Ex Allievi Newsflesh Natale 2019

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E X A LLIEVI Newsflash YEAR 8 - ISSUE 36 - CHRISTMAS 2019

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

English Edition - (translations: Veronica Messano)

M e r ry C h r is t m a s !

THE VOICE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR God is born also among the “Differently-skilled” children of Agartala I’m writing this greeting to you a few hours after returning to Rome from visiting Nepal and the Salesian province of Shillong in beautiful Northeast India. There I met with my Salesian confreres, the laity, the members of the Salesian Family, our FMA sisters, and our Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC). These sisters serve in a center for boys, girls, adolescents, and young adults in Agartala who are “differentlyskilled.” They totally captivated my attention when in the Holy Mass on that day about 45 of these boys and girls, deaf mutes, were in the front pews of the church and “sang” all the songs with sign language, following the Sister who stood in front of them, signing the lyrics of the songs for them. I was moved to see how they sang making signs, how they paid attention and concentrated, and their expressions of happiness. I prayed with faith. I prayed with them and for them. The following morning we were able to visit them at their home: the Bishop Ferrando Rehabilitation Center of Agartala in the state of Shillong. The Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians [an Official Group of the Salesian Family founded by Venerable Bishop Stephen Ferrando, SDB, in 1942 in Guwahati, India] serve 150 boys and girls from the Tripura region. Among these, about 62 live in the house with the sisters. During the visit, they performed for us a traditional “Hojagiri” dance. It was impressive to see everyone dance, and dance to the rhythm of a music that they don’t hear as do we, but they do “hear” and listen very well with their other senses. Another youngster, a gymnast, surprised us with her high level of skill. The most beautiful things of all were her sensitivity, joy, smile, expressions of gratitude in her sign language, and her prayer for us. I thought about those little miracles that they make happen. They are trained. They are happy. They prepare for life. Several of their schoolmates, who preceded them years before, have finished their studies at the university. In that house I felt at every moment the presence of the Lord, the fraternity of the Sisters that becomes self-giving and service, and the joy of those children and adolescents who are grateful to the Lord, grateful for what they’re receiving in life. And I watched, observed, and felt gratitude in the depths of my heart.

Cover: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio - Nativity with Saints Lawrence and Francis of Assisi, 1600, oil on canvas 696x954. 2

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

I met some great guys in India at a center for the disabled. Their hands embroidering the air in sign language reminded me of the wings of the angels of Bethlehem. So it is, once again, that I’ve been able to verify, as before in Nepal or in Siliguri, that God continues to write beautiful life stories in those in whom He is present. He is born in so many hearts. I learned some signs in those few hours – enough to greet them, to tell them that I enjoyed everything, and to thank them. It felt good and I felt that we should thank the Lord for the gift of Don Bosco and of this, his Salesian Family, because we all add to it, even if but a little – but everything is for the good. With this letter, dear friends, I want to help you to see those little, though great, “miracles” of education and salvation. Therefore, this Christmas I proclaim again that the Lord is present among all of us (whether we are very aware of it or not so much), and He becomes Life, first and foremost, among the most humble and simple, like the children of Agartala. I promised these children by signs that I would pray for them and ask other people to do so. They thanked me; their look said it all, and their smile reached deep inside me. It's Christmas, dear friends. It’s a time of salvation, today and forever, but we receive it as an evocation and Life in a special way at this time. Together with the “differently-skilled” children of Agartala, we wish you a Merry Christmas – a happy birthday for Baby Jesus, who is Love for all of us. With affection, Again, Merry Christmas! Don Ángel Fernández Artime Rector Major

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019



Dear Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco, I am very happy to be able to share with you some reflections through this new publication of Exallievi Newsflash – Christmas Edition of year 2019. You may ask why special? Indeed, it is special one for two reasons: Firstly, we issue this edition during a blessed time of the Christmas season which is for us a very important and unique moment. As for Christian Past Pupils, Jesus is being bornand a new edition of Newsflash is being born in our hands with many new projects and initiatives. Christmas is a time for us to contemplate how the spirit and mystery is reflected in our lives and relationships. Secondly, it is an important edition of Exallievi Newsflash because in a short time, we will be entering the new year of 2020 which is going to be for us Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco a memorable one – it is the Jubilee Year of Past Pupils when we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of our movement. I invite you to enjoy all the celebrations ahead of us for this coming year. Both these two reasons are somehow connected in that they point to the samefundamental reason of being a Past Pupil and Friend of Don Bosco. Along with showing gratitude, it is our goal to help. Don Bosco asked the first Past Pupils led by Carlo Gastini to stay together, to stay with him and the Salesians and to help each other. This could also be the motive of the celebration of the Jubilee Year to help each other. In Christmas, it is an opportunity to help not only each other or other Past Pupils but to help also the Church and society. As the Jesus came to this world and was born for all of us we are invited to enlarge our spirituality of gratitude and help to everyone.


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

Confederazione Mondiale Exallievi ed Exallieve di Don Bosco

Via Tiburtina, 994 00156 - Roma (RM) Italia

+421 915 966 549 office@exallievi.org www.exallievi.org

I can imagine you all have various opportunities to help and I encourage you to keep reaching out to others. I would like to invite you to think about other possibilities of helping others. As Past Pupils, i tis one of our values and keystones to be helpfull, but we can do it with our own possibilites of being lay people and professionals. It is our charisma to be active in the world also through our skills and professional work. This means we are able to do a lot of good through who we are and what we do. In our everyday professional lives, we are requested to help in all fields – economic, social and political. It is in our nature as past pupils to let the love of Don Bosco shine through our actions and lives. The Strenna of the Rector Major for the next year is inviting us to be Good Christians and Honest Citizens. I invite you to contemplate on the mystery of Christmas in the light of the upcoming Jubilee year. I invite you to look for new ways how to help each other. I invite you to be Good Christians and Honest Citizens as Don Bosco wanted us to be. May this Christmas bring us lot of blessings and inspiration with on the mystery of baby Jesus. You stay in my prayers and intentions. In Don Bosco Michal Hort President of World Confederation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019


WORLD DELEGATE My dear friends Past Pupils, Delegates and Presidents,

Greetings from Rome. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas. May the Baby Jesus of Bethlehem bless every one of you and your family members with His joy, peace and happiness. As Past Pupils, may we keep experiencing the presence of Jesus through Don Bosco, Salesians and our organization.

We are on the threshold of our 150th jubilee year of our existence. I would like to reflect with you on the importance of the Past Pupils, the nature of our Association and the particular reason for our participation in Don Bosco’s mission, in the context of two important feasts that we celebrated this month - the feast of Immaculate Conception (8 December) and the feast of Blessed Philip Rinaldi (5 December). The former takes us to the origin of the Salesian mission and the latter to the origin of organization with structure and statutes. In between we have the informal origin of Past Pupils when Carlo Gastini came with his companions to celebrate the feast of Don Bosco on 24 June 1870, unconsciously sowing the seed that has grown now to be a great world confederation. Thus, we have three “origins” or “foundations” of our association:

1. Our “real” Origin – Mission of Don Bosco It is our “father” Don Bosco who is the reason for our experience of God’s love. Hence our “Origin” really goes back to that day, 8 December 1841, the feast of Immaculate conception when Don Bosco started the mission with that street boy Bartolomeo Garelli with one simple ‘Hail Mary’. It is the attachment to Don Bosco whom we all have come to know and experience through the Salesians. It was an education that forged living bonds and would always want to be expressed solely in the name of him who had inspired and developed it through the absolute commitment to the youth and through his pedagogical brilliance, and who had concentrated all his talents and extraordinary personal qualities in passing it on to his followers. His sublime expression depicts his love and concern for youth: «It is enough that you are young for me to love you very much; for you I study, for you I work, for you I live, for you I am ready even to give my life».

If we want to relaunch our world Confederation of the Past Pupils in such a way that we are not merely people who have passed through the Salesian centres but a true Group of the Salesian Family, then we must return to Don Bosco and his preventive system, to discern its great principles and deepen the understanding of ourselves in the light of future perspectives; only in this way will the title to membership of the Past Pupils “by reason of the education we have received” be something living and fruitful for us. This experience raises us to different levels of participation, some more closely linked with the salesian mission in the world, and some less. It is Don Bosco’s educational method and love for the youth that has effected profound changes in the behavior of youth (Michael Magone is an example), has led to their heights of sanctity (Dominic Savio, for instance). The same educational method and love for the youth of Don Bosco continues to mould generations of youth. They are the chosen Past Pupils of Don Bosco who have the pleasant honour of absorbing the educational ideals of Don Bosco and inculcating them in the society they live in. 2. Past Pupils of “Don Bosco” – 17 years It is a fine and stimulating thing to note that the name given to us who have been pupils in salesian houses is not “Salesian” Past Pupils, but Past Pupils “of Don Bosco”. Our Association had no direct “founder”. Don Ceria tells us that it was born “like one of those things that arise from spontaneous natural causes” (E. Ceria, Annali, 715). It sprang from the family spirit of the preventive system at the Valdocco Oratory.


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

The Past Pupils’ Movement was not therefore something started up by the educators as an association for school-leavers for group activities with a selected membership; it “grew up on its own” with a charismatic vitality at its beginnings. The Past-Pupils Group began to take on a certain consistency even during Don Bosco’ own lifetime. A dozen or so former pupils came together officially under the leadership of the genial and generous Carlo Gastini, who always looked on the Oratory as his second family. Don Bosco looked at them intently moved: «You were once only a little group, but that group has grown, has increased enormously, and will grow greater yet. You will be a light shining in the midst of the world, and by your example you will teach others how they must do good and detest and avoid evil. I am sure you will continue to be Don Bosco’s consolation» (MB 17, 173-174). 3. Blessed Rinaldi, Inspirer and Organizer Blessed Philip Rinaldi eventually got us organized efficiently in a practical form. During his twenty years as Prefect General, Don Rinaldi managed to bring about a reorganization with humble discretion, arranging matters in such a way that the lay past pupils were the main arthitects. In this way he was able to give an organic structure to a movement based on affection, gratitude and ideals of living, which made the “education received” a living and dynamic force. On 25 June 1909, he put forward the idea of an international confederation, and to promote it he made use of the well-deserving “Commission of Don Bosco’s Former Pupils” which, from the time of Gastini, had been organizing the annual manifestations at Valdocco. The structure was formally inaugurated in the first international Congress of Past Pupils in 1911, as a Federation of the many local unions, circles and societies. Until then they had been called “Former Pupils” (“Antichi Allievi”); from that date onwards they were known as “Past Pupils” (“Exallievi”) a name Don Rinaldi had already begun to use earlier.

