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EX ALLIEVI Newsfl N ewsfl aass h YEAR 7 - ISSUE 32 - CHRISTMAS 2018

Religious and Social magazine of the World Confederation of Ex-students of Don Bosco

English Edition - (translations: Veronica Messano)

Merry Christmas!


The great, striking message of Christmas, destined to change the face of the earth and to fill it with joy, is by all appearances insignificant: a newborn Baby lying in a manger. We, too, through so many small and gentle signs, in so many small and forgotten places, announce God every day. «What ought I do?» Don Bosco asked Father Cafasso. «Come with me and see!» responded his friend and teacher.

And so Don Bosco met the young men in jail. That experience upset him very much. «I said to myself: these young men ought to find a friend on the outside who will care for them, assist them, teach them, and take them to church on holy days». He brought them little gifts and good thoughts, and he sought to make them reflect. They promised to act better, but when he returned everything was just as it had been before. One time Don Bosco broke down in tears. «Why is that priest crying?» one of the young prisoners asked. «Because he loves us. My mom would cry, too, if she saw me in here». This was Don Bosco’s heart.

For those who had no family, who felt all alone in the world, who had lost the affection of a friend, or who had never known love and who always felt rejected, coming into contact with Don Bosco’s fatherly affection, Mamma Margaret’s maternal love, and the fraternal affection of the Oratory community was to revive and to live – truly live – for the first time in their life. The young boys and men did not come to seek out a priest; they came looking for a father, a brother, and a friend. They sought a profoundly human presence, one that was good and generous, with inexhaustible patience that allowed him to put himself at the service of the one newly arrived, no matter what hour it might be.

Father Felix Reviglio testified: «He allowed us to be continually at his side – so much so that barely had he finished his frugal lunch or dinner than the young would bound into his little refectory and surround him. Despite the annoyance which we must have given him, he took the effusion of our gratitude with all graciousness. Then I, perhaps because I was the neediest for his affection, was able, more than once, to crouch under the table to rest my head on his knees».

And Father Paul Albera: «Don Bosco used to educate through love, by drawing us to himself, winning us over and transforming us. All of us were enveloped in an atmosphere of contentment and happiness, by which any pain, sadness, or melancholy was immediately banished. Everything in him held a powerful attraction for us: his penetrating gaze, which was sometimes more efficacious than a sermon; a simple movement of his head; the smile that constantly graced his lips – always new and changing, while at the same time, always calm and peaceful; On the cover: LORENZO LOTTO, Adoration of the shepherds, 1530 2

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

the movement of his lips when he wanted to speak without using words; his very words themselves, cadenced in one way rather than another; his deportment and his light and confident gait. All these things worked on our youthful hearts in the manner of a magnet from which we could not detach ourselves; and, even if we could 2. Have, we would not have done so for all the gold in the world, so very happy were we with this his very singular ascendancy over us, which was most natural to him, without study or effort of any kind».

Don Bosco’s textbook on pedagogy was his life itself. Educators are not to be “policemen”: they are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends who teach the young to think, reflect, and evaluate. The key to all this is being present in the midst of the young. In Don Bosco’s mind, education is handed down through personal contact, almost as an exchange of energies. For as long as he was able, Don Bosco used to leave everything aside so as to be present in the courtyard with his boys and young men. This was simply his way of living the Eucharist: «Until my very last breath, everything will be for you». During the Synod on the Young, at which I participated, the words of the young people reawakened us. They politely asked us to be more courageous in witnessing with our life what we proclaim and what we truly believe. They need adults, and not only church people, who will be witnesses to us because there is a dearth of paternal and maternal figures in the world. We need to continue to respond, and not only in our parishes, schools, oratories, youth centers, and shelters for street kids. The vision is much broader than that: in these places which are familiar and Salesian, true and authentic, mature and healthy motherhood and fatherhood can take place. At times an educator is a friend or a brother or sister for the young, but he or she also needs to be a true mother or father, for this is one of the greatest gifts that we must continue to give. This is the transmission of life’s wisdom. On Christmas Day, we will celebrate the miraculous revelation of the Father’s nature, with which Christ is in complete union. Jesus is God, and He shows this even if His incarnate Person is that of a baby. Never before in history had anything like this happened – God with the face of a baby. At the center of our Faith, there is a true tenderness toward the little, the simple, the downtrodden, and not some “cold logic.”

Our young people ought to hear us say that we love them and want to travel with them along life’s journey and their faith journey. Our young people ought to feel that our presence among them is an affectionate and efficacious one. They ought to feel that we want to share with them the best of what we have: Jesus Christ, the Lord, and not that we want to direct their lives or impose on them how they must live. They ought to feel that we are here for them and, if they allow us, to share their happiness and their hopes, their joys, their sufferings and tears, and their confusion, or their search for meaning, their vocation, and their present and their future. How can we demonstrate that God exists?

A little child asked his mother: «Do you think God exists?». «Yes». “What is He like?». The woman drew her child close to her, hugged him tight, and said, «God is like this». «I understand», said the child.

The young must feel that we are whispering God to them. Perhaps we will not be able to reason out extraordinary orthodoxy or orthopraxis, but they must feel through our little mediations that Jesus loves them and always welcomes them. Then, just like Don Bosco in his last Masses in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, we will understand that it was all worth it. Don Ángel Fernández Artime Rector Major

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018


WORLD DELEGATE My dear Past Pupil friends, Greetings from Rome!

We are in the month of December when we celebrate Christmas. It is the celebration of God going to the peripheries – the all-powerful God choosing to pitch his tent among the lowly of this world. Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, a geographical periphery. He grew up in another geographical periphery, Nazareth. He lived there in the periphery for 30 years and during his public ministry, his focus was on the existential peripheries of the society – the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the abandoned, and the outcasts. Hence, I thought it opportune to share with you some thoughts on ‘Salesian’ presence as past pupils of Don Bosco, as a presence in the periphery.

The child we celebrate as Emmanuel, God with us, was born into and chose to live a life of poverty. God chose to be incarnated into the reality of a poor family because the message of the Kingdom of God was directed towards those in the periphery. To understand the message of Christmas therefore one has to move to the peripheries, one has to become poor in spirit. Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, now saint for all, once said, «No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor. The self-sufficient, the proud, those who, because they have everything, look down on others, those who have no need even of God, for them there will be no Christmas. Only the poor, the hungry, those who need someone to come on their behalf, will have that someone. That someone is God. Emmanuel. God-with-us». Pope Francis and the call to the periphery For Pope Francis, the Church is called to come out of herself and go to the ends of the earth, to the peripheries of our times, geographical and existential, which are in need of the light of the Gospel.

Before being elected pope, Cardinal Bergoglio provided an insight into his agenda for the Church. «We must get out of ourselves and go toward the periphery», he told the cardinals. In his first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, he develops this thought further and says, «I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting, and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security» (EG 49).

What Pope Francis means by “periphery” can be seen from some of his symbolic gestures. Examples of his reaching out to the peripheries are numerous-- for example, his gesture of washing the feet of several young offenders including a Muslim woman on Holy Thursday 2013. In July the same year, his trip to the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, where hundreds of refugees had drowned and where during the homily, he lamented what he called the “anaesthesia of the heart”: «We are a society which has forgotten how to weep,” he said”, how to experience compassion – the globalization of indifference has taken away from us the ability to weep!».

Yet another example would be Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to our Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacro Cuore) here in the Generalate in Rome, in the context of the World Day for Migrants and Refugees in January 2014. Our Basilica, built by our Father and Founder Don Bosco and located in the heart of Rome, operates an outreach program to the city’s homeless and offers a centre of welcome and hospitality for more than 400 young refugees and asylum seekers from various countries of Africa and the Middle-East. This parish serves as one of those “existential peripheries” that Pope Francis has called on Christians in every state of life to place at the centre of their work and witness on be4

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

half of the Gospel. The dictionary definition of periphery is “the outside edge of an area or the area that surrounds a place or thing”. Pope Francis is referring to those areas that contain people who are social outcasts, people on the “margins” of social acceptability. He admonishes us to step outside of our comfort zones and to open our hearts to others, especially those who have been rejected by society.

The periphery is not confined to geography or social, economic or legal status or to our religious or political points of view. Anyone who is different from us stands outside our comfort zone. Getting outside ourselves and going to the periphery can mean any effort to reach out to them with compassion and understanding, share with them the good news that all are loved by God.

Salesian charism and the call to periphery Don Bosco may rightly be called a “saint of the periphery”. He was born in a family that was on the periphery – poor and in a small village. The dream at the age of nine already indicated to him his future field of work – the periphery occupied by the poor and the abandoned. Soon after his priestly ordination when he walked out into the streets, his eyes were on the peripheries of the city, where conglomerated hordes of homeless, jobless and aimless youngsters. The Preventive System of Don Bosco with its clear emphasis on the presence of the educator in the midst of the young is created for those in the peripheries. The Preventive System which we all experienced in the salesian institution during our studies requires our daily attention to the young, especially those who are on the existential peripheries of our times.

Attention to the poorest young means having the heart of a father who is willing to accompany the young, to live in their midst, to be with them and for them, following Don Bosco’s example. Salesian charism which we, past pupils, are expected to live means a real sharing in their life and interests, loving what they love. It is an active presence, full of initiatives and plans to develop the potentialities of each individual poor young. It is also an animating presence that awakens in them their creativity, giving them the responsibility for their own growth and development, accompanying them in the process. ‘Salesian’ presence means making “the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the youth of our time, especially of those who are poor and are afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the Past Pupils as well. Nothing that affects the young and the poor fails to find an echo in their heart. May our reflection on the mystery of Christmas from the perspective of those on the periphery help us all, past pupils, become a little more like Emmanuel for the poor and the young of today! Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years...

I wish all of you and your families a Blessed Christmas. May the joy of Christmas live in your hearts every day of the New Year 2019! Fr. Jayapalan Raphael sdb World Delegate, Rome EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018


Merry Christmas! Cornovaglia: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth! Croato: Sretan Bozic! Ceco: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok! Danese: Glaedelig Jul! Ebraico: Mo’adim Lesimkha, Chena tova! Eschimese: Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo! Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon! Estone: Ruumsaid juuluphi! Filippino: Maligayan Pasko! Finlandese: Hyvaa joulua! Fiammingo: Zalig Kersfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar! Francese: Joyeux Noel! Gaelico: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr! Gallese: Nadolig Llawen! Giapponese: Shinnen omedeto, Kurisumasu Omedeto! Greco: Kala Christouyenna!

