Wednesday, February 1, 2012




VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in Vienna, Austria, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of that city, presided at a Mass of thanksgiving for Sunday's beatification of Hildegard Burjan in the cathedral of St. Stephen. In his remarks following the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Benedict XVI had reminded faithful how the new blessed had borne "magnificent witness to the Gospel".
A Vatican Radio transmission dedicated to Blessed Hildegard explained that she was born into a Jewish family 1883 in the then Prussian city of Gorlitz, and studied philosophy at the University of Zurich. She married and, some time later following a period of illness, discovered the Christian faith and was baptised in 1909. She moved to Vienna where she became a member of the Austrian parliament, dedicating her political activity to serving the Gospel in support of workers and the oppressed, in keeping with the teachings of Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical "Rerum novarum".

In 1912 she founded the Association of Christian Women Home Workers, offering help to the hungry, creating a support network for families and combating child labour. In 1919 she founded the Congregation of Sisters of "Caritas Socialis". In her dedication to the family she also gave birth to a daughter, against the advice of doctors who recommended an abortion for health reasons. She thirsted after justice, seeing the Face of Jesus in the poor and suffering. "We cannot help people with money and small offerings", she would say, "rather we must give them the confidence that they are capable of doing something for themselves".

In his homily yesterday, Cardinal Schonborn noted that Hildegard Burjan is proof that sanctity is also possible in political life. She "announced the Gospel through action", he said. "Her beatification comes at a good time to highlight that action is a core issue. ... Hildegard was a convincing Christian because, without too many words, she acted. In our own time we must again learn to understand what it means to be disciples, and to this end what we need are not theories, but examples of people who speak through their actions".
RV/ VIS 20120131 (360)


VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. today released a communique in response to questions from journalists about an article published in today's edition of the Italian newspaper "Corriere dell Sera" entitled "Dalla Congregazione dei Santi 1.6 milioni al 'Madoff dei Parioli'" (1.6 Million from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to the 'Madoff of the Parioli'"). The text of the communique is given below.

"Fr. Francesco Maria Ricci, who is mentioned in the article, is a Dominican religious who works on behalf of his order. He does not in any way belong to the Congregation for the Causes of Saint. It must be made clear that Postulators are 'clients' of the Congregation, with which they interact in order to promote the causes they are handling, but they are by no means part of the Congregation. It is important, then, to highlight the fact that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, its prefect Cardinal Amato and its officials are not involved in any way with the events about which the article speaks".
OP/ VIS 20120131 (190)


VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for February is: "That all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life".

His mission intention is: "That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world's poorest regions".


VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Francesco Moraglia of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato, Italy, as patriarch of Venice (area 871, population 375,790, Catholics 372,032, priests 394, permanent deacons 29, religious 755), Italy.

- Appointed Bishop Filippo Iannone O. Carm. of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo, Italy, as vice gerent of the diocese of Rome (area 881, population 2,816,706, Catholics 2,473,000, priests 4,922, permanent deacons 116, religious 27,375), conferring upon him the dignity of archbishop.

- Appointed Msgr. Matteo Maria Zuppi of the clergy of the diocese of Rome, pastor of the parish of "Santi Simone e Giuda in Torre Angela", and Msgr. Lorenzo Leuzzi of the clergy of the diocese of Rome, director of the vicariate of Rome's office for pastoral care in universities, rector of the church of "San Gregorio Nazianzeno in Montecitorio" and chaplain of the Italian parliament, as auxiliaries of Rome. Bishop-elect Zuppi was born in Rome in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1981. He has served in various pastoral offices within the diocese of Rome Bishop-elect Leuzzi was born in Traini, Italy in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1984. Before becoming a priest he qualified as a medical doctor. He has worked in pastoral care in his native region of Puglia and in Rome, and is author of a number of books.

- Appointed Fr. Vincent Harolimana, rector of the St. Pius X Minor Seminary in the diocese of Nyundo, Rwanda, as bishop of Ruhengeri (area 1,762, population 989,000, Catholics 488,000, priests 57, religious 82), Rwanda. The bishop-elect was born in Mpembe, Rwanda in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1990. He studied in Rome where he gained a doctorate in dogmatic theology, and is a visiting professor of that subject at a number of institutions in Rwanda.

- Appointed Msgr. Jozef Hal'ko of the clergy of the archdiocese of Bratislava, Slovakia, spokesperson for the archbishop and director of pastoral care for the Hungarian minority, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 3,759, population 769,768, Catholics 484,749, priests 528, permanent deacons 5, religious 925). The bishop-elect was born in Bratislava in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1994. He studied in Rome and has worked as a professor of ecclesiastical history at the Roman Catholic Theological Faculty of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Bratislava.

