Who are we?

General Regulations

General Regulations of the society
of st Francis de Sales

Regulations - en     

I Those to whom we are sent 1   2   3  
II  Our educative and pastoral service 4  5  6  7  8  9  10 
III Activities and works
Oratory and youth centre 11  12 
School and professional centres 13  14 
Boarding and hostels 15 
Initiatives for vocations 16  17 
Missions 18  19  20  21  22  23  24 
Parishes 25  26  27  28  29  30 
Social communication 31  32  33  34 
Service in non-Salesian structures 35 
IV Service to the Salesian Family 36  37  38  39  40  41 
V Fraternal and apostolic communities 42  43  44  45  46  47  48 
VI Following Christ obedient, poor and chaste
Our obedience 49  50 
Our poverty 51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65 
Our chastity 66  67  68 
VII Dialogue with the Lord 69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77 
VIII  General aspects of formation
Formation communities 78  79  80  81 
Intellectual formation/a> 82  83  84  85 
Pastorale experiences 86 
Pratcial guide to formation 87 
IX Formation process
Immediate preparation for novitiate 88 
The novitiate 89  90  91  92  93  94 
Post novitiate formation 95  96  97  98 
Ongoing formation 99  100  101  102 
The service of authority in the world community
Il Rector Major and Council 103  104  105  106  107  108  109  110 
The General Chapter 111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134 
Regional structures 135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142 
XI Service of authority in the Provincial community
Provincial and his Council 143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160 
Provincial Chapter 161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168  169 
XII  Service of authority in the local community
The Rector and his Council 170  171  172  173  174  175  176  177  178  179  180  181  182  183 
Confreres' Assembly 184 
XIII Administration of temporal goods
General norms 185  186  187  188  189  190  191 
General administration 192 
The Provinces 193  194  195  196  197 
The Houses 198  199  200  201  202 

I Those to whom our mission is addressed 1   2   3  
II Our pastoral educational service 4   5   6   7   8   9   10
III Activities and works  
  The Oratory and the Youth Centre 11  12 
  The salesian school and centres for teaching trades 13  14 
  Hostels and boarding schools 15 
  Initiatives at the service of vocations 16  17 
  The missions 18  19  20  21  22   23  24 
  Parishes 25  26  27  28  29  30 
  Social communication 31  32  33  34 
  Service in non-salesian structures 35 
IV Service to the salesian family 36  37  38  39  40  41 
V Fraternal and apostolic communities 42  43  44  45  46  47  48 
VI Following Christ obedient poor chaste
  Our obedience 49  50 
  Our poverty ( Personal poverty - Community poverty and service) 51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58   59  60  61  62  63  64   65 
  Our chastity 66  67  68 
VII In dialogue with the Lord 69  70  71  72  73  74  75  76  77 

I. Those to whom our mission is addressed


1. Keeping in mind its own social milieu, every province should study the situation and condition of youth and the common people, periodically verify that its works and activities are providing an effective service for young people who are poor: in the first place for youngsters who because of economic, social and cultural poverty, sometimes of an extreme nature, have no possibility of success in life; for those who are poor at an affective, moral and spiritual level, and therefore exposed to indifference, atheism and delinquency; and for those who live on the fringe of society and of the Church.[1].


2. The provinces should encourage a commitment to the education of young workers. They should take part in the pastoral activity of the particular Churches by offering initiatives and special services. They should try to be well informed about the world of work and the conditions in which young people are working. They should see that centres of professional training pay heed to pastoral, pedagogical and technical aspects, and adequate programmes should be drawn up to educate the youngsters to the spiritual aspects of work.[2].


3. Our educative and pastoral service is directed to boys and young men.

In our works girls are also welcomed in line with criteria and norms indicated by the Provincial Chapter.


II. Our pastoral educational service

4. Each provincial community should draw up its educative and pastoral plan, based on the preventive system, to respond to the youth situation and to the conditions in poor areas.

A local plan should also be drawn up with the involvement of all the members of the pastoral and educative community and in harmony with that of the province, for the purpose of directing all initiatives to the task of evangelisation.[3].


5. The application of the plan requires that in all our works and settings we establish the   educative and pastoral community, whose animating nucleus is the salesian community.

Let all the salesians play an active part in the drawing up, realization and subsequent revision of the plan, and let them see to it that in a family spirit the young people, their parents and other collaborators also take part, according to their different roles.


6. Characteristic aspects of our pedagogy should be expressed in the plan and realized   in practice through suitable processes; such aspects are: the active and responsible involvement of the young people themselves ; a sensitive education for love; as serious cultural, social and professional preparation; communication in its artistic and recreational expressions.[5].


7. A central nucleus of the plan should be an explicit programme of education to the faith, which will accompany the general development of the youngsters, and coordinate the different forms of catechesis, celebrations and apostolic undertakings.[6].


8. In our educational work and pastoral settings the formation of groups and associations should be encouraged, according to age and interests, and their continuity should be ensured.  Special care shall be taken of groups having a Christian commitment, and those shall be fostered which share the salesian mission and live in its spirit.[7].

Attention should also be given to local ecumenical movements, especially in areas where different religious denominations exist.


9. With the help of trained educators and a programme of suitable activities, due attention should be given to the vocational guidance of young people.[8].

Special regard should be paid to the discovery, and subsequent follow-up by suitable initiatives, of those youngsters who show signs of lay, religious or priestly vocations.


10. To maintain and provide for the ordered development of its various pastoral and educative activities, each province is to draw up a programme for the training and updating of personnel for the different sectors, due regard being paid to the aptitudes and inclination of the confreres and the needs of the works.


III.   Activities and works

The Oratory and the Youth Centre

11. The oratory is an educational environment with a strong missionary slant, and open to all boys and young men.[9]

It should be organised as a service to the neighbourhood with the object of evangelising, and offers to individuals and groups the opportunity of developing their own interests, using ways and means appropriate to their different ages.

The activities should always have an educational scope and should foster a healthy use of spare time.


12. The youth centre is an environment intended for older boys with their different requirements. It preserves the characteristics of the Oratory,  but the emphasis on group activity is more marked, and personal contacts are facilitated to a greater extent.

Formative and apostolic activities should play a more important role than those which are only recreational.


The salesian school and centres for teaching trades

13. The salesian school fosters the total development of the young person through the assimilation and critical re-elaboration of culture and education to the faith in view of the Christian transformation  of society.

The educational process, carried out in a salesian manner and with recognized technical and teaching ability, should be based on solid cultural values, and be tailored to the needs of the young.  The programme should provide a harmonious balance between intellectual and technical training and extracurricular activities.

A periodic examination should be made to ensure that the contents of the curriculum and pedagogical and training methods are still valid as regards their relationship with the social milieu, the world of work and the pastoral indications of the Church.


14. A salesian school should be for poorer people: this should be reflected in its siting, its culture, its curriculum and its choice of students.  Services to meet local needs should be provided, such as courses for cultural and professional training, literacy and remedial programmes, scholarships and other initiatives.[10].


Hostels and boarding schools

15. Hostels and boarding schools are a service offered to youngsters who have no family or who are temporarily away from home.  In such establishments priority should be given to whatever fosters personal relationships, enables the boarders to share the responsibility for the organisation for their daily life, and offers them scope for different group activities.  Contact should be maintained with their families or those responsible for them, and also with their school or the places where they work.[11]


Initiatives at the service of vocations

16. Vocational guidance centres welcome and keep in touch with young people who feel called to some commitment in the Church and in the Congregation.

This service can also be carried out by organizing local and regional meetings, by means of activities of special groups, or by inserting young people in one of our communities.[12]


17. The aspirantate is a centre of salesian vocational guidance.  It keeps itself open to the neighbourhood and in contact with families, and helps older boys and young men who show an aptitude for the religious and priestly life to know their own apostolic vocation and to correspond with it.


The missions

18. It is the duty of each provincial with his council to lay down norms for the animation and coordination of missionary activity.

Provinces which have mission territories within their boundaries should have at heart the service to be rendered to the missions and should prepare personnel for dialogue with cultures not yet evangelised, even though they represent ethnic minorities.[13]


19. Every missionary should be afforded the possibility of frequenting study centres organised by the particular Churches or by provinces for his specific preparation and updating, for learning languages, and for ethnic and anthropological studies.[14]


20. Normally no missionary residence should have fewer than three confreres.  Periodic meetings should be arranged among the missionaries to foster community life, mutual help, spiritual growth, and the exchange of pastoral experiences. [15]


21. Every missionary may return periodically to his native land, in accordance with the norms of his province or provincial conference.  His provincial will present him to the provincial of the area where he intends to pass his time and will provide him with what is necessary for his stay.

