July and August I made the Extraordinary Visitation, in the name of the
Rector Major, of MEM (Mexico South) province, a visit which will not be
completed until November. On
returning to Rome for the General Council Inter-session I found out
about the death of our confrere Horacio Penengo from Uruguay
province. He had been working in the Social Communication field
for a number of years and was excited about the prospects of raising
the Salesian Bulletin to a much better quality in terms of content,
graphic layout and printing. He boasted: "Our Bulletin is
going to be the best in the world". We can see this effort in the
last Bulletin he edited. He had also been appointed SC
Delegate for the province and said: "I don't know much about this but I
will do everything possible to animate the confreres because I am
convinced of the great importance of SC in the Salesian mission". We
saw him here for the last time in May at the international gathering
for SB Editors in Rome, and whoever was there will remember him
well. We join with the Uruguay province in the sorrow of their
loss, and always in the hope of the resurrection..
Let's keep our hands to the plough. We need to
keep working at region and province level to put the SSCS into action.
Re-reading it in order to do this means taking on a new understanding
within the new global circumstances and in the context of our own
We have news of meetings carried out over the past
month in Chile and Medellín. And others are about to happen. Jaime and
your humble servant were invited to attend the Iberian meeting at
the halfway mark of October; Julian and I will be in the South Asia
Region towards the end of the month for the same purpose, and the
entire Department team will be in Rome at the end of November for the
Italy-Middle East Region meeting which will bring together all local SC
people. So - keep progressing with your animation of the Province and
Thanks to all of you for your work. Let's continue
to be united with Don Bosco the evangeliser, educator, communicator.
Until next time.
Affectionately in Don Bosco:
Fr Filiberto González Plasencia sdb
General Councillor for SC
Information: Papal World Communications Day Messages
Holy Father's World Communications Day Messages are one source of the
Church's magisterium which Salesian communicators can profit much from.
The 2009 message, New technologies, new relationships: promoting a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship
has been a particularly appropriate message for Salesian communicators.
It has been pleasing to note how this message has been taken up at
various levels for study or promotion. In the latter case, this
has often been via the Salesian Bulletin. Because the messages are
short, they can easily be 'packaged' this way.
We already know the theme for 2010. It will be
formally published as a message on 24th January, a 'Salesian' day par
excellence, and intended for the world celebration of World
Communications Day which, as we know, was the only such world
celebration mandated by the Second Vatican Council
The question to Salesian communicators now is how best to prepare for the 2010 theme: The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: New media at the service of the Word".
It has the potential to coincide nicely with our Salesian emphasis as represented in the Strenna for 2010 - bringing the Gospel
to the young.
One possible decision we could all make at this
early stage would be to vigorously share any
materials we produce which touch on these themes.
Formation: how are the Provinces forming themselves?
We can see, with much satisfaction, the energy and enthusiasm coming from various province initiatives in communication:
1. A first initiative has given continuity to a discussion begun a
year ago on Web 2.0 and Free and Open Source Software. In Chile, for
example, social communicators held a gathering where the subject
enabled them to guide, at Province level, all their information and a
more dynamic interactivity with local works.
2. A second initiative has begun to offer greater opportunity for
participation by young people in our works by homing in on formation
for “Youth Blogs" from a youth ministry perspective while at the same
time creating meeting places for the young. Along similar lines we see
the creation of youth broadcasting opportunities, magazine publishing
in each of the works where the young are the ones chiefly involved.
These initiatives have been evident in Colombia and Brazil.
3. A third has been in written media, where the Salesian Bulletin
has taken on greater importance. There has also been another look taken at
our media enterprises, beginning with the larger book publishing
enterprises as well as the ongoing publication of smaller products.
These initiatives have shown promise in Argentina, Ecuador and
4. Other initiatives showing the commitment of provinces have been
the meetings involving those directly in charge of communications where
the topics have covered a full range of communication possibilities,
including a revision of SSCS. The meetings in Spain and India in
particular are tackling this.
5. And finally, within the “World of the Web” many provinces and
Salesians have been energetically involved. Web sites are being
converted into a world that lies much closer to us but which demand, as
for all Salesian sectors, planning, follow-up, action, pastoral
quality and sensitivity. A good part of the Salesian world uses web
sites and some are better nurtured than others. The Salesian Bulletin,
for many provinces features as a web site.
a point of reflection we could ask ourselves: if there are so many
Salesian pages amongst web sites what do we really want to communicate
with a site which is open to the entire world?
Salesians in Slovakia have gone into partnership with the Episcopal
Conference and Lux Communications to form Slovakia's only Catholic TV
Company, TV Lux.
Slovakia, with a 5.5 million population, 53% of whom claim Catholicism
as their religion, has a significantly large and youthful Salesian
presence. The SDB's alone number 220 confreres with an average age of
42 years of age. The Salesian Family also boasts a very large number of
well-organised Salesian Cooperators - around a thousand of them.
So the circumstances seemed right when the Slovakian Episcopal
Conference approached the Salesians in late 2007 to take on this new
venture with them. The Province has gone ahead with this greater
commitment to new media adapted to the evangelisation and education of
the young and ordinary folk, the 'ceti popolari' of our Constitutions.
"We see in TV LUX the realisation of our mission in the SC field, and
the visible realisation of the magisterium of the Church and the appeal
of our Salesian Superior Generals", their submission read at the
time. A Salesian priest is in full-time employment at the
studios; 2 of 5 members of the TV Council are Salesian, one SDB one
lay. 5 of 12 on the programming council are Salesian representatives
Salesian Slovakia's interest in TV programming has
been longstanding. In 1999 they set up the TV Studio AVES, developing
programmes for TV NOE which operates out of the nearby
Czech Republic.They have aimed at programming especially directed to
youth, and professionalism in the field of advertising and management.
LUX broadcasts a digital non-codified signal via the ASTRA satellite,
and covers Central Europe. It broadcasts from 7 in the morning until
midnight and is supported by a wide Catholic and Salesian network.
After a three year investment by the three main partners, the aim is to
have a fully self-sustaining network. All funds invested by the
Salesians come directly from the province concerned.
TV Lux can also be watched on the Web via http://www.tvlux.sk/