Revised English translation of our Rule of Life

A revised and updated English translation of the 2015 Third Edition of the Constitutions and Regulations of the Society of St Francis de Sales is now available in PDF on the Congregation’s websites, <<>> and <<>>. The text also contains the modifications introduced by GC28.

By decision of the Rector Major, who has encouraged and supported this revised translation from the outset, a new print edition will not be available until after GC29, given the possibility that this Chapter will introduce modifications to the existing Italian editio typica.

The revised translation was carried out by a team of confreres with native understanding of English, long Salesian and administrative experience, and a good knowledge of Italian (including one native speaker of Italian with good knowledge of English).

The most immediate reason for a new translation lay in glaring mistranslations such as “Vicar General,” when it should have been “Vicar of the Rector Major.”

Another reason is the evolving nature of language. The renewed and approved text of our Rule of Life was translated into English back in 1984, nearly 40 years ago, and subsequent editions only adjusted some articles following modifications introduced by General Chapters 23-28. But language and cultural sensitivities are in constant change. Thus one of the decisions was to use the inclusive language NRSVCE version of the Bible. Another was to replace ‘class’ terms with equivalents such as poorer or low-income areas, groups or surroundings.

The demographics of our Congregation are also changing: by now, 50% or more of young Salesians use English in many apostolic, academic and even domestic circumstances, even if it is not their first language.

The revised English translation is also a good preparation for GC29, which will probably introduce further modifications. It will be a relatively simple matter to introduce these into the text.

The text may be found on the two websites indicated above (at and in PDF format, though it does not contain the appendices or indexes. A forthcoming letter in the Acts of the General Council will declare it the official English language text of our Rule of Life.

“A sincere word of gratitude to the excellent team that worked with great enthusiasm and competence on this project” Fr Ivo Coelho, General Councillor for Formation, states.