreciated moment was the presentation of some of the groups of the Salesian Family: the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians with a rich history of sanctity and educative-pastoral commitment; the Association of Mary Help of Christians celebrating their 150th anniversary this year; the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart, founded by Msgr. Giuseppe Cognata, who incarnate the oblative dimension of the charism in a special way.

              • Consulta Mondiale FS
              • Italia
              • Famiglia Salesiana
              • ICP
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Malta – Past Pupils to start Mentoring Programme for homeless young persons

                3 days 22 hours ago
                Malta – Past Pupils to start Mentoring Programme for homeless young persons

                (ANS – Sliema) – A mentoring programme to assist young homeless persons was launched in May by the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco. This Erasmus+ EU Funded programme will help these vulnerable persons in discovering more about themselves and their environment to follow a path of higher achievement and stability. The programme was launched under the title “Mentor Power” in the form of a handbook and training manual and over 20 organizations come together to attend the “Mentor Power” seminar. Together these tools will be used by the Salesians in a pilot programme aimed at reintegrating young persons back into the community.

                In this European project, there were other partners including “Osanna Pia Home”, Malta; “Zdruzenie exallievov don Bosca na Slovensku” – Slovakia; “Cunamh Teo” (Salesians of Don Bosco) - Ireland; “Centro di Fraternità Exallievi di Don Bosco – Alberto Marvelli” – Italy; “Confederacion Nacional de Antiguos Alumnos y Antiguas Alumnas de Don Bosco” – Spain.

                Bryan Magro, President of the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco, the lead organisation on the project, said: “Our intention was to create a handbook and training guide that would be implemented in our own mentoring programme. But we also wanted to create a tool that can also be used by other organisations in developing their own programmes to help vulnerable young persons. The response to this project by other NGOs was overwhelming and we are also looking at ways of collaborating with each other on further projects related to mentoring”.

                The Maltese National Federation will also be opening “Marvelli Residence” this summer, which will be a new home for three young people who are homeless or lack the support of a family.

                This project is in partnership with the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta and Osanna Pia Home.

                {gallery}MLT - MentorPower 2019{/gallery}

                • Malta
                • MLT
                • Exallievi
                • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                • Opzione Preferenziale
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Vatican – Fr Lorenzelli appointed auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile

                  3 days 22 hours ago
                  Vatican – Fr Lorenzelli appointed auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile

                  (ANS - Vatican City) – Today, 22 May, Holy Father Francis has appointed Salesian Fr Alberto Ricardo Lorenzelli Rossi as auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile. He is currently Director of the Salesian Community in the Vatican and Chaplain of the Directorate of Security Services and Civil Protection of the Vatican City State. Fr Lorenzelli, who was assigned the titular bishopric of Sesta, was appointed auxiliary bishop along with Fr Carlos Eugenio Irarrázaval Errázuriz, of the clergy of Santiago, to whom was assigned the titular episcopal see of Tanudaia.

                  Fr Alberto Lorenzelli was born in Isidro Casanova, Province of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, on September 2, 1953, to Italian immigrant parents. Returning to Italy in 1972, after attending the novitiate in Pinerolo, he made his first profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco on 24 January 1973, and his perpetual profession in Rome-San Callisto on 15 September 1977. He was ordained a priest in Genoa-Sampierdarena on January 24, 1981, by the laying on of hands of Card. Rosalio Castillo Lara, SDB.

                  He was Vice Dean of the "Don Bosco" Middle School and Dean of the "Don Bosco" Institute of Technical Studies and Scientific Lyceum of Genoa; then, Director of the Don Bosco Institute of Genoa-Sampierdarena from 1996 to 2002.

                  Founder and Professor of Theology and History of Religions at the Università della Terza Età of Genoa, he was the chaplain-educator of the Genoa Juvenile Prison for five years. In 2001 he founded the Liceo Scientifico Sportivo "Pierre De Coubertin", the first in Italy.

                  He was President of "FIDAE - Liguria" (Federation of Institutes of Educational Activities) and member of the National Council of the Catholic School of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

                  In 2002 he was appointed Superior of the Salesian Province of Italy-Liguria-Tuscany.

                  From 2005 to 2012 he was National President of the CISM (Italian Conference of Superiors Major) and member of UCESM (Union of Cnferences of European Superiors Major).

                  In 2008 he was appointed Provincial of the Salesian Circumscription of Central Italy "Sacred Heart".

                  On 19 January 2012 he was appointed Superior of the “St Gabriel Archangel” Province of Chile and Grand Chancellor of the “Silva Henríquez” Catholic University of Santiago de Chile.

                  On 27 January 2018, having completed his mandate as Provincial of Chile, he returned to Italy and on 25 July 2018 took up the post of Director of the Salesian Community in the Vatican.

                  On 10 November, Holy Father Pope Francis appointed him Chaplain of the Directorate of Security and Civil Protection Services of the Vatican City State.

                  • Vaticano
                  • Nomine
                  • Alberto Lorenzelli
                  • Vescovi
                  • Chiesa
                    Gian Francesco Romano

                    Italy – Youth from CNOS-FAP of Valdocco start twinning with Aleppo

                    4 days 22 hours ago
                    Italy – Youth from CNOS-FAP of Valdocco start twinning with Aleppo

                    (ANS - Turin) - The youths of the Salesian Vocational Training Center of Turin-Valdocco have decided to take seriously the pastoral proposal for the year 2018-2019: "Io sono una missione #perlavitadeglialtri", that is: I'm a mission #forthelifeoftheothers. And for this reason, during a meeting with Fr Pier Jabloyan, Director of the Salesian Center in Aleppo, they signed a sister-city relationship of solidarity between the two Salesian realities.

                    "How many things do we take for granted, for the simple fact of always having them there, at our disposal? When we press a switch or open the tap, have we ever wondered if there is electricity or if water will come out?" These are just some of the reflections that Fr Jabloyan left in the hearts of young Valdocco students.

                    In a country that has been at war for eight years now, the Salesian oratory is a point of reference and hope: after-school activities, catechism, children's summer camp, sports teams, groups ... "normal things, in not normal times." Because during a conflict even the number of victims becomes almost "a habit". Victims like a boy, aged 12, killed by a mortar shell while waiting for the bus. Or like two brothers with their mother, at home, hit by a rocket in that place that, by definition, means safety.

                    In the words of Fr Jabloyan the youths could indeed feel the pain and suffering, but they also learned about the daily miracles and the hope of those who continue each day to do good and to witness that greater Love that drives them to give their lives for the others: in welcoming, in playing, in helping, in finding the strength to still celebrate every little joy when everything around them speaks of death. And it is precisely here that the twinning that unites Valdocco with Aleppo resides.

                    At the end of a year of reflection, spent through moments of play and celebration, animation and retreat, the youths of the CNOS-FAP of Valdocco decided to put themselves on the front line "for the lives of others", aware that only in this way can one's life be wholly fulfilled. Why they have launched a subscription with prizes, whose proceeds will go entirely to the Salesian house in Aleppo.

                    A small gesture, certainly, but one that can really make a difference. Because, as Fr Jabloyan said: "at the end of the war, those who have hurt will be forgotten. But all those who have done good to the young of Aleppo will always be remembered."

                    Source: Salesians of Piedmont

                    • Italia
                    • CNOSFAP
                    • ICP
                    • Formazione Professionale
                    • Solidarietà
                    • Siria
                    • Aleppo
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Chile – Industrial School in Copiapó and inauguration of first "Pre-University Don Bosco" in Santiago

                      4 days 22 hours ago

                      (ANS - Santiago) - Without a doubt, young people are the first witnesses of the growth of the Salesian Congregation and of the service that the Salesians of Don Bosco carry out for the formation of future generations. Recently in Chile, two interesting initiatives took place: the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the "St Domenico Savio" building of the future Salesian Industrial School of Copiapó; and the launch of the first "Pre-University Don Bosco", a 100%-free initiative promoted by the Silva Henríquez Catholic University.

                      The future school will include courses for electricians, scientific laboratories, electronics, automotive mechanics and industrial mechanics, and the construction of the "Don Bosco Hall".

                      "The only sense in which the Salesian Province has spent a lot of time and money to fulfill this stage is nothing more than to fix our gaze on young people as Don Bosco would have done," said Fr Juan Pablo Moreno, Director of the House of Copiapó. "For young people, always the best, so that they can grow and develop as quality people and professionals."

                      In addition to laying the first stone, a wooden box with several symbolic objects was lowered into the foundations, including: images of Don Bosco, Mary Help of Christians, Domenico Savio and Mamma Margherita, school signs, a 2019 school calendar, several coins, a pencil, a new notebook and a copy of the construction plan. Fr José Toledo, Provincial Economer, then blessed the first stone and the place where the new building will be built.

                      Furthermore, last May 4, another initiative was held in favor of the education of young people on the occasion of the inauguration of the first "Pre-University Don Bosco". A 100%-free initiative promoted by the Salesian Province, by the Silva Henríquez Catholic University (UCSH) and by the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), which will be used to prepare the children of the Salesian institutes of the last years of the secondary schools ahead of university entrance.

                      This initiative, which in this first edition will welcome 70 students, is an opportunity to strengthen the bond between Salesian works, as stated by the director Francisco de Ferari, who said he reserved "many hopes in this pre-university center. We know that students will derive the maximum benefit."

                      For his part, Juan Pablo Vásquez, director of the Salesian Schools Network, told the young people that the project seeks to foster Salesian talents, giving them the possibility of continuity, and he emphasized: "You are here for yourself first, because you are working for your life project."

