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India – Rector Major: “We need to find out and do whatever Jesus tells us to do”

3 days 9 hours ago
India – Rector Major: “We need to find out and do whatever Jesus tells us to do”

(ANS – Dimapur) – 12th Sept., the third day of the Rector Major’s visit to the Province of Dimapur, was primarily dedicated to the Salesian Family.  At the same time, it was also the day of the traditional, and very important, meeting between the Rector Major and all the Salesians in the Province.

At 9.00 am the Rector Major was welcomed at the Salesian College of Higher Education, Dimapur, by the college band, the colourful Rongmei and Adivasi dancers.

The Rector Major presided over the Holy Eucharist. 42 Salesian priests concelebrated. During the homily the Rector Major, based on the Gospel on the Wedding feast of Cana, said, “Our Lady told the stewards ‘Do whatever he tells you’. We need to find out and do whatever her son Jesus tells us to do in our life”. Secondly, referring to the group of men and women who would make the promise to be Salesian Cooperators, he said, “Don Bosco loved the Salesian Cooperators very much. He struggled hard to get their movement recognized and approved by the Holy See”. He encouraged the candidates to live their vocation as Salesian Cooperators well and invite others to join this wonderful movement.

After the Mass, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime spoke to and interacted with a large gathering of the members of the Salesian Family, in the Father Paul Bernick Hall of the Salesian College. Next followed the photo session with various groups on the college lawn.

At 4.00 pm, the Rector Major visited the Little Flower study house of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians. At 4.30 pm, he had tea in the Mazzarello study house run by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

Then followed one of the most important events of the Rector Major's visit to the Province: his conference to a large assembly of the Salesian confreres at 6.00 pm in the Don Bosco Institute of Development and Leadership (DBIDL) Dimapur. This was preceded by a 7.14 minutes long video highlighting the principal apostolates carried out by the Salesians in the Province. The main focus has always been on evangelization and catechesis in the Province where the confreres run 23 parishes. The contribution of the Salesians to education has been outstanding and there have been rich dividends: the current Chief Justice of India, Shri Ranjan Gogoi, and the present Chief Minister of Assam, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, as well as the current Environment Minister of Nagaland, Mr. Nikiesalie Kire are alumni of Don Bosco School, Dibrugarh in Assam. The present Minister for Higher and Technical Education, Govt. of Nagaland, Mr. Temjen Imna Along, is an alumnus of Don Bosco School, Dimapur. The current Deputy Chief Minister of the Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr. Chowmein is also Salesian past pupil.

Currently the Salesians of Dimapur Province run one post-graduate college, six degree colleges, nine lower and upper primary schools. They have five formation houses, 37 boardings and hostels. They cater to the underprivileged youth by training them in vocational skills in six Don Bosco non-formal vocational training centres. Sports and games, Scouts and Guides movements, promotion of local cultures like the colourful tribal dances and music are appreciated and promoted by the Salesians.

While appreciating the great work done by the Salesians, the Rector Major proposed his fatherly advice so that they really remain close to the charism of Don Bosco.

During the Conference to the Salesians, the Rector Major also released the revised edition of The Chronicled History of Dimapur Province edited by Dr. A. J. Sebastian SDB and the editorial board and published by Don Bosco Publications, Dimapur.

Fr Jonas Kerketta, SDB

ANSFlickr

  • India
  • IND
  • Rettor Maggiore
  • Ángel Fernández Artime
  • Visita di Animazione
    Gian Francesco Romano

    Vietnam – Salesian solidarity for refugees, due to Salesian Mission Day

    3 days 9 hours ago
    Vietnam – Salesian solidarity for refugees, due to Salesian Mission Day

    (ANS – Saigon) – Every year, on the occasion of the Salesian Missionary Day, the Missions Sector also proposes a project linked to the year's theme. This year the theme is the refugee – Africa welcomes African refugees – “Without realizing it they welcomed angels”. The project proposed for this year is the construction of simple little places of prayer in the refugee camp at Palabek and in other similar refugee camps elsewhere. And the Vietnam Province has decided to marry this project with generosity.

    The use of the term “places of prayer” is deliberate because we are not thinking of grand churches or even simple chapels. We do not know how long the refugees will be in the camps. So, all we are planning to construct are simple shelters – a rain-proof roof supported by pillars, where the faithful can gather together for Mass and prayers sheltered from the sun and rain. Even walls are not really contemplated.

    These shelters will serve as “places of prayer” as well as for community gatherings, meetings of various groups and organizations that work together for their own welfare, and even space where children may gather to play or to study.

    It is estimated that a simple structure of this sort can be put up with between USD 5,000 to 10,000.

    The Salesians of Don Bosco in Vietnam decided to use this project to animate all their communities and parishes with a warm missionary spirit. They encouraged everyone to thank God for whatever He has provided them in life and make little contributions to the refugees who have even less than they do. They invited individuals and families to make little sacrifices and bring symbolic offerings in cash, to buy one or more bricks, a sheet of corrugated iron sheets for the roof, etc.

    Every Salesian Community in the Province of Vietnam and every Salesian parish got involved. The total they collected came to a tidy little sum of USD 6,000. This amount is being handed over to the Superior of this Province on 12 September 2019.

    Vietnam is already well appreciated for the large number of Salesians who volunteer to be missionaries in various parts of the world (there are already over 100 Vietnamese missionaries across the globe). They have now made a step ahead of their confreres in other countries with this significant donation of and for a “place of prayer” in the refugee camp of Palabek in Uganda.

    {gallery}VIE - Solidarieta con Palabek 2019{/gallery}

    • Vietnam
    • VIE
    • AGL
    • Giornata Missionaria Salesiana
    • Palabek
    • Uganda
      Gian Francesco Romano

      India – Salesian Rector Major visits Dimapur

      4 days 9 hours ago
      India – Salesian Rector Major visits Dimapur

      (ANS – Dimapur) – From 10 to 14 September, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, is visiting Dimapur, Salesian Province of Dimapur, which includes the Northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Upper Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.

      On the afternoon of 10 September, he was warmly welcomed by Fr Jose Kuruvachira, provincial of Dimapur Province, by Salesians and other members of the Salesian Family at Dimapur Airport. The youthful music bands from Don Bosco School, Palin (Arunachal Pradesh), and Don Bosco School, Dimapur, as well as the ‘Naga warriors’ and traditional dancers added colour to the reception accorded to the Rector Major, his secretary Fr Horacio López SDB, and Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga SDB, Regional Councilor for South Asia. The accompanying parade provided by 20 bikers of the Nagaland Motor Cycle Club from Dimapur airport to the Provincial House Dimapur was spectacular. Another reception was organized for the Rector Major in the Provincial House.

      At 6:30 pm, around 350 Don Bosco alumni from the aforementioned states gave a rousing reception to the Rector Major. In his message, Fr Ángel, 10th successor of St. John Bosco, said he was greatly impressed to meet such vibrant units of the Don Bosco alumni in this part of the globe. He told them not to remain just cherishing the happy memories of being Don Bosco past pupils but to actively live the values they have imbibed from their ‘alma maters’.

      On 11th morning, the Rector Major was given a public reception in the premises of Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Dimapur. Over 1,000 youth attended the programme. Dignitaries present on the occasion included: Bishop James Thoppil, DD of Kohima, Bishop Joseph Aind SDB, DD of Dibrugarh, Bishop George Palliparambil SDB, DD, and Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Panipitchai SDB, DD of Miao (Arunachal Pradesh), Shri  Kevin (Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur), Mr. Francis Ngajokpa (former Minister, Govt. of Manipur), the Riverbelt Colony chairman and the village council, many Salesians and Salesian Family members.

      In his five years since 2014 as Rector Major, Father Ángel has visited most of the 134 countries where the Salesians work and has met around 12,000 out of the +14,000  Salesians. In today’s message he appreciated the great work done by the Salesians, the members of the Salesian Family and the teachers, especially in the field of education in this region. He gratefully acknowledged the presence of the four Bishops who had come to express their solidarity with the Salesians and their Rector Major. To the youth of this colourful region, he said that every Salesian is born precisely for their welfare. He enthralled the audience as he played guitar and sang three Spanish melodies accompanied by his secretary Fr López SDB.

      Speaking earlier, the Dimapur District Commissioner exhorted the youth to gratefully accept the guidance offered by the Salesians and the teachers and not to be misled by social media.

      Bishop James Thoppil gratefully acknowledged the services of the Salesians and the Salesian Family, especially in the Diocese of Kohima. He appreciated the encouraging visit of the Rector Major.

      Shri Francis Ngajokpa, former Minister, Govt. of Manipur, exhorted all to appreciate the great service the Salesians render at the cost of great sacrifices. He highlighted the importance of honesty and forgiveness as taught by the Salesian system of education.

      The public reception in honour of the Rector Major was enlivened by the scintillating performance of Jhumur Dance by the youth of Tinsukia, Tribal Steps by Don Bosco College Itanagar, traditional songs by Kohima Parish, Kuki Dance by Mary Immaculate Parish Imphal, the choir by Don Bosco College Kohima, Bihu Dance by Don Bosco College Golaghat and Rongmei Dance from Don Bosco College, Maram-Manipur.

      Fr Jonas Kerketta, SDB 

      {gallery}IND - Visita RM 2019{/gallery}

      • India
      • IND
      • Rettor Maggiore
      • Ángel Fernández Artime
        Gian Francesco Romano

        RMG – GC28: Precapitular Commission on Chapter's theme at work

        5 days 9 hours ago
        RMG – GC28: Precapitular Commission on Chapter's theme at work

        (ANS - Rome) - A little less than a year ago - last October 3rd - the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, appointed the members of the Precapitular Commission on the theme of the 28th General Chapter (GC28). A little over 150 days from the GC28's beginning, and after individually preparing themselves with great care in the preceding weeks, on Monday 9 September the members of the Commission met in Rome for a two-week gathering that will lead them to elaborate the 'work tool' of the GC28.

        "The task of this pre-capitular Commission," explained the Regulator of the GC28, Fr Stefano Vanoli, "is to study all the Provincial Chapters and personal contributions on the theme Which Salesians for today's young people, and also to take the contents of the Rector Major's letter for the GC28 call, in order to prepare a synthesis," a synthesis to serve as a guideline for the work of the Chapter.

        Until Friday, September 20, when the meeting ends, the members of the Commission appointed by the Rector Major – accompanied by the Regulator – are engaged in the study of three themes:

        - priority of the Salesian mission among today's youth;
        - profile of the Salesian for today's youth;
        - together with the laity in mission and formation.

        The Commission is divided into three working groups, on a linguistic basis. Of import, the effort the Commission members are called to make: each member of the Group must study about 10 Provincial Chapters and make a personal synthesis. Subsequently, each group will obtain, starting from the personal evaluations, a single summary, which it will present to the entire Commission.

        In the study of each of the three thematic groups or nuclei, each work group will use the same tripartite scheme of the methodology proposed to the Provincial Chapters:

        Listening – the phase in which we ask to recognize the situation, the promising and risky expressions regarding the priorities of the mission, the needs of formation, the involvement of the laity.

        Interpretation - the time to read the situation, starting from what was recognized and acknowledged in the first phase and having as keys the Gospel, the life of the Church, the Constitutions, the signs of the times.

        Choices - the time to find what makes the Congregation advance towards new ways of living the youth mission, to fulfill the profile of the Salesian, to involve the laity. To be very practical, this third point provides in detail: highlight one or two choices for each nuclei; indicate precise tasks and commitments; and to indicate the conditions for making the profile of the Salesian for today's young people better emerge.

        • RMG
        • CG28
        • Italia
          Gian Francesco Romano

          India – Tiruchy Province in mourning: Provincial, Fr. Antony Joseph, died

          5 days 9 hours ago
          India – Tiruchy Province in mourning: Provincial, Fr. Antony Joseph, died

          (ANS - Tiruchy) - With deep sorrow, the Salesian Province of India-Tiruchy (INT) announced that in the early hours of September 11, Fr Antony Joseph, who held the post of INT Provincial, suddenly passed away.

