Council Resources

Newsletter - April 2012

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Newsletter no. 32, April 2012

At a glance
In other news

Brazil - Technology for social inclusion


March 29th was  inauguration day for the Technology Courses at the Dom Bosco campus of the University Centre of  (UNISAL), Americana. On this occasion  Alexandrer Garcia Aguado, a former student of the centre, presented to the students his missionary experience in Angola, where he had used his talents in the service of the most needy.
     Having graduated in 2007 in “Free Software Technologies" while he was still specialising in his Masters degree in Technology and Innovation, young Alexandre left Brazil in 2011 to take part in a volunteer project developed by Salesians in Angola. There he was occupied in coordinating the information and technology team, checking the  electronic equipment and the training programs offered to young Angolan students in the professional training courses in Information Technology.
     In his address to the students, Alexandre  spoke about technology and social inclusion, and how these two elements marked his experience in Angola, and of the cultural enrichment  received.  Social inclusion, especially, was the leading  theme of his intervention and he stressed the correlation with  improvement in human conditions.
     The young volunteer also described the motives which led him to do a year of voluntary work in Angola. Everything derived from some questions:“What good am I doing with all my knowledge? What meaning can I give to my profession? Who do I want  to help through the technology which is my occupation? Alexandre was able to answer these questions.
     Finally, Alexandre related some of the successes achieved during the year. Along with the team which he accompanied in the project, he set up a solar kitchen, a bio-digestor and a plant for solar heating and water purification; he followed the training of the young students in information and communication technology and the development of relevant manuals and guides; finally, he built up the software literature and improved the internet links of the Salesian centres in Angola.

Mexico – Inauguration of the “Bosco Cinema”


The “Bosco Cinema” was inaugurated on March 31 in one of the three Salesian oratories of Ciudad Juárez. The aim of this initiative is to offer cultural attractions to young people and so divert them from the dangerous situations which are unfortunately spread around the city.
     Last year the Salesians celebrated the twentieth year of this Salesian presence on the frontier with the United States, which began as the civic association “Youth Development in the North”. On the occasion of the anniversary various programmes were developed to reinforce the activities and to give a new significance to our presence in the face of the realities of violence and disintegration of the social framework, which directly affect many adolescents and young people of the city.
     In the districts where the Salesians work, the lack of meaningful places and socio-cultural alternatives is so serious that the Salesian community has set out to provide, among the activities of the oratory, a further service for the benefit of the youngsters. It is a cinema where many activities take place; an educational aid for local schools; a location for film shows and festivals and for simple entertainment.
     The “Bosco Cinema” joins the other initiatives offered by the “Don Bosco Cultural Corridor”, a project which includes an art gallery, an open forum for concerts and artistic activities and a library – all activities which are organized and run by the oratory members themselves.    
     The recent opening  the association's website,, was another reason for celebration for the whole Salesian community, which is at work on a “frontier”, and not only in the geographical sense.

Communications enterprises, the Americas


Directors and representatives of publishing houses, multimedia enterprises and Salesian radio stations from nine countries of the Americas, met from 12-14 April at the retreat house at Lo Cañas. The meeting, which was intended to be a reflection on the new challenges of digital communication, was organised by the Social Communication Department. Fr Filiberto González, the SC Councillor, was in attendance.
     The meeting began on Thursday 12 with a welcoming address by Fr Juan Bustamante, SC Delegate for Chile. Fr Filiberto González and Fr Jaime González (from ANS, Rome) also addressed the meeting. Fr Bustamante drew upon the Salesian Social Communication System and the importance that Don Bosco gave to communication as a tool for evangelisation and education of the young. Fr Jaime, in turn, spoke of the aim of the meeting: "The idea is to tackle and reflect on ways to revitalise our provinces... looking at the current scene whereby digital technology in a sense unifies our disparate languages. Each of the communication areas then spoke of what they are doing.
     Two topics were developed on the second day. The first - “The Publishing world vs the Digital world” - was explained in depth by the President of the Chilean Book Chamber, professor Arturo Infante.  He highlighted the numerous advantages of the digital book: economical production, ease of transport, the fact that today's readers are accustomed to the screen… He also recognised that it would not be difficult to imagine that the book as we know it might completely disappear.
     The second speaker then presented the experience of an enterprise that has transferred most of its resources from print to digital and is now offering services rather than products. Cristian Vial, from Pearson, a firm involved with educational products, was the speaker.
     In the afternoon the group visited a number of Salesian communications activities: the “Caetera Tolle Multimedia Centre”, led by Frs Jorge Moraga and Rafael Muñoz; “Salesianos S.A.”, explained by its Business Manager, Roberto Tapia; and “Don Bosco Edebé Publishers”.
     On Saturday 14 there was a series of addresses. Writer and children's literature expert from Latin America,  Manuel Peña, stressed the i8mportance of narrative, especially in children's literature, and presented a number of authors relevant to this idea; Professor Leonardo Mollinedo, from the Salesian University in Bolivia, then sketched out the Salesian presence in the radio sector in his country, made up of 13 different broadcasting centres; Daniel Corona, from Edebé Barcelona, spoke of their development of digital learning devices to meet the needs of schools; finally, Fabiola Poblete from Edebé Chile, explained how digital devices are tied in with improvements in quality, cost management and cultural interplay.
     The meeting concluded with an address by Fr Filiberto González, who reminded them of the principles contained in  the Salesian Social Communication System and offered a brief summary of the work that had been accomplished. He then showed how SC activities form part of the Salesian mission; of the need to hold together all the challenges of new technologies; of the importance of unity and mutual cooperation at different levels, personal, enterprises and provinces.


