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Winter/Spring 2014



Rebuilding lives in the Philippines – See page 4



Philippines Update . . . . . . . . . . 4 Clean Water for Bombo, Uganda . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Notes From the Field: A personal account by Salesian Lay Missioner, Grace Loeffler . . 10 Salesians in the U.S. and Canada – San Luis Rey Parish, Laredo, TX . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Salesian Vocations… Two Journeys . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 A Message from Ethiopia . . . . 28

Want to know who we are, where we began, and who inspires our work? Visit us at our website: We’ll send you to over 130 countries where the Salesians are working for the young, the poor and the abandoned. You will discover the many ways the Salesians offer a path for partnership.

Hope to see you soon!

Leave a Legacy of Love and Hope… And Help Make the World a Better Place. O

ne person, like you, can make a significant difference. Your decision to remember Salesian Missions in your Will can bring positive change to the future of thousands of needy children struggling each day just to survive. Our programs around the world are saving these precious lives… and helping to make the world a better place. By including Salesian Missions in your planned giving, your heart and soul are forever part of these good works. So consider leaving a legacy of love and hope that will live on in generations to come.

Please remember Salesian Missions in your Will… 2 LEFEVRE LANE, PO BOX 728 NEW ROCHELLE NY 10802-0728 TEL: (914) 633-8344

SALESIAN • Published Bi-Annually • Since 1950 • Salesian Missions, 2 Lefevre Lane, New Rochelle NY 10801-5710 Issue 269 • Winter/Spring 2014, Volume 66, No. 1 (Issn. 0036-3480)

Letter from the Editor Dear Friend and Partner in Mission! As we begin the New Year, I reflect on all the vital works for the poor that you have helped make possible this past year. We Salesians, and the children and families in our missions are blessed to have caring friends like you. The stories of hope and love in the pages that follow, are a testament to your goodness. We cannot thank you enough. Last year, the super typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, and the Salesians were among the first responders. In this issue of SALESIAN, we will take you to this devastated country so you can see how we’ve aided in the recovery efforts. We will also take you to Uganda where a Salesian project is providing clean water, then to Laredo, TX where our parish is a life-line for the community and then finally share the joyful journey of two young men to the Salesian Family. As you travel through the pages of our magazine, you will clearly see the global impact of Salesian Missions. Thousands upon thousands of precious lives are being saved every day – all made possible by people, like you. In the coming months, I will be visiting some of our Missions. I wish I could take all of you with me to look into the grateful eyes of a hungry child who we just fed or hear the joyful laughs of children in our youth centers – children who at one time only felt fear and pain. While I know I can’t take you with me, I hope the stories among these pages will lift your spirit as you realize the impact you are making in the lives of the poor. Thank you again for being a partner in our Missions. May you and your loved ones be blessed with a happy, healthy, and blessed New Year. You are always in our prayers. Please pray for us. Sincerely, For a special New Year video by Fr. Mark, please visit our website at: Father Mark Hyde, S.D.B. P.S. Just as this issue of SALESIAN was to go to press, I was given the sad news of the loss of a great Salesian priest – Fr. Edward Cappelletti, who passed away on December 12, 2013. It was his vision, faith and dedication that made this Mission Office a reality. Forty years ago, Father Edward had a dream to create a Development Office that would help support poor and needy children for years to come. Today, that dream is the Salesian Missions Office in New Rochelle, NY – an organization today that helps support hundreds of Salesian programs that benefit millions of precious lives. May his soul rest in peace and his dream live on. SALESIAN


Philippines Update: Rebuilding Lives Thanks to Caring People Like You Although the international media attention has faded, the Salesians are still hard at work helping children, families and For more information on Salesian communities rebuild after the works in the Philippines, visit: devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. Here are just a few of the examples of the progress so far – as well as the continued need from caring friends like you:

• Food delivery: the Salesians are ensuring the smooth and efficient delivery of food to those who need it most. Each ration contains 1 liter of water, 2kg of rice, 3 portions of noodles and 4 cans of food which can feed a family of five for two days. • Emergency shelter: the Salesian community in the city of Hernani is providing temporary housing for families whose homes were demolished in the storm. They are also securing a large boat to bring relief supplies from distant islands four hours away. • Collaboration: the Filipino Family Fund – an organization dedicated to educational and charitable activities in the Philippines – has teamed-up with the Salesians to identify other areas in desperate need, such as Butig Island where 95% of homes have been destroyed. • Long-term reconstruction: the Salesians have implemented Project ARC (Adopt and Rebuild a Community) and when completed, it will provide homes for nearly 12,000 displaced people who are living in refugee camps and on the streets. Plans also call for the reconstruction of a school, chapel and community center. Please don’t forget about the victims of Typhoon Haiyan – they have a long and difficult road to recovery ahead. With your generosity and support, their lives will someday return to normal and their futures will be bright. May God bless you for your kindness and compassion! 4