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Katowice, Poland, presented by Bishop Gerard Bernacki, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.


MOGADISHU, January 31, 2012 (CISA) -Eastern Africa Journalists Association (EAJA) has condemned last Saturday’s killing of a senior journalist and trade unionist in Somalia, Hassan Osman Abdi, by gunmen in Mogadishu and demanded that the matter be investigated by an independent team and not the Transitional Government’s security agencies.
Abdi, who was the director of Shabelle Media Network and also an official of the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) within Mogadishu, was shot dead on Saturday January 28, 2012 as he arrived home in the Madina district in Mogadishu.
He was reportedly trailed from the office by five armed men in a vehicle who fired five shots at him. He sustained serious injuries on his head and chest and died on the way to Madina hospital.
Reports from Mogadishu say the journalist was investigating corruption related issues within the public institutions in Somalia.
In a statement, EAJA President Dr. Muheldin Ahmed Idris said EAJA was saddened by the senseless killings of journalists in Somalia and the inability of the TFG’ inability both to protect journalists and investigate the killings.
“We condemn the brutal killing of the journalist and demand immediate and independent investigations,” Said Dr. Idris.
He said EAJA joined in affiliate, NUSOJ, in demanding the protection of journalists and justice for those killed adding that the TFG had the responsibility to put in place measures to protect journalists.


CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT: by Staff Reporter on Thursday, 26 January 2012
Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster (Mazur/
An English bishop has confirmed that Anglicans who were received into the Catholic Church years ago can join the personal ordinariate created by Benedict XVI last year.
The Pope established the world’s first personal ordinariate for groups of former Anglicans that wished to enter into full communion with Rome in January 2011. There was discussion at the time about whether Anglicans received before 2011 could also join the structure under the terms of Anglicanorum coetibus, the apostolic constitution describing the nature of personal ordinariates.
Writing in the January 2012 issue of The Newman, the journal of the Newman Association, Bishop Alan Hopes clarified that the ordinariate was open to all former Anglicans.
The bishop, who serves as an auxiliary in Westminster diocese and as episcopal delegate to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, wrote: “The personal ordinariate is for former Anglicans – but Anglicans who converted some years ago can, if they so wish, say that they would like to become members of the ordinariate. There is that dual possibility.
“The decision-making body is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. They are the people who will be the final arbiters in any question that might arise. There are points in the constitution [Anglicanorum coetibus] that will have to be fleshed out.”
The bishop, a former Anglican who was received into the Catholic Church in 1994, said that the long-term future of the ordinariate was unclear.
“As for the future, it may be God’s will that it should be the present structure, but maybe in 50 years’ time the ordinariate will become fully integrated into the Catholic Church. Who knows? We must wait and see,” he wrote.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
31 Jan 2012

Hundreds of children are taken
into care each year
The transfer of care of children at risk from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (DoCs) to non-government child welfare agencies such as CatholicCare has begun. The handing over of responsibility for several foster families and their young charges to the private sector is underway despite details of funding yet to be finalised.
But consultations between private child welfare agencies and the Government are continuing with all those involved determined to deliver long lasting reform that will improve the lives of the state's most vulnerable children.
"Our members and other private sector agencies are working with the Government towards achieving a unit cost with business rules that allow for special needs, and one that is equitable to providing quality care for children who cannot live with their birth parents, and who require stable, caring and supported living arrangements," says Andrew McCallum, CEO of the Association of Children's Welfare Agencies.
The Government has offered an annual contribution of $37,000 per child in standard care. However this is not considered enough by many of the private sector agencies to cover costs of looking after a child who has been abused and neglected, and who as a result is often troubled, difficult, filled with rage and problematic.
Such children need special care and patience and guardianship of such children needs to be of the highest quality, Mr McCallum says, but insists he is confident an agreement will be reached.
"This is the first time the Government has put a figure on the table. There is good will on both sides, and despite the NSW Government having scarce resources and having handed down a tight budget in September, it is determined to do what is best for the children," he says.