As Rector Major, he took a constant interest in the functioning and vitality of the Union of Past Pupils, and repeatedly insisted on the confreres that they should constantly accompany the past pupils. Don Ceria observes: “It was said very forcibly, but in all truth, that Don Rinaldi ‘shaped and formed the Past-Pupils Movement through his genial intuition and wanted it to be a dynamic and living force doing good in the world by its work”.

It was said of him by Don Francesia (who lived close to our Father for so many years) that Don Rinaldi had everything of Don Bosco except his voice. He was a most faithful and fertile disciple of the Father, with a deep intuitive understanding of his greatness of heart and soul.

Conclusion Our membership is a vital reality of gratitude, of communion and of intentions in the light of that same educational plan of the past lived now in new experiences of life, work and study, and in personal and social perspectives. May the words of Don Bosco to his former pupils be our inspiration: «My dear sons, one thing I recommend to you above all else: wherever you may be, always conduct yourselves as good Christians and upright citizens... Many of you already have a family. Give your children the same education you received here at the Oratory». (BM 14, 401). May Don Rinaldi intercede for us, the Past Pupils, to be what our Father Don Bosco would like us to be. Wishing you all once again a grace-filled Christmas and Bright and successful New Year 2020, our Jubilee year. Fr. Jayapalan Raphael Sdb World Delegate for the Past Pupils Rome, 8 December 2019 EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019


EDITORIAL The right road traced by Don Bosco Dear Friends,

today we see so many people walking on our streets, going to work, coming home, eating, watching television, sleeping, getting up early and starting a new day. Always the same day, without interests, lived passively and without enthusiasm, where everything is taken for granted. The problems may concern family discussion or a moment of spiritual crisis.

Don Bosco was an unsurpassed teacher in this: he was able to present life as a feast to the young people of his time and to experience faith as happiness, joy and joy.

1880. Bookbindery of the Oratory Printing House. On the left, a classic pedalina

Today our young people are imbued with an undisguised sadness, an almost incapacity to have fun. And for the Salesians this is a challenge: a serene boy is one who knows that God loves him, that he always waits for him even in the moments when he turns away from him.

The most important thing is not to lose heart; it is knowing that we are on the right path because it is the one drawn by Don Bosco.

It is not only the historical situation in which Don Bosco lived and worked, but it is the same unrepeatability of his person. He does everything to earn his heart, to deserve the most absolute confidence of his children, but that does not make the slightest pressure to extort it. Extremely respectful of the freedom and inviolability of their conscience.

As an educator Don Bosco wants the full realization of his young people in every dimension: this is why he offers bread for the body, luminous ideals for the mind, affection for the heart, joy 1880. Typography of the Oratory of San Francesco di for the spirit and a work that allows them to enter with dignity and constructively into the soSales in Valdocco. Bookbindery ciety.


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

Celebrating Holy Christmas means just that: to live the commandment of love towards one's neighbor. We are the light of Christmas when we witness the journey of others with our lives.

He supported Pope John XXIII in the Christmas radio message to the world of December 1958: «Christmas of the Lord, announcement of unity and peace over the whole earth; renewed commitment to good will placed at the service of order, justice, fraternity among all Christian peoples». The imminent 2020 will be a great year, during which we will celebrate the 150th anniversary as Don Bosco's Past Pupils. A new stage in the history of the Association.

A beautiful reality that, in its time and with regard to the Salesian environment, caused Urbano Rattazzi, secular and anticlerical, to exclaim: «Don Bosco is the greatest wonder of the nineteenth century». And because of his astonishment, he was the politician friend of the Turin priest throughout his life.

2020 is a true jubilee year: a year of grace and blessing for those who want to meet Jesus entrusting themselves to the intercession of Don Bosco.

For St. John Paul II «where the saints go, God walks with them. And nothing is the same as before».

1880. Stereotype workshop

Merry Christmas and great 2020, the year of our 150th anniversary of Past Pupils! Pierluigi Lazzarini

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019



POSTER OF THE RECTOR MAJOR'S 2020 STRENNA PRESENTED (ANS – Roma) The poster for Strenna 2020, which develops the motto: "Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt 6.10). "GOOD CHRISTIANS AND UPRIGHT CITIZENS." The poster of the Year 2020 stands firm in the memory of the spark of the beginning of Salesian work. There was a stairway near the large market of Porta Palazzo where the young people sat to laugh, joke and have a snack. Don Bosco goes to meet them there. "Out there", where they normally meet and hang out. He does not lecture them; he simply offers his friendship. Don Bosco possessed nothing, only his huge heart, which revealed itself in his unforgettable gaze: «What stood out most in Don Bosco was his gaze, sweet but penetrating, to the depths of the heart, which you could hardly resist staring at» an ancient student once said. The poster is a page from the Gospel according to Don Bosco: «Jesus called forth a child, put him in their midst and said: 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven» (Mt 18, 1-5). So, too, Don Bosco: he is all here, thus, with the same eyes and the same heart as Jesus. He had a conviction about young people: «This portion is the most delicate and most precious of human society, on which the hopes of a happy future are based». It is his decisive choice: «You are the most important part of my day». «You are special, and you mean a lot to me». he would tell the young people he met. It is in this daily dynamic that the personality of young people is built, there the heart of the educational process that succeeds in forming "good Christians and upright citizens!" His goal is simple and immense: «I want young people to be happy in time and in eternity».

In the poster, at the top of the staircase there is an open door. It is the door of the house of Don Bosco, the door of the church and the door of life. Today, young people often find only closed doors. Don Bosco wants the young to have open doors. Those of a future and a happy and responsible life, those of a mature and satisfying faith, those of joy, solidarity, open and free creativity. This is why the Salesian Family exists. The Strenna poster, designed by the artist Stefano Pachi.


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019


Forming Good Christians and Upright Citizens is a thing of the heart The Strenna of the Rector Major for next year invites all of us to confront ourselves with the ideal that we must reach with our young people in 2020 in a concrete way. In the current conditions, in the new social and cultural contexts, it is undoubtedly a complex task as it is the result of a delicate pedagogical relationship in which the young person is the protagonist of this process. A testimony of Don Bosco's life may enlighten us: One Sunday, Carlo Buzzetti (one of Don Bosco's first boys) arrives at the Oratory accompanied by his younger brother. His name is Giuseppe and he has just arrived from Caronno Varesino, his small town. He was a pale boy, he was very scared. - “Don Bosco, this is my brother Giuseppe. He's only ten years old.” - “I'm your brother's friend, and I will be yours too,” says Don Bosco smiling. “Where will you work?” - “With Carlo. But I'm afraid of the master,” the little one tells him. Giuseppe became very fond of Don Bosco and was always close to him. That first afternoon, before leaving the Oratory, he told him: - “Don Bosco, do not leave me alone. Come and see me.” The next day Don Bosco went to the construction site to see him. The site manager asked Don Bosco, “What do you want?” - “I'm in charge of the children of the Buzzetti family. I have to look after their children on Sunday and during the week. Giuseppe, the youngest, arrived yesterday. Where are they?” Carlo and Giuseppe, who had heard Don Bosco's voice, called him. - “We're here!” Don Bosco climbs the scaffolding. And for those kids to see Don Bosco and to be able to talk to him at work is a moment of celebration. Giuseppe complains: - “The lime can is too heavy for me, and the day is long.” - “Come with me. Let's go talk to the boss,” Don Bosco replies. Don Bosco explains to the man - tough, but not a bad man - that he is willing to guarantee for the good conduct and commitment of those boys, but that the boss must proportion the fatigue to the age of the boys: - “He's still a child! How can you put a cube of lime on his shoulders?” Thus Don Bosco begins, with concrete gestures, to save the young people he visits in their workplaces. Someone showed him the need to learn to read and write, to know how to do basic math ... And so Don Bosco finds the right time or the right people to teach them. Forming Good Christians and Upright Citizens is the result of profound and creative relationships where the young person is at the center of the relationship, as the educator Paulo Freire says: «Young people are educated through dialogue, empathy and authentic curiosity» - an intuition very close to the style of our founder.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019




FOUNDATIONS SET FOR BIRTH OF ASSOCIATION OF SALESIAN PAST PUPILS (ANS – Asmara) In a country where a boy cannot imagine a future for himself, or draw a life plan, where even dreaming is, sometimes, useless, having known Don Bosco can be the keystone of one's life, that element that allows you to give a new direction to your future. For this reason, some Past Pupils of the Salesian schools in Eritrea have decided to protect, enhance and promote this "added value" of their lives and decided to start the Past Pupils Association in their country, too. The first step for this ambitious project was made in Turin, on November 2 and 3, when a dozen Eritrean past pupils met with Fr Petros Abraha, Delegate for the Eritrean Delegation, committed to keeping relations between his compatriots in the diaspora. A meeting between old school friends, united by having left their land to try to make use, in a condition of freedom and security, of the skills acquired in Salesian vocatio-


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Natale 2019

nal training schools. Forced to look for asylum far from their villages and cities, the meeting's ten participants had to overcome another border: that of being welcomed in Europe. It was not easy to go beyond the status of foreigner in which they found themselves in different countries: United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway. The first difficulty was the language, although their scholastic English they practiced in Eritrea was found to be very valuable to enter the world of work. Today, they have the opportunity to support themselves and their families and to send money back to the families left behind. But it was not just a reunion between schoolmates. The choice of the meeting's venue, in TurinValdocco, was motivated by a specific purpose: «To make the place where everything began known», explained Marco Faggioli, of


"Missioni Don Bosco" of Turin, which sponsored the initiative.