          Fr Joseph had been ill for some days and in intensive care since the end of August. Despite all the care given, the doctors at Trichy's "Kavery" hospital declared him dead at 4:15 am.

          Fr Joseph was a native of Thennur, where he was born on 23 July 1964. He had his first contact with the Salesians at the "Don Bosco" school in Varadarajanpet, in 1974; after completing his novitiate in Kotagiri between 1982 and 1983, he made his perpetual vows on 4 June 1990 in Tirupattur, and was ordained a priest on 29 December 1996 in Madurai.

          He was Economer of the "Sacred Heart" Institute of Tirupattur (1988-2000), Director of the center of Melanmarainadu (2000-2002), Economer of the Manikandam house, also in Tirupattur (2003-2007), and finally Director of the “Bosco Maiyam” center of Pallithammam (2011-2017).

          Before being appointed INT Provincial in 2017, he had already held the office of Provincial Economer for the Province, from 2002 to 2011.

          Today, at 1 pm local time, the Salesians and members of the Salesian Family from the Trichy area will meet for a suffrage Mass. The funeral is scheduled for tomorrow, 12 September, at 11 am

          • India
          • INT
          • Decessi
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Vatican – Mgr. Do Carmo da Silva,SDB, nominated first archbishop of Díli

            5 days 9 hours ago
            Vatican – Mgr. Do Carmo da Silva,SDB, nominated first archbishop of Díli

            (ANS Vatican City) - The Holy Father erected the Ecclesiastical Province of Díli, in East Timor, raising the diocese in word to Metropolitan Church; they will have the Dioceses of Baucau and Maliana as suffragan churches. As the first metropolitan archbishop, Pope Francis appointed Mgr. Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, SDB, current Bishop of Díli.

            The Diocese of Díli occupies the central part of East Timor. It covers 4,775 square kilometers, and is divided into 5 Districts. The Catholics are 630,176, out of 667,331 inhabitants (94.4%), served in 30 parishes. There are 149 priests (63 diocesan and 86 religious). 132 brothers and 432 sisters also participate in the pastoral care. The major seminarians are 98. The Diocese also uses the service of numerous catechists.

            • Vaticano
            • Virgilio do Carmo
            • Timor Est
            • Nomine
              Gian Francesco Romano

              India – Rector Major finishes visit to Chennai Province

              6 days 9 hours ago
              India – Rector Major finishes visit to Chennai Province

              (ANS - Chennai) - It was the young people, those in formation, as well as those attending Salesian circles, who filled the last days of the Rector Major's Animation Visit to the India-Chennai Province (INM). As a new Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime encouraged them to listen to God's voice in their lives.

              Faced with the "best Salesian youth" of the Province - 28 aspirants, 25 pre-novices and 21 novices - gathered at the aspirantate of Tirupattur, the Rector Major said that God loves the young very much but only calls some to live the specific vocation of the consecrated. In the formative journey, he emphasized, sincerity is needed: "Those in formation should not be afraid to express themselves clearly with the Superior, who will guide him with goodness. Otherwise, in the long run, it becomes impossible to be happy."

              Once again he underscored that the Salesians are born to serve poor young people, and this service is only possible if one remains rooted in God: "As the trees go deeper and deeper over the years, the Salesian must grow even more deep in his experience of God, to escape the drought that comes from temptations," he said.

              After stressing the importance of obedience, the Successor of Don Bosco concluded by renewing the call for missionary generosity. Today, Salesian India is growing at a high rate, but all this would not have been possible without the sacrifices of the first European missionaries: "It is our duty to return a hundred times what we have received so generously in the past!"

              After this session so full of content, the Rector Major was able to relax with the contagious enthusiasm of the young who animated a huge youth party at the "Sacred Heart" institute of Tirupattur.

