(ANS - Rome) - In the countless Salesian realities of Italy, the fight against educational poverty and inequality is a commitment that is carried out daily, with enthusiasm and perseverance, and often without much of a fuss. Yet, silently, thanks to the contribution of so many volunteers, supporters, and benefactors, and with the collaboration of businesses, institutions and the third sector, the Sons of Don Bosco continue to work for the happiness of young people, especially those who have received less from life.
(ANS - Lviv) - During the summer period, vacations and rest from normal activities as accomplices, it is not uncommon to see young people, especially from the Salesian world, engaged in educating younger children and youth in oratories and summer centers. A smaller number of young people sometimes make themselves available to volunteer abroad, a commitment that benefits the host communities and allows them to grow in their knowledge of new realities and contexts. But it is very rare to find young people who leave their daily lives and security behind to go and bring a smile to children in a country at war. Yet, that's what a group of young people from the Salesian Youth Movement of Central Italy is doing; from July 17 to 31, they are having a missionary volunteer experience with the Salesians of the Poland-Krakow Province, with several stops in Ukraine. Below is their account of the central experience of the mission in recent days.
Turin, Italy - July 2022 - The training program for animators of the Salesian Central Italy Circumscription (ICC) is taking place from July 19 to 22. Included in the program, organized by the ICC Province Youth Ministry Team, is a visit to the Casa Don Bosco House Museum, Valdocco, which allows SYM youth to literally follow Don Bosco's steps at the birth of his mission in Valdocco. Fr. Michael Pace, SDB, Deputy Director of the Don Bosco House Museum, tells ANS, "In the basement, we delve into the protagonism of the young and the origins of the family spirit shared in the refectories, the kitchen, and even the cellar of the first permanent home of the Oratory. On the second floor, young people appreciate the architectural development of the Salesian citadel, three charismatic dreams of Don Bosco, and his main collaborators. The hall of paintings presents original masterpieces from the 19th century that not only adorned the Oratory churches but were an integral part of the educational-pastoral project that matured at the Oratory. On the second floor, the humanity of Don Bosco, meditated on in the room of his life and in the room of his death, opens to the contemplation of his holiness from which the holiness of the great tree of the Salesian Family in the world, now rooted in thirty-two branches, is born. Young people make the synthesis of all this by living the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, right here where Don Bosco made his boys love these privileged encounters with the Lord."
Perugia, Italy - June 2022 - On Monday, June 20, the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, visited Perugia for the first centenary of the Salesian presence in the city. The Successor of Don Bosco, welcomed in the "Sala dei Notari," took part in the ceremony of the Salesian Institute’s inscription in the city’s register of Honor. Such inscriptions are made in favor of figures and realities that have brought prestige to the city. After the presentation of the certificate, the Rector Major was then received privately by the mayor, Andrea Romizi, who presented him with a gift from the civic administration.
(ANS - Perugia) - Yesterday, Monday, June 20, was a day of solemn festivity in Perugia: to mark the celebrations for the first centenary of the Salesian presence in the city, the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, arrived for a visit.
(ANS - Rome) - The campaign of humanitarian support due to the emergency in Ukraine continues its silent but daily efforts to meet the most basic needs of those families who, because of the war, seek refuge and accompaniment outside Ukraine. Attention to the real needs of others, generosity, and creativity are the hallmarks of a commitment that continues unabated and without borders.
RMG – General Council and Don Bosco: firsthand voices, testimonies. A word with Fr. Pérez Godoy
(ANS - Rome) - With the celebration of the 207th birthday of the Father and Teacher of Youth just four days away, we talk to the Councilor for the Mediterranean Region about his personal relationship with Don Bosco.
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”.
Spain – Campobosco 2022, "Dare, trust, live!"
(ANS - Barcelona) - Under the motto "Dare, trust, live!", a new edition of "Campobosco," a Salesian youth spirituality meeting that this year brings together 774 participants, aged 19 and older, belonging to the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) of the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Spain and Portugal, began last Saturday, July 30.
United States – International Youth Day: the Salesian programs that support and educate youth
(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 recognizing International Youth Day. Celebrated each year on Aug. 12, International Youth Day was established by the United Nations to raise awareness of issues affecting young people around the world.