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E X A LLIEVI Newsflash YEAR 9 - ISSUE 37 - EASTER 2020

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


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FR ÁNGEL FERNÁNDEZ ARTIME CONFIRMED RECTOR MAJOR

(ANS - Rome) The 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation has renewed the mandate of Rector Major to the standing RM, namely Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, for 2020-2026. The election was decided at the first round of voting. Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, 59, was born on 21 August 1960 in Gozón-Luanco, Asturias, Spain; he made his first profession on 3 September 1978, his perpetual vows on 17 June 1984 in Santiago de Compostela, and was ordained priest on 4 July 1987 in León. Originally from León Province, he has been Youth Ministry Delegate, Rector of the school at Ourense, member of the Council

and Vice Provincial and, from 2000 to 2006, Provincial of León. He has a Doctorate in Pastoral Theology and a Licence in Philosophy and Pedagogy. He was a member of the technical commission that prepared the General Chapter 26. In 2009, he was appointed Provincial of South Argentina, and thanks to this position he also got to know and collaborate personally with the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today Pope Francis. On 23 December 2013, he was appointed Provincial of the new province of Mary Help of Christians in Spain, an office he couldn’t take on, since the 27th General Chapter had elected him as tenth Successor of Don Bosco. It was 25 March 2014.

On the cover: Paraguay - Salesian priest blesses city of Concepción 25 March 2020 - Concepción, Paraguay - March 2020 - The Salesian Fr Jorge Cuevas climbed the bell tower of the "Mary Help of Christians" parish of Concepción to bless the whole city with the Blessed Sacrament. The city of Concepción, like the rest of the country, is in quarantine and with isolation measures due to the pandemic that keeps the whole world on hold. The Salesian priest recited the prayer of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and especially blessed the city health workers.

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Chronology of the Rectors Major The 28th General Chapter of the Salesian Congregation renewed the mandate of Rector Major to Fr Ángel Fernández Artime for the 2020-2026 term. Who was Rector Major before him? Fr Michele Rua was Don Bosco's first successor and was Rector Major from 1888 to 1910. After him: Fr Paolo Albera (1910-1921) Fr Filippo Rinaldi (1922-1931) Fr Pietro Ricaldone (1932-1951) Fr Renato Ziggiotti (1952-1965) Fr Luigi Ricceri (1965-1977) Fr Egidio Viganò (1977-1995) Fr Juan E. Vecchi (1996-2002) Fr Pascual Chávez Villanueva (2002-2014).

Rector Major Emeritus, don Pascual Chàvez

Don Vaclav Klement

Don Pier Luigi Cameroni

Translators at the 28th General Chapter EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Easter 2020

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THE VOICE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR As both balm and fire

Dear Salesian Family and friends, at the beginning my new sessennium, I wish to share with you what I feel in my heart. First of all, I thank God - in whose loving hands we all find ourselves and in whom we all move and have our being. God has guided us right up to this moment. The "yes" I once again pronounce stems from trust in God and in all of you who form the great soul and the great heart of this our beloved Family. My emotions are running high. I still feel overwhelmed at being a successor of Don Bosco and the "father and center of unity" of the entire Salesian Family. I am left speechless yet again when I read in Don Bosco's Spiritual Testament what our father left us in writing about this: «Before leaving for my eternity, I have some duties to fulfill toward you and, thus, fulfill a wish most dear to my heart. I am leaving you here on this earth, but only for a little while… Your rector is dead, but another will be elected who will take care of you and your eternal salvation. Listen to him, obey him, and pray for him as you have done for me». (The Biographical Memoirs of St. John Bosco. Volume XVII, p. 232.). The words of our beloved father, Don Bosco, resound in my mind and heart as both balm and fire simultaneously. His figure is so great that I inevitably feel small and unworthy. Only the grace that comes from the Lord and to which I abandon myself, your help, the help of all the Salesians in the very diverse places of the world, and the love that all of us have for our young people - especially the poorest - give me the peace and courage that I need. Many confreres have asked me how I feel. My answer has always been the same: very peaceful and very free. This is what I have felt the entire time, during the Chapter and during discernment. This is what I felt both before and after the elections: peace and freedom because I was not and am not looking for this task of service. I was spiritually ready to continue because I feel that the six previous years have been years of grace; albeit, not without difficulties - but ones that neither snatched hope from me nor took away my desire for personal fidelity to the Congregation. However, I was also ready to end my service, if that had been the sentiment of the Assembly gathered in the Name of the Lord. It is with this peace and freedom that I impress in my heart what has been said about the expectations concerning the Rector Major: I will try to be, as far as possible, a true man of God, with a strong charismatic and pastoral identity, forward-thinking and farsighted, and capable of a gaze of faith and hope when reading the reality of things. It is my deep desire to continue to be, as far as possible, a man capable of fatherhood and fraternal affection, and of accompaniment and closeness to our confreres.

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«The grace that comes from the Lord and to which I abandon myself, your help, the help of all the Salesians in the very diverse places of the world, and the love that all of us have for our young people - especially the poorest give me the peace and courage that I need». I believe I shall put much of my energy into being a man capable of building unity, of involving others, of accompanying, of creating a common vision, of harmoniously bringing together differences, of building communion around him, of teamwork, and of delegating responsibilities. Finally, I turn my gaze to young people. They are for us the "sacrament" of our encounter with God. They constitute "the burning bush" to which we draw near in His Name. They are the sacred place that God has given us in Don Bosco for our sanctification and the sanctification of all. The presence of young people at the General Chapter left our hearts filled with emotion thanks to the strength of their youthful words. The young people asked us to stay with them, not to abandon them, not to leave them alone in their fate. They asked us to love them, to love them truly, because they want us and love us. They asked us to accompany them along the journey of life. And they asked us to be men capable of talking to them about the love that God has for them. They did not ask us for buildings, or more walls, or management plans, or even activities. In his message to GC XXVIII, Pope Francis said that the young people were co-founders with Don Bosco. "That's why they and the sound of their voices," writes the Holy Father, "are and must be our best music. We are therefore called to permeate the lives of many abandoned, endangered, poor, discarded young people who await a gaze of hope, who await that Salesian who will be a brother, sometimes a father, and always a friend.” It was important for us to have held GC XXVIII in Valdocco. The Holy Father himself spoke to us about what he called the "Valdocco choice" – a choice which I translate into dreams that are already reality but that must become ever more so because I dream like Don Bosco that the 21st-Century Salesian be a man full of hope and one passionate about Jesus Christ. I dream of a Salesian Family that has the spirit of Valdocco, just as Don Bosco constructed it to be: living for and with children and young people, truly loving them in the Name of the Lord. I dream of a Salesian Family in which the poorest and most abandoned, the “throw-aways”, the excluded, and those who have suffered any type of abuse and violence are their priority, just as they were for Don Bosco. If it be so, then our Mother, the Help of Christians, will continue to do everything in this Congregation and in this Salesian Family. So, to all of you, I repeat the words of Pope Francis, with great affection: Dream and dream big. Dream and help others dream. Don Ángel Fernández Artime Rector Major

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GREETINGS FROM THE PRESIDENT

Dear Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco, It is my pleasure to be able to communicate with you again through our cherished Exallievi Newsflash. How time flies... here is another new edition for Easter which has been prepared for you. From your several news, I can say our Association is growing everyday into the vivid and active group of ‘Good Christians and Upright Citizens’ as Don Bosco wanted us to be. For the year 2020,the Rector Major – our Don Bosco of today - is inviting us to reflect on this same phrase for this year’s Strenna. For us, Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco, it is a blessed and special time indeed, since on the 24th June of this year, we will celebrate 150 years when Carlo Gastini and the first group of Past Pupils fromValdocco visited Don Bosco and upon his recommendation they started the first group of Past Pupils of Don Bosco. For the Past Pupils all over the world, the year 2020 is a special grace since we celebrate the Jubilee Year of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco with various meetings, national and local celebrations and activities, new projects and many challenges. During the time of Easter, when we contemplate resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, I see a connection of this holy time for the Church with present situation of Past Pupils. Besides the celebration and the marking of this anniversary, we are reflecting and re-inventing who is Past Pupil of Don Bosco for 21st century. The Questionaire for the Jubilee year, is helping us to reflect and gather our ideas, I think we can see this Jubilee year as our own Easter and time for resurrection. As Jesus is bringing with his life and sacrifice as the new testament among us, let us see this very special Jubilee of ours as an opportunity to re-think and re-evaluate our rich history and experience of last 150 years of Past Pupils in order to be able to live as true sons of Don Bosco also in the 21st century. So, it is important to think and pray but let us not forget to act as well. I invite you all to stay focused and be practical during the celebrations and the many meetings that you will have. I invite you to keep our focus on the main challenges of the strategic plan for the World Confederation which include improving our contacts and networking, new projects and best practices shared among all of us. As for an inspirative example, I would like to share with you an initiative from India, where Past Pupils along with Salesians are building local job placement database for past pupil enterpreneurs and job seekers. Let us pray that one day in the close future we will be able to provide such service worldwide via our database of Past Pupils – Boscobase. For that I ask you for your prayers and cooperation.

