(ANS - Istanbul) – The list of guests invited to the fraternal exchange on the 1st Sunday of Advent was long. At the suggestion of Muammer Keskin, mayor of Şişli and also father of a graduate of the EVRIM school, representatives of resident religious minorities in this large Istanbul district (about 950,000 inhabitants) met on the premises of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Istanbul. The aim of the conference was to exchange views with the former President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Wulff, on issues concerning religious minorities.
(ANS - Rome) - Between Saturday 3 and Monday 5 December the 40th Curatorium of the International Community of Theology Students "Zeffirino Namuncurá" took place in Via della Bufalotta 550, in Rome, i.e. the meeting of the Provincials who sent their confreres to this community, presided over by Fr. Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation. On Saturday there was an in-person session and on Monday an online session, to give those who live in distant countries the opportunity to participate.
(ANS – Parañaque) – The Economer General of the Congregation since 2010, Brother Jean Paul Muller was some days ago for an animation visit in the Philippines North - Malaysia province (FIN) especially in Manila. At this occasion Br Jean Paul has given also a conference to the Salesian Brothers in specific formation community of Blessed Stephen Sandor in Parañaque.
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.