Foster Mums Open their Hearts and Homes
to children in need
Since the March 2011 election, the O'Farrell government has acted on its pre-commitment to continue to roll-out the policy reforms agenda resulting from the Justice James Wood Inquiry into Child Protection handed down in late 2008.
The Inquiry recommended an increased focus on early intervention and support for families at risk, and wanted to see the responsibility of court-ordered out-of-home care for vulnerable abused or neglected children moved from the Department of Family and Community Services to the private sector. This way the children could be better looked after and monitored and the Department itself freed up to concentrate its staff resources on child protection.
The Wood Inquiry was instigated in the wake of the deaths of two young children in NSW after a two year old boy was found folded into a suitcase in a lake in Sydney's south west and a young girl found starved to death in her home in Hawks Nest, north of Sydney. Both children's families were known to the Department. But despite this and knowing the children were at risk, the Department had been unable to prevent their deaths due to the large number of cases and an over-stretched staff.
Vowing to reduce the number of children placed in out-of-home care by 2015, the NSW Government is also determined to prevent multiple placements at different foster homes which triggers developmental, behavioural, emotional and mental health issues among at risk children.

CatholicCare's foster program
tries to keep siblings together
Placed in foster care by non government agencies, it is believed there will be more positive outcomes for these children. Certainly at agencies such as CatholicCare, not only are foster families carefully screened and given expert training but they receive ongoing support as well as funding. Visits and contact with the child's own family are also encouraged which in turn minimises trauma and feelings of abandonment for the young boy or girl.
The welfare agency of the Archdiocese of Sydney, CatholicCare has been involved with foster care of vulnerable children for more than half a century. Currently the agency has 81 well-trained, experienced and compassionate foster families who look after as many as 130 children each year.
"Some children are given emergency foster care which can last a few days or just a week or two. Others are in temporary care from a few weeks to several months while some are in long term care," says Andree Borc, CatholicCare's Manager for the Professional Support of Children.
CatholicCare's foster care program is highly regarded and well known for specialist foster care of children with disabilities. The agency also has foster families who are willing and able to foster siblings so that sisters and brothers who need out of home care can be kept together.
"For most children who cannot live safely with their own families, either on a temporary or more permanent basis, a foster home is the best possible caring environment in which to grow safely and learn how to trust and love," says Maureen Eagles, CatholicCare's Director of Family, Children and Youth Services.

Foster care can be rewarding
and make a positive difference
to a young life
CatholicCare (Sydney) together with CatholicCare and Centacare agencies across NSW provide hundreds of foster family and residential group care placements for children at risk and between them have more than 150 years experience in the field. Sadly, though with child abuse continuing to rise and more than 8000 children to be transferred from Department of Family and Community Services to out-of-home care in the private sector over the next five years, many more dedicated, committed and big hearted foster families will be needed.
"We have some wonderful foster families but we need more," says Andree, but warns that taking on the role of a foster parent requires more than a mother's love, no matter how big her heart and how generous her spirit.
"Loving the children is absolutely vital but so too is compassion, resilience, and self awareness so that you know your own limitations. Fostering means using all your skills as a mother. It also means acknowledging the child's birth parents who may be distanced from the child at that time but are nevertheless important figures in the child's life," she says.
Qualities such as humour, flexibility, openness and warmth are also important as are the reactions and responses of each member in the family. "Fostering affects everyone in the family whether this is your husband or your children, you need their input and support as well."
As a foster family with CatholicCare you enter into an ongoing and close partnership. With the help of the agency, you can make a positive and lasting difference in young people's lives.
If you wish to find out more, log on to and click on "Children & Youth Services" and then from the column on the left hand side, click on Out of Home Care Services.


Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - 8,7% of Chilean children younger than 18 years of age belong to an indigenous group, and this really puts them in a situation of greater vulnerability than their non-indigenous peers. A recent study conducted by the Ministry of Social Development in Chile and the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF), entitled "incluir, Sumar y Escuchar - Infancia y Adolescencia Indígena" took into account the child and adolescent population in the years from 1996 to 2009. Data shows that poverty is present in the lives of 26.6% of Chilean children and indigenous adolescents, while among non-natives, this percentage is lower, amounting to 21.7%. In addition, 23.1% of households with indigenous children are below the poverty line, while the same situation applies only to 17.6% of non-indigenous families.
After stressing the "feminization of indigenous poverty", the study notes that "women have a delay concerning work integration, which is accentuated in rural and indigenous areas " also their contractual situation is more unstable. The average income of a breadwinner, where children are present is lower in the case of female-headed households. Women heads of households with indigenous child population living in an urban context get 78% of the income received by men heads of households with the same characteristics. The female-headed of rural households, composed of indigenous children and adolescents, instead receive 54% of the earnings of men breadwinners in the same situation.
Preschool and primary education presents similar data for indigenous children than non-natives: the difference in access to education is apparent in the early stages of secondary and higher education: 29.9% of non-indigenous access to higher education , while among the indigenous this figure is less than 20%. 89.4% of the indigenous child population does not speak or understand his/her native language. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 31/01/2012)


ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Nirmala Carvalho
The attack on the colleges of St. Joseph Anegal (40 km south of Bangalore) occurred on January 27. Reason for the assault, failure to display the Indian flag during celebrations for the national holiday. The extremists attack the university campus before the eyes of the police, who arrested without cause, the rector Fr. Melvin Medonca. The University is renowned for its commitment in the education of Dalits and tribals.

Bangalore (AsiaNews) - The violence against Christians in the Karanataka continues. In recent days, a mob of radical Hindu extremists stormed St Joseph's College Anegal Pu, (40 km south of Bnagalore). The radicals beat up the students and asked for the arrest of the director of the school for not having hoisted the national flag during the celebration of the Indian Republic, last January 26. The assailants belong to the Hindu movement Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Rashtra Sakthi Sese and Karnataka Raskshana Vedike, and even included members of Anekal City Council.

During the attack. Fr. Melvin Mendonca, director of the institute, and Fr. Anil D'Mello local superior of the Jesuits, tried to calm the crowd, which broke into the school, disrupting classes. The police were present but did nothing to stop the attackers. Students from the school had to form a shield to defend their rector, but were beaten by security agents before the extremists. To avoid accidents, the priest turned himself in to agents. Under pressure from the radicals, the police forced the priest to walk the distance to station on foot under a shower of verbal abuse, anti-Christian slogans and intimidation. Without any reason, the agents detained Fr. Melvin at the station only releasing him at 9 in the evening after nine hours of interrogation. The Director of the school is not allowed to make any statement on the aggression he suffered.

Interviewed by AsiaNews, Fr Melvin rejects the accusations and says that the flag was displayed on the campus of Jnana Jyoti, headquarters of the institute. "We respect and have regard for the national sentiment - he says - and we do not want in any way prevent the celebrations in our school. The flag was hoisted in the new seat of the university, which will commence academic activities next year. "

The Graduate Institute of St Joseph Anegal has existed for over 40 years and since 2010 has been welcoming students from poorer sections of society. To date, 378 students study in the institute, among them there are about 220 are Dalits and 60tribals.

Fr. Melvin points out that "the Hindus stormed the university not because the flag was not on display, but to prevent the education of Dalits and Tribals. "In the last year – he continues - the members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad stormed the campus eight times and have called for the closure of the institute during the agitation organized by the Hindu leader Hanna Hazare. However, we have resisted the pressure. "

Several attacks against Christians have been recorded in recent years in the municipality of Anegal. In 2010 a Jesuit priest was stabbed while returning from a village a few kilometers from the city. In the same year a group of college students of St. Joseph were attacked by extremists. In 2011 the Anegal Catholic church was damaged with stones and offensive graffiti against Christians.


Mark 5: 21 - 43
21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea.
22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Ja'irus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet,
23 and besought him, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live."
24 And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.
25 And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,
26 and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.
27 She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.
28 For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well."
29 And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my garments?"
31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, `Who touched me?'"
32 And he looked around to see who had done it.
33 But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.
34 And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?"
36 But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe."
37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
38 When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly.
39 And when he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping."
40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was.
41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, "Tal'itha cu'mi"; which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise."
42 And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.
43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.


St. John Bosco
Feast: January 31

Feast Day: January 31
August 16, 1815, Castelnuovo, Piedmont, Italy
Died: January 31, 1888, Turin, Italy
Canonized: April 1, 1934, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine: The Tomb of St John Bosco - Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin, Italy
Patron of: Christian apprentices, editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people
"In his life the supernatural became the natural and the extraordinary the ordinary." So spoke Pope Pius XI of the beloved Don Bosco, renowned for his educational pioneering and his affectionate care for the fatherless. Born Giovanni Melchior Bosco in 1815, the future saint was the youngest son of a peasant farmer in the hamlet of Becchi, in the Piedmont district of north Italy. He lost his father at the age of two and was brought up by a devoted and industrious mother, Margaret Bosco, who had a hard struggle maintaining the home and the three children, all of them boys. A dream that little Giovanni had at the age of nine revealed to him his vocation. He seemed to be surrounded by a mob of fighting and swearing children whom he tried in vain to pacify, at first by arguments and then by hitting them. Suddenly there appeared a mysterious woman who said: "Softly, softly . . . if you wish to win them! Take your shepherd's staff and lead them to pasture." Even as she spoke, the children were transformed first into wild beasts and then into gentle lambs. From that time on, the boy thought, it was his clear duty to lead and help other boys.

