In 1875 the first Salesian missionaries were sent by St John Bosco from Turin, Italy to Buenos Aires in Argentina. Since then, Salesian priests and brothers continue to volunteer for the missions, to be sent by the Rector Major to wherever there are young people in need across the Salesian world.
From the 1920s through to the 1970s, Salesians from the UK were sent as missionaries to South Africa, India, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, Iran, Australia, the Falkland Islands, Ethiopia and Swaziland In 1980, at the invitation of Don Vigano, the seventh successor of Don Bosco, the Salesians in the UK agreed to adopt the new Salesian mission in Liberia, West Africa. The following day, a coup overturned the Liberian government, and the formerly stable country entered chaos and eventually, civil war. Salesians from the UK remained there, serving young people, some of whom had been conscripted as child soldiers, until 2001. In the height of the conflict, when the UN had been expelled from Liberia, British Salesians took on the work of distributing food to families. Sean Devereux, a former Salesian student in Britain, who was killed in Somalia while working for UNICEF in 1993, gained his first experience of aid work as a Salesian volunteer in Liberia in the early days of the conflict.
Our Salesian missionaries created a polytechnic in Monrovia, Liberia and established schools, vocational skills programmes and youth centres. This work could not have been done without the support and prayers of generous friends back here in the UK.
Now, Liberia is part of the Anglophone West Africa (AFW) Salesian Province, along with Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana. Our Province continues its connection to the region by a commitment to send £90,000 each year to fund the training of young Salesians as Salesian priests and Salesian brothers in AFW Province, who will minister to the young in their own countries and overseas.
How you can help Salesian Missions
Could you help support the training of men like Fr Blamoh Harris SDB, who became the first Liberian Salesian, and Br Gregory Echegwo SDB from Nigeria, (who has been sent as a Salesian missionary to the UK by the Rector Major)?
- Pray for Salesian missionaries and the people they serve
- Volunteer in a Salesian missionary project overseas through our BOVA project
- Make a donation to the UK Mission Office
Fr Kieran Anderson SDB
Director, UK Mission Office
Thornleigh Salesian House
Bolton BL1 6PQ
Telephone +44 (0) 1204 600 720