Saint John Bosco
Born in Castelnuovo D’Asti in 1815, John Bosco devoted his entire life to the care of young people, especially the poor and most disadvantaged. On his ordination to the priesthood, Don Bosco chose as his life program: ‘Give me souls, take away the rest’, and began his apostolate among poor young people by founding the first Oratory and placing it under the protection of St. Francis de Sales. Through his style of education and pastoral practice, he strived to shape young people into good Christians and honest citizens. His style was based on reason, religion and loving kindness.
The source of his tireless activity was a constant union with God and limitless trust in Mary, Help of Christians, whom he felt was the inspirer and support of all his work. And to his Salesian sons he left a legacy in the form of a religious life that was simple but solidly founded on Christian virtues. There are now over 15 000 Salesian priests and brothers continuing his work throughout the world.
Salesians journeying with the young in Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa
The Salesian mission of evangelization in the world is carried out in many different kinds of works in response to the needs of the poorest and most neglected young people, who are the first we are concerned about. We want to spend our lives for them following the example of our beloved founder, Don Bosco.
The Salesians are present in over 135 nations! The main apostolates for young people conducted by the Salesians in Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and Samoa include secondary schools, parishes, youth centres, hostels, retreat centres, camps and missionary work. In the 15 communities in our province, we aim to be ‘signs and bearers of the love of God for young people, especially those who are poor’.
Salesians at Prayer
Don Bosco spontaneously lived a trusting prayer life, inspired by St. Francis de Sales. Salesians today remain true to Don Bosco in joyful, creative, down to earth forms of prayer in community that energises their mission amongst young people.
Salesians in Action
Don Bosco lived a pastoral experience in his first Oratory which serves as a model; it was for the young people a home that welcomed, a parish that evangelized, a school that prepared them for life, and a playground where friends could meet and enjoy themselves. As we carry out our mission today, the Oratory experience is still the lasting criterion in all our activities and works.
Salesians in Community
To live and work together in community is for us Salesians a sure way of fulfilling our vocation. Genuine concern for each other leads to sharing joys and sorrows, all we have, in community, in a family spirit according to the tradition of the first Salesian communities formed by Don Bosco.
The Journey of a Salesian in Formation Process
- Step 1: Pre-novitiate [6-12 Months]
Initial response to a sense of God’s invitation. ‘Come and See’ approach
- Step 2: Novitiate [1 Year]
A more intense initiation into Salesian religious life, living in community and growing closer to God, culminating in taking first religious vows
- Step 3: Post Novitiate [2-3 Years}
Beginning or continuing formal study to enable one to serve the Church and the young.
- Step 4: Practical Training [2 Years]
A chance to use one’s learning and skills for a significant period in a youth setting, such as a school or youth centre.
- Step 5: Theological Studies [3-4 Years]
Deepening the call, theological reflection, preparing for final religious vows, and, in case of a priestly vocation, ordination to the priesthood.
Salesian Prayer for Vocations
Heavenly Father, help all young people to discover their vocation in life and respond to your call with energy and commitment.
Call many to be Salesian priests, brothers and sisters after the example of St. John Bosco and St. Maria Mazzarello.
Give them the grace to respond generously and minister tirelessly throughout Australia and the Pacific, through Christ our Lord.
Mary, Help of Christians – Pray for us!
Fr Will Matthews SDB