The confreres of the province which receives him should see to it that he is given a generous and fraternal welcome.


22. In non-Christian countries salesians, by the application of their educational and pastoral method, should create conditions favouring a free process of conversion to the Christian faith with respect shown for the cultural and religious values of the neighbourhood.

In places where the religious, social or political context does not allow of forms of explicit evangelization, the Congregation should maintain and develop a missionary presence of witness and service.[16]


23. In accordance with the prescriptions of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, formal agreements are to be drawn up with the ecclesiastical authorities in the territories where an apostolic work is entrusted to us.


24. To support our missionary activity, the Rector Major with the consent of his council and in agreement with the local provincial, may set up mission offices to serve the whole congregation.

Their organization and method of functioning will depend on the provincial or provincials in whose territory the offices operate, in the light of a statute made previously with the Rector Major, and in agreement with the councillor general for the missions and with the economer general.

For the setting up of local offices or the marking of twinning arrangements the provincial is competent, with the consent of his council and in agreement with the councillor general for the missions.[17]



25. We carry out our mission also in parishes; in this way we respond to the pastoral needs of the particular Churches in those areas which offer us adequate scope for service to the young and to the poor.

The acceptance of a parish is effected by means of a contract between the provincial and the Local Ordinary, after obtaining the approval of the Rector Major with the Consent of his council.[18]


26. A parish entrusted to the Congregation should be distinguished by its low-income population and its interest in the young especially those who are poorer.

The religious community is responsible for its animation.  It should consider the oratory and youth centre an integral part of its pastoral project; it should set great store by the systematic catechesis of all and show zeal for bringing back those who have lapsed ; it should see that evangelisation is linked with human advancement, and should favour the vocational development of each individual.[19]


27. The parish priest or moderator is chosen by the provincial after hearing the opinion of his council, and is presented by him to the Local Ordinary.He is responsible for the discharge of the obligations assumed by the Congregation before the Church, and fulfils them in collaboration with the other confreres assigned to the parish.[20]


28. The confreres attached to the parish should have that stability which the office and the good of the faithful demand.  Nevertheless the superior will judge when the moment is opportune for a necessary rotation of persons and duties, according to the practice of the particular Churches.  The parish priest should not normally remain in office for more than nine years.  When he is changed, the bishop must be informed in advance.[21]


29. Where the situation allows it, the house serving the parish should itself be canonically erected with the parish priest as its rector.

Whenever the offices of rector and parish priest remain distinct, the rector must see that the unity and salesian identity of the community is preserved, and should stimulate the sharing of responsibility of the confreres in the realization of the parish pastoral plan.[22]


30. In respect of administrative operations, the prescriptions of article 190 of the general Regulations are to be followed, due regard being paid to obligations to the parish community in accordance with canon law.

There must be a clear dinstinction, with appropriate registers and documentation, between what belongs to the parish qua talis and to the Congregation.[23]


Social  communication

31. As far as local possibilities permit, the provincial with his council should promote our pastoral presence in the social communication sector: he should prepare confreres to enter the fields of publishing, the cinema, radio and television; he should establish and build up our centres for the publishing and diffusion of books, aids and periodicals, and found centres for the production and transmission of audiovisual, radio and television programmes.

These services should be established on secure juridical and economic foundations, and there should be liaison and co-operation between those in charge of them and the councillor general for the Salesian Family and social communication.[24]


32. Salesians should take care to educate their charges to an understanding of the language of the social communication field, and to a critical aesthetic and moral sense.  They should also encourage musical and dramatic activity, and promote reading circles and cine forum groups.[25]


33. The channels of information and dialogue both inside and outside the Congregation and Salesian Family (bulletins, ANS, Short films, video-cassettes, etc.), should be developed, with appropriate use also of the means offered by recent advances in technology.[26]

Publishing houses in the same country or region should devise suitable methods of collaboration, so as to adopt a unified plan.


34. Whenever required by canon law, the ecclesiastical revision of matter for publication will be preceded by that of censors appointed by the provincial.[27]


Service in non-salesian structures

35. Service to the young may sometimes require our presence in non-salesian institutes for a more immediate collaboration with the particular Church in pastoral work for youth or for the world of work, and in the care of vocations.

It belongs to the provincial with the consent of his council to accept such undertakings and to assess their validity.

Members assigned to such activities must take care to remain a real part of the salesian community.  The latter will in turn show a fraternal and responsible interest in their work.[28]


IV. Service   to   the   salesian   family

36. It is the duty of the provincial and the rector, assisted by their respective delegates, to sensitize the communities so that they may discharge their duties in the Salesian Family.

The community, in agreement with those responsible for the various groups, with respect for their autonomy and in a spirit of service, offers them spiritual assistance, promotes meetings, encourages collaboration and initiatives in the educational and pastoral fields, and cultivates the common commitment for vocations.[29]


37. In response to their requests and as far as lies within our power, we offer to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians our fraternal help and our priestly ministry.

We collaborate with them in deepening our understanding of Don Bosco’s spirituality and pedagogy, and particularly in keeping alive the Marian dimension of the Salesian charism.[30]


38. Every community should feel it  its duty to increase and support the Association of Salesian Co- operators for the good of the Church.  It should help in the formation of its members, promote and spread knowledge of this particular vocation, especially among our more committed young people and among our lay collaborators.[31]


39. The community should maintain friendly relations with the past pupils, giving special attention to the younger ones.  It should show a real interest in them and promote opportunities for meetings, formation and collaboration.

It should encourage and support the Association of the Past Pupils of Don Bosco, and through it try to contact those who have distanced themselves.

It should help those who are more sensitive to salesian values to develop in themselves the vocation of a co-operator.[32]


40. We provide a service of spiritual assistance to the Don Bosco Volunteers and to the religious and secular institutes who affirm in their statutes that they have a project of apostolic life according to the salesian spirit, who have made the request to belong to the Salesian Family through a general chapter, and who have received official recognition by the Rector Major.[33]


41. The Salesian Bulletin, founded by Don Bosco, spreads knowledge of salesian spirit and activity, especially in its missionary and educational aspects

It is concerned with the problems of youth, encourages collaboration and tries to foster vocations.

It is as well an instrument for formation and a bond of union between the different branches of the Salesian Family.

It is edited in accordance with the directives of the Recotor Major and his council in various editions and languages.[34]


V. Fraternal   and   apostolic   communities

42. Once a year let both the local and provincial community, gathered around the rector and provincial respectively, celebrate the community Feast-Day as a  sign of its fraternal communion and an expression of its gratitude.[35]


43. For reasons of health, to foster apostolic activity and life together and an atmosphere of prayer and recollection, every confrere should regulate his work in an orderly manner, and the local community should see to it that there is a balanced distribution of duties with opportune periods for rest and silence, and for suitable relaxation in common.[36]


44. Following the example of our Founder and aware of the austerity demanded by religious life and the obligations arising from our work, the superior and every member of the community should keep their conscience alert to their moral obligations in the choice of reading matter, film and stage presentations, and in the use of the means of social communications.[37]


45. The community should receive with cordiality those who come in contact with us or are guests, especially if they are confreres.

A previous understanding with the rector is needed before invitations to meals are given.

Externs however are not permitted to live with the community except with the permission of the provincial.[38]


46. The community maintains cordial relations with the family of each confrere, and shows them love and gratitude.

The Salesian who has left his home to follow Christ loses none of his love for his relatives and especially for his parents; he gives it expression by his prayers, letters, and visits.


47. Each community, as a sign of brotherly communion, should remember in a special way all deceased confreres; for this purpose individual communities should decide on an opportune moment for the daily reading of the necrology in one of the community practices.[39]


48. In keeping with the salesian tradition, the rector or someone in his place should address the community by way of a ‘good night’ , preferably after evening prayer.[40]


Vl. Following   Christ   obedient   poor   chaste.

Our obedience

49. In an atmosphere of mutual trust every confrere should frequently see his rector to let him know the state his health, how his apostolic activity is proceeding, the difficulties he faces in religious life and fraternal charity, and everything that may contribute to the welfare of the individual members and of the community.

Let the rector consider as one of his principal duties that of being always available to receive and listen to the confreres.[41]


50. To promote family spirit and avoid upsetting the community programme, a confrere who has to be absent from the house, especially for visits, journeys, or holidays, should have an understanding with his rector.

In the case of a prolonged absence he will follow what is prescribed by the Church’s norms. (cf. CIC, can. 665,1)[42]


Our poverty

51. The ceding of the use and enjoyment of his goods and of their administration carries with it the express condition that the member shall not be involved in responsibility for their management.

With the permission of the provincial and for a just reason he can change this cession and arrangement concerning his goods and can perform those acts with regard to property which the civil law prescribes.

All this he must also observe with regard to goods which come into his possession after profession.

He will also inform the provincial from time to time of the goods of which he retains the ownership, and of their condition.[43]


52. The will by which in accordance with civil law a member disposes of his present and future goods, is to be drawn up in two copies, one of which will be kept in the provincial archives.  For any eventual changes in it the provisions of canon and civil law shall be observed.[44]


53. In the spirit of gospel detachment a member, after at least ten years of perpetual profession and with the consent of the Rector Major, may definitely renounce the ownership of all his personal goods.  This act of renunciation shall be drawn up in accordance with the prescriptions of the civil law of his own country.[45]


54. Should a confrere leave the society, he shall once again have full rights over the movable and immovable goods the ownership of which he reserved to himself, but he shall not have the right to demand any of their fruits, nor any account of their administration.

Fraternal help will be afforded him to face the initial difficulties of his new situation, but he shall not be entitled to anything for the period he has spent in the congregation.[46]


55. Every member lives out his poverty by temperance in the use of  food and drink, by simplicity in dress and by moderate use of holidays and amusements.

He furnishes his room in a simple manner, taking care not to make it a refuge which keeps him separated from his confreres and from young people.

He is watchful so as not to become a slave to any habit opposed to the spirit of poverty.

Faithful to a constant tradition he abstains from smoking as a form of salesian temperance and as a witness in his personal work of education.[47]


56. The members cannot retain for themselves anything they may acquire by their own work or because of  their membership of the society, but everything must be placed among the common goods.

Whatever money they receive from the community to carry out their work or for small individual needs they will use with a sense of responsibility, and give an account to the superior of how it was spent.[48]


57. Royalties received by salesians for their publications or other productions are fruits of work which as members they fraternally place in common for the benefit of the society.

Hence every confrere, whether author or publisher, shall cede the copyrights he acquires according to the norms of the province and in the manner prescribed by the laws of the respective countries.[49]


58. It belongs to provincial chapters to lay down norms with a view to establishing throughout the province a modest and effectively uniform level of community life, while taking into account special situations.

In particular they will regulate:

  1. The use of personal equipment which can be taken to another house when a member is transferred
  2. The holidays permitted to members for a proper restoration of their physical and mental energies.;
  3. The norms  for a practical exercise of solidarity between the houses of the province, and the help the communities will offer for the general needs of the province.[50]

59. The society should not retain possession of any real estate apart from its houses and the property needed for its work, in accordance with article 187 of the Constitutions.

In every case whatever has the appearance of counter-witness to poverty should be avoided, remembering that effective service can often be rendered with very simple material structures and in works we do not own.[51]


60. The purpose of our works is to give service to others; they should therefore be open and available for the needs of the neighbourhood.  Space and facilities required for the pastoral needs of the area should not be left unused.[52]


61. Our tenor of life should conform to the demands of religious poverty in line with the customs of the different countries.

The interior decoration of  the house, the furniture and equipment should be simple and functional and should never give the impression of wealth and luxury.  This holds good also for our Churches, while maintaining in them a proper decorum.[53]


62. Proper attention should be given to the maintenance of goods and property.  Special importance attaches to the preservation of  libraries, archives and other documentary material, because of their cultural and community value.[54]


63. Means of transport shall be the property of the house or province; they should not be for exclusive personal use but at the disposal of the community, which will make use of them only as a means of service and with criteria of poverty.[55]


64. With a sense of economy and in keeping with our family spirit, domestic work and services should as far as possible be done by the confreres, who will thus try to learn by experience, especially during the period of initial formation.[56]


65. The community, whether local or provincial, should examine at intervals it considers opportune its own state of poverty, both as regards its collective witness and the services it renders, and should study the means to ensure a constant renewal.[57]


Our chastity

66. The giving of witness and pastoral service requires the presence of the salesian in the world.

Faithful to the vocation he has chosen he will avoid the comforts and attractions of  the world.  He will be prudent in making visits or frequenting amusements, excluding anything not in keeping with religious chastity.[58]


67. Female personnel should be employed in our houses and works only when necessary, and due regard should be paid to the requirements of religious life.[59]


68. In his relationships with others and in his friendships, the salesian should be consistent with the obligations assumed at his profession.  Let him therefore avoid any ambiguous or dangerous conduct or behaviour, which could obscure his witness to chastity.[60]


VII. In dialogue with the lord

69. At the beginning of he year every community should draw up the programme for its life of prayer, bearing in mind its apostolic commitments and the demands of fraternal life.[61]


70. The members will celebrate Lauds as morning prayer and Vespers as evening prayer in common if possible.  Other vocal prayers may be substituted, according to circumstances.  All the members will be faithful to the daily celebration of the Eucharist.[62]


71. Every day the members will spend in common at least half an hour for meditation and some time in spiritual reading.  It is for the local community to devise different ways in which this can be done and encourage the confreres in the fulfilment of this  duty.[63]


72. The community will devote at least three hours to the monthly recollection, and every three months a whole day will be given over to a suitably prepared retreat.  Every year the members will make a retreat of six days in the manner laid down by the provincial chapter, which they will conclude with the renewal of the commitments assumed at religious profession.[64]


73. In harmony with salesian tradition and the teaching of the Church, Friday is to be for the members a day of community penance.  In lent the community should establish some common practice of mortification, which helps the members to prepare for Easter and opens them to a greater sharing with the poor.[65]


74. As well as the Rosary, by means of which Mary teaches her children how to unite themselves with the mysteries of Christ, the monthly commemoration, the daily prayer after meditation and the frequent use of the Blessing of Mary Help of Christians are other signs of unity in our Marian Devotion.  The details will be laid down in the provincial directory.[66]

The members both individually and as a community, should feel the obligation of zealously spreading devotion to Mary Help of Christians and of fostering, wherever possible, the Association of the Clients of Mary Help of Christians.


75. On the last day of each month our father Don Bosco will be commemorated.  The feasts of our saints and beatified members should be celebrated as family events, and devotion to our servants of God should be fostered.[67]


76. Salesians will express love and gratitude to confreres, relatives and benefactors who have been called by the Father to eternal life, by praying for the repose of their souls both privately and as a community.

In particular :

1. on the death of a confrere or novice the community to which he belonged will have thirty masses said, and one Mass will be said in every house of the province;

2. on the death of he Rector Major or a Rector Major emeritus, in addition to  the thirty Masses one Mass will be said in every house of the Congregation;

3. on the death of parents of confreres, the house to which the confrere belongs will have ten Masses said;

4. each year:
-  for the deceased confreres every priest will say Mass on the day following the liturgical solemnity of Don Bosco; in addition the provincial will have one Mass said during every retreat;
- for the deceased parents of the confreres one Mass will be celebrated in every house on November 25, anniversary of the death of Mamma Margaret;
- for deceased benefactors and members of the Salesian Family, a Mass will be celebrated in each community on November 5.[68].


77. Our community life of prayer will have a practical guide in the form of a manual to be prepared by the provinces, provincial conferences or regions, which will contain a common nucleus of prayers as indicated by the Rector Major with his council.[69]

[1] cf. Cost 26.77
[2] cf. Cost 27
[3] cf. Cost 31-39.47
[4] cf. Cost 38.47
[5] cf. Cost 32.33
[6] cf. Cost 34.36
[7] cf. Cost 35
[8] cf. Cost 37
[9] cf. Cost 42
[10] cf. Cost 29.33
[11] cf. Cost 42
[12] cf. Cost 6.28.37
[13] cf. Cost 30
[14] cf. Cost 30.118
[15] cf. Cost 49
[16] cf. Cost 30
[17] cf. Cost 30.138
[18] cf. Cost 29.42
[19] cf. Cost
[20] cf. Cost 48
[21] cf. Cost 48
[22] cf. Cost 44.176
[23] cf. Cost 190
[24] cf. Cost 6.43
[25] cf. Cost 6.43
[26] cf. Cost 6.43.59
[27] cf. Cost 43
[28] cf. Cost 41.42.44
[29] cf. Cost 5
[30] cf. Cost 5
[31] cf. Cost 5.47
[32] cf. Cost 5
[33] cf. Cost 5
[34] cf. Cost 5.6.43
[35] cf. Cost 50.55
[36] cf. Cost 52
[37] cf. Cost 84
[38] cf. Cost 56
[39] cf. Cost 54.94
[40] cf. Cost 55
[41] cf. Cost 70
[42] cf. Cost 65
[43] cf. Cost 74
[44] cf. Cost 54
[45] cf. Cost 74
[46] cf. Cost 74.194
[47] cf. Cost 75
[48] cf. Cost 76
[49] cf. Cost 76
[50] cf. Cost 76.77
[51] cf. Cost 77
[52] cf. Cost 77
[53] cf. Cost 77
[54] cf. Cost 77
[55] cf. Cost 76.77
[56] cf. Cost 77.78
[57] cf. Cost 77
[58] cf. Cost 84
[59] cf. Cost 84
[60] cf. Cost 82.84
[61] cf. Cost 85
[62] cf. Cost 88.89
[63] cf. Cost 93
[64] cf. Cost 91
[65] cf. Cost 90
[66] cf. Cost 92
[67] cf. Cost 9.21
[68] cf. Cost 94
[69] cf. Cost 86

