WYD RIO 2103
from the joint YM and SC Commission at national level in Brazil - Could
you please include this banner (and its link to their site at www.mjs.org.br) in your local Salesian websites.
Salesians in formation: new spaces for evangelisation
communication, Internet, social networks and use of such tools for an
improved evangelisation were topics tackled during the meeting of
Salesians information in Venezuela, held from 8-12 February at Sacred
Heart Novitiate, in San Antonio de los Altos.
The inspiration for the gathering was the
recent message of Pope Benedict XVI for World Communication Day:
“Social Networks: portals of truth and faith, new spaces for
evangelisation”. The media influence in society amongst young people
today is evident, the Holy Father says, “social communication and
social networks are a way to bring digital evangelisation to many
people in these virtual fields”.
As reported in the Message, it is natural that
someone with faith wants to share it respectfully and tactfully, with
those they meet in the digital forum; discussion on faith in social
networks confirms yet again the relevance of religion in public and
social discourse. Nevertheless, recalls the Pope “if our efforts to
share the Gospel bring forth good fruit, it is always because of the
power of the word of God itself to touch hearts, prior to any of our
own efforts. Trust in the power of God’s work must always be greater
than any confidence we place in human means”.
As part of this discussion over the 5 days of
work, there were workshops run by professionals, aimed at improving our
pastoral service to the young: these were about design, theatre, music,
audiovisuals, internet and digital graphics. Fr Raúl Biord, Vice
Provincial and Formation Delegate was the coordinator, along with Dr.
Alba Rondon, national Social Communications Delegate.
The students of theology led sporting and
recreational activities which helped create a happy climate for
sharing. Aspirants from Puerto la Cruz, prenovices and postnovices from
La Macarena, novices, who hosted the meeting, and theology students
from Macaracuaym, took part, as well as three volunteers from San
Fernando de Atabapo, Valencia and Molinete. Practical trainees were
unable to take part since they were tied up with academic activities.
Bishop Luis Tineo, Auxiliary bishop of Caracas was also part of the
event, sharing his experiences in the social communications area and
presenting the “Church Now” project, a weekly publication that brings
together ideas and reflection from the faithful in Caracas archdiocese.
The event was also an opportunity for
fellowship and prayer, as well as allowing those in formation to better
appreciate what the media and technology offer by way of advantage in
the Salesian mission, and for opening up paths to evangelisation.
Don Bosco’s feast day with media professionals
Institute for Culture and Rural Development (I-CARD), based in Jorhat,
Assam, India, organised a special event for Don Bosco's feast day on 31
January for media agencies in the north east.
Six newspapers and local magazines took part
in the event – The Ecletic, The Assam Tribune, Eastern Chronicle, Jan
Sadharan, Asomiya Khabar and Amar Oxom – who came together at the
Don Bosco-Life Plus campus to celebrate and honour Don Bosco on the 125
anniversary of his death. They recognised his great capacity for media.
“The gathering aimed at rendering homage to
Don Bosco, a Saint who was a media giant” said Fr Thomas Kalapurackal,
sdb, founder and director of I-CARD. Celebrations began with a cultural
programme, run by Mrs Puspalata Mili, a young woman who had left school
but then took it up again and finished up with a Masters in
communication and journalism.
After highlighting Don Bosco's contribution to
media Fr Kalapurackal invited the various professionals present think
how media can foster development rather than just mirroring what is
happening. He emphasised how it is necessary for media to move from
just being passive spectators, often focused on negative dimensions of
reality, to being proactive agents of development in the community.
The director of I-CARD also promised to make
the Salesian structures and possibilities at I-CARD available to media
professionals who wanted to conduct workshops or formation programmes.
“I-CARD would be very proud to collaborate in helping inforamtion media
in this region to be more professional and up to date”.
Mr Suryya Kr Chetia from the Assam Tribune,
along with other professionals, showed certain interest in the idea of
starting up an information agency in Jorhat to cover the Upper Assam
region. “I-CARD could be an ideal base: with its 350 young Misings
(local tribe) groups spread around villages in 8 districts throughout
Assam and 3 in Arunachal Pradesh, it would be a perfectly suitable
'galaxy' for gathering and distributing news” Fr Kalapurackal said.
Meanwhile the Salesians are setting up an
audio-video and radio studio there for the community, tools that can be
a support platform for the hypothetical news agency.
Ecuador - 125 years
Monday 28 January, Ecuador celebrated the 125th anniversary of the
arrival of the Salesians in the country. The first missionaries
disembarked at Guayaquil on 12 January 1888 and reached Quito on the
28th of the same month. Don Bosco, who died three days later, on 31
January 1888, found out about their arrival and sent them his blessing.
To celebrate the occasion the new set-up for
the “Grupo Editorial Salesiano” was opened bringing together Salesian
Social Communication works – LNS, Abya Yala, Audiovisuales Don Bosco.
