(ANS - Vatican City) - "Syria is beautiful, marked by coexistence. This is characteristic of Syria: coexistence." Despite six years of war, there is still solidarity and attention to one’s neighbour, regardless of differences. So says Sister Carolin Tahhan Fachakh, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) and a "courageous woman" - as evidenced by the international prize that she received from the US State Department. On the margins of a meeting organized by the "Women of the Vatican" in Rome, Sister Carolin spoke of her mission in Damascus.
(ANS – Hyderabad) – The Second Annual Seminar on Participatory Action Research (PAR) for Transformation of Don Bosco Young at Risk (YaR) Centres in South Asia was held at Don Bosco Provincial House, Hyderabad (India) on the 27-28 March, 2017. There were presentations from 22 Research Co-ordinators of PAR, representing 16 YaR centres in 9 cities and 6 states of south India. They revealed how the participation of children really made a difference.
(ANS - Brussels) - From 3 to 7 April Don Bosco International (DBI) ran an intensive promotion of Salesian activities in Brussels, in various public, private and third sector venues.
(ANS - Inharrime) - Sister Lucilia Teixeira Monteiro is a Portuguese Daughter of Mary Help of Christians (FMA). For 42 years she has been a missionary in Mozambique. Since 2004 she has been working at Inharrime with orphaned children and young people who are being educated in the faith and for life. "Our children do not have parents, but they have found a family, they are happy to have us and we are happy to have them, because the Salesian life has meaning only because they exist," she says.
(ANS - Rome) – Even small gestures can bring changes in the way we consider those who are different from ourselves. Yesterday, 21 March, was International Down Syndrome Day. In Cartagena in Spain, the students of "San Juan Bosco" primary school, were invited to do drawings to express how they see their companions with this syndrome. The intention was to break stereotypes and discover the positive contributions that people with Down syndrome can make.
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)
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”.