              During the evening, in the presence of the Regional Councilor, Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga, and various other authorities, the Provincial of Chennai, Fr Jose Kochamkunnel, spoke of the Province's presence: 12 higher education institutions, 46 schools, 21 parishes , 6 vocational training institutes, 12 social works, 5 animation centers, 2 formation houses and 3 aspirantates.

              In conclusion, the Rector Major also presented the poetic collection Drinking Deep as the Divine Springs, by Fr A. M. Matthew Adukanil; the Online Administration manual of the Provincial Economer, Fr Xavier Packia; the institute's digital newsletter, Sacred Heart Times, signed by the school principal, Fr Maria Antonyraj; and the short film Micky, produced by "Don Bosco Production", on the story of Michele Magone.

              Finally, on the morning of Monday 9, the Rector Major greeted the students of the "Sacred Heart" institute, inaugurated the covered stadium and planted a small tree on the institute's campus.

              During the night, he then reached Dimapur by plane, where today a new Animation Visit begins.

              ANSFlickr

              • India
              • INM
              • Rettor Maggiore
              • Ángel Fernández Artime
              • Formazione iniziale
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Kenya – World Confederation of Past Pupils focusing on Africa

                6 days 9 hours ago
                Kenya – World Confederation of Past Pupils focusing on Africa

                (ANS - Nairobi) – For the first time, the World Presidency members of Don Bosco Past Pupils organized their annual meeting in Africa. The meeting was held in the conference hall of the “Don Bosco Youth Educational Services” (DBYES) in Nairobi from 27 to 30 August, and was followed by a meeting with the heads of various Provinces from 31 August to 2 September.

                The meeting was chaired by Michal Hort, President of the Confederation, accompanied by the world delegate, Fr Raphael Jayapalan. The work focused on the preparation for the 150th anniversary of the first Past Pupils' meeting, on reflections on the process "Which Past Pupil for the 21st Century?", and on the review of each of the projects included in the strategic plan of the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco.

                Accompanied by Fr Américo Chaquisse, Regional Councilor for Africa-Madagascar, members of the current Presidency took advantage of their visit to Nairobi to meet with National Presidents and Salesians Delegates for the Past Pupils of Don Bosco in Africa.

                The representatives of Africa committed themselves to working for the consolidation of the associative structures in their respective countries and to ensure that the Young Past Pupils are included in their respective Local Unions. They also reaffirmed their commitment as part of the Salesian Family to "work for young people, especially those in situations of poverty and social exclusion."

                The Past Pupils of Don Bosco are preparing to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their foundation, and within the next jubilee year (2020-2021), various local and national activities will be organized throughout Africa to boost the movement in the region.

                The meeting was attended by representatives of 11 African countries, several directors for the coordination and animation of Past Pupils, members of the World Presidency of the Past Pupils and the Salesian Provincial of East Africa, Fr Simon Asira Lipuku.

                To continue the animation work carried out by the members of the World Presidency of the Past Pupils in different regions of the world, the next meeting will take place in Asia. "In this way the World Presidency of the Past Pupils has the opportunity to know firsthand the work done by Don Bosco's Past Pupils around the world and does not remain centralized in Europe," explained the Confederal President.

                • AFE
                • Kenya
                • Exallievi
                • Africa
                • Famiglia Salesiana
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  India – Rector Major in Chennai Province, "the land of the Salesians"

                  1 week ago

                  (ANS - Chennai) – In recent days, the Animation Visit of Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, to the India-Chennai Province (INM) has continued amid a number of significant meetings and large gatherings fully in the spirit of family.

                  The visit's first official act was the Eucharistic celebration together with the members of the Provincial Council, the Salesians of the Provincial House and the Councilor for the South Asia region, Fr Maria Arokiam Kanaga. On this occasion, the Successor of Don Bosco said today's Salesians must concern themselves with being humble and “lovable”, so as to be able to give a beautiful testimony to religious life. He also reminded everyone that young people seek indeed the Salesians who know how to share the journey with them.

                  Subsequently, the provincial house, named Citadel, was filled with the colors and energy of the young people, who animated a rich program of cultural exhibitions. For his part, the Rector Major delivered several fundamental messages: "It is enough that you are young that I love you!"; "I believe in you and in your goodness" and "dream big and you will build a beautiful future."

