Council Resources

Newsletter - October 2009


Newsletter no. 7,  October 2009

Animation - Letter from Fr Filiberto

Dear Confreres,

During 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. O
Horacio Penengon 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 Province.
    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 each community.
    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

websThe 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?

websWe 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 Venezuela.
    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.

As 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?   

Production: TV LUX

webmastersThe 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.
    TV 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