(ANS – Sliema) – As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”, and that is precisely what we did with our Salesian summer programme in Malta. With all the uncertainty that the Covid-19 pandemic brought along and the several safety restrictions in place all through spring, we actively sought to change our normal summer plans to make them as Covid-safe as possible.
(ANS – Rome) – “Jesus Christ, Communicator of the Father, said to his disciples: ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation’ (Mk 16:15). Don Bosco, Communicator of the Father’s love for the young, left his own testimony to the Salesians in the great motto: ‘Da mihi animas, caetera tolle’. Don Bosco, in faithful response to the call of God’s love in his life, and following Jesus Christ, Communicator of the Father, drew the map of the world in his heart, and dreamed of educating and evangelising young people everywhere”. That's how Fr Gildásio Mendes dos Santos SDB, General Councillor for Social Communication, begins his message of introduction of the 2020 Map of the Salesian presence in the world.
(ANS - Addis Ababa) - The situation in Ethiopia is currently dramatic, to say the least: the country is grappling with health, food, and social emergencies that are expanding day by day. Covid-19 infections are increasing and adding to the still active outbreaks of cholera, measles, and malaria; the country is also the victim of a second wave of locusts, which are destroying hectares and hectares of crops; this while “popular” riots between police forces and the Oromo community make it very difficult to comply with contagion-prevention measures.
RMG – General Councilor for Missions presents 151st Salesian Missionary Expedition
(ANS - Rome) - "Due to the uncertain health situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sending ceremony of the 151st Salesian Missionary Expedition will not be held this September 2020," announces Fr Alfred Maravilla, General Councilor for the Salesian Missions. The ceremony, he continues, "will be postponed to another date, to the early part of 2021, perhaps around Easter, depending on how the pandemic develops. For now, everything is so uncertain due to the current world situation." Yet all this does not mean a less missionary commitment from the Congregation, quite the opposite! Here is how Fr Maravilla illustrates the prospects for the next pastoral year.
Italy – 150th anniversary of birth of Fr Pietro Ricaldone
(ANS - Mirabello Monferrato) – Being celebrated - in addition to the centenary of the birth of Fr Egidio Viganò, VII Successor of Don Bosco at the head of the Salesian Congregation - is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Fr Pietro Ricaldone. Rector Major from 1932 to 1951, he was born in Mirabello Monferrato on July 27, 1870. For this occasion, his hometown remembered him with two days of celebration.
Israel – Salesian house in Beitgemal, witness of Salesian life of Simone Srugi
(ANS - Beitgemal) - Among the Salesian works in the Holy Land there is the house of Beitgemal. It was founded in 1878 by Fr Antonio Belloni as an orphanage and agricultural area, and is now directed by Fr Gian Maria Gianazza, in the Middle East since 1960. The dormant area is a community of nuns and one of friars, and houses the tomb of Saint Stephen and the Salesian coadjutor Simone Srugi, a central figure for the Salesians of the Middle East, who founded a dispensary here that offered medical assistance to the area's inhabitants.