«Everyone became aware of being helped by Don Bosco, and they wanted to know more about where the thrust of the Salesian charism comes from», said Fr Abraha. Unfortunately not all those who had booked were able to participate. However, with those who had come, a historic decision matured: «We have decided to give life to a network among the Eritrean past pupils».

The decision arose among the participants themselves and the purpose is to lend a hand to their brothers in Eritrea: support for professional paths, sharing of experiences on the most requested specializations including abroad, advice on how to avoid relying on human traffickers. It was a working meeting, but also a faceto-face meeting between protagonists of the intercontinental migration phenome-

non. «To the question: what would you say today to one of your young compatriots?» says Dr. Faggioli, «the response of all of them was: 'stay there, don't go away...' They say it with eyes that seem to project terrible moments of the journey, especially for women, then girls». Yet all of them repeated that they had escaped from unacceptable living conditions. It is a dramatic paradox: although they have overcome great challenges, these women and men scattered throughout Europe remain with the bitterness of failure at home.

«They did it because they are alive; they did it because they have a residence, a job, a real integration and yet they feel they have broken their roots, they feel they have taken a decision that corresponds to a failure registered in their country», concluded Faggioli. In the personal history of each of them, however, the fact of having met the spiritual

Sons of Don Bosco was a lever on which to push for inner redemption. They knew the life of the Saint of the Youth, they had heard the story from their teachers in Eritrea and they saw the film about his biography, but «the meeting here in Valdocco was very strong because the young Eritreans told us that being here and perceiving the spirituality of the Holy Founder is different, exciting», said Fr Abraha. He added, finally: «At the end of this meeting we drew conclusions, and one of them said that as Don Bosco sent missionaries from this place, they feel they must grow as missionaries among their brothers». At the end of the meeting one of the past pupils said that as Don Bosco sent missionaries from Turin, they too felt they had to grow as missionaries among their brothers. And as a natural epilogue to this historic meeting it was decided to meet again in August next year..

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019




PROJECT TO SUPPORT SYRIAN REFUGEE SALESIAN PAST PUPILS From Aleppo and Damascus by the European & Middle East Region “giving back from what we received”

The European & Middle East Region of the World Confederation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco is finding ways and means of supporting Syrian Refugee Salesian Past Pupils who are living in Europe. In August 2019, the European & Middle East Region together with the Middle East Province (MOR) organised the first Encounter for Syrian Salesian Past Pupils in the Salesian House in Benediktbeuren, Germany from the 21st August to the 26th August 2019.

38 young Salesian Past Pupils participated in the first Encounter from Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, and France. All these young people fled away from their country due to the war which started in 2012. During this Encounter the young people had the opportunity to meet again and recall their wonderful memories when they attended the Salesian Oratory or Schools. They had the opportunity to be together in the Salesian Spirit for five days. The young people also met with a small 14

group of GEX past pupils from Malta, Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Spain and Costa Rica. The Syrian Past Pupils shared their stories of experiences during the war and the challenges they are finding to live as refugees in European countries. The Syrian young people were also accompanied by Fr. Munir a Syrian Salesian from Aleppo who provided spiritual guidance and emotional support during these days.

After the successful experience of the first Encounter of Syrian Refugee Salesian Past Pupils, the European & Middle East Region of the World Confederation of Past Pupils are launching the second edition of this encounter which will take place next summer 2020 possibly in Austria. The first encounter was funded from a Christmas Appeal which the World Confederation had made to support Syrian Refugees. We are now looking to fund raise money to support the second edition of this successful encounter. It is estimated that it will cost about €200 to support one Syrian Refugee to be able to attend the Second En-

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

counter. We are looking for persons, associations and companies to help us financially to repeat the strong experience that the Salesian Young Past Pupils had in Germany during the summer of 2019. We need to collect €8,000 to support 40 Syrian Refugee Salesian Past Pupils. We are appealing to the National, Provincial and Local Associations in Europe and the Middle East Region to support this cause by sponsoring some Syrian Refugee Salesian Past Pupils to be able to attend this event in summer 2020. Being the 150th Anniversary of our foundation as Past Pupils by Don Bosco, we perceive this an occasion of offering support to other past pupils who require our help and assistance. This is a golden opportunity for our past pupils “to give back from what we received”. If you require more information or wish to support this worthy cause, you can contact me on treasurer@exallievi.org Bryan Magro World Treasurer DBCONNEX Reg. 52201732



BRAZILIAN ALUMNI FEDERATION The Don Bosco Alumni Movement in Brazil is experiencing a new vigour, demonstrating the growing enthusiasm for Don Bosco, his educational project and the human legacy he has left. The Provincial Federations have been tireless in encouraging the formation of new local Unions, in accompanying regional meetings and in participating in the actions of the Salesian Family. All the provinces are organising themselves for next year. In 2019 we made significant progress. For 2020 our projections are very optimistic. I mention some of the many events that have taken place during 2019 and that demonstrate the vigour of the movement:

1° The 9th National Alumni Congress was held in August with the presence of the World Alumni Delegate, Father Raphael Jayapalan. It was undoubtedly a milestone of formation, exchange of experiences, review and projection for the next 4 years.

The Congress indicated modalities and strategies to the Provincial Councils. If it takes place, the presence of former students in Brazilian society will be increasingly significant. 2º Continuity of care of the Festive Oratory of Fr. Ricaldone in the city of Pará de Minas in the State of Minas Gerais.

This work serves 190 children a day, with training, recreational activities and even meals. The educators who work there are

former students, mostly from the Oratory itself, who are chosen to attend specific training courses. In addition to the hired educators, there are numerous volunteers, most of whom come from the Oratory itself. It is managed and administered by former students from the city and surrounding towns. On December 8, 2019, the Oratory celebrates its 20th birthday.

3rd Regional meeting on the first Sunday of August in the city of Salvador, State of Bahia, which brought together 1150 former Don Bosco students. The meeting that has been organized for years is called THE SALESIAN EX-student's DAY.

This year it began with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians. This is the religious dimension that cannot be lost in these meetings. The size of the courtyard was marked by music, hugs to friends who had not been together for a long time, memories lived and shared when they were high school students in Salvador.

stance projects supported by Salvadoran alumni.

4º For many years, the students of the state of Santa Catarina have been meeting in a small town called ASCURRA on the third Sunday of September. This year about 300 alumni with their families participated. It was a very festive, joyful, projective and formative meeting. From these meetings, it is clear that the interest of the former students to participate in the local Unions is growing in order to stay in touch with the Salesians and continue to cultivate the values that they have assimilated as students. Oswaldo Dalpiaz National President

The social dimension was realized through the donation of non-perishable food that will be sent to the assi-

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019




Siliguri, India - October 24, 2019 The Animation Visit of Rector Major Fr. ร ngel Fernรกndez Artime to the India-Calcutta Province (INC) continues. On Thursday 24 October, the X Successor of Don Bosco was welcomed on the border between India and Nepal by the Rector and Dean of the Salesian College and the Don Bosco Siliguri School. The Salesians and the Salesian Family welcomed him with typical dances and songs. In the evening, the Rector Major gave the traditional "good night". He spoke with the Center's Past Pupils and the Salesians of the community to whom he expressed his gratitude for the work done, reiterating that young people are the heart of the Salesian mission and the future of society. 16

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019



(ANS – Hong Kong)

Yesterday, 11 November, two Salesian Past Pupils of the "Salesian English School" involved in protests between protesters and police in Hong Kong. One of them, a 21-yearold, was seriously injured. It all happened yesterday around 7.20 local time in the Sai Wan Ho neighborhood, north-east of Hong Kong. Here, some people had gathered for yet another day of protests and already in the early hours of the morning they had blocked roads.

pupil was instead pushed to the ground and arrested. The young man hit by the bullet was promptly taken to the hospital, where he underwent a delicate operation. He is still in intensive care, in critical conditions. The attack was recorded by a journalist, who then released the video in which the policeman is seen shooting the unarmed young man; the video soon went viral on all the main international news channels.

The same evening, the Salesians in Hong Kong organized a prayer vigil for all the wounded and in particular for the two past pupils. Furthermore, the same day, the Salesians of the "Mary Help of Christians" Province based in Hong Kong issued an official declaration, condemning the violence used by the police against the protesters and calling everyone to rationality and nonviolence.

«May God bless Hong Kong - they conclude - and give us peace, joy and freedom».

Yesterday's protest was announced following the death of a boy who died last week while fleeing from police tear gas. The two young past pupils, along with a dozen other people, were blocking a road junction. A policeman immediately approached the group and in a few seconds a fight broke out. Although the demonstrators were unarmed, the policeman fired three pistol shots, the first of which hit the young Salesian past pupil in the abdomen. The other past

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019



India ASSAM CM INAUGURATES 4TH DON BOSCO COLLEGE the bishop told the people to take advantage of their services. The Provincial of Guwahati province Fr. Januarius S Sangma, in his address dedicated the college to the people of the region and thanked the Salesian Communities for their generous contribution towards the building up of the college.

