N. 63 - March 2014
Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation
A Publication of the Mission Department for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Mission
D ear confreres and friends of the Salesian missions!
The 27 th General Chapter has created a big community of 220 confreres
from around the world for 6 weeks. What a wealth of cultures, languages, ex-
periences of faith and charism: all create a mosaic of Don Bosco’s face today!
This is the moment to reflect, verify, dream and plan together in so many lan-
guages! I want to say ‘thank you’ this March 11 for the 30 th anniversary of my
escape from my homeland to go to the missions. I have spent the last 12 years
of my life in the General Council and it has been 6 years since I shared during
the GC26 my motto All for Jesus, Jesus for all!
A heartfelt thank you to all who foster the growth of missionary culture
in the world:
* to all the confreres (Provincials, formators, confessors, spiritual directors)
who have helped to stir up and accompany more than 200 new missionaries ad gentes
in the 56 Salesian Provinces during the past six year period;
* to all Province Delegates for Missionary Animation (and their team) who, through their enthusiasm (in
collaboration with many others), have kept the missionary flame burning;
* to all members of the World Consulta-
tive Assembly for the missions who have in-
spired and accompanied the different proc-
esses with their suggestions, inspiration,
* to all directors and staff of the Mission
Offices, NGOs for the missions (especially DB
Network) and PDOs for their tireless work in
the service of the Salesian missions;
* to all my predecessors, (Fr Bernard Tohil
+2010, Bp Luc Van Looy, Fr Luciano
Odorico, and Fr Francis Alencherry ) to all
my collaborators in the Missions Department
during this six-year period (Fr Piero Santilli,
Fr Dionisio Pacheco, Fr Placide Carava, Fr Stanisław Rafalko, Fr Jose Anikuzhikattil and Fr Alfred Mara-
* to many missionary confreres whom I met during my visits, especially in difficult places (due to the
climate, socio-political situation, discrimination, oppression, or insecurity), who give their best for the
missions every day;
* to many young missionaries who responded to the missionary call with courage and generosity and to
several of them who have shared their testimonies through Cagliero11.
* to many confreres and members of the Salesian Family for whom Cagliero11 was born and continues
to exist these past 5 years. I am grateful especially to the translators (Fr Dionisio Pacheco, Fr Hilario
Passero, Fr Angelo Biz, René Dassy and Renée Sagher), the editor (Fr Alfred Maravilla), the layout artist
(Luciano Acarese) and many others who helped in the production and dissemination of the locale editions.
THANK YOU! Together, we have made our humble contribution towards the missionary transforma-
tion of the Church desired by Pope Francis!
Fr Václav Klement, SDB
Councillor for the Missions
Salesian Missionary Intention Salesian Missionary Intention Salesian Missionary Intention Salesian Missionary Intention
My mother prayed for a ‘missionary son’, My mother prayed for a ‘missionary son’, My mother prayed for a ‘missionary son’,
and she received a ‘flying bishop’! and she received a ‘flying bishop’! and she received a ‘flying bishop’!
A fter my mother took part in a retreat preached by two missionaries, she started
praying for a “missionary son.” Thus, my missionary vocation was planted before I
was even conceived! Perhaps the Lord was preparing to fulfil my mother’s prayers, but my
first communion resolution was: “I want to be a missionary priest one day”. Years later dur-
ing my novitiate, the Servant of God Carlo Braga - we are both from Cologna di Tirano in
the Italian Alps - came to visit and asked for volunteer missionaries for the incipient Sale-
sian presence in the Philippines. Among those who applied 3 of us were chosen.
I spent 34 wonderful years as missionary in the Philippines. As the Youth Centre director
my greatest joy was working with the community to be a relevant and meaningful presence
among the poor and the young in Mandaluyong, a poor district of Manila. Later, as spiritual
moderator of Don Bosco College I enjoyed the confidence and trust of the young, especially the most problematic. I
heard the college students’ confessions anywhere even in the soccer field. I am grateful
for having witnessed miracles of conversion and healing among them.
In my ministry of animation and government of the FIN Province, I worked with
committed confreres and lay collaborators who made a great impact on the lives of the
students and set solid foundations to our Salesian presences. The missionary courage,
enthusiasm and dynamism of my confreres, encouraged me to accept the invitation of
the Superiors to leave my second country and “set out into the deep” and go to the
I have been working in the Solomon Islands since 1999. In 2007 I was appointed
bishop of Gizo, a diocese formerly entirely supported by the whole Dominican Order.
The greatest challenge here is the isolation of the 7 parishes and more than 100 mission
stations. The catechists have kept the faith alive in many of these communities where
the priest could barely come once every year. I had to learn to fly an airplane so that I
could visit regularly the remote stations. Thus, I came to be known as “the flying bishop”. After 50 years, the dio-
cese has only 2 diocesan priests and 6 seminarians. 10 diocesan priests are on loan from other dioceses. Except the
few Dominicans and 3 Marist brothers, there is no other charism in the diocese. The other Congregations I invited
have systematically turned down the invitation. The Salesians have yet to respond to my repeated invitations to
come to the diocese.
The challenges are many, but the poor educational possibilities is one of the most compelling. Since no one
reaches the minimum standard level for entering the pre-seminary, we have very few seminarians in the diocese.
Health services are practically non-existent. The 2007 earthquake and tsunami destroyed churches, schools and clin-
ics in the diocese. I am grateful, therefore, for the Corsa dei Santi 2013 organised by the Don Bosco nel Mondo Foun-
dation for the construction and running of health centres in the diocese. But above all I am most grateful to my
flock. From them I learnt to live from day to day, to be patient, and to be satisfied of the little that one has or of
what is necessary!
Bp. Luciano Capelli
Italian, missionary in the Solomon Islands
Missionary Vocations in the Congregation in South Asia (missionary aspirantates) Missionary Vocations in the Congregation in South Asia (missionary aspirantates) Missionary Vocations in the Congregation in South Asia (missionary aspirantates)
The Indian context: despite being a minority as Catholics (1.8% of the population, or
17.5 million) and persecuted in various parts of the country, the Church has a strong
missionary spirit. Up until today thousands of missionaries ad gentes have been sent
out from India (in Africa alone there are some 2000!) in 168 different countries of
the world. Salesians have opened two missionary aspirantates (for young people
from 18-20 years of age) for their explicit formation. May they feel called to leave
their country and work for the spread of the Gospel and for the education of poor
youth throughout the world. Both at Sirajuli (North East India) and Chennai (South
India) dozens of young people have begun their missionary formation since 2011.
All previous issues of "Cagliero 11" are available at purl.org/sdb/sdl/Cagliero
May many young Catholics be inspired by the Lord to open their hearts beyond local circum-
stances and contribute to spreading the Gospel in other continents (also including countries
with ancient Christian roots) through an authentic witness of life. May the two missionary as-
pirantates in India attract and form many vocations from all the Provinces in the Region.