Educational System

Preventive System


Reason, Religion and Loving-kindness

"Don Bosco realized his personal holiness through an educative commitment (John Paul II, Letter Juvenum Patris, 5).

His pastoral praxis and pedagogical style spring from this experience. Spiritual life, apostolic commitment, educative method are three aspects of a single reality: the love and pastoral charity that unifies and drives all of existence: to be in the Church signs and bearers of God's love for the young

"This system is based entirely on reason, religion and above all on loving-kindness" (Don Bosco)

A Pedagogical Method (Pedagogy)

A Proposal for the Evangelization of the Young (Pastoral Ministry)

A Spiritual Experience (Spirituality)


The Preventive System as Pedagogy

The Preventive System is also a pedagogical method characterized by:

  • the wish to be amidst the young sharing their life, looking sympathetically at their world, attentive to their real experiences and values;
  • the unconditional acceptance that becomes a tireless capacity for dialogue and power for their growth;
  • the preventive criterion which believes in the strength of the good already present in every youngster, even the most needy, and which seeks to develop this through positive good experiences;
  • the centrality of reason which becomes reasonableness of requests and rules, flexibility and persuasiveness in proposals; and of religion understood as developing the sense of God present in every person and the power of Christian evangelization; and of loving-kindness expressed as an educative love that enables growth and brings about a meeting of minds and hearts;
  • a positive environment shot through with personal relationships, enlivened by the loving and reliable presence of educators and one which is also active, energizing and on behalf of the young;
  • with a style of animation that believes in the positive resources of the young.
The Preventive System as Pastoral Ministry

This original proposal for evangelizing the young departs from the point of encounter with the young right where they are to be found, by valuing the natural and supernatural patrimony that each youngster has in his or her self, and in an educative environment which is rich in proposals; it is carried out via an educative approach that privileges the poorest and neediest; it promotes the development of the positive resources they have and proposes a particular form of Christian life and youthful holiness.

This original project of Christian life is organized around certain experiences of faith, certain choices of gospel values and attitudes that constitute Salesian Youth Spirituality (SYS).

The Preventive System as Spirituality

The Preventive System finds its source and centre in the experience of God’s charity that through His Providence ‘comes before’ (the real meaning of ‘preventive’) each creature. This charity accompanies and saves (gives life to) the individual.

This experience predisposes the educator to welcome God in the young, convinced that in them God offers the grace of encounter with Him, and calls the educator to serve God in them, recognizing their dignity, renewing faith in their resources of goodness and educating them to fullness of life.

This pastoral charity creates an educative rapport fitted to the adolescent, indeed the poorest of them. It is a fruit of the conviction that each life, even the poorest, most complex, most precarious existence, carries within it the power of redemption and the seed of happiness – through the mysterious presence of the Holy Spirit.

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