                  Saturday 7 September opened with a visit to the missionary aspirantate of Perambur, which currently hosts 20 students, animated by 8 Salesians. After learning about the history of the center, Fr Á.F. Artime recalled that music is never just an accessory in Salesian life, and animated his audience by performing several songs himself.

                  Later in the morning, he visited the General House of the Sisters of Mary Auxiliatrix (SMA), 27th group of the Salesian Family, a Congregation dedicated to serving the neediest young women, and who, with only 43 years of life, can already count 33 communities and 134 professed. In a frank dialogue with the religious, in the presence of Mother General, Mother Josephine Selvi, and her Council, the Superior General of the Salesians insisted on maintaining and transmitting the credibility and beauty of religious life, and acknowledged the spirit of Don Bosco in their service.

                  Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning were also dedicated to the Salesian Family. At the Provincial House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in Kodambakkam, the Rector Major met with hundreds of members of the various groups, emphasizing that communion in the Salesian Family and the care of a specific identity are the priorities to be cultivated.

                  Later, at the “Gandhi Nagar” center in Vellore, 140 km from Chennai - a territory where the Salesian charism has borne much fruit in terms of vocations - the Successor of Don Bosco reiterated that all the members of the Salesian Family were born to serve young people, and in order to transmit the values of Don Bosco, besides direct teaching, daily testimony is fundamental. Present were several Salesian bishops or past pupils. The bishop of Vellore, Salesian Msgr. Periyanayagam Soundararaju thanked the Rector Major for the many vocations offered by the Salesians to the local Church, exclaiming: "This is really the land of the Salesians!"

                  ANSFlickr

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

                    Vietnam – Inauguration of the new North Vietnam Delegation

                    1 week ago
                    Vietnam – Inauguration of the new North Vietnam Delegation

                    (ANS – Hanoi) – The second Delegation of VIE province (Mongolia Delegation was established in 2009) was inaugurated on 7 September 2019, during the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist in the Parish Church of St. Peter in Van Phuc (Hanoi) celebrated by Fr. Joseph Nguyen Van Quang (Provincial of Vietnam - Mongolia) and concelebrated by 40 Salesian Priests and attended by a small group of Salesian Family members (Salesian Brothers, FMA sisters, Salesian Cooperators and two VDB). Fr. Thomas Aquinas Tran Quoc Tuan, parish priest of Van Phuc, was introduced to his 3 year term of office. Also the complete Provincial council was present at this occasion.

                    Before the Mass, representatives from all 10 Salesian presences in the northern part of Vietnam gathered for a short meeting, to understand the Delegation Statutes approved by the Rector Major in July 2019 with a clear wish for effective animation and to establish firm roots for Salesian animation. The current confreres raised many questions about “What is the Delegation? What is exactly the role of the Delegate? How to establish new Salesian works when we are based mainly in diocesan parishes with a short term agreement?” All questions were briefly commented on by the EAO Regional Councillor, through translation by the first Secretary of the Delegation, Fr. JB Tran Van Hao.

                    In the short address after the Gospel the EAO Regional Councillor expressed his gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the birth of the Delegation, especially to the Salesian confreres, the lay mission partners and benefactors over the past 25 years. Although there are many challenges on the way, the words of faith shared by St John Paul II “Don't Be Afraid” (inscription on the Salesian community house in Van Phuc) expressed his second point. In his third point Fr. Klememnt expressed the need for an ongoing search for a common vision in the fast-changing situation of the youth and the society. 

                    At the conclusion of the Eucharist, the newly installed Delegate Superior, Fr. Thomas Aquinas, shared his vision for next 6 years: in order to lay solid foundations for the future Vice-province, he invited everyone to focus on community building, formation of the Salesian Family (esp. Salesian Cooperators, Alumni and ADMA) and work with their whole heart for the total development of the youth in this specific culture of the North.

                    The new Delegate also highlighted the specific need to work for vocations, through the committed witness of religious life and invited all confreres to build a stronger sense of belonging to each local community, to the Delegation and to the whole Vietnam-Mongolia province.

