Bogotá, Colombia - September 2017 - From August 31st to September 3rd, the Formation Congress of the Association of Salesian Cooperators (ASC) of the Pacific South Caribbean Region was held on the theme "From Novelty to Life". During the congress, Sr. Leslye Sandigo, FMA, FMA Representative at the ASC World Consultation, and Noemi Bertola, ASC World Coordinator, presented the guidelines and indications for ASC member formation, and the significance and value of formation towards the growth of vocations; Asmirian Montilla, Regional Coordinator, spoke instead of the importance of economic solidarity in the life of the association and on the sense of family.
(ANS - Bogotà) - When Pope Francis turned to the audience at Bolívar Square in Bogotá from the balcony of the Cardinal Palace, most were young. His words expressed the great hope the Pope places in young people: he believes in their potential, knows they have the power to change history.
Bogotá, Colombia - September 2017 - Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis in Colombia (6-11 September 2017). The Holy Father visited Bogotá, Villavicencio, Medellín and Cartagena. He met with the President of the Republic, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, bishops, the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), the guests of the "San José" family house in Medellín, priests, religious, consecrated, seminarians and their family members. The Eucharist with the greatest number of people took place in Medellín, with about 1,296,000 faithful present.
(ANS - Bogotá) - During the second day of his visit to Colombia, Pope Francis spoke about the role of young people in the meeting with the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) board of directors.
(ANS - Bogotá) - President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, received Pope Francis on Wednesday at Catam's Bogotá military airport, the beginning of the Pontiff's five-day pastoral visit to the country. During greetings to the authorities, the Pope broke with protocol to embrace a number of disabled people, including children with Down Syndrome, and military and police injured in action, one of whom consigned a small gift.
Medellín, Colombia - August 2017 - The Edu-communications Commission of the Salesian Family of Colombia met on 29 August at the Provincial House of Salesians in Medellín to work on a project to foster peace and reconciliation. Daughters of the Sacred Hearts, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesians of Don Bosco and laity, have decided to respond to Colombia's post-conflict through a project involving Don Bosco's preventive system that allows children and young people to bring peace as "good Christians and honest citizens."
Comfort Zone: NO THANK YOU! "I prefer a wounded Church"
Some were astonished to see the face of Pope Francis injured during his visit to Colombia. The bruise on his eyebrow and on his cheekbone, the blood-stained white garment. A small accident on the Pope-mobile, which brought to mind the words of Bergoglio and inspired my ANS Editorial: "I prefer a Church that is bruised, wounded and dirty because it is going out into the streets, rather than a Church made sick by closure and the convenience of clinging to its own safety." (EG49)
RMG - Father Tom: "I am what I am today because God has taken care of me"
(ANS - Rome) - A serene man, in peace with God and with everyone, including the kidnappers, and also able to joke about the experience he lived through. This is the image the world's journalists and media saw in Fr Tom Uzhunnalil the morning of Saturday 16 September at the "Salesianum" in Rome where they heard in person the touching tale of captivity and liberation, both experiences lived with great faith in God.
Italy – Life of St. John Bosco narrated in Italian Public TV History Channel
(ANS - Rome) - A documentary on the life of St John Bosco aired on the Rai Storia channel in August. Produced with material from Teche Rai (Radiotelevisione Italiana), it was based on biographical notes suggested by guests Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Marco Pizzo and Domenico Agasso.