Winter/Spring 2014

Fr. Edward Cappelletti, SDB 1921-2013 We mourn the passing – and celebrate the life – of a true hero to the poor and needy. As a young Salesian priest in the 1950’s, Fr. Edward Cappelletti had a vision. Assigned the task of raising funds through a small missions development office in New Rochelle, New York, he aspired to accomplish something much grander. With tireless effort and unrelenting determination, he put his heart and soul into creating a process that would have a profound financial impact on thousands of Salesian programs around the world. From humble beginnings, Fr. Edward spent nearly 40 years building Salesians Missions into what it is today: the primary U.S. headquarters for obtaining funds and building awareness for the life-saving works of the Salesians around the world. After 92 years of Christian life – 73 years as a professed Salesian and 63 years of priesthood – Father Edward returned to the Lord on December 12th, feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Rector Major, during a Mass in Rome, honored the remarkable contributions of Fr. Edward, later stating: “The whole Congregation is very grateful to Fr. Edward Cappelletti for all that he did through the mission office to help our missionaries to make their dreams come true, the dream of Don Bosco, the dream of God, who loves and cares with predilection for the poorest and most abandoned. May the Lord fill him with joy, peace, light, and new life of His Resurrection. On the behalf of the Congregation, I say a big thanks from the bottom of our heart to Fr. Edward for his generosity and total devotion to the missions.” We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has joined us in praying for the repose of his soul, and for the comfort of his family and friends. Fr. Edward will long live in the hearts of all those he touched through his devotion, compassion and generosity. Father Edward Cappelletti was the original designer and editor of SALESIAN magazine as it exists today. This issue of SALESIAN, still being published for over 60 years, is dedicated to him…



What was once mud and straw... Millions of people throughout Africa, Central and South America, India and Asia are celebrating Mass and worshiping God in the most primitive conditions. Salesian missionaries are in desperate need of funds to build simple and decent houses of worship. You can have a Memorial Chapel built in honor of your favorite saint and dedicate it to anyone you wish – living or deceased. What a wonderful way to remember a loved one – and help the Lord’s most impoverished followers.


Is now this! Thanks to generous people like you!

You can make an individual gift to build a Memorial Chapel, or groups or organizations can pool their donations. If you wish, you can also specify in your will that a chapel be erected in your honor or for anyone you choose. Read more about our Chapel Building Program by visiting us online at: WIN/SPR 2014 ❏ Enclosed is my gift of $16,000 to build a Village Memorial Chapel. ❏ Enclosed is my gift of $21,000 to build a Memorial Chapel in a remote and difficult area. ❏ Enclosed is my gift of $26,000 to build a Memorial Chapel in the most far removed

and neglected area. PLEASE CHECK ONE:




NAME: ______________________________________________________________

❏ Please send me more information. (You can also Email or phone us, if you wish) (PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY)

Name ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Address _____________________________________________________________________________Apt. #______ City____________________________State _____ Zip _______ Email: _____________________________________


2 LEFEVRE LANE, PO BOX 728 • NEW ROCHELLE NY 10802-0728 TELEPHONE: (914) 633-8344 • Email:

Clean Water for Bombo, Uganda

or two brutal decades after gaining independence from Britain, Uganda suffered an unprecedented reign of terror under president Idi Amin. More than a million people perished in the violence; and countless other lives were forever changed for the worse. Despite his exile in 1978, the political situation in Uganda remains volatile and humanitarian conditions deplorable. The country is among one of the poorest in the world, with rural infrastructure sorely lacking.


Today, more than 12 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Women and children are the most vulnerable: they walk hours each way, morning and night, to collect water in small jugs for their families. Exhausted by the task, many children miss school or arrive unable to learn. Countless fall ill from cholera and dysentery. SALESIAN


However, thanks to the Bombo Water Project funded by the Salesians, the situation in one community is about to improve dramatically. This initiative aims to harness Uganda’s precious water resources through the construction of wells, rain gutters, and collection tanks. “During the rainy season, we lose a good quantity of water,” says Fr. Ruriho Jean Paul of the Salesian Province of Kigali. “In using innovative ways to capture it, we can provide an ongoing source of clean water to hundreds of people.” Students from the Don Bosco Technical Training Center in Bombo are involved in the project, gaining valuable experience by installing the gutters on their own school buildings. Small local companies, contracted by the Salesians, have also begun digging two boreholes for wells located in the village. They are also installing rainwater collection tanks equipped with electrical pumps in the primary and secondary schools. Soon, families in town and children in 8

Winter/Spring 2014

school will be able to gather their daily water nearby, year-round. The impact of this work is tremendous. No longer burdened by the exhausting search for water, children can focus on their schoolwork – and improve their chances for higher education and a better life. And, by reducing the threat of water-borne illness, the project will improve everyone’s health – increasing overall productivity in the community, and helping the people of Bombo realize their full potential.

