Our Salesian Family
Don Bosco (St. John Bosco) was inspired to create a vast movement of persons to bring the Gospel of Jesus to young people and to work for their benefit. Don Bosco founded:
- the Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians of Don Bosco),
- the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters),
- the Association of Salesian Cooperators, and
- the Association Devoted to Mary Help (ADMA)
Other Salesian Family Groups have formed since then and today there are 31 Groups. The Salesian Family Groups have spread throughout the world. These Groups live in communion with each other, share the same spirit, and with specifically distinct vocations, continue the mission Don Bosco began. Don Bosco’s Salesian charism continues to inspire people to serve young people, especially those who are poor and at risk.
Here are some of those groups of Salesian Family established in Sri Lanka…
Salesians Past Pupils’ Meeting at Dankotuwa
Rejuvenating the Salesian Past-Pupils’ Association of Sri Lanka – 15th May 2016
A solemn gathering of ex-seminarians and past-pupils of Don Bosco Dankotuwa was conducted on 15th May 2016 at Don Bosco Seminary premises, Dankotuwa.
Recalling smiles full of happy memories during the time of aspirantate, the ex-pupils were solemnly welcomed by the Salesian Community at Dankotuwa, with a sort of official registration at 10.00pm.
During the Pentecostal Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the Provincial Superior of Sri Lanka, Rev. Fr. Joseph Almeida, exhorted that it is a reason for us to be happy and a right for us to claim that we are Salesian Past-pupils; that is not only through our mere words of boasts, but also by good Salesian style of living.
Fr. Felix Mallawarachchi, the Economer of the Vice Province of Sri Lanka and the Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Past-Pupils shared his words of appreciation with the 51 past-pupils who made it a point to be present for this blissful gathering in spite of heavy rainy climate. As he brought forth the suggestion for the ex-seminarians to help Don Bosco Sri Lanka, it was so evident how positively they responded.
A special note of thanks was offered to Fr. Melvin Fernando and the Community at Dankotuwa who gave their fullest support to make this day a memorable one.
ADMA flocks around the Rector Major
The Assumption of Mary Help of Christians
ADMA offers a path of sanctification and apostolate according to the Salesian charism. Don Bosco founded it on April 18, 1869 at the Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians of Valdocco (Turin), with the aim of promoting and defending the faith of the people of the people.
ADMA promotes, as in Don Bosco’s dream of the two columns, the worship of the Eucharist and the devotion to Mary Help of Christians in all forms, public and private, approved by the Church paying special attention to families and young people.
The Association of Mary Help of Christians is a Salesian Family Group and is spread all over the world, particularly in works where the Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are present. It works in communion and faithfulness to the Pastors of the Church and in collaboration with other ecclesial groups, especially those of the Salesian Family.
LKC Salesian Cooperators with Rector Major
About the Salesian Cooperators…
The Salesian Cooperators are Catholics who are living the Gospel message in the spirit of Saint John Bosco while choosing to live in the world.
The Salesian Cooperators are the first group of youth ministers established by Don Bosco. He began his work in 1841 by gathering street kids and young workers on Sundays. Turin, Italy was an industrial town at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Child labor was common and because of the economic crisis in the agricultural areas of Italy at the time, great numbers of children and young people were leaving the farms to find work in the cities. The children worked six days a week, but had Sundays off. Don Bosco gathered these street kids in vacant lots for a day of play. He brought them to Church for Mass and a catechism lesson.
To help him with the hundreds of boys who came to him, he enlisted the help of several people and a few local priests. Don Bosco knew he would need the help of other committed people of good will to care for the children. He invited people whom he felt had the talent and the desire to minister to young people. His own mother, Margarita, came to help him.
With the help of Pope Pius IX he formed the Association of Salesian Cooperators in 1876. The Cooperators were lay people who live their lives as Don Bosco himself described in the little booklet, Salesian Cooperators, or A Practical Way Of Leading A Good Life And Being A Good Citizen.
The Salesian Cooperators are single or married lay men and women, or diocesan clergy, who dedicate themselves to the welfare of young people, and live guided by Don Bosco’s Salesian Spirit.
Generally the Salesian Cooperators are affiliated with a local Salesian school, parish and youth center. Some of the Cooperators work directly in Salesian ministries while others serve in their parishes or other ministries. Some Cooperators do not work directly with any particular ministry, but bring the Salesian Spirit to their work place, profession, and family.
The core of the Salesian Cooperators’ commitment is to live his or her life as a good Christian and a good Catholic. The Salesian Cooperator embraces a Gospel way of life, sharing in the Church’s mission to bring Christ to society, especially the young.
Rector Major meets FMA Sister in Sri Lanka
“Our hearts where bubbling with joy when we heard from the provincial Fr. Joseph Almeida that you desired to visit FMA’s house within this brief visit of yours. Great is your heart to spend few hours with us. With greatful and loving hearts we express a very big Hearty welcome with your three fold ministry of unity, the 10th Sucessor of DonBosco ,Common father and center of unity for the entire salesian family.We are indeed previelge to have you in our midst on this wonderful day dear and Rev Fr. Rector Major.
Our warm welcome to the secretay Rev. Fr. Adrian Horacio Lopez do enjoy the beauty of SriLanka. Our special greetings to Rev. Fr. Maria Arokiam the Regional superior and to Fr. Joseph Almeida the provincial who paved way for this joyful moment.
Dear Rev. Fr. Rector Major I take this opportunity to share with you in brief our Journey in SriLanka !
On 30th June, 2008, when the country was limping back to normalcy from the disaster caused by the tsunami and at the end of the 30 year old civil war, six courageous Salesian Sisters from Chennai, India, set foot in Sri Lanka on fire with the enthusiasm of the ‘GIVE ME SOULS’.
