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20/9/2011 - RMG - Once again this year the Salesian Congregation focuses on the Missions

(ANS – Rome) – On 25 September, the Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr Pascual Chávez Villanueva, – in the course of a Mass in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, stating at 12.00 – will present the crucifix and the missionary mandate to 74 new missionaries called to carry to the five continents the Gospel with Don Bosco’s style of education, in what will be the 142nd Salesian Missionary Expedition.

Recalling the first sent by Don Bosco on 11 November 1875, for some years now the Expedition has involved other groups of the Salesian Family including lay people. Two years after the first one, some Sisters from the newly established Institute of the Daughters of  Mary Help of Christians joined the departing Salesian missionaries. In recent years with the development of lay sensitivity and involvement, the Salesians- Cooperators and volunteers from Salesian NGO have also left for the missions. This year for the first time the Salesian Missionary Expedition will also include some Sisters of Charity of Jesus.

These 74 educators and evangelisers will be leaving the nursery of Salesianity for a variety of countries. The number continues to grow of those destined for the new evangelisation on the European continent for which  the Salesian Congregation in 2009 launched its Project for Europe.

The 142nd Missionary Expedition includes:

  • 31 Salesians of Don Bosco, the largest single group. Of these 14 are destined for Europe (4 in Belgium, 3 in Ireland, 3 in the United Kingdom, 1 in Austria, 1 in France, 1 in Russia and 1 in Bulgaria); 8 for Latin America (2 in Guatemala, 2 in Venezuela, 2 in Paraguay, 1 in Cuba, 1 in Argentina); 5 for Africa (Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Angola, and Southern Africa); 2 for Asia (India and Pakistan) and 2 for the Middle East.
  • 21 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. From the Institute founded by Don Bosco and  Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello 12 missionaries from Asia  will be receiving their mandate (5 from Vietnam, 3 from South Korea, 3 from India and  1 from the Philippines); 5 from Europe (2 from Italy, 1 each from Poland, the Czech Republic and Spain) 2 from America (Argentina and Mexico) and 2 from Africa (Dem. Rep. of the Congo and Sudan). Their destinations will be decided later.
  • 5 Sisters of Charity of Jesus. The Institute of the  “Caritas Sisters of Jesus” founded in Japan, is setting up its first mission in Africa, at Juba, the capital of the newly created state of Southern Sudan. The Sisters come from South Korea (3), Japan and Brazil.
  • 3 members of the Community of the Mission of Don Bosco. This Lay Community founded in Bologna is the last group to have been welcomed into the Salesian Family. 1 female Italian missionary is going to Haiti; and a young couple from Madagascar  accompanied by their 1 year old son will be going to Burundi.
  • 14 lay members of Salesian NGO. 9 Italian volunteers from the International Voluntary Service for Development movement (VIS), 4 young Spaniards from Jóvenes y Desarrollo (JyD) and a young Austrian from Jugend Ein Welt (JEW). This group represents a much larger number of lay volunteers who have left during the year from their respective NGO.

Thanks to the  production of the Missioni Don Bosco, the Mass will be recorded and broadcast  on satellite television by Telepace, and in streaming on, at 13.30 (GMT+2).

The Salesian missions began in 1875, when Don Bosco sent the first group of ten missionaries to Patagonia, Argentina. Up to today 136 years later, thousands of  religious and hundreds of lay people have brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the style of Don Bosco to over 130 countries.

Published 20/09/2011

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