VIII General aspects of formation
  Formation communities 78   79   80   81  
  Intellectual formation 82   83   84   85  
  Pastoral experiences 86 
  Practical guide for formation 87 
IX The formation process
  Immediate preparation for the novitiate 88 
  The novitiate 89  90  91  92  93   94 
  Formation after the novitiate 95  96  97  98 
  Ongoing formation 99  100  101  102 

VIII. General aspects of formation


Formation communities

78. Formation communities must have a rector and a team of formation personnel who are specially prepared, above all as regards spiritual direction which is ordinarily given by the rector himself.

Those being formed and their guides must carry out with shared responsibility a periodic planning and evaluation of their work.

Those in formation should play their part in practical ways in the running of the community.[1]


79. During the period of initial formation the confreres will have once a month the talk with the superior referred to in article 70 of the Constitutions.[2]


80. To educate those being formed to a sense of personal responsibility in the use of time and to encourage the spirit of initiative, there should be a reasonable and gradual flexibility in the timetable and the day’s activities, with priority for the more pressing needs of the community.[3]


81. The local community, since it shares the responsibility for the development of each confrere, is invited to express its opinion whenever one of its members seeks admission to profession or to holy orders. This will be done in the form most in keeping with charity.[4]


Intellectual formation

82. Our salesian mission orientates and characterizes at all levels the intellectual formation of the members in a way that is original and unique.  Therefore the programme of studies must preserve a balance between serious and scientific reflection and the religious and apostolic dimensions of our way of life.[5]

Those branches of study shall be cultivated with special care which deal with the education of and pastoral work for youth, catechesis and social communication.


83. During the years of initial formation the studies should be so structured as to lead to degrees and qualifications recognized by the state, whenever that is possible.


84. The provinces able to do so should have their own study centre for the formation of the confreres and to provide qualified services of spiritual, pastoral and cultural animation.

When the study centre is inter-provincial, the provinces concerned shall give their responsibile collaboration to enable it to achieve its aim.

As far as is possible it should also be open to externs, religious and lay, as a service to the particular Church.[6]


85. The assimilation of the salesian spirit is fundamentally a fact of living communication. But for this vital experience to be really efficacious it should be accompanied throughout the whole process of the initial formation by a gradual and systematic study of  salesian spirituality and the history of the society


Pastoral experiences

86. The pastoral experiences should be carried out in activities proper to our mission, and should have as their purpose the development of an apostolic spirit and of the educative and pastoral potential of the salesian in formation.  Such experiences should be diversified and graded so that hey respond to the personal and religious development of the individual confrere and to the phase of formation he has reached.

The community has the responsibility for programming these pastoral experiences, for following up their realization with the presence and guidance of the formation personnel and for their periodic evaluation.[7]


Practical guide for formation

87. At world level the practical guide for formation will be the salesian “ Ratio fundamentalis Institutionis et Studiorum”, and at provincial level a directory approved by the Rector Major with the consent of his council.

The “Ratio” sets out in an organic and instructive way the complexus of principles and norms concerning formation which are found in the Constitutions,  general Regulations and other documents of the Church and of the Congregation.

The provincial directory applies the principles and norms of salesian formation to the concrete local situations.[8]


IX. The    formation   process

Immediate preparation for the novitiate

88. Under ordinary circumstances the period of immediate preparation for the novitiate should not be less than six months in length and should be spent in a salesian community.

The details  are to be laid down in the provincial directory.[9]


The novitiate

89. The house of novitiate should be in contact with social and apostolic realities of the neighbourhood.  If circumstances make it desirable, the novitiate may be established alongside another suitable community.[10]


90. When the candidate considers himself ready and sufficiently prepared he makes his application to begin the novitiate.

To be admitted he must be free from the impediments listed in the canon law (CIC can. 643-645 §1), show the aptitudes and maturity necessary for entering upon the salesian life, and his health must be such as to enable him to observe all the Constitutions of the Society.

The eventual dismissal of a novice belongs to the provincial of the novitiate house.[11]


91. Studies during the novitiate should be carried out seriously and follow a precise programme which forms part of the overall plan of studies.  They should have as their overriding objective initiation into the mystery of Christ, so that the novice by means of contact with the  word of God may develop a deeper life of faith and a loving knowledge of God.

A solid theological  basis for the religious life should also be presented.  The Constitutions, the life of Don Bosco and our traditions should be studied.[12]


92. At an appropriate time at the beginning of the novitiate, and again before making vows, the novices are to make a retreat.[13]


93. During the novitiate the novice may freely leave the Institute.  If he remains he will be admitted to profession after he has made the necessary application and if he is judged suitable;  otherwise he is sent away.

In special cases the provincial may prolong the novitiate, but not beyond a further six months in accordance with can.653.[14]


94. When a religious in perpetual vows asks to pass from his own institute to our Society, he must undergo a period of trial of at least 3 years duration in one of our communities, so that he may assimilate our spirit.

At the end of this time he may make formal request for admission, and if he is accepted may make his perpetual professional in accordance with canon law.[15]


Formation after the novitiate

95. Immediately after the novitiate all confreres must continue their formation for at least a two-year period in formation communities, preferably studentates.

During this period the general philosophical and pedagogical formation is given, with an introduction to theology.  Technical, scientific or professional training may also be commenced or continued with specific qualifications in view.[16]


96. Practical training lasts ordinarily for two years and is carried out before perpetual profession  in a community that can provide whatever is necessary for the validity of this experience.[17]


97. Members who are preparing for the priesthood must receive, over a minimum period of four years, a more intense and specifically priestly formation in formation communities, preferably studentates.

They must attend seriously to theological studies, preferably, in salesian centres.

During this period they must not undertake duties or other studies that will interfere with the specific purpose of this formative phase.[18]


98. In the phase which completes their initial formation following the practical training, lay salesians must be afforded the possibility for acquiring a serious theological, salesian and pedagogical preparation suited to their cultural level.

They should be engaged also, according to their talents, in studies aimed at their professional preparation in view of the apostolic work they will later carry out.[19]


Ongoing formation

99. Ongoing formation requires that each confrere develop his capacity for communication and dialogue; he should form in himself an open and discerning mentality and a spirit of initiative, and in this way conveniently renew his own plan of life.

Each one should cultivate the habit of reading and the study of those branches of knowledge proper to his mission; he should maintain his openness to prayer, meditation, and to personal and community spiritual direction.[20]


100. Let every confrere study with his superior the field of further qualification best suited to his abilities and to the needs of the province, giving preference to whatever concerns our mission. He should preserve that availability which is characteristic of our spirit, and be ready for periodic re-qualification.[21]


101. It is the duty of the provincial and his council to promote ordinary means and also extra ordinary  initiatives for spiritual and cultural formation.

Meetings of rectors, of pastoral animators, of economers and of other confreres should be occasions for deepening our salesian identity in its educational and pastoral dimensions.

An attitude of ready acceptance should be fostered to formative opportunities offered by different organisms of the Church and of society.

Inter-provincial initiatives should be carried out by the provincials concerned in agreement with the regional councillor.[22]


102. All salesians in their mature years should periodically be offered the possibility of spending an appropriate period of time for their renewal.

