The calendar for the 2014-2015 Bicentenary includes events that will involve the congregation world-wide. They will be of different kinds. Some are addressed to specific individuals such as experts in history and pedagogy; others to groups such as the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement; the Salesian Family; Salesian Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops; and missionaries. There are also occasions intended for civil and religious authorities and the general public.
The events already planned will be held mostly in Turin, in Castelnuovo Don Bosco and in Rome. They include the following:
On the occasion of the Bicentenary and precisely because of the commemoration of the birth of Don Bosco, Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia, Archbishop of Turin, has announced that the Holy Shroud will be on display in Turin for 45 days between Easter and the end of the Bicentenary celebrations.
In reference to the time chosen for the display, the Archbishop explained: "The opening of the Exposition at Easter time leads us to reflect on the death and resurrection of the Lord. For believers, the Shroud, which was a death-shroud, becomes a witness that evokes very effectively the victory of the Lord of life."
Archbishop Nosiglia Bishop added a further reflection on the extraordinary nature of this Exposition in 2015 on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Don Bosco: " Coming in 2015, it connects with the Salesian Jubilee. This is an anniversary that means a lot for Turin and the surrounding area, because it is here we find the roots of the holiness of Don Bosco and the experience of the sons of Don Bosco." The Exposition is an event distinct from the Salesian celebrations, but it is also closely connected in "a climate of fraternal and mutual cooperation."
For these two reasons, Pope Francis has been invited to Turin. Regarding his visit the Archbishop says: "We are confident that Pope Francis will come to pray before the sacred Linen and to honour St. John Bosco, setting a seal upon a remarkable year. The Holy Father has accepted our invitation and that of the Salesians, but for now no date has been fixed."
In the course of the Bicentenary year, from 1 May to 31 October, Expo 2015 will take place in Milan. The theme is "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." It is a global occasion in which the congregation will participate with thirty events from various parts of the Salesian world. It will be an opportunity for us to promote educational issues which are part of the commitment of the Congregation: Development Education, Global Citizenship, Volunteering, and Education and Human Rights. It will also offer an opportunity to approach the theme of EXPO from an educational perspective: nourish the body, nourish the mind, nourish life and nourish the planet.
Finally there will be national events in the various countries in which the Salesian Congregation is involved in educational and preventive activity, in the style of Don Bosco. These will involve mainly young people, the laity and the Salesian Family. In Italy in particular, the provinces, in coordination with each other, are planning events in the major cities.
The official start of the celebrations in Italy will be on Saturday, 24 January 2015 in Turin. This is the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of the Salesian Congregation, which is officially entitled the Society of St. Francis de Sales.