After your last trip to Brazil, what was your impression of the reality of Salesian publishing houses in the Southern Cone and Inter-American regions?
Publishing work in America comes into being almost as first-hour presences in some places. In other words, Salesians arrive in America, find works, print the Salesian Bulletin, and take on one of the most important communication challenges: publishing books, creating good press. That spirit of the past is still alive in the present. Publishers are up-to-date to meet the needs of a continent with diverse issues shared by several countries at the same time. There are many opportunities to grow, increase synergistic work, and face difficulties, which are not lacking. But the will to walk, go forward, is stronger than ever.
And specifically, what can you tell us about Edebê Brasil?
I strongly emphasize the sense of work, commitment, and collaboration. And the latter is in line with a strong desire to share and help in synergy with other Salesian publishers. There is a true spirit of brotherhood. The charism is shared equally by consecrated and lay people.
You have also been closely acquainted with the Salesian radio network: what can you tell us about this particular area of Social Communication animation?
Salesian radio in Brazil is growing rapidly. I see the various activities they carry out, both in terms of formation and content. Two key people who strongly help these Salesian works are Fr. Joao Carlos and Ms. Jocasta Pimentel, Regional Contact Person for Salesian Radio in America. On this occasion, I was able to visit Radio "FM Educativa," FM 95.1 of the UCDB (Don Bosco Catholic University), in the city of Campo Grande. An excellent service, of great quality, to bring the voice of the Church and Don Bosco close to the youth and people, seeking their education and social promotion.
In both contexts - publishers and radio - there is a strong secular component. What did you observe during your visit in this regard?
As I was saying earlier about the publishing houses, we find a strong experience of shared charism. These communicative works (publishing, radio, etc.), would not be truly Salesian without the experience and lives of the laity. They, by their presence, make these works and their tasks a true experience of the charism. One detail: I have not seen any unmotivated lay people in these spaces. Someone may go through a moment of difficulty or sadness, typical of every human being, but those whom the Lord has placed at our side, living their vocation as lay Christians, work truly committed, in tune with Don Bosco's charism.
What was your impression of the missionaries in Meruri, where Fr. Rudolf Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo were martyred?
It was truly a gift from heaven. The witness of the martyrs in the past is alive in the witness of the Gospel of these missionary brothers in the present. As it should be. The same drive, the same love for the noble Bororo people and the Xavante people, the same passion and joy for the proclamation of the Gospel... I will treasure this magnificent gift and testimony throughout my life. These brothers have been a true example of our mission in the peripheries of the world.
And, having personally collaborated on the film about the upcoming saint Artemis Zatti, what can you tell us about the project to make a documentary about the two martyrs in Brazil?
Actually, this will also be a feature film, just as it was for Artemide Zatti. In any case, I spoke with the confreres of Meruri, especially with Fr. João Bosco, the collaborator of Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, the Postulator General of the Salesian Family, expressing to them that we must first evaluate the possibilities. The first thing I thought of was to move toward a co-production between Germany and Brazil since Fr. Rudolf also enjoys a great reputation for holiness in his homeland and is loved and venerated by those who knew him. The story is unquestionably timely to be brought to the cinema in these times when the world, thanks to the word of Pope Francis, is looking closely at the Amazon and aboriginal peoples. We shall see; may the Lord guide us!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Our Congregation has an immense variety of perspectives and experiences. But wherever we go, we will always find the same love for the Lord, for Mary Help of Christians, for Don Bosco, and for young people. This is our greatest treasure.