The Mission of the Salesian Sisters in Sri Lanka began with the ministry in Boscopura, Don Bosco Mawatha, among the apartments built for the tsunami victims, now the sisters have shifted their abode to Auxilium Convent, 522/2, Welihena, Kochchcikade to the newly constructed Formation House on 24th May 2014. This is the first fma formation house where we welcome the children and the young girls who have the desire to follow Christ and thus we have the groups of Apostolic school Children, Contact period candidates, Pre aspirants and aspirants. The rest of the formation is continued in Philippines. We are happy to tell you that we have already one Sri lankan fma and in May 2017 we will have three more Sri lankan FMA’s.
In the same year 2008, the Salesian sisters were also in Nochchiagama of Anuradhapura having boarding for the school going children and the students of the technical institute. Their mission includes ministry in the parish, Montessori School, family visits, and vocation promotion.
In the year 2009 the sisters took up the challenging responsibility of catering to the war affected children sent by the Government, in Vavuniya at Don Bosco Home for Children. Their main concern is the rehabilitation of these children by counseling, education, professional training, job placement, and settlement in life.
In the year 2011 the mission in Jaffna began at the request of Bishop of Jaffna Most Rev. Thomas Soundaranayagam D.D. We run a Montessori School, evening coaching classes, parish ministry, family visits, preparation to receive the sacraments and vocation promotion.
In the year 2014 a Technical College has been started, at Urumpirai in Jaffna district. The college offers short term and long term training in Computer skills, Needle work, Fashion Designing, preparing bakery products and beautician course. The college offers residential facilities for students to undergo the technical training. Residential facilities are also offered for the school going children.
In June 2014 in response to the invitation of the bishop of Batticaloa ,the Salesian had open another new presence at Thirukovil in Ampara District, to take care of the school going children from different villages and offer parish ministry and runs a Montessori.
Thus we render our service in five diocese with five communities and one presence in these nine years of our arrival to Sri Lanka .We are happy to present our journey in nut shell and we assure of our journey in Sri Lanka in the way of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello. As Don Bosco has written “Your rector will have care of you and of your eternal salvation” your visit to us is the clear sign of your great interest in our well being .Do enjoy our short programme prepared with lot of love.
N.B. : Speech of the FMA Superior – Sri Lanka, Sr. Mary Anne, in the common gathering with the Rector Major, in their Mother House at Bolawalana – Negombo, on 12th Nov. 2016.
DON BOSCO YOUTH & Present PUPILS
Rector Major’s Cup – Basketball Tournament at Don Bosco Tech, Negombo
Teachers & Instructors
Salesian Instructors & Teachers – equipped with Salesian Preventive System
Salesian Preventive System & Salesians Instructors
Salesian Preventive System is the educative method developed by the Salesians. upon the pedagogical experience of Saint John Bosco with poor youngsters in 19th century Turin. It is based on three pillars: reason, religion and loving-kindness. Even if Don Bosco appears as the main representative of this method of education and formation of the young, other characters have contributed to its previous development like Philip Neri and Francis de Sales.
The history of the Salesian Preventive System can be traced in the life and apostolate of Saint John Bosco (1815–1888). During the second half of the 19th century, Don Bosco began a work among poor youth in Turin, especially those who were homeless, orphans and who survived early childhood as a result of the industrial revolution. A few decades earlier most of the children of the poor would not have lived until adulthood. The industrial revolution lead to living children who needed direction.
As Don Bosco did not write extensively on the matter, the educational preventive system may be studied in the identity and actions of Don Bosco. Carlo Nanni defined Don Bosco as a man of action rather than a scholar.
Today, almost every salesian house is animated by the cooperation of the Salesian Instructors who follow and relive the salesian style of education, to make the youngsters good Catholics and honest citizens.
Parents of Salesians
Salesian Parents’ Day – 25 Nov. 2017
Don Bosco’s beloved mother, Mamma Margaret was the first Cooperator of Don Bosco. She saw clearly and understood every bit of the unsounded hardships in the life of St. John Bosco. After the example of her, on every 25th Nov of every year, the Salesians organize a beautiful day of get together with the Parents of the Salesians to appreciate their sacrifices and offering done to God, by offering their son to the Salesian way of life.
The Salesian Vocation is not only a property of the Salesians; rather it is a gift to others, in particular to their own family where they come from. So it is said, Priesthood (even Salesian Brotherhood) is the greatest gift that God gives to a family.
MSMHC to begin in Sri Lanka
MSMHC to begin in Sri Lanka
The Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), the first indigenous Congregation in North East India was founded on October 24, 1942, at Guwahati, Assam by His Excellency Stephen Ferrando, SDB, the then Bishop of Shillong. The Congregation has five provinces in India and a delegation in Italy. The provincial headquarters are at Bangalore, Kolkata, Shillong, Tinsukia and Tezpur and the delegation headquarter is at Turin, Italy. It has 1167 members belonging to 53 ethnic groups working in 171 centres in India and 19 in other countries.
As a new frontier of the expansion of MHMSC mission, as per the invitation of Fr. Anthony Pinto (2004 – 2010 : Superior of Salesian Vice Province of Sri Lanka), they visited Sri Lanka and met Fr. Joe Almeida, the present Superior of the Salesian Vice Province of Sri Lanka on 6th May 2017.
Sr. Jane Francis (MSMHC General Councilor for Education) and Sr. Shelma Kuriakose (MSMHC Councilor for Education in Bangalore) were impressed by the hospitality and the encouragemnet of the Salesians of Sri Lanka to begin their mission with a sound and a solid foundation. We wish them all the best.