RM Resources

Celebration of the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco


Via della Pisana 1111 - 00163 Roma

The Rector Major

Prot. 12/0325
Rome, 16th August 2012
Remembrance of the birth of Don Bosco

To the Reverend Provincials
at their respective addresses

Subject: Celebration of the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco 

Dear Confreres,

Today, the 16th of August, begins the second year of preparation for the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco. Of the three years of preparation, this year is the most demanding; we are asked to take the experience of Don Bosco the Educator as our starting-point and renew our Salesian pedagogy; in point of fact, the Preventive System has to be inculturated and put into practice.
I now wish to offer you some points that may help you to plan the celebration of the Bicentenary at the local, provincial and national level in good time. I ask every Province to draw up its own programme and coordinate the activities of its local communities. In those countries in which several Provinces are present, it is important that there be a national programme.
I would like to remind you that this celebration will take place after the GC27: it will begin on the 16th of August 2014 and conclude on the 16th of August 2015. The direction and the theme of the bicentenary year, as a logical outcome of the preparatory years, will centre on: Don Bosco’s  mission with the young and for the young.


1. World calendar

To celebrate the Bicentenary year, the preparation of the following events is already under way:
            16 August 2014                     Opening of the Bicentenary at Colle Don Bosco
            19 - 23 November 2014         International Historical Congress at the Salesianum, Rome
            19 - 21 March 2015                International Pedagogical Congress at the UPS, Rome
            21 - 25 May 2015                   Meeting of Salesian Bishops at Turin
            06 - 09 August 2015              International Congress of Mary Help of Christians at Turin
            11 - 16 August 2015                          Campo Bosco of the SYM at Turin and Colle Don Bosco
            16 August 2015                     Closing of the Bicentenary at Colle Don Bosco
In like manner, every Province and country will arrange its own calendar and will involve the young, families, the Church, society and the Salesian Family.


2. Publications

Some publications are foreseen for the bicentenary year; Provinces and countries are invited to do their own planning to disseminate Salesian material.
2.1 Salesian sources
This was requested by the GC26; the work of editing the sources has been entrusted to the Salesian Historical Institute; later, it will be necessary to produce translations in different languages.
2.2 Translation of Fr. Arthur Lenti’s volumes: “Don Bosco: History and Spirit”
Following the Spanish translation and publication in three volumes, the translation and publication in Italian is under way, again in three volumes; it would be appropriate to have translations in other languages as well.
2.3 A new biography of Don Bosco
The LDC is already preparing a new biography in Italian, in popular style, which takes into account the recent studies on Don Bosco.
2.4 The pilgrim’s manual
A manual is being prepared in various languages for pilgrimages to the Salesian holy places.
2.5 Acts of the International Historical Congress of 2014
These Acts are usually published by the LAS of the UPS.
2.6 Salesians 2015
This is a publication in various languages about the life of the Congregation in the world, and is being seen to by the Social Communications sector.
The Social Communications sector may also identify other means and languages to make Don Bosco’s charism known.


3. Pilgrimages to the Salesian holy places

At the present day a pilgrimage is an effective and much appreciated way of communicating a spiritual experience. The Salesian holy places hold an attraction and are a reminder to us about returning to the sources of our charism. It would be appropriate to already begin to consider the time and the manner of arranging a pilgrimage.
Considering the number of bookings, I ask you to address your requests for all the Salesian holy places of Turin-Valdocco, Colle, Chieri, Turin-St. John the Evangelist, San Benigno… to the following e-mail address: bicentenario@salesianipiemonte.it  In the case of bookings already made, the Provincial of the ICP Province of Turin asks you to confirm them in writing to the same e-mail address.

I want to thank you for your concern, your closeness to me and your prayers for my health. The Lord, who is infinitely good, listens to you and showers on me an abundance of his blessings, granting me the health, strength, enthusiasm and serenity I need to continue my work of animating and governing the Congregation.

I entrust all of you to the maternal care and guidance of Mary Immaculate, the Help of Christians.
Yours cordially in the Lord,

Fr Pascual Chávez Villanueva