Maria Maul – Fragility in the life of Mary Mazzarello

In the altar of the large church to St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello in Mornese-Mazzarelli, a vertebra of her backbone has been inserted as a symbol of her upright personality and her inner strength. It is not surprising, therefore, that Fr. Alberto Cavaglià, in his celebratory lecture on 14 May 1932, at the end of the Jubilee Year with which the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mary Mazzarello’s death, compared her to the “strong and wise women” of the Book of Proverbs (cf. Prov 31). Continue reading “Maria Maul – Fragility in the life of Mary Mazzarello”

Anthony Nguyen – God as father and Don Bosco as father

Don Bosco is a saint who is honored as the “father and teacher” of the youth. However, we may be curious to ask ourselves: In what sense do we understand the term “father” as it is attributed or applied to Don Bosco? Surely, it is not in “biological” sense of the word. But it is not simply in spiritual sense because Don Bosco did not only provide spiritual nourishment (heaven) to the young, but also “work and bread” (something for bodily/biological needs). Continue reading “Anthony Nguyen – God as father and Don Bosco as father”

Savio Hon – Back to Don Bosco: Da mihi Animas Response of Fr. Savio Hon Don Bosco Hall, Berkeley, Symposium July 20, 2007.

The article of Fr. Arthur Lenti is very well documented, succinct, and concise. In my response, I would like to focus on two points. One is to appreciate the sapiential dimension of the motto that has permeated all aspects of the life of Don Bosco and the Salesian Family. Another is to call to mind the inter-cultural aspect which deserves more of our attention nowadays. Continue reading “Savio Hon – Back to Don Bosco: Da mihi Animas Response of Fr. Savio Hon Don Bosco Hall, Berkeley, Symposium July 20, 2007.”

Arthur Lenti – Da Mihi Animas in Don Bosco. Don Bosco’s life and work for the “Salvation of Souls”

The motto Da mihi animas; cetera tolle expresses the primary objective and spirit of Don Bosco’s incessant activity and the pastoral and ascetical program that he wished to hand on to his Salesians. How this driving ideal powered Don Bosco’s life and work-that is, his manifold pastoral choices-is the object of this paper. Continue reading “Arthur Lenti – Da Mihi Animas in Don Bosco. Don Bosco’s life and work for the “Salvation of Souls””

Francis Preston – Response to Paper of Fr. Joe Boenzi

Towards the end of his paper, Fr. Boenzi makes reference to the “pastoral heart” of Francis de Sales and how “as he looked at the separated city of Geneva, his longing converted into a program of action and a journey of continual conversion.” And with reference to Don Bosco Fr. Boenzi comments: “At the end of the day, the Da mihi animas is a prayer and a gesture that becomes a life long investment. Continue reading “Francis Preston – Response to Paper of Fr. Joe Boenzi”

Joseph Boenzi – Da Mihi Animas. Cry of the pastoral heart of Francis de Sales

Don Bosco claimed that the motto Da mihi animas cetera tolle came from Francis de Sales, and we Salesians presume that this was the cherished phrase that the saintly Bishop of Geneva claimed for his own. And yet… was this really Francis de Sales. motto? On his own coat of arms as bishop we find a totally different phrase. Continue reading “Joseph Boenzi – Da Mihi Animas. Cry of the pastoral heart of Francis de Sales”

William John Dickson – Prevention or repression. The reception of Don Bosco’s educational approach in british salesian schools

The question that this paper seeks to explore is to what extent Don Bosco’s educational approach was received and accepted in England and to what extent it was itself modified in the process of meeting a new and alien culture. Part of the debate involves the English perception that some aspects of Don Bosco’s Preventive System to the eyes of some foreign Salesians the existence of corporal punishment in Salesian schools was a direct contradiction of Don Bosco’s approach to education. In order to understand this cultural incomprehension, this essay looks at the nature of the English educational context in Victorian England. It will highlight one particular issue where the Salesian approach to education was significantly modified by its experience in England i.e. how corporal punishment came to be incorporated into the practice in the English Salesian schools.

