The aim of this article is to examine, first of all, what connections there were between the Oratory and England, and to try to provide some explanation for Dominic Savio’s keen interest in that far off land. Secondly, it is hoped to examine the actual circumstances which led thirty years later, to the foundation of the first Salesian mission at Battersea in London in November 1887. What this article seeks to suggest is that Dominic’s interest in England and indeed the ideas contained in his day dream can be attributed, at least in part, to the influence and preaching of Lorenzo Gastaldi and indeed that there are significant resemblances between Dominic’s account of his day dream and a notes that were made at the Oratory of the Retreat sermons given by Gastaldi, though admittedly, some time after Dominic’s death. Secondly, the article suggests that the actual foundation thirty years later had much less to do with the Catholic revival than the dream might suggest and that Don Bosco the realist was much more moved to try to improve the desperate situation of pour urban Catholics in a depressed part of one of the world’s greatest cities.
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