Sadly, although many wells have been built, 12 million children and their families still are forced to collect any water available. Serious health problems often result...

Your help is desperately needed!

The Salesians pray that you will help them to deliver clean water to children and families all around the globe.

Only with a healthy, educated population can poor communities attain a path to lasting peace and prosperity. Y

Help bring clean water to those who need it most! For as little as $10 a month you can participate in the Salesian Clean Water Initiative to help build wells and supply other sources of fresh water to those who so desperately need it. WIN/SPR 2014

Return this coupon today to join the Salesian Clean Water Initiative!

■ YES, Fr. Mark, I want help bring life-saving Name ___________________________________________ water to the poor. I enclose my first monthly gift of: ■ $20 ■ $15 ■ $10 ■ $________a month. I understand I’m not obligated to continue, but will try to help on a regular basis. ■ Charge my credit card number:

Address_________________________________________ _____________________________________Apt. #_____ City ____________________________________________ State _____________________________Zip____________



Email ___________________________________________ EXP. DATE (MO/YR)

Dept. CWI

(Last 3 digits on signature panel on back of card)

Signature X __________________________________ ■ I’d rather give a one-time gift of $________




Notes From the Field: A personal account by Salesian Lay Missioner, (SLM) GRACE LOEFFLER

Reflections after One Year as an SLM in South Sudan It’s been one year. I’ve had 365 days of intimate friendships, precious moments, and sweet memories. I’ve survived 52 weeks without a hug from mom or a face-to-face conversation with any of my favorite people from home. For an entire year, I’ve worn one pair of shoes every single day and a combination of five outfits that have kept my knees and shoulders from ever meeting the South Sudanese sun. I’ve denied simple comforts in order to have my life radically transformed by a motley gang of precious, mischievous, and affectionate African children. If I could possibly summarize a year’s worth of life lessons and transforming experiences, it would be best done through the following quote: 10 Winter/Spring 2014

SLM Grace with a few of her loving and affectionate “students.”

“The most important hour is always the present. The most significant person is precisely the one sitting across from you right now. The most necessary work is always love.” - Meister Eckhart

People first. Life is comprised of so many choices. In the modern world we live in, even here in the jungles of Africa, we face the daily struggle of being consumed by a cyber-world that can swallow hours of our time. The rule I’ve set for myself from the beginning of this mission is to always choose the person in front of me before

anything else. If I have planning or grading to do for school, but a little one wants to play, the schoolwork can be done later so that the child can be loved now. This started out as a mental rule for mission, but I’ve realized that this outlook will directly translate into my life back home. I need to constantly put people first. They are what really matters. Fear not. There’s something awesome about being called a “missionary.” It’s like a mental superhero cape that you throw over yourself as you step onto foreign soil. There’s a complete trust SALESIAN 11

The face of this child holding his baby brother illustrates the simple joy these children find in a life that offers them very little. Photo by Grace Loeffler

and surrender to God, knowing that since He’s already gotten you this far, He must want to do something wonderful through you. The results were glorious – beautiful relationships, lots of little victories, and many visible graces. But here’s the thing: I’m just me, just trying to love, and without any special powers to do anything different than what I’ve been capable of doing every day for my entire life. Back in the States, far too many times, I hesitated. I knew the right thing to do, 12 Winter/Spring 2014

but what would people think? What would the consequence be? Aren’t I too busy right now? But here this “fearless me” has tackled teaching middle school classes, fostered meaningful friendships with teenagers, and gotten a delicate handle on two foreign languages. I realize that the impossible is always possible with the help of God. It doesn’t matter where I am but what does matter is that God is beside me and ready to work through my weaknesses. The only effort He requires is just for me to try. Simplicity. We need so much less to survive happily and peacefully than we can even fathom in our comfortable homes in America. I’ve barely missed the restaurant chains, strip malls, or ten-dollar movie tickets of my

past life. I spend half my day every Saturday washing my clothes by hand. I save every scrap piece of paper, plastic, or fabric lying around in hopes of using it for a future project in school. I don’t have any money, but neither does anyone else around me. I eat the same food every day. I wear the same clothes every day. I wear my hair in the same style every day. And you know what? I’m still happy. I’m happy just being me, without the fluff. What matters are the matters of the heart. I’m valued for my ability to [attempt to] dance, to

draw, to bandage a wound, and to love Jesus. I’m loved because all I have to offer is Jesus, and fittingly, He is Love. It’s been a wild ride and a challenging, exciting adventure. With three remaining months, I’m hoping and praying to take in and appreciate every last second with those sweet children and loving adults who have unknowingly taught me how to view the world through different eyes. Y

To God be the glory!