Continue reading “William John Dickson – Prevention or repression. The reception of Don Bosco’s educational approach in british salesian schools”

David O’Malley – The youth minister as mystic and martyr. Recognizing and supporting religious experience in young people

The study of religious experience and young people is a relatively new field of research. It is important to recognize at the outset that it offers a different entry point into the spiritual lives of young people. It contrasts markedly from the approaches proposed by the cognitive studies of faith development based on Piaget’s work in the last century. Continue reading “David O’Malley – The youth minister as mystic and martyr. Recognizing and supporting religious experience in young people”

Mary Greenan – Accompanying the young: the souls our hearts seek

The story is told of a young novice in the desert who went to the elder, the holy man of God, and said, “Father, according as I am able, I keep my little Rule, and my little fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence; and, according as I am able, I strive to cleanse my heart of thoughts. Now, what more should I do?” The elder rose up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. Continue reading “Mary Greenan – Accompanying the young: the souls our hearts seek”

Arthur Lenti – Don Bosco’s Oratories in 1849-1852. Conflict, Crisis and Resolution

Don Bosco’s Oratory of St. Francis de Sales after much “wandering” found its permanent home at last in 1846, in an isolated house and property located in the district of Valdocco, on the northern fringe of the city of Turin. Once settled in that little house, Don Bosco established there a home to shelter the most destitute among the lads attending the oratory (1847). Continue reading “Arthur Lenti – Don Bosco’s Oratories in 1849-1852. Conflict, Crisis and Resolution”

Joseph Di Mauro – School Leadership Formation in the Salesian Tradition

The goal of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales is expressed in the first paragraph of the Constitutions which reads: “Their wholehearted endeavor will be to sanctify themselves, in order to aid more efficaciously the sanctification of their neighbor, through the different functions of the sacred ministry, the Christian education of youth, and missions in foreign lands” (Dufour, 1933/1994, p. 53). Continue reading “Joseph Di Mauro – School Leadership Formation in the Salesian Tradition”

Francis J. Moloney – Jesus and Salesian Discipleship

I have been given the mandate to speak to you today on the theme: “How the Word of God shapes our community and our mission today.” I was not sure how to handle this very large question in a couple of talks and a discussion session. Biblical themes abound. But in the end, I thought that the best way to reflect on the way the word of God shapes our community and mission today was to reflect upon “the Word of God.” Continue reading “Francis J. Moloney – Jesus and Salesian Discipleship”

Joseph Boenzi – Paolo Albera’s instructions early efforts to inculcate the Spirit of Don Bosco

Among Saint John Bosco’s early disciples, Paolo Albera (1845-1921) was one who was called upon to articulate and defend the founder’s spirit. Even as a youth, he had been numbered among Don Bosco’s most beloved. He served in a variety of leadership positions from his teenage years until his election as rector major in 1910. Perhaps his most significant role before becoming superior general was that of spiritual director general of the Salesian Society, a post he held from 1892 until 1910. Continue reading “Joseph Boenzi – Paolo Albera’s instructions early efforts to inculcate the Spirit of Don Bosco”

Arthur Lenti – Margaret Occhiena Bosco (1788-1856). Don Bosco’s Mother, Educator and Vocational Support

Who was Margaret Occhiena Bosco? What do we know about her, and how? Don Bosco’s biographer, Fr. John Baptist Lemoyne, and ultimately Don Bosco, are our chief sources. The Biographical Memoirs contain abundant biographical material pertaining to Don Bosco’s mother. Volume I in particular, especially in its first part (Chapters 2-25), gives much more space to Margaret (affectionately known as Mamma Margaret) than it does to John. Where did Lemoyne get the information? Father Lemoyne had not known Mamma Margaret personally. She had lived at the Oratory from 1846 until her death in 1856, and Lemoyne had joined Don Bosco only in 1864, 8 years after Mamma Margaret’s death. However, passionately engaged as he was in collecting and recording everything that had to do with Don Bosco and his work, he was eager to gather information also on Don Bosco’s mother. Continue reading “Arthur Lenti – Margaret Occhiena Bosco (1788-1856). Don Bosco’s Mother, Educator and Vocational Support”

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