                      • Cile
                      • CIL
                      • Università
                      • Silva Henríquez
                      • Nuova Presenza
                      • Scuole
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        Burkina Faso – Holy Mass and burial of Salesian missionary Fr Fernando Hernández, killed in Bobo Diuolasso

                        5 days 22 hours ago
                        Burkina Faso – Holy Mass and burial of Salesian missionary Fr Fernando Hernández, killed in Bobo Diuolasso

                        (ANS - Bobo Dioulasso) - 60-year-old Spanish Salesian missionary Fernando Hernández was murdered on Friday 17 May in the Salesian house of Bobo Dioulasso, killed by a former chef from the center. The murderer, who had worked at the center for seven years and was fired two months ago, also knifed Salesian Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa in the same attack, the latter currently recovering. Security forces arrested the former employee immediately after the crime.

                        The Salesian Congregation expresses its deepest sorrow for the tragic death of the Salesian priest and wants to be close to his family and members of his community. And while it condemns all forms of violence, it however reaffirms its desire to continue working in African countries, especially in the area of ​​education and evangelization of young people, to contribute to their full development. Sometimes, this work is done in very difficult and even hostile situations. Just three months ago, in fact, another Spanish Salesian missionary, Fr Antonio César Fernández, was assassinated in Burkina Faso, on that occasion during a jihadist attack.

                        Fr Fernando Hernández, born April 8, 1959, was originally from Ledesma, province of Salamanca, Spain, but studied vocational training in Urnieta, Gipuzkoa province, where his family had emigrated when he was young. Later, in response to the Salesian vocation, he studied Philosophy and Theology and was ordained a priest in Santander in 1991, and immediately sent to Benin as a missionary.

                        "He was a priest with a technical background, a very interesting profile for the work he did in the places to which he was assigned, because vocational training is the engine of the development of young students and their environment," his confreres said of him.

                        In the Salesian center of Bobo Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso, Fr Hernández was vicar and economer, responsible of a centre for students attending the Salesian Vocational School and other schools in the city. The news of his murder has caused great consternation in the whole Salesian Family, especially in this area of Burkina Faso where the Salesians have been present since 1994.

                        The funeral and the subsequent burial of Fr Hernandez will take place in Burkina Faso as the Salesian missionary himself wished. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, at 9 am. Subsequently, his mortal remains will be buried in the courtyard of the work of Bobo Dioulasso, to make the words of the Gospel resound forever in that place: "If the grain of wheat that falls on the ground does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

                        From Spain, some of his relatives will go to Burkina Faso, accompanied by members of the Salesian Congregation, to participate in the funeral.

                        • Burkina Faso
                        • AFO
                        • Violenze
                        • Decessi
                        • Antonio César Fernández
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          RMG – World Council of Salesian Family starts tomorrow

                          5 days 22 hours ago
                          RMG – World Council of Salesian Family starts tomorrow

                          (ANS - Rome) - Finding oneself in Turin immediately before the feast of Mary Help of Christians and thus, in fraternal sharing and in common Marian devotion, discerning together how to cooperate for the good of young people around the world. This is the meaning of the gathering of the World Consulta of the Salesian Family, scheduled from Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 May, at Valdocco.

                          About 60 participants are expected, namely, two speakers / animators - Fr Rossano Sala, former Special Secretary to the Synod of Bishops on young people; and Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Postulation of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family; and as many as 57 people, including Provincials and Directors, spiritual assistants or Delegates of the different groups of the Salesian Family.

                          In total, 26 of the 31 Salesian Family groups will be represented - which, as a whole, has nearly 300,000 members.

                          The work will open on the morning of Tuesday 21st with the greetings of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime and the presentation of the participants and the program of activities by the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz.

                          Fr Sala will then explain what the Synod of Youth represents for the Church and the Salesian Family. In the afternoon, thanks to the presentations of Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General of the Causes of the Salesian Family, and of Dr. Zanet, the theme of holiness in the Salesian Family will be studied in depth; to follow, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), shall each present their own group.

                          On the morning of Wednesday 22, the reflections will continue on the theme of Salesian spirituality as "a journey of apostolic and educational holiness", and the presentations of four other groups of the Salesian Family will take place: the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart (SOSC), the Sisters of Resurrection (HR), the Sisters of St. Michael the Archangel (CSSMA), and the Daughters of the Divine Savior (HDS).

                          The day also includes a time to learn more about Valdocco as a "land of holiness".

                          Scheduled on the last day is the review of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2019, as well as the presentation of various service communiqués: on the Site of the Salesian Family, on the VIII Congress of Mary Help of Christians scheduled for next November in Buenos Aires, and in this regard, information to be shared between the Secretariat for the Salesian Family and the various groups belonging to it.

                          Finally, as is customary, the groups of the Council shall offer their suggestions to the Rector Major on the theme of the next Strenna; and lastly, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime will summarize what he experienced in these days of spirituality and fraternity.

                          • RMG
                          • Famiglia Salesiana
                          • Spiritualità Salesiana
                          • Eusebio Muñoz
                          • Pier Luigi Cameroni
                          • Ángel Fernández Artime
                          • Rettor Maggiore
                          • Consulta Mondiale FS
                          • Italia
                            Gian Francesco Romano

                            Democratic Republic of Congo - Rector Major: "Each of us has the right to be loved"

                            5 days 22 hours ago

                            (ANS - Kinshasa) – During the visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Africa Congo Congo Vice Province, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement and all the youths who attend the Salesian centers in Kinshasa met at the seat of the Vice Province to show, with their songs and their enthusiasm, the joy of having he who represents Don Bosco today close to them.

                            The meeting took place Thursday, May 16, and opened with words of praise and thanksgiving to God and to the Salesians by some young animators for the service that the Sons of Don Bosco lend to needy boys and girls. Then, with the passing of time, the gathering became more and more a celebration of art, dance, music and entertainment, which saw the performance of many young people in different disciplines.

                            Friday 17, after Mass and the meeting with the local Salesian Family, the Rector Major, accompanied by his secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region, Fr Américo Chaquisse, and the ACC Provincial, Fr Manolo Jiménez, he boarded a ferry on the Congo River, which took him from Kinshasa to Brazzaville.

                            Here, too, in the Republic of the Congo, the Rector Major's journey continued in a climate of great youthful celebration: children gave him gifts, boys and girls crowded the streets to huddle around him, young people waited for hours just to be able to greet him as he traveled by car in his various transfers ...

                            All this constituted a reason for hope and comfort for the Rector Major, who received the news of the assassination of Fr Fernando Hernández, and the wounding of Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa, in Burkina Faso, in Bobo-Dioulasso, just three months after the killing of Fr Antonio Cesar Fernández.

                            In successive meetings, however, the Rector Major continued to animate the Salesians, young people and the Salesian Family of Brazzaville, and then of Pointe-Noire, where he arrived on the evening of Saturday 18.

                            There, on Sunday 19, the Sunday Eucharist was concelebrated in the parish dedicated to St. John Bosco, together with Msgr. Miguel Angel Olaverri, SDB; taking inspiration from the Gospel of the day, on the commandment of love, in the homily Fr Á.F. Artime recalled: "Each of us has the right to be loved."

                            Furthermore, on the sidelines of the Mass, he blessed the structures of the new “Domenico Savio” school, and offered words of encouragement to the young women of the Vocational Training Center of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians “Maddalena Morano”.

                            Photos of the Rector Major's visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                            • ACC
                            • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                            • Repubblica del Congo
                            • Ángel Fernández Artime
                            • Rettor Maggiore
                            • Visita di Animazione
                              Gian Francesco Romano

                              BRIEF INFORMATION AND MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SALESIAN FAMILY IN RMG - THE WORLD When only faith, silence and prayer are possible ...

                              1 week ago
                              BRIEF INFORMATION AND MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SALESIAN FAMILY IN RMG - THE WORLD  When only faith, silence and prayer are possible ...

                              Dear brothers and sisters of the Salesian Family in the world,


                              I write to you to share sad news and to invite you again to put your life and your mission in the hands of the One in whom the full meaning of every event resides: the God of Love and His Son Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord.

                              I was coming to Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo) for the visit to this new Vice Province when the Provincial of the Western French-speaking Africa Province (AFO) informed me that, a few minutes before, the missionary confrere Fr Fernando Hernández was cruelly murdered and that Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa was seriously injured and is now in the hospital. Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa was at the side of Fr César Antonio Fernández, who was assassinated just three months ago.

                              The reason for this tragedy is related to an act of revenge. In fact, it seems that the old chef of the community, who was fired about a year ago, entered the refectory of the confreres during lunch time and enacted his vendetta with a machete.

                              In three months, two missionary confreres have lost their lives in this Province. We pray intensely for the healing of Father Germain and also for the wounds that will remain imprinted in his soul, since it must be terrible to endure all that he has lived during this time.

                              Dear brothers and sisters of our dear Salesian Family, I share with you all the sorrow that the confreres share with their families and to ask you to remember them in prayer at such a dramatic moment.

                              We are living through the time of Easter and at this moment I can only hold on and anchor myself in faith to the Lord, keep silent and pray that He may transform the blood of these martyrs, cruelly and innocently shed, to life and good for the African people and for all peoples.

                              Our two confreres, Fr César Antonio and Fr Fernando, lived profoundly loving the African people, the young Africans and their families, always seeking their good in the name of the Lord.


                              Our prayer today should be an intercession for them, an intense prayer for Father Germain and a request for forgiveness for their assassins, as the Lord has done.

                              Our Mother Help of Christians takes us by the hand and leads us before God the Father. She accompanies us and takes care of all of us, sons and daughters, on this earth.

                              With these words, I intend to express our condolences and our closeness to Fr José Elegbede and the confreres of the AFO Province, much tried by these tragic events.

                              • Rettor Maggiore
                              • Africa
                              • AFC
                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                Vanuatu – Catholic community in Vanuatu looks to Charism of Don Bosco

                                1 week 1 day ago
                                Vanuatu – Catholic community in Vanuatu looks to Charism of Don Bosco

                                (ANS – Port Vila) – After the first exploratory visit of the PGS Vice-province Confreres (Provincial Fr Alfred Maravilla from PNG and Fr Srimal from Solomon Islands) last August 2018, this time the PGS Provincial superior with the EAO Regional Councillor made the visit to Port Villa (Vanuatu Republic capital) between 12-15 May 2019. The French/English-speaking country (lingua franca is Bislama, like the Pidgin English of Papua New Guinea) is very peaceful, with a Samoa-like population of 200,000 inhabitants spread over 6 provinces and 83 islands. The Catholic community is growing, with about 15% of the total population.

