Main page content

Germany - "Stephanus" Foundation awards Fr Tom, "witness of faith"

1 day 9 hours ago

(ANS - Frankfurt) - Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, the Salesian Indian missionary kidnapped in Yemen in March 2016 by a militia commando and released after 18 months, received the "Stephanus Foundation" award for Christians persecuted across the globe. The award was granted on Sunday, 15 September, at the headquarters of the foundation in Frankfurt.

Despite what he has experienced, in his public meetings he always tries to instill calm and serenity and always proposes the theme of dialogue and encounter. He testifies to the value of "prayer" in the difficulties and "the importance of fighting alongside the persecuted," the organizers explained.

The "Stephanus Foundation" for persecuted Christians is named after the deacon of the early Christian church, the first martyr to be stoned for his faith in Jesus Christ. According to the statute, the association helps persecuted Christians in need by providing subsistence compensation or covering legal fees, as well as reporting cases of violation of religious freedom.


In the context of the award ceremony, just over two years after his release, the 61-year-old Salesian again spoke of the experience of his missionary service in Yemen - a mission that was founded by his uncle, Fr Mathew Uzhunnalil - and then he retraced what he had experienced in the hands of the kidnappers.

Still very much alive the Christian community's memory of the attack on the home for the elderly of the Missionary Sisters of Charity in Aden - the Sisters of Mother Teresa - of March 4, 2016, in which four religious and another 12 people, including guests and service staff, were killed. It was on that occasion that Fr Tom was kidnapped and, after months of captivity, finally released on 12 September 2017.

Among those who have received the award in recent years, there are some leading personalities of the ecclesial world: card. Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans (Iraq); Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, also a Salesian; and Fr Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian Jesuit and a great expert on Islam and the Arab world.

Source: AsiaNews

  • Germania
  • GER
  • Tom Uzhunnalil
  • Fede
  • Premi e Riconoscimenti
    Jesus Jurado

    Argentina - "Christian life is a missionary life": at 81, Msgr. Melani, SDB, starts for Peru as missionary

    1 day 9 hours ago

    (ANS –Neuquén) - The bishop emeritus of Neuquén, Msgr. Marcelo Angiolo Melani, SDB, is embarking on a new journey at the age of 81: he will leave for Peru as an ad vitam missionary, as part of the 150th Salesian Missionary Expedition, and will be sent to the Amazon on the eve of the Extraordinary Synod convened by Pope Francis. Speaking of his expectations and the significance of this new phase of his life, he said: "I believe the Lord continues to tell me: 'Don't be afraid ... I'm at your side.'"

    Following his episcopal motto, "Not to be served, but to serve", mgr. Melani takes on this new mission "marveled" at thinking that God has a new project for him at this time in his life.

    Although his departure was on 12 September, he will actually arrive in Peru in December, since before then he will participate in a "Missiology" course in Rome.

    Interviewed about his expectations in this new destination, he said: "The only expectation I have is that I can serve men and God." For this reason, he explained: "I am not worried about what activity I will have. I will certainly be able to confess, listen and advise," he said.

    "For 48 years I have been a missionary in Patagonia. Now I feel that this appeal has been renewed in me: 'Leave your land,' because Patagonia is my land," said the prelate, born in Florence in 1938.

    Regarding the appeal, he acknowledged: "It amazed me to hear again that call with such force and I was surprised to think that God has a new project for an 81-year-old." "The charism of the Salesians," he continued, "is itself a missionary. Don Bosco looked for missionaries where they were; he didn't wait for them to come. When the Congregation had few members, he sent the best to America."

    Msgr. Melani then added that "one cannot be a missionary unless one is totally in love with Christ." Today Christ calls him once again, at 81, with a clear message, to leave everything bhind and to follow Him. "I believe the Lord continues to tell me: 'Don't be afraid ... I'm at your side.' Saint Paul said: 'I run towards the Lord' and He runs with me."

    Finally, the bishop emeritus sends a message to the community of the faithful: "The Christian life is a missionary life; we are not afraid to cross it. With Jesus everything is possible."

    With a long testimony of life given to Christ behind him, and under the protection of Saint John Bosco, of Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá, of the saint "Cura Brochero" and of many Salesians "who gave their lives to announce the love of the Lord", Msgr. Melani left Patagonia and embarked on a new missionary adventure.


    Source: AICA

    • Argentina
    • Missioni
    • Mons Melani
      Jesus Jurado

      Samoa – Salesians celebrate first 40 years in Samoa

      1 day 9 hours ago
      Samoa – Salesians celebrate first 40 years in Samoa

      (ANS - Alafua) - Archbishop Alapati Lui Mata’eliga of Apia celebrated the Eucharist last Saturday 31 August at the Parish of St John Bosco in Sinamoga on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Salesian presence in Samoa. The Eucharist was concelebrated by the Superior of the Australia-Pacific Province, Fr William Matthews, the Provincial Economer, Fr Peter Carroll, the Provincial Delegate of the Pacific, Fr Vito Pau Petelo, many diocesan priests and a good number of Salesians, including Fr James Adayadiel and Fr Sebastian Chacko who first arrived in this Pacific paradise 40 years ago.

      A large number of young people from Salesian schools and parishes also participated in the Eucharist, joyfully joining the celebrations for this important anniversary.

      During his homily, Archbishop Alapati Lui Mata'eliga encouraged the adults and parents of Samoa to love and educate their children and young people, inviting them to always treat children as their peers.

      At the end of the Eucharist, Fr Will Matthews, together with Sr. Edna Mary MacDonald, FMA Provincial, inaugurated and blessed a new statue of St. John Bosco, kept near the community chapel, precisely at the entrance of the Don Bosco Technical Institute of Alafua.


      The celebration ended with a "fiafia", a traditional festival, which took place at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Alafua and which was enriched with traditional songs, food, shows and dances.

      Currently in Alafua, the Salesians take care of the Prenovitiate, a center for vocational and professional orientation, the oratory and a parish. The Salesian school of Alafua has 22 educators, two staff members, five Salesians and 198 students - of which 47 are freshmen - with an increase in enrollments compared to the previous year of 74%.


      In all Samoa, in total, there are ten professed.

      • Samoa
      • Salesiani
        Jesus Jurado

        Ghana - Return home, return to the land

        1 day 9 hours ago
        Ghana - Return home, return to the land

        (ANS - Sunyani) - In Africa young people continue to be the greatest resource for building a future of food and industrial self-sufficiency. Precisely for this reason, the awarding of diplomas to the Salesian Agricultural School of Sunyani that took place this summer is indeed newsworthy. This recognition marks a stage in the journey started a few years ago in carrying out the "Stop Trafficking" campaign, launched to counter the illegal migration phenomenon.

        The first agriculture course in Ghana took place in 2016. Subsequently, two others were held annually, for a total of 93 students, vulnerable boys and girls and migrants returning to Ghana. They have learned to grow organically and to use new structures such as greenhouses. This solution allows to increase the harvest, since crops can be cultivated even during the dry season and the annual distribution of the produce can be better managed.

        Greenhouse crops are also an excellent deterrent against deforestation and climate change, as they do not need much space and prevent peasants from having to cut new virgin forest to make it cultivable.

        The teaching of organic agriculture is only the first step in reaching the most vulnerable young people and returning migrants, seeking together with them to promote sustainable development in Ghana. Four of the best students benefited from the development fund set up just after the conclusion of the last course. Part of this development fund - FATOUD (Fund for Agriculture and Tourism Development) - is completely dedicated to microcredit. From these small projects one starts to build a different future for Ghanaian farmers!

        The awarding of the certificates to the boys and girls who participated in the three courses in Organic Farming took place with the utmost officiality, both to give due recognition to the graduates, and to send signals to future students.

        Present were the project manager of the PDO AFW (Project Development Office of the Salesians of Don Bosco West Africa) Benson Boateng; Federica Ruggia, the VIS local administrator; the Director of the Salesian community of Sunyani, Fr Robertson Sung; and the "Queen Mother" of Senase, namely Nana Owusu Fakyiwaa, historical local partner of the VIS and of the Salesians.

        The organic agriculture course was funded by Missioni Don Bosco, the Turin Mission Office. More information on the project is available on their website: https://news.missionidonbosco.org

        • Ghana
        • casa
        • Terra
          Jesus Jurado

          Ecuador – "What does it mean to do pastoral work in the university world today?": Pastoral Care of IUS

          2 days 9 hours ago

          (ANS - Quito) - On the "El Girón" campus of the Salesian Polytechnic University, Quito campus, the heads of Pastoral Care of the Salesian Higher Education Institutions (IUS) of America gathered from 12 to 14 September to reflect on the theme: “What does it mean to do pastoral work in the university world today?” To this end, during the meeting's three days contents, methodologies and formative strategies for the formation of pastoral animators were discussed and shared.

          It has been written that the purpose of every Salesian Youth Ministry activity offered to any young person aims at the “construction of character which has Christ as its fundamental reference; a reference that, by becoming explicit and progressively internalized, helps him or her to see history like Him, to judge life like Him, to choose and to love like Him, to hope as He teaches, to live in Him communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit.” It is in this perspective that pastoral work presents itself in a University with a Salesian identity.

          Reflection on university pastoral work is a point in the common program of the IUS at a global level and this type of meeting allows members and participants to exchange ideas and make proposals to face the challenges that arise in this field on every continent. The meeting was attended by Mario Olmos, SDB, animation team member of IUS America, Antonio Wardison, responsible for the field of pastoral care of IUS America, and 15 delegates from various countries.

          Fr Marcelo Farfán, IUS Coordinator General, said that the Salesians are making the vision of the Church their own: “University in the Pastoral and not universities that do only pastoral; this means that it is essential to overcome the idea that pastoral care is only a department, to embrace, on the contrary, the idea that it refers to an entire university project, where aspects such as strategic plans, teacher formation plans intervene ...”.

          “The pastoral discourse is perhaps the most important in the Catholic and Salesian university world because it touches on the identity and mission of the institution. It is regrettable that we continue to think that these two aspects are not connected, when actually pastoral care and the university world are one reality,” added Father Farfán.

          The meeting's agenda included several presentations such as: “Diagnosis: formation of university pastoral animators”; “Conception of Salesian university ministry”; “Formative plan for pastoralists: fundamental bases and methodologies.”

          • Ecuador
          • IUS
          • Pastorale
          • Pastorale Giovanile
          • Pastorale Universitaria
          • Interamerica
          • America Cono Sud
            Gian Francesco Romano

            Spain – Building "BOSCO GLOBAL", the NGO of the Salesian Province of Spain-Mary Help of Christians

            2 days 9 hours ago

            (ANS - Seville) - On 3, 4 and 5 September, the technical team of the new NGO for the development of the Salesian Province of Spain-Mary Help of Christians (SMX), namely "BOSCO GLOBAL", met at the headquarters of the Province, in Seville, to define the strategic guidelines of the new NGO project and to continue advancing in the coordination and work of different areas.

            Progress was made as regards the organization's Strategic Plan by studying the current situation of the NGO through a SWOT analysis - a tool to study the situation of a company, institution, project or person, analyzing its internal characteristics and its external situation in a square matrix. Contributors to this work were volunteers, collaborators, directors, pastoral coordinators and related. In the coming days, the conclusions of these strategic lines will be passed on to the social base to help define the priorities of the institution.

            The elaboration of this Strategic Plan is accompanied by Óscar González López, both for his formation and experience in accompanying strategic processes with other bodies, and because he is currently the Director of Salesian houses in La Palma del Condado and Carmona and he has been a member of the NGO "Solidaridad Don Bosco" for many years.

            Last year, the SMX Salesian Province gave the green light to promote the merger of the NGOs present in the Province. Following this decision, the "BOSCO GLOBAL" was established, which will be present in Catalonia, Aragon, the Valencian Community, the Region of Murcia, the Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Extremadura and the Canary Islands.