Provinces should take this need into account in their planning, and each confrere should respond to it for his own good and that of the community.[23]

[1]cf. Cost 103.104
[2]cf. Cost 70.105
[3]cf. Cost 103
[4]cf. Cost 103.108
[5]cf. Cost 97
[6]cf. Cost 101
[7]cf. Cost 115
[8]cf. Cost 100.101
[9]cf. Cost 109
[10]cf. Cost 110
[11]cf. Cost 108
[12]cf. Cost 110
[13]cf. Cost 110
[14]cf. Cost 108.111
[15]cf. Cost 108.117
[16]cf. Cost 113.114
[17]cf. Cost 115
[18]cf. Cost 116
[19]cf. Cost 116
[20]cf. Cost 118.119
[21]cf. Cost 118.119
[23]cf. Cost 101.118.119

X The service of authority in the world community
  Il The Rector Major and his council 103  104  105  106  107  108  109 110
  Il The General Chapter 111  112  113  114  115  116  117  118  119  120  121  122  123  124  125  126  127  128  129  130  131  132  133  134 
  Regional Structures 135  136  137  138  139  140  141  142 
XI The service of authority in the provincial community
  The provincial and his council 143  144  145  146  147  148  149  150  151  152  153  154  155  156  157  158  159  160 
  The Provincial Chapter 161  162  163  164  165  166  167  168  169 
XII The service of authority in the local community
  The rector and his council 170  171  172  173  174  175  176  177  178  179  180  181  182  183 
  The assembly of the confreres 184 
XIII The administration of temporal goods
  General norms 185  186  187  188  189  190  191 
  At world level 192 
  The provinces 193  194  195  196  197 
  The houses 198  199  200  201  202 
X. The service of authority in the world community

The Rector Major and his council

103. The Rector Major shall be attentive to the needs of the universal Church, and shall keep in active contact with provinces, houses and members.  He shall seek the collaboration of all, promote formal and informal meetings, and spread knowledge of the apostolic activity of the congregation within the Salesian Family.

The members in turn shall express their love for Don Bosco and the Congregation by keeping united with the Rector Major and accepting his directives.  They shall help him by prayer and dialogue, and above all by fidelity to the Constitution.[1]


104. Personally or through others the Rector Major may visit each and every province and local community whenever the need arises.

In particular he will arrange for an extraordinary visitation of  every province during his six-year term of office. This may be carried out as he thinks fit, either by the regional councillor or by another visitor delegated by the Rector Major to whom he gives the powers of jurisdiction required by the nature itself of the visit.[2]


105. The Rector Major, as Superior of the Society, is the Grand Chancellor of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS).  He is the representative of the Apostolic See for the UPS, and the representative of the UPS before the Apostolic See.

In virtue of the mandate of the Congregation for Catholic Education, he has full  power over the University, and is the guardian and interpreter of its statues.

He carries out the functions of Grand Chancellor either personally or through a delegate, chosen preferably from among the members of the general council.[3]


106. In addition to the cases enumerated in article 132, §1 of the Constitutions, the Rector Major requires the consent of his council:

  1. for beginning extraordinary juridical proceedings which could compromise the Society
  2. for setting up mission offices at the level of the whole Congregation. [R 24]
  3. for accepting parishes [ R 25 ];
  4. for the approval of provincial formation directories [ R 87 ];
  5. for the appointment of a delegate for a central secretariate [ R 108 ];
  6. for establishing technical offices and consultative boards referred to in article 107 of the general Regulations, and determining their mode of operation and the offices and roles of their members;
  7. for the appointment of his personal delegate for a delegation [ R 138 ];
  8. for the approval of binding decisions made by provincial conferences [ C 139 ];
  9. for establishing the manner of making the consultation preceding the appointment of provincial councillors [ R 154 ];
  10. for the approval of the financial budget and balance sheet prepared by the economer general’s department [ C 190, R 192 ].[4]

107. The members of the general council in charge of special departments can avail themselves of the services of technical offices and consultant boards in carrying out the duties confided to them.

Their establishment, mode of operation and internal organization are to be determined by the Rector Major with the consent of his council.[5]


108. For sectors of particular importance which do not form part of the duties assigned by the Constitutions to individual councillors, appropriate central secretariates may be set up depending directly on the Rector Major.

The establishment of such secretariats belongs to the general chapter.  Their immediate responsibility is entrusted to a central delegate who is appointed by the Rector Major with the consent of his council and remains ad nutum.


109. To ensure a more regular discharge of business with the Apostolic See it is desirable that this be done through the Rector Major.


110. The official organ for the promulgation of directives of the Rector Major and his council and for official information are the ‘Acts of the General Council’.  Their publication is the responsibility of the general secretariate.[6]

The General Chapter

111. Except in the case provided for by article 143 of the Constitutions, the convocation of the general chapter will be made at least one year before it opens. It will be announced to all members by means of a circular letter which will indicate the principal purpose, place and opening date of the chapter.[7]


112. For the preparation of the general chapter the Rector Major, or in his absence the Vicar General, will appoint a moderator; to him the provincial chapters, local communities and individual members will send their proposals and study contributions if any.  He will also nominate a technical commission to work with the moderator in establishing a plan of preparation for the general chapter and in securing the interest and active participation of the members.[8]


113.The Rector Major, or in his absence the Vicar General, will also appoint a precapitular commission which, under the responsibility of the moderator and in agreement with the Rector Major, will draw up the reports or schemata to be sent in good time to those taking part in the general chapter.[9]


114. Provinces with less than 250 professed members, and vice-provinces, will send to the general chapter one delegate elected by the respective chapters.  Provinces with 250 or more confreres will send two delegates.

Other eventual juridical circumscriptions referred to in article 156 of the Constitutions will have their representation defined in their decrée of erection.[10]


115. At least three months before the opening of the general chapter, the provincials will send to the moderator the minutes of the elections, which will be examined by an appropriate commission appointed by the Rector Major, or in his absence by the Vicar General.

If any defects should be discovered, the moderator will see that they are rectified in good time, and if necessary the elections will be repeated.[11]


116. In the first session of the general chapter the president will appoint two or more secretaries and if necessary also other chapter officials.  If necessary the president can also choose other secretaries and officials who are not members of the general chapter.  It is the duty of the secretaries to record accurately in the minutes, the acts and deliberations of the general chapter, the decisions made and a summary of the discussions.[12]


117. Once the secretaries have been appointed, the moderator in the name of the president and with the consent of the assembly will declare the chapter lawfully opened.[13]


118. If at the opening of the general chapter the election of any delegate is found to be invalid or still doubtful, the moderator will inform the chapter of this at the first session.[14]

The first act of the chapter will then be to pronounce on each case, so that with the authority with which it is invested it may either declare an election null and void, or rectify its invalidity.


119. In one of the early sessions the Rector Major, or the one who takes his place, shall present a general report on the state of the Congregation, and this shall be the object of study and analysis by the assembly.


120. The meetings of the general chapter will be presided over by the Rector Major or, in his absence, by the Vicar General.  He will be helped in the direction and conduct of the work by the moderator and by three chairmen, elected by an absolute majority by the general chapter from a list of names prepared by the president.

The president, the moderator and the three chairmen constitute the presidency of the general chapter.[15]


121. The general chapter will elect by absolute majority at least five members who, with the moderator and chairmen, will form the central commission which, will form the central commission which, under the presidency of the Rector Major, has the duty of co-ordinating the work of the chapter and ensuring its smooth functioning.[16]


122. The general chapter works through groups called commissions, which have the task of studying the schemata or reports assigned to them. As soon as possible the moderator will inform the general chapter of the commissions and the themes they deal with and will ask for their approval. The commissions will be constituted by the president who will keep in mind each one's preferences.[17]


123. It is the duty of the members of the chapter to be present at its meetings; for this reason they may not absent themselves without the permission of the president.[18]


124. The confreres shall be given full and timely information about the chapter’s work.  A commission of chapter members, chosen from the various groups of provinces, is responsible for such information and in general for all contacts with the mass media.  It will function in agreement with the presidency of the chapter.

All who take part in any way in the general chapter must exercise discretion and respect for persons concerned, whenever referring to the work, events or discussions of the chapter.


125. The Rector Major and the capitular assembly have the faculty of calling to the general chapter other persons as experts or observers without the right to vote; they may or may not be salesians.

Experts may take part in discussion in the commissions to which they are invited; they may speak in the assembly only when requested.  Observers may speak both in the commissions and in the assembly.[19]


126. It is for the general chapter to decide on the date for the elections, providing for an appropriate period for reflection before the election of each council member.[20]


127. The election of the Rector Major and members of his council is an act which calls for the full responsibility of every capitular before the Congregation.  It must therefore be prepared for by prayer and carried out in a spirit of faith.