                                The warm welcoming care of Vanuatu Bishop Jean Bosco Baremes, SM (Marist), made the two visitors feel very much at home. Since the first Catholic evangelization of the Pacific, the Marist Congregation has been the main driving force and until now in many countries remains the only male religious congregation.

                                The three days were spent on the island of Efate, where Port Vila is also located, hosting its Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

                                Thanks to the care of Bishop Jean Bosco, the visitors were able to visit a number of Catholic educational institutions, the Marist cultural and Catholic mission museum, a few sub-parishes and chapels and were also invited for the ongoing final assembly of the Vanuatu Diocesan Synod. This encounter offered a good opportunity for dialogue with almost all Catholic clergy, religious and lay leaders of the whole Vanuatu diocese. Variety of nationalities and points of view among the participants have been very helpful for discernment on this possible new mission frontier.

                                Following main point of the sharing: “Youth Ministry in Vanuatu needs new inspiration, since the younger generation are drifting away from parish life, some Catholic youth are even victims of marijuana. There is a need for another male religious Congregation beside the Marists; we would like to enjoy another Universal Church charism, especially that of St John Bosco. The drop outs and out-of-school youth need more care from our communities.”

                                The overall welcoming tone of the Synod assembly touched the heart of the two visitors and Fr Alfred shared the Salesian typical gift - a small statue of Mary Help of Christians as One who goes always ahead of Her sons in every mission land. The last three days of the Synod Assembly were celebrated with Her statue on the Presidents table.

                                The three-day interaction with the Vanuatu Catholic community is over and the two visitors entrust the future decision of the Rector Major to the motherly care of the Star of the Sea and Help of Christians, main Patroness of the whole Church in the Pacific.

                                Source: AustraLasia

                                • Vanuatu
                                • PGS
                                • Václav Klement
                                • Alfred Maravilla
                                • Missioni
                                • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                  Argentina – The Courtyard in the streets ... And the Virgin in the middle

                                  1 week 1 day ago
                                  Argentina – The Courtyard in the streets ... And the Virgin in the middle

                                  (ANS - Salta) - "The Salesian," said Pope Francis, "is an educator who embraces the fragility of children who live on the margins of society and without a future; he bends over their wounds and heals them like a good Samaritan.” The words of the Holy Father become reality in the different parts of the world in which a Salesian finds himself. As part of the celebrations for the month of Mary Help of Christians, the three Salesian houses in Salta made an important gesture of solidarity and extended the oratory to the whole city.

                                  The communities "Mary Help of Christians - Laura Vicuña", "Ángel Zerda" and "Ceferino Namuncurá" left their traditional courtyards to take them through the streets of the city. Thus, on the morning of Saturday 11 May, three simultaneous oratorial days were held in different areas of Salta, with the aim of bringing everyone a little of the Salesian charism.

                                  School children participated by creating cards and collecting donations. Many were attracted to this proposal and did not miss the opportunity to be in the midst of an oratory. The day left its mark in the hearts of all the participants and Caterina, Nicolás and Betiana decided to share their experience.

                                  "I lived a different Saturday," writes Caterina Torres. "I had the opportunity to share my time with very good people and I learned a lot from them. I could see how the children painted, jumped, ran and enjoyed themselves ... We managed to bring out a beautiful smile on their faces. We prepared a performance on Maria, because our goal was that they would know Her and feel that great love we feel for Her. I learned that with small details you can light up the day of a child, young or adult. It was a very nice experience that I hope to relive."

                                  "It was an experience of Paradise," says Nicolás Martínez. "Seeing most of the animators, the teachers, the parents, the Salesian Cooperators, the Salesians, the members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians ... All together spending a cold morning in favor of the children and adolescents of the area was truly gratifying. Personally, I really liked that to crown it all there was a statue of Mary, not on an altar or a pedestal, but on a wooden table adorned with a pink cloak worn by a mother from the neighborhood and the purple scarf of an animator. That statue, among boys and girls. The Help of Christians and Her Son, in the midst of the slum, celebrating the immense Love."

                                  "Maria took us back to the courtyard. We have lived and shared a beautiful oratorian day ... Happy to see that we are united and we are part of a community that beats to the rhythm of Don Bosco ... Our young people are a great gift. Thank you!" concludes Betiana Durand. 

                                  {gallery}Argentina - Oratorio in uscita 2019{/gallery}

                                  • Argentina
                                  • ARN
                                  • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                  • Oratorio
                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                    RMG – Cultivating a dream: Network of Salesian Museums. International Museum Day

                                    1 week 1 day ago
                                    RMG – Cultivating a dream: Network of Salesian Museums. International Museum Day

                                    (ANS - Rome) – Due to the celebration of International Museum Day, Saturday 18 May, and of the invitation of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to "start in a coordinated way the care and promotion of Salesian artistic and cultural assets as the wealth and heritage of the Congregation in favor of the mission", seven Salesian museums in the world held what was a first work session towards laying the foundations for a Network of Salesian Museums.

                                    It was a first approach and contact via a video conference. Exhorted by the General Councilor of the Missions, Fr. Guillermo Basañes, seven of the largest Salesian museums in the world - in terms of size, exhibitions, catalogs, and related - shared their experiences and together set guidelines for future common work.

                                    This ambitious project is led by Salesian Fr Gianni Rolandi who, among other functions, is the contact person for Salesian museums within the Dicastery for Salesian Missions. From his presentation we'd like to report these fine words:

                                    "In an ever smaller world – increasingly more a global village - we realize that, as Salesians, we have an enormous heritage that we need to:

                                    1. Safeguard
                                    2. Share
                                    3. Promote and make known: among ourselves and to the world."

                                    In addition to Fr Rolandi, other participants included: Nataly Orbe Ortiz and Fr Juan Botasso, of the “Abya Yala” Museum in Ecuador; Miguel Ángel Fernández, Head of Registration and Documentation of Cultural Heritage at the “St James Major” Province of Spain-Madrid; Rosanna Russo of the "Colle Don Bosco Museum" of Turin; Jorge Liotta and the team of the "Museum of Natural Sciences" of Turin; Antonio Scasso, from Argentina; Salvatore Cirillo from the "Maggiorino Borgatello Museum" in Chile; Dirceu Mauricio Van Lonkhuijzen, of the "Museum das Culturas Don Bosco" in Brazil; and Mariano García and Virginia Escribá of the "Museum of Salesian Missions" in Spain, these thus acting as organizing referents in this early stage.

                                    For a few minutes, the managers of each museum were able to present their institution, their own projects, the hosted collection and the lines of action undertaken and being developed.

                                    During the cordial conversation and the exchange of impressions, which lasted about 1.5 hour, the participants committed themselves to holding periodic meetings with the aim of collaborating together and starting to work in and as a network to spread and curate in a universal fashion the missionary charism of Don Bosco.

                                    In the future it is hoped that other Salesian museums will be able to join this initiative.

                                    {gallery}RMG - Loncandina Musei EN 2019{/gallery}

                                    • RMG
                                    • Musei
                                    • Missioni
                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                      Great Britain – “Honey and Apples”: helping children of all faiths understand each other

                                      1 week 1 day ago
                                      Great Britain – “Honey and Apples”: helping children of all faiths understand each other

                                      (ANS – London) – At the end of April, some of the Year 7 students (aged 11-12) from “St John Bosco College”, Battersea, London, put on a short play entitled “Honey and Apples” which was written specifically for them. The play was based on the experience of children during the Holocaust. The school invited some external guests from the local Jewish community, and the rest of the audience was made up of Year 11 students (aged 15-16) who were revising Judaism for their GCSEs.

                                      The play was beautifully presented and sensitively acted under the direction of Elvira Tallo, one of SJBC's PGCE students, who, although she is not a teacher of drama, worked tirelessly with the students during their form time to bring out excellent performances. The guests and Year 11s loved the play and openly showed their appreciation.

                                      When the students were asked to reflect on their experience of putting on this short but powerful drama, they acknowledged how difficult being involved in a production was, but found as they rehearsed more, it became easier. The teamwork aspect was appreciated: "you felt good, and as if you were part of a family", said one young actor, and they were all pleased that they learned more about Judaism, and had been able to help the Year 11s with their studies, even if it was "nerve-wracking" at times.

                                      Although the subject matter was difficult, the young actors valued the opportunity to gain insights and to empathise with the real young people devastated by the Holocaust. "I found working on the play upsetting, but learnt how Jewish children must have felt, and it made me appreciate what I have," one student said, and another added, "It was amazing because I have never been in such an important play before."

                                      The guests from the Jewish community were very impressed by the performance and the students' engagement with it. The Religious Advisor from the local Jewish home was impressed with how much the students incorporated about Judaism and the Jewish way of life into the play. He said he was touched by the interfaith nature of the event.

                                      Another guest wrote to the school to say, "Clearly a lot of hard work was put into this by both you and the students and the result was really impressive. I think you should all be very proud of yourselves. This drama covered a very difficult subject very sensitively and also it also included an enormous amount of knowledge about Judaism. The result was really excellent. It was so uplifting to see the efforts that you and the school are clearly making to ensure that the students understand other religions. This is so important in these difficult times."

                                      St John Bosco College Battersea is continuing to build strong interfaith links with all of the community, so that young people can come together to help build a world of greater understanding and harmony between people of all faiths... and none.

