Fr Kieran Anderson SDB, Director of the UK Missions Office, traces the Salesians' missionary roots back to Don Bosco and his early dreams, for the Summer 2017 edition of Don Bosco Today.
Throughout his youth and for a couple of years after his ordination in 1841, Don Bosco thought that he might become a missionary priest.
His spiritual director, Saint Joseph Cafasso, allowed Don Bosco to study French and Spanish, but when he started to learn English, he was told outright, “The foreign missions are most certainly not for you! Think about it. You can’t get to the other side of Turin in a closed carriage without becoming travel sick and you want to cross the ocean? My dear Don Bosco, you’d die during the voyage and of that I am sure!”
Gradually, again with the help of Fr Cafasso, Don Bosco came to understand that his time, talents and efforts as a young priest were to be directed to meeting the real needs of those young people who were poor, exploited and abandoned on his doorstep rather than far away in distant lands.
With the founding of the Congregation, the thought of Salesian missionaries setting off for mission lands often came to him by day, when he could be found in his office studying the map of the world, or by night, when his mind was filled with strange dreams.
Read the article online in Don Bosco Today pp 18-21
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