The Salesians of Don Bosco are a religious congregation of Brothers and Priests. We were founded in 1859 by Saint John Bosco - “Don Bosco.”
Don Bosco’s mission was as friend and guide to young people who were poor, abandoned or at risk. Wherever the Salesians work, our mission is the same, for we “are called to be signs and bearers of God’s love for the young.”
We express our mission in many ways. You will find Salesians in schools of all kinds, in colleges and universities and in youth centres. We work with homeless or abandoned children. We work with street children, as missionaries, and in parishes.
There are currently almost 16,000 members (priests and brothers) in the congregation, working in 131 countries around the world.
Why the name Salesian?
John Bosco had a great admiration for St Francis de Sales (1567-1622). Francis, who was born near Geneva, was patron saint of Piedmont and Savoy and much loved by John Bosco. He admired his joyful, optimistic spirituality and simplicity of life.
St Francis used a simple metaphor to sum up his work when he said: ‘you catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than a barrel full of vinegar.’ In other words: Love is stronger than violence or force of any kind.
Because of the gentleness of his approach, Don Bosco chose Francis as a patron of his Congregation, hence the name Salesians. He wished his followers to be filled with the spirit of Francis de Sales – a kindness that was all-embracing, a gentleness that was strong, a love that was humble and a faith that was steadfast.
The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters) are a worldwide Institute founded by St John Bosco and St Mary Dominica Mazzarello in 1872. Both founders shared a dream to work for the good of young people and lead them to God. The Salesian Sisters are fully involved in the life of our parish. Their community house is at Elmthorpe.
The international Association of Salesian Cooperators was founded by Don Bosco even before his own Congregation. As committed lay people the Cooperators seek to live the Salesian spirit in their homes, places of work and parishes and by promoting the Salesian mission in local Centres such as Cowley where monthly meetings are held at Elmthorpe. To find out more please contact Kathleen Pill: 764636.
To find out more about the Salesian Family in the UK visit: www.salesians.org.uk
Strenna for 2018
Each year, the Rector Major of the Salesians, who is the successor of St John Bosco, presents a Strenna, a gift to the Salesian Family, which will guide our lives and our work for the coming year. In 2018, as we approach the Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment convened by Pope Francis, Our Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime SDB, asks us to consider the words of the Samarian woman to Jesus: "Sir, give me this water", and asks us to cultivate our skills in listening to and accompanying the young.