Portugal – Inauguration of the New community "St Dominic Savio"

15 November 2021

(ANS - Setúbal) - Reports of the opening of new Salesian communities in Europe are not that common. Yet, recently the community of “St Dominic Savio” at Setúbal was inaugurated as a Salesian presence with five religious whom the Lord has called to this ecclesial, Salesian and youth mission. Canonically erected last June, this Salesian presence is actually located in an unconventional space: A twin-apartment in a residential building.

The Community of Setúbal, on the sixth floor of the “Praceta Luís Sá”, was inaugurated and blessed on 24 September 2021. On that occasion, after the Eucharistic celebration in the parish, the Provincial of Portugal, Fr José Aníbal Mendonça, installed the new Rector, Fr Tarcízio Morais.

The chapel marks the center of this house, as a space for an encounter with the Lord. The community is divided into two apartments: in one, there is a kitchen, the dining room, the chapel and two bedrooms; in the other, the community room, the laundry room, and three other bedrooms. For all the Salesians who live there, living on the sixth floor, in two apartments, is a sort of "apprenticeship".

 “With this novelty, we are called to witness and proclaim with our lives, the Salesian charism in this city, in this territory, with the grace of unity that the Lord gives us to live in action and contemplation,” wrote the new Rector in a message. “To Meet, to listen, and discern. To Go out, to search and answer! To be… To be with… To be for... The harvest is great. The field of dreams is immense. There is a lot to know, to love, to experience. Much to attract, encourage, accompany. We try to be able to be meaningful and innovative. A 'we' that is always communal and a sign of God's love for young people, in a 'stand up and testify' that we take on as a gift and a task. That we can, every day and at every moment, talk about Jesus, tell others that He gives us the strength to live, that it is beautiful to converse with Him, that it does us good to meditate on His words.” (cit. Pope Francis, Christus vivit, no. 176).

The current mission of the community is centered on the "St Joseph" parish, whose territory, on the outskirts of the city, is marked by an abundant presence of young people and children and by significant pockets of poverty and social exclusion.

“We are always waiting for some 'Pancrazio Soave' to come and tell us that he has a useful space to develop our 'laboratory',” adds Fr Morais. “Our mission in Setubal brings us back to the freshness of the origins of Valdocco. We don't have facilities, we don't have the space. But we have people who are waiting for someone to come to them and start the oratory, a place of encounter and life, open, inclusive and motivating, for these children, adolescents and young people.”

In addition to serving in the parish, the Salesians of Setúbal have been entrusted with a specific task of the Youth Ministry Department of the Diocese, in the person of Fr Álvaro Lago, and the accompaniment of the Pastoral Care of Higher Education in the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal.

These two tasks also open new horizons for a meeting with the young people of the diocese and university students. It is to welcome them, that the "Center for Higher Education Students of Setúbal" was recently inaugurated, on 10 November, in a room adjacent to the Salesian parish.


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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