(ANS – Bongaigaon) Assam Chief Minister, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, inaugurated Don Bosco College Bongaigaon, on Monday, 4 November 2019. This is the fourth “Don Bosco College” in Assam after Azara, Diphu and Golaghat, at Chapaguri in Chirang district. The Chief Minister in his inaugural address congratulated the Don Bosco Fathers and Brothers for providing quality education to the student community, and for nurturing talents and for inculcating discipline in the students. He said, «I am a product of Don Bosco 18

School, Dibrugarh and I know the type of quality that Don Bosco offers to the people all over the world». He did not hesitate to add, «Don Bosco has set up this college for you and you must promise to do your best». He also made the students to promise that they will become the best in the region and even in the country. The college building was blessed by Bishop Thomas Pulloppillil of Bongaigaon who thanked the Salesians for setting up the college in his region and particularly in his diocese. While praising the Salesians for the great work they are doing in the Northeast and

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

Other dignitaries present at the event included: Minister for Forest, Soil Conservation etc. Govt. of Assam Smti. Pramila Rani Brahma; Chief, Bodoland Territorial Council, Kokrajar Shri Hagrama Mohilary; Deputy Chief, BTC, Kokrajhar Shri. Kampa Borgoyary; Cabinet Minister, Government of Assam Shri. Chandan Brahma; Vice Chancellor, Bodoland University Kokrajhar; Prof. Laishram Ladu Singh, Priests, Religious, large number of Salesians, Teachers, students and the people of the locality. Principal of the College Fr. (Dr.) Alex Mathew, welcomed dignitaries and the invited guests and presented an overview of Don Bosco works in the world and in the Northeast and Bodoland area in particular. The much acclaimed Band of Don Bosco School Bengtol who took part in the Republic Day function in New Delhi welcomed the Chief Guest and performed at the event. A variety of cultural items added solemnity to the occasion which concluded with a meal for all. By Fr CM Paul, SDB


Brazil SALESIAN PAST PUPILS ARE APPROVED IN MEDICINE The study of medicine remains the dream of many students. One of the most contested courses in the entrance exams that use the National High School Exam (Enem) as a selection criterion. Passing the entrance exam is usually the concern of those who want to enter the area. To enter the university, students must prepare a different curriculum, dedicate themselves and stay focused. This was the case of our past pupils of the Salesian School of Salvador: Milton José Souza Neto (18) and Julie Matos Boeloni (18). With the desire to help people take care of their health, Milton chose the Faculty of Medicine. Salesian student from the third year of secondary school, he was approved at the BAHIANA - School of Medicine and Public Health and tells how the school contributed to his success: «The Salesian provided me with good teachers, helped me improve my writing performance and he also helped me prepare psychologically for the college entrance examination. We have participated in lectures, seminars, simulations... These actions have helped to gain confidence». Julie, a second-grade Salesian student, approved at the Feira de Santana State University (UEFS), also highlights preparatory lessons, simulations, monitoring and rich

teacher advice, whose lessons were always well founded. «All these actions were very important during my preparation for the entrance exam. I studied a lot every day, I did simulations, module exercises and I also attended a revision course». When asked about the reason for choosing the course, Julie comments: «It is an area in which I identify a lot».

Milton claims to be very happy and hopes to learn a lot to help people who need it so much. Julie also feels very happy and satisfied.

«For students who want to study medicine, planning and discipline in study are obviously necessary, but we have to believe that effort and hope give results», comments Milton. Another tip is to talk to a teacher or a coordinator. They usually work a lot together, as well as giving valuable advice. And finally, our past pupils leave a message for future university entrance exams, «you need concentration, dedication and never give up». Por: Elisane Alves

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The Pastoral Visit of Pope Francis to Japan was held from November 23rd to 26th. The Pope, who was eager to mission in Japan when he was a seminarian, with the authority of Jesus Christ met many people on a hard schedule here in Japan and had the opportunity to share and pray together.

Here Mr. Chihiro Okawa, a Salesian Past Pupil, shares how he lived this experience. «My SNS is now full of posts of my friends about the Pope’s visit. Yes. We can't help sharing. I have been a Catholic in Japan for more than 10 years, and this visit became the No.1 special opportunity in these 10 years for the small community of the Catholic church in Japan. The heart of believers has burned so much that it has been socially recognized and has sympathized with many people. I am deeply impressed not only by the Pope's great faith in Jesus,


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but also in a way of life full of mercy and joy, and a strong determination to peace, and I am now in a state where I cannot suppress my impression. Although the Pope is a member of the Jesuits, he has a deep connection with the Salesians and is also an alumnus of the Salesian School. As a member of the Salesian Family in Japan, I would like to briefly look back on what I felt from his visiting our country».

1) Mercy – faith in Jesus and closeness to those in weak positions «The Pope often stressed the importance of staying close to the people, especially those who are in a weak position always with mercy as a standard of action, based on the current social situation in Japan. That was actually shown through actions at encounters with survivors of the Atomic Bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the Great East Japan Earthquake, and meetings with young people. At the mass at the Tokyo Dome, the Pope clearly stated the reasons for being close to those people. “Because Jesus hugged a sick man and a sinner and forgave a thief who was crucified.” Faith is not just sticking to old traditions and forms but living in the same way as Jesus Christ while feeling the living Christ. In other words, we must be aware to be interested in people in weak positions in front of us, to stand close together, listening, sympathizing, and trying to move in a better direction. In Salesian terms, I think he pointed out the importance of “Assistenza”. I felt that the Pope taught us that Jesus is not far from us through his kindness and standing with people. The opposite of mercy is to be self-cente-


A sharing on the Pope's Pastoral Visit red, selfish. Therefore, the Pope also says that mercy should extend to nature, a gift from God, and to the entire creation. It made me consider a lot because I witnessed the negative effects of climate change these days in Japan».

2) Joy – love with an open heart, and being loved «The Pope is 82 years old and should be tired from the forced schedule, but he spent the days in Japan, always smiling in front of us, blessing the babies with his kiss, and sometimes with jokes and humor. That grabbed the hearts of many people. Why does the Pope attract people so much around the world? The keyword is “joy”.

Our founding father Don Bosco was a saint of joy. In the same way, this time I was able to realize that the Pope is a joyful person. This joy never disappears in any difficulty. I think this is what makes the Pope close to us. One of Don Bosco's famous words is that “It is not enough to love the young, they must know that they are loved”. If a person truly loves the other person, he will be loved.

3) Peace – Preciousness of kindness, prayer, and hope «The Pope visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima, both A-bomb sites. In the two places where he felt obliged to visit, he expressed the passion for the abolition of nuclear weapons and unwavering commitment to peace, calling us all responsible. We were strongly encouraged to recall always past mistakes, to walk together and to take action actually to protect the peace. In the past, Don Bosco was told by Jesus in his 9-year-old dream that illuminated his life, "Don't swing your fist wildly. With meekness and charity, you will conquer these your friends". Thus, in any case, he denied pressing down people with power and preached the way to be friends with people through kindness, love, and reason. The Pope then prayed a prayer of St. Francis of Assisi at the Nagasaki meeting. At the gathering in Hiroshima, as a “pilgrim of peace,” he said, “True peace is nothing but unarmed peace.” This is exactly the peace

that God wants, also mentioned by the saints of the past, and the peace that we should realize in the midst of people beyond ideology. It seems that it is not so easy to achieve peace through kindness. We may have doubts, our hearts may be broken, and give up. However, the Pope taught us that instead of making excuses for peace, it is something that should be pursued in a simple and straightforward manner, imagining humans (their sufferings and sorrows). And I realized once again how valuable it is to change our mind, pray as one team, and continue to hope. My four-year-old eldest son saw Pope Francis this time and said, “I was so touched and almost started to cry. I love Papa!” I hope that I will continue to be close together with the young people as an adult so that the seeds planted through the visit of the Pope to the young and children who will lead the future will grow someday and bloom beautifully». Source: AustraLasia

The Pope sent messages during this visit to Japan, not only for Christians but also for those who believed in other religions or those who don’t believe in any religion. He spoke repeatedly about the importance of dialog and collaboration with joy and an open heart, that is, loving while accepting differences. I think he is hoping the Catholic Church and believers in Japan to go beyond the logic of the church, go out into society more and become widely loved». EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019



Pakistan FIRST CENTER OF DON BOSCO PAST PUPILS Lahore, Pakistan – october 2019

After three consecutive monthly meetings convened by the Salesian community in Lahore, the Past Pupils' Association of Don Bosco was launched for the first time in Pakistan on 26 October.

Their Delegate, Salesian Brother Alex Abelgas, facilitated meetings with sharing, formation and finally with the official election of the first Don Bosco Past Pupils Center in Lahore, which consists of 16 members. After watching some videos on the experiences of the Past Pupils in Laos and Mongolia, the leaders of the first local union were elected.

IV MEETING OF DON BOSCO PAST PUPILS Lahore, Pakistan – 3 december 2019

On November 24, at the "Don Bosco Technical Center", the IV Meeting of the Don Bosco Past Pupils took place, with the participation of 43 past pupils led by their delegate, Br Alex Abelgas, SDB, and the president of the association Daniel Asif. Masih Bashir, father of the past pupil of the "Don Bosco" school of Lahore Akash Bashir, who on 15 March 2015 sacrificed himself to prevent an attack in the church of St John Bosco in the Christian quarter of Youhannabad, in Lahore, took part in the event as a special guest.


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Lahore, Pakistan 30 November 2019 With immense pleasure we share our enthusiasm and experience of the fourth Don Bosco Past Pupils Meeting in Lahore, on 24 November at DBTC Campus (known as Don Bosco Technical Centre).

As the Don Bosco Past Pupils Association, we would like to thank the Salesian community of Lahore, especially Fr Noble Lal, in charge of DBTC and Br. Alex Abelgas, our Delegate – for being present and animating our meeting. We also wish to thank the departmental faculty coordinators, and Don Bosco Past Pupils Association Pakistan Core committee members, who put their best effort in arranging this meeting.

Urdu language. The president with the Alumni welcomed the special guest and the present Salesians with round of applause. Then the Delegate, Br. Alex, inaugurated the meeting with the formation session about the ‘Statutes of the World Confederation of Don Bosco Past Pupils’ (ed. 2015) and the vice-president, Nelso Suleman, presented some fundraising plan of the Alumni, the Secretary, John Shanzaib, presented the

The meeting was open and held in the large dining hall of the DB hostel with the ‘Don Bosco Past Pupils Prayer and Promise’ in

The Association Delegate, Bro.Alex, presented the officers of the Past Pupils, elected during the previous meeting last October: Mr. Ilyas Mushtaq, 1st Batch Electricity, Mr. Asif Daniel, 3rd Batch Mechanics, Mr. Naveed Masih and 8th Batch Electricity, Mr. Shakil Salamat, 10th Batch Mechanics. The Alumni dedicated their institutional email address donboscoalumni.pk@gmail.com

Last Sunday, 24 November, more than 43 Don Bosco Past Pupils (five of them faculties and staff of DBTC Lahore) attended the meeting and gave their valuable feedback and suggestions for the improvement of our DB Institute and DB Past Pupils Association.

The recently elected President of the Alumni Association, Mr Asif Daniel moderated the program and we welcome our special guest, Mr. Bashir Masih, father of Bosconian Akash Bashir, who was martyred on March 15, 2015 in Yohannabad Catholic Church bombing.

his vision sharing about the institute and advice about the future of DBTC, and role and involvement of DBTC Past Pupils.

to the institute, its students and the Alumni and Core group (council of Lahore center)open their WhatsApp group.