Afrikaans: Gesëende Kersfees! Africano/Eritrean: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats! Albanese: Gezur Krislinjden! Arabo: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah! Argentino: Feliz Navidad! Armeno: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand! Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal! Basco: Zoroniak eta Urte Berri On! Bengalese: Shuvo Naba Barsha! Boemo: Vesele Vanocce! Bretone: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat! Bulgaro: Tchestita Koleda! Catalano: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou! Cileno: Feliz Navidad! Cinese (Mandarino): Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan! Cinese (Cantonese): Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun! Colombiano: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo! Polacco: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie! Coreano: Sung Tan Chuk Ha! Portoghese: Feliz Natal!

Hawaiano: Mdele Kalikimaka! Hindi: Shub Naya Baras! Indonesiano: Selamat Hari Natal! Inglese: Merry Christmas! Iracheno: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah! Irlandese: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat! Islandese: Gledileg Jol! Italiano: Buone Feste Natalizie! Latino: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum! Macedone: Sreken Bozhik! Maltese: Il Milied it Tajjeb! Maori: Meri Kirihimete! Micronesia: Neekiiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech! Norvegese: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul! Olandese: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Papua Nuova Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu! Peruviano: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo! 6

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

Rapa-Nui (Isola di Pasqua): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi, Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua! Rumeno: Sarbatori Fericite Russo: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom! Samoa: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou! Serbo-Croato: Sretam Bozic, Vesela Nova Godina! Serbo: Hristos se rodi! Slovacco: Vesele, a stastlivy Novy Rok! Sloveno: Vesele Bozicne, Screcno Novo Leto! Spagnolo: Feliz Navidad! Svedese: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt Ar! Tailandese: Sawadee Pee Mai! Tedesco: Froehliche Weihnachten! Turco: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun! Ucraino: Srozhdestvom Kristovym! Ungherese: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket! Vietnamita: Chung Mung Giang Sinh! Jugoslavo: Cestitamo Bozic!

EDITORIAL A seed that becomes a tree Dear Friends,

friendship has been celebrated since ancient times as a fundamental support for our existence. It is enough to think that Aristotele, over two thousand years ago, declared: ÂŤWithout friends, no one would choose to liveÂť. Every person you know in life is a leaf that enriches your tree. Many are lost with the wind; others will never detached.

I remember when, after so many years dedicated to the journalistic profession, I entered officially among the former students of Don Bosco: an environment that brought me back to the green years, making me find friends and acquaintances lost sight of. I immediately tasted a common commitment to creating a family atmosphere, where the experience of the elderly becomes support for the new generations.

In fact, as ex-pupils, we must undertake to ensure that the beauty of our youthful years can be relived by the young of today.

In this context, our magazine, former students Newsflash, wants to represent a gallery of stories, faces, news, stories; where values travel each page. It does not want to be just an instrument of communication, but also of formation: in a slow and unstoppable way in time, like the development of a seed that becomes a tree, good wheat growing in the field, leaven fermenting the mass.

There is an advertising that invites: "Be selfish, do good". More appropriate in the Christmas perspective; also because, what is the purpose of celebrating a party if nobody knows what is celebrated? It would be really sad that Christmas would fall for us in the store of nonsense. Christmas remains a Christian holiday that has become a sure reference for those Christians who are not.

The Christmas message is that "seed" that never rots, always ready to be reborn, to re-grow, to recreate... It's enough that you do not find petrified, hardened, indifferent hearts.

Let us remember. Sons of the Church, we, educated in the school always alive and always current of Don Bosco. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year 2019 to everyone!

Pierluigi Lazzarini

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018



"So that my joy may be in you" (Jn 15,11)

Holiness for you too

"Holiness is something near, real, concrete, possible ... It is not an optional 'extra', a goal only for some. It is life in full, according to the project and the gift of God” writes the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in the presentation of the Strenna for 2019. While waiting to receive the video and the full comment, which will be consigned, as usual, towards New Year's Eve, the Strenna poster is, instead, now available online. It announces and graphically raises the call or summons to holiness and sainthood for everyone to all.

pear the Rector Major, a Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, and other teens and young adults, like those one easily meets in the oratory.

Superimposed on the photo is the theme of this year's Strenna, but with some peculiarities: the motto itself, placed under the evangelical call "So that my joy may be in you" (Jn 15,11) is represented as a hashtag, in the typical form of Instagram

After four years in which the Strenna posters made use of the talents of professional graphic designers, this year's graphic solution places at its center an image that is as realistic as can be: photographic shots. But not of professionals, but rather something very common and close to the daily reality of children and young people who all over the world, even from very different cultures and traditions, immortalize and share everyday situations they capture with their smartphones.

This too is an expression of concreteness and feasibility "for all". In the image, a true and proper selfie, ap-


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

stories, and is accompanied by a halo. Holiness and social networks, holiness and the world of youth are not in contrast – on the contrary: holiness should indeed be shared as a hashtag: #lasantitàancheperte - #holinessforyoutoo

Created by the "IME Comunicazione", the communication office of the Italy-Southern Province, on the mandate of the Dicastery for Social Communications.



Meeting of World Presidency of Salesian Past Pupils Medellín, Colombia - November 2018

From 8 to 12 November the Salesian Province of Colombia-Medellín (COM) received 13 members of the World Past Pupils Presidency and World Delegate Fr Raphael Jayapalan.

As part of the annual management review and activity and results report, the mem-

bers of the World Presidency had the opportunity to learn about the initiatives of the COM Province and its Federation of Past Pupils, led by Fr Mario Restrepo Botero. They were able to visit the great Salesian social center "Ciudad Don Bosco", directed by Fr Rafael Bejarano, which takes care of vulnerable children and young

people where several past pupils work in the field of social assistance.

The World Past Pupils President, Michal Hort, declared:

«This was a meeting full of riches, communion and sharing experiences of life and work of the Past Pupils around the Salesian mission in the world».

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




Don Bosco Alumni leadership meets in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand, 25 November 2018

During four days from 22-25 November some 30 or more Presidents and Delegates of various Don Bosco Past Pupils Federations met in Bangkok, Thailand with the World President Mr Michal Hort, the Vicepresident (Asia) Mr Rajesh Gupta, World Councillor for GEX Asia-Oceania Mr Alberto Piedade and World Delegate Fr Raphael Jayapalan, SDB. This is the first meeting following the 11th EAO Don Bosco Alumni Congress in Timor Leste (October 2016). Thanks to the famous Thai hospitality (local organiser Mr Wichai Srisura, Secretary of the Thai Federation) with the


logistic support of Thai Alumni and SDB, all participants from India, Japan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Pakistan, Philippines and Timor Leste felt at home.

As has been the case with all other leadership encounters and seminars, the 6 year strategic plan for the whole World Confederation (2015-2021) is the main point of reference.

Also the recently delivered 2018 Report on the GEX Asia-Oceania situation, following the animation visit in 7 countries (Japan, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Laos, Macau and Hong Kong) is framed according to the strategic plan with concrete

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

actions involving GEX projects and animation, Leadership School (Presidents, Councils and Delegates), Voluntary service and GEX exchange program etc).

Our hope is that the painstaking and focused work of the World Confederation leadership will affect all 23 EAO countries where thousands of young people receive a Don Bosco Education and many more SDB will be able to accompany our Past Pupils Association! Full report (ppt) presentation GEX East Asia - Oceania, 2018 Alberto Piedade GEX World Councilor for Asia-Oceania


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




"Let's wake the sleeping giant!" Interview with Mr Michal Hort, President of the World Confederation of Don Bosco Past Pupils

Bangkok, Thailand, 25 November 2018

On the occasion of the four day seminar and formative encounter of the AsiaOceania Region Leadership of Don Bosco Past Pupils in Bangkok (November 22-25) the World Confederation President Mr Michal Hort gladly responded to the following interview:

How do you feel in Bangkok, Thailand? How is the hospitality?

«The Thai hospitality is just amazing. The personal welcoming by Father provincial, John Bosco Theparat and by the Secretary General of the Thai Federation, Francis Wichai Srisura means they value the


Past Pupils World Confederation a lot. The atmosphere was very friendly. It’s important to mention four people who are key to leadership in the Asia-Oceania Region: Fr Raphael Jayapalan, the World delegate, Mr Rajesh Gupta and Mr Alberto Piedade, the Regional councillors. But special thanks goes to Fr Vaclav Klement - General Councillor for the East Asia-Oceania region. Without him we would not have such a huge participation! Thank you Fr Vaclav!»

What kind of growth do you observe during this regional leadership formation?

«Yes, there is a huge leap forward. The

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

Presidents and Delegates are genuinely interested and have a with firm willingness to learn new things. There is huge potential. I feel they really believe in past pupils and leadership by lay people!».

What are the new developments or challenges?

«We created twinning projects. This means experienced countries in the (AsiaOceania) region will be helping ‘newcomers’. Almost every country has begun their national strategic plan. It’s very important. We enlightened them about innovative projects fromof the World Confederation: “” and “Don Bosco Market-business platform” and

L EADERS “Group of professionals”. We have felt huge interest!».

How do you asses the contribution of the new Asia-Oceania GEX Councillor, Mr. Alberto?

«Alberto Piedade is developing a wonderful style and method of animation! His involvement in the processes for establishing new groups of young past pupils (GEX) in Asia-Oceania is admirable.

And he is also a very mature, dynamic and good person. He contributes to our great team in the World Presidency. I’m happy to have him with me!». Message to the Salesians of the EAO region?

«See the huge potential of the Past pupils in your region! The past pupils need guidance and continuous formation. Please look after them!». And what is your dream for your Association of Don Bosco Past Pupils?

«I dream about the active participation of Past pupils in social transformation of the countries in this region by using their talents and professional skills. Past pupils in Asia and Oceania are the sleeping giant. Let’s wake him up!».

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




Don Bosco Past Pupils at meet: "How to listen to young people today"

(ANS – Péliföldszentkereszt)

From 4 to 7 October, in the Salesian house of Péliföldszentkereszt, Hungary, the annual European meeting of Salesian Presidents and Delegates of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco took place. The meeting is one of the first activities of Don Bosco's Past Pupils in the country, and was carried out precisely to support the start of the association in Hungary. Leading the works was the World President, Michal Hort, with the support of the Confederal Council team.

