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Salesian Newslink ZMB Quarterly publication Year 6 | Issue No. 22 Mar - Apr - May 2012

Year 6 | Issue No. 22 Mar - Apr - May 2012
Don Bosco with us
Salesian Co-operators
Can young people be holy?
The Roman Missal
Editorial 3
Knowing Don Bosco - Pascual Chavez RM 4
Church today: Young People 6
Words of the Provincial 7
Don Bosco in Africa 8
Salesian World | Local News 9
Can young people be holy? 10
Thinking point: Don Bosco with us? 11
Salesian Cooperators 12
Christ’s Obituary 13
Christ’s Lives | Easter Camp 14
Heaven or Hell? | Youth Seminar 15
The Roman Missal | Part II 16
The Red Brick Province 19
Testimonies 20
Letter to the editor 21
Salesian World | International News 22
Ours is God’s work 23
ZMB Photo 24
ZMB Quarterlypublication
Year6/Nº22 Mar- Apr- May 2012
2 ZMB Salesian Newslink
Director & Editor: Fr. Javier A. Barrientos
Redaction Board: Fr. Dennis Higgins, Walter Thyrniang
Graphic Design: Fr. Javier A. Barrientos
Photos: Br. Walter Thyrniang, Sylvester Makumba,
Fr. Javier Barrientos, John Musonda,
Alexio Mesi, Fr Ignatius Musenge.
Contribution from: Fr. George Chalissery, Fr. Andrew Reut,
Walter Thyrniang, Clement Mutamba SDB,
David Njolo SDB, Christopher Mukuka
SDB, John Musonda SDB.
Printed: Printing Press - ZMB Provincial House
In this Issue:
ZMB Salesian Newslink 3
News agencies, state-owned TV stations and
radio, -just to mention a few- provide a
common ‘one-way’ communication, the
public ought to believe and accept what is
being offered. In the current scenario, truth is
what powerful news agencies present. There
are a few public arenas where the public can
give their opinion and thus together find the
truth. It is definitely impossible to get
everyone involved in this process;
nevertheless the channels should be left
open. In the political field, there are still
many countries where the only means of
public mass communication is the stateowned
TV and Radio stations, for fear that
people are exposed to a second opinion.
Here in Africa, we are still somewhat
privileged, to have a mild attitude from the
Media towards the Church. The Catholic
Church in Africa with its lights and shadows
is not always the focus of news agencies; at
least not yet. Unlike Europe and the
Western World, where Catholics are
normally under the spotlight (especially
when things go wrong), here in Africa,
today’s headlines on church issues will be a
It is quite interesting to read most comments on social forgotten part history already the following
networks, and discover that a good number of adolescents, day. Yet, dialogue is non-existent. There will
young people and adults long to communicate. I believe we all be a full page to denounce some wrongdoing,
have something to say to the world. Once upon a time, (even if not proven and true) and only a small
communication was the privilege of a few; access to internet paragraph to retract or apologise for
and other means of mass communication were not even misleading or giving wrong information.
accessible to the majority; but today a good number of people To become a good communicator, everyone
do have access to all of these. Yet, the advantage of the social needs to be a person who knows what
networks over the e-mail providers and news agencies is the dialogue is all about and who is ready to be
capacity to establish some level of dialogue. A person who challenged in his/her own opinion. Dialogue
expresses his/her opinion on any topic is subject to support, is such a basic activity of human beings who
criticism, challenge of the way a thought is expressed, etc. live with other human beings, yet it is at the
Dialogue is such a powerful means of development that helps same time, one of the most challenging tasks
people move forward. Contradicting points of view come to a to accomplish should we like to live in
decent level of tolerance and acceptance that helps people harmony. Intolerance has become the ‘order
make progress in different fields. However, basic and direct of the day’, where personal views and ideas
dialogue is losing its ground at the most basic levels of social ought to prevail despite reality.
interaction. Alongside criticising governments, news
I would suggest that among people known to me, the ordinary a g e n c i e s a n d o t h e r p u b l i c ma s s
way of establishing any dialogue is somewhat lost. In family communicators, it would be good to see deep
settings people spend less and less time in dialogue. Parents inside each of us, how open are we to be
need to spend more time outside the home in order to provide challenged by our own confreres, sisters,
for the needs of the family. Children spend good deal of time in children, pupils, employees, -anyone- who
front of the TV set, chatting over the internet, etc. Even religious disagrees with us.
communities are losing this fundamental means of social Only when we are able to accept others the
interaction; members give priority to phone calls to the people way they present themselves to us, that day
they sit around with for a meal, just to give one example. we can say we have begun to make of
‘By means of words’ (dialogue) ancient civilisations sought dialogue the condition of our interaction in
progress to better ways of living, to end conflicts and to the human society.
establish peace. Unlike some of the ancient civilisations, today’s
Need for Dialogue
against a HUMAN tendency
that aims at dominating
By Fr Javier A. Barrientos SDB
4 ZMB Salesian Newslink
Fr Pascual Chavez SDB
cool evening in May 1862, with
his usual skill as a story-teller
Don Bosco said: «Try to picture
yourselves with me on the
seashore, or better still, on an outlying cliff
with no other land in sight. The vast expanse
of water is covered with a formidable array
of ships I battle formation, prows fitted with
sharp spear-like beaks capable of breaking
through any defence. All are heavily armed
with cannons, incendiary bombs, and
firearms of all sorts – even books and are
heading toward one stately ship, mightier
than them all. As they close in, they try to
ram it, set it afire, and cripple it as much as
This stately vessel is shielded by a flotilla
escort. Winds and waves are with the
In the midst of this endless sea, two solid
columns, a short distance apart, soar high in
the sky; one is surmounted by a statue of the
Immaculate Virgin at whose feet a large
i n s c r i p t i o n r e a d s : “ A u x i l i um
Christianorum”; the other far loftier and
sturdier, supports a Host of proportionate
size and bears beneath it the inscription:
“Salus Credentium”.
The flagship commander – the Roman
Pontiff – breaking through all resistance
steers his ship safely between the two
columns from whose summits hang many
anchors and strong hooks linked to chains,
and moors it to the two columns first to the
one surmounted by the Host, and then to the
other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At
this point something unexpected happens.
The enemy ships panic and disperse,
colliding with and scuttling each other.»
Devotion to
Mary Help of Christians
and her sanctuary
at the heart of Salesian work
rector major
ZMB Salesian Newslink 5
sadly need her help to preserve and safeguard our faith.»
(MB 7, 197).
In the first months of 1863 he set to work obtaining the
necessary permissions; in 1865 the foundation stone was
laid, and in 1868 the work was finished.
The icon that speaks
Don Bosco was moved not only by practical
considerations (to have a larger church) or political and
religious ones (the wave of fierce anticlericalism that
was threatening the Church).
The picture of Mary in the painting by Lorenzone above
the high altar expresses very well Don Bosco’s
innermost thoughts. His understanding of the history of
salvation led him to place the Church at the heart of the
world, and at the heart of the Church he saw Mary Help
of Christians, the all-powerful Mother, who conquers
The Madonna was always present in Don Bosco’s life. In
the dream at nine years of age, Jesus introduces himself
in this way: «I am the son of the woman whom your
mother has taught you to greet three times a day.»
But the focus for his devotion to her has a specific
location: the church in Valdocco. «And this,” Fr Viganò
writes, “will remain the definitive Marian icon: the point
of reference for an unceasing increase in vocations and
the centre of the expansion of his charism as founder. In
Mary Help of Christians Don Bosco finally recognises
the features of the Lady who was at the origin of his own
vocation and who was and would always remain his
Inspiration and Teacher.»
