Thursday 27 September 2012

First Nigerian Salesian Missionary to Asia and our brothers serving and training abroad

 this message was published on the official salesian website in Rome 
(ANS - Rome) - Joseph Kunle Ogundana, from the group of 1986, Salesian post-novice from Nigeria, is among 5 young Africans who will receive the missionary mandate on 30th September in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians at Valdocco. He is going to Bangladesh, a country very different from where he was born, but he is determined and knows that at least he will follow his calling.
The young Ogundana sets out with the conviction and deep determination aware that he cannot do it by himself, but needs the help of someone greater: “I am going because all that I have I want to share with them. I am going to learn how to be aware of life (…) in order to give myself to a Church which calls me to hand on the Gospel”; though, having recognized in an interview with the Mission Foundation – a pastoral organization set up by the Italian Bishops Conference – I had to admit also: “I need someone to take me by the hand”.
Bangladesh, the country to which he is going, is very different from Africa, from his Nigeria or from Ghana, where he was on mission. The Asian country, culturally so far removed from reality, with a difficult language, makes one a bit afraid. For this reason, a young student prior to thinking about what he can offer in his mission, needs to think about and understand the context.
“Going to Bangladesh – admittedly – is not something I would have chosen, I was being sent, but I am happy. The situation is scary because it is difficult. It is a country with a population of 40 million people. Compared to Nigeria, it is 5 times smaller but the population is similar to that in Nigeria, hence it is very hard to supply basic services. There is lots to do. I believe that my experience as a missionary could enrich me also.”
For him, the formation course for the mission has been very useful, ending with the orientation course and in these days in the places of Don Bosco. “There has been a lot of preparation. It would be difficult starting to get used to the culture. The language is very different from mine. The alphabet is different. But if God gives prepares me I shall be ready. It is easier for me to go now than when I was younger”.
However, his missionary vocation is something that the young Salesian began to become aware of right from the start, that he could not turn away from: “the mission became a calling when I started my Salesian education. I had the chance of going to Ghana for my novitiate in poor villages far from the city and had the opportunity of walking with them. (…) God has a plan for me: if he wants me to return to Africa. I am ready to follow God’s will.”

br kunle on the mic in Rome after receiving the mandate to go to Asia (Bangladesh) 

 br tony served in south sudan and now italy
 br maximus (l) and theophilus in northern italy
 some of the Nigerian salesians in Nairobi kenya
 br Philip  and Emmanuel in Kenya
br tony (l) and br Isaac (south sudan)
 the Afw deacons in Nairobi
our confreres with an italian friend

Thursday 20 September 2012


 salesians making public religious commitment as Priests and Rev brothers at the shrine of Mary Help of Christians Akure
 some salesian brothers in the formation house at ibadan
 formation house ondo
 aspirants with fr nichola in onitsha some few years ago
 young salesian seminarians singing with faith
 final profession 2012
joint inter-formation house training programme where different religious congregations have training together at different moments of the year like this workshop at ibadan
 family moments at akure after the final profession with Samuel
 priestly ordinations 2012 at Onitsha a large group including 2 salesian priests
 fr Nicholas Ukeme, one of the new salesian priests
newly professed salesians in the Novitiate in Ghana 2012 congratulations

Friday 14 September 2012


(Ibadan) – During the celebration of Mass on the 4th of February, the Superior of the “Blessed Artemides Zatti” Vice Province, Fr George Crisafulli inaugurated the new Delegation of the AFW Vice-Province for the Salesian Houses in Nigeria, as he installed Fr Michael Karikunnel as the Provincial Delegate.
Fr Michael Karikunnel sdb 
The confreres had arrived on the evening of 3 February and met in small groups to share and discuss on different topics (Youth Ministry, Economers, Formation, Education and Evangelisation.) In the morning a general Assembly was held in which the topic of Salesian Identity was explored and reflected upon. The Statutes of the new Delegation were then explained by the Provincial and handed out to each confrere by the new  Delegate  Fr Karikunnel.
installation ceremony 
The Mass was said in the chapel, it was a moment of faith and entrustment into the Providence of God. Fr Michael made his profession of faith before the Provincial as he was entrusted with his new responsibility: “I entrust you Fr Michael and the entire Nigerian Delegation to Mary Help of Christians. May she always be for the Nigerian Delegation what she was for Don Bosco: a Mother, a teacher and a guide!“