Also present were the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Eusebio Muñoz, and representatives of the provinces of Ukraine and the Middle East.

At the meeting, which gathered a total of 26 representatives from 11 countries, participants worked mainly on how to "listen to young people today" and on how to propose initiatives to accompany them in personal growth, especially towards the young with the greatest difficulties.

For this reason the World Delegate, Fr. Raphael Jayapalan, presented the Strenna of the Rector Major in terms of "accompaniment of young people" starting from a lay reality. Later, to translate these


ideas into real projects, there was time to present good accompanying practices.

For his part Bryan Magro, President of the Federation of Malta and World Treasurer of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, presented the "Marvelli Project", which develops programs for young people in need and a "European Project" for the formation of voluntary guardians. In addition, Fernando Núñez, President of the Spanish Federation, presented the work he is doing in relation to the socio-labor insertion projects of the "Fundación Juan Bosco Siglo XXI". Furthermore, the work for groups on various topics of interest of the association was strongly encouraged: the Strategic

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

Plan of the World Confederation and other coordination processes at the European level, such as a large project of database sharing, the reactivation of the School of Executives for young past pupils or the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of the Past Pupils, to be held in 2020, or how to increase cooperation between national federations...

In order to promote innovation, the meeting was attended by a professional coach, Marian Kolnik, from Slovakia, who developed a seminar on leadership and motivation, focusing on the need for a change in the model of relationship between people to increase the effectiveness of projects.


Meeting of Confederal Council of Past Pupils of Don Bosco


Rome, Italy - December 2018

From 14 to 16 December, the World Executive Committee of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco met in Rome, under the guidance of President Michal Hort; its aim to follow up on the latest developments discussed at the presidential meeting held in Medellín and to inform the Rector Major and his Council about the latest news as regards the World Confederation.

The most important news is the change of several positions in the Confederation: Eduardo Pessoa, from Brazil, is the new Vice-President, and replaces India's Rajesh Gupta. Fresia Méndez, originally from Costa Rica, is the new GEX Vice-President, and takes over from Spain's Ángel Gudiña, who is the now new Secretary General. The World Confederation is developing new innovative projects: the worldwide database "Boscobase", an NGO to develop projects for young people in need and the start of preparations for the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of the Past Pupils, an event scheduled for June 2020. Furthermore, the executive committee had the opportunity to interact with the Salesian Provincials present at the formation course, and especially with Fr Alejandro León, Provincial of the Middle East, with whom the Confederation is preparing an activity for the forthcoming summer, destined to young refugees living in Europe.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




Rector Major recieves Presidency of Italian Federation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco

Rome, Italy - December 2018

The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, received the Presidency of the Italian Federation of Past Pupils – male and female sectors – for the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings. At the Salesian HQ of the "Sacred Heart", the Rector Major invited the Past Pupils of Italy to take advantage of the education received, to bear witness in the places where daily work is carried out. «Dreaming and thinking», first of all, he added.

Present at the meeting, in addition to the National Delegate, Fr Gianni Russo, was the Confederal Delegate, Fr Raphael Jayapalan. The Past Pupils were led by the National President, Giovanni Costanza.


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018



How joyful for the Rector Major to accompany the young!

Tokyo, Japan, November 2018 In the evening of 10 November, Salesian young people in Japan gathered at Chofu Salesian Seminary and Chofu Church to see Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, SDB, the Rector Major who is now visiting Japan.This "SYM Gathering Special: the Gathering of the Rector Major and Young People" has been planned and prepared for over the past year mainly by the young SYM Japan secretariats, Fr Shinjiro Urata, SDB and Fr Shin Mishima, SDB. The connection between the young people gathered this time and the Salesian Family is quite varied. They gathered from various churches, schools, and religious affairs, and

their home country and hometown is also rich in variety. More than 130 participants, including SDBs, FMAs, SCGs and teachers of the Salesian Schools, came together from all over Japan. In this gathering, a girl referred to

the feature of her Salesian School as follows. «The teachers are very friendly». And a boy from a Salesian Parish talked about his joy «By being here today, I can feel the Salesian atmosphere with you all». Chihiro Okawa ExDB

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




Chiang Mai Bishop's Salesian Dream

(ANS – Chiang Mai) In a recent courtesy visit, the diocesan bishop of Chiang Mai, Bishop Francis Xavier Vira Arpondaratana, a Past Pupil of the Salesian University (Catechetics - Youth Ministry, 1986-1989) and a good friend of the Salesian Family, expressed his dream for the future Salesian commitment in this special part of the Thai Catholic Church. The Salesians of Don Bosco have been in Chiang Mai, in Thailand's north, since 2004, first with the Catechetical Center at Mae Rim and the St Joseph the Worker parish, then with the Agricultural Centre at Doi Siew and the Don Bosco Home at Doi Saket (2008), followed by the Junior Aspirantate (2009).

The religious community was canonically erected only five years ago, at present with 5 Salesians: the Rector Fr Anthony Restelli - two Salesian Brothers and three Salesian Priests (among them the first Karen priest of the THA province, Fr. David Vichiengsang). There are 18 junior aspirants and 58 secondary technical school boys in the DB Centre, and 7 students in the Catechetical centre. It is a rather humble but very meaningful presence. In the whole diocese there is no other group that is able to accompany adolescent boys, young men. Among the Ban-


pong senior aspirants, no fewer than 50% are from the Chiang Mai area, most of them from the major ethnic groups of the Karen, Hmong, Hakka and Lahu.

Even after the division of the Chiang Rai diocese (April 2018), the Chiang Mai diocese remains the third most numerous Catholic diocese in the country (after Bangkok and Thare) with about 50,000 faithful and 15,000 (!) catechumens, most of them living in the not-so-accessible mountain area near the Myanmar border in the province of Mae Hong Son. 220+ catechists (in the villages and the public schools) are the only pastoral agents helping the few priests and religious to accompany the people of God. Most of the young people have no other chance for a Catholic religious education other than the summer vacation week-long camp. At present

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there are not even permanent deacons to help in this situation. Some 70 per cent of all Chiang Mai diocese Catholics live in the province of Mae Hong Son, without any Catholic school at present. As a matter of fact is not easy to find any religious congregation to come there. In the context of Thai education most of the Catholic schools are quite well-established large institutions, but not many would venture into this frontier environment. Like Don Bosco, also his Salesians are invited by the present Rector Major to dream. But each dream requires a lot of faith and hardwork to make it come true! Young and materially less-privileged Catholics and youth in the North of Thailand are waiting for their Salesians! Source: AustraLasia


South Korea

"I sincerely hope the next Rector Major will be able to visit North Korea" (ANS – Seoul) He officiated baptisms, welcomed the promises of dozens of Salesian Cooperators, encouraged young people and religious to live their phase of life and their vocations fully. The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, had much to do during the last days of his visit to South Korea.

The schedule for the fourth day of the Rector Major’s visit to the Korean province – 16 November 2018 – involved meeting with the Gwangju Salesian Family, students in particular. Gwangju is where the Salesian Society first arrived in Korea in 1954.

Fr Ángel looked around the chapel and the history museum, which depicts the dedication of so many Salesians over 64 years. He was guided by the principal, Fr Michael Chang. In the chapel he prayed especially for the first Salesian missionary to Korea, Fr Archimede Martelli, who had established the school, and after whom the chapel is dedicated.

At the formal reception for Fr Ángel, the president of the alumni association, who represents 25,000 alumni, presented him with a bouquet of flowers, according to Korean custom. It was followed by a welcoming toast and singing.

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Fr. Jerónimo da Rocha Monteiro

I accepted with pleasure to write a brief testimony about Fr. Jerónimo da Rocha Monteiro, SDB, who died on August 31, 2018, in the Residence “Artemide Zatti” in Manique, Portugal. (Don Pascual Chávez Villanueva sdb, Rector Major Emeritus)

We thank God for the gift that Father Rocha's life has been for us and we ask him to welcome him into his Kingdom of peace and happiness.

Human, spiritual, Salesian profile Fantasy and Creativity The gift of imagination has always been a precious ally for all of her life. Fr. Jerónimo was able to create a poem, a story, a choreography from nothing. Imagination and creativity have been a lighthouse that has illuminated his path and led him along paths that perhaps he himself, a young Salesian priest, would never have suspected: the band of Ritmo 70, the Community of Life, the edition of LPs and subsidies for youth groups, evangelizing excursions throughout Portugal, Emmaus Meetings, Retreats.

Spirituality Then, Father Jerónimo marked and was marked by successive generations of young people he educated during the years in which he worked in the College of Orphans. The most precious stone of his apostolic zeal was this marvelous invention which is the Community of Life - a group of reflection, song and prayer. The love for the sacred began very early when the Jominho, treated so affectionately by his loved ones, went to the Church brought by his father to pray the prayers that his father wrote on paper Carthusian,


the packaging of that time. At night, before retiring to his room, Fr. Jerónimo gathered in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, thanking him for the day that had ended and asking for the blessing for the following day, gestures all revealing his dense spirituality. Here he found the energy to animate the Community of Life with such vitality, sometimes in adverse situations and misunderstandings. These were very dense times, very rich in intimacy with God.

Tireless worker Father Jerónimo was a tireless worker. There is always a lot of work to do. The truth is that, moreover, he can not say no to anyone: he animates the retreats, confesses, prepares the vigils of Fatima, is actively involved in the visit of the relics of Don Bosco for Portugal, travels the world as an animator of the Past Pupils with great apostolic ardor and love for the mission that God and his superiors have entrusted to him.

In Father Rocha, the words of Saint Paul "woe to me if I do not evangelize" were a permanent maxim in his thought and action. From this point it has always been a model. I think this is why so many people confess: "When Father Rocha asks me something, I can not refuse". But in front of a person who thinks only of others, who has the courage to say no?

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In his life there are words that do not exist as: give up, give in to the temptation of the obvious and easy. Only matters love, work, people, dedication, God. He hated the world of superficiality, of futility, of incompetence, of the absence of values, of those who criticize and do nothing. He felt the problems of others as his own. Apart from God, family and friends, what he valued most about people is truth and honesty.