The Salesian Lay Missioners is a faith-based volunteer program that offers a unique opportunity to serve the poor children of the world. We sponsor domestic and international placements and require a 1 or 2 year commitment.

If you would like more information about this life-changing program, please write to:

Salesian Lay Missioners Attn: Adam Rudin 2 Lefevre Lane New Rochelle NY 10801-5710 Or visit our website at: or email us at: slm@


You can be part of a modern-day Loaves and Fishes miracle!

Every $1=$14

Several organizations have partnered with Salesian Missions because they have tons (literally!) of essential items that they want to donate free of charge… but they need our help to get them in the hands of poor children and families who need them the most.

That’s where you come in!

We can pack a large container – about the size of a tractor-trailer truck – with $70,000 worth of donated food, medicine, clothing or school supplies. But we need your help to pay the $5,000 overseas shipping cost.

Simply put, every $1 you give enables us to ship $14 worth of life-changing – and live-saving – supplies!

What’s more, your generosity will be a testament to the Loaves and Fishes miracle when Jesus multiplied seven loaves of bread and a few small fish into enough food to feed four thousand people!

So much is at stake. Thank you for whatever you can give today!

YES! I want to be part of this

WIN/SPR 2014

modern-day Loaves & Fishes miracle! ❏ Enclosed is my gift that will multiply 14X! ❏$10 ❏$15 ❏$25 ❏$ _____ ENCLOSE CHECK, MONEY ORDER (PAYABLE TO: SALESIAN MISSIONS) OR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION:




CID# REQUIRED (Last 3 digits on


signature panel on back of card) EXP. DATE (MO/YR)

Name___________________________________ Address________________________________________Apt. ____ City___________________________________________________________ State _________ Zip ______________ Email __________________________________________________________________________________________

MAIL TO: 14 Winter/Spring 2014


Salesians In the U.S. And Canada the first Salesian missionaries set foot in California. The going Inwas1897, tough and slow – but the spirit of Don Bosco was with them and work progressed. Today over 335 Salesians are present and working with the young throughout the United States and Canada. 2009 saw the merging of the Salesian Eastern U.S. and Canadian Provinces. The hope of the Salesians in both countries is that this union, based in New Rochelle, New York will provide a more effective means of expanding Salesian works for the young and needy in North America.

San Luis Rey Parish, Laredo, TX by Fr. Mike Gergen S.D.B., Pastor, San Luis Rey Parish

Laredo. Older people may know songs of its dusty roads; others may have driven through it entering or leaving Mexico. A true transportation city, more than 10,000 trucks rumble through its streets each day – carrying cargo to and from the eastern United States. Despite this endless bustle Faithful to our local heritage we dedicate one day each summer to remember that and the long, very hot sumwe are all “tejanos” or Texans here! mers, 250,000 people call Laredo “home” – including the Salesians, who have been serving this border city for the past 75 years. SALESIAN 15

Young volunteers wrap Christmas gifts to be given to needy local children who otherwise might not receive anything.

In San Luis Rey Parish, where I serve (and where the Salesians first took over in 1978), as many as 4,000 faithful attend weekend Mass. We also perform more than 20 baptisms each month, 30 Quinceañeras (celebrating the 15th birthday of a Latina girl) and over 60 marriages each year, respectively. Our parishioners are from all walks of life – from business owners to restaurant workers; from doctors to truckers. Many have lived in Laredo all of their lives. Many also have roots in Mexico – 16 Winter/Spring 2014

especially across the border in Nuevo Laredo or in Monterrey, Mexico’s large industrial city about a two-hour drive away. Because of this (with the exception of a single Sunday Mass), we conduct all of our religious services in the preferred language of our parishioners, Spanish. As with the local schools, however, we use English as the language of instruction in our religious education programs. We’re a busy parish – and, as Salesians, we have a special concern for the young. Together with our lay volunteers, who generously serve as catechists, we offer religious education programs for almost 500 young people who are prepar-

Summer Camp: No child complains about getting wet in Laredo when normal afternoon temperatures can top 100 degrees!

ing to make their First Holy Communion or receive the sacrament of Confirmation. (We could do more, but are constrained by classroom space and the need for additional teachers). We also provide recreational opportunities, with a small outdoor soccer field. Along with a youth center and basketball facilities, we host soccer leagues and pick-up basketball games for young adults. During the summer, thanks to a few adult volunteers and a team of generous high school students, we offer a 4-week day camp where as many as 150 boys and girls participate in games and other formation activities. Incredibly, none of these requires batteries, game consoles or TV screens!

