Focus 2006

Salesian Mission Centre - PLE01-12-2006

Project: Salesian Mission Centre
Date of foundation: 1981
Place: Warsaw
Province: all Polish provinces

1. Origin and development of the Mission Office

The Salesian Missionary Centre, the official name of the Mission Office, was opened by decision of the National Conference of (Polish) Provincials in 1981. The decision was taken in order to support and carry out that part of Project Africa entrusted to the Polish provinces. The centre had a national character and its task became to coordinate all the mission initiatives in Poland. The first location for the Mission Office was at Lodz next to the Provincial House, then together with that community it was moved to Warsaw, and from 1991 has had its own place at n.20 Korovodu St. For 19 years the director of the centre was Fr Bronislaw Kant. In the house at Korowodu St. two communities, one SDB and the other FMA, have been set up.
Right from the outset the Centre has carried out the important role of preparation and organisation of the early missionary expeditions to Zambia whether from the point of view of formation or of financial support. From 1981- 2000 120 missionaries have left for the missions. Of these, 94 have gained their formation, preparation and financial help from the Mission Office. In 1995 a national missionary symposium was organised for the 120th anniversary of the Salesian missions.
Despite a communist regime at the time, the mission office developed the following publishing activities from the beginning: the Salesian Missions Magazine, and many books (1981-2000 more than 250,000 copies) and various items of publicity.

2. The Mission Centre today

Today after the political transformation, the centre is completely free to carry out its activities. The activities are carried out according to the Plan for the Activities of the Salesian Mission Centre approved by the National Conference of Provincials in 2001. The plan was drawn up on the basis of directions provided by the Rector Major of the time, Fr J. Vecchi, during the Team Visit: “to ensure and to strengthen mission activity in Poland and strengthen the national mission centre”
How do we do this?

2.1 Missionary animation

Animation and mission awareness is achieved through:
- Publishing activities: books, magazines and advertising
- Retreats for adults and young people
- Preaching in parishes, catechesis, prayer meetings
- Regional gatherings of benefactors
- Meetings with mission groups
- Social communication media

2.2 Distance adoption, various projects

One of the fruits of animation has been the number of benefactors. In 2006 this number has grown to almost 13,000 people.
For almost 5 years now distance adoption has been set up for the following countries: Uganda, Zambia, Albania, Ukraine, Gabon, Brasil, Madagascar, Cameroun, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Togo, Sudan, Peru, Georgia. More than 7000 children have been adopted but this also includes some young confreres in formation.
Up until 2006, 93 projects have been completed in 15 countries around the world.

2.3 The Salesian Missions magazine

The magazine comes out bimonthly - and has the important role of informing, forming and of mission animation in Poland. It is particularly for adults and young adults, but also for children. The magazine is sent to all benefactors and SDB and FMA communities as well as to many Salesian Cooperators. Some 13,000 are printed each print run.

2.4 Don Bosco International Volunteers

In 2002 a new kind of mission activity began, addressed mainly to young adults. More than 150 young adults, for the most part from local groups, take part in formation meetings organised at the mission office and in their local centres. Meetings at the mission office occur once a month, (alternating with a general meeting for all and another for leaders and those not belonging to any group).

The preparation for the journey to a mission lasts at least a year and occurs through formation meetings and one or two weeks living in community at the Mission Centre.

As a rule, mission trips to Africa, Latin America, Asia last for at least a year.
This year more than 10 young adults have set out for the missions (for at least a year)

Volunteers also organise different activities focused on missions: Awareness-raising, animation, various mission exhibitions, lending a hand in orphanages, helping handicapped children, organising mission groups for youngsters.

2.5 Multimedia Don Bosco

For some years the Centre has prepared films and other materials dealing with Salesian missions. We are in contact with mass media in our nation. We try to develop ideas about missions in every way possible, using mass media.
Little by little we have been setting up a professional audiovisual section of the Centre, in collaboration with a similar centre in Turin.

2.6 Missionary Museum

The Missionary Museum has an important function in missiion animation. A visit to the museum is usually tied to the projectioin of a film, and meeting up with a missionary. The number of items registered amounts to some 2,500. Usually it is school children from around Warsaw who visit.

2.7 Reception Centre for missionaries

The Mission Centre also functions as ‘home’ for missionaries returning to Poland for the holidays, or for medical help. They all receive some financial help and Mass intentions.
In 2006 42 SDB and FMA missionaries were made welcome.

2.8 The archive
The archive for the Mission Centre contains various documents and publications concerning the Salesian missions such as letters from missionaries, photo archives, video cassettes...

2.9 Retreat House

The Mission Centre has sufficient space, so it is also open for different groups or individuals who want to deepen their faith by means of a Retreat or in formation gatherings.

Address: Salezjanie
Ul. Korowodu 20
02-829 Warszawa
Tel: (+48) (22) 644.86.78
Fax: (+48) (22) 644.86.79
Web site: