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E X A LLIEVI Newsflash YEAR 9 - ISSUE 40 - CHRISTMAS 2020

Religious and Social magazine of the World Confederation of Ex-students of Don Bosco English Edition (translations: Sandra Pistilli)

M e r r y C h ri s t m a s !


T HE VOICE OF THE R ECTOR M AJOR

With the powerful strength of hope, CHRISTMAS DURING TIMES OF PANDEMIC

Greetings, dear friends and readers. Today, on the eve of Christmas, I want to share with you a dialogue between a grandmother and her granddaughter. This is a grandmother who knows and understands the human heart from the wealth of experience she has gained from walking the road of life:

«Grandma, if you were my Fairy Godmother, what gift would you give me?» asked the little girl.

«If I were your Fairy Godmother, I would not give you dresses or a carriage», said the old woman as she smiled at her granddaughter.

«Instead, I would you give the gift of KNOWING HOW TO LIVE WITH HOPE. With this knowledge, you would understand from the earliest days of your youth that time passes quickly and, once it is gone, you cannot get it back. You would know never to spend the time you have on anything but a full and meaningful life with those whom you wish, whom you love, and who need you the most. You would gradually come to understand how to bury the weapons of your internal struggles so that your life would produce Peace for you will see things that you would like to change until the day you die. You would learn how to dance with the winds and tides of change while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground, rooted in your intention, your dream, and your desire to be very human and very divine at the same time. This way, you will never turn against that huge heart within you which is capable of receiving everything that has life and everyone who comes to you. That is what I would give you, little one... but you already have a “Fairy Godmother”! It is the very LIFE and LOVE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU». Dear friends, even amid the tears of this year, 2020 - one so difficult, strange, hard, and painful for us and, above all, for so many families and elderly persons - it still makes sense to look forward with Hope. The Life and the Light that the Lord of Life continues to hold out to us is where we must ground this Hope. Even though poverty has gripped the lives of so many people during this year, it has been accompanied by the generosity of many others. Even though people have had to look on silently, “saying” painful goodbyes to loved ones and “embracing” them only with their gaze, it still makes

On the cover: “What is beautiful is God's presence among men” (Pavel Edvokimov, Russian theologian)

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EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Christmas 2020

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T HE VOICE OF THE R ECTOR M AJOR

perfect sense for us to wish each other a life built daily on smiles, dreams, and Hope amidst these tears and fatigue. This is what the grandmother taught her granddaughter. A stranger in the night The feast of Christmas returns laden with Light and with Hope. Even in this year, one most unfavorable to gathering for celebrations thanks to this COVID-19 which does not seem to want to leave us, the crib in Bethlehem appears before our eyes and our memory with all the essentials of our humanity. Thanks to the suggestion of a passer-by, whose name has remained hidden for all the ages, Mary and Joseph find a cave which was being used as a stable where they could spend their last night of vigil, awaiting His Birth. It is here that Jesus was born in such absolute poverty. Artistic iconography has surrounded this holy family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph with angels and stars. Yet how many fears and how much trepidation were also present! Today, magazine photos show us children alone and abandoned in their innocence, helplessness, and weakness. Christmas places before each of us the eternal values brought by this Incarnate Child to a hungering humanity, sometimes sick with illness and devoid of attainable goals and perhaps even seemingly devoid of a compass that gives direction to life. It is a humanity that feels more fragile and powerless during a pandemic. It is one that needs Hope, a Hope that is born in the depths of our humanity for it is made in the image and likeness of the God Who is Love. COVID has forced us to slow the growth of our relationships, locking ourselves in, while the Baby Jesus invites us to open up, to give our life, or part of it, to others. His is a Light that is combined with Love. For this reason, the Feast of Christmas also helps us to live amidst precariousness, limitations, and illness and helps us to start over again each morning with faith and with Hope. For the Christmas greetings that I composed to send to some friends, I share these words now with you for they tell us precisely how life is a journey and a goal and what travelling on the ocean of history is like: sometimes lived amid storms that bear the name of the “COVID Pandemic” or some other “pandemic” that we endure every day and how much damage they can do. This is a journey guided by true stars: the people who radiate Light and Hope until we reach the One Who IS the Light par

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T HE VOICE OF THE R ECTOR M AJOR

excellence, Jesus the Lord, the Son of God and Son of Mary, Who pitched His Tent among us on that very first Christmas night. This is the greeting; these are the beautiful words:

Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of Hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the True Light, the Sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach Him we also need lights close by— people who shine with His Light and so guide us along our way. Who more than Mary could be a Star of Hope for us? With her “yes” she opened the door of our world to God Himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched His Tent among us. (see Jn. 1:14) - (Spe Salvi, no. 49).

And so, I wish every family, each of you, and, especially those who feel alone and abandoned and yet moved by Hope, a very “Merry Christmas”.

Ángel Fernández Artime, SDB Rector Major

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G REETINGS FROM THE P RESIDENT

Uniqueness of the times in which we live Dear Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco

Allow me to shortly greet you in the occasion of this brand new volume of EX ALLIEVI Newsflash. Just before the Christmas of 2020 we are releasing news from the whole world of Past Pupils of Don Bosco. I would like to invite you to dedicate few minutes of your time to next pages. Their mission is to unify us, to inspire us and to encourage us. Especially during this year 2020, year of Corona virus, year of many challenges and struggles but also the year of Jubilee, year of celebration, year of planning and year of joy.

First of all I would like to thank you all for your patience. During the last few months we have struggled with our website www.exallievi.org and also with its content, including EX ALLIEVI Newsflash. In our physical lives we have faced the Covid-19 virus, but on the online level we have faced the different virus. The website of Past Pupils of Don Bosco has been attacked and our website has come to a brink of the collapse for a while. Thanks to our volunteers and IT professional we have been able to stop the attack and to save significant amount of our data. At the beginning of the December we have received the early Christmas gift in form of, new, much better secured and updated website. We will finalize its content soon and we invite you to use it even more than before.

This year gave us many challenges, but at the same time it brings us many positive projects and following-worthy examples. Not only every Newsflash of the year 2020 is the prove of it, but the year 2020 with its celebrative meaning and anniversary value is prove itself. We have prepared and released several initiatives in order to celebrate this year – spread of the Strenna 2020, publications about Carlo Gastini and Alberto Marvelli, 150 Past Pupils Profiles and Projects publication, Tazzine / coffee cups gifts... All those remind us the importance and exclusivity of times we live in. Even if it seems difficult, and everyday challenges might be more overwhelming than ever before, we live extraordinary times of 150 years from birth of the first Past Pupils. Our own lives and all examples we share with you via this EX ALLIEVI Newsflash are a living proof of rich history, evolution of our structure and rise of the impact, that Past Pupils are invited to create in today’s society.

With this volume of EX ALLIEVI Newsflash you are about to read, I would like to assure you about great value we receive every day from Don Bosco, from Salesian Family and from our brothers Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco. I invite you to get inspired by the example of what don Bosco is doing through all of us around the world, and to be proud to be called his sons, daughters, friends, his Past Pupils. Since this EX ALLIEVI Newsflash volume is coming out just before the special and blessed time of Christmas, I would like to use this opportunity to wish you Merry Christmas. As the whole world and universe waits for the blissful day to honor Christ, our savior´s birth, let peace, comfort and joy surround you and your loved ones. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! In Don Bosco Il Presidente Michal Hort

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D ELEGATE FOR THE S ALESIAN F AMILY

A light that calls us back from the horizon

Dearest friends,

when you begin a new personable situation, the mind opens up to new horizons. There is a light that calls back and an energy that pushes. The thinness of the light doesn’t let us see all the future that is approaching, but, yes, it nourishes the Hope. The energy that drives us is found in the charismatic strength of the mission received. Both of them are the expression and the sign of the Spirit that calls us and dwells in us, supporting our commitment. This is the experience and the conviction that has moved my steps in recent months, since I took over the mission that the Rector Major has entrusted to me to the service of the World Salesian family: thirty two groups, including you Past Pupils of Don Bosco, who are one of the most numerous. I too am a Past Pupil of the Salesians of my city.

An Association, yours, with 150 years’ path. The initial seed of Carlo Gastini and his companions became a multitude of men and women who carry the Salesian seal of smile, affection, friendship, family spirit, professionalism, social commitment and Faith, in their hearts.