He had a great aesthetic-artistic sensibility; he marveled with the music, the immensity of the sea, the flowers, the universe, with the generosity of the people. Sometimes he gave a less than fair word to his friends, but then he recognized his mistake and apologized. It is these gestures of simplicity and greatness of heart that educate and form.

For many people, Father Rocha was, above all, a man of God, a true son of Don Bosco who knew how to make the mission of young people the reason for his life, with an always institutional attitude made available to the Salesian mission. It was, in other words, a Salesian for today's youth!


The memory of the Delegate Emeritus

When I received the news that Fr. Jeronimo Monteiro passed away, I realised that a great man went to meet our Lord. He worked very hard to animate the World Confederation of Past Pupils for many years. He always had at heart the past pupils of Don Bosco and he always based his animation on the teaching of Don Bosco.

He knew very well that the past pupils make part of the Salesian Family by right for the education that they received by the Salesians of Don Bosco. He animated the World Confederation of Past Pupils on the lines of Vatican Council II and the last General Chapters of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He always followed the new trend of the Salesian Congregation. In my experience, I admit that the animation of the World Delegate is not easy but very rewarding. Fr. Charles Cini SDB World Delegate Emeritus of Past Pupils (1985 - 1993)

Testimony of an ancient student

The sad news of the death of dear Don Monteiro deeply grieves me. Just the day 31 August I wrote and sent to him and to many friends the piece entitled "Always look forward despite tribulations". I would add that on 2 September I wrote and sent another paper entitled "To love the purpose for which God created us".

I met Don Monteiro at the Salesian Institute Pio XI in Rome, during the annual gathering (perhaps 2006) of us former students, and since then we have established an excellent relationship between us. He sent me from Portugal his writings that were masterpieces of "spirituality" that have greatly enriched me. Of this I

thank the Lord who allowed me to know him and cultivate his friendship despite the distance.

The Spirit does not have "walls or barriers", but constitutes an immense "bridge" that crosses the sky and the earth. Don Monteiro was a man with many talents that he knew how to put at the service of everyone he met.

Yes, it is true that the purpose for which God created us is to love. Don Monteiro, as a true Salesian and faithful servant of our Lord, loved life, the Salesian Family, young people and those like me - who, though not young, - seeks to make those

talents who have been "given" to me bear fruit when in the years 1958/1963 I studied at the Pius XI in Rome, meeting various priests who made me grow from the human and spiritual point of view.

Don Monteiro is certainly one of those, and I am convinced that from Above he will continue - as he has always done in his long life - to pray for our Congregation, to which I am proud to belong. A big hug in Don Bosco, under the "direction" of our Help of Christians. Salvatore Ortu Exallievo Istituto Pio XI - Roma

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Annual meeting of board of directors of Past Pupils of Don Bosco

Miyazaki, Japan - November 2018 - On November 17, the Federation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, presided over by Hiroshi Yoshida, Honorary President of the "Osaka Seiko Gakuin Past Pupils Association", and in the presence of Fr Jacob Hamaguchi, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Japan (GIA), held their annual council meeting. The Federation of Don Bosco Alumni, chaired by President Mr Hiroshi Yoshida (the Honorary Advisor of the Osaka Seiko Gakuin Alumni Association) in the presence of SDB Provincial Fr Jacob Hamaguchi, held its annual board meeting at Hyuga Gakuin in Miyazaki, which was founded by Msgr Vincent Cimatti, SDB, Founding Father of the Salesian Family in Japan.

Mr Takateru Uramoto, the President of Hyuga Gakuin Alumni Association and Fr Francis Hamasaki, SDB, the Principal of Hyuga Gakuin, gave the welcome speech to all participants from Tokyo (Ikuei Gakuin, and Kodaira Salesio), Yokohama (Salesio Gakuin) and Osaka (Osaka Seiko Gakuin). Before the session began, they looked around the school, and got to know how active and successful the students


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and past pupils are. This year, our Federation experienced two special visit to our country, the Animation Visit by World Confederation councillors, Mr Angel Gudiña and Mr Alberto Piedade in July, and the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime this month, so the two visits were briefly introduced at the meeting.

Mr Uramoto in particular emphasised what a joyful moment the encounter with the Rector Major in Miyazaki was just a week ago. Last year, the Federation established Working Teams, which consist of the younger generations of each Alumni association, to consider the sustainability and development of the Federation. Mr Chihiro Okawa, and Mr Mitsuhiro Tateishi, the Team Captains and Team Leaders


respectively, reported on the progress of each project since last year: Social Communications, Finance and Incorporation, and the Asia-Oceania Congress in Japan 2020.

President Yoshida showed his satisfaction with the WT reports and said, «The Asia-Oceania Congress in 2020 is just a stepping stone for our Federation. We have to keep on this path, that is, adopting the voices of younger generations, we have to deepen the cooperation and interaction between 5 Alumni associations under the common flag of “Salesio” and open up the rich future of the Federation».

At the end of the meeting, Fr Hamaguchi, SDB Provincial, who participated in the

EXDB meeting for the first time, gave thanks to all participants. He especially referred to two points. First, the importance of unity as "Salesians". Second, he called for more cooperation of Past Pupils in fostering the vocational culture in each Salesian School, because of the sharp decrease of the SDBs in Japan in the last 30 years.

After the meeting, a get-together party was held in the city, beginning with an Our Father. It displayed the hospitality of the Hyuga Gakuin Alumni Association. The next day, some of the participants enjoyed playing golf in Miyazaki's rich natural environment. Chihiro Okawa, ExDB

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Join hands in serving youth

(ANS - Vientiane)

Since 2004, more than 1,000 young people from all corners of Lao PDR (Peoples Democratic Republic) received a proper preparation for their lives thanks to the Don Bosco Youth Vocation Center in Vientiane.

Thanks to the mutual cooperation and trust between Lao Youth Union and the Salesian Foundation of Don Bosco in Thailand, this country's unique Don Bosco presence has been developing well.

Under the 5-year MOU between the Lay Youth Union and Don Bosco Foundation Thailand (2016-2021), more than 750 are trained in four vocational training departments. The THA province (Thailand-Cambodia-Laos) of the Salesians has been funding with generosity the whole project from the beginning. At present, 143 young men are being assisted by 26 teachers and instructors


under the guidance of a small Salesian community (Rector Fr. Patrick Maccioni) and trained in: Automechanics, Technical Welding, Electricity and Motorcycle Repair.

More than 60 of them are living full-time in the VTC boarding house since they come from many far away provinces of the country.

During their one-year stay (auto mechanics and electricity) the “Bosconians” learn not only technical skills, but also mature as persons, learn music, do sports and foster community building.

Before the end of each course, there is an on job training session organized with the help of Lao Youth Union. Cultural outings to the capital's museums, blood donation, services to the needy in the local community all contribute to the holistic education. After the 2017 animation visit of the World-level Alumni of Don Bosco, the

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local unit of Past Pupils has also been growing in Vientiane. Indeed all the VTC teachers are our former students. One year after the animation by Mr Angel Gudiña (Spain, Vicepresident for GEX) and Mr Alberto Piedade (Timor Leste, GEX AsiaOceania) with the help of their Delegate SDB Rector, the formation of the Alumni animation team has started recently.

Until now there has not yet been any Lao Salesian of Don Bosco. Our Don Bosco Vientiane teachers and instructors - former students dream about a first Lao Salesian member and commit themselves to follow the path of Don Bosco with a whole heart!

Even if you do not travel to Laos, you can watch the wonderful video presentation of Vientiane VTC on Youtube this year: Whispering the Gospel in Asia: “Laos Don Bosco” Source: BoscoLink



Guilhermino Pires Knight of Gutenberg June 24, 2018. Celebrating St. John the Baptist. World Day of the AA of Don Bosco.

I command photo of the boy invested on 22nd as Knight of Gutenberg.

A distinction due to the Salesian Congregation. It was from her that I received everything. To her I dedicate more this honorific title that belongs to all of you.


Network of past pupils of Don Bosco Kenitra launched Kenitra, Morocco - November 2018 On 17 November, the network of Past Pupils of the JUK SPEL Salesian Training Center of Kenitra was launched. Past pupils will meet once a month from now on. EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




(ANS – Jorhat)

Over 50 young graduates, originating from various districts in Northeast India, gathered at the Salesian Center "Institute for Culture and Rural Development" (ICARD) for a four-day meeting from 12 to 15 September 2018.

The event brought together students and past pupils of I-CARD and students of the "Jeevan" Institute of Business Training, to jointly seek and find options for individual growth and for the transformation of society.

For starters, Fr K.A. Thomas, SDB, founder and director of I-CARD, presented the participants a series of photos taken in the villages of the region which depicted the miserable conditions wherein so many people live. He asked participants to elaborate an action plan to improve the situation. Also on the first day, two Salesian past


I-CARD Students and past pupils at work for transformation of society pupils, who now occupy positions of prominence in society, animated a session on vocational training.

The first hour of every morning was dedicated to a reflection on the situation of society, starting from some ideas shared by Fr K. A. Thomas and the life experiences and projects of the participants – especially interesting as all the students of the "Jeevan" Institute, besides attending the center's courses, are engaged in incomegenerating activities and in voluntary work.

The meeting's participants were also involved in motivational games, which entertained them and made them think about their aspirations and skills. Another session was dedicated to reflecting on one's limits and looking for a plan to overcome them. In this educational process, the Salesian illustrated to the participants three valid

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inspirational models: Mother Teresa, Don Bosco and Gandhi, all of whom spent their entire lives at the service of others.

Specifically, Fr K.A. Thomas went on to illustrate Gandhi's teachings on the 7 social sins: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, business without morality, science without humanity, religion without sacrifice and politics without principles.

Other input for personal growth were offered to the young participants via a session dedicated to caring for their selves and body, and through the invitation to focus more on identifying the founding values of and for their lives rather than on looking for external activities and commitments. In the final planning session, everyone promised to commit themselves to work to improve the elementary schools of their villages in order to trigger and bring about a positive process of emulation.