                    Among the current Salesian confreres (44, with no less than 11 Salesian Brothers) only very few were born in the North, thus finding themselves in a true missionary environment, needing to learn the local traditions, customs and also some ethnic dialects of minority groups. The 10 Salesian communities spread from Ky Anh (Ha Thinh, most southern presence) until Lao Cai (most northern presence) are mostly parish settings trying to develop some response to the needs of the young people in this large part of the country.

                    • Vietnam
                    • VIE
                    • Delegazione Vietnam del Nord
                    • Václav Klement
                      Gian Francesco Romano

                      Bolivia – International Literacy Day: the work of "Don Bosco Proyecto"

                      1 week ago

                      (ANS - Santa Cruz de la Sierra) - There are many places in Bolivia where the Salesians work hard to take children and adolescents from the street, trying to distance them gradually from a terrible condition to which they have grown accustomed. One of these places is Santa Cruz de la Sierra where, thanks to an initiative of Fr Ottavio Sabbadin, the "Proyecto Don Bosco" was launched a few years ago: a project that leverages the principles of the Preventive System and offers the young the opportunity to develop and attend school.

                      Despite the great wealth of raw materials, Bolivia's GDP per capita is one of the lowest in all of South America, with an average monthly salary of around 91 dollars. Social and family policies are few and ineffective, and the weakest categories are the ones who pay the heaviest toll, especially children. Even though there are laws and initiatives that protect children and adolescents (such as the introduction of a voucher for pregnant women and a law against dropping out of school and provides a small contribution to pupils) the poorest children in Bolivia are abandoned to themselves. For example, it is estimated that only 7% of children living in rural areas complete 8 years of compulsory education.

                      Faced with such a situation, 28 years ago, in 1991, Fr Sabbadin started the "Proyecto Don Bosco", an initiative aimed at the recovery and social reintegration of street children. The initiative includes 3 different steps, to be carried out in as many centers located in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra: "Hogar Don Bosco", the reception house "Mano Amiga", and the "Centro Barrio Juvenil Don Bosco".   

                      Attending these centers are 900 minors at very high social risk, but, thanks to "papà Ottavio" - as they call him - and his confreres, the children can get an education for their future and, when possible, reintegration into the family of origin.

                      On the occasion of International Literacy Day, 8 September, the local Salesians relaunched their commitment to fostering child literacy, the first step towards a longer lasting educational journey. For this they are collecting aid for the purchase of educational material - books, backpacks, uniforms, pencils, cases - which will be allocated to 250 children, girls and adolescents who are in a state of neglect and abuse and whom the missionaries have been taken charge.

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

                      • Bolivia
                      • BOL
                      • Educazione
                      • Scuole
                        Gian Francesco Romano

                        RMG – "Dear Salesian Brothers, we need you!"

                        1 week 3 days ago

                        (ANS - Rome) - For the last video of the "Dear Confreres" column of this six-year term, available online today, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, starts again from young people and from the cry that has come from all the Salesian Circumscriptions through the Provincial Chapters' reports: young people need Salesians, educators and witnesses. But they must be educated to know how to face the challenges of the present time.

                        The Rector Major speaks from the Hall of the General Council at the end of the summer plenary session, and with his gaze already projected to the next important appointment that awaits the Congregation: the 28th General Chapter (GC28).

                        "There is a constant element that fascinates me: it is listening to what our young people tell us. They simply tell us: dear Salesian confreres, we need you, your presence next to us!," says the Rector Major.

                        The boys and girls do not ask for the presence of "administrators or managers", but Sons of Don Bosco who are like their founder, who know how to be carers in life to young people: "What else is still needed, after an appeal made with this intensity to indicate to us the way for this twenty-first century?" asks the Rector Major.

                        Subsequently, the Successor of Don Bosco also touches on a second theme, the motivations that led him to choose the motto for the Rector Major's Strenna for 2020: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6, 10). "GOOD CHRISTIANS AND UPRIGHT CITIZENS". A formula, notes Fr Á.F. Artime, which contains the "politics of Our Father."