Mary has built herself a house
Aname new and old
The Valdocco sanctuary becomes the tangible and the
Don Albera tells us that one evening in real sign of the presence of Mary in the life of Don Bosco
December that year, after hearing confessions and of the Congregation. This is the “mother church” of
until about 11.00 p.m., Don Bosco went for his the Salesian Family.
supper. He looked very pensive. He suddenly Popular opinion immediately discovers the marvellous
remarked: “There were a lot of confessions understanding between Mary Help of Christians and
tonight but truthfully I hardly know what I said Don Bosco: Mary Help of Christians now will always be
or did, because all the time I had something on «Don Bosco’s Madonna.» And Don Bosco is «the saint
my mind. I kept thinking: Our church is too of the Help of Christians.» Very rarely has it happened
small; we have to pack in our boys like sardines. that a title of Mary, almost unknown, has spread so
We must build a larger, more imposing one under quickly throughout the world.
the title of Mary Help of Christians. I don’t have Humbly Don Bosco said: «I am not the one responsible
a penny, nor do I know where to find the money, for the great things you see; it is the Lord, it is Mary Most
but that’s not important. If God so wills, it will be Holy who deigns to make use of a poor priest. I have put
done » (BM 7, 196). He also confided his plan to up nothing of my own: Aedificavit sibi domum Maria
Don Cagliero: «Up to now we have celebrated (Mary has built herself a house). Every stone, every
the feast of the Immaculate Conception with decoration represents a grace.»
pomp and solemnity […]. But the Madonna The Valdocco sanctuary is the church which Salesians
wishes us to honour her under the title of Mary, all round the world see more with their hearts than with
Help of Christians. The times are so bad that we their eyes. And it is here that everyone feels “at home.”
“I am the woman
whom your mother
has taught you to greet
three times a day”
6 ZMB Salesian Newslink
Young People
your human, intellectual and
spiritual formation! In order to grow
in discernment, along with the
strength and the freedom needed to
resist these pressures, I encourage
you to place Jesus Christ at the
centre of your lives through prayer,
but also through the study of sacred
Scripture, frequent recourse to the
sacraments, formation in the
Church’s social teaching, and your
active and enthusiastic participation
in ecclesial groups and movements.
Cultivate a yearning for fraternity,
justice and peace. The future is in the
oung people make up the familiarity with sacred Scripture so hands of those who find powerful
ma jor i ty of Af r i c a ’s it can become a compass pointing reasons to live and to hope. If you
p o p u l a t i o n . T h i s out the path to follow. Young people want it, the future is in your hands,
youthfulness is a gift and a treasure need witnesses and teachers who can because the gifts that the Lord has
from God for which the whole walk with them, teaching them to bestowed upon each one of you,
Church is grateful to the Lord of life. love the Gospel and to share it, strengthened by your encounter with
Young people should be loved, especially with their peers, and thus Christ, can bring genuine hope to the
esteemed and respected. “Whatever to become authentic and credible world!
their possible ambiguities, [they] messengers.” When it comes to making life
have a profound longing for those In his Rule, Saint Benedict asks the choices, when you find yourselves
genuine values which find their abbot of the monastery to listen to considering the question of a total
fullness in Christ. Is not Christ the the youngest monks. As he says: “It consecration to Christ – in the
secret of true freedom and profound is often to a younger brother that the ministerial priesthood or the
joy of heart? Is not Christ the Lord reveals the best course”] So we consecrated life – turn to him, take
supreme friend and the teacher of all should make every effort to involve him as your model, and listen to his
genuine friendship? If Christ is young people directly in the life of word by meditating regularly.
presented to young people as he society and of the Church, so that During the homily of the inaugural
really is, they experience him as an they do not fall prey to feelings of Mass of my pontificate, I spoke
answer that is convincing and they frustration and rejection in the face words to you that I want to repeat
can accept his message, even when it of their inability to shape their own now, for they remain timely: “If we
is demanding and bears the mark of future, especially in those situations let Christ into our lives, we lose
the Cross.” where young people are vulnerable nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing
As I said on the subject of young due to l a ck of educ a t ion, of what makes life free, beautiful
people in the Post-Synodal u n emp l o yme n t , p o l i t i c a l and great. No! Only in this
Apostolic Exhortation Verbum exploitation and various kinds of friendship are the doors of life
Domini: “Youth is a time when addiction. opened wide. Only in this friendship
genuine and irrepressible questions Dear young people, enticements of is the great potential of human
arise about the meaning of life and all kinds may tempt you: ideologies, existence truly revealed ... Dear
the direction our own lives should sects, money, drugs, casual sex, young people: Do not be afraid of
take. Only God can give the true violence... Be vigilant: those who Christ! He takes nothing away, and
answer to these questions. Concern propose these things to you want to he gives you everything. When we
for young people calls for courage destroy your future! In spite of give ourselves to him, we receive a
and clarity in the message we difficulties, do not be discouraged hundredfold in return. Yes, open,
proclaim; we need to help young and do not give up your ideals, your open wide the doors to Christ – and
people to gain confidence and hard work and your commitment to you will find true life.”
Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation
Youth is a time when genuine and irrepressible questions arise
about the meaning of life
ZMB Salesian Newslink 7
Dear Friends,
e are in this month of May which is
Wdedicated to Our Lady. For us in a special way the month reminds us
of Mary Help of Christians - the Madonna of
Don Bosco. She was the constant guide and
support in his life. She was the Teacher whom
Jesus promised he would give to little Johnny
Bosco to help him to be gentle, strong and
steadfast and thus win over his friends with
kindness and not with blows.
The teaching began immediately and Mary
showed him the work he was to accomplish
among these youngsters.
In the Italy of his day, it was a common custom
to dedicate the newly born child to Mary to
watch over it and to protect this new life. Infant
mortality was alarmingly high. It is certain that
Mamma Margaret too presented little John
Bosco to Our Lady soon after his birth. She
inculcated progressively into her youngest son,
a great love for Mary. He soon learnt the
common Marian prayers – the Hail Mary, the
'Angelus' and the Rosary. In his dream at the
age of 9, when he asked the mysterious
personage who he was, he was told: “I am the
son of her, whom your mother taught you to
greet three times a day”. At the Moglia farm,
during the work, when the Angelus bell would
ring forth from the Parish Church, John Bosco,
would kneel down and recite the Angelus to
honour Our Lady. Before performing his magic
tricks for his companions, first he would often make
them recite the rosary together in the field. Somehow,
John Bosco inherited from his mother, Mamma
Margaret, the great love and devotion he had for Our
Heavenly Mother, Mary. On the eve of his departure to
the Seminary, 29 October 1835, as he was packing his
little bag, Mamma Margaret approached him and said:
“John, when you were born, I consecrated you to the
Madonna, when you began your studies, I asked you to
have devotion to this Mother of ours. Now I ask you to be
totally hers”. Deeply moved, John Bosco replied:
“Mother I thank you for all you have done for me. Of these
your words, I will treasure them to the end of my life!”
And treasure them, he did. He was totally devoted to her.
He taught the youngsters to love Mary, to be devoted to
her and to place themselves under her maternal
protection. He built the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians
as a monument of his love for her. Mary worked closely
with Don Bosco obtaining for him heavenly favours of one
sort or another thus giving him the conviction that what
he was doing was the Will of God. She was often his guide
during the dreams or 'visions' he had.
When he founded the Society of the Salesian Sisters to
do for the girls, what he was doing for the boys, he called
this Society, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians,
as a sign of his permanent gratitude to Mary for all the
graces he had received through her intercession. Finally
towards the end of his life, he could say: “I have not taken
a single step without the express wish of Our Lady”. Here
was a truly devoted son of Mary. He would tell us “Have
devotion to Mary Help of Christians and you will see
what miracles are!”
Today, my dear friends, Don Bosco is inviting us to place all
our confidence and trust in this Heavenly Mother who
took him under her protection and guided him all through
difficulties and problems and helped him to become a
saint. I am sure if we too will accept her as our Heavenly
Mother, she would do the same for us.
I wish you all a Very Happy Feast of Mary Help of
Fr George Chalissery SDB
Help of Christians
century later, Don Bosco is once again moving among
his dear children, not only those of Turin (Italy) but his
children all over the world. Don Bosco’s relics are visiting
all provinces in Africa and this unique opportunity is for
each Salesian, FMA, Salesian Co-operator, youngster and
friend of Don Bosco an important event. The feelings,
emotions and momentum that Valdocco felt upon seeing
Don Bosco in his time can only be compared to the
emotion people feel after seeing Don Bosco’s relics
visiting them.