Do you want to prepare a banner for You could prepare for an upcoming feast day, or the Strenna theme or other.... 570x165 px please.

From you

SIGNIS India National Assembly
The 2012 SIGNIS India National Assembly, organized by SIGNIS India in association with Tej-Prasarini , Don Bosco Communications, gathered more than 90 delegates from all across India on the theme “Creating Images for a Better Tomorrow”. The meeting took place from February 24-28 at Don Bosco Matunga in Mumbai.   
Joaquim Fernandes

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UPS-FSCS-Italy: 12 May  - novices and postnovices SDB and FMA; joint meeting to discuss the Pope's Communications Day Message
LISBON-Portugal: SC Delegates 2-4 May; PE Reference Persons 4-6 May 2012. 6-8 May: Eurclip DB Group
ROME-Pisana: 16-20 May, Salesian Bulletin Editors (world)

Animation - Letter from Fr Filiberto

My dear confreres and friends of SC,
A very happy Easter to all of you, a time that with its various lively liturgical celebrations in community, listening to the Word, sacramental involvement, communicates life and hope, grace and conversion, sending forth and mission.
It seems to me that Salesian communication finds, in Easter, its best source of inspiration,
the heart of its spirituality: beloved disciples, called, forgiven and saved, apostles sent to communicate in first person the unheard of experience of salvation.
For some time now the Department has been seeking some particular aspects of Salesian spirituality to support the vocation and mission of the communicator, lived with fidelity and conviction based on the Gospel and on Valdocco, so we can be prophets in a society that seems to want to silence God and remove him from the awareness and experience of the young. We will not be communicators unless we have been witnesses of God's love for us, nor unless both the cross and the resurrection have touched the core of our being; we will not be prophets if, through fear or accommodation, we cease to proclaim the one who called us and sent us into the world as his witnesses.
It is worth asking ourselves: what or who are we communicating "when we communicate"? What is is that sustains our calling as prophets of the God of Life, the Resurrected One?
Once again, Easter greetings and I invite you to let us know of your ideas and proposals concerning the principal elements of the spirituality of the Salesian communicator...
In the Risen Christ,
Fr Filiberto González, Councillor for SC

Information: Salesian spirituality through blogs (just a sample)
en el corazon de la ciudad

En el corazón de la ciudad
Un blog de José Miguel Nuñez


Returning to Don Bosco and the joy of his spirit
My blog is a personal blog of the things that interest me as a Salesian of Don Bosco. I have been able to attract well over one million visitors in the past 3 years. I enjoy keeping the blog and I hope it is a place of interest for many in the Salesian Family. Fr. Steve Leake

sao carlos

Salesianos São Carlos, Brazil Returning to Don Bosco and the joy of his spirit
Trabalhamos na promoção à criança e ao jovem carente, impulsionando-os a uma tomada de consciência, de construir um projeto de vida

da mihi animas

Da Mihi Animas
This blog is maintained in Korean by Fr Bernard Lee.

a drop of honey

A drop of honey
Reflections on life by Bro Vincent Castilino, Hyderabad province, India.

Verbum tuum

Word of God and Salesian Life
Multilingual blog maintained by Fr Juan José Bartolomé.

