(ANS - Zagreb) - Last weekend the Oratory of Juarun, a district of Zagreb, hosted the XVIII General Assembly of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of Europe and the Middle East, which was attended by about 70 people from 15 countries. All united by the charism of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, for the growth of many young people throughout the continent. Present were the General Councilor for Youth Ministry, Fr. Miguel Angel García Morcuende, and the General Councilor for Youth Ministry of the FMA, Sr. Runita Borja. The SYM of Europe and the Middle East embraces the entire continent and creates joint relationships between Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and young people from many countries.
Zagreb, Croatia - October 2022 - On October 15-16, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, attended the celebrations for 100 years of Salesian presence in Zagreb, Croatia, and the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the "St. John Bosco" Province of Croatia (CRO). There were many events attended by the Successor of Don Bosco to bring closeness to the Salesians, the Salesian Family, and Croatian youth. The highlight of the two-day celebration was the celebration of Mass at the shrine of the Holy Mother of Liberty, presided over by Fr. Sutalo, during which the Rector Major delivered the homily. "This anniversary," he said, "is a strong and beautiful occasion to thank the Lord for all He has given us in the centenary of our presence in this city."
(ANS – Zagreb) – The Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, celebrated 100 years of Salesian presence in Zagreb and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Croatian Salesian Province of St. John Bosco with the Salesians, the Salesian Family, and the Salesian youth.
Zagreb, Croatia - September 2022 - A meeting of the Rectors, Economers, and Parish Priests was held on Monday, September 12, at the Salesian Provincial Headquarters of Croatia (CRO). The gathering began with a greeting to the participants by Fr. Tihomir Šutalo, CRO Provincial, who presented selected parts from the Croatian translation of the Salesian Rector's Handbook (2019), published earlier this year during the months of closure due to the pandemic. The Provincial emphasized that this is not just a manual for Rectors but for all Salesians, because everyone must actively participate in the life of the local and Provincial community. During the meeting, Fr. Josip Stanić, Provincial Economer, together with an expert for the use and distribution of electricity, presented to the Salesians some important points to improve and optimize the use of energy in the lives of individual Salesians and communities in these times that call for an especially attentive attitude of everyone in the face of the economic crisis. The Delegate for Youth Ministry presented to the Salesians the work and activities of the past summer along with plans for the new school and pastoral year. The Salesians were able to get a close look at the work being done at the provincial headquarters and the adjacent Mary Help of Christians Church in preparation for repairs to the damage caused by the earthquakes of the past two years. Finally, they discussed some other current issues for the life of Salesians and youth in the province, participation in the upcoming canonization of Artemide Zatti, and the upcoming visit of the Rector Major to the CRO province.
Zagreb, Croatia - June 2022 - The Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) held a Family Day in the "Mary Help of Christians" parish in Zagreb last Saturday, June 18. Encouraged by Pope Francis' invitation to organize local meetings on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families, members of the local ADMA group promoted this event, which brought together more than 30 families. On the occasion, Fr. Mihovil Kurkut, SDB, spoke to couples about parenting. The expectations of parents, the power of prayer in education, and other topics strongly attracted the attention of the mothers and fathers present at the event, while Salesian animators prepared various activities for the children present. After the celebration of Mass, families had lunch together to deepen friendships.
Croatia - June 2022 - About 60 Ukrainian children, with the help of the Salesian Mission Office of Bonn, Germany, and the Salesian Province of Croatia (CRO), have arrived on the Croatian island of Prvić, near the city of Šibenik, where they will spend nine days. The children come from the city of Lysychansk, in eastern Ukraine, which has been under Russian bombardment since March and is currently in the worst affected part of the war. The children have endured the horrors of war, spending several months in shelters. The Salesians took them to Lviv and then decided to move them at least for a short time away from the war, to the Croatian coast.
Ukraine – Bishop Ryabukha: "Me, new bishop in Donetsk, who cannot meet my people"
(ANS - Donetsk) - In a little over a month, Salesian Maksim Ryabukha shall become Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocesan Exarchate of Donetsk, a diocese with numerous occupied territories, which he cannot enter. Still, he is certain: "Where everything collapses and is bombed, we bring hope and the light of Christ."
Listening With Our Heart
Little John was watching the television and the sight of the African children being shown in utter poverty made him cry, and after sobbing in desperation he got up and pulled out a few slices of bread and went near the television and started pushing those slices in every small little hole on the back of the television. In his simplicity, he thought he was offering a little bread to those hungry children. The little boy expresses best what it means to listen with the heart.
The attentive gaze of a mother by the side of her child, and the slightest cry or movement of the child makes her respond immediately with a gentle touch or a caress, and this too is perhaps another example of what it means to listen with the heart. The mother feels what the child needs.
Listening with the heart is the experience of a noble, loving, compassionate person. Looking around, we see millions of people who suffer in silence every day. Everyone longs to be heard and listened to. But the raging fire and chaos, noise and humdrums have caused so much of deafness within, and we only listen to some sounds. We have lost the quality to empathize, to listen and to feel.
The call to listen with the ear of one’s heart, is the invitation of Pope Francis in light of the 56th World Communications Day, that is popularly celebrated on the Ascension Sunday every year. Are we really truly listening? Why do we struggle to listen? How can we listen with our heart? These can be some areas of introspection as we ponder on this theme of the World Communications Day – “Listening with the ear of the heart”.
America – Preventive system in harmony with global educational pact
(ANS) - On Nov. 10 and 11, about 1,500 educators from the American continent participated in the webinar organized by the Salesian School of America (ESA, in Spanish) with the collaboration of the Chilean provincial communication team. This formative moment took place in the 4 languages spoken on the continent - Spanish, Portuguese, English, French - and reflected on the charismatic legacy of the Preventive System in harmony with the Global Compact on Education advocated by Pope Francis.
United States – Int’l Day of People With Disabilities: Salesian Missions highlights social and educational programs that promote inclusion
(ANS – New Rochelle) – Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco, joins humanitarian organizations and countries around the globe in honoring International Day of People with Disabilities. Since its inception in 1945, the United Nations has outlined and reiterated its commitment to calling for the creation of inclusive, accessible, and sustainable societies and communities. In 1981, the U.N. proclaimed Dec. 3 as a recognized day for the celebration of the achievements of people living with disabilities across the world.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
THE LITTLE CITY OF THE BEATITUDES
THE MESSAGE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR, Don Ángel Fernández Artime, SDB
Within the megapolis of Chennai (Madras), amid the enormous industrial complexes and magnificent temples and in the exciting atmosphere of city life, there lies a luminous sliver of truly Salesian goodness.