N. 77 - May 2015
Newsletter for Salesian Missionary Animation
A Publication of the Missions Sector for the Salesian Communities and Friends of the Salesian Missions
I n airports all over the world where I have to go,
sometimes spending long hours of waiting, one could
hear, in every language, the “final call” addressed to
passengers who are either still a bit distracted or have fallen asleep.
I am reminded of the parable that Jesus tells us, “... and at about five o’clock he went out
and found others standing around; and he said to them … ‘You also go into the vine-
yard” (Mt. 20: 6-7).
The vocation ad gentes, ad exteros, ad vitam, could knock at any time in the vocational
journey of a Salesian. Some have heard the call through the Salesian Bulletin in the barber-
shop; others, through “Don Bosco” while aimlessly surfing the digital continent.
The 146th Missionary Expedition this year 2015 is already taking shape: called from all con-
tinents, sent to all continents!
During this month of May Mary Help of Christians is looking for Salesians who are ready for
the Initial Proclamation among the youth of the Central and Northern European Region. Are
This is really the “final call”! Happy Trip! May you have a fruitful month of the Patroness of
the Salesian Missions !
Fr. Guillermo Basañes, SDB
Councillor for the Missions
The III Inter-regional On-Going Formation Course for Missionaries will take place at the Mathias Institute,
Mawlai Shillong, India from August 1 – 29, 2015. The course consists of three weeks of intense missionary re-
flection and sharing of missionary experiences. The fourth week will be spent in pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
The course is open to all members of the Salesian Family of the English-speaking regions of Africa, Asia and
Oceania. Last year the Salesian Regional Centre for Ongoing Formation in Quito, Ecuador has also organised
a biannual On-Going Formation Course for the Missionaries of the Southern Cone and Inter-American re-
gions. The next course will be in 2016. However, this year the Course for Missionaries (September- Decem-
ber) at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome will not be held.
Fr. Jose Anikuzhikattil
Witness of Salesian Missionary Sanctity
Among the spiritual writings of Blessed Maria Romero Meneses (1902-1977), Daughter of Mary
Help of Christians, there are different thoughts and prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “I gre-
et you, Mary, my sweet Mother! Greet Jesus for me – May your blessing, O Mary, accompany
me night and day, at work and at rest, in life and death - Place Your hand, O my mother, be-
fore I place mine - Remember that I love you with all the love of each and every one of the
blessed spirits, of the angels and of the saints in heaven, but above all with the love of the
Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ... Remember that I live enclosed in the Heart of Jesus in
your own heart so that you may form me with the work of the Holy Spirit with Jesus, like Je-
sus, in Jesus, for Jesus and for the glory of Jesus. Yes, my Queen, my august Princess, my
Lady, my consolation, my fortune, my joy, my delight, treasure and magic of Jesus and of
mine. You are all mine, I’m all yours in life, in death, in time and in eternity”.
Course for Missionaries
“Final call !”
All previous issues of "Cagliero 11" are available at purl.org/sdb/sdl/CaglieroSalesian Missionary Intention
That Salesians in Central and North Europe foster inital proclamation in a secular-
ised context by living up to the values of the Gospel.
In ‘Ecclesia in Europa’ n. 46 St. John Paul II wrote: “in various parts of Europe an initial
proclamation of the Gospel is needed: the number of the unbaptised is growing, both
because of the significant presence of immigrants of other religions and because chil-
dren born into families of Christian tradition have not received Baptism, either as a
result of the Communist domination or the spread of religious indifference. ... On the
“old” continent too, there are vast social and cultural areas which stand in need of a
true missio ad gentes”.
As a Missionary I learnt that Sufferings
are Signs of God’s Predilection
For Initial Proclamation in the Region of Central and North Europe
w hen I was 8 years old, after showing us a documentary film
about the poor children in Africa, our teacher asked us:
“What can we do to help the malnourished black children we
have seen?” “Well” I said “we can collect used paper, scrap
iron, and old clothes to sell and send the money to the missionaries”. “Very
good, Angelo!” my teacher responded, “but a better way to help the mis-
sions is to go as a missionary!” That was a ‘lightning’ which hit me hard! Without giving a second thought I
said to myself: “I want to be a missionary!” even if I knew nothing about being a priest or a religious. To
me a missionary was one who travels a lot to enter the jungle, defends himself against wild animals and,
of course, builds chapels and baptizes a lot of people.
Later my parish priest directed me to the Salesian missionary as-
pirantate at Ivrea and at 17 I was sent as a missionary to Thailand where
I worked for 22 years. I realised my childhood challenge when in re-
sponse to the appeal of the Rector Major to start Project Africa, I volun-
teered in 1981. The following year I arrived in Mekele, Ethiopia. Two
years later, in 1984-85, the great famine took place where 1.4 million
people died of hunger and sickness. I worked with two Salesian lay
brothers, Br. Cesare Bullo and Br. Joseph Reza, who spearheaded the
whole relief and resettlement operation to the tragedy which was im-
mortalised by the song “We are the World, we are the Children”.
In 1996 I was sent to open a new Salesian presence in Eritrea where now we have three Salesian
communities. I was expelled from Eritrea in 2008 together with other 22 missionaries. Since then I have
been working in Ethiopia with street children at Bosco Children Centre. We meet them during the night in
the humid streets of Addis Ababa, and take them in so that in three years they could go to school or learn
a trade and be reintegrated to their families.
Although people fondly call me Abba Melaku, I still consider it a great challenge to express myself
well in the new language I had learnt. Although I have to humbly accept my stuttering in a language I do
not master perfectly, I realised that I could bear even greater apostolic fruits if my personal life becomes a
credible witness of charity and faith.
What gives me the greatest joy in my 55 years of missionary life is not only having been able to save
poor and destitute persons, especially children, from sure death during the famine, but, ironically, having
personally experienced tremendous suffering when I was shot by the bandits, robbed and left alone with a
broken leg in the middle of nowhere. My initial instinctive act of rebellion (“Why me, Lord if I am working
for you?”) was transformed to an experience of great peace and a profound joy through the realisation
that I have been ‘chosen to suffer with Christ’. I remember the words Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote to
me when she heard I had been shot: “Courage, Fr. Angelo! Sufferings are a sign of God’s predilection”!
Finally, I would like to encourage those who feel the Lord calling them to be missionaries with the
words of Eli to Samuel: “If He calls you again, tell Him: Speak Lord your servant is listening!” And then
have the courage to respond: “Here I am Lord, Send me!”
Fr. Angelo Regazzo
Italian, missionary in Ethiopia