100 students clean Gorai beach

Mumbai, India - September 2018 On September 22, a hundred students of the "Don Bosco High School" and of the "Junior College" of Borivli, together with the Director Fr Solomon Rapol, Dean Fr Flovi D'Souza, 15 teachers, some parents and 10 Past pupils of Don Bosco, spent the day cleaning the beach of Gorai. The activities are part of a program to raise awareness of the environment that students have been carrying out since July, including workshops on marine biodiversity, on the effects of plastic in the marine ecosystem; a first beach cleaning session took place on 1 September. Ljubljana Rakovnik, Slovenia - November 2018

On 10 November, the annual meeting of employees and collaborators working in Salesian houses and programs took place in the Rakovnik Motherhouse on the theme: "Sharing the mission between Salesians and laity". Present during the first part of the meeting was Fr. Tadeusz Rozmus, Councilor for the Central and Northern Europe Region, currently on a Extraordinary Visitation of the Province of Slovenia (SLO). He presented the structure of the Salesian organization to about eighty participants, and then continued to speak about the necessary and complementary role of the laity in the Salesian mission, presenting the documents of the Church and of the Salesian Congregation which deal with the involvement and coresponsibility of the laity in the charismatic mission of Don Bosco. In the second part of the meeting the participants, under the guidance of Matej


Annual meeting of employees and collaborators of Salesian houses and programs Cepin, Salesian past pupil, dedicated themselves to personal work, comparing their personal and Salesian missions, and then, in small groups, shared their experiences. The written conclusions were re-

ceived by Fr Peter Kon an, Provincial Vicar of SLO, who assured the participants that the Salesians, on the basis of the contents received, will try to improve their collaboration.

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Can you imagine our future without the Don Bosco Alumni?

Hat Yai, Thailand, September 2018 After almost 70 years of foundation the most southern Don Bosco school in Hat Yai (Saengthong Vitthaya - Golden Light School) counts more than 60 batches of graduates. The local Association of Don Bosco Alumni registered about 16.000 members.

Our Association is organized in 42 commissions and is deeply involved in the school education community together with the Parents Association and the Sa-


lesians. We are glad to share the regular good morning talk with the students, contribute to their career guidance with life sharing to the graduation class (grade 12).

As former Don Bosco students we try also assist the poor youth and people in Hat Yai in many different ways - through the scholarship, blood donation or sharing of necessary goods. In order to bring togehter our members there is an annual homecoming day in June as well the football tournament, that

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does involve especially the young members. Our office is just behind the entrance of our Alma Mater (reception office) and our Facebook pages gather around 8000 of Alumni.

Saengthong Vitthaya school is always among the top 10 in our country. But we are also proud of the Salesian spirit that we experienced during our school time, especially through many Salesian missionaries and we try to share what we have received.


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Projects Erasmus+ and Mentorpower of National Federation of Past Pupils

Malta - November 2018 The National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco of Malta held their first international meeting of the "Mentorpower Project" supported by the Erasmus+ program financed by the European Union.

This project aims to develop a handbook on how Past Pupils and members of the


Salesian Family can offer a service of tutoring and accompaniment to young homeless people or who however lack the support of their family.

The project will also formulate a training program with the first group of tutors to be formed in Malta in March 2019. The project's partners come from 5 coun-

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tries, thanks to the collaboration of Don Bosco's National Past Pupils of Italy, Spain and of Slovakia; the "Osanna Pia Hostel" of Malta and the "Don Bosco Cares" of Ireland. During the meeting the participants shared their experiences and started to explore the structure of the manual and to identify the needs of the volunteers to be formed as tutors.



Maltese Past Pupil Bjorn Formosa raises € 921,856 for ALS Malta Bjorn Formosa, a past pupil from Savio College, raised € 920,000 during a popular TV Friday evening programme for ‘Dar Bjorn’ which is a special residence for people who suffer from ALS and require intensive care in the community. During the same TV programme, a woman bequeathed her home to the ALS Malta.

Diagnosed with ALS, a chronic terminal disease, Bjorn Formosa founded ALS Malta to raise awareness about the disease and fund research to find a cure.

Last year, following another intensive funding campaign, he opened ‘Dar Bjorn’. This year’s campaign aimed to raise funds for a second and larger “Dar Bjorn” due to

the demand for residential services to ALS sufferers.

During this same TV programme, Bjorn Formosa was awarded the European Citizens Prize for 2018 - a recognition given by the European Parliament to individuals and/or groups who have particularly distinguished themselves in promoting European values and excelled within their community. Bjorn Formosa was awarded the European Citizen’s Prize 2018 in honour of the work he does for the ALS community and his exceptional contribution to society. All six Maltese MEPs supported Bjorn’s nomination to this award.

During the TV programme, there were some students from Savio College with

their Headmaster Fr. Jeremy Vella SDB and Andrew Fiorini Lowell who is also the Savio College Coordinator for Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco.

Bjorn is a true living example of an active past pupil and embracing the values of life, solidarity, freedom, truth, fraternity and communion. He is an example to the rest of us because notwithstanding his own challenges, Bjorn is thinking of the plight of others, and how to assist and improve the quality of life of those in his same situation.

In 2017, Bjorn Formosa was also honoured by the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco Malta for his active social involvement in the ALS cause.

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Salesian Family: #DeAndarJuntosSeTrata

Cรณrdoba, Argentina

On Saturday, 1 December, the Consulta of the Salesian Family of the North Argentina Province took place, with the presence of the following groups: Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators, Volunteers of Don Bosco, ADMA , Past Pupils of Don Bosco and Past Pupils of Mary Help of Christians. The meeting helped to share what they had experienced during the year, giving thanks to God for the intense life and growth of each of the groups; it also served to plan the activities for 2019, under the banner of the Strenna of the Rector Major, which invites us to live the Salesian vocation with joy and holiness.


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People involved with past pupils of Don Bosco meet in Oswiecim Oswiecim, Poland - November 2018

From November 20 to 21, at the Salesian Institute "Don Bosco" of Oswiecim, a national meeting was held of the people involved in the development of the Association of Don Bosco Past Pupils and the work with the Salesian Past Pupils.

Some lay persons, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Salesians of the following three Polish Provinces met: Warsaw, Wrocław and Krakow. The meeting, the second of this kind, was an opportunity to get to know one another and to exchange each other's experiences. Furthermore, some issues concerning the "badge" of the Past Pupil, an identity card, were investigated. The legislative aspect related to the foundation, registration and status of the Association was also discussed. The next meeting is scheduled in Lódz.

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An appeal for needs of East Timor's Salesian houses (ANS – Ascot Vale)

With the approach of Christmas, the Salesian Mission Office in Australia, led by Salesian Brother Michael Lynch, has sent an appeal for solidarity in favor of the Salesian centers in East Timor. In this appeal, a summary of all the work carried out this year by the same Salesians, thanks to the help of Australian donors. In East Timor, one of the poorest countries in South East Asia, Salesians make a significant contribution to the nation through schools, orphanages and medical clinics.

«Education is the key to helping individuals to acquire skills, improve their skills and actively participate in the development of their country», they write. «This is the tradition we have inherited from Don


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Bosco and there are some stories that illustrate it perfectly».

In fact, there are many stories of hope and redemption that come from East Timor, where young people may indeed have a second chance thanks to the Salesians.

An example is the testimony of Sonio Da Silva, a past pupil of the "Don Bosco" Technical Institute of Fatumaca. «Was very lucky to attend this school, where I received an excellent education, which opened many doors to me. I am currently working for the Government of East Timor and my role is to manage transport, water, sanitation and education throughout the country. This allowed me to provide for my family: I am a proud husband and I have three adorable children», he said.



Salesians in Pavia, 120 years and many projects: "We have a duty to look forward"

(ANS - Pavia)

The celebrations for the one hundred and twenty years of Salesian history in the city officially closed on Sunday 21st October in Pavia, which began on 21st October 2017 in the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie. A year full of cultural, social and recreational initiatives to celebrate this Salesian presence that began, with the arrival of the first followers of Don Bosco, on October 21, 1897, by the will of the then Bishop, Msgr. Agostino Gaetano Riboldi. On Sunday 21st October it was an opportunity to present at the Salesian theater in via San Giovanni Bosco the volume that tells of these 120 years of presence, enclosing them in two hundred pages: an amarcord of what happened in the course of the 100th anniversary, but also many testimonies of the present and the hopes for the future of the community that in

Pavia is based on many realities, from the sanctuary to the university college to the oratory and the theater.

The book intended by Don Marco Mazzanti, director until last August of the Salesian College and now in service in the Republic of San Marino. At his side, in the great work of gathering all the historical material, the 95-year-old priest Don Camillo Giordani (now in Arese) and the president of the Past Salesian, Luigi Peroncini, who was engaged with the task of presenting the book. Together with him the new director of the Salesian community of Pavia Don Achille Longoni, who is also parish priest of Santa Maria delle Grazie. ÂŤI have just arrived so I can not say much about the Salesian history of Pavia - said Don Achille - but I read the book and I realized that it is an important journey. I can assure my best effort so that this path will always continue with unchanging enthu-

siasm, in the name of Don BoscoÂť. The volume is made up of a full-bodied first historical part, with the reproduction of the main original documents that have established the activities of the Salesian community in Pavia and a more current second, which tells the present of the structure through the numerous testimonies of former Salesian students including the political exponent Francesco Adenti, who spoke on Sunday to recount his past in the oratory of Via San Giovanni Bosco.

To report the interventions of the current Bishop, Msgr. Corrado Sanguineti, and of the Bishop emeritus of Pavia, mgr. Giovanni Giudici, the poems in the Pavese dialect by Aldo Corna, which were particularly applauded, and the presentation of the works of the Vigevanese painter Maria Grazia Simonetta. Daniela Scherrer

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A privileged look at DBYN's past and future. A word with Rein Meus (ANS – Heverlee)

For nearly 15 years Rein Meus has been in charge of the Salesian "Don Bosco YouthNet" network (DBYN), which brings together various Salesian NGOs in Europe. Now that he has left this role, he looks upon this experience and looks towards future prospects. Rein, you can enthusiastically look back on an interesting and intensive job… «I helped developing DBYN into a mature, independent organization. (...) The many volunteers, partner organizations and dedicated trainers, will always stay with me.


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I would like to thank the trainees as well. It was always nice to welcome young people and educate them through this organization. (...) In addition, I owe a lot to Fonny, the current head, and Francesco, Lieve, Bob and Guido, the previous presidents of Don Bosco Youth-Net, with whom I have worked closely together and experienced beautiful things». How do you look back at working in the global Salesian movement?

