Giovanni Bosco – “A missionary project in rapid development” in “Salesian Sources 1. Don Bosco and his work. Collected work”

What were Don Bosco’s missionary plans for Argentina once he had set foot in that land? With the information in his possession thanks to research by Fr Giulio Barberis, and to correspondence with local authorities and Salesian missionaries, six months after the first expedition Don Bosco was able to send the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide, Cardinal Alessandro Franchi, a first report on the immediate results of the work of Salesian missionaries in Argentina.

He also asked for financial support from the Italian Minister for External Affairs for Salesian assistance to Italian immigrants in Argentina (no. 99), and from benefactors in general for houses already opened in Argentina, those requested in Chile, for the costs of voyages and the necessary personal effects for new missionaries (no. 100). At the end of 1877 he once again sent the Cardinal Prefect of Propaganda Fide a new broad-ranging memo on the importance of the Salesian missions, on the results achieved over two years, on the personnel involved and his limited financial resources. He finished with a request to erect an Apostolic Vicariate in central north Patagonia and an Apostolic Prefecture further south (no. 101). As soon as the new Prefect of Propaganda Fide, Cardinal Giovanni Simeoni was appointed, Don Bosco briefly repeated the same request, which amongst other things he had also forwarded to the new Pope Leo XIII, who shared Don Bosco’s plans for America and India, but left all decision in that regard to the appropriate Congregation (no. 102).


Reference time period: 1876 – 1886

G. Bosco, “A missionary project in rapid development” in “Section four. Missionary initiative” in “Part one. Writings and documents on the history of Don Bosco and salesian work” by Francesco Motto in “Salesian Sources 1. Don Bosco and his work. Collected works” LAS – Kristu Jyoti, Rome – Bangalore 2017, 306-348.

Reference institution:
Istituto Storico Salesiano
Istituto Storico Salesiano

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