            The provincial NGO builds on a participatory process in which members, volunteers and collaborators analyze and propose the best way to come together in this common project.

            "BOSCO GLOBAL" is born with the vocation of respecting and promoting the diversity of all the people who compose it, and to bring forth the best of its members towards its betterment, to work more efficiently and reach more people and new environments, so that everyone contributes to creating a more equitable and inclusive world in which education plays a crucial role.

            "BOSCO GLOBAL" is a common project of the Province that can become reality only if all the people who compose it and live it feel it as their own and cultivate it with enthusiasm and joy - two features so characteristic of the Salesian charism, a great help that should help to continue the journey.

            • Spagna
            • SMX
            • ONG
            • Sviluppo
              Gian Francesco Romano

              India – Dimapur Youths and Salesian Family greet the Rector Major

              3 days 9 hours ago
              India – Dimapur Youths and Salesian Family greet the Rector Major

              (ANS - Dimapur) – The Animation Visit of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, to the India-Dimapur Province comes to an end, as it had begun: amidst the joy and warmth of the young people and of the Salesian Family cheering for the presence of today's Don Bosco among them.

              On Friday 13 September, the Rector Major met the Provincial, Fr Jose Kuruvachira, and the members of the Provincial Council. He spent practically the entire morning with them, discussing the current state of the Province and the projects and challenges for the future, and reiterating the guidelines of the entire Congregation. This moment of fraternal exchange culminated in the celebration of the Eucharist presided by Fr Á.F. Artime with a special prayer for the Province and for the Provincial Vicar, Fr Nazarius Lakra SDB, who celebrated his birthday that day.

              In the afternoon, after the festive lunch with the lay collaborators in the community of the Provincial House, the Successor of Don Bosco reached the “St. Mary” House of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), the 12th group of the Salesian Family. During the cordial meeting, the Rector Major was congratulated by the institute's musical band, by the girls who attend, and by the sisters themselves; and he returned the affection he had received with words of encouragement to all and even playing several Spanish songs.

              Later, he visited a Salesian Non-Formal Vocational Training Center, also located in Dimapur. He met the Center's Director, Fr Devasia Rajeesh, and other confreres in the community, from whom he received a detailed account of the apostolate carried out for disadvantaged young people: courses in carpentry, welding, motor mechanics, animal husbandry, driving, organic farming and fishing. Satisfied in seeing the wide range of services being offered, the Rector Major praised their efforts and commitment and urged them to continue in this properly Salesian service.

              On the last day spent at Dimapur, Saturday 14 September, Fr Artime celebrated the Eucharist with the community of the Provincial House and then, escorted by the Provincial and a good part of his Council, he reached the airport from which he left for Calcutta, a a stopover, for his definitive return to the Salesian Central Office.

              Fr Jonas Kerketta, SDB

              ANSFlickr

              • India
              • IND
              • Rettor Maggiore
              • Ángel Fernández Artime
              • Suore Missionarie di Maria Ausiliatrice
              • Visita di Animazione
                Gian Francesco Romano

                Uganda – Don Bosco Green Club workshops in Uganda

                3 days 9 hours ago
                Uganda – Don Bosco Green Club workshops in Uganda

                (ANS – Palabek) – At the end of August, several Don Bosco Green Club workshops took place in Uganda. The Green Clubs were launched in 2019 as part of the solar technology skills and environmental education program funded by the Austrian Development Agency and initiated by the Austrian organization “Jugend Eine Welt”, which is a member of the Don Bosco Green Alliance. The Green Club program aims at creating awareness for environmental conservation through multiple activities.

                Green Club students and leaders gathered in a 3-day workshop in the Vocational Training Center of the Salesians Don Bosco in Bombo to work together for a better future for our planet. The workshop was facilitated by young trainers from Jugend Eine Welt and local experts and focused on environmental education. Among the participants were students and patrons of three Don Bosco Green Club locations: Kamuli, Bombo, and Palabek. The workshop equipped participants with materials and tools for environmental awareness raising which shall be useful in their future activities as Green Club leaders.

