(ANS – Freetown) – Three years ago Sierra Leone was mentioned in the media all over the world as the country where people died of Ebola. “The truth – the Spanish daily ‘El Mundo’ wrote – is that Sierra Leone is sinking into oblivion and only a smaller number of NGOs remain in the zone”. While media and international organizations seem to have forgotten, Salesians did not leave any room to oblivion, abandonment and despair. The Salesian Mission Procure of Madrid and the Sons of Don Bosco continue to help and work to secure a future to children and young people.
(ANS - Monrovia) - On Saturday, 6 May, the day when the Salesian Family remembers St Dominic Savio, approximately 1500 Catholics of the Parish of the Holy Innocents in Monrovia participated in the re-dedication of their parish church. The parish is in the care of the Salesians.
(ANS - Freetown) - Alberto López is a Spanish journalist at the Department of Communication of the Salesian Missions Office in Madrid. A few days ago he visited one of the most inhumane prisons in the world in order to prepare for a documentary on the work of the Salesians with the most disadvantaged young people of Sierra Leone.
Freetown, Sierra Leone - 2016 - These are the faces of children left without parents, whom the Salesians look after and educate for life. They are "faces that speak of the future."
(Photo: Alberto Lopez, the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid)
(ANS – Badajoz) – One of the city buses of Badajoz, in Extremadura, Spain, has been sent to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Thee it will become a mobile unit that can help thousands of children at risk of exclusion who are living on the streets of the city. It will serve to provide medical assistance, food and psychosocial help.
(ANS - Lungi) - Fr Ubaldino Andrade Hernandez is a Salesian missionary who has worked in Sierra Leone. He was in Rome at the Generalate during the photographic exhibition: "Ebola, and beyond Ebola". His testimony is a sign of trust in God. He says that in those strange days of the epidemic they were living with "a real fear of death” but they decided to stay there as parents for many abandoned children." Looking at the pictures of the exhibition, the memories came to mind, and his eyes paused to remember his experiences. "Staying was the best option."
Ecuador - In the footsteps of Fr "Yankuam Jintia"
(ANS - Quito) - On May 2, Fr Agustín Togo and the young Salesian Edwin Cárdenas had the opportunity to wander towards the neighboring village of Peru. The goal was to attend the reception ceremony of the remains of Fr Luigi Bolla in the villages of the Achuar indigenous people. The questions arise almost without thinking about them: "what led you to go on the trip? What experiences have you experienced in such a short time? Which message do you have received after having followed the footsteps of Fr Yankuam Jintia?”
The middle class of holiness
During a recent meeting in the Vatican of Salesian novices with Pope Francis, one of the novices asked for a few words about holiness. And the Pope replied: " 'Walk in my presence and be blameless.' This is the best definition of holiness. These are God's words addressed to Abraham. Dominic Savio was in the habit of living in God's presence and, even now, I believe that today we can be saints. There are heroic people, parents, grandparents, young people, hidden saints, or as someone of French origin, said: 'people who belong to the middle class of holiness' that you do not see but they are there."
Philippines – Salesianity Seminar for the East Asia-Oceania region
(ANS - Parañaque City) - A three-week Salesianity seminar was held between April and May in the Philippines, in Parañaque City; it is the first part of a three-year course that will be developed until 2019 under the themes such as History, Pedagogy and Spirituality. The purpose of the course, open to the participants throughout the Salesian region of East Asia-Oceania, was to produce a concrete document to be used to improve the initial training of the Salesians.
RMG – Strenna 2017: “Parents must promote the ethical formation of their children”
(ANS – Rome) – In the Strenna 2017, the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, explained that love has various shades and responsibilities, and one of these is strengthening the education of their children. “Parents – the Rector Major insists – always have an influence on the moral growth of their children, for better or for worse. This educative mission of the family is important and complex”.