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Effective compassion from China province to Milan province

China Province, 25 March 2020 -- With the fast evolving and changing global situation of the COVID19 pandemic, today there is already not one of the 23 countries in our EAO region excluded, since Myanmar too confirmed its first two cases yesterday. With many countries, millions of people, including also schools and parish churches going into lock-down, we are struck by a wide variety of reactions. Many of us had offered the Rosary with the Rector Major and his councillors yesterday in 5 language from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Rome, and concluded with the Entrustment to Mary Help of Christians.

It is amazing that in this situation through the Salesian Family network no fewer than four different groups of the Salesian Family in China province volunteered to help the Salesian Family members in Italy. Thanks to the indication of the Vicar of the Rector Major, all 'benefactors' were directed to the epicenter in Lombardy.

We feel deeply touched by the following messages from China province lay people living the spirit of Don Bosco:

"Some people here in China province are talking about collecting donations and sending them to the Rector Major for fighting the CoV-19 pandemic. What do you think - surgical face masks are the best to send...?" (Macau)

"Our friends are asking, how can we help the people who suffer in Italy (home place of Don Bosco). Which way to help is better, sending medical supplies such as masks, etc. or money instead?" (Hong Kong)

"I have just received a call from my friend who would like to donate 10,000 surgical masks to the Salesians and the medical staff in Italy, but he does not know where the channel is and asks for my assistance. Can you help?" (Taiwan)

Another group of Don Bosco Past Pupils writes to the Rector Major:... "The pandemic has brought us together as never before, as we are working closely with the Salesian China Province in Hong Kong, in procuring emergency equipment for the Salesian confreres, as well as teachers and students in the local schools: items such as surgical face masks and hand sanitizers, which are now considered indispensable in containing the spread of the virus. In taking up what essentially is a mundane task, we also realise that we are called, as past pupils, to participate in the great work of making Don Bosco’s dream of sending Salesians to serve Chinese youths on Chinese soil come true. As a token of our solidarity with the Salesians at the headquarters in Rome, we are working out ways to dispatch to you a modest consignment of surgical facemasks, which we hope will be useful in protection against cross-transmission of the disease. Please let us know if you need these or other emergency materials and we will try our best to help."

On the other side of this solidarity is the Milan - Lombardy Salesian Family: Fr Giuliano Giacomuzzi, Salesian provincial of Milan province (ILE - Italia: Lombardy and Emilia) replies to our China province Salesian Cooperators and Don Bosco Past Pupils from his heart: "Dear friends, many thanks! This generosity warms our hearts and helps us to be strong in this moment of history when we all feel more fragile!"

We just hope that during our difficult times we can witness more of these heart warming signs of Salesian Family compassion, solidarity and effective help!

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