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World Confederation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco

Via Tiburtina, 994 00156 - Roma (RM) Italia

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

At the same time, there are not only those postive news we hear, but actual situation with Pandemic Coronavirus brings sadness, questions and even fear to our lives and hearts. I woulg like to invite you to stay strong and positive as Don Bosco used to stay during many difficult and dangerous moments of his life. Allways dedicated his life and work to the others, to the young - especially those in need. Today´s situation might be a new challenge for us Past Pupils in the matter how to help, how to be here for those who need it. Great example here is help of Past Pupils from Hongkong to Salesian Family in Spain with medical equimpment sent at the end of March 2020. What a nice gesture which invites all of us to reflect how can I be of service and help these days. We have the prayer, various ways of communication, any mI personaly feel Coronavirus crisis gives us chance to live 2020 Strenna and our motto as Past Pupils every day to its deep. I hope, that to all those who are in quarantine, will this newslfash be to refresh and enjoyment. For those who take care for us – doctors, nurses, priests, firefighters, policemans, grocery stores and pharmacies employees... let us thank them with our prayers and let us keep them in our intentions.any different ways of support. This crisis may be for us Past Pupils of Don Bosco one of the backrounds to reply to important question of Jubilee year 2020 questionaire: «What Past Pupil for 21st century?» This is very real challenge of 21st century society we live in. I invite you to be sensitive to calls which this hard times ar bringing to us, to be active but to stay calm and positive. Let us be at our best - Good Christians and Honest Citizens. I personaly feel Coronavirus crisis gives us chance to live 2020 Strenna and our motto as Past Pupils every day to its deep. I hope, that to all those who are in quarantine, will this newslfash be to refresh and enjoyment. For those who take care for us – doctors, nurses, priests, firefighters, policemans, grocery stores and pharmacies employees.... let us thank them with our prayers and let us keep them in our intentions. In Don Bosco Michal Hort World President

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EDITORIAL The Flying Volunteers of Don Bosco 1854 – Cholera in Turin

Dear Friends,

In Italy (and in the world) we’re experiencing the cruel reality of the “Coronvirus”. Reading the most varied daily bulletins, my thought went, often, to Don Bosco. He, as well, suffered a similar experience. So, for once, I put down my pen and entrust myself completely to what the Turin Saint testified in his “Biographical Memoirs”. Even in the midst of the cruelest suffering, the boys grew up at his school with the “desire to do good”. The apostolate among companions was the main way of life in the Oratory.

The summer of 1854 brought a fearful news: cholera. The epidemic hit first Liguria, causing 3,000 victims. The first cases in Turin, on July 30-31. Let’s not forget that the bacterium the “Vibrio Cholera”, was only discovered by Robert Koch in 1884; just as everyone knows that the Red Cross was founded in 1864, ten years later! In the absence of scientific information, the usual rumors, fueled by ignorance and fear, spread throughout the city. «Common people - you could hear saying - insisted on thinking that doctors gave their patients a poisoned drink, which in Turin was given the name of “acquetta”, and this in order to make them die sooner and therefore avoid more easily the danger for oneself and for the others». Fear caused “the closing of the shops, the fleeing that soon a multitude of people made from the infected place”. An example of noble courage was, certainly, not given by the Royal Family who fled in closed carriages and took refuge in the castle of Caselette.

The most affected area of Turin, as was easy to predict, was the most polluted and dirty one: Borgo Dora, bordering with Valdocco. Don Bosco took the appropriate measures: «The exams were brought forward and before the end of July (that is, a month in advance) all schools were closed». Cholera was raging on the Piedmontese city. In ten cases, six were fatal. The Oratory was surrounded by dying people, corpses and,

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The “Flying Volunteers”

Don Bosco and the young oratorians

Instructions for cholera from 1854

around these unfortunate people, fear had created a vacuum. Very few the brave who lent themselves to cure the sick. The Mayor appealed to the best in the city to become nurses and cholera patients assistants.

Don Bosco, then, turned to his young people looking for someone who wanted to join him in that work of mercy. And he thanked them in the name of God. «Fourteen presented him soon, ready to fulfill his wishes… and a few days later thirty others followed their example» (MB 5,87). To the rudimentary hygiene of the time, Don Bosco added his Faith. One evening, hearing how everyone was talking about the disease that was exterminating in Turin, he encouraged them to hope in the Virgin Mary: «If you, my dear ones, will promise me not to voluntarily commit any sin, I think I can assure you that none of you will be affected by cholera».

So the “flying nurses” rushed to provide emergency first aid, at any request and at any time of the day or night. The poor (and there were plenty of them) were given sheets, shirts, blankets. The reserves of the Oratory, were very soon exhausted. The epidemic lasted three months and for three months that charity continued... When, with the autumn rains, the cholera ended, there were 1,248 deaths in Turin, 320 thousand in Italy. The end of the emergency was declared on November 21st. A prodigious result: among the 44 Oratory volunteers, none was affected by the infection!

The writer Nicolò Tommaseo, who in those years lived in via Dora Grossa, (now via Garibaldi) 22, wrote to Don Bosco on October 3rd : «I know of the generous charity exercised by you and your young men in the disease that especially threatened the poor of the city… I owe you heartfelt thanks, as a Cristian» (MB 5,118). Pierluigi Lazzarini

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RECTOR MAJOR: “The Greatest of All is Love” Rosario - Argentina - Salesian House

In moments of difficult trials such as these, it is love that gives us life

Dear Friends and Readers of the Salesian Bulletin: Receive my cordial greeting at a time when all our minds are overwhelmed. I am writing these words on April 1st, thinking about the month of May, the month of our Mother. We have entrusted ourselves to her throughout the Salesian world during this very painful period of the Covid19, or “coronavirus”, pandemic. From all parts of the world, we have raised up prayers – and continue to do so – to ask the Lord through the intercession of our Mother for help and comfort in these terrible hours for us all, with the loss of so many lives, even while knowing that later, also, there will be other difficulties that we will have to face. But it happens that in the face of so much pain, so many tears, and death, even amid the most painful losses, we find people who are "the word of God" and its mediation for us through the witness of their faith and of their strength. Today I feel unworthy to use my own words when I have heard others’ words - ones which bear a great weight of authenticity and tried and proven faith - and when I have seen true witnesses of ‘abandonment to God’. Therefore, today I wish to offer you the following testimony that will remain anonymous as to the names of those involved and the place where it happened. Reading this testimony, we will see what we human beings are capable of - FOR THE GOOD! She has just lost her husband. They had been married more than 23 years before and together they have had five children and formed a beautiful family. Today, at 50 years of age, the coronavirus has taken her husband away. The circumstances of life have separated them physically but they are more united now than ever. It all started with a feeling of discomfort, on the day of the birthday of one of his daughters. He woke up with a fairly high fever. He had flu symptoms, congestion, and a cough that they thought would be but temporary. However, as the hours passed, the situation became more complicated. He had no respiratory distress but was suffering from dizziness. His family doctor had to make a house call to listen to his breathing. It was then that they called the ambulance and he was admitted to the hospital. At first, they had him under observation. They did not suspect at all that it was the coronavirus. At that time, they did not have the necessary material to do the COVID-19 test. Nonetheless, that same night they put him into isolation in the hospital as a preventive measure. The following day he was taken to the intensive care unit where he was tested. The doctors told his wife that she could no longer stay with him - that she had to go home. A short time later, they called her to return to the hospital to say goodbye to her husband because he was in critical condition. She came to the hospital with a priest so that her husband could receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and said goodbye to him. That same afternoon they found out that the coronavirus test was positive. From that moment on, she and their children were under qua10

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rantine at home while her husband spent his final hours in the hospital. She recounts that during all that time the hardest thing was being unable to go see him, to be with him and talk to him. He was in isolation and they didn't let them in to see him. The entire hospital was filled with coronavirus patients and no visitors were allowed. Meanwhile, at home, this woman, wife and mother, lived that suffering and pain with a huge heart. «It is very hard, but Christ is supporting me. Knowing that He is with me on the Cross, that I am there with Him, that we are together, and knowing that my husband is in His hands is what gives me strength». This mother and her children turned to prayer and found comfort: «We pray the rosary every day and we are making a novena to Saint Joseph that we already finished once and then started all over again. We add petitions for all those who are facing a similar situation».

With admirable faith, she shares that «There were days when I was taking it very badly, but now I am living this situation with greater peace and with acceptance. Accepting reality helps you live everything with less despair - still with the suffering of not seeing him but with the peace that comes from knowing that no matter what happens, in the end, it is God's Will». A few days before her husband's death, she felt that she wanted to share with others how they were living this time as a family. She wanted to share this with people going through the same thing that she and her children were or who would have to go through it in the future. She wanted them to feel supported. Her testimony teaches us that although we may not be prepared for difficult trials such as these, staying close to God gives us life and helps us live these moments of suffering "with less despair", as does this believing woman who knows that love knows no limits and that it is important to hold onto the Cross, especially at times like these. Two days before her husband's death, she sent this message:

I am grateful for the very many messages of support and prayer. This gives me life, as does knowing that there are many people praying for him. If, in the end, he is not cured, it is because there is a greater good that will come of it. It is something very hard, very difficult, but also, at the same time, God grants you the ability to see the love of others and of how He loves us. And that is a very huge thing. The love made tangible in the union that exists in the family, in the messages of support from other people, in the friends who pray for each other, in the dedication of the doctors who accompany our patients is what allows us to look at reality with different eyes. It transforms us into witnesses of something superior and greater than ourselves so we may go out to meet others. This wife and her family received the news that her husband passed away and they became closer than ever. They continue to breathe in that love with the confidence that they are not alone. Only from a heart that loves deeply can she say: “He has gone to Heaven, with Jesus. I trust God, who gives me strength and peace”.

Thus ends this testimony. Perhaps other people will experience despair at similar losses. There will also be those who will not understand that you can react as did this wife and mother. We have to accept that each person is unique and unrepeatable. In this case, faith has transcended and overcome the loss of a loved one (no matter how great are the pain and the emptiness of loss). Don Bosco always reminded us that if we have confidence in Mary Help of Christians we will see what miracles are. Our natural, quick, and immediate tendency is to think that it is a miracle only when there is a cure from cancer or a similar disease, but what this wife and mother and their five children experienced in their hearts is also a true miracle – a miracle of living faith.

LET US NOT lose this faith or the hope that characterizes us. May the Help of Christians, our Mother, continue to lead us by the hand for what was said to one and to all still remains true today: "Woman, there is your son; son, there is your Mother" (Jn. 19:26-27). Don Ángel Fernández Artime Rector Major

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Italy

A BRIDGE OF SALESIAN SOLIDARITY BETWEEN CHINA AND ITALY

(ANS - Milan)

The Salesian Family reacts to the threats of Covid-19 by sustaining itself as a single body, as a vast movement of people committed to the salvation, not only of young people, but of every human being. It amply demonstrated this with the global and devoted participation in the extraordinary novena and the Act of Entrustment to Mary Help of Christians, with thousands of people worldwide who gathered - virtually and spiritually - around the Rector Major and his Councilors in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Rome; and it testifies to this with the practical and effective support of health aid.

In this situation, through the Salesian Family network, not less than four different groups of the Salesian Family of CIN Province have volunteered to help the Salesian Family members in Italy. Thanks to the indication of the Vicar of the Rector Major, all “benefactors” were directed to the epicenter in Lombardy.

