(ANS - Rome) - Pope Francis' closeness to the Salesian Family is well-known: the numerous ties with several Salesians meaningful to his life, the school year at the Institute of Ramos Mejía, his devotion to Mary Help of Christians ... But in the message he sent on the occasion of the 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation, Pope Francis amazes for the intimate and profound knowledge of Don Bosco's charism. Thus, speaking with familiarity, as if it were a simple "goodnight" in the oratory, he helps to identify the answer to the Chapter's question: "What Salesians for today's young people?" For the Argentine pontiff, the answer is: "the Salesian of the XXI century is a man full of hope because he knows that his centre is in the Lord, able to make all things new."
(ANS - Rome) - “What can I compare the kingdom of God to? It is similar to a bit of yeast: if a woman takes it and kneads it with three large measures of flour, then the yeast ferments all the dough." This beautiful parable of Jesus can be a good comparison for General Chapter XXVIII. It was shorter than expected, but like a pinch of yeast, its work has only just begun: it will spread its strength and beneficial ferments in and throughout the Congregation.
(ANS - Rome) - It is said that a woman once started asking people: "What is the most important thing in life for you?" The answers she obtained were predictable: health, love, money ... But when she asked the question to an elderly man, the answer was so simple and spontaneous that it did not require any comment: "To forgive." For this Lent, Pope Francis invites us not only to "forgive", but to allow ourselves to be reconciled with God. Even more, he invites us to "draw close to confessing our sins, to firmly believe in His mercy that frees us from our guilt."
Bari, Italy - February 2020 - On February 23, Pope Francis reached Bari to conclude the meeting "Mediterranean frontier of peace", promoted by the CEI, at the Basilica of San Nicola, in which 58 bishops of the 20 Mediterranean churches participated. In his speech, Pope Francis outlined the path to follow to build peace relations in the Mediterranean, urging Christians to be "tireless peacemakers." He then spoke of the "madness of war" which is the failure of every human and divine project, of the migratory phenomenon, of the protection of religious freedom and of migrants, and urged to transform the Mediterranean from a cemetery to a place of Resurrection. The Pontiff stressed that extremisms and fundamentalisms deny the dignity of man and his religious freedom, urging a more lively encounter between the different religious faiths. Finally, he stressed that the prerequisite for building peace is justice. He concluded his intervention by indicating Saint Paul as an example to follow in order to transmit the faith.
(ANS - Rome) - Pope Francis has offered the Amazonian Church, the universal Church and all men of good will the post-synodal document: Querida Amazonía. Below, Fr Martín Lasarte, who participated in the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazon region, indicates only a few of the many significant points.
(ANS - Rome) - From the very beginning, humanity has cultivated the art of storytelling. Stories are an activity that is the basis of every human relationship. In recent years, the communication industry has taken this art into hand, making it known as "storytelling". On January 24, 2020, the feast of St. Francis of Sales, Pope Francis sent a message for the 54th World Communications Day, entitled: "That you may tell your children and grandchildren (Ex 10:2). Life becomes history". "I would like to dedicate this year's Message to the theme of storytelling," says the opening message.
Italy – Fr Bruno Bertolazzi's 100th anniversary, a life worth telling
(ANS - Potenza) - One hundred years well spent, with numerous successful paths and many anecdotes to be shared. But above all, a hundred years of life given to others. They are those experienced by the Salesian Fr Bruno Bertolazzi, who passed from the military uniform, worn during the Second World War against the Nazis, to the “Don Bosco uniform”, in the service of young people and the Salesian Congregation. Today he resides in Potenza, still concelebrates Mass and uses Facebook to keep in touch with the many past pupils who still seek him.
Spain – "Salesian communication in Spain is a point of reference for the whole Congregation"
(ANS - Madrid) - The National Delegation of Social Communication held the VII Salesian Communication Day on Wednesday 24 February on the theme “From online content to communication”. This edition, which took place online, brought together more than 120 Delegates and those responsible for communication from the various Salesian presences and entities. The meeting's central moment revolved around the intervention of Fr Gildásio Mendes dos Santos, General Councilor for Social Communication.
France – Migrants and young people, Salesian network at the forefront
(ANS - Paris) - For many years, unaccompanied foreign minors (UASC) have been welcomed in the Homes of Children of a Social Character (MECS) of the “Don Bosco Action Social” network. But in the last five years this apostolate has received a clear acceleration, so much so that today there are almost a thousand UASCs accompanied by the Salesian network. Like? Where? Why? Here is the answer to all these questions.
MESSAGES OF THE RECTOR MAJOR
LORD, HELP ME NEVER STOP BEING AMAZED OR BECOME INURED TO REALITY
«This is my prayer after having visited over 100 nations around the world where there are Salesian presences... and where I came to know realities that are so incredible, fascinating, precious, and often times so painful».