Italy – Thirty years of "Missioni Don Bosco", an "older brother" for thousands of children and young people in need

11 February 2021

(ANS - Turin) - It was January 1991 when it was decided to establish a "Mission Office" also in Italy, in Turin, where the Mother House of the Salesian Congregation is located. That Mission Office, now known in the world as "Missioni Don Bosco", has therefore just turned 30: three decades spent supporting the Salesian works around the world, financing them and helping them to grow, fostering and making known the works of good that are carried out in favor of the most disadvantaged people.

“These 30 years have been full of satisfactions for us, and also of some difficulties that we have overcome together. Now we must continue to cultivate the enthusiasm of the beginnings, strengthened by the experience gained in the field,” explained Br. Giampietro Pettenon, President of "Missioni Don Bosco".

In all these years there have been many Salesian missions that have benefited, always bearing in mind that the ultimate goal of efforts must be oriented towards care of the person, the individual, so that every child, every girl, every young person can grow up in a healthy environment and with the same opportunities of those who were lucky enough to be born in a rich country.

Putting the person at the center, made in the image and likeness of God, also means developing the community to which he or she belongs: there are many missions that take care of indigenous peoples, marginalized groups, those who live in poor and populous neighborhoods: the efforts and commitment of “Missioni Don Bosco” have been directed to them in these 30 years.

Even in this period, so complicated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Missioni Don Bosco continues to finance the projects of the Salesian missionaries: this means that behind it, there are many people who continue to believe in Don Bosco, in his educational system, in real and concrete help to the poorest, and in the value of what the Salesians try to build every day. Providence, which Don Bosco invoked so much and to which Don Bosco trusted with full confidence, continues to work through many benefactors.

For this reason, the Salesian Mission Office of Turin now looks to the future with only one objective, that Br. Pettenon illustrates to us starting from an anecdote: “I was much struck by a photo of two Bolivian children, the sister carrying on her back, wrapped in a cloth, her little brother. The phrase accompanying the photo reads: - 'Is he heavy?' - 'No, he's my brother'. Today we want to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary, hoping that we can always be the 'big brother' for someone, one who proudly carries the little one on his shoulders, not thinking in the least that he is a burden, but a wealth to be preserved and to help grow."

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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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