Alumni enrollment form; public relations officer, Naveed Masih explained the importance of Don Bosco Privilege card form, while Treasurer, Faisal Waris was absent due to injury. The formation part was highlighted by the guest of honour, Mr. Bashir Masih, father of the Bosconian Martyr Akash Bashir, wish

The session was concluded with the vote on Fundraising amount (fee) of 250 Pakistani Rupiah and the Past Pupils Privilege card fee of 250 PKR was collected by the Secretary.

The 4th meeting of Lahore Past Pupils Center was a great success in its prime motive of connecting and networking of the Past Pupils. The entire event has been adequately covered with an active photographer clicking photos for the WhatsApp group and Facebook of Don Bosco Past Pupils, Lahore. Asif Daniel (President)

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019



Vatican MONS. AUGUSTO CESARE BERTAZZONI DECLARED VENERABLE As a boy, Augusto Bertazzoni was a disciple in Turin of Saint Giovanni Bosco and was among those who, in 1887, offered their lives for the salvation of the saint of youth, who had also prophesied the episcopal miter to the young Augusto.

He was a friend of Luigi Orione and of Fr Giovanni Calabria, priests, today saints. He entered the seminary of Mantua, when Mons. Giuseppe Sarto, today St. Pius X, was rector, with the great desire to become a priest.

(ANS – Vatican) On 2 October 2019, the Holy Father Francis received Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in audience with His Most Reverend Eminence. During the Audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the Decree concerning the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Augusto Cesare Bertazzoni, titular Archbishop of Temuniana, former Bishop of Potenza and Marsico; born January 10, 1876 in Polesine di Pegognaga (Italy) he died August 30, 1972 in Potenza (Italy). 24

He was appointed archpriest-parish priest of San Benedetto Po, where he exercised his ministry from 30 April 1904 to 30 June 1930. Raised by Pius XI to the episcopal chair of Potenza and Marsico, consecrated on 15 August 1930, on 29 October he entered the Diocese. In the entrance speech he said «to bring peace, the peace of Christ in all hearts». He took care of vocations, renewed the clergy, engaged the laity in catechesis, in the Azione Cattolica association, in works of charity, culture, social solidarity.

A far-sighted educator of the young, he urged the educational commitment of his priests, as well as of men and women religious, to whom he recommended having a spirit of paternity for the new generations.

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During the Second World War, when bombs destroyed the episcopate of Potenza, he decided to remain close to his flock: he did his best to help the Jews and political dissidents.

After the war he was a figure of balance between the various political forces and dedicated himself to healing the wounds of the world conflict and to the arduous and generous work of rebirth and the spiritual, moral and material reconstruction of the diocese. He was Conciliar Father of the Second Vatican Council.

Monsignor Bertazzoni, a true man of God, a man of faith and prayer, was attentive to the spiritual needs of the faithful and also of non-believers, for whom he spent himself to the end. The characteristics of his episcopate can be summarized in love for God and neighbor without distinction, in obedience to the Pope and the Church, in the paternal attitude towards priests and seminarians, in ardent pastoral zeal. He led a life of simplicity, marked by humility, poverty and a spirit of sacrifice. He was a witness of the supernatural and passionate desire to bring God back into history at every level: personal, family, social. Fu testimone del soprannaturale e appassionato desiderio fu di riportare Dio nella storia ad ogni livello, personale, familiare, sociale.




(ANS – Tokyo) During Pope Francis's recent visit to Japan, one Bosconian (Don Bosco Past Pupil), staff member of Don Bosco Publications and member of the Japan Province Social Communication team, a descendant of the “hidden Christians”, who have kept the faith for the past 470 years, provided a brief interview that can be found on the Vatican News website in Spanish (video) and in English (audio) with a shortened English version text: The roots of Mitsuhiro Tateishi’s Catholic faith go back centuries, reaching back to the time of Saint Francis Xavier who first brought Christianity to Japan in 1549. That same Jesuit missionary baptized Mr. Tateishi’s ancestors 470 years ago. Mr. Tateishi told Vatican Radio that his father grew up on Ikitsuki Island in Japan’s Nagasaki Prefecture, though he has never lived there himself. It was the elder Mr. Tateishi who passed on the legacy of the faith to his son.

Why were there hidden Christians in Japan? St Francis Xavier preached the Gospel on nearby Hirado Island, finding it very fertile ground. He spent no more than 4 months in the area, but succeeded in converting hundreds of people to Christianity. Not long after, Japanese rulers began to view the faith as a threat and sought to proscribe Christianity. At first, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a great Samurai warrior known as Japan’s “great unifier”, banned Jesuits and other foreign missionaries as threats to national

unity. In 1614, the Tokugawa shogunate outlawed Christianity outright. Persecutions followed, lasting through the Edo period until 1871. Tens of thousands of Catholics were killed for their faith. The 26 Martyr Saints, to whom Pope Francis paid homage in Nagasaki last November 24, were among those witnesses. Many of those Catholics went underground, becoming known as kakure kirishitan, or “hidden Christians”. The shoguns often required suspected Christians to trample on holy images to renounce Christianity. Those who refused were usually killed. «My family chose the way to survive», said Mr. Tateishi, «so that they could keep and convey the true faith to their descendants». Throughout that 250-year persecution period, his ancestors hid on Kuroshima Island and passed on the faith from generation to generation, all without the presence of a single Catholic priest. Christians during the Edo period, Mr. Tateishi said, «were very discriminated against and poor», ranking below even outcasts in the rigid hierarchy of the time. How did Christians pass on the faith? «The Christians helped each other and practiced the teachings of Jesus’ love,” he said, and were respected because they served the poor. Their service of those in

need encouraged others to believe in the Christian faith. After Japan allowed freedom on religion in 1871, Catholic missionaries returned and discovered in Nagasaki the descendants of those who kept the faith in silence». But, Mr. Tateishi noted, «it was very difficult to bring hidden Christians back to the Catholic Church. Most renounced unorthodox, syncretistic practices and rejoined the Church. A few refused and became known as “separated Christians». Don Bosco Alumnus, Mr. Tateishi recently returned to Ikitsuki Island to visit where his father grew up, after nearly 30 years in Tokyo. «From our family house, we can see the Catholic Church», he said. «In the distance, we can even see the small island where many Christians were martyred. People still cherish that place». «I am grateful to my ancestors who overcame difficulties and inherited the faith for 470 years». Mitsuhiro Tateishi ("Mitch") now does his best to pass on the Christian faith, just like his hidden forebearers.

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(ANS – Los Palos)

Young volunteer’s testimony

Xavier Quinn is an Australian Past Pupil of the Salesian College in Sunbury, who has been on assignment in East Timor as part of the Cagliero Project. Here he shares what he has learnt so far. How has your faith and Salesian journey been so far? «At Sunbury, I was able to be introduced to the teachings and life of Don Bosco. At school, we were taught many lessons about the importance of being present with the youth. I also gained insights into what “Salesianity” is, through various camps and family connections».

How was your formation before the arrival to East Timor? «The formation before we (myself and Natanya de Dilva, the volunteer in Cambodia) left for the volunteer work was very insightful and taught me things that I would never have been able to explain or get a good grasp of.

These included understanding myself and how I deal with certain situations. It also gave me a clear understanding of what the expectations from a Salesian standpoint are for me during my time. My first few weeks in Los Palos were great. I was immediately made to feel at home and

Do you have any previous volunteer experience in Australia? «This is my first experience as a volunteer overseas. It has always been a goal of mine to do something of this nature, however; I was just waiting for the right time». How did you find out about the Cagliero Project for missionary volunteers? «I was introduced to the Cagliero Project through my sister who took up the challenge many years ago in Samoa. Following her, my brother also joined the Cagliero Project a few years after.

Watching them, and the amazing things they accomplished, gave me the desire to do the same. From then on, it was more a matter of ‘when’ not ‘will I’».


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was able to get straight into some teaching for the first week. I quickly realised that I was going to be fine living here as the food was nice, the weather was nice, there was sport everyday, and most importantly the people of Don Bosco and Los Palos were very kind to me». What is your daily life as a Cagliero volunteer in Los Palos? «My daily life consists of Mass in the morning, followed by breakfast, a little bit of work in the garden and then taking one of the boys off to pre-school.

After I return, I usually have to entertain myself by hanging out with the Orphans; if the Pre-Novices have work, then I might help or sometimes I will have an English class. Just before lunch, I go and help prepare the food and the table.

What have you learnt from the Timorese young people? «I am having an amazing time and am learning a lot about life from these boys who have very little.

As young people, we do not get caught up in problems of the world but rather focus on ourselves and what is important to us and the people around us. As an adult, now I am seeing that my mindset has shifted. These boys have helped ground me and remind me of the things which truly make us happy. In return, I teach them sometimes».

Source: AustraLasia

After lunch, I usually chill out for a bit and if it is a Tuesday or Thursday I will run a class for the Orphans. At 3:30 every day we start work in the garden until 4:30 when everyone goes to play sport. I usually play basketball, however I sometimes join in with soccer. After sports, I shower, help prepare dinner and then if I have some time, assist the Orphans with their study. Straight after dinner, I will usually walk and talk with the Pre-Novices so they can practice their English. This continues until the goodnight which is the last activity before bed».

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(ANS – Cebu City) Mrs. Christine Umpad is a former SALVO (Salesian Lay Volunteers) volunteer in Cambodia. Here she shares what she has learned through this experience.

What was the one of the biggest challenges of the experience? «Language had somehow hampered my volunteering experience. It’s really difficult at times to communicate with some students.

It was very fulfilling for me as a Bosconian and teacher».

What did you learn from your experience? «Maybe my greatest learning is to be flexible at all times. There are times when you need to adjust from one thing to another.

How was your brief volunteer experience in Cambodia? «My volunteering experience is a dream come true for me. I always had dreamed of volunteering in a foreign land to somehow return and share the favours I’ve received from the Salesians who’ve helped me in the past and the present.