The following messages came from China province lay people living the spirit of Don Bosco:

«Some people here in China province are talking about collecting donations and sending them to the Rector Major for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. What do you think surgical face masks are the best to send...?» (Macao). «Our friends are asking, how can we help 12

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the people who suffer in Italy (home place of Don Bosco). Which ways to help is better, sending medical supply, such as masks, etc., or money instead?» (Hong Kong). «I have just received a call from my friend, who would like to donate 10,000 surgical masks to the Salesians and the medical staffs in Italy, but he does not know where is the channel and asks for my assistance. Can you help?» (Taiwan).

Another group of Don Bosco Alumni writes to the Rector Major: «The pandemic has brought us together as never before, as we are working closely with the Salesian China Province in Hong Kong in procuring emergency equipment for the Salesian confreres, as well as teachers and students in the local schools: items such as surgical face masks and hand sanitizers, which are now considered indispensable in containing the spread of the virus. In taking up what essentially is a mundane task, we also rea-

lise that we are called, as past pupils, to participate in the great work of making Don Bosco’s dream come true… As a token of our solidarity with the Salesians at the headquarters in Rome, we are working out ways to dispatch to you a modest consignment of surgical facemasks, which we hope will be useful in protection against cross-transmission of the disease. Please let us know if you need these or other emergency materials and we will try our best to help».

On the other side of this show of solidarity is the Milan-Lombardy Salesian Family: Fr Giuliano Giacomuzzi, Salesian provincial of Milan province (ILE-Italia: Lombardy and Emilia) who replies to our China province Salesian Cooperators and Don Bosco Alumni from his heart: «Dear friends, many thanks! This generosity warms our hearts and helps us to be strong in this moment of history when we all feel more fragile!».


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SOLIDARITY TO FACE COVID-19

Atocha

Marti Codolar

Palma del Rio

(ANS - Madrid) In the context of the emergency and suffering caused by Covid-19, the Salesian houses of Palma del Río, Elche, Cadiz, Martí Codolar, Atocha, Pamplona, Puertollano, Salamanca or Santander, among others, have put their gifts at the service of various collaboration initiatives with Spanish healthcare centers. «We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop». This phrase, attributed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, can summarize the sense of solidarity sown by the Salesian presence in the face of Covid-19.

In times of crisis, human solidarity shows its best side: in this case, by highlighting the disinterested resources that begin to

flow from the Salesian presence to reach the Spanish health system. The Salesians of Palma del Río (Córdoba) have joined the coordinated project throughout Spain to produce elements for the individual protection of health workers with 3D printers. The Salesians are contributing to the creation of a thousand protective visors, the first of which will be delivered to the “Reina Sofía” hospital. The same devices are also being produced by the Martí Codolar Social Education Platform (Barcelona). At the same time, a teacher from the “Mary Help of Christians” educational center in Salamanca participates in a group of 154 people who are making new anti-spray visors. The material was presented to the healthcare offices of Castile and León to-

Spain

gether with the design of a device for ventilation. «If they accept it, many can be produced in a short time», says the teacher. The Salesian centers in Santander, MadridAtocha or Puertollano see professors and students busy making masks with the materials readily available in their respective homes. With the contribution of teachers, students and past pupils of the local Salesian institute, a company from Elche is designing a basic ventilator to supply the health centers. The teachers of Engineering of the Salesians of Pamplona, in collaboration with the past pupil Pablo Goñi of Noxon Technology, collaborate with the Navarre hospital complex in the realization of elements necessary for respirators. Finally, news came from Cadiz that Juan Camacho, professor of Electronics at the local Salesian Vocational Training School, co-designed a new system to complete the patient ventilation system and expand the lung, bringing oxygen to the poorly ventilated areas. «This virus represents an unprecedented threat, but also an unprecedented opportunity to unite us as everyone against an enemy of humanity», said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization. The Salesians are working in this new scenario in the awareness that every little drop made will add to the ocean of solidarity initiatives against Covid-19. EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Easter 2020

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Portugal

"WILL HUMANITY SUCCUMB BECAUSE A MACHINE IS MISSING?" A tweet by João Nascimento, Salesian past pupil, generates global synergy

(ANS - Lisbon) A Portuguese scientist is bringing together specialists from all over the world to develop new respirators in open source format (without commercial license): he is João Nascimento, a pupil of the Salesian Institute of Estoril, who, via Twiter, launched the challenge to the academic community, researchers, engineers, doctors, software developers and technology companies to create a fast and outsourced solution for the production of medical devices, given the large current and global needs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the appearance of coronavirus in many countries around the world, public and private hospitals soon realized a sad fact: there are no breathing, ventilation and artificial lungs machines sufficient to assist all the people who require them. The manufacturers of these devices say they don't have the «ability to meet global demand». The ex-Salesian student João Nascimento then launched the challenge through Twitter and in a few hours first hundreds and then thousands of experts from various sectors responded to his appeal.

To the newspaper "Observador", which is following the project's progress, João Na-

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scimento said that it is tangible proof that humanity, when it works together and in solidarity, has no boundaries, even though he stressed that «at present, it's not possible to make predictions on immediate results or applications».

João Nascimento is currently studying Neuroscience and Philosophy at Harvard University and is the mentor of the "Open Air Project", based on the Slack platform and with various discussion channels. «How was the idea born and how was the open source mechanical respirator project born?» asked journalist Laura Cordeiro.

«I am one of those people who can't stand still or wait for things to happen» explained the Salesian past pupil. «Obviously, faced with a world pandemic, I thought of

dismantling the problem: what is the main cause of the deaths? What is the main reason for the lack of respirators?

Will humanity succumb because a machine is missing? I started thinking about the machine, which is essentially made of plastic, which immediately led me to the idea that it can be produced from a mold and therefore reproducible with 3D printer technology... This is how I got to Twitter and to my search for open source respirators and respiratory machinery».

«I'm not the creator of anything». João says. «I only joined the people who were already thinking about it and I suggested organizing ourselves. The merit goes entirely to those who are working on it, are researching and are committed to finding solutions».


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Philippines

"LABORATORY ANGELS" ACT TO COMBAT COVID-19

Mandaluyong City, Philippines - March 2020 As in other parts of the world, quarantine status has been declared in Manila and all over the island of Luzon, so educational activities have been suspended and students have returned to their homes. 14 students, however, who have nowhere to go, stayed at the "Pinardi Boarding School" in Mandaluyong. Faithful to the teachings of Don Bosco, the 14 young people have organized themselves to produce protective visors for medical personnel with the help of Salesians, past pupils and benefactors. They are using commonly found materials. On March 26, three team members delivered the first batch of 450 protective visors to 8 Manila hospitals.

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Italy

LIVIA, PAST PUPIL AND NURSE

"In moments of dejection, I hear my teachers again and what they transmitted to me"

(ANS - Turin) Livia Borello is a young mother and a nurse at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus, a past pupil of the Salesian Classics Lyceum "Valsalice" in Turin. Family, work and education are three dimensions intertwined in her life, which she talks about in the following interview. You wrote that in this pandemic the ones who lose the most are the "Filippo" of this situation. What behaviors need you have with people close to you?

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«Before having contact with my son, Filippo, I always put on a surgical mask, and this implies no touches, kisses or hugs. Then I have a visceral love towards my grandfather, but now I have to pay much more attention. I also know very well that, unfortunately, if you get to the point of having to choose, you opt to choose who is more likely to live, and therefore giving up coffee or cigarettes with him, however burdensome, is actually the right thing».

«There are really many patients in the hospital who die alone from COVID-19. All the procedures are very long: for example, "pronation", a maneuver that helps respiratory exchanges, however easy, takes about 30 minutes per person, counting that special attention must be paid to all the IVs to which the patient is attached.

What is the situation in the hospital?

How can an ordinary citizen help?

Obviously we try to do everything we can, but when there are 10 patients who need you, it is really difficult».


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«If only people were to stay at home that would already be a great help: too many go out, shop two times a week, use the dog as an excuse, jog when they have never done so... It must be remembered that the incubation period is 14 days and there are asymptomatic cases, which can still infect people». What did Valsalice leave you that helped you face the situation? «My teachers left me a lot: in moments of despair I hear my teachers again and what they transmitted to me gives me strength

to go on; perhaps rereading a passage from [Manzoni's novel] The Betrothed, but, above all, from the Divine Comedy I thus feel what is out there a little less heavily; in short, it gives me that breath that is sometimes missing. In particular, I remember that during a Memorial Day, Professor Bove had read a piece of, if I'm not mistaken, If this is a man, where Primo Levi felt like me now: the only thing that kept him alive was a passage of the Divine Comedy, and in remembering it, he felt less beast and a little more man». Source: Il Salice

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2020 S TRENNA

Portugal

RECTOR MAJOR'S STRENNA PRESENTED TO SALESIAN FAMILY

Fátima, Portugal - January 2020

On January 25, the Auditorium of the Paul VI Center in Fátima welcomed 800 members of the Salesian Family for the presentation of the Strenna 2020 of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, on the theme: "Good Christians and Upright Citizens".

The presentation was led by Fr José Aníbal Mendonça, Provincial of the Salesians of Portugal, and Sister Rosa Cândida Gomes, FMA Provincial, and offered the official video.

Subsequently, a group of young people from the Salesians of Porto and Lisbon and two past pupils staged several artistic, musical and testimony performances inspired by the theme of the Strenna.

The meeting ended with the Eucharistic celebration chaired by Fr Américo Chaquisse, Councilor for the Africa-Madagascar Region.

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Japan - Cambodia

VISUAL AIDS FOR STRENNA 2020 Made in Japan and Cambodia

EAO, January 2020 How to spread the message of the beautiful Strenna 2020 around? Each EAO province has its own dynamics. Some Salesian provinces produce their own Poster version - like Chennai (India), Cambodia delegation (THA) or Japan province. Every year more and more provinces or individuals are making use of the mangastyle Japan Strenna Poster, made by a professional famous manga artist, Guri Suzuki (the author of the Don Bosco Manga 'Corraggio' already translated into 6 languages - including Mongolian, Korean, Chinese and English). In order to understand the Japan 2020 Strenna poster here is a simple explanation: Scene: Students are studying. Theme: Fulfill our duties.