Missionaries departing to South America knew they
or the past four or five days would not see Don Bosco again in their lives; their hearts
1887) Don Bosco isn’t feeling well, last were so moved that they could not hide their tears and
evening he had a severe fever and headache emotions. While they would venture to new lands and
and for this reason, under medical prescription he needs to peoples, their father would remain behind, blessing them be in bed from 6pm. This morning he woke up around 8am and did not take part in mass, just as from Monday, and giving them energy. Today Don Bosco comes to visit
receiving communion. his children and tears fill his children’s eyes because this is
This evening although exhausted he wanted to go to most likely to be the once-in-life-time encounter
church to participate in the farewell mass for between the Saint and them.
missionaries. He entered the presbytery helped by me and In the places where Don Bosco’s relics have visited,
Festa while Fr Bonetti was delivering his sermon. But I people have done as much as those who saw Don Bosco
must say that the best and most efficacious preaching is for the last time in their lives did: they knelt in front of
done by Don Bosco, showing up in such pain to see his him, kissed his hand and received his blessing. The initial
children off. Immediately everyone stands up to see him. scepticism towards the pilgrimage of Don Bosco’s around
Mons. Letto after the blessing with the Blessed Sacrament the world, is slowly yielding to the feeling of gratitude and addressed the missionaries and gave them his blessing. It appreciation for the efforts in having Don Bosco visiting was a very touching moment, in church –that was packedthere
was none who was not in tears. After the blessing, those places he did not visit in his lifetime.
each of the missionaries came in front of Don Bosco to The Salesian Family in ZMB Vice-Province awaits the
greet him and kiss his hand… they cried, and Don Bosco arrival of Don Bosco. Preparations are on their way to
cried as well; everyone in church cried… missionaries make of Don Bosco’s visit a memorable event, but most of
embraced confreres from the house for the last time, as all a spiritual renewal for us all.
well as the General Superiors… then they walked through
the church… people knelt at their passing, filled with tears
and kissing their hands and cassocks – and then they all
returned to the presbytery and surrounded Don Bosco…
then I heard abundant words of compassion towards the
poor and old Don Bosco… how many I saw crying!!! I
heard many bless that man of God, to the point of calling
him a saint!!! After the service, Don Bosco as the passed
through the courtyard was acclaimed by the youngsters
and tired as he was; he went to his room.”
(6 December
Don Bosco in
From the chronicles of Don Carlo Biglietti SDB
8 ZMB Salesian Newslink
by Cl Alexio Mesi SDB
Don Bosco’s relics in Nairobi, Kenya (FMA Mutuini)
Don Bosco & first Missionaries
ZMB Salesian Newslink 9
Provincial Visitation -
Hwange (Zimbabwe) 09/05/12
(Cl John Musonda SDB)
First Communions at
St. Mary's Parish
Kabwe (Zambia) 8/04/2012
(Fr Andrew Reut SDB)
Leadership Seminar
Chingola (Zambia) 10-12/02/12
(David Njolo SDB)
Missionary Childhood
Hwange (Zimbabwe) 28/04/12 R.I.P Mr Abraham Tembo
(Cl John Musonda SDB) Lusaka (Zambia) 08/03/2012
(Fr George Chalissery)
R.I.P Mr Antoni Czerwinski
Warsaw (Poland) 18/02/2012
(Fr Joseph Czerwinski SDB)
in Binga district situated on the
shores of the Zambezi River of
about 240 km from Hwange
The MCs congress which was
graced by his grace Albert
Serrano bishop of the diocese of
Hwange was held under the
diocesan synod theme – 'in the His funeral was a beautiful send
light of the risen Lord together we off and expression of faith and
After about five days of walk'. The congress run from the solidarity from Salesian Family community visitation thus from 19th to the 22nd of April, 2012. and diocesan priests. The Bishop the 4th to the 7th of May, Fr. and many priests concelebrated George Chalissery returns to the funeral Mass. It was very, Lusaka with a call to twin very cold, but the spirit was pas s ionate for God and warm.
humanity; thus reechoing the A wonderful celebration of words of the superior generals of Easter with about 47 children the religious congregations. receiving their Holy Communion Indeed it's arguably sound to say for the first time. The children that any sort of engagement with were prepared by catechists Mr humanity is always with and Peter Chulu and Mr Eric Ngosa. never without that of God. If The Eucharistic celebration was anything the premise for this presided over by Fr Andrew Reut, engagement comes from God. parish priest of St Mary’s in Among other engagements, Kabwe. Provincial celebrated the
Eucharist on Saturday and
Sunday in our two sister parishes The month of February at Don
of Holy Family and St Teresa Bosco Youth Centre was marked
respectively. We wish him God's by two great leader ship
blessings and good health a she seminars, which were conducted
goes back to Lusaka (Zambia). in the oratory and school
respectively. The seminar, which
was conducted in the oratory
focused on strengthening of the
a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g o r a t o r y
leadership while that of the
school aimed at educating all the
Our two sister parishes St Teresa students in good selections of
and Holy Family took part in the class leaders and the two hot
bi-annual diocesan congress of s e a t s o f t h e Co l l e g e ' s
the Missionary Childhood (MC). Presidency. Fr Slawek and Br
The congress which attracted David were given by the
over 500 children from around community the mandate to
the diocese of Hwange was held facilitate both seminars by giving
talks. The leading thought of the
presentations was geared at
highlighting the qualities of the
Christian leaderships with its role
of service and quality thought
and reflection before any
undertaken action as its base.
After a routine operation, the
father of former Provincial of
ZMB, Fr Joseph Czerwinski, Mr
Antoni Czerwinski peacefully
assed away in Warsaw on 18
Fe b r u a r y 2 0 1 2 ; h e wa s
surrounded by family members
and two his sons who are priests.
Early in the morning of Thursday
8 March, after a long illness, Mr
Abraham Tembo, the father of Fr
Vincent Tembo has passed away.
The funeral mass was celebrated
on 10/03/2012 and it was well
attended by family members,
members of the Salesian Family
and Bishop Clement Mulenga
SDB who came all the way from
S W Salesian W d orl
10 ZMB Salesian Newslink
which is accepted by their prayers and running away from
peers. They like easy lives the reality of life. But Celebrating
and any activity which is life in happiness is a way to
lifeless does not attract holiness. Being holy is not
them. They like places necessarily being declared a saint
where they can enjoy by the church, but it is a journey
themselves. Theydonot like of becoming perfect just as our
formal structures because Father in heaven is perfect (cf
theyare full of ideasand visions of Matt 4:48). Young people are
oung people are full of how things should be done. called to be holy as young people,
life and energy. We see a Some of the young people have while enjoying their youth: the
lot of creativity among shunned going tochurch because enjoyment, which is nottemporal
young people. Exploration is a they feel alien to the church. The butaccompanied bya heart full of
daily adventure. There is also a church environment is not youth calm, peace and joy because of
rebellious attitude towards the friendly. In the church they find the inner freedom which comes
authority of parents or teachers. elders giving orders to youths along with it, like having a lot of
They see elders as obstacles to what to do and what not to do. f r i e n d s , b e i n g c h e e r f u l ,
their freedom to lead their own They are not viewed as gifts to the charming, and affectionate
lives, althoughat the back of their church but trouble makers who toward all. Above all, having a
mind they know that they need need to be ruled by an iron fist. spiritual mentor with whom one
elders’ support and coaching in On the other hand, the notion of surrenders oneself to be directed
life. But how to balance this is a hol ines s to the youth i s toward a journey to living a happy
problem. We hear of early misunderstood that it cannot fit life is a way to holiness. Saint
pregnancies, early marriages in into their culture and realm of Dominic Savio is a good model as
villages, hanging around in night l i f e . T h u s a n y o n e wh o he at an early age took his life so
clubs and girl-boy sexual participates actively in the serious that saintly life isacquired
relationships as a normal life- liturgy, seems to be up to date only in being prayerful and
style among the youth. On the with the teaching of the church, restricting oneself from pleasure.
other hand young people depict has a deep attitude toward prayer,
themselves as people who know honesty with God and sincere
what justice is. Thus we hear of with oneself is a laughing stock
protests against this or that, among friends or perhaps is
either in churches, schools or called a ‘nun’ or ‘priest’ and is
society at large. In this web of tipped to be missing something
confusion the question is: is it in life.
possible for young people to be However, in this article, I would
holy? like to reflect on some elements
Most young people want to do of youth spirituality. Holiness is
something which feels good and not attained by having long
young people
be holy?
