Italy – The first 100 years of the "Michele Rua" oratory in Turin

15 February 2022

(ANS - Turin) - The "Michele Rua" Salesian Oratory in Turin has just started celebrating its first 100 years of life and service to young people. Like the first Valdocco Oratory, it too began as nothing more than a canopy and a courtyard, but soon it grew together with the neighborhood and the city, educating entire generations and forming good Christians and honest citizens.

The forerunner of what is now the Michele Rua oratory was the "Mamma Margherita Bosco Recreation Center", built during the First World War a few hundred meters from the current site of the oratory. The then Rector Major, Fr Paolo Albera, sent a Salesian, Fr Ugo Lunati, to oversee works and activities, which were carried out, in full Salesian style, together with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and many lay people.

Given the ever-increasing number of children and the narrowness of that first environment, the transfer and expansion of the structure was set: in 1921 the first stone was laid, and thanks to the support of many benefactors - including the then Pontiff, Benedict XV - the works were soon completed and in July 1922 the transfer to the new headquarters in Via Paisiello was completed, officially dedicated to Don Bosco's first Successor, Fr Michele Rua.

“Suddenly, the oratorian life changed. Here (in via Paisiello) there was the beautiful church, the courtyard and many rooms that were occupied by the different sections that were transformed according to the age of the oratorians,” narrates the chronicle of the time.

Regarding this significant anniversary, Fr Stefano Mondin, Rector of the Salesian house, said: “100 years of history are a great achievement, especially if we think that we are in a culture of the provisional and of individualism. 100 years of history mean many people, many sacrifices, much dedication, for a territory made up of concrete people to whom to give answers and a way to give meaning to one's life. They have been 100 years of Salesian history, of dedication to poor young people, families, immigrants,… for all those whom Salesian Spirituality has managed to intercept; and also 100 years where the Lord did not fail to bless.”

A century has passed since the happy intuition of Don Bosco's first heirs led to the construction of this large structure in the city’s outskirts, an area of farmhouses and countryside ... Today everything around has changed, but certainly the daily comings and goings do not stop of hundreds of "pleasantly noisy" children and adolescents, who attend the schools and the courtyard of the "Michele Rua".

Among the initiatives planned to celebrate the centenary, after the official opening on January 30th, we note:

- the collection of "100 stories" by pupils and past pupils of the work, to share stories, anecdotes and memories of the past on the social channels of the oratory;

- the photographic exhibition on the 100 years of life of the house, opening on April 30th;

- the feast of the community, in the presence of the Vicar of the Rector Major, Fr Stefano Martoglio, and the Mayor of the City, on 8 May;

- the feast of the community, on 1-2 October, in the presence of the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime;

- the closure of the centenary, on the anniversary of the birth of the Salesian Oratory of Valdocco, on 8 December.

For more information, please visit the website:


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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