What was one of the greatest joys of the experience? «My joy of volunteering lies in the smile of my tutees, my friends and the people I met during my stay.


most of all when I see that I have made new friends despite the language barrier».

I am truly happy when my tutees learn something new during our study time. And

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

There are times when you wanted to talk with the other locals but it’s kind of frustrating since I could not explain something to them well enough. But so far, I do enjoy the challenge!».

This really had taught me to be adaptable to any situation».

How has this experience impacted your life journey? «The month-long experience left footprints in my heart. As a teacher, I learned to appreciate my students and their background.


I have understood that students have different origins that may have influenced their behavior in school. As a daughter, I have valued my family even more when knowing that some students can only meet their families a few times every year. As a person, I felt very blessed to have experienced this journey».

What does Don Bosco mean to you after this experience? «Don Bosco means extending yourself for others. It’s like offering your ear to listen, your hand to help others. As a Bosconian for more than a decade already, I believe that anyone can become the Don Bosco of today!

All you need is a heart for others. Surely, doing something good can go a long way».

What can the message of Don Bosco offer the world today? «Don Bosco’s dream at 9 is a relevant message for the world today! Caring for others doesn’t require supernatural powers; all you need is to be yourself, with the guidance of Jesus and Mary». Source: AustraLasia

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YOUTH AGRICULTURE, BETWEEN PRESENT AND FUTURE (ANS – Lombriasco) The first international meeting of Salesian Agricultural Schools took place in the land of Don Bosco in recent days. The event, entitled "Expo Lombriasco 2019 - AgriCultura International Exhibition" has fostered sharing, formation, Salesian spirituality and the development of common projects. Eight Salesian schools attended: the local host of Lombriasco, three from Argentina (Venado Tuerto, San Ambrosio, Rodeo del Medio), and one each from Ireland (Limerick), Albania (Cerrik), France (Ressins) and Ghana (Sunyani). In total there were 22 students from abroad, accompanied by 7 professors, in addition to the teachers and students of the last three years of the Lombriasco Institute and representatives of the cooperating NGO Salesian for Development (VIS) who cooperate in agricultural projects in Albania and Ghana.


On Thursday 3 October, schools experienced a powerful moment of spirituality on visiting Valdocco and Colle Don Bosco. In the following two days, the delegations of the different schools, in addition to presenting their own activities, each illustrated an already active project dedicated to the Agricultural, Agro-Industrial and Agribusiness sector on the theme of innovation, sustainability and social agriculture. During the event, there were many forums, conferences and in-depth workshops: from the cultivation of bamboo to fish, from insects as feed to the new frontiers of agriculture... One of the most important moments was the sharing among the students of the Salesian Agricultural Schools and Agricultural Institutes in the area concerning the theme "giving the land back to young people." During the event, various projects of collaboration between companies and productive realities of the territory and Salesian

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019


schools arose - in particular with the institutes of Cerrik (Albania) and Sunyani (Ghana). On Sunday, October 6, diplomas and scholarships were awarded to the best three projects presented.

The first classified was for the cultivation of vegetables under innovative greenhouses, of the Salesian Agricultural School of Sunyani (Ghana). The morning ended with the presentation of the “Net4Grow� project: a network between the Salesian School of Lombriasco, the Salesian Agricultural Schools in the world, the past pupils, companies and professionals of the sector that aims to preserve and develop agricultural vocational training and to generate shared local development projects.

Given this first meeting's success, the next appointment has already been set for October 2020, with other novelties and new Salesian schools participating to share together one single project: the integration and formation of young people in the style of Don Bosco.

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At the end of Expo Lombriasco AgriCultura 2019: "Restoring the land to young people, agriculture for life", held in October, the "Net4Grow" project was presented, a network between the Salesian Agricultural School of Lombriasco, the Plaza Argentina Association, the Salesian Agricultural Schools in the world, the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, businesses and professionals in the sector, which has the objective of preserving and developing agricultural vocational training and generating projects for shared local development.

Structure To lead the production process of "Net4Grow" and guarantee the seriousness and continuity of its operational path are the Salesian Agricultural School of Lombriasco with its director Fr Marco Casanova (witness of the universality of Don Bosco's charism) and the Plaza Argentina association with Daniel Ormeno (as contact person and coordinator of the project in dialogue with the Salesian Agricultural Schools across the globe). Today other high-value subjects have joined the initiative, such as the Salesian NGO VIS - International Volunteering for Development; from the scientific world of research, ISIRES Institute of Turin; from the academic world, there's the Agricultural University of Turin DISAFA, as well as the 32

Agrimana studio coordinating the staff of agricultural technicians, agronomists and veterinarians, the team of A-Studio of Turin for innovation in agriculture and, above all, a group of entrepreneurs from the agricultural, agro-industrial and agribusiness sector, dear to the traditions of Don Bosco. The Mission The knowledge of the activities and the for

mative sensitivity of each one has led to the elaboration and proposal of a collaborative project that can be useful to the agricultural world of Monferrino, to Italy, and to the countries everywhere the educational mission of Don Bosco operates, especially through the Training schools in Agriculture, Livestock, Transformation; Agroindustry, in Innovation and Agribusiness, in Food Health and in Catering. This

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is activated through the already existing educational courses such as: School Work Alternation, vocational training courses and cultural exchanges, initiatives dedicated to students, undergraduates, graduates, professors and professionals with the opportunity to carry out on-job training experiences at companies related to these sectors in Italy and/or abroad.

5. integrate companies, stakeholders, institutions and the education system into the NETWORK; 6. organize ENTREPRENEURIAL / PROMOTIONAL MISSIONS; 7. being part of a network of past pupils and potential relationships. The benefits the network offers to businesses immediately, in addition to their own visibility given by participation in a global network, are the ability to generate opportunities between the individual contacts who have entered into it and to interact with all the subjects who are part of it. Another element of great interest is the NET4GROW Network Academy and the area dedicated to entrepreneurial Missions. In the NET4GROW Academy, companies will receive useful information and:

Net4grow Objectives 1. offer training internship opportunities;

2. offer young students the possibility of cultural exchanges; 3. promote the exchange of knowledge;

4. make ourselves available for youth employment projects in agriculture;

- become partner of a research program through the "Net4Grow LAB" for the construction of projects with national or international partners; - take advantage of Vocational Training Courses tailored to their activities; - find a space where companies can create opportunities by offering their products, services, search for partners, collaborators, etc., in Italy or abroad.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019






(ANS – Valparaíso) On 11 October, hundreds of people gathered in Valparaiso's municipal theater to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Salesian presence in the city. In these many years, Valparaíso, the land of Don Bosco's missionary dream, has become a new Valdocco, "home, courtyard, school and parish" for thousands of young people and especially for the most needy. For the evening Gala of the Anniversary, an orchestra and a choir of students from the Salesian school and the school of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians from Valparaiso performed, accompanied by young dancers.


At the opening of the event, Fr Nestor Muñoz, Director of the Salesian house, said a few words to those present: «Valparaiso is Valdocco. It is home, courtyard, school and parish. It is educating with the heart. It is reason, religion and loving-kindness. It is the permanent presence of Don Bosco among his young people, as a good shepherd who takes care and protects his flock. May these be followed by many more years, with new generations, new dreams and new challenges», he said.

Later the choir sang the songs Valparaíso by the gitanes songwriter Osvaldo Rodríguez, Con los brazos abiertos of Salesian Belarmino Sánchez, the Salesian Province's anthem. The Director of the Salesian school in Valparaiso, Antonio Neira, then recalled the history of the center. «Since its origins as the School of Arts and Crafts 'Sant'Agostino', in 1894, our school has committed lay people who from different angles and in different ways have contributed with goods, knowledge and virtues to the formation of young people».

«Today», he continued, «after 125 years, the social and economic context has changed, but the needs of our children and

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

young people are still pressing. The Salesian school has created and strengthened, over time, a solid educational pastoral proposal». Subsequently, Fr Muñoz and Fr José Lino handed over souvenir plaques to the Sale-


sians who through the years have passed across the school's halls and classrooms, such as Fr Sergio Cuevas, formerly Provincial and member of the General Council of the Congregation; Fr Carlo Lira, current Provincial, Fr Andrés Contreras, Patricio Julio Orellana, the post-novice Camilo Peña, (now in Argentina for formation) and Fr Heriberto Cabrera (on a mission to Africa).

Other awards were given to several prominent past pupils: Jorge Bermúdez, General Auditor of the Republic; Daniel Morales, mayor of Limache; Archivaldo Peralta, illustrious son of Valparaiso; Cristian Olguín, traumatologist of the "Carlos Van Buren" Hospital.

The Anniversary Gala ended with much applause and the performance of dozens of young people in festive songs, while a boy dressed as Don Bosco and several little helpers distributed cakes to the participants. In addition to the Provincial and his Council, the auxiliary bishop of Santiago, the Salesian Alberto Lorenzelli, past pupils and several representatives of the educational and pastoral community of the school also took part in the festive event.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019





(ANS – Rome, 22 october 2019)

Being "good news press" so as to continue promoting freedom and respect for the essential values of life, family and education; with this purpose, the Past Pupils of Don Bosco begin the celebrations for the centenary of the magazine "Voci Fraterne". Published for the first time in June 1920, the magazine is the official journal of the Italian Federation of Past Pupils of Don Bosco, and over the years has become increasingly a tool to spread not only news related to activities in local centers from across the peninsula, but above all, a vehicle to provide society with all those ideas for ongoing formation so beloved by Don Bosco and recommended to his children who have worked over the years as "good Christians and upright citizens".

The important anniversary of "Voci Fraterne" does not come "empty handed", but with a rich heritage to its credit: about a thousand issues and over 20,000 pages full of stories, reports, reflections and insights that were able to positively contaminate the Italian social fabric.