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D ELEGATE FOR THE S ALESIAN F AMILY

Certainly the accents are different, according to the cultures, generations, personal paths, circumstances of each person’s life. But among the existential references, the figure of Don Bosco, with everything that surrounds him, is among the most powerful. Even today, when we all get together with the companions of our Salesian home, we agree that: “the experience lived was one of the best events that happened in our life”. But the light calls us to the horizon. We are well aware that many young people of the new generations find themselves with problems rather beyond their strength, or with little possibility of reacting on their own. Needs, although often of a material nature, usually emerge from the depths: dignity, self-esteem, compassion, joy and sense of life, Hope… Dear Friends, we too have experienced, in our youth, situations that required friendly hands to succeed and move forward. The spirit of Don Bosco has developed in us the ability of establish links with the needy. What does the reality of today’s young people suggest to you? “Vis unita fortior” (united our strength is stronger). Don Bosco defined the Salesian as: “the ecclesiastic in shirt sleeves”. And there are many Salesians that we have known as hard workers. Will it be possible in your Centers, with your groups of friends to undertake new initiatives at the service of the young people who need it most? “What moves us is Hope”, is the motto of Rector Major’s Strenna for next year. Do you want to join this chain of Salesian Hope? I wish 2021 will be for you and me a new light that calls us back from the horizon. Let us allow ourselves to be led by this light. Don Joan Lluís Playà, salesian Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family

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E DITORIAL

«Pick up your life and make it a masterpiece» Dear Friends,

we are living a period of extreme disorientation; as in waking up after an anesthesia, we are still trying to understand what happened to us, where the pain is located and what the future will hold to us. Aristotle used to say that the subject is easily perceived by the object, if the first one creates some emotional interest.

What a paradox this disposable world of ours. Even though we have many things, we live in nostalgia of when we have less and we enjoy more. To pay the price are the weakest, the poor, the lonely people, the elderly; those who in the ranking of interests come last. And there are many of them because in the in the well-being society, poverty is not just a question of "not having" but also of “not being”.

The Church cannot be located only in the buildings of worship. The Church is operating and present where an attempt is made to respond to the needs of the poor and the suffering. We need people who know how to sew up, in a world where many work to create fractures and tears. The cultural climate that dominates today is hostile to the examination of conscience and heedless of the final judgment. In “Christus vivit”, Pope Francis explains how intergenerational dialogue is necessary. «The elderly have dreams interwoven of memories, of images of many things lived, marked by the experience and by the years. If young people are rooted in the dreams of the elderly they will be able to see the future; they will be able to have visions that open the horizon and show them new paths. But if the elderly don’t dream, young people will no longer be able to see the horizon clearly» (Cv, 193).

It’s the right starting point for us Past Pupils, who this year celebrate the Jubilee of our 150 years. We are children of a dreamer, Don Bosco, who believed that the significance of life could be found in the simplest things, in the family, in work, in leisure activities, in religion. If “Christus vivit” has been written by a Past Pupil, Pope Francis, another suggestion comes to us from Saint John Paul II, whose first sacerdotal Mass was celebrated in a Polish Salesian church: «Pick up your life and make it a masterpiece».

Along with you all, I dream (me too…) of a Christmas when there is time to narrate a true story, instead of the honeyed Disney fables that make the intelligence of our children diabetic. Christmas is the deep knot of time that marks a before and an after. Christians (and the whole world) begin counting the years, telling the History starting right from Christmas. And the stories we tell in these pages of EX ALLIEVI Newsflash represent an extraordinary choral tale made of dedication, humanity and human capabilities. A nice day doesn’t depend on how much sun there is outside, but on how much light we have within us. Let’s try to switch it on with a smile, then we’ll see. In the meantime… Merry Christmas! Pierluigi Lazzarini

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Vatican

Pope Francis writes to "his" school and encourages education in the style of Don Bosco (ANS - Vatican City)

Due to the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Salesian school "Wilfrid Barón de los Santos Ángeles" in Ramos Mejia, Argentina - where the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio attended sixth grade in 1949 - Pope Francis has sent a letter to the deputy director general of the work, Daniel Joaquin Blanco Mengoni. Below is the text of the letter.

Dear brother, On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Work of Don Bosco in Ramos Mejia, I turn to you and to all the members of this beloved Salesian family. I join in your thanks for all these years spent sowing the joy of the Gospel in so many children and young people, and in reaching the hearts of so many families and the peripheries of society.

I remember with gratitude when I attended the sixth grade of the Wilfrid Barón de los Santos Ángeles school in 1949, and received that formation in the style of Don Bosco, open to work, creativity and joy. School life was a "whole", and there was no time to get bored: study, sharing, prayer, attention to the poorest, manual activities; everything we did and learned had a harmonious unity and prepared us for life with a sense of responsibility and a horizon of transcendence.

I encourage you to continue your daily work in this perspective, bearing in mind the words of St. John Bosco: "Holiness consists in always being happy". May the joy that comes from the encounter with the Lord be reflected in all your activities, so that the Gospel may radiate and reach everyone. May Jesus bless you and Mary Help of Christians watch over you with maternal protection. And please don't forget to pray for me. Fraternally,

Francis

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A NNIVERSARIES

The thoughts of Blessed Filippo Rinaldi, DON BOSCO'S III SUCCESSOR

(ANS - Rome) On Saturday 5 December the Salesian Family recalled the liturgical memorial of Blessed Philip Rinaldi (1856-1931), Don Bosco's III Successor at the head of the Congregation. From his first profession, in 1880, until his death as Rector Major, he was involved in a great variety of Salesian charismatic enterprises, while always maintaining a rather low profile.

As a young priest he dealt with "late vocations" and, as Rector Major, launched the network of aspiring missionaries (the first erected in 1922 in Ivrea). During his Rectorate (1921-1931) the number of professed Salesians, after the hor-

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rors of the First World War, increased exponentially: from 4,638 Salesians and 437 novices in 1921 to 8,059 Salesians and 895 novices in 1931. He was distinguished by his missionary zeal. The 61st Salesian missionary expedition, in 1929, was the largest in Salesian history: 374 Salesians and 103 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians left. He was responsible for the growth of the Salesian Family: he established the association of Past Pupils and founded the Secular Institute of Don Bosco's Volunteers (VDB). He consolidated the structure of the Salesian Cooperators and, through ADMA, promoted a strong devotion to Mary Help of Christians.

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Even as Rector Major he was involved in the spiritual guidance of many, dedicating a lot of time to Confessions. His care for the interior life of the Salesians and the members of the Salesian Family made the great vocational and missionary movement possible. On the occasion of his feast day, the VDB shared some of the "Thoughts" of Blessed Philip Rinaldi, listed below: • In recollection, in interior silence, the voice of God is heard, and the consecrated soul is formed. • Do all possible good, according to the spirit of Don Bosco. • Take care of the interior life; have a good spirit, without getting worried or worrying about success. • Love the Lord and, in the love of the Lord,


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love your neighbour. It is the true carrying out of consecrated life. • A deeply humble and meek person willingly gives self to others, sacrifices generously, loves Our Lord more perfectly.

our model, was obedient to the point of death, and death on the cross. • We must not expect to do extraordinary things in matters of the spirit. Be simple like children.

• When we obey the arrangements that God has made for us, day by day, we do God's Will.

• Piety is like food, and it is the first thing that is given to the creature. It is the food of Christian life, therefore we must not stop feeding it, so that the spiritual life does not fail in us.

• Life is to work. The one who lives works; when one does nothing, one dies. • Stay united together in the same spirit, and you will understand each other more easily. • Kindness and Gentleness in looks, in the dealings, in words: conquer everyone with goodness.

• The essence of true piety is, Holy Communion, good works and, better still, the imitation of the one we want to honour: Mary Most Holy. cora, l’imitazione di quella che vogliamo onorare: Maria Santissima.

• Jesus shed all his blood in obedience to the Father, and to save humanity. Jesus,

Source: AustraLasia

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150 Y EARS OF H ISTORY

Dominican Republic

The 150th anniversary of the Past Pupils

Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic - November 2020 On 9 November, the meeting of the Salesian Family took place in Pinar Quernado, Jarabacoa, which was attended by representatives of the various groups. During the event, the 150th anniversary of the Past Pupils was celebrated and an award was given to Fr Francisco Batista, Provincial of the Salesian Province of the Antilles (ANT), for his dedication and closeness during his 6 years of service as Provincial.

India

Past pupils paint tribal village schools

Yercaud, India - November 2020

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, the Past Pupils of the "Sola Tribal Children's Home" have undertaken an initiative aimed at painting the government-run schools in the tribal villages, which are mostly neglected.

On November 29, the past pupils started with the Kotachedu school in Yercaud Taluk, also joined by two Salesians from "The Retreat" in Yercaud, who are identifying the schools most in need of intervention.

Masters undergraduates who are doing an internship at the Shevaroyhills Tribal Development Institute have also joined the past pupils in this venture. 12

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150 Y EARS OF H ISTORY

How are communicating Don Bosco Past Pupils? MAGAZINES AND NEWSLETTERS The 150th Jubilee Year (July 24,20202021) of Don Bosco Past Pupils offers a good occasion to know better the largest but actually not well known group of the Salesian Family. While the Italian version of Alumni magazine Voci Fraterne (Fraternal voices) celebrates 100 years of history, probably the most consistent Alumni newspaper (semestral edition, n. 128) would celebrate some 50 years: A Friend published by the South Korea, Gwangju Salesian School Association of our Past Pupils or the Macau 'Instituto Salesiano' newsletter. At the world level the quarterly digital publication EX ALLIEVI Newsflash (http://www.exallievi.org) in 5 languages (English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and French) celebrates soon 10th year of it's shor history. What are the means of communications?

