Jerusalem, Israel - August 2019 - Salesians from all over the Spanish-speaking world walked in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in the Holy Land, lived a "formation experience", deepened the Word of God in every place they visited, and met Him in prayer. It is an experience that every Salesian must have at least once in his life, in order to "configure us more deeply to Christ and renew our fidelity to Don Bosco, in order to respond to the ever new demands of the youthful and popular condition" (CS, 118)."
(ANS - Jerusalem) - The wonderful and thrilling "Formative Experience in the Holy Land" (EFTS), which took place from 11 to 23 August, has come to an end. It was led by Fr Juan José José Bartolomé and Fr Francisco Enríquez de Zulaica, and saw the participation of 37 Salesians from all over the Hispanic world. It was a necessary experience for the Salesians and a proposal that comes from the Formation Department and is supported by the Salesian community of Ratisbonne, in particular by Fr Matteo Balla, SDB.
Częstochowa, Poland - August 2019 - The Salesian evangelization pilgrimage from Szczańc to Częstochowa took place this year for the 28th time. Although the group was initially composed of a few dozen people, it grew in number every day until it brought about 150 people to the feet of the Virgin of Jasna Góra on Wednesday, August 14th. For two weeks, in addition to the daily Eucharist and listening to interesting lectures and testimonies, the pilgrims walked from village to village, meeting the locals every day during the evangelization and evening adoration initiatives, and discovering along the walk the availability of so many people, their limits and with them the providence of God. The motto of this edition was: "Abide in my love" (Jn 15: 9).
(ANS - Budslau) - This year the traditional Salesian Evangelization Youth Pilgrimage (SMEP, in Belarusian) which went from Smorgon to the Marian Shrine of Budslav reached its 20th edition and was therefore celebrated with special attention. In the six days of walking, from 30 June to 5 July, more than 130 young pilgrims commemorated the origins of this journey and prayed for those who gave life to this beautiful tradition; before departure they had even collected memorabilia, testimonies and photographs of previous editions.
(ANS – Jerusalem) – What have the fruits of the 8-day pilgrimage of the General Council in the Holy Land been? It was a unique opportunity to touch the places of Jesus, to walk in the places where Word was made Flesh and lived among His people!
(ANS - Nazareth) – One cannot carry out such an important and delicate service as that of guiding and accompanying the Salesian Congregation if care is not taken to always remain spiritually "in shape". In this perspective, and with the desire to share an occasion of fraternity and authentic community life, the Rector Major and the other members of the General Council began a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this past Saturday, June 29th.
Japan – Fr Achille Loro Piana, SDB, witness to growth of Missionary Culture in EAO region
(ANS – Tokyo) – Fr Achille Loro Piana celebrates 50 years of missionary life at the service of the youth of Japan this year. He has calculated to have taken over a thousand flights in his life to attend Salesian events in the East Asia-Oceania region and is a profound connoisseur of Salesian reality and missionary commitment in this part of the world. "More Japanese than the Japanese," the Italian Salesian Bulletin once described him. In this interview, he speaks in full about the missionary animation and its challenges.
Forming Good Christians and Upright Citizens is a thing of the heart
The Strenna of the Rector Major for next year invites all of us to confront ourselves with the ideal that we must reach with our young people in 2020 in a concrete way. In the current conditions, in the new social and cultural contexts, it is undoubtedly a complex task as it is the result of a delicate pedagogical relationship in which the young person is the protagonist of this process. A testimony of Don Bosco's life may enlighten us:
Dominican Republic – Good pedagogical and pastoral practices at the service of Salesian education
(ANS - Santo Domingo) - In the first week of December, the Salesian Schools Network, belonging to the Salesian Province of the Antilles, held their first "Good Pedagogical and Pastoral Practices Fair", to make known and strengthen the best examples of pedagogical and pastoral activities carried out in Salesian schools, promote significant learning and exchanging promising experiences between schools on the Net and their teachers.
United States – It’s Time to Change: Are You Ready to Be Challenged?
(ANS – Los Angeles) – Juan Carlos Montenegro, a young lay person, has been working for years in Youth Ministry and Mission Animation in the West US Province (SUO). He has recently attended a conference on Catholic Volunteering, which has raised a few questions in him, and which we report below.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
GOD IS BORN ALSO AMONG THE “DIFFERENTLY-SKILLED” CHILDREN OF AGARTALA
Merry Christmas to all of you friends of Don Bosco’s charism. I’m writing this greeting to you a few hours after returning to Rome from visiting Nepal and the Salesian province of Shillong in beautiful Northeast India.