                                      {gallery}GBR - Teatro su Olocausto 2019{/gallery}

                                      • GBR
                                      • Teatro
                                      • Ebraismo
                                      • Dialogo
                                      • Gran Bretagna
                                      • Scuole
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                        Democratic Republic of Congo – Rector Major in Africa Congo Congo Vice Province

                                        1 week 2 days ago
                                        Democratic Republic of Congo – Rector Major in Africa Congo Congo Vice Province

                                        (ANS - Kinshasa) - After completing his Animation Visit in the Province of Central Africa (AFC), where he met with the Provincial Council and a paternal meeting with Chem-Chem novices, yesterday, May 15, the Rector Major began his tour in the Vice Province of Congo Congo (ACC).

                                        Arriving in Kinshasa in the afternoon, site of the ACC Vice Province, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime immediately gathered with the Vice-Province Council, before spending the evening with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians who animate the "Mozart Café" at the nearby Gombe municipality.

                                        Today, Thursday 16 May, he meets with the Salesians of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, holds a press conference and a meeting with the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement in the Kinshasa area, who in his honor have planned an afternoon of celebration and artistic-cultural exhibitions.

                                        Tomorrow, Fr Á.F. Artime shall preside over the Mass for young people and the local Salesian Family, before entering the Republic of the Congo (so-called Congo-Brazzaville) and meeting the novices.

                                        On Saturday 18 May he will meet the Salesians of the Republic of the Congo, preside over the Eucharist for the local Salesian Family and hold a new press conference.

                                        In the evening he flies to Pointe-Noire where, on Sunday 19 May, he will preside over the Eucharist with young people and the local Salesian Family, before leaving for Rome, with a stopover at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

                                        The ACC Vice Province, guided by Fr Manuel Jiménez Castro, is the newest Salesian circumscription on the African continent, officially founded on 8 September 2017, starting with the “mother” Province of Central Africa (AFC). It was erected after a discernment that lasted about 6 years, which took into account both the growth and expansion of Salesian life in that area, and the difficulties for the animation and governance of the only AFC Province due to the great distances and the scarce connections - roads and such - present.

                                        Dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, it has 105 religious and 10 houses, scattered between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congo-Brazzaville.

                                        Photos of the Rector Major's visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                                        • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                        • ACC
                                        • Rettor Maggiore
                                        • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                          Gian Francesco Romano
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana

                                          Spain - Mary Help of Christians, a festival celebrated all over the world

                                          1 day 22 hours ago
                                          Spain - Mary Help of Christians, a festival celebrated all over the world

                                          (ANS - Madrid) - Celebrations in honor of Mary Help of Christians have been going on across all five continents for days now. Wherever there is a Salesian house there are activities that fill everyone's heart with joy and gratitude towards Don Bosco's Madonna. Sporting events, games for the little ones, Masses, processions, floral offerings to Mary Help of Christians, cultural activities, and more. All because Mary Help of Christians is ever more present.

                                          In May, the Salesian Family lives a month of celebrations and devotion to Mary, "Help of Christians", which Don Bosco set at the foundation of his work right from the beginning. When the little Giovanni Bosco was just 9 years old he dreamed of the Madonna who was already indicating his vocation to him and that he would become a priest. That was how it all began. But later, in 1860, Our Lady spoke to him again in another dream and told him that she wanted to be honored with the title of "Help of Christians" and showed him the place in Turin where a temple dedicated to her would be built. Today there is, in fact, the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, which cost Don Bosco so much effort, but which was completed in only four years and was consecrated on 9 June 1868.

                                          Devotion to Mary Help of Christians is associated with Don Bosco and the Salesians as the saint of Turin promoted this Marian invocation with phrases such as "It was not me; it was the Virgin Help of Christians who saved you" or "She did it all" . However, the recognition of Mary Help of Christians is full of curiosities. In fact, the title of Help of Christians is in itself rather ancient. It derives from the first Greek Christians who called his Virgin Mary "Boetéia" which means "She who brings help from Heaven". Mary Help of Christians is considered fundamental in many important battles, such as Lepanto and Vienna, or when in the seventeenth century the Catholics of southern Germany were not invaded by Protestants.

                                          Another curious fact is the reason for the May 24th celebration: Pope Pius VII, after being imprisoned by Napoleon, thanks to the intervention of Mary, was freed. Pius VII arrived in Rome on May 24 and so he decided that this day would be dedicated to thank Mary Help of Christians.

                                          And ... Did you know that Mary Help of Christians is the Patroness of China? Devotion to the Holy Virgin dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century and in Shanghai there is the Sheshan Shrine, which is a reference point for venerating Mary Help of Christians.

                                          • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                            Colombia - Two girls substracted from armed conflict graduate as nurses thanks to Don Bosco

                                            1 day 22 hours ago
                                            Colombia - Two girls substracted from armed conflict graduate as nurses thanks to Don Bosco

                                            (ANS - Medellín) - Catalina and Claudia are two girls who participated in the documentary of "Misiones Salesianas", the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, entitled "Alto el fuego". Three years ago they were immersed in a process that was changing their lives and they had a dream to fulfill: to study and become professionals thanks to the "Ciudad Don Bosco" center in Medellín. Now, not only have they graduated as auxiliary nurses, but they are two points of reference for the dozens of minors who seek peace and want to return to their studies in order to have a future full of opportunities.

                                            Catalina is 21 years old and has been linked to "Ciudad Don Bosco" in Medellín since she was 16 years old. She decided to join the guerrilla forces to escape the mistreatment and abuse at home, but she soon realized that handling a gun, living in the jungle and staying away from her family was even worse; so she didn't stop in her struggle until she managed to escape even from there.

                                            Claudia is also 21 years old and since 2015 she has participated in the Salesian program for minors removed from armed conflict. After being without food, walking for days in the mountains "treated worse than animals", she met with Salesians, began to feel the affection of a family and to share her human growth with other teenagers and young people.

                                            Both have become leaders and points of reference for other young people who have not been able to have a childhood. With effort and sacrifice, in recent years they have pursued their dream and now they have fulfilled it: they are two professionals helping others in the health sector.

                                            Catalina has always known she wanted to be a nurse because when she was with the guerrilla she had attended courses and enjoyed them. Claudia, on the other hand, experienced a traumatic experience: her father died "for lack of medical care", why she wanted to become a nurse, so that something similar would no longer happen in the place where she was born.

                                            Thanks to the Salesian program of Medellin's "Ciudad Don Bosco" for minors taken from armed conflict, hundreds of children have started a new life, having overcome their traumas, recovered self-esteem and have had the will and the spirit of sacrifice to return to studying.

                                            For all of them, there is now a future full of opportunities wherein to try to fulfill their dreams.

                                            • COM
                                            • Colombia
                                            • Guerra
                                            • Salute
                                            • Opzione Preferenziale
                                            • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                            • Ciudad Don Bosco
                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                              France – Festiclip 2019 in “Eurolive”!

                                              1 day 22 hours ago
                                              France – Festiclip 2019 in “Eurolive”!

                                              (ANS – Lione) – “Festiclip” opens the 14th edition of the Short Film Festival on Saturday, 25 May 2019, at 7:30 pm. 13 short films will be screened with English subtitles. Everyone can follow the event online via live-Facebook.

                                              The Film Festival takes place at the Jean Bosco Center in Lyon. The selected 13 films and their respective team members represented by 8 high school students, 2 parish youth groups and 3 European countries (Spain, Ireland and Portugal) will be present.

                                              Participants start their programme on Saturday afternoon through “Ice-break,” introductions. Then they share their experience with one another. In the evening, at 7:30, Br Jacques Rey, SDB, (Jury President) opens the festival «by youth for youth». It is animated by Anne-Florence Perras (President of Salesian Youth Movement) and Charles Antoine Lefebvre (project manager: “Citizenship challenge”). 

                                              After screening, participants give their vote to their choice of film. There are 4 awards: Audience’s choice, Best soundtrack, Best foreign film, Best creativity. Follow us through live-Facebook at 7:30 pm at: https://www.facebook.com/DonBoscoMedias/ 

                                              Films in competition:

                                              1. «La vie d’Aurélien, the life of Aurelien» by Campus de Pouillé
                                              2. «Des réseaux pas très sociaux, not very social networks» by Lycée Costa de Beauregard - Chambéry
                                              3. «Exclus de la société, excluded from society» by Lycée de Sévigné - Marseille
                                              4. «Addiction» by Lycée Don Bosco Marseille
                                              5. «La cascade» by Chaplaincy of Bourgoin – Jallieu
                                              6. «Identité 2019» by Lycée LP Institut Lemonnier - Caen
                                              7. «Le prix de la liberté, the price of liberty» by Chaplaincy of Parish St Jean Bosco – Paris
                                              8. «Thank you» by Salesian College Celbridge – Ireland
                                              9. «L’ombre du second, the shadow of the second» by Lycée Don Bosco Landser
                                              10. «JT Bosco» by Lycée Don Bosco Lyon
                                              11. «Mixzapping» by Notre Dame des Minimes - Lyon
                                              12. «No Son Tonterias, they are not nonsense» by Casa Don Bosco – Valence - Spain
                                              13. «Em Terra de Cegos, in the land of the blind» by the youth group Rise’n Shine – Lisbon - Portugal
                                              • Francia
                                              • Festival
                                              • Cinema
                                              • FRB
                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                Dominican Republic - PROFAJ: each year Salesians form +100 youths for leadership

                                                2 days 22 hours ago
                                                Dominican Republic - PROFAJ: each year Salesians form +100 youths for leadership

                                                (ANS - Santo Domingo) - In May, the Salesian Family introduced 153 new young leaders to Dominican society, youths trained through the Youth Animators Formation Program (Programa de Formación de Animadores Juveniles, PROFAJ). It was the program's 33rd course and the most participated since its birth in 1986.

                                                The new animators attended the program by participating in seven stages developed over the course of two years. Through these stages, PROFAJ seeks to establish processes of leadership and training of young people, so that they learn to develop processes of group work and know how to begin a path of integration with other young people, which allows for integral growth through the various itineraries of evangelization and faith education.