Almost each local center, country or province federation have their own Facebook page or website: ASIA – OCEANIA

INDIA: http://www.dbppinf.org/ (National) PHILIPPINES: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dbap nf/ (National) PHILIPPINES (South): https://www.face-

book.com/groups/dbcai/ PAKISTAN: https://www.facebook.com/donboscoalumni.pak KOREA: http://salesioseoul.com/ (Gwangju Salesian HS – Seoul past pupils) NEW ZEALAND: https://www.facebook.com/groups/16207 53024858111/ EUROPE

ITALY: http://www.exallievidonbosco.it/ SPAIN: https://antiguosalumnos.donbosco.es/ SLOVAKIA: https://www.exallievi.sk/ PORTUGAL: https://www.salesianos.pt/tema/antigosalunos/

What can we learn from the reading of Don Bosco Alumni newsletters, magazines or their websites?

Probably the first lesson is to know WHO are our Past Pupils: it's not only about Don Bosco/Salesian schools graduates, but about any person that treasures the gift of Don Bosco education received. In Slovakia there is only one TVET (Vocation training center) but there are not less than 14 local centers of Alumni with 700 registered members. In many cases they are our former Oratory - Youth Center anima-

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tors or volunteers. Second attractive element - the various initiatives of single Alumni or by groups of DB Past Pupils - their mission - for the benefit of their Alma Mater, for the poor young people, in the field of education or variety of solidarity actions. Beside advertisement for their meetings, home-comings, celebrations - the mission oriented activities are recently growing. But probably the most striking discovery from the Alumni means of communication is their growing networking: You may be surprised by the inter-continental (Europe - Colombia - Thailand - Kenya) coffee business networking, their growing international business platforms with creative solidarity activities. We wish, that during the Don Bosco Alumni Jubilee (June 24, 2020 - June 24, 2021) many more Salesians of Don Bosco and more members of the Salesian Family get know better the 150 years old and the largest group of the Salesian Family!

Related resources: Don Bosco Past Pupils magazine - Italian & Slovakian editions https://www.bosco.link/side_right/60667

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - June 24, 2020: 150th Jubilee edition https://www.bosco.link/side_right/60703

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150 Y EARS OF H ISTORY - B OOKS

Malta

Blessed Marvelli book PART OF THE ALUMNI 150th CELEBRATION Alberto was the salt of the earth and light of the world.

May his life continue to motivate past pupils and friends of Don Bosco to be upright citizens and good Christians».

In the Presentation the World Confederation President writes: «...in his. diary,Alberto Marvelli wrote that his life programme can be summarised in one word: "Saint".

Between June 24, 2020 and June 24, 2021 the World Confederation of Don Bosco Past Pupils celebrates their 150th anniversary. Today, on October 5, the liturgical memorial of Blessed Albert Marvelli, the Maltese Federation (President Mr Bryan Magro) in collaboration with the World Confederation released one of the anniversary project gifts - publication on Blessed Alberto Marvelli. The biography in English is entitled: Alberto Marvelli - A life of Pastoral, Socio - Po-

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litical and Spiritual Commitment. Blessed Marvelli's hort life of 28 years (1918-1946) offers really strong motivation for any young person who is growing around the Salesian Family: active in the Salesian Oratory of Rimini, in the Catholic Action, committed in his University, during the war and after WWII also in politics. In the Introduction Fr Angel F. Artime, Rector major expresses his conviction: «... Alberto Marvelli is a genuine icon of what it means to be a past pupil of Don Bosco. As a true past pupil of Don Bosco,

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This is the Salesian Youth Spirituality with which Don Bosco had accompanied his young people in the Valdocco Oratory. Don Bosco wanted all his young people to become saints.

He was always concerned how he could save the lives of young people. Don Bosco dedicated his life to save the souls of young people and Alberto Marvelli is another true shining model, an example to other young people...». And what is interesting, the author of this book, Bryan Magro is eager that this booklet will spread in translation to many other languages (not only to the usual main 5 Salesian world languages) and shares in his letter to the Thai Salesians and Past Pupils: «As the author of this book, I hold the co-


150 Y EARS OF H ISTORY - B OOKS

Alberto Marvelli,

PAST PUPIL OF THE ORATORY by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB

Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family A student of the Salesian Oratory in Rimini, following the example of Domenico Savio, he matured his faith with a decisive choice: «My program is summed up in one word: saint».

In just 28 years he achieved a life of "full measure": spending all in his love of God and neighbor.

pyright to the book and I am more than happy to give you the rights to translate into the Thai language and publish it as a book. As the primary aim of this publication is to spread the life of Alberto Marvelli as an example to past pupils and friends of Don Bosco,

When his life was tragically interrupted on 5 October 1946, many believed they had lost him forever and that his commitment, support, and example would be lost. Instead: saints have a "posthumous" life. Today, more than ever, Alberto is alive and active: the good he has worked upon the earth has expanded in time and space. His exemplary holiness has become a model for laity committed in works across the globe, in search of Christian identity and of coherence with faith. He opened a new road, which can be traveled by everyone.

I will not be asking for any author's remuneration for the publication. If there is profit from this publication, I would wish that the money will go towards the Salesian mission in Thailand or social projects by past pupils and friends of Don Bosco».

(NB: For any other EAO Federation of Don Bosco Past pupils the author is willing to share a Word format copy as this may help you in the work of the translation; contact: treasurer@exallievi.org)

The diffusion of his testimony in the world, the many young people who have taken him as a model, are the sure signs of his living and working person among us all.

We wish this simple booklet will reach as many Don Bosco Past Pupils as possible!

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R EGIONS

Thailand

Salesians Helping the Flood Victims in the South (ANS – Hatyai) From the end of November to the first days of December 2020, a strong typhoon battered southern Thailand. This brought sudden flooding and disruption to 11 provinces. Even though the water level has come down, yet there is still much water around the area. The most devastated place was Nakornsrithammarat Province. The Salesians, through their school - Saeng Thong Vitthaya, in Songkhla Province - mobilized the support from the Association of Past Pupils, The Parents-Teachers Association of the SME Section, the teachers and students - all together they contributed more than 2,000 food bags and some money to help the villagers of Amphoe Chawang [13 December 2020] and the local community of Bo Sap [16 December 2020]. The school also gave scholarships to Don Bosco Development Training Center in Amphoe Ronphiboon, through the Salesian confreres there, namely Fr Renzo Rossignolo and Fr Dominic Suphot Riewngam. Aside from these, on 17 December 2020, a group of senior high-school students, under the leadership of Mr Khanisorn Kiratiphongwut, donated the amount of

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R EGIONS

49,400.--baht [$1,660.--] to the vice-Governor of Nakornsrithammarat Province. This amount came from the tutoring fees for Grade 4-6 done on-line through 'zoom', from 10-12 December 2020. Many students, even from other provinces, were interested to take the course. These registration fees were given completely to the schools and development centers for children in the five places that were badly affected by the typhoon in the Nakornsrithammrat Province. Aside from these, on 17 December 2020, a group of senior high-school students, under the leadership of Mr Khanisorn Kiratiphongwut, donated the amount of 49,400.--baht [$1,660.--] to the vice-Governor of Nakornsrithammarat Province. This amount came from the tutoring fees for Grade 4-6 done on-line through 'zoom', from 10-12 December 2020. Many students, even from other provinces, were interested to take the course. These registration fees were given completely to the schools and development centers for children in the five places that were badly affected by the typhoon in the Nakornsrithammrat Province. Fonte: AustraLasia

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R EGIONS

Brazil

First Virtual Meeting of Presidents and Delegates of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco of the Americas May, the 30th 2020 – h. 20.00 Brasilia time / Brazil

The meeting took place virtually using the Google Meet platform through which it was possible for all of us to interact, to see each other, to remember - by looking at each other - the good times, to exchange important information. The meeting started with a welcome speech of the World Vice President of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, Eduardo Pessoa Cavalcante, followed by a beautiful prayer led by the Salesian Coadjutor, Nelson Mannucci from Argentina.

On May the 30th 2020, at the invitation of Vice President of World Confederation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco and World Councilor for the Region of the Americas, Eduardo Pessoa Cavalcante, resident in the city of Brasilia (Brazil), it took place the first virtual meeting of Presidents and Delegates of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco of the Americas.

Eduardo gave the floor to each of the participants so that they could introduce themselves by indicating their names, roles and nationalities. He then proceeded presenting the agenda of the meeting and giving important information about the

At the meeting attended Representatives / Presidents of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States (representative of Haiti), Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Dominican Republic. This emphasizes also the presence of numerous Salesian delegates of the Past Pupils in various countries of America.