Every elector may request and provide information about the qualities of those eligible, but must avoid whatever may offend against fraternal charity.[21]


128. In accordance with the prescription of article 141,§1 of the Constitutions for the election of regional councillors, the members from each group of provinces will choose by secret vote in a single ballot the confreres to  be presented to the assembly, writing two names on each voting paper.  They will then present to the assembly a list containing the names of those who have received votes with the number given to each.[22]


129. At the beginning of the electoral session the president will announce its purpose. Two secretaries and three scrutineers will then be elected by secret ballot; the scrutineers and the president are obliged to maintain secrecy even after the chapter.[23]


130. Should any elector be ill in the house where the general chapter is being held, and be unable to present but able to write, two scrutineers will go to him to receive in a ballot-box his vote which will be added to the others.[24]


131. Once all the votes have been gathered together in a ballot -box, the scrutineers will count them to see whether the number of votes corresponds to the number of voters.  If the number of votes exceeds the number of voters the election is null; if the number of votes corresponds or is inferior, the scrutiny is to begin.  The secretaries will record the names as they are read out by a scrutineer.[25]


132. Whoever has received the votes of an absolute majority of those present is elected and will be proclaimed as such by the president; on accepting he will immediately enter into office.  If the president himself is elected, the proclamation will be made by the oldest member of the assembly.[26]


133. After the elections the Rector Major will inform all members of the Society of the names of those elected and the offices assigned to them.[27]


134. In the last session of the chapter, after everything prescribed by the regulations has been carried out, the moderator in the name of the president and with the approval of the assembly will declare the general chapter closed.[28]

Regional Structures

135. The regional councillors will keep in touch with the individual provinces.  They may visit them, arrange meetings of provincial councils and, in agreement with them, of other categories of confreres, to point out to them whatever they consider more opportune for the welfare of the Congregation and for the provision of a better service for the province and the particular Church.[29]


136. In addition it is the duty of the regional councillors:

  1. to further a concrete and creative family sense in the relationships of confreres and provinces among themselves and with the Rector Major and his council;
  2. to attend diligently to the official business of the provinces of the group and of the provincial conferences;
  3. to foster the efficient functioning of inter provincial structures, where they exist, and the setting up of regional offices of documentation regarding the religious, cultural and social services of the areas of their competence, where this is possible and advisable.[30]

137. In the fulfilment of their office, regional councillors will act with proper discretion, so as not to substitute themselves unduly for the local provincial or other superiors, nor intrude in matters of their specific competence.[31]


138. If particular reasons require that certain provinces be detached from one or more groups, without  an entirely new group entrusted to a regional councillor being constituted, the general chapter may unite them in a delegation, for which the Rector Major with the consent of his council and after consulting the provinces concerned will appoint a personal delegate, to whom he will assign such duties as he considers opportune.[32]


139. The provinces of each conference meet at least once a year to study problems concerning the animation and co-ordination of their joint salesian activity.

The conference is presided over by the regional councillor or his delegate.

The conclusions of the conference are ordinarily orientative.

In special cases the conference can make binding decisions, which acquire their force only after the approval of the Rector Major with the consent of his council.[33]


140. The following take part in the meetings of the conference:

  1. the regional councillor or his delegate;
  2. the provincials of the conference;
  3. one or more delegates for each province, selected according to the norms laid down in the regulations of the provincial conference.[34]

141. Consultants and observers, both religious and lay, may be invited to participate in the work of the conference in the manner to be laid down by each conference in its own regulations.[35]


142. The following tasks, among others, are assigned to the provincial conference:

  1. to study and further the application of the general directives of the congregation regarding its government and work, and particularly those of the general chapter;
  2. to provide for the co-ordination of common pastoral activity, of the formation, qualification and updating of confreres, and of the means of social communication, by promoting generous collaboration in the exchange of members and resources;
  3. to promote liaison and collaboration with other organizations and institutions interested in  the problems of youth and of development;
  4. to examine and encourage appropriate experimentation, particularly in the field of community poverty and in that of our service to the young who are poor and to the working classes;
  5. to draw up its regulations and decide upon eventual inter-provincial secretariates, structures and offices for animation and co-ordination.[36]
XI. The service of authority in the provincial community

The provincial and his council

143. Before appointing a provincial the Rector Major will consult the professed members of the province in accordance with article 162 of the Constitutions, and will ask each one for a list of three names of members of their own or other provinces and arranged in order of preference.[37]


144. The provincial is the bond of union between the province and the Rector Major with his council; he fosters relationships with the civil authorities and with ecclesiastical and religious organizations in his area.[38]


145. The provincial should keep in contact with the rectors and give them special attention.  He should call them together at least once a year to treat of matters of general interest for the province.[39]


146. The provincial will see to it that he has frequent personal contact with the members, always in a spirit of service and fraternal communion.

  1. Once a year he will make with particular care the provincial visitation to each community.
  2. During the visitation he should meet each member, hold a meeting of the local council, and carry out with the community a review of their religious observance, the witness of their consecrated life, their apostolic zeal in pastoral activities, their concern for fostering vocations, and the financial situation.  The Provincial councillors may assist him in this task.
  3. At the end of the provincial visitation he should write down in the register kept for this purpose in the archives of the house his observations and decisions of a general character.  Those of a confidential nature he should communicate separately.  At he  next visitation he should verify that they have been carried out.[40]

147. By means of opportune contacts with the various groups of the Salesian Family and through his delegate for this sector, the provincial will seek to promote the sense of belonging to a common vocation and  a deeper understanding of what this means.[41]


148. Aware of the important role played by our lay collaborators, the provincial should show a keen interest in their salesian preparation and should ascertain how they are integrated in our works.[42]


149. The provincial may stay the execution of a superior order, in accordance with the universal law, if there are motives to the contrary so grave and evident as to justify him in believing that if the superiors concerned had known of them they would have acted otherwise, but in such a case he must inform them fully and immediately.  If the suspended order concerns a member, the latter shall place himself at the disposal of the provincial while a reply is awaited (cf. CIC, can. 41).[43]


150. A member is assigned to a specific salesian house by a precept of obedience from his own provincial or other competent authority.  The number of confreres in a house shall normally be not less than six.


151. For a just reason the provincial, after hearing the opinion of his council and the member concerned, may on request send him temporarily to another province under a written agreement with the provincial who receives him.  Permanent changes of  province requires the authorization of the Rector Major.[44]


152. Members will exercise the ministry of hearing confessions with the permission of the provincial, in accordance with canon law.[45]


153. To change the provincial house the provincial must have the consent of his council and seek the authorization of the Rector Major.

He shall also have an understanding with him if he will be absent from the province for a considerable length of time.[46]


154. The manner in which the consultation preceding the appointment of provincial councillors is made shall be laid down by the Rector Major with the consent of his council.[47]


155. It is the duty of the provincial council to collaborate with the provincial for the development of the salesian life and mission, to help him to gain knowledge of situations, and to see that the provincial plan is being put into practice through contacts with those responsible and with the respective commissions.

The council shall be called together by the provincial at least once a month, and the agenda to be dealt with shall be made known in advance.[48]


156. In addition to those already indicated in the Constitutions, the provincial needs the consent of his council according to the general Regulations in the following cases:

  1. authorizing co-educational schools [ R 3 ];
  2. drawing up contracts with Local Ordinaries and other bodies [ R 23, 25 ];
  3. setting up eventual mission offices and twinning arrangements [R 24 ];
  4. allowing a confrere to carry out pastoral work in non-salesian institutions [ R 35 ];
  5. changing the location of the provincial house [ R 153 ];
  6. appointing the moderator of the provincial chapter, and inviting experts and observers [R 168 ];
  7. establishing the manner in which the consultation for the appointment of rectors shall be carried out  [ R 170 ];
  8. transferring a rector to another office during his term of appointment [R 171];
  9. requesting authorization for the financial operations referred to in article 188 of the Constitutions  [ R 193 ];
  10. approving the financial budget and balance sheet of the province [ C 190; R 196 ]
  11. fixing the contributions to be requested from the houses for the needs of the province [ R 197 ];
  12. authorizing modifications, or solutions to economic problems, or other undertakings of considerable importance in the houses [ R 200 ].[49]

157. The provincial must hear the opinion of his council, according to canon law and the general Regulations, in the following cases:

  1. for the choice and preparation of personnel for formation communities;
  2. for the selection of parish priests [ R 27 ];
  3. for the temporary transfer of a confrere to another province [ R 151 ];
  4. for the appointment of the provincial secretary [ R 159 ];
  5. for the setting up of offices and secretariats, and the establishing of commissions for consultation or pastoral activity at provincial level [ R 160 ];
  6. for setting in motion the process of dismissal of a member [CIC,can 697 ].[50]

158. When maters of particular importance concerning a local community are dealt with in the provincial council, care shall be taken to ascertain the views of the community concerned.[51]


159. The provincial and his council have at their service a secretary who has the role of a notary.

He is present at the meetings of the council without the right to vote, unless he is one of the councillors; he records the minutes.  He is in charge of the provincial archives and sees to the collecting and recording of statistics.  He is appointed by the provincial after hearing the opinion of his council and remains ad nutum.[52]


160. It belongs to the provincial, after hearing the opinion of his council, to set up offices  and secretariats, and to establish commissions for consultation or pastoral activity at provincial level.[53]

The Provincial Chapter

161. The elections of the delegates of the local communities to the provincial chapter and of the delegates of the provinces to the general chapter will be made separately by secret ballot according to the norms or article 153 of the Constitution.[54]


162. After the delegates are chosen, an equivalent number of substitutes will be elected to take their place if they are definitely prevented from taking part in the provincial or general chapter.  The manner in which the substitution is to take place for the general chapter will be decided by the provincial chapter.[55]


163. In the case of local communities having less than six professed members, if circumstances permit the provincial should arrange that they meet together so as to form the number of at least six professed members, under the presidency of the rector who is senior by first profession.  Thus united they will elect the delegate for the provincial chapter and his substitute according to the norms of the Regulations.