In his homily Fr George spoke about the exercise of Christian authority, recalling that  “Jesus teaches us openly that the first has to be last and the last first; that the one who longs for power has to make himself weaker, the one who is in authority must not make his power felt on those he govern; on the contrary, he has to make himself a “servant”, like becoming a slave of others. That is the logic of the Gospel, the logic of Bethlehem, of Nazareth, the logic of the Cross. We pray that service will be the hallmark of this Nigerian Delegation!”
some Nigerian delegation confreres
The Salesians first came to Nigeria in 1982 when they opened the twin foundations of Ondo and Akure in Ondo State, while in 1989 a third house was opened in Onitisha.  In 2005 a Post-novitiate was opened in Ibadan in 2005 and in 2008 a new Salesian presence was opened in Abuja, the political Capital of Nigeria. After the Provincial Chapter in 2011, the time was ripe to consolidate the Salesian presence in Nigeria and a process of consultation and discernment was set in motion. A new Salesian presence was set up in Lagos, the commercial capital, in September 2011.
Fr Karikunnel is a missionary from India who first came to Ghana in 1992 where he was a pioneer of the Salesian presence in that country in Sunyani and in Ashaiman. In 2005 he moved to Nigeria where he was Rector and Principal in Ondo, and last September he moved to Lagos to start our new foundation there.
The Provincial presented his vision for the new Delegation: “I dream of a true Salesian Nigeria, whose face is the black face of Don Bosco, the true face of Don Bosco, always smiling, always welcoming, always kind and inviting everybody to be part of this wonderful adventure of becoming holy.”

ANS - Published 07/02/2012


fr Niyi sdb with some youth, behind is the new don bosco secondary school onitsha day and boarding
Different traditional dances by the students and young people.
Mrs Chika doing the Eastern cousin
fashio-cultural fusion
speech time
variety of dances and steps and skills and messages
more pose with the rector
telling stories through performances live on stage
drama action
Eastern Nigerian don bosco faces.... the salesian community of onitsha

Joy and Happiness is our Secret and you cannot fake it!!!

final profession 2012 a bit like a wedding day the Salesian cross is like the ring of the covenant
fr Riccardo Castellino first provincial of AFW  (L) and Rev Br Samuel Job sdb the first Nigerian Rev Bother (R) sandwiching 3 other happy confreres 
Fr Anthony Prince Oche Rector of Don Bosco Ondo and Dr Akinwuni Maria Goretti
don bosco youth Ondo..
Liturgy attracts a lot of young people to serve
Mrs chika (C) and friends
Fr Chris sdb..moving with the spirit of the young in Ondo
too much joy
Fr Matthew Adetiloye sdb parish priest Ondo, welcoming Seminarian Roman sdb
two salesian seminarians on graduation day from the Salesian Institute of  Philosophy and education Ibadan city Nigeria..
Fr Matthew Adetiloye sdb, parish priest in front of st John Bosco catholic church ondo
joyful moments of the visit of the relic of don bosco to Nigeria
Fr James with the jubilant crowd of Akure
some years ago when don bosco was preaching in a parish, a woman lifted up her young baby-boy and out of admiration and inspiration said aloud 'look at don bosco!'.....history is called to mind as this mother shows her baby the relic of the saint in Onitsha...
salesian family always happy
salesian post-novices' band at ibandan
Fr Michael Smyth sdb spiritual director and formation guide in Ibadan
A choir conductor during the mass of don bosco in Lagos
night view of the third mainland bridge Lagos
The Pious Society of St Francis de Sales, known as the Salesians of Don Bosco (sdb) was founded by St John Bosco (also called St don Bosco) in 1859 with his first oratory boys and collaborators.
don bosco youth centre Akure table tennis game
Blessing Igwe Salesian animator on the first floor of Akure Youth centre