In addition to our work on behalf of the young, we exemplify Don Bosco in our concern for the poor and others in need. For example, when floods hit northern Mexico, parishioners mobilized to prepare and send two tractor-trailers containing 20 tons of food and water – to victims in Monterrey, Anåhuac, and Neuvo Leon, Mexico. When a hurricane hit Veracruz, Mexico, the highways were too damaged to send supplies; but we sent a financial donation to the Salesian Bishop of Veracruz instead. SALESIAN 17

When the indigenous people of the Tarahumara mountains suffered the consequences of severe drought, we sent them the basic food they live on: cornmeal, rice and beans. And, when children from the same community needed school supplies, we sent them pencils and paper. Of course, we look after the most needy in our own During special occasions, parishioners volunteer community as well. their time to distribute food and gifts to the local Recently, we preTarahumara Indian children. pared Thanksgiving baskets to distribute to the hunto help build housing for the poor gry, and collected toys for chilin Laredo, spending their spring dren who might not otherwise breaks in service to others. Our receive anything at Christmas. parish has welcomed groups from In cooperation with the diouniversities as far away as Nova cese of Laredo, we provide our Scotia, Canada. facilities to a team of dedicated In the spirit of Don Bosco, our medical, dental and vision care Salesian Parish is a center of love professionals from Sugarland, and spirituality for the people of Texas – who regularly offer free Laredo, Texas – especially for the services to our city’s poor. We young, who are the future of our also host students volunteering community. Y 18 Winter/Spring 2014




The Salesians showed us how we could have income for life… and help the poor, too!

“They told us how the Salesian Annuity Plan could help poor children the world over. By investing a minimum of $5,000, we would receive a check from them on a regular basis for the rest of our lives! Not only that, but both our initial gift and the interest checks are tax deductible in part! “This gift is more than a lifetime investment – it brings us financial security and the satisfaction that our annuity will help the needy around the world for many lifetimes – long after we’ve been called to God. “Yes, the Salesians pay us a guaranteed rate of income, based on our age. We feel financially secure thanks to the Salesians.” – Salesian Annuity recipient

For example, a 69-year old will receive a 5.0% annual lifetime payout on the principal!

For more information on Planned Giving, visit our website at:

Win/Spr 2014

❏ Yes! Show me how I can help the children and myself!

Send me more information about the returns and tax deductions I would receive under the Salesian Missions Annuity Plan. I understand that all personal information you receive about me will be kept absolutely confidential. (Minimum amount for a gift annuity is $5,000 and the minimum age requirement is 55 deferred to age 60, or age 60 for immediate annuity) AMOUNT OF GIFT CONSIDERED $ ___________ FOR SINGLE ANNUITY



(Not available in the state of Washington)

Name __________________________________________

Date of birth ___________________________ Sex______

Address ____________________________ Apt. #_______ City ____________________________________________

State _________________________ Zip_______________ Email __________________________________________



NAME OF OTHER PARTICIPANT: _________________________________________________________

DATE OF BIRTH: MONTH_______ DAY________YEAR ________


Salesian Snapshots ... a scrapbook of stories from around the Salesian world POLAND: Don Bosco – Patron of Auschwitz “We needed the patron of youth to infuse power, joy and new energy.” These are the words of Fr. Nowak, Mass was celebrated in honor of Don Bosco, Rector of the Salesian Patron Saint of Auschwitz. The paintings in front House in Auschwitz, of the altar are of St. Edward Klinik and St. Joseph Poland. They reflect Kowalski, Salesian martyrs who died for their the long-standing hope faith in German concentration camps in Poland. among his city’s faithful that Don Bosco be decreed As the site of the largest their Patron Saint. concentration camp built by In August, 2013, Pope Francis the Nazis, Auschwitz is univergranted their wish – issuing a sally associated with suffering decree before a crowd of thouand pain. Now, its citizens sands gathered to observe the “have huge hope that, with the visit of Don Bosco’s relic. help of this holy charismatic 20 Winter/Spring 2014

figure, we will be able to create a new and better image of the city,” says Fr. Nowak. “We are very grateful to the Holy Father for giving us Don Bosco as our protector. We promise to do all we can to make him known to the people, and to make known the values he taught, by living them ourselves.”