By Alphoncious Hamweete SDB
ZMB Salesian Newslink 11
He would immerse himself in God
through solitude. He withdrew into
isolation and began to pursue his
ideal. Seeing himself trying to
practice the means he had
envisioned, he instinctively began to
measure his own capacities against
those required to realize his ideal.
He began to feel fearful and
somewhat discouraged. Like all
adolescents, he inclined to resolve
his problems on his own. He did not
yet feel himself an adult, but he
wanted his autonomy. But through
the inspiration of Saint John Bosco’s
sermon and kind advice moved him
to say “I never knew I could sanctify
myself so easily, but nowthat I know
I can be happy and holy too, I most
willingly want it! However, Don
Bosco advised him to do his duties
well and suggested tohimtorecreate
with his friends if he wants to be
In conclusion, to be holy means to
live to one‘s full potentiality. Living
to one’s fullness is realizing the
vision of Jesus Christ who said, “I
have come that you may have life in
full”. Fullness of life encompasses
integrating all the aspects of life as
centered on Christ. Young people
need to realize that in seeking cheap
popularity, easy money and illicit
sex they lose their lives and also
playing loud music, dancing,
speeding cars, living loose lives
without having time in silence to
listen to oneself and reflect on the
word of God is a life of restlessness
and empty. Saint Augustine in his
youth tried all sorts of pleasures of
life but did not find satisfaction and
confessed that he only found true
fulfillment in God. For the young
people it is possible to live holy lives
if they follow good role models in
life, stand on true convictions and
follow the advice of saint Paul who
said “free the desires of youth, and
pursue righteousness (2 Tim 2:22)
and should believe that the power in
them is greater than the power
which isoutsidethem.
Br. Walter Thyrniang
Hello thinking people!
People flock to church in a certain Salesian Parish when a
particular priest is presiding over the Eucharist celebration, because the
priest is a very good preacher. But there was some scepticism among those
who know him well, ‘he does not practice what he preaches’ they said.
Hearing this, the priest said during his homily; ‘I know some of you are not
happy because I do not practice what I preach; but you will be more
scandalised if I preach what I practice.’
The first retreat in 2011 was preached by Fr. Filice. Clearly he
spoke from his love for Don Bosco and the Congregation and reflected on
the reality of his experience. With his permission I noted the following:
Salesians’ Mortal Sins:
Ÿ A Salesian Priest saying Mass alone on Sunday, while many people
long for mass.
Ÿ A Salesian watching Television, while the oratory is going on and
young people are paying in the playground.
Ÿ A Salesian School or Community that depends on fees paid by
poor people.
Ÿ A Salesian coming for an annual retreat without a book or reading
material on Don Bosco.
Ÿ A Salesian that says ‘it is not my responsibility’ for things or
activities in the community.
Occasionally, Father would get so emotional almost to the point of
shedding tears. He did apologise saying because of ‘a weak heart’ that he
has. I thought the above seemed ordinary – could it be that I have no or
have lost my Salesian heart?
We will have the relic of Don Bosco among us this year, an opportunity to
renew our love for our founder and the charism he left as a legacy. Some of
us are sceptical about the whole exercise; maybe we are right. But to
refuse the relic in the community is an extreme denial. The argument that
body parts are not to be taken around is not convincing. Remains of
politicians are taken to the whole country for people to pay their respect.
But it is just a relic; what about Rectors and communities who refuse
confreres? If we welcome Don Bosco and reject fellow salesians or have no
young people in our presences then what is the point?
with us
12 ZMB Salesian Newslink
An autonomous group or part of the Salesian Society?
Don Bosco’s idea for this group of helpers was to make of
them ‘full-time members of his Society’. They were to live
outside the religious community, but still be part of his
Society; practicing poverty and obedience although not
taking up the vows, doing at home and in society, what Don
Bosco did in the Oratory.
It was in 1864 when in the second article of his rule he wrote:
‘he does not make a vow, but tries to put into practice that
part of the rule which is compatible with his age, state and
condition, which would mean that they would teach or
promote catechism for the benefit of poor children,
promote the distribution of good books; see that they
have novenas, retreats, or other works of charity which
are directed in particular way to the spiritual welfare of
the young and the common people.” (Lappin, P.- ‘Give me
Souls’, P. 269).
For Don Bosco, anyone who came along to help with his work
on behalf of youth had almost instantly obtained membership
to the Society. However, through years of discernment, the
Church helped Don Bosco to have rather a different
understanding of it altogether. The Association of the Salesian
Co-operators, thus, was born; this group was born to be an
independent association, though linked to the Salesian
Society, in the same way the Third Order of the Franciscans is
linked to the Franciscan Order.
Men only?
Don Bosco intended to have the Association of the Salesian
Co-operators divided into two branches: male and female,
where the male branch will help Salesians directly; while the
female would be working with the Salesian Sisters. In
response to this idea, Pope Pius IX said to Don Bosco, “No,
The Original Idea no!” interrupted the Holy Father, “don’t make any exceptions.
Don Bosco’s work on behalf of poor and abandoned Take them also into your association. Women have always
boys grew rapidly, as far as the numbers of played the most important part in the conversion of people.
beneficiaries is concerned, but slowly and More than men! Exclude them and you will deprive yourself of
progressively insofar as his helpers did. From the your greatest help.” (P. 269) Thus, the Association is made up
outset of his work, Don Bosco found himself in need of both men and women; which in our days is mainly made up
of helpers to continue the kind of works he had of women -if statistics are to be taken into consideration. Don
started. Some of the first helpers who came along Bosco thought of men only because his mission was
were priests; they dedicated their time to the addressed to the education and evangelisation of poor and
religious instruction of the boys of the oratory, abandoned boys, not girls. Therefore, he saw it more
animated the games and preached recollections convenient for men to come along in his works in order to
a n d h e a r d safeguard the morality of his
confessions. The institutions.
most renowned of
these priests were Young Co-operators?
perhaps Fr Cafasso and Fr Neither in Don Bosco’s mind
Borel. Nevertheless, there nor in the history of the
were many other people (not necessarily priests) Association is there any mention of ‘young co-operators’. The
who also gave to Don Bosco’s mission their time, nature of the Association is to gather all men and women who
talents and resources. One of the first two who ever desire a life of Christian perfection and apostolic commitment
helped Don Bosco were Mr. Joseph Galiardi, who into one single group. Thus, the age situation of any of its
owned a little store in Turin, and Count Cays from members is never the basis for any special sub-group inside
the Turin aristocracy. the Association.
the Association is made up of both men and women;
which in our days is mainly made up of women
-if statistics are to be taken into consideration!
wanted us
like this!
Nature of their Apostolate
The Salesian Co-operator develops
his/her life of commitment in three
areas: personal witness to the Gospel,
Christian animation of society and
collaboration in the pastoral activities
of the church imbued with the
Salesian spirit.
Don Bosco saw the Salesian Cooperators
different from the Third
Orders, which normally aimed at
Christian perfection by the practice of
pious devotions. His co-operators
were to engage in the transformation
of civil society. They had all the means,
time and opportunity to intervene in
the public sphere, unlike his religious
(priests and brothers) who because of
their vows and religious status could
not even think of it. But the Cooperators
have all the possibilities to
intervene in politics, culture, social
work, communication, etc animated
by Christian values and the Salesian
approach. Thus, the work of the
Salesian Co-operators is not confined
to the Salesian community.
In order to animate and keep cooperators
in constant communication
Don Bosco founded the Salesian
Bulletin to spread good news but also
t o l e t p e o p l e k n ow o f t h e
achievements made in the work on
behalf of youth.
Let’s keep up with the good work
begun by Don Bosco!
ZMB Salesian Newslink 13
esus Christ, 33, of
Na z a r e t h d i e d
Friday on Mount
Calvary, also known as
Golgotha, the place of the
skull; betrayed by Judas the
apostle; crucified by the
Romans by order of the
Ruler, Pontius Pilate. The
causes of death were
c ruc i f i x i on, e x t r eme
exhaustion, severe torture
and lossof blood.
J e s u s Ch r i s t ,
descendant of Abraham,
was a member of the house
of David. He was the son of
the l a t e Jo s e ph the
carpenter of Nazareth and
Mary his devoted mother. Jesus was born in a stable in the city of
Bethlehem, Judea. He is survived by his mother, his faithful apostles,
numerousdisciplesand manyotherfollowers.