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actions and the decisions taken by the World Confederation of Past Pupils. Subsequently and as the central point of the meeting, each one of the participants proceeded in presenting the news of its own country, how they’re facing the COVID19 pandemic, the problems and the needs they’re experiencing and how the Past Pupils are supporting each other and support those most in need; as well as presenting the activities or actions that are being prepared for the celebration of the one hundred and fifty years of the first encounter of the Past Pupils with Don Bosco. Subsequently the Past Pupils Diego Genes (Paraguay) and Fresia Méndez (young Past Pupil from Costarica) talked about their roles in the World Confederation. Likewise a moment was given to speak freely on different topics. It’s clear that this COVID-19 pandemic is causing, in the different countries of America, numerous social problems such as unemployment, extreme poverty, shortages in medical care due to the collapse of

health systems, despair and sadness in the great majority of the population of our countries. Nevertheless it can also be seen that there is a common denominator among the Past Pupils of every Country, and it is the fact that they are all focused

on supporting –materially and spiritually – the poorest and the young.

During the meeting it has been approved the decision to cancel the next face to face meeting of the Presidents and Delegates of the Federations of American Past Pupils planned for this year 2020. However the possibility that it can take place has remained opened, perhaps making it play out in a different dynamic

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through the use of technology and telecommunications, so that the common work of all countries can continue with good coordination in a spirit of sharing and communion. At the end of the activity, the prayer has been made by father Néstor Muñóz SDB (Chile) and the last words of affection and closing of the meeting have been pronounced by Eduardo. We are left with a very special feeling of encouragement, hope and faith that pushes us to keep fighting like Don Bosco did in favor of young people, especially those most in need and with the will to recruit more Past Pupils to the movement. In addition, we want to continue the mission of sons of Don Bosco in the society and in the Church as the “Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World”. (Matthew 5, 13,16). Eudardo Pessoa Cavalcante World Vice President of Past Pupils of Don Bosco and World Councilo of the Americas. Please Note: this has been the first continental virtual meeting in History.

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Mongolia

Inspiring joint meeting of Salesian Cooperators and Past Pupils

Online with Ulanbaatar, 30 August 2020 On the evening of 29 August (Saturday), the Asia-Oceania GEX regional councillor Mr. Niel Evangelista with his Assistant Mr Andre Launio and world delegate for Past Pupils and Salesian Cooperators, Br. Dominic Nam, met online with the Ulanbaatar - Mongolia joint group of Past Pupils and Salesian Cooperators. Fr Paul Leung was present for the virtual encounter as Delegate-Superior of Mongolia, and ASC delegate of the Ulanbaatar centre, as well as Br. Andrew Phuong, Past Pupils delegate (Ulanbaatar centre) and Fr Vaclav. The combined group of 4 Salesian Cooperators and two Past Pupils was lively and inter-active despite the language barrier. Following on from the first seven province 'Federations' of Asia-Oceania's Past Pupils (TLS, FIN, FIS, GIA, THA, PGS and INN) yesterday the meeting was about the young Mongolia Delegation, living with closed borders since February due to the Covid19 pandemic. The Catholic population is also almost six months without parish Masses and the new bishop of Ulanbaatar, Giorgio Marengo, Consolata missionary, was consecrated in Turin, Italy and is not yet able to return to his beloved Mongolia. Even in this situation the Past Pupils are proactive and donated 10,000 home-made face masks through the health authorities to other needy institutions. 22

During the dynamic meeting assisted with translations in/from Mongolian, the 'visitors' were able to understand the unique situation of the very young Past Pupils (1940 years old) with an animating core group of 12 members (since 19 January 2018).

learn from other EAO countries where the Association is already more developed. During the meeting all came to know an inspiring example of the FIS - SALVO daily good night talk online (YouTube channel) that has already helped 50+ Past Pupils to share their stories.

The group meets quite often and has been able to rally one large Past Pupils meeting involving 320 or more in 2019 and to get some 80% of the contacts with their past pupils already. This is a remarkable achievement!

After 90 minutes of intense sharing and prayer, the Mongolian SDBs shared their dream of welcoming some new missionaries in 2021 sent by the Rector Major.

Another special trait is that the local group of five Salesian Cooperators is assisting the growth of the Past Pupils Association, since some of them are also staff of the Don Bosco Technical School.

The Past Pupils shared their dream of finding more committed individuals in animation and their determination to strengthen the communication with other Past Pupils around the EAO region.

While facing a variety of external challenges (communications, mobility, finance, pandemic, language) the energetic Past Pupils of Mongolia have a strong desire to

The October-November 'GEXPRESSO" talk show (Asia-Oceania GEX initiative) will be a good opportunity to share the Mongolian Salesian Family spirit with other countries.

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East Timor

Message from Hong Kong Federation of Don Bosco Past Pupils

2020 Interim Report of the East Timor Support Committee Despite their wholehearted efforts, the Macau government had not rendered much attention for various reasons.

In 2015, the Salesians of Don Bosco celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the society’s founder. Fr. Václav Klement, SDB, East Asia-Oceania Regional Councilor and Bro. Adriano de Jesus, SDB of East Timor, made a special trip to Macau. They were hoping efforts can be made to convince the Macau government, through the Macau Polytechnic University, to lend supports in furnishing educational resources, teacher trainings, and exchange programs to assist their work in East Timor.

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In 2018, Father Francis Hung attended the East Asian Alumni Association Convention held in the capital of East Timor. He had the opportunity to experience in person some of the hard issues facing the local chapter in the country. To answer the urgent needs after his returning to Macau, Father Hung collected a large number of theological and philosophical reference books, mechanical workshop tools, and nearly a hundred computers and uniforms. Container #1 was successfully shipped out. During my visit with Fr Hung last year, it was suggested that Hong Kong schools often replace computers with newer models. There could be a supply of used computers that could be procured and sent to East Timor. After returning to Hong Kong, I

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met up with ATS72 alumnus Stephen Mok. It turned out he had more than 10,000 brand new golf shirts to give away. After consultation with Bro. Adriano, a second container #2 was dispatched shortly. At end of 2019, ATS65 Alumnus H. P. Chan was in the process of moving his factory from Shenzhen to Thailand, leaving idle a large amount of factory surplus, notably some valuable CNC precision machines. Bro. Adriano and Fr Hung visited the factory subsequently on January 9, 2020, and assembled a list of items that could be of use. With Stephen Mok’s relentless efforts, a total of seven containers were assembled to ship all the items. As some of the CNC machines have heights taller than standard containers, open top containers will be needed. This surprise increases transportation costs significantly.


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Through the generosity of H P Chan, the total shipping bill of some HKD 400,000 was also covered as well as the contribution of factory surplus.

wledge other supports from alumni in making pledges to support shipping costs, and funding for teachers to come over for training of the CNC machines.

Containers #3 to # 9 started arriving in summer of 2020. (See Pictures, and the Thank You letter from Bro. Adriano).

As exemplified by recent joint efforts and helps from alumni from around the world, the East Timor Committee are determined to continue the much needed assistance to the little brothers in East Timor. Our great thanks go to the devoted members of the East Timor Support Committee in helping to achieve our goals.

As Covid-19 epidemic progresses in East Timor, Bro Adriano also required a large amount of face masks, enabling children to attend classes to abide to government regulations. ATS66 alumnus Andrew Chiu immediately stepped forward with donation of 300,000 face masks. The face masks, lumped together with Fr Hung’s used computer, TV sets, temperature testers and other stuff, filled up container #10 which was ready to set sail in early August. The committee would also like to ackno-

East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, is one of the ten poorest countries in the world. The Salesians of Don Bosco has 56 schools in the country catering to some 16,000 students. The perennial issue of severely lacking of resources necessitates continual supports from the Don Bosco alumni. By Michael Eng ATS66 alumnus

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Samoa - Pakistan

From Samoa to Pakistan: 3 MONTHS OF ENCOUNTERS WITH DB PAST PUPILS EAO, 21 September 2020 Although it was not an intentional plan, on the last Sunday of the marathon encounter rally we were able to meet with the two extremes of our GEX Region of Asia-Oceania: a two hour virtual visit to Samoa (Pacific Delegation-AUL) and another two hour visit to Pakistan delegation (FIS). Due to these two extreme geographical points in one (final) day, there was a lot of excitement felt both in Alafua (Samoa) and in Lahore and Quetta (Pakistan). Listening to the Past pupils leadership, to their needs and concerns is a valuable learning experience also for our new World Delegate for the Past Pupils and Salesan Cooperators, Br Dominic Nam. Samoa Past Pupils were organized in Alafua (mother house) after the memorable visit of the Rector Major (May 2015) and the Pakistani Past Pupils were organized in Lahore just last year, thanks to the animating presence of Br Alex Abelgas. In both countries the Salesians are accompanying them very closely during their initial period: in Quetta even the practical trainee, Cl. Faraz, is involved, and in both Delegations the core group is supporting their mother school in many creative ways. In spite of the pandemic both Pakistan 26

schools contribute to solidarity with the vulnerable population in their territory. In Lahore we number some 200 active past pupils and in Alafua (Samoa) and Lahore (Pakistan) the monthly meetings of the Past Pupils is a good opportunity for their animation. While in Samoa most of the students and past pupils are Catholic or Christian, in Pakistan we have some 10% of student population in Lahore and 35-40% students population who are followers of Islam. Nevertheless there is a good experience of religious harmony after the 20 years both schools have been open. Their concerns revolve around their employment and respective skills preparation, and deepening of their Catholic faith for those who are Catholics, amidst the religious pressure of the majority, and a strong need to form their leaders. We admired the professional communication system of Lahore and Quetta Don Bosco with their digital platforms: • Don Bosco Lahore's Website • Facebook Past Pupils • Facebook Quetta DB • Facebook Lahore DB • YouTube channel

