Salesians around the world together form a map of individuals consecrated to God, who live in communities in fellowship and service of the young, especially the poorest of them.
Currently there are 14,299 Salesians in 134 nations, with 90 Provinces and 1865 Houses. Here is a vast Salesian movement of considerable pastoral energy to be found in various and different continents, cultures and societies in order to educate by evangelising and to evangelise by educating.
Since the time of St John Bosco, the father and teacher of the young, founder of the Salesians, the Salesian Congregation has been the leaven of the Gospel in societies, the salt giving flavour to education in the Church, and the light guiding young people in the name of Jesus Christ.
On the map we see the coat of arms of the Salesian Congregation with the sentence: da mihi animas caetera tolle. This is the mission that every Salesian carries as part of his life and his dream: to love young people, to walk with them in faith, to educate them for life, so they may accept their vocation to be people humanly and spiritually prepared to play a leading role in a more just, fraternal world, committed to life, integral ecology and peace.
The tenth successor of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernandez Artime, invites us to a journey that is moved by hope in a world with great social, economic, health, political and religious challenges. We are the ones who will build this map of hope through much enthusiasm, work, dedication and cheerfulness as educators of the young, and hope for all humankind.
In many of his dreams, Don Bosco saw the Salesians opening houses throughout much of the world. He dreamt and worked so hard, confident that the Salesians could always put their lives at the service of youth, for their fulfilment and happiness.
We are part of this map begun by Don Bosco. Today, with our work and our testimony, we have built the map of the present, and we journey into the future with hope and joy!
May Our Lady Help of Christians, who always inspired Don Bosco, guide us in building this grand new map of the Salesian Congregation!
Fr Gildàsio Mendes, SDB
General Councillor for Social Communication.