Francis J. Moloney – “The salesian charism and the good shepherd motif” in “Journal of Salesian Studies”

Fr. Moloney offers an historical look at how the image of the Good Shepherd came to be connected with the person of Don Bosco and the Salesian charism, and how this connection is relatively new.

He then presents an interesting insight on the Good Shepherd image on the Salesian cross received by those who take their perpetual vows within the Congregation.

Fr. Maloney then gives us biblical references to the early allusions of the image of the Good Shepherd. Citing various passages, the author expounds on the image of God as the shepherd of his own people and how He is the one who will save them from all their enemies. He then moves on to present us the shepherd in the Gospels; from the teaching and practice of Jesus himself, the theme of the Good Shepherd should serve as a paradigm for such pastoral spirituality.

After presenting the theme from the Synoptic gospels’ perspective, the author gives us an overview of how the Fourth Gospel presents the theme.

In conclusion, the author tells us that as Salesians we have looked beyond the person of Don Bosco and searched more in the Sacred Scriptures where we have uncovered “something essential to our charism.” The biblical image of the Good Shepherd should be for the Salesians “a feature of all that we do and are in our care for one another, and for all those whose lives we touch as educators.”



  • Earlier Biblical Allusions
  • The Shepherd Theme in the Gospels
  • The Johannine Good Shepherd
  • Conclusion

Reference time period: 1965 – 2015

F. J. Moloney, The salesian charism and the good shepherd motif, in «Journal of Salesian Studies» 16 (2015) 1, 41-58.

Reference institution:
Institute of Salesian Studies
Institute of Salesian Studies

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