Jesus was self educated and spent most of his adult life
working as a Teacher. Jesus also occasionally worked as a medical
doctorand it is reported that he healed many patients. Up to the time
of his death hewas teaching, sharing theGood News, healing the sick,
touching the lonely, feeding thehungryand helping thepoor.
Jesus was most noted for telling parables about his Father’s
Kingdom and performing miracles such as feeding over 5,000 people
with only five loaves of bread and two fish; and healing amanwhowas
born blind. On the day before his death, he held a Last Supper
celebrating thePassoverFeastatwhich heforetold of hisdeath.
The body was quickly buried in a stone grave which was donated by
Joseph of Arimathea a loyal friend of the family. By order of Pontius
Pilate, a boulderwas rolled in front of the tomb with Roman soldiers
In lieu of flowers the family hasrequested thateveryonetry to
liveas Jesusdid. Donationsmaybesent toanyoneinneed…
By Nhlanhlas M
Christ Lives | Easter Camp:
Lusaka (Zambia) 05-08-2012.-
Wednesday evening and
slowly prepared to begin the
programme on the following
The Easter Camp (Christ Lives)
began on Thursday at 3pm with
the welcoming of the last
d e l e g a t i o n s a n d t h e
i n t r o d u c t i o n t o t h e
programme. All delegations
arrived in time and were ready
to commit themselves to
participate in the programme.
The first session dealt with the
need to commit oneself to
service, 105 people have gathered at especially to those
the formation house of Makeni around us who are most in
to celebrate the Easter need, after the example of
Triduum. The youngsters who Jesus who wa shed the
took part in the event came disciples' feet.
from the communities of In the evening the Eucharistic
Mansa (FMA), Hwange (SDB), celebration included the
Chingola (SDB), Chawama colourful ceremony of the
(SDB), Bauleni (SDB), Makeni washing of the feet, where 12
(Fidei Donum), Kasama (FMA) young people (boys and girls)
and Kabwe (SDB). Some of the were chosen to represent the
d e l e ga t ion s a r r i ved on 12 disciples. The young girls
14 Salesian Newslink ZMB YOUTH MINISTRY
ZMB Easter Camp
A milestone
in the faith journey
of young people...
Fr. Javier A. Barrientos SDB
Celebrating the Easter Triduum in a youthful environment
Youngsters camping
at Makeni novitiate in Lusaka
were particularly happy to have been
chosen for this ceremony because it is
quite unusual to have a woman among
the disciples. Fr George Chalissery,
provincial, was the main celebrant.
On Friday, the programme had the first
reflection on the mystery and reality of
death. It was given by Bro Walter
Thyrniang SDB. After the conference,
young people had time for sharing and
preparation for the Way of the Cross
and the Service of Good Friday.
On Saturday the programme had some
short sessions and the preparation for
the Easter Vigil done in groups. The
evening mass was prepared through
the Lectio Divina.
On Sunday the group had its final
session on 'commitment' as a response
to the baptismal vocation and as a
witness to the resurrection of Christ.
The main topic was on voluntary
service. The last session was followed
by group work and it concluded with
the Eucharistic celebration that was
presided by Fr. Christopher Rychcik SDB,
rector of Makeni community.
After mass the group had the final
comments and conclusion of the
programme. After lunch some of the
delegations departed with joy in their
hearts after having celebrated the
resurrection of the Lord.
ZMB Salesian Newslink 15
Kabwe (Zambia) 05/05/-2012.- The Oratory director of
Kabwe Youth Centre, Fr Mariusz Skowron, has organised a
youth leadership seminar with the title: “Heaven or Hell?” to
help young people from the parish and oratory to reflect on
the daily life choices and its consequences in their lives and
those of their families.
Two of the main issues the seminar aimed at dealing with are
addiction to alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, more and
more young people in Kabwe are prey to these addictive
substances due to lack of opportunities in life.
Unemployment is one of the main factors of young people's
initial frustrations in life and thus alcohol becomes a problem
in their lives; not to mention the social pressure from friends
and family environment.
Fr Mariusz, after hearing the wish of the young people from
Kabwe, decided to invite some experts in the field of drug and
alcohol abuse to talk to the young people and explain to them
the consequences of such 'choices'. Fr Mariusz also invited Fr
Antonio (youth delegate) to explain the Salesian approach to
the youth situation and the possibilities of recovery when a
person is found prey to these situations.
The response of the youngsters has been quite
overwhelming. Although the title of the seminar sounds a bit
'old fashion'; it nevertheless helped young people to become
aware of the choices that make of their lives, places of joy and
happiness (places like heaven) or sadness, frustration and
pain (as it would be the situation of hell).
Youth Seminar
16 Salesian Newslink ZMB NOTES ON LITURGY
My first reflection on the New English Missal dealt The key words here are ‘may’, indicating that an
largely with the part played by the Assembly during the introduction to the Mass is optional; and ‘very briefly’.
celebration of the Eucharist. Any lengthy reference to the readings (which in any case
This reflection (Part II) will touch on a few general have not yet been proclaimed!) is best left to the homily.
points concerning the role of the presiding priest. “After this, the Priest calls upon the whole
However, it needs to be emphasised that these rules and community to take part in the Penitential Act,
guidelines (Rubrics and the General Instruction of the which, after a brief pause for silence, it does by
Roman Missal) are not ‘for the English Mass’ only. means of a formula of general confession. The rite
These rules and guidelines are universal. They are to be concludes with the Priest’s absolution, which
found in every Roman Missal regardless of language. however lacks the efficacy of the Sacrament of
The Church has simply used the occasion of the Penance.” (GIRM 51)
publication of the new English translation to draw The various formulae for the penitential rite have been
attention to and correct some elements that she considers greatly reduced in the new English Missal. However, it is
to have been ignored or abused over the years. important to note that there is no Sign of the Cross at the
We are reminded, furthermore, that the Eucharist which end of the rite either by the priest or by the people. In fact,
we celebrate belongs to the Church and not to individual any attempt to make the penitential rite look like a
priests or bishops to be changed and adapted at will. Sacramental General Absolution should be
strenuously avoided!
WHERE? In Appendix II at the back of the Missal is the optional
rite for the blessing and sprinkling of Holy Water which
Introductory Rites: replaces the usual penitential rite. “When he has arrived at the altar, after making a The Instruction tells us: profound bow with the ministers, the Priest “On Sundays, especially in Easter Time, the venerates the altar with a kiss and if appropriate, blessing and sprinkling of water as a memorial of incenses the cross and the altar. Then, with the Baptism may take place from time to time.....
ministers, he goes to the chair.” (Roman Missal. Ÿ If this rite is celebrated during Mass, it takes Pg. 491. See also GIRM 124) the place of the usual Penitential Act at the The missal here makes it quite clear that the introductory beginning of Mass.” (RM. Page 1217 rites (from the sign of the cross to the end of the opening The collect or opening prayer concludes the prayer) are led from the chair and not from the altar. Introductory Rites and the focus now shifts from the This is important, since the presider’s chair is one of the chair to the ambo/lectern.
three focal points during the Eucharist. (The other two being the lectern and the altar) The Liturgy of the Word:
The presider’s chair is not just a seat for him to take the As you would expect, God’s Word is proclaimed from
weight off his feet! the ambo (what we generally refer to as the ‘lectern’).
“The chair of the Priest Celebrant must signify The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM
his function of presiding over the gathering and 309) states:
of directing the prayer.” (GIRM No 310) “The dignity of the Word of God requires that in the
To lead the introductory rites from the chair is not as easy church there be a suitable place from which it may
as it used to be, given the size and weight of the new be proclaimed and towards which the attention of
English Missal. It will require the assistance of a strong
altar server or the use of an extra lectern (which should
NOT be similar to the lectern/ambo from which God’s
Word is proclaimed.)
Perhaps the easiest solution would be to use the smaller
‘Sunday Missal’ which is now available from the
Catholic Bookshop.
An extra microphone at the chair may also be needed
for this part of the Mass.