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While from Samoa we admired the age-long wisdom shared by one young Samoan auditor at the 2018 Vatican Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocation Discernment: about the canoe that is rowed by the younger generation (GEX - Young Past Pupils?!), while the elderly (Adult Past Pupils) observe the stars to keep the right direction.

meetings:

During a lively dialogue many pragmatic and essential questions were raised for the development of their Association:

We strengthen our conviction (through the strong call of all Past Pupils) that we need to invest in the formation of the SDBs as Delegates to the Past Pupils

How can the World Confederation assist the development of these young centres and future Federation by any possible means? ◊ How can we keep in touch with Past Pupils around the world?

Each group of Past Pupils was happy to see each other. We felt, that we need each other and we are called to follow up this now-established relationship

We met 'face-to-face' on the screen, since emails are not answered. It was almost like a visit, now we know each other. How can we build on this? We witnessed a large diversity of cultures and situations, but we felt some 'universal' challenges facing the Federations.

◊ What are the main concerns of the (young) Past Pupils in the multi-religious society?

We need to assist them.

◊ What is the main benefit of joining the Association of Past Pupils of Don Bosco?

The 150th anniversary is a valuable occasion for the growth of the Association all around the globe.

At the end of the 3-month round of some 20 meetings with the Asia-Oceania Federations or local Unions of Past Pupils of Don Bosco, the 5 member animation team shared its first brain-storming on how to build up this valuable experience of the 'first'

Yes, at the end one simple question remains - “HOW can we fruitfully follow up? Please, help us!”.

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By Mr Neil Evangelista GEX Councillor for Asia-Oceania region

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EAO

Exploring the animation dynamics of East Asia Oceania (EAO) Past Pupils of Don Bosco Video meeting Rome-Vietnam-Asia-Oceania, 21 July 2020 Another EAO online meeting has been held this month, with a focus on GEX (Young Don Bosco Past Pupils) animation. The World Delegate for Past Pupils of Don Bosco, Br. Dominic Nam (based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam), Mr. Niel A. Evangelista (Asia-Oceania Regional Councilor for the GEX) with his fellow disciple Mr. Andre Launio (EAO observer to the GC28 at Valdocco, March 2020) - both based in Manila (Philippines) and Fr Vaclav, based in Rome at Sacro Cuore. Almost one month after the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco (24 June) the newly appointed Dele-

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gate and Alumni GEX Regional councilor assisted by other two participants explored four points of the agenda with respective resolutions and actions in the near future: Foster the communication between the Asia-Oceania Regional Councilor and the respective 23 (=dream number!) National Federations within the EAO region.

Presentation of the first draft of the “Manual of Provincial delegate for Don Bosco Alumni� (ed. 2020) and appreciate best practices in particular: Reflection on how to involve more young Past Pupils (GEX) in local centre activities (Laudato Si' attraction). Sharing on the needs of DB Past Pupils World Confederation for more volunteers


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to assist the communication through the social media. During the vibrant meeting the participants also acknowledged the variety of situations created by the pandemic - while in Vietnam there are no further public signs of the health crisis, in the Philippines (Manila, Cebu) another lockdown brings new challenges.

Since Br. Nam has already accompanied the Majcen Restaurant - Hotel TVET trainees in their 2020 graduation, after the handover of this duty he will be completely free to serve as the World Delegate.

The virtual meetings with the respective EAO province Past Pupil Federations and 'domestic' Vietnam animation of the five TVET with their young students and past pu-

pils would be possible directly, since there are no movement restrictions in his home country.

The meeting ended with a wonderful prayerful moment animated (Xavier High school Salesian style) by Mr. Niel Evangelista.

We pray for Niel and his growing team of young Alumni who will contribute to the communication movement coming soon! By Mr. Niel Evangelista Asia-Oceania GEX regional councilor and Br. Dominic Nam SDB World Delegate for Don Bosco Past Pupils (Don Bosco Past Pupils World Confederation)

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S OLIDARITY - C OVID -19

Italy

Salesians and Covid-19, the Rector Major: "MANY OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HEROIC IN BRINGING HELP TO THE POOR" the Salesians, analyzes the Salesian response to the pandemic and its consequences, and applauds young people for their commitment - without forgetting the sacrifice of many of his confreres and the challenges still to be overcome.

(ANS - Rome) «We have tried by all means to invite children and young people to be very responsible above all and to follow, as citizens, the indications of the civil and health authorities of each country. In this sense, we have provided, especially to the children of our works, useful pedagogical-educational and didactic indications. When children understand, they are often more attentive than us adults». Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of

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«There was a lack of preventive action... Health policy will have to review its safety protocols, making the most of this lesson for the future» - continues the Rector Major - We must not forget that this disease, which all nations have had to face, was unknown. Little by little, we learned to know it and to prevent it a little. But the efforts made have not all been successful. We need only look at this second wave, which has reached almost every country where the virus has hit even harder. Health policy will have to review its safety protocols and learn from this lesson for the future».

How are you [as Salesians] carrying out the mission at this time?

«These have been difficult months and, in the 134 countries where we are present,

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we have tried to give an answer according to specific contexts. First of all, we wanted to put into practice the Salesian motto "upright citizens", which was also the rule of life adopted by Don Bosco in the education of children. In other words, we have tried by all means to invite children and young people to be, first and foremost, very responsible and to follow, as citizens, the instructions of the civil and health authorities of each country.In this sense, we have provided, especially to the children in our works, useful pedagogical and didactic indications. When children understand, they are often more attentive than we adults».

Weren't you afraid to be among people?

«We did not shut ourselves up in our houses, but, with the help of young volunteers, throughout the Salesian world, we have formed help and sharing groups.

From the very first moment we launched a worldwide Salesian campaign to help those most affected: we were able to reach over


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63 nations by sending economic aid offered by so many good and generous people, who are by our side every day. Unfortunately, it is sadly well-known that the pandemic has not only caused victims, but has also impoverished those who did not have an adequate income. Thus we have also helped the families of many of our students with food and other resources. There has always been a collaboration with local Caritas, institutions and NGOs everywhere. I must also point out the heroism of many of our young people who in the big cities distributed aid on the streets to the homeless and to all kinds of people, to the poorest families». How many religious have died as a result of the infection?

«Unfortunately, we have lost at least about eighty brothers. At first, it was thought that the pandemic only affected the elderly, but we soon realized that Covid-19 strikes everyone. And unfortunately, I believe that these deaths are not over yet. It is one of the aspects of the great pain caused by the pandemic: that of so many deaths in so

many families, our religious communities and in dioceses. This is and has been the situation. We try to live it with faith and hope». In what way have you rethought teaching in schools?

«Truth be told, many of our schools, especially the high schools, were already predisposed to distance learning and therefore the transition was somewhat "simple".

The problem arose for the poorest children. Here too we have come to their aid by donating tablets and creating video-listening points. All this was made possible with the help of families who already pay a fee. Unfortunately, private schools cannot be based [and survive] only on families and their managers. In many countries, it is considered a public service, even if performed by a private institution». Riccardo Benotti

Source: SIR

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G OOD C HRISTIANS AND H ONEST C ITIZENS

Italy

Thanks to “Mani Giovani” Association, HUMANITY IS PRACTICED

fifteen years ago by a group of past pupils from the Don Bosco Institute in Verona to give continuity to the spontaneous action of the Salesian Fr Marcello Rizzo, who had started this good practice as a concrete help to the situation of poverty and to involve children in a social volunteer project.

Verona, Italy - November 2020 The campus of the Don Bosco Institute in Verona, belonging to the Salesian Province of North-East Italy (INE), welcomes the community with concrete help to families and people in difficulty, especially in this delicate and difficult emergency due to Covid-19. The main activity includes the distribution of food to over a hundred families in difficulty. Raw materials are donated by companies,

businesses, the Food Bank and the Rana Pastificio, a pasta company. Everything is distributed thanks to the "Mani Giovani" association, founded about

Together with the many volunteers and the Salesian Institute, the association provides for the packaging of packages and their delivery.