Scene: Youngsters are playing soccer and Don Bosco is playing with them. Theme: Joy, Assistance (Assistenza). Scene: A young man is helping an elderly person Theme: Spirit of service. Scene: People are working hard. Theme: Fulfill our duties. The dignity of work. Scene: Jesus welcomes children. Theme: Jesus' Compassionate Love (BontĂ ). Scene: Parents are reading a book with their children. Theme: Respect for one another in the family, especially care for children. Scene: A girl is caring for plants. Theme: Caring about the Earth, the spirit of ecology. Also the Cambodia Delegation or Mongolia Delegation produced their own incultura-

ted versions of the 2020 Strenna Poster. All versions are available on the Boscolink: Strenna 2020 - Good Christians and Upright Citizens At the same time, thanks to the hard work of our translators and digital editors, we already have all 13 EAO language versions of the 15 minute 2020 Strenna Video available online. Thanks to Fr. Jacob (RMG), from this January each language channel is separate, so the navigation and access is much easier: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, English, Vietnamese, Thai, Urdu, Cebuano, Bahasa indonesia, Tetum, Burmese, Khmer and Mongolian. Let's foster UPRIGHT CITIZENS and GOOD CHRISTIANS during this whole year of 2020!Quindi incoraggiamo la crescita di Buoni Cristiani e Onesti Cittadini durante tutto l’Anno 2020!

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Italy

Fr Francesco Cereda at Don Bosco feast in Novara

Novara, Italy - January 2020

On 26 January, the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Francesco Cereda, went to the Salesian community of Novara for the feast of Don Bosco of the Salesian Family.

Novara is a Salesian presence wherein the middle school takes place with five sections, as well as scientific lyceum with two sections; there is a thriving oratory with animators and sports activities; the community also animates the Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians, and a Vocational Training Center has been set up. There are also two communities of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, who animate two schools and a VTC.

The educational commitment of SDB and FMA is appreciated by families and young people themselves, who have a strong sense of belonging to the charism of Don Bosco.

The Eucharist celebrated in the Cathedral was presided over by Fr Cereda and animated by a large group of ministers and a youth choir in the presence of children, young people, teachers, educators and parents, numerous Salesian Cooperators and Past Pupils.

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Malta

PAST PUPILS AND FRIENDS OF DON BOSCO CELEBRATE ST. JOHN BOSCO’S FEAST On Sunday 2nd February 2020, the Maltese National Federation and four local associations gathered together for its annual celebration of the feast of St. John Bosco.

Mass was celebrated by the Vice-Provincial Fr. Louis Grech SDB at St. Patrick’s School and concelebrated by Salesians from the four communities.

The Salesian Brothers helped in the mass and Bro. Wictor from Poland played the organ with Paul Buhagiar.

After mass, a buffet lunch was held at the Marina Corinthia Hotel in St. George’s Bay where over 150 members from the various groups of the Salesian Family were also present.

This year, the Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco are celebrating 150 years from when Carlo Gastini and his friends met with Don Bosco to mark the ‘name-day’ on the 24th June 1870.

It was on this day, when Don Bosco invited them to unite together, to take care of each other and support Don Bosco in his work with young people. The National Federation of Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco

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presented a certificate of honour and a special badge issued by the World Confederation to members who have been a true witness and service to others in the Salesian Family.

This year the following past pupils and friends of Don Bosco were given the honours: Simon Bugeja, Carmel Busuttil, Peter and Alaine Apap Bologna, Mary Cachia, Joe Ciappara, Rina Camilleri, Chris Cuschieri, Dr. Louise Sant Fournier, Glen Farrugia, Margaret Buhagiar, Tony Sammut, Alfred Borg, Felix Grech, and Alvin Scicluna.


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GOZO Local Past Pupil Association celebrates the Feast of St. John Bosco

Malta

The feast of St John Bosco was celebrated at the Don Bosco Oratory in Victoria last Sunday. The feast is organised by the Local Association of the Past Pupils and Friends of Don Bosco Gozo.

Bishop Mario Grech concelebrated Mass with the participation of the Laudate Pueri choir, followed by the blessing of pets at St Augustine Square.

After mass, there was an exhibition of past photographs of the Don Bosco Oratory activities throughout the years since its foundation. In the evening, the Leone Band played marches and accompanied the statue of St John Bosco during the procession. At the end of the procession, there was a display of fireworks.

The festivities were concluded with a grand concert by the Gozo Youth Wind Band and Orchestra, under the direction of Mro Joseph Grech in Don Bosco Oratory theatre.

The Maltese National Federation honoured two Gozitan past pupils: Felix Grech and Alvin Scicluna.

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Equador

JUANITO, THE SAINT OF JOY They say that two centuries ago in the lands of old Italy, a robust child was born from the womb of a humble peasant, and his mother, Doña Margarita, chose a name for her son, and as Juan baptized him, and Juanito called him affectionately, all who met the ever-smiling boy in their wake, there running around the yard or jumping on the green grass, the little boy born in poverty since he was a boy showed his greatness, with a noble, playful and pound-hearted heart, overflowing joy, Generous Juanito shares his bread with the one who survives, because hunger dwells in his people, and injustice prevails without suspicion, the poor are fraternal among the poor while the rich believe they are emancipators, John Bosco is not intimidated by the fact, and he fights day by day even on his own roof, and finds in the study and daily work the emancipation desired, and in prayer the strength of God emanated, for his cause not yet dimensioned. Tender teenager with bare feet walks to community school, from time to time, on the way a thorn or pebble drills his barefoot, the winter snow does not impede his march, nor the hot summer frightens him, for him spring is eternal when the heart that loves strongly beats, and the lucid mind does not wander, nor does it get lost in the autumn colors, the gifts bestowed by the Creator must be multiplied,

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and they are the segregated and helpless youth; persecuted and misunderstood, by those who claim to be correct and honest, of society reflexes, those young people are Don Bosco's favorites, as a certain Jesus of Nazareth already did, with the poor of his time, the peasant priest of Ibechi, dropped the seeds on good ground, whose abundant harvest in the world already glimpsed in his dreams.

Joy marked his path, and everywhere he walked boldly, his arms outstretched at each encounter for the ever brotherly embrace, a tool in your hands or a book and a loaf for pleasant sharing, a little word in your ear, sweetness of Saint Francis de Sales learned, never be sad boy, because a sad saint is a sad saint, even in extreme poverty and the pain that pervades the soul, joy is never in vain, because from God comes what Providence provides and bread is never lacking, if the Faith remains high, that with the help of the Mary Help of Christians, Mother of God, patience reaches everything, and at the end of the road only the love of God is enough. Live harmoniously the daily life, be kind to everyone, in the likeness of Don Bosco, Juanito the one of history and Saint of joy. Dr. Fredi Portilla Farfán (January 31, 2020). Salesian Polytechnic University Cuenca – Equador


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R EGIONS

DON BOSCO IN ANTARCTICA?

Spain

As Patron of "Army Specialist Corps" (ANS - Seville) How far and wide does Don Bosco go? Certainly up to the more than 130 countries on the five continents where the Salesians are present today. What if you wanted to go even further? Well, if we were to go to Antarctica, we'd also find a small image of Don Bosco there too. This photo was taken 15,073 kilometers from Spain as Don Bosco is present as patron of the military contingent that accompanies environmental researchers on the Antarctic continent. «Don Bosco motivates us to be respectful for the protection of our planet», they say after sending the photo. But what is it that brought Don Bosco down there? The fact of being a "multidisciplinary" patron.

According to the Spanish Military Association (AME), he is the patron saint of the Specialist Corps of the Ground Army and of the fundamental specialties of this corp: Electronics and Telecommunications, Maintenance and Assembly of Equipment, Electricity, IT, Automotive, Aircraft Maintenance, Maintenance of Weapons and Materials, Maintenance of Vehicles, Electronic and Telecommunication Maintenance, Welding, Electricity and Assembly of Equipment.

How did this initiative come about? The first seminar on the Corps of Specialists was held at the Navacerrada Residence (Madrid) on 27 and 28 November, 1998. Among other things, the convenience and the need to have a specific Patron who could serve as an element of unity and generator of the spirit of the Corps was demonstrated; hence, for the elections, the existing traditions were reviewed and, taking care to preserve the ones with which the majority of the staff members of the Corps of Specialists identified, most having been students of the Professional Institutes, centers that very often venerated St John Bosco, patron of Vocational Training Schools, the choice was made. On January 24, 2000, in a communication from the Army Chief of Staff, St. John Bosco was officially designated as Patron of the Specialist Corps of the Ground Army, after his approval in the corresponding act, issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and sanctioned by Msgr. José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, then Military Ordinary of Spain. Every year the Specialists of the Ground Army celebrate Don Bosco on 1 February. Source: AME Photo: Dr. Jesús Anzano Lacarte

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I NTERVIEW

Italy

ROBERTO BUCCIONE

a Past Pupil on the march like Don Bosco

From the Oratory he reached the Ends of the World Did San Giovanni Bosco love race walking? He certainly practiced it when he was simply Don Bosco and, with his boys he loved to go for long, if not even, very long walks. He could not know (but probably he will have forseen it) that many years later the district of Rome, named after him, would have become one of the world capitals of the sport practiced by the “heel and toe” enthusiasts. To tell a story that deserves to be known, we talk about it with Roberto Buccione. In fact, let’s start with what this architect and Olympic race walker wrote in his biography.