He began with those of his own village, teaching them the Catechism and bringing them to church. As an inducement, he would amuse them first with acrobatic and conjuring tricks, at which he became very clever. One Sunday morning when an itinerant juggler and gymnast was holding the children spellbound by his performance, young John challenged him to a competition and beat him at his own tricks. Then he marched off to church, followed by his admiring audience. It was more or less by chance that this talented boy learned to read. He was staying with an aunt who was servant to the priest, and when the priest was told of John's ambition, he taught him gladly. But John didn't want to stop with reading and writing; he wished to study for the priesthood. Many difficulties had to be overcome before he could even begin his preliminary studies. When, at sixteen, he entered the seminary at Chieri, he was so poor that money for his maintenance and his clothes had to be supplied by charity. The village mayor contributed a hat, one friendly person gave him a cloak, and another a pair of shoes. People were eager to help a boy who was himself so eager and ambitious. After his ordination as deacon, he attended the theological school at nearby Turin, finding time to continue his volunteer work with homeless or neglected boys. Having won the approbation of his superiors for what he was doing, he began to gather around him regularly on Sunday afternoons a band of these waifs and young apprentices.
After taking Holy Orders, his first appointment was assistant chaplain of a home for girls, founded by the Marchesa Barolo, a wealthy and philanthropic woman. This post left Don Bosco free on Sundays to devote himself to his group of boys. He set up for them a sort of combined Sunday School and recreation center on grounds belonging to the Marchesa, which he called "the festive Oratory." But the Marchesa quickly withdrew her permission, because the boys were, naturally, noisy and unruly, and sometimes even made so bold as to pick the flowers in the garden. For more than a year the group was regarded as a nuisance and sent from pillar to post. No property owner was able to put up with them for long. When at last Don Bosco was able to hire an old shed as a meeting place, and the future seemed promising, the Marchesa delivered herself of an ultimatum. He must choose between giving up the boys—who now numbered several hundred—or resigning his post at the girl's orphanage. Don Bosco promptly resigned, to devote himself wholly to the boys.
In the midst of these anxieties, he was prostrated by a severe attack of pneumonia that came near ending his life. As soon as he had recovered, he went to live in some poor rooms adjoining a new Oratory, or gathering place, with his mother as housekeeper. For ten years this good woman served as his adjutant and loyal helper, extending her motherly care over all the waifs and strays her son brought to her. Don Bosco now applied himself to consolidating his work and planning for the years to come. A night school which had been opened the previous year took shape, and as the Oratory was soon overcrowded, he opened two more youth centers in other parts of Turin. About the same time he began housing a few destitute boys. His next step was to build for his flock a small church which he placed under the patronage of his favorite saint, Francis de Sales. With that completed, he started to build a home for his steadily growing family. No one knew just how he managed to raise the money for these various projects, but his natural persuasiveness had much to do with it.
Those enrolled as boarders in the school were of two sorts: young apprentices and craftsmen, and other youths of more than average intelligence in whom Don Bosco discerned future helpers, with, possibly, vocations to the priesthood. At first they attended classes outside, but, as more teachers were enlisted, academic and technical courses were given at the house. By 1856 a hundred and fifty boys were in residence; there were four workshops, including a printing shop, and four Latin classes, with ten young priests as instructors; all this in addition to the oratories with their five hundred children. He cultivated in all of them a taste for music, and he was a believer in the therapeutic value of play. Don Bosco's understanding of young people, their needs, and their dreams, gave him great influence. He could manage them without punishment. "I do not remember to have used formal punishment," he wrote, "and with God's grace I have always obtained-and from apparently hopeless children-not alone what duty exacted but what my wish simply expressed." With an approach that seems quite modern, he planned programs that combined play, song, study, prayer, and manual work. He knew that straight academic learning was not enough. "Knowledge gives more power in the exercise of good or evil," he said, "but alone it is an indifferent weapon, lacking guidance."
Don Bosco's outgoing personality made him popular as a preacher, and there were many demands on his time to speak to various congregations. As a third form of activity, in the few hours that remained to him, he wrote useful and popular books for boys. In that day there was almost no attractive reading matter written especially for young people, and Don Bosco set himself to fill this need. He wrote stories based on history, and sometimes popular treatises on the faith. Often he toiled far into the night, until, in later life, his failing eyesight compelled him to give up writing.
