Right from the beginning of Salesian mission Don Bosco was not alone. God sent different people from varied walks of life, having different Christian vocations and yet shared in the same spirit and mission. St. John Bosco was inspired to organise this vast movement of persons with a common charismatic identity into a family to bring the Gospel of Jesus to young people and to work for their benefit. It is from this vast movement of people that the Salesian Family is born.
The term ‘Family’ in Salesian Family describes the link that connects different groups and also the affinity that exists in terms of spiritual relationship and apostolic mission. All groups in the Salesian Family participate in the Salesian Vocation. They share the same Vocation, God’s call to Don Bosco. they, like Don Bosco, experinece God in a particular way, recognize themselves as apostles to the young and the working class and carry out the Salesian Mission according to their different ways of life.Don Bosco himself founded:
The Society of St. Francis de Sales (Salesians of Don Bosco),
the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters),
The Association of Salesian Cooperators, and
The Association of Mary Help of Christians(ADMA)
The other Groups on the Salesian Family were since then gradually incorpotaed. Today there are 31 Groups spread across the world. Imbibing the spirit of Don Bosco they live in communion with a very distinct Salesian vocation.
DAUGHTER OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS (FMA)
The institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian sisters) was founded by St. John Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello in the year 1872. The sisters currently number about 14,000 working in over 93 countries worldwide. At the heart of their mission as Salesian women, is their commitment to education. Every Salesian sister is committed to entrust her life to God and to young people, while being open to the ongoing need to be qualified in acting for their benefit according to contemporary demands, especially in the area of education.
ASSOCIATION OF SALESIAN COOPERATORS
Association of Salesian Cooperators (ASC) is the movement of the laity of the Salesian Family of Don Bosco. It is also one of the three main branches of the Salesian Family founded directly by Don Bosco in 1876. The movement was created with the purpose to share the ideals of the Salesian Preventive System in the education of young people, especially those who are poorest, without the need to be a priest or a lay religious. The ASC’s superior is the Rector Major of the Salesians. ASC has a membership of about 30,000 and is present in 58 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America.
THE ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS (ADMA)
ADMA is an international Marian movement founded by Don Bosco in 1869, and has a special commitment to pray for priestly vocations. The Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) offers a journey to holiness and apostolate according to the Salesian charism and spirit. Don Bosco founded the Association on April 18, 1869 at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Valdocco (Turin), with the aim to promote and defend the faith of the common people and to catechise them. ADMA promotes, as in the dream of Don Bosco of the two columns, the devotion to the Eucharist and the devotion to Mary Help of Christians, in all forms, public and private approved by the Church, paying particular attention to families and young people.
DON BOSCO ALUMNI (DBA)
The World Confederation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, is a non-profit lay entity. It forms an integral part of the Salesian Family in which the Rector Major, is the father and centre of unity. This association, inspired by Fr. Philip Rinaldi and perfected over the years, is currently grouped into Local Unions or Associations, Provincial Federations, National Federations and other recognized Groups. These, together, make up the “World Confederation of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco,” which is the recognized organization through which a Past Pupil of Don Bosco is allowed to genuinely belong to the Salesian Family. The group currently number 34,070 in the world level.
MISSIONARY SISTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS (MSMHC)
The Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), the first indigenous Congregation in North East India was founded on October 24, 1942, at Guwahati, Assam by His Excellency Stephen Ferrando SDB, the then Bishop of Shillong. In India, the Congregation has five provinces and there is a delegation in Italy. The provincial headquarters are at Bangalore, Kolkata, Shillong, Tinsukia and Tezpur and the delegation headquarters is at Turin, Italy. It has 1,167 members belonging to 53 ethnic groups working in 171 centres in India and 19 in other countries. The Little Flower Province, Bangalore came into existence on 9th December 2002 which was formed from the Little flower Region. Sr. Bridget Jacob was appointed as the maiden provincial of the newly erected province. The Province is comprising of four South Indian states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala).
SISTERS OF MARIA AUXILIATRIX (SMA)
The Sisters of the Maria Auxiliatrix (SMA) is a diocesan congregation founded in 1976 by Rev. Fr. M. C. Anthony SDB with a clear vision of serving the poor and the abandoned. Committed and dedicated sisters, who relentlessly work hard to make possible the progress of the disadvantaged poor people, promote the well being of the underprivileged of the society, irrespective of the caste, creed and religion.
The distinct motto of the congregation is “To look after the poor and the abandoned young girls”. At the moment there are 118 professed sisters who have committed their life for the poorest of the poor.
SISTERS OF MARY IMMACULATE (SMI)
The Institute of the Catechist Sisters of Mary Immaculate Help of Christians, commonly known as the Sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI) was founded on 12 December, 1948, by Bishop Louis La Ravoire Morrow, SDB, the then Bishop of Krishnagar. The aim of the Institute is the holistic development of family: its spiritual, moral, social and material welfare, especially of women, girls and children by making them aware of God’s unconditional love and tender care of them. The province of Bangalore was inaugurated on 11 February, 1990. At that time it had 108 members living in 13 communities across the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Uttar Pradesh. Sr. Lisette Thuruthimattam was appointed as its first provincial superior for the term of six years.
WOMEN VOLUNTEERS OF DON BOSCO (VDB)
The Volunteers of Don Bosco is a Secular Institute founded by Fr. Rinaldi on 20th May 1917 at Turin. In 1971 the constitutions were newly drafted and the President of the institute was constituted as the Head and the Rector major continued to be the spiritual head as secular diocesean rights. in 1978 Pope Paul VI recognised VDB as a Secular Institute with Pontifical Rights. VDBs seek to embody the lay, feminine and consecrated aspects of the Salesian spirit by living a life of total self-giving. The institute has a centre, various regions, which are determined geographically and local groups that make up the region.