«When I was a boy – he says – in the Oratory of the Salesians in Cinecittà there was, and there still is, a large and asphalted space capable of hosting hundreds of young people. It was the only resource for those who, like me and like all the kids in the area, wanted to engage in sports». Actually the area of Cecafumo, south of Rome, in the latest Fifties was all countryside. It was beginning to populate, however, with the satellite activities generated

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by Cinecittà and other industrial initiatives. In the midst of those meadows the first thing to arise was the parish church dedicated to Don Bosco. «There – says Buccione, with a certain nostalgia – we took refuge. A little catechism, then don Stelvio Tonnini and don Lai gave us a ciriola with mortadella or mozzarella and finally made us play football. And for many of us the discovery of sport and its irreplaceable charm took place in that or other Salesian oratories». After the first sports steps taken in that square, he was started in the cross-country and race walking, while he was attending Industrial Technical Institute Galileo Galilei, by Professor Salvatore Leone. And the career of Olympic race walker of the future and world record holder, started right from the Don Bosco District. Which becomes one of the most modern and beautiful in Rome. Long and wide boulevards, many streets named after other important Salesians and in the early Seventies, the Corriere dello Sport - which organizes the historic “Giro di Roma” of racewalk and racerun - signs an agreement with the Parish. On the streets of the District of Don Bosco

Montreal 1976


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Roberto Buccione e Vanni Lòriga

take place some of the editions of the race which closes the International on Road Season, each year on November 4th. Among the winners of those Roaring Years, we must remember above all others Abdon Pamich (Olympic 1964); Bernd Kannenberg (Olympic 1972); and the new prodigies of the Mexican school Raùl Gonzàlez Rodrìguez (Olympic in 50 Km Racewalk at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles) and Daniel Bautista (Gold medal in 20 Km Racewalk in Montreal 1976). Gonzàlez, incidentally, became later Sports Minister of the Mexican Confederation.

«Those Giri di Roma - says Piergiorgio Andreotti who led the fierce Marcia (Racewalk) Club Centro Lazio – were especially exciting for the participation of the public who, with its warm support made us fly on the smooth four-kilometer route to be repeated for five times».

Don Bosco would certainly have liked this happy march, as much as another Andreotti liked it, that is Giulio, Prime Minister and Piergiorgio’s uncle as well. «The story unfolds - wrote the great Giulio in the presentation of the book by the architect-race-walker Buccione – in a peripheral area (the Quadraro) of the capital

devoid of any sporting structure, apart from the large courtyard of one of the many meritorious oratories and gradually it widens towards the most remote borders of the world… a long march towards hope…». In conclusion, Roberto Buccione marches until the eve of the 1980 Moscow Games which he cannot participate, since at that moment he was performing his military service. He devotes himself to his work as a designer of sports facilities and, perhaps, in this field (maybe in another time and place) he would have many things to say. But, for now, we will just attach a short biography of his, always remembering that step by step, from Don Bosco’s Oratory he has truly reached the ends of the world. --------ROBERTO BUCCIONE is born in Rome on 8 August 1951. 20 appearances for the National Team; 20 Km Italian Champion in 1977; Tenth at the 1976 Games; Eighth at the 1978 European Championship. Italian Records on 3000 and 5000 meters, twice World Record on The Mile and once on the 2 Miles. Vanni Lòriga (Dean of Italian Sports Journalists)

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The “march” of Don Bosco

Don Bosco a “friend of the young”, as Cardinal Martini called him. Through sport and amusement he brings young people closer to religion and life. Monferrato has always had a special relationship with him and his oratory children. It all starts with the Autumn Walks: from 1861 onwards, Don Bosco takes the habit, in October, to take his boys for a few days around Piedmont. Very often the destination are the Monferrato Casalese Hills. They visit different towns: Alfiano, Crea, Casale, Mirabello, Vignale, Lu, San Salvatore, Montemagno, Grana, Calliano. Even today, in many of these towns, the passage of the Saint and the generous hospitality offered to his children is remembered, so much so that in each of these places, there are still visible signs of their passage. Adventurous trips to the countryside and the hills. «We left for the Sanctuary of the Consolata, Stupinigi, Superga, the Monte dei Cappuccini, the Madonna di Campagna, or for other places. On the lawns, young people played bowls, tile, had fun on stilts. At a certain point, the drum rolled. Immediately after, the trumpet gave us the signal either of the meeting or the departure. As long as we were in town, we tried to keep silent. Then the shouts, the singing, the screams began. Even though we kept on staying neatly in a row».

In 1659 the church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of the Snow was built; a church much loved by Don Bosco, who frequently visited it and where he celebrated Mass with his boys during the visits to the boarding school of Mirabello, a stage before the walks towards Lu. On the façade of the church there is a commemorative plaque dedicated right to San Giovanni Bosco. The pages of the Sacred Scripture are also full of examples: God walks with Adam, with the people of Israel; Jesus walks with the Apostles along Palestine; Church starts walking after the Resurrection of Christ. 28

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The Basilica of San Giovanni Bosco The Roman Basilica of San Giovanni Bosco, located in the district of the same name, has a rectangular structure measuring 45 by 78 meters. It rises up vertically for 73 meters, 6 of which dedicated to the crypt, built below street level.

The central nave is illuminated by the main dome, whose drum measures 46 meters in diameter, while that of the second dome measures 20 meters.

When the foundation stone was laid on 13 September 1952, the new temple dedicated to Don Bosco was almost in the open countryside. The Salesians (to whom the parish is entrusted) and the nuns of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, opened the first schools of the neighborhood, elementary and middle school. The Oratory has a consolidated sporting tradition as well. Fifty-five years ago, it gave birth to the Salesian Youth Sports Club (PSG), founded right here in the midSixties.


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Portugal

PAST PUPIL OF ESTORIL SALESIANS WINS "THE VOICE" Lisbon, Portugal - January 2020

The winner of the seventh edition of the television program "The Voice" of Portugal is Rita Sanches, past pupil of the Salesians of Estoril.

The program's finale was broadcast on Portuguese TV RTP1 on January 12; competing for the best voice in Portugal, in addition to Rita Sanches, there were also two other competitors linked to the Salesians of Estoril, Carolina Pinto, a teacher of scenic arts, and Filipa Maldonado, a student of "Musicentro" since 2012.

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Papua New Guinea

ALUMNI BROUGHT TOGETHER BY SPORTS TOURNAMENT Port Moresby DBTI (Don Bosco Technological Institute) 4 Ottobre 2019 Don Bosco Technological Institute Past Pupils in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PGS Viceprovince) start the Christmas celebration together already from October. A few days ago an Alumni Game Tournament kicked off to celebrate the Christmas vacation together. It is part of strengthening the mutual relationship among our Past Pupils and also to promote the values of Don Bosco - family spirit, helping each other and coming together to help others. The Tournament is not just a DBTI Alumni affair. Most of the DBTI Past Pupils form their own teams with their relatives, friends, colleagues and even families to participate. The 'wantok' social - cultural system of PNG is also here in action. So far the Don Bosco Tournament is being run smoothly every Saturday in DBTI-Port Moresby sports grounds. The DBTI is located in East Boroko - Port Moresby (Rector Fr. Alex Garces), and now with the more than 800 students is probably the largest IUS (Salesian Higher Education institution in the whole EAO Region), at present the school offers two BA courses and the path towards the University is being followed. The DB Alumni are involved in the school as teachers and technical in30

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structors, and in view of the 150th Anniversary of Don Bosco Alumni worldwide (June 24, 2020) try to stir more animation dynamics in the whole Association. Port Moresby DBTI Alumni gathered by sports tournament Or Don Bosco Technological Institutes Alumni organize a tournament or When Christmas starts in October. Brendon Kaita


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Italy

"DB WAVE" PROJECT: NEW IMPETUS

for Salesian Vocational Training in Europe

(ANS - Rome) The Salesians in Europe presented the "DB Wave" project (Don Bosco Web for a more Accessible and inclusive VET in Europe), as an educational response to increase the employability and social inclusion of young people through Vocational Training. In the long term, the project is expected to impact approximately 60,000 students and 7,000 VET teachers from the European Union, promoting the quality of training and inclusion. The initiative brings together 7 national Salesian Vocational Training networks, with

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150 years of experience in offering education and work opportunities, especially to the most disadvantaged young people, located in six countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Hungary and France), for a total of 250 centers.

The project officially started on November 1, 2019, and will run for two years, ending in October 2021.

Inserted in the Erasmus+ program, Key Action 3 (in support of the reform of policies for European cooperation in education and training), the "DB Wave" project began to take shape on the occasion of the 8th meeting of European Projects - School and Vocational Training, organized by the Salesians in Nice (France) in November 2018, where, on the proposal of "Don Bosco International" and of the "CNOS-FAP Fede-

The main objective of the promoters of the initiative is to create a Salesian work network at the European level to foster the internationalization of the institution through the participation of its centers in the various Erasmus+ programs available and in project proposals in which they can collaborate together. The first meeting of the "DB Wave" project took place in Munich, last November, follo-

ration", the idea arose of applying for a common project.


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wed by another in Rome, last December, and a third in Brussels, this month. However, the development of a European network of work and sharing in the field of Vocational Training had already arisen years ago, coordinated by the Salesian Youth Ministry Department, and accompanied in recent times by Fr Tarcizio Morais, SDB. Starting from the meeting in Rome

(2012), and then continuing with Malta (2013), Florence (2014), Zaragoza (2015), Budapest (2016), Krakow (2017), Seville (2017), Nice (2018) and Munich (2019), the network has continued to grow, not only in the number of participants and countries represented, but also in the number of projects among the Salesian partners which were born thanks to these meetings.

SALESIAN CAMP "VILLA FELIZ"

Chile

Santiago, Chile - January 2020

On 3 January, the traditional Salesian Camps "Villa Feliz" began, an activity organized by the Youth Ministry, led by Fr Osvaldo Valenzuela, SDB.

About 70 children, aged between 2 and 12 years old, animated by 27 students and past pupils of the "Salesianos Alameda" Educational Center, members of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) and past pupils of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, experienced activities on fostering empathy and solidarity, with days spent on formative themes and workshops.

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Italy

2ND INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR BETWEEN SALESIAN AGRICULTURAL SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD

(ANS - Lombriasco) After the positive response of the first edition of Expo "AgriCultura" Lombriasco, at the Salesian Agricultural School of Lombriasco, at the gates of Turin, in the land of Don Bosco, the new edition of "Expo2020" is being prepared, with important novelties. Significant data from last year was the participation of eight Salesian Agricultural Schools in the world (Lombriasco, three from Argentina, and one each from Ireland, Albania, France and Ghana) and as many

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Agricultural Institutes of Italy that shared themes and projects on innovation, sustainability and social agriculture. Of note, the also important participation of Don Bosco Past Pupils as exhibitors, professionals and operators in the sector.

timely, current and of great significance with special attention to climate change. But above all, this second edition will be an edition dedicated to the memory of Fr Ricaldone for the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Last year's added value was the online activation of the "NET4GROW" network, a virtuous and useful platform for generating links between schools, students, past pupils, professionals and businesses. Looking to the future, the 2020 event will allow participants to share topics that are

Fr Pietro Ricaldone, a great educator and formator of the young people of Don Bosco, with a strong vocation and spirituality, knew how to shape a model that was applied in the Salesian missions propagated across different continents, especially in the sector of Vocational Training and in the


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creation of Agricultural Schools. The invited delegations will be welcomed by the Director of the Salesian School of Lombriasco, Fr Marco Casanova, and by the Principal, Marziano Bertino, who will accompany the guests during the spiritual visit to the Salesian Places, that is, from Colle Don Bosco to the Missionary Museum and to the Basilica of Maria Ausiliatrice of Valdocco, passing through Chieri and the Piedmont area, very dear to St Giovanni Bosco. Like last year, the organization of the 2nd edition is entrusted to dr. Daniel Ormeno,

president of the "Plaza Argentina Association", a former collaborator of the Salesian Agricultural School of Lombriasco in agricultural projects, in dialogue with the Salesian Agricultural Schools of the world. The involvement of new local companies that are present at national and international levels, as well as Category associations, bodies, Foundations and local and national credit institutions, will again be a fixed point and a vital aid to the event's success. With all these entities, it will be possible to share Forums, foster and create cultural

exchanges, research and opportunities of all kinds.

Expo AgriCultura shall be held from 1 to 4 October 2020 at the Salesian Agricultural School of Lombriasco; its theme: "Entrusting the land to young people", a sign of strongly relaunching initiatives for and towards healthy agriculture and in support of the young generations of all peoples. For more information, please contact daniel.ormeno@salesianilombriasco.it economato@salesianilombriasco.it or visit www.net4grow.com

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Panama

PARTICIPATION OF DON BOSCO TECHNICAL INSTITUTE IN "EXPO Mร QUINA 2020" Panama City, Panama - February 2020

The "Don Bosco Technical Institute" was invited to participate in the "Expo Mรกquina 2020" event held from February 5 to 7 at the "Atlapa" convention center in Panama City.

"Expo Mรกquina" is an important trade fair specializing in construction, industrial, maritime, mining and agricultural machinery, and is organized by the Association of Machinery Distributors (ADIMAQ).

During this time, at the location of the "Don Bosco Technical Institute", the students welcomed visitors by explaining the functioning of the exhibited equipment with live demonstrations. Prominent figures from the commercial sector of Panama, Past Pupils and the general public congratulated the students on the work achieved.

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Philippines

VISIBLE SIGN OF DON BOSCO ALUMNI: BOSCONIAN CAR-PLATE AND “EXALLIEVI@40”

(ANS – Manila) St. John Bosco considered his boys as part of his Salesian Family. Now the Boys of Don Bosco are the Past Pupils. The Past Pupils are a fruit of the Salesian Mission, a gift of richness to humanity and a powerful force acting like leaven within the world. Entering the 150th Anniversary Year of the Don Bosco Past Pupils 1870-2020, we might be inspired by some creative initiatives of our Past Pupils. The first inspiring story is from the Philippines. All over the world is it possible to recognize four types of commitment of Don Bosco Past Pupils • Those who live their Past Pupil identity as a FACT OF LIFE. These are Past Pupils, who build their identity only around this fact. • Those who live their Past Pupil identity as a GRACE. These are Alumni, who have been touched by the education of Don Bosco, live with a sense of gratitude.

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• Those who live their Past Pupil identity as a MISSION. These are the Alumni, who participate in the activities of the Past Pupils in their Alma Mater or Federation. • Those who live their Past Pupil identity as LIFE PROJECT, by committing their talents, time and even resources in the mission of Don Bosco.

For the 40th anniversary of the National Federation, the Filipino Alumni prepared not only the charity and celebration events, but also a nation-wide action, through issuing BOSCONIAN PRIDE COMMEMORATIVE (CAR) PLATE to the 40th Federation Anniversary: the Plate was issued with the official permission of the authorities, to be attached on Top of the original plate. Together was released also a commemorative sticker (EXALLIEVI@40). The 40th-anniversary commemoration culminates in 2020 with the 150th Anniversary of Don Bosco Past Pupils Foundation on June 24, 1870, and, on the regional level, with the East Asia - Oceania (EAO) Congress of Don Bosco Past Pupils in Tokyo, Japan, on 4-6 December 2020. Source: AustraLasia


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India

51ST PAST PUPILS DAY

It was a grand successful program by 173 participants from 17 Units.

Golden Icon Awards for stalwarts of the Association, Youth Icon Awards for the GEX Past Pupils who have been remarkable outstanding in society and the Association and Fellowship of Don Bosco Awards for those above 35 years (Age) and still doing outstanding service in spreading the spirit of Don Bosco.

The day started with Thanksgiving Mass, followed by the inauguration of Blood Donation Camp and sharing of Former World, National and Province Leader's outlook. The day went with the Animation and fun and games.

J. SATIS President Don Bosco Past Pupils Association Chennai Provincial Federation

Don Bosco Past Pupils - Chennai Provincial Federation ( INM ), celebrated it's 51st Past Pupils Day and inaugration of the 150th Foundation Year of Past Pupils on 19.01.2020 at St.Bede's Anglo Indian School.

Honoured to have Mr.Satish Firmer National Secretary, Mr.Stafford Mantel National Secretary and Mr. John Joseph Jolly and Mr. Agavalan Jesuraj National Federation Executive committee Members.

All Units who performed well like submitting Unit Reports every 3 months at the Council meeting, promoted Life Memberships, released periodic Unit Newsletters, hosted Animation, Past Pupils Day, PP Sports day and Council meetings were all awarded.

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Malta

NEW RESIDENCE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN NEED OF A HOME

The Residence in Paola was opened by His Grace Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna on Saturday 25th January 2020 in the presence of the Minister for Children Rights, Family and Social Solidarity Dr. Michael Falzon M.P.

will guarantee an effective service for the young people who will be living in this Residence.

During the opening, the Ministry for Children’s Rights, Family and Social Solidarity signed an agreement by which it will be financial supporting this project.

The Church is committed to working together for the common good especially for those mostly in need.

Minister Michael Falzon said that the Government will is committed to support and sustain organisation who are actively working with vunerable people. He said that Government has allocated the sum of €70,000 for a period of three years which

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Archbishop Scicluna said we are in a house which is open for those who are in need.

Dr. Kevin F. Dingli, Hospitaller of the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta, said «that this vital project serves as further practical witness to the Order’s obsequium pauperum charism, ministering to those in need as though to the suffering Christ himself».

A unique feature of the project will be the provision of support mentoring services to these young persons throughout their stay at the Residence, preparing them to live independently and to move into the community as good and exemplary citizens. Mentoring young people is a powerful way of helping young people to bring them out of poverty and help them to become more socially included. Thanks to generous donations which were received from the Government of Malta, the Order of Malta’s Global Fund for Forgotten People, Agape No. 2 Trust, APS Bank, HSBC Malta Foundation, Mater Dei Central Procurement and Supplies Unit, Millennium


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Chapel Foundation, Josie’s Bathrooms, Intercontinental Hotel, Bilom Tiles and Decor, B4 Group, Form Ltd., MRCD as well as many private benefactors and companies, the construction and refurbishment works on the property has been paid for and completed. Thanks also goes to the many volunteers who offered their time and energy to complete this project. For more information, please write an email to ppfdonboscomalta@gmail.com or call Mr. Bryan Magro on 99296552

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South Korea

10th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS OF DEATH OF FR JOHN LEE, SDB (ANS – Seoul)

Ten years since his death, the first celebrations have been held in honor of Fr John Lee, the "Don Bosco of Tonj" (South Sudan). The Eucharist on the 10th anniversary of Fr John Lee 's death (1962-2010) was celebrated in the Salesian High School, Gwangju, on 12 January at 11 am, with the Archbishop of Gwangju, Higino KIM Hee-jung (Don Bosco Past Pupil), as the main celebrant. Also, on the 14th (death anniversary date), the Salesian community in Tonj South Sudan offered its memorial Mass for Father Lee; on the same day, the “Fr TaeSeok Lee Memorial Hall” was opened in Busan City, Seo-gu Ward. Concelebrating at the Mass in Gwangju were Gwangju Auxiliary Bishop Simon Ok Hyun-jin, Daejon Bishop Lazaro YOO Hongshik, and twenty other Salesian and diocesan priests. The Eucharist saw the involvement of some 400 Catholic, Protestant and Buddhist fai-

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thful who came together from all corners of South Korea in order to remember the Salesian Missionary and continue his legacy to serve the poor and share the Gospel. In his homily, Archbishop Kim Hee-jung emphasized, «Imitate the love and spirit of sharing, witnessed by Father Lee Tae-Seok, who dedicated his life to his poorest neighbour after the example of Jesus». In particular, John Mayen (Inje University Medical School), a former student of Fr Lee Tae-Seok, who studied abroad in South Sudanese Tonj, also attended, presenting a memorial service to Fr Lee Tae-Seok and his appreciation for him. John Mayen will soon be an intern doctor.

After Mass, participants visited the Damyang Catholic cemetery and offered prayers at Fr John Lee's grave. Fr Lee Tae-Seok had been sent to Tonj in South Sudan in June 2001 as a Salesian missionary. While dreaming of friends, educators, doctors, and priests for young peo-


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A NNIVERSARIES ple and poor neighbours of Tonj, he returned on a usual family visit to Korea in November 2008, and received a medical check-up. He was diagnosed with late stage colorectal cancer and died on 14 January 2010 at Seoul's St Mary's Hospital. The memorial hall honoring Fr John Lee, celebrating Don Bosco in South Sudan, was opened in his hometown of Busan metropolitan city on 14 January 2020. In the afternoon, Busan Seo-gu Office said that the opening ceremony was held at the Memorial Hall of Fr John Lee, located behind his birthplace. More than 300 people attended the event, including Gong Han-soo (Chief of Busan Seo-gu Office), Oh Geo-don (Mayor of Busan), Busan's Catholic Bishop Joseph Son Sam-seok, and Fr Timothy Choi Woncheol, SDB, Provincial of Korea. The memorial hall is a four-store building. It consists of a café on the ground floor, a program room and office on the second floor, a memorial hall on the third floor, and a multi-purpose hall on the fourth. The memorial hall on the third floor displays some 60 relics that reveal Fr Lee’s holy life and a number of three-dimensional models on his dedicated life in Sudan’s Tonj. It plans to introduce other artifacts in turn through special exhibitions in the future. The management of the entire memorial hall is conducted by the Salesian society of South Korea. The Korean Province states, «We will carry out various activities to inherit and spread the three spirits of Father John Lee: Service, Joy, and Sharing». “The Cafe Friends” on the first floor will be used as a place to help the disadvantaged youth, by saving some of its profits and to support the self-reliance of the youth who dream of being “a chef.” By Fr Samuel Yoo Myeong il and KOR Social Communication Office EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Easter 2020

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Pakistan

WITH A GRATEFUL HEART FOR 20 YEARS OF DON BOSCO PRESENCE (ANS – Lahore) During the past 20 years, the Salesian Mission in Pakistan has been accompanied by four Extraordinary Visitations: 2001, 2007, 2013 and 2019 and the 11 confreres of the Delegation with their Provincial, Fr Godofredo Atienza, have also received the follow-up letter of the Rector Major as a Christmas Gift. After 20 years of Don Bosco’s presence in this country it is possible to recognize the hand of God: • For the blessing of a constant vocations growth in Pakistan, the enthusiastic first generation of Pakistani Salesians, formed in the Philippines. • For the wonderful fruits of holiness, Bosconian Martyr, Akash Bashir (19942015) as the priceless ‘asset’ of the Pakistan delegation as well as the hun-

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dreds of other young people, both Christians and Muslims, who have received education in Don Bosco’s Way over the past 20 years. • For the Salesian pioneers, Fr Hans Dopheide (+2011), Fr Pietro Zago (+2017) and other 17 Salesian missionaries who were sent to Pakistan. A special thanks for all Salesian Brothers who are making our Salesian apostolic consecration really complete and more visible. • For many mission partners, both Christians and Muslims, who contribute to our mission.

• For the Don Bosco Alumni Association of Pakistan, launched last November in Lahore.

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freres in the Pakistan delegation are sailing the seas with the protection and guidance of Mary, Help of Christians: communication from the centre, accompaniment of the Delegation in this foundation stage, qualified vocation discernment and formation accompaniment, quality of Salesian educative-pastoral mission and fostering of a sustainable mission (economy). The Rector Major also offered four main pointers for the charismatic growth of the Pakistan delegation: foster vocation culture and life-long formation, serve the young people in a mission shared with lay mission partners, foster a sustainable charismatic growth (pastoral reflection, group experience for the young and Urdu translations of Salesianity. At the same time, the Delegation needs a consistent accompaniment from the mother province (FIS) regarding leadership formation, a Salesian qualification plan. Source: AustraLasia

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Brazil

120 YEARS OF SALESIAN HIGH SCHOOL AND 15 OF DON BOSCO INSTITUTE: a tradition in the art of education

(ANS - Salvador) 2020 is a very important year for the Salesians in the State of Bahia as a double anniversary is being celebrated in the Salesian presence in Salvador: the 120th anniversary of the Salesian Lyceum, located in the Nazareth neighborhood, and the 15th anniversary of the Don Bosco Institute, to be celebrated on January 31st. In view of these occasions, the institution has also created a commemorative logo. The Salesian Secondary School of Salvador is a historical reference point for education throughout the State of Bahia and is famous for having trained various figures from the world of art and politics at the local and national level. This Salesian school in Salvador was inaugurated on 11 March 1900, thanks to Fr Giordano, the first Salesian to arrive in Bahia in 1897. Marked by neoclassical and modern architecture, the over 100-year-old building of the traditional educational institution started its activities with technical-vocational training. It has been able to leave a mark in the history of Bahia and Brazil, especially among the most disadvantaged young people, such as the young "orphans of Canudos", victims of the war between the Brazilian army and 46

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members of a popular movement characterized by socio-religious content by Antonio Conselheiro. Already in 2005, the experience of the educational path of the Salesian Lyceum had led the Directorate of the institution and the Province of Brazil-Recife, to which it belongs, to expand its borders and to found a new school, also in Salvador. On that occasion, an architectural project was sought that would privilege the wellbeing of the students with modern facilities, laboratories, a library, gym, sports fields and large spaces to live the school. In addition to the 31,000 m2 of surface and excellent infrastructure, this new work was equipped with a modern pedagogical project, which was combined with the educational tradition of the Salesians, with their

philosophy and values inspired by Don Bosco.

Thus was born the Don Bosco Institute, another Salesian educational institution dedicated to the challenge of forming children and young people for life and work. For the Salesians, the students, their families and all the past pupils, it is now a time of celebration. ÂŤWe want to continue our mission to work for the integral development of children and young people through Education and Evangelization, together with social assistance to the most disadvantaged and to that fraternity and social commitment that the Salesian Schools Network in Brazil has always shownÂť, was the comment by Mario Preto, from the Salesian Communication and Marketing Office of Salvador.municazione e Marketing dei Salesiani di Salvador.


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Philippines

DON BOSCO AGRO-MECHANICAL TECHNOLOGY CENTER has new farm equipment for crop production

(ANS – Legazpi)

Salesian Missions donors are ensuring that Don Bosco Agro-Mechanical Technology Center (known locally as Don Bosco Legazpi), located in Banquerohan, Legazpi City, Philippines, has the equipment needed for a new soybean production program on its demonstration farm. Don Bosco Legazpi is a technical vocational school offering skills training and a farm development program for youth and local farmers to help them achieve self-sufficiency.

The Don Bosco Demonstration Farm allows graduates and their families to use the land to organize small cooperatives and assists them with sourcing microfinancing, farming assistance and marketing of their agricultural products. With the funding provided, Salesian missionaries were able to secure two front wheel

tires for a John Deere tractor, a portable soy harvester, a roller seed planter, a chisel plow and spring cultivators. Fifteen farmers connected to Don Bosco Legazpi benefited directly from this donation. Some farmers in neighboring areas who utilize the center’s land preparation services, such as plowing and rotavating, have also Since 2015, Gonzales has utilized the Common Service Facility of Don Bosco Legazpi, especially the use of a 4-wheel drive tractor for plowing and rotavating as part of the land preparation, roller planter for planting, and other post-harvest machines. In August 2019, Gonzales ventured into sweet corn and yellow corn production. As farmer-beneficiary, he was given access to farm machines from Don Bosco Legazpi. With the technology provided, Gonzales has been empowered and his way of farming has improved from traditional farming into more efficient and effective ways of utilizing his land. The use of mechanical machines and equipment results in a good harvest of his crops. benefited from the donation.

Aurelio Gonzales, who is a local 80-yearold farmer, was one of the beneficiaries. He has two children who graduated from Don Bosco Legazpi and are now gainfully employed. He is a member of the Don Bosco Cooperative, which serves the broader community of farmers. «We appreciate the funding our donors provided that is enabling students and local farmers to have the proper equipment necessary for updated farming techniques»,

says Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. «Don Bosco Legazpi was specifically opened to provide technical farming education to poor youth with scarce resources, and instruct them in the practical skills of farming to allow them to earn a living and give back to their communities». Don Bosco Legazpi offers its students an opportunity to combine theory with practice through its hands-on approach. Students use the skills they learn in the classroom by putting them directly to work in the fields that are part of the center’s farm. They are taught theoretical and practical courses in greenhouses, growing vegetables, cereal crops, gardening, breeding, animal husbandry and veterinary sciences, as well as milk, cheese and dairy products. Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines— working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. According to UNICEF, there are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent. Source: MissionNewswire

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Papua New Guinea

“DON BOSCO TAUGHT ME TIME MANAGEMENT AND PUNCTUALITY” Xavier Loipio, Don Bosco Technical Schoo graduate, 2009

know everything. I am still learning and continuously upgrading myself. Don Bosco was the light at the end of my tunnel to become an outstanding citizen, a successful and professional skills person and a role model in my community.

Gabutu, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 3 November 2019

Success can happen to anyone, for myself it all began at Don Bosco Technical School.

I dropped out of high school, I lived the life of a drug addict for 3 years and had an attitude problem. Then to make ends meet I resorted to selling betel nut. As the days rolled on, I often wondered, “What will I do with my life?’ One day I was encouraged by Fr Jess Escala (former Principal) to study in Don Bosco Technical School.

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management. I then evaluated my life and made a big decision. My name is Xavier Loipio and I am 33 years old. I am a devout Catholic, single and from a mixed parentage of North Solomon and the Gulf province. I graduated from Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu in 2009, in Maintenance Fitting and Machining (MFM). I then started my career as a Marine Fitter at PNG Dockyard Ltd. I have completed 10 years of work in the industry. Of course, I faced several challenges and managed to conquer these and continue my endeavour. Being in the industry for this period of time does not guarantee that I

With the skills I acquired at Don Bosco Technical School, I went on to obtain my tradesman certificate in MFM trade at Port Moresby technical College, Certificate III in Machine Fitting in Mechanical Trade at the Australian Pacific Technical Coalition (APTC) and an a Advanced Diploma – I.V.Q Level 3 in Oil and Gas Maintenance at Kumul Petroleum Academy, South Pacific Employment Institution. One of my greatest accomplishment has been as President of the Australia Pacific Technical Coalition Alumni PNG from 201718. During my time with APTC I have met educated professionals in the TVET sector, Education sector and very important people at APTC like Helen Leeson, Chief Academic Officer, Dr Brad Shaw, Country Directory-PNG Campus and David Pepyet former SVTA for Engineering. These are the people who have inspired me to become someone in life. I am grateful to all of them. I am also one of the pioneers of Kumul Petroleum Aca-


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demy/South Pacific Employment Institution as well as 4th Batch of ExxonMobil training program. With my leadership qualities I am presently working as a Mechanical Technician Team Leader with an Comlek Electrical Engineering Ltd. An Australian Based company. Maintenance, Fitting and & Machining is a rapidly evolving field. One of the most exciting aspects of MFM trade is how it overlaps so many industries. This means you can find work in any industry you like – the possibilities are endless. One of my biggest challenges is adjusting to the new workflow and creating a new type of report to present to my supervisor. Looking back, the two most important things that I have learnt from Don Bosco is time management and punctuality. I would always arrive 5 or 10 minutes before the start of school and was never absent from school. These two important values, opened me to great skills. Two skills that I value the most are: Trade Drawing and the ability to read technical drawings. Because of these skills, I am always one step ahead of others. If you know how to read or interpret a drawing, your work will be easy. I want to express my gratitude to Don Bosco and my instructors

for teaching me these skills. Two people who have played a major part in my life are: Mr Martin Dai and Mr George Isoaimo. These two people have been there every step of my way till the day I graduated. They disciplined me and encouraged me to be the best in life. I did make mistakes but I learnt from those mistakes. By learning from those mistakes, I was able to progress in my life. My encouragement to the Bosconians is to learn as much as you can because everything in this really technical world is right where you are studying now. Your dreams and goals in life are achieved through hard work. Do not go where the path may lead you, instead where there is no path a leave

a trail. In that way, you will inspire others to follow you. Our families, friends and community and the experiences we have contributed to our sense of who we are and how we view the world. Understand how God moves in your life. Trust in God and never give up the hope of heaven. This sort of hope provides me an anchor that keeps me grounded and firm in truth and in my pursuit of holiness. Without Don Bosco I would not been able to accomplish these things. I am eternally grateful to Don Bosco for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Easter 2020

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Philippines

CARE FOR CREATION AND YOUNG PEOPLE: thanks to education received

(ANS - Mati)

A young surfer wanders at night on Dahican beach, near Mati, with a torch in his hand and trying to stay unnoticed. He has no bad intentions, quite the opposite: he is there to help make life blossom. He is Winston Plaza, a Salesian past pupil, and if he does this today he owes it to two Salesians.

At around 10:30 in the evening, the shores of Dahican in Mati, Davao Oriental, are bathed in soft moonlight when the rhythmic heartbeat of the waves against the shore

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were punctured with soft hushes. At one corner of the two-kilometer beach, two people were hunched with lights over a hawksbill sea turtle. The beach is not only known for its waves among the surfing community, it is also known as an ecological hotspot.

Winston Plaza, together with his assistant, has been on the watch since early evening for female turtles who come up to shore to lay their eggs. Around three species of sea turtles nest in Dahican, all of them considered critically

endangered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Winston explains, ÂŤOnly 30% of the people around here like us and what we doÂť.

Pressed on what he means by that, he explained that despite the headways into environmental protection, some businessmen and locals still see the sea only for its economic value. Winston lamented that too few people see nature and its gifts for its real beauty. The rest only see cash. Meanwhile, the mother turtle struggled


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Past pupil works for common good with the sand. «She’s trying to fool us where she hid her eggs», Winston explained. The turtle had surfaced a few hours back but went back to sea when she encountered people. In the cover of darkness, she went up again to lay her eggs before Winston found her and marked the spot.

Winston belongs to Amihan sa Dahican, a group of local surfers who offer lessons to locals and tourists alike.

Along with the other three Plaza brothers, part of their advocacy is the protection of the sea turtles. They hold night watches, even as late as 2:00 in the morning, waiting for the turtles to surface, mark the nest, dig up the newlylaid eggs and transfer them to a safe location where they can be protected from natural and human predators. They hoped that by controlling the conditions of the nest and fencing, they could hatch more females and increase the survival rate of the eggs. Only 10% of the eggs grow to become adults, he said. Once out of their eggs, the

baby turtles are released into the sea to back up their dwindling population. The group does not only protect baby turtles. Winston explained that they are taking care of some young people too. They help in their education, feed them, and train them in their advocacy. With the persistent opposition, they needed all the help they could get. The group has been working with DENR and has lobbied for legal protection of the coast. All these, he said, was because two priests helped them turn out who they are now. Fr. Franco Uras and Fr. Leonard Mcmanus were two of the pioneering Salesians in Mati. Winston, together with his brothers Juan, Pedro, and June, were under the care of Salesians. They have been orphaned of their father. Their mother was the Salesian community’s laundry woman. It was the two priests who helped them in their education and taught them the life lessons they now are passing on to the

younger generation and the environment. «They used to bring us to the missions in the chapels. We helped Fr. Uras plant the trees in Don Bosco», Winston vividly recalled. «Father Mac brought us to Davao so we could study. Father Franco taught my brothers to cook».

Father Franco is a well-known cook and his Italian dishes are cherished by Salesians. «We do what we do now because the first Salesians in Mati taught us the value of a good education and of contributing to the community and the environment».

After uncovering the eggs, Winston scooped them up with his t-shirt and gently brought them to a fenced area half a kilometer away.

He planted them again. «It will take two months before these eggs will hatch», he hopefully said. The eggs the Salesians in Mati have incubated years before have long hatched. These now are the warriors who ensure that the next generation of turtles and youth have a future. FIS Social Communication

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Peru

GIOVANNI, PAST PUPIL OF MAGDALENA DEL MAR ORATORY: "I have to do something with local young people"

people here», he would say to himself continuously. This was his goal: to reach young people. After a few years, his dream came true. With hard work and dedication, he managed to found the first oratory of the city: “Pfarre Bad Vigauin” «I based it on what I lived as an Oratorian in my time», he says.

(ANS - Lima) Giovanni Hurtado lived his childhood in the Magdalena del Mar neighborhood in Lima. The Salesian presence was widespread and had three works, with different activities school, formation house and parish - and vocations were numerous. Today, at the age of 48, the enthusiasm of this Oratorian past pupil is even more alive and stronger than ever. He learned it from the Salesians and today he says. «I was lucky enough to meet the Salesians in a golden age, when they were always in contact with young people».

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Over the years, his philosophy of life has remained intact: he has carried the Salesian charism in his heart. The challenges were getting bigger, but Giovanni hasn't stopped. For some time now he has been living in Austria, in the city of Bad Vigaun, district of Hallein, in the Land of Salzburg. «As soon as I arrived in Austria, I asked for the nearest church. I wanted to talk to the parish priest and offer to sing at Mass», he says. This experience was the first step of all the good things that would follow. It was at that moment that Giovanni started building a new story. «I have to do something with the young

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Easter 2020

In Bad Vigaun, on Epiphany day, a group of children and young people visit homes to ask for charity donations to use for various educational and training projects around the world. 90% of the money raised is sent to Salzburg and then distributed to places that need help. One of these places is located in Peru, in the deepest part of the Amazon region: the "Yankaum Jintia" Intercultural Technical Training Center, which welcomes young people from different indigenous communities: Achuar, Wampi, Quechua and Candozi. This support was born thanks to Giovanni, who after fulfilling a series of requirements in Salzburg, contacted the Don Bosco Foundation of Peru to offer a significant annual donation. His impetus and his desire to serve have made Giovanni a better person and a great "friend of Don Bosco".


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S ALESIAN FAMILY

Italy

XXXVIII Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family: concreteness, courage and commitment

(ANS - Turin) Continue to grow as Don Bosco's Family; implement the "politics of the Our Father" in the various realities and with their own characteristic features; give visibility to the good that is accomplished. These are the three concluding messages that Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians and center of unity of the Salesian Family, launched yesterday, Sunday 19 January, from the stage of the Valdocco theater, at the end of the XXXVIII Spirituality Days of the Salesian Family. Already in the previous days, the several hundred participants had been able to enrich themselves with many testimonies and shares, which had invited everyone to continue their apostolic mission in the name of concreteness, courage and commitment. The participation in these Days was also significant not only for the Rector Major, but also for the almost complete presence of the General Council, together with all 10 Provincials of the Mediterranean Region. The program of common activities provided ample time for listening to experiences and good practices of Christian, social and political commitment: •The Bishop of Majorca (Spain), Mgr: Sebastia Taltavull Anglada, a Salesian past pupil, spoke of the passionate Youth Ministry carried out in his diocese; • The young people of the Salesian oratory in Aleppo (Syria) talked about the activi-

ties carried out with courage and joy even during the war; • Salesian Cooperators and Past Pupils of Don Bosco of Italy presented the "School of formation for socio-political commitment" inspired by Blessed Alberto Marvelli; • Emma Ciccarelli, Salesian Cooperator, shared her commitment in the Family Commission of the Italian Episcopal Conference; • Joaquin Martin Calleja, Salesian Cooperator, starting from his experience in a Vocational Training Center and with young people at risk, spoke about the spirituality of the educator; • Jorge Santos, Past Pupil, retired judge in Portugal, testified to his commitment to forming judges in African countries; • Nico Lotta, President of the Salesian NGO

VIS, spoke of the tough battle against trafficking in human beings; • Past pupils of the FMA of Cuneo illustrated their oratorian commitment, where many young people are becoming animators of the younger generations. Alternating with presentations, talks and round tables were moments of shared spirituality and celebration, in the typical Salesian climate. During the group work, divided into 23 linguistic groups, moreover, the needs identified to live together the "politics of the Our Father" were brought to light: finding the right balance between spirituality and commitment, between a good Christian and an upright citizen; give concrete answers to the current needs of young people; bear witness as credible believers; work in unity, in communities, as well as in SF groups.

EX ALLIEVI Newsflash - Easter 2020

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

NUMBER OF OUR ACCOUNTS

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

Editorial Secretary Veronica Messano

Collaborators of this issue Don Ángel Fernández Artime SDB, Michal Hort, Fredi Portilla Farfàn, Peter Kovac, Xavier Loipio, Vanni Lóriga, Bryan Magro, don Samuel Yoo Myeong-il, Daniel Ormeno, Sandra Pistilli, Gianfrancesco Romano, J. Satish, Nisaury Ventura

Photography and Images Archivio Ag. ANS, AME, AustraLasia, Uff. Comunicazione Sociale Ispettoria Filippine Sud, Uff. Comunicazione Sociale Ispettoria Corea, Jesùs Anzano Lacarte, Mission Newswire

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 A. Marvelli)

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 - Redazione

Ag. ANS - Nisaury Ventura

ITALIAN EDITION

SPANISH EDITION

FRENCH EDITION

PORTUGUESE EDITION


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