                                                During the 7 stages of the program the young participants reflect and are formed on three nuclei of their person: Life, Faith and Action.

                                                The program is aimed at young people who live their apostolate in the various centers of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and of other diocesan parishes of the various dioceses of the country's Catholic Church.

                                                Over the past 10 years, PROFAJ has trained more than 1,000 young people, helping them to discover, promote and enhance their leadership skills, developing them in different groups of the Salesian Family and in the areas of Salesian Youth Ministry and in other local churches and congregations.

                                                "Many of these young people are now playing an important role in social life and their experience of youth animation, the result of PROFAJ, has undoubtedly helped them to acquire a series of experiences and skills that have been very important for their professional development, too, because they have been used to using their strengths and abilities by integrating them on the basis of proactive leadership," explained Fr Enrique Castillo, Delegate for Youth Ministry in the Province of the Antilles.

                                                The educational offer includes a process of sustained accompaniment, which allows to strengthen the identity of the young person as a Christian, provides him or her with animation techniques and helps them to clarify their personal life project and commitment to transformation in the communities where he or she performs their service.

                                                {gallery}ANT - Profaj 2019{/gallery}

                                                • Repubblica Dominicana
                                                • ANT
                                                • Giovani Leader
                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                  Gambia - A chapel dedicated to Mary Help of Christians in new Salesian mission

                                                  2 days 22 hours ago
                                                  Gambia - A chapel dedicated to Mary Help of Christians in new Salesian mission

                                                  (ANS - Kunkujang) - The Salesian mission in Gambia, specifically in Kunkujang, in the west of the country, is among the most recent of the Congregation, having been launched not even a year ago, in October 2018. Following the example of Don Bosco, Salesian missionaries decided to place the nascent work under the mantle of Mary Help of Christians, dedicating a chapel to the Virgin so venerated by the Turin saint.

                                                  The reality in which the Salesians find themselves operating in Gambia, the 134th country in which the Congregation is present, faces numerous challenges: on the religious level, 96% of the population is of Islamic faith and the remaining 4% is of Christian religion; at the political level, we are witnessing a period of hopes, but also of fears, because after 22 years of authoritarian rule by former President Yahya Jammeh, in 2016 there was a regular election of a new President. Thus, after decades of immobility linked to the particular political situation, with this recent and sudden freedom, a series of tribal conflicts has been unleashed for the possession of land, which sees ethnic minorities in great difficulty.

                                                  The Salesian mission, inherited from a local congregation and destined to the activity of oratory-youth center, finds itself therefore operating in a completely peculiar context. And yet, there are also opportunities for pastoral service, given that in the territory of the mission almost all of the population is Catholic, apart from a few animists.

                                                  For this reason, wanting to meet the spiritual needs of the local population, the Salesians decided to build a chapel that could benefit the local population: about 750 souls, including children (300) young people (200) adult men and women (110) and inhabitants of the surrounding villages (140). The construction has been completed, but there is a need for the final touches, such as painting the chapel, both inside and out, providing it with benches for the faithful, windows ...

                                                  Relying on the protection of Mary Help of Christians and the solidarity of benefactors from all over the world, Salesian missionaries in Gambia are convinced that they will soon be able to offer young people and the local population a suitable place to pray and meet God in the sacraments.

                                                  For more information, visit the website: www.missionidonbosco.org 

                                                  • Gambia
                                                  • AFO
                                                  • ATE
                                                  • Missioni
                                                  • Missioni Don Bosco
                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                    Italy – Feast of Mary Help of Christians in Turin: here's how to follow it from a distance

                                                    3 days 22 hours ago
                                                    Italy – Feast of Mary Help of Christians in Turin: here's how to follow it from a distance

                                                    (ANS - Turin) - For the Salesians, Mary Help of Christians is much more than a personal devotion: she is a dimension of the charism and of the mission. This is why the feast of Mary Help of Christians in the city of Don Bosco is never a local event, but rather an event that calls for global attention. Again this year, the main events can be seen and followed via different options.

                                                    Below, the calendar of the main events:

                                                    - May 24 - 11:00 (UTC + 2) - Solemn Mass, presided over by the Archbishop of Turin, Mgr. Cesare Nosiglia;

                                                    - May 24 - 6:30 pm (UTC + 2) - Solemn Mass, presided over by the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime;

                                                    - May 24 - 8.30 pm - Solemn procession of Mary Help of Christians, presided by the Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Nosiglia.

                                                    All these appointments can be seen LIVE on the ANS Facebook page, with multi-language commentary, and on www.missionidonbosco.org or via satellite on Telepace.

                                                    • Italia
                                                    • ICP
                                                    • Comunicazione Sociale
                                                    • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                      Italy – World Council of Salesian Family: synodality, holiness and spirituality

                                                      3 days 22 hours ago
                                                      Archive photo

                                                      (ANS - Turin) - The traditional appointment of the World Council, aka Consulta, of the Salesian Family has been held for several years in Turin-Valdocco on the occasion of the feast of Mary Help of Christians. Around the Rector Major, representatives and leaders of the Groups of the Salesian Family gather to renew in trusting in Mary Help of Christians their belonging to the Salesian charism born of Don Bosco and which over time has developed into a plurality of forms and expressions.

                                                      Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May were initially dedicated to the Salesian reception of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people, through several solicitations offered by Fr Rossano Sala, SDB, Special Secretary of the Synod: entering the synod path; opening oneself to the missionary spirit, allowing oneself to be shaped by the Eucharist and putting the grace of Baptism to good use; inhabiting the condition of young people with the compassion of Don Bosco; learning the humus of discernment.

                                                      Later, time was dedicated to the deepening of the 2019 Strenna, dedicated to holiness, through the interventions-provocations of Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, Postulation collaborator, who presented the theme of the anthropology of holiness and the principles and dynamics of life according to the Spirit: ability to love the poverty of one's own path; in agreement with other ecclesial spiritualities and sensibilities; animated by the principle of reality.

                                                      Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, presented the holiness of the Salesian Family in the variety and richness of dimensions and in the beauty of incarnations that have flourished over time and in history. He also presented a theological-spiritual reading of the charismatic identity card, which deals with Salesian spirituality.

                                                      A much-appreciated moment was the presentation of some of the groups of the Salesian Family: the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians with a rich history of sanctity and educative-pastoral commitment; the Association of Mary Help of Christians celebrating their 150th anniversary this year; the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart, founded by Msgr. Giuseppe Cognata, who incarnate the oblative dimension of the charism in a special way.

                                                      • Consulta Mondiale FS
                                                      • Italia
                                                      • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                      • ICP
                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                        Malta – Past Pupils to start Mentoring Programme for homeless young persons

                                                        3 days 22 hours ago
                                                        Malta – Past Pupils to start Mentoring Programme for homeless young persons

                                                        (ANS – Sliema) – A mentoring programme to assist young homeless persons was launched in May by the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco. This Erasmus+ EU Funded programme will help these vulnerable persons in discovering more about themselves and their environment to follow a path of higher achievement and stability. The programme was launched under the title “Mentor Power” in the form of a handbook and training manual and over 20 organizations come together to attend the “Mentor Power” seminar. Together these tools will be used by the Salesians in a pilot programme aimed at reintegrating young persons back into the community.

                                                        In this European project, there were other partners including “Osanna Pia Home”, Malta; “Zdruzenie exallievov don Bosca na Slovensku” – Slovakia; “Cunamh Teo” (Salesians of Don Bosco) - Ireland; “Centro di Fraternità Exallievi di Don Bosco – Alberto Marvelli” – Italy; “Confederacion Nacional de Antiguos Alumnos y Antiguas Alumnas de Don Bosco” – Spain.

                                                        Bryan Magro, President of the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco, the lead organisation on the project, said: “Our intention was to create a handbook and training guide that would be implemented in our own mentoring programme. But we also wanted to create a tool that can also be used by other organisations in developing their own programmes to help vulnerable young persons. The response to this project by other NGOs was overwhelming and we are also looking at ways of collaborating with each other on further projects related to mentoring”.

                                                        The Maltese National Federation will also be opening “Marvelli Residence” this summer, which will be a new home for three young people who are homeless or lack the support of a family.

                                                        This project is in partnership with the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta and Osanna Pia Home.

                                                        {gallery}MLT - MentorPower 2019{/gallery}

                                                        • Malta
                                                        • MLT
                                                        • Exallievi
                                                        • Giovani a Rischio Sociale
                                                        • Opzione Preferenziale
                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                          Vatican – Fr Lorenzelli appointed auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile

                                                          3 days 22 hours ago
                                                          Vatican – Fr Lorenzelli appointed auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile

                                                          (ANS - Vatican City) – Today, 22 May, Holy Father Francis has appointed Salesian Fr Alberto Ricardo Lorenzelli Rossi as auxiliary bishop of Santiago de Chile. He is currently Director of the Salesian Community in the Vatican and Chaplain of the Directorate of Security Services and Civil Protection of the Vatican City State. Fr Lorenzelli, who was assigned the titular bishopric of Sesta, was appointed auxiliary bishop along with Fr Carlos Eugenio Irarrázaval Errázuriz, of the clergy of Santiago, to whom was assigned the titular episcopal see of Tanudaia.

                                                          Fr Alberto Lorenzelli was born in Isidro Casanova, Province of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, on September 2, 1953, to Italian immigrant parents. Returning to Italy in 1972, after attending the novitiate in Pinerolo, he made his first profession as a Salesian of Don Bosco on 24 January 1973, and his perpetual profession in Rome-San Callisto on 15 September 1977. He was ordained a priest in Genoa-Sampierdarena on January 24, 1981, by the laying on of hands of Card. Rosalio Castillo Lara, SDB.