If however because of special circumstances the members of a house with less than six professed members cannot join with another in like condition, with the consent of the provincial the members of such a house shall  join the members of a house with six or more professed members and together with them and with equal rights, active and passive, will proceed to the election of the delegate and his substitute.[56]


164. Besides what is prescribed  in article 165 of the general Regulations, voting by letter is allowed, with the approval of the provincial, in the following cases:

  1. When because of distance or other serious reason the members of communities with less than the minimum of six professed members cannot meet together nor join the members of another house with six or more professed members for the election of the delegate to the provincial chapter;
  2. when a confrere cannot be present for serious reasons at the election of the delegate of his own community;
  3. when a member of the  provincial chapter cannot attend the chapter for the election of the delegate of the province to the general chapter.[57]

165. For  the election of the delegates of the provincial community the following is to be observed:

  1. when the election of the delegate of each community has been completed, the provincial will notify the confreres of the names of those elected, and will send them a list of the perpetually professed members of  the province who are eligible for the provincial chapter.  This list will include confreres temporarily and lawfully absent from the province and exclude confreres of other provinces present for the same reasons;
  2. confreres who for lawful reasons are temporarily absent from their province will participate in the election of the delegate of the community in which they reside, but for the election of the delegates of the provincial community they will receive from their own provincial a voting-paper which they will return to him duly completed;
  3. the number of those to be elected is in the proportion of 1 for every 25 or fraction of 25 members of the province; in arriving at this number both temporarily and perpetually professed members are included, as well as confreres temporarily absent from the province for lawful reasons;
  4. each confrere with the right to vote will receive from his provincial a voting-paper on which he may indicate as many names as there are members to be elected;
  5. it is for the provincial to collect the voting-papers and guarantee the secrecy of the voting;
  6. the counting of the votes will be done by scrutineers appointed by the provincial.  Those who have the highest number of votes in successive sequence will be elected.  If votes are equal the senior by profession will be elected, or in the case of further equality the senior in age;
  7. if the substitute of a delegate of a community is elected on the provincial list a new election for the substitute will be made.  If one of those elected on the provincial list cannot take part in the chapter, he will be substituted by the first of the non-elected members who received the highest number of votes.[58]



166. The following confreres are to be considered as lawfully absent from the province:

  1. those who by express mandate of their own provincial are living temporarily in houses of  other  provinces for reasons of health, study or other duties;
  2. those who received permission for absentia a domo without giving up their right to active and passive voice;
  3. those with permission for absentia a domo who have renounced their right to active and passive voice; but this last group, while being included for the purpose of article 165 of the general Regulations, are not to be included in the list for the election referred to in nn. 1 and 2 of the same article.[59]

167. In addition to what is prescribed in article 171 of the Constitutions, it belongs to the provincial  chapter

  1. to study and analyse the report of the provincial on the state of the province;
  2. to verify what has been done in response to the guidelines issued by the previous provincial chapter;
  3. to suggest ideas and criteria for the planning and reorganisation of the works of the province;
  4. to establish standing orders for the functioning of the provincial chapter in accordance with canon law (cf. CIC, can. 632);
  5. to forward proposals to the moderator of the general chapter.[60]

168. With the consent of his council the provincial has the power of appointing the moderator and of inviting to the provincial chapter salesians and non-salesians as experts or observers, without the right to vote.[61]


169. In elections, consultations and appointments, it should be kept in mind that it is desirable for chapters and councils to express by the significant presence of clerical and lay members the complementary relationship between them that is characteristic of our Society.[62]

XII. The service of authority in the local community

The rector and his council

170. The manner of making the consultation for the appointment of the rector will be determined   by the provincial with the consent of his council and in the light of any indications made by  the provincial chapter.  When a rector is confirmed for a second three-year term of office in  the same community, the approval of the Rector Major referred to in article 177 of the  Constitutions is not required.[63]


171. The period of service of the rector shall not normally exceed six years without an interruption of at least one year.

Even during his three-year term he may be appointed to some other office if the provincial, with  the consent of his council, deems it necessary.[64]


172. The rector should keep himself free from commitments which could interfere with his fundamental duties of service to the confreres.  He should not absent himself from the house for notable length of time without necessity and without an understanding with the provincial.[65]


173. He must see that the confreres practise co-responsibility and collaboration in the family spirit  desired by Don Bosco.  He should respect areas of responsibility, fostering in an an atmosphere of healthy freedom the employment of natural gifts and personal talents for attaining the common end.

He must ensure  that the assembly of the confreres and the council of the community function in the most effective way.

He should encourage meetings and events which contribute to brotherhood, updating and relaxation.[66]


174. He should programme with the community the best way of carrying out and periodically reviewing the community expression of its prayer life, allowing scope or opportune  initiative.

He should ensure that he confreres have opportunities for frequent confession and freedom    regards direction of conscience.[67]


175. Basing himself on salesian sources and by means of common spiritual direction, conferences, good-nights and informal meetings, he should take care that the community becomes deeply imbued with our spirit, and lives it in an intense way.

In addition he will see to it that official documents of the Church and the Congregation are brought to the knowledge of all the confreres.[68]


176. He should show, especially in his personal relationships with the confreres, his concern for their  health and particular needs. He should show special care for the confreres still in the   period of initial formation, for the sick and the aged and for those who are in difficulty.

He should take an interest also in the parents of confreres, and consider them as united to the community in a special way.[69]


177. On the death of a confrere the rector is to write his obituary letter without delay.  He shall send copies to the general secretariate, to the provinces and communities particularly  interested, and to formation communities.[70]


178. He should keep the archives in order and up to date, and compile or see to the compiling of the house chronicle.[71]


179. Conscious of the fact that he belongs to the provincial community, he should give to the provincial a clear and simple account of how the community is progressing.[72]


180. The local council will meet as often as the council itself determines, but at least once a month.  In addition it must be called together whenever the rector considers it necessary or whenever he is asked to do so by at least one third of its members.

The agenda to be dealt with should be made known in advance, and the minutes are to be signed by the rector and by the members of the council and kept in the archives.

The rector should keep the confreres duly informed about decisions of common interest. The members of the council must remember their solidarity as regards decisions taken, and that in any case they are obliged in conscience to have respect for persons and to be discreet regarding matters discussed.[73].


181. Where there is no local council, the rector must consult the provincial in those cases in which  the Constitutions call for the  opinion or consent of the said council.[74]


182. It is customary for the vice-rector to be responsible for one of the principal sectors of the community.  Ordinarily however the office of vice-rector should not be combined with that of economer.

The community should be informed of the special duties of the vice-rector referred to in article 183 of the Constitutions.[75]


183. The appointment of the vice-rector, the economer and those responsible for the principal sectors of the activity of the community is made by the provincial.  In the case of the appointment of the vice-rector and the economer he shall hear the opinion of the rector.[76]

The assembly of  the confreres

184. With regard to the community the principal tasks and duties of the assembly of the confreres are:

  1. to seek appropriate means of fostering religious and apostolic life;
  2. to identify and examine the more important problems;
  3. to draw up a programme each year covering the life, activities and updating of the community, and to review this programme;
  4. to participate in the elaboration of the educative and pastoral plan;
  5. to be informed and reflect on the financial situation, in view of community poverty.

The frequency of meetings is decided by the assembly itself, but they shall take place at least three times a year.[77]

XIII. The administration of temporal goods

General norms

185. Where necessary advisory groups of confreres should be set up at various levels to provide  advice and guidance in the solution of administrative problems, in the drawing up and  examination of financial budgets and balance sheets, in the preparation of economic  programmes and the realization of building projects.  The expertise of non-salesians may also be made use of.


186. To ensure the availability of personnel with the necessary competence for the administrative sector, specialized courses for economers should be organized periodically within a province or group of provinces.