The eager young students are proud of their clean, modern new school and welcome the opportunity for an education and way out of poverty.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: A New Salesian Technical School! In the Democratic Republic of Congo, youngsters eager for an education now have a new option: the Industrial and Professional Technical Institute, recently opened by the Salesians in Tshikapa. This new community school –

the first vocational center in the city – has already enrolled many students even as construction continues. Once completed, youth will fill 20 classrooms, learning skills that will provide a pathway to employment and new hope. Future expansions are also envisioned, including additional vocational tracks, spiritual support, and more. Watch an inspiring video on our work in the Congo. Visit our website at: SALESIAN 21

BOLIVIA: A Future for Forgotten Children In the city of Santa Cruz, a vital community resource recently celebrated its 9th anniversary. “Patio Don Bosco,” a Salesian program With the help and care of the Salesians, these begun in response to once homeless children now receive food, the city’s escalating shelter, guidance and real hope for a better life. number of street children, today serves hundreds dysfunctional or abusive famiof children with nowhere else lies. Sometimes additional probto go. The program includes lems with drugs and mental Techo Pinardi, a Salesian health may exist. House offering overnight Over time, trust and happiaccommodations. Here, street ness replace sadness and fear – children receive shelter and and children begin forming warm meals, access to social healthy relationships with workers, and opportunities to peers and adults. In this way, learn – in a family environment Salesians and our many supwhere they feel safe and proporters and friends offer hope tected. and a future for these otherThe Patio offers a first, crucial wise forgotten children. step toward social rehabilitation. Learn more about the Salesian Residents include abandoned or works in Bolivia! Visit our website at: orphaned youth or those from 22 Winter/Spring 2014

SUDAN: Salesians Train Teachers In Khartoum, Sudan, VIS, the International Voluntary Service for Development, a Salesian NGO, recently awarded nationally recognized teaching certificates to 53 students. Proud students receive their diplomas. These students completed their studies at one of three equip Sudanese youth for future sites across the country, and are employment and success. now qualified to teach a variety of In the tradition of Don Bosco, technical courses and subjects – they will imbue their lessons with skills they will use to educate and faith and moral values.Y

God Bless America… and God Bless You! The 2013 World Giving Index – published annually by charities and foundations – has found that the United States is rated as the most generous society on earth! The USA has recorded its highest level ever for helping a stranger, volunteering and donating to a charity. You and other good hear ted Americans have helped improve the lives of millions of poor children and families around the globe.

May God bless you for caring! SALESIAN 23

Memorials or Gifts …in memory or in honor of a loved one … for a new priest as an ordination gift … for the Missions

Our missionaries service up to 30 villages in rural areas and have a great need for items used in Eucharistic adoration. This beautiful gold-plated Monstrance has a silver-finished center cross. Eight ruby glass stones surround the top and bottom. 15” H. Vestments, also needed, come in the liturgical colors of white, red, green, and purple. Both Memorial items can be engraved/embroidered with a name in memory of, or in honor of, a loved one.

Enclosed is my offering of: ❏ $140.00 for one Vestment

WIN/SPR 2014

❏ $1,165.00 for Monstrance ❏ $560.00 for a set of all four Vestments $15.00 for engraving on Monstrance ❏ ❏ $10.00 each for embroidery of Vestment(s)

Special instructions for ENGRAVING/EMBROIDERY on Monstrance/Vestment(s): In Loving Memory of: In Honor of: Name ________________________________



(Please print carefully)


Name _________________________________________ Address_______________________________Apt.#____ City ___________________________________________ State ___________________________ Zip___________



CID# REQUIRED (Last 3 digits on signature panel on back of card)



2 LEFEVRE LANE, PO BOX 728 • NEW ROCHELLE NY 10802-0728 TELEPHONE: (914) 633-8344 • WEBSITE:

24 Winter/Spring 2014

Salesian Vocations . . . Two Journeys n September 8, 2013, young men from Salesian seminaries throughout the world made their first profession for priesthood in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Rome. Rector Major Fr. Pascual Chávez, the ninth successor of Don Bosco himself, received the professions. These young men, so full of enthusiasm, will need continued guidance as they grow in their vocations. Every story is unique; here, two candidates describe their individual journeys to become a Salesian:


Yurii Zhuk, 19 years old, one of five Ukrainian novices who made his vows in Pinerolo, Italy:

Yurii Zhuk

“My family is a modest one. My mother is a baker and my father a petrol dealer. I have one older sister. My parents were the first to hand down the faith to me. At the age of ten, I became an altar boy – but I also joined a martial arts group. I got to know some young people of my own age and decided to become friends with them.” Unfortunately, these kids were part of a street gang and negatively influenced Yurii. Though he still went to church, he also developed some bad habits: He smoked, he drank, and repeatedly got into trouble. Yet one day, Yurii had an epiphany: This was neither the place nor the life for him. For the first time the following Sunday, when Yurii stepped out of SALESIAN 25

Mass to smoke, he heeded the words of a Salesian who invited him to go back in. Thus began Yurii’s journey of Christian growth – spurred by the help of a spiritual guide, by going on pilgrimages, and by forming new friendships with boys “who lived without cigarettes and without using bad language.” Soon, without fully realizing why, Yurii began participating in vocation meetings. This is what led him, with six other friends, to the seminary, accepted as a candidate, and eventually to professing his vows in becoming a Salesian at Pinerolo, Italy. Damiano Slanzi

The story of Damiano Slanzi is quite different. Damiano is 24 years old and originally from southern Italy: “The Lord planted the seed of a vocation in me right from the time I was an infant. This was due first of all to my family and a real community-oriented church, where I picked up Christian values immediately. I have three younger brothers and this helped me to grow in simplicity, with a sense of duty and sacrifice.” At times, Damiano’s faith was tested. Failures in school, coupled with “secularized” friends and a desire for independence, made Damian0 ashamed to attend Mass. However, after failing his exams a second time, a Marian Pilgrimage brought him back to God. “I was really touched by the fact that, even though I had tried to close Him out of my life, God was always by my side. I experienced this clearly in the confession that I made during that pilgrimage, six years after my previous confession.” Fundamentally important to Damiano was the help of a spiritual guide – a Salesian who encouraged him to join the provincial vocations program. This led him to a missionary experience in Moldova, then to becoming a candidate, and his application to profession of vows. Damiano submitted his application on May 24th, the Feast of Mary Help of Christians. Y 26 Winter/Spring 2014



to become a member of the Salesian Family, as a Priest, Brother, Sister or Cooperator?

Don Bosco founded a religious congregation in the Catholic Church – to launch new approaches and new initiatives for the education of youth. He called this congregation the Salesian Society which is now present in over 130 countries.

For more information about Salesian Priests and Brothers, please contact: FATHER JAMES BERNING, S.D.B., SALESIAN OFFICE OF VOCATION MINISTRY 518-B VALLEY STREET, ORANGE, NJ 07050 (973) 761-0201 • Email: • Website:

For more information about SALESIAN SISTERS, please contact: SISTER COLLEEN, F.M.A., SALESIAN VOCATION OFFICE 659 BELMONT AVENUE, N. HALEDON, NJ 07508 Call: (732) 597-3988 • Email: • Website:

For more information about SALESIAN COOPERATORS, please contact: MARCIAL GOMEZ, ST. JOHN BOSCO CHURCH, 2250 N. MCVICKER AVE., CHICAGO, IL 60639 Call: (708) 214-3664 • Email: • Website:

H ELP SUPPORT OUR SEMINARIANS! For as little as $10 a month you can participate in our Seminarian Support Program… and help support the needs of young men as they journey to the Salesian Family!

Return this coupon today…

Join our Seminarian Support Program!

WIN/SPR 2014

■ YES, Fr. Mark, I want to help support Salesian Name ___________________________________________ Seminarians. I enclose my first monthly gift of: ■ $20 ■ $15 ■ $10 ■ $________a month. I understand I’m not obligated to continue, but will try to help on a regular basis. ■ Charge my credit card number:

Address_________________________________________ _____________________________________Apt. #_____ City ____________________________________________ State _____________________________Zip____________



Email ___________________________________________ EXP. DATE (MO/YR)

Dept. SSP

(Last 3 digits on signature panel on back of card)

Signature X __________________________________ ■ I’d rather give a one-time gift of $________


A Message from Ethiopia...

We recently received the following letter from a Salesian missionary. (The photos on the opposite page were taken by Brother Bullo) ba: nt for the from Addis Aba help you have se Many greeting us io ec pr e th r r our daily job thank you fo you grant us fo t or pp I am writing to su e th r Ethiopia, and fo poor children of e country. edy people of th 38.7% of with the most ne ill very fragile: st is ia op hi Et n under ic situation of 34.6% of childre d an l, ve The socio-econom le y rt pove allenges, still lives below ces important ch fa y tr un co the population e the work t. Th are underweigh r these reasons, Fo s. or ct se th the age of five heal e education and especially in th t! an rt po as s is so im a daily meal to of the Salesian health care and , ol ho sc to ss r acce We work to offe ible. children as poss d ge ta an dv y to reach as sa di y man is the way we tr it d an n, er nc problems such r main co to fight related y tr Education is ou e w as ly al ry services. All we can, especi ater and sanita w to ss many people as ce ac S, us people like lity, HIV/AID e help of genero th ut . ho it as gender inequa w le ib needed services ld not be poss ese desperatelyth r fe of of this work wou to y it the opportun ary schools and you who give us s, three second ol ho sc y ar im doors (and erate six pr lp, we open our he We Salesians op ur yo h it W aining centers. y year. le children ever six vocational tr ab er ln vu e or m support and you for all your hearts) to more to e ud it at gr y continue. express again m ur prayers will yo d an lp I would like to he ur yo Ethiopia. I hope for the people of my prayers, will keep you in I h. uc m ry ve Thank you llo, S.D.B.

Bu Brother Cesare Ethiopia ary Salesian Mission

28 Winter/Spring 2014


Thanks to your help, Brother Bullo and the Salesians working in Ethiopia help change lives every day!

Learn more about Salesian works in Ethiopia! Visit our website at:


Count Your Blessings - Grant a Wish! The Salesians work in over 130 countries. Just imagine, then, how many of our missionaries write to tell us of their hopes and dreams, trials and successes. Maybe, as you count your blessings, you could grant a wish. God bless you! Fr. Mark




Reconstruction is an ongoing project in the Philippines. The Salesians are helping to rebuild homes and restore water and power. See pg. 4.

• Support

the Salesian Clean Water Initiative. Salesians all over the world are working hard to bring clean, healthy water to needy families, such as in our project in Bombo, Uganda. See pg.7.

• Father Mike Gergen, Pastor of the San Luis Rey Parish in Laredo, Texas, wants to expand the spiritual, recreational and educational programs offered to the many needy MexicanAmerican families in this border town. See pg. 15.

• It takes an average of $1,000.00 a year to educate a seminarian in the last four years of his theological studies. You can help a young man on his journey to the Salesian Family. See pg. 25.

• Brother Cesare Bullo is grateful for your support of the people of Ethiopia, but the need continues in this fragile country with almost 40% living below the poverty level. See pg. 28.


WIN/SPR 2014

YES, I want to help make a wish come true for Salesians and the poor children and families they serve. I am enclosing my donation of:

❏ $7 ❏ $10 ❏ $25 ❏ Other $_________ for the life-saving works featured in this magazine and all the other Salesian programs that benefit the needy. ENCLOSE CHECK, MONEY ORDER (PAYABLE TO: SALESIAN MISSIONS) OR CREDIT CARD INFORMATION:




CID# REQUIRED (Last 3 digits on


signature panel on back of card) EXP. DATE (MO/YR)

Name___________________ Address ______________________________________________________Apt._____ City___________________________________________________________ State _________ Zip ______________ Email _________________________________________________________________________________________





A Satin Flower Cross… Created With Your Love.


WE RESPECT YOUR PRIVACY… In our efforts to raise additional funds to support our worldwide work for the poor and needy, we periodically make your name and address available to other mailers. These include similar charitable and humanitarian organizations and also companies which offer services and products that we think you may be interested in. We are extremely selective in choosing the organizations and companies we associate with in this way. If you prefer not to have your name and address made available for this purpose and/or you want to modify any mailing preferences, please call, write or email your request to: Attn: Donor Relations SALESIAN MISSIONS 2 LEFEVRE LANE, PO BOX 728 NEW ROCHELLE NY 10802-0728 TEL: 914-633-8344 Email:


am so grateful to all of you who responded again to our mailing this past year and returned the satin rose. They were collected to form the beautiful cross above. This special cross, created with your love, is currently in our chapel and will soon be shipped to one of our mission chapels. During Mass, it will always stand as a reminder of good people like you who care so deeply for the poor and needy.



Suggested offering for each throw is







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Visit us on-line at:

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage P A I D Salesian Missions

Win/Spr 2014



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ITEM 50048

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Designed especially for Salesian Missions, it prominently features our new Mission logo. Our throw is knitted of soft, warm and comfortable machine washable cotton and measures a generous 48”x 63.” Natural color.


Heavy Cable Knit

Salesian Magazine - Winter/Spring 2014 Issue  

Our magazine features in-depth stories of children who are turning their lives around, missionaries who are performing extraordinary work, a...

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