                                                          He was Vice Dean of the "Don Bosco" Middle School and Dean of the "Don Bosco" Institute of Technical Studies and Scientific Lyceum of Genoa; then, Director of the Don Bosco Institute of Genoa-Sampierdarena from 1996 to 2002.

                                                          Founder and Professor of Theology and History of Religions at the Università della Terza Età of Genoa, he was the chaplain-educator of the Genoa Juvenile Prison for five years. In 2001 he founded the Liceo Scientifico Sportivo "Pierre De Coubertin", the first in Italy.

                                                          He was President of "FIDAE - Liguria" (Federation of Institutes of Educational Activities) and member of the National Council of the Catholic School of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

                                                          In 2002 he was appointed Superior of the Salesian Province of Italy-Liguria-Tuscany.

                                                          From 2005 to 2012 he was National President of the CISM (Italian Conference of Superiors Major) and member of UCESM (Union of Cnferences of European Superiors Major).

                                                          In 2008 he was appointed Provincial of the Salesian Circumscription of Central Italy "Sacred Heart".

                                                          On 19 January 2012 he was appointed Superior of the “St Gabriel Archangel” Province of Chile and Grand Chancellor of the “Silva Henríquez” Catholic University of Santiago de Chile.

                                                          On 27 January 2018, having completed his mandate as Provincial of Chile, he returned to Italy and on 25 July 2018 took up the post of Director of the Salesian Community in the Vatican.

                                                          On 10 November, Holy Father Pope Francis appointed him Chaplain of the Directorate of Security and Civil Protection Services of the Vatican City State.

                                                          • Vaticano
                                                          • Nomine
                                                          • Alberto Lorenzelli
                                                          • Vescovi
                                                          • Chiesa
                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                            Italy – Youth from CNOS-FAP of Valdocco start twinning with Aleppo

                                                            4 days 22 hours ago
                                                            Italy – Youth from CNOS-FAP of Valdocco start twinning with Aleppo

                                                            (ANS - Turin) - The youths of the Salesian Vocational Training Center of Turin-Valdocco have decided to take seriously the pastoral proposal for the year 2018-2019: "Io sono una missione #perlavitadeglialtri", that is: I'm a mission #forthelifeoftheothers. And for this reason, during a meeting with Fr Pier Jabloyan, Director of the Salesian Center in Aleppo, they signed a sister-city relationship of solidarity between the two Salesian realities.

                                                            "How many things do we take for granted, for the simple fact of always having them there, at our disposal? When we press a switch or open the tap, have we ever wondered if there is electricity or if water will come out?" These are just some of the reflections that Fr Jabloyan left in the hearts of young Valdocco students.

                                                            In a country that has been at war for eight years now, the Salesian oratory is a point of reference and hope: after-school activities, catechism, children's summer camp, sports teams, groups ... "normal things, in not normal times." Because during a conflict even the number of victims becomes almost "a habit". Victims like a boy, aged 12, killed by a mortar shell while waiting for the bus. Or like two brothers with their mother, at home, hit by a rocket in that place that, by definition, means safety.

                                                            In the words of Fr Jabloyan the youths could indeed feel the pain and suffering, but they also learned about the daily miracles and the hope of those who continue each day to do good and to witness that greater Love that drives them to give their lives for the others: in welcoming, in playing, in helping, in finding the strength to still celebrate every little joy when everything around them speaks of death. And it is precisely here that the twinning that unites Valdocco with Aleppo resides.

                                                            At the end of a year of reflection, spent through moments of play and celebration, animation and retreat, the youths of the CNOS-FAP of Valdocco decided to put themselves on the front line "for the lives of others", aware that only in this way can one's life be wholly fulfilled. Why they have launched a subscription with prizes, whose proceeds will go entirely to the Salesian house in Aleppo.

                                                            A small gesture, certainly, but one that can really make a difference. Because, as Fr Jabloyan said: "at the end of the war, those who have hurt will be forgotten. But all those who have done good to the young of Aleppo will always be remembered."

                                                            Source: Salesians of Piedmont

                                                            • Italia
                                                            • CNOSFAP
                                                            • ICP
                                                            • Formazione Professionale
                                                            • Solidarietà
                                                            • Siria
                                                            • Aleppo
                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                              Chile – Industrial School in Copiapó and inauguration of first "Pre-University Don Bosco" in Santiago

                                                              4 days 22 hours ago

                                                              (ANS - Santiago) - Without a doubt, young people are the first witnesses of the growth of the Salesian Congregation and of the service that the Salesians of Don Bosco carry out for the formation of future generations. Recently in Chile, two interesting initiatives took place: the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the "St Domenico Savio" building of the future Salesian Industrial School of Copiapó; and the launch of the first "Pre-University Don Bosco", a 100%-free initiative promoted by the Silva Henríquez Catholic University.

                                                              The future school will include courses for electricians, scientific laboratories, electronics, automotive mechanics and industrial mechanics, and the construction of the "Don Bosco Hall".

                                                              "The only sense in which the Salesian Province has spent a lot of time and money to fulfill this stage is nothing more than to fix our gaze on young people as Don Bosco would have done," said Fr Juan Pablo Moreno, Director of the House of Copiapó. "For young people, always the best, so that they can grow and develop as quality people and professionals."

                                                              In addition to laying the first stone, a wooden box with several symbolic objects was lowered into the foundations, including: images of Don Bosco, Mary Help of Christians, Domenico Savio and Mamma Margherita, school signs, a 2019 school calendar, several coins, a pencil, a new notebook and a copy of the construction plan. Fr José Toledo, Provincial Economer, then blessed the first stone and the place where the new building will be built.

                                                              Furthermore, last May 4, another initiative was held in favor of the education of young people on the occasion of the inauguration of the first "Pre-University Don Bosco". A 100%-free initiative promoted by the Salesian Province, by the Silva Henríquez Catholic University (UCSH) and by the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), which will be used to prepare the children of the Salesian institutes of the last years of the secondary schools ahead of university entrance.

                                                              This initiative, which in this first edition will welcome 70 students, is an opportunity to strengthen the bond between Salesian works, as stated by the director Francisco de Ferari, who said he reserved "many hopes in this pre-university center. We know that students will derive the maximum benefit."

                                                              For his part, Juan Pablo Vásquez, director of the Salesian Schools Network, told the young people that the project seeks to foster Salesian talents, giving them the possibility of continuity, and he emphasized: "You are here for yourself first, because you are working for your life project."

                                                              • Cile
                                                              • CIL
                                                              • Università
                                                              • Silva Henríquez
                                                              • Nuova Presenza
                                                              • Scuole
                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                Burkina Faso – Holy Mass and burial of Salesian missionary Fr Fernando Hernández, killed in Bobo Diuolasso

                                                                5 days 22 hours ago
                                                                Burkina Faso – Holy Mass and burial of Salesian missionary Fr Fernando Hernández, killed in Bobo Diuolasso

                                                                (ANS - Bobo Dioulasso) - 60-year-old Spanish Salesian missionary Fernando Hernández was murdered on Friday 17 May in the Salesian house of Bobo Dioulasso, killed by a former chef from the center. The murderer, who had worked at the center for seven years and was fired two months ago, also knifed Salesian Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa in the same attack, the latter currently recovering. Security forces arrested the former employee immediately after the crime.

                                                                The Salesian Congregation expresses its deepest sorrow for the tragic death of the Salesian priest and wants to be close to his family and members of his community. And while it condemns all forms of violence, it however reaffirms its desire to continue working in African countries, especially in the area of ​​education and evangelization of young people, to contribute to their full development. Sometimes, this work is done in very difficult and even hostile situations. Just three months ago, in fact, another Spanish Salesian missionary, Fr Antonio César Fernández, was assassinated in Burkina Faso, on that occasion during a jihadist attack.

                                                                Fr Fernando Hernández, born April 8, 1959, was originally from Ledesma, province of Salamanca, Spain, but studied vocational training in Urnieta, Gipuzkoa province, where his family had emigrated when he was young. Later, in response to the Salesian vocation, he studied Philosophy and Theology and was ordained a priest in Santander in 1991, and immediately sent to Benin as a missionary.

                                                                "He was a priest with a technical background, a very interesting profile for the work he did in the places to which he was assigned, because vocational training is the engine of the development of young students and their environment," his confreres said of him.

                                                                In the Salesian center of Bobo Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso, Fr Hernández was vicar and economer, responsible of a centre for students attending the Salesian Vocational School and other schools in the city. The news of his murder has caused great consternation in the whole Salesian Family, especially in this area of Burkina Faso where the Salesians have been present since 1994.

                                                                The funeral and the subsequent burial of Fr Hernandez will take place in Burkina Faso as the Salesian missionary himself wished. The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, at 9 am. Subsequently, his mortal remains will be buried in the courtyard of the work of Bobo Dioulasso, to make the words of the Gospel resound forever in that place: "If the grain of wheat that falls on the ground does not die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."

                                                                From Spain, some of his relatives will go to Burkina Faso, accompanied by members of the Salesian Congregation, to participate in the funeral.

                                                                • Burkina Faso
                                                                • AFO
                                                                • Violenze
                                                                • Decessi
                                                                • Antonio César Fernández
                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                  RMG – World Council of Salesian Family starts tomorrow

                                                                  5 days 22 hours ago
                                                                  RMG – World Council of Salesian Family starts tomorrow

                                                                  (ANS - Rome) - Finding oneself in Turin immediately before the feast of Mary Help of Christians and thus, in fraternal sharing and in common Marian devotion, discerning together how to cooperate for the good of young people around the world. This is the meaning of the gathering of the World Consulta of the Salesian Family, scheduled from Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 May, at Valdocco.

                                                                  About 60 participants are expected, namely, two speakers / animators - Fr Rossano Sala, former Special Secretary to the Synod of Bishops on young people; and Dr. Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Postulation of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family; and as many as 57 people, including Provincials and Directors, spiritual assistants or Delegates of the different groups of the Salesian Family.