187. Any money surplus to the requirements for running expenses at different levels should when convenient be deposited in banks in the account of a house or institute of the Society and not in the name of an individual person.  These accounts should be operable by three, or at least two, signatures with one signature sufficient for transactions.  When the responsible superior considers it opportune, two signatures together may be required for transactions.[78]


188. The following operations in favour of third parties are forbidden: making loans, acting as guarantors, accepting obligations, issuing or backing letters of credit, mortgaging the property of the Society and similar operations.


189. As far as non-salesian employees are concerned, the legislation of the country must be followed in regard to the documentation needed on taking or leaving employment, social security, social welfare and insurance, and a just wage must be paid.

It is also necessary to take out and keep up to date insurance policies against damage or harm to property or persons, to the extent judged appropriate by the competent superiors.


190. To provincial chapters is left the formulation of detailed norms for administration at provincial and local levels. In particular they will give directives concerning :

  1. the keeping of official records, administrative archives for official documents, agreements and covenants, wills, registers, files of obligation, inventories etc.;
  2. property registration, the safe custody of articles of value and of important documents;
  3. legacies for religious purposes and charitable bursaries;
  4. the keeping of accounts and centralization of administration where there are different groups involved in a single work;
  5. financial arrangements between parish and house in conformity with canon law and  the Constitutions;
  6. every other norm which local experience may suggest.

The provincial chapter may delegate this task to the provincial with his council.[79]


191. If any member, no matter what office he holds, should contract debts or any other kind of obligation without authorization from a competent superior, he alone remains responsible.

Neither the Society nor the province nor the house to which he belongs accepts any responsibility in the matter.

Should a corporate body - province or house - raise a loan, even with due authorization, it alone remains responsible for repayment; a clause to this effect should be written into the loan contract.[80]

At world level

192. The economer general supervises on behalf of the whole Society the operations listed in article 188 of the Constitutions.

He supervises the administration of the provinces and the houses, and in particular examines the annual report which is drawn up and despatched according to the indications of article 196 of the general Regulations.

He renders an account of his administration to the Rector Major and his council at least once a year and whenever he is called upon to do so.[81]


The provinces

193. The provincial economer administers those goods which do not belong to a particular house   of the province, and those which individual confreres have entrusted to the Congregation;  he supervises and controls the administration of each house.

He carries out his duties in  dependence on the provincial, who will make decisions with the consent of his council in  the case of operations referred to in article 188 of the Constitutions and others of a certain importance.[82]


194. The provincial economer will have an understanding with the provincial concerning:

  1. the help he gives to local economers to ensure the exact fulfilment of their duties and in co-ordinating initiatives at provincial level;
  2. the visits he makes to the houses to examine the condition of buildings and property, and to check the administration, maintenance and hygienic conditions;
  3. the calling of the annual meeting of local economers;
  4. the prompt submission of the annual financial report and other periodic reports on forms supplied by him.
  5. the withdrawal from the houses of the contributions referred to in article 197 of the general Regulations.[83]

195. Among the rights and duties of the provincial economer is also included the supervision of    all building  operations in the province, even when these concern a house already in    existence and where these concern a house already in existence and where the work is  to be carried out under the immediate control of the local economer and the responsibility    of the rector.[84]


196. The provincial economer should be solicitous in keeping the provincial and his council periodically informed about his administration, and in drawing up the annual financial budget and balance sheet which they have to approve.

The balance sheet will include the cash income and expenditure and the situation of the province in regard to capital assets and liabilities, together with a summary of the financial    reports of the individual houses; a copy, signed by the provincial and his council, will be sent to the economer general. [85]


197. The provincial with the consent of his council will decide on an inform the houses of the contributions required from them for the needs of the province, and will likewise withdraw surplus funds that may be available in certain houses.

He will draw up a periodic plan of financial solidarity among all the houses of the province, In order to help those in greater need  and to provide funds for extraordinary works and purchases programmed in the provincial chapter.

He will also ensure solidarity with the world-wide Congregation, especially at moments in ways called for by the Rector Major and his council.[86]

The houses

198. The administration of the goods of each house is entrusted to the local economer, who will act in dependence on the rector and his council.

Every financial transaction in any sector of the house, even that of the rector, must be referred back for accounting purposes to the economer’s office, which will be organized  in a manner proportionate to the importance and complexity of the work involved.

Even confreres in charge of works which by statute or agreement have a separate administrative  council, must render an account of their administration to the religious  superiors.  This must be done even when there exist separate administrations for the community and the work concerned.[87]


199. It is the economer’s duty to manage affairs with diligence and precision.

In agreement with the rector he will make the necessary purchases, look after employees and take care of insurance matters; he will be watchful to see that abuses and waste of every kind are avoided, and that furnishings and rooms are kept simple, functional, clean and well ordered.

The rector will keep himself frequently informed of everything that relates to the financial  state of the house.[88]


200. Without prejudice to what is laid down in article 188 of the Constitutions, the rector and the economer will not make modifications, seek solutions to economic problems, or take other initiatives of any considerable importance without the consent of the local council and without the authorization of the provincial and his council.[89]


201. The rector and the economer will be solicitous in satisfying  their financial obligations to the provincial in the manner laid down,  and in transferring to him any surplus remaining at the end of the financial year, in obedience to article197 of the general Regulations.[90]

They will also diligently fulfil any other obligations they have undertaken and pay any debts contracted both with other salesian houses and with externs.


202. The economer will keep himself always ready to give an account of his management to the rector and his council.  He will send a report of his administration to the provincial economer annually and whenever he is asked to do so.

As opportunity offers, and especially when the programme for the year’s work and the economic situation are being discussed, he will interest the entire community in the ordinary and extraordinary expenditure involved in the running of the house.[91]

[1] cf. Cost 59.126
[2] cf. Cost 127
[3] cf. Cost 127
[4] cf. Cost 131.132
[5] cf. Cost 133
[6] cf. Cost 144
[7] cf. Cost 143.150
[8] cf. Cost 150
[9] cf. Cost 150
[10] cf. Cost 151,8
[11] cf. Cost 151,8
[12] cf. Cost 150
[13] cf. Cost 150
[14] cf. Cost 151,8
[15] cf. Cost 150
[16] cf. Cost 150
[17] cf. Cost 150
[18] cf. Cost 151
[19] cf. Cost 150
[20] cf. Cost 141.153
[21] cf. Cost 141.153
[22] cf. Cost 141.153
[23] cf. Cost 153
[24] cf. Cost 153
[25] cf. Cost 153
[26] cf. Cost 153
[27] cf. Cost 153
[28] cf. Cost 150
[29] cf. Cost 140.154
[30] cf. Cost 140.154
[31] cf. Cost 140.154
[32] cf. Cost 154
[33] cf. Cost 155
[34] cf. Cost 155
[35] cf. Cost 155
[36] cf. Cost 155
[37] cf. Cost 162
[38] cf. Cost 161
[39] cf. Cost 161
[40] cf. Cost 161
[41] cf. Cost 5.161
[42] cf. Cost 47.161
[43] cf. Cost 162
[44] cf. Cost 160
[45] cf. Cost 162
[46] cf. Cost 161.162
[47] cf. Cost 167
[48] cf. Cost 164
[49] cf. Cost 165
[50] cf. Cost 157.165
[51] cf. Cost 165
[52] cf. Cost 164
[53] cf. Cost 162-164
[54] cf. Cost 173
[55] cf. Cost 173
[56] cf. Cost 173
[57] cf. Cost 173
[58] cf. Cost 173.174
[59] cf. Cost 173
[60] cf. Cost 171
[61] cf. Cost 172.173
[62] cf. Cost 123
[63] cf. Cost 177
[64] cf. Cost 177
[65] cf. Cost 55.176
[66] cf. Cost 55.176.186
[67] cf. Cost 176
[68] cf. Cost 55.176
[69] cf. Cost 55.176
[70] cf. Cost 176
[71] cf. Cost 176
[72] cf. Cost 176
[73] cf. Cost 178.181
[74] cf. Cost 182
[75] cf. Cost 183
[76] cf. Cost 179.180
[77] cf. Cost 186
[78] cf. Cost 187
[79] cf. Cost 171
[80] cf. Cost 190
[81] cf. Cost 139.188
[82] cf. Cost 169.190
[83] cf. Cost 169.190
[84] cf. Cost 169.190
[85] cf. Cost 169.190
[86] cf. Cost 76.190
[87] cf. Cost 184.190
[88] cf. Cost 176.184.190
[89] cf. Cost 184.190
[90] cf. Cost 176.184.190
[91] cf. Cost 184.190
Title and Contents

General Regulations (renewed translation 2023)

Data | 18-03-2016