                After the workshop in Bombo, the team continued to the refugee settlement in Palabek in the North of Uganda. In this area, over 50,000 people, mainly from South Sudan, came to find shelter. The Salesians of Don Bosco recently opened the first Vocational Training Center (VTC) in the settlement. In Palabek, the Green Club leaders had the opportunity to put into practice what they just had learned. With the support of Fr Jeffery Canisius Albert, SDB and principal of the VTC, a Green Club workshop and tree-planting activities took place. “The positive, optimistic approach of the young trainers from Jugend Eine Welt, their open-minded and cheerful appearance is very contagious”, highlighted Fr Jeffery. “We really look forward to continuing this fruitful cooperation in the future.”

                Information about the Jugend Eine Welt Solar programme for African countries, including Green Clubs in Uganda and Ethiopia, can be found at the following link: http://www.donboscoeco.org/en/sustainability/ 

                By Fr Jonas Kerketta, SDB

                {gallery}Uganda - DB Green Club 2019{/gallery}

                • Uganda
                • AGL
                • Ambiente
                • Creato
                • ONG
                • Austria
                • Don Bosco Green Alliance
                  Gian Francesco Romano

                  Venezuela - A people that has not lost its dreams because: "With Christ we are hope"

                  3 days 9 hours ago

                  (ANS - Guajira) - During the holidays - Don Bosco wrote in the Memoirs of the Oratory - “I continued to take care of the boys. They were attracted by my stories, fun games, songs. Many of the older ones did not know the faith. Between games and stories, I taught them catechism and Christian prayers. It was a kind of oratory.” After two hundred years the story is almost identical. The Salesians of Venezuela have succeeded in creating the “Summer Oratories”, places where children feel welcomed, loved and respected and, above all, places where they have been able to learn about and know the God of hope.

                  The “Oratory on Vacation” (OVA) was held at the Salesian Missionary presence in Guajira. As part of this initiative, the young animators visited several homes with the desire to offer joy and hope in this rural area marked by a strong indigenous culture and struck by extreme precariousness and widespread violence.

                  Even in this context, however, people welcomed the good news that Jesus lives among us. Thus, on the day that the Chapel of Mary Help of Christians was inaugurated in Molinete, 28 young animators, a group of Salesian Cooperators and about 200 children and young people were present at the solemn Eucharist presided by Fr José Vega, SDB.

                  The Salesians of the “San Luca” Province of Venezuela (VEN) undertook a commitment to bring hope to the Venezuelan people, discouraged as they are by the many calamities and violence; full of empathy and solidarity for the people entrusted to them, the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco continue to promote life and hope, with the desire to extend the Kingdom of God among the most needy. And the experience of the Oratory on Vacation was just the most recent effort.

                  At the end of this festive and joyful week, a Eucharist was celebrated, during which the participating children gave their testimony, highlighting the values learned. They explained that “it is important to share what we have with our mates; it is urgent to be in solidarity with one another; one must be joyful, take advantage of time with friends and companions and be able to forgive.” This experience was a magnificent testimony of dedication and educational contribution with the participants being offered music, theater, drawing, sports and dance workshops.


                  Moreover, during the time of the Oratory on Vacation, it was possible to notice the presence of Providence, which, as in the days of Don Bosco, “put bread on the table of the kids.” And the children and collaborators thanked God with songs and smiles for the sharing as in an authentic family.


                                                                                                     Meyber Espinoza, SDB, trainee

                   

                  {gallery}VEN - OVA 2019{/gallery}

                  • Venezuela
                  • VEN
                  • Oratorio
                  • Estate Ragazzi
                    Gian Francesco Romano

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

                    6 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

                      6 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

                        1 week 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

                          1 week 1 day 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

                            1 week 1 day 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

                              1 week 1 day 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

                                1 week 2 days 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

                                  1 week 2 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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
                                          Checked
                                          14 minutes 51 seconds ago
                                          ANS - Agenzia Info Salesiana. Periodico plurisettimanale telematico, organo di comunicazione della Congregazione Salesiana
                                          image
                                          News - Salesians of Don Bosco