The Salesians

 

The Salesians of Don Bosco are an international organisation of Catholic priests and brothers dedicated to the service of the young, especially the disadvantaged and marginalised.

 

The Salesians work in collaboration with their partners in schools, youth centres, hostels, camps, parishes and other contexts to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the lives of the young. Their primary purpose is to evangelise by educating and educate by evangelising. Thus, we accompany the young on the journey of life so as to enable them to grow and mature as “good Christians and honest citizens”.

The Salesians founded in the mid 1800s by St John Bosco, an Italian saint-educator. There are approximately 15,700 Salesians throughout the world. They are present in 130 countries in all five continents of the globe.

The Salesians use Don Bosco’s Preventive System of “reason, religion and loving-kindness” and strive to create environments characterised by a sense of welcome (home), a spirit of faith (parish), dynamic learning (school) and engaged social interaction (playground) so as to form young people as “good Christians and honest Citizens.

The first Salesians arrived in Australia in 1922. The Province of Mary Help of Christians has approximately 107 Salesian priests and brothers in Australia, Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand undertaking more than 60 different types of activities in 15 different centres.

The Salesian mission extended from Australia to Samoa in 1981 at the request of Cardinal Pio Taofinuu, Archbishop Samoa and Tokelou. Fr Elio Proietto first worked in a parish on the island of Savaii. The Salesians were then entrusted with responsibility for Moamoa Theological College, which they continued to administer until 2004. Other works were soon established including Don Bosco Technical Centre, Alafua (1988), St John Bosco Parish, Sinamoga (1987) and St Michael’s Parish, Leauva’a (1992).

The growth of vocations from Samoa required the establishment of Don Bosco House in Suva, Fiji, so that students studying to become Salesians could attend the Pacific Regional Seminary. The student-Salesians soon engaged in pastoral work in schools and camps and the name ‘Don Bosco’ quickly became known around Suva. There are now more than twenty Samoan Salesians working or studying in Samoa, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand.

The Salesian mission expanded to Savai’i, the larger but less populated and less developed of Samoa’s two main islands, with the establishment of St Francis de Sales Parish in 2008. This provided a base for the planning, construction and opening of Don Bosco High School and Vocational Centre, the only Catholic secondary school on Savai’i, in 2011.

The Salesians also undertook pastoral responsibility for St Paul’s Parish in Massey (Auckland, New Zealand) in 2010. The parish has a large population of people from various Pacific islands.
 

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