Honduras

Francesca Bonotto

Pupils from "San Miguel" Salesian Institute HELP OVER 1000 VICTIMS OF HURRICANE ETA Tegucigalpa, Honduras - November 2020

The students of the 2021 course of the "San Miguel" Salesian Institute have launched a fundraiser to support the people affected by Hurricane Eta's passage. With the collection, which took place in compliance with safety protocols, over 1,000 people from the "Francisco Morazán" and "Cortés" departments were helped with food, personal hygiene items, clothes, shoes, sheets, bedspreads, mats and bio-safety equipment.

The collection also took place thanks to the support of the Past Pupils Association of the "María Auxiliadora" Salesian Institute, of the "Mis Manos son tus Manos" Association, of the pupils and past pupils of the "San Miguel" Institute, and with the support of the work's Rector, Fr Horacio Macal, and the Salesian community. 32

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G OOD C HRISTIANS AND H ONEST C ITIZENS

The Mission to Politics as GOOD CHRISTIANS AND UPRIGHT CITIZENS

(ANS – Tokyo) “How should we connect with politics as Don Bosco's Good Christians and Upright Citizens?” This is the question that inspired the reflection of Don Bosco's Past Pupil and Japanese political scientist, Chihiro Okawa. A question that therefore leads us to think about the "Our Father Policy" and how to live it. According to the Gospels of the New Testament, it can be seen that Jesus Christ was an object of faith (He is truly God), and at the same time, as a true human being, He carefully saw the reality of Israeli society 2000 years ago. Jesus was a great member of society. He was close to and deeply sympathized with the various people who were poor and driven to the marginal areas of society, while also engaging with those in power and the upper class. He worked hard to move society in a better direction. 1800 years later, it was Don Bosco who lived as a Catholic priest in Italy in the 19th century, following the values of Jesus, and created the Salesian Society. It is said that he was cautious about being deeply involved in real politics because of the compli-

cated political situation during the revolutionary era. However, Don Bosco imitated Jesus and brought hope to society by looking at, cuddling, and educating poor young people suffering from the turbulent socioeconomic effects. Jesus' heartfelt wish was to realize the salvation (happiness) for all. To that end, to

Japan

this world is confrontational and is a relative and unstable one weaved by imperfect humans. And political distrust also persists. Under such circumstances, Don Bosco called for the pursuit of protecting the dignity of all life, human beings without giving up, and practiced it with young people of his oratory, praying "Thy will be done on earth". This call of Don Bosco is also extending to young people today. As part of politics and society, what political parties you support and vote for, and what social and political activities you do, are of course free choices and should not be forced.

take concrete actions in the real world especially from the perspective of those who are poor and vulnerable. That is something that Pope Francis, who came to Japan last year, has often emphasized. Yes, actually, being an "Upright Citizen" and being a "Good Christian" are one, not separate.

Don Bosco also used the phrase "the Politics of the Lord’s Prayer." The politics of www.exallievi.org

However, society is becoming more complex and diversified, and there are many challenges at home and abroad. Whatever attitude you take, you are required to remember vulnerable people, exercise your important political rights with humility and a broad perspective, and work to achieve a better society. As Good Christians and Upright Citizens, let us participate in politics responsibly, wishing for the happiness of all. Each of us involved in the Salesian world has that mission.

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Hong Kong

“School formed my education and strengthened my faith”

Interview with Andrew Yuen, Past Pupil of Don Bosco (ANS - Hong Kong) The Association of Past Pupils of the St. Louis School Old Boys Association – SLOBA - in Hong Kong is one of the oldest in the entire East Asia-Oceania Region. The Salesians in fact took over this school in 1927. Mr. Andrew Yuen studied at “St. Louis” and has been working as a related publisher since 2003. In an (abridged) interview he spoke of his experience, recalling past times and sharing dreams for the future. As a St. Louis School Past Pupil, you were educated in the style of Don Bosco. How did this affect your life? «School played a very important role in my growing up. It formed my education and strengthened my faith. Values learned in school have influenced

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the rest of my life and are now being passed on to my family and the people around me. It was Fr Edward Kowala, who was my religion teacher, who laid the foundations: it is thanks to him that I began to appreciate teaching. But I remember that the other Salesians in the school also interacted with us students. We learned a lot from them, not just at school level». How did you become involved with Don Bosco Past Pupils Association?

«It felt like a calling. At first, I helped out as a volunteer, giving students career guidance and providing free tutorial service on weekends. I was later invited by the SLOBA president

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I NTERVIEW

to join the Council and was selected to represent St Louis School at the Hong Kong Past Pupils meetings». 2020 is the year of the 150th anniversary of the Past Pupils. What does it mean for SLOBA?

«It is absolutely a good opportunity to connect all Don Bosco Past Pupils together, although we are currently restricted by the pandemic.

I personally hope when the world is back to normal, we can once again have an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary. However, as Past Pupils we are also proud that since last February we have received many donations – facemasks, hand sanitizers, toothpaste - which we promptly sent to the Salesian schools in Hong Kong and

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to the “Braga House”, the retirement home of the Salesians in Hong Kong».

What dreams do you have for the future of the Past Pupils in Hong Kong? «Salesian schools have nurtured lots of fine past students and good citizens in Hong Kong society. The success came from the school managed by Salesian Brothers and Priests who were involved in school operations and teachings.

They had also good communication and sharing of visions with teachers and students. However, now with many Salesian schools not having Salesians as school principals or spiritual directors, the relationship becomes disconnected. I hope this could be restored in some way in the future».

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New Provincial of Antilles appointed DON JOSÉ PASTOR RAMÍREZ

(ANS - Rome) The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with the consensus of his Council, has appointed Fr José Pastor Ramírez as Provincial of the Salesian "St John Bosco" Province of the Antilles for 2021-2026. Fr Pastor Ramírez is currently Rector and Parish Priest of the "St John Bosco" house in Santo Domingo, Director of the Antilles Salesian Library, and also offers the service of Chaplain of the Sovereign Order of Malta in the Dominican Republic. José Pastor Ramírez was born on March 28, 1959, in Jarabacoa, near La Vega, Dominican Republic, the first of six children. Growing up in a peasant family, which passed on the values of the Christian faith to him, he first met the Salesians at the ora-

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tory of Jarabacoa, where he spent his childhood and early adolescence. He completed his novitiate in Villa Mella, Dominican Republic, and made his first vows on August 16, 1980; after making his perpetual profession on 15 August 1986 in Tlaquepaque, Mexico, he was ordained a priest in his hometown on July 22, 1989. His curriculum is wide-ranging: after his formation in Philosophy (Baccalaureate) at the Seminary "St Thomas Aquinus" in Santo Domingo, and Theological formation (Baccalaureate) at the Institute of the Risen Christ in Guadalajara, Mexico, he studied Mathematical Physics at the National University “Pedro Henríquez Ureña” (from 1981 to 1985); he specialized in Spiritual Theology at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome (from 1994 to 1996); Clinical Psychology at the Catholic University of Santo Domingo (1999 -2003); and holds a


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Masters in Systemic Family Therapy from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (2007-2009), as well as having completed Transactional Analysis courses at "Farma Green", and various distance vocational training courses. He was accredited at the Hahnemannian International Institute (Online Argentina from 2005 to 2006) and attended the Spiritual Accompaniment course at the National Center for Salesian Youth Ministry (2010-2012) in Madrid, Spain. He obtained a diploma in "Leadership and Management of Education" from Barna, a Diploma in Family Constellations from the Center for Human Integration, accredited by the University Extension of the Domus CUDEC® Group, in Mexico (2016 to 2018), and the diploma in Educational Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuropsychology in

2019-2020 at the Neuropsychology Formation Center of the Dominican Republic, based in Santo Domingo. He was Director and Pastor of the “Don Bosco” house in Santo Domingo (20002002 and from 2019 to today); at the provincial level, he has already served as formator, Delegate for Youth Ministry, Vicar (2000-2002), and Provincial (20022008).

From 2009 to 2017, he served at the Salesian Generalate in Rome as World Delegate of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco and World Coordinator of the Salesian Family. He was the creator of the Joint Formation Program (PROFOCO) of the Salesian Family. Fr José Pastor Ramírez takes up his new post on Saturday 26 December during the Eucharist which will be celebrated during the Assembly of the Confreres in Pinar Quemado, Jarabacoa.

