Italy – 100 years of full life for Turin house "Crocetta"

19 January 2023

(ANS - Turin) - A century ago the Salesians founded a theological studentate and oratory in Turin’s "Crocetta" neighborhood. One hundred years of history, rich in events and people, in which God has truly worked for the good of the people who have come to this house and of the Congregation all over the world.

In this Salesian house, many Sons of Don Bosco prepared for the priesthood and held important positions for the Congregation and the Church: among them a Rector Major, Fr. Edmundo Vecchi, cardinals and bishops, such as Card. Joseph Zen, Tarcisio Bertone, and others, Rectors of Universities, superiors of Salesian Provinces, missionaries, but also and above all many Salesians serving young people in 135 countries around the world.

"The Jubilee is also an occasion to praise God for the passionate work of theological research of so many teachers of different nationalities, who have taught here, from the lectures they have given to the publications they have presented, but above all, in the witness of their lives. We remember with special affection the venerable Fr. Giuseppe Quadrio, who lived his mission in this house and left an indelible mark of his testimony," wrote Fr. Marek Chrzan, current Director of the "Don Bosco International Institute," in a letter sent for the occasion.

But there is more than just the theological studentate: the courtyard of this house could tell of the thousands of people who have grown up there, thanks to Scout groups, basketball sports associations, oratory groups, and various activities supporting needy children and youth.

The house, in its history, has hosted university students from the Polytechnic and other universities in Turin. So many, in addition to studying, have learned to live in a community of young people, sharing life and growing in relationships. So many of them now hold positions of responsibility, strengthened by this experience as well.

"La Crocetta" is, finally, a prayer space not only in the Salesian community, but also in the church of Mary Help of Christians Oratory, which was born together with the house. Over the years it has also changed its architectural facade, but it has always been animated by a large group of faithful, from the neighborhood and beyond.

The celebrations for the centenary of the work will unfold throughout the year 2023, and will already start in a few days on January 29 with a morning of celebration: to open the day will be a moment of play for the youngest, in perfect oratorian style, which will be followed at 11 a.m. by the Mass, presided by Fr. Stefano Martoglio, Vicar of the Rector Major of the Salesians, and animated by the youth of the oratory. The event will end with a festive moment in the courtyard to officially launch the centenary and take a "plunge" into the past to commemorate the history of the work.

Other important moments will then be:

- Tuesday, January 31, the Feast of Don Bosco with the entire educational community at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco;

- On April 25, the meeting of all the Salesians of the Special Circumscription of Piedmont and Aosta Valley (ICP) at the Crocetta, with the Provincial Feast;

- On May 6-7, a "24 hours of sports," with a visit from the Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Roberto Repole;

- May 24, Feast of Mary Help of Christians, will see a pilgrimage and participation in the procession to Valdocco;

- Sept. 8, the official founding date, the concluding Day of the Youth Summer Camp;

- On Oct. 28, a day of study proposed by the Crocetta Theological Faculty on the theme, "'Together': for a missionary proclamation."

- And on Dec. 8, feast day of the Immaculate Conception and date of birth of the Salesian Oratory, the concluding day of the centenary, together with the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime.

"A century of life might make one think that we have now reached old age: but the house of the Crocetta is always young, because still today it prepares for the priesthood forty-three young Salesian confreres from 19 different nationalities," concluded Fr. Chrzan. "It gives hospitality space to a hundred young university students from all over Italy and abroad. It makes children and young people taste the joy in the oratory thanks to the formation groups, the Scout activities, and the basketball association: together they reach almost 800 members, not counting family and friends."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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