                                                                  In total, 26 of the 31 Salesian Family groups will be represented - which, as a whole, has nearly 300,000 members.

                                                                  The work will open on the morning of Tuesday 21st with the greetings of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime and the presentation of the participants and the program of activities by the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz.

                                                                  Fr Sala will then explain what the Synod of Youth represents for the Church and the Salesian Family. In the afternoon, thanks to the presentations of Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General of the Causes of the Salesian Family, and of Dr. Zanet, the theme of holiness in the Salesian Family will be studied in depth; to follow, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), shall each present their own group.

                                                                  On the morning of Wednesday 22, the reflections will continue on the theme of Salesian spirituality as "a journey of apostolic and educational holiness", and the presentations of four other groups of the Salesian Family will take place: the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart (SOSC), the Sisters of Resurrection (HR), the Sisters of St. Michael the Archangel (CSSMA), and the Daughters of the Divine Savior (HDS).

                                                                  The day also includes a time to learn more about Valdocco as a "land of holiness".

                                                                  Scheduled on the last day is the review of the Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2019, as well as the presentation of various service communiqués: on the Site of the Salesian Family, on the VIII Congress of Mary Help of Christians scheduled for next November in Buenos Aires, and in this regard, information to be shared between the Secretariat for the Salesian Family and the various groups belonging to it.

                                                                  Finally, as is customary, the groups of the Council shall offer their suggestions to the Rector Major on the theme of the next Strenna; and lastly, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime will summarize what he experienced in these days of spirituality and fraternity.

                                                                  • RMG
                                                                  • Famiglia Salesiana
                                                                  • Spiritualità Salesiana
                                                                  • Eusebio Muñoz
                                                                  • Pier Luigi Cameroni
                                                                  • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                  • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                  • Consulta Mondiale FS
                                                                  • Italia
                                                                    Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                    Democratic Republic of Congo - Rector Major: "Each of us has the right to be loved"

                                                                    5 days 22 hours ago

                                                                    (ANS - Kinshasa) – During the visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the Africa Congo Congo Vice Province, the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement and all the youths who attend the Salesian centers in Kinshasa met at the seat of the Vice Province to show, with their songs and their enthusiasm, the joy of having he who represents Don Bosco today close to them.

                                                                    The meeting took place Thursday, May 16, and opened with words of praise and thanksgiving to God and to the Salesians by some young animators for the service that the Sons of Don Bosco lend to needy boys and girls. Then, with the passing of time, the gathering became more and more a celebration of art, dance, music and entertainment, which saw the performance of many young people in different disciplines.

                                                                    Friday 17, after Mass and the meeting with the local Salesian Family, the Rector Major, accompanied by his secretary, Fr Horacio López, the Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region, Fr Américo Chaquisse, and the ACC Provincial, Fr Manolo Jiménez, he boarded a ferry on the Congo River, which took him from Kinshasa to Brazzaville.

                                                                    Here, too, in the Republic of the Congo, the Rector Major's journey continued in a climate of great youthful celebration: children gave him gifts, boys and girls crowded the streets to huddle around him, young people waited for hours just to be able to greet him as he traveled by car in his various transfers ...

                                                                    All this constituted a reason for hope and comfort for the Rector Major, who received the news of the assassination of Fr Fernando Hernández, and the wounding of Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa, in Burkina Faso, in Bobo-Dioulasso, just three months after the killing of Fr Antonio Cesar Fernández.

                                                                    In successive meetings, however, the Rector Major continued to animate the Salesians, young people and the Salesian Family of Brazzaville, and then of Pointe-Noire, where he arrived on the evening of Saturday 18.

                                                                    There, on Sunday 19, the Sunday Eucharist was concelebrated in the parish dedicated to St. John Bosco, together with Msgr. Miguel Angel Olaverri, SDB; taking inspiration from the Gospel of the day, on the commandment of love, in the homily Fr Á.F. Artime recalled: "Each of us has the right to be loved."

                                                                    Furthermore, on the sidelines of the Mass, he blessed the structures of the new “Domenico Savio” school, and offered words of encouragement to the young women of the Vocational Training Center of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians “Maddalena Morano”.

                                                                    Photos of the Rector Major's visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                                                                    • ACC
                                                                    • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                                                    • Repubblica del Congo
                                                                    • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                    • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                    • Visita di Animazione
                                                                      Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                      BRIEF INFORMATION AND MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SALESIAN FAMILY IN RMG - THE WORLD When only faith, silence and prayer are possible ...

                                                                      1 week ago
                                                                      BRIEF INFORMATION AND MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SALESIAN FAMILY IN RMG - THE WORLD  When only faith, silence and prayer are possible ...

                                                                      Dear brothers and sisters of the Salesian Family in the world,


                                                                      I write to you to share sad news and to invite you again to put your life and your mission in the hands of the One in whom the full meaning of every event resides: the God of Love and His Son Jesus Christ, the Risen Lord.

                                                                      I was coming to Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo) for the visit to this new Vice Province when the Provincial of the Western French-speaking Africa Province (AFO) informed me that, a few minutes before, the missionary confrere Fr Fernando Hernández was cruelly murdered and that Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa was seriously injured and is now in the hospital. Fr Germain Plakoo-Mlapa was at the side of Fr César Antonio Fernández, who was assassinated just three months ago.

                                                                      The reason for this tragedy is related to an act of revenge. In fact, it seems that the old chef of the community, who was fired about a year ago, entered the refectory of the confreres during lunch time and enacted his vendetta with a machete.

                                                                      In three months, two missionary confreres have lost their lives in this Province. We pray intensely for the healing of Father Germain and also for the wounds that will remain imprinted in his soul, since it must be terrible to endure all that he has lived during this time.

                                                                      Dear brothers and sisters of our dear Salesian Family, I share with you all the sorrow that the confreres share with their families and to ask you to remember them in prayer at such a dramatic moment.

                                                                      We are living through the time of Easter and at this moment I can only hold on and anchor myself in faith to the Lord, keep silent and pray that He may transform the blood of these martyrs, cruelly and innocently shed, to life and good for the African people and for all peoples.

                                                                      Our two confreres, Fr César Antonio and Fr Fernando, lived profoundly loving the African people, the young Africans and their families, always seeking their good in the name of the Lord.


                                                                      Our prayer today should be an intercession for them, an intense prayer for Father Germain and a request for forgiveness for their assassins, as the Lord has done.

                                                                      Our Mother Help of Christians takes us by the hand and leads us before God the Father. She accompanies us and takes care of all of us, sons and daughters, on this earth.

                                                                      With these words, I intend to express our condolences and our closeness to Fr José Elegbede and the confreres of the AFO Province, much tried by these tragic events.

                                                                      • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                      • Africa
                                                                      • AFC
                                                                        Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                        Vanuatu – Catholic community in Vanuatu looks to Charism of Don Bosco

                                                                        1 week 1 day ago
                                                                        Vanuatu – Catholic community in Vanuatu looks to Charism of Don Bosco

                                                                        (ANS – Port Vila) – After the first exploratory visit of the PGS Vice-province Confreres (Provincial Fr Alfred Maravilla from PNG and Fr Srimal from Solomon Islands) last August 2018, this time the PGS Provincial superior with the EAO Regional Councillor made the visit to Port Villa (Vanuatu Republic capital) between 12-15 May 2019. The French/English-speaking country (lingua franca is Bislama, like the Pidgin English of Papua New Guinea) is very peaceful, with a Samoa-like population of 200,000 inhabitants spread over 6 provinces and 83 islands. The Catholic community is growing, with about 15% of the total population.

                                                                        The warm welcoming care of Vanuatu Bishop Jean Bosco Baremes, SM (Marist), made the two visitors feel very much at home. Since the first Catholic evangelization of the Pacific, the Marist Congregation has been the main driving force and until now in many countries remains the only male religious congregation.

                                                                        The three days were spent on the island of Efate, where Port Vila is also located, hosting its Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.

                                                                        Thanks to the care of Bishop Jean Bosco, the visitors were able to visit a number of Catholic educational institutions, the Marist cultural and Catholic mission museum, a few sub-parishes and chapels and were also invited for the ongoing final assembly of the Vanuatu Diocesan Synod. This encounter offered a good opportunity for dialogue with almost all Catholic clergy, religious and lay leaders of the whole Vanuatu diocese. Variety of nationalities and points of view among the participants have been very helpful for discernment on this possible new mission frontier.

                                                                        Following main point of the sharing: “Youth Ministry in Vanuatu needs new inspiration, since the younger generation are drifting away from parish life, some Catholic youth are even victims of marijuana. There is a need for another male religious Congregation beside the Marists; we would like to enjoy another Universal Church charism, especially that of St John Bosco. The drop outs and out-of-school youth need more care from our communities.”

                                                                        The overall welcoming tone of the Synod assembly touched the heart of the two visitors and Fr Alfred shared the Salesian typical gift - a small statue of Mary Help of Christians as One who goes always ahead of Her sons in every mission land. The last three days of the Synod Assembly were celebrated with Her statue on the Presidents table.

                                                                        The three-day interaction with the Vanuatu Catholic community is over and the two visitors entrust the future decision of the Rector Major to the motherly care of the Star of the Sea and Help of Christians, main Patroness of the whole Church in the Pacific.

                                                                        Source: AustraLasia

                                                                        • Vanuatu
                                                                        • PGS
                                                                        • Václav Klement
                                                                        • Alfred Maravilla
                                                                        • Missioni
                                                                        • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                                          Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                          Argentina – The Courtyard in the streets ... And the Virgin in the middle

                                                                          1 week 1 day ago
                                                                          Argentina – The Courtyard in the streets ... And the Virgin in the middle

                                                                          (ANS - Salta) - "The Salesian," said Pope Francis, "is an educator who embraces the fragility of children who live on the margins of society and without a future; he bends over their wounds and heals them like a good Samaritan.” The words of the Holy Father become reality in the different parts of the world in which a Salesian finds himself. As part of the celebrations for the month of Mary Help of Christians, the three Salesian houses in Salta made an important gesture of solidarity and extended the oratory to the whole city.

