Focus 2009

Cagliero Project - AUL15-05-2009

Cagliero lay Missionary Project

Project Cagliero lay Missionary Project
Date: First placements 2008
Place: EAO Region
Province: AUL (Australia -Pacific Province)


The Australia-Pacific Salesian province (AUL) has launched an exciting new project entitled ‘The Cagliero Project’. The project aims to give young people an opportunity to volunteer in an overseas or Australian Salesian mission for a year. Currently the Project is focusing on developing placements within the EAO region, in Samoa and Thailand and already has young missionaries in place in Thailand, and has run short term activities with intending candidates in Samoa.

John Cagliero was one of a small group of older boys to whom Don Bosco proposed, in 1859, that they stay with him and band together in a Society which would take the name 'Salesian', following the gentle kindness and apostolic zeal of St Francis de Sales. Cagliero eventually led the first band of Salesians to Argentina, became a Bishop and then Cardinal.


There is such a strong commitment to social justice among the youth of Australia. The World Youth Day in 2008 showed a side of Australian youth spirituality that was always there but not as evident as it might have been. The Salesians have long played a part in the development of a youthful, apostolic spirituality in the country, further reinforced by Salesian values. Not only leadership in schools, but leadership in the context of camp and social activity has borne good fruits. The Don Bosco Camp Dromana is an outstanding example of this latter, and many of its well-formed young adult leaders are now choosing 'Cagliero' as their path to extended service of the Gospel.


An important part of the Cagliero Project process a formation retreat for the people sent on mission. This is a crucial part of the project; candidates learn to 'name' their desire for service for what it is – a form of being sent in the name of the Gospel. Don Bosco commissioned his first missionaries, destined for Argentina, in a solemn ceremony in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, in Turin, on 11 November 1875. That inaugural missionary expedition, led by the then young Fr John Cagliero began a story that has spread throughout the world and now sees the Salesians working in 134 countries. It is the model for today's Cagliero Project. This project invites young Australians between the ages of 20-30 years, after appropriate training, to work together with members of Salesian communities worldwide in a true spirit of joyful, loving and selfless service.


The Cagliero Project aims to have 50 missionaries in countries around the world by the year 2012, each committed for a year of missionary service. There are already a number of missionaries working as part of the Project in Thailand, including at the Don Bosco Home in Bangsak, and another Salesian work for young people from the hill tribe areas around Chiang Mai.

A recent immersion 10 visit to Samoa, involving a group of young missionaries with leadership experience in running camps, has proven a great success, and the group 'handed over' to young Samoan leaders after a short period of intense on-the-job formation.

The Cagliero Project is being managed by Ms. Lauren Bicknell who can be contacted at:

Web site: