(ANS - Vatican City) - On September 7, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints communicated to Msgr. Protógenes José Luft, SdC, bishop of Barra do Garças (Brazil), the Holy See's approval for the cause of martyrdom of the Servants of God, Salesian priest Rodolfo Lunkenbein, and Simão Bororo, layperson, both killed in hatred for the faith on 15 July 1976 in the Salesian mission of Meruri (Mato Grosso - Brazil), two men who gave their lives for God, the people, land rights, prophets of the Kingdom, defenders of the poor.
(ANS - Turin) - Less than a week to the 148th Salesian Missionary Expedition: On Sunday, September 24, there will be the usual consignment of the crosses to the missionaries leaving for the first time: Fr Ángel Fernández Artime shall officiate at Mass in Turin's Basilica of Mary Help of Christians and, as X Successor of Don Bosco, and togheter with Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, will send the Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians to their countries of destination. For them, a new path and journey is about to begin. The missionaries of the Salesian Family are still, as always, protagonists.
(ANS - Rome) – The Indian Salesian Missionary Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, seized in Yemen in March 2016, was released on 12 September. Liberation and consignment took place through a humanitarian operator, who worked closely with the Sultanate of Oman, and thanks also to Pope Francis's personal commitment and influence.
Burundi - Fr Jean Paul's mission for Rukago youth
(ANS - Rukago) – "'It is enough for you to be young for me to love you very much,' this is the phrase of Don Bosco I most prefer," says Fr Jean Paul Ndayikengurutse, a Salesian priest of Burundi. "I'm a priest with a young spirit. I love to play and chat, listen to and share the problems of so many young people who come to our community." Today, Fr Jean Paul's mission is to live and apply the Preventive System with the young people of Rukago, Burundi.
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.
Democratic Republic of the Congo - "The child and the dugout canoe"
(ANS - Miti) - There are three maternal orphans abandoned by their fathers; there is Bora, a young woman who has faced more challenges in her 28 years than most people live through in an entire lifetime; there are the Bambuti Pygmies who, while being the region's oldest inhabitants, when Kahuzi Biega National Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, were expelled and now live on the margins: there are, alas, many poor people living in rural areas near Bukavu where the Salesian missionary Fr Piero Gavioli and Lydie Masoka, a Salesian Cooperator, are working as best as they can to help give a future to the area's children and most vulnerable teens.