RMG – Visit of Rector Major to Alassio, Genoa and Varazze

31 October 2022

(ANS - Rome) - After the intense month of October, which saw the Rector Major participate in a long series of events - from the Congress of Works and Social Services in Turin, to the events for the canonization of Artemide Zatti; from the honoris causa in Pedagogical Sciences ceremony in Palermo, to the visits to Croatia and Northeast India for the centenaries of Salesian presence - the month of November also promises to be full of commitments for Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime. Beginning with his visit to Liguria on Nov. 3-5 to visit the historic work in Alassio and celebrate 150 years of activity of the Salesian works in Genoa-Sampierdarena and Varazze.

The work in Alassio, the first Salesian school erected outside Piedmont, has been led by a group of lay people since last year, with the accompaniment and under the responsibility of the Special Circumscription of Central Italy (ICC); it was to celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2020, with the Rector Major’s scheduled for a visit, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

That celebration, however, will be made up for this Thursday, Nov. 3, when, in the late morning the children, faculty and educators of the Salesian center "St. Mary of the Angels" will welcome Fr. Á.F. Artime with all their enthusiasm. Then the entire community will show him the various branches into which this Salesian presence is articulated: the middle school, the scientific and humanities secondary school, specifically, the economic-social branch of studies; also, the forms of after-school entertainment, the Salesian Youth Movement group...

In the afternoon there will be a moment of meeting and discussion between the Rector Major, the school children and the whole citizenship, including the presence of the city authorities and the Bishop of Albenga-Imperia, Bishop Guglielmo Borghetti, a past pupil of the Salesian Pontifical University of Rome.

The Rector Major's day ends in Genoa, where he shall meet with the Latin American community, and at 9 p.m., a dialogue with young people.

The following day, at 8 a.m., he is scheduled to meet with young people from the Salesian Vocational Training Center of Sampierdaren and their teachers; and at 10 a.m. he shall preside at Mass at San Siro with schools and families.

In the afternoon, he will have the opportunity to visit the room of Don Bosco, followed at 5 p.m. by the inauguration of the football field with the presence of local authorities and a subsequent children’s tournament. In the evening, at 9 p.m., a tribute by the city and Salesian alumni is scheduled at the auditorium of the "Carlo Felice" Theater. At the concert, Prof. Massimiliano Damerini shall play piano with songs by singer-songwriter Fabrizio Nitti.

The Nov. 3-4 events, sponsored by the municipality of Genoa, will thus allow Fr. Á.F. Artime to return to the Ligurian capital for a second time: in fact, he had already been there in 2015, again in November, for a visit to the city from which the first Salesian missionaries departed.

Completing his new trip to Liguria, however, is on this occasion also a stop near Varazze. The Salesian Oratory in this town is celebrating 150 years. On July 22, 1871, Don Bosco signed an agreement with the municipality of Varazze by which he assumed the responsibility of leading, with his congregation, the town's civic boarding school. Since 2013, the oratory has been led by a group of lay volunteers, who took over the management following the closure of the community of consecrated Salesians, but the charism is always alive and there are many proposals that the educational community studies for the good of the young people of the town: the Youth Summer Camp, the Winter after-school activities, the pastoral groups of "Savioclubs," the music courses, the courtyard always open and assisted... In short, a precious and fundamental reality for the formation of the local children.

The Rector Major will reach Varazze at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 5, being welcomed at the "Marinai d’Italia, Sailors of Italy" pier. This will be followed by the official greetings from city authorities and the Bishop of Savona-Noli, Bishop Calogero Marino, at the Varazze Town Hall.

In the afternoon, after the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the presence at the Salesian Institute of Varazze of St. John Bosco - for more than 50 days, between 1871 and 1872, during a serious worsening of his health condition -, the show animated by the youths of the oratory "WelcomeBackDonBosco" and a dialogue between young people and the Rector Major is scheduled. The visit will be completed with Mass in the church of St. Ambrose in the presence of the local confraternities, and the blessing of the town from the place where Don Bosco blessed the citizens of Varazze at the time of his last visit there.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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