«It was not new to me. I am a former student of a Don Bosco Hechtel and after that I became a teacher in this


school. I soon got the Salesian teaching method in my fingers. But at DBYN I had to learn to deal with the diversity of the Salesian community worldwide. The Salesian model is still interesting to shape and educate young people of today. This has been unique for 200 years. That advantage can pay off our network, not only among young people, but also at the European institutions. We have a way to approach others successfully through non-formal education.

Part of the work is not only looking at today, but also looking back in history. How can we get inspiration from that? We

can take an example of how Don Bosco acted in his time. I am thinking here about how we train young people today, how we try to make Europe a more socially-aware community and how we teach young people to be social entrepreneurs. Today, Don Bosco is still a role model for social change. This is something we encourage young people to take active part in». What are your plans now?

«I am starting a new job at the Flemish Government in the tourism sector. In Flanders we have a tradition of social tourism that gives people living in poverty, the

chance to go on holiday. This human rights-sensitive theme is completely in line with what we also try to do at DBYN, but through education». What do you wish for DBYN?

«I see two generations in Europe. One has seen Europe become one, but that is an aging generation. The second generation thinks that the unification of the EU is selfevident, and they mainly look at the new challenges. I hope that DBYN can find someone who sees this and can offer the right support to young people and our member organizations».

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




Ranchibile Don Bosco past pupils in mission among Palermo's poor, homeless and immigrants

Palermo, Italy - October 2018 On 6 October, the Past Pupils Union of Don Bosco Ranchibile of Palermo received the visit of Br Biagio Conte, a lay missionary of the "Mission of Hope and Charity". The meeting took place by will of the Board of Directors of the Union to foster collaboration between the various doctors and lawyers of the past pupils of Don Bosco and the activities of the Mission of Hope and Charity that for years has welcomed the poor, the homeless and immigrants of Palermo. Those present listened to the personal experience and the testimony of Brother Conte who did not fail to underline the strong bond with Don Bosco and his sons, also thanks to the indispensable presence in the mission of the Salesian Fr Pino Vitrano. The President of the Union then presented the doctors and lawyers who will work together to build the “House of Suffering and Hope�, providing health assistance to the poor and immigrants welcomed in the mission.


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018



“Share the Light”: Young people helping young people

(ANS – Lusaka)

“Share the Light” is a charity organization created from the projects and links developed by the staff and students of Salesian College Farnborough, Great Britain, with young people in Zambia.

Share the Light is based on the vision of St John Bosco and his four key areas defined for working with young people: Home; School; Church and Playground. Although Share the Light only became a registered charity in 2016, it has existed as a concept at Salesian College Farnborough for many years.

Sean Devereux was School Captain at the Farnborough college from 1981 to 1982. After leaving the college, he went on to dedicate his life to serving others, working with several charities across Africa. In 1993, he was killed while working in Somalia on a UNICEF aid programme. His ethos and mission to help those less for-

tunate underpins the work done by “Share the Light”.

The college’s links with Mazabuka, Zambia, are a little more recent and stem from the head of Sixth Form, Richard Maher. Richard spent several years living and working in Zambia after leaving university, and while he was there, he met Mrs Mweete, who has been instrumental in founding Share the Light.

While working as head teacher at Luyobolola Community School, Mrs Mweete noticed that an alarming number of students were dropping out of education due to a lack of sponsorship, and it was through her intention to combat this that “Share the Light” was born. The charity has grown in recent years and now encompasses a Scholarship Programme, a Porridge Club, and the City of Joy. The City of Joy is an orphanage in Mazabuka run by the Salesian Sisters. It is home to an ever-growing number of girls

and young women who, for a variety of circumstances, are unable to live with their families. Share the Light aims to help cater for the medical requirements of the girls and young women, provide clothing and school uniforms, school equipment, and help to meet their nutritional needs. The Porridge Club is the longest running of Salesian College Farnborough’s links to Mazabuka. Its concept is simple: to provide as many of the 700 pupils at Luyobolola Community Primary School as possible with a nutritious meal every day. The porridge provided at school not only gives the children vital nutrients, but has improved attendance, as well as students’ ability to concentrate and learn. The Nutrition Programme also works to support the community in Mazabuka by providing essential food items, clothing and blankets for those who are sick or out of work. It is an essential lifeline for those in need. Sophie Astles Fonte: Salesiani GBR

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




Launch of Bosco Platform and Don Bosco Market (ANS – Sliema)

On the 24th of October 2018, in Sliema, Malta, the National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco launched two new initiatives: the ‘Bosco Platform’ and the ‘Don Bosco Market and Services’.

For this special occasion, Peter Kovac from Slovakia and Roman Sorger from Austria, two past pupil who are now entrepreneurs, were invited for this event. Coffee, chocolate and wine products made by past pupils were also presented to the guests. The Bosco Platform will bring together Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco by


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

providing a platform to facilitate networking of six different groups: Business, Creative Arts, Professionals, Social Care, Education, and Salesian Spirituality. Each group will have a social purpose and abides to the spirit of the Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco. The purpose of the Bosco Platform is to help children and young people who are poor, abandoned or in danger through social projects in Malta and around the world that are managed by the Salesian Family.

Together with the World Confederation, the National Federation is also promoting the ‘Don Bosco Market and Services’ which is an initiative for entrepreneurs in-


volved in the Business Platform to engage in business acitivities which promote fair trade, environmental sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.

‘Don Bosco Market and Don Bosco Services’ includes the promotion of a trademark created by the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco.

The purpose of this trade mark is to provide recognition of high quality products originating from members of the Salesian Family with the aim to financially support the Don Bosco Solidarity Fund set up by the World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco.

In the coming months, there will be further events and activities related to these two initiatives. The National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco are inviting people who are interested to participate in these two initiatives to contact them on

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




"For us Don Bosco is a father" The men's national Goalball team brings Don Bosco to "Asian Para Games"

(ANS – Nonthaburi)

Among the national teams competing 6-13 October in Indonesia in the III edition of the Paralympic Games of Asia, there is also a team with a clear Salesian imprint: it is the Thai men's Goalball team, a team game that can be played by athletes suffering from visual impairments.

The entire team, in fact, is composed of Don Bosco Past Pupils of the Center for the Skills Development of the Blind of Pakkred, Nonthaburi district, in the northern sector of Bangkok. The team spent weeks, from August until early October, training at the gym in the Salesian center.

Team members are 5 Past Pupils: Cholathee Sukchum, Pornchai Jadmee, Nop-


padon Poosrisoam, Booncha Fankamai and Sivarin Pornpirun. The latter is also the spokesman of the entire group, and just before leaving for the competitions in Indonesia he spoke to the Social Communication Office of the Salesians of Thailand: «For us Don Bosco is a father. We are all debtors of this center that has shaped us: without this center and the Salesians who animate it, today we would not be ourselves, who we are. This center offers us the future, it also allows us with visual disabilities to live a dignified and quality life».

The center where the 5 players were formated was first established by the Salesians in 1978 by the Italian missionary Fr Carlo Velardo; in 2009, it was also awarded the prestigious "Van Thuân Award Solidarity and Development" for this very foundation.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

The center of Pakkred, currently led by Thai Salesian Brother Suwan Jutasompakorn, started its activities by offering the sighted and the visually impaired courses in carpentry and woodworking and also developing agreements with companies to facilitate the entry of students into the world of work.

Over the years, the center has changed the formation provided and today offers a course for massage therapists and issues the certificate of Thai Traditional Massage Doctor.

Great attention is also paid to sport. At the center's facilities, in addition to Goalball, students can also practice Judo and other disciplines; and there are other past pupils - like Panyawut Kupan and Kittikorn Buadee - who are doing well in national soccer tournaments.



Call to Serve in the Lord's Vineyard

(ANS – Mumbai)

The Salesians of the Province of Mumbai bid farewell to the two young Clerics: Sheldon Dias and Nilesh Dodiyar during the Eucharistic celebration celebrated by Fr Godfrey D’Souza, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai, at the Don Bosco Provincial House Chapel along with the neighbouring Salesian Community members on Wednesday 27th July, 2018. Father Godfrey D'Souza during the sermon exhorted them to live by the constitution and enumerated on the points given by Don Bosco to the Salesians on their 1st missionary expedition in 1875. He encouraged both the Clerics to «bear good fruits and to be in union with God always».

Cleric Sheldon Dias is a man on a mission. He has opted for the Salesian missions and entrusted his future in the hands of

the Rector Major of the Salesians, Father Ángel Fernández Artime, the 10th successor of Don Bosco. He has been assigned to the Gambia, AFO Province.

His father Mr. Victor Dias, presently works as an Insurance agent and is part of the association of the Legionary of Mary. His mother Mrs. Leera Dias, Salesian Co-operator from Don Bosco Borivali, is currently a counsellor in Bosco Boys Home, Borivali. He is the youngest son and has two older sisters Siana and Serene. When his parents enrolled him at Don Bosco, Lonavla boarding in standard nine, they never envisioned this future for their son, yet they have been very supportive in giving their only son to God.

«I have always been in a Salesian school, so I am very enthused by the Salesians. I met and spoke to Father Clifford Morias, a Salesian priest, who went on a mission

to Papua New Guinea and I felt very inspired», Brother Dias said.

His attraction to serve in unchartered territories began with his training in the missions in Gujarat, where he worked with tribal boys. He lived their lifestyle and felt that his contribution to their growth was one of the most enriching experiences in his life. He completed his Technical Studies in Welding at Don Bosco Vyawasaik Prashikshan Kendra, Chinchwad, and also enjoyed working with poor youth in a technical set up. Cleric Nilesh Dodiyar has been assigned by the Rector Major to Belgium. His father, Mr. Dhuliya Dodiyar, is a farmer and his mother, Mrs. Sabina Dodiyar, is a housewife. Father Joaquim Fernandes

Fonte: Don Bosco India

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018





Dominican Rep.

Salesian education transforms life, says Minister of Education

pupil of Don Bosco, still very grateful to the Salesians, with whom he continues to collaborate.

(ANS – Santo Domingo)

Today he is the Minister of Education and he promotes programs for the development and growth of thousands of people across the country.

But his educational or scholastic journey had not been simple and to face and deal with it, the role of Don Bosco's spiritual Sons was significant and of import. This minister is Andrés Navarro, a past


«The Don Bosco school helped me to overcome many limitations I had at the time», says the minister. He had just moved, along with his family, to Santo Domingo, and was enrolled in second grade. «I had serious learning problems. I was very lonely…» he continues.

