(ANS - Vatican City) – Do these names mean nothing: Burundi, South Sudan, Uganda, Togo, Afghanistan, Guinea, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Gambia? They are the world's ten poorest countries. And how about headlines like: "About 20 million people may starve", or "Reports of famine in Somalia..."?
(ANS - Vatican City) - "It makes me feel very good to think of Ceferino's desire to be a priest to serve his people. That is how it must be. The priest always identified with his people in such a way that his time, his life, and his person are for his brothers." With these words, in a letter to the Argentine bishop of Viedma, Mgr. Esteban María Laxague, SDB, Pope Francis recalled Ceferino Namuncurá, son of the Mapuche people, who embraced the faith in Jesus Christ and the Salesian Family, and died of tuberculosis in Rome in 1905, at only 19 years of age.
(ANS - Vatican City) - At the end of the audience conceded to the Community of the Ukrainian Pontifical College of St. John the Baptist, yesterday, 9 November, on the 85th anniversary of the construction of the Ukrainian College in Colle Gianicolo by volition of Pius XI, Pope Francis commemorated the Salesian Bishop Stefan Czmil with affection and gratitude.
(ANS – Vatican City) – Taking place at the Vatican from 27 to 29 October was the Congress “Re-Thinking Europe: Christian contributions to the Future of the European Project,” an event aiming to promote dialogue between high-level Church & political representatives on the fundamental challenges facing the European Project. Among the Congress's participants: His Holiness Pope Francis, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and several other Cardinals and representatives from all EU Bishops Conferences. EU institutions were also well-represented and included the European Parliament, via President Tajani and Vice-president McGuinness, and the European Commission, through Vice-president Timmermans, while the Salesian Family had five of its members taking part in the event.
(ANS - Rome) – "The Race of Saints" enjoyed a record 10th edition. First, the number of registered participants, up this year, exceeded 7,500 runners in the three different classes - 10 km for professional athletes; 10 and 3 km for amateurs. But also for the increased and growing attention the event has received from athletes, press and media, and the world of solidarity. An event that, as the Pope said after the Angelus, succeeds in offering "a dimension that is a popular celebration to the religious celebration of All Saints," and "combines the joy of sport with support for the less fortunate."
(ANS - Rome) - Sexual abuse of minors exists in all societies, cultures and countries around the world. The evil is much more widespread than commonly thought: according to EU data, in Europe alone, a boy or girl in five is sexually abused. For this reason, the Center for the Protection of Minors of the Gregorian University has recently organized the "1st Global Congress" on "Dignity of the Minor in the Digital World" - to which Pope Francis also sent a message.
France - Elyes and Valentin, interns at "Valdocco"
(ANS - Lyon) - Elyes, a young Muslim, and Valentin, an atheist teenager, are two students of France's polytechnic schools who have decided to pursue their mandatory semester of human formation at the "Valdocco" Salesian Association center in Lyon, part of the "Don Bosco" Social Action Network. Below, their impressions.
THE DARK FACE OF INTERNET
If we wanted to find a metaphor to fully describe the revolution caused to society since the introduction and use of the Internet, we could certainly compare this phenomenon to the discovery of a new planet, a new continent, a territory continuously being explored that we cannot manage to fully fathom, one we repeatedly marvel at, that surprises us with ever-new aspects and unexpressed potential.
Spain - Youth Ministry and Family: a Congress to study and share the path
(ANS - Madrid) - “Descriptions of Good Practices and Mini Courses” are published on the website of the International Youth Ministry and Family Congress. The courses will be offered to about 300 participants. Representing all the Provinces of the Salesian Congregation, participants are due to meet in Madrid from 27 November to 1 December, 2017.
Italy - Salesians, Sports and Soccer: Success Stories
(ANS - Ferrara) - "Since the Oratory was the first of Don Bosco's initiatives, and the kind of initiative on which all the others are modeled, this combination of "catechesis and play" has been passed on to almost all the Salesian works. There is not even one Salesian school that does not, at least as a complementary activity, have recreational and sporting activities." Thus wrote Fr Juan E. Vecchi, VIII Successor of Don Bosco, in describing the Salesian's inherent attention to the world of sports. Attention from which sports teams, minor league and Serie A teams, amateur and pro players, emerged and came into being.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
ONE MISSIONARY RETURNS, ANOTHER 34 LEAVE FOR THE MISSIONS
I chose this enigmatic title for my greeting this month because I want to make reference to one Salesian who spent 18 months in captivity and another 34 SDBs and FMAs who will leave for the missions in various parts of the world. Ever since the very first one on November 11, 1875, there have been 148 missionary expeditions for our Salesian Family. These evoke the profound feeling that grace is at work.