Council Resources

Newsletter - June 2012

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Newsletter no. 34, June 2012

At a glance
In other news

Chile: education to motherhood


The Communication Sector of the Salesian Province in Chile, in collaboration with the Caetera Tolle Multimedia Centre has launched a new audiovisual product, about young mothers and a programme running for over 10 years in the cities of Santiago and Arica by the Damas Salesianas Association. The project provides assistance for pregnant adolescents during the various stages of pregnancy, giving birth and caring for the infant during its first six months.
     As an expression of the Salesians work in regard to the Millennium Development Objectives which among other things propose to reduce infant mortality and improve the mothers health the Milenio Team, coordinated by the Communication Sector of the Province, has produced a video showing the work done by the professionals and the volunteers of the Damas Salesianas Association with pregnant adolescents in La Pintana and La Florida, as part of a programme which at present also enjoys the support of the National Service for Women in Chile.
     The programme of the Damas Salesianas is called Emprende Mam and complements the public policies for infant protection. It aims to develop the potential of the young women as mothers, in terms of its social benefits. The accompaniment process begins in the fourth month of pregnancy and continues until the birth and the first months afterwards. The work has been undertaken for over a year in the city and involves workshops with mid-wives, social assistants, psychcologists, helpers and volunteers.
      The programme has been recognised by various goverment  institutions and most  significantly has become part of Emprende Mam in national public policy and the  programme Chile grows with you.
     The Missionary Office in Turin is collaborating with the  Communication Sector of the Province by funding audiovisual products illustrating the development programmes undertaken  in the Salesian world connected with the Millennium Objectives The Milenio Team is already working on two other productions, one on preserving the environment and the other on the social, educational  and evangelising work undertaken by the Salesian Community in the  Porvenir area of  Punta Arenas.  

Peru: Radio Don Bosco celebrates one year


On 21 May Radio Don Bosco Per was one year old. What started in a small oratory, is now a radio wed-site listened to by thousands of young people in  all the five continents, on the web and on social networks. Fr Augusto Sakihama SDB and Abel Camesasca, a communications expert have been responsible, developing the idea of the virtual playground.
     Radio Don Bosco began in the San Juan Bosco del Agostino Oratory where a group of postnovices and committed lay people, using a set of loud-speakers, entertained youngsters during the afternoons. The volume was so high that it could also be heard in the nearby houses.
     Later  Fr Sakihama  and Mr Camesasca began to think that what had been done in one oratory could be repeated in others, linked together in the form of a virtual playground. In this way. with the help of the Salesian Communications Centre, on 21 May 2011, at the beginning of the triduum for the Feast of Mary Help of Christians Radio Don Bosco Per was launched on the web.
     Some young  past pupils are the ones mainly responsible for the radio  and the people listening to the programmes are in their thousands in all the five continents. Very often the broadcasts are replayed in Salesian oratories and in recreation time also in some Salesian institutes in various countries.
     The young DJs generously devote a lot of their time to making various programmes  and continuously working on their own training so that they can provide new musical experiences for all the young people of the world.

Brazil young communicators


From 18th to 20th May there was a National Seminar for Young Communicators in Brasilia. It was promoted by the Youth Commission and the Communications Department of the Episcopal Conference of Brazil (CNBB). The aim of the weekend was to provide formation for young professionals in various media and several representatives from the Salesian presence in Brazil took part.
     The meeting began with a round-table discussion of the Popes message for World Communications Day, Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization. Fr Eduardo Pinheiro SDB, Chair of the Youth Commission, reminded the young communicators of their responsibility for evangelization: Your greatest responsibility is not only to communicate well, or to transmit faith or values, but something even greater: to help the Church and society to understand what is happening in youth culture, which is permeated by the culture of the media.
     On 19th May the day centred on a message which Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, Chair of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, gave in a live video conference. It was based on the theme of Brazils commitment to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, and on testimonies from young people. I know that the young people from all over the world will receive a fraternal welcome, said the prelate, but I think that you should be offering something more: the witness of a deeply Christian life. Your friends who are coming will be hoping to meet you as disciples of Jesus. This is the greatest communication which you should be offering to all the young people taking part in World Youth Day.
     Don Antonio Spadaro SJ, a lecturer at the Gregorian University in Rome, said in his talk: The Internet is no longer an instrument, but an environment, an integral part of our daily life. So the real challenge for the Church is not to use the web well, but to live it well, to live in the web as in an environment. We exist in the web. A part of our life is digital, and a part of our life of Faith is also digital: it is a place where our Faith is lived out.
     On Sunday 20th, the final day of the Seminar, Sr lide Folgolari, adviser to the Communications Department of CNBB, organised group work in which the participants were encouraged to reflect on the topic How can we communicate Christian life through our profession? In all the reports, the key word turned out to be witness.
     After this the Youth Commission gave a presentation on its current plans and activities, drawing attention to a web site for young people, ,  already in operation for a year and intended to motivate and animate young people in the lead up to World Youth Day 2013.

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.


Guadalajara-Mexico City: SC Delegates, the Americas. 4-7 August at Guadalajara, and 7-9 August in Mexico City

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Animation - Letter from Fr Filiberto

My dear confreres and friends of SC,

Each year, from May to October, the Department and Provincial SC Delegates are involved pretty thoroughly in the editing, promotion, production and distribution of the Salesian Annual (the 'Salesians' Magazine).

This magazine, which the Rector Major himself has asked us to produce in order to make the good news known and offer a broad image of the Congregation, goes to its fourth edition this year, despite the threat of economic crisis and a relatively low promotion, but we are convinced that we can overcome these things by keeping costs even lower and arriving at a more systematic promotion in each province with help from the Provincial SC Delegate.

The editorial plan for the Magazine is to accompany the process of preparation and celebration of the Bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth over the next three years, using the central themes for this: Don Bosco - history, 2013, his pedagogy, 2014, his spirituality, 2015. In 2016 it will take up the impact of this process and the celebration of the Bicentenary.

As you can see, the Magazine will be of considerable help to the provinces over the next four years, so we need a robust promotion on your part within your own SC planning. The Department entrusts itself to your capacity to encourage all of our communities and works to order copies. The Magazine is something which deserves this support. and of course the higher the number of orders from a province, the lower the cost, and the greater the reach of its message.

So please continue to do your bit to increase orders: I hope to receive, no later than the end of June, a larger number of such from you. Use everything at your disposal to sell the idea and the product to each of the Rectors in the Province.  Each place has so many people to thank and to let see the good work the Congregation achieves each year throughout the world. and similarly, each of our communities has people who need to know about all this good work so they can be involved in the great movement which Don Bosco dreamed of on behalf of young people.  For people today, whatever is not seen does not exist.

My prayer for you, your communities and your work.  Greetings too from the SC Department Team.  
Fr Filiberto Gonzlez, Councillor for SC

Information: updates

Congratulations to the Irish Province for their completely new website!


And congratulations to the prenovices of Kolkata Province, India, who with just one computer with internet connection (that of their brother assistant).... file their stories snatching time when there is electricity during the day....
on the only computer they have access to.
There will certainly be other new websites, but these are the ones most recently notified to us.

* Colombia Medellin (COM):
Sra. Claudia Luca Salazar Hoyos
* India: national delegate
Fr Antony Earatha (DB Nitika, Kolkata province INC)
* Southern Philippines (FIS):
Fr Randy Figuracion.

Formation: in consecrated life

Formation in Consecrated Life: challenges and opportunities
Socio-cultural changes
Amongst changes triggered by the advent of the digital we shall spend time on two things that are significant features today: the enormous speed and powerful pervasiveness of technological innovations. The key to interpreting and managing this social change can be found in digital literacy, meaning the spread of the necessary understanding for use of digital systems. Then there is the overdose of knowledge, superabundance of information circulating on the Web. In the final analysis, this cognitive overload is tackled through formation to critical and creative use of information.
Managing change
From the speed of transformations that generate a sense of accelerated time, emerges the need for rapid decision-making. Any delay in intervention is accompanied by a loss of ability to manage things. And from the invasive pervasiveness arises a need for a complex of interventions in various areas of society. Changes become an anthropological question giving life to a new way of socialising, and is in part a way of managing communication and interpersonal relationships.

Digital language (e.g. hypertext) transforms thinking structures and produces change relative to the way we get to know things and express them, especially when it comes to the so-called digital natives, a 'human species' ever more apparent, and marked by growth and immersion in a telematic environment... their knowledge is no long of the linear kind.

We need to educate digital natives especially, to have the courage to disconnect, a gesture that helps inward reflection on new input in a way that it can be part of their individual subjectivity. The opportunity for enjoying moments and places for silence, allowing them to savour once again the gentle, slow rhythms of life, should not be a luxury for the very few, but a right guaranteed for all.

All authentic communication grows and matures within personal encounter, following the exquisite logic of dialogue and gentle encouragement of iddeas. In practical terms, the challenge becomes the ability to pass from connection to communion, for a genuine and vital integration between digital space and the human contract.

Production: Data-harvesting online

There appears to be a new area of production growing steadily within Salesian circles, and undoubtedly the coming GC27, with its own needs for accurately, broad collection of data and subsequent interpretation, will spur yet further efforts in this regard.  We refer to the harvesting, and then the presentation, of appropriate Salesian data online.
      The Congregation, provinces, particular sectors of activity are moving from data collection on paper to online collection and online re-presentation. This move is inevitable, given development in the same area at every level of both government and private enterprise.
     It could be very helpful at this stage, for Social Communications Delegates at Province level to look at the situation with several questions in mind:
     * What examples of online data collection and presentation are you aware of in the province and its various sectors of activity?
     * If there is something being done, how is it being done? With commercial software or a home-grown approach?
     * Are you, the delegate, aware that the SC Department initiated online data collection for its own purposes?  If you can enter and fill out this page, have you done so recently, especially if some 'live' data has altered? If you are unable to fill it out (because it does not allow you to) then have you registered with
These are just starting points.  With the increasing number of Salesian databanks, other questions emerge. Most large websites now have a database backend.  It would be good, obviously, if  data in these databases could in some way be linked to provide a united front for Salesian data online.  It is possible, The guidelines are as follows. It is known as the

and the idea is to achieve 5 stars. Most times our data presntation achieves just 2 stars!

* make your data available on the web (whatever format)
** make it available as structured data (e.g. spreadsheet instead of image scan of a table)
*** non-proprietary format (e.g. csv instead of excel)
**** use URLs to identify things, so that people can point at your stuff
***** link your data to other peoples data to provide context.

If the data you present reaches 5 stars:

  • People can discover more (related) data while consuming the data.
  • People can directly learn about the data schema.

As a data publisher ...
  • You may need to invest time and effort to link your data to other data on the Web.
  • You make your data discoverable.
  • You increase the value of your data.

The SC Department is available to offer more extensive ideas on the above.  But one thing is certain - we now need to be taking online Salesian data very seriously.