Doing homework was a pain, a moment of suffering, despite the help of his parents. Andrés' self-esteem was in danger of collapsing when his younger brother first joined him and then passed him in school.

The transformation in the man he is today originated then, in two environments: inside the house, thanks to the mother, who first became aware of his problems and who, for years, helped him do his home-

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

work every afternoon; and then at the Salesian center, where on the one hand the spiritual Sons of Don Bosco accompanied him patiently and directed the family towards the correct and proper therapies, while on the other his friends from the youth center supported him in winning his personal battle against shyness and learning difficulties.

In the end, Andrés graduated with excellent marks. «... And I also became a university student with a high academic performance», he adds. Today, in his school meetings, he always encourages children in need and their families.

«There are no stupid children», he says, «At the time, I too could have or may have looked like a stupid child, had it not been for my mother and for the Salesian school».




As Minister, Andrés Navarro willingly returns to his old school. The last time he did so was last September when he delivered to the institute's students the first computers supplied by the State, as part of the "República Digital" program.

«We have signed an agreement between the Ministry of Education and Salesians, according to which most of their centers have become public.

This allows us to raise the quality of teaching thanks to the competence of the Salesians», concludes the minister; precisely on the occasion of the consignment of the computers at the Don Bosco Institute, he expressed his dream: that all the schools of the Dominican Republic may be permeated with the effort and commitment of the Salesians towards children, young people and schools. Fonti: Red De Noticias, El Caribe

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018






President of Italian Council Conte rewards two past pupils of Salesian

(ANS – Addis Abeba)

Amaniel and Demelash are today two successful young people, taken as models by so many disadvantaged boys younger than them.

But it has not always been this way: in their past there have been many difficulties, which have been overcome thanks to the efforts made by the Salesians and the International Volunteers for Development (VIS) in the "Bosco Children" project and then thanks to the skills they have manifested at the "TechPro2" training course. In recognition of their efforts, last Friday, 12 October, the President of the Italian Council of Ministers, Giuseppe Conte, met them together with the Salesian Fr Angelo Regazzo, and rewarded them.

Conte, visiting Ethiopia and Eritrea to meet the political leaders of both countries, had the opportunity to meet with Fr Regazzo and the two Ethiopian youths in Addis Ababa, at the premises of the "AMCE", the Ethiopian branch of IVECO, the Italian commercial vehicles company. On that occasion he was able to see first hand the progress in the development of the technical-professional collaboration between the two countries - to which the Salesians collaborate - and he admired the first fully assembled vehicle in Ethiopia with materials coming from Italy.


Then he gave the proper acknowledgements to the two Ethiopian young people, who in recent years attended the recovery program for street children called "Bosco Children" and then the "TechPro2" project, one created by "Fiat Chrysler Automobiles", "CNH Industrial" and the Salesian centers. Classified first in their courses, Amaniel and Demelash today work profitably in the auto-mechanics sector, and have been re-

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

called by the Salesians for the awarding by Pres Conte and to talk to the young people currently attending "Bosco Children".

For his part, Fr Regazzo stressed the value of investment in vocational training to help young Africans, especially the neediest, to find opportunities in their lands and not to risk the adventure of illegal emigration. Writing on his Facebook page of what was




accomplished in his visit to Ethiopia and Eritrea, Pres Conte wrote: ÂŤIt was also an opportunity to reward two students who participated in the project Tech Pro2, a beautiful initiative that helps to remove the Ethiopian children from the street and teach them a job ... During these two days I'm touching firsthand the great potential of these lands. The social and economic development of Africa is fundamental for international stability and to combat the root causes of immigrationÂť. EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018






Each coffee bean can tell a story!

Three loves: Don Bosco - Coffee - Poor Youth

Chiang Mai, Thailand, September 2018

More than 20 years after graduating from Don Bosco Technical School in Bangkok, Mr Phaisan, from a rather poor family background, is an inspiration for many Salesian past pupils worldwide.

His five years of experience as a 'Coffee Specialist' in Chiang Mai offers a wonderful model for thousands of Bosconians Past Pupils of Don Bosco worldwide, who are grateful for the education they have received and try to express their gratitude with some concrete mission for the younger generation.

This is the extraordinary story of Mr Phaisan with three great loves: Don Bosco Coffee - Poor young people, and is visible in each of his DiBosco Coffee outlets - two in Chiang Mai (Thailand), one in Auckland (New Zealand) and two in London (England).


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

On the outskirts of Chiang Mai you can visit and enjoy the 'DiBosco Coffee specialist' shop, his Espresso Academy (Vocational Training Centre) with a large chain of supporters.

As part of his ongoing learning experience, Mr Phaisan travelled twice to Italy, first on pilgrimage to Don Bosco (Becchi Valdocco) and then to Florence, to obtain a coffee specialist international certificate (2017).

As a Don Bosco past pupil, Mr Phaisan is deeply in love with the Italian Saint. In his Coffee shop you can admire the wall replica of the Becchi house (Questa è la mia casa) and a 1:1 model version is already scheduled for construction. As a Coffee lover he says that we control the whole process from coffee trees through to the table, from harvesting, to roasting and brewing. We




control each process with machines and the human skills of our team, ensuring consistent quality. Our products have been recognised by five star hotels, cafes and movie theatres. Our coffee has been tested by an international barista team and Q grader. We have our own lab and cupping room to maintain the quality of our coffeeÂť.

Mr Phaisan opened up The Espresso Academy, following Italian standards, in Chiang Mai, close to one of the largest coffee-producing regions in Thailand. It is his response to youth in need. Short courses are offered to all start-ups (two days of theory and the necessary time for practical skills). The team is made up of 10 young people, most of them coming from the Mae Hong Son province mountainous area near Chiang Mai. Fr Philip Somchai, SDB

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018





Papua New Guinea

This will get you through

Salesian Past-pupil Raymond Pythia swas born on 29th January 1978. He attended Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu (1991-94), and completed a technical course in Carpentry. He hails from Bougainville, Manus and the Gulf province. He shares his story and the impact that the Salesian spirituality and system has had in his life.

Raymond has a loving wife and four beautiful daughters. Trust is the hallmark of his relationship. He owes this to his Catholic faith and the values he has learnt at church and at school, which he puts into practice. «Our relationship is based on total commitment and we do not have the tension of spying over what the other does», said Raymond as he commented on his marriage. «There is a lot of understanding, support and encouragement in our marriage», says Raymond with pride.

Growing up was not easy. Ken Pythias, his father, an entrepreneur ran a very successful business. However, he died in a fatal car accident due to alcohol consumption. Raymond was just seven years old and studied in Grade 2.

not touched a drop of alcohol since 2010. «It has saved me and my family a lot of unnecessary turmoi», he said.

His mother, a single parent had to sell their house to pay for their school fees. Later, she remarried a very loving man, Jack Sion, who was a journalist by profession. He cared and supported all of them. His work took him to different locations and the family moved from place to place until they ended up at their grandfather’s place in Kaugere, a notorious village close to Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu.

Recalling his time at Don Bosco, Raymond highlights the values he learnt while at the institution. He said, «We were taught and did things that we never learnt before. It showed us a way to live and it taught us commitment. Discipline and timemanagement were important ele-

The death of his father took a heavy toll on him, his brother and his mother. Raymond confesses that he drank a lot while he was young. However, realizing that it has not been to the advantage of himself or his family, he gave up drinking and has


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

ments. Obedience to the Salesians, instructors and teachers was stressed». «Don Bosco gave us a second chance. 85% of the students were out of the government schools as we did not score the required marks. This was my chance, if not my life would be messed up», said Raymond. He remembers fondly the words of Fr. Felix Furlan sdb, ‘Look, this will get you through’. It had a deep impression on him.

After having completed his studies at Don Bosco, Raymond received a scholarship to study in Australia. He chose to study food technology. Uppermost in his mind was the lack of food in the community. «I wanted to learn how to cook good and nourishing meals», said Raymond. After having spent several years working at hotels in Brisbane he returned to Papua New




Guinea to train and mentor others and give back to his country his knowledge and skill. He then studied management and worked in different capacities and as the Warehouse and Logistics Manager at Paradise Foods for five years.

Today, he is the manager at Lodge 10 and deals with the refugees who were once stationed at Manus Island and are awaiting their entry into the United States of America. «So far, 118 have left for America. There are 83 at present at the hotel», says Raymond proudly. Every day, he spends at least 5 to 10 minutes with each of them. He listens to their stories and asks about their home and family. «They have undergone a lot of pain and hardship. I try to make their lives as comfortable as possible», he said.

God plays a major role in his life and he acknowledges that everything comes from God. «My time at Don Bosco has been enlightening. The lives of Don Bosco, Dominic Savio and the saints have motivated and inspired me. The Salesians have always encouraged me to reach out and help others. Our value and religious classes motivated me at an early age. As I grow older, I ask the Lord for strength to reach out to people who are in need of help or guidance», said Raymond. Fr Ambrose Pereira sdb

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018






Every normal trade should be “fair trade” (ANS – Vienna)

Dario Soto Abril, CEO of Fairtrade International, addressed a cordial greeting message to the whole Don Bosco movement – to all Salesians, Don Bosco institutions, Don Bosco friends and Past Pupils of Don Bosco – last Thursday 12 October, during his recent stay in Vienna on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Fairtrade Austria.

He is a Past Pupil of Don Bosco himself, as he explained to Reinhard Heiserer, director of “Jugend Eine Welt-Don Bosco Aktion Österreich”: 30 years ago he studied at the Colegio Salesiano San Pedro in Cartagena/Colombia where he also obtained his high school diploma. He affirmed that he remembers the years with Don Bosco with much joy and gratitude and that the support, assistance and education he had received there, were of utmost significance for his career.


When products coming from “developing” countries like coffee, cocoa, sugar or flowers are sold, farmers and workers at the beginning of the chain often don’t get a fair share of the benefits of trade.

This is why Fairtrade introduced an alternative approach to conventional trade, reaching now consumers in more than 130 countries.

More than 1.6 million producers and workers in 73 countries regularly receive a Fairtrade premium to invest in projects of their choice, such as programmes to improve crop productivity, or education or health.

«Small farmers and local producers can only survive if they get fair prices for their products and if there is a fair economy», said Dario Soto Abril.