“The Priest or a Deacon, or another minister,
may very briefly introduce the faithful to the
Mass of the day.” (RM. Pg 492)
(Part II)
ZMB Salesian Newslink 17
the faithful naturally turns during the Liturgy of the themselves are addressed to the People and not
Word. to God.
It is appropriate that generally this place be a The Intentions are just that – invitations to pray for
stationary ambo and not simply a moveable particular needs. They are not prayers of
lectern.” thanksgiving or praise to God.
Our communities that do not have a lectern/ambo of The priest concludes the General Intercessions with
any kind in their chapels should take note!!! a prayer addressed to the Father through Jesus
“From the ambo only the readings, the Christ.
Responsorial Psalm, and the Easter Proclamation
(Exultet) are to be proclaimed; likewise it may be The Liturgy of the Eucharist:
used for giving the Homily and for announcing the From the preparation of the gifts until the distribution of
intentions of the Universal Prayer” (General Holy Communion to the people, the focal point shifts
Intercessions). (GIRM 309) from the ambo to the altar. The altar is the place of
It follows, therefore, that the announcements, the giving sacrifice and the table from which we are fed.
of directions, speeches at the end of the celebration and “It is also the centre of the thanksgiving that is
other such things should be done from some other place – accomplished through the Eucharist.”(GIRM 296)
and not from the ambo/lectern. This may require the The altar should remain uncluttered throughout the
provision of yet another microphone! celebration.
It sometimes happens, on special occasions, that one or “Only what is required for the celebration of the
more of the readings are not to be found in the lectionary Mass may be placed on the altar table: namely, from
and are therefore photocopied onto sheets of paper. the beginning of the celebration until the
Someone once said that reading the Word of God from a proclamation of the Gospel, the ‘Book of the
sheet of paper during the Eucharistic Gospels’; then from the Presentation of
celebration is like pouring the Precious the Gifts until the purification of the
Blood into a paper cup. We should be vessels, the chalice with the paten, a
equally shocked by both!If it is absolutely ciborium if necessary, and, finally, the
necessary to photocopy a reading, the corporal, the purifcator, the pall and
paper could at least be placed in the the Missal.
lectionary and read from there. In addition, arranged discreetly, there
“The Priest, standing at the chair or at should be whatever may be needed to
the ambo itself or, if appropriate, in amplify the Priest’s voice.” (GIRM
another worthy place, gives the 306)
Homily.” (GIRM 136) “The candle sticks ..... should be
So, the preacher has a choice: he can speak appropriately placed either on the
from the presider’s chair (because giving the altar or around it ...... so that the
homily is part of the office of presiding), or faithful may not be impeded from a
from the ambo (from which the Word of God clear view of what takes place at the
has been proclaimed) or from ‘another altar or what is placed upon it.”
worthy place’: But, is preaching the homily (GIRM 307)
from half way down the aisle or while In other words, only what is needed for the
wandering around the church a ‘worthy celebration should be place on the altar. It is
place’? not the place for the celebrant’s hymn book
In pre-Vatican II days, it was customary to breviary, spectacle case, or even the cruets.
begin and end the homily with the sign of Furthermore, if a crucifix is placed on the
the cross. altar, it should face the people and not the
However, in the early 1970’s, the priest. (See GIRM 308)
Congregation for Divine Worship was asked Three times, during this part of the Mass, the
whether such a practice was still appropriate. The answer priest ‘raises’ the paten and chalice: at the preparation of
given was: the gifts, during and after the words of consecration and
“.... It is inadvisable to continue such a custom during the doxology at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer.
because it has its origin in preaching outside Mass. The Missal subtly suggests how this ‘raising’ should take
The homily is part of the liturgy: the people have place.
already blessed themselves ....... at the beginning of At the preparation of the gifts, the Missal instructs the
Mass. It is better then, not to have a repetition before Priest to raise first the paten and then the chalice ‘slightly
or after the homily.” (Notitiae v9 1973) above the altar’.
The Universal Prayer of the Church (General At the consecration, the Missal instructs him to take the
Intercessions) follows the Creed. paten and chalice in turn, holding them again ‘slightly
Appendix II at the back of the Roman Missal (page 1225 above the altar’. After the words of consecration he
and following) gives examples of the formulae to be used ‘shows’ first the consecrated host and then the chalice to
for these intercessions. the people.
Three things to note from these examples: During the doxology, ‘he takes the chalice and the paten
The priest’s introduction and the intentions
18 ZMB Salesian Newslink
with the host and raising both, he says: Through during a wedding Mass. It certainly does not envisage the
him......’ priest wandering around the church greeting his
So, we have ‘raising slightly above the altar’, parishioners!
‘showing to the people’, and ‘raising’.
Many liturgists have interpreted these actions in three Two final notes on the Liturgy of the Eucharist:
ways: Firstly, the rubrics of the Roman Missal make it quite
Preparation of the gifts: The bread and wine are clear that the bread is broken during the ‘Lamb of God’
raised just a few inches above the altar because they are and NEVERduring the consecration.
not being offered at this point. The priest is simply The priest is not miming what happened at the Last
receiving the gifts, giving thanks for them and placing Supper. He is proclaiming the reason why we gather to
them on the altar. give thanks: ‘For on the night he was betrayed he himself
A t t h e took bread....’
consecration: If the priest were simply miming what happened at the
slightly above Last Supper, then the people would also ‘take and eat’ at
the altar while the consecration.
saying the words Further, after breaking the bread during the ‘Lamb of
and then at about God’, it does not make sense to put Jesus back together
eye l eve l to again for ‘Behold the Lamb of God’. At this point the
s h o w t h e people are invited to behold the Body of Christ which has
consecrated host been broken for us.
and the chalice
to the people. The Concluding Rites:
Again, the Priest “..... Standing at the chair or at the altar and facing
is showing – not the people ....... the priest recites the Prayer after
offering – anything at this point. Communion.” (GIRM 165)
During the doxology: Raised to the highest point. Unlike the Introductory Rites, the priest has a choice of
This is the high point of the Eucharistic Prayer. This is where to stand for the final prayer, blessing and dismissal
the point for the offering Christ to the Father, the time for – at the altar or at the chair.
the great gesture of lifting high the gift of Christ’s Body However, since the chair is one of the three major focal
and Blood towards heaven for all to see. points of the Eucharistic celebration and from which the
“The priest may give the Sign of peace to the priest leads the Introductory Rites, it would seem to be the
ministers but always remains within the sanctuary, so more appropriate place for the conclusion of the
that the celebration is not disrupted. He may do the same celebration.
if for a reasonable cause he wishes to offer the sign of This would seem to a good point to conclude this
peace to a small number of the faithful.”(GIRM 154) commentary on the role of the presiding priest.
This suggests that occasionally the priest may wish to Next time (Part III) I would like to reflect on the various
leave the sanctuary briefly and offer a sign of peace to a prayers of the Mass: those recited by the priest alone, by
small number of people; for example, to the grieving the people alone and by the priest and people together.
family during a funeral Mass or to the Bride and Groom
to restrict any help to the actual fact of complying with
the UN agenda on gay rights.It seems that the whole
world is going gay and in addition to that, for most
industralised nations to be gay is the normal thing,
namely not to be gay is almost considered an offence.
The attitude of some governments in Africa and
Lusaka (Zambia) 03/12/2012.- The General recently in Zambia is praiseworthy because they prefer
Secretary of the UN Mr. Ban Ki-moon has recently their sovereignty and independence in upholding their
visited Zambia and his visit has cause lots of ill feelings cultural values over the pressure (even financial) that
and discontent among the Zambian people. The comes from developed nations.
Secretary of the United Nations having spent a few Although people with the gay tendency ought to be
days in Zambia left only one message: unless gay rights respected and treated with compassion, it is wrong for
are not upheld and promoted, there will be no help for world institutions to condition help to developing
development in Zambia; this message came some time nations based on issues such as these.
back from the U.K Government and the reply of the It is praiseworthy the attitude of Governments in some
Zambian Government and people was just the same: countries in Africa that have no fear of challenging
There are other priorities at the moment; things more UN and some of the first world countries that want to
important that the gay rights. The whole issue here is condition their help to developing countries in the
not so much in whether the gay rights are not upheld name of ‘human rights’ not of the majority but of
and respected in Zambia, but the intention of the UN some sort of privileged minority.