Formation: consecrated persons in the digital continent
Miguel Nunez

By Fr José Miguel Núñez SDB
Regional for West Europe
If, in bygone centuries, the convent walls, with all that such an idea entails, claimed to be keeping out the culture of the world and protecting monks and nuns from the dangers out there, a new way of seeing reality has already broken down those walls some time ago. The digital era has opened up religious communities and enabled considerable interaction with culture, and immediate access to information available to all and participation in the new virtual communities that extend links and establish new information and training environments. It is true that this situation is not without its risks, but it is not dependent simply on the goodness or badness of the new communication spaces created, but on the person who interacts in a balanced and mature way with them.
Regular use of mobile phones, instant and almost unlimited access to internet and the possibilities offered by digital television create new situations in which religious life needs to situate itself adequately. And the very formation that our institutes provide must face up to the challenges that derive from this new context. Naturally, the questions raised are not just moral ones (though they may include these) nor about whether the use or misuse of such opportunities robs us of time to fraternise or carry out our mission, but also include implications regarding communication either with real people with whom I share daily life, or with virtual communities with which I interact.
To universalise, then, this new paradigm of communication in religious life (and in society in general) has implications for the way we experience our relationships with others. The question is inevitable: How and with whom do I communicate? In our daily life, the intertwining of relationships shapes our existence as believers and consecrated persons. We share life with people we need and who need us, brothers and sisters for whom we express affection and from whom also receive support and encouragement. Fraternal life, as we well know, is part of our life project and also a true form of prophecy that makes us credible in our divided and fragemented world.
Our real community is not opposed to the new virtual communities (which, moreover, are also real). The former does not deny the value of this new way of interacting and communicating, nor should the latter be a substitute for our real community, much less an emotional refuge for cold relationships in the convent or religious house! Both can feed off each other and are called to integrate balanced affections and the religious who can live in the new digital continent.
The new spaces should help religious to promote a more humane style of communication that enriches our own relationships while becoming a vehicle for transmitting the proclamation of Jesus Christ, fully man, for the life and hope of other people.
As a creative and responsible citizens, religious feel the need to go down into the centre of the village, the public square, to communicate what we are and experience in the service of the human community. Amid such confusion, separating the wheat from the chaff we can be a significant presence that offers new networks which foster a different and possible world according to God's heart, contributing to human development.
Cyberspace is a new opportunity for realising the parable of Jesus concerning the Kingdom present among us, comparable to the pinch of yeast mixed with flour that leavens the dough.
From Vida Religiosa, vol 112


Salesian, Gildasio Mendes dos Santos, has recently launched his latest work, 'Generation NET: relationships, spirituality and professional life'. (Watch the video by clicking on the invitation).
This book aims to shed light on our understanding of the world known as the "Net Generation", born in the context of media culture and escapes the parameters of the analyses thus far written up.
     It also aims to establish an interactive relationship between members of different generations,  one that encompasses the exchange of experiences, enabling mutual appreciation and growth of relationships and spirituality and the professional field.
From the Introduction
The NET Generation: computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, Facebook, social networks. This is the world where young adults, teenagers, children today navigate in. Given that they have already been born into this context, they develop a particular communication potential. The Internet makes up what we like to call the 'digital continent'. In this continent, the air these new generations breathe is made up especially of the media universe.  Those who inhabit it can barely survive without mobile phones, Ipods, social networks and other even more sophisticated communications media.  This is the air they breathe.  This is the world they live in.
     It would seem clear enough to say that, because of the massive use of internet and social media, there is a constant seeking out of human relationships. We are not simply experiencing technological change, but a human change as well, and this change is taking place via members of Generation Y and Z, the new communications 'authors', creative ones at that in their families, schools, businesses. They are transforming ways of communicating and relating.
     We can see a kind of symbiosis taking place in these technologies: internet, mobile phone, radio, television, Mp3, Facebook. email... It sets up an environment, a communications ecosystem. Immersed in a world of languages, symbols, daily feelings and circumstances, via the media, geographical frontiers that once separated us are now broken down.
     These technologies are amidst us and are part of us. We interact naturally with the media world. Assuming this point of view, we are open to understanding, dialoguing with, walking with the new generations.
     Given these circumstances, this book seeks to be a tool for parents and teachers, members of different generations, to establish an interactive relationship, an exchange of experiences, mutually enriching relationships, spirituality and professional life".