Russia – Salesians Educate Offering Christian Values

(ANS – Moscow) – People say Moscow is a State in the State. According to official data, the Russian Capital has a population of 15 million inhabitants whereas, according to non-official data, they are 20 million. Here the wealthiest Russians live. In the country, Catholics are very few, in comparison with the Orthodox. It is estimated that, among the parishes of the city, there are about 70.000 Catholics.

In the city, the Salesians run the House of Divine Providence, which hosts 32 boys, ranging from 7 to 18 years of age, and who are accepted because of the difficult situations of their families. They come from diverse countries and environments. Some of them come from the republics of ex-Soviet Union – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. The majority come from Orthodox families. Some of them are baptized, one third are Muslim. Since last year two Catholic children also arrived.

The children are divided into four groups called “families”. Each “family” has its bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchenette and a study room. And each “family” is accompanied by an educator who lives with the children and the adolescents and follows them round the clock, 24/7. Two Salesians work with them: Fr. Krzysztof Calaba, from Poland, and Fr. Petros Petrosjan, from Georgia.

The children and adolescents are helped daily in their studies, but above all in the development of their talents and skills: for this they also have rooms for theatre, music, a computer room and spaces for sports.

Education is based on Christian values. “We want to form the young in the awareness that they are loved by God. We are not afraid to share Christian values with them, – Fr. Cabala explains, – With Fr. Petros, I celebrate the Eucharist every day for the workers. We offer the traditional Salesian thought of the “buonanotte” (good night) and prayers for all. We are not interested in drawing someone “to our side” or in making them all Catholic. All the students belong to monotheistic religions, that all share respect and forgiveness. When I greet Christians, I draw the sign of the cross on their forehead, with the others, I lay my hand on their head. To all we wish a good

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