Brazil – The Visit of Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major, to Corumbá

11 March 2024

(ANS - Corumbá) - On Saturday, March 9th, Cardinal Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, made a visit to the city of Corumbá. There, he was honored by local authorities and warmly received by the entire community, especially the youth who frequent the local Salesian home. The day's festivities included the conferral of honorary citizenship and a solemn Mass held at the church-sanctuary dedicated to Mary Help of Christians.

The visit of the Rector Major of the Salesians and 10th Successor of Don Bosco to Corumbá commemorates 125 years of Salesian presence in the municipality. "I feel like a brother, a friend... And after having traveled the world and visited more than 120 countries, I like to say that we Salesians of Don Bosco, the Salesian Family, have arrived with the vocation of giving what we are, of helping to educate young people, of helping young people to find meaning in their lives, proposing the faith to them," stated the Rector Major upon his arrival at the airport in Corumbá on Saturday morning.

The welcome included a ceremony attended by civil and military authorities and the awarding of the title of 'Guest of Honour', during a ceremony attended by the Mayor, Marcelo Aguilar Iunes; Bishop Emeritus. Mgr. Francisco Biasin, who is also apostolic administrator of the diocese, Fr João dos Santos Barbosa Neto, Rector of the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians and Director of Pastoral Care at the 'Santa Teresa' Institute, and other authorities.

On this occasion, the mayor emphasized that this was the first time the city of Corumbá had been visited by a Cardinal. "Corumbá welcomes His Eminence with open arms. In his presence, we thank the Salesian congregation for 125 years of activity in our city. The history of Corumbá is intertwined with the history of the Salesian presence in our municipality,” said the head of the Municipal Executive.

The First Citizen also reminisced about some of the key figures in the Salesian community over the past 125 years, as well as the historical events surrounding the arrival of the first Sons of Don Bosco. "The Salesians Augustine, Anthony, and Angelo arrived at our city's harbor in March 1899 and established the Salesian Institute 'St. Teresa' by April 4th, a significant date that marked a turning point in the city's history. Our community experienced firsthand the transformative impact of the Salesians' educational approach. Subsequently, we witnessed the construction of both the original and newer buildings of St. Teresa's, the monumental 'Cidade Don Bosco' (City of Don Bosco), the 'Father Antonio Muller' Children's Rehabilitation Home (CRIPAM), the Upper Band, the shrine dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, the 'St. Teresa' Faculty, and various other initiatives," he recalled.

After the initial formal proceedings, in the afternoon, the Tenth Successor of Don Bosco engaged with hundreds of children, adolescents, and young people at the social initiative "Cidade Dom Bosco". As the Hymn of the City of Don Bosco played, the Rector Major was warmly embraced by the center's attendees. Reflecting on the embrace, he expressed, "When I arrived and felt the warmth and affection of all of you, I sensed the spirit of the pioneering brothers who, like Don Bosco, dedicated themselves to helping those most in need, particularly minors with limited opportunities. For a Salesian, this is a source of great pride. It represents a legacy, a testament to our values. All these social initiatives are significant as they address immediate needs and contribute to the social and human development of young people," remarked Cardinal Ángel Fernández.

During the reception attended by the Salesian Cardinal, Monsignor Francisco Biasin, the Apostolic Administrator, offered remarks on the significance of the Rector Major's presence and the history of Salesian social initiatives. He highlighted Cardinal Ángel Fernández's role as a collaborator of Pope Francis and underscored the importance of Salesian contributions to the community. "The Cardinal's visit holds great significance. He has been appointed by the Pope as a collaborator and member of the College of Cardinals (...). However, what's truly remarkable is his role as the Rector Major of the Salesians. The Salesian presence in our city's history, predating even the formation of the diocese of Corumbá, cannot be overstated. Their work in education and human and Christian formation has left an indelible mark on generations over the past 125 years," remarked the prelate.

Later in the day, the Rector Major was honored with the title of Citizen of Corumbá by the City Council. "His presence in our city is a true blessing for all of us. As a Municipal Councillor, I am delighted to welcome such a distinguished religious leader, whose tireless work has positively impacted countless lives worldwide," remarked Councillor Ubiratan Canhete de Campos Filho during the ceremony.

As the final event of his visit to Corumbá, Cardinal Fernández Artime presided over Mass at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in the evening. Joining him were Bishop Biasin, Fr. Ricardo Carlos, Superior of the Campo Grande Province of Brazil (BCG), and the majority of the city's clergy.

The celebration was a heartfelt expression of gratitude to God for the 125 years of Salesian presence in the city, commemorated in 2024. During his homily, Cardinal Fernández Artime emphasized the significance of this milestone. "Our celebration is not about boasting or triumphalism on the part of the Salesians. Rather, we are acknowledging and celebrating God's blessings upon Corumbá over the past 125 years, with faith in His continued guidance and grace for the future," he remarked.

The celebration was motivated by thanksgiving to God for the 125 years of Salesian presence in the city, which will be celebrated in 2024. The jubilee of the Salesian presence in the city was one of the highlights of Cardinal Artime's homily. "We're not celebrating any triumphalism on the part of the Salesians. We are celebrating the fact that God has blessed Corumbá for the last 125 years and will continue to do so," he said.

Euclides Fernandes Brites

Fonte: BCG Province 


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

This site also uses third-party cookies to improve user experience and for statistical purposes. By scrolling through this page or by clicking on any of its elements, you consent to the use of cookies. To learn more or to opt out, click "Further Information".