(ANS - Santa Cruz) - The Second Vatican Council invited the pastors of the local Church to "open spaces of shared responsibility in the life and mission of the Church". Don Bosco, here too, was a forerunner; in his Oratory, he counted on the help of everyone, both consecrated and lay persons, to carry forward not only the activities, but also the charism. Today in Bolivia, this sensitivity is spreading. An example is offered by the case of Cecilia Dörfelt, a lay person involved in the Church and in the Salesian Family, coordinator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians - Youth (ADMA Youth) of Bolivia. She was also recently appointed Executive Secretary of the "Commission for the Brotherhood", organ of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference which curates collaborations with several German dioceses for several development projects in Bolivia.
On the occasion of the 93rd World Missionary Day, Sunday 20 October 2019, Fides Agency presented as usual some statistics to offer a panoramic picture of the Church in the world.
The world population is 7,408,374,000 people, among whom the Catholics are 1,313,278,000. The worldwide percentage of Catholics has increased by 0.06%, reaching 17.73%.
(ANS – Manila) – At the 30th Anniversary of the Catholic publisher, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, His Excellency, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, said that “Don Bosco is, in a way, present in ‘Word & Life Publications’”. St. John Bosco, the Founder of the Salesians, heeded the call of Jesus to help people know him and go to him. In the same way, the Papal Nuncio explained, “‘Word & Life Publications’ has, as its origin, this desire that people can know Jesus, that people can go to Jesus to find consolation, to find hope, strength, courage, guidance, and inspiration.”
(ANS - Rabat) - When he, newly elected archbishop of Rabat, greeted the Pope for the first time in Rome, Francis told him in a playful tone: "I nominated you after having well studied who you were, but without knowing your face. When I saw your picture in the magazine Vida Nueva, I calmed down a bit." That initial joke was the starting point of an exercise in trust that was reinforced by the papal trip to Morocco last March, which the Salesian organized in various stages, having now become a good connoisseur of the country.
(ANS– Mumbai) – Sushma Swaraj, one of the most well-known and beloved political figures in India, Foreign Minister in the First Modi Government (2014-2019), died on August 6 at 67 years. In hers service she worked hard for the cause of Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, SDB, kidnapped in Yemen and held hostage for 18 months, and she was the one to announce via Twitter his release on September 12, 2017. She loved Mother Teresa and was defined by Pope Francis “as a very spiritual person”.
(ANS - Santiago) - There is no doubt that the question of what the role of the laity in the Church today is remains a theme currently much in vogue for various reasons; for the scarcity of clerics, or for the more significant presence and the rediscovery of the laity in the mission of the Church. For this reason on Saturday, June 22, about 100 people, belonging to different groups of the Salesian Family, gathered in the auditorium of the "Salesianos Alameda" educational center in Santiago, and participated in the debate entitled: “The role of the laity in the Church of today”, conducted by the well-known theologian Antonio Bentué.
Thailand – Who is the Pope for the Thai Youth?
(ANS – Bangkok) – On 20-23 November 2019, His Holiness Pope Francis will visit Thailand, a country where 94.6% are Buddhists [the total population of the country is 69 million]. Following this are the Muslims with 4%. The Catholics are only 0.5% [380,000] of the population. Let us now listen to the views of the Thai youth on "Who is the Pope for the Thai Youth?" and "How do you feel that the Pope visits Thailand?"
Italy – "Valdocco today": from oratory seminar, a reminder for Provinces
(ANS - Palermo) - The seminar on the Salesian youth center oratory in Italy, entitled "Valdocco today: which oratory for the Third Millennium?", took place in Palermo from 12 to 14 November. Organized by the Salesian national office for parishes and oratories, the seminar left a handout to all participants: seven key words that must then be translated into concrete measures in the individual Salesian Provinces. These are the terms: relationship, co-responsibility, discernment, home, mission, accompaniment and synodality.
Peru – Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Lima: temple of the centenary, temple of the patriots
(ANS - Lima) - The Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, located in the Breña district, is one of the great jewels of the art of Lima. It marked a before and after in the Peruvian capital's religious architecture. Its facade features a large central tower - almost 60 meters high, the tallest structure in Lima until 1956 – which broke with the previous tradition of the era of the viceroys, with a retable facade and two large towers on the sides; its design decidedly influenced other temples in the city.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
A MISSIONARY DREAM THAT LIVES ON
The dream to which I refer, my dear friends of the Salesian charism, is the great missionary dream of Don Bosco. Even in the very first years of the foundation of the fragile, little Society of St. Francis de Sales (the Salesians), he sent out his first missionaries to Argentina (in the year 1875) with the intention of caring for the Italian immigrants who had reached those shores by the thousands.