                                                                          The communities "Mary Help of Christians - Laura Vicuña", "Ángel Zerda" and "Ceferino Namuncurá" left their traditional courtyards to take them through the streets of the city. Thus, on the morning of Saturday 11 May, three simultaneous oratorial days were held in different areas of Salta, with the aim of bringing everyone a little of the Salesian charism.

                                                                          School children participated by creating cards and collecting donations. Many were attracted to this proposal and did not miss the opportunity to be in the midst of an oratory. The day left its mark in the hearts of all the participants and Caterina, Nicolás and Betiana decided to share their experience.

                                                                          "I lived a different Saturday," writes Caterina Torres. "I had the opportunity to share my time with very good people and I learned a lot from them. I could see how the children painted, jumped, ran and enjoyed themselves ... We managed to bring out a beautiful smile on their faces. We prepared a performance on Maria, because our goal was that they would know Her and feel that great love we feel for Her. I learned that with small details you can light up the day of a child, young or adult. It was a very nice experience that I hope to relive."

                                                                          "It was an experience of Paradise," says Nicolás Martínez. "Seeing most of the animators, the teachers, the parents, the Salesian Cooperators, the Salesians, the members of the Association of Mary Help of Christians ... All together spending a cold morning in favor of the children and adolescents of the area was truly gratifying. Personally, I really liked that to crown it all there was a statue of Mary, not on an altar or a pedestal, but on a wooden table adorned with a pink cloak worn by a mother from the neighborhood and the purple scarf of an animator. That statue, among boys and girls. The Help of Christians and Her Son, in the midst of the slum, celebrating the immense Love."

                                                                          "Maria took us back to the courtyard. We have lived and shared a beautiful oratorian day ... Happy to see that we are united and we are part of a community that beats to the rhythm of Don Bosco ... Our young people are a great gift. Thank you!" concludes Betiana Durand. 

                                                                          {gallery}Argentina - Oratorio in uscita 2019{/gallery}

                                                                          • Argentina
                                                                          • ARN
                                                                          • Maria Ausiliatrice
                                                                          • Oratorio
                                                                            Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                            RMG – Cultivating a dream: Network of Salesian Museums. International Museum Day

                                                                            1 week 1 day ago
                                                                            RMG – Cultivating a dream: Network of Salesian Museums. International Museum Day

                                                                            (ANS - Rome) – Due to the celebration of International Museum Day, Saturday 18 May, and of the invitation of the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to "start in a coordinated way the care and promotion of Salesian artistic and cultural assets as the wealth and heritage of the Congregation in favor of the mission", seven Salesian museums in the world held what was a first work session towards laying the foundations for a Network of Salesian Museums.

                                                                            It was a first approach and contact via a video conference. Exhorted by the General Councilor of the Missions, Fr. Guillermo Basañes, seven of the largest Salesian museums in the world - in terms of size, exhibitions, catalogs, and related - shared their experiences and together set guidelines for future common work.

                                                                            This ambitious project is led by Salesian Fr Gianni Rolandi who, among other functions, is the contact person for Salesian museums within the Dicastery for Salesian Missions. From his presentation we'd like to report these fine words:

                                                                            "In an ever smaller world – increasingly more a global village - we realize that, as Salesians, we have an enormous heritage that we need to:

                                                                            1. Safeguard
                                                                            2. Share
                                                                            3. Promote and make known: among ourselves and to the world."

                                                                            In addition to Fr Rolandi, other participants included: Nataly Orbe Ortiz and Fr Juan Botasso, of the “Abya Yala” Museum in Ecuador; Miguel Ángel Fernández, Head of Registration and Documentation of Cultural Heritage at the “St James Major” Province of Spain-Madrid; Rosanna Russo of the "Colle Don Bosco Museum" of Turin; Jorge Liotta and the team of the "Museum of Natural Sciences" of Turin; Antonio Scasso, from Argentina; Salvatore Cirillo from the "Maggiorino Borgatello Museum" in Chile; Dirceu Mauricio Van Lonkhuijzen, of the "Museum das Culturas Don Bosco" in Brazil; and Mariano García and Virginia Escribá of the "Museum of Salesian Missions" in Spain, these thus acting as organizing referents in this early stage.

                                                                            For a few minutes, the managers of each museum were able to present their institution, their own projects, the hosted collection and the lines of action undertaken and being developed.

                                                                            During the cordial conversation and the exchange of impressions, which lasted about 1.5 hour, the participants committed themselves to holding periodic meetings with the aim of collaborating together and starting to work in and as a network to spread and curate in a universal fashion the missionary charism of Don Bosco.

                                                                            In the future it is hoped that other Salesian museums will be able to join this initiative.

                                                                            {gallery}RMG - Loncandina Musei EN 2019{/gallery}

                                                                            • RMG
                                                                            • Musei
                                                                            • Missioni
                                                                              Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                              Great Britain – “Honey and Apples”: helping children of all faiths understand each other

                                                                              1 week 1 day ago
                                                                              Great Britain – “Honey and Apples”: helping children of all faiths understand each other

                                                                              (ANS – London) – At the end of April, some of the Year 7 students (aged 11-12) from “St John Bosco College”, Battersea, London, put on a short play entitled “Honey and Apples” which was written specifically for them. The play was based on the experience of children during the Holocaust. The school invited some external guests from the local Jewish community, and the rest of the audience was made up of Year 11 students (aged 15-16) who were revising Judaism for their GCSEs.

                                                                              The play was beautifully presented and sensitively acted under the direction of Elvira Tallo, one of SJBC's PGCE students, who, although she is not a teacher of drama, worked tirelessly with the students during their form time to bring out excellent performances. The guests and Year 11s loved the play and openly showed their appreciation.

                                                                              When the students were asked to reflect on their experience of putting on this short but powerful drama, they acknowledged how difficult being involved in a production was, but found as they rehearsed more, it became easier. The teamwork aspect was appreciated: "you felt good, and as if you were part of a family", said one young actor, and they were all pleased that they learned more about Judaism, and had been able to help the Year 11s with their studies, even if it was "nerve-wracking" at times.

                                                                              Although the subject matter was difficult, the young actors valued the opportunity to gain insights and to empathise with the real young people devastated by the Holocaust. "I found working on the play upsetting, but learnt how Jewish children must have felt, and it made me appreciate what I have," one student said, and another added, "It was amazing because I have never been in such an important play before."

                                                                              The guests from the Jewish community were very impressed by the performance and the students' engagement with it. The Religious Advisor from the local Jewish home was impressed with how much the students incorporated about Judaism and the Jewish way of life into the play. He said he was touched by the interfaith nature of the event.

                                                                              Another guest wrote to the school to say, "Clearly a lot of hard work was put into this by both you and the students and the result was really impressive. I think you should all be very proud of yourselves. This drama covered a very difficult subject very sensitively and also it also included an enormous amount of knowledge about Judaism. The result was really excellent. It was so uplifting to see the efforts that you and the school are clearly making to ensure that the students understand other religions. This is so important in these difficult times."

                                                                              St John Bosco College Battersea is continuing to build strong interfaith links with all of the community, so that young people can come together to help build a world of greater understanding and harmony between people of all faiths... and none.

                                                                              {gallery}GBR - Teatro su Olocausto 2019{/gallery}

                                                                              • GBR
                                                                              • Teatro
                                                                              • Ebraismo
                                                                              • Dialogo
                                                                              • Gran Bretagna
                                                                              • Scuole
                                                                                Gian Francesco Romano

                                                                                Democratic Republic of Congo – Rector Major in Africa Congo Congo Vice Province

                                                                                1 week 2 days ago
                                                                                Democratic Republic of Congo – Rector Major in Africa Congo Congo Vice Province

                                                                                (ANS - Kinshasa) - After completing his Animation Visit in the Province of Central Africa (AFC), where he met with the Provincial Council and a paternal meeting with Chem-Chem novices, yesterday, May 15, the Rector Major began his tour in the Vice Province of Congo Congo (ACC).

                                                                                Arriving in Kinshasa in the afternoon, site of the ACC Vice Province, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime immediately gathered with the Vice-Province Council, before spending the evening with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians who animate the "Mozart Café" at the nearby Gombe municipality.

                                                                                Today, Thursday 16 May, he meets with the Salesians of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, holds a press conference and a meeting with the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement in the Kinshasa area, who in his honor have planned an afternoon of celebration and artistic-cultural exhibitions.

                                                                                Tomorrow, Fr Á.F. Artime shall preside over the Mass for young people and the local Salesian Family, before entering the Republic of the Congo (so-called Congo-Brazzaville) and meeting the novices.

                                                                                On Saturday 18 May he will meet the Salesians of the Republic of the Congo, preside over the Eucharist for the local Salesian Family and hold a new press conference.

                                                                                In the evening he flies to Pointe-Noire where, on Sunday 19 May, he will preside over the Eucharist with young people and the local Salesian Family, before leaving for Rome, with a stopover at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

                                                                                The ACC Vice Province, guided by Fr Manuel Jiménez Castro, is the newest Salesian circumscription on the African continent, officially founded on 8 September 2017, starting with the “mother” Province of Central Africa (AFC). It was erected after a discernment that lasted about 6 years, which took into account both the growth and expansion of Salesian life in that area, and the difficulties for the animation and governance of the only AFC Province due to the great distances and the scarce connections - roads and such - present.

                                                                                Dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, it has 105 religious and 10 houses, scattered between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congo-Brazzaville.

                                                                                Photos of the Rector Major's visit are available on ANSFlickr.

                                                                                • Repubblica Democratica del Congo
                                                                                • ACC
                                                                                • Rettor Maggiore
                                                                                • Ángel Fernández Artime
                                                                                  Gian Francesco Romano
                                                                                  ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana