Council Resources

Newsletter - October 2011

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Newsletter no. 27,  October 2011

Animation - Letter from Fr Filiberto

FiliMy dear confreres and friends of SC,
We need to give ourselves a pat on the back!
 We have now completed presenting SSCS 2.0 in all eight Regions of the Congregation. The final presentation and study of SSCS 2.0 had two features in particular: a brief presentation to Formation Delegates from  Africa-Madagascar, and similarly to the Provincials and SC Delegates from the Region who had come together for the 10th CIVAM meeting. So we can say that the document is known to all SC Delegates and will soon be known by all Provincials and their Councils, as well as the confreres in every Province; this is stage one of the process.
    The next step, already under way with the Formation Department, will be to apply the "Guidelines for formation of Salesian in Social Communication", Part Two of the document, and both Formators and SC Delegates will be equally involved in this step.
    The third step will involve teamwork and better coordination on behalf of the Mission in each Province with Sectors of the Mission and Formation at the beginning of the year (pastoral, education). I believe we are taking excellent and certain steps which require support in the first place of constant reflection and application of the document, and secondly a deep and growing spirituality on the part of each Delegate. These will form the basis of a change of mindset that will quickly begin to show results.
     I invite you to continue with the steps taken after each Regional meeting. And to all of you, congratulations for the results thus far obtained; keep it going!  In the name of Don Bosco and with the Help of the Help of Christians Herself,

Best wishes to all,

Fr Filiberto González, Councillor for SC    

Information: How one Region has tackled Communications

KigaliIt may be of interest to see what happens when Provincials, SC Delegates and the SC Department work together! Here is an excerpt from the minutes of the 10th CIVAM meeting.
 1. At Regional level
    A regional coordinator and vice coordinator have been appointed, assisted by a Provincial. They need to draw up a working plan to put into place all that has been indicated during this CIVAM. A Commission is not being set up, however it could be a good move for the future.     The coordinator will ordinarily take part in annual meetings of the Youth Ministry Commission.
    The Regional Councillor will set up a CIVAM section in AGORA in
2. At Province level
    1. Special attention will be given to socialisation of the SSCS (Salesian Social Communication System)
    2. Team work amongst sectors of the Mission: The three provincial delegates (Social Communication, Youth Ministry and Formation) are invited to work together, meeting together particularly at the beginning of the pastoral year. It is up to the Provincial to appoint a coordinator for these three sectors.
3. At Delegate level
    1. SSCS: The Formation Delegate will be in agreement with his team on study and application of the SSCS (Formation)
    2. Filling out and updating data for the province whenever there is something new to add (in the page for SC Data)
    3. At the beginning of the educative and pastoral year there will be a meeting of sectors to foster teamwork and optimise coordination in favour of the Mission.
    4    The “Salesians” Magazine: practical steps will be taken to collaborate in articles, translation … (distribution?)
    5. World Salesian Social Communication Day for formators and those in formation (SDB) and (FMA): from 24 January when the Pope's letter is presented for the Church's World Communications Day.
    6. Updating in formation and information: Monthly Newsletter from SC Dept.

Formation: from the Rector Major's Letter 411... inculturate the charism

linked data

 The Christian classic spiritual tradition offers us a further image which can be helpful in this [leavening the digital continent]  context, to be found in St Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, a text which is timeless in its application: “I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle, made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal”, she says, and then leads us through seven 'mansions' or rooms, each a place on the path to ultimate union with God at the centre. It too can be a helpful image in the digital continent. Think of the castle as the digital continent, with many 'rooms' and 'links'. How do we find our way around? Are various rooms meaningfully connected? Could we find certain paths to arrive at the centre? The centre is still God, by the way, and Christ is the guide, but  “…the proclamation of Christ in the world of new technologies requires a profound knowledge of this world if the technologies are to serve our mission adequately.”
         Or we might want to bring our 21st century fascination with ecology to the task. Think of a garden, maybe a bit overgrown but with paths and lots of vines and creepers. We could follow those paths and creepers and find our way around, but we can also imagine how things are just beneath the soil where everything is thriving with the complex, messy, but eminently ecosystemic stuff of life!
         All three images, the yeast, the castle, the ecosystem, help us appreciate more deeply what it might mean to inculturate the charism in the digital continent. It is one of the tasks of New Evangelization. In some ways it is a hidden task but with recipes we can follow. There is a true Guide to the virtual castle if we can but coax the technologies into serving our mission. And we are invited into the complex, maybe messy, but eminently ecosystemic stuff of life, conscious that Jesus wants us to be there in His name!      P. Chávez

to be continued

Production: Dati che chiedono solo di essere collegati!

dataIn the September issue of this Newsletter, we indicated we would give you some practical direction regarding Linked Data. It has been a focus for the last two months of work at We have done our part. The data now needs to be linked with data in other Salesian web sites.
    First of all take a look at:

(1) Statistics: our works

(2)  Regions   (you can choose your own region).
    There are two important factors involved here: In the first example you will find a 'vocabulary: sdbstats' link.  This is crucial to linked data production.
    The second factor is that all the data now comes from a single database.  If the printed 'Dati statistici' or annual FLASH is accurate, so will these statistics be accurate!
    The tags in the source view (the html view) of these pages will reveal a further factor - they make reference to the 'vocabulary: sdbstats'. Now, any computer in the world can know what a term means, and if other web sites will link to this vocabulary when describing their own data  it means our Salesian data is linked on the World Wide Web and makes us 'visible' on the semantic web.
    There is a little more technical detail to it, but this is not the place to go into that. Instead, just keep this in mind as a 'production' process for linked data:
- a data framework needs to sit behind text, identifying people or places or things, and defining relationships between them and document sources.
- this is a framework that computers can understand and interpret.
- we create a whole series of points of connection, discovery and aggregation, all to the benefit of the Congregation.
- Linked Data takes the semantic web and turns it into collaboration via a shared vocabulary.
    And now - our data is out there just begging to be linked!