He therefore appeals to all members of

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

the worldwide Don Bosco movement to support fair trade initiatives, and, if possible, to prefer Fairtrade products from Africa, Asia and Latin America over similar products from conventional trade.

“Jugend Eine Welt” supports Fairtrade since the beginning of the ethical initiative, 20 years ago.

Reinhard Heiserer: «We find it really strange that nowadays products are labelled which come from fair trade. Fair trade should be the standard, not the exception! We really champion the idea that, some day in the future, products will carry an ‘attention – not fair trade’ mark which are linked to child labour, slavery and other human rights violations or environmental pollution. In the meantime, it would be great if more and more local producers linked to the Don Bosco world would join the Fairtrade system».


Statute of the World Confederation PrĂŚit ac tuetur / Guide and Protect Us Roma, 5 december 2015

Chapter VII

Duties and Tasks of the Members of the Confederal Presidency Art. 22 - The Confederal President

a) Has legal representation of the Confederation. b) Maintains relations with the Superiors of the Salesian Society of Saint Francis of Sales and the leaders of the groups in the Salesian Family, the Civil Authorities, International Organisations and third parties. c) Convenes the General Assembly, other international events, the Confederal Presidency and the Executive Council, chairing them including through representativesi. d) Convokes World, Continental and International Congresses authorised by the World General Assembly or the Confederal Presidency, presiding them directly or through representatives. e) Maintains links with all the National Federations and with their Representatives. f) Confers at his own initiative or at the proposal of the Confederal Presidency or of the National Federations, special awards of merit on Past Pupils, Salesians, or others who have distinguished themselves for special merits towards the Past Pupils Mo-

vement (Honorary Member, badge of merit with diploma, medals, diplomas of loyalty). g) Proposes to the Rector Major the promulgation of the Statute of the World Confederation as approved by the World Assembly and oversees its implementation. h) Maintains the unity, together with the Confederal Presidency, coresponsibility, spirit of initiative and main guidelines that ensure an active approach of the commitments of the Past Pupils, primarily the animation of young peoplei. i) Performs the activities according to his mandate in close collaboration and in advanced consultation with the Confederal Executive Council. j) Presides over the meetings of the Confederal Presidency and the Confederal Executive Council.

Art. 23 - The Confederal Vice-Presidents

a) Substitute the President in case of his absence. b) Receive specific tasks from the President and from the ConfedeEX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018



ral Executive Council, particularly within the ambit of animation, in certain geographical zone. These tasks are performed through the organisational structures that already exists. c) They can make use of experts to study and propose cultural, social, ecclesiastical projects to the Past Pupils, devoting their priority of attention towards young people. d) They help the President in promoting the unity and communion of all Federations with the Confederal Presidency. e) In particular, the GEX Vice-President animates the GEX Sector’s activity in common agreement with the Regional Councillors.

Art. 24 - The Regional Councillors

a) Are the witnesses, animators and the reference points of the Confederation in their own Regions. They make up the regional network of the Confederation and promote a close communication and communion with the Federations of its own Region while acting in accordance with the World Confederal Presidency. b) They receive specific tasks from the Confederal Presidency, especially for the mission of animation in their respective Regions, making use of existing resources and structures. c) They may resort to the help of experts in the study and preparation of proposals for the benefit of Past Pupils’ cultural, social and ecclesiastical projects in their respective Regions, with special attention to the needs of youth. d) They assist the Confederal President and the Confederal Senior and GEX Vice-Presidents in their efforts in favouring the union and communion of all the National or Provincial Federations with the members of the Confederal Presidency. e) They assist the National and Provincial Federations in their respective Regions, together with all the members of the Confederal Presidency, in the work of animation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco. f) If a Regional Councillor could not pursue his or her commitment, he or she should notify in writing to the World Confederal Presidency. If he or she does not, the Confederal Executive Council will proceed to do its verification of the service offered and consequently report the findings to the Confederal Presidency in order to proceed to co-opt another person.


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018

Art. 25 - The World Confederal Delegate

a) Is the other representative of the Rector Major of the Salesian Society of Saint Francis of Sales and the spiritual animator of the World Confederation, in particular of the Confederal Presidency and the Confederal Executive Council. He carries out this animation through letters, personal contacts and visits in which he studies the different local situations of life and work. b) Animates the permanent formation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, with special attention to the young ones. He performs all of this together with the Regional Councillors in their Regions and with other qualified lay people. c) Edits publications and other aids for the formation and spiritual and cultural animation of the Past Pupils, and in particular of the members of the Confederal Presidency. d) Informs the Rector Major of the Salesian Society of Saint Francis of Sales and the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family about the situation both of the World Confederation and of the various National and Provincial Federations. e) Receives his guidelines from the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family. f) Is a member by right of the Electoral Commission for the renewal of the Confederal Presidency.

Art. 26 - The Secretary General

a) Is an elected member of the Confederal Presidency. If no one is elected, he must be co-opted by the World Confederal Presidency but in such appointment he or she has no voting rights. b) Can propose the nomination of one or more additional secretaries to the Confederal Presidency and subject to its approval. c) Is responsible for the Secretariat of the World Confederation. d) Maintains good public relations with the heads of the other groups of the Salesian Family and with other organizations. e) Draws up an administrative report once a year together with the President and submits it to the Confederal Presidency meeting. f) Collaborates in drawing up the Agenda for meetings of the Confederal Presidency and the Confederal Executive Council. g) Draws up the minutes of all the meetings and sends them, within


30 days, to the members who were present and those who justified their absence, taking care of any necessary translations. h) Is responsible for the acts and minutes and submits them for approval. i) Takes care of everything that is necessary for the efficient running of the Secretariat. j) Is responsible for the archiving of all documentation and all correspondence received from the National and Provincial Federations and from other recognized groupsi. k) Is responsible for the organization and updating of a (worldwide) database of names and addresses of the members of the National and Provincial Federations and of the recognized groups. l) Is responsible for the creation and updating of a list of established National and Provincial Federations, Local Associations and recognised groups, and for publishing this list every year. m) Starts the procedures for elections, six months before the World Confederal Assembly, by announcing the date of the elections to all the National or Provincial Federation Presidents and requesting the dossiers of nominees. n) Is responsible for achieving the required level of organisation of the World Confederation. o) He is the President of the Electoral Commission for the renewal of the Confederal Presidency, unless he is a candidate to the Presidency. p) When the Secretary General is a candidate of the World Confederal Presidency, then, the Confederal Executive Council will appoint another person to act as President of the Electoral Commission.

Art. 27 - The Confederal Treasurer

a) Is an elected member of the Confederal Presidency. If no one is elected, he must be co-opted by the World Confederal Presidency, but in such appointment, he or she has no voting rights. b) Is responsible, together with the Confederal President, for the Finances of World Confederation. c) Can propose the setting up of a financial committee to address specific problems. d) Is responsible for the World Confederation’s bank account, and

all other financial sources, together with the Confederal President and the Secretary General, and is moreover authorised to carry out financial transactions. Each transaction must be countersigned by at least 2 of the 3 mentioned persons responsible for the account otherwise considered as invalid. e) Draws up the annual budget and the annual balance sheet and submits them to the Confederal Presidency meeting for checking and approval. f) Maintains the accounts up-to-date. g) Ensures that any extraordinary expenses not envisaged in the annual budget are specifically approved by the Confederal Executive Council and draws up the Financial Statements. h) Is responsible for all the assets of the World Confederation and prepares an annual inventory, which he/she sends to the Confederal Presidency. i) Collects the financial annual quota of the National and Provincial Federations in the month of January, after sending out an invitation to honour this payment.

Art. 28 - Executive Secretary

If the Association proceeds with the recruitment of an Executive Secretary, he will assume the functions currently assigned by both the Secretary General and the Confederal Treasurer but they will remain within their responsibility. He will support operational projects initiated by the World Confederal Presidency.

Art. 29 - Internal Auditor

The World Confederal Presidency will proceed to nominate an independent internal auditor, that annually undertakes the necessary verifications of accounts and processes, and report these to the World Confederal Presidency.

(Continue in the next issue)

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2018




8 - Beato Titus Zeman 15 - Beato Luigi Variara 22 - Beata Laura Vicuña 24 - San Francesco di Sales 30 - Beato Bronislao Markiewicz 31 - San Giovanni Bosco


7 - Beato Pio IX 9 - Beata Eusebia Palomino 25 - SS. Versiglia e Caravario

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash

Religious and Social magazine of the World Confederation of Ex-students of Don Bosco

Director and Editor EX ALLIEVI Newsflash Opera Salesiana Teresa Gerini Via Tiburtina, 994 - 00156 Roma (Italia) tel. (+39) 06.409.003 Internet: E-mail:

General House Salesian headquarters Via Marsala, 42 - 00185 Roma (Italia) tel. (+39) 06.656.121 Centralino Fax (+39) 06.656.12.556 Internet: E-mail:

Direction and Editorial Coordination Pierluigi Lazzarini (


Editorial Secretary Veronica Messano

Name: Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco Bank: Lombard Bank Malta p.l.c. Address: Balzan, Malta IBAN: MT 08 LBMA 0500 0000 0000 0144 0520 986 SWIFT Code: LBMAMTMT Bank Account Number: 01440520986

Collaborators of this issue Don Ángel Fernández Artime sdb, Sophie Astles, Emanuela Carnevale, don Pascual Chàvez sdb, don Charles Cini sdb, Joaquim Fernandes, Vito Gentili, Bryan Magro, Chihiro Okawa, Salvatore Ortu, don Ambrose Pereira sdb, Alberto Piedade, Guilhermino Pires, don Jayapalan Raphael sdb, Gian Francesco Romano, Daniela Scherrer, don Philip Somchai sdb

Photography and Images Archivio Ag. ANS, AustraLasia, Don Bosco India, El Caribe, Red De Noticias, Salesiani GBR

The quarterly magazine (Italian, English, Spanish, French and Portuguese) is available on the official website in these deadlines: DECEMBER 25 (Holy Christmas); EASTER OF RESURRECTION; JUNE 24 (birth of former students); OCTOBER 5 (Blessed Alberto Marvelli)


Ag. ANS - Editorial board

Ag. ANS - Nisaury Ventura

Ag. ANS - Editorial board

Ag. ANS - Nisaury Ventura

Buon Natale!

Feliz Navidad!

Joyeux Noel!

Feliz Natal!





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