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East Timor

One new center of Don Bosco Past Pupils STARTED IN TIMOR LESTE

Dili, Timor Leste, August 4, 2020 On 1st August 2020, the National Federation of Don Bosco Past Pupils of Timor-Leste (Federação Nacional dos Antigos Alunos de Dom Bosco de Timor-Leste) launched Aileu’s Association of Don Bosco Past Pupils called: Associação dos Antigos Alunos de Dom Bosco de Aileu (AAADB-Aileu), along with the establishment of a branch of Don Bosco’s Friends Cooperatives (Kooperativa Belun Don Bosco – KBDB), and a swearing in of Klibur Alumni Cristal structure (one of Past Pupils’ Schools called Cristal’s Alumni). The ceremony has begun with a Holy Mass led by Fr Mario do Rosario da Costa, National Federation Delegate in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mantane Village, Sub-Municipality of Aileu Vila, Aileu Municipality. In the Holy Mass, some 50 Don Bosco Past Pupils, including 12 women said the payerpromise in front of Dr. Azevedo Marçal, Na-

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tional Federation President, and their National Federation Delegate. About 12 people represented National Federation (including Mr. Jacinto de Oliveira Jr, Vice President GEX of National Federation, Mr. Gualdino do Carmo da Silva, Vice President of National Federation responsible for Regional Coordination, and Mr. Armando da Costa, Secretary General of National Federation), all together about 150 participants in this moving ceremony. The National Federation of Don Bosco Past Pupils of Timor-Leste initially has 9 associations namely: Baucau, Fatumaca, Venilale, Laga, Quelicai, Fuiloro, Lospalos, Dili, Maliana. During the past two years, under the leadership of new Federation Structure, two new Associations have been established, namely: Manufahi and Aileu. Then follows the official establishment of Oecusse Association, although the mem-

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bers of Oecussi center started organizing Don Bosco Oratory, the first ever Oratory led by Don Bosco Past Pupils in TimorLeste. The Association of Don Bosco Past Pupils of Aileu was the second most recent Associations after Manufahi Don Bosco's Past Pupils Associations. The president of Aileu's new association, Mr. Filipe Amaral dos Santos, said this was the first association established in Aileu and they would work hard to expand the mission and vision of Don Bosco to young people through their formal and non-formal education institutes, and they committed to complete the structure of the association within one-year term after which they will have to prepare a Congress to approve Association’s internal regulations, election for the definitive structure and programs/activities for 5 years.

«Our first mission within two years is to register all past pupils who live in this mu-

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nicipality, and to socialise the association's program, especially how they can be involved in Don Bosco’s Friends Cooperatives (K-BDB) in order to improve their households' economy, as well as to start Don Bosco Oratory activities to gather children and young people», the association's president stated. The establishment of the new association in Aileu was attended by other civil authorities - Past Pupils, e.g. member of national parliament who is a past pupil of Cristal Tertiary Institute, the President and Delegate of National Federation and national structure, Rector of the Cristal Tertiary Institute and Councillor of Cristal Alumni Group. According to the plan new other associations will be established in other municipalities in upcoming months. By Mr. Azevedo Marcal President of Timor Leste Federation of Don Bosco Past Pupils

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East Timor

Centro Formasaun profesional DON BOSCO COMORO Dear Mr. HP. Chan

On behalf of the salesians and students of the Vice-province of Timor Leste, I would like to express our deepest and sincerest gratitude and appreciation for your most generous contribution to our salesians mission in Timor Leste. We were greatly overjoyed and moved by the act of generosity and kindness you have shown us.

Your donation of ‘CNC machines’ to our technical schools is most significant for us, and will help in sustaining our commitment to serving the poor and abandoned young people in Timor Leste. We assure you that the ‘CNC machines’ will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students in Timor Leste. We are very blessed to have you and your family sharing our mission in the humble vice-province of Timor Leste. We can not thank you enough for what you have done to us. Dili Timor Leste, 20 July 2020 Sincerely Yours

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Br. Adriano de Jesus, SDB

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Aldeia Moris Foun Comoro P. O. Box 108 Dili, Timor Leste Tlf: +67077361826+67075259530 E-mail escolatecnica73@gmail.com

Dear Father Francis Hung, SDB

I would like also to express our sincere gratitude’s and thank to Mr. Micahel Eng and Mr. Stephen Mok who organized the alumni of Don Bosco Hong Kong batch ATS65, to support the Salesians works in Timor Leste. I would like also to thank Father Francis Hung, SDB who is the main autor by organizing the past pupils for this charity works for Timor Leste. The first full container of new T-shirt for the students that we received from Mr. Stephen last January 2020 the new t- shirt has been distributed to the all Salesians schools in Timor Leste. I have also received money in usd $3,600 when I visited Hong Kong last January 2020. We have also received the 7 containers from Belton company with 10 units of CNC machines, milling machines, lathe Machine, machine and other machines including office desks, computer tables, filling cabinets, works benches, manual Hydraulic forklift, Projectors, microscopes, chairs and electric funs. We have distributed the CNC machine to the following schools and university. 1. Don bosco Training Centre Comoro Dili 3 units of CNC machines 2. Don Bosco Technical School Maliana 2 units of CNC machines 3. Don Bosco Technical school Fatumaca 1 unit of CNC machine 4. National University of Timor Loro Sae 4 units of CNC machine 5. Grinding machine, lathe machine manual hydraulic forklift and the others will stay in don Bosco Trainng centre Dili Comoro. 6. Wile the other equipment’s will be distributed to the non don bosco technical school in timor leste.

I am organizing and finalizing the cost of transportations of the 4 CNC machine to the National University And also the cost of transportations for the 2 CNC to Don Bosco technical school Maliana which is more than 200 kl. Away from the Dili.

Before ending this report once again thank you very much for your kind generosity may the Good Lord protect you and bless each one of you. Dili Timor Leste, 20 July 2020 Sincerely Yours

Br. Adriano de Jesus, SDB

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East Timor

Fr Ilídio Eduardo do Rosário Correia, SDB

(ANS – Dili) After one year of the passing away of Fr. João de Deus Pires, SDB, the Salesian Family in the East Timor Vice-Province (TLS), particularly the Salesians of Don Bosco, has again felt the loss of one of its members, Rector of the Postnovitiate House Blessed Artemide Zatti Comoro, dear Rev. Fr. Ilídio Eduardo do Rosário Correia, SDB, due to a heart attack. This beloved Salesian left this world while celebrating the Eucharist on Mission Sunday, this 18 October 2020. He was about to read the names for birthday intentions, yet he was silent for a minute, stopped for a while then softly fell into the arms of people who were trying to help him. He was rushed to the hospital, but the doctors couldn’t help him either. Around 10.45 am (local time), Fr. Lito (his nickname) went to the loving embrace of the Father. On the following day, Monday 19 October 2020, there was a funeral Mass for Fr. Lito. The Archbishop of Dili, Most Rev. Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, SDB, presided over the Eucharist celebration, concelebrated by around sixty priests, mostly Salesians and diocesan priests from three dioceses in East Timor. His Excellency Bishop Basílio was there as well. As the homilist, the TLS Provincial Superior, Fr. Apolinário Maria Ornai Neto, SDB, gave 42

PASSED AWAY

a deep reflection on celebrating the Paschal mystery of Christ himself and stated that the life of Fr. Lito was truly a great love for the Church and the Congregation. Before the Mass ended, there were four witnesses, namely Fr. Apolinário, Bishop Basílio, Sr. Alma Castagna, Provincial of the FMA, and Archbishop Virgílio himself depicting in different ways the life of Fr. Lito. One Salesian past pupils, Mr. Joao Câncio, exminister of Education, from the part of the family of Fr. Lito, recited a poem and sang a song in great esteem of Fr. Lito. After the Mass, all participants were bringing flowers and candles and praying in a procession with a hearse carrying Fr. Lito to his resting place.

The TLS Salesians now express: «What a beautiful witness of his life! On 18 of October, he was celebrating the Eucharist and yet he was called suddenly going back to where he was. ... Fr. Lito was an energetic and passionate man, full of promise and potential who had his own brand of playing music that could lighten the heart and mind of any listener.

He was always wearing a smile in his face! He made himself always be available to the people regarding the sacraments! He was truly a faithful son of Don Bosco whose heart is always beating for the young people!».

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East Timor

Construction of new Chapel officially launched Uai-Mori, Viqueque, East Timor - September 2020

Some time ago, the community of Uai-Mori, Municipality of Viqueque, asked the Salesian missionary Fr Eligio Locatelli to build a new chapel, since the area of the community is isolated. Fr Locatelli in turn asked for help from the Past Pupils of Don Bosco in East Timor to support the construction of the new chapel and a residence for the priests.

The Past Pupils enthusiastically welcomed the proposal and in July 2020 they started a fundraiser. On 27 September, Msgr. Basilio do Nascimento, Bishop of Baucau, officially started the construction of the new chapel through the celebration of Mass and the blessing of the area in the presence of civil and religious authorities and past pupils. The Uai-Mori community and the Salesian Family agreed that the Salesian martyr Saint Callisto Caravario, protector of the Salesian Vice Province of East Timor, be also the protector of the Uai-Mori community.

