Italy – Salesian oratory in Schio - 120 years: From a bright past towards a future full of dreams & Projects

27 October 2021

(ANS - Schio) - Today, Wednesday 27 October, the "Don Bosco" oratory in Schio is exactly 120 years old. And it is still a point of reference for young people and all citizens, a garrison that attracts boys and girls and that which removes them all risk of deviance. Strengthened by its prestigious past, it is preparing to renew itself, to offer an even better service to the city’s most needy young people.

“One hundred and twenty years is a long time,” begins Fr Enrico Gaetan, Rector of the Salesian institute whose socio-educational value has not lost its strength over time. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. The structure still retains the chief function of welcoming children, all of them, even those who come from marginalized situations and those at the risk of social exclusion. It is a structure made up of real and concrete people who make themselves available without time limits.

“I have been here for two years now,” continues Fr Gaetan, “and the nice thing that happens to me when I go around town is hearing all the people who remember, for one thing or another, that they passed through the oratory.”

Despite its history, the heart of the oratory remains young and beats for young people. The one in Schio is a living oratory, which has been through all sorts of events, including a pandemic. 800 young people are enrolled in sports associations such as basketball, volleyball and football; 350 children attend the school, 80 the after-school activities, not to mention the groups of volunteers, the cafè, cinema, missionary groups, choirs, etc.,

A multi-faceted oratory ranging from sports to cultural activities, from training to education. And to mark the important birthday, the oratory celebrates today a special day, with the Mass open to all, in the courtyard of the institute, and a moment of community agape.

“The oratory was created to educate young people. Ever since the Salesians were called here there has always been an educational and formative work. Now this action is done with two divisions: the oratory, with associations and sport, and the other with school and vocational training activity,” continues the Rector.

The fundamental mission always remains the Salesian one: to go out to meet and welcome the most needy children. “The basic oratory still welcomes many young people who live on the street, in 'gangs' or groups, but who know that here, with some rules, they can find a place,” underlines Fr Gaetan. “There are still many cases of deviance, where adult supervision is lacking or due to single-parent ambiance. Difficult youth situations also in Schio. The oratory is a home for them too, and the courtyard is the meeting point.”

And precisely for this reason, the oratory looks forward to adapting to the needs of young people. A major renovation of the entire structure, starting from the football field, the school and then the theater and cinema etc., which will begin next spring.

"You'll see how nice it will be!!!" is the motto that guides the renovation project.


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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