There is also space for the José Ruaro Salesian Publications Centre,
which looks after: “Ser Joven”, “Ser Familia”, “Anunciar”, “Ser Peques”
and “Luz del Domingo” magazines.
Fr Marcelo Farfán, the Provincial, presided at
the blessing ceremony for the new area, and many Salesians, officials
and members of Salesian communications work were present.
Dr. Viviana Montalvo, Vice Rector of the Salesian Polytechnic
University, Quito proposed the toast and emphasised how the Salesians
had been able to carry out all their projects thanks to a work of
cooperation and the great contribution of people who had accompanied
them over the years since they came to Ecuador.
The new Salesian Provincial House community
dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was also blessed for the 125th.
It brings together the El Girón and old Provincial House, a process
that has been in place since August 2011.
The new community structures are open to
Salesians throughout the province and also offer better care for
those who are of poor health; this has all been possible thanks to the
cooperation of many people, coordinated by the Provincial Economer, Fr
A meeting of the “Africa Regional Consulta” of the Social communication
is taking place in Lubumbashi DR Congo. Three people: one from the
English speaking region, one from the French speaking region together
with the Provincial in-charge of communication of the CIVAM are trying
to make an Africa Salesian Social Communication System (ASSCS) basing
on the Salesian Social Communication System (SSCS) of the Congregation.
This will be finalized in the meeting of all the SC delegates of the
Region in November 2013. This draft will also be presented in the World
Consulta which will take place in Rome in April 2013. There are also
other agendas which are discussed in the meeting. The meeting will end
on 15th Friday this month.
Forward to a friend
who might be interested in this email?
Why not forward it to them.
BRAZIL: animation visit to 6 Provinces: 16 Feb - 9 March
ROME: Pisana-Salesianum, 11-14 April 2013, the SC World Advisory Council (aka Consulta).
ROME: UPS, 3-4 May 2013 Formators and formandi, initial formation Italy for study of World Communications Day Message 2013.
ROME: Pisana-Salesianum, 9-12 May 2012, all SC Delegates Europe.
ROME: Pisana 3-6 October, European Publishers
THAILAND: 21-24 October 2013 all SC Delegates EAO (precise location t.b.a).
Animation - Letter from Fr Filiberto
My dear confreres and friends of SC,
is a pleasure as always to greet you - this time from Recife. I am
making an animation visit to the Provinces in Brazil. I have already
visited Sao Paulo, Fortalezza, currently Recife and then I leave for
that one of the principal concerns of our sector has always been to
foster joint effort and unity amongst sectors so that we can carry out
the Salesian mission to the young all together.
Recife Province, in order to achieve this new way of thinking, brings
all local coordinators of sectors together every six months. They are
called together by the Provincial and the meeting is organised by
Delegates of each sector: youth ministry, vocations, missions,
communication, administration and the schools network, parishes, social
been asked to present the SSCS to 70 people here, all from these local
sectors. I have to say that while the fact is in itself remarkable, the
process that is involved and the change of mindset that it is
generating is even better.
experiences like this are to be praised and imitated, since it is
an investment in the future and for the good of the charism, youth and
the Salesian institution. We have to change along with the
young people and the times, but always at the service of God and these
young people, as Don Bosco did.
Greetings from members of the team both at the Pisana and in Recife,
Fraternally in Don Bosco,
Fr Filiberto González, Councillor for SC
Information: Data completion GC27 & SC Department
Data concerning Social Communications in the Province.
We need this data to be filled in online by every province around the
world - so that GC27 members in the first instance, but also the
Department, have accurate data.
SC Delegates are already accustomed to providing one of these forms
online. We need this form to be updated and also the GC27 data
(different data) to be completed.
You can access both data forms at:
Or alternatively, see full URL at bottom of page.
If you need to contact us:
1. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
Provincial Delegate for Social Communication
2. WHAT IS REQUIRED OF YOU?
It is essential that you are registered with sdb.org and that you are
logged in with your registration details (username and password). cf: sdb guide
Whoever compiles this data must be enabled by sdb.org to do so,
otherwise he or she will not be able to access or save the form’s
details. Under normal circumstances the compiler is the SC Delegate. If
that person is newly registered or has changed, he or she should inform email@example.com of the fact so they can be duly enabled.
Two separate forms are to be filled in:
* Basic information for GC27
* Basic information for the SC Dept.
3. PROCEDURE FOR Basic information for GC27
* Choose your Province from the dropdown list
* Choose the country (belonging to
your province) which is relevant for each response. This is essential
for GC27 information since the Statistical Data booklet (or its online
version) provides information regarding activities per country as well
as per province.
* Choose 2013 as the year
If your province has more than one country, complete
the form for each country (even if you only need to insert a series of
zeros as a response to the questions or leave them blank) and click send when you complete
the details for that country. Repeat this operation each time for as many countries as you have selected, that is each country in your province.
Meaning of terms:
translates the Italian 'destinatario', a target group or set of
individuals. In some cases it may be impossible to guess how many these are, so leave
it blank if that is the case. Where you have at least an approximate round figure, you can
include it. In rare cases you will have a quite specific number in mind.
part time: SDB with more than one assignment.
If you had already filled in relevant data in a previous year, it will
show up in the boxes - this will only be the case for certain boxes
which previously belonged to the second form, Basic information for the
SC Dept. You can always adjust this data if it is currently different.
Whoever the person is who fills out this form needs to complete the
form by putting in his or her name (Surname, first name), and date. An
optional space is provided for comment. If there are questions relating
to the details on the form, doubts about certain items, it would be
best to send a separate email.
Please do not forget to press Send, as many times as you need after completing data for a country.
This places the data in a holding place where it will be checked by a
human being before being transferred to the definitive database.
4. PROCEDURE FOR Basic information for the SC Dept
This form is essentially the form that has already existed for several
years, so by rights it should already show information that the
Delegate has earlier completed earlier.
The procedure is similar to what has just been applied to the first
form except that there is no need to identify the country for any of
the items. But please choose the current year - 2013. If data has not
altered (and is visible) you may leave it as such. Otherwise update it.
The questions are of a yes/no type, so none of the questions should present any particular difficulty.
As for the first form, do not forget to press Send after completing the form.
Formation: Seeking help from scholarship. no. 3
If we are prepared to assert the theological import of communications per se,
then it makes sense to seek out appropriate guides who are both
knowledgeable and perceptive about communications, and open to its
intrinsic fides querens intellectum possibilities.
One need go no further than Marshall McLuhan,
a Canadian, convert to Catholicism (after coming into contact with the
writings of people like Chesterton, Lewis…) and an extraordinary
communications guru of the 20th century. He knew his Aristotle and
Aquinas better than many of the clerical scholars of his time, and
applied this thinking to his own novel perceptions of what was really
going on in contemporary communications. Nor should we overlook the
fact that he was a member of the then Pontifical Commission for Social
McLuhan's communication scholarship cannot be
fully appreciated without first appreciating his Catholic Faith. He had
a Catholic sacramental imagination - baptism and communion first; he
believed that God uses the tangible things of this world as a means of
grace. Of course, the implication of this for him was that 'electronic
communication', as he called it, was anti-sacramental. We become
disincarnate bodies on the telephone - an idea now very much more
reinforced by all of our 'virtual' experience online. McLuhan's
importance for the 21st century lies in this kind of insight. It
suggests we reaffirm our belief in an incarnate personal God in Jesus
Christ as the only real way forward for true communication. McLuhan's
most famous or best known dictum is "the medium is the message". What
commentators often fail to quote is what he has said of that very
dictum on at least two occasions:
(1) "In Christ, Medium becomes
message. Christ came to demonstrate God's love for man and to call all
men to Him through himself as Mediator, as Medium. And in so doing he
became the proclamation of his Church, the message of God to man. God's
medium became God's message."
(2) "In Jesus Christ, there is no distance or separation between the medium and the message".
In other words, even without going to the
theologians first, we already have indications from good communications
scholarship that communication theology might well be located with
those tracts of theology where we primarily study Jesus Christ:
Fundamental theology and/or Christology.
There is something attractive about McLuhan's
insights, once we understand the place his religious convictions have
for them. And we Salesians have much we can learn from him as we try to
tease out the exhortation of the General Councillor about being
adequate manifestations of God's love. That is a truly Christ-like
competence! But it must also be obvious by now that if we are to gain
some understanding of McLuhan and for that matter of other scholars in
the communications area, and if we want Salesians in formation to begin
to appreciate the importance of communication for their work of
evangelisation and education (both of which McLuhan was vitally
interested in), then we need to find room for that to happen and more,
we need direction from our own governing and animation entities (be
they departments or whatever) as to how to best achieve that.
Communications is too central to the Salesian
enterprise - it is charismatically so, we already know from the
Constitutions - to allow it to be subsumed under some general notion,
be it youth ministry, theological formation, general services, or
other. It might be at the heart of theological formation today, but it
is also at the heart of just about everything we do as Salesians,
especially our catechising ventures, since our Society began "as a
simple catechism lesson".
Production: Elledici, France
30th January the new headquarters of Elledici were
opened. The speakers at the event were the Rector Major Fr Pascual
Chávez, the Mayor of Turin, Hon. Piero Fassino, and Dr. Giampiero Leo,
representing the President of the Regional Council of Piedmont.
Elledici started in 1941, and has now left the historical
Leumann building, built in 1963, to move to Turin in Corso 333/France
3, in a modern building of 1500 square metres, on three floors, to be
more responsive to the new requirements of the market.
Salesian Family in France-South Belgium Province has a new website. It
is conceived as a virtual space for exchanging information, but also as
a window on Salesian pedagogy and spirituality. The site has been
'baptised' as Don Bosco Aujourd’hui, that is, bearing the same name as
the French language Salesian Bulletin. The official launch took place
on 24 January, Feast of St Francis de Sales, patron saint of Catholic