VI official meeting of "Don Bosco Lahore" Past Pupils

Pakistan

Lahore, Pakistan - October 2020

The VI official meeting of the Past Pupils of "Don Bosco Lahore" took place on 25 October with 40 participants led by Fr Noble Lal, SDB, and Salesian Brother Alexander Abelgas, and for the first time, with a good number of online participants also from abroad. The event was carefully prepared, with the translation into Urdu of the Prayer of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco and of the Promise, and with the origins of the history of Carlo Gastini in Valdocco and formation based on the Statutes of the World Confederation.

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Taiwan

The Salesian charism unites bishops and Sons of Don Bosco

(ANS – Taipei) On the evening of 15 November 2020, the Salesian Community of “St. John Bosco Parish” in Taipei was happy to experience a doubly episcopal event: during supper, Salesian Cooperator and Salesian Past Pupil Taipei Archbishop Thomas Chung An Zu, on a friendly visit to the Community, announced that Pope Francis appointed 54-yearold Fr John Lee, also a Don Bosco past pupil of the Salesian Technical School in Tainan, as new Bishop of Tainan. «All we Salesians were overjoyed to hear the news and, together with Archbishop Thomas, immediately toasted to the health of this new successor of the Apostles» said Fr Lanfranco M. Fedrigotti, SDB. Bishop-elect John Lee was a student in the car-repair department of the Salesian

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school in Tainan in 1981-1984. During his third year, his assistant was first-year practical-trainee Sc. Joseph Ng Chi Yuen, the present CIN Provincial. For his priestly ordination, Fr John Lee chose the school hall of the Salesian Technical School, where he was ordained with two companions on 1 January 1993. A talented singer and guitarist, he has been a youth and vocational pastoral leader in the Diocese of Tainan for many years, often working closely with the Salesians of the Salesian Technical School. His priestly ordination took place just one day before the episcopal consecration of Bishop Bosco Lin as Auxiliary Bishop of Kaohsiung (2 January 1993). Bishop-elect John Lee is now the successor of Bishop Bosco Lin. In fact, Bishop Bosco Lin was appointed Bishop of Tainan on January 24, 2004, and installed as Bishop of Tainan on

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21 March 2004. Therefore, today, Bishopelect John Lee Juo-Wang has become the successor of Bishop Bosco Lin Chi-nan 77-year old Bishop Bosco (so named at his baptism by the German missionary Fr Ferdinand Pauli OP, long before the Salesians arrived in Taiwan!) can now finally retire, after 26 years of dedicated apostolic service. As a Salesian Cooperator (like Archbishop Thomas of Taipei), Bishop Bosco has been particularly close to the Salesians in Tainan. Bishop Bosco’s successor, Bishop-elect Fr John Lee, a good singer and guitar player, for many years has been the youth ministry and vocation pastoral animator of the Tainan Diocese, often working closely with the SDB of Salesian Technical School. During the Good Night Talk after the sung First Vespers of Sunday, Archbishop Tho-

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mas Chung announced to the community that, with the consent of the CIN Provincial, he had appointed our Vice-Rector Parish Pastor Fr Edgar Andrew Carbon as Spiritual Director of the Archdiocese Youth Office. In total, there are currently five bishops in Taiwan who are part of the Salesian Family: in addition to the bishop emeritus of Tainan, Msgr. Bosco Lin Chi-nan (Salesian Cooperator), to the newly appointed bishop of Tainan, Fr John Lee Juo-Wang (past pupil), and to the archbishop of Taipei, Msgr. Thomas Chung An Zu (past pupil and Salesian Cooperator), Msgr. Joseph TiKang (Salesian Cooperator), 92-year-old archbishop emeritus of Taiwan, and the archbishop of Kaohsiung, Peter Liu Chengchung. Source: AustraLasia

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Thailand

Soccer tournament for Salesian past pupils Hat Yai, Thailand - November 2020 The Association of Salesian Past Pupils of the "Saengthong Vitthaya School" Institute, Songkhla province, under the guidance of Phudit Phong-acha, organized the 9th Football Tournament of the Reunion of Past pupils. 23 teams made up of 20 players each participated.

The Salesian Province of Thailand fosters the establishment of associations of past pupils to continue helping them to nourish the education and formation they received in the institutes and support them in building a solid foundation of life for the good of society and the Church.

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S ALESIAN F AMILY

Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2021: special, innovative, global edition (ANS - Rome) In the context of a pandemic that affects millions of people all over the world, speaking of hope may seem absurd, and thinking of doing it involving thousands of people, even insane. But maybe, instead, it is just a matter of following in the footsteps of a dreamer, Don Bosco. For this reason, the Central Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, Fr Joan Lluís Playà, confirms today: «The Salesian Family Spirituality Days 2021 will take place». Fr Joan Lluis, when, where and above all how will the 39th Days of Spirituality of the Salesian Family (GSFS) take place?

«The Days will take place on the weekend of 15-16-17 January 2021 and, if the conditions at that moment allow it, the final Mass and some of the live shows will take place in Turin-Valdocco. In any case, the way to experience them shall be the one we've become accustomed to in these times: at a distance, albeit in communion.

«For the days of 15 and 16, we have foreseen two times: a moment in common for all, which can be followed in live streaming all over the world - and which for time zone reasons will take place between 13:00 and 15:30 Italian (UTC + 1); and a moment that will instead be regional, or zonal, in which 48

the various Coordination Centers that are being set up, thanks to the material provided to them by the Secretariat of the Salesian Family and to the individual initiatives they deem appropriate for their realities, will be able to complete the daily offer. Finally, on Sunday there will be the Mass of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, and a final moment live for everyone. And then, if they wish, the regional Coordination Centers will certainly be able to offer other stimuli».

Tell us about the Coordination Centres....

"We have set up several, according to linguistic and operational needs.

There will be one in Quito for Spanish-, English- and French-speaking America, and one in Brasilia for Brazilians; another in Madrid for Spaniards, one in Lisbon for the Portuguese area of Europe and Africa; from Italy we will coordinate broadcasts and animation for members of the FS who speak Italian, English and French, both in Europe and in Africa.

Poland will also have its own centre, while the English-speaking people of India and Sri Lanka will have their centre in Chennai, India, and those of East Asia and Oceania will have one in East Timor. They have already been trained and are

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perfecting the material we have offered them, as well as preparing other resources, such as prayers, interventions, interviews, thoughts for the "Salesian Goodnight»...

Is it possible to outline a program, at least for common moments?

«On the first day, we will certainly have the Days presentation, the Strenna presentation by the Rector Major, and a commentary on the theme by Msgr. Derio Olivero, bishop of Pinerolo.

In the second we will focus above all on sharing the "testimonies of hope" lived in the Salesian Family: we will listen to how members of different groups and countries have brought hope in times of pandemic, they will talk to us, through videos, these willing young people from all over the world, and we will commemorate credible witnesses of hope in difficult times. Because we must not forget, above all, the meaning of the GSFS in general, and of these in particular».

Which is?

«The GSFS serve to deepen the message www.exallievi.org

that the Rector Major entrusts to the Salesian Family with the Strenna. This year the theme is "Moved by hope: 'See, I am making all things new'" (Rev 21,5), and the Days aim in particular to become aware of this great value of hope in the Salesian charism...

And this organization, which is a novelty of this year, originally motivated by the pandemic, I believe will instead serve to involve many more people than in previous years, and make everyone feel the active and widespread reality of the Salesian Family in the world. In short, we respond to the globalization of the pandemic with the globalization of hope and of the Salesian spirit. And we do it because we are rooted in our faith, which tells us, as the Strenna recalls, that the Lord "makes all things new"».

Finally, how does one participate, in practical terms? For the joint program, there is no need for registration. Just log into the ANS Facebook page at the times indicated. To participate in the regional program, interested parties must register on the appropriate platforms, the addresses of which will soon be provided by the same regional Coordination Centers. Gian Francesco Romano

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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 pierluigi.2208@tiscali.it newsflash@exallievi.orgt

NUMBER OF OUR ACCOUNTS

Collaborators of this issue Papa Francesco, don Ángel Fernández Artime SDB, Michal Hort, Riccardo Benotti, Francesca Bonotto, don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Edoardo Pessoa Cavalcante, Padre Adriano De Jesus SDB, Michael Eng, Niel Evangelista, don Václav Klement SDB, Azevedo Marcal, Fr. F. Mota SDB, Br. Dominic Nam, Sandra Pistilli, Padre Joan Lluís Playà, Gianfrancesco Romano, don Rosario Salerno SDB, Nisaury Ventura

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 Agenzia ANS, AustraLasia, Agenzia Sir

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

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

Translations

Ag. ANS - Sandra Pistilli

Ag. ANS - Nisaury Ventura

Ag. ANS - don Rosario Salerno

Ag. ANS - Nisaury Ventura

Bu on N a t a l e !

Fe l i z N a v i d a d !

J o yeu x N o ël !

Fe l i z N a d a l !

ITALIAN EDITION

SPANISH EDITION

FRENCH EDITION

PORTUGUESE EDITION


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