When Help has a hidden agenda
t happened a few weeks ago during a conversation with a priest that this
thought came to me: what’s the reason why one place in the province seems
to be just like anywhere else? It had received some comments a few years ago
regarding the buildings we have in the province. After a visit to some
communities in the north, a visitor commented, “this is the only place I’ve seen
Salesians keeping a uniform way of building”. It never came to my mind that this
comment contained a
simple important truth:
most buildings in ZMB
are made of red bricks.
It is not to pass
judgement on the
reasons why it is so, but
looking around the
p r o v i n c e , f r o m
Lilongwe to all three
c o m m u n i t i e s i n
L u s a k a , K a b w e ,
Chingola and Mansa,
not forgetting Hwange
in Zimbabwe, these
communities have one
important thing in
common: they are built
with red bricks. Should
you take a photo of
yourself leaning on a
wall in any of these communities, there is no way someone will ever tell in which
community you were. In fact, someone once saw a picture of Mansa and he
thought it was Makeni.
There is a Roman axiom that reads, ‘see the interior through the external signs’. I
wonder what is the interior of ZMB Province when it comes to reading the
building style we have adopted. Perhaps none ever gave a thought but it is quite
noticeable to any visitor that certain uniformity in our buildings tries to convey a why is it that none of the
message; but what is the message? surrounding buildings (of
I have tried some possible explanations to this mystery. I’ll share two possible p e o p l e o u t s i d e t h e
theories. The first one: ‘most communities in ZMB are built with red-bricks to Salesian communities)
help confreres feel always at home’; so that whenever they are on transfer they ever used the red-bricks?
will not miss the community the leave behind; since the next one will be exactly But the latter question will
the same inside and outside. The second one: ‘most communities in ZMB are built l e a v e t h e my s t e r y
with red-bricks to let generations-to-come that this was in our time, the most unsolved!
affordable building material’; just like Greeks and Romans used marble, so in Therefore, dear reader,
ZMB we use red-bricks. Why not? Generations that will come after us will what do you make of it?
understand that once red-bricks were fabricated in such quantities that they were Why would a province
the most affordable building material (its overproduction lowered its price), adopt the red-brick style
although the same generations will ask again, but if red-bricks were so affordable, for all buildings?
The Red-brick
By Fr Javier A. Barrientos SDB
ZMB Salesian Newslink 19
came to join the Salesian Community in Kabwe as an aspirant in
June 12thMarch, Youth day. I did not know what to expect though;
those who had experienced it shared their experience with me
and that’s all I knew.
When I came here at Don Bosco Youth Centre, my main objectives were;
to live in a Community of Salesian Spirit and be able to see if it is really my
call to serve God as a Salesian; to live in a community surrounded by
spiritual leaders (Priests); to be in an environment guided by a
programme according to the demand of time; to fully experience the life retreat from 27th – 29th. It was very of being with young people and to learn more about the Salesian life
(Charism, Spirituality, etc). Challenging and meaningful.
What I have learnt and experienced in this short period of On May 5th I helped Fr Andrew staying in this Community is more than I expected. Almost all my
objectives have been achieved in just a short time. In the first days of Zdzieborski to organize the Altar
being here (Kabwe), it was not easy for me to stay alone as an aspirant Boys’ day for the feast of ST Dominic
and as a young person in a community of three Priests of different Savio. On this feast day, 189 Altar Boys
nationality. However, I got used to the situation and am staying freely. participated. It was a busy and
In my condition as aspirant I have been blessed with receiving interesting day for Fr Andrew and me
the blessed sacrament of Holy Eucharist; and also the sacrament of together with the Altar boys. At
Penance whenever I am in need of it. I am able to meditate, reflect and 08:30hrs we had registration,
pray at my own time without any disturbances. I really feel moving from 10:00hrs Mass and after mass there
one point of Spirituality to another.
Life just continued from one stage to another, from one
environment to another, from the community of ordinary men
and women, boys and girls to a community of priests. At first I
was thinking that the Christian duties I was doing at parish and
centre level would end immediately I entered the community.
But everything just continued like before though different in
some ways. My work of coordinating the Altar Boys Club, meeting the was some social time involving
catechumens even though I don’t teach them here I have chance to meet dances, comedy and sketches. After
and talk to them. Lunch at 14:00hrs different games
The greatest joy in my experience as aspirant is the affection started. It was one of the best
and the conduct among the youths, the altar boys, young boys and girls moments I have never had before
and myself. From the youths I have developed interest in some games with the Altar boys.
like basketball and pool, also wishing to learn more from them and the Although it is so challenging
Community, so that all this can help others. to leave one’s family and friends; so
In the Oratory and the youth centre I meet people of different far I am happy and enjoying my stay
character, talents, interest, Church, etc.. It is really a wonderful here! I get my strength from the Body
experience for me, giving me hope and courage to move on in of Christ and daily prayer, for Christ is
discovering my vocation. Even though I am an aspirant, the community the source of every happiness.
treats me with great respect. In April I was included in the Invitation to I hope to grow more in faith and the
have lunch with the Bishop of Kabwe, other Priests, religious Brothers Salesian Charism and Spirit in the way
and Sisters. It was an honour for me since it was my first time to attend that Don Bosco, our founder, was in
such an important venue. In the same month of April we had a YES holiness all his life.
20 ZMB Salesian Newslink
The Aspirantate Experience in ZMB
By Paul Nkandwe
Every vocation
is a proof that God loves
our Congregation
ZMB Salesian Newslink 21
ime passes very quickly and there is nothing thatwe can do…
(in order to slowitdown– I mean here the quick flowof time,
we would have to breach the speed of light which is not
possible at the moment…J) This week we will end the course
(lecturesand groupwork) and on Saturday, 5thMay, 2012, we
will commence the 30 days Ignatian retreat. I must say that the course
waswell prepared. We have had the inputs on H. Scripture, History of
the Church (Jerusalem and Holy Land) Judaism and Moslem religions
as well as on a personal, spiritual discernment and growth in our
Christian vocation. So far the coursewent rathersmoothly. Therewere
some minor incidents with the Palestinian and Jewish hostilities but
we, and I in particular, did not experience major problems. The
weather was OK, accommodation and food even better. I think that
these two months that have already passed helped me to understand
better the situation here in the Holy Land as well as my Salesian,
priestlyvocationand myspiritual growth. (I hopeanyway…)
Nowthe time is slowly coming for the retreat. As I have neverdone this
kind of retreat before, I ama bit afraid, if I will manage to persevere the
30 days. Thebasic requirementsaresimple: silenceand total dedication
to prayerand meditation. (Phonesand other communication mediaare
ratherdiscouraged and should notbeused during this time).
After the retreat we should be stronger in our vocation and hopefully
muchmorededicated toourrespective missions…
Thisweek, starting onTuesday, 1stofMay, wewill havespecial inputson
the Ignatian spirituality, personal prayer and meditation. This should
helpustoenterthetimeof silenceand discernment.
I havealsomanaged (in spiteof the rather tight program!!!) to meetwith
Br George sdb, who is doing his first year of theological studies in the
Salesian Major Seminary in Jerusalem (Ratisbone). So far he is doing
well and is quite happy to beand to study here in theHoly Land. In two
weekstimehewill have his firstexamsand I amsurehewill dowell.
I assure YOU ALL that I remember You in my prayers, here in Holy
Land. I will continue praying for theConfreresand ZMB intentions, in
a special way during the retreat. At the same time please remember us:
BrGeorgeand meinyourprayers.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
JosephCzerwinski SDB
PS. Some sayings of St. Jerome who lived in a cave near the nativity
grottoin Bethlehem:
Be at peace with your own soul, then heaven and earth will be at
peace with you.
What good is speed if the brain has oozed out on the way.
Afriend is long sought, hardly found and with difficulty kept.
Haste is of the Devil.
Why do you not practice what you preach?