For the magazine's centenary, several events have been scheduled, the first on Friday 8 November in Rome at 10 am at Palazzo Montecitorio, which will feature some of the most authoritative names in Italian Catholic publishing. This event will be opened by the inaugural lecture on Communication in the thoughts of Pope Francis by Andrea Tornielli, Editorial Director of the Dicastery for Communication at the Holy See; subsequently Dr. Tornielli will also take part in the Round Table on the current state and the future of the Catholic press, together with Vania De Luca, National President of the Unione Cattolica Stampa Italiana, the Italian Catholic Press union; Vincenzo Morgante, Director of Italian Episcopal Conference TV and radio broadcasters: "Tv2000" and "Radio InBlu"; and Carlo Verna, President of Italy's Order of Journalists. 36

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

The conclusions will be entrusted to Fr Bruno Ferrero, multifaceted writer and Director of the Salesian Bulletin of Italy. A special guest is the actor and singer Marcello Cirillo, who played Don Bosco in the musical dedicated to him for the Bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth; he will read passages from Don Bosco. The event is to be conducted and moderated by Valerio Martorana, Director of "Voci Fraterne". The magazine, which is distributed free to all Past Pupils who request it, can also be accessed in digital format at the address: http://www.exallievidonbosco.it/rivista/




A sports Conference celebrated an anniversary: 90 years since the first football match at Campo Testaccio in Rome, played on 3 November 1929 by the local team against Brescia.

The Conference, "Campo Testaccio ... Ciai tanta storia", was organized by the Don Bosco Past Pupils Union of the Roman quarter, which is part of the Salesian parish of Santa Maria Liberatrice.

Above: the Church of Santa Maria Liberatrice Below: the magazine of the Union of Former Students of Don Bosco

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019





A book, Magellan and Don Bosco around the world, so pleasant to read as well as informed, full of news, memories, references and even poetic cues, has come out in these days. Don Bosco and Magellan. ÂŤWhat can a priest and a sailor have in common? They lived centuries apart...Âť. Both dreamers. They always "saw" the places before they got there; imagined them in advance and then met... What is accomplished with this book is a journey full of emotions; to understand the present, proceeding from the past. The narrative style followed by the author (Nicola Bottiglieri) is of great readability for the breadth of breath and the vastness of his world; it attracts the purity and harmony of language. The chapters are small fragments of life, lived among a thousand difficulties and incredible coincidences, between constraints and episodes of humanity. The spirit that hovers in all the pages is the gesture of a man (Don Bosco) who was concerned to sow for the future. That little seed, sown by Providence on the outskirts of Valdocco in Turin over a century ago, has today become an immense tree of many colours and fruits. Nicola Bottiglieri is professor of Hispanic American Literature at the University of Cassino and southern Lazio. His works focus on travel literature, in particular on real and imaginary journeys in the Atlantic Ocean. Author of novels, short stories, rewrites of 38

myths and travel reports, he edited, among other things, the screenplay for the film A sud del sud, a road movie at the "end" of the American continent (DVD Elledici 2014). The Afterword is by Don Francesco Motto, former director of the Salesian Historical Institute and current president of the Association of Salesian History Culturers.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019




Bangkok, Thailand, 12 November 2019

The Salesian Past Pupils group is another active group member of the Salesian Family in Thailand. They are active in encouraging and supporting the Salesians in their work to help the poor youth and society. We have the exemplary example of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco Technological College Bangkok and Saengthong School. On 9-10 November 2019, the Past Pupils Association from Don Bosco Technological College Bangkok represented by Batch 43, organized its 23rd Charity Rally. The participants contested the trophy of Her Royal Princess Sirindhorn. The route of the rally was from Bangkok to Nakorn Nayok. Fr. Francis De Lorenzi, SDB graced the occasion and opened the activity, in which 120 cars took part. The activity aimed to get funds for scholarships for poor students and to support the initiatives of the College.

On 26 October 2019, the Past Pupils Association at Saeng Thong School, Hatyai, Songkhla Province, together with the Parents & Teachers Association organized the 9th Blood Donation Activity to help humankind in the school area itself.

This activity received the warm cooperation of the members. The Salesian confreres themselves, the teachers, the parents, the past pupils and the general public joined to donate their blood. This year 176 bags of blood were collected and were handed over to the Thai Red Cross.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019



I would like to give you a brief info of our car rally as the following;

1. Car Rally is one of the four activities that each batch of the past pupils who celebrate their 25th anniversary of graduation have to go through the following activities 1.1 Home Coming-raising funds for the College 1.2. Bowling - raising funds for lunch meals for about 200 poor students of DBT College. 1.3. Golf - raising funds for teachers benefit and other needs of the DBT College. 1.4. Car Rally - raising funds for scholarship for 200 poor students who cannot pay for the school fees. 1.5. Praying for the SDB missionary to Thai province. - raising funds for Salesian vocation. Therefore, the Car Rally is for raising funds to support 200 poor students who cannot pay for their school fee of USD 300 per year. This year we got THB 500,000, or Euro 15,146.93 for the scholarship. 120 cars joined this activity. This Car Rally is also meant for the annual retreat for the pp families that they have a chance to have confession, attending mass 40

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019


and listening to the good sermon of the SDB. The pp families will spend the evening by having dinner together and enjoying a lot of activities at the dinner party at the hotel. The stickers on the car are from different companies of the pp which generate a lot of income for the activity.

This year we willl form a bigger group of business, ie, there are about 70 batches who graduate from DBT College. Each batch has its own governing body to look / identify its members who is/are the owner/s of the company. Then, we will put them together and categorise types of business.

We epect that we might have more than 500 companies to maker a big group of DB Business Club. Consequently, to raise funds to help the DBT College in future is not a big problem for us.

The rector and other SDB priests of the college are always present among them. I also enclosed the photos for your publication which are self-explanatory. Meanwhile, God bless. Yours sincerely, Francis Wichai EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019






AKASH BASHIR CONTINUES TO INSPIRE (ANS – Lahore) Almost five years after the life sacrifice of Akash Bashir (1994 – 15 March 2015) – the past pupil of the Lahore’s Don Bosco school who gave up his life to prevent a suicide bomber from provoking a massacre in the church of St John in Youhannabad on 15 March 2015 – the Salesians, together with the local Church in Lahore, have begun to collect testimonials (a 16-question interview) for the possible cause of martyrdom. Until now, more than 20 people from his parish in Lahore, both Christians and Muslims, have contributed with their testimony. The shining model of Akash Bashir continues to spread around the world. In just the last few months, Catholic TV crews from Poland, South Korea, Spain and Italy have visited Lahore and interviewed the witnesses - his family. Also for the next Lenten season 2020, the life witness of Akash has been chosen by the “Church In Need” as one of the six globally significant symbols of the persecuted Church. The tomb at the small Catholic cemetery at Youhanabbad parish in Lahore was made


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

with marble donated by a Muslim businessman. His figure highlights personal sacrifice, giving one's life for others! His family, his friends and his parishioners keep his memory very much alive. Some typical witnesses follow: What do you know about Akash Bashir's martyrdom? «Through his sacrifice so many people started to serve in the Church. Akash had the desire to become a martyr, by sacrificing himself. Jesus fulfill this desire. I knew Akash was a security man, I didn’t meet him personally, but he saved my family. Through that incident, me and my family relationship with Akash’s family have gained strength. Now our families have a very good relationship».

What was Akash Bashir's spiritual and prayer life like? «His spiritual prayer and prayer life were really good; he was always praying. His prayer life was improving and improving every day. His spiritual life was strong. He liked to go to Church and listen to the




word of God. The day of the blast, 15 March 2015, when we heard the sound of blast we ran towards the church and we saw the people injured. I saw Akash Bashir who was fallen on the ground in front of the church’s gate; I saw many wounds on his face and I came to know he faced the terrorist. “I will die but I will not let you enter into the church” were his last words to the terrorist».

Any miracle through the intercession of Akash Bashir? «Through his martyrdom, Akash Bashir saved many people, but the miracle is that he makes us all aware of the importance of life and family, he gave us a new light of wisdom… For me, the miracle performed was that day when the bomb blast came, many lives were saved through his sacrifice. Akash walked ahead of us and showed us the path to eternal life». Prayer for the cause of martyrdom of Akash Bashir

Almighty God, Your faithful servant and martyr Akash Bashir, Don Bosco Past Pupil witnessed wholeheartedly the Gospel especially to his family and the parish community of Youhannabad You gave him a strong faith, unfailing hope and tireless zeal to serve the Catholic community and lead others to Jesus. You made him a shining model for other youth and people of other religions Inspiration in service to others and selfless help. Help us to follow Jesus like him, with tireless zeal, undivided heart and loving kindness. Let our lives be a continuous praise of You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Source: AustraLasia

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019






ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND DYNAMISM FOSTER DON BOSCO PAST PUPILS' GROWTH (ANS – Ulanbaatar) Since their arrival in Mongolia in 2001, Salesians have always been helped by many lay people. In view of the 20th anniversary of their presence in the country, those who have benefited from Salesian education are working to promote the creation of links between Salesian institutions and society. In the last two years, the past pupils of the Don Bosco Industrial Skills Training Center in Ulanbaatar (DBISTC) have committed themselves to strengthening the sense of internal belonging between the past pupils and the Salesian Family. In recent times they have also produced a brief institutional video in which they present several testimonies on the goodness of the formation received. «We are pleased to share this simple presentation that wants above all to express a


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

concept: WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE STUDIED AT THE DBISTC! In the future we intend to work together as a family and for our school,» explained MB Boloroo, the secretary of the local Past Pupil Center. From 2001 onwards over 800 students have graduated from the DBISTC in Ulanbaatar; many other young people have received a Salesian education at the Salesian center in Darkhan, the assistance center in Ulanbaatar and the center of Shuwuuu. A first gathering of Don Bosco's past pupils in May 2017, which saw about 400 participants, was the starting point of a movement that does not intend to stop.

«Now we are also followed and accompanied by Andrew Phuong, SDB, and we want to focus on specific goals» adds Mr Bayartsengel, another past pupil. «We want to contact as many Don Bosco Past Pupils as possible through the various channels available (Facebook, phone numbers, email




...); raise funds for scholarships for needy students; volunteer with families in difficulty; to offer the Salesian good morning to the DBISTC; accompany the center's students in the world of work, or find the best internships for their needs; and also prepare psychological counseling meetings to help young people with separated or divorced parents, a growing phenomenon now in MongoliaÂť.

