We wish this website – www.salesians.org.uk/ – not simply to be a purveyor of good news but an online centre to aid the promulgation of the Salesian charism, in its many distinct expressions and the promotion of Salesian Spirituality both in its active dimension, through the pedagogy of youth ministry, catechesis and education, and in its contemplative dimension, through the promotion of spiritual exercises (points of retreat) and personal and collective reflection and prayer.
As people well versed in the Salesian charismatic tradition, we should not be reticent in sharing our wide experience of Don Bosco's preventive system as our way of approaching young people in many and varied settings. Don Bosco's approach works in both formal and non-formal as well as in religious and secular settings; it operates across cultures and languages and the very different political contexts we find in our modern world; it functions in every continent and in the vast majority of the poorest countries, offering young people hope.
At its heart is the figure of Christ the Good Shephard, who reaches out to those who are lost, making the first move in offering the hand of friendship and trust.
Similarly we can be confident, through exploring and sharing the richness of St Francis de Sales, St Mary Domenica Mazzarello, St Dominic Savio and St John Bosco himself, in offering our Salesian Spirituality as a way of contemplation and discernment in the midst of the demands of modern daily living.
The experience of livestreaming the Easter Triduum has reminded us that there is a deep thirst for community prayer and worship and a need for regular spiritual nourishment in our lives. The world wide web has an important role to play in meeting these needs. It is important that we have a visible presence.
The Salesian charism, the identity badge of Salesian Family, is able to meet the needs set out above with innovation, adaptation and a vital and life-giving energy.
This website is a starting point on the journey of deepening our knowledge and realisation of our Salesian identity.
My hope is that it will become the first port of call, not simply for Salesian news, but for those who are interested in deepening their personal spirituality and knowledge of Don Bosco.
Two hundred years after his birth, his mission to encourage his Salesians to be young with the young, and to form them as good Christians and honest citizens, able to contribute to the building up of the Church and of society, is as relevant as it ever has been.
Let us pray that this website may play an ever-increasing role in furthering the worldwide Salesian mission that the young might know that they are loved.