Fr Joseph Czerwinski SDB together
with George Phiri SDB
in front of the wailing wall in Jerusalem
Fr Joseph and George Phiri
measuring the dome of the Jerusalem
Jerusalem, 01/05/2012
22 ZMB Salesian Newslink
S W Salesian W d orl
9/5/2012 - Spain - Over 500
children at the Friends of
Dominic Savio Camps
2/5/2012 - Brazil - Salesians
and Daughters of Mary Help
of Christians on the way to
7/5/2012 - RMG - Facebook:
almost a nation
7/5/2012 - Poland - XXII
International Salesian Youth
dimensions dominated the city of
Krakow from 28th April to 3rd May
2012. About 1500 young people
(ANS – El Campello) – From from 11 European countries
April 27 – 29 at El Campello ed c o m p e t e d i n t h e X X I I
Elche, The Friends of Dominic International Salesian Youth
Savio Camps (ADS) were held, Games, under the patronage of a population three times greater
involving over 500 children from the President of the Polish than that of the United States.
R e p u b l i c , B r o n i s ł a w Comp a r e d wi t h t h e two
Komorowski. The games were superpowers on the planet in a
organised by the Salesian Sports demographic, but also an
Organisation (SALOS) of the economic sense, Facebook has
Republic of Poland which 300 millions citizens less than
promotes passion for sport, India and about 400 million less
honest competition and the than China. These figures, from
principles of fair play among just one social network,
children and young people. demonstrate how the 'digital
They were aimed at offering continent', without geographical
Salesian youth an opportunity for borders, has a real existence.
Salesian associations and healthy sporting competition,
Centres, from Valencia, building a new world through
Saragozza, Albacete and Murcia. sport based on Christian
The aim of the initiatives is to humanism and developing
bring children to know the young character and respect for values.
Saints of the Salesian family. There was also a significant (ANS – San Paolo) – The
The ADS-Camp is one of the cultural element in the initiative: Salesians and Daughters of
meetings proposed by the the young athletes were able to Mary Help of Christians in the
Salesian formative curriculum; its go on various guided tours, Provinces of “Mary Help of
main aim is to introduce the visiting the city of Krakow and its Christians” and “Saint Catherine
participants to the Salesian style s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a – t h e of Siena” met on 19 April in the
and to those young Salesian Monastery of Tyniec (sailing Provincial house in San Paolo to
Saints of the Salesian family who there and back by boat), the begin the preparation process of
can be models of life and joy for Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau the Salesian communities for the
them. All this in the course on one and the salt mine at Wieliczka. World Youth Day in 2013. The
weekend, in which every child meeting was chaired by Fr
gets to know many other boys Antonio Ramos Prado SDB,
and girls from Salesian centres. Member of the Episcopal
Commission for Pastoral work of
(ANS – Rome) – If it were an the National Bishops' Conference
independent nation, Facebook of Brazil (CNBB).
would be in third place after China Among the 35 people present
and India in terms of population. It were the Provincial of San Paolo,
(ANS – Krakow) – Football, would be a superpower at world Fr Edson Donizetti Castilho, the
basketball, volleyball and table level which could aspire to a Provincial Delegate for Youth
tennis: the ball in four of its permanent seat on UN Security Ministry Fr Alexandre Luis de
Council. The Wall Street Journal Oliveira, and the Provincial
has published some data on the Delegate Sr Teresa Cristina
population of the social network Pisani Domiciano. The Provincial
founded by Mark Zuckerberg. opening the meeting observed:
On 31st March this year, “As Don Bosco used to say, the
Facebook had 901 million users young are our main concern. It is
active during the month, 33% they who determine the decisions
higher than the 680 million on we make and we cannot desert or
31st March 2011. Facebook has betray Don Bosco”.
RUNDU DECEMBER 2012: Friday 12 is not like any
ordinary day in Rundu. Agroup of young people is scurrying
around and about at Don Bosco Youth Center. They are
preparing the NATEC (Namibian Teens Encounter Christ)
Weekend by which they intend to bring the right message
home. They are busy calling, SMSes and receiving new
The weekend is a three-day spiritual journey to help fellow
youth rediscover their call and lead a Christian life amid the
challenges of today’s society through shared-life
experiences. There were 45 young men and women in
Fr. Bosco Mulenga SDB, the local priest in charge of the
youth has put the centre at our disposal and has even offered
accommodation and food for the event to meet half way the
NATEC team that travelled all the way from Windhoek,
about 700km away. There are no words to thank him for this
invaluable contribution.
Besides giving mass and listening to confessions, this is also
the second time Fr Mulenga is part of NATEC Weekend (the
last was on 17-19 December 2010). Despite his work load at
this time of the year, and still recovering from malaria, he
did not call off or postpone the meeting. All converged
–thanks be to God- to make it happen as scheduled, from 11
to 13 December.
The initiative stemmed from an outcry for help that was
made in 2010 by some university students originating from
the Kavango and members of NATEC outreach team. It has
been widely reported in local media that the Kavango youth
are at the crossroads. Teenage pregnancy with its
subsequent school dropouts has reached alarming
proportions while many youth indulge in alcohol and drug
abuse, thus exposing themselves to HIV/AIDS infection
risks. The moral values in the society and in particular
among the youth are on a slippery slide and action is needed
now to rescue the youth…
It is in these circumstances that NATEC team approached Fr
Mulenga in order to join hands in helping the youth in and
around Rundu… and God heard their cry through Fr
Mulenga. Drawing from the Salesian legacy and youth
experience, he is helping setting up a local NATEC team and
has tendered to be their spiritual director, while a couple
offered to be behind the youth team. After all the Body of
Christ is one and we are all its members. We work hand in
hand for the spiritual well-being of the youth, bearing in
mind Christ’s own message: “I came so that they may have
life and have it to the fullest.”
Despite challenges ahead, Don Bosco and NATEC,
responding to their call, jointly bring hopes to the youth in
the Kavango via peer initiative. May God continue the work
He has started in them through the Don Bosco spirituality.
Don Bosco’s apostolic zeal and care for the
salvation of souls opened him to the missionary
spirit and made the Salesian presences spread
into other countries and continents. Don Bosco
responded to the needs of the Church (and the
Italian emigrants) and sent the first missionaries
to South America in 1875, just one year after the
final approval of the Constitutions (on 3rd April
We, as Salesians, look on our Constitutions as
the living presence of Don Bosco’s spirit among
us; therefore, we need to remind ourselves that
missionary work is ‘an essential feature of our
Congregation.’ Not all Salesians receive this gift
of God to be a missionary, but those who receive
it need to remember that ‘the Salesian
missionary makes his own the values of those
people (to whom he is sent) and shares their
hopes and anxieties’ (C. 30). I believe that the
efforts, the witness to Gospel values and the
Salesian spirit of the first missionaries on
Zambian soil have been blessed by God with a
good number of our local vocations and
especially with the episcopate of the first
Zambian Salesian priest, Fr Clement
MULENGA, for the new diocese of Kabwe.
I am sure that the Salesian missionary work will
still continue to support the local Church and our
communities in strengthening the Christian and
Salesian style of life, and to beseech the Lord for
His further blessing of us all on this soil.
By Fr Christopher RYCHCIK
(missionary in Zambia since 1986)
Ours is God’s Work
By Leonard Rutagarama
ZMB Salesian Newslink 23
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13 ZMB PHOTO - Issue No 22
1. Nairobi (Kenya): Team Visit 2012, presided roof of the catechetical centre in Makululu
over by Fr Pascual Chavez. that collapsed due to the heavy rains.
2. Chawama: Rectors’ First Annual meeting. 8. Chawama: Fr Dennis Higgins celebrating his 65
3. Bauleni: Youth Day 2012. Fr Chisanga shows Fr birthday, surrounded by the provincial
Musenge the various activities of the youth community and Salesians from Lusaka.
day. 9. Bauleni: Palm Sunday at St Matthias Mulumba
4. Kyindu-Bauleni: Cl Clement Mutamba parish.
addresses the young of young people gathered 10. India: Fr Oswald Mulenga during the
for the annual youth retreat in preparation for leadership course for rectors and superiors of
Easter. religious communities.
5. Makeni: Saleian novices preparing banners, 11. Chawama: Practical trainees after their first
paintings and other decorations for the youth annual meeting.
camp ‘Christ Lives’. 12. Chwama: The provincial community
6. Bauleni-State Lodge: Boys and girls from City distributing snacks to the youngsters that
of Hope during a day of recollection participated in the Easter Camp.
organised by the Salesian Sisters. 13. Bauleni: Young people during the stations of
7. Kabwe: Fr Andrew Reut showing Fr Leszek the the cross.