No Takers for “MENTRE” Hype on DB’s Feast on TV 2000

ROME (C.M. Paul) – There was much hype about the hour-long TV programme in Italy featuring Rector Major and a galaxy of eminent Salesian family members. The cannel: TV 2000. Time: 3 to 4 pm after Lunch on Don Bosco’s feast.
I thought of doing a story on the programme and the impact of what the Rector Major would be saying in the programme for Italy and Europe, for Salesian ministry in Asia. I had also lined up Salesian students and professors at the Salesian University Rome, from India, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan and East Timor to comment.
But unfortunately, no one watched the show and made comments. They say, the timing was bad… And I had to abandon the story.
Here is the backgrounder: The Italian Catholic Bishops Conference Television Station “TV 2000” dedicated entire programme “MENTRE”, 31 January, to the Salesian Family marking the feast of St. John Bosco. The highlight of the programme was a long interview with the Rector Major of the Salesians Fr Pascual Chávez.
Members of the Salesian Family joining Fr Chavez in the programme were: Fr José González, parish priest of the “Jesús Obrero” parish in Seville, Spain; Salesian Sr Mariagrazia Caputo, Permanent Representative of the Human Rights Office of the International Institute of Mary Help of Christians (IIMA) and Mr. Armando Bellocchi, a Salesian-Cooperator from Biancavilla, Catania, southern Italy.
“In the face of general indifference, and while life passes by swiftly, there are those people who selflessly work for others, and little by little make a difference changing the lives of many,” says Mr. Di Schino explaining the concept behind MENTRE (Italian word meaning, in the meanwhile).
“During each broadcast using webcam connections, we talk to missionaries and volunteers about their daily missionary experiences and what motivates them. We like to explore not only what they are doing and for whom, but above all “why” they decided to be engaged in this way,” tells Mr Di Schino explaining the format of the programme.
While taking about the youth situation in Europe and how ongoing secularization attempts to remove God from society, Fr Chavez, the ninth successor of Don Bosco lists initiatives the Salesian Family takes to arrest the situation.
In the afternoon (3 pm Italian time) show, 31 January, programme host and anchor  Maurizio di Schino covers some of the key issues which as Superior of the Salesians of Don Bosco and as the President of the Union of Superiors General (USG) Fr Chavez has been dealing with in these past years.
Besides analyzing the current youth scenario in Europe and examining the challenges facing consecrated life in general, the Mexican born Salesian leader talks about “Project for Europe” and the need for the Salesian Family to start afresh with Don Bosco’s charism.
The one-hour programme on several previous occasions featured Salesian priests, religious and lay volunteers reporting their personal missionary experiences. Last October for example, Mr Di Schino, the programme presenter, interviewed Salesian missionary in Pakistan, Fr Pietro Zago, director of a massive flood relief operation.
Last November, Mr Di Schino had a link-up with Istanbul to interview Fr Nicola Masedu and share his work. Again in November Emanuele Brambilla and his wife shared their work on the project “Don Bosco Worker’s Family” which is providing the poorest of the poor youngsters with professional training in woodwork.
In December Fr Sylvain Ducange and Fr Faustino García Peña, spoke about the very difficult living conditions of the people in Haiti and in the Ivory Coast respectively.
Mentre” is broadcast live from Monday to Friday between 15.00 and 16.00 (GMT+1) with a repeat telecast in the evening at 22.30. TV2000 can be received free of charge on the Hotbird satellite on the frequency 11.804 MHz.

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