A plan for some sort of religious order, to carry on the work when he had passed away, had long been in Don Bosco's mind, and at last he felt he had the strong nucleus of helpers that was required. "On the night of January 26, 1854, we were assembled in Don Bosco's room," writes one of the men present. "Besides Don Bosco, there were Cagliero, Rocchetti, Artiglia, and Rua. It was suggested that with God's help we should enter upon a period of practical works of charity to help our neighbors. At the close of the period, we might bind ourselves by a promise which could subsequently be transformed into a vow. From that evening, the name of Salesian was given to all who embarked on that form of apostolate." The name of course honored the great bishop of Geneva, St. Francis de Sales. It was not a propitious time for launching a new order, for in all its history Piedmont had never been so anti-clerical. The Jesuits and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart had been expelled, many convents suppressed, and laws were being passed curtailing the rights of religious orders. The statesman Urbano Rattazzi, one of those most responsible for the anti-clerical legislation, was deeply interested in popular education. As a resident of Turin, Rattazzi was familiar with Father John's activities, and, on meeting him by chance one day, urged him to found a society to further his valuable work, promising the support of the government.
The project grew, and in 1858 John went to Rome, taking with him the rules of the institution. From Pope Pius IX he received preliminary approbation. Sixteen years later he obtained full sanction, together with permission to present candidates for Holy Orders. The new society grew rapidly. Within five years there were thirty-nine Salesians; at the time of the founder's death there were eight hundred, and by 1929 the number had increased to about eight thousand. One of Father John's dreams was realized when he sent his first missionaries to the bleak and faraway land of Patagonia; other areas of South America were soon the scene of missionary endeavor. He lived to see twenty-six houses started in the New World and thirty-eight in the Old.
His next great work was the foundation in 1862 of an order of women to do for poor girls what the Salesians were doing for boys. The original group consisted of twenty-seven young women to whom he gave the name of Daughters of St. Mary Auxiliatrix, the Helper. The organization now numbers many thousands, with elementary schools in Italy, Brazil, and Argentina. To supplement the work of these two congregations, Father John organized his outside lay helpers into a new kind of Third Order, which he called Salesian Cooperators. They were men and women of all classes who pledged themselves to assist in practical ways the educational labors of the Salesians.
Any account of the life of this saint would be incomplete without some mention of his achievements as a builder of churches. His first little church of St. Francis de Sales soon proved inadequate, and he undertook the construction of a much larger building. This he finished in 1868, dedicating it to St. Mary the Helper. Later he found means to put up another spacious and much-needed church in a poor quarter of Turin, and this he placed under the patronage of St. John the Evangelist. But the immense effort of money-raising had left Don Bosco weary and depleted. He was not allowed time to recover his strength before another task was put before him. During the last years of Pope Pius IX, a project had been formed of building at Rome a church in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Pius himself had donated money to buy the site. His successor, Leo XIII, was eager for the work to be carried forward, but there was difficulty in raising funds. It was suggested to the Pope that this was something that Don Bosco did better than anyone else, and when he was asked to undertake it, he accepted the challenge.
After obtaining a considerable sum in Italy, Don Bosco went to France, where devotion to the cult of the Sacred Heart was particularly intense at this time. He was successful in his appeals, money came flowing in, and the early completion of the church was assured. As the day appointed for its consecration drew near, he was sometimes heard to murmur that if there were any delay, he would not live to witness it. Two years before the doctors had said that this generous-hearted man had worn himself out and that complete retirement offered the only chance of prolonging his life. Don Bosco had the joy of living a few months beyond the consecration of the church, which took place on May 14, 1887. He said one Mass before the new high altar.
Later in the year it became plain that his days were numbered; he gradually weakened, and on the morning of January 31, 1888, he died in his home city of Turin. Forty thousand persons came to the church to do honor to Don Bosco, and the entire city turned out as his remains were borne to their resting place. His memory was cherished and his work carried on by his followers. Not many years had elapsed before a movement was begun for his beatification. He was declared Venerable by Pope Pius X in 1907, beatified by Pius XI in 1929, and canonized by him in 1934. Don Bosco exemplified a new trend in the treatment of children, anticipating in some respects the practices of modern psychologists. Intuitively he knew that the loving care and attention of a wise, interested adult was essential to the healthy growth of every child, and he gave his very best to those children who had the least.


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