These objectives are carried out with great pragmatism: currently data from around 80 of the past students for the DBISTC have already been collected; a young scholarship recipient was identified; and sporting competitions were held to make the reality of Salesian education ever more visible and known. Source: AustraLasia By MB Boloroo Secretary of the DB Alumni Center, Ulanbaatar

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019







Year L, number 32-33 (2,578) Vatican City Tuesday 6-13 August 2019 passport" that would lead them to a formal job and a successful and lasting career. Academic training was a different requirement for professional growth within an excellent organization.

Today, the dream of university "straw" has become an obligation and the certainty of winning a vacant job, a stressful uncertainty.

Globalization has destroyed the borders and broken the age-old structural barriers, making millions of jobs evaporate from the planet Earth.

Many jobs have disappeared, generating millions of unemployed around the world. If the first formal job is extremely difficult, the last one can be extremely early. At 20 we can be considered inexperienced and at 40 decadent years.

Globalization has destroyed borders and broken structural barriers FAUSTINO VICENTE* A few decades ago, the dream of many young people was to graduate from a prestigious university, as it was the "stamped 46

This reality, which has made the world increasingly materially better, reminds us of one of the classics of American cinema Tempi Moderni - (1936) with Charles Chaplin, the "immortal" Carlitos. Through satire he shows us attempts to replace man with machines. The increase in productivity - doing more and better, with less and less - was the

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

great goal, even if the human being was humiliated, as can be seen in some scenes of the last silent film of this legend of the seventh art.

Information technology (IT) has reduced distances and close distances, through practicality - an essential "product" in the new lifestyle of contemporary society. We can say that part of the banking sector can be considered an expressive example of this statement.

Faced with the dizzying technological changes, we believe that it is worth reflecting deeply on one of the verses of the song "O que e, o que e" by the late Brazilian singer, composer and musician Gonzaguinha: "The beauty of being an eternal apprentice". Professionals, regardless of their activity, who have the exact perception of what this maximum represents, can discover the difference that will make the difference in terms of sustainable success. On the global competitiveness, valid for all human activities, we conclude with the following maxim: "In times of crisis some cry and others ... sell scarves".

* Consultant for companies and public agencies. Ex-pupil of the Maria Ausiliatrice High School in Campinas.



SALESIAN FAMILY PILGRIMAGE TO SHRINE OF MOGOFORES Mogofores, Portogallo On October 20, the XXXIII National Pilgrimage of the Salesian Family took place at the National Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians in Mogofores, with over 500 participants. The event began with morning prayer and the greeting of Fr Aníbal Mendonça, Superior of the Salesian Province of Portugal (POR), followed by the missionary testimonies of two past pupils and two animators of the SYM. Fr Sílvio Faria then spoke on missionary spirituality inspired by the "Evangelii Gaudium" of Pope Francis. After the Eucharistic celebration, the procession of pilgrims began with the statue of Our Lady Help of Christians along the city streets. Before Fr Mendonça's final message, emphasizing the importance of the mission in everyone's life, some members of ADMA and Salesian Cooperators renewed their apostolic commitment.

Zagreb, Croatia - november 2019


On 16 November, Salesians, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators, Past Pupils and members of ADMA met in Zagreb for the Salesian Family Day. Present at the event: Fr Tadeusz Rozmus, Councilor for the Central and Northern Europe Region, on an animation visit to the Salesian Province of Croatia (CRO). He spoke on the theme: "The Salesian community and my responsibility for it". Fr Damir Stoji , director of the Jarun community, where the event took place, spoke of holiness and how the Salesian Family should offer it to young people. The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Fr Tihomir Šutalo, Superior of the CRO Province.


EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019





(ANS – Pamplona) The statue, three meters high and weighing four tons, was moved from the top of the 12-meter-high tower of the Salesian house in Pamplona to be taken to the new center of Sarriguren in the Egües Valley, in Navarre. In the first week of September, about 930 students inaugurated this new educational center and the image of Mary Help of Christians, who had been in the old center of Pamplona for 60 years, could not but be present. This statue will now in fact be transferred to the new Salesian educational center. Yesterday, 30 September, after a few hours of work, in the middle of the afternoon, a crane removed the statue of Mary Help of Christians from the top of the tower of the Salesian church on Calle Aralar in Pamplona, and is now waiting to be moved to the garden of the new school built in Sarriguren. The statue, more than three meters high, was carved in stone by Aureo Rebolé Egüaras, originally from Aibar (Navarra), who was called the "imaginero" of the 20th century in his native land. Rebolé (1936-1994) was an expert in sculpting stone. Perhaps the sculptor's personality is still present in the statue. Sixty years after its 48

creation, during which Mary Help of Christians watched over the roofs of the city, the expression of Mary and the Child have remained intact. The image was blessed and enthroned on 31 May 1959 in an act presided over by the archbishop and the patrons of the sculpture, Modesto Liquiniano, then mayor of Narvarte, and his wife Elena Arrechea. When the image of the Virgin was taken down the street of Via Aralar, some members of the Salesian Family, together with the Salesians and some citizens, took the opportunity to take photographs with the statue.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019

Throughout the day the workers were accompanied by several members of the Salesian Family and by Past Pupils who came to share their memories, but also by curious people who appeared on their balconies. «I followed how they dismantled the statue», said the president of the Red Cross of Pamplona. «I feel very sad because it was the image I saw every morning from my window.».

At the end of the day, the workers took the statue to restore it. One of the bells was also pulled down,and this year it shall ring in the new bell tower of the Church of Mary Help of Christians in Sarriguren.


(ANS – Shillong)



21st December 2019 was a Red Letter Day for the Tiwa Community. On this auspicious day, the complete Tiwa Bible - “Baibil Khumur” (Holy Bible) - was released by Reverend Bishop Paul Matekatt, Bishop of Diphu, in a solemn ceremony in Umswai parish, West Karbi Anglong, Assam, in the presence of Reverend Bishop John Moolechira, Archbishop of Guwahati, Reverend Father UV Jose SDB, Chief translator, Reverend Fr Januarius Sangma SDB, Provincial of Guwahati Province, Reverend Fr Joseph Teron SDB, Vice-Provincial, Fr Basil Benny, Economer, Shri D Uphing Maslai, MAC, many priests and religious. A huge crowd witnessed the historic celebration.

The release of the Bible was preceded by the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Reverend Bishop John Moolechira, Archbishop of Guwahati. In his homily, he congratulated Fr UV Jose SDB and his team for the “unmatched” achievement of translating the Bible into Tiwa language and making it the ‘youngest’ edition among thousands of copies in different languages in the world. He urged everyone to read and reflect on the word of God as it has the power to change our lives – individually and as a society.

Reverend Bishop Paul Matekatt, Bishop of Diphu, in his speech, thanked the Chief translator and his collaborators for making the Bible available in the mother tongue of the Tiwa community. He noted that Fr UV Jose painstakingly worked for over five years, spending up to 14 hours every day

to achieve the challenging task. He termed “Baibil Khumur” a treasure but the treasure is not just for show but should be utilized well. The people, particularly the young, should now learn verses of the Bible as it is now available in their own language, he further added.

Fr Januarius Sangma SDB, Provincial, expressed his joy and happiness to see the Tiwa Bible join millions of copies of the Bible being printed every day. While wholeheartedly congratulating Fr UV Jose, he also acknowledged the contribution of the ‘cotranslators’ who are all past pupils of Don Bosco schools. The first copy of the Bible was presented to Revered Bishop John Moolechira, Archbishop of Guwahati, before it was given

to Bishop Paul Matekatt, Bishop of Diphu, Fr UV Jose himself, all members of the translating team and to other dignitaries. The Tiwa or Lalung community is an indigenous tribe inhabiting mainly the states of Assam and Meghalaya of North East India. They are also found in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur. Numbering about 371,000, the 2011 census says that the total number of Tiwa speakers is only 34,800 (approximately). Before him, the pioneer missionary, Reverend Fr Michael Balawan SDB also translated the New Testament into Tiwa. He wrote the Tiwa-English-Khasi dictionary and brought out religious and song books in the language. Fr Albert Thyrniang, SDB

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2019


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: www.exallievi.org

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

Direction and Editorial Coordination Pierluigi Lazzarini newsflash@exallievi.org pierluigi.2208@tiscali.it


Editorial Secretary Veronica Messano

Collaborators of this issue Don Ángel Fernández Artime SDB, Michal Hort, Fr Jayapalan Raphael SDB, Elisane Alves, MB Boloroo, Oswaldo Dalpiaz, Asif Daniel, Bryan Magro, Fr CM Paul SDB, Gianfrancesco Romano, Fr Albert Thyrniang SDB, Faustino Vicente, Francesco Wichai

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

Photography and Images Archivio Ag. ANS, AustraLasia

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


Privacy notice: we process your personal data to the extent of your name, surname and email address, on the basis of Article 6 section 1 f) of the GDPR (legitimate interest in informing the organisation’s members on events, news and updates regarding our organisation and the Salesian family), or, as the case may be, on the basis of your consent, exclusively for the purpose determined above, i.e. informing its members on events, news and updates regarding the organisation and the Salesian family via a newsletter. The controller of the personal data is the association Confederazione Mondiale Ex Allievi Don Bosco with its seat at Via Della Pisana 111, 00163 Rome, Italy [Via Tiburtina, 994 - 00156 Roma (Italia)], Identification No.: 97066620580, email office@exallievi.org, phone No.+421 915 966 549. Your personal data are not provided to third parties, are not transferred to third countries or international organisations. Your personal data do not make part of an automated decision-making or profiling. The processing of your personal data is not a statutory or contractual requirement, nor a requirement necessary to enter into a contract; you are not obliged to provide us with your personal data. We shall process your personal data until you exercise your right to object to the processing / withdraw your consent. In case you wish to know more about the processing, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you do not wish to receive our newsletters you are entitled, at any time, without any conditions or costs, to object to the processing / withdraw your consent, by sending an email to office@exallievi.org


Ag. ANS - Editorial board

Ag. ANS - Nisaury Ventura

Ag. ANS - Editorial board

Ag. ANS - Nisaury Ventura





Bu o n N a t a l e !

F el i z N a v i d ad !

J o yeu x N o ël !

F el i z N ad al !

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