Don Bosco

Convocation and Provisions of the Fourth General Chapter




Dear sons in J. C.,
This year, in accordance with our holy Constitutions, (Chapter VI, art. 3.) the General Chapter will need to be held in September three years after the one that was held in 1883. In the coming autumn six-year terms will also elapse since the last election of the Superior Chapter in 1880, and in accordiance with Chapter IX art. 3, will need to be renewed.

Therefore I am announcing that the aforementioned General Chapter will be held in our College at Valsalice near Turin and will commence on the 1st September next. According to the note of the art. 3 of Chapter VI of the aforementioned Constitutions, those who must take part in this meeting, in addition to the members of the Superior Chapter, the Provincials, and Procurator General, are also the rectors of the various Houses of our Society. Let each Rector manage things in such a way that he will be free for this circumstance. Given the need for the elections for the Superior Chapter, in accordance with art. 4 of Chapter IX of the Constitutions, he will need to bring a perpetually professed member with him, elected for this purpose by the conferes of the House.

As of now, individuals are receiving an outline of the topics to be discussed in the General Chapter, so that by bringing it to the knowledge of their confreres, a serious study of it can be made. Each one can then put in writing the proposals and reflections he considers to be to the greater glory of God and for the benefit of our Pious Society,and send these in good time to Fr Francesco Cerruti, Schools Councilor of our Society, who will be the Moderator for the General Chapter.

The election of the Superior Chapter will take place on the 2nd day of the gatherings, ie on September 2nd.

It would be appropriate for the Rectors,along  with the confreres who are taking part in the election, to also attend the retreat which will precede the Chapter, and which will begin on August 25th in San Benigno Canavese.

I do not need to remind you of the importance of the General Chapter and of the elections to be carried out. Everyone will have understood this; rather, I warmly recommend all Salesian confreres to pray especially to the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Help of Christians and to St. Francis de Sales every day to obtain the enlightenment and protection necessary for the success of the Chapter.

Trusting in the divine assistance, I beg the Lord to send His heavenly blessings upon you and your pupils and confreres, 

Your affectionate friend in J. C.
Fr John  Bosco.





Dear Sons in J. C.,
The time fixed for the the General Chapter and the election of the members of the Superior Chapter, about which I wrote to you in my letter of May 31, is approaching.  I am convinced that the outline of topics that will be discussed in the Chapter will have been received in time and distributed to be studied. Now, following this letter, I recommend that those who have not yet sent in their proposals, should endeavour to send them to Fr Francesco Cerruti no later than August 15, so that there is the necessary time to examine and take note of them, at the convenience of the individual commissions which will be responsible for reporting on them. With a view to obtaining enlightenment from the Holy Spirit, which we need in a matter of such importance for our Pious Society, I believe it is appropriate to establish that beginning in August, after the meditation or at some other convenient time, the Veni Creator Spiritus  should be said daily in common in each House and the Oremus: Deus qui corda fidelium.

May Mary Help of Christians continue to show her motherly assistance and St. Francis de Sales obtain for us the grace to be his true followers.
The Lord bless you all, and you also pray for me 

Turin, 24 July 1886.

Your dear friend in J. C.
Fr John Bosco.