                        They are two inseparable elements: "We were born to be educators to the faith of the young, to accompany them to the encounter of Jesus." But, adds the Rector Major, Salesian education cannot be disengaged or unlinked from the social and global context: "We cannot educate our young people to sit back, shut inside their homes, without bothering anyone ... No! We must prepare them for life ... To serve others, to commit themselves for others, not to be indifferent to the great global challenges of today, to be sensitive to the defense of Human Rights, especially of minors, and also to be open to a possible commitment in the world of politics, according to their sensitivity and their faith."

                        The "Dear Confreres" video is already available in 25 languages ​​on the ANSChannel YouTube channel. Here the playlist with subtitled videos in different languages ​​- a playlist that will be enriched gradually in the coming days.

                        • RMG
                        • Rettor Maggiore
                        • CG28
                        • Cari Confratelli
                          Gian Francesco Romano

                          Haiti - Quality vocational training for young people

                          1 week 3 days ago
                          Haiti - Quality vocational training for young people

                          (ANS - Port-au-Prince) - The Salesians of Haiti are committed to the country's future and, above all, to quality professional training for young people. And the reason is very simple: the goal is for young people to be the engines of development and eliminate poverty in the country.

                          The École Normale Technique (ENTEC) is already a reality in Haiti. Inaugurated a few months ago, this center will help hundreds of young people receive quality formation and, in turn, be able to train other young people. The Salesians, with the support of the Spanish Salesian NGO "Jóvenes y Desarrollo" and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), has managed to achieve what seemed a dream.

                          "This new center makes us continue to believe in the future and to dream of a different Haiti, rich in opportunities for young people and children," explained Fr Jean Paul Mésidor, Provincial of the Salesians of Haiti, on the day of the building's inauguration.

                          The initiative represents an important step forward in fostering Vocational Training through the improvement of teachers' skills and study programs.

                          ENTEC is the first center of its kind in Haiti and will help modernize approaches and study programs so that teachers can provide complete and quality education to Haitian youth.

                          The low level of education that young people receive and the lack of pedagogical resources of professional teachers are two major obstacles to the country's development and of its students. For this reason, it was decided to collaborate with the Spanish institutions and with the Haitian government.

                          A few weeks after the inauguration, the Spanish Ambassador in Haiti, Hon. Pedro José Sanz Serrano, visted the center; he underlined the importance of this education project and thanked the Salesians for their special dedication to vocational training, a line of work that helps the development of communities.

                          In fact, many young people find themselves facing difficult obstacles and situations to their studies due to the earthquake of 2010 and the passage of hurricane Matthew in 2016, which have wreaked havoc all across the country.

                          The district of La Saline, one of the most dangerous in Port-au-Prince, is the living face of poverty in which more than half of the 10 million Haitians live, and which drives thousands of young people to emigrate. Only in the last 3 years, around 300,000 Haitians have emigrated in search of a better future.

                          • Haiti
                          • Docenti
                          • Formazione Professionale
                          • Solidarietà
                          • HAI
                            Gian Francesco Romano

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

                            1 week 3 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                              RMG – Orientation Course for Missionaries of 150th Expedition

                              1 week 4 days ago
                              RMG – Orientation Course for Missionaries of 150th Expedition

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

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

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

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

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

                              Regarding their origins:


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

                              Regarding their destinations:

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

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

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

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

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

                                1 week 4 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                  1 week 4 days ago
                                  RMG – Rector Major's Journey to India: first stop in Chennai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    1 week 5 days ago
                                    Pakistan – Akash Bashir's family receives statue of Mary Help of Christians from Rector Major

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                      Egypt – Volunteer experience of young people in Central Italy

                                      1 week 5 days ago
                                      Egypt – Volunteer experience of young people in Central Italy

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

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

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

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

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

                                      • Egitto
                                      • ICC
                                      • Volontariato
                                        Gian Francesco Romano

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

                                        1 week 5 days ago
                                        Myanmar – What are the fruits of the 2nd EAO translators workshop?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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